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Steve De Young
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Posted: 29 October 2018 at 1:11pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Also, as someone who serves a largely Arab community in the South, to this very day a lot of people assume they're Mexican until told differently.
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 29 October 2018 at 1:20pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

  wrote:
All white people in Alabama in the 1950's.
Not "some" or "most" but "all"?  


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Steve De Young
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Posted: 29 October 2018 at 2:22pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Not "some" or "most" but "all"?  
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Yes, all.  Just like everyone in Europe in the 17th century was sexist.  And everyone in 14th century Germania was an anti-Semite.  There were not  enlightened white people in the Jim Crow South who publicly rejected racism.  Or 18th century America as a whole.  None of the founding fathers thought that women or Africans should be allowed to vote.

The reason is that, in this case, racism was built into the social and political structures in which this people grew up and lived their entire lives.  Its the way things were from their birth to their death.  People were not as mobile as they are today.  When racist ideology is simply bred into people, and is reinforced by every single social institution in their world, they don't question it.  In fact, they were willing to violently fight to preserve it because it was all they knew.

To suggest otherwise not only is dishonest to history, in this case a history of oppression.  To suggest otherwise is to deny the basic hold that tribalism has on us and on our fellow human beings.  If we pretend that there were people who thought the way we do at various points in this past when there simply weren't, we take our own present beliefs and make them the sine qua non of human enlightenment.  And when you do that, you miss all of the ways in which you and I are still in the dark.  100 years from now, people will look back on us, and our literature, and our science, and our culture and find it offensive.  And they'll imagine that there must have been someone who though the way they will in our era.  But there isn't.  We're all bound by our times and our world and our context.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 29 October 2018 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply


 QUOTE:
Now that I think about it, everyone Ryan encounters treats him poorly but it's a mixed reaction with Parks.

Yes. Because Ryan was behaving like a black man from 2018 England and not a black man from the 50s Southern United States. And he was traveling with a white woman wearing pants and a brown woman. That people from the 50s South would have an issue with all of that is kind of the point. 


 QUOTE:
I just think a more balanced depiction of that era would have been just as jarring to people from 65 years in the future.  A more realistic depiction that showed some white people were sympathetic but conflicted would have been just as dramatic and not taken away from the story.

That wouldn’t be realistic though. That would be revisionist bullshit political correctness for white people. Certainly there were Southern whites who felt blacks should be treated better. But they were operating in a society that allowed violence on “uppity” black teenage boys to be murdered without repercussions. They were existing in a society that turned a blind eye to quiet protestors having the shit beat out of them. So how visibly sympathetic and conflicted were they really? 


 QUOTE:
Persian?

Err... do you know what Persians look like?


 QUOTE:
What are you?" would be just as insulting but less "humorous".  Probably the most realistic response if you think about it.
 

Nope. Speaking as a brown-skinned Asian person who’s been asked if he’s Mexican (in California where most people should really know the difference ) and has observed all sorts of people from Filipino to Indian to Armenian to all the other Hispanic ethnicities from countries that are not Mexico being asked if Mexican, it is pretty damn realistic.


 QUOTE:
I don't really know how Alabamans felt about Mexicans but the deportation event you suggested was initiated by the Mexican government, wasn't it?

The Mexican government wanted some of its nationals to return because of a labor shortage. I’m pretty confident that they were not the ones who labeled it Operation WETBACK and were not responsible for the anti-Mexican sentiment that allowed for that slur.


 QUOTE:
I don't know.  The episode just paints "all" white people a certain way and in a story that's supposed to be about understanding and tolerance, it's either ironic or agenda driven.

The only agenda I saw was to depict the environment that Rosa Parks lived in accurately and not present some sanitized, politically correct view of the 50s South.   


Edited by Michael Roberts on 29 October 2018 at 3:38pm
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 29 October 2018 at 3:41pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

 Steve De Young wrote:
Yes, all.  Just like everyone in Europe in the 17th century was sexist.  And everyone in 14th century Germania was an anti-Semite.  There were not  enlightened white people in the Jim Crow South who publicly rejected racism.  Or 18th century America as a whole.  None of the founding fathers thought that women or Africans should be allowed to vote.
Perhaps it's true but I find it hard to believe that every single person in 1955 Alamba was as depicted.  I find it more reasonable to assume there were at least "some" people who, although ignorant and misinformed, who's first response wouldn't be to strike a black man who politely tried to return a woman's glove.

