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5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don't think it's reasonable to say that poor Asian immigrants aren't in any way alienated, especially in the age of COVID. They just happen to be academically focused, so in this SPECIFIC way, they benefit from the status quo. But there are certainly ways in which Asians do not benefit from it, too. 

I think "minority" is a political grouping -- it's an alliance of people with very disparate values and needs. What they have in common is, as you say, a certain amount of alienation from mainstream culture. Like all alliances, this one is fragile -- when the goals coincide, they stick together. When they do not, they fall apart. 

The distinction isn’t POOR ASIAN IMMIGRANTS at all, again, a misreading. It’s 1st/2nd generation immigrants from all over, including Africa, where they were NOT minorities vs 3rd generation and beyond and native-born people of color. If you look at the actual data and stats, the benefits of immigrant scrappiness are non-existent by the 3rd generation. ‘Culture’ is a total oversimplification. Minority as a classification is somewhat ham-fisted but it is by no means meaningless. That construct is largely used by those who would have there be no analysis or consideration of policy and other impacts on groups in favor of purely one-off individual approaches.

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censored, banned, burned by governments or mobs...   ...vs discontinued by the author / author's estate   Evidently the Seuss estate *did* want to "make a huge public statement

This story is a perfect illustration of the "outrage culture" fomented by talk radio and social media. So a minor story noting that the company founded by Seuss's family will no longer reprint a few b

I do love Dr Seuss, but when you know better, you do better. Times have changed and it is appropriate to retire offensive stereotypes. 

Just now, Sneezyone said:

The distinction isn’t POOR ASIAN IMMIGRANTS at all, again, a misreading. It’s 1st generation immigrants from all over, including Africa, where they were NOT minorities vs 2nd and 3rd generation. And native-born people of color. If you look at the actual data and stats, the benefits of immigrant scrappiness are non-existent by the 3rd generation. ‘Culture’ is a total oversimplification.

I'm not sure what you're saying. I agree that the benefits are non-existent by the 3rd generation, but at that point, they aren't alienated and aren't immigrants. What's your point? There are still clashes between different 1st generation communities about the issues of testing. 

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I also think there's a question about how much people assimilate versus how much they stick to a specific and separate culture. If you fully assimilate, you can expect there to be no cultural benefits. If you don't assimilate, like has been the case to some extent for the secular Jewish community and I'm sure some other communities as well, then there can be an uneasy relationship between your community and mainstream culture. 

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

I'm not sure what you're saying. I agree that the benefits are non-existent by the 3rd generation, but at that point, they aren't alienated and aren't immigrants. What's your point? There are still clashes between different 1st generation communities about the issues of testing. 

I’m sorry, what? Is this based on the idea that by the third generation visual differences and cultural experiences don’t create social alienation? You want to hold up immigrant experiences as a reason why non-immigrants shouldn’t have ‘minority’ group status and then say that third generation people aren’t immigrants so they don’t count as minorities either?

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I also think there's a question about how much people assimilate versus how much they stick to a specific and separate culture. If you fully assimilate, you can expect there to be no cultural benefits. If you don't assimilate, like has been the case to some extent for the secular Jewish community and I'm sure some other communities as well, then there can be an uneasy relationship between your community and mainstream culture. 

WHY?! What are you even saying right now? Do you suppose the only way to benefit from Mexican culture is to assimilate to WASP culture? 

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

I’m sorry, what? Is this based on the idea that by the third generation visual differences and cultural experiences don’t create social alienation? You want to hold up immigrant experiences as a reason why non-immigrants shouldn’t have ‘minority’ group status and then say that third generation people aren’t immigrants so they don’t count as minorities either?

Whaaat? No, I don't think that non-immigrants shouldn't have "minority" group status. It's a fine status. I'm just not sure it's all that informative when it comes to people's values and opinions. 

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

WHY?! What are you even saying right now? Do you suppose the only way to benefit from Mexican culture is to assimilate to WASP culture? 

No, obviously not... I have no idea how you got that out of what I said. 

My point was that if you want to see cultural differences between groups, then the groups need to stay culturally separated from mainstream culture. If you're looking at 3rd generation immigrants, are there cultural differences on average? What exactly do you mean by 3rd generation immigrants? 

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6 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Is this based on the idea that by the third generation visual differences and cultural experiences don’t create social alienation?

