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Old 09-15-2016, 01:01 PM   #1
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I had something happen on Labor Day weekend that my mind just keeps coming back to...

I was talking to another boat owner after a boat race at an outdoor get together that evening. I've talked to him before, but don't know him outside boating - we live some distance apart. He's the Dean of one of the universities nearby, very bright, well-spoken, and as kind/friendly as anyone I've ever met. A really pleasant guy, and I enjoy talking to him when our paths cross once or twice a year. And he's black.

While we were talking his 7 year old son was flitting about and coming back to his Dad every few minutes. The boy is a real charmer, with all the innocence of youth.

I don't know why, but there were a few police officers around for security I presume. The little boy asked his Dad, "can I ask the policeman if he has a sticker for me?" His Dad said, "I doubt he'll have one, but you can go ask if you want to." The boy got about 5 feet away, turned and said to his Dad, "do you think I might get shot because I'm black?" I was horrified, but his Dad took it in stride and just said, "you'll be fine, just be polite."

I was really thrown that the boy would think to ask such a question, something about seeing it first hand really got me. The Dad and I talked about the incidents that have taken place the past few years, some justified and some not, but that discussion is another matter.

I've thought about racism many times, wondering why progress has been so slow, but that too is another discussion. But I will say, the (black) Dad's thinking was more evolved than mine, he fully understood both POVs, despite my previous attempts to understand racism.

Every few days I relive the little boy's comment, and it makes me very sad. Even ashamed that "we" haven't made more progress.

After 62 years, I think I came to a minor epiphany about why various "ism's" persist, but that too is another discussion - and probably not an appropriate topic for this forum.
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:07 PM   #2
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I suspect the ability to share homemade video with large numbers of people has shined a light on things that were not necessarily visible in the past.

Shinning light on things often leads to improvements for the better. It may be just a rough ride during the transition.

I have noticed more isms with previous generations compared to my current social circle - but there is likely *much* social-economic-educational bias in my social circles.


-gauss
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:43 PM   #3
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I suspect the ability to share homemade video with large numbers of people has shined a light on things that were not necessarily visible in the past.

Shinning light on things often leads to improvements for the better. It may be just a rough ride during the transition.

I have noticed more isms with previous generations compared to my current social circle - but there is likely *much* social-economic-educational bias in my social circles.


-gauss
On ism's in general, I think the Internet has made things worse. I naively thought we'd all come together on ism's once we were all connected and sharing, and ism's would decline more rapidly. It appears just the opposite IMO. People can now find like minded people to reinforce their chosen ism's more easily than ever. We're more connected, but in silos.

And apathy is the other essential factor. Those promoting ism's take the silence of the majority as tacit approval. Now that they're connected, the silence/apathy seems even more tacit approval.

My 2 cents...
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:57 PM   #4
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It feels to me that the further we come, the further we realize we still have to go. It's a lot like the subject of learning in general - the more you know, the more you realize you don't know.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:25 PM   #5
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Shooting stats, when adjusted for violent crime incidents, show a far different picture than what the media commonly portrays.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:36 PM   #6
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Children have a way of reminding us about humanity.

In recent news, who can forget the picture of that boy sitting wounded in Syria covered with blood and debris. Or further back, the famous photo of the vietnam photo of the girl running.

Or even on a happier note, there's always something special seeing Christmas from a kid's perspective instead of the "silliness" of adults.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:03 PM   #7
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A little African American boy being afraid to talk to a policeman certainly is a sorry reminder of racism.

When it comes to isms, I have a question that is not entirely about semantics. Is it sexist, or something else, that I must, in this day and age, remind my daughter (as I was reminded) that "it's not safe for a woman to walk in that part of town"?
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:17 PM   #8
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When it comes to isms, I have a question that is not entirely about semantics. Is it sexist, or something else, that I must, in this day and age, remind my daughter (as I was reminded) that "it's not safe for a woman to walk in that part of town"?
You're simply being practical. It bugs me no end that women have to take extra precaution than men with such things. It's not the kind of world I want to live in but unfortunately, it's the world we do live in. It's terribly sad, but you are merely teaching her necessary survival skills, IMO.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:27 PM   #9
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I was just reading an interesting article about paper written by Stanford political scientist Morris Fiorina. It's a study of the difference in polarization and attitudes between politicians/activists and the rest of the electorate, those he chooses to call "normal people". It's quite fascinating. The article is The Political Class May Be Polarized, But That Doesn't Mean the Rest of America Is Too - Hit & Run : Reason.com.

His five basic points are:

Quote:
1. The political class really is getting more polarized...

2. ...but the general public has not followed suit.

3. The more politically active you are, the less well-informed you are about these trends in grassroots opinion.

4. The stronger your partisan affiliations, the more likely you are to misconstrue what life is like at the other end of spectrum...

5. ...but that doesn't mean we're retreating into smaller bubbles.
The article is an interesting read, I'm still reading the 24 page original paper. But it's good reading that shouldn't pique Porky's interest since it's about the differences between politically active people and normal people, not between parties. But the most interesting thing is that it shows that what is reported in the media is not the same as what it seen by the public, and is perceived differently depending on your level of political involvement.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:29 PM   #10
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In other words, as the Huey Louis song says, "that's just the way it is, some things will never change."

Is it different from Black parents warning their kids to be careful around cops? Is it because the Black kid might end up dead, whereas "the worst that might happen" to her is "only rape"? and yes, I am aware this is all very sensitive. But I am fearful and I resent having to be.

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You're simply being practical. It bugs me no end that women have to take extra precaution than men with such things. It's not the kind of world I want to live in but unfortunately, it's the world we do live in. It's terribly sad, but you are merely teaching her necessary survival skills, IMO.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:44 PM   #11
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A little African American boy being afraid to talk to a policeman certainly is a sorry reminder of racism.
I disagree. I think it's a sorry reminder that there is a largely dishonest media and some dishonest politicians who promote racism to push their agenda. When the phrase "All Lives Matter" is considered racist, how is it possible for any meaningful discussion be held?
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