Here
and
Now

opinions

Whatever happened to 'post-racial' America?

58 Comments
By Stephanie Griffith

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2012 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

58 Comments
Login to comment

How about the fallout from the Martin shooting? People being attacked because of their race? We're yet to know if Zimmerman was motivated by race. Why not focus on the real race attacks?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Having a black president will not change the mind of those, who are small minded racists bigots

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Unfortunately there is still a lot of racism in America, and it'll probably still be quite a long time before it's really stamped out.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A friend of mine, a winner of the nobel prize for literature, went to the U.S. and described it as the most racist society he had ever encountered. This is a stunning condemnation given that the individual in question had lived in South Africa during Apartheid. The source of this comment? He cited a series of incidents, but the one that stuck in my mind was when he went to a grocery store and stood waiting in line with his fruit... and person after person pushed ahead of him in the line, all of them white, and neither the teller nor the other black people standing with him waiting patiently for service said a word. His conclusion was that in South Africa at least the discrimination was open and there to be attacked, but in the U.S. there is this myth that there is very little discrimination and that everyone is equal, and so attacking it is very difficult, and thus the U.S. is more racist than even the most racist countries, because the racism is denied.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

When it comes to racism, it is those that often abuse the race card them selves that are the true racist. People like Al-Sharpton and Jesse Jackson make a fortune inserting race into every tragedy and crime and statistic possible. Then the media amplify their voices thus manufacturing a false controversy like the Martin case. Someone like Sharpton uses his media platform to look at Zimmerman and accuse racism. The end result? a man whom was not motivated by race what so ever ow has to live with the permanent character assassination that was hurled his direction by the so called "anti-racist".

All this gives the delusion of some that there is somehow a lot of racism within the U.S. As a Hispanic-American or simply just American, I have seldom experienced racism in my 20+ years of life. Although when I did, then it was not by whites but by blacks instead. The real last vestiges of American racism is within the black community itself which they refuse to acknowledge where the "white man" is somehow responsible for their own individual life's failures. When in fact these same people have themselves to blame.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

I am an American living expatriate in an eastern European country and sadly I have to agree with the comments above. America is so very racist and there are people of all colors who continue to keep it that way instead of trying to heal it. I could go on and on, but I will just say that I am ashamed of the way people back home behave over race and I am amazed at how color blind the people I am now living with are.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The US is a LOT better than it used to be but it still has a LONG LONG way to go, lets hope they speed this up!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The end result? a man whom was not motivated by race what so ever ow has to live with the permanent character assassination that was hurled his direction by the so called "anti-racist".

Yeah I suppose that as a 'Hispanic-American' you're not at all biased right?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When Obama was elected I felt a great sense of pride that a black man had been elected. What I began to notice shortly after was a deep resentment that a black man was in charge of anything. This was coming from people that I thought that I knew but found out that deep down blacks were cool as long as they weren't in charge of anything. As mentioned in the article racism and racist remarks are thinly veiled by those who desire to become the new leaders. The president has certainly made some unpopular choices as far as I'm concerned but again, he is attacked by what he is and not who. Yes, America is in rapid decline and the racist jabs just keep coming........as if it will fix ANYTHING. This very site and many others like it give a soap box for the cowards that perpetuate all that goes against making the world a better place. A racist is a racist and I don't care what color your exterior is.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I agree with the posters who concede that racism abounds in the US among the people of every color. Compared to many other countries which are more homogeneous, the US has been multi-ethnic throughout its history. However, many groups have opted to be hyphenated, such as:Italian-American, Japanese-American, etc. That may be a factor in the lack of assimilation. Another factor may be the perception that some groups get some kind of preferential treatment, whether in the form of government entitlement or privilege compared to their own group resulting in a kind of jealousy. Idolisation of celebrities may add to the situation. The only true Americans are the worst treated.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

america was never and will never be post racial. obama is not black, his mother is white. had obama been black, he would've ended up like herman cain: managing some pizza joint. america is a heterogeneous society, which has advantages and disadvantages. people need to stop the whining about race and increase their travels around the world. heterogeneous societies are not the norm around the world: homogeneity is. and whether or not you agree, the United States is the best example of a functioning heterogeneous society. No society is perfect, (not even japan, my first and only home) they all have varying degrees of dysfunctionalities. But whether or not you agree, the United States (and maybe canada) is the best country for the Negro.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

the United States is the best example of a functioning heterogeneous society.

Umm.. travel a bit more. Try, for example, England, where a huge portion of the population is non-White. Sure there are jokes about "pakis", but there are equally jokes about "skavs", etc. England isn't post-racial, but everyone is mocked fairly equally and openly and while I've seen a lot of people mouthing off in England I've never seen any actual discrimination.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Quite sad, but racism makes for good news in America. Without it, there would be no news.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Without it, there would be no news."

Well, that's just a silly comment, if ever there was one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Being a person of African descent here in the US I have had to deal with racism and prejudice from people of African and European descent. I personally try to ignore it cause there is no changing ignorance with the knowledge of man's beginnings or the migration of man on this planet. Racists prefer to ignore the truth, but if we take off our clothes, we have all the same parts all men / all women perspectively so I don't really see what all the fuss is about. When a litter of kittens are born they are all different colors, thank goodness cats are not prejudice.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

LOL. The country was post-racial by the mid 80s, if not sooner.

By the 90s more blacks had moved to the US from Africa than had been bought there by the European/Arab slave trade.

Obama had a 70 percent approval rating when he took office in Jan 09.

Its not the color his skin that gets his opponents , its how thin it is.

The Democrat Party needs identity politics and a perpetually aggrieved underclass they will create and keep in place in order to justify the legal plunder they get up to.

Predictably, this piece focuses solely on the black-white divide.

Spanish - speaking Univision reaches 60 million American households .

The single most successful ethnic/racial group in America today is not "WASPS" (those w/ ancestral ties to England probably make up 10 percent of modern America's population, if that).

