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    • Ever since the BLM protests took the world by storm not too long ago, everyone seems to be tip-toeing around anything that could potentially be racially discriminating. Which I guess is kinda good, awareness and education is always the first step. But can overcompensating to try and raise racial awareness actually lead to "reverse-racism", which is kinda racist too?

      By labelling businesses as "black-owned", isn't that literally separating out business owners based on the colour of their skin? It may be done for good reasons, to help boost and promote said businesses, but it seems kinda "reverse-racist", which is also kind of racist, or is my perspective on this wrong?

      Another example is like people who choose to only watch movies made by black directors, or that have a majority black cast. Again, I understand wanting to support and encourage the black community in Hollywood, but isn't deciding to support only black creators in itself racist by nature?

      Personally, I don't care if a movie has any Asians in it, if I'm interested in a movie I'll watch it no matter who's in it. When I go shopping, I don't check to see if the shop owner is the same race as me or not, I just buy what I want from any shop I want.

      Maybe I'm missing something here, but it seems like we've just replaced racism with "reverse-racism" and we're back at square one.

    • We'd only need about 400 years of it to square the ledger too.

      Fortuntely that's not what the BLM folks want. They just want a fair go.

    • There are so many disadvantages and hurdles placed in front of a Black entrepreneur in the United States.

      I listen to Guy Ross’s How I Built This podcast and it’s completely insane the number of connections that the founders profiled had. For example, a fine dining restaurant empire founder got a New York Times review on his first restaurant because his friend was one of the reviewers there. Prior to that, his uncle had arranged, through his connections, an internship at a top restaurant in Paris.

      If you are Black in the United States, you can be prejudged by your name before they even meet you: culturally, there are differences in the typical names chosen by Black and White parents.

      Only 1% of venture capital backed founders are Black:

      In 2016, I decided to come back to the U.S. and raise venture capital from Silicon Valley. I believed my vision to democratize manufacturing for small businesses could scale up and change the world. Having lived abroad for almost 10 years, I had forgotten the extent to which race was a factor in America. I was surprised that almost all of the VCs I spoke with were white men. In a hundred small ways every day, my interactions with them conjured up the old memories of condescending looks and feelings that I did not belong.

      I spent 18 horrifying months trying to raise VC money. I spoke to approximately 150 funds before getting to “yes.” Roughly 120 of the partners I pitched to were white. None of them gave me term sheets. I pitched approximately 30 nonwhite VC partners and received five term sheets. Look at those statistics and tell me race was not a factor.

      Let me be clear: I don’t believe that VCs wake up every morning and repeat to themselves that they are going to maintain white supremacy and not fund black founders. But my experience isn’t unique: 1% of VC-backed founders are black, according to a study byRateMyInvestor and DiversityVC, and 81% of VC funds have no black investors, according BLCK VC.

      I ended up raising an $11 million Series A. How much quicker would it have gone had I been white? How many people in my shoes would have given up after hearing “no” so many times?

      I don’t know if supporting Black-owned businesses is the best way to reverse generations of racial inequality. I think providing both universal healthcare and free college education would have a much more profound positive impact on disadvantaged communities in this country. However, I’m in favor of any efforts that keep a spotlight on where we need to continue to do better.

      Further reading

    • "the BLM folk . . . just want a fair go."

      Exactly; and they should have it. And it would benefit everyone! Impoverished white people suffer from the same lack of access to healthcare, education and capital as their black and brown neighbors but racist propaganda continually proclaims that they will be disadvantaged if someone else is advantaged. How do we combat the Big Lie?

    • And it would benefit everyone!

      This is the thing that has always defied me. How does depriving people of getting a good education, health care and a decent wage benefit anyone? Not the rich, because they need everyone to buy their products. Not the crime fighters, because desperate people steal. Not the government, because they need tax payers, not unemployment payouts. Not health care workers, because the uninsured clog our emergency rooms and can’t pay.

    • I wonder if we misunderstand racism when we treat it so objectively.

      If you have been through hardship, you probably realize that resilience is a key concept. Systemic racism Is a direct attack on resilience, as is poverty (terrible housing, lack of food, subpar healthcare, absence of nourishing relationships—all that stuff).

      Learn more about how someone’s resilience matters and don’t concentrate so much on the political concepts of racism. Resilience is a human concern—racism is a divisive term.

      IMHO, helpIng each other develop resilience and feel resilient is much more Important than worrying about whether this thing or that thing is racist.

    • Westlakes Wildcats.

      Back in the 90s I started a Junior Basketball Association.

      I had a long career - played at starting centre at representative level. Didn’t have the hops to make it to the semi-pros but did alright setting screens and rebounding in the rep grades.
      I lived out of town a way and it was a 40-minute drive to get to the stadium.

      When my kids wanted to play as well, I was making that drive 4 or 5 nights a week. It got a bit old pretty quickly but there were no local competitions for kids. So I decided to do something about it.

      I booked Friday nights at the local YMCA, asked the American Pros from the city’s NBL franchise to visit the schools in the local area to promote a sign-on day - and a hundred and fifty kids turned up to register.

      Then I conscripted a few of the keener mums to form a committee and we got the club registered with the state body, formed the Association and started holding games.
      I got some support from the Y, (and ended up joining its board of Directors – which was a real eye-opener, but that’s another story). I refereed most of the games myself while I was training up a few of the high school kids to blow the whistle - and teaching some of the mums and dads how to coach at the same time. Running it turned into a part-time job.

