My Personal Race Revelation - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bottomline1 View Post
Your experience and thoughts are similar to mine; I appreciate your taking the time to share those with us.

For the most part we have always lived in predominantly "white" neighborhoods. I've watched from a distance when blacks or mexicans move in and began to notice that the characteristics I dislike the most about those sub-cultures didn't come with them. They mowed their grass, washed their cars, painted their houses, didn't hang in the front yard blaring boomboxes, kept their small children close--in other words they evidenced the same values I have and respect. As time passed the skin color of these neighbors disappeared and their middle class values emerged pre-eminently.

My rentals are all occupied by minorities in suburban neighborhoods. These are nice single family homes with one condo that value at median home price or above in this area. Uniformly, each tenant has shown great pride in the care of the home and most of the time I get paid on time. What I've noticed amongst my tenants is a fairly low level of skill at repairs but I attribute that to lack of experience in early years. There is a reason tenants aren't homeowners; most will be renters for the long term.

I've come to believe that what I look for is adherence to my middle class values; the closer the better. With that, no problem.
When I think back to neighborhoods I had to drive through on the way to work many years ago, and how horrible they were, I can see stages of progression in how I perceived them. I started off in amazement, then got to disgust..."It never improves! What's wrong with these people?" You tend to latch on to the first answer that springs to mind, which is the easy one - not the right one - and blame it on race.

But even that didn't quite make sense...and it started me really wondering, and trying to figure out, what's at the root of what I was seeing?

It took about 15 years for me to realize, it's not about race at all. It's about stupidity. Rundown trailer parks are the "white" version of inner city ghettos, which is probably the same as the extremely poor barrios, etc. possibly for very different reasons, but to the same effect.

There's no doubt that this type of stupidity travels with poverty, for some reasons that are probably readily evident.

More thoughts later...
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 09:44 AM
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So it's not that they don't look like you, it's that they don't act like you. But the song remains the same. Does that about sum it up?

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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^ There are lots of types of people who don't act like me, and who aren't so stupid as to be self destructive. I don't have all the answers I'm looking for yet, to be sure, but what I do know is that the "undesirable behaviors" which we see tightly concentrated in small pockets across the country aren't genetic in their origin. They're environmental. That means you have to take a much closer look than most people do, in order to determine one's traits and characteristics...on an individual basis. May seem like a baby step to some, but it's significant in that it's miles away from where Fuzzy Zoeller was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Zoeller;1997 Masters
"That little boy [Tiger Woods] is driving it well and he's putting well. He's doing everything it takes to win. So you know what you guys do when he gets back in here? You pat him on the back and say, 'Congratulations' and 'Enjoy it' and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it? ... Or collard greens, or what every the hell they serve."
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 10:30 AM
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Lemma guess, they called him "Eagle Eyes Zoeller" before Tiger got a hold of him...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR View Post
^ There are lots of types of people who don't act like me, and who aren't so stupid as to be self destructive. I don't have all the answers I'm looking for yet, to be sure, but what I do know is that the "undesirable behaviors" which we see tightly concentrated in small pockets across the country aren't genetic in their origin. They're environmental. That means you have to take a much closer look than most people do, in order to determine one's traits and characteristics...on an individual basis. May seem like a baby step to some, but it's significant in that it's miles away from where Fuzzy Zoeller was.
Just playing devil's advocate, not suggesting that I'm above it. I grew up in a culturally diverse large city, so I was never uncomfortable around minorities or even ghetto culture. I am uncomfortable around trailer trash/cowboy culture, in part because I was never exposed to it until well into adulthood. To be honest, I can't go near Apache Junction or other AZ trailer park towns without holding my nose, which I'll admit, is largely my own failing.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 10:39 AM
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Very similiar to my own experience. The craziest and most dangerous race in Texas is white people.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:41 PM
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QBNCGAR,

I, too, have come to the same conclusions as you have. But as you have said, the problem is stupidity, not race (or even culture). So the solution is ..? Maybe it's better to herd all these folks into a getto or trailer park rather than disburse them across normal people? Do you want any of these people working on your MB or doing your banking?
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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by FeelTheLove View Post
Very similiar to my own experience. The craziest and most dangerous race in Texas is white people.

