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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Racism

    Well, here we go.

    * Bill takes a deep breath *

    This thread has its genesis in some discussion in the mods team over the last few months about this subject in general. (Some of what we shared with each other might actually be very interesting to members and guests, but of course only with everyone's permission.)

    Out of that, came a suggestion to post what is now this thread: a historical overview of the realities of the roots, causes and history of racism. I undertook to do it myself.

    At this point, and at this point only, I'll state a personal caveat: (Or, maybe it's a disclosure.)
    I do NOT believe any current member of Avalon is a racist in any way that I understand the meaning of the term. I DO believe there are current major issues about the forced integration of different cultures, in both North America and Europe, and there may be hidden agendas behind that, and that these issues are worth understanding and discussing.
    That's my personal view. Others may have different angles on this, by 5º or 180º.

    I thought I'd look up a definition, first. That's because, as best as I can see, the word is loosely used and MISued in a wide variety of ways.

    Here's just a few: (try looking this up yourself... it's interesting)
    • prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

      [example] "Aborigines are the main victims of racism in Australia"
    Note: I included the stated example because a widely-respected Avalon member, a good friend, told me and some others of how she was repeatedly bullied BY Aborigines when she was a young child in Australia.

    Was this racism? Probably not. The Aborigine bullies did not feel 'superior'. Just bigger. And, undoubtedly, there was a cycle of abuse that led to their attitude towards a vulnerable, small white girl.

    I would like to say, I do hope that person chooses to share her story here. But it's not mine to tell, at all.

    • a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
    • a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    • hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
    • Racism is the practice of discriminating against people based on their race, national or ethnic background. Although old prejudices often live on, most people will agree that racism is unacceptable.
    • Someone who practices racism is called a racist. Racism comes from the idea that the different races are intrinsically different. It’s racism when a white person discriminates against a black person, just as it’s racism if a Japanese person discriminates against a German person. Many worldwide political movements have fought to end racism.
    And there are 101 other definitions, too. It didn't help all that much.

    I then turned to Wikipedia, which has a LONG and interesting page:
    It starts with
    • Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity. Today, the use of the term "racism" does not easily fall under a single definition.
    "Does not easily fall under a single definition" — no kidding. That gives carte blanche for the term to be used loosely as a general criticism (or, more bluntly, sometimes a targeted, demeaning, put-down) that may not necessarily be warranted or accurate.

    The Wiki article is way too long and detailed to quote here. But what might grab one's attention are the images on that page, depicting (accurately, in my opinion) what racism is, and certainly used to be, about.
    * I've not selected these personally: just copied them from the page. Some may be found offensive, of course, in our present-day culture, but then that's what concerns us all: how we may possibly be able to learn from history.
    There are way too many for this one post, so I'll paste the images into the three posts below. Then, please dive in with your views — intelligent and educated ones, please. In this context, 'educated' means well-informed... which can definitely include citing one's personal experience.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 25th November 2017 at 20:35.

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    Default Re: Racism



    African-American university student Vivian Malone entering the University of Alabama in the U.S. to register for classes as one of the first non-white students to attend the institution. Until 1963, the university was racially segregated and non-white students were not allowed to attend.

    ~~~



    Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses, Germany, 1933.

    ~~~



    In 1899 Uncle Sam (a personification of the United States) balances his new possessions which are depicted as savage children. The figures are Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Cuba, Philippines and "Lad robes" (the Mariana Islands).

    ~~~



    A rally against school integration in 1959.

    ~~~



    A racist political campaign poster from the 1866 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election.

    ~~~



    A sign on a racially segregated beach during the era of Apartheid in South Africa.

    ~~~



    A mass grave being dug for frozen bodies from the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre, in which the U.S. Army killed 150 Lakota people, marking the end of the American Indian Wars.

    ~~~



    Eugène Delacroix's Scene of the massacre at Chios (1824); Greek families awaiting death or slavery.

    ~~~



    The Book of Genesis's biblical curse on Canaan, which was often misinterpreted as a curse on his father Ham, was used to justify slavery in 19th century America.[96]

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    Default Re: Racism



    13th-century slave market in Yemen. Yemen officially abolished slavery in 1962.[102]

    ~~~



    A 16th-century illustration by Flemish Protestant Theodor de Bry for Las Casas's Brevisima relación de la destrucción de las Indias, depicting Spanish atrocities during the conquest of Cuba.

    ~~~



    Advertisement for Pears' Soap Caption reads, "Matchless for the complexion..." Illustration of 'before and after' use of soap by black child in the bath. Showing soap washes off his dark complexion.

