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A Demographic Breakdown Of The World Of Religion
Posted: 23 November 2012 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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dansmith62 - 23 November 2012 06:38 AM

It was the Judeo-Christian tradition and thinking which came up with the Age of Enlightenment, humanism, atheism, secularism, freedom of religion and universal human rights.

Um, not really. Most of that came from classical antiquity as rediscovered in the late Middle Ages and the renaissance. The Bible had very little to do with it.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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That is only half of the story. It was the Judeo-Christian tradition and thinking which came up with the Age of Enlightenment, humanism, atheism, secularism, freedom of religion and universal human rights.

No they didn’t. They tried to do exactly the opposite. it wasn’t called The Dark Ages for nothing. Fundamentalist Islam is trying to do the same thing today and by the same tactics.

It was Christians like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King who risked their lives and changed history. They created a real movement that made a difference while atheists read books written by Ludwig Feuerbach, Arthur Schopenhauer and Bertrand Russell.

Yes they did, but as you say that’s only half of the story. A lot of their contemporaries tried to achieve the opposite of what any of these people tried to do and they used their faith as a justification as well.

As to atheists, they’ve done a lot more then read. Take a look at http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/ and try telling me with a straight face that the people who’s quotes are featured there didn’t make a difference for the better.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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TimB - 22 November 2012 09:13 PM
George - 22 November 2012 05:51 AM

I think I understand very well why people don’t trust other people who don’t look or act like them. I have no idea, though, what I can do so that my kids interact with the non-white kids in their school. Children make their own rules, which in fact are not new rules at all: people stick to their own. Even Mriana’s kids ended up with friends who looked like them. If she did such an amazing job turning her kids blind to racial differences, then why did her lighter son choose white friends and her darker son ended up wirh black friends? Yes, I would be impressed if it were the other way round, but it’s not.

As always, Tim, remember Lysenko failed.

Is referencing Lysenko some sort of magic word totem for you? Stop it.  It’s silly.  I think that I’m on your side when I suggest that the roots of racism and bigotry are, very likely, predominately, biological. Where I think that I am not on your side is in abdicating all responsibility for children’s development to the caprice of circumstances and their peers.

Mriana’s son’s may have a sexual preference for females who have similar skin color, but that, by itself, does not reach the level of racism or bigotry.  Her sons are not racists or bigots.  Why is that? Perhaps, it had something to do with her consistently not behaving in racist or bigoted ways herself.  Perhaps it had something to do with her trying to teach them to judge others by the content of their character.  Perhaps it had something to do with the many many opportunities that her sons had to be in safe relationships with peers, family members and associates, of a variety of different backgrounds. If Mriana’s sons had been raised by the racist thugs that accosted them that day in St. Louis, I suspect that they would now have a level of racism and bigotry that is quite different than how they have turned out.

Surely, you would admit that the U.S. has smaller ratio, now as compared to 150 years ago, of person’s whose attitudes we would consider to be racist or bigoted.  Do you seriously think that that has happened solely due to natural selection?  I think that it has had to do with the different experiences that our more recent children have had growing up as compared to those who grew up in our society of the mid 19th century.

Denying that we can identify and ever hope to provide the key experiences that can promote children’s development beyond what may be a natural tendency toward racism and bigotry, helps make that a self-fulfilling prophecy.  So stop it.  You may not be a humanist, but you don’t have to be an anti-humanist.

George, my sons choice of friends was not based on skin colour on their part.  My younger son has black friends.  Part of the issue is that some of the Black community’s young people tell my older son he’s white or he’s “not black enough”, based on his speech, actions, and other stupid stuff.  My younger son tries hard to act like the stereotypical black person in order to make black friends and avoid the bullcrap, instead of being himself, but that only led to getting into trouble because he made friends with people who follow the stereotypical idea of black that they could not follow social norms.  Also, no, their friends do not “look like them”.  They are either lighter or darker depending on the person who befriends them.  To this day, my older son has Jewish friends, Irish decent friends (who are much much lighter than he is), and the list continues and my younger son has black friends who are much darker then he is.  Just because my older son is lighter, doesn’t mean his white girlfriends “look like him”.  That’s like saying an American Indian dating a European American look alike complexion wise when they do not.  Keep in mind that mixed children, even as adults, still get it from both sides.  My younger son can make friends with black people who are not stereotypical if he wanted too, but instead he listens to those who say, “You’re not black enough.  You have to be “black enough”.  You’re assuming their choices are based solely on their own choices, but that’s not quite true.  Keep in mind, other people within society help with that also.

