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From what I read of the article:  A lot of white have a tendency to blame America's problems on minorities, but get snippy and offended, at any suggestion that they may be the problem.  As hypocritical as that may be.  Nothing about being called white being offensive was covered, apart from the author throwing out his own hypothesis.  Note: Without looking at his replies, of course, which I have better things to do than read a 1000 mindless opinions, which the author probably counts on, to avoid proving or disproving his comment.

 

A shame, they had some interesting points without throwing that one claim in, for whatever reason.  As your synopsis is otherwise spot on the mark. One of the replies actually saying that calling those of Caucasian persuasion white being offensive is needed at the very least to give the title of his article any weight.  (they actually win on the merits of white being hypocritical with race with their poll, why get greedy?**)

 

**Probably for click-baitiness, which I guess it succeeds.  

 

Note: I know on the surface, I probably look like I am nitpicking, but the tenuous nature said topic has been the last few years.  I feel utmost accuracy is needed, without pushing such unneeded assumptions, above and beyond.  Just where I am coming from, for what it is worth.

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Zeropoint said:

I assume it's threatening to them to be put on equal footing with other kinds of "people with adjectives" instead of just being "people" by default.

 

7 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

I may be mistaken, but what I took from the article is that white people in America generally dislike being designated "white" in the way that others are designated as "black" or "Hispanic," i.e. as part of an ethnic group that carries socio-cultural generalizations and assumptions. And the fact of that reaction highlights that white people have long considered themselves, consciously or unconsciously, to be the normative, baseline ethnic group; hence discussing them as just another ethnic category calls that normative status into question. They're made uncomfortable both by the challenge to that assumption, and by how it makes them face that the assumption exists in the first place.

 

On this point, has anyone watched "Nanette" on Netflix? it is a, nominally, comedy stand-up routine by Australian comedienne Hannah Gadsby... and it turns, throughout, into an annihilating critique of current society that is gut wrenching and raw and incredibly unsettling... and must be watched. She addresses the point above very specifically.

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I'm a white middle-class male, from the tail end of the baby-boom generation. But I grew up a first-language English speaker in Quebec, Canada, which has always been a majority French-speaking province. When I was young, English was the language of commerce, and of power. French speakers really were treated as second-class citizens in a number of ways. Where I grew up in Montreal, it wasn't even necessary to speak French to live your life comfortably -- you just assumed French Quebecers should learn English. But when I was a teenager, the French nationalist Parti Quebecois came to power. Suddenly the provincial government was "protecting and promoting" the French language and French Quebec culture by demanding the use of French in all public and commercial institutions; severely restricting English's use in signage and other advertising; limiting or reducing English-language educational institutions. French Quebecers became emboldened to publicly express their hostility and resentment toward the way English Canada had treated them (which feelings were not unjustified), and to return some of that to English-speaking Quebecers.

 

That experience gave me a bit of insight into what someone with my background almost never feels elsewhere in Canada or the United States: what it's like to be considered a minority. Not a visible minority, of course -- that's another level of misfortune -- but nonetheless one whose self-identity is being called out and challenged. The effect of the big things is easy to recognize and describe, but what always struck me is how the little things impact you. Constantly being told that you're different, you're lesser, that you don't really belong, having to fight for respect others take for granted... it's like the Chinese water torture, a constant drip-drip-drip that wears you down until you feel either like giving up or exploding.

 

As unpleasant as it was to go through, I think I'm better for it.

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9 hours ago, Badger said:

From what I read of the article:  A lot of white have a tendency to blame America's problems on minorities, but get snippy and offended, at any suggestion that they may be the problem. 

 

Perhaps we are all in this together and need to stop pointing fingers, pull together, roll up our sleeves, and fix it. I understand there are race issues in America, but the balkanized identity politics and blame game is getting us nowhere. Its for weak-minded children who don't want to grow up, take responsibility, and do what can be done.

