I’m not chocolate dot com

LOL. Someone (I haven’t bothered to try to find out who, ’cause I really don’t care) has already put ImNotChocolate.com online. I”m not sure which is funnier: the site, the response, or the speed with which it was set up.

I wasn’t too bothered by the chocolate comments myself, I found the “God’s punishment” language much more troubling. Perhaps because this isn’t the first time that “chocolate” has been used to describe the racial makeup of the city. If I remember correctly, way back in October or late September someone (perhaps even Ray himself) used it to say something to the effect of “New Orleans isn’t a black city or a white city, it’s a chocolate city.” That’s not the exact quote, of course. And, after searching Google I haven’t come up with it.

I’m of the opinion that the divide in New Orleans is not racial per se, but economic. Given the high correlation between the two, it’s understandable that many people fail to make the distinction. Everyone can bitch all they want about not wanting this or that “element” back in town, but markets are self-correcting. My prediction: not only will any attempt to artificially skew the population of a city the size of New Orleans fail, it will fail miserably and will bring about all sorts of unintended negative consequences.

34 Comments so far

  1. revamp (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

    Another funny one is http://www.mayorwonka.com.

    On the points in your last paragraph: In my opinion, the demographics will inevitably change, regardless of the politicians’ gerrymandering pipe dreams. Such is the evolution of cities and civilizations. Economics and geography will be the deciding factors, not race. Geography determines that we will have a smaller, denser city; yet possibly more diverse. Already it appears New Orleans will have a sizable Hispanic community. I predict it will have a sizable Black middle class also. Most of the remaining natives will either be in the working class or those “people in Uptown and wherever you are.” If hell freezes over, and New Orleans finally gets a diverse economy, then we will see the rise of the “Creative Class”; with an influx of young professionals of all races.

    Of course this is all speculation, but if history is any precedent, the New Orleans 10 years from now will evolve into a different animal. Such is the ebb and flow of things, eh?

  2. Laurie (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 7:25 pm

    None of this actually matters if the “Dutch Solution” is used in south east Louisiana.


  3. whatever (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 9:07 pm

    It doesn’t matter what Whites are saying now, but since the storm many Whites have been spewing racist comments that they do not want African Americans back. No one wants to admit it, but Whites in Uptown, Lakeview, Metairie and Across the lake have been saying they don’t want Blacks coming back to NOLA. Forget that. We ARE coming back. This city is just as much ours as it is yours. The comments have been pure racist and Nagin but it out there. We’ve all been hearing what Whites have been saying. Let them say it. We’re still coming back. You do not own the city.

  4. NO_Doc (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

    If all these comments are any indication, it is clear that New Orleans has a serious race relations issue. It needs to be addressed.


    We have a winner!!!

    Racism is the Achilles’ heel of New Orleans. You can trace race problems in the city back over 100 years if you want, but things really came to a head in the age of Segregation. Since then, there has been a tit-for-tat sniping by people of both races at each other. It has never brought either race forward, but rather has always dragged both back. This has yet to stop either side from continuing the bickering. Add to this that many people confuse class issues with race issues and you REALLY have a quagmire on your hands. People start LOOKING for racist meanings (i.e. if you say ‘the element’ you mean ‘the black element’ not ‘the criminal element’; if C. Ray talks about ‘a chocolate city’ and ‘God is angry with America’ then only the former comment provokes severe outrage and you manage to ignore the latter).

    If the only people who come back after Katrina are Searching’s Uptown friends, they are in for a rude awakening. There will be no restaurants open for lack of busboys, waiters, cooks and chefs. There will be no garbage pickup, no repairs for anything ranging from a roof to a water main and no auto mechanics. There will be no lawn service, car detailing or childcare. Every basic service from health care to police and fire service will be understaffed.

    If the only people who come back after Katrina are Charles’ and Whatever’s peeps, then the city will never be rebuilt. It will be so far in debt that it will never borrow another dime after the federal government finally wipes its hands and moves on to the next hot topic. Think the schools were bad before Katrina? Imagine the forced combining of schools and the increase in class size when a dead broke Orleans Parish School board is forced to close a number of schools that the money just doesn’t exist to fix. Imagine a police force with a dwindling tax base paying its officers less to do more. Kind of a setup for police corruption, don’t you think? And don’t even start talking about jobs. The vast majority of New Orleans’ dark-skinned workforce is unskilled or at best semi-skilled labor. If there are no professionals or business owners left to go drop a few hundred bucks at a Hornets game, the trickle down effect will put hundreds of people out of work. And as the statistics show, higher unemployment equals more crime and higher levels or substance abuse. And did I mention that there would be fewer police with a better chance for police corruption??

