Let's Honestly Discuss Prejudice and Bigotry and Not Sweep it Under the Rug

The Shirley Sherrod doctored viral video episode is the latest example of a racial incident gone awry. The biggest tragedy to my mind is that it appears we are once again going to miss an opportunity to honestly have a national dialogue regarding race and prejudice. The media and politicians have moved on to the next hot story just as they did after the Professor Henry Gates arrest incident. This is very unfortunate. So many issues facing the United States are greatly affected by racial, gender, religious, and sexual prejudice. Immigration, unemployment, education, and crime are just a few of the issues so influenced.

I am going to attempt to examine some of the aspects of bias and prejudice. In turn I will try to show how they lead to intolerance and bigotry. Finally I will illustrate some examples of how this is detrimental to our society and what we can do to deal with this problem and possibly start on the road to reconciliation.

I will begin by defining bias and prejudice as stated by dictionary.com. Bias is " A particular tendency or inclination especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration of a question". Prejudice is "An unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought or reason; any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable; unfavorable feelings, opinions or attitudes especially of a hostile nature regarding a racial, religious or national group".

Given these definitions I think we can agree that everyone is guilty of bias and prejudice to some extent. We are born and grow up in our family, neighborhood, and school environments. In these settings we are exposed to constant influences. A family of any particular race or ethnicity will have history regarding relations with other groups. This will affect the way the child is raised even though the parents may not even realize it. Our neighborhoods also have a strong influence over us. This is true for both children and adults. Neighborhoods have different ethnic makeups and histories which may influence a person's views. This is also true of a person's neighborhood schools. My own experience is that I was raised by parents who taught tolerance and politeness to everyone. The schools I attended taught me the same. My neighborhood though was much less tolerant. I will touch on all of these personal influences later in this article.

Now I would like to turn to intolerance and bigotry which often results from bias and prejudice. They also will be defined by dictionary.com here. Intolerance is "Unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races, backgrounds, etc.; unwillingness to grant equal freedom of expression or to grant or share social, political or professional rights". Bigotry is "Stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief or opinion that differ from one's own. A person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices".

Intolerance and bigotry are direct outgrowths of bias and prejudice as we can see with these definitions. Adverse influences from our early years can easily develop and grow into intolerance and bigotry. This is especially true if one continues to live and work among like minded individuals. This is the way racism and other forms of bigotry grow and become permanent parts of a society. Groups of people reinforce their convictions through affirmation and a strength in numbers mentality. In this way certain neighborhoods sometimes become racist and it grows from there. Worse yet this intolerance and bigotry is often passed on to their children and a vicious circle is created. I have seen this occur within my own circle of friends. They retell stories and lessons of their parents which in turn are passed on to their children. My own parents taught me to be tolerant but over the years I have noticed that they also have prejudices and biases. I don't believe they even realized it existed within them. This is the insidious way racism and other forms of hate can begin to take hold if one is not vigilant.

Now that we have defined the issues we are addressing, let us examine more closely some of the situations in society that have manifested because of them. Firstly I'd like to examine the flight of white families out of cities into the suburbs. Since school desegregation began this phenomenon has steadily grown. White families often argue that they are leaving because of crime, overcrowding, deficient schools, and other reasons. But if they looked deep down inside they would realize that the real reasons all lead back to race.

Another area to look at is the corporate make-up in the United States. Civil rights laws of the 1960s worked wonderfully to give Blacks and other minorities access to jobs in most U.S. companies. Unfortunately this is not true of the management ranks of these same firms. Corporate executives complain about the dearth of qualified minority management candidates. This may be partly true due to the dire state of urban education but certainly not entirely. There is too great a disparity between total minority employment and total minority management.

Women have made great strides in this regard as well as in the percentage of elected officials who are women. But they also have a long way to go. The glass ceiling in the boardroom still exists for women. They also still lag far behind men in elected officials. There is hope in the fact that their percentages have grown at a faster pace in the local ranks.

Hispanics and other ethnic groups suffer many of the same problems as African Americans though in varying degrees. There are also many conflicts between ethnic groups. Most of the time this is the result of competition for a scarcity of jobs and resources. Ethnic groups are also discriminated against due to cultural and language differences.

Homosexuals are another minority which has suffered badly in our society. The main reason for this is probably fear. Sexual identity is powerful and anything that disturbs this can be threatening. Religious differences may also breed discrimination. Catholics had been discriminated against widely until recently. Jewish Americans have also experienced extensive prejudice throughout not only American history but also world history. This situation has also improved extensively though it still exists. It can seen most obviously with skinhead and neo-Nazi groups. Muslim Americans are being discriminated against especially after the 9/11 terror attacks. This prejudice is due to fear and a lack of understanding of their religion.

What then can we do to lessen our biases and prejudices to become more tolerant of others? In my case I try to put myself in the shoes of others. I attempt to feel what a person of another group is feeling. This is empathy. Acquiring empathy is key in relating to others and treating them as you would treat yourself. I recall a small race riot that occurred at my high school on Staten Island, New York when I was a student there in the mid 1970s. These incidents broke out sporadically over minor incidents. Usually they were fueled by long simmering hostilities. My high school was predominantly white. A smaller group of African American students first began to be bused into my school when I first began attending. My fellow white students for the most part began voicing hatred for the black students from almost the beginning. I could not understand the reason for it since no real reasons were given for the hatred except for their skin color. The black students kept to themselves and seemed to view us with understandable suspicion.

One riot has always been particularly vivid in my mind. Some white students began to seek out any black person they could find to beat on one afternoon after a relatively small scuffle between a black and white student. I happened to witness the surrounding of one young black woman holding a small child after we were released from class. She was in abject fear. Apparently she had come to our school to pick up a friend or relative and got caught up in the center of the madness. The terror I saw in her face and heard in her cries have always remained with me. She was pleading for the crowd to let them go. Luckily the police arrived soon after before the crowd was able to inflict any harm on them.

The point I am trying to make in telling this story is that I learned to feel what others felt during this incident. I literally felt the terror I saw on her face. I have never been able to even imagine attacking another person since this incident nor hate another person just because they were different. This occurred due to the empathy I felt with this woman. My conclusion was that if you can empathize with a person or people it becomes impossible to hate them. Your bias and prejudice disappears along with your intolerance and bigotry. Ignorance and a lack of empathy is at the heart of bigotry against African Americans and also other groups.

Women are seen as passive and not strong enough for management and elective office. They were regarded as simply mothers and nurturers without attributes for other roles. But now as women have steadily increased their numbers in these positions, people see that that this not true and can relate to them as leaders. They see their prior bias as a fallacy. Gay Americans are discriminated against due to fear and ignorance of their lifestyle. Ethnic minorities are mistreated due to the lack of understanding of their culture and language.

The bottom line regarding all forms of prejudice and bigotry is ignorance and fear. A meeting of the minds is needed between all groups to ameliorate misunderstanding. There has been a string of attacks on Hispanics on Staten Island in the past few weeks. Church and community leaders of all groups have been coming together to foster understanding in an attempt to eliminate this senseless violence. Instead of having a "Beer Summit" on the White House lawn after the Professor Gates case broke, a public discussion of why the Professor and President Obama reacted so vigorously against the Police Officer's actions would have been infinitely more beneficial.

The Shirley Sherrod case became a battle between right wing groups and media on one side and the Democrats and the Obama Administration on the other. Unfortunately no one discussed in detail the inspirational speech that Ms. Sherrod gave at the NAACP dinner in question. Her speech was one of transformation, empathy, and understanding. But this was drowned out amongst the political noise. Now Dr. Laura Schlessinger is quitting her radio show after the controversy about the racial name calling she used with a black female caller. If history is any guide this incident will also quickly fade away.

A discussion of why she said what she said and why it is so offensive to African Americans would benefit all Americans. But this is not likely to happen. This is business as usual in the United States and it is a crying shame. These national discussions are needed to properly deal with these issues and create the empathy we need to become a more tolerant and open society.

