The great race debate.

  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Apr 12, 2008 4:42 AM GMT
    Since this is a hot topic I thought I'd break my forum cherry with this. Please, be gentle.

    In an effort to break away from threads about race that seem self absorbed and whiney (no offense to any of you with gripes, you all just open yourselves to unnecessary animosity) and in an attempt to open discussion that includes personal experiences, I start by copying something I posted in another forum which was inspired by other posts:

    Has anyone read Dangerous Liaisons: Blacks, Gays, and the Struggle for Equality? Here is the abstract taken from Public Opinion Quarterly of the Oxford Journals.

    Black-White Differences in Attitudes toward Homosexuality and Gay Rights*


    GREGORY B. LEWIS
    Abstract

    Black homophobia has been cited as a contributing factor in slowing mobilization against AIDS in the African-American community, as an obstacle to black lesbians and gay men in coming to terms with their sexuality, and as a challenge to the legitimacy of the gay rights movement. Yet evidence that blacks are more homophobic than whites is quite limited. This article uses responses from almost seven thousand blacks and forty-three thousand whites in 31 surveys conducted since 1973 to give more definitive answers on black-white attitudinal differences and their demographic roots. Despite their greater disapproval of homosexuality, blacks' opinions on sodomy laws, gay civil liberties, and employment discrimination are quite similar to whites' opinions, and African Americans are more likely to support laws prohibiting antigay discrimination. Once religious and educational differences are controlled, blacks remain more disapproving of homosexuality but are moderately more supportive of gay civil liberties and markedly more opposed to antigay employment discrimination than are whites. Yet religion, education, gender, and age all have weaker impacts on black than on white attitudes, suggesting that black and white attitudes have different roots.


    I'm more interested in a real discussion, but if you have to vent, do so at your own risk. If you have any links for articles, books, etc. post them. I'm sure someone may take the time to read them. I am finding that the guys on RJ are more than muscle heads and pretty faces.

    Now, then, let's begin.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Apr 12, 2008 5:00 AM GMT
    These discussions have opened many avenues for self discovery. I've learned about my own buttons with intolerance experienced in the gay and black communities. I wonder what else I'll learn and understand.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Apr 12, 2008 5:49 AM GMT
    To respond to the book quote, it doesn't surprise me that blacks can be more disapproving of homosexuality than whites, yet at the same time more disapproving of antigay employment discrimination and more infavour of gay civil liberties. I would imagine that it hits too close to home for the black population in North America.

    Now about race, racism, etc. in gerneal, I feel to have an open, honest, and mature discussion that doesn't degenerate into a flame war, we all have to accept a few things.

    1) We all have our individual, personal opinions

    2) We will have a biased in our opinions in relation to our own race

    3) Point 2 doesn't necessarily make one rascist

    4) Don't generalize

    As always, I can only speak of my own experiences. I grew up in a city with a population of 100 000. Not a small town, but stuck in the middle of nowhere. Growing up I was exposed to whites, few Asians, many Native Canadians, and no blacks. I didn't meet my first black person in my hometown until I was about 11. A family that escaped Rwanda ended up in Thunder Bay, and the three daughters entered my school. The eldest girl was in my class and we became best friends.

    Travelling with my father during summer break, I had the good fortune of coming across the most interesting people, and was able to experience such fascinating diversity. At home, my parents as well as my aunts and uncles had straight friends, gay friends, Native friends, and Asian friends. I have vivid memories of backyard B-B-Qs at our neighbours across the street. They were a gay couple, one of the men a local tv personality. I remember seeing men holding hands and kissing at those get togethers. I remember lesbian couples and a few men with their mtf transgendered partners. This diversity was my 'normal'. These differences were never an issue, they were never talked about in a way that suggested a line between 'us' and 'them'.

    As a teenager still in Thunder Bay I knew what racism was, of course, but it wasn't until I first moved to Toronto when I was 18 that I saw those invisible lines that divided blacks from whites from asians, as well as straights from gays. That was new to me. What I saw was that these lines were drawn by each group equally. The whites gathered together over here, the blacks there, etc. etc., of their own accord. No one was forced into segregating.

    Now, this is not to say that there isn't actual rascism out there, because it is alive and well. But there is rascism in every race, and well as internalized rascism.

  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Apr 12, 2008 6:45 AM GMT
    Regarding your points, this is exactly why I wanted to open up a real discussion about this.

    I've met many people from many different backgrounds, including a well meaning Mormon guy in college who was fascinated that the palms of my hands and soles of my feet were lighter than the rest of me. His innocence intrigued me so we spoke for long time about things.