I'll let the reader do the search. The answer might surprise...

If this article were balanced it would talk about the worst discrimination in America, perpetrated by the federal gov against a segment of the populace too young to really fend for themselves - school age children of all races, but at present it appears Americans of Asian descent are getting shafted the worse. Med schools are rewriting entrance reqs and course designs to counter their disproportinate academic success. The idiocy of the new Left's screwtape agenda of "equal outcomes" will literally ensure shorter lifespans and iatragenic misery for many of those who support such lunacy and many of us who dont. "Diversity" is nice, in the service economy of restaurants and hair salons and the like, but does anyone with a brain in their head want to hear, as they go under the knife, that 'there's nothing to worry about , our staff of surgeons has the kind of diversity you will see walking down the street of any big city'?

Many Americans also were taken aback by an anti-Obama bumper sticker that used a racial slur, becoming a hot seller on the Internet by urging voters “Don’t Re-Nig in 2012.”

Funny how the owner of the site that ran the ads offering that sticker was never caught or prosecuted. Reeks of pure Alinsky tactics, meant to foster the kind of outrage the Left (like Prof Mutuaa, quoted in this shoddy piece) need to stay in their lucrative race racket.

A search of Prof Athena Mutua , by the way, turns up some rather revealing stuff - - "She writes in the areas of critical race and feminist legal theory" ...

Again, seems to me that a "balanced" article might include the mention of, oh, I dunno - how about Hermain Cain? Its not like he is unknown to readers on this site or anything.

The East Indian imigrant to America, writer Dinesh D`Souza, said it best when he described how so many on the cultural and political left publlicly denounce the supposed racism in America even as they privately fret about its disappearance.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I have read the article... but even if I hadn't, the answer to the title is simple.

"It never existed"

I was unaware that anyone truly believed we had gotten over our issues with ethnicity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The East Indian imigrant to America, writer Dinesh D`Souza, said it best when he described how so many on the cultural and political left publlicly denounce the supposed racism in America even as they privately fret about its disappearance.

Indeed, Dinesh D' Souza is a must read for anyone interested with the articles topic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Of course the article makes it seem that primarily the race problem is caused by white Americans. Fifteen, twenty years ago - and most certainly before that - I would whole-heatedly agree with that sentiment. But it's my personal belief that many white Americans - and yes even those in historically racist areas of the country - are more than willing and ready to move on. But there is something called by psychologists the 'slave mentality' that exists in the black community, and I would counter that much of the issues with racism are perpetuated by this mentality. A prime example of this (and one that particularly fascinates me as a writer) would be the trend in the black community to ridicule anyone in their own culture who might choose to speak the Queen's English as taught, rather than what is common on the buses here in the city. The ability to speak properly and communicate in standard fashion is not a 'white rule' or some attempt by 'the man' to counter or otherwise dissuade black culture. Friends from Africa that live here speak English and know the rules of grammar better than I do. When you perpetuate stupidity as racial identity, is it any wonder then that racial stereotypes live on, and that even things like job opportunities seem slanted unfairly in the opposite direction?

I know I'm harping on something simple (and the whole 'ebonics' thing has been harped to death) but language and social norms are things that bring us together as human beings, particularly on a national level. When you set out to ignore or counter these norms for the sake of some perceived cultural identity, then there should be no surprise at disparity. Whether it's the way people speak, or the way they dress and present themselves it does have an affect on acculturation and assimilation. It is possible and not a bad thing to fit in without losing identity. I'm not saying everyone should wear a button down dress shirt, khaki trousers and have the same haircut. But for the guy sitting next to me on the express bus that uses the 'N' word every five seconds, punctuates everything with 'know what I'm sayin?' and peppers it with the constant use of the expletive with the initials 'MF' - while simultaneously wearing his trousers down far enough that I can see his less than clean skivies - are you surprised he might not get a better paying job and improve his lot in life?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

When Obama was elected I felt a great sense of pride that a black man had been elected. And he was elected because he was black for the most part. Any idea how many "jokes" I heard from Americans about "Bros before hoes"? What % of the black population voted for him because he's "black" and that was it for reasoning? Isn't that just as bad as white people voting for someone just because they're white? Funnily enough, that didn't happen though did it. Racism is indeed an issue but it will never stop being an issue if people continue to look at race only and do things based on race - be it there own or some other's. Racism isn't just a white man's disease. Until people realise that, nothing will change.

And Mo, if anyone is pissed off at Obama, it is the black community. High hopes and they've been let down. Perhaps if the majority didn't vote for him just because of him being black... I don't know of a single other American race who feel that "blacks were cool as long as they weren't in charge of anything". Look at the issues within the black community itself with regards to "light being better" and all that crap. You can't just blame the whites for this.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

tmarie: I speak of my personal experiences and didn't refer to any particular race. I know what I know because I HEARD it said by some individuals. Here nor there why he was elected to me. I like many other black people saw something happen that many thought they would never see.....a black man become president of the USA. And I stand by my statement that it was a proud moment. Again some choices he has made I do not agree with but judge him for his failures and not his skin. And NEVER did I say I blame whites for this. I'll repeat that a racist is a racist no matter the color of his/her exterior. By the way "Bros before hoes" is a general tearm used by any group of men when they feel slighted by a woman.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

TigermothII: Yes, there are many things in your post that I agree with and the black community needs to come together to stop this nonsense. I will blow up on ANYBODY who uses the "N" word to me. I will not acknowledge anyone who feels that MF this or MF that is the way they should or need to speak to me. I have often been asked by some why I speak the way I do. I respond with 'because I want to be heard'. I have never walked around thinking that ANYBODY owed me ANYTHING. I have however had women pull their purse in close as I walked by. I have been followed so closely in stores that they may have well climbed on my back. I have been with groups of people and singled out and asked why was I there. I was judged simply because of my skin. I have always lived by treating others the way I want to be treated but there are still elements from ALL backgrounds that think they will hold sway over you

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

MoBass I know what your saying. I'm from Virginia and before migrating north I saw racism that was pathetic. After college I worked in a shoe store while trying to get a job where the manager would yell out 'code 3' each time a black woman would enter the store - which was supposed to mean 'keep a watch out for her stealing'. People who don't think this is common haven't got out much.

