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Old 02-13-2018, 11:19 AM   #4591
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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I am the only black partner at my firm. I am one of three attorneys. The other day I organized a client panel in Boston with an amazing group of speakers (black and white) from companies we would love to get business from about the state of the market when it comes to inside counsel's expectations when it comes to outside counsel. One of the administrators who help set it up ran into a partner who didn't attend and said, "Hey! You missed a great panel." The partner said, "Yeah, I'm not a diversity kind of guy." Wasn't joking. Didn't care how it was taken.

TM
We had someone say in an associate meeting, when asked by a non-white associate about diversity, "who has time for diversity". I could have strangled her. Claims she was joking.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:19 AM   #4592
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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I will say this: Strategically, it is unwise to characterize things as racist when discussing racist shit with white people. They cannot handle it. They completely shut down and you spend the next 5-10 years talking about:
  • whether or not they are racist
  • whether or not what they did or think actually amounts to racism
  • whether an action is intentionally racist, and if it's not, whether that means it's racist
  • what they know to be true in their heart about themselves
  • if they are good people
  • how many black people they know
  • your sensitivity levels
  • that one time a black person got something that that person believed they deserved
  • why you're so focused on race
  • whether or not you're "playing the race card" to get some kind of benefit somehow
  • how their parents had a hard life
  • etfuckingcetera
TM
Yeah, although, I wonder whether in the long term white people don't need to hear a lot more about racism so they can go through all of that and maybe approach acceptance. Gotta pick your spots though.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:22 AM   #4593
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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This is SOoooooooooo fucking true. Someday you and I need to have a coffee and I need to get help strategizing about how to keep trying to eliminate the segregation in some of the institutions I deal with. You should have seen the look on one of my employment law partners faces when I told him I thought we all had to admit we are at least influenced by racism, even him and even me.

I debate constantly right now whether it is time to scream "Enough. Stop being Racists." because the incrementalism really hasn't worked at all, for example, over the last 20 years in Boston law firms. Or whether that is just going to shut down anyone from listening. I've been doing more of the "Enough." lately than I used to.

I have been lucky enough to have hired and worked with a very diverse group of associates over the years. I have seen the barriers faced by those of them of color or who are women. It really pisses me off every day.
My new tack is to show them impressive diverse people who are making decisions about who is getting their business. I'm not sure anyone listens to the messages they say about how diverse teams benefit from different perspectives, how it's important to them, etc. But they sure as hell are struck dumb when the GC of a company they'd love to have as a client is Black or Asian.

I'm constantly telling my partners that they need to think about this like they do IT. The market is evolving on this. It doesn't matter what you believe or how you like to work. If you don't change you will be left behind. Hell, they're losing out on business right now and they don't even know it and when they do, they don't know why.

The problem I run into most at a firm my size are the partners who are at the tail end of their career, who have their relationships, who aren't interested in expanding relationships, and who do their work and go home. Those are the people who will bring a firm down. And management of firms with those people are terrified of pushing them too far.

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Old 02-13-2018, 11:22 AM   #4594
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Claims she was joking.
Should have added this one to my bullet point list above.

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Old 02-13-2018, 11:24 AM   #4595
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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I think the whole point was to eschew tradition to accentuate the break from the link. I think they're both beautiful.

A tip: Do not ask any black people you know about this unless, out of the blue, they tell you they don't like those portraits. I know it's completely innocuous, but any criticism of the decision by the first black President to use two black artists to paint portraits that will sit in the fucking White House, will get you side-eye I don't think you're ready for.

TM
Looking at the portraits at the White House Historical Association (here: https://www.whitehousehistory.org/ga...lady-portraits ), hers isn't the first to eschew the dusty stereotype. Look at Martha Jefferson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Jackie Kennedy, for examples. It won't be out of place. It will be distinctive.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:25 AM   #4596
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Yeah, although, I wonder whether in the long term white people don't need to hear a lot more about racism so they can go through all of that and maybe approach acceptance.
They surely do. They just need to hear it from white people. The problem is, white people don't have these discussions with each other. So when we have to bring it up, it absolutely has to be strategic because whatever we're saying is turned into an attack on their person and the underlying issue is then lost to the universe for all of time and you're now focusing on their feelings.

TM

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Old 02-13-2018, 11:26 AM   #4597
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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My new tack is to show them impressive diverse people who are making decisions about who is getting their business. I'm not sure anyone listens to the messages they say about how diverse teams benefit from different perspectives, how it's important to them, etc. But they sure as hell are struck dumb when the GC of a company they'd love to have as a client is Black or Asian.

I'm constantly telling my partners that they need to think about this like they do IT. The market is evolving on this. It doesn't matter what you believe or how you like to work. If you don't change you will be left behind. Hell, they're losing out on business right now and they don't even know it and when they do, they don't know why.

