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Old 11-22-2013, 12:39 PM
 
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I often bring up issues of race in Detroit topics. You probably have never noticed....lol....but I do. I really do not mean to put people off but I really do think that it is a very relevant issue in Detroit's past and future and I think that it is doing a disservice to the area, in talking about its problems and future, to not deal with the issue.

Let me use an analogy to make my point. A 5'2 inch person weighing 400 lbs is in poor health and goes to the doctor about their health. However, when the patient sees the doctor he tells the doctor that he does not want to have any discussion about diet or exercise because it just makes him upset and uncomfortable. What should the doctor then prescribe?

Detroit is the most segregated area of the country and if not its number 2 or 3, yet, nobody wants to discuss the issue of race and when I bring it up I am made to feel as if "I have a problem" or that I am the problem because I am always talking about race. Race has had a PROFOUND impact upon this area (and nation) and it plays a key role in Detroit's future.......but no one wants to address it and people like me, who then addresses it, gets labeled with a pejorative....and tapped on the shoulder.

It makes no sense to me. Honestly....it does not. I reeks of denial of the worst kind. Every thing is the way it is for a REASON and it evolved into what it is....but people are averse to dealing with those reasons and the evolution. People just think things will magically go away by not dealing or addressing them. People want to simply take a pill or have liposuction instead of the hard and uncomfortable efforts of diet and exercise. Hence, anything Detroit gains from pill or surgery will not be tenable because it never was willing to address the real root issue and problem.

What should the doctor prescribe.....pills, surgery....both....or force the issue of diet and exercise?
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:18 PM
 
3,083 posts, read 5,178,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
I often bring up issues of race in Detroit topics. You probably have never noticed....lol....but I do. I really do not mean to put people off but I really do think that it is a very relevant issue in Detroit's past and future and I think that it is doing a disservice to the area, in talking about its problems and future, to not deal with the issue.

Let me use an analogy to make my point. A 5'2 inch person weighing 400 lbs is in poor health and goes to the doctor about their health. However, when the patient sees the doctor he tells the doctor that he does not want to have any discussion about diet or exercise because it just makes him upset and uncomfortable. What should the doctor then prescribe?

Detroit is the most segregated area of the country and if not its number 2 or 3, yet, nobody wants to discuss the issue of race and when I bring it up I am made to feel as if "I have a problem" or that I am the problem because I am always talking about race. Race has had a PROFOUND impact upon this area (and nation) and it plays a key role in Detroit's future.......but no one wants to address it and people like me, who then addresses it, gets labeled with a pejorative....and tapped on the shoulder.

It makes no sense to me. Honestly....it does not. I reeks of denial of the worst kind. Every thing is the way it is for a REASON and it evolved into what it is....but people are averse to dealing with those reasons and the evolution. People just think things will magically go away by not dealing or addressing them. People want to simply take a pill or have liposuction instead of the hard and uncomfortable efforts of diet and exercise. Hence, anything Detroit gains from pill or surgery will not be tenable because it never was willing to address the real root issue and problem.

What should the doctor prescribe.....pills, surgery....both....or force the issue of diet and exercise?
Interesting post, and I mean it in the sincerest way possible.

Kind of how it makes no sense to you, it makes little sense to me as well. I am a Millennial, so maybe that has something to do with it. I've never had ill-intentions towards black people. And I've not personally seen many direct forms of racism directed at black people from the people I hang out with, at least not malicious in nature (i.e. I've heard some people refer to black people as N*****s, but that's the extent of it). One of my close friends in college was black, gay, and Republican. I grew up around black people. I was friends with them in school. I've even slept with a black girl.

However, I realize that racism and bigotry is still brewing in certain circles. I personally don't associate with these people, so I don't see it that often. You may remember one of my posts where I said I "peaced out some white friends recently". I peaced them out partly because they constantly made fun of one of our mutual African American friends who had a facial deformity that was a result of a brain surgery he experienced when he was younger. I didn't appreciate or feel comfortable with the way they talked to him, joking or not.

The real issue I take up with black people everywhere is the victim mentality. When I was living in Denver, another person crashed into my car when I was going straight and they were making a left turn. This woman, who happened to be black, told me she didn't have car insurance. I didn't want to risk anything, so I called the police to file a report. She freaked out at me and actually had the gall to ask me if it was "because she was black". I stood there baffled by what I had just heard. "No, darling, I'm calling the cops because you crashed into me and you don't have the requisite insurance". People play this victim card far too often, IMO, when it's completely unwarranted. I am sure there are people who've been a victim of racism recently. I just think that there are far more people who haven't been, but still like to pull that card when it is convenient to them.

