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WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010 12:48:59 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
The Friday morning, in 1968, one day after Martin Luther King was assassinated, a grade school teacher in Iowa, in the middle of rural America...had decided to teach her charges about prejudice.

Please read the article above, if you're interested and not familiar with this social experiment, before commenting.

Have you, yourself...ever been pigeonholed or made to feel outcast, different, socially shunned or otherwise dehumanized and ostracized. Targeted. Ridiculed. Despised.

Have you ever been part of a group which instigated or foisted this behavior upon another individual or group or even upon an entire society, religion? The point of which was targeting them for uninvited bullying, domination, subjugation.

Have you ever allowed the words and actions of others, perhaps leaders you've elected or merely followed out of some measure of respect - to foment activities towards someone or some country, creating an opponent or outcast - where one did not exist previously?

Are you ruled by imagined fears, possibilities of invasion, desire to not be bullied or conquered yourself so you try to join the stronger clique or group?

Have you ever realized that you have been played by someone or some entity you formerly trusted, only to figure out that you got snowed or conned and that your previously righteous and offended sense of dignity had been channeled or misused - by others?

What will it take, before we humans quit doing this to ourselves?

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 10:40:55 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
Too much to think about here, eh? Forty plus lookies and no one dares stepping into the pool?

Well, that's what I feel sometimes when I peer into threads where fatties are being bashed, too. And I'm in the skinny camp. geek



If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
mercianknight
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 12:48:21 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,029
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Poor WMM! Let me help you out. crybaby

Great article, made great reading, problem was, when I looked into the 'pool' all I saw were pirahnas (did I spell that right? Looks wrong!).

It would take a far greater and braver person than I to go swimming here for fear of offending some PC sensibilities......oh, in case you didn't realise, my leanings tend to be considered very right of centre which can make me an easy target in our oh so rosy neo-socialist, tie-dye wearing, tree hugging world.

There you go buddy, now you can give me the 'thread killer tag'. Have a great week-end.

thumbright

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 1:11:53 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
mercianknight wrote:
Poor WMM! Let me help you out. crybaby

Great article, made great reading, problem was, when I looked into the 'pool' all I saw were pirahnas (did I spell that right? Looks wrong!).

It would take a far greater and braver person than I to go swimming here for fear of offending some PC sensibilities......oh, in case you didn't realise, my leanings tend to be considered very right of centre which can make me an easy target in our oh so rosy neo-socialist, tie-dye wearing, tree hugging world.

There you go buddy, now you can give me the 'thread killer tag'. Have a great week-end.

thumbright


Actually, Merc....this makes me think more about how I view myself...in my alone moments.

I am guilty of it all - at various times of my life.

________
"It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds - scriptwriter for Tombstone 1993 (DocHolliday character utterance)

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 2:51:27 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,068
Location: United States
I'm sure Damon will be along shortly to explain that I'm totally off-base, and if I had only read the article more completely, I would already understand why I was wrong, but...

I've long been of the belief that racism is inherently hard-wired into our brains, and only our advanced development allows us to temporarily over-rule the genetic code that causes us to be racist to the core. I've no proof of this - it's just my belief. I think as prehistoric man began to band together in small tribes, racism would have been a survival trait. What is racism, but the fear and automatic distrust of anybody that's different than yourself? of necessity, all tribes competed for the same food, prey, and forage areas. Any tribe that was too welcoming of members of a different tribe risked being attacked and possibly eaten by the strangers. Since tribes that automatically mistrusted strangers would have had an advantage over trusting tribes, the racist tribes survived to pass on their genes to their progeny. Trusting tribes died out, and the genetic make-up for "trust" was lost.

Will we ever breed racism out of our race? (And by "race", I mean the only race that matters - the human race.) I don't know what the future holds. I only know that with each successive generation, with education and familiarization, racism can be beaten.

Magical_felix
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 3:53:36 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,555
Location: California
MrNudiePants wrote:
I'm sure Damon will be along shortly to explain that I'm totally off-base, and if I had only read the article more completely, I would already understand why I was wrong, but...

I've long been of the belief that racism is inherently hard-wired into our brains, and only our advanced development allows us to temporarily over-rule the genetic code that causes us to be racist to the core. I've no proof of this - it's just my belief.


I don't know if this is along the same lines as what your belief is but I remember my biology teacher telling us that racism is very natural. She said that our brains naturally put things into catagories based on our experiences. At a young age we learn that fire is hot so our brain tells to be careful of fire because it burns and it puts fire in the dangerous "catagory" in our brains. If at a young age a white kids only experience with mexicans is getting beat up or robbed then those experiences might shape his brain into thinking all mexicans are dangerous. Kind of like a survival skill your brain has developed.



WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 6:15:57 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
Hmmm, I guess it's natural to concentrate on just the racism aspect as that is what the classroom experiment simulated.

But there is so much more to what I was driving at than merely racism. It's pretty much that and all other isms too.

But the dam has a crack now and there's a trickle.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
LadyX
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 9:23:21 PM

Rank: Thread Mediator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,661
Location: United States
I agree that it's not just race, that's for sure.

People in the US have arrogance about the US being superior to the rest of the world.

West Coast people have attitude about the way they live vs. the rest of the US- I remember Damon just yesterday talking about people east of the Rockies being lazy and eating crap, and that's a common thing to hear, it's not just him.

People in other west coast states hate Californians, and Cali folks just think "you fools are just jealous."

NorCal people look down on SoCal people, and the other way around too.

People east of the Bay, like me and my Oakland peeps, think they're harder and more grounded than people that live in San Francisco, and SF people think Oakland just sucks- which it does.

People in East Oakland hate people in West Oakland, and that's partially race motivated, but not completely.

People south of 98th respect one gang, people north of 98th respect another.

People are bigoted about all kinds of things, and I think Nudes has the right idea- it's all about identifying with your own, whether that's skin or other things too.

Have I ever bullied? Yes I have, not proud of it. Have I ever been bullied myself? Yes I have. It's all about being caught without your own, in vulnerable position, where you're at a disadvantage. Ever notice bigotry's not nearly as loud when the bigot is surrounded by the 'other' people that he hates on/is afraid of?

WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, August 13, 2010 10:08:43 PM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
LadyX wrote:
I agree that it's not just race, that's for sure.

Have I ever bullied? Yes I have, not proud of it. Have I ever been bullied myself? Yes I have. It's all about being caught without your own, in vulnerable position, where you're at a disadvantage. Ever notice bigotry's not nearly as loud when the bigot is surrounded by the 'other' people that he hates on/is afraid of?


It's crickets around the lawn, when you're in the minority, huh? geek

Some of us never find ourselves in that situation. Some of us look for it.

When it comes right down to it...I wipe my ass with one hand, like most of the rest of us have to do, too.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Guest
Posted: Saturday, August 14, 2010 10:38:01 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 473,578
Willy was a good friend of mine in highschool. His family was from the Bahamas. He would sometimes call the house to talk about band stuff (we were in the marching band in school). My dad would always answer the phone, and when Willy would call, my dad would bust his chops and be as friendly as can be. He even commented on how polite Willy was. One day my dad had to pick me up from school after band practice. My dad asked if he could meet the boy that was always calling the house. I called over to Willie, my dad talked to him briefly, they shook hands and my father and I walked toward the car. Then the shit hit the fan.

My father had never given me any gifts that I could remember so vividly as when he gave me a big gold chain and gold anchor for my 15th birthday. I wore it with pride. My dad grabbed the chain off my neck, and said if I ever go to Willie's house or in a car with him and the other n------ that he would f'in kill me.

At that point, I learned quickly what prejudice was. I also learned that the person you are brought up to revere can also be an a-hole. I was confused why Willie's color suddenly made him an unacceptable. I felt sick.

I didn't stop talking to Willie and continued going to his house. I learned to break dance, and I learned after talking to Willie and his family that I had alot more to learn about prejudice.

The dumbest thing about this is that when I started school, my parents would always talk about the things that happened to me in grade school because of my non american name, my accent, and my weight issues. It was not right for the kids to treat me that way because I was different, yet now, it was okay to look at someone else differently because of skin color.

My dad was a good guy in many ways, but he had some terrible flaws and I unfortunately inherited some of them, even prejudice. However, I just try to keep my self in check and do everything in my power not to teach my daughter prejudices towards others due to any differences, and not undermine her belief in me.
sprite
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 2:30:50 PM

Rank: Her Royal Spriteness

Joined: 6/18/2010
Posts: 13,670
Location: My Tower, United States
First off, to LadyX - we ARE harder AND tougher! :)

ok, weird, seeing as how i'm little white blonde girl from California, but Martin Luthor King has been my hero for a very long time - i guess that has something to do with the neighborhood i grew up in, but that's not really relevant here. Suffice it to say, someone who fought the rascist attitudes he did and still preached peace... he was an amazing man.

