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Racism in the U.S.

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As per Shri Sangom sir's wish I am starting this thread to bring to the attention of forum members incidences of racism in the U.S. past and present. I hope the response will not be one of race (pardon the unintended pun) to the bottom, i.e. use these as justification for their own casteism, but only to learn and avoid similar manifestations of these abominations in casteism.

Also, some have said discrimination is unavoidable, if it is not casteism, it will be something else. The purport being what is the big deal with only caste based discrimination. Those who argue this way must go back and watch the video Happy posted, those young women who produced the video have answered this question very eloquently.

Now, I want to present a story Harvard professor Charles Ogletree narrated in Democracy Now news program some months back. This story illustrates the kind of racism that exists today among the general population in the U.S. The racism of that stupid Kentucky pastor is that of the extreme fringes, and that is not what I am saying is prevalent just under the surface.

The following is from a trascript of the program. For more, please visit Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree on "The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America".

"... [A] friend of mine, Prince Chambliss, in Tennessee. And I put these in there because it’s not just profiling by police. But Prince Chambliss was cutting his grass in Memphis, in a very prominent neighborhood, and an elderly white woman drove by, saw him in his khakis and an old sports tee shirt cutting grass, and the elderly white woman said, “Hey, you, how much you charge to cut the grass?” And Prince turned around, without missing a beat, and said, “I don’t charge to cut the grass, but I get to sleep with the lady of the house.” That woman hit the gas and pulled off as quick as she could. Now, it’s in the book to see if she’s learned the lesson, because his point was, as Carl Rowan has said before, assumptions are made about people based on race, and this litany of cases is making us all think about what we need to do going forward.
"


I want to reiterate one more time, when I say there is covert racism right below the surface is prevalent, it is the kind Professor Ogletree describes here, assumptions people make based on race. This is not to say ugly racism does not exist at all today, it does, but it is only in the fringes.

More later .....

p.s. Once many months ago I posted this same story in a different context, some members may remember.
 
The following may be of some relevance to the statement above, "This is not to say ugly racism does not exist at all today, it does, but it is only in the fringes."

Redlining is the practice of denying, or increasing the cost of services such as banking, insurance, access to jobs,[SUP][2][/SUP] access to health care,[SUP][3][/SUP] or even supermarkets[SUP][4][/SUP] to residents in certain, often racially determined,[SUP][5][/SUP] areas. The term "redlining" was coined in the late 1960s by John McKnight, a Northwestern University sociologist and community activist.[SUP][6][/SUP] It describes the practice of marking a red line on a map to delineate the area where banks would not invest; later the term was applied to discrimination against a particular group of people (usually by race or sex) no matter the geography. During the heyday of redlining, the areas most frequently discriminated against were black inner city neighborhoods. For example, in Atlanta, through at least the 1980s, this practice meant that banks would often lend to lower-income whites but not to middle- or upper-income blacks.[SUP][7][/SUP]

Reverse redlining occurs when a lender or insurer particularly targets minority consumers, not to deny them loans or insurance, but rather to charge them more than would be charged to a similarly situated majority consumer.[SUP][8][/SUP][SUP][9][/SUP]

(Redlining - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
 
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Thank you Shri Sangom for your post highlighting a form of racism. Even though this is illegal, it is still a big problem, it used to be much worse getting better slowly. There is progress, but lot more to be done as well. Neighborhoods segregated by race is still a fact.

Some more statistics that point to structural disadvantages blacks continue to face:
  • Poverty rate in 2010 for Blacks is 27.4% and for Whites it is 9.9%.
  • Blacks constitute 13%, but they account for 39% of prison population.
  • Black males are incarcerated at a rate more than 6.5 times that of white males.
  • As of 2009, the median net worth of White households was $113,149, twenty times that of Black household $5,677.
more later ...
 
Racism in the US: Yamaka's Experience

I believe at least since 1960s (after the assassination of Civil Right Heavy Weights like Dr. King, John & Robert Kennedy) overt racism is nearly non-existent in the US.

However, a few sporadic incidents do happen, mostly in the South: Recent hate crimes in TX.

Incident with Skip - A Harvard Professor Vs Harvard Police Officer is an exception, I believe.

1. When I was looking for an Apartment in the near West neighborhood of Chicago (Forest Park and Oak Park, IL) I did not find one easily - all the managers in the multi-unit complex said there was no vacancy on looking at me and my colleague from France (he was originally from Africa, but did his PhD in France). This was in Sep/Oct 1979.

He smiled and told me, "Look, this is the Racism in America; although you are not a Black or an African, they deny you housing because you have a friend, a Black African!"

I told this story to the Housing Officer in Oak Park, IL. He also smiled and said, "Is it Racism? Maybe or may not be. Next time, I will come with you and assist you to get an Apt. Don't worry". He was a White man.

I got the Apt in about a month!

