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Stop Snitching! What the hell is "Urban Culture"?

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Posts

  • HorusHorus Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Being a Latino living in Inglewood (Cali) I wondered what happened to the thug culture that was very heavy in this area. I concluded that the rise of cost of living caused the crime to move into the suburb of LA. I know there are areas in Los Angeles that say another story.


    I was one of those kids who made it out of it but no help from my family or the school system. My family was really opposed of me going to University, they viewed community college as appropriate for me(influence of do what your class is suppose to do). My schooling was horrible, I had really bad teachers (not all) where I can say they gave up on me. Especially middle school, kids who where at the top or thugs got more attention or perks than someone who had As, attended class, behaved and did their best. I think thats one problem in schools, only those who do bad always got the intervention with the cool ex gang member who will take them out to Six Flags or some awesome places as means to save them from the streets. Thats just my experience because I know people who went from A student to thugs just for this sole reason (not admitting it). Stupid reason to change your lifestyle but remember at this age you want to feel accepted and be part of something because puberty you start changing and feeling weird.

    I remember kids in my class who talked about their brothers life of thug/crime as an honor. I remember when ex gang member came over to discuss how bad gangs are, a kid in my class goes, "Thats my brother" over photos shown of convicted felons. He became the popular kids of fifth grade.

    Horus on
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
    ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Also, this seems to draw parallels to the report on how the worlds poor spend their money poorly. I guess that might be true regardless of what counts as poor in your society.

    That article rubbed me the wrong way.

    How dare they spend money on a funeral!

    MrMister on
  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Zalbinion wrote: »
    [non-snarky] I'd love to hear what you have to say. Where do you live? I've been in Philadelphia for about a year now, and as a white male with Philly as my first experience living in a major urban center, I've noticed lots of class and race things going on in the community, but there's a lot to process.
    As was said in a local song two years before it mysteriously ended up in a Jay-z song, I'm from the murder capital, where we murder for capital. I'm from Gary, Indiana.

    What do I have to say? I don't even know where to start. Even posting in this thread has been difficult, because I've been trying to talk about things in isolated fashion as to not get into the bigger and deeper picture. It's layers upon layers of things. I can only somehow sum it up by saying, more than anyone else, those in "urban culture" should have the blame of all of the negatives of "urban culture" laid squarely at their feet.
    valiance wrote:
    I knew this worked one way, but African Americans take insult to being associated with Africans? What happened to the days of Afrocentrism and the Black Star line and nubian goddesses and whatnot? I mean I guess its an understandable reaction, noone wants to be mistakenly identified as part of a culture they're not actually a member of. But on the other hand there was a time Black Americans looked to Africa for inspiration and some sense of hope. I guess its the other way now with kids in Africa emulating American gangbangers (bad), getting into hip hop (good) and generally being more African American as American culture becomes more ubiquitous.
    It could be backlash. After all, the disdain that African immigrants have for blacks wasn't going to go unanswered for long. It could be the non-conformity to "urban" culture. It could be that the whole afro-centric thing went out when you would no longer find Africa patches everywhere. I'm not sure of the exact cause, but trust me, the disdain is now on both sides.
    It doesn't always seem like it from the outside, but several hundred years of oppression suffered at the hands of whites does account for much of "thug" culture. This was also true of Afrocentrism, except the oppression being focused on was inevitably that of Africans and first-generation slaves, which at this point in time doesn't really feel relevent anymore. Thug culture is a bit more realistic in that at some level it focuses on the social and economic oppression still looming, albeit no longer officially, over minority communities.
    No. You can't honestly equate afrocentrism and thug culture. One was a movement telling people who were constantly told they were lesser that they actually weren't lesser. The other is a movement telling people who were constantly told they were lesser that they should be proud of being lesser.
    Horus wrote:
    I remember kids in my class who talked about their brothers life of thug/crime as an honor. I remember when ex gang member came over to discuss how bad gangs are, a kid in my class goes, "That's my brother" over photos shown of convicted felons. He became the popular kids of fifth grade.
    ...that they should be proud of being lesser.
    Irond Will wrote:
    It's basically economic class issues dressed up as race issues
    To a good extent, I'd say you're correct, but there are serious race issues here to consider. Why? Because if the majority of blacks engage in "urban culture," urban culture will come to define all blacks, as it seemingly has.

