Thank You, White People

This needs to be said, and it’s a long time coming, so listen up:

Thank you, White people, for all you’ve done for Blacks.

Thank you for kidnapping and/or buying my ancestors in Africa, packing them onto ships where malnutrition, disease, anti-hygenic conditions, beatings, and rape ensured that a significant percentage did not survive the trip, but enough did for you to turn a profit.

Thank you for enslaving my ancestors, forcing them to labor in the fields and in your houses for no pay (room and board is certainly enough!), in poor living conditions, without education, without their families, in many cases, and without hope that their lives would ever get better.

Thank you for raping and beating my ancestors, I appreciate it. Thanks also for forcing them to “breed” as if they were animals, selecting out certain men and women for their strength, hoping that their children would be strong, too, and be able to pick more cotton or engage in other work you couldn’t be bothered to do yourself.

Thank you, White people, for freeing us from actual slavery only to put us in virtual slavery with sharecropping. Additionally, thanks for messing up Reconstruction, enacting Jim Crow laws, lynching, and poll taxes.

Thank you for silencing, assassinating, or disappearing those who inspired us to do better, be better, and stop taking racist shit every minute of our lives. We didn’t need them, anyway.

Thank you for making sure our schools were underfunded, that our neighborhoods were filled with drugs, that any attempts to get the government to correct any lingering problems of racism were labeled “hand outs,” and perpetrating the myth of the Black Welfare Queen taking her food stamps and driving off in a Porche.

We have so much to be grateful for, you see.

And so my brothers and sisters won’t forget:

Thank you, Europeans, for all you’ve done for us through the centuries.

Thank you for coming down to Africa and deciding that every brown or black person you saw was an uneducated savage, assuming because their culture was not like your culture, that they had none worth noting or caring about.

Thank you for colonizing the continent, inciting strife between different tribes, playing one tribe against another until, once many were weakend, you took down the one that was meant to be your ally.

Thank you for using up the continents’ natural resources, for destroying the land in an effort to exploit the natural resources, and for abandoning areas that you fucked up when it became clear it wasn’t going to be profitable for you.

Thank you for inventing the Transatlantic Slave Trade. We owe you one.

Thank you for your continued interference in Africa, which has caused no end of fighting, no end of exploitation, and has contributed to the current climate in many African countries.

Thank you for Apartheid. And throwing Mandela in jail. We didn’t need him, anyway.

Thanks, White people, for everything you’ve done for Black people in America and Africa. We really, really should be more grateful and keep these thoughts in our hearts.

P.S. Dear White people, before commenting on this thread, please click the links in the first sentence. Also, see this illustrated guide. Also, please see this post. Thank you!

355 Responses

  1. Feel free to add more of what we should be thankful for in comments.

  2. Thank you for dismissing claims of racism as “oversensitivity” and “playing the race card, even though you have never racism yourselves. After all, you do know best!

    Thank you for the attitudes and actions that led to the creation of the original post.

  3. *This should totally be a YouTube video!!

    I can see it now: POCs reciting the Thank-You’s in front of a US flag. “Star-Bangled Banner” playing in the background!

    Can you tell I wanna direct? =D

  4. LOL, great idea Angel.

    This is too fabulous. :)

  5. You are welcome.

  6. : P Josh ;)

    Also, I really, really wanna do that video now. All I need is to take to the streets with my video camera… omg yes. Anyone else have a digital video camera or a camera that does video? Get in on it!

  7. According to my family history we have never owned or imported slaves. In fact, in my family history we fought and died helping to end slavery. I have grown children who are not racists. I am American Indian (3 different tribes), French, Irish, and English. I am classified as white.

    Thank you for lumping me in with a lot of undesirables.

  8. I was once talking to a very bright, pretty well-informed woman of my aquaintance who told me that feminist attempts to reclaim women’s history from the nineteenth century were silly, because–and I quote–“I’m sorry, but the truth is that women just weren’t doing anything in the nineteenth century.”

    My brain quietly exploded, but I *did* manage to gather up the pieces long enough to remind her that she was talking about the century of the Grimke sisters, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, the Seneca Falls Convention, Ida B. Wells–the list goes on, and on, and on…it’s true that there have been some quiet centuries for women, but the nineteenth was NOT one of them.

    But in America, we get taught just enough of our own history to not have any idea what it actually means. We get taught about the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation and the accomplishments of various old dead white men as if these are important things–and often they are–but we’re trained to believe that the fact that Washington and Jefferson were slaveowners is a footnote, that the fact that women were agitating for the vote in the second half of the 19th century is something that deserves a paragraph of explanation, but Jackson’s presidency is worthy of its own chapter. From the day we learn to read, we are taught to deliberately misread history, often without ever realizing it. It’s just The Way Things Are.

    So thank you for this post. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of trolls trying to tell you that you’re wrong, that black people have had NOTHING but opportunities in this great nation of ours, or that you’d catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, or some other self-serving bullshit. But for those of us white people who are NOT total dumbfucks, this post serves as a much-needed reminder of this country’s REAL history, and what that history actually means.

  9. Oooh, I’d like to thank them for “urban renewal,” “redlining,” and gentrification. I mean, where would the inner-city be without them?

  10. Thanks for this post, I would like to add, thank you white people for judging the victims of Katrina and casting shame on stranded people stealing food to survive. Thank you white people for whenever a black man or woman finds there way to the live news they manage to find the most stereotyped black person in the universe(I think news crews haul around a trailer of these guys to put on TV)

    Thank you white people for calling black people “african american” because that makes a difference. I mean wouldn’t things have gotten better if hitler called the jews “jewish germans” that would have solved that whole mess. Thank you white people for using soft language and playing dumb with race issues in public but when you’re alone in your homes with your white friends the true feelings come out.

    Thank you white people for ignoring the crimes committed against black people and making sure to shine light on the ones committed by them. Thanks white people for manipulating the justice system to where raping a black woman yields a 3-4 year LESSER jail sentence than if a white woman was raped. MOST IMPORTANTLY THANK YOU WHITE PEOPLE FOR CHARGING ANY BLACK YOUTH ABOVE THE AGE OF 13 AS AN ADULT and WHEN CHARING WHITE KIDS UP TO AGE 17 stay CHARGED AS MINORS.

    I would also like to add that I am a straight white male living in the USA. and in all seriousness, i would truly like to THANK BLACK PEOPLE for taking the shitty hand of cards that continues to be dealt to them in stride. FIGHT THE POWER AND FUCK THE USA

  11. Thank you for your stereotypical attitudes held this very day regarding PoC. When I have to put up with the stupid bitches on my floor who talk about the black people that have treated them like shit in one breath, and then behave in some of the crappiest black stereotypes possible, (such as talking about having a butt like a black woman, or having the attitude that we all live in the ghetto or we must all be “hood”)

    Thank you for not knowing that PoC are all individuals, and cannot be defined by simply lumping them all together into one group. And even if you don’t know, you sure don’t care to think otherwise.

  12. I’m white and I just want to hide in a closet now. I wish the world didn’t suck. Thank you for writing.

    Oh and…
    You forgot to be “thankful” for racial profiling. :( And the police beatings. And you know, for letting 1 black guy into the supreme court .

  13. Sorry about what my ancestors did to your ancestors. And I speak for the majority of “White” (guilty of stereotyping there?) people when I say I wasn’t born a racist, my parents didn’t raise me under a racist guile, I was taught to treat everyone equally and love everyone the same. And these are principles I practice to this day. So I mean it, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. I will forever feel guilty for something an ancestor of mine might or might have not done to one of your ancestors a hundred years ago.

  14. Let’s also be thankful for over a century of medical experimentation, from gynecological surgery on black women w/o anaesthesia by Dr John Sims; to the Tuskeegee experiment, to recent research vaccinations on children.

  15. Jack, who needs to be upset about what your ancestors did, when what your contemporaries are up to is quite enough to handle now?

  16. Jack Sonto,
    What about what people just like you did yesterday? Or the day before that?

    We don’ t have to reach as far back as your ancestors to find atrocities that are now considered normal.

    http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1207286599269480.xml&coll=1

    Oh and please feel free to read the racist comments of white people whop just want equality for all as long as they don’t have to undergo the same treatment as blacks to get it.

  17. oops, forgot. Thank you for blood quantum rules that cause so many problems for NDNs and have put up so many barriers between NDNs and Black NDNs. I’m sure that NDNs have plenty to say thank you about re: the Allotment Act, residential schools, and the like but that’s probably another post.

  18. White people feel guilty because they aren’t truly willing to do anything to fix the problem. I don’t feel guilty, i’m pissed off that a problem that has obvious causes and remedies is looked past and brushed over. Any white person that feels guilty IS A RACIST, if you catch yourself saying black and correct yourself by saying “African American” YOU’RE RACIST. If you’re not racist then your not or social problems shouldn’t make you feel guilty, if you feel guilty, IT’S FOR A REASON, I enslaved no one, I do however see the problems from slavery carried over even today, so instead of falling back on I didn’t do anything and feeling guilty on my lack of inaction, recognize that there is still a problem and speak on it, DON’T FEEL GUILTY, SPEAK OUT AND STAND WITH YOUR FELLOW MAN!!! Again I AM A WHITE MALE.

  19. You forgot to thank white people for hypertension. The middle passage created an evolutionary bottleneck in which only those whose bodies retained salt and water best survived. Good for when you’re chained in the cargo hold of a ship without food or water, but not go great for the modern American lifestyle. And the pressures of living in a racist society are well documented to cause an increase in blood pressure, among other things, and generally shorten life expectancy. Oh, and don’t forget to thank white people for substandard medical care, including lower rates of nearly any expensive type of therapy (chemotherapy, cardiac bypass, MRI, etc.) That goes even if you’re rich/middle class and have excellent medical benefits. (If anyone wants references for my claims, I’d be happy to provide them but otherwise won’t clutter up the spam filter with a bunch of links.)

  20. Thank you white people for collectively being full of fail at enlightened humanism and instead doing the tough job of treating anyone and everyone who isn’t you as anything but human, let alone a living being, for centuries on end and continuing into tomorrow.

    *has the lovey love towards Angel H.’s idea as well*

  21. Thank you, White People, for letting us know which issues we should concern ourselves with and why.

    Also, I appreciate you letting me know that for People of Color, the fat acceptance movement “is a non-issue, because [we've] always been accepted at [our] current size. “

  22. You sound so…angry. *ducks* No really, the comments and emails have been very special. Just think how much more fun it’s going to be by the time the election actually happens.

  23. I WOULD thank the blacks in this country for getting on with their lives, staying committed to their families, raising responsible young men, not advocating misogyny, staying free of violence and drugs, promoting healthy lifestyles for their own and above all stepping up to the plate to take their place in the sun….but it hasn’t happened yet.

  24. I’d say “You’re welcome,” but my father emigrated here from Japan in the 70’s and my mother’s family came here in the early 1900’s from Scotland. I guess I’m the wrong kind of white to take credit for all that.

    How many kinds of white are there, anyway? All my caucasian friends say I’m a pacific islander. All my black friends say I’m white. Can I take at least SOME credit? Please? Or am I just the wrong kind of white?

  25. thanks also for stealing Black creativity and saying you invented it or “it just happened”.

    Whatever Elvis’s personal feelings about black musicians might have been, he made a career out of being the acceptable white face on a black musical genre.

    Thanks to all the white recording company owners who exploited the talent of their black artists and ripped them off when were the ones who should have gotten paid.

    Thanks for demeaning and insulting Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday and the other black giants of Jazz and thanks for making it so that Louis Armstrong had to spend a big chunk of his career shuffling and grinning alongside the “real” stars like Shirley Temple. Thanks for reducing Katherine Dunham’s powerful dancing and choreographic skills to a brown skin titty show.

    oh yes massa Pat thank you so much.

  26. dear bumpy, I guess you don’t know many black people, then. Just looking at my own life, i’m quite committed to my family, I do all i can to influence the young men in my life to respect and value women, I’m not a drug user and have never engaged in violence, I live a healthy lifestyle (as much as my budget will allow, at any rate) and i’ve more than stepped up to the plate. Can you say the same? somehow I doubt it.

  27. J. Grant, perhaps you need to aspire to be the kind of white person that recognizes when discussions of oppression and history apply to them and when they do not. It would also help for you to stop being passive agressive and say what you really mean.

  28. Hello, I really enjoyed what you’ve written and as an African teenager, it is really blunt and straight to the point about all the the pain and obstacles inflicted on the African American race. However, I would like to add that as rhetorical as what you are saying may seem, I don’t think two wrongs make a right. Your hostility is covered up by light humor and sarcasm. Instead of looking backward, we should all look forward and just remember our past memorable heroes and leaders that strongly believed for change and fought for it. It is time that we do the fighting instead of the moaning, complaining, and blaming.

  29. Huh? You said “Thank you, white people.” I assumed you meant me, seeing as how my skin is sort of a light olive tone and I’m far from the darker brown that society considers “black.”

    Once again, I’m left out in the cold from my heritage. The Japanese don’t want a half-breed like me, and the Scots are… well, Scots. Their heritage is mostly “We got drunk and fought the enemy and got our arses kicked so we came to America, the end.”

    There’s a line between passive-aggressive and outright sarcasm. I posit that YOU might do well to learn the diff. Heck, the whole point of my post seems wasted on you.

    Finally: if you want to make a blasting condemnation of “white people,” acting like some kind of hardass who doesn’t care what the world thinks, you would do better than to suddenly backpedal when some “white person” calls you on your bullshit.

  30. @ bumpy

    When exactly did white America cease to produce misogynists? Or white men that abandoned their responsibilities? Or criminals that profited from the destruction of others? Funny how only black Americans are held to a standard of absolute perfection while it’s perfectly okay for white men to use sexism and misogyny as a club along with racism, swindle people, destroy lives and families all while claiming that it’s just part of being capitalists

  31. @Anyi,

    This is not about looking back. This is about life in America right now. I find it hilarious that any time black people express anger over racism there is the assumption that we are not looking ahead. I can be angry and look ahead at the same time.

  32. Anyi, speaking of past memorable leaders, perhaps you could start by reviewing Malcolm X’ speeches in England before lecturing people about fighting vs moaning? I realize you are young so I am going to leave it at that.

  33. “Once again, I’m left out in the cold from my heritage. ”

    This is relevant to the discussion here how?

  34. @J. Grant

    What calling out were you doing exactly? You made some pointless vaguely sarcastic comments in response to a post wherein the blog creator is venting her feeling about the ideas expressed in the two linked posts and then had the nerve to get butthurt when your efforts to invalidate her feeling and derail the conversation weren’t well received. Really, did you think you were going to garner anything but mockery as the point of this post swished right by your head?

  35. This entire post is nothing but self-defeating racially-charged anger and hatred from a black perspective. It’s the parallel of a twelve-year-old scrawling racist bullshit on a wall just to make people gasp. I am “white”, but my family had nothing to do at all with the things listed here. Titling it “Dear White People” means it’s addressed to me. (Fortunately enough, there seems to be some implied footnote that changes the title to an unwritten “Dear White People, But Only the Ones Who Actually Did these Things, Which Is Actually Not Even the Majority of White Bloodlines In America Today, But of Course I Won’t Say That Because I Mean, Hell, Look At How Long This Sentence Is Already, And It Kind Of Takes Away From The Childish Shock Value Of This Post.”)

    If you like, I can put a sock puppet on my hand and make it sing a rhyming song in small words. Will THAT help you understand?

  36. Don’t you love it when people won’t get pissy over what this article/post responds but will get pissy over the article/post itself?

    Yay, let’s excuse the wrongdoing party and go after the people pointing out a wrong. And “those people” are angry about the wrong?

    *gasp*

    They are more wrongbadevilfail than those they call out!

    Thank you white hegemony for creating this system!

  37. J Grant,

    White people still benefit from racism, and black people are still hurt by it. So it’s not just ‘ancestors,’ it’s history which is still happening.

    Pat Buchanan did recently ask African Americans to thank white people as a group. And you come across it occasionally, the idea that colonialism was some kind of long-term altruism; European medicine et al.

    So, this is coming from a valid place. It’s saying “no, sorry, really not grateful.”

    Also, childish shock value? Look at your post…

  38. @ J. Grant, as another “half-breed” Asian American (Korean/Caucasian)… what on Earth are you whining about? Your mixed-race-identity does not have anything to do with the long list of atrocities committed by whites against blacks. What are you butting in for? Just to use your biracial status to say, “Not all whites are directly responsible for this”?

    Um. Duh. I think most people can figure that out without needing a long disclaimer. But whether your ancestors were slaveholders or not is hardly the point; ALL whites (and white-looking biracial Asian Americans like you and me) benefit from the institution of racism as it exists today. It exists that way as a result of the stuff listed above, which includes slavery etc. So… yeah.

  39. My bad. Can I have my Shame Hat now? And do I get extra Shame Buttons on it for being Male, a Smoker, and believing that Tejano Music sucks?

    Hot damn, I never realized how awesome my life is because I’m white! Thanks for telling me!

  40. @ Anyi, young doesn’t have to mean naive. Being selective about the past and choosing only to remember “memorable heroes and leaders that strongly believed for change and fought for it” has been done. What we need to “look forward” as you put it, is to have the horrific things that happened in the past PROPERLY ACKNOWLEDGED. In your future you selectively forget your past.

    Thank you, white people, for pushing images of you and your big blue eyes, flaxen hair, straight noses and fair skin as the ultimate standard for beauty and making me, and black girls like me think we weren’t good enough.

    And thanks, white people, for never failing to tell blacks and other minorities to ‘go back where they came from’ when you’re loosing an argument. That is just so ace of you.

  41. J Grant,

    Sorry, but this isn’t about how you feel.

  42. In your future you *can’t* selectively forget your past, is what I meant.

  43. May I suggest, “Thank you, white people, for always making everything about you.”

  44. lol @ cvalda

    J. Grant, perhaps I was not clear before. I do let sarcasm get in the way sometimes. I will respond without sarcasm now.

    It has been my experience, lo these two years with this blog on the internet, that the only white people who see fit to complain and whine about posts like this are white people who don’t want to acknowledge how the past affects the present, don’t want to have an actual dialogue about race but instead move past the harm that racism has done and move forth into a world in which the racism that still exists isn’t acknowledged, and don’t want to confront the realities of their own privilege.

    Now you as a part white, part Japanese person certainly have a different experience of racism than I do. I acknowledge that. But just because your experience is different and involves the sort of story that tragic mulattoes have been dealing with in real life and fiction since the first white man ever dipped his wick int he chocolate does not not mean that it parallels/trumps/overrides/invalidates mine. Our two experiences should not cause us to be pissed at each other.

    Furthermore, I don’t feel the need to put a disclaimer on this post regarding which “white people” I am addressing. it should be clear from the links provided at the beginning. And even if one does not click on the links, it’s usually clear to any white person who has taken the time to educate themselves about race. You’ll notice many of them on this board responding.

    I don’t know many of them. They are not my minions or my fan club or my personal attack dogs (as others have claimed). They are allies in the fight against racism. You’d do well to hang with them, because I think you’d find that they will not exclude you because you’re only half white or rag on you for your heritage. Only fucking assholes do that, and I personally go out of my way to avoid assholes in life (except here, where I cannot avoid them).

    Perhaps your ancestors were involved in oppressing mine, perhaps not. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is how the descendants of those people benefit from what they or others did in the past.

    (more information about this can be found on the Internet)

    You may benefit from racism in direct or indirect ways. Racism may harm you in direct or indirect ways. Both may happen at the same time. And yet none of that invalidates anything I’ve had to say.

  45. Thank you racist troll for reminding us racism is not just stupid, but also insane, and giving us a perfect example we can look back on in future generations.

  46. “But my family didn’t do anything! We’re so innocent!”

    That doesn’t freaking matter. At all. There are a lot of white people who haven’t done anything at all – nothing to hurt minorities, but nothing to help either.

  47. I just rescued Virginia’s comment from the spam, it’s way up near the top.

    I have a serious question to ask:

    Do I really need to explain how this post is not about all White people?

  48. If people aren’t bright enough to click the links and *read*? No amount of explaining will help. They came here with no interest in the discussion beyond derailment and IMO there’s no reason to cater to them.

  49. And upon reading Virginia’s post I would like to thank white folx yet again.

    Thank you white people for creating, encouraging, promoting and supporting writers such as cassie edwards, margaret seltzer and others of their ilk.

  50. ABW, anyone who has read either the links or other blog entries you’ve written (or who has any real understanding of racism) should understand.

    Unfortunately, since a lot of people don’t read links, you might save yourself from a headache at all the white defensiveness if you put in some kind of brief disclaimer. :P

  51. abw, based on some of these comments, it’s clear that you must now wave your magic racisometer over each and every white person who reads your post to determine whether you’re talking about them. Anyone who reads 100 millibuchanans or less is exempted from feeling bad about what you’ve pointed out.

    While you’re thanking us, don’t forget to say thanks for us being so aware of racism that we think $5k covers the disadvantages of being born black instead of white.

  52. As a white woman, I am deeply offended. nay, butthurt.

    To once again see other whitefolks throwing around “OMG, saying White People as a class are responsible for anything is just like saying I personally owned all the slaves! you hate white people!11!”

  53. Angel, the movie idea sounds great. :D I really like that. Especially if you mix in Buchanan’s speech, splice it together with the responses… that would be beautiful.

  54. For Pete’s sake, Maevele, et. al., did you think you were reading The Sedated Black Woman?

    Did you read the Pat Robertson column that ABW links to? Doesn’t it make you angry? It does me. I thank AWB for venting her anger and, by proxy, some of my own.

  55. ABW. You there, gorgeous. Excuse my malformed acronym.

  56. Patrick Buchanan, not Robertson. I guess I’m having one of those days.

  57. here here maevele.

  58. er hear hear.

  59. Would all the white people whining about how they aren’t responsible for racism because their ancestors never owned slaves and they haven’t benefitted from racism please go read amp’s cartoon on the subject? You don’t have to be a KKK sympathizer to benefit from racism. You don’t have to be an Ur-Anglo-American whose ancestors made their fortune enslaving blacks to have benefitted from racism. You don’t even have to be racist (consciously or unconsciously) to benefit from racism. It’s just part of the society and pretending it doesn’t exist won’t make it go away.

  60. Long time reader, first time commenter (and no I have’t read them all).

    AMEN

  61. You are the racist. To blame all white people is assinine.

  62. As always, you can bitch and rage, or you can actually do something about this fucked-up world.

    It’s not even an original concept. I know, I know, shocking, yes, but other black Americans have already gone on these frothy tirades.

    Here’s the problem:

    The only people who will stick their fists in the air and cheer are other angry blacks who want to bitch without doing anything constructive about the real PROBLEMS. Whoopty shit.

    (And, as you doubtless already know, many of the other black population will look at you like you’re an idiot and tell you to calm the fuck down. Not that you’ll listen.)

    In the meantime, you’ll get the same reaction if you’re an angry white guy in Alabama screaming about how the Mexicans are fucking it all up.

    Or if you’re a Mexican guy in Houston screaming about how the Blacks are keeping you down.

    Or a Chinese guy in New Jersey screaming about how the Puerto Ricans are keeping you down.

    Or if you’re an Italian in New Orleans screaming about how the Irish are keeping you down.

    Or you’re a Jap screaming about how everyone who isn’t Japanese is keeping you down.

    Or you’re a native American screaming about how ALL OF THE ABOVE are keeping you down.

    Or you’re another sect of blacks screaming about how the Jews are keeping you down.

    (The Jews, funnily, don’t scream about anyone keeping them down. They just take their occassional genocide in stride and mosey along.)

    (Yes, that was a joke in particularly poor taste. You’ll get over it.)

    Scream to your sycophants. They will surely raise their fists with you, and you can all have a big Hate Quilting Bee. And anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep? They will find a whole new level of resentment and hatred for your empty words. You fuel the very people who are ACTUALLY KEEPING YOU DOWN.

    Fuck you all, regardless of race. You’re all keeping each other down when you could instead be acting to make this shithole planet a better place. But no, I realize it’s tough spewing this kind of hateful, mindless crap. You can now rest easy, thinking you’ve actually done something about the situation.

    Of course, you haven’t done a single goddamned thing.

    In the meantime, I’ll be over here up to my elbows in shit, fighting to actually change this nation for the better. With the rest of the people who know that resentment only begets distraction from the issues that really matter at the end of the day.

    Have fun.

  63. I did not choose to be born white same as you did not choose to be born black. I could blame Germans for killing my ancestors in concentration camps. I do not do it because it doesn`t lead anywhere. Spend your life on complaining instead of living it. Your choice.

