[Kamikaze] Let the Chickens Roost | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Kamikaze] Let the Chickens Roost

It appears that the chickens did indeed come home to roost. No, not in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright sense. Not even the Malcolm X sense. These "chickens" are a direct product of America's passive attitudes toward race relations. Its longstanding dismissal of the obvious problems between folks of different hues and different histories has now come back to bite it on its hind parts.

Ours is a country that has always believed, "If we don't talk about it ... it will go away.'' But as is always been the case with festering sores, if you don't treat them, they only get worse. So much so that it will eventually burst, and what we find inside may be too much for any of us to handle.

Growing up in Mississippi is not an easy task. The state that I have so much love for has always been shackled by its divisive past. There have always been unspoken truths that blacks and whites dare not utter. There are places that you dare not go, people that you dare not be seen with. Mississippi just "is" how it "is," and you dare not buck the system.

However, we've reached the tipping point. If we don't stop now and begin having the uncomfortable conversations about our racial prejudices, we may never rise above our state's (and country's) racist stigma. All the statistical data and historical context in the world means nothing until both black and white folks sit across from one another and say what they really feel.

Sen. Barack Obama had no choice but to make the speech he made last week. Destiny and good common sense called for it. Obama is the first candidate that I have seen in my lifetime to amply address racial prejudice from both sides of the coin. And it, indeed, made some folks squirm. You know, the kind of squirming that a parent does during that first "sex" talk with their kids. And that's a good thing.

White folks have been forced to look at their own fears and stereotypes, and black folks have been called to look at their insecurities and anger. Deal with it. White folks are so utterly horrified of being called racist that they mute themselves and quietly vent behind closed doors and back corners of ritzy restaurants. Black folks feel as if this country's government has ignored their anger so they fail to acknowledge their shortcomings, responding to vitriol with vitriol.

Look, white folks, the playing field has not been and still isn't level.

White ladies still cower in corners when I get on the elevator at my gym, and some of you still think that Farish Street is dangerous. Black folks, though we aren't side by side at that starting line of life, still have great opportunities to grab that brass ring. We don't help the divide when we play the race card every time we don't get our way. It sure doesn't help when some black kids don't think being smart is cool.

It's high time we clear the air. Now is a good a time as any to exorcise the prejudices on both sides. The question is: Who will have the grapefruits to do it first?

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.

Previous Comments

ID
76276
Comment

I was waiting with interest to hear some thoughts from folks. This dialogue definitely needs to be given its proper context. In fact it was brought to my attention in sidebar from a blogger that it seemed that folks were sidestepping the issue..Anyway..two things came to my attention yesterday that convinced me we're sitting pat on this issue. The protest in Canton yesterday was a sad testament. Because not only is the arrogant sherriff not willing to acknowledge even the perception that there is inequality in his policies, he apparently has a county supervisor and a Canton police chief who have already pledged to stand by and go with the status quo. In a predominately white county, Trowbridge is literally unbeatable doing the bidding of the majority. I submit to you all that it is a known fact that Madison county (and the city)is often avoided by Black folks for obvious reasons..If you read the CL article the supervisor says those buzzwords that to us often mean other things. ''We have a safe community and a very desireable community'' Will we ever see a roadblock set up outside of the Renassaince?? of course we know the answer.. So now because Trowbridge, Johnson, or Hawkins-Butler refuse to have those uncomfortable discussions and CHANGE the perceptions we're left to believe that Black folks are not wanted in huge numbers in Madison and anything more would scare off all the potential shoppers to the new mall..And of course we cant have that.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T07:43:40-06:00
ID
76277
Comment

Secondly, I had a discussion with a promoter here in town JUST yesterday. We were discussing the differences in concert promotions between the black and white crowds. Ya know I always say that the most segregated time in Jackson is not on Sundays but on Thurs-Sat nights and THATS an issue folks wont discuss. The sad thing is both crowds black and white pretty much listen to the same music.they like some of the same artists..and want to see many of the same artists live. But this promoter proceeded to tell me that unless he promotes those shows in a certain way..using the right radio station and using what he termed ''white approved'' venues..white patrons wont come..REGARDLESS of whether its an artist they want to see. The other disappointing but believable thing was...he said that when he has thrown rap shows or parties he's gotten calls from folks asking (and I s##t you not)...''are there gonna be a lot of blacks there?'' as if THAT was their determining factor as to whether or not they would come...hmmmm??? Can someone tell me why?? I reeaaaalllyy wanna know. Why did the Spot on Ridgeland once it threw a few rap shows and began getting a more diverse i.e black crowd shut down...only to reopen as the electric cowboy.. country and dance club..Why did the Bulldog suddenly open once that switch was made...I dunno am I crazy??

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T08:04:48-06:00
ID
76278
Comment

Oops, sorry Kaze. I read the article and didn't leave a comment because I didn't know what I could possibly add to such a great article.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T08:11:25-06:00
ID
76279
Comment

WE have some real problems here at home..Not just nationally, not just statewide, but HERE in Jackson and the outlying areas..We've got some issues and they permeate through the papers and on blogs everyday. Why does it seem that one. white flight has flushed some white folks to Madison, Flowood, Clinton, Byram, and Rankin county?? and two. why do the police forces in those outlying areas seem to have taken a vow to protect that flight by accosting more regularly people of color who dare drive through their jurisdictions?? It IS a well known perception that driving while black through any of these areas could land ya in jail. It is indeed frustrating and Im venting..AGAIN. Why arent more white folks being candid?? Why are some BLACK folks calling BLACK folks who dare sit at the table with WHITE folks in the interest of moving this city forward SELLOUTS?? Its gotten immature and sickening on a grand scale. Think people!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T08:18:34-06:00
ID
76280
Comment

Great article, Kaze. Fair and balanced.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2008-03-28T08:20:56-06:00
ID
76281
Comment

I agree that more black and white mixed crowds for music would be GREAT, I see Farish as a possible place for this. Ezra Brown's Seven has often a mixed crowd, more would be good.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-03-28T08:22:48-06:00
ID
76282
Comment

Thats the thing LW..Neither Obama's speech nor my column was meant to END the discussion but BEGIN it..There WAS more you could have added..Just speak your mind..I fear that both Black and White folks feel vindicated and absolved of anymore responsibility because Obama made that speech. It seems to have all but stopped candid discussion. Racially, this town is F'ed up!

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T08:24:09-06:00
ID
76283
Comment

These are all good questions, Kaze, and I don't claim to know all the answers, but I would say that it is FEAR that is keeping white people away from certain venues or shows, and the "I see black people" thing that makes them associate large numbers of black people with crime/violence/whatever. My favorite events of the year are some of the most diverse. Best of Jackson, Chick Ball, Arts, Eats and Beats... it is so much more fun when people from all walks of life get together and enjoy that music that we are all listening to, or that food we all love, etc. I wish there were more events like that, and places that we could all go every Thursday - Saturday where everyone feels comfortable. I don't know the answer; I wish I did, it might make me rich! :)

Author
andi
Date
2008-03-28T08:25:38-06:00
ID
76284
Comment

Why are some BLACK folks calling BLACK folks who dare sit at the table with WHITE folks in the interest of moving this city forward SELLOUTS?? That's sad, man. Sad. How can we expect to unite with archaic attitudes like that? Do we really want change, or do we want things to stay stagnant so we can have something to complain about?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T08:27:34-06:00
ID
76285
Comment

Why did the Bulldog suddenly open once that switch was made...I dunno am I crazy?? Great article Kaze. But yes you are crazy if you are trying to insinuate that the Bulldog only opened because The Spot closed. I gotta stick up for my people -- the Bulldog owner's operated a restaurant/bar called Lager's (at the same location). Lager's was not a hit, so they closed it, renovated the building, and reopened as the Bulldog (which already has name recognition in NOLA). In that time period. Headliner's became The Spot which became The Electric Cowboy.

Author
QB
Date
2008-03-28T08:32:55-06:00
ID
76286
Comment

930 Blues always has a mixed crowd. Love that place.

Author
ellen
Date
2008-03-28T08:33:35-06:00
ID
76287
Comment

Thats the thing LW..Neither Obama's speech nor my column was meant to END the discussion but BEGIN it..There WAS more you could have added..Just speak your mind..I fear that both Black and White folks feel vindicated and absolved of anymore responsibility because Obama made that speech. It seems to have all but stopped candid discussion. Racially, this town is F'ed up! I never said that what you said (or Obama, for that matter) ended the discussion. I couldn't think of anything to add at the time. The article itself is comprehensive and well-written, so I'm still chewing on what you wrote, but it doesn't mean I don't want to talk about the issue of race any more. Don't take my response the wrong way.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T08:35:26-06:00
ID
76288
Comment

It's true the 930 has mixed nights at least when I've been in there. Good dancing & just being there hanging out.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-03-28T08:37:19-06:00
ID
76289
Comment

From what I've seen, no one wants the situation to change on either side. If it changes, our old agents of hate and division on both sides won't be able to win votes each november.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-03-28T08:38:22-06:00
ID
76290
Comment

I dunno Fat Harry..I got it on pretty good authority that when Lagers closed there was a franchise set to come in (I think it was Ruth's Chris Steakhouse..which ended up in of course..Madison) but anyway the guys came in one evening and saw the crowd at the Spot that night(could have been a concert night..dunno) didnt like the look and said Hell no! we're not putting it here! Thats when the Bulldog moved in..and yes I heard they had a name but coincidentally the color of the patrons changed dramatically when the electric cowboy opened and then..voila...the bulldog. which when I went in one sat nite had about 5 black people in there. If im wrong..then my apologies..but summin dont look right.. Plus..another key thing for black folks FYI..I was told upon entering to remove my shades. May seem meaningless and I dunno if I had a ballcap if I would have been tld to remove it or straighten it but truth be told..and now Im being frank...those things are instituted to discourage a certain type of Black person from coming in.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T08:54:17-06:00
ID
76291
Comment

Kaze: Its time for our Jackson to hold "fierce" conversations, but its irresponsible for us to think everyone will come to the table at once. I recently heard an African American businessman say to a multicultural business seminar crowd that we should focus on "Changing minds, ONE heart at a time," and I really bought into that mantra. Some of us are doing just that while others stand idley by.

Author
GradyGriffin
Date
2008-03-28T09:05:37-06:00
ID
76292
Comment

lus..another key thing for black folks FYI..I was told upon entering to remove my shades. May seem meaningless and I dunno if I had a ballcap if I would have been tld to remove it or straighten it but truth be told..and now Im being frank...those things are instituted to discourage a certain type of Black person from coming in. At a nightclub? Not a bank, but a nightclub?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T09:12:02-06:00
ID
76293
Comment

Kaze: Its time for our Jackson to hold "fierce" conversations, but its irresponsible for us to think everyone will come to the table at once. I recently heard an African American businessman say to a multicultural business seminar crowd that we should focus on "Changing minds, ONE heart at a time," and I really bought into that mantra. Some of us are doing just that while others stand idley by. EatOutOften, you definitely have a point. It took centuries for us to get into this mess, so...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T09:18:41-06:00
ID
76294
Comment

Yes LW..at a bar. probably my last time going there JUST because of that..dunno..

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T09:22:56-06:00
ID
76295
Comment

re: shades and ballcaps in restaurants, clubs etc... great first "fierce" conversation; white owners do not understand why the need for any patron to wear shades inside at night, and can rightly suggest that it is for the same security reason that banks use to not allow shades and ballcaps. Our mothers told us it was rude, and we put that same thought into business practices, yet one side can feel discriminated against while the other fears being called racist, all the while only trying to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for ALL guests. It's a cultural divide no one will attempt to explain so the other doesn't feel threatened.

Author
GradyGriffin
Date
2008-03-28T09:29:39-06:00
ID
76296
Comment

hose things are instituted to discourage a certain type of Black person from coming in. I'm not disagreeing with your statement -- but you can be more specific? What "certain type of Black person" is targeted by not allowing people to wear sunglasses in a club at night? Is there a certain type of Black person who wears sunglasses inside at night? What is that type? Do they have the rules posted for everyone? If so, I don't see a problem with it, considering the security question. It seems there would be other ways to look cool without wearing sunglasses. And do black clubs not have any kinds of rules about what people can wear?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T09:38:55-06:00
ID
76297
Comment

True..they dont WANT to be called racists but practices speak to it..and the other side does nothing to change the perception. Just as Trowbridge does with his roadblocks or Hawkins does with her ''no apartments''mantra..you can say its in other interests but they dont come across as such. I have long since railed against dress codes..Theyre idiotic. but owners have a right to implement them yes. Safety schmafety..they know those rules prohibit particular styles that some black folks do..and thus will deter them from coming..I know me personally..speaking solely for me..I wear my shades inside..thats part of me..and probably wont go somewhere where I cant. or at least dont have the opportunity to decide if I do or not.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T09:41:20-06:00
ID
76298
Comment

Excellent question Donna..No the rules arent posted. two.most black clubs dont restrict what people wear..especially shades..Some have dress codes on certain nights..and there are a couple who use one regularly.Their ''no caps'' no ''tall tees'' no ''sneakers'' ''no do-rags'' policy is put in place in those cases to keep out a younger hiphop crowd or what THEY deem as undesirables..Its stupid in those cases too..but thats just me.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T09:46:44-06:00
ID
76299
Comment

And the thing is Donna you cant tell someone to just ''find a another way to be cool'' to me thats ridiculous and speaks to how we try to legislate individuality..Its not their place...they can do it because they own it but dont give me the safety line..you know black folks wear shades inside sometimes... wear caps, tall tees, etc..so any policy that prohibits that is arbitrarily in place to keep those who dress like that out i.e. young black folks. But I dont want this to turn into a dress code issue..I want to talk race. race roadblocks and why white folks wont party with black folks..

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T09:58:20-06:00
ID
76300
Comment

the conversation is a good one, maybe dress codes and race are intertwined...it makes me think of the book Black and White: Cultural Styles in Conflict (sociology) -- in that book they compare "standard" concert behavior between a mostly white classical music crowd and a gospel music crowd. In the first you are expected to be still, silent, and appreciative only at the end. In the second, movement & vocalizations are not only expected but desired, as they move the musical performance forward. If you are used to only one of these contexts, the behaviors of people in the other might seem rude. Hmmmm...

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-03-28T10:28:40-06:00
ID
76301
Comment

oh..and donna to clarify "certain type of black person" I mean *I* dress differently than say...golden eagle(who had the pleasure of meeting at Sal and mookies) or LW..One style or swagger is deemed "less threatning" than the other..Never mind actual conversation or benefit of the doubt...Dress and race go hand in hand in some instances..and its not just white on black..its black on black..say the difference in the looks I get when Im going to speak to kids at a school and the average person they have come in and speak..My type of dress is more often deemed undesirable in a club or undesirable in a county or city...and they associate that with a specific group.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-28T10:42:00-06:00
ID
76302
Comment

Great article, Kaze. I sadly don't party with anyone, so I can't answer.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2008-03-28T10:43:04-06:00
ID
76303
Comment

If you are used to only one of these contexts, the behaviors of people in the other might seem rude. Izzy, I have been in church services where if people were sitting down during the praise and worship portion of a service, the worship leader would call them out on it. "God's been too good to you for you to sit on your do-nothing stool and not give Him some CRAZY PRAAAAAISE! If you don't praise Him, the rocks will cry out, and I don't want no rock crying out in my place! When you were at the club, you weren't sitting down, were you?" Oops, I think I said too much. :-P Also, I went to a small concert for a Christian artist a few years ago at a predominantly white church, and I was one of maybe five to ten black people there. The singer was really jammin', but 99% of the audience didn't rock, move or clap to the beat. They just sat quietly, waited for the song to finish and applauded. I wanted to clap to the beat and holler out, "Go, GIRL!" so bad, but I was afraid of the looks I might get. I just gently rocked to get it out of my system. you know black folks wear shades inside sometimes... wear caps, tall tees, etc. This conjures up memories of my grandmother, who lived with my family when I was a kid. Sometimes my mom would buy us shades as toys because we didn't wear them often, and Grandma would get on our case if she caught us wearing them indoors. Talk about old school! She said it was rude to whistle indoors or sing at the dinner table. Even when we wore skirts mid-calf, she still thought they were too short. Well, I can't fault her too much, God rest her soul. She was born in 1915, so her point of view on things were different.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T10:56:13-06:00
ID
76304
Comment

Kaze, I'm with you on free expression, including in dress. And I don't mind seeing anybody wearing sunglasses at night; that was a white-hipster trend in the '80s when I was deejaying "new wave" music in the Northeast. So I don't care one way or another about it from that angle. However, there is the security point, and whether it is legitimate to regulate -- fairly and without regard to race -- certain "cool" feature that can also help someone say disguise themselves before doing a robbery or such. And if there is a legitimate safety (or other) reason for changing a cool trend, hipsters of whatever race are perfectly capable of changing it. I mean, look at what happened to the gold-chain movement after it was revealed in this country how/where much of that gold was coming from. Same with diamonds. We all have to pay a price for security, and maybe giving up the sunglasses at night, in certain private businesses, could be one of those that don't cost too much, culturally speaking or otherwise. And it's vital, of course, that any ban for legitimate security reasons is enforced across the board, IF there is a good reason for it. My other point was that if you are going to accuse a club of being discriminatory against blacks for such a policy, to be sure that it's not a policy that's also in place at some black clubs for perhaps the same reasons. The crossroads of free expression and safety is always a murky one; I mean, I'm the VP of Mississippi's ACLU, and I can acknowledge that. Of course, I'd think that just having the word "cowboy" in your name would be enough to turn off a lot of urban hipsters. Do they have a mechanical bull, too?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T11:17:32-06:00
ID
76305
Comment

I guess this song hasn't survived the hyper-jump to the 21st century like so much of music of the '80s. ;-) How easily we forget ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T11:21:02-06:00
ID
76306
Comment

In my opinion, race relations have gone downhill since I graduated from HS in '81. I'm not sure, but I think most whites who aren't really racist get tired of the race card being played all the time, even when it's clear that it's not really applicable. It's predictable at this point. However I think if Obama gets elected, it will help matters immensely, as guys like Sharpton & J Jackson will no longer be the "Black person of record".

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-03-28T11:27:35-06:00
ID
76307
Comment

After Headliners refused to let me in because I had on a Mets jersey, I never went back, but from what I hear, once it became the Spot there were several incidents in the parking lot that may have led to it's demise. If I'm not mistaken, that fatal shooting on 220 started out as a fender bender there.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-03-28T11:35:26-06:00
ID
76308
Comment

I guess this song hasn't survived the hyper-jump to the 21st century like so much of music of the '80s. ;-) I remember that song!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T11:43:22-06:00
ID
76309
Comment

this one's even better... http://www.yougotrickrolled.com/

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-03-28T11:55:20-06:00
ID
76310
Comment

Rex, that video reminds me of Jordache, Dippity-Do and Clearasil. LOL Now, back to the topic. :-)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T12:13:28-06:00
ID
76311
Comment

LW, you know I'd never let you down

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-03-28T12:16:08-06:00
ID
76312
Comment

Well, I suppose as a black woman I should chime in here. I can tell you that I for one was raced not as a racist but to place my race in a higher regard. In doing that, in my later years of life, I've learned that I just may have been at one point, a racist. My father in his attempt to teach black pride, gave me incentive to hate. I often wondered how he could be so close with so many white people if I was being taught to stay away from them and deal with the people I can trust....my people. Now I have learned that there are people of all races - even black- that you can't trust. It is most certainly a good thing to love your race...whatever it is. But it doesn't mean that by socializing, marrying, befriending, etc...any other race of people, that you are selling out or being an Uncle Tom.....That is a term used to describe black people who turn there backs on black people in hopes of white favor. I am the first to admit that this is a challenge. My major obstacle with crossing the race barrier, is not being friendly with friendly white people. It's not respecting another race. My problem is I do not appreciate and have yet to learn how to handle the white people who feel as if they have to save the black race. As if they understand our plight better than we do. I feel I can certainly get over this, if white people who aim to end racism will not try to conquer the problem and offer the solution. I feel as if your help is great, but you can't teach me how to have black pride. Like a woman cant teach a boy to be a man. You can show me by your actions that all white people don't hate me because I'm intelligent and black. You can emphasis that you see me as an individual human being instead of someone inferior to your life. Your struggles, white man/woman, is not, has not, can not be the same as being born with black skin. So do not patronize my struggle by acting like either a/ I should get over it; or b/ you are somehow more capable of teaching me or leading me to get over it.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T12:25:23-06:00
ID
76313
Comment

have met several white people in the last 2 years who do not make me feel this way....but then it's one or two people that shake the entire ground beneath me when they do make me feel this way. White people have a funny way of trying to ease things over. I don't want you to ease my struggle away. I just want you to acknowlege that there is a struggle and we can then work to get pass it together. Not you leading me. I don't need to be lead. And when I say you and I in this post, it is in the most general sense. This is not to any one individual and should not be taken personal. However if it's time to talk about this...then, let's talk. I'm sure someone here may be helped to know that there are black people who feel this way. And maybe someone here who is ballzy enough to tell me that they think I'm holding on to the past and need to let slavery go because this is a new day and age....and then this discussion will get going....