    Raggaholic on
    Feral wrote:
    Hell just froze over, because I just agreed with everything Raggaholic said in post about sex.
  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    valiance wrote: »
    On the one hand, I agree that this really isn't about race. The urban thug culture has its representatives in cultures worldwide. Just because it's endemic to American Blacks doesn't make it a "Black culture" (in fact I argue that it is this false identification of Black = urban thug which makes American urban thug culture uniquely crippling to Black Americans) See Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals for an interesting discussion of how the ancestors of our modern "Black urban culture" may have come from the Scotch-Irish. I actually don't endorse Sowell's theory, I know too little about the subject to say either way, but regardless of the veracity of his ideas, it is evident that Black Culture != urban culture. As just one example, (Black) African immigrants may be the best educated immigrant group in the US: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/03/black_immigrants_an_invisible.html This rails very strongly against the anti-intellectualism of urban thug culture (and the racism of American culture) which equates being educated to being white.

    On the other hand, to deny the connection between urban culture and the Blacks who both perpetuate it AND are victims of it, would be disingenuous. Though urban thug cultures are associated with certain groups of people (not necessarily racial/ethnic groups), in the US this culture happens to be embraced by Black people. I suspect that all African American culture--including urban thug culture--has been molded around the systematic racial abuse, discrimination, and disenfranchisement Black people suffered until maybe 50 years ago here in America. The anti-intellectualism and crippling self doubt that is a result of that abuse is still a huge part of urban thug culture. Maybe all urban thug cultures are a result of disenfranchisment and systemic abuse, but I suspect that because the abuse here in the US was largely of a racial nature, urban thug culture clings disproportionately to African Americans and is to some extent tied in with their racial identity. To wit, an African American of non-urban thug extraction, but who identifies with African American culture, still suffers collateral damage from the association between urban thug culture and African Americans. "White culture" as a whole condemns urban thug culture, but for American Blacks, urban thug culture has seemed to become the dominant ethos. The fallacious connection between being an American Black and being part of urban thug culture is the uniquely crippling element of urban thug culture on Black Americans.

    90% of American blacks were in the South at the start of the Civil War. As such, they were also subject to the redneck culture that permeated the poor South during that time. It's tricky to separate the impact of slavery vs the impact of absorbing that culture, since almost all blacks at the time were influenced by both.

    What isn't tricky is that since the Civil War there has been much greater opportunity for poor Southern whites to escape that self-defeating culture than poor Southern blacks.

    Most of what comprises "thug culture" today isn't black at all, anyways. Saying "ax" instead of "ask"? That's Chaucerian Middle English. The word "thug" is from the Indian Thuggee sect. Using the infinitive form of "to be" originated among the Scotch-Irish. When poor Scotch-Irish Britons came to the US they did settle largely in the South. Their culture did feature a demand for respect, being quick to violence, and anti-intellectualism (compare that to the Northern influences of the Puritans and Quakers). Ironically it's the thugs themselves who are "acting white" by embracing that culture.

    Either that or the whole concept of racial culture is stupid to begin with. An American black is going to have less in common with a Swahili tribesman or a Kenyan farmer than a fellow American of any race in most cases.

    BubbaT on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Elkamil wrote: »
    I'm really tired of culture; it seems to be the primary fall back of people who don't understand economics.

    I love you so much right now.

    Shinto on
  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Elkamil wrote: »
    I'm really tired of culture; it seems to be the primary fall back of people who don't understand economics.

    I love you so much right now.

    I had a pretty long discussion about this with a friend awhile back. (This might be derailing the thread a bit, and if so, I apologize) but I commented on how culture (of any kind) was really counterproductive most of the time. He responded by saying (half-jokingly) that because I'm a white American and thus don't have any culture, that I didn't know what I was missing. His argument was basically that culture made the human race more interesting (I think he somehow used the word "flavorful" in some analogy), but I wasn't buying it. Culture (or really any tradition), I said, is really just a lame excuse for doing something because either your peers or your elders did it that way. Doing something just because its "part of your culture" is just as stupid as doing something because "all my friends are doing it". As with everything, if you haven't thought about why you're doing it, and agree with those reasons whatever they are, then you're just being mindless zombie, no matter how rich that culture may or may not be.

