“ists”, “isms” & “oligies” in the key of x

Posted: April 24, 2010 in "Those People", Blogging, Humans, Uncategorized

(Part One)

Right.  So, there was some huff ups and drama and things of that nature in blog world here lately- mostly regarding racism, classism, all kinds of other ism’s and well, shit, if you’re here you probably know exactly what I’m talking about and don’t need a damn highlight reel.

And true enough, I am not ever going to get how a person hates another person because of what color they are- because sure enough, people have zero control over that- one cannot choose what color they are born or countless other things- like being male, or female, tall or short, what state, country or region said birth happens in, so on.  I don’t get hating people for things that are merely subject to the crap shoot of birth.  End of story.  However, I get hating people…hell, I hate people.  Regardless of the crap shoot…I just don’t like ’em…so you know what?  I get hate, and I get people who want to be away from people they do not like, and I get people who want  to do shit different and with those who are more like them.  I posted about women who wanted to be separatists, and guess what…my feelings hold for all people who are of that mind set- be they radical feminists, gay people, people of color, and why yes- even white people.  So long as those folk aren’t hurting other people?  I do not give a shit.  I seriously do not care. 

However, I do find it ironic how people tip-toe around the whole damn subject: separatism and extremists and hate movements and isms and ists of all kinds.  People get all PC and understanding about some shit- all the while ignoring elephant in the room and all that shit.  Face it- a lot of women who want to be women sepratists?  They are of that mind because yep, you guessed it: They Hate Men.  There are People of Color who do not want to be around white people because…yes, they hate white people.  But if white people hate someone???  Holy fuck its an atrocity.  I find that…odd.

There, I fucking said it.    Like I said, I think it is stupid for anyone to hate someone due to the cards they are dealt at birth- but guess what, I think it’s freakin’ stupid ALL around.  And I hate people of all sexes, sexual orientations, colors, religions and regions all the same…because people often act like idiots regardless of those things.  And why yes, I do realize in the wider face of White Male Dominance..blah blah blah blah.  Sigh.  Guess what?  True enough- white men are in fact in charge via politics, business, media, money, and military.  But in a real world kind of way- you think when that shit all rolls down to us plebs who are barely making it in the modern world market it matters so much?  As I was saying to someone the other day- I would like to take a nice, diverse  lot of people on a tour ’round my neck of the woods.  We could go to South East DC and see people of color who are economically disadvantaged, living in poverty, putting up with rampant crime…and fuck yes we would fly through there real quick with our doors locked.  Then I could take the same group of folk right on over to West Virginia and see white people who are economically disadvantaged, living in poverty, putting up with rampant crime…and fuck yes we would fly through there with our doors locked.    Because while in a large global sense of thinking, why yes- white men are in charge.  In real world daily living for the majority of humans- white male or not- shit sucks.  All around.

Which is why I can understand why people-of all kinds and colors- get involved with extremist or hate movements.  Face it, most of these people have shitty lives to start with, feel as if they are going no where, have no where to go, are disenfranchised, and they are angry as fuck…and well, for them it feels good to blame it on someone.  Someone different from them.  Men? Women?  White People?  People of Color? Democrats? Republicans? Christians? Jews? Muslims?  Hell, anyone will do.   Anyone will do as a target for that rage and pain and angst.  And in finding targets, a place to put all that rage, folk in these kinds of organizations find tribe, family, community- things they were lacking before.  Is it right?  No.  Can I understand it?  You bet your sweet ass and a pair of snakeskin boots I can.  It is pretty much human nature, when shit sucks, to take it out on other people.  Some people do that by gossiping about the neighbors and acting like assholes- some do it by joining extremist organizations. 

And sure enough- I think ALL of these people are entitled to their beliefs, agree with them or not.   And they are entitled to say whatever the hell they want-  I can assure you, hate these fuckers or not, had I been there, I sure as shit would have said they should get to have their march.  I am pretty upfront about being hardcore on that whole 1st amendment thing…

Be that as it may…this last go ’round almost had me laughing, not necessarily in a good way, but laughing none the less…

I’m from Colorado…you want to know how I was first ever exposed to a Confederate Flag???

