- March 11, 2002 at 12:00 am #2166
Why do white people feel the need to control all aspects of life and not to accept the contributions of others – until they witness or claim these contributions for themselves?
User Detail :Name : Daniel A., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Age : 27, City : San Francisco, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Musician, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower class, March 14, 2002 at 12:00 am #16331
What kind of question is this? I thought I read in Y? Forum’s policy that you publish only questions that merit discourse and elicit responses that aren’t based on racial bias.
User Detail :Name : J.G., Gender : M, Religion : Baptist, Age : 37, City : Culpeper, State : VA Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, March 15, 2002 at 12:00 am #30106
You’ve asked an excellent question, one that I’ve pondered for the longest time. Although I would say most middle-class and upper-class whites on an individual level try to not exert that type of behavior, as a whole they definitely do, whether they realize it or not. Why they do this – perhaps it may have historical roots. For instance, when one studies medieval history, the whole goal of the Anglo-Saxons was to ‘command and conquer.’ They wanted to broaden their boundaries, a desire going beyond race. It seemed as if violence was a quicker solution to obtaining lands than diplomacy. And in a way, they were right, because violence can cause a fearful respect. And when the gun was invented, things got worse. I think this initially is what got whites to possess their ‘power trip,’ because they were able to basically wipe out or enslave civilizations. And so consequently the remnants of the conquered civilizations (minorities) started to view whites as being better, because they had all the wealth and power (even though it had been stolen from others). Despite all this, I think non-whites or minorities are the largest contributing factor to why whites continue to power-trip. This is because minorities always subconsciously feel whites are superior. In fact, name a race that doesn’t in some form or fashion show this thinking. From posts I’ve seen on Y? Forum, all people of color discriminate based on light skin/ dark skin preferences. Japanese people portray their media with white features, even though most of their population is Asian. Blacks seem to associate being educated, successful and grammatically correct as being ‘white,’ but have a less positive stereotype for themselves.The list goes on, and when white people observe this behavior, it reinforces the idea they are better. White people will never be able to see other races’ individuality if these groups continue to act as if the white way is the right way.
User Detail :Name : Kristina, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 20, City : Washington, State : DC Country : United States, Occupation : Transcriber, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, March 15, 2002 at 12:00 am #30656
Everyone seeks to control his or her environment and optimize their own circumstances, regardless of race. If you feel as though you are powerless, your perception that others seek to ‘control all aspects of life and not to accept the contributions of others’ takes on additional meaning and force. Whites I know don’t think about the world this way. They try to do the best they can with conrolling whatever they can, and let the rest go. Whites spend one percent of the time spent by blacks thinking about race and ‘control.’ Blacks should stop wasting their time so focused on white ‘control’ issues and face the issues of black ‘control.’
An example might help. Young black males typically think of education as a ‘white’ thing. Yet education allows anybody to place things in context, help get a handle on probable causality, and therefore ‘control’ their environment better. Yet because doing well in school is viewed as acting white, and therefore selling out to the ‘power structure,’ young black guys are often willfully ignorant.
As to the contributions of others, I cannot say what you mean. If you are talking about the Afrocentric interpretation of history, for example, then much of that argument is sheer nonsense from a factual perspective. It is self-defeating posturing without substance, put forth in the vain attempt to make a people feel better about themselves. The wellspring of the dominant culture worldwide (i.e. democratically-oriented, market-based economic systems firmly grounded in empirically demonstrated causality beliefs) is fundamentally Eurocentric. Not completely so, but fundamentally so. This is not to say that other systems don’t have a measure of validity. Neither is it to say that other ways of going about things may not serve the individual or society better. It is simply that, at this point in human history, other systems lack the global success and worldwide appeal of a fundamentally Eurocentric model. At one point in history, for example, Arab-based Islamic culture held the preeminent position as the most appealing system. No so any longer. People everywhere want to eat, be sheltered, entertained and so forth. The Eurocentric model works better to satisfy these needs, and is therefore more appealing. Demonstrably more appealing.
