DNA evidence vs Racism

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by welsh, May 5, 2008.

  1. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    @Mordsith- since we agree on more than we disagree, I will add only this. From what I see the kids who come from lower class, generally minority communities, have to work harder and overcome more, mostly because they start at a lower level than most of the kids coming from middle/upper class white communities. To be fair, to me this is more a problem of class than race. This country has been moving in a direction where the “American dream”- in which anyone can climb the social ladder, is diminishing as the middle class gets split between a small rich group and a growing poor group.

    And the only ones who profit from dividing the poor is the rich, and the rich vote Republican.

    I am not sure if for every one of my students there are ten who struggle. I think that’s probably overstating. But I think the circumstances through which these kids struggle to get up is harder than if you’re from the middle or upper class. That poorer kids are being kept out is striking.

    And as I argued before, generally speaking Blacks have been able to enter the middle class. Ideally, affirmative action should one day end. I don’t think the time is quite now, but I can see affirmative action ending within a decade or even two decades.

    But what I do see is that poor kids are still being kept out of educational opportunities and education remains the most egalitarian means by which a person can climb the social ladder. It’s not perfect and there are others. One could, for instance, go into the military—which served that purpose during the Vietnam War.

    I wish I could say that entrenched racism doesn’t exist. I can’t say that for my generation (now entering the 40s). And while I can see that the issue of race and racism is less divisive among my students than my peers, it still exists.

    Ignoring the issue of race will not end it. Only by dealing with it and overcoming it will it eventually be addressed.

    @ Darkcorp- Dude, my folks are immigrants as well who worked their way up the ladder. I can argue that when my parents came over- the 1950s, that there was more opportunity for progress. But yes, minorities get crapped on from all over.

    But you can’t deny that there is a difference between immigrant kids and African Americans. Hell, there is a difference between African-Americans and Blacks coming from the West Indies and Africa. The only immigrant race that is somewhat similar to to Blacks is the Hispanics- especially in places were there are few Blacks.

    But even among minorities there are kids who fall through the cracks. When I was practicing in New York I did pro bono work for ethnic juveniles that were getting into legal problem- largely because they couldn’t quite fit into the culture. And at the same time, it is also the same, but to a less extent, among immigrants. Immigrants also suffer discrimination and have little social network (save their own communities) to fall back on.

    But ethnicity and immigrant status is also a basis for equal protection under the Constitution. You are entitle to the same benefits as others- and that includes affirmative action programs.

    Affirmative Action is not exclusively a Black province- rather it’s a system that seeks to attack institutions that practiced racial discrimination by forcing them to open up to racial integration.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action
    Also I worked delis or restaurants right through high school and college- even into law school. I used to work as a busboy in a restaurant where I was the only back staff that spoke English (and not knowing Spanish made things difficult).

    But when you talk about McDonalds’ consider how few McD’s there are in cities compared to the demand for work. Consider also that McD’s business plan expects to workers to last about 6 months and then go. It’s part of the model. And its not surprising that a lot of McD’s and similar places are being staffed by Latinos- many of who are immigrants and who share a house like a dorm.

    The problem is when someone sees two people, one black and one white, and chooses the white kid even though the black kid might be better qualified. You think that doesn’t happen?

    If you’re parents were willing to hire a black kid over a Chinese kid, I’d be impressed but they’d be the exception rather than the norm.

    @ Mik- dude, I teach at a public university as a finish up my degree, plus I practiced law for three years.

    But, coincidence here, NPR had a great bit on the differences in the US legal system-
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90256903

    Also- http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/us/series/american_exception/index.html

    Holy Fuck! The US has 5% of the population of the world and 25% of the criminals?
    The US is definitely a punitive system.

    Also- the NPR story points out the problem of elected judges I mentioned earlier.

    @Sander- Actually nearly ½ of the US has some German origin- or so I’ve heard. While I think its fair that the immigrant experience and the slave experience are significantly different- I think that can be overstated a bit.