For some people they do, and for some people, they don't? It sort of depends how your family tree goes. Most people in the US have ancestors that were immigrants not all that long ago. Not everyone retains that identity. Some people do. Some of it definitely depends on whether one has the ABILITY to blend in or not. 

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12 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don't think it's reasonable to say that poor Asian immigrants aren't in any way alienated, especially in the age of COVID. They just happen to be academically focused, so in this SPECIFIC way, they benefit from the status quo. But there are certainly ways in which Asians do not benefit from it, too. 

I think "minority" is a political grouping -- it's an alliance of people with very disparate values and needs. What they have in common is, as you say, a certain amount of alienation from mainstream culture, partially because they've experienced prejudice. Like all alliances, this one is fragile -- when the goals coincide, they stick together. When they do not, they fall apart. 

I’m going to back away now because this is really not coming across well to me, at all. There’s a TREMENDOUS amount of history in this country of mainstream culture coopting and including various minority groups to increase/maintain majority power...Irish, Italian, etc. They use groups as needed to divide and conquer. As political or ethnic groupings, the designation is only fragile for that reason. 

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2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m going to back away now because this is really not coming across well to me, at all. There’s a TREMENDOUS amount of history in this country of mainstream culture coopting and including various minority groups to increase/maintain majority power...Irish, Italian, etc. They use groups as needed to divide and conquer. As political or ethnic groupings, the designation is only fragile for that reason. 

Do you disagree that minority communities can have very widely different experiences of the world and can have very different values? That's the thing that, in my opinion, makes the alliance fragile. 

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1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

WHY?! What are you even saying right now? Do you suppose the only way to benefit from Mexican culture is to assimilate to WASP culture? 

As an immigrant, the greatest thing about America is the ability to assimilate. It doesn’t matter where you are from, you can be an American. In contrast in Europe, it doesn’t matter if you are 3rd, 4th, or 5th generation. Your ethnicity will always be defined by own last name, your “blood” and it’s so difficult to be accepted. An Indian in French can never become French. He can with a passport, but French will not accept him as part of a French ethnicity. 

We have a culture here. You know you are an American when you meet another American abroad (despite of their color or ethnic origin).  I am firmly in a camp of “when in Rome, do as Romans do” meaning we form one whole linguistically and culturally even if the whole isn’t one shade but many different shades of the same. 

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Re minority, I'm not saying the designation is good or bad, but I do observe that there is a lot discrimination and expressed distaste between members of different minority groups.  I see more of that than of them getting together in meaningful ways to help combat common problems.

I am not sure who all is behind it, but I do think there are forces that push the minority theme because they benefit from the way it distracts people [of all colors/backgrounds] from working together on common worthwhile goals.

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38 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

As an immigrant, the greatest thing about America is the ability to assimilate. It doesn’t matter where you are from, you can be an American. In contrast in Europe, it doesn’t matter if you are 3rd, 4th, or 5th generation. Your ethnicity will always be defined by own last name, your “blood” and it’s so difficult to be accepted. An Indian in French can never become French. He can with a passport, but French will not accept him as part of a French ethnicity. 

We have a culture here. You know you are an American when you meet another American abroad (despite of their color or ethnic origin).  I am firmly in a camp of “when in Rome, do as Romans do” meaning we form one whole linguistically and culturally even if the whole isn’t one shade but many different shades of the same. 

Most NON-WHITE immigrants CANNOT assimilate to the degree you describe, nor have they ever been able to assimilate to the degree you describe, even when valiant attempts were made. Which is why, by the 3rd generation, there is no residual benefit from the majority experience/scrappiness they came with UNLESS they were adopted into the majority culture, IOW white-passing. That’s erasure for power/convenience’s sake. PROTIP, a lot of Americans don’t accept the US nationality/full citizenship of non-white people either. That’s not a European thing, it’s a white people thing.

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2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

PROTIP, a lot of Americans don’t accept the US nationality of non-white people either. That’s not a European thing, it’s a white people thing.

I don't think it's a "white people" thing. It's a "dominant culture" thing. Ashkenazi Jews like myself are pretty white, and it really doesn't help that much in terms of assimilation. The options are either to stop identifying as an ethnic minority (which, yes, is an option for me and not you -- I understand that this is unfair!!) or to have issues. 

