Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Compassionate racism.




First, let me start this post by saying: HOW BOUT DEM PHILS?

Okay, that felt good. I don't have time to do a lot of writing tonight. But I am going to leave you with a little cut and paste job from my hometown paper. It's an excellent article, and it was written by Dana Difillippo, and Steohania Farr. It's about our kinder gentler racist in the age of Obama.

"IN THE GAZEBO on Fairmount Park's Lemon Hill, they gathered to celebrate their whiteness.

But the 75 skinheads - most of whom were male, bald and tattooed - didn't torch crosses, incite fights, burn houses or wear white hoods like the race-haters of the past.


Instead, they drank vitamin water and green tea, and chatted about plumbing, television and how to tell who's "shady" just by looking at them. They then paraded to the riverside statue of Icelandic explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni - among the first Europeans to set foot on North America, around 1010 - to lay a wreath in honor of their heritage.
Welcome to hate in 2008.
Supremacists who used to express their loathing for blacks, gays, Jews and other minorities with fists and fire now post fliers, blog online, ramble on talk radio, commune at invitation-only white-power concerts and gather for subdued ceremonies with subtle messages, like the Oct. 11 wreath-laying organized by the Keystone State Skinheads (KSS).


But not all white supremacists share KSS' subtle-minded message.

On Monday, federal authorities announced the arrest of two neo-Nazis, Daniel Cowart, 20, of Tennessee and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of Arkansas, who were allegedly plotting a cross-country killing rampage of African-Americans, which they planned to culminate with their assassination of presidential hopeful Barack Obama.


Steve Smith, director of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre chapter of the KSS, said that it was the type of plan that "makes us look like we're a bunch of loonies."
"They're a couple of loony bins that give our movement a bad name," Smith said. "I don't know anybody who would even think that killing Barack Obama would solve anything.
'Anyone who tries to kill Barack Obama does a lot more harm to the white movement than anything,' he said.



While Smith doesn't condone the assassination plot on Obama's life, he also doesn't support his candidacy for president - or John McCain's, for that matter, citing what he called McCain's support of "amnesty for illegal aliens.'


Immigration policy always has been a sticking point for white-supremacy organizations, especially those trying to reach white, mainstream Americans who fear marginalization.
As the immigrant debate raged in recent years, hate crimes against Latinos nationally rose 35 percent from 2003 to 2006, according to FBI statistics. Most recently, Luis Ramirez, a Mexican immigrant, was beaten to death last July in Shenandoah, Pa., allegedly by four white high-schoolers shouting racial slurs. And even as KSS tries to soften its image, many members have criminal records riddled with violent offenses, from bar brawls to racially motivated stabbings and beatings.


But many white extremists are trying to reinvent themselves to broaden their appeal and smash the hater stereotype that keeps potential recruits at bay. Locally, the KSS, the most active white-supremacy group in Pennsylvania with nine chapters statewide, now uses the name Keystone United to attract prospective members turned off by the skinhead connection. Members also now prefer the term "white nationalist" instead of "white supremacist," Smith said.

'The definition of a white supremacist is someone who wants to rule over other races,' Smith said. 'We don't wish to rule over others. We just want equal opportunities'"



Poor white supremacist, all they want is a little equality. Oh well, if your friend Sarah gets into power, you just might get it, boys.

And just for a little balance, my local paper featured this article about the New Black Panther Party, as well. Sorry fellows, we are in the age of Obama now; we don't need your services anymore.

97 comments:

Los Angelista said...

What amazes me is how some folks are really act like these two crazies weren't even a credible threat. Sure, they may not have been able to get at Obama, but killing 102 other black folks? That's insanity.

The other thing I started thinking about today was how there are so many Obama signs up in my predominantly white and Latino neighborhood, but don't let black folks actually start moving in in greater numbers. There'd be problems, for sure and they're not even soft-core white supremacists. They're just average Americans.

And it'll be the Cubs next year,Field. Just you wait and see.

jjbrock said...

A more friendly hate group now that's change.

Anonymous said...

It looks as if they're recruiting.

Sheila

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

10 29 08

Yeah, they always try to wrap up a piece of garbage in pretty wrapping but it is still garbage nonetheless. I really get pissed when I hear assholes like that bellyache about how they don't have equal rights as whites. Maybe they could get a job if they had some education! But if they had education, they probably wouldn't be so stupid!

Mr. Noface said...

We've seen this type of subdued racism before (particularly with the KKK in a few of its many incarnations). They put nice and gentile face on the same kind of hate and that hate doesn't go anywhere. It is free to stew and simmer until it bubbles over into violence (enter those two idiots with the "impressive" Obama assasination plot). Los Angelista is right though, because even though it was highly doubtful they would have ever been able to get to the O-man, we regular black folks were definitely in danger of their shared craziness. In the end, those skin heads can blog as much as they want, lay wreaths as much as they want, sip as many green teas as they can stand it won't hide the ugliness for long. Truth will out, as they say!

Bob said...

Remember KKK David Duke? He tried to go mainstream.

Congrats from a Mets fan. It was fun to watch Tampa Bay ride into the Series, a likable team, but the Phils even looked bigger & badder & they were.

Zoda88 said...

I find the subtle racism of this local chapter of the KKK more offensive than that of the typical outspoken bigot. Who the fuck do they think they're fooling? When Obama wins, their feelings are going to be crushed and that will be great to watch.

grinder said...

Everyone is overlooking another ethnic group that is solidly in McCain's corner!

TLW said...

Now this is the kind of thing that white folks can get on board with even the so-called "good white folk" "progressive whites." They have been practicing white nationalism without the official name since this country's inception. But truthfully, every proud ethnic/race group does this they just don't admit it.

Red Devil said...

A seminar piece along the lines here is "Goodbye To All That" by Andrew Sullivan. It fully, comprehensively captures the whole post-divisive mentality we have in politics.

grinder said...

Now this is the kind of thing that white folks can get on board with even the so-called "good white folk" "progressive whites."

No, it isn't.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

they scare me. There is nothing compassionate about racism.

field negro said...

nyc/caribbean, yes "compassionate racism" is an oxymoron.

"Now this is the kind of thing that white folks can get on board with even the so-called "good white folk" "progressive whites."'

Grinder, I hope not, cause we are still way outnumberd :)

Thank you Mets fan, bob. That was classy of you. Are you sure you are a Mets fan?

Black Diaspora said...

Skinheads aren't the only ones seeing a dire future for the country if Obama is elected. Read what some good Christians are saying about him (not all are in agreement, however): Christian right intensifies attacks on Obama --
Conservative activists escalate 'doom and gloom' rhetoric as Nov. 4 nears.

Just a sampling:

- The Supreme court leans liberal, 6 to 3.
- Terrorist attacks have occurred in 4 US cities.
- Christian doctors, nurses, counselors, and teachers have either been fired or quit.
- Iran perpetrated a nuclear attack on Israel, drastically reducing the size of its borders.


No one spreads fear faster than the religious right. Obama can't spread the wealth around that fast.

Karen said...

It's highly doubtful their "heritage" came from Iceland. I wonder if they've researched it?

I would guess there are probably a a number of Irish among them and if there are, do they realize that their families were barraged by the Know Nothings as soon as they stepped foot off the boat to go back to Ireland? I think they would be surprised to find in their own histories this similar kind of hatred was hurled at them because of their "heritage."

I'm too sheltered, I guess, this ignorance blows me away, even now.

Well, anyhow, I listened to you on your roundtable on News and Notes. Very nice, but you didn't get to speak enough. I agree about Hughley. I'm not sure what CNN is after... I don't know, I find it curiously offensive in my deepest belly, like he's their prank monkey or something. I'm not sure why they wouldn't create a commentary show, similar to Olbermans or Rachel's with a black man at the helm? They had to basically make it a comedy hour? Weird to me.

lincolnperry said...

I agreed with Karen, why are comedians like DL Hughley, and David Alan Grier, getting these shows although Grier is a Ivy Leaguer...none of these brothas are journalist!
Now about these White Nationalist/Supremecist typea I dont really worry, about...its the regular white folks with their ingrained bigotry and prejudices! It was the White Citizens council and there bake sales and little ladies playing bridge, that was more effective than the klan rallies and cross burnings back in the day!

sharon in CT said...

White "nationalist"? You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

I have never understood why anyone should take 'pride' in a mere accident of birth. To be 'proud' of being born under a particular piece of cloth, or 'proud' of being born into a particular ethnic group, neither of which I had any choice over, strikes me as weird.

sharon in CT said...

And, having said all that, I do take pride in essays like this one:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/30/opinion/30Cohen.html?ref=opinion

Jody said...

Divide and conqueor is how the haves have more... I am not buying it. I agree with Grinder... no, it is NOT something progressive whites can "get behind." We recognize that our freedom, justice and peace is intrinsically bound up with everyone elses..... these poor fools are in league with the Joe the Plumber idiots that do not realize that their well being is connected to the well being of others.....
I believe that more and more folks are waking up and realizing that separate and afraid keeps everyone down. Especially the younger generation... thank goodness for them!!!!

Anonymous said...

“Sorry fellows, we are in the age of Obama now; we don't need your services anymore”

Field, that comment is why the “Prophets for Profit” are upset about the impending Obama election. They are so frightened they will marginalized and have a decrease in function and cashflow.

lincolnperry said...

You know, maybe I'm missing something here...where is McPains dark skinned Indian daughter, I notice that they don't parade her ass out at those rallies!

