Thursday, June 19, 2008

Race and rights -- what can be more controversial?

I guess abortion and war. Maybe. But people around here love to talk about race -- even if they don't really do it.

For instance, when someone hears me say I had to cover a shooting, they always want to know if the victim was black or white. Today someone was trying to describe the patrons of a night club to me as "urban." Do they mean city dwellers? I think not. The list could go on...

Here's a story from the middle of the Pacific that I thought was interesting. Being a Native Hawaiian myself, I think about this a lot. Being a journalist myself, I'll withhold my opinion.

But does anyone out there care? In northwest Louisiana, folks tend to think of things in black and white, regardless of the influx of Hispanics and Asians. (Some contend Hispanic is an ethnicity that can be grouped into the black or white races. Thoughts on that?)

Do you think the U.S. government or anyone else should be held responsible for actions (now) dead men took more than 100 years ago against people who are no longer living? (Congress apologized for it in 1993.)

18 comments:

JColtF said...

I say one thing about "reparations", find me some slave owners and give their slaves "reparations". The better life they enjoy here in America as opposed to those living in Africa are "reparations" enough.

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

Share the same view on Hawaiians, jcoltf?

JColtF said...

Do you think Hawaii is better off now than it would have been without the US?

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

I already said I don't give opinions on things like that because I'm a journalist. Do you?

Anonymous said...

Dude-you're from freakin Doyline and went to LSU. Get over the whole Hawaiian discrimination thing. It never has affected you. I guess you have to be some kind of discriminated minority to fit in at the Times (or at least in the Times mindset).

And by the way, the "people around here who like to talk about race" are mostly the Times reporters, editors and publisher. The Times stirs up racial animus more than anyone else. If "people here tend to think of things in black or white," it is in large part because of the Times.

Move on to other topics and quit beating us over the head every day with it and we might progress past it. That means in Link 222 also.

JColtF said...

I would have to say that Hawaii is FAR better off than it would have been without the U.S., besides, if it was not a U.S. possesion in WW2 then it would most likely be a Japenese possesion and we all know how they treated conquered people.

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

Thanks for the thoughts, jcoltf. That's what this blog is for. Interestingly, last time I checked the largest ethnic group in the islands was Japanese. If you’ve been, you see a lot of restaurant menus and tourist signs in English and Japanese.

As for anonymous, I hardly think asking you a question is beating you over the head. You have no clue of how anything about my background – race, hometown, education or otherwise – has affected me. Something obviously hit a nerve with you. Feel free to help us all learn how to move on… although I never said we were stuck.

Thanks for reading anyway. Say what you will. Long live free speech and kama'āina and GEAUX TIGERS.

Donecia Pea said...

Yeah Adam clearly you hit a nerve with anonymous, lmao. WOW, tell us how you REALLY feel!

Adam, I guess you didn't get the memo: The Times alone is responsible for all the racism not only in Shreveport-Bossier, but the state, the country and heck, let's throw in the whole world.

It's hilarious to me how we've blogged about a gazillion different topics on here, but the mere MENTION of the word race is what typically evokes the strongest reactions, and typically they come from anonymous posters accusing us and even The Times for 'beating them over the head with it everyday,' lol.

Good post Adam!

JColtF said...

"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. ... The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic. ... There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else." -Theodore Roosevelt

It is as true today as it was then

Stephanie Bemrose said...

Okay, jcoltf, I have to disagree with you.

Yes, it's good if we can all see eye-to-eye as Americans, as a collective whole. But I believe it's important to celebrate our heritages and backgrounds, collectively and individually.

I used to be a VERY active member fo the base Women's History Committee. I LOVED helping with, promoting before and publicizing afterward with a story (and attending the events, of course) for the other National Observance Committees (Hispanic Heritage, Black History, Asian-American Pacific Islander, and I could go on and on). There are MORE observances being added each year, such as a recent addition of a Jewish observance, and locally on base, there's now a Cajun observance committee.

I should point out that MOST of these observances are Department of Defense-directed observances. (Cajun is a local one so it's not.) So the base recognizes them not only because they want to but because I believe that according to DOD policy, they also have to. So another president along the way after Roosevelt must have seen the vision for all these different groups of people to have time to celebrate and honor their background.

