Thursday, March 13, 2008

Acting White: Black Racism, White Racism

To quote entertainer Chris Rock, ‘it’s not right, but I understand it’. On the heels of the recent senseless high-media profile murders of whites by black men in North Carolina and Alabama, and with the overwhelming backdrop of black men murdering their own in genocide-like numbers (57 so far this year in the Field Negro’s ‘Killadelphia’), it is time to openly revise our notions of racism – what we expect and what is acceptable.

In the past, the label of racist was reserved for anybody, black or white, who used superficial distinctions of race in relating to groups or individuals. The key was not whether the distinction, usually negative, was indicative of anything valuable, but rather that race, or ethnic, distinction was made at all. Except for personal preferences, like socializing and going to church, race-based discrimination was, by definition, off-limits, out-of-bounds - morally, ethically, and legally, indecent.

Now let’s jump over to today’s ‘real’ world. Any American who is not afraid of black men on some level is simply not thinking straight. Also, remember that fear is an emotional response, so do not think about it too much, it is what it is. I’m afraid, and I AM a tall-ass black man, and one who studied the martial arts for fun. I am afraid for me, my family, my friends, my acquaintances, and lastly for anyone, male or female, white, black or green, who might statistically find themselves in the presence of a black male at the ‘wrong place and wrong time’. Call me whatever you like, I don’t give a Freak, I’m talking about life and death!

So when people make distinctions about blacks and crime, especially violent crime and murder, I no longer immediately jump onto the offensive. Yes, these comments sound racist to me, and piss me off if I think about them too much. But the real question is if the behavior behind them resembles me in it's prudence, and too often it does. I avoid unfamiliar gatherings of black males. I check out how black men present themselves and avoid those that feel dangerous. I also judge black men by their dress and manner, especially those wearing inmate clothing, all in an attempt to keep my life. This method is far from perfect, but it’s all I have, so I use it. If this profiling makes me racist in some way, and I believe it does, so be it. Better to err on the side of staying alive.

For me today’s racism is not about inferiority, but also about mortality. If black males do not want to be racially profiled as life threatening, they need to stop being a danger. And I need to see this in the stats, not out of somebody's mouth. It is as simple as that. In the meantime, I watch myself - it’s not right, but you need to understand.

James C. Collier

Post Scriptum/Addendum: From the DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics...

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J. Scott said...


Right on James. I adopted a similar approach about two years ago. Almost 100% of the crime in Baltimore at night was being committed by black males, so my general approach (as a 210 lb 6'3" black male) was to keep 20 meters between me and any black male after dark. If they attempted to close the distance I would evade, and if they seemed to be getting closer still, I would break out in a sprint. Only had to run once. Yeah, it definitely makes me racist be definition, and alive too. So sad that it's come to this.

Anonymous said...

Kudos on not being afraid to say something that a lot of people would immediately jump on you for.

I kind of see where you're coming from, but only to a certain extent. It's not all black men that pose this threat, and you've acknowledged that. So, saying that you're going to be wary of black men to save your life only perpetuates the problem of racism against NON-THREATENING blacks.

I just think if you take the focus away from "blacks" and place it on "threatening" or "thuggish" looking blacks, you'd be more effective.

James C. Collier said...

zaki: there are lots of thuggish looking blacks who in reality pose no threat, but I can ascertain this on the fly no better than someone white. So I have to be safe and assume a danger I know is real and take steps to avoid and protect. I don't like it, but the stakes are too high. I just think it is hypocritical for me hold non-blacks to a higher standard than I hold myself.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. In many cases it is not rational to be afraid of a black man. Where I live, for example, it makes more sense for me to be wary of strange young white men who travel in groups at night.

I believe it's in the book "Stumbling Upon Happiness" that the author writes about how closely fear is related to how easily we can imagine a scenario. This explains why people express more fear at the thought of sending their child to a gun owner's house than a swimming pool owner's house, although swimming pools kill far greater numbers of children.