  64. I might maybe agree with you, Joe, if I were actually blaming all white people for anything.

    As always, you can bitch and rage, or you can actually do something about this fucked-up world.

    whip out the Bingo, people! J. Grant wants to play. We already have “stop talking and do something!”

    The only people who will stick their fists in the air and cheer are other angry blacks who want to bitch without doing anything constructive about the real PROBLEMS. Whoopty shit.

    yes, and you’re really doing something about racism by coming to my blog and whining. Good job!!

    Seriously, if you don’t understand how communication and criticism is anti-racist work, I can’t help you.

    And, as you doubtless already know, many of the other black population will look at you like you’re an idiot and tell you to calm the fuck down. Not that you’ll listen.

    Oddly enough, that hasn’t happened yet.

    The Jews, funnily, don’t scream about anyone keeping them down. They just take their occassional genocide in stride and mosey along.

    I don’t even know how to respond to this asinine statement.

    You fuel the very people who are ACTUALLY KEEPING YOU DOWN.

    Right, because I’m at fault for racism.

    Why does it always boil down to that with these people?

    You’re all keeping each other down when you could instead be acting to make this shithole planet a better place

    Tell me, son, what are YOU doing to make this planet a better place? Give me a list of your awards, your accomplishments? Surely someone like you must be about to receive the Novel Peace Prize for all your anti-racism work since you’re demanding that we DO something instead of… what? Talking? Communicating? Sorry to use verbs at you, since what we do can’t possibly be labeled action.

  65. Please get over yourself AngryBlackWoman. My ancestors, Irish, German, Native American, etc had nothing to do with slavery. Your hatred and prejudice towards me as a white person come from the same filthy cesspool that inspires the rest of radical racebaters.

    In short, most reasonable people see your diatribe as the ramblings of a mentally disturbed individual. In which case, your views are met either with scorn or pity. I personally just think of you as an ass

  66. Dear Anna,

    did I “blame” you for being born white?

    Also, we don’t play the oppression olympics around here. That is, we don’t go around saying, “Oh, you jews have it so easy compared the the Blacks”, or “White women are better off than black women”. Know why? because that’s stupid and leads no where.

    How you deal with the people who messed with your ancestors is your business. But please do me the courtesy of having the agency to deal with the people who messed with mine in my own way.

  67. At this point, I also have to say that I am kinda done responding to people who just come here to tell me how wrong I am instead of wishing to engage in actual dialogue. If any of you wish to have a conversation, I’ll be waiting. but if you’re just spewing more of the same nonsense kf is spewing, don’t bother. I’ll probably just disemvowel you.

  68. Everything you write is true. Your people suffered deeply and unjustly. And I am sorry that your pain is so severe that you are still suffering in anger and bitterness.

    But there is hope… forgiveness.

    As a white person, may I kindly ask you to forgive me in place of those who have hurt your race?

    Your anger and bitterness keeps you and your people on a downward spiral.

    Forgive and move on. You have a choice to break the cycle of hatred.

    Choose forgiveness.

  69. Thanks for a prompt answer. Lets play some oppression olympics around here. Sure jews have it so easy compared to blacks. And they had it even easier during the exodus and Hitler`s reign. You know why? Because they showed amazing strength with dealing with the past. Anyway, let me ask you one thing: Are you a racist?

  70. “Choose forgiveness.”

    You know, you say you want forgiveness but you embody *precisely* what people are angry about in that comment.

    ABW, I do think it’s time for a Big Hate Quilting Bee. I know that what with my fulltime double shift schedule of HATING THE MAN and all, time is short, but perhaps we can schedule something next week? I’ll bring some more bourbon baked beans, and some red flavor koolaid.

  71. Oh look. Here go the miffed white people telling us all “Move on!” and get over it!

    Bonnie – did you even stop and read ANYTHING posted on this blog, or did some group point you and the rest of these cronies here? Anger does not equal hatred. Anger, in fact, is a pretty productive emotion because it moves people to action.

    To the rest of the angry white BOYS here –
    Obviously, none of you are intelligent enough to have actual dialogue with. I know that I’m probably wasting my time typing a rebuttal, but seriously, instead of OBFUSCATING any point that hurts your precious privileged white male feelings, perhaps the REQUIRED READING would do you all just fine.

    But it’s so much easier to troll and talk about “How you negroes get it so, so easy.”

  72. Bonnie, I appreciate the sentiment, but here’s the hting you’re not getting: any suffering I experience is not about being bitter about the past, it’s about what happens to me right now. This post is an excellent example of that. Go click the links at the very top of it. You’ll see Pat Buchanan saying “Black people should be grateful to white people for all we’ve done for them!” which is his way of either showing his ignorance of the past or, as I truly suspect, trying to downplay the decades of racism that are the direct cause of the racism we experience today. I have to keep bringing up the past because certain people want to act as if it doesn’t matter, has no bearing on the present, and should be forgotten.

    Frankly, I say no to that.

    But the thing is, the thing you’re not getting, is that I don’t need to forgive people in the past who did bad things. I don’t need someone else to be a proxy for that. What I need is for people who are alive right now, people like you, to help me put an end to racism.

    How do we do that? Firstly, by not telling me to get over the past. The past informs the present. We don’t need to get over it, we need to acknowledge that it happened and use the lessons learned from it to make sure bad shit does not continue to happen.

    Second, we need to say, “Okay, what racist crap is going on right now?” We need to call it out, label it for what it is, and say “This shit is WRONG.”

    Third, we have to make it known that wrong things cannot and will not continue under our watch.

    All of that is about the now.

    I don’t need to forgive people in the past. those people are dead. What I do need to do is make sure that the systems they put in place to keep me from true equality under the law and in the minds of other people are torn down and burned.

    You wanna join me in that? I could use the help.

  73. HEY! J. Grant, wow, ‘fighting to change this nation for the better’? How? Spending your day responding to a post on someone’s opinions? Opinions that according to your own statement do not, in fact, apply to you? Well, aren’t you a regular humble Jesus, looking out for everyone…

    I’ll give you a tip, go read actual racist commentary, hm’k? Try http://www.blackmonitor.wordpress.com

  74. SIGH. Anna, you’re starting to try my patience. If you’re going to assert that jews had it easier, fine, but I really don’t think it had a lot to do with having more resilience than blacks, i think it might have had more to do with a thing we call Assimilation. Jews could hide, if they chose, and pretend to be white. and now they are! Black people, as a group, don’t have that choice. Think about it.

    Also, no, not a racist. Are you?

  75. “Thanks for a prompt answer. Lets play some oppression olympics around here. Sure jews have it so easy compared to blacks. And they had it even easier during the exodus and Hitler`s reign. You know why? Because they showed amazing strength with dealing with the past. Anyway, let me ask you one thing: Are you a racist?”

    This, sweetie, is not the point of the post. I know that diverting from it makes you feel smarter and so much better, but clearly, it does nothing more than make you look like an imbecile.

    Looks like I need to go look at the “How to Suppress Discussions of Racism” handbook that you’re using as your Play-by-play

    Let me ask YOU one thing – did you read the Required Reading when you got in here?

  76. I am really sorry for not adding “this post contains irony” to my reply.
    No, I am not racist. That`s why I feel offended while other people saying words like “black” or “white” and make a big line between them.

  77. Anna, why is the recognition of teh existence of race such a problem? Black people and white people are having two very different experiences in America. Recognition of that fact does not equal racism. This idea that somehow black people aren’t allowed to be angry about racism, or at the very least they’re not supposed to express that anger because somehow expressing the mere idea of being angry is counterproductive to the anti-racism movement makes absolutely no sense.

    Nor do the claims that a blogger does nothing except blog. I have a life outside the internet as does ABW, as (presumably) do most people. One can do all sorts of things in the time away from the comp and still use a blog as a platform for expressing how life outside has impacted you. Your mood. Your attitudes towards politics. Your religion or even your attitude towards relationships.

    These spaces are not the be all, end all of the bloggers existence. they’re just a very limited view into a small portion of the writer’s thought processes. I think commentors might want to think about that before they say something silly and self-serving about how they’re *doing* so much that the blogger is not. You don’t know what ABW does in her day to day life. That’s not something she chooses to show you, but one would think common sense might make people consider the possibility that she does more than sit around waiting to make posts that upset them.

  78. Oh wait…we MAKE a big line?

    Never mind that line that is put their by our society that tries to keep things unequal.

    There is nothing WRONG with racial differences. At all. Colorblindness only adds to the problem of racial misunderstanding. If anything, what you need to realize is that because of RACISM, not RACE (the two are different), is the reason that ABW and so many of us that read her blog faithfully are angry today.

    Ignoring racism and lying to yourself by saying, “There are no differences here” allow for racism to further proliferate. Spotting the differences allow for racism, even in a form like White Privilege, to be stopped and for everyone to be on an actually even playing field.

    But if you don’t like that, then you’re in the wrong place.

  79. Last time I checked, there was the Human race.

    That’s about it.

  80. *places another marker on bingo card*

  81. Yet another bingo point to J. Grant.

    Honestly, these people really think they are saying stuff that has never been said before. Nor completely dealt with.

    I’m making an executive decision here. Any comments that are off topic or are simply “What’s Wrong With Black People” and not at all discussion or honest engagement are going to be deleted. Sorry if you feel that steps on the toes of your free speech. But if you feel the need to make these statements, do so on your own blog.

  82. re: eileen re: my comment. I truly think you misread me. what angers me is the defensive whitefolks overreactions, not ABW’s post.

  83. I love how all the people charging in with cries of “Reverse racism! OMG YOU HATE WHITE PPLE!!!11!!1! WE ARE ALL ONE!!” don’t directly address the Pat Buchanan letter.

  84. To those people I say: yeah, let’s ignore gentrification, unequal sentencing rates, hate crimes and glass ceilings. That’ll make racism go away.

  85. I don’t like Dr. Condoleezza Rice, but what she said last week in the Washington Times about America having the birth defect of slavery was the truth and I agreed with her. One thing that got me last week was all this talk about the Rev. Wright and wondering why the media will do stories about white kids school shooting by kids going postal. The national media doesn’t cover a story of how the Chicago police walking black kids to a high school in Chicago’s South Side, because the gang violence has gotten so bad that the parents don’t want to send their kids to school. No child should go to schools that have gangs or be afraid to go to school. How many white people would stay in a hotel in Chicago’s South Side or the Chicago West Side?
    One more thing China is buying up Africa and I don’t think they will treat the Africans any better.
    Obama in 2008

  86. Sorry for the sentence structure errors but I’ve been ill and I don’t have health care. I worked with children for ten years.

  87. Maevele, my apologies. I did misread you. As I’ve noticed myself, the knowledge that you’re being subtle is often the only reward you get for it. Sorry to contribute to the problem.

    Eileen

  88. I want to thank white people for always being willing to take center stage, wearing as many oppression buttons as they can fit on their shirt, to scream that their ancestors didn’t own slaves.

    Truly they are an example for us all.

    Of what not to do.

  89. Long time reader, first time commenter here, and I figured I’d say that this reminded me of a classic Richard Pryor skit: http://youtube.com/watch?v=lQT1FlOibdQ (though my favorite bit is the very, very serious “But I’ll never forget” at the end)

    Great post.

  90. Thank you, all my offended white compatriots for being outraged without following instructions and reading the links, or just figuring out from context the author is responding to an offensive statement which ignores history to claim blacks should say thank you.

    I don’t think y’all can’t understand the point, you just won’t bother because you enjoy spouting racist bile at any black person who dares to express an angry opinion, no matter the context.

  91. To Anna and J. Grant,

    If you’re not part of the problem and engaging in racism than why do you assume ABW is talking about you when she airs her greviences against “white” people?

    Or to put it another way: why do you have such an investment in Whiteness? It seems to me that this isn’t exactly the thread to respond to that question, but maybe it’s still a question worth thinking about on your own.

    Anna, much of your outlook about the world reflects a certain core Jewish belief that the world for all its faults and bumps is centrally a good place. However, another core Jewish belief is an investment in social justice and to end the suffering of other people in this world, Tikkun Olam (fixing/repairing/healing the world). So why not help ABW with ending racism if you take such pride in your Jewish heritage and what it stands for? Not to mention why wouldn’t you want to help our Black spiritual sisters who still have to deal with racism for being black?

    ABW certainly asked for your help if you’re willing to lend your hand. If going out and blogging about the evils of racism isn’t your thing and you would prefer something more concrete, well why not go do that instead of criticizing her efforts on her blog.

    I don’t want to spend too much more time on this because I feel like I’m derailing the thread off its original topic, however, the topic here was about what black people have faced both historically and currently at the hands of white racism, mocking the rather silly and racist article written by Pat Buchanan. Instead of hearing the voices as angry or hateful, why not instead hear them as frustrated? Doesn’t it bother you that some of your fellow human beings feel this way because of their experiences in America?

    But mostly if you don’t think what she’s saying applies to you or anything you’ve personally done than it probably doesn’t and don’t sweat it.

  92. So, um, all of you jumping up to stop ABW’s “racism”?

    Do you also spend time jumping on Stormfront, or any of the many white supremacy sites online?

    Because it’s funny how you all are so eager to stop “racism” when it’s about criticising white folks, and not so eager when it comes to groups who have proven themselves to be violent…

  93. From an angry white woman to an angry black woman: Great post!

  94. I’m truly sorry that you have to deal with all these ignorant folk coming in here whining about your OPPRESHUN and HATRED of white people and your ANGER. (a.k.a. watch your tone, uppity negro) Because LAWD knows that only quiet acceptance of our lot has helped us PoC along and that you are talking about each and every special snowflake in here when you start out with “Dear White People” (nevermind that pesky thing called context or that whites benefit from racism even if they aren’t explicitly racist).

    Anyway, this was a great post that was a long time coming! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  95. Whew, where to start? First of all, thank you for derailing productive discussions with your own personal spew of guilt and identity crisis and other problems. Thank you for thinking this is all about you and your mom and your dad and YOUR INSIGNIFICANT LITTLE LIFE rather than about building a better world for the future of us all. Thank you for continuing to live in the delusion that you are entitled to all that you have, and that any activism you do in our communities is an example of what a good person you are. Thank you for starting programs like Teach For America where freshfaced white kids can go teach poor black and Latino kids to be productive members of YOUR society….or at least be less of a threat.

    Thank you for touching my hair and asking about my hair at inappropriate times.

    Thank you for doing blackface minstrelsy all the way up until today and then trying to repackage it and sell it back to us on CDs and MP3s.

    Thank you for telling the black kids who come to the door of the rock show that they clearly must have come to the wrong venue.

    Thank you for adopting black babies and then saying things like “you don’t see color” while said black baby sits in the corner with uncombed hair and ashy skin.

    Thank you for telling us that our faces on the cover won’t sell your magazines or clothes. Thank you for the few times that you’ve graciously put us on covers looking like animals or buffoons. Or the times when all the black model could do was wear a leopard print dress.

    Thank you for asking every black person with dreads that you see where you can “score some weed”.

    Thank you for coming to Africa and telling us we had “tribes” while you had “cultures”. Thank you for raping Africa and stealing millions of its people and then making stringent “immigration laws” to keep we Africans out of Europe and the Americas.

    Thank you for telling us that it is impossible to be black AND latino or black AND jewish or any other such SHOCKING “mixture”. Thank you for thinking that we are not everywhere.

    Thank you for being shocked at any black achievement.

    Thank you for making me feel like I have to help the world cope with me. Like I am a burden.

  96. also J Grant- I grew up with a lot of Hapas and a lot of great politically conscious ones, but when it came to these kind of discussions we unfortunately did get bogged down in these Hapa identity issues. Look, I never want to put racial issues in such strict black and white terms so that you and people with similar backgrounds to you would be erased, it is actually quite the opposite. I put them in these terms so that we can all be that we can destroy white supremacy and all be MORE visible than we are now. that beyond white supremacy there is a valley where we can be more than the sum of skin hue, slant of eye, fullness or mouth…a place where we can truly try and embody ALL that makes us who we are beyond simply what we were “born into”.

    it’s absolutely possible, but first we must unburden ourselves from some of the baggage, and the things we think we need. i think one of the best ways is to think about real ways of going into blackness instead of resisting it.

  97. forgive me for a few typos in the last one.
    i meant to say….

    “Look, I never want to put racial issues in such strict black and white terms simply so that you and people with similar backgrounds to you would be erased. what i want is actually quite the opposite. I put them in these terms so that we can all be that which will destroy white supremacy. so that we can all be MORE visible than we are now. i feel certain that beyond white supremacy there is a valley where we can be more than the sum of skin hue, slant of eye, or fullness of mouth…”

  98. Crikey! I’m too busy to turn on the computer for a few hours and the internet explodes. From the amount of Teh Stupid that you’ve left in, I hate to think how many offensive idiots you’ve had to delete off here already.

    I’d like to think that “imagining we brought civilisation to the Dark Continent” b*ll*cks wasn’t still going on here in Britain nowadays, but unfortunately I know otherwise. I haven’t noticed anybody being as blatant about it as Buchanan, but then I avoid the mainstream news media for several reasons. I could give myself apoplexy over the sexism if I didn’t ration my exposure, so thank you for continuing to engage with it in spite of everything.

  99. I wonder if including an excerpt from the linked passages would help to prevent some of these angry responses from white folks. I don’t think anyone is *reading* the links. Stuff like this:

    “Black people have more opportunity in America than anywhere else in the world. If anything, they should be thankful for the slave trade put upon them by their African brothers to enable them to have these opportunities.”

    Deserves the kind of direct response you wrote, ABW. But I don’t think the angry posters have read any of it.

  100. Ico et al,

    The angry posters probably have read it. But I don’t see any evidence that they went to Buchanan’s websites and posted comments chastising him for his anger. I didn’t see very many people telling him to “get over himself”. So maybe all these angry posters agree with him.

    Which leads to my own contribution to the thank yous:

    Thank you, white people, for only having a problem withour anger and resentment, not your own. (If you’re even willing to acknowledge your feeling as “anger” and not “courageous honesty” or “refreshing freedom from PC-speak” or whatever other euphemisms you pull out whenever we call you on that shit.)

  101. Well if they have read the links, and STILL don’t get where this post is coming from… they are dumb (sorry, just woke up and can’t think of a more eloquent response at the moment).

    And your thank you is most appropriate. LOL@ “courageous honesty” and “refreshing freedom from PC-speak”! Oh, those sorts of comments are always so delightfully infuriating.

  102. @camille- “Thank you for making me feel like I have to help the world cope with me.” AMEN!!!

    Thanks, ABW, for this post and for ‘staying in it’. I get so burned out sometimes talking about these things so I thank you for your strength and your voice.
    Oh and…

    Thank you for starting rascist comments with ‘Now, you know I’m not a rascist but…’ and for keeping count of how many Black friends you have.

  103. Argghh!!! My spelling was horrible!!! Sorry- no coffee yet so my brain isn’t really working…

  104. Hi, white male here, first time vistor. Let me start by acknowledging that it is ridiculous and offensive to suggest that blacks should thank “white people.”

    I also acknowledge that your post is not about me, not about white people. But you wrote later on that you’re interested in diagloge, and so am I. Recently in particular, I’ve been wondering what I might be able to do, what I might be willing to do, to help make things right with regard to race in this country, or at least in my own small sphere of influence.

    One of the things that confounds me personally is the intense anger that many black people have. I’m not suggesting that blacks lack ample reason be angry, and I acknowledge that anger is not the same as hate. What confounds me is my personal reaction to anger.

    Anger is scary. I find it difficult to engage someone who is angry with me. When people are angry, the discussion tends to gravitate towards blaming and emotional responses.

    For example, when my wife is angry with me, that is not the time to enter into dialogue about whatever issue is in dispute. Emotions run high and it is too easy to interpret what is said in the worst possible way, too easy to say things that cannot be unsaid, things that permanently damage the relationship.

    So my question to you: what are appropriate and useful responses of white people to black anger, on a personal level? I mean, if you and I were in the same room, and you had just read the offending article and said aloud the things you wrote above in response, how would you want me to respond to you? Would you want me to respond at all? It might be interesting to think about the short term immediate response, and the longer term response, if they are different.

  105. I should clarify. I wrote “I find it difficult to engage someone who is angry with me.” That’s true, but it’s just as true if I take out the “with me.” Anger is scary, period. I wasn’t suggesting that you are angry with me personally.

  106. @Adam- What I don’t get is why you are not angry too. What is it that stands in between you as a white man and me as a black woman that makes me angry about it while you stand baffled? Why is it that I can see the gulf, gaping and deep, between us and be pained about it ,while you stand there in a confused haze? If we cannot talk about the things which bother me (and people like me), can we at least find a way to honestly start talking about the reasons why this is impossible?

  107. Butting in on Camille and Adam:
    I know there’s this huge gulf that you speak of Camille, but not having had lots of experiences where I can get a peek from the other side, I can’t see it from your POV.
    I have very rarely seen racism up close and personal near the receiving end. (I can’t really be ON the receiving end, being white).

    Unless I can see something first hand, it is hard to be angry. I know you are angry, and you should be angry, and I probably should be angry too. Mostly I’m embarassed that some whie people are stupid enough to say that shit.
    But then I have never been walking with a black friend down the street and seen “looks” or people pointing at said friend’s hair. I’ve never been arrested myself or seen a friend arrested for looking at a cop the wrong way.
    The fact that I don’t have many black friends or associates is probably the primary reason that I can’t see well enough to be properly angry, and I’m sure its an indirect result of racism (I work in the computer industry, there are maybe 3 black people in my building at work. I come from a small well-off rural white town, I knew less than 5 black kids in high school. I live in a whiter part of my current city. Etc etc).

    I will NEVER have any white->black racism directed at me in America. I am trying to be angry, but there is a huge line in America for race, and I haven’t ever even visited “the other side”.

    I feel dumb trying to explain :) but there’s a shot at it anyway. I don’t know about Adam tho.

  108. Adam: Anger can be scary, certainly. It can also be a useful emotion, a tool to goad one into making the world a better place. I read a lot of things that make me angry, and I want to change them. When Camille asks, “Why aren’t you angry too?” that kind of sums up how I feel as well. Whenever I see injustice done or the strong hurting the weak, I get angry.

    Our culture does a number on expressing certain types of emotions. It encourages us to think that certain emotional expressions are a weakness, or wrong. But there is nothing wrong with being angry over injustice.

    BTW, when I was first exposed to this, I too felt attacked and guilty. I grew up in a white, culturally and religiously homogenous neighbourhood, unaware of the tilted playing field. As I slowly became aware of the larger world issues, I started questioning why I had been kept ignorant. Or why nobody wanted to acknowledge the crazy ways we humans treated each other.

    Even now, I occasionally have trouble recognising my privilege. Maybe it will help if you think about it in different terms. Say, you live on the second floor of an apartment building. Say the apartment has been owned for fifty years by some relatives of yours you don’t know very well. They’ve died, and willed you the apartment. You move in. It’s a nice apartment. Not super swank or anything, but nice. After a few days, the neighbours on the floor below you show up. They’re glad to see you, but they would like you to know that your relatives never did any upkeep on the plumbing in their apartment, and the constant leakage has been ruining their place. They couldn’t afford to move, and they’ve been cleaning up this mess this entire time while your relatives ignored it. So….do you let the leak continue? It wasn’t your fault, after all. Why should you be penalised because your relatives didn’t do what they were supposed to? Do you ignore the problem, hoping it will just go away on its own? Or do you work with the neighbours below to fix the plumbing?

    This is not an exact analogy, mind you. (Analogies are never meant to be one-to-one.) Obviously the issues of race are more complex than a two party housing disagreement. But I thought it might give you something to think about. Sometimes the world just plain isn’t fair, but we step up and clean up the mess, whether we made it or not, because in the long run, it will make everybody’s live’s better.

  109. I could blame Germans for killing my ancestors in concentration camps. I do not do it because it doesn`t lead anywhere.

    Good for you. Glad to hear it. However, I know a number of Jewish people who still refuse to buy items made in Germany* even though anyone who may have participated in the Holocaust is by now dead or at least retired, apologies and reparations have been made, and modern Germany does not appear any more anti-Semitic than modern US-America. I’m not judging that decision, just pointing out that even if ABW was angry only about past racism not, as she is and others, including myself are, about ongoing current racism, her anger would not be unprecedented or even unusual.

    Be that all as it may, how would you feel about a German, possibly one involved in the NPD or Republikaner, who said something like, “Jews should be grateful for Germany. Not only did we put up with them for centuries before having a pogrom, if it hadn’t been for the Holocaust, they never would have gotten Israel?” Angry yet?