I suppose you are saying, “What is ‘black enough’?”  This is something that comes from a group of people, within a subgroup, who decide that the stereotypes are what makes a person black.  “Black enough” is not completely based on heritaty (can’t find it in spell check), but on the music a person listens to, their religious superstitions, speech, behaviour, and a whole bunch of other stupid stuff. Just the fact that my older son doesn’t share said group’s religious superstitions makes him “not black enough”.  His dislike for rap and gospel music makes him “not black enough”.  My younger son is too afraid to admit that he doesn’t believe in a deity, that he adheres to superstition just so he can be “black enough”.

You are assuming, George, it is all on their part.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-2534119/what-exactly-is-black-enough/

http://www.americanhumanist.org/HNN/details/2010-10-the-color-of-humanism

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/fashion/african-american-atheists.html

You can do more research on atheism, the black community, and “black enough” George, but the fact is if a “black person”, be s/he part or all (if there is such a thing) religion plays a big part in being “black enough” and quite fitting for this topic, maybe more fitting than anything else that has been said in this thread.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 23 November 2012 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Don’t take what I said wrong, George.  There is a history of atheism within Black History: http://blackatheistsofamerica.org/index.php/history  However, there is a large group of black Americans who have the idea that religion is a big part of their culture and history.  That simply is not true, but they believe to be black one must believe in God.  That is one reason for BAAm:  http://blackatheistsofamerica.org/index.php/about-us  and see http://www.cocoareport.com/2011/10/03/black-atheist-and-the-black-community/

It is very difficult for some, esp biracial people, to not be Xian and considered “black”.  http://www.cocoareport.com/2011/10/03/black-atheist-and-the-black-community/  For many in the Black Community, to not be religious is to turn your back on your community, which is not true.

asanta might be more up on this than I am, but I see this a lot, esp with my older son.  Thus, to blame him completely is to not get the whole picture.  He’s not Xian and does not believe in God, therefore many in the Black Community, esp those his age, do not consider him “black”.  Thus, the issue is two-sided and not ALL his fault or doing, George.  My older son cannot believe in a god, esp not the Xian deity and esp not the Xian deity some Black people believe in, which alone makes him “not black enough” to many in the Black Community.  They believe he’s turned his back on his community and his father puts tremendous pressure on both of our sons (and me too) to believe in god and according to their father, it’s all my fault that at least one of them doesn’t believe in God and if their father can get me to believe again, maybe his older son will and his older son will be part of the Black Community again.  However, their father never was involved in raising them and teaching them how to think for themselves either, so they never learned to be “black”.  rolleyes

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 23 November 2012 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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If you have time, George, here is another view, with Ayanna Watson speaking on Atheism and the Black Community:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZF6_4gwbII

You can also read more (shorter too) here:  http://www.americanhumanist.org/HNN/details/2011-12-building-a-strong-and-diverse-community-a-profile-of

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 23 November 2012 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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TimB - 22 November 2012 09:13 PM

IMriana’s son’s may have a sexual preference for females who have similar skin color, but that, by itself, does not reach the level of racism or bigotry.  Her sons are not racists or bigots.  Why is that? Perhaps, it had something to do with her consistently not behaving in racist or bigoted ways herself.  Perhaps it had something to do with her trying to teach them to judge others by the content of their character.  Perhaps it had something to do with the many many opportunities that her sons had to be in safe relationships with peers, family members and associates, of a variety of different backgrounds. If Mriana’s sons had been raised by the racist thugs that accosted them that day in St. Louis, I suspect that they would now have a level of racism and bigotry that is quite different than how they have turned out.

