Article Comment 

Scott Colom: The next step in race relations

 

Scott Colom

 

Recently, I''ve attended several social events in Columbus where I was one of the few blacks in attendance, or I was one of many blacks in attendance with few whites. For example, as I laughed at the hilarious improvisational comedy of Second City a week or so ago - thankfully brought to us by our Arts Council - I noticed I was one of the few blacks present to enjoy it.  

 

Or, as I ate too much at the Charles Brown Senior Citizens Third Annual tribute to soul food, I noticed how few whites were in attendance. On neither of these occasions, nor during others, did I let this observation detract from my enjoyment of the experience. Nevertheless, I''ve been thinking about how this dynamic is not healthy for our city and wondering what we can do to improve it.  

 

For starters, we should acknowledge that no state has made more progress on race relations than Mississippi. For most of our history, over a hundred years, mandatory separation of the races and the inferiority of black Americans were the law and dominant culture. From the smallest of matters, such as where you went to use the restroom, to the largest, such as who you were allowed to love and marry, race shaped and controlled our society.  

 

Fifty years later, most of these past social norms are repulsive to us. We share public bathrooms without noticing the race of others users. While we eat at McAlisters or shop at Belks, we hardly notice the race of employees or other customers. Our children play baseball together at Prospt Park and we cheer for our team''s player regardless of his or her race. These are changes generations of Mississippians before us thought were impossible.  

 

Despite this historic progress, a few of the ghosts of segregation still haunt us. One of these ghosts is the degree of segregation in our social lives. This continued segregation starts with our failure to successfully integrate our public schools. Because many of our children attend schools without meaningful racial diversity, they are not as likely to develop diverse relationships and friendships. This in turn perpetuates social divisions.  

 

Thus, too often local bars, nightclubs, and community social events are overwhelming attended by one racial group. With the racial makeup of Columbus almost evenly split amongst whites and blacks, this should rarely be the case. If a social event has only one race of people, there''s a problem with the event or there''s a problem with us.  

 

Certainly, we can''t and shouldn''t force social integration, but there are specific, voluntary steps we can take to improve it. In the short term, we should step out of our comfort zone and invite friends and associates of different races to social events, and those invitees should try to attend. The Columbus Visitors Bureau should support events that are likely to draw diverse visitors and attendance, such as Market Street festival, and the different civic committees and groups should market the events across racial and generational lines.  

 

In the long term, we should continue to try to integrate our public schools. Fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the city of Columbus - like many in the Deep South - still lacks adequate public school integration. This is certainly not a problem that can be easily solved or solved in one column, but I do believe it can and needs to be solved.  

 

Of course, some will fight to preserve the status quo. Anonymous commentators will post comments saying lack of diversity in our social lives is not a real problem, or that the real problem in Mississippi is that people are always talking and writing about race. Critics will try to blame one race of people for all our problems. Cynics will bemoan the idea that Columbus can ever change.  

 

But, for those of us that believe no problem was ever solved by ignoring it, or that history shows us progress is always possible but takes effort and not pointing fingers; for those of us willing to fight the status quo, I believe our children will one day live in a fully integrated society, one without a thought about race, and it will because we were willing to take the next step in race relations today. 

 

Scott Colom is a local attorney. His e-mail address is colomsw@gmail.com

 

Scott Colom is a local attorney.

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment frank commented at 3/17/2011 12:59:00 PM:

"Anonymous commentators will post comments saying ... "

Very good. Squelch the evil anonymous commentators by anticipating their comments.

The phenomenon you are observing is due to cultural differences between the races. The only thing that will change that is time and even then it likely will never be complete. Do we really want a totally "gray" world anyway? We all have characteristics that make us black, white, Asian, native American, Hispanic, etc. and they go deeper than skin color. Being free means I can attend a rap concert while you go to the NASCAR race and Ben can attend the Jewish school while Jenny goes to the Methodist church.

You are harping on a "problem" that isn't really a problem in the first place. Is it OK to ignore a non problem?

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/17/2011 4:40:00 PM:

Well, did your brother look for WHITE ex cons to clean his houses, or was he just being a good BLACK community supporter?

I am going to be that poster who blames a lot of these problems on ONE race. As long as the black community supports segregated groups and special treatment, racist whites will have ammo, NON racist whites will feel discriminated against, and those on the fence will fall to the racist side. Of course, you will ask WHAT special treatment. Well, the United Negro College Fund, Ms. Black America, BET, and the Congressional Black Caucus come to mind.

But, of course, those are country WIDE issues, not just Mississippi. So lets look locally. How about Mr. Brooks, who screams from the heavens that HIS district is only 65% black, when it WAS 68% black. Well, people MOVE. Of course, in order for his percentage to DROP, WHITE PEOPLE had to move into primarily BLACK neighborhoods. Thats a GOOD thing, right? Not according to HIM.

Oh, and why has no one pointed out that the almost COMPLETELY black high school (West Lowndes HS) gets FREE BREAKFAST & LUNCH, regardless of income, while the primarily WHITE schools of New Hope and Caledonia, have to PAY for both breakfast AND lunch?

So here is the deal, Mr. Colom. White people will treat black people as EQUALS, when black people start ACTING like equals and expect to be TREATED as equals.

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/17/2011 5:11:00 PM:

Frank, we don't always get what we want. Black and white makes "gray", right? Take a look at your list of ethnic groups "black, white, native american, hispanic, etc". Blacks and whites ("gray") seem to be outnumbered. Columbus and Mississippi will NEVER grow if we don't stop seeing everything black and white. At least when you put the two together, you have a whole. Think about it...This will not work much longer.

And Zenreaper, you know I don't like you!!! FYI Black people don't ACT. We ARE. And because we ARE, it doesn't matter how we're TREATED. You better watch out and go make some babies because white is the new "other"!

