(6/15/00 5:16:59 pm)
An important correction to the Bobby Brown story which appeared on Classic Whitney on 13
June as well as on what is being reported in various news reports:
The state of Florida DISMISSED the charge of cocaine in Bobby's system. They did not
merely "let it slide". It was dismissed because it could not be proven and if
they did not dismiss it and Bobby chose not to plead, the state of Florida may well have
lost their entire case against him. Good grounds for a lawsuit from Bobby Brown.
Bobby has served more active jail time than anyone can recall for a 1st time D.U.I.
charge. He was held to a higher standard than any other 'average person', while he was
never given preferential treatment by the court system, completely contradicting the legal
During his time at Broward County Jail, Bobby has been a model inmate, never complaining
or asking for special treatment.
Internet media organisations should be challenged on their unfair reporting citing
specifics for them to research - for example, how many of Bobby's critics have someone in
their family or group of friends that has had one violation for D.U.I and served 75 days
in jail? Internet sleuths, please research Florida's legal system, especially Broward
county where several judges have been removed from the bench recently for ethics and
criminal violations, as opposed to digging up allegations and innuendo on celebrities who
can't possibly defend themselves from endless and baseless allegations on a global basis -
nor should they, because any defence lends a small amount of credibility to the charge in
some peoples eyes.
Please use the text of this report to post on Whitney Houston websites, bulletin boards,
mailing lists, as well as mailing it to internet media organisations and ask them to at
least consider what is being said here and ask that these organisations - as well as fans
- take up the challenge of doing their own research. The reporting can at least be fair
(6/15/00 5:41:41 pm)
|Re:What a surprise
sticking up for the drug abuser
(6/16/00 9:14:17 am)
|He got what he
deserved point blank.....NT
(6/16/00 12:53:01 pm)
It's clear Bobby didn't get any special treatment
and isn't the villain some people on this BBS would make him out to be. Great insight.
|Carl from Califonria
(6/16/00 7:08:12 pm)
|Re: Re:What a
surprise sticking up for the drug abuser
Rachel2, I noticed that all of your 5 post have
been negative. Is that the only reason you come here? And how dare you make a racial one.
And I will have you know that not all rappers are black!!! So what your step girl or you
will only be able to view this board only!!!
(6/18/00 2:04:47 pm)
|Racism IS the great
How apropos is this info on the heels of the recent
discussions about racism & double standards in the *Anita Baker thread*?! The notion
that BB has received *preferentially* HARSHER treatment BECAUSE he is a celebrity
certainly echoes one of my points in that discussion about the police wanting to make
examples of successful black entertainers. Celebrity CAN & clearly DOES often invite
targeting by police, especially if you are a minority.
(6/18/00 5:18:56 pm)
|Re: Racism IS the
I ask you to get rid of this paranoid
"everyone is out to get me" attitude. People get into trouble because they
committe an act considered out of line by the society. No one ask Mr. Brwon to violate his
terms of probation, neither did anyone force him to take drugs and then drive while under
the influence. The notion that there is a massive organized conspiracy against
"successful black entertainers" is beyond ridiclous. The fact of the matter is
that "successful black entertainers" have had a history of unlawful conduct.
That is not to sound racist; God knows I am not. When I read the news, and see someone
convicted of a crime, the last think I care for is whether the person is black, white,
green or orange. I am basing that statement merely on the recent news. Not a week goes by
with us hearing about some rapper oe "successful black entertainer" getting in
some sort of legal mess.
We gave a judicial system. We have entrusted our politicians with the power to make laws,
the police to enforce the laws, and the courts to interprete and apply the laws. To
cripple this system, no matter how unfair or prejudicial it comes across (note: I am not
granting that there exists any type of organized discrimination) would serve noone. The
system is not perfect, but it is the best we could have come up with. When are people
going to stop playing political games with our courts? When are people going to stop
making a holy war of races out of the simplest court case? When are we going to see the
laws applied equally to everyone, no matter the color of their skin?
Mr. Brown committed his unlawful acts of his own volition. There is no use trying to make
up excuses for him. He did the crime, now he has to be man enough to do the time.
No matter how successful Mr. Brown is musically, I certainly do not wish my family exposed
to that type of success, nor do I wish my family to follow his path to claim that success.
Success begins within, not without. A drug abuser, and someone with a history of such, is
not, in my books, successful, no matter how many records he sells, or whom he marries, or
how many generations or artists he influences. That's simply wrong.
And to expect him get off the hook with a slap on the wrist just because of that is even
more wrong, and more unaceptable, especially when it comes from such an articuate and
intelligent person like you, Monte.
(6/19/00 12:52:23 am)
|Man in the Mirror
RM:"I ask you to get rid of this paranoid
'everyone is out to get me' attitude. People get into trouble because they committe an act
considered out of line by the society."
I'm not paranoid -- I'm attentive. Have you ever been harrassed, accosted, mugged or
molested not for anything you've done, but simply for who you are as others perceive you
filtered through their hateful, willful ignorance & intolerance? I have. I wouldn't
wish such an experience on anyone, but I do wish that those who haven't been subject to
such a violation would recognize that people get attacked, arrested, imprisoned, beaten,
maimed, raped & killed for no *reason*.
Do you read the newspaper or watch the news? Recently, here in NYC's Central Park
following a parade, dozens of women were assaulted -- clothes torn off, groped -- by
scores of men mid-day in broad daylight amidst crowds w/onlooking police patrols. Most of
the policemen, captured on videotape by tourists, did nothing in response to the
unmistakable distress calls of the women. What "act" did these women
"commit" to "get into trouble"? I wonder if the policemen who failed
to act will get into trouble. Mayor Giuliani's record suggests that punishment for their
reprehensible negligence is unlikely.
Why do black & Latino men routinely receive stiffer penalties for the same drug
offenses as whites, even when whites statistically are proportionately committing more of
these crimes? How many Eleanor Bumpers, Amadou Diallos & Matthew Shepherds must be
victimized to impress you that innocent people are being targeted not for any illegal
behavior but as a consequence of entrenched, institutionalized sexism, racism &
homophobia?! These are not random acts: they are part of a pattern rooted in the ugliest
of traditions -- prejudice.
RM:"When are people going to stop playing political games with our courts? When are
people going to stop making a holy war of races out of the simplest court case? When are
we going to see the laws applied equally to everyone, no matter the color of their
I ask the same questions, but apparently for different reasons: you seem to want to blame
those of us who would rightfully question the injustices of our system, rather than those
who are perpetrating the wrongdoing.
Law enforcement carrying badges & firearms on our streets and wielding gavels in our
courtrooms are not immune from indulging in discriminatory practices. Our Halls of Justice
are only as good as their weakest link -- and, frighteningly, they are rotten to the core.
Pretending corruption doesn't exist at the highest levels of the legal sytem not only will
impede resolving the problem, but will help strengthen it.
RM: "Success begins within, not without."
So do compassion, tolerance, discretion & prudence. I would hope that you think that
these are qualities worth instilling in children as well.
RM:"And to expect him get off the hook with a slap on the wrist just because of that
is even more wrong, and more unaceptable, especially when it comes from such an articuate
and intelligent person like you, Monte."
The issue is not whether or not BB should be let off the hook, but whether his treatment
has been consistent w/that of other offenders of the same crime. Independent resources
attest that he has received an inexplicably harsher sentence: most people w/the same
charge get a fine & community service -- a slap on the wrist, as you might call it.
Perhaps you ought to search your soul for an explanation why you feel such animosity
towards a man you do not know enough to judge him so bitterly.
(6/19/00 7:51:38 am)
|Monte, it's hopeless
Monte, in reference to your asking RM to
soulsearch, I think the answer to that is what affects so many 'fans'. They have let the
media (and it might sound cliche) come between them and Whitney. Consequently they see it
easy to vent out all their frustrations out on Bobby because they think he is the source
of all misfortune - as if Whitney's life was perfect beofre she met him - they should be
reminded that noone is perfect and Whitney is not accountable to them. Again I will say
this in itself is disrespect to Whitney. The fact that not all Whitneys fans are *black*
can sid the hate for Bobby.
