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White People are Scary

Discussion of Theravada Buddhism in the light of Zen.

Re: White People are Scary

Postby goddess on Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:10 am

lok91 wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote:Contrary is helpful as long as we notice what we mean by it. i like your spirit...

I presume you like my spirit because I have an inquiring mind and I'm readily willing to do The Work. Can we do some Work here?

White people are scary - no Work needed here I imagine. :)

Byron Katie is an awakened person - you wrote this earlier in the thread on page 2.

Lok is a contrarian - what you seem to be suggesting above.

In all of these cases we're applying some fundamental attribute to people. Earlier in the topic this was referred to as seeing through a "filter." That's a good way of putting it I think because that term aptly describes the process of what's happening. Our experience of something, whatever it might be, a racial group or individuals, for example, are 'filtered' down to their essential meaning. What I hope everyone realized is that this process is just the way our minds work and it's largely out of our conscious control. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with this process and in fact it can be quite efficient in accomplishing our goals. From a less personal vantage point, the problems which arise from these 'filters' are caused by applying a generalization or 'filtration' inappropriately to a specific situation; essentially applying the general to the specific. Applying the general to the specific can result in all kinds of mistakes.

So how does identity fit into all of this? The catalyst which binds is meaning, specifically our desire for meaning, because our 'filtration' process is based on our subjective purposes, or rather, what we find meaningful.

"The Work" is itself a filter or distillation, only it is an engineered distillation. There is nothing wrong with that, it's not malicious. It can fulfill our desire for meaning and act as a catalyst to bind people together for mutual benefit.


I can see ... Lok is compliant!

But what on earth are you on about .. with the meaning bit in your last paragraph? I don't see at all how this process is about making something meaningful? I saw it was about letting go of a paradigm 'white people are scary'
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:07 pm

lok91 wrote:
chicka-Dee wrote:By looking at this as an intellectual discussion, you miss the point.

:lol2: Cool with me, Chicka-Dee.

Who is the light that still burns?


:)


partofit22 wrote:are there any koans, stories, verses or cases that directly refer to these filters/screens?


Or much better is to employ mindfulness and pay attention in our own life and investigate for ourselves. :)

Like the woman in the video who had a certain view of the world, and this tinted all her interactions and experiences. What world do we create for ourselves? What are the thoughts that influence what we see and hear?

goddess wrote: I think this is the main problem on forums and actually with language. We red flag pieces and then respond to those, instead of getting the biger picture, the gestladt that the person is trying to get across. ... I mean I watch myself doing it too. So many times I have gone wow... this person has really tuned into the minute detail of my post and totally missed what I was saying.


Is it a problem with language, though? Or does the problem lie with our thoughts and what we are attending to?

We do this face to face as well, but it might be easier to notice online. We're so caught up in our own mind process and listening to our thoughts about what we think the person is saying, we aren't fully present and actually listening to and attending fully to the other person. We're good at talking, but lacking in knowing how to really listen. ;) This is definitely something I've had to work on! I've caught myself doing it more often than I'd like to admit. But through practice of mindfulness, it starts to become so natural, and the world opens up to us like never before, because we begin to see what is actually there, instead of our idea about it.

Btw, this may be my last post for a bit, as we're getting ready to fly south to enjoy a week in the desert. In the meantime, don't forget to pay attention! :)

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Re: White People are Scary

Postby partofit22 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:23 pm

goddess wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote:Thanks Dee and Goddess,
You see how I can react to the words "Dale Carnegie", like a red flag. :) I forgot completely it is also useful and genuine, tho I do think it's fairly mental. (I think Katie is working in a wider field of consciousness.) I was swaying over on the fake side which is not fair.
....
Linda


I think this is the main problem on forums and actually with language. We red flag pieces and then respond to those, instead of getting the biger picture, the gestladt that the person is trying to get across. ... I mean I watch myself doing it too. So many times I have gone wow... this person has really tuned into the minute detail of my post and totally missed what I was saying.

