Talking about race with white people

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onlinediscountanvils

NS wrote:

Lawd, where is Tim Wise when you need him?

 

Probably under a rock with Hugo Schwyzer. 

NS NS's picture

You're right, I take it back.

6079_Smith_W

We're all just one race: the human race, says white guy.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/don-atchison-mayor-of-saskatoon-...

The biggest embarrassment about the radio interview wasn't the deflection of how much the city is apparently doing, and how much better we are in his mind than Winnipeg, nor how much other people are suffering too, but that there was no mention of Neil Stonechild.

About the only good thing is that he came off really badly. Sadly, he is still running this city.

 

Slumberjack

Conservative MP referred to 'whities,' 'brown people' when asked about the Temporary Foreign Workers program

Yep.  According to Conservative MP John Williamson, Canadians are white, while non Canadians are brown.  This might infuriate him even more, but in the country that exists outside of John Williamson's head, Canadians who are also non-white are getting paid to stay home as well, if we take his point about the effects of the Temporary Foreign Worker's program.

lagatta

Wagezombie, I really liked that bicycle piece. I've always been very annoyed by the term "white privilege" for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because I think racism is a problem of Black, Brown, Asian and here especially Indigenous people suffer discrimination, denial of rights, and in the case of Indigenous people, persecution and systemic violence. I've always viewed this as a matter of racism and discrimination, not "privilege", as we all have the RIGHT to the city and to circulate safely and have equal opportunity to jobs, housing etc. Secondly, I've always viewed the term "privilege" as applying to a small minority, defined by wealth, but also "breeding" aka inherited wealth and not only whiteness but the right kind of whiteness (WASP or some Northwestern European), private school education, prestigious higher education, passes to get jobs even if they are on the dim side (Bush fils, Trudeau fils). And in terms of power usually males.

Like the writer, I'm (mostly) white of various hues and origins (also some Caribbean, some Indigenous ancestry) and am very close to non-white people in terms of family ties. And grew up in the kind of house where there were books but at times not much food. Thus sent to a school in a "better" district and always felt the sting of the putdowns from far richer kids (one actually said, in false-sympathy: "she doesn't have the privileges we do".

Privilege certainly makes sense in terms of the odd tendency for police bullets to have a magnetic attraction to brown and black young men, or the very concept of driving or walking while Black. I think the huge discrepancy in terms of numbers of Indigenous women and girls missing and murdered , and the power élite's dismissal of this racist crime, merits a tougher term still. But the "check your privilege" line, usually proferred by postmodernist whites, not people of colour, strikes me as a means of shutting down conversation and overlooking the class struggle.

Slumberjack, odd how this jerk seems to forget that the original inhabitatns of what is now his riding were Indigenous people, probably the ancestors of the Mi'kmaq Nation.

Slumberjack

Quote:
But the "check your privilege" line, usually proferred by postmodernist whites,

I don't know if it's them so much as it might reflect liberal democratic predicates, being derivitive of the present.

onlinediscountanvils

Sam Adler-Bell: [url=http://www.alternet.org/culture/why-white-people-freak-out-when-theyre-c... White People Freak Out When They're Called Out About Race[/url]

[...]One of the things I try to work with white people on is letting go of our criteria about how people of color give us feedback. We have to build our stamina to just be humble and bear witness to the pain we’ve caused.

In my workshops, one of the things I like to ask white people is, “What are the rules for how people of color should give us feedback about our racism? What are the rules, where did you get them, and whom do they serve?” Usually those questions alone make the point.

It’s like if you’re standing on my head and I say, “Get off my head,” and you respond, “Well, you need to tell me nicely.” I’d be like, “No. Fuck you. Get off my fucking head.”

In the course of my work, I’ve had many people of color give me feedback in ways that might be perceived as intense or emotional or angry. And on one level, it’s personal—I did do that thing that triggered the response, but at the same time it isn’t only personal. I represent a lifetime of people that have hurt them in the same way that I just did.

And, honestly, the fact that they are willing to show me demonstrates, on some level, that they trust me.

[...]

If people of color went around showing the pain they feel in every moment that they feel it, they could be killed. It is dangerous. They cannot always share their outrage about the injustice of racism. White people can’t tolerate it. And we punish it severely—from job loss, to violence, to murder.

For them to take that risk and show us, that is a moment of trust. I say, bring it on, thank you.

