Walking the neighborhood

Debate and discussion on racism and related issues

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
otseng
Savant
Posts: 17482
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 34 times
Contact:

Walking the neighborhood

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Image

Copied from a Facebook post:
Twice a day, I walk my dog Ace around my neighborhood with one, or both, of my girls. I know that doesn’t seem noteworthy, but here’s something that I must admit:

I would be scared to death to take these walks without my girls and my dog. In fact, in the four years living in my house, I have never taken a walk around my neighborhood alone (and probably never will).

Sure, some of you may read that and think that I’m being melodramatic or that I’m “playing the race card” (I still have no clue what the hell means), but this is my reality.

When I’m walking down the street holding my young daughter’s hand and walking my sweet fluffy dog, I’m just a loving dad and pet owner taking a break from the joylessness of crisis homeschooling.

But without them by my side, almost instantly, I morph into a threat in the eyes of some white folks. Instead of being a loving dad to two little girls, unfortunately, all that some people can see is a 6’2” athletically-built black man in a cloth mask who is walking around in a place where he doesn’t belong (even though, I’m still the same guy who just wants to take a walk through his neighborhood). It’s equal parts exhausting and depressing to feel like I can’t walk around outside alone, for fear of being targeted.

If you’re surprised by this, don’t be. We live in a world where there is a sizable amount of people who actually believe that racism isn’t a thing, and that White Privilege is a made-up fantasy to be politically-correct. Yes, even despite George Floyd, Christian Cooper, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor (and countless other examples before them, and many to come afterward), some people still don’t seem to get it.

So, let me share some common sense points:

1) Having white privilege doesn’t mean that your life isn’t difficult, it simply means that your skin color isn’t one of the things contributing to your life difficulties. Case in point, if it never crossed your mind that you could have the cops called on you (or worse, killed) for simply bird watching then know that is a privilege that many black/brown people (myself included) don’t currently enjoy.

2) Responding to “Black Lives Matter” by saying “All Lives Matter” is insensitive, tone-deaf and dumb. All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.

3) Racism is very real, and please don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s limited to the fringes of the hardcore MAGA crowd. As Amy Cooper proved, it’s just as prevalent in liberal America as it is anywhere else.

4) While racism is real, reverse-racism is not. Please don’t use that term, ever.

5) In order for racism to get better, white allies are absolutely critical. If you’re white and you’ve read this far, hopefully you care enough to be one of those allies. Please continue to speak up (despite some of your friends and family rolling their eyes at you), because your voices matter to PoC now more than ever. Special shoutouts to my friends Becky, Catherine, Dory, Elizabeth, Greta, Jessica, Kayte, Kurt, Peter, Sharri, and Teri (and anyone else who I missed) for doing it so well.

6) And if you’re white, and you’re still choosing to stay silent about this, then I honestly don’t know what to say. If these atrocities won’t get you to speak up, then honestly, what will? Also, it’s worth asking, why be my friend? If you aren’t willing to take a stand against actions that could get me hurt or killed, it’s hard to believe that you ever cared about me in the first place.

As for me, I’ll continue to walk these streets holding my 8 year-old daughter’s hand, in hopes that she’ll continue to keep her daddy safe from harm.

I know that sounds backward, but that’s the world that we’re living in these days.

#BlackLivesMatter
(Note: this post does not necessarily represent any views of any posters on this forum, but is posted to provide a perspective from a Facebook user.)

User avatar
koko
Scholar
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:24 pm
Location: Twin Cities
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #2

Post by koko »

I well know the sentiments expressed by the writer of this essay. As a Hispanic scholar with 2 collegiate degrees (one being a doctorate in the field of law), I, too, have not been insulated from police harassment or from the second and third looks of white people whenever I walk in a neighborhood or into a store or building. Despite all my education, despite being viewed as a genuine scholar by college professors (was a honor student many times in every level of school I have attended) and lecturing to doctoral candidates in law school, despite submitting amicus briefs in several court cases, despite wearing 2 or 3 piece suits with polished patent leather shoes, despite having published numerous times, nothing helps me to avoid suspicious glances or inquiries from police or security guards as to where I am going or why I am in a building or neighborhood. And, unlike the writer of the essay in the OP, I am short, do not give the appearance of a muscular or threatening menace, and am as meek and mild mannered as a puppy. Still, somehow, people view me as some kind of threat!