It proves the point that so many of us share. Even if Whitney does come and *face the
allegations* noone will believe her because even her *fans* choose to listen and believe
the media over her. So I say we continue to capitalise on this *media attention* and
watch. Whitney has always enjoyed playing with the media. Its quite entertaining actually.
You get my drift
(6/19/00 9:58:53 am)
|When being black
becomes proabable cause
Rash man (how apropos), you write that "black
entertainers have a history of unlawful conduct." What a transparent justification
for racial profiling. By your (il)logic, being black is probable cause for suspicion of
illegal or criminal activity. By your (il)logic, black entertainers are somehow
congenitally disposed to criminal behavior. By your (il)logic, black entertainers should
resign themselves to living under a veil of suspicion, since they are expected to engage
in unlawful conduct at some point in their careers. By your (il)logic, we should expect to
hear about some black entertainer breaking the law by week's end to fill their weekly
group quota and live up (or is it "down") to your racist stereotyping.
Your comment epitomizes the kind of politely worded, but nonetheless odious, cultural
racism that substitutes for biological racism these days. Latter day biological racists
proclaimed that blacks were unintelligent, unattractive, sexually lascivious, and brutish.
Modern-day culutral racists now assert that blacks are prone to criminal activity, teenage
pregnancy, family dissolution, drug use, and joblessness. Racism is still endemic to the
American social fabric and what passes for common sense thinking these days. Blacks hardly
need to imagine a huge, coordinated anti-black conspiracy to appreciate how pervasive
racism is. They need only talk to a co-worker, listen to a news report, walk down the
street, try to buy a home in a white suburban neighborhood, attempt to shop in an
exclusive store, or read a random bulletin board on the internet to see how thorughly
racism pervades our social world. Racism is alive and well today; it's only wearing
Personal post-script: I'm black. I have lived in this country for fourteen years and have
never broken the law. But I've been stopped by police on three ocassions, simply because
I'm black. The last time I was stopped was the most bitterly ironic experience of the
three. Two white police "apologized" even as they were frisking me and explained
that I fit the "profile" of a well-dressed, attractive black rapist who had been
marauding on Manhattan's upper east side. My neat appearance and wardrobe were no
protection against racial profiling; in fact, they were cause for suspicion. Similarly, by
Rash man's (il)logic, Bobby Brown's celebrity is no defense against racially motivated
judicial p(er)secution; rather, it is a justification for this miscarriage of justice.
I've been avoiding these threads lately because they make me feel as if I'm beating my
head against a brick wall. But I couldn't let this one pass. Now I'll go and bandage my
(6/19/00 11:18:23 am)
|Sometimes we have to
beat our heads aginst a wall
...in order to break down barriers. Bigotry thrives
on the resignation of the beleaguered & the indifference of the untargeted. Silence =
death. I will confront these issues directly & relentlessly as long as air rushes
through my lungs & blood races through my veins. We should wear our *battle scars*
& *bandages* as badges of honor.
(6/19/00 11:21:25 am)
|Don't ever give up
So long as there is one wo/man or one voice willing
to stand up & to speak out, hope lives.
(6/19/00 11:59:40 am)
|Boy you're playing
the race card, not good
(6/19/00 12:30:58 pm)
|And you're not
working with a full deck . . .
Rash Man played the race card when he erroneously
asserted that black celebrites have a particular history of "unlawful conduct."
There is no doubt that prominent black figures have been been subject to persecution by
government and legal authority for no other reason than the color of their skin. But it is
a complete fallacy that black celebrities have any more of a history of "unlawful
conduct" than white celebrities. Anyone who subscribes to such thinking does so on
the basis of preexisting prejudice, not on the basis of factual observation.
As for your accusation that I'm playing the race card, that is hardly an effective
rebuttal to my argument. Don't ask me to ignore the elephant in the room. If you see
something different that explains the discrimination that blacks experience on a daily
basis, then, please enlighten us all. But in light of your brief history of posts on this
bulletin board, I don't expect much.
(6/19/00 6:55:11 pm)
|Re: Man in the Mirror
I myself am an Asian immigrant. If anyone should
know about racism, that is going to be me.
Have you ever been harrassed, accosted, mugged or molested not for anything you've
done, but simply for who you are as others perceive you filtered through their hateful,
willful ignorance & intolerance
Yes I have, and that is not an experience I cherish. But then again, that is a fact of
life. I do not perceive there to be an organized system of discrimination against me. I
have been exposed to discrimination and prejudice in all imaginable shapes, both from the
establishment and from the public. There have been times when I was treated like a
non-person by some white-skinned blond chick, who I am sure did not know her times table
by hear. In the meanwhile, I have also come across some heavenly people within the same
community and establishment. So I will not go as far as some people here have, condemning
the establishment without reservations. Within every croud, there are good people and bad
people. You can not, in all fairness, look at the conduct of a single person and then
assume that those individuals typify the conducts or the belifs of the whole croud.
Do you read the newspaper or watch the news? Recently, here in NYC's Central Park
following a parade, dozens of women were assaulted
Yes, as a matter of I have. And ironically, did that incident not happen during a
Purturican day's parade or something along those lines? The same purturicans whom you have
mentioned in the very next paragraph? Do you have any evidence that the perpetrators of
the assaults were not of african-american orogin? Or does any crime committed on the soil
of the United States automatically is attributed to the majority white?
And as to what is going to happen to police officers who allegedly failed to act, I assume
there is going to be an internal police investigation and probably a court proceeding.
Everything we need to know would come out in the course of such proceedings. It is not
within the scope of my knowledge or expertise to predict the outcome of any such case.
However, it seems to me some minds have already been made here? Whatever happened to
"innocent till proven guilty"? Let the case be tried in a court of law, which is
best equiped to deal with cases of this nature, rather than in a court of public opinion.
I will not rush to condemn the behavior of anyone until all the facts are known to me. As
it stands, the incident is still fresh. However, I see the special interest groups are
already screaming at the top of their lungs.
No question there are problems with our legal system; I am not denying that. But I am not
going as far as claiming that there is institutionlized sexism/racism in this country or
in North America. There are problems that need to be addressed. But will they be addressed
if certain people keep playing political games with peoples' lives?
I have been called a "racist". Labling me a "racist" will not solve
any existing problems. It might make you feel like a man or put you on a higher moral
ground, but it will not help you or anyone else combat problems with our society. If there
is anyone around here who is guilty of bigotry, it is people who, no matter the evidence
indicating the guilt, or the heinousness of a crime, they will stick by the criminal and
scearm intolerance and recism at the top of their lungs, merely because the defendant is
black. That is scary. They say "justice is blind". Well, apprarantly not when
the defendant is black.
As far as Mr. Brown, I can assure you he will not be mistreated. He can afford some of the
best attornys in town. They will not let anything inappropriate happen.
(6/20/00 1:46:29 am)
RM Quote:"I myself am an Asian immigrant. If
anyone should know about racism, that is going to be me."
As a minority in the United States, your indulging in stereotypes of others is all the
more saddening & disturbing.
MAD Quote:"Have you ever been harrassed, accosted, mugged or molested not for
anything you've done, but simply for who you are as others perceive you filtered through
their hateful, willful ignorance & intolerance?"
RM Quote:"Yes I have, and that is not an experience I cherish. But then again, that
is a fact of life."
You sound resigned: accepting discrimintory treatment as a "fact of life" is
tantamount to condoning it; I will not tolerate this condition in my world & will
fight tooth & nail to counter it.
RM Quote:"I do not perceive there to be an organized system of discrimination against
me. I will not go as far as some people here have, condemning the establishment without
What precisely gives you reservation? What will it take for you to open your heart &
mind & eyes?
RM Quote:"Within every croud, there are good people and bad people. You can not, in
all fairness, look at the conduct of a single person and then assume that those
individuals typify the conducts or the belifs of the whole croud."