Sometimes the reality and the fear match up; often not.

Unknown said...

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ted ladue said...

It takes courage to say what we've been taught for years not to feel, let alone say.

I think that it is a natural preservation instinct to be wary of those who may pose a threat. If you come across a "thugged out" black or "bikered out" white, they both may trigger a fear response.

The problem is that more and more young black males are buying into the "thugged out" way, if even just the look. How is someone to know the difference? If they are dressing in a way that intimidates, it shouldn't be suprising when they DO intimidate. They achieved the desired affect.

Just as Chris Rock (I believe) said about scantily clad women...something like "you may not be a hoe, but you got the costume on!".

These young men have the costume on, and the more popular this lifestyle appears, the more it will reflect on the race as a whole, unfortunately. Sensible people realize it's not true across the board, but when confronted with an instantaneous decision to be made (fear vs safety), they will fall back to the image they SEE the most.

Sorry for the rant. I care.

Ann Brock said...

Thanks James for your article. I live in a small town and I am beginning to see alot of this madness. My son is 24 years of age he had a friend who you would not think of as a thug. But one night he shot an kill a man and went about his business like nothing happen.

I was shock to see he was the one that did it. I know my son and if he say and do stuff that is questionable why would I not look at others questionable. I don't want to be like that but let's be real. We have to face reality young black men like my own son scare me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Collier,

I respect your feeling toward Black men. However, what influence does the media have over your perspective and that of others? My husband works in law enforcement and we are both Black. I agree with your comment because I find myself afraid to pass groups of black men. But, with family that reside in Alabama and Long Island I am equally afraid to pass a group of white men. That being said, we must realize and take into consideration that "criminal, bad, thug, crazy, challenged" has no description these days. Yet the media only shows the pictures of black men as such. When white men are arrested for something hanous we may see their picture once if at all and subconsciously that impacts people's perceptions of reality. The reality is we are living in terrible times where people--Black, white, Asian, are becoming more and more uncivil and monsterous--you just see and hear about the Black people more often.

James C. Collier said...

Anon 12:13, I agree that we live in dangerous times from all types. However, black men are responsible for a significantly disproportionate percentage of violence and murder, and nearly all of record-level black homicide. The media-fueled perception, while biased in ways, is backed up by the body counts. I wish it was the media causing the problem, because the fix could be applied, but media is not responsible for the disproportion of black men killing at the 'drop of a hat'. BTW, my fears and commentary are derived from statistics, not the media. Good luck to you and your husband, and his front line position.

Hustla said...

true, black people did it to themselves, so we need to get ourselves out of it

Dennis Mangan said...

Bravo, Jim. Because of the rather complicated racial matters in this country, the issue of disproportionate black crime is more usefully addressed by black men such as yourself. Even when listened to, us white guys often feel like we're walking on eggshells when we raise this issue.

Also, your reply to the question of whether the media distort the problem was exactly right: one has to look at the statistics.

afronerd said...

Jim as always your comments are dead on. I have espoused similar sentiments on my blog and have seen my share of detractors. We have to start to talk honestly on these issues as men of color are dying in record numbers and the PC enabling paradigm is failing these men. I may want to flesh your entry and the subject of Black crime on the show Thursday....James can you stop by to discuss your thoughts? Let me know.

James C. Collier said...

thatdeborahgirl: Not that it seems that data would ever sway your opinion, but if anyone else is interested, I added some graphs to the post. /JC

Anonymous said...

Anyone of intelligence is aware that there are often countless quantifiers in statistics. These statistics have to be based upon those actually convicted, caught or in jail. What about those that get away with crimes or who don't get caught? What percentage of the latter are white and/or wealthy? Unfortunately, your pretty graphics prove nothing. Please read the article from The Final Call entitled, America's New Slavery, Black Men in Prison.