    Bottom line is that the two races need each other. They always have, and always will. They are both going to also have to adjust to the new reality that in addition to the substantial Asian population that was already here before the storm, there is likely to be a much more substantial Hispanic presence as well.

    I am as white as the spackling on freshly floated sheetrock. But I have always loved this city for the soul food, the jazz and other creations that are quintessentially black. Like Searching and like Whatever in her post about the looks that she has gotten on Magazine St., I have at times been hated on by a black person for no other reason that I could see other than my color. But I don’t dwell on it because that person has no idea who I am. I just hope that one day I get to do something for him that opens his eyes to who I am and that I am not his enemy just because we have different skin colors. I just know that we can all get along; but in order to start doing it we all have to want to. That means the whites need to let go of the ‘better than thou’ attitude and get involved in making the city better for everyone, not just their particular circle of people, places and things. And the black people have to let go of the ‘you owe us’ attitude and start building more stable neighborhoods and families that can form the foundation on which to improve schools, start businesses and eliminate poverty and drug addiction. I am not a fool; we will never be a perfect city. But we can be a hell of a lot better than what we were.

  5. schroeder (unregistered) on January 19th, 2006 @ 11:03 pm

    I and many others have been saying that everyone has a right to return.

    People profiting from Nagin’s comments may be doing more to spread racial animosity than Nagin himself. I don’t think it’s right.

  6. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 8:58 am

    “We’ve all been hearing what Whites have been saying. Let them say it. We’re still coming back. You do not own the city.”

    Actually, a lot of people (black and white) are just hearing whatever the fuck it is they want to hear. Sadly, in New Orleans, that often means that people black and white) are hearing a lot of racially polarized talk, even when there isn’t any.

    I agree with you fully that the city belongs to everyone. I believe that most people agree with that.

    One thing that shouldn’t be forgotten is the other thing that Nagin “put out there” and that I left alone in favor of a comment about economics, is that there is a black crime problem in New Orleans. Again, I think it’s more an economic issue than a racial one, but not many people are making that distinction.

    We’ve all got things that we can fix to make us better people and better neighbors. I’m working on my issues, I hope that others are taking the opportunity to do the same.

  7. Mike (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 10:23 am

    “Racism is the Achilles’ heel of New Orleans.”

    Duh, do you think? How about the Achilles’ heel of man’s entire civilization!!!

    Does it matter if its white vs. black, Christian vs. Jew vs. Moslem vs. Hindu, etc, etc, etc…

    It all boils down to fear – which can only be eliminated by Love! Remember who you really are, people and live that spark of the Divine!

  8. Nagin is racist (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    Last I had heard New Orelans was a city in AMERICA.. for AMERICANS to live in.. black white, hispanic…. it sure is racist to say it will and should be a “Chocolate City” ! African Americans have been fighting for equality but it’s only equality to them so long as it’s in their favor. I believe they have rights but so do white’s. White’s aren’t allowed to have organizations like the NAACP, Negro College fund, etc…so how do white people who need help sending their kids to college get the financial help… all the other grants support the “minority” also.. AND if it would have been a white Mayor calling it “Vanilla City” there would have been an uproar like never seen… with the white mayor out of office.. Nagin is racist… HE NEEDS TO GO ! bottom line…

  9. roux (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 10:36 am

    There are a lot of people who will not be able to come back. Each has to assess their own situation. I think all should be welcome but because of the lack of services you are on your own. The gov’t is not going to be able to help you. It wasn’t that great pre-K and has completely fallen apart since.

    That being said, it does not help to have the leaders(?) saying stupid things.

  10. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 11:11 am

    “White’s aren’t allowed to have organizations like the NAACP, Negro College fund, etc…so how do white people who need help sending their kids to college get the financial help… all the other grants support the “minority” also”

    OK, both of those are bullshit.

    Never heard of David Duke and the National Association for the Advancement of White People? How could be from New Orleans and NOT know about it. Of course white people can have any kind of organization they want. The NAACP was born out of a need. The NAAWP is a joke precisely because it serves no serious purpose.