Bottom line is that I love African American culture. I think black people have some of the best senses of humor. I think many of them can be some of the most legit, sincere people you'll ever meet in life. I have no problem with any race of people, as long as they are warm, friendly, and honest. That's the only requirement I have of the people I choose to associate with.

Last edited by Tekkie; 11-22-2013 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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Default As far as what to do...

I wanted to add a separate note. As far as how to address this issue, I think the solution is universal to anyone experiencing a problem with bigotry.

I don't know how many times I've been knocked down for one reason or another. Look around on this forum. There are a TON of haters on here. I've had people talk poorly about my major, my generation, my field of work, etc. The list goes on.

Bullies and bigots exist in this world and will target you for a number of reasons. Whether it's your race or the generation you belong to; it does not matter to them. They want to destroy you to make themselves feel better.

For an African American to succumb to some silly racist remark or action from an ignoramus would be the equivalent of me giving up on my life goals because someone on the Work and Employment forum said my college degree is worthless and Millennials are a bunch of entitled cry babies who can't cut it in the real world.

There are and always will be morons in this world and us non-morons have to deal with it and figure out a way to circumvent their idiocy to get to where we want to be.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:17 PM
 
Location: North of Canada, but not the Arctic
17,616 posts, read 15,825,451 times
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Indentured Servant, I greatly appreciate your posts. I think it is great that we have a forum in which to discuss racial topics. I don't know why it is considered a taboo topic. Maybe at times it gets a little too personal?

As Tekkie pointed out, I think a lot of it has to do with how old a person is and where they are from. Obviously, if someone grew up in the south during the Segregation Era or who hangs around with family that is from that place/time, they will have a different perspective than someone who grew up at a time and place with less racial animosity. And each generation is less and less racially conditioned. So that makes discussion difficult, because two people from different perspectives are going to disagree as to how much race really matters. In Detroit, this is especially compounded by the Great Migration of blacks and segregation-conditioned whites from the south.

I think about my grandmother who during the 1920s in Detroit went to racially integrated schools (I know because I have her class pictures from middle and high school) and who raised my mother in a house right next door to a black family during the 1930s-50s. My grandfather worked in the auto factory foundry alongside blacks. My dad grew up in a neighborhood right on the fringes of Black Bottom. Joe Louis used to walk down his street. His family was the last white family to move out of the neighborhood and only did so because the neighborhood had severely declined. So their experiences have shaped me not to be racist. My best friend in college was a black Detroiter and we ended up as roommates for a few years. My siblings have had black friends as well. I worked for a black person. I've worked in Detroit with black people. Race is really not a big deal for me. Blacks have moved into my neighborhood and I welcome them and talk with them.

On the other hand, I would be blind not to see that there is obviously a problem in the black community. I understand some of the reasons why, but obviously not all. And the prospective that you provide has helped me greatly to understand further.

Although we have disagreed, I really appreciate your viewpoint. I wish more African-Americans would post on here and describe/explain what they think, especially those that live in bad areas of Detroit. I think it is a perspective that is lacking.

I guess the most important thing to remember is everyone is different and we make a big mistake when we paint groups of people with a wide brush. There are some black and white people who are racist or who see everything in terms of race, but I believe that most people deliberately try to judge people honestly and don't rely on skin color as a determinative factor.
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Detroit Michigan
429 posts, read 910,169 times
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I think people don't talk about it or it makes them uncomfortable because there is no easy or clear answer on how to solve or correct the problem. It is also a very touchy and emotional subject for some and a lot of people were taught or raised to not discuss things that can make someone else uncomfortable or upset someone. Some people avoid conflict or conversations where there will be disagreements. For instance look at a lot of families and the dynamics within the family. People don't say when someone else does something that upsets them cause they don't want to cause problems or fighting.

I do think with every new generation there is less racism but it will never go away on its own.

For me personally I tend not to discuss it (and in a way have my head in the sand) because I have no solution and mostly because I just don't understand it. In my eyes people are people and the color of your skin doesn't determine your character and it doesn't mean your better or worse then anyone else. And it doesn't mean you are entitled to anything or any sort of treatment. We should all have the same opportunities and chances in life. And how you are viewed or treated should be based solely on you and your behaviors actions and words. If you treat others well you should be treat well also. I know this is a very simple way to view things and in reality even if there was no racism it would be more complicated then what I stated. I hope one day everyone can be equal and that race will no longer matter in regards to equality.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:28 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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IS, I know several years ago you and I butted heads....but I have been reading your recent posts and discussions and I think your perspective is very well-thought-out and thoughtful.

