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The following Featured Post comes from TV Series Group 1, Thread 9.

36. And furthermore....!!!
Wed, Sep 22, 1999 - 9:32 PM/EST
thaduke

By the way, don't mistake frustration in getting my point across as "sloganeering" or "rhetoric". Again, if you have any memory of the Selma bus picketers (or was it Montgomery?), you'll know that the "I AM A MAN" signs were prevalent in the group. That succinctly sums up what I've been trying to express, and what you may not still be getting.

I thought that after being in CORE and NAACP that you'd have at least an inkling that these thing still happen, and that they're not "just in our heads". That I wouldn't have to itemize my grievances and slights and injuries to you like I was in some IRS audit.

Are you looking for some absolution, some verification that you're an "all right guy?" I can't give that to you. Only God and you know if this is right. I'm sorry that you've been disillusioned about the dialogue on race in this country. I'm sorry that you can't fathom the anger and resentment. I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable. Believe me, speaking as a black man (even though I don't let it rule my life) it does the same to me. Don't you believe we'd lose all of the anger and resentment if we could be guaranteed that we'd be judged by the content of our character solely? In a New York Minute!!!

Look, Smitty. I'll still post here. I'll still talk to you. But you've gotta know that you're pissing a helluva lotta black people off with the variations of the "it's in your head" and "prove it to me" ploys. I've admitted that much of our anger is misplaced, and that some of the problem we experience we bring on ourselves. Can't you meet me in the middle, and admit that injustice to blacks does happen, and that it's a bitch, or does that make you as crazy as it makes us, and is therefore uncomfortable?

Tha' Duke

37. Well, it's thisaway
Thu, Sep 23, 1999 - 11:12 AM/EST
smitty

Duke, I invited you to take me up on something that makes sense to me. In my neighborhood I have two men who dislike me intensely; not for a just reason (I think), but because I personify what they fear most (I work, I take care of business, etc.)

I actually see and confront their anger maybe once a year. This I can handle with no difficulty, The rest of the time I drive them by with a cheery wave. If I had to deal with them more frequently, however, they would prey on my mind a lot more.

Duke, you are getting close to pissing ME off. Do you realize you are asking me to agree (over and over) to something I learned before you were born?

Can the multi-exclamation points stuff and the rhetoric - god, can't you see how ridiculous it is for a man to have to say "I AM A MAN"?

If you can't trust that most white people are on your side then you might as well give it up.

Once again (pant, pant) I will aver it is "degree" about which we talk. If you see the world though a particular set of lenses then these will distort that world. This is why I asked for objective examples.

You fall into the same trap as so many have - you throw a fit and make noises about how you will stick to the dialogue (thus implying a realization you could pick up your ball and go home). Get a clue, duke, the resentment should take up, say, 3% of your mind or you are one unhealthy man.

Is it that low? OK, then let's move on. Is it higher? Then you should watch your stress level and that of those around you who love and depend on you.

38. To Tha'Duke and Smitty
Thu, Sep 23, 1999 - 11:57 AM/EST
joan

Came back to this thread rather late and feel I'd actually have to print up and study everything you've both said in order to get a real perspective. However, I must say that I have found Tha'Duke's comments consistently sensible, fairly restrained (as in not out of control) and both understand and agree with what you say. In fact, like it or not, you get my highest compliment - for a while I thought I was reading thoughts from another woman. That means that there is introspection, emotional honesty and a sensitivity I've seen more often in women than in men. That doesn't mean I automatically dismiss what you're saying, Smitty, but I perceive you as not "getting" what Tha'Duke is saying or putting a twist on it when there's none there. Oh well - that's my two cents worth.

39. tha'guys
Thu, Sep 23, 1999 - 1:24 PM/EST
ottercat

No, joan, I think you're right. They're bumping heads and when they've cooled off they'll see more clearly. Good to see tha'Duke has some emotions about the subject. His affability was beginning to worry me.

40. --more--
Thu, Sep 23, 1999 - 5:57 PM/EST
ottercat

Okay, I thought about it. Maybe I know how to explain it.

Smitty, if you got kicked in the head every day from the time you learned to walk, you' expect it. If for some reason you didn't get kicked today, you -knew- you'd get kicked tomorrow. If the kicking stopped for twenty years, then somebody kicked you, could you believe it was an accident?

Duke, even if you are getting kicked, should you let it paralyze you? Or should you get to work making your life and your children's lives better, so maybe the kicks will stop?

Anyway, that's what it sounds like you're trying to say.

41. Who's That Calling thaduke "affable?"
Thu, Sep 23, 1999 - 5:57 PM/EST
smitty

Hurt my feelings much? It's the duke who started with the multiple exclamation points. I have printed out all his messages and now I will re-read his two from yesterday again. (hold on a moment)

He seems to be saying it's a shame he has to even think about racism in this day and time (that's message #1).

He seems in #2 to ask me to meet him half way and admit that "injustice to black does happen."

How about it? Pretty fair?

Just how far back did I start saying I thought we were talking matters of "degree" and might not be able to really zero in on it?

Let's say Carlton gets his food late and immediately can convince himself and the other black kids it's because they are black. He is going to be a very unhappy young man.

Suppose Carlton can't get an apartment in Dayton, Ohio even though he's answered 15 ads and he phones home and says, "Mom, I guess my luck is bad. All 15 had just been rented." Then he's a very stupid young man. Right?