    *But none who refuse to buy Fords despite Henry Ford’s role in getting the Nazis to power. Guess it’s not what you do but what you get caught at.

  110. Great question, Camille. I’m glad you asked because it helps to clarify my question.

    I am angry, but specifically in this case I’m angry at Pat Buchanon and the people who support his ideas. I’m also particularly enraged at the Bush administration over the response to Katrina and a host of other offenses. There are no shortage of people I’m angry with.

    But when I express my anger, I try to be specific regarding who I’m angry with, or at least to make clear that it’s a generalized anger not directed at anyone. (As a silly example, maybe I’m angry that it’s raining today when I want to be out gardening.)

    Maybe my question should be, at whom is this expression of anger directed? That’s certainly one of the first things I ask my wife when she is angry. “Are you angry with me?”

    As i’ve already noted, I don’t think this post was directed at me personally. But
    who then?

    I think a lot of my confusion has to do with language, and how people from the black community talk about their anger. I have not had the perspective of being black, and it can be hard for me to interpret what exactly is meant. I want to get better at understanding.

  111. @Geek – I think you need to think a little more BIG picture. Not just about the daily instances of blatant racism or prejudice but above and beyond to the larger structure. The anger is not so much at that stuff as the system in place that structures our dynamic in such a restrictive way. I mean, just look at my list of “thank yous”. I am interested in justice, not simply getting along. I am interested in communication that not only “breaks down walls” but may ultimately be fatal to the integrity of things you hold near and dear. you say you haven’t visited the other side. what is your investment in “your side” that keeps you from going to the other? what is the structure in place that makes you continue to believe in the illusion of your “side”?

  112. @Adam – It is the system of racism which precisely keeps me from being able to contain my anger simply to Pat Buchanan. Buchanan is merely symptom. Anti-racists understand that and can cut to the quick.

    I understand that there is no Big THEM. I almost hesitate to use medical metaphors like symptom because it implies that there is a healthy body there, something which only needs the “cancer” of racism to be extruded and we will all be happy and healthy again. Racism is a vital organ of this body, this world, as we know it, now. In that way, I see no reason to focus so much on the list of individuals; through anti-racism we can do the work to pull the plug that fuels all these horrific injustices.

    I will ask you the same thing I asked PFish (albeit slightly rephrased), what stands between you and the work of anti-racism? What can you do to educate yourself? Black people are not looking for you to “feel as we feel”, rather we are asking: in a big wide world (full of glaring injustice and horrific suffering that you are pumping your energy into either through your direct actions or passive inaction), what are the investments that keep you “plugged in”? What are the things you think you are entitled to and why? What is the elaborate illusion in place, holding your world together? What constitutes the space from which you speak? Again I ask, what is this distance between us and why do you think it does not exist between you and other whites? I am not saying we are all the same. No, not at all. I’m saying we are all horrifically frighteningly different and the things which you think hold you together with other whites, THEY ARE NOT THERE. It is just an abyss, a deep chasm a void, which is filled with delusion. A delusion that is destructive not only to non-whites but ALSO WHITES.

  113. oops I meant, “I will ask you the same thing I asked GEEK”. sorry.

  114. Just for today, I’m ignoring all the defensive white people. They make me tired.

    I thought this post was awesome and I hope Buchanan reads it.

    Happy, now, Buchanan?

  115. Camille: Heh. I was re-reading that trying to figure out what you meant. (BTW, I think it’s true that much of what we see as binding is an illusion. In some cases, we have a fictional relationship with the rest of the world, in terms of how we see it versus how they see it versus how it really is. )

  116. @PFish – Glad I quickly cleared that up! BTW, when I say it is an illusion I don’t mean to say that there is necessarily anything “real” or fundamental we need to get to. My call is most certainly not for anyone to get real, rather it is– as The Beatles pleaded lo those many years ago in the song We Can Work It Out– a call to “try and see things my way”.

  117. I’m gone for 24 hours and the internetz explode with angry white people!!

    Re: Video,
    Hmm….where to start, where to start….

  118. Don’t blame me, my ancestors were pure Irish, we didn’t have to money for slaves. lol

  119. Hi. I’m a white British guy. My ancestors did not kidnap people from Africa. They were sold people by other black Africans. Maybe you should thank your ancestors for that?
    Oh, and you can thank the British people and government for banning slavery, and using the Royal Navy to enforce the end of the slave trade. You might also want to thank the local governments of numerous UK cities who have apologised for the slave trade.
    Or maybe there’s just no pleasing you?

  120. “what is your investment in “your side” that keeps you from going to the other? what is the structure in place that makes you continue to believe in the illusion of your “side”?”

    Hopefully none but I’m not naive enough to believe I haven’t “won” a pretty major lottery by being born white in the US.

    In answer to your 2nd question..
    My “sides” thing- I meant that we are on different sides of the see/experience chasm because according to society we are on different sides of the race divide. The illusion of a “side” is created by a vast difference in experiences in this case.

    I agree with what you’re asking and saying.
    I AM angry with the social injustices and the treatment of people.
    I was speaking in terms of it being hard to get angry in this, or any, specific instance because the first thing I think of (what a stupid asshole Buchanan) isn’t the first thing you think of, which I would guess is related more to the big picture.

    That is I hope I’m on your side and being anti-racist, but I’m still a novice and I don’t always see things for what they may be to other people right away.

    * I am enjoying the dialogue but I may be repeating myself in several different ways in an inept attempt to get the point I am making across. I am not a super-eloquent speaker/writer.

  121. Er also rereading some of your post –

    “Again I ask, what is this distance between us and why do you think it does not exist between you and other whites?”

    The (white) *lack* of experience of being discriminated against because of race is the chasm.
    That is the chasm I am speaking of. I can only imagine what it is like to be non-white. There are NO other differences between us that I don’t have with any other person, you are totally 100% right.

  122. You are welcome.

    My people got here well after the Civil War – they came from the peasant class in Eastern Europe…

    But we did pay into the tax base, that helped to support social programs and entitlements. You are welcome for that.

    We are sorry about the vast majority of African American children being born out of wedlock – if we can help with that problem, let us know.

    We are sorry about the 1 out of 2 Afro-Am girls having an STD between ages 14-19 testing positive for an STD – if we can help with that problem, let us know.

    We are sorry that 14,000,000+ of the abortions that have taken place since Roe V. Wade (1/3d+ of the total) have been of black babies. That would have been enough to repopulate New York City, that would have represented a population increase of 33% – sorry they aren’t around.

    We are sorry about the horrible and low graduation rates in some urban school districts in some cities like Detroit where Af-Ams have been in the majority and been running the school districts and local gub’ment for decades… We don’t know what happened – we thought you would do OK with your own cities and running things for yourself.

    When it comes to the prison population: The rate of incarceration in the United States, 702 inmates per 100,000 residents, continues to be the highest in the world. Among black males 25 to 29, 12.9 percent were in prison or jail. Overall, 4.8 percent of black males were in prison or jails, compared to 1.7 percent of Hispanics and 0.6 percent of whites. Black women in prisons and jails continue to outnumber their white (5 times as many) and Hispanic (more than twice as many) counterparts. “

    …I am not sure what to say. Do I say “You are welcome” for getting all of these criminals off of the street and into places where they are clothed and fed and even have opportunities to get GEDs and college credits? Or do I say “we are sorry” that we did not decriminalize drugs and black-on-black violence more to the poing where these valuable members of your community could be on the street… So tell me which you want on that one – an apology or a your welcome.

  123. My people got here well after the Civil War – they came from the peasant class in Eastern Europe…

    Column I. Row 2.

    Also, Amp’s cartoons rock!

    But we did pay into the tax base, that helped to support social programs and entitlements. You are welcome for that.

    Colum B. Row 1.

    Fact: More whites are beneficiaries of welfare and public assistance programs. Hmm..I wonder what made you think it was Blacks? Could it beeeee…..RACISM!

    We are sorry about the vast majority of African American children being born out of wedlock – if we can help with that problem, let us know.

    We are sorry about the horrible and low graduation rates in some urban school districts in some cities like Detroit where Af-Ams have been in the majority and been running the school districts and local gub’ment for decades… We don’t know what happened – we thought you would do OK with your own cities and running things for yourself.

    The bullshit….it’s….i-its….suffocating me!!!

    Column N. Row 3. “Blatant Stereotype”. Free space!

    …I am not sure what to say. Do I say “You are welcome” for getting all of these criminals off of the street and into places where they are clothed and fed and even have opportunities to get GEDs and college credits? Or do I say “we are sorry” that we did not decriminalize drugs and black-on-black violence more to the poing where these valuable members of your community could be on the street… So tell me which you want on that one – an apology or a your welcome.

    Raise your hand if you just knew someone was going to use those statistics as a way of “proving” that Blacks are inherently bad, instead of asking why the justice system is imbalanced towards the incarceration of blacks vs. that of whites!

    Raise them high!

    Hey, “Are You Kidding Me”! come back and say more stupid racist shit! I’ve almost filled my bingo card!

  124. I’m not sure what I can do from my position over the pond except for to challenge any Americans I come across if and when they express racist views.

    Well, you could examine racism within your own society, if you so chose. For example, you could challenge derogatory characterizations of Pakastani, Indian, and African immigrants to the UK. You could examine to what extent systematic racism still exists in your society, i.e. a recent study in which the authors demonstrated that applications to medical schools with Asian sounding names were less likely to be accepted than applications with white sounding names, with comparable qualifications. You could look at issues of housing, education, discrimination, unequal protection under the law, etc. I don’t know UK society that well and so don’t know to what extent each of those problems exist there, but I have the feeling that the UK isn’t a racism free utopia. And could you please, please fire this idiot?

  125. We are sorry about the vast majority of African American children being born out of wedlock – if we can help with that problem, let us know.

    I don’t see kids born out of wedlock as a problem in and of itself. However, if you mean unplanned/unwanted kids being born to unprepared mothers who are deserted by the kids’ fathers, ok I’ll agree, that’s a problem. So, if you want to help prevent black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and mixed race kids from being born to unprepared parents AND prevent STDs, it can be done, all in one easy step: Just dump this idiotic, proven ineffective “abstinence only” nonsense and teach real sex education in the schools. Making condoms and other forms of birth control available to teens would help even more. Improved access to abortion for cases when birth control fails (or, people being people, isn’t used) would help yet more. And if you want to go really crazy, you could lobby for mandatory maternity leave and universal health care for pregnant women and children.

    Ok, so I’m fantasizing wildly. “Are you kidding me” doesn’t have any intention of really doing anything to help.

  126. umm, about the death of Levon Jones in New Orleans…it seems to me he was a young, black, drunk, disorderly man, at the time of his death….maybe he would still be alive if he hadn’t needed to be constrained. I’m not saying that it isn’t a horrible thing that happened, but let’s not make it out to be that he was some poor, black kid who didn’t do anything wrong that night. He should have left when he was told his attire was not what the club demanded. I bet there were alot of other black guys in there with the right attire on.

    Bottom line, whether black or white, yellow or red, you have to be responsible for your own actions

  127. oh, by the way:

    In all honesty, I can’t fathom how the black community has embraced Barack Obama as being a “black” American. His mother, Ann Dunham, was born a young white girl from Kansas. His father was born and raised in Kenya. The two met while at college in Hawaii, married and produced Barack Hussein Obama. His father left his mother when Barack was two years old.

    Barack’s heritage does not stem from the blacks that were placed on the “black merchant” ships. These were black Efik seaman, who traded their own people to slavery for money. Hmmm…think about that one for awhile. If we are going to get our history straight, let’s start at the beginning. Black slavery would not have been a problem if not for the willingness of black traders to sell off their own people. Sort of like prostitution would not be a problem if men didn’t go to prostitutes. People, no matter what the race, do things for money.

    But, I digress. Let’s get back to the point that Barack Obama is not from the descendents of slaves that lived in America, over one hundred years ago. His daddy came from Kenya to study here in America. Left his mommy and went on to Harvard. Oh, he was such an abused black man. Then we have his son, who was so abused as a child that he grew up in a wealthy home with white grandparents who made certain that he went to Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Oh, dear, such oppression. And now, this oppressed white/black Kenyan-American is so down-trodden by the white, rich people of America that they are actually considering voting for him for President of The United States. I just can’t fathom how being so oppressed allows him to sleep at night.

    Fact, Barack Obama placed himself in the middle of poverty stricken black communities in order to obtain a “foot in the door” to the black community. Because until then, he lived the lifestyle of the upper class black man.

  128. Thank you, White People, for refusing to deal with reasonable blacks for long enough to let the demagogues take center stage. Thank you for the way the Newark Teachers’ Strikes were mishandled. Thank you for enforcing the “one drop of black blood” theory for long enough even after slavery was over to convince my students that whites and blacks are practically different species.

    Thank you for ignoring or downplaying black concerns for long enough for the gangs and the haters to move in and convince the black youth that school success is either out of their reach or a betrayal of their heritage.

    Thank you for using “white flight” as a reason for not drawing school district boundaries equitably.

    And finally, thank you for the zero-sum approach to human rights. I don’t know how we could have survived as a nation if the Powers That Be hadn’t pushed the notion that someone else (be they black, female, homosexual, Jewish, whatever) getting access to a right somehow diminishes that right for those who already had it.

  129. Does exemployee win a prize for being such an incredible example of stupidity and stereotyping?

  130. a portion of this comment has been moved to the Open Thread -abw

    ~~~
    Exemployee:

    umm, about the death of Levon Jones in New Orleans…it seems to me he was a young, black, drunk, disorderly man, at the time of his death….

    Yes, he was young and Black when he was restrained at a predominantly White night club.

    Bottom line, whether black or white, yellow or red, you have to be responsible for your own actions

    And so should the assholes who killed him.

    In all honesty, I can’t fathom how the black community has embraced Barack Obama as being a “black” American.

    How about asking yourself instead, how PEOPLE have embraced Sen. Obama as being a worthy candidate for president.

    Thank you, white people, for accusing us of “making everything about race”, when you’re the ones who are quick to point out someone’s race to diminish their success in life.

    Black slavery would not have been a problem if not for the willingness of black traders to sell off their own people.

    Thank you white people. Because of your insecurities, you have repeatedly associated my people exclusively with crime, “a pattern that I once thought began with the post-Reconstruction white media until it occurred to me that even before the Confederate Restoration, black were viewed as criminals. Stealing themselves!”

  131. My ancestors did not kidnap people from Africa. They were sold people by other black Africans.

    Hmm. They took people against those people’s will? That’s kidnapping in my book. The fact that they gave other people money as well doesn’t make it less so. The only way it wouldn’t be kidnapping is if the actual enslaved people said it was OK.

  132. Camille, thank you for the thoughtful responses. After re-reading the original post, and your replies to my earlier questions, I do think I have a better understanding of where you are coming from. The post under required reading entitled “How Not To Be Insane When Accused Of Racism (A Guide For White People)” was also helpful.

    The original post really was an effective rebuttal to Pat Buchanon’s absurd and offensive claim. The part that threw me was the reference to “white people.” When I see someone expressing anger at “white people” it’s a challenge to interpret that objectively.

    It makes me uncomfortable to see labels put on classes of people. The concept of “us” vs. “them” is what got us into this mess in the first place. Labels are integral to the “system of racism” to which you refer. We use labels to contain people and to control them. They are part of the “elaborate illusion” you mention.

    It is not just in racism that labels do us harm. Bush need only label anyone who disagrees with the war as “unpatriotic” to create an effective distration from the real issues at hand. Personally, I think we need to move away from labels, but then, in writing the original post, what words other than “white people” would have worked? I couldn’t come up with a better way to say it, so there it is.

    I remember reading Barak Obama’s recent speech on race, and while the whole thing was awesome, one part that really gave me hope was when he made the point that people who have suffered injustice and those who would seek to redress it need to make common cause regardless of race. As you point out, there is no shortage of injustice in this world. Focusing on what we can do make society more just for everyone gets us past the “zero sum game” and away from the divisions inherent in labels.

    It may happen that in addressing the injustices in our society people of color as a group will benefit more than others in the short term, but that is only fair. It simply reflects the inequity of the current situation. So long as disadvantaged people who do not happen to be black are not left in the cold, and so long as our measures do not come at the cost of creating a different set of injustices, what is there to argue?

    I was saddened to read Are you kidding me’s post, which I won’t dignify by responding to directly. But it did remind of a quote I’d come across recently by Anatole France: “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets or steal bread.”

    I imagine this quote captures part of what you mean by a “system of racism.” Am I right? It’s going to be difficult to unwind this mess, but I am hopeful that we’re about to make some progress.

  133. I was coming here to add some funny snark, but instead I am just going to say Thank you to *this sample of white internet people, for proving that no, *white folks as a inclusive class are not willing to talk constructively about racism, even if a few of us are trying.

    Also, omigods, do you really want to start in about how slavery is the fault of the Africans? Because although there was slavery in africa, it was more like indentured servitude or serfdom, than cruel murderous ownership, so they did not know what type of slavery they were selling people into.

    *awkward structure to show I don’ mean all white people.

  134. Eric

    I think I’ve kind of responded to you in part with my previous post to ABW…

    The fact is that some Jewish people can pass as ‘white’ and some can’t. Of course it’s not always possible to see who’s a Jew. But my experience is informed by the fact that one of my close Jewish friend’s experience is that at least once a day someone will ask her ‘where she comes from’. Her family have been in the UK for over 150 years! Clearly, people see her dark hair, dark eyes and distinctive features as something different, something foreign to the UK. (Although she has said that it’s getting better in London because of the increasing diversity of the city).

    This is why I am very sensitive to this topic because I know how much it hurts for her to be on the one hand considered the ‘other’ and on the other to be considered too ‘white’ by POC to suffer discrimination.

    I’m not saying this discussion should be about Jews. In fact I’d rather it wasn’t. I was far rather interested in understanding (as someone who works in cross-communal activities) the ongoing American experience of racism. I think I must have read 50+ blog posts here without ever commenting.

    But when I saw a comment that I felt belittled another community’s experience of discrimination, I felt the need to say something. The who’s been oppressed more route is just all very depressing and counterproductive and I felt that ABW’s comment was in that space.

    You might disagree, but frankly, if we can’t even agree in this kind of space to say that a variety of groups have their own, different experiences and we should try to respect them then frankly we’re screwed.

  135. Thanks for the rad post!

    Something that came up for me reading over some of the predictable racist arguments that came up… However irritating this process might be, I’m actually really interested to find out more about why some white people get all into the argument that “my ancestors were soooo poor/oppressed/blah blah blah that I bear no responsibility for racism and have no white privilege.”

    Why does this seem like a valid argument for some white people, and how can we counter it (assuming we’re talking to someone who is actually engaging a discussion and not just waiting for their turn to talk)?

    I’ve ended up in a few discussion with people who were generally well-intentioned but got stuck on the “but my grandparents didn’t own slaves” argument.

    Does anyone have a simple way to address this, without whipping out a ton of statistics that will make someone’s eyes glaze over?

    I guess the real question is, why do people in positions of power want to claim they’re being victimized, and how can you get someone to let that go? Complicating the question more is the fact that, often, the people who cling to this argument do have real experiences of class-based and/or gender-based/sexual orientation-based oppression, so they have some legit reasons to feel oppressed–just not in the arena of race and ethnicity.

    By the way, thank you white people for biological warfare. What a smart idea!

  136. …Argh.

    OK, folks. ABW isn’t close to a computer at the moment, but she has asked me to convey the following message on her behalf. And I quote:

    “Quit going off-topic, people, before I close the thread down and start shooting people in the face.”

    Translation for those who need it: use the little scrolly thing on the side of your browser. Go back to the OP. Read it. Notice that this started, not with a random Tourettes-esque rant sans context, but with Pat Buchanan’s demand that black people express thanks for all that white people have done for them. Which ABW has done. She has asked all of you to contribute your own reasons why black people should be grateful for all white people have done. IF YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS, YOU ARE OFF-TOPIC.

    Thanks, and good night.

  137. What should Blacks be thanking Whites for ? I am racking my brain. How about Space exploration? Other than Black Americans what other African descended persons (excluding Arab and North African and that white South African) have been astronauts ?

    Though, really, the strength of the American space program is really only a product of a nation that began by exploiting slaves to jump-start an economy that would later become resource-exploitive that allowed it to become a global superpower, sending many good white men to school, some with slide rules to become engineers, and some with nice hair to become politicians. Why oh why, except with fear of the power of the black man, did any of these repressed people become Astronauts? I mean, why did the powerful white people need economically repressed black astronauts in space? Were they planning to have plantations in space colonies? I can only surmise that these must have been some really nice white people to defy reason by ever training a black man for space flight. Speaking of which, whose idea was it to send women? We all know they can’t drive.

    (The above sarcasm is obviously a joke, I had a much more methodical and helpful comment earlier, but it didn’t make the cut.)

    All kidding aside, being on the path to something is not the same thing as having arrived at the destination. Climbing the metaphoric mountain, Pat Buchanan wants to say, it’s true that some stepped on you, climbed on and over you, but now some of those hands are reaching out to pull you up. Unfortunately, Buchanan does not realize that simply extending the hand is not enough. The job is not done until we’re all at the summit, even if that means carrying one another.

  138. thank you white people for the KKK
    thank you white people for the Nazis
    thank you white people for the racist media
    thank you white people for the projects
    thank you white people for seperate but equal
    thank you white people for raping slaves
    thank you white people for seperateing selling black babies during slavery
    thank you white people for colored only
    thank you white people for the word nigger
    thank you white people for not letting us know which part of Africa we are from
    thank you for killing Martin and Malcolm and Medgar
    thank you for all white male juries
    thank you for lynchings
    thank you for j edgar hooger
    thank you for last hired and first fired
    thank you for reagan and bush and mccain
    thank you for a blue eyed jesus that doesn’t look like us
    thank you and thank you again and again.

  139. Thank you, white people in Hollywood for the token black guy. Great effort! Even if you usually kill him off before the story is over.

    Thank you also for the invisibility of black actresses from mainstream flicks. They’re probably not as talented as white actors, anyway.

    And in my own field: Thank you to the white professorate for defining almost every literary period in history according to the work of white men, for relegating black authors exclusively to the “African American lit” section, for excluding black authors from the canon, and for pretending African literature does not exist.

  140. Thanks for pretending racism is just an American problem.

    Thanks for trying to trick us that slavery is over and that you ended it. There is more slavery today than when my great greatgrandma was shoveling up cotton.

    *

    I live in the fabled Eastern Europe which I’ve seen one or two of these usurping characters speak about in dubious terms, uh we’ve got issues too. Ahead of international Roma Day, in the midst of nasty struggles in Kosovo, after the horrific “anti-immigrant” legislationthat they keep pushing through in UK to get the “right people in there” (not to mention the daily official and unofficial racist violence againt “immigrants”) …OK, let’s say it together, “We have racism here too. People benefit from white supremacy here too. ” Ahh doesnt that feel better?

    *

    Also to those who say that black people maybe perhaps do not deserve their anger because they have done this or that offense against (white) America or the (white) world. I say SO WHAT? First of all there is a problem of directionality, you are saying blacks were taken as slaves 300 years ago BECAUSE we commit crimes in urban ghettos and have high incarceration rates now? Where was this fated prophecy written, in which holy book did it say “Take these people now for they will commit offense against you in the future”, where did it say that? I’d honestly like to know. It is asinine.

    Also my bigger SO WHAT? Is about TODAY. What ideology are you functioning from that says that because of some negative statistics racism is OK? Where does it say that if someone is born poor or has a child out of wedlock that it is OK to mistreat them or deny them equalrights and justice. Even as man (black or white) commits a crime there is supposedly a system in place to give them their punishment, but nowhere is it written that any of these crimes should be a stain upon either that person or the people who are related to him or people that simply look like him. I don’t understand the harkening to crimes of the past or the present as a justification for the existence and persistence of white supremacy. I don’t understand what you are so invested in that you think this system is good.

    I doubt you will be able to get through to me. You,who copy and paste statistics here. You, with burning finger pointing at me. What ideology underlies all that you are doing?From what location, are you sending these ideas to me? And why? What would happen if you simply stopped? What would be lost?….What could possibly be gained?

  141. a note – I’m back at my computer now, and I’m going through all the comments I haven’t seen. There’s probably going to be a lot of disemvoweling and deleting, just so you’re aware.

  142. “Or do they not count.? Cause only whitey is to blame for everything. Whitey’s very existence cancels out any and all other atrocious acts committed by any other race or culture?
    lol

    But you are welcome for all the great things we invented.”

