“White folks need to get over their fear of being called a racist.”
June 24, 2005 11:36 AM   Subscribe

“White folks need to get over their fear of being called a racist.” Oh the things you hear at the College Republicans' National Convention.
posted by expriest (72 comments total)
 
White folks need to get over their fear of thinking for themselves and rejecting freaks like Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson.
posted by fenriq at 11:45 AM on June 24, 2005


The black leadership succeeds by keeping black folks angry.

Likewise the white leadership.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:54 AM on June 24, 2005


Bill Cosby succeeds at keeping black folks angry.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:02 PM on June 24, 2005


“White folks need to get over their fear of being called a racist.”

I don't disagree, but not for the same reasons as these guys.
posted by jonmc at 12:03 PM on June 24, 2005


Please do elaborate, jonmc.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:06 PM on June 24, 2005


> On those who want reparations, he says, "Instead of reparations,
> how 'bout a free ticket back to Africa?" (Raucous laughter.)

We'll issue just one, with your name on it. Actually, Africa is already in enough trouble. So, about you just shut up?
posted by NewBornHippy at 12:07 PM on June 24, 2005


Please do elaborate, jonmc.

If we're going to have an honest dialogue about race, then we have to be just that, honest. And that'll require the airing of some unpleasant sentiments, which will probably offend some people, but muffling our farts is getting us nowhere.

These guys, I get the impression, are using that tactic, simply to further a political agenda.
posted by jonmc at 12:11 PM on June 24, 2005


Confederate wannabees need to stop being racist. There's plenty of black racists too.

People just need to stop being @$$#0135.

Conservatives just need to stop breathing. oops, was that out loud? Save America, club a conservative.
posted by modernerd at 12:13 PM on June 24, 2005


I'm not racist. I just don't want to get carjacked.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:15 PM on June 24, 2005


Please do elaborate, jonmc.

Jonmc wishes that he could crack whatever jokes he wants with his friends while having a beer, without needing to worry about hurting anyone's feelings. That's what I've gathered from reading his comments in other threads, anyway.

Not being able to do that makes him uncomfortable, and he would rather that other people were uncomfortable, rather then him.

---

Also, the person who made these comments is black himself, but that hardly excuses it. He also said:

- The Civil Rights movement destroyed black people's sense of self-respect and their compass for what's right.

Wow, I'd rather be able to vote, be educated, and have a good job and financial opportunity then "self-respect".
posted by delmoi at 12:17 PM on June 24, 2005


Jonmc wishes that he could crack whatever jokes he wants with his friends while having a beer, without needing to worry about hurting anyone's feelings. That's what I've gathered from reading his comments in other threads, anyway.

Actually, me and my friends do that already, delmoi, and we're a very racially mixed group, but that's not even remotely related to what I'm getting at.
posted by jonmc at 12:19 PM on June 24, 2005


delmoi,
That's not it at all. I believe what jonmc means is that when it comes to racially sensitive topics, like affirmative action, crime in minority areas, performance of minorities in schools, etc, there is often a fear that your arguments might be shot down with the charge of racism. It's difficult to have an open dialogue and an honest discussion about a topic if you have to worry about whether or not you will be called a racist. It's similar to discussions about Israel and people feeling nervous about possibly being labelled anti-Semites for expressing their opinions.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:25 PM on June 24, 2005


Rev. Jesse Lee Petersen.... speaking to the College Republicans
been looking on the internet seems that I can't find that he went to college at all. Even on the about us section of his organization there is nothing.

Whatever its worth
posted by Rubbstone at 12:27 PM on June 24, 2005


delmoi, you're just being knee-jerk and hostile.
i wholeheartedly agree that race relations have gotten ridiculous in this country do to the fear of the racism label. there is no open discussion about racial issues at all.

we can hardly even talk about things on the cultural level. that's what's really important, because people of different skin color really DO have different cultural practices and identities in this country, many of which they tout openly. the problem arises when there is an obvious difference between what is considered authentically white and authentically black culture, yet we can't address those differences without summoning the ghost of racism.

there's a lot of confusion, fear and bitterness and PC-edness is promoting silence rather than frank conversation.

i say this coming from the Boston, which I've been told by many is considered a horrendously racist city, not because people are bigots, but because white and black people don't acknowledge each other at all. in boston, the fear of being called racist, and the inability for conversation between people of different ethnicity and culture has created a new segregation.
posted by es_de_bah at 12:35 PM on June 24, 2005


delmoi writes "Also, the person who made these comments is black himself, but that hardly excuses it. He also said:

"
- The Civil Rights movement destroyed black people's sense of self-respect and their compass for what's right.

