Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Commentary on Racism

This post was originally an accidental double-post about snowfall in Cincinnati.

However someone chose to comment on this post about something I said on another blog Ir read frequently, Neurotic Iraqi Wife. The comments that come after are an interesting commentary about my post in particular and race issues in general.

In this case, it's the comments that are the post. Definitely an interesting read.

9 comments:

  1. ThatDeborahGirl, "Dadblast" it is not a curse per se, anymore than "I swan to pucker!" This was common in TX where I grew up -you can substitute dagnab-it or doggone-it if you want. Note on the Snuffy thing - bodacious has been around a long time, it's even in my Webster's Unabridged [1966] as South and Midlands dialect. enjoy

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  2. I just tagged you for a meme.

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  3. Found on your other blog:
    Racism
    Most people think racism doesn't exist anymore and has been placed by classism. I believe that racism and bigotry are more rampant today than in the 1950's. It's just hidden better and the denial is stronger. I also belive that racism does more than any terrorist in destroying our Nation and hiding our common values.


    I believe you keep racism alive.

    Found at Neurotic Iraqi Wife Blog:
    American white people are like that.

    They think that only they know everything and people who are "different" (meaning not American and white) must be shepherded about like children and treated as such.

    As a black woman, at least I'm used to it over here. Sorry, that you get treated like that in your own country.

    Even if call them on their crap or if you quit, they won't understand. You'll just be that rude Iraqi lady who used to work there.

    I have a lot of white friends but sometimes I cannot believe how clueless even my nearest and dearest can be.


    Isn't that an unfair and racist generalization to be spreading to Iraq? You really can be jeopardizing our own soldiers with such comments. My white son is there and I am quite sure he would rather you kept this opinion to yourself, while he does what he can to help the Iraqi people and stay alive!

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  4. See, unlike you, who posted as anonymous, I posted my name with a link back to myself so I can be accountable for my comments.

    But I'll respond in the hopes that you come back and read what I have to say.

    I do not keep racism alive.

    The people who refuse to hire black people and will only hire Hispanics as gardeners & cleaning people: they keep racism alive.

    People who live in a "colorblind" world: they keep racism alive.

    People who still believe that actually talking about the war and that somehow my dissent from the Republican party line "aids the terrorists": well, that doesn't keep racism alive but it sure doesn't aid the war cause either.

    During WWI people told the suffragettes that they would do better to support the war cause than spend time fighting for the ridiculous notion that women, of all the frail weak creatures, should vote.



    I don't keep racism alive. It has been a learned response to be wary of white people. Most days I don't succeed at that and I let my guard down. I can go for days and days without even thinking about color but inevitably someone white says or does something incredibly offensive or just plain insensitive and I'm back in defense mode.

    As for your son, I hope and will pray that he comes home and back to you safe and sound. However I refuse to censor my comments or opinions because you and others like you don't like what I have to say:

    Economics, oil and yes, racism got us into this war.

    I'll give you another quote of mine for your consideration:

    The first time I heard the words *sand nigger* I knew that I better wake up and pay attention. As an African American I know how easy it is for white folks, even well meaning white folks, to tolerate the deaths of brown people. And it’s taken not the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s or any of the coalition of the willing or the terrorist attacks in other countries but the deaths of over 2500 Americans to actually get us to want to quit. We are a callous people and it never ceases to amaze me that it’s only our relatively small body count that matters in relation to the instability we’ve caused, the civil war we’ve started, the destruction and chaos that is yet again the status quo in the Middle East, and ready to label anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with the U.S.’s twisted aims and policies a terrorist.

    I believe that far too many people, black and white, myself included, fell for George Bush's spiel hook, line and sinker.

    The entire planet is much worse off because of this war and we must recognize all the causes of it, even our prejudices, before we can end it.

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  5. My dear,
    Just to generalize these kinds of things into white folks and black folks is racial.
    ALL white folks or ALL black folks? Just because one white says or does something does not mean all whites agree. That's like saying that ALL blacks are crack heads or welfare mothers.
    You simply cannot generalize comments to include an entire race of people. When you do, it is going to be looked on as racial. How can it be looked on as anything else?
    I'd be happy to send you my private telephone number, if you like, for further discussion of this matter.

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  6. I just want to add one thing here. During our evacuation from hurricane Rita, during the hurricanes of 2005, I not only evacuated my family a, but I also found a place for 35 friends from our church. In all, our group consisted of 7 whites and 28 blacks. We shared what we had and we never saw race as a factor in anything we did.

