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Interesting Article Re Byu Student Fighting Racism


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26 minutes ago, pogi said:

In other grammar related news:

AP says it will capitalize Black but not white.

https://www.ksl.com/article/46778723/ap-says-it-will-capitalize-black-but-not-white

I hope they will follow through with their other idea when talking about who has supposedly discriminated against Black people. 

“White doesn't represent a shared culture and history in the way Black does,” The New York Times said on July 5 in explaining its decision. 

So who has discriminated against Black people if not whites???

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15 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

First, i would state that being mixed is not the same as being black. I look significantly different than my full black siblings. I’m significantly lighter, my hair’s different, my racial identifiers can be a little bit chameleon, based on where you see me and when. Growing up in a white/mexican american family i still stood out. From time to time i’d experience the hard stare in the south. But i’ll never forget the difference of walking and interacting with one side in UT compared to with my black side. The attention and interactions were often notably different. Not all the time. But consistently none the less. My bio-dad had found ways to diffuse the awkwardness with people he interacted with. He’d tease them and warm them up and make it less awkward. But i never experienced that walking with my white mother or lighter siblings. 

He, my nigerian born step-mom, and my peruvian husband all share a lot in common as immigrants. But being an immigrant doesn’t fully account for some of the other treatments and experiences my bio dad in a place and time that was really REALLY white. My husband also sees the racism that exists in the US.

 

My experience of being mixed in the US also differs. In the sense of upward mobility that’s honestly too hard to say. My circumstances were easier in a lot of regards growing up than my next brother in line who ID’s white (he’s half moroccan but with no connections to said side). His start was ROCKY. Mine was mitigated by a lot of factors and I recognize that at key moments i was extremely lucky/blessed with people who helped open opportunities for me to walk through. If we hadn’t moved from a neighborhood going down hill to a more upper middle class texan town I would have never had my young women’s group that gave me better models for happiness and more stabe friendships. If i hadn’t had my “college coach” (a member of our ward) to help me navigate getting into school, i may have never made it to BYU. If I hadn’t connected with the dean and my future chair while in my undergrads - both interested in helping minorities succeed and develop - i may have not made it into my master’s program. I didn’t have nearly the amount of experiences other candidates had because I couldn’t afford to. I needed to work to barely make ends meet with limited help from family. At each transition in my life i had supportive usually white figures who knew there were likely racial and familial disparities that could act as barriers for me to move forward. I doubt any of them would assume they did much, but what they did do in essence was use their privilege and opportunities to help me out at very crucial periods in my life. 

Being mixed both afforded me some white privilege while also experiencing racial biases/prejudice. One of my big concerns raising my daughter is raising her in UT. My black siblings are all generally good and relatively well adjusted though my teen black brother has already experienced police issues. They all had more opportunities than some of their peers. My half navajo brother’s mom knew this and had him sent up off the reservation to my dad’s better school system to help assure a better future for him. But my half-sister who i havehad  limited contact to and she in turn has limited black contact growing up in UT county...well her journey was rough. And some of that’s familial with her immediate family. Some of that is race based. She seemed to accept blatant racist bullying with a shrug and sense of normalcy that horrified me. She had an eating disorder in high school. She had a very poor sense of who she was as a person. She’s also the sibling that looks the most like me. She’s not the only story i’ve heard of rough development as a racial minority in UT. I didn’t have that. Most of my childhood I didn’t stand out. My friends were always diverse. And so i’ve been looking for ways to mitigate the problems i’ve seen happen from raising a child in a very white state. And i’ve seriously contemplated moving out of the country for a time while they’re young to broaden their view. 

I guess that’s a long way of saying it’s complicated. But I wouldn’t say I’m handicapping my child by teaching them about potential racia issues may come up. My daughter also has a genetic (non-visible) disorder. Due to her needs, i’ll teach her what she needs to be aware of and the best ways to care for her health and manage the disorder. The US has problems that are based on historical and current racism. In order for her to grow healthier i want her to be aware of these and understand the best ways to manage it. 

With luv, 

BD 

Thanks for sharing.  I do have to say, if your goal is to expose your children to diversity, I doubt you will find another country where they will experience more diversity than at thanksgiving dinner at your father's, mother's, and in-law's homes with Black/Nigerian, White, Mexican, Moroccan, Navajo, and Peruvian, or some combination of those :)  I don't think I realized how eclectic your background is. 