"Wow, I'd rather be able to vote, be educated, and have a good job and financial opportunity then 'self-respect'."


Yes, sitting in the back of buses, going to special schools, being always at risk of linching, being forced to submit to anything a white person wanted, those were the things that gave the black people their sense of self-respect and a compass for what's right.
posted by nkyad at 12:36 PM on June 24, 2005


People should get over their fear of being racist, yes.

Why? Because if the goal is to make people not racist, it isn't motivation enough to just scare them. You have to actually not want to be racist. It isn't good enough to not do something out of fear.

People shouldn't be afraid of being racist, they should be ashamed of being racist.
posted by odinsdream at 12:39 PM on June 24, 2005


Why? Because if the goal is to make people not racist, it isn't motivation enough to just scare them.

We have a winner!

The fear of being called a racist dosen't stop anybody from holding racist beliefs and acting on them, it merely encourages them to be quiet about it.
posted by jonmc at 12:42 PM on June 24, 2005


odinsdream, it's not a fear of being racist, it's a fear of being called racist when one isn't...and that's a very real fear. the water's pretty muddy. and there are a lot of double standards about what one race can say about another.
posted by es_de_bah at 12:45 PM on June 24, 2005


I wish I could hire people who say what I want to hear. One of these days, one of these days...

"But he didn't stop at just black people... the one where I had to truely constrain myself was when he announced it's not only black people, but 'we now have Muslim folks moving in and they don't like us... they want to kill us.'"

Let's not forget this classic:

"It's not white vs. black, it's good vs. evil."

It seems to me all they do is drink Busch Light and have missionary style sex. How blue collar! I want my mint julips and long southern drawls, with talks of debutante balls, building railroads and how good it is to have land.
posted by geoff. at 12:46 PM on June 24, 2005


The term 'racist' can be considered a blanket stops-all-further-thought sort of thing just like any of a thousand other nasty words for people. Works like this: I say something, you call me a dumb ___ (fill in whatever racial slur word) and for you that ends any further need to consider what I actually said, you've successfully written me off, in your own mind at least. Same thing can happen with the 'R' word, call someone a racist and you're done, it's over, no further consideration of them or what they're thinking is needed, they've been successfully marginalized. Same old, no?

The better point here might be that people shouldn't have to be afraid of being labeled racist or anything else that caused them to be written off or dehumanized for expressing an opinion or thought that others don't immediately agree with.
posted by scheptech at 12:49 PM on June 24, 2005


The term 'racist' can be considered a blanket stops-all-further-thought sort of thing just like any of a thousand other nasty words for people.

Calling someone a racist may be rude, and it might stop a discussion, and those are valid points, especially because it means something negative to call someone a racist. Because racism is wrong.

Which is why people should remain uncomfortable at being called racists, and should avoid behavior which causes everyone to consider them racists. Behavior such as, being racist.
posted by nervousfritz at 1:03 PM on June 24, 2005


Same thing can happen with the 'R' word, call someone a racist and you're done, it's over, no further consideration of them or what they're thinking is needed, they've been successfully marginalized. Same old, no?

Nope, not at all, because racism is an elective behavior. Addressing someone with a racial slur insults them for a trait that is not elective.
posted by scratch at 1:04 PM on June 24, 2005


The fear of being called a racist dosen't stop anybody from holding racist beliefs and acting on them, it merely encourages them to be quiet about it.

After Rush Limbaugh's stupid comments on Donovan McNabb, it was interesting how quickly ESPN's black sportscasters were trying to sweep the controversy under the rug.

Limbaugh was wrong, but he was honest — and discussion about that kind of honesty was quickly hushed up by corporate media.

I entirely agree that this country has deep-seated racial issues and keeping quiet about it only benefits politicians going after key demographics at election time.
posted by Rothko at 1:05 PM on June 24, 2005


Limbaugh was wrong, but he was honest — and discussion about that kind of honesty was quickly hushed up by corporate media.

I entirely agree that this country has deep-seated racial issues and keeping quiet about it only benefits politicians going after key demographics at election time.


