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All posts for the month January, 2012

SOC 101 – Socialization Race and Gender

Published January 28, 2012 by lorijss

So I was listening to some sociology 101 SEX&Gender college class from CSUDH. 101 classes seem to be the only kind of college classes that are free, its my way of not becoming a dunce lol. The professor Segio Soto was basically saying that back in the days women were seen as properties of men. (The same way blacks where seen as properties of whites except this is much worst because it’s slavery.)The double standards that exist between men and women are slowly cracking down and I am sure that 400 years from now these double standards will be depleted. (It is like race there are double standards as it concerns blacks and whites, blacks are definitely under more surveillance in society today and maybe after 400 years etc…) The objectification of women and the objectification of blacks, is tied up with their dehumanization which then leads to violence and aggression. To objectify someone,  is to dehumanize someone to justify violence against them. There is no violence without objectification and dehumanization. Lynching of blacks in history is an example of objectification, blacks weren’t seen as human beings with emotions and feelings but just seen as objects, dehumanized to justify the infliction of violence against them. And that’s just me repeating the same thing in different words because that’s how I roll. Even up to this day there specks and grains of the black man&woman being dehumanized not like before but it’s still there.

Like race, gender is also socially constructed. Men and women are socialized to behave a certain way, the professor said, “men may say, I’m not emotional, I’m a male, I rarely cry or I don’t cry at all.” because men who cry are seen as sissys or wimps and that’s how we’ve been socialized.  And he also stated that as a male child you may have been sanctioned for crying over…anything really, you may have gotten smacked or disciplined for crying. These are all socially constructed notions of how a male should behave. But I won’t mention how society says a woman should behave because it is too obvious to mention. Professor Soto stated that all human beings have the same emotions. It is self-evident that all humans have, feelings of anger, pain, happiness, etc we all have those emotions. This is random but I want to add that we should also be grateful that we do have emotions because it means that we are breathing and we have life and life is the # one most important thing to be grateful for. Anyway, Professor also stated that as children male and females are very similar, but overtime men are socialized not to express emotions, not to be compassionate,to be rational, to be aggressive and violence may even be rewarded. You know I can’t stop bringing up race, it’s like race, children do not bring attention to skin color in anyway form or shape and white kids will play with black kids and notice no racial difference whatsoever add no weight or anything to skin color, until white kids become socialized into thinking race matters, “problems” of race only occur in adulthood as a direct result of socialization.  Or I should say kids of all races will see no differences between each other until they are socialized to see it by the respective cultures in which they will be brought up in.  As kids we don’t really see each other as different nor do we treat each other as being different until we have been socialized to think that we are more different(than we actually are) and socialized into thinking we have to act a certain way. Human beings are social animals, we think we’re just being ourselves but half the time we are really socialized into thinking a certain way. It’s debatable though how much of the way we act is learnt or socialized and how much is us being our individual selves I’d say fifty fifty. Radically speaking I’d say there is nothing inside of us, nothing we didn’t put inside ourselves, ourselves. We are all living in this one big social illusion, in one society in Africa, men wear make-up not make-up as we see it in the west but body paintings. Make-up is still body paintings and in some societies only the men wear body-paintings. It’s really the power of this social illusion that is governing our lives today, what has been past down socially and culturally from generations to generations.

Sometimes I wonder do we really get wiser when we get older  because most of the time how we were as kids are really what we need to get back to. IF you didn’t care when you were a kid why should you care now, and if you care now it is what is holding you back. How we were as kids and didn’t have a care in the world about skin color or gender and how society think a person should act on the basis of skin color and gender. Professor closed off by stating that all of society is a human construction, people got together and created these ideas which are now governing all our lives,  these ideas have been built on top of each other, some ideas die, some things change on the surface and some things remain the same. I’m going to close by saying that there is really no difference between men and women more than the biological differences that we have been born with. There is no difference between human beings of different skin color than socially created differences that have been worked up to benefit one group over the other.

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MLK (Martin Luther King)

Published January 27, 2012 by lorijss

In the post civil era there is a new type of racism that is wide and rampant today: color-blind racism. This article explains this new form of racism that most present-day whites are unaware of.