Re "white allies", it has been my absolute and undying privilege to have been blessed with so many white friends, some of whom have said to me that my presence in their lives was a blessing that is immeasureable. And while they treated me just like a member of their family, my presence in their neighborhoods has stirred up suspicions that made me and made them very uncomfortable. Several times I overheard a suspicious neighbor tell another, "what's he doing here" only to have that cynic be silenced by my friends and their family members. When these cynics get to know who I am, their eyes and minds become open to the truth that I am every bit as human as they are.

The experiences that the essayist and I have had are not unique. They happen every day in the USA. The solution to that is for people who call themselves Christians to simply obey their own Bible and to obey its commands to treat everyone alike. What occurred in Minneapolis and in Atlanta do not need to happen. They exist because people refuse to believe in, and more importantly, to PRACTICE the lessons taught in the Bible. Only when we open our eyes, hearts, and minds to this TRUTH will the USA be the ideal society it claims to be.

Zzyzx
Site Supporter
Posts: 25053
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: Bible Belt USA
Has thanked: 33 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #3

Post by Zzyzx »

koko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:45 pm
Still, somehow, people view me as some kind of threat!
Koko, you ARE a threat to those who need to feel superior by virtue of their skin color or physical features -- since they cannot do so in accomplishment. You are DIFFERENT – which stirs up their xenophobia (though they may not know what the word means).

If it is any comfort, some people here in the Bible Belt view me as a threat; even though I am an eighty-year-old Caucasian male (and also a former university professor). The fact that I went to school and can string a few words together to make a coherent sentence must be very intimidating. Declining to join in church obsession doesn't help their comfort.
koko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:45 pm
Only when we open our eyes, hearts, and minds to this TRUTH will the USA be the ideal society it claims to be.
The US never has been and never will be the ideal society it claims to be. Its multiple societal and governmental defects are in the process of reducing its stature among the world's nations to second-rank level. Even the great national wealth has been squandered and replaced with massive debt (to be paid by future generations, if not defaulted or 'inflated away').
.
Non-Theist

If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

"Demand money with the threat of violence and you'll get arrested. Do it with the threat of eternal damnation and it's tax deductible"

User avatar
koko
Scholar
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:24 pm
Location: Twin Cities
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #4

Post by koko »

Zzyzx wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:30 pm
koko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:45 pm
Still, somehow, people view me as some kind of threat!
Koko, you ARE a threat to those who need to feel superior by virtue of their skin color or physical features -- since they cannot do so in accomplishment. You are DIFFERENT – which stirs up their xenophobia (though they may not know what the word means).

If it is any comfort, some people here in the Bible Belt view me as a threat; even though I am an eighty-year-old Caucasian male (and also a former university professor). The fact that I went to school and can string a few words together to make a coherent sentence must be very intimidating. Declining to join in church obsession doesn't help their comfort.
koko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:45 pm
Only when we open our eyes, hearts, and minds to this TRUTH will the USA be the ideal society it claims to be.
The US never has been and never will be the ideal society it claims to be. Its multiple societal and governmental defects are in the process of reducing its stature among the world's nations to second-rank level. Even the great national wealth has been squandered and replaced with massive debt (to be paid by future generations, if not defaulted or 'inflated away').




~ Koko, you ARE a threat to those who need to feel superior by virtue of their skin color or physical features ~

Yes, you are correct even though I'm 68 years old, short, and as puny as a mouse.




Am not surprised these narrow minded types view you as a "threat" though certainly not as a physical menace like they view me.





Re ideal society, yes it is true that the chief deficiencies in the USA whether anyone chooses to believe it or not are racial and economic disparities. The Bible in the Book of Amos warns nations which engage in this type of evil that it will mean more than just second-rank level, it will spell DOOM for them as I have pointed out previously. It is time for all professing Christians in this forum to open their eyes to this truth and to demand societal change that is consistent with actual biblical, as opposed to television evangelist, teachings.