Anyway not to pick on you Linda but just to point out an underlying thing that I see going on all the time.


understood- it's a failure to mention that their specific chase has been cut to- the lens widens and yer on yer way without so much as a nod or wave- it's a common mistake than anyone might otherwise not make while listening to a person face to face or in a phone conversation where you can at least hear their voice-
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby chicka-Dee on Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:26 pm

Also with the idea of "filters", you might be interested in this topic:

"what the evidence shows?"

http://www.zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2552
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby partofit22 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:01 pm

partofit22 wrote:are there any koans, stories, verses or cases that directly refer to these filters/screens?


chicka-Dee wrote:Or much better is to employ mindfulness and pay attention in our own life and investigate for ourselves. :)

Like the woman in the video who had a certain view of the world, and this tinted all her interactions and experiences. What world do we create for ourselves? What are the thoughts that influence what we see and hear?


yes, dear- :)

i admit i'm a sucker for more than one video ...
enjoy your trip!

:hugs:
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby partofit22 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 3:02 pm

chicka-Dee wrote:Also with the idea of "filters", you might be interested in this topic:

"what the evidence shows?"

http://www.zenforuminternational.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=2552


thank you!
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby lok91 on Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:27 pm

goddess wrote:
lok91 wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote:Contrary is helpful as long as we notice what we mean by it. i like your spirit...

I presume you like my spirit because I have an inquiring mind and I'm readily willing to do The Work. Can we do some Work here?

White people are scary - no Work needed here I imagine. :)

Byron Katie is an awakened person - you wrote this earlier in the thread on page 2.

Lok is a contrarian - what you seem to be suggesting above.

In all of these cases we're applying some fundamental attribute to people. Earlier in the topic this was referred to as seeing through a "filter." That's a good way of putting it I think because that term aptly describes the process of what's happening. Our experience of something, whatever it might be, a racial group or individuals, for example, are 'filtered' down to their essential meaning. What I hope everyone realized is that this process is just the way our minds work and it's largely out of our conscious control. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with this process and in fact it can be quite efficient in accomplishing our goals. From a less personal vantage point, the problems which arise from these 'filters' are caused by applying a generalization or 'filtration' inappropriately to a specific situation; essentially applying the general to the specific. Applying the general to the specific can result in all kinds of mistakes.

So how does identity fit into all of this? The catalyst which binds is meaning, specifically our desire for meaning, because our 'filtration' process is based on our subjective purposes, or rather, what we find meaningful.

"The Work" is itself a filter or distillation, only it is an engineered distillation. There is nothing wrong with that, it's not malicious. It can fulfill our desire for meaning and act as a catalyst to bind people together for mutual benefit.


I can see ... Lok is compliant!

But what on earth are you on about .. with the meaning bit in your last paragraph.

You're missing the gestalt of my message by focusing on one part. I hate it when that happens. :lol2:

I don't see at all how this process is about making something meaningful? I saw it was about letting go of a paradigm 'white people are scary'

"White people are scary" is not a paradigm, not a functional model of how something works. It's only an impression, and as the woman in the video demonstrates, it doesn't appear to be a debilitating impression for her.

Interestingly, near the end of the video Katie's interrupts the black woman by saying "we're losing color here." Isn't "we're losing color here" an intellection and something that is imposed on the situation at hand? Isn't that itself a 'filter' of our reality, or as you might say, a paradigm? Isn't it just trading one filter for another? and if it is trading one filter for another who is to say which is the better filter?

Katie's follows the statement quoted above by describing a view where all colors are "equally beautiful." Yet another intellection, right? Another imposition onto the reality of the situation. The parts of our mind that feel things like "white people are scary" don't give a rats ass for such intellections, really. As suggested in the video that part of our mind might easily swing to "white people are comforting." Doesn't that call into question the notion of a pure state where everything is "equally beautiful"? But please, don't take my word for it Goddess. Take the implicit associations test ( https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/ ) and see for yourself.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby moon face buddha on Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:39 pm

History seems to indicate that the last thing black folks need is white folks coming to save them.

