Black. White. Forums

FX (ended 2006)

Guilty Whites

  • Avatar of GGordonKitty

    GGordonKitty

    [1]Mar 18, 2006
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    If you are unaccustomed to graduate reading and writing, please skip this and continue to communicate with one another using one and two sentence threads. If your attention span allows you to read this in its entirety, this is a summary of how many in this nation respond to the constant whining and overuse of the word "racism".

    Guilty Whites
    By Lawrence Auster
    FrontPageMagazine.com | September 30, 2005

    In the aftermath of the worst natural disaster in American history, we have seen a spectacular resurgence of the indictment against white America that has been an organizing theme of our national discourse since the 1960s. Starting from the liberal assumption that any undesirable outcome for black people is the result of white racism, black leaders and spokesmen—supported, according to one poll, by 66 percent of all blacks—have charged in the most virulent terms that white indifference towards or outright hostility to blacks slowed the response to the disaster, leaving tens of thousands of poor blacks to suffer needlessly. As Rabbi Aryeh Spero writes, even as white men in helicopters were risking their lives to save black people stranded on rooftops, and even as whites were navigating their small, private boats in swirling, toxic floodwaters to rescue their black fellow citizens trapped in their houses, black leaders were crying white racism.

    The accusation of racism is so transparently false in this case that conservatives (and even some liberals, such as the editors of the New York Daily News) have been far more willing than usual to refute it. For the most part, however, the attitude of whites and responsible mainstream opinion makers has not been to condemn the racism charge as the corrosive lie that it is, but simply to ignore it or point out that it's not helpful in the midst of this crisis. As a result, even as many blacks and liberal whites were outrageously charging racism, other whites were uncomplainingly organizing the biggest disaster relief in American history, including bringing hundreds of thousands of black evacuees into their communities all across America.

    To the extent that most whites think about the issue at all, they seem to imagine that acting decently is a sufficient response to being called a racist. But if past experience is any guide, such a passive and uncomplaining attitude on the part of whites, far from clearing them of the racism charge in the eyes of blacks, leaves them looking guiltier than ever. Why else—as blacks see it—would whites not defend themselves against such a damning accusation? Why else—unless whites really are racists—would they not indignantly strike back at people who are saying such terrible things about them? Thus whites' unprecedented outpouring of generosity, far from acquitting them of racism, merely continues the familiar psychodrama of white liberal guilt, in which whites are forever trying through conspicuous demonstrations of compassion and good will to shield themselves from a racism charge against which they appear to have no real defense.

    The charge of white racism remains, as it has been for the past 40 years, a sword hanging over our society, paralyzing rational discourse and obstructing sensible action in areas ranging from crime prevention to education to anti-terrorism measures to immigration control. For example, the Center for Immigration Studies, a very moderate immigration reform organization that takes no interest in the cultural or ethnic aspects of immigration, has been smeared as "repugnant" by the Wall Street Journal, based on the conventional belief—conventional even among many mainstream conservatives—that any serious concern about the scale and social effects of immigration is motivated by racial bigotry and must be avoided. Similarly, despite Islam's manifest nature as a warrior religion devoted to the spread of totalitarian sharia over the whole earth, respectable society shies away from frank discussion of this extremely important fact, out of fear of being called racist.

    However, of all the factors that serve as a pretext for the racism charge and make intelligent discussion of race- and culture-related problems impossible, the most important is the black differential in academic achievement and socioeconomic outcomes. While the liberal media have routinely published articles since the early 1990s showing that black students score below whites on basic skills tests, and that even upper middle class black students score lower than poor white students, the explanations offered for this phenomenon always come down to some sin or failure on the part of whites. Thus in a September 28 New York Times story about the black achievement gap among middle-class black students at Princeton High School in Princeton, New Jersey, a gap that has caused the elite school to be declared as "failing" under the No Child Left Behind Act, Times reporter Samuel G. Freedman presents the following theories to account for the problem: Princeton schools were segregated until 1947; teachers have "low expectations" of black pupils; and there are unspecified "inadequacies in the system." This is a completely typical treatment by the Times. Any suggestion that the causes of blacks' low scores lie in blacks themselves is never considered, and anyone who raises that possibility is attacked as a racist. If rational discussion of the possible causes of the problem is forbidden, how can rational responses be found?

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  • Avatar of SunsprayHoney

    SunsprayHoney

    [2]Mar 18, 2006
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    Just b/c this article involves Blacks and Whites that doesn't mean it belongs here. It's a good article, but it has no relevance to the show.