User avatar
Mithrae
Prodigy
Posts: 3918
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:33 am
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #5

Post by Mithrae »

koko wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:45 pm
I well know the sentiments expressed by the writer of this essay. As a Hispanic scholar with 2 collegiate degrees (one being a doctorate in the field of law), I, too, have not been insulated from police harassment or from the second and third looks of white people whenever I walk in a neighborhood or into a store or building. Despite all my education, despite being viewed as a genuine scholar by college professors (was a honor student many times in every level of school I have attended) and lecturing to doctoral candidates in law school, despite submitting amicus briefs in several court cases, despite wearing 2 or 3 piece suits with polished patent leather shoes, despite having published numerous times, nothing helps me to avoid suspicious glances or inquiries from police or security guards as to where I am going or why I am in a building or neighborhood. And, unlike the writer of the essay in the OP, I am short, do not give the appearance of a muscular or threatening menace, and am as meek and mild mannered as a puppy. Still, somehow, people view me as some kind of threat!

Re "white allies", it has been my absolute and undying privilege to have been blessed with so many white friends, some of whom have said to me that my presence in their lives was a blessing that is immeasureable. And while they treated me just like a member of their family, my presence in their neighborhoods has stirred up suspicions that made me and made them very uncomfortable. Several times I overheard a suspicious neighbor tell another, "what's he doing here" only to have that cynic be silenced by my friends and their family members. When these cynics get to know who I am, their eyes and minds become open to the truth that I am every bit as human as they are.

The experiences that the essayist and I have had are not unique. They happen every day in the USA. The solution to that is for people who call themselves Christians to simply obey their own Bible and to obey its commands to treat everyone alike. What occurred in Minneapolis and in Atlanta do not need to happen. They exist because people refuse to believe in, and more importantly, to PRACTICE the lessons taught in the Bible. Only when we open our eyes, hearts, and minds to this TRUTH will the USA be the ideal society it claims to be.
Thankyou for sharing Koko, but it seems to me that after sixteen plus centuries of the Bible being the most authoritative literature in Western civilization, we should probably start considering the possibility that it really doesn't have all (or even very many of) the answers - at least in any practical sense!

Introducing personal testimony to a debate site can be tricky of course. If the stories which you and Zzyzx report were of a sort which implied the truth of some religious or supernatural reality, there would probably be no end of probing questions from sceptics: For example, to what extent might the perception of such experiences be influenced by confirmation bias? Someone who had been frequently told about pervasive racism in a society might end up being more sensitive to, more inclined to remember, and more prone to interpret in racial terms incidents such as receiving suspicious glances from police - particularly if they had also experienced one or two unequivocally racist incidents. Odds are that most white people have been questioned by police on occasion too: The problem with anecdotal reports is that they can't really tell us whether or not particular incidents are part of a wider trend.

One video on systemic racism which I watched recently included as one of its introductory examples the question "Where are you from?" The speaker interpreted that as being equivalent to an unspoken message that 'you don't belong here.' It wouldn't really be fair to consider that a case of oversensitivity on his part - presumably the main onus of sensitivity, so to speak, would lie with the questioner to phrase the query more along the lines of "What's your ethnic background" or "Where are your family from?" - but the assumption that there's some kind of negative sentiment behind such a question seems unwarranted. Quite the opposite, in many cases such a question probably comes from celebration of and curiousity about the ethnic diversity which countries like Australia and American have encouraged!

Lately I've been starting to think that maybe the real focal point of discussion should be implicit biases, rather than highly-charged and often explicitly divisive claims of systemic racism. As I learned a while back from reading some articles on the gender pay gap, it seems that our brains operate to some extent on a heuristic of association: It's not that employers discriminate against women, necessarily, but rather that seeing a particular role being performed mostly by one sex creates an unconscious association between the role and that sex. Hence for example in the case of childcare roles the bias works the other way around, and it's men who are less likely to be interviewed or hired. Implicit biases in law enforcement, given higher crime rates among black Americans, could potentially help explain some of the alleged disparities in policing procedures; or the experience related in the OP (though the author seems to describe mostly his own concerns, rather than experience) of a black man in an otherwise white neighbourhood.

The thing is that implicit biases are really not the same thing as racism, as far as I can tell, and certainly not the same thing as questioning others' humanity as you have implied in your post! Black people who are regularly told to be wary of the police are just as likely to develop their own implicit biases which colour their interactions with law enforcement as vice versa, but we would hardly say that they are 'racist' against cops. On another forum today someone mentioned the disparity in maternal mortality rates between white and black American women, and while much of that disparity may be due to socioeconomic and behavioural factors, anecdotal experience like that of Serena Williams may suggest some element of implicit bias among medical workers too. But even supposing that actually is the case - that medical workers are predominantly called to deal with complications in white womens' pregnancies and their unconscious mental heuristic therefore biases them to respond more carefully to white mothers: Even if that's the case, would it really warrant a highly-charged accusation of widespread racism against one of the most caring professions of modern society?

