At 12/31/06 07:28 PM, Svoboda wrote:
There are African Americans, Mexican Americans,
Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Native Americans, etc.
And then there are just Americans.
That's stupid bullshit. There are Italian Americans, German Americans, Irish Americans, Slavic Americans, Polish Americans, French Americans, Russian Americans, Spanish (not Hispanic) Americans, etc.
The difference is simply that "white" is generally considered as a more heterogenous term, encompassing several cultures with different traits. Latin Americans -for example- in the other hand, share several customs and characteristics that pull them closer together as a group. Maybe this line of thinking is flawed, but that's beyond the point.
It shouldn't take much time to find several organisations for people of diverse European heritage in the United States that aim to the same basic targets that the organisations of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, etc, do: Cooperation, preservation of their culture, protection against prejudice (although this last one is less notorious among "whites" for obvious reasons, a good example would be the Italian-American Anti-Defamation League or whatever its name is).
At 1/1/07 02:47 PM, goozebump wrote:
I do see your perspective and udnerstand it. I am also ashamed how Gangstas and "Thugs" are glorified and put on a pedastol (sp) in the black community. Its one thing to make music, a form of art and experession, but to live your life by it or try to emulate only hurts us as a people in the long run.
I'm not an expert on the subject and I could very well be wrong on this, but didn't the whole "it's cool to be a gangsta" thing emerge mainly in the late 80's/early 90's?
What I mean by this is, let's remind that those were the years of boy bands, hair rock, bubble gum teen pop, etc. Basically, those were the years where music at large ceased to be focused on artistic expression and became focused in selling records. I believe that the "gangsta" culture didn't come mostly from a racial/social background, but instead was pretty much originated as a marketing campaign, a product targeted at insecure low-income African-Americans and the ocassional white boy with racial identity problems.
This probably is sounding a bit like a conspiracy theory, but in my humble opinion the whole "gangsta" shtick was just the first of a series of cliques aimed at teens and pre-teens, (such as new goths, new punks, nu metal, emos, preps, punk rock, reggaeton, etc) the only distinguishable difference being that it was much more focused on a single race group than the latter ones.
After all - and once again I could be wrong since I'm not entirely familiar with U.S. culture - you don't see a lot of African-American goths, emos, punks, etc, do you? In my opinion, black kids who think that being a drug dealer and a pimp is "cool", aren't any more idiotic than white kids who think that moping all day and cutting themselves is "cool", or white kids who think that they're anti-stablishment for wearing a 20 dollars Che Guevara T-shirt that their parents bought them at Hot Topic.
I wouldn't say that the whole gangsta issue has its roots in the African-American community, but instead in the fact that kids as a whole are nowadays more exposed to trite, empty, "trendy" fashions crafted by corporations (not that the solution would be in pointing the finger at those corporations - after all, they're just trying to make money).
I doubt any other ethnic group in the States (or in most of the Western World, while we're at it-- just look at "chavs" in the UK) would react all that differently to being exposed to a fabricated "culture" that bastardizes their heritage and customs while being promoted as the "cool thing" (or even better, the "awful thing that parents should keep their children away from") in the media: Platinum records for whatever "artist" represents the tendency on MTV, stores full of clothing accesories of such trend, magazines and media outlets created exclusively for promoting whatever's new on it, etc.