Backstage during rehearsals for Brownie Points, Hairston had asked each cast member how important race had been for them growing up. Their rankings, on a scale of 1 to 10, ranged from 2 (a white actress) to 10 (an African American actress).
Right but my point was that it isn't only people who are all bothered about "the race card" that dread being called racists, given the fact that a public accusation will lead at least some people to shun them no matter how thin the evidence.
Before the American city could be physically reconstructed to accommodate automobiles, its streets had to be socially reconstructed as places where cars belong. Until then, streets were regarded as public spaces, where practices that endangered or obstructed others (including pedestrians) were disreputable. Motorists' claim to street space was therefore fragile, subject to restrictions that threatened to negate the advantages of car ownership. Epithets—especially joy rider—reflected and reinforced the prevailing social construction of the street. Automotive interest groups (motordom) recognized this obstacle and organized in the teens and 1920s to overcome it. One tool in this effort was jaywalker. Motordom discovered this obscure colloquialism in the teens, reinvented it, and introduced it to the millions. It ridiculed once-respectable street uses and cast doubt on pedestrians' legitimacy in most of the street. Though many pedestrians resented and resisted the term and its connotations, motordom's campaign was a substantial success.
So I throw it out there: Raise your hand if you're a racist.
As my students do that thing where they sort of just look at you, perplexed, I raise my own hand. I am deeply embarrassed, but I feel I have to be honest if I am asking them to be.
"You've never had a negative thought based on racial bias?" I ask.
Very slowly, arms begin to rise. I understand their confusion. Theirs is a generation in which we have elected a mixed-race president, but affirmative action has been struck down for being racist.
and it hit me that because there wasn't a black person in the room, things were getting abstract.
Making racism be the Worst Thing Ever has backfired, because now many people either refuse to admit that they're racist, redefine themselves out of being racist, or otherwise refuse to talk about racism, except for the idea that racism is an evil thing that Other people do or have.
They were the racists in this situation. I saw them as a bunch of dumb kids that needed a lesson in civic responsibility, and they saw me as identical to every other white person, The Man, a cracker motherfucker they could laugh at and threaten and intimidate, and who would always clean up their mess.
These smug liberal whites can't conceive of their pet minorities acting in a racist way. It is one of the tenets of the Church of Diversity that People of Color are incapable of racism.
Ok, so why don't you list the privileges my struggling white ass has that Oprah, Obama, Chuck D, or hell the barista next door don't have.
After Winfrey's birth, her mother traveled north and Winfrey spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee (April 15, 1900 – February 27, 1963), who was so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks, for which the local children made fun of her.
I have no idea what delmoi meant bringing it up, but I disagree slightly with your implication that the demonization of racism (or pedophilia) has been a bad thing.
I can send you a PDF of the workbook I have, if you want it. You seem to have made your yearly comment though, so I'm sad to say you won't see this until 2012.
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