Let’s Grab the ‘Third Rail’ of Racism

DEFENDING THE LANGUAGE: Racism vs. Bigotry vs. Culture

[NOTE: this one is long, but it is also important and complicated, so I took the time to make my case as best I could.  If you stay with it, I believe it may help you see the issues a bit more clearly.  If not…  Well, in that case, you either don’t care, or you are part of the problem — as I once was (and may still be)]

I am just going to assume that the majority of us can agree that racism is wrong, but I wonder whether or not we can agree that there are two types of racism, and that government should only be involved in one of them?  I got these two types of racism from a respected friend.  They are ‘institutional’ racism, where prejudice and discrimination based on race are built into a society’s laws; and ‘personal’ racism, where that same prejudice and discrimination based on race is a part of a persona’s character.  There is a proper role for government in the first type of racism (‘institutional‘), but there is absolutely no role for government or force in the second.  This is because the second type of racism (‘personal‘) is a heart issue, and any time people start using government to force a change of heart, we have crossed the line of playing God.  Then, to make this situation even more confusing, we need to understand that things we sometimes think are the result of racism are actually due to another form of bigotry that has nothing to do with race at all: cultural bigotry.  We get confused over the difference here because we equate race with culture, but they are not the same and I hope you’ll let me tell you a little story to illustrate the difference. Continue reading

15 thoughts on “Let’s Grab the ‘Third Rail’ of Racism

  1. Racism is wrong.

    But I disagree that what you call “personal” racism is always a “heart issue”, or even that opinions based on personal experience over long periods of time fall under the category of “racism”.

    Racism is indiscriminate in its application.
    But personal experiences and observations that lead to discriminating choices about how you conduct yourself in the social sphere and who you associate with and why are legitimate life choices. And in no way are people’s experiences and the choices made from them nullified by the language and attacks from any political groups.

    • Don,

      Again, you missed the point. I was clear in the way I defined my words, and I did it to try and use them in a way that made my point without overly confusing the majority of readers.

      What I called ‘personal’ racism is just a form of bigotry based on the color of another person’s skin, and that IS a heart issue. It is NOT racism as our society thinks of racism as it is not ‘institutional.’ It does not have anything to do with the law.

      What’s more, racial bigotry is not ‘indiscriminate.’ In fact, it is very discriminatory. When I was in the service, I knew two men — one white, one black – and both were very racist. The catch was, they were the best of friends. But outside their friendship, the black guy hated whites and the white guy hated blacks. And this is not the only such relationship I have known. So there is discrimination in this issue, it’s just that we cannot know the parameters of how it works because IT IS A HEART ISSUE!

      That said, you seem hell-bent on equating discrimination when it is meant as a form of racism and discrimination when it is meant as a type of reasoned choice. This is the exact same principle that drew WM’s ire against Utah on Utah’s post. Were it me, I’d try to guard against that — especially in a post where I have been so careful to define the words I am using so as to avoid the possibility of confusion. Those who still insist in trying to force confusion onto my words runt he risk of suggesting ulterior motives. I pray this is not the case here.

      • No.

        You missed my point.

        It is not “I” who are equating discrimination with racism…..it is the race-baitors and people like “WmGates” who are “Hell-bent on doing that”.
        WRT your service experience that indeed is the very essence of Discriminating between circumstances that I mention. Two individuals using the gift of being able to discriminate between their experiences of a group versus an experience of an individual ( each other). BOTH applications of being discriminating are equally valid…..and I might add… healthy. It is not a “heart” issue. I assume they met and found much common ground which led to friendship. And concomitantly their respective experiences of the racial interactions outside of this relationship are also EQUALLY valid. If anything their friendship VALIDATES their outside experiences about the larger racial group, because it shows that those respective experiences aside, they were quite able to act as individuals ( apart from their own racial group)….and accept each other as individuals ( irrespective of each other’s race). Thus NO racism evident. Experience with the larger racial group did not affect their abilities to interact rationally towards another individual.

