Prejudice and Bigotry in Law Enforcement

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Firstly, I'm not ''white,'' I'm Italian and Middle Eastern, and secondly, I mentioned that I hadn't read through the entire thread, so I didn't read these references. But, if this is what Seattle posted, why is he saying this? Is it out of hate or ignorance? I've read Seattle's posts over the years, and he doesn't seem hateful. But, he seems like he lives a charmed life as a straight, white guy, and simply doesn't understand for lack of a better word, how deep racism runs in the US. It may be in part, that he doesn't see how privileged he is, and that privilege has given him more opportunities, simply by sheer luck.

    His posts (not only in this thread) have an air of nonchalance, in that he honestly doesn't see all the strife of those of color around him. Almost like a person walking through a war torn town, bombs going off all around him/her, and because they have headphones on listening to their favorite tunes, they can't hear the explosions.

    Do you wish for him to be banned?
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
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  3. CptBork Valued Senior Member

    So am I to understand that this man here

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    Will have a much better chance at a distinguished career if only he would just humble himself a little and change his name to Seamus O'Flanagan? Personally I think Ivan Konstantinov suits him better.
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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I would like to ask Seattle a question - what political party do you most lean towards? I believe you’ve mentioned that you’re a Democrat but your views slant towards the right. Not that I’m baiting you with this question lol Just simply curious.

    And if you could sum up your views in this thread in a few sentences, what would you most want members to understand about your position?
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    From my perspective he is simply ignorant of the racism in the US. That seems to be demonstrated over and over again in this thread.

    The issue I see is that if someone is truly ignorant - and they work to remain that way so they can hold a cherished belief - that is not a 'pass' that allows them to advocate anything they want based on their hard-won ignorance. I haven't seen any of that from him, though, other than indirectly (i.e. implying that the reason blacks are not successful is that they don't want to work weekends.)
  8. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Okay, I need to go back through this thread.

    The ignorance that is being discussed here, could it be due to his own privilege, that he can’t see, either?

    Seattle - do you believe that white privilege is a valid problem in the US?
  9. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    the problem isn't his privilege, its his aggressive denial that such privilege exist and has an effect. while not overtly racist he has some extremely racist and classist views which he can't handle being challenged.
  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I see, that makes sense. I’ve observed in general, when someone is privileged, he/she simply sees that life as normal.

    I think that becoming aware of privileged-thinking shouldn’t be looked at with only a sense of dread or guilt, but rather an opportunity for growth.

    I’m curious how someone truly could be ignorant though of institutionalized racism and/or white privilege? I mean, that’s what it is - systemic and engrained in most facets of everyday life in the states.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I have traditionally leaned towards the Democrats but I have issues with both parties as I have issues with "politics". The best ideas aren't owned by one "team". A thinking person, IMO, would be independent or "moderate".

    The "black lives matter" movement, IMO, and other current movements have gone too far. Now one seems to need to apologize for being a "cis gen" straight white male in capitalist "racist nation" America. If you don't spell woman as womxn you are a pig.

    If you don't feel that you are the victim of a high level of racism every day you don't understand "intersectionality". If you haven't done well it has to be due to racism and not due to any of your actions.

    White supremacy would suggest that I think the white race is superior. I don't think race is even a "thing" in this day and age. Or rather , it shouldn't be a thing. I think it's time for a post racial society.

    Skin color really means nothing. You can find those with a dark skin color who seem to face racism every day and other that have to think hard to figure out if they have ever experienced racism. No one wants to hear that. Most black people who don't live in a terrible neighborhood aren't even being heard.

    No one thinks it helps those with less to have to address what they may be doing that is keeping them down. All anyone wants to hear is, it's OK, it isn't your fault in the least. Here, have more money.

    When I was in public school the schools were segregated at first. In 8th grade there were two blacks, James and Sheldon. James was the janitor's son and he and Sheldon came a year early. We were friends and hung out on the "playground". They were nice guys.

    The next year the school was totally integrated (50/50). While in the school auditorium watching a play two black guys spit on me from the balcony. I didn't know them. They did it just because they could and they could get away with it. Just because I was white.

    After 9th grade there was a day when we had to go back to school to pick up our final report card. The front of the school grounds was full of black people just hanging out. My buddy and I went in and got our report card and before we got back in his car a group of black guys came over and punched me as I was getting in the car and they did the same thing to my friend. All strangers to us (we did call the police for this one and one was caught and convicted).

    The next year while walking through the hall in school I recognized the smallest black guy from that group. He was quiet, put his head down and didn't say anything. He always did that when I ran into him after that.

    James and Sheldon the next year never acknowledged that they knew me. If I walked by a large group of black guys hanging out and they started to jeer at me, Sheldon and James would laugh and never say, hey we know that guy, he's a good guy. By the way, none of the white guys hung out in groups and jeered as black people walked by.

    That's the way it was for the rest of high school. Literally all the problems were caused by groups of black guys. I had to walk though a large group of black students who were waiting for their bus. There was little room to even move. I was going to the gym. Just as I was near the gym this tough black guy pulled out a knife and held it at my chest and said "I can cut you". Everyone laughed, I pushed past him (and never reported him).

    Needless to say, I haven't done any of those things or anything to "black people".

    Even at that time I knew this wasn't a racial issue. I even knew that those guys had some historical reasons to have an attitude. They were just "thugs" however. Tough in groups, mild in person. The 1/3 of the black people that actually went to class and studied were just like me of course. It's not a skin thing.

    In college, grad school, work, my neighbors I only see the black people where there is no problem and I'm not even sure why were are calling them "black people". They are people.

    I haven't said that people have to change their name. I would as a parent if I could see that it was going to disadvantage my child but that's just me. What should happen is that people's names shouldn't be on resume's or job applications...just a number. That would solve that particular issue.

    I haven't said that black women are more promiscuous. Those in the "hood" who are the ones with the low assets are largely having more children that they can't afford than others. There are some violent blacks in the hood that is making the hood what it is.

    There is racism everywhere. The U.S. isn't more racist than anywhere else. Calling anyone with a point of view that you don't agree with a white supremacist or racist is just intolerant of any other opinion.

    When I was in college speakers were invited that no one agreed with from both the extreme right and the extreme left. Today that doesn't happen. A part of the left is the most intolerant of any group I've ever seen. It's not good.

    You can pig pile on me all you want (this group), call me ignorant, unaware, racist, supremacist, privileged, etc. This is a liberal group and I'm not saying anything that a more conservative group might not already agree with if they were a thinking group.

    I'm not labeling this group a thinking group however. It's a knee jerk, assume the worst, join the team or get out of here kind of group for the most part. Bells this applies to you.

    Of course it's always good to reduce racism if you can, along with poverty and unemployment. It's not good to elevate the issue just because that's the popular thing to do at the time. The biggest problem facing someone today isn't racism.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  12. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    However, a person can't really maintain a pretense of ignorance while, at the same time, suggesting that black people should change their names (to something more "white sounding," I guess?) to avert discrimination--that's pretty much a tacit acknowledgment of existing and persisting racism!
  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I appreciate you taking the time to reply. I have many questions but I’m working so...I’ll ask one for now, and return later.

    Well, two questions;

    1) What do you think the biggest problem is that we’re facing? I don’t think prejudice is the biggest, but to me, it’s one of the biggest.

    2) I think you’d like to get past race as a topic of discussion but many white people are racist, so it’s not something we can sweep away. How can the country become less divided on this issue?
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

    In some cases, yes. There are often overreactions to police murders. (And not just Black Lives Matter. Overreactions happen in every walk of life.)
    That's BS spouted by cis gen straight white males who feel threatened. I'm a cis white male; no one has ever asked me to apologize for it. I get it wrong sometimes (I have a friend with a child who wants to be referred to as "they" and I keep forgetting, for example) but I try and everyone seems just fine with that.
    Again BS. No one saying that people who have done well didn't deserve to do well. Again, that's just bleating from white people who don't want to acknowledge that they have it easier than minorities do.

    If this were a 100 yard dash, then people of all colors run it. Some are fast, some are slow. A white guy might win it or a black guy might win it. If so, great; they are athletes who deserve to win.

    Still, the white sprinters are allowed to start 10 yards ahead of everyone else.
    That would be great. We have a long way to go to get there. I don't think pretending we are already there is useful.
    This is why people here think you must be either ignorant or a white supremacist. To actually believe that you'd have to live in a basement and watch only FOX News. Racism is real and it's pervasive. And skin color means a LOT - especially if you go out in public. Driving while black is a real thing.
    Yep. And cops kill people and figure they can get away with it just because they're black. Racism.
    Agreed. Which conflicts with your statement above "skin color really means nothing."
    It is worse than some places, better than others.
    It's even worse to suppress it and say that skin color means nothing, the US isn't all that racist, and that blacks got where they are because of their work ethic, not because of any sort of discrimination.
  15. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    that requires true self reflection which is not something that comes naturally to people. it is a skill that needs to be learned and nurtured. the sweetest lies we are ever told are the ones we tell our selves. we naturally believe we are good so its hard to admit when we benefit from something bad.
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Economics is always the biggest problem for any individual (baring extreme racism, violence of course).

    You get past race by getting past it. Quit talking about it as if it's affecting you life in any meaningful way.

    I might add a post about my life, mainly for you. I don't think anyone else wants to hear it but you mentioned that I have a live of leisure and am just unaware of these things. I chose to "have a life of leisure" by not focusing on the negatives.
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Privilege is a REALLY hard thing for people to talk about. Because as soon as you say "you have privilege" then what they hear is "you didn't earn what you got."

    A big part of this is our current culture Who are our heroes? Luke Skywalker, orphan, living on a farming planet, no money or connections. He goes on to defeat the Evil Empire. And halfway through he finds out that not only he not an orphan but his father is literally the worst person in the galaxy.

    Harry Potter, again an orphan with no money, a foster family who hates him and no skills that he knows of. And he defeats Voldemort.

    Even Iron Man. Tony Stark IS a rich asshole who is the epitome of white privilege. And he can't become a hero until all that is taken away, and he's kept prisoner in a place where he is the minority. Only then does his story become heroic.

    So with a cultural background like that, no one wants to be the guy with privilege because they are the bad guys in all the stories we hear. They want to be Tony Stark after he becomes Iron Man, not before. But today's reality is that white people DO have privilege, and are often in such homogeneous environments that they can't see it - because everyone around them is like them. And they work hard! They weren't handed anything! Etc etc.
    wegs likes this.
  18. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    But suppose you’re a victim of perpetual racism, say in terms of applying for jobs. How can you get past something that is literally being inflicted upon you? Pretending like it’s not really happening? Of course, every situation doesn’t involve racism but many job rejections do stem from racism. (discrimination, in general)

    So if you were a victim of discrimination (let’s really stretch our imaginations now) - what would you do in response? Would you dismiss it, would you ignore it? Victims of discrimination and racist profiling shouldn’t have to pretend it doesn’t exist (and many try to rise above it but it’s systemic) - racists should have to change.
  19. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    True, which is why I hope forums such as sciforums, never die off. They offer a group of anonymous strangers a chance to have open, honest conversations about these topics. Seattle is being honest and while many of us aren’t in agreement with him, he is sharing where these views stem from. You can only have meaningful change if people are open and astoundingly honest.
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    My dad died when I was 3 (heart attack). I have no brothers and sisters. My mom was a teacher (for 15 years) but quit when I was born. Teachers in her day didn't get social security. They got a pension if they taught for 20 years. She didn't.

    My dad was in WWII and then had his first heart attack when he was 31. So while he did work it wasn't at high paying jobs. Yet they saved their money and paid cash for a house and a car before I was born (and then he died soon after).

    I lived in a small city in the South, in a 2 bd/1 bath house (no shower). On my father's side both grandparents died before I was born. They were poor. That grandfather committed suicide just after the Great Depression. No money there.

    On my mother's side, my grandfather died before I was born. My grandmother lived into her late 80's and I was in my 30's when she died. My mother died when I was about 40.

    My grandmother (and therefore my grandfather) lived on a farm but never had a plumbed toilet. She could have had one but didn't want one.

    She was raised by her eldest sister as her parents died young. No money there.

    My mother's dad was a farmer. He did OK as a farmer. He had 3 daughters. My mom was the youngest. She graduated college. The middle sister didn't go. The eldest sister went one year, got married and left school.

    That sister had 4 kids. When the youngest was 6, her husband was murdered (by a black man). The prosecutor asked if it was her wish to press for the death penalty. She said no, it wouldn't help anyone.

    My mom was frugal. I always had food (and clothes). She saved everything that she could. When interest rates were high in the 80's she put as much as possible into bank CD's. She never used credit, no mortgage, no credit card. She never flew on a plane.

