Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

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SaulChanukah

Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by SaulChanukah » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:23 pm

Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

By Jan Hefler

Inquirer Staff Writer

Victoria Arter was stunned by the loudspeaker announcement.

"Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers," she recalled hearing the calm male voice begin. "Will all the black people please leave the store. Thank you."

Her shock turned to anger, Arter said, when more than five awkward and frightening minutes elapsed before management at the Wal-Mart in Turnersville came on the public address system.

"We waited and waited. Some people just left their carts in disgust and said they couldn't believe it," said Arter, an African American woman who was shopping at the store on Route 42 when the announcement was made shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cooperating with the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office and Washington Township police, which are investigating the event as a possible racial-intimidation crime. More than 10 African Americans have signed a complaint with police.

"We're just as appalled by this as anyone," said Ashley Hardie, a spokeswoman for the discount-store chain, "and anyone who did this was wrong."

Law enforcement is examining surveillance tapes inside the store. But the P.A. system can be accessed from 25 telephones in the building, and not all are within camera range, said Bernie Weisenfeld, spokesman for the prosecutor.

The 24-hour superstore has about 700 employees, many of them part-time, and some of the store's phones are accessible to the public, Weisenfeld said.

Last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged Sam's Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart, with violating federal law by allowing a work environment hostile to Latino employees. Since the 1990s, the EEOC has filed about 60 additional discrimination actions against Wal-Mart.

"This is despicable," Phil Warner, coordinator of the NAACP's chapters in South Jersey, said of the announcement. "It's 2010, and we're still facing those issues."

Warner said he hoped Wal-Mart would take quick action if the person responsible for the announcement can be identified.

"Whether it was a prank or whether it was serious, the level of insensitivity is apparent and is a reminder there's still a need for people to work toward decency and equality," said James E. Harris, president of the New Jersey NAACP Conference.

Shortly before police arrived at the Wal-Mart, an assistant manager broadcast an apology to customers still in the store.

Arter, an assistant bank manager from Sicklerville who said she has frequently shopped at the Wal-Mart, said she was still upset by Sunday's events and was boycotting the store.

After it happened, said Arter, 29, the whole store fell quiet. Then people got on their cell phones, she said. Soon, customers were asking the management for answers.

The incident could have ended much worse, she said.

"It could have led to violence," Arter said. "It could have triggered someone who was having a bad day. I don't want to be an innocent bystander to something because of someone's not-so-funny joke."

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by david johnson » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:20 am

perhaps it was a mad former employee

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:23 am

Twas probably some SEIU thug softening up the co. for the full-bore union assault that's coming from card check.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Ralph » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:32 am

Apparently it's possible for people to access the P.A. system from phones located throughout the stores. They are changing that.

They're no way to stop evil people from doing things like that. In Chicago in the past few years vicious racist comments have come across fire department radios. Whether it's a firefighter or someone who picks up the mike when the companies are at a run, the impact is real.

While these incidents are almost invariably the act of one person, they can't be laughed off or ignored.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Guitarist » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:25 pm

I see it as a twisted attempt at a JOKE! On some level, it was rather amusing. Any race could have been substituted with the same result...the thought of having any single race leave a store is funny. Get yer politically correct panties unbunched!

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:30 pm

Truth to tell, when I've been caught at the end of very long "20 or less*" lines in Wal-mart, I've been tempted to shout Immigracion! just to clear out the line. I know it would work, but I don't have the cajones for it. :D


*Apparently that refers to the number of items you have, not the number of people in line.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Seán » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:51 pm

"Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers," she recalled hearing the calm male voice begin. "Will all the black people please leave the store. Thank you."
The term used was "black people" it could have been much worse. From my perspective - and admittedly it is from thousands of miles away - this appears to me to be little more than a harmless prank. Now I am not aware of the political and social sensitives of race relations in this area of the U.S. but I am wondering if people have lost their sense of houmour or is everybody just so sensitive to other people's "feelings" that one dare not do anything at all that may cause offence? I'm interested to know what you think.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:17 pm

Seán wrote: Now I am not aware of the political and social sensitives of race relations in this area of the U.S. but I am wondering if people have lost their sense of houmour or is everybody just so sensitive to other people's "feelings" that one dare not do anything at all that may cause offence? I'm interested to know what you think.
Wonder no more, except that it is not necessarily just or even at all the feelings of others to which people are being sensitive.

