Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

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Race, Ethnicity, & Culture

Beliefs about race and ethnicity influence our cultures, politics, and relationships.  What is race?  What is ethnicity?  This group explores those concepts.

Location: Global
Members: 234
Latest Activity: Jun 26

Welcome!

Racism and the effects of ethnocentrism are alive and well in the 21st century.  Racism and humanism are incompatible by definition. 

 File:BlueMarble-2001-2002.jpg

The most human, and humane, thing that we can do is acknowledge and support the humanity of people who are different from ourselves.  Curiosity about what makes us human, by necessity, includes curiosity about our human ethnic heritage.

 

We are incredibly enriched by immersing ourselves in a diverse world.  We are intellectually and emotionally impoverished when we exclude others who are not our mirror image.

 

This discussion group includes many topics about race and ethnicity.  Feel free to comment to new threads, or resurrect old threads, if any spark your interest.

 

My 2 cents. Daniel W.

 

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Comment by Jo Jerome on December 19, 2009 at 3:44pm
Sad, but not surprising.
Comment by David Miller on December 5, 2009 at 3:25pm
Nerd,
That is an interesting read but don't you think it's a little bit racist and sexist? I mean I see that the women who wrote it is coming from a pretty nasty background of interactions with whites and males, but I fail to see what good it does to make such broad scathing generalizations. No matter how true they are to her, they are not universal truths by any means.
Comment by Ralph Dumain on November 24, 2009 at 8:49pm
Too bad FDR didn't mean it. But Eleanor was on the case.
Comment by Daniel W on November 24, 2009 at 7:36pm
The moment a mere numerical superiority by either states or voters in this country proceeds to ignore the needs and desires of the minority, and for their own selfish purpose or advancement, hamper or oppress that minority, or debar them in any way from equal privileges and equal rights—that moment will mark the failure of our constitutional system. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

(stolen from Dallas's comments)
Comment by Glenn Sogge on November 21, 2009 at 4:40pm
A friend of mine is one of the founders of OneHistory.org--a resource for those interested in the true cultural history and diversity of our nation.

Of particular interest to us here on A|N is the text of a speech by a Native American.

Red Jacket (c. 1750-1830) was a Seneca leader and spokesman for the Six Nations. He gave this speech in 1805 in response to appeals by missionaries that his people convert to Christianity.

Text of speech here.
Comment by Daniel W on September 23, 2009 at 10:34am
To "Conversations" members -
Looking at the most recent discussions, I see that more and more members are posting discussions. It's great to see that people are so engaged and interested. Thanks!
Comment by Daniel W on August 18, 2009 at 10:57pm
Pontius Pilate,
Thanks for posting this video. It started some important discussion in the Black Freethought discussion group - here.

How we use language reveals who we are, who we think we are, and who we think other people are. It's worth a discussion. So that the discussion does not get buried by other comment wall topics, I'll link to a new discussion here.

Thank again for posting this poem and hopefully starting some more discussion.
Comment by Pontius Pilate (AIM Soldier) on August 15, 2009 at 8:45pm
My brother and I are both big fans of Def Jam Poetry and this is perhaps one of the most hard hitting poems on it. This really gets us 'niggas' thinking about how we participate in our own oppression.

Comment by Jo Jerome on August 15, 2009 at 8:41pm
Would also like to toss out there a writing project bubbling near the surface of my little life: A great-grandfather of mine had a civil war adventure that is a summer blockbuster film just waiting to happen. Not at liberty to give details, but suffice to say he is (was) a Union soldier and had a specific story which is a take/angle/view of the Civil War I have rarely seen in media.

He was persuaded by his daughter to write out his experiences so she might turn it into a book but the book never got written. Despite my Mom's complaints that his notes are just a couple of pages of bullet points, turns out it's 20 pages of "As I lay in the fox hole gazing at the twinkling stars of the summer night sky... I felt a heaviness in my heart that would never be matched..." I mean damn! With minimal editing it's an award winning short story in and of itself!

Anyway, the story has a very human drama side to it. While we so often think of the Northerners as these heros seeking to free the slaves most of them were as racist as any southerner. Great-grandpa was somewhere in the middle but it's clear in his words that the experience woke him up to the very human plight of the slaves - taught him for the first time to see the 'darkies' as instead real people.

I bring this up because when I start fleshing the story out, it seems conversations like the ones on this group are just the kind of brain fodder I need to try and put myself in Great Grandpa's shoes, to put myself in the mindset of other players in the story. I think there remains a very real and still very current issue there about not even realizing just how much we dehumanize another until we come face to face with the world of the 'other,' until something happens that really puts us in their shoes for a time.
Comment by Jo Jerome on August 15, 2009 at 8:31pm
Sounds sappy but one of the lifechanging moments for me as a child was when the series "Roots" came out. I was just turning 10; a good age to really learn about some of the harsher realities of slavery. It also affected me from another angle; I was emerging as a fan of film/television as narrative entertainment. "Roots" was the first time I really recognized the power and reach and social responsibility of good storytelling (and when LeVar Burton became this fangirl's first favorite actor).

It also cleared up a lot of mysteries for my child-mind about why people are so hung up over race in the first place. Watching the series, trying to immerse myself in the culture and the time, I'm thinking, "Wow - it's amazing we've come as far as we've had in just a few short generations."
 

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