2. When my son was a Junior (in 2006), there were many college representatives visiting his Bellaire High to invite students to their respective colleges. This happens in many high schools here in the US.

There was one from Princeton University, and my son approached him enthusiastically. But, for some unknown reason, the Rep was not interested in him knowing about Princeton!

My son was puzzled and wondering, "Am I not eligible to know about Princeton....a place for Red Necks, perhaps?". Since his skin color is similar to Obama's, some people think he is a Black!

A few hours later, the same Rep came to him and volunteered information about Princeton (perhaps, he came to know that my son would be the Valedictorian of the Class! LOL)

My son yelled, "You Red Necks, I am not interested in Princeton.. I am going to either Harvard or Stanford... Hell with you!"

Maybe, my son over-reacted. What say you?

Cheers.
 
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kunjuppu

Active member
personally, it took me a year to find the right job, after i immigrated to canada. but i was young, and enjoyed the liberties and the excellent library facilities offered free. nobody else to feed except myself.

re my kids, i have always told them, that it is not a fair world.

i also have informed them about the quota system in india, and even though i think it is good for the greater good of the country, as the generation caught inbetween and towards rectification of past wrongs, they would probably be screwed. so told them to consider themselves lucky for that :)

i think if they meet racism, they take it in their stride. almost all their friends are white, and this only due to the schools they went, where by neighbourhood chance, there were no ethnic minorities. so they are used to being the only non white and got used to it right from the start.

i dont think they have met any racist to bother them, or if they did, they have not told me about it.

another thing, both mrs K (herself a fighter & open streetwise at that too :) ) and i, have ensured, that the human's inbuilt aggressive self preservation feelings within them, has not been extinguished, like the way mine was by my parent's 'peace towards all & run away from trouble' attitude. they have met head on any aggression, and that's that.

also, it is the class of people they move with, which are mostly upper middle professional groups. their friends are their friends, because they want to be. otherwise, they go to different people. friends are by choice, right?

now about the relatives................ :)

jobwise, in canada, senior management in banking and law profession, is still mostly white. but the younger generation is moving in. one thing that helps.. is that there simply are not enough whites interested or qualified to go through higher education.. :)
 
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What is racism? Are we all talking about the same thing? Slavery and the attendant cruelty is a thing of the past, but that does not mean racism is a thing of the past. The Jim Crow laws of keeping the races separate has been roundly rejected, but that does not mean racism is a thing of the past.

Even though what is racism has changed over time, racism itself is still present, and that is to be properly understood. For a nuanced and critical assessment of racism in the U.S. please read this transcript of an interview of Abigail Thernstrom, a Republican and vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Anti-White Bias On The Rise? : NPR

A small but relevant excerpt:
One of the things that I thought was interesting about this study is both whites and blacks agree on the degree of racial progress in this society. Very nice agreement that, yeah, the level of white racism towards blacks has gone, oh, in my lifetime, it's been a remarkable change and something to celebrate. And so, now they say, oh, well, wait a minute. We've got this racism towards whites. That's ridiculous.

Cheers!
 
What is racism? Are we all talking about the same thing? Slavery and the attendant cruelty is a thing of the past, but that does not mean racism is a thing of the past. The Jim Crow laws of keeping the races separate has been roundly rejected, but that does not mean racism is a thing of the past.

Even though what is racism has changed over time, racism itself is still present, and that is to be properly understood. For a nuanced and critical assessment of racism in the U.S. please read this transcript of an interview of Abigail Thernstrom, a Republican and vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Anti-White Bias On The Rise? : NPR

A small but relevant excerpt:
One of the things that I thought was interesting about this study is both whites and blacks agree on the degree of racial progress in this society. Very nice agreement that, yeah, the level of white racism towards blacks has gone, oh, in my lifetime, it's been a remarkable change and something to celebrate. And so, now they say, oh, well, wait a minute. We've got this racism towards whites. That's ridiculous.

Cheers!

If black racism against the Whites will square the evil of racism in US, then Dalit rage or racism in India which is there already, should be taken to indicate that the caste-racism is also squared up!
Dear Nara, I appreciate your skill in diverting the topic and bringing abigail Thernstrom, a republican, to your help!
 
Am I missing something here. How do people know? Why do you have to take these names again Brahin, if you are so interested in preserving his name and identity. When I interact with people here I am interested in making friends not about prying about their personal life or announcing it to others even if it is volunteered to me. I hope people behave as responsibly.

Internet is a very dirty business and one must safeguard one's identity only giving as much information as necessary without swimming in falsehood . This is the philosophy I believe in. Yamaka I find you a good guy. <edited> plz refrain from calling out names. any issues take it via pm and sort it out. cannot be a nanny for every thing</edited>.