When I’m doing a workshop, I’ll often ask the people of color in the room, somewhat facetiously, “How often have you given white people feedback about our inevitable and often unconscious racist patterns and had that go well for you?” And they laugh.

Because it just doesn’t go well. And so one time I asked, “What would your daily life be like if you could just simply give us feedback, have us receive it graciously, reflect on it and work to change the behavior? What would your life be like?”

And this one man of color looked at me and said, “It would be revolutionary.”

6079_Smith_W
6079_Smith_W

http://theeyeopener.com/2015/03/ryersonian-story-was-wrong-from-the-start/

I presume this story has been making the rounds.The National Post was certainly quick to spin it as a story of anti-white discrimination.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/16/two-students-barred-from-meeting...

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I was taught from a very young age that racism was wrong. Back in the 1960s when I was very young they used to call it 'prejudice'. My mother told me that her grandfather thought it was wrong, too. We fought a whole war because of that.

Before my kids were born I read an Ontario study which stated that racist attitudes were found to have started at around 7. It is also widely thought that a person forms their basic personality around that age.

So they went to a very multicultural school and were teaching me words in Chinese when they were little. 20 years ago. (!!) Their friends' families were from all over the world. Now they are all just Canadians and they party with each other as they should.

 

6079_Smith_W

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/09/politically-correct...

Quote:

What Seinfeld is reacting to is not the shrinking, ossifying death of comedy, as he seems to believe; it is the vibrant, expansive unfurling of comedy, and the multitude of growing pains that come along with it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The head of the U.S. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane, Wash., is facing questions about whether she lied about her racial identity, with her family saying she is white but has portrayed herself as black.

...

Dolezal's mother, Ruthanne, said the family is Czech, Swedish and German, with some native American roots.

Sineed

Quote:
Rachel Dolzeal is white and she’s been white since the day she was born.

image

Her parents say she is a mixture of Czech, German, and Swedish, which is to say Rachel is White, Whiter, and Whitest.  At some point in her life she decided to just BECOME Black.

image

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

These are apparently her biological parents.

[IMG]http://i59.tinypic.com/2m487zk.jpg[/IMG]

Slumberjack

With that whopper, she's like the George Costanza'of race relations.  "Is anyone here a marine biologist?"

Sineed

Paladin1

Pretty interesting situation.  I've seen a lot of comments to the effect of if a man can choose to become a woman why can't a white person choose to become a black person.

 

Some arguments I've seen say it's because the white person treats being black like a comoditity  and haven't dealt with life long racisim.

Another argument is that she (or anyone) may have had black great grandparents or something so at what point does someone qualifiy to say they're black.

 

I have a hard time understanding why someone couldn't choose to identify with a race of their choosing. I think a lot of angst from this story is generated by the monitary factor.

Sineed

paladin1 wrote:
I have a hard time understanding why someone couldn't choose to identify with a race of their choosing.

Dolezel lied about her race on application forms, claimed a random black guy to be her dad, warned her adopted black brothers not to out her, and made false claims of hate crimes (apparently the investigation into those hate crimes were the reason for her exposure). And she used her lies to get a job that should have been held by a black woman.

There's also the matter of growing up with white privilege and not experiencing oppression or racism. When a person of the oppressor class identifies as a member of the oppressed group, it's appropriation.

Paladin1 wrote:
I've seen a lot of comments to the effect of if a man can choose to become a woman why can't a white person choose to become a black person.

That particular discussion is blowing up all over Twitter.

Jacob Two-Two

It's a stupid comparison. Caitlyn never claimed she was born a biological female. If Dolezel had said "yes I was born white, but now I self-identify as black", there would no doubt be a lot of eye-rolling, but nobody would really care. The point is she's a liar.

Paladin1

In light of those facts I don't see why people are comparing her to Caitlyn Jenner.  It sounds like she was intentionall misleading people.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I, Racist

Quote:

I don’t talk about race with White people because I have so often seen it go nowhere. When I was younger, I thought it was because all white people are racist. Recently, I’ve begun to understand that it’s more nuanced than that.

To understand, you have to know that Black people think in terms of Black people. We don’t see a shooting of an innocent Black child in another state as something separate from us because we know viscerally that it could be our child, our parent, or us, that is shot.

...

Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.

