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Passions in Poetry

A "Lott" of Trouble

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Brad
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25 posted 12-26-2002 07:13 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

You are learning.

Me? I'm a libertarian socialist pragmatist.

Or just a plain, old fashioned contrarian, it depends on your point of view.

Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
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Michigan, US


26 posted 12-26-2002 07:26 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

My value system, my beliefs, and my morals are three very different things, any one of which would require a book to explain. And since each is a work-in-progress, that book has yet to be written.

I suspect those who have been reading in here for the past four years could answer the question better than I. If it helps, though, Brad and I are two-thirds in agreement (unless you count the contrarian, in which case it's probably closer to 99 percent).

p.s. What's wrong with a technical answer? The alternative is usually a wrong answer.
Local Rebel
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27 posted 12-26-2002 11:20 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

As a Jeffersonian Constitutionalist let me just say.... I was there.

(Racial) Segregation DID work.  Precisely as designed.  I was in the third grade before desegregation had spread to my school (in the south).  Segregation had already done its job.

The purpose of (racial (not poetic)) segregation was to -- obviously -- keep the races seperate -- breed animosity -- and most of all -- keep the 'colored' man down.

I don't know how anyone could possibly obfuscate that.

When Strom Thurmond ran as a segregationist he was a Democrat.  Later he switched.  So what?  Byrd is still a Democrat.  Lott was a Republican.  The Republicans had J.C. Watts (a black Congressman) in a very high ranking position in the Republican controlled Congress.  So what?  The Democrats denied Harold Ford, a black congressman, the leadership of the minority.  So what?

The Republicans race bait on crime.  The Democrats help keep black leaders who perpetuate racial strife in power because it suits them and helps them retain power.  So what?  

Minister Farrakhan is a neo-segregationist.  So what?  George Wallace was a Democrat.

Does anyone see any pattern here whatsoever?

Segregation worked.  Oh... it worked.
The Lonely Stranger
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28 posted 12-27-2002 07:47 PM       View Profile for The Lonely Stranger   Email The Lonely Stranger   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Lonely Stranger

Three replies ....... no answers to one simple question.

"Do you think racial segregation is wrong ???"

Seems if you hold a believe you'd be willing to stand up for it.
Ron
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29 posted 12-27-2002 10:06 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

But you haven't answered the question, either. If you think it's wrong, why do you think it's wrong? Or is this just a gut-feeling kind of thinking with no reasoning or logic behind it? Seems if you hold a belief, you'd be ABLE to stand up for it?

LR, you're assuming a cause and effect that can't be easily demonstrated. I was nearly a teen when you were in the third grade, raised a few stones' throws from Detroit, so I know well the environment you describe. But was it solely the result of segregation? Conspiracy theories are always neat, and I don't deny there have been incredibly stupid political blunders, but I sincerely believe that's all they were. The animosity you've seen isn't defined by political parties and it won't be solved by political parties. There's less of it now than there was thirty years ago, I think, but where it still exists, it exists in the hearts of people. And that's the only place it can be changed. One heart at a time.

That's not to say we shouldn't do all we can, both individually and politically. But simple solutions rarely exist for complex problems, and looking for them can prevent us from looking more deeply. We very much need to look more deeply.
Brad
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30 posted 12-27-2002 10:49 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Lonely Stranger,

Okay, next time, offer a multiple choice test. It's easier to grade than actual opinions.

Curious but are you one of those people who think "Huckleberry Finn" and "Othello" are racist texts?

I won't even ask about Local Rebel's irony.

LR,

But isn't one of the interesting parts about segregationists is their avoidance of saying they 'want' it to be as you decribe. I may be mistaken but they don't they usually put it in terms of 'Nature', or the "Will of God" or 'the order of things' or some such phrase.

By denying responsibility, it offers us a crack, a small one to be sure, but one that opens up the possibility of change. Rhetoric may only be rhetoric, but I think it opens up possibilities:

"I think the black man is inferior to the white man."

as compared to

"I want the black man to be inferior to the white man."