    Thank you, troll, for missing the point. But you, just like all the other kids who have posted in here that aren’t interested in changing anything, seem to like having some sort of fun in making yourself seem as if you are just so innocent in the racial problems that exist in America.

    Do some reading in this blog, while you’re telling someone else to crack a book open. If you don’t know how to comprehend any of it, then that isn’t our problem. All you’re doing is embarrassing your many white peers in this thread.

  143. And, BTW, Velvet Hammer, while you want to talk about “White Slaves,” do keep in mind that discrimination did not end right at slavery, with the worst discrimination coming during the Jim Crow era, and we face the residual effects of that today.

    But of course, it’s so much easier for you to blow smoke about “I’m a poor white man being blamed for everything.” While readily ignoring Apartheid, Jim Crow and the racism that exists today.

    Thank you, white people for selective memory and revisionist history.

  144. Crack a book. You know those bound volumes made of paper products with ..words in them.

    I’s so confused! First massa says she’s gonna chop off my hands and beat me if I’s learn how to read, and now she wants me to pick up those book-thingies! What is I gonna do? [/sarcasm]

    Hey, dumbass! Remember your quote:

    I have the links if anyone is interested.

    I showed interest. You backed down like a little bitch with her tail between her legs.

    Oh! And case you’re wondering: Scholarly texts only. Links from Jihad Watch and The Stormfront don’t count.

    kthxby

  145. Hey, has anybody mentioned beauty standards that are impossible for a non-white person to meet yet? Like, beauty standards that emphasize pale skin, straight hair, small straight thin facial features, etc.? I wouldn’t want those to be left out.

  146. I do not see color

    Must make it hard to cross the street without being run over. Interacting with people while being unable to notice or acknowledge a major aspect of their lived experience and identity is nothing to be proud of.

  147. Dude, I’ve heard every argument before. Over a million times. Pick up your bingo card and do some marking stuff off.

    Just because you have x number of multiracial friends (like anyone really gives a shit about that), your colorblind philosophy (“I don’t see color!” Then are you freaking BLIND?)

    Too bad that any ideas that you have about people who actually and actively TRY to combat racism and a racist system is “Blaming Whitey” or attempting to pull up texts to make slavery seem as if it’s not so bad, or that “They brought it on themselves!”

    And then, of course, that tired ass “We’re only the HUMAN RACE” excuse.

    Tell that to some schmuck that gives a shit.

    Because, if those people brought over here from the middle passage had a choice, do you think they would really want to be in America? To be treated like chattel? For their descendants to be treated as less than human and never see equality in their lifetimes? Really, do you?

    But all you see are morals, and people, and human beings, despite the Islamophobia links that you have on your blog. All you see are people with morals, right?

  148. @ Veronica:
    You mean like Michael Jackson? Sigh.

  149. White Slaves, African Masters: An Anthology of American Barbary Captivity – By Paul Michel Baepler

    And the dumbassery continues!

    Let’s look at the contributors of the book, shall we?

    Cotton Mather = witch-hunter; judge and executioner at the Salem with trials.

    William Ray: Captured as a POW of the First Barbary War.

    Speaking of the Barbary Coast (something you obviously delight in): If you had actually taken the time do a little – hmm, what’s the word? Oh yeah! RESEARCH – then you would notice that the politics of the Barbary Coast at that time were not so different from that of The US throughout history:

    When meeting with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in Algiers, the ambassador told them:

    It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was their right and duty to plunder and enslave….

    Exchange the words “Koran” and “Prophet” for “The Bible” and “Jesus”, and you’ve got a dumbed-down version – just for you, of course – of US foreign policy.

    Now, which of us needs to familiarize ourselves with books? Hmm?

  150. Oh, and here’s how you provide proof:

    Cornell University Making of America

  151. Islam is a threat and if you do not see that then you all are a lost cause.

    Thank you for proving my point.

  152. Aww, look at all the butthurt white folks who can’t handle the truth about their own country and racial history or, even, click a damn link to see what you’re responding to.

    I would say I’m surprised, but I’m not.

  153. Thank you white people for for your collective immaturity and denial to confront the past, present, and likely future. Your tendency to shove your head into the clouds/up your ass is quite the inspiration.

    Thank you white people for your pathological tendency towards megalomaniacal narcissism. It is so endearing to watch you reshape and reframe any conversation, discussion, etc. to be all about you in the way you desire.

    Thank you white people for always being so fixated on people of color. Or even certain people of color. If we are not out to get you then we are there for you to project on or simply abuse in any form or method possible.

    Thank you white people for constructing and maintaining a system that makes interracial (intra-person of color and person of color-white) relations–scholarly, friend, platonic, romantic, parental–a complex and/or fucked up mess when it comes to confronting inequality.

    Thank you white people for creating and maintaining a supremacist structure that will continue to devalue not only my nieces, nephews, own children and their descendants but also other children as they become adults.

    Thank you white people for teaching my nephews, like you did me, that we are a possibly threat to society even before we hit puberty and are dangerous adults once we’re there.

    Thank you white people for [likely already] spinning everything I just said/typed into your own twisted, distorted and hateful interpretation.

    Spirit and ancestors know I need your guidance and white jesus to set me straight while the actions and thoughts of your own are often unabated.

  154. “Keep swimming in your bile. Islam is a threat and if you do not see that then you all are a lost cause.
    Good riddance.”

    No problem! Thanks for proving my point that you’re just trying to use some of the most tired excuses to make us think that you’re less of a bigoted ass!

  155. This is a mass comment, following up many a response. I may repeat what others have said. Sorry about that.

    Hywelsbiglog: “Hi. I’m a white British guy. My ancestors did not kidnap people from Africa. They were sold people by other black Africans. Maybe you should thank your ancestors for that?”

    This is always the defense of a society filled with people who are ignorant about history and wish to absolve themselves of any lingering guilt on the manner. Yes, I’m aware that Africans sold other Africans into slavery, but Africans did not invent the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Africans did not carry other Africans across an ocean to work in a significantly different kind of servitude than was practiced in Africa, and Africans did not think of the Africans they sold as animals, just as less fortunate people. Furthermore, the Africans that sold other Africans often ended up taken themselves, because the Europeans didn’t think any better of them than the goods they were selling. And further, if the Europeans are so blameless in all of this, why didn’t they say, “Hey now! Stop trying to sell people to us! That’s WRONG.”

    “Oh, and you can thank the British people and government for banning slavery”

    yeah, yeah, lemme stop you right there. Amy educated Brit will tell you that the ban on slavery didn’t stop a damn thing, that even when the Royal navy happened upon slave ships that it was politically advantageous to search, it caused hardly a dent in the profits of the slavers, and really made little difference in the trade.

    But beyond that, I don’t recall singling Britain out specifically, I did say Europeans, because many were the countries involved in this shit. And Britain, though very sorry for what happened in the past, which is lovely, is still complicit in a lot of what went down in Africa after the slave trade ended.

    In other words, get off your High Horse you Poncy Oxbridge Git.

    Are you kidding me?: ” My people got here well after the Civil War – they came from the peasant class in Eastern Europe…”

    You obviously did not click on the BINGO card. Look, it really does not matter a white when your ancestors got here. You still benefit from racism. Get over it.

    Also, as to the rest of your comment, I challenge you to produce evidence from at least 3 independent/unrelated sources to back up every statement you made. It may take some time, but I will wait.

    Eric: “Don’t get me wrong. I don’t completely agree with everything she has said.”

    And I’m completely willing to dialogue with you about that (not on this thread, I’ll throw up an open thread tomorrow and we can converse).

    And this is just a general announcement, no further discussion of Jews being white or not white is allowed here. Want to continue? Open Thread, tomorrow, 7am eastern.

    Exemployee: “In all honesty, I can’t fathom how the black community has embraced Barack Obama as being a “black” American.”

    That’s because you’re not black. If we were to deny every person who had some white blood in them, whether half or 3/4ths or 1/4th or a drop, we’d be a small group with a lot of folks left on the sidelines wondering where we fit in. Unlike some white people, who consider one drop too much, we don’t mind people with diverse histories. Heck, Barack should be proud of his entire heritage, since his white blood doesn’t come from a slave owner raping one of his slaves. At least his parents loved each other (at some point, anyway) and decided to have a child together.

    “Barack’s heritage does not stem from the blacks that were placed on the “black merchant” ships.”

    So? Does that mean we will see him as illegitimately black? Please stop being stupid, it hurts.

    “But, I digress.”

    Yes, you do, this post is not about that.

    Adam: ” The part that threw me was the reference to “white people.” When I see someone expressing anger at “white people” it’s a challenge to interpret that objectively.”

    The reason I refer to “white people” in this post is because Pat B refers to “black people” and “white people”. HE generalized and I was responding, in kind, to his generalization.

    Also, not to sound unkind, but being uncomfortable is a natural part of the process of being an effective anti-racist ally.

  156. You’re welcome; any time.

  157. You know what this is about? This is about white peoples’ inability to accept POC voices equally- like an abuser, there’s no “right tone” to take, other than silence.

    If we speak calm, we’re just spinning our wheels, if we speak loud, we’re irrational, nevermind whether what we’re saying is true or not. There’s always an excuse to tell us why what we said doesn’t matter, and in the end, the only common factor amongst it all is who’s telling who not to speak.

    The only acceptable tone of voice is Amos & Andy, or Jar Jar Binks. The only acceptable way to talk about race is not to talk about it. The only acceptable POC say, “Yassamassa” when spoken to and never any other time.

    Guess what? We’re going to keep talking sense. Maybe one day you crazy ones will learn what it takes to be an acceptable human.

  158. I still cannot believe that in every single post about race, the same people who argue “racism is over” are commenting right alongside some asshole like “blackpubwatch” being a racist asshole.

    You can’t write about race without the racist coming out. EVERY SINGLE POST/ARTICLE on the internet this happens. Unbelievable.

  159. Thanks for the rebuttal.
    By your logic, I should feel angry at modern day Italians for the Roman conquest of Iron-age Britain. Or the peoples of the Ivory coast whose pirates themselves, kidnapped into slavery people living in south west Ireland.
    I’m also a fraction Jewish, so maybe I should hold a grudge against present day Germans.
    Am I angry at them for those past wrongs? No. That would be pointless.
    It’s much the same with you. You’re angry about what one set of ancestors did to another. Neither of which has any bearing on your chances, opportunities or happiness. At least no more than it would mine.
    Perhaps your anger is preventing you from being rational?

  160. Why exactly are people so stupid about this subject? i don’t understand.

    let me attempt to say this again: it’s not about the past ONLY. It’s about how the past affects the NOW.

    Are British people suffering TODAY because of what Romans did lo those many centuries ago? Are they treated as second-class citizens by the Italian majority still overrunning their island? No? then no, don’t be angry at Italians.

    Are Irish people still suffering TODAY because of what happened to them on the Ivory Coast? No? Then stfu.

    I happen to know there are Jewish folks today who are indeed angry at modern day Germans for the Holocaust. Are you going to tell them that their anger is invalid, useless, and to get over it? Good luck with that, I’ll just stand in the corner here and wait.

    Being angry as past wrongs that affect the present is not pointless. Did no one EVER EVER teach you the saying “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it?”, or do you think that’s just something funny to stitch on a pillow?

    Just because you choose to wallow in ignorance over what came before us and how it has to do with hat’s going on now (which shouldn’t surprise me, given the level of education in this country) doesn’t mean I will.

  161. Not only that, ABW, but in the link that I’m assuming people have actually read, Buchanan is directing that modern black people thank modern white people for the good (in Buchanan’s interpretation) that whites did for the blacks in the past. So, you’re thanking the whites (sarcastically) for the bad things they did in the past is an appropriate and legitimate response to his diatribe.

    It seems interesting that sometimes the same people who want to take credit for the good that their ancestors have done don’t see anything hypocritical about separating themselves from the bad.

  162. ABW, I must point this out–the past obviously composes exactly what’s happened in the modern world. What would have happened to the Brits without Roman intervention?

    The Irish culture as a whole has been forever altered by dealings in the Ivory Coast.

    After all, if Blacks had been enslaved, but, in some alternate reality, granted even more privileges and rights than whites after, would that change the fact that blacks would have been enslaved in the first place–no matter how much would have been changed since?

    What happened in the past is of great importance, modern and ancient.

    Jewish folk angry at the Germans for the Holocaust? That means that they’re gonna be angry at a lot of young Germans that are blameless in it. I’m a Jew. I’ll blame those deserving of it, not their descendants, because if we’re guilty for the crimes of our ancestors, then every person is guilty–from the thousands of years for the East Africans engaging in tribal warfare, to the Jews slaughtering Canaanites, to the slavery trade of select Western Europeans, to East European pogroms, to First American cross-tribe warfare, to Aztec slaughter, to everything else.

    Where’s the cut off? I’d like to be responsible for my crimes, and mine alone, thanks. Accomplishments, as well.

    And as for the “my parents weren’t here”, it’s true that you benefit from white privilege–but white skin-privilege only, not the cultural privilege people like Buchanan are privy to. He’s not the same as Pat, and takes offense at you calling him the same, or even directly related.

    It’s offensive for myself to compare you to someone who is probably no relation but shares your skin, like a leader of the Janjaweed. I don’t think it’s right. I also don’t think it’s right to compare someone to an idiot like Pat.

    Forgive my trespasses if in this post I accidentaly did something that I was already thanked for.

  163. There is no need for some magical cut-off point to be discussed, let alone conjured, if attention is being paid. Using the “then we’d all be guilty of what our ancestors done” is NOT a way of showing that attention is being paid.

    And white skin privilege extends to the cultural because it is a culture that creates a privilege towards white skin. If you have the right skin, the cultural accepts you and offers you what privileges it had set in place while informing you of itself.

    The two are not that exclusive from one another.

  164. Then attention must be paid, and I am paying attention.

    And, uh, yes it is. It shows that history is having attention paid to it.

    And, uh, yes they are. White skin gets you white skin privilege. It such not give you, say Scottish-American cultural privilege, or the privilege of being part of the French of Louisiana. And it certainly doesn’t give you a place in the Old Money of the multigenerational British-American establishment.

  165. Going back to the original intention of the post, I would have to add a thanks for assuming that black folks walking around stores are either potential thieves, warranting being watched and followed around or overtly denied service, or are store employees, regardless of how we are dressed (especially in regards to wearing the store uniform or a nametag). Thanks for establishing that there is no such thing as a black consumer because we are all after handouts.

    As for the rest of this conversation…what can you say to folks who genuinely believe that because their ancestors never owned slaves, they’ve never benefitted from systematic effects of racism? Seriously, this is racism 101. Please read some books.

  166. Then they’re silly.

    However, it does mean that their ancestors never owned slaves, and so if they are accused of such it is slander.

    That’s Basic Courtesy 101. It’s generally frowned upon to accuse people of doing things that they haven’t or being things they aren’t.

  167. Wow, Blanky. Thanks for clarifying. /sarcasm

    SMH.

    Is this really the level of discourse we can have? Then nothing will ever get done.

  168. No trouble. I aim to please.

  169. No kiddin’ OneShySistah, no kiddin’.

    Thank you white people…

  170. Also, thanks for always waiting for everyone else to be perfect before you can do anything.

    Also, I don’t get it. Even if your grandaddy didn’t own slaves, he was probably out saying bad things about the ;coloreds’ with the rest of them. [note: nothing *makes* white people HAVE to say bad things or discriminate against others. they CHOOSE to.]

  171. Generalizations, shannon? Really? You’d think that someone would be sensitive to such things.

    Hey, guess what? Not all white people fall into your prejudiced little categories. Some definitely do.
    speaking in generalities is offensive. please try to understand that.

    And, “with the rest of them”?

    The whole point of what’s-his-face’s post was that his grandpappy wasn’t in the U.S. in the first place, and so was neither accepted with “the rest of them” nor had the opportunity to speak with “the rest of them.”

    Please try to read.

  172. ABW, I wonder how many of those “outraged” by your post or who felt the need to clarify and correct were so diligent in the comments of buchanan’s post…

  173. I doubt many have a chance to do so, closed as they are.

  174. It’s okay. I know all of you so wanted to.

  175. Cool! Good thing we’re on the same page, here.

  176. I happened to come across this site and found myself reading it for some time. In response to what should Africans be saying thank you to whites for I would just like to say we should try to do what we can for one another. We must always try to help people out whenever we can. And be quick with a smile and a helping hand. If someone is in need and you can help, do so. Remember when Joseph went to Egypt he was sold as a slave. Years later his family came to Egypt and because he was there, they received food and was treated well. Skip ahead 430 years they left there very rich. So I would like to say thank you for all the contributions that Africans have made to this country.

  177. 0_0.

    Wow.

    Ever heard of the term….”Let my People, Go?”

    Thank you, again, white people, for mishandling history.

  178. Thank you, White People, for calling my well-justified rage about the current prejudices and discrimination that I face in my day-to-day life “irrational” and “sill

    Blanky, you told Shannon to “please try ot read”. How about you following your own advice?

    This is what ABW said in response to one of your posts:

    Are British people suffering TODAY because of what Romans did lo those many centuries ago? Are they treated as second-class citizens by the Italian majority still overrunning their island? No? then no, don’t be angry at Italians.

    Are Irish people still suffering TODAY because of what happened to them on the Ivory Coast? No? Then stfu.

    You then replied:

    ABW, I must point this out–the past obviously composes exactly what’s happened in the modern world. What would have happened to the Brits without Roman intervention?

    The Irish culture as a whole has been forever altered by dealings in the Ivory Coast.

    But have they suffered for it?

    Here’s what pisses me off the most about conversations like these: People of Color – especially, imo, Black people – have to prove that we do indeed face discrimination in our day-to-day lives and how the world views us as a whole. And, when we attempt to do that, when all we want is for people to shut the fuck up and open their damn eyes, we’re the ones who are called “hostile”, “irrational”, “mean”, “playing the race card”, or just plain “angry”!

    DAMN RIGHT WE’RE ANGRY!

    We have spent centuries trying to get our voices heard, and for centuries we’ve been told that our opinions don’t matter, that our pleas our worthless, and that no matter how loud or how much we shout, we are not being heard!

    Fuck it.

    I am fucking sick and tired of being judged. So, let’s turn the tables around.

    YOU PROVE TO ME that the events of the past have not lead POCs to be downtrodden upon in the present day.

    YOU PROVE TO ME that, in accordance with the portrayals by the mainstream media, we are not, in fact, consumers, taxpayers, property owners, voters, and valuable fucking citizens of this country.

    YOU PROVE TO ME that even though you “don’t see color”, can you can recognize racism when it slaps you in the face.

    YOU PROVE TO ME that despite anecdotal evidence, court records, and what what millions of people see with their own eyes and experience every fucking day of their lives, that we are treated like anything but second-class citizens.

    AND I WANT LINKS, CITATIONS, AND/OR PICTURES, DAMMIT!

    I’m tired of this bullshit…

  179. Angel you are right to be angry (duh).

    It is very wrong that the burden of proof is always on the people who need or want the change the most. Status quo has momentum.

    :(

  180. Thank you white people for assuming I’m illiterate! Also, thank you for lying all the time. I don’t care if your grandpappy came over in 2000. The bashing of people of color still goes on. How do I know? Because they bash people of color RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. They don’t even hide it. You can’t go insult somebody to their face and then LIE,ok? So big and bad you can say what you want? then deal with the consequences.

    You can’t expect me to trust you and give you the benefit of the doubt and say oh they didn’t mean it all the time, when you abuse my trust and human decency over and over again. Want white folks to be ‘free’ to be ‘un-pc’? fiiiine. just don’t expect a blowjob.

    also, thanks for lying about what you mean by confederate flags, nooses,etc and thinking we’ll believe it.

  181. I love this post, ABW.

    Am I too late to thank white people for trying to claim an awesome post as a personal attack on them, so that yet again it can be all about them? (Did I misread something, or was it titled Thank you, White People, not Thank You, Mrs. Smith in Lawndale, CA?)

    If that’s already been said in the comment-thread-I-am-still-in-the-midst-of-reading, then I would add “thank you white person, for not taking the time to read a comment thread before chiming in with what you think could be an original thought.” :-P

  182. P.S. This is technically off-topic in the offering-ideas-for-thanks department, but as many other white people have felt entitled to try and change the subject, I will at least acknowledge that I am following suit:

    I fucking love Angel H. and Veronica and Shannon.

    Great comments from many others, too.

  183. Remember when Joseph went to Egypt he was sold as a slave. Years later his family came to Egypt and because he was there, they received food and was treated well. Skip ahead 430 years they left there very rich.

    Er…My knowledge of Abrahamic religions is pretty suspect, so maybe I have this wrong, but I thought that the Jewish people fled Egypt under the leadership of Moses, pursued by angry soldiers and only managed to get away because of a miracle with the Red Sea. Hardly sounds like an endorsement for the long term benefits of being enslaved. But even if I’m wrong and you’re right about the “left very rich” bit, does that mean that slavery is somehow ok because it might, possible, occasionally bring some benefit to the great-to-the-N-grandchildren of the enslaved? Or that it’s ok (even laudible?) to enslave people if you feed them well? I think I must be misunderstanding your point because this can’t be right, can it?

  184. The whites like me who understand the atrocities of my ancestors are guilt free, the ones who keep trying to justify it apparently are doing so out of heart wrenching guilt.

  185. LOL @ white resistance, who thinks seems to believe that s/he is entitled to speak for all of white folk. My wife, who is white, quite begs to differ.

  186. So, all we have done only evil and bad? Let me remind you, without us you wouldn’t be writing this message at moment.

    EXACTLY!!!

    your stoopid…..it hurtz…

    Sistah? You have a wife? I take it you’re a lesbian.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  187. Let me remind you, without us you wouldn’t be writing this message at moment.

    A. White people happened to have discovered a lot of the things that led to the internet and the ability to write this message. If there had been no white people, then probably people of other races would have discovered the same thing and we could have written this message just the same, except maybe in Kanjii or something.

    B. By your “logic” (to use the term losely) if a group of people has done anything good then they can never do any evil ever. So because Arabic numerals and the concept of zero were invented by Arabs the WTC attacks must be a figment of our collective imaginations. Because without Islam and Arabic civilization we wouldn’t be writing these messages (try running a computer without the concept of zero sometime) so Arabic culture could surely never produce anything as evil as al Qaeda.

  188. Define multiculturalism. That, to me, implies a willlingness to embrace other cultures, and you’d be a liar if you claimed that white America has been all for improving race relations.

    And while you’re banishing people from a country that is not yours, why don’t you go ahead and get back to your home nation as well? White folks weren’t the first people here, but I’m not surprised that’s escaped you, given that the transgressions against NDNs is also far removed from your state of consciousness. Would you have them pick up and move, too? Oh wait….

    SMH. I’m so done with the ignorance.

  189. Jesus H. Macy, those links.

    Thank you, white people, for completely feeailing every conversation about racism that crops up online. We don’t need useful discourse! *headdesk*
    Thank you, white people, for taking everything personally as though you never met an asshole that was white – white people are precious miracles, after all. *abort*
    Thank you, white people, for perpetuating racism, sexism, homophobia, and the fear of anyone who might be different. That is so great! *gag*

  190. Thank you, White morons on this blog, for making it all about your fee-fees. Thank you White people, for concern trolling and whining and hair splitting. Thank you White people, for ignoring the INSTITUTIONAL and ECONOMIC POWER you have and for making such a Herculean effort to miss the fraking point.

    Now please STFU. Really. The windows in my place are cracking from all of your whining.

    Signed,

    A fellow White person who thinks you need to STFU. NO, REALLY. STFU AND LISTEN FOR ONCE.

  191. Angel H.,

    Thanks for that, but I didn’t even think he warranted a response, especially seeing as though lesbians are still biologically able to have children (with a few added ingredients, of course). Small minds don’t warrant my time, and this one’s not worthy of your intellect either. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading your opinions, though. Thanks.

  192. LMAO @ Angel! :D Awesome.

  193. Thank you, Joe, for reminding us to also be thankful for all the accomplishments white folks claim that are actually a result of slave, child, and inhumane labor, and for all the horrors of assimiliation.

  194. LOL @ joe’s anger. Thanks for the laugh. Come back when you have gotten over yourself and have something intelligent and remotely informed to say.

  195. Wow. Any of the black folk on this board rappers or convicted criminals? Joe seems to think that’s all we are.

  196. Oh. My. God. The sheer amount of st00pid pouring into this site is overwhelming.

    On the subject of doctors and “free medical care,” can I add thanks to the medical/pharmaceutical establishment for continuing in the tradition of Tuskegee (i.e. screwing over black people to save money)? THANKS for the “free medical care” offered in drug testing in African countries. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have so many bodies to experiment on — er, “help” through untested treatments. Thanks for Trovan, for dead Nigerian children, and for many others who have been seriously injured or disabled when tested on without their consent.