    There are plenty of scholarships, financial aid, grants, etc. targeted to everyone. If you don’t like the Negro College Fund, don’t donate to it. It’s not a government program, it’s a charitable foundation, if nobody donates to it then it will disappear.

    Lastly, Nagin isn’t a racist. Did you not hear him complaining about black on black crime? Man, he must hate those black people. Not. And he doesn’t hate white people either.

    You’re going to bitch about the NAACP and the United Negro College Fund and talk about white rights and then call Nagin a racist? LOL. Good one.

  11. mike martin (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 11:37 am

    can i ask some one to please email about the actual location of “uptonw”?

    I am new to these blogs, and i dont think ill find my posting, but if some one would care to explain to me where “uptown” is, it would be most appreciated…
    fyi, im hispanic, actually 50%, and i didnt care for nagins statement about not letting hispanics “take over” his city during the rebuilding…. here in san antonio texas, we, both hispanic and white , took in 10, 000 evacues and never once here did we look at color… i hope nagin realizes that many many hispanics and whites here in san antonio all came together to feed, clothe and house these people who were devastated by katrina. never once did we see an issue of color, only one of need , and i for one am proud of the way san antonio texas helped.
    have a nice yall, mike martin

  12. Nagin is racist (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    First off.. It’s not bullshit….

    And of course I’ve heard of David Duke and the organization… but – a white person who is known to be involved in ANY white organization that you can find (which believe me aren’t out there) are called racist and judged because they choose to be a part of something giving honor to their heritage and background… If blacks can be proud of their backgrounds and where they come from and have the many organizations -why can’t the whites without being judged? I for one – do not feel offended that black people are proud-they should – it’s the double standard that is offensive.

    Nagin is Racist…. Sure he complains about Black on Black crime… I never said he hated the blacks.. Why would he ? The definition of racism is not White discriminating against blacks…
    It the discrimination against any race! Check your dictionary ! And if Nagin is saying it should be a “chocolate city” then yes.. He is racist because he believes it should only be for the black people and that is the BULLSHIT !

    And I’m not bitchin’ ABOUT those organizations… I’m all for whatever helps people OF ANY COLOR !!! I bitch about the DOUBLE STANDARD!

  13. Steve O'Keefe (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 11:59 am
  14. Whatever (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

    And another thing, White people who are pissed about Nagin’s comments need to ask themselves, “Why am I REALLY mad?” Take a good look in the mirror. Why are you REALLY upset? Yep, there’s your answer.

  15. Dan (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

    Nagin isn’t a racist. His comments weren’t racist. Look up the definition. He is/was playing up a particuliar demographic that came back to bite his bee-hind.

  16. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

    “And of course I’ve heard of David Duke and the organization… but – a white person who is known to be involved in ANY white organization that you can find (which believe me aren’t out there)”

    Well, which is it? They’re either out there or they’re not.

    “If blacks can be proud of their backgrounds and where they come from and have the many organizations -why can’t the whites without being judged?”

    Because, whites that want to celebrate and be proud that their heritage was owning other people as slaves are rightfully looked down on. This is a point that should be self-evident. The heritage that would likely be celebrated by a “white pride” organization isn’t one of overcoming oppression, but of being the oppressors. Reasonable people aren’t going to do that. Contrast that with what “black pride” organizations are likely celebrating: the steady climb from a history of oppression to full and equal membership in the citizenry of a country that didn’t always consider them people.

    The fact is that there are plenty of cultural societies that for all practical purposes are not teeming with black people. Pick any of the numerous Hyphenated-American clubs, and you’ll find that they’re mostly if not all white, at least at the local level. The Italian-American clubs that put together St. Joseph’s alters, for example. I don’t ever recall seeing a black person at one of those functions.

    The double standard doesn’t exist, because you’re not comparing apples to apples.

  17. Mario (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 7:30 pm

    Not too many black Italians where I come from!

  18. Steve (unregistered) on January 20th, 2006 @ 10:29 pm

    I dont believe Nagins a racist, I believe he has incredibly poor judgement in what he says publicly (like another, higher up, well known politician that (W)ill go nameless), but he’s not a racist. He might be 3 cans short of a six pack, but he’s not a racist.