My gripe with the language thing is that while I do understand that in many ways it is likely an attempt to form a shared cultural identity where that bond was originally ripped away, I think it denigrates African Americans by keeping them from a more level playing field. Language is a powerful tool and it's mastery can take a person far. A smart, proud race should show it in action (and speech) and not, for sake of pride and want of individual freedom almost re-enslave themselves in defiance. How many times have I heard an articulate African American referred to as an 'Uncle Tom', or seen them revert to a different speech pattern to avoid criticism. A small thing - but small things can do wonders.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What % of the black population voted for him because he's "black" and that was it for reasoning?

Indeed TMarie. I was i my senior year of high school during the 2008 elections and all my black pupils whom were of voting age were voting for Obama because "he is black" I was never given any other answer or candidate they would support. I was labeled as "racist" because I would only ever support Ron Paul yet I'm not even black or white =p. Yet the irony in their logic was "if you don't vote for the black man then your racist" when voting on this basis alone is racism.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This whole race thing is a largely a bunch of hogwash.

Let's consider the realities of race in Modern America.

But first, a little historical perspective:

1868 - First elected African-American Lieutenant Governor: Oscar Dunn (R-Louisiana)

1868 - First African-American mayor: Pierre Caliste Landry, Donaldsonville, Louisiana (Landry also served in the Louisiana House of Representatives and the Louisiana State Senate.)

1869 - First African-American U.S. diplomat: Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett, minister to Haiti (Under Pres. Grant (R))

1870 - First African American elected to the U.S. Congress: Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels (R-Miss.)

1870 - First African-American acting governor: Oscar James Dunn of Louisiana

1870 - First African American elected to U.S. House of Representatives: Joseph Rainey (R-S.C.)

note: all the above political "African American Firsts" where Republicans - the first African American Democrat wasn't elected to Congress until 1934 (see below)

1872 - First African-American governor (non-elected): P. B. S. Pinchback of Louisiana

1872 - First African-American nominee for Vice President of the United States: Frederick Douglass

1881 - First African American whose signature appeared on U.S. paper currency: Blanche K. Bruce, Registrar of the Treasury.

1910 - First African-American millionaire: Madam C. J. Walker

1921 - First African-American woman to become a pilot, first American to hold an international pilot license: Bessie Coleman

1934 - First African American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat: Arthur W. Mitchell (Illinois) NOTE: some 64 years after African Americans had already started playing key role in republican congressional politics.

... and on and on. But basically, "minorities" have been playing a key, and ever-increasing, role in America for a long time.

A brief glimpse at the make up of modern US politics:

George Ariyoshi, who served as the Governor of Hawaii from 1974 to 1986, was the first American of Asian descent to be elected governor of a state of the United States.

Benjamin Jerome "Ben" Cayetano served as the fifth Governor of the State of Hawai from 1994 to 2002. He is the first Filipino American to serve as a state governor in the United States.

In 1996 Gary Locke was elected governor of the state of Washington, becoming the first Chinese American to be elected governor in United States history and the first Asian American governor on the mainland. Locke served as governor from 1997-2005.

The US currently has 2 acting Governors who are of East-Indian Decent ( Bobby Jindal: R-Louisiana & Nikki Haley: R-South Carolina ), both of whom are First Generation (and have had their names tossed around as potential VP possibilities in the upcoming 2012 election).

The the lists goes on and on.

Show me another country with such diversity; it certainly doesn't exist in Japan.

Back to Trayvon Martin

This was largely a media-hyped & media-manipulated case.

FOR STARTERS:

NBC NEWS doctored the 911 tapes:

Trayvon Martin case: NBC fires producer over edit http://bit.ly/I6pxPm NBC Fires Producer of Misleading Zimmerman Tape - NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/I6pFP1

Although other news agencies repeated the lies for quite a while; and NBC (and others) has been largely quiet about their agency's blatant manipulation of facts.

THEN THERE WAS THE MISREPRESENTED VIDEO:

At first the media, this time led by ABCNEWS was "claiming" that the police video of Zimmerman's booking didn't show any signs of the struggle that Zimmerman had claimed -- despite the fact that the injuries were also documented in the police reports.

Trayvon Martin Case: Exclusive Surveillance Video of George Zimmerman - ABC News http://abcn.ws/I6vnQK

Then the media had to back-peddle on that, when various new-watcher groups called them to the mat on those false claims as well.

ABC Unmasked: Enhanced Video Shows Zimmerman Head Gash http://bit.ly/I6w64k

So ABC back-peddled:

George Zimmerman: Enhanced Video Shows Injury on Trayvon Martin Shooter's Head | Video - ABC News http://abcn.ws/J4DNXi

Here is a HuffPost column about the media hype and mis-representation: Diane Dimond: How About Getting the Facts First in Trayvon Story? http://huff.to/I6vGey

If you read the actual "Affidavit of Probable Cause": State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman | Affidavit of Probable Cause - Document - NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/I6rviO There is little in there to suggest either:

A) that 2nd degree murder is an appropriate charge B) that there is anything other than the

Was George Zimmerman Overcharged? http://bit.ly/J4Ffsy

Don't get me wrong, if the police/prosecution have evidence that Zimmerman acted maliciously and shot Treyvon in anything other than self-defense... I'm all for him being charged, and ultimately sentenced, appropriately. But so far, there is nothing (other than media-manipulated "news" that has been quietly retracted) to actually indicate that this is the case.

Aside from that:

Basically, It is largely a bunch of selective outrage for hype.

While unfortunately there is racism in the world, the reality is that racism in America is largely an over-hyped topic for news ratings and political agendas.