This is dead on. And while I think that all the traditional ways of fighting racism: protest, the legal system etc. are important and should continue, how about actually researching how people become racist? We expend a large amount of effort into trying to figure out why people become criminals or addicts. Why? Because crime and addiction are social ills that affect society as a whole. Same goes for racism. And just like criminality or addiction, it dosen't develop in a vacuum. Also, on the rare occasions that people do try to explicate on these issues, the answers given tend to be incredibly simplistic.
posted by jonmc at 1:12 PM on June 24, 2005


Calling someone a racist may be rude, and it might stop a discussion, and those are valid points, especially because it means something negative to call someone a racist. Because racism is wrong

Saying "racism is wrong," isn't exactly a courageous stance anymore. It's right up there with saying "murder is bad." It's become a cheap way of showing what a swell person you are. And calling someone a raicst is bad if the person in question is not a racist, and the word is merely being used as a cynical way to deflect a question or accusation (see Marion Barry, Al Sharpton, OJ Simpson).
posted by jonmc at 1:15 PM on June 24, 2005


Racism is another Godwin.
posted by fenriq at 1:17 PM on June 24, 2005


Godwinizing things is equally Godwinny.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:21 PM on June 24, 2005


here's my a capsule of what my experiences of trying to talk about racial issues in america has been like:

in the south --
me: there are racial issues america has to deal with
white person: i am not a racist, i was raised to treat everybody with respect regardless of color --
me: but, i'm not accusing you of --
wp:...and none of my friends are racist either, we all have black friends, asian friends, hispanic friends, whatver...
me: but...
wp: the real racism is in the north. the south is unjustly accused of racism, when in fact, it's a lot better for black people here.

in the north --
me: there are racial issues america has to deal with.
white person: i am not a raicst, i was raised to treat everybody with respect , regardless of color...
me: but i'm not accusing you of --
wp: ...and none of my friends are racist either. you can't be racist in the northeast b/c we all live so close to each other in cities...
me: but --
wp: ...if we could just get rid of the south, everything would be ok.

on the west coast:
me: there are racial issues america needs to deal...whoa. kb? dude, let me hit that.
wp: dude.
posted by lord_wolf at 1:22 PM on June 24, 2005


People should not be afraid of being called racist. They should be afraid of being racist, but that's a different story. One of the biggest problems with the issue, I think, is that there are differences between the various races. That's not to say that they are even qualitative differences, but to point them out is to risk being labelled a racist.

on preview:

lord_wolf: dude
posted by krash2fast at 1:34 PM on June 24, 2005


Instead of reparations, how 'bout a free ticket back to Africa? (Raucous laughter)

I suspect even a BNP candidate would think twice about making a crack like that in public. And this goes down well at Republican convention? I'd be interested to know what any Republicans here have to say about that.

On the tangent re being less afraid to be called a racist: I think I see where jonmc is coming from and I largely agree. There is a tendency in certain quarters to use the epithet as a silencing technique; to stifle all argument. That needs to be resisted. An example is the current highly noticeable tendency of many Zionists to squeal "anti-semite!" at anyone who even slightly criticises Israel. That's the sort of accusation of racism that needs to be stamped on. Hard. Every time.
posted by Decani at 1:39 PM on June 24, 2005


Oh wait. It isn't a tangent at all. It's the title of the post. D'oh!
posted by Decani at 1:40 PM on June 24, 2005


And this goes down well at Republican convention?

Well, it was a Collegiate Republican Covention. College kids of any political stripe are not the subtlest creatures in the world.
posted by jonmc at 1:45 PM on June 24, 2005


Racism is another Godwin.

Heh, almost.

Nope, not at all, because racism is an elective behavior. Addressing someone with a racial slur insults them for a trait that is not elective.

True but the point is about discourse.

Calling someone a racist can have the same effect as calling them anything else that indicates they're not worth talking to. It's become a way, under reasonably specific circumstances, of simply closing your mind off to whatever the person has to say, and that's the problem with it.
posted by scheptech at 1:50 PM on June 24, 2005


Godwin is the new Godwin.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:05 PM on June 24, 2005


sounds like a bunch of dumb honkies to me.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:07 PM on June 24, 2005


As webmaster of CampusProgress, I'm obligated to point out our reporters just sent us some photos.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:12 PM on June 24, 2005


Calling someone a racist can have the same effect as calling them anything else that indicates they're not worth talking to.

