JohnsonJones

Conference October 3-4, 2020

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57 minutes ago, dprh said:

I don't understand what you're pointing to.  This was quoted under the section "Are you willing to let God prevail in your life?"

“Let me be clear, brothers and sisters, any discrimination because of race is morally wrong and contrary to God’s plan of happiness for His children. It is also contrary to His very purpose of the gathering.”

That was my mistake.  I saw that part right after I posted.  I edited my comment for clarification.

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1 hour ago, dprh said:

I don't understand what you're pointing to.  This was quoted under the section "Are you willing to let God prevail in your life?"

“Let me be clear, brothers and sisters, any discrimination because of race is morally wrong and contrary to God’s plan of happiness for His children. It is also contrary to His very purpose of the gathering.”

If I were to openly call out racism every time I saw it, I would be accused of being a racist and lectured on how an accusation of racism can only properly be applied to white people.

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Perhaps I live in a hole, but other than viewing media, and viewing crap on the internet, I pretty much never see racism.  Can probably count on one hand the times I've seen it personally.

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3 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Perhaps I live in a hole, but other than viewing media, and viewing crap on the internet, I pretty much never see racism.  Can probably count on one hand the times I've seen it personally.

I think you need to be more aware.  One lesson of life is that it is almost impossible to find something when you are not looking for it.  I have a friend that is what is called a minority.  He married a Stake President's daughter and the concerns that should not have been were obvious.   I would like to say I have no pre-existing judgments but I do.  I have religious prejudices - though I have @prisonchaplain to thank for helping me to overcome feelings concerning Evangelicals - I still have a way to go.   

I have been asked many times how I can believe in G-d and evolution.  But the sad part is that I am as likely to be as prejudice towards someone asking such a question than perhaps they are concerning me.

Why do I bring up other forms of prejudice other than racisms?  Because scientifically there is only one human race.  Whatever prejudice there is - it is the same.   Sometimes racism is seen when it is not intended.  For example, I grew up in a society (town) where there was not a single black family or even an individual.  I had never talked to a black person until I was in the army.  In addition I have never lived anywhere that cotton was grown.  However, from my youth there was a term that was used to describe things that do not work as planned or are inferior.  The term is "cotton picking".  This is a term I grew up using rather than cursing.   I used it recently while helping a neighbor that began laughing at me.  His point was that in today society it is worse than swearing.  

Being sensitive to other's feeling is a great failing of mine.  My wife is often reminding me of my rudeness.  Just because I am not aware or not intending to be rude does not mean that it not so.  Sometime the worse part about being rude is when we are so insensitive, unware and uncaring that we are rude (or dare I say raciest) without a clue what we are doing.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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2 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Perhaps I live in a hole, but other than viewing media, and viewing crap on the internet, I pretty much never see racism.  Can probably count on one hand the times I've seen it personally.

It's systemic, meaning there is no hard proof that has to be shown and you can't disprove it. 

But we do need to remember this is a global church and there are places in the world where there is great inequality between races, genders, ethnicities, religions, etc. It is a real and growing concern. So I don't see the need to read between the lines. To the extent it exists anywhere it needs to be addressed. 

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On 10/3/2020 at 10:18 PM, Carborendum said:

Anyone else notice the mention of the 200 years?

In the Book of Mormon we read that Christ came to the Americas in the Thirty Fourth year after the sign of His birth. In 4th Nephi, we read that the "great division" among the people came in the Two Hundred and Thirty First year, which is approximately 200 years after Christ personally instituted His church among them. Hopefully a great division doesn't occur among our people; but my mission president taught me several times that 4th Nephi is a type (or example) of both the last dispensation and the Millennium, even if the years don't add up or match  exactly.

I don't know how far away the Lord's coming is, but things are definitely speeding up, and it wouldn't surprise me if some who are now upon the earth live to see it. Everyone best get their homes in order.

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Oh, just to clarify, I'm absolutely certain racism exists.  Both the kind to which Vort was referring, and the kind we automatically think about.  I'm buddies with a black cop who shares a zillion stories about both kinds he's experienced.  I've seen it in crappy youtube comment sections and on twitter.  And I'm sure it has happened around me, and I've been oblivious.