Just walk down the street in any major American city and there is so much racial diversity that you don't even think about it. Look at the ever-growing number of inter-racial marriages and children.

America has a Black President, a Black Attorney General, a Female Secretary of State, a self-identified Mexican-American Secretary of Interior, a Latin-American Female Secretary of Labor, a Female Secretary of HHS, a Chinese-American Secretary of Energy, a Japanese-American Secretary of Veterans Affairs, a Female Secretary of Homeland Security, a Female head of the EPA, etc, etc.

And people are still trying to place the "race card" and the "gender card". Get over it. Can't you tell that it is mostly political campaign propaganda?! America is a land of diversity, where race and gender are less relevant than probably anywhere in the world.

Please, don' t become part of the real problem by perpetuating hype and mis-information.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Patrick McPike Apr. 19, 2012 - 06:27AM JST. And people are still trying to place the "race card" and the "gender card". Get over it. Can't you tell that it is mostly political campaign propaganda?! America is a land of diversity, where race and gender are less relevant than probably anywhere in the world. This whole race thing is a largely a bunch of hogwash.

The change between whites and blacks in recent times is more of economic inequality. In U.S. there is high levels of income inequality by race, meaning that specific groups within U.S. are economically disadvantaged in their earnings due to country's racial categorization scheme. In the past fifty years, U.S. have undergone a political overhaul from a system that explicitly excluded African Americans from participation, to one that advocated unbiased participation and stressed the importance of equality in all social aspects. Additionally, U.S. had a longstanding history of forceful segregation between black racial groups and a predominantly white majority. However, today, there is a widening of inter-racial income gap between whites and blacks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@sfjp330

In U.S. there is high levels of income inequality by race, meaning that specific groups within U.S. are economically disadvantaged in their earnings due to country's racial categorization scheme.

However, today, there is a widening of inter-racial income gap between whites and blacks.

This is not due to RACE, let alone racism - this is due to unproductive attitudes in certain communities (combined with a ever worsening and hijacked education system).

Every year, immigrants of wide-ranging ethnicities with limited command of the English language come to America and, through hard work, having productive attitudes, applying themselves, find success.

Communities which promote hard work, the importance of education, and family values tend to succeed. Those which promote a welfare/entitlement/handout mindsets tend to fail - whatever your skin-color.

Check out the video done by Nancy Pelosi's daughter -- Alexandra Pelosi's 'Welfare Queens' http://bit.ly/JJ84cU

If your community or household doesn't value education, and you dropout of school... how can you expect to qualify of reasonable employment? And it's not lack of educational opportunity (it's free from everyone at least through HS) - it's a lack of valuing education.

Graduation Rates, by State and Race - NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/JJcMaw

Asians tend to value education, so although asians immigrants tend to be at a linguistic disadvantage, you don't hear them complaining... they are too busy graduating and succeeding.

We can argue about the causes of these mindsets, but that is a separate issue. But, change the attitudes and the poverty levels will drop. It's mindset, not race.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Patrick McPikeApr. 19, 2012 - 08:10AM JST. This is not due to RACE, let alone racism - this is due to unproductive attitudes in certain communities (combined with a ever worsening and hijacked education system).

The gap in wealth between white and black Americans increased by more than four times in the last two decades. These figures reflected public policy in the U.S. The public policies in the U.S. benefited the wealthiest people, through tax cuts on investment income and inheritances, and disadvantaged others through discrimination in housing, credit and labor markets. Since majority of poor blacks rent, can black renter deduct the rent money in annual income tax deductions? Only the homeowners.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TigermothII: Where I lived it was 'code green' when we walked in. They even did zone defence'! If the reason behind it wasn't so serious it could be funny. The language thing was/is a form of identity that I did NOT identify with. I was raised in the DoD system and we learned really quick that either you got along or you had no friends. The only time I refered to someone's skin was when it was to clarify which 'Mike' or 'Greg' I was talking about.

AiserX: Have you ever been loathed because of the color of your skin? Have you ever experienced being judged on sight? Did blacks vote for him simply because he is black? Yes, many did and well......he didn't deliver in some cases. Call it what you will but when all you have experienced is negative stereotype then suddenly a black man becomes president it gave us a brief hope that things HAD CHANGED. It didn't. This was a first in the US and the bad element came out for some. From the begining there was only one race that ran for president and nobody thought different. It was a learning experience for many and if given the opportunity of a black man running again, I'm sure many will put pride and passion aside and vote for the best man for the job. This whole thing to me is about America want to pidgeonhole, catagorize and label everyone. I consider myself an American period. I am not African because I was not born there. A drop in the bucket would be to stop the labels and 'identify' with simply being American.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sfjp330

With respect, you didn't you address any of my points regarding the success of certain minority groups vs. the general failure of others -- based on the attitudes of that group's community. It is about community attitudes, not skin color.

Is skin color preventing certain minority groups from applying themselves and completing their free, state-sponsored education? Is poverty? Of course not. It is the attitude of their community/household.

We can argue the economics of tax cuts, but that doesn't seem on topic. So i'll just recommend you do some research. Here is a random useful starting point: TaxProf Blog: WSJ: Tax Revenues = 19% of GDP, Regardless of Tax Rates http://bit.ly/HUJbkg

But basically, government revenue is basically the same percentage of GDP - no matter the tax rate; so why not lower the tax rate to increase the size of GDP?

The issue isn't the tax rate, it is the out of control government spending levels. Neither of which have anything to do with racism. Rich black people pay the same taxes rates as rich white people (or rich asians, rich latinos, etc.). I assure you, the IRS is color blind to any color but green.

Anyhow, my point still stands - the issue ISN'T race, it's attitude.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I like many other black people saw something happen that many thought they would never see.....a black man become president of the USA. And that happened because most of the black in the US voted for him solely because he's "black". If that isn't reverse racism, I don't know what is. if a white person refused to vote for any one because they aren't white, they'd be labeled a racist. If the shoe fits, wear it. Thing is, many people cry foul only on whites. That isn't going to end things or help the community.