        So we can not INVALIDATE their other experiences and their REACTION to them vis a vis the racial group they dislike because of those experiences. This shows me THOUGHT rather than heart. Which is what we want really.

        As the issue of “Heart” has been used by the Race-dividers as in Oprah and Holder as the rest ( including characters like WmGates). Remember the…. “Well I know he/she is racist because I know what’s really in their Heart” comments ???

        • Don,

          It almost sounds like you are trying to tell me it is OK to be ‘discriminating’ based on ‘experience.’ I sure hope this is not what you are trying to say.

          The other thing I keep hearing from you that I hope is not true is that you think our bigotry is NOT a ‘heart’ issue. If it isn’t, then that means it must either be congenital or environmental. Again, I pray you are not arguing either of those points.

          And as for WM, I have had rather lengthy conversations with him, and I do not find him to be a racist or race-baitor. I just find he shares a similar lack of patience for people who are — and for those who do not see their own ignorance where matters of race-relations are concerned.

          • His comment to Utah was entirely racist.
            And his ONLY contributions have been on issues about Race. When one’s primary input and concern is about “race”, and especially about “confronting” those whose primary concern in life is NOT about race…..then that is itself….racist.

            I wonder about your comment….” Shares a similar lack of patience…… for those who do not see their own ignorance where matters of race-relations are concerned.”

            Must be nice to be amongst the Special Select Group who can discern those who don’t know ..”their own ignorance ….”. As I mentioned Oprah, Eric Holder , Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others have recently included themselves as amongst those Select Few who can discern this for the rest us mere mortals.

            Yes. Experience dictates discriminating behavior . Do I walk down that kind of Street, do I associate with that group of People, do I associate with that individual, Do Eat that which made me sick before. ETC.That this is surprising or put in a quasi-moral category is …… at this point, let’s just say is itself surprising.

            I did not address the term Bigotry……. that you attach it to my comments is……. again “surprising”.

            • “Yes. Experience dictates discriminating behavior ”

              When you start using this to justify bigotry based on skin color, you have done EXACTLY what I was discussing in my post: confused culture with race.

              At least now I understand why you are objecting to my post, trying to force me to accept your definition of things and calling me a Progressive. As you say, “surprising:” I never would have expected that from you.

              As for what WM posted on Utah’s thread: it may have been said without any concern for feelings, but it still addressed the heart of the issue between you and I. The equivocation of culture and race. So I understand what WM was saying, and it was not racist in the least. It is sad that you think so, but then, I now understand that, too.

              • In order to have honest conversation, some feelings may get hurt.

                Obviously, Don doesn’t know me because I’ve commented on many topics other than race on this and the old NH forum. But since Don pre-judged me, that in itself is telling enough.

                Utah wrote a terrible piece and I’m man enough to say so. I don’t think his heart feels racism, but I know what I read. I’m not going to agree with something just because I like a person—or dislike for that matter. We do that all too often and that’s what happens on this forum.

                • I didn’t pre-Judge anything or anybody. I commented based on my experience with you since 2012. All of my Comments are directed directly at content, either the OP or in the comments. Anybody who is Honest can see that.

                  You are a faucet of PC racist babble…..your usage of the term “pre-judged” is an example of that. Your comment to Utah’s OP verged on Hysterical. You appeal to “Feelings” as opposed to thoughts and thinking is another example of your constant racist PC garbage that you push as dialogue.

              • What WMgates said was an Hysterical response to a well thought out Post by Utah.

                You are using Progressive Tactics.
                Saying that discriminating based on experience is Bigotry. You are labeling and attacking based on using emotion to ridicule and demean. Your argument is virtually identical to that Put forward by Eric Holder and others. When in fact any Honest assessment of Holder’s comments about race would show that he engages in a rhetorical argument which utilizes the very Bigotry he propounds to address.
                The “justification” for his hypocrisy being the PC assumption that “Only Whites can be racist “.