Ask any hard question on any topic related to race and the person asked the question will often preemptively insist they are being called a racist. Everyone can agree that being racist is an awful thing to be but a racist always turns out to be that person over there---not me, oh no, never and how dare you even suggest I am ! You called me a racist ! Yes, you did ! What a terrible person you are to call me a racist ! End of discussion.

Almost anyone can say they are friends with persons of another race but, as it usually turns out, they mean people they know from work or drinking with people they know from work or hanging out with people from work at company picnics and the like. Away from work related activities, the races are incredibly segregated. How many of us go to weddings or birthday parties where the majority of everyone else present is of another race and the connection is not ultimately through work ? It is a rare thing indeed. If it were not for affirmative action, we should be living in entirely separate worlds.

We never really talk about race at all--certainly not at work !--and on the rare occasion we do, it's not for very long. Yet some people insist we talk about race too much. Go figure.
posted by y2karl at 3:01 PM on June 24, 2005


understanding racism is easy, just remember two things.

making jokes about someone because they are black, is not funny.

making jokes about someone because they are white and live in a trailer is funny.

poor black people = sad and unfair, an example of how the system has failed people in our community.

poor white people = funny jokes about being poor and dumb and living in a trailer.

the thing thats great about poor white people is, as a white guy i can mock them, and call them dumb , and accuse them of making decisions that have bad out comes for them and their families. . .and no one on campus will think i'm out of line :) cause every one got the e-mailed list of what to think and feel about any race, religion, sex, or class. thats our future, not knowing why something is right or wrong, but just knowing it is.

on preview, lord_wolf very funny. :)
posted by nola at 3:16 PM on June 24, 2005


Saying "racism is wrong," isn't exactly a courageous stance anymore.

Well just so long as we're on the same page I'm not going to disagree. See, The Bell Curve, and the fuss raised at the time by its discussion, for example, for the other side of the issue.

Calling someone a racist can have the same effect as calling them anything else that indicates they're not worth talking to.

scheptech, I hereby call you a classifier of human beings as worthless. I can hardly imagine a more worthless sentiment. Given that we are what we do, then you are very worthless, by your remark. I'm afraid I can't talk to you now.
posted by nervousfritz at 3:27 PM on June 24, 2005


Those quotes about racism are . . . amazing. Ugh.

These entries provide an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand, this person is reporting with understandable outrage at some of the shit ideas and shallowness being expressed at the convention. On the other hand, they're also reporting with an equal measure of shit commentary and shallowness.

It's not just the overwhelming condecension and holier-than-thou attitude that saturates these entries, though that's revolting enough. It's also what she chooses to attack. Oh golly! Three blonde girls running by in towels and bathing suits! Conservatives among other conservatives enjoying conservative humor with stickers that say "Annoy a Liberal"--how uncouth, why we liberals would never express such immature desires against our political foes. And worst, just the worst of all, there are college students drinking beer.

OH DEAR LORD.

COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE DRINKING BEER.

I feel for that poor woman. She is truly trapped among the savages. I have no doubt that if this were the holy halls of the Young Democrat Convention, everyone would be fully clothed and sipping on fine chardonnay while making witty, elegant jokes about the decor and the latest New Yorker cartoon.

I'm a liberal. I sympathize with her views. But this writer and her intellectual-ivory-tower hypocritical musings embodies everything I hate about the stereotypical liberal. Well, really, it embodies the worst of any political commentator, because sanctimonious hypocrites are pretty much abhorrent no matter what they believe.

Now that I'm done ranting, I think part of the reason it's OK to make fun of cracker trash no matter what your race is because whites are at the top of the heap--and good humor is always about pointing out the emperor is naked.
posted by schroedinger at 3:39 PM on June 24, 2005


Oops, thought I typed it in. But I also wonder if some of the reasons America has such problems with race is because people are so reluctant to discuss it. It's like y2karl said, we're all too busy denying there's an issue to confront our own stereotypes.