I just want to clarify that I am not trying to diminish the very real and harmful effects of racism/prejudice on society.  My argument is more about method of addressing these issues than denying that they exist.  In terms of poverty though, while it may play a minor role, I do not believe that skin-color is the primary factor today for generational poverty.  I truly believe that if we eliminated systemic and individual racism from the earth, poverty would still largely follow the same generational lines as we see it happen in white families.

I also appreciate you pointing out the socio/cultural influence which profoundly affected your life in positive ways, from moving to a different neighborhood, to young women's group which modeled transformative cultural values.   My main point is that I believe those, and other (especially family), cultural influences are more powerful than skin color in determining life outcome and well-being.  

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But I wouldn’t say I’m handicapping my child by teaching them about potential racia issues may come up.

I totally agree and would not suggest otherwise.  Teaching about the potential racial issues that might arise is highly prudent.  I certainly am going to preventively prepare my children for the discrimination, stares, derogatory names, and rude comments that will come their way because of the color of their skin, hair, and eyes.  But it will not be in a "they are privileged and you are not" type of way - or, "you can't feel/be privileged until they change".  My kids are not going to feel dependent upon others for their sense of privilege and well-being.  That is the message I hear from "white privilege".  There is no empowerment in that message, and it will only engender generalized racial resentment and reinforce skin-color divisions/stereotypes (both ways).

Non-albino privilege is not a mindset that I will instill in my children. 

Edited by pogi
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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I'd be interested in hearing perspectives on this story: Rutgers English Department to deemphasize traditional grammar ‘in solidarity with Black Lives Matter’

More here:

This seems like a pretty bad idea.  "The soft bigotry of low expectations" comes to mind.

At 17, I joined the Army and spent a year learning Russian 8 hours a day in a military language school in California.  At 19, I entered the MTC and started studying Mandarin Chinese, and then continued that study for two years while serving my mission in Taiwan.  At 21, I returned home and enrolled at BYU and majored in Chinese.  During this time I not only studied Chinese in school, I also continued to study it in a military setting.  Some years later, I enrolled in law school and started studying how to write "like a lawyer."

In all of these linguistic efforts, the objective was to help me assimilate into a broader culture and milieu.  My military instructors would have done me no favors by teaching me "non-standard" Russian so as to accommodate my "disadvantage" of it being a second language.  The whole point is is to overcome that disadvantage, rather than let it predominate over my efforts.

The same goes with Chinese.  A missionary could hope for no better compliment about his Mandarin than to be told that he sounded 标准 (biāozhǔn), or "standard."  Conversely, it was discouraging to have people comment about my 美国口音 (Měiguó kǒuyīn), or "American accent."  The objective was not to broadcast my Americanness, but to fit into the Mandarin-speaking milieu.  There was plenty about me that was obviously "American."  I sought to honor the Chinese culture by gaining some measure of proficiency in its language.  It would have been, well, pretty weird for me to insist on maintaining habits of pronunciation, cadence, grammatical structures, vocabulary, etc. that mark me as an outsider and novice.  Or worse, as a person not particularly interested in mastering the language.  

I am grateful my military instructors, my MTC instructors and fellow missionaries, my professors at BYU, etc. were more interested in helping me learn and grow than in pandering to me.  The whole point of learning and education is to push us out of our comfort zones, to introduce to us new ideas and new skill sets.  To equip us to participate in the work force in meaningful and effective ways.

Rutgers is, I think, doing a disservice to its students.  Instruction in English should be about . . . instruction in English.  Not indulging in distractions about "'anti-racist' directives and initiatives ...including an effort to deemphasize traditional grammar rules."

Thanks,

-Smac

I was confused when I read the title to the article..... and then read what they quoted from it;

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"“This approach challenges the familiar dogma that writing instruction should limit emphasis on grammar/sentence-level issues so as to not put students from multilingual, non-standard ‘academic’ English backgrounds at a disadvantage,”

Why does the title say the opposite?  lol.  Could the title be crafted in a way to get people riled up?  First of all, they aren't beginning some new effort to deemphasize traditional grammar rules, but actually challenge that particular common teaching strategy in writing classes.  Secondly.... the department chair's email is incredibly long and discusses many things.  The only time that grammar is mentioned is in the very short section that is quoted in your post.  Why lead off with that misleading title when the focus on "critical grammar" was such a tiny part of the initiatives they are proposing?  