  197. While I’m thinking about it, thanks for consciously blowing up levees in the black communities in New Orleans to save the white. (And you can check your history books on that one.)

  198. Joe, on behalf of white and passing white people everywhere, may I just say STFU, you’re embarrassing us! OTOH, at least Joe is open about it. None of this “I’m not prejudiced, but…” nonsense, he comes right out and says he thinks blacks are inferior. Just reading his posts make me feel the need to wash.

  199. Oh yes, I know joe is sooooo right, but to deny my own shame, I must disagree. Funny, I thought that’s what your post was doing.

    Look, I might have spent all my years in school learning mandatory sections of YOUR history, but I’m not ignorant enough to go on without learning my own. Sounds like you could benefit from the same. You need to have a balanced education if you’re going to get anything more than a laugh from me. But, I won’t hold my breath.

    LOL.

  200. Mike,

    I’m a government agent who works for the NSA. I’m writing to tell you that it’s not common procedure for members of the FBI to give secret missions away. In order to resolve this slip up before it can affect national security, someone will be along to shoot you soon.

    — Ico

  201. A site called “NiggerMania” is full of unbiased reports, right?

    …damn, you’re a dumbfuck.

  202. Ico:

    *ROTFLMAO!!!

    sweeeeet :-D

  203. slavery is over. Has been for more than two centuries

    …do you know how to count? A century is a hundred years. Two centuries? Two hundred years. Two centuries ago was 1808, when slavery was alive and well.

    I realize that this is but a drop in the bucket of Joe’s general ignorance, but I think it suggests something very important: he’s an idiot.

    By the way, I am growing tired of hearing how blacks are “egyptians”. Studies and reports show otherwise.

    Do you mean to say that Egyptians aren’t black? Because I don’t know many black folk who claim to be Egyptian. The fact is that ancient Egypt, as the cultural center of civilization that it was, drew to it peoples of all descents, including those we would now call black. Look up Alexandrian history if you want to learn more.

    Plain and simple, without the “man”, blacks would die off.

    Right. So true. That’s why prior to serious contact with white civilizations, the population of Africa was dying out at a tremendous rate. Oh, wait a minute. That’s not true at all.

    I have never heard a japanese person come up to me and bitch about a handout from the “white people of the US” for what happened over 50 years ago.

    You do know, don’t you, that the US government has acknowledged that it owes Japanese citizens and their descendents reparations for the internment camps of WW2, right? Do you think that happened out of the goodness of the government’s heart, or do you think that Japanese citizens’ groups perhaps fought and advocated their hearts out to make that happen? Oh, that’s right. You don’t think. You’re ignorant.

  204. Angel, he’s a typical arrogant white person like Pat Buchanan. Keep a kleenex nearby because I’m sure he’s going to keep coughing up the bullshit.

  205. LOL @ Ico.

  206. South Africa: Wow, you shitskins sure have progressed that part of the world as it is almost entirely a cesspool of violence.

    Whereas under the rule of whites, it was as peaceful as could be. Unless, of course, you were black, in which case the violence was state-sponsored.

    Again, the average I.Q of the white man is significantly more than the average I.Q of a black man.

    Wow, you really are ignorant. Look into the history of IQ tests. They were designed that way.

  207. whites can admitt their faults and try to be productive and make up for them.

    Well, we’d never know it by you.

  208. LMAO! *ded* The day white folks can admit their faults, even to the small extent of letting a post like this go by without trying to derail it, I will personally chew my arm off!

  209. Again, the average I.Q of the white man is significantly more than the average I.Q of a black man.

    Sorry, I can’t let this one go by. Actually, when all confounders are taken into account, there is absolutely no difference between IQ scores of people of different races. I’ll provide links if anyone, even Joe, is interested or skeptical.

  210. Whoops, clicked ahead.

    This is the response:

    I have NEVER stated any of those things to be true. EVER. Look at my posts, please. I’ll repeat myself–“Please try to read.”

    And who the heck are you quoting? Where did I say that I didn’t see color?

    Where did I say any of that ABSURD strawman?

    I’m not your expectation. I said “stop speaking in generalities.”

    What is wrong with this picture? Is there some filter on your computer that renders everything I type into something that it’s not?

    “Here’s what pisses me off the most about conversations like these: People of Color – especially, imo, Black people – have to prove that we do indeed face discrimination in our day-to-day lives and how the world views us as a whole. And, when we attempt to do that, when all we want is for people to shut the fuck up and open their damn eyes, we’re the ones who are called “hostile”, “irrational”, “mean”, “playing the race card”, or just plain “angry”!”

    Hey, guess what? I never asked you to prove that.

    This means that you do fit “irrational.”

  211. And the dumbassery continues…

    But lets take a look at a country run by a black government. South Africa…

    DUMBFUCK! DUMBFUCK! DUMBFUCK!

    You would save me a lot of time, if you even bothered to read a damn book.

    South Africa has a majority White government. Thanks for helping things out in the homeland!

    Again, the average I.Q of the white man is significantly more than the average I.Q of a black man.

    The basic instruments of psychometrics (sound it out: PSY-CHO-ME-TRICS; the “P” is silent!) has been shown repeatedly to be flawed, at best.

    This is another reason why you a holes butcher the english language with your “iz beez egysian an sheet noimsayin?” crap.

    PROVE IT!

    Deal with it.

    No, you deal with it! Just because the sight of our truth makes your eyes, doesn’t make it any less of a truth. We’re over here dealing some knowledge and it’s made your itchy. You: OMG! What if their right! Damn straight, we’re right! Not only are you a racist prick, but you’re too damn ignorant to even try to back up your points with anything more than “cuz I said so.”

    Bullshit.

    Admit it. Your eyes are simply to blinded by the truth the comprehend our knowledge. And it scares you. (Why do you think assholes like yourselves make sites like NiggerMania?) So you shove your head up your ass and flounce off like a bitch with her tail between her legs. Now what’re you gonna go? I’ll tell you:

    DEAL WITH IT!

  212. OKAY, Now I’m Angry

    Well, seems we’ve attracted the attention of White Supremacists! What an exciting development.

    Though some on this thread and elsewhere seem to think that I live on this blog and do absolutely nothing else in life, I do have a life, a job, and the need to pee. So I missed a lot of bullshit that went down.

    Let me provide some rules for going forward. Those of you who are here from Stormfront? Sorry, but no. We don’t want you and your hateful, racist asses. Any comments from you jerks will be deleted.

    To everyone else, if you happen to see a racist piece of bullshit comment, don’t reply. I’m just going to delete it, and I’m deleting most responses to them (though many are funny and intelligent) because it’s only serving to egg them on. Ignore their crazy and concentrate on replying to folks honestly wishing to engage in discussion.

    Thank you!

  213. A response to Angel H, a small way up the thread:

    I’ll say it again: “Please try to read.”

    Next time, I’m taking off the “please”.

    Obviously, only the first part of my post was in direct response to you. (But, if you saw yourself in what I was ranting against, who am I to argue?) Next time, I’ll put in a little clue so you’ll know when I’ve stopped talking to you.

    How’s this?: [/blanky]

  214. This is the truth, could care less if it offends you.

    When people speak “truth” they have the sense to back it up. Remember that word “proof” that we talked about earlier?

  215. Adam Ziegler:

    I appreciate your inquiry on this forum as well. I am not able to add my nickel’s worth as often as I like, but I like to scan the posts for “New-Bees” who have thoughtful questions.

    As far as resources that will accelerate your pilgrimage to the world of “anti-racism”, I would like to suggest the following:

    1) “The Color of Fear” (in VHS or DVD). Extremely hard to find except through inter-library loan at a public library. Came out in the early 90’s. Men from all different backgorunds get together and thresh out some racial matters…and pain.

    2) Punch in the name “Tim Wise” and “Professor Robert Jenson” in your search engine. These two white men offer very thoughtful and sobering reflections on racial issues in the United States.

    3) If there is a large bookseller in your area, check out the African-American Literature section. Always plenty of good literature there. I think introductory read for white people is “Showing My Color: Essays on Race and Identity by Clarence Page. Written in the mid-90’s…still very relevant. Other authors that are worth reading are Eric Michael Dyson and Tony Brown. And, ff course, MLK’s autobiography should be ready by everyone!

    Also, I happened to list black men that I read, but I believe it is equally important to read books written by black women – Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Beverly Daniel Tatum are two very good authors. I am sure other member so this forum can suggest good female black authors.

    All The Best,

    Adam

  216. Sorry for the typos in my post above. I know that drives some of you crazy.

  217. Blah blah blah, blah blah blah. *yawn*

  218. Thanks, ABW.

  219. Adam:

    Thanks so much for the list of awesome stuff! Just getting started on educating myself, and the pointers are much appreciated. I will look for the resources you have mentioned.

  220. I find it laughable that so many idiots refuse to simply acknowledge that there is a measure of privilege in this country for those who are white. It’s not about being born with silver spoons in their mouths….it’s not about money or class.

    I’m biracial and have a white brother. Was he born into money….NO…my parents don’t have much at all. Is he personally responsible for discrimination. No. But I tell you what……he could take my husband’s Navigator and drive it through the richest neighborhoods free and clear. My husband, a black man, however, would be stopped, searched, investigated and sent away with hesitation – because SURELY he has no business owning a Navigator and driving through a rich neighborhood. SURELY he must be a drug dealer. And after being sent on his way, he’ll get stopped again, searched again, investigated again and unlawfully detained AGAIN another mile up the road.

    Don’t tell me there isn’t an inherent privilege to being white in the country. Those of you who deny it, are seemingly unable to grasp a perception that is different from your own.

    Pat Buchanan was beyond out of line with his rhetoric. Someone explain to me why the media hasn’t fried him up the same way they have Rev. Wright. Hell, why haven’t they fried up Robertson or Hagee who’ve said that America is damned for it’s position on gays and abortion? What – THAT’S not unpatriotic and un-American? Really?

    Great post ABW!

  221. In light of all the things that happened on this blog in the past few days, I would have to add a hearty thank you to the racist white people who seem to think that believing “white is right” is the ONLY way to be an American. Let me add to that a thank you to people like Bush and Buchanan who have also tried to put a tag on what it means to be American.

    What it means to be an American is bigger than race or political stances. Newsflash: you can be an American and get angry. You can be an American and have criticisms. You can be an American and still be pissed with the direction in which the country is headed. You can be American and despise and protest the government’s crimes against other nations and moreso, the crimes against people on our own soil. So, racist white people, you don’t get to decide for me what is or is not American.

  222. I want more lists.
    This one is good and valid (though not complete – people keep adding)
    but I want more.
    I want, “Thank you, Men” and “Thank You, Religion.”
    Black women especially, and women in general, seem to spend a lot of time stuck under the thumb of these two groups.
    We could probably also do with a “Thank you, Rich People.”
    And then we could sell t-shirts.
    There is so much that people are entirely unaware of.

  223. OneShySistah:

    AWESOMENESS!!

  224. Sometimes, all that’s needed is a simple ‘ Thank You’.

  225. Bumpy, I would commend the white community for not using other minority groups as scapegoats for all the ills the country and whites failings/shortcomings, focusing on their own community shortcomings as opposed to everyone else’s, not-raising entitled men with a superiority complex, not giving a boost to patriarchy, staying free of domestic hate crimes at home and instigating covert/overt wars abroad, making cheap,simply, healthy alternatives to much need necessities hard to come by, and above all getting out of the way of minorities or not putting obstacles in their way when they try in alot of cases, to no avail to attain progress through upward mobility but it ain’t happened yet.

    It would also be O.K. for future reference if you choose not to post here-BUT You probably will!

    Sincerly, another ABW

  226. [...] read this and this, too. addthis_url = [...]

  227. Great post. Thank you for writing this and for expressing your anger in such clear and nonhateful ways.

    Would you consider changing the phrase of
    “Thanks also for forcing them to “breed” as if they were animals”

    to

    “Thanks also for forcing them to “breed” as if they were commodities”

    The forcibly impregnated animals, the animal rights community, and I would really appreciate it. The crime is not in treating humans like animals; the crime is in treating humans (and animals) like commodities.

  228. This whole conversation resonated for me and made me furious. Thank you.

  229. Elaine, as a fellow vegan and white person, I really have to question your comment. Considering all of the controversy that surrounded this post, and all of the hateful comments that ABW received from white supremacists over it, I find it a little disturbing that you came here to thank ABW for her “tone” and take issue with her use of the word “animal” in this way.

    Have you ever read the work of Breeze Harper? This interview is a good place to start for understanding why white animal rights activists should be be sensitive about addressing the slave/animal comparison when talking with communities of color. There is a time and place for that discussion, but I think it is inappropriate here.

    This is in respect, from one anti-racist and animal rights ally to another. I’ll be happy to have this discussion by email or on one of our blogs so as not to derail this thread.

    Emily

    [My apologies if the HTML doesn't work, ABW!]

  230. Hi. Without empathy or having walked in the another’s shoes, it’s almost impossible to understand what the other is going through.
    Here are my thoughts: We’re maximizing racial differences by using the terms Black and White. Generally we are variations of beige and brown. We should stop referring to people as opposite colours.
    There seems to be a lot of controversy as to what racism truly is. I think it matters when a person actively promotes and supports the idea that a race is inferior and therefore does not deserve the same respect or opportunities. It also matters when a person denies their racism but still discriminates based on race.
    At the point we’re at now, it’s very hard to get up, move on and not be resentful if you’re not of North European descent.
    I’m a fair Italian living in Australia. When most people discover I’m Italian, a mind-boggling cascade of cliches and stereotypes are hurled at me. Conversation is never the same. I give an opinion, and I get back “Oh, I didn’t know Italians thought that way”. I cook anything at all, even curry, and get “Is that an Italian recipe?” They seem to have forgotten that I’m an broad individual. It’s all well meaning but incredibly dumb!
    I’m also an advertising storyboard artist. I can only draw ‘normal’ people, ie: tall, slim and attractive North European types. When I’m I’m asked to draw ‘ethnic’ people they are always stereotypes unless I’m asked to make them ‘ethnic looking but not too ugly!’
    A good way to observe inequality is to mentally reverse the roles played in film and advertising. The racism/sexism is alarming!
    I wonder if ‘white’ racism deniers (the ones that say it’s the whites that are underprivileged) would lie to wake up ‘black’ one morning as see if they can face the world that way.
    Is there a racial hierarchy? Of course there is! There’s not enough room for everyone to be on top and who wants to lose their status?
    A lot of people on this blog believe that justice will be kind to those who try to climb out of their ‘perceived’ hole. There is no justice- there are systems. Justice is something we have to fight for. It’s not that easy to move on or up.
    Events in history have created these present hierarchies. Whether your great grandparents were involved or not, is irrelevant.
    Let’s stop dismissing people’s pain. If we live together we need to move on TOGETHER. StriveForABetterWorld!

  231. As a mostly unrepentant carnivore and fellow white person and human (more or less), I -still- want to crawl into a hole in the ground after reading that. Maybe the “speciesist” thing isn’t so off after all? because I’m pretty sure emus and orcas and so on never come out with shit like this. ABW, on behalf of whomever, I apologize; someone ought to.

    on the other hand, I take no responsibility for Pat Motherfucking Buchanan, because he is a twelve foot alien lizard, clearly. good for you for even reading that shit; my eyeballs started to bleed just clicking on that POS. gahhh.

  232. Emily,
    “There is a time and place for that discussion”
    I think that decision is ABW’s, not yours and not mine.

    Like all discussions of oppression, if not now, when??? When exactly *is* the best time? Should I wait to make sure I don’t offend anyone or help them think about things a little differently or help them confront their own privilege…?

    ABW,
    For what it’s worth, I mean no harm. I simply desire clarity of language so that one oppression does not beget another. The nature of being “animal” does not express the sentiment of being property. Wild animals are not forced to breed, companion animals are often sterilized and forced not to breed. But the nature of being a commodity in a system of capitalism surely does express the sentiment of being enslaved, forced to breed.

    And of course, feel free to delete this comment. It’s your blog and I completely respect your right to control the conversation.

  233. I love this blog its very interesting. I am a 19 year old black female and i have a few things to thank white people about: Thank you white people for every time a black person succeeds saying that “its because their black”. Thank you for affirmative action which is your way to say sorry for all the blacks that did deserve it but didnt get it because they were black. Thanks for judging me because i live in the ghetto. Thanks for the jena 6, thanks for check cashing places in the ghetto(why aren’t there any in the suburbs?), thanks for trying to hide that you really dont like us, thanks for calling us refugee’s in our own country (Katrina), thanks for arresting my boyfriend because he wears a baseball cap. Thank you for telling me to go back to africa , thanks for looking at me and calling me a nigger, thanks for thinking your cool enough to say nigga.. thank you for everything.

  234. Elaine:

    I’m going to assume, for now, that animals are oppressed in closely similar ways to the ways various subgroups of humans are. Personally, I am not totally convinced the analogy holds exactly, but I’m going to presume it for now.

    Uh, no. While there certainly is a place to address people being sloppy about other oppressions when expressing anger about their own, I think we really need to be careful when and how we have that discussion. While I think it is hugely important to not give people a free pass to say whatever they want and ignore other oppressions, it’s also imperative that people whose anger has been repeatedly criticized, silenced, challenged, and ridiculed be able to express that anger without members of other groups joining the discussion with criticisms and nothing constructive.

    For example, I wouldn’t like it as someone to whom disability rights is very important if one of the things on the list was “Thank you, white people, for treating us like we’re retards” (not that I’m saying anyone would actually say this.) But if I barged in with only the most perfunctory “You’re right, we white people can be shits” and then immediately launched into discussion of which words the bad black people are using wrong, I don’t think that would be appropriate. There’s too much of a history of silencing.

    Now does that mean I’d never get to mention it? No. But it does mean that my mentioning it should happen within a context of listening to other people’s anger and hurts and respecting that. If I just barge in… why? What is that trying to prove?

  235. “I wonder if ‘white’ racism deniers (the ones that say it’s the whites that are underprivileged) would lie to wake up ‘black’ one morning as see if they can face the world that way.”

    The best quote that I saw regarding this was along the lines of “If White people woke up black, they’d shoot themselves before the 6PM news came on.”

  236. [...] how about the recent sharp, at times darkly funny, and overall amazing post by The Angry Black Woman in answer to Pat Buchanan’s grotesquerie .  Over 230 comments and [...]

  237. Thank you for giving us a month to celebrate our heritage… which is never recognized by most jobs.. hell out of all the months give us the shortest one. Thank you for your weak ass word nigger that will hurt every generation of blacks. Thank you for not wanting to teach us our history in school. Thanks for saying Egyptians weren’t black they were white.. nobody of royalty is black huh? Thanks for hindering us to rise from slavery, you say get over it. How can you get over something that still exist? Modern day slavery is when your cant rise above a stereotype. I’m 19 and i cant get pass the ghetto fast talking big mouth black girl stereotype. I even been called a nigger because i made some white chick mad. Slavery has been over for hundreds of year… or has it???

  238. Elaine,

    I’m going to agree with Emily here — I can see that you mean well, but this is a different topic. Yes, it’s ABW’s call as to whether this is off-topic enough to allow. But the fact remains we’re not talking about people anymore; we’re talking about animals. You’re putting their oppression on the same level as the oppression of human beings. While I know many animal rights activists see nothing wrong in equating these things — granted, we are animals — I think you’re also aware that for PoC, comparison to animals has a long, loaded, and painful history. It’s been done by racists for so long that I don’t think it’s possible anymore for any white person to do it in a “well-intentioned” way without evoking that whole racist past.

    And there was (and is) far more to that racist past than just commodifying human beings. Comparing PoC to animals was, and is, also specifically intended to dehumanize. Human beings do not “breed”; humans “make families”. Human males are “men”, not “bucks”. Young humans are “children”, not “porch monkeys”. There is no purpose for this kind of language other than to humiliate, weaken, and silence the people to whom it is applied. Slavery has existed throughout human history in any number of cultures; many of those cultures found ways to commodify people without denying their very existence as human beings. If the racists who compared us to animals just wanted to commodify us, they wouldn’t need this kind of language.

    Not that things have changed much, since the days of slavery. If you’re feeling strong-stomached, ask ABW to share with you some of the crap that’s in her moderation queue right now — the Stormfront nuts are still sending hate mail, and trust me, they’re chock full of “animal” and animal analogies used as a weapon.

  239. Don’t forget to thank white people for manufacturing a bunch of stupid TV and movie stereotypes about black and brown people, for their own entertainment and to perpetuate their own sense of entitlement and superiority.

  240. Hi, white people? I have an idea. It’s kind of crazy, but, hey, I’m wacky that way.

    Let’s pretend, just for moment, that we are all rational, responsible adults, rather than children throwing temper tantrums. Let’s act as we have the ability to take responsibility for our actions. (Yes, our current actions, i.e. what we’re doing right now.) Let’s all acknowledge that we live in, benefit from, and participate in a system of racism, white privilege, and white supremacy.

    Let’s act aware and intelligent and recognize the atrocities that came before we were born, and how they effect the atrocities that we are currently benefiting from and causing.

    Let’s step away from the “I am a special snowflake, me, me, me!” mentality. Let’s try actually listening to people of color, who might actually know a thing or two about how racism affects them.

    Let’s not tell people of color how they should be fighting racism. Let’s -really- not tell people of color that they’re not doing enough.

    Could we try that? Just for a little while? (Or how about forever?)

  241. I simply want to convey my thanks to the many thoughtful contributors to this discussion. There are a few morons here, but they serve as an excellent foil for the far more people with passion and compassion and incisive criticism and broad knowledge. I’m a whitejewishgirl of privilege who is listening and learning and reflecting.

  242. Pat Buchanan is a complete ass.

    There would be far fewer defensive replies from white people if this post were titled, “Thank-you, Pat Buchanan.” It is hard for me, as an individual white person, to take on all of the blame for every historical atrocity ever committed by a white person.

    If I personally had denied someone a job because of their race, or I personally had denied someone a home loan, or I personally had called someone a racist name, or lynched someone, or enslaved someone, or written legislation that oppressed someone, I guess I would feel that I deserved your anger.

    But if one white person angers you, why do you direct that anger towards all white people? I read your other post, and I really want to be an ally to your cause, but when I read this post I wasn’t really sure I would be welcome.

    I get the vibe that my whiteness is much more significant to you than any of my personal opinions or actions.

  243. Camille –

    In response to a comment you made way up earlier…

    Those “fresh faced white kids” who are part of the teach for america program really do want to help. You don’t think they are helping? The fact that they are white is so disgusting to you that you can’t even appreciate that they’re trying to be a part of the solution?

    It seems to me that, in your eyes, no white person could ever do anything that would offset the “evil” of his or her whiteness.

    What about Bono? Are you angry at Bono? Do you think his contributions are just an attempt to make the underprivileged “less of a threat?”

  244. Thank you, my beloved ancestors, for appropriating huge advantages in technology from POC (ie. Mathermatics and gunpowder) and then inventing a few things later on. Thank you for using those late inventions as “proof” of white superiority and POC uselessness.

    Thank you for promising freedom without any intention of delivering it.

    Thank you for writing books about white people, for white people. Thank you making white the default. Thank you for the fact that every text I have ever studied has been written or directed by a white person.

    Thank you, my brethren, for saying “that we’ve achieved equality now” and pretending that racism doesn’t exist.

    AWB, as I read your post and the comments, I belatedly realised that it’s you that should receive genuine thanks.

    Thank you for being brave enough to post this.

    Thank you for continuing to post, even with the poison that spews from every fool who wanders past, erroneously believing they have something new to say.

    Thank you for being a wonderful and articulate voice, even when faced with gross bigotry.

  245. hellonhairylegs:

    Luvin’ that name! ;-D

  246. Olympia:

    If you truly wish to be a an ally, please remember this very important lesson:

    It’s not about you.

    Also, even though you personally may not have committed any overt acts of racism, you, as a white woman, benefit from a racist system. That does not make you a bad person or a racist (IMO). However, if you deny your privilege and do not attempt to, at least, listen constructively to those who don’t have your privilege then yes, IMO, it does make you racist.

  247. “There would be far fewer defensive replies from white people if this post were titled, “Thank-you, Pat Buchanan.””

    Nope, no there wouldn’t. There really would not. People are reacting to this post and its content because a black woman had the nerve to write it. It is a self-serving and transparent lie to claim differently.