Utter demonization of racists bugs me the way it bugs me when people refer to Hitler as a monster. It's not that these crimes are less bad--it's that the more extreme we make these people out to be, the easier it is for us to dissociate ourselves from them and pretend we don't share the very same thought processes that create and propagate the evil.
posted by schroedinger at 3:43 PM on June 24, 2005


i know race is a factor in how people are treated in this country,and i'm not trying to down play that fact.
but i think it takes a back seat to 'class' discrimination. i may be off base here (being white) but i think poor people , no matter their respective race, are marginalized, and scorned.

its just not fashionable to scorn a poor black man, like you can a poor white man.

people could get the wrong impression. they may think you are treating the black man scornfully because of his skin. what would your well bred friends think of you if you said something "racist". i think most white people at this point , are not really racists, they are classist. thats why they, "have lots of black friends" nice well spoken black friends. *sarcasm*

fortunately, poor white people are so worthless, that no one minds pissing on them.
you will never hear some on say, "i have lots of poor friends". why would they, no one likes poor people, they smell like sour milk.
posted by nola at 4:04 PM on June 24, 2005


actually, i don't think a serious discussion of race can take place in the context of party politics, as either side gets too much mileage out of it, and it is thus distorted.

speaking to this link in particular, and to schroedinger's wise comments, maybe it's just me, but i'm starting to lose my patience with the snarky tone of internet crap like this lately. 'i'm going to this republican event that represents none of my views so i can make some really clever criticisms and witty insults.' i'm not saying i haven't taken the tone in my day, but it's like everything is infected with it now. am i the only one noticing this? has it always been like this and i'm just having a mood? did something happen on the internet that turned everybody into jeanine garofalo or the chick in 'ghost world'? am i the only one who feels a need to pick up a 'highlights' magazine and find something a bit constructive?
posted by troybob at 4:07 PM on June 24, 2005


I have lots of poor friends. I also go to parties where most people are of a different race, yet not from work. Ha ha!
posted by dame at 4:23 PM on June 24, 2005


im an equal oppurtunity racist; i hate all of you
posted by Satapher at 4:46 PM on June 24, 2005


Nola, I do think classism is a part of it, but I don't believe it's plays as large a part as race. Spoiled rich while babies, sheltered white suburban brats, and the bubbleheaded sorority girls and frat boys that spawn from those environment get their own fair share of reaming, too. I mean, in a number of circles poor, or at least poor-seeming, is nearly chic (not that all the people buying perfectly faded thrift-store clothes with their parents' credit cards are out helping homeless people on the street, but being poor isn't a sin in of itself).

I think the only reason someone would say "I have lots of poor friends" is for the same reason someone would say "I have lots of black friends"--as a lame attempt to prove they don't actually have any classist or racist biases. I think when most people don't say it, it's not because they're ashamed of having poor friends, but because it doesn't matter whether their friends or poor or not.
posted by schroedinger at 4:50 PM on June 24, 2005


And worst, just the worst of all, there are college students drinking beer.

Oh, come now, it wasn't just "college students drinking beer" like we took some snaps of the post-event barbeque or something. It was two students downing at least an entire six-pack during a policy lecture by Ed Gillespe at 10 in the morning. I'm very proud of Conventionette for that one. Also for sitting through a speech by Ed Gillespe.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:45 PM on June 24, 2005


It was two students downing at least an entire six-pack during a policy lecture by Ed Gillespe at 10 in the morning.

*gasp*
posted by jonmc at 6:20 PM on June 24, 2005


If it were not for affirmative action, we should be living in entirely separate worlds.

Perhaps, but those seperate worlds are incredibly similar, once you get past superficial differences.
posted by jonmc at 6:22 PM on June 24, 2005


It's stupid to be racist.
I hate everybody the same, until they prove otherwise.
There are so many perfectly good reasons to hate someone on an individual basis, that lumping them all into one group to say, 'I hate you all!' can only be justified by expediency.
posted by Balisong at 7:05 PM on June 24, 2005


Perhaps, but those seperate worlds are incredibly similar, once you get past superficial differences.

Like income disparity, length of life, housing bias, likelihood of being pulled over by the police and other superficial differences.
posted by y2karl at 8:25 PM on June 24, 2005


...One recent experiment that involved college students posing as job applicants found that white ex-cons were more likely to receive interviews than African Americans with squeaky-clean records. In another study, economists at MIT and the University of Chicago responded to 1,300 help-wanted ads in Chicago and Boston by sending out equivalent resumes and randomly assigning "white-" and "black-sounding" names to each. The study concluded that applicants like "Greg Kelly" and "Emily Walsh" were 50 percent more likely to get called for interviews than "Jamal Jackson" and "Lakisha Washington."