But as a non-minority, I'd say that it seems that some black people tend to see everything through the lens of being a victim and cannot "let go" of the slave paradigm. And from a non-black perspective, that can be very difficult to comprehend. (As a child of Holocaust victims and survivors, I cannot help but make comparisons.)

Previously to living in Michigan, I lived in two western states, and previous to that I was in Europe. I absolutely agree that the color divide in Michigan is more profound than anywhere else I have ever lived. But how bad is it, really? I know this sounds cheesy, but I have black friends/neighbors, the sort who will help me move and vice versa, whose house keys we share for out of town emergencies, etc. I have clients who are black, and professional, successful people with successful children. All of whom move easily between black and white circles, and all who abhor the "ghetto" culture (which can absolutely be black or white) because that is not who they are.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:10 PM
 
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Those were some very thoughtful and honest responses I feel. I have a logical train of thought and I often see nearly everything in cause and effect or actions creating reaction. In other words, if an action has taken place, then what is the reaction to that action? If something is a certain way there is a reason or cause that produced the effect.

In light of that, in terms of the victim mentality, why would not some, if not many, blacks have such a mentality given history? People say they have a problem with the victim mentality of many blacks, as if blacks should not have one, but based upon what? Why should I, or blacks, not see the assertion that blacks are behaving atypical, to what we have experienced as a people, as the continuation of the doctrine of black inferiority? Logically, I cannot see how anyone can assume that blacks are inherently equal, but argue that they perform and behave unequal for inherent reasons. People then defend this claim by listing other groups who supposedly performed superior against the same odds, which again, is to defend the claim that blacks are behaving inferior....which again is the same doctrine/beliefs of the era of legalized oppression.

What I glean from many whites is this. "If the situation had been reverse, whites could and would do better than blacks are doing". Is that not the assumption implicit in the criticism of blacks? Whites would not have the victim mentality, they would not have the poverty, the crime, the out of wedlock births. Again, it seems to always come back to the assumption that blacks are inferior, for inherent reasons. This assumption of black inferiority is what I see as the "racism", because that assumption has been the root of racism for centuries in this nation.

I think it’s true and potentially promising that young people get along better racially. However, the danger comes from ignorance. How does a young person who does not know history reconcile the current situation of blacks in America? Do they think it’s just natural for blacks to be more violent, to have 3 times the rate of poverty, to have twice the rate of unemployment? Do they just accept this as the way it is? Are they more concerned with “being cool” with blacks than the condition of blacks?

The issue of race is kept alive primarily from the inequality of the condition of races. Look at the conditions that blacks live in in the Detroit area? The real rate of unemployment for blacks in metro Detroit is likely around 40% and for black males it’s probably 50%. We are witnessing the revival of central Detroit, but that revival looks increasingly white in a city predominately black. Something is terribly wrong with that picture. Even now, whites are fleeing suburban schools as black enrollment increases and many suburbs are transitioning from majority white to majority black….the exact same pattern that manifested in Detroit.

Last edited by Indentured Servant; 11-22-2013 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:50 PM
 
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What could I say to change your mind? I once heard that if someone asked you this question and you didn't have an answer, then you're probably not ready to change your mind. Are you sure you're open to changing your opinion on this subject?

You talk about the blacks and the victim mentality. Despite what happened in the past, can you explain what purpose this mentality serves? What's the point of possessing a victim mentality? IMO, all it leads to is a negative outlook on life and a perpetuating cycle of loathing and self-fulfilling failure. Consider the alternative of being an optimist about life and thinking that nobody can hold you down. Do you think that successful African Americans possess the former or the latter?

You talk about the revival in Downtown Detroit mostly consisting of whites. Is that really the case? I don't go downtown daily, but I have been down there quite often. When I was down there during the Jazz Fest, I can confidently say that the crowd was majority black. And in comparison to cities like Denver or Minneapolis, I am also quite confident that Detroit has more African Americans wandering the downtown streets than either of those places.

One thing you have to consider about much of the African American population in Detroit is the mindset and origination. Many of them, as you yourself mentioned, grew up in an impoverished setting. A lot of them come from broken families. Their educational system is pretty poor, so they don't receive the essential life skills needed to move out of poverty. As a result, many end up adapting a thug mentality to survive on the mean streets. That needs to change if they wish to be accepted into middle-class society. Educated, middle class people do now want to be around that, whether it's the thug mentality or the redneck racist/bigoted mentality.

For all that to change, there needs to be more investment in the city. Whether it's from whites or blacks or Hispanics or Asians, it should not matter. The city needs an injection of revenue so that it can become self-sustaining again. With more tax revenue in the city, they will have more resources to clean up the streets and improve the educational resources. But before all that, the mindsets of the locals need to change. Instead of thinking that this is "our city", they need to be open to allowing outsiders in to help improve it. From what I've learned about the history of the city, this has always been one of the major setbacks preventing the city from really improving.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
Those were some very thoughtful and honest responses I feel. I have a logical train of thought and I often see nearly everything in cause and effect or actions creating reaction. In other words, if an action has taken place, then what is the reaction to that action? If something is a certain way there is a reason or cause that produced the effect.

