African-American Issues.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by The Californian, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise
    I live in Southern California.

    The other night my girlfriend and I were driving home after celebrating our anniversary when a car ( Mid 1990's Chevy Caviler ) started honking next to us ( I assumed my truck was having problems, my girlfriend assumed we knew the people). I rolled down the passenger window when I noticed the car was full ( 5 -6 ) of african-american males flipping us off, yelling obscenities at us and throwing red party cups at my truck. Note, I have never seen these men before, and am driving normally.

    At this moment I sped up to stay ahead of them and when they attempted to get next to me I used a maneuver I've used several times to get directly behind them. At that time I dialed 911 ( 999 ) and was going to follow them but was told to exit the freeway immediately.

    All that said, it becomes very difficult to not pass a universal judgement on african-americans here in Southern California. I have had several problems with afro-americans in the past, and at the same time some of my closest friends are afro-americans. I don't know how many African-Americans there are here on our lowly Apple forum, but how would you guys suggest remaining cautious of people whom present themselves in a certain way, and at the same time not being racist?

    I wouldn't consider myself racist at all, but at the same time ... when I see a group of black men wearing baggy, saggy pants and baggy shirts I find myself becoming extra cautions ... Is that racist? It seems like common sense to me, for if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck ...shouldn't we assume it's a duck?

    How can I be safe without being racist?
  2. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    A bunch of idiots are a bunch of idiots, regardless of colour. Extrapolating out this incident into a universal prejudice is racist, something which you obviously realise as such or you wouldn't be questioning yourself about it. Like you say you know plenty of African-Americans who don't act like those arseholes, and virtually every African-American you tell this story to would be shocked by it.

    As for baggy-clothes wearers I don't see what the problem is. Virtually all the time groups of people hanging out couldn't care less about those walking past, whatever the group happen to be wearing. They're just filling their day. After what happened the other night it's understandable that you're nervous, but you have nothing to feel intimidated about. Try and get over this and see people as the individuals they are.
  3. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Surely this type of behavior is not isolated to any one race.
  4. The Californian thread starter macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise
    So nobody finds it reasonable to be extra cautious around people ( regardless of color ) that purposely present themselves to be of the same ideology of these people through their dress?
  5. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005

    Be a behaviorist? Idiots aren't limited when it comes to skin color (or dress).
  6. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    People the world over wear one of many social "uniforms", and part of that is meant to portray a kind of tribalism, to link themselves with a particular identity. However when you actually get to know people wearing one of these identities you find they're mostly just the same as anyone else you're likely to meet. Of course you'll get some idiots, but that's true of anything in life and certainly not limited to any particular racial group.

    Chill out really. The vast majority of people out there are decent.
  7. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Everyone will be very politically correct and tell you to think of the people as individuals, and they are correct.

    But, I know what you're saying. There's just some people that do certain things and dress/act in certain ways. They look like trouble, and I'd certainly cross the street to avoid them.

    Am I making a terrible judgement based on stereotyping? Probably, do I care? Not especially. I'm just taking a precaution as I see fit, I'm not hurting anyone in doing so.

    I wouldn't call you racist for avoiding certain types of people (by whatever means you identify them) in the hope of keeping yourself out of trouble.
  8. gilkisson macrumors 65816



    --Martin Luther King

    These dudes showed their character. It had nothing to do with their skin color, it had everything to do with the fact they are idiots.

    -- Friedrich von Schiller.
  9. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    I give small Asian women driving large 4x4's here in Leciester a particularly wide berth because experience of driving int his city for 10 years has taught me that they have dreadful lane control and have nearly had me off the road because of dreadful spacial awareness on several occasion.

    Does that make me racist?

    Is it also racist for me to see a <25 y.o. white male behind the wheel of a small hatchback and act the same way knowing that they are a liability to themselves and others? Is one a racist act and the other not? Or does the very fact that I've stated the second case render the first case non racist?

    Yes - there are dangerous drivers in every ethic group,race and sex. But experience tells me that there are more dangerous drivers in those two groups than any other and that they are worth giving a wide berth to.
  10. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    As a 23 year old driver of a small hatchback, I find your comment offensive and racist :p
  11. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    But if both of those cases you are approaching each situation with a prejudice. In the case of the OP his particular prejudice in the situation is a racist one. I'm not being judgemental in any way, and certainly not trying to imply that he's an out and out racist because of this, probably because this sort of casual prejudice of one type or another is so common as your two examples also show.

    I just feel it's a natural instinct that can easily be overcome, that's all.

    P.S I will say that in Leicester the 4x4s may well be badly driven by Asian women, but from experience here in London nobody drives them particularly well. The fault is with the type of car IMO, not with a type of driver. I'd happily ban the bloody things from all cities.
  12. djellison macrumors 68020

    Feb 2, 2007
    Pasadena CA
    Actually - to be honest, they're even worse in L reg Toyota Corolla's as well. In the sort of paint job that's faded.

    With at least one light out.