In the US, of course, the dominant culture is white. So you could argue it's the same thing in this specific case. 

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don't think it's a "white people" thing. It's a "dominant culture" thing. Jews are pretty white, and it really doesn't help that much in terms of assimilation. The options are either to stop identifying as an ethnic minority (which, yes, is an option for me and not you -- I understand that this is unfair!!) or to have issues. 

In the US, of course, the dominant culture is white. So you could argue it's the same thing in this specific case. 

The fact that you, and others, continue to offer up assimilation and cultural erasure as an option/the solution to these ills is...something. 

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

The fact that you, and others, continue to offer up assimilation and cultural erasure as an option/the solution to these ills is...something. 

What exactly do you want me to say?? It's not a solution. It IS, however, what lots of immigrants I know actually WANT. I don't want it myself. But I certainly have lots of friends one of whose parents is Jewish and they are absolutely totally assimilated. They don't think of themselves as anything other than American. And what am I supposed to do about that, exactly? I'm just reporting what I see. 

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

What exactly do you want me to say?? It's not a solution. It IS, however, what lots of immigrants I know actually WANT. I don't want it myself. But I certainly have lots of friends one of whose parents is Jewish and they are absolutely totally assimilated. They don't think of themselves as anything other than American. And what am I supposed to do about that, exactly? I'm just reporting what I see. 

I want you to stop promoting the ridiculous notion that because something worked for you and yours it’s universally available to others and therefore a valid response to systems that disadvantage people and pit them against each other. Jewish isn’t stamped on your damned forehead.

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14 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I want you to stop promoting the ridiculous notion that because something worked for you and yours it’s universally available to others and therefore a valid response to systems that disadvantage people and pit them against each other. Jewish isn’t stamped on your damned forehead.

I just said it wasn't universally available. That was IN MY POST. And Jewish may not be stamped on my forehead but it sure damn is on my husband's. And it's in MY NAME. 

ETA: Also, I have an accent. I have no idea why anyone would think I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who's able to blend in. I don't even WANT my family to fully assimilate. 

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14 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Most NON-WHITE immigrants CANNOT assimilate to the degree you describe, nor have they ever been able to assimilate to the degree you describe, even when valiant attempts were made. Which is why, by the 3rd generation, there is no residual benefit from the majority experience/scrappiness they came with UNLESS they were adopted into the majority culture, IOW white-passing. That’s erasure for power/convenience’s sake. PROTIP, a lot of Americans don’t accept the US nationality/full citizenship of non-white people either. That’s not a European thing, it’s a white people thing.

Well, I think we are a century ahead of everybody else, and I speak from a very personal experience. And if we continue on the same trajectory, we will one day get to the destination. 
I disagree that religion or color somehow excludes you from being identified as an American. I think that could prevent you in other places, but here, I do think we don’t have to give up religious identity to belong. And yes, while we have ways to go, racial identity also isn’t what will exclude one from being an American. Really does anybody here dispute that being black makes you not be an American? Well I can tell you it would in Eastern Europe exclude you to ever become Polish for example. 
I don’t think people here realize how racist the rest of the world really is. Chinese, Easter Europeans.... I will stop naming. 
We really need to understand how much we have accomplished over the past century and attempt to stay on that path. I hate the group politics because I strongly believe it is putting us on a much more divisive path. 
One identity to me that comes in different colors and religions but is unified by language and values is a must for a functioning of a society. 

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2 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Well, I think we are a century ahead of everybody else, and I speak from a very personal experience. And if we continue on the same trajectory, we will one day get to the destination. 
I disagree that religion or color somehow excludes you from being identified as an American. I think that could prevent you in other places, but here, I do think we don’t have to give up religious identity to belong. And yes, while we have ways to go, racial identity also isn’t what will exclude one from being an American. Really does anybody here dispute that being black makes you not be an American? Well I can tell you it would in Eastern Europe exclude you to ever become Polish for example. 
I don’t think people here realize how racist the rest of the world really is. Chinese, Easter Europeans.... I will stop naming. 
We really need to understand how much we have accomplished over the past century and attempt to stay on that path. I hate the group politics because I strongly believe it is putting us on a much more divisive path. 
One identity to me that comes in different colors and religions but is unified by language and values is a must for a functioning of a society. 