    Consider for instance that the Greeks and Jews have some of the strongest ethnic lobby organizations in the US. Consider also that Middle Eastern immigrants are one of the wealthiest groups in the US. Even consider the amount of capital moving through the Chinese community when compared to the Black community- ethnic affiliation has strong influence on social mobility in the US. Generally speaking Blacks didn’t enjoy that. In fact, when Blacks started becoming free one of the moves was to ship them back to Africa because white leaders felt they wouldn’t fit in.

    But certainly Chinese immigrants, especially on the West Coast, suffered horrendously and were actively discriminated against. But generally immigrants have been able to move out ghettos within one or two generations largely due to powerful family systems that don’t exist in Black communities. The motivation to use education to achieve results is stronger among immigrants than Blacks. While immigrants have been able to use education to climb the social ladder, Blacks have not.

    @Ah-Teen-

    No, I didn’t say that every conservative is a racist, nor would I argue that no liberals are racists either. But the conservative agenda does promote racism and ethnic exclusion, even if most conservatives don’t want to admit that.

    Now you make an argument about salaries. I would argue that many can’t get jobs. When you have a large percentage of the black population getting tossed in jail- often for minor crimes or, as the article above points out, for crimes they didn’t commit, than their chances for getting jobs goes down.

    In many countries, prisoners are given job training to help them transition out of prison to better jobs. Most of those programs have been cut (- need I say, during the Bush years), giving prisoners a better chance to live.

    Darkcorp and you are suggesting salaries. Ok, let’s look at McDonald’s again-
    http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=McDonald's_Corp/Hourly_Rate

    Given that most won’t make $10 an hour, X 40 hours a week- 400, 52 weeks a year, and that’s $20,800, minus taxes, and we’re probably talking $15K or so a year. Family of 4?

    That’s below the poverty guidelines. http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_1327.html

    It’s worse if you’re in New York.

    And that’s if you can get a job. SO the person works two jobs- Maybe Mom works at McDonald and also as a cleaning lady in New York where she makes 15K a year. Of course she doesn’t spend time with her children, so that whole family structure thing craps crapped on. She might be making 40K, with a family of 4 in an urban community where it costs maybe $1.50 to take the subway or a bus to work?

    (you’d be better off working construction- http://www.indeed.com/salary/Construction-Worker.html)

    You can’t save money if you don’t have it. And most of the poor are not college age kids who are transitioning to something better. These are poor families trying to make ends meet.

    Oh and the conservative Republicans (the “good Christians”) won’t allow these kids basic healthcare. What a bunch of motherfuckers.

    Good morale occurs when people like where they work and they make enough not to worry about making ends meet.
     
  2. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    588
    Sep 21, 2007
    I owned my own house for 3 years on $8.50 an hour and had enough to still throw around money to various events within the social circles I commit myself to.

    Now that I just finished school I'm making double that but I am not changing my lifestyle to match, just using the extra disposable income to have more fun really as well as save away and finish off those nasty things called loans and mortgages earlier.

    And I'm still at the extremely low end of the pool as far as wage rates for Web Designers, but I'm happy as long as I can make my ends meet.

    You can't tell me that people under the poverty line can't pull themselves out of it, 'cause I'm living proof that it's horseshiet.

    If someone was making 6 bucks an hour I can see that, but an individual with no dependents on minimum wage can make a decent living and increase their ability to make money if they simply apply themselves to the task and tighten the purse strings enough to get blood from a stone.

    Before I went to school I worked in some of the worst dregs of the city only second to call centers, I worked re-manning lumber, I built fiber optic cables, windows & doors, pumped gas, worked on the boats (Paddle wheel tours here in Winnipeg, restaurant/tour boat).

    You don't know disgusting until you cut some of that straw eco-board crap, it tastes & smells disgusting when you inhale it and it's impossible to get out of your hair and clothes without several repeat washings, and even THEN they'll still smell like it!

    Don't get me started on staining the crap either, it's like trying to make mercury pool rather than bead with your bare hands.

    At any rate, it's not easy to climb out of that rut, I'll grant it that, but it can be done only if someone has the will to climb out, and not make excuses, just results.
     
  3. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    I was about to ask if you were supporting a family with $8, but you're not. Granted, owning a home on less than 20K a year is remarkable.