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/17/2011 6:45:00 PM:

Zenreaper,

Who is DEMANDING separate groups? (key word:demanding) These groups that you speak of were created during a time when blacks did not have the opportunity to be seen and heard. So, there were some brave and ambitious individuals who took the initiative to create a strong solid foundation for future generations. I don't care how much you and others claim these organizations are outdated. I refuse to let the blood (YES BLOOD), sweat (YES SWEAT), and TEARS be in vain. What I, and others, celebrate is none of your business. And what you view as complaining, I view as necessary revelation. These two men (Brooks and Colom) have stepped out and said what is on their mind. They did not use a screen name and even included their pictures. It is easy for someone like you to try and twist their words. It is TIME OUT!! I'm not saying this because I'm a black-baby mama-biatch that wants a free lunch from West Lowndes High School. I'm saying it because Jackson Square and the Riverwalk is going to crumble down on your ass if you don't wake up and smell the coffee. By some miracle, Columbus is surviving on the U.S. map. But if we do not get it together and provide the necessary environment for all citizens of Columbus and Lowndes County, nothing of quality will come IN or OUT of this city...And whether you want to admit it or not, THE PROBLEM HERE IS RACISM, SELFISHNESS, FEAR, AND IGNORANCE.

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/17/2011 7:41:00 PM:

"What I, and others, celebrate is none of your business."

Interesting comment under an article about how we are SUPPOSED to care about each other's events and invite each other to them.

"They did not use a screen name and even included their pictures."

Yeah, well, they are BLACK< which gives them the societal right to voice THEIR opinions on race. You KNOW that if I did not maintain my anonymity, I would be villified publically. Kinda like a black business owner who only hires blacks is a community supporter, while if a white man only hires whites, he is a racist.

"THE PROBLEM HERE IS RACISM, SELFISHNESS, FEAR, AND IGNORANCE."

I hear you. The question is, does the black community hear you?

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/17/2011 8:03:00 PM:

Sorry Zenreaper, but that good ol' boy "I hear you and we're all friends" jibberish doesn't work on me. I don't fall for it. What I said is this: "what I and others celebrate". I was not referring to any specific group of people. So, I am having a hard time understanding what you mean by "each other's events". Unless you mean in 2011 we still go places and upon entering pass a sign that reads "white only" or "black only". Other than that, I don't understand. Call me ignorant. And my comment about celebrating niggas and biatches not being your business--It's kinda like when adults talk about reality, they want the children and babies to leave the room. Not saying that niggas and biatches are 100% reality; but if you can't handle solid foods, sip breast milk for a couple of years until you are ready to advance. If you don't understand something or dislike something, often times IT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS.

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/17/2011 8:24:00 PM:

"Sorry Zenreaper, but that good ol' boy "I hear you and we're all friends" jibberish doesn't work on me."

Ah, so if I am SAYING that I am in favor of integration and that we all need to get along, its "jibberish"...but when SCOTT says it, its bible truth? That is a double standard. And JUDGING me based on the idea that you THINK I am white (never been verified), and a "good old boy", is RACIST.

"So, I am having a hard time understanding what you mean by "each other's events".

Well, maybe you should try reading the article before posting under it.

"If you don't understand something or dislike something, often times IT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS."

Of course, because when we do not understand something, instead of TRYING to understand it, or to reach a compromise, better just to say, "None of your business!" Yeah, THAT will help race relations a WHOLE lot. Tell me again how whitey is the problem?

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/17/2011 9:25:00 PM:

Where do I start?
There is a difference between reading an article and comprehending an article. I did read the article before commenting and I've also read your comments. Here's what Scott said "Certainly, we can't and shouldn't force social integration, but there are specific, voluntary steps we can take to improve it. In the short term, we should step out of our comfort zone and invite friends and associates of different races to social events, and those invitees should try to attend." This is what you said "Interesting comment under an article about how we are SUPPOSED to care about each other's events and invite each other to them."

Scott speaks of a comfort zone, friends, and associates in an inclusive manner. Your "each other's events" statement does the exact opposite. I still call the "I hear you" crap good ole boy jibberish because that's what it is. That statement was supposed to cap off the dialogue. Didn't work. You ARE white. You've probably been rejected by the good ol boy network for years and are bitter about it so you treat black people the way the network has treated you. Lastly, some people may have a mindset allowing them to explore "grayness" but clearly you do not. That's why certain things are not YOUR business. And I'm not judging you or classifying you as a racists any more than you are constantly classifying yourself. And I like the way you've taken the time to go through and like and dislike the comments. Please grow up.

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/17/2011 9:29:00 PM:

By the way, I NEVER said "whitey" was the problem. But people like you most definitely are!!!!

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/17/2011 9:47:00 PM:

"There is a difference between reading an article and comprehending an article."

No doubt, you've proven THAT.

"Scott speaks of a comfort zone, friends, and associates in an inclusive manner. Your "each other's events" statement does the exact opposite."

Actually, Scott said step OUT of the comfort zone. In other words, invite someone you NORMALLY wouldn't invite. So invite someone from "their" group to attend YOUR group, be the divide black/white, Christian/Jewish, etc. Maybe you should take a reading comprehension course.

"I still call the "I hear you" crap good ole boy jibberish because that's what it is."

Of course, you disagree with me on MOST stuff, so the stuff we AGREE on, must be me LYING right? Grow up.

"You ARE white. You've probably been rejected by the good ol boy network for years and are bitter about it so you treat black people the way the network has treated you."

Are you PREJUDGING me based on my words to a FEW black people on this board? Does that mean if I see you say ONE bad word about ONE white person, I can call you a racist? Of course not, here comes the "African American Double Standard".

"Lastly, some people may have a mindset allowing them to explore "grayness" but clearly you do not. That's why certain things are not YOUR business."

Ah, and you are the sole determiner of this? Interesting, Scott ASKED you to step outside your comfort zone, but you are too RACIST to even attempt it. Well, here goes, I am going to step outside MY comfort zone, and ask if you would like to have a beer some time, maybe watch a football game?

