March 12th, 2010


Black people benefit from racism?

I know it's religion week but I want to start a new post about this since I've been in a endless "sub-thread" fight with a regular poster in the past and I think we tend to talk past each other, so maybe opening up the discussion to everyone will cause it to be more productive. The starting off point was this question "Though one could argue that everyone would benefit most from an end to racism, in the long run. Right now, who benefits most from the racism that is around today in the US, white people or black people?" to which this talk politics regular responded "Today? Black folks."

I think that what he said is totally false at the moment, but I want to at least understand why he (and anyone else who agrees with him) thinks this is true. Because I don't even get the reasoning behind this statement. So, I have some questions:
  1. What do you mean by "racism today" ? Give some specific examples.
  2. How long have black people been benefiting more than white people from this racism?
  3. How have these benefits been put to use by black people?
  4. How did such a small group of people (as a percentage of the population) with very little capital turn racism to their advantage?
  5. If things continue as you have described them what will the future of this country be like?
  6. Why do most black people say that they experience racism almost every day? While few white people say that they experience racism?
  7. Who were the key players in turning racism around so it benefits black people?
  8. Why do black people have shorter lifespans and make less money than white people despite the benefits of racism?
  9. Would you say that your life would have been easier if you were black?
Original post.
Over the Edge

Communicating in a debate

Interesting. A friend of mine whom i value a lot but whom i dont really know much personally (he knows who he is) has recently asked me for an advice about how the communication with other people could be improved, especially in the conditions of a heated debate. Say, an online political debate (i've heard they tend to get very heated).

Seems like i must've created the impression of being a very patient and tactful person, whereas i'm just a .... damn... i think i really am! (How humble)... :D

So, i gave it a thought with my only two brain cells which are currently in use, and i came up with this.

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Godzilla, default

Finally, someone in California with a lick of sense:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that saying "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is not a prayer. Mazel Tov. I can think of Someone I'd pray to. The US flag is not that Someone. And for that matter, since when has putting words in the Pledge in the 1950s to show how much Jesus we've got next to the lousy Reds in Moscow counted as a prayer anyway? So if I were to put the words "Under God" in some rant I make in some random corner of the Internet and someone were to make a big deal of the rant I could say "You interruptin' my prayer, bro?". Pfeh.

This nonsensical interpretation of something very serious brought to you courtesy of Underlankers productions. You may now resume your regular religious flame wars.

Beck in the U.S.A.

Nearly 25 years later, Glenn Beck finally listened to the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen's song Born in the USA. Beck was shocked, shocked to discover that for all these years he'd been rocking out to a song about a bitter down-and-out Vietnam vet who has been kicked to the curb by the aforementioned USA. Beck isn't the first conservative to not listen to Springsteen's lyrics. Roadside America recounts:

On the afternoon on September 19, 1984, President Ronald Reagan spoke before an enthusiastic crowd in downtown Hammonton, New Jersey. The speech was mostly political boilerplate, but it did contain one memorable passage. "America's future," Reagan said, "rests in the message of hope in songs of a man so many young Americans admire, New Jersey's Bruce Springsteen."

People even vaguely familiar with the songs of Bruce Springsteen know that they rarely contain messages of hope for America's future. But Reagan was oblivious. His re-election campaign was using -- without permission -- "Born in the U.S.A." as its theme song (the album was #1 in the country at the time) because they'd evidently only listened to its rousing chorus and not to the rest of the lyrics, which are about a bitter, jobless Vietnam vet (When Springsteen found out, he made Reagan stop using the song).

In the same clip, Beck urges his viewers to wake up and realize that Woody Guthrie's beloved anthem "This Land is Your Land" is unpatriotic, despite the fact that we all sang it at summer camp, and the lyrics make perfect sense (even to Beck).

You can't make this stuff up.

hat lasso

Tears are not enough

"When I was in Haiti, a 19-year-old American in military fatigues showed up with boxes of latex gloves. His heart was in the right place, but he didn’t really know what he was doing and had a nervous breakdown after picking up an amputated leg when he was asked to clean a hospital’s waste-strewn yard. He went home the next day.

Some of us had a good laugh about the episode. But at least he accomplished something. He gathered dirty bandages and let Haitians know they mattered to him. That’s more than CIDA has so far accomplished with the more than $100 million Canadians have donated to its Earthquake Relief Fund."

So the urgent money required for Haiti has not been spent, at least for the most part. We need to assess, plan, organize, and spend wisely. I mean we gotta think here.

Perhaps this is good. Perhaps we shouldn't just spend all the donations willy-nilly on electric frying pans and pantyhose for the good people of Haiti. Yes we should think on this so we spend wisely. But I'm getting the feeling cash wasn't required with any urgency as they said.