 

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1 hour ago, Ahab said:

I hope they will follow through with their other idea when talking about who has supposedly discriminated against Black people. 

“White doesn't represent a shared culture and history in the way Black does,” The New York Times said on July 5 in explaining its decision. 

So who has discriminated against Black people if not whites???

What “other idea”?  I don’t understand your question and how it relates to the article.  Do you mind expounding?  Thanks

Edited by pogi
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i don't have much to say on this topic other than from my own experiences.  I spent most of my young life as a poor white boy who was raised in many poor neighborhoods among other poor whites, and browns, and blacks.  No Asians that I can recall.  In central Texas, mostly in and around a small city called Waco.  And I often got picked on, for some reason, by people of various backgrounds and various colors of skin.   i didn't pick on anyone myself, though.  I don't know why or why not.  I just didn't see a good reason to pick on other people, I guess.  I was mostly a loner although I did play some with other people, mostly my brother and sometimes with my 2 sisters. I got along pretty well with most people though.  It wasn't because I didn't like particular people or groups of people. I was mostly just more of an introvert than an extrovert. I did have some really good friendships though.  One of my fondest memories is of a little girl who would often make mud pies for me, while we acted as if we were married.  We were both about age 4 or 5, and we were both poor white kids who were being "babysat" by one of my aunts along with about 5 or 6 other kids.  Life seemed more simple then, in multi-"racial" neighborhoods, at least in that small city in Texas.  Later when I was about age 14 my Dad arranged for me to move to live with him in Arizona.  He and his second wife were upper middle class, and both were teachers, and well respected in their community.  My Dad was also a minister on Sundays, in another town about 45 miles away from where they lived, and they were also respected in that community.  So I felt like I was in a different world than the world I was raised in with my Mom.  And I liked the advantages of having more money and prestige.  And I liked going to church, where my Dad was the preacher.  We usually went over to another family's house between Sunday services, morning and evening, where people would cook dinner for us and help us to feel comfortable there.  I think all of the members of that church congregation were white, in Arizona, and I didn't think anything about it.  I just figured that those were the only people who lived there who wanted to come to our church. And then at age 16 I decided I wanted to live with my Mom and sisters again, even though my Dad then had custody of me, so I arranged for my Mom to have a bus ticket arranged for me whenever I would be able to get to a bus stop, for a Greyhound bus going from Arizona to Texas.  My Dad was just too strict for me, I thought, and my Mom had always let me do pretty much whatever I wanted to do.  Like walk around all over town, and stay gone as long as I wanted, as long as I was there at dinner time.  Later when I was age 19 I decided to join the Air Force because I couldn't imagine a better option.  I was too poor to afford to go to college, I thought, and nobody told me they would be willing to pay for any college expenses if I wanted to go.  Anyway, long story short, all of my choices in my life were based on what I knew and could see in whatever environment I was living in.  I liked what I liked and didn't like whatever I didn't like.  And as far as I knew, I only had the opportunities that I was aware that I had.

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I also appreciate you pointing out the socio/cultural influence which profoundly affected your life in positive ways, from moving to a different neighborhood, to young women's group which modeled transformative cultural values. My main point is that I believe those, and other (especially family), cultural influences are more powerful than skin color in determining life outcome and well-being.  

I think those are a big part of it. 

Our kids all went (and one still goes) to a very poor elementary school. I wouldn't go so far as to say that our children were the token white kids - there were usually 2 - 4 others at each grade level - but they were clearly the smallest minority. I couldn't have been happier. Pretty much all of the friends my kids have grown up with have been minorities, and I genuinely feel there is no better way to combat racism than to befriend, get to know, and love those who are different from yourself. It's pretty hard to be racist when you are best friends with Angel, Mario, Jatavius, Kinga, Zoe, Maria, and Polaris. ;) 

Anyway, back to the socio/cultural influence thing, that was something that we have seen be a significant factor. My wife has spent a lot of time volunteering at the school over the years, and whenever they have a 'college day' or something similar, there's usually no more than one or two kids in each class that think they want to go to college someday. Most of them report that their parents say school is largely a waste of time. There is little to no support for them to succeed even at the level they are at now, let alone make any sort of plan for the future.

