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Old 03-23-2008, 12:06 PM #22
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Typically I just lurk ST: P and don't really post but I'm interested to see where this thread goes. It is a tough question to answer, I suppose I'm proud to be white though. It is however, difficult to provide an exact reason why, I suppose its more of me just being grateful I'm not black, Asian, Hispanic, etc. I'm certainly happy that I'm not a minority of any kind though because of the way the world is. To be honest I have no problem with wealthy white people controlling everything because I come from a family of them, I stand to benfit from these people being on top. Growing up in New York (the Lubbock, TX location under my avvy is a joke) I've noticed a lot of diversity from an early age as well as noticed economic differences. Being white didn't mean you were wealthy but being wealthy usually meant you were white and if anyone had to pick between being well off and struggling to make ends meet I think we all know what we'd pick.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:19 PM #23
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I believe I am fortunate to be white(or in my case look white), because if nothing else being the part of the majority group has kept me from suffering the injustices that other minorities face.

However I don't think that boils down to any real pride regarding my skin color.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:52 PM #24
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You phrase the question oddly. There is nothing to be proud about regarding one's skin color. However, there can be pride in heritage.

Just as I can be proud of my brother for acing his math test, so can I be proud of my grandparents for surviving the great depression, or their grandparents for what they went through, even though they are now dead. In this way I don't think it is illogical to have pride in one's heritage, or even pride in one's nation.

I am proud of my ancestors, because they were good, hard working people who were never involved in slavery as far as I have been able to trace. I am proud of my nation because it was built on good ideas, it has done great things, it has made great progress in eliminating the ills that once plagued it, and I think it will continue to do these things for some time.

This pride does not make me feel superior to anyone, I don't think it is inherently harmful to be proud of where you came from. Pride is not inherently bad, unless it is used to convince people of their superiority. My nation, and my ancestors, are great, but that does not prove them superior to anyone.

To respond to the common question, "I did not choose where I was born, so why should I be proud of it?" You should not necessarily be proud of your heritage, but you should recognize it. If it is a good heritage, then you should recognize it, and let it motivate you to do great things as well. If it is a bad heritage, you should recognize it also, and make sure that you break the mold.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:05 PM #25
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Originally Posted by vantrepes View Post
Sure they can. You can be proud of a lot of things. That doesn't mean that the pride is justified.
I certainly acknowledge (not necessarily agree with) the inference involving the difference between 'unjust' and 'just' pride. For the purpose of this example however, I'm focusing initially on the descriptive aspect of how pride can shape identity.

The reason that I ask about pride is because having 'pride' in something indicates that this thing is part of forming the individual's identity. While you offer some really interesting arguments concerning the nature of pride (I would love to talk about them, but they don't really pertain directly to this thread), there are still other conditions that can constitute identifying with something besides pride.

For instance, even with your understanding of the nature of pride, I'm willing to gamble that you still identify as an American. Many people will take pride in being American, thus it can be inferenced that they identify as American. But some may not take pride in being American, but identify as being American given the over-arching commonality that exists between them and other Americans.

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At that age, they don't care about it.
A child that young is going to be proud of what they are praised for, and that's about it. The thing is, to trigger most praise, you have to do something. The child would most likely do well in class, and get good grades, thus the parents would be praising the end result of their work combined with their intelligence, not their intelligence alone.
If the parents drilled into their heads that they should be proud to be allowed into the class, then they might take pride in the fact that they were there, but even then, at 6 years old, they are proud of what they are praised for. So the end result would be the parents being proud of something they have no control over, same as being proud that you are white or black.

Once again you offer a really convincing argument here, but notice that the difference in this question from those previous is that this question does not involve pride for forming the individual's identity.

Rather, in this case we have a group of people that identify with each other based solely off of how they are treated based on a factor (their apparent intelligence) that is not in their control. (remember we're assuming that a kindergartner does not have rational capacity to choose to succeed or not, and merely tackles what is laid in front of him or her.)

So the pointed question becomes: Can people develop a shared identity based off of how they are treated based on factors that are out of their control?
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:08 PM #26
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Originally Posted by ipoppedtimmy View Post
I see where you're coming from, and you offer a really convincing argument to back up your position.

Let me rephrase the question slightly to better highlight what I'm getting at:

Do you think it is possible for people to share a common identity based on things that they have no control over?

