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Lillian Bogonko

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Will whites ever see blacks as superior or any aspect of blacks being superior to them

Having lived in the US for a couple of years, i learnt very interesting facts that still bother me, and a conversation on this will shed some light. From my understanding, research and the attitude of many white people is that they are superior to all races but especially black. It`s almost saying the smartest black person can`t compare to the most stupid white. Am not racist, i just want to understand if this is a misconception or if these superiority thoughts do indeed exist.

I ask this because i believe racism is still rampant especially in the US that has camouflaged itself with being liberal. I`d like to read on people`s experiences and what they think about the topic . far fetched or it`s just the way the world works?

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    Aug 10 2012: Guys thank you all for your comments. However my question was not specific to the Olympics (though i should have guesses - it is the season) rather a general observation. This question came out of sharing our experiences abroad. Many felt that no matter how much you try (including African American and other races) you can never be good enough for - in this particular case- Americans.

    I agree that no one should be superior to the other ....then the question becomes can they see blacks as equals? Am not racist but these concerns are all around and someone has to raise issue.
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      Aug 10 2012: We were all trying to delicately answer your question and address your experience and we have all been consumately sincere, I think. Lillian, psychological literature can answer your questions and there are several really great social science experiments that suggest a negative outcome last time I read them. That does not mean that I will ever, ever, ever give up in helping to create a more just world.
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      Aug 10 2012: I wasn't just talking about the Olympics, I just meant we're equal of mind, and yes, you're actually kind of superior at one thing... For sure, lol.

      I'll actually give you one answer you probably don't hear often enough. The wrong white Americans go to Kenya. The wrong white Americans start businesses overseas. And, as I mentioned in a conversation awhile back, Americans are not good at vacationing, they tend to just drink, do drugs, and have sex in luxury hotel rooms, and for those of you thinking "woo hoo"... It's not a compliment.

      The problem is... It's easy enough to start a profitable business in America... So the first people to go overseas are people trying to do something horrible, that America won't let them do over here. The second group, are people who can't do what they do with enough skill to compete with cheap labor overseas in the same field, so they just start a business taking advantage of that cheap labor.

      Following them, with distantly smaller numbers are people who actually want to do some good in Kenya, or whatever country they are going to. They are often met with distrust, for darn good reason, but react by giving up. Often time is volunteered because it is of little market value.

      Ultimately though, no, I think very few white people still think they are somehow superior to people of other skin colors. For the most part, I think we get a bad rap, but for the same reason Europe did during colonial days, the wrong people are going out "representing" us. I am biased though, I want to believe most people don't think in terms of inferior/superior anymore.

      I would say language plays a large role in that impression in Africa too, but that's an international problem. If someone speaks your primary language poorly, you can undervalue their intelligence, and I think that goes both ways. You just think "Oh, I can't really communicate anything important to you, I'm just going to smile".
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        Aug 10 2012: I don't have the information to comment on much of what you say here, David, but I was struck by your last statement, which I think has broad implications. The thought "Oh, I can't really communicate anything important to you [him, her, them], so I am just going to smile" is a reality of how people think very often in any setting in which people of diverse cultures, levels of education, or background of one kind or another come in contact.

        Testing out the validity of this assumption (which is often not true, I think) is essential when we encounter people new to us if we are ever going to get the social and economic advantages all around that crossroads can provide.

        I know you make your observation specifically in the case of differences in language but this perceived barrier exists beyond diversity in language.
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          Aug 11 2012: While I agree with your sentiment... It's just going to continue to be natural... because, it's so much easier to make a new friend with someone who speaks the language fluently. I think the other issues, on culture, and background are evaporating. Education level though... fluency... They're always going to define most human beings close knit groups.

          This isn't a good thing, but it seems an inevitable consequence of diverse vocabularies.
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        Aug 11 2012: I am not yet willing to accept that inevitability. It may be easier to speak with people of ones same background, but easy isn't the only way people make choices. Sometimes experiencing something different, even if it takes more effort, will have more value to an individual than the easier more-of-the-same. This particular issue is extremely important to me and I have a few more decades to keep working on it in my community.
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      Aug 10 2012: "can they see blacks as equals?" I'd like to see the question posed the other way round.