The problem I run into most at a firm my size are the partners who are at the tail end of their career, who have their relationships, who aren't interested in expanding relationships, and who do their work and go home. Those are the people who will bring a firm down. And management of firms with those people are terrified of pushing them too far.

TM
My current strategy is to say if stuff doesn't improve I'll go elsewhere.

But I really don't want to, I'd rather fix it here. And most elsewheres are no better.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:18 PM   #4598
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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In half a dozen words or less. "It's a big tent. Cognitive dissonance." Next?
If you're striving to generate cognitive dissonance, nicely done.

If Edmund Burke had gone to Paris and said that the ancien regime just wanted to pay lower taxes, no one would have read him them, let alone now.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:34 PM   #4599
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Conservatism is reactionary. Progressive politics is insurgent. In either case, you've elites, despite their endless profuse denials of that status, asserting "We speak for the common man, whose best interests we serve."
Your description of progressive politics is basically a conservative talking point. If by "progressive" you mean "Democratic" then there are some elites involved, but by "progressive" you mean (more accurately) the leftie wing of the Democratic party instead of the centrist wing of the Democratic party, equating conservative elites with progressive elites, like saying that 19th century capitalists and Communists were both elites claiming to speak for the common man because Friedrich Engels's father owned a textile mill.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:16 PM   #4600
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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It absolutely is. It very explicitly was - via federal government policy - in the not too distant past and next to nothing has been done to level the playing field.
I think Sebby is applying a sort of rigorous intent test, where he's not comfortable calling something out as racist unless it's pretty clear that the intent was explicitly race-conscious. But there are so many ways in which government acts that might not have be designed specifically to disadvantage blacks, but do. For example, blacks tend to live in cities and in the South. Either way, the way that Senators and Representatives are picked underrepresents them. When designed, blacks were kept from voting altogether, so that wasn't the intent but it certainly is the continuing effect. Another, much more concrete (pun-intended) example: When the Robert Taylor Homes were built in Chicago, next to the Dan Ryan Expressway, it was a local government decision to build them as high-rises instead of more traditional buildings, and that decision was made (according to Nicolas Lemann's book) partly so that more of the federal money would go to the contractors. Assume that was the sole intent if you will and argue that it wasn't "racist," but the effects were what they were.

Which is to say, Sebby, that if it makes you uncomfortable to call something "racist" in the absence of the kind of incontrovertible evidence you want, you need to find another word to acknowledge pervasive, systemic, oppressive discrimination.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:38 PM   #4601
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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I think Sebby is applying a sort of rigorous intent test, where he's not comfortable calling something out as racist unless it's pretty clear that the intent was explicitly race-conscious. But there are so many ways in which government acts that might not have be designed specifically to disadvantage blacks, but do. For example, blacks tend to live in cities and in the South. Either way, the way that Senators and Representatives are picked underrepresents them. When designed, blacks were kept from voting altogether, so that wasn't the intent but it certainly is the continuing effect. Another, much more concrete (pun-intended) example: When the Robert Taylor Homes were built in Chicago, next to the Dan Ryan Expressway, it was a local government decision to build them as high-rises instead of more traditional buildings, and that decision was made (according to Nicolas Lemann's book) partly so that more of the federal money would go to the contractors. Assume that was the sole intent if you will and argue that it wasn't "racist," but the effects were what they were.

Which is to say, Sebby, that if it makes you uncomfortable to call something "racist" in the absence of the kind of incontrovertible evidence you want, you need to find another word to acknowledge pervasive, systemic, oppressive discrimination.
Yes, but the intent is there if you look at all too, especially in housing policy. And transportation policy, where all over the place freeways were routed through black neighborhoods on purpose.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:13 PM   #4602
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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Yes, but the intent is there if you look at all too, especially in housing policy. And transportation policy, where all over the place freeways were routed through black neighborhoods on purpose.
But... but.... but...

It wasn't because they were black it was because the white people running things didn't give a shit about them.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:46 PM   #4603
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

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But... but.... but...

It wasn't because they were black it was because the white people running things didn't give a shit about them.
No, there's evidence that they did actually care about those neighborhoods, in the sense that they actively wanted to get rid of them.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:57 PM   #4604
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I will be there from Thursday through Monday, staying in the Loop (at someone's suggestion) if anyone wants to meet. I also welcome suggestions of bars, restaurants, and indoor things to do/see that I won't find on common websites. Thanks in advance,
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Old 02-13-2018, 07:24 PM   #4605
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Re: Mother, mother, mother - there's too many of you crying.

I've heard this idea somewhere before? Can we use tight-pack in the basement or is loose-pack required?
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