For instance if you were very intelligent and received special attention while in kindergarten (I'm working from the assumption that a kindergartner would not have the rational capacity to recognize what opportunity he or she is being given and rather would simply follow the course laid before him or her). Would you share a common identity with the other students in your gifted class given that you were all recognized for your intelligence?
Sorry, I just started reading through the thread and I think I misinterpreted your question.
To quote myself:
Quote:
There is nothing to be proud about regarding one's skin color.
I basically agree with vantrepes, there is nothing to be proud of an inherited characteristic, because an inherited characteristic accomplishes nothing. However, you may be proud of what you, or the people before you accomplished.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:40 PM #27
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Originally Posted by Oconnore View Post
Sorry, I just started reading through the thread and I think I misinterpreted your question.
To quote myself:

I basically agree with vantrepes, there is nothing to be proud of an inherited characteristic, because an inherited characteristic accomplishes nothing. However, you may be proud of what you, or the people before you accomplished.
To reiterate what I said in my last post:

I understand and respect your opinion concerning the nature of pride.

However, the purpose of the question is not to simply get at what the nature of pride is.

The purpose is to survey how a person's individual identity is formed.

The reason that I use the word pride (in the original question) is because of the connection between pride and identity. So by showing that someone takes pride in being something (white, black, American, Polish etc) then the aspect of belonging to such a group is formative to their identity.

So yours and Vantrepe's takes on the nature of pride dictate that an individual can't be proud of something thats out of their control. Thats fine.

We can inference that you and he may not take pride in being an American, but yet you still identify as an American. What this means is that while you dispute the nature of pride, you still agree that there are other factors in forming your American identity.

The question that isolates the principle without addressing our conflicting takes on the nature of pride is outlined above, and I'll reiterate it here:

We have a group of kindergartners that are chosen to be in a gifted program given their intelligence. They are treated differently than the rest of their peers. Without regards to pride, can the children authentically develop a sense of their personal identity from being identified as being intelligent (a factor not in their control).

Notice this question carries no notion of pride, but asks the question:

Can people develop a shared identity based off of how they are treated based on factors that are out of their control?
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:09 PM #28
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Originally Posted by ipoppedtimmy View Post
Can people develop a shared identity based off of how they are treated based on factors that are out of their control?
I would say the answer is yes. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, but for example when I spent time overseas, I identified with other people that I met that were from the US. We instantly had something to talk about, some of the same experiences, and a feeling of kinship regardless of the fact that we had never met or heard of each other before. I think this same basic idea applies to many different groups and ethnicities based on any number of factors, that's just how people work. It's where we choose to take this feeling of identity and what we do with it that promotes the question of whether or not it is a good thing.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:37 PM #29
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I would say the answer is yes. This could be a good thing or a bad thing, but for example when I spent time overseas, I identified with other people that I met that were from the US. We instantly had something to talk about, some of the same experiences, and a feeling of kinship regardless of the fact that we had never met or heard of each other before. I think this same basic idea applies to many different groups and ethnicities based on any number of factors, that's just how people work. It's where we choose to take this feeling of identity and what we do with it that promotes the question of whether or not it is a good thing.
Thanks for the response. I'm trying to elicit responses like these to show my point.

I'm going to be making a new thread soon to expand on how the issues we talked about in this thread apply to race and identity in America, but it won't be till tonight or tomorrow because I'm engrossed in NCAA basketball at the moment

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Old 03-23-2008, 04:56 PM #30
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Originally Posted by ipoppedtimmy View Post
To your posts I will ask the same question I asked to Gatyr:

Are you proud of your intelligence?
Yes, while some of it was nature and nurturing, I do my best to improve my intelligence through various ways.


Are you proud of your athletic ability?
I can improve this almost directly and do.


Perhaps we have different understandings of the notions of pride, but I for one am very proud of my ability to reason critically and be a great athlete.


Please don't shy away from this question, as I'm really lost to understand how someone can be proud of something that they have no control over.

Are you proud to be an American?
I'm proud of what my country accomplishes most of the time. I however can't be proud of myself if I am not a good citizen and therefore would not be proud to be one.

Did you have any control over being American?
No.

Are you proud of the achievements of America?
Most.

Did you have any control over the achievements of America?
nah

Are you proud that America won World War II?
Not sure if I'm "proud", but more like grateful as hell.