It doesn't seem reasonable to me that change would have occurred if "all" white people in Alabama at that time were as depicted in this episode.
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 29 October 2018 at 4:05pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

 Michael Roberts wrote:
Yes. Because Ryan was behaving like a black man from 2018 England and not a black man from the 50s Southern United States. And he was traveling with a white woman wearing pants and a brown woman. That people from the 50s South would have an issue with all of that is kind of the point.
That isn't true.  Ryan was being polite and respectful.  He kindly and clearly tried to return a woman's glove and got smacked for some reason.  You make it sound like he was groping the sheriff's blonde haired daughter in the middle of the town square.
 Michael Roberts wrote:
That wouldn’t be realistic though. That would be revisionist bullshit political correctness for white people. Certainly there were Southern whites who felt blacks should be treated better. But they were operating in a society that allowed violence on “uppity” black teenage boys to be murdered without repercussions. They were existing in a society that turned a blind eye to quiet protestors having the shit beat out of them. So how visiblysympathetic and conflicted were they really?
Not balanced.  Just more balanced.  I still think 1955 Alabamans would be a little more restrained in the circumstances depicted.  At least a couple of the scenes.  I just think it was a little extreme to portray everyone as hate filled and potentially violent.  There were certainly those who were that way but I don't think "everyone" was that way.
 Michael Roberts wrote:
Err... do you know what Persians look like?
What does that have to do with the question what should the waitress have guessed?  I don't happen to think Mexican is the first thing that would have popped into her mind.  
 Michael Roberts wrote:
Nope. Speaking as a brown-skinned Asian person who’s been asked if he’s Mexican (in California where most people should really know the difference ) and has observed all sorts of people from Filipino to Indian to Armenian to all the other Hispanic ethnicities from countries that are not Mexico being asked if Mexican, it is pretty damn realistic.
I don't think yours is an equitable situation.  In California where there are a large percentage of Mexicans it would be a lot more realistic to assume that someone with non-white coloring might be Mexican.  Sure, it's still ignorant and lazy but to some degree understandable.  In 1955 Alabama where everyone was either white or black and there were presumably very few, if any, Mexicans, I don't think that is an obvious choice for her to make.
 Michael Roberts wrote:
The Mexican government wanted some of its nationals to return because of a labor shortage. I’m pretty confident that they were not the ones who labeled it Operation WETBACK and were not responsible for the anti-Mexican sentiment that allowed for that slur.
But it doesn't really illustrate how Alabamans felt about Mexicans or that there was a national racism toward them as you suggest.  Yes, border states that were employing cheap labor and embroiled in the controversy probably had strong feelings on the subject but I'd imagine that a thousand miles away in Alabama that feelings weren't so strong.
 Michael Roberts wrote:
The only agenda I saw was to depict the environment that Rosa Parks lived in accurately and not present some sanitized, politically correct view of the 50s South.
I don't believe I suggested sanitizing or even misrepresenting what went on back then but I do feel like the way "all" white people were portrayed was exaggerated.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 30 October 2018 at 1:02pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

It doesn't seem reasonable to me that change would have occurred if "all" white people in Alabama at that time were as depicted in this episode.
---------------------------------------------------
Change hasn't occurred.  People didn't wake up one day and decide that segregation was wrong.  The federal government desegregated the south by force.  And the people in the south fought back with horrific racial violence.

Let me give you one example.  I could give you many from here in Louisiana.

A friend of mine is a lawyer down here.  You would never in a million years peg this guy as a racist.  He's the son of Greek immigrants.  He's a Democrat.  He's done work for the ACLU.  He's not a member of anything even resembling a hate group.  He's polite, kind, and compassionate.  He gives substantial amounts of money to charity.

But if you get to know him and you get a couple of drinks in him, he'll tell you one of his favorite stories.  About how when he was at LSU law school in the 80's, the students decided to do a float for the Mardi Gras parade one year.  He and his friends dressed as confederate soldiers.  They forced the law school's then only black student to dress as a slave and pretend to pull the float while they pretended to whip him.  But, he says, they gave him a good bottle of scotch after it was all over, so its okay.