    ~~~



    A late-19th-century illustration from Ireland from One or Two Neglected Points of View by H. Strickland Constable shows an alleged similarity between "Irish Iberian" and "Negro" features in contrast to the "higher" "Anglo-Teutonic."

    ~~~



    One in a series of posters attacking Radical Republicans on the issue of black suffrage, issued during the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1866.

    ~~~



    Eichmann's list of the Jewish population in Europe, drafted for the Wannsee Conference, held to ensure the cooperation of various levels of the Nazi government in the Final Solution.

    ~~~



    Naked Soviet POWs in Mauthausen concentration camp

    ~~~



    A drinking fountain from the mid-20th century labelled "Colored" with a picture of an African-American man drinking.

    ~~~



    A sign posted above a bar that reads "No beer sold to Indians [Native Americans]". Birney, Montana, 1941.

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    Default Re: Racism



    On 12 September 2011, Julius Malema, the youth leader of South Africa's ruling ANC, was found guilty of hate speech for singing 'Shoot the Boer' at a number of public events.[168]

    ~~~



    The burnt out remains of Govinda's Indian Restaurant in Fiji, May 2000.

    ~~~



    Drawings from Josiah C. Nott and George Gliddon's Indigenous races of the earth (1857), which suggested black people ranked between white people and chimpanzees in terms of intelligence.

    ~~~



    Madison Grant's map, from 1916, charting the "present distribution of European races", with the Nordics in red, the Alpines in green, and the Mediterraneans in yellow.

    ~~~



    A human zoo (Völkerschau, "People Show") in Stuttgart (Germany) in 1928.

    ~~~



    Separate "white" and "colored" entrances to a café in North Carolina, 1940.

    ~~~



    1935 Chart from Nazi Germany used to explain the Nuremberg Laws, defining which Germans were to be considered Jews and stripped of their citizenship. Germans with three or more Jewish grandparents were defined as Jews, Germans with one or two Jewish grandparents were deemed Mischling (mixed-blood).

    ~~~



    19th century political cartoon: Uncle Sam kicks out the Chinaman, referring to the Chinese Exclusion Act.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    And, a really interesting flow chart, which itself might be the central theme of a book (or two ).


    Model of ethnic and racial conflict. Based on Jonathan H. Turner (2005). Sociology. Page 238
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 25th November 2017 at 20:44.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Finally, worth a thread in itself: here's the most marvelous, heart-wrenching, and inspiring true-story film, Rabbit-Proof Fence.
    This is the extraordinary story of three young Aborigine girls, aged 14, 10 and 8, who escaped from their forced indoctrination school, 1,500 miles (2400 km) from their home — and followed a fence, at the time by far the longest in the world, across the desert, that led them all the way back to their village where they arrived nine weeks later. This really happened, in 1931.

    It's a staggering story, and particularly interesting is the character played by Kenneth Branagh: A. O. Neville, a local public servant, the "Chief Protector of Aborigines" in Western Australia. (This was his real title.)

    Branagh expertly portrays Neville as a good man, who means no harm, but is simply a product of his Colonial era. His depiction is poignant and (for me) deeply thought-provoking. He was an educated and cultured man, dedicated to serving the community. Anyone now would brand him as a clear-cut racist... but he himself did not know that.

    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 25th November 2017 at 21:16.

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    Default Re: Racism

    I believe that racism started with early primitive tribes. Small groups of people in a tribe is how we started, and has been theorized, is how we thrive and are happiest.

    When tribes meet outsiders many times things did not go well and it was instilled in us to be wary of people not of our own tribe (Our people, race). It has evolved over time, but at it's roots, I think it all goes back to that. Blacks and whites show the greatest difference in appearance, so that seems to always take center stage, but I think it is about not trusting outsiders. We don't live in tribes anymore so outsiders are identified easier by appearance or race.

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    Default Re: Racism

    I recently watched a Doc. on netflix about the KKK, well about 10min., that was all I could bare to watch. The clan members had a look like they breed within the family and they didn't seem very intelligent.

    Ignorance is why racism still exists and unfortunately I don't see it changing anytime soon. In fact, sometimes I think it might get worse before it gets better. There seems to be a large part of the population that is getting dumber rather than smarter. Maybe that is changing with the internet, but I don't know.

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    Default Re: Racism

    One can be an "outsider" within a family situation, as well!

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    Default Re: Racism

    I begin a book of mine with the line: "The Mexican's were everywhere, like air."

