What WOULD it take for people of different races to "get along?"

  1. I've been following some of the threads that include issues of race. As is natural, the discussions have veered from the original topics b/c at the center of the issues it seems race is the factor. Lots of opinions, LOTS of resentment, and it just got me to thinking...what does one race EXPECT from another?

    Now I'd imagine the obvious answers would be respect and understanding, but if the answers come so easily then why doesn't the solution?
    •  
  2. 67 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I think everyone wants race to be a non-issue, so people (of all races) tend to get annoyed, frustrated and bitter whenever the issue is raised. It seems impossible for it to be discussed without people pointing fingers or getting defensive ("racism is still a way of life for minorities" "well, it isn't my fault as a white person, because I am not racist...")
  4. by   gwenith
    Often the problem is less one of race than it is one of culture colour of the skin is just a very visible way of dividing "us" from "them". Cuture has so many subtle effects on interpersonal relations and communications.

    Imagine if you will talking to someone who has been brought up NOT to make eye contact with strangers. They will not look at you until they know you. In my culture it is rude nto to look someone in the face when they talk to you and it is a sign you are listening to the other person. One woud the thinking the other was rude trying to stare at them while the second person would think the first was rude for not paying attention to them.

    Desmond Morris of "Body Language" fame used to tell a story about personal space. The English have the biggest requirement for personal space - they like people to stand at arms length. Many other cultures Asian and Middle Eastern have a much shorter personal space requirement and at diplomatic functions this became a "dance" with the Middle Eastern person stepping closer to thier personal space and the English stepping back.

    Again unconscious culture driven differences that make us feel uncomfortable with each other. Skin colour is often associated unconsciouusly with culture difference.

    Curiously there is a physiological "war" between skin colours. It has hardly escaped anyones notice that darker skinned people come from equatorial regions. We always assumed that was because of increased risk of skin cancer but recent research suggests that vitamin B12 is broken down by sunlight so darker skin prevented this and the subsequent birth abnormalities.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Well, getting to know one another. Not isolating ourselves from each other. Some college campuses are self-segregated. Dorms, eating areas, etc.

    Now, how to do that is the question. Seems like these threads regarding race really shows that we know very little about one another. And we get offended by that. And we shouldn't . . .

    steph
  6. by   Tilleycs
    Sadly, as long as there are differences, there will be people who focus on them and think that the "other race" has it better and easier, and has the advantage. I've seen the same thing on these boards because of the differences between men and women, and the differences in pay between nursing and other fields.

    And each race keeps wondering what the other wants from them, and are suspicious of the other's motives and how they feel toward each other.
  7. by   TCW
    I honestly wish I knew the answer to this one. I try to avoid posting on the race debates because they only make me angry. If I had to take a stab at it though I would say mutual understanding, respect, looking at the INDIVIDUAL and not the color of the skin and as someone else said, getting to know one another on a personal level.

    Some of these threads got really out of hand IMO because a few posters simply posted in anger without actually thinking about what they were saying. I'm not going to point anyone out because I don't believe that would be appropriate. I just feel that in life in ANY situation we all need to think about the other person first. I guess that is the golden rule really...nothing new.

    I know I am rambling and haven't been as eloquent as some posters but I just wanted to jump in here with my .02 cents.

    Tonya
  8. by   teeituptom
    Oh My no one wants to say anything thats politically incorrect.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    two words. maybe three

    mutual understanding/respect.

    purty simple to me.
  10. by   Jay-Jay
    I'm thinking of a black boy named Leesra, who was given a chance to leave the very violent ghetto he lived in, and get an education. He became a lawyer, and is fighting for black rights. I think his last name is Johnson, but I'm not sure.

    I read his story in Reader's Digest. Several of the young men in his family never made it to maturity. They were killed in gang wars, jailed by police, etc. etc. It is difficult, if not impossible for someone who has not lived in this sort of an environment to imagine what this sort of life is like.

    I am reminded of the old Native American saying: "Do not attempt to judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccassins." Other than that, I don't have any ready answers.
  11. by   Furball
    My neighborhood is very diverse....folks from China, Ireland, India...just in my cul de sac! We all are raising children, had very different opinions about the war...but we all are pretty much the same. We want a peaceful world in order to raise our kids. My development is chock full of middle class blacks, lawyers, teachers, nurses, firemen, paramedics, bakers, carpenters...ect It's great! We moved from a tiny town in upstate NY which was 99% white to NC coast.
    It seems so simple...just respect each other and don't stereotype.
  12. by   Furball
    Jay Jay...your post just reminded me of a friend I lost in college. He had just been accepted to medical school. He was from the South Bronx. He was murdered by a driveby when he went home to celebrate with his mom.

    It was so horrible...he had survived growing up in a very dangerous environment, one that I can hardly even imagine...the stories he told were devastating...even so ...he was going to make it. He was blown away by a gang memeber.....
    Last edit by Furball on Jul 2, '03
  13. by   Mkue
    Ways to get along.. for starters I would get rid of the segregation in colleges, instead of having a group for this and one for that.. have just one group which would enable more ppl to appreciate each others culture. Call it American Students Group.

    I would get rid of Affirmative Action b/c I think it only benefits a very few and doesn't actually reach the lower economic level that needs to be reached. And it's a form of discimination which doesn't help ppl to get along. IMO

    And any other ideas that are in tune with Dr King's dream of a "colorblind society".
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I don't want to be colorblind..I just want to appreciate who people "of color" , including whites, are and where their perspectives come from. It's part of respect and appreciation. we need NOT be "color blind" (how boring).... to appreciate differences and learn from there.

close