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Ralph » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:50 pm

Guitarist wrote:I see it as a twisted attempt at a JOKE! On some level, it was rather amusing. Any race could have been substituted with the same result...the thought of having any single race leave a store is funny. Get yer politically correct panties unbunched!
*****

A joke? With our history of slavery and racism? This has nothing to do with humor and obviously only a target that has experienced pervasive discrimination would have been the subject of this vicious act. It's not "politically correct" to react with anger. " It's basic decency.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Ralph » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:52 pm

Seán wrote:
"Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers," she recalled hearing the calm male voice begin. "Will all the black people please leave the store. Thank you."
The term used was "black people" it could have been much worse. From my perspective - and admittedly it is from thousands of miles away - this appears to me to be little more than a harmless prank. Now I am not aware of the political and social sensitives of race relations in this area of the U.S. but I am wondering if people have lost their sense of houmour or is everybody just so sensitive to other people's "feelings" that one dare not do anything at all that may cause offence? I'm interested to know what you think.
*****

Learn some American history Sean. I was talking yesterday to a first generation law student whose parents came from Ireland and heard belittling comments made about them because they came from a farm. They didn't find anything funny about being stereotyped by morons.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:45 pm

Seán wrote: I am wondering if people have lost their sense of houmour or is everybody just so sensitive to other people's "feelings" that one dare not do anything at all that may cause offence? I'm interested to know what you think.
You broke the code. Behind ever whiney humorless victim is a cadre of lawyers intent on making the speaker's life or his company's life sheer hell. It's not a two-way street, however. Minorities are never held to account for their own racism. Whites are everybody's whipping boy.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:18 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
Seán wrote: I am wondering if people have lost their sense of houmour or is everybody just so sensitive to other people's "feelings" that one dare not do anything at all that may cause offence? I'm interested to know what you think.
You broke the code. Behind ever whiney humorless victim is a cadre of lawyers intent on making the speaker's life or his company's life sheer hell. It's not a two-way street, however. Minorities are never held to account for their own racism. Whites are everybody's whipping boy.
Such an "announcement" is insensitive and inappropriate (and that's the best of it) irrespective of any other consideration. Far from finding this one thing of all things about the US to criticize, you might be proud that our consciousness has been raised to a level where the unacceptability of the incident is taken for granted. Evidently, there are countries where it is still winked at, or worse, when people indulge in thinly disguised whole-group disparagement.

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:31 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
Seán wrote: I am wondering if people have lost their sense of houmour or is everybody just so sensitive to other people's "feelings" that one dare not do anything at all that may cause offence? I'm interested to know what you think.
You broke the code. Behind ever whiney humorless victim is a cadre of lawyers intent on making the speaker's life or his company's life sheer hell. It's not a two-way street, however. Minorities are never held to account for their own racism. Whites are everybody's whipping boy.
Such an "announcement" is insensitive
So? Okay, I wouldn't say it and you wouldn't say it, but does it justify calling out the law dogs? Com'on!
Far from finding this one thing of all things about the US to criticize, you might be proud that our consciousness has been raised to a level where the unacceptability of the incident is taken for granted.
This from someone who rarely has anything good to say about our real strengths? Let's just say I don't consider the lawyering up of society a necessarily good thing.
Evidently, there are countries where it is still winked at, or worse, when people indulge in thinly disguised whole-group disparagement.
Yeah, but that's because the civil rights pimps get jailed or killed there, so they leave them alone. They are most successful screwing up western democracies where their activism falls into the category of destructive diminishing returns. At this stage in the west, civil rights pimps account more for the balkanization of the country than they do for any "social good."
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Guitarist » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:36 pm

Someone needs to go here:
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and buy a sense of humor.

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Ralph » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:02 pm

Turnersville, NJ - Arrest Made Over 'all black people leave' Announcement at New Jersey Walmart
Published on: March 20th, 2010 at 08:53 PM
News Source: NY Daily News

Turnersville, NJ - A 16-year-old boy was busted for broadcasting a racist comment over the public address system of a Walmart in southern New Jersey, police said Saturday.

The youth - whose name was not released because of his age - was charged with harassment and bias intimidation for the incident last weekend in Washington Township.

The boy was released into the custody of his parents after his Friday arrest.