    Now, people screaming about what he said being racist and turning it into a race thing? Oh yeah, as sure as the sun shines, because -lets face it- there are alot of people who are just that ignorant of one another, or are that petty and that ignorant, that they’d turn to that as an excuse or a crutch. That is the skill of the weak, to use age old excuses instead of pushing forward into the great expanse of what could be an even greater city than what once was before 8/29/05

    So why argue about it here? did it do anyone any good at all? Did you leave here feeling better about yourself, or is the anger still just beneath your skin? Screw it man, lifes too short to have a stick up your ass about black people, white people, hispanics, whatever man.

  19. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 2:40 am

    The point to arguing about it is very simple: some people need to have their views publicly challenged. There’s a need to have look their prejudices in the face, eye to eye, and have people that they believe should agree with them tell them that they’re wrong. If it makes one more person question their own “us vs. them” philosophy, it’s worth it. Changing hearts is an incremental process. Sometimes it needs a swift kick in the pants.

  20. Just A Guest (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 11:28 am

    I’ve been a guest in your city many times. Starting with business, then pleasure. I won’t even presume to understand all your emotions right now. Most of the rest of us in the country will never in our lifetime know what you people are feeling! God bless you all. We’re from Detroit. You have Ray Nagin, we have Kwame!! Now, talk about a character! I heard your mayor refer to your city as “chocolate”,so is Detroit, Chicago,Washington D.C. etc. What’s the problem? It is what it is! Your city’s problem is economic. We see it when we visit! To change some of these economic issues someone should invite some of our great labor unions down to organize some of the businesses!! If every one had the chance to have a decent pay, health care, dental, etc. maybe black and white would be on a more even playing field. Do you know, you only have one union hotel in your city? The Fairmont!! We love coming down for conventions, but the city should get more union friendly! So, most of Unions business goes to Vegas. Your city loses LOTS of needed money. Could you imagine Harrah’s being union?? I’d move to New Orleans! Now, let’s talk Hispanic! They are there, once again, doing CHEAP LABOR. They’re scabs! Do you think they’d even be there if the companies your city hired were union? Hell no! Come on guys! You have may more important issues going on in your city besides race. Get busy. Because, I’m telling you truthfully. I LOVE NEW ORLEANS. We’we already decided last year to move down there. We, and I’m sure alot of other people see many great opportunities to be had. But, far more than a race issue, we won’t live in a city with such a diverse economic issue. Everyone has the right to earn a decent living! See you’s soon!

  21. mike martin (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    In reference to your comment about whites having”guilt” feelings about their race , let me make this statement.
    Look in reference books, and western civilization histroy books, the Internet, any place of reliable reference and note
    “that blacks who were sold by other black villagers, for what ever reason, debt, criminal behaviour, that only 4 % of slaves went the the colonies, of which the first ones arrived in 1619.
    94% of blacks went the southern route, the bahamas, the islands, south america, etc….. not here in the U. S.
    and look at this stastic, only 1 % of the new colonists owned slaves, only 1% ….got it?
    Chances of most white people who had relatives who may have owned slaves 140 years ago are very slim my friend.
    The U.S. govt owned NO SLAVES, so much for reparations…..
    Mike, please read a history book, it helped me know the facts, hopefully you will learn as well.

  22. Vanilla Gorilla (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

    Mr. Mayor,

    Let me start by saying that I am a 41-year-old vanilla male.
    I supported you prior to the hurricane that “GOD” sent at us (your words), and even supported you in your efforts after. But now, you have reached down and grabbed the “race card” and want to proclaim that New Orleans be a “Chocolate New Orleans”!!!
    If you were a white man/mayor and made the opposite remarks that the city needed to be a “White New Orleans”, you would have had every liberal media outlet, the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, etc…here, to serve your head on a silver platter. You would be stripped of your political duties and reduced to a racist pig and kicked out of town.
    Luckily for you, you’re “chocolate”.

    “GOD is mad at us for being in Iraq”??? “That’s why GOD sent hurricane after hurricane to us”??? At what point in time did you become a spokesman for GOD? Prior to the hurricane, New Orleans had terrible crime, housing, cleanliness, and education problems. Is that GOD’s fault? Why would you say such things? Are you trying to alienate us from Washington/Congress, and the rest of the nation, at a time when we are in need of much help to rebuild? I think you’ve finally lost your mind and should consider resigning!