Anonymous said...

when is the act or action of self-preservation and basic survival deem violent? and by whom. Here is the machete cutting the suga cane to bleed da sap.. First, you send him black child to dem white school; 2> you get dem black man child to think only why to be successful is to act like white man; 3> then lawd, you start slowly pulling de rug from under him feet; 4> when de black man is down him back flat; de white call him lazy and worthless and so on... if i am walking down the street in a shirt and tie and white women cross the street am i dangerous or they? Collier how you gonna victimize the victim? you stated if black males do not want to be racially profiled as life threatening; they need to stop being a danger... huh? First, let us go BLACK way BLACK!! since when did or do African males have a rite of passage and a defining of what constitutes success for a African male? The problem of African male violence brother is a being educated in euro-centric values [if they are educated at all] and if not then it is the white backed rappers on yo MTV giving out the concept of good like in drink, smoke and bling and women in sting-bikis down on their knees saying dada please... now if you see and are fed that 25/8 and have no prospects nor self-respect what you think is going to happen?

i [at 50] and you might not take it to the max and take out another human for a mere couple hundred dollars, a joy ride in a car, etc. but for these kids trying to anesthetise their pain it very well might be worth it...i am saying its good but it aint as easy as you state.. how are the whole world of African males who globally profiled to stop being in the minds of whites and those who think like them "a danger"? look at the word bete noire, and look at the word bete blanc and whitemail? If you are writing a tome about the African in the north americas best make sure you comprehend them from both sides of the marginal divide and in economic and historical contexts... cause despite the dead parchment hanging on the wall in a dead language script, it does answer me being need strip searched on airports visits despite my frequent flyer stati nor the hostile looks of whites when they see my African bearded sitting in biz class or first and not on all the magazines or tv; nor does it explain being shadowed in stores whilst shopping by ghost people...i like my shadow to remain like me Black thank you...

Before rolling off a bunch of DOJ statistics or any white folks statistics ask yourself for whose purposes are they servicing. I mean for years, I been hearing AIDS in Africa is this amount of millions or do folks come up with these statistics when they hasnt been censuses conducted in most of the 54 African nations since the 1950s and given the proxy civil wars and folks going back and forth across borders how do these statistics for AIDS come about? think about it.

Anonymous said...

My daughter teaches in high school and she has seen exactly what the title suggests. When a black kid works and tries to do well most of the other black kids make fun of him or her and say they are "trying to be white".
Then I have to ask what is trying to be black?
I may be off base but apparently to these kids it is not working hard and trying to achieve.
Where do they get these ideas?
Why do we hear nothing from black leaders about reversing these ideas so more young black people can advance in society?

If MLK were alive today I am pretty sure he would feel the same as Bill Cosby about the state of affairs in this country concerning the rise in the lack of initiative among a fair amount of the young black population.
But then Bill was shouted down by that same group.
Everything MLK fought for has been discarded by the same people he was trying gain rights for.
It is infinately sad to see but no one wants to talk about it because it seems to talk about it is looked upon as a negative in the same way as working hard and showing some initiative is thought of as a negative in that high school.

As far as black racism I have to ask why does it seem the only crime that causes some black "leaders" to march in the streets is supposed white against black crime? Any other crime, black on black and black on white is ignored.
I'd have to think one reason is that only white on black crime can be used to say that kind of racism still exists and that is their main agenda.

Case in point.
When the recent Duke Lacrosse case came to light the first thing that happened was black "leaders" including Jesse Jackson and other ministers marching the streets shouting for justice in this race crime. When it came to light the crime was not committed they had nothing to say.

When the young female white class president was brutally murdered by the two black gang members they had nothing to say and the same when the male asian student was killed.
Were their lives not equally worth the effort it took to denounce the false Duke Lacross rape allegations?

Things must change in this country but any real change has to come from within the same people that use racism as a crutch.
That crutch has to be discarded so these same people can learn to walk on their own two feet, proud of their accomplishments.

When that starts to happen MLK's efforts will not have been in vane.

Anonymous said...

