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Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

my company has no clue about black history.


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eric

 
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the company i work for has it's own intranet web page for its employees. all corporate employees, and those at sotres and warehouses and such have access to this site (this equates to thousands upon thousands of people). on this website's front page is always a poll. the poll stays up for a couple weeks and normally has to do with something holiday, news, or company related. now it often is about as worthless as a naked picture of ernest borgnine, but it's normally not offensive. not until the current one.

so, wednesday, on my first day into work for the week i see it...

Which icon of black history do you most admire?

and here are the people they thought were worthy of note as ICONS in HISTORY who just happen to be black (mostly) - i'm also going to assume they meant american history.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Condoleezza Rice
Rosa Parks
Tiger Woods
Oprah Winfrey
Maya Angelou

MLK Jr? absolutely (and my vote obvioulsy), Rosa Parks? sure, she had a pretty visible and courageous role in the equal rights movement. The others just make me unbelievably irritated. famous, important, or influential for sure, but icons of history? whaaaaa? not only are they not, but they saw fit to not add real historical figures such as George Washington Carver, Harriett Tubman, Frederick Douglas, Malcom X, Booker T Washington, heck, you could even make an arguement for Jessie Jackson and Colin Powell (especially considering the choices they made).

if i were black, i'd probably be even more upset (as was the woman i work with who is). but even simply from an american history standpoint this is utterly appaling.


so, the results so far, which are about as dissapointing as the original choices:
name / votes / % of vote
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. / 1070 / 39%
Oprah Winfrey / 508 / 18%
Rosa Parks / 439 / 16%
Tiger Woods / 289 / 10%
Condoleezza Rice / 250 / 9%
Maya Angelou / 121 / 4%


feh.

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I'm not even sure this is an appropriate topic anywhere on M-F. Assuming for a moment that it is, not being black myself I can not honestly claim to have any particularly strong feelings one way or the other.


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Ehhh...I don't like the list either...MLK Jr. and Rosa Parks should def. be up there but Tiger Woods??

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i considered that for sure. but i think that if kept mature, this is completely appropriate. it's about history. i'm not necessarily slighting any of the people in the poll either, i'm just questioning the logic of the choices over so many other historic figures. whatever color or ethnicity or religion these people could have been, the fact that they're barely historic icons is the real rub.

being an american and being even slightly involved or interested in our history shuold be enough to be concerned here. shying away because it's "black history" is the opposite of opening a real dialogue which is the only thing that will bring the country together or erase any of the color boundries.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric View Post
being an american and being even slightly involved or interested in our history shuold be enough to be concerned here. shying away because it's "black history" is the opposite of opening a real dialogue which is the only thing that will bring the country together or erase any of the color boundries.
I am a big history buff but I don't see it as historical issue but rather a cultural one. Believing that you can change hundreds or even thousands of years of racial stereotyping just because someone says you should is a bit naive. It can be accomplished but it will not happen overnight or even in the next several generations. Changing peoples attitudes on anything more than just the surface level is extremely difficult and takes time.

I'm not shying away from it at all, but should it not be "American History" vice "Black History" in the context as it apples to the US? Has anyone here even mentioned a name that was not American? How about Desmond Tutu, Kofi Anan or even Nelson Mandela? If our goal is truly "colorblindness" then calling it "Black History" Month is in itself counterproductive and creates more divisiveness than healing.

You can't have it both ways, yet we continue to try to do so.


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What we have to do is stop referring to people as African-American, or even American. Could you imagine a day when people are just referred to as people?

"Anecdotal thinking comes naturally, science requires training." - Michael Shermer
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well, as i said, i'm assuming they meant american. actually i'm hoping they meant american! otherwise as you've pointed out it would be even worse.

now since they did say iconic historical figure, i'm taking that at face value, not as people who have been culturally significant; even then they'd be missing some huge names other than those already mentioned (mohammed ali, jessie owens, sidney poiteir, robert johnson, etc).

i also agree about the true color blindness. of course part of me believes in absolute equity. the other understands that certain segments of society may need a leg up after hundreds or thousands of years of inequity just to get anywhere near even.

[good discussion too baggss! i love doing this, and you're very good at it!]

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCustomer99 View Post
What we have to do is stop referring to people as African-American, or even American. Could you imagine a day when people are just referred to as people?
To be honest, no. We will always label ourselves (and others) no matter what, to believe that we won't is naive, it's human nature to do so. And if I live in America, why would I not want to call myself an American? Why would someone who lives in Europe not want to call themselves European?


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I know it's naive, I was just asking you to imagine it.

"Anecdotal thinking comes naturally, science requires training." - Michael Shermer
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Well, I can imagine lots of things....


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What a loaded thread....

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"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

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wow, you were almost han solo, baggss...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathtoToasters View Post
What a loaded thread....
Yes it is, but we can keep it from becoming something it doesn't need to be. I have no problems with people expressing their opinions in their own way, but this a topic we have to keep on a mature level lest it fall into ruin.


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Originally Posted by eric
wow, you were almost han solo, baggss...


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Quote:
Originally Posted by baggss View Post
Yes it is, but we can keep it from becoming something it doesn't need to be. I have no problems with people expressing their opinions in their own way, but this a topic we have to keep on a mature level lest it fall into ruin.
absolutely! i'd be the first to suggest a lock if it gets nasty.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric View Post
absolutely! i'd be the first to suggest a lock if it gets nasty.
True.... but when it comes to the reality of answering this thread....the real question remains:

Who is the real fool?

The fool or the fool who follows him?

(To heck with Solo)

:yinyang:

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