    Also, it is obviously not hard for you to take on the blame of every evil white person in history – it’s not even on the table as something for you to do or not do in the first place, so saying it’s hard for you to do is absurd and off topic.

    Angel H. – I say again – I goddamn love you.

    Also – second what nojojo said at 5:24pm yesterday.

  248. **waves at JoanKelly…

    OT, but:
    We really need to share Crazy Aunt stories! :-D

  249. There would be far fewer defensive replies from white people if this post were titled, “Thank-you, Pat Buchanan.”

    But Pat Buchanan didn’t say “black people should thank me”, he said that black people should thank white people. So “Thank-you Pat Buchanan” would have made no sense as a post title.

    It is hard for me, as an individual white person, to take on all of the blame for every historical atrocity ever committed by a white person.

    Who’s asking you to? Just deal with the privilege you get now and start looking for ways to address ongoing issues. Don’t bother taking the blame for ongoing prejudice and the privilege you get: no one’s claiming that you did it personally. Just acknowledge it and work on it.

    If I personally had denied someone a job because of their race, or I personally had denied someone a home loan, or I personally had called someone a racist name, or lynched someone, or enslaved someone, or written legislation that oppressed someone, I guess I would feel that I deserved your anger.

    You may never have denied someone a job or a home loan or called someone a racist name, etc. But you’ve gotten white privilege in small and large ways: It’s probably easier for you to get a loan than if you were black. You probably grew up in a better neighborhood with a better school than you would have if you were black (assuming no change in your economic status). If you experimented with illegal behavior as a teen (smoking pot, shoplifting, buying beer, trespassing, etc) and got caught, you probably got off easier than you would have if you were black. Security personnel from airport screeners to beat cops probably look at you less suspiciously than they would if you were black (or, especially now, Middle Eastern). And so on. Other people’s prejudices are not your fault, but you do benefit from their prejudices and acknowledging that is a more productive response than getting defensive about how you personally have never called anyone a nasty name.

  250. Long-time reader, first-time poster!

    Thank you, ABW for this awesome, awesome post and thank you to many of the commenters (especially Camille, nojojojo and Angel H) for your thoughtful comments. I know that I have a long way to go but I feel like reading this post and the comments has helped me take a few more steps in dealing with my “-isms”– racism, classism, sexism….

    I had to comment on this post because yesterday I was walking through a parking lot and found, parked next to my little Toyota, a truck with a bumper sticker that read “Never apologize for being white.” So thank you, white people, for taking pride in your racism and being so proactive as to display it on bumper stickers.

  251. Wow!

    The courage and honesty of this site usually leaves me
    speechless. I come here to listen.

    But some of the ‘but it’s not me and how dare you accuse
    me of racism’ drivel is so wearying in it’s unintelligent
    banality that I’d like to respond.

    Thank you ABW for your blog and for tolerating this discussion. The knee-jerk denials are so painful I find it hard to read and I’m white.

    I want to thank my black nieces and my black sister-in-law.

    Thank you for your tears when your teacher told you were black and stupid and wasn’t fired until her white father freaked out.

    Thank you for your silence when the guy said he wanted mocha, grabbed your ass at a coffee shop and wasn’t thrown out until your white aunt freaked out.

    Thank you for your bafflement when your white college professor gave you a poor mark for being too political and emotional until your white friend showed you how to write what they wanted to hear.

    Thank you for your tolerance of the white store security guy following you around until he realized you were with me.

    Thank you for your painful confusion when a little white girl wasn’t allowed to play with you any more.

    Thank you for your fear when customs locked you all in a room for six hours and you missed your flight because of racial profiling.

    Thank you for asking me to buy you bleach for your skin because you wanted to be white.

    Thank you for leaving the room when your white Grandpa asked you why black people didn’t work harder.

    Thank you for listening politely to your Mother-in-laws vehement statement that it was ridiculous that black people thought O.J.might be innocent.

    Thank you for lowering your head and avoiding the stares at the white holiday resort you went to with your family.

    Thank you for allowing the aids test from the white doctor every check-up at the clinic.

    Thank you for submitting to an identity check by the white cop outside the club when we went for a drink.

    Thank you for your futility in the face of ‘well you can dance because you’re black’ when you’d studied and trained hard for years for your performances.

    Thank you for your isolation and hurt when you found out a lot of your white friends only wanted someone from the hood to hang with.

    And finally thank you for hiding the despair in your heart when your white and liberal extended family ignores you at gatherings because you’re different and they’re uncomfortable and they don’t know what to say to a black person.

    So to all the members of my race out there who won’t understand their own white privilege or their own male privilege:
    Read and listen to this blog. We’re privileged to be here. If you’ve just GOT to say something then go out and use your words to the cop harassing the guy next to you in line and the asshole drunk red-neck at the bar calling someone a nigger. And challenge the friend that thinks it’s funny to call a black woman a whore and the co-worker telling stupid and hateful jokes in the office. Put your neck on the line with words out there where it counts. Put your safety on the line so somebody else doesn’t have to everyday, everywhere, all the time.

  252. Andre’a:

    Thank YOU for the awesome post.

  253. Olympia,

    There would be far fewer defensive replies from white people if this post were titled, “Thank-you, Pat Buchanan.” It is hard for me, as an individual white person, to take on all of the blame for every historical atrocity ever committed by a white person.

    Welcome to racism. There is a very tangible irony in ABW’s post. Pat Buchanan decided to effectively blame all black people for every lapse or failure committed by a black person. Not only that, he also suggested that those black people should thank all American whites for giving them such a wonderful country to live in — so please note that the first person in this exchange to hold you accountable for the mass actions of your race was Pat, not ABW.

    Just curious — did you visit Pat Buchanan’s site and complain to him about his broad-brush painting? It’s hard for you to take the blame for every atrocity; this is understandable. But did you mind that Pat effectively gave you, personally, the credit for every good thing America has done? Are you, personally, the person we should be thanking for, oh, skyscrapers? Polyester? Traffic lights? Oh, wait, sorry, that was one of us.

    Re: the rest of your comments, I would strongly suggest that you do some reading about white privilege. Start here, or if that’s too much work, at least try this.

  254. [...] Thank You, White People – this is a letter asking you to unpack your invisible napsack and acknowledge your privilege and racism [...]

  255. The burning, hateful reaction of so many white people (and even just the mild defensiveness of many others) to this thread has got me thinking. I don’t know, ABW, if the mass of complaints that “you’re too ANGRY to sound reasonable” has given you pause at all, but I know that for me it would have. In spite of knowing the post to be justified, on some level deep inside it would make me second-guess myself. It would make me worry that maybe I shouldn’t be so blunt.

    Don’t.

    I’m saying this as someone whose initial reaction to the Thank You post (if I am being totally honest) was a prickling of defensiveness.

    On an emotional level, as a white woman who doesn’t experience racism personally, the clearest way for me to “see” what is happening here is through my own experiences with sexism. There’s always this intense pressure NOT to complain. And when I do speak up, there is the pressure not to express myself in a way that might offend. It’s a horrible kind of silencing. The effort of suppressing one’s rage becomes an unbearable weight. I think it slowly kills a person. I wonder if you feel that kind of weight, too (I suspect everybody who is the victim of some kind of –ism does).

    Because you have people like those upthread telling you that you are too angry, that you have to be less aggressive if you want people to listen, the pressure is immense.

    So, I don’t know whether you’re actually feeling any doubt or vague uncertainties about this, but just in case you are, as a white person whose initial reaction was defensiveness, I’m asking you not to *ever* feel the need to minimize your rage in order to accommodate us. Because that’s wrong. I think it’s soul-killing to force yourself to hide the fury you feel just so people like me don’t get uncomfortable in our white skins. It’s horrible of people even to ask it. You probably don’t need me to tell you that, but I figured I’d say it anyway only because I know that I would be feeling little pricklings of doubt after such an outpouring.

    And to all you white people who are asking ABW to change her tone: bullshit. To ask somebody to swallow their anger and be “nicer” because it makes YOU uncomfortable about YOUR privilege is wrong. It’s not “nice” to experience racism, and pretending that the brutal, horrible, rage-inducing wrongness of it can be sanitized and minimized into something palatable for YOU is a damn lie.

    Get over it. Reexamine yourself and ask why you aren’t angry, too. Because there’s a world of experiences there that make up the difference, and that’s what you need to start understanding.

  256. OT to Angel – I started Crazy Aunt Tag on my site.

  257. Amen. Amen. This post is so long overdue.

    People without color will never get it. They never can. They will cry about how they aren’t responsible for slavery, etc. I’m not blaming them for that. They are responsible for every action they make today.

    I challenge people without color to live on a salary that is 40 percent less than what they make now, or what a black man with equal education gets.

    I challenge people without color to understand how unfair it is to not only earn less, but to be forced to live in an unsavory area because the people without color don’t want a black man in their community.

    I challenge a person without color to not ask the black man in your college class if he got there on a basketball scholarship or ask him “how much he got from Uncle Sam to come here.”

    I challenge people without color to be the daily victim of racial profiling, with stares from customers at a store or being followed by a security guard.

    I challenge people without color to think about their fellow human beings instead of being caught up in their bubble of contention.

    I challenge people without color to not get upset when they are told that they can never understand racism and that they are instinctively and by virtue of birth more privileged than any one group in the world.

    This is how the world would be for me: All people without color would be second-class citizens who are granted aid at the whim of the strong black community. People without color would be forced to sweep the parking lot at Wendys or clean the toilets at the all-black scholl district (where my children would happily drop their pants to squat on the floor of the hallway for you to clean up). People without color would be humiliated by ignorant comments about their backgrounds, and black people would say “I don’t mean to offend, but…”

    The community would be made up of strong black men and women who are raising their children together to be strong black young adults. (In case you don’t know, black families are not ALL broken, but thanks for the stereotype.)

    People without color in movies would be protrayed as stupid white people, because that is truly what they are.

    In a perfect world, people without color would be forced to give me all their wealth and the crumbs would be left for them and their tribe of kids without color.

    That’s why I’m pissed off. But you people without color won’t ever get it cause you don’t want to take off them blinders and see the rest of the world. It isn’t all about you, whitey.

  258. One more thing. To those token people without color who want to understand black plight, stop trying. You will never get it. You can post all the good thoughts and “sorries” that you want, but you’ll evenutally get bored and forget about it. It will be “too hard” to understand fully. It will wear you down. Welcome to my world. Only I can’t take a break from the fight.

  259. [...] Here’s an interesting post and it’s follow-up. I have nothing to add except that it makes me sad that such a great blogger is getting shit for saying her piece. [...]

  260. [...] Angry Black Woman, after dealing with a deluge of white supremacists for writing this post, has come up with a great carnival idea, the Carnival of Allies. This got me thinking about those [...]

  261. Okay, there’s no way in hell anyone is going to read this at this point, but:

    You forgot to thank us for sundown towns and driving black families off their land with no compensation.

    I’m about as white/European mutt as they come, and I don’t see a damn thing wrong with your tone.

  262. I’m a young white woman who got linked here, not really a follower of the blog or, I’m sorry to say, many of the issues involved here. Which I know is probably the biggest form of privilege there is, the ability to exclude yourself from a discussion like this because it doesn’t affect you or anyone you directly know.

    I’m not about to write Buchanan about his statements any more than I would his statements about women, gays, politics, or any other number of his stances that offend me; it’s not about to change his mind. But I do want to say that I get what you mean by the post and I’m amazed that anyone with even a remote knowledge of history could say what he did with a straight face and clear conscience. Reverend Wright says angry, offensive, divisive things and he’s called crazy. Buchanan says angry, offensive, divisive things, and he’s a syndicated columnist. That’s privilege, too.

    If it hasn’t been brought up already (this thread is huge), I’d like to thank my ancestors for raping black women at their leisure and lynching black men for the imagined rape of white women. And my contemporaries, for having the gall to only focus on this when a famous white man of history became involved in a (hypocritical) sex scandal over the same. We don’t know anything about Sally Hemmings, or whether she was with Thomas Jefferson willingly, but considering her position I highly doubt any full consent or love was involved. The fact that it’s become a source of *romantic fiction* on a few occasions makes me ill.

    Drew:
    “I challenge a person without color to not ask the black man in your college class if he got there on a basketball scholarship or ask him “how much he got from Uncle Sam to come here.”

    I’m in one of the most racially diverse campuses in the United States, majoring in one of the most statistically diverse majors (social work), and I could honestly care less how anyone was admitted. The thought has never crossed my mind. I have a lot more to think about than the business of other people or what that supposedly represents about their entire race. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have been that offensive (covertly or overtly), I’m sure political punditry etc. etc. has said all kinds of prejudicial crap to that effect; you just seem to be addressing all white people as a collective whole, so I want to refute that one point.

    The other things you brought up, I know, are things a lot of black people experience that I’ve never experienced and can never personally understand. I don’t have any quarrel with that at all.

    “To those token people without color who want to understand black plight, stop trying. You will never get it. You can post all the good thoughts and “sorries” that you want, but you’ll evenutally get bored and forget about it. It will be “too hard” to understand fully.”

    It’s your experience; I don’t think I could ever claim to understand it. I don’t think I’d even understand the experience of another white Jewish-Italian bisexual 22 year old middle-class college-educated female. I’m just not exactly sure what you’re saying here – we’ll never understand, but we’re too shallow to try? Is it possible or isn’t it? To understand a prejudice I’ll never experience is definitely impossible, but trying to empathize, in my opinion, is not. If it’s offensive or condescending for me to do that, somehow, then please tell me what you think I’m supposed to do instead.

  263. [...] Angry Black Woman provides the gratitude: Thank you, White people, for all you’ve done for Blacks. [...]

  264. Drew,

    I understand your bitterness — I’ve been there — but I do not and cannot allow myself to believe that it’s impossible for white people to understand racism, and begin working against it. For one thing, I’ve seen and met too many allies who show that understanding, and are doing what they can to spread it. For another thing — good grief, we’re not that alien or incomprehensible. We’re just people, reacting in a perfectly natural way to historical trauma and constant stress. I firmly believe that every human being has the capacity to understand his/her fellow human beings, regardless of background or circumstance. Whether they use that capacity is a whole other matter — but I believe it’s possible. If I didn’t believe that, I would have given up on fighting racism a long time ago.

  265. there are a lot of comments here but i do not know if anyone mentioned –
    that the antipoverty programs were begun when poverty was overwhelmingly a white phenomenon in America- that poverty has become a problem perceived and increasingly in reality a POC problem after 50 years of these programs-would attest to the continuing problem of racism in America particularly in applied social policy

  266. mmm. The tribe thing in Africa is interesting–Europeans weren’t just setting up tribe against tribe, but creating tribes where there weren’t by wanting to only deal with men, more specifically the men in charge, regardless of how a group was set up. And, of course, favoring those groups that acted more like Europeans, farming valued over pastoralism over foraging. And then, after privileging certain groups for so long, having an exit strategy that consisted of ‘leave,’ without attempting work out a balance of power, resulting in violence as the people work it out themselves.

  267. Nojojojo/Drew/Everyone else

    If I may join this conversation, humbly, there is truth to what Drew says. As a white person, I will not understand firsthand what it feels like to experience racism. Ever.

    As a woman, I understand the experience of oppression; I understand what it is like to earn less and to experience violence (for example). But I have not and will not ever be pulled over by the police “just because”. As Drew points out, I will not be asked if I attended university on a sports scholarship.

    And Drew is right that white allies have a choice to walk away at any time – and many of us do. (I would say that we all do, at some point or another).

    Just as I am hopeful that men will share my fight against sexism, I share nojojojo’s optimism that anti-racist allies will support People of Colour and Aboriginals in their fight against racist oppression. But when we do, we must be willing to hear the harsh criticism that our class – and we ourselves as individuals – have earned.

  268. This is a sobering list.

    I’d like to address this one comment of Olympia’s:

    Those “fresh faced white kids” who are part of the teach for america program really do want to help. You don’t think they are helping?

    I know for a fact that they really do want to help. I also know that TFA has been roundly criticized by educators for putting the most untrained, inexperienced, and therefore the most ineffective teachers in the places of greatest need. I know, in addition, of White TFA kids who couldn’t take it in the inner city and quit. (Which sends what kind of message to those kids?)

    So, in answer to your second question, whether or not they are actually helping would have to be measured on a case-by-case basis. I’m sure they’re trying to help. I’m not convinced at all that they are succeeding.

  269. Thank you white people (and I am partly one of “you people” ;-)) — as represented here by Adam Zeigler (e.g., “I don’t understand why you, ABW, are so angry”)– for NEVER READING ANYTHING ANYONE ELSE HAS SAID PRIOR TO OPENING YOUR MOUTH.

    Thank you for thinking that whatever you have to say on a subject is much more important than what anyone else has to say.

    *retches at the white male privilege*

    *recovers*

    I do believe the reason the epithet of “so angry” is leveled so frequently is that repression of passion and emotion is a Puritan throwback and therefore an inherent element of the dominant American culture.

    That is to say that being angry per se is not inherently wrong, but it’s represented as “wrong” in majority white culture because it’s “just not the way we do things around here”.

    But that’s an entirely different discussion that I don’t have time for today.

    So thank you ABW for giving “these types of people” (once again, I kid, but not really) an opportunity to come out and show themselves, so that people who claim that “racism doesn’t really exist anymore” can see the exent to which they are truly, horrifically misinformed.

  270. I have to respectfully diagree with nojojojo’s comment.

    I feel that the imminent election of brother Barack Obama, something that strikes fear in the hearts of those without color, is our most important stride forward to date.

    I also feel that people without color, like those who have commented here, are scared sh*tless and are trying to guise their fear by attempting to rally with us.

    Inherently, no people without color can truly understand our situation. It’s far too easy to fall back into their own lives and forget about our fights. They can feel they’ve done well for a few moments. It’s fleeting at best.

    Racism will only be stopped when black women and men are treated far better than those people without color who oppress us. The only way to be victorious is to hold the power in this nation.

    Our day is almost here. Thank you, Barack Obama. His victory will provide the presence of black faces, more so than the pale ones that flank us now.

  271. Plainsfeminist:

    Thank-you for acknowleging that caring white people do exist. That brought a big smile to my face and helped me feel that maybe there is room for me on this site. Thank-you.

    Dianne, Angel H. and Nojojojo:

    There is a difference between benefiting from white privilege and perpetuating its existance. I have never ever claimed not to have white privilege.

    JoanKelly, Angel H:

    Ponder this conversation:
    Goose: Ducks listen to lots of country music.
    Duck: I don’t like to listen to country music…
    Goose: You always make this about you.

    I’m white. I can’t stop being white. Statements about white people are about me.

    Nojojojo: It’s impossible for me to comment on Pat’s site because comments have been closed for it. But trust me – I am on your side, here. I make comments on this site not to be hostile, but rather to engage in a discussion and try to help find common ground. I was a little sad at your comment about the innovations of “one of us.” Do we have to make “us v. them” equal to “black v. white”? I hate to see that. I want the “them” to be those opposed to equality and justice. I don’t want to be considered a “them” just because I’m white.

  272. Then stop making it such and look for a damn email address on the blog or post in the forum.

    That doesn’t go just for you but anyone else who uses an excuse about the comments being turned off.

    And thank you white people for the “common ground” and “both sides are wrong” and “everybody is a little bit racist”* approach, among others like it, that only tends to serve in throwing your weight behind the status quo.

    That’s directed towards you and anyone else. There. =)

    *if your understanding/answer of the situation relies on a song from Avenue Q–fuck off

  273. Olympia –

    You really need to do some catching up on the basics. What you’re doing is exhibiting a textbook white-person response to people of color talking about racism. There are Required Reading links on this site – use them. You may feel a bit silly once you realize what you’ve been doing, but we’ll be happy to have you back as an ally once you realize how you sounded coming to the defense of white people.

    Really.

    Now stop trying to derail this thread, please.

  274. Thank you white people for being our friends and family conditional on us never talking about racism that we experience or identifying ourselves as different from you!

    Thank you, our white parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, for never teaching us, your children of color, that racism existed, because it didn’t exist for *YOU*! It was great having to learn about it ourselves because you wouldn’t talk about it.

    Thank you, white people, for permeating the English language with racist phrases and for always equating darkness with badness!

    Thanks for always blathering on about your tans!

    And THANK you, white people, for stealing babies of color from their homelands because you’re going to give them a better life.

  275. We are all creatures living within historical context. My white ancestors were oppressed in their societies. I am Irish on one side-talk about your brutally oppressed people, and Belo Russian and Ukrainian on the other. My grandmother was from a family of Bolsheviks and fled her home and family, alone, at the age of 12 to escape arrest by the Czarist police. My family and some family friends were persecuted by McCarthy in the 1950s. It is our human challenge to rise above the limits that we were born into.
    I am fortunate to be privileged and white yet within the confines of my individual circumstances I have suffered injustices. One instance of this is that I have a club foot and was teased, taunted and tortured as a child because of that. I grew up in a family with emotionally abusive patterns and I know how hard it can be to try to create positive functionalities when those negative attitudes have been internalized, institutionalized, repeated and rewarded. Each individual must struggle with their own demons, both personal and societal. These are usually mixed; it is often difficult to discern where the boundaries truly lie.
    I try to live an ethical life. One exampIe of this is that I stopped eating meat over 30 years ago, during the oil crisis of the 1970’s. My motivation was because meat production is petrochemical and resource intensive; I thought we were going to go to war in the Middle East over oil. And I was right!
    As an individual there is little I can do about injustices others face-I have enough bs that I an experiencing in my own situation that I can only choose certain things to work on. I happen to be an air advocate and work to raise awareness and try to clean the air but it is not something that seems to improve for many complex reasons. Here in Houston we all suffer from air pollution. One of the great ironies is that although greatest concentrations of air toxics are in the ship channel/industrial area, which is on the east side of town, the worst ozone is, because of the complex air patterns and the nature of ozone formation, on the west side of town in the wealthy white neighborhoods. And few of these people have any conception of the danger. Weird, isn’t it? The government and the big companies are so corrupt; children of all races are being poisoned.
    I wish I could bring insight or clarity to the racial divide, yet I do believe that the country has progressed and I believe that progress will continue. Just as I know some progress is being made on the air issue, although it is clearly inadequate, it appears to me some progress is being made on the racial issue. I know that overt racism is much less acceptable than it once was. However good feelings are, at best, a bitter substitute for true progress.
    As to being angry: good for you. Use your anger to energize and focus your commitment. I find the clarity of anger brings insight. Stop the stupid war on drugs, the greatest oppressor of blacks today. Drugs should be a medical issue, not a criminal one.
    I also think that we should have slavery reparations in the form of educational vouchers and home and health care subsidies. I read somewhere that the subprime mortgage mess was the single greatest loss of black wealth, through the stripping of the value of home equity, in the history of America. Did you know that the CEO of Country Wide Mortgage company, which started the meltdown, made over half a billion in salary? No wonder they ran out of money to service and renegotiate their loans.
    When I read my Bible I find that many of the most effective prophets were angry. Sometimes appropriate anger is the most loving response that an individual may have. Certainly as a parent I know that children hate for their parents to be angry and it often motivates them to act appropriately. Sometimes it is their easiest excuse to do the right thing. I cannot do that: my parents would kill me. I feel so sorry for all the Lakewood teens, as I do for all our troubled youth, some dysfunctional parenting is at work there.
    One thing more: I like Obama but I think that Hillary is more electable. I live in a very Jewish neighborhood and there is a lot of fear in this community. I was personally very shocked when I went to the local caucuses and talked with many of my fellow Hillary delegates. A surprisingly large number prefer McCain to Obama and say they will vote for McCain if Hillary is not the nominee. Obama will have to reach out to them if he wins the nomination so he can win in the general.
    I pray for peace. God bless and keep us all.
    MM

  276. [...] groups are privileged. For example, if people of color are oppressed, white people are privileged (via ABW). It’s a lot easier to swallow the first part than the second part if you belong to the [...]

  277. “And THANK you, white people, for stealing babies of color from their homelands because you’re going to give them a better life.”

    All right, this one I have to ask about. I mean, baby girls in China have been quite literally thrown into dumpsters or destroyed in various ways. Orphanages are full of them because their parents have abandoned them:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D04E0DD1031F933A05753C1A961958260

    And you are saying adoption of such children is bad…? Why? My mother was adopted from a Korean orphanage by a white family. I really don’t know what her fate would have been had she been left in Korea, but if it’s anything like so many of those girls in Chinese orphanages… I dare say that she (and I, and all her children) are much better off right here.