      Some Mormon Elder missionaries poked their heads in one night and they were quickly conscripted to bench scoring duties, which they enthusiastically embraced. An easy way to rack up their required community hours. The only proviso I made was no preaching in the Y. But the way the community got past their suspicion of the Mormons when they found out they were nice people, keen to help out, was gratifying.

      Everyone was welcome. The numbers and age group competitions swelled. We stated to run on Monday Nights as well. We were up to 300 kids and youths.

      Then Stevie showed up. A fit Aboriginal man fresh down from the Torres Straight Islands, a bit shy, but with a wide smile and a decent three-point shot. We started shooting around after the kid’s games and the next week I had him on the court refereeing with me. He became a fixture. In time I made him my Assistant manager. The kids loved him. He might as well have been Jordan. Because the kids loved him the parents warmed to him as well. We became friends. Me and a few of the dads formed a team and played in the A grade in town, ‘The flash’ was our point guard, we were all BBQ social. Stevie even got a job working in the Deli at the local supermarket on the back of his community popularity. And the club kept growing. We started to run Junior representative teams at State. So it continued till we moved to NZ in '01.

      A few years later Stevie wrote me the best email I have ever received. About how a Black man can overcome - if people believe in him and how much better his life was for walking into that YMCA that night. What it meant to be welcome.

      Then in the late 90’s many of the Aboriginal residents in public housing in Sydney were relocated to our area to make way for the Sydney Olympics (a blight). There was a large influx of Awabakal folks to the area and quite a lot of understandably edgy youths hanging out at the Y. There was nothing else to do on the fringe of the city as we were.
      So we got them uniforms and integrated them into the club. They became part of it. Basketball doesn’t see colour very well.

      Although it did have some funny moments when they played the local high school teams. The white High School kids wore black singlets and the Koori kids wore white singlets.
      More than once while refereeing, when the ball went out of bounds, I called ‘white ball’ or ‘black ball’ and both teams came to grab it. Laughter ensued.
      I even got a Community commendation for the work on integrating the community. It didn’t mean as much as Stevie’s letter. It was an interesting chapter in the journey.

      I wish our Nation’s history was filled with stories of learning about the Husbandry of the land from the original inhabitants and respect - rather than the way it was written, and a million other things. But I can’t change that. All you can try and do is make a difference now.

      I don’t think there is any such thing as ‘reverse racism’. There’s just racism – and I hate that shit.

      As far as giving minorities a perceived advantage in business funding etc - I'd personally be more inclined to call that 'compensation'.

    • If you want the answer, you must define better "reverse racism". But racism as a discrimination has and will continue to exist, as long as people live. And it's primarily - to my mind - defined by obstruction and defilement of those targeted, delivered by someone with powers, over the others. Commercializing skin color slogans, to my mind - does not qualify as racism, it's more of a spinless hiena talk.

      Racism, the real one whether reversed or not - and by the way I think "reversed" is a bit of a ridiculous notion / just flip that mirror please - can take forms of manifestation you might have not even began to dream of. Racism is equal to intense hate, even irrational hate (as if there was ever rational hate). Nothing defines it better. You don't question hate, you just try to understand and absorb the effects of it. There are a thousand reasons someone might hate another person. Do they all come from inside, or outside? Does it matter?

    • If you have been through hardship, you probably realize that resilience is a key concept. Systemic racism Is a direct attack on resilience, as is poverty (terrible housing, lack of food, subpar healthcare, absence of nourishing relationships—all that stuff).

      This has been with me all day, since I read it. My word to myself for 2020 is resilience from now on.

    • Honestly, I wonder if the constant and life-long chipping away at their resilience is what makes people of color more susceptible to the ravages of Covid.

      As a white woman, I find it nearly incomprehensible.

    • I don't like Facebook much. I've never completed my profile. The only reason I have one (basic profile) is for managing pages - my page for self-promotion and some of my customer's for the same reason. Otherwise I'd delete it.

      I'm not worried about privacy much, but I never receive anything incoming, because of the flow of Racist crap that ended up attached.

      Back in the early stages it shocked me. People in the bike industry particularly, that I had accepted friendship requests from - who were nice enough in real life - turned out to be complete rednecks and islamophobes online - re-posting far right bullsh@t that showed up on my timeline.

      I don't know what the solution is, but as often discussed on Cake, there's a real problem with a lot of platforms for spreading and cultivating the stupid.

    • I resigned when Jan got a job as Director of Surgical Services for new Hospital in Auckland. Huge career break. Had to go.

      I have a few interesting stories about being the ONLY white guy in the Otara (South Auckland) Basketball competition. The rough end of town. I have quite prominent Aussie motif tattoos on my shoulders too. I only ever encountered one teenager who had a race issue with me. And he was just a kid who was in that 'angry with everything' stage. Otherwise the brown people treated me just like I tried to treat Stevie. "Come to the Hāngi and meet Auntie". I did. She was a machine. They even changed the team name when I joined. From the 'Coconuts' to the 'Coconut Creams'. They were funny blokes. I instilled some discipline on defence and we won the B Grade.

      Karma can be kind too.

      Interesting that some plated garish plastic can mean something along your way. It was a nice farewell.

    • I feel in some cases reverse racism can be bad. Like, it can be harder for Asian students to get into top colleges because schools want to have a more diverse student body pool, which leads to Asians competing against other Asians. That issue needs to be addressed.

      On the other side of the coin, I do think there's a lot of good in trying to level the playing field and acknowledge that African-Americans were given a raw deal and that we shouldn't expect them to make up for lost ground when we are the ones who held them back.

    • Seems like a good place for the first new music from Midnight Oil in 20 years.

      The Gadigal are the traditional owners of the land now occupied by the city of Sydney.