Are you even remotely aware of the irony in your statement? Making generalizations from
specific incidents is a typical tactic of a racist: indict the entire race for a
particualr incident. I have made it abundantly clear in many posts in several recent
threads that no demographic group is a monolith of thought or action.
MAD Quote:"Do you read the newspaper or watch the news? Recently, here in NYC's
Central Park following a parade, dozens of women were assaulted"
RM Quote:"Yes, as a matter of I have. And ironically, did that incident not happen
during a Purturican day's parade or something along those lines? The same purturicans whom
you have mentioned in the very next paragraph? Do you have any evidence that the
perpetrators of the assaults were not of african-american orogin? Or does any crime
committed on the soil of the United States automatically is attributed to the majority
Where is my irony? Where have I named Puerto Ricans at all? Where did I specify the race
or ethnicity of the perpetrators? Nowhere have I "automatically attributed" the
crimes to whites. It is you who has, again, ironically implicitly presumed that
"african-americans" were "perpetrators." FTR, the attackers cut a wide
multi-cultural swath, blacks included. I nonetheless will not take the bait of your
attempt to side-track the issue w/an irrelevant reactionary smoke-screen: my point on that
matter is clearly that these women, like many other victims of hate crimes, were targeted
not for anything they'd done but because the men who attacked them felt justified in their
actions -- felt entitled to disrespect the corporeal & spiritual sovereignty of these
women w/impunity as they apparently had the tacit approval of the policemen on duty --
contradicting your assertion that people deserve whatever trouble they have w/the law.
RM Quote:"And as to what is going to happen to police officers who allegedly failed
to act, I assume there is going to be an internal police investigation and probably a
court proceeding. Everything we need to know would come out in the course of such
History, especially the recent variety in NYC, indisputably undermines your blind faith.
White cops are repeatedly acquitted for actions that cannot be reasonably justified to
anyone w/the slightest modicum of decency & humanity. Why, it's enough to make some of
us "scream at the top of our lungs".... Here in NYC, this pattern is the rule,
not the exception, reflecting the country as a whole.
RM Quote:"It is not within the scope of my knowledge or expertise to predict the
outcome of any such case."
Far be it for me to argue your lack of qualifications.
RM Quote:"However, it seems to me some minds have already been made here? Whatever
happened to 'innocent till proven guilty'?"
Yes, whatever happened to that concept? Somehow, our courts have deemed that if you're
non-white & assaulted by a white citizen or officer, it is the non-white individual
who bears the burden of *proving* why there is NOT just cause to establish innocence
simply because the establishment presumes that non-whites are guilty by appearance. Never
has this been made more crystal clear than in the case of Amadou Diallo, wherein the
courts asked not why NYC policemen would shoot 41X a black man holding a wallet in his own
doorway, but why WOULDN'T/SHOULDN'T policeman riddle a black man's body w/bullets when the
mere color of his skin evidently makes him inherently suspicious in the eyes of the law.
The entire case was predicated on this racist notion that a black man in a doorway at
night is fundamentally frightening -- and this flimsy argument disgracefully was enough to
acquit the defendants. Such a gross miscarriage of justice, indicative of widespread
operant corruption, does not inspire confidence in the legal system.
RM Quote:"Let the case be tried in a court of law, which is best equiped to deal with
cases of this nature, rather than in a court of public opinion."
It is by the will of the people through public outcry that we often address injustice when
the legal channels fail us miserably. The democratic process is founded on the questioning
of authority, not on mindless conscription. The law is as infallible as we are human.
Governments lie. One of the great ironies of democracy is that the officials we elect to
serve our best interests frequently claim that concealing evidence & info from us
somehow serves our best interests. Such insulting infantilization is insufferable --
treating us as if we are incapable of handling the truth we've invested them to uphold. It
is the suppression of freedom of access to info from which we truly need protection.
Denying info & providing incomplete info or misinformation NEVER serves justice. I'll
trust my own judgment & instincts before I'll believe a politicized/sanitized version
of the truth, thank you.
RM Quote:"I will not rush to condemn the behavior of anyone until all the facts are
known to me. As it stands, the incident is still fresh. However, I see the special
interest groups are already screaming at the top of their lungs."
What new facts would you require that would alter the incontrovertible details? There is
no conceivable justification neither for molesting & tearing off the clothes of
strangers nor for the lack of intervention of officers sworn to uphold the protection of
citizens. Thank goodness the "special interest groups" are "screaming at
the top of their lungs" so that the Mayor cannot ignore the appalling behavior of
these "men in blue" whose faces should be red w/shame. Sadly, I will not be
surprised if the Mayor instead focuses on the perpetrators since many of them indeed were
black & Latino. I wish that I could say w/certainty that these men would have been
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law had they been predominantly white.
Unfortunately, heinous offenses by groups of whites have been routinely exonerated.
I want any criminal behavior to be *justly punished*. However, when the same behavior is
punished differently depending upon the gender or race or ethnicity or religion of the
perpetrator, then justice is subverted. Justice cannot be served by the application of
People are consequently compelled to stand up for themselves when their own government
rejects them: if it weren't for the "special interest groups," women would still
be unable to vote or to demand equal pay for equal work or to seek recourse for sexual
harrassment; and blacks would still be segregated from mainstream society, unable to vote
or to share public facilities or to enjoy the benefits of access to a college education or
to seek redress for employment & housing discrimination. Do you have a problem w/these
advances or the rationale behind them?
RM Quote:"No question there are problems with our legal system; I am not denying
that. But I am not going as far as claiming that there is institutionlized sexism/racism
in this country or in North America."
Well, then you haven't gone far enough.
RM Quote:"There are problems that need to be addressed. But will they be addressed if
certain people keep playing political games with peoples'lives?"
The people playing political games are not the people protesting their persecution, but
those who are in the position of influence to persecute. Racism is all about power: who
wields it & who lacks it. Minorities are commonly disenfranchised; whites indisputably
control the socio-political economic structure. Any questions on who's setting the rules
of *the game*?
Your usage of racist code words such as "certain people" is not helping your
case for impartiality.
RM Quote:"I have been called a "racist". Labling me a "racist"
will not solve any existing problems. It might make you feel like a man or put you on a
higher moral ground, but it will not help you or anyone else combat problems with our
Nowhere did I call you a racist in my previous post...although you unfortunately
increasingly are incriminating yourself w/flagrant (& , er, *fragrant*...) displays of
ignorance to make a fairly strong case to justify anyone labeling your remarks
RM Quote:"If there is anyone around here who is guilty of bigotry, it is people who,
no matter the evidence indicating the guilt, or the heinousness of a crime, they will
stick by the criminal and scearm intolerance and recism at the top of their lungs, merely
because the defendant is black. That is scary."
Where -- who -- are these people? I would never support someone disregardful of the
circumstances. I simply will not sit by idly while the law is applied w/different sets of
standards for different demographic groups.
RM Quote:"They say "justice is blind". Well, apprarantly not when the
defendant is black."
Now THAT type of gross, sweeping generalization is a categorically incredibly racist
statement. W/this remark, you have proverbially hanged yourself.
RM Quote:"As far as Mr. Brown, I can assure you he will not be mistreated. He can
afford some of the best attornys in town. They will not let anything inappropriate
On what authority can you make such an assurance? Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
likely thought the same thing before he was unjustly imprisoned for 2 decades -- a lot of
good his wealth & celebrity did him at his sentencing.
Apparently following the lead of their own government & its legal system, too many
have grown too comfortable w/their prejudice, as evidenced by the brazenly racist
commentary on display on this BB in recent days. I am proud & heartened, however, that
other voices have galvanized in response.
