Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A racist by any other name.


The following post comes from a writer over at AOL Black Voices who calls himself JYaleman.
It's his response to this question: "Can only white people be racist?"

"First of all, we have to understand a few things to answer this question correctly. Race (racism) is a late 19th century early 20th century western european construct. It was created for socio-political reasons in order to control. It stemmed from the silly study based on phenotypes, i.e., the size and shapes of heads. Europeans used this to justify white supremacy. They also used it to divide and conquer in the colonies. The warring in Rwanda to this day is due to purposeful race baiting of the Dutch when they took over there more than 100 years ago. They told the Tutsis and the Hutus that this one was more superior than the next because this one had this kind of nose and shape of the head, etc. They fell for it and hence the ethnic genocide of today. Old biases are hard to break.

That being said, racism only matters when it is white people who are the racists because they are the ones who have historically had the power. Others who have no power cannot be racists because they are devoid of the power to affect another's collective future. When I use the word power, think Karl Marx. Marx defined power of a people as being able to actually sit at the table to decide one's own destiny.... "

Okay, JYaleman makes some interesting points by connecting racism to colonialism, control and power. His definition is similar to Marriam Webster's: "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

This argument has raged forever here in A-merry-ca. If you are black you do not believe that people of color can be guilty of racism. If you are white, on the other hand, you absolutely believe that they can.

Now here is my question: If you believe JYaleman's definition of racism, aren't you also agreeing with most white people when they say that we are just as capable of being racist as they are? If it's about control and power and a black person happens to be in a position of power, wouldn't it be possible for him/her to use their position to hold back a white person, an Asian person or whatever because of their race? And if and when blacks gain real power, ("deciding ones destiny") will that be the end of racism as we know it? All those former colonies are now being led by black people, and people in those countries are still being treated like shit. Poor people are still the victims of classism, and some of the black people who become powerful use their power to do the wrong things.

Personally, I think that being a house Negro ( a Negro who uses his position of power to hurt others and only benefit himself) is just as abominable as being a racist. In fact, he might be worse, because we expect more from him.

So this is what I struggle with. Not whether only white people are capable of being "racist" in the strictest definition of the word, but whether the person in power (be they black or white) uses their power to hurt others.



135 comments:

Blinders Off said...

Personally, I think that being a house Negro ( a Negro who uses his position of power to hurt others and only benefit himself) is just as abominable as being a racist. In fact, he might be worse, because we expect more from him.


So this is what I struggle with. Not whether only white people are capable of being "racist" in the strictest definition of the word, but whether the person in power (be they black or white) uses their power to hurt others.


I agree with the above 100%

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Amen!

bob said...

The concept of race itself has been pretty thoroughly debunked by science. "Racism" is an evil based on a lie invented by Europeans, on a false system of classification, which in the year 2009 makes it all the more loony. Other civilizations had their own justifications for slavery, mostly just the right of might over a conquered people, who were "proven" inferior by the fact of being conquered.

brohammas said...

I do not have to trace the roots of evil to recognize it when it presents itself.

The real debate this poster presents is the definition of racist, not who can be one.

If you ask can a black person be a biggot, does the answer change?

What one does with a wrong belief does not change whether or not it is wrong.

Anonymous said...

I think my theology teacher said it best: "I was at a football game in Atlanta in the 'deep south.' Everyone in the stands was black except for one white guy. Halfway through the game the white guy says, 'That (n-word) sure can run,' and nothing happened. No hissing or booing. People didn't even look at him."

When black people can get that kind of power, then and only then, can they be racist. They can be total d-bags, but not racists. Not yet at least.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Field, you are absolutely right. It is about power, and it's about class. Always has been. Only way to correct that is to do something about the $$ issue. We now have people in this country who make 400 or more times the wage of the employees. This is wrong. It must change.
Sarah Deere

Will said...

When I was in high school I had a coach that taught me more about racism than I ever wanted to know...and over the years I became thankful that he did. I was white kid from a poor family and the coach was black, and since I did well in school and had certain friends the guy assumed that I was some privileged kid from wealth. He made me a mission of degradation...even making me wrestle a champion athlete that outweighed me by 50 pounds, who was also black...and his comment going out of the room was..."Hurt him." Good thing for me Reg and I were friends and he advised me to just "let me put you in a few holds and you moan and it'll be over". Lafayette Norwood, my coach, taught me more about racism in a year than I could have learned in a lifetime. And having endured him...I became a better white person. Imagine that.

Robster said...

You hit the nail on the head, my friend. I was thinking about this when I read the latest that came out of Michael Steele's mouth this afternoon. Why does he say the things he does?

Any race is capable of racism, even against its own. I get it from my own kind all the time because I like auto racing, hockey and don't drive a Chevy.

matw said...

"If you are black you do not believe that people of color can be guilty of racism. If you are white, on the other hand, you absolutely believe that they can."

Blacks can be racist. I think "had the power" was a criterion, and in some situations, however small, almost anyone has power. Once somebody thinks they have an advantage they invoke power. FN readers aside. (We are enlightened. yes?)

We all could be lazy and racist. It's up to us to be fair minded people, and live for fairness no matter how small. M

Steve McGlamery said...

On the money, as usual, field. Whites like Newt call "racism" anytime a nonwhite (like Sotomayer) mentiones the salience of race. Ridiculous. And you cut thru the "racism" rhetoric to the heart of the matter--power to make others yield to your will. One part I might take issue with--when you talk about "All those former colonies are now being led by black people"--neocolonialist criticque and global systems theory would both claim, of course that the black "leaders" of these countries are still under the whip of white masters of the global economic and political realms.

msmoses said...

Interesting debate, Field. All you have to do is look at Rwanda to know blacks are just as capable as whites are to be brutal oppressors based on some made-up bullshit (e.g. what tribe you belong to). Unfortunately, we pretty much have just done it to each other.

We are not immune -- we just haven't been able to enact it on a broader scale. So we can be termed prejudiced, or biased or certainly bigoted -- but without the power to carry out systematic race-based oppression that negatively affects the collective future of another race -- technically we wouldn't be racists.

Anonymous said...

This argument has raged forever here in A-merry-ca. If you are black you do not believe that people of color can be guilty of racism. If you are white, on the other hand, you absolutely believe that they can.

Field, I usually am with you, but I gotta call you out here. I'm white and I believe, firmly, that racism is a white crime.

I've been in countless arguments about this, but to me the bottom line is that racism is comprised of racial prejudice plus power. And, though I'm ashamed to say it, white people (especially men) hold most of the power.

Can a Black person be bigoted? Of course. But racism is a social construct that destroys because it's so powerful.

Love ya anyway, Field.

AF

Anonymous said...

One more thing--

I recall reading a little while back, maybe not here, maybe on another blog, about a hypothetical situation where several Black men use there physical power against a lone white man, and wasn't that racist?

And the answer was no, because while those Black men may have had situational power, should they face law enforcement, they would be up against entrenched institutional power. And that's the ugliness of racism.

Okay, I'll sit down now.

AF

Black Diaspora said...

Racism is one of those topics that can't be addressed easily in a post.

It has too many permutations, and doesn't lend itself to quick and easy answers.

But, as one who has been the victim of it since childhood, I do have some firm beliefs about it, and I will offer them here.

It may be that my experiences with racism has unfairly colored my beliefs and conclusions, so I'll readily acquiesce to that at the outset.

I believe that--in this country at least--most whites are racists, even those who might befriend us, and would be willing to invite us into their homes.

I see the definition this way: racism is the belief that one's race is superior to another, or to all others.

Therefore, one may believe in racial superiority without actually doing harm to another race--that is, not overtly.

For example, a white may be racist and still vote for a black man (Obama) to be president.

A white may be racist and still marry someone black, or even date someone black believing that in some measure they're benefiting the race, uplifting it either genetically, or socially.

Consider Black skin, White mask," by Franz Fanon.

He examined this white paternalistic attitude that emerged from the racist premise of advancing or helping blacks by either marrying them and/or producing children by them.

To exploit racism fully would require power, but there's power and there's power.

For example, there the power of a white sales clerk to intentionally hold back information that an item is on sale, because of beliefs that blacks shouldn't--because of her racist beliefs--be given the same breaks as whites.

And we're all familiar with redlining, and other racial, and racist tactics that are used to deny blacks loans, competitive insurance rates, and the opportunity to live in some upscale white communities.

Although our money is as green as the next person's, the wrong color hand may be holding it, and that makes all the difference in some settings, but not all.

A black can be a race hater, but I find it difficult to believe that we can be racist in the true sense of the word.

Can we be tribal, where tribalism appears to look like racism?

You bet!

Here's a working definition of tribalism and it's not always about race, or ethnicity:

"Around the world, people are grouped in kindred segments. It's a basic fact of sociology and psychology, sometimes called tribalism."

So we see divisions based on language, sexual orientation, religion, politics, union membership, corporations, and many others.

"Tribalism," then, is not something that can be attributed to blacks alone.

Whites can discriminate along tribal lines. How well do Irish and Italians get along, or Greeks, and some other tribal group?

Not saying that white tribes don't get along, but that there's not necessarily the harmony there that one would expect simply because they're all white.

What most of these whites have in common, despite some tribal differences, is their belief that they're superior to blacks.

Do all whites believe themselves to be superior to blacks?

Well that would depend on their upbringing, their associations with blacks while they were growing up, the attitudes of their parents, friends, and relatives toward blacks, and a host of other determinants.

But I would think that most would have to work really, really, hard to see other races as equal to themselves.

Those are my views. I hope that I'm wrong, but nothing so far in my experience has shown be otherwise.

Black Diaspora said...

@Field: "So this is what I struggle with. Not whether only white people are capable of being 'racist' in the strictest definition of the word, but whether the person in power (be they black or white) uses their power to hurt others."

With power comes responsibility. How would you define "hurt others"?

Must the hurting be overt (a deliberate striking out)--that is, a power that is intentionally used to hurt?

Could it be a power that is intentionally withheld, when it could be used to benefit, to assist, to save, to help, and to provide?

Some have put Hurricane Katrina into that category.

And there are other instances of neglect from those with the power to benefit, to save, and to help.

field negro said...

Fascinating comments.

"Must the hurting be overt (a deliberate striking out)--that is, a power that is intentionally used to hurt?

"Could it be a power that is intentionally withheld, when it could be used to benefit, to assist, to save, to help, and to provide?