    A woman I had been seeing not too long ago declared it racist. I asked why she thought so. But she wouldn't elaborate. She just let out a big sigh, as if to say "if you can't figure it out on your own it's no use telling you."

    That was maybe 6 months ago. And I still don't quite understand her opinion. The book is about some experiences I had in my late 20's, and during that particular time I'd arrived in California from upstate NY. It was a culture shock. The Mexicans really were everywhere. Like air.

    I bring it up because one person's harmless observation is often another's racist comment. It's such a slippery slope. A difficult topic to discuss, for all sorts of reasons.

    One very simple reason are the basic labels we use to describe races. When I see someone write or utter the word "blacks" , it sounds crass and dismissive. And yet, that is usually the term I use myself! Same with "whites", but to a lesser degree. And of course, the absurdist in me also sees the humor. So called black people are really varying shades of brown, and white people are varying shades of.....what? Peach? I'm not even sure!

    But even those comments will offend people! And they are just simple, true observations.

    Why and how people get "offended" and "outraged" might be a thread unto itself.

    I certainly don't think people should be going around using the word ni**er. Non blacks especially. And yet, it sounds awfully silly hearing grown adults referring to this as "the 'N' word" when discussing racial matters. In fact, in a way it even gives the word *more* power. Again, a slippery slope.

    I recall many years ago, in upstate NY, the Native American vendors were getting some tax break on cigarettes. Something like that. And my initial thought was "well, good for them." If they sold 10 billion cigarettes the aggregate benefit wouldn't even match a fraction of the horrors they and their ancestors had suffered,...and yet, the local community went berserk with "outrage". I couldn't believe it! And here we have another issue that no one can seem to agree on, which is this: what, if any reparations should be made for past transgressions between one race of people and another?

    Anyone wanna tackle that one?

    Honestly when I witness things like that cigarette fiasco, it disgusts me. It makes me embarrassed to be human. And thats small beer compared to the real horrors we've perpetrated upon one another.

    It could be said that I was bullied by some black guys my freshman year of high school. I weighed 135lbs then. And I was a huge pussy. But I was still kind of a wise ass and I got myself into trouble with my mouth occasionally. And luckily i was protected from beatings several times by this big tough guy named Travis. A black guy LOL. Thought I'd just drop that little tidbit in here. Food for thought...
    Last edited by Mike; 25th November 2017 at 22:00.
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    Default Re: Racism

    The flip side of the the coin is "Reverse racism" .... A phenomina that unfortunately also exist, especially here in my country. How sad that your skin colour somehow "counts" - how i wish we all could just accept each other as a human being of equal importance.
    Life is good, almost always !

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by JohanB (here)
    The flip side of the the coin is "Reverse racism" .... A phenomina that unfortunately also exist, especially here in my country. How sad that your skin colour somehow "counts" - how i wish we all could just accept each other as a human being of equal importance.
    Yes... maybe like the story I mentioned here:
    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    ...a widely-respected Avalon member, a good friend, told me and some others of how she was repeatedly bullied BY Aborigines when she was a young child in Australia.

    Was this racism? Probably not. The Aborigine bullies did not feel 'superior'. Just bigger. And, undoubtedly, there was a cycle of abuse that led to their attitude towards a vulnerable, small white girl.
    The young white girl, always trying to mind her own business, was picked on and often beaten by the Aborigines, and given an extremely hard time — for years. No way did the Aborigines regard themselves as superior (though, as I remarked, maybe just bigger).

    Venturing a guess, the roots may have been because the Aborigines felt inferior... and their own violence and clear seething hatred was purely because of that.

    So it may well be a cycle of abuse that's really hard to stop. Repress a culture or society (or even a single person) for long enough, and eventually they may start to fight back indiscriminately — at anyone they see.

    That's not racism. It's the bullied becoming bullies... but maybe a generation later, exactly as if it's a Morphic Field in place.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    what, if any reparations should be made for past transgressions between one race of people and another?

    Anyone wanna tackle that one?
    I will, NONE. I am not racist so why should I or any other non racist person pay for the actions of racist people. Lumping me in with another group of people is racist in itself.

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    United States Avalon Member neutronstar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Foxie Loxie (here)
    One can be an "outsider" within a family situation, as well!
    Yes and in tribes a person that didn't pull their own weight in the tribe were outcast and forced to fend for themselves. It is one of the reasons people are happy in small tribes, everyone is needed. We are happy when we feel needed.

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Foxie Loxie (here)
    One can be an "outsider" within a family situation, as well!
    Yes, 'racism' is just one example of discrimination.

