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Conference: Making the Peace, Eliminating Racism
The following transcript was recorded on

Tuesday, 9/2/97, 3:00 PM PT

with Hugh Vazquez of The Todos Institute in Oakland, California
(find out more about Hugh Vasquez and the Todos Institute in our Solutions in Sight story here)

©1997-2017 Electric Eggplant


BluesCCC: Hi ! Welcome to TheInSite!
BluesCCC: Tonight's Topic is:
BluesCCC: .Making the Peace, Eliminating Racism.
BluesCCC: Tonight's Guest is
BluesCCC: Hugh Vazquez of The Todos Institute
BluesCCC: in Oakland California

BluesCCC: ***********************************************

BluesCCC: Mr. Vazquez and his staff have been
BluesCCC: running OutReach Programs for many
BluesCCC: years with Teenagers and we are very
BluesCCC: fortunate to have him with us tonight!

BluesCCC: ***********************************************

BluesCCC: Let's all extend a warm welcome
BluesCCC: to Mr. Vazquez and learn from the Insight
BluesCCC: he has to offer on a very critical topic
BluesCCC: in today's life..........................................
BluesCCC: Making The Peace and Eliminating Racism...

BluesCCC: ***********************************************

BluesCCC: We do ask for everyone to NOT
BluesCCC: speak out of turn in order to make this run
BluesCCC: as smoothly as possible and easier for
BluesCCC: Mr. Vazquez to speak with us and answer
BluesCCC: everyone's question without interruption.

BluesCCC: **********************************************

BluesCCC: OK!......Our Conference will start momentarily!.....Today we will be discussing Racism and Making the Peace. So please have your questions ready!

Lahaina: Okay Hugh: go for it

Hugh: Hi everyone! Have you thought much about racism?
Hugh: We are in a time where racism is at the heart of our problems, and it is something we need to all be concerned with.
Hugh: Who has the problem?

Lahaina: BluesCCC: We should probably ask all the colored people to leave before the conference....don't you think?

Hugh: Why do you think the people of color should leave?

NO: Hugh race is an issue that can not be solved, at least at not this point of time

Lahaina: SO I think we should take a poll of the races which are present...

Scorpio: Lahaina.....that was really really mean of u...

Lahaina: <----Caucasian

NO: I am middle eastern

EnzoTIS: List: Lahaina

NO: ************what races do we have present**********

Scorpio is Greek

NO: <-------Middle Eastern

Hugh: I'm ready for questions.

Lahaina: ?

EnzoTIS: -#TheInSite- If you have a question, type ? and you will be added to the question list. Thanks! ***

BluesCCC: OK!.....Let's start with the first question!....

EnzoTIS: List: Lahaina

BluesCCC: Lahaina.....you were first in our queue
BluesCCC: Go ahead, Lahaina!

Lahaina: Do you feel the reversal of affirmative action in California is good and do you think it will changed at the federal level in the near future

Hugh: Great question.

BluesCCC: very good, Lahaina

Hugh: No, I do not think what is happening with Affirmative Action is good. The idea of not giving preferences is good, but we still do not have an equal playing field. Until we do, I think we need some sort of Affirm action.
Hugh: Not sure about the Federal level changes,

Lahaina: Doesn't competition eventually create a level playing field?

Hugh: Competition leads to a level

NO: YES WE DO

Hugh: playing field when the playing field is already level.

BluesCCC: Lahaina...anything else to add?

Lahaina: Only that I was glad to see such a liberal State like CA reverse Affirmative action it shows that it simply doesn't work and that the quality of all services involved are of lesser quality when affirmative action is applied

Hugh: I have a question for all of you.

NO: I agree with Lahaina

Hugh: Do you think some ethnic groups have privilege with the current way society works?

NO: i agree Yes they do this is what democracy is about

BluesCCC: Society can only work when we can all work together...

Rainygirl: that's true

BluesCCC: does anyone have anything to add ?
BluesCCC: OK!.....Let's Continue.....

BluesCCC: *************************************
BluesCCC: We know Racism is a part of our everyday lives
BluesCCC: but as children, we don't know the meaning
BluesCCC: of it......yet as we grow, go to school and meet
BluesCCC: people from other Ethnic Backgrounds,
BluesCCC: it's a feeling that grows with us.........
BluesCCC: Do you feel this is generated more from the
BluesCCC: Home Environment or is it something that is
BluesCCC: *Learned* as we go through our lives?
BluesCCC: **************************************

Hugh: NO, I'm not sure what you mean?

Lahaina: Working together does not mean forcing people to accept lesser ability because of the color of skin

EnzoTIS: -#TheInSite- Remember, If you have a question, don't hesitate to ask,just type ? and I will put you on the question list! : ) ***

BluesCCC: Thanks, Enzo....

NO: in order for us to become a true democracy we shall eliminate Affirmative Action, because your qualifications are what should determine if you are able to get a job not your race

Lahaina: ?