"And I like the way you've taken the time to go through and like and dislike the comments. Please grow up."

It wasn't me, or I would have disliked YOUR comments as well. Of course, blaming me for something you have NO proof of, simply because you have judged me to be "against" you is typical. The offer for the beer still stands.

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/17/2011 10:02:00 PM:

I wont even take the time to do a play-by-play because this is getting ridiculous. I see you going back and forth with Raider on another board about race. Part of comprehension is recognizing the tone of the writer..and you said it in your own comment.."be the divide black/white, Christian/Jewish, etc."..If you really want to take it there..for example Scott spoke of the improv show. In a Socially conscious city, that event wouldn't have been divided along racial lines! Hello!! The problem screaming at you!!! And YOU, not Scott nor I, come with this "each other's" stuff as if the events are OWNED. You were closer to passing a comprehension course when you invited me for a beer. because your breakdown of the comfort zone would result in an F. The funny thing is if we were to meet for a beer we'd probably get along..Although I'd prefer the drink of a nigga biatch(as you'd say)!

 

Article Comment colomsw commented at 3/17/2011 10:31:00 PM:

Hello all-

This is Scott.

If zenreaper and flip-col can meet for a beer or watch a football game (of course, that would have to wait several months and maybe longer if you want to watch a NFL game because of the possible lockout) that alone would make the column worth the time and effort.

Thanks for reading!

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/17/2011 10:36:00 PM:

Scott, I have agreed and disagreed with your articles over time, I think you know that. The problem here appears to be flip-col. I extended the offer, and was called a racist.

 

Article Comment frank commented at 3/17/2011 11:25:00 PM:

FWIW: Gray to me means bland. We all have different tastes. Different cultures like different things. As long as we are individually free to enjoy what we like, why make it look like a problem when one group is in the majority at any particular event? As long as all were free to attend, then it there is no problem.

But hey, the article stirred up a heated exchange for the readers so I guess we can call it "Mission Accomplished". Sell them papers.

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/18/2011 8:35:00 AM:

Scott: (I hope Zenreaper takes a peak at this too)
The column is worth your time and effort and I would like to thank you for raising certain issues which, in turn, produce much needed debate. Although Zenreaper has the magical ability to read words that do not appear(he seems to always find myself and others calling him racist), I also appreciate him expressing his views as well because it gives others reading an opportunity to take a deeper look at their personal beliefs on these issues. When Zenreaper offered me beer and football, I suddenly saw the return of the good ol boy in him. He was just saying the first witty thing that came to mind. I do believe you and/or others (like Imes, Brooks, Larson) should come together and host a panel style discussion and use the comments on this and similar sites to create an outline for the discussion. Many would argue that an event such as this would be unneccessary, but I disagree. In the meantime, I will be waiting for Zenreaper to lead the WPAC (white peoples association of Columbus), since he has such a problem with the NAACP.

Sincerly,
FIL-COL (not Flip-col)

 

Article Comment gogetum commented at 3/18/2011 9:56:00 AM:

I never thought about the deep south still being segreated , thanks Scott for telling me. Now I'll be sure to count the number of white vs black employees at every place I shop in Columbus from now on. When I visit the high school I'll try to count the number of blacks in attentance vs white. When I need to go pee I'll just pucker real tight till I get home-those public rest rooms are trashed by not having enough intergration down here in dixie. I think you're close to being right about Columbus being stuck in a rut. Can we ever get rid of Leroy (about 30 years of trouble making) , how about the Mayor job, Smith will probably die in office too. The majority of councilmen are black and they are all men. Just can't seem to get a woman into a leadership position in Columbus gov. We are just too segreated down here in the deep south. Will Columbus ever change? What can we do oh what can we do to catch up with those damm yankees up north? Some of the biggest causes for continual racial problems are Sharpton, Jackson , Rangal, Wright , Faracant and letters like the one above. By keeping on pouring fuel on the fire to defeat any progress made to put it out is one sure way to keep that old race card in the deck. Open your eyes Scott---Columbus is way different than back when.
If you look back to real segreation you'll find that blacks had way more self respect then and more respect for the law and other people. All this attempt to intergrat is the worst thing that has ever happened to our country. Back then you could leave your doors unlocked at night or when you went shoping even. You could go for a walk, sit in your yard or on your porch without carrying a gun or pepper spray for self defence. Didn't have to worry about leaving a purse in your car unattended or even your keys to it. Didn't have to be afraid of being robbed , shot or stabbed when out on the town. Businesses were not robbed and blacks were not fighting and killing each other then as now. The way I look at it - they can keep all that intergration stuff up north if that's the change it brings.

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/18/2011 10:29:00 AM:

I agree that the leadership of a STRONG woman (not a lipstick wearing pig that ACTS as mayor just long enough to move on to bigger and better things) (shout out to Jeffery Rupp and Sarah Palin) is exactly what this city needs!!! I wonder how many times you've been robbed and shot, gogetum??! It's good to know how people REALLY feel in 2011.

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/18/2011 11:44:00 AM:

Hey fil-col, YOU are a racist. How DARE you make those accusations? I never once used the term "NAACP", but now that you mention it, why is a group permitted to exist with such a RACIST name? I mean advancing people based on SKIN COLOR? Calling "African Americans" COLORED PEOPLE? Of course, a National Association for the advancement of WHITE people would be RACIST, right?

You are hopeless. I extend the olive branch, offer you a beer, and you say I am just a GOB. So as I suspected, you don't WANT change. Enjoy life.

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/18/2011 12:27:00 PM:

Where are the accusations?????????? I only "accused" you of being full of sh** with your peacemaking (not racism) and having a super power of reading words that don't exist (not racism). Even when I called you a good ol boy, I wasnt calling you a racist. And I apologize, you DID NOT specifically mention the NAACP. And, no, the National Association for the advancement of white people wouldn't be racist. That's why I suggested you form a similar organization. (please invite me to a meeting, this is the "each other's events" Colom wrote about)..Matter of fact...I AM enjoying life. Hopefully you will too someday. I may be wrong, but you seem overly bitter and unwilling to bend!