Did you have any control over the victory?
I'm 18....
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:37 PM #31
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Originally Posted by ipoppedtimmy View Post
Are you proud of your intelligence?

Are you proud of your athletic ability?

Perhaps we have different understandings of the notions of pride, but I for one am very proud of my ability to reason critically and be a great athlete.

Something to think about in the context of your statement.
you could argue that intelligence and athletic ability are both things that you can exhibit some control over...intelligence by studying and working hard and athletic ability by training hard and being dedicated...just an opinion

as for anything im proud of being white about...id have to say that ive never thought about it and really dont have much of an opinion on the subject.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:47 PM #32
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im proud i'm not held to the standards of black people.

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Old 03-23-2008, 06:24 PM #33
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Originally Posted by ipoppedtimmy View Post

What are you most proud of about being white?
This is a difficult question as "proud" is a relative term. One of my core beliefs in life is that pride should stem from actions which are controllable. I did not choose to be white, so I cannot be proud of things which are associated with being white just because I have attained them. I must be proud of things which I have accomplished in my life, and cannot compare the pride I hold in my life with other's lives. I may be proud about going through high school, but that does not mean that I hold everyone to those standards and should try to not judge thusly.

I suppose as a white person I am proud that I attempt to recognize people for who they are, not how they are perceived by society. Last year, I attended a Posse retreat. Posse is an organization for inner city students who would not have otherwise had the choice of attending a university of their choice. The retreat really opened my eyes to how I have been sheltered in the past. I knew that everyone was different, but I realized that everyone holds stereotypes, even if they do not realize it. The idea isn't to try to erase all stereotypes that exist, as that is seemingly impossible. The idea is to try to recognize how to deal with stereotypes so that we can better manage our perception of the world (or people).

That said, I am proud of my ancestors in that they pushed themselves extremely hard and saved lucratively.

My grandparents on my mother's side came from families which were relatively poor. Both worked extremely hard in life - my grandfather served in the Air Force during WWII, put himself through college with an engineering degree at Purdue, and worked at a rural power plant in northern Ohio. My grandmother put herself through nursing school and became a school nurse. Together they lead lives which saw that their three children got what they needed, but always saved much of what they had. In the twilight of their lives, they were able to afford medical expenses and the costs of retirement because of this hard work and saving.

My grandparents on my father's side also came from less than wealthy families. My grandfather put himself through college and medical school, then became a good doctor who made many friends during his practice. He now is benefiting from all of these ties he has made, and saw that my father and two uncles both excelled academically and morally. They too worked hard, all became doctors, played sports in college, etc.


Basically, I realize that the options presented to me are the culmination of decades of hard work given by those who came before me. As such, it is hard for me to take pride into getting into college as I do not have to hold down a steady job while taking classes because my parents can pay for my way through. I hope that, in the future, I too can support my family as I have been supported.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:39 PM #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipoppedtimmy View Post
Are you proud of your intelligence?

Are you proud of your athletic ability?

Perhaps we have different understandings of the notions of pride, but I for one am very proud of my ability to reason critically and be a great athlete.

Something to think about in the context of your statement.
I would have preferred you to focus more on my last statement rather than my first, but as people before me have pointed out...

My intelligence and athletic ability are parts of me than can be refined and compared to others, and used in competitions and life to better myself in some way. If I work out more, I'm more able to run faster, better defend myself, etc. With my intelligence, I can get better grades, do better than my peers, make people in ST: P look stupid (), etc. And I can be proud of my abilities.

Based on skin color alone, I'm no better than anyone else. The whiteness of my skin doesn't make me any more capable than anyone else of a different ethnicity/race.

Because of this, I don't feel I can be proud of my skin color.

Quote:
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So the pointed question becomes: Can people develop a shared identity based off of how they are treated based on factors that are out of their control?
Definitely, and I'm sure this is the basis of many bonds that develop between people. Easy company, as cliche of an example as it is, exemplifies this wonderfully. They might have controlled a few things prior to their enlistment, but the identity they formed was largely because of things that were out of their control.