In deepest darkness, the light shines brightest
(6/20/00 12:13:16 pm)
|I really resent the
whole bogus concept of...
blacks playing the "race card." The whole
concept is really absurd. In the U.S. if there is a race card being played then blacks and
minorities are the ones being played. The notion of the race card as used by blacks and
minorities is simply a thinly veiled attempt to trivialize and belittle well-founded
allegations of racially motivated wrongdoings. The notion that blacks could level the
playing field (on moral or political grounds) by relying on the sympathy and compassion of
the very system and society that willfully disenfranchises them is a farce. When O.J.'s
lawyers **rightfully** decided to bring into question the practices of the LAPD as it
relates to blacks and minorities they were immediately accused of playing this proverbial
race card. However when Susan Smith and Charles Stuart both knowingly and falsely accuse
black men of committing crimes that they themselves perpetrated, rarely did you hear the
mainstream media talking about the race card being played. Or how about one of the most
notorious and shameful instances of the race card truly being played in the George
Bush/Willie Horton campaign of 1988. It was and still is appalling. The race card is a
device devised and deployed, to great effect, by the anti-progressive/conservative
institutionally racist establishment, not the disenfranchised. The race card as understood
by the U.S. public is yet another vicious lie perpetuated by mainstream media
That's my word! Can you dig it?
(6/20/00 3:55:29 pm)
I agree wholeheartedly Quent. There is such a deep
lack of understanding of the continuing significance of race in society that is conveyed
when that tired and nonsensical phrase "playing the race card" is trotted out.
Race and racism are hardly games to be played and only those who are least affected by the
negative aspects of race and the insidious repercussions of racism would refer to them in
such a manner.
Race is NOT some card that can be put away and used when it is convenient. I think that is
what most people fail to understand when they use the phrase "playing the race
card." We live race everyday. (The NY Times has an interesting series of articles
that attests to this). What people are really talking about when they say the "race
card" has been played are the occasions when Blacks, other racial minority group
members, and their allies in the struggle against racism call attention to the racism that
is continually perpetrated in society and demand some response to it.
It is almost as if people who say the "race card" has been played believe that
racism would not exist if people did not mention that they had been discriminated against
in a racist manner. The result of this denial of racism is to remove the responsibility
from the people who actually perpetuate racism with their actions and beliefs and place it
in the form of blame on the unfortunate people who must contend with it on a daily basis.
Thanks for posting this point, I had been itching to say something about it myself
(6/20/00 8:05:55 pm)
|Thnx 4 your cogent
rebuttal 2 the race card issue
The constant repetition and saturation of racist
ideology create a culture of tyranny that does not easily permit dissent; disagreement is
systematically denied from those in an obvious privileged position of power to perpetuate
the lies that preserve their advantage. Champions of dissonant opinions & those who
protest defacto discrimination & institutionalized inequity are thwarted by accusation
of false objection & of seeking preferential treatment -- as if wanting to redress
injustice is unfair. The audacity of this clever perpetual fictional revisionism is indeed
(6/20/00 8:32:10 pm)
|Article on effects of
slavery & ? of reparations
06/20/2000 - Tuesday - Page A 37
New Proposal Seeks Apology for Slavery
The Associated Press
Washington - America will continue to be haunted by slavery until the government makes
amends, beginning with a formal apology, an interracial group of lawmakers said yesterday.
"This issue...is still with us. It will not go away," said Rep. Tony Hall, a
white Democrat from Dayton, Ohio. "This hurt lingers unless you settle it." As
Hall described his proposal for Congress to apologize and set up a commission to look at
slavery's continuing impact in America's society, the shouts of dozens of marchers echoed
down Independence Avenue in celebration of Juneteenth, the anniversary of June 19, 1865,
when the last slaves in the United States learned-2 1/2 years after President Abraham
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation-that they had been freed.
Hall offered an apology resolution three years ago, but he failed to consult with black
lawmakers and leaders before introducing it, and it went nowhere. This time, he sought
advice from black lawmakers and others.
Among co-sponsors of the apology resolution is Rep. John Lewis, a black Democrat from
Georgia and a prominent veteran of the civil rights movement.
"This is a very serious issue for our country. We need to deal with it," Lewis
Along with an apology, the resolution recommends the government appoint a commission to
examine slavery's legacy, issue a public school curriculum about slavery, establish a
national slavery museum and consider setting up a scholarship fund. It says nothing about
cash payments demanded by some black activists because of their ancestors' mistreatment.
Dorothy Lewis, co-chairwoman of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in
America, said reparations and an apology are owed descendants of those deprived of life,
liberty, education and family ties.
"Our ancestors created material wealth" for the slave-holders, she said.
"We have inherited the impoverishment that the theft of the wealth of our ancestors
created." She said she liked the suggestions in Hall's proposal but only as an
adjunct to reparations. "We're not having a damn thing in lieu of reparations,"
Lewis and others at a Juneteenth rally gave Hall enthusiastic applause, but their T-shirts
bore reminders of Reconstruction's largely broken promise of "40 acres and a
mule" and endorsements of H.R. 40, a bill offered by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) that
would set up a commission to examine the reparations issue.
Copyright © Newsday, Inc. Produced by Newsday Electronic Publishing
(6/20/00 11:48:34 pm)
|You probably thought
O.J. was innocent, poor you.
(6/21/00 2:08:37 am)
|Use Your Senses, I
Okay, I've "sensed" this coming for quite
My past, my present, my future you defile
I "hear" your rantings and ravings loud and clear
My presence is not welcomed, you'd rather I disappear
I've "tasted" your bitter resentment for the very last time
It doesn't take a genius to recognize your crime
I "see" your constant reminders of where you'd wish me
Kneeling and subservient at my master's knee
I've "smelt" a stench such as yours before
Hatred, after visiting ancestors who lie beneath Earth's floor
But, this, my friend is where our bond ends
For, my hatred of a race does not transcend
Loathing and disgust both battle for a place within
But, fear not, as told to Mary and Joseph, there's no room at this inn
How could you not have a complete "sense" of our nation's affairs
Why not pull your head out of the clouds and nose from the air
Can't you "see" slave auctions and lynchings have only been replaced
We now have the LAPD and Mayor Guilliano to exterminate our race
Do you not "hear" the cries of our mothers who mourn
Her child has suffered because it's his skin you scorn
Do you not "taste" the bile which spews from your mouth
As you chant "Confederate flag should remain in the South"
"Smell" the coffee as you awake from your slumber
For this is GOD's nation you put asunder
Admit your fallacies and be at peace
Then and only then will internal battles really cease
You say judge thine not until proven guilty
Remember that when an innocent black does ten to fifty
(6/21/00 8:37:14 am)
|What I think
I think that life is not perfect and that it's a
waste of to time to aim for perfection. It's not only about racism, I remember when I had
braces, and people would judge that I was gay only because of that. Now how pathetic is
that??? But see, you can't change people. What you can do is ignore them and be friends
with people who share the same thoughts as you. Things are getting better, about 20 years
ago, women and minority communities were treated much worst then now, so there is hope.
But don't ever aim for perfection. If you are black and let a couple of comments or events
to you or other people get to you, then you'll go crazy. On 10 people, there's maybe 1
racist. So focuse on the 9 others and you'll be better off. Look at the positive.
(6/21/00 9:43:10 am)
|Poor Me? No! Pity
You!!!! Your myopic sense of...
perception is truly distressing. Honestly, you
cannot see the forest for the trees can you? My belief in O.J.'s innocence or guilt is
completely immaterial within the context of this thread. Why you felt the need to digress
along this tangent is beyond me. I guess you were employing the tried and true ad hominen
strategy; attack the person and not the issue. My O.J. reference was made merely to point
out that his lawyers were within purview of their rights when questioning the probity of
the LAPD investigative practices (especially in light of their seedy history with respect
to blacks and other minorities) and to refute the ignominious and bogus claim (introduced
both explicitly and implicitly, respectively, by you and the irRashional one) of a
non-existent race card being played.
That's my word! Can you dig it?
(6/21/00 11:01:15 am)
|Thanks to YOU Monte
For posting this article (which I had come across
also) and for your contirbutions to the important and necessary conversation that's been
taking place on this board for the past several weeks.
p.s. Have you read the articles in the recent NY Times series?