Now, something I should point out that some people sometimes forget is that these organizations and events are NOT for the people whose name is on the roster. It's for everyone to learn about and to honor everyone's heritages. The local base is doing this is by having a Multi-Cultural Diversity Day in July where all the NOCs come together in one event.

So although I would somewhat agree with you that collectively, we should all think of ourselves as Americans, I strongly disagree that we should only label ourselves as American and not celebrate and honor and educate others about our backgrounds.

So here's kudos to Adam for sharing some of his background without adding his opinion on the topic at hand. That's a start!

JColtF said...

If someone feels strongly enough about thier heritage then let them go back to Europe/Africa/Asia and proclaim amongst the locals that they are just like them and come back and tell me how it goes. I come from an Italian/Lebanese family(crazy I know) and I would not feel right at home in Italy and definately not in Lebanon, this is my homeland and my heritage, right here in America.

Anonymous said...

Can you really be a good american, if you constantly try to set yourself apart from your neighbor. It's one thing to perserve your heritage, but its another to use it to your advantage when it suites you. An American is an American, not matter what your cultural background is....thats what makes us Americans...not Irish-americans or English-Americans. Does anyone understand where I am coming from?

JColtF said...

I will give you this, if you hopped off the boat/drove accross the border or your parents did AND you can speak the language of your or your parent's native land then you are an Something-American, if not, your American. And I remind you that "Jewish" is no more of a race than "Christian" so natuarally they observe their traditions and faiths.

mahogani (the media goddess) said...

who is they? @ jcoltf? and how the hell (excuse me link 222) would you know what "their" life is like in america?

never mind, don't answer that ... because i don't want to be forced to show my ethnicity by attacking your backwards, grand dragon a$$ bigotry ...

go out on the mud porch and have a beer and stfu.

JColtF said...

"Who is they?"- Yo! Why u sweatin me, I jus sayin dat if u iz American den you can't be sumtin else unless u iz an immigrant or the child of an immigrant...word.

Aren't you late for dominoes and drinking 40s with your "homies"?

As for how "their" life in America is, I would bet that in almost every case, their life here in America is better than it would be in the "motherland" otherwise they wouldn't be here.

mahogani (the media goddess) said...

lol @ jcoltf ...

i guess that was your way of attacking my grammar lol .. this coming from the man who spelled "Japanese" wrong and "possession" wrong TWICE ... but i bet it was much easier for you to write the broken English than it was for me to read it lol ..

as for THEY ... whether you're talking about an african who came to america or an american of african descent it's not easy to live in this country ...

and many africans come here to get educated and then back to the "motherland" to help their people ... something u wouldn't know about since u seem to have denounced your heritage ... it's not our fault we're a tad more loyal to our culture ...

and by the way .. we're on the south, not on lennox av in nyc ... we don't say "yo" or "word" ... and i don't drink alcohol or play dominoes ...

but i bet you would dare spew this crap around me and my "homies" .. lol ...

u attack me on one blog and agree with me on another ... lol

omg .. fuuuuunnnnnny

mahogani (the media goddess) said...

oops let me be my own spellcheck before pro-fess-ur j-colt gets me lol ...

*then GO back

*we're IN the south

*you WOULDN'T dare


i was typing fast .. sorry lol

JColtF said...

It's not so much attacking you as pointing out where I disagree, I agreed with what you said on the other thread but not on this one.

Glad you got a laugh out of it, I honestly think race should NEVER be an issue in anything. I think that the worst form of racism is telling a group that they NEED your help, I personally believe that everyone can achieve what they want if they go after it.

I am loyal to America which is my culture and hold no ther loyalties to any other culture/country.

As for pride in what my ancestors have accomplished, I am proud of what they have done but it doesn't reflect on me or my accomplishments becuase I wasn't there. The point I am trying to make is that I don't deserve credit for what my ancestors have done, just what I have done. Being the descendant of a great person doesn't make you a great person, sure you can be proud of them and your heritage but you had no more to do with it and than you did with the color of your skin.