Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Just Assimilate

I propose we stop recognizing any differences,cultures, creeds, religions.

You either assimilate into the majority, or you are shunned.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 31st, 2007 10:30am
We better implement this quick, before all the latinos  become the majority.
Permalink Send private email arg! 
July 31st, 2007 10:42am
Err.. ok.

I know you're being facetious, but who/what are you parodying?  People who say skin color doesn't matter aren't saying culture doesn't matter.  To me, that's what diversity is.  Diversity is the integration of various cultures into a whole, not slapping a nigger, a chink, and a spic onto your corporate branding image.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 31st, 2007 10:43am
It worked for my great-great-grandparents, apart from the surname of course. 

Actually 50 years later when that would of became a problem the family didn't care - one brother was at Ypres and the other sat out the war in hospital with the after-effects of a fractured skull.
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
July 31st, 2007 10:45am
Sorry, you be black.  Under your new rules, you're fired, since American culture is White, Anglo-saxon, Protestant.  We let Jews and Catholics 'pass' if they're not obnoxious about it.  Hispanics, though very disciplined and humble and hard working folks, MIGHT be able to pass for white if they learn really good english.  Asians already assimilate well enough.

Since you're black, clearly you can't assimilate into the white culture.  Go back to Africa.

Now these are attitudes I myself despise, personally.  But if you REALLY want to advocate such policies, I think you should be aware of the unintended consequences should you succeed.

My father once called this "Pulling up the gang-plank" -- having made it into America, there's this tendency for people to try to make it MORE difficult for new people to make it into America.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 31st, 2007 10:45am
To be honest, I dont see what the big deal is.  Assimilate, don't assimilate, be happy.  Plus, you can assimilate like people in various areas of NY, Chicago and then setup your own communities.  You can't gain wealth and power if you are always at the throat others.  Talk to the those 2 million in prison about that.

With that being said, on black people in the US; it isn't like we are exactly close to our kin in Africa.  Like Chris Rock said, all we really know about black/african culture is on Martin Luther King.  Just like I am sure, there are many Irish americans who dont know jack about Ireland.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 31st, 2007 10:49am
Better brush up on my Spanish and Chinese.
Permalink son of parnas 
July 31st, 2007 10:50am
>>> spanish and chinese

Stick to spanish:

http://www.pinyin.info/readings/texts/moser.html
Permalink Send private email Ward 
July 31st, 2007 10:52am
Here is my theory.  PE or STH, may back me up on this.  I think the black/white issue (in America) is about looks, physical differences.  Black people look pretty different from White people.  If you put any random black person up against some random white person of similar age, height, etc; they are going to look different.  How different (compare a hispanic and a white person).  Angelina Jolie, Rosario Dawson and Jennifer Lopez put up against each other might look similar to each other.  Angelina Jolie and Angela Bassett, well you notice a difference. Now, college educated, smart people won't give a crap.  I think the majority, the middle-class, poor will notice that difference and it may or may not bother them.

Bother them in the sense of.  Do I invite this person over for dinner.  Should I hang out with this person.  And it may not be a one time occurrence, but over a life time of seperationist attitude starts to make a difficult for either to really integrate.  I remember in college in dallas, I was a h*rny bastard like I am now and I was really into this girl and she into me, drunk of course.  And she says to me, "I have never seen a met a black person before". "What?, in your entire life? BS".  I didnt believe her, but I wonder how often that little black boy in the deep inner city ever has a serious one on one conversation with a white guy in suit.

Back to the physical aspect.  Now, I noticed that also there is a good community of Indian Americans in this country.  At times, an Indian American can have really dark skin almost as dark as any black person.  Other Asians, like South Korean Americans have light skin, almost as pale as a white person.  Both seem to be assimilated, I wonder if white americans will warm up to South Korean Americans before Indian Americans just based on physical features.  Ok, I am completely talking out of my a*s here, but I wonder if there are studies on this.