And that's ignoring all of the other problems those kids are faced with (e.g., broken homes, physical / emotional abuse, neglect, etc.). All of that adds up to a pretty tall order to try and push back against. I genuinely respect and support those who work or volunteer in schools where that is an everyday struggle. 

 

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On 7/20/2020 at 2:48 PM, pogi said:

My MIL has no degree, hasn't worked in over 30 years, hit some financially difficult times (basically lost everything, including their home) and just got a job working at Lowes - she makes way more than $25,000/year.

And?

On 7/20/2020 at 2:48 PM, pogi said:

Strip me of my license, my degree, my job, my savings, move me to the ghetto on a salary of $25,000, change my skin color, and I would be out of that situation in not long.  Why?  Because I own something far more valuable/powerful/profitable than my skin color - my upbringing. 

Congrats.

On 7/20/2020 at 2:48 PM, pogi said:

The long-reaching chains of poverty culture are incredibly powerful. We are more limited by our cultural upbringing than anything else, and that's what makes this problem so complex and difficult to change.  By focusing so heavily on skin color, we are missing the more visceral issues. 

My "fix" for the economy is not primarily about racial discrimination but it is part of the problem.

On 7/20/2020 at 2:48 PM, pogi said:

Here is my prediction:  If we could magically eradicate racism and prejudice from America (without addressing poverty culture), in one decade we would largely see the same economic disparities that we see today following the same cultural/familial/generational lines.  It will do little to nothing in addressing economic disparities. 

I doubt the ratio of poverty in regards to race would stay the same but I do agree the same disparities would exist. It would just be more evenly distributed.

On 7/20/2020 at 2:48 PM, pogi said:

On the other hand, if we could somehow address poverty culture (without addressing skin color), and we would see significant improvement in disparity in a decade as compared to the other method. 

Doubt it. That was the thinking of recent generations when it was thought that getting everyone a college degree would somehow fix everything. The idea that everyone can come out of poverty within the current economic structure is a mirage. Individually we should attempt to improve ourselves and out position and those who do so usually do better but if everyone took that step it would not work.

On 7/20/2020 at 2:48 PM, pogi said:

By focusing so heavily on skin color while neglecting more visceral issues, we are crippling our ability to make any lasting change.  I believe that if we can address these other issues, skin color will largely become a non-issue in terms of income inequality in no time.  

I agree that there should be less income disparity between the CEO's and the dishwashers, but that is not a skin color-issue.  I believe that same problem would exist in America today if we were all white.  That is a problem of pure greed, and not white-privilege.

I do not believe racism is as dead as you imagine it to be. I do agree that we need a massive economic overhaul. We can either do it because we want to or because we are compelled to. I suspect the former would be better but we will probably go with the latter.

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16 hours ago, The Nehor said:

My "fix" for the economy is not primarily about racial discrimination but it is part of the problem.

You are stealing my line.  That has been my argument the whole time. 

16 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Doubt it. That was the thinking of recent generations when it was thought that getting everyone a college degree would somehow fix everything. The idea that everyone can come out of poverty within the current economic structure is a mirage. Individually we should attempt to improve ourselves and out position and those who do so usually do better but if everyone took that step it would not work.

I agree that college is not everything.  Why are you limiting poverty culture to having no degree?  I am a firm believer in capitalism and that it can work for everyone.  A degree does not guarantee success in a capitalistic system, but it is highly likely to get you out of poverty at least.

16 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I do not believe racism is as dead as you imagine it to be.

"Dead"?  I don't know what you think you have been reading from me.

 

Edited by pogi
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23 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

From the article:

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The library at Brigham Young University is named after a man who said if his granddaughter got “engaged to a colored boy” while she was at the school, he would hold administrators accountable. The law school there got its name from a different man who strongly advocated for blood banks to segregate donations from Black and white people so they wouldn’t be “mixed.”