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Comments 66 comments

SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY

HSchneider

Excellent hub...I will take it a step further by pointing out the sense of loss felt by White males as they feel their gains are being eroded away by White women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and others achievements in this country. It's as though we all have our reasons to distrust/dislike one another until tragedy or celebration strips away all the distrust/dislike if just for a few moments of sanity.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you SOBF. I quite agree with your point. White males (of which I am one) have a tendency to think of it as a zero sum game. Especially less educated white males. Instead they should be re-educating themselves for the new economy. The Republicans are preying on this fear with their anti-Obama administration rhetoric for political gain.


kkalmes 6 years ago

Hello HS, excellent hub and inspirational stage setting to begin this relevant and much needed dialogue. Another factor I see that stops the dialogue from taking place is the disdain of conflict from one side and the pandering of fear to instigate conflict from the other.

Sometimes we are so opposed to conflict that we forget to fight the good fight in spite of our desire to support the issues being used as kindling by others.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thanks KKalmes. You are quite correct. We do need to confront the people who propagate this hate. Andrew Breitbart and his ilk were just trying to stir up the racial hornet's nest for political gain with the Shirley Sherrod doctored video. They are contemptible and must be confronted. I know you will continue to do so with your excellent Hubs. I will also. Keep up the good fight.


abecedarian 6 years ago

I grew up in a home where my father wasn't shy about voicing his oppinion about other races, I listened to his comments and cringed. Years later, grown up and a parent I went to Germany, where I was not allowed to stay at their hotels. They kept turning us away, because I wasn't "white". The year was 1989 and there was a huge influx of turkish people moving there, the wall had just come down and the Germans weren't very hospitable. My husband was as afraid for us as I was. He almost sent us home, until I spoke to my daughter and the hotel employee heard me and asked if I was from Texas. I said, yes and he said, "oh, John Wayne", you can stay. As it turned out living in Germany was amazing and overall we were treated well. It's sad that people make up their minds to hate before they open their minds to think.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I couldn't have said it better abecedarian. This world would be a better place if people made their judgements after getting to know someone instead of having an immediate stereotype. My grandmother was from Germany and she had some racist and anti-semitic views. I don't know where views like these originate but it hurts all of us. I'm glad to hear that your stay in Germany ended up being nice. I think we all need to be vigilant against attitudes such as these and work to change them. Thanks for commenting.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

An excellent and very timely Hub. Prejudice is rife all over the world and is the cause of absolutely horrific suffering.

Thanks for sharing your perceptive views on this. I have not seen the address by Shirley Sherrod. Do you have a link to it? I would like to read it.

Love and peace

Tony


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you Tony. The right wing of the political spectrum has been attempting to take down the Democrats with a divide and conquer strategy that is unfortunately working here. I believe it will only be for this election cycle. They use the Sherrod incident and other tactics such as portraying President Obama as a muslim, or a non-citizen, or as a racist against whites. I don't believe it would work if the economy was not so bad. These tactics must be examined and faced head on. Unfortunately that is not being done beyond 1 or 2 news cycles. You can listen and watch the Shirley Sherrod speech at www.naacp.org/news/entry/video_sherrod Thanks for commenting and let's keep fighting these hateful incidences wherever they pop up around the world.


jeffjefferson36 profile image

jeffjefferson36 6 years ago

Very intelligent hub! I wish we could re-educate the ignorant people in the Tea Party! Keep up the good work!


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you Jeff. The thing about the Tea Party is they feel they are very educated and informed while their platforms are very narrow and inarticulate. I would love to be able to have a rational discussion with them but I doubt they would see the nuances that exist in the issues they espouse. I'd love to try though.


Bohemian rhapsody profile image

Bohemian rhapsody 6 years ago from New york

I agree with the above commenter, this is a thoughtful, intelligent eloquent article.

I will especially take away from your comments on empathy and mull over them. I do agree with you wholeheartedly that this country needs to have a dicussion, and, instead of the polarization these dicussions draw, well, maybe we can meet somewhere in the middle.Thanks for an excellent, important piece. I look forward to more from you as well.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you Bohemian. I agree with you on meeting somewhere in the middle. It seems both sides of issues want the other side completely in agreement with themselves or else they are the enemy. A thoughtful and complete discussion where both sides understand each other's views is what I'm advocating for. Less noise and more substance is needed. This way some agreement can be found in the middle and also some real understanding. Thanks for commenting.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

Very good write and so true. We need to learn to work together in this world if we are to accomplish anything of substance and gain any benefits. I really like this hub.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you Bobbi. That is very true. We need to also first examine ourselves and understand our own prejudices and predilections. Then we can view the world more clear eyed and treat everyone the way we would ourselves. This needs to be discussed much more in our society.


Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 6 years ago from california

Excellent and extremely well-written hub! Bravo to you,H! This is such a frustrating topic, at least for me, and your able to be so rational. Thanks for a wonderful hub!


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you Deni. It is a very difficult subject but it needs to be dealt with much more honestly and rationally so we can all live together more harmoniously in this world.


d.william profile image

d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

http://hubpages.com/@hschneider

After reading your article above and all the supportive comments, it makes me feel more positive about things; to know there are so many people out there that feel as i do. Just gives me more incentive to do as much as i can, to try to eliminate some of this negative behavior from our society. Proper education is the key. Not just in the homes, but the classrooms and religious rhetoric that people listen to.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

It was easy to give you supportive comments with your inspirational Hub. Keep up the positive attitude. My Hub here basically explains that we need to keep discussing prejudice of all sorts. Prejudice is born out ignorance which breeds fear. Remember that if you feel empathy with others, then you are on the positive road. You stated that you now feel pity for others and that's because they choose to remain ignorant. Stay on the high road and know that you will keep learning and helping others. Thanks for the kind comments.


Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

I am touched deeply by what you have written. In California, we are experiencing more intolerance than I have ever witnessed and it breaks my heart every day! You are enlightened as a writer! Please share more! Hispanic Americans in Southern California (who were here well before Caucasian Americans)have become the target for every frustration that California is experiencing. My daughter is a blonde-haired, green-eyed American of Italian descent, and when I see her leading the fight for Hispanics in our communities, it makes me so proud! Your writing on this subject should be mandatory reading for young students.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you. I congratulate you to have such a wonderful daughter who is willing to take the time to fight for others. Unfortunately there is a lot of Hispanic bashing going on with this immigration reform battle. I am finishing a Hub on foreign policy but after it is done I will be working on an immigration reform Hub. I know people argue that they are not against Hispanics, only illegals. But I never heard this complaint when there was a flood of illegal Irish in the 70's and 80's when there were the Irish and British troubles and the Irish economy was in a shambles. Hmm, maybe because they looked like us. Just a thought. So many things are said and efforts made in the name of one thing, when in fact prejudice and bigotry is the main source. Keep up the good progressive fight.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

It is obvious that all you know about "White Flight" came from a biased taxtbook or teacher. I grew up in Benton Harbor, Michigan, which was a thriving city where you couldn't find a parking space downtown. It was about 85% white and 15% black. The races got on very well. In 1968 the blacks began to riot—I guess in celebration of all that Great Society legislation LBJ gave them. They burned down white and black businesses; anybody with white skin had bricks thrown at their cars; white girls were raped on the street; white boys beaten. My grandmother had a beautiful home in the heart of the city. Black boys busted out her stained glass windows with rocks. They had been there over 100 years. The town never recovered. The white people moved out and fast. Not because of anybody's skin color. Because they rightfully feared got their personal safety and for their property. Within ten years nearly all of the white people were gone. It was not because of black skin. It was because of pathological black behavior. I was there. I know. Liberals safe in Hyannis Port said the whites only left because they were bigots. Absolute nonsense.

You don't see white flight when Asians come to town. Why not? They are different. If it can all be explained so neatly as white prejudice whites would flee when Asians moved onto their block. The difference is that Asians behave themselves with propriety. They do not tear things up and strike fear into the hearts of people.

"There is nothing more painful to me than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." --Jesse Jackson

Is he prejudiced too?