ok, back on track. i am a bisexual woman, who's last partner was a woman, a period during which it became easy for me to identify as gay. My best friend is a gay man living in a committed relationship with his partner. for some reason, despite how liberal California is (where, up until 2 years ago i lived) Gays are still second class citizens - prop 8 was, to me, an announcment that gays are not equal. same with 'don't ask, don't tell'. and yes, i have seen or been a victim of bigotry more then once, simply because of sexual orintation. it's hurtful, even if you outwardly laugh it off. It takes me back to HS, when i was a little odd, the girl that could have hung out in the cute/popular clique, but instead chose to hang with the nerd, geeks, stoners, losers, whatever... didn't really matter to me if it was jealousy or insecurity when i was getting picked on.

i think, becuase of this, i have always been careful to treat people with respect unless they inisist upon giving me a reason not to - race, beliefs, sex, religion, gay, straight, bi, TG, etc... it makes no difference. no, i am not perfect, but i know for fact that i'm more likely to stand beside someone being bullied then to join in the feeding frenzy in bullying them.
Dancing_Doll
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 9:18:54 PM

Rank: Alpha Blonde

Joined: 2/17/2010
Posts: 5,979
Location: In your dirty fantasies
I think "us versus them" functions on both a macro level... and then filters down onto the micro level.

Even a subjugated group has levels of prejudice and an 'us versus them' mentality.

Recently I was reading about the "honour killings" in areas of India in particular, and how divides based on caste systems, wealth, and even shades of skin colouring can have families ready to murder their own if their child chooses to consort with "them". It seems impossible to understand this if you are of the type to not want to see (or create) these lines that separate and alienates one human being from another. Society has been set up on such a stratified level, that it seems to be part of the order of things.

Even in the animal kingdom, there are patterns of 'dominance' and 'submissiveness' of one group or another (or within a social hierarchy of one species or pack).

I think that anyone who claims they have never created those kinds of divisions or have had "us" versus "them" thinking is kidding themselves. We have all done it to varying degrees at some point in our lives.... some more often than others. Even the subjugated group will look upon the dominant group with some level of prejudice and divisiveness.

It definitely doesn't make it right, and I think it's easier for many of us to avoid prejudice on a 'macro' level, like separation or judgment based on race, religion or wealth... but on a micro level, I think that it creeps into our lives more often than we'd like to think...

Even on Lush, if you stick around long enough, you can see different cliques, and divisions forming... where one group might feel like they are either superior or different from the rest based on a shared comradery with a chosen few.



Guest
Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:16:51 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 473,578
Here's one my comedians. Just some food for thought

WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 3:35:36 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
Us versus Them is how a lot of wars have been started. That was my original thrust with this stated thought. I only posted one such -teaching moment- as a means of provoking thought ... here in the think tank about something which is a little heavier than..

How do you shave your pubes?

How big is your cock or tits that you like to ...?

World's fattest countries?

Or the ever weighty.....Should cage fighting be legalized - types of threads.

Is this too heavy of a topic to discuss in-depth? I can understand the aversion to it. Hell, it makes people actually think. Makes us confront ourselves. Makes us analyze those times when we've been on one side of a divide and demonized another group of humans ... for what gain...for us, or more specifically for 'me'.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Guest
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 5:19:02 AM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 473,578
It may be a heavy topic, and I like. Looking at my responses I played the racism card, and with the final reveal above, I think it may come down to confrontation. We have confrontations on every level. We confront ourselves everyday, we confront others everyday, and going up the line there are always two sides, unfortunately it usually comes down to us and them. We either take sides cause one is more akin to what we believe before we ask ourselves should I even take a side before I know myself more, and sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and join on sides because of the crescendo in conformity.

As for War, whether religious war, which is sometimes thought of in antiquity, but is still present, or geopolitical, it seems that there is always one side that thinks it's right. We don't seem to be able to get the fact that we are all on one planet and should think of ourselves as one. We can't get passed the need to be confrontational. Even in the forums, when a question is asked the debate seems to lean more towards confrontation than to dialog and reason. Some voices of reason I read, however, tend toward being politically correct or saving face than to spur on the conversation in order not to "rock the boat." Can't we rock the boat, and have debate, even heated debate without it getting confrontational? Probably not, and there will always be two sides to things....yeah, yeah yin and yang and all that too. In-depth discussion can lead to great enlightenment, but usually leads to confrontation, which may be the fear. Or is the fear, that we just don't want to know?