Chris said...

What? Are they running towards the ORIGINAL skinhead mantra or just playing nice knowing the facts? LOL!

Christopher said...

Sickening and disgusting.

La ~ Incognita said...

The white "nationalist" and their twisted whining superiority complex infuriates me. Yet the black "nationalist" groups royally piss me off on a whole other level. I can’t stand the sexism and the hypocrisy among them. Spit.

They're all (white and black) a bunch of crazy, sexist, self interest loonies with different skin pigments.

Regardless of whatever my race, I would rather join PETA.

Adam said...

Field,

A Congrats on the Phillies. I lost interest after my White Sox go knocked out.

OK...The KSS....

Would you defend one these people in a court of law for a racial hate crime?

Latimer Williams said...

Well I'm not surprised by this, these groups are really positioning themselves for a serious racially charged 4 - 8 years if Obama wins.

And on another note, I must have missed the memo that stated that being African-American is now an advantage in this country. I just didn't know that we were taking all of the opportunities from these guys.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Field, there you go stirring the pot again. Obama's message is of hope and 95% of what you post here is hate. For shame!

I was wondering whether anyone has any idea why Obama doesn't admit that Frank Marshall Davis is his birth father. I would think that would be something he's proud of.

Beth

Adam said...

Hey Field,

Maybe one of these KSS guys will rise up and become an influential leader like many of Obama's buddies have. Perhaps a professor like Bill Ayers or the Jew-hater, Rashid Khalidi?...or..a convited slum lord (who hates black folks) like Tony Rezko?

Stealth Mode said...

This is precisely what i am talking about: THEY ARE already using MLK to attack OBAMA.

Obama win is going to be very, very good business for House Negroes. It is going to be some very, very long 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Field, I read an article yesterday about the judicial system in New Orleans that was pretty shocking. You should check on that.

szpork

Shabazz said...

“Sorry fellows, we are in the age of Obama now; we don't need your services anymore”

Well, at least they love their people as much as I do. I would put a panter up in my house before a cracker will ever be allowed to put a foot in my doorway. At least I don't have to worry about a black panther throwing me under the bus to please a white audience.
It's about time we stand up for ourselves and stop accepting the seond class status. I don't believe we will ever truly be "free" without some type of revolotionary action. White people are conniving, deceitful, brutal thugs who hide behind a generic, less threatening image. I am not an advocate for violence but, their doesn't seem to be any choice. The other day I happened to stumble upon a reich wing website and the stuff they were posting was disturbing to say the least. Do you know that they are planning on acquiring guns and other weapons of defense if Obama wins the election, and through white power and priviledge, think of how many attacks and shootings will occur that will be downgraded, or dismissed as "self defense". What happened to our self defense? I come from a big family and I have 6 boys of my own, who love their father dearly. I dare one of those cocksuckers to approach me with that bullshit, I got something for their asses!

Adam said...

One more thing, Field.

Growing up near Chicago, I knew a few people who were part of the Black Panther organization.

Most of the Black Panther folks actually did charitable and community work. They have advocated pride, empowerment, and self-improvement. Now, I am white man and I can see that.

I believe the balance in your article would have been to rip into Obama's buddies and how they (short of money and college degree) are no freakin' different from the KSS.

Bro, don't rip on the Black Panthers.

A2daK said...

Yeah, like PETA is not a bunch of whackos themselves. LOL!!!!

Shabazz:

I grew up in a town that was located less than 60 miles from the KKK national HQ and came from a family that was very active in politics/civil rights. I've definitely seen my fair share of open and cloaked racism.

However, you cannot make blanket statements like that about white folks and be accurate. I can tell you that I've seen my share of rednecks that scream "nigger" from their passing pickups. But, I can also say that there were several whites that joined my father and grandfather on the front lines of the civil rights movement. Their kids grew up with us and endured similar vitriol because of it.

Of course the rednecks are still around. They need to be checked whenever the they get out of hand. But we cannot wallow in the mud with them.

Christine said...

To whomever suggested that these supposedly kinder, gentler racist swine are probably of Irish descent, I feel obligated to point out that even if that is true (and given how prolific my people tend to be, it probably is) Klanners, as a rule, don't like to latch onto any Irish blood they might have, because we Irish tend to be *horrified gasp* Catholic, and that runs afoul of their precious WASP-iness. Perhaps you have to be an Irish Catholic raised in the South to see it, but there is definitely a divide within us "crackers," between who is a Prod and who is an RC.
That's not to say that my people are racism-free; sadly I know that is not the case. I would only say that we are no different from any other ethnic group, in that some of us are biggoted wankers and some of us are not.
On a personal note, this Mick is taking 4 Nov off to drive people to the polls, despite my mother's fears that some crazy redneck f#ckers will harass me, because I have a machete, a baseball bat and a pair of Doc boots, and I'm not afraid to go Provo on their @sses.

Adam said...

a2dak:

You stated: "you cannot make blanket statements like that about white folks and be accurate".

Thanks, man.

I am a white man who is married to woman of color. I have both listened (carefully) and read seething idictments against white people. (I think I know the full range of discussions at the BBQs.)And granted, most of it needs to said and read. It does many white people well to listen to (and take seriously) those fierce criticisms.

At the same time, there are many of us (white folks) in 2008 who genuinely care about the racial divide in this country.

All my political rants set aside, I want the best of what this nation has to offer to be available to as many people as possible. I try to do some small things in my own community to help make that happen.

La ~ Incognita said...

Beth, what really draws you here? You don't want your pals over at stormshit to find out you have Field Negro fever, do you?

false1 said...

@ Shabazz

I hear what you're saying. But just as the "terrorists" realize that they can't beat the west through traditional warfare, we're not going to beat these racists with weaponry. See the original Black Panthers and the Move organization.

We need to get into some "intellectual terrorism" first. Define our agenda. Understand our history. Provide knowledge and wisdom to our children. Ostracize the traitors. Reject the false gods and prophets. Unify economically. Create strong families. Police our communities.

Then we can engage with white folks from a position of power rather than weakness. The African American nation is 400 years old, 40 million strong.

I'm tired of begging and tired reacting.

brotherkomrade said...

I have to say, Field that I'm disappointed with you over the end of your post. We are always in need of the Black Panther's services; the breakfast program, self defense courses, political education forums, etc.
We do not, however need the posturing and media antics of the so-called "New" Black Panther Movement who, by the way, do not hold a single endorsement of those who are surviving Panthers. These guys are old Khallid Muhammad followers and dudes who grew up in the 70s under the shadow of what was left of the Panthers. The real BPP never called on the annihilation of the white race. So some historical perspective in that issue is in order. These guys have no idea how much damage they are doing to the BPP legacy.

RisingTide said...

Please for the love of god don't do what the fundies do!

Don't have the policy that some businessman needs your money because he is black.

It doesn't make for better businesses, nor better business.

There are assholes of every color and creed -- including the liberals.

Rude Pundit said...

How to Handle the Next Few Days Before Obama Is Elected:

Have you (and the presumptive "you" is a straight dude this time around) ever had one of those nights where you're with a so-hot-it's-unreal woman and she is just hot for your crank, sneaking ass grabs on the street, whispering the promises of hot fucking in your ear, telling you how goddamn wet she is, to the point where you jump in the car and head back to your place, exchanging 80 mile per hour finger fucking and road head, barely able to get up the stairs without throwing each other down and balling like angry mongooses, getting in the door and hitting the bed, ripping your clothes off and then, before you even know what's going where, your cock's slipped inside her pussy, you're fucking away, fucking like there's no tomorrow, not giving a shit if the sun rises in the morning, moaning, thrusting, and, yet, no, no, neither of you can come, and instead you try a different position, a bunch of different positions, 'cause it feels so good and you don't wanna stop until she's quivering like she needs an exorcist and you've blown a load so hard you think your dick might end up looking like Elmer Fudd's rifle after he's fired it with a carrot stuck in the barrel, so you try her on top, you on top, you behind her, her in front, butterfly legs, legs over the head, the backward handstand with a wheelbarrow twist, the dancing white tiger, and more, and what's awesome is that you're staying hard and she's staying wet, it's just so damn fun, and hours and hours are passing, and you're just so fucking sore, she's swollen, you're both exhausted, but you're in this together, goddamnit, you are not stopping until you come because it's not enough, it's just not the fuck enough to stop and say, "Hey, that was fun, we'll try again another time," no, you both wanna shout out the name of some god or other as you both climax and even though it's seemed like it's never gonna end, you know that you gotta keep fucking because the end's gonna feel so, so good?

You ever had that happen to you?

Yes, it is beyond fucking time for this election to be over. Even if you've voted early, you won't be getting your rocks off until Tuesday night. But as we, at long, long last, reach that delicious point where you know you're just about to orgasm, let's be good lovers and savor our time in the sack.

For instance, yesterday, the Republicans who still believed that they had something with which to damage Barack Obama must have died just a little bit inside when the Democratic candidate ridiculed the whole "He's a socialist" thing. Obama said, in a speech in North Carolina, "By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten." He repeated the line, adding that he's a "redistributionist" because he shared a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, when campaigning with Bill Clinton in Florida last night. It's one of those moments where, as a morose, put-upon Democrat, you sit up and go, "That's the way it's done, motherfuckers" and wonder what would have happened if Al Gore had openly mocked the lies told about him or if John Kerry had said that the Swift Boaters will next say that the shrapnel in his ass didn't hurt that bad.

