Addendum to the It’s Pledge Time Again/NPR post:

Local NPR responds

National NPR responds

In other news, someone very smart had some very interesting things to say about the new TV season in this here online magazine.

How do these people find me?

So, over in the comment thread on the Billy Ray post there’s a commenter named Anthony who stumbled upon my little blog while Googling on Billy Ray’s name. At first, Anthony seems like a pretty upstanding guy. He expresses outrage that such terrible things can happen and even goes so far as to threaten bodily harm on the perpetrators, if given a chance. But then Anthony rolls his clown car right back into privilege-land and the fun begins:

This is not a black and white issue and it is a shame that it is being made into one. Does not matter what color the victim was or the perpetrators. It is equally as sick if it was white on white or black on black. A sick fuck is a sick fuck regardless of color.

…keep on track, this is not about color, open your f’ing eyes we are all human beings and I dont care what color you are, if you treat another human being this way you should be taken out of the gene pool…….PERIOD!

EVERYBODY get over the race shit and learn to treat one another like human beings. The past is the past so live in the now. No wonder the terrorists want us dead!

Does this sound familiar to anyone? It should. It’s a variation of Ways to Suppress Discussions of Racism #5 (and possibly elements of #6).

I made an offhand comment about there being a lot of overprivileged people commenting lately and Anthony returned to defend his honor:

You think “white” people are overpriviledged by simply the color of our skin?

All of the sudden I understand who the racist is and who should be angry. No wonder you are angry. Obviously deep down you realize that you are part of the problem, thus it must really suck living in your skin, regardless of it’s outward color.

More #5. In my response, I offered Anthony a chance to educate himself by reading the How To Suppress article as well as my post about White Privilege. I don’t think he took my advice, because he returned to say:

Would you have posted the story about Billy Ray if he was a white, hispanic, oriental, or any other race than black? The atrocity is the same regardless of his color, right?

…If your answer is yes, you would have posted it, I find you very respectable. However, if you tell me no…..then I stick to my previous statement that you are part of the problem. You are just as big a racist as those your site criticises. [sic]

…You and your kind (regardless of color) are the problem in America. It is called being a hypocrite.

To be heard and listened to, one must walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Get off your fucking soapbox and make a REAL difference.

Somewhere in there he called both Ann and I “black racists”. I invited him to read the Racism debate, but I don’t think he did that, either. And, of course, there was a liberal sprinkling of ‘blame the victim’ and putting on the onus for change on someone else and not himself. Because we are the problem, you see.

I react predictably to this. Anthony’s (so far) final comment:

WOW…You ladies are angry.

NO WAI!! We are??

I am well aware how sickly racist white people can be and I TRULY find it deplorable…….and NOW I am SHOCKINGLY aware of how racist even one of color can be. Thank you for the eye opening militant experience,…… I think.

I hope and pray that you and yours can find some peace and happiness somewhere in your lives.

P.S. Since the above responses rattled me so deeply, I showed them to 2 friends this morning:
Person #1 Black hetero female (Majored in Liberal Arts with a Masters in Sociology.) Person #2 White lesbian female. Person #1 informed me that there is no “real” social discussion to be had with you and yours. You simply hate yourselves and take it out with these racial “injustice” tyrades. and Person #2 asked me to tell you the term “queer” SHOULD offend you, it does her. Just an FYI.

Yes, kids, he pulled out the ‘my black friend says I’m not racist’ card. And a bonus ‘my lesbian friend says that I’m right’ card with extra added bit where a random white woman gets to dictate which words should offend me. Someone tell Angry Brown Butch to stop using the word Queer right now! It offends some white woman somewhere!

But seriously, this kind of thing boggles me to no end. I realize that it’s the classic example of white male privilege in action, but I am stunned by the level of ignorance on display here. Add to that his seeming surprise that not only was this blog filled with angry ladies, but that we mainly care about black people and black issues. Is the header on this site not fucking big enough?

Weekend Fun: Comment Rescue and Open Thread

No new content this weekend, sorry. That’s because I want to draw some attention to stuff already posted on the blog that I think deserves some more attention and discussion. Comments, mostly, and some posts. Also, this is an Open Thread, say what you want to me! I can take it.

Monday Debate : Affirmative Action, Still Necessary or Outdated?

Right now the debate stands thusly:

White people – Affirmative action isn’t necessary.
Me – Yeah, it is.

How exciting! But seriously, join in. I’d love some more discussion on this because I actually haven’t completely made up my mind, but I haven’t seen much compelling argument to tip me toward being against AA.

Oh, and don’t forget the slightly newer discussion on Black Leadership, which I’m very interested in expanding.

I’m loving the links to Our Black History stuff, and I encourage people to keep them coming. I also cannot wait for the first carnival because it will rock.

While I was gone lots of people left LOTS of comments that I have been trying to read and think about. I’m going to pick out just a few to bring up now, and maybe others later. A lot of what people had to say is still very relevant.

First, a comment from jon on my “About” page:

hey ther, firstly i thought id clear this one up, im a white male, im 18 years old. an i found ur blog whilst looking for a word to descrobe people who are scared of black people. i thought your reasoning of ABW was completely relevant and true to modern day life, unfortunatly! However, i was wondering as to whether u think white people being scared of black people is racist, as i find myself being accused of being racist myself when i am genuinely scared of black people due to a few bad experiences with black people, im not saying all black people are the same or are all bad people, as i have friends who are black. however, i do often feel intimidated by black people who i am unfamiliar with!