    That said... Winnipeg?

    Dude, that's a different world.
     
  4. Loxley

    Loxley Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    911
    Apr 11, 2003
    Would you drop your dialect and deny who you are and where you come from just so you could satisfy some anal elitist that speak english just as it is written and decided to be written by some university elitist? I know of no one that would. People have dialects, it is a great thing. "Proper" English my ass.
     
  5. Mord_Sith

    Mord_Sith Mildly Dipped

    588
    Sep 21, 2007
    Proper english versus ebonics, not dialects, there's a big difference between an Irish dialect, and the crap that passes for language in schools these days.

    Besides, what's that supposed to mean Welsh, Winnipeg is the murder capital of Canada plus it has a higher crime rate per 500,000 than either Toronto or Calgary.

    The only difference is that instead of African Americans we have Aboriginals, same problems, there's a handful that actually try to do something but then there's about 3-5 behind them abusing the system for their own gain.
     
  6. fedaykin

    fedaykin Vault Fossil

    Jul 15, 2007
    Yes, let's blame it all on niggers so we can feel better about ourselves.
     
  7. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    This is America. Although I am chinese, I am not in the land of my birth parents. I need to speak the language that everyone else speaks. Every other minority speaks english so what makes a certain group of people sooooo special that they can get away without it?

    Dude what about jews? Do they speak some kind of broken language or do the jews communicate effectively with the outside world? Do the germans speak german in America? Sure. But they also speak english to communicate effectively with other people. Do the Irish speak Gaelic in this country? Sure, but they also speak english to communicate with others effectively. There is a difference between having an accent and purposely not speaking a language everyone else is ok with simply because its the "language of the white man". This is no different then blacks belittling other blacks that do speak proper english and calling them an "uncle tom" or white wannabe".

    Look at how certain people are proud to be thug. WTF man? Do those same people even know what the fuck thug means?? They want respect but they wear their pants halfway down their asses. Have you heard the kind of lyrics in rap music? It is full of how one can beat someone else up. How one can steal the girlfriend or wife of some other person. How one person has bigger balls or penis than some other dude. How one has more game than someone else. It is precisely this culture that is causing racism in america. Honestly compare the black man today to the black man that was marching in Alabama, Birmingham, Louisiana, etc, etc. Maybe I will use a more recent example. What about Jesse Jackson? Al Sharpton? Dare I ask the question: Did Martin Luther King talk like Biggy or Tupac? Even Malcolm X spoke proper english even though it was the language of the "white oppresor". Why? Becuase these leaders were trying to make a statement. A statement about how blacks were unfairly getting shafted because the color of their skin. About how blacks are no different than any other minority in this country. About how wrong segregation is. Trying to change the racist perceptoin that the black man is an un-educated beast.
     
  8. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Mordsith-
    The problems of Canada are way different than you have in the US. How extensive was slavery in Canada? How far does $8.50 get you in Canada and what are the prices of houses?

    I am not saying the Canadians don't have their issues. I love Canada (although its way too damn cold 7 months of the year), but its a different world than the US. Different histories, different cultures, different social infrastructures, different states.

    While there might be comparisons- and there are between the US and Canada and between the US and Europe, but one has to be careful from over generalizing.

    @Darkcorp
    As to ebonics- I originally took the position that ebonics and teaching in ebonics was a bad thing. Many of Latino immigrants who came to the US were against Spanish as a second language. They wanted their children to integrate with the rest of society and recognized that language differences would create potentially insurmountable social divisions for them.

    But the more I read about ebonics the more I came to see that the problem is cultural. Blacks are pressured in schools to speak ebonics as a form of social connection. If they speak 'proper English' they are accused of "speaking white," and selling out their culture. Teachers who "speak white" are likewise seen as outcasts.

    Kids then face pressure among their peers to speak ebonics (or get their asses kicked) or speak proper English (or fail school).

    What happens is three things.
    (1) Some kids speak ebonics and strictly speak ebonics, choosing to stick with their peers over their opportunities. These kids go nowhere.

    (2) Some kids speak proper English- and become social outcasts and get their asses kicked on a regular basis.