(6/21/00 11:05:45 am)
Things were as simple as that whfan. I'm replying
to you in the spirit of advancing a dialogue on an important subject so please do not take
this in the wrong way or as some kind of attack.
I am sure you did not mean to do this, but you trivialize the struggle of Black people in
America (which is where I am writing from) and in other places who have fought for freedom
when you attempt to make an analogy between being Black and wearing braces.
First of all, the discrimination experienced due to being Black-for most Black folks-is
not something that can be hidden as can be done when someone who wears braces simply
closes their mouth.
Second, people do not wear braces all of their life. They will at some point be taken off.
I, and every other Black person, will remain Black for the rest of our lives. So our
experiences with racism will not just pass. This demands that we act in some way to make
our lives and the lives of people who come after us better in some way. We can really do
no less as it has been done for us by those who have come before us.
Racism is not simply "a couple of comments or events," it is as many people who
study race and racism (and as a graduate student I am one of them) note, " a system
of advantage [and disadvantage] based on race." This system affects everyone's lives
and is manifested in a variety of ways. If it is ignored, it will continue to negatively
affect the lives of many people. Thank God that there were many people who have come
before us who have seen fit to fight against racism. We have all benefitted in some way
from this. (I think this is part of what Anita Baker had been saying when she spoke of it
taking three generations for us to have a Whitney Houston.)
You are right in stating that it is the relationships with like-minded people that will
help all of us in the continued struggle against racism but those friendships must not be
the only thing we work at. There also needs to be a sustained effort by people across the
board to challenge racism when they see it. To me, this is what Manish was referring to in
his posts in the "Anita Baker" thread when he asked where were other Black and
White entertainers who would stand up in support of Whitney. Ignoring things does not make
them go away but conveys an implicit acceptance of how things are when that need not be
All of us can do something and when we get tired, you are right whfan, we must remain
positive and get support from somewhere. For me, reading this board (which I've done for
some time though I have not posted much) has been a positive experience-particularly as of
late as I have appreciated reading the many positive and insightful posts on topics that
are so relevant (especially in the "Anita Baker" thread) to all of us.
(6/21/00 10:34:12 pm)
|Turning a wish into
White Americans tend to overlook that it has been
only a couple of decades since the abolishment of Jim Crow laws; that de jure, if not de
facto, equality of civil rights is a relatively recent, and hard fought, development; that
we are not talking about the mere distant past. Policies which continued through the late
60's prevented blacks from enjoying equal access to equal opportunity and have put them
well behind whites in every competitive aspect of society.
Pervasive, entrenched, systematic, institutionalized discriminatory practices do not allow
blacks (and other minorities) to legitimately compete on the same level or advance at the
same rate as whites. To deny this reality reeks of the desire for the protectionism of
privileged status quo. A few decades of social reform programs cannot redress centuries of
discrimination -- as if establishing rules to redress inequities at this late stage of the
game creates a level playing field when one side has a virtually insurmountable unfair
The media, like their counterparts in political power, have been readily compliant in
perpetuating lies, occasionally trumpeting w/self-serving self-congratulation an isolated
story exposing abuse of authority when their customary neglectful reporting of routine
corruption contributes to the culture of denial and makes habitual offenses seem like
It is imperative that the government issues a formal apology for slavery, as well as
establish official memorials, but the gestalt of slavery differs greatly from that of
crimes specific to wartime, for instance, and likewise begs a correspondingly distinct
approach. Slavery was as much a civilian policy as a government mandate; we had a CIVIL
war over the issue to FORCE a majority of our citizens to abandon slavery. Racial
discrimination is still an active, potent, haunting, insinuating force in the modern
zeitgeist. Our reprehensibly criminal subjugation of black (and Native) Americans merits
nationally recognized holidays in order to increase awareness and to underscore the
importance of remembrance as atonement.
Endeavoring to make reparations would be a much more monumentally daunting task. Would
restitution take the form of superficially redemptive reservations and casinos established
for Native Americans or the awarding of cash settlements such as those that the courts
have considered for select surviving Holocaust descendants? Granting territory &
establishing business addresses the need for enduring legacy & continuous retribution,
yet the distribution of wealth remains haphazard & uneven. Lump sums offer immediate
catharsis, but little else. Moreover, how would claims be established? How would
individual compensation be calculated? From what source would the money be generated?
I am very curious to read the eventual proposals. The ensuing public dialogue no doubt
will be ugly and will open up many new wounds before healing old ones. At the very least,
though, open discussion represents hope.
Health & peace.
(6/22/00 1:55:54 am)
|My pleasure. We're
all in this together.
I don't subscribe to any daily, so I'm at the mercy
of the internet. Alas, that means I've missed some of the NYTimes' series, and since I'd
have to pay to access the archives, I'll have to get down to the library. Have you
likewise read "Apologize for Slavery? Without an Apology, Blacks and Whites Will
Never Get Along," by Naomi Wolf for George Magazine one year ago?
Health & peace.
(6/22/00 3:28:35 am)
|Who is really to
blame for the historical scar...
of black slavery?
An apology can be extended only by persons who
committed the original offense. Slavery was a
commercial operation tolerated but not invented by
government. Therefore the government cannot
logically apologize for it.
Second, the United States consists today of a diverse
population, much of which had no connection
whatever to the slave-holding era. Italian immigration,
for example, did not begin en masse until after the
Italians had nothing to do with the African slave
trade, nor did most Asian immigrant groups.
Third, slavery was a worldwide phenomenon that still
exists undercover in some Third World countries. It
has been estimated that as many as nine out of 10
people living in classical Athens were slaves.
Euripides' play, "The Trojan Women" (made into an
all-star movie by Michael Cacoyannis), is all about the
wretched enslavement faced by the queen and
princesses of fallen Troy. The movie "Spartacus,"
starring Kirk Douglas, is based on a real-life rebellion
of slaves in ancient Rome, where slavery was the
norm. The Aztecs of pre-Columbian Mexico not only
enslaved but ritually slaughtered conquered peoples in
Fourth, any official apology out of Washington, D.C.,
must be coordinated with apologies from all of the
nations of West and Central Africa. Without the active
collaboration of Africans, who did the actual
reconnoitering, kidnapping and transporting of tribal
young along caravan routes to commercial ports on
the West African coast, the slave trade would not
have flourished as it did. Slavery was an established
feature of African culture, long before white men
arrived. From the Nuremberg trials to "Schindler's
List," we are used to critiquing individuals' implication
in or moral response to the arrest, abuse and
extermination of innocent fellow citizens. Why should
African history remain immune?
Fifth, this whole issue illustrates the bankruptcy of
LIBERAL identity politics, which has sharpened racial
consciousness in this country to a dangerous degree.
Apologies are empty gestures; substantive reform
MUST be our aim. The state and federal government
should be more concerned about decaying public
education and the disgusting physical conditions of
inner-city neighborhoods. We need public clinics to
provide walk-in medical services to the poor. We need
job-training programs and better public transit so that
the poor can find work where it exists in the suburbs.
Finally, we need a more sophisticated multiculturalism
that stops reductively identifying African-Americans
as former slaves and instead introduces the young of
all races to the enormity and complexity of world
civilizations. Let Swahili, Hindi and Chinese be taught
in our primary schools; let geography, with its crazily
ever-shifting national borders, be memorized; let the
full range of human history be revealed, with all its
atrocities. Western imperialism is not the serpent that
brought evil into paradise. The obsession with slavery
-- abolished here nearly a century and a half ago -- is
itself a form of enslavement.
(6/22/00 4:09:27 am)
|I should also add
While many whites and nonwhite immigrants did come
America after the Civil War, they were not subjected to
decades of relentless racial terror and legal segregation as were
blacks. This gave them the political and economic breathing
space needed to open businesses, gain access to public and
private education, enter the professions, and the freedom to
buy and rent in neighborhoods of their choice. I still say these post Civil War immigrants
should not have to apologize for slavery just because they benefitted from it. They had
another advantage. Through the decades of slavery and Jim
Crow segregation, African-Americans were transformed into
the poster group for racial dysfunctionality. The image of blacks as lazy,
crime and violence prone, irresponsible and sexual predators
has stoked white fears and hostility and served as the standard
rationale for lynchings, racial assaults, hate crimes and police
(6/22/00 9:40:32 am)
A friend sent me the Wolfe article last year or so.