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I guess there really is much to discuss here with you James. You have taken this incident in Michigan which I am going to guess was told to you anecdoticaly since you were probably too young or not yet born when it occurred. The 60's were a very terrible time of boiling rage when many things came to a head. Change had been held up for many years and things exploded especially when Dr. Martin Luther King was killed. The riots that blacks did in this time were of course heinous and hurt them much more than it hurt anyone else. I live near Newark, NJ and it is just coming back now though it has a long way to go. Also they are doing it with a very fine, intelligent black Mayor named Cory Booker. There is a black middle class that is growing though there is a lower class that is deepening. Blacks are beginning to reassess themselves especially with black men taking responsibility for their families especially in the inner cities. I implore you to examine your views deeper and examine Black America in a less jaundiced fashion. Should I look at the American South as all bigots and racists because of slavery and Jim Crow? No! All groups are complex and diverse and must be examined and cherished. You will see bad and good in all. Discussion and dialogue is needed to improve this country and bring groups together. Yes James, I am a bleeding heart liberal especially on this subject. I believe this is what America is about and I will not be deterred in this view. I love this country and even this subject will improve albeit slowly and steadily.


cobras profile image

cobras 6 years ago

Great hub. It's good to see that you don't let the James A. Watkinss of the world get you down, and it speaks volumes of your integrity that you let him speak his mind.

I'm happy to see someone air a topic that makes most of us cringe. Bigotry is a complex issue deeply entangled in the fabric of our society.

Just had a thought--when we speak about tolerance, does the language we use perpetuate the problem? Does tolerance have connotations that imply our superiority?

It's a complex issue that is difficult to discuss in a meaningful way, but I agree with you when you say that we NEED to discuss it. Thank your for getting the ball rolling.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I've had several fruitful dialogues with James on several subjects. He and I come from opposite political views but we can usually discuss them in a positive way. This subject seems to be a sore spot for him. This is a great example of my feeling that this must be discussed openly and honestly or else it will fester. This goes for race, gender, sexual orientation, or any differences. Your Hub on institutional racism is an example of how it becomes entrenched. Your point about tolerance is an interesting one. I guess if one uses the term inartfully, it could be taken as a form of snobbery. I used the term intolerance for those who cannot accept people who are different from them. The form of tolerance I would speak about is to accept and engage others who are from different backgrounds and who have different views. Thank you for reading and commenting on this Hub Cobras. You make excellent points and yes we need to continually discuss these issues. I look forward to reading more from you.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

I will add my accolade, Great Hub, HS!

Let me offer a spin for discussion that I didn't see brought up yet. For context, I am a white, heterosexual male. I am also an old fart ,,, older than HS :-). A problem I have been facing down for going on 45 years, when I guess I first noticed it, is I have an uncontrollable negative physical reaction upon first seeing male gay activity. My stomach turns, I get nervous, I have an almost automatic aversion of the eyes. All of this happens before I have any definable thoughts about the scene which can be as innocent as two men holding hands. After a few moments, my intellect takes charge and all is well again.

When I was growing up, I never thought much about homosexuality, believe it or not they weren't called gays back then, and didn't really know anyone living that lifestyle. My first encounter was around 16 when I went to my first underground movie in Hollywood and ran into some transvestites ... eye opening that was ... and a couple of guys holding hands and I wanted to wretch! The point is, anti-gayness was not in my upbringing and here I was acting like the worst homophobe there was.

The moral of this little story, of course, is that not only is prejudice and bigotry cultural, there is also a DNA component to at least some of it. I have gotten over being ashamed of my reaction because I finally realized that, for whatever reason, and I have my theories, this reaction was programmed into me. What I am more pleased with is my ability to get over that reaction and use the gift of reason I was given to understand people are no more in control of their sexual orientation, or skin color for that matter, as I am in seeing two men hold hands.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you My Esoteric and that reaction you first feel towards homosexual men was and sometimes is shared by myself also. Maybe it is because we come from a different time. You are older than I but we still come from a similar generation. I think sexual orientation is something you are born with and thus our initial unease with seeing it. You are quite right that we are rightly able to consider our reactions and adjust our thoughts accordingly. I believe this initial feeling is natural. The bottom line is we think about our reactions and we do not just lash out at them. It took me a long time to watch "Brokeback Mountain" on video because of this and I knew it was going to be an excellent movie. My girlfriend finally forced me to watch and it was excellent as I thought. And yes I still had great unease over the gay love scenes. Sexual orientation is different because it is inate in our being. But my premise of the Hub is still the same. We must think about what we do and see and discuss it with others from both sides. Thank you for sharing and bringing up this excellent point. I believe current generations are having an easier time discussing these issues and that is a very good thing. But it is great to see that we can do it also. Yet I will still probably initially cringe.


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 6 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

Yep, your premise is right on! I guess my point is that if some of the ???, I am not sure what to call it because none of the terms commonly used are correct since they imply volition, but let's try in-born unease, if in-born unease is a result of our genetic make-up, our evolution, then, if not approached properly, we are tilting at windmills. At least in that respect. Having said that, the one method I do use to is basically what you suggest, empathy. When I see, ugh, two men kissing, (even writing that is hard) I try to get in their minds and imagine the emotions they are feeling as being no different than those I have for my wife; while blocking out the image. It helps. While I am not programmed to really "understand" it, I am smart enough to know that within the 20 or so gene pairs that have already been identified that affect human sexuality, there are enough permutations and combinations to account for about every variation we have encountered to date. I am one of those purmutations, you are one of those purmutations, and those to guys kissing are another purmutation; left-handed or right-handed we are all human. And then you can start addressing choice on top of that, lol.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I think your approach makes a lot of sense. We human beings are immensely complex and our genetic make-ups allow for so much variety. I try to keep in mind that everyone is different. Homosexuality is not a choice but an inborn result. As long as a person is not doing things that are harming others, I feel that we should live and let live. I just tend not to look. What is important is to recognize this in myself and rationally and compassionately deal with it. I think we both do and that probably is not true of a lot of people from our generations. We are both dealing with our unease, as you aptly stated, and treating others as we expect to be treated. That's all we can really expect from ourselves.


izettl profile image

izettl 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

I think you bring up great points about how we sweep things unde the rug and have comepletely become afraid to talk about these issues involving prejudice, etc. I know you read my hub on prejudice and my point is that we need to identify and accept these feelings of prejudice we have and realize if they are based on evidence or not and how they can protect us or if they are rooted in hate, etc. For years, as a country, we pushed the melting pot theory of how we should all try to blend together but that never worked because fact is we are different with different prejudices and you are right, this should be discussed on a higher level. Great hub and examples too.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I understood the points you made in your Hub and I agree with them. My point is that it is reasonable to use these prejudices as you state but we should not let them take us to extremes of bigotry and intolerance. We can be cautious and also tolerant. Your Hub is a great example of talking honestly about these things. Too often many people just say that they have no problems with anyone and just want to not be bothered by it. I agree that we have not become a melting pot and probably can't. But we can make strides in that direction. I liked the Mario Cuomo quote that stated and I paraphrase, That we are not a melting pot more of a mosaic. I think that is a more accurate analogy. Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughtful comments.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

HSchneider, I completely agree with your point regarding empathy. I believe it is, indeed, the key to breaking down the walls of bigotry that so often tend to separate us from one another.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Empathy I believe to be the key to all of this. How can one hate someone if they have made a real attempt to feel what another feels? We may not always agree with others but we can understand them and certainly not hate. Thank you for commenting Paladin.


Emmeaki profile image

Emmeaki 5 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

Empathy is important, but some people are in such a hateful, bigoted mind state that they don't even consider the "other" person to be human. They would harm you whether you are a man, woman, or child. It's unfortunate that in 2011 we still have so much hatred and prejudice based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I agree that there are some people who are so shut off or so inculcated with hate that no amount of conversing or contact of any sort will help. There are still too many people of that sort but many less than there once were. I believe empathy will work on the much larger group of people who have smaller prejudices and bigotries. Their minds are probably still open to some degree. It is always good to try. I'm never going to give up this faith that people can grow if given the chance. Unfortunately most keep themselves closed off to other groups and are too afraid to engage. I'm glad to read that you also continue to engage other groups and remain open to them. Thank you for commenting.


rmjudkins 5 years ago

HSchneider, you make a strong argument for openness, dialogue, and empathy in dealing with prejudice and bigotry. I have implicit faith that our society will be more tolerant in succeeding generations if we are willing to celebrate the diversity that testifies to the uniqueness of this great nation in which we live. Your piece is an interesting and useful read. Regards, Robert


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your kind comments MJudkins. I agree with your belief that succeeding generations will see our society more and more tolerant. We can readily see this happening now. All we need is to continue an honest dialogue and keep open minds.


ithabise profile image

ithabise 5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

Wow! You're right-on! So well-written and expressed. Thank you.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your kind comments, Ithabise. We need a continual, comprehensive, and honest dialogue both on the national and local levels.