Talk to Rashida Tlaib or Keith Ellison or anyone else on the receiving end of deliberate voter disenfranchisement efforts. You may hate group politics but it’s not minority groups who have used group identity to withhold power and constrain the rights of others. It is only because of those identity groups collectively organizing that we have as many rights for women, racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities as we do.

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

Talk to Rashida Tlaib or Keith Ellison or anyone else on the receiving end of deliberate voter disenfranchisement efforts. You may hate group politics but it’s not minority groups who have used group identity to withhold power and constrain the rights of others. It is only because of those identity groups collectively organizing that we have as many rights for women, racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities as we do.

And you know very well that I more than approve of those groups collectively organizing. 

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

And you know very well that I more than approve of those groups collectively organizing. 

Clearly, you don’t. You just said that assimilation is the way, the truth and the light for those who can and ??? For those who can’t. In addition, the very use of the term ‘minority’ is meaningless and inutile b/c it doesn’t represent the minority of a minority of a minority that you know is doing just great.

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

Clearly, you don’t. You just said that assimilation is the way, the truth and the light for those who can and ??? For those who can’t. In addition, the very use of the term ‘minority’ is meaningless b/c it doesn’t represent the minority of a minority of a minority that you know is doing just great.

I didn't say that. I didn't say any of that 😕 . I don't want to assimilate myself and I don't think it's the right way forward for society. And I don't think it's a meaningless term, but it's not a cohesive group. I think this conversation is clearly showing that it's not a cohesive group, frankly, since you, me and Roadrunner are all very visible minorities and we have fundamental disagreements.

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I didn't say that. I didn't say any of that 😕 . I don't want to assimilate myself and I don't think it's the right way forward for society. And I don't think it's a meaningless term, but it's not a cohesive group. I think this conversation is clearly showing that it's not a cohesive group, frankly, since you, me and Roadrunner are all very visible minorities and we have fundamental disagreements.

1st/2nd gen immigrants are a VERY, VERY small population of people in America. I get that you think our experiences should be similar but we lack common history and understanding of how this country works. That is true even for immigrants who look like me. I have not found that to be the case with my multiethnic/religious friends whose families have been here for much longer stretches. The fundamental understanding of what America is and has been is sometimes insurmountably different.

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

1st/2nd gen immigrants are a VERY, VERY small population of people in America. I get that you think our experiences should be similar but we lack common history and understanding of how this country works. I have not found that to be the case with my multiethnic/religious friends whose families have been here for much longer stretches.

No, I don't think our experiences are similar -- I agree with that. It's a very different perspective on being a minority. In some ways, my husband's perspective is more similar (the fact that he's Jewish is really obvious -- you're going to have to trust me on that one), although of course it's not the same. And he also thought of me as naive when we started dating more than a decade ago, although I don't think he thinks of me that way now. As you say, I didn't know how the culture worked. 

I believe you're wrong about immigrants being a small population. Quoting from here: 

https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2020/08/20/facts-on-u-s-immigrants/

The foreign-born population residing in the U.S. reached a record 44.8 million, or 13.7% of the U.S. population, in 2018. This immigrant population has more than quadrupled since the 1960s, when the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act took effect. Though growth has begun to slow in recent years, the number of immigrants living in the United States is projected to almost double by 2065.

That's many more than there are Jews (which there are 7 million of) and I think is similar to the number of Black people. 

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

No, I don't think our experiences are similar -- I agree with that. It's a very different perspective on being a minority. In some ways, my husband's perspective is more similar (the fact that he's Jewish is really obvious -- you're going to have to trust me on that one), although of course it's not the same. And he also thought of me as naive when we started dating more than a decade ago, although I don't think he thinks of me that way now. As you say, I didn't know how the culture worked. 

I believe you're wrong about immigrants being a small population. Quoting from here: 

https://www.pewresearch.org/hispanic/2020/08/20/facts-on-u-s-immigrants/

The foreign-born population residing in the U.S. reached a record 44.8 million, or 13.7% of the U.S. population, in 2018. This immigrant population has more than quadrupled since the 1960s, when the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act took effect. Though growth has begun to slow in recent years, the number of immigrants living in the United States is projected to almost double by 2065.

