Membrain

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  1. Police violence against blacks is something that the black community knows the most about. Do you honestly think you know better than the people living the reality? Because trends are meaningful. Society doesn't say that white lives don't matter. When white people are killed by the cops, the cops are condemned roundly. Nobody accuses the victim of being a "thug" (Insert euphemism here) or tries to imply they had it coming to them. Black victims are dismissed. White victims are not. Black victims are killed at a higher rate. I can't make this much clearer. Perhaps you could start by listening to black people when they talk about their experiences, then. Sometimes there's more to life than "hard data". And yet your one example includes specifically racist language against a black person. So great, they got lucky and only had a "little" racism thrown their way. That's still not "nothing". But sure, there you go. Racism is solved. Black people have it grand in the US because your Sergeant only got called "nigger" a few times. Congratufuckinglations. Frankly, you're not coming across as intellectually honest in this discussion. If you want to make ad hom arguments about my "history", feel free. I honestly don't really care much about your position at this point. You seem to be absolutely convinced that racism is over, so good job. You solved racism. Everything is hunky dory because one white dude is cool with the status quo. You can cry all you like about "SJWs" not respecting your opinion, but if you're not able to comprehend what I'm writing, then there's not much more I can do for you. Go do your own research. EDIT: So this conversation has devolved pretty much exactly as expected. No such thing as structural racism indeed. Good job, white people. Y'all solved racism. I'll just go ahead and let the black community know that everything's all good.
  2. To be more clear, BLM is a movement dealing exclusively with police violence against the black community, led by the black community. One of the important parts of being an activist is letting people have self determination in solving the issues they face. Trying to solve black issues as a white person is pretty condescending, wouldn't you agree? We, as whites, don't know their experiences like they do, so stepping to the side and amplifying what they are saying when possible is the best course of action. I also believe that the police require significant changes overall, but BLM has a specific purpose and is wholly valid. Baaaasically a joke, yeah. More of a mean-spirited jab than anything. But regardless of the intent, the result of people using the movement is that BLM is put to the wayside in favor of white feelings. We can have our own movements, but we should also be cognizant that they do not erase or marginalize people who are already vastly more affected by the issues. I agree, egalitarianism is a good concept. I considered myself egalitarian for many years, until I started growing up and out of it. There are two terms with very similar meanings being used here. (By here, I mean in social action. Like with words such as "racism", you end up with confusion and debate about meanings. Please just play along for now.) First, you have equality. That is giving all people the same treatment and opportunities. This works when society is equal by default, which is unfortunately far off at the very least. Second, you have equity, which is giving people accommodations to bring them all to the same level. This is what works in the real world, where people are all different, with unique experiences and needs. Black Lives Matter is part of an equitable solution to police violence. They offer solutions that can benefit all victims, but are concerned specifically with the people getting hit the hardest. Sure, that's good for the long term, and I agree about the nationalism that is plaguing the western world. I think we agree on the grand scale, but have differences in the smaller realm of solutions. Which is fine. I much prefer that, as I've said to others here, to "debating" people who are actually racist.
  3. So... sorry for the wall of text. I'm trying my best to explain complicated subjects off the top of my head without confusing people. Your thought experiment doesn't take into account the fact that people can care about and deal with more than one issue at a time. Black Lives Matter is about police violence and brutality against blacks, because it is a specific and widespread issue. It does not impede caring about the lives of whites taken by the police. Look, pretty much any discussion about civil rights against oppressed demographics basically runs into this roadblock where people try to recenter the "default". With women's rights, you end up with a bunch of people crying "What about the men?!" With BLM, you get ALM, which is essentially "What about the white victims?!" In any of these cases, the point isn't to draw attention to actual problems, but to delegitimize the movement. In fact, most activists will try to explain that solving the problems they are talking about will help everyone, including the people who are part of the privileged demographic but who do not enjoy the privileges as much as others, such as men who are more effeminate or otherwise not up to the arbitrary standards of masculinity. And in the case of police brutality, as I said before, the solutions to the problem, like body cams, increased accountability, and the like will help *all* the victims of police violence. And, for that matter, should benefit the majority of cops who are good people by putting them in the limelight and vetting the bad ones. So yes, the thought experiment isn't really worth much because it doesn't take the reality of social justice movements into account. To reply to Tarnsman's point, I'd like to mention that, for blacks, police killings are an epidemic that they know the most about, because they are dealing with the issue on a constant basis. Do you believe that the majority of people whose deaths have become known due to