      I think the answer to your question is in the negative AND this is not only due to skin color.

      Come to think of it, Americans actually believe they are superior to people of other nationals - they don't say this but we can infer from their actions. In this case we can settle that it is due to better technology, scientific knowledge, and military power. It is only recently that a new kind of respect is been accorded to the Chinese. If you understand it this way then it is really a case of power not entirely one of color.

      If blacks were to advance materially and intellectually to a degree not yet experienced by man - the image will adjust itself. The United States is by far the most materialistic society that has ever existed - and the most racist too.
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        Aug 10 2012: The most racist in history? Maybe you should make a little better study of both history and of our present world. There are, and have always been, cultures on every continent that prevent people from actively participating on an equal level with others in society based solely on their skin color, nationality, religion, and even family history. Some societies have (and still do) even actively persecuted those that were not of the correct demographic.

        Although it may appear that racism is more rampant in the United States than some other places, I believe this is a function of something positive. The U.S. is one of the most self-critical countries on earth and, as such, airs its dirty laundry for all to see. In the end, I think it allows the country to reinvent itself more rapidly even if not fast enough to create the utopia we desire.

        Most materialistic in history? Possibly. We are indeed a country that is a victim of its own success. Having build likely the largest middle class in history (which of course creates a larger number of super-wealthy as a by-product), we are like kids with new toys and can't ever seem to get enough. Guilty as charged and something I hope we mature beyond at some point.
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          Aug 11 2012: Thanks Eric but do you know Jim Crow laws lasted to 1965?

          I am a student of history so i understand the statement can be considered radical but not until you stop to think. The United States is one unique society that is partly shaped by race relations from her inception. You have to talk about natives Americans all through slave trade to the civil war and Jim Crow. It has always been the case of the powerful oppressing the less powerful.

          In a full debate i wouldn't use the term 'race' at all, I think it is more complex than that. It is, to me, a case of the powerful oppressing the weak.
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        Aug 10 2012: P.S. Up until the last paragraph, I actually admired your comment very much! Great thoughts!
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        Aug 10 2012: I agree Ehis, and I am not proud of that.
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          Aug 12 2012: I just wanted to point out how racist, almost everyone was, pretty darn recently... because it's so easy to forget sometimes. I forget. I was born in 1982, and only lived in LA, NY and Vegas, so I realize I am totally biased on the other side of this issue.

          In LA I think white people are 45% of the population, and no one cares. Every once in awhile you'll hear some racist talking about "they're stealing our country", but everyone just laughs at that guy, or puts him on morning AM radio.

          We can be a horribly racist nation at times, but honestly, I think Barack Hussein Obama, just brought out the death throws of it. These people with the racist jokes aren't winning competent arguments. Obama will win the cities again, in a landslide.

          He'll also win young people in a landslide.
      • Aug 11 2012: I am a proud American and I must say that this comment is absolutely ridiculous. First off, "the most racist society in history?" Have we forgotten that whole Nazi thing back in the 30's and 40's? Have we forgotten the intolerance that is prominent among radical groups around the world (yes, there are groups like this in the US, but they are often stigmatized by society and followed closely by law enforcement).

        Have we forgot that after a massive tsunami in Sri Lanka, the United States mobilized its military and economic powers to help those affected by that tragedy? Have we already forgotten that when Haiti was decimated by an earthquake, we mobilized search and rescue teams, military and civilian alike, to dig those trapped from the rubble? Have we closed our eyes to the fact the American society and the American government donates more food, money, and other forms of aid to those around the world in need than any other country on earth, now or in the past?

        I am not saying America is perfect. Our past and our present is littered with issues which scar our society. What I am saying is that America is continually unfairly labeled in negative terms. While we are materialistic and we do disagree with each other in many areas, we constantly help those in need and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

        Lastly, Colleen, I am going to assume that you are an American. If that is the case, and you are not proud of what we as Americans stand for, please pick where you want to go. I will help you research the immigration laws of that country and begin funding for your relocation. You should be ashamed of yourself for such a comment.
        • Gu E

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          Aug 11 2012: Ok,

          The "most racist society in history" can be debated, of course, and it is a radical statement. I think it stems from the observations of how race is such a big issue in teh US and therefore reported on extensively...not to mention lots of people are engaged/read about teh US. Lots of accounts indicate a highly volatile race issue.