That's many more than there are Jews (which there are 7 million of) and I think is similar to the number of Black people. 

First of all, you specifically singled out Asian Americans as the model minority that values education so they’re Gucci. Then you said Russian Jews can assimilate and want to do it so they’re Gucci. Now you want to compare the percent of immigrants to the number of self-identified black people (which is not, BTW, all URMs)? What is your point? It’s a minority of a minority, just as I said.

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24 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Talk to Rashida Tlaib or Keith Ellison or anyone else on the receiving end of deliberate voter disenfranchisement efforts. You may hate group politics but it’s not minority groups who have used group identity to withhold power and constrain the rights of others. It is only because of those identity groups collectively organizing that we have as many rights for women, racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities as we do.

I think we have a common ground - we agree on the past. We don’t agree on how to move forward. That’s OK. We don’t need to agree. It’s important though to have those conversations. 

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13 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

First of all, you specifically singled out Asian Americans as the model minority that values education so they’re Gucci. Then you said Russian Jews can assimilate and want to do it so they’re Gucci.

I didn't say Russian Jews want to fully assimilate -- in fact, most don't, they want to stay identified as Jewish. I didn't call anyone Gucci, and I'm sure I could have picked less charged examples of minority communities at loggerheads -- honestly, I am now very sorry I mentioned that one, because it's so loaded. It didn't mean much of anything except that I don't think the minority community is monolithic and I knew of that one without doing any research. 

 

Quote

Now you want to compare the percent of immigrants to the number of self-identified black people (which is not, BTW, all URMs)? What is your point? It’s a minority of a minority, just as I said.

My point is that there are a heck of a lot of first generation immigrants. There's no deeper point there. You said it's a small number. I'm pointing out it's more than 10 percent of the population. I should have probably not compared it to any other numbers. 

This conversation is definitely making me feel like the opinions of first generation immigrants don't matter to people for whom the minority designation is an important concept. Because I'm feeling like there's no room for anything I may have to say in this conversation. 

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I think I'm going to need a break from this conversation 😕 . Please don't tag me or quote me. I am obviously not managing to communicate what I'm trying to say, and I find that feeling very frustrating. 

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I didn't say Russian Jews want to fully assimilate -- in fact, most don't, they want to stay identified as Jewish. I didn't call anyone Gucci, and I'm sure I could have pick less charged examples of minority communities at loggerheads -- honestly, I am now very sorry I mentioned that one, because it's so loaded. It didn't mean much of anything except that I don't think the minority community is monolithic and I knew of that one without doing any research. 

 

My point is that there are a heck of a lot of first generation immigrants. There's no deeper point there. You said it's a small number. I'm pointing out it's more than 10 percent of the population. I should have probably not compared it to any other numbers. 

This conversation is definitely making me feel like the opinions of first generation immigrants don't matter to people for whom the minority designation is an important concept. Because I'm feeling like there's no room for anything I may have to say in this conversation. 

Contribute away! I’m simply saying that, as a recent immigrant, you make a lot of broad, sweeping statements about how this country works that are difficult to back up.

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9 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Contribute away! I’m simply saying that, as a recent immigrant, you make a lot of broad, sweeping statements about how this country works that are difficult to back up.

I actually haven't said things about how this country works. I've only made some observations using my own narrow experience. Most of the things you've quoted me as saying I didn't actually say. I believe that PEOPLE say them, but I didn't. 

I really do need a break, if you don't mind. 

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PSA: for the newbies, I move in and out of urban slang with ease. Code switching is my way of life. Thanks to my kids, my family history and my husband’s salty sailors, I’m just as likely to use highfalutin words as AAVE and blue humor. If you’re not sure why or how I’ve paraphrased something as I have, the urban dictionary is the best place to look for clues.

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m just gonna say this too, for the newbies, I move in and out of urban slang with ease. Code switching is my way of life. Thanks to my kids, my family history and my husband’s salty sailors, I’m just as likely to use highfalutin words as AAVE and blue humor. If you’re not sure why or how I’ve paraphrased something as I have, the urban dictionary is the best place to look.

I'm not having trouble understanding what you said, but I don't think those were actually summaries of what I said. 

