[Lounge #432] »« Don’t be that guy

Comments

  1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Thanks, Caine.

    I have a friend who will love seeing this poster…

  2. Sven says

    It’s driving me insane. The right-wing is freaking out about any-and-all instances of non-whites doing anything bad to whites. Call them out on it, and it becomes a chorus of “George Zimmerman! George Zimmerman!”

  3. Fern says

    I’m not sure I agree that these are examples of white privilege, as opposed to white jackassery. Some of these statements are definitely the product of being oblivious to privilege, but I wouldn’t say they exemplify what white privilege is.

  4. md says

    The right-wing is freaking out about any-and-all instances of non-whites doing anything bad to whites.

    I dunno what politics Christopher Lane’s girlfriend had but she did ‘freak out’ and wish her man’s killers, the ones who tweeted “90% of white people are nasty hate them” and “time to start takin lives”, to ‘rot in hell’. Would you call her out on it?

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/21/justice/australia-student-killed-oklahoma/

    Zimmerman had a black business partner and was a big brother to black kids. Even the stuff NBC faked to make Zimmerman look like a racist wasn’t as bad as Lane’s killers real tweets.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130628214839AAab05z

    But, hey, i’m just reading the news, not freaking out.

  5. says

    Fern:

    I’m not sure I agree that these are examples of white privilege, as opposed to white jackassery. Some of these statements are definitely the product of being oblivious to privilege, but I wouldn’t say they exemplify what white privilege is.

    As being privilege blind leads directly to all manner of jackassery, I’d say they exemplify white privilege quite well. One of the most insidious things, to me, in white privilege is using the trope of white guilt to justify all kinds of jackassery, microaggressions, and bigoted bile.

  6. Fern says

    Caine @ 7: I guess I think of white privilege as something that is experienced, rather than something that an individual person does. As a white person, I experience white privilege every day – I can’t help but do so, if I live in a society that perpetuates that privilege – but I can choose what actions I take in response to my privilege.

  7. says

    RE: “It’s not my fault…”

    I object to being told that as a white person, I am automatically evil because it was white people who enslaved Africans. I have even been told in discussion that white people are intrinsically oppressive, as a racial characteristic essentially. People of colour also contributed to the slave trade, and white people contributed to the emancipation of slaves. Oppression and liberation are not racial attributes – and being a freedom fighter or slavery is not dependant on ‘race’ but on accidents of history and geography.

    Now if someone tells me that as a white person I need to apologise for slavery, or to accept any blame in the matter, they are wrong. Saying all white people are somehow implicated in the issue of historical racism is no more meaningful than saying all europeans are responsible for it – including people of colour. Both are unscientific tags given to groups of people that actually share most of their physical characteristics.

    I fully accept that, as a white european male, I was born into privelege, and that therefore I can’t say that equality exists, or that racism is over, or any of those things. But it’s not cool to say “I’m proud to be black, because black people have a history of fighting for freedom” or “I’m ashamed to be white, because white people have a history of oppression”. Or even “I’m ashamed to be German, because my grandparents killed the jews”. Humans have a history of oppressing each other, and thankfully, also of eventually seeing sense.

    Now, that process is far from over, and, yes, Check Your Privelege, and yes, accept that your race and gender is still a deciding factor in many things in your life, to put it lightly. But don’t celebrate your own race in response to that, or self-flaggelate over what your ancestors did.

    Black history month is a good thing, because black people are still unfairly under-represented in the history books. Say “I admire Martin Luther King”, or “I disapprove of Hitler”. But don’t say “I’m proud to be black”, as though race actually means something in that sense, and you can somehow claim a person’s actions for yourselves because you happen to share a skin tone or ancestry, or even a culture. How about we celebrate all those people, of any race, who did the right thing, and deplore those who didn’t?

    I don’t want to abrogate race, it’s very important, and it’s not going away. But to say “I’m proud of my race” is to imply that there is something admirable about the race itself, rather than the individuals who make, or made, it up. Semantics. Each person is a fresh start, and blaming white people for anything beyond their failure to recognise their privelege can only cause resentment, and harm race relations.

    To be fair, though – the rest of that image is spot on.

  8. says

    Fern:

    As a white person, I experience white privilege every day – I can’t help but do so, if I live in a society that perpetuates that privilege – but I can choose what actions I take in response to my privilege.

    Right, and that’s the trick, to be aware of your privilege. All of us have privilege, to varying degrees. You can’t get rid of it, however, being aware of it does make you a better person. Also, right on cue, see Dominic Hinkins post @ 10, for some premium white privilege whining. I guess posting that very excellent, educational link in the very first post just didn’t work. *sigh*

    Anyway, Fern, thanks for being an aware person, that’s truly wonderful.

  9. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Dominic Hinkins

    Thank you for the lovely post decrying the use of racial identifiers as it leads to tribalism.

    I’d love to read your posts where you take on fans of sports teams for being proud to be part of the city that won something – as if the city won it, and not the individuals on the teams.

    I do hope you also took on the horrifying tribalism of bench-riders who score no points/goals invoking “we” just because they got a paycheck from the same organization as Zidane or Beckham or Jordan.

    This “groups do not exist, we are all individuals” stance is brave on your part, and the only way, in the end, to frustrate the human tendency towards injustice.

    I look forward to reading your detailed takedowns of tribalisms in other contexts.

  10. ludicrous says

    Caine at 1 above. Thanks for that link. I didn’t find male privilege on that site but I found her (Peggy McIntosh), list of male privilege thru google but that list did not note the male privilege of having much less concern for personal safety, walking at night, care breakdown, elevators, etc etc., That’s puzzling, I have always considered that the big one.

  11. says

    md @6

    Yesssss… So let’s look at things here. Charles Lane’s killers. Going to jail. There’s no tension that they’re going to get off because the anti-white feelings of the community are tied up in a popular I dunno, gay abortions or something as bizarrely coded liberal as the right to shoot brown people is coded conservative. The crime was investigated immediately, the police did not let the killers walk free and deign from even bothering with an investigation because “hey, it’s only a black kid and besides he said he stood his ground, even though we specifically told him not to do that when he was stalking him”. There was no outpouring of public support among black people for the killers, no demonizations of the killer. Big liberal sites like Mother Jones didn’t run months upon months of articles demonizing Charles Lane and arguing that because he had smoked a joint once or had bought a candy bar and a soda therefore was clearly trying to cook up meth which made him a super-powered freak who liked to jump in front of innocent cars.

    No, the system is working. Fucked up violent freaks murder someone and will be going to prison, after a direct investigation, and will actually be getting harsher sentences than they would otherwise and their racial animosity will be factored into their sentence. This is what the Zimmerman case lacked. Zimmerman was protected from every aspect of the law in order to make that kind of murder LEGAL! To make it LEGAL in practice to murder an unarmed black teenager. That is something that will NEVER happen to black perpetrators of violence, even though the right-wing is desperate for something, anything they can fling on the wall to distract from how they have campaigned to make LYNCHING, LEGAL!

    Oh, and yeah, let’s just look at that “Charles Lane” case.

    There were 3 teenagers who committed the crime. Only 2 were black.

    One of those teenagers was white. That teenager was not only older, but more culpable. Guess who is the only one of the trio to receive a reduced sentence in comparison with the others and guess which one is having their skin color changed in the reporting of the incident?

    Yeah.

    But let’s here you try and blather about how there is no racism because after months of searching for exactly this sort of thing, you’ve finally found an incident where black kids (mostly) killed a white man in order to justify a propaganda demonization campaign to try and make the lives of black teenagers worthless and viewed as inherently violent, dangerous, and deserving of death unless they “get us” first.

    So fuck off to the Klan meeting you came from, you PRO-LYNCHING ASSHOLE!

  12. says

    I dunno what politics Christopher Lane’s girlfriend had but she did ‘freak out’ and wish her man’s killers, the ones who tweeted “90% of white people are nasty hate them” and “time to start takin lives”, to ‘rot in hell’. Would you call her out on it?

    Another schmuck who thinks the media exonerating Zimmerman and playing the ‘had to find him innocent’ card is equivalent tot he demands these guys have the book thrown at them.

    Zimmerman had a black business partner and was a big brother to black kids. Even the stuff NBC faked to make Zimmerman look like a racist wasn’t as bad as Lane’s killers real tweets.

    Yeah it’s not like Zimmerman made a habit of calling 911 on black people, even children. Oh wait. Well I guess that’s not worse than tweets white people won’t even generally see.

  13. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Thank you for the lovely post decrying the use of racial identifiers as it leads to tribalism.

    I’m one of those peoples who belongs to a tribe. Guess we all ought to disappear, like good little Indians, right? Heh.

  14. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about this. Am I?

  15. says

    Dominic @10

    Histories of oppression are never just that. History.

    Oppression lingers. The economic benefits and detriments of slavery still affect people today. It’s why black people are economically disempowered in society. It’s why people still at this moment think there is something “wrong” or “out of place” about a black person being in a position of financial or political power. It’s why lynching started up, a way to block the “escaped slaves” from having a level playing field to rise up, from having a means to economically or socially improve themselves.

    And we see that direct legacy with Trayvon Martin and how he was seen as inherently criminal for being a black male in a neighborhood that was “supposed to be” white due to its middle class pretensions of gated community despite its increasingly cosmopolitan makeup.

    In fact, it’s the backlash to any attempts by blacks to improve their station, the way it just seems “to fit” that they do manual labor instead of “overseer” jobs like management or computer programming.

    It’s the voice living in everybody’s head that continues to reinforce an artificial separation. It’s what makes white people so very scared of owning up to their misdeeds, even the ones in living memory of the perpetrators.

    It’s what causes you to object more to people being aware of the history of oppression and its lingering effects than the enduring racism that directly worsens the lives of every black person that encounters it. Leads you to minimize the graveyards filled with fresh bodies of unarmed black men gunned down by cops and wannabe be cops. The prisons filled with non-violent black men selectively enforced from deliberately disenfranchising drug laws. The voting laws that still view a black person voting or a black person running as inherently “illegitimate” and worthless. The black women whose rapes are viewed as less real because of slave-era lingering bullshit about black women’s bodies being “unrapably” “sexual”.

    Oh yes, let’s just close our eyes to it, because you don’t want to face the stepping stone you’ve been handed since birth.

    And you wonder why people actually HURT by this bullshit are starting to get tired of the shtick?

  16. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Though I know you’re agreeing with me, Caine, I also read in your response (whether you intended it or not) a critique of the word “tribalism” itself.

    I’m not speaking of nationalisms here. Do you have a better word, or should I just do some research?

  17. says

    Crip Dyke:

    Though I know you’re agreeing with me, Caine, I also read in your response (whether you intended it or not) a critique of the word “tribalism” itself.

    Oh, no no no, it wasn’t a critique. I just get intensely irritated with idiots who yell “tribalism!” in lieu of having anything of substance to say. I know what sense it was being used in, and you’re fine. I have no problems with you at all.

  18. reggiedunlap says

    I think people need to let go of the Trayvon Martin case. It was adopted as an example of profiling and racial inequality in the justice system. However it isn’t a very good example and it isn’t persuasive to audiences who aren’t already members of the choir. There are many better ways to illustrate privilege and racial injustice. Invoking Martin is a poor strategy.

  19. says

    @ Crip Dyke… I sense sarcasm and an attempt at reductio ad absurdam, so….

    I’d love to read your posts where you take on fans of sports teams for being proud to be part of the city that won something – as if the city won it, and not the individuals on the teams.

    Yep, I absolutely deplore that. There’s an important distinction though. First, between “proud of” and “proud to be”.

    If I am a sports fan, and I say “I’m proud to be an Arsenal/Yank supporter”, then I’m clearly an idiot, because even though my team is a choice, I had no influence over the team’s win.

    On the other hand, I might say “I’m proud of Arsenal” or “I’m proud of the team’s players” to express pleasure in their achievement – and that’s absolutely fine. I’m proud when my nieces learn something new, even though it’s nothing to do with me.

    So, clearly it’s stupid to be proud to be from a place, or group, or a member of a group of supporters, as though you had something to do with someone else’s achievement. It’s not so stupid to be proud OF someone or something specific, provided it is a specific thing.

    Imagine if someone said “I’m proud to follow football” because one of the football teams had won a game. That’s even more ridiculous than saying “I’m proud to be from Brooklyn” rather than “I’m proud of the achievements of Brooklyners”. You can’t claim the performance of a discrete part, for the whole.

    Be proud of: specific people, your own achievements. Don’t be proud or ashamed to belong to the same group as them, particularly not when this allows you to extend the characteristics of pre-selected members of the group to the whole. That’s basically how racism started, isn’t it?

    I’m proud to be an atheist, because I think atheism is an intrinsically positive, discrete attribute all on its own, not because all atheists are good, sensible people.

    I’m not ashamed or proud of my race, because frankly there is no meaningful set of characteristics I can attribute to everyone who shares it, which I could then assign positive value to.

    The only attribute I can assign to “whiteness” is privilege, based on previous events and circumstances I can’t control. And I can’t feel ashamed of that, because it isn’t a choice, although as someone said above, I can choose how I respond to it. Outside of the acceptable “proud ofs” above, I’ll stick to being ashamed and proud of my own choices and my own attributes.

  20. says

    I object to being told that as a white person, I am automatically evil because it was white people who enslaved Africans.

    Words said basically never.

    I have even been told in discussion that white people are intrinsically oppressive, as a racial characteristic essentially

    Well, seeing as you’re the race that is currently dominant politically, it’s essentially true. For now. I’m sure the next dominating superpower will supplant you, if it makes you feel better.

    But don’t say “I’m proud to be black”, as though race actually means something in that sense, and you can somehow claim a person’s actions for yourselves because you happen to share a skin tone or ancestry, or even a culture.

    The essential choice is to either feel pride or shame. It’s difficult to feel ‘nothing’ in the world as it is. At least, if you’re not a white person.

  21. says

    I think people need to let go of the Trayvon Martin case. It was adopted as an example of profiling and racial inequality in the justice system. However it isn’t a very good example and it isn’t persuasive to audiences who aren’t already members of the choir. There are many better ways to illustrate privilege and racial injustice. Invoking Martin is a poor strategy.

    Yeah, a dude killing a black man with no repercussions says nothing about the value society places on black lives.

  22. roro80 says

    I object to being told that as a white person, I am automatically evil because it was white people who enslaved Africans.

    Good Buddah, what is it about conversations about privilege that makes the privileged need to declare they are not “evil”? Nobody said you’re the devil, or Darth Vader. An acknowledgement of the very real harm that white people do all the friggin time to people of color by just being too stupid or careless to get our heads out of our asses — and calling this racism — is way different than saying white people are “evil”. You don’t need to wear a swastica to say racist things, you don’t need to declare war on black people to uphold racist policy, and you don’t need to round up Latinos for deportation to agree with racist ideas.

    One thing to consider, though, if you don’t want to be called out on your racist post: if you think that the last bad thing white people did to black people en masse was take them from Africa, you’ve got a lot of really ugly shit going on, man. Like, whoa.

  23. says

    @ Cerberus

    Okay, you completely missed the point of what I said. Yes, absolutely, historical events have consequences in today’s world. White privilege and discrimination persist, largely due to what happened in the past. I don’t deny that in the slightest bit, and I do my best to Check My Privilege.

    I at no point denied that oppression lingers. I do deny that I am in any way responsible for the causes of oppression, provided I don’t actively participate. I merely have that responsibility to make sure I don’t abuse my privilege.

    Nor did I “object more to people being aware of the history of oppression and its lingering effects”. We absolutely need to promote awareness of this. The reporting of history still unfairly privileges whites (and, again, males). I actually said this in my comment. I merely object to finger pointing and saying that it’s any person’s “fault”, when they are not perpetuating that privilege themselves.

    But it’s quite clear you didn’t read or process my comment, since you leapt immediately to accusing me of minimising and dismissing what I will say, again, is a very serious and important part of history with serious and important HUGE implications for today’s society, of which everyone should be aware.

    Levelling blame at the *race* whose members historically did the lion’s share of oppression, merely perpetuates tribalistic thinking. I don’t have any objection to being made aware of my privilege (and FSM knows I need reminding), but I do object to it being made my “fault”, or to the belief that race in and of itself is something to be proud or ashamed of – totally separate issues.

  24. says

    @Christopher:

    Screw you, you privileged arse.

    I wish I had a heritage to be proud of. I’m a Pamunkey Indian, but after being settled into the worst land along the river and being killed by disease and forced to live in squalor, my ancestors acclimated to the ways of the Europeans so they wouldn’t be killed for being ignoble non-Christian savages.

    I’m proud to be Native American, but my culture is pretty much lost in time (save for the rare bits of archaelogy that has been found and implied through their neighboring tribes’ histories.)

  25. says

    @roro80 if you think that the last bad thing white people did to black people en masse was take them from Africa, you’ve got a lot of really ugly shit going on, man. Like, whoa.

    It’s called an example, dude. Racist oppression, largely by whites on POC, actively continues to the present day. Still doesn’t extend the role of oppressor to the entire race, beyond, as I repeatedly say, the privilege we’re born with in this specific culture and historical period.

  26. says

    I’d love to read your posts where you take on fans of sports teams for being proud to be part of the city that won something – as if the city won it, and not the individuals on the teams.

    I do hope you also took on the horrifying tribalism of bench-riders who score no points/goals invoking “we” just because they got a paycheck from the same organization as Zidane or Beckham or Jordan

    Isn’t it in fact absurd when people do these things, imputing some sort of credit or blame to themselves for actions by others in their group?

    Rather than regarding modern whites as in some sense guilty of slavery, which on a normal understanding of the word “guilt” they aren’t, I think it more accurate and useful to point out that they (we) are all to some degree beneficiaries of the mistreatment of blacks (or American Indians, or others). A beneficiary of an injustice, even an unwitting one, can reasonably be said to have a duty to work against that injustice–given that that something of the victim’s was taken away and given to them.

    And yes, racial essentialism directed against whites is obnoxious, but, given the facts on the ground, it’s done far less harm than that directed against blacks (or others)–so it needn’t occupy our attention to anything like the same extent.

  27. says

    reggie @22

    I think people need to let go of the Trayvon Martin case. It was adopted as an example of profiling and racial inequality in the justice system. However it isn’t a very good example and it isn’t persuasive to audiences who aren’t already members of the choir.

    Yes, because he is a tactic not a person.

    A person who was lynched.

    Sorry, but fuck that noise. I’m going to reserve the right to be pissed about all the black men slaughtered on the altar of our fucked up racist society. The Oscar Grant’s, the Trayvon Martin’s, even the Amadou Diallo’s.

    This shit doesn’t happen in a vacuum and isn’t some handy little pack of cards for some black people’s outrage versus white people’s denial card game.

    We’ve gotten too good at deciding that any unarmed black man shot by even pretend police authority, even DELUSIONAL not-even-pseudo-cops is inherently a criminal, must have deserved it.

    And it’s getting worse. Not just cops, but fucking rent-a-cop BART cops, and now just a guy too fucked up and violent for even the twitch-nose paranoids of the Neighborhood Watch, all let off the hook because they must have been “defending” white people from the unfortunate criminal existence of black people.

    And the demonizations are proving simplicity itself to complete. Why is Trayvon Martin a bad example? Because he smoked pot once? Because of bizarre conspiracy theories about skittles and an Arizona drink making dundundun a way to get drunk-like underaged which even the suspicion of is a death-sentence or I don’t even know what the right-wing is trying to sell.

    Except I do.

    Black people are inherently criminal and the murder of them is inherently just because lethal force in the prevention of crime, any crime (like being inherently criminal by virtue of being black) is laudable and legal.

    That’s the world the right-wing is making a reality. RIGHT NOW. And we are letting them.

    So fuck your victim-dehumanizing bullshit the fuck off.

  28. says

    KevinKat:

    I’m proud to be Native American, but my culture is pretty much lost in time (save for the rare bits of archaelogy that has been found and implied through their neighboring tribes’ histories.)

    *solidarity fistbump* I’m proud to be NDN. Don’t like it? Tough.

  29. says

    aaronbaker @30

    They directly benefit from slavery’s legacy.

    It’s a direct gain.

    FUCK, did we get an invasion from Stormfront or are all the sexist trolls who’ve been stalking all the threads relentlessly just wanting to demonstrate that they’re textbook racists as well?

  30. reggiedunlap says

    Rutee. You really seem to be blind by emotion in the case. It was a horrible tragic event. It was latched onto as a white vs black case and the facts turned out to be more complicated. Most importantly it isn’t persuasive. If your goal is to make people aware of privilege and injustice why not use other examples that are more persuasive?

  31. Howard Bannister says

    and I do my best to Check My Privilege.

    Doing a heckuva job, too.

    I mean that in the most sincere homage to the way George W Bush used it.

  32. Howard Bannister says

    Rutee. You really seem to be blind by emotion in the case. It was a horrible tragic event. It was latched onto as a white vs black case and the facts turned out to be more complicated.

    Fuck you. Complicated by what? By Trayvon being two doors from home when he was shot, nearly there? So close? Fuck you.

  33. says

    I think people need to let go of the Trayvon Martin case.

    Yeah, who the fuck cares about a murdered kid, said murder shored up by toxic, systemic racism? I mean, really, aren’t we over that shit yet?

    Way to be a fucking asshole. Do us a favour, and don’t stop back by to keep on digging that hole, Cupcake.

  34. says

    @Rutee…
    I have even been told in discussion that white people are intrinsically oppressive, as a racial characteristic essentially

    Well, seeing as you’re the race that is currently dominant politically, it’s essentially true.

    …THIS IS EXACTLY the kind of statement I’m talking about. It’s not a ‘racial attribute’ at all. It’s not in the genes of white people. It’s not biological. There is no gene for oppression. White people are not even “intrinsically” oppressive in the sense that they, by default, enjoy privilege – even that is a result of historical circumstances, an accident of how the cards have fallen.

    (I just know someone is going to take issue with me saying it’s an “accident”, but the alternative again is to say that there is something intrinsic about people of colour which makes them naturally suited to being oppressed, which is, just, ridiculous. White people happened to be based in a fertile land which leant itself to developing the tools of oppression, they were no more suited to developing them than people of colour. To say THAT is to imply that black people are stupid, or perhaps naturally justice loving and peaceful. No – they’re human, the same as white people, and we all have roughly the same capacity for intelligence and peacefulness).

    Whites are currently dominant politically, that’s all. This is a result of history we can’t change, and most of us aren’t to blame for. Now there are people who want to change it, and people who don’t, and that’s the only distinction that matters to me. Levelling the label of “racist” at me is, again, only going to piss me off, and has no possible application in the cause of preventing racial privilege.

  35. says

    I am a white person. My great-great-great-grandfather fought in the Civil War to free the slaves! He was in Grant’s campaign where he ended up in New Orleans, came down with malaria, was mustered out and suffered long term disabilities that led to him losing the family farm in Iowa, after which he and his family ended up as migrant farm workers, drifting west.

    And you know what? My family didn’t suffer even the tiniest fraction of the indignities those black slaves and their families suffered, and always had an edge over the non-whites they had to compete with for work, and even in my father’s generation were loaded with vicious racists (John Birchers and such contemptible types).

    Even coming from people who would best be described as poor white trash, I have incredible amounts of privilege, and I have benefited immensely from my skin color. It would do me no credit to deny it.

    And no, I haven’t had black people call me “evil” for being white, but I know that there is a strong element of unfairness at work here. I should be aware of it, as should everyone.

  36. says

    reggiedunlap!

    You really seem to be blind by emotion in the case.

    Stop. Knock it the fuck off, right now. You engaging in such shitty bigotry and attempting to belittle the many people of colour in this thread is NOT OKAY.

  37. roro80 says

    It’s called an example, dude. Racist oppression, largely by whites on POC, actively continues to the present day. Still doesn’t extend the role of oppressor to the entire race, beyond, as I repeatedly say, the privilege we’re born with in this specific culture and historical period.

    Wow, what a disingenuous comment. Like, there’s almost too much bullshit to unpack. But a quick summary: if people call you racist, it’s almost certainly because you are saying racist shit. You are doing so, right here, right now. So let’s not pretend that people calling you a racist has anything to do with the evils perpetrated hundreds of years ago.

  38. Nick Gotts says

    Dominic Hinkins,

    OK, you’ve managed stage 1 of being, as someone privileged a decent human being: recognising that simple fact. But:

    I object to being told that as a white person, I am automatically evil because it was white people who enslaved Africans. I have even been told in discussion that white people are intrinsically oppressive, as a racial characteristic essentially.

    OK, I’ll make the considerable effort to believe that people actually say such things to you – they don’t to me, a white man like you. How about you just suck it up, as some small counterbalance to the privilege we share?

    don’t say “I’m proud to be black”, as though race actually means something in that sense, and you can somehow claim a person’s actions for yourselves because you happen to share a skin tone or ancestry, or even a culture.

    No, Dominic Hinkins, you do not tell people who do not share a particular aspect of your privilege how they are to feel about or deal with that situation. Not if you’re really interested in being a decent human being.

  39. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Oh, Dominic Hinkins, I totally got that you deplore all tribalism. And, no, it wasn’t reductio ad absurdam at all, though nice catch on the sarcasm!

    I’m just wondering where to find the other writings of yours that clearly express your long held anti-tribalist beliefs?

    Surely if it’s a priority of yours to tell Black folk they are idiots for expressing the phrase and sentiment “I am proud to be Black”, you have spent an equal amount of time telling Arsenal fans that they are idiots to be proud “to be an Arsenal supporter” and Yankee fans likewise, etc.

    It must keep you very busy.

  40. Howard Bannister says

    Most importantly it isn’t persuasive. If your goal is to make people aware of privilege and injustice why not use other examples that are more persuasive?

    Actually, it’s hugely persuasive.

    You just wait for somebody to point out a counter-factual. Wait for them to pull out the picture of Game. Wait for them to say ‘he had no business in that community.’ Wait for them to cite his size.

    Because every fucking time, they lie. They lie big. It takes mere seconds to demonstrate.

    No, it’s not persuasive to the racists. To those who didn’t realize, to those who didn’t see the racism in all that? It can open their eyes.

    Name those complications that make this non-persuasive.

    And, um, not to get repetitive or nothing, but fuck you.

  41. says

    Rather than regarding modern whites as in some sense guilty of slavery, which on a normal understanding of the word “guilt” they aren’t, I think it more accurate and useful to point out that they (we) are all to some degree beneficiaries of the mistreatment of blacks (or American Indians, or others). A beneficiary of an injustice, even an unwitting one, can reasonably be said to have a duty to work against that injustice–given that that something of the victim’s was taken away and given to them.

    *applauds*

    WHY the HELL would anyone possibly take issue with this sentiment? The goal we are working towards is to eradicate that privilege. Not race, not culture, but privilege. Why the hell does it matter who is “to blame” provided we are working towards making things better?

    They directly benefit from slavery’s legacy.

    It’s a direct gain.

    FUCK, did we get an invasion from Stormfront or are all the sexist trolls who’ve been stalking all the threads relentlessly just wanting to demonstrate that they’re textbook racists as well?

    I really don’t get what the difference is, here. Yes, we gain. White people, collectively, as a race, have gained from slavery. White people continue to gain from oppression of other races. Nobody is disputing this, and whether it is “directly” or “indirectly”, the point remains that this does not make white people natural oppressors, or the entire black race worthy of sainthood. Either one is a gross generalisation.

    And okay, whatever, I don’t give a damn if you don’t think that generalisation isn’t the be all and end all of racism. Spoiler: neither do I. I just think it’s a ridiculous thing in any kind of discussion. When a white guy says “NOT MY FAULT NOT MY FAULT”, they are actually correct, provided they are working against the existence of racial privilege.

  42. roro80 says

    When a white guy says “NOT MY FAULT NOT MY FAULT”, they are actually correct, provided they are working against the existence of racial privilege.

    It’s never, ever those working against the existence of racial privlege who say that.

  43. says

    Rutee. You really seem to be blind by emotion in the case.

    Nah.

    It was latched onto as a white vs black case and the facts turned out to be more complicate

    It’s not like the police didn’t pursue it properly before it got national attention. Oh wait.

    Well, it’s not like the prosecutors obviously sandbagged with the eyes of the nation on them. Oh wait.

    Well, okay, it’s not like the defendant had a history of confusing black strangers with criminals in any circumstances. Oh wait.

    Well, okay, it’s not like the defendant was told by the cops to stop following Trayvon. Oh, wait…

    Most importantly it isn’t persuasive

    Not to racist fuckers, no.

    If your goal is to make people aware of privilege and injustice why not use other examples that are more persuasive?

    Because if I just used other equally evocative and racially charged examples white people would drop their blinders?

  44. reggiedunlap says

    What a joyful bunch we have here. It shocks me that you haven’t accomplished more with all your anger and stunted vocabularies. Progress is actually happening. Stop and Frisk in New York was declared unconditional and more will happen. It is being accomplished by people who are doing smart work and being persuasive. If you like failing and getting your blood pressure in a boil accomplishing nothing continue as you have. It is a free country.

  45. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    #14, Cerberus von Snarkmistress

    Wow ! ! ! Thanks for that. I was sitting there wondering how to answer. You are impressive !

  46. says

    …THIS IS EXACTLY the kind of statement I’m talking about. It’s not a ‘racial attribute’ at all.

    Are you a white person in 21st century USA? If so, it’s true. It’d be equally true if we were talking about 14th century turks or chinese. We’re not. Though it’s not really ‘racial’ so much as ‘societal’. You’re the one saying anyone said it’s encoded genetically.

  47. Howard Bannister says

    Stop and Frisk in New York was declared unconditional

    Heh.

    It shocks me that you haven’t accomplished more with all your anger and stunted vocabularies. Progress is actually happening.

    See what you did there? Implying that the progress isn’t coming because of the people willing to channel their anger and their swearing into forcing change?

    Prove it.

  48. fernando says

    To me is pretty simple:

    We all deserve to be regarded has equals in rights and dignity, being the color of our skin a adaptation to the environment in wich our ancestors lived and not a mark of a “special people” “or “choosed by god X people”.
    What we need to do, using our minds and bodies, is to make the world a better place to us all and stop all the abuse some people can suffer for being of a diferent skin color.

  49. says

    Surely if it’s a priority of yours to tell Black folk they are idiots for expressing the phrase and sentiment “I am proud to be Black”, you have spent an equal amount of time telling Arsenal fans that they are idiots to be proud “to be an Arsenal supporter” and Yankee fans likewise, etc.

    If I overhear someone say it, then yes, I do. I’ve already had this entire argument. Actually, I’m responding to the article above. There are also people who spend their entire academic life debating the meanings of punctuation in Walt Whitman’s poems. Sometimes I get petty about grammar and punctuation. Go figure.

    But actually, that’s because I think this is important. If your answer to white privilege is to demonise or mock the entire white race, then you’ve missed the point. Given that I hate the idea that someone might be worse off than me simply because of their race, I don’t believe people like me should be the real target.

    Let me put it bluntly: every time a white racist sees one of these caricatures, or hears a black guy laugh about how white people can’t dance, they will take that and point to it as an example of reverse racism.

    I’d like to know what the above image actually achieves, other than getting people’s backs up. Because there are a hell of a lot better ways to win people over than to stick that little speech bubble in there that says “IT’S YOUR FAULT”.

  50. Howard Bannister says

    But actually, that’s because I think this is important. If your answer to white privilege is to demonise or mock the entire white race, then you’ve missed the point.

    If your answer to white racism is to complain that the privileged group is being demonised, maybe it’s you who’ve missed the point.

  51. says

    What a joyful bunch we have here. It shocks me that you haven’t accomplished more with all your anger

    Yeah, if there’s one thing that characterized folks who enacted mass change, it was their calm demeanor and their unwillingness to rock the boat.

    and stunted vocabularies.

    Stunted – adj The state of being larger than average, by not removing taboo aspects.

    Progress is actually happening.

    Because people get angry.

    It is being accomplished by people who are doing smart work and being persuasive.

    If you think ‘smart’ is somehow mutually exclusive to ‘angry’, you aren’t.

  52. Anthony K says

    What a joyful bunch we have here. It shocks me that you haven’t accomplished more with all your anger and stunted vocabularies. Progress is actually happening. Stop and Frisk in New York was declared unconditional and more will happen. It is being accomplished by people who are doing smart work and being persuasive. If you like failing and getting your blood pressure in a boil accomplishing nothing continue as you have. It is a free country.

    And how much racism did this comment of yours stop? None?

    Well then, continue as you have. Free country, and all that.

  53. says

    Howard:

    See what you did there? Implying that the progress isn’t coming because of the people willing to channel their anger and their swearing into forcing change?