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16 minutes ago, Vondy said:

 

Perhaps we are all in this together and need to stop pointing fingers, pull together, roll up our sleeves, and fix it. I understand there are race issues in America, but the self-pity and blame game is getting us nowhere. Its for weak-minded children who don't want to grow up, take responsibility, and do what can be done.

 

That is a positive attitude, and a place I believe we should all strive to get to. But I always remember a documentary film I saw decades ago, of black and white community representatives meeting to try to resolve issues in their community, and one of the white representatives making pretty much that point. A black representative became very angry, claiming that starting with that approach sweeps the reality under the rug. Black people, he asserted, have been mistreated by whites for generations, and still are today, which is the biggest contributor to the distrust and resentment in the black community; and until the white part of society stops ignoring or diminishing that, and actually acknowledges it and takes responsibility for it, none of us are ever going to get past it.

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

I'm a white middle-class male, from the tail end of the baby-boom generation. But I grew up a first-language English speaker in Quebec, Canada, which has always been a majority French-speaking province. When I was young, English was the language of commerce, and of power. French speakers really were treated as second-class citizens in a number of ways. Where I grew up in Montreal, it wasn't even necessary to speak French to live your life comfortably -- you just assumed French Quebecers should learn English. But when I was a teenager, the French nationalist Parti Quebecois came to power. Suddenly the provincial government was "protecting and promoting" the French language and French Quebec culture by demanding the use of French in all public and commercial institutions; severely restricting English's use in signage and other advertising; limiting or reducing English-language educational institutions. French Quebecers became emboldened to publicly express their hostility and resentment toward the way English Canada had treated them (which feelings were not unjustified), and to return some of that to English-speaking Quebecers.

 

That experience gave me a bit of insight into what someone with my background almost never feels elsewhere in Canada or the United States: what it's like to be considered a minority. Not a visible minority, of course -- that's another level of misfortune -- but nonetheless one whose self-identity is being called out and challenged. The effect of the big things is easy to recognize and describe, but what always struck me is how the little things impact you. Constantly being told that you're different, you're lesser, that you don't really belong, having to fight for respect others take for granted... it's like the Chinese water torture, a constant drip-drip-drip that wears you down until you feel either like giving up or exploding.

 

As unpleasant as it was to go through, I think I'm better for it.

 

On this same track, I can trace my white-bread american lineage back to the 1630's, but as an adult I converted to Hassidic Judaism and immigrated to Israel before returning to my birth identity, region, ways, and community after twenty years. I know what it means to be in both the majority and minority.

 

I had the disconcerting experience of suddenly being treated like an outsider in America, and then had that exponentially increased as a non-native speaking immigrant in Israel, as well as being a convert in a community that constantly questioned my right to be there. I was, quite literally, a double-outsider. 

 

In America I was a "weird hassidic Jew" to the gentiles and a convert who had to be watched like a hawk and had to constantly re-prove his dedication to many in my adopted community. In Israel I was an "Amerikani" and a convert who was always suspect, despite the fact that I learned more deeply and broadly than everyone around me, and was more punctilious.  

 

You are right about the constant deleterious effects of repeated indignity, being treated as if you don't belong, and the lost opportunity that comes from being excluded from being an "insider." On the other hand, I've had a lot of years of self-reflection over how that affected me on a psychological level.

 

It can breed deep seeded and pervasive resentment, anger, and a desire to respond in kind. However, that tends to be counter-productive and self-defeating. Resilience makes a ton of difference. You have to ask yourself why is it that some minorities and immigrants succeed while so many others fail.

 

Its because, despite all that, they choose to be tough, choose to work hard, choose to do what it takes despite the increased (and 100% unfair) challenges they face. They also choose not to blame every member of the majority they meet, which allows them to make connections, build bridges, and find opportunities.

 

The constant bombardment of "you aren't one of us" and "you are less than us" did make me throw in the towel. It was soul crushing. I don't deny it felt completely insurmountable. At the same time, I lost track of the large number of people in the majorities I dealt with who did not behave that way.