One of the things I have found is that even in matrimony circles boys are checking our girls from matrimony sites and searching them out in facebook and elsewhere and trying to speculate about them and who knows gossip. Parents beware. Personal experience in my house.Thanks
 
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Yet another example of US' continuing struggle with its deep-rooted racism, I mean white racism aimed against the 'Blacks' (read all non-whites) since Shri Nara has tried to import 'Black racism' to confuse the issue and, possibly, to please his white masters! LOL is appropriate here, I suppose:)

Note: Please note that a fair complexion is no guarantee against the evil of racism striking you; you should "look" and "speak" like a White.


Obama administration issues diversity guidelines for schools

By HOWARD BLUME
Los Angeles Times
By HOWARD BLUME
Last modified: 2011-12-03T04:04:45Z
Published: Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 - 12:00 am
Copyright 2011 . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

LOS ANGELES -- The Obama administration has released new guidelines aimed at encouraging school districts and colleges to keep and pursue policies that promote racial diversity. In the process, they withdrew directives put forward during the administration of George W. Bush.

"Diverse learning environments promote development of analytical skills, dismantle stereotypes, and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Friday. "The guidance announced today will aid educational institutions in their efforts to provide true equality of opportunity.

"Racial isolation ...denies our children the experiences they need to succeed in a global economy, where employers, coworkers, and customers will be increasingly diverse," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.

The new guidelines are more detailed than the ones they replaced and seek to reverse what officials characterized as a chilling effect on diversity programs based on cautious interpretations of Supreme Court rulings on integration efforts. The new rules even opened the door, in narrow circumstances, for race-based preferences, commonly known as affirmative action. The guidelines encourage the use of programs that are technically race neutral but informed by race, such as giving school admission preferences to students from a certain ZIP Code. Some school districts have used geography as a stand-in for race.

But the more common response to recent court decisions limiting or banning race-based preferences has been increasing segregation, some experts said.

(Read more: Obama administration issues diversity guidelines for schools - Sacramento Living - Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health | Sacramento Bee)


Readers please note that any guidelines issued by the US government is subverted in actual practice. Before this present Obama revision, white schools reportedly did not admit children giving ZIP codes of mixed racial localities in their home address. This applied to children of Indian emigrants also.
 
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I do not think the public warning of the "likes of Brahin" is in good taste at all. Why throw doubts of suspicion on the minds of general readers about the "likes of Brahin"? If personal opinion about Brahin was to be offerred to Yamaka, PM is the mode. I am reporting this post to the administrator.
You may do as you like it is he who put people's name in public and that is not good taste. I have no problems , moderator can remove his post as well as mine unless Yamaka has a problem with that.
 
One more instance of unbelievable cruelty perpetrated on the Black population of US, in the name of Medical Research, is given below in some detail. Kindly note how it has caused loss of trust of the Black population in the white people. Our friends here may say this is not racism but why only the AA population was deliberately selected?

Brahminism and casteism in India do not appear to have thought of anything as diabolical as this. Perhaps our Dalit population should consider itself lucky to have been in India and not in the US!



Tuskegee syphilis experiment

The Tuskegee syphilis experiment[1] (also known as the Tuskegee syphilis study or Public Health Service syphilis study) was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in poor, rural black men who thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government.[1]

The Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began the study in 1932. Investigators enrolled in the study a total of 600 impoverished, African-American sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama; 399 who had previously contracted syphilis before the study began, and 201 without the disease. For participating in the study, the men were given free medical care, meals, and free burial insurance. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for "bad blood," a local term used to describe several illnesses, including syphilis, anemia and fatigue.

The 40-year study was controversial for reasons related to ethical standards; primarily because researchers knowingly failed to treat patients appropriately after the 1940s validation of penicillin as an effective cure for the disease they were studying. Revelation of study failures by a whistleblower led to major changes in U.S. law and regulation on the protection of participants in clinical studies. Now studies require informed consent (with exceptions possible for U.S. Federal agencies which can be kept secret by Executive Order[2]), communication of diagnosis, and accurate reporting of test results.[3]

By 1947, penicillin had become the standard treatment for syphilis. Choices available to the doctors involved in the study might have included treating all syphilitic subjects and closing the study, or splitting off a control group for testing with penicillin. Instead, the Tuskegee scientists continued the study without treating any participants and withholding penicillin and information about it from the patients. In addition, scientists prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs available to others in the area.[4] The study continued, under numerous US Public Health Service supervisors, until 1972, when a leak to the press eventually resulted in its termination. The victims of the study included numerous men who died of syphilis, wives who contracted the disease, and children born with congenital syphilis.[5]

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study, cited as "arguably the most infamous biomedical research study in U.S. history,"[6] led to the 1979 Belmont Report and the establishment of the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).[7] It also led to federal laws and regulations requiring Institutional Review Boards for the protection of human subjects in studies involving human subjects. The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) manages this responsibility within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).[8]

In 1966 Peter Buxtun, a PHS venereal-disease investigator in San Francisco, sent a letter to the national director of the Division of Venereal Diseases to express his concerns about the ethics and morality of the extended Tuskegee Study. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), which by then controlled the study, reaffirmed the need to continue the study until completion; i.e., until all subjects had died and been autopsied. To bolster its position, the CDC sought, and gained support for the continuation of the study, from local chapters of the National Medical Association (representing African-American physicians) and the American Medical Association (AMA).