 

Article Comment lateral caudal nidopallium commented at 3/18/2011 4:00:00 PM:

I sincerely tried to wade through the numerous messages on this topic, but I finally gave up on the idea of distinguishing who is whom and subscribes to what ideology. I confess I am totally and hopelessly confused.
Since it is impossible to have the different racial groups gather on different sides of the room, and for those groups to divide into easily identifiable subgroups based on gender, age, income, political affiliation, etc., and since this seems to mean so much to individuals who write messages here, might I suggest a simple methodology for identifying the racial, ethnic and social identity of people leaving messages? Could someone please formulate a list of abbreviations (such as the prolific LOL, OMG, BTW and so on) and publish it so readers could tell by the first few characters of the message who it is they are reading opinions from?
lateral caudal nidopallium, SANP, NR, OE, PM = lateral caudal nidopallium, Self-Absorbed Narcissistic Personality, No Race, Other Ethnicity, Political Moderate, then on with the message. Maybe if message writers can define themselves in the way they want others to view them, readers could get more out of the discussions on this site that are of monumental importance.

 

Article Comment walter commented at 3/18/2011 4:39:00 PM:

You have done us a great service by expressing so succinctly the views of many of us who grew up in Columbus and Mississippi, relative to race and race-relation, Scott. For far too long, an element of whites assumed that we were not conscious and had no feelings about what we were being subject to; that we had no suggestions as to how we, blacks and whites, together, could improve the situation. Part of the reason for that is that, unfortunately, too many blacks were too insecure to express how they really feel to whites. Others, such as myself, lacked sufficient literary skills to express how we felt clearly and precisely enough to get across what we felt.

Thank you for being secure; thank you for being sharp and concerned enough about the rest of us (you are blessed to live anywhere you choose, and I'm glad for you) to address an issue, that unless tackled head-on, is going to not only continue to keep us last, but, possibly destroy us (Mississippi) someday.

As for those who would insist upon personal attacks, instead of dealing with the ideas, ideals and facts you present, do not be deterred. They are fighting a rear-guard action that they're sure to lose. Know that there are many of us out here, blacks and whites, who hear you loud and clear and we thank you for expressing so marvelously what we wish we could say, but, because of ineffective writing-skills, we simply cannot. We got your back, however, and don't want you to ever feel that you are alone.

Let detractors detract. Don't dignify their idiotic comments, yourself, by responding. We got you covered...

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/18/2011 5:50:00 PM:

Um, Walter, do you not see what you are doing? Scott wrote a REALLY good article, but iof you READ the article, it was not blaming one side or the other, it was a tasking to BOTH races to consider other races.

The biggest problem I have with YOUR ideas are that you want to paint white people as uncaring and thinking of black as sub-human, while taking the fault owed to black people, and making it that they are "insecure". That is BS, plain and simple.

And ON that note, if I meet a black person, and I treat them a certain way, and they are too insecure to TELL me that they would rather be treated differently, how is that MY fault? For example, if we are at an ice cream store, and I buy you a chocolate ice creme cone, and you don't LIKE chocolate, but don't TELL me, am I really "uncaring" for not KNOWING that? Come on, take some responsibility for your actions. BOTH sides have acted inappropriately over the years, and by continuing to say ONE side was solely at fault only fuels the fire.

 

Article Comment walter commented at 3/18/2011 7:55:00 PM:

If you review any of my posts, you'll discover that I recognize that ignorance, insecurity and blame rest on both dominant races; efforts to improve relations are being expended by both, as well.

Perhaps you've never been in a position to see and comprehend the level of insecurity that SOME blacks have about expressing how they really feel to whites, but I have. I know, from personal experiences and I know better than mosts, within and outside of Mississippi, there are untold numbers of whites who care about peoples, regardless of their race and they respect and treat blacks as humans, and all that that entails.

I'm unable to address each point, line by line, but suffice it to say: there are many blacks (and whites) who are concerned and we want to see a change in race relations for the benefit of all Mississippians, particularly the young. Again, I thank Mr. Colom for address a very important issue, openly and honestly. I would encourage him to ingore personal attacks from detractors. Mt experience has taught me that the more true your statements are, the more vicious racists attack you personally. They do so because they cannot attack your premises or your facts. And, in your case, they cannot even attack your literary skills. Thank you and continue to speak truth to power and all others who need to hear...

 

Article Comment hobbes commented at 3/18/2011 8:18:00 PM:

Thank you Scott and Walter. You are the only two in this whole mess that have any sense about you. I am a white, female born and raised in Columbus, and these people can rant all they want to about "black racism", but until you've walked in their shoes (and in their parents and grandparents) you will never understand. Scott, you are right! We need to start attending the others social events, if for nothing else than to start seeing what is important to the "other side." Let me tell you something, people! We are all equal in God's eyes. Once you understand that, nothing else matters. Rich, poor, white, black, welfare mommas,meth addicts, crack whores, trailer trash...all the same.All people on this Earth at this time who need each other. Two commandments: Love God, love your neighbor. Simple enough, yes?

 

Article Comment i am electric commented at 3/18/2011 10:13:00 PM:

Escalators can never break, they just become stairs. Escalator temporarily out of order, sorry for the convenience.

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/18/2011 10:54:00 PM:

Hobbes, what you have created is an UNFUFILLABLE idea. You are saying that until I have walked in the shoes of a black person, I CANNOT understand them. Well, I will NEVER be a black person and a black person will never be a white person, so are you saying that we can NEVER understand each other? I think humanity is better than that. But in order to DO that, we need to stop with the, "You don't know how hard it is for (insert race)." Do you really think a poor white single mom of two, working for minimum wage trying to survive is REALLY understood by someone like, say, Colin Powell? Does that make HIM a racist? No, it makes him different.