"This was an extremely disturbing event on many levels," said Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton. "Any statements like these that can cause harm or grave concern must be addressed as quickly as we can."

Authorities said it was unclear if the announcement was ad-libbed or premeditated and said they were investigating a second youth who accompanied the arrested teen to the store.

The incident drew national attention after a male voice came over the store's public address system last Sunday and calmly made the shocking announcement.

"Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now," the voice announced.

A manager quickly commandeering the microphone and made an apology, but outraged customers complained to store management.

Walmart officials condemned the incident, saying the behavior was "unacceptable."
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Barry » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:15 pm

Ralph wrote: A joke? With our history of slavery and racism? This has nothing to do with humor and obviously only a target that has experienced pervasive discrimination would have been the subject of this vicious act. It's not "politically correct" to react with anger. " It's basic decency.
I agree. But what IS politically correct is that when I posted a story about the extent to which violence perpetrated by African-American students (the majority in the school) is making it impossible for Asian students (a minority in the same school, and the facts of the case I posted indicate pretty clearly that they were singled out by black students because of their race) to learn in peace in a Philadelphia high school, nobody seemed to care or want to touch the story with a ten-foot pole. Shouldn't there be just as much anger about that case? In fact, when we compare the consequences, shouldn't there have been even MORE anger?
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Ralph » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:32 pm

Barry wrote:
Ralph wrote: A joke? With our history of slavery and racism? This has nothing to do with humor and obviously only a target that has experienced pervasive discrimination would have been the subject of this vicious act. It's not "politically correct" to react with anger. " It's basic decency.
I agree. But what IS politically correct is that when I posted a story about the extent to which violence perpetrated by African-American students (the majority in the school) is making it impossible for Asian students (a minority in the same school, and the facts of the case I posted indicate pretty clearly that they were singled out by black students because of their race) to learn in peace in a Philadelphia high school, nobody seemed to care or want to touch the story with a ten-foot pole. Shouldn't there be just as much anger about that case? In fact, when we compare the consequences, shouldn't there have been even MORE anger?
*****

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Barry » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:38 pm

I'll take it. :wink:

But the fact remains that a lot of people don't like to talk about things like that, and yes, that's in large part because of the PC factor that renders us incapable of discussing some issues from multiple perspectives.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by SaulChanukah » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:54 pm

Arrest Made in Wal-Mart Intercom Case

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/loc ... 04842.html

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by jack stowaway » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:12 am

SaulChanukah wrote:Arrest Made in Wal-Mart Intercom Case

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/loc ... 04842.html
The above newspaper story is indicative of the American media's hyperbolic reporting of such incidents -- reporting which contributes to the general hypersensitivity over racial --i.e. Black -- sensibilities in the US.

Among other absurdities, the paper features a photo of, and I quote, "a WalMart paging victim." And, naturally, a number of 'outraged customers intend to boycott the store' as punishment for ....what? A too-accessible tannoy system?

The same report claims that authorities are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

In my opinion the hysterical and irresponsible media reporting is the real crime. In its quest for ratings, the MSM has a genetic tendency to ramp up every incident into an excuse for national soul-beating, especially if said incident involves the Holy Grail of Black sensitivities.

As several posters have pointed out, the incident is actually quite funny. And, no doubt, if whites had been asked to leave the store the media would have featured the story as a humourous item.

And please, no lectures on American history, slavery, racism or any other excuse for a lack of humour or sense of proportion.

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Jean » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:17 am

I am genuinely astounded that anyone here thought this incident was in any way funny. Further, I think it would have been equally bad if the person had targetted gay men, lesbians, jews, republicans, democrats, women, redheads or short people.

I do not believe in extra penalties for hate motivated crimes. I do not believe in reverse discrimination of any kind. However, I also do not believe there is any room for any behavior that smacks of discrimination or bias.


Most jokes have context that makes them funny. Of course there is room for the non-politically correct joke...but it too usually has context (including venue) that makes it funny.
No such context existed here.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by jack stowaway » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:46 am

To each according to their taste.

I will say that the British, Irish and Australian public, generally, seems far more robust and adept at finding the ridiculously funny in a situation than its mainstream US counterpart. The Anglo-Irish sense of humour can be compared to laughter at a funeral. It's appalling, tasteless, inappropriate, shame-inducing --and hilarious all at the same time. I like to think that this sense of the ridiculous saves us from the worst excesses of political correctness. Laughter is the surest innoculation against the professional Tragics who insist on foistering their sense of outrage on everyone else.