  278. From what I understand, transnational adoption is fraught with many issues — and this is from the viewpoint of the adoptees. Not all, I’m sure, but there are apparently many white folks who adopt kids from other countries and treat them like some exotic toy, or try to be ‘colorblind” in raising them 9with all the attending stupid), or end up making them feel like aliens in their own home because they’re treated differently from the other white kids in the house.

    I am not as up on this issue as I could be, but I’ve read some blog posts by adoptees of color about their experience that truly chills me. gah.

    Not to mention the whole Lost Generation issue in Australia.

  279. “I am not as up on this issue as I could be, but I’ve read some blog posts by adoptees of color about their experience that truly chills me.”

    Well I am sorry to hear that. But I do think it’s better to end up alienated in a colorblind house than dead in a dumpster. My grandmother is one of those problematic adopters you refer to — she should have treated my mother a lot better. But in spite of that, we are lucky where we are when compared to what might have been the alternative.

    So maybe it just depends an the adopter and the situation the baby is coming from. I mean the alternative — to not adopt babies that need adoption just because they are a different color — seems a whole lot worse to me.

  280. Forgot to add: I think the Lost Generation is a very different issue — I mean, that actually *is* stealing and forced removal of kids and all that imperialistic BS that has been destroying people around the world forever.

    When I think of “adoption” I think of the baby girls being dropped into wells or left to the not-so-tender-care of many orphanages. I think of my mother being unwanted in an orphanage. And I think taking children out of that situation *is* giving them a better life. Or at least, it can be, if the parents are willing to be decent parents and not treat the children badly. So I wouldn’t dismiss it wholesale as an evil perpetuated by white people. I don’t think that adoption itself is inherently wrong or should be discouraged so long as the alternative for truly unwanted children really is… well, not much.

  281. Olympia, what you don’t get is when you woke up this morning, you woke up to an inherently privileged place where you didn’t have to worry about your skin color. Writing here is not going to purge your soul for the privileged life you have been given. No cute little ditties about ducks and geese are going to stop the fact that you “think” you are colorblind, but in reality, you thank your lucky stars that you don’t have sites like this to vent your frustrations about life.

    The only way for you to consider being an ally is to get down into the fight every single, solitary day of your life. Even then it won’t be enough cause you’ll still go home to your pretty white neighborhood and lay your head down without fear. You wear this “cause” like a weekend activity. I’m not convinced that you could ever be an ally.

    Go back to playing for your token causes now, but take your sympathy elsewhere.

  282. I also feel that people without color, like those who have commented here, are scared sh*tless and are trying to guise their fear by attempting to rally with us.

    I disagree with that, not only based on the white Obama supporters I know, but because it would be a wildly ineffective way of dealing with being scared shitless. If white Obama supporters really were running scared, all they would have to do would have been to throw their support behind Hillary back when the two candidates were running neck and neck.

  283. Well I am sorry to hear that. But I do think it’s better to end up alienated in a colorblind house than dead in a dumpster.

    I’m not so sure those are the only two choices, and it seems really over-the-top to offer them up as a dichotomy as if individuals within a country can’t adopt children within that country.

    It also ignores that there are children in the US “dropped off at orphanages” or otherwise in the foster system who could use some of that love. They’re of color, too; just apparently not of the RUGHT color for whatever the white adopters want.

    There is some evidence that countries with a lot of adoption use it as a market, essentially taking children from mothers and fathers who love them but are having difficulty supporting them and selling them to white people. Even if this can’t be proven, I think – in good conscience – taking care to not treat infants as commodities is important, and the racial and colonialization dynamics of the situation should be viewed in a nuanced way allowing for a plurality of experiences instead of “alive” and “dead in a dumpster”.

  284. Hear hear, Deoridhe.

  285. “There is some evidence that countries with a lot of adoption use it as a market, essentially taking children from mothers and fathers who love them but are having difficulty supporting them and selling them to white people. Even if this can’t be proven, I think – in good conscience – taking care to not treat infants as commodities is important, and the racial and colonialization dynamics of the situation should be viewed in a nuanced way allowing for a plurality of experiences”

    Deoridhe,

    I agree with all that. The point I was making is that I don’t think you can flat out say that adoption is “stealing,” or wrong, because like I have said my mother was adopted from Korea by a white family. And we (my family) are very grateful for the good life we got. It is better than what she would have had — this is what she has told me. I am sure there are adopted children who have terrible experiences, but I also know there are good and loving families who do not view the children as commodities and who offer them chances they would never have had (as happened with my mother). As cliche as that sounds, my family is living it.

    Obviously there are flaws with adoption, just as with foster care and everything else in this world. Stealing children from poor parents is wrong, pure and simple, and it (sadly) wouldn’t surprise me at all if it were true. It’s not an issue where one side is always good or bad; there’s plenty of gray area.

    But basically, as a child in a family born out adoption from Korea, I disagree with Katie’s characterization of adoption as “stealing” babies from another country. It can be a bad thing; but it can also bring great good to people, and I do not think that should be dismissed.

  286. I agree with all that. The point I was making is that I don’t think you can flat out say that adoption is “stealing,” or wrong, because like I have said my mother was adopted from Korea by a white family.

    Except no one said all white adoption of foreign babies is all wrong.

    The original statement was: “And THANK you, white people, for stealing babies of color from their homelands because you’re going to give them a better life.”

    You have admitted there were cases where babies were stolen, like the lost generation. You’ve also agreed with my statement that babies were likely stolen from korean families by korean people out to make a buck. Therefore, I don’t see why you objected to the first statement by claiming the choices were be adopted by white people or die in a dumpster.

    This is not a thread for affirmation of the good things white people inadvertantly achieved through the use and colonialization of other people. In fact, given the inspiration for this thread, that is what is EXPRESSLY not welcome.

    Read what Pat Buchanan said again about how black people should be grateful for all white people have done for them, then think about coming into this thread and claiming that the choice for foreing, usually of color babies is between being pitied by white people who don’t bother to learn about the nuances of colonialization and race relations, and dying in a dumpster.

  287. “Therefore, I don’t see why you objected to the first statement by claiming the choices were be adopted by white people or die in a dumpster.”

    I never said those were the only choices. What I said is, “But I do think it’s better to end up alienated in a colorblind house than dead in a dumpster.” This was a *reference* to the article I linked to in the post above, which describes the tossing out of dead babies into a dumpster. Obviously there are a lot more choices than that.

    Now as to this:

    “Except no one said all white adoption of foreign babies is all wrong.”

    This is my misunderstanding, I think. I read: “And THANK you, white people, for stealing babies of color from their homelands because you’re going to give them a better life” as a reference to adoption. And if it IS about adoption, then I disagree with it. But if it’s strictly about the actual stealing of babies then I don’t disagree at all; in that case I misread it, and apologize for that. I’m not sure if you (Katie) are/were referring to the act of adoption itself as a kind of stealing or if you were referring specifically to actual instances of theft, a la Lost Generation. If I misread you, I am sorry. My bad.

  288. This is my misunderstanding, I think. I read: “And THANK you, white people, for stealing babies of color from their homelands because you’re going to give them a better life” as a reference to adoption. And if it IS about adoption, then I disagree with it.

    Okay, I’m confused. I thought you said you agreed with my statement about, for example, Korean babies being taken from their parents who want them and given to white women under the guise of adoption.

    You also didn’t address the larger framework. The taking of foreign, non-white babies is increasinly becoming a status symbol via a few highly publicised adoptions. The downsides of this can be seen in, for example, the European couple who adopted an Asian (I think Korean) infant, then abandoned her in China as “not their real child” because they started having problems with her.

    The downsides can also be seen in overall colonialization, in the idea that adopted infants should be so grateful that they can’t ever say anything bad about either their parents or the US because they were saved from some horrible fate, as if being colored and discriminated against while also being told that you can’t possibly be because your parents don’t see color ISN’T a horrible fate.

    Yes, some adoption is of people being taken from places where they were loved and wanted (i.e. stolen) and given to white people who pay money for them. Making adoption into some golden, unable to be objected to or even crituqed item – ESPECIALLY in a thread where the main topic is that someone attempted to make slavery into something that blacks should be grateful for, is really inappropriate.

  289. “Making adoption into some golden, unable to be objected to or even crituqed item”

    Uh, when did I do this? I NEVER said adoption was all golden or unobjectionable. I said: “Obviously there are flaws with adoption, just as with foster care and everything else in this world. Stealing children from poor parents is wrong, pure and simple… It’s not an issue where one side is always good or bad; there’s plenty of gray area. It can be a bad thing; but it can also bring great good to people, and I do not think that should be dismissed.”

    So critique it? Yes. There are obviously huge flaws with the process. But as someone who benefited from it? As the child of a Korean woman who was adopted? Of course I am going to speak up and point out that it’s not all bad. I have personal experience directly relevant to this topic, so I gave my take. Forgive me if said experience doesn’t conform to the picture you are painting.

  290. However, I do think this has gone on long enough to be derailing, so if you want to argue it further I’ll be posting my replies in the “open thread” from now on.

  291. If I may comment and ask – I teach Sociology at a University and am amazed at how much resistance to the topic of race and persistent racially inequality is received. Yes, there are the comments about ‘my ancestors didn’t enslave anyone’ (how they know that is uncertain), and ‘what about all of the other races,’ as well as’ why can’t we just turn the page?’ It is once again the matter of refusing to acknowledge (or even dismissing) the reality of racial inequality that is one of the most powerful forms of racism itself. It is also, to me, the most dangerous form and the way that is is maintained.

    I have benefited from many of your responses here and would like to ask, how can I clearly get this message across in a University setting to those (many of whom have written here) who do not want to acknowledge this exists anymore?

    Thank you!

  292. I loved this post, can I add a line? Please?

    “Thank you White People for giving every man, woman and child on this planet a one-way ticket straight to Hell, in this life and the next”

    It feels good to give thanks.

  293. Thank-you for acknowleging that caring white people do exist. That brought a big smile to my face and helped me feel that maybe there is room for me on this site. Thank-you.

    Olympia,
    I’m glad that my comment made you feel comfortable. Here’s the thing: I don’t think anyone here – and I haven’t read through every single comment, so I could be wrong, but I don’t think so – is arguing that caring White people do not exist. My understanding is that the point of the thread is really about noticing and giving voice to racism – not about recognizing allies or making us feel comfortable.

    I think, if you see “White people…” and assume that means you, then you need to not take it so personally. Maybe no one’s talking about you, you know? And please don’t say, “if you say White, it’s about me” – it just isn’t. And if you do see yourself reflected in these comments, then maybe there are some things you need to think about and change.

    I don’t want to derail this thread and make it all about how White people feel about racism. Feel free to email me if you want to continue this discussion.

  294. [...] LM said in the comments to my post about the b.s. at Angry Black Woman’s “Thank you white people,” thread made me uncomfortable.  I tried to figure out why, and I think this is what it [...]

  295. Thank you, white people, for jumping on WOC blogs and making it all about us.*

    *I am white.

  296. “(The Jews, funnily, don’t scream about anyone keeping them down. They just take their occassional genocide in stride and mosey along.)

    In the meantime, I’ll be over here up to my elbows in shit, fighting to actually change this nation for the better.”

    Okay, um…

    I’ve just got an idea here.

    Whatever it is you’re doing exactly – and I don’t doubt that it is substantial, hell, you’re probably the guy from Everclear or something you’re so significant in the Fight Against Hate – but I’m just wondering… whatever it is exactly that you’re doing, would you consider stopping?

    Just wondering if it might help.

    *I’m a white dude, but I’d hate for you to misconstrue my clarification of this fact as any kind of giving a shit w/r/t your thoughts on same.

    Cheers.

  297. “Thank you, white people, for jumping on WOC blogs and making it all about us.”

    I’m seeing that phrase, ‘all about [you]‘, handed out a lot in the comments here and I’m wondering if you can describe exactly what everyone means by it. It’s so general by itself that I’m not sure if I’m hearing its meaning right or not.

    My first read of it was that it’s wrong for white people to talk about their own experiences with racism, or their own views and feelings on the subject (however wrong), when entering this kind of discussion. Of course it’s people of color that are the victims of racism, and you’re the ones who can decide whether racism is being perpetrated and what it means to you/your community. But unless white people express their own biases, fears, hopes, personal stories, even our own covertly racist thoughts – whether we realize they’re racist or not – then how is it a dialog?

    I think it’s safe to say that most white people in this thread don’t WANT to be racist, don’t want to have these biases that build up in us or to benefit from racist systems, and that’s a big part of why so many of us are defensive. But how can we eliminate that in our own lives unless we talk about our experiences as individuals? (Not to mention that people are just naturally inclined to talk about themselves, and I don’t think that’s unique to the racism discussion.) Even if we’re completely off-base, to just be talking about it in more than a general, theoretical way is a start.

    Or I could be getting all defensive over nothing and you mean this ‘well I grew up with NOTHING, I don’t benefit from privilege!’ stuff or something similar, which I agree is inappropriate and completely missing the point. Sorry for the tl;dr if so. :)

  298. Kim, I think the point is that it’s wrong for white people to talk about their own experiences with racism – HERE, in this post. In response to a post like this one, white people talking about how they deal with privilege, how they see and deal with racism, even people who are strong allies, will only ever be about assuaging their guilt, making themselves feel better or looking for congratulations from racialized people – in short, a defense mechanism.

    That being said, there is huge value in allies sharing their thoughts and challenges with each other, and with oppressed people – this just isn’t the forum. I believe ABM has a recent post called ‘Allies Talking’ that would be a better forum for this kind of thing.

  299. Olympia,
    I took the liberty of correcting your little parable:

    Goose: It’s hard being a goose.
    Duck 1: WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BRING SPECIES INTO EVERYTHING?! I ONLY SEE WHAT’S INSIDE A BIRD, NOT THE OUTSIDE! ONLY SPECIESTS SEPERATE BIRDS LIKE THAT! BESIDES, YOU GEESE GET EVERYTHING BECAUSE OF THOSE DAMN POND QUOTAS!! WE DUCKS GAVE YOU GEESE “CIVIL RIGHTS TO FLIGHT”, AND YOU STILL FUCKED EVERYTHING UP!
    Goose: You just don’t understand how good you’ve got it because your a duck. You don’t know what it’s like.
    Duck 2: Why are you being so mean to us ducks? I know about discrimination! I don’t call Geese ugly names or discriminate. It’s not my fault Geese have it so bad. STOP PICKING ON ME BECAUSE I’M A DUCK!!!!1111!!!eleventyeleven!!!!1!
    Goose purposely flies in front of hunter’s gun out of frustration. FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST!

    There is a difference between benefiting from white privilege and perpetuating its existance. I have never ever claimed not to have white privilege.

    But what have you done with it besides whine about how mean we’re being to you?

    Let’s do this slowly:

    THIS

    IS

    NOT

    ABOUT

    YOU!

    There are dozens of White people who read the OP and did not take offense because they could see the truth in it. They weren’t offended by it, because they know that, as allies who take the time to listen to the grievances of POC, the OP was not addressed to them specifically.

    Let me ask you something: If you were in a crowded room, minding your own business, and someone you didn’t know called out “Hey bitch!”, would you turn around? I know I wouldn’t because I’m not anyone’s bitch. But, there are women out there who would jump up and throw a fit because a complete stranger called someone a bitch, and that woman assumed he was talking to her.

    If you read the OP and the proceeding comments and, as a White person, you become offended, that’s not anybody’s problem but your own.

    One more time, in slow motion please:

    THIS

    IS

    NOT

    ABOUT

    YOU.

  300. That’s directed towards you and anyone else. There. =)

    **lol w/ Juan

    Time to introduce a new end-tag: [/Olympia]

  301. But, there are women out there who would jump up and throw a fit because a complete stranger called someone a bitch, and that woman assumed he was talking to her.

    While I agree with your post on the whole, Angel, I don’t agree with this part. I would throw a fucking fit because “bitch” is a misogynist way to address any woman.

  302. I tend not to comment on blogs because I feel I’m not informed enough to start a dialogue, but I read the required reading got through about 300 other comments.

    Thank-YOU (most of you– not the nutty white people missing the point) for this post. As someone who is young, white, middle class, and from northern SK (Canada) where I’d only ever seen maybe 5 black people until I was 17, I’m really just learning that I NEED to know and acknowledge this stuff. White privilege is a huge knapsack that we as white people need to look at unpacking regularly.

    I don’t think I’ve seen this linked in this thread yet: http://seamonkey.ed.asu.edu/~mcisaac/emc598ge/Unpacking.html

    So;

    Thank YOU for letting me get into that apartment before you. I know you like bars on the windows. Not a fire hazard at all.
    Thank YOU for giving up the promotions and the advancement opportunities and the awards in school.
    Thank YOU for living in the crappier part of town so me and my family can be surrounded by other white people where police cars are sure to come and shut down a teen party, but wait maybe a few minutes before heading over to separate a black or Indian boyfriend’s hand from his girlfriend’s hair while she screams and tries to run away but, hey, let’s face it, they’ll be right back together again tomorrow.
    Thank YOU for taking the heat of all the white people trying to sthoplift. I think we’d all rather watch and follow you around and we’re all so glad it isn’t a white person who gets caught.

    One thing that I can personally say I’m sorry for is that I didn’t start educating myself until recently– my privilege as a white person. I’m sorry for ignoring racism and pretending it didn’t exist or that it didn’t effect me because I never thought ignoring racism is pretty much the same thing.

  303. I agree w/ Veronica, but Angel I gotta say, I <3 your Goose/Duck conversation! :D

  304. Ico and Veronica:

    I understand what you mean, and you’re absolutely right. Even after I had posted it, I thought about whether or not that situation would apply to something like this.

  305. “I think the point is that it’s wrong for white people to talk about their own experiences with racism – HERE, in this post.”

    Definitely fair enough. I tend to go into most debates/discussions looking to be right and feel good about being right, whether I realize it or not. But if there was ever a place to remember not to do that, it’s this one.

    I’ve seen the allies thread and I’ll be keeping track of it though I think I’m too inexperienced (and, honestly, scared of screwing it up) to contribute anything just yet.

    Kristina: I think ABW has that link in her ‘required reading’ up top, along with some other great material. I love the quote at the very beginning, in particular. It’s helped me think of a few more:

    Thank you for teaching children alike that racism is either a very bad thing that happened a long time ago, or something overt and individual that only evil people like Hitler do.

    Thank you for condensing black history down to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and George Washington Carver.

    Thank you for making black Barbie dolls that pretty much look like white Barbie dolls with darker coloring.

    Thank you for “simplifying” racism and then never advancing the discussion, so many of us never really learn to get out of elementary school.

  306. Yeah, I saw that after. Oh well. I don’t think it can really be over-linked, though.

  307. [...] of color (and people of color in general).  I read posts like the Angry Black Woman’s “Thank You, White People” (follow. the. links.) and agree with the whole damn thing, and want to bang my head against [...]

  308. Not to mention the whole Lost Generation issue in Australia.

    Lost Generation? Where did that come from?

    We use the term Stolen… always have, always will.

  309. Thank you white people for always being so willing to support, maintain, flag wave and tongue action white supremacy in the realms of fandom, comicbooks and gaming (videogames, roleplaying, etc.). Creators and participants alike. You make the safe places of escapism and leisure time so much fun by reminding me neither of those places should be as such for me and those like me.

    And with that I say to your general collective: Fuck you white fandom. Fuck you white comic nerds. Fuck you white gamers. And a special Fuck you white videogamers.

  310. I also have to chime in on Stolen Generation. Definitely NOT ‘Lost’!
    Children were violently removed from their parents and were mostly put in religious boarding schools where they were trained for menial domestic service or given to farmers as workers. The government said they were ‘better off’. Apart from the fact that this was just the the next step in a history of massacre and violence by white invaders much of the removal of the children was motivated by the fact that there were a lot of “mixed race” chidren living in Aboriginal communities – thanks to white men raping aboriginal women. Their plan was to remove these children to a society where they would be forced to turn to Western “Culture” and would in future breed with white people so that the Aboriginal race could be eventually eliminated. Many never met their parents or saw their brothers or sisters or families again and an enormous amount of Aboriginal culture and history has been lost by removing the ability for stories to be passed down and attempting to destroy the spiritual connection to the land.

    I would encourage everyone to read more about Australia and it’s treatment of Aboriginies. The First Fleet, The Stolen Generation, The Northern Territory Intervention and all the other things white should be thanked for for fucking up in this country.

  311. I’m coming in late, but I love this post, thanks for writing it. My only misgiving is that so much of it is in the past. The racist past did shape the present one, but if this post had pointed out more of what whites are still doing to blacks and others, it might have warded off responses like this one:

    “According to my family history we have never owned or imported slaves. In fact, in my family history we fought and died helping to end slavery. I have grown children who are not racists. I am American Indian (3 different tribes), French, Irish, and English. I am classified as white. Thank you for lumping me in with a lot of undesirables.”

    I deal on my blog with stuff white people currently do that black people and others are anything but thankful for. C’mon in, the door’s open:

    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/

    macon d

  312. I just got linked to this, and feel the need to respond.

    Firstly, I am one of those who could claim to be white and have a ‘clean’ anscestry, with family being against rather than for the slave trade.

    I could go further and say that, yes, some of my family are black and therefore I could in no way be racist.

    But, why should I?
    Not being part of the problem doesn’t mean it magically didn’t exist; not acknowledging something doesn’t make it go away.

    My family, at this moment in time, are not racists – but we see how our black family members are treated, how friends are bombarded with sometimes unintentional racism that has been prevelant throughout the years – “Do you speak English?” is not something I appreciate hearing from narrow-minded people whom I have never met and know nothing of the person who they are addressing.

    So, whilst I can possibly claim ‘innocence’ for the past actions of my family, I wholly accept that society, as a whole, is still racist.

    And sometimes? We need a good kick to remind us of this…

  313. I am curious by the “I am not racist” posts. Even if one is an ally and has actually lived a life where one NEVER performed a racist act (which I find hard to believe; we have been socialized from day one to be racist), white people still benefit from privilege, and that is racism.

    If a white person has ever held a job, he/she has benefited from racism (white people and especially men get paid more than POC).

    If we have ever driven in a car and not been pulled over simply because we are white, we have benefited from privilege.

    Does that make sense?

  314. I am curious by the “I am not racist” posts. Even if one is an ally and has actually lived a life where one NEVER performed a racist act (which I find hard to believe; we have been socialized from day one to be racist), white people still benefit from privilege, and that is racism.

    If a white person has ever held a job, he/she has benefited from racism (white people and especially men get paid more than POC).

    If we have ever driven in a car and not been pulled over simply because of the colour of our skin (because we are white), we have benefited from privilege.

    Does that make sense?

  315. Sorry for the double post! I was trying to clarify a point so I stopped it as it was mid-sending to change it. You are welcome to delete one of them!

  316. [...] weeks ago, The Angry Black Woman wrote a letter to thank white people. A lot of white people showed up in her comments to completely misunderstand what she was saying [...]

  317. A few thank yous…

    Thank you to the receptionist who was afraid to buzz my son in when he came to visit me at the office…even when he told your silly ass I was his mom…

    Thank you for your persistence in insisting that black women in corporate america should “fit in” by not wearing our hair in it’s natural state. Oh, and thank you for continuously reaching out to touch my hair, despite the fact that I step out of your reach…thanks for not getting the obvious clue that I don’t want you touching my hair.

    Thank you for returning from vacation and insisting on placing your arms next to mine and commenting that you’re almost as brown as I am…despite the fact that you know it annoys the shit out of me.

    Thank you for harping on the fact that Obama is so “articulate” as if articulate black people are the exception, and not the rule.

    Thank you for pseudo concern for “inclusiveness” by insisting that black people who choose to call themselves African American, not do so…and thank you for questioning why black people choose African names for their babies, when you should mind your own business and not be concerned such matters.

    Thanks to the a-hole in my dept. who thought it was cute to send me an ebonics jokes email back when ebonics was the hot topic…and thank you for acting like a victim and being perturbed when I reported you to human resources.

    Thank you for smiling in the faces of black co-workers, pretending to like and respect them, then going home, calling AM talk radio, and expressing your sheer loathing of black people.

    Thank you for doing your damnest to defile the reputation of the late Sean Bell…thank you for talking about his “past” as a drug dealer and a thug (without any conclusive proof), thank you for referring to his beautiful wife as a “baby mama” with such scorn and loathing, thank you for not understanding that this man had not committed a crime, had no weapons on him…yet he was shot dead by “new york’s finest”. Thank you for justifying his murder, and siding with the police. Also thank you for justifiying the murders of Amadu Diallo, Yusef Hawkins, Eleanor Bumpurs, Michael Stewart, Cedric Santiford…thank you for assuming that these men “must have done something” to deserve their fate. Thank you for continuing to call these murders of black men “unfortunate tragedies” in lieu of what they really are…murder.