Or maybe her kids are not racist by nature. Or maybe they are racist but don’t act upon it because it’s not in their interest. I don’t know. What I do know (based on what Mriana told us) is that her lighter son’s friends are white and her darker son’s friends are black. We may say this has nothing to do with racism (and I certainly agree that it doesn’t), but I am not so sure that’s how the parents of the non-white kids in my children’s school see it. Mriana’s kids have choices, the non-white kids in my children’s school don’t. They are so few of them, that they end up alone and hurting, until their parents are forced to move out of the neighbourhood. I am sure they blame racism for this. But is it? Am I doing something wrong for not pushing my kids to play with them? Would I fail if I tried? Probably, just like I am sure that Mriana would fail—although I can’t think of the reason why she would need to try this—if she tried for her lighter son be friends with blacks and her darker son be friends with whites.

TimB - 22 November 2012 09:13 PM

Surely, you would admit that the U.S. has smaller ratio, now as compared to 150 years ago, of person’s whose attitudes we would consider to be racist or bigoted.  Do you seriously think that that has happened solely due to natural selection?

Sure the ratio is smaller, but not because the same people (or rather their descendants) have changed. The demographics of the U.S. are very different today from what it was 150 years ago and there are many other factors why people who indeed may be racists won’t show it. People don’t change. Neither do crops.  cheese

[ Edited: 23 November 2012 08:42 AM by George ]
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Posted: 23 November 2012 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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George - 23 November 2012 08:31 AM
TimB - 22 November 2012 09:13 PM

IMriana’s son’s may have a sexual preference for females who have similar skin color, but that, by itself, does not reach the level of racism or bigotry.  Her sons are not racists or bigots.  Why is that? Perhaps, it had something to do with her consistently not behaving in racist or bigoted ways herself.  Perhaps it had something to do with her trying to teach them to judge others by the content of their character.  Perhaps it had something to do with the many many opportunities that her sons had to be in safe relationships with peers, family members and associates, of a variety of different backgrounds. If Mriana’s sons had been raised by the racist thugs that accosted them that day in St. Louis, I suspect that they would now have a level of racism and bigotry that is quite different than how they have turned out.

Or maybe her kids are not racist by nature. Or maybe they are racist but don’t act upon it because it’s not in their interest. I don’t know. What I do know (based on what Mriana told us) is that her lighter son’s friends are white and her darker son’s friends are black. We may say this has nothing to do with racism (and I certainly agree that it doesn’t), but I am not so sure that’s how the parents of the non-white kids in my children’s school see it. Mriana’s kids have choices, the non-white kids in my children’s school don’t. They are so few of them, that they end up alone and hurting, until their parents are forced to move out of the neighbourhood. I am sure they blame racism for this. But is it? Am I doing something wrong for not pushing my kids to play with them? Would I fail if I tried? Probably, just like I am sure that Mriana would fail—although I can’t think of the reason why should would need to try this—if she tried for her lighter son be friends with blacks and her darker son be friends with whites.

TimB - 22 November 2012 09:13 PM

Surely, you would admit that the U.S. has smaller ratio, now as compared to 150 years ago, of person’s whose attitudes we would consider to be racist or bigoted.  Do you seriously think that that has happened solely due to natural selection?

Sure the ratio is smaller, but not because the same people (or rather their descendants) have changed. The demographics of the U.S. are very different today from what it was 150 years ago and there are many other factors why people who indeed may be racists won’t show it. People don’t change. Neither do crops.  cheese

George, before you make assumptions or theories about my sons, see what I posted first.  Such things are a two-way street and why one biracial child rejects one side over the other is exclusively on them.  Everything has two sides, including this subject.  Religion, which, again, fits this thread very well, has a lot to do with it, as well as in-group stereotypes of how one should or should not act.  There is a group, whether large or small, who expects “black people” to act, behave, and believe in a certain way or you’re not one of them.  So this whole subject is two-sided and that’s what I’m trying to point out to you.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 23 November 2012 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Mriana,