Im a young black male (26), i was raised in the crack-era in the late 80's early 90's in the Bronx New York. My mother was from Brooklyn and my father was from North Carolina. They didn't have any "black stereotypical issues". They married before they had kids, both worked hard, and eventually moved me and my older brother by five years to Long Island so we could have a much better chance at a good education in a "white" school, and not be around so many "black" people in the "hood". I have lived half my life among majority blacks and the other half among majority whites. My perspective now that im grown is solid. BLACK PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VICTIMS OF RACISM MORE THAN ANY OTHER RACE OF PEOPLE! everyone on this planet has their own obstacles, HOWEVER, african american males have to struggle just to be seen as equal human beings all over the country. And also outside of this country. If you claim there is no racism that extreme, you must be insane. I dont talk "black", act "thuggish", have a criminal record, or a child by an unwed mother with whom i dont commit to. And STILL i have white people look at me like im Collin Ferguson. My point is this country always makes jokes of serious issues. Black people need to limit how much they follow american culture because it does not care about how we make it through the day almost all the time. And as far as hip hop music, it is BRAINWASHING ours youth to this thug idealism. I love hip hop but i have too admit over the last 15-20 years it turned negative. The youth now praise any negative, self-centered energy they receive. Disciplined has become "soft" and intelligent has become "lame". I am not afraid of the black youth because i am the black youth. Im just one of the very few that isn't gonna point the finger at the thugs, while the police take his money and throw him in the back of the car.

Anonymous said...

the problem with Black stereotypes is that as in any area of human relations, one or two people, or in general, the "minority of people" in this case in a given ethnic group, is that a few ruin the whole thing for everyone else. "Black people" being limited in society simply because of their ethnic descent is clearly wrong. But then, people that discriminate have usually been provided a pretty sound past basis for their discriminatory behaviour. Case in point, the slave trade, which is a shameful period of human past history, clearly is at the root of the general distaste that "black people" have for whites and Jews as well(look up Portugal and Spain and see the depth of the involvement of Jews in the slave trade). Humans are stuck in tribalist thinking, we fear what we don't understand, that goes for people of any/all races. The fact is, ALL human beings are racist. As a "white male" (white being a racist term) I have been subject to racism at the hands of "black" friends - I realized afterwards(I stopped being friends with them) that they were acting the way they did toward me, not because I am "white" but because I am NOT "black" i.e. I am "different" from them. Racism is racism, the fact of the matter is, people of different races simply should not intermix, this has been proven throughout history, not in cities, not in countries, nowhere, because the head of "I hate you because you are different than me" will always rear it's ugly self. It is sad to read that a large, strong "black" male has to live in fear of his fellow "blacks" in the streets at night. People that victimize others are miscreants, filled with hate and self-demoralizing behaviours that they then project on whatever available target falls into their sights, be they of the same racial background or not. That a "black person" has to deal with the societal barriers created due to the bad actions of a few among a given community is not good, but then as a single "white man" I am subject to limitations even in a predominantly "white" culture. Industrialism and capitalism are at the root of race intermixing, because we are all slaves to the designs of others whom care not whether or not we tear each other apart in the streets, for race or other reasons, as long as the corporations can make a buck from our labours before we end up in the morgue. At the end of the day, we are all just human and we really need to learn to get along or the whole mess will come crashing down around our ears.

Anonymous said...

I think this article was well written. I feel that most of the comments made here have been written with the intent to see what is really happening. I do agree with some of the bloggers as they have mentioned that it is far more acceptable for an individual of the same race or color to address an issue such as racism of their own particular race. It would be easy for me to log into a site that has only bad things to say about blacks, and for me to through in my two cents and be accepted for my negative comments. Howver, I feel that if we are to see a decrease in America's racial issues then it needs to be equally expressed from both blacks and whites.
Although this particular writer is black, he expresses his views regarding "actual" statistics rather than just simply another ignorant person speaking their mind (being white or black). Good job on your article!

Tess said...