Personally, I think racists are lazy. If you really want to HATE someone, get to know them, and you can find all KINDS of things to hate about them.

 

Article Comment walter commented at 3/18/2011 11:49:00 PM:

Yes! Perhaps a Colin Powell would have difficulty really understanding the plight of a "poor single mom of two..." but I gurantee you, there are hundreds of thousands of poor black single moms of two, working for less than minimum wage or surviving on foodstamps and a periodic child support checks from fathers who find have to juggle money they've hustled between child support payments and probation/parole fees payments, WHO UNDERSTANDS the white woman perfectly well.

Unfortunately, the ones who do not understand either women, nor the struggling black men, are the ones enacting laws that exacerbate an already dismal situation in the lives of families, whether traditional families or broken ones. Legislators, prosecutors, and judges apparently, arrived in this world from a different planet. after arriving, they've spent their entire existence here sucking from the public tits. One thing is for certain, they haven't lived in the real world.

You don't have to be a black person t9o understand one. You merely have to be human and willing to accept the fact that others are only human, too. Then, you have to be honest enough to accept the fact that we are all products of our pasts and that our pasts have ill-equiped us to show very much mercy toward one another and that the primary reason we have difficulty showing it across color or racial lines is because we've never had the opportunity to see just how similar we really are. That we each bleed, when cut; and often feel sorrow at the loss of a loved-one or the loss of affection. Why do we not know each other? Because to avoid integrating, mixing, sharing and growing together, in ther 60's some parents insisted that their children attend private academies. Unfortunately, the ones practicing law, in Mississippi and throughout the South and the ones sitting as judges and in legislatures throughout most states and in Congress are the ones who attended the private academies. They're passing laws and judging those of us, blacks and whites, who did get t9o know each other. And, they're making damn certain that poor whites and blacks never develop the trust that will enable us to end their controll over both of us.

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/19/2011 2:52:00 AM:

See Walter, why did you have to go there?

" I gurantee you, there are hundreds of thousands of poor black single moms of two, working for less than minimum wage"

Of course, cause a BLACK woman has to have had it WORSE, right? How do you work for LESS than minimum wage, its MINIMUM WAGE.

"Legislators, prosecutors, and judges apparently, arrived in this world from a different planet. after arriving, they've spent their entire existence here sucking from the public tits. One thing is for certain, they haven't lived in the real world."

If you are in front of a judge, or dealing with a prosecutor, you BROKE THE LAW< and I have NO sympathy for you.

"You don't have to be a black person t9o understand one."

I said that EARLIER, and was told that I COULDN'T POSSIBLY understand, because I have not walked a mile in "his" shoes. Well guess what, I HAVE. I been BROKE, I been discriminated against, and I been treated unfairly. You deal with it and move on or you stand there and whine about how unfair it is, welcome to LIFE.

 

Article Comment lateral caudal nidopallium commented at 3/19/2011 11:17:00 AM:

Walter; I have read through many of your messages on different pages of this site and several themes emerge from them. I disagree with many of your statements, mainly those that are based on your personal prejudices, assumptions, likes and dislikes. Those are not factual foundations for arguments, they are beliefs, not facts. I mainly disagree with you about who we all are when we come into this world.
When a child is born into this life, be that in Somalia, Ireland, Mexico, wherever, they have no predetermined prejudices, no genetic predisposition to crime and violence or to financial and educational success. Who helps them learn to walk or teaches them how to speak? Who teaches them prejudice, who teaches them how to fail or how to succeed? Who teaches them who to like or dislike?
No human being is born with genetic knowledge of the past. That has to be taught to them, told to them, passed to them by someone. Who is that person? What are their intentions? Is what they pass on tainted by their own prejudice?
It is a dangerous thing to taint the mind of a young child and it can and does happen every day. Who in that child's life has that level of influence, to be able to instill in the child a belief that will affect that child for the rest of their life? Have you had that affect on the life of a child? If so, what did you pass on, what did you instill in that child or those children? Did you pass on your own personal prejudices about the past, a past of yours or of human history not known by the child until you related it in your own way?
There is a serious powerful responsibility that goes along with that kind of influence on the lifetime of another human being. If one believes in a supreme being, or simply believes in ethical limits of right or wrong, there might be similarly serious consequences for tainting a truth with personal opinion that is not factual or based in reality. Consequences for both the child and the adult.
Are you sure what you are passing on is factual or is it opinion and personal prejudice? Telling ones self that something is close enough to the truth to be plausible is one thing, but teaching that same thing to a susceptible child who doesn't know better and who believes you implicitly is serious business. At least I think so. I question myself all the time about what it is that I think I know about life, human interaction and the other people who inhabit this world with me. Do you ever question your own beliefs? Are they subject to change? Can you be wrong about anything?

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/19/2011 11:50:00 AM:

Okay lateral, I agree, what we teach children is important. So, for a emerging black child of either gender, which do YOU think is the better philosophy, mine, which is a message of we are ALL the same, you can do anything, be anything, have anything, just work hard and don't give up, ot the prevelent message on this board and in the black community, as it is expressed in general in COlumbus, that the white man is out to get you, you're going to get screwed over, etc etc?