User Detail :Name : T.C., City : Philadelphia, State : PA Country : United States, March 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #18771
One thing u say I can agree with. About many blacks (not all) not being educated because its not ‘cool.’ But the historical contributions that you fail to see or understand are definitely there. Our culture (America) is not Eurocentric. To say so shows total ignorance and lack of information. America’s culture was not always so perfect. Not until just recently. White’s capability to enslave, kill, torture, and steal from other nations was what built so called ‘ white America.’ The things whites may have felt to be superior and important in their society at the time (ie. large colonial houses, wigs, tea parties, puritan beliefs) was totally stupid to other cultures. Native americans, for instance, found had more important things to do. Teepees (excuse my spelling) were all they needed for there atmosphere, and that does not make them inferior. It was not until all the cultures of the world started to come together did America begin to change for the better. Specifically speaking, off the backs of enslaved Africans, during the immigration era of the 1870-1920’s, and during the civil rights era in the latter of the 20th century. Many parts of our culture did come from Europe (which is only partly populated with whites), but also equally from African, native american, and indian societies. Infact, a large majority of our culture derives from Egyptian architecture, science, mathematics, etc.
User Detail :Name : Nicole20038, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 18, City : Washington, DC, State : NA Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower class, March 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #29880
I agree with you totally. I was in Singapore for six months, and women bought skin-lightening products as much as Americans buy weight loss products. In Singapore, the majority of the people are Chinese, but there are also a significant number of Indians and Malays. The power structure there is so evident: the Chinese control everything, the Indians control what the Chinese don’t want and the Malays are the manual workers who fix the streets under the hot Singapore sun. Once again, the closer you are to white, the better you are. I was amazed to see all these beautiful people with such rich and immaculate histories try to be something they are not. It’s a strange phenomena, indeed.
User Detail :Name : Tammy, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 22, City : DC, State : DC Country : United States, Occupation : financial analyst, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, April 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #14714
Karl G. SiewertMember
I don’t know if it’s true that white people have a greater need for control. I do know that institutional racism means that whites have a greater ability to exercise that control. They also have a longer history of being in control and therefore a habit of exercising it.
User Detail :Name : Karl G. Siewert, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Lutheran, Age : 30, City : Tulsa, State : OK Country : United States, Occupation : Librarian, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, April 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #15748
I think the values and culture of those who begin a civilization will always play a dominant role in that society. What other kind of culture would you expect to find in a country founded by Europeans? It amazes me that non-whites are so shocked that a country founded by whites, and which contains a majority of whites, would have mainly white cultural characteristics. Do you feel ‘controlled’ when you surf the net, drive a car, open a bank account, watch TV, fly on a plane, enjoy life in a prosperous and free country? These, too, are part and parcel of white ‘control.’ Do you feel that you would feel completely free and uncontrolled if you lived in Africa? I doubt it.
User Detail :Name : Veronica24536, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, City : New York, State : NC Country : United States, April 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #29452
I don’t think the need to control is specifically ‘white.’ I think it has more to do with money. Those that have it have power and control and want to keep it. Those who don’t have money, power and control are the ones kept under control.’ Because of simple numbers, white people are still the majority in this country, so more of them have more of the money and subsequent power and control. If you look at other countries with a more homogenous population, there are still issues such as this present, but rather than being as obvious as white/black, the problem of control becomes more one of class structure. Take Great Britain: a pretty white place, but still there has been plenty of oppression based on the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots.’ I don’t think anyone would say that a man born in London is more white that a man born in Belfast, but for the last century one has been trying to tell the other that he is better.
User Detail :Name : Amy, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Disability : mental illness (bipolar disorder), Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Wiccan, Age : 27, City : Tampa, State : FL Country : United States, Occupation : mom, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, April 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #36509
I could have cried when I read this question because I thought it was just my imagination that many whites feel the need to control all aspects of life and not accept the contributions of others. I cannot help but notice that they are happier when they are in control.