MLK (Martin Luther King)& the era of Color-Blind Racism

Look!  some quotes by Martin Luther King:

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
Martin Luther King, Jr. The Negro needs the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him from his guilt.
Martin Luther King, Jr. We must use time creatively.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Many whites want discussions of racism to be done and over with but the truth is it still exists even in the most subtle ways ever. Color-blind racism is a new kind of racism that exists today, not the old KKK kind of racism but the color-blind racism. Colorblind racism (1970- ), also known as aversive racism,  is racism that acts as if skin colour does not matter – even when it does. It is the most common form of racism among white Americans who grew up after the fall of Jim Crow in the 1960s. A part meaning of it in my words is that It is also the perpetration of stereotypes of African Americans and other people of African descent by whites. For example, when whites view media they see an image of people of African American portrayed in the media and believe that all people of African decent fit into stereotype mold or stereotype box. When present day whites believe these stereotypes of African American’s (the same stereotypes that their forefathers originally created and impressed upon U.S society), when present day whites believe these stereotypes they add some more stereotypes of their own and when they act upon these stereotypes subconsciously or consciously this is called prejudice. Thus the viscous cycle continues and endures.  Like I said there really is no image of blacks, but an image that whites forefathers and ancestors created of blacks and sustained subtly by their fore-children(present-day whites) throughout the timeline of history to the present. Like I said this “image” is what whites make of it and what whites make of it will affect the daily lives of Hispanics, blacks, etc why because whites are still dominant in positions of power, dominant economically, socially, culturally etc.  Stating that Hispanics are now becoming the majority proves nothing because Hispanics are not the majority in positions of power, whites are. Reminds me of Haiti and Jamaica where people of African decent where the majority during slavery days in the 1600-1800s and whites were the minority, but being the majority didn’t stop the fact that slavery of people of African descent(who were in the majority) existed in the Caribbean for 300 years. If you’re white you will never truly know what it is like because you are not on the receiving end of color-blind racism. You can try as best as you can, and that is fine it shows whites progress against color-blind racism, but you are still not in the shoes of someone who is of African decent. My experiences at an excessively white institution such as BYU and my experiences here in NYC as showed me that color-blind racism is rampant and at large. As long whites remain the most segregated racial group in all of the US, color-blind racism will exist. The color-blind worldview preaches that there is a thing called a neutral and colorblind society when the “laws” and goals about educational gains and social mobility have been designed & created by whites, for whites in other words to benefit whites and passed off as universal and just laws. It can’t truly be universal and just when these “laws” benefits whites at the expense of people of African descent or Hispanics or any other group for that matter. Was reading this article on facebook by Dr. Darron Smith, he stated that the responsibilities of educating whites shouldn’t be the responsibility of people of color instead it is antiracist whites who must shoulder that burden. These anti-racist whites would have been or would be schooled by people of African descent because they able to teach about the realities of racial oppression and how whites benefit from race supremacy. In order for this country to reach what it could be. I just think that Whites need to step aside from their positions of power and/or be more welcoming of people from other races &diverse backgrounds and stop being afraid. That was my experience with whites at BYU the majority were afraid to interact with people of color and at the Black Student Union, every person of African decent have had the same or similar experiences at BYU. When whites refrain from interacting with and forming meaningful friendship or any form of relationship with people of African descent they will continue to have stereotypes of people of color, continue to have prejudices, & there will continue to be inequality in the way power& money is distributed in the society because it is evident that whites continue to dominate positions of power. Barack Obama is a very good step forward (it’s a start) but there is more to be achieved to come to the realization of what Martin Luther King preached. Now MLK day isn’t celebrated in Jamaica for obvious reasons, not specifically apart of Jamaica’s history we do celebrate peeps like Marcus Garvey though.

The dream that Martin Luther King aspired in his speeches are still yet to be fulfilled in this time and age. Is it but a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained?

Sh*t White girls say to Black girls

Published January 26, 2012 by lorijss

I was reading this blog post Not Everyone’s Laughing At “Sh*t White Girls Say To Black Girls” where a writer commented on the Sh*t White girls say to Black girls video that went viral on the web. So there was this debate going on in the comments section of the blog and I just had to jump in just because I read this argument that this dude Clive posted.