CoryBry profile image

CoryBry 4 years ago

Great article. Sorry I'm late to this hub but we've only just met. :) Keen insight about empathy which is why integration is so key. It's difficult to relate and support people outside one's own community without getting to know them more deeply. That is why segregation perpetuates racial prejudice.

To be fair, genuine dialog on race is difficult for all Americans regardless of their ethnic background. America wants so badly to move beyond it's racist past without doing the legwork. We can't simply wish the cultural baggage away. We need to open up the wounds and have deep, rich discussions. Blacks have a group mistrust and self sabotaging belief systems that have helped us survive over the years. We need to relinquish some of this and take some personal responsibility. Whites, I argue, have some guilt and some defensiveness about racial topics. They say they've done nothing wrong and get tired of being accused of discrimination and racism. This may be true but have they done enough eradicate institutional racism?

Yes, we need open dialog between the groups. The emotions of anger, frustration, and fear are legitimate on both sides of the fence. The discussion needs to be naked and honest, yet safe. It may be difficult and it may open old wounds but until we adequately deal with these issues, the wounds will never heal.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I totally agree with you Cory. It infuriates me that the media latch onto one of these racial episodes such as the Shirley Sherrod incident and then drop it once they squeeze every ounce of sensationalism out of it. They did the same with the Dr. Henry Louis Gates arrest. I wish they had shown some true discussions about the fears and mistrust that caused these episodes. Empathy is key. My mother has had a couple of Black friends from work whom she called outstanding people. Then she asks me why are there only these good Black people and then the bad ones she sees on TV. I said to her that is because you don't actually know many black people. Therefore you see this in that false dichotomy. She means well but she really has never been exposed to many other African-Americans. I told her there is the same full spectrum of good, bad, and everything in the middle people with African-Americans as in any other group. Unfortunately I feel many people live the same semi-isolated lives and never get to know other groups. That breeds fear and often hatred. It is a shame. Fortunately I see the younger generations improving. Not fast enough but it is noticeable. I pray this trend continues. Thank you very much for your comments, Cory.


albertsj profile image

albertsj 4 years ago from Pittsfield, Ma

Okay, HSchneider, I realize you wrote this a while ago, but I'm just reading it now. Very intelligently written hub! I ditto what "Jeffreyjefferson" said: "If only we could re-educate what the ignorant pple in the tea party"

...and many others. Thanks for such a well written hub!

The key wors are ignorance, fear, lack of understanding...and few seem to want to educate themselves. If they fear something, due to differences, I would think one might want to learn more...


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I absolutely agree with you, Albertsj. There is much we all do not know all throughout our lives which brings out fear and apprehension. Why not get to know the "others" and learn. This way we rid of ourselves of that hate and intolerance. Hate and fear hurts the person doing the hating more than others. It is a terrible millstone to carry around and it pulls you down. Once again empathy is the key to relieving one's self of this ignorance and hate. Thank you very much for your insightful comments.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

The Trayvon Martin shooting is another opportunity for a national discussion regarding race relations, bigotry, prejusice, bias, and intolerance. Will we take up the challenge this time successfully or will we sweep it under the rug once again? Stay tuned. The uproar is already settling down and the media seem to be moving on. Maybe the court case will spark it up again.


Ginger Ruffles 4 years ago

Bravo for writing a hub on this subject and encouraging dialogue!


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your kind comments, Ginger. There is so much disinformation and hiding on this issue. We all have much more in common as human beings than our differences. Let's talk more about it all across this country and minimize the ignorance and malice.


InglenookObserver profile image

InglenookObserver 4 years ago from Southwestern Wisconsin

Congratulations on a very thoughtful hub and the discussion it engendered. If we keep the lines of communication open, perhaps we can see another tiny step toward equality and general compassion. You are certainly doing your bit.


HSchneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you InglenookObserver. You are doing so also. My sincere hope is that the entire nation would also so we can minimize and eventually eliminate bigotry.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

The Paula Deen controversy represents another opportunity to have a comprehensive and honest discussion upon the subject of race relations. I doubt it will last and amount to much. This is unfortunate. Paula is a product of her times. We should recognize this and discuss it. Her sons appear to be beyond that as many of our younger generations are. Paula was certainly wrong for her words and desire for a traditional plantation wedding reception in 2007. But let's discuss the reasons and history behind it along with how we are progressing. Only this way will we advance quicker with a much better understanding of this difficult subject. We certainly would help to heal the racial divide in this country with a deeper discussion of it.


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

HSchneider

My opinion should not be construed by the narrow definitions of bias, bigotry, or any other word definition.

The blacks have been in this country for over four hundred years, and they still hide behind racism. For example, what is the purpose of stating you are an African American. This puts Africa above American. I doubt if any of these African Americans would move to or even visit Africa.

So as long as they distinguish themselves as Africans first, they will always have racial problems. We as a country won't meld the population together until American is all the description that we need to mention.

Unfortunately, it is the government that incites the racism by making sure everyone knows your race, and ethnicity.

The government spends a lot of money defining the distinctions about race and color.

How can there be any chance for equality, if we keep letting the government emphasize the our differences for statistical reasons.

We have a two term black president in the US, and several more blacks in his cabinet. That means that in two elections more than fifty percent of the voters, voted for the black candidate, and a black incumbent. They didn't vote for the white female in the democratic party over the black candidate.

In sports like football, and baseball, it is predominantly black. In the music industry there are many blacks. Now since we have a black president, there are a lot of blacks on TV, and especially in commercials. Blacks are a minority, but not on commercials.

So these are all advancements for blacks.

The area where they still fail to shine is in education.

The blacks are high on the welfare programs.

The blacks are also high in the criminal system.

These are not subjective assertions, they are just facts.

The government has given the blacks preferential treatment to get them farther along in the education system, but it hasn't really helped them.

I believe that the core of the problem is within the black culture itself.

Out of the same ghetto that produces the criminal, it also produces the cop. So, while the environment is one attribute of personal outcome, the other more important outcome is derived from personal motivation.

There is no reason to construe my statements as bias, or bigotry. It is a conclusion based on facts. This is where relying on word definitions doesn't apply correctly to reality.

Thanks

bradmaster


HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for your comments, Bradmaster. The facts that you state are seen from the prism of a white man. Facts can be looked upon by all sides and perceived in many different ways due to past experiences. Many African Americans refer to themselves with this label due to the fact that many white people inherently look upon Black people as an automatic negative, and for the severely bigoted among them as a slur. Besides, many other groups proudly affirm themselves as Italian-Americans, Irish Americans, etc. Therefore I consider that part of your argument a red herring.

The government and businesses keep track of racial, ethnic, and gender statistics because we have had a historical problem in this country of excluding these groups from many different positions. Don't get me wrong, America is not exclusive in this area. This condition has historically been true throughout the world. We as a country have recognized this and we try to keep track of this problem to highlight its trends and remedy them when it becomes skewed. People try to convince themselves that they do not have these biases but deep down many do and the government remains vigilant against this.

Your argument against prejudice and racism due to our electing twice a Black President misses the point. Yes, this was a huge step forward in our history but if you examine the breakdown in the percentages in the votes, it is clear that biases still exist. President Obama was elected because demographics in our country have changed dramatically. He also was first elected during the historic financial meltdown which he clearly distinguished himself in his understanding of it compared to Senator John McCain. Obama's percentages were incredibly low with older white people especially men which shows the clear biases still involved. The attacks against him during his 6 years in office have been horribly virulent and I am positive racism lies beneath at least some of this or much of it. Yes, one can argue that it is his policies but that is simply putting a happy face on it.

As for your argument that Blacks dominate in sports and music, what does that have to do with anything? They are generally more athletic than us in many fields. Blacks are also very talented in the music field. So what? This argument escapes me.

Now let's get down to the crux of the problem which you and I see very differently. Let me start by stating that many African Americans, yes I used that term, have to work harder to get ahead and the black community has recognized this and spoken out on it. That being said, the system has been rigged against them throughout our history and still is. Your facts are quite selective. Segregation has been slowly but steadily re-asserting itself by the fact that white families simply move out of communities when Blacks begin to move in. None will say that this is the cause but it clearly is. They will use arguments that crime is rising or some other excuse. African Americans are also held down in the business world. A glass ceiling if you will. You see it as a lack of education. I see it as a mis-education in the minds of white people. Crime statistics are skewed because Blacks are targeted for stops in a much higher percentage than Whites. Statistics bear this out as well as experience. I would be in jail now with the stuff I pulled in my youth if I had been Black. African Americans often begin in the harshest of conditions in life and are thus stuck behind the 8 ball for life. Yes, some get out but not a lot. All of our systems have built in and almost transparent biased and structural biases against African Americans. Blacks do have to look at themselves for this problem but the system is rigged. These are the realities. Black people see this clearly every day. Whites live in totally different communities and wear "rose colored glasses".