So yes, (some) White People ARE Scary.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby goddess on Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:08 pm

chicka-Dee wrote:
goddess wrote: I think this is the main problem on forums and actually with language. We red flag pieces and then respond to those, instead of getting the biger picture, the gestladt that the person is trying to get across. ... I mean I watch myself doing it too. So many times I have gone wow... this person has really tuned into the minute detail of my post and totally missed what I was saying.


Is it a problem with language, though? Or does the problem lie with our thoughts and what we are attending to?

We do this face to face as well, but it might be easier to notice online. We're so caught up in our own mind process and listening to our thoughts about what we think the person is saying, we aren't fully present and actually listening to and attending fully to the other person. We're good at talking, but lacking in knowing how to really listen. ;) This is definitely something I've had to work on! I've caught myself doing it more often than I'd like to admit. But through practice of mindfulness, it starts to become so natural, and the world opens up to us like never before, because we begin to see what is actually there, instead of our idea about it.

Btw, this may be my last post for a bit, as we're getting ready to fly south to enjoy a week in the desert. In the meantime, don't forget to pay attention! :)

:ghug:


I think language, especially written language puts the mind into a certain kind of mode. It is linear and we are trying to make a point. It's a bit like hunting, goal orientated, left brained, so our thoughts are affected. It shifts us from being and presence and all the things that help us feel interconnected.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby goddess on Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:18 pm

moon face buddha wrote:History seems to indicate that the last thing black folks need is white folks coming to save them.

So yes, (some) White People ARE Scary.


Gosh I didn't want to say it first but THEY ARE!

I have done a lot of very similar types of polarity processing as is going on here in Byron Katies film clip. I have come to realise that we are much much more interconnected than at first it appears. Dropping 'white people are scary', when it is a paradgim for you (Lok by that I mean it has a whole kind of emotional mental complex that comes with it) actually makes a lot of space in the world for white people to stop being so scary. Really I see that the lady in the clip is doing white people a HUGE favour.

Interesting that a whole bunch of mostly white folk here have just happened to watch this film clip. We will never be the same again. Well maybe some of us, I mean you can resist anything.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby goddess on Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:23 pm

lok91 wrote:
goddess wrote:
lok91 wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote:Contrary is helpful as long as we notice what we mean by it. i like your spirit...

I presume you like my spirit because I have an inquiring mind and I'm readily willing to do The Work. Can we do some Work here?

White people are scary - no Work needed here I imagine. :)

Byron Katie is an awakened person - you wrote this earlier in the thread on page 2.

Lok is a contrarian - what you seem to be suggesting above.

In all of these cases we're applying some fundamental attribute to people. Earlier in the topic this was referred to as seeing through a "filter." That's a good way of putting it I think because that term aptly describes the process of what's happening. Our experience of something, whatever it might be, a racial group or individuals, for example, are 'filtered' down to their essential meaning. What I hope everyone realized is that this process is just the way our minds work and it's largely out of our conscious control. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with this process and in fact it can be quite efficient in accomplishing our goals. From a less personal vantage point, the problems which arise from these 'filters' are caused by applying a generalization or 'filtration' inappropriately to a specific situation; essentially applying the general to the specific. Applying the general to the specific can result in all kinds of mistakes.

So how does identity fit into all of this? The catalyst which binds is meaning, specifically our desire for meaning, because our 'filtration' process is based on our subjective purposes, or rather, what we find meaningful.

"The Work" is itself a filter or distillation, only it is an engineered distillation. There is nothing wrong with that, it's not malicious. It can fulfill our desire for meaning and act as a catalyst to bind people together for mutual benefit.


I can see ... Lok is compliant!

But what on earth are you on about .. with the meaning bit in your last paragraph.

You're missing the gestalt of my message by focusing on one part. I hate it when that happens. :lol2:

I don't see at all how this process is about making something meaningful? I saw it was about letting go of a paradigm 'white people are scary'

"White people are scary" is not a paradigm, not a functional model of how something works. It's only an impression, and as the woman in the video demonstrates, it doesn't appear to be a debilitating impression for her.