BLM activism were violent offenders? Do you not wonder why white people can point guns at cops, threaten them, and still be arrested alive, but blacks can get shot while sitting in their cars, reaching for their ID, immediately after being told to present their ID? Your points here sound a lot like blaming the person acknowledging racism as the "real racist". You may not believe you are doing that, and I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. However, you may want to take a close look at why you are making these arguments. (To clarify, I'm not accusing you of racism, but imploring that you consider the basis of your argument.) The actual figures are roughly four times the proportional rate of whites. White people are killed by cops. Black people are killed more often. Trying to prove racism as the cause of every single killing is not as important as noticing a trend, acknowledging it, and working to determine the cause and solutions. Because this is uniquely an issue in the black community, it is also important to know to step aside and let them determine the solution. Highly doubtful. Unless they are somehow insulated from society, every black person alive in the US has faced or will face some form of racially charged adversity, as you put it. It doesn't really matter how good of a person they are or how carefully they live their lives. (In fact, having to carefully live your life to avoid racial adversity is, y'know, a challenge in and of itself.) Here's an anecdote: I live in the north, in NY, and I have a friend who went to college in a relatively safe area, with low crime rate. No record, listens to classic rock, wears respectable (Read: white) clothing, casually athletic but not jacked, the works. He should be the definition of a black person able to escape adversity, right? Two years ago, he was out for a run and, out of nowhere, he got tackled, hard, to the ground by three police officers, who then arrested him, head bleeding and glasses broken. (The glasses weren't cheap, either. He had a decent job at the school.) Why did they arrest him? Because on the other side, about two miles away, of town, a fraternity had just had their party broken up, where they were serving alcohol to minors. He was lucky, though, since he was wearing his tracksuit, no alcohol in his system, and was TWO MILES from where they had just broken up the party a few minutes before. So at least they didn't shoot him. Oh, and I forgot to mention, he wasn't running alone. His friend, who is white, was also running with him. This friend (NOT tackled or arrested, by the way.) spent the entire night telling the officers about how they had been running since getting out of class. Next morning, he was finally released and allowed to go to the hospital to have his head looked at. Now, I realize that the plural of anecdote is not evidence. That being said, can you think of anything this kid could have done to make himself safer other than changing his skin color? If you are white, you have, hopefully unintentionally, contributed to or benefited from the oppression of people of color. Historical circumstances (extensive and valid as they are) aside, our entire way of life is predicated on (current) Western imperialism. But to get back on subject, do you have any friends who are black? Ask them sometime, if you can, about the considerations they have to make just in their day-to-day lives just to keep themselves safe. Consider that you will never have to worry about seeing hundreds, thousands, of people throughout your life disparaging your life, culture, and heritage via rhetoric and violence of various natures. Those actions, and all the myriad ways our culture supports them, prop up white as the default, the norm, and benefit white people exclusively. It is nuanced, but that doesn't mean that the statement is false. They also face specific occurrences of racism that help fortify racist structures, which is part of why ALM is insidious, and the internal problems in the community caused both by oppressive systems and by human nature. For example, black criminals are still criminals. However, innocent blacks (a vast majority) still apparently have to answer for their actions as a monolith. Imagine if whites, when rallying against police violence, had to work against claims that the victims inherently had it coming to them because they were "no angel", by virtue of their skin color. Hell, Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old kid shot by an officer with a history of aggression, who'd been fired for racist actions at a previous job. It was a system of racial oppression that allowed that to happen, alongside a specifically racist officer. Granted, we also have issues with our treatment of literally every other race except white people, but Black Lives Matter is a specific response to police brutality and killings. Its existence does not necessitate "forgetting" about other lives or ignoring racism elsewhere. It is part and parcel in talking about racial justice in our country. Other countries have a different social setup and thus would require different approaches. All Lives Matter, as I've said before, is specifically designed to minimize the attention given to police violence against blacks because it inherently pushes for a continuation of the status quo. It's very similar to the "Straight Pride movement" or "White History Month", where people take movements designed to raise awareness of various issues and mock/belittle them with a "What about ME?" demonstration. If all people were treated equally, as egalitarianism posits, then there would be no need for specific movements to combat inequality. Even those people who are being intellectually honest, like in this thread, supporting ALM are contributing to a problem. That is, not every community requires the same treatment for what ails them. Trying to solve police brutality against blacks using egalitarian strategies is like attempting to treat a broken bone with cough syrup. That's why we have separate movements for separate problems. (This is also directed at Tarnsman's comment.)