I can't help but wonder whether the focus on 'race,' and on black race in particular, runs the risk of misdiagnosing the issues lying behind some of the disparities being highlighted. Not that I know much about the subject, it's more speculation than anything else. But more particularly, and more worryingly, the explicitly divisive approach which seems to stem almost inevitably from the 'racism' diagnosis and political parties' co-option of these issues (or at least these talking points) for their own ends may well end up actively impeding any needed progress: If they win upcoming elections Democrats in the USA have every incentive to talk the right talk and make some token gestures, but bringing about real racial equality (even if they could) would be like shooting the goose laying the golden eggs; and on the other hand, Republicans backed into a corner with endless accusations of 'racism' would surely be much less likely to recognize and address the real issues either.

Bit of a monologue not really directed at you for the most part, Koko :lol: Just a few thoughts which have been pottering around in my head over recent days.

User avatar
koko
Scholar
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:24 pm
Location: Twin Cities
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #6

Post by koko »

Mithrae wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:36 pm

Thankyou for sharing Koko, but it seems to me that after sixteen plus centuries of the Bible being the most authoritative literature in Western civilization, we should probably start considering the possibility that it really doesn't have all (or even very many of) the answers - at least in any practical sense!

Introducing personal testimony to a debate site can be tricky of course. If the stories which you and Zzyzx report were of a sort which implied the truth of some religious or supernatural reality, there would probably be no end of probing questions from sceptics: For example, to what extent might the perception of such experiences be influenced by confirmation bias? Someone who had been frequently told about pervasive racism in a society might end up being more sensitive to, more inclined to remember, and more prone to interpret in racial terms incidents such as receiving suspicious glances from police - particularly if they had also experienced one or two unequivocally racist incidents. Odds are that most white people have been questioned by police on occasion too: The problem with anecdotal reports is that they can't really tell us whether or not particular incidents are part of a wider trend.

One video on systemic racism which I watched recently included as one of its introductory examples the question "Where are you from?" The speaker interpreted that as being equivalent to an unspoken message that 'you don't belong here.' It wouldn't really be fair to consider that a case of oversensitivity on his part - presumably the main onus of sensitivity, so to speak, would lie with the questioner to phrase the query more along the lines of "What's your ethnic background" or "Where are your family from?" - but the assumption that there's some kind of negative sentiment behind such a question seems unwarranted. Quite the opposite, in many cases such a question probably comes from celebration of and curiousity about the ethnic diversity which countries like Australia and American have encouraged!

Lately I've been starting to think that maybe the real focal point of discussion should be implicit biases, rather than highly-charged and often explicitly divisive claims of systemic racism. As I learned a while back from reading some articles on the gender pay gap, it seems that our brains operate to some extent on a heuristic of association: It's not that employers discriminate against women, necessarily, but rather that seeing a particular role being performed mostly by one sex creates an unconscious association between the role and that sex. Hence for example in the case of childcare roles the bias works the other way around, and it's men who are less likely to be interviewed or hired. Implicit biases in law enforcement, given higher crime rates among black Americans, could potentially help explain some of the alleged disparities in policing procedures; or the experience related in the OP (though the author seems to describe mostly his own concerns, rather than experience) of a black man in an otherwise white neighbourhood.

The thing is that implicit biases are really not the same thing as racism, as far as I can tell, and certainly not the same thing as questioning others' humanity as you have implied in your post! Black people who are regularly told to be wary of the police are just as likely to develop their own implicit biases which colour their interactions with law enforcement as vice versa, but we would hardly say that they are 'racist' against cops. On another forum today someone mentioned the disparity in maternal mortality rates between white and black American women, and while much of that disparity may be due to socioeconomic and behavioural factors, anecdotal experience like that of Serena Williams may suggest some element of implicit bias among medical workers too. But even supposing that actually is the case - that medical workers are predominantly called to deal with complications in white womens' pregnancies and their unconscious mental heuristic therefore biases them to respond more carefully to white mothers: Even if that's the case, would it really warrant a highly-charged accusation of widespread racism against one of the most caring professions of modern society?