I know this blog was written a while ago, but I came across this while researching for a paper I'm writing. I'm currently a student at Michigan State University, and the class I'm writing this essay for is for English 350: Legacy of Lynching.

And, I have to say, I am personally surprised that you would write this, especially as a black man. I'm sorry, but I feel like this feeds into everything that is wrong with our society today. And I read most of the comments that were left by other African American people. Wow. Just, wow.

If you fear a large black man, a group of black men, merely because of their race... that is, without a doubt, racism. Do you realize that you have internalized racism? You have "stats" about the increase of murders by black men, and as a result, you're afraid of them.

So, just for kicks, lets say there was a statistic claiming that there are a growing number of asian drivers that are at fault for car accidents (there is no such stat), but if there was.. do I avoid asian drivers at all costs? The statistic says there is a growing number of asian people that are at fault for car accidents. Therefore, asian people must be bad drivers... Right? According to the logic you write about, I should stereotype all asian drivers and avoid them. Perhaps insurance companies should charge more, because they are asian?

Or, since there is a growing number of terrorists in the world that are Middle Eastern... should I avoid getting on planes when I see a Palestinian on board? I mean, according to your logic, I should follow the statistics. After all, it's "life or death!" - as you put it.

Wait.. then should stores that are open late at night reject black men from shopping there after a certain time? Or should the store clerks follow and monitor the black man?

If I date a black man, should my parents disapprove because, hey, statistics show that black men are more dangerous - I could get raped or murdered. Black men are "statistically more dangerous" - You have line graphs to prove it!

I hope you're catching on to the sarcasm.

According to you and many of comments before me, if a black man chooses to wear baggy pants and a large shirt, he should be watched after because he appears to be "ghetto", a hoodlum -- a clear indication that he's dangerous and up to no good. People should assume he's harmful because, according to society, those type of black men are a threat. Again, it's life or death!

You suggest that black men should look, dress, and act the way society wants them to (from a WHITE point of view!) If these individuals dress differently, they automatically deviate from the societal script (one that you apparently follow very well), and they are marginalized - penalized - merely for being black. A black man shouldn't have to alter his personality in order to appease a white societal standard. Nor should he be feared for it.

It is this kind of physical and psychological violence that produces the vulnerable and oppressed tendencies toward self-doubt, self-denial, and self-condemnation in the black community. Being a black man doesn't mean that you can't walk by yourself at night. Being a black man doesn't mean you shouldn't walk with friends at night.

You, the writer of this very blog, are BLACK! You are so utterly oblivious to the fact that you have been conditioned to think along racial discourse.

You add to the "peaceful" psychological violence of the media that present dignity denying, false and deformed versions of your entire race.

Lynching in the Jim Crow era was performed in light of the same kind of prejudice that you youself have! They justified hanging, castrating, and burning black men out of the fear that they were dangerous. They just followed the "statistics".

Ugh.. I can't help being disgusted. I really can't. I realize you are excercising the right to speak your mind, but James.. You add to the very thing that so many great men and women have fought against. You have internalized fear and prejudice of your own race.

Statistics don't justify prejudice. Let it be said, I am 20 year old, white - female - college student. After reading this.. and reading some of those comments by others.. I've realized that as a society, boy.. we still have a long way to go.

James C. Collier said...

Tess, idealism is always a good place to start. Only time will describe your finish. Do consider searching this blog using 'stereotype'. You may find more interesting stuff to knot (or untie) your knickers. In any case, good luck with your studies young lady...

mike said...

I am white and I was in the Over the Rhine area of Cincinnati at a fast food joint. The lady behind the counter refused to acknowledge me and kept taking orders from the people behind me. One individual said "He was here first" and her reply was "We don't serve his kind here". I simply said "Your part of the problem, not the solution" and left.

While driving in Detroit I was the object of clear scorn by anyone that saw me. There were a couple of young guys that saw me and jumped into the street and chased my car yelling obcenities at me.

I have wittnessed many other acts of extreme prejudice by blacks against whites simply because they were white. The places are many such as NYC, Oakland, Chicago, Milwaukee and others.