  4. We're online. I can only understand what you believe based on what you type. If I misrepresented you, I apologize. I am attempting to have a civil discussion and to act fairly so long as you afford me the same courtesy. Okay, so, like I said before, you're very close. It's actually more frustrating than with someone who is obviously racist, because while there are key concepts that I'd like to get across, it's generally the more intricate things rather than the fundamentals where I am trying to make progress. First of all, white privilege is not a conscious act. If it were, I certainly wouldn't consider myself subject to it. I make a conscious effort not to uphold racist systems, though, like everyone, I make mistakes every so often. Remember that, due to the circumstances that put people in their current social positions, there are differences in how we should approach solving those issues. When it comes to class, it's usually pretty easy. You can generally set up social nets and programs to help people get their feet under them. I support all those programs because I wouldn't be living anything near the comfortable, if indebted, life I am without those systems. Race, on the other hand, is messy and convoluted. The US in particular has had a lot of problems, due to our legalization of slavery and other civil rights issues. (Not just for blacks, either. Whenever anyone is not considered "white", they suffer. Italians and the Irish were not "white" when they first started immigrating, for example. That's a lot of the reason why the mobs got a foothold in the States, along with prohibition.) Issues for the black community are particularly difficult. Because of their skin color/non-Western heritage and culture (harder to assimilate) and the unique history of black slavery in America, systemic racism such as the war on drugs (overwhelmingly targets black communities, though whites are actually more likely to use), Ronnie Raygun's "welfare queen" myth, and the more modern demonization of black culture stick around and affect even those blacks that try to "pass". After all, it's kind of hard to pass when your skin color is "non-default". Even the President has to deal with racism on a daily basis. The Birther movement didn't happen specifically to Obama for no reason, and he's faced more obstruction in office than any President in history. That's not just a coincidence. That's not just classism. (Though it is true that blacks face both racism and classism disproportionately.) Sorry about the wall of text. I promise I'm about done here. Taking all of the above into account, consider your own experiences. Have you had to face adversity? Almost assuredly. I know I have, and I'm white as fuck. But none of that adversity, on a structural level, is because of your skin color. White privilege is called that because we don't face racial injustices on a daily basis, in every aspect of our lives, from birth on. That's it. It's not saying you're a bad person or that you're inherently racist. Though, like me, you've probably inadvertently done things that contribute to racism. That's okay! It's just important to identify where those things are and make efforts to improve. (That's what "checking your privilege" is, by the way.) Black lives are being taken at four times the proportional rate of white lives. Yes, all cases of police brutality and murder are unacceptable, but pointing out that racism is driving so many of them is not a bad thing. All lives DO matter. Nobody is saying otherwise. And it's not like the demands being put on police for increased accountability and protection for civilians are going to affect only those black lives taken by police.
  5. I'm not trying to convince people like you, Tarnsman. You are aware of systemic privilege and civil rights issues. I respect that and I appreciate that you understand. What I'm talking about is people who instinctively yell "All Lives Matter!" as soon as anyone says Black Lives Matter. They should be talked to and educated if willing. If not, they should be ignored. However, the difference isn't always stark, so I try to educate first, then ignore. My goal with our conversation is less for the benefit of winning a debate with you and more to explain my viewpoint and hopefully show those who commit the actual problems to consider their actions. Some are trolls, but some legitimately think that ALM is a valid movement. It is important to explain why its not and why BLM is, and why word/phrase choice should matter when discussing issues. (Which you obviously understand, based on what you've said.)
  6. Hold on a second here. Correct me if I'm wrong. This is what I'm interpreting you as saying: - BLM is valid. Black lives are treated as less than white lives. - ALM is a divisive tactic used as a talking point - Saying ALM in response to BLM is asserting that BLM is implying that ONLY black lives matter I fail to see how this is any different than what most people talking about BLM are already saying. And I would wager that putting the onus on activists for other people misrepresenting and attempting to sabotage the civil rights movement is flawed. #AllLivesMatter is, I agree, asserting that Black Lives Matter is saying "Only black lives matter". But you didn't include the fact that that's obviously false and intellectually dishonest. The actual intention, presumably apparent at a glance and also explained in great detail *all over the place*, is "Black lives matter, too". So by saying All Lives Matter in response, you're shouting over that, which is centering white feelings over black lives. So sorry, no, I don't have very much sympathy for the people still trying to justify ALM, and I certainly disagree with you about that purity argument. ALM is *not* a civil rights statement, which should not come as a surprise to anyone. Not when there's so much information out there to explain the BLM movement. Ignorance at this point is willful. They were born into it because they have white grandparents, yes. You are so close and you still miss it. You seem to realize that the circumstances of the past influence the layout of the world of today in every way but race. You can't play the colorblind card when so much of history has been predicated on skin color. These aren't one or two communities. These are the communities where a majority of blacks live because of a number of different reasons. Consider: - Leaving is very expensive, especially when economically disadvantaged. - Even if you can afford to leave, many do not want to leave behind their friends and family, as well as their culture. Black oppression is also not limited to those areas. Ever considered what it would be like to be the only black family in town? It's not exactly a cakewalk. Moreover, even with affirmative action, black students face distinct and unique challenges. My own school, deep in the northernmost regions of New York, had a fairly high-profile case where threats were made against the life of one of our few black professors. Small towns throughout the US are absolutely full of racism. Maybe you don't see it. Maybe you don't have to worry about it. But why not believe the people who do?