The BYU chemistry building is named for Ezra Taft Benson, who suggested that civil rights for Blacks were a “communist deception.” George A. Smith, whose name is on the campus fieldhouse, said in 1949 that “Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel” within the LDS Church, which owns the university, and that interracial marriages were “most repugnant.” And Abraham O. Smoot, for whom the administration building is named, had at least one slave while arguing against emancipation in the Utah territory.

Those are just a few of the spaces that Black students at the Provo school say are hard to enter today without thinking about that history, and feeling not only unwelcome but also hurt that those people continue to be revered.

“We are living in the shadow of that,” said Déborah Aléxis, the president of the Black Student Union on campus. “And it’s painful. We are honoring these people and creating this narrative that they’re perfect and untouchable. They’re not, though. They caused harm to people like me.”

"We are ... creating this narrative that they're perfect and untouchable."  She's quite wrong here.

"They're not, though."  She's quite right here.

If we only name buildings after "perfect and untouchable people," we wouldn't be naming buildings after people at all.

We really need to get over the expectation of infallibility in leaders of the Church that is inherent in this letter.  We do not honor our ancestors because they were perfect, but because they were flawed and fallen people, and nevertheless worked to build up the Kingdom of God.

Mormon 9:31 once again comes to mind:

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Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

Thanks,

-Smac

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And the biggest problem with the sort of hyperjudgment that is being passed on historical figures, including past leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is that it leaves absolutely no room for principles that are supposed to be at the core of the Christian ethic, such as:

  • "Therefore, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."  Matthew 7:12
  • "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.  And with what measure ye meet, it shall be meted to you again."  Matthew 7:2
  • "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"  Matthew 7:3
  • "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."  Doctrine & Covenants 64:10
  • Not to mention atonement and forgiveness and so on and so forth.

And, incidentally, when it comes to leaders, haven't we covenanted somewhere under some circumstance to avoid speaking ill of the Lord's Anointed? :huh:  Just askin'! :unknw:

Edited by Kenngo1969
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18 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

And the biggest problem with the sort of hyperjudgment that is being passed on historical figures, including past leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is that it leaves absolutely no room for principles that are supposed to be at the core of the Christian ethic, such as:

  • "Therefore, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."  Matthew 7:12
  • "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.  And with what measure ye meet, it shall be meted to you again."  Matthew 7:2
  • "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"  Matthew 7:3
  • "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."  Doctrine & Covenants 64:10
  • Not to mention atonement and forgiveness and so on and so forth.

And, incidentally, when it comes to leaders, haven't we covenanted somewhere under some circumstance to avoid speaking ill of the Lord's Anointed? :huh:  Just askin'! :unknw:

"And with what measure ye meet, it shall be meted to you again."

Ominous words, methinks.   Déborah Aléxis is really setting herself up for a fall here.

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Makes me want to spit nails. I have never in my life thought of any Founding Father of our nation or any leader of the Church and focused solely, exclusively on their worst qualities! 

What makes individuals only want to do so? I don't care if you are green, if that is the way you are, then don't go to BYU. In fact, don't go anywhere because you will not find a perfect Black person anywhere so all those building names should be thrown out too.  

I want every statue, picture, memorial, street name Martin Luther King changed because he was an adulterer and that makes me feel bad. When Blacks are ready to do that and care for the feelings of others so much, then we will take down all statues, pictures, artwork, building and street names in existence. Everything can just be "A", "B" streets and we will not have artwork because no artist is perfect and we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings to look at any of the paintings of Caravaggio because he had sex with men. 

Everyone is a snow flake; all they focus on is their stupid feelings and if they are hurt or not. Grow the heck up! Be an Adult and realize that between you, me, and the fencepost our feelings don't mean jack.  

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18 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

...then we will take down all statues, pictures, artwork, building and street names in existence. 

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Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Back to the basics :) 

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@pogi Sorry if this is out of order. I wrote it on my phone in pieces whenever I had a minute or two. 

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Thanks for sharing.  I do have to say, if your goal is to expose your children to diversity, I doubt you will find another country where they will experience more diversity than at thanksgiving dinner at your father's, mother's, and in-law's homes with Black/Nigerian, White, Mexican, Moroccan, Navajo, and Peruvian, or some combination of those

Minus that she will likely never have thanksgiving with the peruvian side (they live in peru...and it’s not a holiday there obviously 😋), yes she’ll have direct access to a lot of different families and family cultures. But that was never my main concern. It’s more to do with the extended social and cultural experiences that she will have that i’m concerned about. That i have to work to help her have growing up.