    Ah, well we all know that anger is just never, ever justified, oh my no. And we all know that anger has never fueled activism or change, oh my no. And, of course, those of us with stellar vocabularies which include a great deal of colour, heh, why we never, ever have anything substantial to say, oh my no.

  54. says

    …THIS IS EXACTLY the kind of statement I’m talking about. It’s not a ‘racial attribute’ at all.

    Are you a white person in 21st century USA? If so, it’s true. It’d be equally true if we were talking about 14th century turks or chinese.

    Rutee, you seem to have a very strange idea of what a racial attribute is. I have gone to great pains to specify that I am talking about characteristics of individuals that naturally occur out of biological differences.

    For instance, susceptibility to bowel cancer is a biological attribute. If I remember secondary school biology, one actual racial attribute is the greater incidence of sickle cell anaemia in people of African descent.

    White people are not oppressive as a race, the same way black people are not stupid as a race.

    Society privileges whites; whites dominate society. This is not attributable to the colour of their skin, it is a result of tribalism, geography, history.

  55. says

    Rutee, you seem to have a very strange idea of what a racial attribute is. I have gone to great pains to specify that I am talking about characteristics of individuals that naturally occur out of biological differences.

    Are you illiterate?

    Though it’s not really ‘racial’ so much as ‘societal’. You’re the one saying anyone said it’s encoded genetically.

  56. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    #23 Dominic Hinkens

    Well yes, “Proud to be X” is in general illogical but in the case of people of color, “Black is beautiful” and “Proud to be black” emerged during the Civil Rights era and were responses to the fact that so many people did not believe black was beautiful and were not proud to be black.

    I am handicapped, pretty severely. And you know what? I’m ASHAMED of it. That’s illogical, too. I know. But in the case of social perceptions and perceptions of oneself as an X, whatever that X may be, we are not dealing with pure logic but with History, histories and pervasive social attitudes that people can not help but internalize, however smart and logical they are.

  57. says

    Or even “I’m ashamed to be German, because my grandparents killed the jews”.

    Actually, whenever I happen to come across the signs that indicate that this is another place where Germans* butchered innocent people I cringe, notice that my stomach curls up and depending on how bad it is blink tears from my eyes.
    And although I don’t especially like it when people, especially elderly people treat me with a bit of suspicion I also have enough empathy to understand that the need to be safe of somebody who probably only ever heard German when people gunned down their family is much more important than my hurt fee-fees.
    Especially given the German ambitions to bomb people again because it’s been such a long time since WWII I wouldn’t trust Germans to have learned any collective lessons either.

    *I’m actually pretty sure that only 1 of my 4 grandparents killed Jews or other victims of fascism. I mean, i really prefer the heritage from my other grandparents who were victims of Nazi Germany. And one of my great-grandfathers was killed by Stalin. well, not personally, but you get what I mean. I’m the ultimate person to have hurt fee-fees.

  58. says

    Hoawrd Bannister,

    If your answer to white racism is to complain that the privileged group is being demonised, maybe it’s you who’ve missed the point.

    The answer to one group demonising another group, is not to generalise the other way. I’m not complaining about “white racism” in lieu of “black racism” – it’s not “help, help, I’m being oppressed”. My point is that there is no “white racism” or “black racism” – racism is racism.

    To put it in playground terms, just because Johnny is poking you, doesn’t make it okay to poke him back. The answer is for Johnny’s stick to be taken away, not to give one to you too. And no, the fact that Johnny’s stick is bigger and pointer than yours, does not mean that your little stick is okay.

  59. says

    Dominic @27

    Okay, you completely missed the point of what I said. Yes, absolutely, historical events have consequences in today’s world. White privilege and discrimination persist, largely due to what happened in the past. I don’t deny that in the slightest bit, and I do my best to Check My Privilege.

    To use a mangled hockey analogy, maybe you should throw more of your shoulder into that check.

    I at no point denied that oppression lingers.

    If I was inclined to be unbelievably charitable, I could extend that this is true. Nonetheless, you did abandon any acknowledgment of that history, tried to directly minimize that history, arguing implicitly that it’s legacy shouldn’t in any way inform current views of black or white pride. Additionally, you obviously feel some form of ownership over that legacy, because you were invested in pulling a brief flash of victim-blaming and “both sides are just as bad” in the form of emphasizing the small role that black Africans had in aiding the slave trade to the minimization of the role of white slavers on every level.

    So, just noting that while I decide how charitable I feel.

    I do deny that I am in any way responsible for the causes of oppression, provided I don’t actively participate.

    Indeed? What about the systems in which you passively participate. The inequalities you perpetuate every time you don’t speak up. Or every time you get more pissed off at black empowerment than white disempowerment of black people (oh wait, that was an active participation in a system of oppression). I meant more the ways in which you benefit from the inheritances of slave-owners, of years of those slaver-owners or slave-traders deciding who looks like a good worker, how that built and still builds whether you’ll get a job over a guy named Amadou, how that effects how cops treat you, whether a youthful offense is waved off as kids being kids or the first sign of a deviant and inherently criminal lifestyle. How comfortable you can be cheering your favorite team in the stands because no one is going to call you a monkey?

    The system entrenches and endures and denying that is an active participation in a racist system.

    I merely have that responsibility to make sure I don’t abuse my privilege.

    I bet when you were willing to be “gracious” enough to “extend” yourself in such fashion, you thought it would be really easy and that if you put forth the bare minimum, it would be enough to make people excuse the systems you passively and actively reinforce.

    I’m sorry to inform you differently.

    Nor did I “object more to people being aware of the history of oppression and its lingering effects”. We absolutely need to promote awareness of this. The reporting of history still unfairly privileges whites (and, again, males). I actually said this in my comment. I merely object to finger pointing and saying that it’s any person’s “fault”, when they are not perpetuating that privilege themselves.

    I’ll get to fault later on because it really is your central objection, but one sec on this. “When they are not perpetuating privilege themselves”. If you think this rare or extraordinary or something you haven’t already done on this thread, then buddy, I’ve got some bad bad news for you.

    But it’s quite clear you didn’t read or process my comment, since you leapt immediately to accusing me of minimising and dismissing what I will say, again, is a very serious and important part of history with serious and important HUGE implications for today’s society, of which everyone should be aware.

    Cause you were.

    It was an active decision on your part to minimize the history and seek to separate yourself from it. Because of the chicken-shit behavior of privilege. I’m white too. I get it. My ancestors were immigrants. Not a damn one benefited from the slave trade, in fact, many of them were abused by the people who profited off the slave trade. I shouldn’t be “responsible” for that legacy. I shouldn’t be at “fault”.

    But see, the thing about that comforting idea of “We didn’t start the fire” is that it really doesn’t matter. Okay, you personally and me personally never owned a slave, but the legacies of those slave owners benefit use directly. I may be viewed less than by prospective employers for a number of reasons. Being female, being trans*, etc… but being white? No, that benefits me. When my resume is submitted to prospective employers it looks better inherently than one of equal quality from a Taquanda. I’m viewed as more intelligent than an equally capable woman with the last name Martinez or Lopez. When people are assessing whether I’m a joke or a threat, they’ll default to joke, because my white skin disarms them. Hell, with my body shape and anti-authoritarian streaks, I probably wouldn’t have lived this long, growing up a black man. So many people would have seen me as a promised threat, yeah…

    No, we didn’t personally start the fire and we may even try and reduce how much fuel we throw on it, but there’s an endless row behind us willing to throw a bottle of petrol on in our name. The systems endure unless we fight.

    Levelling blame at the *race* whose members historically did the lion’s share of oppression, merely perpetuates tribalistic thinking. I don’t have any objection to being made aware of my privilege (and FSM knows I need reminding), but I do object to it being made my “fault”, or to the belief that race in and of itself is something to be proud or ashamed of – totally separate issues.

    Which gets us to “fault”.

    Which I get. Of course “fault” jumps out at you. “Fault” hits like a bullet where you feel it is unfair. “Fault” seems like the worst thing and the thing you need to spend your intellectual energy fighting against.

    Because “fault” affects you.

    Racism doesn’t. Racism is abstract to you and frankly, also to me. It’s something that happens to other people and if we are not very very careful, it’s easy to not even feel it at all, even in the disembodied abstraction of empathy. It doesn’t affect us negatively. It doesn’t hover over us like a gray haze, choking us and preventing us from breathing.

    We are privileged.

    We get to ignore it completely. To see things entirely as history, rather than living reality. Black people don’t get that. You want to escape the “fault” of slavery? They just want to stop feeling its chains upon their minds and bodies, limiting and breaking them on a daily basis. They want to stop living its fallout and effects.

    But “fault” is what you get aggravated about.

    Because it affects you. Because that’s the only aspect of racism you can directly feel. So it feels more real, more important. More deserving of time and attention than the legacy of racism and how it directly affects people to you.

    That was your immediate reaction. What you felt you needed to contribute. Your choice.

    That says something. Not specifically bad about you. But about how very easy it is to slip into privilege like an old glove.

    Oh, and here’s the dark irony. No one is saying it’s your “fault”, they are merely relating the pain, the many indescribable ways in which you benefit over them because of that history. The way they are still punished for the perceived inferiority due to their subordination in the past. They are sharing their experiences and how you are passively reinforcing them and the first response you can make is to try and scream about “fault” and silence their infrequent voices in pure reflexive terror of being at “fault”.

    Think about what that makes you.

    And then remember that that doesn’t have to be you.

    You have the tools. You can do better.

  60. Howard Bannister says

    My point is that there is no “white racism” or “black racism” – racism is racism.

    Yes, I totally see that the black people expressing prejudices towards white people have an entrenched systemic bias aiding them in oppressing the white people.

    Sorry, I’m allergic to bullshit false equivalences.

  61. says

    @ Giliell

    Actually, whenever I happen to come across the signs that indicate that this is another place where Germans* butchered innocent people I cringe, notice that my stomach curls up and depending on how bad it is blink tears from my eyes.
    And although I don’t especially like it when people, especially elderly people treat me with a bit of suspicion I also have enough empathy to understand that the need to be safe of somebody who probably only ever heard German when people gunned down their family is much more important than my hurt fee-fees.

    Totally understandable – but that’s called empathy, not shame. You don’t accept responsibility for anything that your forbears did, but of course you accept that the world is a different place today because of it. And that you have a responsibility to dispel that suspicion, and prove that Germans are no different from anyone else, no more likely to commit genocide on whole races than anyone else.

    I’m actually pretty sure that only 1 of my 4 grandparents killed Jews or other victims of fascism.

    So the German thing is a fine example. You understand what your ethnicity means to people, despite not accepting personal responsibility for the actual cause. Even if you had descended from German Jews, you would probably encounter the same trepidation on encountering people whose preconceptions of Germans were that they were somehow barbaric and more given to fascism.

    I’m unsure as to whether, as a person of German Jewish descent, you would still feel a responsibility to prove the equal worth of Germans to undo the damage done by the fascists. I think I probably would – to disown them as not being representative of my culture or nationality (because no individual is representative of a culture or nationality, even if they are a figurehead).

    This is entirely different from accepting that it is “my fault” that Germans have a bad name. If the girl up there was shouting “NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY, NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY” – then I would have nothing to say about that picture whatsoever.

  62. says

    Giliell:

    *I’m actually pretty sure that only 1 of my 4 grandparents killed Jews or other victims of fascism. I mean, i really prefer the heritage from my other grandparents who were victims of Nazi Germany. And one of my great-grandfathers was killed by Stalin. well, not personally, but you get what I mean. I’m the ultimate person to have hurt fee-fees.

    We recently watched Hitler’s Children. It was poignant, heartbreaking.

  63. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If the girl up there was shouting “NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY, NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY” – then I would have nothing to say about that picture whatsoever.

    But it is your responsibility to work toward a true color blind society, which you don’t do my claiming it isn’t your responsibility. It is.

  64. says

    @ Bannister

    Yes, I totally see that the black people expressing prejudices towards white people have an entrenched systemic bias aiding them in oppressing the white people.

    Sorry, I’m allergic to bullshit false equivalences.

    So if, a thousand years ago, a white guy comes out of the forest and meets a black guy, and says “that guy has different skin from me, I’ll oppress him” (to be utterly simplistic) – that’s not racism, because it’s not based on an entrenched, systemic bias?

    Racism is not about oppression. Even if white people had never done more than trade with Africans, provided they still thought of them as stupid and primitive, they would still be racists.

    As far as I’m concerned, all this “no true scotsman”/no true racism thing is bullshit. Entrenched, systemic bias is a terrible, horrible thing. But so is bias that’s not entrenched and systemic. Even if there was one racist employer in an otherwise harmonious multiracial society, he would still be a twat.

    Bias against anyone because of their race, is wrong. Whether that meets your standards for racism, is irrelevant. Fine, call it bias if you like, call it generalisation – it’s wrong.

  65. says

    Dominic @38

    Politically dominant, economically dominant, socially dominant. White people’s experiences get to dominate our media. Our heroes are almost always white heroes. If I look to a comic book superhero, a hilarious comedian on TV, a noble fictional example of all that is right and good, I’ll more often than not be staring into a white face. Most of the music I listen to will end up having a white artist, because the white artists get played more. If I listen to a predominantly black genre, then the few white people will have disproportionate success because they are more “legit” in the eyes of the mainstream. Certainly the pop charts will be white-washed. Most of the authors I am asked to read in my schools will be white. When colleges seek to correct this by looking to the non-standards, they will be accused of being evil PC thugs discriminating against white authors and devaluing education.

    I will hear the lifestories of white people. Their hopes, their fears. Their suburban fantasies will be sold as the American Dream. Their skin color considered “professional”, their hair styles considered “neat and orderly”, their speech patterns considered “intellectual and suave”, their viewpoints considered “universal and accessible”, their jokes viewed as “harmless”, their ambition never viewed as uppity.

    Black people still today use dangerous skin bleaching chemicals, terrorize their hair in order to “straighten” it out like “normal” people, and are forced to affect white idioms and white backgrounds in order to just become “employable”. Most people see this as natural.

    This is our world.

    You may be invested, sadly, in downplaying this. In arguing only in amorphous affects that are nobody’s fault, but this is reality. You get to view it as abstract, because you can walk down to the store and see yourself, hear yourself, have the world cotton to your life experiences and argue that the works that resonate with you are somehow universal and the traits you simply stumbled on by accident of birth are somehow the “ideal” that all must cotton to or be obliterated.

    You get to ignore “white culture” because in the eyes of many “white culture” is simply culture. Is simply everything that is “normal” and “universal” for all.

    You get to be blind.

    Black people don’t get that luxury.

  66. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    #45. Caine,

    Yeah. I grew up with a Bircher. It was all kinds of fun, what with me being a halfbreed.

    Do I know you? Are you L. ?

  67. says

    @ Nerd

    If the girl up there was shouting “NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY, NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY” – then I would have nothing to say about that picture whatsoever.

    But it is your responsibility to work toward a true color blind society, which you don’t do my claiming it isn’t your responsibility. It is.

    Yes, it’s my responsibility. That’s exactly what I just said. That girl up there is supposed to be a negative characture (sp?) of closet white racists. So if she was saying it wasn’t her responsibility, I would have no objection to that as a negative stereotype, because I believe it is the responsibility of the privileged to undo their privilege. I apologise if this wasn’t clear enough above.

  68. Fern says

    Dominic @ 55:

    Because there are a hell of a lot better ways to win people over than to stick that little speech bubble in there that says “IT’S YOUR FAULT”.

    The cartoon doesn’t say, “IT’S YOUR FAULT.” The cartoon says, “NOT MY FAULT.” As I read it, the point of that speech bubble is not to imply that yes, the inequalities in society are all your fault. It’s to highlight that the reaction that many people have when injustice is pointed out to them is to get defensive and deflect all responsibility.

  69. says

    I object to being told that as a white person, I am automatically evil because it was white people who enslaved Africans.

    I object to being told I’m a cherry-glazed donut. I won’t have it, I tell you!

  70. Anthony K says

    That girl up there is supposed to be a negative characture (sp?) of closet white racists.

    No, she isn’t.

    She’s an accurate caricature of white self-styled allies who seek to protect privilege before increasing social justice.

    You don’t actually understand the comic.

  71. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I would have no objection to that as a negative stereotype, because I believe it is the responsibility of the privileged to undo their privilege. I apologise if this wasn’t clear enough above.

    I’ll believe you only when you quit whining and winging, and being obnoxious about not being responsible. Which means show how you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

  72. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And DH, until you shut the fuck up and listen, and quit your preaching, you can’t learn….

  73. says

    Cerberus, you would perhaps be justified in your snarkmistressing, if I didn’t absolutely agree with what you are saying, and hadn’t already said that I agree with it. Don’t straw man me.

    Can I say it plainer: the dominance and privilege of whites in society is a bad thing. As a white male, I rarely experience it and probably am guilty of forgetting it. That affects the substance of none of what I have been saying, which is to emphasise the difference between blame and responsibility.

    White people (like everyone else) have the responsibility to dismantle white privilege. White people as a race are not to blame for the fact that white people are currently in a state of complete societal, political dominance, even though we accept that it has almost exclusively been the result of the work of people who were white.

    This statement would not be correct:
    All (the vast majority) of oppressors have been white, therefore all white people are oppressors.

    WARNING: ALTERNATE HISTORY AHEAD
    Even if Germans as a nationality had benefited from the success of the third reich, that would not make all Germans to blame for that success, especially given many (gays, romany, people of colour, communists) were also victims of that oppression, despite being German. The recipients of that German privilege would be morally better, even responsible, for removing it, but they would not be to blame for its existence, only its perpetuation.

  74. says

    And DH, until you shut the fuck up and listen, and quit your preaching, you can’t learn….

    Just wait till you’re having words put in your mouth. I’ll shut up and listen when people stop turning “Black history is under-represented, and black history month is an important thing” into “la la la I want to ban any mention of white people being dicks”.

  75. Great American Satan says

    “But, hey, i’m just reading the news…”

    Reading the news. Yup. Because the news is utterly impartial. Nothing hinky going on there…

  76. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Dominic:

    I’d like to know what the above image actually achieves, other than getting people’s backs up. Because there are a hell of a lot better ways to win people over than to stick that little speech bubble in there that says “IT’S YOUR FAULT”.

    Provides rejuvenating laughter to the activists that get tired doing the work day after day, that they might then go back out into a world that minimizes racism and get Stop & Frisk declared unconstitutional **as applied**. Which is important, because when you win at the trial court level and the injunctive relief is that cops have to wear cameras that record them abusing the F out of your constitutional rights, you might still want to fight another fight in which the police just **stop** abusing your constitutional rights.

    The fact that we take time out to laugh at this image is not evidence that we think laughing at this image is a sufficient cause for changing minds of those who fail to question privilege.

    The fact that we take time out to laugh at this image is, rather, a result of the fatigue we experience when we are – day after day – actually doing the activism that creates change.

    When you insist that we believe

  77. says

    I’ll believe you only when you quit whining and winging, and being obnoxious about not being responsible. Which means show how you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    To be honest, I could quite easily characterise those who are arguing with me as whining and whinging, but it’s not that persuasive.

    The fact I am arguing the distinction between blame and responsibility, in no way affects my ability to be part of the solution. I’m already part of the solution merely by virtue of disapproving of slave ownership or making crass generalisations based on race, let alone active support of anti-racist campaigns or whatever else you might ask of me in order to prove I’m truly not a racist with a secret stash of gollywogs. Please engage with the substance of what I’m saying.

  78. says

    Dominic Hinkins

    Totally understandable – but that’s called empathy, not shame. You don’t accept responsibility for anything that your forbears did, but of course you accept that the world is a different place today because of it. And that you have a responsibility to dispel that suspicion, and prove that Germans are no different from anyone else, no more likely to commit genocide on whole races than anyone else.

    I’m actually pretty sure that only 1 of my 4 grandparents killed Jews or other victims of fascism.

    So the German thing is a fine example. You understand what your ethnicity means to people, despite not accepting personal responsibility for the actual cause. Even if you had descended from German Jews, you would probably encounter the same trepidation on encountering people whose preconceptions of Germans were that they were somehow barbaric and more given to fascism.

    You know, this is a brilliant example of why you’re a privileged assclown.
    You take my very own words and then have the audacity to tell me what I actually feel and think.
    To make it plain:

    Totally understandable – but that’s called empathy, not shame.

    Wrong. I feel shame. I am ashamed of these crimes. I have definetly no guilt, on accounts of me not having been alive even in the proto form of parents, but I know red hot shame when I feel it.

    You don’t accept responsibility for anything that your forbears did

    I fucking do accept responsibility. I take the reponsibility to make amends, to pay for the crimes and to work actively towards preventing them in the future.

    And that you have a responsibility to dispel that suspicion, and prove that Germans are no different from anyone else, no more likely to commit genocide on whole races than anyone else.

    You’re a fucking idiot.
    Of course Germans are different. That’s the whole point about “culture”. I don’t have a fucking responsibility to “dispel suspicions” I have a fucking responsibility to prevent this country from going on a killing spree across the globe again. Oh, and what’s supposed to be my data set on “no more likely to commit genocide”? Seems like there are people who apparently never ever committed genocide…

    Even if you had descended from German Jews, you would probably encounter the same trepidation on encountering people whose preconceptions of Germans were that they were somehow barbaric and more given to fascism.

    Given that I spent some time at about age 14 hiding from Neo-Nazis who wanted to beat me up, and given that neo-fascist parties are regularly getting quite some results in elections, and given that we just had a fucking neo-nazi terrorist group murdering people of foreign descend and the authorities ignored them I’m more than inclined to believe those people who think that German culture is more prone for fascism than others.

  79. says

    The fact that we take time out to laugh at this image is not evidence that we think laughing at this image is a sufficient cause for changing minds of those who fail to question privilege.

    But if laughing at the image is damaging to the cause…?

  80. says

    reggie @50

    I am filled with laments that our discourse is not cromulent enough for the discerning racist. Perhaps if our acrimony was well-balanced upon our humors so that it was not indignant and vexing, perhaps then proper pale-hued people, the only proper gentlemen in this our modern day, could dispassionately ponder their considerable egresses against the mongrel races and we could all agree it is quite sad and it’s about time some chap did something about that before knocking off to the vicar’s house for tea.

    Or maybe your tone trolling argument is bullshit and blistering white hot FURY is the proper response to a system so fucked up that the consensus response to a teenage kid getting gunned down in his gated community home on the way back from the store is “he must have done something to deserve it and we’ll find it as soon as we demonize him and anyone like him as inhuman”.

    The only alternative is to accept this vile status quo as something not deserving passionate response.

    And sorry to your Vulcan overlords, but:

    FUCK. THAT.

  81. CJO says

    they would not be to blame for its existence, only its perpetuation.

    Does not that which is no longer perpetuated cease to exist? I think you’re straining to make a distinction without a difference. White people who are alive now obviously could not have been responsible for actions committed by their ancestors, but the thing is nobody says or means to imply that they are. What people are saying is that they (we: I’m white) directly benefit from the fallout of those actions, and actively participate in the continuation of some subset of ongoing actions which preserve the status quo and its attendent benefits to them (us).

  82. says

    Dominic @60

    I have a question?

    Are you one of those “the social sciences are for fags and girls” gits who try and deny that culture doesn’t exist? And yes, I realize the question is inflammatory, but it’s kind of what’s smashing in my face when I see you try and conflate:

    “Race isn’t biological and neither is oppression”

    with

    “Therefore it’s impossible for white people as a group to be an oppressive class”.

    Um, no. There’s a social reality and there’s an entrenched number of systems that will catapult a white person, no matter how much they kick and scream and try and change things (see Anne Braden) into a position of power and oppression over blacks.

    They can react to this knowledge by campaigning for change (like Braden), they can simply ride it out not thinking much about it, or they can eagerly defend their unearned gains and kick and bite at those who try and climb the ladder after them.

    But it’s there. A well studied, existing thing, whose real impact on black lives is the oppression of them at the hands of whites.

    You might not like that. You might know enough to realize that that separation and dominance isn’t due to “natural” causes.

    But it doesn’t make it go away without considerable effort by all of us. Especially those who by dint of our benefits can ignore just how much we dominate and oppress those around us.

  83. says

    Dominic seems to believe he truly has no fault whatsoever. REally. You want me to believe you have never once allowed racism to slide? That every single time it has ever reared its head, you fought it? When a customer at a local restaurant says a racist thing, you immediately argued that racist thing? That even when your job was one the line (say, a waiter at said restaurant), you’ve done this? Tirelessly, and for as long as you can remember?

  84. says

    aaronbaker @30

    They directly benefit from slavery’s legacy.

    It’s a direct gain.

    FUCK, did we get an invasion from Stormfront or are all the sexist trolls who’ve been stalking all the threads relentlessly just wanting to demonstrate that they’re textbook racists as well?”

    I’m sorry; I can’t find the sentence in which I mentioned “indirect” gain; I can’t find the word “indirect” at all. I think until you’ve buffed up your reading contribution and are able to respond to what I actually wrote, you should keep the Stormfront comparisons to yourself.

  85. says

    @ Giliell

    Wrong. I feel shame. I am ashamed of these crimes. I have definetly no guilt, on accounts of me not having been alive even in the proto form of parents, but I know red hot shame when I feel it.

    Why would you feel ashamed of crimes you didn’t commit? That’s akin to (since this is also an atheist blog) feeling shame from committing non-existent sins. Some people feel ashamed of masturbating. That doesn’t mean they should.

    But I take your point – my own sloppy use of words. Sorry. That should have been “it’s not guilt, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed, if you do.”

    I fucking do accept responsibility. I take the reponsibility to make amends, to pay for the crimes and to work actively towards preventing them in the future.

    Again, had you paid attention to the rest of what I wrote, you’d know this was another sloppy word choice. I keep typing “responsibility” when I mean “blame”. I’m annoyed that responsible can mean both “to blame for” and “to have the obligation to”.

    But then, this was clear as I went on to say those exact same words – responsibility to undo the damage done.

    You’re a fucking idiot.
    Of course Germans are different. That’s the whole point about “culture”. I don’t have a fucking responsibility to “dispel suspicions” I have a fucking responsibility to prevent this country from going on a killing spree across the globe again.

    Since we’re chucking insults about, you’re being deliberately obtuse. “Prove germans are no different [i.e., no more likely to go on a killing spree across the globe]”/”demonstrate that difference by acting differently [i.e. by not going on a killing spree across the globe]”. Same thing. Although if you do want to argue Germans are a more inherently warlike, uniform race than any other group on the planet, be my guest. Personally, I’m not a xenophobe.

    given… I’m more than inclined to believe those people who think that German culture is more prone for fascism than others.

    News flash. The UK has neo nazis. The US has neo nazis. Syria seems to be ruled by some kind of neo nazi. Saddam was a neo nazi. Again, if you want to believe that Germans are inherently more likely to be fascists, by reason of culture or race, be my guest. I on the other hand am aware of context.

  86. says

    Bicarbonate @62

    There is this.

    Dominic’s basically going “grr, why are those blacks claiming inherent benefits about being black, they should knock that off” in complete, deliberate ignorance of the fact that these movements are a defense tactic against a society that said that being the way they were was inherently less than, that they should feel like shit for being the way they are, that they should be ashamed and willing to concede everything about themselves and accept white history and society as the only “true” society worth noting.

    Blacks had to go out of their way to remind themselves that they weren’t ugly because they had african facial features or “black” hair. That despite society, their heroes were worth celebrating, their stories worth telling, their faces worth seeing on the pop charts or the television or movie screens, their tragedies actually addressed in the same breathless manner as the latest missing white girl on CNN.

    And it’s still a daily fight against an entrenched system telling them everyday that they are worthless, that they are scum, that their lives mean nothing. It’s the same struggle every minority faces.

    And the people who would take that away, would ask them to sit ashamed and defenseless are ACTIVELY PARTICIPATING IN A SYSTEM OF OPPRESSION even if they want to jam their fingers in their ears and pretend otherwise.

  87. says

    Dominic @64

    And here we have “color-blind racism” horseshit and its pretense that black people getting upset about being treated like shit their entire lives is equivalent to extensive systems of oppression backed up by the entirety of culture, society, and the law and all the racism denial it entails.

    Well, thank you Dominic for revealing that you are arguing completely in bad faith and denial and revealing once again how EVERY FUCKING ONE of these inane trollings go.

    And you wonder why people are exasperated and were hesitant to extend good faith.

    IT’S BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ARGUING IN GOOD FAITH!

  88. CJO says

    When a white guy says “NOT MY FAULT NOT MY FAULT”, they are actually correct, provided they are working against the existence of racial privilege.

    It’s protesting too much is all. Jumping straight in with “it’s not my fault” is a textbook example of not dealing with the issues at hand. And someone who feels absolved of the harms the exercise of their privilege causes by the secure knowledge that it’s not their fault they have it in the first place is unlikely to do much of anything to work against the existence of racial privilege. Because they clearly don’t even understand what the hell it is or how it works.

    “Actually correct,” in this discussion, is really the last thing a white person should aspire to.

  89. says

    Rutee:
    “Dominic seems to believe he truly has no fault whatsoever.”

    Dominic Hinkins:
    “the dominance and privilege of whites in society is a bad thing. As a white male, I rarely experience it and probably am guilty of forgetting it.”

    Stop. With. The. Fucking. Straw. Men. And. Read. My. Words.

    You want me to believe you have never once allowed racism to slide? That every single time it has ever reared its head, you fought it? When a customer at a local restaurant says a racist thing, you immediately argued that racist thing? That even when your job was one the line (say, a waiter at said restaurant), you’ve done this? Tirelessly, and for as long as you can remember?

    No, I don’t want you to believe it, because I don’t believe it, because I’m not perfect. And I doubt you or anyone else, up to and including MLK, noticed and confronted each and every example of injustice they’ve come across. I do my best, though. And that’s all I can say.

    Right now, I could probably be at a homeless shelter giving out soup. I could sell my computer to buy AIDS medicine for African kids. I could be punching a neo nazi in the face. Realistically, though, who does this? Are you doing this? We look up to the people who are brave enough to do it for a good reason.

    Luckily, the fact that I am not to blame for the construction of a racist society, but still have a responsibility to deconstruct it, has absolutely nothing to do with my being a perfect, self-sacrificing super being. Even if I did nothing at all, and went around beating up foreigners, it wouldn’t affect my point as regards my blame and responsibility.

  90. says

    Dominic @71

    Isms are prejudice plus POWER!

    It’s why a white person ranting about how black people are criminal gets nods from those around them and feeds into a large system of black people being framed as inherently criminal.

    And why when say, a trans* person yells “Die Cis Scum” on a tumblr, it just hits as quaint and silly. The outburst of a child. Because it doesn’t have the weight of oppressive systems behind it. It’s just one sad little person reacting to the pain in their lives like a human being in pain.

    And it’s why these false equivalences are the bad faith horseshit they are.

    Fuck off Dominic. Fuck off and don’t come back.

  91. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    #100, Cerberus

    Bicarbonate @62

    There is this.

    Dominic’s basically going “grr, why are those blacks claiming inherent benefits about being black, they should knock that off” in complete, deliberate ignorance of the fact that these movements are a defense tactic

    Yep. And the way I put it was all nicey-nice and non-confrontational, which is how DH said we should be talking. But he ignored me and my point and paid attention to you because you are speaking angrily, all the while criticizing you for it. So, his very actions show that what he said was not true.

    Yes, it’s important to be, as one delurker said to you: INCANDESCENT

  92. says

    Caine @76

    And there’s my mea culpa moment.

    Sorry Caine. I guess with the Trayvon Martin opening, I got a bit focused in a bad way and wasn’t aware of the secondary oppression I was perpetuating. My bad. I’ll try and be more mindful here on out.

    Random aside:

    I’d like to point out that the troll invasions on things like that, ranting about how it’s super mean how white allies aren’t viewed as allies and blah blah blah, neatly demonstrate exactly why that is the case. Because it’s the only pain they actually feel, it’s too easy for a self-described ally to spend all their time whining about every expression of pain or life experiences or acknowledgment about reality instead of actually doing yanno, ALLY SHIT.

  93. Anthony K says

    Yep. And the way I put it was all nicey-nice and non-confrontational, which is how DH said we should be talking. But he ignored me and my point and paid attention to you because you are speaking angrily, all the while criticizing you for it. So, his very actions show that what he said was not true.

    Happens every damn time.

  94. says

    It’s protesting too much is all. Jumping straight in with “it’s not my fault” is a textbook example of not dealing with the issues at hand.

