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Discussion Topics

Horizontal Aggression

What is Horizontal Aggression? (also referred to as Horizontal Racism)

“The results of people of targeted racial groups (Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native) believing, acting on or enforcing the dominant (White) system of racist discrimination and oppression. Horizontal aggression can occur between members of the same racial group or between members of different, targeted racial groups.

  • Examples of horizontal aggression occurring between members of the same racial group: An Asian person telling another Asian who is wearing a Sari to dress like an "American". A Latino person telling another Latino to stop speaking Spanish.
  • Examples of horizontal aggression occurring between members of different targeted racial groups: Latinos believing stereotypes about Native Americans, Blacks not wanting Asians to move into predominantly Black neighborhoods, etc.”

Reference: Urban Dictionary

Media Links and Discussion

Each of the following topics includes a link to a piece of media and discussion questions that can be used in discussion.

Boondocks – “The N Counter”

Audience: High School Seniors/College Students/Adults

Content: Individuals will observe how many times is the N word used?
Discussion questions:

  1. Have you ever used the N word?
  2. How do you feel when you hear the N word?
  3. What does using the N word mean for you? For different people?

Audience: Middle School
Content: Comic strip about within group discrimination Discussion questions:

  1. Is there racism that occurs within your race?
  2. What are differences within your race?
  3. What thoughts do you have about people within your race?
  4. What are your thoughts about individuals who are members of other racial groups?

Dave Chappell on being forthcoming about racist beliefs held by ethnic groups about other ethnic groups

(4 mins, 45 secs long - explicit language - )

Audience: College Students/Adults
Content: Overt Racism & Horizontal Aggression (Discriminatory beliefs held by whites and different ethnic groups towards each other) (:52 – 3:45)
Discussion questions:

  1. What are the racial stereotypes we hold in our heads? What are the things we think but don’t say?
  2. Do we act on these thoughts/beliefs? How do you know?
  3. What would happen if we respectfully discussed our thoughts on and questions about different ethnic groups in a multiethnic setting? What would you ask? What would you say?

Margaret Cho & Bruce Daniels Why Korean and Black People Need to Stop Hating Each Other (Animation)

Audience: College Students/Adults
Content: Explores in a short cartoon the animosity between 2 groups and suggests that who both groups may really hate is white people. Cartoon ends with characters in group therapy together.
Discussion questions:

  1. What do you think are some of the factors that fuel animosity between minority groups?
  2. Why might Cho’s character have said to Daniels’ character that they really are wasting time that they could be “spending hating white people?”
  3. If you were the group therapist, how might you intervene next with these characters?

Eyes like this

Audience: College Students/Adults
Content: While discussing police giving physical descriptions of race based characteristics, a newscaster takes his fingers and pulls his eyes back and shows what he portrays as “Chinese eyes.” The newscaster is African American.
Discussion questions:

  1. Can members of an ethnic minority be racist? What does this mean?
  2. What might provide some understanding of this type of remark and behavior from an ethnic minority male newscaster who is describing police profiling of male criminal suspects?
  3. What do you think are some of the factors that fuel animosity between minority groups?