White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.” Whites are often not directly affected by racial oppression even in their own community, so what does not affect them locally has little chance of affecting them regionally or nationally. They have no need, nor often any real desire, to think in terms of a group. They are supported by the system, and so are mostly unaffected by it.

...

The result of this is an incessantly repeating argument where a Black person says “Racism still exists. It is real,” and a white person argues “You’re wrong, I’m not racist at all. I don’t even see any racism.”

...

Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or– playing the race card.

...

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.

...

White people are in a position of power in this country because of racism. The question is: Are they brave enough to use that power to speak against the system that gave it to them?

So I’m asking you to help me. Notice this. Speak up. Don’t let it slide. Don’t stand watching in silence. 

 

6079_Smith_W

Seeing as the response to so much of this is those "not every guy" or "not every white person" defensive reactions, rather than trying to deal with the problem, I'd say that editorial hits the nail on the head.

 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Seeing as the response to so much of this is those "not every guy" or "not every white person" defensive reactions, rather than trying to deal with the problem.  

There's this nuance....yes, that tiny word again that so richly deserves a special place in your vocabulary.....between power structures, techniques of power, and the people who are affected by them, which is most of us.  I would simply argue that people have been historically paternalized in certain ways that are similar to the way in which human experiences have been universally racialized.  The typical white person lives a racialized life as well but is of course affected differently by it.  To my mind at least, the juncture between experiences is where transformational dialogue stands the best chance.

6079_Smith_W

I'm not saying anything about people's own experience (if that is what you mean - I'm not sure).

I am saying how odd it is to respond in that defensive "not me" way to the recent attacks and murders of black people - something I have seen a lot on FB and other social media .

And saying that Maysie's posted article reflects that; it points out how some white people putting the focus on our "individual" nature, and our hurt feelings trumping other people's murders is a privilege that a lot of other people do not have.

Sorry, it's not a case of denial,  but considering that people are being murdered and having their churches burned down I don't put quite the same priority on some sensitive souls pointing out they aren't to blame, or that other people can be racists too.

 

 

Slumberjack

I think it's an important gesture if people affirm 'not me,' or not in my name, or by the names given to describe the colour of our skin.  I think it is an affirmation to say that the situation of racism in our societies and all of the manifestations doesn't represent us.  The alternative is to say that it does represent us and we feel bad when that is pointed out.  That would be nonsense.  We affirm the opposite in so many ways by opposing the way we're ruled and the system that has been handed down.  To say anything else is part of an unproductive guilting process, for which people are rightly criticized for maintaining such an attitude that provides for 'hurt' feelings as you describe.  We're not at an AA meeting fessing up to having fallen off the wagon this week, or kneeling at the confessional for absolution.  It's not anyone's fault for having been born.  Not anyone's.  We should reject the exhaustion that this dichotomy assigns us to.  Certainly there are conversations out there that are not worth having, such as someone standing under a confederate flag claiming that they have nothing to do with racism.  That it's merely a cultural symbol.  We're sure it is, we agree.  Is there really any debate there?

wage zombie

Slumberjack wrote:

I think it's an important gesture if people affirm 'not me,' or not in my name, or by the names given to describe the colour of our skin.  I think it is an affirmation to say that the situation of racism in our societies and all of the manifestations doesn't represent us.  The alternative is to say that it does represent us and we feel bad when that is pointed out.  That would be nonsense.

Another alternative would be to focus on the facts of the given situation rather than focussing on whether it represents us.

Timebandit

I think WZ has the right idea.

When you fall into the "not all white people" defensive posture, you're making it about you.  It's not about you.  That's your privilege rearing its head.  Even the best of us have moments where we don't consciously process this.  It's hard to hear it's not about you, that no matter how well-intentioned you are, whatever act of hate and bigotry DOES reflect on you, me, us.  It does. 

Bit of a tangent, but I think germaine to the discussion, interesting article by Alan Mansbach I read yesterday:

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/08/ok_so_what_would_convince_you_that_racis...

Quote:
White identity doesn’t appeal to anybody on the left, except as something to complicate and dilute with ethnicity or politics or sexuality or class or anything else we can find, so as to feel marginally less complicit in a morally heinous system.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

It's a curious paradox though, where saying it's not about you makes it about you.

6079_Smith_W

What about it? I don't see the problem. It's just a flag.

http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/canada/saskatchewan/story/1.3145801

... oh, and it's a symbol of freedom.