    Okay, I can accept that no problem. But it’s possible to say that without implying that yes, it is indeed their fault. But then that whole sentence was clumsy and I regretted writing it almost as soon as I’d pressed “submit”.

    And here we have “color-blind racism” horseshit and its pretense that black people getting upset about being treated like shit their entire lives is equivalent to extensive systems of oppression backed up by the entirety of culture, society, and the law and all the racism denial it entails.

    If you can point me to where I said that “making generalisations” is equal and equivalent to “being treated like shit their entire lives is equivalent to extensive systems of oppression backed up by the entirety of culture, society, and the law and all the racism denial it entails”, I’d be grateful.

    Because all I remember saying is “it’s bad”.

    Slapping a dog is not as bad as killing a dude. Does that mean it’s okay to slap the dog? They’re both still unacceptable violence.

    Well, thank you Dominic for revealing that you are arguing completely in bad faith and denial and revealing once again how EVERY FUCKING ONE of these inane trollings go.

    Actually, I’m arguing completely in good faith. I’d rather it wasn’t an argument at all, since as far as I’m concerned it’s a technicality which is being blown out of proportion. But then you all do seem to be repeatedly reading more into my words than I’ve actually said.

    Can I clarify again – not racist? Hate white privilege? Merely arguing over semantics? Yes I’m a white dude and life is easy for me? Right.

  95. Anthony K says

    Yes I’m a white dude and life is easy for me?

    See, the poster is actually about you.

    Reading/listening is hard for you, obviously, but give it a try and you just might learn what people are actually saying.

  96. says

    Dominic @88

    Please engage with the substance of what I’m saying.

    We did. I’ve pointed to concrete examples where you, not some ancient white guy, but you have perpetuated a system of oppression against people of color. Hell, I’ve even copped to an example where I’ve fucked up on that.

    Your response was:

    Cerberus, you would perhaps be justified in your snarkmistressing, if I didn’t absolutely agree with what you are saying, and hadn’t already said that I agree with it. Don’t straw man me.

    Because you don’t understand.

    Because you don’t care enough to understand.

    Because you are unwilling to understand what people are actually pointing out in your behavior that’s objectionable because it’s easier to focus on an easily defensible claim of ancient racism being biological and whatnot.

    But you know? That’s your prerogative. You don’t have to care or be aware or live it.

    You’re white. You will never live those experiences. You can escape the topic, because that’s your benefit from the systems of oppression.

    And that’s the real illustration.

  97. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Dominic Hinkins:

    But if laughing at the image is damaging to the cause…?

    From one white dood to another: shut your yapping cracker trap. You are a pathetic spectacle. You don’t give a flying fuck about “damage to the cause.” You’re projecting your own overly entitled feeling of wounded pride to a social issue, and assuming because you’re drunk on Whine that everyone else will be too, and they’ll stop being friends with the oppressed people.

    You are iteration number 1,534,004,332 of the same stock character from Central Casting. You’re every sniffy entitled thin skinned straight person with the vapors because someone got called a breeder. You’re every moderate white person who “sadly, can’t agree with your tactics even while I agree with your cause.”

    We’ve all met you. Every goddamned day. Every year. Forever.

    You’re boring, parochial, embarrassingly entitled, and an emotional drain on every person of color, queer, or marginalized minority. You’re the dude who doesn’t get invited to hang out places (and you don’t know it because most people quietly drop your stupid ass) with marginalized people. You’re the douche that your gay friends barely tolerate while complaining about you behind your back.

    Trust, they do.

    Do better.

  98. ChasCPeterson says

    I’m allergic to bullshit false equivalences.

    That’s gotta be a real bummer in this thread. You must have broken out in hives when Crip Dyke equivocated racial-pride-ists with sports fans.

    Thos of you trying so hard to school this guy Hinkins about the Right Way to think about stuff: as far as I can tell, you are arguiing that expressions of Race Pride and its concomitant tribalism and polarization are good things in the context of race relations.
    Can that be right?

  99. says

    Anthony –

    She’s an accurate caricature of white self-styled allies who seek to protect privilege before increasing social justice.

    Okay, that’s only marginally different from what I said though.

    Dominic’s basically going “grr, why are those blacks claiming inherent benefits about being black, they should knock that off” in complete, deliberate ignorance of the fact that these movements are a defense tactic

    Yes, I know it’s a defense tactic. I see people complaining about why we have a “black officers’ association” and complain about why there isn’t one for white officers, and I join you all in saying “duh, it’s because the black officers have started out from a disadvantaged position, while the white ones are already privileged and don’t need an association. The police is a white police association.”

    Or people who think that a lack of POC on TV is fine, because it reflects actual demographics. No – it’s not about reflecting demographics, it’s about providing equal access.

    I agree wholeheartedly with that kind of response. It has to be there, in an environment where you lack the power of being a majority.

    I do not see that what you’re claiming as a defense is actually equivalent to these practices. In my opinion, the proper response to people (say, whites) historically claiming inherent benefits for their race (superior intellect, trustworthiness, hard work) is not to create an alternative set of inherent benefits for your own race to cancel out their negative ones. It is to recognise that inherent benefits of race are a completely made up concept that can only be detrimental.

  100. Rey Fox says

    It’s to highlight that the reaction that many people have when injustice is pointed out to them is to get defensive and deflect all responsibility.

    THIS RIGHT HERE.

    The “not my fault not my fault” (note the repetition) word balloon is a signal of the sort of privileged white person who, when confronted with criticisms of the systemic racism that comes from people of their race/class/whatever, takes it personally and makes the whole discussion about THEM.

    Sound familiar to anyone here?

  101. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m glad to know Chas Still Cares About The Important Things(TM).

  102. ChasCPeterson says

    social scientists, are there any studies available that examine the effect of topical content of texts on reading comprehension thereof?

  103. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    DH,

    If you don’t apologize soon you are probably going to get banned.

  104. Anthony K says

    She’s an accurate caricature of white self-styled allies who seek to protect privilege before increasing social justice.

    Okay, that’s only marginally different from what I said though.

    Well, since I’ve noted that the poster describes you, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not the difference is marginal, and in what ways.

  105. says

    No, I don’t want you to believe it, because I don’t believe it, because I’m not perfect.

    Except you do, because you want us to stop saying white people are responsible, because you got confused and thought it was supposed to be genetic (As if. Race is a societal construct, you jackass).

    And I doubt you or anyone else, up to and including MLK, noticed and confronted each and every example of injustice they’ve come across. I do my best, though. And that’s all I can say.

    Didn’t say I was. I used to work service industry, it’d be impossible to stay employed, offhand.

  106. ChasCPeterson says

    And I’m glad to know that you’re still such a snotty arrogant asshole, Josh.

  107. says

    Bicarbonate @107

    What Anthony @109 said. They always argue that anger is not useful, that minorities should never use anger, but then only respond to anger. Because if you are calm and reasoned, then you are not worth addressing, can be ignored.

    It’s the same way that my softly softly approach to being out with my family members just led to them concluding it was a delusion and disowning me anyways.

    Anger is useful. And many times, anger is a very understandable response to just how fucked up shit is. It cuts through the faux-civility that entrenches these abusive systems.

    Not saying that not-anger is bad, of course, but I felt I should echo both your and Anthony’s conclusions.

  108. Anthony K says

    social scientists, are there any studies available that examine the effect of topical content of texts on reading comprehension thereof?

    Yeah, but they were all done on vervets and the human conclusions extrapolated.

    You know even non-human animals are often tribal? It’s in our geens.

  109. Rey Fox says

    I’d like to know what the above image actually achieves

    Gives activists something to share a little knowing chuckle about, shows members of the privileged class how to not be an ally, weeds out the shrinking violets who wouldn’t be an asset to the cause anyway…

  110. Jacob Schmidt says

    Can that be right?

    Pride in one’s race, or pride in overcoming the institutionalized oppression that race typically receives?

    (Methinks you are confused)

  111. says

    Chas @115

    Chas being a fuckwit on an issue, quelle surprise.

    Because acknowledging the systematic oppressions that exist and the ways in which minority groups label and talk about their oppressions and the group identity thrust upon them in ways that strive to be empowering to those life experiences is somehow like totes bad in the -ism and oppressive bias way, but hey, at least you can dodge into “I never said they were equivalent” when we call you out.

    Ad nauseating. Forever.

  112. Jacob Schmidt says

    I’d like to know what the above image actually achieves

    Sparks flaming doucheweasels who whine endless about how they didn’t create the system of oppression. It also codifies some common patterns that whiny white people (and, to a lesser extent, relatively privileged people of colour) argue along when confronted with race issues. It gives the veterans a good laugh and the listening newbies a clue.

  113. says

    From one white dood to another: shut your yapping cracker trap. You are a pathetic spectacle. You don’t give a flying fuck about “damage to the cause.” You’re projecting your own overly entitled feeling of wounded pride to a social issue, and assuming because you’re drunk on Whine that everyone else will be too, and they’ll stop being friends with the oppressed people.

    Erm, no, I’m not angry about this. I’m pretty bemused, actually. It’s a fairly minor, common sense issue that attributing a uniform set of characteristics to a non-uniform race or nationality is a bad thing, whether positively or negatively.

    As for hoping that everyone will stop being friends with the oppressed people… it’d be a lot easier to get a hold of your arguments if you didn’t keep flinging accusations like that around. What, do you think I’m sat in my secret racist bunker subtly trying to manipulate people into throwing over this entire idea of racial equality?

    That’s hilarious.

    You are iteration number 1,534,004,332 of the same stock character from Central Casting. You’re every sniffy entitled thin skinned straight person with the vapors because someone got called a breeder. You’re every moderate white person who “sadly, can’t agree with your tactics even while I agree with your cause.”

    We’ve all met you. Every goddamned day. Every year. Forever.

    You’re boring, parochial, embarrassingly entitled, and an emotional drain on every person of color, queer, or marginalized minority. You’re the dude who doesn’t get invited to hang out places (and you don’t know it because most people quietly drop your stupid ass) with marginalized people. You’re the douche that your gay friends barely tolerate while complaining about you behind your back.

    Trust, they do.

    Do better.

    I’m also laughing that you would assume I’m straight. Way to go.

  114. Anthony K says

    Oops. That last part wasn’t meant to be in the blockquote…

    Gee, life is hard for white people too.

  115. says

    Sparks flaming doucheweasels who whine endless about how they didn’t create the system of oppression.

    If sparking flaming doucheweasels is an achievement, way to go me.

    I didn’t create the system of oppression. Provided I’m not actually trying to hide the role race – and white people – played in it, it shouldn’t matter to you to prove that I did, somehow.

  116. roro80 says

    as far as I can tell, you are arguiing that expressions of Race Pride and its concomitant tribalism and polarization are good things in the context of race relations.
    Can that be right?

    Gonna strongly suggest you go ahead and take a look at Cerberus’ #100.

  117. says

    So I’m training for a new position and as part of my training I had to go out with a construction work crew for my new company. This morning one of the dudes on the work crew said something about “nigger chickens.” I thought I had misheard him so I was like “What was that?”

    “Nigger chickens.”

    “I’m sorry, what? Explain this to me.”

    “Crows. You know, because they’re big and black…”

    “Ah, I see, it’s funny because black people are niggers, right…”

    My last sentence was stated as a mutter as people were getting up to walk back to the worksite from the truck. I did not do what I wanted to do, and what I think would have been more effective: more or less yell, “You disgust me, you racist piece of shit! Never speak those words again in my presence!”

    Why not? Because I didn’t want to alienate co-workers on a new job. I prioritized relationships with my white dude co-workers over really standing up against racism in the way I wanted to. I have done this many times over the course of my life. In each instance, it would be completely accurate to say that I was actively upholding and perpetuating racism by my choice to ignore the active racism of my white peers, giving them the impression that I was or am like-minded to them. I highly doubt that Dominic has never experienced anything similar, therefore I am skeptical of his claim that he is categorically not at fault, not ever, not even once, for the continued existence of racism.

  118. Jacob Schmidt says

    It’s a fairly minor, common sense issue that attributing a uniform set of characteristics to a non-uniform race or nationality is a bad thing, whether positively or negatively.

    I note you’ve gone from “largely consistent trend” to “uniform”.

    As for hoping that everyone will stop being friends with the oppressed people… it’d be a lot easier to get a hold of your arguments if you didn’t keep flinging accusations like that around.

    Did you know that insults and accusations make it harder to read? /sarcasm

    I’m also laughing that you would assume I’m straight. Way to go.

    Analogies /= description

  119. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I see dumb ass can’t distinguish between overt, fascistic racism and functional racism through apathy. Surprise.

  120. says

    Except you do, because you want us to stop saying white people are responsible, because you got confused and thought it was supposed to be genetic (As if. Race is a societal construct, you jackass).

    Okay, since you’re going to continue being deliberately obtuse… “Race” is often like “god” in that it has a shifting meaning depending on your argument. This applies to people on both sides – racists and non-racists. Apparently.

    “Race” is a societal construct. There is no meaningful difference between black, white, asian, etc. Unless you count sickle cells, lactose intolerance, skin colour – which are genetic.

    If you don’t apologize soon you are probably going to get banned.

    Do you really ban people you disagree with on this site? I made an argument, people responded to it, and I’ve rebutted that. I’ve insulted the people who insulted me. I’ve nothing to actually apologise for.

  121. Jacob Schmidt says

    I didn’t create the system of oppression.

    The point—-

    Your head—

    No one claim you created the system of oppression. What was claimed is that you perpetuate it. Somehow, that claim engenders whiny, flamin’ douchweasels professing their utmost innocence with respect to it’s creation.

  122. says

    Dominic @116

    You know what?

    I’m going to reward you.

    I do not see that what you’re claiming as a defense is actually equivalent to these practices. In my opinion, the proper response to people (say, whites) historically claiming inherent benefits for their race (superior intellect, trustworthiness, hard work) is not to create an alternative set of inherent benefits for your own race to cancel out their negative ones. It is to recognise that inherent benefits of race are a completely made up concept that can only be detrimental.

    I’m going to take this one hundred percent in good faith and assume you are Dominic P. BrownPersonLover, the greatest ally in the history of ever.

    Okay, despite your long history of outstanding work on behalf of marginalized communities every where, I am disappointed in this particular paragraph. I mean, I understand you don’t mean anything by it, per se, and I am only bringing this up because of your stellar history on being fantastic on these issues, but this bit is incredibly problematic.

    I know you’ve been a fixture of the community for years and have gotten used to considering yourself one of us, but you are still a white person coming from that dominant group structure (a concept you are obviously very well read on, of course).

    And so when you state something along the lines of “your means of responding to oppression is wrong, I want you to respond this way”, it unfortunately resonates with the long history of white people dismantling and silencing people of color experiences and positive people of color expressions of identity. I know, you didn’t mean it that way, but that history runs deep and as you know, there are many who still erase and marginalize P.O.C experiences and ways of referring to themselves. There’s a history of learned shame, of internalized racism so that even the most aware people of color have negative body image towards themselves and their inherent characteristics and their history.

    I mean, do you remember that heartbreaking study you always bring up? About how black children have already internalized black dolls being “ugly” and “dirty”, whereas white dolls are “pretty” and “pure”. You were dead on. Especially with the part where you noted the horrifying way in which the little girl points to the black girl she’s thrown aside when asked “which one looks like you”.

    It’s a powerful reality that directly impacts the mental well-being of not only black, but all people of color, due to the history of endemic racism you are always the fastest to point out.

    So yeah, I know, you already get this, but it’s worth noting how hurtful the slip-up was nonetheless, because those defenses against that are necessary to fix a bad situation and you demeaning and minimizing that hits a sore button that you’ve always been careful about in the past.

    I hope you will take these words to heart and continue your stellar ally work.

  123. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    Well, see, DH,

    you are, in your own words “bemused” by these arguments. That’s called trolling. Trolls get banned.

  124. Jacob Schmidt says

    “Race” is a societal construct. There is no meaningful difference between black, white, asian, etc. Unless you count sickle cells, lactose intolerance, skin colour – which are genetic.

    The differences that are being denied are those that are not genetic but claimed to be (e.g. blacks are more violent, asians are better at math, etc). You’re confused.

    Whoever makes the next graphic (is this a series? It should be) needs to add, “But genetic differences makes race real.”

  125. The Mellow Monkey says

    Jacob Schmidt

    Pride in one’s race, or pride in overcoming the institutionalized oppression that race typically receives?

    An important distinction. Wearing a rainbow pride button doesn’t mean I’m bragging about my inherent superiority at cunnilingus. When stories are told at the harvest camp and people express pride and love for their tribe, they aren’t holding themselves up as better than settlers. It’s an acceptance of oneself that is made radical by the oppression it counters.

    It’s not the pride of superiority. It’s the pride of refusing to be shamed and silenced.

  126. says

    I note you’ve gone from “largely consistent trend” to “uniform”.

    Nope. Your words, not mine – I have consistently said that attributing a single set of distinct characteristics to a race, is wrong.

    Did you know that insults and accusations make it harder to read? /sarcasm

    No, but they aren’t very nice.

    I see dumb ass can’t distinguish between overt, fascistic racism and functional racism through apathy. Surprise.

    How many times do I have to explicitly mention this distinction before it’s accepted that I know the difference?

    In fact someone up there argued that there was only one kind of racism – the institutionalised kind. It’s irrational to say that only those in the majority are able to hold and express generalised views about another race, simply by virtue of being in the majority. Minorities are also capable of believing generalisations. It’s a human trait – to quote Avenue Q, bigotry has never been exclusively white.

    And YES, for the Nth time, I know that it’s not as serious if a black guy thinks white people as a race are inherently oppressive, as if a white dude beats a black guy up for his race. The second thing is far worse, and far more deserving of attention, and it gets that attention. Does that mean we should turn a blind eye to the first one?

    You can’t argue both that race is a societal construct with no real meaning, and that one can be proud of one’s race in any meaningful sense.

  127. says

    Caine @136

    Oh wait, I fucked that up.

    I think according to the One True Ally Bible I’m supposed to stamp my feet and say that I didn’t mean it that way so you can’t hold it against me and because I do ally work I get to ignore the actual input of people living those experiences because I GET IT and you’re just correcting me as a straw man and you’re mean and I GET IT. I GET IT! WAAAAAHHHHH!

    Eh, sounds like a lot of work.

    I’m just going to stick with acknowledging my fuck-ups and striving to improve instead.

  128. says

    Bicarbonate:

    Trolls get banned.

    Just a quick word, here. PZ does not like people to predict a banning. That said, PZ is notoriously lenient, usually content to leave trolls and assorted doucheweasels to the tender mercies of the Horde.

  129. says

    It’s not the pride of superiority. It’s the pride of refusing to be shamed and silenced.

    And that’s a great thing to be proud of. That’s a personal achievement. But it’s not a racial characteristic.

    It’s possible to be proud of refusing to be shamed and silenced, without being “proud of being black”.

    Really, go ahead and be proud of your race, I really don’t give much of a fuck. I don’t want to ban it or anything. I just think it’s a fundamentally meaningless concept.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’d still argue it’s damaging and perpetuates the idea that races are a real thing. but to be honest, it’s less important than stopping people having the shit beaten out of them or being discriminated against at work. And evidently it’s difficult for some people to see that intellectual point without assuming that accepting it means reinstating the Jim Crow laws…

  130. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    DH,

    You can’t argue both that race is a societal construct with no real meaning, and that one can be proud of one’s race in any meaningful sense.

    See, you’re not reading. Or not understanding what you read. Or refusing to read. Bemused and disingenuine. Bad Faith. A troll.

  131. Anthony K says

    It’s not the pride of superiority. It’s the pride of refusing to be shamed and silenced.

    Still, all that Pride is hurting the causes. Even parades get privileged people’s backs up.

    At least, they used to. I wonder what changed?

  132. says

    I upheld racism today. A co-worker of mine referred to something called “nigger chickens,” which, it turns out, is a racist way to refer to crows. Who knew one could be so thoroughly racist while talking about nothing but birds?

    Sadly, I was unable to stand up and yell, “You disgust me, you racist piece of shit! Never utter those words again in my presence! Better yet, never speak to me again!” because he’s a co-worker at a new job. So I had to content myself with attempting to shame him by forcing him to explain the terminology, which didn’t work since he had no shame about it, and then muttering a sarcastic remark to the effect of, “Oh, haha, I get it, it’s funny because black people are niggers.”

    There’ve been times in the past when I did even less than that in response to overt displays of racism by my white peers. Times when I said nothing or even smiled politely or giggled nervously.

    So you know what? I have no problem dealing with the concept that the continued existence might be, at least in part, my fault.

    And you know what, Dominic? Throwing a shit fit at the idea that you might be directly culpable for racism’s continued influence on our culture makes it your fault, because shit fits like that actually function to prevent people of color from talking about their experiences. Shit fits like the one you’re throwing in this thread distract from the experiences of racism that people of color actually have and re-focus the conversation on how best not to hurt the fee-fees of white folks. And those actions which I’ve just described? Are racist actions. They are obstacles in the path of the actual activists who are fighting for racial justice. They make it harder, not easier, to work for racial equality. I don’t know what you’ve done in the past, but what you’ve done right here in this thread? Is fucking racist, despite (what I take at face value to be) your good intentions.

    So, yeah, an apology is warranted.

  133. says

    ZOMG, this is the second time I tried to post a mid-sized comment about my experiences as a white person upholding racism. WTF, FTB?

    *testing*

  134. Rossignol says

    Were it not for the fact that I have been reading this blog for a long time, I might actually be surprised to learn of someone so lacking in self-awareness that they would show up in the comments and immediately enact the very behavior a post mocks.

  135. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    How many times do I have to explicitly mention this distinction before it’s accepted that I know the difference?

    You actually shutting up and desisting from making this all about How Unfairly You’ve Been Treated would be far more convincing.

  136. says

    Trolls get banned.

    Given this is a free thought blog, can we at least have some kind of empirical test as to whether I’m trolling or not? Because as far as I’m concerned, I’m not. I read this blog on a regular basis, I’m using my real name, I just rarely comment.

    I do apologise if this is causing offence to anyone – although I’m a strong upholder of the “fuck you” attitude to people taking offence, in this case, we all share the fundamental tenets of a belief in racial equality so I don’t want to piss you off. I just think I’m right, naturally.

    From my perspective, this whole argument is looking like the time everyone jumped on that guy for using the word “niggardly”. There is pride here, but it’s on your side – in that, you think because I’m questioning an idea that has been widely taken for granted in the community, you think I’m attacking the community as a whole. I’d ask that you take the idea on its own, on its own merits, rather than as an attempt to secretly turn you all racist.

    It’s not a matter of pride to me, because I haven’t seen many rational responses, and even if I’m shown to be wrong, it won’t alter the fact of my belief in racial equality. It’s a very emotional topic, and as a white european male I’m the wrong person to bring this to debate and expect anything but fear and loathing in response I guess.

  137. Jacob Schmidt says

    The Mellow Monkey

    An important distinction.

    Indeed. One that Chas failed to make.

    Dominic Hinkins

    Nope. Your words, not mine – I have consistently said that attributing a single set of distinct characteristics to a race, is wrong.

    Not my words, I can assure you of that. No one is saying “all white people are the most oppressive.” What was said was “white people as a group are the most oppressive.” There are more distinctions among this (i.e. wealth, gender, sexuality, etc).

    No, but they aren’t very nice.

    Then quit pretending insults make us harder to understand. Better yet, quit earning the insults.

    Does that mean we should turn a blind eye to the first one?

    It means that someone so entrenched in attacking the first one is demonstrating their priorities.

    You can’t argue both that race is a societal construct with no real meaning, and that one can be proud of one’s race in any meaningful sense.

    Oh dear, you are very confused.

    Race has no inherent meaning. They are arbitrary, visible distinctions that vary by location. We could just as easily judge race by tooth shape as we do by skin colour. But our society gives that race a meaning. For some, it gives a position of privilege. For most, it disempowers them. Over coming that disempowerment is a point of pride for many. For some, it isn’t. To each their own. To deny that race has any inherent meaning is not the same as denying any meaning at all.

  138. says

    Jacob @141

    It’s almost because it’s really easy to hand-wave away a hand in creating oppression and thus for those dealing with the uncomfortable guilt of how they benefit from and perpetuate said oppression or minimize its enduring impact, it becomes a convenient vent that removes the call to action and the pressure from themselves and gives them carte blanche permission to respond with anger to the airing of pain and experience like they wanted to do in the first place.

    Which, hey, I’m willing to give Dominic this.

    Yes, that’s a terribly way to live life. It’s stressful. It’s unhelpful and it perpetuates pain. It’s like when my partner can’t handle me being in pain and so reacts with anger and distances herself. It’s an immediate reaction to what the brain understands as an unhealthy cycle of handling an emotion.

    But the thing is, the solution is distancing yourself and acknowledging it. That you just can’t process it right now and need to shut down from it for a second in order to come back fresh and you apologize because you know that not everyone gets that luxury (I mean, hell, secondary trauma is a thing).

    Not ranting about how the minority needs to hide their pain and pretend you’ve done nothing and are responsible for nothing or at least nothing as bad as what has come before which is the past and why are you bringing that up.

    But it’s also a common reaction. My partner’s mother was deeply emotionally abusive. Leaving her scars that still carry and need working out between them to rebuild that relationship. But instead, her mother reacts to the guilt by lashing out, demanding that my partner just get over her pain and never bring it up again. The past was the past and those sins aren’t the person she is now who’s trying and doesn’t deserve to be hurt like this by my partner’s hesitation and mistrust and lingering scars.

    That’s the problem. White people can’t erase that past, say it’s in the past, and why are people even separating themselves. Why can’t the people of color just get over it and accept white society as its lord and master again and everything will be hunky dorry and why are you bringing up Trayvon Martin, it was one slip-up, things are different now.

    It’s an abusive behavior. Textbook.

    And it’s a really easy behavior to fall into when we’re faced with our own culpability, especially with regards to something that was running on automatic (perpetuating systems of abuse inflicted on us on the next generation as the analogy).

  139. Anthony K says

    you think because I’m questioning an idea that has been widely taken for granted in the community

    Pole sana, Bwana, but we already have white saviours here.

  140. says

    Arguing that it’s wrong to be “proud of being black” in a context where Black people have only in the past 50 years or so begun to seriously push back against the historically accepted and hegemonically enforced idea that blackness denotes inferiority is a racist action.

    I don’t give a fuck about your justifications about your concerns about tribalism. This isn’t tribalism, this is pushback against oppression.

    So stop saying racist shit, Dominic.

  141. Jacob Schmidt says

    But it’s not a racial characteristic.

    But it is governed by race.

    Really, go ahead and be proud of your race, I really don’t give much of a fuck. I don’t want to ban it or anything. I just think it’s a fundamentally meaningless concept.

    Says the white dude.

    And evidently it’s difficult for some people to see that intellectual point without assuming that accepting it means reinstating the Jim Crow laws…

    Your insinuation is noted, laughed at, and dismissed as fuckwittery.

    (The inability to acknowledge nuances lies primarily with you)

  142. says

    Given this is a free thought blog, can we at least have some kind of empirical test as to whether I’m trolling or not?

    You have no idea what the term “freethought” means, apparently.

  143. says

    Mellow Monkey @146

    ALL THE THIS!

    When I’m “proud” of being trans* and lay that identity forward, I’m doing so in direct opposition, as a radical act to the very many who view me as inherently lessened by being trans*, from being a freak. The way my abilities became questionable, my presence unwanted, my familial role absent, my employment terminated.

    The world hates me more for being this. And I refuse to be shamed by it.

    It’s important so that I don’t exit out like they want me to, the way so many of my “tribe” do.

    And that’s radical.

  144. The Mellow Monkey says

    Dominic Hinkins

    And that’s a great thing to be proud of. That’s a personal achievement. But it’s not a racial characteristic.

    It’s possible to be proud of refusing to be shamed and silenced, without being “proud of being black”.

    It’s clear here that you don’t understand racial oppression. You don’t understand the historical context of genocide slowly grinding away at your people and identity. You don’t understand what it’s like to be looked at and seen as a representative of an entire ethnic group. You don’t understand how racism and oppression can only be fought back against by people banding together and supporting one another. You don’t understand that racism by its very nature lumps people together and the only way they can get out from under that burden is to fight back against it together.

    Racism is why I can’t separate myself from my race. It’s privilege that allows some people to have “personal achievements.”

    My pride has jack shit to do with my genes and everything to do with supporting people who are in the same goddamn boat as I am. I don’t get to be a rugged individualist who views everything I do and feel and experience in a vacuum, divorced from my background and family.

  145. Anthony K says

    You have no idea what the term “freethought” means, apparently.

    Oh, of course he does. He’s white and challenging those assumptions we take for granted, probably because we’ve been praying to the gods of the corn and wild, I guess.

    He means he’s bringing the free thought, wherein ‘free’ in this context means “you get what you pay for”.

  146. Anthony K says

    It’s possible to be proud of refusing to be shamed and silenced, without being “proud of being black”.

    That won’t do. You have to write that in Kiswahili if you want the black people to learn how to be themselves correctly.

  147. Jacob Schmidt says

    Why can’t the people of color just get over it and accept white society as its lord and master again and everything will be hunky dorry and why are you bringing up Trayvon Martin, it was one slip-up, things are different now.

    Can we call this behaviour gaslighting? I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to have one’s institutionalized oppression dismissed in such a way.

  148. says

    Dominic reveals more ignorance:

    In fact someone up there argued that there was only one kind of racism – the institutionalised kind. It’s irrational to say that only those in the majority are able to hold and express generalised views about another race, simply by virtue of being in the majority.

    The argument was correct, if you’re using the term “racism” in a technical, sociological sense. If racism means “prejudice + power,” which it does, to people who study the phenomenon, then stating that people of color cannot be racist against white people is correct. Technically, if you meet a black person who expresses hate for all white people, then they are being prejudiced against white people, not “racist.” Technically.

    But then, if you were less arrogant and able to listen more, you’d have thought about that and maybe even looked it up, rather than taking the occasion as an opportunity to pontificate on the evils of tribalism by Black folks.

  149. says

    It means that someone so entrenched in attacking the first one is demonstrating their priorities.

    You can’t make assumptions about my priorities based on a single evening’s comments on a very specific blog post. I find the idea I’m arguing against irritating because it’s a lump of unreason in the midst of a very good cause.

    Race has no inherent meaning. They are arbitrary, visible distinctions that vary by location. We could just as easily judge race by tooth shape as we do by skin colour. But our society gives that race a meaning.

    The important thing as far as race is concerned, is that it has some marker by which people can tell them apart, but that doesn’t demark as large a distinction as is thought. For instance, a guy with brown skin and a guy with pale skin, have different skins. They don’t have different capacities for oppression – and if they do, you can’t tell from their skin.

    That’s the whole of my argument here.

    To deny that race has any inherent meaning is not the same as denying any meaning at all.

    No, as we’ve just established – it has no inherent meaning, only the meaning we give it. Whether you’re giving it positive or negative meaning, you’re reinforcing the idea that this meaning is inherent, because that’s what people who give meaning to race claim.

    The point is not that we give meaning to race. It’s that people who give meaning to race, often claim that the meaning was there all along, is inherent.

    Some meanings we can give to race – people of colour more likely to be oppressed in current western society. White people more likely to experience privilege, less likely to encounter injustice.

    Meanings we can’t give to race – white people are bad and oppressive, black people are good and fight oppression.

    The problem is that white people as a group (white people are, as a group, privileged) is conflated with white people as a race (white people are, as a race, oppressive). The difference is between seizing and reinforcing privilege by choice and circumstance, or by biological imperative. It is done by choice, not because we’re biologically predestined.

  150. Anthony K says

    The argument was correct, if you’re using the term “racism” in a technical, sociological sense.

    SallyStrange, could you put trigger warnings when you write ‘sociological’ so Chas’ head doesn’t explode? He’s a delicate flower.

  151. tiberiusbeauregard says

    Well, at least now it’s on the records that Mr. Myers is himself a racist, perpetuating stereotypes about white people.

    Well done.

  152. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    I am one privileged white girl to be privy to all this =)

  153. says

    Technically, if you meet a black person who expresses hate for all white people, then they are being prejudiced against white people, not “racist.” Technically.

    I’m not a sociologist, I’m a layman. For me, racism is simply prejudice, based on race. Power doesn’t qualify the term, it merely makes the consequences of racism worse.

    If sociologists want to define the word “racism” like that, they’d be better off using a qualifier. Given we already have to talk about “entrenched, institutional racism” when we’re dealing with non-sociologists, to help us distinguish between that and what you call “prejudice”, there’s really no point in limiting the term like that.