 

It is all to easy when you are dealing with indifference and insensitivity to forget the great people in the majority group who have helped you, or who are right there in front of you and open to you. If you want to succeed despite it all you have to look past the feelings that don't serve you. I'm not saying this as a "white guy."

 

I'm saying this as a man who recognizes the self-defeating mental patterns he fell into that made his own success in the Jewish and Israeli world, and as an outwardly and visibly religious Jew in America, impossible. It was, in the end, my fault.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

That is a positive attitude, and a place I believe we should all strive to get to. But I always remember a documentary film I saw decades ago, of black and white community representatives meeting to try to resolve issues in their community, and one of the white representatives making pretty much that point. A black representative became very angry, claiming that starting with that approach sweeps the reality under the rug. Black people, he asserted, have been mistreated by whites for generations, and still are today, which is the biggest contributor to the distrust and resentment in the black community; and until the white part of society stops ignoring or diminishing that, and actually acknowledges it and takes responsibility for it, none of us are ever going to get past it.

 

I'm going to say the unthinkable and impolitic thing: poppycock. Its not as simple as one side holding up progress. What is going on in America today, Mr. Canada, is not a simple black and white equation. There are people on all sides of our race relations doing the right and wrong things. See my other post, which should be above this one. I know far better than you assume how it feels to be disenfranchised, isolated, and robbed of opportunity. I also know learned winning and losing tactics from my own failure. My failure was, ultimately, on me.

 

I know how it feels not to trust the mainstream. I know how it feels when you erroneously assume everyone in the majority doesn't understand or is against you. I know how that leads to self-defeating psychological patterns and doing the exact opposite of what needs to be done. You can be completely right and make all the wrong decisions. You will either do the work or you won't. You will either paint with a broad brush or you won't. You will either reach out to those who are open to you or you won't.  You will choose resilience or you won't. You will pick winning tactics or you won't. Its up to you, not them.  

 

Trust is a choice. It can be a hard choice. It can be a leap of faith. But it is a choice. And its the only choice that leads to any chance of success. And, even if you have zero trust, what choice do you really have if you want there to be progress on the issue at hand? I don't care if we don't really trust one another. What the hell are we supposed to do? Nothing? Bitch about it? A great many white people in America fully acknowledge the history and are well-aware of what the problems are. I understand resentment and mistrust, but no matter how legitimate those feelings are, they won't solve the problem. A great many black people are not so brittle as to be unable to try or take a leap of faith.

 

Acrimony, recrimination, and finger pointing may feel satisfying, but they don't move us forward. Those only create alienation, antipathy, and breed resentment and mistrust in kind. The problems are real. They won't ever be fixed if we keep doing what we are doing. Do you want it fixed or not? I'll let you in on a secret: most of the black people I talk to are a lot more stronger, smarter, and open to crossing lines than the media, our leaders, or activists want to let them be. Many of them are also tired of being condescended to and treated as weak or victims.

 

I was at Monticello this past weekend. In the tour the (white) docent was doubling-down on the fact that Jefferson was a slave holder despite having authored the declaration of dependence and prefaced every single reference to any work done with "by enslaved workers." We probably heard that term 50 times during the tour. Now, leaving over-emphasis aside, there was a black family on that tour and you could tell they were uncomfortable with how neurotic and self-conscious and emphatic the upper middle class white woman was being about the issue. The father asked a lot of questions. Not a one of those questions was about slavery. Not one.

 

He was there to learn about Jefferson the man. He asked about influences on the declaration, his relationship with Madison, items in the house, and questions about things were done, or worked. He was the one who pointed out that Jefferson believed slavery was a great evil that was ruinous to white character and would destroy the republic if not dealt with. He, not the docent, referred to the words of the declaration as aspirational.   Afterwards my mother and I were commenting that it would have made more sense for the docent to address it once, in no uncertain and unvarnished terms at the beginning of the tour (because it very much should be called out) and then cover a broader array of interesting information about the man.