I can't help but wonder whether the focus on 'race,' and on black race in particular, runs the risk of misdiagnosing the issues lying behind some of the disparities being highlighted. Not that I know much about the subject, it's more speculation than anything else. But more particularly, and more worryingly, the explicitly divisive approach which seems to stem almost inevitably from the 'racism' diagnosis and political parties' co-option of these issues (or at least these talking points) for their own ends may well end up actively impeding any needed progress: If they win upcoming elections Democrats in the USA have every incentive to talk the right talk and make some token gestures, but bringing about real racial equality (even if they could) would be like shooting the goose laying the golden eggs; and on the other hand, Republicans backed into a corner with endless accusations of 'racism' would surely be much less likely to recognize and address the real issues either.

Bit of a monologue not really directed at you for the most part, Koko :lol: Just a few thoughts which have been pottering around in my head over recent days.



@Mithrae



Over the years I have become acquainted with a handful of Australians and they have told me your land has its own history of racism in dealing with Aboriginal peoples. While minorities there have claimed troubles exist because of discrimination, the majoritarian population often denies that any such thing exists. Not being an Aussie, I am in no position to tell you folks how to handle your problems. This is why I do not attempt to address them.

The one thing I do know about Oz land is your love of sports. I enjoy cricket (esp T20), rugby, and tennis. Your land produces a great many athletes in all of those sports. It also produces a few good baseball, lacrosse, and softball players. As a former athlete/coach, that is all I'm qualified to talk about when it comes to your land. As for any other subject, I stay away from them.

Dunno if I can really make any more sense out of what I've written. Perhaps none of what I wrote makes sense to you because you are not a Yank like we are. I honestly cannot find a more simple or more thorough way of explaining what's going on here. The bottom line is, however, that the USA claims it is a Christian land, one bound by and adhering to the Bible. But if you know anything about this land, you know that is the phoniest pretense in all of human history. My reply to all that is, it is time to actually practice, not merely to preach what the Bible says. If it ever did, none of these problems would exist.

Zzyzx
Site Supporter
Posts: 25053
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: Bible Belt USA
Has thanked: 33 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #7

Post by Zzyzx »

Mithrae wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:36 pm
Lately I've been starting to think that maybe the real focal point of discussion should be implicit biases, rather than highly-charged and often explicitly divisive claims of systemic racism.
Yes. We are all biased toward and against other people in MANY ways – gender, age, color, origin, language, facial features, size, dress, presence or absence of hair in various places, etc.

If anyone doubts they have biases, Harvard University has a website that WILL dispel all doubt. There are 15 tests available. Very eye-opening.
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
.
Non-Theist

If you stop claiming knowledge of invisible, undetectable unicorns, I will stop challenging your claim. Same goes for gods

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

For a quick tutorial on science vs. religion, compare modern internet weather radar to ancient religious beliefs and superstitions about weather

"Demand money with the threat of violence and you'll get arrested. Do it with the threat of eternal damnation and it's tax deductible"

User avatar
Mithrae
Prodigy
Posts: 3918
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:33 am
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #8

Post by Mithrae »

koko wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:25 pm
Over the years I have become acquainted with a handful of Australians and they have told me your land has its own history of racism in dealing with Aboriginal peoples. While minorities there have claimed troubles exist because of discrimination, the majoritarian population often denies that any such thing exists. Not being an Aussie, I am in no position to tell you folks how to handle your problems. This is why I do not attempt to address them.

The one thing I do know about Oz land is your love of sports. I enjoy cricket (esp T20), rugby, and tennis. Your land produces a great many athletes in all of those sports. It also produces a few good baseball, lacrosse, and softball players. As a former athlete/coach, that is all I'm qualified to talk about when it comes to your land. As for any other subject, I stay away from them.

Dunno if I can really make any more sense out of what I've written. Perhaps none of what I wrote makes sense to you because you are not a Yank like we are. I honestly cannot find a more simple or more thorough way of explaining what's going on here. The bottom line is, however, that the USA claims it is a Christian land, one bound by and adhering to the Bible. But if you know anything about this land, you know that is the phoniest pretense in all of human history. My reply to all that is, it is time to actually practice, not merely to preach what the Bible says. If it ever did, none of these problems would exist.
Is that a polite way of telling me to mind my own business? :lol: Most folk on the forums I frequent are Americans, and even in terms of research it's generally easier to find more comprehensive data for the US than for Australia. And yes, Australia does have plenty of issues of its own too, but for better or for worse events in America tend to have pretty significant cultural and/or economic effects here too.


