|I wrote (in response to Erica), "I drew a similar conclusion concerning her take on "subtle" racism. She evidently didn't intend it, but she gave the impression that she and other blacks and minorities had to endure racist remarks on regular, ongoing basis. See her latest post on the Obama thread in which she downplays this." She replied, |
Nice backhand, Bill. But that wasn't my impression. Evidently, you drew that conclusion, because I used the word "victimized," but I didn't intend it in that sense of the term.
Actually, I did say that minorities are subject to subtle racism frequently. ...what I tried to amend in my final post, Bill, was the impression of others (like yourself), that I believed that this subtle racism necessarily "victimizes" minorities in a grand way, keeping them from progressing in their lives.
I have never suggested that, nor do I believe it. And I didn't realize that people might have that impression until you started bringing up ''proof" of the progress of blacks (like Obama) and actually using terms like "victim". Right, but I was using the Obama example to make a different point. See below.
I was trying to put the subject back in its proper perspective; I wasn't trying to "downplay" anything I'd previously said, Bill. (Now I'm dishonest, I suppose.) I would never say you're dishonest, but a lot is getting lost in translation here. You wrote, "Bill, as a highly educated white man, you don't have a clue as to what it's like to hear this crap on a regular basis."
I replied, "Seriously, is it that bad? I’ve read Shelby Steele, and he seems to think that it isn’t –- that today, blacks are generally treated pretty well by whites. In fact, it now looks like Barack Obama will be our next president. How is that possible, if blacks are as victimized by a racist white society as you seem to think they are?"
By "victimized," I didn't mean prevented from succeeding in life -- although I now see how you could have gotten that impression. I simply meant treated disrespectfully by being subjected to racist remarks on a regular, ongoing basis, which I now understand was your position. Thank you for clarifying. :-) In any event, I took this to imply that whites are, to a large extent, racially prejudiced, which I viewed as inconsistent with Obama's popularity among white voters.
You then said, "The point is this: people of racial minorities, and certain ethnic groups, have to start at zero and then be "commended" (read: pat on the head) for proving (usually white) people's stereotypes wrong."
I replied, "Even so, in most cases, it doesn’t take very long for that kind of prejudice to be modified or eliminated. Unless people are extreme bigots, they’ll change their minds on the basis of new information. Again, if things are as bad as you say, how is it that someone like Barack Obama, whom most people hadn’t heard of until recently, is now favored to beat Hillary Clinton, who is a household name, having been the wife of the previous president. And it’s not like the other Democratic candidates were racial minorities; all of them were white and are now out of the running."
My point was that if Obama had to start at zero and work his way up, how did he achieve the kind of popularity he now has with white voters so quickly, while better known white candidates like John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich have faded from the scene, and even Hillary Clinton, who has long been a household name, is now losing ground? Sorry, I don't buy it.