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T12:30:56-06:00
ID
76314
Comment

God, Queen, GREAT POST

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-03-28T12:40:51-06:00
ID
76315
Comment

Most white folks are reluctant to discuss race because it's such a dicey/volatile subject. If you happen to misspeak, or are taken the wrong way, you run the risk of being branded a racist, which, in this PC day and age, is about equal to being labeled a child molester.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-03-28T12:44:52-06:00
ID
76316
Comment

yeah, I agree, which is why Queen's post is so good (one reason, anyway). We need to face up to the reality that we all are learning, and we all have a lot to learn. I also liked your honesty

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-03-28T13:12:34-06:00
ID
76317
Comment

I agree with you Rex. I can see that. And I also agree that Black people have allowed the complexity of this race issue to drive us and at the same time hender us. I can admit that at one time I felt the entire world tilted in the way of the Caucasian and if you were born with darkened skin that you just had to struggle and struggle and try to do the best you can because you were automatically born into a life of inferiority. And when you are a black person with strong convictions, this of course will harden you that which you deem as being unfair and unequal and thus makes you unable to fathom "getting alone" with these people. I've learned that it's a struggle for white people too. It's got to be hard trying not to seem like you're unafraid on the elevator with a large black man who you think already hates you because you are not his color...we've been taught that. SO that poor old white lady on the elevator with Kaze in an attempt at preservation of course cuffs her purse and looks in the corner as not to make eye contact. The only way to look into a persons soul to see if they mean you harm or not. I do the same thing though. If i'm in an area where crime is high and it's a couple (probably not just one - unless he just looks like a killer) of black guys there and i'm by myself...I'd then become the poor old white lady. But, I think it would be the same way with a couple of white guys.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T13:21:47-06:00
ID
76318
Comment

I get that way when I'm around bitter divorced women...

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-03-28T13:27:18-06:00
ID
76319
Comment

My point here is that this racism issue is that we all have our reasons for feeling like this issue can't be discussed. But hopefully we are getting closer to understanding that not seeing eye to eye is one thing. But not seeing at all is something totally different. We can't fully see the problem unless we discuss it. There may be screaming matches back and forth, but if we keep covering the issues afraid to upset the other party, we will never conquer the problem. We just gotta be willing to endure the hurt and pain and cry together. Because it will be painful to face these things. But pain has never had a more significant place as it does in the history of this country. We build off pain. We get better off pain. It's unfortunate, but its true.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T13:29:09-06:00
ID
76320
Comment

But I dont want this to turn into a dress code issue..I want to talk race. race roadblocks and why white folks wont party with black folks.. --Okay. I've totally been remiss on my Jackson Progressive duties (Yes, Kaze...I felt totally guilty when you called me out in that email, I have been legitimately busy. Just ask Emily ). But THIS QUOTE makes me want to come have a beer, or fourteen, with you. But, to reference Queen's post (which makes an excellent point), I have a funny story that sort of explains how my brain works.....My new next door neighbor moved in last week. She is an African American woman. She met The Man last week in passing and I was on my way over to introduce myself yesterday afternoon when I got detained by a foot rub (;)). But, I kind of wonder if our neighbor will think we are the 'Hyper Friendly Race-Relating White People That Live Next Door" if I rush right over, introduce myself, shake her hand and tell her how happy we are a nurse moved in next door (we are prone to injury at my house). So, even as a white person (and I'm being extremely honest in this comment), I sometimes do not know how to handle situations EXACTLY right. But, I feel I have an advantage over that because at least I'm willing to admit it.

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-03-28T13:32:29-06:00
ID
76321
Comment

I have met so many white people lately that have made me feel like the way I started out my journey to adult living may have been just a bit uninformed. I certainly did not ever think I'd have any white friends. Through Jackson Progressives i have actually become well aware that white people are normal regular people. I know that sounds strange to hear, but if you had a chance to glance at the life of a young black girl who went to a private black elementary school, private catholic jr high, then went to Clinton High (boy what an awakening that was), then on to Tougaloo College. You can see that my experience with white people was very limited and my love for black people led me....my entire life. So I have come to realize that the answer is not to just deal with blacks only. We have to coexist people. We have to have enough love for ourselves that we recognize that we MUST love everyone else. Including Mexicans, Indians....we are all human beings....we have the same struggles well, most of us. We are guilty of allowing our struggles to be race specific when actually they are not.....As long as you are born and have air to breath, I guarantee whatever issue you have you can find someone in the next race that shares in those issues.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T13:39:49-06:00
ID
76322
Comment

we have the same struggles well, most of us. We are guilty of allowing our struggles to be race specific when actually they are not.....As long as you are born and have air to breath, I guarantee whatever issue you have you can find someone in the next race that shares in those issues. I once heard a black person say about white people, "Your blues ain't like my blues." The way I see it, even if the struggle isn't the same, it's still struggling, and that's something that humans have in common regardless of what you look like. We are more alike than we are different.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T13:48:37-06:00
ID
76323
Comment

Lori let me say this to you and I can be completely on my on....WHY DO WHITE FOLKS FEEL LIKE THEY GOTTA COME WELCOME US TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD....now, do you do that to everyone white or black. Or do you feel like because your new neighbors are black that you should (as the non-racist) extend a welcoming hand to let them know that you don't mind them being there. If it were me and I was your new neighbor. I'd much rather you offer me a welcoming smile for a little while. A nice friendly hello. Then one day when the sun is beeming or the rain is pouring and I'm running in the house, say something funny or easy like, "It's raining cats and dogs out here". REGULAR. NORMAL. Don't make me feel like you have to extend the hand to offer me comfort. As time passes, I'll see you. I'll see your genuine smile. I will see your comfort level with me and my family living next door. And we will become neighborly. Then you go over and introduce yourself. Catch me outside and ask me to sit on the porch with you for a cup of tea or a beer or something. Take time to notice me. And give me time to get comfortable with you. Remember that I have reservations about moving next to a white family to, likely. So respect me enough to at least feel me out to see if I want your company. I might think you being nosy or malicious for knocking on my door and I don't know you. See that's my point of white people assuming that they can make everything okay. Your idea is that if I go over here and welcome her she'll know that it's okay. But my idea is, it's okay anyway, and not necessary for you to MAKE it okay for me to be your neighbor. And you could just be that friendly type of person. But I just think that assumptions and actions sometimes destroy the connection before the connection is even made. Now my opinion may be based on me being a very private neighbor, but it is something to consider.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T13:49:18-06:00
ID
76324
Comment

Nah, Queen. You just told me EXACTLY what I wanted to know. :) See, its good to have conversations like this. I wondered all of those things that you stated above...and I still couldn't ever understand it from a black woman's point of view.

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-03-28T13:53:29-06:00
ID
76325
Comment

By the way, LOVE THIS, its hysterical. I am a white folk who thought I needed to come "welcome her to the neighborhood". Okay, I admit it, I totally AM the Hyper Race-Relating White Folk that live next door. This is definitely an SNL skit....or at least a Stiggers column. ;)

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-03-28T13:56:25-06:00
ID
76326
Comment

See, that's what we got to do here. And Lori, you can call me anytime you want to know how to deal with a black woman....I'll break it down for ya! ;-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T13:58:43-06:00
ID
76327
Comment

And I am the black woman neighbor who would look out of my peep hole at you and not answer the door....just because I would not understand why this woman is knocking at my door. You'd leave and the next time you saw me (knowing I was home just not answering the door for you) you'd be hardened against me thinking, "black women are so rude and unfriendly". I'd be thinking, "no she didn't come knock on my door...who she think she is". And guess what another failed attempt at what could possibly be a fulfilling wonderful neighborly relationship. Just let people be them....let time work out the kinks sometimes. You don't have to. Allow me to be on the same level as you. Not this is your neighborhood and I need your approval or welcome to be here. Sometimes silence and a smile says more than words could ever say. Try it. Especially when you have no idea what to say to a black woman...a smile is a safe bet.... :-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T14:03:45-06:00
ID
76328
Comment

See, that's what we got to do here. And Lori, you can call me anytime you want to know how to deal with a black woman....I'll break it down for ya! ;-) You damn right I'll call you. I gots some questions. I work in a non-proft with mostly african american woman...and sometimes I want to ask them questions but I'm never sure how they will take it. As genuine interest in our differences in culture, or as a slight. Just as everyone has stated, the dialogue is important. Very important. For now, with my new neighbor, I will smile and wave when we pass each other. I have to run out of the office now and wrangle one of my "kids", but I will definitely be back to read this thread.

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-03-28T14:09:07-06:00
ID
76329
Comment

We just gotta be willing to endure the hurt and pain and cry together Amen, sister. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T14:12:24-06:00
ID
76330
Comment

Lori, I'm not saying that all black women are the same. But I can tell you what you DO NOT want to do if your aiming to maintain a good relationship with a black woman. And it's even more detailed in the work place. Hell, it's a challenge for a black woman to get along with another black woman in the work place, so for you....it would be like pulling teeth in serious situations, I'm sure. But hey, I'm here. Email me anytime - [email][email protected][/email]

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T14:50:44-06:00
ID
76331
Comment

What I haven't heard yet is anything about the anger that some people haven't gotten over that warps inter-ethnic relations. It took me years to get over the anger of what I experienced as a six year-old when I was one of the first three children to attend a previously all white school. The wounds were re-opened when I was ten and a friend of the family was blown up in his car. I never had white friends or was in very close contact with many whites until I left Mississippi and went to a school in the north. My anger lessened some as I saw that just as many white students as blacks responded to my solicitations to come out and demonstrate against the university's investments in south africa. One of my best partners in that struggle was a polish, jewish student. He had me over to his house for dinner with his parents. I had never experienced anything like that before. If we struggle together it will lead to healing. The embers of those old angers cooled even more. As I went into my thirties and made more white and Hispanic friends, after all those years my anger now seems like something from the past. Real healing takes time. Some people are still angry about things that happened years ago. Some are still angry about the Civil War!

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-03-28T15:08:53-06:00
ID
76332
Comment

Whitley, I welcome your anger. I'm angry. The point in this is to figure out, by talking it over, how to get pass the anger. It's hard. As a matter of fact, I just got done speaking with one of my best friends who happens to be white, but also about 15 years older than me. I was briefing her on this conversation we're having on this board right now. Her immediate reaction was to make a statement, prefaced by, "you know I don't see you as black or anything...you're just my friend"....so, I prepared myself. She stated that her issue with black people is that she doesn't get why they (WE) keep bringing up slavery. That was a long time ago. Her mother and father didn't participate in slavery. She never owned a slave and thus, should not be held accountable for what white people did to black people back during slavery. She said you were never a slave. Your mama was never a slave. I corrected her and told her that although my mother was free, she lived on a plantation and picked cotton with her mother and father every day for the first part of her life. I ask her, had she ever picked cotton. Did her mother pick cotton...had she ever seen whips on the backs of any white person at the hands of a black person. I explained to her that slavery was directed towards ONE race...BLACKS, by one race....WHITES. But before I get to deep in my opinion... I would love to get the opinion of some of our white readers on this...

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T15:30:45-06:00
ID
76333
Comment

I don't have much time to explain this before a staff meeting -- but I will add that as a white person, I used to be very angry at the white people around me because of what they let happen here to black people. It's why I left Mississippi in the first place. Of course, then I discovered that I couldn't escape bigotry by moving -- that you have to stand up wherever you, whoever you are, and challenge it. I've also had black people (not many) belittle me because of my efforts, and of course white people (a lot more, but not as many as you'd think), but I figured out a long time ago that that doesn't matter. People always belittle positive efforts out of their own pain, and I strive to have compassion for that, even though it can tick me off from time to time, admittedly. ;-) But the truth is that our race history has been very hard on whites who did not agree as well, even though I would never equate that pain to the pain of blacks, which I can't feel. Yet pain is pain, and I think that empathy can flow both directions. I will tell you, guys: It is so hard to be assumed to be a racist because you're white and from MIssissippi. Awful. This is what the white supremacists did to white people, and what the southern strategists (like Barbour, Lott, et al) have continued to do—tell the world that we're bigots because we're white. Divide us. Conquer us. That's why I'm digging a new Obama world. There's hope for unity or something approaching it. Coalitions. Friendships. Understanding. Empathy. But as Queen said, it's not going to be easy to get there. It's not supposed to be. I actually thank God for the Rev. Wright incident. I think it was a divine arrow aimed at us all to make us talk. WE've been talking here like this for a while, but we can and should ratchet it up, and continue to show people reading that Mississippians can have these conversations, and so can they. Must fly ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T16:03:11-06:00
ID
76334
Comment

Maybe if we can start by dismissing the idea of who's had the most pain and just acknowledge that slavery, racism and the civil rights movement have had it's affects on all of us. White, Black, Man or Woman. Once we recognize that then maybe we can just try to figure out how to help each other heal. I mean I never gave a dam about how white people felt about how we feel about them. NEVER. Never ever occured to me that some white people out there may be embarassed to belong to a group of people who could allow this. Some whites may have been completely saddened that they watched and listened to their parents or grandparents speak racial slurs. They may have even been forced to say them. They may have even been forced to believe that something was wrong with black people. I personally can admit to you all that I just didn't care how what white people did to my race actually affected non-racist whites. It's so much easier to put you all in one category than to try and figure out who's this or who's that. I would just rather not figure it out and treat you all the same. My mistake. I've learned from that. People should be held accoutable to who they are. Not their parents....not their race. Individually. I often watch movies where one white person may correct another white person for using the n word. I always found that to be a bit unsettling. Why? Because I felt like you all used the word in dark corners, in the privacy of your own home, when no one else can hear you. So why get display on a movie like some people dont use that word or think it's wrong (if you're white). Well, I still don't know that all white people don't sneak and use the word around other white people as long as no one black hears them. I mean the word has become pretty popular over the last couple of years in the hip hop community. Since most hip hop consumers are white...i just figure they are sneaking and saying around their peeps so they can be cool. So, do yall say the word when it's safe that no one will hear you. It's gotta be like your mother telling you not to curse...as soon as she leaves the room you say the word about twelves times real fast just because she said not to. And if you do say it under those circumstances then it that contributing to this issue too?

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-28T16:17:42-06:00
ID
76335
Comment

What some people don't get and what still makes a lot of US angry is that the institutionally sanctioned opression of African Americans did not end with slavery! They talk as though it did. that they are oblivious to history fans those embers of anger within us because we know that the beatings, the bombings the slurs, the humiliations, the daily deprivations, the threats, THE TERRORISM did not begin to abate until about forty years ago. We are still more likely to be locked up for years when we are innocent. Does anyone wonder why a disproportionate number of those freed after being found innocent after 15-20 years in prison are African American? We are still more likely to get longer sentences for the same offenses. We are still in separate but unequal schools. We are still looking for justice. That is very recent history. I am only forty-six and I remember when things were very different. I am no longer angry (most the time), but I do get stoked again when people make that weak cop out about not being responsible for slavery. Why is it that over 10 million Africans died in the slave trade, but we are derided and told we should forget about it, but no one would dare tell a Jewish person to forget about the holocaust in which 6 million died. I recently bought an acclaimed book about the slave ships and I was so overcome with emotions in the first few pages that I could not continue after reading about how a 15 year-old female captive was tied up by her thumbs and whipped to death because she refused to dance naked. I cannot read that book. I understand and echo the sentiment of my Jewish friends, "WE MUST NEVER FORGET".

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-03-28T16:51:53-06:00
ID
76336
Comment

Two things to address with this: Never ever occured to me that some white people out there may be embarassed to belong to a group of people who could allow this. Some whites may have been completely saddened that they watched and listened to their parents or grandparents speak racial slurs. They may have even been forced to say them. They may have even been forced to believe that something was wrong with black people. My father, whom I love dearly, is a segregationist. My mother raised me to care for all people. (This is a reason they divorced). I do not have a relationship with my father currently for these reasons. I've never compared the pain that division over racial issues caused my family to the pain african americans have felt concerning their opression...ever. But, racism tears all families apart around here. All of them. I'm not the only white person I know like me. Well, I still don't know that all white people don't sneak and use the word around other white people as long as no one black hears them. I mean the word has become pretty popular over the last couple of years in the hip hop community. Since most hip hop consumers are white...i just figure they are sneaking and saying around their peeps so they can be cool. So, do yall say the word when it's safe that no one will hear you. I work in social work. I have an african american family actively attempting to adopt one of my caucasian children. I'm all for it. They are the coolest parents EVER. But, when I went up to the school this kid attends in order to speak to an administrator...she tried to have the "Secret White People Conversation" with me. The "Secret White People Conversation" she thought would be allowed because I am white. This is the conversation where she asks me about the "black people" adopting the "white baby". The "Secret White People Conversation" that I refused to have with her. This is how *I* (as a white woman) experience what you are referencing above. I will also clarify by saying that I am not approached in this manner often. I also associate with progressive people of every color, so I'm not exposed to that line of thought a lot. But, yes, The "Secret White People Conversation" does happen.

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-03-28T17:03:43-06:00
ID
76337
Comment

I hate, I mean despise the "secret white people conversations," Lori. I mean in a way I cannot even explain. I've had major incidents in my own family, as have a lot of white people, where I get upset about racist comments, and then the family gets mad at you. It happened once where someone (a relative of my relatives; not my relative) made an awful O.J. n*gger comment, about him doing what n*ggers do or some such. (BTW, Queen, this is the only way I use, or allow use of, that word around me; as an educational tool. I know and respect that some disagree with even using it that way.) The blood drained from my face, and to keep from exploding at the woman, I got up and left the room. Then people were mad at me because I created a scene by getting up and leaving. I have more stories than I can tell you about being a white girl from Neshoba County. Here in Jackson, during college at State, I was here visiting my then-boyfriend's parents, who lived in North Jackson. His uncle heard I was from Neshoba County and said, chuckling, "That's where y'all just put your uppity n*ggers under a dam." I almost fell out of my chair. I don't remember exactly what I said, but I sputtered something about how not all white people from Neshoba County believe that way, and left the room, probably slamming the door. That boyfriend's parents never forgave me because I was the one causing the trouble. Growing up, grown people would call me a "n*gger lover" when I challenged racist jokes, which I started doing pretty early. And they were told all around me. In North Dakota, I was with a table full of white people, and somebody said they liked it there because it kept the n*gger riff-raff out. At a bar in Washington, D.C., some (white) guy flirting with me heard I was from Neshoba County and said, in a more PC way, "Oh that's where you people bury blacks under a dam if they get out line." He then didn't understand why I was offended that he assumed all white people in my state and county felt that way. I could go on, and on. But the point I'm making is that it can be very painful growing up in a white supremacist world and not believing in white supremacy. Bigots belittle you because you don't agree (after they assumed that you do because you're white); "liberal" outsiders assume you're a bigot because you're from Mississippi; some blacks assume you're trying to steal their history, or "act black," or something, because you're working hard toward living a different way. It is a different kind of burden, and I would never equate it (and, bless you Queen, for saying that it shouldn't be a competition; I couldn't agree more and don't mean it that way), but believe me, it is a burden. But I want to say that I have not regretted for one moment being very deliberate about choosing to be better than the environment I grew up in. So many people, black and white and other races, respond to you with love and acceptance—far more than the ones who belittle you. But as a young person without the self-esteem I have today, it could make you feel like you didn't belong anywhere at times: damned if you do and damned if you don't. And the belittlement, from whichever race, can shut down well-meaning, and needed, efforts. And Queen, I understand why it had never occurred to you that there were whites who thought differently. I mean, look at the symbols our leaders have supported, like the rebel flag. I have never held distrust of whites against African Americans because I believe it is the card that our forebearers dealt us. It's up to us to play them and show that we are different. Instead, way too many whites still do the exact opposite, by refusing to study or acknowledge our real history, and I say "our" on purpose, and understand its continuing effects on us today. To apologize for horrible past atrocities just because we're human, and we can. To reach out and ask questions, and to able to see past the distrust of us to what is possible. I also understand white people's fear of getting it wrong. I've felt that, too. I'll never forget the early days of quietly going into beauty and barber shops in West Jackson to drop the JFP. I tried not to force myself on people; just to ask politely if I could drop the papers. I went back week after week for months, as people looked at me funny. Then, gradually, people started responding, talking to me about what was in the paper, questioning articles about gay people, thanking me for this or that. A conversation started, and has continued. My readers and I don't always agree, and we shouldn't, but we talk. I miss those days of distributing in many ways, but they helped me immensely. And I did everything I could not to force myself or the paper on anyone. I figured we had to show what we wanted to do, not to blaze in and announce we'd already done it. Anyway, thanks for listening all. And, Queen, your comments are delightful and wonderful and inspiring. Thank you for being you.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T17:35:57-06:00
ID
76338
Comment

I think I'm just going to say "Amen" to Ladd's post above and be done with it. So, when we takin' this conversation public?