#####

Zzyzx wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 4:11 am
Mithrae wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:36 pm
Lately I've been starting to think that maybe the real focal point of discussion should be implicit biases, rather than highly-charged and often explicitly divisive claims of systemic racism.
Yes. We are all biased toward and against other people in MANY ways – gender, age, color, origin, language, facial features, size, dress, presence or absence of hair in various places, etc.

If anyone doubts they have biases, Harvard University has a website that WILL dispel all doubt. There are 15 tests available. Very eye-opening.
https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
I wonder if it's even physically possible to get a result from those tests saying "congratulations, you have no implicit biases in this area"? I came across a video in which Jordan Peterson claims in terms of repeatability - replicating similar results for the same individual with a variation of the same test - those tests far very poorly, unlike IQ tests etc., and as such cannot be considered a valid diagnostic tool. Apparently the tests' creators never responded to his letter requesting a formal statement on that point to potentially mitigate the tests' frequent misuse or misunderstanding.

But either way, recognizing that implicit biases needn't be the same thing as racism (though can contribute towards it) is quite important I think.

User avatar
koko
Scholar
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:24 pm
Location: Twin Cities
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #9

Post by koko »

walking the neighborhood here:





The narrator is moved to tears over the racial division that we have in the USA. A problem clearly exacerbated by Trump.

User avatar
koko
Scholar
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:24 pm
Location: Twin Cities
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Walking the neighborhood

Post #10

Post by koko »

Mithrae wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:34 am
Is that a polite way of telling me to mind my own business? :lol: Most folk on the forums I frequent are Americans, and even in terms of research it's generally easier to find more comprehensive data for the US than for Australia. And yes, Australia does have plenty of issues of its own too, but for better or for worse events in America tend to have pretty significant cultural and/or economic effects here too.

I wouldn't talk to you that way. O:)

Over the years I've been online I have found it difficult at times to communicate from folks overseas as certain comments just aren't translatable without offending people or without being misunderstood. Example: I am a huge soccer fan and remember when Spanish great Suarez spoke about Etoo the great African player and teammate (note that Spanish was my first language and I remain very fluent in it). He used the term "negrito". When the term was translated into English he was villified all over Europe for supposedly making a racist comment. This because "negrito" translates as "little black boy". In fact, in the Spanish language it is not racist but is tantamount to saying "my black kid brother". Etoo now speaks Spanish from his years of living in Europe and was the first one to defend him as did other teammates who speak English. Here's the kicker for me personally: I tried to explain that on a British soccer website but was villified for daring to defend what they perceived to be a racist. We went over this several times but it was to no avail. The Europeans in that site just could not bring themselves to understand how wrong they were. This because an innocent expression in one culture was mistranslated and could not be correct.

Consider this: over the years my best pal was a guy named Bill who has since passed on. A great guy who'd give the shirt off his back to his own worse enemy if he ever had one and whom I always referred to as my Irish kid brother. Am I making a racist term by referring to him in such a manner? If you and I were pals and I called you my Australian kid brother, would that be a racist comment? Well, this is what Suarez was trying to say about Etoo.



OK. So now this forum. I express myself like a Yank. Note how my fellow Yanks have absolutely no trouble understanding what I've written or implied here. This because they know the land and know the lingo. No doubt that they know people who are black or Latino and have experienced the same things I've gone through. As an Aussie you would not know of my experiences so that there is just no easier way for me to express myself or to make it easier for you to relate to them. While I'm glad you are interested in knowing about the USA experience, you must know that this is just the way things are here. Perhaps you may want to inquire about how Aboriginals feel in your land and possibly translate that into what we minorities feel here. There may well be many parallels. And there are when you consider how children were removed from their homes, taken to indoctrination schools in order to forget their native languages, and to speak English exclusively, and other experiences. This happened in the USA as well when thousands of Puerto Ricans were exiled from the island (many from the central part where many were descended of the Taino people who greeted Columbus when he came here) and sent to Hawaii where they were exploited as agricultural workers in 1898. The children were taught exclusively in English and the people deculturalized. Precisely what happened to Aboriginals. Therefore, if you can understand what happened in Oz, you can (or should) readily understand what has happened here.

Thank you for inquiring into these hassles and for your input. :approve:

Post Reply