As for the cage fighting, I am against it unless the pit is filled with pudding and Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin are on the bill.

Piquet
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 6:46:09 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/12/2009
Posts: 340
Location: Adelaide, Australia
A brief autobiographical anecdote if I may :

In 1980 I returned to Athens, Greece, the city in which I was born. I was on holiday and feeling very nostalgic about the city which I had left as a seven year old to become an Australian. I went into a barbershop and in my politest Greek I said to the barber, "I would like you to cut my hair please." He was dumbstruck, as though I had insulted his mother. After a moment he asked me, "Where do you come from? Nobody speaks like that here any more."



http://www.lushstories.com/stories/quickie-sex/claudia-incarnatapart-vii.aspx
WellMadeMale
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 9:27:00 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
I just started in on a book written by a gentleman in 1989, after 7 to 8 years of his own research. He was born in 1953, so he's got a few years on me. But as a young American boy he grew up watching 1960's television shows and his experiences with some of that television drama was similar to my own.

He and his childhood friends cut their teeth, so-to-speak, on TV programs like COMBAT with Vic Morrow and The Rat Patrol - as well as War movies of the 40's, 50's and 60's. He and his brothers and friends would then go outside into their back yards and pretend to be those 'heros' they saw portrayed on their parent's black and white television sets. Complete with the plastic machine gun props, commonly found during that era of 'childrens toys'.

Of course, he was at the perfect age to have been drafted to go play real war games in Vietnam, but there is no biography of the author, so I don't know if he ever served in that skirmish/fiasco.

This book that he spent nearly a decade researching over 80 other well known and not so well known texts from the 1950's as far back as the Mesopotamian era, is so far...(I'm on page 80 of 444 pages)...numbingly informative, complex but written well enough to follow all the threads and his theories (so far).

Why does mankind war upon one another - was his main question which he tried to determine.

Why has man always warred on one another. Also, why does the Bible advocate warring/genocide/horrendous acts of mass murder, wrath, deprivation, starvation, pestilence, plague etc...yet at the same time, it repeatedly implores man to live a good life according to the 10 commandments (as well as slave to and for god's benefits)? Yet, in the Bible there are numerous passages where 'god' and his agents just threw those 10 commandments out the window and did their own killing (and then - tried to justify it).

What causes conflict to escalate to the point where two tribes or kingdoms or nations (or more, when you toss in allies) where total genocidal annihilation seems to make the most sense?

I'm just getting into his writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, where the inciting of conflict by a third party was discussed in-depth and promoted (with caveats and warnings) by that philosopher.

It is a very probing, troubling, inward looking book. And it is causing me to read it very slowly to digest what I'm trying to comprehend.

I have not read something like this (this deep) since university textbooks of advanced mathematics (which I am not proficient at understanding, either) - over 20 years ago.

The following is taken directly from the author's book - merely as an example to show. (William Bramley) -

One of the most famous philosophers to discuss third-party manipulation as a tool of social and political control was Niccolo Machiavelli, the sixteenth century philosopher. Although Machiavelli was not the first to write about these matters, his name has become synonymous with unscrupulous political cunning.

Machiavelli authored several unsolicited "how-to" manuals for the benefit of a local prince. Those writings have become literary classics. In them, Machiavelli describes several of the techniques used by various Italian rulers to maintain control over a population. One method was to breed conflict.

In his treatise, The Prince, Machiavelli wrote:

Some princes, so as to hold securely the the state,
have disarmed their subjects, others have kept their
subject towns distracted by factions [disputes]

Machiavelli cited a specific example:

Our forefathers, and those who were reckoned wise,
were accustomed to say that it was necessary to hold
Pistoia [an Italian city] by factions and Pisa by fortress;
and with this idea they fostered quarrels in some of
their tributary towns so as to keep possession of them
the more easily.

Human disunity was a valuable commodity to the princes because it made the people less able to mount a challenge.
Machiavelli described the exact steps to be taken by anyone wishing to employ this tool.

The way to set about this is to win the confidence of the city
which is disunited; and, so long as they do not come to blows,
to act as arbitrator between the parties, and, when they come
to blows, to give tardy support to the weaker party, both with
a view to keeping them at it and wearing them out; and, again
because stronger measures would leave no room for any doubt
that you were out to subjugate them and make yourself their
ruler. When this scheme is carried out, it will happen, as always,
that the end you have in view will be attained. The city of Pistoia,
as I have said in another discourse and appropos of another
topic, was acquired by the republic of Florence by just such an
artifice; for it was divided and the Florentines supported now one,
now the other, party and, without making themselves obnoxious
to either, led them on until they got sick of their turbulent way of
living and in the end came to throw themselves voluntarily into
the arms of Florence.