Somewhere in the middle I imagine Carlton can fashion a fairly good life. He seems bright enough. He apparently will get a Colgate education and be able to inquire at the restaurant kitchen about the slow service as well as sue the pants off a landlord or two.

Duke, your point seems obvious. Of course it is a rotten deal that discrimination still exists. But it ain't gonna go away. Rage on, then. There's too many of us dumb crackers out here and we are breeding.

You have a right to every single scintilla of rage that's in your body. On the other hand, it can't be of such a degree that it rules you. Got that? It is your right to rage but, just as you would during a house fire, you overcome your fear and stress to get your kids out and call for help.

I honestly do not think you are an out-of-control man. I never did. But some are. Not so?

42. Smitty...
Thu, Sep 23, 1999 - 11:01 PM/EST
thaduke

Your claim to superior knowledge or legitimacy by age aside, you need to understand some things. No, let me change that. You don't "need to know" any of these things if you choose. I and others are just trying to let you see life from a vantage point that you cannot avail yourself of. I'm doing it in the spirit of humanity and understanding. If your feelings are hurt by my passion and !!!'s, I don't know what to say to you. I'm not going to stop being pissed off by stupidity committed upon black folk, and interracial couples and their offspring, and I'm not going to stop expressing the strength of my feelings (within reasonable parameters) about the injustice that still exists.

Yes, Smitty...I have it relatively good. Nice job, good kids, actually have NEVER been pulled over for DWB, although I admit it exists (maybe because of the piece of crap 72 Caddy I own...who knows :-) The overwhelming people where I live are either (a) too smart, or (b) too scared to express whatever enmity they hold for me for being a black man, or to take overt hostile actions against my wife and kids for being an interracial family. We get the nasty old lady, mouth full of sour owl s*%t looks, and the stares, but we knew this coming in. Some people will never "get it" as far as knowing that love sees no color, when properly based. That's cool: it's not for everyone, and I didn't seek or require their approval or blessings when I made my choice. I can deal with that.

However, when it comes to the point where it starts messing with my paycheck, my dreams, or my family, the proposition that I should suffer in silence, as I believe you might wish me to do, is sheer idiocy.

-----more------

43. Realize also...
Thu, Sep 23, 1999 - 11:02 PM/EST
thaduke

I'm sorry that you get a hard time from your neighbors. Maybe you could elaborate on their culture, background, etc. Whatever it is, though, as long as they don't affect your paycheck, your family, or your dreams, as we say, "don't trip, 'tata chip". Ignorant people will be with us always. It's when they impact our lives in personal tangible ways that I get frosted. So should you, IMHO.

You partially got what I was getting at when you re-read my screed. I do think it's a crying shame that we've sent a man to the moon, eradicated many diseases, made computers that basically run the world, and yet were still killing and screwing with people's lives because of the concentration of pigment in their skin, facial features, and what deity they worship, or don't worship. Do you mean to say we shouldn't think this is a bad thing?

I agree with you that it is indeed pretty sad that a man has to walk around with a sign saying "I AM A MAN". It was also pretty pathetic that those who loosed police dogs, fire hoses, and bullets on them didn't think to treat them like they were men (in the editorial sense...I thing when they went to the bathroom every morning they knew they were biologically male), instead of "boys" or animals that only deserved a certain standard of living, or a level of existence.

46. theDuke
Fri, Sep 24, 1999 - 12:09 PM/EST
smitty

All I said (and I think you know this) is that some kids (see Board #5) let this take over too much of their lives. End of story.

My feelings aren't hurt by your passion, but you don't reach some people by upping the rhetorical ante without also upping the intellectual level of the discourse. I'm not brain-dead yet and I can tell when the volume goes up but the content stays the same.

Of course the line is that one you allude to - can people hurt you in actual fact. You say the sour old lady can not but you have every right to get angry at the ones who can.

Then what about Diane's son (Board #5) who was snubbed by his black friends when they saw him in company with whites? Was his keeping company with whites an actual threat to their families or pocket books?

47. Racism's Place in History
Fri, Sep 24, 1999 - 12:18 PM/EST
smitty

It's a crying shame that my friend Howard got called a "dirty kike" by an adult neighbor when the boy walked down the street in Owosso, Michigan circa 1948 - how short was THAT adult's memory?

It's a crying shame my kid can toss a casual anti-Semetic slur within my hearing (he will NEVER do THAT again) in 1998. He is 36, by the way.

I think it a wonder that any AfAm could possibly NOT dwell on race. It is a terrible thing to have lodged in one's mind, I imagine.

But, Duke, what I've said to you has some worth. I am a former civil rights type, I have made a career of telling the stories of the humble on this earth (black, brown, white). Some oppressed persons draw my respect for their nobility of character and sheer determination to remain true to their cultures. Some do not.

Al Sharpton does not. He preys on the worst instincts of weak black people. He props them up on flimsy grounds. Any tree which is propped up in this manner will never grow strong enough to resist the tempest, IMHO.

53. Things that make you go hmmmm...
Fri, Sep 24, 1999 - 5:26 PM/EST
thaduke

Within a certain way, I could thank smitty and others. He "gets" most things, and at least is still here _kinda_ working on the other stuff. But you're pretty much spot on (dang...how'd that happen) when you say that this shouldn't be some out-of-the-ordinary effort--we ALREADY SHOULD be uniting and watching out for oppression and racism and nipping it in the bud.

BTW, I'm ALWAYS a very affable person!!

thaduke
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