  7. Sure, absolutely. I believe, though, that the people who aren't being pressured by that systemic racism have a responsibility to the people who are. It's hard, for sure. You can't please everyone and, since we are all human and no demographic is a monolith, it can incur some massive cognitive dissonance when one person says that whites should do one thing and another says they should do something else entirely. And when it comes to things like #AllLivesMatter, the people who started BLM and are being shot are saying that ALM is harmful. And really, it makes sense to me. The only time you hear #AllLivesMatter is as a response to BLM, and it's almost exclusively used to distort or minimize BLM. Whatever you think about the group itself, that is a racist act. BLM is a social justice movement for the black community, so marginalizing what they are saying and centering white people is just taking advantage of the status quo to shut them down. Again, I agree with you. Bullying is actually a great example, since oppressive systems usually contribute to social strata in schools. It's very rare that you see groups of poor kids tormenting the rich kids, after all. (Not saying that this doesn't happen, of course, only that one is systemic and one is not.) Making fun of someone because they are rich is... well, not really that effective. Same thing goes for race. That's why someone saying "cracker" is a metric fuckton less fucked up than using the n-word. "Cracker" is aimed at whites, but it refers (allegedly) to the cracking of whips. The n-word was and is used to remind blacks of where their expected place in society is. One is referencing a power structure and trying to dismantle it. The other is reinforcing it. The logic holds for most of those actions that white people "can't" do. A cursory glance at academic studies of the subject would give you a wealth of evidence. But look, let's examine what you said. You said that economic disadvantage is systemic, that classism is the root of oppression. All right, think about who would be able to build up family fortunes/businesses. You agree that it would have been significantly easier for whites to do so a generation or two ago, right? After all, it's easily apparent that the civil rights movements in the 60's was necessary, because blacks were not afforded the same rights as whites. I mean, the city I live in used to be what's known as a sundown town. (That is, back when we were an engineering center and had a high standard of living.) That means that any blacks that lived in the city who were out after sundown would be lynched. We now have a sizeable black population. Do you know when that happened? Almost exactly in tandem with when our engineering companies all moved out and left the town an empty husk. Well, after they dumped chemicals in the water and poisoned the municipal supply. Maybe you could argue that it's all a bunch of coincidences. But it's not as if this is a rare situation. So look at most black communities in the US: they're generally poor and underfunded by the state. That leads to all that "black-on-black" crime that people use to disparage the victims of police brutality. (Also disregarding that almost all crime is intraracial.) That leads to profiling and implicit bias among the police, leading to over-incarceration. This is all just one big pot of resentment and fear, with a dash of poor accountability and fraternal instinct in the police force. It's not really surprising that cops are killing black people at a ridiculous pace. We know that blacks are killed at four times the proportional rate as whites. There's rationale for it, and it is a lot deeper than just a few racist cops, though vetting of officers is also woefully inadequate in general. We have a lot of work to do, and being sad because you have implicit structural privilege is counter-productive. It's not an indictment of you, personally. It's a statement of observable fact with trails all through history.
  8. I'm surprised to hear this as your experience. Granted, I'm a middle class adult who grew up poor, so I've seen a lot of both strata. Generally, my experience is that middle class whites respond negatively to the concept of privilege while poorer whites have an easier time understanding it if approached in the right way, though you get all types. There are white people who understand economic privilege but deny racial or gender privilege, and so and so forth. What surprises me is when poor whites respond to the idea of structural racism and sexism with skepticism, while many of the same systems are used to punish poor people. My experiences being poor relate to the experiences faced by non-whites in many ways. Granted, having wealth/power is no guarantee of freedom from racism, and being white is no guarantee of being free from structural oppression of the poor.
  9. Honest question: Do you believe that these people would respond better to "White people cannot experience institutional, structural racism"? I have a feeling we'll know the answer soon. From the mouth of babes and all that.
  10. Yes. I've heard that it's got some significant bugs, though, which is sad because it does look like it scratches a few of those itches I've had for a good, immersive space sim.
  11. The information was removed a few hours after the article was posted. The address currently online is not where the officers are living. Also, I'm massively creeped out by the number of cops in the comments on that site that were abusing their positions to dox the reporters, not to mention the rape and death threats against them and several other posters. You do a great job supporting one side of the case, though.
  12. I'm actually totally alright with it. I kind of regret bringing it up in this thread, tbh. Sorry. Also, Canada's Thanksgiving is not far off from the US flavor, and it isn't quite as based in the same stuff. (Though they do have their own problems, Thanksgiving is not directly celebrating them as in America, IIRC.)
  13. @ TheCupboard: Possibly the history of shitty treatment of native americans and historical revisionism that goes hand-in-hand with it. :P Also, Proteus has a phase that covers fall, and it feels pretty accurate for the season.