And yes, well aware of what "bros before hoes" means. Why you think I wouldn't is beyond me.

As for economics and whatnot. You guys do realise that is certainly CAN'T be just about race, right? Black men on average make more than white women. Yes, racism is an issue but so is sexism. Bros before hoes... The ones who really get screwed are black women.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

tmarie: Don't know what got you fired up but we are both entitled to our beliefs and experiences and I respect yours. It would seem that you are centering this on whites. In fact, this post is the first time that I said 'whites'. I will state again that I could care less what a persons race is as long as he or she is respectful of others. Why is it that I can't be happy to see what many thought would never happen? America moved a barely perceptible distance forward if only for a moment. My statements stand regardless of what anyone else thinks. One of the few things that can't be taken from anyone on either side of this........your thoughts are yours and with civil discussion we may come to a consensus.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The U.S.A. has a LOOOOONG way to go to achieve racial equality.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I stand corrected. I did say 'whites' in a previous post but only in response to another poster. Must check back through before posting!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mo, I am not fired up at all. Just an interesting discussion for me. I just get tired of comments about everything stemming from whites - not saying this is what you said at all but many minorities make such comments. Then, I hear some really nasty comments from minorities regarding whites and other minorities and they never get called on it. I once had a minority teacher in class state that minorities couldn't be racist. The class, mostly whites, howled and gave examples of racism by minorities. This prof would not back down and kept digging herself a very large hole. Most of us when to the student office and made official complaints and believe she was punished for it. It is this attitude that hinders becoming a "post racial" society. I use the Obama example because to be honest, the whole thing just sickened me. How on earth was it/is it okay for blacks to openly admit that they voted for a man who is "black" and only because of that and not get called racist? If a white person said "I voted for him/her because she is white" there would be a shitstorm. All I am trying to point out. It doesn't help society to let others get away with such crappy behavior - as you stated, a racist is a racist is a racist. Sadly though plenty of racist get away with being racist because they aren't the majority.

I don't care what colour you are. I will like someone for who they are, not their colour. Thing is, because I am white, if I don't like someone who is not white, usually people comment that it is because they are X race. Sadly, this happens a lot - not to me persay but to a lot of whites in NA. In Japan, it is the reverse. Don't like some who is white if you're Japanese? Foreigners will say it is because the person is racist. Such BS I think.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I always chuckle a bit to myself when American acquaintances suggest that Japan should be more tolerant of it's multicultural residents, "like America."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

tmarie: we both agree that there is nastiness from both sides. All we can do is keep dialog open and hope that that magical day comes when we are seen and judged as individuals and not dropped into someones mold. Trust me, I have dealt with some EXTREME types on my side of the spectrum and was looked upon as a 'traitor' because I wouldn't submit to their twisted logic. They come from ALL walks of life and are relentless in their pursuit to persuade others into their madness. When not being harmed directly by any of them they are invisible as far as I'm concerned.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One of my students made an interesting comment on this thread.

He had just come back from his first trip abroad - in the States. I asked him what his impressions were. He told me that before he went, he had heard that the U.S.A. was a "melting pot" of races. But he didn't think the analogy was very good. He thought it was more of a "salad bowl" than a melting pot.

I asked him what he meant. He replied that just as the vegetables in a salad may mix, they don't combine. There was no sign saying "blacks here," and "whites here," on the trains and in restaurants, but he found that, in southern states, blacks and whites sat in their own areas. In cities, he said, he saw Korea town or Japan town or Hispanic areas, but each was separate.

This was a general impression and so is not 100% accurate for all cases, but there is something in what he said, I feel.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Mo, well said. And that's just it, you should never, ever be considered a traitor for your opinions and the like. It is sad that people even feel that way much less voice it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's hard to comment on a subject to many that don't live here in the states! And after reading all the comments, and living in one of the racist cities on the planet, I've lived to witness the racism here since Mr. King was shot! If you read history, black people were brought to America by the British as slaves! They have long fought to become as equals! When one of their own race is killed as in the boy walking through a gated community, the black race usually pulls together to protest for injustice and change! With many white people joining their cause! But as a nation there are still many fights that everyone doesn't band together to fight! Here, you don't see most white people banding together when a white person is shot by a member of the black race! You only see some facts on the news! The reason they stick together is because of the past oppression! But walk into most banks here and apply for a loan! You will most likely be greeted by a black banker to submit your request! Why? Because to rise above the past, they become educated and excel. There are still many pockets of the city that you would not dare go into as a white person! Areas of town with wanna be gang bangers walking the streets daring you to even look sideways at them! Those are the people that will perpetuate the ignorance and slow the progress of ending racism! When a person is just a person, whatever country they come from or what color their skin and they are not a threat to me, I embrace them as a person not as a threat! Education is key but there are many white rednecks that don't want to get the bigger picture! I am white and I have a problem with white rednecks! For example, I was sitting at a stop light and noticed a pickup truck in the lane next to me! When I glanced over, there were three white rednecks all staring at me like three dumb country bumpkins! I now go out looking like one of those morons to fit in and not stand out as an outsider! Will I get a group of white guy's that dress in decent clothes and protest? I don't give a rats ass what they think! They can wallow in their ignorance for all I care! Those types will never change and most likely neither will their offspring!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

that don't live here in the states!

and living in one of the racist cities on the planet

??? That is a joke, right?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

that don't live here in the states! and living in one of the racist cities on the planet ??? That is a joke, right?

Is it a joke, tmarie?

I didn't understand it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Patrick McPike - I think you are correct to a large degree. As long as your conclusion is not that there isn't racism in this country anymore, as that would be erroneous. And a large part of it is likely cause and effect - bad attitude and the unwillingness to do what it takes to succeed leads to stereotyping and labeling. But there still are certain truths. In many parts of the country a black man in a white neighborhood will cause comment or at least people to take note. There are still country clubs, and various other clubs and organizations (the Elks club comes to mind) where a black man might as well not submit his application for membership. To say that racism does not exist is to kid one's self quite a bit. Of course it exists from all sides; I've been called 'whitey' or 'that white boy' on a good many occasions. but no matter how progressively minded we try to be a good many of the old prejudices still exist. I think they are truly lessening, but present none-the-less.