    There are plenty of other websites where this can go, we don't need it here.
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  • Avatar of GGordonKitty

    GGordonKitty

    [3]Mar 18, 2006
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    Actually, that thread does belong here. The name of the show is Black. White. The article is about just that. If we continue to tip toe around the problem of racism, nothing will ever be done about it. There is a vast difference in opinions based on ethnic orientation as to whether or not it even exists to the degree some claim. Everyone is so ready to be offended, that we can't even have a frank discussion about the issue. And please, don't appoint yourself the annointed expert as to what thread belongs where. Respond or ignore, but no censorship. That only happens in newsrooms and college campuses.
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  • Avatar of vickase

    vickase

    [4]Mar 20, 2006
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    This has no relevance here correct, but I have a comment to how when whites were down helping the flood victims and their government were screaming racism, that is all people know he was in a tight situation so why not turn the attention off himself and blame the white people or any people his thought was next years election, it was up to him to prepare his towns and come together to prepare his state in case of any natural disaster as a person not as a color. The reason white people ignore the accusations of being a racist is because every time a person of color gets into any type of problem they scream racism, I'm black and poor because of the white man, well what about the white man who is white and poor they have no one to blame but themselves, when will we all ever blame ourselves for our own mistakes and our own problems? White people have no one to blame but themselves or do they?, black people blame everything on racism, so why should people pay attention to a person making himself look like an ass to the white people in the world all we can do is ignore him, but are the black people ignoring him as well of course not which in turn is creating more racial tension. So you quoting or trying to make sense of an article that you don't have differential opinions on makes no sense at all, you need to take a good look around white people are trying but black people won't allow them to, they are the enemy to them and this war that has been created is far from over, when you can do a search online and find this: " The slaves were "sold" more or less legally by their (black) owners. ... Total 1500-1900 " and whites are the bad guys. We all had to fight for our rights women, indians, blacks, russian, italians, mexicans (who are still fighting) shall I go on?. This is just a strategy and it is no longer working and I'm sure at a certain time on the timeline racism will no longer be allowed to be used in any situations of the U.S. because like every thing else it has been way over used and has lost it's meaning.
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  • Avatar of vickase

    vickase

    [5]Mar 20, 2006
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    You should read this article it may help you understand:

    The civil rights movement of the 1960's have left many people with the belief that the slave trade was exclusively a European/American phenomenon and only evil white people were to blame for it. This is a simplicistic scenario that hardly reflects the facts.
    Thousands of records of transactions are available on a CDROM prepared by Harvard University and several books have been published recently on the origins of modern slavery (namely, Hugh Thomas' The Slave Trade and Robin Blackburn's The Making Of New World Slavery).
    What these records show is that the modern slave trade flourished in the early middle ages, as early as 869, especially between Muslim traders and western African kingdoms. For moralists, the most important aspect of that trade should be that Muslims were selling goods to the African kingdoms and the African kingdoms were paying with their own people. In many instances, no violence was necessary to obtain those slaves. Contrary to legends and novels and Hollywood movies, the white traders did not need to savagely kill entire tribes in order to exact their tribute in slaves. All they needed to do is bring goods that appealed to the kings of those tribes. The kings would gladly sell their own kins.
    This explains why slavery became "black". Ancient slavery, e.g. under the Roman empire, would not discriminate: slaves were both white and black (so were Emperors and Popes). In the middle ages, all European countries outlawed slavery (of course, they retained countless "civilized" ways to enslave their citizens, but that's another story), whereas the African kingdoms happily continued in their trade. Therefore, only colored people could be slaves, and that is how the stereotype for African-american slavery was born. It was not based on an ancestral hatred of blacks, but simply on the fact that blacks were the only ones selling slaves, and they were selling their own kins.
    Then the Muslim trade came to a stop when Arab domination was reduced by the Crusades. (Note: Arabs continued to capture and sell slaves, but only in the Mediterranean. In fact, Robert Davis estimates that 1.25 million Christians were enslaved by the "barbary states" of northern Africa. The USA bombed Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli in 1801 precisely to stop that Arab slave trade).
    The Christians took over in black Africa, though. The first ones, apparently, were the Portuguese, who, applying an idea that originally developed in Italian seatrading cities, started exploiting sub-Saharan slaves in the 1440's to support the economy of the sugar plantations (mainly for their own African colonies of Sao Tome and Madeira).
    The Dutch were the first, apparently, to import black slaves into North America, but black slaves had already been employed all over the world, including South and Central America. We tend to focus on what happened in North America because the United States would eventually fight a war over slavery (and it's in the U.S. that large sectors of the population would start condemning slavery, contrary to the indifference that Muslims and Europeans always showed for it).
    Even after Europeans began importing black slaves to America, most trade was just that: "trade". In most instances, the Europeans did not need to use any force to get those slaves. The slaves were "sold" more or less legally by their (black) owners. Scholars estimate that about 12,000,000 Africans were sold by Africans to Europeans and 17,000,000 were sold to Arabs (most of them before 1776, when the USA wasn't even born). The legends of European mercenaries capturing free people in the jungle are mostly just that: legends. A few mercenaries certainly stormed peaceful tribes and committed horrible crimes, but that was not the rule. There was no need to risk their lives, so most of them didn't: they simply purchased people.
    As an African-american scholar (Nathan Huggins) has written, the "identity" of black Africans is largely a white invention: sub-Saharan Africans never felt like they were one people, they felt (and still feel) that they belonged to different tribes. The distinctions of tribe were far stronger than the distinctions of race. Just like a French and an Italian would antagonize more fiercely between each other than against, say, a Chinese.
    Everything else is true: millions of slaves died on ships and of diseases, millions of blacks worked for free to allow the Western economies to prosper, and the economic interests in slavery became so strong that the southern states of the United States opposed repealing it. But those millions of slaves were just one of the many instances of mass exploitation: the industrial revolution was exported to the USA by enterpreuners exploiting millions of poor immigrants from Europe. The fate of those immigrants was not much better than the fate of the slaves in the South. As a matter of fact, many slaves enjoyed far better living conditions in the southern plantations than European immigrants in the industrial cities (which were sometimes comparable to concentration camps).
    It is also fair to say that, while everybody tolerated it, very few whites practiced slavery: in 1860 there were 385,000 USA citizens who owned slaves, or about 1.4% of the white population (there were 27 million whites in the USA). That percentage was zero in the states that did not allow slavery (only 8 million of the 27 million whites lived in states that allowed slavery). Incidentally, in 1830 about 25% of the free Negro slave masters in South Carolina owned 10 or more slaves: that is a much higher percentage (ten times more) than the number of white slave owners. Thus slave owners were a tiny minority (1.4%) and it was not only whites: it was just about anybody who could, including blacks themselves.
    Moral opposition to slavery was widespread even before Lincoln, and throughout Europe. On the other hand, opposition to slavery was never particularly strong in Africa itself, where slavery is slowly being eradicated only in our time. One can suspect that slavery would have remained common in most African kingdoms until this day: what crushed slavery in Africa was that all those African kingdoms became colonies of western European countries that (for one reason or another) eventually decided to outlaw slavery. When, in the 1960s, those African colonies regained their independence, numerous cases of slavery resurfaced. And countless African dictators behaved in a way that makes a slave owner look like a saint. Given the evidence that this kind of slavery was practiced by some Africans before it was practiced by some Americans, that it was abolished by all whites and not by some Africans, and that some Africans resumed it the moment they could, why would one keep blaming the USA but never blame, say, Ghana or the Congo?
    The more we study it, the less blame we have to put on the USA for the slave trade: it was invented by the Arabs (its economic mechanism was invented by the Italians and the Portuguese), it was mostly run by western Europeans, and it was conducted with the full cooperation of many African kings. The USA provides free criticism of the phenomenon: no such criticism was allowed in the Muslim and Christian nations that started trading goods for slaves, and no such criticism was allowed in the African nations that started selling their own people (and, even today, no such criticism is allowed within the Arab world).
    Today it is politically correct to blame some European empires and the USA for slavery (forgetting that it was practiced by everybody since prehistoric times). But I rarely read the other side of the story: that the nations who were the first to develop a repulsion for slavery and eventually abolish slavery were precisely those countries (especially Britain and the USA). As Dinesh D'Souza wrote, "What is uniquely Western is not slavery but the movement to abolish slavery". (That does not mean that western slave traders were justified in what they did, but placing all the blame on them is a way to absolve all the others).
    To this day, both Africans, Arabs and Europeans maintain that the African slave trade was an USA aberration, not their own invention.

    Recommended reading:
    Bernard Lewis, "Race and Slavery in the Middle East"
    The role of Islam in African slavery
    African history and the Slave Trade
    Negro slave owners
    Alexandre Popovic: La revolte des esclaves en Iraq au IIIe/IXe siecle, 1976
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  • Avatar of SunsprayHoney

    SunsprayHoney

    [6]Mar 20, 2006
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    GGordonKitty wrote:
    Actually, that thread does belong here. The name of the show is Black. White. The article is about just that. If we continue to tip toe around the problem of racism, nothing will ever be done about it. There is a vast difference in opinions based on ethnic orientation as to whether or not it even exists to the degree some claim. Everyone is so ready to be offended, that we can't even have a frank discussion about the issue. And please, don't appoint yourself the annointed expert as to what thread belongs where. Respond or ignore, but no censorship. That only happens in newsrooms and college campuses.