Now, at least, I can recognize it for what it is. On the job, management can benefit from this, as it motivates competition, but it does nothing for team-building and relationship-building. It can also reduce creativity and breed resentment. Then, of course, the black person is labeled a trouble-maker.
User Detail :Name : Charlotte, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Catholic, Age : 40+, City : Memphis, State : TN Country : United States, Occupation : Computer Specialist, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, April 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #46168
First, you must see that this question is extremely racist. ‘White people’ don’t all act the same. As for white people not accepting the contributions of others, if you’re talking about black people’s contributions, the fact is, there are some who do accept them and some who don’t even know that they’re there. Lots of whites appreciate the work done by civil rights leaders. Look at music and literature, where black people’s contributions far outstrip their percentage of the population. These media could not be as commercially successful as they are if only blacks bought them. It might not be enough for you, but it is enough to invalidate your statement.
In response to Kristina: Middle- and upper-class whites try not to control all aspects of life? Does that mean that we folks of modest means do? You also mention the historical perspective of whites having been intent on conquering everyone through the ages, but you fail to mention that most races everywhere have always been intent on conquering those they considered ‘inferior’ to themselves. This includes Africans who conquer and sell Africans of other tribes into slavery, which happens even today in Sudan.
In return to the original posting: I know that the balance of power in the United States is skewed, and I know that minorities are screwed in more ways than white people can possibly know, but I still don’t see racism on the part of anybody ever helping or changing anything. Take the glass ceiling as an example. I can say that men are controlling all aspects of my professional life and not accepting my contributions, but if I say that, men will immediately feel defensive and wronged, causing them to ignore my contributions and fufilling this prophecy. If I decide to work with the men, I have to be secure and ignore some of their male traits, no matter how unfair they are or how much they bother me, simply because they don’t see them and wouldn’t see them even if I pointed them out to them. (I’m supposed to be a professional/technical writer, but when the secretary calls in sick and the phone rings, all male heads turn in my direction. I ignore them, and eventually one of them will pick up the phone.) If I absolutely could not stomach working with men because of their assumption that everyone has the same advantages they do, I would start my own business. I would control all aspects of my professional life.
User Detail :Name : Amber31547, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 29, City : Barrow, State : AK Country : United States, Social class : Lower class, April 18, 2002 at 12:00 am #47201
People will let you control whatever it is you want to control, but asking them to give up their power is another issue. They will let you control yourself as long as they have power over you. They will let you cotrol your job as long as they have power over that job. Power is a precious thing for white people, and they will fight you in the streets not to give up an ounce of it. Look through time and you will see evidence of this: The Civil War, blacks’ and women’s right to vote, civil rights, desegregation, equal rights for women, and on the list goes. So if it’s control you want, you have it already, but if you want power, over your life (and not police power to take your life), over where you want to live (not the power of the person denying you a loan) – the real power given to white people at birth – you have a fight on your hands, my friend.
User Detail :Name : Aaron, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 31, City : Palo Alto, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Customer Service Rep, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, April 19, 2002 at 12:00 am #14641
As usual you have missed the point entirely. I am not saying all whites are at the same success level and that they are all in on this together. But in nearly every position of political, social and economic power is a white man who most likely got there through a connection rather than merit. I can’t get a loan, attend a university to study my own culture or even drive a car without the white man’s permission. Why do you think that white artists can make a much more substantial living in the black asthetic than the black’s who created and innovated it? Why are we more likely to die a violent death? Why are our communities festering with police, drugs, prostitution and churches of the same denomination as those who oppress us? Though I cannot control my environment, I can control how I react to it, and that seems the only power a black person has in this country. But I cannot respect myself at the end of the day after simply rolling with the punches. If we truly were equal, then 35 percent of our males wouldn’t be locked up right now, would they?
User Detail :Name : Daniel-A27209, Gender : M, City : San Francisco, State : CA Country : United States,
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