Clive:
“I am going to say up front I don’t understand why some white people were offended by this video. I found it hilarious. Satires of life are great because there are kernels of truth to them, and the girl who produced the video clearly has a great eye for it.

But I do have some issues with the tone and implications of this article. While I get the author’s intent with this article to define privilege as an important factor in determining what constitutes a racist comment, she is missing the forest through the trees. White people do not inherently see black people as beneath them. Establishing that whites have ‘privilege’, as if society has a system in place to keep black people down and white people up, is both antiquated and ludicrous, not to mention self-defeating. Did that used to exist? Yes. But decades of affirmative action and government programs, and most importantly cultural changes, have created a white population that is not anti-black and denigrating towards African-Americans. Instead, it is, simply put, indifferent.

I know it is difficult to hear, but the only people holding back black people today are black people. Paranoid, imagined attacks from the majority culture and a desire to avoid ‘being white’ have led over the past few decades to the destruction of the African-American family, and mindset that learning and education are traits that should be avoided. The community has (generally) become an entitlement culture that blames everybody else for their problems, and then complains that people are ‘looking down on them’. Well guess what! That is not due to any sort of belief that blacks are ‘inferior’. It is due to a general disgust with what the culture has become: a slew of single parent families, rampant with crime and drug use. Italians, poles, asians, etc have all come to this country and have been discriminated against by the majority culture (at one point WASPs). Yet nobody looks down on them anymore. Why? Because they worked to make themselves something and have earned respect. It’s not racism, it’s realism- it has nothing to do with skin color or ethnicity. I would hire a qualified African-American in two seconds over a white person because I know he/she had to fight through the plantation mentality of his own community to become something, and I want to encourage that, because sadly, that is exception not the norm.

Take for instance what happened in 2010 at a poor inner city school in South Philadelphia. The school was comprised of African-Americans and Vietnamese immigrants; the Vietnamese students were working jobs after school and still getting A’s while the African-American kids were failing out and in fact beating the Vietnamese kids up for being too ‘brainy’. Can anybody say with any credulity that the MAIN reason these students are underperforming is because of the racist ‘establishment’? Or should African-Americans maybe start looking closer to home for the problem?

I get that it’s hard to grow up in a black community in this country and excel, or indeed, that it’s awkward to be the only black person in an affluent white community. But for Christ sake stop complaining about institutional racism, and how white people are racist for calling a spade a spade. ‘Microracisms’ only exist because many white people have (unfortunately) also gotten used to the image projected by the black community that blacks don’t do things like get an education or a white collar job. That is not because whites don’t believe that blacks CAN do this, it just surprises them because they see the opposite on a regular basis, because blacks have framed such things as ‘not-black’. As a result, when an African-American does get an education and work in that sort of job, there is an awkwardness because comments that would normally just be matter-of-fact jokes or statements about the difference of one’s appearance get tied to the black person’s community, and triggers the mindset that the white person is being racist. Of course, some comments may overstep the line. But I would say in general what the author is talking about is a paranoid, oversensitive way of framing meaningless comments.

If there is any sort of condescension from whites/asians to blacks it is because blacks as a culture expect preferential treatment because they are ‘worse off’. That mindset in itself implies one is above the other, and it is self-defeating for blacks. Idealistic white (and asian) graduates can spend years helping kids in the inner city, but the fact of the matter is NOTHING will change unless blacks try to fix their community values and start acting like rolemodels for their children. There would be no racial ‘privilege’ in this country if African-Americans just realized deep-down that they’re as capable as any other race to succeed, and started doing something about it. Articles like this do nothing to fix this problem, and only act as a sounding board for more ‘poor me’ statements that create unwarranted and unecessary indignation at the ‘establishment’. It’s well past the time to bury this immensly stale, 40 year old conversation.”