That’s right!  The Duke boys!  At the tender age of 8, every Friday Night, I was glued to my tv (back when they only had 3 channels and all) watching The Dukes of Hazzard.  The first model ever purchased for me was…that’s right, The General Lee!  (and what a sweet, sweet 1969 Charger it was!)  My bro had a poster of Daisy, in her trademark shorts, on his wall.  Uncle Jesse was totally my favorite, and I always thought Luke was cuter than Bo.  And boy, did I love that bright orange Dodge with the racing number and stock car welded doors and yep, even that flag that I had no idea what it meant on the roof.  It wasn’t until I was older that I realized the full connotations of the Confederate Flag…but you know, I kept the model car anyway.  And oddly enough, as I’ve lived around the South…I have to say, I have met a lot of people with that flag; on a belt buckle, on a shirt, on a Zippo or flask, on a beer holder, on a baseball hat, on a car sticker, and a great many of them?  As tolerant every day working people as anyone else- hell not all of them are even white.  I don’t think a whole lot of people “get their rebel on” to truly be offensive, or racist, or anything other than…Proud Southerners.   I’ve never heard a single one of them ever say “The South Will Rise Again” as anything other than a joke.  You know, these people I am talking about?  Remind me far more of the Duke Boys than Klansmen.  They are hard working, willing to help a friend or neighbor out, and well, often like driving fast…and they don’t much care what color or religion or gender the people around them are.   And kinda like I am never going to be able to hate the Dukes of  Hazzard…flag on their fine ride or not…well, you get the idea. 

And I will sure as shit tell you this, I think Southerners themselves take a seriously bad rap, but that my friends, is a post for another day…

(looks into netflixing the Dukes of Hazzard…)

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Comments
  1. Gaina says:

    I have to admit I’ve just scanned this and I’m dog tired thanks to writing an essay but one thing I must observe – aren’t the people who hate on southerners and assuming the worst of them being just a tad….prejudiced? Oh, the irony!

    I would be interested to know what makes the difference between a person who buys into blaming white/black/gay/men/women/immigrants for their misfortunes and another person who knows that kind of thinking is illogical and unhelpful?

  2. Ren says:

    “hate on southerners and assuming the worst of them being just a tad….prejudiced?”

    just a tad

  3. rootietoot says:

    As long as there are people who are different from other people, there will be people who are suspicious and fearful of those differences. It’s human nature.

    And yeah, Luke is way cuter.

    Aaaaand…being the mother and wife of committed SouthernWhiteBoys, I can say with a wee bit of authority that it ain’t about race, it’s about how high the lift is on your truck and do you have single or dual flowmasters.

    • Ren says:

      “being the mother and wife of committed SouthernWhiteBoys, I can say with a wee bit of authority that it ain’t about race, it’s about how high the lift is on your truck and do you have single or dual flowmasters”

      Ahhhhhh HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAA EXACTLY!

      “How much did you PAY for that gun rack???” is one I’ve heard a few times…

    • Stone Fox says:

      don’t forget how many KC’s you’re running and tire size.

  4. Endplay says:

    You remind me a bit of Bill Bryson. I think it’s ‘Notes from a forgotten continent’ where he’s travelling the US after living im the UK for about 20 years. He makes the point that the South is mixed even where there is still racism. He compared growing up in Chicago where fine, there was no legal discrimination – but everybody had their turf and by God you did not stray from Jew to Black to Pole … and they never saw each other, it was all ghettoes. Contrast the South. Maybe the black man still has to make way for the white (this book was some years ago) but at least they are both on the same sidewalk! Even when Rosa Parks made her demonstration, she was at least on a mixed bus going to the same part of town with whites. That would not have happened in his childhood Chicago where everybody had their own neighborhood.

    As for ‘sexist segregationists’ – are they really so different from traditional nuns and monks with any number of reasons for their feelings, and prudes with never a good word for the opposite sex?

  5. TrinityVA says:

    Which is why I can understand why people-of all kinds and colors- get involved with extremist or hate movements. Face it, most of these people have shitty lives to start with, feel as if they are going no where, have no where to go, are disenfranchised, and they are angry as fuck…and well, for them it feels good to blame it on someone. Someone different from them.