    (3) A few kids play both- they speak ebonics when their friends are around and write in proper English when taking exams. This is a survival strategy.

    - ANd that's where the problem is. Should education be directed towards forcing kids to become indoctrinated in the dominant culture, or should it be about creating opportunities for these kids to create more meaningful lives (and hopefully climb the social ladder out of poverty).

    While I agree that speaking ebonics is not going to help these kids as adults, its symptomatic of the social divisions between blacks and whites in the US. These kids fall between those cracks.

    To be fair to Darkcorp- the same kinds of pressure are impacted on immigrant kids, especially those that live in ethnic ghettos. I see plenty of immigrant kids or foreign students associating with people of like origins and speaking native languages at the University. Its a form of social protection and identity as well as a form of de facto segregation. In the end, it reinforces their culture but undermines their ability to socially intergrate and learn how to use English.

    At the high school level you have Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian kids- who don't adopt the language. But there is not the "clash of culture" that you find among African Americans plus there is significant pressure among parents of these children to integrate with society- thus the pressure to do well in school.
    Sometimes this pressure is overwhelming- and kids at my school get kicked out for cheating on exams or, in some cases, have nervous breakdowns.

    Black parents are very proud of their kids who go to college, but given poverty and weak family structures, there is less pressure on these kids to perform well in school than on Asians.

    As a teacher, my experience is that you have to cater to the needs of the student. I don't think its fair to these students that they are caught between their opportunities and their community. I think if we don't consider that problem seriously, than we fail to address a systemic problem that has a detrimental impact on these kids.

    Those interested in this, might want to look at this case study-
     
  9. Quantos Leap

    Quantos Leap It Wandered In From the Wastes

    162
    Apr 6, 2005
    Resultantly alienating yourself from the society in which you live (and likely live off) by refusing to learn the proper language of the land is not "a great thing."
     
  10. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    Why? Why is it everyone else has strong family structures but the arfrican-americans don't? Did the white man magically put some curse on african-americans that keeps them from creating and maintaing good family ties? My friend who is black has family get togethers whenever his family has the time to come together. There are plenty of black families out there that have the relatives over and have a good barbecue or have other family get togethers.

    You speak of this culture of intolerance. This culture that means if a black man is successful, he is a "sellout". I think a culture like that is bullshit. Why should a culture like that be catered to exclusively? Ignorance and intolerance is exactly the things that the honorable Martin Luther King fought against. He wanted little white boys and little black girls to eat together at the same table. To have the same educational opportunities and to both strive for success. That any kind of racism, including racism against whites, is unhealthy. Although I do not subscribe to the more extreme idealogies of Malcolm X, he still encouraged his fellow blacks to get an education.

    Speaking ebonics isn't exactly bad per say. If it amongst people who know ebonics than thats fine. Just as you said how other minorities also have a cultural language to fall back on. However my point was when you communicate with other people who don't know your language, you need to speak the "language" of the nation. This is no different than something like mandarin. Sure you can speak your state dialect but not everyone knows it. That is why mandarin is the national language and how the word mandarin in cantonese means literally "language of the nation". In america, this language is english.

    I will be the first to say that I also do not agree with the fact that asians have some expectation do do much better than those around them. It is a form of racism. I hate how my family and society pressures children to get straight A's or maintain a B average and how the C grade is now equivalated to F status. I think that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and it is extremely important to find what the students strengths are and to push them into a job that they will have the best chance at. However, the culture you speak of seems to see any kind of legitimate success as "selling out". Unless an african-american is a professional athlete or rap mogul, he is still considered a sellout.
     
  11. fedaykin

    fedaykin Vault Fossil

    Jul 15, 2007
    All this talk about "proper language" makes, at least in the American context, one significant omission. What about Southern American English, for instance? It's a bunch of non-standard variants that are distinct phonologically as well as gramatically, thus, following Mingus' and DarkCorp's logic, it should be considered improper. But it isn't. The reason why Southern dialects are considered "proper" is simply because the speakers are white. One unifying characteristic in this discourse is that a non-standard variant is considered improper only if its speakers belong to an ethnicity that is different from the dominant one. Everything that differs = improper. I believe this is an extension of racism.
     