                Again that you use the term “to justify” is another Progressive Tactic. I don’t have to justify my response to my life experiences to anyone. Nor does anyone else. And further that you SAY that my or anyone else’s discriminating about what we will or will not do in the future based on our life experience is somehow “bigotry” does not make it so. Whatever those future decisions are about, including race.

                Further that I disagree with you and that somehow makes me a Bigot is an intellectual appeal directly out of the “white privilege” playbook.

                You have done quite well with the language and Progressive ownership Threads !

                But this Post is a Fail Joe…………………. and an Epic Fail .

                • Really? DO it the ‘white’ way and you’ll be OK is ‘well thought out?’ Seems to me Obama and Jackson and Maxine Waters, and Sharpton are all doing it their way and they seem to be even better than OK. They are running the damned place. But then, the ‘white’ way is also how we get whites to make up 50% of all people on welfare.

                  Now I know Utah, and I am reasonably sure he did not mean for his post to read this way — but it does. And this is what WM was angry about. But then, I know WM, so I also know he is equally as angry with blacks who think there is a ‘white way’ and a ‘black way.’

                  Again, I actually understand better than you are giving me credit for here. I see both sides now, but I didn’t for a long time. Now I understand that there IS a ‘NATURAL LAW’ way to live and it works no matter what color your skin. But too many of us equate race and culture, which is what I was trying to explain in my post and it IS what I explained — to those who care to listen and think it through. But to those who just want to believe THEY are correct… Well, then to them, I am what you apparently think I am. The sad part of that is, it validates WM’s anger.

                  You said that the two Marines I knew validated your notion of discrimination. No, they didn’t. Allen was black and he HATED whites — ALL whites. Daniels was a white redneck and he hated blacks — ALL blacks. Not a friggin one of us ever understood why they were such close friends — and neither did they. But I can tell you this, it had nothing to do with ‘discrimination’ or ‘experience’ on their part. What it was is one of those little ironies God throws into our lives to try and teach us a lesson. Allen and Daniels never learned it. On the other hand, I am blessed to know that I am FINALLY starting to understand. I guess you’ll just have to take care of you. That is not my job, nor would I accept it if offered. I have my hands full trying to correct all the bad ideas I embraced the past 47 years. I just know — I KNOW — that this post is not one of them.

                  • It seems to me that both Allen and Daniel did in fact use Discrimination in their assessment of each other……they overcame their previous experiences with blacks and whites and DISCRIMINATED based on each others Characters, perhaps recognizing similar traits or respecting traits which they wished they possessed in themselves. Either way it was a discriminating assessment and Choice.

                    ” I just know — I KNOW — that this post is not one of them.”

                    Pride comes before a Fall.

        • Race-baitor? Me? Hilarious. I’m a race divider because I don’t agree with you or Utah’s post? Did that hurt your feelings?

          Discrimination and racism aren’t the same but racism generally leads to discrimination. If you want to make yourself believe that since you may have had some negative experience with members of a different race, then that gives you some reason to feel that all members are that way, so be it.

          Utah is a reasonable person so I would think he would look at my criticism and either accept it as is, accept some, or ignore completely. His choice. You on the other hand I never expected anything reasonable because I’ve read very little posts from you that are.

          Joe explained it very well. You just don’t agree. It’s has nothing to do with past experiences. It’s because you’re ignorant and bigoted. Since it’s said to be bliss, I’m sure you’re in Shangri- La after posting on this article.

          • MMMM Actually Utah explained it very well.

            But you didn’t just disagree or comment really …. you emoted and somewhat hysterically and hostilely. As your constant appeal to and usage of the word “Feelings” indicates on the re-bound.

            And I disagree with you about racism leading to discrimination….racism leads to the abridgement of Natural rights. A FAR more egregious outcome.

            If I am in Shangri-La it is due to a glass of Talisker 18 year and fairly good cigar. Trust me you are not anywhere on the map.

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