          Being an American, and having lived abroad as well as in the US, I have to say that the US has (based on my limited experience) been the most racially segregated and race seems to always be a major problem...does that mean it is the most racist society? meh.

          However, what I really wanted to respond to was some of the statements you made about the generosity of the US.

          - The United States DOES NOT provide the most aid in the world...this is an inaccurate statement. In fact, the US is quite often an obstructionist when it comes to aid assistance and provides aid much more strategically than out of goodwill. See Denmark.

          -Haiti: Now this was an unfortunate choice for an example, especially considering the amount of damage the US has done to Haiti (there is a dearth of information on how the US has repeatedly initiated policies that have hurt Haiti). If anything, the US needs to do more and has a responsibility to Haiti....not lambasting the NGOs and charities working there.

          -If a country continually makes claims that they represent LIBERTY, FREEDOM, EQUALITY, GENEROSITY etc. (not to mention statements like "we are the best")
          as if no other country does as well, you will be the target of critique and you will be held up to those claims......As a result, people have and have found that we fail across a number of those. We need some humble pie.

          -Lastly, attacking Colleen was not cool. It takes much more intellect and patriotism for a person to exercise critical thinking- and when faced with a dirty truth- own up to it.
          You need more tact.
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          Aug 11 2012: Corey, No one is trying to take away your American pride here and it is debatable that the United States is the most racist society on record. I am ready to have that debate anytime. We have to start from the treatment of Native American all through slavery and Jim Crow laws. It is worth pointing out that segregation was the law of the land all through Second World War to 1965.

          1965? You've gotta be kidding me if you think there is a country out there that practiced institutional racism longer than the States. You name very brief instances like Germany during Second World – yes but segregation was part of your law throughout that period. Twenty years after Nazi you were still practicing segregation as the law of the land.

          You should put forward an argument not your "good deed" in Sri Lanka and Haiti.
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          Aug 11 2012: Corey,
          In his previous comment, the only statements Ehis makes regarding the US are..."Americans actually believe they are superior to people of other nationals" and "The United States is by far the most materialistic society that has ever existed - and the most racist too".

          I agree with these statements, and my response is..."I agree Ehis, and I am not proud of that". I am not at all ashamed of my comment Corey, because I believe it to be true, as people around the world believe it to be true based on our behavior as Americans.

          You are going to fund my relocation because I made a statement you do not agree with? It is bullies like you who give us a bad reputation throughout the world.

          There are a lot of things I am proud of my country for, otherwise, I would relocate myself, and those are not the topics of this discussion.
      • Aug 11 2012: Gu E, I also believe in the importance of critical thinking, which is why I started to do some research on the points you made. Let me admit right away, that my current research is very limited, as I am about to get ready for work and have limited time available.

        In response to looking at the humanitarian aid, according to "Global Humanitarian Assistance," the United States is, in fact, the leading provider of aid in the world. The entire EU, which would include Denmark, was second.

        Regarding Haiti, let me begin by saying the United States has no obligation whatsoever to initiate policies benefiting any country other than the United States. This is the same the other way around, I wouldn't expect Haiti to implement policies beneficial primarily to the United States. My argument is regarding aid and assistance during tragedy, not generosity of policy. Furthermore, according to the Immigration Policy Center, there are over half a million refugees from Haiti in the United States, as well as another 100,000 to 200,000 currently under temporary protected status. Let's ask them if the US is good or bad, as they have seen both.

        Lastly, regarding Colleen, I am not trying to be "cool." I believe that in takes much more patriotism to defend your nation against attacks like those in the initial comment, rather than just saying "I agree, and I'm not proud of this." I already mentioned that the United States has it's problems, but it is inappropriate to blast the United States by stating that we are the most racist society ever.
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          Aug 11 2012: Corey, your last paragraph, I'm afraid, displayed a disturbing trait from the right wing which conflate patriotism and something that looks a little more like fanatical patriotism. Again this is an academic platform. If it can be proven that the US has been the most racist society on record do you then consider it unpatriotic for an American to put forward this proven fact? I think your answer would be NO. In that case it has nothing to do with patriotism. All you need to do is put forward an argument against my case. The best way to do that is name other societies in history that can be considered more racist and we can have a debate.

