Why its okay to generalize

Submitted by Adrian on


It is okay to generalize about people, describing patterns that are observable and well documented. We need to look at the "rule" rather than the exception.  We are all members of social groups and these memberships make it possible to understand certain attitudes and behaviors based on where people fit. 

White people must let go of the differences of their group and begin to grasp the similarities and patterns they all share. Because we are members of separate groups, how we think about things can be completely different depending on that group and be must be aware as well as accept this (i.e. don't tell Black people how they should feel about what they are going through, or to assume how they feel).

Michelle Obama's thoughts on the Supreme Court decision on Affirmative Action

Submitted by Adrian on

Michelle Obama's thoughts on the Supreme Court decision on Affirmative Action:

Back in college, I was one of the few Black students on my campus, and I was proud of getting into such a respected school. I knew I'd worked hard for it. But still, I sometimes wondered if people thought I got there because of affirmative action. It was a shadow that students like me couldn’t shake, whether those doubts came from the outside or inside our own minds.

Why are White People afraid of being referred to as White?

Submitted by Adrian on

I poster a question on Facebook:

Why are White People afraid of being referred to as White?
Please enlighten this Black man.

Here is one response to that question:

“I am not afraid. When you say that to me you are describing the color of my skin. Not my country of origin, my status in society or my moral values. It would seem that just because we describe someone's physical form we are not defining them. Am I missing something?”

This is a good place to start, in my opinion you are not missing anything.

Here is another response:

Those who see themselves as "Individuals" ARE White

Submitted by Adrian on

I posted this statement on Facebook:

People who have Race are Non-White, while people who don't have Race, (those who see themselves as "individuals") are White.

One of the responses I received was the following:

Cleanse ye your eyes, so that ye behold no man as different from yourselves. See ye no strangers; rather see all men as friends, for love and unity come hard when ye fix your gaze on otherness. -- ʻAbdu'l-Bahá

How can we help?

Submitted by Adrian on

From a Facebook post:

"How can we help? What should a politician take for a stance?"

First of all, "what should a politician take for a stance?" A politician should take the stance that it is WRONG. This would be a departure from blaming Black people for being the victims in a system that has set-out to victimize and exploit us (which has been the status quo). But politicians as a whole can not do anything about it except to lead us (I know, it's a novel thought).

"I Haven't Witnessed Racism in the Workplace"

Submitted by Adrian on

A comment on Facebook:

"I worked with people of color in every job I’ve had since the mid-80s, and I didn’t see or feel racism in those places, all of which were professional work areas. As every other employee in those companies were working with them too, and didn’t seem to have a problem with it, I hoped that racism in any area was becoming a thing of the past."

#BlackLivesMatter versus #AllLivesMatter and Gaslighting/Diverting

Submitted by Adrian on

This conversation started out as a discussion involving #BlackLivesMatter versus #AllLivesMatter.  Of course I have my own thoughts about this subject but that is not what this post is about. There was a comment that was voiced that has started getting under my skin a lot lately, and that is of people making “canned” comments whose sole purpose is to deflect from the real subject.  

There was talk about [unarmed] young Black men being killed by the police.  The next comment was:
“More young black men are killed by other young black men than police. By a very wide margin.”

This is a comeback I hear all the time but in actuality it is used to dismiss what the police are doing by saying (to me) that “Black lives don’t really matter because Black people  kill themselves in much bigger numbers than the police do so have no reason to complain about the police.  What they should be do is clean up their own act.”

What about our Racist Relatives

Submitted by Adrian on

Over the last couple of years of “Continuing the Conversation” and other meetings I have listened to the concerns of many when it comes to family and friends who have less than loving attitudes about people not like themselves.  I will admit to not having a lot of experience with this (except for those who, through business interactions, made it clear they had no problem with “screwing me over” because of my race, but would attribute it to other “excuses”). Pizza and Social Justice has tried to find ways to help our members deal with these kinds of people.  We have viewed a number of videos that tell the story of others who have had success in HELPING people make profound changes in the way they see others, and in how they relate to people who are different from themselves.  In reviewing these videos there were some elements that were similar.

God Bless America

Submitted by Adrian on

In the news this week was word that Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” had been banned by the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Flyers.  The reason for this ban was because it was learned that Ms. Smith had recorded some songs that were considered racist.  The songs pointed out were “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” and “Pickaninny Heaven. Along with that I sense that people are judging Ms. Smith as being racist for singing these songs, which truthfully do contain wording that is fundamentally racist.  

I am not here to defend the songs, but I do feel that we should not come down so hard on Ms. Smith.  It was a different time then, things were main-stream that today would not be performed today.  It is unfair to judge some aspects of the past by today’s standards because many of us do not understand the times.  Honestly most of us do not understand the basics of our history, what the situation was, and who was in control of things that happened.