He tells this story like its a hilarious anecdote.  When he told it in front of me, he had no idea why I looked so horrified.

These dark, tribalistic feelings are still inside people and if society around them allows or encourages them to express them openly, they will.
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Craig Bogart
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Posted: 02 November 2018 at 2:49pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The direction I thought the episode had been going in, and I wish they had done it: the TARDIS crew can't get the driver back on the bus.  So...  bus driver Graham has to be the guy that takes the route and, for the sake of history, gets Rosa Parks arrested.  On top of everything else going on in that episode, seeing Graham wrestle with that would have been a gut punch as well.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 02 November 2018 at 3:49pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I thought it was heading to that conclusion as well, with
Graham having a black wife, it would have made for a
dilemma for Graham to wrestle with.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 02 November 2018 at 4:15pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 Andy Mokler wrote:
That isn't true.  Ryan was being polite and respectful.  He kindly and clearly tried to return a woman's glove and got smacked for some reason.  You make it sound like he was groping the sheriff's blonde haired daughter in the middle of the town square.

That's not what I said. I said he was behaving like a black man from 2018 England instead of a black man from the 50s South. Of course Ryan was polite and respectful. What he wasn’t was subservient and submissive. If you don’t get what was offensive about his behavior, I don’t know what to tell you.  


 QUOTE:
Not balanced.  Just more balanced.  I still think 1955 Alabamans would be a little more restrained in the circumstances depicted.  At least a couple of the scenes.  I just think it was a little extreme to portray everyone as hate filled and potentially violent.  There were certainly those who were that way but I don't think "everyone" was that way.
 

It doesn’t matter if “everyone” was that way. Society was that way. Not everyone was hate-filled and violent, but that kind of behavior was normalized where people were free to behave that way. That’s the point. 

It’s not like the Doctor and her companions were stopping everyone white person they met and asked them about their opinions on race relations. They were being confronted by the confrontational people who had issues with their presence.


 QUOTE:
What does that have to do with the question what should the waitress have guessed?  I don't happen to think Mexican is the first thing that would have popped into her mind.


 QUOTE:
I don't think yours is an equitable situation.  In California where there are a large percentage of Mexicans it would be a lot more realistic to assume that someone with non-white coloring might be Mexican.  Sure, it's still ignorant and lazy but to some degree understandable.  In 1955 Alabama where everyone was either white or black and there were presumably very few, if any, Mexicans, I don't think that is an obvious choice for her to make.
 

Your logic about percentages is correct. You are just not extending it far enough. Hispanics are and have been the largest ethnic group in the US after whites and blacks.  The vast majority of those Hispanics are of Mexican origin. So regardless of how many Mexicans were actually in Alabama in the 50s, Mexican would be the third largest minority group in the US. So I don’t know why you would claim that someone would assume any other ethnic group before that. Maybe if you were trying to argue for Puerto Ricans over Mexicans in New York or Cubans over Mexicans in Florida.  Certainly Mexican would be a more logical assumption by population over Persians (who are mostly white by the way, which is why I asked).


 QUOTE:
But it doesn't really illustrate how Alabamans felt about Mexicans or that there was a national racism toward them as you suggest.  Yes, border states that were employing cheap labor and embroiled in the controversy probably had strong feelings on the subject but I'd imagine that a thousand miles away in Alabama that feelings weren't so strong.

The division in the South was Whites and Colored. Which category do you think a brown-skinned Mexican fell under?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 02 November 2018 at 4:22pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply


 QUOTE:
The direction I thought the episode had been going in, and I wish they had done it: the TARDIS crew can't get the driver back on the bus.  So...  bus driver Graham has to be the guy that takes the route and, for the sake of history, gets Rosa Parks arrested.  On top of everything else going on in that episode, seeing Graham wrestle with that would have been a gut punch as well.

The writers were careful to avoid making the Doctor the hero in Rosa's story. They undid the damage that Krasko did, but they didn't do anything to influence Rosa Parks or James Blake. Making Graham become the bus driver would have taken that away.

I thought it was treading the line as it was by having Graham struggle with staying on the bus. Having Graham become the bus driver would have made Rosa Parks' story about an old white guy's pain over racism.
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