I think 'salad bowl' is a good term for it.

There was no sign saying "blacks here," and "whites here," on the trains and in restaurants, but he found that, in southern states, blacks and whites sat in their own areas. In cities, he said, he saw Korea town or Japan town or Hispanic areas, but each was separate.

Yes, but tell your student to keep in mind that in many instances it is a combination of economic and cultural considerations that keep people in areas within their own group. Often is is self-imposed, for instance I think in larger cities many Asians like living in communities with other Asians as their cultural similarities and understanding make for a more peaceful co-existence (and an easier marketing system for goods and services that might be culturally dependent). As far as the economic side it, this has been argued above - whether more whites than blacks can afford housing in better areas is due to race or attitude and willingness is subject to interpretation. But the point is that it isn't necessarily a racist white ploy to keep all minorities grouped in their own individual communities.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly though plenty of racist get away with being racist because they aren't the majority.

Indeed TMarie. As a Conservative/Libertarian young Hispanic I have actually called out other Hispanics and even Blacks on their anti-white sentiments believing that it can't be racist unless your white. Of course I totally blow holes in their logic and they suddenly find themselves starring at a mental mirror seeing what they really are. The outcome is always outrage, denial and ostracism.

One of the false false that some like to espouse like some o this thread is the myth of "income inequality". The deceitful clever catch here is that it's wrong because of simply "inequality", so the inverse is most desirable "income equality". How ever all attempts at total income equality always end in equal poverty and stagnation. As for the so called forms of discrimination's in say housing and work place, mostly come from the Govt not the entrepreneur.

For example the U.S "Community Re-Investment Act" is an affirmative action regulation that granted minorities easy access to bank loans to buy houses that they otherwise could not afford. Which lead to what some would call "predatory loans" when in fact they were affirmative action loans. The end result? a disproportionate number of non-whites foreclosed on their homes partly causing the 2008 housing crisis. Of course because people don't think twice of the unintended consequences of when the Govt wants to "help" in the market place, people will tend to throw in the race card in situations of which they do not understand.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My gripe with the language thing is that while I do understand that in many ways it is likely an attempt to form a shared cultural identity where that bond was originally ripped away

One of the most insightful books on the topic of culture and how cultures form is Edgar Schein's Organizational Culture and Leadership. In a nutshell, cultures form around a shared sense of experiencing a real problem. The African-Americans who walked into your shoe store could sense they were treated differently from other customers, and it is that different treatment based on something visible about them that they have no power to change. People may initially may experience "the problem" as individuals, but we are generally social animals and will begin to share our observations and perceptions with others -- and it is out of that shared confirmation that something is wrong that cultures form to cope with it and address it.

The basic purpose of a store is to serve customers. I would say that, generally speaking, African-Americans receive very few examples of real service from American society. Indeed, they are extremely poorly served. Part of the fact may be ingrained that their only purpose for being brought here -- those whose ancestors were slaves -- was to live out their lives in complete service to others.

This also calls up the "oppressor mentality" (and oppressor culture) vs. some other alternative. One can read the annals of the Europeans who first came to the New World and made comments on the native peoples that went something like, "These people are very eager to welcome and oblige, and thus can be easily made into our slaves." In the US, we don't have to go too far back in our history to view examples of how non-WASPs were treated differently from the group running the show. It was the oppressor mentality that first thought of and then carried out the slave trade. (Yes, the oppressor mentality can be found in all races, and those who consider racial identity important will almost certainly display their own brand of racism.)

But I don't fault non-WASPs for considering very carefully how much of what they rightfully perceive as a culture that oppresses others they wish to adopt and make their own. Many people feel that the urge to dominate is a natural part of human nature and therefore should be given into. There are many examples of people who have been victimized and oppressed and have later turned into oppressors when given the chance. (This was the major fear at the end of the Civil War by whites that led to "cultural" responses like the KKK and Jim Crow.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sorry but as an International flight attendant I see racism everywhere including my beloved Japan. Not only that I'm mixed with Japanese and everything else you can think of in Europe. From my time in America I have seen racism on every side by every person it does not matter their color. But I have also seen a lot other people who are not racist. It depends on the individual and the amount of arrogance and lack of culture they have. If more people went and experienced other cultures and took time to learn about other people of different race, religion, ect. We would not have this issue. It is not only in America, but also in Europe, Japan and other parts of Asia racism is done by an individuals not but a minority of a race, religion. Take a look at all the other amazing people in this world who have learned not to hate a person because of where they come from but because of their attitude they put towards life and other people. Anyways... I this is just my opinion people need to stop being arrogant and blaming things on the entire group of people and blame it on the individual who is showing the unjust.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@TigermothII

By no means am I suggesting the racism doesn't exist.

As I stated in my original Post:

While unfortunately there is racism in the world, the reality is that racism in America is largely an over-hyped topic for news ratings and political agendas.

Racism unfortunately exists everywhere. But there are degrees. Having personally lived in 3 countries, all in different parts of the globe, and worked/traveled extensively to well over a dozen more, I think I have a reasonably broad base of comparison.

I also agree with your point about cause-and-effect. And currently the major cause is "community mind-set".

Racism will very likely never be abolished from the world. But we can continue to minimize it. And the simple fact is, even if we were all one race/color/whatever their would always be some other reason that certain individuals would come up to produce conflict. People/Groups use conflict to grab power over others.

In many parts of the country a black man in a white neighborhood will cause comment or at least people to take note.

True. And a white man in a black neighborhood would equally cause comment. ANY foreigner walking around in 99.9% of Japan will draw notice or comment.