    So long as you understand what I mean when I use the term, though, we’re fine.

  154. Anthony K says

    Well, at least now it’s on the records that Mr. Myers is himself a racist, perpetuating stereotypes about white people.

    Well done.

    It’s Doctor Myers, you fucking anti-intellectual.

    Fuck, are all white people so fucking illiterate?

  155. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    You can’t make assumptions about my priorities based on a single evening’s comments on a very specific blog post.

    Oh, yes we can. Are you hard of thinking? Jesus.

    I find the idea I’m arguing against irritating because it’s a lump of unreason in the midst of a very good cause.

    The only reason I didn’t get Bingo on that is the card requires the actual wording, “you’re too emotional to be rational.”

  156. says

    Today I learned that to a racist, a crow is a “nigger chicken,” on account of crows being big and black.

    Unfortunately I learned this from a co-worker at my brand-new job, so I expressed my disapproval with at attempt at shaming via eliciting an explanation (didn’t work, he had no shame), and quiet, sarcastic remarks. I didn’t want to alienate my co-workers (I wasn’t sure how many of them are like-minded), so I didn’t jump up and yell, “You disgust me, you racist piece of shit!” as I would have in a more social situation, and since I’m also white, it wasn’t urgent enough for me to bring it up with a higher-up in the company via a formal complaint.

    I helped uphold racism. I could have done more, spoken up louder, made more of a fuss. This is true of pretty much EVERY instance of racism I’ve witnessed. So I have no problem accepting that the continuation of racism is at least partially my fault. There is always more I can do to help out. And you know what? I’m okay with that, because I never want to be that white person who sits back, like, “Well, I’ve done my part. If racism keeps on, it’s NOT MY FAULT!” Because to do that? Actually helps continue the racist status quo, and is therefore a racist action.

    Hey looky, Dominic, another racist thing you’ve done right in this thread! Maybe your anti-racist bona fides aren’t as solid as you thought they were.

  157. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I see DH is still JAQing off. Hushfile time. He has nothing cogent to say, but says it anyway….

  158. Anthony K says

    Dominic and Tiberius just made me think of a joke:

    Q: Hey, what do you call two white skeptics discussing race?
    A: Nothing. Nobody calls white skeptics for any reason, which is why they’re so fucking keen on inserting themselves in any conversation in which they think they can possibly get some attention.

  159. believerskeptic says

    On the Believer and Skeptic Show podcast this week, we did a story about this:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/24/south-carolina-restaurant-ejected-african-american-customers-when-white-person-felt-threatened/

    Anybody who is bitching and moaning about the white-guilt cartoon should instead focus a little effort on bitching and moaning about this obvious example of modern-day racism in action.

    25 black people being turned away from a restaurant because one white person felt threatened. One. White person. What, is this 1954?

    Instead of focusing so much on your hurt feelings when someone points out that white privilege is actually real, take some action. Write to these clowns at Wild Wings and tell them their actions are not acceptable.

    http://www.wildwingcafe.com/company-info/contact-us.php

  160. says

    And that’s a great thing to be proud of. That’s a personal achievement.

    No. This is not about individualism. This is about people (those who are left) who are still dealing with the legacy of brutal oppression* and ongoing racism and oppression. This is about people who are banded together by a history, by a culture, by common bonds. This is about people who share their pain, their loss, their sadness, as well as their strength, love, joy, and pride. We stand as one, against those who would not even notice if we disappeared. We stand as one in defiance of those who would defend all the everyday aggressions which are meant to make us lie down in passive obeisance. We stand as one, proud, shoulder to shoulder with others who recognize injustice and inequality and recognize that we can be inclusive, that we can learn, that we can be better.

    *I’m not just talkin’ about black people, sweetpea. You have a streak of bigotry a mile wide, and a Marianas trench worth of whiny privilege, and you aren’t doing too well on the whole people of colour business.

  161. says

    Oh oh. I understand why my posts won’t go through, and it makes total sense. Here’s the latest version, with appropriate edits:

    ————————

    Today I learned that to a racist, a crow is a “n****r chicken,” on account of crows being big and black.

    Unfortunately I learned this from a co-worker at my brand-new job, so I expressed my disapproval with at attempt at shaming via eliciting an explanation (didn’t work, he had no shame), and quiet, sarcastic remarks. I didn’t want to alienate my co-workers (I wasn’t sure how many of them are like-minded), so I didn’t jump up and yell, “You disgust me, you racist piece of shit!” as I would have in a more social situation, and since I’m also white, it wasn’t urgent enough for me to bring it up with a higher-up in the company via a formal complaint.

    I helped uphold racism. I could have done more, spoken up louder, made more of a fuss. This is true of pretty much EVERY instance of racism I’ve witnessed. So I have no problem accepting that the continuation of racism is at least partially my fault. There is always more I can do to help out. And you know what? I’m okay with that, because I never want to be that white person who sits back, like, “Well, I’ve done my part. If racism keeps on, it’s NOT MY FAULT!” Because to do that? Actually helps continue the racist status quo, and is therefore a racist action.

    Hey looky, Dominic, another racist thing you’ve done right in this thread! Maybe your anti-racist bona fides aren’t as solid as you thought they were.

  162. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    This whole goddamned thread has been turned into Dominic “I’m a Good White Guy” Hinkins’ pity party. It’s so meta it’s in orbit. Slow clap, rational and bestest ally, unfairly scorned. Slow clap.

  163. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    Josh, #177

    No, look, you did get bingo in the other direction because he said

    So long as you understand what I mean when I use the term, though, we’re fine.

    That means he’s the one who decides what is and isn’t acceptable.

  164. Jacob Schmidt says

    They don’t have different capacities for oppression – and if they do, you can’t tell from their skin.

    Sure you can. Correlation is complicated. Simplifying it so shows your ignorance.

    White People ~ privileged class
    privileged class ~ oppressive behaviour
    White people ~ oppressive behaviour

    It’s not a perfect correlation. You’ll get some privileged people of colour enforcing the stereotypes as well as some white people fighting them better than most, but in general it holds true.

    Whether you’re giving it positive or negative meaning, you’re reinforcing the idea that this meaning is inherent, because that’s what people who give meaning to race claim.

    If I tell you too shut the fuck up and go read something, will you? This doesn’t even make sense. You’ve lumped up “all meaning associated with race” as well as “people who give race meaning” into single groups, while decrying over generalizations. Maybe, just maybe, recognizing that race has a serious impact and recognizing the struggle that our culture engenders isn’t the same as admitting that racial behaviours have a genetic basis.

    The problem is that white people as a group (white people are, as a group, privileged) is conflated with white people as a race (white people are, as a race, oppressive).

    You’ve made a distinction without differences; the race is the group. However, the oppressive behaviour is not inherent in genetics.

  165. says

    Mellow Monkey @166

    It’s clear here that you don’t understand racial oppression. You don’t understand the historical context of genocide slowly grinding away at your people and identity. You don’t understand what it’s like to be looked at and seen as a representative of an entire ethnic group. You don’t understand how racism and oppression can only be fought back against by people banding together and supporting one another. You don’t understand that racism by its very nature lumps people together and the only way they can get out from under that burden is to fight back against it together.

    Racism is why I can’t separate myself from my race. It’s privilege that allows some people to have “personal achievements.”

    THIS!

    Let’s say, I was one of those “beyond labels” types who didn’t ever want to characterize myself because like, that leads to tribalism and shit.

    Well, great on me. And I might avoid all trans* events and disconnect myself from all community and feel nothing but shame for the label and just like, be, man and stuff.

    And you know what the world would see me as? A tranny. And you know how they would treat me? Like a tranny. And you know what they would shout at me? “Fucking tranny!”

    And that word would still wound because it was intended to wound people like me. All the desperate denial and avoidance of the word and the pride and the history doesn’t stop the reality. What people who are X live, have to live, and can’t escape living.

    And you knows what? It works just the same for when I’m the dominant group on something.

    I can deny my whiteness, emphasize my Irishness or argue about the very-recent oppressions against Italians in America. But you know what society sees me as? White. You know how the person deciding I’m a better candidate than the black trans* woman with the same qualifications because there’s just something “professional” about her sees me as? White. You know how the people feeling safe with my size decide that’s so? Because they see me as white.

    I know, because currently I am in the closet as far as employment goes. I see how I get received when I’m “out” and when I’m not. How much harder it is, how much more brutal, how much more rewarded, how much more kindly.

    You report yourself to be a queer white person.

    You know from this experience. That the labeling or not doesn’t protect you from the reality. That things are visibly different when you are out or not. That your participation at Pride or holding a loved one’s hand in public in blissful defiance simply are and your avoidance of them would not protect you from backlash and hate.

    You know what it’s like to be on both sides of the coin. The oppressed and the dominant class.

    And yet, for all your blather about how much you understand, you don’t actually seem to understand at all, content instead to simply be exasperating and benefit from the state of affairs that considers it polite to let you dominate a conversation providing absolutely nothing but distraction.

    Cause who cares, right? It’s just the anger and experiences of people of color.

  166. says

    I’m not a sociologist, I’m a layman. For me, racism is simply prejudice, based on race. Power doesn’t qualify the term, it merely makes the consequences of racism worse.

    If sociologists want to define the word “racism” like that, they’d be better off using a qualifier.

    I have a better idea: since you’re the amateur, why don’t you fucking learn what the hell you’re talking about, rather than trying to dictate to the experts because you’re too goddamn lazy to do your own homework?

  167. Jacob Schmidt says

    Fuck, are all white people so fucking illiterate?

    I suspect it’s less “white people” and more “rape apologists.” I’ve been having a very interesting* back and forth with beauregard over on Ashleys blog.

    *For lenient definitions of interesting.

  168. says

    Well, at least now it’s on the records that Mr. Myers is himself a racist, perpetuating stereotypes about white people.

    Again, not true. We established already that the cartoon is aimed at a very specific group of white people you all seem to hate. It implicitly excludes what its author (and presumably PZ) would define as ‘right thinking’ white non-racists.

    If such a thing can exist, given we’ve also established that none of us do as much as we could do, to counter privilege, and apparently any failure to act through apathy, makes you a racist.

    I wonder precisely what quantity of standing up against privilege is sufficient to earn the label of non-racist.

    Anyway, I digress. The only remotely vaguely racist thing in it (by my definition) is the misuse of the word “fault” instead of “responsibility”, given that she very well may not be at fault for the existence of white privilege. The cartoon implies that whatever she does, it will always be her fault, by virtue of her skin colour, even if she makes positive steps to check her own privilege. The cartoon implies that it is her fault, because she is white – whether because, as a white person, she is guilty of the past crimes of all white people, or because she doesn’t check her privilege.

    I’ve lost my train of thought, it’s too late in the evening.

  169. says

    Dominic, do you expect ALL academic specialties to cater to your ignorance when it comes to choosing jargon words, or is it just when it comes to racism that you expect that professionals and academics to act as if your particular level of ignorance should be the standard by which to calibrate all language used on the topic?

  170. Anthony K says

    I’ve lost my train of thought, it’s too late in the evening.

    No problem. I believe you were still explaining to PoC how to best take pride in themselves without inadvertently adding to the racism they claim is a bad thing, the silly ducks.

    So, carry on.

  171. says

    The cartoon implies that whatever she does, it will always be her fault, by virtue of her skin colour, even if she makes positive steps to check her own privilege.

    Only in your fevered, racist, defensive-white-guy imagination.

  172. believerskeptic says

    [blockquote]My point is that there is no “white racism” or “black racism” – racism is racism.[/blockquote]

    You mean prejudice is prejudice.

    I once had a scholar whose name I regret I don’t remember now spell it out like this. Yes, anybody can harbor prejudice. White people can harbor prejudices against black people; black people can harbor prejudices against white people; both can harbor prejudices against latinos/latinas, etc.

    But it takes institutional power to make racism. Prejudice plus institutional power makes racism.

    The following conclusion, then, as radical and counter-intuitive as it may sound to some, is that black people in America cannot be racist per se. They can only be prejudiced. It is white people that can be [i]racist[i] because they have the institutional power to exert privilege in addition to prejudice.

    And that is precisely why it is a false equivalence to say both white people and black people can be “racist.”

  173. Anthony K says

    Dominic, do you expect ALL academic specialties to cater to your ignorance when it comes to choosing jargon words, or is it just when it comes to racism that you expect that professionals and academics to act as if your particular level of ignorance should be the standard by which to calibrate all language used on the topic?

    I’ll fucking tell you whether or not something has to be a member of Hemiptera to be a bug, fucking eggheads.

    Also, anyone else notice all those great big holes in the theory of evolution? I mean, I’m just a layman, but monkeys, right? What’s the deal?

  174. says

    I have a better idea: since you’re the amateur, why don’t you fucking learn what the hell you’re talking about, rather than trying to dictate to the experts because you’re too goddamn lazy to do your own homework?

    Because I did the homework, I heard what they want it to mean, and I disagree with their definition as unrealistically and unhelpfully narrow, effectively restricting it to something only those in the majority (i.e., Whites) can do. It’s newspeak, it eliminates the possibility of a minority being accused of having prejudiced beliefs based on race, by ensuring that those beliefs can only be called racist if a white person has them.

    Essentially, I disagree with having the same effective prejudice having different names depending on who believes it. Racist violence will still be racist violence when a white cop beats up an innocent black man, the term didn’t need narrowing to stop it being used the other way round.

    (No, I’m not saying “racism by black people is equivalent to racism by white people” but I’d better deny it here because even though I’ve said it over and over again, someone will put those words into my mouth unless I do so. There speaks the voice of experience.)

  175. Anthony K says

    I once had a scholar whose name I regret I don’t remember now spell it out like this.

    Frank McCourt?

    Fuck, wrong thread.

  176. says

    Dominic, do you expect ALL academic specialties to cater to your ignorance when it comes to choosing jargon words, or is it just when it comes to racism that you expect that professionals and academics to act as if your particular level of ignorance should be the standard by which to calibrate all language used on the topic?

    You make the mistake of thinking my definition preference is based on ignorance rather than disagreement with the definition.

  177. Anthony K says

    Aww, welcome to Pharyngula, Bicarbonate.

    (I’m only here for the yelling-at-honkies, though, so you won’t see me in every thread.)

  178. says

    Dominic @175

    I’m not a sociologist, I’m a layman. For me, racism is simply prejudice, based on race. Power doesn’t qualify the term, it merely makes the consequences of racism worse.

    If sociologists want to define the word “racism” like that, they’d be better off using a qualifier.

    Oh my fuck! Are you really so entitled that you think you can discount anything in reality you don’t like by virtue of your white skin and the automatic deference that buys you in society. “If”?!? IF sociologists want to define the word? They did? They’ve used it for decades in exactly that way to describe exactly that phenomenon entirely because fuckwad idjits were trying to argue that racial prejudice (often in response to the pain of brutal oppression) by minorities were somehow equally “racist” as systems of oppression and using that to essentially deny the histories of oppression and the reality of oppression and cry “reverse racism is the only real racism, these days”, because apparently white people are owed the right to be loved by their abuse victims.

    You are demanding the right that words and concepts mean what you want to mean without carrying their rhetorical histories and academic realities. You are demanding to ignore vast swaths of P.O.C. life experience and the wealth of research and study on the subject.

    YOU are being a dismissive little asshole throwing a snit because in one loathsome aspect of your life you are aligned with the Baddies and there ain’t no way to shed that skin.

    And the sick, little turd in the punchbowl is that if we were talking exclusively about queer life experiences and the person that was you was some Christian dingbat wondering why queers need their own Pride festival and you were in my place, you’d get it 100%.

    And you wouldn’t be defensive, but damn would you be pissed at your Christian analogue.

    You are what you choose to be Dominic, your intents, yes, to a degree, but most of all, your actions.

    Your actions here on this thread are not consistent with someone who is reliably an ally to people of color and someone who understands oppression and bigotry and privilege.

    They are however, demonstrative, of the exact thing we could have been taking about without a concrete example if you hadn’t shown up, so uh… thanks, I guess, for that.

  179. believerskeptic says

    @193

    Okay, sorry. Your point is well taken. In addition to making my main point I was also trying to disspell some notion that someone posted— Tony, I think— that I never swear (and therefore think I’m holier, for lack of a better term, than other people), which is completely false.

  180. Jacob Schmidt says

    The only remotely vaguely racist thing in it (by my definition) is the misuse of the word “fault” instead of “responsibility”, given that she very well may not be at fault for the existence of white privilege.

    I can literally quote other comments I’ve made to respond to this (not to mention the massive amount of work and emotion the others have put into their comments):

    [The graphic] also codifies some common patterns that whiny white people (and, to a lesser extent, relatively privileged people of colour) argue along when confronted with race issues.

    No one claimed you created the system of oppression. What was claimed is that you perpetuate it. Somehow, that claim engenders whiny, flamin’ douchweasels professing their utmost innocence with respect to it’s creation.

    The response of “not my fault” to distract from one’s perpetuation is common. Common enough that we’ve all seen it, dozens of times over. Due to how common it is, it was included in a graphic that codifies common, whiny, whitesplaining deflections from race issues.

    You clearly have not been reading.

  181. Anthony K says

    You make the mistake of thinking my definition preference is based on ignorance rather than disagreement with the definition.

    No mistake. Nice try, though.

  182. roro80 says

    And that’s a great thing to be proud of. That’s a personal achievement. But it’s not a racial characteristic.

    No, it’s not just a “personal achievement”, although it is often that too. It is a shared experience, and an ongoing thing over which to band together. It is a thing that people are proud of because part of not being silenced is finding common experiences with those like you.

  183. Anthony K says

    In addition to making my main point I was also trying to disspell some notion that someone posted— Tony, I think— that I never swear (and therefore think I’m holier, for lack of a better term, than other people), which is completely false.

    That’s even dumber and less relevant, if possible.

  184. says

    You make the mistake of thinking my definition preference is based on ignorance rather than disagreement with the definition.

    It was a charitable assumption. Only an arrogant, racist asshole would presume to dictate to the world at large that his definition of racism was more correct than the one used by the experts who actually devote their lives to studying the phenomenon. My mistake, you arrogant racist asshole.

  185. says

    I once had a scholar whose name I regret I don’t remember now spell it out like this. Yes, anybody can harbor prejudice. White people can harbor prejudices against black people; black people can harbor prejudices against white people; both can harbor prejudices against latinos/latinas, etc.

    But it takes institutional power to make racism. Prejudice plus institutional power makes racism.

    The following conclusion, then, as radical and counter-intuitive as it may sound to some, is that black people in America cannot be racist per se. They can only be prejudiced. It is white people that can be [i]racist[i] because they have the institutional power to exert privilege in addition to prejudice.

    And that is precisely why it is a false equivalence to say both white people and black people can be “racist.”

    Believersceptic, I understand the concept, but I don’t understand the distinction. I’ve seen it claimed in many places that institutional power is essential for racism, but I haven’t seen the reasoning behind it. What I said above (about it making it impossible for black people to be called racist) I fully admit sounds like the words of a raving racist, even with the clarification that I don’t think it’s the work of an organised conspiracy of people of colour trying to oppress the poor old whites.

    But I honestly can’t see another reason. It just seems like a really weird way to redefine the word to me. It makes not very much difference to my argument, so for now I’ll just accept that we have to use “racial prejudice” where I would normally just say “racism”. Given active oppression isn’t what it’s concerned with, but rather people’s views.

  186. says

    I’ll also note that Dominic’s initial response to the remark about black people not being racist evinced nothing about understanding, but disagreeing with, the correct sociological definition of racism. Only when he was corrected on his apparent confusion did he come out with this entitled bullshit about wanting HIS definition of “racism” to get more deference than the one that has been being used for decades by experts and activists.

    Dishonest much, Dominic? Apparently my already-low initial impression of you was far too generous.

  187. says

    tiberius @173

    Well, at least now it’s on the records that Mr. Myers is himself a racist, perpetuating stereotypes about white people.

    Well done.

    Please yes, spread this wide and far with exactly that phrasing. Shout to the rooftops how pissed you are about how this exact post reveals PZ Myers’s racism against white people. State these beliefs under your real name and spread them far and wide.

    Oh wait, I’m supposed to pretend like that would be horrible. No, no, please tiberius, anything but that, we’d surely be shown in our uppity feminazi ways if that happened!

    … think he bought it?

  188. says

    I’ve seen it claimed in many places that institutional power is essential for racism, but I haven’t seen the reasoning behind it.

    Ah, so when you claimed you understood it, but disagreed with it, the part about understanding was an outright lie. Interesting.

  189. says

    My mistake, you arrogant racist asshole.

    I still completely fail to understand why you would go out of your way to call someone a racist, who actively hates the idea of prejudice based on race. It seems like a petty and counter-intuitive thing to do, like demanding I list off all the gods I don’t believe in before I officially earn the moniker “atheist”.

    Personally, I’ll reserve the term “racist” for someone who, you know, actually has racially prejudiced beliefs, discriminates against people based on race, and/or hates people who look different. Rather than, you know, people who want freedom and equality for all.

  190. Jacob Schmidt says

    It’s newspeak[1], it eliminates the possibility of a minority being accused of having prejudiced beliefs based on race[2], by ensuring that those beliefs can only be called racist if a white person has them.[3]

    1) Oooh, meaningless jargon.

    2) Seeing as you’ve just described the phenomenon without using the term you claim you so dearly need, you are, in fact, wrong.

    3) Cuz’ the only power ever is divided by race.

    Essentially, I disagree with having the same effective prejudice having different names depending on who believes it.

    Well, no. The distinction is the power behind the belief and subsequent actions. The identity is what governs power.

    Racist violence will still be racist violence when a white cop beats up an innocent black man, the term didn’t need narrowing to stop it being used the other way round.

    It’s been narrowed for clarification and focus on the more harmful and pervasive phenomenon.

  191. says

    Ah, so when you claimed you understood it, but disagreed with it, the part about understanding was an outright lie. Interesting.

    To understand the definition is a different matter from understanding the reasoning behind it. I disagree with it because so far as I can see, there is no reasoning behind it, just a bald assertion of an opinion.

  192. Anthony K says

    Personally, I’ll reserve the term “racist” for someone who, you know, actually has racially prejudiced beliefs, discriminates against people based on race, and/or hates people who look different. Rather than, you know, people who want freedom and equality for all.

    Ah. An equity anti-racist, as opposed to a gender anti-racist.

  193. says

    Dominic, under your definition of racism, there are basically no more racists at all. Anywhere. Except for a tiny fringe of malcontents posting on Stormfront.

    And yet racism continues to powerfully influence our entire society, from income levels to incarceration to politics to banking, etc., etc.

    From these premises we can conclude that your definition of racism is fucking useless, and insisting on using a useless, meaningless definition of “racism” which pretty much erases the existence of racists while doing nothing to actually impede the functioning of systemic racism is, as I’ve pointed out already, pretty much textbook racism.

    Stop being so fucking racist.

  194. Jacob Schmidt says

    The following conclusion, then, as radical and counter-intuitive as it may sound to some, is that black people in America cannot be racist per se.

    Only by the generally accepted sociological definition. By the generally understood and widely accepted common definition, it’s still racist. For some reason, you think that there can only be one definition, and the definition you want to use has to be it.

    It just seems like a really weird way to redefine the word to me.

    This couldn’t have anything to do with your ignorance, could it? Nah. White dude did his homework. He can’t be wrong.

  195. believerskeptic says

    believerskeptic, stop fucking spamming! Christ, talk about hard of thinking.

    Please explain how my comment is spamming. I’m trying to remind people that racism is not fodder for hypothetical discussion; it actually occurs in commonplace reality. That’s completely relevant. That’s why I posted the link to the raw story article. As for plugging the podcast, I plugged the podcast because you know what? We really did find this article, we really did discuss it, we really did urge our listeners to write to Wild Wings corporate offices and protest, and that’s where we did it, on the podcast. I do not apologize for giving Ken and myself a little credit where it’s due. There’s also the subtextual point that if you actually gave us a chance and listened, you might find I’m not the demon you’re all making me out to be. I agree with 98% of everything that’s said around here. The 2% that’s inconsequential— like the fact that I don’t respect the activity of drinking alcohol as much as some (like Tony) think it’s entitled to— that’s what you focus on incessantly whenever I post. Screw that. I’m not playing games anymore, and I’m not letting you people drive me into a suicidal funk (again).

    So fuck you, Caine. (See, Tony? I swear, I swear!) It’s not your blog, as much as you seem to think it is, that your long-running “regular” status puts you in charge. When PZ tells me to stop plugging my podcast, I’ll stop. Otherwise, you’re not PZ, so, again, go fuck yourself. And go write to Wild Wings and tell them to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination by clicking on the link I helpfully provided.

  196. says

    I disagree with it because so far as I can see, there is no reasoning behind it, just a bald assertion of an opinion.

    So, definitely a liar then. One with a very low opinion of our intelligence.

    That, or you really are that fucking dumb. The reasoning exists. You claimed to not have seen it, a phrasing which implied its existence, and also your lack of exposure to it. Now you’re just claiming that the reasoning itself does not exist.

    That is, sadly for you, a claim that is laughably easy to disprove. I mean, there are entire university departments that treat precisely that formulation of racism and power as foundational premises. Are you really too thick-witted to type in “racism prejudice power” to google? Just say the word and someone here might be moved to take pity and do it for you.

  197. believerskeptic says

    Only by the generally accepted sociological definition. By the generally understood and widely accepted common definition, it’s still racist. For some reason, you think that there can only be one definition, and the definition you want to use has to be it.

    Not at all. I’m just trying to provide another perspective on the word, one that is less common but which I think explains a lot; for example, exactly why it is indeed a false equivalence to throw out that old tired saw “both white people and black people can be racist”.

  198. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Please explain how my comment is spamming.

    Any post is tied to your inane web site, and often off topic. Yep, fits the definition.

  199. says

    Believerskeptic, stop plugging your fucking podcast and stop throwing goddamn temper tantrums EVERY time someone says something the least bit critical to you! Goddamn you are tiresome.

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    believerskeptic, if you don’t want to be called a spammer, quit linking to your web site and promoting it. DUH.

  201. says

    Well, no. The distinction is the power behind the belief and subsequent actions. The identity is what governs power.

    But the action is subsequent to the belief. While it exists in a person’s head, the colour of the skin on the outside doesn’t actually alter the fact that it’s prejudiced and incorrect.

    Because you still have to say “racist beating”, to mean a beating inspired by racism, the subsequent action can be qualified in some other way. While because the technical meaning of “racism” is very different to the popular or dictionary definition, and used only by those in the know, it can only cause confusion – like if I decided that amongst my friends, “chicken” would now mean “fish” and wondered why restaurants never got my order right. It’s not even equivalent to creationists getting ‘hypothesis’ and ‘theory’ mixed up, because those are two different words, with long established proper meanings – racism (pop.) and racism (sociology) are much less helpful, and presumably more recent.

    Well. It can’t only cause confusion. It’ll probably make some people irritated when they’re berated for not having access to insider jargon.

  202. says

    To say “both black and white people can be racist” is an “old saw” is to divide explicitly and only based on skin colour. Which is in itself prejudiced. Of course any human can be racist (in fact by either definition, under some historical circumstances). And I think we can all agree that neither of them should be, so it doesn’t really bloody matter…

  203. Jacob Schmidt says

    Not at all.

    Sorry. That was direct at Dominic. Seems he fucked up the quote.

    Any post is tied to your inane web site, and often off topic.

    They were on topic this time.

  204. says

    As for racism not being fodder for hypothetical discussion… this isn’t hypothetical. I want people to stop assigning characteristics based on race. And I want people to stop visiting the sins of the fathers on the son. Hold white people accountable for not actively working against the prejudice and privilege that exists now, today; educate about that which has already been put to an end. Don’t mix the two up.

    And that’s my final say.

  205. says

    It’ll probably make some people irritated when they’re berated for not having access to insider jargon.

    Excuse me, “people”?

    YOU are being berated for being dishonest and using arguments that, despite your stated intentions, have the effect of strengthening the racist status quo.

    YOU are being berated for being so arrogantly entitled that you think you can redefine words according to your comfort AND expect people who are well-versed in the subject to abandon the experts’ definition and just go along with yours.

  206. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    And I want people to stop visiting the sins of the fathers on the son.

    Would a dolly help? That cross looks awfully heavy.

  207. says

    And that’s my final say.

    Not at all interested in learning exactly WHAT the reasoning behind separating “prejudice” from “prejudice + power” is, eh?

    Fucking despicable, you are.

  208. says

    Dominic @198

    Because I did the homework, I heard what they want it to mean, and I disagree with their definition as unrealistically and unhelpfully narrow, effectively restricting it to something only those in the majority (i.e., Whites) can do. It’s newspeak, it eliminates the possibility of a minority being accused of having prejudiced beliefs based on race, by ensuring that those beliefs can only be called racist if a white person has them.

    I mean, seriously, speciation event?!? Those fancy scinamatists and their made up words to deny the divinity of Christ. I mean, I glanced over their little essay and like I disagree that anything can turn into a whole nother species, just like that. I mean, what the fuck?

    Also, hey, free sociology lesson.

    Racism is prejudice plus power because it takes POWER to make prejudice impact. It takes a giant community willing to backup the prejudices. It takes a society willing to entrench those prejudices as facts. It takes people willing to unconsciously favor that prejudice even though they know they shouldn’t because that’s what they are used to? It takes systems willing to enforce those prejudices and make the consequences for trespass against the expectations fatal. (Actual argument dismissing Oscar Grant I heard: Well, his friends should have known better than to be all rude and confrontational with the (faux) cops. What did they expect was going to happen?) It takes internalized self-hatreds being normalized.

    Cause see, I could be a Johnny T. AngryBlackKid and I could scream to the sky that whitey is a motherfucker and someone should put him in his place.

    And you know what will happen? Will the laws be sympathetic to his arguments and police the white neighborhoods more because “they’re always getting away with shit” (actual Zimmerman argument for why he stalked and murdered a kid”? Will young white kids be hassled by cops so much that a hero white man who saves a black girl still reacts to the sound of a police siren with fear? Will the justice system and lawmakers talk about the way white people are inherently violent and solving the problem of those areas and why do we even let them vote? Will white people have their rights stolen in any regard from the animosity of this black person?

    No, but every last one of those bitter Klan-supporting grandparents out there get to enforce their prejudices, get to help make it law, get to expect that the cops and the systems are on their side, not on the side of their victims.

    They have the POWER to make their prejudices impact. To have weight. To have consequences to those that trespass them and show them to be false.

    That is why racism is separate from privilege. That’s why it takes power.

    And THAT is why you are a deliberately ignorant man trading in countless ancient racist arguments, repeated a thousand times before not by well-meaning white douches, but people who think that the racist status quo is something to be applauded.

    That is what you have chosen to do here.

  209. says

    Oh and I think my prediction on him being a “sociology is for girls” social forces denialist has proven depressingly precognitive.

    You know, dipshits, we don’t actually like being right this often. It’d be nice to be pleasantly surprised on occasion, yanno, as a change of pace.

  210. says

    Well that was optimistic of me.

    YOU are being berated for being so arrogantly entitled that you think you can redefine words according to your comfort AND expect people who are well-versed in the subject to abandon the experts’ definition and just go along with yours.

    Actually if I were going to say anyone was “so arrogantly entitled that you think you can redefine words according to your comfort” it would be whoever came up with the idea of redefining racism to exclude racial prejudice by minorities. But if it suits their own academic setting, that’s fine.

    The definition that has been in use by the majority of people, since the invention of the word, is perfectly fine for me.

  211. Jacob Schmidt says

    While it exists in a person’s head, the colour of the skin on the outside doesn’t actually alter the fact that it’s prejudiced and incorrect.

    But the power alters the scope, scale and pervasiveness of the effects. Since that is the larger problem, and since run of the mill prejudice is mostly just background noise (prejudice is a very human trait), “isms” are defined as prejudice + power.

    While because the technical meaning of “racism” is very different to the popular or dictionary definition, and used only by those in the know, it can only cause confusion…

    I bet you never complain when people say acids are “proton donors.”

    There’s nothing wrong with confusion. If your confused, go look up something to read. Wikipedia has almost certainly got your back.

    …like if I decided that amongst my friends, “chicken” would now mean “fish” and wondered why restaurants never got my order right.

    You’re confusing a narrower definition with a totally different one.

    It’ll probably make some people irritated when they’re berated for not having access to insider jargon.

    PFFT ahahaha. Sure. It’s our fault you decided to open your mouth to speak on a topic about which you know little.

  212. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Actually if I were going to say anyone was “so arrogantly entitled that you think you can redefine words according to your comfort” it would be whoever came up with the idea of redefining racism to exclude racial prejudice by minorities.