 

The mother from the black family overheard us and opened up. She said, "We all know Mr. Jefferson owned slaves. We came so our children would see that he gave them so much more than that." Guess what happened? We had a wonderful conversation about race, slavery, America, and our shared values. The docent failed those parents by overdoing it. I would argue that the media, activists, and leaders are also failing not only them, but my family too, in the exact same way. Maybe the answer is, having acknowledged it, to not be so damned neurotic about it. We have work to do. The ninny's should step aside and let us do it. 

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You make your point forcefully and eloquently, Vondy, and I don't wish to denigrate your perspective, any more than I'm sure you don't wish to denigrate mine. For the record, I never got the impression that the black person I cited was talking about blame, but about ownership, and the healing it brings. That was the thrust of Nelson Mandela's "Truth and Reconciliation" commission in South Africa -- bringing the truth out for all to hear and acknowledge, so that it can finally be let go of.

 

Let me give you another Canadian example ;) : For nearly a century, the Canadian government forcibly removed thousands of aboriginal Canadian children (official count for the whole program is around 150,000) and placed them into what was called "residential schools," boarding schools funded by the government but run by the Catholic church. Their intent was to separate the children from their cultural and linguistic environment and assimilate them into the dominant white English-speaking Christian culture. The schools were located far from the children's homes to minimize contact with their parents, who were also given few opportunities for official permission even to leave their reservations to visit them. Many of the children never saw their families for years. Most experienced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of their teachers/guardians, often severe. After being released from the schools as adults, most of the former students were unable to fit back with their original societies, and were never fully accepted into white society. Many displayed symptoms of PTSD, and many fell into alcohol or drug abuse, or committed suicide. The last residential school closed in 1966.

 

In 2008 the Canadian government offered a formal apology to the victims of the schools, and set up its own Truth and Reconciliation Commission to interview survivors. In 2015 the commission published a voluminous report detailing the survivors' testimony, and the conclusion they had been subjected to cultural genocide. Over the years, even before 2008, the Canadian government has offered various financial compensation packages to the schools' survivors, implicitly validating their complaints; but what I heard time and again in interviews with the survivors who participated in the Commission, is that what mattered most to them, what helped them gain closure, was that they could finally tell their story to the wider world, that it was being heard and accepted, the suffering they went through was being acknowledged, and the parties who were the heirs to those authorities who made the schools publicly accepted responsibility for them.

 

 

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Are you asking about the "Religious Liberty Task Force" that Jeff Sessions is asking for? It's supposed to hear citizens complaits about laws that infringe religious beliefs 

 

EDIT: Ah, I missed this. Evidently, it is also supposed to do an audit of sorts, to confirm all government departments are enforcing all laws using the broadest possible definition of religious freedom, as put out in a 2017 DOJ memo.

https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/7/31/17631110/jeff-sessions-religious-liberty-task-force-memo-christian-nationalism

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/8/1/17638706/religious-liberty-sessions-task-force-masterpiece-scalia-constitution

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*Breaks out his musical number*

 

I should be ecstatic for a process democratic in world where the common man has very little power.

  But the truth of my situation in this part of my nation means the outlook for my views winning remains quite dour.

Today I aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam a Democrat.

.A sacrificial Lamb- a small blue dot in a sea of red. Some might tell me I shouldn't have gotten out of bed, I think that someone's in my head, yet still I am voting democrat!

Today I am, working up the stream salmon like, taking up a cross wind hike. Possibly getting glared at by a red hat wearer with a name like Mike. Today I am a Demooocrat! 

Of course it's not like I am losing , it's the primaries we are choosing- I'm picking those will likely lose in fall!

It's not the party I adore, but I've held my nose before, and they seem saner than the other guys.

And every little lad or lady running might be shady, and on either side they've got their pack of lies.