    Anyone can be discriminated against, by any person, for any reason, or any whim.

    Sometimes the reasons are justified, and sometimes they aren't.

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    United States Moderator Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    what, if any reparations should be made for past transgressions between one race of people and another?

    Anyone wanna tackle that one?
    I will, NONE. I am not racist so why should I or any other non racist person pay for the actions of racist people. Lumping me in with another group of people is racist in itself.

    Last week my sister and her ex husband got into an argument. Some silly thing. He was supposed to pick up their daughter the next day, but out of sheer pettiness, he said to her "you keep her for the week. I'll pick her up Sunday." He knew she couldn't do that; she had to work. But he did it anyway.

    Well I had several days off last week. So she asked me if I'd watch her. I love the little girl and enjoy watching her, but I despised being dictated to by the pettiness of her asshole ex husband. It infuriated me. I walked around that day with clenched fists. He was dumping his responsibility on me, indirectly, and it pissed me off. This isn't my responsibility, I kept telling myself. How did I get stuck with it? I had every reason in the world to say "no", and be perfectly justified in doing so. And I almost did. There were things I'd been planning on doing those days that I wouldn't be able to do if I had my niece.

    I wound up watching my little niece. I don't tell this story to hold myself up as some shining beacon of goodness. I tell it because sometimes you just gotta do the right thing. You know it's the right thing because even when you're done making all the perfectly sensible arguments to yourself as to why it's not your responsibility, it still chases you around..in your heart.

    I don't know what reparations should me made exactly or who should pay for them etc, I just know something needs to be done. It's something I feel in my heart.

    However, I get your angle and I completely understand your frustration. I keep using this phrase here and I'll use it again - "slippery slope".
    "That slinger can't help you now..." Fender Tremelo

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    United States Avalon Member neutronstar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    what, if any reparations should be made for past transgressions between one race of people and another?

    Anyone wanna tackle that one?
    I will, NONE. I am not racist so why should I or any other non racist person pay for the actions of racist people. Lumping me in with another group of people is racist in itself.

    Last week my sister and her ex husband got into an argument. Some silly thing. He was supposed to pick up their daughter the next day, but out of sheer pettiness, he said to her "you keep her for the week. I'll pick her up Sunday." He knew she couldn't do that; she had to work. But he did it anyway.

    Well I had several days off last week. So she asked me if I'd watch her. I love the little girl and enjoy watching her, but I despised being dictated to by the pettiness of her asshole ex husband. It infuriated me. I walked around that day with clenched fists. He was dumping his responsibility on me, indirectly, and it pissed me off. This isn't my responsibility, I kept telling myself. How did I get stuck with it? I had every reason in the world to say "no", and be perfectly justified in doing so. And I almost did. There were things I'd been planning on doing those days that I wouldn't be able to do if I had my niece.

    I wound up watching my little niece. I don't tell this story to hold myself up as some shining beacon of goodness. I tell it because sometimes you just gotta do the right thing. You know it's the right thing because even when you're done making all the perfectly sensible arguments to yourself as to why it's not your responsibility, it still chases you around..in your heart.

    I don't know what reparations should me made exactly or who should pay for them etc, I just know something needs to be done. It's something I feel in my heart.

    However, I get your angle and I completely understand your frustration. I keep using this phrase here and I'll use it again - "slippery slope".
    There is no frustration.

    Lets use to example of the native americans. The ones that were harmed are dead and have been for a long time. So too the ones that did the harming. Don't look at them as a race, but as people. People are harming other people today. Whatever their motives are, I don't see it as a race problem even though they may. I see it as people harming other people. You can't make a wrong a right to people that are dead, only to people that are alive and were directly effected.

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    UK Avalon Member Star Mariner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Yeh...what to say! So many things I think. Essays worth. I believe neutronstar's assessment is right, that racism has its origin in tribal identities and the tensions that arose from those identities (differences). These tribes competed for the same thing, water, food, land, resources, or whatever. They argued and they fought, eventually killing one another or subjugating each other for control of these things.

    Intrinsically, racism is a psychological throwback to the tribal hostility of ancient Man. This throwback comes in many other hues, for example, in a much more subtle way, the fans who support the football team in the red shirt despising the fans who support the team in the blue shirt etc. I've seen many a massive fight in the streets after the match on saturday afternoon...

    Racism (like football hooliganism) is commensurate with the thinking of the 'savage', and that it's still so prevalent in these modern times is especially sad (and damning).