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

HSchneider

You wrote

Facts can be looked upon by all sides and perceived in many different ways due to past experiences. Many African Americans refer to themselves with this label due to the fact that many white people inherently look upon Black people as an automatic negative, and for the severely bigoted among them as a slur. Besides, many other groups proudly affirm themselves as Italian-Americans, Irish Americans, etc. Therefore I consider that part of your argument a red herring.

bm:

They don't do that anymore, maybe for a holiday of their culture, but blacks use it constantly. Blacks have earned a reputation in music, and sports, and criminal activity. The jails and prisons in this country are overflowing with them, and so are the welfare rolls.

To ignore this because of a threat of being called a white man, or a bigot doesn't change the facts.

-----------------------

You wrote

The government and businesses keep track of racial, ethnic, and gender statistics because we have had a historical problem in this country of excluding these groups from many different positions. Don't get me wrong, America is not exclusive in this area. This condition has historically been true throughout the world. We as a country have recognized this and we try to keep track of this problem to highlight its trends and remedy them when it becomes skewed. People try to convince themselves that they do not have these biases but deep down many do and the government remains vigilant against this.

bm:

I don't believe this tracking has helped anyone much less the blacks. Affirmative action, and school busing was a flop.

----------------------------------

You wrote

Your argument against prejudice and racism due to our electing twice a Black President misses the point. Yes, this was a huge step forward in our history but if you examine the breakdown in the percentages in the votes, it is clear that biases still exist. President Obama was elected because demographics in our country have changed dramatically.

bm:

So the demographics must mean more blacks, or more people that sympathize with blacks, which means less bias.

--------------------------

He also was first elected during the historic financial meltdown which he clearly distinguished himself in his understanding of it compared to Senator John McCain.

bm:

You really believe that TARP which was Bush, and Stimulus which was Obama and the democrats really worked? These two were one and a half trillion dollars that lined the wrong pockets. They didn't help the unemployed, the people that were victims of the financial industry that caused the meltdown, but were saved by TARP, and six years later the economy is still hanging on a thread.

BTW, there was no one in congress during the election campaign, including Senator Obama that even had a clue that the economy was in trouble. So people couldn't have elected any one, especially Senator Obama who had done little to nothing but campaign as the Senator from Illinois.

What Obama has done as a two term president is to go into one arena after another and generate chaos, not improvement, and certainly not stability. Obamacare should have taken second fiddle to the economy, and it became a case of divide your resources and be conquered. People needed the economy to come back and they are still waiting. Perhaps, if president Obama had focused on the economy maybe the results wouldn't be so pathetic.

I don't care about Obama being black or democrat, when I call his lack of accomplishments to task. Senator Hillary Clinton was clearly the superior candidate for the democrats.

-----------------------------

You wrote

Obama's percentages were incredibly low with older white people especially men which shows the clear biases still involved.

bm:

What you are describing is reverse bias, where you are inferring the reason that a voter voted against a black candidate.

Senator Obama had no real track record, he accomplished nothing in his time in the senate. What credentials did he have to run for the presidency. He was young, inexperienced, and clearly not the better democratic candidate. He was buoyed up and over Hillary Clinton by the party and not the voters.

------------------------------

You wrote

The attacks against him during his 6 years in office have been horribly virulent and I am positive racism lies beneath at least some of this or much of it. Yes, one can argue that it is his policies but that is simply putting a happy face on it.

bm:

Now you are hiding his lack of accomplishments, and his failed programs behind his being black. So any one that thinks he failed, is really a bigot attacking a black man.

So the same must be true when people didn't like what ATTY Gen Eric Holder was doing, and called him on it. They are all biased not because he did a bad job, but because he was black.

These arguments are more harmful than bias, and bigotry in that they artificially protect the incompetence and failures of a politician just because he is also black.

I look at the office, and the accomplishment when I make my comments. I do the same for any politician, I don't pick sides, I look at the results.

-------------

You wrote

As for your argument that Blacks dominate in sports and music, what does that have to do with anything? They are generally more athletic than us in many fields. Blacks are also very talented in the music field. So what? This argument escapes me.

bm:

The argument is that is all they excel in and they haven't improved as Americans any gain on the other areas like academia, and white collar professionals. While noted for sports, and music, they are also noted for not being educated, middle income, and low on the welfare rolls for just a few examples. This is not bias or bigotry, these are facts, and the general rule.

------

You wrote

Now let's get down to the crux of the problem which you and I see very differently. Let me start by stating that many African Americans, yes I used that term, have to work harder to get ahead and the black community has recognized this and spoken out on it. That being said, the system has been rigged against them throughout our history and still is. Your facts are quite selective. Segregation has been slowly but steadily re-asserting itself by the fact that white families simply move out of communities when Blacks begin to move in. None will say that this is the cause but it clearly is. They will use arguments that crime is rising or some other excuse.

bm:

These are valid arguments, and the middle and upper income blacks don't live there either.

------

You wrote

African Americans are also held down in the business world. A glass ceiling if you will. You see it as a lack of education. I see it as a mis-education in the minds of white people.

bm:

Even white males are held down in the business world, especially in technology where education, and certifications are required by employers, Also businesses now do background check on job candidates, and that eliminates a lot of people of all colors, and races.

------

Crime statistics are skewed because Blacks are targeted for stops in a much higher percentage than Whites. Statistics bear this out as well as experience. African Americans often begin in the harshest of conditions in life and are thus stuck behind the 8 ball for life.

bm:

There are white people that also live in the same environment, so unless you have something stronger than conjecture, the argument fails.

-----

You wrote

All of our systems have built in and almost transparent biased and structural biases against African Americans. Blacks do have to look at themselves for this problem but the system is rigged. These are the realities. Black people see this clearly every day. Whites live in totally different communities and wear "rose colored glasses".

bm:

All those people that immigrated to the US in the early years of the last century went through the same thing, but they worked their way out.

Even today the Jews still have a bad rap, but they are powerful.

Not all white people live outside the ghetto.

It is time for the blacks to kick off their crutches are using African, and just be American.

----


HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

African Americans are arrested and jailed disproportionately because they are racially profiled by the police. Crime is also higher in poor neighborhoods regardless of race. I believe the Affirmative Action tracking has kept businesses more honest and busing worked initially but whites moved out undermining it.

The hateful attacks on our President including the despicable and ignorant birther movement would not have occurred to any other President. The hateful signs at Tea Party rallies further reinforce my argument. President Obama has many accomplishments but many of his opponents simply wish to oppose him at every turn no matter his stance on the issue.

African Americans have been behind other groups in academics because they are often starting from an inferior economic position. Families under better circumstances are able to provide more support for their children and that is a tremendous advantage. Those who are poor must concentrate on working to a much greater extent. They also cannot provide pre-K, day care, better nutrition, etc. It becomes a vicious cycle. The slowly but steady re-segregation plus the barriers presented to them in business perpetuates and reinforces this vicious circle.

African Americans are not being stopped from employment by background checks, they are being blocked by the rigged criminal justice system against them and failing inner city schools. That background check point was a real reach. Blacks are stopped at a much higher percentage in all areas, poor, middle or wealthy neighborhoods. Statistics bear this out. This is fact.

Our horrible history of slavery and Jim Crow has perpetuated down to us to this day. African Americans have to fight much harder to get ahead due to the barriers against them. You choose not to see them especially since they do not affect you. Don't get me wrong, conditions and attitudes by whites have improved greatly and I have great hopes that our youth will continue and accelerate this improvement. But in my opinion, we still have a long way to go.