One of my funniest moments at the cinema was in the US viewing a British film. An English family are seated around a breakfast table when the following exchange takes place:

Mom: Dad. Why don't you put that newspaper down and talk to your kids!
[Kids: mucking about and creating a scene]
Father: [Still reading newspaper and in a bitter tone of voice] I'll put a bloody hatchet through their heads any minute.

Cue myself and the Brits in the audience rolling on the floor with laughter. Cue gasps and horrified exclamations from the American audience members.

I take your point about context; but the thing that often makes things so funny is the lack of context -- the ability to find humour in the absurdities of life --as in the WalMart incident.

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:59 am

jack stowaway wrote:To each according to their taste.

I will say that the British, Irish and Australian public, generally, seems far more robust and adept at finding the ridiculously funny in a situation than its mainstream US counterpart. The Anglo-Irish sense of humour can be compared to laughter at a funeral. It's appalling, tasteless, inappropriate, shame-inducing --and hilarious all at the same time. I like to think that this sense of the ridiculous saves us from the worst excesses of political correctness. Laughter is the surest innoculation against the professional Tragics who insist on foistering their sense of outrage on everyone else.
You guys may not have the number of agressive ankle-biting minorities we do in the country. The race card has been their get out of responsibility card for 40 years, since MLK died anyway. It's for damn sure you don't have governments stupid enough to creat a legal system that churns out statutes with "private attorneys-general" and empowers them to sue the crap out of anyone that looks sideways at them. That's why the Trial Lawyers' Association loved the Dems so! When the Latinos decided to follow in the blacks' footsteps, I knew we were in for a lot of expensive trouble. I'm going to put up a glimpse of what life is like for employers since the Civil Rights' Act in 1964 and the creation of the EEOC. Can you say 'nightmare of unintended consequences?' It's like the Americans with Disabilities Act for unintended consequences: 1) horrendous financial burdens on schools and on children that have put up with the relentless drive to mainstream so society won't have to pay for special care; and 2) the greatest number of people resorting to the act for protection in the workplace are drunks and drug addicts: once they appeal to Employee Assistence, you can't get rid of them and their misbehavior represents a constant libiability risk to the employer. I used to feel sympathy for minorities until it dawned on me that both they and the lawyers abuse the system without shame or compunction.
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Seán » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:40 am

jack stowaway wrote:To each according to their taste.

I will say that the British, Irish and Australian public, generally, seems far more robust and adept at finding the ridiculously funny in a situation than its mainstream US counterpart. The Anglo-Irish sense of humour can be compared to laughter at a funeral. It's appalling, tasteless, inappropriate, shame-inducing --and hilarious all at the same time. I like to think that this sense of the ridiculous saves us from the worst excesses of political correctness. Laughter is the surest innoculation against the professional Tragics who insist on foistering their sense of outrage on everyone else.
Jack is spot on. Here are a few short clips in support of what he has written:

From the Father Ted comedy series:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNY376o2 ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYcj_BRn ... ature=fvwp

From Fawlty Towers, the mad Hotel Manager meets the German tourists:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfl6Lu3xQW0
Seán

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by jack stowaway » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:28 am

Hilarious clips. Something to offend everybody.

"What do you say to a cup?"
Feck off, cup!"

I fear that such wonderfully anarchic humour is going to be next on the PC hit list -- especially as so many people are determined to find something to be offended about.

A public that can find the humour in the video links cited in Sean's post would be very unlikely to bring lawsuits over the Walmart prank. They'd be too busy laughing.

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:52 pm

There's a saying that when the devil is vanquished, he leaves behind a shadow. Black slavery was such an enormous evil (or if you consider slavery and the aftermath of racism separate phenomena, evil spawning evil), so near the top on the all-time-human-history list, that its distortions continue to propagate down the generations. I know everyone wants to stop hearing about it, but it is against that background that any apparent "over-sensitivity" in US society needs to be measured.

It is difficult to convey the nuances of the situation to non-Americans. Here is a story that involves no offense: Years ago when I lived in the near-in DC suburb of Takoma Park, Maryland, I bought a Sunday paper from a young black man on the corner. An elderly black woman walked up and asked "Do you have Afro?" referring to a newspaper covering topics of interest to the Afro-American community. The man doffed his cap to show the woman his close-cropped hair, and I laughed out loud, but the woman didn't get it. The man pointed to me and said, "He gets it," which made me laugh harder.