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1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

Well, I think we are a century ahead of everybody else, and I speak from a very personal experience. And if we continue on the same trajectory, we will one day get to the destination. 
I disagree that religion or color somehow excludes you from being identified as an American. I think that could prevent you in other places, but here, I do think we don’t have to give up religious identity to belong. And yes, while we have ways to go, racial identity also isn’t what will exclude one from being an American. Really does anybody here dispute that being black makes you not be an American? Well I can tell you it would in Eastern Europe exclude you to ever become Polish for example. 
I don’t think people here realize how racist the rest of the world really is. Chinese, Easter Europeans.... I will stop naming. 
We really need to understand how much we have accomplished over the past century and attempt to stay on that path. I hate the group politics because I strongly believe it is putting us on a much more divisive path. 
One identity to me that comes in different colors and religions but is unified by language and values is a must for a functioning of a society. 

The history of whiteness in the United States is complicated. Who is white and who isn't white? When Jewish people become white? Same question for the Irish and the Italians? In the USA, it has always been about skin color and the important white vs black distinction. Many have written on this topic. Essentially affording non-Northern Europeans the "white" distinction, was a way of enforcing white supremacy in the USA. 

Who is black and who is white? After the Civil War, the southern states established legal definitions of black, e.g. the one drop rule. Although most white southerners have African ancestry. I know from my DNA testing that I have western African heritage and my southern family has always identified as white. 

Who is and who isn't American? People have challenged the ability of Muslims to swear oaths on the Koran instead of the Bible. Many people still claim that Obama isn't a real American even though he was born in the USA. Why birther challenges for Obama but no other American president? 

I think there is a suspicion that Americans, even though born and raised in this country, are not *real* Americans unless they are of European heritage and followers of any religion other than Christianity. The exception for this is for African Americans. There were no birther claims for Michelle Obama, just her husband. There isn't the suspicion that African Americans are not *real* Americans. Rather there is an assumption that they are lessor Americans and due less rights. 

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While I was sleeping (and then zooming into Jewish my Torah study) this thread seems to have wandered off its pearl-clutching re Cancel Culture!! and onto another topic entirely, for which I'm actually grateful since the conflation of a private non-profit foundation to drop racist Seuss backlist titles, and a private toy company to relabel plastic potato heads, with government bans and mob book burnings was, TBH, leaving me to really wonder about the "intent" behind such conflation and pearl-clutching. And I am working on that reflex to muse inside my own head about "intent."

(which FWIW is not the same as the exhortation, commonly expressed on these boards although unevenly evidenced even among those who make the exhortation, to "presume good intent."  It is, rather, to focus on conduct rather than presuming anything one way or the other -- good or ill -- about intent.)

But in any event: apologies to the OP. Perhaps the "what constitutes minority status" and the costs v benefits of "assimilation" warrant a thread of its own.

 

re heterogeneity vs common elements of "minorities"

3 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I do. Yes, they [minorities] are diverse but there are also unifying characteristics and cultural experiences that make group identification not only feasible but, in some cases, desirable. If one hasn’t received any benefits from that identification, which I don’t think applies to anyone really, I can see how that would seem less useful.

 

3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think it's useful for people to think of themselves as belonging to SPECIFIC minority communities. But no, I don't think there is a ton in common between all the different minorities, except a certain level of alienation from mainstream culture. ..

 

3 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

Alienation is, indeed, the commonality. Groups that DO NOT feel alienated and are benefiting from the status quo will not share the same views. Your example is not illustrating what you think it is.

Right. Minority status is defined by some dimension of alienation. We can test this by considering aspects of difference that in our society don't evoke meaningful alienation. I have blue eyes (about 10% of the population); the statistical minority dimension of that does not differentiate me in any meaningful way from the rest of my (equally white, green or hazel eyed) family. My son is left-handed (also about 10% of the population); in today's world that does not differentiate him in any meaningful way from the rest of the population (though in prior cycles of history it would have). 

Whereas my LGBT kid (>10% of the population) DOES experience substantive alienation from society because of THAT dimension. As does our Jewishness.

 

Another important element of "minority status" is that that alienation is thrust upon us, exogenously, whether we choose it or  not.  The option of "just American, I don't even notice race/religion/orientation/etc, I only see the individual" is not available in the face of redlining/ patterns LEO misconduct/ church/mosque/synagogue terrorism and etc.