So, I think over time, middle/poor America will eventually evolve and nobody will notice this race things.  But, now; it is what it is.

On Europeans, I dont know if the race issue is that big.
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 31st, 2007 11:06am
Well, mostly Bot has it right.  The added wrinkle is -- until the 1964 voting rights act, blacks in America did not have voting rights.  Period.

And even AFTER the voting rights act, blacks in the south had "poll questionaires" that limited their access to vote.

And even THEN, "separate but equal" allowed various states to maintain dual education systems, and somehow the black education system was MUCH more poorly funded than the white education system.  Must have had something to do with property taxes.

The point being -- blacks in America have been second class citizens, (or worse), for most of the history of America.  They've basically had the last 40 years to try to make up for the previous 200 years of oppression.  And in that 40 years the oppression wasn't removed, just overt expressions of it made illegal.

So, by now, we have MAYBE one or two generations of middle-class blacks with high income, who can afford to give educational opportunties to their children equal to those whites have had for 10 generations.  This is a good start.  But as the prison populations demonstrate, there's a long way to go.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 31st, 2007 11:17am
What's wrong with assimilation? That's what the rest of us did. Are you saying those who assimilate are less authentic? Not true to their roots, etc? How discriminatory.

Have you ever thought? Assimilation => success? Or is there fear of success? Not the grand success of kings, empire builders or geniuses but the middling success of shopkeepers and 6 levels from the top managers who provide for their families and retire softly, without much ado in the press.
Permalink heartsheep 
July 31st, 2007 11:20am
Depends on how you define "assimilation", doesn't it?

Is Michael Jackson the most well-assimilated black preson?  Or is it Condaleeza Rice?

And who decides how "assimilation" is defined?  Is it "act and look just like a white anglo-saxon protestant"?

I agree, if it was defined as "be dependable, have integrity, be responsible, be disciplined, work hard, save as much as you can, send your kids to college, speak and understand English" -- that level of "assimilation" should work for everybody except for complete racists.

Sadly, a lot of other "cultural" requirements can be added, depending on who is setting the standards.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 31st, 2007 11:25am
Everyone is a minority in many elements of their lives and beliefs. If they choose to *define* themselves by that difference, then so be it, but it seems like an outdated relic of the past.
Permalink DF 
July 31st, 2007 11:28am
Condeleeza Rice is a good example.  And lets pretend that she didn't even join the Bush administration but went on to a successful top academic position instead.  She is assimilated.  In fact, grew up in Birmingham, Al during a time of rampant segregation.

"Rice was hired by Stanford University as an Assistant Professor in Political Science (1981–1987). She was granted tenure and promoted, first to Associate Professor (1987–1993), and then to Provost, the chief budget and academic officer of the university (1993–1999), and full Professor (1993–present"

Now, lets go to Birmingham, Al and take any middle-class black kid.  He isnt poor but not rich, what are the chances that he is assimilated?  Does he live and want to stay in an all black neighborhood?  Does he want to cross the train tracks and hang out in the white neighborhoods?
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 31st, 2007 11:31am
"On Europeans, I don't know if the race issue is that big."

It can be, although to my mind migration is a bigger issue with recent migrants getting the shitty end of the stick, assimilating over several generations and then the next wave going through the same process. Currently it's eastern Europeans, in the 1970s Asians, in the 1950-60s West Indians and so on in waves - in the 1850s it was the Germans (including my family).
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
July 31st, 2007 11:40am
Exactly. 

"In 1967, the family moved to Denver, Colorado. She attended St. Mary's Academy, a private all-girls Catholic high school in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. After studying piano at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Rice enrolled at the University of Denver, where her father both served as an assistant dean and taught a class called "The Black Experience in America." Dean John Rice opposed institutional racism, government oppression, and the Vietnam War."

She attended private school, attended the university her father worked at as assistant dean.  This is an upper-middle-class life, fully assimilated.  And even SHE needed some "affirmative action" to get her into her position at Stanford.

