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Author Topic: Whites go out of their way to avoid talking about Race  (Read 1898 times)
Tyehimba
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« on: October 30, 2008, 02:11:02 AM »

Seeing race and seeming racist? Whites go out of their way to avoid talking about race
Efforts to appear unbiased lead to misunderstandings between the races, studies find

WASHINGTON – White people – including children as young as 10 -- may avoid talking about race so as not to appear prejudiced, according to new research. But that approach often backfires as blacks tend to view this "colorblind" approach as evidence of prejudice, especially when race is clearly relevant.

These results are from two separate sets of experiments led by researchers from Tufts University and Harvard Business School. Their findings are reported in the October issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the September issue of Developmental Psychology. Both journals are published by the American Psychological Association.

"Efforts to talk about race are fraught with the potential for misunderstandings," said the studies' lead author, Evan Apfelbaum, a PhD candidate at Tufts University. "One way that whites try to appear unbiased is to avoid talking about race altogether, a tendency we refer to as strategic colorblindness."

In one study, 101 white undergraduate students were paired with either a white or black female partner who pretended to be another participant. The pairs were presented with 30 photographs of faces that varied in race, gender and background color. Each white participant's objective was to guess which of the photographs the partner was holding by asking as few yes-or-no questions as possible.

Even though asking about the race of the person in the photograph was a sound strategy for completing the task, white participants were far less likely to do so with a black versus a white partner. Moreover, when the black partner was the first one to have a turn asking questions, whether she mentioned race had a dramatic effect. White participants whose black partner asked about race mentioned race on their own turn 95 percent of the time. When the black partner never asked about race, white participants only did so 10 percent of the time.

"There was clear evidence the white participants' behavior was influenced by the precedent set by their partner, but especially when that partner was black," said Samuel Sommers, assistant professor at Tufts and co-author of both papers. "Whites are strategically avoiding the topic of race because they're worried that they'll look bad if they admit they notice it in other people."

The researchers also wanted to see how outsiders interpreted such interactions. In another experiment, 74 black and white college students evaluated videos of whites engaging in the photo task. The results showed that whites' effort to appear colorblind backfired. Black observers rated whites' avoidance of asking about race as being evidence of prejudice. What's more, when the researchers showed silent video clips of whites from the study to another group of individuals, those whites who avoided asking about race were judged as less friendly, just on the basis of their nonverbal behavior.

"The findings suggest that when race is clearly relevant, whites who think that it is a wise social strategy to avoid talking about race should think again," said Apfelbaum.

Even children appear to adopt this strategically colorblind approach. In another set of experiments, 101 white children between the ages of 8 and 11 were asked to perform a similar photo task. The children were told that asking as few yes-or-no questions as possible would mean they would get a higher score on the task.

The results showed that the older children, ages 10 and 11, avoided asking about race more than the younger children, even though this led them to perform less efficiently than their younger counterparts on the task. In a control version where all the faces in the photos were white, the older children outperformed the younger children, as expected. "This result is fascinating because it shows that children as young as 10 feel the need to try to avoid appearing prejudiced, even if doing so leads them to perform poorly on a basic cognitive test," said Kristin Pauker, a PhD candidate at Tufts and co-author of this study.

The authors associated with both studies said their findings offer several important implications. "Our findings don't suggest that individuals who avoid talking about race are racists," Apfelbaum explained. "On the contrary, most are well-intentioned people who earnestly believe that colorblindness is the culturally sensitive way to interact. But, as we've shown, bending over backward to avoid even mentioning race sometimes creates more interpersonal problems than it solves."

