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Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

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  • #16
    Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Maybe it's a response to this thread .

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I think not....he could have (but chose not to) respond to my last post in that thread.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Ohliz, I chose not to comment on your last post because I had said enough on the subject in the previous post.
    I stand firm on my beliefs. You are not going to change my mind with links to other stories promoting gender norming causes.....anyway the original topic was being hijacked and the conversation was heading down a different path....I saw nothing to be gained by making anymore comments.....You may have noticed that sometimes my post have a tendancy to incite...... to much thought. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] I'll be glad to engage you in debate on this topic if you promise to go easy on me. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
    'A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out...'


    • #17
      Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

      I admit I was curious as to your take on the idea that firefighters need to bring more to their tasks than just physical strength, and that women possess some of those skills in greater quantities than men, generally speaking.

      Also, I think we all know that there are exceptions to everything - some women are stronger and have more endurance than some men, some men are better team players or more empathetic than some women, etc.
      Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.


      • #18
        Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.


        "Recently, I was asked by someone in the audience of one of my speeches, whether or not I believed that racism--though certainly a problem--might also be something conjured up by people of color in situations where the charge was inappropriate. In other words, did I believe that occasionally folks play the so-called race card, as a ploy to gain sympathy or detract from their own shortcomings? In the process of his query, the questioner made his own opinion all too clear (an unambiguous yes), and in that, he was not alone, as indicated by the reaction of others in the crowd, as well as survey data confirming that the belief in black malingering about racism is nothing if not ubiquitous.

        It's a question I'm asked often, especially when there are several high-profile news events transpiring, in which race informs part of the narrative. Now is one of those times, as a few recent incidents demonstrate: Is racism, for example, implicated in the alleged rape of a young black woman by white members of the Duke University lacrosse team? Was racism implicated in Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's recent confrontation with a member of the Capitol police? Or is racism involved in the ongoing investigation into whether or not Barry Bonds--as he is poised to eclipse white slugger Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list--might have used steroids to enhance his performance?*

        Although the matter is open to debate in any or all of these cases, white folks have been quick to accuse blacks who answer in the affirmative of playing the race card, as if their conclusions have been reached not because of careful consideration of the facts as they see them, but rather, because of some irrational (even borderline paranoid) tendency to see racism everywhere. So too, discussions over immigration, "terrorist" profiling, and Katrina and its aftermath often turn on issues of race, and so give rise to the charge that as regards these subjects, people of color are "overreacting" when they allege racism in one or another circumstance.

        Asked about the tendency for people of color to play the "race card," I responded as I always do: First, by noting that the regularity with which whites respond to charges of racism by calling said charges a ploy, suggests that the race card is, at best, equivalent to the two of diamonds. In other words, it's not much of a card to play, calling into question why anyone would play it (as if it were really going to get them somewhere). Secondly, I pointed out that white reluctance to acknowledge racism isn't new, and it isn't something that manifests only in situations where the racial aspect of an incident is arguable. Fact is, whites have always doubted claims of racism at the time they were being made, no matter how strong the evidence, as will be seen below. Finally, I concluded by suggesting that whatever "card" claims of racism may prove to be for the black and brown, the denial card is far and away the trump, and whites play it regularly: a subject to which we will return.

        Turning Injustice into a Game of Chance: The Origins of Race as "Card"

        First, let us consider the history of this notion: namely, that the "race card" is something people of color play so as to distract the rest of us, or to gain sympathy. For most Americans, the phrase "playing the race card" entered the national lexicon during the O.J. Simpson trial. Robert Shapiro, one of Simpson's attorneys famously claimed, in the aftermath of his client's acquittal, that co-counsel Johnnie Cochran had "played the race card, and dealt it from the bottom of the deck." The allegation referred to Cochran's bringing up officer Mark Fuhrman's regular use of the 'n-word' as potentially indicative of his propensity to frame Simpson. To Shapiro, whose own views of his client's innocence apparently shifted over time, the issue of race had no place in the trial, and even if Fuhrman was a racist, this fact had no bearing on whether or not O.J. had killed his ex-wife and Ron Goldman. In other words, the idea that O.J. had been framed because of racism made no sense and to bring it up was to interject race into an arena where it was, or should have been, irrelevant.