In 1968 William Carter Jenkins, an African-American statistician in the PHS, part of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), founded and edited The Drum, a newsletter devoted to ending racial discrimination in HEW. The cabinet-level department included the CDC. In The Drum, Jenkins called for an end to the Tuskegee Study. He did not succeed; it is not clear who read his work.[18]

Buxtun finally went to the press in the early 1970s. The story broke first in the Washington Star on July 25, 1972. It became front-page news in the New York Times the following day. Senator Edward Kennedy called Congressional hearings, at which Buxtun and HEW officials testified. As a result of public outcry the CDC and PHS appointed an ad hoc advisory panel to review the study. It determined the study was medically unjustified and ordered its termination. As part of the settlement of a class action lawsuit subsequently filed by the NAACP, the U.S. government paid $9 million (unadjusted for inflation) and agreed to provide free medical treatment to surviving participants and to surviving family members infected as a consequence of the study.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study significantly damaged the trust of the black community toward public health efforts in the United States.[20] As a result, many distrust the medical community and are reluctant to participate in programs such as organ donation. The study may also have contributed to the reluctance of many poor black people to seek routine preventive care.[21] However, recent studies have challenged the degree to which knowledge of the Tuskegee experiments have kept black Americans from participating in medical research[22][23][24][25]. Distrust of the government because of the study contributed to persistent rumors in the black community that the government was responsible for the HIV/AIDS crisis by introducing the virus to the black community.

Note:

Please note that only when the whistle-blower got his report published in newspapers, and some legislators took up the matter, did the government officials leave this. And when the Americans were doing this right through WWII, they have the face to criticize the Nazis; given some more leeway, would not the Americans perpetrate worse crimes than the Nazis?


That was not the end of this cruel experiment.

Main article: Syphilis experiments in Guatemala

In October 2010 it was revealed that in Guatemala, Public Health Service doctors went even further. It was reported that from 1946 to 1948, American doctors deliberately infected prisoners, soldiers, and patients in a mental hospital with syphilis and, in some cases, gonorrhea, with the cooperation of some Guatemalan health ministries and officials. A total of 696 men and women were exposed to syphilis without the informed consent of the subjects. When the subjects contracted the disease they were given antibiotics though it is unclear if all infected parties were cured.[15]

Wellesley College's historian Susan Reverby discovered records of the experiment while examining archives of John Charles Cutler, a government researcher involved in the now infamous Tuskegee study.[16] In October 2010, the U.S. formally apologized to Guatemala for conducting these experiments.[17]

Even recently (about 2 years or so ago) there were reports that with the connivance of the GOI, some anti-cancer drugs mfd. by US drug manufacturers were being experimented on unsuspecting patients in various cancer treatment centers in India.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment)
 
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If black racism against the Whites will square the evil of racism in US, then Dalit rage or racism in India which is there already, should be taken to indicate that the caste-racism is also squared up!

Dear Sangom sir, I made the post in a hurry and because of that did not make my point clear. I think there were two points worth noting from the interview (i) she talks of a study that reveals both whites and blacks agree that the level of racism towards blacks is significantly reduced, a thing to be celebrated, and (ii) there is a group of whites who complain of reverse racism, very much like the Brahmins who complain about reservation, but that is ridiculous.

Even though Thernstrom is Republican, she herself says this notion of reverse racism is "ridiculous". That is worth noting, not to mention she was also vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Dear Nara, I appreciate your skill in diverting the topic and bringing abigail Thernstrom, a republican, to your help!
Please be assured I am not diverting the topic at all. As I have explained above, what I did was the opposite of what you are saying.

I have always said racism is prevalent in the U.S. But at the same time we need to understand what kind of racism is prevalent today. The town where I live, up until about 100 years ago uppity Blacks would be summarily lynched from the nearest tree or bridge. I have seen photographs of such instances. Up until about 50 years ago, blacks could not drink from the same water fountain or use the same bathroom like the whites. But, about 25 years ago, when I joined the faulty here my dean was a Black man. In deep south, in an university that did not admit Blacks only about 20 years before that, a Black man was the top honcho of my college. This was not because of reservation or affirmative action. Racism that exists today cannot be properly understood if this progress is ignored. In a similar fashion I am keen to understand and appreciate the progress that has been made on caste front in India.

