Race, Ethnicity, & Culture


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


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 Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 28, 2017 at 7:20pm

image source

Good link on MLK memes, Flying Atheist. Unfortunately the site tried to force me to sign up to continue reading. I routinely just shut a link when that happens.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on January 20, 2017 at 9:47pm
Comment by Grinning Cat on January 20, 2017 at 12:52pm

Yes! Here's the direct link, for Twitterers who'd like to "like", retweet, etc.: https://twitter.com/TeaPainUSA/status/810639549177139201

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 20, 2017 at 12:29pm

Good point: Tea Pain tweet

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 19, 2017 at 10:01pm

Interesting, Daniel. Thanks.

Comment by Daniel W on January 19, 2017 at 9:11pm

Who Decides Who Counts as Native American?   Interesting article in NY Times.  The article focuses on the Nooksack, a tribe in NW Washington State amd SW British Columbia.  The tribe threw out more than 300 members, deciding they weren't Nooksack enough. 

Disenrolling members is not new in Native American tribes.  Part of the problem is that when resources are communal, the more members there are, the smaller the slice of the pie.  The same goes for Indian Casino profits, which in some tribes are divided among members.  The more members, the smaller the share.

Interestingly, since several tribes - including Cherokee - enslaved black people, when slavery ended, those black people, who had no choice in where they were living at that time, were included as members of the tribes.  But in modern times, that slice of the pie issue came up again, and the Cherokee Tribe, for one, removed 1,000 black people, whose ancesters they bought, from their tribe.  Which is sort of like if the United States had send black people to Africa after generations of forced interbreeding among different African nationalities, not to mention had children from white men via rape, such that many "belonged" nowhere.

It's an interesting topic for racism, inclusion, exclusion, ethnicity.  The old canard that only white people can be racist falls apart when we see one non-white oppressed people, oppress another non-white people whose ancestors they enslaved, or oppress others of their "own" because of arbitrary rules of what defines "use" vs. "them.:

Comment by The Flying Atheist on January 13, 2017 at 1:54pm

GG, yes, Daryl Davis makes the important point of distinction about wanting to return to a better time.  Ask any "minority" group what better time in the past they would like to return to and I guarantee they will have a different answer.  

Comment by Grinning Cat on January 13, 2017 at 11:38am

Catching up here... in the video Carl posted, Daryl Davis makes important points about the racist and white supremacist code language, the dog whistles that proved crucial in recent US politics, words that "ring a bell... that's only heard by certain people." Every American politician wants to "make America great"; tRump's one crucial additional word, without which he might have decisively lost the election, was "make America great again", resonating with people who'd like to return to the days of segregation and unapologetic white privilege.

Similarly, he talks about how the rise of the Tea Party and its slogan of "take our country back" didn't happen under presidents Jimmy Carter (a Democrat) or Bill Clinton (a Democrat). "Take our country back" doesn't (just) mean "back to Republican rule". It echoed a Klan rallying cry; meaning take our country back to segregation, so their little boys and little girls wouldn't have to go to school with "little n-words".

Reposting the video, cued up to the relevant part at 9:18:

Comment by Loren Miller on January 13, 2017 at 10:52am

Daniel, I'm not quite halfway into the video you posted and It ... Is ... BRILLIANT, never mind gutsy as hell.  What it tells me are two things:

  1. We need to knock it off with the rose-colored glasses approach to social engineering and face some hard FACTS.
  2. The US needs someone to look at our racial and ethnic issues here with the same brand of neutrality which Trevor Phillips brought to the UK.

That second line item would be a tall order, America's size and diverse regional variations being what they are, yet I wonder at the commonalities we would find, regardless of location.

Many thanks for posting that, Daniel!

Comment by Daniel W on January 13, 2017 at 9:30am

On the video below, that I posted yesterday - I'm so impressed by Trevor Phillips' reasonableness, calm manner, and willingness to ask hard questions. It helps that he's discussing UK from his own experience, and not the US. Some aspects are different from the US but the similarities are almost staggering.

There is a lot to learn from this video. It is without accusation, no demonization, and he states that preventing people from saying what's on their minds, will not change what's in their hearts.

It's a long video. I had to watch in 3 parts. I think it's interesting and thought provoking.


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