        That a white man like Shapiro could make such an argument, however, speaks to the widely divergent way in which whites and blacks view our respective worlds. For people of color--especially African Americans--the idea that racist cops might frame members of their community is no abstract notion, let alone an exercise in irrational conspiracy theorizing. Rather, it speaks to a social reality about which blacks are acutely aware. Indeed, there has been a history of such misconduct on the part of law enforcement, and for black folks to think those bad old days have ended is, for many, to let down their guard to the possibility of real and persistent injury (1).

        So if a racist cop is the lead detective in a case, and the one who discovers blood evidence implicating a black man accused of killing two white people, there is a logical alarm bell that goes off in the head of most any black person, but which would remain every bit as silent in the mind of someone who was white. And this too is understandable: for most whites, police are the helpful folks who get your cat out of the tree, or take you around in their patrol car for fun. For us, the idea of brutality or misconduct on the part of such persons seems remote, to the point of being fanciful. It seems the stuff of bad TV dramas, or at the very least, the past--that always remote place to which we can consign our national sins and predations, content all the while that whatever demons may have lurked in those earlier times have long since been vanquished.

        To whites, blacks who alleged racism in the O.J. case were being absurd, or worse, seeking any excuse to let a black killer off the hook--ignoring that blacks on juries vote to convict black people of crimes every day in this country. And while allegations of black "racial bonding" with the defendant were made regularly after the acquittal in Simpson's criminal trial, no such bonding, this time with the victims, was alleged when a mostly white jury found O.J. civilly liable a few years later. Only blacks can play the race card, apparently; only they think in racial terms, at least to hear white America tell it.

        Anything but Racism: White Reluctance to Accept the Evidence

        Since the O.J. trial, it seems as though almost any allegation of racism has been met with the same dismissive reply from the bulk of whites in the U.S. According to national surveys, more than three out of four whites refuse to believe that discrimination is any real problem in America (2). That most whites remain unconvinced of racism's salience--with as few as six percent believing it to be a "very serious problem," according to one poll in the mid 90s (3)--suggests that racism-as-card makes up an awfully weak hand. While folks of color consistently articulate their belief that racism is a real and persistent presence in their own lives, these claims have had very little effect on white attitudes. As such, how could anyone believe that people of color would somehow pull the claim out of their hat, as if it were guaranteed to make white America sit up and take notice? If anything, it is likely to be ignored, or even attacked, and in a particularly vicious manner.

        That bringing up racism (even with copious documentation) is far from an effective "card" to play in order to garner sympathy, is evidenced by the way in which few people even become aware of the studies confirming its existence. How many Americans do you figure have even heard, for example, that black youth arrested for drug possession for the first time are incarcerated at a rate that is forty-eight times greater than the rate for white youth, even when all other factors surrounding the crime are identical (4)?

        How many have heard that persons with "white sounding names," according to a massive national study, are fifty percent more likely to be called back for a job interview than those with "black sounding" names, even when all other credentials are the same (5)?

        How many know that white men with a criminal record are slightly more likely to be called back for a job interview than black men without one, even when the men are equally qualified, and present themselves to potential employers in an identical fashion (6)?

        How many have heard that according to the Justice Department, Black and Latino males are three times more likely than white males to have their vehicles stopped and searched by police, even though white males are over four times more likely to have illegal contraband in our cars on the occasions when we are searched (7)?

        How many are aware that black and Latino students are about half as likely as whites to be placed in advanced or honors classes in school, and twice as likely to be placed in remedial classes? Or that even when test scores and prior performance would justify higher placement, students of color are far less likely to be placed in honors classes (8)? Or that students of color are 2-3 times more likely than whites to be suspended or expelled from school, even though rates of serious school rule infractions do not differ to any significant degree between racial groups (9)?

        Fact is, few folks have heard any of these things before, suggesting how little impact scholarly research on the subject of racism has had on the general public, and how difficult it is to make whites, in particular, give the subject a second thought.