The Tuskegee study is a horrible episode and, must and will remain an indelible shame on the U.S. There is lot more too. When a teenage boy from Chicago visiting relatives in deep south casually called out "hi baby" to a white women, he was brutally tortured and murdered that night. Body was horribly mutilated. During the civil rights struggle, three civil rights activists were absconded and murdered by the police themselves. There was Medger Evers a civil rights lawyer working for the uplift of his fellow Blacks was shot and killed in his own driveway. The accused was acquitted in a sham trial. Many years later he was tried again and this time convicted and imprisoned for life, and that is progress, no?

We can list all the terrible racially motivated atrocities that have been committed in the past, I welcome it, and will also contribute as I have done in the above paragraph. At the same time, I think it is fruitful to consider what racism is today in the U.S. The harsh racism is gone, no more, but there is still racism just under the surface. What kind of racism is this and how does it compare with the casteism we see in India. That will be an interesting and learning exercise for me.

Thank you ...
 
While reading these episodes, I wish to put forward a few things of distinction.

1. Preferential treatment due to race or linguistic link - This is manifested everywhere where things are not so professional. In India Bengal vs Non Bengal, Kannadiga vs Tamil, Telugu vs Tamil, North Vs South. These things are evident to all of us. I would expect the same. In India we show preferential traetment to white color. This is one good example Diary of a White Indian Housewife | Thoughts and Experiences of an Expat Living in India. Why even in Tamil Nadu, there is a preferential treatment to Non brahmins in a non brahmin dominated institution . This same behaviour may be evident in USA. I will not like to view this as racism but just a preferential treatment which is a weakness of humans. Why that even in a liberal place like Calcutta muslims are politely and cleverly refused homes for rent or even for sale, especially in typically hindu localities. I have faced that not only in my birth place but also in North , in east and outside the country in the west.

2. State policies towards specific minorities or sections of the population- The Alabama case can be taken as an example, but the records of the americans is miserable outside USA. Al-Gharib, anyone knows that? Such policies are bad and while the common people are not involved , it is an example of collective conscience where the desperation of the people makes them overlook or even close their eyes to this matter. I view the Ancient caste practices in this league. There was a section only I believe which implemented it, but the real problems, the population closed their eyes, in the name of tradition. My great-grandfather living before the dravidian movement will not even be able to make any sense of the caste based discrimination arguments. He was most probably not even aware that certain practices affected the capability and compounded the difficulty of people. No I am not exonerating him, I am saying he kept a blind eye and deaf ears and did not deal with this mess, and yet he cannot claim innocence. The same situation exists here

3. Common man consciously acts to harm individuals . Slavery of the afro-americans , snatching of the homes of the poor, these are examples. Such examples could have existed at sometime in India as well, but as societies settle, the hard-memory vanishes and we get good character certificates to our ancestors just like americans do.
 
You may do as you like it is he who put people's name in public and that is not good taste. I have no problems , moderator can remove his post as well as mine unless Yamaka has a problem with that.

Dear Subbudu Sir and Zebra:

Thanks for the concern. I would like to remain as Yamaka.

Regards.

Y
 
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From some of the discussions we have had so far I have a feeling there are some misconceptions about the history of racism in the U.S. and what it is today. While certainly not a substitute for serious study, I would like to suggest two great movies to get a feel for what racism was in the past.

[1] To Kill a Mocking Bird (The Novel, The Movie)
[2] In the heat of the night (Can be watched here)

There is a documentary film called 500 years later, it is about the state of Blacks everywhere 500 years after African slave trade began. I have not seen this one, but had read great reviews.

Cheers!
 
While reading these episodes, I wish to put forward a few things of distinction.

1. Preferential treatment due to race or linguistic link - This is manifested everywhere where things are not so professional. In India Bengal vs Non Bengal, Kannadiga vs Tamil, Telugu vs Tamil, North Vs South. These things are evident to all of us. I would expect the same. In India we show preferential traetment to white color. This is one good example Diary of a White Indian Housewife | Thoughts and Experiences of an Expat Living in India. Why even in Tamil Nadu, there is a preferential treatment to Non brahmins in a non brahmin dominated institution . This same behaviour may be evident in USA. I will not like to view this as racism but just a preferential treatment which is a weakness of humans. Why that even in a liberal place like Calcutta muslims are politely and cleverly refused homes for rent or even for sale, especially in typically hindu localities. I have faced that not only in my birth place but also in North , in east and outside the country in the west.

2. State policies towards specific minorities or sections of the population- The Alabama case can be taken as an example, but the records of the americans is miserable outside USA. Al-Gharib, anyone knows that? Such policies are bad and while the common people are not involved , it is an example of collective conscience where the desperation of the people makes them overlook or even close their eyes to this matter. I view the Ancient caste practices in this league. There was a section only I believe which implemented it, but the real problems, the population closed their eyes, in the name of tradition. My great-grandfather living before the dravidian movement will not even be able to make any sense of the caste based discrimination arguments. He was most probably not even aware that certain practices affected the capability and compounded the difficulty of people. No I am not exonerating him, I am saying he kept a blind eye and deaf ears and did not deal with this mess, and yet he cannot claim innocence. The same situation exists here

3. Common man consciously acts to harm individuals . Slavery of the afro-americans , snatching of the homes of the poor, these are examples. Such examples could have existed at sometime in India as well, but as societies settle, the hard-memory vanishes and we get good character certificates to our ancestors just like americans do.