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/19/2011 1:01:00 PM:

lateral caudal nidopallium has made a valid argument concerning influence. I believe this is why it very important that we not lose focus. Influence is the meat of this entire argument. There is a generation coming behind us that does not have to absorb the same foolishness we were directly or indirectly fed. Children spend more time at school than they do at home. Whether your child goes to public or private school (epecially here in Columbus), there is a certain mindset being developed daily. I think this point goes back to the insecurity and inferiority Walter spoke of in an earlier post (it was more than likely developed at school in the classroom of a disconnected teacher). I have a young son that has never asked questions or made observations about race UNTIL we moved to Columbus. So, the tendency to classify is not something I am teaching him. The tendency comes from this environment. The churches, eateries, trendy and modern events, bars, private-owned stores, etc. are segregated here in Columbus. So you start to notice your race and that of others on an almost regular basis. We NEED to come out of this!
Also, I must say this...Zenreaper needs professional help! He is constantly seeking approval and acceptance. (from his 3/19 11:50 am post) "So which do YOU think is the better mine..or.." Like I said...grow up! Life is not a playground where we just say things so others can hop on the bandwagon. IS this good enough?? Is this good enough? Do you like me now?? Do you see me now??? What can I say to stir the most rage?? Zenreaper, get a life here on earth or go to hell! Seriously, if black people are so screwed and do nothing but complain, stop monitoring our alleged lack of ability and insight and move on...Maybe if you go make those babies I was telling you about, you'll have some one to cosign your certified bs! Do you even have a single post on here where you don't use the word "black"?

 

Article Comment gogetum commented at 3/19/2011 2:17:00 PM:

Let me do a little co-signing for the zenreaper. I think I know zen well enough to say that any baby he fathered he would not abandon like 90 percent of the colored people do. Less likely to have an abortion too since the colored people are more inclined to do that too. 3 cheers to lateral for setting walter into a speechless and hopefully never ending pause. He'll find a way yet to suck up to Scott some more I bet.

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/19/2011 3:34:00 PM:

Fair enough, gogetum. But I think the point is being lost when we begin to talk about which fathers stay or go. There are absent fathers of all races. And how do we define the validity of the line between a household with a father and a household without a father. There are homes with a combination of an abusive father and a weak-minded mother, a secretly homosexual father and a mother who is in denial, a father incapable of leading a family and a mother who doesn't know how to lead a family. Sooner or later, I will have to let this post go and return to life. But it truly saddens me what I see here. People would rather shift blame and focus on issues that CAN no longer be relevant than make a semi-committment to a better life for us all. Times are changing. Not even so much times are changing, but people (of all races)today openly admit and display their unwillingness to be responisible adults. Past generations often struggled through and faced whatever came their way. About the baby, it really depends on what zenreaper would be teaching this baby of his. And what makes his fictional baby any better than another baby whose father abandoned him. And I kind of want to believe that your (gogetum and zenreaper's) children are young and ill prepared for the world...UNLESS they are adults who live right here in Columbus and are continuing a business that you and/or your father created...then they are certified MISSISSIPPI successful! Oh excuse me I almost forgot..they may also be a teacher, policeman, fireman, or nurse. Nothing is wrong with continuing a family business and taking on any of these other occupations as long as you aren't settling or riding the coat tail of someone else. This is why so many teachers, nurses, policeman, etc in Columbus and similar towns think they are above their patrons because they are miserable in their line of work and have an incredibly small mind that they (possibly) got from their in-home father! I'm going to try not to post anymore...but I want to give you a headache!!! and make zenreaper turn red like he did when we first met on another article! :)) Oh yeah...please don't try to cause distraction by saying "We owe our teachers, policeman, etc an applause..blah blah bla" Because there's probably only about 15-20% of these SERVICE PROVIDERS who are passionate about their work beyond a paycheck! (previous statement does not apply to ALL)None of this is personal, Gogetum (although I wonder why you used the word colored). ALL of this is personal, Zenreaper.

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/19/2011 5:25:00 PM:

"The churches, eateries, trendy and modern events, bars, private-owned stores, etc. are segregated here in Columbus."

No, they are NOT, and the fact that you THINK they are shows how YOUNG you are, regardless of your age. Any person of any race is permitted in ANY establishment in this COUNTRY, as well as this town.

Now, are their "black" places and "white" places? Of course, people choose to eat where they are most comfortable. They pal around with those they have the most in common with. But that fact transends race. Could you see what would happen if the bar crowd from The Princess all of a sudden started hanging at The Office bar? They wouldn't, because that is not the group they are comfotable with. And BECAUSE this is America, you CANNOT force people to go somewhere.

"Seriously, if black people are so screwed and do nothing but complain, stop monitoring our alleged lack of ability and insight and move on..."

Well, I guess if the only way you can criticize me is to make up things I DID NOT SAY, my point is made. I have, from the VERY beginning, said that BOTH sides need to work on COMMUNICATION and stop the blame. BOTH sides.

Now to address you second post:

"People would rather shift blame and focus on issues that CAN no longer be relevant than make a semi-committment to a better life for us all."

Oh, you mean like if someone offered someone of a different race to have a beer and just get to know each other beyond race? I did that, you called me a liar and said I was just a GOB.

"And I kind of want to believe that your (gogetum and zenreaper's) children are young and ill prepared for the world...UNLESS they are adults who live right here in Columbus and are continuing a business that you and/or your father created...then they are certified MISSISSIPPI successful!"

How DARE you?!? What gives you the right to speak that way about ANYONE'S children?!? For your information, my children are active in the community, play instruments and sports, and one will be DEFENDING your rights with his LIFE in the near future, while the other will be attending a local University on a scholarship.

Of course, you JUDGE how I raised my kids based on ONE thing, your perception of my SKIN COLOR. That makes you a RACIST.

"Oh yeah...please don't try to cause distraction by saying "We owe our teachers, policeman, etc an applause..blah blah bla" Because there's probably only about 15-20% of these SERVICE PROVIDERS who are passionate about their work beyond a paycheck!"

Lets hope that if you ever NEED one of them, your opinion changes to something close to reality.

BTW, teachers, nurses, cops and firefighters, are NOT "service" industry workers. They are "Medical", "Infrastructure", "Educational", and "Law Enforcement". "Service" workers are fast food employees, cafeteria workers, janitors, etc. All of whom are WORKING to provide YOU and I with what we require, in an attempt to support their families, and you owe EACH of them an apology for the way you have spoken about them. You are a dispicable bitter man.