I have only met a few truly prejudice whites in my life of 52 years. I have met far more truly prejudice blacks. Each one of them disgusted me. That is my life experience as opposed to a statistical viewpoint. I will also say I have suffered directly at the hand of many whites while growing up. I was fairly poor and came up on the hard side. I became a target as a result.

The only way out for me was hard work and determination. I have literally knocked on doors and offered to sweep driveways or rake yards for something to eat. I was too young and uneducated to know about things like welfare, grants and the like. When I did find out about them, I found out I was the wrong color and the wrong gender. I call that discrimination as well.

We decide the type of individual we will be, not our circumstances. Poor does not equal prejudice. People's opinion of you do not cause you to be prejudice. I had teachers and many others that said to my face I would never amount to anything. Well I proved them all wrong and have had a great life doing it.

Hard work, determination, and living in this land of opportunity are the best things we have availible to us. You stand or fall as a result of your own actions and the decisions you make. You are personally responsible for what you make of your life and how you live it. You can choose crime and violence, you can choose hard work and decency. Your staus in the economic scale does not make that choice for you.

I have traveled to many parts of the world that are very poor. I have walked around in some areas with no concern for my safety. The sense of community and family were very strong and they saw violence and crime as more burdens they did not want to bear. So they chose not to tolerate it in their communities. Once again, personal responsability for ones actions.

That is the answer and that is the key. No government or give away program will change the situation. If anything it just makes it worse. They cannot make the choces for you. You have to decide what kind of person you want to be. There are fantastic role models in every community that never play the race or economic card. Just about everyone knows at least one in their community. Why not choose to be more like them? Why choose to create more burdens and heartache through crime and violence? Does not life give you plenty of challenges without your own addition of things that do not have to be?

I chose not to repeat the problems that I had to deal with growing up and am so much better off as a result.

Anonymous said...

In case JCC is still reading this, here's a scary anecdote:

A tall, intelligent, kind black man worked as a history teacher in my high school. My senior year, he took some blacks youths into his home to help them get started on a path to get them off the street.

They cut his throat, robbed his house, and left him to die. By the grace of God, someone found him before he bled to death and he recovered.

The danger of the rhetoric spouted by Tess and her militant professors is that it trickles down and infects the black community with rage. By rejecting personal responsibility, they not only remove agency from the offenders, but shift the blame to "the white power structure". This creates a feedback loop where rage causes crime, which causes more rage, etc... And, most unfortunately, this rage is usually unleashed on their black brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

I am a Latino and I went to an all black middle school and high school. What i am about to say does not apply to all blacks, how ever the thought that some of these young kids had these idologies should be concerning. I can remember some of the black kids preaching that all whites were bad that they owed them for the many years of slavery. I remember asking them who told them this and their reply was always my dad or mom. Why can't black parents / leaders tell their children the truth that Blacks in Africa hunted and captured tribal people and sold them to the British, French and Spaniards (to name a few). They in turn brought them to America to be sold as a form of cheap labor. My next point why can't the black so called leaders (Jesse Jackson - Rev. Al Sharpton) praise the white people who walked along side MLK and the white people who help Hariott Tubman with the under ground Railroad. It seems like there is a black agend from their leaders and upbringing that they are owed something and that they have acheived their place in todays society all on their own. They need to stop isolating them selves and integrate with todays world to be a part of it. I work in an office setting and I do not think it is 'acting white" to speak clearly to clients or to dress with a tie to look presentalbe. Black need to rethink their argument that all whites are bad.

ThatDeborahGirl said...

I am white and I was in the Over the Rhine area of Cincinnati at a fast food joint. The lady behind the counter refused to acknowledge me and kept taking orders from the people behind me. One individual said "He was here first" and her reply was "We don't serve his kind here". I simply said "Your part of the problem, not the solution" and left.

