• Welcome to The Audio Annex! If you have any trouble logging in or signing up, please contact 'admin - at - theaudioannex.com'. Enjoy!
  • HTTPS (secure web browser connection) has been enabled - just add "https://" to the start of the URL in your address bar, e.g. "https://theaudioannex.com/forum/"
  • Congratulations! If you're seeing this notice, it means you're connected to the new server. Go ahead and post as usual, enjoy!
  • I've just upgraded the forum software to Xenforo 2.0. Please let me know if you have any problems with it. I'm still working on installing styles... coming soon.

What are you reading now?

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
My thoughts and opinions on the matter are informed by my experiences and moral values.
Well... yes. That's true for EVERYBODY.

Ok well my goal isn't to argue. From my reading so far, one of the main points for consideration is that the common definition of racism as (paraphrasing in my own words) "intentional and willful acts, by immoral people, of disparagement of groups of people with different superficial physical characteristics" is too simplistic. It's inadequate to understand contemporary racial issues, and glosses over systemic racism which has little or nothing to do with individuals (anymore). But whites aren't always very good at seeing past that. If you (general you) are, great.

End of soapbox.
 

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Well... yes. That's true for EVERYBODY.

Ok well my goal isn't to argue. From my reading so far, one of the main points for consideration is that the common definition of racism as (paraphrasing in my own words) "intentional and willful acts, by immoral people, of disparagement of groups of people with different superficial physical characteristics" is too simplistic. It's inadequate to understand contemporary racial issues, and glosses over systemic racism which has little or nothing to do with individuals (anymore). But whites aren't always very good at seeing past that. If you (general you) are, great.

End of soapbox.
I’ve discussed systemic racism several times.
But you’re (and the authors’s) point is completely valid. Most of my white friends cant grasp it.
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
Yeah, and to be willing to admit that whites benefit from systemic racism, regardless of their individual values. That's been the hard part for me to work through, because it implies complicity, or at least it can on the surface, which just then leads to guilt and defensiveness.
 

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Yeah, and to be willing to admit that whites benefit from systemic racism, regardless of their individual values. That's been the hard part for me to work through, because it implies complicity, or at least it can on the surface, which just then leads to guilt and defensiveness.
That’s where you and I are different. I don’t see how me admitting that I’ve been granted advantages, as I have done, implies that I’m complicit in the system. I feel no guilt as I am not directly responsible for that, nor can I change it. And as long as I don’t intentionally abuse the system I’m not guilty of anything. I don’t and have never sought favoritism due to my sex or race but I’d be naive to pretend that probably hasn’t happened.
I can square that because I’d never engage in reciprocal behavior. I make it clear to my superiors, peers and subordinates that I see and treat everyone as an individual. If I’m guilty of anything it’d be over indexing and perhaps allowing myself to show favoritism to other sexes and races in an attempt to set the example for the appearance of fairness.
 

Flint

"Do you know who I am?"
Superstar
Yeah, and to be willing to admit that whites benefit from systemic racism, regardless of their individual values. That's been the hard part for me to work through, because it implies complicity, or at least it can on the surface, which just then leads to guilt and defensiveness.
I am interested in this and I'd like to learn more, maybe a public forum isn't the best place to have this discussion, but bear with me while I ask some qualified questions.

Help me out here, and this is not meant to be negative or facetious in any way, how does admitting that you have benefited from systematic racism change the way you live your life? What do you do differently in your interactions with your family and society? Having read this book, are you going to act differently, speak differently, shop differently, work differently?

Like, I know I benefited from growing up in a loving two parent family which never experienced any intense financial troubles nor moved so much that I was lucky to be able to build lasting friendships. But I also had extreme issues in my life while growing up which would shock just about all of you. I was singled out for being middle-class and white and literally beaten, harassed on a daily basis, robbed and burgled, and insulted in Spanish so much that I know every Spanish insult ever invented. At the same time I was being harassed for being one of the middle-class white guys, laws and regulations were enacted to give special privileges to my tormentors which greatly limited my ability to get minimum wage work as a teen. As a child I even asked my parents, in tears, why we couldn't be normal like my Mexican classmates (because being white was making school VERY difficult).

So, I benefited in some ways, but I suffered in others. Just about everyone I know can tell stories of sheer happiness and extreme suffering which would be unbelievable if written into a soap opera. Life is hard and wonderful, but how would reading a book explaining why my white privilege exists help me deal with the world as a whole?

I feel what I need is a book which helps me get over the fact that I feel deeply damaged from the personal attacks I grew up with.

But, because I am a middle class white male, essentially a "WASP," I am told that my identity is one I have no control over. That I much be defined in a very narrow and specific way which has absolutely nothing to do with my experiences in life. I am told that judging this book by the cover is, indeed, the right thing for everyone to do.

I want to go on, but it is nothing my past therapists and psychologists haven't heard before.

Will this book lessen the pains of my youth caused by racial divisions? Will it help me be happier in some way?
 

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
It goes the other way too. I’ve asked myself and my peers to consider the value of working with other races and genders. That’s easy.
But I’ve also been willing to ask my black peers and superiors to consider their own biases and whether they’re making the right decisions. Last year one of my peers, who happens to be black, had to fill a management position. It was a little uncomfortable but I was willing to point out to him that not one member of his management team was white and challenge him, respectfully, about why that was.
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
how would reading a book explaining why my white privilege exists help me deal with the world as a whole?
I can only answer this from my own personal point of view (not parroting the book here). I would say, the better I understand and can recognize systemic racism as it still exists today - which, if I'm being honest, is not something I'd really given a great deal of thought to until recently - the better I can be in a position to bring some healing to the world, at least in some small way. As opposed to just being unaware of it; not really understanding what people of color have had to deal with differently than whatever challenges I may have faced in my own life; contributing to the perpetuity of systemic racism by not working against it. It's not about making my life better, but being sure(er) now that I'm not making others' life worse, and that I could perhaps speak up for those that can't if/when the occasion arises. How this will actually manifest in my life... that's beyond knowing.

Despite us having grown up in the same state, Flint, although very different towns (Los Alamos was VERY white compared to the rest of NM, not sure how it is now), my experience has been nothing like yours, so I can't speak to your specific trauma, other than to say that I'm sorry it happened to you that way. However, I've lived in another country (France) where I was an outsider, at least at first, as I barely knew the language when I got there. And I have an Asian wife and hence mixed race kids, so issues of race have arisen - though not to any extreme degree, I admit.
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Famous
I think I have a grasp of some forms of systemic racism. It’s why I believe the notion that everybody that happens to be born in the US has the same opportunities as everyone else is a farce and why I have some of the political leanings I do.
 
Top