I also know that my whiteness greatly increases my chances of living in a nice, clean and safe neighborhood. Part of this, of course, has to do with my savings and employment options; chances are I can afford a better home in a better community. But there's more to the story. For one, government agencies and businesses are far more likely to place toxic waste sites and hazardous landfills near African-American and Latino neighborhoods and not next to mine. In addition, racial discrimination remains rampant in the housing market. Over the last decade, numerous studies by banks, academics and government agencies have found that African Americans and Latinos - when compared with whites of similar economic standing - have a harder time securing bank loans, are often quoted higher interest rates and are steered by real estate agents into particular (i.e., racially segregated) communities.

I also know that my whiteness improved my chances as a child of attending a quality school. Because local tax dollars fund America's public schools (with a few exceptions), all the economic advantages I've mentioned here make it far more likely that white schools - like the one I attended - secure the best equipment, most highly paid teachers and nicest facilities. Given that the Supreme Court outlawed school segregation a full fifty years ago, you might think the term "white schools" is something of an anachronism. I wish you were right. The truth is today's schools are resegregating at alarming rates. According to a recent report from Harvard University's Civil Rights Project, "African-American and Latino students are now more isolated from their white counterparts than they were three decades ago, before many of the overhauls from the civil rights movement had even begun to take hold."

I also know that should I, during the course of my life, experience any health problems, my whiteness will be an asset. Having reviewed over 100 recent studies on race and health, the Institute of Medicine concluded last year that "racial and ethnic minorities in the United States receive lower quality health care than whites, even when their insurance and income are the same." Thanks in part to the conscious and unconscious biases of white doctors, Latinos and African Americans are less likely to receive appropriate medications for heart disease, to undergo bypass surgery or to receive kidney dialysis, transplants or the most sophisticated HIV treatments. They are, therefore, far more likely to die from numerous diseases. Race, in this case, is literally a life or death matter and whiteness the great immunizer.

Finally, I know that whiteness deeply shapes my everyday life - when I go shopping and security guards take my integrity for granted; when I'm driving on the highways and the police do not pull me over or eye me suspiciously for Driving While White; when I walk around the Notre Dame campus and am never forced, on account of my race, to feel out of place; when I enter a classroom and need not worry that some students might automatically question my qualifications for being here; and when I read The Observer without fear that some writers, on the basis of my whiteness, may seek to malign my intelligence, character and sense of self-worth.


What I know about racial preferences

I mean, apart from those little details, black or white, our worlds are pretty darn similar, doggone it !
posted by y2karl at 9:11 PM on June 24, 2005


College Republicans doing their part.
posted by ericb at 9:53 PM on June 24, 2005


More black people have to fight in the wars, and go to prison. That's why I don't think it's ok to make fun of them.
I work downtown in a big city in the midwest. The only black guy where I work is the dude who cleans the windows.
It's disgustingly white. So is the building next to me, and the one across the street.
White people are on top of the pile. Being poor isn't funny, but being poor and white is very different from being poor and black. The simple quantitative truth is that being poor and black is a dangerous situation.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:00 PM on June 24, 2005


Spoiled rich while babies, sheltered white suburban brats, and the bubbleheaded sorority girls and frat boys that spawn from those environment get their own fair share of reaming, too.

Oh, yeah, those poor kids. They get made fun of.
posted by scarymonsterrrr at 11:03 PM on June 24, 2005


Balrog, while I generally agree with your statement, I will point out that poor white people fight in wars as well. The key difference is that a disproportionate number of blacks are poor, coupled with ingrained prejudices (such as getting pulled over more often, wage disparity) that make it more difficult for blacks to improve their condition--the state of poverty itself is the same for all races.
posted by scarymonsterrrr at 11:05 PM on June 24, 2005


Raise your hand if you've spent some time just listening to a person of color talk about their experiences with discrimination. Those of you with your hands down would do well to join one of the many interracial dialogue groups across the country, where you can actually have one of those "honest" discussions, the lack of which is bemoaned in this thread.

Unless, of course, it's not being called a racist that scares you. (Dialogue groups are safe spaces with ground rules and trained facilitators.) Unless, of course, it's being made aware of the casual racism which lies at the very core of your identity that really scares you.