    Did somebody let Richard Dawkins in here? make u think

  213. says

    You know, dipshits, we don’t actually like being right this often. It’d be nice to be pleasantly surprised on occasion, yanno, as a change of pace.

    Again, this applies both ways round, seeing as you never actually convinced me I’m wrong. Which makes us two people with opinions. This isn’t evolution vs. creationism, it’s the definition of a word. Definitions aren’t fact. Nobody encoded them in the universe. This actually is one of those times when “whatever you believe is okay”…

    …unless you believe making judgements based on race is okay, or racial violence/dsicrimination/oppression. Those are still wrong. But I guess having most of these beliefs in common isn’t enough for some people, sadly.

  214. Jacob Schmidt says

    Actually if I were going to say anyone was “so arrogantly entitled that you think you can redefine words according to your comfort” it would be whoever came up with the idea of redefining racism to exclude racial prejudice by minorities. But if it suits their own academic setting, that’s fine.

    The definition that has been in use by the majority of people, since the invention of the word, is perfectly fine for me.

    Right; redefining a term for technical use is the same as choosing the definition for everybody. It’s totes equal.

  215. says

    @KDRC (formerly Dominic),

    I am aware of research that shows that women as well as men are sexist in that they have biases against women. I reckon that it would be quite easy to turn up analogous research demonstrating that people of color have internalized their society’s racism and exhibit biases against members of their own race. (I’d look for it myself but at the moment I’m loopy on cold medicine and I’ve also gotten the distinct impression from your performance hear that you are not interested in learning so much as you are interested in winning.)

    The comic in the original post does a brilliant job of conveying the demeanor of the high-maintenance ally — the ally who, rather than rolling up sleeves and actively helping in the dismantling of oppressions, demands cookies and that hir feelings (or brilliance in constructing proper distinctions, or whatever) be centered. If the shoe doesn’t fit you, don’t wear it. If it does, please be kind enough to take it off the neck you have it pressing upon.

  216. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    want people to stop assigning characteristics based on race. And I want people to stop visiting the sins of the fathers on the son. Hold white people accountable for not actively working against the prejudice and privilege that exists now, today; educate about that which has already been put to an end. Don’t mix the two up.

    And that’s my final say.

    Good, maybe you will fuck off closet racist. Either you are part of the solution, which you aren’t, or you ARE the problem. Which you are, by trying to have you head in the sand…

  217. says

    Which makes us two people with opinions. This isn’t evolution vs. creationism, it’s the definition of a word.

    Yeah – evolution is true. Creationism is false. “Prejudice + power” is the correct short definition of the term “racism,” and your definition is incorrect.

    There are two opinions. One is based on facts and research, the other on arrogant, uninformed wankery.

  218. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    I once had a scholar whose name I regret
    he issued big words that ruined the fête
    so I played the ace
    of my privileged case
    whence he booted me off to Tibet.

  219. says

    So, plain ol’ Dominic finds a phone booth, and emerges as King Dominic! Yeah, that’s helpin’.

    And your real name is fleur du mal? You really are taking cheap shots. I literally just signed up for this account to comment a few hours ago, I hadn’t changed the name. I hate to whine “you guys are so mean”, but… you guys are so mean!

  220. Jacob Schmidt says

    This actually is one of those times when “whatever you believe is okay”…

    You’ll note that your belief isn’t the problem. Your refusal to recognize the technical definition, as well as your ignorant defense of this, is.

    But I guess having most of these beliefs in common isn’t enough for some people, sadly.

    Ahahahaha, oh my god. What an ignorant dipshit. Let me quote you: “I find the idea I’m arguing against irritating because it’s a lump of unreason in the midst of a very good cause.” So you get to argue against people you, supposedly, largely agree with, but when we do it it’s a Bad Thing™.

  221. says

    Yes, we are mean to people like you. It’s a feature, not a bug. Perhaps if you weren’t such an ignorant wanker, we’d be nicer. Try it and find out!

  222. says

    Docfreeride:

    If the shoe doesn’t fit you, don’t wear it. If it does, please be kind enough to take it off the neck you have it pressing upon.

    Today, you get all the cookies.

  223. PatrickG says

    Anthony K @ 176:

    Fuck, are all white people so fucking illiterate?

    Reverse-racism! Er, I mean, this white person sorely appreciates his lack of direct experience in these issues and takes to heart the admonition to read and learn. At some point, I hope to tap into the experience (theoretical, academic, and personal) of people in this community, but I’ll probably ask my well-intentioned dumb-ass questions in the Lounge or Thunderdome when I come up against the limit of my ability to learn from threads like this.
    Speaking of which, highly educational thread, and thanks to the many contributors to my personal education. I’ll go back to shutting up now, but did want to throw that out there.

  224. says

    “Prejudice + power” is the correct short definition of the term “racism,” and your definition is incorrect.

    There are two opinions. One is based on facts and research, the other on arrogant, uninformed wankery.

    Wait, what research would this be? Someone stuck the word racism under a microscope and discovered what the truth particles said the definition was? Sorry, but that’s not how it works. Words don’t have intrinsic meaning. Meaning is defined by usage.

    Given my facts and research were “what does the dictionary say? What do people mean when they use the word? What do I mean when I use it? What am I trying to communicate?”, and the other guy’s appears to have been “how can I make this word more political and incite people into unneccessary arguments over whether my newly invented meaning is better?”… I think I can tell where the arrogant wankery comes in.

    Or I would, but to be honest I’m prepared to believe some academic somewhere thought this redefinition was a great idea, for entirely noble reasons.

    Honestly, you take the word as what I mean when I say it, which is perfectly clear from the context. If a word’s meaning is detached from the intention behind it, you end up with a guy being accused of racism for using the word “niggardly” regardless of whether or not he meant it as a slur. For definition, ask two questions:
    1) what was the intention behind the word?
    2) did the word adequately convey the meaning it intended?

    Provided both of those are A OK… in this informal setting, at least… you can go easy on me using the non-politicised version.

  225. CJO says

    Actually if I were going to say anyone was “so arrogantly entitled that you think you can redefine words according to your comfort” it would be whoever came up with the idea of redefining racism to exclude racial prejudice by minorities.

    There’s a word for that; you used it yourself: prejudice.

    The definition that has been in use by the majority of people, since the invention of the word, is perfectly fine for me.

    Context for the guy who thinks his common-sense definitions of words should be, um, privileged? Is that the word I want?

    “Racism” as a synonym for “prejudice” has a much shorter history than you seem to think. It originated in social-theory circles, actually, to mean “institutionalized and systematic program of racial discrimination” in the context of theoretical work on the fascist regimes of 1930s Europe. It’s latter-day conflation with ordinary old prejudice is a muddling of the term, there is no question. The fact that it is now used nearly exclusively in everyday speech to mean that –primarily among white laypersons– and that the cultural weight of said usage has convinced you of its prior universality is somewhat ironic, don’t you think?

  226. Louis says

    Hmmm lemme see. Rapid comment inflation on a thread about white privilege and how it is possible to fuck up being an ally….

    ….I smell Hurt FeeFees. Am I right?

    Louis

  227. CJO says

    “It originated” meaning the term “racism” itself, not the conflation. Soory, ambiguous. Also, “Its” arg. I blame the chimp.

  228. says

    Technically, racial prejudice by minorities isn’t excluded from the term ‘racism’. Just prejudice against white people on most of the planet. Nobody of any credibility says black people can’t be racist against Latin@s, or vice versa.

  229. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    ….I smell Hurt FeeFees. Am I right?

    Not just that. Dominic insists that his definition of racism trumps that of historians, sociologists, psychologists, and every one else who has studied the phenomenon of power and the societal impacts.

  230. Jacob Schmidt says

    “how can I make this word more political and incite people into unneccessary arguments over whether my newly invented meaning is better?”… I think I can tell where the arrogant wankery comes in.

    So, you whine about how we should use your definition instead of the technical (and more useful) one and… we’re starting fights? C’mon cupcake, you can argue better than that.

    1) what was the intention behind the word?
    2) did the word adequately convey the meaning it intended?

    1) To describe institutionalized racial prejudice
    2) No; it conflate any racial prejudice with institutionalized racial prejudice

  231. says

    Louis:

    Hmmm lemme see. Rapid comment inflation on a thread about white privilege and how it is possible to fuck up being an ally….

    ….I smell Hurt FeeFees. Am I right?

    Well, I’ve been listening to Ulali, Indigenous, Walela, XIT, and other Indian artists. I’m pretty sure that means I’m oppressing the socks off King Dominic.

  232. says

    I am aware of research that shows that women as well as men are sexist in that they have biases against women. I reckon that it would be quite easy to turn up analogous research demonstrating that people of color have internalized their society’s racism and exhibit biases against members of their own race.

    One of the feminist lectures I went to at uni focused on all the adverts that were coming out around Christmas – I think it was one of the ones where beautiful smiling women sit around cooking and wrapping presents in pink paper while men put up the tree and do random woodwork. There was one in particular which had the man bringing home a ridiculously awful present for his mother in law and wrapping it badly, before being saved by his wife’s female intuition and impeccable taste. The point of asking us to watch these adverts was to point out that sexism gender stereotypes harm everyone.

    Not all men are macho and like to do woodwork while drinking a beer in front of the football. Least of all me. Stereotyping either gender is inaccurate and stupid.

    At the same time, this is a patriarchy. Women are the oppressed party – lower wages, harder to get jobs, etc. etc. while men have far more choice in their actions.

    Does that mean we should redefine sexism to mean “gender prejudice +power”? Or Gender stereotyping to only apply to women? What would that achieve?

    Men and women stereotype men and women. Again, I have to catch myself sometimes slipping into the ‘normal’ ways of things.

    The comic in the original post does a brilliant job of conveying the demeanor of the high-maintenance ally — the ally who, rather than rolling up sleeves and actively helping in the dismantling of oppressions, demands cookies…

    See, no. I don’t go out of my way to demand special concessions. The issue of whether or not white people are to blame barely ever, if ever, comes up. The only reason I’ve objected here is because there was a cartoon poking fun at it.

    And what kind of dick complains about an ally? A needy ally’s better than no ally.

  233. believerskeptic says

    I know a lot of people here carrying the torch to defend the cartoon PZ posted would be the last people to recognize their own racism in action, but—

    I post an article about a real occurrence where actual black people suffer the indignity of discrimination that is steeped in the overtones of Jim Crow “white only” lunchcounters— and your concern is board etiquette? That I’m spamming the board? That’s your concern? You know what? That’s racist. That’s white privilege in action, right there. Caine, I’m looking right at you.

    Even the best-intentioned, most academically well-informed people here talk about black people as though black people are hypothetical. Don’t interrupt our hypothetical, academic discussion about black people with an actual example and something we can do about it, hell no! He mentioned the name of his podcast! That’s what’s really important, not examples of the not-so-subtle resurrection of Jim Crow in South Carolina.

    As Curtis Mayfield observed:

    “Everybody prayin’.
    And everybody sayin’.
    But when come time to do,
    Everybody’s layin’.”

  234. says

    His Royal Majesty, King Dominic the First @241

    This isn’t evolution vs. creationism, it’s the definition of a word. Definitions aren’t fact. Nobody encoded them in the universe. This actually is one of those times when “whatever you believe is okay”…

    And if some creationist was to argue this sort of quantum mechanics, academic functions and studied phenomena are what I argue they are like and I find my made-up ignorant definition of an evolutionary concept “unconvincing” because I don’t understand how it’s used and how it’s studied?

    Would you consider them a giant idiot aping pretensions of pretension?

    Or would you consider them a tiring example of something you have seen a thousand times before?

    Be honest.

  235. says

    Well, I’ve been listening to Ulali, Indigenous, Walela, XIT, and other Indian artists. I’m pretty sure that means I’m oppressing the socks off King Dominic.

    Even if you feel it helps to be sarcastic, you could at least refrain from misrepresenting my actual views. For instance, up until the point I actually say I believe I’m in any way the oppressed party, or that white people are oppressed, rather than, say the complete opposite, I’d appreciate if you would burn all your straw men.

  236. Jacob Schmidt says

    Does that mean we should redefine sexism to mean “gender prejudice +power”?

    Already has been, cupcake. You’re really behind on this, eh?

    And what kind of dick[1] complains about an ally? A needy ally’s better than no ally.[2]

    1) No gendered slurs please.

    2) Depends. In your case, whining about our definitions (which is all you’ve done since you gave up whining about our racism to white people) is not the work of an ally.

  237. Anthony K says

    And what kind of dick complains about an ally? A needy ally’s better than no ally.

    Jesus Christ, are you unreading somehow? You’re actually getting dumber by the comment.

  238. Jacob Schmidt says

    This isn’t evolution vs. creationism, it’s the definition of a word.

    On that note, the common definition for things like “theory” and “evolution” are different than the technical ones. Pretty sure Dominic here doesn’t give a shit about that.

  239. Anthony K says

    Even if you feel it helps to be sarcastic, you could at least refrain from misrepresenting my actual views.

    We are on your side as far as ending racism. That means we’re allies. And allies who misrepresent your views are Better than Nothing.

    Now say ‘thank you’.

  240. says

    And if some creationist was to argue this sort of quantum mechanics, academic functions and studied phenomena are what I argue they are like and I find my made-up ignorant definition of an evolutionary concept “unconvincing” because I don’t understand how it’s used and how it’s studied?

    Would you consider them a giant idiot aping pretensions of pretension?

    Or would you consider them a tiring example of something you have seen a thousand times before?

    Be honest.

    The problem with your analogy is that quantum mechanics is a branch of physics… which is a study of things which are either true or not true. There’s an absolute truth out there (well, pretty much), which we in some cases haven’t found yet. But it’s there. It’s either fact or non fact.

    But the definition of a word, like race, is a human construct. It changes over time, it shifts, and even then it isn’t a fact. It’s arbitrary. The question then becomes what definition of the word do we use? The one that best results in communication and understanding? Or a narrow technical definition which most people would describe as not encompassing the proper meaning of the word?

  241. CJO says

    believerskeptic, you suck. You are a whiny asshole and you appear interested solely in drawing attention to yourself. I am sick to death of you after reading the small portions I could stand of fewer than five of your worthless comments here.

    Please go away.* Not the right place for you.

    *After you (silently) absorb the high holy hell you are about to catch from Caine

  242. says

    *After you (silently) absorb the high holy hell you are about to catch from Caine

    Surely I’m not the only one waiting eagerly for that particular spectacle.

  243. says

    We are on your side as far as ending racism. That means we’re allies. And allies who misrepresent your views are Better than Nothing.

    Now say ‘thank you’.

    That’ll do me. Although strictly speaking, she’s voicing her own views… not yours.

  244. Louis says

    A needy ally is better than no ally? No, not always. A needy ally is a drain on already strained resources. The extent of the neediness determines the extent of the drain. But no drain is good in this situation.

    Now, go get more FeeFees. I need to laugh some more.

    Louis

    P.S. Oggy, FeeFees PLUS Special Snowflake’s Dictionary of Definiteness? Oooh I’m getting warm and tingly. We haven’t had me of those for, oh it must be minutes now!

    P.P.S. Caine. Have you been being culturally diverse again? That AND the cultures involved being, you know, a bit locally {ahem} “older” than the white folks’ local version? Tsk. Now you know that’s oppression, missy. Next you’ll be being a bit native without permission. And where does that end? More hurt FeeFees. I’d wag my finger if I wasn’t so shocked. Shocked and appalled. Appalled and shocked. Stuff like that.

  245. Anthony K says

    Although strictly speaking, she’s voicing her own views… not yours.

    THANK YOUR FUCKING ALLY, YOU FUCKING INGRATE!

  246. says

    KDRC @253

    Wait, what research would this be? Someone stuck the word racism under a microscope and discovered what the truth particles said the definition was? Sorry, but that’s not how it works. Words don’t have intrinsic meaning. Meaning is defined by usage.

    And motherfucking called it.

    If it doesn’t quack like good proper “hard science” then it must be “soft” and therefore based in nothing but dreams and delusions and not at all a robust history of correctly examining human sociological constructions and the patterns they follow and the ways they directly affect people.

    I mean, has anyone seen racism under a microscope?

    Hey, remember the beginning of the thread, by which I mean about half a dozen comments ago when I was still trying to argue that I understood sociological concepts, was an ally about racism, and not a giant sociology denialist?

    HA! Shouldn’t have trusted me. Oh wait, you didn’t, because you smelled this coming. Oh well in that case, you could have been spared this inevitability if you had taken me in good faith and acted like I wasn’t going to end up here.

  247. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    BelieverSkeptic,

    I went and clicked your links and sent a message to that Wings restaurant. Happy now?

  248. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    Have you been being culturally diverse again?

    Hell, on some threads, Caine manages to be sexually idverse. At least in the writings of some idiot commenters.

  249. Jacob Schmidt says

    I post an article about a real occurrence where actual black people suffer the indignity of discrimination that is steeped in the overtones of Jim Crow “white only” lunchcounters— and your concern is board etiquette? That I’m spamming the board? That’s your concern? You know what? That’s racist.

    Distracting from race issues to plug your own work shows contempt for race issues. Don’t do it.

    If you actually cared about stopping this derail, you’d take your grievances to the thunderdome. Go do that. Stop whining here.

  250. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    An ally that requires more maintenance than zie provides help is an ally who can bloody well stay out of the way.

    This is exactly what is meant by either you are part of the solution, or you are part of the problem. An maintenance required means you ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

  251. says

    CJO:

    *After you (silently) absorb the high holy hell you are about to catch from Caine

    Docfreeride:

    Surely I’m not the only one waiting eagerly for that particular spectacle.

    Crap. That means I have to actually read the latest BS, right? *sigh*

  252. says

    On that note, the common definition for things like “theory” and “evolution” are different than the technical ones. Pretty sure Dominic here doesn’t give a shit about that.

    Nah, that one works out. There’s a very good reason for maintaining the distinction between “an idea” and “a fact”.

  253. Louis says

    Believerskeptic,

    The other day you were commenting on your severe clinical depression, and how posting, and arguing, here was part of a series of things that was causing you to suicidally ideate. Do you remember, did you even see, my reply to you?

    If your comments about your depression are true, and I have no reason to believe they are false, so I believe you, then get out of here. Nothing said or done here is worth that amount of psychological torture. Nothing said or done here is worth your life. Take yourself away from Pharyngula and get better. This is clearly not part of your self care, it’s harming you.

    Please, be gentle with yourself and go away and get better.

    Louis

  254. Louis says

    Oggy,

    Well we all know Caine is actually a 400lb trucker from Arkansas called Bubba. And also PZ. And several other commenters. Because we all are. Even you and me. In fact, we’re just talking to ourselves. I mean myself. Obviously.

    Did I just hurt my own damn FeeFees?

    Louis

  255. says

    Louis:

    P.P.S. Caine. Have you been being culturally diverse again? That AND the cultures involved being, you know, a bit locally {ahem} “older” than the white folks’ local version? Tsk. Now you know that’s oppression, missy. Next you’ll be being a bit native without permission. And where does that end? More hurt FeeFees. I’d wag my finger if I wasn’t so shocked. Shocked and appalled. Appalled and shocked. Stuff like that.

    Hey, just enjoying my red pride, man. Shockin’, I know. Actually, I was sitting here, listening and stitching, thinking to myself how much I love hearing traditional drums and jingle bells* in rock music. It fuckin’ rocks.
     
    *conical shaped ‘bells’ for wacipi,** traditionally made out of chewing tobacco tin tops. Yeah, it’s a thing.

    **also known as powwow. Dancin’.

  256. says

    KDRC @262

    A needy ally’s better than no ally.

    No. It really isn’t.

    A needy “ally”, someone who constantly interrupts things to demand attention and care and that things do not challenge him actually drains time, energy, and focus from a group. Makes them feel more disconnected, hopeless, and prevents group cohesion to fight against external threats.

    Look at this thread for an example. Are we moving past a 101 conversation and deconstructing the higher level? No, because an “ally” needed to be babysat through the basics. This has a direct psychological cost for all those who participate and witness it. And if that backlash doesn’t happen, then it reinforces the dominant narrative even in a resistant space.

    Think about a queer ally. They want to help as a good christian, but they’re always asking Leslie why she doesn’t just marry a man if she wants to marry and why are we even trying for equality and hey, we’re doing a lot of harm by talking about sexuality at all. We really don’t want to alienate people. Would you consider that person a positive addition to your gay marriage campaign? Would the time you spent covering the basics be worth it in the manhours he swears to put in once he gets his questions answered?

    No.

    In contrast, no ally has no impact. Either positive or negative. People continue with just their group and right on, right on.

    And you know what, using a direct queer experience. I know of one gay marriage group in one city who catered almost exclusively to “allies” and tried not to alienate of challenge anyone. And then another gay marriage group that kicked all those fuckers out and went balls to the wall. One city had a massive increase in social and political support for gay rights to the point where it surprisingly became a major heavy-hitter. The other languished and didn’t produce much (though happy to ride the other group’s coattails).

    Just to lay a real world example.

  257. Jacob Schmidt says

    There’s a very good reason for maintaining the distinction between “an idea” and “a fact”.

    There’s also a good reason for maintaining a distinction between “prejudice” and “prejudice + power.”

    That one went right over your head, eh?

  258. Anthony K says

    Believerskeptic,

    The other day you were commenting on your severe clinical depression, and how posting, and arguing, here was part of a series of things that was causing you to suicidally ideate. Do you remember, did you even see, my reply to you?

    If your comments about your depression are true, and I have no reason to believe they are false, so I believe you, then get out of here. Nothing said or done here is worth that amount of psychological torture. Nothing said or done here is worth your life. Take yourself away from Pharyngula and get better. This is clearly not part of your self care, it’s harming you.

    Please, be gentle with yourself and go away and get better.

    Louis

    What Louis said.

  259. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    Well we all know Caine is actually a 400lb trucker from Arkansas called Bubba. And also PZ. And several other commenters. Because we all are. Even you and me. In fact, we’re just talking to ourselves. I mean myself. Obviously.

    Speak for myself.

    Caine:

    When I was about 10, I had the privilege of attending an open ceremony at Olraibi in Arizona. I clearly remember the bells — on a few of the outfits, there were hundreds of bells. And the sound was amazing. Like nothing I have ever heard anywhere else. Thanks for the memory.

  260. John Morales says

    [OT + meta]

    KDRC:

    There’s a very good reason for maintaining the distinction between “an idea” and “a fact”.

    A remarkably stupid claim.

    Presumably, you attempt to refer to the distinction between abstracta and concreta, but that is an irrelevance to your evident conceit regarding the nature of the physical sciences versus the social sciences.

  261. says

    BS:

    and your concern is board etiquette? That I’m spamming the board? That’s your concern? You know what? That’s racist.

    You seriously need to grok the fact that, contrary to your wishes, everything is not about you. In every single thread you’ve posted in here, you have spammed your stuff, whether it is relevant or not, and tried to turn every thread into “hey, it’s all about me! Me, me, me!” It’s not about you, and whining about your habitual spamming is now incredibly off topic. Spamming is against the rules here, it’s not only a matter of etiquette. You wanna spam? Take it to fucking Thunderdome, you know the way. You spent enough time there.

    STOP. RIGHT FUCKING NOW. STOP. AIN’T ABOUT YOU.

  262. says

    This is exactly what is meant by either you are part of the solution, or you are part of the problem. An maintenance required means you ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    Oh look. Black and white thinking. How appropriate.

    If it doesn’t quack like good proper “hard science” then it must be “soft” and therefore based in nothing but dreams and delusions and not at all a robust history of correctly examining human sociological constructions and the patterns they follow and the ways they directly affect people.

    I mean, has anyone seen racism under a microscope?

    You haven’t really answered my concern, namely, how can you claim to have the definitive definition of the word? Sociology is a science. Fine, whatever. So what? If everyone switched hypothesis and theory around, including the scientists, they’d mean different things.

    You can’t scientifically change the definition of a word like that. I mean, you can change word definitions: say, atom used to mean ‘indivisible’, now we define it as a divisible thing, and that’s just undeniable fact. Racism is an abstract concept, so you don’t get to change the definition through a few peer reviewed papers.

  263. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Josh @ #183,
    Yep. He hasn’t come out and said “WHAT ABOUT TEH WHITE PEOPLE?!?” yet, but I think enough of this thread has been dedicate to our poor, trod upon, “ally” that the question is very much here in spirit.

  264. says

    Presumably, you attempt to refer to the distinction between abstracta and concreta, but that is an irrelevance to your evident conceit regarding the nature of the physical sciences versus the social sciences.

    If you weren’t trying to be cleverererer than me, you’d see I was talking about ‘hypothesis’ and ‘theory’ (as, roughly defined, idea and ‘proven’ fact). I really didn’t think I needed to go into detail on that one but you went there…

  265. says

    Ogvorbis:

    Hell, on some threads, Caine manages to be sexually idverse.

    I absolutely adore the sound of sexually idverse. It will confuse the hell out of idiots, I’m going to use that.

    When I was about 10, I had the privilege of attending an open ceremony at Olraibi in Arizona. I clearly remember the bells — on a few of the outfits, there were hundreds of bells. And the sound was amazing. Like nothing I have ever heard anywhere else. Thanks for the memory.

    I know, right? One of my favourite sounds in the universe. They’re used by Indian musicians a lot.

  266. says

    I gave up reading about halfway through… since Dominic dominated the comments, I’m going to skip the rest for now in order to get in my “Fuck you Dominic” comment:

    If your contribution to a conversation about racism and privilege is to try to establish your personal innocence as an accidentally white person who totally doesn’t hate people of color at all? Hey, it is possible that you’re actually NOT a racist. You’re still an amazingly self-centered douchecanoe, unfit for company polite or otherwise. Racism and privilege are HUGE subjects, that we’ll all be digging into for our lives and way too many future generations to come. In the meanwhile Dominic, you’ve managed to shrink it down to nearly nothing, to where it is all about you and how you feel about being labeled as part of a system that benefits you whether you like it or not. ALL ABOUT YOU.

    Seriously? Fuck you.

  267. says

    Yep. He hasn’t come out and said “WHAT ABOUT TEH WHITE PEOPLE?!?” yet, but I think enough of this thread has been dedicate to our poor, trod upon, “ally” that the question is very much here in spirit.

    Meh, no, not coming out with that any time soon. Pretty much made myself clear on that one.

    What precisely do you hope to achieve here with your arguments about definitions?

    A sensible question. I hoped to vent my spleen with one comment on something I found irritating and then forget about it. Then someone challenged me. And you know the saying… http://xkcd.com/386/

  268. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    You haven’t really answered my concern, namely, how can you claim to have the definitive definition of the word?

    The people who actually study this have very specific definitions. Just as biologists do. And palaeontolgists. And historians. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

  269. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You can’t scientifically change the definition of a word like that.

    Who the fuck are you to argue science? You a fuckwitted scientific illiterate. Otherwise, you would lead with evidence, and not OPINION. Your illogical OPINION can’t and will never be the equivalent of link to the literature, found here, libraries at institutions of higher learning world-wide, and the journals therein. Sometimes the same paper can be found here.

    But your word? Dismissed if there is no third party evidence….

  270. CJO says

    I guess you missed my comment. “Racism” originated in the ’30s as a term of art in social theory, to have precisely the meaning we are advocating, the systematic kind. “Prejudice” would have been the word that nearly everybody used when they meant what you mean by “racism” until approximately the mid-60s, when, the (mis)use of social-scientific terminology was popularized in the media because a substantial portion of the audience was waking up to the existence of the inequalities that plague our society and they coppted the vocabulary. Your less-precise, conflated neologism does not have the staus of default, despite your privilege, and especially not when you are talking to people who know these things and prefer more precise language anyway.

  271. says

    If your contribution to a conversation about racism and privilege is to try to establish your personal innocence as an accidentally white person who totally doesn’t hate people of color at all? Hey, it is possible that you’re actually NOT a racist. You’re still an amazingly self-centered douchecanoe, unfit for company polite or otherwise. Racism and privilege are HUGE subjects, that we’ll all be digging into for our lives and way too many future generations to come. In the meanwhile Dominic, you’ve managed to shrink it down to nearly nothing, to where it is all about you and how you feel about being labeled as part of a system that benefits you whether you like it or not. ALL ABOUT YOU.

    Seriously? Fuck you.

    And I’m sure you don’t feel self important at all after that and have no ego to speak of whatsoever… pft.

    Yes, they are huge subjects. Vast. So I think we can probably afford to dig into one small aspect of them here. Or are we only allowed to look at the whole thing and never question the ‘official’ definitions?

  272. Jacob Schmidt says

    You haven’t really answered my concern, namely, how can you claim to have the definitive definition of the word?

    -Snip-

    Racism is an abstract concept, so you don’t get to change the definition through a few peer reviewed papers.

    This is just stupid.

    Bog standard prejudice is just that: prejudice. There’s nothing special about it.

    “Prejudice + Power”, on the other hand, behaves in a specific way. It’s perpetuated in certain ways. It harms groups in certain ways. The problems we associate with racism? Disempowerment of entire groups? Institutionalized dehumanization? That’s prejudice + power.

  273. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, they are huge subjects. Vast. So I think we can probably afford to dig into one small aspect of them here.

    Ønly if you are willing to take it outside your fuckwitted OPINION and present third party evidence, which you can’t do. Since you aren’t smart enough….

  274. John Morales says

    [OT]

    KDRC:

    If you weren’t trying to be cleverererer than me, you’d see I was talking about ‘hypothesis’ and ‘theory’ (as, roughly defined, idea and ‘proven’ fact).

    (What, you imagine I’m trying?)

    So: when you wrote “There’s a very good reason for maintaining the distinction between “an idea” and “a fact”” you actually meant “There’s a very good reason for maintaining the distinction between a ‘hypothesis’ and a ‘theory’”.

    How does that advance your thesis that the sociological usage of ‘racism’ is inappropriate outside of academia?

  275. The Mellow Monkey says

    A needy ally’s better than no ally.

    Fuck. That.

    I only have so much time and so much energy. My life is an incredibly finite resource and I’m not wasting it on some needy fucker who wants to tell me what racism is and why solidarity is bad for people of color.

    A needy ally’s no ally at all. Just another leech sucking out what little energy I’ve got.

    Help or get out of the way. If you’re standing in my way and whining that I help you, you’ve just gone from ally to roadblock.

  276. Louis says

    Jackie,

    But what about the white people? I mean do we really consider their FeeFees enough? Some of my best friends are white people. I’ve even let them use my toilet. I think it’s about time someone stood up and said that white people’s FeeFees are important and should be debated and discussed. Because white people clearly can’t do it for themselves. They need to be guided, helped, by brownish greenish duskyish Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/Heinz 57 mongrel European imports to Britain like me. Because otherwise they truly cannot experience the full extent of their FeeFees. After all, we darkie types are s n touch with our emotions.

    I’m an ally to white people. True I’m the kind of ally that needs to be told how exotic he is every five minutes, and indeed how my hair is just so wonderful. More than that I need constant affirmation that I am a good brown ally to my poor white friends who I am just helping. Otherwise I might not help nicely anymore. It really is all about me.

    Also it’s very important that whatever I say is true. Because I am such a good ally to white people. So, for example, when I say that a common, dictionary definition of a word is true, then that’s that. No clarification, expansion, or careful attempts at understanding how some colloquial definitions don’t represent reality in this context as well as other more academic definitions will be tolerated. For I am ally, hear me roar. And I’m just so HELPFUL! There’s no way I could make a mistake, no way I could be wrong because that would make me just like those Black Panthers or Basque Separatists or something, I’m not really sure. But it would be bad because all the white people I have helped would have bad FeeFees about me being an imperfect ally. And if you cause bad FeeFees in white people, well then you’re just a racist.

    Louis

  277. Jacob Schmidt says

    If you weren’t trying to be cleverererer than me, you’d see I was talking about ‘hypothesis’ and ‘theory’ (as, roughly defined, idea and ‘proven’ fact).

    Given what you were responding to, this makes no sense.

    Or are we only allowed to look at the whole thing and never question the ‘official’ definitions?

    Question them all you want. Until you actually show that you understand the matter, you’ve little to offer towards answering said questions.

  278. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and KDRC, this is what I mean by backing up your claims with third party evidence. Evolution has been seen to occur: Lenski 1, being able to metabolize citrate instead of glucose; Lenski 2, how the bacteria did it.

    That is what you need for each and every claim you make. Otherwise, to quote Christopher Hitchens (first quote): That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Which is frankly, everything you have said all day….