Here is a story that is at least borderline: At the Catholic school where I taught in Maryland, the priest/chaplain was giving his sermon from the stage of the auditorium (a horrid setting for Mass but I won't go there now) and he made the following statement: "Black people are comfortable about using their bodies in worship." It would have gone past most of us, because surely we all knew that in Gospel churches which we associated with almost exclusively black congregations it is common, for instance, for the choir to sway back and forth during the music. But our one African-American teacher went ballistic, as she always did when anyone in the school made even what seemed to be the most innocuous reference to race. Over-reacting? Maybe. But what would have been wrong with "Gospel church," or not using an adjective at all, and besides, there are black people who worship in other traditions that do not involve holiness, gospel, soul, or praise features, whatever you want to call them.

And then there are occurrences that are unquestionably offensive in the US context, like the one that prompted this thread. If anyone doesn't get the distinction of the three situations, sorry, that's the best this poster can manage at the moment.

Corlyss has taken the opportunity to offer one of her rants on the evils of people taking wrongful advantage of social progress. She may be addressing real and refractory problems, but let's keep in mind that this extends the scope of the thread, which is not an objection, but which can easily distract us from the original issue. To address her thoughts succinctly, while I don't think we should just forever grin and bear the threat of cries of racism as a tool of intimidation, that is also part of the devil's shadow. And though I agree with Barry that it is part of the problem of the urban underclass and needs to be addressed, compared to what it took to vanquish the devil it does not seem like a hopeless situation.

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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Barry » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:08 pm

jbuck919 wrote:There's a saying that when the devil is vanquished, he leaves behind a shadow. Black slavery was such an enormous evil (or if you consider slavery and the aftermath of racism separate phenomena, evil spawning evil), so near the top on the all-time-human-history list, that its distortions continue to propagate down the generations. I know everyone wants to stop hearing about it, but it is against that background that any apparent "over-sensitivity" in US society needs to be measured.

It is difficult to convey the nuances of the situation to non-Americans. ...
I agree with you, John. And you may have seen me write on here on the fact that I'm a strong believer in the notion of mass group psychological baggage. It's not an easy thing to overcome.

But it also has to be understood at this point that because it's become unacceptable to be overtly racist due to the gravity of past injustices, being tarred as a racist has now become one of the most serious accusations one can be charged with in our society. So it shouldn't be thrown around lightly. And I'm afraid that it is thrown around way too often by public figures, and also people on this board, in cases where it's simply not in evidence. Just look at the current tea-party thread. Assuming the people who shouted those words weren't plants as Randall suggested, nobody is excusing what they said. They're ignorant beyond belief. But how can you hold onto the notion that all blacks shouldn't be tarred by the actions of the minority who behave irresponsibly and simultaneously charge an entire political movement with being based on racism because a few people shouted racist or homophobic words? I've said it before, and I'll say it again ... those kind of unjustified generalizations are doing serious damage to the tone in this country. They give rise to a lot of bitterness.

And I have to say the Democrats are playing it to the hilt today for the media. Pelosi walked to the Capital locked arm in arm with Rep. Lewis, the old-time warrior from the real civil rights era, with the clearly message they're trying to get out being that they are overcoming the same kind of injustices that African-Americans faced during the Jim Crow era. It's utter B.S.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Corlyss_D
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:16 pm

All this obsession with what was suffered over 100 years ago reminds me of Falkner's comment about the past: The past isn't dead. In fact, it isn't even past." How long, O Lord, are the generations to be humbled before the sins of people dead for hundreds of years? How much penance is enough?
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jbuck919
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Re: Inquiry into racist announcement at Glouco Wal-Mart

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:35 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:All this obsession with what was suffered over 100 years ago reminds me of Falkner's comment about the past: The past isn't dead. In fact, it isn't even past." How long, O Lord, are the generations to be humbled before the sins of people dead for hundreds of years? How much penance is enough?
Well, you're addressing the right entity, but it's been both more and less than 100 years. (Not to be interpreted by our literal-minded members as my actually believing that our societal problems related to race are more than metaphorically a punishment by God for the sins of our ancestors. But they do linger in proportion to deep and recently vital roots.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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