In action, it may be the latter, but in words, it is the former. I think there's some pretty good reasons for doing it one way and saying it in another.

The Lonely Stranger
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31 posted 12-28-2002 07:51 PM       View Profile for The Lonely Stranger   Email The Lonely Stranger   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Lonely Stranger

[But you haven't answered the question, either. If you think it's wrong, why do you think it's wrong? Or is this just a gut-feeling kind of thinking with no reasoning or logic behind it? Seems if you hold a belief, you'd be ABLE to stand up for it?]

We will answer our questions in sequence Ron, since I asked first, I will expect an answer first. At that point I shall answer your questions. Until you answer however, I have to view any further questioning by you as an attempt (however feeble) to avoid answering the question.
[Okay, next time, offer a multiple choice test. It's easier to grade than actual opinions.]

Alright ... but for now the question stands as a "Yes/No" which both of you seem to be doing your damnedest to avoid answering.

[Curious but are you one of those people who think "Huckleberry Finn" and "Othello" are racist texts?]

See above reply to Ron for answer here
Brad
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32 posted 12-28-2002 08:11 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

No.
Ron
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33 posted 12-28-2002 08:34 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

No.
Local Rebel
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34 posted 12-29-2002 08:54 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

If I knew what assumptions you're assuming I assumed Ron I could probably muster a cogent response.. but since I can only assume...

Are you saying racial segregation hasn't helped to perpetuate racism?  Or that it can't be easily shown to have?

I don't know about detroit at that time but I still remember 'White only' signs in the south.

Segregation was a tool to help perpetuate the control of whites over blacks in the south after the end of the Civil War (and I'd just like to point out to the pholks in the peanut gallery that Lincoln did not free the slaves in states that remained in the Union -- and I was living in Mississippi (Trent Lotts state) in 1995 when that state finally outlawed slavery).  Is there some argument over that point?

And yes Brad -- the dialog has gone pretty much as you said.

Who said anything about a conspiracy theory?  The only one on peoples minds right now is the 72% of Americans who think the government is covering up something about UFO's and aliens.... like... we don't have enough real problems facing us.

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (12-29-2002 08:56 AM).]

The Lonely Stranger
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35 posted 12-29-2002 11:56 AM       View Profile for The Lonely Stranger   Email The Lonely Stranger   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for The Lonely Stranger

As I suspected. I do not see the need to converse with either of you any more.
aaron woodside
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36 posted 12-29-2002 04:02 PM       View Profile for aaron woodside   Email aaron woodside   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for aaron woodside

I think they said that to kill this conversation with you.  It's what I would have done had you been so blandly questioning me.  I would have let you think whatever you wanted, or seemed to think already.  

ex animo,
Aaron Woodside

There are no great men, only men in great circumstances.

Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


37 posted 12-29-2002 05:02 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

No conversation ever took place.

As I suspected, Lonely Stranger never had any interest in discussion, in conversation. Answering his/her question as he/she requested left him/her with nothing more to say. It put the ball in his/her court and instead he/she walked away pouting.

Conversation requires two or more interested parties in an interesting subject. Lonely Stranger was neither interested nor interesting.

Besides both Ron and I had aready said that. It was just a matter of putting it in the language that was specifically asked for.

What opinion, here, was offered by Lonely Stranger?
Denise
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38 posted 12-29-2002 05:35 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Lonely Stranger,

You will find racial segregation in every society, in every country, most of it voluntary segregation. It seems that it is a natural inclination of the human race to be more comfortable with their "own", whether it be racial, cultural, religious, whatever. I don't see anything wrong with that at all. In that understanding of the term, I agree with Ron and Brad, no it's not wrong, in and of itself.

Do you believe that "Black" institutes of higher learning are wrong?

Do you believe that the "Black" Miss America pageant is wrong?

Do you believe that "Black" Political Caucases are wrong?

How about the "Black Clergy of America" (or fill in any city or state that you care to).

