Elemental Truths

A resource compiled for business owners, education professionals, counselors, and other interested parties on effective management,conduct analysis, behavior research, best practice procedures, crisis techniques, counseling resources and a clearing house for associated needful materials and tools and training. Similar topics would be in the 100's section of the library on philosophy and psychology.

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Reg holds a Bachelors and a Masters in education and a Doctorate in counseling. In addition to working in the public school system he does consultation work, private tutoring and guest speaking.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Myth of Racism Part 8

Due to feedback and response on this series of articles I need to make something very clear. I do not believe that anyone who is a regular reader of Elemental Truths and other similar publications is ever intentionally or purposely racist or prejudice. People who take the time to try and understand the inner workings of the human condition and our existence as it relates to our interactions with others, simply don't think that way.

That being said, I'm also not sure that we are as aware as we should be of the subtleties around us by which racism continues to exist. Simply by being white, we are accorded certain privileges that other people of color are not. If you doubt this take a moment to consider the following.

Have you ever walked into a place of business at the same time as a person of color? Do you remember which of you the staff greeted first?

Have you ever had a business function with a person of color? Who do the staff present the bill to at the conclusion?

Have you ever entered a mall and noticed how the surveillance of your shopping differs from that of a person of color?

Has a law enforcement officer ever stopped you for driving through the wrong neighborhood at night?

Are you able to say that you have never had the need to give thought to any of the above? I have. That in and of itself bespeaks of the privilege I unknowingly enjoy.

Let's take a look at how this phenomena can exist unseen before our very eyes.

Systematic Oppression

I define systematic oppression as the mechanism through which racism is perpetuated and a people are devalued by societal and governmental norms. The mechanism of oppression in this country is government encouraged generational poverty.

Generational (as opposed to situational) poverty is defined as having been in poverty for at least two generations. Whereas situational poverty can be considered to have been created by a circumstance such as death, chronic illness, or divorce. Those afflicted with generational poverty are taught to believe that society owes them a living. In situational poverty the pride of the individual often prevents them form accepting needed assistance.

In communities victimized by systematic oppression their is a distinct culture, with its own hidden rules and belief system. The role central to the family structure here is the matriarch. She is the one with ultimate power as the caregiver and rescuer. In her mind punishment is about forgiveness, not accountability to change. Her love is that which binds to the soul. Unfortunately, it is also enabling of dependent behavior and belief.

The male holds a different role. Although often absent from the scene, the ideal male is seen as savvy, a good fighter and a passionate lover. His physical attributes are extremely important. His understanding of gender roles are rigid and unyielding.

In summary, these points are the norm.
-Education which is key to getting out and staying out of poverty is vastly undervalued.
-Being in poverty is rarely about intelligence or ability.
-Individuals stay in poverty because they do not see any other option.
-School curriculum is so homogenized as to be of little relevance to the needs of these people.

How is this systematic oppression carried out in the United States?

In the same way excessive government killed ancient Rome.

Here are the ten general guidelines for killing a community.

1. provide subsidies which retard the natural evolution of the local economy
2. migrate all governmental authority to locations distant from the community
3. siphon off any gifted community leaders into the larger government body
4. train residents to rely on outside parties for leadership and guidance
5. centralize manufacturing to the extinction the local craftsman/artisan
6. through lending practices create an undesirable local market
7. draw as many wage earning males out of the community as possible
8. encourage inflation by the steady increase in wage earning at the lowest level
9. encourage traditionally lower paying service industry development rather than manufacture.
10. allow a build up of substandard, low cost housing to corral the poor in one area

Part 9 will examine how this concern has become an institutional norm

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Daniel said...

The assumption that I am white illustrates your point. Kudos for recognising how subtle it can be.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Reg Adkins said...

Brilliant! Daniel you are an absolute genius! Because the majority of those I train about undoing racism are "white" I made a baseless assumption that the audience reading this post would also be Caucasian. Because I have been culturally conditioned to assume the issue is viewed from this perspective. Genius, Daniel absolute genius!

5:55 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Do have to point out that one of your examples - Has a law enforcement officer ever stopped you for driving through the wrong neighborhood at night? - happened to me, and I'm caucasian.

Leaving my friend's house at 3am after a long evening of games and socializing...

His house - in a very nice neighborhood.

My car - a cheap, older car.

Asked me a lot of irrelevant and dare I say harrassing questions about what was I doing so late at a friend's house.

No ticket - nothing about why I was pulled over.

Just a lower value car in a higher value neighborhood.

So I can at least say that while I do agree that racism is a problem - it isn't always the explanation.

2:38 AM  
Blogger Reg Adkins said...

Look at it this way Jason. If the friend you were visiting lived in a predominantly black neighborhood and you left his house at 3am would the police even be around to stop anybody?

6:46 AM  

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