 

Timebandit

Magoo - it's a paradox on the surface, but it's an attempt to personally dissociate from the racist element. In that sense, it becomes about you as an individual and downplays the larger social dynamic that we are all unable to escape.

Timebandit

Smith - saw that. Thought of my Great Uncle Jim, the Saskatchewan Klansman. We've made so much progress since the 1920s, haven't we? Ugh.

Timebandit

Can't see the image, but that is not far from where I went to high school, and I used to do role play for training at Depot Division.  Haven't been up that way for a long time.  I don't have a lot of fond memories of that part of Regina (although the work at Depot was pretty cool). 

6079_Smith_W
Timebandit

Ugh. No, "old stock" are not special. My ancestors on one branch arrived in the 1830s and 1840s. At least one set of immigrant brothers were illiterates tossed out of England (and one wound up an axe murderer). But hey, they were English and it was what, 5 or 6 generations ago, so I guess I qualify. They weren't special and they didn't set out to build a country, they just wound up where they wound up. Nothing noble about them at all. Their descendants fought in both world wars but they also fought the Metis and First Nations people in the Northwest Rebellion (or Resistance if you prefer), which IMV isn't something to be proud of. "Old stock" is just code for WASPs of longer duration - and at this late date we aren't entirely WASPs any more anyway.

6079_Smith_W

Especially not out here, where you are at least as likely to be German or Ukrainian or something similar. Just as inclined to act like you own the damned place, though.

 

Timebandit

Even southern Ontario, though. I grew up being told that we were 100% English heritage - turns out there's 25% Irish on each side and a great- great grandmother who was Swiss Mennonite/Pennsylvania Dutch (her family came up from Pennsylvania after the American Revolution - and sure as heck weren't considered the same status as Brits).

6079_Smith_W

http://griotmag.com/en/white-man-in-that-photo/

Quote:

The White Man in That Photo

It’s a historic photo of two men of color. For this reason I never really paid attention to the other man, white, like me, motionless on the second step of the medal podium. I considered him a random presence, an extra in Carlos and Smith’s moment, or a kind of intruder. Actually, I even thought that that guy – who seemed to be just a simpering Englishman – represented, in his icy immobility, the will to resist the change that Smith and Carlos were invoking in their silent protest. But I was wrong.

 

6079_Smith_W

No kidding. And then there is the homegrown tradition that no one really pays attention to  because most people don't remember the history.

I don't know why I never noticed it before, but my jaw dropped when I saw the Crown and Hand bar across from the RCMP headquarters on my last visit to Regina. Might as well have called it the swastika bar.

I know any Irish person knows that symbol and its hateful meaning. I wonder how many of the francophone, Catholic and Native officer trainees who go through that school do, and how they feel drinking in a pub with that terrorist legacy. And across from the training centre of our federal police.

Excuse the drift, but I was thinking about that when this flag controversy happened down south, because that symbol, and the whole Orange Lodge, is our equivalent of the Klan. Wouldn't be such an issue if it wasn't a cop bar. Of course it is just a flag, isn't it?

Slumberjack

The Wages of Whiteness...

Quote:
The “wages of whiteness” have not been paying off for any working class peoples, Caucasians included, across the long neoliberal era..

Quote:
 “Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in this group have been rising, not falling.”

Quote:
Caught in the vicious victim-blaming webs of neoliberal capitalism and the great white lie of skin privilege, much of the white working class finds itself torn between suicidal self-loathing and revanchist white-nationalist hatred of the even worse-off Black and Latino lower and working classes.

Doris Day recorded a song that sums up my feelings about the spike in mortality rates.  Whatever will be in this case is entirely self inflicted imo because we are imbued with the capacity to reason.  Except that, if many are not imbued with that capacity, then this too is consistent with the properties of natural selection as harsh as that reality is.  We have available to us as a species quite a range of information with which to consider and inform our thoughts, our politics.  If the only system of governance poor white people have ever known has wound up subtracting even from the lifespans of its most ardent supporters, who continue to remain supporters instead of rising up in self defence like any animal would if being abused and tortured, then there is little that can be done for that segment of the population.  They represent the unadaptable.

Slumberjack

Timebandit wrote:
When you fall into the "not all white people" defensive posture, you're making it about you. 