Interestingly, near the end of the video Katie's interrupts the black woman by saying "we're losing color here." Isn't "we're losing color here" an intellection and something that is imposed on the situation at hand? Isn't that itself a 'filter' of our reality, or as you might say, a paradigm? Isn't it just trading one filter for another? and if it is trading one filter for another who is to say which is the better filter?

Katie's follows the statement quoted above by describing a view where all colors are "equally beautiful." Yet another intellection, right? Another imposition onto the reality of the situation. The parts of our mind that feel things like "white people are scary" don't give a rats ass for such intellections, really. As suggested in the video that part of our mind might easily swing to "white people are comforting." Doesn't that call into question the notion of a pure state where everything is "equally beautiful"? But please, don't take my word for it Goddess. Take the implicit associations test ( https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/ ) and see for yourself.


Do you get what I mean by paradigm Lok? I explained above. This isn"t a thought that once popped up in her mind, this is a mental emotional complex that rules her world. Scary white people is her paradigm.

I think Katies was commenting on what she was seeing. She is an awakened woman and is watching these things unfold in consciousness and naming them as she goes along. If you were there, you may have been tuned in to it.
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby goddess on Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:26 pm

looks like an intersting link Lok .. will have to get back to you if I have time to do the process
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby lok91 on Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:48 pm

goddess wrote:Do you get what I mean by paradigm Lok? I explained above.

You explain it to be a "mental emotional complex," and that's clear enough, yes. The word 'paradigm' is suffering a little abuse here, but I'm sure it doesn't mind. :)

This isn"t a thought that once popped up in her mind, this is a mental emotional complex that rules her world. Scary white people is her paradigm.

If this mental emotional complex ruled her world, wouldn't she have appeared to be distressed spilling her guts in the big fat middle of large group of scary white people? She appeared to be much more comfortable than I would have appeared to be in that situation, and I don't think white people are scarier than any other race, although I probably should. :lol2: She may certainly have some bias of course, but to be fair I think her disability may have been over-dramatized, to support the point, and that's fine, of course.

I wasn't suggesting that it was a "thought that once popped up in her mind," I'm suggesting that our subconscious minds are much more fluid than we give them credit for. Strong mental patterns or habits based in fear, pleasure, desire, etc., are of course not so fluid.

I think Katies was commenting on what she was seeing. She is an awakened woman and is watching these things unfold in consciousness and naming them as she goes along. If you were there, you may have been tuned in to it.

I mentioned before that I've been to a very similar event in person. This is not a unique format. It felt very ritualistic, and in fact was a ritual. That's not to dismiss it, only to define it. And yes I know, the point of this topic is not to define things. :)
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby Bearzors on Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:39 pm

Since the original post is just a vid and no specific question was asked (yes I saw the comment about self-inquiry), here is my reaction, in three parts.

1. This immediately smacked of televangelism with a smattering of pseudo-psychology to me. I felt for the black woman, because the tension in her voice seemed genuine to me. The white woman, on the other hand, displayed the body language of other televangelist spiritual healers I've seen on TV. She came off as disingenuous. I can't see into the white woman's heart, but then neither can any of you, so no need to defend her as being "awakened". She may or may not be, and even if she is, it is irrelevant. I'm just sharing my observations/interpretations based on my viewing the video.

2. The social issue of racism is the problem. Yes, the black woman may have expanded her experiences of racism into a generalized feeling of "white people are scary." It's great to get out of the mindset that just because one person did something to you once, that you should lump all of those people (men because you were raped; Latinos because you were mugged; whatever it was that happened). But please bear in mind that black people frequently encounter racism from white people! Usually, it is not just one occurrence. This can be a monthly, weekly, or even daily experience for many black people, depending on their situation. How do I know this? I'm black, my mother is black. This woman's fears are regularly reinforced, and she needs to learn how to deal with her fears, but let's not make this issue too existential. This is a real-world problem, this stuff is not some "mental construct" that can be cured with some deep dime-store psychology or philosophical examination.