Me: Clive, I can understand what you have to say but I can tell that you are of European descent and don’t truly understand (and will never truly understand) what it is like to be African American or African descent in the United States. You seem to have a genuine concern but even has you talk about whites, not all whites fit your descriptions “That is not because whites don’t believe that blacks CAN do this, it just surprises them because they see the opposite on a regular basis, because blacks have framed such things as ‘not-black’.” Why should it surprise whites (when blacks seemingly step up in life), this is contradictory, the only way it would surprise whites is if whites were usually subconsciously thinking of African Americans as lesser and “inferior.” Even if African Americans perpetrated this notion of inferiority,(and African American do not) whites do not do any justice when they agree also. It’s like someone telling them self that they’re ugly and another person saying yes it’s true you really do look ugly. This obviously doesn’t help the situation.

You seem to be making generalizations about the African American community. For example, you argue that the African American community itself projected an image that blacks don’t do things like get an “education” or a “white collar-job”. You ignore the responsibilities of whites in perpetrating this very notion, one way in which whites can perpetrate this very notion is by simply believing that blacks simply don’t get an “education and white-collar jobs.” Just the simple act of whites believing these notions contributes to its perpetration, multiplication, &endurance in society today. These negative notions of African Americans have originally stemmed from whites themselves, historically, and its continued existence continues to be harbored by present-day whites themselves. Whites in the 21st century do no justice by believing and accepting(not even an ounce) what their white ancestors have already done. Whether or not it may appear to present day whites that blacks themselves portray this supposedly negative, anti-progressive “image” of themselves. This “image” is really what whites make of it.

Again, regardless of the “image” that you claim blacks have themselves perpetrated, the root cause of this supposed “image” is from that of the dominant socially, culturally, and historical, ideology of whites. Yes it’s a “plantation mentality” that stemmed from whites and your arguments seem to elude this important point that this “plantation mentality” was orchestrated by whites themselves over a very very long period of time. The truth is: even if some African American subcultures appear to not believe in getting an “education” and “white-collar jobs” this very ideology was perpetrated by whites themselves, over the course of history, to benefit themselves at the expense of blacks. Whites being the majority, during slavery and decades after slavery was abolished, have impressed this belief &ideology upon blacks that blacks are too inferior to actually get an “education” or a “white-collar job.” Some African Americans, keep in mind not all, have used these views to validate themselves, internalized it, over the course of history and remember we are talking about 400 years of slavery and the decades following its abolition. This kind of view(I should have written internalization) has been passed down from generation to generation through subconscious socialization and still exists in some African American subcultures. The issue now, is where to draw the line between white responsibility and black responsibility. And since whites are privileged have the most social power, due to the backbone of slavery, then it would appear that whites would have the most responsibility.

Clive: “@Lori-Ann- Those are fair points. I have never debated, and do not debate, that the inception of the “inferiority complex” blacks have for themselves today was created by whites centuries ago on the plantation. In fact, I would say we probably only disagree about who has the larger impetus and power to change this mentality today. Although it is fairly clear this mentality is recycled constantly by whites and blacks, which has kept it alive, out of the two factors that can help break this cycle 1) societal help through transfers, affirmative action, media campaigns, etc and 2) blacks as a community actively working to break out of the ghetto, rebuild families, and acquire education- I believe the second to be VASTLY more important. 1) is important for confidence building and a leg up, no doubt, but 2) is what actively effects the change.

This is going to sound asinine (although from what I gather, at least 80% of the board already loathes me, so whatever), but regardless of what someone has done to you, at the end of the day the responsibility is one’s own to move past it. White’s were horrible to blacks. Whites get it. They have apologized, and over the last 40 years they have tried through government programs and resocialization to try and make up for it in whatever way they possibly can. No, it doesn’t fully make up for it. But nothing ever will. Whites can’t give blacks good lives on their own. At a certain point- and that point is now- blacks have to accept that the old society that actively discriminated against them is gone and has been gone. They’ve got to forgive the kid who bullied them in middle school and bury the wounds.