    So your saying since the show is entitled Black. White. that means any articles that involve black or white people belong here? I never appointed myself the "annointed expert", I simply tried to politely tell you that it's spam. These forums are meant to discuss T.V shows, not debate articles that you found and want to share with other people.

    Unfortunately for me it seems like respect becomes more and more uncommon each day on these boards.

    BTW, I wasn't offended, as a matter of fact I said it was a good article.
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  • Avatar of GGordonKitty

    GGordonKitty

    [7]Mar 20, 2006
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    vickase: that was an informative article. Some of the information I was familar with but there was a great deal of it I was not. Thanks for taking the time to share it with all of us.

    SunsprayHoney: I meant no disrespect by my statements. I do believe that simply discussing a tv show and its contents with the same tired worn out information that most people have about race relations is ineffective. If the show is a serious attempt to elicit discussion about race, then I think that having accurate information about the history of racism is necessary. Discussions without that information simply reverts to pop culture blabber.
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  • Avatar of faitho113

    faitho113

    [8]Mar 29, 2006
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    I have read several of your responses. The impression I'm left with from your point of view is... I'm more educated than you and I'm going to bully you with data to avoid the real issue. RACISM DOES EXIST! I am white and I can see it, I counsel students everyday that have to deal with it. As far as testing scores, I'm the test coordinator at my school, I too am well read, but you seem to have missed the research that explains almost all standardized tests are created by white individuals and that questions on these exams are internally flawed by the wording of the question. Meaning, white individuals interpret questions differently that blacks/minorities because it hard to take culture out of vocabulary, writing, and comprehension questions. Therefore, if you are not a part of the dominant culture you would have great difficulty understanding the question making it very difficult to select the correct answer. I believe it would greatly benefit you to walk a day in thier shoes.
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    minou_chere

    [9]Mar 30, 2006
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    faitho113 wrote:
    I have read several of your responses. The impression I'm left with from your point of view is... I'm more educated than you and I'm going to bully you with data to avoid the real issue. RACISM DOES EXIST! I am white and I can see it, I counsel students everyday that have to deal with it. As far as testing scores, I'm the test coordinator at my school, I too am well read, but you seem to have missed the research that explains almost all standardized tests are created by white individuals and that questions on these exams are internally flawed by the wording of the question. Meaning, white individuals interpret questions differently that blacks/minorities because it hard to take culture out of vocabulary, writing, and comprehension questions. Therefore, if you are not a part of the dominant culture you would have great difficulty understanding the question making it very difficult to select the correct answer. I believe it would greatly benefit you to walk a day in thier shoes.


    That kind of bias happens in every culture, I'm sure the tests Japanese students take in Japan are interpreted differently than an American child (white or black) living and studying there would interpret them, that certainly isn't racism. Obviously what would be the fairest thing is to have individual tests based on each child's understanding and culture, but of course that wouldn't exactly be cost efficient, in addition that would actually negate the whole purpose of the test as the point is to get an overview of that student's ability to interpret questions and a general level of knowledge, rather than testing intelligence. Those tests are supposed to be a method for colleges to determine how well a certain student will fit into their curriculum programs, of course they're flawed as nothing created by man will ever be perfect, and it would be irrational to expect otherwise.

    So what would the answer be when devising a testing program? If the tests were aimed at anyone other than the majority then that would giving an unfair advantage to a small group of people. If the tests were a mixture of questions aimed at different groups of people then no student would be getting a fair test. The only fair option is to aim the test at the majority and try to make the questions less open for interpretation, which is what has been done and changes will continue to be made to improve the tests abilities to measure those things in all students.

    Of course the only way making biased tests would actually constitute racism would be if the test writers specifically set out to write a test that was unfairly biased towards whites and against other races. Is there bias in education against minority groups? Of course, but that doesn't necessarily denote racism, because if it's merely that there are more white people who are qualified for those positions than there are from other races, that is not racism, it's merely an accurate representation of the society as a whole. From your way of thinking, it should be equal across the board, but that would be giving unfair bias to a small section of the population thus creating what you consider racism towards white people, who are actually in the majority in our country.
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  • Avatar of faitho113

