I am concerned.

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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Thaibebop
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I am concerned.

Postby Thaibebop » Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:41 pm

Hello all, I hope you are all doing well.

I wanted to share this thought and get some feedback from the forum. I am concerned about racism. I know that the media is all afire with people who express racist views and that most of us think that these folks are still a minority in American society. I certainly hope so. However, I am becoming less and less sure about that as more and more people express racist views hiding them in other expressions. An example is hating Obama, not because he is half-black, but because he is a socialist, or hating Chinese, not because they are not white, but because they are communist, as seen in the Daily Show clip I found on the Asia Society website (http://www.asiasociety.org/education-le ... sm-studies ) . Of course, let us not for forget, hating Mexicans, not because they are non-white and non-english speaking, but because they are illegal.

I realize that all people can become racist, not just white folks, but seeing as I am white and my family expresses many of these views, I feel I should take time to try to understand why so much of the racism that America is experiencing right now, at least in it's politics, is yet again, coming from white people. I am disturbed, distressed, and dismayed. I am worried about what my children, who are only half white are and will experience in this increasing racist environment. My oldest daughter, just finished first grade, had to deal with a little blond girl who would repeat over and over that my daughter was Chinese as if it were an insult. This young girl was disciplined my the teacher on several occasions yet never seem to let this issue go. I can only imagine what her parents are saying in the privacy of their home.

I am not sure what to say about this issue that has not be said before. I know I am just seeing this trend and it chills my heart. Is anyone else here noticing this? Is racism couched in political ideology becoming common place? Where had this disturbing trend developed and why? I know it comes from fear and lately Americans, at white Americans seem to be afraid of everything, even their own shadow, maybe because it's black as well.

Healthy and happiness to you all,
Thaibebop

Mawkish1983
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:39 pm

I have no idea what goes on in the States, but here in the UK I believe a lot of progress has been made stamping out racism. Of course there are still occasional problems, but I believe they're rare. Certainly nothing as high-profile as you describe.

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Kim OHara
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:35 am

People have always thought of themselves and their closest 'kin' (sometimes not family - e.g. members of the same football team may be pseudo-family) as 'good' and others us (variously) not-so-good, unreliable, bad ... you name it, 'others' have been given the label.
Very often there is no real justification for any of this behaviour. The line between 'us' and 'them' is arbitrary and varies according to circumstance. "Others" can be defined by any observable characteristic - gender and skin colour just being two of the most obvious.
"Us" tends to be a smaller group when times get tougher, and intolerance is harsher, and that may be the reason you're noticing more racism coming out now in the US.
Here in Australia we have had systematic programmes to educate people about discrimination and they are working reasonably well. We do see it occasionally emerging insidiously in a disguised form, as you describe, but not to the extent you seem worried about. On the other hand, I am privileged: as Salman Rushdie, an Indian living in the UK, said, "The only people who can ever ignore racism are the whites." That may be true here too and, as a white, I may be underestimating the problems.
I do know that it's something I am frequently aware of in others and try to speak out against. It is good to see that others are also increasingly likely to speak up - we have just had a very high profile case amongst our very top footballers (see ).
All we can do is to maintain our own aim, as Buddhists, for universal compassion, and encourage it in others wherever we can.
We are not alone in fighting discrimination, and things are gradually getting better: it's not really that long, in historical terms, since blacks and white women were property of white men in the US.
Metta,
Kim

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Thaibebop
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Thaibebop » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:37 pm


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altar
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby altar » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:52 pm

Yeah basically it's about attachment to your own tribe.

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altar
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby altar » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:53 pm

I also agree that much of it is ignorance. When you know people from other cultures you don't fear them anymore.

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octathlon
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby octathlon » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:01 pm


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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:03 pm

My theory is that everyone is racist but most people deny it.

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Kim OHara
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:54 am


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oceanmen
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby oceanmen » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:24 am

Hello Thaibebop

i think racism is a form of extremism, extreme aversion to what is different and extreme craving to what is similar
and since the world today seems to be heading to more extremism, moderation is sadly misunderstood as weakness
and so rascism is re-emerging - a concern for me and my kid's future as well....

:namaste:

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Thaibebop
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Thaibebop » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:45 pm


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Kim OHara
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:22 am


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Thaibebop
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Thaibebop » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:13 pm


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Thaibebop
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Thaibebop » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:41 pm

All this talk of tribes and like kind made me think of this song. I know, cheesy, but I love cheese!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoFKE4cdi70

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Kim OHara
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:42 pm


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Thaibebop
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Re: I am concerned.

Postby Thaibebop » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:55 pm



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