    As you can see, there was no "white asset" that was passed down from the slave days to the present. There was no money passed along until my grandfather gave each daughter a piece of farm land during their lives. He also lost his farm during the Great Depression as well.

    He paid $2,000 I think for the land he gave my mother. She never sold it even though she didn't get a lot of income from it. He actually had she promise not to sell it.

    When she died, surprisingly, I inherited about $450,000 after everything was said and done. The house I grew up in I sold for $35,000. Not much. She never made much yet she was able to do this.

    She never remarried or even dated. She said she figured I wouldn't want "strange" men coming in and out all the time.

    The farm I inherited was worth $100,000 when I got it. The rent I was getting at the time was only $1,500 a year. Not much and yet I didn't sell it to buy a Porsche or something. I still have it although I do have it listed for sale now and I have already turned down an offer for $400,000.

    It's what you do with your life and not what you face that matters. I could focus on how people don't do as well when their father dies at age 41. I could think about how it's not good to have 3 of your 4 grandparents be dead when you are born.

    It's not advantous to not have any brothers or sisters. I haven't done anything to any black person but I have had black people do things to me. So what?

    I bought a house for cash, was married for 18 years, got divorced and settled that. None of that was with what I got from my mother later on. None of her other sisters passed on that much money to their kids (and they had more kids).

    Racism isn't suddenly a bigger issue than it was in the 60's and it was much better then than in the 50's and it was much better then than in the 1800's.

    Racism is a thing but it isn't the thing to spend so much energy on and certainly not if all you can do is label everyone a racist. Call anyone a bigot on some subject and the general response would be, so what. What do you think Black Nationalism in all about? That's as bigoted as it gets. No one cares about that (nor do I).

    I did some travelling around the world. Many people think I wish I could do that but I can't afford it. It's a choice. I had to give up a lot. I just happened to care more about that than someone else.

    My life isn't any more leisurely than anyone else's. I just chose not to dwell on the negative. I had a mild heart attack 15 years ago, for example. Those who do dwell on the negative or who follow the crowd don't always like that. It's possible to be too sensitive. I don't care if someone else is too sensitive or even if they dwell on the negative. That's not for me but it doesn't mean that I don't see or understand the issues.

    Most of the comments here are just "I read an article and it says that it's hard to be a black person in the U.S.". Well, find another article.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  21. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    but that's the problem it does effect people lives in meaningful ways. it just doesn't appear to effect yours because you are white. you literally ignoring what POC are telling you, you are literally going no you are wrong about what you've experienced. so your "solution" to the problem is to just say it doesn't exist. problem is it does. just because you don't want to acknowledge the benefits you get while being white doesn't mean you get to gaslight people of color. small differences in opportunity compound over time.

    1000 dollars at 5% annual interest compounded monthly for 10 years is 1647.01
    1000 dollars at 6% annual interest compounded monthly for 10 years is 1819.40

    the same thing works with opportunity. as you get more chances more doors open.
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    White privilege is not an asset that is passed down to you. It is the privilege you get by being white.

    Imagine how your life would have been different if you'd been arrested and jailed for rape at age 18 because you were black and the assailant was black, and they all sorta look the same to the defendant.
    Imagine how your life would have been different if your parents had not been able to buy that house because they'd been redlined.
    Imagine how your life would have been different if you hadn't been able to buy that house because the seller "didn't think it was a good area for your kind."
    Imagine how your life would have been different if the police arrested you one day because you were black and were near a recently burgled store, and in the process of arrest they "accidentally" paralyzed you from the waist down.

    Your life would have been different. And perhaps you would have faced it the same way - figured that there's nothing you can do about any of that so why worry about it. Great. But saying to someone who HAS experienced any of those things "well, your life is not really different than mine; I didn't have a lot of money either" would have been missing the point by a mile.
    For me, it's because I have seen friends go through those issues. Most have made it anyway. Some have not.
  23. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    the best way ive seen white privilege summed up its not about gaining things for being white. its that your life wasn't made more difficult because of your views here come from the same place as you, ive seen it in action. ive seen my friends of color get ignored and lose out on chances. ive seen my female boss completely ignored by customers and try to get me to overrule her. ive seen my handicapped mother infantilized because she handicapped. pretending these things don't happen is saying you are ok with them happening.

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