    faitho113

    [10]Mar 30, 2006
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    GGordon Kitty wrote:
    However, of all the factors that serve as a pretext for the racism charge and make intelligent discussion of race- and culture-related problems impossible, the most important is the black differential in academic achievement and socioeconomic outcomes. While the liberal media have routinely published articles since the early 1990s showing that black students score below whites on basic skills tests, and that even upper middle class black students score lower than poor white students, the explanations offered for this phenomenon always come down to some sin or failure on the part of whites. Thus in a September 28 New York Times story about the black achievement gap among middle-class black students at Princeton High School in Princeton, New Jersey, a gap that has caused the elite school to be declared as "failing" under the No Child Left Behind Act, Times reporter Samuel G. Freedman presents the following theories to account for the problem: Princeton schools were segregated until 1947; teachers have "low expectations" of black pupils; and there are unspecified "inadequacies in the system." This is a completely typical treatment by the Times. Any suggestion that the causes of blacks' low scores lie in blacks themselves is never considered, and anyone who raises that possibility is attacked as a racist. If rational discussion of the possible causes of the problem is forbidden, how can rational responses be found?

    Moncherie,
    I agree with you. I was trying to explain to GGordonKitty that arguing the point of testing is superflous to his notion that everyone has equal oppourtunity. The testing issue is a clear example that there isn't an equal oppoutunity.
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  • Avatar of la820

    la820

    [11]Mar 30, 2006
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    So what I'm wondering is what are we supposed to do about this supposed inequity in testing? How much and how far are white people supposed to delve into the lives of black people? Are we supposed to go into their homes now and teach their children? How much of it is our responsibility, and how much of it is their responsibility?

    My brother teaches in a high school in Mississippi where the division of students is almost 50/50, black/white. My brother's a great guy who really enjoys teaching, and he is what you would call a bleeding-heart liberal. But he is ready to throw in the towel (after 9 years) due to the disruptive nature of the black students. He says a large majority of them are rude and very disrespectful toward him and other teachers. They fight in the halls, in the cafeteria, in the classrooms (big fights, almost riots), whereas the incidences of white kids fighting and being disruptive are relatively low. And, for the most part, the white kids are respectful. He's told me of several instances where he's had to fail a black student, mainly because they didn't try at all (even though my brother makes every effort to engage them), and then he is confronted by a black parent screaming at him, accusing him of being racist. He's even been threatened by a couple of black parents, not to mention the times he's been physically attacked or threatened with weapons by black students themselves.

    What are white people supposed to do about this? Is this our responsibility? Where exactly does the responsibility lie? I saw a documentary once, where black students were interviewed in a school setting. Many of them said that it was considered very uncool to be "smart," that the black kids who were studious and serious about school were ostracized and harrassed by other black students. What am I, as a white person, supposed to do about this kind of attitude? Is it MY responsibilty? Or is it something the black community needs to address?
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  • Avatar of GGordonKitty

    GGordonKitty

    [12]Mar 30, 2006
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    IA820,

    These points you've made are very valid. This is the experience that many whites seem to have with blacks on a fairly regular basis. However real these experiences are, they are routinely ignored by the national media or discounted as simply racist. The very word has lost is original meaning because of its blanket use and its application towards whites only.

    The black community has refused to assume responsibility for problems within that community. When Bill Cosby or Charles Barkley attempt to address issues, such as the ones you have mentioned, they are discounted or ignored by the national media. The very idea that blacks must, at some point, become reponsible for their own image problems and lack of forward motion as a culture, does not fit neatly into the idea that apologetic white liberals, or the black community itself, have morphed into reality.

    There is a huge cultural problem within the African American experience. Until that group becomes self reliant, and is capable of self introspection, the blaming of white America will continue. Much to the disadvantage of black America.

    There are similar discussions elsewhere on this board.You might look for them as most are thoughtful and well written.
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    minou_chere

    [13]Mar 31, 2006
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    faitho113 wrote:
    I agree with you. I was trying to explain to GGordonKitty that arguing the point of testing is superflous to his notion that everyone has equal oppourtunity. The testing issue is a clear example that there isn't an equal oppoutunity.


    I think you missed my point, my problem with using testing as an example of an inequal opportunity is that the current situation is actually the one that is the most fair for the largest majority of students. As a further point, these tests are taken in high school, so essentially every student has had at least 10 years in which to learn how to interpret these types of tests, although for some there is obviously a learning curve, the so called "bias" towards white students should be nullified by the time they take their tests, that is if those children are capable of learning in a school environment. And again, these tests are supposed to be a way to judge how well a student will do in a university, so if they haven't learned how to adapt and interpret fairly simple test questions by the time they reach 10th or 11th grade, then in my way of thinking they deserve the score they get rather than to take the place of another student(no matter the color) who can interpret the questions.
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