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-03-28T17:54:43-06:00
ID
76339
Comment

Let's have a committee meeting, and do a forum soon. Queen, Kaze, Lori ... y'all in? Who else wants in?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T18:13:42-06:00
ID
76340
Comment

That sounds like a great idea. How can I help?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T18:14:40-06:00
ID
76341
Comment

Oh, and Whitley, thank you for your post. Keep saying these things until white people get it. That's my goal. We hurt ourselves and others of our race when we live in denial. Likewise, I believe, do African Americans who put black people willing to work with each other in some sort of "brown society." There is a journalist in town, and most of you knows who he is, who has anointed me part of the "white power structure" because I questioned an unfactual accusation he made about a white developer. I said that he should hold himself to a high standard and correct the statement and apologize. I then became the enemy, and he has unleashed holy hell against me because I dared to question him as I would any white journalist in town (ask the Ledger folks). He made it about race when it wasn't. My self-esteem is such that I don't lose sleep over petty insults. But here is the tragedy to me: Games like this are the exact ones that stop people of different races from working together. I believe that *everyone* should be held to the same basic standards, just as I at the same time am capable and willing to look at the conditions and history that has made it tougher for black Americans. It's simple. In the journalism industry, we don't libel people. And when we make mistakes, we correct and apologize for them. It doesn't matter what race we are. It breaks my heart that someone with such journalistic, and leadership, potential cannot see what he is doing to himself in this, and the example he is setting for other journalists of color. I'm on the mass communications advisory board at JSU, and I can tell you the biggest problem I see: young people who do not believe that they can be the best in the country at their craft. We send this message when we don't question people who cut corners and violate the basic tenets of our industry (and we must call out bad journalistic practices, as the SPJ code of ethics demands). And when people who make mistakes respond with bigotry and insults, they are hurting themselves worse than anyone else. It reminds me of when Melton blames (white) people who criticize him of bigotry against a successful black man, and then turns around and belittles people who want to talk about race issues, or even says that other African Americans who criticize him are jealous in some way. It's hypocritical, and it sure as hell doesn't help the race dialogue. It's playing the race card out of personal convenience and nothing more. Guys, I really think what our young people need the most is a group of mentors who lead by example with their multiracial friendships and approaches, not to mention who hold themselves, and the young people, to high standards by believing in their capabilities, teaching them skills (networking and otherwise) and helping them transcend race barriers. I'd really like to see us all get together and make something really happen on this front. I'm so tired of Mississippians of all races thinking we're not good enough, and then acting like it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T18:29:20-06:00
ID
76342
Comment

Of course, L.W. I should have named you first. ;-) Seriously, though, let's get the mentoring component some major thought. Folks, there's a great section of Malcolm Gladwell's book "Tipping Point" about the level of effort it takes to change attitudes in an inner-city community. Everyone should read it if you haven't. I need to re-read it. For a long time, I've envisioned a diverse group of successful, confident urban professionals targeting the problems (and self-esteem) of our young people. Many people like to say that crime is our "no. 1 issue"; I disagree. I actually think that self-esteem is. Someone with high self-esteem doesn't feel the need to become a criminal. But it takes a diverse village—pardon my Clinton reference—to help our young people, of all races, have the skills and confidence they need to overcome the legacies of our history. This is a big job, but if there is anyone I believe I can handle it, it's the people I've met in Jackson, Mississippi.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-28T18:33:55-06:00
ID
76343
Comment

Um. Emily. Totally wants in. And wants to catch up on this conversation soon.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-28T19:11:57-06:00
ID
76344
Comment

We're reading "House on Mango Street." Today, our journal topic was hair. Do you know how good it feels to have rapport with my students where I'm that "white teacher," and how good it feels that they are FINALLY talking with me comfortably? And listening? And TALKING? So I can listen too? Teaching is tireless and neverending, but it does feel good sometimes. Anyway, today we talked hair texture. How they do their hair. How hair makes them feel. Do we have "bad hair days?" (No was the concensus in that class....strong women!) I finally introduced them to MF (who was not there....but is like talking about my child with them...makes me real) whose hair is very red and very curly and how my hair is very straight and very NOT RED (to which I will always be jealous of her.) When I said MF's name, one student comments, "Oh Mary Frances, can you pass me the pate'?") I get to tell them my experiences as a white person, and young folks are listening. They tell me their experiences, and they know I'm listening. And you know what? Our experiences are more alike than different. I've noticed with my peer group, who made me so angry in the 2004 election, now listen. And understand. This is regards to politics, race, religion, et al. I've noticed that many churches include outreach for more diversity (even Pinelake!) We've been having this conversation since 2003, and the evolution is beautiful. Did anyone EVER THINK I'd enjoy Kamikaze's company? :P Queen has taught me so much, and I love her for admitting mistakes. I love that we ALL admit mistakes. It's time the voices on this forum make a concerted effort to have the conversations in places beyond just this forum :) I know I'm working on some things with my students. Donna is right on with the mentoring. They both have something to learn from one another. Are we ready to pool resources and understand the conversation doesn't belong to just one entity? I think we are.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-28T19:37:21-06:00
ID
76345
Comment

OH. And I explained that we've never eaten pate'. Except for that time in French class. We're more bacon, mayonaise and fried crap kind of white chicks.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-28T19:49:15-06:00
ID
76346
Comment

I'm in on any thing that takes this conversation public. Let's meet and figure out how to do this.

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-03-28T19:57:04-06:00
ID
76347
Comment

Mentoring would be a challenge for me since I'm so involved in the lives of my sisters' kids, four in total, with ages from 3 months to 15 years. (I just got through helping the 9-year-old with some homework, as a matter of fact.) However, I'm willing to brainstorm and help where needed. I still wouldn't mind reading that book if that will help me help my nieces and nephews.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T20:19:01-06:00
ID
76348
Comment

Anyway, today we talked hair texture. How they do their hair. How hair makes them feel. Do we have "bad hair days?" You want to get black women riled up? Talk about hair. Ain't that right, Queen? ;-)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T20:23:31-06:00
ID
76349
Comment

Speaking of mentoring, take a look at this video someone told me about. Wouldn't it be nice if this could be duplicated here?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T20:34:34-06:00
ID
76350
Comment

L.W.-email me any time you need help with the borthers and sisters :) Here's the journal topic L.W.: Let's talk about hair. Do you like your hair? Do you dislike your hair? Have you ever been discriminated against because of your hair? MY journal write was feeling "less than my best" at the crime forum last night with ROOTS!!!!!!! And how in the past I never would have left the houses looking like that, but as my responsibilities and passions have changed, so have my priorities. According to them, they wouldn't care. Hair is hair and people are people. Too bad they don't run our society :) But you know, conversations as simple as hair, between two cultures, bonds so much. Our common ground....sometimes we can let our "hair" overpower us souls. And if someone has a problem with our hair, they can kiss off and eat some fish heads. (That was my nice way of saying fuck 'em and feed them fish heads...they know I'm 'lame.")

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-28T20:50:58-06:00
ID
76351
Comment

What subject(s) do you teach, Emily? What grade? Let's talk about hair. Do you like your hair? Do you dislike your hair? Have you ever been discriminated against because of your hair? You already know I love mine. :-) I've experienced discrimination in my peer group. A friend offered to get my hair "done" once as a gift, and when I got my hair pressed instead of straightened, she didn't understand why, and I told her that I decided to grow out my relaxer. Then, when I started wearing a 'fro, she asked me if I decided to go natural and I told her yes. Not too long after that, she had chosen her wedding party, and I had a feeling that she was going to ask me to be in it but changed her mind because of my hair. On a sidenote, when my BFF got engaged, she asked me to be a bridesmaid, but she asked me if I could press my hair because she was going after a sleek look for her wedding. I agreed. After being in the wedding and wearing ym hair that way for a week afterwards, I washed my hair, and sections of it would not coil back up, so I had straight sections sticking out. I had to trim my hair to even out my 'fro, and I was TICKED OFF!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-28T22:11:15-06:00
ID
76352
Comment

I teach high school Language Arts. One day English/one day Creative Writing. This is the CW class. We're reading "House on Mango Street" and journalling, discussing et al. Their long-term project is to write a "book." Their books with have ten chapeters in Mango Street style (they are vignettes....you would truly love the book!). Still working on what to do with writing after the projects. Several want to "publish" their stories...perhaps one story from each student in one publication. I've just been too overwhelmed this week to figure out how we'll make that happen. I bet you were ticked off! In the eighties, when I was in my aunt's wedding I had to tame the bangs. I can't believe I'm telling this. I had huge bangs. I also had to pull them back for a choir conert once.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-29T08:45:26-06:00
ID
76353
Comment

FYI...and we know this...the William Winter Institute is an excellent resource. http://www.olemiss.edu/winterinstitute/documents/handbook.htm

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-29T09:52:40-06:00
ID
76354
Comment

in re: a diverse group of successful, confident urban professionals targeting the problems (and self-esteem) of our young people...our "no. 1 issue"...self-esteem is. Someone with high self-esteem doesn't feel the need to become a criminal...help our young people, of all races, have the skills and confidence they need to overcome...our history. I agree. A lot of volunteer time would be needed to have an impact. That is an effort I would support.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-03-29T14:08:10-06:00
ID
76355
Comment

I guess the white equivalent to the natural/pressed thing would be the way I tend to look down on guys who rock the mullet.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-03-29T16:46:33-06:00
ID
76356
Comment

The mullet, huh? To me, how whites view the mullet is an equivalent of how blacks view the Jheri curl.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-29T19:34:48-06:00
ID
76357
Comment

I rocked a natural at Brinkley Jr. High back in the late 70s ( I'm one of teh chosen few white guys that can pull that off; my kids love my prom pix from back in teh day, LOL)

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2008-03-29T22:12:11-06:00
ID
76358
Comment

Cheers to David Hampton for his column today calling for more race dialogue. This is the kind of honesty we need to hear more of in the lamestream: I heard more racism from the pulpit growing up in the rural, white church of my youth than even Rev. Wright might imagine. But from the comments underneath this column so far, I rather doubt that an intelligent dialogue on race, or much of anything else, is going to happen on that site. Watered-down he-said-she-said journalism just isn't going to pull out honest, intelligent conversation such as is under Kaze's column above—even if the occasional good piece or column sneaks in. The readership for that style of "journalism" is not looking for anything beyond "argument culture" kind of us-v.them screaming, I'm sorry to say. If they want better dialogue, they need to do better journalism (and lose the passive voice). But, Hampton's column is a start, and that is a good thing.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-30T12:01:16-06:00
ID
76359
Comment

I appreciate this dialogue ladies and gentlemen. I thought about this conversation a lot over the weekend and the steps we've taken here struck me with such vigor that I couldn't wait to return. I must say that I have never in my life believed that there was a genuine bone in the body of whites who "respected the black struggle". Some kind of way I was determined to persuade myself to believe that although a white person can be sensitive, and trustworthy, when it came down to the black experience, it was a joke to them. Ladd, Lori, Emily and many others have taught me a life changing lesson. That you too have a struggle. That there are people who are not black that experience discrimination because of the same thing that causes discrimination for me. I know this may seem strange to some. But deep down we all have some issues that guide our thoughts and our actions. I've been lead for over 30 years by this issue. I have been totally blind. I apologize to your Donna Ladd. Because if I may be honest you have been the epitamy of my issue since the day I had my first outburst on this page. You depicted for me what I have hated about white people. I had no knowledge of your background. I had no personal coversations. All I knew was that you were very vocal about My people's struggle; You always wanted to offer opinions about what OUR experience is and should be. I didn't understand that you have solid passionate feelings about this same struggle that I've been dealing with since birth. Never did I think that was possible. Didn't consider that in order for you to be the person you are, you had to have had some experience that connected you to my experience.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-31T08:14:19-06:00
ID
76360
Comment

I realize that I may be stepping out there real far by that last post. However, I have been silent for a long time. And now is the time to speak. Now it's time for us all to speak. And the best way to keep this going is to be willing to admit mistakes. I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT I APOLOGIZE TO ALL OF YOU HERE. I've been presumptuous. I've discriminated. I've just allowed my vision to be blinded by hatred. Therefore, I look forward to living the next part of my life as someone different. Someone who sees things in a different light. Someone who does not judge people based on what they look like on the outside. Rather the character they display that emerges from the inside. Ha! That's funny I remember my father telling me that when I was like four years old. It's crazy what we choose to let influence us when we are transforming into who we will be. So thanks to you all again. Donna, I hope you don't mind me saying this directly to you. But i needed to say it so that I can move on pass it. And hopefully you'll be able to charge it to my ignorance and not to my person. As long as we have breath we shall grow, and I have accomplished, thru all of you, just that. I hope I can offer that to someone else, and eventually we just might get to that mountain top!

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-31T08:42:31-06:00
ID
76361
Comment

Mind? How could I mind, Queen? All I can really say is thank you for being so loving and honest. I'm going to be honest, too: I don't expect black people or white people to *believe* me based on a few sentences on a blog, or a heart-breaking column or two. I have a writing skill; I can do that pretty easily. I also don't expect AFrican Americans to easily put aside their long-held distrust of people of my race because I happen to have studied "your" history, which I believe is "our" history. It is up to white people to reach out, to walk our talk, to tell our stories, too, and yes to apologize. That doesn't mean that people on the receiving end will always jump to accept it. But you know what? I apologize and empathize for my own sanity and self-worth as much as I do it for any other reason. It's kind of like when people ask me why I often give money to a homeless person on the street (who might be using it for drugs, or alcohol, or a hamburger; I have no way of knowing). I do it because *I* need to regardless of what happens after my action. (And, no, I'm not comparing you to a homeless person, Queen! ) For the record, I've never been mad at you even during our most heated discussions here. I could tell that you had angry barriers to break through, and I hoped that I could because I thought you were so cool, so strong, so outspoken—three of my favorite qualities in a person, especially a woman. ;-) And I've had my own angry barriers to break through over the years. But one thing I've learned is that I cannot let go of my convictions even if someone such as yourself rejects my efforts, or even if others belittle them. They are my convictions, and my spiritual compass tells me I must follow them, regardless of what anybody might say about it. So, thank you for your posts. They mean so, so much to me. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-31T09:10:42-06:00
ID
76362
Comment

:-) Being one with stern ownership of her own convictions, I can only say to you that I completely understand. This isn't about compromising your convictions, or accepting apologies. This is really about owning the truth about how we have allowed racism to dictate our actions, our thoughts our motives. So that we can either act on them or decide not to. The point is the realization that we have these convictions. Some people don't know what they believe. Others believe based on their experience only. And then others believe based on their experiences as well as others. I am just happy that I was able to reach that breakthrough. I mean it was way easier than I could have anticipated. Maybe I was almost there anyway and just need a little push to welcome the change. Sure it won't be that easy for everyone. I'm not saying that all is good and we are ready to go singing negro spirituals on the steps of old plantations....but willingness to correct our thought processes does offer a glimmer of hope. Donna, if you have time, I'd like to have a cup of coffee with you or something...I'm sure we'd have MUCH to discuss. :-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-31T09:25:12-06:00
ID
76363
Comment

((((((((((group hug)))))))))))

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-31T12:29:59-06:00
ID
76364
Comment

((((((((((group hug))))))))))) Glad I'm not the only one who needed a tissue while reading through these last several posts, L.W. ;-)

Author
ellen
Date
2008-03-31T12:35:38-06:00
ID
76365
Comment

:-) Ditto, ladies. And L.W. I did see the hair post...:-) I'm even re-evaluating my stance on that. Not real sure I had one then.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-31T12:47:08-06:00
ID
76366
Comment

Yes, Queen, there is a beautiful place on the "other side" of a breakthrough. This is what I try to explain to the people (usually white men, sadly, although I know many who are more enlightened than that, thankfully) who come on here and start whining about how we should apologize for the past because we didn't do it, blah, blah, blah-ba-bly blah. I feel sad that they might never know the feeling that empathy can bring, or the internal peace of doing everything in your power to understand where people who have been historically run over. Truthfully, my personal quest makes it harder to have compassion for people like that—although I struggle every day to understand that they were taught to hate and/or deny the urgency of history. And I truly thank God that I don't live in that place, that some ghost of the past starting slapping me around way back when I was little, telling me there is another way. But, Queen, I had to pass through my own anger—at my own people and the things they say to me and in front of me—to get there. There is no greater insult to me than for anyone to assume that I'm a bigot because I'm white. However, I can forgive it easier from African Americans because y'all have a good reason for that kind of bigotry—a reason that people of my race have not done enough to dispel. I mean, look around us. We have the God-forsaken rebel flag flying in front of *taxpayer*-funded institutions. You and I, Queen, help pay for that damned thing to send the message that you and I are supposed to still hate and distrust each other, and that I, due to my skin color, still have a leg up. I can't stand it; it breaks my heart everytime I see it there, and it says that the frickin' white supremacists of the past (and present) are still winning. It's that kind of anger, though, that drives me. It drives me past both white and black belittlement of my efforts to help fill in holes in my readers' education and to reach out across racial lines. I had to leave Mississippi to learn much of our history, and by damn, I don't believe that is acceptable. I would love to have a cup of coffee with you, Queen. Maybe I'll tell you about the time five little black girls tried to beat me up in my new elementary school in Georgia because I was white (we moved there for two years because my stepdad was in the Army). And how another little black girl and a white middle-aged teacher made sure I came out of that incident not mad at black people. Those are the kinds of favors you can never re-pay, but you can sure as hell go through life trying to.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-31T13:43:50-06:00
ID
76367
Comment

The hair thing: Not enough time to do this justice now. BUT I never knew when I was growing the hell that hair politics causes for black people, especially women. I didn't know that it drove black women crazy when I slung my long blonde hair around and twisted it (a nervous habit then). I didn't know until I moved to DC and had a wonder black girlfriend named Paris. And get this, I still didn't know how bad it was for black women in the workplace who wanted to leave their hair natural and reject all the chemicals and such until I was in graduate school in NYC in, get this, 2000. My friend, who was a Court TV anchor and had been a TV reporter in NYC for years, told me the stories of how she had to wear a wig over her natural hair (which wasn't even long) so that she wouldn't scare white people. I didn't know what I didn't know.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-31T13:47:51-06:00
ID
76368
Comment

I thought a lot over the weekend about this blog, too. I thought about Queen's post where she said, if you are in the neighborhood, don't act like it's your duty to "welcome" or "show approval" of a black family moving in. It got me thinking why it isn't a good idea to come at blacks that may be new to a mostly white situation and acting like an emissary, welcoming them. It's a way of saying (without me realizing it) that I am the one holding power - and I make the way for somebody else to have some. Not saying that's what I might have meant, but I get it now - this is how it can come off. Thanks for the food for thought, all of you, and especially Queen for having the guts to come on here and learn something. I so admire that. There are times I'd like to post but am afraid to examine what I think - not always, but sometimes. So you are a good role model.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-03-31T14:55:41-06:00
ID
76369
Comment