 

Article Comment fil-col commented at 3/19/2011 6:03:00 PM:

None of my statements apply to EVERYONE. I'm not apologizing to anyone and the percentage of SERVICE individuals who take pride in their work are probably not offended by what I've said. I'm done here. Zenreaper, follow up with me when you're kids grow up and experience a life that you obviously have NOT. I pray they have a successful life and develop more compassion than you...oh and I'm such a bitter "man" i can't live with myself. Your assuming that I'm a man reflects your weak mind!

 

Article Comment walter commented at 3/19/2011 8:46:00 PM:

Your personal prejudices, assumptions and dislikes, just like mines, are your own. I have no qualms with you disagreeing with the things I state. And, yes, I am not always right. I'm merely right more frequently than I am wrong. Hopefully, the same can be said of things that you state.

On matters regarding race, you can rest assured, I do not take racial discordance lightly and when I comment, my comments are based upon years of actual independent studies about a whole host of topics, subjects, and events. I employ the discipline of the social scientist to my studies and I check and result both my thesis and my conclusions based upon observation and available data.

In fact, Lateral, if you would, perhaps you can help on a project that interest me and possibly could benefit us all, if it could be broaden: I suspect that the whites who remained in public schools in Columbus and other cities and small towns in Mississippi, instead of enrolling in private academies, generally speaking, have very cordial and probably even familia relationships with some of their former African American classmates. I suspect that those who didn't remain in public schools are very much estranged from African Americans nearer their age brackets and that they are more suspicious of, fearful of and prejudiced toward African Americans, generally. I say this because studying together, whites saw first hand that there were/are some brilliant students/people of African descent, just as there are some who are of Caucasian descent. Blacks saw first hand that there are some dumb sonofaguns who are white, like there are some blacks. In short, integration enabled both races to see that they are human and neither is any more nor less human than the other. Escapees to the academies missed that very valuable lesson in race relation and they've sheltered themselves from it every since by accepting stereotypes about blacks and isolating themselves into communities and societies than shiled them from being with or interacing with blacks, except in some relationship with established protocol:employer/employee, supervisor/supervisee,coach/player,governor/constituent, etc.

I further suggest that when you comoare the incomes of whites who remained in public schools whith the incomes of those who enrolled in the academies, there is a noticeable difference. There is a difference, also, I believe, in terms of the responsibility that they each have and their rank, in the military, in academia, in politics, and in business/corporations.

Lateral, you strike me as being an honest individual who can deal with facts, wheresoever they may lead. You, I also believe, are someone who has associates who could help shed some light on the above query.

For years, beginning with President Bill Clinton and continuing with President Obama, our Commander-in-Chiefs have asked for our help in dealing with the racial divide in America. They asked this of us because it is matter of grave national security. As I stated above, I'm fully capable and competent enough to conduct independent studies. I am also able to recognize a need and act, without seking fanfare or applause. You've reviewed my writing, Lateral. I'm honored. But, do me a favor: engage me thsat I may grow and be more able to contribute in a positive way to our future well-being, as a nation of diverse races and cultural perspectives and backgrounds.

I respect your right to differ with me. There is a valid reason as to why that is the case. If we communicate openly and honestly, we would more than ;likely discover that we have more in common than that which divides us. Poll your friends and associates. Let us see who it is that is actually determining legislation in Mississippi and Washington. How were they impacted, if at all, by integration following the death of Dr. King?

 

Article Comment melody commented at 3/19/2011 9:51:00 PM:

walter, have you repented or something? Didn't notice any profanity in your last post. If I were you lateral, I'd let someone else help walter with the project , what ever that is. Especially after walter used all that profanity at me and someone called gotetum. That happened a few days ago in another thread.
I have some info for your thesis walter--some rich families send their children to public schools and many poor families send their children to private schools. What a shocker, huh?

 

Article Comment nomoneybigsoul commented at 3/19/2011 9:53:00 PM:

The funny thing about this is that it shows how much we are all the same on the inside. If zenreaper was a black person and fil-col was a white person, they would just be arguing each other's points. You all are wasting so much time with empty rhetoric. Just live your lives and do the best you can. We all see the world through our own eyes, subjectively. Objectivity does not exist. There is no right or wrong here. Just a bunch of idiots trying to convince each other that his/her subjective view is the right one. George Bush and Barak Obama, basically the same person. Republicans and democrats, blacks and whites, rich and poor, all the same: selfish idiots. If we all cared more about everybody and less about ourselves, the world would be better off. Who cares about the racial divide. It's just one of many tools used to divide and control people. You idiots, like most of the people in Columbus and America, have fallen into the trap.

 

Article Comment walter commented at 3/19/2011 11:41:00 PM:

It is precisely because it is a tool to divide and control and because it has been utilized so effectively that it is imperative that we come to understand it in all it various hues and shades and exactly how it has managed to work against us for so long.

Melody, my guess is that you've been exposed to far worse than the words that I merely alluded to in my post. Besides, if you're a mature adult, the word that i alluded to is something you're probably engaged in right now. Go find you a toy, lady. I'm not nearly as patient with stupidity as I was when I was a young man. My time is too precious to contend with those who are hellbent on deflecting, diverting, diminishing, dividing, distorting and other wise discouraging people from seeking real understanding and change.
If you didn't get my hint, based on the manner in which I responded to your comment about me, perhaps you'll understand this:
Seek to reach those more on your level.

There are many fine colleges and universities in Mississippi: Jackson State, Alcorn State, Delta State, Mississippi State and The University of Mississippi and Southern. There are many great Historians who specialty is Southern History and tremendous writers on southern culture. It seems to me that they would be interested in that phenomonon, especially since one of the primary resasons for integration and a theory of Dr. King and the others who died, was that it would help bring about understanding and appreciation among the races, if children attended schools together. After 40 years, there is ample resource to either prove or disprove that theory: Did those who attend private academies develop a different racial attitude from those who remained in the public system? Surely, some promising historian could answer that based upon surveys and empirical evidence. Then, the melody and gogetum of the world sand even myself will have a scientific reference for m uch of what we say and believe, or not.