Again - personally witnessed?  Perhaps 3 or 4 times in my life.

 

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2 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Oh, just to clarify, I'm absolutely certain racism exists.  Both the kind to which Vort was referring, and the kind we automatically think about.  I'm buddies with a black cop who shares a zillion stories about both kinds he's experienced.  I've seen it in crappy youtube comment sections and on twitter.  And I'm sure it has happened around me, and I've been oblivious.

Again - personally witnessed?  Perhaps 3 or 4 times in my life.

 

Let me give you an example of racism - from myself.  I have a black friend that I talk to a lot.  One time I happened to say, "What Blacks need is a good leader".  My friend turned to me and said that this is a very racist statement - What I should be thinking is that mankind needs a good leader. 

 

The Traveler

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8 hours ago, laronius said:

It's systemic, meaning there is no hard proof that has to be shown and you can't disprove it. 

But we do need to remember this is a global church and there are places in the world where there is great inequality between races, genders, ethnicities, religions, etc. It is a real and growing concern. So I don't see the need to read between the lines. To the extent it exists anywhere it needs to be addressed. 

I can agree with most of what you have said - where I disagree is in your use of the term "systemic".  If we judge things on race alone and nothing else - discounting individuals, circumstances and all other things that could possibly apply - that is obviously racism.  The word and idea of "systemic" is exactly that.  It is the notion that race alone and only - and no other factor applies - is the very essence of racism.  To believe systemic racism, of necessity, makes the believer a racist. 

 

The Traveler

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8 hours ago, Traveler said:

I can agree with most of what you have said - where I disagree is in your use of the term "systemic".  If we judge things on race alone and nothing else - discounting individuals, circumstances and all other things that could possibly apply - that is obviously racism.  The word and idea of "systemic" is exactly that.  It is the notion that race alone and only - and no other factor applies - is the very essence of racism.  To believe systemic racism, of necessity, makes the believer a racist. 

 

The Traveler

That part of my response was actually meant to be tongue in cheek. Maybe I should have used an emoji. 😜🙄😳🤯 

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10 hours ago, Traveler said:

Let me give you an example of racism - from myself.  I have a black friend that I talk to a lot.  One time I happened to say, "What Blacks need is a good leader".  My friend turned to me and said that this is a very racist statement - What I should be thinking is that mankind needs a good leader. 

*shrug* I don't think that way.  I understand that many people (including every african american person I've ever gotten to know) spend a certain amount of time thinking about their race, and developing some sort of racial identity with it's rules and whatnot.  It's a way to draw circles around groups of people, similar to the other bazillion ways we draw circles around ourselves.  

So if you're thinking about a certain racial-based circle, and thinking about what would be good for that circle, I guess you can call that racist if you want.  I'm more in the "let's predict how this or that circle of people will act based on what we know about them".  I have a hard enough time working my way through my circles, to think about what's good for other circles.

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12 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

*shrug* I don't think that way.  I understand that many people (including every african american person I've ever gotten to know) spend a certain amount of time thinking about their race, and developing some sort of racial identity with it's rules and whatnot.  It's a way to draw circles around groups of people, similar to the other bazillion ways we draw circles around ourselves.  

So if you're thinking about a certain racial-based circle, and thinking about what would be good for that circle, I guess you can call that racist if you want.  I'm more in the "let's predict how this or that circle of people will act based on what we know about them".  I have a hard enough time working my way through my circles, to think about what's good for other circles.

The reality is that there are no racial-based circles.  Especially within the Kingdom of G-d.  What we need to understand is that there are culture and circumstance based circles.  We can realize that culture is part of circumstance based circles.   For example, we know that poverty is statically more prevalent among single parent families.  We also know that mental illness is exasterbated with substance abuse.  

The reality is that there are no real (or scientific) bases for attributing any specific characteristic to race.  For example, the human race is so diverse that even if we take a genetic characteristic - like blue eyes and were to remove all the current individuals in the human race with blue eyes from the gene pool; that 10,000 years from now there would be the same ratio of individuals with blue eyes as there would be if none of the blue eyed individuals were removed from the gene pool. 