    Wise words, Ren. I don’t like separatists of many different stripes, and yeah, a Neo-Nazi bugs me a lot more than a radical feminist who wants to go live on wimmin’s land, but… yeah, i don’t really think that what drives people to hate and rage of that sort is some kind of special concentrated evil. In some cases, sure… in many, no. Which is part of why it’s sad.

  6. TrinityVA says:

    And yes, I feel the same way about some people I know who “get their Rebel on” as well. I don’t think it makes 100% sense, but I don’t think everyone means their connection to their heritage to be about racism and violence.

  7. I found it kind of spooky how every time while I was reading this that I had a thought, in the next sentence or paragraph, you’d say exactly that thought. No kidding!

    And yeah, the car “General Lee” was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen on television when I was 7 or so (it was such a horrible shock when my Dad explained why it was a representation of something as ugly as slavery!)

    Then I started reading blogs of US Southerners and realised that actually, the Confederate battle flag was displayed by all sorts of people, and not all of them racist or pro-slavery or anything: just like not everyone in England who flies the St George’s Cross is a supporter of the racist BNP (or indeed, necessarily interested in international sporting competition).

    Kinda like, being proud of being British doesn’t make me a supporter of any of the evil racist shit that the British Empire did in former times. I figure the same thing can go to US Southerners about their identity and past, too.

    • Lucy says:

      No, everyone who flies the Cross of St George is not a BNP supporter (and certainly you can see a lot of them everywhere in England on St George’s Day) but you’d be a fool to not have that be the first thing to go through your mind (or maybe the second thing if it’s World Cup or Ashes time). Especially if you happen to be in an area that, say, elected a BNP MEP and had a noticeable of number of voters go BNP in the last General Election.

      The “But not everyone is…” is a technique used to excuse and hide inequality and bigotry. You know, the sport truck I saw in the supermarket car park last month that was sporting both a Cross of St George and a Confederate battle flag could have been someone proud of their English and Southern (US) heritage. But a better guess would have been that the owner was a racist BNP supporter (if not actual party member). I’ll never know. Sure, I might have misjudged them, but chances are much greater that I didn’t.

      Also, people saying that they aren’t racist and bigoted and shit and then flying the Confederate battle flag even though they know how much it offends people really puzzle me, at the very least. Are people really so unable to find another way of expressing pride in their heritage or whatever they’re trying to express?

  8. Kristen J. says:

    “So long as those folk aren’t hurting other people?”

    This is the key sentence. Sure its human nature to want to dominate and oppress (God help us all for that one), where it crosses the line is when someone gets hurt. White separatism is frightening because unlike the other movements you mentioned, it has a real, continuing and pervasive history of violence against oppressed persons. So yes, when I lived in NC just a few years ago and someone burned a cross a few blocks from me, because they were opposed to interracial relationships…I found that kinda scary. And when I see white separatist talking about “war” and practicing for that future race war I want to pack up my little family and move somewhere where people don’t want us to die.

    Yes, those are extremists and I choose to believe that they will never actually go out and harm someone (Although, clearly some of them already have.) The problem with the good ol’ boys (and I grew up in the south where my great grand mother PROUDLY displayed picture of her Klan family until her death) is that their more *benign* racism fosters a culture in which its not exactly *extreme* to be an extremist. Where people can get away with milder acts of racism (like cross burning), they may think its acceptable to get away with arson, assault and even murder.

    So, yeah, when white people hate other people…holy fuck.

    • Ren says:

      Kristen:

      Holy fuck with that kind of hate period. I could launch into a long rant about how when I first moved to DC I made the mistake of walking down the wrong street, with another group of females, and got hit in the head with a cobble stone and a detached retna for my trouble …wanna guess why? Wanna guess what world came before “bitch” outta the mouth of the dude who hit me?

      So no. sorry, that kinda hate being a white people only thing just isn’t gonna fly with me today.

      • Kristen J. says:

        I didn’t mean to imply that only white people are violent or hateful. Like I said, people like to dominate and oppress each other. But in the U.S. of A. white people have more power and that power translates into the ability to ignore, downplay, or excuse the violence committed by other white people against oppressed persons in the community. Our criminal justice system isn’t color blind and I’m relatively certain that if the police had been able to capture the shit bag who attacked you he would still be behind bars, whereas the Durham police didn’t even look for the dudes who burned the crosses.

        • Ren says:

          Actually, the police caught everyone involved. However, he was a minor- so what came of it was Not Much at All.

          I lived in NC as well.

          And what Rootie said somewhere in this thread is right- white southerners who burn crosses by in large to NOT get along a-ok or are considered acceptable by white southerners who Don’t.

          • Kristen J. says:

            I’m sorry to hear it. Unfortunately most hate crimes are committed by kids…which just makes everything sadder.

            As for cross burning not being acceptable…I’ll repeat what I said to Rootie…it was acceptable to, for example, loudly ask us to leave a restaurant without any other patron saying a word. If that’s the behavior that is appropriate in public, is it any wonder that some people think more extreme actions are acceptable?

            • belledame222 says:

              also, I gotta say it-and I’m really really not trying to diminish what happened to you, Ren, or say it wasn’t hateful because it absolutely was, or excusable, because it obviously isn’t-

              -how often do gangs of underaged girls go around bricking dudes who wander down the wrong street at the wrong hour? Of any color?

              Yeah, I know, I’m sure someone can point to an example somewhere, but statistically?

              Just-you know that whole intersection thing? Yeah. Also, “kick the dog.” Probably applies. I mean, that’s always true. But…

              • belledame222 says:

                I am also not saying a lot more girls *wouldn’t* beat the shit out of grown men if circumstances/mores permitted more often. I’m just saying: usualyl they don’t.

                If the general point is that people everywhere are capable of being fucky, I’d like to think that’s a given. I think, you know, the suggestion seems to be floated here that-well, “more acceptable,” I mean “more acceptable” to whom, exactly? A nd with what concrete consequences?

        • Ren says:

          ” But in the U.S. of A. white people have more power and that power translates into the ability to ignore, downplay, or excuse the violence committed by other white people against oppressed persons in the community”

          SOMETIMES. Here goes my contraversal statement of the day: I, even being a female, get into a fight and beat down a person of color, I can be charged with a hate crime. However, a person of color, male or female, could ,oh ,call me a white bitch and beat me down and there is no hate crime charge, even though via the other persons own words, part of the reason I got beat down would be because I am white, the other part, female. However- no hate crime charge. This seems odd to me, what, if wer’e going for equality here and all…

    • rootietoot says:

      Kristen, wha really gripes me is when it is assumed that because an individual Southerner burns a cross, it’s by default something ALL Southerners want to do, but maybe don’t have the balls to. Thing is, when someone gets caught doing that around here, they’re ostracized by the rest of the community (except their klan buddies, who are also ostracized). It Is Not Appreciated when white folks act like that. We don’t like cross burners, or extremists or any other bad-behaving sorts. Whatever their color. Yes, cross-burners exist, but they have a tough time getting a good paying job unless it’s with their buddies making meth.

      My very vague and rambliing point is this: Southerners are TIRED of being unjustly branded by the actions of a few assholes who aren’t even LIKED in the Deep South. If you want to experience truly deep racism and assholery, try Couer d’lene Idaho, and it’s WAY not the South.

      • dead_vladimir says:

        yeah but Idaho is it’s own weird place. I think it’s all the potatoes. They drive men mad.

      • Kristen J. says:

        I agree. Painting all people with the same brush is idiotic. As if the South is a monolith of EVIL. Clearly not true. BUT in my experience (limited though it may be) the extremists are not always ostracized, not really. My SO and I are an interracial couple. We moved to NC in 2002 from Hawaii. Since we arrived we have been spit upon in full view of other people, loudly kicked out of restaurants with no other customer batting an eye, denied housing, asked to leave shopping centers and called more names than I can to remember…in NC, SC, GA, AL, and AR. During a road trip in Texas, a crappy motel denied us a room and a *police officer* told us we should probably move on. Obviously, its anecdotal evidence and not proof of a systematic problem, but to me its hard to believe that these people do not feel safe in the knowledge that their communities will not punish them for their actions.