In fact, I think I forwarded it along to you, Monte. It was perhaps the most eloquent and
compelling call for an apology for slavery that I've read anywhere. Unfortunately, I can't
find it in my archives, or I would be happy to post it here. Do you still have it, Monte?
If you do, please send it to me via e-mail. I'd like to have it for my files.
(6/22/00 12:05:31 pm)
|So full of hatred
and bitterness that all senses has departed from
you. Really unfortunate.
I don't know what you mean by "other minorities", but as I said, I have not
experienced anything that I can describe as "institutionalized racism". You are
in no place to generalize about "other minorities". Of course, it will suit your
purpose of exaggerating the level of racism, but it is by no means true. I will not permit
you to make yourself a spokesperson for all minorities.
Issuing an apology will not make any difference. It will only pave the way for
"minorities" to take advantage of the very legal system they condemn, ie sue the
government over events that happened some time ago. And that is bound to cost the tax
payers, that is you and I. Indeed, it makea few over-payed, under-worked lawyers quite
happy, but it will not serve anyone.
These games of yours, my friend, have become tired. They have been used for a long time.
They have made quite a number of people rich. They may get a few people of
"minority" elected to the public office, ostensibly to serve the interests of
those who elected them, but they will not solve our problems. What will solve our problems
is for you and others to get rid of your hatred and bitterness, and quit chasing your
tail. The government will not apologize for slavery, nor should it (for I have no desire
of apologizing and then paying for something I never did).
I lived 16 years under the most opperesive, facist government you could imagine. The world
of 1984 looks like a tea party in comparison to what I witnessed for 16 years, so would
your slavery. And I have come to realize that you people here take your rights and for
granted. I am not going to go any deeper than that, for I see you have no idea what this
is all about. Just let me say that you ought to enjoy your freedoms, for there are people
who would give everything, including their lives, to have just a portion of the freedom
Just some food for thought.
(6/22/00 12:09:38 pm)
Lord knows that on the stipend I live on,
subscribing to newspapers is not a priority so I also access the NY Times on the web. The
address for today's installment in the series is:
They have links to the earlier articles in the series on the page with today's article. I
don't believe that they are archived yet or that you need to pay for them. You might just
have to register (if you're not) to access them. I believe they are also going to put all
of the articles in the July 16th NY Times magazine as well.
Though the articles in the series vary in quality, I appreciate the attention being paid
to the many ways in which race is lived by people in society. Ironically, the subject of
today's article fits right into what we've been talking about in this thread.
I haven't seen the Naomi Wolf article and am intrigued that she weighed in on this issue
and that you and Blackatlantic seem to be impressed with what she has to say. I am not
sure how I feel about her other writings but that's another subject altogether. I will try
and look for it though.
(6/22/00 12:18:41 pm)
|Hopefully this will
Don't know what happened to the link I pasted in
the previous post but I'll try it again:
If it doesn't work you should be able to get it by just going to the the front page of the
NY Times where they have the "How Race is Lived in America" section.
(6/22/00 2:22:34 pm)
|Gretchen & BA:
Here's the complete text from Wolf.
Apologize for Slavery?
Without an Apology, Blacks and Whites Will Never Get Along.
An Opinion From Naomi Wolf
for George Magazine
We build memorials to what we want to remember, but a glance at our public monuments also
shows just what we want to forget. Just off the Mall in Washington, D.C., there's a vast
museum devoted to a holocaust that took place in Europe; near the Potomac, there's a
beloved memorial to a slaughter that unfolded in Southeast Asia. But you'd have to look
long and hard over the American landscape to find any prominent recognition of our own
homegrown holocaust-of the 250 years during which up to one American in five was held,
scourged, and bred as chattel.
America has a willful amnesia about its slave past. Daily life in Colonial Williamsburg
has been painstakingly re-created for the sake of tourists. In the West, towns re-enact
the days of the gold rush. But at the sites of the notorious slave markets---where
thousands of African families were dispersed while sustaining the economies that supported
white families---there is little or no commemoration. Ellis Island's makeover is a
gleaming piece of historical preservation; but in Auburn, New York, the house of Harriet
Tubman, which was a famous station on the Underground Railroad, now lies in disrepair, its
preservation left to the amateur efforts of local citizens who raise funds to maintain it.
The slave quarters at Mount Vernon carefully explain the production of horseshoes and
tallow: Tools are displayed, but not whips or shackles. No multimedia archives bother to
chronicle the histories of, and relationships between, the enslaved Americans who served
the father of our country. Little attention is paid to the bitter irony that while George
Washington allowed his slaves to wed, the state of Virginia refused to legally recognize
White America wants to forget. Two decades ago, the miniseries Roots was a major pop
culture event because it gave names and faces to historical shadows, but its theme was
palatable to whites only because it led, ultimately, to assimilation and redemption. In
contrast, Steven Spielberg's recent Amistad---a straightforward and unsettling account of
the subjection of Africans in the slave trade-sank like a stone.
Plenty of whites would say that memorializing our slave past is worse than unimportant,
that it is destructive to the present. Controversy attended efforts to obtain
congressional funding for a museum of slavery on the Mall. Southern struggles over the
Confederate flag are routine and bitter. Whites' reactions to blacks' insistence on
memorializing slavery are strong: "I didn't own any slaves. Why should I
apologize?" as one recent caller to a talk-radio station characteristically argued.
When congressman Tony P. Hall, a white Democrat from Ohio, raised the subject of an
apology for slavery as a "step toward healing," he was deluged with criticism.
President Clinton typically waffled on this issue when, last August, he chose to leave the
decision on whether to apologize for slavery up to his race advisory board. Eight months
later, inching toward a more complete gesture, he sort of apologized for the slave
trade-in Africa, to the descendants of Africans who were left behind by it; not in America
to the descendants of those who were captured and bred in captivity. "The United
States has not always done the right thing by Africa," he said with a truly farcical
note of understatement. "Going back to the time before we were even a nation,
European Americans received the fruits of the slave trade and we were wrong in that."
Why does an apology matter? Why is memorializing our slave past important for the present?
These things matter because without them, both sides remain stuck. The mass denial of
slavery by the dominant culture creates what denial creates in any dysfunctional family:
inflamed articulation of the denied truth by the injured party. The more one family member
silences, the more the other symbolically over emotes. When a black man was recently
dragged to his death by three whites in Jasper, Texas, whites quoted in news coverage
swore that the savage murder was an isolated event, as if they were unconscious of the
history of lynching in towns just like theirs. In reaction to such denial, the
African-Americans quoted were inclined toward conspiracy theories. "At this
point," one woman reportedly said, "I'll believe anything."
How would proper memorials of slavery heal this stalemate? Memorials reflect the depth of
our caring. As a Jew, I know rage wells within me toward contemporary Germans when I see a
cheap tin marker over a subway entrance in the heart of Berlin commemorating a roundup of
local Jews. The slightness of the marker undermines my trust in my German peers---even
though the historic tragedy is now distant from us.
Apologies between groups matter for the same reason they matter between individuals in
intimate relationships: They help keep the relationship healthy. The recent wave of
international apologies speaks to the power of this fact. Why should we care whether
Switzerland returns what are often insignificant amounts of money to Jews? Not because of
the money but because of the lingering denial. Why did the pope's semi-apology for the
Catholic Church's collusion with Nazism reinforce Jewish distrust of Catholicism?
Precisely because of its tone of self-exoneration. In contrast, France's unstinting
apology for its collusion with the Vichy government and Australia's wholehearted Sorry
Day, in which the entire continent expresses regret for separating Aboriginal children
from their parents, will both go a long way toward genuine healing-the kind we in this
country should note with envy.