 
 

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I don't think I realized how eclectic your background is. 

 

it’s quite a group i have. In my master’s we needed to draw out a cultural genogram. Where most people had 1-3 ethnic backgrounds (danish, german, english, etc)...i had about 9 or 10 in my immediate relatives and that was before i was married or had a SIL from Madagascar. It’s definitely effected how i view and experience the world and for the better, IMO.

 

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In terms of poverty though, while it may play a minor role, I do not believe that skin-color is the primary factor today for generational poverty.  I truly believe that if we eliminated systemic and individual racism from the earth, poverty would still largely follow the same generational lines as we see it happen in white families.

 

I’ve noticed that you use race and “skin color” interchangeably in several of your posts. It took me a minute to figure out why this was bothering me a little. For me those are not interchangeable. Skin color is a simple gene expression mixed with physiological responses to the environment. In no way do i think it alone has any effect on generational poverty. But skin color is not race. Race is by definition a social identifier and construction. It is how we interpret and place meaning on phisiological features. And it’s that meaning that can be detrimental and enforce historical inequalities.

As noted from the research I pointed to, I don’t think racism is currently the primary driver of poverty today. Rather that historical racism helped to create pockets of disenfranchised communities and current cultural racism and classism makes it difficult for certain groups to have equal access to services that are economically enabling. Often these policies alsi effected poor whites too. The research also noted that these factors yave effect outside of poverty...leading to greater disparities outside poverty lines. Addressing racism along with other structural factors will inevitably lead to cultural shifts within our society that also will likely lead to reduction of poverty and a focus on factors that are maintaining generational poverty and disparities in our country. Note that many movements concerned about racism aren’t solely concerned about racism as in the sense of cultural biases...but racism in the sense of increasing marginalized people’s power in society to bring greter equality in all aspects. They’re often deeply concerned on dismantling poverty. Which is why a lot of the policies and push in these orgs incorporate concerns around poverty as well.

metho

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I just want to clarify that I am not trying to diminish the very real and harmful effects of racism/prejudice on society.  My argument is more about method of addressing these issues than denying that they exist. 

What methods do you see as most effective from your POV? 

 

From my end, I don’t have a singular approach because I don’t think there’s a magic bullet that will solve all of these concerns. It will likely take both macro and micro focused efforts to change this. It will take focus on families and individuals in households as well as community and systematic shifts in how we run our government. It will take understanding the pressures that poverty places on people as well as the racial biases and systems that have disenfranchised some of these communities.

One country that i was impressed with when i visited was Taiwan, when it comes to poverty. When i was there i never saw a single homeless person. Not once. Their poverty rate is miniscule...one of the smallest in the world. And that’s reflected in many of their policies and national attitude that effectively puts a high priority on caring for the whole of society.

Spiritually i’ve been finding a lot of inspiration from the book of mormon. I’ve always been interested in what makes Zion communities and to me the BoM reads as the long process that it takes to get to a zion society. As well as what can lead to its dismantling. Tribalism and classist pride and seeking monetary gain were often major contributions to community disruption.

 

Lastly on the construct of privilege in general. I don’t think it creates resentment rather it names names a problem and experience often already felt. That experience can lead to resentment, yes. But it wasn’t caused simply by naming it. Any more than naming pointing out other social ills does. I don’t resent my siblings for having different experiences from me. And I don’t resent them for having certain privileges in this country. What i hope to see instead is recognition of that experience and greater awareness and work to reduce its effect.

 

With luv,

BD

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

We are ... creating this narrative that they're perfect and untouchable."  She's quite wrong here.

"They're not, though."  She's quite right here.

But when all that is there is the honor of the building being named after them, it is a very limited and fully positive picture being painted...this person deserves the honor. 

When you know other things, like that person considers your parents’ marriage repugnant, probably because they they produce mixed race kids such as yourself...and those you tell about how this upsets you respond by saying it isn’t a big deal or they did so many good things as if that erases the fact they would have found your existence disgusting. Yeah, I can see why that would be oppressive.  

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Last year if you polled students, how many would have known that Abraham Smoot owned a slave?

How many could have come up with something negative about him?