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  7. Just to generalize these kinds of things into white folks and black folks is racial.

    ALL white folks or ALL black folks? Just because one white says or does something does not mean all whites agree.

    In other words, if I quantify my statements to say "some white people" or "a few white people" that would make you feel better.

    See, those words "some" and "a few" that put you in your comfort zone and keep me from "generalizations" also minimize my meaning. However in your point of view even if I said "a majority of white people" that would even leave wiggle room for a small, critical minority who don't espouse racism at all.

    I'm sorry, I just don't see it. I just don't see white owned media, white owned government and white owned corporate America as giving black people that same kind of wiggle room. And until I do, I will continue to speak as I have.

    People like you drive me insane. You'd rather nitpick what I've said or how I said it then address the very real and valid points I brought up. Deal with the issues. Deal with the problems. Deal with the fact that racism in all it's glory was very much a factor in that war.

    Then we'll deal with my generalizations. Until then, please read this.

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  8. Your words: "In other words, if I quantify my statements to say "some white people" or "a few white people" that would make you feel better."

    If you said "some" or "a few" it would be honest. I certainly don't need "wiggle room", but I believe you would prefer honesty to lies. I am assuming you do not wish to mislead people. It wouldn't necessarily make me feel anything, good or bad. You are responsible for your own words.

    Your words: "American white people are like that.

    They think that only they know everything and people who are "different" (meaning not American and white) must be shepherded about like children and treated as such."

    I am American and white. I am also a volunteer for a ministry run by a very sweet black woman. She tells me what needs to be done and I do it, so in all honesty, she leads me and several other white Americans. This alone makes your very broad generalization about white Americans a lie.

    Your words: "People like you drive me insane. You'd rather nitpick what I've said or how I said it then address the very real and valid points I brought up."

    I do not wish to drive you insane. I have no intentions to nitpick things you have said. I only wish to show you that all whites are not as you think they are.

    As far as dealing with issues, I find flaw in the whole "poor mistreated me" talk I hear from some blacks. In America, there are black teachers, cops, judges, actors, lawyers, doctors etc. If life is not what we want it to be, we are responsible for changing it. Stop blaming white people and using racism as an excuse for your own failures. It begins with a decent education. Once that is in place, you ought to be able to find your way to the life you want, no matter what color you are.

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  9. I am American and white. I am also a volunteer for a ministry run by a very sweet black woman. She tells me what needs to be done and I do it, so in all honesty, she leads me and several other white Americans. This alone makes your very broad generalization about white Americans a lie.

    *****
    Now here's what I want you to do.

    I want you to ask her honestly, how many people she deals with or has to answer to that have an issue with her as a black woman running her charity program

    Go ahead. I'll wait.

    Oh and in regards to your comments that: [you] find flaw in the whole "poor mistreated me" talk I hear from some blacks. In America, there are black teachers, cops, judges, actors, lawyers, doctors etc. If life is not what we want it to be, we are responsible for changing it. Stop blaming white people and using racism as an excuse for your own failures.

    Tell you what. How about you read this piece on racism denial and white accusing blacks of playing the race card (which is the essential complaint in your comment) and also this on racism and the Oprah Effect.

    Both articles address your comments more fully than I ever could.

    I find your comment about "don't blame racism and white people for your own failures" to be confusing.


    If you are referring to me in particular I'd like you to outline any personal knowledge you have of me and any personal failures that I blame white people for.

    Otherwise, you must be *gasp* making a generalization about black people as a group; that somehow we as a group have failed or have many societal failures and that these failures are something we blame white people for.

    Either way, you are declaring personal knowledge of me that does not apply, or you are saying that black folks as a group have no clue as to when they are being treated badly or discriminated against.

    I'd really like you to clarify that statement.

    And meanwhile, I'd like to get back to the original discussion of how white folks fear of terrorists and how they took that not only to mean "enemies of America" but also to mean "anyone who we think looks vaguely Middle Eastern and especially anyone who is "looks" Muslim (absurd!) - exactly how this attitude kept this war going for four years and STILL keeps it going and now has extended into this weird discriminatory bigotry that won't even let the Iraqi's run their own damn country and businesses.

    You tell me? Am I wrong for laying the blame for this war solely at the feet of White America? And don't give me any crap about that matched set of Bush's Negroes Condi and Colin either. They are as far removed from every day black people as Bush himself.

    You read the articles. And you ask your "sweet black woman" just exactly how easy it is for her to do what she does.

    Then you come back and tell me that I'm wrong.

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