Despite the effectiveness of this technique, Machiavelli advised against using it because it can backfire on the perpetrator. The success of the technique depends upon at least one of the manipulated parties not being aware of the true source of the problem. If both parties should discover that they are being manipulated into hostilities by an outside third party, not only will those hostilities usually cease, but the parties will, more often than not, unite in a common dislike for the perpetrator. This phenomenon can be observed on a personal level when two friends discover that a third "friend" has been saying derogatory things about each one to the other behind their backs. For the technique to be effective, the perpetrator must remain hidden from view as the source of the conflict.

To summarize the observations of Machiavelli, we find that breeding conflict between people can be an effective tool for maintaining social and political control over a populace.

For the technique to be effective, the instigator must do the following:

1. Erect conflicts and "issues" which will cause people
to fight among themselves rather than against the
perpetrator.
2. Remain hidden from view as the true instigator of
the conflicts.
3. Lend support to all warring parties.
4. Be viewed as the benevolent source which can solve
the conflicts.


Sometimes the internet is so fcking cool...you can find anything you want - when you use it, it seems.

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Guest
Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 5:32:01 PM

Rank: Lurker

Joined: 12/1/2006
Posts: 473,578
I hate quoting posts, so just look up and you will know what I am talking about. Are you trying the mac theory on us? HAHA.

My take on this small nugget of the authors overall theory, since it is 444 pages, is present today. Government knows that there already exists a rift amongst Americans. The us v. them amongst american's was, at least to me, most apparent with the Civil War. Brother v. Brother on a political and ideological level. Since then, we have continuously let our differences get the better of us, and government, in order to control the masses sometimes fuels a fire that seems to "bring the country together" as is always said in times of war with other countries. Not saying that some wars that we have entered into were not for the best reason as in WWII where it was apparent to all that Hitler was truly a demon and needed to be stopped. However, soon after, we started in different ways to turn on one of the allies, Russia, since there was nothing left to fight about. We then were fed the great threat of communism, hell, we knew what they were about. Please, a doctrine written by a guy who was writing about trickle down theory while he was being fed and housed free of charge in England, and then bit the hand that fed him through his writing. However, it was okay since they were an ally and we probably could not have won that war without their help, and Greece for that matter (shout out to my hommie from the motherland).

Since then, we have, or at least government has known that a rally cry to arms under the ideology of being the sole defender of democracy, truth and justice, can bring even opposing sides together to further their interest. However, after the Cuban Missle Crises, we started to fully realize that we were human, and confrontation may not be have us on the winning side at all times. We started to question our government, and then we started to lose a couple of pretty good leaders under some circumspect ways. The leaders that were trying to bring American's together again were edited really quickly.

As for other nations, I am not certain the "rally cry", but it usually stems from the us v. them whether by religious, political, or cultural incentive, but every government has the knowledge of operant conditioning tactics that will affect the blood pressure of their constituents. We will bicker endlessly on those matters that will not have any sway on our governments decision, and the powers that be can do as they please with modest affect on the rulers course.
LadyX
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 12:16:07 PM

Rank: Thread Mediator

Joined: 9/25/2009
Posts: 4,661
Location: United States
Speaking of Us vs. Them, today Glenn Beck is "saving the republic of the United States of America" by holding his rally in Washington DC. Thank fuck for Glenn Beck! If he can't "save" our republic, who can? LOL

In case anybody hasn't heard, Glenn Beck is a radical conservative, but really popular, radio host, and he's holding a rally called "Restoring Honor" today, on the same day, in the same exact location that Dr. Martin Luther King gave his "I have a dream" speech 47 years ago.

He claims he didn't know it was the same day, and that when "god" called him to create this rally, August 28 was the day that was the most open on his schedule.

So here you have a guy who makes his living creating controversial things to talk about, demonizing huge groups of people, and practicing the politics of fear- and he's holding a rally to promote his own ideals so we can 'save' this nation. From what, I'm not sure. What is this 'honor' that needs to be restored? (those are serious questions, by the way. What the hell is he talking about?)

Will he try to bring us together and unite us, the same way that Dr. King attempted to?