There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man’s notion that he less savage than the other savages.

-Mark Twain

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馬鹿は死ななきゃ治らない。

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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 09:36 PM
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I am going to disagree on a technicality. I don't think it is Stupidity. And I say this based on more relatives than I care to count that we would, if we didn't know them, or know they were related to me call redneck white trash.

Some of the environmental issues that they have grown up with are, to me the critical factors that have brought them to this point. When I look at the cousins [all 19 of us in our 40s-50s - five families], I see a very wide socio economic spread. I am fortunate to be at the top of this generation [but a cousin of the next gen will blow by me as he is an exec at Berkshire Hathaway...he is doing well]. Only 3 graduated from college and one is dead. We also have one who was next cell over from James Earl Ray at Brushy Mountain Prison and one who lives on the street.

At least seven live in trailers and at least one I will not actually sit down in when I am in his trailer. Same goes for his sister's house. I cannot understand it.

Now, as for jobs, most work [except for the one on the street and a couple of moms]. Several are self employed and that usually means part-time. Their brick laying skills are, however amazing. Another one is a skilled titanium welder at Boeing. She quit school at 10th grade.

Point of all that history is, none of these cousins are what you would call stupid. Some made stupid decisions. A couple are truly lazy but for the most part they scratch and get by, work their 50 hours a week, live their life in a good honest way. In the highschool placement tests that everyone takes, all did well. Family environmental issues kept most on the ground. Not because they did not want to achieve, but because the incentive was not there [nor was money for most of them].

After a while incentive, spirit and will started to dissolve. And that is the important part. I watched this unfold over decades. After a decade of poverty, the will to improve just was gone. It did not matter if the rest of us helped deal with problems or not, whether we offered to assist with money, time or jobs, once the will was gone, it was gone.

I can take this same set of data and move it to friends, acquaintances, folks that work for me or folks that I help when I do counseling for their budgets. The circumstances port very well.

Every month, when I do budget and checkbook counseling in Eastern Kentucky I see the same issues. 20-25% unemployment in an area contributes. Some say "move". When that happens, the infrastructure of "volunteer child care" goes away. The network of church and family goes away. The only security that many of these folks have goes away.

So when we see the projects and the trailer parks, we tend to look at them and see a real mess. Those are interwoven networks for many folks. The security they find in those neighborhoods are very hard to replace by simply moving to the next squalor.

One other thing. Get to know the guys that do your motor work or your concrete or your gutters or wait on you at restaurants. And when they invite you to their little cookouts, GO. You will enjoy the energy more than you can imagine.

I have been to parties at the Plaza and Sardi's in NYC, Alex in Vegas, Bel Air in La and some of the most fun I have had is at parties in places that most of us would never think of leaving our car parked overnight.

These folks are not stupid, they have just "worn" differently.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-26-2008, 06:48 AM
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I stand in the wings as a spectator on this one. Q did make a fine essay of his feelings, however i cannot agree that stupidity is the base cause.

I left school in 1967 to go to college and up to that year my friends were a mixture of cultures. Their homelife was different to mine, their food was different to mine, they spoke more languages than me, some were brighter than me and some were plain stupid but we were friends and i accepted them all for what they were.

Now here I am many years later living in a developing country and the people are still my friends, i can accept them all, no matter in which squaller they live.

I have friends here from 36 countries and many of those poor countries at that and some of them i would judge as stupid but i dont turn my back on them for that.

Some people break with the rules of society and they are the ones who give their own people a bad name. For instance what is the proportion of blacks in jail to white? Dont figure because they break the rules they are stupid NO.

There are intelligent and stupid black and whites in jail.

ERIC.

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