TARP, the stimulus, and the Fed Quantitative Easing kept liquidity in the system and stopped us from falling into a Depression. They could have been handled better but they accomplished the goal of stabilizing the economy. President Obama has many accomplishments including the Affordable Healthcare Act, expanding TARP to save the automobile industry, Dodd-Frank has made the financial system safer though far from perfect, and he has taken many steps to improve the environment including stronger requirements on emissions. These are only the most important. He has done a great job and could have done better except for a reactionary House. I believe that Hillary Clinton would have been a fine president but Obama made his case to the Democrats a little bit better. He also ran an excellent strategic campaign. Thank you for your comments, Bradmaster.


bradmaster from orange county ca 2 years ago

HSchneider

You wrote

African Americans are arrested and jailed disproportionately because they are racially profiled by the police. Crime is also higher in poor neighborhoods regardless of race.

bm:

Do you have the data to verify your statement.

It seems like they are arrested because they committed a crime.

Criminal profiling is not racist, it is using the information available to find the criminals. The difference between a black person walking in a white neighborhood, and a white person walking in a black neighborhood is one might be killed by the people and the other might be detained by the police.

-----------------------

You wrote

I believe the Affirmative Action tracking has kept businesses more honest and busing worked initially but whites moved out undermining it.

bm:

I don't understand your reference here?

-----------------

You wrote

The hateful attacks on our President including the despicable and ignorant birther movement would not have occurred to any other President. The hateful signs at Tea Party rallies further reinforce my argument. President Obama has many accomplishments but many of his opponents simply wish to oppose him at every turn no matter his stance on the issue.

bm:

Obama has done a pathetic job as a Senator and as a two time president. Did you also think that the democrats were hateful when they wanted to impeach president Bush?

Maybe you could write a hub on all of president Obama's accomplishments. Keeping in mind that an accomplishment is more than merely writing EO and Fundraisers, campaigning and golf.

----------------

You wrote

African Americans have been behind other groups in academics because they are often starting from an inferior economic position. Families under better circumstances are able to provide more support for their children and that is a tremendous advantage. Those who are poor must concentrate on working to a much greater extent. They also cannot provide pre-K, day care, better nutrition, etc. It becomes a vicious cycle. The slowly but steady re-segregation plus the barriers presented to them in business perpetuates and reinforces this vicious circle.

bm:

You are saying that the blacks have a lock on poverty.

This also describes the European immigrants of last century. And they were only here for a short time, not four hundred years.

Affirmative action failed not because the blacks didn't get an opportunity but because they think of it as a payback for their ancestors being slaves.

Well, Africa was and is big on slaves.

----------------

You wrote

African Americans are not being stopped from employment by background checks, they are being blocked by the rigged criminal justice system against them and failing inner city schools. That background check point was a real reach. Blacks are stopped at a much higher percentage in all areas, poor, middle or wealthy neighborhoods. Statistics bear this out. This is fact.

bm:

Then the only logical answer is that blacks are not as smart as the poor white immigrants of last century, who rose above their environment to be successful and educated.

---------

You wrote

Our horrible history of slavery and Jim Crow has perpetuated down to us to this day. African Americans have to fight much harder to get ahead due to the barriers against them. You choose not to see them especially since they do not affect you. Don't get me wrong, conditions and attitudes by whites have improved greatly and I have great hopes that our youth will continue and accelerate this improvement. But in my opinion, we still have a long way to go.

bm:

If anyone is stopping the blacks from being educated and successful it is the government. The government has created generations of welfare families. It is much easier and more profitable for them to go on welfare.

In return they vote for the democrats that choose to support the blacks in this manner.

There are many successful blacks, but mostly in sports and music.

There are even some successful blacks in politics, and entertainment.

So did they all come from outside the ghetto, or did they have a desire to succeed?

---------

You wrote

TARP, the stimulus, and the Fed Quantitative Easing kept liquidity in the system and stopped us from falling into a Depression. They could have been handled better but they accomplished the goal of stabilizing the economy. President Obama has many accomplishments including the Affordable Healthcare Act,

bm:

Who is benefiting from ACA?

Certainly not the people that lost their insurance, their doctors, and their hospitals because their insurance didn't meet ACA standards.?

You wrote

expanding TARP to save the automobile industry,

bm:

It wasn't his idea, and it wasn't a good idea and it was only GM, and Chrysler. Ford did fine without the help of the government.

The US lost tens of billions of dollars by taking over GM.

=======

You wrote

Dodd-Frank has made the financial system safer though far from perfect,

bm:

It would have been simpler and safer to have restored the GS.

Before the Dodd-Frank Bill passed a lot of the power was dropped.

Also, nothing was done about the high rate of interest charged by credit card companies, using the bribed South Dakota high usury rate. The Credit Card Act of 2009 didn't address this issue.

The high rate of credit card interest puts people in a death throw of being underwater with their bills.

Yes, people are spending money, but it is mostly based on their use of credit, and not their earnings. So, at some point these people will have to go into bankruptcy to get out of it.

This is another example of the political decisions made by the Supreme Court.

---------------

and he has taken many steps to improve the environment including stronger requirements on emissions.

bm:

How has he done this?

Not in CA because we have been doing this for over fifty years.

--------

You wrote

These are only the most important. He has done a great job and could have done better except for a reactionary House.

bm:

I don't see these as accomplishments, and I don't see the recovery of the country in his six years in office.

----------

You wrote

I believe that Hillary Clinton would have been a fine president but Obama made his case to the Democrats a little bit better. He also ran an excellent strategic campaign.

bm:

He campaigned on women in the workplace, and yet he refused to make Hillary Clinton his VP. He gave that to an old white guy, who he had kept as a White House lap dog.

Senator Obama had no accomplishments, and he spent his last two years campaigning for the presidency. So, other than being a great salesman, he didn't have any experience that would have made him presidential material.

As far as the birther issue, he was responsible for making that issue get drawn out. Like traditional marriage, voting and drinking alcohol there are prerequisites before you are allowed to do them.

If you have to be 35 years old or older, and you have to be a US Citizen to become president then provide the proof beyond reproach.

They ask more of people trying to get a secret clearance. And yet, we are supposed to not vet the president of the US who has the fate of the country in his hands.

---------

There is speculation about how much of correction the stock market is going to take.


HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

I do not have any statistics about racial profiling except for news reports. NYC for years racially profiled and disproportionately stopped and frisked young black men with most being set free due to no evidence found. New Jersey State Troopers were brought to court and a huge investigation ensued over racial profiling after a shooting incident of a stopped black man who was unarmed and innocent. Criminal profiling is a good practice, racial profiling is not. Your perception and that of many police departments are generated by prejudiced past perceptions.

Affirmative Action and subsequent data tracking keeps the issue of racial , ethnic, and gender diversity at the forefront of human resources departments minds. Therefore it keeps them honest in their hiring practices and detects exclusionary developing policies.

President Obama has done an excellent job as President and I wrote a Hub explain why I was voting again for him. I detail his accomplishments there. Also, I never called for President Bush's impeachment. I do think that Vice President Cheney should have been investigated into how he arranged the elaborate hoax that Iraq had WMD's. His actions were criminal.

I never stated that African Americans have a lock on poverty or are locked in. Most simply are in situations that are tremendously difficult to overcome. Your comment that Africa was and is big on slaves is racist and deserves no further comment.

Immigrants from Europe were never hampered by a history and perception of inferiority due to slavery and Jim Crow. This is a cavernous hole that African Americans have had to dig out of. It has colored our perception of them which has in turn influenced our actions in regards to them. Much of it is sub-conscious, much of it is conscious and latent. I refer back also to socio-economic circumstances. Those African Americans that come from at least a couple of generations of middle class or better status will tend to show relatively equal academic status. Those who start out in a very poor status more often than not fail. Yes, many succeed by sheer will and determination and we all should applaud them. Most people do not have that strength. Government has not perpetuated this vicious cycle of poverty, our prejudiced views as a society have.

Millions of people now have health insurance for the first time because they could not afford it. Instead of using emergency rooms as their primary care they now can have a primary physician to give them proper care. This is not only humane but it lowers costs of the system. Conditions are treated before they become major and costly. Systemic costs are going down. Those who lost their former coverage benefit because those coverages were flimsy and covered little unless you met very high deductibles.

Yes, the program to save the industry was part of TARP which originated before President Obama. But it was he who expanded it to save GM and Chrysler. The government did lose 10 billion dollars after they sold off the last of their shares in 2013. But they preserved 1.2 million jobs as well as 39 billion dollars in tax revenue. That makes it a success.