But, my point is that America has less racial barriers than probably anywhere else. What racial "barriers" there are can be easily side-stepped or overcome. The biggest racial "handicap" in the US is the one in the minds of people (minority or otherwise) who simply refuse to apply themselves. America also has the fewest barriers to changing one's financial status.

Americans are spoiled. We tend to not understand how well we have it. Our "impoverished" have places to turn to, access to free education, access to an multitude of charitable groups willing to help them change their lives. Most countries in the world lack any of these support structures. Our quality of life in America, even for our "impoverished" far exceeds that of the vast majority of the world.

That is why so many immigrants who fight to come to America succeed, while so many native minority groups (and certain caucasian groups with equally poor "group-think") continue to struggle. The immigrants understand how much better America is vs. where they come from. They understand that hard-work pays off in America, and that anyone can succeed.

Since this is a "Japan Oriented" site, let's point out some simple comparisons:

In Japan, foreigners aren't provided basic human rights protections: In America, they are.

Japan is 98% racially homogenous: America is a smorgasbord of ethnicity and cultures.

Japan has no laws to prevent or punish discrimination: America does; and enforces them!

etc. etc. etc.

-- The rest of your comment was addressing someone else's post. But I agree with your response. Immigrants/Minority-groups tend to clump together by choice; for all the reasons you mentioned and more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just because Obama was elected doesn't mean the morons have disappeared. They're still out there. How many death threats did Obama receive after getting elected? People dreaming of a "post-racial America" have just been deluding themselves. There ALWAYS will be the "White is right!" group. The key for Americans is that the group becomes so marginalized as to become an aberration.

Regarding the Zimmerman/Martin case: I haven't a clue whether it was racially motivated. What I DO know is that someone without a weapon was being stalked by someone with a gun and the victim was shot to death by the stalker. The stalker's story doesn't hold much water. The victim ran away from him (the stalker's own words to 911), then inexplicably comes back to "surprise" the stalker and attack him? If he was that brave and aggressive, why wouldn't he have turned to attack right away instead of initially running?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Patrick McPikeApr. 19, 2012 - 09:23AM JST based on the attitudes of that group's community. It is about community attitudes, not skin color. Is skin color preventing certain minority groups from applying themselves and completing their free, state-sponsored education? Is poverty? Of course not. It is the attitude of their community/household.

The role that race plays in the criminal justice system goes far beyond this type of profiling. In the U.S., people of color stopped more frequently by police, their communities, with anti-drug efforts, receive far more attention from police. And black men are often charged and prosecuted differently than their white counterparts. There is a myth that there is a disproportionate number of black people in prison because black people commit more crimes. Whites and blacks use and sell drugs at about the same rates, Black men were almost 10 times as likely to go to prison as white men. Blacks comprise one-third of those arrested for drug offenses and almost half of those incarcerated are in state prisons for such offenses. There is a disparities in incarceration rates in part to the way urban black communities are policed. The blacks receiving differential treatment goes on every day despite those constitutional protections. Ironically, whites are more likely to be found with illegal drugs or weapons than blacks or latinos.

Profiling is the starting place for this disparate treatment. Blacks and latinos are also more likely to be charged, tried and convicted than their white counterparts for the same offenses. And money is perhaps the crucial factor in determining whether you get adequate legal help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sfjp330

You are just bringing up the ongoing circular argument... Which came first, the chicken or the egg?!

I would suggest that rather than looking at the problem from a "victim mindset", you look at it from a more data-oriented point of view.

A) It is probably more accurate. B) It is definitely more productive.

First, taking color out of it, there is a direct correlation between crime and education.

Lower education means less job opportunity => Less job opportunity means lower income => lower income tends to lend to higher crime.

Now let's look at race vs. education:

Statistics show that blacks (followed by latinos) have the lowest level of completed HS graduations. SOURCE: Graduation Rates, by State and Race - NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/JJcMaw

I don't believe that there is such a thing as a racial intelligence gap (an suspect that you don't either), so why those particular minority groups failing to graduate? I continue to suggest that it is due to a lack of emphasis on the importance/value of education in those communities. A point, which you continue to ignore...

After a quick googling for "education level related to crime statistics" our first hit is:

SOURCE: The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports http://bit.ly/J9Zs2L

Which says in it's Abstract:

We find that schooling significantly reduces the probability of incarceration. Differences in educational attainment between black and white men explain 23% of the black-white gap in male incarceration rates

So... again. This isn't a racial issue. It is a educational issue. And since education is free to all (through at least HS), and yet the graduation rates for blacks, as shown in the NYTimes post above, is only at 61.5% -- you have to ask why? I continue to suggest that it is due to a lack of emphasis without chunks of that community.

Now, taking all of the above into account... let's look at the profiling issue.

PROFILING:

FIrst, from an efficiency point of view -- Profiling makes sense.

Without profiling, you wind up with insanity like TSA, where grannys are "randomly" searched (to merely avoid the appearance of profiling) while seeking out potential bomb threats at the airport.

If you are looking for a serial killer in America, police generally are "profiling" white males, from a lower-to-middle-class background, usually in their late twenties to early thirties ( Serial killer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://bit.ly/Ja3iJ3 ) -- This is, oh no!, profiling against whites! Do you hear anyone complaining???

You claim:

Whites and blacks use and sell drugs at about the same rates But provide no source for your claim. It may be right, but even so, I can think a a multitude of reasons why there is a disparity in arrests/convictions/sentencing differences. The typical clientele, the likelihood of weapons being involved, their ability to present themselves, number of offenses, size of the "deal" or the crime, etc.

But all that isn't really relevant to the root issue - they are merely debates regarding the results of the causality of which we are debating. If communities, which currently have a barely 60% HS graduation rate, would focus on changing that number to 80%+ I'm willing to bet that:

a) Crime rates would be lower in those communities than they are today b) fewer members of that community would be incarcerated c) fewer members of the community would be impoverished etc.

I'm further willing to bet, that if there was more emphasis on family values that:

a) the graduation rates discussed above would be automatically higher. b) all the other good things would also increase.