  12. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    Uh, what about redneck, inbreed, hillbilly? These are all terms of negativity. There is a difference between an accent and slang that is so incomprehensible that its considered another language. Most americans understand southerners. Its when you get deep into the boonies or the appalachians that it can get a little extreme.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillbilly

    When a southerner talks says teeth, he still means teeth. Now what the hell a "grill" means I don't know. Just as I don't know what "whips" are in rap music.
     
  13. fedaykin

    fedaykin Vault Fossil

    Jul 15, 2007
    Thank you, but I already know what a hillbilly is. You don't need to start teaching me your language just because I state "Estonia" as my location.

    The point is, most Americans understand black dialects as well. Yet you make it sound as if black Americans speak some kind of incomprehensible non-language. Which is bullshit. I have heard plenty of it, yet I've not had much trouble understanding it.
    Also, I rarely see someone complain about backwater hicks not speaking "proper English". Yet when it's the nigger or the wop or the chink, he is always speaking "improper English" and needs to learn "real English".
     
  14. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    Wow, way to get offended there eh? I brought up hillbilly because you seem to think that in America, hick slang is commonly accepted when indeed it is not.

    Uh I am sorry I will say it again. I doubt the average american who isn't into rap understands terms like "whips", "grill", "kicks" or a myriad of other terms. For fucks sakes your not telling me "fo sheezy" is actually english.

    And uh as far as I know most asians do speak english. Of course some may have thicker accents than others. However when they say "blake", they use it in such a sense that people usually understand they mean brake or break. I don't know a lot about italians because there isn't a lot where I live. However, the few I have run into a certain parts in my life still speak english although some may have thicker accents.

    And lastly, why the racial slurs man? Why do I always hear people cry RACISM, when ebonics is challenged in any way.
     
  15. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Being in Virginia, I can say that you can't always understand the more extreme accents, and that those people are equally being cut out of opportunity.

    While no one is denying that pressure on Asian kids is unfair, it does help explain why Asian kids generally do better. Is it unfair? Yes. Do Asian kids do better as a result- yes.

    Is there a difference between racism and a generalization? For instance, can we make generalizations about Asians or Blacks based on common elements of their social history or culture or community?

    As for the Black families you speak of, sure they exist. Chances are many are out of poverity.

    As for dealing with ebonics- as think a teacher has to deal with the conditions they face and do what they can to give kids a better chance to succeed in life. Trying to force them to conform to a standard isn't going to work. Teaching them that they can use the standard to work, might.

    But in the end, the problem isn't ebonics, but the culture that keeps races divided- and that's a culture that has been perpetuated by the past Republican administrations. There is little to deny the evidence that the Black population did worse under Reagan and Papa Bush, and then again under Baby Bush, and that they did better under Clinton.

    No one makes the argument that everyone who is black has a bad family situation. But there is plenty of evidence that poverity, especially among minorities, corresponds with broken families, communities that suffer higher crime, few economic opportunites.

    By the way, the problems of the black community have even been addressed by Louis Ferrakhan at the Million Man March.

    You might be making an argument that emphasizes the individuals- and its fair to say that Horatio Alger stories exist where the individual rises from their desperate conditions to do something great with their life.

    My argument is that those folks are the minority and that most folks are not staying poor because they want to be poor, but because social mobility is more difficult. The question is less one of unique individuals, than classes and factions of society and their capacity to prosper.

    You may argue that individuals can succeed, but than you must accept that individuals face different challenges. Then you might also admit that individuals exist in communities as man is a social animal. From there its not such a big jump to examine the challenges facing social groups.

    Then the question becomes one about equality and justice, and whether you want to move past the issue of race and to the idea of nation.

    So your choice is- do you want entire segments of your society to remain in poverty and dispair or do you want them to the chance to grow and prosper? Does it matter to you if that group is Black, White, Chinese? Does poverty make a difference? Does racism exist only when it affects my race, or does it mean what others suffer merely because they are ethnically different?

    Or you can deny these problems and ignore them. But merely doing so will not make the problems go away.