It's been one of the remarkable things about the incredibly well-run Obama campaign: they don't take shit from anybody. You wanna talk about Bill Ayers? Well, fuckin' fine, let's talk about it. You wanna talk about socialism? Let's get it out there. The attitude from the campaign towards the McCain campaign is "Fuck those guys." So the accomplishment of last night's Barackomercial was that it didn't even need to mention John McCain, like this is all now about Obama's relationship with the nation: "if you'll invite me into your living rooms for 30 minutes, imagine what I can do in four years." At the end of the day, it has helped make John McCain sound, in every interview now, like a whiny little bitch about shit that people have moved on about.

In his interview with Larry King yesterday, which was a little like watching the Cryptkeeper have a conversation with the grandpa from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on some kind of 24-hour zombie station broadcast from Hell, McCain pissed and moaned regarding Obama's fundraising, "[W]hat's disturbing about it is that he signed a piece of paper back when he was a long shot candidate. And he signed it, said I won't -- I will take public financing for the presidential campaign if John McCain will. I mean, it's a living document." It's not that it's an entirely unfair accusation (although there was more wiggle room in the "living document" than McCain is letting on), but, dude, there's only five days left. Tell us something we haven't heard in an endless loop.

Oh, sure, they're trying now with this new professor that Obama went to a reception for. McCain keeps bringing up this super secret video of the party that the Los Angeles Times has that must show Obama blowing Rashid Khalidi while Bill Ayers fucks him in the ass because it's become the latest Holy Grail for those who are determined to prove that Obama really hates America. Check out Sarah Palin talking about Khalidi for a little touch of undiluted hatred.

What Palin says is, more or less, why the whole thing fails: "It seems that there is yet another radical professor from the neighborhood who spent a lot of time with Barack Obama." That's right - yet another one. The McCain campaign is trying for a radical associate do-over: "Aw, fuck, people stopped giving a shit about Bill Ayers. Let's try a brown one." Nope. That ship's sailed. And, besides, once it was revealed that McCain chaired a group that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund Khalidi's work, the whole thing became just farcical.

Let us enjoy these last few days and get out the popcorn to watch the splendid sight of the right flopping around like a trout on a dock. The Rude Pundit has no doubt that we'll all come at last come Tuesday night. Yeah, yeah, anything's possible. While you're fucking that hot woman, the building could collapse or her ex-boyfriend could show up. But barring the extraordinary, oh, good lovers, the rewards of bliss shall be yours.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Interesting post. I think a lot of the latte and tea-drinking crowd or racists liked it too; they certainly left enough comments.

classical one said...

King Samir is that you?

Hate groups are indeed not what they used to be. The mighty Klan has less than 6,000 members left and the Aryan Nations hardly even exists anymore, except as a force in the nation's prison system.


Adam,

The old Black Panther Party no longer exists, it has been replaced by the New Black Panthers who are an entirely different organization. The NBP has close ties with the Nation of Islam as Malik Zulu Shabazz, the leader of the NBP is a former Nation member as was Khalid Muhammed and Quanell X.

I wore along paper in college on separatist and hate groups and I met with and talked to members from a variety of different groups. These groups have indeed changed their tones and most of the guys I met just looked liked regular businessmen. One of the few good recent books on the subject "The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration" by Carol Swain. It's a bit conservative but the research is well done.

A2dak said

However, you cannot make blanket statements like that about white folks and be accurate


Thank you

Adam said...

Classical One:

It is clear you know a lot more than I do the NBP. I was not aware of their ties with the Nation of Islam.

Growing up, I have never had a bad experience with those folks.

Dark Moon said...

However, you cannot make blanket statements like that about white folks and be accurate.

Why is that? When have Whites, collectively ever returned the favor and judged Blacks as individuals instead of a seething pus filled monolith. Why is it always a problem when we move to their towns and neighborhoods and they feel perfectly fine to believe that we are deficient low IQ affirmative Action parasites that cannot exist without a welfare or social program handout? And that we have with out mere presence dragged down “their” quality of life?

Blacks are consistently told from both sides that we have to turn the other cheek, forgive whites and judge them as individuals because “they” aren’t all like the well pressed Dave Duke pinned stripped compassionate conservatives or the red neck Palin rabid yokels, but Whites have always had cause to blame us for the deterioration of the country. How in the world are Blacks, a mere 12%, of the population truly oppressing Whites.

Are Whites blamed for the countries fallout—no its bad subprime mortgages that are mostly blacks fault. It’s our crime wave that is destroying America. It’s incessant need to have OOW Births that is tearing the moral fabric of America apart Etc. What can whites collectively say about Blacks that is even remotely grudgingly positive and an asset to this nation that doesn’t involve, sports, coonery, and asexual obsequious that promises to adhere to the status quo?

fairlane said...

What the Hell?

A new "Politically Correct" Hate Group?

Just when you think you've heard it all.

I strongly disagree with the statement that "Hate Groups are no longer what they used to be."

The GOP has millions of members, and is doing quite well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Field for making this site possible and keeping it up on schedule even during his Philly's BIG WIN!
and thanks to Sharon in Ct for giving that link to the wonderful op ed of Roger Cohen, makes me glad to be alive in America to experience the times we're living in today.
Now get out and Vote for Obama/Biden.
Mahalo from Makaii on Maui

grinder said...

I grew up in Milwaukee, which when I was growing up was (and probably still is) one of the five most segregated cities in America. In my youth, the area was mostly German, followed by Polish, African-American, and Slavic.

Lately, the Hispanic population has grown. White flight to the suburbs began in the 1960s and has continued. I only know of one neighborhood that's integrated. I would note that blacks and Hispanics are not integrated in Milwaukee, either. Blacks live largely on the north and northwest sides, and Hispanics on the near south side.

In white Milwaukee, the idea of "European heritage" is celebrated, albeit not as much as it once was. Remember, this is a city where, at the turn of the 20th century, there were more than a dozen German-language newspapers. In my youth (1960s and '70s), you could walk on the streets of parts of the (now largely Hispanic) South Side and hear Polish spoken on the streets. My mother entered first grade in 1930 speaking German.

I say all of the prior stuff to establish some credentials to talk about the "European Heritage" group that was highlighted in this posting. At least where I come from, those skinheads wouldn't fool any white people I know, or know of. Not in a million years.

Sorry, but they just don't have the street cred. They are laughable. The celebration of European heritage is not, at least overtly, a celebration of "whiteness." In Milwaukee, it's mainly about the food, along with a dreidl and a polka band here and there. Prairie Home Companion stuff.

There might be reason to worry about a resurgence of hate groups, and certainly it doesn't hurt to keep an eye on them. But keep it in perspective. A bunch of skinheads celebrating their whiteness and marching to a statue of an Icelanic explorer is something that, where I am from, would be greeted as an act of comedy.

Red Devil said...

Inauguration ball 2009. Best Post Ever!. It will give you goosebumps.

grinder said...

Here is a very interesting story about how Montana, whose population is less than 1% black, is viewing the election. The latest polls I've seen show it tied there.

Red Devil said...

Lol! The New Racism of the mcCain camp...notice the "bLACKS" in the ad?

Adam said...

Dark Moon:

You asked, "When have whites collectively"...."What can whites collectively say..."

I do not know of any social, economic, racial, legal, or religious issue where white people (meaning Anglo-saxon Irish/British/Dutch/German/Scandanavian) function as a monolith.

There is no collective voice with whites. Never has been.

For this matter, no racial or ethnic group in the history of the U.S. has had a collective voice on any matters as far as I know.

Now, can this white man give you some positives in broad strokes?

I was at Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama this past August: I learned about Mae Jamison - the first African-American woman who was an astronaut. She is a medical doctor and a chemical engineer. She started college at 16.

My wife and I rented a film production entitled, "A Raisin in the Sun" by Lorriane Hansberry. I had the read story in college years ago and I later learned that Hansberry was the first black woman to have a production on Broadway.

On a personal level, it was a black woman who trained me as I was getting my start in the company I now work for.

The examples of positive experiences and images of black folks abound in my heart and life.

So I have not a clue what whites (190 million of us) collectively think or feel about this or that, but I know plenty of white individuals who can readily speak of greatness, beauty, integrity, and genuis of teeming millions of black folks in this country.

Decor Lighting said...

wow nice one dude!

grinder said...

Something else occurred to me about Milwaukee. When I was a kid, the Poles and Slavs were concentrated on the South Side. The Germans on the East Sides, most of the North Sides, and the West Side.

Blacks were on the near North Side. This was before the "fair housing" days, when there was outright, legal discrimination. Some home deeds had legally enforcible "restrictive clauses" forbidding sale to blacks or Jews.

After all of that went away in the late '60s, blacks expanded north and west. Poles and Slavs went farther south and west. In Chicago, Europeans did not live happily in one melting pot, that's for sure. There were very well-demarcated neighborhood lines between white Europeans.

Anyone who's lived in a town with lots of Irish and lots of Germans knows about those fights. In other commentary, I've written about living in Charlestown, a section of Boston that was completely dominated by the Irish, and still is to a significant degree.

Across the channel, there is the North End, which was the Italian enclave, and still is to some degree. The battles between the gangs of Charlestown and the North End were legendary. None of which I knew about until I lived there.

These days, Detroit's identity is black. But when the automobile companies were growing fast in the '20s, they purposely recruited from various European nationalities that didn't like each other. This was to keep them at each others' throats so no one would unionize.

Now, I'd be the first to say that, these days, the specific old-country-specific loyalties have softened a great deal, except in some enclaves. (For example, when Yugoslavia disintegrated, there was sporadic violence between Serbs and Croats in Chicago.)

I can readily understand why a lot of black people would view whites as an undifferentiated group. (Hmm, interesting.) After all, the Germans might have looked down on the Polacks, but everyone shunned the blacks. So, from a black perspective, it's hard to give a shit about the differences between Italians, Polish, German, and Irish when they all disrespected you.

Nevertheless, those differences did exist in a major way, and persist from time to time to this day. "Integration" within European groups was tentative until after World War II, and many heavily European cities are still significantly segregated between white sub-ethnic groups.

grinder said...

An anecdote along those lines. When I was a kid, the Germans of Milwaukee were on the top of the heap there. The mayor, the police chief, the city council, the major banks, the newspapers -- all run by German Americans. A Polack or a Slav here and there, but there was no doubt who ran the show.

I grew up telling Polack jokes. What did the Polack do when he found out that 95% of traffic accidents occur with 25 miles of home? He moved. Etc. Polacks were stupid, fat, and garish.

I went to college in the late 1970s, and was sitting around in the dorm telling Polack jokes. One kid who was having trouble in school, whose name ended in -ski, said very softly that maybe his difficult in school was because he was a dumb Polack. He said it without sarcasm or protest.

That was the day that I stopped telling ethnic jokes.

grinder said...

One more story. People in Milwaukee, at least the whites, still take their sausage pretty seriously.

So, sometime in the 1980s, a angry black militant crazy alderman by the name of McGee threatened to poison the Usinger's. My old friends, and my family, laughed our asses off. You want to get white Milwaukee's attention? Threaten the sausage. If I had had any money back then, I think I would have sent him a campaign contribution just for the hell of it.

bean twn chica said...

why do whites feel so at ease telling ethnic jokes? Where and when do you learn this? I have never heard black people tell ethnic jokes. I was shocked moving into a mostly rich white neighborhood at 12 the openness to which the white people tell "ethnic" or racist jokes at very young ages. Do your parents teach this? I'm still suspect about you, grinder since learning you lived in Charlestown. Your comments try and show your openness but I have come across many a white person who does not think they are racist because they are not a member of the KKK and your comments remind me of many a teacher, boss, and classmate. I did not even know there were other derogatory terms for people besides nigger until my 11th grade teacher decided to "educate" us. Just curious I always wanted to know why do white people tell ethnic jokes and openly and at what age to you learn this?

Anonymous said...

grinder- Thanks for educating us on the different types of white people and how why we lump them all together. Thanks I had no idea about our feelings (sarcasm)

Red Devil said...

3 in 4 hardcore white racist leaders support obama studies show..

grinder said...

why do whites feel so at ease telling ethnic jokes? Where and when do you learn this?

When I was a kid, ethnic jokes were common. But they were mainly at the expense of the Polish. For every joke, say, at the expense of blacks, I probably heard at least 50 Polack jokes.

Why the ethnic humor? I'm just one guy, so all I can do is guess, and my guess is that it was the outgrown of intra-European hatreds. The Europeans did lots of nasty deeds as colonialists, but they did at least as much nasty stuff within their borders.

I have never heard black people tell ethnic jokes.

That's something that a lot of white people wonder about, actually. Do black people have ethnic jokes, and if so, at whose expense?

I was shocked moving into a mostly rich white neighborhood at 12 the openness to which the white people tell "ethnic" or racist jokes at very young ages. Do your parents teach this?

No one sat me down and "taught" me to tell Polack jokes. By the way, jokes at the expense of blacks went out of style in a pretty big way after the '67 riots, or so I recall.

I'm still suspect about you, grinder since learning you lived in Charlestown.

You and the black cab driver who picked me up at Logan Airport and refused to take me there. That was a wild ride, I'll tell ya.

Your comments try and show your openness but I have come across many a white person who does not think they are racist because they are not a member of the KKK and your comments remind me of many a teacher, boss, and classmate.

That's a fair comment, and one that I've been turning over in my mind ever since I started posting here. All these stories I tell have a subtext of painting myself in a favorable light. It's partly human nature, but also: Do you really want me to do the 1960s confessional poetry thing here?

I did not even know there were other derogatory terms for people besides nigger until my 11th grade teacher decided to "educate" us.

In what context did he "educate" you? I'm curious, I guess. When I was growing up, by the way, the n-word was verboten. I'm not telling you that I'm a white MLK, but just that this was a word I learned never to say.

So, when I hear it in hip-hop music or comedy routines, etc., I find it jarring. Whatever.

Just curious I always wanted to know why do white people tell ethnic jokes and openly and at what age to you learn this?

Like I say, no one sat me down and taught me, but I'd bet that I heard my first Polack joke before I learned how to talk. Who knows, maybe my first complete paragraph consisted of a Polack joke. They were very common where I grew up.

John said...

Wow, RED DEVIL,

White Aryan Leaders, White Nation leaders supporting Obama? crazy!

grinder said...

Something of an aside on the ethnic jokes. Has anyone else noticed the death of "the joke," as we once knew it, i.e., a question answered by a punchline? These days, humor seems to be in a very different style. I don't think even stand-up comedians tell "jokes" anymore. Now it's quips, sarcastic comments, and ironic rants.

So I guess I don't really wonder if blacks "tell ethnic jokes," in the classic sense of the term, but whether or not there's a lot of ethnic humor among blacks and what groups are the targets. I'm only asking because you mentioned it.

anon 3:22, I think in the context of this thread and the comment that started it off, it's useful to note the degree intra-white differentiation, but I suppose I was being pedantic. It's a character flaw. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

"I'll get black to you on that."-lol...even the black supremacist has better oneliners than most mainstream comedians.

Of course the white supremists want a more friendly look. Real White people have given up on the cross burnings and lynchings they now want the myspace/starbucks crowd. Real Racism is not in in the open anymore it has moved on to Court sentences, loans, government policies, and societal "norms." They can't openly stomp us out (which they wish they could!) so they gotta do it through our minds, enviroment, and the basic ways in which we live.

btw...We might not need the black panther party anymore but I'll be john brown if they take away my bean pies and black newspapers. Thats the only black love I get to see anymore.

grinder said...

One more thing, and then I'll bow out for a while to see what happens, but it doesn't surprise me that the white supremacist crazies welcome Obama.

Look, the country is heading straight into the shitter. A year from now, unemployment will be 9%, and we'll have a black president. I think if you were someone who wanted to stoke the fires, you might welcome that state of affairs.

The worst thing that can happen from a hate-group perspective is to have a black president in smooth times.

Adam said...

Bean twn chica:

As far as I know, ethnic jokes among European groups go way back. The English were telling Scottish and Irish jokes long before the U.S. became a country. In a sense, it is like an oral tradition that gets passed on.

I might also add that people who are of Jewish background (culturally and religiously) are renown for jokes, guilt-inducing jabs, puns, and witty sarcasm.

Obviously, many white European groups have blended in the last 50-60 years, but some things remain.

Grinder painted a fairly accurate picture when discussing German/Polish/Slavic relations.

Also, my wife is from Guatemala, and the ethnic jokes abound there too. Ladinos (people of Spaniard and Mayan ancestry) constantly tell jokes about the native Mayans.

I bring up my wife's background to illustrate the fact that ethnic jokes are not specific to white Europeans in the U.S. only.

sharon in CT said...

My grandparents came to Texas in the 1920s from Greece and Cyprus, at a time when people from southern Europe were not white in the eyes of WASP Americans. Since a lot of the conversations were in Greek, which I was not fluent in after about first grade, I can't really know what they were saying. But my impression has always been that, having arrived at the bottom of the ladder, they needed to feel that there was someone who was lower down on the ladder than they were. I think that goes back to the notion, which Republicans and even a few Democrats have done nothing to discourage, that says that life is a zero-sum game and it's every man for himself.

I look forward to the scales tipping the other way, toward "we're all in this together." I look forward to a Congress and a President who listen to the needs of We The [Sovereign] People instead of the greed of corporate interests. THAT would be a real change.

Bob said...

I'm a Metsie alright, but in the Series I'm always National League. I want the team that beat the Mets to prove the Mets were beat by the best.

stealth Mode said...

OWNED!

Christopher said...

why do whites feel so at ease telling ethnic jokes? Where and when do you learn this? I have never heard black people tell ethnic jokes.

Maybe you hang with the wrong whites?

Ethnic jokes were never told in my home growing up and as a result, I don't tell them and I cringe when I hear them.

Of course, my situation if different on a number of levels because I'm in a mixed relationship going on 16 years, so I'm hype sensitive to that sort of humor.

As far as never hearing Black people tell ethnic jokes, dude please, you haven't heard Richard Pryor, Chris Rock or George Wallace? They're a riot.

Astrid said...

Obama wants to put baby on railtracks and kill them with trains. Coming to PA.

Father Lord and God, PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!

Black Diaspora said...

Red Devil said...
Inauguration ball 2009. Best Post Ever!


Thanks. I'm a little misty-eyed, and that doesn't happen often.

field negro said...

"Would you defend one these people in a court of law for a racial hate crime?"

*holding nose* Yes Adam,I would :(

astrid, I want to laugh, but the shit isn't funny.

"I bring up my wife's background to illustrate the fact that ethnic jokes are not specific to white Europeans in the U.S. only."

Co-sign with adam on that.

"I strongly disagree with the statement that "Hate Groups are no longer what they used to be."

The GOP has millions of members, and is doing quite well."

I need a publishing deal, these comments are too good.

Anonymous said...

.One of the wingnut blogs is now suggesting that Malcom X was Obama's father. Where do you even start?!

Woozie said...

Why you got a white man celebrating the Phillies on your sidebar? Black baseball fans not good enough for you?

Dark Moon said...

I do not know of any social, economic, racial, legal, or religious issue where white people (meaning Anglo-saxon Irish/British/Dutch/German/Scandanavian) function as a monolith.

There is no collective voice with whites. Never has been.

For this matter, no racial or ethnic group in the history of the U.S. has had a collective voice on any matters as far as I know.


That doesn’t negate the original point I made regarding how Blacks are seen collectively as a negative in most instances, whereas Whites can retain their individuality and still profit from the perception, as a group that White(s) are a universal good. Again whites demand being seen as individuals but it is socially acceptable to lump blacks in as a seething monolith.

Moreover, Whites can collectively draw on the achievements of Western Civilization as a bludgeon against Black people as being primitive, uncivilized and ultimately cultural leeches. How can you explain that many groups have been negatively effected by the White beauty ideal? White people are not automatically labeled as crime ridden, intellectually inferior, and morally suspect. Whites have the privilege of existing as individuals without having to conform or be confronted by group labels that will in any way seriously impact their ability to survive and thrive in this society. Have you had your intelligence questioned by blacks or any other group based solely on your skin? I have. I had to prove being in a class by showing my transcript and also to write an essay to a White professor whereas none of the Asian and White students had to be subjected to that form of humiliation. That is just one example of being seen as inferior without even having to open my mouth.

If you can ask a White person to look collectively at Black people and see the good within without referencing a magical Negro (as the exception and not the rule), then I would agree that whites are able to differentiate individuals without referencing supposed group dynamics as truth. Unfortunately that is not the perception. Scott Peterson, Charles Stuart, eta were unfortunate aberrations but the DC Sniper, etc is business as usual. Thus you will find more white people who can readily reference not only their own positive White ethnic characteristics but the positive aspects of being White as a whole—even if it as mundane as living in a small town, with people just like them and not having to question or think about anything beyond those narrow borders.

Lastly, Blacks have consistently had to collectively, use social activism to gain rights comparable to White in this country. From the Anti-Lynching crusade to the Civil Rights Movement, despite the splinters within the movement—the cause for equality was still the same.

grinder said...

White people are not automatically labeled as crime ridden, intellectually inferior, and morally suspect. Whites have the privilege of existing as individuals without having to conform or be confronted by group labels that will in any way seriously impact their ability to survive and thrive in this society.

I do recognize (without feeling from experience) where you're coming from, yet I must say that you are glossing over a great many non-trivial distinctions made by whites among whites. That's to put it mildly.

Whites have the privilege of existing as individuals without having to conform or be confronted by group labels that will in any way seriously impact their ability to survive and thrive in this society.

You know, there's that slogan from some years back: "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand." Well, it's not only black people who are typecast within 10 seconds.

Lastly, Blacks have consistently had to collectively, use social activism to gain rights comparable to White in this country. From the Anti-Lynching crusade to the Civil Rights Movement, despite the splinters within the movement—the cause for equality was still the same.

"Equality" is not a state where people are equal. It's a state where ethnic origin, by itself, is not a differentiating factor. If you think that "equality" means people won't be typecast, then you just don't know human nature.

I say this because you've portrayed whites as an undifferentiated mass, each of whom is judged on individual merit. And that, my dear, is a very large, and very stinking, crock of shit.

I'm not saying this to somehow minimize the struggles that black people have faced, but to put them in a different context. The chinks in the armor, the cracks in the wall, consist of the collective experience of all kinds of people who have been stepped on for all kinds of reasons.

There is a unique black struggle born in slavery. But it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only struggle for understanding and acceptance in this society or in others.

You are unique, but you are not alone. The struggle will never end, because there are always people who are shit on not because of what they've done but because of their nature. And once shit on, then they are shit on again because, having been covered in shit, they are ugly and they stink.

So, at some level, you must ask yourself not so much about "equality," but about how you will regard the people at the bottom of any pile. Especially the ones who you thought "deserved" to be there, because in some cases you might just find that this judgment was nothing more than the accumulation of what someone or something else oozed into your brain and told you what to think when you least expected it.

Jackson Brown said...

Way to hold it down in that web radio interview, field.

bean twn chica said...

ok, ok, I didn't know their were derogatory names for Jews, Polish, Irish, etc. I never heard that until my 11th grade teacher decided to post these terms around the class. I didn't know about porch monkey, jiggaboo, etc. I have never heard a black comedian tell a joke using a derogatory term for Jews, Polish, etc.

My 11th grade teacher assumed we all knew these terms and wanted to discuss them openly. I was dumbfounded I thought damn, really who the fuck wasted their time to come up with a derogatory word for every person on Earth. I was shocked that in seventh grade whites felt no shame in openly telling black jokes in front of black people. I was sheltered I grew up in a black/Spanish neighborhood, my nana (grandmother's mother) came over on the boat from Italy but I never imagined such hateful words. I just wondered why is it so open in some white families, do the grandparents or parents sit around telling these jokes? do white people openly tell these jokes to each other. Which I know is true because I have interrupted a board meeting and heard the same ethnic joke told from a east coast person and west coast person. I mean damn I can understand the hate black people have for whites because of 400 years of slavery. It's not right to generalize all whites as racists but I can understand when learning the history of this nation where the hate comes from but I always wanted to know why do some whites feel so open to tell ethnic jokes, do you grow up with this, when do you learn these derogatory words and do you just as openly pass these terms to your children? I thought hate was something learned and it took time. I always wondered and wanted to ask since it was brought up. Could someone honestly answer this question without changing the subject to Chris Rock? When is the hate learned, accepted, and passed along? I was always disturbed as a kid by the mothers throwing rocks at our buses with babies in their hands; the mothers with babies watching a man get lynched. do you know pass these same terms to your children? have you ever told a black joke in front of a black person, someone in your family?

I Know the difference, white people that have lived and understand the black community never want to say the word nigger. Whites that state they aren't prejudice always want to use the word nigger.

grinder said...

I didn't know their were derogatory names for Jews, Polish, Irish, etc. I never heard that until my 11th grade teacher decided to post these terms around the class. I didn't know about porch monkey, jiggaboo, etc. I have never heard a black comedian tell a joke using a derogatory term for Jews, Polish, etc.

In a different thread, I recalled watching (and hearing) a white bum literally lying in the gutter screaming at a black man in a suit who had not given him any money. One of the things he was shouting was "porch monkey."

It was on a Sunday morning in downtown Washington, D.C. There was hardly anyone around. Really, there were only the three of us. It was one of those surreal, shocking moments where you just don't know what to do. It was obvious that the beggar was out of his mind. The black guy was walking away, not paying any mind. So I went up to the white guy and quietly told him that he was in no position to call anyone anything. It actually shut him up.

When I was a kid, I heard "nigger," "jigaboo," and "porch monkey." I heard those very early, and not often. The 1967 riots occurred when I was 9 years old, and when they happened you just didn't hear any more racial slurs. I think they were considered crude.

This is not the case in the South. I remember talking with the white wife of a white guy I knew who had brought her to Little Rock, Arkansas incident to a corporate transfer. She told me, with real bitterness in her voice, that she just couildn't get over the casual and common use of the word "nigger" by white people there -- and we're talking about otherwise cultured and educated people.

We had this conversation in 2001 or so. It surprised me then, and it still does. Beyond the obvious reaction, which is that to call someone a nigger, whether it's to their face or otherwise, is demeaning, I also think that it demeans the white person who uses the word.

That was something I was directly taught by my folks, and it stuck. In fact, it stuck so effectively that, even though I understand "in-group humor," I have a hard time with the whole "nigga" phenomenon in hip-hop culture. It cuts way against the grain for me. Same deal with gays who call themselves queer. To me, that's an insult and a pretty bad one.

I'm not under an illusion most whites outside of the South avoiding the word "nigger." Plenty of people who would never use the word might as well use it. Think about Michael Brown, the head of FEMA during Hurricane Katrina. When you manage to get thousands of black people killed, calling them niggers is redundant. You've done your work.

Or McCain. The crap he's pulled in his campaign, especially here in October, shows a guy who is perfectly willing not just to tolerate racism but to exploit it for his political ends. He's someone who I've never agreed with, but who I once respected. Not anymore.

But to your question, I think human beings will always be separating themselves into groups that share attitudes and characteristics. I think it's pretty naive to think that whites in America, or whites in general, have any sort of monopoly on racism, or that racism is unique. Tribalism is everywhere. It's a fact of life. Probably baked into the genetic code. The issue is how to manage it.

If you step back and take a broader look at the sentiment behind the idea of reducing racism, the work of bridging gaps between groups -- however we define them -- is never done. I even know some Republicans, and I try to treat them with respect.

Dark Moon said...

do recognize (without feeling from experience) where you're coming from, yet I must say that you are glossing over a great many non-trivial distinctions made by whites among whites. That's to put it mildly

Just as Whites always, without exception gloss over the differentiated mass that is the experience of Black people. White privilege demands that Blacks judge them as an individual basis and not by the actions of others who happened to be white, but we are not accorded the same courtesy. My personal example, did not afford me the opportunity to be judged as an individual like the Whites and Asians. I had to prove my worth, once again to the White professor who did not believe that I was even worthy enough to have my contemptible and questionably intellectual presence in his room. When have Whites collectively and consistently been held as intellectually inferior by the very fact that they were White?

If white is as undifferentiated as you say, with all the different ethic whites who have experienced in this country, then America would be as balkanized and distended by cultural and ethnic strife as Europe was before World War II and even afterwards in Eastern Europe. But this did not happen. White Americans have the distinct advantage of nailing their color to one cultural mass of Whiteness and thereby nullifying balkanization and thus being able to not only identify as white but retain their ethnic heritage and allowed to enjoy the benefits of White privilege.

You know, there's that slogan from some years back: "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand." Well, it's not only black people who are typecast within 10 seconds.

The same old justifications of when Blacks in this country have no other choice but to reframe their experience in how Whites have collectively seen them as a subhuman species. When Blacks attempt to explain this psychic and cultural assault that forces many Blacks to question not only their identity but their humanity, it always met with the usual, trite rationalization that this experience is not unique, not worthy and that we whine and complain too much. The perceptions of Blacks are rooted in slavery, colonization of Africa in which racial philosophies have been used to rationalize racialist politics, science (see the Bell Curve among other racist treaties) that Blacks are less than White.

I say this because you've portrayed whites as an undifferentiated mass, each of whom is judged on individual merit. And that, my dear, is a very large, and very stinking, crock of shit.

Right. However, has your stereotype impacted your ability to thrive and survive in this society., Has a Black person who typecasted you prevented you from living in a neighborhood, going to school, burned you out, getting a decent, job, questioning your identity, limiting who you can marry or date (forcing you to pass), hating yourself wanting to alter your appearance because you want to be accepted. Questioning your attractiveness and your very humanity because of the perception and the belief fro others that your are canker. I seriously doubt it. Just like Asians who have positive stereotypes thrust upon them, Whites for the most part are not questioned about the intellectual ability, their patriotism, their moral compass and the like to the extent that a Black person must continually proved to whites and others that we are the same. If Obama was White, there would have never been a question of his qualifications, his patriotism and his association with Ayers. Palin who is politically incompetent is given chance after chance (she was being tutored by Kissinger no less) because she is an attractive white female. Would she have even got as far as she had if she was Black. See Condelleza Rice that despite all her qualification was deemed incompetent on a number of levels.

The struggle will never end, because there are always people who are shit on not because of what they've done but because of their nature. And once shit on, then they are shit on again because, having been covered in shit, they are ugly and they stink.

So, at some level, you must ask yourself not so much about "equality," but about how you will regard the people at the bottom of any pile. Especially the ones who you thought "deserved" to be there, because in some cases you might just find that this judgment was nothing more than the accumulation of what someone or something else oozed into your brain and told you what to think when you least expected it.


I don’t know what you’re talking about here. Here are my intellectually inferior roots showing.

Either you are calling me a shit eater for shitting others to get to the top, or your are calling my argument shit because its shits on the experiences of others. This is insulting and disgusting because I worked hard and scrounged at the bottom and I am also intensely proud and appreciate all the Black folks who sacrificed and died to allow me to even dream beyond being a domestic drudge. If my argument is crap, fine. It wasn’t directed at you and if all you can say about my argument is that it is shit, then so to is your believe that whites are poor trotted upon oppressed people who have been struggling in silence with the burden that they are seen as the universal standard for which all of us strive to be—an individual that is free to be an individual and not having to be burdened with having to prove anything.

ben said...

This is disgusting sham journalism. The Keystone State Skinheads are one of the most violent neo-nazi groups in the US. The Daily News themselves reported on their random, brutal assault on a man (one of the few for which they get caught) just six months ago.

But I guess this reporter couldn't be bothered to check her own papers archives before she wrote up her puff piece on a violent white supremacist group.

Jesus.

grinder said...

Either you are calling me a shit eater for shitting others to get to the top, or your are calling my argument shit because its shits on the experiences of others.

I call no one -- you or anyone else -- a shit-eater. Ever. Period. I've got to do a bunch of errands now, but when I get back I will re-read what I wrote and what you wrote and give it more thought, and then I will comment at greater length again.

Adam said...

Dark Moon:

You are right. I did not read your first post and your original point. I was pivoting, of course, from your other entry.

Right away, I want to clarify a statement I made earlier. When I said that there is no single (or collective) point of view across white communities, that was not intended to minimize the fact that the majority of my white cohorts have done little (historically or presently) to bring about “realized equality” in the educational, economic, legal, social, spheres, etc. for people of color. I was referring to the fact that whites (as a group) cannot even agree on the nature, the root problems, or the proper questions to ask on racism, inequality, or colonialism. This goes for whites in Europe as well. (It might helpful to ask those on receiving end, wouldn’t it?)

When I read searing honesty laid out in the fashion that you have given it...man...I honestly wish that I could sit across a table from you face to face, have beer or coffee, and just listen to you more.

I am pretty much in agreement with you and your assessment of privilege and race.

About me: My wife is a woman of color. I am a 34 year old white male who has been married nearly 13 years. We have three children who are learning (at a young age) to navigate these areas of race, culture, and identity. So I am not removed from the things you are revealing. (Sometime maybe I can fill you in on an interesting contrast - how my wife is treated when she is by herself vs. when she is out in public with me.)

As you well know, there too many well-rehearsed defenses floating around the white communities about the social realities of racism and privilege (e.g. my immigrant Irish grandfather faced discrimination and made it… – or – …what privilege? I worked two jobs and raised family while in college and I still graduated with debt. I started at the bottom like everyone else…-or-….you are where you are at because of the choices you made…).

When references to "patriotic Americans"..."hard-working Americans"...and "Joe the Plumber" are made, yes....it usually white people. There are numerous ways and attempts to socially construct reality.

So...when a I read a fierce criticism is levied on whites in the U.S. (from Tim Wise or Robert Jensen or Michael Eric Dyson), the first thing I try do is reflect in my own heart and mind as to whether I may have facilitated that particular injustice or contributed to some lie by my own omission. (or…did I let my children watch some television program where some subtle stereotype or idea rolled off the screen into their minds?) Moreover, my Christian Faith demands that I reflect upon any trash or lies that I have allowed to take root and grow in my own heart and mind…or in my home. Further, that I also try to seize
opportunities to serve or give – as much my existing obligations to my wife and children will allow.

Dark Moon, I attempt teach my own children that individual responsibility must be balanced with collective responsibility. (Obviously, I do not use those words with a 12, 8, and 4 year old.) But the point I try to drive home is that neither should run unrestrained by other.

More later....

field negro said...

Wow! That discussion [debate]between dark moon,grinder, and adam was primetime worthy.

That was some good stuff.

I guess this is why we blog and meet each other in the town square of the Web.

Thank you Jackson, but I was tired.

grinder said...

Just as Whites always, without exception gloss over the differentiated mass that is the experience of Black people. White privilege demands that Blacks judge them as an individual basis and not by the actions of others who happened to be white, but we are not accorded the same courtesy. My personal example, did not afford me the opportunity to be judged as an individual like the Whites and Asians.

You're speaking in binaries. It's all or nothing. Okay, I accept that we speak figuratively and we exaggerate for effect, but I still want to say I think people's attitudes exist along various continuums. We change over time, or at least some do, and hopefully more often in a better direction.

I recall taking a standardized test 20 years ago in L.A. There was a break in the action at the three-hour mark, and a few us were standing in the hall, chewing the fat. There was an Asian woman in our little conversational group, and one of the other people, a white guy, said, "I bet you didn't have any trouble with the math."

She laughed and said, "People always think that! Actually, I have a really hard time with the math, and it's the verbal sections that are a breeze for me." But that said, as Asians have taken more standardized tests, the numerical norms have gone up a lot. I was in the 88th percentile for the numerical side of it when I took the test in the mid-'80s, but when I looked up the same raw score a couple years ago I was somewhere in the 60s.

So, it's always a balance between the group and the individual. Black men have a tough time getting cab rides from black drivers. And you know what? I was a cab driver in college, and besides giving ridiculously high tips to cab drivers I'm pretty much on their side. I wasn't pissed at the black driver for not taking me to Charlestown. If he's scared, he's scared.

If white is as undifferentiated as you say, with all the different ethic whites who have experienced in this country, then America would be as balkanized and distended by cultural and ethnic strife as Europe was before World War II and even afterwards in Eastern Europe. But this did not happen. White Americans have the distinct advantage of nailing their color to one cultural mass of Whiteness and thereby nullifying balkanization and thus being able to not only identify as white but retain their ethnic heritage and allowed to enjoy the benefits of White privilege.

Actually, I've been saying the opposite: That whites are more differentiated than you portray them to be. Anyway, yeah, you make a good point. As white immigrants assimiliated into the (white) melting pot, tendencies toward Balkanization were counteracted. Blacks have stood apart from the melting pot, along with Native Americans.

It was a European melting pot, although I think Asians are entering it and I think Hispanics are starting to. Slavery and its legacy kept blacks out of the melting pot, but I think the civil rights era, along with the integration of the military, and soon the election of a black president, will change that. And it will redefine the melting pot. I always liked David Dinkins's phrase, "beautiful mosaic," much better.

When references to "patriotic Americans"..."hard-working Americans"...and "Joe the Plumber" are made, yes....it usually white people.

You can believe me or not, but that idea of a "real America," i.e., white, small-town America, either offends me or amuses me, and sometimes both, depending on the context.

I "get" the appeal of a slower pace, etc etc etc, but there is no geographic or sociological repository of the American soul. To me, Joe the Plumber is just another skinhead. I've lived in white, small-town America, and I have met Joe the Plumber, and I wasn't very impressed.

But then, there we are, lumping people into groups. See? It's a double-edged sword. Life is full of them, along with loose ends, and paradoxes. They drive us crazy, but now that I am in my 50s and am starting to see things come around for the second or third time, I'm appreciating them more.

there too many well-rehearsed defenses floating around the white communities about the social realities of racism and privilege (e.g. my immigrant Irish grandfather faced discrimination and made it… – or – …what privilege? I worked two jobs and raised family while in college and I still graduated with debt. I started at the bottom like everyone else…-or-….you are where you are at because of the choices you made

You'll never hear ME give you any of those, because even though my folks weren't rich I feel VERY fortunate. That said, for plenty of whites those are not just "defenses," they are reality. I have known those people, and their realities are as real as yours or mine.

has your stereotype impacted your ability to thrive and survive in this society

Yes, it has. It has benefited me. I have been able to pull off the white corporate guy persona. That's why, in all of my writing here, you've heard no complaints out of me. I have walked on the sunny side of the street.

I've had to work hard, and the work paid off. But what also paid off is all the help I got along the way, including from the unseen assumptions that attach to white people who can crack the code.

What will bother me is when I hear people who have done well imagine that they did it all on their own. Because that is a very large, and very stinking, crock of shit. No one ever got to the top, or near it, without a whole lot of help -- most of which they never even saw.

But I am also bothered when people think that "white privilege," by itself, is determinative of anything. If that's what you think, then find yourself a McDonald's in the suburbs and get yourself a Happy Meal. Then tell me about white privilege.

Either you are calling me a shit eater for shitting others to get to the top, or your are calling my argument shit because its shits on the experiences of others.

I thought about this one a lot, because your comment shocked me. Instead of going into some big defense of myself, or what I wrote, I'm just going to repeat that what you took from it is exactly the opposite of what I was thinking when I wrote what I did.

I'm not even going to complain that you interpreted it the way you did. Who knows, maybe I am at fault for the way I wrote it. But I do want you to know that I did not intend to convey the meaning that you drew from what I wrote. I meant to convey the mirror image of that.

Dark Moon said...

as referring to the fact that whites (as a group) cannot even agree on the nature, the root problems, or the proper questions to ask on racism, inequality, or colonialism. This goes for whites in Europe as well. (It might helpful to ask those on receiving end, wouldn’t it?)

To your point, the problem is that, generally, White people as a whole are completely indifferent about the feelings or ideas of Black people. Blacks have been talking about race in one form or another since Frederick Douglas all the way down to Toni Morrison. The span of blacks attempting to engage Whites in race discussion spans several centuries, but it is either ridiculed, largely ignored (it’s a black problem), or often times reframed under a debilitating Social Darwinist genetic determinism rhetoric.

How can you combat egregious rationalizations that the problem of race is a black problem, because we talk about it too much and that ultimately our inability to assimilate is largely genes and of course culture? I bring this point up, because science the supposed salve against Religious fundamentalism will be the next cause in racist rationalizations and to justify racist ideologies. The Enlightenment tried this and it will be used again to justify IQ and race bias.

In addition, I doubt Whites think of blacks hardly at all. Which is why I believe that Blacks know far more about White people then vice versa and that this intuitive knowledge goes beyond identifying original country of origin. Naturally the Obama campaign has only energized the racial bias that is something that is a natural part of life, but for Blacks it is a preoccupation because it is something that we do have to think about it, in one form of another, even if we may look successful on the outside, because it usually impacts our ability to succeed in this country.

As you well know, there too many well-rehearsed defenses floating around the white communities about the social realities of racism and privilege (e.g. my immigrant Irish grandfather faced discrimination and made it… – or – …what privilege? I worked two jobs and raised family while in college and I still graduated with debt. I started at the bottom like everyone else…-or-….you are where you are at because of the choices you made…).

This is the problem with talking about race in this country. Any attempt to provide a more nuanced view in how White privilege positively impacts Whites, even if “they” come from nothing, is why the conversation will always deoteriate. A poor white person can be dignified in poverty, they can suffer with a meth addiction, they can wallow in soul grinding prostitution, but they have one consolation and that they are not black. The point being the privilege of whiteness can always provide you with the opportunity to renew without having a debilitating label to follow you around when you “make it”. A black person can be inveigled with all of these symptoms of poverty and classicism but he will still be deemed wanting because of the connotations of blackness.

I am willing to bet that even if a white person met a Black person who is deemed socially successful (and I am not talking about the top.5% like Oprah, etc), they would never want to be that black person. In addition, even though the discussion has led to acknowledging a differentiated White mass that has greater complexity, that doesn’t negate the powerful aphrodisiac of being part of, even though it is mostly processed unconsciously, a White mass that not only allows you to simply exist but is an excellent buffer and provides a source of strength—as a group.

I am pretty much in agreement with you and your assessment of privilege and race.

Acknowledged. If you can see that your wife is treated differently as opposed to when you are together then you can understand in some part, the phenomena of White privilege and how it does often act as a powerful social shield for your family, which gives them to exercise greater parity (with Whites) and belief in their own individuality.

grinder said...

the problem is that, generally, White people as a whole are completely indifferent about the feelings or ideas of Black people

To be perfectly honest, I think white people are "completely indifferent" to the feelings of everyone. When you're in the majority group, your frame of reference is different. The idea of "group" tends to recede, especially if you spend your life in a segregated bubble.

Blacks know far more about White people then vice versa and that this intuitive knowledge goes beyond identifying original country of origin

I think there's a lot of truth in that. There are six times as many whites in America as there are blacks. There's a certain law of numbers at work.

That said, it looks like Obama is going to win a decisive victory, and that he'll do it with 40-45% of the white vote. That'll mean, in raw numerical terms, about three times as many white votes will be cast for Obama as black votes.

You know, I really think that people ought to be willing to take "Yes" for an answer. I'm not arguing that Obama's election solves all racial issues. Far from it. But it will represent a stunning bit of progress.

I am willing to bet that even if a white person met a Black person who is deemed socially successful (and I am not talking about the top.5% like Oprah, etc), they would never want to be that black person.

I think that's true. I also think it's less true than it used to be. I hope than someday it won't be true. Hey, I never thought I'd see a black president in my lifetime, and we're about to have one. Things can get better.

grinder said...

p.s.: My comment above about white people being completely indifferent to the feelings of everyone was not meant to be taken literally. I meant to convey that I don't think whites think in group terms to the degree that other groups do. It's part of the "privilege" of being white.

Dark Moon said...

You're speaking in binaries. It's all or nothing. Okay, I accept that we speak figuratively and we exaggerate for effect, but I still want to say I think people's attitudes exist along various continuums. We change over time, or at least some do, and hopefully more often in a better direction.

It is a binary discussion because it usually encompasses the us against them mentality. Us/them is easier to process them complexity or else there wouldn't be persistent beliefs like—“I don’t mind black people, I can’t stand N*ggers.” What kind of popular equivalent is leveled against White people? I seriously doubt there is one because White people are automatically deemed at once complex and yet they are still part of an assumed group power. Now there maybe various ethnic jokes as discussed above, but there is no comparable White Assumption that nullifies your individuality and is a condemnation because you happen to be part of said group.

So, it's always a balance between the group and the individual. Black men have a tough time getting cab rides from black drivers

Admittedly there is no monolith and the above is symptomatic of what we do to ourselves, that black uses against themselves which is no surprise, since we will often abuse and use each other while scrambling about the bottom. Bill Cosby aired that piece of dirty tripe and the psychosis of nihilism and harai kari is evident in some environments—this is something we know intimately about ourselves because there is no cultural reference point other than slavery and being seen as inferior and may also explain why some blacks reach to afrocentricism and egpytomania.

counteracted. Blacks have stood apart from the melting pot, along with Native Americans.

It was a European melting pot, although I think Asians are entering it and I think Hispanics are starting to


And this gulf will continue to widen, and that includes foreign born blacks such as African and Caribbean descent, who are also clamoring, incidentally, for a separate racial categories for the next census, so they don’t get lumped in with Black Americans.

Yes, it has. It has benefited me. I have been able to pull off the white corporate guy persona. That's why, in all of my writing here, you've heard no complaints out of me. I have walked on the sunny side of the street.
Acknowledged. Which is why I never understood the supposed phenomena of the Angry White male. Hacks such as Dennis Miller, James Wood, et al, were often admittedly wealthy and successful, yet this blistering anger at the supposed corrosive effect of Political Correctness and being censored by an uninformed often Black critical body, goes back to why race can never truly be discussed with White people.

But I am also bothered when people think that "white privilege," by itself, is determinative of anything. If that's what you think, then find yourself a McDonald's in the suburbs and get yourself a Happy Meal. Then tell me about white privilege.

It goes back to the fact for the most part of the original tangent and at the risk of being redundant, there is never really a negative connotation with White skin. Regional differences aside, Whites are not judged as wanting because they are white and thus can enjoy those assumptions of privilege even if they only aspire to be dog catcher of X town, USA. It is assumed that many Whites always have the potential for greatness. The Canon of Western White Civilization enhances this beilef.

grinder said...

What kind of popular equivalent is leveled against White people? I seriously doubt there is one because White people are automatically deemed at once complex and yet they are still part of an assumed group power.

How about, "I don't mind white people, but I can't stand rednecks." (Just so you know -- and please don't tell White Orthodoxy Central -- I'm not too high on the whole redneck thing myself, my love of bluegrass music notwithstanding.)

Which is why I never understood the supposed phenomena of the Angry White male. Hacks such as Dennis Miller, James Wood, et al, were often admittedly wealthy and successful, yet this blistering anger at the supposed corrosive effect of Political Correctness and being censored by an uninformed often Black critical body, goes back to why race can never truly be discussed with White people.

I hear you. For one thing, I think the media have exaggerated it. They're always looking for something to write about. But there is "something" there, too.

I remember a going-away party for a white guy I worked with. He was leaving Iowa and heading back to Tennessee. At one point he said, "It'll be good to go back home, where you can still call a faggot a faggot." Gee. Home sweet home.

I think there's some "status anxiety" at work, the erosion of the idea of social impunity. I've got to say that it doesn't help when there's a whole hip-hop industry built on black men calling each other niggers and calling women whores and bitches. That one even sticks in MY craw; let me hasten to add that I am well aware that plenty of black people, especially black women, don't like it either.

My hip-hop reaction notwithstanding, I am not sympathetic to the complaints against so-called political correctness. To me, all of this is a matter of the respect that people ought to owe each other. If there's one thing I'd say, it's that the "rules" ought to be a little more consistent.

I do think that many whites believe, with some justification, that there are these invisible cracks in the sidewalk, and that if they step on one of them they're going to have their head chopped off. I think the fear is exaggerated, but it's not completely groundless.

As for Dennis Miller, et. al., they're just making money off of all this. Just like the latest hip-hop dude. As far as I'm concerned, Dennis Miller isn't funny and hip-hop isn't music. But then I'm a hopeless old fart like my father was, and like his father was.

Whites are not judged as wanting because they are white and thus can enjoy those assumptions of privilege even if they only aspire to be dog catcher of X town, USA. It is assumed that many Whites always have the potential for greatness. The Canon of Western White Civilization enhances this beilef.

I think that's a matter of socioeconomic dominance. It's no different, say, in Japan with the Japanese relative to the Koreans there. It doesn't make it acceptable, but it does make it less unique and therefore more amenable to study and analysis.

I disagree with you, though, about "The Canon of Western White Civilization." I don't think Greek philosophy, for instance, has a racist bone in its body.

grinder said...

I wanted to say something about "white privilege." It a concept that I agree exists, but the term also puts me off because it implies a determinism that I can't fully accept.

Microeconomic theory talks about "price makers," who are either monopolists or entities whose behavior can move markets in a big way, and "price takers," who have little individual clout.

White privilege establishes a higher floor for whites; I would hasten to add that this higher floor is by no means an even floor. White privilege is very different in Greenwich, Connecticut than it is in Roundup, Montana.

Once on that higher floor, which in Roundup is about a foot off the ground while in Greenwich it is 50 storeys off the ground, a white person goes through life as a price taker, just as a black person does.

I think this is hard for some black folks to accept, just as the idea of white privilege is hard for a lot of white folks to accept. I might suggest that, to build bridges over time, it's a better idea to built them on the issue of what happens to price takers in this increasingly winner-take-all, dog-eat-dog society of ours.

I don't mean to deny the fact of white privilege. But I'd also suggest that, if you put a magnifying glass up to it, and start measuring it, you'll find that on closer examination it isn't what it seems to be at first glance. At the very least, I think it's a mistake -- a big one -- to treat every white person as if they got the Greenwich, Connecticut version of white privilege. That is a formula for creating "angry white men."

On the "Canon of Western White Civilization," I was thinking about what I wrote and realized that the "Canon" is a lot more than the Greeks. As someone who suffered through a pointless English literature class or two, I'd agree that some parts of the so-called Canon are less vital than others.

Something else. One of the great things about America is that we are the New World. After 200 years at it, we now have quite a canon of our own. The Europeans know it, that's for sure. They'll study Miles Davis right along with the three Bs, as they well should.

I saw an article (maybe it was the liner notes to my Japanese pressing of Kind of Blue) that recounted Miles's presence at a White House dinner. He found himself seated next to a rather pretentious white woman who, upon being introduced to him, did not recognize his name.

"And what do you do?" she asked.

"Oh, not much. I invented nine different kinds of music."

Dark Moon said...

think that's a matter of socioeconomic dominance. It's no different, say, in Japan with the Japanese relative to the Koreans there. It doesn't make it acceptable, but it does make it less unique and therefore more amenable to study and analysis.

I disagree with you, though, about "The Canon of Western White Civilization." I don't think Greek philosophy, for instance, has a racist bone in I, usually criticsm of whites s body.


No its been beaten to death, at least for me that, that “stupid white men” are the ones that created the technology, the science, the philosophy and all the other tools that make up the modern world. Often times, when criticism of whites (usually white males), and the endemic belief of assumed white privilege is being discussed, the conversation usually deteriorates into what have Blacks given to the world, what scientific enhancements have been created from Blacks, etc. and that bludgeon, is used as a reason why White males, in particular, should have the impunity to say whatever they want, because of the potential for greatness because people will listen .Tim Wise, a white men is given more traction even though he is considered a race traitor because white male privilege allows it. Black people have been saying some of the same things, but they are dismissed as reactionary drivel. Mc Cain for all his tantrums, his sneering, his cold contempt and blunted sarcasm, is still seen as more of a viable leader to many because White men usually elicit authority. What would have happened if Obama had mirrored the same behavior? Although he is deemed incompetent for a variety of reasons now, he would have been positively unpalatable and would have never gotten the nomination. What would have happen if Obama’s daughters were the age of Bristol and they were a pregnant teenager? Do you think that many White people would have been forgiving, especially, after the negative and abusive attacks against Michele Obama's patriotism and physical looks? Interesting that Reagan who was going senile at the end of the first term of his presidency and who was largely a mere figure head in the second term, yet not only could many whites identify with him, but felt he did a great job as president.

This assumed sense of being superior then Blacks no matter their socioeconomic background (your example of the white bum and the porch monkey proves this), often manifests itself in overlooking any small contribution that has been made by Blacks either in the board coatroom or the classroom as either pure luck, a weird form of serendipity or having to copy it from others—which is why afrocentricism is so offensive to those who believe that nothing could ever flourish in Africa (see Not out of Africa) thus, the angry white male feels that they are justified protesting the unctuous censoring from Blacks and others who they believe are in many ways beneath them. In addition, many whites, who will never contribute anything in the manner resembling Einstein, Hawking, or Shakespeare have the privilege of riding on the coat tails of White giants, because they birth right allows them to. Understanbly, culture is the transmission of information from one generation to another and it is a people’s right to take whatever they deem useful and celebrate it as a means of enhancing identity and personal pride, however this goes back to the other thinly veiled criticism of Blacks lack of real culture of any sort that isn’t a dissolution of white values, when Western Civilization is mostly (with some Middle Eastern and Egyptian influences) a White endeavor.

Gradations of socioeconomic privilege notwithstanding, white privilege is a power block precisely because of the assumptive supremacy of Western Civilization and how this cornucopia was created by those who are white. Hitler was a master of taking certain elements of Germanic culture and creating a mythology that all White Germans, no matter what their socioeconomic background, could identify with.
In America, material wealth creates a certain level of tension which is greased by the Horatio Algiers myth that everyone believe they haves a powerful captain of industry wrenching to get out and make them rich. Still, the transmission of white culture, which is a compendium of Western civilization, allows you a lot of breathing room in which you can explore many different identities and pathways without having to worry that if you mess up you let the whole race down. Why do you think the ascension of Obama has inspired a lot of Black people. Or when any Black person successes in such a monumental way such as say (that even a White person can grudgingly accept that the person made it on their own), Oprah or Michael Jordan—because it uplifts the entire race. When something horrific happens and on of “us” did it—we understand that we will be grouped in once again as another tick in our supposed pathology. With Whites, it’s just an addition to the compendium and thus it is expected. Again that is what many Whites regardless of poverty or wealth, they have a kind of freedom that beyond the freedom of the press or the right to bear arms ---- it is able to choose to fail or succeed as an individual and whatever choice is made, it still enhances the group.

grinder said...

I really can't reply to a reprise of The Invisible Man. I wouldn't want to. I still have the copy I read when I was 12 years old, and it was great.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... the NBP says that Jews "promote" the holocaust and that Africans have payed a price. This is just another example of black racists projecting what they have done to others on to their victims. Some AA leaders have gotten great power and admiration in their community for their abuse and vioence towards other groups, esp Jews and Asians and use their status as a victim to successfully get away with it. When a murder takes place and one party is AA the other Jewish how often in the AA the victim, how often the perpetrator? Same when one party is Asian and the other AA? The reality is that MANY innocent people have been victimized by the KKK like attitudes/behavior of some faux black civil rights leaders. It would be nice if the day came when hate crimes by black people were considered as bad as hate crimes towards black people. It's funny how a group of people who claim to be so powerless have exerted their power successfully to stop this from happening.

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