Shri subbudu,

your above post is.... unclear to me. You say "a few things of distinction." Do you mean to say abu gharib and the unconcern of the general population ( to which you liken caste practices also) as "things of distinction", i.e., things for which credit can be taken? So, is it your case that the ancient caste practices were/are not bad? But you seem to contradict this subsequently in the same para. so, confused!

Slavery could have existed in India too but there are records by foreign travellers like Fa Hien (4th./5th. century AD) clearly stating that there was no slavery at that time. I do not know whether Americans give good certificates to their ancestors, or not. But theirs is recent recorded history and when they carried out all those atrocities they revelled in it in the smug feeling that they were superior to the Africans. And even in 2011 some young people continue to think so.

Overt and brutal racism is alive and well in the US. One recent example:

James Craig Anderson was a 49-year-old African American who died after being run over, in Jackson, Mississippi on June 26, 2011, by a truck allegedly driven by 18-year old Deryl Dedmon.

Before the murder, a group of teens were drinking in largely white Rankin County, Mississippi. According to the teens' lawyer, they decided to go buy more beer in a location where stores were open later at night.[3] According to law enforcement officials, Deryl Dedmon, a white teen from Brandon, Mississippi, led the group, allegedly urging his friends, "Let's go fuck with some niggers."[1][2][4] The group climbed into Dedmon's green 1998 Ford F-250 and a white Jeep Cherokee and drove 16 miles down Interstate 20 to a predominantly black area on the western edge of Jackson.[4]

Anderson was near his truck in the parking lot at the Metro Inn in Jackson, Mississippi, at 5 am on June 26, according to prosecutors.[1] The two vehicles pulled off the freeway and into the motel parking lot.[1][5] According to the teens' lawyer, the teens assumed that Anderson was trying to steal a vehicle because they saw him trying to break into a vehicle. The vehicle was Anderson's own; he was trying to break in because he had lost his keys.[3] The teenagers repeatedly beat Anderson and robbed him, the district attorney said, citing reports from witnesses. Video from a motel security camera does not show any beating occurring but instead shows teens entering and leaving the frame of the video.[1][4] One witness reported that one teenager yelled “white power” when returning to his truck after the beating.[1]

The Jeep drove off and the green pickup, allegedly driven by Dedmon, ran over Anderson, killing him. It left the scene at a high rate of speed.[1][2][4]

After leaving the scene, Dedmon allegedly boasted about beating and running Anderson over, while using racial slurs, allegedly saying[1][4] "I ran that nigger over" to the teens in the other Jeep.[4][6] Law enforcement officials indicated that Dedmon repeated that statement with the racial slur in subsequent conversations.[4]
 
Shri subbudu,

your above post is.... unclear to me. You say "a few things of distinction." Do you mean to say abu gharib and the unconcern of the general population ( to which you liken caste practices also) as "things of distinction", i.e., things for which credit can be taken? So, is it your case that the ancient caste practices were/are not bad? But you seem to contradict this subsequently in the same para. so, confused!
Sorry that I was not very clear. It could be the wrong usage of a language. I meant to say that the below 3 points which I mentioned were different and cannot all be viewed in the same way.
Slavery could have existed in India too but there are records by foreign travellers like Fa Hien (4th./5th. century AD) clearly stating that there was no slavery at that time. I do not know whether Americans give good certificates to their ancestors, or not. But theirs is recent recorded history and when they carried out all those atrocities they revelled in it in the smug feeling that they were superior to the Africans. And even in 2011 some young people continue to think so.
One of the easiest examples of slavery which I see is bonded labourer. Though I am not sure anybody is bought or sold which may also have been the case in later times. But people were quite often forced into bonded labour or born into born labour. Some suggest the kind of bonded labourers which we have seen 150 years back was a later development. However knowingly or unknowingly a large majority of the upper castes reaped the benefit of it, though not all of them were involved in it. Is it any more different from the story of slave traders bringing the africans to america and then leaving them there as slaves who became a household servant of every white american family, some of whom were good people. Now the degree of treatment could have been better in India compared to the treatment in america of those times. I am no one to say. If what the chineese traveller said is true, we may be a bit happy that these were later developments.

Overt and brutal racism is alive and well in the US. One recent example:

James Craig Anderson was a 49-year-old African American who died after being run over, in Jackson, Mississippi on June 26, 2011, by a truck allegedly driven by 8-year old Deryl Dedmon.