I am not blaming, nor rewarding, anybody for anything; certainly not your sons nor you. I leave that up to Tim, and, yes, you as well. Both of you, Tim and yourself, believe you have played a role in raising your kids to be acceptant of other races, and all I am saying is that, based on the studies of parental influence on the behaviour of their kids, this can’t be true.  Your older son started with a “genetic program” resulting in “looks white,” and the rest of his life was then shaped by his peers who played a role in shaping his character. The same goes for your younger son. And I understand it’s not easy for kids of mixed races. It wasn’t for Obama either.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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George - 23 November 2012 09:04 AM

Mriana,

I am not blaming, nor rewarding, anybody for anything; certainly not your sons nor you. I leave that up to Tim, and, yes, you as well. Both of you, Tim and yourself, believe you have played a role in raising your kids to be acceptant of other races, and all I am saying is that, based on the studies of parental influence on the behaviour of their kids, this can’t be true.  Your older son started with a “genetic program” resulting in “looks white,” and the rest of his life was then shaped by his peers who played a role in shaping his character. The same goes for your younger son. And I understand it’s not easy for kids of mixed races. It wasn’t for Obama either.

My sons don’t dislike either side, because he believes as I do- to hate one over the other is to hate yourself, but peers do have some influence in who they associate with.  For other people, looks has a lot to do with it and so does religious belief.  Even for Obama, part of him being “black enough” had to do with whether he was a believer or an atheist.  Then of course there were white Xians wondering if he was a Muslim or an Xian.  I don’t know what Muslims were thinking or if they even cared.  My point is, demographically religion breaks down into many areas even in the States.  Strangely enough, it seems more European Americans are Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, etc and more African-Americans are AMEC (African Methodist Episcopal Church), Baptist, and alike.  Then there are the Mormons.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 23 November 2012 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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TimB - 20 November 2012 01:53 PM
Dead Monky - 09 November 2012 08:25 AM

It’s not surprising.  Unlike many religions Christianity and Islam come with imperatives to convert.  And they’ve made one hell of a go of it over the years.

Not only the imperative to convert, but a tendency, at times to effectively wipe out other religions.

dansmith62:
That is only half of the story. It was the Judeo-Christian tradition and thinking which came up with the Age of Enlightenment, humanism, atheism, secularism, freedom of religion and universal human rights..

TimB:
I think it is safer to say that the Age of Enlightenment occurred within a society that was permeated with Judeo-Christian tradition and thinking.  Some of what you are attributing to Judeo-Christian tradition and thinking, probably arose in spite of it.

dansmith62:
It was Christians like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King who risked their lives and changed history. They created a real movement that made a difference while atheists read books written by Ludwig Feuerbach, Arthur Schopenhauer and Bertrand Russell.

TimB:
Granted MLK, Jr. was strongly influenced by his Christian belief system.  Rosa, however, was probably just too tired and fed up to move to the back of the bus that day.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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dansmith62 - 23 November 2012 06:38 AM
TimB - 20 November 2012 01:53 PM
Dead Monky - 09 November 2012 08:25 AM

It’s not surprising.  Unlike many religions Christianity and Islam come with imperatives to convert.  And they’ve made one hell of a go of it over the years.

Not only the imperative to convert, but a tendency, at times to effectively wipe out other religions.

That is only half of the story. It was the Judeo-Christian tradition and thinking which came up with the Age of Enlightenment, humanism, atheism, secularism, freedom of religion and universal human rights.

It was Christians like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King who risked their lives and changed history. They created a real movement that made a difference while atheists read books written by Ludwig Feuerbach, Arthur Schopenhauer and Bertrand Russell.

As far as Atheists doing nothing to change the world:  I suggest that, despite being members of the rather socially-despised (and minority) class of atheists, Thomas Edison, Alan Turing, Rosalind Franklin are a few who have done much to change their world. There are many other historical examples of atheists/agnostics who weren’t just reading, but rather made a difference, as well.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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George - 23 November 2012 09:04 AM

Mriana,

I am not blaming, nor rewarding, anybody for anything; certainly not your sons nor you. I leave that up to Tim, and, yes, you as well. Both of you, Tim and yourself, believe you have played a role in raising your kids to be acceptant of other races, and all I am saying is that, based on the studies of parental influence on the behaviour of their kids, this can’t be true.  Your older son started with a “genetic program” resulting in “looks white,” and the rest of his life was then shaped by his peers who played a role in shaping his character. The same goes for your younger son. And I understand it’s not easy for kids of mixed races. It wasn’t for Obama either.