We're fortunate to have an institution, The Dispatch, that allows us to air our thoughts.

 

Article Comment walter commented at 3/20/2011 12:31:00 AM:

There is the legislation mandating minimum wage and there are various exceptions, legitimate and illegitimate, that employers employee to circumvent the law. I don't deal with false representation of conditions. I deal with real ones and my background has prepared me well to be able to distinguish clearly between the two. The fact that you would question my comment about some black mothers making less than minimum wages on jobs prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt, you're so far removed from reality, it is definitely impossible to reason or communicate with you about anything serious or worthy of discussion. It is your nature. Iron is iron and wood is wood. They each have there own unique character and try and try as hard as one will, one can never make one the other or vice versal.

Shelby Steele, C. Vann Woodard, Kenneth Stamps, Eric Lincoln and a number of other historians raised questions about race. After 40 years, we have data available to us now to shed some light on integration. We have two control groups: those who enrolled in acaemies and those who remained in the public schools. Surely, some candidate for the Ph.D can develop a dissertation around a worthy issue. The 60's were very turbulent. The Dispatch has hosted a robust debate and I'm convinced that no other city or town, anywhere in the south, of comparable size and demographic, is doing as commendable job helping to bring about racial understanding as The CDN. We should be really proud of it and I am. We should support it and support those who advertise in it, too.

 

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 3/20/2011 7:52:00 AM:

"There is the legislation mandating minimum wage and there are various exceptions, legitimate and illegitimate, that employers employee to circumvent the law. I don't deal with false representation of conditions. I deal with real ones and my background has prepared me well to be able to distinguish clearly between the two. The fact that you would question my comment about some black mothers making less than minimum wages on jobs prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt, you're so far removed from reality, it is definitely impossible to reason or communicate with you about anything serious or worthy of discussion."

I think you misinterpreted my comment. The point being NOT that people DON'T work for less than minimum wage, but that it happens in ALL races, and that it is a choice the worker makes to ACCEPT that wage. Since there are Federal LAWS regarding minimum wage, you don't HAVE to work for less. And lets be honest, in today's world, VERY few "adults" work for minimum wage.

"The 60's were very turbulent."

They were also FIFTY YEARS AGO.

 

Article Comment frank commented at 3/20/2011 10:00:00 AM:

"Surely, some promising historian could answer that based upon surveys and empirical evidence."

It has been done many times by scientists, not historians. Perhaps you should search for "children segregate themselves" or similar terms on Google.

People are going to group themselves with others of common interests and cultures. No matter how you spin it or what excuses you make for it, it comes natural.

This is much ado about nothing but it sells papers...

 

Article Comment walter commented at 3/21/2011 7:53:00 PM:

Frank, please direct me to the findings of the "scientists" who have done research or conducted a plausible study of the particular issue(s) I raised and suggested some scholar(s) undertake to answer.

More specifically, is there a vast difference bewteen the attitudes of whites who attended private academies, in the 60's, especially because their parents were determined to make certain that their children to avoided attending integrate schools, WITH BLACK children, not "with others of common interests and cultures." They were specific about what and who it was that they wanted to avoid. PrivATE ACADEMIES ENABLED THEM TO DO SO. It is 50 years later. How were thode students impacted by Dr. King's Dream? How did the decision of their parents to enroll them in private academies impact them? Is it reflected in how they interact or fail to interact with people of color currently and over the years, since attending school?

Some where above, someone correctly stated that whites, blacks, rich and poor attend private academies. You're right. But, if you're suggesting that balcks and whites attended the particular academies of which I speak, you're dead wrong. The EXPRESSED purpose for those academies that sprang up over-night was so that white children could avoid attending scholl with black children and being taught by black teachers. Interestingly enough, many of those academies were located in very close proximity to the public schools. Government records from that period should put to rest any concern as to whether or not those academies were siphoning off services from the public school and thus, having their utilities paid for by public funds and perhaps some of their texts also paid for by public funds. I told my friend that white parents, back then, didn't dislike black folks that much to do such a thing. That didn't lynch or attack innocent black people back then, either. He siad I was wrong and that I must be getting old and cannot remember. He said, they felt that whatever they did to blacks or to avoid blacks, as far as they were concerned it was alright and that if they believe it was alright, no matter what it was, IT WAS LEGAL.

I think my friend was wrong. If their is somepone out there who can help me enlighten him, please post here or some where where he can read it. Write in big bold letters. You see, his vision has begun to fade..

 

Article Comment frank commented at 3/21/2011 10:53:00 PM:

Do the search yourself Wally and you will find several studies done on the subject. One thing I am certain of, is if I direct you to one you will find something to complain about and continue this ridiculous thread.

I think the readers have gotten enough mileage out of this round and of course you got to play the victim again...

 

Article Comment walter commented at 3/21/2011 11:44:00 PM:

Do it and it turns out that the studies you mentioned are directly related to the issues I raised above, Frank, and I'll refrain from posting, unless, of course, it is on a topic or topics too significant for me or any other concerned individual, whether African American or Caucasian, to maintain their silence.

And, I AM ONE WHO TAKE PROMISES SERIOUSLY AND WOULD GO TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH TO KEEP ONE, IF YOU ARE WORTHY OF MY PROMISE AND SEEK IT.

 

Article Comment endoftheline commented at 4/21/2011 5:23:00 PM:

If any of these people that made any comments about a race problem. That know their bible and the words in it: we all would see that it is not a race that caused the problem. The PROBLEM is ONE OF SIN IN OUR LIVES. Who can give me the the bible verse's for that now.......... All of you that are in the biblebelt and call yourselves christians. Gods word does not lie.

 

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