Whites aren’t indoctrinated in school or by (most of) their families about blacks being “inferior”. Whites aren’t born today in a society where things are “separate yet equal” or where restaurants, seats, and water fountains have “whites only” on them. And neither are blacks. That era is over- and white kids today have no conception of it, and are frankly blameless, because they didn’t participate in it. In the same vein, blacks born today are victimless, because they never personally experienced it. Discriminations developed by whites today are based on what they see- and it’s frankly not pretty or easy to engender respect for what one sees in the inner city. Indeed, after spending time in there for awhile, even sympathy goes out the window. The only way the issue will end is if blacks as a demographic take the initiative to change their situation. That will involve government help yes, of course. But it will require help from role models, ESPECIALLY black ones. And as an earlier poster pointed out above, families in particular. I know it’s complicated and not (apologies for the pun) black and white, nor are the solutions easy or overnight, but at the end of the day forgiving whites and moving on is the only way blacks are going to find a better world for themselves. It is the first and most crucial step. And there is nothing anybody else in this increasingly mixed race country can do or spend or feel to change that.

I’m done. Thanks for the discussion, though I’m not sure all of you are grateful. At any rate, to those who reflexively attacked me and my points, I hope some of what I talked about above regarding the uselessness of resentment towards whites someday speaks to you. To those of you who corroborated my statements, thank you for the support and perspective. And to those who engaged me with civility even when disagreeing thank you for the respect. Good day all.”

The end.

I would have to say, not bad at all. I would say about 60% of whites who try to articulate the points that he is trying to make would come off as blatantly racist& or  ignorant(stereotypical, prejudice, discriminatory). (You know in the future I would do research on this when I go get a Masters degree hee hee) So I could tell that not only was this person named Clive of European descent but have had ample experiences interacting with and living amongst African Americans. This explains the concerns he has about African American social conditions. In my responses I speak of African Americans has a distant relative of  African Caribbean Americans, African Jamaicans, African Trinidadians, African..etc. but that’s a whole other discussion. Anyway the experiences of anyone of African descent living in this country seem to have some similarities but also differences, differences can also be subjective. Bla Bla, I would have to point out that he doesn’t grasp the concept of socialization. Socialization is basically when a person is brought up to act or think a certain way. This means socialization knows not whether it is beneficial or harmful to a person, socialization doesn’t have to have anything to do with if something is right or wrong. Socialization is basically a puppets on a string concept, the strings are being controlled by the ones with power. Nah I don’t think that explains it well. Ok you have been brought up to think and act a certain way even if that way is working against you, or working to harm you, socialization has no morals. He mentions history but  seems to ignore socialization and it’s effects on the subconscious minds of generations upon generations, socialization is more powerful than it seems to be.Thus socialization is ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained.Oh that explains the racial slurs and insults that exist today.

That’s basically the concept he doesn’t grasp well if at all because European Americans have been brought up to believe they have no culture and that other racial groups do but there’s(European Americans) is right, just, and normal. So the concept of socialization may be difficult to get across to many European Americans especially those who have been brought up in segregated white communities(usually upper or middle class and can go a whole year without actually seeing a black person in person. But dang it took me a while to really analyze and comprehend what Darron Smith meant when he radically stated that “all whites are racists” even today right now in the 21st century. Now that’s a whole other thing. Put it this way it may take another 300 years for us to reach true equality(sooner the better). yea put it that way, to truly do away with the specs of an institution that lasted 400 years, it might take a couple more decades. 

Like I said before the issue is really where white responsibilities start and end as it relates to the African American experience. Meaning where do you draw the line when you say oh whites are responsible for that, but African Americans are responsible for that. This is where it gets really complex. Of course African Americans should have some form of self-responsibility for their lives because I think that part of being a human being is having self-responsibility. Without adequate self-responsibility you cannot live a full life or realize your own potential. I believe that whites have much greater responsibilities (these includes, self, social, cultural, historical,political& economical responsibilities) because they are the ones that are dominantly in positions of affluence, prestige and power. Whites just have to realize it and know that all that affluence, prestige, power was inherited for the most part from their white ancestors and doesn’t have much to do with their “hard work” and “determination.” Whites simply have to be more willing, to be welcoming of multiculturalism and openly accept multiculturalism/racial and cultural diversity in their own personal and supposedly professional lives. Sociological statistics state that whites are the most racially segregated group in the US. You will find 100X more all-white, only-whites neighborhoods, schools etc in the US than any other racial group. Whites need to diversify their lives in order to melt away all these stereotypes and prejudices that they may have of other racial groups.Multiculturalism&diversity is the solution homies!