3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I also think there's a question about how much people assimilate versus how much they stick to a specific and separate culture. If you fully assimilate, you can expect there to be no cultural benefits. If you don't assimilate, like has been the case to some extent for the secular Jewish community and I'm sure some other communities as well, then there can be an uneasy relationship between your community and mainstream culture. 

One of the implications of this issue -- whether or not it is possible to "assimilate" out of exogenously-driven alienation -- has to do with the extent to which it is even possible to "pass."

It is *theoretically possible* for white-skinned Jews, and other white-skinned immigrants, and LBGT, and white-skinned Muslims who opt out of clothing markers, and -- where the term originally arose -- a small subset of very light-skinned "blacks" (!!) to "pass" for the mainstream and dominant culture. Such "passing" can only come at immense cost -- a personal suppression of an element of identity and the loss of community with others of that identity. It may be close to impossible for white heterosexual Christians to understand how great is that cost: a severance of self, an exile into a sort of half-life unmoored to community and traditions and support, a permanent dwelling in some version of a closet or other furtive place.

Yet in response to those relentless exogenous threats and pressures, some individuals do choose such permanent cleaving of the soul. And always have.  And the relationship between the segments who opt to "pass" vs the segments to choose to... or whose skin color  or commitment to visible religious markers precludes them from being able to choose... "assimilate" can be very uneasy indeed.

 

And that uneasiness is immensely exacerbated by the Melting Pot Myth, that exhorts and encourages "everyone" to Blend In and become Just American, No Hyphens.

3 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

I’m going to back away now because this is really not coming across well to me, at all. There’s a TREMENDOUS amount of history in this country of mainstream culture coopting and including various minority groups to increase/maintain majority power...Irish, Italian, etc. They use groups as needed to divide and conquer. As political or ethnic groupings, the designation is only fragile for that reason. 

Except that invitation / exhortation / commandment is not, actually available to all...

1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don't think it's a "white people" thing. It's a "dominant culture" thing. Ashkenazi Jews like myself are pretty white, and it really doesn't help that much in terms of assimilation. The options are either to stop identifying as an ethnic minority (which, yes, is an option for me and not you -- I understand that this is unfair!!) or to have issues. 

In the US, of course, the dominant culture is white. So you could argue it's the same thing in this specific case. 

 

56 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I want you to stop promoting the ridiculous notion that because something worked for you and yours it’s universally available to others and therefore a valid response to systems that disadvantage people and pit them against each other. Jewish isn’t stamped on your damned forehead.

 

 

 

 

And also that who the f@ck wants to "assimilate" the Most Precious Treasures of heritage, or the Most Precious Insights of an orientation that has until, like, ten minutes ago, been locked tight into closets, into oblivion anyway? 

1 hour ago, Sneezyone said:

The fact that you, and others, continue to offer up assimilation and cultural erasure as an option/the solution to these ills is...something. 

Assimilation (of the white-skinned) (into the white Christian dominant power structure) is the goal of the white Christian dominant power structure.  Because increasing the "numbers" of the white Christian power structure sustains the power structure.

That in a nutshell is the history of white people.

 

9 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

...This conversation is definitely making me feel like the opinions of first generation immigrants don't matter to people for whom the minority designation is an important concept. Because I'm feeling like there's no room for anything I may have to say in this conversation. 

Don't mistake disagreement for dismissal. You're better than that.

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7 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

Don't mistake disagreement for dismissal. You're better than that.

I'm not. I feel like what I said was very seriously misrepresented. And I don't feel like defending things I didn't say, since I don't agree with them either.

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5 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

Russian media and groups have made common cause with conservative Jewish ones.

Oh, now I know what you meant. 

Fwiw, the journalist I posted isn't conservative. Is Russia also dangling the strings of centrist Dem voting Russian Jews?

This kind of 'theorizing' slides really close towards anti-Semitism to me.

 

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4 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I'm not sure what this means. Can you clarify?

These groups share the American conservative view of race and culture.

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4 minutes ago, mitten said:

Yes, it was.

And that's fine. I understand why these are charged conversations and that people can absolutely use the same examples as I used in bad faith. I generally don't have conversations in bad faith, though, and I'm tired of explaining what I mean. 

 

2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

These groups share the American conservative view of race and culture.