George, I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating.  You over-generalize in your interpretation of the studies that you refer to.  That is as big a mistake as of those who overestimate the impact of nurture in development.  (Perhaps a bigger mistake as it suggests that we can have no impact on human behavior other than through, perhaps eugenics, or more direct genetic manipulation.)

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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dougsmith - 23 November 2012 06:44 AM
dansmith62 - 23 November 2012 06:38 AM

It was the Judeo-Christian tradition and thinking which came up with the Age of Enlightenment, humanism, atheism, secularism, freedom of religion and universal human rights.

Um, not really. Most of that came from classical antiquity as rediscovered in the late Middle Ages and the renaissance. The Bible had very little to do with it.

Well, there you go.  - more cogent and direct than my argument

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Posted: 23 November 2012 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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George - 23 November 2012 08:31 AM
TimB - 22 November 2012 09:13 PM

Surely, you would admit that the U.S. has smaller ratio, now as compared to 150 years ago, of person’s whose attitudes we would consider to be racist or bigoted.  Do you seriously think that that has happened solely due to natural selection?

Sure the ratio is smaller, but not because the same people (or rather their descendants) have changed. The demographics of the U.S. are very different today from what it was 150 years ago and there are many other factors why people who indeed may be racists won’t show it. People don’t change. Neither do crops.  cheese

George you don’t seem to listen to your own statements, sometimes.  You at least say that people may now be showing less racism than their forebearers.  Then you say that people don’t change.

Clearly, by your own statement, people have changed their behavior (you say due to demographics and other, presumably, environmental factors).  Perhaps you could go the next step and admit that people’s beliefs can change due to their experiences.  I suspect that you can recall having changed a belief or two sometime in your life, perhaps by reading a scientific study.  (That scientific study that led to your change in belief was a part of your environment.  It wasn’t pre-planted in your biological system.)

And regarding crops (at least you didn’t use the “L” word): Seeds that are exactly the same genetically will generally grow differently if they are provided different environments.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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George - 23 November 2012 08:31 AM
TimB - 22 November 2012 09:13 PM

IMriana’s son’s may have a sexual preference for females who have similar skin color, but that, by itself, does not reach the level of racism or bigotry.  Her sons are not racists or bigots.  Why is that? Perhaps, it had something to do with her consistently not behaving in racist or bigoted ways herself.  Perhaps it had something to do with her trying to teach them to judge others by the content of their character.  Perhaps it had something to do with the many many opportunities that her sons had to be in safe relationships with peers, family members and associates, of a variety of different backgrounds. If Mriana’s sons had been raised by the racist thugs that accosted them that day in St. Louis, I suspect that they would now have a level of racism and bigotry that is quite different than how they have turned out.

... Mriana’s kids have choices, the non-white kids in my children’s school don’t. They are so few of them, that they end up alone and hurting, until their parents are forced to move out of the neighbourhood. I am sure they blame racism for this. But is it? Am I doing something wrong for not pushing my kids to play with them? Would I fail if I tried? Probably, just like I am sure that Mriana would fail—...

 

I don’t know all of the answers.  But I think that here are answers.  I would hope that all kids, at least, have caring adults who would ask them and listen to them about their thoughts and feelings re: persons of different races, and maybe even watch parts of MLK’s “I have a Dream” speech and explain it and discuss it with them. 

When I was a kid, churches were pretty much completely segregated.  One summer, my mother volunteered at a black Vacation Bible School.  She took me along. I was the one white kid among 100’s of black kids.  I don’t know if I learned anything about racism other than “Wow there are a lot of black people in the world, (but they do pretty much the same stuff as I had always done in Vacation Bible School)”.  But in retrospect, I, also, experienced what it was like to be the “different” one.

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