I believe you are correct in you personal assessment that racism is not real.  That is, that it is not real science.  The problem has to do with perception.  It has been long debated as to what is real.  Is reality what is perceived?  How real is something if it is not or cannot be perceived?  We do know that it is human nature to react exclusively on what is perceived.  We will only experience fear when we perceive something (real or not) to be fearful of.

How does all this apply?  I have some ideas - but I have found that I lack empathy towards others.  Try as I may - I do not feel other's pain.  Sometimes I forget my own pain - sometimes I just ignore my pain.  I do not understand why more people do not just ignore pain or why they take a drug to assist them in ignoring pain.  My point is that just because we have difficulty in understanding someone else's concerns - does not mean that their concern has no merit.   As Latter-day Saints we need to be more open to listen and be aware of others (especially me - I need to become more aware of others - but I have difficulty understanding others - especially if I find little or no logic in it.).  We need to morn with those that morn even if the only reason they are morning is because of their perception of their race to those of another race.  I struggle with this morning thing - it appears that at least with some things - you do as well.  I personally would be interested in any experiences you have had of empathy with our African American brothers and sisters that struggle with racism - especially their struggle among blue eyed Scandinavians white guys like myself.

 

The Traveler 

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When I started studying Church history, I developed an interest in Black history so I started researching and studying. Before that and like many other people, I didn't really get why in our present time people still "live in the "past". (boy, was I wrong). Anyway, a good book is "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration" by  Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson.

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It seems to me that Racism is simply tribalism in another form.  Humans are social creatures and we tend to be supportive of those we see as "Us" and hostile to those seen as "Other"

While the definition of "Us" and "Other" can and has change our responses to it generally have not.

The gospel teaches that we are all Child of God making everyone an "Us".  Yet we live in a world that is trying to make everyone an "Other"

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One of my greatest experiences of life was basic training in the army.  There were no social filters.  We were not divided by intelligence, race, size, health, abilities or any other notable characteristic.   In addition we were all treated like the worthless scum of the earth.  Anyone that stood out for any reason was treated badly just for standing out.  I was very quickly singled out because I knelt beside my bunk on our first night to say my usual nightly prayers.  In addition, I did not swear, smoke, drink or brag about abusing women.  Enough about me.

Every morning we all got up at the same time - no one was allowed to get up early or late.  We were all required to do the same thing.  Everyone had to shave weather they needed to or not.  We were all required to go to the bathroom.  We all got dressed in exactly the same style of cloths and were required to wear our cloths exactly the same.  If anyone did not follow the rules and requirements - we were all punished.  On occasion we were punished just for the fun of it.  We all went to breakfast at the same time and to the same place and ate the same food.  We could not leave the mess hall until everyone was done eating.  Every hour of every day we all did the same things.  If anyone did not qualify a minimum standard we were all punished and reprimanded for it.  Many times we were all required to do the same thing over and over until everyone got it right.  If there was ever a fight or disagreement with anyone among us; we were all required to "suffer" because of it.  Everywhere we went we had to be instep with each other - we even had to all swing our arms while walking in unison.

It is spoken in scripture that in certain societies there were no rich or poor, no distinction between bond or free.  This experience of basic training is the closest I have ever been in my life to a social structure without prejudices.  I developed friendships with individuals that otherwise I would not even say hello to on a street.  I learned things about people different from me that I would not come to know by any other means.

Jesus said to love everyone and to even have compassion for our enemies.  I have a difficult time with compassion - especially with what I think are "stupid people".  My wife is the opposite.   She is popular with everybody.  She does not even care who wins silly card games - even if someone cheats or changes the rules.  She just likes everybody.  And regardless of what someone is going through or feels at any given moment she understands and cares.  Mostly, she puts up with me.  She is just about the only person I know that is without prejudice - but in scripture it is called - "without guile".

 

The Traveler

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On 10/5/2020 at 12:06 PM, NeuroTypical said:

Perhaps I live in a hole, but other than viewing media, and viewing crap on the internet, I pretty much never see racism.  Can probably count on one hand the times I've seen it personally.