As I have stated before, I completely agree with your arguments regarding the credit card company usury rates and the Supreme Court decision that has allowed it. I presume you are talking about the Gold Standard when you write GS. Going back to that standard would be taking us back to the economic Stone Ages. We need flexibility in these much more complicated economic times.

President Obama has simply taken California's progressive emissions standards and made them nationwide. The economy has been growing steadily and the statistics bear that out especially for the past year. The one fly in the ointment is the fact that wages have remained flat. This is troubling.

President Obama immediately signed the Lily Ledbetter Act into law and has pressed but failed in his pursuit of equal pay for women. This is due to Republican intransigence. There was never any real question that the President was born in Hawaii and his birth certificate was legitimate. This was Far Right hateful conspiracy theory hatched to bogusly tar the President. It was and is a despicable tactic reminiscent of Lee Atwater dating back to the 1980's. As a matter of fact, Karl Rove is one of his disciples and the Republicans have been using and perfecting Atwater's tactics ever since.

Thank you for your comments, Bradmaster.


bradmaster from OC ca 2 years ago

HSchneider

1. Criminal profiling takes into account the color, size, description of criminals. And if the criminals are black, it is not racial, it is just good investigating.

2. Blacks are disproportionately criminals behind bars, so it is not disproportionate to stop them.

3. Affirmative action didn't help the unqualified and uneducated blacks. Company's are looking for candidates that have experience, and education that have a proven work record. Affirmative action forced them to hire the unqualified.

4. Immigrants from Europe were treated with the same prejudice and bias as the blacks. The blacks haven't been slaves for two hundred years. But a lot of them have been on welfare for generations. The Europeans worked their way out of the ghettos.

5. Health insurance is not the same as health care. Many people that had health insurance that had serious diseases, with good doctors, and hospitals lost that when the ACA disqualified the Health Insurance they were on.

6. What was saved was the high cost of doing business, and that is why it was a failure. Ford didn't need the help of the government.

7. Glass Steagall Act This was repealed mostly by republicans and some democrats. This allowed the bubbles.

8. Obama didn't pick Hillary.

9. My point on the birth is that the clear and convincing evidence should have been given voluntarily when it became an issue.

10. Blaming the party doesn't fix the problem. I see both parties in para delicto.


HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Points 1 and 2; It is racial profiling and courts in NY and NJ have ruled that they are. Why is it that whites use marijuana and cocaine in the same proportions as Blacks but Blacks are incarcerated for these offenses at a much higher rate?

Affirmative action forced and forces companies to forego their prejudices and hire minorities. Period.

Immigrants from Europe did face prejudice and bias. No doubt. But if you think that the bias and prejudice was and is the same as against African Americans, then I need to know what you are smoking. The prejudice, bias, and racism against African Americans dwarfs that against any other group, except for Muslims after 9/11.

People who lost their previous worthless healthcare insurance need to shop around on the new websites and get better healthcare insurance. If they cannot afford it, there are many government subsidies.

The President used TARP to rescue GM and Chrysler saving 1.2 million jobs and billions in tax revenue. They are thriving now though GM needs to rectify their liability issues over delayed recalls.

We agree completely on Glass-Steagall and President Obama picked Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State. The birth certificate crap was a concocted Far Right issue that they still have not given up on. I agree that blaming parties does not fix issues but the GOP consistently blocks any legislation because they detest the President and want to defeat him. That is unpatriotic. Thank you for your comments, Bradmaster.


bradmaster from orange county 2 years ago

HSchneider

You have not provided any facts, just pure emotional conjecture, and rhetoric.


HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Bradmaster, You have cherry picked your facts and provided your own conjectures upon them. I do not know what happened to you in the past to have such a visceral dislike for African Americans. Maybe you should get to know them a little more beyond your statistics, TV News, and other sensational media reports.


bradmaster 2 years ago

Kaley Cuoco receives a million dollars per BBT episode, now sports a ten dollar haircut.

9/23/2014

0 Comments

by imbradmaster

I am not the first person to make note of her new hair do, as a hair don't.

To be fair, her hair style before she cut it was really pathetic. It looked like the Friends, Jennifer Aniston hair style having a real bad hair day.

The new short haircut doesn't really deserve the word style. It looks like she couldn't figure out which hairs go in which direction, so she went in several directions. The problem with her new hair look is that it detracts from her Penny character. Instead of focusing on the actions of the Penny character, I keep looking at her hair. It is an unnecessary distraction, and doesn't help her character. It makes her look like a confused high school student, and being a pharmaceutical company representative, needs a little more sophistication then is available from her new look.

The new cast budget in the several million dollars didn't come across in the first two episodes of the new season of the Big Bang Theory.

I guess that after being let down by the bizarre Penny hair do, I shouldn't have expected anything better in the script writing. The supporting actors on the bBT held the bulk of the material in the first two episodes, while the million dollar actors coasted through the episode, looking more like support actors.

I hope that in the future episodes, the Penny hair do will be improved, and that shouldn't be hard to accomplish. And finally, the writers and Chuck Lorre should be revamping for the next three years. Chuck Lorre already messed up Two and a Half Men for its final season.

Maybe, it is Chuck Lorre that needs a new do.

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Gay Rights is not a Human Rights Issue

9/18/2014

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by imbradmaster

Many authors think that gay marriages is a human rights issue, and many think banning these marriages is discriminatory.

Gay marriage is really a matter of respect and human rights.

This is a totally different issue than discriminating against gays as human beings. Gay marriage has no appropriate basis for equality with the traditional heterosexual marriage. There isn't even any common denominator to show equality among the four different groups represented by the LGBT, much less with heterosexuals.

The reason is that marriage is not a general attribute of a human being, it was established to protect the children of the marriage from being bastards. Even though much of the social stigmas are gone, marriage only makes sense for heterosexual. Otherwise, there is a major redefinition to try and fit in a deviant party into a set stage.

Marriage is a dying concept in the world of today, and including gays into it, just accelerates its final throws. The main issue is not religious opposition, it is because there is nothing in common between heterosexuals, and others to put them together into marriage.

Across the world, gays are subjected to violence simply because they are gay, and the United Nations Human Rights Council has recently condemned this violence. But it is not just violence that violates the human rights of gays;a similar rights violation takes place whenever gays are treated as different and less than heterosexuals, such as when they are denied the right to marry. Marriage by itself does not guarantee good family relationships, but because family leave and many other benefits are available only to married couples, children suffer if their gay parents are not permitted to marry

These are the nonsense justifications for gay marriages. They start out with a legitimate right, not to be treated violently because they are gay, but then they try to bootstrap that violation into gays being equal to heterosexuals for the purpose of marriage.

There is no constitutional right to marriage period. Marriage and Drivers License are not enumerated rights, they are privileges that are licensed.

Then the LGBT tries to make the issue of the denial of 1136 benefits bestowed on marriage by the federal and state governments. But, the LGBT refuses to get the government to bestow these rights on Civil Unions, a more appropriate place for gay unions. The reason is that they don't want equality, as much as they want to have their lifestyle validated.

Allowing gays to marry is like having girls join the boys club. What would be the point of having a boys club if it is changed to include girls. The obvious solution is not to redefine the boys club, but to create a new organization that includes both sexes.

Remember when smokers alleged their rights, against non smokers. Well, that is the same kind of alleged rights being smoked upon the public by the LGBT.


bradmaster 2 years ago

Another liberal disguised as a Christian Conservative

A new study was released showing that 33 percent of children are now being raised by either a single parent or unmarried parents, compared to 1960 when the figure was less than 10 percent.

imbradmaster point:

In 1970 we saw the creation of the vehicle that would change the stability of marriage. It is called Irreconcilable Difference, and it replaced the grounds for divorce, which were death, insanity, or one party was unfaithful. This simplified grounds for divorce made it easy to get out of marriage, as easily as a get out of jail card does in Monopoly.

Also in those day, there was a social stigma against divorced women, as the grounds of infidelity for divorce put the in a bad light. Today, there has been a release of most of the social no no of those days.

Most married woman in those days stayed home to take care of their children. Now, that divorce is so easy, there is a surplus of single parents.

So if there is a blame for the change in these statistics, it has to go to the lawmakers that passed these laws making divorce, an easy get out of marriage card.