    But let’s first take a look at your “Chocolate City”.
    Check the stats, the majority of crime comes from the “chocolate factory”. The majority of welfare goes, to the “chocolate factory”. The majority of dilapidated, filthy housing is owned or inhabited by the “chocolate factory”. The poor public education system is run by and inhabited by the “chocolate factory”. Just look at all of the “chocolate city” public housing eyesores. You want a “chocolate city”, just look at the 2nd line party-shootout where 3 people were injured, that was all chocolate, no white milk in that neighborhood. And you called the shooters “knuckleheads”? How about CRIMINALS!
    And wasn’t that supposed to be a welcome back parade???
    Who do you think fills the majority of restaurants, hotels, conventions, or even the Superdome on Sundays, chocolates—nope! And 30-40 years ago, New Orleans was not a black majority city. But since then, we’ve had four “chocolate” mayors, and this city has been spiraling down the tubes ever since!
    This city is my city. I was born at Touro Hospital. Even though I now reside in Jefferson, when I visit other places and someone asks me where I’m from, I tell them “New Orleans”! But this city of mine has continued to elect “chocolate politicians” over intelligent, well-minded leaders. New Orleans, and the so-called leaders in the political arena, continue to keep giving itself and us, a black eye. Corruption and “reverse racism” has plagued this city for far too long. But now, the Sleeping Giant has been awoken, and he’s not happy!

    Mr. Mayor, you could’ve taken this challenge, said the right things, done the right things, and been a real beacon of light for this desperate city. Hell, you could’ve done so well that you could’ve run for governor, or even President, and won, if you had done the right things. You and the city could’ve come out on top, and I would’ve applauded you for doing a terrific job during difficult times.
    But, lo and behold, you have stooped down, as mayors past, and given us (New Orleans), another black/chocolate eye! What a shame, what a shame!

    The Vanilla Gorilla

  23. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

    Mike, I’m sure that as a student of history, you know that when this country was founded our Constitution contained the following sentence:

    “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

    Care to take a guess who the “three fifths of all other Persons” referred to?

    You’re welcome to spin the numbers however you want to try to make it seem like not such a big deal. But the fact of the matter is that it was a big deal. Big enough to still be causing ripples more than a century after the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. The government didn’t own slaves? Of the People. By the People. For the People. We are the government, because we are the governed. And our government, in the past, said, “sure, you can own those other people.” Doesn’t matter who sold them, or how they got here.

    As a student of history, I know that you didn’t just forget about segregation, either. Separate but equal my ass. Black people have a lot to celebrate, and they have some reason to celebrate and organize on the basis of their race alone. This country gave them all the justification they need for that.

    As for guilt, I don’t have any. I do have an obligation, however, to be aware of the world around me and try to correct some its problems, for my own sake. Because I’m selfish like that. I want to live in a better world. I want to live in a world where there isn’t constant sniping about race. I want to live in a world where we aren’t condemning vast numbers of the youth of New Orleans to a life of ignorance because we didn’t provide them with a viable education. I want to live in a just world. And I’m doing what I can, which admittedly isn’t too terribly much, to make the world that kind of place.

  24. Laurie (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 7:37 pm

    When some one is born on free soil why continually keep declaring

    another country first and not the full citizenship of the respective country?


  25. NO_Doc (unregistered) on January 21st, 2006 @ 7:46 pm

    Wow. Eloquently put Joe. Be glad to buy you a beer aytime.

  26. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 22nd, 2006 @ 1:31 am

    Thanks. I’m always up for that. Next time I’m in town I’ll post my itinerary with an open invitation for anyone that wants to meet up, even those that might disagree. Put a beer or two in me and there’s no forbidden bar topic that I won’t discuss. Usually to everyone else’s discomfort.

  27. Nagin is racist (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2006 @ 10:16 am

    “Whites that want to celebrate and be proud that their heritage was owning other people as slaves”

    That’s a load of shit…

    …… I’ve never owned a slave… and who is to say any of my ancestors did either? .. Have you ever been a slave ???? White people were not all rich and slave owners.. Some white people lived just as poorly and were servants also.. Now- God made me white and I am proud that God made me what He did… Now what about that should I not be proud of ??? My family and I – we should not have to pay for the sins of the past that may or may not have happened down my family line all those years ago… I am proud of what I am..as a white person.. I have the right- j just a like a black person.. To be proud and fight for white rights.

    “Double standard doesn’t exist, because you aren’t comparing apples to apples.”

    You are Human.. And I am Human….. No matter the color… so how the hell can you sit there and stand up for black rights and not believe white or hispanics or whomever else should not have rights. Blacks scream for equality.. Just like we do. . .. Either we are equal or we are not… but I would say since we are all human beings and AMERICANS created by the Lord Almighty that should be pretty much be comparing “apples to apples.”