Before the murder, a group of teens were drinking in largely white Rankin County, Mississippi. According to the teens' lawyer, they decided to go buy more beer in a location where stores were open later at night.[3] According to law enforcement officials, Deryl Dedmon, a white teen from Brandon, Mississippi, led the group, allegedly urging his friends, "Let's go fuck with some niggers."[1][2][4] The group climbed into Dedmon's green 1998 Ford F-250 and a white Jeep Cherokee and drove 16 miles down Interstate 20 to a predominantly black area on the western edge of Jackson.[4]

Anderson was near his truck in the parking lot at the Metro Inn in Jackson, Mississippi, at 5 am on June 26, according to prosecutors.[1] The two vehicles pulled off the freeway and into the motel parking lot.[1][5] According to the teens' lawyer, the teens assumed that Anderson was trying to steal a vehicle because they saw him trying to break into a vehicle. The vehicle was Anderson's own; he was trying to break in because he had lost his keys.[3] The teenagers repeatedly beat Anderson and robbed him, the district attorney said, citing reports from witnesses. Video from a motel security camera does not show any beating occurring but instead shows teens entering and leaving the frame of the video.[1][4] One witness reported that one teenager yelled “white power” when returning to his truck after the beating.[1]

The Jeep drove off and the green pickup, allegedly driven by Dedmon, ran over Anderson, killing him. It left the scene at a high rate of speed.[1][2][4]

After leaving the scene, Dedmon allegedly boasted about beating and running Anderson over, while using racial slurs, allegedly saying[1][4] "I ran that nigger over" to the teens in the other Jeep.[4][6] Law enforcement officials indicated that Dedmon repeated that statement with the racial slur in subsequent conversations.[4]
I agree that this is true, and when it crosses its limit it is atrocious. But Sangom we may certainly find equal number of incidents against the Dalits today if not more, do you not agree? The good part is once a dalit is out of his native territory he is not a dalit anymore. I have heard dalits proclaiming to their neighbors that they are mudaliars. Something that makes them feel good. But such things get caught when you know they get an admission letter from a college inspite of their rank being low.

The first category which I spoke about is preferential treatment and this category is a lesser evil which we may never be able to eliminate until world is one religion 1 caste 1 language 1 race 1 culture. Preferential treatment is the thing happening in a vast majority of cases reported as racism in the west. A simple situation is what some Indians face in Germany even today. Some whites do not even like to sit next to an Indian. Another example is the preferential treatment in airplanes. But we find this manifested in our country as well.

Today as regards the second category which is the state policy being evil. I think USA tops the list and also its citizens close their eyes as long it does not harm their society. There could be a few idealists who carry some cards and disrupt the traffic in the name of opposition. But this is not a strong movement to check the Government's way of doing things.

The incident you have quoted is the third category which I think is frequent in India as well, especially against dalits.

So is our society more responsible than americans in terms of treating our low castes, I am afraid, I cannot sleep well on that issue.
Thanks
 
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Is Racism in US and Casteism in India the same today?

I don't think so. Overt Racism has largely disappeared in the US, with a few fringe incidents like in TX or other places in the South recently.

Whereas, Casteism is alive and well in most of India.

Analyzing my post #4 in this Thread, I am not sure whether both incidences capture the latent racism in the US, if any.

The multi-unit Apt complexes perhaps did not have vacancy when we approached them. And my colleague was over reacting, as my son was over reacting in the case of Princeton.

I don't believe Princeton has Red-Necks in its staff and faculty.

Also, I must say this -

By now most of you know that I don't belong to the "Forward Community" in India.

Did I face any overt discrimination because of it?

No; in fact, Madura College - a Brahmin College in Madurai - was very good to me, from where I built my career one brick at a time.

Cheers.

:)
 
I just heard that Herman Cain - a Black man from the South - has "suspended" his campaign for the Nomination of the Republican Party.

About a month ago, he showed all the promises to clinch the Nomination for the Presidency of the USA.

A Presidential Debate between Cain and Obama would have been an interesting historical event in the US, when we talk about racism here.

Unfortunately, he has almost "dropped" out of the race (?!) because of his own self-inflicted wounds!

Very sad.
 
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OP
OP
Nara

Nara

0
Folks,

The manifestations of racism in the U.S. and the scope of it has undergone tremendous change over its history. I will try to give primer here. My hope is this will provide the context and lead to slightly better understanding of the horrible instances Shri Sangom sir is citing.

Everybody knows about slavery. After the civil war when slavery became illegal throughout the country, the lot of the blacks did not improve very much. For a brief period they did enjoy freedoms, but then came the shameful Supreme Court decision known as Dred Scott decision in 1857. This heralded hundred years of legalized racism. This era is known as Jim Crow.