As a Christian conservative, I entirely agree, and we must do everything possible to promote marriage and reverse the trend. But it's time to call out the hypocrisy of the right: It doesn't make sense to be pro-marriage and pro-family while opposing gay marriage and gay families. The positions are entirely inconsistent.

In fact, I'll go a step further. Any ideology fixated on preserving marriage and the nuclear family should be proactively encouraging as many couples to marry as possible, including gay couples.

The problem is, every major conservative pro-marriage organization in America continues to oppose gay marriage. imbradmaster point:

It really doesn't make sense to add gay marriages, which is by definition a deviance from traditional marriage to help safe marriage. Adding gays to traditional marriage, is making the irreconcilable Differences even more powerful to destroy the concept of marriage.

Focus on the Family, for example, evidently does not appear to see the contradiction.

"Family is the fundamental building block of all human civilizations, and marriage is the foundation of the family. The institution of marriage is unquestionably good for individuals and society, and the health of our culture is intimately linked to the health and well-being of marriage," the organization says on its website.

imbradmaster point:

I still have to refer you to my original comment, the problem always starts when government muddles into social areas.

In the same post, the group continues, "Battered by high rates of divorce and cohabitation, unwed child-bearing and the push for so-called same-sex 'marriage' and civil unions, marriage is in a state of crisis."

This group does not even attempt to explain how gay marriage tangibly undermines traditional marriage arrangements, and no conservative I've asked has been able to give me a satisfactory answer.

Why would traditional marriages be devalued or under threat if homosexuals gets married? If anything, the advance of gay marriages only serves to bolster society's value for the institution.

imbradmaster point:

Gays are deviant from the heterosexuals, and by forcing themselves into a traditional marriage doesn't bring unity into marriage, it just brings another reason to leave marriage. There is no common denominator to equal gays and straights, especially into marriage.

The group also details a long list of benefits marriage provides from living longer to better outcomes for children. But in a swipe at gay marriage, the organization asserts, "Research and common sense tell us that girls and boys need role models of both genders."

Sounds convincing. The problem is that it's wrong. Not only has research shown that there are no statistical differences in well-being between children of heterosexual couples and those of homosexual couples, but the most recent study shows that homosexuals raise children with better health and well-being outcomes than all other types of parents.

Specifically, a study released this summer found that the children of same-sex parents rate roughly six percent higher than the general population on a number of measures of general health, well-being, and family cohesion. On other measures, including temperament and mood, behavior, mental health, and self-esteem, the children scored the same as children from the general population, in keeping with other studies.

imbradmaster point:

these are just statistics, not real data. The same sex parents are a fraction of the real parents, so how can you compare tens of millions, against tens of thousands of same sex, custodians.

The National Organization for Marriage lists 77 "non-religious" reasons why marriage should be defined solely between a man and a woman. A number of the reasons focus on making sure children are not separated from their biological parents. The group adds, "Every child is entitled to know and be known by both parents."

It's true that children have the best measurable outcomes when they are raised by their biological, married parents, but taking these points together, does this group oppose adoption too? Should fostering be banned? What about making sure that children are not raised by step-parents? I wonder if they would propose outlawing remarriage. What's to be done about single parents?

In its parting shot, the list says, "Same sex marriage amounts to a hostile takeover of civil society by the state."

That's called liberalism.

imbradmaster point:

Again, this is a consequence of the government meddling in social issues. The author here is definitely a gay supporter, or not yet out herself.

The sheer number of these anti-gay marriage vigilantes is shrinking, including the Christian ones. I find that encouraging because their hypocrisy gives all Christians and conservatives a bad name. In my own Presbyterian USA, the governing bodyvoted by large margins to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian. If ratified by a majority of individual presbyteries, the definition of Christian marriage" to "two people, traditionally a man and a woman."

imbradmaster point:

This is an example of how alleged gay rights are not only destroying the sanctity of marriage by watering it down to include deviant members, but it is also bringing down Christian religion. And consider that Christianity has been on the decline over the years, and this could be one of the reasons. The Islamic religions are on the rise in the world at the same time as the decline in Christianity.

Nevertheless, these changes do not cover up the fact that leading

To my Christian friends who may not be convinced, here is a thought from a Methodist pastor, Adam Hamilton:

"It is possible to be a faithful Christian who loves God and loves the scriptures and at the same time to believe that the handful of verses on same-sex intimacy are like the hundreds of passages accepting and regulating slavery or other practices we today believe do not express the heart and character of God."

Quite apart from the social benefits of all types of marriage, Jesus called us to love one another. It simply doesn't make sense to stand in the way of any person who wants to formalize their love within the sacred institution of marriage.

imbradmaster point:

The problem with Christianity is that they couldn't agree on what Jesus meant, so they Protested and created their own versions of Christianity. This was not a divine decision, but one based purely on human goals. The Episcopal Church was formed because the King of England wanted to DIVORCE his wife, but the Pope wouldn't allow it.

It is one thing for a church to allow gays as a parishioner, but another matter when they are allowed to minister for the church and change the purpose of the divine creator to the lust of humans.


bradmaster 2 years ago

Who defined discrimination If any one is redefining discrimination it is the gays. There are more than religious beliefs that preclude gays from redefining marriage to include their deviant lifestyle. There is no basis for forcing equality between the normal heterosexual marriage, and the deviant relationship of gays. There is no judicial notice to hold that gays and heterosexual need to be deemed equal. There is no factual basis to show that sexual orientation is not just a whim, or a compulsion. Otherwise, how can we classify a bisexual?

Let marriage reside solely as a religious function, and all the government reasons for marriage should be replaced by a new personal partnership contract. This contract is similar to the business partnership that exists today, but it will include the specifics of personal partnership. The oral and historical marriage contract has been watered down over the years, and it has been replaced by laws created by each state making assumptions of what is the marriage contract. These assumptions are vague, and ambiguous leaving the family law courts to fill in the blanks and make decisions. The personal partnership contract would have specific clauses, conditions, and remedies for the partnership, including how to handle its dissolution.

This partnership agreement would be available to people that want to have a connection with another person, but they don't want to get married. This is something that the LGBT forcing themselves into traditional marriage doesn't accomplish. This partnership not only covers it, more people will benefit from it, as it would encompass any two people of legal contract age.

So as the marriage ship, takes on LGBT water, and we see it slowly but surely sinking to the bottom, we can take the social lifeboats to the SS Personal Partnership haven. Marriage will then become the fantasy, and illusion that it was when it was created. But it will no longer be the pawn of the government and the LGBT.

The personal partnership concept to replace the government involvement of marriage is the best path to satisfying more people.

This personal partnership makes a level playing field without watering down the traditional marriage. So, if the government implements this partnership, marriage will only be symbolic. People will still have to get their government benefits for taxes, and control from the partnership. Marriage will no longer have that implied function, and people choosing the partnership don't need marriage for any government benefits.

Why wouldn't this partnership work better than the current LGBT plan of attacking traditional marriage.


HSchneider 2 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Bradmaster, I have been waiting for 3 days for an off day from work to answer your last 3 lengthy comments to give me the time to digest them and answer properly. Your first one with the Kaley Cuoco and Big Bang Theory reference escapes me completely as to the relevance it has to this Hub. Otherwise it seems your comments all boil down to the Same Sex Marriage debate we have been having on the other Hub of mine. I am not against your proposal to restrict government authority in the matter to simple civil partnerships for all unions including heterosexual. Thus leaving the name of marriage issue to the churches. Unfortunately marriage has a lengthy history and is ingrained into our culture. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals would howl and this would go nowhere. Your proposal though would satisfy the "equal protection" clause and thus would be constitutional. I understand your antithesis with government being involved in social issues such as these and your solution certainly would solve this issue. I would not be against it but I am not a cultural traditionalist. Most other people are and they will want to keep marriage in the vocabulary of the governmental licenses. I do applaud your earnest effort at finding a proper constitutional solution to this dilemma. Thank you for your comments.


Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 19 months ago from Shimla, India

Excellent post.


HSchneider 19 months ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you very much for your compliment and comments, Akriti.


Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 19 months ago from Shimla, India

You earned it.


HSchneider 17 months ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina who welcomed a young man into their church was gunned down by that same man simply because they were Black. When will this all end? This tragedy is indescribable. Hopefully this country will have a true discussion about this incident and the wider fact of racism in this country before another similar tragedy or other types occur.

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