  279. Louis says

    I would like to question 17th century economic history, in particular the use of the word “economics”. Pity I know fuck all about it. Ah well, that’s never stopped anyone.

    The word “economics” is used in my social circle, and using our own special dictionary compiled by the great Lexicographer, Barry Shiteweasel, to mean “a right good happy bumming off a very nice chap you met at the cricket”. It’s in very common use down our way, dontcherknow.

    I heard that Angela Merkel and Silvio Berlusconi are really into economics. Just sayin’. Someone should look into it. Any suggestion otherwise is anti Goatse, and that’s not science.

    Louis

  280. indicus says

    Hmmm, lets see. Yes, I am white. My family wasn’t in this country until right after WWI so I can claim no connection to slavery (in fact, half my family is Sicilian, who back in the old country were treated virtually as slaves themselves). There are no Klan members or other assorted scumbags in the lineage. I work for a living (service industry… the same one staffed by non-whites who I am somehow leeching off of) and used said funds to put myself through college. This includes a start in community college… the same one where all the non-white individuals whom I’ve supposedly oppressed go. After getting my associates, I received a pretty good hand with student loans because I had paid attention and got good grades, NOT because I’m white (a couple of my black classmates beat me and got scholarships). Can anyone explain to me how my skin color entails ANY privilege whatsoever? You may feel that being white automatically makes you the scum of the earth and that no amount of groveling can make up for that. But everything I have gotten so far I’ve gotten because I WORKED for it… not because the ‘ol white boys network set me up. Take your ‘white privilege’ rants and stick them up your hypocritical asses.

  281. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But everything I have gotten so far I’ve gotten because I WORKED for it… not because the ‘ol white boys network set me up. Take your ‘white privilege’ rants and stick them up your hypocritical asses.

    Ahem, are you being funny, or are you being serious? You worked because of history, not just your efforts.

  282. Anthony K says

    Indicus, if you were anywhere near as hard-working as you like to tell yourself, you’d have picked up a fucking book at some point in college and learned to look concepts up before you blow your wad over them.

  283. John Morales says

    indicus:

    Can anyone explain to me how my skin color entails ANY privilege whatsoever?

    Do you deny that racism exists?

    If you do, then no explanation can be possible; if no, then your skin colour determines whether you’re subject to its effects or not — and not being subject to its effects is indeed a privilege.

  284. Louis says

    Old boys’ network? You think “privilege” means some group of guys hands shit to you on a plate? That white people don’t work or something? That intersectionalilty doesn’t exist?

    Oy vey! This one is too much like hard work, the wrong is fractal. I’m off to bed, it’s too damn late for fuckwits anyway. I’ve done mocking the clueless for the day. Roll on Wednesday. Fuck, it IS Wednesday.

    Curse you Internet!

    Louis

  285. Anthony K says

    This one is too much like hard work, the wrong is fractal.

    Eh, it could just be that indicus is conflating white privilege with wealth/class privilege.

  286. Jacob Schmidt says

    Yes, I am white. My family wasn’t in this country until right after WWI so I can claim no connection to slavery (in fact, half my family is Sicilian, who back in the old country were treated virtually as slaves themselves).

    You’ve outed yourself as an idiot within the first few lines. Par for the course, really.

    Can anyone explain to me how my skin color entails ANY privilege whatsoever?

    Hey dipshit, look waaaaaay up at comment 1: “I’ll just leave this here, on the off chance some peoples might wish to learn a little something: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.

    Take your ‘white privilege’ rants and stick them up your hypocritical asses.

    I highly doubt you could demonstrate hypocrisy (well, except for Dominic, but I’ve already covered that.).

  287. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Louis,
    It’s so true. As a lady of impeccable pastiness, I know that no matter how ignorant of other people’s lived experiences, of social sciences or of how systemic race-based oppression that has a history is just as ongoing and damaging as any other contemporary phenomenon with a history, I am an AWESOME ally. Sure, you’ll need to divert much of your energy and resources to politely educating me (even when I refuse to shut up and listen), tolerating my obtuseness on top of whatever else you are dealing with and of course, giving me plenty of head pats and cookies. Sure, I’ll continue to derail your discussions at every opportunity to tell you about MY feelings and how you are doing activism wrong, but you better be nice to me or else I might not be your ally anymore. NOT that I’m racist or anything, I just think you should think about how you’re really causing alot of these problems yourself. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps! Race is just a construct! I don’t even see color! (which makes driving hard.)

    -fin-

    If you don’t have a Bingo yet, I’m sorry. I tried.

  288. kayden says

    Haven’t read all the comments, but have to give it up to Cerberus von Snarkmistress’ comments, especially #100. Thank you! Also love your blog.

    Can’t understand why it’s so difficult for some people to understand that the “I’m Black and I’m Proud” and the “Black is beautiful” movements were born out of a response to White oppression/racism. It was an attempt to say, that dang it, I’m proud of who I am despite society telling me every day that I am lesser than. Why is that so hard to understand?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_is_beautiful
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Power#Black_is_beautiful

  289. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Come again?

    At every point in time in the US, various groups were’ “no X need apply”, but for some, like blacks, that hasn’t gone away. But it did go away for the Italians, Greeks, Russian, MittleEuropeans, Arabs, etc….

  290. PatrickG says

    Look at this thread for an example. Are we moving past a 101 conversation and deconstructing the higher level? No, because an “ally” needed to be babysat through the basics. This has a direct psychological cost for all those who participate and witness it. And if that backlash doesn’t happen, then it reinforces the dominant narrative even in a resistant space.

    White Male™ weighing in on this, because, y’know, my opinion matters. This (very long) comment is directed at KDRC.

    @KDRC:

    Seriously, take a step back. You’ve gotten massively invested in this discussion, past the point of rationality.

    Go back and read your original post. Ask yourself just why it spiraled so far.

    When reading this thread, I actually had a lot of thoughts similar to what you’re expressing here. I actually have been told — in meatspace, to my face — that as a white male, I’m directly complicit in the oppression of people of color, merely by the fact of my existence. Some of the responses you got provoked responses in me.

    That response is pretty similar to your position. Of course I’m not responsible for enslaving people! Of course I don’t actively persecute and oppress other people. Of course I shouldn’t be held personally responsible for what I haven’t done. Of course I resent being identified with really shitty people, for whatever reason. I’m fairly low on the totem pole, I didn’t choose the system, I don’t like the system, and so on and so forth. The world’s a shitty place, I’m just trying to live in it, and all that.

    That kind of accusation provokes a really basic emotional response. It makes me angry. It angers me, when I get assigned motives and actions that aren’t true. It pisses me off to have people impugn my character and attribute such awful attitudes to me. It frustrates me when people seem to imply that I have more power than I do.

    But here’s where we differ: how do we handle that anger?

    I can choose to lash back. I can choose to express that anger and focus vigorously on arguments designed to prove that I really am a swell dude and people should treat me as such. I can come into a discussion of how some white people claim to be allies and really aren’t. I can focus on one thought bubble in a cartoon, be offended by it, and vigorously prosecute my case. When people claim that I’m derailing, or exhibiting racist behavior, I can take extreme offense and challenge that interpretation, because I know that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m well-versed in privilege theory. I recognize systemic oppression. I try my best to make sure I don’t reinforce that, even though I know I fail at it frequently. But that racist caricature? That’s not me. And I can prove it, damn it!

    In other words, I can do what you have done here.

    But, I choose not to. Because at the end of the day, I get to walk away. I get to go home/offline and not have these issues affect me. I don’t understand just how pressing this kind of issue is, because I don’t have to.

    Thus, in circumstances where I feel offended by something I really disagree with that touches on my racial privilege, I ask myself if it’s appropriate to act on that disagreement or sense of offense. Will it be useful? Am I only doing it to preserve my own self-image? What, really, do I have to gain from this? What impact am I going to have on other people if I defend myself? Is defending myself really necessary?

    In short, can I just walk away? Can I try to empathize and learn from the experience, maybe pick up on another facet of how other people experience life?

    Can I see past my own privilege and not become irrationally angry?

    That’s something you and I can both do. We can walk away, and learn something at the same time.. We can suffer a temporary bruising of our ego and have it really not matter. Other people can’t, and that’s for reasons that I can appreciate intellectually but will never really “get”.

    Take a look at what you’re doing in this thread. Even if you really think people are just fucking wrong — and this White Male™ doesn’t think they are — you’ve completely taken over the conversation and made it all about how You Are Right and Everyone Else Is Wrong. What are you hoping to achieve here? Is it anything more than self-protection? Are you trying to persuade people, or trying to preserve your own worldview, in which you figure prominently as The Guy Who Gets It Now Shut Up.

    From my perspective, it seems like you’re angry and maybe a bit hurt. So what? Just walk away and think about this. Learning opportunities are good!

  291. PatrickG says

    I’m sure my deep and profound thoughts would have been more impressive had not indicus come in and spoiled everything.

    Ah well.

  292. says

    There was a study done that showed that children of color, when asked to choose between a brown doll and a pink doll with questions like “which is the better doll? Which is the nicer doll? Which is the prettier doll? Which is the good doll? Which is the bad doll?” etc., more often chose the pink doll for the “good” attributes and the brown doll for the “bad” ones.

    The study was done decades ago when “Black Pride” and other mottoes were becoming popular.

    In light of that study, can you really condemn those statements of pride?

    When society is telling you “you are worth less” or perhaps even “you are worthless,” based on things you can’t change and which actually do not in any way reflect your worth as a person, these reactions are the ANTIDOTE.

    When they decide to round up blue-eyed people and put them in camps, you gonna argue that those inmates saying “Blue is Beautiful!” are doing the same thing as those rounding them up?

    Oh, and fellow white guy, when you say you “rarely” experience privilege due to your skin color, please be aware that “rarely” is not a synonym for “always.”

    We white people are ALWAYS privileged over non-whites in this country. Ever moment of ever day of our lives.
    If we are stopped for a petty crime, we are likely to be better treated than a non-white person.
    If we need medical help. Schooling. Loans. Polite treatment from strangers. Shorter prison sentences.
    We are ALWAYS more likely to get these advantages and countless others.

    These things don’t always happen, but the PRIVILEGE of their increased likelihood is always present.
    As long as we are white.

    So unless you are “rarely white,” then no, you do not “rarely” experience privilege.
    Privilege goes with you everywhere you go. As it goes with me, a poor, disabled, undereducated but definitely white guy.

    It’s a card that’s always in your wallet that others pull out for your benefit even when you don’t know it.

  293. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Recall ilk, indicus is a gun nut….Nuff said. Utterly and totally delusional.

  294. says

    Indicus: Read this. It may be helpful.

    Pro-tip to people trying to nitpick a detail in someone else’s vast field of study: you run the risk of doing a half-vast job of it.

  295. ck says

    Am I the only one thinking that “Letter From the Birmingham Jail” needs to be required reading? Perhaps then we could be spared from people thinking their objection calling for restraint was somehow original.

  296. says

    Can anyone explain to me how my skin color entails ANY privilege whatsoever?

    @indicus
    Ooooh I know this one. *Hermoine-hand raise*
    You had the privilege of not being sabotaged. Really. People left you alone, or actually looked at your merits instead of assuming someone like a *insert minority group of choice* shouldn’t/couldn’t possibly be so smart/hardworking/other positive quality.
    I think it was on here (i.e. Pharyngula, not this particular thread) that learned about Black Wall Street in Tulsa, OK. If that doesn’t disabuse you of the “bootstraps” myth, I don’t know what will.
    Not everyone that works hard gets what they deserve. You have the privilege of the system not actively getting in your way.
    /delurk

  297. says

    Also, PatrickG @327, excellent comment.

    Real allies will walk away from the defensive response to having their privilege pointed out, putting the time and effort into thinking about it.

    High-mantenance allies instead threaten to walk away from the social justice cause which requires dismantling their privilege, because pointing out their privilege like that really hurt their feelings.

  298. says

    There was a study done that showed that children of color, when asked to choose between a brown doll and a pink doll with questions like “which is the better doll? Which is the nicer doll? Which is the prettier doll? Which is the good doll? Which is the bad doll?” etc., more often chose the pink doll for the “good” attributes and the brown doll for the “bad” ones.

    The study was done decades ago when “Black Pride” and other mottoes were becoming popular.

    The study has been repeated updated recently, in various forms, and signs of change are few and far between.

  299. chigau (違う) says

    Jamie

    You have the privilege of the system not actively getting in your way.

    Nice delurk, there.
    Well said.

  300. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Indicus,
    I grew up middle class and white in a suburb on the outskirts of rural KY.
    A friend of mine grew up poor and black in the Cabrini Greens of Chicago.

    He wouldn’t tell you to fuck off. He’s a considerate and religious man. Hell, he even likes me. After what he’s been though, he finds it hard to be mean or judgmental to others. But, I have no such consideration for blinkered, privileged, ego-bloated fucks like you. So fuck off, you know-nothing asshat. If you think it was hard getting where you got in life, try doing it with less. Try doing it against some really stacked odds. You aren’t tough. You’re whiny and selfish and cannot see past your own vanity. That vanity, btw, is a marker of your privilege.
    *spit*

  301. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Jamie,
    Well said, but it is more than that. The system does not just stay out of your way, it greases your way. In effect, it is a different system depending on your privilege.

  302. ashley larrieux says

    @27

    “I do deny that I am in any way responsible for the causes of oppression, provided I don’t actively participate. I merely have that responsibility to make sure I don’t abuse my privilege.”

    whoaaa. no. you do not get to just sit there and passively enjoy your privilege and then say you are not an oppressor because you haven’t actively done anything racist, other people did it or are doing it.

    because you do have unearned privilege over others based on your race, unless you are actively FIGHTING to end that privilege and racism, you are completely responsible for the oppression, just as responsible as any loud and proud white power racist.

    you were born into an oppressor group, and you are responsible for that group’s oppression of others unless you actively and humbly are in the fight to end it entirely. you do not get a free pass, you do not get to lean back and enjoy the benefits of that oppression and then try to claim no accountability for it.

  303. says

    KDRC @294

    You haven’t really answered my concern, namely, how can you claim to have the definitive definition of the word? Sociology is a science. Fine, whatever. So what?

    So what? Um, it’s an academic discipline with a robust history specifically designed to assess the most valid theories of human experiences.

    So on the subject of human experiences, especially on the impact and characteristics of racism (which sociology (and ethnic studies) would be the chief area of focus on the question).

    It’s like going: “Fine, biology is a science on this topic of evolution. Pshaw, so what?” It is the subject that studies this kind of shit.

    If you’re not a denialist of reality, then the major academic discipline looking into a topic is KINDA SUPER FUCKING IMPORTANT to the topic.

    Oh wait, I think I just realized the problem.

    If everyone switched hypothesis and theory around, including the scientists, they’d mean different things.

    Yes, if the entire english-speaking world decided that cat meant balloon and balloon meant armadillo. That would indeed be a massive switch and things would mean different things. And well… that would be asolutely fascinating for linguistics. I mean, instant switching? That’s huge and they’d be fascinated to see if it had parallels with slower evolutions with language or something much more dramatic. I mean, the written record shows a near instantaneous change, that’s huge.

    You can’t scientifically change the definition of a word like that.

    Weren’t you, not five seconds ago arguing that words were perfectly mutable and could mean whatever the fuck you want and there’s no way to say your definition was “worse” than the current working definition used by sociologists to describe the unique way actual existing phenomena impact life experiences?

    And this… wow. You do realize as a queer-identified person that that is the single most fucked up argument you could have pulled out of your ass, right? I mean, you do know that is currently the argument by religious zealots on why queer people can’t ever be allowed to marry? Right?

    I mean, you can change word definitions: say, atom used to mean ‘indivisible’, now we define it as a divisible thing, and that’s just undeniable fact.

    Funny fact of life brought up by several people and ignored by you?

    The fact that the “original” usage of the word racism was its sociological definition. The “common usage” actually has come to be watered down largely because of a constant campaign among racist organizations to create a false equivalence between the prejudice of people of color towards whites (usually consisting of them not charitably accepting their dead kids with a smile on their faces) and the institutional oppression of people of color by whites.

    So yeah, the word has changed, kinda. In much the same way that evolution in common usage or theory in common usage has changed (also a point, previously brought up).

    But it has not changed the factual phenomenon charted, studied, and referred to by countless sociological papers and corroborated by the lived experiences of all impacted by it.

    Racism is an abstract concept, so you don’t get to change the definition through a few peer reviewed papers.

    It’s the sum history of an entire discipline. A specific means of referring to a phenomenon accurately and without question by all those in the discipline. And has been for decades upon centuries.

    It’s no more “changed by a few peer reviewed papers” than say “evolution” as a word was changed by a few peer reviewed papers from the definitions that creationists would prefer to use (because it makes it easier to dismiss the vast sum of knowledge on the subject as you have).

    And you know what, let’s talk about the phenomenon itself. That distinct different pressure when power is added to prejudice and how this is what even the vast majority of “laymen” are referring to when they most commonly refer to “racism”.

    Or are you just going to go all in on denialism?

  304. says

    KDRC @297

    If you weren’t trying to be cleverererer than me, you’d see I was talking about ‘hypothesis’ and ‘theory’ (as, roughly defined, idea and ‘proven’ fact). I really didn’t think I needed to go into detail on that one but you went there…

    Fine, clever dick. Let’s cut through some of the bullshit.

    The current prevailing theory on racism in academic circles is that it is a function of prejudice and power, self-reinforcing due to the inertia of the status quo and those it benefits in the form of social domination.

    Do you accept this theory as the oft-studied, repeatedly demonstrated real-world occurring phenomenon it is?

    Or are you denying an academically accepted theory because it doesn’t let you off the hook for perpetuating racist systems?

    In short, are you a denialist about the current academic research on racism and how it functions?

    And please, do try being honest.

  305. says

    KDRC @301

    Yep. He hasn’t come out and said “WHAT ABOUT TEH WHITE PEOPLE?!?” yet, but I think enough of this thread has been dedicate to our poor, trod upon, “ally” that the question is very much here in spirit.

    Meh, no, not coming out with that any time soon. Pretty much made myself clear on that one.

    That you have. Though not in the way that your self-image as a non-racist person is desperately counting on. Much to your protestations to the contrary.

  306. Anri says

    Way, way post-relevance here, but I think I might be able to help anyone still confused with what the pile on might just be about…

    I do not see that what you’re claiming as a defense is actually equivalent to these practices. In my opinion, the proper response to people (say, whites) historically claiming inherent benefits for their race (superior intellect, trustworthiness, hard work) is not to create an alternative set of inherent benefits for your own race to cancel out their negative ones. It is to recognise that inherent benefits of race are a completely made up concept that can only be detrimental.

    *whew!*
    Thank goodness we got your opinion!
    Otherwise, we might have had to listen to PoC talk about ways to help alleviate racism. And that would clearly be counterproductive, because PoC aren’t as smar….
    *ahem*
    I mean they get all emotional and stop thinkin…
    *cough*
    I mean they* have some good ideas, to be sure, but these ideas won’t appeal to normal societ….

    LOOK MY OPINION IS BETTER AND THAT’S TOTES NOT RACIST AND BESIDES RACIST MEANS ONLY WHAT I SAY AND YOUR BEING OPPRESSED MAKES ME ALL UNCOMFY AND SHUT UP!

    *(and by they I don’t mean they in any sort of a bad way, as if it was different from yanno, real people, yanno – us, by which I mean me – but I mean some wibbly-wobbly they that has no baggage whatsoever and is all full of good happy smooth creamy allied stuffs.)

    …did I get that right?

  307. A. Noyd says

    [Only up to 300, but I’m not going to catch up before I get dinner, so here:]

    KDRC (#10)

    Say “I admire Martin Luther King”, or “I disapprove of Hitler”. But don’t say “I’m proud to be black”, as though race actually means something in that sense, and you can somehow claim a person’s actions for yourselves because you happen to share a skin tone or ancestry, or even a culture.

    Not even a week ago, I wrote this in a comment at Greta’s:

    I’m reminded of how, on the other side of this same coin, fools object to things like black pride and gay pride on the grounds that being black or gay isn’t an accomplishment and “everyone is equal” and they’d get yelled at for having white pride or straight pride and therefore it makes no sense and isn’t fair.

    Really, my fellow white people need to get it through their heads that when they act like the most important thing in the world is that PoC not generalize about white people (rather than white people working hard to overcome racism and relying on PoC to decide for themselves whether we’re allies), they’re actually proving themselves to be “like that.” As in, “we’re not all like that.” I’d say it’s a catch-22, but you can potentially get out of it by declining to say ignorant, self-serving shit and relying on PoC to evaluate you on your individual merits.

    (#151)

    Really, go ahead and be proud of your race, I really don’t give much of a fuck. I don’t want to ban it or anything. I just think it’s a fundamentally meaningless concept.

    Race is a meaningless (arbitrary, really) concept biologically. It’s not a meaningless concept socially because people collectively believe in the concept and act on it. Like money. Money is just as fundamentally meaningless as race when you get right down to it. But I fucking dare you to go and snatch some of those funny paper rectangles out of the hands of the people at the ATM and see where that gets you.

  308. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Caine,
    It was bad. The stress of it left it’s permanent marks on him. I never had to know hunger. He did. I went to college. He went to prison. We grew up at the same time, only hours apart. But we did not come up in the same world.

  309. PatrickG says

    @ docfreeride, 336

    Thanks for the thumbs up. Not long ago I was sort of at the place KDRC is at. I’m proud to admit that the hivemind has infected me. :)

    Now if I could figure out how to discursively spread that knowledge to others, I might actually qualify as an ally. Until then, I’ll count myself in the neutral-but-possibly-positive category.

    Seriously though, FTB has really given me a great deal to chew on. It’s not easy, and it’s easily all-too-abstract. BlackSkeptics, Avicenna, and Crommunist have all had a lot of impact on my thinking.

    After all, it doesn’t affect me. I figure the least I can do is speak up and let people know that their words and efforts are having impact.

  310. says

    Jackie @341

    And also Jamie’s excellent comment @335

    Well said, but it is more than that. The system does not just stay out of your way, it greases your way. In effect, it is a different system depending on your privilege.

    This.

    I never got such a perfect demonstration of thus until I was out at trans* at work. The way promotion opportunities vanished instantly. The way the “replacement male” was treated instantly in kind once I had “taken myself out of the pool”. The way the same work done in the same way was interpreted in whole new ways and how there was literally nothing anymore I could do to stay on good sides or even stay employed.

    That was such a painfully perfect demonstration of privilege and its loss. Going from (in the eyes of the employing world) cis male to trans* female and then back to cis male (due to being successfully bullied back into the closet) reveals exactly how those oppressions work and what is physically lost.

    It would be amazing if everyone could have a similar experience, just for a random day, suddenly living life as someone exceedingly marginalized.

    Then you’d understand that there’s still further to fall.

    I’m really lucky I wasn’t black. I doubt I’d have narrowly survived my life so far if I was.

  311. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    A little background;
    *Trigger Warning for racism and violence*

    The last lynching where I was born occurred when my grandfather was just five. He recalled to me that his mother packed the family a picnic and took all her kids. He said that alot of families did that. According to my father when MLK was shot and he was just a boy my grandfather remarked, “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer man”.

    I’m one generation away from that. N*gger wasn’t a bad word in grandpap’s day. It was just what they called black folks. (Yes, I know it really was, but they didn’t know that.) My dad did his best to show me how wrong that was. My mother, who has black friends, dontcha know, told me that marrying outside my race was cruel to the children, because of all the racists…that she wasn’t one of…but seriously…don’t do it. I have friends who were beaten by their daddies for being seen in a car with a black man. That shit was scary to us white kids. Imagine, Indicus & like, what it was like for the non-white kids.

    Are you even capable of that? Do you really think after all that our society just up and stopped being racist? The pillars that hold up systematic oppression were not built in one generation and they were not knocked down in one either. That’s just a fairy tale ignorant white people tell themselves so that they can feel good about themselves while they continue to reap the benefits of that oppression.

    At least, that’s what it looks like to me. All I really know about being on the other side of racism I learned second hand. You know what that is? That’s called “privilege”.

    So please, shut up and listen.

  312. Anri says

    indicus:

    Awesome. Just so I can get it in my notes, should we assign the definitive end of racism in the US to your birthdate, or is it some later milestone in your life? Since racism’s gone and all.

    Can we assume that you attribute PoC doing worse on pretty much every societal indicator on some inherent problem with them? I mean, since racism’s gone, we can’t say it’s that anymore, right?

  313. says

    Another thing worth noting?

    Allies, when actually trusted as such, have an inordinate power to wound when they fuck up. If a minority status person trusts and ally and drops their guard around them and the ally decides to be a colossal wanker, it cuts incredibly deeply, smashing home the traumas and bypassing the built-up social defenses to horrible people saying and doing horrible things.

    It’s why many minority status people will gladly take a cartoonish bigot saying the worst things they can imagine over an ally fucking up in a bad way any day of the week. Even though the ally might mean better and may have a better record of trying, that doesn’t help the stings of the wounds.

  314. mykroft says

    This is white male privilege. A white male teacher got one month in jail for having sex with a 14 year old student, who later committed suicide. He said she acted older than 14.

    If the teacher had been black or female, I’d feel safe in betting that the sentence would probably have been much more severe.

  315. ck says

    @mykroft

    Black? Sure, there would be hell to pay. Female? I wouldn’t expect much different treatment, although it would probably largely depend on the age and relative attractiveness of the teacher in question. I recall plenty of stories about this where there was talk that the victim was “lucky” to have sex with such a “hot” teacher.

  316. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Indicus:
    What are you doing here?
    This is not a gun thread.

    And yes, you do have tremendous benefits by virtue of being white* (and male, and able bodied, and heterosexual. Unlike those innate characteristics, you clearly had to work hard to become the asshole you are today. You should take pride in that. Oh, wait…)

    *white privilege- from Caine’s link back #1**:

    Daily effects of white privilege

    I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.

    1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

    2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

    3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

    4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

    5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

    6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

    7. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

    8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

    9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

    10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.

    There are many more examples of the benefits society conveys to white people that are not conferred to PoC.

    **
    This is for the benefit of lurkers. It will take all of our powers combined to make a dent in the assholery of Indicus, and even then, it probably would not last.

  317. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    KDRC:
    any chance you will address CJOs #304 or Cerberus’ #344?
    I hope you will read those comments and realize how wrong you have been.

    I recall reading a comment here in the last year or so (by SallyStrange, if memory serves) defining racism as ‘prejudice plus power’. I remember initially balking at the idea. Yes, me. A PoC had internalized some racist shit in this country. But the difference between you and I? My balking remained in my head. I accepted that provisionally and continued to pay attention in threads involving race. I read comments. I lurked. My understanding grew. I clicked links. In time I realized the truth in the original comment.

    Having read #304 and #344, I have once again learned something of great benefit.
    You may dismiss Sociology bc it is not a hard science.
    I do not bc it is relevant to all of us. Every. Single. Day.

  318. says

    @ Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) #62:

    Coming in late, but I wanted to say: I hear you.

    A medical emergency and 15 subsequent surgeries over the last couple years has left me permanently disabled. And yeah, I know it doesn’t make sense to be ashamed of something I have no control over, but I am. I’ve tried not to be, tried all the positive thinking, “look at yourself naked in the mirror and tell yourself you’re beautiful” psych BS my therapist wanted me to do, and the net result was a broken mirror. I’ve started getting involved with a disability rights group in my area, and I would be the first person to tell another disabled person that they are beautiful, worthwhile, valuable…but I don’t feel that for myself. I can’t honestly say I’m “proud” or even “not ashamed”.

    I mean, it’s to the point that I can’t trust when another person flirts with me, because I really believe that only a “freak” could ever be attracted to me. Or they would be horrified, disgusted, angry if they ever saw me naked…like I’m lying just for wearing clothes in public. (Yeah, even though I’ve been attracted to other disabled people…it’s not rational, but I can’t move past it, no matter how much I try.)

    I have mad respect for disabled people who able to get there, to be proud of who they are. I hope I’m able to say that I’m honestly proud someday. And fuck anybody who wants to say that it’s divisive or irrational or whatever, they are just broadcasting their ignorance in a flashing neon sign. I’m white, and I’m not going to pretend that it’s the same thing as women of color, but I do get the desire (the need, really) to have pride in who you are, and how hard it is, nearly impossible, when everything in the dominant culture tries to make you ashamed.

  319. says

    You may dismiss Sociology bc it is not a hard science.

    On the contrary, achieving high quality data, good methodology, and all the rest, is quite difficult in the social sciences, a natural consequence of the subject of study being human experience and human relationships.

    Reminds me of Ishmael, yes, that one, with the Secret-ish wishful thinking, but there were interesting points scattered throughout, like this one: why are people so resistant to the idea that study, reason, and empirical evidence–i.e., scientific investigation–can tell us useful things about how to live well and treat each other well? I suppose because it involves really dealing with how bad things are in the current status quo, which means risking experiencing a certain amount of *shock horror* guilt, shame, whatever it is you’re trying to avoid.

  320. says

    Well. By the time I caught up, KDRC seems to have flounced, and indicus isn’t worth engaging with on any level but invective (speaking of which, fuck off, indicus, you wretched assclam), but count me as another white dude who used to pull the ‘colorblind’ routine until I actually learned something about how systems work. One reason indicus is not worth engaging is that indicus is a libertarian, or someone indistinguishable from one, and libertarianism is entirely premised on a flat refusal to recognize that systems even exist, let alone how they work. That’s also why I’m not a libertarian anymore. I don’t know what KDRC’s problem is, but seriously dude, it’s time to grow a clue.

  321. says

    @ SallyStrange 191

    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times. I don’t know why I ever thought to put it this way, but I am so saving this for the next time some True Skeptic pulls this bullshit (sadly, pretty sure it’ll happen again). Because of course they would be horrified if we all suddenly started using “theory” to mean “idea pulled out of our ass” in deference to the creationists, but can’t be bothered to learn the vocabulary for the discussion they’re in.

    Attention Racist Dickwads: When you whine about how “Black people can be racist, too!” you sound exactly as ignorant as creationists who say, “Evolution is just a theory!” You are every anti-vaccination activist who fear-mongers that “Vaccines have toxins!” You are every alt med fanatic explaining that “Homeopathy is possible because of quantum entanglement.” And we have every right to heap the same derision upon you as you would upon them.

    Words have meanings. Especially specialized words in academic contexts. And often, those meanings differ strikingly from the watered-down version in everyday life. How can you accept this in every other arena except sociological discussions about racism (or sexism, for that matter)? And you wonder why we don’t think you’re arguing in good faith?

    (Oh, that’s right, I forgot: Richard Dawkins says sociology isn’t a ‘science’ so I guess it doesn’t matter.)

  322. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Dominic, 71

    Racism is not about oppression. Even if white people had never done more than trade with Africans, provided they still thought of them as stupid and primitive, they would still be racists.

    Of course its about oppression. If white people had never done more than trade with africans, those thoughts would make them **racially prejudiced** but not racist.

    Prejudice is not sufficient to make a system of oppression. Racism is a system of oppression. To claim that mere prejudice is the substance of (and equivalent to) racism is to vastly misunderstand what the word is being used to describe.

  323. kittehserf says

    To the Horde: thank you. This isn’t a thread I can comment on (white Australian), just read and try to absorb.

    Except this:

    Oggy,

    Well we all know Caine is actually a 400lb trucker from Arkansas called Bubba. And also PZ. And several other commenters. Because we all are. Even you and me. In fact, we’re just talking to ourselves. I mean myself. Obviously.

    Did I just hurt my own damn FeeFees?

    Louis

    You too, huh? On Manboobz we’re all David, who’s a bunch of ferrets in cats suits, who’re in a man suit. Must be something in the water.

  324. says

    KDRC

    my own sloppy use of words.

    Again, had you paid attention to the rest of what I wrote, you’d know this was another sloppy word choice.

    you’re being deliberately obtuse

    So, we go from “my sloppy wording” to “you should have read my mind to know what I actually mean to “you’re being obtuse for not reading my mind”
    Keep it up, you sure make a great debater.

    Although if you do want to argue Germans are a more inherently warlike, uniform race than any other group on the planet, be my guest.

    Unlike you, when I type “culture”, I actually mean culture. I haven’t argued about race in that context. To tell it with the words of Lewis Carroll: Take care of the sense and the sounds take care of themselves.

    News flash. The UK has neo nazis. The US has neo nazis. Syria seems to be ruled by some kind of neo nazi. Saddam was a neo nazi.

    Somehow you seem to be ignorant of the meaning of the words “neonazi” and “inherently”.

    And that’s a great thing to be proud of. That’s a personal achievement. But it’s not a racial characteristic.