    So, to tie this a bit more into the discussion, I agree with the idea that it is largely an economic issue. Minorities in the US (or I guess lots of places, really) have been pushed out of where the money is (slavery, to segregation to glass ceilings, etc) for so long, that its become part of the culture to rebel against the gatekeepers of the money (my parents hated "The Man" so I should to) even though I'd venture to say that it is much easier to move up in economic status now than it has ever been.

    chrono_traveller on
    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry Pratchett

    George R. R. Martin is not your bitch. ~ Neil Gaiman
  • MentalExerciseMentalExercise Indefenestrable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Elkamil wrote: »
    I'm really tired of culture; it seems to be the primary fall back of people who don't understand economics.

    I love you so much right now.

    I had a pretty long discussion about this with a friend awhile back. (This might be derailing the thread a bit, and if so, I apologize) but I commented on how culture (of any kind) was really counterproductive most of the time. He responded by saying (half-jokingly) that because I'm a white American and thus don't have any culture, that I didn't know what I was missing. His argument was basically that culture made the human race more interesting (I think he somehow used the word "flavorful" in some analogy), but I wasn't buying it. Culture (or really any tradition), I said, is really just a lame excuse for doing something because either your peers or your elders did it that way. Doing something just because its "part of your culture" is just as stupid as doing something because "all my friends are doing it". As with everything, if you haven't thought about why you're doing it, and agree with those reasons whatever they are, then you're just being mindless zombie, no matter how rich that culture may or may not be.

    So, to tie this a bit more into the discussion, I agree with the idea that it is largely an economic issue. Minorities in the US (or I guess lots of places, really) have been pushed out of where the money is (slavery, to segregation to glass ceilings, etc) for so long, that its become part of the culture to rebel against the gatekeepers of the money (my parents hated "The Man" so I should to) even though I'd venture to say that it is much easier to move up in economic status now than it has ever been.

    I disagree with your friend. You don't know how to appreciate culture not because you are white, but because you are privileged. But the more problems you have in life the more culture helps you as a template to fall back on. Culture isn't just strict traditions, it's everything about how you interact with people. And you can break those mores all you like if you have the time and energy to re-engineer all of your interactions with people, but if you have major family problems, or addictions, or mental illness, or are scraping to get by you need something to fall back on.

    It is up to the people that do have the time and energy to change how people view things, to try to affect culture for the better. Thug culture is something that grew because there were, and are, people that have a vested interest in it. Those people change over time, and there are often many different groups of them acting at once for different reasons. It has great negative effects so there should be people working against it, however people that try tend to get publicly crucified for it as being racist, or self-hating. Y'know, because of those people that have a vested interest in thug culture. I am happy to say however, that this seems to be changing. I have seen a greater resistance to the unhealthy portions of thug culture recently. So I have hope that things are getting better.

    MentalExercise on
    "More fish for Kunta!"

    --LeVar Burton
  • ZalbinionZalbinion Registered User
    edited August 2007
    So, to tie this a bit more into the discussion, I agree with the idea that it is largely an economic issue. Minorities in the US (or I guess lots of places, really) have been pushed out of where the money is (slavery, to segregation to glass ceilings, etc) for so long, that its become part of the culture to rebel against the gatekeepers of the money (my parents hated "The Man" so I should to) even though I'd venture to say that it is much easier to move up in economic status now than it has ever been.

    Economics and culture intersect, so it's not really an either/or situation. Because of that, I strongly disagree with your assertion that economic mobility is on the increase. The "urban culture" of African-Americans in major urban centers like Philadelphia is directly tied to their economic circumstances, i.e. poverty and high unemployment (due to lack of opportunities). Here in Philly, gangs and violence doesn't occur just because people are evil, or short-sighted, but rather because the "thug lifestyle" is the only or most lucrative lifestyle available to this community. Kids are dropping out of school, joining gangs, and selling drugs because they make so much more money doing that than getting a crappy low-wage job somewhere else, and the legal penalties for minors lower the stakes for getting caught. How do you convince kids to stay in school, tough it out, and avoid all the temptations around them when they have literally no other personal examples of alternative lifestyles leading to success?