          I don't know how you made the jump from 'the most racist society' to 'humanitarian work'' – it doesn’t fit. United states were busy fighting “humanitarian wars” in Vietnam and other places when there was a humanitarian crisis at home – in the 50s and 60s. So, to invite humanitarian missions into this debate is red herring.
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          Aug 11 2012: Corey,
          I agree with Ehis again...you display a disturbing trait, which conflates patriotism and something that looks more like fanatical patriotism.

          The only one "blasting" and "attacking" in this conversation, is you.
        • Gu E

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          Aug 11 2012: @Corey

          Let me make myself a bit clearer....According to the World Bank, OECD, Development Assistance Committee: Countries that give the most aid by Percent of GDP committed to aid.
          1.Sweden
          2.Norway
          3. Denmark
          4.Netherlands
          5.Belgium
          6. UK
          7. Ireland
          8. Finlnd
          9. Spain
          10. Switzerland
          11. Austria
          12. Germany
          13. France
          14. Canada
          15. Australia
          16. New Zealand......ok lets just jump to 21. USA
          http://www.statisticbrain.com/countries-that-give-the-most-in-foreign-aid-statistics/

          In addition, do you remember how the US decided to cut funding to UNESCO after a near unanimous vote for recognition of Palestine as a state and inclusion? Also, we are very strategic in how we provide bilateral aid.

          Now on Haiti:
          - Yes, the US has done alot for Haiti since the quake, but the extent of damage was not so much the quake as it was the generations of underdevelopment that made the crisis as bad as it was.
          The US has repeatedly interfered in Haiti's politics, forced Haiti to keep prices extremely low, placed Papa Doc Duvalier in power to become the longest running dictator, and then supported his succession by his son Baby Doc. The US has fixed elections causing violence, supported coups, the interventions and forced economic cooperation in favor of US interests goes on and on.
          I'm not making this stuff up.

          So, although I recognize the aid assistance the US does give out, I am also aware of the politics behind alot of that aid, as well as the numerous policies that have often hurt rather than helped other nations.

          Regarding whether the US is the most racist society in the world....I really disagree, I don't see any other country electing a Mixed Race President.
          There may be more gentrification and race baiting by the right wing, but then again to focus on them would ignore the rest of the people who are not racist.

          The US is not the most racist country.
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          Aug 11 2012: Corey,
          I agree with you regarding the importance of critical thinking. Have you thought of practicing what you preach?

          I am proud that the founders of the USA had the foresight in 1776 to write the Declaration of Independence, which states..."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

          I am not at all proud of the fact that many of those who signed the Declaration of Independence, owned hundreds of slaves when they signed the document.

          I am proud that at least a couple of those who signed the document released their slaves after signing the declaration of independence.

          Freedom and equality for all, was the basis on which the USA was formed. I am proud of that fact.

          I am not proud that some of the founding fathers could not see the hypocracy in their actions.

          I am proud that the state I live in (Vermont) had what is called the "underground railroad", which was an interconnecting series of houses, barns, and underground tunnels, which provided safe passage for former slaves to get to Canada.

          I am proud that Vermont was the first state with results overwhelmingly in favor of Obama for president.

          I am proud that when freedom has been in question (Civil War, WWII, etc.) Vermont has had the most per capita to fight and die for their beliefs in freedom and equal rights.

          I am proud that Vermont had the first female legislative representative in the country...the first female senator...first female judge and governor.

          Those are some of the things I am very proud of, and not so proud of, and your bullying will not cause me to be ashamed, because another thing I am proud of, is that we have the right of free speech, and I will be comfortable participating in dialogue whenever I choose. No need to tell me ever again that I "should be ashamed". Save your words, and make them really count for something.
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          Aug 12 2012: "I really disagree, I don't see any other country electing a Mixed Race President."

          Gu E, are you being serious? This is just laughable. You think USA is not the most racist nation that ever existed because she elected a black president. You are saying, in essence, that we should abandon the entire history because of the election of a black man.

          How can i get to you?

          It is almost like Corey who thinks America have never been a racist society because she does humanitarian work abroad.