    It’s possible to be proud of refusing to be shamed and silenced, without being “proud of being black”.

    Head -> desk
    The achievement is NOT TO BE MADE ASHAMED OF BEING BLACK. It is linked to the skin colour, not because of genetics but because of the way society constructs race.

    For instance, a guy with brown skin and a guy with pale skin, have different skins. They don’t have different capacities for oppression – and if they do, you can’t tell from their skin.

    That’s the whole of my argument here.

    And it’s still bullshit because you act as if that brown guy (gotta be a guy, argument doesn’t work with women) and that white guy are not living in a society and are not part of a culture that treats them differently from before they were born, just like it treats men and women differently from before they are born. It would be totally possible that in another version of history white people would have become the oppressed minority while nothing is different about genes, but that doesn#t erase a few hundred years of white racism and colonialism right now.

    Some meanings we can give to race – people of colour more likely to be oppressed in current western society. White people more likely to experience privilege, less likely to encounter injustice.

    They are nt fucking “more likely”. They ARE. Even otherwise privileged wealthy hetero cis black people are.

    I’m not a sociologist, I’m a layman. For me, racism is simply prejudice, based on race. Power doesn’t qualify the term, it merely makes the consequences of racism worse.

    Yeah, and when I talk about the “theory of evolution” I can totally say that it means “wild guess” because I’m not a biologist and everything is allright.

    Because I did the homework, I heard what they want it to mean, and I disagree with their definition as unrealistically and unhelpfully narrow, effectively restricting it to something only those in the majority (i.e., Whites) can do.

    Dunning calling Kruger.
    Yeah, I mean, those scientists, using “theory” and giving it a totally different meaning and then expecting ordinary people to stick to that word when discussing science. They’re wrong! And I know better! Listen to MEMEME, not to people with degrees and such in that very field.

    I still completely fail to understand why you would go out of your way to call someone a racist, who actively hates the idea of prejudice based on race.

    It may be because of your whining how unfair discussions about race are on white people.

    I want people to stop assigning characteristics based on race. And I want people to stop visiting the sins of the fathers on the son.

    Shorter Dominic: I don’t see no colour, stop being mean to white people just because their whole socioeconomic status is based on the blod and sweat of POC

    Actually if I were going to say anyone was “so arrogantly entitled that you think you can redefine words according to your comfort” it would be whoever came up with the idea of redefining racism to exclude racial prejudice by minorities. But if it suits their own academic setting, that’s fine.

    Yeah, it’s just when those experts expect people to use well-defined jargon when their actual field of expertise is discussed that you think they should just drop it and use the first entry in a 5 bucks dictionary.

    Given my facts and research were “what does the dictionary say? What do people mean when they use the word?

    Oh my fucking gods, I swear I hadn’t read this before I typed the above.
    Hee’s some free and really important information for you: When discussing technical terms of a scientific discipline, and at this point it really doesn’t matter what discipline we’re talking about, be it natural science, social science or the arts, never ever use the run off the mill dictionary definition and claim to be more correct than the experts. It’s like using wikipedia in your PhD thesis.*

    *Unless your thesis is about Wikipedia

    Nah, that one works out. There’s a very good reason for maintaining the distinction between “an idea” and “a fact”.

    And neither of them mean “theory”. But you have already admitted that you’re ignorant about the reasons why sociologists defined the word as such so we all know that you’re just arrogantly and ignorantly bullshitting just like the creationist who keeps saying “it’s just a theory”

    Oh look. Black and white thinking. How appropriate.

    And we all know what “black” means in that context, right?

    Bicarbonate

    Yep. And the way I put it was all nicey-nice and non-confrontational, which is how DH said we should be talking. But he ignored me and my point and paid attention to you because you are speaking angrily, all the while criticizing you for it. So, his very actions show that what he said was not true.

    Welcome to the club. It’s something people here have noticed time after time again. The assclowns come here, make horrible statements and then have multiple people respond to them. Now they could perfectly well ignore all us angry people using Teh Mean Wördz and discuss with those who don’t, but they usually don’t do so. the polite ones get ignored.
    Alternatively they pick that one person and praise them for how reasonable and polite they are, not like all those shrill harpies….

    Anthony K, I love you.

    That doesn’t help you to move forward in the line*
    *in joke.

    Cerberus

    About how black children have already internalized black dolls being “ugly” and “dirty”, whereas white dolls are “pretty” and “pure”.

    There’s a number of biracial kids in my area. They are quite often the children of a white German woman and a black US soldier and quite often the relationships don’t make it through the rough waters of international marriages so in most cases you have single white mums with biracial children whose fathers who could teach them something about what that means are 10.000 miles away. It breaks my heart to see those kids draw themselves as white and blonde when they draw a picture of their families. And there is no sensitivity at.all. There’s a group with several biracial kids and the teachers still call apricot crayolas “skin colour”.

    Anthony

    Still, all that Pride is hurting the causes

    I’m confused, what have the poor lions done now?

    docfreeride

    An ally that requires more maintenance than zie provides help is an ally who can bloody well stay out of the way.

    QFMFT

    Caine
    Thanks for bringing that wonderful music to my attention. I love living in the internet.

    EEB

    I mean, it’s to the point that I can’t trust when another person flirts with me, because I really believe that only a “freak” could ever be attracted to me. Or they would be horrified, disgusted, angry if they ever saw me naked…like I’m lying just for wearing clothes in public. (Yeah, even though I’ve been attracted to other disabled people…it’s not rational, but I can’t move past it, no matter how much I try.)

    *hugs*
    Lying little shitty monkey brain (I suffer from that myself, although, I must add, not because of disability, I’m not claiming to know what you’re going through)

  325. says

    @Cerberus von Snarkmistress 356

    Allies, when actually trusted as such, have an inordinate power to wound when they fuck up. If a minority status person trusts and ally and drops their guard around them and the ally decides to be a colossal wanker, it cuts incredibly deeply, smashing home the traumas and bypassing the built-up social defenses to horrible people saying and doing horrible things.

    YES. Thank you. I said something very similar on one of the threads about Brian Dalton. His video fucked me up. I was triggered, hard, in a way I haven’t been in a while. I was not “offended” I wasn’t even “pissed off” I had a full-on PTSD reaction and was left shivering like a leaf. And the main reason was not the words. I’ve heard those words, read those words, heard and read far worse, in these discussion. I’ve been able to participate in comment debates, read disgusting victim-blaming screeds by MRA scum, with very little reaction beyond the natural revulusion any decent person feels.

    But that video messed me up good. And it was because I did not expect it. My defenses were dropped. I was ready to watch another funny Mr. Deity movie. I was subscribed to his channel; I was thrilled when the alert popped up, didn’t have an reason to wait and see if there was reaction elswehere before watching. Especially after the way he stood up for a victim himself, throwing elbows against misogynist trolls on youtube. I thought he was Good Guy. Maybe not quite “ally” status, but still, a trustworthy, decent dude. So my defenses were nonexistant, and when he lay in with the victim blaming, it hit hard. Probably would have hurt less if he’d somehow been able to reach through the screen and punch me in the nose.

    So yes, when an ally turns on you, it can cause significant damage to people.

    Not to mention, as others have, that it is a serious misuse of resources to be forced to spend so much of our* time not just educating allies, but holding their hands and gently leading then through the 101 stuff (usually again and again and gain and again). coddling their hurt feelings, bolstering their fragile egos. Any genuine ally would abhor the time and energy of the group being wasted on tending to them.

  326. says

    This Louis CK video seems appropriate: (tell me if I’m wrong obviously)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG4f9zR5yzY

    Oh god, I love being white, I really do. Seriously if you’re not white, you’re missing out because this shit is thoroughly good.
    Let me be clear: I’m not saying that white people are better. I’m saying that being white is clearly better ; who could even argue?
    If it was an option, I would re-up every year.
    […]
    If you’re white and you don’t admit that it’s great, you’re an asshole!!

    /delurk

  327. Pen says

    I have so many things to say white identity and the position of white people in multi-racial societies that seem totally tangential to this poster, and I ended up with just one of them which is more than long enough already.

    I love being part of one of London’s white minorities (a bit less than a third of the local population), partly because being ‘white’ is a lot more comfortable for me than those other times in my past where the particular variety of white person I am was a massive issue, and partly because the area is I live in is just fantastic in all sorts of ways. There would be so many things to say about it, but right now, I want to say that I do experience a lot of racism. And I really want to get this through, please listen carefully: less than 5% of that racism is what we usually call reverse racism (yeah, yeah, it happens), and more than 95% comes from other white people who are, well… interfering in a detrimental way with the affairs of white people in multiracial environments or maybe just making ignorant and offensive statements. Some of it is perfectly unconscious and innocent and some bloody well isn’t. Some I can handle, and some I can’t, or not very well.

    Note that when you unpack those actions, they interfere with me, a white person, directly and offensively, and try to make me act against what I consider my best interests but the end goal is to keep me away from interactions with people of other races especially ones in which (perish the thought) they might end up with power and authority. So while I’m the proximate victim of this particular kind of racism, there are also indirect victims who are not white who to be isolated and/or kept from holding roles they aspire to. This is the real problem of racism in my life and one day, I might get a few examples off my chest but right now it’s a bit too close to the bone. I’d love it if everyone checked their own experiences to see if they are getting this too. I wonder if you will start having them if you’re successful in your attempt to make this atheist movement more racially inclusive. It would look quite similar to the attacks leveled against men on this network which are aimed at separating them from feminist women they’re currently supporting both as feminists and as important contributors on other subjects.

  328. hexmage says

    I’ve only been actively looking into issues of sexism and racism for about six months, and as a straight white male who keeps in close contact with my bisexual biracial female cousin I most definitely understand that I am privileged. However, I still find myself offended by things such as the image at top. I understand that it does not affect me anywhere near as much as a racist image of a black person would affect them, but I still don’t get the point of mocking white people who get their feelings hurt when they are generalized (or creating something with the intention of hurting another person’s feelings in general). Mocking a person just seems unproductive and cruel to me unless they are truly a raging, unrepentant asshole.

    Is there something wrong with me that I’m not as amused by this image as PZ presumably is?

  329. Pteryxx says

    EEB: for what it’s worth, I read your post about body acceptance some months back, and if my personal reassurance would be at all welcome to you, have it and more. Otherwise I’ll just say you too are on the short list of people here that I greatly admire.

    Not to mention, as others have, that it is a serious misuse of resources to be forced to spend so much of our* time not just educating allies, but holding their hands and gently leading then through the 101 stuff (usually again and again and gain and again). coddling their hurt feelings, bolstering their fragile egos. Any genuine ally would abhor the time and energy of the group being wasted on tending to them.

    Relevant:

    The truth is, dezn_98 should not have had to make this blog post. It is a shame that dezn_98 did, and the shame is yours.

    The material available for white folks to educate themselves about racism has existed for over a century, and the sheer volume of material has been growing at an astonishing rate for over 50 years. So stop patting yourselves on the back and being thankful. Y’all are fcking late.

    Y’all ought to be going after racist claptrap with the ferocity and eloquence that you use to go after sexist claptrap, and you really ought to have been getting to that level of competence *years* ago. So quit sitting around here being brand new to this. Get wise, and fcking HELP US.

    Guest post at Dana Hunter’s: Quit Sitting Around Here Being Brand New to This

  330. Pteryxx says

    However, I still find myself offended by things such as the image at top.

    hexmage, that post I just linked also addresses you.

    And every time you get angry, or feel the tears coming, Stop. grab a journal. write down how you feel in that moment. don’t edit or correct. then close the book, and don’t go back to read what you wrote before. Go for a walk or something, clear your mind, and get back into the book you were reading, but start 5 pages back from where you got angry, and read it again. Keep going. Keep reading, keep thinking. And everytime you start to feel upset or angry, write it down, and don’t go back and read it.

    If all goes well, in a year you will be appalled by the person who wrote their anger in that book. Read it anyway. Understand what it took to come as far as you have come. Understand that there are literally millions of people who still think like that. that we’re all of us raised to think like that. we swim in racism as pervasive as the sexism you fishes have noticed. you have to actively work to raise your consciousness about racism in a way you didn’t really have to about sexism, because there were enough feminists talking that you were willing to listen to.

  331. Pen says

    @373 hexmage.

    How you take the image depends on the context. It appears without one but I suppose PZ means he’s heard such remarks, has had enough of hearing them, so he thought we might like to rehash them all over again??Not inherently offensive, but a bit tedious. I didn’t laugh, I’ve heard it before, done better. It wasn’t mocking a person but a stereotype. Does it promote the mockery of people and the reduction of people to that stereotype. Quite possibly.

  332. hexmage says

    This is what the sort of things I’ve been reading lately sound like they’re saying (in my opinion, of course): It is okay to generalize and mock white people (or any group that is privileged above your own) because they haven’t suffered as much as you have. Is that the gist of it? Because generalizing and mocking people in general seems like a bad thing to do to me.

    Sure, generalizing white people or men doesn’t harm them nearly as much as generalizing black people or women does, but jabbing someone with a needle and bludgeoning them with a baseball bat are still both pretty bad things to do even if one hurts another person a lot more than the other does. You might be jabbing with the needle because somebody in the other group hit you with a baseball bat, but hitting some random person isn’t going to help (and that person might have been someone who was appalled at you being hit with a baseball bat until you jabbed them with that needle).

  333. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    @Gilliel

    Alternatively they pick that one person and praise them for how reasonable and polite they are, not like all those shrill harpies….

    Anthony K, I love you.

    That doesn’t help you to move forward in the line*
    *in joke.

    A.K. said something about ducks that made me laugh, that’s why I wrote that. I don’t think he was being polite and reasonable. But I probably don’t get whatever it is you mean here.

  334. says

    hexmage

    This is what the sort of things I’ve been reading lately sound like they’re saying (in my opinion, of course): It is okay to generalize and mock white people (or any group that is privileged above your own) because they haven’t suffered as much as you have. Is that the gist of it? Because generalizing and mocking people in general seems like a bad thing to do to me.

    In that case you didn’t understand.
    A) Nobody mocks white/straight/cis/hetero people for being that. Please, show me examples where they have been mocked
    If you think that “don’t listen to old white guys talking about women’s abilities” counts think again. What is targetted is a specific behaviour that is perpetuated by members of the dominant group that actively hurts minorities.
    Nobody laughs about white people liking cake better than pie or talks about it
    B) If it’s not about you, it’s not about you. I might remember having said shit like the stuff in the poster, but I mostly got better.
    C) You can be offended all you want to. You can huff and puff all you want to. But you and I know perfectly well that by the end of the day we can walk away from it. This has about as much power over us as an angry toddler telling you that they hate you because you took away their sweeties. Because we can be very sure that 5 minutes later toddler and the world will come snuggling up to us. So, really, knock it off.

  335. The Mellow Monkey says

    hexmage

    As a light-skinned mixed-race person, I run into a mixture of privilege and prejudice on a daily basis. If being read as white in a situation gives me an advantage, I have a responsibility to use that to help people. If I gain privilege that my sister doesn’t have because she’s darker, the correct and beneficial response is not to cry that it’s not my fault. Saying that I’m ashamed of my skin color or talking about my hurt feelings doesn’t help.

    If someone acted like the figure in that image up there, they would be taking a situation that hurts people and making it all about the person it benefits. And they’d be doing it in a self-pitying way. That’s wrong. That’s a shitty thing to do. If that image offends you, you should ask yourself why. It’s not saying that people with white privilege should feel bad all the time. It’s actually saying the exact opposite of that.

    You have white privilege. Awesome! Now use it for something good! A good ally doesn’t sit around crying about guilt and expecting cookies. That’s the idea the comic is lampooning, not white allies in general.

  336. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    @EEB #362

    You sound further along than me in thinking/feeling about it. I just stay home where everything is, almost, organized so that I feel o.k. most of the time. I don’t look in the mirror and try NOT to think about it. It’s been five years now. For several of those years I was also homeless and repeatedly raped and otherwise abused. My next round of hospitalizations starts in January.

    As for disability being an aid in understanding racism, by analogy, by projection, I would add that I now understand why there are all these things you can’t do or even dream of doing simply because you wouldn’t be credible (outside of what you can’t in fact do). That’s very compact, not sure if it’s clear.

    At some point we can discuss this further. Right now, I’m not ready.

  337. Thumper; immorally inferior Atheist mate says

    @Indicus #314

    You may feel that being white automatically makes you the scum of the earth and that no amount of groveling can make up for that.

    Still stupid, I see. Good to know.

  338. sundiver says

    I’m white, cis and hetero, and need to be reminded that yes, I am in privileged place. I’ve never had to hear I only got the job because I’m white. I never had to have legislation enacted to ensure I’d be able to vote. I never had to have legislation enacted to ensure I’d not be discriminated against when I did any fucking thing. Now, look back on US history and realize how much screaming, yelling and loud protest it took to allow any other group (including the first inhabitants) the same rights my ancestors enjoyed from the time they first came ashore on this continent. And how much sniveling we hear when some member of the privileged group gets his/her feefees insulted. I thought the cartoon cut right down to the bone and was funny to boot. Too bad some thin-skinned twits didn’t get it. Oh, all those slighted by it, grow the fuck up. Sundiver out.

  339. says

    Something I feel got abandoned in discussing the actual origin of the phrase ‘racist’ as meaning ‘has negative effects that marginalize based on race’…
    ….It’s actually a useful fucking definition. KDRC probably hates that, really. See, if racism were about intent, we’d basically have to go off their own words as to whether he’s being racist, since we’re not mind readers; granted, you can get something out of actions re: intent, but it’s a lot harder. By narrowing it down to effects, it’s useful and can’t let asshat white people wriggle out by talking about their heart of hearts (which none of us gives a damn about anyway).

  340. Bicarbonate (formerly Elizabeth Hamilton) says

    @Rutee #386

    True. It’s useful. Otherwise any time somebody says “I hate X” you could say they are being “racist”. Actually, I’ve begun to hear it used that way, usually followed by “against”, and having nothing to do with race, like “racist against cigarettes”.

  341. Pen says

    @Giliel and hexmage

    A) Nobody mocks white/straight/cis/hetero people for being that. Please, show me examples where they have been mocked

    The poster in the OP stereotypes the expressions of white people regarding race with intent to disparage. Hexmage’s point isn’t that white people are being mocked for being white as far as I can tell but for their speech on the subject of race.

    If it’s not about you, it’s not about you. I might remember having said shit like the stuff in the poster, but I mostly got better.

    What do you say instead?

    But you and I know perfectly well that by the end of the day we can walk away from it.

    Oh! You get to walk away from your membership in a multiracial society? OK, to be fair, you meant you just get to decide whether you bother to think about it or not didn’t you? I think that if you really understood yourself as a fulltime member of a multiracial society whose every decision has some sort of impact you might be more worried about what kinds of stereotypes are floating around and affecting your participation. One ‘pretty little white girl saying silly things’ cartoon might be good for a laugh but I hope you have access to some other models for positive participation. (Please share them by the way…)

    PS. ‘Shutting up and listening’ isn’t a complete and sufficient model for positive participation unless you are unemployed and disenfranchised… and even then…

  342. Pteryxx says

    PS. ‘Shutting up and listening’ isn’t a complete and sufficient model for positive participation unless you are unemployed and disenfranchised… and even then…

    Of course not. Nobody claimed it was. It’s a necessary, basic, bare-minimum first step. One all too many allies obviously fail at. Hence this discussion. It’s almost impossible to have a grown-up conversation about any steps beyond the first while supposed allies are continuously not-listening-and-not-shutting-up.

  343. roro80 says

    hexmage — despite the 17 metric fucktons of bad faith argument going on in this thread, I’m going to throw caution to the wind and assume that you’re arguing in good faith, as have a couple of others already. Who you should thank for taking their time to educate you.

    This is what the sort of things I’ve been reading lately sound like they’re saying (in my opinion, of course): It is okay to generalize and mock white people (or any group that is privileged above your own) because they haven’t suffered as much as you have. Is that the gist of it? Because generalizing and mocking people in general seems like a bad thing to do to me.

    This graphic isn’t mocking “white people”, and it’s not “generalizing”. It is mocking a very specific set of reactions to conversations and activism about race that people of color and/or those who have been working for racial equality for a while hear over and over and over again. Like, we’ve heard it so many times it’s almost funny. You say you’ve been working through issues of race and gender for around 6 months, so you’re almost certainly still in the neophyte stage on this stuff — maybe getting the general concept, but haven’t gone 15 rounds with the people in your life, and haven’t worked in multiple organizations, and aren’t ready yet to be an active part of the anti-racism activism community. I’m guessing. You haven’t heard the white people (who think they’re amazingly colorblind and non-racist, of course) you’re trying to get to be less racist say these things seven hundred times in order to deflect blame and focus the conversation on themselves and try to prove how awesomely unracist they are. I’m not kidding when I say that pretty much every conversation having to do with race is infiltrated by some (or multiple) white person who says exactly these things. It’s not every white person, but it’s every public or semi-public conversation about race. Not exaggerating — every single one. This thread is a good example, but if you look around anywhere else, you’ll see it there too.

    So if you don’t get the joke, stick around for a few years and you will. In the meantime, if you are involved in a conversation about race and you find yourself being tugged to say one of these things: don’t. Even if you don’t understand why yet. Once you hear the vitriolic racist fuckwads use the same lines enough times, you’ll get it. So not only is the graphic an in-joke for anti-racist veterans, but it’s also a handy cheat-sheet on how not to do ally work.

  344. Jacob Schmidt says

    The poster in the OP stereotypes the expressions of white people regarding race with intent to disparage.

    Does it? It seems to explicitely mock the concept of how terrible “white guilt” is. That is to say, it mocks specific ideas commonly held by white people, not white expression as a whole.

    Really, it’s no different than the Jim Hines comic a while back, mocking the typical reactions sexual assault victims get for trying to report their assault.

    One ‘pretty little white girl saying silly things’ cartoon might be good for a laugh but I hope you have access to some other models for positive participation. (Please share them by the way…)

    Right, we couldn’t just have a good laugh. Any time spent not educating white people to lazy to go look for themselves (even if looking means looking in the very thread, where both PatrickG and Pteryxx have offered suggestions, among others) is wasted time, eh?

    Ignoring the fact where this entire thread is mostly people trying to educate some poor white dude on 101 level stuff he refuses to engage with, of course. It’s rather difficult to suggest models for positive participation when people can’t get the basics down.

    ‘Shutting up and listening’ isn’t a complete and sufficient model for positive participation…

    Shutting up and listening is a requirement for participation; anyone too self absorbed to acknowledge and account for the experience of others won’t be much help.

  345. roro80 says

    One ‘pretty little white girl saying silly things’ cartoon might be good for a laugh but I hope you have access to some other models for positive participation.

    I personally was planning on setting up an entire anti-racist movement based on this one cartoon, so thank god you warned me in time that it might not be sufficient.

  346. says

    Giliell:

    Caine
    Thanks for bringing that wonderful music to my attention. I love living in the internet.

    Me too. I was past excited to be able to share it!

    Echoing everything MM said @ 381. I too am a light skinned mixed race person. It’s my responsibility to be aware of my privilege, to constantly re-adjust my perceptions and thinking and help others. Whining about the state of my skin isn’t helpful to anyone.

  347. piegasm says

    One ‘pretty little white girl saying silly things’ cartoon might be good for a laugh but I hope you have access to some other models for positive participation.

    This is exactly the kind of shit people get so exasperated with. Because this cartoon is apparently the extent of your knowledge about how this behavior is viewed in social justice circles, you apparently think it’s the extent of everyone else’s knowledge on the subject as well. Then you feel perfectly justified wondering aloud whether they have a better model than a cartoon. As if they wouldn’t have thought of that. As if you know fuck all about it.

    It’s just like King Dominic up there pitching a fit about the definition of racism. Multiple people tell him that the sociological definition is the original but he completely ignores that. He’s so fucking entitled he actually thinks that, because this is his first encounter with it, that people here made it up on the spot just to avoid engaging with his clearly flawless arguments.

    ‘Shutting up and listening’ isn’t a complete and sufficient model for positive participation unless you are unemployed and disenfranchised… and even then…

    It’s a necessary first step. Because you’re not going to learn anything if you won’t shut the fuck up and stop presuming to disagree with people who are experts or near experts on a topic which you know next to nothing about. Someone please explain to me what is so fucking onerous about not running one’s mouth about shit one doesn’t know anything about.

  348. says

    One ‘pretty little white girl saying silly things’

    Because this is a serious PEEVE: the word you want is WOMAN. FFS, I am sick to death of the constant infantilization of women.

  349. Anthony K says

    Someone please explain to me what is so fucking onerous about not running one’s mouth about shit one doesn’t know anything about.

    For us straight, white, cis dudes, it’s the only hardship we face. Well, that and ‘not being allowed’ to say the N-word. (Just made you say it in your head, Louis CK). Every one of us. (Except for indicus. He somehow missed his privilege card in the mail and had to sweat and toil instead. Happens sometimes.)

    It’s our version of being targeted by Stop and Frisk. “Aw, man, I gotta learn something before I start lecturing? Fuck that noise. I got a penis and objectivity. You folks should be lucky to benefit from my life wisdom accumulated over many hours playing Halo and reading Watchmen.”

  350. flex says

    roro80 @390 wrote,

    It’s not every white person, but it’s every public or semi-public conversation about race. Not exaggerating — every single one.

    About half-way through reading this thread I got hit with an incredible feeling of deja-vu.

    Of course, I had read all the arguments by Dominic in previous iterations of this topic. So there wasn’t anything mystical about it, I had seen all this before.

    Having hung around here for ages, and not done my share of the heavy lifting, I’ll simply say that I really do appreciate those who have the knowledge, time, and passion to continually repeat the -101 stuff.

    Not only can I always use a refresher, but there are undoubtedly plenty of lurkers who are being exposed to these concepts for the first time. So even if Dominic managed to miss the point of the poster, that white guilt is a narcissistic avoidance of dealing with the continuing racism in our society, it is highly likely that other readers were enlightened (and hopefully inspired to continue to educate themselves).

    My fear is that until a sufficient number of people understand the -101 stuff, there will be little action to change the status quo. So the basics are going to have to be repeated ad nauseous.

    I’m very glad there are people around here willing to do that. Thank you all.

  351. Millicent says

    This lurker is reading and paying attention. I’m hugely grateful to those of you who have the spoons to do the education work. I have learned. I continue to learn. Thank you.

  352. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Pen:
    Not sure how you missed it, but the poster is not about EVERY white person. It is directed at the white people who say that stuff. If you’ve never said anything like the phrases on the poster, then the poster is not about you.
    Given your offense–which I note does not amount to harm comparable to being on the receiving end of inequality*–have you ever said anything like those phrases? If you have, then this post, and many of the comments are directed at you. If not, as Giliell said, you can walk away and forget all about this. Your life will not change. Blacks and Hispanics will still be oppressed.

     

    *racism is a far bigger problem and negatively impacts people far more than a poster that causes hurt feelings.

  353. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Slight change to my last comment.
    “People of Color will still be oppressed.”

    In fighting against racism, it is preferable to be as inclusive as possible. My original statement was not. Apologies to those I made invisible.

  354. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Millicent:

    We are born owing nothing to anyone and everything to everyone.
    –Kahlil Gibran

    You can thank us, and it’s nice to get thanks, it helps keep us going. But it’s not necessary. We do this because we have an obligation to make the world better and this is the best way we know how. We can’t do everything. I’m not filing court cases on behalf of murdered trans folk in Brazil. And even if I was a member of the bar in Brazil, would I have the spoons to do that work is an open question.

    You do work to make the world better. It’s just different work. And the fact that you may not contribute to a specific discussion or educate a specific person is, I agree with Gibran on this, no fault or shame to you.

    We all owe a debt, but not to a specific person. We didn’t ask to be born, and we couldn’t have been in Wollstonecraft’s mind when she wrote down her ideas, or Gandhi’s mind when he wrote down his. And even if something that someone on this thread says benefits you, it doesn’t mean you owe them for it. Be good to the world and being good to individuals will follow.

  355. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    It is directed at the white people who say that stuff. If you’ve never said anything like the phrases on the poster, then the poster is not about you.

    I get what you’re saying, Tony, but the poster isn’t even about a limited number of people.

    it’s not about people. It’s not about persons. It’s not about a person.

    it’s about a set of behaviors. Full F’n stop.

  356. says

    Pen

    The poster in the OP stereotypes the expressions of white people regarding race with intent to disparage. Hexmage’s point isn’t that white people are being mocked for being white as far as I can tell but for their speech on the subject of race.

    Hexmage wrote:

    : It is okay to generalize and mock white people (or any group that is privileged above your own) because they haven’t suffered as much as you have.

    Oh, and apart from that: It’s totally OK to mock people for saying dumb shit. Actually giving that the shit white people often say about race is fucking racist, mocking is quite gentle.

    If it’s not about you, it’s not about you. I might remember having said shit like the stuff in the poster, but I mostly got better.

    What do you say instead?

    Search the thread for my nym and you’ll see. Easy answers to easy questions

  357. piegasm says

    How do we know that is a picture of a ‘girl’?

    Only ‘girls’ have curly long-ish hair. Clearly.

  358. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Male hair will only grow to a certain culturally acceptable length. Gender and biology are strange in that way.

  359. Anthony K says

    Male hair will only grow to a certain culturally acceptable length. Gender and biology are strange in that way.

    There’s a simple and scientifismic reason for this:

    Long hair obviously gets in the way when you’re alpha-maling a gemsbok into steaks for the tribe. For women however, differentiated strands falling in front of the eyes reduces the amount of ambient light and increasing the ability to resolve small objects, such as pink berries, from their surroundings.

  360. says

    How do we know that is a picture of a ‘girl’?

    I kept asking me that myself.
    If you look closely you see it’s only a head (what might look like breastlines is actually the speech bubbles)
    To me the curls and the halo say “Aryan Jesus”

  361. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    How do we know that is a picture of a ‘girl’?

    Because the poster is berry-colored pink.*

    *poster may actually be more peach than pink

  362. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    For women however, differentiated strands falling in front of the eyes reduces the amount of ambient light and increasing the ability to resolve small objects, such as pink berries, from their surroundings.

    Now, see, I thought women had long hair so their babbies could cling to it in absence of heavy body hair. Naturally, men were most attracted to women with longer hair because it proved they would be good mommies and this amazingly wise sexual selection guided use down this evolutionary path whilst the women just passively grew hair.

  363. A. Noyd says

    Pen (#276)

    It wasn’t mocking a person but a stereotype.

    If you think those things the cartoon lady is saying make her a stereotype, you’re not paying attention. Okay, most such people don’t go and say all of them at once, but real white people say every one of those things all the damn time in discussions of racism.

    Here’s just one example from the Welcome to Night Vale fandom that I read a few minutes ago on Tumblr:

    I find it more racist to argue over this. [This = WTNV fandom’s representations of a podcast character with no canon race.] His race shouldn’t matter whether he’s white to some, or not okay? Call it unimaginative, call it uninspired, call it what you want but please stop calling people racists and being mean.

    (#388)

    Hexmage’s point isn’t that white people are being mocked for being white as far as I can tell but for their speech on the subject of race.

    Do you have a problem with mocking all the ridiculous things creationists say on the subject of evolution? Like, why are there still monkeys? Sometimes the appropriate response to bullshit is to laugh it into silence.

  364. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Godsdamnit, Anthony scooped my berry joke at #410 (must refresh). I swear that I was about to elaborate on how long hair blocks teh wimmenz ability to see things in the distance, focusing their attention on the berry bushes nearer to them, but I now see that I was overlooking the ambient light factor.

  365. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Wait, I figured it out. The long hair functions as a hitching rope so that women can tie themselves to the berry bushes for ease of picking. You know, in space.

  366. chigau (違う) says

    The Mellow Monkey

    …women had long hair so their babbies could cling to it in absence of heavy body hair…

    You are correct.
    This was especially important during our aquatic phase.
    (uhoh, what have I done?)

  367. Jacob Schmidt says

    Now, see, I thought women had long hair so their babbies could cling to it in absence of heavy body hair.

    Interestingly, I’ve seen the claim that such is the reason for pubic hair.

    I assumed the poster was female because of the hair looks like some greek statues I’ve seen of women. Actually looking, it’s seems too ambiguous to tell.

  368. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    You are correct.
    This was especially important during our aquatic space phase.
    (uhoh, what have I done?)

  369. A. Noyd says

    Jacob Schmidt (#419)

    Interestingly, I’ve seen the claim that such is the reason for pubic hair.