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Just because someone is white doesn't mean you should take pride in something someone else did or has accomplished, just as you shouldn't have to take the blame for the same people.
While I mostly agree with your post, I don't think "white pride" is comparable to "black pride" since the accomplishments of white people don't have such a direct effect on white people alone, and most great accomplishments happened so long ago that no one can really relate to Plato and his Academia, or the Founding Fathers and their revival of democracy. This point is emphasized when one realizes that these accomplishments were not race related as well.

For blacks, though, what MLK and Rosa Parks did is still fresh in the minds of the members of the black community since many either were around when it happened or are directly related to someone that was around when it happened. Thus, the bond that IPT is alluding to (I think) is justified, since the feeling of accomplishment felt by those who fought with MLK has not been diluted by time or other accomplishments.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:41 PM #35
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There's a big difference between fortunate and proud. I'm fortunate we won the war, I'm fortunate that I'm a WASP(M) and I'm fortunate I come from a well to do family.

I can't say I'm LITERALLY proud of all of those. I'm proud of my 3.8 I worked hard for in school and I'm proud of the car I bought after working hard for it.

I guess that's as simple as I can put it.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:33 PM #36
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Goddamnit! I accidentally hit back and deleted my quick reply, which was quite long.

But let me approach this from a different side.

What it boiled down to was white people as a majority who constantly see the affirmation of whiteness reinforced as a positive quality in America do not take pride in their whiteness anymore, because while whiteness is reinforced in advertisements, television, in their politicians, other races are no longer believed inferior because of their race. White Americans while still believing themselves superior, base their superiority in socioeconomic and cultural terms, which although tied to race are not intrinsic to race. Which is why no one here as said I am proud to be white, because they separate being rich from being white, they separate being important from being white.

While the opposite is true for many minorities, they are brought together by what sociologists call bounded solidarity; being in an alien culture they are brought together by their common traits and characteristics. This is especially prevalent in any case where the minority is physically bounded or segregated from the white, majority community. For instance in the inner city where blacks generally live together in very dense numbers, a community which is brought together by bounded solidarity is formed. There are negatives associated with this, such as resentment associated with members of the community who want to leave it, but what I wish to show is that the reason the black community has pride in itself is because of their position inside of an alien culture. They come to see poverty as an issue of race, because all those around them are black and poor and those outside are rich and white.

If anything needs clarification just ask, because I know I was vague in some points.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:27 PM #37
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Can people develop a shared identity based off of how they are treated based on factors that are out of their control?
That is very different than your first question.

Nazi Death Camp survivors did not make a choice to go to the camps, but they survived, and have a common experience. The question is, do those people become "Holocaust Survivors" or do they become someone who survived a death camp, and go back to being a Jew, or Protestant, Gypsy? Does the way they were treated define them in totality, or does it define a small portion of their lives, brutal as it was, which they lived from there?
There is no question that it will change you, but will you allow it to define what, and who you are?

The way other people treat you defines how they treat you, nothing more. From that point, you can either let it define you, or you can fight back, and move beyond it.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:47 PM #38
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Proud of being white? I don't identify myself by race, just by myself as a person. The only times race becomes a factor is when a) someone does something stupid because of race or b) something is taken from be because of race.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:39 AM #39
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Im not white.. and honestly, i think that asking this is pointless.. you should be asking why you are proud to be an American.. and not a certain race. You have no control over what race you are.. just like someone else stated thats like asking if your proud of your height or eye color or something like that. We as Americans need to get over this whole identity thing of being white, black, hispanic or asian, we are all Americans and need to identify with each other as that..
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:55 AM #40
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Im not white.. and honestly, i think that asking this is pointless.. you should be asking why you are proud to be an American.. and not a certain race. You have no control over what race you are.. just like someone else stated thats like asking if your proud of your height or eye color or something like that. We as Americans need to get over this whole identity thing of being white, black, hispanic or asian, we are all Americans and need to identify with each other as that..
You have no control over what country you were born in either, so what makes that any different than your ethnicity?
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:04 AM #41
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I am no more proud of being white than I am proud for existing. I had no control over the subject one way or another.

I can't imagine being anything or anyone else having never been anything or anyone else. At least as far as I know. . .
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:14 AM #42
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I am proud that my hair is relatively manageable and silky soft.

I am proud that my lack of melanin helps keep the tanning salon market afloat.

I'll pony off of what has been said previously. I'm not necessarily proud of my skin being pink, as much as I am proud of my Irish heritage, (though I don't mention my French heritage as much )
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