        Perhaps this is why, contrary to popular belief, research indicates that people of color are actually reluctant to allege racism, be it on the job, or in schools, or anywhere else. Far from "playing the race card" at the drop of a hat, it is actually the case (again, according to scholarly investigation, as opposed to the conventional wisdom of the white public), that black and brown folks typically "stuff" their experiences with discrimination and racism, only making an allegation of such treatment after many, many incidents have transpired, about which they said nothing for fear of being ignored or attacked (10). Precisely because white denial has long trumped claims of racism, people of color tend to underreport their experiences with racial bias, rather than exaggerate them. Again, when it comes to playing a race card, it is more accurate to say that whites are the dealers with the loaded decks, shooting down any evidence of racism as little more than the fantasies of unhinged blacks, unwilling to take personal responsibility for their own problems in life."
        I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
        Marcus Garvey

        satire protected speech soo more fiyah


        • #19
          LA Fire Chief Retires Amid Controversy

          LOS ANGELES - The city's fire chief announced his retirement Friday amid a racially charged furor involving a black firefighter who was served spaghetti mixed with dog food. Chief William Bamattre, 54, said the scandal had "political implications beyond the scope of the Fire Department." "I have become the focus of the debate and that is to the detriment of the LAFD," he said. He planned to step down Jan. 1.

          The firefighter who was fed the spaghetti claimed that it was racial discrimination and that he was harassed after reporting it. But other firefighters insisted it was an ordinary firehouse prank with no racist intent. A department investigation suggested the prank was prompted by the way firefighter Tennie Pierce called himself the "Big Dog" during a volleyball game.

          Bamattre, whose predecessor left abruptly a decade ago during a similar crisis, was given charge of the 3,900-member department in the mid-1990s with a mandate to stamp out racism and sexism.

          But the city controller released an audit almost a year ago that concluded discrimination, hazing and harassment persisted in the department despite a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior.

          Pierce, 51, said his 20-year career was destroyed after he broke a code of silence and spoke out against the spaghetti prank. The department disciplined two white captains and one Latino firefighter.

          The issue blew up last month after the City Council approved a $2.7 million settlement to Pierce.

          The council approved the settlement on advice of the city attorney before photos surfaced showing that Pierce himself engaged in crude firehouse hazing, smearing mustard and dumping water on colleagues.

          The mayor vetoed the settlement, and a council majority refused to override it despite an emotional plea by Pierce, backed by black community leaders. Pierce's lawsuit is now headed to trial.

          Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised Bamattre as a dedicated firefighter but indicated he had lost confidence in the chief's leadership. He called Bamattre's departure a "joint decision."

          "These men and women deserve a workplace that is free from foolishness, that is intolerant only of intolerance," he said.

          "This isn't about an individual," the mayor added. "It's not about changing just the leadership at the top _ it's about addressing the culture."

          Pat McOsker, president of the city's firefighter union, said the Pierce case reflected a heavy-handed management style that has emphasized discipline over addressing problems in departmental culture.

          "As of right now, morale is very low. People are pitted against one another, broken up into camps," McOsker said. "We need a culture in the Fire Department that values subordinate employees, instead of devaluing them."

          Bamattre, a firefighter for 31 years, moved up from battalion chief to chief in 1995 when predecessor Donald Manning suddenly resigned. In his decision to step down, Manning cited "false allegations and innuendoes" about claims of discrimination in the department
          u so fake, even China denied mekking u


          • #20
            Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.


            "Blaming the Victims for White Indifference

            Occasionally, white denial gets creative, and this it does by pretending to come wrapped in sympathy for those who allege racism in the modern era. In other words, while steadfastly rejecting what people of color say they experience--in effect suggesting that they lack the intelligence and/or sanity to accurately interpret their own lives--such commentators seek to assure others that whites really do care about racism, but simply refuse to pin the label on incidents where it doesn't apply. In fact, they'll argue, one of the reasons that whites have developed compassion fatigue on this issue is precisely because of the overuse of the concept, combined with what we view as unfair reactions to racism (such as affirmative action efforts which have, ostensibly, turned us into the victims of racial bias). If blacks would just stop playing the card where it doesn't belong, and stop pushing for so-called preferential treatment, whites would revert back to our prior commitment to equal opportunity, and our heartfelt concern about the issue of racism.

            Don't laugh. This is actually the position put forward recently by James Taranto, of the Wall Street Journal, who in January suggested that white reluctance to embrace black claims of racism was really the fault of blacks themselves, and the larger civil rights establishment (11). As Taranto put it: "Why do blacks and whites have such divergent views on racial matters? We would argue that it is because of the course that racial policies have taken over the past forty years." He then argues that by trying to bring about racial equality--but failing to do so because of "aggregate differences in motivation, inclination and aptitude" between different racial groups--policies like affirmative action have bred "frustration and resentment" among blacks, and "indifference" among whites, who decide not to think about race at all, rather than engage an issue that seems so toxic to them. In other words, whites think blacks use racism as a crutch for their own inadequacies, and then demand programs and policies that fail to make things much better, all the while discriminating against them as whites. In such an atmosphere, is it any wonder that the two groups view the subject matter differently?

