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12:04 PM on 02/26/12 
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birdman
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i actually agree with his statement about how black history is american history.

Agreed.
12:46 PM on 02/26/12 
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Love As Arson
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i actually agree with his statement about how black history is american history.
I agree with it as well. My issue was with his view on how to end racism.

Well, in Hollywood, an actor like Freeman certainly does own the means of production. Films are often budgeted based on the talent. For example, a studio is going to approve a larger budget for a film directed by Spielberg rather than a film directed by the guy who makes all the shitty Adam Sandler movies.

So, in a sense, Morgan Freeman's involvement in a film may mean the difference between filming on a sound stage rather than on location.

He may not technically "own" the means of production, but he certainly influences it.

Let's not even get into the fact that it took Freemen decades to get where he is and he has earned the autonomy he enjoys now.
He certainly has more power than the average middle-class worker, but as he does not own a studio or control the day-to-day decisions in the business, I would still not lump him in with the capitalist class. If he, as an actor, were to somehow lose popularity/profitability, then he would no longer wield the power he does now. Further, I wouldn't say that he hasn't worked to get where he is, rather, my initial comment was referring to how his class position influences his views on racism. There have been many within the black middle-class who, by virtue of economic privilege, have their experiences with race mitigated. As a result, racism appears to them as something which can be ignored out of existence,e.g., rarely do black stars have to deal with police brutality, so framing it as a racial issue does not make sense to them, rather, it is a matter of a few bad apples.
12:52 PM on 02/26/12 
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birdman
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I agree with it as well. My issue was with his view on how to end racism.


He certainly has more power than the average middle-class worker, but as he does not own a studio or control the day-to-day decisions in the business, I would still not lump him in with the capitalist class. If he, as an actor, were to somehow lose popularity/profitability, then he would no longer wield the power he does now. Further, I wouldn't say that he hasn't worked to get where he is, rather, my initial comment was referring to how his class position influences his views on racism. There have been many within the black middle-class who, by virtue of economic privilege, have their experiences with race mitigated. As a result, racism appears to them as something which can be ignored out of existence,e.g., rarely do black stars have to deal with police brutality, so framing it as a racial issue does not make sense to them, rather, it is a matter of a few bad apples.

Well, what you call "economic privilege" I call the fruits of your labor.

Morgan Freeman isn't "privileged". He is a talented artist that participates in work that people enjoy and will pay money to expeirience.

If you take Morgan Freeman out of The Shawshank Redemption then it is a tenth of the film it is today.

Freeman ignores racism because blaming white people on your station in life never did anyone any good.
01:06 PM on 02/26/12 
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Ryan Dennehy
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You seem to be missing the fact that he never said Freeman was privileged and that he wouldn't say he didn't work to get where he is.
01:06 PM on 02/26/12 
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birdman
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Can I also add that Morgan Freeman was born in 1937. He has been way through way more substantial racial inequality than you have. He lived through Jim Crow and segregation. So I think his views on racism is extremely valid.
01:08 PM on 02/26/12 
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Ryan Dennehy
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"I can make broad statements about other people's experiences based solely on the time period they were born in."
01:12 PM on 02/26/12 
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birdman
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"I can make broad statements about other people's experiences based solely on the time period they were born in."

"I can make broad statements about other people's experiences based soeley on how much money they make."
01:29 PM on 02/26/12 
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Healthy Scratch
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To put in blunt, crude and simple terms; If I, as a white male, go for a job interview and there are 5 candidates, one is me and the other four are non-white individuals. If I then get offered and accept this job, does this make me a racist?

No, it doesn't make you racist. It makes you a participant in, and beneficiary of, racist practices.

so are we just automatically assuming that the white guy wasn't the most qualified?
a white man being offered a job =/= racist practice.
01:30 PM on 02/26/12 
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I agree with it as well. My issue was with his view on how to end racism.


He certainly has more power than the average middle-class worker, but as he does not own a studio or control the day-to-day decisions in the business, I would still not lump him in with the capitalist class. If he, as an actor, were to somehow lose popularity/profitability, then he would no longer wield the power he does now. Further, I wouldn't say that he hasn't worked to get where he is, rather, my initial comment was referring to how his class position influences his views on racism. There have been many within the black middle-class who, by virtue of economic privilege, have their experiences with race mitigated. As a result, racism appears to them as something which can be ignored out of existence,e.g., rarely do black stars have to deal with police brutality, so framing it as a racial issue does not make sense to them, rather, it is a matter of a few bad apples.

"I can make broad statements about other people's experiences based soeley on how much money they make."
Well, would you look at that. No absolutes.

I don't know a thing about Morgan Freeman's life, but it is entirely possible that he lived his entire life without encountering severe racism, and it is also possible that Love As Arson has been beaten and attacked for his race. But it also doesn't matter what his personal experiences are, really. Saying Morgan Freeman lived through worse than he did doesn't make his points any less valid.
01:41 PM on 02/26/12 
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georgedcc
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so are we just automatically assuming that the white guy wasn't the most qualified?
a white man being offered a job =/= racist practice.

Ha, well I did say it was a crude and simple example. It was only a hypothetical anyway, if that actually happened to me in real life, I'd be chuffed that I got the job and I'd believe it was because I was the best one for the job.
01:48 PM on 02/26/12 
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birdman
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Well, would you look at that. No absolutes.