When 20% of black family stories sound like this, THEN we can begin to say America is a race-neutral society.  Until then, "ignoring race" is another way to say "rich whites keep power".
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 31st, 2007 11:41am
As a minority, it normally doesnt bother me.  But sometimes you kind of question why.  Eg, I go to ruby/linux meetings and normally there is either 1 or 0 other blacks or hispanics there, some asian.  Out of about 50-100 people.  I go to conferences and the same thing.  I may go to the nicest or coolest place in town, 0/200 people. If statistically, there are about 12-15% of the population is African American and even a little more hispanic, why arent there more around at these places.

But like I said, does it matter?
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 31st, 2007 11:46am
What matters is that someone's life chances aren't predetermined by their ethnicity. So as long as the son of a black bus driver has the same chances as a white bus driver then race isn't an issue.  However, overall social mobility might be...
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
July 31st, 2007 11:55am
lol.  That sucks.  I don't particularly remember any Blacks at the Linux conference I went to either, it was like maybe one or 1%, like you are saying.  And this is downtown L.A.

My conclusion was to think to myself "Face, it Bot, you are White" lol.  Whatever that means, I know.  Should be more Blacks, but you have to face the music, this is what you currently have.

Yeah mostly White and Asian where I went, too.  White's predominating, but still plenty of Asians.
Permalink LORB 
July 31st, 2007 11:56am
That doesn't matter, no.  The percentage of the prison population, THAT matters.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 31st, 2007 11:56am
> "rich whites keep power"

except for the quickly assimilating and successful East Asians, South Asians, Middle Easterners, Latinos, and even African/West Indian immigrants.

Are native born African-Americans afraid they won't be able to use the race card in another generation, given all the countervailing evidence?
Permalink heartsheep 
July 31st, 2007 12:00pm
The way to turn it around is be a Big Brother or Foster parent (and get compensated for it).  You know the kids that don't get picked up, a high percentage are Black.  What do they hope to? 

It's hard to find a White kid these days that isn't spoiled, but I see White people raising Black kids nowdays (foster) _all the time_.  Like the old saying goes, you can be part of the problem or be part of the solution.
Permalink LORB 
July 31st, 2007 12:08pm
Anyone care to venture why?
Besides "looking" different and besides some resentment from the past (or maybe that is it).

It seems that over time, things are kind of growing more segregated.  Eg, look at public schools.

My family was assimilated, mainly on Dad's side where most of my uncles worked at IBM Austin and/or went into Education (eg, Dad got a 1.5 PHDs) and they were the son of a bus driver (grandmother didnt work).  On my mom's side, they are kind of country.  I think assimilation is different in Austin.

I found this on yahoo answers:

"Austin is for wierdos (city slogan). Being black is the least of your worries. It's a very open, artistic, rainbow town"

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070727202402AAkyEYL
Permalink Bot Berlin 
July 31st, 2007 1:17pm
Ah, well, at least you weren't Hispanic.  I think Texans are much more concerned about Mexicans than about blacks.  Then again, my grandparents were in San Antonio, I never made it to Austin.

Texas is a really big state, by the way.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
July 31st, 2007 1:55pm
"You either assimilate into the majority, or you are shunned."

Just like high school...

Seriously, though, this seems to be a basic himan drive. Watch any reality tv show, there's always an 'outsider/scapegoat' picked early on, and despite the other contestant's bleatings (Survivor, I'm looking at you) it never has anything to do with ability... just difference in character, or luck of the draw.

Of course being fat, having glasses, being gay, the wrong race, old, young, blonde, not blonde, dressed in <pick your colour>, etc, makes the selection easier to justify, byt hose who feel the need to do it.
Permalink Ms. WsV 
July 31st, 2007 7:01pm
Damn.

Basic *human* drive.
Permalink Ms. WsV 
July 31st, 2007 7:02pm

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