With Sarah Palin as his featured speaker, I think he's clearly trying to reach out to everyone. He wants to unite, but only those who think the way he does. Everyone else? Feel free to deport yourselves.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 7:42:10 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,068
Location: United States
Not for nothing, LadyX, but Glenn Beck it pretty much an empty suit. He's a parrot. The movers and shakers in the Republic Party send him lists of talking points, and he pretends they're his own ideas. Kinda like a certain President we had from 2000 to 2008. I'll admit, sometimes I like something he says, but then again, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

WellMadeMale
Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 9:02:43 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
There is story from World War I worth sharing.

It is the tale of an unusual peace. It was told in Parade magazine by the writing team of Irving Wallace, David Wallichinsky, and Amy Wallace in their "Significa" column.

Here is the story as they wrote it:

Amid the horrors of World War I, there occurred a
unique truce when, for a few hours, enemies behaved
like brothers.

Christmas Eve in 1914 was all quiet on France's
Western Front, from the English Channel to the Swiss
Alps. Trenches came within 50 miles of Paris. The
war was only five months old, and approximately
800,000 men had been wounded or killed. Every
soldier wondered whether Christmas Day would bring
another round of fighting and killing. But something
happened: British soldiers raised "Merry Christmas"
signs, and soon carols were heard from German and
British trenches alike.

Christmas dawned with unarmed soldiers leaving
their trenches, as officers of both sides tried
unsuccessfully to stop their troops from meeting the
enemy in the middle of no-man's land for songs and
conversation. Exchanging small gifts—mostly sweets
and cigars—they passed Christmas Day peacefully
along miles of the front. At one spot, the British
played soccer with the Germans, who won 3-2.

In some places, the spontaneous truce continued the
next day, neither side willing to fire the first shot.
Finally the war resumed when fresh troops arrived, and
the high command of both armies ordered that further
"informal understandings" with the enemy would be
punishable as treason.


The above is another one of those small, but noteworthy, episodes revealing that human beings do not seem to be naturally prone to war. Given the chance, they will lay down their arms and engage in far more constructive and lighthearted pursuits. What caused those soldiers to fight again were the pressures of an artificial social structure arising out of many of the factors described in this book.

-- William Bramley (The Gods of Eden) 1989

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
Woman
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 6:02:38 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/21/2009
Posts: 674
Location: Stopping the war 'tween Harold and Kumar
Strap yourselves in boys and girls... this is going to be a bumpy ride...

I am from a family of Eastern Europeans, but my father's line is a regular Heinze 57, (I am a mutt??? Rather, I have a little of pretty much everything in me.)

My father is not the nicest man in the world. Sure, he would gladly give you the shirt off his back if he could make a buck, but he is more racist than xenophobic (which I will get to soon I promise!!!). To put it mildly, my father is not white. On all the paperwork, he will mark down that he is white, but he actually has more of a dark reddy-brown skin colouring and is seriously not white. But I swear, when he looks in the mirror, he see's a man with whiter skin than my walls, and blue eyes/ Strange I know. Visually, ethnic minority though. /

He used to be a police officer, and as my sisters and I were growing up, he tried to teach us that all black people were "niggers", "lazy", "uneducated". I almost split my family up twice so far in my short life, and both times were when I was a teenager.

I was fifteen, and brought home the first boy to meet my parents. His name was Quinn. He was from Bermuda (we had met on a training exercise), and he was up in Canada on an exchange program. He was blacker than night, and I was like any young girl. Smitten. Head over heels for the guy. He made me laugh so much!!! My father opened the door to his knocking, and I heard my father start to shout.

As it turns out, his daughters would never dare dream of dating any man of colour!!! This tore my family a little, as I beleived, and I still do, that I don't get a choice in whom I have feelings for. They just are there. From that day on, I have never spoken again to my father of boyfriends until the summer of 2008.

My father and I were out on a drive that summer, and a family was out walking. I made the comment about how good it is too see a family enjoy the summer's eve, and asked if we could stop and take a picture if they would let us. (Teaching about culture and all here in China) My father said because they are coloured they would probably steal my camera and why the fuck would I want to teach about coloured people in my classroom??

My only response to him was, "You had better learn to bite your tongue father. You almost had a black man as your son in law. I've been silent for too long. Now you learn to live with my choices and not the other way around."

When it comes to seeing the world, I think I have a unique perspective on it. I was born and raised in southern Ontario, and in my classes, I had people from almost all walks of life. It was strange that one could really tell who went to my primary school, and who did not when we all started high school.