How many when told he owned a slave would have responded “but he was a good man and did many other things that were helpful to the Church and spread the gospel”....which does not in the least bit change the fact he owned a slave. Other things don’t make that choice of his go away or become less a choice to own a person. 

Edited by Calm
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21 minutes ago, Rivers said:

This video perfectly articulates my thoughts about racism:

https://youtu.be/XAdAAuKPAYE

He denounces racism.  Clearly.

He expresses concern about violent, disproportionate responses to racial injunstice.

He proposes that we first define terms prior to having discussions/debates about race and racism.

He notes that people in positions of power (media and politics) want to "deliberately confuse our language," and that they want to do this to manipulate people.  He recommends that we read "Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power" by Josef Pieper as a means of immunizing us against such manipulation.  

He focuses on the definition of racism, which he posits is a serious word and a serious accusation when leveled against individuals, but also one that is being "brandished casually and recklessly."  

He turns to the dictionary, which defines "racism" as "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior."  He proposes that the notion of "superiority" is an "essential ingredient."

He goes on to suggest that we compare this definition to "every instance in which we ... are tempted to accuse someone of 'racism,'" and that doing so would "dramatically simplify the debate" and "encourage conversations."

He prefaces his next point by A) saying that it is controversial, and B) asking that we "invoke our intellect as much as our passions" in considering it.  He then proceeds with his point, which is that we see Person A (belonging to a racial majority) mistreating Person B (belonging to a racial minority), and we call this "racism" based on those facts alone.  By way of example, he describes a white police officer using "excessive force" on a black civilian.  He notes that this understandably provokes anger, and is something that we want to denounce, and that we therefore jump to "racism" because that term gives us "a lot of ammunition."  He then notes that this is not an accusation we can make with much confidence without further investigation, and perhaps not even then.  He notes that this accusation requires us to discern the motives of the police officer, and to discern some notion of racial superiority held by the police officer.

NOTE: I happen to disagree with him a bit on this point.  I think a person can have racism proclivities, can dislike a racial group, without necessarily contrasting it with his own racial group.  I am not persuaded that "racism" necessarily requires the person exhibiting it to have a clear-cut race-based "pecking order."  He may just dislike, say, black people (and not because he feels white people are superior).  

Also, I think there are gradations of "racism."  

I only got to 7:30 in the video.  But so far I am impressed with his reasoning.

Thanks,

-Smac

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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

And the biggest problem with the sort of hyperjudgment that is being passed on historical figures, including past leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is that it leaves absolutely no room for principles that are supposed to be at the core of the Christian ethic, such as:

  • "Therefore, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."  Matthew 7:12
  • "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.  And with what measure ye meet, it shall be meted to you again."  Matthew 7:2
  • "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"  Matthew 7:3
  • "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men."  Doctrine & Covenants 64:10
  • Not to mention atonement and forgiveness and so on and so forth.

And, incidentally, when it comes to leaders, haven't we covenanted somewhere under some circumstance to avoid speaking ill of the Lord's Anointed? :huh:  Just askin'! :unknw:

The article made the point it is not the past racism that is the real issue, it is the current efforts of fellow students and others at justifying that racism, which is being dismissive of their experiences today as unimportant or over emotional. 
 

I thought the solution of changing all the names so that no one would be singled out and so felt to be defamed by those who respect them or are descendants or whatever wasa good idea. 
 

Ken, if we can’t speak ill of our leaders, how is that going to do anything but present a picture of them as practically perfect, one of the issues they are trying to address. 
 

Forgiving someone doesn’t change the fact they owned a slave or viewed your existence as repugnant. There is nothing wrong with trying to avoid toxic people, those who bring negativity into our lives. I don’t see any problem with trying to avoid toxic spaces as well, those that remind us of toxic beliefs and practices. 

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Ominous words, methinks.   Déborah Aléxis is really setting herself up for a fall here.

In what way is her judgment wrong?  How many times have you heard on BYU campus that George A Smith thought interracial marriage was repugnant?  Or any of the other facts listed and likely a number of other not only imperfect, but sinful beliefs and practices?

So she should just accept she should not tell people about when leaders have sinned against blacks? 
 

Talk about rewriting history.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Calm said:

But when all that is there is the honor of the building being named after them, it is a very limited and fully positive picture being painted...this person deserves the honor. 