    Those are the questions that you, as an individual, have to decide.
     
  16. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    @welsh

    Poverty does not always equal failure in life. If anything, a lot of factors contribute to whether a person is poor or not. Do they have more kids than they can afford? If one is too poor to afford an apartment alone, is it so much of a stretch to get a roomate? What about not buying into name brands but the more obscure names that still contain the same product. Maybe going to the grocery store and cooking ones own meals instead of eating out? Like someone else said, you learn to squeeze blood out of a stone. Coincedentally, a lot of asians and jews are stereotyped as such and being asian myself I agree that the stereotype is accurate. When one wants to save money, one needs to learn how to make every penny count.

    A lot of poor asians banded together as you said. Large families would routinely live in a one or too bedroom apartment/house in order to make ends meet. No different than the latinos you mentioned earlier or the large poor white families that still live in one house. What I don't comprehend is why african americans for some reason cannot do this? Broken families isn't always because of race or economics.

    Once again I will say every immigrant who has moved to this country has been poor, many to the extent of almost being penniless and requiring family assistance. However, through financial responsibilty, planning for the future, and being realistic about ones goals, the great majority of those said immigrants have moved on to do better in life. Like you said the asians and the jews, some of the most abused and hated minorities in america have moved on and become successes. The same can be said of many hispanics who now own their own landscaping businesses or resteraunts are no different.

    The decisions that individuals make contribute to their economic situation. For example, a woman that goes and haves sex, and consequently gets pregnant by a known adulterer or "player". The father then takes off leaving the woman and resulting kid screwed. One could say if the woman wasn't into dating douchebags that this situation could have been avoided. This problem isn't endemic to blacks only. It happens to everyone. Now how one deals with the situation determines how the results will be. Will this woman learn from this mistake or simply get into another relationship with another said douchebag resulting in another child? Will the woman swallow her pride and request the help of her parents/family or will she decide that this is her responsibility and hers alone.

    Oh yeah and ebonics. I personally think ebonics is part of that culture that you speak of welsh. A culture of racism where the white man is always wrong and emulating the white man in anyway means "selling out and getting beatup". If speaking a language that everyone else is ok with is considered "selling out", then this kind of belief is extremely detrimental and should not be catered to or encouraged. And why the hell is english viewed as divisive anyways? Instead, english should be known as a language that every minority and the majority speak. Its simply required being in a country that speaks english as its national language. Its no different than learning a trade skill such as fixing an air conditioner or learning how to be a plumber.
     
  17. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    And lastly I agree with you welsh. The republicans are a bunch of douchebags. However, I am also saying they arn't the only ones. I am saying that democrats/republics are in all politicans. They will say and do anything to get the vote.

    I was merely saying that no only republicans but democrats as well are guilty of creating or supporting divisive poilices. I mean otherwise we would have a strong middle platform that both the poor and rich can sympathize with right? A party that isn't democrat or republican, its the american party. Ah its good to dream.
     
  18. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    It is unlikely you can ever have an agenda that satisfies both rich and poor or republicans or democrats.

    Politics is usually about the divisions and how society organizes. I'd like the US society to get past divisions based on skin color and I think that's possible and likely over the next 40 years- over your lifetime. I t hink that's important because the racial division is, fundamentally, stupid and serves only to weaken us.

    And it goes back to questions of identity. For instance, you write- the Chinese and the Jews were among the most hated and abused minorities. Honestly, I don't subscribe to it. First I don't hate Jews or Chinese (I'll sleep with Jewish or Chinese chicks if they're hot enough). Secondly, I don't think they were the most hated- or they wouldn't be here.

    These days Chinese are frequently stereotyped as being high academic achievers but a bit socially stiff and generally prefer to seperate themselves from the rest of society. Jews are generally perceived as liberal, smart and generally well-off. These are stereotypes and, I think, not very fair generalizations.

    Generalizations have be "generated" by data. Otherwise, its bullshit. And if its bullshit and used to repress an ethnic group- than it comes racism and a form of bigotry. We've had enough of that in US history.