    Did you happen to read this? It's an excerpt from the same book. Blacks and Gays in Conflict: An Interview with U.S. Representative Barney Frank http://www.keithboykin.com/author/bfrank.html

    I found it to be a very interesting read.
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    Apr 12, 2008 7:16 AM GMT
    Yet religion, education, gender, and age all have weaker impacts on black than on white attitudes, suggesting that black and white attitudes have different roots.

    Really weird... speaking as an Asian, it's very hard to see actual racism here too, asides from the "he's strange" comments uttered by people who've only seen black/white men for the first time.

    There is the element of suspicion though against foreigners - Chinese and Indian nationals mostly (because they have a long history of being 'usurers' in filipino culture, LOL not generalizing, just saying the general attitude). As for racism, nada.

    I think it has more to do with the fact that America is really very varied, and clashes between minorities is inevitable especially when the largest of them (blacks) have once actually been enslaved by the dominant whites.

    Anyway, I'd like to share the incidences of racism I've encountered:

    (This is from a discussion board last year)

    "omg duuuude, you r sooo cool. not. your really some queer asian with no friends. gay."

    "go eat some rice. lololololololololololololol"

    (there's more, but meh)
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Apr 12, 2008 4:13 PM GMT
    Auryn said

    Did you happen to read this? It's an excerpt from the same book. Blacks and Gays in Conflict: An Interview with U.S. Representative Barney Frank http://www.keithboykin.com/author/bfrank.html

    I found it to be a very interesting read.


    Thanks for the link Auryn, very interesting.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Apr 12, 2008 6:50 PM GMT
    Sedative14 saidYet religion, education, gender, and age all have weaker impacts on black than on white attitudes, suggesting that black and white attitudes have different roots.

    Really weird... speaking as an Asian, it's very hard to see actual racism here too, asides from the "he's strange" comments uttered by people who've only seen black/white men for the first time.

    There is the element of suspicion though against foreigners - Chinese and Indian nationals mostly (because they have a long history of being 'usurers' in filipino culture, LOL not generalizing, just saying the general attitude). As for racism, nada.

    I think it has more to do with the fact that America is really very varied, and clashes between minorities is inevitable especially when the largest of them (blacks) have once actually been enslaved by the dominant whites.

    Anyway, I'd like to share the incidences of racism I've encountered:

    (This is from a discussion board last year)

    "omg duuuude, you r sooo cool. not. your really some queer asian with no friends. gay."

    "go eat some rice. lololololololololololololol"

    (there's more, but meh)


    I think it's great that you took time to read the excerpt and comment on it! icon_biggrin.gif

    You make me wonder why there is a divide in European Countries (or even wonder how vast the disparity between the races are). Blacks weren't enslaved there, as far as I know.

    I've only been able to learn about race relations Europe from BBC comedies, movies, and shows. Just seeing how the races interact in shows like Torchwood, Red Dwarf, Dr. Who, Little Britain, and the like might not give the most accurate views. Hell, I must admit, that I was even afraid of going to Japan due to documentaries that I'd watched about how they viewed Blacks and a discussion from a Chinese born English teacher of mine who told us how his mother told him never to touch a black person. He also taught us many of the slurs he was taught for all races; he was cool. (I didn't like him as a teacher, only because his class was too hard for me and that's the way it's supposed to be when you're young.) However, when I went to Japan, I loved it and I want to go back.

    I've experienced racism and I've experienced racial ignorance (negatively and innocently charged ignorance) but I know that not everyone is out to get me; for the most part. It's the other person's fault if they don't want to get to know me due to the way I look. They're the ones that are missing out.
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    Apr 12, 2008 7:03 PM GMT
    A Korean friend of mine wondered why so many white people hate Jews. After all, "They are just more white people" he said. All bigotry is relative was the lesson learned.

    But I quite enjoyed The Greatest Taboo: Homosexuality in Black Communities. It is an anthology with a bunch of great essays. One in particular laid out very plainly how racism, homophobia, and sexism are all related.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Apr 12, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    icon_idea.gif I actually had a thought based on something that Pattison said in another thread:

    Pattison said

    Since gay men are attracted to status. Lots of top positions have homosexual men.

    (from http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/158815/)

    (I know a thought from something Pattison wrote, right? The possibility that one would get a cogent thought from one's writing is staggering.)icon_wink.gif

    Anyway, what I was thinking was, what if the greater problem is one of an invisible caste with racial (and not necessarily racist) undertones. Could this be why so many don't see racism in the mix?

    If, according to the bits that I've read from forums and these articles, Blacks have been in favor of gay rights more than Caucasians and "religion, education, gender, and age all have weaker impacts on black than on white attitudes, suggesting that black and white attitudes have different roots", then what is problem? True it's not a problem for all blacks, whites, asians, etc. But there is a problem. Do we have a Caste system that we've not defined or considered in the gay community?

    I know I have a problem with "status queens" more than I do with a racist queen.