In light of that, in terms of the victim mentality, why would not some, if not many, blacks have such a mentality given history? People say they have a problem with the victim mentality of many blacks, as if blacks should not have one, but based upon what? Why should I, or blacks, not see the assertion that blacks are behaving atypical, to what we have experienced as a people, as the continuation of the doctrine of black inferiority? Logically, I cannot see how anyone can assume that blacks are inherently equal, but argue that they perform and behave unequal for inherent reasons. People then defend this claim by listing other groups who supposedly performed superior against the same odds, which again, is to defend the claim that blacks are behaving inferior....which again is the same doctrine/beliefs of the era of legalized oppression.

What I glean from many whites is this. "If the situation had been reverse, whites could and would do better than blacks are doing". Is that not the assumption implicit in the criticism of blacks? Whites would not have the victim mentality, they would not have the poverty, the crime, the out of wedlock births. Again, it seems to always come back to the assumption that blacks are inferior, for inherent reasons. This assumption of black inferiority is what I see as the "racism", because that assumption has been the root of racism for centuries in this nation.

I think it’s true and potentially promising that young people get along better racially. However, the danger comes from ignorance. How does a young person who does not know history reconcile the current situation of blacks in America? Do they think it’s just natural for blacks to be more violent, to have 3 times the rate of poverty, to have twice the rate of unemployment? Do they just accept this as the way it is? Are they more concerned with “being cool” with blacks than the condition of blacks?

The issue of race is kept alive primarily from the inequality of the condition of races. Look at the conditions that blacks live in in the Detroit area? The real rate of unemployment for blacks in metro Detroit is likely around 40% and for black males it’s probably 50%. We are witnessing the revival of central Detroit, but that revival looks increasingly white in a city predominately black. Something is terribly wrong with that picture. Even now, whites are fleeing suburban schools as black enrollment increases and many suburbs are transitioning from majority white to majority black….the exact same pattern that manifested in Detroit.

Last edited by Tekkie; 11-22-2013 at 10:01 PM..
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:13 PM
 
Location: North of Canada, but not the Arctic
17,616 posts, read 15,825,451 times
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I can understand how a black person who focuses on the history of blacks would live with some bitterness, but just look at all the very successful black people who have overcome any bitterness they may have. There are many successful, wealthy, talented, intelligent, family-oriented black people. How could they exist if every black person has been totally destroyed by past wrongs?

I guess what I'm saying is that I understand how black people could feel victimized, but I also believe it is in their power to attain an equal lifestyle to that of white people. And that goes beyond race. A white person who grows up in poverty in a broken home should have just as high ambitions in life as a black person who grows up in wealth in a nurturing environment. It's not simply a matter of pretending the past didn't happen, but of taking advantage of all the opportunities that life has to offer.

I think that some blacks dwell too much on being black and not enough on being human, being free to pursue a fulfilling life. Yes, there are obstacles, but they are not insurmountable. Just about everything that can be achieved by blacks has already been: black president, black billionaire (Oprah), etc.

Probably the biggest threat to blacks is when they are immersed in "blackness", i.e. when they fail to see and experience life in the greater world. The constant regurgitation of the victim mentality leads them to believe there is no way out when in fact the way out is just a few miles away. It's not that hey are inherently inferior, it's that they are submerged in an inferior environment, which exists to some degree among other races as well. We could probably have the same discussion about White Appalachia, Native American Reservations, Brazilian Favelas, Southeast Asian slums, etc. It's people who live in horrible areas and don't see any way out. At least in America, there are economic, political, legal, educational infrastructures that people can take advantage of if they are willing.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:04 AM
 
1,058 posts, read 1,090,534 times
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I think the problem with bringing in race is two-fold.

1) People will always see things differently. Take the Zimmerman/Martin situation, people fall roughly into two camps. The first camp believes that it was textbook self-defense and the second camp believes that it was a racially motivated murder. It is kind of hard for people from either camp to meet in the middle.

2) What is the next step after the big racial discussion? Busing in the 1970s was the last real policy that attempted to really address segregation and that didn't end so well. We still have affirmative action, but that honestly probably benefits middle and upper middle class favored minorities (not Asians) more than anyone else.

The problem in this country is that we don't want to talk about race or class. You could easily frame the issue as one of poverty and lack of opportunity, but that won't get you too far either.
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