Some have put Hurricane Katrina into that category."

BD, that is a good point. And yes, I would define that as using ones power to hurt others as well. By withholding the ability to use ones power for good that is exactly what you are doing.

AF, are you disagreeing with me that the argument has raged, or my conclusion?

"The concept of race itself has been pretty thoroughly debunked by science. "Racism" is an evil based on a lie invented by Europeans, on a false system of classification, which in the year 2009 makes it all the more loony."

Bob, you and the original poster are giving racism the same origins. The difference is, he seems to be saying it is still here, whereas you seem to be saying that in 2009 it seems irelevant. I don't want to put words in your mouth, so correct me if I a wrong. I hate to be all Socratic but I am really trying to learn here.

Mel said...

Sad to say I think I agree with the person who said that all white people are racist. But I think all people in America (black, white, brown..)have to some degree bought into the racism, classism, sexism, and myriad of other stratification systems we have.

How can a person be brought up in this country and not be a racist? Some people try very hard to rid themselves of the crap indoctrinated into our heads, some don't.

The people who have the hardest time (whatever their race) are the ones who secretly believe that they are inferior. If you can't love yourself, regardless of what other people think, you can't love anyone else.

But the power is not just with individuals, it is the system that can only come down with direct and constant challenges - challenges most people (regardless of race) don't think much about or make much effort to address.

As the saying goes, whoever isn't part of the solution is part of the problem.

So here is my question, if a person does not challenge the power of the racist systems and institutions in any real way, are they propping up that power and therefore a racist?

Whitney B. said...

Field,

Good stuff........

So last night I was having dinner with 8 new friends; three men and six women. Three black folks, an Iraqi and five white folks. Two were artists, two were real estate agents, three were engineers, one was a prosecutor and another a special ed school teacher. Guess which ones were black!

Stereotyping is almost as bad as racism. All whites are definitely not racist. A guess would be a vast majority of whites are fearful of black folks due to oft times hidden prejudices and perceptions. But this does not make them racists.

Hitler and his ilk were racists. Blatant perpetuation of ugly things or repression of others because of differences in skin color, religion or sexual orientation is racism. Racism isn't only about different skin colors.

I'm just saying.......

Fondly,
Whitney

Dirty Red said...

Can a White person be racist?
Uhhh.. Yes.
Can a Black person be racist?
Let me think.... Yes.
What about a Hispanic person or a Asian person? Yes and Yes.

Field, anyone can be a racist or bigoted or, what is the new expression?.... Have racial pride.
Ignorance comes in all flavors. It is not limited to only Vanilla.

FlyNMy40s said...

"A guess would be a vast majority of whites are fearful of black folks due to oft times hidden prejudices and perceptions. But this does not make them racists."

Of course it makes them racist. "prejudices and perceptions" based on nothing more than stereotypes = racism in my book.

uptownsteve said...

BD

"I believe that--in this country at least--most whites are racists, even those who might befriend us, and would be willing to invite us into their homes.

I see the definition this way: racism is the belief that one's race is superior to another, or to all others."

BINGO.

I've seen this phenomenon even among white people that I am very fond of and have relationships with.

They feel that white is the gold standard and everything else is substandard.

I've seen it in white people who claim to have devoted their lives to ending racism.

They aren't haters per se but they still promote and endorse racial stereotypes because they feel they are just "hard truths" that blacks refuse to accept about themselves.

While in college, a white girl I dated (and whom I am certain was in love with me) very casually said to me one night that she couldn't understand why many blacks were so angry because if "we (whites) didn't take them out of Africa and bring them to America, they'd still be running naked through the jungles chased by wild animals."

Anonymous said...

Racist come in all colors.
AM

Eddie said...

I've learned a a while ago racism is about money and self-esteem. The people in power use racism to band their group together and the guys under them are usually so poor that they hate it when they see someone else outside the group do as good or better than them. Guys like Newt, Hannity, and Rush are getting paid while the folks listening to that crap are losing their jobs left and right. Let one of those guys see a black rapper, athlete, or even a guy in a business suit walk by they get angry and think there must be a conspiracy to keep White Americans oppressed.

Now, can black folks be racist? Not unless they have some kind of authority and power. I've seen a woman I know basically get denied medical services more than like because she was white and the clinic was in a black area of town. She had to talk me out of doing something somebody else would have regretted. In other situations though, I trully believe that when a white person is calling "reverse racism" that it's just because they didn't get their way or insulted the person serving them. I don't know the breakdown of how much either happens compared to each other, but I'm going to say they are about even. But then again, if I get to go into a wsz without being considered suspious even though it's my first time there, I'll believe a lot of white folks aren't as racist as they say they are.

btx3 said...

You are getting into a really complex topic, and I'm not sure a blog format is capable of getting to the granularity of that level of discussion.

Yaleman is wrong on a bunch of points, starting with the historical construct of race which originated from 13th Century German Catholic Church writings. It started with the emergence with a separate European based identity, which was perceived as superior to that of other cultures and groups.

That really picked up steam in the late 14th, and 15th century as a construct to defend European slavery. Christianity, unlike Islam did not have a ready made structure under which slavery could be "sanctified". The dividing line for Islamics was religion - believer versus non-believer. For Europeans it became "whiteness". Moral justification for slavery/racism then became the white man's superior culture, and the civilizing influence - even when that influence was exerted by enslaving brown and black peoples.

To understand "racism", you have to understand the difference between "Racism" - the actions of a dominant power group to isolate and control a minority group. "racism" - which is a belief structure similar to tribalism, with the only difference being it's constructed around some artificial visible delineation. And tribalism which is a group territorial dynamic.

MrMarques said...

I've thought about this question a lot over the years. The thing is, average black folks CAN have the power to be racist dependng on what circle they're in.

If there are only a few whites in a situation where there are many more blacks and they exclude the whites or single them out for something, that is racist.

There are a lot of black folk who do have power. There are black CEOS of Fortune 500 companies. I think if black folk were in power here we would be just as bad as any group that is in power. Think of when P. Diddy was caught using...I don't remember if it was just cheap labor or slave labor in that Central American country a few years ago. Remember when Michael Jordan was told that dirt cheap labor was being used in China so that he could sell Air Jordans for $100 plus?

Black folk have shown over and over that we are willing to exploit for the cash. Although we don't have the overall power in this country, there certainly are situations where we can also be racist.

BlackStocking said...

All of us can be bigoted and prejuidiced. However, I think the word racist should be reserved for acts of bigotry by powerful whites (depending on the circumstance teacher, police officer, politician). In the U.S., very few people of color have the power to effect the lives of white people collectively. Obama ain't going to do nothing to upset the applecart for them.

If you want to see how whack POC can be w/ power just scan the news from Africa an Asia. Yeah, colonialism, racism, etc. Still lokk at the injustices- if it were white on black, we'd be outraged.

All whites benefit from white privilege, which is what keeps institutional racism going. Further, most whites are either blissfully unaware that they have the benefit of white privilege, or worse, they know and do nothing to dismantle white privilege.

White privilege is more harmful than institutional racism because most of us (POC) know about institutional racism. But, you'd be amazed at how many good, intelligent white folks have never, ever considered the benefits of being white in America. The superiority (largely unearned) of whites (socio-economically/schools/jobs) goes unquestioned.

Susie Suburb succeeds because the system fails Chaniqua City. Susie is supposed to get good schools and a nice neighborhood. Chaniqua ain't supposed to get nothing- her momma and daddy ain't "earned" the right for her. White privilege just perpetuates the inequities while allowing some POC access to the American Dream. White privilege says that it is okay to waste the human capital of the inner-city, then profit off of it through the prison industrial complex.

And yes it is laugable that the rethuglicans keep calling Sotomayor, Obama, et.al, "racists." They are products of the masters tools (Ivy League) and in the words of Audre Lord, "the masters' tools will never dismantle the masters' house."

Monie said...

I think there is a difference between being bigoted and being racist. For some reason the word racist is overused. Most times bigot is the correct word.

I think we need new language to talk about race and racism. We're still using terms of the past.

Anonymous said...

We're all "racist" this is a racist country; how can we have not picked up racist tendencies--"the hair syndrome, the light skin syndrome--I could go on. But, as far as the House Negro--they have no power; I don't care what they do; they're on a one man/woman crusade for some type of mixed up identity; I don't identify with them....and folks should stop worrying what they do and being ashamed of what they do. All things are relative; someone could brand you a house negro when you think you're in the field. So stop judging. Be careful...sometimes you become what you focus on...

Rainy said...

If you are human you are capable of being racist. That is the human flaw. Where other humans look down on a minority group of other humans in other to feel superior. It has been happening since humans evolved into what we are today. The point that writer should have made is that white seems to think they are the only one who are objective on the racism issue so that means they are the only ones who can call anybody racist. If a person of color calls them racist then they are not even taken seriously. It is the most ludicrous thing I have ever witnessed in my entire life.

west coast story said...

Black people can be racist. Period. Assuming that blacks cannot be racists is giving a free pass to black people to be unforgivably bigoted, as we have seen on this very blog.

If a group of poor black youths attack someone wealthy because they are another race, that is racism. If white people do it, same deal. Socioeconomics should not dictate whether or not someone is a bigot. It's too ridiculous.

I am always bemused when black people are charged with hate crimes and the howls of black outrage that flow therefrom. Yes, we can be racists. And sadly, some of us are.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

I think the utility of the word "racism" has run its course because, as the person you quote observes, "race" does not exist as a matter of biological fact and it never did. It's just a white supremacist fantasy used to divide and conquer, just as your quote above observes.

Having said that, are Black people aroused by the skin color of each other and of whites to treat people differently based on skin color. The answer can only be yes, because Field has told us here at his blog that he sometimes avoids crowds that are majority Black, as a rule.

When determining the ABILITY of people to inflict harm on others based on skin color, does it matter how much POWER the color-aroused people wield? Of COURSE it does! Can a "gunman" carry out the role of "gunman" if he doesn't have a gun?


If "race" is a social construct that doesn't exist in biology, then how can anyone discriminate or repress another "one the basis of race". It's like saying that people don't like me because of my "fairy wings". Since I don't have fairy wings, that can't be the reason people don't like me.

What people react to is the color of my skin. I don't need such a complex concept as "race" to describe the simple fact that some people don't like (or do like) me because of the color of my skin.

Can Black people in positions of power use that power to harm white people? Sure! Now, show me the Black people who are in positions of sufficient power to harm white people as a class!

hennasplace said...

I think we as human beings tend to overuse terms. I think the question should be can black people be bigots and the answer to that question is yes. Somehow we tend to forget that human nature has a dark side and I think it include all of us. We are make decisions based on our experiences real or imagined. We use stereotypes to justify our feelings about another ethnic group. And sadly some people allow it fester and manifest into hate which can lead to violent behavior. Can honestly say this, if blacks were in a position of power, we would become racist and institute laws to press down on the less enpowered. Human behavior is predictedly unpredictable.

sick freak said...

Yes black people are racist.There's nothing more racist in America than black people.

Off topic question--

Why are "them jews" keeping Obama away from Rev. J.Wright?

west coast story said...

Oh now we have another yet layer. It's not just harming people on an individual basis, unless the harm is to the whole race or class, it cannot be racism. What a flaming crock of shite. We will torture reality in any way possible to let ourselves off the hook for harm we do. We especially will excuse harm we do to ourselves but the thought of harming someone that isn't black is just beyond the pale. In that regard, we are not better than white folks we scream about when it comes to rationalizing bigoted acts against others. We have to have the power, we have to be harming a class of people. My head is going to explode.

Race may well be a non existent construct but it still determines how people in this country, certainly, will treat each other. For a concept that is comparable to fairy wings, it sure has destroyed a lot of people.

J said...

Nothing more racist than black people in America?

Sick freak, look at the issues that would never have been front page news had a white man been in the oval office. Haaretz took issue with Obama for showing the bottom of his shoe (an Arab insult) while on the phone with their PM. That isn't even an Israeli insult?

His life and every action has been dissected and turned into a means with which to attack him. I can draw no other conclusion than that the only difference from this president and past is the color of his skin. He certainly conducts himself like any other politician to hold the highest office in this country but why the hatred?

No, I'm sorry, sick freak, but you sir are grossly mistaken if you feel racism is something that is promulgated most strongly by blacks in this country. Are cops shooting unarmed black men because they feel threatened by their racism? Are judges handing done disproportionate justice to blacks than other ethnicites for similar crimes because they feel racially threatened by the defendants before them? Are blacks denied business, home, car and personal loans because the spew racial hatred toward loan officers?

Look, sick freak, people like you who scream the hatred the loudest are usually of two categories of people: A) You either had a negative encounter with a black person that caused you to listen to every stereotype you ever heard concerning blacks until you started believing them as truth or B) You were just raised to hold ignorant ideas and generalizations of other ethnicities and you've never taken the time to meet a member of another ethnicity and find out what type of person they truly are.

And that is what it all amounts to. We are so quick to strip a man down until he is nothing but a construct of our imagination and this all before we say hello.

kathy said...

I think the key part to the equation would be power and priviledge to define racism in the US.
I think the supremacist part of the equation comes from schools, home, media, and it also includes the whole idea of colonizing the minds of those who are not white to believe and buy into inferiority. These structures are very difficult to avoid in the US.
As a white person, I ususally think that when a white person says they are not racist, then they most probably are. White racism is ingrained from all the messages received, not just from the media or schools, or family, but also from the actions we witness as children. We can see as children in school, who gets the good treatment, and the high expectations.In history books, European history is taught from one point of view, and with a glowing account of the glory of it's culture and history. If you go to the New York State Global History Exam website, they use a picture of Africa as poor huddling people in need, this is what is taught in 2009. Most of the messages we receive perpetuate white supremacy. Any white person who does not acknowlege that racism is ingrained or that they don't have a lot of ongoing work to do, is in denial.
I do agree with Francis Holland on the fact that racism is actually color arousal, but it doesn't negate the effects of second class double standard treatment.

Frank Drackman said...

Day-um,
Y'all the ones obsessed with Hair Texture, Pigment Shades, Where y'all came from in Afri-murder-ca, East Coast/West Coast, and suckin the Schlongs of the A-rabs, the ones who traded y'all over here in the first place, like y'all were a Lawn Tractor or sumthin...
I'm the one who married a nice Jewish girl and has Black Friends...
Heck, ya gotta be nice to the Maid...

Frank

P.S. can any y'all explain "High Yeller" to me?

Whitney B. said...

Uptown Steve,
Give me a break about that white girl in college. You are probably younger than I and stuff like that hasn't been uttered since the 50's. Geez.

All white people are not racists, just as there are, as Dirty Red so perfectly put it, racists of every color.

And Fly,
Do you think you're not a racist but because I'm white, ergo a racist? Hmmmmm....

Commentary not directed at any one particular person:

As I said before, color isn't an issue with me, it's stupid people, stupid thoughts and stupid perceptions that get in my craw. Especially some of the crass bickering that goes on on this blog when folks get all hetted up with themselves.

In the words of Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?" But, that can't happen as long as stupid people (all colors) keep their uppity opinions of who the hell they think they are.

I'm just saying........

Piece, love and R&B,
Whitney

Whitney B. said...

Uptown Steve,

I must correct myself. I am sure people say shit like that, it's just that it wouldn't be said to your face, especially if you guys were dating, and in college, no less.

J said...

Racism is a constuct, WCS.

It is individuals insulting, hurting and killing other individuals incited by people whose aim is simply to cause contention and thereby distract.

On a deeper layer it is classism that guides the powerful and our president is an example of that. I like many initially saw his election as a sign that racism in this country was losing its grip on the machine of society. But if you look at his early decisions it seems he is just as beholden to powerful financial interests as every president before him. It is classism that determines who succeeds in this country. It doesn't matter if you're black or white; it only matters if you have money. Everything else is a distraction. Poor whites and poor blacks have more in common than they think and yet they'd be at each others throats if the flames of hatred are stoked.

On an even deeper layer is a spiritual battle. While we distract ourselves with race, politics and religious differences. People are dying from hunger, murdered for the color of their skin, and powers under the banner of Christianity seek to grab the reins of political power in order to enforce a moral code that their champions don't adhere to.

We are more concerned with destroying a man than lifting him up. The greatest accomplishment in this lifetime that we can aspire to is to serve others.

In Christ's day religion was plagued by formalism that strangled the spiritual connection between God and man. Religion today is no different. Our constitution determines that religion and state remain apart. The purpose was that no religio-political force would exist to oppress the people. The name doesn't matter if they all bow down to the same power.

Love your fellow man as you love yourself. Love your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

If you don't believe in God than adhere to the first part with everything you have. If you do in spite of everything that seeks to prevent it you will see REAL change in yourself and everyone you come in connection with.

Adam said...

Field,

Your humble white correspodent out of the Midwest will offer his nickel's worth:

1) Every person is capable of harboring an attitude of racial superiority because of skin color or ethnicity. (Ask a typical citizen of Japan what he/she thinks of the Koreans or Chinese.)

2) Unfortunately, the individual and collective attitudes & beliefs of Anglo-Saxon Europeans moved from being mere attitudes & beliefs to institutional, social, political, economic, and legal power.

An African example of black instutitional power would be Ughanda's Idi Amin who began a campaign to rid the country of the East Indians in the 1970s - though it was very short lived.

So when we are dicussing racism, I think we need to distinguish between mere attitudes & beliefs and the attitudes & beliefs that lead to the building of institutions and societies that build them -or- the attitudes & beliefs of those who hold influence and power in given region.

west coast story said...

J: I was paraphrasing Dr. what's his bucket.

It's not me saying that racsim is a construct. It's real as hell to me. I don't care about the historical blah blah blah blah. It was racism that had little white boys beating the shit of me when I was a little girl so believe me that racism, race, and all that other stuff is real as a 500 pound gorilla for me.

I will try to be tolerant and recognize we have differing opinions, but having had some whupass dished out to me at a young age, the whole issue of race and racism is personal and very real to me.

As for religion, I see religion as a way to impose medieval values upon people in order to control them. I don't like being controled and I certainly don't like being told I have to be hateful in order to be a good Christian, or Muslim, or whatever. I ususally keep my mouth shut about religion but it truly is the opiate of the masses. TV is supposed to be the opiate of the masses but as much TV as I watch, I will never be out burning down a family planning clinic, or blowing up a federal building, or whatever in the name of Seinfeld reruns. You can have your religion, whatever it is. The world is a steaming pile because of religion.

I mean seriously, does anyone in their right mind really believe that there is a god who gives a damn about what you eat? In any other reality, such a person who is fearful about what they eat and in what combinations would be looked upon as crazy. As if life isn't hard enough now you can't have a milkshake with a burger? Or eat a pork chop? Negro, puullleeezzzz.

FlyNMy40s said...

Whitney B. said...
"And Fly,
Do you think you're not a racist but because I'm white, ergo a racist? Hmmmmm...."

I'm Black, White, and Native American. Exactly which part of me are you calling racist?

I also believe that anyone can be racist, and like I said before anyone ignorant to stereotype an antire race of people based in the actions of a few is especially racist.

hmmm said...

To the person who cited the example of a white guy using the N-word amoung blacks at a sporting event and not taking any notice. This is a huge anomily. Michael Richards and Jesse Jackson said the same thing. Jesse whimpered and moaned about Richards for months and demanded a boycott of the DVD Seinfeild over it. A few months later Jackson gets caught saying the same thing. After a weeks vacation he's back in action. If Jackson's remarks had been made by Hillary Clinton or Joe Lieberman they would be banished for good. If Imus was black his remarks wouldn't have caused a wave. Most of the double standards in this society when it comes to getting a free pass at bigotry and given to black folks. You show me when anti-racist activists have protested Nation of Islam or New Black Panther Party? These guys can speak openly on college campuses. NO ONE who talks about blacks in a similar way would be able to get within 1000 ft.
James Watson a nobel peace prize winning phycists lost his job for saying blacks might have a lower IQ than others, yet a black professor in NY has said just the same (but stating it is blacks who have the higher IQ), and has got a tenured faculty position despite it.

kathy said...

Hi Whitney,
First, I think it is from a point of privilege that you attempt to invalidate the truth of UptownSteve's alternate experience from yours. And, honestly, just yesterday, I heard some of the worst stuff possible, on a train, where everybody could hear the person. It was the second time that day that I heard racist stupidity and hatred. I hear it all the time, on NYC commuter trains,just to be clear that it's not tobacco road that I am talking about, and yes people are saying this horrible kind of bs outloud in public all the time. If your ears are open, you will hear it.
Also, I know you probably got your heart in the right place, but white racism, white supremacy is taught in the US, it's impossible to escape the images and messages without a lot of critical thought and effort.

uptownsteve said...

Whitney,

"I must correct myself. I am sure people say shit like that, it's just that it wouldn't be said to your face, especially if you guys were dating, and in college, no less."

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Granted that was in 1978 and I doubt if anyone would be silly enough to say that to a black person's face nowadays.

I'm 48 and some of the stupid and totally clueless $hit I've heard white people, who I would not consider haters, say about race over the years could make your head spin.

They have just assumed "white is right" and everything else is wrong.

Anonymous said...

LOL, Field, when you wrote:

This argument has raged forever here in A-merry-ca

I assumed you were referring to JYaleman's argument regarding the definition of racism, and therefore when you wrote:

If you are black you do not believe that people of color can be guilty of racism. If you are white, on the other hand, you absolutely believe that they can

I thought you were drawing a conclusion. I see now, in rereading, that perhaps I misunderstood.

To bob, Anon at 12:03, msmoses, Black Diaspora, btx3, BlackStocking, Monie, Francis L. Holland Blog--I'll just shut up and listen. Your words are a gentle and wise education.

This from BlackStocking was succinct and powerful, as well as absolutely right on:

All whites benefit from white privilege, which is what keeps institutional racism going. Further, most whites are either blissfully unaware that they have the benefit of white privilege, or worse, they know and do nothing to dismantle white privilege.

AMEN!

AF

uptownsteve said...

west coast story

"Black people can be racist. Period."

Even against their own people.

You're a textbook case.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

A white supremacist who was a senior citizen 89 years old, went into the Holocaust museum and shot two people, one is in critical condition. Apparently, he has been using the Internet as well and has spouted out his hatred on it. Smh!

Amanda said...

I always use the definition of ism = prejudice + power. So, a POC can be prejudiced, but really doesn't have the societal power component to elevate from prejudice to racism.

hmmm said...

I ask myself if Joe Lieberman had a rabbi who gave a great Jewish brain award to someone who called the people who lynched Emitt Till "wickedly great" and refused to retract it by alluding to gas chambers (the same way Wright saying Farrakhan didn't "keep him in chains" was supposed to make us feel guilty over slavery) would black folks have kept silent? HELL NO.
The most virulent anti-gay pastor where I live says he can't be a bigot because he's black. Hmm. Does this only apply to blacks? Can hispanics or asians not be bigots too becuase of their ethnicity? Is this logic only to do with gays or whites? For instance if this pastor was prejudice against hispanics, would he still trying and use this ,uh, "logic"?

It just seems the "blacks can't be bigots" is just a desperate way to legitimize double standards. Men bitch that women do this all the time. I think this self-serving tendancy is human nature, not just when dealing with race/gender/etc. Yet it is innappropriate and causes legitimate anomosity.

Anonymous said...

hmmm @ 3:16 - did you read any of the conversation in these comments?

One more time: bigotry and racism are not the same thing.

AF

uptownsteve said...

hmmmm,

Louis Farrakhan is generally regarded by white Americans as a racist, a pariah and one of the worse people in the country.

Meanwhile, every friggin day and night you can tune into Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan, Michael Savage and dozens over other white haters on radio and TV who have a record of hateful public remarks that rival anything Farrakhan ever said and then some.

MSNBC's Pat Buchanan on "Hitler"

"he (Hitler) was also an individual of great courage, a soldier's soldier in the Great War, a political organizer of the first rank, a leader steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him.

Hitler's success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path."

There my friend, lies your "double standard."

J said...

The world is a steaming pile because people. Not because of religion.

There was a time when the Roman empire was feeding Christians to lions. Nero blamed the burning of Rome on Christians further incite anti-Christian rage. This all continued until pagan Rome seeing the growing influence and spread of Christianity swallowed Christianity almost entirely. It's influence is still powerful within Rome.

In the Dark Ages Rome built St. Peter's basilica by the selling of indulgences - promising absolution from sin at a price. No one to this day knows how powerful the Roman treasury is - it's wealth and holdings around the globe. Atrocities were committed for the sake of growing this religio-political power.

If you contrast this with the early Christian church you would see that what is called Christianity today is not what it was long ago.

The Christ I follow is more concerned with you than what another human being tells you what you should or should not do. The Bible is there for all to read. It is for us to decide if you believe Christians telling us that its okay to murder a doctor in the name of saving babies or whether murder is murder. Is it okay for Christians to attempt to enact laws to force adherence to its professed morality?

When a group of people rejected Christ he walked some place else and taught the people. He didn't attempt to force his will on them or enact laws to regulate their lives. Judaism in the time of Christ regulated the amount of steps one could walk on the Sabbath. They questioned him because he healed on the Sabbath.

There are a lot of Christians out there today that pick and choose what they want to follow in the Bible. They would pass laws to limit the rights of homosexuals when they can't even learn to love them as they love themselves. Christ felt so strongly about hate that he considered it murder. We all know it doesn't take much for someone to cross the line from hatred to murder.

WCS, I would like to ask your forgiveness for every evil act done in the name of Christianity and I would hope that some day you would forgive me.

Anonymous said...

The day i see a WHITE MAN being sentenced to PRISON for dragging a BLACK MAN to death will be the day the word RACISM will become somewhat a thing of the past,but, until then, that word seem to go hand and hand with the WHITE SOCIETY, now is this fair? well, it depend's on how you look at it, and their is a lot to look at, HISTORY tell's the story, I think BLACK'S and HISPANIC'S have been somewhat restrained, considering what has been thrown our way since JANUARY the 2OTH, the moment a BLACK MAN said yes I'll try my best to get AMERICA in shape, what group of people went CRAZY? can someone please tell me? well the answer is the WHITE POWER STRUCTURE, they try to cover it up with the word CONSERVATIVE, which mean's we do not want change! in other word's they are telling minority's ( you are not welcome) in our society, and if they do let you in, you will be used as a PAWN to do their dirty DEED'S, person in question, MICHAEL STEELE!!!!!!! a perfect example of a well educated BLACK MAN who has yet to realize that his SHACKLE'S have been removed, but, yet he insist on being RACIST toward his own people, so yes, a BLACK PERSON can be RACIST to a degree!

HI GRANNY,

hmmm said...

Louis Farrakhan is generally regarded by white Americans as a racist, a pariah and one of the worse people in the country.
Meanwhile, every friggin day and night you can tune into Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan, Michael Savage and dozens over other white haters on radio and TV who have a record of hateful public remarks that rival anything Farrakhan ever said and then some.

Every friggin day and night you can hear black men on the radio and TV who have a record of hateful public remarks that are not just worse than Richards or Imus but rival anything the KKK ever said. And they get a free pass. You show me where in this country anyone can openly talk about blacks folks the way black folks can openly talk about women, jews, asians, gays- nowhere but a Klan rally. None of those guys on that your list of whites-who-are- as-bad-as-Farrakhan can speak anywhere without a huge demonstration by anti-racist protestors. Most of them like Michael Savage/Buchanan/ Limbaugh/Ann Coulter have had their talks on college campuses cancelled due to the antics of protestors. Yet these same protestors give NOI and New B Panther Party a free pass. The reality is anti-racist activists will never ever protest black hate groups.




There my friend, lies your "double standard."

hmmm said...

Louis Farrakhan is generally regarded by white Americans as a racist, a pariah and one of the worse people in the country.
Meanwhile, every friggin day and night you can tune into Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan, Michael Savage and dozens over other white haters on radio and TV who have a record of hateful public remarks that rival anything Farrakhan ever said and then some.

Every friggin day and night you can hear black men on the radio and TV who have a record of hateful public remarks that are not just worse than Richards or Imus but rival anything the KKK ever said. And they get a free pass. You show me where in this country anyone can openly talk about blacks folks the way black folks can openly talk about women, jews, asians, gays- nowhere but a Klan rally. None of those guys on that your list of whites-who-are- as-bad-as-Farrakhan can speak anywhere without a huge demonstration by anti-racist protestors. Most of them like Michael Savage/Buchanan/ Limbaugh/Ann Coulter have had their talks on college campuses cancelled due to the antics of protestors. Yet these same protestors give NOI and New B Panther Party a free pass. The reality is anti-racist activists will never ever protest black hate groups.




There my friend, lies your "double standard."

Shabazz said...

hmmmmmm,
Shut up, you sound stupid.

hmmm said...

I don't take orders- I'm not your house negro. And someone by the name Shabazz isn't in the position to call anyone stupid.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Hey Prophetess Wallace:

GBU. I probably won't be posting much today. I'm rather busy today. Therefore, I'll probably pop in and out to read comments but doubt if I'll have time to post.

Anonymous said...

Shabazz is the reason white people rolled their eyes when Eric Holder said Americans are cowards when it comes to talking about race. The minute whites start talking about race and don't tell black folks exactly what they want to hear there is always some hot head like Shabazz hollering "SHHHUUUUUUT UPP!" Folks like Shabazz make an honest talk about race impossible because their oversized ego and oversized temper and undersized ability to withstand anything they don't want to hear. Change your diper and take a nap Shabazz.

Whitney B. said...

Fly,

That isn't even what I meant by my statement. Simply put, your logic was to take my statement and say that "prejudices and perceptions based on nothing more than stereotypes = racism in my book."

I would have to counter argue that we all have little spider webs of illogical thought in our brain about the differences between the races.

I do. I usually assume people will take me at face value and when they don't, I wonder why. Was it something I said, the way I look (I have been told I have a stern countenance but am a marshmallow inside), a misplaced act of behavior? What?

Not all people, whatever their color, act or speak about how they feel inside. To me, that is not a racist.

A racist is one who blatantly derides or abuses other folks of differing races and even religions. One who stirs up the heat and insights the basest part of human beings. Hitler, Strom Thurman, George Wallace, Idi Amin, religious persecutors and zealotry, etc.

Thinking something and not verbalizing it is not necessarily racist. Prejudice is something that we all suffer from, not necessarily racial prejudice, just preference for certain behaviors.

Like me and stupid people. I don't suffer fools gladly and itch for a fight. Now, I am NOT referring to YOU so don't take that statement personally like you did my other misguided, poking a bit of a stick fun at myself and you.

Granted, I am not black, but I have been many places where I have been THE ONLY white person for miles and miles and have had a taste of discrimination. Did it bother me? Only to be left out. Perhaps that's base, too.

As my opening post said, I held a birthday party for myself last night, which included a very diverse bunch, all Southerners except for the Iraqi.

Please accept my apologies, but understand how I FEEL about this.

And thank you,
Whitney

uptownsteve said...

Hmmm,

"Every friggin day and night you can hear black men on the radio and TV who have a record of hateful public remarks that are not just worse than Richards or Imus but rival anything the KKK ever said."

Name ONE and let's see a quote.

uptownsteve said...

The guard at the Holocaust Museum who was shot by the 88 year old white supremacist just died.

FlyNMy40s said...

"Thinking something and not verbalizing it is not necessarily racist. Prejudice is something that we all suffer from, not necessarily racial prejudice, just preference for certain behaviors."

Of course it is! Why? Because a persons thought dictates their actions 99.999% of the time.

So the old white women a passed in the garage going to my car this morning didn't have to verbalize she was a racist. The fact that she felt the need to grab her purse and switch it to her other side, as she almost ran to her car "said" what her mouth did not.

FYI, no need to apologize Whitney, we're just having a discussion.....

FlyNMy40s said...

That should read the white woman I passed, Geez my editing isn't worth crap, LOL!!

west coast story said...

So let's see. We have crazy white men shooting up the Holocaust Museum, murdering family planning doctors, shooting up Amish schools, shooting up churches, shooting up shopping malls, blowing up public buildings, bombing the Olympics, planting bombs at research facilities (public and private) and planting bombs at the homes of research scientists, etc. So why aren't white folks as afraid of themselves as they are of black people?

And why aren't these people labeled terrorists? If the people doing this were Muslim or had Arab/Persian roots, they'd be labeled terrorists and there would be a huge anti "other" outcry. "Those People." But when it's white folks, it's big yawn.

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

@uptownsteve

The guard at the Holocaust Museum who was shot by the 88 year old white supremacist just died.

Damn, damn, damn. I was hoping he wasn't that seriously injured.

BTW, I get my news here faster than anywhere else.

AF

Swiff said...

Man, ya'll should SEE Fox News right now...they talking about "does a bad economy drive the nuts over the edge"....gee....THAT SOUNDS FUCKING FAMILIAR....same assholes that was ripping the Homeland Security Report to shreds. Incredible.

hmmm said...

Hot 97 Miss Jones aired a song entitled "USA for Indonesia" a month after approximately 187,000 people died in the Asian tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The song, a parody sung to the 1985 tune "We Are the World", overtly racist mocking of the Asian and East African victims; the song lyrics contain the racially derogatory words "chinks" and "Chinamen," and calls the drowning victims "bitches." Some of the lyrics included the words "Go find your mommy. I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head. And now your children will be sold. Child slavery".
An Asian employee, Miss Info, refused to take part in it. She was harrassed on air by her black co-workers as being "oversensitive". See- (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XDMkXgh-ko)
Miss Jones accused Miss Info of always distancing herself from the antics of the others, and of acting superior because she is Asian. Another jock on the show named Todd Lynn muttered "I'm gonna start shooting Asians."

Guess what, neither Todd Lynn or Miss Jones was fired. Miss Jones said no one could accuse her of racism because she had Asian friends. No African Americans took part in the protests nor was their any criticism by Al Sharpton, NAACP, Jesse Jackson. Not long afterwards Imus lost his job for saying "ho".

Black Diaspora said...

@Prophetess Wallace: "MICHAEL STEELE!!!!!!! a perfect example of a well educated BLACK MAN who has yet to realize that his SHACKLE'S have been removed, but, yet he insist on being RACIST toward his own people, so yes, a BLACK PERSON can be RACIST to a degree!"

It sure looks that way at first blush. Most of us would agree that there's a lot of self-hatred going on there, or a willingness to "sell out" blacks for self-aggrandizement--money, prestige among whites, or what have you.

Steele, I propose is a prime example of Field's "struggle:"

"Not whether only white people are capable of being "racist" in the strictest definition of the word, but whether the person in power (be they black or white) uses their power to hurt others."

There are a number of blacks, I believe, who fall in the category of "hurting others," blacks in particular.

They are the ones who fought vehemently against Affirmative Action, they gave whites comfort in the face of racial practices designed to hurt blacks, rather than help, they attacked Obama as a socialist, and as an enemy of the people, and sought the hardest to force him to substantiate his American-birth status.

I could go on, but you know who they are.

It the classical sense, I wouldn't call Steele a "racist."

Although I believe that he would like to be superior to his own race, that would be like attempting to be superior to himself, since he is--I would like to remind him--still a member of the race he would like to be superior to.

A conundrum of immense magnitude, to be sure.

Steele is manifesting a classical case of racial inferiority: the belief that one's race is inferior to another race, or all other races.

Blacks of his ilk do whatever they can to distance themselves--not from all other blacks--but from those that they believe are racial liabilities--that is, those who they believe fit the racial stereotypes that whites find repulsive, comical, or substantiates their racial superiority.

The movie, A Soldier's Story, exploited that black attitude.

So, depending on your definition of racism, I agree that Steele does seem to manifest it to "a degree," but it comes mostly from a place of "inferiority," rather than "superiority."

I enjoy your posts. You and Granny are my some of best reads.

hmmm said...

FYI- the above was per request by Uptownsteve

WCS- You ask "so why aren't white folks as afraid of themselves as they are of black people?"

WCS- We white folks ask ourselves the same questions about you! Homicide is the #1 cause of death amoung African American men and it isn't white people or cops that are doing it. Look at the number of black males killed by the KKK each year during their peak years now compare that to the number of African American males who are murdered by other AA males each year.

uptownsteve said...

LIAR

"Following angry protests from the Asian-American community, bloggers, and networking sites, and other New Yorkers, Miss Jones, DJ Envy (whose wife, ironically, is half Black and half Asian), and Tasha Hightower were suspended while Todd Lynn and Rick Del Gado (the writer of the song) were fired."

WQHT Hot 97 Wikipedia

sick freak said...

uptownsteve here you go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN5StQAr7n0&feature=related

sick freak said...

WCS- "so why aren't white folks as afraid of themselves as they are of black people?"

Because blacks attack white rates at such high rates.You can't help but to be scare.

uptownsteve said...

sick freak

You're a sick liar.

Violence is predominately intraracial and you are far more likely to be attacked by someone of the same race than you than outide of your race.

Jody said...

Well, this is the first time today I have had the time to post.... I agree with those that define race as prejudice + power.... We are all capable of prejudice. I think it is more instructive to keep the focus on the US. We have a unique history and legacy.

To that end.... one of the reasons that white folks are so clueless as to their own privelege is that we are taught that we are the "norm/" And we (all races) are encouraged to see each other as "the other." Not a part of our community, different, strange, we are all taught to assume we do not share much, that we have more differences that we have in common. This is a lie. It is a lie about all of us. It is cultivated to keep us apart. We are encouraged to mistrust "the other."

As to white privelege as the norm... we are taught that in America that hard work is what creates success. We are discouraged from noticing disparities and if we do, we are told they exist because those that are suffering.. somehow are responsible for their own suffering. If they worked hard they would succeed, or they have different values or customs and so that is why it looks different.

We are still very neatly segregated in so many ways. On the whole in this country, we live in segregated neighborhoods, we enjoy socially segregated events, we attend socially segregated houses of worship. The only truly integrated places are the work place and some schools. We tend to socialize in segregated ways and date within out own race. Of course there are exceptions, but they are not the rule.

Because of all of this segregation, it is quite easy for white folks in America to choose to not see the conditions of others. It is easy for us to develop intimate friendships, family, community with only other white folks. In such an environment... that in reality is such a skewed way to see the world... it is no wonder that so many have such willful ignorance of their own privelege.

If we are truly going to address racism in America, white folks need to move out of their comfort zones and begin to open their hearts and minds to "the other."

As one of my friends often challenges and asks me.... How Ya Livin?

EzMun said...

Field,
I can't walk with you today. All of us can be act out racial prejudices. But I don't believe we are all capable of being racists unless you add the the power component.

It's parsing words, but in this case it's just defining a phenomenon. It's about structures that are in place.

Now, IMO it's theoretically possible for there to be (Black) racism in the continent of Africa, because (in some ways) Black people own some of the structures of power. But even in that sense, you are still left with the effects of White colonization that maintains a tremendous amount of power over Africans, even in their own countries.

Kat said...

West Coast Story said: So let's see. We have crazy white men shooting up the Holocaust Museum, murdering family planning doctors, shooting up Amish schools, shooting up churches, shooting up shopping malls, blowing up public buildings, bombing the Olympics, planting bombs at research facilities (public and private) and planting bombs at the homes of research scientists.....
*********************

and after what happened today with the security guard that died today... sad

Hathor said...

We tend to interchange the words, bigotry, racism, ethnocentrism. Racism is strictly based on the notion of race with a subset of color. That is, if someone can tell if you are not white. It was constructed by white pseudoscience to justify the treatment of blacks an other non white groups. I don't think technically a black person can be called a racist. The only way I can see it, would be if a black person didn't know they were black (one drop rule) or they totally assimilated the idea they were part of white privilege.

Bigotry can effect anyone who possesses prejudices and acts on them. Ethnocentric behavior is exhibited by people who do not necessarily look any different but the distinction is culture or some aspect of it. The Koreans may feel superior to all Asians or the Germans to all Europeans.

The nouveau trend to change language shouldn't be allowed. When someone exhibits pride in the accomplishment, because it is not expected from their group, shouldn't be called racist. One also shouldn't be call racist when one disagrees with a white person. There is no defintion of reverse racism, because the word reverse is not an adverb. If an adjective it would mean the opposite of racism. So now we are changing the language to accommodate racist attitudes. To use term reverse racism when black compete for a position, should also be challenged. Never heard of a white student saying that about white privileged legacy candidates. Did anyone take George W. Bush to court over his admission to Yale?

We shouldn't let the right define us at all. They want us to cower. To turn our language on us. Call them out every chance you get. Let them know you will call them racist no matter what they call you.

H. said...

You say you can't be racist unless there is a power compontent. Well Jerimiah Wright has power... and he's abused it, such as screaming "We're (the black church) being attacked!!!!" Cause people had legit gripes with him. That is like screaming fire in a crowded room. His latest comments:
He said he hadn't spoken to Obama because ""Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me." Hmm, he didn't seem to upset when those "negros" made George Bush repudiate Don Imus.

Anonymous said...

Jody said, "We are still very neatly segregated in so many ways.
....
Because of all of this segregation, it is quite easy for white folks in America to choose to not see the conditions of others. It is easy for us to develop intimate friendships, family, community with only other white folks. In such an environment... that in reality is such a skewed way to see the world... it is no wonder that so many have such willful ignorance of their own privelege."

One such element of white privilege: the benefit of doubt.

The car with the white driver isn't pulled over, isn't searched, is warned instead of being ticketed or arrested.

The white kid isn't followed so much by the store cop, isn't arrested but warned, etc.

The white gun waving officer isn't shot....

There are many huge underlying circles of privilege; like guys who could fly got pilot billets while most black men didn't despite the Tuskegee Airmen, did not. Those "qualified" pilots got those great airline jobs after the war, and with their experience went into aerospace with good jobs, salaries, which led to good loans, good houses in neighborhoods with higher tax bases that led to better schooling and better teachers, more college and the circle is closed and repeats. You can essentially pick any circle and watch it repeat.

Racism is both real and alive and well where ever you look. But the basis for it is neither real nor true.

Laugh well, laugh last. Genes for brown eyes and darker skins are dominant, and will eventually overwhelm the lighter mutations.
The growing movement of humans around the world will lead to a more homogenously colored humanity, as people are not now and will not maintain separate gene pools.

Strangely there appears to be a world wide preference for lighter skin...even amoung Indians, Chinese and Japanese.

LC

Anonymous said...

People in power can, and do hurt others. But when it comes to one race dominating another, then it's important to know the difference and not get confused. I get sick and tired of folks who claim that Blacks are as biggest racists as Whites. There is no comparison...

Whites have the power to 'enforce' discrimination and racism. Blacks don't have that kind of oppressive power.

Is there a Black police system that profile Whites? What about an oppressive racist Black jail system that imprisons mostly White men? What about drug laws where if whites get caught with possession of cocaine, Whites go to prison-- but if Blacks get caught with crack, they get a small fine? Please!

Where in American history have you read about the Black KKK mob that terrorized and lynched thousands of Whites? What about Black banks that discriminate against Whites seeking mortgages?

Blacks and Whites need to realize that Whites are in power and their White institutions of racism prove it.

Racism against Blacks has risen since Obama was elected President. White hate groups have increased by over 50% since the year 2000. Moreover, Barack Obama is the ONLY President whose family is tormented by White racist rhetoric.

There is an old saying, “No matter what position or status a Black man has in America, he cannot protect his family from racist rhetoric or racist threats.”

"Racism is a disease of White people.”—Albert Einstein

A+

Swiff said...

Sheeeeeeiiit, reading these anonymous comments make a brotha wonder...what are the odds that Sick Freak or one of these other racist comment muhfuckas wind up being the next shooter?

Obama needs to wear a vest. For real.

Stephen Tyrone Johns is a Field Negro.

Hathor said...

Oddly, why does the media search out Rev. Wright? Is it to find that one incendiary statement by a black person that support blogs memes for the day. There is no other conversation they can start since Barack Obama is president. Can they keep this up for four years? I think it must really be exhausting.

Anonymous said...

"Oddly, why does the media search out Rev. Wright? Is it to find that one incendiary statement by a black person that support blogs memes for the day."

The media didn't search the good Rev out- he search them out, media whore that he is. Amusing how whenever a black person gets caught wearing a white sheet it is always the media's fault for covering it, the anger is never directed at the black person for being a bigot. I don't remember black folks being angry at the media for covering the MIchael Richards and Imus debacles.
I can assue you it doesn't take any searching to find that one incendiary statement by a black person. You burn a cross on other people's lawns very publically and you are surprised anyone notices? Funny you blacks sure get upset about racism when your the victim, yet you still get angry at the victim of racism when you are the source! Girl, you need to up your game.

Mr. Noface said...

I believe a person of any race can be racist, because "racism" in its strictest definition, is an ideology about the hierarchy of the races, and not a method of control or oppression (which is the popular misconception). For instance, just like there are many white racists believe that blacks are not fully evolved from apes; there are many black racists that believe that white people were the vile creation of an evil black scientist of antiquity to usurp the authority of the black race. Now, there are various methods of control employed by those in power to protect and promote a certain type of racial ideology (Jim Crow laws, discrimination, segregation, etc).

So in short, racism is open to all, but the ability to oppress and control is only available to a few.

Whitney B. said...

Fly,

HOT topic! Well, that white lady wasn't me. I like the discourse and appreciate that we can see through each other's eyes. As I hope all of us our doing. I have not zoomed through the rest of the posts as I have an ancient computer (2002 XP) and have loaded too much s**t on it to deal with my angst right now which does not match up to the 'puter at work.

Let me just say, gently, that I am a gentle person, respect all different views and love humanity when it is human. Life is too short to hate and feel afraid and I refuse to practice fear!

Rant and commentary:

However, I fear all you all ignorant, dumb asses that want to classify everyone in one group. I refuse to back up the stoooopid and fools. All folks aren't racist, no matter color, gender or religion. So, like, get off it!

Just remember, we have to figure it out and get one-upsmanship and go on. Get rid of the teeny breeders and drop outs and take pride in whatever race, creed and (I won't leave my gals out) sexual preference you are. We all BLEED the same color, so therefore...

I'm just saying..........

Piece, love and R&B,
Whitney B.

Anonymous said...

"Racism is when you have laws set up, systematically put in a way to keep people from advancing, to stop the advancement of a people. Black people have never had the power to enforce racism, and so this is something that white America is going to have to work out themselves. If they decide they want to stop it, curtail it, or to do the right thing ... then it will be done, but not until then." ~ Spike Lee

A+

Whitney B. said...

West Coast Story,

I lived in Kill-a-delphia when the Amish shooter went on a rampage. There, it wasn't a big yawn. Perhaps Field will back me up on this.

As to the events of today, not a yawn. Shooter killing a guard at a Holocaust museum? Racially charged and a big story, even here in Mississippi. However, is it important in the scheme of things, proably not. Do we as whites prefer to cover these types of incidents, probably so. Sad, yes.

One thing to be said about black folks is they don't breed crazies every 60 seconds, unlike us white folks. (Atlanta dude not even considered in this girl's post.) West Coast has got a point, big time, on her post!

I live in angst for my race.

If I could be, I would....
Whitney

Whitney B. said...

Sick Freeeeak,

Crawl back in your effing worm hole and quit bothering the good Field folks. YOU are an instigating morom. Typical white trash.

Get a life and start your own white Nazi supremist blog so we don't have to be bothered reading your dumb ass trash on this site.

GO! Be gone you dirt face piece of little crap, you worm!

HA! My word verification was "gaspolu". Coinkeydinkey? I think not!

Black Diaspora said...

@Jody: "If we are truly going to address racism in America, white folks need to move out of their comfort zones and begin to open their hearts and minds to 'the other.'"

Jody, yours is always a voice of reason.

For the record: I have no white friends, not because I shy from such connections, but because whites manage to do or say things, sooner than later, that are racially insensitive to the max.

Rather than treat me as another human being, after a time they usually communicate from a racial focal point, and that always lead to something over the top.

Blacks, for their part, have always--perhaps overly so--sought to bridge the racial divide but were repulsed.

Therefore, I believe, perhaps along with you, that whites should take the next step to facilitate, and expedite the healing process.

It was they, after all, who created the rift, and worked the hardest to maintain it.

Jody, you're the hope of this country, and others like you.

I would be proud to have you as a friend, not because you're white, but because you're an exemplary human being.

Anonymous said...

"If we are truly going to address racism in America, white folks need to move out of their comfort zones and begin to open their hearts and minds to 'the other."

But why should most Whites want to move out of their comfort zones? Why would Whites want to dismantle racism or white privilege when it clearly benefits them?
A+

Whitney B. said...

Black Diaspora,

Wow! Yours has not been my experience. My friends and I have open discourse. Not race bating, but bantering back/forth and side ways. None of us are looking to judge the other. What is wrong with this world we live in? Is it not depressing? I think so. I can't fathom intolerance or non-acceptance of differences, whether it is race or gender or religion based.

Regretably, I learn way too much here picking up the Field Greens.

May the Creator bless all y'all,
Whitney

Swiff said...

@ anon 8:31

Funny you whites sure get upset about racism when your the victim, yet you still get angry at the victim of racism when you are the source!

Jody said...

First, Black Diaspora... your words of kindness make me humbled.... I am deeply honored that you feel that way. Thank you.

And A+.... the reason that I think whites should want to dismantle racism and give up white privelege is because living in a world where harm is being done is not a world that many folks claim to want to live in. And, living in such a narrow construct is like living with blinders on. You only see such a small part of what is a glorious, beautiful world. Denying yourself the opportunity to know, appreciate and enjoy that which is beyond your own experience is not fully being alive. It makes for a shallow, small existence.

I personally believe that if there is a purpose for being here on the planet (and I think there is)... it is for us to love each other and to make a difference in the lives of others and to work toward making us whole. If my premise is correct.... living a life of segregated "privelege" makes that impossible.

Whitney B. said...

As my peeps say, Shalom.

Nighty night and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Whitney B. Zzzzzzzzz...........

Blinders Off said...

There are times I want to point out on some knowledgeable contributors in the comment section who drop KNOWLEDGE in the Fields. Therefore, today I must acknowledge Black Diaspora who I meant to do on several occasions.

Black Diaspora you always keep it real with your comments. I do enjoy reading what you have to say.

I also want to acknowledge Whitney B for keeping it real with her comments. You deserve total respect.

A person can learn a lot from the diversity here in the Fields. Whitney B, trying to communicate with Sick Freak and his crew falls on deaf ears.

They are lucky Field does not censor on his site. I learned to overlook them and not read there comments because it is obvious they are trying to get a rise.

Hathor said...

Anon 8:31,
Who writes your copy, I swear I've read what you said too many times today. Original thought has bypassed your comment.

ghetto whiteboy said...

racist,were all racist about somthin
blacks are racist to blacks,light skin to dark skin,whites are racist to whites, poor your trailer trash.
Asian's have a number code for every body, Cuban doesn't like Mexicans,Arab don't like Jews.short people don't like tall people,north don't like south,Funny, how we still
built the greatest Nation in the world,lets all hope we don't start liking that too.

Black Diaspora said...

@Blinders Off: "Black Diaspora you always keep it real with your comments. I do enjoy reading what you have to say."

Thank you, Blinders Off.

Here's my guide:

"This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."—William Shakespeare

Race Traitoress said...

Many of the comments on these last two posts have been some of the most open and productive I've ever read here.

Therefore, I believe. . .that whites should take the next step to facilitate, and expedite the healing process.

Black Diaspora, I know it's not your responsibility to educate me about how not to be racist, but what is the next step? How can the average white person evoke change outside his or her small circle of influence?

Why would Whites want to dismantle racism or white privilege when it clearly benefits them?

Because the cost is far greater than the benefit. It costs us our humanity and our morality. It makes us co-conspirators in evil. It covers our hands in blood that won't wash off. It's shameful.

AF

Black Diaspora said...

@Race Traitoress: "...what is the next step? How can the average white person evoke change outside his or her small circle of influence?"

I'm a little perplexed by the question.

Are you seeking to overcome your own racist tendencies?

Are you seeking to counter the racism that you see within your own "small circle of influence"?

Are you seeking to counter racism outside your "small circle"?

I would be happy to attempt an answer, but need more information from you.

I'll check back here periodically for a clarification. I don't won't to go off halfcocked and answer the wrong question.

Mel said...

"Why would Whites want to dismantle racism or white privilege when it clearly benefits them?"

Because ultimately, it doesn't really benefit us. Money and power will keep you from starving (which isn't nothing), but the way white people have attained it has destroyed us from the inside out.

That's why we have seniors shooting security guards at museums. That's why we have Columbine and Oklahoma City bombings. It isn't so much that white people need to change to do the right thing for others (although that would be nice). It's that white people need to do it for themselves.

Shabazz said...

Yeah anonymouse 4:16, I can run my mouth 'cause I LIVE the racism every day, at the hands of condescending little crackers like you. Trust me, the only thing between my fist and their head is the "law". You can say what you want (anonymous go figure)but you can never be half the man I am. I can talk the talk, because I'm not afraid to walk.

Vérité Parlant said...

I think black people can be racist, but often the examples whites give when accusing black people of racism are not examples of racism. Case in point, they make accusations like "The Ebony Experiment is racist!" or "Black History Month is racist," mixing up repairs and education with racism.

Other examples such as Jesse Jackson's "Hymietown" comment are examples of xenophobia, antisemitism, and bigotry, not racism.

To be racist, one must believe that his/her race is superior to other races. It's helpful to also have power when going this route. Ironically, due to the persistent racism in America, many black people do not think that they blacks are superior to other races. I think they are more likely to have self-hatred and fear they are inferior. Self-hatred is rampant.

Nevertheless, there are a minority of black people who think that Africans are superior, and so, if they come into power would they implement programs to reflect that belief? It's unlikely that any black person in American who felt whites are inferior would be elected to any significant position. All opponents have to do is pull video of him/her making such statements and that's that.

We had a case here in NOLA in which a now long-gone black D.A. fired all the white people on his staff when he came into office. The whites took him to court and won a hefty discrimination settlement. I suspect that what the D.A. was really doing was the same thing other politicians do when they come into office; they fire the old staff who they believe were more loyal to their predecessors. Given the racial climate in the city, he may not have been too off assuming that none of the whites on his staff would support him.

However, the dumb cluck didn't have the foresight to make this decision based on documented racist attitudes and insubordination not skin color. In addition, he lacked the guile to do what whites have done for years, keep one or two tokens on board to "prove" you did not discriminate. Could it be this D.A. could not find a "house whitie"? Could it be it's always easier to find a "house Negro" than a "house whitie"? Is there any such thing as a "house whitie"?

No. Even when you keep a Wegro like Justin Timberlake around, as some rappers do, the Wegro always knows he's got more power than the Negros. Think Janet Jackson's boob, JT jumping ship, and how the brothers loved him still.

Race Traitoress said...

Black Diaspora -

Thank you for requesting clarification.

Are you seeking to overcome your own racist tendencies?

I've got a fairly good handle on this one, though as a white woman raised in America I'm constantly learning and refining my understanding.

Are you seeking to counter the racism that you see within your own "small circle of influence"?

I work toward this one every day, and as my sphere of influence includes young people, I am constantly working to broaden their minds and help them to learn to think critically about their assumptions.

Are you seeking to counter racism outside your "small circle"?

This is the crux of the matter. It's clear that white America is, for reasons outlined above regarding white privilege, profoundly ignorant of how entrenched and poisonous racism is in America. And, I agree, it's white America's responsibility to effect change here. How? I can deal with being ridiculed as a do-gooder white liberal, and I understand where that anger comes from. But what's it gonna take to evoke change on a large scale?

Again, I thank you for your willingness to educate me on this. I learn a lot from reading your posts.

AF

Libby said...

Okay, let's be honest. We do not use the word 'racism' exactly as it should be. So taking that into consideration yes blacks can be racist. However, understanding and knowing that it's about the collective power and influence, verses just one person in a particular powerful position, its really hard to believe that blacks can execute that same kind of intensity of hatred towards others. Never in mind life, and I've known plenty of black racists- grandparents, militants, etc- say that they wish future white babies to die. Or start an organization purely for the purpose to control the population of another race, case in point the Margret Sanger and the eugenics purpose of planned parenthood. Referring to blacks as the 'weeds of the planet that need to be killed'
I understand we are going to try to be politically correct, but we need to be honest with how we, as a people, really function and behave collectively. We have not and are not inherently hateful people.

Manveer said...

Every race can, and has a history of racism. I'm south asian and i see it with my own people towards other races. Personally, i've had more racism experiences with black people (as far as things like being called osama bin laden because i wear a turban) than any other race. Or you can look at the african countries that kicked out and demonized indians who owned land.

To say only white people can be racist is shortsighted and ignorant in my opinion. However, since white people are in positions in power, racism from white people might have more dire effects. But that doesn't mean racism from any other race is "less bad," because any kind of racism is bad, its just less damaging.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has the capacity to be 'racist' toward the 'other', but only whites can be 'white supremacist and racist.

Anonymous said...

'Why would Whites want to dismantle racism or white privilege when it clearly benefits them?'

@"Because the cost is far greater than the benefit. It costs us our humanity and our morality. It makes us co-conspirators in evil. It covers our hands in blood that won't wash off. It's shameful."

So, what do you plan to do? Do you have the 'desire', 'will', and inner moral potency to stand up for justice? to be outraged at the injustices racism routinely brings on a daily basis? Racism is everywhere, even on Fox TV daily. It is not so easy to eradicate and much easier for Whites to do nothing and remain silent. But as Spike Lee said in my previous comment, when Whites are willing to dismantle racism, then it will be done.

As a 'White' person, who would you be as a person, if you gave up your white privilege? Isn't that a scary thought and worrisome thought? I mean, your white privilege is part of your identity. It's been that way for Whites since the birth of this nation--and it's been passed down to each generation.

BTW, there are blogs that address racism, white privilege, and racist behaviors, etc. There are some healthy dialogues that speak primarily to the problem, what racism really is, and solutions. I think you might find them helpful.

It's good to know there are people like you on the planet. America needs more people like you with the 'desire' to do the right thing. That's always the 'starting' point. Of course, there is more.
A+

Hathor said...

As someone else said earlier most of what is being described is xenophobia not racism. I also made a comment about the distinctions of words to describe our attitudes about people different from us.

Race did not always exist and the idea entered the philosophy of the European during the 18th century and was scientifically formalized in the 19th. It is a white European construct, not African, Asian, North and South American or Pacific Islander's. Before that blacks were not considered fully human, we were for the most part considered a higher ape. I am certain that other cultures might have thought of that about other cultures, but race became a scientific belief that we and other group were human, only our characteristics were different. The physical anthropologist of the day put a more righteous justification to prejudices and discrimination. That is how it could become institutionalized. I don't think other societies have devoted as much time in writing about the supremacy of their group.
Even though I think there may be a few instances of racism among blacks; when that occurs they are acting as if they are white supremacist, not acting racist toward whites. We do not have a codified, philosophical, pseudo-scientific dogma and institutions to back any discriminatory actions up.

Using an eaxmple from and earlier comment, lets say we are the boss and we fire all the white people and keep only the blacks working for us. We fire them probably because of pay back not because we inherently believe they are not capable. I would call an act like that revenge from some perceived wrong, not reversed racism. It would also be a high probability that we would be fired for doing this. We would not have an institution to back us up and say that is just the way the "dice fell" and there was no intent to discriminate.

Black Diaspora said...

@Race Traitoress

Thanks for the clarification. I will address your question-- probably in an e-mail. This forum is perhaps not the best place to do that.

field negro said...

Damn,that was deep!You all were dropping some serious wisdom up in here.:)

This why I blog.

Thanks people.

Race Traitoress said...

@A+

Do you have the 'desire', 'will', and inner moral potency to stand up for justice? to be outraged at the injustices racism routinely brings on a daily basis?

YES.

As a 'White' person, who would you be as a person, if you gave up your white privilege? Isn't that a scary thought and worrisome thought?

I'd still be a woman, which gives me a different frame of reference regarding privilege, but useful nonetheless. If I could give up my white privilege (which is bestowed on me by society every moment of every day) I would be a person connected to the vast majority of human beings on this planet, rather than residing in a perceived adversarial hierarchy (well deserved, but unwanted). I believe this would not be scary or worrisome, but rather freeing and joyous.

You have every right to scoff at my naivete, of course, and I admit that while my ignorance is diminishing, it's still enormous.

BTW, there are blogs that address racism, white privilege, and racist behaviors, etc. There are some healthy dialogues that speak primarily to the problem, what racism really is, and solutions. I think you might find them helpful.

I'd appreciate any information you'd be willing to pass on. I do read a number of blogs, but haven't followed any written by white people about how they address issues of white privilege and racism, because I already have some background there and now prefer reading and listening to what Black people have to say on this matter. I have read books and articles by Robert Jensen of the University of Texas at Austin, and of course Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack - www.nymbp.org/reference/WhitePrivilege.pdf - I've also shared these with the high school students that I teach.

Maybe I could start my own blog.

It's good to know there are people like you on the planet. America needs more people like you with the 'desire' to do the right thing. That's always the 'starting' point. Of course, there is more.

Thank you, sincerely. I know I'm not alone in my "desire to do the right thing." I also believe what my old raggedy NCCJ t-shirt proclaims, "Nobody's Born A Bigot," and let this guide my work as a teacher in a public high school in an overwhelmingly white and conservative state.

@Black Diaspora - I look forward to your email. Thank you.

AF

Race Traitoress said...

@Mel - 7:58 AM

yes! I'd start a slow clap here if I could--always wanted to do that.

Thanks for saying it better than I did.

AF

grinder said...

If racism was invented in the late 1800s, then are we to think that the slave traders of the 1700s and earlier 1800s weren't racists? If they weren't then what were they?

What about non-white Americans who harbor prejudices toward other non-white Americans, for example the Mexicans in areas of L.A. who use violence to exclude black people from some neighborhoods, or the Koreans who regard blacks with open disdain?

I think it's impossible to be an American of any race and not have baggage in your railroad car. The older you are, at least if you're white or black, probably the more baggage.

To directly answer the question, I disagree that only whites can be racists. But I think certain styles and patterns of racism are, on average, found predominantly in specific groups.

I think the black racism I've seen is, occasionally anyway, simple blind hatred, and at other times a sort of defensive pride, as with some of what I see as the oddball beliefs of the Nation of Islam, for instance.

White racism can manifest as blind hatred, but I think it's usually more subtle than that, more often taking the form of what's called "white privilege."

Still, if the question is, "Can blacks be racist," my answer is, "You bet they can."

Hathor said...

Grinder,
I thought I was being clear enough.

Koreans are extremely ethnocentric, it is not "race" specific. I read a blog from Korea and the blogger details this in some of his post. He is not a black blogger.

Most ethnics groups try to identify with and assimilate into white culture, when they immigrate to this country. So often they will take on racist attitudes toward black people without experience or knowledge of black people. They automatically zero in on black people. They mimic whatever the whites say. Even those whose have experienced racism in their native lands, so I am sure many know what racism is.

To say that blacks can't really be racist is not in any way giving blacks the high moral ground for egregious behavior. Someone has said on this blog that whites are always afraid that blacks are trying to get away with something. I sense that this is the rational for some of the comments here.

It is not impossible for an idea to materialize by only one group of people. There had to be the first civilization or the first person or group who made a discovery, so why is it hard to believe that white Europeans invented racism.

This will perhaps explain part of what I meant when I said, "We do not have a codified, philosophical, pseudo-scientific dogma and institutions to back any discriminatory actions up."

grinder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grinder said...

How about the black pastor in Washington, D.C. who spoke of using a Korean shopkeeper's severed head as a bowling ball? Because he didn't have a codified idegology this means he wasn't a racist, but just having a bad day?

Hypocrites said...

http://www.bahamascommunity.com/blog/archives/000236racism_rampant_in_the_bahamas.html

shoe on the other foot friends...?

Hathor said...

Grinder,
You have totally missed my point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

grinder said...

Hathor, my original comments were directed not at anything you said, but were made in relation to the subject. My second comment was made in response to your comment to me.

I have now gone back through the comment thread and read everything you've written. I think there is a strong element of semantic debate, not just from you but from the JYaleman who Field originally quoted.

Sure, it's possible to craft a definition of racism that would exclude the possibility of black people ever being racist. At that point, you'd confront not so much the definition of the one word, but the nature of language itself.

To me, language is a set of labels that are commonly understood shorthand for larger ideas. I think most people regard "racism" in the way that Webster's dictionary does: "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race."

Their secondary definition also applies, especially in daily life: "racial prejudice or discrimination."

I read your discussion of the topic and see a not-so-subtle attempt to shift the definition in such a way that black people can never be considered racists, no matter what.

I think the discussion along the way, including from you, is useful and interesting as a critical perspective that lends deeper insight into the nature, origins, and practice of racism. But I can't go all the way toward a new definition of racism, because I think it does violence to the nature of language, which in the end is a common understanding among the people who share it.

We do have a dynamic language, and in fact maybe one of the world's most dynamic. Over time, it could be that racism will come to be understood and in fact defined as the racial prejudices held by white people. But for the time being, I disagree with that definition.

This isn't to say that I somehow fail to recognize white racism. Rather, it's to say that I don't view white racism as the end-all and be-all of racism in general, as you do.

Now, definitions are what they are. We can analyze them, but Bill Clinton learned the hard way that when you try to argue about what "is" is, people tend to look askance and wonder what sort of con job you're trying to pull.

Beyond that, I think that seeing it in your preferred way gives white racists too much power. White racism isn't unique. It's another dull combination of hatred, arrogance, and egotism. There is nothing new under the sun, or so the Bible tells us.

grinder said...

Something else to say: I don't think racism requires control or power. All those things do is potentially give more force to racism. But I don't think it changes the underlying animal; to me, it's a matter of how powerful the animal is.

To me, the idea that only whites can be racist flies in the face of human nature and experience, both recent and ancient.

There is considerable evidence to suggest that humans are strongly inclined to join tribes of various kinds, and to regard members of other tribes as fundamentally different from them, and even less than human, or at least "the other" to be feared, hated, and destroyed.

True enough, the idea of "race" arose relatively recently, but what caused it? I'd say that it was an outgrowth of a shrinking world. Technology did it. Sailing vessels, and then airplanes, and the means of recording language (i.e., paper and books) and sharing knowledge, allowed wider views. What was once a tribal world became additionally a racial world.

Whites were not the only ones to go there. Look at the Japanese in the 20th Century. They considered themselves superior to everyone, just as the Germans did. The Japanese word for "foreigner" is the same as for "barbarian."

Africa remains tribal, and to this day the African tribes enslave each other. African slavery predated and survived European colonialism. Europeans, for a time, tried to codify it, but ultimately realized that the science, among other things, didn't work.

As an aside, one of the interesting things about Africa to me is that it is the most genetically diverse continent, owing to a catastrophic event about 75,000 years ago that reduced the human population to a few thousand people in East Africa. They began the seed stock for today's entire human population; local human genetic diversity in East Africa is far greater than anywhere else on the planet. I wonder if that's part of where Africa's intense tribalism comes from.

The topic of race in America is full of invisible fault lines. Cracks in the sidewalk, if you will. There are subtopics that can be observed at certain times but must be ignored at other times. They can be discussed by some people at some times, but not by other people at other times. To step on these cracks will result in one's being labeled a racist, or a house negro.

To navigate them in the implicitly prescribed manner will earn praise or scorn, depending on the audience. The result: Many people tire of the subject and avoid it altogether. Who needs the complication, they tell themselves.

All of which is fine and good, until you get a big hurricane that fills a city with water. Some people in a shelter are described as animals. Some are photographed carrying food and are described as looters, while others are photographed carrying food and are described as hardly survivors. Others are left starving and thirsty to die on rooftops, while help remains undeployed a short distance away.

So, it's not just theoretical.

alicia banks said...

racism is hatred

anyone can hate

blacks and whites can be equally racist

the only difference is that white supremacy has allowed whites to institutionalize their racism for centuries

ie
one racist black person can murder one white man with a gun

but the african holocaust murders millions of blacks via slavery/poverty/bio war/prisons/guns/drugs/turbo sex & thug media that spur turbo breeding/gangs etc...


only white power allows white hatred
to trump black hatred...

fyi
ab

Anonymous said...

AB- "only white power allows white hatred to trump black hatred..."

Oh, now I understand. Whites made Blacks slaves because they knew Blacks hated Whites. So, Whites are justified in lynching and killing as many Blacks as possible. It's to their advantage and safety because Blacks have proven all over the world that White slavery is on the rise.

Have Blacks colonized European islands and countries? Have they ruined and trashed Europe Whites have done to their countries? where POCs are. Just ask Native Indians, Somalians, Aboriginis, Africans, Asian Indians, etc.

By your reasoning, Blacks anger and hatred of Whites is based on the color of their skin. I am sure the way they have treated us for centuries has nothing to do with how we feel about them.

So, with your help, the Whites might as well wipe out all of the Blacks like they wiped out Native Indians.

alicia banks said...

white hatred and power fueled slavery...

yes
blacks hate racist whites justifiably
and?

what came first
the chicken or egg?

white supremacy preceded black hatred

yet
many blacks are still racists


and if we were all the same race we would hate by wt/eye color/ht/skin tone/hair texture etc

fyi
ab

Anonymous said...

ab-"and if we were all the same race we would hate by wt/eye color/ht/skin tone/hair texture etc"

Really? In that case, humans will eventually destroy themselves. They are too ignorant in mind, too evil in heart, and too low in conscience to survive.

alicia banks said...

yes

look across the globe

many people who hate and kill each other look alike...ie rwanda/israel etc...

fyi
ab

Anonymous said...

ab-"many people who hate and kill each other look alike...ie rwanda/israel etc..."

Are you saying that American Whites and Blacks want to kill each other off? I think the Whites want to kill off the Blacks, they have proven that over the centuries. But Blacks just want equal treatment, which they never have gotten. That's why they have anger at Whites and their institutions. It's not because Blacks are racists.

It has nothing to do with White skin color. But for Whites their "whiteness" is everything for them. That's why racism exits in America. Blacks didn't create "White is right" and "Black is bad".

alicia banks said...

i am saying that the evil that humans do is universal

man's inhumanity to man is never tamed by race or kinship etc...

history has proven that hatred is a constant....

even biblically, cain slew abel and they were brothers in the sole family on earth...

even when powerful racist whites are out of the mix,
black men slay black women
black hets slay gay blacks etc

humanity is hateful and murderous
always has been
and probably always will be

fyi
ab

Anonymous said...

"even when powerful racist whites are out of the mix,
black men slay black women
black hets slay gay blacks etc"

Not true. Blacks were very peaceful when they first arrived in America as slaves. It was the Whites mistreatment of Blacks that changed everything, much like the Native Indians had to change.

"humanity is hateful and murderous
always has been
and probably always will be"

100% True. But there are a few who actually practice goodness, precepts, commandments, pray, meditate, help others, goodwill, study scripture, etc. and have a good minister or spiritual teacher that is above hatred and harm.

Of course, if you are a follower of Rev. Wright, I don't know what to say, except that I will pray for you my innocent naive little chick-a-dee.

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