I don't know a thing about Morgan Freeman's life, but it is entirely possible that he lived his entire life without encountering severe racism, and it is also possible that Love As Arson has been beaten and attacked for his race. But it also doesn't matter what his personal experiences are, really. Saying Morgan Freeman lived through worse than he did doesn't make his points any less valid.

And it could be the other way around. My point is that in response to Freeman's comments it was said that e is a middle class black man and that why he feels the way he does.

The implication was that the opinions of successful blacks in America are written off by black America on account of their success (see Bill Cosby).
02:24 PM on 02/26/12 
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i actually agree with his statement about how black history is american history.

Interviewer: Black history month you findÖ

Morgan Freeman: Ridiculous.

Interviewer: Why?

Morgan Freeman: Youíre going to relegate my history to a month?

Interviewer: Oh, come on.

Morgan Freeman: What do you do with yours? Which month is white history month?

Interviewer: (pause) Well, Iím Jewish.

Morgan Freeman: Okay. Which month is Jewish history month?

Interviewer: There isnít one.

Morgan Freeman: Oh, oh. Why not? Do you want one?

Interviewer: No.

Morgan Freeman: Right. I donít either. I donít want a black history month. Black history is American history.

Interviewer: How are we going to get rid of racism?

Morgan Freeman: Stop talking about it.

Freeman puts it best once again. Not very relevant, but I just wanted to post it lol


Well, what you call "economic privilege" I call the fruits of your labor.

Morgan Freeman isn't "privileged". He is a talented artist that participates in work that people enjoy and will pay money to expeirience.

If you take Morgan Freeman out of The Shawshank Redemption then it is a tenth of the film it is today.

Freeman ignores racism because blaming white people on your station in life never did anyone any good.

Can I also add that Morgan Freeman was born in 1937. He has been way through way more substantial racial inequality than you have. He lived through Jim Crow and segregation. So I think his views on racism is extremely valid.


I agree too with what he thinks of Black history month. I disagree with the idea of 'Don't talk about racism if you want it to go away.' That's the stupidest thing you can possibly do -- ignore the problem and pretend it doesn't exist, so it is more easily perpetuated and preserved. I took a class on this that focused mainly on Critical Race Theory, and the first and most important element of CRT, right off of Wikipedia, is
Quote:
A critique of liberalism: CRT scholars favor a more aggressive approach to social transformation as opposed to liberalism's more cautious approach, favor a race conscious approach to transformation rather than liberalism's embrace of color blindness, and favor an approach that relies more on political organizing, in contrast to liberalism's reliance on rights-based remedies.
Basically, eradication happens not with ignorance. It happens with acknowledgement, with discussion, with open dialogue about the issue. The more people talk about it, the less it is some sort of stupid taboo that of which will lead people to, plain and simply, misunderstanding racism and what it is to be racist, and what it is to be not.

02:30 PM on 02/26/12 
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sjb2k1
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6. I assume they are angrily speaking to the fact that black anti-racist activists rarely get called up to speak on race, because it is sort of considered a redundancy. So, they go and get Tim Wise, who has excellent views on race, as both a novelty and to give the best analysis of experiences and actions that do not occur to him on a daily basis. I would begrudge him his success, but even he would acknowledge that there is an implicit power-playing going on when they call him up instead of, say, Angel Davis to speak about the black prison population. In the first case, I think there is a tendency within white activism that tends to be self-congratulatory,e.g., we protested against prisons and we came to your neighborhoods, so you should give us a pat on the back for being so radical.
pretty sure this is the guy i saw speak who was talking about how "it's not as bad as 1808/65/98/1954" etc. interesting.
05:56 PM on 02/26/12 
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Love As Arson
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Well, what you call "economic privilege" I call the fruits of your labor.

Morgan Freeman isn't "privileged". He is a talented artist that participates in work that people enjoy and will pay money to expeirience.
.
Well, first of all, take a step back and look at the context of our conversation, namely that we are talking about the privilege to be free from racism. You are positioning wealth as a means of escape, rather than freedom from racism as something which should be the norm. Furthermore, referring to Freeman as privileged in no way deprives him of the work he had to undertake to get to that position. It is an objective assessment of his position given the amount of money he has.

If you take Morgan Freeman out of The Shawshank Redemption then it is a tenth of the film it is today.
When I watched that movie, all I could hope for was that Andy Dufrane got shanked by Freeman's character. Then, he'd give his speech about reform being just another word. Would have been awesome. IMO.

Freeman ignores racism because blaming white people on your station in life never did anyone any good.
He ignores racism because he can afford to. If he and I are walking down the street and a cop needs to make a quota, then I will be the individual harassed, not Freeman, because I do not have the type of privilege he does. This is not to say that he doesn't experience racism, but, as I said, that his experiences with it are mitigated by his class and from that position flows his analysis of how to deal with racism. I do not think this is a controversial thing and I think, as usual, you're offering nothing but a caricature of my statements and not addressing them substantively.
06:02 PM on 02/26/12 
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georgedcc
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If you take Morgan Freeman out of The Shawshank Redemption then it is a tenth of the film it is today.


Fun fact: In the book and the original version of the script, Freeman's character was a white Irish man. Hence the name 'Red' referring to his hair colour. They left the 'maybe it's because I'm Irish' line in the film as a wink and a nod towards the audience.
 



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