I'm gonna call this guy out on this as a liar and say this never happened. I live in Cincinnati, I have lived in Over-The-Rhine and I am in this neighborhood at least once a week at a minimum. There is no way in hell any establishment in or around OTR or the West End refused service to anyone white.

He's lying.

I have only met a few truly prejudice whites in my life of 52 years.

Uh huh. All those black jokes. How your family was the first place you ever heard the word "nigger". All the places you've ever been where there wasn't a brown face to be seen or any workplace you've ever been in where having a one or two blacks made the place "integrated".

You sir, are the worst kind of liar and bigot. You have your head so far buried in the sand, you wouldn't know racism if it bit you on the nose. Worse, you've made up these stories of "reverse" racism that never happened, or co-opted them from bullshit you've heard elsewhere and made them apart of your own story, KNOWING they're not true.

You lie and you should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

I was in a McDonalds a while back. All the workers I could see were black.

A young white woman came in and stood at the counter to be waited on.

One clerk, a young black teen was apparently taking a break at a nearby table.

No one saw the customer and the breaking clerk didn't alert anyone to the customer's presence.

Finally after maybe five minutes the customer left and I distinctly heard the breaking clerk say, " ohhhh, that bitch was maaaad."

The customer had not said one word to anyone and only walked quickly out. Apparently her speed of walk made the clerk think she was mad and apparently since the clerk called the customer a "bitch" she had not a clue as to the customer had a right to be less than satisfied with her visit that day.

Now I have to wonder if the customer had been black what the outcome would have been. I am about certain the clerk would have at least hollered back to someone to that there was a customer present.

Yes racism exists but it exists as black on white as well as white on black and it's past time for it to be recognized.

And my story is the absolute truth and anyone that doubts it knows what they can do with their doubts.

Dave Myers said...

... I'll assume that the poster , who described the occurance of a 'racist' act being perpetrated against the young white woman , waiting to have her order taken by one of the black McDonald's employee's , 'might' be of the 'white' demographic ... if not , tsk , tsk ; obviously , this woman 'was' ignored , and indeed , this 'is' wrong , but let us take care to be sure we describe the dynamic at play , by choosing our words carefully , and accurately , shall we ?

All I will say about this , at this time is to offer a simple equation ... "Racism" = Prejudice - PLUS - Power .

Peace .

Anonymous said...

Ahhh but I did not say the incident was racist although the suggestion was made that if the customer had been black and been waited on properly it could be considered as such.

If all the clerks had been white and the customer black we can be sure it would be described as a racist event by blacks reading it.

The accuracy of the description radically changes depending on point of view does it not...

And regardless of this event black on white racism does exist and Mr. Colliers premise that blacks don't care to do certain things that are considered right because they consider those things white lends credence to that idea.

If whites as a group shied away from certain behaviors because they were considered black those whites would certainly be classified as racist.

Can't have it one way but not another yet it happens all the time but blacks in every walk of life refuse to concede it.

Anonymous said...

Someone said " true, black people did it to themselves, so we need to get ourselves out of it." This is easier said then done. I am a 24 year 6' 200lbs white male from German decent who lives in the south. What stereotype pops in your head? I became interested in my family history after my dad past away, and I realized I did not really know my grandfather from his side, or where my family came from. I did my research in spare time, and discovered that like most German immigrants of the time my ancestors fought for the Union army during the civil war. However, what ever good my family had done was overshadowed by WW2, and the stereotype of those from German decent being racist began. So now when I shake my head at people my age dressing and acting "thuggish" I am labeled racist. I hate the urban culture, it seems to misguide the youth of today, and sends the message that crime is the new cool thing. It does not mean I am racist, hell I hate the goth emo thing to, and that has white all over it. I guess my being raised by a a single father who spent 25year as in the military left it's mark on me. I am on this site researching for a paper on the similar subject stereotypes, racism, ect. If anyone has a similar site that might help me out please leave the web address.

Anonymous said...