I'm not sure that's a sufficient basis for removing honors of people from the past.  If we are going to focus on an individual's flaws to the exclusion of his merits, then we'll have to get rid of all of the honors bestowed on plagiarism-in-his-PhD-dissertation, serial adulterer, possible-accomplice-to-sexual-assault Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I'm not sure we should judge people exclusively by their worst traits.  Taken together, Dr. King made some tremendous contributions to the world.  I don't deny his flaws, but I don't think they overshadow his accomplishments.

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When you know other things, like that person considers your parents’ marriage repugnant, probably because they they produce mixed race kids such as yourself...and those you tell about how this upsets you respond by saying it isn’t a big deal or they did so many good things as if that erases the fact they would have found your existence disgusting. Yeah, I can see why that would be oppressive.  

I can't.  I am not oppressed by incorrect notions held by people long dead.  Per Mormon 9:31, our job is to neither emulate nor condemn the mistakes and sins and imperfections of our forebearers.  Rather, it is our job to learn from such things, and to give thanks to God that He has helped us see such imperfections, and has situated us so we can be more wise than our predecessors were.

Quoth our own Robert Smith:

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There are plenty of bad guys out there, including the ardent anti-Semite Martin Luther.  God takes them as they are and works wonders with them, despite their shortcomings.  Each brought elements which God sought to include in human development.  Just because Socrates, Plato, Leonardo, and some other geniuses were practicing homosexuals, does not diminish their important contributions.  

I attended BYU Law School, knowing full well that its namesake, J. Reuben Clark, apparently held anti-semitic views, and strongly opposed interracial marriage.  I just don't care.  He was wrong in some of his views, but he's dead now, and it's not my place to judge his standing before God.  My job is to learn from his mistakes, and strive to avoid replicating them.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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27 minutes ago, Calm said:
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Ominous words, methinks.   Déborah Aléxis is really setting herself up for a fall here.

In what way is her judgment wrong?  

See Mormon 9:31.

27 minutes ago, Calm said:

How many times have you heard on BYU campus that George A Smith thought interracial marriage was repugnant?  Or any of the other facts listed and likely a number of other not only imperfect, but sinful beliefs and practices?

So she should just accept she should not tell people about when leaders have sinned against blacks? 

No.  But she's not just "tell{ing} people about when leaders have sinned."

27 minutes ago, Calm said:

Talk about rewriting history.

Not me.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Calm said:

The article made the point it is not the past racism that is the real issue, it is the current efforts of fellow students and others at justifying that racism, which is being dismissive of their experiences today as unimportant or over emotional. 

I'm fairly skeptical that there are widespread efforts to "justify" racism exhibited by past leaders of the Church.

As for "experiences today as unimportant or over emotional," I'm not sure those experiences are owed reflexive and unthinking deference.  What if they are "unimportant or over emotional?"  Why can't that possibility be part of the "discussions about race" we are supposed to be having?

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I thought the solution of changing all the names so that no one would be singled out and so felt to be defamed by those who respect them or are descendants or whatever was a good idea. 

As soon as these folks also advocate that we get rid of every form of honor/tribute given to all past leaders (including African American ones), I'll give their request a fair hearing.  Until then...

I reject the notion of collective guilt.

I reject the notion that racism is some sort of original sin that is indelibly linked to each and every person who has ever exhibited it in any way (which would be . . . pretty much all of us).  

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Ken, if we can’t speak ill of our leaders, how is that going to do anything but present a picture of them as practically perfect, one of the issues they are trying to address. 

I don't think acknowledging their faults and errors is "speaking evil."  Rising up to condemn and judge them for their faults and errors, on the other hand...

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Forgiving someone doesn’t change the fact they owned a slave or viewed your existence as repugnant.

So what?  They're dead.  Let God judge them.  Meanwhile, let's refrain from condemning them, learn from their imperfections, become more wise than they were, and give thanks to God for having given us the opportunity to learn and grow in this way.

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There is nothing wrong with trying to avoid toxic people, those who bring negativity into our lives. I don’t see any problem with trying to avoid toxic spaces as well, those that remind us of toxic beliefs and practices. 

"Toxic" seems rather absurd and overwrought in this context.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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