    Zalbinion on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    valiance wrote: »
    I knew this worked one way, but African Americans take insult to being associated with Africans? What happened to the days of Afrocentrism and the Black Star line and nubian goddesses and whatnot? I mean I guess its an understandable reaction, noone wants to be mistakenly identified as part of a culture they're not actually a member of. But on the other hand there was a time Black Americans looked to Africa for inspiration and some sense of hope.

    In the sixties Africa was just emerging from colonial rule. There was a lot of hope for the future and defiance of the white rulers that had held them down. You can see the connection and the symbolism for American blacks.

    Then fourty years of poverty, disease and war made Africa symbolic of wretchedness. No one wants to use that as a banner.

    Shinto on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Zalbinion wrote: »
    So, to tie this a bit more into the discussion, I agree with the idea that it is largely an economic issue. Minorities in the US (or I guess lots of places, really) have been pushed out of where the money is (slavery, to segregation to glass ceilings, etc) for so long, that its become part of the culture to rebel against the gatekeepers of the money (my parents hated "The Man" so I should to) even though I'd venture to say that it is much easier to move up in economic status now than it has ever been.

    Economics and culture intersect, so it's not really an either/or situation. Because of that, I strongly disagree with your assertion that economic mobility is on the increase. The "urban culture" of African-Americans in major urban centers like Philadelphia is directly tied to their economic circumstances, i.e. poverty and high unemployment (due to lack of opportunities). Here in Philly, gangs and violence doesn't occur just because people are evil, or short-sighted, but rather because the "thug lifestyle" is the only or most lucrative lifestyle available to this community. Kids are dropping out of school, joining gangs, and selling drugs because they make so much more money doing that than getting a crappy low-wage job somewhere else, and the legal penalties for minors lower the stakes for getting caught. How do you convince kids to stay in school, tough it out, and avoid all the temptations around them when they have literally no other personal examples of alternative lifestyles leading to success?

    My understanding is that most drug dealers who are hanging out and selling actually make below minimum wage. Apparently it works like sports or acting - highly visible success among the elite draws an ocean of laborers who will never really succeed at it commercially, but persist at the lower rungs because they believe in the dream that they will someday rise. Dealers on the corner think they are going to be the guy in the club with the entourage and the hummer, etc. so they keep dealing and live with their moms.

    Shinto on
  • TigressTigress Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    For some reason, I find knife crime scarier than gun crime.

    Because it is.

    If someone pulls a gun on you, there's a chance that it's just for intimidation. Also, running usually works as a self-defense strategy against a gun. The bullet is only going one direction and the more distance you put between yourself and the gun, the chances of you getting hit decrease. If you do get hit, you have a pretty good chance of surviving if you don't panic and get to a hospital pretty quickly.

    Knives are scarier because you usually don't find out that the attacker has one until you've already been stabbed or cut. Those that use knives aren't going to let you know they have them. And if your throat, wrist, inner elbow, armpit or inner thigh get cut, you can bleed out in seconds. The self-defense for this is more tricky because a knife-user is already close enough to use it and you may not be able to out run him/her.

    Tigress on
    Kat's Play
    On the subject of death and daemons disappearing: arrows sure are effective in Lyra's universe. Seems like if you get shot once, you're dead - no lingering deaths with your daemon huddling pitifully in your arms, just *thunk* *argh* *whoosh*. A battlefield full of the dying would just be so much more depressing when you add in wailing gerbils and dogs.
  • ZalbinionZalbinion Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    My understanding is that most drug dealers who are hanging out and selling actually make below minimum wage. Apparently it works like sports or acting - highly visible success among the elite draws an ocean of laborers who will never really succeed at it commercially, but persist at the lower rungs because they believe in the dream that they will someday rise. Dealers on the corner think they are going to be the guy in the club with the entourage and the hummer, etc. so they keep dealing and live with their moms.

    That's quite possible, but then again in many cases this below-minimum-wage drugs-selling is the only job available. And it's certainly lucrative for some of the guys on the corner, even if not all of the street-level sellers make a lot of money.

    Zalbinion on
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Zalbinion wrote: »
    So, to tie this a bit more into the discussion, I agree with the idea that it is largely an economic issue. Minorities in the US (or I guess lots of places, really) have been pushed out of where the money is (slavery, to segregation to glass ceilings, etc) for so long, that its become part of the culture to rebel against the gatekeepers of the money (my parents hated "The Man" so I should to) even though I'd venture to say that it is much easier to move up in economic status now than it has ever been.