    Oh - and any car with blacked out windows.
  13. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Change your race to black and change them to a bunch of white rednecks and the dynamic is the same.
  14. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Probably more than you realize. ;) But being a complete idiot is not limited to any one race. However I think it is contagious, so certain neighborhoods / counties / districts have a far higher than average percentage of them.
  15. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 21, 2007
    I absolutely agree with this. I mean, there is a reason stereotypes are there. It's because most of the time they are true. Sure, there could be the 10% or 20% or 49% that the stereotype does not apply to. But, isn't it better to play the odds that are in your favor? Sure, you may not always win, but a majority of the time you will. You should just protect yourself. Don't put your life in danger simply because you want to be seen as that "you don't know a person until you meet them"
  16. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    You'll understand then if women cross the road to avoid you?
  17. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    People behave badly no matter what the color of their skin.

    This "european-american" has seen his share of idiotic behavior of all types.

    BTW the term african-american is silly. You are either American or not.
  18. chstr macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    agreed with someone else. idiots are idiots. african americans can sometimes come off in the same way that rich white kids can.... spoiled and with a sense of entitlement. Best just to ignore them. don't enable the behavior or treat them any differently than other jerks
  19. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. There is nothing wrong with trying to protect yourself.
  20. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    There isn't any problem with being extra cautious around people who are wearing thug style clothing. If they were dressed nicely and you still had a problem then it would be.

    That being said, not everyone wearing the style of clothing is an *******.

    If you think incidents like these are kept to one race you need to get out more, white people are *******s too. Hell just this weekend some white kid was putting drinks on my friends tab, luckily the bartender let him know before it got out of hand.
  21. The Californian thread starter macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise
    It's just funny how if I make a conscious decision to avoid someone ( as edesignuk said ) based on the way they are portraying themselves, then I am not labeled a racist. I don't care if it's a black guy all thugged out, a hispanic guy all "cholo"ed out or some white guy dressed like a white supremacist, i'll be avoiding them. It just seems like common sense to me ... if that's the case, why are some people so hell bent on being politically correct that they would put themselves in danger just to not be prejudice?
  22. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    I don't know if that's the case, it's more like there are different criteria in making certain decisions. For instance, where I live the idea of trying to avoid any youngster dressed like a "Gangsta" (yeah I realise I'm an old fart and shouldn't use words I don't understand) is nonsensical, especially when I know many of their parents :D.

    I would however cross the road to avoid the druggie looking types that hang around the street corners waiting for their dealers. I guess the decision is going to be based on what you feel threatened by.
  23. The Californian thread starter macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Jan 17, 2009
    Surfers Paradise
    Well, to give a little insight. Back in the early 1990's the Los Angeles Police Department went into the hardest of communities and told the people they should move to Riverside County to get away from the gangs and problems, plus the housing was cheap back then. People moved out by the thousands and moved into the small communities of Riverside County ... the only problem, is that they were the problem, they were the gang members so those problems moved out there. Most of these families tried to move back to Los Angeles only to find that their neighborhoods had been cleaned up and the housing prices had jumped beyond their reach.

    Anyway, when I'm talking about some "thuggish" looking guy I have plenty or reason to believe that they are exactly what they portray. Also, being a medic for as long as I have ... I have seen exactly how violent people that portray themselves in this way can be.

    I would venture to say that it is less racism, and more common sense.
  24. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Well, which is it? Is his kneejerk reaction "racist," or is it "understandable"?

    It seems to me that if he went through a situation which bothered him (either scared him, or annoyed him, or whatever), and he sees himself about to be placed into a similar situation with people who give him the same general impression, why would he not associate those two situations at first?

    I know that the very definition of being prejudicial is to judge someone before you know them - but very often a first impression is not altogether false. I don't necessarily think his nervousness is a sign of racism.

    Well-said. Especially because it's spoken about a general impression of a person, not because of someone's skin color.

    I disagree - both with the notion that the OP's reaction is instinct, and that it can easily be overcome.

    First of all, as I said, my opinion is that his nervousness was learned, not instinct. He was confronted by some aggressive people and was harassed by them. He may have been frightened; I probably would have as well. My general disposition to people that matched the outward description of those people would probably change as well; but that's not an instinct.

    Secondly, an instinct is not something that is "easily overcome." In fact, his learned behavior might not be easily overcome, either. It's clear to me that the OP has some misgivings about how he now perceives black people. I don't think that's the sign of someone who is necessarily racist.

    And I've said this before, and I'll say it again - anyone who thinks that people of different races are different only because of skin color is working very, very hard to fool himself.
  25. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    Ho hum.

    It's understandable that he's nervous in the context of his recent experience. However, it is also a form of racism to assume that everybody of the same skin colour is going to behave in the same way. Whether that be a learned behaviour brought about by events doesn't change that.

    It's also instinctive to be nervous based on recent experience of a certain situation. If you fall off a horse you're going to be more nervous of horses for a while. But just like getting back on a horse and overcoming your fear you can overcome nervousness about other situations. All it takes is the will to do so.

    In answer to your last point, anyone who believes the situation between racial groups is constant the world over is fooling themselves, and where I live we seem to get on.

    And that's all I'm going to say on the matter.

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