    I see race differentiation as nothing more than the varying level, scale, density (etc) of pigmentation in the skin. That this should be the focus of what divides us, and a subject of suspicion or even hate, is insane.

    Another issue for someone to tackle, is what part have the Powers That Be played in this? There is no doubt that social engineering had a vast role in shaping the 20th century. For example, I have no doubt that the persecution of black people, and the strained relations between blacks and whites ever since, was most definitely something 'they' were largely responsible for, and have perpetuated by design. It may have been as simple as deploying agent provocateurs - or just corrupt policemen - at certain times in certain places. The infamous Watts riots of 1965 spring to mind. And the whole Rodney King horror. But enough on that for now.

    This video has been posted before somewhere, but is most appropriate to re-post here. It is a must watch:

    Kids reaction to controversial bi-racial Cheerios Commercial.....



    I think this video perfectly encapsulates the issue. Particularly the youngest children in the clip have the most important message. They have not yet fallen into the social trappings and conditioning that have made racism (or any kind of prejudice) a continuing social disease. As they grow, that might sadly change. They will be subjected eventually to corrupt cultural programming, parental influence, and peer pressure. Whatever is experienced will become learned behaviour (until they break out of it – hopefully!) This is how racism is sustained. And how it spreads.

    But these young minds are not yet infected. Their wisdom is uncontaminated. In their minds, and through their eyes, race isn't even a thing. It doesn't even occur to them! Only later will the negativity and distortion of society, capitalism, religion, politics, and all the rest of it, wrap their tentacles around them, doing their utmost to engender separation and stifle love.
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
    ~ Jimi Hendrix

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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    Quote Posted by neutronstar (here)
    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    what, if any reparations should be made for past transgressions between one race of people and another?

    Anyone wanna tackle that one?
    I will, NONE. I am not racist so why should I or any other non racist person pay for the actions of racist people. Lumping me in with another group of people is racist in itself.

    Last week my sister and her ex husband got into an argument. Some silly thing. He was supposed to pick up their daughter the next day, but out of sheer pettiness, he said to her "you keep her for the week. I'll pick her up Sunday." He knew she couldn't do that; she had to work. But he did it anyway.

    Well I had several days off last week. So she asked me if I'd watch her. I love the little girl and enjoy watching her, but I despised being dictated to by the pettiness of her asshole ex husband. It infuriated me. I walked around that day with clenched fists. He was dumping his responsibility on me, indirectly, and it pissed me off. This isn't my responsibility, I kept telling myself. How did I get stuck with it? I had every reason in the world to say "no", and be perfectly justified in doing so. And I almost did. There were things I'd been planning on doing those days that I wouldn't be able to do if I had my niece.

    I wound up watching my little niece. I don't tell this story to hold myself up as some shining beacon of goodness. I tell it because sometimes you just gotta do the right thing. You know it's the right thing because even when you're done making all the perfectly sensible arguments to yourself as to why it's not your responsibility, it still chases you around..in your heart.

    I don't know what reparations should me made exactly or who should pay for them etc, I just know something needs to be done. It's something I feel in my heart.

    However, I get your angle and I completely understand your frustration. I keep using this phrase here and I'll use it again - "slippery slope".
    There is no frustration.

    Lets use to example of the native americans. The ones that were harmed are dead and have been for a long time. So too the ones that did the harming. Don't look at them as a race, but as people. People are harming other people today. Whatever their motives are, I don't see it as a race problem even though they may. I see it as people harming other people. You can't make a wrong a right to people that are dead, only to people that are alive and were directly effected.


    I might call that an intellectual justification. And honestly, I'm tempted to agree with you!

    But it still leaves my heart feeling unsettled somehow. It just doesnt end there for me.

    I appreciate your take. Truly . We just see the issue a little differently is all. I predict we won't be the first to disagree in this thread
    Last edited by Mike; 25th November 2017 at 23:37.
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    United States Avalon Member neutronstar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Racism

    Quote Posted by Star Mariner (here)

    I think this video perfectly encapsulates the issue. Particularly the youngest children in the clip have the most important message. They have not yet fallen into the social trappings and conditioning that have made racism (or any kind of prejudice) a continuing social disease. As they grow, that might sadly change. They will be subjected eventually to corrupt cultural programming, parental influence, and peer pressure. Whatever is experienced will become learned behaviour (until they break out of it – hopefully!) .
    I don't see it in Omaha. Omaha is a fairly large and has a very diverse culture, but I grew up in a small town in Iowa where there is not much diversity at all, and I see the racism there.

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