How about the "Black Police Officers or Black Fire Fighters of ________" (fill in the blank).

How about "Black History Month"?

Now, take any of the above groups and replace "Black" with "White". Does it change your answers? And if so, why?
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


39 posted 12-29-2002 05:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Denise,

Lonely Stranger won't understand that.

And my answer is yes, I do have a problem if there were corresponding version of the above with 'white'. And no, I see nothing wrong with the versions in black.

Why?

History, history, history.

Local Rebel
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Southern Abstentia


40 posted 12-29-2002 08:57 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

With the black population at about 13% of the U.S. my opinion is that it remains paramount for concerted efforts to consolidate a power base  -- so -- I have no objection to those organizations Denise.  I think you'll find that they are 'Black' in purpose but not exclusive.  The question is -- how many whites would want to join them.  

I have known whites who were members of the NAACP -- but those were some pretty rare cases.

There are white race organizations out there too -- it's just that not too many whites want to be members of those and certainly not too many blacks would ever apply.
Denise
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41 posted 12-29-2002 09:36 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Yes, Brad, I see your point about the reverse being objectionable, possibly even inflammatory due to the history of race relations. This was just my poor attempt, I suppose, to try to show that these groups do practice 'segregation', in the voluntary sense of the word, that there is nothing wrong with it, in that sense, and that the reverse should also hold true.  

I have no objections to them either, L.R.


Denise
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42 posted 01-01-2003 03:21 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ya know? I am disappointed in how this discussion has just been left hanging. It seems as though someone has made up their mind that they think they know what someone else believes, and then just goes away…end of discussion.

I guess I would be surprised if I didn't encounter this same closed-minded attitude frequently at work.

I hear people who decry prejudice and bigotry and people who see it where it doesn't exist at all, and you can't tell them otherwise. Period. End of story.

Many of these same people are blind to their own bigotry and prejudice. They openly make derogatory remarks about “Whitey” or “Honkey”, deliberately within earshot of White co-workers, knowing full well that they are protected by a system primarily interested in thwarting bigotry coming from White people and to a lesser degree, if at all, bigotry directed toward White people.

Living and working in a large urban area, the racial environment in my world is a 60% to 40% Black to White ratio, and because Blacks are the majority in my world, I encounter more prejudiced Blacks than Whites. I see the other side of the coin, so to speak, than the side that is denounced by the groups formed as a power base to protect the rights and foster the interests of Black people. Undoubtedly, it is a different experience in areas where the ratios are different.

Perhaps it is time for it to be considered “acceptable” to form groups to protect the rights and foster the interests of the White minority in large urban areas? Is there any chance that, in our society, such groups could ever be considered a legitmate venue?  After all, the Black majority and the Hispanic and Asian minorities in large urban areas each have their own political action groups. Or will history always preclude the acceptability of Whites having the same protection and advantages afforded to others by such groups? Are 'national' racial ratios the only ratios that should be considered?  

Fortunately, most of the Black people that I come in contact with are not blind to their own tendency toward prejudicial attitudes. They are willing to discuss misunderstandings, are willing to keep the lines of communication open, don't walk away when they aren't agreed with, or think they aren’t being agreed with, and do try to see the perspectives of other people.

It is the ones who are not that I have a very hard time understanding. They do nothing to advance the cause of their people. In my opinion, they can only hinder it.

Closed minds thrive in every race and culture. It's just part of the human condition, I suppose. It still bothers me, though, when I encounter it.

Personal prejudice is something that we all have to examine ourselves for, and forsake when we find. True harmony can't be achieved, otherwise.    


Local Rebel
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43 posted 01-01-2003 07:47 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

What white rights are being violated in urban areas Denise and what would 'white rights' groups do... in your estimation?
Denise
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44 posted 01-01-2003 10:53 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

L.R.,

Basically, I suppose it would be good to have an organization to go to when racial harassment on the job is not effectively dealt with by an employer, when supervisors and management sweep things under the rug instead of honestly dealing with legitimate complaints because they don't want to risk having the situation escalate to the point where activism and lawsuits are threatened by the person that has the advantage of "empowerment" behind them. Discipline is meted out much more cautiously to a member of an empowered group than it is to a member of a non-empowered group.