But in comparing bad to worse, inside this doggerel verse

there's really no competition here for me

The nation has lurched so deeply to the right that I think if he were alive Reagan would be laughed out of his own party

So I'll try nudge things left, of hope I'm not bereft, of any sort of civic minded might

into the crimson coated mob I try to do my job, that makes me long for the sex appeal of game of thrones

I will make my selection for who will lead us into election, and watch the results come in at night

And hope to hell I am not alone!

Today I am, a donkey at a packaderm watering hole

trying to sip my share

hoping I don't get stepped on

hoping someone else here cares

for the issues that matter to me, as I float blue dot in this scarlet sea

for today I democraaaaaaaaaaat!

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So, I've been thinking about it. I believe in:

  • Small and limited government..
  • Robust protections for individual liberty.
  • Equal opportunity but not equal outcomes or officially sanctioned favoritism.
  • Fiscal responsibility and balancing the budget.
  • A muscular yet more carefully considered defense. 
  • Free markets and commons with intelligent but circumspect regulation.
  • Friendliness and good faith across the aisle. 

If that makes me a philosophical conservative and political dinosaur, so be it. 

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18 minutes ago, L. Marcus said:

Paul McCartney was in his seventies when he learned to read music notations.

Sure, but did he ever MAKE something of himself this Paul whatever? 

 

:)

13 minutes ago, Vondy said:

So, I've been thinking about it. I believe in:

  • Small and limited government..
  • Robust protections for individual liberty.
  • Equal opportunity but not equal outcomes or officially sanctioned favoritism.
  • Fiscal responsibility and balancing the budget.
  • A muscular yet more carefully considered defense. 
  • Free markets and commons with intelligent but circumspect regulation.
  • Friendliness and good faith across the aisle. 

If that makes me a philosophical conservative and political dinosaur, so be it. 

 

If you are a dinosaur may they find a way to revive your breed.

I have gone to the left on some of the issues you state, but they are at least stances I can respect, and in a few causes agree with flat out.

 

 

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I believe in a large, robust and active government, because the government is us, the people, having a say and influence over the economic forces that otherwise harm the majority for the benefit of the extreme minority.

I believe no individual is more important than the social contract that binds us, that provides the stability necessary for advancement.

I believe equal opportunity requires limitations on those who have traditionally held privilege.

I believe fiscal responsibility involves a level of wealth redistribution that reduces the gap between the most wealthy and most poor, and incentivizes a bulging middle class. This includes highly funded public education through university levels.

I believe in a level of defense that is not beholden to, nor for the benefit of the military industrial complex.

I believe in active, dynamic regulation of the markets, because "free markets" never exist... they are either controlled by a wide body of government, or controlled by the economic interests who benefit the most from them.

I believe that good faith in the face of unbridled greed and corruption is foolish and treasonous. Strong defense starts with defending the majority from the minority that would enslave them.

 

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1 hour ago, Hermit said:

If you are a dinosaur may they find a way to revive your breed.

I have gone to the left on some of the issues you state, but they are at least stances I can respect, and in a few causes agree with flat out.

 

The thing is, I don't think our traditional definitions of "Right" and "Left" remain useful. "

The GOP has embraced the administrative state, blank check spending, and conservative social authoritarianism.

From a high-level view,, I don't see our present "right" as being meaningfully different than the radical progressive "left."

Sure, the specific policies and sensibilities differ, but both are all too willing to trample on liberty to legislate their morality while bankrupting us. 

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7 minutes ago, Vondy said:

 

The thing is, I don't think our traditional definitions of "Right" and "Left" remain useful. "

The GOP has embraced the administrative state, blank check spending, and conservative social authoritarianism.

From a high-level view,, I don't see our present "right" as being meaningfully different than the radical progressive "left."

Sure, the specific policies and sensibilities differ, but both are all too willing to trample on liberty to legislate their morality while bankrupting us. 

 

Both parties latch onto the corporate teat way too much for my liking as well.

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