    What do you guys think?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 13, 2008 12:35 AM GMT
    [quote ]Anyway, what I was thinking was, what if the greater problem is one of an invisible caste with racial (and not necessarily racist) undertones. Could this be why so many don't see racism in the mix?

    Do we have a Caste system that we've not defined or considered in the gay community?

    I know I have a problem with "status queens" more than I do with a racist queen.

    What do you guys think?[/quote]

    ~Auryn

    I once met an a recent gay asian immigrant in Toronto who explained, in broken English, that he was seeking to socialize exclusively with white men so he could learn to speak "proper English." I was racially offended by that remark because it seemed to imply that only whites are capable of speaking standard English.

    I think what he really meant is he was looking to travel in circles where standard or "cultured" English is spoken as the norm, and he naively linked race with what seemed to be a class assumption: best English speakers = higher class = white?

    I suppose there may be other examples where status-seeking, class consciousness can be interpreted on the other end as a strictly "racial" thing. The truth is sometimes a little more complex.

    "Status queens" don't bother me much, they are easily dealt with, or ignored. Not so with "racist queens." Just my experience.
  • auryn

    Posts: 2061

    Apr 13, 2008 2:18 AM GMT
    BGP,

    Your experience is what I think will help me and others understand the nuances of the race issue. Thanks.

    On a lighter note, I was reminded of this clip from Little Britain:


    But seriously, even in our community we have people that know what proper English sounds like and we put each other down; remember when Bill Cosby blasted Wanda Sykes at the Oscars a few years ago? Our comedians make fun of how "white people talk" so for the guy you met to have wanted to surround himself with people due to his limited experience is understandable, not right but understandable.
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    Apr 14, 2008 8:19 AM GMT
    Actually blacks were enslaved in Europe too, just not on as large a scale as America. Look at Jamaica, it's a french colony.

    That said... I suddenly realize how little I know of blacks in Europe and what happened to them before, during, and after the American Civil War... hmm...
    ______

    On Asians reactions to Black people:

    Blacks are VERY rare in Asia hence why they often draw crowds in malls. LOL I know... Whenever I see people whispering to themselves and pointing out a black tourist (who is obviously writhing with embarrassment) I want to run to them and tell them to shut up. LOL

    It's just... curiosity. And you might have noticed, we Asians seldom worry about childish impulses. LOL So yeah, you get the slackjawed crowds and stuff. It's not so much as being rude as it is cultural.

    Also, another thing. I've mentioned this before, but dark skin to Filipinos is unattractive GENERALLY. A cultural throwback from the Spanish period and nothing to do with race. That's starting to change now as more and more filipinos are embracing the color of their own skin (partly due to the rise of Black Eyed Peas).
    There are some filipinos who are naturally dark (especially those descended from Negrito tribespeople, like the Aborigines of Australia). They embrace black fashion instead (it's becoming quite popular among the younger generations here - gangsta fashion, you might say). Much like the Japanese Ganguro movement (girls who tan their skin VERY dark and then dye their hair in light colors).
    ______
    On Black homophobia:

    hmm... This is entirely my own conjecture, LOL. Probably because blacks are still fighting for rights, as racism has still not vanished altogether in the states. They feel like they have to be stronger, more masculine and are therefore intolerant to people who 'sully' this image of strength because it may threaten the face they present to their 'oppressors'. Yet they are more supportive of LGBT rights because that is what they are fighting for too.

    Hence the gangster culture, and a lot of curious black 'traditions' - no mayonnaise, just ketchup, for instance. LOL Or (as your example, Auryn of Bill Cosby) the insistence on speaking in 'jive'. Or the bling.

    I have no problems with jive though, LOL, it's derivative from the original intonation of African languages I think - like Jamaican for example, which sounds the same as jive but is actually a mixture of French, English, Spanish, and African - but when it starts to purposefully mutilate the English language simply because they don't want to 'sound white', it starts to get ridiculous. And that video was HILARIOUS!

    This is also evident in Latino cultures. The 'macho' ideal. Chili peppers, anyone? Tequila? Also whites in the strongly bigoted states, like Texas. Where, ironically, the drawl is also glorified.

    Wherever there is a strong peer pressure for the masculine ideal for whatever the reason (a need for the maintenance of a strong fighting for equality image for blacks, the roughneck status of whites, and the casablanca image in latinos), there always will be homophobia close on its heels.
    ______

    On White homophobia:

    Different roots. I think it's... religious. It's no secret that most white men are monotheists. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are all very homophobic religions.
  • 1AlanZSky

    Posts: 1505

    Jul 20, 2015 11:16 PM GMT
    Because Jesus was white? That is why there is this supposedly gay hierarchy?

    *facepalm*

    Here is an idea, religion is nonsense and there is no "gay hierarchy".