            But the fundamental flaw in Taranto's argument is its suggestion--implicit though it may be--that prior to the creation of affirmative action, white folks were mostly on board the racial justice and equal opportunity train, and were open to hearing about claims of racism from persons of color. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. White denial is not a form of backlash to the past forty years of civil rights legislation, and white indifference to claims of racism did not only recently emerge, as if from a previous place where whites and blacks had once seen the world similarly. Simply put: whites in every generation have thought there was no real problem with racism, irrespective of the evidence, and in every generation we have been wrong.

            Denial as an Intergenerational Phenomenon

            So, for example, what does it say about white rationality and white collective sanity, that in 1963--at a time when in retrospect all would agree racism was rampant in the United States, and before the passage of modern civil rights legislation--nearly two-thirds of whites, when polled, said they believed blacks were treated the same as whites in their communities--almost the same number as say this now, some forty-plus years later? What does it suggest about the extent of white folks' disconnection from the real world, that in 1962, eighty-five percent of whites said black children had just as good a chance as white children to get a good education in their communities (12)? Or that in May, 1968, seventy percent of whites said that blacks were treated the same as whites in their communities, while only seventeen percent said blacks were treated "not very well" and only 3.5 percent said blacks were treated badly? (13)?

            What does it say about white folks' historic commitment to equal opportunity--and which Taranto would have us believe has only been rendered inoperative because of affirmative action--that in 1963, three-fourths of white Americans told Newsweek, "The Negro is moving too fast" in his demands for equality (14)? Or that in October 1964, nearly two-thirds of whites said that the Civil Rights Act should be enforced gradually, with an emphasis on persuading employers not to discriminate, as opposed to forcing compliance with equal opportunity requirements (15)?

            What does it say about whites' tenuous grip on mental health that in mid-August 1969, forty-four percent of whites told a Newsweek/Gallup National Opinion Survey that blacks had a better chance than they did to get a good paying job--two times as many as said they would have a worse chance? Or that forty-two percent said blacks had a better chance for a good education than whites, while only seventeen percent said they would have a worse opportunity for a good education, and eighty percent saying blacks would have an equal or better chance? In that same survey, seventy percent said blacks could have improved conditions in the "slums" if they had wanted to, and were more than twice as likely to blame blacks themselves, as opposed to discrimination, for high unemployment in the black community (16).

            In other words, even when racism was, by virtually all accounts (looking backward in time), institutionalized, white folks were convinced there was no real problem. Indeed, even forty years ago, whites were more likely to think that blacks had better opportunities, than to believe the opposite (and obviously accurate) thing: namely, that whites were advantaged in every realm of American life.

            Truthfully, this tendency for whites to deny the extent of racism and racial injustice likely extends back far before the 1960s. Although public opinion polls in previous decades rarely if ever asked questions about the extent of racial bias or discrimination, anecdotal surveys of white opinion suggest that at no time have whites in the U.S. ever thought blacks or other people of color were getting a bad shake. White Southerners were all but convinced that their black slaves, for example, had it good, and had no reason to complain about their living conditions or lack of freedoms. After emancipation, but during the introduction of Jim Crow laws and strict Black Codes that limited where African Americans could live and work, white newspapers would regularly editorialize about the "warm relations" between whites and blacks, even as thousands of blacks were being lynched by their white compatriots."

            I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there.
            Marcus Garvey

            satire protected speech soo more fiyah


            • #21
              Re: Race-Card Player Dishonors True Victims.

              Quote "Being as I am an aspiring dead white male, I believe I could weary of hearing harsh words about what guttersnipes we are, and sludge, and sharpers, and impediments to civilization, and rapists and slave drivers and Marines: yes, and just no damned good. For one thing, I think we are a splendid lot. For another, I notice that most of the yapping comes from life’s camp-followers—from those who didn’t and can’t and aren’t likely to. Yet they seem perfectly willing to live in a world that white European males built. It is not a dignified performance"

              Blugiantmzunguhater, have you accepted my invitation for the Tower Isle photo shoot? [img]/forums/images/graemlins/704555_dwl.gif[/img]
              'A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out...'


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