    Economics and culture intersect, so it's not really an either/or situation. Because of that, I strongly disagree with your assertion that economic mobility is on the increase. The "urban culture" of African-Americans in major urban centers like Philadelphia is directly tied to their economic circumstances, i.e. poverty and high unemployment (due to lack of opportunities). Here in Philly, gangs and violence doesn't occur just because people are evil, or short-sighted, but rather because the "thug lifestyle" is the only or most lucrative lifestyle available to this community. Kids are dropping out of school, joining gangs, and selling drugs because they make so much more money doing that than getting a crappy low-wage job somewhere else, and the legal penalties for minors lower the stakes for getting caught. How do you convince kids to stay in school, tough it out, and avoid all the temptations around them when they have literally no other personal examples of alternative lifestyles leading to success?

    My understanding is that most drug dealers who are hanging out and selling actually make below minimum wage. Apparently it works like sports or acting - highly visible success among the elite draws an ocean of laborers who will never really succeed at it commercially, but persist at the lower rungs because they believe in the dream that they will someday rise. Dealers on the corner think they are going to be the guy in the club with the entourage and the hummer, etc. so they keep dealing and live with their moms.

    Read "Why crack dealers live with their moms", its a Chapter in the book Freakonomics. It pretty much comes to this conclusion, saying that only a few dealers actually get money, while most get paid less money than they would at a regular job, plus they have to deal with drug addicts and violent people.

    [Tycho?] on
    mvaYcgc.jpg
  • SnarfmasterSnarfmaster Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    It doesn't always seem like it from the outside, but several hundred years of oppression suffered at the hands of whites does account for much of "thug" culture. This was also true of Afrocentrism, except the oppression being focused on was inevitably that of Africans and first-generation slaves, which at this point in time doesn't really feel relevent anymore. Thug culture is a bit more realistic in that at some level it focuses on the social and economic oppression still looming, albeit no longer officially, over minority communities.
    It's basically economic class issues dressed up as race issues, with the added complexity of culture wars aside historical social race issues poisoning dialogue and attitudes and muddling clarity.

    It's worth pointing out that America generally dislikes immigrants, especially those who are not white. The entire nation and especially the southwest are tearing out their hair in rage because of the influx of Mexican and South American immigrants.

    And even with this general anti-immigrant stance, white america is much more tolerant and accepting of recent African immigrants than African-Americans. Most white people would find it rude to make fun of accented pidgin English or a daishiki sported by a Nigerian immigrant. But break out some baggy pants and "ax a question" and many white peoples' eyes will go all googly.

    America, has traditionally disliked all immigrants, as they came in until the integrated "properly". The difference being, that every other culture actually tried to integrate themselves into what already existed here and just added their original cultural flavor to their community here. The Ghetto culture seems just like an attempt to be different. Some sort of weird twisted version of what the rest of the people consider to be "the american dream". The reason your example of an "daishiki sported by a Nigerian immigrant" isn't being made fun of , is because they're immigrants of the integration and assimilation varieity.

    Then again People tend to like nigerians, after all they're constantly trying to send us untold fortunes in gold and diamonds.

    Snarfmaster on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Yeah, I believe it was the chapter in Freakonomics plus a rather long NPR news story by a young guy who used to be a dealer that I'm going on here.

    Shinto on
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Tigress wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    For some reason, I find knife crime scarier than gun crime.

    Because it is.

    If someone pulls a gun on you, there's a chance that it's just for intimidation. Also, running usually works as a self-defense strategy against a gun. The bullet is only going one direction and the more distance you put between yourself and the gun, the chances of you getting hit decrease. If you do get hit, you have a pretty good chance of surviving if you don't panic and get to a hospital pretty quickly.

    Knives are scarier because you usually don't find out that the attacker has one until you've already been stabbed or cut. Those that use knives aren't going to let you know they have them. And if your throat, wrist, inner elbow, armpit or inner thigh get cut, you can bleed out in seconds. The self-defense for this is more tricky because a knife-user is already close enough to use it and you may not be able to out run him/her.

    I would also expect knife wounds to be far more dangerous. If you're shot in somewhere nonlethal, assuming that the shock doesn't damage you you 'just' have a piece of metal and a small hole in you. If you're slashed or stabbed you would have a large wound that's bleeding like crazy.

    jothki on
  • SnarfmasterSnarfmaster Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    For some reason, I find knife crime scarier than gun crime.