    But I will give you that many Chinese and Jews, and most other minorities, have thought they were "the most hated, most abused."

    And there is a social function for that- it breeds community by creating a sense of beseiged "us" vs hostile "others."

    Let me be fair- there are plenty of folks who hate Jews, Chinese, Blacks, Hispanics.. There are extremists who live off this prejudice. And who use it to maintain their power.

    But I suspect the great majority of people just don't give a shit. Its not that they like- because that's asking a lot. But thinking they hate is just foolish- because hate takes effort and frankly, racism is wasted effort. So why bother?

    One of the virtues of the US is that it managed to attract immigrants from all over. And generally they have prospered in the US. Muslims from the middle east, for instance, are one of the most affluent ethnic groups in the US. One reason why you don't see much in the way of home-grown terror is that most Muslims can practice their faith and live in peace better here than they can back home.

    You say that almost all the immigrants who came to the US are poor. Not true. Many did. probably the majority did. But of recent there have been plenty who came to the US with highly advanced degrees and with money.

    For immigrants, generally (Hispanics may be the exception) the US has been inclusive- allowing people to maintain their ethnic identity while join the popular main stream.

    But again, its different for the African Americans. Maybe its that they were forced to come here. I think, more likely, that Jim Crow. The Civil Rights Movement was fairly recent and so Blacks have been able to move out of poverty into the middle class- largely by embracing ideas like education, opportunity, etc- the same vehicles that have helped immigrants fit.

    Blacks have been long condition to be an underclass in US society. The remarkable thing is less that so many remain poor, but that so many have escaped it. That's worth celebrating and something America, as a country, should be proud of.

    Among the immigrants- Hispanics have had a harder time than most and are, in many places, the lower if not under class that African Americans used to be.

    To be fair, I would be worried about an American Party, because it just might be a mask for corporatism.

    Politics is about the creation of institutions- both formal (bureaucracies, policies, laws) and informal (social behaviors, expectations, etc). But it is people that are the driving force of politics and people are shaped by their individual circumstances and preferences. How they group themselves is the basis of social factions- it might be race, or social class, or some other form of collective identity (liberals, evangelicals, etc). Those factions compete for the distribution of material assets (political power or economic wealth). Politics is the conflict over that distribution of power and wealth within society.

    You can't have politics without conflict- and it is that conflict (or in lieu of conflict- compromise) that gives birth to the institutions that govern us.

    In that sense, over the past 10, maybe 20 years, African Americans have been losing out in the distribution of wealth and power. Who has won- wealthy, generally white, Americans.

    Don't get me wrong- I am not making excuses for African-American poverty. All I am arguing is that their culture and their circumstances are distinctive. Likewise their willingness to embrace the status quo is also different for most ethnic immigrants. From what you said, your folks wanted to become small business owners- which in the US is the basic middle class dream.

    The danger is that we start to think that Blacks are lazy and that they deserve to be poor. Sometimes its true, but more often its not. Yes, its about personal choices. I'm a grad student at a public university- my choice, and finanically that makes my life poor. But I have the education to do quite well when this is all finished.

    But I also have different circumstances than others. When you have 1/4-1/6 of African Americans going to jail, that population never gets to vote. Most recidivists end up going back to jail and in jail they get little education that can teach them useful skills. Pell grants and other public financial aid (which I used to pay for my BA), has dried up as college costs have outpaced inflation. Now, kids graduating college spend up to 20 years paying off school debts (like the Obamas). Those who pursue public service careers often end up in debt. Not all that debt is lost on fancy cars and HD TVs. And sometimes its very difficult to get the credit necessary to even go to college or open a bank. How does one get credit when one has no assets?

    Be careful least you overgeneralize or over stimatize. There is a big difference between the African-American experience and the Chinese American exprience. There is also a big difference between the immigrant experience in the US and that of Canada. The world is rarely as simple as that. People are shaped not merely by their desire but their opportunities. And a lot of folks, even immigrant folks, who came to the US poor have remained poor.

    Now you may argue that I am biased. And you're right. I like my black students. I like my immigrant kids and I like my poor white students, and as an educator I will go the extra yard for them.