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Article: "Seeing Race and Seeming Racist? Evaluating Strategic Colorblindness in Social Interaction," Evan P. Apfelbaum, PhD candidate, and Samuel R. Sommers, PhD, Tufts University; Michael Norton, PhD, Harvard Business School; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 95, No. 4. (Full text of this article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office and at http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/psp954918.pdf)

Article: "Learning (Not) to Talk About Race: When Older Children Underperform in Social Categorization," Evan P. Apfelbaum, PhD candidate, Kristin Pauker, PhD candidate, Nalini Ambady, PhD, and Samuel R. Sommers, PhD, Tufts University; Michael I. Norton, PhD, Harvard Business School; Developmental Psychology, Vol. 44, No. 5. (Full text of this article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office and at http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/dev4451513.pdf)

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/apa-sra100108.php#
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nomo8
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2008, 05:20:53 AM »

There isn't anything offensive about race and culture being the subject of observation and critical thinking.The avoidance of it at all cost is a comfort zone for whites because, as we all know now, there is no more racism and everything is just hunky dory, the starting line is even, just stay in your part of town and we'll stay in ours.  A look into the scribes of the ancient world will reveal a robust discussion of race and culture (usually together) as a subject of interest and a means of avoiding unpleasentness in relations, especially trade relations.  By avoiding the subject all-together or never mentioning a person's race or culture in any context, the racist can loudly proclaim, "I am NOT a racist", which is a very common statment these days by racists.  For instance, (based on personal experience) a racist who has no problem supporting a war in which hundreds of thousands of brown and black women and children are butchered by high tech war machinery courtesy of my country and others allied to it (and vice versa) blithely explains the necessity of these measures as based on the strategic concerns of America and the additional observation that "they hate us anyway".  Like many of this stripe, the person did lament Bush's policy of attacking Iraq, as, ignorently, he believed that Iraq as a militant agressive power was necessary to protect our interests by attacking and waging continuous warfare against Iran, resulting of course in murderous calamity.  When accused of being a racist due to this support, the person was outraged and proclaimed as if on que, or robotically in fact, "I am not a racist!", followed by "you must really hate me".  That is another subject for those interested in mind control, the use of the word "hate" these days, to mean anything the authorities do not want discussed in a an angry or confrontational manner that might lead to some sort of enlightened view not consistent with official policy.  Thus we have "hate speech" laws and such, or crimes that carry extra heavy burdens if something impolite was said, while a crime where the purp kept opinions to him or herself while beating someone over the head receives a lesser sentence.  How absurd.

 As in the American, Vatican,  Australian and South Korean War against Viet Nam, the current wars in central asia and middle east are racist wars, even genocidal.  But the only "racists" now are portrayed in Orwellina frashion by this double think as those who would broach the subject at all!  N8
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Erik D.
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2008, 07:43:50 PM »

My guess is that whites avoid talking about race, to avoid offending black people.

Most whites really do think that forced perceptual colorblindness is what blacks want them to do.

I, for one, never realized that black people need or want white help in fixing the results of the injustices of the past.

But it makes sense... it's just that no one ever told me that, or explained it.

Most people don't know what they don't know, and can't really be expected to know it unless they are informed or taught.

I guess that's where I and other white rastas come in, and why Jah chose us, so we could reach and teach our people.

To teach, one must first be taught, but the Rasta Jah sent me to, to learn, ended up going away after we had a few disagreements.

I remember now that he said that I "had to learn", but I didn't know what he was talking about.

Most people are not mind readers, so if you want them to know something, you have to tell them directly.

Politeness and calmness also helps, because most people just shut down and don't hear the message when it's packaged with anger or other negative emotions.

People have a right to be angry if they want to be, but it's just counterproductive, and those wrestling with anger have to ask themselves if they'd rather be angry, or be effective in getting their message across.

That's just my perspective. 

If it benefits you in some way, I'm happy.

I'm glad I came to this forum.

I will try to learn as much as I can about the history and effects of racial injustice, and do what I can to help fix it.

I just don't want to be yelled at, insulted, threatened, defamed, or otherwise attacked or wronged.

I don't think that's too much to ask.
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EmpresKeneilwe
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 01:37:07 PM »

Greetings,
If I may share my thoughts, I've actually experienced a different scenario.