    It's because i believe in general, most humans have a siginificant aversion towards actually stabbing someone. The ability of someone to plunge a blade into another human being requires more of a sociopathic nature. With a knife, you're physically there shoving a blade into someone with your own strength.

    Guns are just point and click, death from a distance is easier and less personal.

    Snarfmaster on
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Elkamil wrote: »
    I'm really tired of culture; it seems to be the primary fall back of people who don't understand economics.

    I love you so much right now.

    I honestly don't understand - how is economics separable from culture? I mean, every value judgement that contributes to perceived economic value is affected by your culture.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited August 2007
    America, has traditionally disliked all immigrants, as they came in until the integrated "properly". The difference being, that every other culture actually tried to integrate themselves into what already existed here and just added their original cultural flavor to their community here. The Ghetto culture seems just like an attempt to be different. Some sort of weird twisted version of what the rest of the people consider to be "the american dream". The reason your example of an "daishiki sported by a Nigerian immigrant" isn't being made fun of , is because they're immigrants of the integration and assimilation varieity.
    Assimilation has always been a two-way street. There are untold cultural contributions from every single wave of integrated immigration that we don't really even think about. And there's always some early cultural pushback, xenophobia, and nativism among the established population whenever a new wave of immigration comes - we saw it with the Germans, the Irish, the Italians, the Jews, the Chinese, and we're seeing it right now, as mentioned, with hispanics in the Southwest.

    What makes African-Americans distinct is that the integrative pushback continued for cultural and economic reasons long after their introduction. Whereas eventually whites reconciled the concept of Irish or Italians or Chinese as fellow citizens, there persists a common conception (on both sides) of African-Americans as some "other" class of citizens. That African-American culture has to some extent encoded (and celebrated) this otherness into their dominant culture is completely unsurprising.

    Also, I'm fucking sick of people feeling like it's somehow "okay" or "not racist" to cruelly lambaste benign cultural traditions of African-Americans. I mean - consternation about the ill-effects of "thug culture" is fine, but I've bumped into far too many people who will really feel justified in pushing the boundaries of cruel attacks under the white flag of "it's not racist to attack dominant culture".

    Irond Will on
    Wqdwp8l.png
  • SnarfmasterSnarfmaster Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Also, I'm fucking sick of people feeling like it's somehow "okay" or "not racist" to cruelly lambaste benign cultural traditions of African-Americans. I mean - consternation about the ill-effects of "thug culture" is fine, but I've bumped into far too many people who will really feel justified in pushing the boundaries of cruel attacks under the white flag of "it's not racist to attack dominant culture".

    Isn't it ok as long as you have a black friend?

    Seriously though, doesn't that just go back to the, not liking anything different? Even with the integration into american culture that all immigrants go through. Most oustiders still see the traditions they do keep as weird and ok to atack even if it in no way affects them. I don't see that as a slight against just african-americans. It's just that African american's are the minority in the majority so to speak and that makes them the most common target.

    Snarfmaster on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited August 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Also, I'm fucking sick of people feeling like it's somehow "okay" or "not racist" to cruelly lambaste benign cultural traditions of African-Americans. I mean - consternation about the ill-effects of "thug culture" is fine, but I've bumped into far too many people who will really feel justified in pushing the boundaries of cruel attacks under the white flag of "it's not racist to attack dominant culture".

    Isn't it ok as long as you have a black friend?

    Seriously though, doesn't that just go back to the, not liking anything different? Even with the integration into american culture that all immigrants go through. Most oustiders still see the traditions they do keep as weird and ok to atack even if it in no way affects them. I don't see that as a slight against just african-americans. It's just that African american's are the minority in the majority so to speak and that makes them the most common target.

    But the difference is that African Americans have been around in large numbers literally since the foundation of the country, and the social friction is still extremely significant even though the cultural differences between African Americans and white Americans are slight compared to cultural differences between whites and first or second-generation immigrants of pretty much any stripe.

    The recent blowback against hispanics in the Southwest is partially due to increased immigration from Central America, but also due to an influx of whites from other parts of the US to the Southwest - in most of New Mexico, which receives less migration from other parts of the US than, say, Arizona or San Diego, there's a relatively easy accord and a good deal of assimilation between Hispanics and Anglos.