If you look at: Children in single-parent families by race - Data Across States - KIDS COUNT Data Center http://bit.ly/JQQjbv

Non-Hispanic White 24% Black or African American 66% American Indian 52% Asian and Pacific Islander 16% Hispanic or Latino 41%

You can see what appears to be a pretty strong correlation between "single-parent families" (which largely translates into "unwed mothers") and the graduation rates represented by those same communities.

Basically, it is time for the men of the world to stop slacking off and start being better role models for their communities and the children therein.

So to sum up... I completely disagree with your claim that:

Profiling is the starting place for this disparate treatment

It isn't about skin color -- It is community and family. Community needs to promote the value of education. It needs to promote the value of family. Better education, tighter families, and more success oriented attitudes.

Excuses and blaming is easy. If you want to solve the problem, people have to exert some effort to change.

NOTHING succeeds like success.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

** that don't live here in the states! and living in one of the racist cities on the planet ??? That is a joke, right?

Is it a joke, tmarie?

I didn't understand it. **

I don't understand how anyone who lives in the US can claim to live in "one of the racist cities on the planet", That has got to be a joke or the poster who posted it is very, very ignorant of how "good" the US is when it comes to racism. Yes, there is racism in the US but last I heard, scores of people weren't being killed because of their skin colour. Which the same can't be said for many other places in the world.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Patrick McPike Apr. 20, 2012 - 07:33AM JST. If communities, which currently have a barely 60% HS graduation rate, would focus on changing that number to 80%+ I'm willing to bet that: a) Crime rates would be lower in those communities than they are today b) fewer members of that community would be incarcerated c) fewer members of the community would be impoverished etc.

I doubt you can have 25 percent improvement in HS graduation rate. When it comes to poverty, a contributing factor for dropping out of school, the majority are single parents. Thus, poverty and fatherless families are inextricably linked. So are certain other negative consequences for children. While plenty of poor children excel in school, other factors contribute to the poor educational outcomes for blacks, including bad schools in minority areas. Some of the poor communicty schools have run-down facilities and bloated central management. Only eight states had achieved "moderate" success in the past fifteen years in improving poor and minority students' scores on reading, mathematics, and science. Only seven percent of black 9th graders are at or above the proficient level in science and math. Yes, poverty and poor schools are partly to blame, but black children suffer disproportionately because of family breakdown. White and Asian parents are more likely than black or Hispanic parents to read to their children. Again, it comes as no surprise that children are read to more often in two-parent families than in single-parent homes.

At some point, we will have to come to grips with the fact that a very large percentage of our students fail because they lack a father and mother who value, encourage, support, and reinforced their efforts to learn. Common sense tells us that there is no surer recipe for the child to lag behind in learning than having to contend with the strain and disruption of a broken, dysfunctional family, where the parent or parents are so focused on themselves and their needs that they have little emotional energy to spare for the child's needs. Before we can address the problems of public education, we have to address the problems of marriage and family. Only then can we begin the massive overhaul of cultural values that will be necessary to close the educational gaps in America.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sfjp330

It is hard to tell, because you have mixed in a series of side topics....

But it sounds like you are agreeing with me that the root cause is with the community needing to encourage and promote the value and importance of education and family values.

BTW - if you want to fix education, break the current union strangle-hold and pay/promote teachers based on performance; not seniority. Like most things... it's just common sense being battled against by politics.

Check out - Stupid in America - YouTube http://bit.ly/JbRjZ5

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He had just come back from his first trip abroad - in the States. I asked him what his impressions were. He told me that before he went, he had heard that the U.S.A. was a "melting pot" of races. But he didn't think the analogy was very good. He thought it was more of a "salad bowl" than a melting pot.

The "salad-bowl" theory of your student is not an original one. Lots of academics use it and have been using it to describe US society for quite some time now as a way of contrasting the "melting pot" theory that was pretty much accepted back in the day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rmistic - the incident in question took place in the early 70's, when I was living in Tokyo. I don't have any record of who the first person to use this analogy was, but he gave it to me as his own. I don't think he copied it from anyone.

It's a good analogy, all the same.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Meh. The neighbor on the left of my house is Hindu, the neighbor on my right is white. The families that have the parking spots on either side of my primary spot are black and the house my secondary parking spot is in front of is owned by an asian family. While we haven't "melted" together, we certainly do get along just fine. It is THAT phenomenon that prompted the term "melting pot" to be applied to the U.S. back in a time where to be "different" was to be shunned.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While we haven't "melted" together, we certainly do get along just fine

I believe the "melting" happens over generations with inter-marriage.

The highest number of black-white marriages, as a percentage of local population, occur in places considered to be liberal bastions, like NYC, Seattle, San Francisco and DC. The fewest are in the Deep South, as one would expect. Famously, some of the major southern "Christian" institutions of higher learning have maintained strict bans on inter-racial dating -- following and teaching what they believe are Old Testament injunctions against race-mixing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pertinent topic. The US is certainly no 'post-racial' society, despite what some Americans have taken the care to inform me on this site (I'm looking at you Lieberman). It's still a racist hell hole, with a population largely divided on ethnic lines if you get away from the 'cosmopolitan' city of New York that's always being held up as representative for the whole country. Every country in the world has problems with racism to some degree, what made the US different was its self-deluded belief that it was the exemption, a supposed 'post-racial' nirvana which actually never existed.

Although when I did, then it was not by whites but by blacks instead. The real last vestiges of American racism is within the black community itself which they refuse to acknowledge where the "white man" is somehow responsible for their own individual life's failures. When in fact these same people have themselves to blame.

So there are no 'vestiges' of racism in the white community then? What a farce, and how suspect to try and throw the very real problems of racism onto one ethnic group and absolve everyone else... seems a little, you know, figure it out. Thanks for proving my point by the way.

'No one is racist in America anymore - except the blacks!' LMAO. America's grand tradition of racism still continues.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites