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Old 11-12-2012, 01:42 AM
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Helo Helo is offline
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Originally Posted by Hades36 View Post

I understand and respect what you are saying about how unconscious racism could possibly make discussing race even more difficult and tense. But, in my own experience, being aware of my unconscious racism (and sexism, and homophobia) have helped me dig deep, grab some of the uglier parts of myself, drag them out into the light, and work together with others to build community and healing. So, in my case, it was not something that made talking about my own biases more difficult; it actually helped me unpack and decode some of the messages that were a fundamental part of my upbringing. Being raised in a Black, Christian family by a Southern father and bi-racial mother definitely affected me in a number of ways, some of which I did not even realize until I married a White woman. There were definitely some unconscious beliefs I had about race and gender that didn't come to the forefront until we were in counseling, and even then I resisted dealing with them until I hit a crisis point.
And I'm glad that works well for you and makes you happy. In my experience, this kind of "unconscious racism" is the social and emotional equivalent of self-flagellation; you're trying to force something out of you that you cant see, that you give no voice to, that really doesnt effect what you do that much on a daily basis, and realistically you are never going to be rid of.

I prefer to use the AIBA test; "Am I Being an Asshole?" If I'm not being an asshole to people, if I'm treating them like family, if I'm doing what I can to help them out and support them as other people, the rest takes care of itself and trying to scrub your soul of these biases that we all have is really pointless. It misses some fundamentals of human psychology, namely that we ALL have prejudices and the sooner we accept that and move on, the sooner we'll get past real discrimination.

But, I digress, I understand you don't believe in unconscious stuff so (shrug) its cool.
Dont put words in my mouth. I fully accept that people have biases they are not consciously aware of but I do not accept people re-writing the definition of racism.

About the Black events and Black clubs or whatever...

Yes, there are bars/clubs in Philly where 99% of the customers are consistently Black (or Latino, or gay, or Cambodian, etc). These places, as I imagine most businesses across the nation, realize that their customer base fits a certain demographic and so they make sure that the decor, music, food, etc. is stuff that will appeal to that demographic. At the few Latino bars I have been in, the music is always Latin, the food is Latin, most of the people are speaking Spanish, etc. The gay bar I have gone to is geared towards gay men, so the music, art, and live entertainment are all for that demographic. And so on.
I generally ignore that and just sort of go wherever I feel like going. That's why I generally get the strange looks when I go places.

Black events, like any other event for any demographic, are focused primarily on celebrating the cultural uniqueness of that particular group. The Odunde festival in Philly is a celebration of African culture that draws thousands of predominantly African/African-American people from all over the region. The entertainment, food, products being sold, speeches, and workshops are all targeted at that you get things like African drumming and African jewelry making workshops, speeches about the need for a Pan African Council, foods that are indigenous to regions all over Africa, etc.
There tend not to be big events like that in places like LA. We're used to a hugely diverse population so if you want to go somewhere where you can really experience a particular ethnic or cultural group, there are hundreds of different places to go in every level of intensity you can think of. People get all freaked out because they think it's a "blacks only" or a "Mexicans only" place but in reality, I've never found a place that actually gives that much of a shit if you're not in a gang.

Small organizations will put on events but they tend to be for locals and are more like a block party than a cultural event for the public. Every once and a while there are big events put on by multicultural organizations but they tend to be very sterile and boring, usually funded (and attended) by wealthy yuppies who'd freak if they actually got any un-diluted culture.

Originally Posted by Hades36 View Post
@Tonberry: Not sure where you are from, but anyone with some street sense recognizes where they are and are not welcome in the urban sprawl without needing a sign that says, "For White Only" or "For Lesbians Only".

There are some Irish pubs in South Philly where everyone knows you do not go unless you're Irish OR with someone who is; the same is true about some of the Italian bars in the city, or the Black bars, or the upscale bars, or the ghetto bars.

No, chances are you will not be overtly harassed if you do go into them, but the sense of being the "other", the stares, the rudeness, the intentionally shitty customer service...all are clear enough for most people.
That's pretty wild, I dont know of any places like that in LA.

Unless you're in a gang or you act like a jerk, almost anyone can go almost anywhere and not have a problem with one exception; stay the fuck away from certain places on the West Side if you look poor.
I am as direct as a T-Rex with 'roid rage and about as subtle. It isn't intended to cause upset, I just prefer to talk plain. There are plenty of other people here who do the nice, polite thing much better than I can. I'm what you'd call a "problem dinner guest."

Last edited by Helo; 11-12-2012 at 09:49 AM.
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