Finally, particularly where children are concerned, apologies reflect the value assigned
to a given relationship. Without an apology from whites for the centuries during which
black children were bought and sold, black kids grow up wondering if the dominant culture
will ever value them enough for their efforts within the system to really work. The fact
is, conspiracies against black Americans have been real. Slavery itself was a conspiracy.
So were the post- Reconstruction years, when whites banded together to cheat blacks out of
fair prices for their cotton and white police forces conspired to frame black defendants.
Without an apology that acknowledges this reality, black off-the-wall conspiracy
theorizing will continue to assert itself. Hence, for example, the widespread beliefs that
the CIA invented AIDS and that the LAPD framed O.J.
An apology in this case is not an expression of personal guilt. It is an expression of
regret, of shared sorrow. Popular spiritualist Marianne Williamson, who is often mocked
for saying things America isn't ready to hear, conducts an experiment with her audiences:
She has white people stand and apologize to blacks in the audience for racism and the harm
it has inflicted upon their families and children. I watched this once, squirming with
discomfort; I was sure it would be offensive, a sham, superficial, insulting, phony-all
the things we fear when the issue of an apology comes up. To my astonishment, after the
apology the mood in the room changed in a way I have never before felt in America: There
was an almost tangible lightening of tension for both the blacks and the whites. It was a
mood in which one could actually move on. As one old black woman said, with tears running
down her cheeks, "I've been waiting my whole life to hear a white man say that to
In a bad marriage, every little friction symbolizes the larger sense of being held in
contempt or feeling betrayed. That's where we are now. In a good marriage, a fight, no
matter how bad it gets, is just a fight. That's where an apology can take us. So in the
interest of starting with what I can, I want to say, for the record, about this great
harm: I am so sorry.
"Only when lions have historians will hunters cease being heroes."
-- African Proverb
(6/23/00 2:55:00 am)
|So full of sh...
Rash:"So full of hatred and bitterness that all senses has departed from you. Really
On the contrary, I have appealed to the spirit of conciliation. Nothing in my posts speaks
to hatred or bitterness. What is unfortunate is your closed-minded approach to anyone or
anything that threatens to disturb your very narrow world-view of not challenging the
Rash:"I don't know what you mean by 'other minorities'"
What don't you understand: "other" -- as in "not black", since I'd
just specifically referred to them; or "minorities" -- a common term for racial,
ethnic, sexual, religious, national or other groups regarded as different & usually
less politically & economically powerful than the entire citizenry of which they are
Rash:"but as I said, I have not experienced anything that I can describe as
So, if you don't experience racism directly, or if you lack the discernment to recognize
it, you are comfortable to deny its existence. What a frighteningly convenient
rationalization for willfully ignorant intolerance.
Rash:"You are in no place to generalize about 'other minorities'.
Um, how would you know if you've just previously professed to not knowing what I mean by
"other minorities"? Regardless, I've never purported to speak for anyone but
myself, though I surely have every prerogative to draw inferences & generally
applicable conclusions from my own experiences as I perceive them, just as you are free to
express your own opinions.
Rash:"Of course, it will suit your purpose of exaggerating the level of racism, but
it is by no means true."
Your denial won't make the perfidy of prejudice any less true than claims by neo-Nazis
that the Holocaust is a conspiratorial figment of European Jewish imagination invalidate
the reality of its systematic genocide. The level of racism in this country & around
the world cannot be overestimated: it affects & infects, pervades & permeates,
every aspect of our culture. The news corroborates my viewpoint everyday in no uncertain
Rash:"I will not permit you to make yourself a spokesperson for all minorities."
Since when do I require your permission to express my opinion on a public BB? Nowhere have
I claimed to be "A SPOKESPERSON for all minorities," though I certainly do not
have any compunction about reserving the right to challenge racism because it offends my
sensibility whether or not others cannot or do not or will not publicly decry it from fear
or timidity or apathy.
Rash:"Issuing an apology will not make any difference."
Apologies make a world of difference, as they are often the first step towards addressing
reform. A problem cannot be resolved until it has been acknowledged.
Rash:"It will only pave the way for 'minorities' to take advantage of the very legal
system they condemn"
You really ought to pay more attention to your own irony. The legal system is in place
purportedly for ALL to utilize, though minorities have long been categorically denied
equal opportunity. They're overdue to be able to take advantage of services from which
they have been wrongfully excluded. Why are you so opposed to their finally enjoying a few
of the same benefits as non-minorities? I sense "hatred & bitterness" that
your piece of the *American pie* may diminish if we are compelled to share the whole more
Rash:"ie sue the government over events that happened some time ago."
The aftermath of slavery unquestionably still reverberates & resonates today. Job
& housing discrimination are VERY real; racial profiling by police is VERY real; hate
crimes are VERY real; disproportionate arrests, convictions & capital punishment of
non-whites relative to whites who commit the same transgressions are VERY real.
Rash:"And that is bound to cost the tax payers, that is you and I."
It's about time that my taxes were put to some worthier use.
Rash:"Indeed, it makea few over-payed, under-worked lawyers quite happy, but it will
not serve anyone."
Using easily targeted lawyers as a scapegoat for your distaste is an impertinent, cheap
& lazy reactionary diversion from the issue. That approach does not serve your
Rash:"These games of yours, my friend, have become tired.
Challenging racism is not a game. Your trying to discredit my character rather than my
arguments and your condescending reference to me as your friend are far more wearisome.
Rash:"They have been used for a long time."
How is it possible for blacks to have exploited "for a long time" a system which
until the 60's prohibited their access to the same legal recourse as whites?
Rash:"They have made quite a number of people rich."
Who? Name them. Their numbers do not approach those of their more privileged *opponent*.
Rash:"They may get a few people of 'minority' elected to the public office,
ostensibly to serve the interests of those who elected them, but they will not solve our
The disdain you wear on your sleeve at the thought of minorities in public office betrays
your "hatred & bitterness" directed at them. Whose "interests" are
being served by the ostensibly non-minority white public officials? Politicians
necessarily serve those who elect them -- that's how our 2-party system *works* (badly).
Are you suggesting that voters are so polarized across racial lines that blacks &
whites wil only vote for *their own*?
It is patronizing to suggest that minorities would only serve minority interests. Still,
if they did, would they be behaving much differently from privileged whites who have
primarily served the interests of other privileged whites throughout our government's
history, especially when you again consider that dejure racist segregation laws lasted
well into the 60's?
When you write "OUR problems," to whom are you referring? The US citizenry is
comprised of a wide variety of groups: shouldn't they all be represented? Are middle-aged
white males the only ones uniquely qualified to represent our diversity as leaders of the
Rash:"What will solve our problems is for you and others to get rid of your hatred
and bitterness, and quit chasing your tail."
No doubt it would make all the bigots happy if I acquiesed to their intolerant demands
& attempts to coerce me into silence, and quit challenging racism, but I uphold the
courage of my convictions.
Rash:"The government will not apologize for slavery, nor should it (for I have no
desire of apologizing and then paying for something I never did)."
The future hasn't been written yet; I can still hope & fight. The wounds of racism
will never begin to heal until a formal apology is necessarily issued by our government,
whose legal sanctioning of discrimination makes it accountable. As the ultimate governing
body in the nation, it will*speak* on all our behalf; I wouldn't expect personal
In a capitalist society, we are always paying for things that we may not want or need or
for which we are not responsible. Do you actively protest all the worthless taxes you pay?
I pay school taxes even if I do not have any children enrolled in the district; as a
county employee, union dues are deducted from my paycheck even if I am not a member of the
union. As a consequence of environmental abuses of previous generations, we pay for the
restoration of flora & fauna. Whether a disaster is natural or technological, we help
foot the bill for salvage & rescue efforts. The outgoing local administration has run
up a humongous debt & has reduced my area's economy to an official junk status rating
by the State, and the upcoming generation which did not elect these criminally incompetent
officials will have to pay the outrageous increases in taxes to fix a problem they had no
part in creating. When taxation is so inherently unfair, selective outrage is hollow.