During this time, in the south, the erstwhile slaves became sharecroppers, slavery by another name. Even though the constitution guaranteed voting rights for the Blacks, the southern states enacted various requirements to be able to cast the vote, that it in effect took the vote away from the Blacks. Even though Blacks formed majority in many districts they didn't have any political power whatever.

Then came along the civil rights era that rejected the notion of separate but equal saying separate can never be equal. LBJ passed many legislation to ease access to the ballot box, eliminate red lining, pursue racial integration of schools, affirmative action in education and hiring by even private companies, and many more. This was a significant turning point in the history of U.S. racism. No longer is racism tolerated in the public sphere.

Even during this period both in the south and the north there was resistance from the White majority, but in different ways. In the south, the local legislative bodies used a system of at-large seats that a black candidate can never win. The courts have since thrown these out as violations of the Voting Rights Act. There was also stiff opposition everywhere to what is called "busing", a tactic used to racially integrate schools. The disparities among schools is still an unfinished business, but it is more an economic issue than a racial one.

From this time onward, racism not only lost legal authority, but laws were passed to rectify past discrimination as well. The fruits of these legislative actions by LBJ are there for all to see all around U.S. today. These actions forced by the leadership of MLK, today, any racism publicly expressed, like the one by the Kentucky Pastor, quickly gets severely criticized and the perpetrators discredited. From then on, laws have become increasingly tougher against discrimination and friendly to race based affirmative action.

For all the progress made so far, Blacks still suffer a form of racism at the hands of the police called racial profiling. Blacks, even after adjusting for education and wealth, are several multiples more likely to stopped by police for minor traffic violations, and searched or even arrested during such stops. In a kind of gallows humor this is called Driving While Black. BTW, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Muslim Americans have become targets of this racial profiling, which includes all South Asians regardless of religious affiliation -- we all look alike you see.

While racial profiling affects Blacks across the board, there are many instances in which black suffer severe police brutality. Some cases that come to mind, (i) Amadou Diallo shot dead by NYPD for running away from police, (ii) Abner Louima brutally beaten up and sodomized with the handle of bathroom plunger by NY police (iii) Oscar Grant was shot dead in cold blood by Oakland, CA police, as he was on the floor handcuffed, (iv) the (in)famous brutal beating of Rodney King by LAPD, and many more such instances that do not come to light.

Then there is this subtle kind of racism. While the violent manifestations of racism outrage our conscience, they affect only a few people and are usually, not always, dealt with satisfactorily by the judicial system. But this subtle kind is an insidious one. This is the one we must be most concerned with as it affects many Blacks directly, and all of us indirectly. In this kind of racism, Blacks end up with substandard or even dangerous products at higher prices. This is the kind of racism that Black leaders are fighting back against these days. This is the kind of racism I refer to when I say racism is still prevalent in the U.S.

The race motivated killings like the one Shri Sangom is citing, while horrible, it is another form of hate crime, like the ones directed against Muslims, people wearing turbans, gays, women wearing thilakam (dot busters from about 15 years ago), etc. These hate crimes are the residual effects of racism from a bygone era. The perpetrators must be severely punished and they are being punished. Nobody in their right minds tolerate and give excuses to such acts. But the insidious kind of racism I mentioned above is an infinitely more serious problem and it is one we Americans must deal with.

Cheers!
 
Nara, Yamaka,,

Addressed to you as both live in USA. There is one key difference between America and India. The extent of lower level corruption is very very high in India in comparison to USA. USA has a more efficient and tidy administrative setup in comparison to India. This ensures that grievances are not only addressed better but in time. In India that effectiveness is not there at all.

So overall a better setup and a more efficient administrative mechanism is bound to give a greater comfort feeling. This is why many people including the dalits look upto USA and feel that situation of blacks is much better than in India.

In India, dalits cannot be singled out by color which is a very crucial point. Therefore if I were a dalit but get myself educated and may be through reservation become a civil servant, as long as I do not actively work for dalit propaganda , my identity would be not very well known to the people with whom I work. In a casteist locality, I might even be invited with place of honours for a temple festival. This is still a handicap because high profile people cannot hide the fact that they are BC or Dalit . But I see that as an increasingly less problem with caste boundaries itself breaking away.
The real problem therefore comes with the dalit in his village. In the village, the setup does not allow him to easily rise unless he has a political network. How do we deal with this reality? Is the administrative setup effective. Has the feudal controls been thrown away. These are very big problems and is building up the frustration of dalits. This scenario does not exist in USA. So overall I feel the future in India seems better because of the fact that dalits are getting increasingly represented in government jobs. But corruption has to go, that will be our single point of success or failure, I feel. We do not have the scenario of races in India as a problem yet, thankfully. However the muslim-hindu divide is widening throughout the country. Liberal hindus in the North, who have no religious practices at home, keep the muslims at a distance atleast when it comes to providing residence or taking up residence. That will be a problem which will surmount not only in India but also in USA
 
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