3. I look white, because my father is white. I am also African American. Even though I was raised by my mother (the black parent), I still can never really know how it feels to look black, because I don't, and never will. My mother has shared experiences she's had, from the time of her childhood in the 1950s to today that I will never really be able to relate to. Racism is subtle, it's constant, it's insidious, and it's extremely hurtful. As empathetic as non-bigoted white people may be, it's impossible to truly know without experiencing it yourself. I think care should be taken before one judges the black woman as being as in need of "self-inquiry" as has been suggested. The way I see it, she's having difficulty coping with a real phenomenon and needs a real therapist.

If you are black and have experienced racism because of it, please share your responses. I'd love to know your reactions to this, as well. I am not assuming all of you are white...just the ones whose pics are those of someone who looks European in origin. :)

Source:
Being black, having a black mother, degree in anthropology

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Re: White People are Scary

Postby Chrisd on Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:04 pm

Hmm.
Big topic!
Maybe you would have better reception if you opened a new one.
This one is about the method of self-inquiry if I'm not mistaken, not social issues.
Maybe I'm wrong.
Best to you either way :rbow:
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby Bearzors on Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:04 pm

Chrisd wrote:Hmm.
Big topic!
Maybe you would have better reception if you opened a new one.
This one is about the method of self-inquiry if I'm not mistaken, not social issues.
Maybe I'm wrong.
Best to you either way :rbow:
-Chris


I think you are correct, Chris, but self-inquiry does happen in the context of society and culturally-mitigated assumptions about "self" and "race". I don't see our conception of "self" as isolated from culture. In this woman's case, her sense of "self", or identity, (at least in this video) relates to race.

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Re: White People are Scary

Postby dennis on Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:17 pm

chicka-Dee wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote:Hi Dee,
I really liked the way you presented this, until now. Because, to me, you seem to be diluting your original message. I recognize that there are many points of view, yet this seems off to me... expecially when you bring up Dale Carnegie courses to equate Katie's work with a supportive environment. This just does not compute with your earlier statements about the phenomena of inquiry and how we can see beyond our stories.

such as
This whole issue of race and racism is NOT what this thread is about. This just happened to be the issue for the woman in the video, the source of her suffering and pain. And through some self-inquiry, with the help of Byron Katie, she got to the heart of the matter,


Indeed, it's not about race, neither is it about support from our peers. OH MY....

So what's up.

Linda


Hi Linda,

I can see what you mean about what Dale Carnegie might be teaching -- but what I was thinking is the group aspect of it, which is supportive to helping people get over their fear of speaking in front of a group (and not to compare it to what Katie is doing). My husband took this course through his employer, and I got to go to the first session. At the time I'd nearly have died getting up in front of a group, but I had to stand up and introduce myself, and as I was there with my husband and the atmosphere was so supportive (I wasn't the only one feeling nervous about this!) I surprised myself and did it with a lot of ease. I also remember my husband said they were told to speak about what you know from your own experience, and to be genuine about what you say (so while one might not agree with everything Dale Carnegie teaches, I think there are some things of value, there). And also overcoming a fear of public speaking does let us question what we are believing about ourselves!

We really need some form of Sangha to help us through transitions -- it's much easier to open up with support. These were my thoughts here, in trying to see why Katie would be holding these large group sessions (because I really don't know why she does it this way). This, and I think she's trying to reach as many people as she can. And perhaps this style fits for the way she likes to teach. I believe she does a lot of smaller group sessions as well, and it appeared the larger group session might be an introduction of sorts to doing a more intensive study with her.

It's just this issue seemed to be a problem for some people to get past, in order to see what else there was there.

The video (to me) isn't about Katie or her method of teaching, it's about the woman who made this life changing discovery. This is what I'm seeing and have been trying to focus on, but people keep bringing up all the surround, so I guess we should address it then.

I hope this answers your question, which I'm glad you brought up to allow me to clarify, since others might be wondering the same.


moon face buddha wrote:At the end of the day ALL these people are selling you something you already own.