Hugh: Racism is a learned trait, it is not something we are born with. Racism is something we learn from the media, the schools, our families, friends but we do not enter this world racist

Rainygirl: I agree with Hugh...it is learned

Lahaina: Well I wonder if you think that different races naturally polarize

NO: I learned racism when I came to the United States Of America
NO: Exactly

Rainygirl: Racism is growing daily down here in New Zealand...

BluesCCC: Hugh.....are you ready to continue or can you add to that?

NO: Racism is a cancer you can not eliminate it unless you disable the whole body

BluesCCC: Agree, NO...

Hugh: Would you say that racism exists in the schools you attend?

NO: Yes it does

Rainygirl: Yes

EnzoTIS: Not in mine, there is only one ethnic group

Hugh: Does racism show itself in your history books?

NO: I am a racist

Lahaina: ?

NO: against Jews

EnzoTIS: List: Lahaina

Lahaina: Do you think the first black man came from being struck by lightning by God?

Hugh: Some people think racism only happens between individuals, but guess what, racism shows itself in who gets arrested, who gets to graduate, who gets to go to college, who gets jobs, health care..

BluesCCC: Lahaina....did you still have a question?

Lahaina: Yeah
Lahaina: I do Blue

BluesCCC: Go ahead, Lahaina...

Lahaina: Here goes
Lahaina: Don't you think it is only racism if a person is offended by what someone says- I mean I find it to be the same argument as women not being treated right The reality of the situation is no matter what you are or what color you are there will always be someone who likes someone better than you. It doesn't matter who or what you are-that is human nature. So my point is ...if you don't like the way your treated, move away! I mean shucks ToPDawg is a gay black man...but I like him...Now I wouldn't want him to married my brother but shucks that don't make him a bad guy. I mean when TopDawg was hitting on all the guys in the gay channel I said..I bet down under all that perversion is a great guy

ToPDaWg: Hey I'm not gay

Hugh: Lahaina, do you think it is sexist when someone says an offensive remark to another woman and you feel the remark is ok?

Lahaina: nice work tho
Lahaina: Aloha!!!!!

BluesCCC: OK!......Let's continue..

Hugh: Ok folks, now to the question of who is to blame for racism. Before I comment I would like to know what your answer is to that?

EnzoTIS: Anyone who instills our views in us

BluesCCC: My first reaction to begin an answer is it's from what we are taught.....in society around us....

EnzoTIS: exactly

Hugh: Yes, but there is a feeling in society that white people are to blame, do you agree?
Hugh: ga

BluesCCC: Agree, Hugh........ however the population of *white* people is not as large as it was.........we are having a major influx of all type of ethnic backgrounds in the US...

Hugh: I think one of the biggest problems we have today about racism is that white people are being blamed It gets us nowhere to blame each other. Instead, I think we need a period of healing from racism. How can we make the peace if we do not heal from all the wounds caused by racism?

BluesCCC: Hugh.....the gap widens

Hugh: NO, what did you mean by being racist towards Jews?

BluesCCC: when we can't accept everyone for who they are and not the color, or background they come from

Hugh: NO, are you still there?

BluesCCC: NO........are you with us?

ToPDaWg: Well you shouldn't put people down because of who they are.

EnzoTIS: No, are you there?

BluesCCC: exactly, ToPDaWg

Hugh: ga

BluesCCC: ************************************
BluesCCC: We have Many groups out there who do
BluesCCC: some pretty awful things...
BluesCCC: Desecrate Gravestones, Burn Crosses, etc....
BluesCCC: What effect do you feel this has on your
BluesCCC: program and how do you explain the feelings
BluesCCC: it might stir in the people you work with?
BluesCCC: ***************************************

Hugh: These are the blatant racist acts. Usually, these acts come from hatred that has been created inside someone. But even these people were not born with hate. It had to be developed by the outside world.

BluesCCC: Agree totally......

ToPDaWg: well some people do this because of past experiences

BluesCCC: explain, TopDawg.....

Hugh: I am concerned with hateful acts, and I am even more concerned with people who are asleep, that is, they are hurtful to someone and don't even know it.

Jasmine15: I do

ToPDaWg: Well something might of happened between god and them and they think that doing all this stuff will bring out the madness

Hugh: Top, have you had bad experiences with someone from another ethnic group?

ToPDaWg: nope

Hugh: Great, so what can you do to make sure racism is eliminated by the time you have children?

Jasmine15: Is that a question to everyone?

Hugh: Yes, it is a question for everyone.

Jasmine15: ok

ToPDaWg: Well i have but it wasn't because they were from another ethnic group it was the way they treated me

BluesCCC: But TopDawg.....that may have been a small group...it doesn't mean the ENTIRE race is that same way.

Jasmine15: I think everyone that is a racist needs to wake up and find themselves. You can't judge someone by race or anything. we are all people inside.

ToPDaWg: oh i know it was just 1 person

Hugh: We are all people inside - and --

Jasmine15: yes inside and out

Hugh: we each have experiences that set stereotypes in our head about others. One of the best things we can do is try to understand the lies we believe, or have been taught about others and try to get rid of these lies.

BluesCCC: *****************************************
BluesCCC: How would you suggest things be handled
BluesCCC: when kids ask how to deal with their parents'
BluesCCC: own racist feelings by not allowing kids of
BluesCCC: other backgrounds to come to their homes
BluesCCC: or associate with?
BluesCCC: ******************************************

ToPDaWg: Those racists wouldn't like it if they were getting put down because of their race

Hugh:Handling parents is a tricky subject. You first have to have a relationship with your parent where honesty can be there. Can you say to your parent, "I have a very important question?" I want to know why you feel that way about ____ people?

ToPDaWg: and the parent has to be able to listen what you have to say

EnzoTIS: List: ELMO, Jasmine15, ELMO

ToPDaWg: Well i have nothing against white,black Mexican,etc.

BluesCCC: the unfortunate part is that many don't have the open relationships to be able to do so, which widens the gap at the start

Hugh: Elmo, what is your question?

ELMO: Umm. I hate to say this, but I was set up with a guy who was my friends guy's friend and he was of color.

BluesCCC: Explain a bit, ELMO...... was it a Blind Date?

izzabelle: what race was he?

ELMO African American. Yes, a blind date. I always thought that I wasn't racist, and I don't want to be! but i felt really uncomfortable being with him. What should I do to eliminate the feelings?

Hugh: Elmo, it is great to hear your honesty, that is what we need to get rid of all the bad feelings. You just did the first, and most important step.

BluesCCC: agree

ELMO: so, what's next?

Hugh: To everyone, this is the first time I have done this topic on line.

izzabelle: what was it that didn't make you feel comfortable?

Hugh: This will be a weekly topic and we will explore a lot more in the future.

BluesCCC: Hate to say so, but we have about 10 minutes before we have to end.........

ToPDaWg: ELMO why did you have a problem with him being African American?

Hugh: We'll be here every Tuesday at 3:00 PM PT

ELMO: I don't know?!! I just felt awkward!

ToPDaWg: oh ok.

izzabelle: where are you from elmo?

BluesCCC: we have time for one more question.......who would like to ask .......

Hugh: Yes, feeling awkward is very normal, it's ok.

ELMO: It was the first time that I actually talked to an African American, I'm from WI.

Hugh: Now, if you think about why you felt that way, you would go back to how you have been taught about African American peoples. Chances are you were not born feeling awkward, right?

ELMO: right

izzabelle: Are there not many ethnic people there?

ToPDaWg: Well i went with an Anglo American and every body was criticizing me but i didn't mind cause i really liked her

BluesCCC: and that is all that counts TopDawg.....

ELMO: izzabelle, I live in a place where there are practically none, 1/2 an hour away and it's mostly ONLY ethnic people!
ELMO: Hugh- GO ON

BluesCCC: ok......let's continue.....

ELMO: okay.

BluesCCC: *************************************
BluesCCC: What kind of response would you give
BluesCCC: if someone asked a question like this.....
BluesCCC: "What can I do about it when teachers or
BluesCCC: bus drivers single out someone because of
BluesCCC: their color?"
BluesCCC: **************************************

Hugh: I am a mixed heritage, Mexican and white person. I want everyone, not just Mexican people to stop any racism coming at me. I am making the same commitment to everyone else. What you can do is say something. Say, "that is not right." Tell them to stop singling people out.

ELMO: I think that we could maybe talk personally to the teacher or bus driver and tell them what we think.

ToPDaWg: Well they shouldn't do that because they wouldn't like it if that happened to them!
ToPDaWg: my point exactly Hugh

BluesCCC: .....did you guys have something to add to that.....or anyone else?

Hugh: So we have to learn how to be allies to each other.

ToPDaWg: well it was good having her/him

Hugh: It is good having all of you here. I think the best thing we can do is keep talking, keep helping each other out, keep being honest. Thanks.

BluesCCC: *^*^^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^**
BluesCCC: Thank you all for coming to The InSite!
BluesCCC: and Thanks to Hugh Vazquez
BluesCCC: for taking time to Chat with us...
BluesCCC: Let's all extend our thanks !!!
BluesCCC: *^*^*^*^^*^*^*^*^*^**^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^
BluesCCC: Our conference is almost over...
BluesCCC: but feel free to stay and discuss
BluesCCC: related subjects!
BluesCCC: Have a good night, all....
BluesCCC: ****************************************************

Hugh: Tell your friends about this conference and we'll see you next week

EnzoTIS: Make Sure that you Visit our URL: /theinsite/

BluesCCC: Mr. Vazquez....we do appreciate all of your time, and I for one will certainly look forward to the coming weeks

Hugh: Thanks BluesCCC - see you next time

BluesCCC: Hugh.....thanks again !

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BluesCCC: Have a great night everyone...

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