          Perhaps you are dealing with a different question. My statement is that the United States is the most racist that ever existed.
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        Aug 11 2012: Americans have the hubris to believe that we are the greatest country in the world, not because there is something special about America itself. America is amazing, because there is something special about everyone else in the world, and we have all of you working together under this roof.

        You hear about racism in America so much, because it is bar none the most diverse nation of immigrants from all around the world that has ever existed... And we yell at each other. It's like a giant family reunion with all interacial couples here, all the time, lol. And, that aspect of it, is awesome by the way.

        Before America, there was French, German, British... and they all went to war constantly, calling them white would have made no sense. Canada has a similar history, as does Australia, but a million people from all over the world, have become citizens in the United States, almost every year, for nearly 50 years. There is no place on earth like America, so we have lots of internal conflict, but it makes us a creative, and tolerant people. We are not the most racist country in the world.
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          Aug 12 2012: David,
          Can't get this close to your comment I am responding to, which begins with:
          "I just wanted to point out how racist, almost everyone was, pretty darn recently... because it's so easy to forget sometimes. I forget. I was born in 1982, and only lived in LA, NY and Vegas, so I realize I am totally biased on the other side of this issue".

          I agree that there was and is racism very recently, which I think is exactly what Lillian is asking.

          You write..."Every once in awhile you'll hear some racist talking about "they're stealing our country".

          Interestingly, we hear that on occasion. Vermont has always been predominately white until a few years ago when the resettlment program brought many different ethnic groups to this area. It's becoming a wonderfully diverse community now, and most people seem to be accepting and encouraging, even though once in awhile we'll hear..."they", meaning everyone who is not white, are taking over our country, state, city whatever!!!

          You say..."people with the racist jokes aren't winning competent arguments. Obama will win the cities again, in a landslide".

          I agree that people who are racist aren't winning competent arguments, but they DO still exist. Hopefully the numbers are decreasing.

          Hope you're right about Obama. I think that one reason his popularity went down, was because people had very high expectations of him and believed that he would "fix" everything right away. He inherited a mess, which was not caused overnight, and will not be "fixed" overnight. I would love to see him continue to bring this country together. The alternative is frightening!
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        Aug 11 2012: I'm really sorry Ehis, but if you believe that America is the most racist society that has ever existed... You are not a student of history. There has never been a society, in which so many tribes have coexisted peacefully.

        There is no such thing as a society without a history of nationalism and racism. As recently as 1994 there was a race based genocide in Rwanda... That is a much more recent, and violent example of racism than Jim Crowe laws being abolished 50 years ago.

        China, Russia, France, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, every one of them has a period in their history, in which they believed they had the absolute divine right, to take over the world by force, and that all in their way should die. America is one of very few nations who have not tried to take over the world by force.

        Also... I never pull this card... but, the most racist nation on Earth elected Barack Hussein Obama in a landslide? You live in a fantasy world.
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          Aug 11 2012: David,
          You make some valid points, as usual. Perhaps we can all agree that racism exists throughout our world?

          The topic question is..."Will whites ever see blacks as superior or any aspect of blacks being superior to them". Although Lillian mentions the US specifically, in her introduction, it seems like she may be looking at more of a world view? You're welcome to pop in here Lillian:>)

          It is true that the US elected Barack Obama, and to me, that demonstrates that we are moving forward, and hopefully leaving a racist attitude behind...at least for the majority of us.

          That being said, however....
          David, did you happen to see any of the racist jokes and e-mails that were going around during the Obama Campaign, and sometimes continue even now? I don't get many of them because people know I do not tolerate it. Even so, they come through every once in awhile. And during the campaign, I have friends living in the south USA, who sent me examples of the racism and prejudice that still exists. There was a lot of "stuff" being passed around that definitely demonstrates racism and the idea of white superiority.
        • Gu E

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          Aug 11 2012: You don't need to hesitate, or say "pulling a card" it is a totally viable thing to point out. I don't see a European country electing a Barack Obama.
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          Aug 12 2012: David, I think you are denying your history to think there is any society out there that has been more racist that the US of A. There is only one way to write the history of the United States; through “race” relations. There is no other way to write it – you have to start from Pre-Columbian era all through European colonization and settlement/ treatment of Native Americans. Apart from American Revolution the other part of your history can be outlined along issues of race (even part of the revolution). Once there was slavery the history can only be written along those lines – then a civil war caused, among other things, by issues that could be understood within race . Then the Jim Crow laws and what have you.