As well it should, really. It's much easier to pretend the playing field is level and we're all color blind and some white people are poor too and... than it is to become aware of the systems of oppression that white people find themselves born into the top of.

I say this as a white man: being born with a whip in your hand is not a sin; confusing the whip with your own hand is. That fear and anxiety of being called a racist? That's cognitive dissonance.
posted by Coda at 12:57 AM on June 25, 2005


Er, scarymonsterrr, I didn't mean to come off as sympathetic to the white kids. I wanted to point out to Nola that making fun of white people isn't a classist thing limited to making fun of rednecks--that all kinds of whiteness is the butt of jokes, because Caucasians are the dominant racial group in America and, as I said, nothing in humor beats bringing down The Man.

I'm definitely not trying to make a pariah of the white man, I'm explaining why it's so damned fun to make fun of him while it's not that fun to make fun of the black man or Asian man or whatever.
posted by schroedinger at 1:15 AM on June 25, 2005


It's much easier to pretend the playing field is level and we're all color blind and some white people are poor too and...

Uhh.....
posted by Stauf at 2:24 AM on June 25, 2005


"During the Leadership Institue session a presenter asked the crowd, 'What makes you angry?' The answers:
1. Liberals
2. Hippies
3. Gays
4. Democrats
Eek. Now, if these answers had been 'tax hikes' and 'abortion', I'd understand because those are policies, but instead, these are people. The students' anger and passion are driven towards negative stereotypes and blatant hatred for various groups of people. And they're enthusiastically encouraged by their leaders."
posted by ericb at 8:43 AM on June 25, 2005


Chickenshits

“Young Republicans gathered for their party's national convention... were asked: ‘Would you be willing to put on the uniform and go to fight in Iraq?’

In more than a dozen interviews, Republicans in their teens and 20s said, some have friends in the military in Iraq and are considering enlisting; others said they can better support the war by working politically in the United States; and still others said they think the military doesn't need them because the U.S. presence in Iraq is sufficient.

‘Frankly, I want to be a politician. I'd like to survive to see that,’ said Vivian Lee, 17, a war supporter visiting the convention from Los Angeles.

Lee said she supports the war but would volunteer only if the United States faced a dire troop shortage or ‘if there's another Sept. 11.’

‘As long as there's a steady stream of volunteers, I don't see why I necessarily should volunteer,’ said Lee, who said she has a cousin deployed in the Middle East….

Others said they could contribute on the home front.

‘I physically probably couldn't do a whole lot’ in Iraq, said Tiffanee Hokel, 18, of Webster City, Iowa, who called the war a moral imperative. She knows people posted in Iraq, but she didn't flinch when asked why she wouldn't go.

‘I think I could do more here,’ Hokel said, adding that she's focusing on political action that supports the war and the troops.

‘We don't have to be there physically to fight it,’ she said.

Similarly, 20-year-old Jeff Shafer, a University of Pennsylvania student, said vital work needs to be done in the United States. There are Republican policies to maintain and protect and an economy to sustain, Shafer said.” [via Daily Kos and Eschaton]
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on June 25, 2005


ericb: Chickenshits


amen to that.
posted by nola at 11:49 AM on June 25, 2005


Politics aside, the linked blog is poorly written and boring. They're making snide comments about everything they see. A woman in a pink suit, how...funny, somehow! They're trying to become the next Wonkette. Give me a break.
posted by bingo at 3:52 PM on June 25, 2005


“White folks (the College Republican ones) need to get over their fear of serving their country in the military.”

There. Fixed it.
posted by nofundy at 5:29 PM on June 25, 2005


Like income disparity, length of life, housing bias, likelihood of being pulled over by the police and other superficial differences.

Once again you missed the entire point of my comment to offer a truism, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
posted by jonmc at 5:41 PM on June 25, 2005


I work downtown in a big city in the midwest. The only black guy where I work is the dude who cleans the windows.
It's disgustingly white. So is the building next to me, and the one across the street.


I work downtown in a huge city in the northeast. Roughly half of the employees in my office (at all levels, including management) are non-white. Your experience is not everybody's.


That's why I don't think it's ok to make fun of them.