I disagree.  What you said is a statement of attribution that assigns a particular negative value to an individual, transposed to an entire group, which seems like nonsense to me.  This contrived attribution is little more than a guilting by association, an all too familiar skin colour based argument of the kind which all along has been the standard trope for demagogues and racists the world over.  Apparently white guilt unbecomes the person dabbling in it, except if one is being guilted by association that is, based on someone else's off-the-top throwaway statement, such as your own here.  In your scenario we're to retain some guilt.  Nice try shedding that guilt seems to be what you're saying.  But individuals have a right to oppose racism.  They may not have immersed themselves in race relation academics but they are free to recognize and to say that racism is an abomination that they want no part of.  It is not about making it about 'oneself' to state that not all 'white' people subscribe to racism.  We can say it out loud without having to first submit the statement to a race relations panel for vetting prior to release.  We have the right to expression regardless of what you say, and the right to divorce ourselves from the way society is organized and this is one of the ways to emphasize that departure.  By employing such a blanket statement you seem to be making it about 'you,' in that, you seem to have picked that up from someplace else and deposited it here as an example of how enlightened you are about race issues.

quizzical

Timebandit wrote:
I think WZ has the right idea.

When you fall into the "not all white people" defensive posture, you're making it about you.  It's not about you.  That's your privilege rearing its head.  Even the best of us have moments where we don't consciously process this.  It's hard to hear it's not about you, that no matter how well-intentioned you are, whatever act of hate and bigotry DOES reflect on you, me, us.  It does. 

Bit of a tangent, but I think germaine to the discussion, interesting article by Alan Mansbach I read yesterday:

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/08/ok_so_what_would_convince_you_that_racis...

Quote:
White identity doesn’t appeal to anybody on the left, except as something to complicate and dilute with ethnicity or politics or sexuality or class or anything else we can find, so as to feel marginally less complicit in a morally heinous system.

i agree with you on many levels and tks for the article.

Paladin1

Timebandit wrote:
Even southern Ontario, though. I grew up being told that we were 100% English heritage - turns out there's 25% Irish on each side and a great- great grandmother who was Swiss Mennonite/Pennsylvania Dutch (her family came up from Pennsylvania after the American Revolution - and sure as heck weren't considered the same status as Brits).

 

I'm aborigional, austrian, french and scottish.  Not all whites are racist?

Slumberjack

Timebandit wrote:
Magoo - it's a paradox on the surface, but it's an attempt to personally dissociate from the racist element. In that sense, it becomes about you as an individual and downplays the larger social dynamic that we are all unable to escape.

To both of these sentences, no it isn't, and no it doesn't are my responses.  If everyone that isn't contending daily with the racist effects of this society clammed up about it, and didn't feel inclined to say 'not in my name' with respect to the problems, what impression would that leave on those who are subjected to the effects of racialization the most?  My sense is that they would infer that systemic racism is more prevalent than even they had imagined.  There's all this shit going on, and not a soul from the demographic not immediately affected in their daily lives by racism has anything to say in opposition to it.  It would be like saying 'sorry, but at the risk of being implicated as a selfish, narcissistic individual, I decline to make a statement that contradicts the systemic, racist order.  What you are saying amounts to an injunction to remain silent.  Or is it the case that prior to saying anything that opposes the systemic issues of a society that affects all of us in varying degrees, the statements must first be vetted and approved of?  To whom then must these statements be submitted?  The paradox is in employing systemic oppression to create an order of a different sort that infringes upon a person's ability to speak.

Slumberjack

Because in large part it depends on what is being said.  Take for example the recent case of the actor Matt Damon, in a conversation about how to be more inclusive of minorities in the movie production processes.  Obviously he didn't provide the best example to say the least of where and how a person should add their thoughts to a dialogue already underway.  In that example it would have been best if he had said nothing.  Every gesture contained within speech isn't the same from one individual to the next within a particular subset of the wider society.  The kind of thinking that says this is characteristic of the subset is problematic, or at least, there isn't anything progressive in it imo.  It doesn't advance from where we are.

Slumberjack

Did the Counter-Intelligentsia Ignore White America?

Further to the info posted at #139

Quote:
In a 1988 issue of Life magazine, I wrote about the high rate of suicide among white males and attributed this to what society expected of them. Superman, Spiderman, maybe? They’re supposed to be everybody’s Deux Ex Machina, the cavalry that arrives when individuals, groups, or even the globe are in trouble. I noted that as a black man, I could attribute my setbacks to racism and find plenty of data to back me up. Disputing the idea that racism is a drag on black progress has become a lucrative industry whose members have been called the counter-intelligentsia.