          One thing you failed to do David, and Gu E (nice name) is point out is a single country that could be considered more racist than the US of A - then we can disassemble the history of both countries. Don't tell me all countries have a history of racism - give me a more racist society. And it is low to deny the entire history because of the election of Obama.

          Its deeper than saying Americans are more racist - YES it’s deeper than that. My initial comment was that “The United States is by far the most materialistic society that has ever existed - and the most racist too”. I stand by it – this is not because Americans are more racist and materialistic individually –come on guys. To repeat myself, I wouldn't invite race into a full debate. It’s more complex - it’s a case of the powerful and the weak AND that is the history of America.

          To waive this by saying “I don't see a European country electing a Barack Obama” is denying the very meaning of America.

          Race relation is at the core of the American Identity from the beginning of the social experiment (about 1492) up to about 50 years ago. How do you beat that?
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          Aug 13 2012: I don`t think that the US is the most racist country their is , i was only giving an example that stems from my observation and experience. Perhaps my emphasis should have been on whites seeing the blacks to ever be good enough. Not that they don`t acknowledge the blacks who`ve done well in society but rather even then, the reality is whites will never see them as good enough.
          Take an example of Barack Obama. The racial undertones that are accepted on the airwaves in the streets are just ludicrous. I know not all whites are like that. I have very good friends who can`t tolerate this but the reality is the majority do. How do we reconcile an America that helps blacks outside of it`s boundaries but can`t stand (to some degree)their own?
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          Aug 13 2012: Its a little deeper than that Lillian.
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          Aug 13 2012: Lillian,
          Perhaps it might be helpful to not generalize? When we say things like "whites seeing the blacks to ever be good enough"...."whites will never see them as good enough"...and things like that, it feels awful to me because I am one of the "whites", and what you are saying is not my reality, although I understand where your statements are coming from

          You also say...."I know not all whites are like that", and by the time you made that statement, I already felt like I was being judged.

          I understand the topic, and I think I understand your point. Can we start talking about people as people? We know there are generalizations which have hurt people, and kept people in certain catagories for a very long time. Can we move forward from that place? I'd like to do that.
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        Aug 12 2012: Ehis,
        Again I agree with you that race relations are at the core of the American identity. The fact that the Declaration of Independence (all men are created equal...life liberty and the pursuit of happiness) was created and signed by many people who owned slaves, tells us a lot about how they viewed people who were different.
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        Aug 13 2012: I already pointed out several societies who within the last 100 years, have believed that every single human being, not from their country deserved to die or be enslaved. America, has never done that.

        What we did to the native Americans was horrible, but they were also nomadic tribes, who lost the war, because they were ill equipped. The history of human kind is full of meaningless wars, death, and horror.

        The way Europeans treated Africa, was horrible. Slavery was abolished everywhere in America you would want to visit, 50 years after the founding of the nation. Everyone talks about the south, no one talks about the north, because the north knew slavery was wrong right away.

        Where do people live in America btw, the north or the south? Do you want to visit Boston, New York, Chicago? All of them were done with slavery very shortly after the constitution was written. Everywhere you want to visit in America, got rid of slavery, the second they had a vote. You know who didn't? Places no one lives, and no one vacations. Places like Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky.

        Racism in this country is dramatically overstated, and if you think 60% of many other countries would vote for a first generation immigrant... you're nuts. That was a monumental piece of history.
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          Aug 13 2012: History is not limited to 100 years . .

          My position is that America is the most racist nation that ever existed. I support this position by looking into the unique history of US which is a history of race relation. Point to any time in your history and there is one race oppressing another.

          There is only one way to argue against this position; name a single country that you consider more racist and tell me why you think so - maybe dismantle the history and see how it compares to that of USA.

          And the idea that the unique history of America is no longer relevant because she elected a “first generation immigrant” as president is so illogical that I don’t think you, David, can afford the ignorance needed to support that. I may be wrong. It is akin to Corey’s comment; oh we cannot (and should not) speak of racism in America because she does humanitarian work in Hatti and other places. LOL. What a joke.