So we did analogies and other figurative language with Obama's speech today.... GOOD STUFF. Just in first few pages.... Farmer is to Scholar as Statesman is to Patriot....... White is to Black as Brown is to Black (new one for me)..... And they have Kaze for homework. :) Just my nerdy, teachery update. And Queen, you made me cry.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-31T15:27:47-06:00
ID
76370
Comment

Thanks guys. Donna, the hair thing is such a much larger conversation. But I will say this, I haven't personally experienced the problem with the white girl having long hair pissing me off....I will say that in my mind for the longest time...I was able to deal with non-blond white women way better than those that had blonde hair and blue eyes. Take a guess at why. Because the blonder you are the more white you are (in my mind). Listen, when i was in high school, it was my lifes work to make life miserable for all blonde haired blue eyed white girls I could. i was a bully. I was horrible to them. And it was because they were my image of hatred. They seemed to be the problem for me. Not considering that it's just hair. I find that even to this day, on my job, the white women who have brunette or red hair - i can deal with with ease. But the blondes seem to have this higher attitude. It's like they are the "real whites". Does that make any sense at all? I'm embarassed to admit that I allowed something so simple to determine how I treated people, but it's the truth.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-31T15:48:41-06:00
ID
76371
Comment

Growing up when you're told what beautiful is (for most...but not in my household) it's a picture of a white woman with thin lips, blond hair, blue eyes, no weight...etc. So in my house, i was shown pictures of Fannie Lou Hammer and Harriette Tubman, Corretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, and I was warned that I would be faced throughout my life with people telling me that these women were not beautiful. Their hair is nappy- which was the most horrific thing in the world to have nappy hair- so they were not beautiful. Their hair was short; their lips too big; their butts too big...etc. Therefore, when I started noticing that society was infact trying to make me believe that the black women that I was taught were beautiful were not - and that the white woman with the blond hair and blue eyes looked like what beauty was...oh boy did that set me off... I was determined to make sure that there could be no mistaken in my beauty. I was going to be one of those women that was undeniably beautiful regardless of whether the onlooker was black or white; AND, I was also going to take every opportunity I got to proove that white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes was seen for the devil she really was. Those poor girls at Clinton High School. Oh lord they must have thought I was some kind of demon myself. Well, Donna I'm still breaking thru. I really hadn't thought about this either, until just now.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-31T15:57:29-06:00
ID
76372
Comment

A bit o' blonde bigotry, eh? Don't worry: I feel the same way about preppies. ;-) Seriously, I hate that was true for you, but I can understand where it came from. I used to say that if I ever wrote a biography, it would be called, "Female, Blonde and from the South," because of all the (wrong) things people assumed about me due to those things—in essence, that I was a ditzy, uneducated bigot. I'm not worried about people thinking those things any longer, but it took some time and internal work, and lots of good conversations, to get my self-esteem where it is. And may no man tear it asunder. ;-) For the record, those women you mention are my heroes, too. I hope you don't mind.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-31T16:07:49-06:00
ID
76373
Comment

:-) I am so sure (now) that those women are many women's heros. I can say that in the last couple of years, I've been better about the blondes. Mostly because I don't think blonde is in anymore. Am I right about that? I mean unless your a model or celebrity. I don't see many blondes every day. I guess I was a BLONDE Hater...Ha! That's funny. You know this board has really been detrimental in my growth. I dont think you really realize how much I've learned off this one column. Dang Kaze! You might need to win some kind of award or something for digging this all up. I think we may have enough voices on here to actually get a panel together for real. I mean we've been discussing this for a couple of years now. But it seems like we're ready. Oh and Izzy, I understand that you don't want to really face what you feel sometime. But just look what has happened to me by just saying it. I have been corrected on several things I've thought ALL MY LIFE in a two day conversation. So sometimes and especially when your afraid to hurt someone's feelings, just take a breath and go for it. I think right now we are pretty much willing to listen to it all on here. I mean, I just admitted to being a party to blonde bigotry. Who wouldn't thunk it? And if you want to do a side bar with me, I'm willing. I just want to find out as much as I can about you guys and your experiences. And I definetely want to tell you mine. We can help each other heal from the past and move towards the future.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-03-31T16:23:49-06:00
ID
76374
Comment

Wow, y'all, what a great dialogue! I'll be glad to see this conversation go on in a face-to-face version.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-31T17:43:16-06:00
ID
76375
Comment

Ha. I was a blonde hater. Now I'm, sort of, blonde (with roots...which I tried to convey the stigma to my students. my hair, right now, is socially unacceptable.). I hated the "blonde" stereotype, and all the girls who fit it. Acting stupid for attention, "flirting" disguised as "oh help me!" and all that snooty stuff. Here's the deal. When white chicks start graying. Like seriously graying...highlights (some blonde or caramel) or red are the only real choices. Brunette is way too hard to match and leaves patches of different colors of brown. That's why *I* am "blonde." Prior to the gray, I loved my brown hair. I'll embrace the gray when I'm older ;) People in my family just gray early.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-31T19:13:32-06:00
ID
76376
Comment

This has been a great dialogue indeed. Ive read with a huge smile on the sidelines :-). That panel will come to life as I have gotten several emails that Im just reading from folks who want to help the healing. However, I must say unfortunately that although the ''ladies of JFP'' :-) seem to be exorcising some racial demons. This convo has not yet reached the core that I aimed to reach. Sorry. Where are the guys?? and where are the guys responses to the issues I started this thread off with?? I need the good stuff..the good stuff that I read from the fellas on other blogs..The real feelings that they hide behind screen names..the folks that replied on the CL site to Hampton's and Agnew's columns..The obviously white posters who said Trowbridge was great and that he should continue to keep the criminals i.e. Blacks away from the good folks of Madison. The posters responding to Hampton's column who think we've talked enough about race. FYI folks. Ive gotten some emails from folks whove given me the stuff Im looking for. But I need some white males to speak..Some white males who think Trowbridge is doing a great job. The white males like the one(whos a cool guy) who said that folks in NE jackson dont put up with ''crap'' and crime while it appears that folks in west jackson want to. Where are the fear mongerers?? Where are the Black folks who are running around screaming that some folks have sold out because they sit at the table with with white folks..I truly want to understand. The ladies appear to be getting it and as usual they appear to be smarter and more forgiving than us guys. Cuz I see youre staying away from this discussion like its the plague.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-03-31T19:51:57-06:00
ID
76377
Comment

Well, we do have the problem that I don't tend to allow blatant bigotry on the site, Kaze. If I had, we wouldn't have gotten to this point in this dialogue because they would have run us all off by now. However, I would also welcome some "real talk" about why white guys feel the way they do that isn't coming from a privileged voice from on high to try to shut the rest of us up. This may be controversial, but I do have compassion for white men in America. They were sold a bill of goods by being taught that they are entitled to whatever they want and are superior to women and people of color. Now, women and people of color aren't buying it any longer and a lot of white guys are p!ssed off about it. They are adrift in a world that's changing around them. That's not true for them all, of course, but it is true for even many so-called "progressives" who can't even see why, say, a publication filled with all-white (give or take a token photo or two) faces is irrelevant in today's America. A lot of that comes out in the immigration debate, sadly, when you watch people so desperately look for other people to feel superior to. Queen, blonde is definitely not "in" like it used to be, and I'm glad. Takes some of the pressure off blonde women to be Barbie dolls. In fact, in my diversity research for AAN, I've found that even teen magazines and other fashion magazines are shying away from blonde cover models, and blonde Barbies are on their way out. It seems that the demographic changes in America mean that brunettes, Latinos and African American models are more in demand. Still not enough cover models of color, of course, but things are changing. Interestingly, the research shows that the Y Generation (essentially those in their 20s now) expect diversity in their pop culture and media and wonder how in the hell a particular outlet ends up "so white." Get this—even if they're white. And even if they don't tend to talk about diversity. They just expect it. I dig this generation. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-31T20:10:50-06:00
ID
76378
Comment

BTW, one of the most impressive panelists I've ever heard, or was lucky enough to share a stage with, was a former Aryan Nation guy featured in that documentary about blacks and whites in the Texas town where Mr. Byrd was dragged to his death. He was at Jackson State when we did the "Without Sanctuary" exhibit and was disarming in both his honesty about why he had chosen white supremacy -- and why he had changed his mind. I'll never forget when someone in the audience basically tried to trap him in a question about reparations—figuring, probably, that the real WHITE MAN would emerge at any suggestion that the people who benefited from slavery and Jim Crow should repay some of those debts—and he calmly explained to them why he believes that reparations make sense. His honesty very impressively disarmed a lot of the anger in the audience on behalf of African Americans. Hopefully, mine helped as well, but I came nowhere close to doing what he did. I've long wanted to bring him back here. Maybe we should?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-31T20:24:02-06:00
ID
76379
Comment

Okay Kaze, I can only answer the men question this way. I can have conversations with black men about their race issues regarding white folks. And like I've said before, lots of the white men's conversations about race happen in the "bedroom" for lack of a better term. In other words, where it's "safe" to show emotion and drop the machismo. Where it's safe to not be labelled "racist" immediately and then a wall put up. Maybe men's egos (sorry, but it's my perspective) keep them from honest discussion moreso than women. Women have a bond of struggle within race and beyond race. Men seem more concerned with getting and keeping power. Meanwhile, I find this website hilarious: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-03-31T21:53:11-06:00
ID
76380
Comment

Emily, I saw that blog last week after reading an article about it (Newsweek, I think). I liked some of the same things mentioned (not music piracy, of course), so I was like, "And?" :-)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-31T22:37:43-06:00
ID
76381
Comment

Also, IMO, it is harder for men to let their guards down. Is that why there always seems to be more women in church or support groups?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-31T22:40:35-06:00
ID
76382
Comment

Might be funnier than than The Onion ... (was that a "white" thing to say?) It is generally accepted that a gay black friend with a child is considered a once in a lifetime opportunity - like a quarterback who can pass, run, kick, and play linebacker. White people will crawl over each other for the opportunity to claim this person as a friend and add them to their roster of diversity. Love the St. Paddy's Day entry; ain't it the truth? And I will admit to just purchasing my metal bottle: Previously, the gold standard was the Nalgene bottle, however recent studies have shown the plastic can leak toxins into the water. Currently, white people on the cutting edge are really into metal bottles of water with a twist cap. It is recommended that you buy one of these as soon as possible. Go ahead and laugh. Y'all are going to have to pry my new metal water bottle out of my cold, white hands. And I got it on sale, to boot.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-03-31T22:42:56-06:00
ID
76383
Comment

I heard of those metal bottles on Rachael Ray or The View or somewhere. I thought about getting one, too. See what I mean? LOL

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-03-31T22:46:59-06:00
ID
76384
Comment

"White people love 'gifted' children, do you know why? Because an astounding 100% of their kids are gifted! Isn’t that amazing? I’m pretty sure the last non-gifted white child was born in 1962 in Reseda, CA. Since then, it’s been a pretty sweet run. The way it works is that white kids that are actually smart are quickly identified as “gifted” and take special classes and eventually end up in college and then law school or med school. But wait, aren’t there white people who aren’t doctors or lawyers, or even all that smart? Well, here is another one of those awesome white person win-win situations. Because if a white kid gets crappy grades and can’t seem to ever do anything right in school, they are still gifted! How you ask? They are just TOO smart for school. They are too creative, too advanced to care about the trivial minutiae of the day to day operations of school. Eventually they will show their creativity in their elaborate constructions of bongs and intimate knowledge different kinds of mushrooms and hash." There is also stuffeducatedblackpeoplelike....haven't gotten to that one yet. Still laughing at white people and the "children and wine" dilemma. And YES on St. Paddy's, but less about the parade and more about the claim to be Irish. I don't get it. I was hoping that was a passing fad of my Gen X generation. My family, or so I've been told, (I need to follow up with an aunt with two first names....) is Irish, German and a bunch of other things (ha.) No one goes around claiming to be German like they do Irish. OH. Another fun story, and then I've GOT to sleep and quit the multi-task of blogging and working.... During the hair conversation. When I told them I have a friend named Mary Frances, young man in the back goes totally into character, "Oh Mary Frances dear, will you please pass the pate'?" I told them where the two first names comes from...usually a Mary or Martha with a maiden name or some deviation thereof. I told them I've got one side of Martha and one side of Janes. Hence, Emily Jane. (Donner Kay...) And we don't eat pate', and our vocabulary is not that stale. But we do love a dinner party :P His impression/assumption/whatever was instant and hilarious.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-04-01T00:08:08-06:00
ID
76385
Comment

When white people aren’t working, they generally like to wear Outdoor Performance Clothes. The top suppliers of these garments and accessories include North Face, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Columbia Sportswear, and Patagonia. When you see white people wearing these, it is important that you do not discuss business matters. Instead you should say things like “where did you get that fleece?” and “what’s that thing holding your keys to your shorts?” White people will be more than happy to talk to you about their sustainably produced possessions. The main reason why white people like these clothes is that it allows them to believe that at any moment they could find themselves with a Thule rack on top of their car headed to a national park I cannot stop laughing at this. It may be the strong resemblance to an ex-boyfriend...or my total "hike" of Mt. St. Helen's where I actually hiked the "North Face" and felt VERY White and able to share this at my "dinner parties".

Author
Lori G
Date
2008-04-01T06:02:16-06:00
ID
76386
Comment

Spoken like a real teacher that knows her stuff. It has long been an unspoken rule in my opinion that white kids are ''gifted'' while black kids are banished to ''special ed''. White kids are simply too creative and need to be challenged because they are bored and black kids are being disruptive and need medication. It sets a bad precedent. white kids are more apt to get a long loooooong leash and teachers to me have oftentimes tried harder and longer to reach out to a ''good kid'' if he/she is white while nowadays teachers are quick to pen a kid for parchman in JPS. White kids in academies walk into an environment ready and condusive for learning. They are ready for SCHOOL. Black kids are walking into war zones it seems..walking thru metal detectors and schools that are spending as much money on security a with anything else...That environment just isnt condusive. Period. These are kids coming to school with grown folks problems but are expected to be kids and be attentive. And then if there out of line...its Capital City and your ticket gets punched to either dropping out or jail UNLESS you have a teacher that gives a damn and isnt there JUST to draw a check.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T06:05:29-06:00
ID
76387
Comment

And dont get me started on the names! There was an email circulating a few days ago talking about a judge who had passed an ordinace disallowing welfare mothers the right to name their children. This was because they wanted to keep future kids from being branded with ''black'' names.I thought it funny but then found it sad...Although some of these names can be a mouthful and dont always translate into adulthood...(I was reading to kids at wilkins elementary Friday and in signing autographs afterwards there were some unique ones :-) how DARE someone say baby names should be held to some standard where white people think its appropriate. Especially when theyre naming their kids Apple lol.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T06:16:57-06:00
ID
76388
Comment

Especially when theyre naming their kids Apple lol. Snicker. BTW, all, I grew eating pate in Neshoba County. We just called it potted meat.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T06:33:38-06:00
ID
76389
Comment

I am white, and I have a child in special ed. He needs to be there. So your 100% theory has just been shot to h*ll.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2008-04-01T07:14:30-06:00
ID
76390
Comment

Lady, note that the "100%" figure was used on the satirical Web site that Emily was talking about. It is also not true that no black people recycle. At the risk of being accused of being a wet blanket here, does anyone know who does this Web site? Frankly, if it's white people making fun of white people on behalf of people of color, it would suddenly come across as much less funny. In fact, one could argue that it's a slight on people of color to imply that they couldn't possibly be interested in global warming, etc., because that would "acting white." In other words, although amusing, the blog is in essence a backward stereotype of non-whites even as it makes fun of (and stereotypes) whites. Is that today's way of telling a racial joke? Is it like young people making fun of kids who make good grades as "too white"? Should we laugh to encourage the idea that non-white just aren't into certain things that whites are? (OK, St. Paddy's Day stuff, etc., notwithstanding.) Not arguing one way or another. Just posing a question.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T07:40:43-06:00
ID
76391
Comment

To me that question hits at the heart of a multicultural society that maintains a "standard" culture - i.e., standard english, standards for professional behavior. The elusive standard seems antithetical maybe to ethic or cultural minority groups, yet is also one big ticket to getting ahead.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-01T07:53:06-06:00
ID
76392
Comment

Humor sometimes IS the best medicine. Its not necessarily laughing at things that non-whites view as ''white'' things as much as it is about acknowledging that we have cultural differences that make us unique and instead of ridiculing or using it as a point to discriminate use it as a means to understand and respect someone different than you.. I think that goes into the whole ''why wont white folks party with black folks'' and vice versa i.e. Black folks partying at St. Paddys parade..

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T07:57:32-06:00
ID
76393
Comment

I know all that, Kaze. But I have heard white people justify racist jokes in much the same way. Just sayin'. When do "cultural differences" become stereotypes? And I say that as someone who laughed through reading that site. Again, I hope it's done by people of color.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T08:13:08-06:00
ID
76394
Comment

Kaze, I hate to be the one to break this to you but men aren't ready. White men or black men and I'll tell you just why. This conversation with us means healing. Women are emotional by nature and welcome their emotions in a way that men have come to have a problem owning. First off, I think that the white man (in his guilt for his part in this entire history of racisim) is fearful of the black man (just my opinion). And frankly, I can understand. Our face in society is one of anger and aggressiveness. Even in the security of being online, still facing a black man about issues that are so strong and so heavy would be like George Bush walking up to say....Mark Henry (the world's strongest man) and punching him dead in the face. You know the consequences he'd face. The white man is surely concerned of facing those consequences. So, as with many issues throughout history, women have no problem laying the ground work. We're good at it and we've done it for centuries. Men will follow....give them time. But you are right, I've never seen a column with so many hits and none from men. NONE. But so is the world.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T08:38:08-06:00
ID
76395
Comment

And on the other hand, let me not neglect to mention that black men are not yet ready to face themselves. The anger they hold on to is what keeps them getting up in the morning. What will black men do when there is no one to blame for not getting that job? I'm not passing judgement either way, just offering an opinion. There are issues that i'm afraid to discuss with black men, so I know that it has to exist for white america (men and women). That aggressiveness, the anger, the fear, the frustration, the struggle itself has placed a everlasting burn in the hearts of the black man (and woman).

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T08:43:16-06:00
ID
76396
Comment

I don't know, maybe the men just want to hear from us for awhile (us women, I mean)! ;-) Queen, you said something about giving white (blonde) girls a hard time in high school. I thought of the reactions I've had at drive thrus or check outs - not always, not by any means. Just sometimes. But I've been treated either with disdain (like you are a hater, you suck) or also with just "you don't exist to me." As I am white, I take these reactions as related to race - I never know what to think or how I can react in a way that heals. Ususally I try to smile anyway but feel so weird and shamed, like I've been stuck forever in a box I cannot get out of.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-01T08:44:59-06:00
ID
76397
Comment

ok...here's the other website they run.... http://stuffebplike.com/ There is an "about section" on both sites. Lady Havoc, I did not mean to offend. And I really don't think it's a statement about schools. I know one teacher who has a sign in his room that says "Let's Make Fun of Satire." I agree with ackowledinging the differences. My dear friend MF, who I speak of likes she's ME sometimes, has a son at Magnolia...he has a sensory perception disorder. And we totally think he's gifted. Seriously. Don't know if it's because we're "white" and don't know the cultural differences, but we recognize his different "gifts." We are also well-aware that in some other places, he'd be viewed as a "bad kid." She's fortunate, and knows it, to have the resources to have had him tested at a young age. Took him to a specialist in NYC. Did not mean to offend. Kaze, yes my kids, ONE time I think, have gone through metal detectors. I don't know that we put a lot into security, and I'll be honest, I've used those guards a lot. When a kid "snaps," I need them there. Like I've been saying, repressed grief and emotion becomes anger. Our students need more access to counselors who have time to counsel and not admin state tests (not a fault of the school....goes way up into nclb.) But I'm not going to lie and say that violence is not a problem for our students. Saying that, I am NEVER scared. I mean, I never think I'll be "Virgina Tech'd" (to allude to another stereotype.) And yes, fights happen at other schools. However, after graduating Tupelo High School, I know that my kids with anger issues would be put on the streets more quickly than at our urban schools. They just get the cops to come take you. That rarely happens where I'm at. And it's rare that it's a true "fight." But, going back to that machismo thing, we've got to get a handle on the anger and put it into a more healthy outlet. Also, those "high performing" schools have black students underperforming our students by 20%. There is a disconnect there. Kaze, I don't party with black people because I don't party period. Too busy working :P Are you referring to the younger people maybe?

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-04-01T08:46:37-06:00
ID
76398
Comment

Izzy, let me say that number one you fit into that category of what we were told we need to one day try to look like if we wanted to be beautiful, don't you? Of course. And let me just say that this thing at the drive thrus could easily not have anything to do with your race. It could. But it may possibly just be horrible customer service. Most people who work in fast food restaurants HATE having to work there but have minimal choices. Low education levels and hate the idea that you can drive through there and head off to what they may perceive as your lovely life. While they stand on their feet all day long trying to master the art of continuing to smile (which they fail at miserably) or how to turn an 8 hour shift into a fun time. You may have interrupted her conversation about the club the night before....who knows? Point is, I've gotten the same attitude at the window. you know what's funny....I AM A CUSTOMER SERVICE FANATIC. I will leave restaurants if I don't feel the service has been up to par. I will ask for the manager if I feel like I haven't been treated fair or received the order I want. I have studied customer service for years. I can pin point those who have it naturally, those who worked to get it and those who will never get it. And, I will honestly tell you that white women offer way better customer service than blacks. I think it's because they have nothing to be mad at. AND they have learned to separate business from personal life. WE, can't do that with ease. It's hard for black women to come to work when they been fighting all night long and smiling for the sweet little white girl at the window (just because she's smiling at me) isnt a priority. For one thing when we see that it reminds us -- again, that your life is better than mine. It has to be -- look at that grin! I have no reason to grin like that. Why she so happy? The black woman perception (and men too probably) is that yall are happy that we aren't happy. Happy that you have more avenues than we'd ever have. Does that make any sense? Of course references to me and you are not to mean you personally and me personally.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T08:56:14-06:00
ID
76399
Comment

OH MY GOODNESS...I missed that post about the naming the baby. OH MY GOODNESS....that is a mess! I am livid. THere is no way anyone is going to tell me what to name my child. Hell my name is the most outrageous name on earth. And I am proud to say to this day that my name contributed greatly to who I am. I had to learn to be proud of what my father invisioned for my path. My name fit perfectly. It has meaning and depth. And I actually do live up to it's meaning. Without it, being another Becky or Jane, what's so significant about that?

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T09:01:40-06:00
ID
76400
Comment

My apologies, Donna and Emily. I didn't realize that was taken off that website. I'm so sorry.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2008-04-01T09:12:55-06:00
ID
76401
Comment

No problem, Lady. It was an easy mistake. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T09:22:00-06:00
ID
76402
Comment

And not to reopen wounds, but when we first began discussing lots of things, I understood I would have to take some emotion that had nothing to do with me. The men I know don't understand that. It's all personal and "screw you." What is the ratio of men to women who have been "banned," "suspended," whatever for going there when put in a place of defense? Remember when I was a "hater"? The fact is, that gets EXHAUSTING to have to prove, in every discussion, that I'm not who you think I am. I imagine the same is true for everyone who has participated in these discussions. Don't know if men can handle that, or be bothered with it. There are MANY barriers to break down, and it takes lots of time and conversation.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-04-01T09:23:41-06:00
ID
76403
Comment

Well, I for one have been involved in those discussions. And although, I haven't been banned or suspended from the board. I have taken myself off on numberous occassions, for just the reason you mentioned above. And this particular discussion has potential to be way more hurtful and frank than the ones that caused me to take a break before. But I came back and each time returned more and more eager to discuss and accept. Another thing - and not to turn on the men - but men aren't as forgiving, apparently. There's one guy on here who must have been kicked off (I'm sure) that I doubt would ever even walk pass a JFP stand let alone come back over here to post. Sometimes ego and personality interferes with process. We're all guilty of that. However men have that plus the fact that they are suppose to always be "together" and display a nice comfortable level of stregnth. Well when they have to face themselves as we are doing here, it takes away from their ability to maintain the face of stregnth. And I'm not sure they are willing to give that up easily regardless of what the discussion is. It's important that a man offer the resolution (in their eyes) however, its seems that they aren't willing to recognize the problem. ANd thus, we can't depend on them to offer resolution. Can't resolve a problem until you know what it is. And again, guys, this is not to turn into a man vs. woman thing. Only an effort to get you fellaz to understand that as we are willing to accept mistakes and faults, you too, must share in that willingness -- if resolution is to remain our goal!

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T09:59:53-06:00
ID
76404
Comment

Kaze, you are not totally alone. I am man. Hear me roar.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-01T11:49:45-06:00
ID
76405
Comment

Well said, Queen.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T12:07:08-06:00
ID
76406
Comment

Yeah, Right. As a Certified Poor, White Male from Mississippi, I can say this. A. I've already been judged "guilty" by one-half of the political divide. Never mind any actual evidence, mind you. I'm toast just by skin color. Don't believe me? Go back and read the comments in this thread already. Donna will come through soon and try to lecture me about not being honest, or something along those lines. B. The other half of the political divide doesn't like me because of that "Poor" part. Just to be blunt. So, ya'll have fun. I'll be elsewhere.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2008-04-01T13:37:22-06:00
ID
76407
Comment

Ironghost, this is just a platform to discuss what seems to be your point. We don't know how you feel until you tell us. Everyone here has admitted to their own issues with this. It's okay if you do too. Especially if you are interested in ENDING racism. If you are not then you'd be doing us a favor here if you were somewhere else. We have already acknowledged that all people won't accept this type of discussion and you are one, then we don't expect that you will have anything to contribute. We have all fallen short by nott treating others as we would have them treat us. The first step in unification is to ponder and build off each other's experiences. I invite you to share. I am certainly sure that a poor white man has plenty of stories to share about his stand on this issue, as this poor black woman does. However, if not, you only reinforce just how far we've got to go and just how badly we MUST venture towards getting there.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T13:43:48-06:00
ID
76408
Comment

No, I'm more likely to lecture you about taking the systemic problems of our society, that you didn't create but can help fix, so damn personally, Iron. I just don't get that particular malady that so many white guys suffer from. Your post just said it all. I'm so sorry that this topic is so painful for you to talk about. You're welcome at the table, and there is no one here who is trying to blame you personally.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T13:45:26-06:00
ID
76409
Comment

Kaze, that was a joke about the baby names. Kim Wade read it on his show... It was an onion type of satire (The Onion is a satirical news site).

Author
LawClerk
Date
2008-04-01T14:11:51-06:00
ID
76410
Comment

Queen- There never be an "End" to racism. Even in a few thousand years when all the people in the world are the same color. People will always hate other people because of their political views, religious views, country of origion, and social standing. The majority will always take advantage of the minority. Sad to say it's human nature. It might be lessened somewhat but it will always be there.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-01T14:22:05-06:00
ID
76411
Comment

Yeah..I knew it was a joke :-)...some of the folks cc's in the email didnt..It riled a few folks up and opened some wounds..The email got me thinking about that name issue..Its not the first time its come up. ..And Iron..don't leave. for one, its making the fellas look bad. Two, Im ASKING for you to tell us how you feel. I WANT that dialogue. Im sure within reason Donna will let you vent a bit. We all must reach understanding truly. We've been "toast" because of OUR skin color. We both now see we have things in common. And the class issue you speak of is the NEW racism..so thats a challenge as well. Stick around. Be honest

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T14:32:35-06:00
ID
76412
Comment

Bubba, I do not think that it is human nature to hate a person because of the color of his or her skin. Racism is something that has been taught and learned for way too long on both sides of the barrier, and it is high time to reverse those teachings. It's way too easy to chalk racism up to "human nature" and therefore give up the option of healing. That just seems a bit cowardly, to me.

Author
ellen
Date
2008-04-01T14:57:18-06:00
ID
76413
Comment

I don't think Iron took the comments personally, I just think he got a little fed up with being judged. I tend to agree with him. Good job, Iron.

Author
Constitution
Date
2008-04-01T15:03:36-06:00
ID
76414
Comment

I second that Ellen. I understand that it difficult to fathom. But I can't see why that would be acceptable. It's not. If everyone felt as strongly about this as those of us on the board here, sure, we may not see a end in our lifetime, but I don't see why we can't work towards it. Waking up every morning with the idea that it has to be this way and settle for that is not something that I am willing to do. There are some who do and some who watch. I am a doer. Which one are you? Hate is not a natural order. Hate is taught and learned. We are born in goodness and purity -- it is THIS SOCIETY that teaches us to hate for whatever reason. I'm sure that everyone feels their way is the right way. Point is, that this is plaquing the growth of our generation and generations to come. Therefore, if we began to respect each other as human beings, I certainly can't see why we can't work to get to equality. Im sure at one time someone thought, black people will never be able to vote...that's just how it is. Some thought, black folks will always be on plantations picking cotton. Some folk thought, the world would end before a black man became president of the US. Well we have accomplished the first two and the last is well on it's way to seeing the light of day as well. So my dear sir, Bubba, to you I say just WATCH and see. There is a better day. But if you don't want to be a part of the progression, then step aside and get out of the way of those of us who believe in it's possibilities.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T15:09:52-06:00
ID
76415
Comment

Also, maybe I missed this, but what malady is ladd referring to in regards to white guys?

Author
Constitution
Date
2008-04-01T15:10:47-06:00
ID
76416
Comment

Who's judging here???????? No judgements have been made here. This entire column has been people talking about their OPINION and their own EXPERIENCE. Is constitution and Iron one and the same? How are you reading this post by post and coming up with that determinations? No one is judging anyone here. This is what you call a discussion. Just as I said before, and I feared that this would happen here, we can no longer be afraid to talk to each other. That is why we are still festering in this problem. The first appearance of a white male to this board was in total shut down. You still haven't added to this discussion in any way that can be deemed positive. The only thing you're doing here is adding to the mess that is racism. Because it takes ALL of us, man and woman, black and white. We can't fix it alone. It's really distressing to be met with this attitude from white males. It's a back off attitude before we even get to the crux of the issue. That's such a shame. Enough to make you wonder if it's worth it anyway to try and change when there are still going to be those who refuse to accept equality.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T15:15:10-06:00
ID
76417
Comment

Hey, I just joined this conversation. I read Iron's post, I honestly felt that he felt he was being judged and I made my statement. Its just my own impression.

Author
Constitution
Date
2008-04-01T15:19:21-06:00
ID
76418
Comment

The malady, Constitution, of taking every attempt to have an honest discussion about race, and our race history, personally. Not all white men do this, but a truly remarkable number do. Ironically, it is that very malady that makes them look in denial or something. I personally think it's deep-held shame, but I'd love to hear from some white men on this. Just try, for the moment, to not take the very fact of the conversation personally and just talk about it in a compassionate way. That's what been happening here. Otherwise, Queen said it all. Come on guys, you can sit at this table, too. And yes, it is worth it, Queen. I've seen miracles occur on this front. Keep the faith.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T15:22:52-06:00
ID
76419
Comment

Yikes! Stay away for several days and I miss a whole good discussion (notwithstanding a very faint absence on here for several months)! As for race (well, "culture" is more accurate, given that, IMO at least, it's the cultural differences that create conflict) -- conscious and deliberate effort to seek out "the other" is VITAL. I remember being nervous about a dozen years ago when working a summer job at a warehouse -- about 25 blacks and only 4 whites. I wasn't nervous for my life, or that they'd insult me because of my race. My initial nervousness came from figuring out how to interact with people from a different life's experience and different assumptions of how the world works. It took a little bit of adjustment and a little cautiousness, but after a week or two I felt more comfortable interacting with blacks, and even felt positively relaxed around my coworkers. Listening to their day to day talk REALLY helped me relate to them as just plain everyday people on an intimate level. We all live in a world that forces us to either acknowledge that, not only are we all people with a head, a heart, and most of all feelings -- we have to accept that no culture is superior because it's "better behaved", has "better music", "better clothes", "better ways of acting", "better ways of speaking", etc. than others. In fact, I'll go even deeper. Cultural squabbles come about because, on some level, we tend to think the other's ideas as "stupid" -- AND assume that Stupid = Unworthy of Respect. (BTW, if anything, being nonjudgemental and forgiving of "Stupidity" - or even true stupidity actually STRENGTHENS communities.) Tangent Alert!!!! The less judgmental toward "stupidity" a community in general is , the less intimidated by potential scorn its citizenry will be, the less intimidated they are to think for themselves, the more creative they get, the more ideas they come up with.....which in turn, leads to NEW science ideas, NEW technologies. NEW products, NEW services. I'm not saying my motivation for better and more open and honest discussions is merely economic!! First and foremost, we are ALL people with feelings and hearts. What I am saying can be simply be summed up as follows: Follow the saying "Be ye kind, one to another", just like our kindergarten Sunday school teacher told us (for those who attend) It's just the nice and Godly thing to do" ..... and oh, by the way, being nice and kind to each other might ALSO give your community an economic advantage.

Author
Philip
Date
2008-04-01T15:24:45-06:00
ID
76420
Comment

Hey, I just joined this conversation. I read Iron's post, I honestly felt that he felt he was being judged and I made my statement. Its just my own impre Fair enough, Constitution. If you're new here, then you don't know the Iron's curmudeonly history and how he jumps us, and we jump him back. All in love, of course. But while you're here, why not join the conversation? No one knows who you are. Just check defensiveness at the door and jump in here. That's what the rest of us have had to do, and we've yelled at each other (Queen and I have majorly mud-wrestled in the past) and told each other when we went too far. But it has worked because we all want to talk, and understand, hear and be heard. Everyone is welcome at that table, and you won't be walloped if you don't come in with Privileged Men's Syndrome (which is usually communicated first with, "But I didn't do it ....). Let's stipulate that and start at second base instead.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T15:25:59-06:00
ID
76421
Comment

I have had many honest discussions of race, however I do believe that not everything in the world boils down to race. If a person was to ask me what I think truly afflicts our society today, I would say the root of all problems is economic, rather than race. Race is an incident to economics. If we were to look at a homogenous society, such as many countries in Africa, you would find the same breed of racism as here. How can racism exist in a homogenous society? Because its root is economic disparity, race only becomes a convienent mask. Race is sexy. It has hardcore nicknames and epithets. Race gets people up in arms. What is not fun is talking about the basic economic problems of this country. What is the difference between Kobe Bryant and me? Worlds, and it has nothing to do with race. Also, ladd, I am wondering what kind of "truly remarkable number" you are referring to?

Author
Constitution
Date
2008-04-01T15:29:46-06:00
ID
76422
Comment

BubbaT:Queen- There never be an "End" to racism. Even in a few thousand years when all the people in the world are the same color. People will always hate other people because of their political views, religious views, country of origion, and social standing. The majority will always take advantage of the minority. Sad to say it's human nature. It might be lessened somewhat but it will always be there. Queen601:Bubba, I do not think that it is human nature to hate a person because of the color of his or her skin. Racism is something that has been taught and learned for way too long on both sides of the barrier, and it is high time to reverse those teachings. It's way too easy to chalk racism up to "human nature" and therefore give up the option of healing. That just seems a bit cowardly, to me. Philip: I see elements of both to agree with. Bubba's right when he says it's human nature to look down on others because of difference (not necessarily race). Queen's right when she says, in effect, that the "human nature" argument is a cop-out and becomes an excuse to do nothing. It may be human nature to exclude the "different one"...but to say we have no choice in the matter is an argument fit for a Mountain Lion, Timber Wolf, or Baboon, NOT for a THINKING HUMAN BEING (although one can easily get the impression that Humans of ALL ethnicities aren't that much more civilized than Baboons - but that's another topic)

Author
Philip
Date
2008-04-01T15:39:10-06:00
ID
76423
Comment

I have had many honest discussions of race, however I do believe that not everything in the world boils down to race. It's interesting you start with that. No one here said that "everything in the world boils down to race." Oddly, that seems to be one of the first things people who don't want to talk about race claim—is that a race discussion means everything is about race. That is hyperbole. Of course, economics are vital, and the issue of racISM is rooted in economic discrimination. It has long been a tool for making certain people richer and keeping them that way. "Truly remarkable number"? LOTS, Con. We've seen the same kind of effort to quell race conversations here repeatedly. Are you challenging the notion that many white men take discussion of race personally? (Many women, too; not trying to gender-discriminate, but we've seen it much more here from men.) I've seen that happen my entire life, in Mississippi and in other states. The other thing we often see is people come on and choose a point like that one to argue when we could just kinda stipulate it, and jump to the important stuff. Arguing that point seems rather akin to wasting time arguing about whether the Civil War was about slavery. Uh, it was, so let's get to the next point of discussion.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T15:44:36-06:00
ID
76424
Comment

Philip and Constitution..good comments. And I agree. There is an economic barrier that has been created as well. Iron alluded to it before he dipped(I hope he returns)..Butwe have got to acknowledge that there IS a racial tension that exists here. And though folks think that by NOT talking about it, it will go away..That only makes it worse. The difference between you and kobe is worlds apart and MONEY plays a part of that. But you also have a difference in skin color which makes a difference in how SOME people will treat you.. Example..A white man with a lot of money in colorado being accused of rape would draw headlines but most folks wouldnt pay THAT much attention. But a allege a BLACK man with money has raped a WHITE woman and folks were calling for his head. Granted MONEY probably saved his a** but it almost DIDNT save his a** if you understand what I mean. There is a taboo that goes along withthat dynamic that goes back a loooong way(black man, white woman)..anyone seen the famous balck and white movie "Birth of a Nation?" itll explain what I mean..Or try Emmit Till or the Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK..Its there..but how do we address it?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T15:47:20-06:00
ID
76425
Comment

Ladd, since your pointing out a potential fallacy in hyperbole, I should point out that: "We've seen the same kind of effort to quell race conversations here repeatedly. Are you challenging the notion that many white men take discussion of race personally? (Many women, too; not trying to gender-discriminate, but we've seen it much more here from men.) I've seen that happen my entire life, in Mississippi and in other states."-ladd is a generalization and a fallacy in itself. I'm not trying to be prickly, I'm just saying that certain beliefs can be cast as fallacies, yet that doesn't destroy the potential merit of what is being said. You may feel oppressed by white men and that is your right to feel so, however I may not and that is also my right to feel so. Also, I would doubt that just because on these forums you might have had bad experiences with white men, I would seriously doubt if a forum on the internet would serve as a good enough sampling pool to draw large generalizations about a specific gender/race.

Author
Constitution
Date
2008-04-01T15:53:37-06:00
ID
76426
Comment

It does suck majorly to have people hate you for your skin color. Black or white. I think a lot of white guys get upset when people like Ray Nagin are on the news.

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-01T15:57:05-06:00
ID
76427
Comment

Queen, Ellen you both need to go back and reread my post I never said people should give up on trying to stop racism or hatred. I just think it will never end, some people will always hate other people because they are different, sure it's taught and it will always be taught, it's been that way since Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, Ellen just because I believe that doesn't make me a coward, that's just my opinion (plus insulting a man's manhood is a sure way to get him to shutup ;) ) and Queen telling me to get out of the way just because I don't see eye to eye with you is not a way to have an open honest conversation. It takes all kinds of different opinions to get a real answer to a problem. And ya'll wonder why Iron didn't want to stay the conversation.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-01T15:57:53-06:00
ID
76428
Comment

Ladies..I have to agree with Bubba T. Lets not insult the manhood.. We no likey...Its already hard enough to get us to talk candidly anyway..so lets be happy we have some other folks in on conversation. It takes a little cajoling. Consitution..let me veer you THIS way cuz I see the road that you guys are about to head down and it will surely throw off my intended purpose here. Lets you and I talk...Conversation is stifled in plenty of arenas but lets talk about why you said what YOU said. Why do you think Iron left?? When you say judged(outside of the manhood thing) what do yo mean?

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T16:12:50-06:00
ID
76429
Comment

Okay look, before we even go down this tit for tat road, let me just say that I will always feel like it's worth working for a better day. I can not, personally, verbalize a statement like "IT will never end". I don't know what race you are. But as a black woman, that would be like giving up hope. TO believe that for the rest of my days I have to live like there is another race better than me because they are of caucasian descent. That is just not good enough for me. I understand your point of view. However, I, and I can only speak for me, don't by that. Yes people will always be different. I will even venture to say that people will always hate. However, I can tell you that things are not now like they were 60 years ago, or even 400 years ago. For me, that's enough to give me hope that things can and will be better for my race and every other race that's willing to change it's CORE. But we can't do that with naysayers spitting in our path. Well, as a matter of fact we can. It's the naysayers that offer us stregnth and endurance. And I'm not calling you a naysayer, BubbaT. I'm calling anyone who doesn't believe that we as human beings deserve to be treated equally. If that's not you, then you are not who I'm talking about. And I don't agree with your point. We don't see eye to eye. And my post that said get out of the way meant that if you do not think that this is necessary. If you do not desire a peaceful place to live. If you do not agree that all men are created equal....then you should step aside and watch those of us who do. Again, if you do not feel as I just spelled out, then the statement is not directed towards you. If you do feel as I just spelled out....the statement directed DIRECTLY at you and everyone else who feels as you would feel if you agree with what I mentioned above.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T16:22:33-06:00
ID
76430
Comment

Kaze wrote: “the class issue you speak of is the NEW racism..so thats a challenge as well.” Class is as old as the constitution also. That is why we have the electoral college --- as a buffer from the teeming ignorant, masses :-). Someone wrote an interesting article in the New York Times recently referring to the fact that racial differences are a wedge that keeps poor blacks, whites and Latinos from uniting around their common economic interests. It talked about the fact that you tend to have more social spending in countries that are less diverse because in more diverse countries the majority tend not to want to spend on social services for the so-called minorities. Philip wrote: “I remember being nervous about a dozen years ago when working a summer job at a warehouse -- about 25 blacks and only 4 whites.” Don’t feel bad Phil. In one of my first classes at Northwestern U I was nervous as Kobe Bryant mistakenly entering a country music club by himself in rural Colorado. I was the only black person in most of my classes. I had three white room mates who resented me because they assumed I was there due to affirmative action. Little did they know I had scored a 32 on the ACT and could have gone places on my merits that they could not. When I was skating by with a decent GPA and they were flunking out they mused that I was probably taking “all those easy African American history classes” :-). I was an Economics major. You must find the humor in this existence!

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-01T16:26:42-06:00
ID
76431
Comment

Wow...it was going so well....ah, well. PEACE FOLKS --- Good luck! I think the productivity has taken a turn for the worst, but hey, it is worth it. Keep talking. Way to go KAMIKAZE!

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-01T16:29:20-06:00
ID
76432
Comment

Oh.. and I meant to ask..Ray Nagin???

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T16:35:03-06:00
ID
76433
Comment

"Insult the manhood"? Come on, Kaze. I could have sworn I've heard you defend ho and bitch raps, but I could be mistaken. (sticking tongue out) Seriously, though, there is no manhood-insulting going on here. We are trying to take on an issue that is raw and important—maledom has long been a huge issue in the race battle, back to the day when white men could "take" any black woman they want and kill any black man they wanted who "ogled" a white woman. Gender has always been a part of this. That doesn't mean men today agree with all that. But the truth is that many men do not want to have this conversation because it makes them uncomfortable. And that is not a generalization or a fallacy, Constitution. I know well what those are; I dodge them on here all the time. Let me make one thing clear here: We don't moderate our dialogue to make men feel more comfortable about their "manhood." This site is about straight talk without personal insults and unsubstantiated accusations—but discomfort is inevitable. Anyone of any race or any gender can participate as long as you follow the rules. And I agree with Queen: I have faith that society can end racISM, which is more than mere bigotry, just as we ended Jim Crow, legal subjugation of women and so on. We're not there, yet, but conversations like these are steps on the road.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T16:36:15-06:00
ID
76434
Comment

I'm with Kaze: What's with the "Ray Nagin" slap? It seems he's become the new Sharpton or Jackson for many white guys. That is, a source for an easy insult. Work harder, please.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T16:37:21-06:00
ID
76435
Comment

By the way, the "race or class?" question is one of the most fallacious you can ask. Racism has always been about class in the U.S., and is a tool for it. I mean, just read Mississippi's articles of secession. They blow the whole Civil-War-not-about-slavery malarkey out of the water. Of course, the Civil War was about slavery. And slavery was about economics, and the evil it took to own people to help one's own wealth. It isn't brain surgery. In addition, racism and bigotry have long been ways to divide people for class/economic reasons. It always served the upper class for poor people of different races to have reasons to hate each other. That's what the Republican embrace of the southern strategy was all about. So when a politician who used (or excused) the "strategy" says to you they're not racist, they are lying. But they may not be personally bigoted. But they are willing to use race coding to push their own economic ideas, even as some of their best friends are black. In other words, don't try to separate issues of race and class. We're not at a place in America yet where you do that in any kind of intelligent, honest way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T16:42:59-06:00
ID
76436
Comment

I felt the Ray Nagin irritation, but he has irritated me so much I can understand how white men might feel :-). But they ought to feel the same way about George Bush if they are unbiased and non-partisan :-).

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-01T16:47:20-06:00
ID
76437
Comment

All Im saying is...I want dialogue..and I feel we were at a point where a few guys would have chimed in. Even in their haste to leave they could have come back once they saw the direction of the convo..But I dont know after the coward remark...As a man, emotions are a difficult thing to muster..THIS very convo is one that could set me off and I know I must calmly engage even if I hear something I dont like from a white male..So yes..it may have taken some cajoling and coaxing to get some answers from Bubba or Iron and I feel we can do that....slooowly. Cuz I acknowledge that they MUST be involved if the dialogue is to work. I havent got the good stuff like...whats Fat Harry's problem with Ray Nagin?? ..

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T17:00:05-06:00
ID
76438
Comment

You haven't always calmly engaged when you heard something you don't like from a white (or black) woman. ;-) It sounds a bit like male coddling to me. Do we want straight talk, or don't we? I, too, would like to hear what the Nagin comment meant. But not enough to treat men like babies hoping they will finally open to us all. Is that the price?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T17:04:58-06:00
ID
76439
Comment

Good point, Whitley. If you're colorblind, you complain about idiots, regardless of race, not harp on Nagin, Sharpton and Jackson, as if they are the spokesmen and gods of every person of color. I pride myself on being colorblind when it comes to my criticism, as well as my praise. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T17:06:39-06:00
ID
76440
Comment

Lets not insult the manhood.. We no likey... ROTFL!!!!! Kaze, you funny

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-01T17:08:43-06:00
ID
76441
Comment

...or why Iron felt ''judged''by some of the previous posts..?? In going back and reading ellen said ''cowardly'' that and coward can be two different animals..BUT..and this goes back to my point..Bubba was giving HIS thoughts. Something for us to ponder on, discuss, and try to persuade him on..It could be a longstanding ideal of his that hasnt been challenged externally..so it wasnt cowardly..he was saying what he felt and thats the good stuff. Now..we must prove to him that human nature CAN be conditioned to NOT be racist.. hmmmm??

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T17:11:19-06:00
ID
76442
Comment

Did I miss something?? What did Ray Nagin do?? seriously?? I may bewe having a goofy moment... ...and now now Donna..this is where we cross wires sometimes :-)..no babying..Bubba gave a longstanding opinion he held for whatver reason...which is apart of our therapy..and his statement was called cowardly..get my point??.The price I see being paid in THIS discussion is hearing a LOT of things we may have previously thought were silly, racist, cowardly, or just plain dumb but on the other side of the spectrum folks may think the same thing about OUR views..eh? but let them be spoken and then lets discuss

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-01T17:32:11-06:00
ID
76443
Comment

Whitley, I thought your post on your experience in the classroom very interesting, and thank you for that sharing. I think the more actual concrete examples from life experience we use when we talk about why we think what we think, the better. I have no problem hearing about race, it's interesting to me.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-01T17:51:10-06:00
ID
76444
Comment

Ray Nagin has not stood up for the poor people in New Orleans based on what I can see. He has gone along with the plans that do not include adequate affordable housing so that the poor people can come back, probably because they don't want them back and because a lot of the poor people were angry with Nagin. Nagin got elected with the support of the business establishment not the poor grassroots. You cannot serve two many masters. You'll love one and despise the other. that is the cool thing about obama. He is getting his money from a lot of small contributions from common people and is not dependent on the big shots dropping 2000 at a time. Nagin does not seem to be that type of politician. The media has mischaracterized the support for Obama as race based in the black community. If that was all that black people looked at was race then clarence thomas would not be so widely disliked! alan Keyes would have gotten more votes from black people! Race isn't the complete answer to every question. Often, economics gets you closer to the truth.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-01T18:12:02-06:00
ID
76445
Comment

Kaze, everything is fine. Continue to ask your questions and give your opinion. There is no reason to navel-gaze me on why I'm posting what I'm posting. No one's stopping anyone from posting anything. Stay focused on your own comments, please. What I post is not up to you. But, of course, you know that well. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T18:12:06-06:00
ID
76446
Comment

The media has mischaracterized the support for Obama as race based in the black community. If that was all that black people looked at was race then clarence thomas would not be so widely disliked! alan Keyes would have gotten more votes from black people! Agreed, Whitley. Nicely said.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T18:12:56-06:00
ID
76447
Comment

Kaze, it's not like Ellen charged in like a femi-nazi (giggle) and started calling Bubba a "coward," which your post seems to suggest. This is what she said: Bubba, I do not think that it is human nature to hate a person because of the color of his or her skin. Racism is something that has been taught and learned for way too long on both sides of the barrier, and it is high time to reverse those teachings. It's way too easy to chalk racism up to "human nature" and therefore give up the option of healing. That just seems a bit cowardly, to me. Now, if that challenges someone's "manhood" — — I'm not sure we are ever going to have a conversation with you guys! Her comment was reasoned and very good. I've met Bubba; I'm sure he can take it. He's a good guy, and a grown man. And there is no reason to scold Ellen for saying that. In fact, it's inappropriate to. Now, I will urge you to continue the fine discussion you're capable of leading and leave future moderation to me. No one needs to be coddled by you, me or anyone else here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T18:16:35-06:00
ID
76448
Comment

To get this back to discussion, I will also add to what Ellen said. The idea that racism is here to stay so why fight it (which seems to be the implication) is not even logical. It's a construct, and a construct that was very useful back in the day when white Europeans needed people to do their labor. But we're moving into a future when color lines are going to be so blurred that, at some point, racism and bigotry based on skin color will simply be irrelevant. That doesn't mean people won't find other ways to skewer each other. But hopefully after the enlightenment humans have gone through in recent centuries (century?), perhaps our continuing evolution will make conflict based on easy labels and stereotypes more archaic. And, of course, it's up to all of us to get us closer to that point. So even though I initially didn't see "cowardly" as the right word exactly, I'm starting to see Ellen's point. It is cowardly to throw your hands in the air and say that things would never change. That's what many people wanted to during slavery, during Hitler's Germany, during Jim Crow and now just during discomfort at talking about race issues. But that's a cop-out. They can change, if we believe they can change, and take brave steps toward that, as many have done on this thread. But Queen is right: We need white men at the table, too. And I don't think we're going to get them there by tiptoeing around their discomfort. Sure, invite them and forgive them if they get it (not purposefully) wrong, or have trouble expressing things in a considered way. But there is no way to have a real race dialogue in this country without looking at the whole picture, discomfort, shame and all.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-01T18:30:35-06:00
ID
76449
Comment

Ooooh, I hate that I'm just now reading these other comments, but I got tied up and couldn't get back to the 'puter. It seems like the only way this dialogue will succeed is for the participants to be willing to be uncomfortable. I see where people have come in, started talking, and jumped back out. I can also imagine some folks' blood pressure going up. Please don't give up - it's been a long time coming. This road will be rocky, but the trip down this road will be worth it when harmony is the final destination. (I hope that I will remain this optimistic if someone says something that ticks me off. ) Someone once told me that s/he believes that if all of the races ever got along, the world will end. I would like to believe that we will have a little more time than that. If we could let it sink in that there is only a 0.01% difference in all human beings, that ignoring pain will not make it go away, and that we can unlearn all the hot garbage that has been programmed into us, we will be so much better off.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-04-01T19:21:19-06:00
ID
76450
Comment

Discussions between the races, like above, are extremely rare. I think it's the answer to solving a lot of problems - but this kind of talk almost never happens, and a lot is left out...like who has the jobs, inter-generational wealth building, marriage and sex, status, etc.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-01T20:10:12-06:00
ID
76451
Comment

I forgot to recommend a book "Slavery By Another Name" by Douglas A. Blackmon, Doubleday 2008, that's new research on how things got to be like they are and some clues about how to move on.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-01T20:21:02-06:00
ID
76452
Comment

Ellen and Queen did't run me off, wife has been playing WOW and hogging the 'puter. Ellen didn't insult my manhood I was mainly just poking fun at her. But I do think cowardly is the wrong word, I think pessimist is more like it. The human race has never shown that it can get along. There has always been hatred and bigtory in the world. Maybe racism and bigotry because of skin color will end, hope it does and it probably might in the future, but what about the other things? The differences between the rich and poor, different religions hating each other, even different geographical areas hating each other. What Queen said about us being brought in the this world pure and innocent is right but there is one problem. Mankind is basically greedy which I think is the root of all evil. Somebody is always going to want more than the other guy and with having it all comes power and power corrupts. For all hatred and bigotry to end we will all have to have the same house, the same car, earn the same at every job...etc nobody will be able to be different. A Steppford society.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-01T22:45:30-06:00
ID
76453
Comment

I am not saying we shouldn't talk about racism or quit trying to stop it because it always be here. We should discuss it and do everything to lessen racism and bigotry it in the years we have on this earth. It has taken mankind thousands of years to get to the way it is now and it will take just as many to change it. I am a military history buff and when you read about the cruelty that mankind has inflicted on itself because of racism, religion, greed, hatred, and down right pure evil it kinda makes you think there is no hope for mankind. Pessimist? most definitely, coward? not hardly.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-01T22:59:53-06:00
ID
76454
Comment

Kaze to get back to your first few questions and wanting a white guy to reply to them. Is Sheriff Towbridge doing a good job with the roadblocks? I have no idea, don't live in Madison county and don't go there much and have to base my opinion on what I read and hear. Are the roadblocks racial profiling? I have seen in the C-L where there were 92 roadblocks in Madison county in 2007 and many in Canton and black neighborhoods in the county but not an exact number of how many were in Canton or black neighborhoods so it's hard to say if it is or isn't racial profiling, but in my opinion it probably is, no matter what the numbers are. Why don't blacks and whites party together Thurs-Sat.? You said we basiclly like the same music. I have to disagree with that partially. The younger black and white people do, I don't think the older (45+) people do, I could be wrong though,but me personally I don't like rap, hip hop, very little blues, and very very little country so I would not regularly go where that would be the main music played. I am all rock. Zepplin, The Who, AC/DC ,Aerosmith,Kiss and most of the new alterative rock. I have been to the 930 a few times and lived in Indianola for 15yrs and went to the B.B. King homecoming most every year(free beer) and if I get enough beer in me I would probably dance to polka music and it would not be pretty. So it's not wanting to partying with black and white folks it more a music thing for me.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T01:34:19-06:00
ID
76455
Comment

Yeah..In regards to the music/partying thing Id defintely have to hear from the younger demo..musical tastes change sometimes when you get older..but what I do know is that from 18-35ish Black and White Folks listen to pretty much the same music. hiphop/pop/r&b..If youre in Fire on a Thurs and around the corner at Freelons on a .thurs..you will hear the SAME songs..yet one is white..the other black...why is that?? there have been white patrons in Freelons before and from what ive seen they blended in well with no problems..but there have been black folks who have had racial slurs yelled at them by passerbys outside Fire...why is THAT??

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-02T06:53:13-06:00
ID
76456
Comment

See..Madison's ''keep the crime out'' mantra is codespeak for ''we dont want too many blacks out here'' to me. Its good ole boy Mississippi moved to the burbs..Small things like Trowbridges roadblocks or Mayor Hawkins ''no apts in Madison'' or even some neighborhoods ''no renters'' policy is clearly aimed at keeping a good number of Black folks out...It insults my intelligence to try to explain it any other way. Set up a road block consistently on 463 in front of St. Joe on one side and backyard burgers on the other and see how long it takes for the complaints to come in.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-02T07:03:57-06:00
ID
76457
Comment

Kaze, you don't think that they do racial profiling in Jackson? I've seen it with my own eyes! It seems like whenever a car filled with black guys gets pulled over, there are 2 or 3 police cars there doing back-up. I've seen it in Eastover, I've seen it on Lynch Street... and I've seen it in Miami when I ride as an "unarmed observer" in my niece's patrol car. I've got news for you- that doesn't happen to middle aged white guys! A back up patrol car might happen by, but once the officer sees that it is just a white guy, he/she usually just waves and keeps going. Am I saying that this justifies the profiling that goes on in Madison? Nope- just the opposite. Not only should they be protesting it up here, but you should be protesting it down there...

Author
Rico
Date
2008-04-02T07:56:26-06:00
ID
76458
Comment

Rico..Profiling in Jackson goes on without saying..Its a given so common I didnt feel the need to speak on it..And it goes on with Black AND white cops..Its happened to me. Leaving a club, leaving my home..but mostly on the stretch of Old Canton that extends into Ridgeland..Ive been stopped by that Amerigo's so many times that I thought it was the police station..lol. We already know its a ''black man gone wild'' perception by the fear mongers in jxn..and the perception of jxn extends into Madison county.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-02T08:04:10-06:00
ID
76459
Comment

Kaze, I live out 463 and the truth is there are PLENTY of roadblocks that target the areas you mentioned. I don't know the statistics, and there may very well be a higher percentage of roadblocks in minority communities, BUT ask anyone living in Annandale, Reunion, Ingleside, etc., and they will tell you that roadblocks are a constant threat. Many of my neighbors have DUIs. Frankly, I was pretty surprised by the recent uproar over racial profiling by the Madison County Sherriff's Department. Also, as I have said before here, I don't think the "no apts" and "no renters" stuff is as much racial as it is economic segregation. I know my neighborhood welcomes minorities with open arms, IF they can pay the price of admission, and more than a few have.

Author
Huckleberry
Date
2008-04-02T08:06:15-06:00
ID
76460
Comment

I lived out in Florence and saw many roadblocks there, as well, got stopped by a few. Does that mean that blacks aren't targets in some white communities? I don't think so.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-02T08:16:07-06:00
ID
76461
Comment

Now that you mention it Huckleberry, we have plenty of roadblocks out my way too. We live out Rice Road, just outside the Madison city limits. About once a month a roadblock is set up right at the city limits. This way they can check out the people who live in the two subdivisions just outside the city limits without disturbing the drunk drivers who live inside the city limits- the people who can complain to Mayor Mary... Do they actually do roadblocks more often in the poorer areas of Canton? I don't know, but certainly have no reason to believe otherwise...

Author
Rico
Date
2008-04-02T08:22:59-06:00
ID
76462
Comment

I for one am pro-roadblock as a law enforcement too (if used appropriately). I had a good friend get killed at age 18 by a drunk driver.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-02T08:37:20-06:00
ID
76463
Comment

Indeed Huck..I may stand corrected..If so kudos..But the numbers just dont support it..The outrage just doesnt support it..If those roadblocks infact are put on 463 regularly are they equal to the number put in Predominately African American areas..If protesters are SO off base and have wrongly made accuasations why does neither the sherriff or Mayor of Madison wish to clear up the misconception?? Its a PR issue. Unless of course you dont have a problem with your county or city being perceived as hostile to Black drivers...My question is why are the Black folks outraged if there is no problems?? are they making it up?? That leads to the prception that black folks dont want their neighborhoods policed..Which goes back to Black folks distrust of the law. it digs deep. Black flks DO want their communities policed They DO want safe hoods but they want to be policed fairly and treated and talked to with respect...If you roadblock in canton then the next one the same night or next night should be in front of Ruth's Chris or PF Changs..and when ya do..dont advertise em..The results will shock you.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-02T08:37:42-06:00
ID
76464
Comment

Is the Sheriff's Dept running roadblocks inside the city limits of Canton? Why? Isn't that the Canton PD's job? The only roadblocks I have been through here in Clinton have been run by CPD and MHP never seen a Hinds SO inside the city limits manning a roadblock. I have always been told the only reason MHP were at roadblocks in the city limits was to write tickets for expired inspection stickers because local PD's couldn't, had that happen once in Greenville. PD officers told me to pull over and the Trooper would be with me in a minute to write ticket for the expired sticker.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T08:42:52-06:00
ID
76465
Comment

Izzy wrote: “I for one am pro-roadblock as a law enforcement too (if used appropriately). I had a good friend get killed at age 18 by a drunk driver.” Is there data that shows that road blocks reduce fatalities? I have had a relative killed by a drunk driver. I have also had a friend, who was otherwise a very nice guy, who did a fairly long sentence for vehicular homicide. As Kaze wrote, black folk sure do want law and order; however, the problem is when laws that are enforced disproportionately on one part of the population. That is the problem with the war on drugs and racial profiling. Why would we disproportionately focus on black people drinking and driving or doing drugs if the data shows that whites drink and drive and do drugs just as much or more than black people. Is it about sniffing instead of smoking or that some people’s drunk driving is more dangerous than others? My friend did many years for his crime, but recently a police officer here in Hinds who killed someone with reckless driving got no time at all. Was he white? We want justice and fairness in law enforcement and sentencing.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T09:33:24-06:00
ID
76466
Comment

Well, I have been told that roadblocks giving out DUI's reduce the incidence of drunk driving. But I cannot recall who told me that, and it's worth looking for real facts. We need a law enforcement blogger who can help us find data online. I agree, also, that the unfairness in enforcement and sentencing are a large problem, sometimes going again to economics - like when someone I know was caught with drugs and charged with a felony, but because he had a family member willing to shell out $50,000 for an attorney in the end he did only rehab and community service.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-02T09:39:24-06:00
ID
76467
Comment

Yes sir, money talks...regardless of race. That may be the reason the Juice was still loose! People focused on the black female jurors; however, if I get in trouble, I want the dream team baby...if I can afford it :-).

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T09:54:24-06:00
ID
76468
Comment

Yeah, me too. Isn't this the issue Jesus was trying to face like 2,000 years ago? In some ways I agree with BubbaT, that we are always looking out for #1 and the small circle around us. We have to fight to reach beyond that circle, reach for more

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-02T09:56:45-06:00
ID
76469
Comment

From the MADD website "The Centers for Disease Control studied sobriety checkpoints and found that they can reduce alcohol-related crashes and fatalities by 20 percent. " So if used properly roadblocks are effective.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T09:57:01-06:00
ID
76470
Comment

Roadblocks have it backwards. Law enforcement should investigate AFTER a crime occurs. They shouldn't be stopping, interrogating, investigating innocent citizens who haven't done anything wrong. That's gestapo. Law enforcement carry guns, clubs, mace, handcuffs, they are authorized to take away your basic freedoms and use deadly force. Every interaction with LEO can get a bad result. Personally, I don't drink alcohol or use drugs but every interaction with LEO, something still could potentially go very wrong...maybe they don't like my looks, body language, or because I won't grovel in just the right way that affirms their dominance. I want to live in a free society and have the freedom to go about my lawful activities without being subject to a police stop and fishing expedition that could have a very bad result (for me).

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-02T10:07:28-06:00
ID
76471
Comment

I think willdu is on a good track. Dwight Eisenhower pointed out many years ago that we could have total security and safety if we were willing to give up the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. If we confiscated all guns, I gurantee that our violent crime rate would go down. How do you rob a bank with a knife? "Everybody put your hands in the air --- I have a knife and I can throw it!" If we gave up our right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, we could probably reduce drunk driving and drug use to zero. We can kneel and pray to the rulers who keep us safe five times a day. If we all were forced to purchase devices in cars that would detect alcohol in our breath that would zero out drunk driving. Then they won't hate us for our freedoms (as the president stated) because we won't have any!

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T10:26:44-06:00
ID
76472
Comment

Wild and Whitley- Are you going to tell the family of a person killed by a drunk driver that your sorry they are dead but it could have been prevented by a roadblock a mile up the road from the accident scene but we don't do those because it incovenienced people.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T10:43:15-06:00
ID
76473
Comment

yeah, Im more with BubbaT in this instance, getting stopped made me feel weird but if it saved a life I didn't mind.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-02T10:44:47-06:00
ID
76474
Comment

I think this conversation has diverged, no offense to Bubba or the rest.

Author
Constitution
Date
2008-04-02T10:48:39-06:00
ID
76475
Comment

"Man Brandishing Steak Knife Robs Irwin Bank" "Man armed with knife robs Southside bank" "Robbery Suspect Sought, Photo Captured- At approximately 11:20 a.m., the suspect entered the bank with a knife, demanding the teller to give him all of the money. Seems to be very easy to rob a bank witha knife, did a google search and only got 990,00 hits for "robbed bank with a knife".

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T10:54:21-06:00
ID
76476
Comment

Also, to respond back to something ladd was discussing. I do believe some generalizations have been made on here regarding “most white people” and “many white people.” I think that is overbroad and unfair to lump everyone into a category. Generalization is a terrible fallacy.

Author
Constitution
Date
2008-04-02T10:56:14-06:00
ID
76477
Comment

point of order, can we get back on track with the original discussion? Kaze, Whit et al, why is it perceived by the hospitality industry that "black folks don't tip?" Rightly, wrongly, it doesn't matter. That perception is real and sometimes warranted due to experience. We were in a fierce, yet honest conversation, helping to break down misconceptions and cultural differences, let's get back to that.

Author
GradyGriffin
Date
2008-04-02T10:56:30-06:00
ID
76478
Comment

One must take the logic to its conclusion. We could be totally safe if there were road blocks and searches at every corner. Will we still be in America? I just have somewhat of a libertarian streak. Live free or die. Eisenhower stated that we could all be 100% safe if we were to be locked away in prison cells. If the only criterion for public policy is safety, then that logic takes one to severe infringements of our liberty. Without freedom, who cares about safety? I am willing to risk a few deaths for the sake of preserving basic freedoms. One of the biggest killers is obesity. We could save many lives by passing a law to have officers at check out lines in the grocery stores. If you are obese, you would have to put the doughnuts back. sorry. Itwould be to save lives and to reduce the burden that uninsured obese people put on the public. I am being facetious to make the point that there must be limits to what we will endure for safety.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T10:58:05-06:00
ID
76479
Comment

Racial profiling at roadblocks was part of the orginial discussion.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T11:00:44-06:00
ID
76480
Comment

I think racial profiling is illegal. It is hard to prove though.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T11:11:04-06:00
ID
76481
Comment

The problem is not just with being profiled and stopped. It is how people are treated differently after the stop. I was once pulled over based on the probable cause of going 55 in a 50 (on the Trace). The officer asked if he could look in my trunk. He did not give me a ticket after I let him violate my right to be free from unreasonable searches. I probably looked suspicious.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T11:19:32-06:00
ID
76482
Comment

This discussion has gone in many directions..Just as this issue has many facets. The ''tipping'' issue was one of those that I raised originally as well..Trowbridge, and young folks black and white not partying together..and whatever other issues folks wanted to raise. Constitution..Generalizations ARE indeed a fallacy. But understand on the OTHER side of that coin Black folks have been generalized uch more often..Rappers are generalized...angry white men are generalized so lets talk about why?? I made the point originally so lets discuss. We're here.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-02T11:20:12-06:00
ID
76483
Comment

If you have ever traveled overseas you would see that a roadblock in the U.S. in a minor incovenience not a infringement of our liberty. I work in Argentina for about 10 months total over a 2 year period. We went through a roadblock every morning and every evening. They looked at our passport,frisked us,searched the truck, search our briefcases, and asked us where we were going and coming from twice a day, every day. I asked the native Argentinaian that work for our company was it always that way and he said he went through the same thing everyday for 20 years. So I have to say showing my DL and insurance card at a roadblock once or twice a year is just an incovenience and not restricting my freedom.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T11:21:19-06:00
ID
76484
Comment

BubbaT most whites who dont go through the humiliation of being profiled will never understand what a person goes through and also most whites call profiling good police work, they know the police officers are doing wrong but they also think profiling keeps their community safe too.

Author
NewJackson
Date
2008-04-02T11:25:13-06:00
ID
76485
Comment

And speaking as a Black man but not for ALL Black men..I have to confess to being a bad baaaaad tipper. Not because of my race or some preconceived loathing of service industry people..but I often, in this Bush era and looks part of the post-Bush era, cant afford after Ive paid 25-40 dollars for a meal on a date or business dinner, to leave a proper gratuity of 5 or more..I mostly leave a dollar maybe two..If Im in a bigger party we've usually pitched in to get about 10 or 15 on the table..but a regular standard 5 dollar tip after every meal would kill me..especially with the price of gas. Nothing personal... As Queen stated earlier and I concur(she's absolutely SHINED on this thread) Customer Service is indeed important. But tipping is sometimes hard...what should a brother do..stop eating out..and how did this turn into Black people dont tip...I hear college kids dont either.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-02T11:34:05-06:00
ID
76486
Comment

I agree racial profiling is wrong and not good police work. I just don't see the infringement of our rights, white or black, by going through a normal (not profiling) roadblock and showing our DL and insurance cards. In the 30+ years I have been driving I don't think I could have been through more than 10 roadblocks so they have never been a big incovenience to me.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T11:35:03-06:00
ID
76487
Comment

BubbaT, not only have I traveled overseas, I'm not an Amerian citizen. I'm a citizen of the European Union and travel with the bergundy colored EU passport. The erosion of basic civil liberties in Europe is largely from the USA militarizing routine police functions in the US, and infecting the rest of the world with this current insanity. Many of you under the age of 50 or 60 probably don't even know the human rights and civil rights and freedoms you've lost in recent decades.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-02T11:43:22-06:00
ID
76488
Comment

I guess I am a bad tipper too. I will put down a 5 maybe 10 but my wife is saying you need to tip more, 15 or 20 percent. She just dosen't understand if we have gone to a decent place to eat the bill is already close to or over $100.00 for the 4 of us and she wants me to add another $20 more to it, Sorry that's the kids lunch money for next week. I will have just be a bad tipper or she how she likes eating out at McD's so I can tip more.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T11:44:47-06:00
ID
76490
Comment

Wild- enlighten me. I am under 50 (barely), I would really like to know what human rights and civil rights and freedoms we lost in the recent decades.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T11:52:18-06:00
ID
76489
Comment

I must admit that I'm a homebody, and there are a lot of things I don't see personally, but I think I've heard and read enough anecdotes to lead me to believe there is a problem. In general, roadblocks make me feel safer, but I do have a problem with more roadblocks being set up in black neighborhoods if that's what going on, especially during elections and concerts, which to me is blatant profiling. As far as tipping goes, I have relatives who used to work at restaurants who complained about blacks not tipping or tipping very little, and these are black folks saying this. I think the issue is economic, though. I don't eat out much because I can't afford it, but when I do, I try to give a 10% gratuity unless I really just don't have it to spare because I don't want the server to think that black folks never tip. I think the percentage is really supposed to be 18%. Does anyone know for sure? To add another misconception to the mix, I heard someone say that black people never read in waiting rooms. Personally, I read because I would be bored to death if I didn't, and I bring my own book just in case they don't have one. What have you observed? To me, a person that's not reading in a waiting room is probably concentrating on something else anyway.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-04-02T11:52:18-06:00
ID
76491
Comment

Seems to be very easy to rob a bank witha knife, did a google search and only got 990,00 hits for "robbed bank with a knife". Regions on State Street was robbed by suspect with a gun...and a sledgehammer. Frank Melton? He's had money problems lately.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-04-02T11:53:13-06:00
ID
76492
Comment

I also feel that roadblocks are necessary, as long as they're not being used in a discriminatory manner. Not only can they be used to catch speeders and drunk drivers, but also those who have warrants for their arrest. But can a motorist refuse to allow a law enforcement officer to search his or her vehicle without a search warrant?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-04-02T12:00:42-06:00
ID
76493
Comment

I guess you could rob a bank with a piece of paper, but no one would get shot to death. We want to be safe from being killed. Bubba, I see your point, but Argentina may not be the best example to use. People were disappearing there at alarming proportions not that long ago. I am sure that U.S. citizens were not being harmed, that would have caused an uproar. Let's get free.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T12:05:06-06:00
ID
76494
Comment

BubbaT, four examples...1) it's widely discussed that you've lost the right of privacy in your written and electronic communications, 2) you've lost the right of privacy in your lawful banking transactions, 3) you've lost the right of privacy of your bodily fluids and body cavities an a LEO interaction, 4) post Guantanamo-Homeland Security Act, you've lost the right of Habeus Corpus that goes back to the Magna Carta. In several states the police now carry rubber gloves and syringes and will draw your blood after a traffic stop, the police officer, not a medical person. You're okay with that, right? I could make a longer list of the rights that we've lost in America but there's only so many hours in a day.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-02T12:10:18-06:00
ID
76495
Comment

We dont want to have what they had in Argentina due to out of control policy and military: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/24/argentina.genetics The infringement of liberty does not happen all at once necessarily. It begins with road blocks, illegal searches, and maybe outrage against specified threats to society and the majority looks the other way while the human rights of the minority (it could be a political minority) are violated.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T12:14:40-06:00
ID
76496
Comment

I think the police can search your trunk and vehicle if they have probable cause, like they think you have been drinking (weaving while driving, slurring words),smell beer,liquor, or whatever you have been illegally smoking. For a normal traffic stop, I think they have to ask to seach the trunk and are limited to what is in plain site in the car. That's my understanding of it but I could be totally wrong.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T12:19:23-06:00
ID
76497
Comment

Kamikaze: If protesters are SO off base and have wrongly made accuasations why does neither the sherriff or Mayor of Madison wish to clear up the misconception?? I thought that the protesters were protesting roadblocks in Canton- if that is the case, the mayor of Madison has no horse in that race... Now to address something else- lousy tipping! Look you guys, that is something that you need to change at once! If the service is acceptable, you need to tip at least 18-20% *always*. Those people work hard for the money, and often have to tip other folks like the bussers, bartenders, hosts/hostesses, etc. not to mention Uncle Sam's cut. If you can afford to eat out, you can afford to tip! And no, I do not work in that industry any more, though I did 20 years ago...

Author
Rico
Date
2008-04-02T12:22:53-06:00
ID
76498
Comment

Rico, I understand you because I have bussed tables before, and I used to get a portion of what the servers got. I'll increase my tipping because I want to be a blessing to others, but I'll have to think ahead about how much I can afford to order. Of course, like I mentioned before, I don't eat out much because I can't afford to.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-04-02T12:35:02-06:00
ID
76499
Comment

FYI on the tipping. Severs don't make minimum wage. Providing good customer service is vital to there income. If I can't afford to tip, I usually don't go out. If you provide good service, I leave a good tip. If you provide excellent service, I leave a great tip. Honestly unless you like forget I'm sitting there I am still a good tipper. I was a waitress for years and I guess I'm a pretty soft touch. Ask anyone at a Jeff Good property. There have been altercations over who was going to serve me and my sister. Not fussing at anyone(or maybe I am) but good waistaff deserves to be compensated appropriately. Sincerely, Your African American former server.

Author
msgrits
Date
2008-04-02T12:39:13-06:00
ID
76500
Comment

I guess you could rob a bank with a piece of paper, but no one would get shot to death. OK, the men have definitely arrived. ;-D As much as I wish the profiling conversation was on a different thread, I will do nothing to deter y'all boys, and there is a diversity of you. Only a couple comments: For one, I'm a very good tipper unless I get bad service. In the U.S., waiters and bartenders work for tips, as I used to. And your bill would be higher if they didn't. And always remember: Whatever you give, you get back. If you're stingy, you don't get as much. This has been proved to me over and over again in life. And if you can afford a $100 dinner, you can afford to tip 15 percent (which is really a lunch tip; 20 percent is more standard for dinner). Anything less than 15 percent, though, indicates that you got bad service, and it also sends a message about you being either cheap or unsophisticated—and if you're in a business or networking setting, that is the last message you want to send. I can't tell you how many times I've secretly added to a bad tip I saw someone give, and seeing it sent a message to me that I couldn't send that person out to publicly represent me or a project I'm working on. You can think that is unfair, but it is a reality about being "successful"—you need to learn the rules and follow them. I grew up in a household that didn't teach me this, but when I got out in the bigger world, I purposefully watched for holes in my knowledge about how the world works if I wanted to find a good place in it for myself. And the higher salaries and contracts you get as a result always make the good tipping worth it. Even if you don't do it for the hard-working waiters and bartenders—and, by the way, I find that the people who are paid less often tip the best. Colleges should be teaching young people how to tip appropriately as lessons in business and social interactions. It's remarkable things some young people haven't been taught about the workplace and applying for jobs. The truth is that you're paying for the food with the check. If you don't want to tip the waiters, go to a grocery store and buy the food yourself or a counter where someone isn't traipsing back and forth to help you have a positive dining experience. Then just an aside to Constitution: you are still trying to put words in my mouth when you posted: I do believe some generalizations have been made on here regarding “most white people” and “many white people.” I think that is overbroad and unfair to lump everyone into a category. Generalization is a terrible fallacy. Re-read and do a search. The quoted phrase "most white people" *only* appears on this thread in that post of yours. And "many white people" certainly in no way translates into "everyone." You are committing the rather basic fallacy of making up stuff people said to change the subject, and that never works on this site. So don't bother. Discuss real issues, please, and leave all the scolding to the moderator, who only does it judiciously and when merited.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-02T12:42:41-06:00
ID
76501
Comment

RE: Tipping -- work in the service industry and you will understand how important tips are. 20% is standard for good service; 15% for average. As a rule, I don't tip under 15% unless service is abysmal. RE: Ray Nagin -- of the many idiotic things he has said and done (some are stated above), his MLK Day 2006 "Chocolate City" speech has got to go down as the worst. And I will close this this quote from yesterday's New York Times, discussing the failures in NOLA: There have been some uniquely New Orleans hang-ups as well, said the recovery director; “lot of tensions in the staff,” revolving around race. “Black people have a hard time taking instruction from white people,” said Mr. Blakely, who is black. There is resentment “if a white person asks them to do something. It’s really bad. I’ve never encountered anything like this.” NY Times Article

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-02T12:43:23-06:00
ID
76502
Comment

For a normal traffic stop, I think do not believe that officers have to ask to seach the trunk. I believe that to ask to look in your trunk without probable cause (such as those Bubba mentioned) is a violation of our constitutional rights. I am glad to accept correction on this if I am wrong. In fact, since that incident I had on the Trace, a deputy asked to search a vehicle of mine. I stated that I would wait for him to get a search warrant (I didn't have anywhere to go right then) and he gave up on trying to search my vehicle. On tipping, I feel very strongly because I have bussed and waited tables. They need their tips to survive. I always tip at least 10 percent (that is if the service is unsatisfactory). If the service is average, I do 15. If it is excellent, I may even do 20. I am a black man who tips! Hooray!

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T12:48:00-06:00
ID
76503
Comment

"I think the police can search your trunk and vehicle if they have probable cause, like they think you have been drinking (weaving while driving, slurring words)" BubbaT, I'm a quadriplegic. My breathing and swallowing are impaired and one side of my face is partially paralyzed. If an officer perceived my words and speech as slurred, or my reaction time and body language to be different, you want him to search me, right? If the LEO orders me out of the car and I can't move fast enough for him, maybe then he feels a little threatened, he can pull me out of the car and smash my face to the ground? Tazer me? Pepper spray me? Search my car? Search my body cavities? Draw blood? How do you want me to be treated at a roadblock and where do you see my basic human rights? Ever heard of any cases where things turn out bad?

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-02T12:51:16-06:00
ID
76504
Comment

I should note that while the article claims that race is a "uniquely New Orleans hang-up," it applies to Jackson as well.

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-02T12:54:24-06:00
ID
76505
Comment

You know, it just dawned on me; we should start a different thread about etiquette in life and business, and share tips and knowledge that we've learned along the way. The truth is, some people haven't had the opportunity to learn the lessons, yet, and that is not a racial thing. It's often just about whether you grew up with "successful" role models and mentors or not. And we can move the tipping conversation there. So here it is: The JFP Bloggers' Guide to Success in Life and Business

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-02T12:55:50-06:00
ID
76506
Comment

I'm not trying to be insensitive, just curious. How do you drive as a quadripalegic?

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-02T13:00:56-06:00
ID
76507
Comment

Fat Harry..you are right..Jackson still has that problem. So what do you think about that article??

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-02T13:03:31-06:00
ID
76508
Comment

BTW, Harry, I don't disapprove of criticism of Nagin. What gets my goat is people who randomly throw out examples of black men they think are incompetent to prove an unrelated point. Nagin, Sharpton and Jackson are used that way all the time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-02T13:06:26-06:00
ID
76509
Comment

Fat Harry..you are right..Jackson still has that problem. So what do you think about that article?? I think that Jackson can learn a lot from New Orleans about what happens when the racial divide is not bridged. A golden opportunity for the rebirth of a city was wasted through petty bickering and infighting, and now the city and its citizens are paying the price.

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-02T13:10:38-06:00
ID
76510
Comment

I get your point, Kaze, about the "not friendly to blacks" PR issue in Madison County, and I agree that the sheriff needs to publicly dispute the profiling allegations, if he can. I also agree that it is unjust if there are 10 roadblocks in predominately black areas to every 1 roadblock in predominately white areas. HOWEVER, my point was that there are enough roadblocks in my predominately white area to cause me to expect a roadblock every time I drive. That is why I was surprised that the allegations of racial profiling were related to roadblocks. I will also admit, reluctantly for some reason, that the expectation of roadblocks has altered my drinking and driving habits. These tipping comments are cracking me up. I worked in restaurants through high school and college and am convinced that there is no stronger prejudice in this world than in the hearts of waiters and waitresses at the moment a maitre’de seats someone new at one of their tables. My prejudice was against older women at lunch and their damn separate checks. Hah!

Author
Huckleberry
Date
2008-04-02T13:12:02-06:00
ID
76511
Comment

More so Huck, than say, "Huck, you got a new 4 at table 12, and two are vegetarians." LOL! :P

Author
GradyGriffin
Date
2008-04-02T13:19:08-06:00
ID
76512
Comment

I know a young girl from Brandon who was pulled over in south Jackson one night for not giving enough time between her signal and her turn. She was 18 at the time. Her being a freshman at Hinds, she was able to befriend classmates from other parts of the metro area. Returning home from a Fondren event one night, her and her friends were searched and harassed by JPD officers. They told her that if she didn't want to end up on crack then it would be best that she get her skinny, white a** back to Rankin county. Sorry, but I can't help but think that if she didn't have her black friends in the car or if she didn't have a Rankin county tag on her car this would not have happened to them. Young people should be able to venture outside the great county of Rankin to experience this great city of Jackson. And it truly is. Thank God she did not let this stop her.

Author
saint H
Date
2008-04-02T14:19:26-06:00
ID
76513
Comment

The quote was: "“Black people have a hard time taking instruction from white people,” said Mr. Blakely, who is black. There is resentment “if a white person asks them to do something. It’s really bad. I’ve never encountered anything like this.” Just because a black person says it does not mean its true, (even if his last name is Melton). Sorry to disappoint anyone! Seriously, I do think that there will be some of that both ways. I have experienced whites who do not want to be supervised by black people, so I would be surprised if there were not some black people who had bad attitudes also. There is a danger in going from "some black people" or "some white people" to making generalizations that are too broad. If black people in general could not work under whites well, then the black unemployment rate would be sky high!

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-02T14:20:46-06:00
ID
76514
Comment

Well the Rebuilding Czar of New Orleans says there is a problem. In his vast experience, he has not encountered this problem and identified it as "uniquely New Orleans." I would maintain that the race problems in New Orleans and Jackson are quite similar. Simply put, LOTS of distrust. On both sides.

Author
QB
Date
2008-04-02T14:44:02-06:00
ID
76515
Comment

Wild- you misunderstood what I said, maybe I shouldn't have said "I think" and should have said "From the imformantion I can find".

Author
BubbaT
Date
2008-04-02T15:40:07-06:00
ID
76516
Comment

Some people can't take instruction from anyone. I think there is more of an issue with black women and white women when it comes to this. Just my opinion, but I don't see many black men having problems taking instruction from white men. I don't see white men having problems taking instruction from black men, but then again I don't get to see black men supervising many whites and if they do then the white man generally (from what I see) have respect for that man and his ability to do a better job than the white man can do. But women, oh I see that everyday. White women do not like it; neither do black women (vice versa). As I stated earlier this discussion will lead to other avenues that we as a people will have to cross. And, the relationship between black women and white women will definetely have to be addressed at some point. Not to say that it doesn't exist with men. Just that I know a little bit about this as it affects women, you know....since I happen to be one.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-07T12:54:55-06:00
ID
76517
Comment

I want you to know, Queen, that I have applied your advice over the past days - trying not to see blacks in service positions or blacks in general as people that must be "welcomed" or that I in any way must "prove" to them I'm not racist - recall our conversation up thread. This is really eye-opening to me so thank you! Already I believe it may have changed certain interactions, more open, more human, like here we are all part of it, all charged with solutions, all living out our lives. Not me, Izzy, trying to come down from above and ceremoniously open the door. Not that I did it out of a bad attitude. Just didn't know any better how to go about it. Let's keep talking.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-07T13:46:33-06:00
ID
76518
Comment

BubbaT "Wild- you misunderstood what I said, maybe I shouldn't have said "I think" and should have said "From the imformantion I can find". BubbaT. I got what you meant, BubbaT. I was just presenting a possible scenario and rhetorical questions. Sorry if I was unskillful and wrote it like I was jumping on your case (I wasn't). Willd

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-07T15:10:38-06:00
ID
76519
Comment

Izzy, thank you so much! I really appreciate that. I have been really open with you all here. I even admit that I got a little bit beyond myself when it came down to getting to the GUT of the issue - up thread. As you will notice I deleted myself from the conversation when I found myself becoming defensive instead of information or inquisitive. Not sure that was a good thing or not. We're not going to be able to have this round table without the willingness to face issues that will be damaging and hurtful. Yet, when it came time for the Queen to face it head on, I ran off. Afraid! Frustrated! Annoyed! And I apologize to those of you who needed my input and those of you who wanted it. I have been following the thread, just decided not to post anything. It's a troubling thing - racism. But it's even more troubling to think about what exactly we have to realize about each other in order to fix it. I've been so PRO BLACK for so long, that my defensive mechanism sometimes resorts right back to that...F YALL Attitude. Who needs it? And the reason I am here sharing this today is because we CAN NOT be that way. As easy as it is to walk away from these discussions and blame our fear on the fact that the other people on the board are judging me, or they don't want to hear what I think, or they are biased and too opinionated....all of those excuses contribute to the problem. And since, I have committed to doing my part at resolution, I have to be woman enough to say that I wasn't ready to face the comments of the men once they did chime in. I should have stayed and fought the good fight with the rest of you. Just didn't want to argue. I felt as if we were doing good just relating to each other. But a good friend of mine pointed out to me that while we were singing lullabies to each other, we were not actually discussion issues in this article. I suppose we should have and would've gotten there at some point, but the building with each other was very necessary. Just a little venting there....hope I didn't bore anyone!

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-07T16:07:02-06:00
ID
76520
Comment

oooohhhhhhwwwwweeee, lots of typos in that one folks...sorry! Thinking faster than my fingers I guess....

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-07T16:17:45-06:00
ID
76522
Comment

It's ok, Queen, I experience a similar reaction when confronted with men and their attitudes regarding sexism - I tend to shut down when they come at me with hostility, instead of letting my rage fuel a more interactive approach. Did well on that today, though, when a guy tried to act like he didn't care about the Chick ball. He didn't even know what it was. After a minute, I talked about domestic violence and why we do the Chick ball fundraiser. He was into it! More conversations. and i think at times silences are ok. there have been many weeks I have followed threads with nothing particular I want to say. That's okay, too.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-07T18:20:56-06:00
ID
76521
Comment

It's ok, Queen, I experience a similar reaction when confronted with men and their attitudes regarding sexism - I tend to shut down when they come at me with hostility, instead of letting my rage fuel a more interactive approach. Did well on that today, though, when a guy tried to act like he didn't care about the Chick ball. He didn't even know what it was. After a minute, I talked about domestic violence and why we do the Chick ball fundraiser. He was into it! More conversations. and i think at times silences are ok. there have been many weeks I have followed threads with nothing particular I want to say. That's okay, too.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-07T18:20:56-06:00
ID
76523
Comment

More conversations. and i think at times silences are ok. there have been many weeks I have followed threads with nothing particular I want to say. That's okay, too. I agree. I'm more of a listener than a talker, and I think I learn more by listening, or in this case, reading, before responding. Sometimes I don't know what to say, and I don't like to talk just for the sake of hearing myself talk. When I say something, I want it to be worthwhile and not a lot of hot air. I've learned so much from this thread!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2008-04-07T20:50:23-06:00
ID
76524
Comment

Don't get me wrong guys...I had plenty to say on this issue. In my mind, I was resting. I'm sure you all have no way of knowing this but I am very passionate about this issue. I am very passionate about my race. Therefore, passionate about bringing an end to racism in all aspects. I suppose as a woman, maybe you all agree, that is was more important for us to build a relationship and mutual respect for each other in order to be able to freely discuss this thing. Women have a natural desire to be peaceful. That's why the discussion went the way it did before the guys started adding their points of view. But, I think that men don't have a need for smooth conversation as much as saying what they have to say. And that's not a bad thing at all. It's just different. I think my problem was I felt like we had taken a turn backwards because the tone of the discussion immediately changed. I could easily see where one or two newports would be needed to continue endulging in the conversation once it got a little heated. ANd I told myself if this board (notorious for being thought provoking) ever made me feel that way again, I'd just bag off a bit. And that's where I felt it was headed. So I did. I most certainly agree that this is a not a discussion that needs to wear a mask so that everyone is comfortable. No one will be comfortable having this discussion. Why? It hasn't been done. It's necessary. And there is a lot to say. I didnt' want to witness division among the men and the women while trying to see why we are divided as black men and women and white men and women. I had no desire to be apart of that. Plus, we were not at all touching on issues such as the police, the club attire, partying with each other, etc. And that's what we need to get to. The nitty gritty. So I get that now.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-08T08:11:33-06:00
ID
76525
Comment

And Izzy, I thought about your post from yesterday all night last night. I can tell that you are a friendly person. It's your nature. Giving black people the right to feel free has to be determined situation by situation. You don't want to be offensive. But you don't want to sacrafice who you are either. If you are the kind of person who is bothered by having someone live next door to you that you are not "friends" with or at least friendly with, you have to do what makes your soul feel right. I mean each situation will cause for a different action. You should just be prepared that one black neighbor may be offended by your welcome to the neighborhood, but another may not be. I can't tell you that we all react or think the same way. I can only make you aware of what the possibilities are. You'll have to make the determination yourself of whether or not your actions are out of sure niceness or if you are inadvertently being racist. It's not easy to determine, but you can. I will say that the best thing to do is WAIT. Don't rush. Take time to get to know that persons vibe. Vibe is the energy they give off automatically. You can tell if that person is warm and welcoming or totally prepared to curse you out as soon as you say something to them. Just be cautious. ANd remember that we are not all the same, just like you all are not all the same. But I appreciate your willingness to accept this and trying to work towards harmony.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-08T08:17:01-06:00
ID
76526
Comment

I nominate Queen as MVP..Most Valuable Poster on this thread :-). You have touched a lot of people on this thread. Your candor has been the glue holding it together.. And wow youre being soooo honest.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2008-04-08T08:25:10-06:00
ID
76527
Comment

Yeah, it's reminding me of 6th & 7th grade when we got bused to a mixed race school in an all black neighborhood. For the first time in my life there were blacks around me in school. I really wanted to connect and at times I did. Esp. with certain friends. There was tension, too, but the sense in me at least it was worth trying for. I forgot how that felt. I guess I moved away to another school later on where things were different, more separate. It's hard to make yourself open like that. Courageous. And Queen, point well taken, not all people think alike, whether black or whatever. Each person is different, each situation is unique.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-08T08:32:31-06:00
ID
76528
Comment

I second the nomination.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-04-08T10:00:35-06:00
ID
76529
Comment

I appreciate that...means alot to me coming from both of you - REALLY. It's important that we divulge everything without faint because tip toeing around this issue is not going to save our future generations from having this same problem. I'm more interested than ever, since this column, in how whites feel about this issue. I mean, in my world, it's never been a concern for us...what or how this affects white people. I always thought this racism issue only affected blacks. It wasn't until this very peice - which could possibly go down in history as the beginning of awareness in Jackson - that I realized that this is not just a black thing. It's a people thing. WOW! Feels strange to even type that out. So, thanks to you Kaze for writing it and to you to Donna for allowing and participating in this. EDUCATION AND AWARENESS - a very powerful combination!!!!

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-08T10:19:14-06:00
ID
76530
Comment

This is a long thread with a lot going on in it. But, people lost sight of something early on. It's not just about black & white. Obama isn't a black man (don't give me back one drop rule). He's multiracial and multicultural. He hasn't defaulted to being black because of a sense of not being able to be white. If anything, he's Afro-Celtic. He's not hanging onto black/white. He's putting something else out there.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-08T12:54:31-06:00
ID
76531
Comment

I'm sorry but I'm lost....Obama? What about Obama? Are you responding to a particular post? You're right this is a long thread and maybe I missed something. Please elaborate.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-08T13:01:44-06:00
ID
76532
Comment

It started out as an essay by Kamikaze, with the "chickens coming home to roost" quote attributed to Malxcom X, reference to Rev. Wright's comments and Obama's speech on race, and a call by Kaze to clear the air and exorcise prejudices on "both" sides. There isn't "both" sides, as Obama exemplifies, there's a continuum. Obama is quite vocal about being both multi-racial and multi-cultural, in his public comments as well as his written autobiography. Obama is not a black man, aside from one drop rule. He's bi-racial, multi-cultural, Afro-Celtic and quite vocal about it. Different paradigm. Not black & white. Something else on the table.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-08T13:32:14-06:00
ID
76533
Comment

Willdu, unless I misunderstood, this thread is not about Obama per se but the examination of the issue of racism that he prompted. BUT, Obama says he is African American. You reference biology. Biologically, there is only one race, PERIOD --- the human race. Culturally, I submit that one could have two "white" parents, but grow up around all black people like Eminem and be more culturally black than white. It seems that Obama has made a choice as to which culture he predominantly identifies with. As Bob Marley sang, "every man has a right to decide his own destiny". Obama has done that and we should respect his choice. Incidently, Bob Marley's father was white, yet he chose to identify with Black culture. He probably had no choice anyway as Obama probably did not.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-08T15:59:57-06:00
ID
76534
Comment

Okay, I had a breakthrough last night with a relative...you know THAT relative. Um, yeah. Last time I spoke with him, he was trying to tell me the "King was a communist/fbi conspiracy b.s." So last night I was working on some genealogy, and stubbled upon Carl and Anne Braden at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (sov. commission file doncha know). Sent the link that says, "They are both communists" so he could know that we white Braden folks are communist too :P He might have married into a family of "agitators!" Of course, it's doubtful there's a direct lineage, but sometimes those "I'm not really racist" racist relatives need a kick in the pants.

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-04-08T16:48:33-06:00
ID
76535
Comment

Whitley, I lived many years with Cecil Harris and Ms. Fine up above Grantstown Road from Bob Marley family house, next to Firefly (Noel Coward's house) outside Port Maria in Clarendon, Jamaica and that isn't exactly what Bob Marley was saying, or what most Jamicans I knew and lived with, ate with, slept on cardboard box on the floor with, and made love to, saw as his only message. You may not have read Obama's autobiography. That's not exactly what he says either. His biology aside he identifies himself as biracial and multi-cultural with acknowledgements to his African father, Irish mother and her mother, his time in Hawaii and their Indonesian connection. I didn't reference biology, you did. And I'm aware that there are people with two white parents hwo grew up black...there's one like that in the room here with me right now. Biologically there's only one race, yes, but poltically it isn't quite there yet.

Author
willdufauve
Date
2008-04-08T16:55:42-06:00
ID
76536
Comment

em...why do white people hate communists?

Author
skipp
Date
2008-04-08T17:52:29-06:00
ID
76537
Comment

em...why do white people hate communists?

Author
skipp
Date
2008-04-08T17:52:29-06:00
ID
76538
Comment

skipp, is this like a knock-knock joke? I dunno. Why do white people hate communists?

Author
emilyb
Date
2008-04-08T18:49:03-06:00
ID
76539
Comment

I am not concerned about Obama being multiracial....at all. We have for years concentrated on the wrong things. What I am most concerned with is the audacity he displayed to even speak openly about race as no other candidate has the guts to do. I am concerned that he is bringing to the forefront some issues that have been plaquing our communities for generations and generations and no one wanted to face it. He may be black or white, or black and white, totally insignificant....to me. It is not that he's black that has me impressed with him. It's that he is seemingly ready to attack those forces that have been keeping black and poor whites in an inferior role in the nation for too long. I'm more impressed with his new, fresh attitude about attacking issues face on. Not around the way and back.

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-09T08:36:29-06:00
ID
76540
Comment

Not all white people hate communists.

Author
Ax
Date
2008-04-09T08:57:25-06:00
ID
76541
Comment

Wildu, I have also lived in the West Indies and am married to a West Indian woman although neither makes me an authority on West Indians or Bob Marley. I only stated a couple of obvious things. I didn't say that was Marley's "only" message. That would be silly. Obama HAS identified himself as an African American despite embracing both sides of his family.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-09T09:37:34-06:00
ID
76542
Comment

Queen is right. Whether he is multi-racial or whatever is not the salient issue. Ironically, the thread was/is about racism and that is why Obama can CLAIM to be caublackasian or whatever, but when he gets stopped at the roadblock Wildu you know very well what he will be :-) --- a n***** :-). Will being multi-racial keep him from getting profiled as a black man? That is what the conversation was mainly about. My mother's grandfather was half white. MY mother tells the story that when some white guy's saw him walking in Tupelo many years ago with her and her siblings they wondered aloud what he was doing with all those "little n*****s" (because he looked like any white guy). You can think of yourself however you want, but the racial prejudices of society limit what you will experience in reality. I have read both of Obama's books. There are likely some observations that he had the good sense not to put in those books. America still cannot handle the whole truth on race.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-09T09:58:57-06:00
ID
76543
Comment

race both "is" a real category when it comes to actual discrimination and "isn't" a real category when it comes to the illogical ways society defines & classifies it...two sides of the same coin, really, and a good reason why the more open conversations on race the better. And why leadership allowing us to access new models & visions is also a good thing.

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-09T10:05:19-06:00
ID
76544
Comment

I think that it's typical for us as Americans to be concerned about this man's race. That's popular for the norm really. But ultimately it matters not what race he is or isn't, what matter is how his experiences when dealing with racial issues will shape and form his opinion of how to handle racial issues. How does being black, white and asian (or whatever he is) form his views on running this nation? I tend to think having a variety in his racial background makes him an even stronger candidate. If he understands, which i doubt, how racism affects whites; even, how it affects blacks and can lead this country accordingly. I'd rather him be confused about his nationality than I would confused about whether this war should be continuing, or how to grab a hold of this falling economy, or how to stop kids from killing each other in schools over cool spots under the tree. We are focusing on the wrong things. This is my same arguement for the Clinton scandal. One thing has nothing to do with the other. Are we saying that since he is multiracial he is unequipped to effectively run this country? Is there concern that there is a discrepancy in some statements he made about his racial background?

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-09T14:31:08-06:00
ID
76545
Comment

Kaze's reference to issues of racial profiling reminded me of these lyrics by one of the more notorius rappers: I ain’t trippin’ cause I’m used to it now. They handcuffed your boy and took me straight downtown… They had to catch me sooner or later Because the Five-O is always tryin’ to jack a player --- For no reason. I wasn’t doing nothing wrong… Why the police wanna send me to prison When all I’m tryin’ to do is run my own business? I ain’t mad. I’m just black.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-04-09T14:45:47-06:00
ID
76546
Comment

I tend to think having a variety in his racial background makes him an even stronger candidate. -Queen I think this is very true, and my guess is wildfauve would agree, also I want our country to have leadership that reflects it's multiracial, intensely kalidescopic populace. I want us to get ahead of the curve on bigotry, set good examples & be known throughout the world for this!!!!!!!! that's one woman's dream

Author
Izzy
Date
2008-04-10T09:18:03-06:00
ID
76547
Comment

I second the dream!

Author
Queen601
Date
2008-04-10T09:32:37-06:00

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