    Um, ow? But, if that were the case, that must mean men evolved to cart babies around since a furry chest or back makes for far more convenient and numerous handholds.

  370. Jacob Schmidt says

    But, if that were the case, that must mean men evolved to cart babies around since a furry chest or back makes for far more convenient and numerous handholds.

    If I remember correctly, the argument was based on the fact that pubic hair was thicker and coarser than most hair. Of course, beard hair and pubic hair are the same. It makes me laugh thinking of men walking around with little infants dangling from their beards.

  371. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Crip Dyke:
    I see that now. Thanks for the gentle clue by four.

  372. Rey Fox says

    I guess the breast lines of the “girl” are a giveaway.

    No body lines, they’re all word balloons.

  373. Feats of Cats says

    One ‘pretty little white girl saying silly things’ cartoon might be good for a laugh but I hope you have access to some other models for positive participation. (Please share them by the way…)

    Wait, you mean like this whole thread following the cartoon?

    The cartoon seems in line with the racism/sexism bingo cards around–something directed as a refresher towards those who are exasperated with the attitude.

  374. Pen says

    @ 404 Giliel

    What do you say instead?

    Search the thread for my nym and you’ll see. Easy answers to easy questions

    You missed the next part where I picked up on one of the things you said which I thought could easily be added to the poster.

    But you and I know perfectly well that by the end of the day we can walk away from it.

    Oh! You get to walk away from your membership in a multiracial society? OK, to be fair, you meant you just get to decide whether you bother to think about it or not didn’t you?

    I was trying to be nicer to you than you were to hexmage and think about what you meant, not what you said.You’re always participating whether it’s actively or passively, consciously or subconsciously.

  375. Pen says

    @ 395 Caine

    One ‘pretty little white girl saying silly things’

    Because this is a serious PEEVE: the word you want is WOMAN. FFS, I am sick to death of the constant infantilization of women.

    I get your peeve but I chose the word girl advisedly in this case, because the person (well, archetype) in the poster is being infantilised – presented as having the naivety, ignorance and self-centredness of a child.That’s part of the point of this creation. Also it is no mere coincidence that she has blond hair and blue eyes I expect. Replace her with a young white woman with dark hair and olive skin, America’s last white president, or a middle-aged car mechanic. Does it still work the same way?

    In real life ‘pretty little white girls’ over the age of about 13-15 don’t exist of course, regardless of whether white people do or do not make those kinds of arguments. But the infantilised image is part of this stereotype.

  376. says

    Penn

    I was trying to be nicer to you than you were to hexmage and think about what you meant, not what you said.You’re always participating whether it’s actively or passively, consciously or subconsciously.

    You know, that’s the problem with folks like you: you see what I write, you decide that you don’t like that and you decide that I must have meant something else.
    If you’re actually confused about what I mean with what I’m writing there’s an easy way: ask.
    You’re not being nice. People telling women “what they actually mean” has a pretty long beard.
    Now, since I actually am nice I’ll explain to you what “walking away” means:
    As a white person I can walk away from the fight against racism. If I decide to no longer give a fuck about black people being discriminated against I can do so and I’ll not be worse off. If somebody from a minority group calls me a “cracker” I can laugh it off, because seriously, what power does the insult have?
    I can walk away from marriage equality. I feel strongly about it, but by the end of the day nobody is going to force me to divorce and nobody is going to take away the benefits I get as a married person.
    I care about social justice, I fight against poverty but when I go home after a protest I go home to a full fridge and a warm flat.
    I can’t walk away from misogyny because it follows me home.

  377. Pen says

    @400 Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! – You missed that this is where the discussion started.

    @394 piegasm

    Because this cartoon is apparently the extent of your knowledge about how this behavior is viewed in social justice circles.

    You missed the bit where I said I’d seen it done before and done better. OK, so I didn’t say how often.Very often.

    @414 A Noyd

    If you think those things the cartoon lady is saying make her a stereotype, you’re not paying attention. Okay, most such people don’t go and say all of them at once, but real white people say every one of those things all the damn time in discussions of racism.

    What do you think stereotype means?

    Do you have a problem with mocking all the ridiculous things creationists say on the subject of evolution?

    I’m pretty sure some Christians are bored of seeing themselves stereotyped as creationists who say stupid things on the subject of evolution. Do I think they’re justified? Yes, probably. Do I have a problem with other people doing it anyway? About as much as with this cartoon, i.e. not enough to complain about it. I was merely prepared to give Hexmage a little support in finding it, well, stereotyped. I’m also not prepared to say I thought it was fantastic, enlightening, original or helpful though I have seen almost exactly the same thing done in a way that was – unfortunately I can’t share it with you all, it was in a play. Do I mock creationists in such a way? No.

  378. says

    Pen:

    I get your peeve but I chose the word girl advisedly in this case, because the person (well, archetype) in the poster is being infantilised

    NO. That’s how it comes across to you. If you bothered to read what other people said, they have very different perceptions. You *chose* to see infantilization. That leads me to think that you probably misapply girl in many a situation, AK and AFK.

    You see, most people do misapply girl, because we hear it all our lives, we see it in movies and on TV, we read it in books and magazines. It’s difficult to stop using it, even though we don’t generally misapply boy. Instead of realizing you fucked up, and choosing to be aware of it, you chose to rationalize your fuck up. Thanks so much for not helping.

  379. Nightjar says

    Pen,

    I’m pretty sure some Christians are bored of seeing themselves stereotyped as creationists who say stupid things on the subject of evolution. Do I think they’re justified? Yes, probably. Do I have a problem with other people doing it anyway? About as much as with this cartoon, i.e. not enough to complain about it. I was merely prepared to give Hexmage a little support in finding it, well, stereotyped.

    I actually don’t get this. Do you think that if I were to draw a cartoon depicting a guy with a cross or a picture of Jesus on his shirt spouting a bunch of typical creationist canards, a reputable Christian evolutionary biologist would feel stereotyped, mocked, and offended? Or would he just realize that if the shoe doesn’t fit, if he does not behave in the way that is being mocked, the cartoon is not about him and not aimed at him?

  380. says

    Also, if it was so obviously an infant or child, Pen, you had a wide array of words to use: kid, child, person, young person, etc. But no, it just had to be a little girl.

  381. Pen says

    @ 429 Giliel – you decided to misinterpret hexmage in a really obvious way. You said:

    In that case you didn’t understand.
    A) Nobody mocks white/straight/cis/hetero people for being that. Please, show me examples where they have been mocked

    hexmage said:

    I still don’t get the point of mocking white people who get their feelings hurt when they are generalized

    He says generalized, I say stereotyped. Either way, he is clearly not talking about mocking white people for being white.

    So, now, you’re accusing me of not interpreting you too carefully? I know what you meant. On the other hand ‘I get to walk away’ is a potentially problematic expression sometimes used by naive people who don’t understand that the dividing line between fighting racism and taking the day off from fighting racism doesn’t exist because they don’t understand all that racism and fighting it entails. They think it means opposing something on an internet comment thread that they don’t agree with and neglect the fact that it also means ‘learn the racial biases associated with (insert profession here) and the best codes of practice for fixing them (and a whole bunch of other things like that). Of course, if that’s not you, then this isn’t about you, but a lot of such people exist.

    BTW. Something is telling me that you have assumed I am male. I’m not sure it should be in the least bit relevant here, but I’m not.

  382. A. Noyd says

    Pen (#428)

    That’s part of the point of this creation.

    Oh, you’re psychic now, are you?

    Can you address the fact that multiple of us now have mentioned seeing what the cartoon person is saying come up, without fail, over and over in discussions of racism? Because, as Caine points out, we who see and acknowledge the extent of “white guilt/whine/tears/etc.” just might read different intentions into the cartoon. Like Feats of Cats does in #426.

    It’s speaking to a certain truth. A truth you’re too ignorant to understand even while you typify what the cartoon is getting at.

    Also it is no mere coincidence that she has blond hair and blue eyes I expect.

    “She” has light green hair and no evident eye color. (“She” also has thick, dark eyebrows. “She” could be a natural brunette and/or a man.) If you can’t make a point without making shit up, you don’t have a point.

    Personally I suspect the face is supposed to evoke old fashioned illustrations of saints or spirits of liberty of which there were many and which speaks to the concept of the white savior. But I’m not going to pretend I know that for sure.

    (#430)

    What do you think stereotype means?

    You’re the one trying to differentiate between a real person and a stereotype. You said that people can be “reduced” to a stereotype like the cartoon. I’m saying that while no one person says all those things, vast numbers of real people individually say at least a few of those things all the time in conversations about race. They’re not things made up or exaggerated to make white people sound bad. The cartoon, when correctly understood as being about “white people” rather than “a white person” is not reductive and not a stereotype, as you’d have it. I follow several anti-racism blogs on Twitter, so there’s a flood of white tears reblogged across my dash every day. I see all of this and then some.

    I’m pretty sure some Christians are bored of seeing themselves stereotyped as creationists who say stupid things on the subject of evolution.

    I didn’t ask you about stereotyping all, or even some, Christians. I asked if you have a problem with mocking “the ridiculous things creationists say.” Try to address that, please, instead of skibbling around with the goalposts.

  383. Pen says

    I actually don’t get this. Do you think that if I were to draw a cartoon depicting a guy with a cross or a picture of Jesus on his shirt spouting a bunch of typical creationist canards, a reputable Christian evolutionary biologist would feel stereotyped, mocked, and offended?

    Maybe you’re reading more emotion into it than a lot of them feel. I know one Roman Catholic theologian who is very knowledgeable about evolution and believes in it. Also he is as bored as all hell with what he does see as stereotyping. I wouldn’t call him offended because he has too much contempt for this particular brand of humour. Does he want a court injunction to make it stop. Of course not. I expect it varies according to the individual.

  384. Anthony K says

    Also he is as bored as all hell with what he does see as stereotyping.

    I guarantee he’s not nearly as bored with the stereotyping as those who fight to keep creationism out of the classrooms are with the actual, living, walking stereotypes trying to legislate it in. (And let’s not even talk about the Catholic stereotypes that prevent access to reproductive care.)

    And that’s the point of the cartoon.

  385. A. Noyd says

    Pen (#436)

    …this particular brand of humour.

    Uh, you do realize that, just because it’s a cartoon, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily meant to be humorous, right?

  386. roro80 says

    Well, Pen, if you had just said “meh, it’s not that funny to me”, and left it at that, it would have been a stupid and useless thing to take the time to say, but not harmful or overly obnoxious in any way. That’s not what you did, though, and to pretend now that that is all you were saying is arguing in bad faith, and it’s fucking annoying.

  387. says

    A. Noyd:

    “She” has light green hair and no evident eye color.

    Yes. There is no colour in the eyes at all. Seeing blue eyes is seriously seeing what’s in your head to the exclusion of all else, including reality. As for the hair, yep, it’s that awful mint green, the same as the regency dress Scalzi wore.

  388. Nightjar says

    I know one Roman Catholic theologian who is very knowledgeable about evolution and believes in it

    I’m surrounded by many Roman Catholics and very, very few creationists. I’m pretty sure they would look at my cartoon and think “oh, right, those creationists say the silliest things, don’t they”, not “OMG a guy wearing a cross that’s totally me *reads* OH WAIT why are you mocking me, I don’t say those things!” Because the latter reaction makes no sense at all.

    Also he is as bored as all hell with what he does see as stereotyping.

    Seriously. How am I stereotyping Christians when I mock the things creationists routinely say?

    The only stereotype I’d be playing into with that hypothetical cartoon is that creationists are religious people. In this case, white whiny people with unexamined privilege who think of themselves as allies but are in fact not helpful at all are… white.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but I think you’re looking at this backwards.

  389. says

    On the other hand ‘I get to walk away’ is a potentially problematic expression sometimes used by naive people who don’t understand that the dividing line between fighting racism and taking the day off from fighting racism doesn’t exist because they don’t understand all that racism and fighting it entails.

    Uh… what? No, I’ve seen this phrase used many times, and never has it been used in the context described above. Every time, I’ve seen it used by people with privilege as an expression of recognizing their privilege. As Gilliel did in post #429, excepting that she doesn’t have male privilege, therefore she is not able to choose to “walk away” from misogyny, because misogyny “follows her home.”

  390. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Pen:
    The dividing line is more like ‘those who fight for equality for *marginalized group X*’ vs ‘those members of *marginalized group x*’.
    At the end of the day the social oppression of gay men and lesbians is not experienced by heterosexuals. Those heterosexuals fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians do not have to go home and BE gay or lesbian. For all that they may be great allies, they get to ‘get off work’, where I do not. I cannot stop being gay, so issues that affect queers directly impact me in ways they do not affect heterosexuals (who have the privilege of being able to move through society without being oppressed for their sexuality).
    ‘I get to walk away’ -as I have usually seen it used- is open acknowledgment of one’s privilege. I have yet to see the problematic aspect you speak of.

  391. says

    Tony:

    I cannot stop being gay, so issues that affect queers directly impact me in ways they do not affect heterosexuals (who have the privilege of being able to move through society without being oppressed for their sexuality).

    Whereas, I cannot stop being bisexual, however, I can walk away if I want, and take cover as passing for hetero. I have much privilege in this area.

  392. Pen says

    OK – this first

    I didn’t ask you about stereotyping all, or even some, Christians. I asked if you have a problem with mocking “the ridiculous things creationists say.” Try to address that, please, instead of skibbling around with the goalposts.

    I did that because when you say ‘creationists’ you’ve pre-selected a group who don’t believe in evolution for the purposes of mocking whereas Christians are a larger group some of who do believe in evolution. But when you say ‘the ridiculous things white people say’ your boundaries don’t match unless you think that by definition, all white people say ridiculous things about race – which you already said you didn’t.

    OK – the important stuff

    You’re the one trying to differentiate between a real person and a stereotype. You said that people can be “reduced” to a stereotype like the cartoon.

    I didn’t understand this part.

    I’m saying that while no one person says all those things, vast numbers of real people individually say at least a few of those things all the time in conversations about race. They’re not things made up or exaggerated to make white people sound bad.

    You think stereotype means ‘not true’? It isn’t like that. Let’s say you hear these things said all the time in conversations about race. Over the last few months on FtB I’ve heard a number of other things said by white people repeatedly: ‘we need to shut up and listen’, ‘it’s not your job to educate me’, ‘I can’t understand what it’s like to be you’… and others. Let’s say those are better cliches than the one in the cartoon and you like them better. I mostly hear white people telling me there are no white people in my neighbourhood, that they’re sorry for me for living in such a dangerous neighbourhood, that the schools are crap in my neighbourhood, etc, etc. I don’t think much of it but there’s worse. The cartoon selects a part of that total speech about race. It still wouldn’t be a stereotype if it was a one off instance rather than part of a pattern of speech about the speech of white people.

    Also, just in case, stereotype does not mean evil or insulting necessarily. It just means tending to repeat and emphasise a pattern which is incomplete. In this case it selects those parts of the total that are mockable.

    The cartoon, when correctly understood as being about “white people” rather than “a white person” is not reductive and not a stereotype, as you’d have it.

    That’s exactly why it is a stereotype and it is reductive. If it were about ‘a white person’ it would either be justified or not for that person but we all understand that it’s not about anyone in particular.

    BTW, it’s 23:30 here, I’m going to bed. Don’t take it wrong.

  393. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Pen, if you aren’t a white person who says these ridiculous things, what’s your problem?
    You know we’ve seen these same complaints before when we discuss how some men treat women. There are always a few dudebros who have to let us know that “Not all men are like that”, though no one said they were and “You’re the real sexists for saying men are privileged and blind to their own sexist attitudes!”. You are making the same bad arguments and showing the same outrage at a discussion of how some white people are so self important and privileged that they just can’t wrap their heads around how they contribute to or at least benefit from racism.
    Really, you should remember the first rule of holes.

  394. Nightjar says

    ‘the ridiculous things white people say’

    Even if it’s ‘the ridiculous things some white people say’, what do you expect to see illustrated in a cartoon like this if not a person who is white?

    Conversely, if you wanted to do something similar but about ‘the ridiculous things creationists say’ you would depict a Christian saying those things (or a Muslim perhaps, depending on which brand of creationism you’re most concerned with), not an atheist. A creationist Christian though, as would be obvious going by the rest of the cartoon.

    unless you think that by definition, all white people say ridiculous things about race

    Yeah, I do think it is pretty hard for someone with white privilege to go through life without saying ridiculous things about race at one point or another. The difference is that some eventually learn to examine their privilege and stop saying ridiculous things about race (as often anyway, everyone slips up once in a while), while others don’t. This cartoon is about those who don’t, or haven’t yet, or have done it insufficiently. It’s a reminder.

    And if your response to this is going on and on about how white people don’t deserve to be stereotyped like this and hurt feelings and the like… yeah, it’s about you. So, act accordingly and shut up, because your whining is not helping.

  395. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Pen,
    If it makes you feel better, I’m laughing at you. I’m not laughing at a stereotype. I’m laughing at how clueless, offensive and self-absorbed you are right now.

    But, you are the guy who equated the morality of Ian Murphy’s interview with Michael Shermer with the morality of rape. I have to laugh at you to keep from trying to reach through my monitor and shake you. Not that it would wake you out of your comfy slumber if I could. Some folks just don’t want to learn and when they have enough privilege, I guess they don’t have to.

  396. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    Speaking of privilege, Javon Johnson has some pretty wonderful spoken word about being a young black man dealing with cops.

    To Pen–

    But when you say ‘the ridiculous things white people say’ your boundaries don’t match unless you think that by definition, all white people say ridiculous things about race – which you already said you didn’t.

    Is this an example of the “racism” you believe you are subjected to? (Yeah, I caught that fucking ridiculousness @ 375, as well as your belief in that ridiculous “reverse racism” canard.) YOU ARE THE REASON THE OP IMAGE EXISTS. This, that you are doing right here–this derail about your hurt feefees and “omg, we aren’t all like that! *cryyyyyyy*” is exactly what white people do whenever racism is discussed. Shit, I’ve been guilty of that in the past, too. It’s hard to deal with your own culpability and learn to stfu when you’ve lived with privilege for so long. But don’t come in here and expect any sympathy.

    Oh, and Hexmage?

    Sure, generalizing white people or men doesn’t harm them nearly as much as generalizing black people or women does, but jabbing someone with a needle and bludgeoning them with a baseball bat are still both pretty bad things to do even if one hurts another person a lot more than the other does.

    These needle jabs you’re complaining about? THOSE ARE INOCULATIONS. They are meant to clue you into your immense privilege and make society in general safer for people that are not you. Cry over these jabs if you must. But don’t for a second think they are unnecessary.

  397. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Pen,
    If it makes you feel better, I’m laughing at you. I’m not laughing at a stereotype. I’m laughing at how clueless, offensive and self-absorbed you are right now.

    Amen. And that is why nothing you say getting you were you want us to think you are. We already have you number, and you don’t like it. Remember the first rule of holes. When in over your head, stop digging. You were in over your head yesterday, and you keep digging. Word of advice. Shut the fuck up.

  398. A. Noyd says

    Pen (#446)

    I did that because when you say ‘creationists’ you’ve pre-selected a group who don’t believe in evolution for the purposes of mocking whereas Christians are a larger group some of who do believe in evolution.

    Agggh! You’re still doing it! You’re still trying to change the target of mockery into groups and failing to answer the question! I even italicized the goddamn key word last time. Here, give it one more go: “Do you have a problem with mocking all the ridiculous —>>things<<— creationists say on the subject of evolution?”

    The cartoon selects a part of that total speech about race.

    Yes, the cartoon is about a part of the total speech. A very common, very typical, oft-heard, widespread, perniciously pervasive part of the total speech. One that’s being called out because it deserves to be called out. One that’s mocked because it deserves to be mocked. One that white people need to stop perpetuating because we are the ones who either say this shit… or cover for those who do by crying about being stereotyped.

    A cartoon calling out toxic language/behavior within a discourse doesn’t have to account for every last type of speech in the same discourse. Why the hell do you think it does? Why the hell do you think that’s what this cartoon is trying to do?

  399. A. Noyd says

    Also, I wanted to point out that Pen obviously does understand the way English allows us to use a group label for less than the entirety of that group. In #446, they used “white people” to mean a very limited number of white people when they said “I mostly hear white people telling me….”

  400. says

    Only ‘girls’ have curly long-ish hair. Clearly.

    That’s what some members of my family keep telling me as they complain about mine.
    I’ve heard “Why do you have girl’s hair?” from them more than once.
    I just say “I don’t.”

  401. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    A. Noyd,
    Amanda Marcotte and other feminist writers get this same response. I’m sure you’ve seen it: “Not ALL men are like that!” Though, that’s never what the article the offended dude is responding to says. I don’t know why they read it that way. Then again, I’m not a dude. I am a whiter shade of pale though and I still cannot find anything to be offended by in this post. I’m starting to think it is either A) a case of hitting the nail a little too close to the head and/or B) a case of being so unaccustomed to being called out in our culture that any criticism of the group you identify with is seen as going too far. I feel like I’ve over used the word “privilege”, but I can’t think of a better way to describe this reaction.

  402. says

    Jackie, that is my feeling here as well. I cannot see anything offensive about what was posted. The only reactions that seem to make sense to me is to look at it, either see some of your actions, past actions, and think about what you have done, or how you currently think, and perhaps question your own reactions, or not see yourself in it, and realize that many people do these things. Instead we get 460 comments driven by people that don’t seem to like their attitudes being questioned in such a way, who demand that their “allies” handle them with kid gloves or they are going to run home, and take their ball with them. This comment way up there by Dominic:

    A needy ally’s better than no ally.

    really pissed me off. It brings to mind the same attitudes that exist within atheism and skeptical circles, where anyone being critical of people within these circles is bad because it hurts the movement.
    But that attitude also strikes me as being one heck of an asshole move. To say you won’t be an ally unless everyone coddles is terrible, it makes me wonder if they were ever any sort of ally to start with.

  403. says

    Jackie:

    I feel like I’ve over used the word “privilege”, but I can’t think of a better way to describe this reaction.

    Scalzi shares your pain:

    I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. It’s not that the word “privilege” is incorrect, it’s that it’s not their word. When confronted with “privilege,” they fiddle with the word itself, and haul out the dictionaries and find every possible way to talk about the word but not any of the things the word signifies.

    So, the challenge: how to get across the ideas bound up in the word “privilege,” in a way that your average straight white man will get, without freaking out about it?

    Being a white guy who likes women, here’s how I would do it: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

  404. says

    Jackie
    When you constantly find yourself repeating the same conversation with the determinedly dense, you wind up repeating the same concepts and terms over and over, because they remain the best response. It’s just like with religious apologists; they all have basically the same script, and they almost all react in certain predictable ways, and you find yourself saying the same thing over and over, because the ‘nyms change, but the bullshit never does.

  405. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Dalillama,

    Yeah, I see the accusation of this being an echo chamber the same way. I tend to think to myself, “Maybe you keep getting the same response because that’s the correct response.”

    Which reminds me:
    I think this was pointed out up thread, but it bears repeating anyway.

    Offended white atheists,
    I hear the same complaints from US Christians. They also claim that they are the ones really being discriminated against. They’ll say that they are the only group that it is still OK to mock. That isn’t the case. They aren’t victims of discrimination. It’s called punching up. They are still the vast majority and all the societal and political power belongs to them. Some of them get this. (In fact, they sometimes can’t wait to tell me the latest joke they’ve heard that mocks something about their denomination that they think is funny too.) Others don’t and they really believe they are a persecuted majority. Do you see any connection yet between their arguments and yours? “Not ALL Christians are like that!” is also a popular outcry. Is this starting to sink in a little yet?

  406. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Travis,

    It brings to mind the same attitudes that exist within atheism and skeptical circles, where anyone being critical of people within these circles is bad because it hurts the movement.
    But that attitude also strikes me as being one heck of an asshole move. To say you won’t be an ally unless everyone coddles is terrible, it makes me wonder if they were ever any sort of ally to start with.

    QFT

    Caine,
    Then I’m in good company. :)

  407. A. Noyd says

    Jackie (#458)

    I’m sure you’ve seen it: “Not ALL men are like that!” Though, that’s never what the article the offended dude is responding to says.

    They gotta keep the focus on what’s really important: people like them.

    (#462)

    I tend to think to myself, “Maybe you keep getting the same response because that’s the correct response.”

    Right!? I mean, when you go into an argument, you have to consider that you may be wrong and try to figure out what that would look like. And the more people who tell you that you’re ignorant—especially that you’re getting the concepts and terms you’re trying to use wrong—the more you should doubt yourself. At the very least, people are telling you that you’re failing to communicate and that’s worth doing something about.

    And the other part of the “echo chamber” deal is how we’re just “unwilling to listen to a different perspective.” Because we never possibly could have heard it all before a million times.

  408. drosophilist says

    Hi everyone.

    I am a long-time lurker. I am also white, and I never realized how much unearned privilege I had until I started reading Pharyngula. Thank you for that.

    I am writing this to ask for advice. What can I do to counter racism/white privilege in my own life? I hardly interact with members of oppressed ethnic groups (except really superficial interactions, such as at a gocery store checkout). My workplace consists of white and Asian people. I don’t encounter overt racism (people saying racist slurs etc) I understand from reading comments here that racism is pervasive but it is nearly invisible to me and hence hard to fight. What is your advice?

  409. says

    Right!? I mean, when you go into an argument, you have to consider that you may be wrong and try to figure out what that would look like. And the more people who tell you that you’re ignorant—especially that you’re getting the concepts and terms you’re trying to use wrong—the more you should doubt yourself. At the very least, people are telling you that you’re failing to communicate and that’s worth doing something about.

    That’s the truth, ain’t it? I have been saying this for a very long time because this kind of resistance to doubting oneself is so very common in discussions and arguments on any topic. Frankly, people such as the ignorant ones above remind me of the typical creationist, antivaxer, alt med person etc. who makes arguments that demonstrate their ignorance, but rather than stepping back and questioning themselves when they are shown to be ignorant or wrong, they simply move onto their next point. This inability to consider oneself as possibly being wrong is a tragic failing in my mind, it limits a person greatly, and it solidifies wrong ideas rather than allowing them to be weakened.

  410. A. Noyd says

    drosophilist (#465)

    What can I do to counter racism/white privilege in my own life? I hardly interact with members of oppressed ethnic groups (except really superficial interactions, such as at a gocery store checkout).

    Funnily enough, I just happen to know of this here story of someone using white privilege* to help another in a grocery store checkout!

    I understand from reading comments here that racism is pervasive but it is nearly invisible to me and hence hard to fight.

    Find resources on anti-Asian racism in particular and learn what the non-overt racism looks like, to start. Also, racists like to look around for approval of other white people, even if it’s just our silence, and you can make it clear to racists that you’re not on their side.

    For example: One time, I was stopped at a gas station with a friend and the woman in the car next to us (a stranger!) tried getting us to join her in talking shit about the young black men minding their own business over by the air pumps, saying didn’t they look so silly with their pants slung so low, how can that be practical, etc. I said, oh yes, that’s almost as silly and impractical as wearing high heels, isn’t it? I could see her trying hard to think up a non-racist explanation for why the silliness and impracticality of high heels is completely different, but she failed and so made up some excuse for leaving.

    Also, if you fuck up by doing something racist yourself and get called on it, then admit you fucked up, apologize (briefly), and don’t do it again.

    [Disclaimer: I’m white, so if a PoC gives you contradictory advice, take theirs over mine.]

    ……..
    *White passing privilege, technically.

  411. says

    Pen

    @ 429 Giliel – you decided to misinterpret hexmage in a really obvious way. You said:

    hexmage said:

    I still don’t get the point of mocking white people who get their feelings hurt when they are generalized

    He says generalized, I say stereotyped. Either way, he is clearly not talking about mocking white people for being white.

    No, I said that hexmage is wrong in the assumption that “white people are generalized” when a specific behaviour is criticized. I’m also pretty sure that neither of you is getting offended when white people are actually generalized because it’s usually nice shit they’re saying about us.

    So, now, you’re accusing me of not interpreting you too carefully? I know what you meant.

    No, I’m accusing you on playing arbiter of what people mean. You quite obviously don’t know what I mean or you wouldn’t be bravely knocking down all those strawpeople. And that doesn’t even have anything to do with whether I actually expressed myself well or not. The only way to “know what I mean” is to ask for clarification instead of insisting that you got me correctly.

    On the other hand ‘I get to walk away’ is a potentially problematic expression sometimes used by naive people who don’t understand that the dividing line between fighting racism and taking the day off from fighting racism doesn’t exist because they don’t understand all that racism and fighting it entails.

    Taht sentence. I’m not sure I understand what it says.
    Do you say that I “can’t walk away” from fighting racism because I don’t understand all the racism that is there? That somehow seems to make my point because nothing is easier to ignore than shit I don’t even notice.

    They think it means opposing something on an internet comment thread that they don’t agree with and neglect the fact that it also means ‘learn the racial biases associated with (insert profession here) and the best codes of practice for fixing them (and a whole bunch of other things like that). Of course, if that’s not you, then this isn’t about you, but a lot of such people exist.

    Yeah, that is not me. What was your point again why saying that my privilege allows me to walk away from the fight or turning my back on the fight is problematic?

    No,

    BTW. Something is telling me that you have assumed I am male. I’m not sure it should be in the least bit relevant here, but I’m not.

    That assumption, it’s in your head. Actually I almost typed “guys like you”. Then I realized that I don’t know anything about your gender and changed it to “people like you”. If you mean the phrase “assuming to know better than women than they themselves”: Duh, who ever said that women didn’t hold the same prejudices towards other women?

    drosophilist
    Hi there. So, this is advice from another wannabe ally, so keep the NaCl ready ;)
    -Don’t get your fee-fees hurt easily. I admit it’s not fun. As you get involved in the discussions you’ll hear things that are not nice. Things that contradict our self-image of being Good People™. They’re painful but we need to hear them

    -Purge sentences like “it’s not that bad” or “it’s been always like that” or “most people” from your linguistic arsenal. It’s the standard privileged reply. I mentioned the crayon example above. When I insist that the colour is called “apricot” and not never ever “skincolour” that’s the standard replies I get. “But it was called “skincolour when I went to school”, “it’s just the name of a colour, why are you making such a fuss?”, “but most people here are white”.
    I get indignated by proxy but I can’t even imagine how that must feel to a PoC

    -Don’t say “I know how you feel”.
    Different forms of oppression can give us a general insight into what oppression feels like, but they also all have different aspects that are unique to them.

    -That stuff about microagressions, it’s important. Not just for questions of race. It’s needle-pins, lots of them.

  412. carlie says

    What can I do to counter racism/white privilege in my own life?

    The microaggressions site is really good, but also depressing in a way – another version that is more lighthearted is Yo, is this racist?, which also has a podcast. :) For me, both of those sites have helped me notice when I might be doing things that are racist without realizing that they are. Another thing that has really helped is understanding the concept of “intent doesn’t matter”; it’s entirely possible to do something racist without being a racist, and that helps me to be able to look for and purge those things in my own life without either feeling defensive about it or upset at me being a bad person.

  413. Anthony K says

    I’ll second carlie’s recommendation (as I often do) for Yo, is this racist? Another is This…is white privilege, though fair warning: if you’re offended by the cartoon in this thread’s OP, you’ll really have a hard time with TIWP. If you just want to read a shitload of examples of microaggressions (and the way PoC often internalise them) click on the Just the Privilege. link at the top of the page.

  414. alwayscurious says

    Because you still have to say “racist beating”, to mean a beating inspired by racism, the subsequent action can be qualified in some other way. While because the technical meaning of “racism” is very different to the popular or dictionary definition, and used only by those in the know, it can only cause confusion – like if I decided that amongst my friends, “chicken” would now mean “fish” and wondered why restaurants never got my order right. It’s not even equivalent to creationists getting ‘hypothesis’ and ‘theory’ mixed up, because those are two different words, with long established proper meanings – racism (pop.) and racism (sociology) are much less helpful, and presumably more recent.

    Wow you work hard at being ignorant! Words, they have meanings (which you manage to remember, until you selectively forget). If you think for a moment that a prejudiced white teen beating up a black teen will get the same treatment by the legal system as the reverse, you’re clearly not familiar with modern day USA. It is the secondary effects from all that which make it racism: the instigating white teen getting off as innocent or with minimal sentencing (or worse, the innocent black teen gets sent to prison), the black instigator getting the death sentence for an otherwise less serious crime. This is the result of institutionalized prejudices (ie racism). The prejudices of the majority, built into the system, create a more unfair result for the minority than the prejudices held by the minority against the majority. It only makes sense for a term to be created to track these differences.