          This is a one sided argument so far.

          And David, you may have to refrain from abuse even though It says more about you than about me
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        Aug 14 2012: Half the population of The United States of America immediately abolished the slave trade, the second the country was created, and they had a vote. They did this before Canada, Britain, Denmark, Norway, France, Scotland, Haiti, Spain… I could go on.

        China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Siam, Nepal, Iraq, and Afghanistan, all had serious issues with legal slavery until the 1900’s. We have our issues with racism… but we also have the most races, of any nation on the planet, and we have still been nowhere near the worst offender.
    • Gu E

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      Aug 11 2012: "Can whites view Blacks as equals"

      I believe a great deal of Whites view Blacks as equals, and that some people do not- but this is due to them simply being ignorant/racist.

      There is no need to prove equality, it is inherent. Now, are people equal? No. Sadly, the world is predicated on maintaining inequality- and this applies past the simple White-Black dynamic, to other race relationships, socioeconomic status, nationality, etc. But these are inequalities that are manufactured injustices...they are problems that need to be addressed.

      @Sophia Grace's comment below:
      I completely agree. We are also unfortunately programmed to be always categorizing, labeling, judging and arranging whenever we encounter another person- and much of that process will be based on a mixture of fact (the person in front of me is male) and stereotypes, experiences and other things would organize (the person in front of me is from Kenya...Kenyans are good at long distance running at the Olympics...this person must be faster than me)....haha that might have come out wrong, but you get the idea.
      We just need to accept that its just how we function, and be wear of making any stereotypes or false preemptive judgments.

      I once worked for someone who told me that he preferred having me as an employee because I was an American-African instead of an African-American- He had a bad experience with an African American employee and then had a good experience with an Ethiopian-American (American-African) and thus drew the conclusion that anyone whose family immigrated from Africa to America were better workers than Blacks in America. It was the weirdest logic I've ever come across. So, now when he encounters a Black American his brain jumps into this process of judgment based on his experience....Did I think he was racist? At times, but otherwise he was a good person- because he placed me in some category. I concluded he was just ignorant. Hope I made sense... :(
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        Aug 13 2012: The pre-programmed behaviour/prejudges makes it easier for us to deal with the daily life.
        We don't have to go through every details about a person every time we meet some.
        So in that sense it's good to have prejudges. We can go to the doctor, and assume he/she can help us.

        I think you are correct in your conclusion about being ignorant.
        I think racism is most often a combination of adding too many details to your previous experiences you are basing your prejudges on - as in the American-African / African-American, where 1 experience was applied to all people with a skin colour on 2 continents - and not wanting to learn.
        In a scary world it is nice to have someone to blame, put a face on "the bad guys", to make the daily life easier. Knowing exactly who the bad guy is, and what he looks like, means you can go through life 1: feeling better about your self and 2: not having to use you mind and energy applying lots of details to your prejudges.

        I therefore think, that it is possible to link fanatic views (such as racism) to low intelligence.
        Intelligent people do not chose not-to-know.
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          Aug 13 2012: Hi Sophia, (I have a new(6 month old) grand niece with that name....love it!)

          I think/feel that playing out "pre-programmed behaviours" fills in a gap that might be used to explore our underlying honest thoughts and feelings. I agree that it makes life easier in some respects. Do we want life to be easier? Or do we want it to be honest?

          I used to think that racism, along with some other behaviors was because of lack of education/intelligence. My father was a prejudice, racist, bigot, violent, abusive man, and he was not an educated man. So for a long time, I believed that anyone who was at all intelligent and/or educated could not...would not.... do what he did to people. I believed that an educated person would surely see how s/he impacted him/herself and all those around them. So, for a long time, I believed it was only uneducated people who would abuse and violate the rights of other people.

          When I started volunteering at the women/childrens shelter, I got some education!!! I was amazed to find out that many educated, professional people are abusive and violate the rights of other people. Lawyers, doctors, educators, even judges....all walks of life....all socioeconomic levels....there are people who violate the rights of others. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were leaders of our country....intelligent....and yet they owned slaves.

          It seems logical that intelligent, educated people would see prejudice and racism for what it is....fear....but it seems that they do not always see through their own misguided beliefs.

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