It would also be a good thing, I think, to have organizations that offer scholarships to scholastically deserving kids, regardless of race and ethnicity and not because of race and ethnicity. I remember when my girls were in high school they brought home the paperwork for all the scholarships and grants that were being made available by different organizations for college, about 15 different ones, If I recall correctly. We couldn't even apply for a single one because we did not fit any of the "official" minority classifications, even though in Philadelphia, we are a decided minority. I don't know, maybe things have become a bit more equitable in the past eight years?  

I also had to pay for bus tokens for my girls to go to school, whereas the Black kids got their bus tokens for free, due to some convoluted compromise that was reached with the school district because the school district couldn't provide enough school buses to accomodate all those who applied for busing. It didn't even matter that the Black kids were not coming from outside of the area to a so-called White school. It was a predominately Black school. But if they were Black they got free tokens. If they were White they had to pay for them. My oldest daughter had a similar first and last name as one of her Black fellow students, and she was mistakenly assigned a pack of free tokens and received a notice to go to the cafeteria at such and such a time to pick them up. Not knowing that a mistake had been made, she thought that maybe because of my low income and single mom status at the time, she somehow qualified. Wrong. When she showed up and the counselor saw that she was White, she lost her designation for free tokens, with an apology for the mix-up due to the similar names (this other girl also lived much closer to school and didn't even really need tokens, but since they were free, to her at least, hey, why not take them? The money that paid for them came out of the school district portion of city homeowner's real estate taxes, so I helped pay for the free tokens as well as paying full price for my own kids' tokens.) This situation was a clear abuse of the intent of the original busing program, and a clear waste of taxpayer money. It would have been nice to have had some organization, with political clout behind it, that could have addressed the issue.

I've also thought that it would be good to have made available groups similar to the Future Minority Business Leaders and Future Minority Entrepreneurs of America. Maybe some type of organization willing to fund programs such as these for any intereseted kids who don't qualify for the other programs because they aren't of an "officially" designated minority?

You know, just general all-around advocacy type organizations that other minorities have available to them.
Local Rebel
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45 posted 01-02-2003 12:15 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

So would the purpose of said advocacy group be to get tokens and scholarships for white people?

How white?

Would Irish count too?  

You see -- I'm just kidding....  but on this point I'm not -- if there was a white advocacy group that was, well, advocating free tokens for whites -- from whence would come the funding??  and how would any other advocacy group trump a white one?
Denise
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46 posted 01-02-2003 01:12 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

No, L.R., I'm not advocating free tokens for white kids, far from it. I would have liked to have been able to have had someone to go to who could have put an end to the obvious abuse of the original intent of the busing program. I think a good solution would have been to provide free tokens only to Black students going to predominately White schools for integration purposes, as was the intent of the original busing plan, and not giving free tokens out to all Black students in the city simply because they are Black.

And I would have liked my children to at least have had the opportunity to apply for a scholarship or grant, and not been excluded because they didn't fit any of the "officially" sanctioned minority designations.

Private funding is usually where the money comes from, donations made to empowerment groups, by businesses, private citizens, etc. I don't see that any one group would have to trump another. Basically, the so-called "White" group would be more than that. It would be open to anyone who didn't fit one of the officially designated minority stipulations of all the other programs, no matter their race or nationality, sort of a default program, if you will. It would be largely White, though, because they are basically the group without representation presently in empowerment programs.

Get out of town! You mean all White people aren't Irish?

Not only are the Irish acceptable, it will only be open to the Irish, but have no fear, being Irish, I have the ability to make anyone Irish with the wave of me wand and a sprinklin of the faerie dust!

[This message has been edited by Denise (01-02-2003 01:14 AM).]

 
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