Making fun of a black person for simply being black is not cool. But it's racism of a kind to treat black people or anyone like Faberge eggs, moral props, arbiters of coolness, helpless victims to be rescued by the power of noble white people's concern. Try treating them like (gasp) humans. And humans goof on eachother and bust eachother's balls. In the name of freindship and fun.
posted by jonmc at 5:48 PM on June 25, 2005


I'm definitely not trying to make a pariah of the white man, I'm explaining why it's so damned fun to make fun of him while it's not that fun to make fun of the black man or Asian man or whatever.

When it's other white people doing the whitey mocking, it always struck me as disingenuous. It seems either like public self-flagellation in search of "forgiveness," or a desperate plea for "cool," status. Either way, it comes across as a species of self-loathing.

As well it should, really. It's much easier to pretend the playing field is level and we're all color blind and some white people are poor too and... than it is to become aware of the systems of oppression that white people find themselves born into the top of.

That's about a half-truth. yes, non-whites put up with a ton of shit of that white's don't. No sane person would deny that. But imagine a laid-off Wal-Mart casheir's reaction to you're blanket statement that they're born into "the top," of a system. At best, that will fall on deaf ears. At worst, it will breed more resentment.

and to elaborate on my response to karl. By "remarkably similar" I mean basically that people are people. The non-white people I know are concerned about the same things I am: bills, family, the state of the world, their lives. Don't be so quick to assume what I'm talking about.

The study concluded that applicants like "Greg Kelly" and "Emily Walsh" were 50 percent more likely to get called for interviews than "Jamal Jackson" and "Lakisha Washington."

The non-whites in my 10 person cube at work are named Kevin, Annie, 2 Daves, Camela and Pete. The two most "ethnic-sounding" names in the office are Pemberton and Charlene, both belonging to white folks. FWIW.

But, I've seen the other side of the coin, too. I used to work in a magazine store in New Haven where my co-workers included a single-white mother and a black guy about my age. One payday the white woman happened to see my paycheck over my shoulder and gasped "What's he paying you?" Turns out I was making more than her, even though she'd been there far longer. Then she tore into the boss for paying me more because I was " a white male." Later on, I apologized to both of them. They said that was nothing against me and that I shouldn't charge in and demand a pay cut, since even though I was making more, i was still making shit pay. The fact that the boss was a prick that we all hated helped. Two months later, it turned out that the boss had overextended himself and I was laid off. C'est la vie.

Sorry for going on, but in my experience, the racial situation in the US is far from simple, or it's that "simple things you see are all complicated," type of way.
posted by jonmc at 6:09 PM on June 25, 2005


Sorry for going on, but in my experience, the racial situation in the US is far from simple, or it's that "simple things you see are all complicated," type of way.

You were saying something about a truism ?
posted by y2karl at 7:26 PM on June 25, 2005


Perhaps, but I filled that truism in with my own experiences and observations. So, it's a contribution to the dialogue.

And, despite my regrettable harshness in some of what I said, that's what this is, a dialog, not a fight. And that's where the "getting over fear of being called a racist," comes in. There are those who would say that my observations on race are racist (and thus of no value) simply because I'm a white guy. That kind of thinking is counterproductive.

I'm not accusing you of that, just making my point.
posted by jonmc at 7:35 PM on June 25, 2005


Wow....

First the conversation steers towards race.... (I guess should not surprise me too much based on the quote taken)

Then someone accuses busch light of being beer.
posted by chibikeandy at 8:44 PM on June 26, 2005


I agree, to a point, with jonmc. I am white, but have very few white people in my circle of friends. I live in LA, and there is a lot of diversity in the areas where I work and play. My friends and I make fun of each other constantly when we embody a stereotype of our race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. It's not hurtful, because none of us actually CARES about any of those things. However, we know better than to talk that way in front of the more PC people that we hang around because it makes them very uncomfortable.

I think that once people get past using those factors (race, gender, etc.) as bases to form judgement against people, we can be comfortable accepting and embracing our differences. And even joking about them.
posted by kamikazegopher at 5:12 PM on July 10, 2005


poor black people = sad and unfair, an example of how the system has failed people in our community.

poor white people = funny jokes about being poor and dumb and living in a trailer.

fortunately, poor white people are so worthless, that no one minds pissing on them.
you will never hear some on say, "i have lots of poor friends". why would they, no one likes poor people, they smell like sour milk.
posted by nola at 6:04 PM CST on June 24 [!]


Brilliant. Also a nice South Park reference for style points.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:08 PM on July 19, 2005


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