'Tis true all over spirituality. Buddhism included. What are spiritual teachings? Our guides to the way. The finger pointing. Asking us to see what is already there. We end up doing some version of this sort of work along the way. What Katie is teaching is not at all unlike what Buddhist teachers have asked me to look at. Her particular approach may be different, but the result still points us in the same direction.


Hi Linda.

I took a 13 session D.C. course on How to Win Friends and.....etc. Is this the course you mention?

For those not familiar with this:

We had a evening session each week on a different topic. You were expected to study this
topic for a week and prepare a presentation for the group session the following week.

One of the lessons concerned the use of your hands and gesturing when speaking. Another
addressed your internal fear when addressing groups (and techniques for overcoming fear).
You were taught honest appreciation and praise for others work as the key to relations,
and many other similar techniques.

So much depends on the teacher and how the lessons are presented. A Buddhist teacher
would put a different and more contemplative spin on things. Perhaps could bring more
clarity and humanity to the business world. I'd like that.

A good step toward learning and inter-relating with others in a frictionless manner in a social
(especially business) situation, I found the experience quite educational, but not in a spiritual
way.
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
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Re: White People are Scary

Postby dennis on Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:42 pm

Bearzors wrote:Since the original post is just a vid and no specific question was asked (yes I saw the comment about self-inquiry), here is my reaction, in three parts.

1. This immediately smacked of televangelism with a smattering of pseudo-psychology to me. I felt for the black woman, because the tension in her voice seemed genuine to me. The white woman, on the other hand, displayed the body language of other televangelist spiritual healers I've seen on TV. She came off as disingenuous. I can't see into the white woman's heart, but then neither can any of you, so no need to defend her as being "awakened". She may or may not be, and even if she is, it is irrelevant. I'm just sharing my observations/interpretations based on my viewing the video.

2. The social issue of racism is the problem. Yes, the black woman may have expanded her experiences of racism into a generalized feeling of "white people are scary." It's great to get out of the mindset that just because one person did something to you once, that you should lump all of those people (men because you were raped; Latinos because you were mugged; whatever it was that happened). But please bear in mind that black people frequently encounter racism from white people! Usually, it is not just one occurrence. This can be a monthly, weekly, or even daily experience for many black people, depending on their situation. How do I know this? I'm black, my mother is black. This woman's fears are regularly reinforced, and she needs to learn how to deal with her fears, but let's not make this issue too existential. This is a real-world problem, this stuff is not some "mental construct" that can be cured with some deep dime-store psychology or philosophical examination.

3. I look white, because my father is white. I am also African American. Even though I was raised by my mother (the black parent), I still can never really know how it feels to look black, because I don't, and never will. My mother has shared experiences she's had, from the time of her childhood in the 1950s to today that I will never really be able to relate to. Racism is subtle, it's constant, it's insidious, and it's extremely hurtful. As empathetic as non-bigoted white people may be, it's impossible to truly know without experiencing it yourself. I think care should be taken before one judges the black woman as being as in need of "self-inquiry" as has been suggested. The way I see it, she's having difficulty coping with a real phenomenon and needs a real therapist.

If you are black and have experienced racism because of it, please share your responses. I'd love to know your reactions to this, as well. I am not assuming all of you are white...just the ones whose pics are those of someone who looks European in origin. :)

Source:
Being black, having a black mother, degree in anthropology

Gassho


To say nothing of the history of the "white" man coming forward, arms outstretched, smile on face and cross and bible in hand, which led to many a black and brown and red and yellow person's demise. It still happens today...how are they (and there are many) to be trusted?

I never knew why the black men I worked with were afraid to visit my middle class white neighborhood (while they lived in the worst crime ridden, West Side, ghetto in Chicago) but this was in the mid '60s, and I understand now there were many to be feared. In fact one of my best friends was killed by white people that were only there (supposedly) to "Serve and Protect."

Yes, much to fear. Reality is reality.
One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate, the Buddha called to him:
"Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?"
Manjusri replied:
"I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?"
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