This was amazing I agree as a Black male it is annoying be profiled but I do not represent my whole race I'm no the one of "bad seeds" of the africa american race but I can understand. "the numbers dont lie" But I wish that the members of our race would act right so I would feel ashamed and want to seperate myself from the race

sdfghjk said...
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whatutalkabout said...

James, I appreciate you being open to discussing this issue. I happened upon this blog searching for answers to a few questions. I am currently in an ethics class and have offended the instructor. She asked for student opinion and she slammed me for mine. I may get into trouble from the university for being "hostile" in my writing. Would you mind telling me if you think that the whites have continued to suppress the blacks in this day and age and if so, would you tell me what you think can be done to stop it? My response in a nutshell was that I don't believe blacks are still being supressed and what they need to do is stop seeing themselves as victims of the past. Although other ethnic groups were not enslaved as they came to America, many of them had horrendous obstacles to overcome to survive in this country. They did it. There have also been numerous black Americans who have acheived great things to the betterment of society. If these people have been so successful coming from the same history, why is there a sense of entitlement amongst many blacks towards the whites today? I grew up in a predominately black school in Gary, Indiana. I was taught as a child that whites are bad and should feel shame for what they did to the blacks. My son came home from school brokenhearted for how terrible the whites are to the blacks. He told me that the blacks do such good things, and he listed many famous people, and he said and the whites do bad, bad things to them.(age 7) Same BC I was fed as a child so much that I was ashamed to be white. They are still pushing the same BC in 2011. That's the real education children get in school. They don't learn tolerance, they learn shame. I must tell you that yes, I think slavery was disgusting. I also don't feel guilty because I did not partake in that filth. I don't feel I owe anything to the blacks because I did nothing to them. I also don't view any groups as superior to another and I don't believe one group can hold another down. I say stand up, by God and make something of yourself whether you are black, white, or green. Laziness and the sense of entitlement has crippled enough people. It is up to each individual to rise to the top. It is possible. I would greatly appreciate a response. Thanks again.

whatutalkabout said...

In response to TED: Wow reading your response reminded me of a terrifying thing from childhood. I grew up in Gary, Indiana which many know it predominately a Black city. My childhood home was across the street from my elementary shcool. On the weekends in the summertime, the biker gang Hell's Angels would swarm to school yard and hang out all night. I was terrified of these people because when they were out there we were basically imprisoned in our home from fear of their notorious violence. Mind you I am white, they were white. They would come look in our windows and hang out in our yard, steal things and vandalize. My dad had a loaded gun on the ready which is scarey for a little girl. If we were out in town when they zoomed by my dad would tell alll of us not to make eye contact with them. We were afraid. One night when we had a babysitter, the gagn threw a board through the front window and taunted the young babysitter. It's a terror I wil never forget.

James C. Collier said...

SBR, I cannot judge the 'hostility' of what you wrote for your class, but you do not seem hostile in your writing here. My comment to you, which you already seem to understand, is that people, regardless of color, can represent all that is good and bad. When/if you get a chance, I suggest you get out of Gary.

Anonymous said...

Enough for the lines of being racist. Black or White. Regardless of what color you guys are. All of us possess good deeds and bad deeds. We live in one planet. We must unite not to discriminate each other. Look at the world we live today. What do you see? Is this the way we should be? Isn't we should be brothers and sisters to each other. "Heal the world make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human races, There are people dying if we care enough for living, make a better place for you and for me." It's with mj's lyrics of the song. We both sons and daughter of our CREATOR. It is time to love each other.

Carandiru said...

Racism coes in many foms, because many different things.
Here in Brazil they put racial quotas. Well, I refuse accept this because is based on skin color, not by capacity. One woma, a black one, when listened about the quotas said she will not pur her kids in university, 'cause she believes "quotas is synonimous of incapacity and black is inferior to white"
They need change the quotas to benify who not have monetary conditions, this simple change can benify 80% of blacks and afrodescendants in brazil, contrary of the actual 50%.
I'm against racial qupotas and I prefers economic condition quotas.