Quote:
What would have been the result had these trends been noticed twenty-five years ago, when they were first reported? Would the deadly social problems among white working class Americans–meth, heroin, alcohol, addiction, suicide–now be out of control? Will this report come as sobering news for the millions of white Americans whose situation has been ignored by the counter-intelligentsia, which could be considered a form of betrayal? Or will they continue to vote against their interests as they did in Kentucky last week?

6079_Smith_W

I don't wish getting murdered by the cops on anyone, because that is by far the greater evil. But I wonder if this fucking idiot thief (currently making the FB rounds as "white privilege dance") appreciates that she was probably saved only by the colour of her skin.

http://abc7.com/news/suspected-car-thief-dances-during-dtla-police-chase...

 

Pondering

Slumberjack wrote:

Doris Day recorded a song that sums up my feelings about the spike in mortality rates.  Whatever will be in this case is entirely self inflicted imo because we are imbued with the capacity to reason.  Except that, if many are not imbued with that capacity, then this too is consistent with the properties of natural selection as harsh as that reality is.  We have available to us as a species quite a range of information with which to consider and inform our thoughts, our politics.  If the only system of governance poor white people have ever known has wound up subtracting even from the lifespans of its most ardent supporters, who continue to remain supporters instead of rising up in self defence like any animal would if being abused and tortured, then there is little that can be done for that segment of the population.  They represent the unadaptable.

Wow. So according to you poor white people are unadaptable, too stupid to be helped.

Slumberjack

In too many cases, yes.  How does that surprise you?  Ah, never mind, you're a liberal aren't you?  If you require confirmation though, a review of several news site comment sections around race issues makes it clear that although slavery and segregation in the USA ended many years ago, well over a century ago with slavery, one continues to encounter people who still grumble about slavery and segregation being events of the past.  In other words, why not the present too seems to be the thinking out there.  Then there's the peanut gallery 'debate' on refugees coming to Canada.  Plenty of people who think like that are certainly represented on all rungs of the socio-economic ladder.  For the well off they might derive some economic benefit in the subjugation, repression and exclusion of people.  This represents a possible basis for why someone would maintain those sort of views, selfishness.  For the poor, racist thought process though it becomes a question of what is in it for them. Nothing as far as I can tell if they took an honest look around, but instead there it is, racism loud and proud as it so often is.  Aside from the economic motivator, I believe an inability to move beyond such base thought processes points to an incapacity in certain key areas of intellectual growth and development.  Frankly, there's something wrong with these people.  I don't believe this phenomenon of mass stupidy is restricted to poor white people, They just happen to be part of the subject under discussion in this thread.  Of course there's also the stupidity of an economic system with it's various players and decision makers that is ushering all of humanity across the threshold of irreversible, environmental collapse.  The commonality between rich and poor in this light is that in terms of intellectual social development they may very well represent the thickness of a brick outhouse, but they're powerful and influential.

Pondering

Timebandit wrote:

Bit of a tangent, but I think germaine to the discussion, interesting article by Alan Mansbach I read yesterday:

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/08/ok_so_what_would_convince_you_that_racis...

Quote:
White identity doesn’t appeal to anybody on the left, except as something to complicate and dilute with ethnicity or politics or sexuality or class or anything else we can find, so as to feel marginally less complicit in a morally heinous system.

He's a sanctimoneous jerk.

One of the pleasures of getting older and making a living the way you want to is that your social circle becomes rarified and the people who enter have been vetted.....

I did, however, become single and start dating last summer, for the first time since Bill Clinton was in office. I met a girl I really liked. I’ll call her Jessie. She was gorgeous, she was smart, and she liked to talk shit.....

Either he robbed the cradle or he met a woman.

It was heated and intense and the angrier I get the better I argue. Eventually I felt good enough about where we’d gotten, the progress we’d made, to go upstairs and sleep with her.

But it wasn’t really okay. We kept talking about it. Jessie admitted that she’d never really grappled with this shit, and expressed a beautifully sincere desire to try.

Wow lucky her, he got over himself long enough to sleep with her.