For the record, conservative Jews are very heterogeneous in terms of culture. I know lots of conservative Russian Jews and they have very different preoccupations from conservative Orthodox Jews. 

If what you're saying is that they vote Republican, you'd be right. But I do think they vote Republican for different reasons. 

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5 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Oh, now I know what you meant. 

Fwiw, the journalist I posted isn't conservative. Is Russia also dangling the strings of centrist Dem voting Russian Jews?

This kind of 'theorizing' slides really close towards anti-Semitism to me.

 

It’s not a pure alignment. It’s situational, arguably, opportunistic. I don’t see that as an anti-Semitic observation at all but YMMV. I’ve stopped caring about that designation b/c it’s so easily tossed about. Our views of what ‘centrist’ means don’t usually line up so I can’t say.

Edited by Sneezyone
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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

It’s not a pure alignment. It’s situational, arguably, opportunistic. I don’t see that as an anti-Semitic observation at all but YMMV. I’ve stopped caring about that designation b/c it’s so easily tossed about.

Uhhhhh. I don't appreciate that statement at all. I don't think you've said anything anti-Semitic, but I also would rather people not decide they don't care about the designation. 

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re immense difficulties of trying to communicate across great chasms of difference

15 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

...Don't mistake disagreement for dismissal. You're better than that.

 

5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I'm not. I feel like what I said was very seriously misrepresented. And I don't feel like defending things I didn't say, since I don't agree with them either.

It is hard work, and it is not for the faint-hearted or the thin-skinned.

And there are definitely moments that the effort WILL be irritating.

And sometimes it *is* necessary to step away to cool off or re-group; or figure out a different vantage point on which to try to stand or direction to approach the issue at hand.  Fair enough.

 

I mean this as a compliment: I believe you are up to the task.

I know that @Sneezyone is.

And that doesn't mean it will be easy or pleasant.

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1 minute ago, Pam in CT said:

I mean this as a compliment: I believe you are up to the task.

Well, thank you 🙂 . I'm not sure I have a ton more to add to this one, though. And right now, I ought to be doing my work and I'm instead being sucked into this thread again!!! 

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6 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

It’s not a pure alignment. It’s situational, arguably, opportunistic. I don’t see that as an anti-Semitic observation at all but YMMV. I’ve stopped caring about that designation b/c it’s so easily tossed about.

 

I think describing the experience of Russian Jews, en masse, as opportunistic, rather than as informed by life under totalitarian communist rule as a people who have suffered anti-Semitism for centuries is ????

Are Russian Jews, en masse, right about everything? They are not. Are they worth listening to on issues that touch on cultural authoritarianism? They absolutely are. 

You can insert you own descriptor of what it means when you attribute a descriptor 'opportunistic', to a group of people with shared characteristics. 

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6 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Uhhhhh. I don't appreciate that statement at all. I don't think you've said anything anti-Semitic, but I also would rather people not decide they don't care about the designation. 

Just like ‘racist’, ‘anti-Semitic’ is entirely overused. That’s my opinion. I don’t actually use either with regularity.

 

3 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

 

I think describing the experience of Russian Jews, en masse, as opportunistic, rather than as informed by life under totalitarian communist rule is ????

Are Russian Jews, en masse, right about everything? They are not. Are they worth listening to on issues that touch on cultural authoritarianism? They absolutely are. 

You can insert you own descriptor of what it means when you attribute a descriptor 'opportunistic', to a group of people with shared characteristics. 

It’s opportunistic on the part of the Russian government and the conservative movement, yes. The Russian government seeks to sew chaos in American life. The Conservative movement needs new voters. And, no, I don’t think recent immigrants as a whole are especially well positioned to comment with authority on the history of these issues in the US.

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

Just like ‘racist’, ‘anti-Semitic’ is entirely overused. That’s my opinion. I don’t actually use either with regularity.

 

It’s opportunistic on the part of the Russian government and the conservative movement, yes. The Russian government seeks to sew chaos in American life. The Conservative movement needs new voters.

Uh-huh. 

 

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

Just like ‘racist’, ‘anti-Semitic’ is entirely overused. That’s my opinion. I don’t actually use either with regularity.

Fair enough. But I don't think you'd love it if a white person said they are now going to ignore that designation because it's overused. Maybe you wouldn't care, I don't know. I know that'd sound a little off to me. 

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