    Also, regarding the "black friend" thing: whatever is acceptable between friends is acceptable between friends. But just because you're able to hurl good-natured racist comments with your buddy doesn't mean that the same comments will be well-received or accepted in general.

    Irond Will on
    Wqdwp8l.png
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited August 2007
    just an off comment, silicone you're from philly?

    If you ever watch the news here it will pretty much explain why that kinda stuff goes on.

    Unknown User on
  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    robothero wrote: »
    just an off comment, silicone you're from philly?

    If you ever watch the news here it will pretty much explain why that kinda stuff goes on.

    I'm from Delaware, so I happen to be in that entire news radius thing that goes on.

    And yeah, all I gotta do is pick up a paper and its pretty much writ bold for me there. Hell, don't even get me started talking about fucking Wilmington.

    siliconenhanced on
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    For some reason, I find knife crime scarier than gun crime.

    It's because i believe in general, most humans have a siginificant aversion towards actually stabbing someone. The ability of someone to plunge a blade into another human being requires more of a sociopathic nature. With a knife, you're physically there shoving a blade into someone with your own strength.

    Guns are just point and click, death from a distance is easier and less personal.

    Hard to say. It would seem like that is more realistic, but then, I've never wanted or tried to kill someone with either a knife or a gun. It can't be so incredibly hard to kill with a knife if gun crime has remained constant in the U.K. while knife crime has risen.

    Shinto on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    For some reason, I find knife crime scarier than gun crime.

    It's because i believe in general, most humans have a siginificant aversion towards actually stabbing someone. The ability of someone to plunge a blade into another human being requires more of a sociopathic nature. With a knife, you're physically there shoving a blade into someone with your own strength.

    Guns are just point and click, death from a distance is easier and less personal.

    Hard to say. It would seem like that is more realistic, but then, I've never wanted or tried to kill someone with either a knife or a gun. It can't be so incredibly hard to kill with a knife if gun crime has remained constant in the U.K. while knife crime has risen.

    Well, it's the whole psychological factor. Your normal person has an aversion to killing.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    For some reason, I find knife crime scarier than gun crime.

    It's because i believe in general, most humans have a siginificant aversion towards actually stabbing someone. The ability of someone to plunge a blade into another human being requires more of a sociopathic nature. With a knife, you're physically there shoving a blade into someone with your own strength.

    Guns are just point and click, death from a distance is easier and less personal.

    Hard to say. It would seem like that is more realistic, but then, I've never wanted or tried to kill someone with either a knife or a gun. It can't be so incredibly hard to kill with a knife if gun crime has remained constant in the U.K. while knife crime has risen.

    Well, it's the whole psychological factor. Your normal person has an aversion to killing.

    Snarf just said that.

    Shinto on
  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    It can't be so incredibly hard to kill with a knife if gun crime has remained constant in the U.K. while knife crime has risen.

    I'd say the difference might be to do with the fact that a gun is harder to come by than a knife over here. I could get hold of a gun from a few people, but I can get hold of a knife from my kitchen. When violent crime rises, it's going to rise in the form that is most easily accesible first and largest.

    I'd have thought that the aversion to killing would be stronger with a knife than a gun do to the fact that using a knife is a lot more up close and personal, but then it that's probably partly due to seeing far more shotings than knifings on TV. That said, during the Korean (I think) war somtimes up to 50% of soldiers weren't firing their weapons as they charged into battle.

    I saw that 50% fact on some documentary, I'll have a look for a link.

    Gorak on
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited August 2007
    From today's Star:
    Sarah Drayton shudders as she imagines how different her life would have been.

    What if she had that child with her "ex-wannabe-gangster-boy- friend"? The one who, when she was 17, persuaded her to get an abortion – all while sleeping with other girls in the neighbourhood – because it would be "better" for their relationship in the long run.

    The one who stood with her in the abortion clinic, a long loaded rifle hidden down the leg of his baggy jeans, and told her that everything would be all right.

    The one who almost got her killed, when guys from a feuding neighbourhood shot at them as they were walking down the street holding hands.

    "It's a much harder story to tell," says Tonika Morgan, project manager at the Jane and Finch Community Family Centre in Driftwood Park, explaining why stories of gang members destroying each other with bullets are easier to tell than the stories of young women who are dating these young men, having their children and living in the same destructive environment.

    "It's harder to tell the stories of young women because it takes so much more to tell their stories. There are so many things that impact (their lives). There is so much that they hold on to," she says.

    "That's why no one tells it."

    Drayton, holding a squirming toddler in a two-bedroom apartment in North York, attempts to tell hers.

    "My life hasn't been very good," says Drayton, now 20, tapping her feet as she plays with her 11-month-old daughter Sherika. "I've had some pretty bad experiences."

    Since the age of 15 she has been taking care of herself.

    After running away from an abusive home environment and into the care of the Catholic Children's Aid Society in Scarborough, she has struggled to find her way.

    In and out of high school after being suspended a few times for fighting with other girls, she admits she even did a few brief stints in jail after another girl pressed charges against her for "issuing death threats."

    But in a world where other girls respect you by how tough you are and constantly test you at school, Drayton says she was just doing what any other girl in her position would have done.

    This is why dating a guy a little rough around the edges can be intriguing to a young woman.

    These guys, with the easy cash they make from dealing drugs and their flippant I-don't-care attitude, can at times seem sexy and alluring.

    It's the whole Bonnie and Clyde phenomenon turned into modern-day dating. And the streets have a name for the girls who can handle such an extreme form of love.

    They are "ride or die chicks."

    "It's the whole gangster attitude. They would never (use it) with you, but they would (use it) with other people, so you feel like you're special and you feel attracted to it," says Drayton.

    "They are really nice at the beginning. They can be really sweet and do anything for you. They can actually seem like a normal guy, except for a few flaws," she says.

    "But then they start treating you like crap after."

    In the United States there has been a growing trend of young girls who see themselves as "ride or die chicks," says Gwendolyn Pough, associate professor of women's studies at Syracuse University.

    "A ride or die chick is basically a girl who will do anything for her man. She will put the gun in her purse, she will hide the cash, she will hide the gloves, and she will drive the getaway car. Whatever she needs to do for him, she will do," says Pough, adding, "I think a lot of girls do buy into it."

    For years, she has seen girls in her neighbourhood play into being a "ride or die" type of chick, says Amanda Cain, the editor of Yo' Mamma, a Toronto magazine for pregnant teens. In a sense, because she used to let her boyfriends use her, she was one, too.

    And it's still happening with many girls in the GTA.

    "Go to the courtrooms. That's where you will find them," she says, referring to girls who wait to bail their boyfriends out of jail.

    These guys trust their girlfriends with everything, Cain says. "So for a guy to let you know he has a gun underneath his bed, you have to be ready to ride or die for him. He basically needs to know that you would use that gun."

    These girls, who are "down for whatever," show their love by doing anything that's asked of them. Or as R&B singer Monica sings in "U Should've Known Better:" You should've known that I would stay by your side, you should've known your girl was gonna ride or die.

    While it can be seen as a romantic notion to stick by someone's side regardless – it could be argued women have een taught to do so for centuries – with the wrong guy and especially in the street context, it can turn dangerous.

    "They are going to jail being `ride or die chicks,' being involved with drug dealers and getting mixed up with that kind of stuff," says Pough.

    Morgan says for young women in communities with few support systems, it's ultimately about survival, and many issues – poverty, racism, family issues – have to be seen in context to understand why a young girl puts up with it.

    "Some girls think of it as normal. Everybody rationalizes his or her way out of the situation. A baby mother might think, `Well do I really want to take my child up to Kingston (jail) to see his dad? Or would I rather not tell anyone that he's keeping a gun here and let him see his daddy every day,'" she says.

    Cain says what's needed is for young women to look within themselves to find the confidence to leave. "Women are becoming wiser and they realize this is a game that men play by pitting us against each other." She eventually realized that "no man has ever supported me like I have supported them."

    For Drayton, it took finding the right guy to show her how much better a relationship could be.

    Two years ago after meeting Carlos, who she calls loving and responsible, she felt ready to have a child with him.

    Now the young mother is working hard to pull it all together.

    "I can't believe how tired I get watching her," she says, laughing. "Sometimes I even have to wait for Carlos to get home before I even have time to take a shower."

    Words any mom, even "ride or die," could relate to.

    Andrew_Jay on
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