Friday, September 16, 2011

Musings on Race and Race Relations

Back on August 24 the Shanin and Parks radio program asked about the state of race relations in America and if they had gotten better since the election of Barack Obama--or if they had gotten worse. I considered the question, and after a bit poked out this note on my iPhone:

Race relations in a nut shell:
Whites don't trust Blacks not to ruin stuff.
Blacks don't trust Whites not to screw them over.
Both races have really long memories.

To put it positively:
Whites assume that Blacks will ruin stuff.
Blacks assume that Whites will screw them over.
Both groups point to history as their guide.

I let this sit there in my notes for these weeks, one to see how well it aged and two, to see if indeed this is the way it seemed things play out. And I see it, I really do. I would only add one more thing: The expectations often become self fulfilling prophecy. A few people react with the assumptions, and next thing you have group think, and yes! What was expected happened.

We will never be "post racism" in this country, any more than we are "post classicism" here. What we can be and what the country can offer is a playing field that will allow a person to change their situation. We are not India, where your situation is completely dictated by where, when and to whom you are born. People of lower classes and minority races can make great things of themselves in this country. However, we will never move past race if it is flung out as an answer to failure or used to blame or used to get something for nothing.

The issue of racism in the United States is an extremely complex topic that has many facets and many things that keep it from being resolved easily. However, that does not relieve the individual from caring and thinking on the issue. In addition I would say this: it is much harder to maintain certain opinions of people of other races once you have drawn people of different racial backgrounds into your own circle of friends. It is then that you see that they are human, with strengths and weaknesses, just like you.

Oh there is more, so much more, but this is a start. Have to start somewhere.


Bob G. said...

And to think *I* was called all sort of names for having black playmates growing up, and this was not in a slum area, but middle-class WORKING areas where black PARENTS (plural) OWNED businesses and had better children than some of the whites.

I've seen race relations deteriorate over the last 2-3 decades,and much of it had to do with media hyping the wrong "role models" for the wrong reasons.

I do like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but time and again, my gut feelings appear to be MORE correct in my assessment of the majority of the minority.

Granted, we DO still have racism in America, but too much is devoted (by the media) to white-on-black, when it's been PROVEN (according to DoJ stats for years) that more and more BLACK-on white racism is being perpetrated (and NOT being reported by the media).

Walter Williams provides some marvelous insight on this topic, as does John McWhorter and Larry Elder (ALL of whom, are black, and people I admire VERY much).

Thing is, you can NEVER dismiss what you SEE and what you HEAR...not if you truly want to make an informed decision about anyone of any race.

Excellent post.

Stay safe out there.

The Observer said...

Bob G:
This is probably going to be a series--the next might be on the "thug culture" and its effect on the Black community. That will tie into the entitlement thing.

Those two items, BTW, are not just affecting Black people. White people have also been taken in by the false thug values and the easy money of entitlement. It is not us against them, it is getting everyone to reach for their true potential.

Thanks for reading and I hope your week is going well.

The Observer.

chuck said...