    Thank you for callin my mother an “uppity niggra gal” when she, at age 18, refused to take a job as a maid to help put her through college, because she did not want to clean up after white people.

    Thank you, white women, for continuing to clutch your purses when you see black men coming, but can’t resist bedding down a brotha, because of your own morbid curiosity about black male sexuality.

    Thank you, Sgt., for having the audacity to tell me that black women don’t “understand” black men, and that we don’t treat them well, and that’s why they turn to white women like yourself…after you regularly screwed and peformed oral sex on a fellow black Sgt…who, btw went on leave, married his hs sweetheart, and brought back video of the wedding…while you sat there looking stupid. So much for you “understanding” black men, huh??

    Thank you for accusing me of having thrown a used, uncovered sanitary napkin in your yard…and thanks for the stupid look on your face when I told you that, more than a year prior, I’d had my uterus removed, due to an overload of fibroids, and suggested that it might have been your daughter’s filth.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  318. Oh, yes one more thank you…thank you again, to my former neighbor, who talked about how black men didn’t want to work…when your own, fat, lazy, slob of a son aged 30, lived in your attic, smoked weed, and played rock & roll while my husband and I tried to sleep so we could wake up fresh as a daisy to go to our JOBS.

  319. I just came across this, and feel compelled to add my personal story/anecdotes, in response to so many of these white people who supposedly are not racist and never ever had ancestors that were…

    I’m white, I have no idea if my ancestors were personally involved in slavery, but I don’t see how that even matters. I do however have a racist family. My grandparents are *openly* racist against blacks. My parents are more of the variety seen here in this thread. They’re “color blind,” which gives them permission to hate groups of people (who just *happen* to be of a certain color) for any reason they fancy. It’s funny, in a fucked up way, a couple weeks ago they were talking about how Mexicans should stop being lazy and get jobs already. Me (25 yrs old) and my brother (20) are both unemployed and still living at home. LOL! If you asked them, they would say they are definitely not racist, nuh uh, not one bit. Just very recently my brother has been expressing more openly racist sentiments (of the “they all need to go back to where they came from” variety). I feel so gross writing this.

    But, it’s this that has opened my eyes somewhat (and I’m ashamed they weren’t open before), I’ve been reading anti-racist things online for only a WEEK now, I had/have no idea about how bad institutionalized racism is. But I’m trying to listen and understand. It seems a lot of people don’t want to.

    So here’s one: Thank you white people for indoctrinating your children with racist bullshit. Maybe one day they will even outshine you.

  320. Before I make my comment, I am the other ABW which is short for “ANONYMOUS” BLACK WOMAN.” But in defense of the blogger of this site, I concur with the other people that she has a right to say what she wants on her sight. Nevertheless, Elaine, thank you for acknowledging this later. Still, Elaine, although I respect your defense of considering the rights of animals, LIKE OTHER POSTERS ACKNOWLEDGED, -and thank you by the way- people of color have often been referred to as animals in a negative sense-as a way to dehumanize and ridicule! In the specific cases of black people, slave masters viewed chattel slaves they held as animals. They used the same mechanisms of domestication as one would use to train their horse, their cows, or their pets-whether cats or dogs! In light of these, what the blogger ABW says makes good sense-tone or labels wording aside. Once again,this unfortunate phenomenon of comparing people to animals(and treating them that way) was done to other people in addition to blacks. A good example in more recent history of this was the way the Nazis referred to Jews before,during, and after the Holocaust by labeling them mice, lice, and rats.

  321. Any way ANGRY BLACK WOMEN, you rule(horn sign… like folks do in reference to rock music) and you are in a league of your own! Smiles. So brush the haters off your shoulders. Oh, I also co-sign on your POV in many articles as well!

    With that said I am on to my other point!

    Some one else said that they would not have been offended if ABW had specifically attacked Pat Buchanan! Well, ma’am, we would not have been offended if Pat Buchanan had not
    generalized and referenced all black people; and, it also does not help that Pat Buchanan is the mainstream mouthpiece for at other bigoted whites that are racist!

    I get the vibe that my whiteness is much more significant to you than any of my personal opinions or actions.

    Join the club! African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, Latinos, Arabs, and ALOT of Jews STILL often feel that folks judge THEM AS A GROUP AND NOT INDIVIDUALS! Whether blatantly racist or colorblind whether conservative, liberal or left! I am pretty sure they do not like being judged in this manner!

    And thank you white people for the “common ground” and “both sides are wrong” and “everybody is a little bit racist approach.”
    Exactly JUAN. LAAAUUUUGGHHHS! I am on to this subtle diss and smear tactic TOO. It does not fool me either and garners NO sympathy! I am just sad I did not think to use this as a thank you even though I am glad you did!

  322. I’m curious. What do you find objectionable about “both sides are wrong?”

  323. Saying “both sides are wrong” posits an equality that doesn’t exist. Inequality is everywhere and people don’t mind it until they want there to be an equality of blame.

  324. This is a great post because I don’t think most white people understand just how often white people say things like, “why aren’t you thankful for everything white people have done for you?” Being white means the privilege to be unaware of just how often this statement gets thrown around by racist white people. Just today I was doing some research on the “Without Sanctuary” website (which catalogues lynching photography, most of the pictures were used as postcards! some not even a hundred years ago!!!) and right there in the guestbook someone said this assanine statement. ABW is responding to this popular myth among white people- the same colonialist worldview that had white imperialists seeing themselves as the saviours of the world spreading Christianity (and disease and murder) throughout the “New World.” Today this type of white supremacy has been reshaped into a different kind of myth where we still invade countries and neighborhoods (gentrification) and think we are doing it to benefit people of Color, when really we are just destroying people’s lives and avoiding the responsibility with doublespeak.

    I say we to mean anybody who benefits from white privilege in any small way. I don’t mean that your ancestors directly participated in slavery or anything like that. But we still reap the benefits of that structure and a recognition of that is all I see people asking for.

  325. Now I see what was being said. I was reading that very differently. I thought of it as a third party with a third position on an issue coming in and saying “both sides are wrong,” which actually seems to me a desirable and a good thing for the most part from the perspective of a pluralistic multicultural society.

    But what was meant was side A and Side B clash, then side A wants both sides to admit they were wrong to force everyone to share equal blame and assuage its own culpability.

  326. But what was meant was side A and Side B clash, then side A wants both sides to admit they were wrong to force everyone to share equal blame and assuage its own culpability.
    THANKS, DAVKA- YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!(smiles)
    Yep. Also, Third Party C using this weak tactic to justify or hide their complicity in supporting wrongdoing.

  327. In reference to fomenting African conflict, thank you white people, for specifically for further widening a slight conflict during colonialism that may have existed between Hutus and Tutsis. Thank you, white people, for allowing the Tutsi’s to anoint themselves a buffer caste between you and the Hutu’s/Twa’s until the 1950’s-1960’s decolonization movement. Thank you, white people, for allowing the Tutsis to mistreat Hutus by keeping this nefarious state of affairs in place until this time. Thank you white people for focusing world opinion on mostly criticizing Hutu’s, without acknowledging that Tutsis massacred at least 10,000 Hutus in the 70’s-an event, in addition to their former mistreatment of Hutus-that may have contributed to the Hutu on Tutsi slaughter that happened in 1994! PLEASE DON’T GET ME WRONG,I WISH THE HUTU WOULD NOT HAVE SLAUGHTERED AT ALL or THAT MANY PEOPLE-I just feel like some justified grievances Hutus have or reasons for anger have been brushed aside by some segments of self-righteous ill-informed biased members of world opinion since some of these people do not care to hear both sides. As if the Hutus just woke up and did this for NO REASON at all! NOT that the reasons JUSTIFY the extent of the murders, but THEY EXPLAIN THEM.I also wish that the people criticizing the Hutu now with some reason-would have criticized to the same degree(as they do the Hutu) the mistakes the TUTSIS made earlier THEN and NOW! Preferably then, since all of these massacres could have been lessened or avoided by possibly not transpiring in the first place!Thank you, white people, for not emphasizing these unpleasant facts to the court of world opinion. Thank you, white people, for ignoring the letter of a source that foretold what was to occur!
    Also, along similar lines, if It has not already been stated, thank you white people for dramatizing, humanizing and sensationalizing American citizens killed during 9/11- but ignoring the many terrorist attacks, economic sanctions, and other atrocities that the U.S. inflicted on Middle Eastern countries as a matter of policy!Thank you, white people for downplaying the collateral damage that resulted from these policies!

    P.S. TO ANY AFRICANS READING THIS, I WISH NO SIDE COMMITED ATTROCITIES OR ILLWILL !!! I KNOW THEY POST HAVE PROBABLY MADE MISTAKES EVEN THOUGH, TO ME, IT DOES NOT SEEM THAT PEOPLE HAVE COVERED BOTH SIDES OF THIS STORY!!! I ALSO WISH THERE WAS NOT STRIFE AMONG AFRICANS JUST LIKE I WISH THERE WAS NOT BLACK ON BLACK CRIME AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS since I wish blacks did not have so much INTRARACIAL/intragroup STRIFE! But then again, intraracial /intragroup strife is commonplace universally!

  328. What are just and decent (if one can concede they exist) people of conscious, regardless of race or ethnicity, supposed to do for the least well off here in the US or elsewhere? What action, or gestures would be counted as good, appropriate, fair, just, or just plain NOT RACIST?

  329. Yeah thank you white people for establishing non governmental organizations here in my country Kenya where you pay people 2 dollars a day. Thank you for the tribal violence that happened here in Kenya due to the divide and conquer method that you used during colonization, and how can i not forget to thank you for the hundreds of acres of land you own that you stole from our ancestors in the name of developing Africa. Thankful?

  330. ABW, just, God bless you. And everyone else who has made an appearance on the comment roster in support of….actual reality.

    I only made it 1/4 of the way through the comments! I’m worn out already by the Uriah Heep characters who are so mortally offended and cringing that you could be so mean as to call them (personally and directly, apparently!) privileged and responsible. “Wahhh…my life is hard, how dare she call me privileged? Doesn’t she know that my dad is a Martian? Doesn’t she know that my ancestors were part of the underground railroad?”

    ABW, how can you be so mean to me? Don’t you know that my background is Irish, and my relatives were shipped over to Canada during the potato famine because we were poor and starving and oppressed? And that I grew up poor? How can you call me privileged? Hmmm, maybe because I’m white and could fabricate whatever heritage I feel like. Or because nobody will care what my heritage is, since my ethnicity, like my privilege, is invisible to others like me. Or because opportunities grow in my community like godamn dandlilions!

    It’s almost mind-exploding that so many of the white people writing here cannot get it through their heads that the existence of white privilege does not make them de facto evil white bastards. The whole issue with white privilege is that societal systems _organize_ life in a way that screws over other people.

    WHICH MEANS that as long as you (listen up, J Grant) react with defensiveness when white privilege is mentioned or criticized, that is just what you are doing: defending your privilege. The harder you fight, and the more you feel like your poor feelings are hurt by the mean black people, the more you personally deserve every word of anger that is directed at people preserving the system of privilege and oppression.

  331. Thank you Tara,
    You are good to share your take on this thing so thoughtfully.
    I know my inability to empathize is maddening. This fact pains the whole world.

    But I just don’t truck with petty bad behavior in an already pained
    world. Bullying is no road to change.

    OK
    Thanks again,
    I’M OUT :)

  332. Eric,

    Who said “be thankful?”
    Oh was it that obviously extremist skinhead-type blog voyeur?
    Yes I saw that post, too, and thought immediately–fringe nut case–move on. Yes, hell’s bells, they do exist. It is a shame to every sane American to admit that its still true. But they don’t make policy.

    So, 500 years into the debacle,
    can we talk about what is the right thing to do NOW?
    Is it ever worthwhile to do that?

  333. yeah racist people never make policy. thank god…

    ….

    ?

  334. Tara, thank you for your observations. I did appreciate them! Commend yourself for facing reality!I am sorry I responded so late! As for the thing about the expression about white poverty and oppression, the thing that I notice is that a lot of these whites that make these points overlook the fact that at the same time their ancestors WERE poor and IN POVERTY, people of color’s ancestors were not only poor and oppressed , they were up under colonialism/indentured servitude/slavery and varying forms of racism and genocide. That as slighted as these white immigrants were, they were at least allowed to immigrate to certain countries when people of color were not even LEGALLY allowed to immigrate in mass voluntarily. They were given opportunities immigrants of color were not given during the time they arrived! They could as least alter their name or escape by becoming Americanized and speaking American English when this option did not change the status of people of color AT ALL or THAT MUCH whether they did this or not.And in reference to the Irish, around the time the Irish were escaping the Potato Famine, blacks were either still in slavery or just fresh out of it . None of this is said to downplay Irish oppression, it is just said to say that African Americans were still in conditions that the Irish made a point to immigrate from-and our immigration away from semi-feudal/slavery did not reach its peak until the 1900’s to the !940’s(During the Great Black Migration) to face race riots from some of their Irish kinsmen. (And I am not saying that African Americans NEVER provoked any encounters between White immigrants at the turn of the century-since we live in a country that pits groups against groups-but many of white-on-black riots consisted of noticeable members that were Irish immigrants. Before this time anyway,Native Americans were facing mass genocide and Mexican Latinos was facing theft of their land by U.S. Anglo Invaders in addition to racism,poverty,oppression, and discrimination! The THIRD WORLD faced different types of colonialisms, slaveries, serfdoms, theft of resources, WARS and genocides too! You know what else!After all this, blacks were incorporated into sharecropping-a system at its best modern feudalism and at its worst-a system not THAT different from slavery. People always talk about slavery being over a hundred years ago, but sharecropping extended into the 1950’s-1960’s. Really, between slavery and sharecropping-blacks have really been only semi-free for FORTY YEARS!It would not surprise me today if there were U.S.African American blacks still working alongside immigrants from Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa now on some of the existing plantations in existence NOW! The reason I am slow to go literally onto property like that to find out the answer now is that I am afraid I might be abducted and put to work on a field now in some sham-scheme! You know what else, I hate/have a phobia for large agri-business forms now because I think that this country would love nothing better than for this country to go back to times like that period-regardless of race. But even then, the system would reach an apex of nastiness in reference to black folk. I know they have unfortunately replaced immigrants with domestic citizens but still-and they way immigrants treated is wrong too. They have run from one hardship to face another!

  335. Yeah, Eric, I am on to the idea that enough of those NGO’s have to be scams. I would not in the least bit be surprised if most of the money went to administration costs/waste/ and reasearch-but to the extent that alot of money may not even go there, where is it going. It’s obvious that much of it probably ain’t going to the supposed recipients! If it was, they would be better off for it!

    As for your comment about the land stolen in Africa..

    Yeah what about that! It wasn’t enough to steal the people but they could keep most of their land either! Goodness! Thank you white people! Gotta love YOU for THIS!

  336. I am a 16 year old black female. For the past two days, my Social Studies class has been discussing the gestures and “ways” of Blacks in association with Hip Hop. Now, my school is predominently white and I am the only black person in my class. This white girl from England decided to comment on the stupidity of American’s Black youth. She did this by stating that it was “stupid” how “they” (us) want to just blame White people for everything and then engage in violence, because it’s “self-destructive.” Now, I agree that state of the Black community isn’t the best. However, what I can’t help get over is the fact that this girl didn’t even bother to go educate herself and understand the reasons before she opened her mouth, all because the White teacher gave his dogmatic view of the NWA. I am a well-mannered black girl and I really don’t know how to get “hood” (eye-rolling, neck-rolling,ect.), but I was ready to start doing all of that and more. But, I kept my composure and I said absolutely nothing, I just shook my head in disgust. Now, I guess I’m asking for advice, because I really want to enlighten this girl and tell-her-off at the same time. I read this post and it calmed me, because reading things like this only make me more proud to be black, no matter what anyone says about us.

  337. Someone should tell that girl that just because she grew up in Britain doesn’t mean she knows shit about Black AMERICANS.

  338. Exactly.

  339. THIS WAS AWESOME!!

    (and how did I ever miss it???)

    except the question I always have to ask, is how come when I do the exact same thing about teh menz, the reply is always always always “but they’re not like that anymore”?

    I’m not condemming POC’s resentment for all the past, present and future racial injustice because really there’s no excuse good enough to explain way abuse, but it’s just that I notice teh menz of all colors get a free pass from women under the same circumstance.

    It’s really hypocritical to host an outrage party against one oppressive regime for past injustice, and yet not express the same animosity towards other oppressors. To be fair you need to hold the exact same feelings about men.

    If you don’t, then your outrage is not stemming from a ethical principal, but a grudge. Which is just petty bullshit.

  340. that should be “explain away abuse”. And you’re still awesome. My comment wasn’t really about you specifically, but I didn’t make that clear and I apologise.

    It was about women of all colors in general forever giving men a (partial) free pass for sexism.

  341. StormFront showed up??? Good god I retract my previous comment. This thread needs only 100% support.

    It finally dawned on me that a WOC has to be 10 times as good as a white person to be half as successful — well I already knew that part — but now I start actively looking for WOC whenever I need anything done right. (hope that not offensive)

  342. I know this is late but, I just found this blog.

    Dear Adam:

    Read a book. Go on amazon and read a book with “black” or African American in the tite. Lack of Black friends is a really dumb excuse for your ignorance and lack of empathy. In fact, it is just another form of White Male Priviledge, as is your assertion that anger causes discussions to “gravitate towards blaming and emotional responses. ” (Only people who are not forced to be coherent while they are angry every minute of the day have the luxury of believing such a myth.) It is a purely White American (& British) Male cultural idea that one cannot be truthful, direct, and correct while having an emotional reaction to the subject at hand. It is frankly, an absurd notion to many other languages and cultures.
    Thanks for asking, though.

  343. [...] example, to ever publish any of my trackbacks, but I did think the notorious stickler for “fairness” (love how she steps in to tell the black women what exactly would be “fair” [...]

  344. As a black woman, I agree that whites have been the downfall of many generations of blacks in our past, and I say our past because I was born in the 80’s, so I have yet to see my family members hanging from trees or drowning from being thrown from a slave ship, but I digress…

    However, there were also MANY whites that died along with us in the abolition movement that made it possible for us to be free, and many whites that died in the freedom marches so we could drink out of the same fountains, go to the same schools, and get good jobs…and I happen to be a firm believer that those blacks and whites died in vain just so we could become IGNORANT from 1975-2008, of which i don’t believe we were before because our ancestors faught too hard to make a future for us, only to blame whites for our present mishaps. You need to get over being angry and do more helping our people get back what we lost in the fight to become free……our brains!

    I some how believe that we had more unity and a stronger will to acheive during segregation. Who do you blame that on? We were always offered the short end of the stick, that doesn’t mean we have to take it! And I’m truly tired of hearing rants about stuff we weren’t alive to see. The Jews almost got wiped out, 6 million in fact, and to this day people would like to try to wipe them out again and yet they still remain the wealthiest most intelligent group of people. I could go down the list of poor unfortunate ethnic groups that could (and do) complain about the white man’s raping and pillaging, however they have seemed to ban together as a community to try and be better than what they have been made out to be…so how does being angry help our current situation?

  345. why do white people think that a mere appology is surfficient for slavery and all the toils and heartache impounded on the the black man! i mean.. ok saying sorry is the first step……but then what ?? is that it ?, your sorry ! .. when we still continue to suffer the effects of inequality and inferiority, as you go on to enjoy the privleges of the labours of our ancestors, continue to live in comfort off the bounty, and the stolen legacy and resources of our home Africa, you annihilated the true custodians of this country, the Native Amercian and all you can say is sorry!! …you could do a lot more than that… and if you dont, then the evil committed by your ancestors continues to thrive within YOU!! and thus you are just as bad!

  346. one white lady accosted me for calling her, privleged saying that for generations, her her family had been poor, that she and her siblings had never known anywealth or comfort growing up,…..and yes in that right she was correct in her indignation, i mean, are there no whites who suffer from poverty and oppression, of course there are ….and she continued in stating that she too was an decendant of German immgrants who came here on a ship from Europe only to endure crippling hardships in pursuit of the american dream. But then i cut in before she could continue to recant her history to me, i interrupted in saying…” they came here” …… “they came here of there own free will and were never packed into sweltering compartments at the base of the ship in chains” and right then ,was the Aha! moment . i continued to point out that had she stated her family were German and that she knew that much about her heritage… and that in its self was a privlege in comparison to the african american who was strip of his name and maintains no recollection of his true brithage and history….. our heritage is that we are children of slaves who know not whence we came and the stigma that comes along with being viewed as less worthy…. so yes, in that light, she too was able to concede that white people are privleged ….also with the understanding that the social system works better for her, than it ever will for me, a black male.

  347. hey everyone,

    haven’t read all the comments…yet. but getting there. just letting y’all know that I’m a white person reading this blog, and I’m listening. I’m trying in my own life to address my privelege and racist training and challenge the racism around me, individually and structurally. I’m doing my best to learn, and really *get it* and I’ll let my actions be judged by POC as to whether I am an ally or not.

    Keep on writin!

  348. Thank you, white people

    Not even a full day passed after the election and all ready I get the “I expect no more complaints from *you people*” line and funky looks despite your bullshitin “post-racism” rhetoric.

    Thank you and what the fuck is wrong with “you people”!

  349. IN response to Butchsly, that is exactly it. more than anything, black people don’t want all white people to suffer, its just the acknowledgment of all the wrongdoing, and a challenge for you to reevaluate your experiences and position in society, to get outside of your whitewashed clouded views on life and understand even for a possible split second what it feels like to be black and a descendant of the horrible aspects history , how we’re still being affected by it, the fact that people still write these types of blogs is a testimony to the pain still being felt. the object is not to accuse all whites of evil, but your current position in society is a result of the evil-doing of the people who look like you, and the fact that you still benefit from it whether you are racist or not. obviously, not every white person is the problem; but there are an untold number of whites who inhabit/did inhabit such hate, and even moreso who benefit from it, whether racist or not. ergo, no matter what your personal feelings are in regards to race, more often than not, when a black person looks at you, the history plays over and over again in their head because blacks are ALWAYS aware of their race and societal perceptions, while most whites (statistically) are often unaware because its a non issue, unless they find themselves to be a minority somewhere (fat chance). the best thing you could do for a black person is to get on their level and attempt to understand them; we’re not asking for your houses and your first born (although, understandably, you could imagine why some people would advocate for that, but again, hate begets hate, and nothing will really rewrite the wrongs of the past). take the time to understand black people, instead of listening to your racist parents/grandparents/friends, or media (obviously, all whites don’t have racist families, but you get the gist of what i’m saying). Don’t expect us to “be like you” or “just get over it and move on”…and more than anything else, don’t use Barack Obama as a bailout…his election does not extinguish centuries of hate, rape, murder, and cruelty. take the time to understand that the complexity of the present day is NOT written in a nearby textbook.

  350. Thank you for writing this. My first reaction when reading this was slight indignation (as a white person) but really… I read earlier tonight a defense of feminism that essentially states “even if only one person is a problem, it is still a problem.” I don’t know how much of a problem there is with racism today. I simply have no idea.

    II don’t know how it feels to be black in America, or how it feels to be mostly white and only a little African and still labeled “black,” or how it feels to be a black woman in America, where you may not be seen as ladylike or as a welfare queen or any number of other stereotypes. So really, how much indignation should I be feeling?

    So… thanks for giving me something to think about. And for being an eloquent writer.

  351. This post is now almost 8 months old. And while I appreciate that people are still reading it and wanting to share their reactions, after 350 comments I really feel like this conversation needs to move on. Not that the issues brought up here have been discussed completely and are done, but that they are being discussed in newer posts with fresh perspective. Therefore, I am not going to approve any new comments here. If you feel the need to say something about it, find the latest post and engage with that one, not this one. If you cannot do that, then you’re SOL.

    Thanks.

  352. Wow I just came across this. Let me throw out my favorite feminist annoyance. When WOC speak our trues they dismiss us as “the oppression Olympics”. No fair having experiences not theirs!

  353. hey, we all human are same we all have brain, red blood, hands, legs and other things that i can’t mention here. it’s all the same people, when will you realize it. Don’t blame to the past mistake done by ancestors to the new generation. That’s like blaming others for your mistake. Don’t blame America for the problem of drugs and crime in Black community, you know without anyone’s self decision you can’t make them take drugs.

    may god bless you

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