Rash:"I lived 16 years under the most opperesive, facist government you could
imagine. The world of 1984 looks like a tea party in comparison to what I witnessed for 16
years, so would your slavery."
I do not know which Asian country is your native land, though I'd venture a reasonable
guess of China or Korea. Please correct me if I am wrong. Wherever it may be, your having
apparently lived under an oppressive government does not automatically confer any moral
high ground; indeed, your firsthand experience of atrocities makes your lack of compassion
& understanding for the ongoing haunting legacy of slavery's horrors all the more a
shame. Have you learned only to look after your own selfish interests rather than the
welfare of all humanity? Which philosophy do you believe is better suited to further the
harmonious coexistence of all mankind?
Rash:"And I have come to realize that you people here take your rights and for
Who precisely are "you people here"? All who are not you? All US citizens? Such
a sweeping generalization from someone who earlier made a (misplaced) complaint about my
*qualifications* to make one.
I don't take my rights for granted one iota. The reason that I express my opinions on
freedom, discrimination & injustice so strongly is because they are not mere abstract
ideas to me: I know them & I LIVE them.
I have taken many risks to help people seeking political asylum from Nicaragua &
Guyana escape to this country. I have battled on others' behalf w/the INS, the most
God-forsaken, inhumane, corrupt agency in this nation; I have spent tens of thousands of
dollars on travel & to process documents; I have spent innumerable hours giving
character references & writing politicians to plead individual cases on my own time at
my own expense for no personal benefit. These activities are not part of my job, nor are
thay in any way even remotely related to it. This is who I am.
Rash:"I am not going to go any deeper than that"
Perhaps it would behoove you to search a little more deeply.
Rash:"for I see you have no idea what this is all about. Just let me say that you
ought to enjoy your freedoms, for there are people who would give everything, including
their lives, to have just a portion of the freedom you experience."
On the contrary, it is YOU who clearly does not appreciate the freedoms that we enjoy in
the US. I, otoh, respect them by APPLYING them. One crucial way to fulfill this aim is to
exercise my freedom of dissent, one of the founding principles of this country of which
its citizens need constant reminder.
While I recognize that the US is a far better place to live than many other countries,
notably the Central Americas that I have visited many times, I will not praise it
unconditionally. From my travels around the world, I will say w/assurance that Norway,
Sweden, Holland, Canada & post-Thatcher England are more socially progressive. US
culture is far more conservative & reactionary -- startlingly so --than the image some
of its people would like to promote. Though I am not so disillusioned to walk away, I do
believe that we can & should better uphold our ideals.
The US may well be preferable to whatever area of Asia from which you hail, but the world
is a big place, and romanticizing it in contrast to an easy target does not tell a
completely accurate story. The US needs to confront its ugly past that continues to befoul
its prsent & to hinder its growth.
I will continue to fight for the right to make this country & the world a better home
for ALL people -- the irrational & the meanspirited included.
Rash:"Just some food for thought."
I prefer mine fresh rather than canned.
Health & peace.
(6/23/00 4:09:37 am)
|For what reason.....
< The government will not apologize for slavery,
nor should it (for I have no desire of apologizing and then paying for something I never
would anyone possibly expect you to extend an apology for the injustices inflicted upon
African Americans? I think you made it absolutely clear in one of your previous post that
you were of Asian heritage.
As far as your opinion regarding whether or not the government should apologize for
slavery, that's exactly what it is - an opinion. Luckily, like rectums, everyone has one!!
< I lived 16 years under the most opperesive, facist government you could imagine. The
world of 1984 looks like a tea party in comparison to what I witnessed for 16 years, so
would your slavery.>
I am not one to argue whether your plight held any more signifcance than the next group.
However, the mere fact that you have the audacity to compare yours 16 yrs of oppression
against decades of slavery really is offensive! You had 16 years of oppression - not a
lifetime. And definitely not one that will carry you over to the afterlife like so many of
those who suffered during slavery. And maybe I'm missing something, but what significance
does the year 1984 hold?
The end of slavery didn't bring this experience to an end. As my people would say, we just
came in from the cotton fields and went to cotton mills.
Does seperate but equal ring a bell? What was equal? The White Americans didn't get
they're share of the beatings and lynchings that took place. They didn't get their drink
of water from the firehoses that were utilized against black men, women, and children.
They didn't get to attend schools where the buildings were falling apart and the books
were scarce. They didn't get to run for their lives as our men in blue turned blood hungry
hounds on them.
Why don't you try visiting the sites dedicated to the township of Rosewood and the
Tuskegee Experiment and try convincing certain members of this board that the African
American Experience was not significant.
< And I have come to realize that you people here take your rights and for granted >
Since you've referenced the year 1984 in your post, I only assume that you have resided in
the "Land of the Free" for at least 16 yrs. If I have assumed incorrectly, I
apologize. If I have not, one would think that you would know the term "you
people" is viewed as a very derogatory phrase when addressing people of color.
Judging by your post, you're in desperate need of some sensitivity training.
< I am not going to go any deeper than that, for I see you have no idea what this is
all about. >
I beg to differ, personally I've had 34 years of the African American Experience and I
have a clear idea of what this is about. I live and breathe it everyday.
I get to see the Ku Klux Klan rally in the name of free speech while they walk around in
pristine white sheets that were probably dried in a dryer, invented by a black man named
G.T. Sampson, and ironed on a ironing board which was invented by a black woman named
Sarah Boone. And some of those cantankerous old farts may have benefited from yet another
invention of an "insignificant" black by the name of Dr Levi Watkins Jr. Thanks
to his pioneering efforts of performing the first surgical implantation of the automatic
defibrillator in the human heart. And just how many benefit from yet another
"insignificant" black by the name of Dr. Meredith Gourdine, who introduced the
process of converting gas into electricity. And Lord only knows how many of those idiots
wake up in the mornings and utilizes shaving creme, drink a cup of instant coffee, write
their hate mail with ink, and lick the adhesive of the envelope which will be used to
forward to some unsuspecting "insignificant" black person. How ironic when all
of the above was developed by George Washington Carver, an "insignificant" black
And what of all this proof that the African American race is not as inferior as our nation
would have one believe? Is it located in our schools' history books? An emphatic no to
that!!! This is information you must hunt for. It is not easily assessible for those who
should be educated on the contributions of a race who played a significant role in
settling and developing our "Land of the Free".
Why is this information not in history books? As stated by Carter G. Woodson, civil rights
leader responsible for starting "Black History Week" which later resulted in
Black History Month, "If a race has no history, ...it becomes a neglible factor in
the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated." And that my
friend, is what it's all about.
< Just let me say that you ought to enjoy your freedoms, for there are people who would
give everything, including their lives, to have just a portion of the freedom you
Why do you assume that we do not enjoy the freedom that was fought so hard for by our
enslaved? Every moment of freedom is a blessing because it was our ancestors who perished
as they either jumped from packed ships into hellish waters rather than endure a life of
servitude, were whipped to death because they incurred the wrath of Master, or died due to
the will of assassins such as James Earl Ray. And no one knows just how precious freedom
is like Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, an African American boxer, who was falsely
imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, while our judicial system sought to smother
evidence. You're really singing to the choir on this one.
Just food for thought.
(6/23/00 4:13:21 am)
considered, civil response, Darian
..though I disagree w/much of it mostly for your
conclusions seemingly contrary to your examination. Anyhow, I hope to make time to reply
one day this weekend, but after my *round* w/Rashman this evening, er, morning, I'm out of
Health & peace.
(6/28/00 8:42:21 pm)
|Re: Re: Most rappers
Carl what I said is ''Most rappers are black'' I
didn't say all rappers are black so you misquoted me. It is true most rappers are black in
the music industry and in my personal experience that's been the case.
(6/29/00 2:55:29 am)
didn't our government apologize for slavery when
they went to Africa, I know they haven't said sorry to every black person but it's a
start, race relations are alot better now...