I don't want to write a whole book here, but if this is really the case, you aren't looking. I'm old enough that my family couldn't eat inside a DC restaurant, couldn't try on clothes at the better department stores, and couldn't buy a house where we wanted, because of red-lining. Have things changed? Yes, of course. But fast forward 20 years or so, I'm in an inter-racial marriage, and was told there were still places in town that would not welcome a mixed couple. I'm a black woman with a PhD and I still have to straighten out white people when they talk to me as if I just stepped off the plantation. The bar is set very low for blacks, especially by liberals who have a savior complex and whose lives only have meaning if blacks are perpetually stupid, unemployed, and criminal. I won't even go into the experiences of dark skinned blacks I've met over the years , whose lived experiences were more difficult than mine as a mixed race 'high yellow' type, as they used to say.

I've been fortunate to live in very open places like Seattle and Ann Arbor. I've been to beautiful Colorado a number of times. Racism is not my normal daily experience. That doesn't mean it's not there.

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I can certainly appreciate your perspective and firsthand experience, dahlia.  (And welcome back btw! :) )   Of course I believe racism exists.  My father personally witnessed the segregated busses in Chicago, with a movable sign that said "no negroes beyond this point".  He personally witnessed a couple of idiot white college kids get on the empty bus, and laughingly move the sign back a few rows, and then laughed when the black lady had to move back.   He was also very much a product of his greatest-generation culture, and I grew up hearing his distrust and opposition to black soldiers in WWII.

 

7 hours ago, dahlia said:

I don't want to write a whole book here, but if this is really the case, you aren't looking.

True enough.  There is enough crap going on in the world, even pre-covid, that I do not spend time looking for examples of this or that problem or bad behavior.  (Other than online, where that's basically my go-to behavior.)    I'm a massive fan of a high bar when it comes to judging others' actions as this or that.  For decades I've aligned myself with Elder Oaks' 1999 Judge Not and Judging talk, which basically lays out seven hurdles that must all be passed before anyone should say something like "I just witnessed racism".   When moving through my day, I'll look for threats to my family's safety.  I don't look for racism.    So, from that lens:

 

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 I'm old enough that my family couldn't eat inside a DC restaurant, couldn't try on clothes at the better department stores, and couldn't buy a house where we wanted, because of red-lining.

Ok.  I've never seen it personally.  I cannot hope to truthfully claim "I have personally witnesed redlining against this or that minority".  To do so, would be bearing false witness against my neighbor.

 

Quote

But fast forward 20 years or so, I'm in an inter-racial marriage, and was told there were still places in town that would not welcome a mixed couple.

Ok.  I've only seen it personally once or twice in the past.  I can not hope to truthfully claim "I have personally witnessed lots of times when people shot nasty looks at black folks coming into this or that establishment"  Or anything like it.  To do so, would be bearing false witness against my neighbor.

 

Quote

 I'm a black woman with a PhD and I still have to straighten out white people when they talk to me as if I just stepped off the plantation.

My life is a never-ending series of interactions with my fellow humans, most of whom fail in at least one identifiable way during the interaction.  For a guy who has perfected the art of being a snarky teenager, I can always find something offensive, objectionable, wrong, or stupid in tone of voice, body language, facial expression, word choice, driving behavior, you name it.  I simply do not know enough about the individuals involved to have a hope in heck of making a righteous judgment about why they're acting the way they do.  It would be unrighteous of me to ascribe this or that motivation to anyone, in 99.9% of my daily interactions.  

 

7 hours ago, dahlia said:

The bar is set very low for blacks, especially by liberals who have a savior complex and whose lives only have meaning if blacks are perpetually stupid, unemployed, and criminal.

Totally agree.  It's why I said "other than viewing media, and viewing crap on the internet, I pretty much never see racism."  I know umpteen left-of-center people who exhibit this behavior online.  I've seen umpteen videos, especially in 2020, demonstrating this behavior.   But on the rare times I've been around a leftie personally, and we've talked issues, I've never personally witnessed this behavior.

 

7 hours ago, dahlia said:

I won't even go into the experiences of dark skinned blacks I've met over the years , whose lived experiences were more difficult than mine as a mixed race 'high yellow' type, as they used to say.

Again, I'm absolutely certain racism exists.  Every single minority I've ever spoken to about the subject, without exception, have a list of valid firsthand experiences they can tell me.  Again, in my small handful of personal interactions with this or that minority person, I've never personally witnessed it.  

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

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