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    • 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.

    • I have the same reasoning. Why are we not going by American owned businesses? That is unifying. That’s equality. My reason for shopping at a business is if it’s locally owned, customer service, products carried, quality of products, and price. I don’t ever think to myself “ I will only shop at a store if said store is owned by a certwIn race. Why would I? Is is a locally owned store carrying products made in America? That’s what I think of, as well as what I’ve listed above. Have we gone too far , and actually caused a divide that can very well place our children’s future in a position that’s limited, small, angry, divided, and at risk of losing rights as well as loving in a country that no longer believes in democracy and equality? Isn’t this push to only shop one races businesses also illegal in a sense? We have laws that protect races and the opposite sex in the corporate world. Even if I am more equipped for the promotion, a law makes it to where my skin color will legally cause me to be passed for another race or gender. How is it ok then to push this agenda of where we should choose to shop over the owners race? I have researched the topic, why the big push to only shop at black owned stores”? I understand the community of black business owners has been hit harder due to the volume of covid cases being larger for this race. However, are we sending the message that the businesses who have been hurt due to covid in one race of business owners are more important than other businesses owned by other races? I’m asking this in a sincere manner. I’m the type of person who believed in ADULT, respectful conversations that are held to solve issues and to educate people. I will never engage with anyone who decides to attack me, so save your time if you just want to attack me. I do welcome other opinions from others who are affected by this personally. I will not respond to someone who wants to troll and further a divide though. Your post was well thought out and written. Thank you for it.

    • As for universal healthcare, look into countries who use this system closely. I don’t believe this is a fair, ethical, or safe way of life. Why? In universal healthcare systems people are chosen who live and die due to what they contribute to said society. This does happen 100%. This is an unethical and dangerous system, especially for special needs parents like myself. Not to mention, business 101 teaches us that nothing is free. Someone will pay for this type of healthcare system. In fact, this was recently proven in America with “Obamacare”. I know this personally, in fact, because we were a family who ended up with unimaginable premium increases as well as unethical deductibles, so the insurance companies could stay in business by giving free health care to a high risk client. Healthcare is NOT free. If healthcare were free (just for starters) insurance companies will all go bankrupt within less than a year if their business portfolio were to remain the same as it was prior to insuring a large volume of high risk clients for free.


      As for free tuition for college tuition to those who are underprivileged, it’s already happening.

      Please don’t feel I’m being rude in my reply. I’m sincerely asking yournooonion and stating real facts that I personally have been affected by. 😊

    • >>In universal healthcare systems people are chosen who live and die due
      to what they contribute to said society. This does happen 100%.<<

      Nah. Not here.

      In Australia we have universal heath care paid for by an income tax levy.

      It's not a perfect system, but it's a very good system. And it is available to all - regardless of socio-ecomomic or social standing. In fact the poorest and most disadvantaged benefit from it the most.

      The better-off top it up with Private insurance.

    • In universal healthcare systems people are chosen who live and die due to what they contribute to said society.

      Michelle, are you American? My impression is that point of view seems to be uniquely American because I've never heard Canadians, Australians, or Europeans believe that about their health care systems. It does seem to be true of America, though, because here you have to be employed or rich to get healthcare.

      We buy the Affordable Care Act plans for poor members of our family who are unemployed, but they live in a conservative state so they hate Obamacare, but the ACA is fine with them.

    • Ha! I wondered if that was why Biden’s team thinks it’s a good idea to rename it “Biden-care” now that so many Americans rely on it. Maybe conservatives won’t have the same visceral (racist?) reaction to BidenCare as they do to ObamaCare and the program could continue to grow...

      Sad.

    • So my father-in-law reluctantly buys ACA coverage for a couple who got lifesaving care from it, but yesterday they showed up at his house maskless and simply invited themselves in after attending their family’s Thanksgiving dinner maskless. He’s 90.

      They have a steady diet of Fox News so to them Covid is a hoax and masks take away your freedom.