Another unique perspective started back in 2000 when I moved from the south to the north, and more specifically, Nunavut. Ahhh... the frozen desert, the arctic tundra, the treeless part of Canada... but never have I seen such wonders as I did there!!! I spent about two years up there, living with the Inuit and submersing myself into their culture. Yes, yes... eating whale blubber too (quite delicious if you ask me dipped frozen into soy sauce to be honest). And wearing seal skins, eating narwhale, listening to the elders tell stories of the magic proprieties of the tusks of the whale.

I travelled throughout Nunavut, to many of the hamlets and communities, and discovered, that the Inuit were very welcoming of anyone who made an effort to get to know their culture. But it was the people from the south (provinces) that were not racist, but more xenophobic.

The people from the south tended to stick together, do things together, but they wouldn't make a big deal about it. It was just we'd all go to the legion when it was legion night, all sit about, but it was the Inuks speaking to the Inuks, and the Kabluunak's sat together. When I started dating an Inuk, that is when people raised eyebrows.

But no one really said anything. Jamie did get lots of questions from his neices and nephews about being with a white woman, they are taught at the cradle that white people are hunters and killers- the children's songs passed down through the ages, and are now traditions- and that we are very fuzzy (body hair) like a bear.

The Inuit were amazing though, nothing more than a raised eyebrow, the generation that were our age, they were ok with it all, and the kids were just curious.

Then I moved to China.

And I could write for an age about things here. In I think it was the 2002/2003/2004 Lonely Planet guide book to China, they quote some kids, "There is no racism in China for there are no black people."

I am in a city of well over 2.4 million. This city is considered very small. We should have thirty-four foreigners in the city as teachers. We have at the moment about twenty-fiveish at last count.

I have one phrase that I follow. In my house, I am Canadian. I can live like a Canadian (with the most frustrating electrical wiring known to man, and shoddy internet, and blocked sites... but almost everything else!!!!!) but the moment I leave my house, I must compromise.

I am stared at. I am mocked. I am followed. I am harassed. I am laughed at. I am insulted. I am touched. I am spat at. I am ignored. I am pointed at. And so much more.

I hardly see this as the Chinese people being racist. I see this more as xenophobic, or just their educational system being used against them. they are taught, that foreigners are bad. Then you have the tradrationals; they hate foreigners, but will smile to our faces and be very nice, but cuss us and curse us saying we have no business in their country (sort of like people in big cities in western countries when they talk about immigrants) (which I will return at a later time to comment on as when I think or try to talk about this group I just end up frustrated and in knots and my knickers do get in a big bunch and not all that comfy!!!!!!!!), then you've got the foreigners who think the whole country is backwards and that they should change their whole system for them because, "fuck man, we are from America!" Sorry, I am venting now. I shall try to stop.

And then you have the elders. The last of the Mao era. They do all of the things I listed above, but they do not realise how anyone else but their generation might take Then I've got the kids. Who actually hurt their necks trying to look up at me.

I do not think it is racism here. I do think it is more just not knowing. They've been closed off to the world for so long, and I've actually been to villages where I take off my helmet, and people faint thinking Mao lost the war. Yup. No electricity in those villages and I think it would be safe to say, that no one has been more than a few kilometres from their house in many generations.

Hell, the number of times my male traveling companion has been offered money trying to sell me to them? But that is the way it was.

Slowly it is changing and the kids in city schools and such are being taught more than just China is the be all and end all. They are starting to learn that China is just one of many countries in the world.

Slowly and surely.... there has been great change since I arrived in 2002, not only in the way people see themselves in China, but how they see themselves in the world.

I've been a minority for almost all of my adult life... and you know... even though I know I am a minority, I really couldn't care less about it. I am treated with respect because I have earnt it. I am treated as an equal because I have earnt it. I expect no special treatment, and I receive none.

There are many who come here who are indeed racist. Bigots, and all the other words that could be used to describe people. And I really hate to say this, but the majority of them are Americans. The ones who come here and demand special treatment for they are different. But, as I said the majority; there have been Canadians, Irish, Aussie Landers, Brits and even Indians as well I've come across over the years. And myself too when I very first arrived in China. (And still do at times, especially when ill and needing a doctor.... lord help me and may the world forgive me on those days!!!!!!!!)

I do think it is/was a survival thing we had going for us, the keeping together, and I am glad that in this day and age of modernisation, that mind over matter can and does happen. Sometimes going against the grain is the right thing to do. Or if you would prefer.... sometimes swimming against the currant is the right thing...



Living life and enjoying life are two different things... just need to figure out how to do both at the same time to live it right!