I bring this up for two reasons. 1 – I have no idea how to answer this one. 2 – in light of what Mr. Bill O’Reilly and Mrs. Glenn Beck had to say on this subject, I’m wondering how many white people out there ARE actually afraid of black folks. And what does this all mean? (Be deep, y’all.)

Another comment on that page from Dreson:

Wow, This website makes me sad
Its not white people you need to be focusing on.

Distribution of single-offender victimizations, based on race of victims, by type of crime and perceived race of offender – Year 2002
Offender victim Estimated number of victimizations (1)
Crimes of violence- (3)
White Black 100 111
Black White 466 205
Black Black 460 388

I don’t even know what to say to this, y’all.

From not_matt in the Things You Need To Understand #4 post:

Perhaps you have answered this already, but I’d like to hear again you opinion of how one can use white privilege to emilinate white privilege. Being queer I do find myself occasionally disadvantaged, but realize that it in no way takes away from the sad fact that I am a white male.

How can I use this power for good? How can I work to support the structuring of other’s privileges, and try to eliminate my own without, undermining what those in the underprivileged groups are trying to do themselves?

If anyone wants to take that one, I encourage it. I think it’s a legit question.

I was reading through the Racism debate comments and found one that I know I read, but I did not absorb. It’s from Claire Light, and I think it deserves a full quote (but it’s long enough to require a jump:
Continue reading

TGIF – Comment Highlights

The weekend is here, and that means I am having too much fun to blog! Instead, I’ll highlight some of the very interesting comments people have made in the past week or so. If you’re reading the posts but not the comments, you’re missing out on some great discussions.

From Black Hair Etiquette Guide

My response [to “Can I touch your hair?”] would be more like “Sure! Can I touch your ass?”

But that’s me.

Beside the racism and ignorance of that particular move in that particular way, all i can ever think with that sort of thing is,

“Goddam. Were some people raised in a barn, or WHAT?”

From We Will Not Be Silent in any language

Airport official: “White female with Arabic tattoo… pass. White male with Arabic script on cap… pass. Arabic-looking male with an ARABIC WORD on his t-shirt?? Hold it right there, sir! Remove the explosive shirt, sir, or I will have to use force! Code Red! Code Red! We have a hostile t-shirt!

From Sexism. Racism. Dogs.

…let’s look at what Caesar was saying: woman always applies affection before discipline

Given that his show revolves around pushing a punishment/domination method over a reward/non-domination based one, this is is a put down.

His argument is one of a gender essentialist, too. He says women always use affection and contrasts that with men, who he says apply discipline and are “more psychological than emotional”.

He’s using the same psuedo-science that has been used since recorded history to reinforce gender roles. That is sexist. Not to mention not currently supported by science; while sexual differences do exist, we don’t currently know to what extent, if at all, it affects our behaviours and personalities.

From Angry About Rape

I happen to disagree about the use of rape in BSG, but I take your point. Way, WAY too many writers (I’m looking at YOU, Wingrove! And you, too, Vinge!) use rape as a shorthand for These People Are Bad. It’s authorial cowardice. It’s saying, not only am I not good enough to write moral ambiguity, I’m not even good enough to convince you that my Bad Guys want Bad Things.

And, yes, far too often (you AGAIN, Wingrove!) it’s clearly written to be titillating.
David Moles

The use of rape as shorthand to show how eeeevil a character is, and the portrayal of rapists as undeniable, caricatural villains, freaks of society, and so forth, has the additional consequence that it makes it harder to convict the perpetrators of the majority of rapes, who are just average men, and whose good reputations get taken more seriously than their victims’ words.
Ide Cyan

From Black People and 9/11

whenever i say to white people that white america only wants solidarity when america gets bombed on one day but when it comes to sharing resources and benefits fairly after the day of terror, they go what? no we ain’t changing anything.
I am not Star Jones

From Wednesday Link Roundup

Mr. “Critique” there would clearly be dumber than a sack full of hammers even if he wasn’t flat stupid wrong. “People should do X because X would be a good thing for people to do” — no one who starts an essay with that kind of construction should be allowed to use the word “epistemological” anywhere in the essay. Or, for that matter, to graduate from the third grade.
David Moles

Dr. Helen is right that there’s a double standard between men and women. She just doesn’t understand that that’s the problem.

From Things You Need to Understand #4

I had a conversation the other month with a guy who insisted that there was no male privilege, only, uhm, the opposite of disbenefit. Which was not privilege. I think. I was a little woozy at that point, having slammed my head into the keyboard so many times.

I do know white privilege exists and that I benefit from it, I’m not quite sure how to deal with it, however. I am trying to avoid the “white liberal guilt” syndrome right now and to be aware when I am unconsciously acting on that privilege. It’s hard, it’s like the fish in the ocean asking “what is water?” It’s a training of one’s awareness.

When I was a young teenager I would have disagreed with this, because growing up white in a black neighborhood, I didn’t have many of the advantages McIntosh lists. I felt so persecuted! And yet the twenty-odd years of discomfort before I moved away had so little consequence on my life, my brother’s life. Now THAT’S white privilege: it doesn’t matter if people of color treat you poorly, even if you grow up with them! After I lived in other places I realized how incredibly privileged I was and always had been.

Link Roundups this weekend.  Then, on Monday, something new: Monday Debate.