  28. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    “I have the right- j just a like a black person.. To be proud and fight for white rights.”

    Yep, you do. But what rights are you fighting for as a white person? Perhaps I’m just missing where you actually explained that in a way that doesn’t sound racist. I acknowledged your rights in an earlier post and explained that there are plenty of ethnic and cultural-pride organizations that are mostly, if not completely white, that are inoffensive. But even if you can trace your family back to Colonial America and say “we never owned any slaves,” that doesn’t invalidate the fact that all people of that era, except slaves themselves, benefitted from slavery.

    Then there’s segregation. In the not-so-distant past, we were equal, but we weren’t. I’d venture to say that even white people who lived poorly or had jobs of servants still had a better opportunity to be upwardly mobile in terms of socio-economic class than similarly situated black people.

    I still maintain that any white-pride organization is very likely celebrating a history of being oppressors. I might find it abhorrent, but I’ll admit that people have the right to do it. I’m not sure where you managed to get the idea that I “don’t believe white or hispanics or whomever else should not have rights.” I never said that in any post.

    I do find it somewhat humorous that you think “we should not have to pay for the sins of the past” in a post invoking the lord almighty, given his ongoing punishment (original sin) of humanity for the actions of Adam and Eve.

  29. Just a Question (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2006 @ 4:16 pm

    I have a question for any who care to respond..

    If Mayor Nagin was white and had said it would be a Vanilla City… How would you feel ?

  30. Laurie (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

    We are all of the same race of mankind Homo sapiens.

    There are five branches of our race all genetically same except for environmental, external influences.

    Or why blacks jump higher cos they had to run away from lions.

    Why are northern Chinese shorter and southern Chinese taller?

    Why did the United States government forget to include the Polynesian Man

    branch in the 2000 census – I’m sure it sucked to be Hawaiiain that year.

    Wher are the Mongoloids?

    They’re being assimilated into the other four branches to almost annihilation.

    Caucasians ain’t all bad once you get to know ’em.

    Dude, my favourite Blues musicians are Negroid they have Soul that no caucasian can touch.

    Ask the Dalai Lama for help “We are all same.”


  31. mike martin (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

    You say blacks had it the worst. Look how the Irish were treated when they came here, along with the Chinese who were the backbone on building our rail roads. You think blacks had it bad?
    If an Irishman died, toss him off to the side and replace him with another one. No one lost money on that dead one, or better yet, get a Chinaman to replace him.
    Blacks who were slaves were paid for. They were an investment to their master, of whom was in no hurry to lose his money over the death of a slave
    There was an investment issue there Joe. Dont overwork the slave, some ones going to lose money. Put a Chinaman there, or use an Irishman, no ones going to lose money if one of those guys die. Remember the slogan, no negroes or irish need apply?
    Sad thing is, when the Chinese finished assisting on the building of railroads, there were many simply killed off. Look how the Chinese were treated, most had to wash clothes and do laundry, and many many had their shops burnt by the competition. Look at the Chinese today, you think they are lazy? Look in colleges, look at their SAT’s I dont call them lazy, not in the least. Seems they excel from all their hardships. Look at India, were Engineers continue to pour out of that country by the thousands. They come here and suceed.
    Also Joe, I for one look at the Jews. Tell me they didnt have it bad. 5 million went to the ovens, 20 million in concentration camps, yet do you see them going on and on and on about their relatives being slaves?
    Oh no you dont., why because they took their misfortunes and rebuilt themselves. Jews work hard, take care of each other and strive to work their way to the top. Remember WW 2 ended 59 years ago, remember, not 140 years ago……
    There are many survivors who are alive, and yet have not let the Holocaust stop them from striving.
    “You will lose tomorrow by living in yesteryear.” Joe
    Learn from the past, and build a strong future…….

  32. Ann (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

    The bottom line, Mike, is that the Irish and the Asians (more than Chinese were here and were excluded) CHOSE to be here. Yes, they were treated inhumanely and denied full citizenship rights and suffered all forms of discrimination but they VOLUNTARILY came. They were not forcibly brought here against their will. They were not systematically exploited by the legal apparatus of the nation of the free even after freed from bondage. Every group, with the exception of WASP males, have a story of exclusion and deprivation that dates back centuries, if not millenia (in the case of women). You are comparing apples and oranges and bananas.

