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There were some "good ole days" growing up in the South.  Sometimes I get upset when I read things that people say about southern people and about the southern culture.  A lot of it comes from exceptions to what southern living truly is.  I am an older Southern Boy (and I capitalize that because my roots are that important to me).  I would like to paint a very different picture of the South here than is normally painted.  Sure, people can present stories that show a difference to what I am saying but my intention is to help people know that most of the racist culture the South is believed to be is mostly exaggerated.
I miss our farming families spending time together.  Many white and black families were involved in working tobacco.  Many of us also had cows and chickens and grew our own vegetables that "momma" put up to last us throughout the year.  Almost everything we ate, we raised ourselves.  Families helped each other.  When the tobacco came in on each plot of land the families were involved in, all of the families got together and got it done.  Black families and white families worked together as families, not as blacks and as whites.  We kids played with all kids black and white.  We had "best friends".....and many of we white kids had black kids as "best friends" and vice versa.  Our families ate together.  We helped rebuild each others barns and we cultivated each other's fields.  We rarely worshiped together, however.  I never understood that.
So many of us worked in the textile and furniture mills scattered all around the South.  We worked for as little as a few dollars a day and there was no such thing as a nice retirement.  My aunt and two of my uncles retired from the textile industry and got $2 per year in retirement for every year they worked at "The Mill".  And, blacks and whites worked together doing exactly the same job making the same wage with the same benefits (or lack thereof).  We went to lunch together, we went to the weddings and funerals of family members of our friends regardless of color.  No, we didn't marry each other and no, we didn't worship together.  But today?  We marry each other and we worship together.  
I left the South and spent 10 years in the Air Force.  I was injured and got out of the service rather than to make it a career.  I lived in 4 different countries and spent time in all but 13 states.  I met people from all over the world and made many friends from so many different cultures I have lost count on how many that was....both from other countries and from different areas within the United States.  And trust me, there are many different cultures right here in our own country that a great many people don't have a clue about.  
I mention this because I can say without any reservation that the South is one of the LEAST racist parts of our nation.  And, America as a whole is by far less racist than any other country I have either lived in or visited and spent a lot of time in.  I am writing this diary without putting a bunch of links and pictures in it like many people that post diaries here do.  This is just a "perspective post" that needs to be said from someone that has first hand knowledge of what is being said.  We have too many people that are using race to further their particular political beliefs or cultural advancement expectations in America and they are doing that by stereotyping the culture of the South in a disingenuous and incorrect way.  
The good old days are still here in the South.  We have many people from all over the nation that come here to retire or to relocate for the weather or for other various reasons.  I have talked to so many of these people that are absolutely amazed at how accepting whites are with other races here.  They had expectations of seeing hate and discrimination and KKK chapters and bombing of black churches and everything else they were led to believe from unfair and biased sources.  
I miss the good old days when people didn't see race as a means to an end and as something to be used for political or cultural or economic advantage.  I would love to once again see people from different races sit down together for a meal or a wedding or a social gathering without people making it out to be anything and everything except friends being with each other.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Um (23+ / 0-)

    Take this sanctimonious crap elsewhere. The south and by extension America was built literally on the backs of enslaved Africans. There is nothing more racist than owning another human being and justifying it by the color if their skin. Nor is there any less justification of the genocide we perpetrated against the indigo nous people here so we could steal their land.

    One of the most egregious examples of this genocide to cover land theft was the Trail of Tears. That occurred entirely in the south. A tribal group that was able to create their own form of writing in their own language within decades of learning the skill from the Europeans was rounded up and herded across the south to be dumped into a place, in the south, that would again be stolen from them.

  •  I am dropping a donut here. (32+ / 0-)

    Slavery and Jim Crow are part of US history. I am a woman of a certain age, and I remember southern school districts choosing to shut down rather than to integrate. The north has plenty of racists as well, but trying to paper over (or whitewash) important chanters in our nation's history is unacceptable. We are supposed to be part of the reality-based community.

    •  I know this is true, blue (0+ / 0-)

      Of course I know that the South (and the North as you say) has a history of racism.  I did not mean to say it did not.  I miss my interaction with my black friends growing up without all the name calling and the stereotyping that exists today.  We truly were friends.  We truly did not use the "N" word.  I know that happened a lot in the South (and still does, as it still does in the North and West and East).  

      I offended one poster here and he HR'd me immediately.  That really bothers me because my diary was not meant to do that.

      Thanks for your response.

      •  That's a gentle reply (22+ / 0-)

        which is helpful.

        The problem with your diary is summed up with this:

        I miss the good old days when people didn't see race as a means to an end and as something to be used for political or cultural or economic advantage.  I would love to once again see people from different races sit down together for a meal or a wedding or a social gathering without people making it out to be anything and everything except friends being with each other.
        Two problems with this:

        One -- there never were such days. Never, in the course of our nation's history. Whiteness meant entitlement, advantage over blackness, since the first boats brought slaves across the ocean. It meant advantage over redness since Columbus set foot on New World soil. And even English whiteness meant advantage over, for example,  Italian whiteness or Irish whiteness for a very long time.

        Two -- Placed in a modern context, whether you intended it as such or not, "race" as "something to be used for ... advantage" smacks of the usual right-wing tropes about race, where any mention of race invokes screaming about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (or  Jeremiah Wright, or Henry Gates) as "race pimps" who are the only or at least principal causes of racism in the modern era. Which is, I hope you realize, complete bullshit as the advantages of whiteness persist today and fixating on black civil rights activists is a method by which people interested in protecting white privilege seek to do just that.

        Do you understand why your diary offends?

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 09:23:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  you miss your childhood (13+ / 0-)

        which sounds relatively mild. but even a cursory review of southern history even just within your lifetime ought to awaken you to the obvious reality that your experience, as you remember it, was not the experience of millions of others. reagan remembered when we didn't have a racial problem in this country. wonder what he meant by that...

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 09:50:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Do southerners ever get tired (15+ / 0-)

    of patting themselves on the back for being from the South?

    I have yet to see someone wearing an "American by birth, Northern by the grace of God" t-shirt.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 09:32:29 AM PST

  •  maybe I'm being quixotic here (6+ / 0-)

    but I see this diary as presenting a teachable moment to the diarist.

    Am I being naively optimistic?

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 09:35:10 AM PST

  •  I must admit I was looking for the "snark" tag (8+ / 0-)

    and quite surprised when I didn't find it.
    Farmville, Virginia closed down it's public school system rather than integrate.
    We've all seen news reels showing the horrendous and disgusting language and faces screaming hatred at some of the bravest youth I have ever seen when schools were being integrated.

    "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

    by Cruzankenny on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 09:45:58 AM PST

  •  Your postings have been more than a little odd, (15+ / 0-)

    as far back as I've checked them.

    You are a master of the "Yes, but..." reply.

    Obama's fine but should he really be pushing executive privilege? You can see how some people would be offended by using Redskins as a team title, but isn't that a little one-sided? The Keystone pipeline may cause problems, but isn't America's energy future more important?

    And now this:

    I would love to once again see people from different races sit down together for a meal or a wedding or a social gathering without people making it out to be anything and everything except friends being with each other.
    which suggests that you don't have a large number of friends of different races, or who are multi-racial - because it happens all the time.

    If it doesn't happen in your world, then perhaps your world isn't as strongly Democratic as you would like us to believe.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 09:46:25 AM PST

  •  I have read all the responses (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, worldlotus

    My first diary here sure has sparked some interesting responses.  I miss the days I could sit down with black friends and have that something not unusual and not accepted and not used for political purposes was my intent.

    I see I did not do a very good job of saying that.

    I will work on that.  

    Thanks, everyone.

    •  I can't tell how much you're naive and in denial - (7+ / 0-)

      or whether you are being disingenuous and stirring a little. The tone of your diary and comments are pretty open and polite, so respect at least for not losing your temper, and continuing to listen to the criticism you're getting.

      I visit my aunt in South Texas and have been with her to United Daughters of the Confederacy meetings, so I have some first-hand experience both of the romantic glamour that Southerners coat their heritage with, and of how many dirty truths get swept under that rug.

      What you said in your diary is simply wrong:

      I mention this because I can say without any reservation that the South is one of the LEAST racist parts of our nation.
      In South Texas there are many more Latinos than Blacks - but the racism is spread through the vast majority of whites (and, going the other way, through the Latinos who are tired of being treated like second-class citizens).

      While you acknowledge

      This is just a "perspective post" that needs to be said from someone that has first hand knowledge of what is being said.
      What you either can't see or won't admit is that your own rosy view is also
      stereotyping the culture of the South in a disingenuous and incorrect way.
      If your perspective is as frank and sincere as your tone implies, then you've been jumped on rather hard in this diary, for someone just sharing their personal opinion. But you're definitely missing half the story, and should read up on the history of Afro-Americans and race relations in this country.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 11:11:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You must be right because you (7+ / 0-)

      have black friends? And what, exactly, is stopping you from sitting down with them today?

      I did leave a donut in your tip jar. I hope you step back and widen your perspective a bit.

      "Broccoli could take down a government. Broccoli is revolutionary." --Kris Carr

      by rb137 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 11:35:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hmmmm... (14+ / 0-)

      First this:

      We kids played with all kids black and white.  We had "best friends".....and many of we white kids had black kids as "best friends" and vice versa.  Our families ate together.  We helped rebuild each others barns and we cultivated each other's fields.
      and then this:
      I miss the good old days when people didn't see race as a means to an end and as something to be used for political or cultural or economic advantage.  I would love to once again see people from different races sit down together for a meal or a wedding or a social gathering without people making it out to be anything and everything except friends being with each other.
      So the reason you can't sit down with black friends now is because black people are using race "as a means to an end"? What end do you think that is? Being nasty to their best white friends from the old days?

      As a kid, I can see how you might miss how the white power structure in your "good ole days" used race as a means to an end. But as an adult with considerable worldwide experience, how can possibily miss that?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 11:40:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I grew up in 1960's Mississippi (7+ / 0-)

    and the reason we didn't worship together or intermarry was because black folks were considered unfit to worship with or marry.  Having a schoolyard friend or working the fields with a neighbor is one thing, but being able to go places they could (by law) not go, or do things they could not (by law) do, is a horse of an entirely different color.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "using race to further their particular political beliefs or cultural advancement expectations in America ".  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt - could you maybe explain a bit more what you mean?

    •  Sure, Ninety (0+ / 0-)

      Race is a very volatile issue.  Any mention of it sparks ire/anger/arguments.  I should have made clear that many people use the South as being full of racists as being what many politicians use to show that is why the South is predominantly right-leaning.  I do not agree with that premise but you may and I think you probably do.  Race is not the only reason the South is conservative or republicans predominantly.  There is much more in the Southern culture than just race to explain that.  I am not conservative republican and live in the South.  I have a different theory why the South is mostly conservative.  It has to do with religion and religious beliefs.  It is not race, and that is my opinion.   I know that religious Christians are almost always conservatives.  So, THAT, more than racism, is why the South has more conservatives than liberal/progressives.  It is just my opinion and I could be wrong, of course, so please do not trash me here for saying that.  I live here.  I know the people here.  I get that opinion from that perspective.  Others that live here that don't think that way have another opinion, I know that.

      •  Speaking as a non-conservative Christian, (7+ / 0-)

        there are many, many, many non-conservative Christians.

                        To be clear,
                         Heather

                         

        Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

        by Chacounne on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 10:42:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the explanation. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, ER Doc

        As you say, there is a lot more to the South and the reasons why it leans conservative than just racism.  I also agree that there are a lot of Dominionist Christians here who tend to be ultra-conservative.  

        A good bit of material has been written as to why the South leans conservative, I'll spare you the details.  It seems to me that what sparks your irritation is the 'broad brush' method used by many politicians in talking about blocks of voters - I don't disagree with that premise; that is, many politicians gloss over nuance in describing voters.  This mis-characterization seems to be what's bugging you; in other words, it ain't that simple.

        That being said, there's a lot of abuse of white privilege and downright ugly racist behavior still going on around here these days, and I think it's disingenuous to pretend that it isn't.  

        So maybe your argument should be more about how good people try to treat other people well, that there are good people in the South who try to overcome past racism, and that you're aggravated that some politicians ignore that and jump to describing all Southerners as racist?  (not to speak for you or anything).

        This kind of labeling also totally ignores the large number of left-leaning counties in the Black Belt and the Mississippi Delta; those folks are Southerners too.  

      •  The Kennedys represented a large swath of (0+ / 0-)

        non-conservative Christians: the Roman Catholic Christians.

        And they were decidedly Democratic.

  •  People were really kind considering the diary and (5+ / 0-)

    the content but I want to look at your diary in  a different light.  I know what you miss.  You miss a simpler time.
    You miss your childhood..when you were not as aware of the struggles of the people of color.   You miss innocence and what you thought was a kind and beautiful way of life before you knew about church bombings and all the things that maybe made your childhood special.  Just because your little black fishing buddy didn't talk about race didn't mean he didn't think of the struggle and the life of being afraid.  I know what you miss.  Ignorance truly is bliss and that is not meant to be a put down....it is a moment of awareness.  Seem I mis innoncence too but I am too from the south and I miss the illusion of hospitality.  

    Good luck on the next diary.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 10:28:29 AM PST

    •  I think of Jimmy Carter (9+ / 0-)

      who, in his memoir, wrote of his best friend as a child, who was black. He looks back and sees a reality he never understood back then - that when they got to the movie theater, his friend had to go up to the balcony, while he sat downstairs.

      As a wise adult, he looks back and wonders that this never struck him for its injustice, the fact that his best friend couldn't sit with him at the movies.

      Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

      by ramara on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 10:38:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ummm, (13+ / 0-)

    Those people if colour who you sat down to eat with, whose weddings you attended, whose funerals you attended, were not even given the simple respect of being allowed to vote.

    Those children who you played with were, likely, not allowed to go to your school, or at the very least had to fight for the right to do so.

    There were lynchings of innocent black boys and men, and girls and women, all over the South, including likely in your state.

    You need to learn the real history of the United States, including the South.

                                     To be clear,
                                     Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 10:31:05 AM PST

  •  How can you grow up in the south and not see (7+ / 0-)

    the very racist attitudes and beliefs down here?

  •  Writing as a 'Southerner' and a trained... (16+ / 0-)

    ...historian, my view is that this diary overlooks too many real aspects of life in the historical South and expresses a longing for a time that didn't really exist.

  •  I grew part of the way up in the South... (20+ / 0-)

    ...Georgia, to be exact. Born and lived literally on the wrong side of the tracks even though half my family could have passed white if people weren't aware of their background (Seminole).

    Wherever you were born and raised, the lovely interracial interactions you describe did not exist where I was. When I returned eight years later to do civil rights work, the situation hadn't changed.

    I don't hate Southerners. There are many lovely people of all races there. And I'm all too well aware of racism outside the South. But your mythical old-times-there-are-not-forgotten is a whitewashed version of real life.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 10:54:04 AM PST

    •  Meteor (0+ / 0-)

      I knew I would get this kind of "I grew up in the South and it wasn't like that for me" response.

      I can only tell you what I experienced.  I miss that.  If you saw something different.....truly....then that's what you saw.

      Thanks for responding.

  •  My goodbye to Kos (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Tortmaster

    or at least I hope I can hold my tomments back in the future. I may stop by now and then to get some insight, but the comments of late, at least on a few threads I've read, have been as malicious and accusatory as any on say, World Net Daily.

    I understand completely what the diarist is saying. Of course he can't get every little nuance that every little leftist here desires. No one can. No one. So go ahead and pile on that fact, too, while you're all at it.

    So, goodbye to all those who know oh, so much about the South and growing up in it even though they may have never stepped foot outside of Hartsfield Airport; good bye to all those who know oh, so much about guns even though they probably have never held one or shot one. (What to do about those Olympic athletes that compete in marksmanship? "Lock them away because they're obviously mentally deranged and hell bent on killing everyone in sight!")

    These know-it-alls here give progressivism a very bad name, and one that the idiots on the right will gladly take advantage of, and have already. And are doing so right now. You know who you are and you feed the beast.

    What a pity.

  •  If you're an older man, you ought to remember (14+ / 0-)

    Which governor was it that barred Black people from entering a school? Wasn't it done with a weapon? And where was this done? Oh, right, the south.

    In which area was it again where Congressman John Lewis, a personal hero of mine, was struck in the head? Oh, right, the south.

    In which area was it that Black people were made to use inferior facilities and equipment just because of the color of their skin? And didn't that restriction apply to anybody who wasn't white (Latinos, Native Americans, Asian peoples, etc.)? Where were these Jim Crow laws? Where did they come up with the term Jim Crow? Oh, right, the south.

    Where were there "literacy tests" and poll taxes to keep Black people from voting? Oh, right, the south.

    Pastry dropped.

  •  whites "accepting" of "other races"? (13+ / 0-)
    I have talked to so many of these people that are absolutely amazed at how accepting whites are with other races here.
    How very nice of whites to accept other races. not at all an arrogant, condescending or privileged view?
    •  Condescending? (0+ / 0-)

      Really?  That's really a stretch.  I know you  are looking at ways to trash whatever I said, but this was posted in good faith and it was an observation I would bet my house you've also made in some cases.  No, don't post "you'd lose your house" in response.  That would be too third grade.

      I have posted an honest, heart felt diary and I knew I'd get some push back to it, but I did not ever think I'd get so much anger at me personally.  I am bummed about that.  I will never post anything about race again and I am sure you and folks like you will be happy about that.

      Thanks for your thoughts, though.

  •  Why, bless your heart (13+ / 0-)

    Appreciate that you are responding to comments rather than dropping racist screed and then vanishing, but truly you do need to expand your knowledge of time and place.

    Because what you've written sounds like Stephen Foster filtered through MGM's back lot circa 1935. That, or modern Republican party pronouncements. Either way, not good.

    Great Questions of Western Philosophy: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    by Mnemosyne on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 11:33:09 AM PST

  •  Race...not a good subject of a diary (0+ / 0-)

    I've learned a lesson.

    I'll try again to post a diary but it sure won't be anything about race.  You can take that to the bank !

    :-)

    •  Race is a great topic for diaries. (8+ / 0-)

      There are lots of them. Almost every day in fact.

      But diaries about race that are presented from a privileged perspective that is entirely blind to that privilege are much less welcome. Particularly when the diarist seems unwilling to reconsider his premises.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 12:16:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm privileged? (0+ / 0-)

        I do not have anything near what I would like to have but I am thankful for what I do have.  I am not rich and I do not live in a big house and I have to be careful with my finances.

        Maybe you are saying I am privileged because I am white but a lot of white people do not have the advantages they are purported to have believe me.  I would love to be able to leave my children a lot of money and land but I do not have that.  I have had to scrimp and save for what I do have and I am proud I have done that.  

        Privileged?  Not this poster.  Maybe others, but definately not me.

        •  Can we play an exercise? (16+ / 0-)

          Seriously. I mean it. I'm not trying to fuck with you, I'm not trying to troll you.

          I am offering this exercise to you as a means by which you can get on the same page as the rest of us.

          Accept, for the sake of argument, that whiteness in America inherently carries privilege irrespective of wealth, region of origin, inherent intelligence, or how much you'd like to have more than what you do.

          If you don't like the word "accept", then replace with the word "pretend."

          So for the sake of this argument, stop trying to explain why you don't have privilege and pretend that it's a given that you do, but you cannot yet see how. (Think of it as a mental analogue to a scavenger hunt. Find the privileges!)

          Start by imagining someone with the same relative wealth as you, with the same family, with one difference -- they're black.

          Think about the things in your life that you can take for granted that black-you cannot.

          Like not being presumed to be a criminal by the police or by strangers -- because you're black.

          Like not having to overcome racial prejudice to get a job.

          Like living in a society where most of the people with power, authority, and/or prestige are of your race.

          Like living in a society where you can spend much or even all your day in public surrounded by people who are mostly of your race.

          Like where if you watch television, most of the people on the shows you watch will be of your race, rather than the occasional token, or the occasional show which is most likely to be focused on your race.

          Consider some more. You truly have no idea how even the people occasionally termed "poor white trash" (a term I loathe because it carries the implication that "trash" is normally nonwhite) have a large number of privileges their nonwhite counterparts don't -- and one of those privileges is to be unconcerned with those privileges to the point where they don't even realize those privileges aren't shared.

          Now this is a starting point. Privilege takes many forms. White privilege, male privilege straight privilege, wealth privilege, and there are others. That leads down a whole path of what's called "intersectionality" which you can Google if you want (but later!). For now let's just focus on the white vs. nonwhite.

          Seriously. You have an opportunity to learn something very important here. Don't squander it being defensive.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:11:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A truly great comment. I'm going to kick it over (6+ / 0-)

            to TC, but I also think it's worthwhile filing off the (very few) serial numbers and posting as a diary, even though most of it has been said in various other places.

            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

            by serendipityisabitch on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 01:19:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good post (0+ / 0-)

            I have lived on this earth for a very long time.  I've lived in so many places and have met so many people that it gives me a very good perspective on this subject.  I don't pretend to be the best to write a diary.  I don't pretend to have a great ability to say things in print that others (like you) can say.  However, I know a lot many people don't know.  I have experienced a lot many people have not.  I have seen discrimination.  I have experienced "white privilege", of course.  I have also worked myself to the bone to get where I am.   I don't pretend, as you want to insinuate.  I speak from a great deal of knowledge from life's experiences many have never had.  You can say you have had those also, raptavio.  I do not know you and you do not know me.  I do know what I have seen and learned through a huge amount of interaction with many cultures and many experiences in America.  I posted my original diary here from that perspective.  Much of it is from being dirt poor with many, many black friends and much interaction with people of different colors than myself.

            I do not get my beliefs from television or from some political philosophy or from Fox News or from CNN or any other news network.  I have developed my beliefs through life's experiences and as much as you might want to question them, they are my experiences and they are how I have become who I am....no different than you, hopefully.  

            I would like to see the old America I grew up in the South with so many friends that were mostly black and white.  It is very easy to question my intentions here and my beliefs here.  This is the perfect venue to do that.  But, if you read my original post and don't try to cherry pick snipets out of it to find me somehow unknowing and somehow unaware of reality with regard to race today, it is you that misses the point here.

            Thank you for your input.

            •  That'd be a "no" to my invitation, then. (8+ / 0-)

              I'll try again.

              You've had lots of experiences. No matter how many experiences you had, no matter how many friends of however many colors of the rainbow you've had, one thing remains true:

              You were white through all of them.

              You cannot, no matter how you try, no matter how you've lived (and your periods of poverty or hard work are absolutely immaterial to this truth), truly grok what it's like to be black in America.

              You can't. I don't need to know more about you than know you're white to know that truth. You don't need to know more than to know I'm white to know I can't either.

              That's step one. We cannot know. No matter what else is true about us.

              If you stopped getting defensive for a moment, you could accept this. Especially since you denied your privilege in one post and then claimed to accept it in the next, that defensiveness comes off as more than a little grating.

              Step two is to also understand that as we live in a white-dominant culture, where more white people than any other race, more than all other races combined, control our media, our economy, our finances, and our government, and that means that being steeped in that culture, nonwhites will, as a rule, understand the white experience more than we will ever understand theirs.

              Step three, once you accept you cannot grok the black experience, and that black people will come far closer to grokking white experience than you will theirs, is to do something which pisses people off to hear:

              Shut up and listen.

              When people take offense (and yes, they can be mean about it, but swallow that wounded pride, whether the meanness is "fair" or not, whether you deserve to defend your dignity or not, because it'll do you more good right now to use your ears than your mouth) to what you've had to say, listen to the why. Not to argue or defend yourself, but just to hear their point of view. Not even necessarily about what you have to say, but about their experience of life as a minority, and about how things you and I may never have considered not taking for granted are things denied them on a day to day basis.

              If you want to ask questions, ask questions -- but not with an aim to defend your pride or your dignity, but with an aim to learn. And that also means if the questions aren't answered, or if the response is to take offense to the question itself, don't get defensive all over again. Oftentimes the questions themselves carry assumptions we don't realize. (Once, getting pissed at a guy being racist and then claiming to be of Native heritage himself, I got annoyed because everything about his appearance suggested whitebread -- but I was admonished by some Native Kossacks that many of America's First Peoples look white -- even full-blooded ones, and they don't like having to defend their heritage to others, for good goddamn reasons.) And also remember you are not inherently owed an answer to your questions.

              Those things will get you well on your way.

              I don't know you, true. But I know what you've said here and what you've said here -- and this is simply the truth -- reeks of racial ignorance and racial privilege. That tells me you have things to learn, regardless of your experience to date.

              I'm trying -- my very damn best -- to invite you to take the steps to fill in those gaps in your understanding, without insulting or demeaning you. I'm inviting you to put aside your pride and your defensiveness -- these are traits we all have, they're human, and they're totally understandable and sympathizable -- and learn where you erred here, and why. And to leave this exchange with more knowledge than you entered with.

              You can choose to take the opportunity. Or you can choose to fixate on things like perceived slights or accusations and continue to be defensive, and gain less from the experience than you otherwise would have. The choice is yours.

              But I've done all I can here to extend the invitation. If you won't take it now, I will conclude my meager diplomatic skills are inadequate to the task and bid you good day.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 02:06:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What? (0+ / 0-)

                "Racial ignorance and racial privilege?????

                That is so off base.  I am copying this and will be presenting this to some of my friends to see if they think this of me.

                I am absolutely and completely POSITIVE they won't.  And, those would be my "racial" friends.

                It is so disheartening to see people that think as you do.  This is getting absurd and I will now stop posting to these kinds of posts.

                •  yeah: (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eyesbright, poco, Tortmaster
                  Or you can choose to fixate on things like perceived slights or accusations and continue to be defensive, and gain less from the experience than you otherwise would have.
                  As I said.

                  I bid you good day.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 02:48:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I will have a good day (0+ / 0-)

                    And I will have a good day because I DO NOT fixate on what you seem to be so hateful and spiteful about, raptavio.  I want all races to get along and to be equal and to have the same advantages America offers.  I also want for all races to take advantage of those things.  It is what "equal opportunity" is all about.  Equal.  

                    Thank you for your post.

                    •  Unfortunate that you think (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      terrybuck, Tortmaster

                      that anything I said was either hateful or spiteful. But wholly unsurprising.

                      Should I ever converse with you in future, a couple things I'd like you to bear in mind.

                      One, if I'm saying anything spitefully, I'm very terse because I don't waste much effort on it, and it's usually got a few cusswords and barbed humor (or what passes for humor when I attempt it) in it.

                      Two, if I've got anything hateful going on, I'll be absent completely because it'll mean I've totally lost my perspective and need to withdraw to reprioritize. The last person for whom I felt real hate was a child molester and wife beater and he's more than ten years in the ground. Someone who's unwilling to confront those areas where he has fundamental misunderstanding doesn't come close to warranting that level of emotion.

                      Good day.

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 03:13:30 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I am white (0+ / 0-)

                And so, I can not understand anything.  There are more white liberals and progressives like me than any other color in America.

                I think you might want to reconsider that belief.

                •  Just stop. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  poco, Tortmaster, shanikka

                  You are now turning from projecting nonexistent intent behind my words to actually misrepresenting my words.

                  That's just sad. Just don't. You do nobody any good doing that, least of all yourself.

                  I tried, I failed. I accept that. Don't make me regret my attempt by being a dishonest broker. Don't be that guy.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 03:15:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Hey, if you both are still here, revisiting the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  saucer1234

                  thread, please listen.

                  Great job on engaging each other in a discussion on issues that pack a lot of heat, not only between races, but within the same race. The good thing is you both did engage in the conversation. Yes, there was stress toward the end there, but you engaged and honestly tried to understand one another. Understanding is difficult and shouldn't be expected to be accomplished in a few paragraphs in a thread on a blog.

                  So, please, keep engaging, but while you do so, keep kindness and forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt, at the forefront of your minds as you do.

                  I've read you both here at dailykos and appreciate you both as good people. I can see that you both granted respect to one another at the start. I hope you don't shy away from each other in the future, but look to engage honestly and respectfully from now on.
                  For now, let it go. You are both on the same side, it's the details you haven't agreed on. You might never come to agreement. Hopefully, you will still respect and appreciate each other's opinions.

                  These things take time. There is a lot to know, and none of us has truly complete knowledge about race.

                  Perhaps more important than that knowledge is that we keep trying, and help one another with kindness and patience.
                  Allow each other to be clumsy around heated issues like race. Keep forgiveness ready at all times. If you feel insulted or angry or frustrated, step back. Know that you can't impart all of your knowledge in a small space and time and let it go.
                  Over time, as you hopefully build a relationship on dailykos with each other, a fuller more appreciative understanding may develop. It may not. But the journey- the mutual respect offered, those "doors" kept open, will be rewards in and of themselves.

                  Thank you for playing. Please accept these gifts as tokens of our appreciation.

                  "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

                  by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:19:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I just came back here to see this (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Gentle Giant

                    Thank you Gentle Giant for posting that.  I have no intent to be hateful or dislike anyone that disagrees with me or even calls me racist or a bigot or any other horrible name.  I understand that this particular topic rings some people's bell in a big way...and it should.  

                    Again, thank you for your comments.  I will continue to post diaries here on various subjects that will no doubt be controversial and I know that I will receive some uncomfortable remarks toward me personally.  I accept that but my intent is not to be disingenuous or uninformed.  

  •  Hmmm (6+ / 0-)

    You've already defended the continuation of using racist language in another diary. And now here you are trying to literally whitewash how awesome the South was in your childhood. Bless your heart.

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 02:07:02 PM PST

    •  Like I said to raptavio here (0+ / 0-)

      My "racial" friends here are going to read what has been posted here and just shake their heads.  

      Race is such a horrible issue to discuss...I have learned that.  I have seen that we have people in our country that are so consumed by it, they can't see the forest for the trees.

      Thank you for your post.

      •  Yes (5+ / 0-)

        Some people are so consumed by it that they write an entire diary trying to erase the realities of it.

        And racial in quotes? Wow. Haven't seen that in a while.

        Please, condescend to me more how your extremely privileged view of the world is the real and honest view.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 02:46:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

          •  Please (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eyesbright, poco, Tortmaster

            I live in the South. I know how Southerners use politeness as a weapon down here. You're not fooling me on this.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 02:56:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not trying to, moviemeister76 (0+ / 0-)

              If you are old enough, you know what I'm saying is dead on.

              If you're younger, you don't have a clue unless one of your older family members told you about what I'm saying.

              Race is such a divisive issue in our country and continuing to make it even more divisive is a tragedy.

              I can't say any more than that.

              •  LOL (6+ / 0-)

                Uh huh. Yes, you gave us all an excellent class on the divisiveness of race when you kept trying to defend the use of R**dskins as a mascot. Truly bang up job. And you are completely clueless when it comes to this site if you have somehow missed the plethora of diaries educating folks on the history of race in this country. Perhaps you should check some of those out so you can see how incredibly offensive your diary is.

                Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                by moviemeister76 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 03:08:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ah, so you're going back to that (0+ / 0-)

                  WOW.

                  I don't think Redskins is "racist".  You must.  So, that's how you're going to discredit me here.

                  Wonderful.  

                  I stand on the side of the GREAT MANY people including American Indians I know and have read about.

                  I think a lot of people are offended by things on blogs because they look for things that they want to be offended by and don't read the entire posts that are posted.  

                  If some of what I said offended you, I apologize.  I didn't post them to offend anyone.  I posted what I said...ALL of what I said for people to see things from a Southerner that grew up with and interacted with and became friends with people of all colors.

                  Sorry that doesn't fit the meme that some people have come to believe about we folks here in the South...even those that actually live in the South.

                  •  You know what (4+ / 0-)

                    You flat out had Native Americans tell you it was racist. Several people in this diary have pointed out that your view of some mystical South in the past never existed. That you continue to deny all this while retaining the right to use racist language because you managed to find a minority who weren't offended suggests you're either a particularly wishful thinking racist or a troll. Either way, I'm done with you. You clearly have no wish for an actual dialogue. You just want people to endorse your bullshit.

                    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                    by moviemeister76 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 03:42:40 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

  •  I smell the aroma of some good ol' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    Bojo pone.  I think it will be out of the oven soon.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Mon Feb 03, 2014 at 04:02:28 PM PST

  •  "Good Ole Days"? (6+ / 0-)

    Trigger warning: Graphic images.

    But don't worry, because this never happened, amirite?

    There were some "good ole days" growing up in the South. Sometimes I get upset when I read things that people say about southern people and about the southern culture.  A lot of it comes from exceptions to what southern living truly is.  I am an older Southern Boy (and I capitalize that because my roots are that important to me).  I would like to paint a very different picture of the South here than is normally painted.  Sure, people can present stories that show a difference to what I am saying but my intention is to help people know that most of the racist culture the South is believed to be is mostly exaggerated. ~  saucer1234
    --
  •  Same old same old (3+ / 0-)

    As a white boy, southern born and southern bred, I'm going to tell straight to your face that the "perspective" your presenting here Is little more than the traditional apology that's been deployed since the time of slavery.

    The line is always the same. Every thing was fine until "outsiders" starting stirring up the black folks. The "proof" was that anytime a white person asked the slave/black person what they thought, they'd get the answer they wanted to hear.

    Never mind that any black person in the south always had to weigh the consequences of telling a white person anything that they didn't want to hear. 300 hundred years of institutionalized white supremacist terrorism doesn't encourage frankness. To this day the South is studded by statues and memorials dedicated to the memory of the architects of that system of violent racist oppression. If you do not know this, then I suggest you do not know your southern history.

    Here's another perspective on the "good ole days", presented on the off chance you might want to look outside your nostalgic bubble.  

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 12:35:36 PM PST

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