Where I am, geographically, I've realised that blacks are more fearing to talk about racism than whites. Yes, I agree that whites are generally taught this at a tender age, but I'd whites go out of their to scream "reverse racism" once you start talking about it. Just like any other topic that gets people worked up. From race, gender, politricks, religion.


Seeing race and seeming racist?

Now this is the qoute of the century...although it must change.

Hotep
Keneilwe
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Erik D.
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2008, 05:14:22 PM »

Many older white people are already very worried about their worsening economic situation due to the corporations weakening the unions, and shipping many jobs overseas.

So, now when black or hispanic people mention racism, the first thing many white people think is "oh, this must be to get a job, promotion or some other advantage over me", and so they get even more worried.

I'd say that's probably the biggest resistance in white people to accepting people of color, is the simple lack of jobs, and increased economic pressure to a people whose standard of living in the USA has already be declining for many decades.  I'm talking about working class and middle class whites.
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nomo8
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Posts: 101


« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2008, 01:48:00 PM »

It's an overarching propaganda stream that affects everyone, regardless of ethnicity or race.  The propaganda stream was started some time ago and now we are seeing the results, as you described in your experience, fear to speak based on new political correctness.  Obama is like C. Rice, a manifestation of this stream of propaganda, an individual chosen and manipulated by powerful forces to demonstrate that race and gender are irrelevent in terms of mind control.  It is shocking the support Obama is getting internationally and especially in Africa.  Obama consistently supports an Orwellian police state, ratcheting up the "war on terror", attacking Packistan, staying in Iraq to have a Nixonian "peace with honor" type conclusion, no real change in the establishment of permanent military bases there, AFRICOM (bribe to corrupt African leadership) , blind support of zionism, in short, continuing without any change we can beleive in.  Even there is Orwellian MK verbeage "change we can believe in", special emphasis on "beleive", no critical thinking involved.  So the issue of race, I would suggest has been turned on its head , as anything can if the language and perception of the observer is manipulated precisely toward this end and that is what we have been seeing, a monstrous development of Orwellian mind f****k, seen depressingly in the cheering crowds of Kenya, who will be sorely dissappointed one suspects when the thrust of American policy and that of its allies descends fully upon them, policies decided on long before another extortable puppet of low character takes the helm of the presidency of the USA.

What an irony, to make it seem even more befuddling, Africans are shown as exhuberant in their enthusiasm and "hope" via an election of a foreign head of state becuase and apparently only because he looks like them superficially???   I feel some empathy and pity for Mr. Obama and also great trepidation upon reviewing some of his speeches and general demeano.r If you painted him white and made him into a box and this box spoke exactly as he has and the box's friends and associates were all the same, it had a ciggarrette sticking out of the box, what would people say about this box?   Hasn't anyone learned the lesson of "packaging" of the president?  Someone on high is laughing at us - so this is what you want, eh? OK here it is, now tell me once again how important it is that we have a "person of color" in positions of authority in the USA (Collin Powell, etc). N8
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EmpresKeneilwe
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Posts: 101


« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2008, 02:20:10 PM »

Greetings.
'Tis indeed true that Africans at home are more enthusiatic than anything else.
What an irony, to make it seem even more befuddling, Africans are shown as exhuberant in their enthusiasm and "hope" via an election of a foreign head of state becuase and apparently only because he looks like them superficially??? 

That's exactly what is happening here at home. People get offended when you seem unsupportive of Obama because he's black. And I mean from all races, everyone believes he'll be there for black people. Look at what happened with us Azania (SA). When the ANC was voted into power, we thought WOW, a black president ruling white people...puhleeeaaazzz...

Black are still denied opportunities. Except those that give into eurocentric values/morals. Huh

So, now when black or hispanic people mention racism, the first thing many white people think is "oh, this must be to get a job, promotion or some other advantage over me", and so they get even more worried.

Too true.

Hotep.
Keneilwe
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