    And then you had to go and drag the Jews into this. The expereince of the Jews in WWI is in no way related nor comparable to the expereince of Afican Americans. That is a false argument – look what the Jews did after the Holocaust. Blacks have had 140 years and look where they are. To be honest, but not dismissive of the Holocasut in any way, (I want to make that crystal clear – the Holocaust happened, it was beyond comprehension, it was devestating and anyone who denies the Holocasut is an idiot and lots of other words I won’t sully this page with) Jim Crow was more subtle, tenacious, and acceptable than the Fianl Solution ever was. Segregation “ended” in 1954 but its vestiges are still with us. The fact that this discussion is even taking place is proof of that. Again – apples and oranges.

    The experience of African Americans, north, south, east and west, is unique to them. There are no comparisons to be made: it was, and is, what it was and is.

  33. NO_Doc (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2006 @ 9:37 pm

    I would be the last person to deny that the enslavement of people of African origin to fuel the economic engine of early America was wrong.I would also agree with the fact that they were the most chronically discriminated against ethnicity in the history of this country. It has only been in the past 2-3 decades that discrimination based solely on color bias has been driven out of corporate America and most of mainstream American society. There are still a few recalcitrant areas, but these private organizations are not necessary to one’s ability to be upwardly mobile.

    Now I am going to open up a can of worms: at present, I find that most discrimation that was and still is taking place in New Orleans is much more classist than racist. I think you would find that most of the ‘beautiful people’ would pretty much have the same reaction to having to sit next to the Deliverance-style white trash as they would to sitting next to the pimped-out brothas on a bus, in an airport or wherever they might be ‘forced to mingle with the commoners’ (note: when I, my wife and three kids ages 3-10 go places, we frequently get ‘the look’ from childless and/or older couples that clearly states what they think of my parenting abilities despite my spending 80% of the meal, movie or whatever dealing with them. So, don’t think that I include myself in the ‘beutiful people’ and realize that there are many, many forms of discrimination). I think that because ‘the race card’ has become such a trump in American society that it is now being played in response to class issues, such as wages payed, education/advancement opportunities and housing. The arguement is that since dark-skinned people are more likely to be poor (i.e. fall into the low socioeconomic class), that these issues need to be addressed as race ones. This assumption creates two problems. First, it actively discriminates against non-black members of the poor class based on color alone, and second it creates a financial incentive to perpetuate discrimination based on color. And as we all know, where there is money there will be takers. Until everyone of every color unites to push for good schools for everyone, and good jobs for everyone, and competent governance for everyone….we will be stuck in the rut that is racism.

    Food for thought.

  34. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 23rd, 2006 @ 10:54 pm

    “You say blacks had it the worst.”

    No, you’re saying that I said blacks had it the worst. I merely stated that “black people have a lot to celebrate, and they have some reason to celebrate and organize on the basis of their race alone. This country gave them all the justification they need for that.”

    I didn’t say that black people were the only cultural or ethnic group to legitimately organize themselves along cultural or ethnic lines. I said “that there are plenty of ethnic and cultural-pride organizations that are mostly, if not completely white, that are inoffensive.”

    About jews, you said, “There are many survivors who are alive, and yet have not let the Holocaust stop them from striving.” OK, I’ll grant you that point. But if Jewish people can strive to overcome hardship, then so can black people. And yet my tiny defense of Ray Nagin specifically and black people in general has managed to generate some hostility. Am I to view the Jewish Anti-Defamation League differently than the NAACP ? I don’t think that I should. They are both trying to achieve something worth achieving.

    Mike, I’m not calling you a racist. Using ethnicity to evaluate people isn’t unacceptable unless it’s the only criteria being used. And that goes for everyone –black white irish italian chinese asian pacific islander christian protestant whatever. I think that there is likely a point of miscommunication between us, probably of my own making. Yes, it would be nice if everyone could truly adopt a live-and-let-live attitude and encourage others when they do the same. In this particular case, I’m sympathetic with the fact that black people organize by race and unsympathetic with white people who organize by race (but specifically not ethnicity and shared culture). That difference is for very specific reasons.

    I’m making a new top level post from which to continue this discussion, since it has expanded well beyond the scope of the initial post. You can find it by clicking here. I feel like this is an important enough discussion to bring it back to the front of the cue, at least for a little while longer. Please feel free to continue the discussion there, I’m going to turn comments off on this post.

    Joe B.

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