Woman... GO FLY A KITE!!!!! Take a slideshow walk with me on a walk through the parks of Inner Mongolia, China. Then enjoy the tale of a very traditional day in the life of a white Woman in China.
Woman
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 6:04:05 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/21/2009
Posts: 674
Location: Stopping the war 'tween Harold and Kumar
I should have added pictures to that post. Made it more entertaining and presentable. Cést le vie. Next time!!!!!

Living life and enjoying life are two different things... just need to figure out how to do both at the same time to live it right!

Woman... GO FLY A KITE!!!!! Take a slideshow walk with me on a walk through the parks of Inner Mongolia, China. Then enjoy the tale of a very traditional day in the life of a white Woman in China.
WellMadeMale
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 9:01:30 AM

Rank: Constant Gardener

Joined: 9/30/2009
Posts: 10,210
Location: Cakeland, United States
Woman wrote:
I should have added pictures to that post. Made it more entertaining and presentable. Cést le vie. Next time!!!!!


Yes, pictures would be nice. Although, through your words, I could imagine easily. Nice post, G. Keep 'em coming. icon_smile

If ya can't beat 'em... pay someone to do it for you.
mercianknight
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 9:18:43 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,029
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
Thanks Woman, if ever there was a post worthy of resurrecting a thread....then yours was it. Excellent. thumbup

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
Woman
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:14:33 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 11/21/2009
Posts: 674
Location: Stopping the war 'tween Harold and Kumar
I was talking to one of my students about this, and got to thinking...

Where I got these from wrote:

rac·ism
   /ˈreɪsɪzəm/ Show Spelled[rey-siz-uhm]
–noun
1.
a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2.
a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3.
hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

xen·o·pho·bi·a
   /ˌzɛnəˈfoʊbiə, ˌzinə-/ Show Spelled[zen-uh-foh-bee-uh, zee-nuh-]
–noun
an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange.


Do you think most people are actually xenophobic and not racist???




Living life and enjoying life are two different things... just need to figure out how to do both at the same time to live it right!

Woman... GO FLY A KITE!!!!! Take a slideshow walk with me on a walk through the parks of Inner Mongolia, China. Then enjoy the tale of a very traditional day in the life of a white Woman in China.
mercianknight
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:31:29 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/11/2009
Posts: 2,029
Location: whispering conspiratorially in your ear, Bermuda
excellent point my dear woman.

It is far too easy to throw out the term 'racist' and having people cower in fear of the label in this overly PC world we find ourselves in. I see it all the time, often as a last resort of the incompetent. However, it is obvious to me now that we have neglected to study the xenophobic tendencies of smaller or isolated communities, preferring instead to just label them racist....I should know, I live in such a community and am just as guilty of mis-labelling.

I am going to think on this some more. Thanks.

"Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English." - Korben Dallas, from The Fifth Element

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience?" - George Bernard Shaw
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:45:05 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 8/10/2009
Posts: 2,068
Location: United States
Woman wrote:


Do you think most people are actually xenophobic and not racist???




Is there really that big of a difference?

Thinking about this topic, I imagine that I have a television that allows me to see into any particular time or place. Or a magic mirror, if you like that concept better. I use this to look into a time far back into the history of mankind, when language was first being developed, and primitive man first started living together in tribes. Each tribe would have its own clothing styles, and its own means of personal decoration. The body painting might be meant to be camouflage, or it might have religious symbolism - it really doesn't matter. As can be seen today in various parts of the world - different tribes might live in close proximity to each other but adopt very different styles of dress and behavior.

In primitive times, food would have been the primary concern of a tribe. Gathering it, hunting for it. The science of agriculture was still many generations down the road, so a tribe would have lived or died by the success of its hunters and gatherers. If two tribes both found themselves competing for the same limited resources, the stronger of the two would have survived. Maybe they would have survived by out-hunting and out-gathering their competition, but I believe it would be inevitable that the primitive hunters would see the strangers not only as a threat, but possibly even as a food source. It would have become second nature to fear anyone from another tribe; it would be natural to hate them, and to want to kill them (and eat them?) to eliminate one threat to the survival of the whole. And how would the primitive man know that the person he faced was from another tribe or culture?

Because he looked different.

Those primitive screwheads with the strongest fear, that hated the most fiercely, and were the best able to kill their competition would have survived to pass on their genes. Those tribes that were more open and tolerant of strangers would have become dinner. The genetic imperative to fear strangers based on the way they look survived. You can call it xenophobia or you can call it racism; in reality the one is just a slightly more refined version of the other.

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