I felt confused and compromised, being with her. On one hand, I was introducing Jessie to all this radical race shit (radical only on the spectrum of white American politics, but still) and seeing her get a decent amount of it—even if the process wore me out. On the other hand, I was with somebody who didn’t get radical race shit, somebody who never would have made her way past the gatekeepers and into my little precious elitist smartypants cool white kid circles. And on the third hand, I had become (as my friend Sheila Heti writes) one of those insufferable men who want to teach a woman something.

Yeah well if he feels compromised by having sex with her maybe he shouldn't do it.

I’d had my fill of that ten years earlier when I published Angry Black White Boy.

Shades of Rachel Dolezal.

The two of them hit it off at first, but then I started to notice that actually, New York was probing and testing and fucking with Jessie in all these slick, subtle, devastating ways that Jessie didn’t notice and that I appreciated far more than I should have.

Because it's fine to fuck with white people because they are white. It may not be reverse racism but it is still ignorant hostile behavior that doesn't deserve any respect.

After two rounds of bourbon I went to the bathroom.  I returned to a full-blown shitstorm. New York had tried to buy Jessie a shot, and Jessie had declined because she’d already had enough to drink. New York tried to buy it anyway, but the bartender, a white dude, wouldn’t let her. New York got on some “Oh, a brown woman can’t buy a drink? My money’s no good here?” type shit, and Jessie took it at face value and tried to explain to her that the bartender was not legally allowed to sell a drink if the person the drink was intended for expressed unwillingness to imbibe it.

I walked back into the room just in time to hear Jessie say, with deep conviction and obvious frustration, “It’s not about race!”

They both looked at me like I was that dude Paris and they were the goddesses laying claim to the golden apple that started the Trojan War. I had no idea what had happened while I was taking a piss, but I said, “It’s never a good look to be the white girl claiming it’s not about race.”

New York and Alan are both insufferable intellectual snobs. Racism is real. Insisting that all claims of racism be humoured even when they are wrong is self-defeating. It's proof that PoCs see racism where there is none.

I listened until she had nothing more to say, and then I took a deep breath and told her that race always has something to do with it. That even if the bartender wasn’t consciously acting based on the color of New York’s skin, that didn’t mean she hadn’t experienced a long day, a long week, a long lifetime of interactions, slights, injustices, assumptions predicated on how she looked. That neither Jessie nor I nor the bartender himself was in a position to say whether this had indeed been one of them, or why it felt like it to New York, or whether she was wrong.

Saying this particular incident was not a case of racism is not denying her lifetime of injustices or her right to feel sensitive to percieved slights. I would hope that New York would feel relieved and comforted knowing that he didn't refuse to pour the drink Jessie didn't want because of New York's skin colour. Speaking of which, is skin colour an excuse to try force alcohol on someone who doesn't want it? New York was out of line.

You are not going to get people to accept accusations of racism where there is none. It's like you are saying all white people are guilty of racism so when we get accused even if that incident wasn't racist we should just hang our heads and accept the whipping because we deserve it anyway.

I could have acknowledged that sometimes being white and not an asshole is tricky and will challenge your intuitive sense of fairness or equality or the value or your own opinion and that on the grand scale of problems all of that is ultimately fucking hilarious. That sometimes your opinion and perspective truly are less important, and asserting otherwise is an #AllLivesMatter-esque form of trolling, an attempt to level a playing field that’s already tilted in your direction, and such behavior could get you punched in the face if anybody had any energy for that shit, which they don’t because it’s so low on the list of things worth being irate about, such as the fact that black college graduates are less likely to be granted job interviews that white felons, or the fact that a police officer’s surest way to reap a six-figure financial windfall is to murder a black kid.

Bunch of sanctimoneous BS. The bartender wasn't being racist. Nobody was saying PoC never face racism nor that this was some form of reverse racism. All Jessie and the bartender did was explain the reason why he couldn't pour Jessie another drink.

Mostly, I just want to sit white people down and say “Okay, so what WOULD convince you that racism is real, then?” But not really, because then I’d have to hear their answers.

Jessie and the bartender were not denying the existence of racism.

White identity doesn’t appeal to anybody on the left, except as something to complicate and dilute with ethnicity or politics or sexuality or class or anything else we can find, so as to feel marginally less complicit in a morally heinous system.

I have experienced a lifetime of sexism. Does that mean that the bartender also has to accept accusations of sexism from New York?

By that logic every man here should accept all accusations of sexism because you have all been guilty of sexism at some point in your lives.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Jeebuz.

Thanks for the reminder of why I don't miss this. Catch you later.

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