        • Ren says:

          Kristen, but in so many places and ways, that works both ways…

          There are places in DC and Batlimore that well, white folk are not welcome, period. If that white person is male, a beat down can be expected-if that white person is female- a beat down might still be expected. It’s shitty in NC, and it is shitty in MD- and it is not just a race thing either- so far as I know, there are communities in, oh, Boston and NYC where if you are Italian, there are streets you don’t go down, same goes for Irish, so on.

          IT’s Fucked Up, all around.

          To me thou, judging “The South” by the racists is a lot like judging “Cities” by VIOLENT minorities.

          • Kristen J. says:

            I live in Maryland…in P.G. county. I used to do pro bono work twice a week in SE. I may not always be welcome, but I’ve never had a business owner throw me out of their establishment or a police officer tell me I’m not welcome there. There is a significant difference with the actions of evil people with out the support of the authorities and evil people with the support of the authorities.

            Sure things are fucked up all over. If your point is that individual human beings generally suck, I completely agree. If your point is that racism occurs all over the country, I completely agree.

            But those points are fundamentally different from saying that the EFFECT of racism by racial minorities is equivalent to the EFFECT of racism by white people,

            • Ren says:

              I am not saying that. I am saying that there is a elephant in the room when it comes to racism and south bashing has grown real old with me.

              • Kristen J. says:

                Except that this:

                “But if white people hate someone??? Holy fuck its an atrocity. I find that…odd.”

                Implies that there is no difference between the consequences of white racism and other types of racial hatred. It is an atrocity when white people hate other people because the consequences of that hate have institutional power behind them.

                It’s fine to say, “I’m sick of people bashing the South, white people up north with their sundown towns and their still segregated cities are just as bad” but that is different from saying “People overreact to white racism.” which is how I read your comment quoted above.

          • Danny says:

            Exactly. If a white person says they don’t want to move to the city because they don’t want to get shot by some gangbangers people will trip over themselves to call that person a racist but if a black person says they don’t want to move to Georgia because they don’t want to wake up to a burning cross one people laugh.

            Yeah.

      • belledame222 says:

        Yeah, I do agree that the South gets to be the “goat” for a lot of non-Southerners who don’t want to own their own racism, among other things. There is also a lot of classism, yes, and that goes right back to the end of the Civil War.

        And yes, Coeur d”Alene is Neo Nazi central, as are large chunks of the Pacific Northwest and yup even California.

  9. Amber Rhea says:

    And I will sure as shit tell you this, I think Southerners themselves take a seriously bad rap, but that my friends, is a post for another day…

    Word, word, fucking word.

    The hypocrisy of some people is staggering.

    Good post, Ren; looking fwd to the next part.

  10. Stone Fox says:

    well, i figure if you’re writing a post about this, something’s up. so i go over to that other site (which shall remain unnamed as i will not promote her site) to see what’s what. what a SHITSTORM! it probably makes me a bad person that i’m sitting back here giggling. she can hold me up as a racist neo-nazi sympathizer, and she’s still wrong, and i still don’t give a shit.

    i stand by what i said: intolerance of any kind is pretty much bullshit. i sure as hell don’t like a lot of other people’s opinions, but i still have to tolerate them. as soon as we start deciding that all opinions are equal except some opinions are more equal than other opinions, well… pretty soon they are taking away my opinion. i’m not interested in seeing that happen.

    • Ren says:

      stone, this has very little to do with anything other that some slow burning observations I”ve been making for awhile now.

  11. Eli says:

    I think a case could be made that “White Male Dominance” is codespeak for “bourgeoisie” that came about because any straight mention of economic class differences is like, heresy against Capitalism. This creates the problem that poor white people can’t name their oppressors because they supposedly are it?

    • TrinityVA says:

      I think you’re very right here. There’s this presumption that poor white people act entitled in a way others don’t that is… well. I have seen poor white people try to elevate themselves above other poor because of their whiteness, so I don’t want to say it’s false. But if you start looking at other dynamics, I think it gets a lot more complicated.

  12. dead_vladimir says:

    to quote the great Henry Rollins “i’ve seen way more black on white discrimination than the reverse” and this is the elephant in the room no one ever talks about.
    It’s okay here to be all about how evil whitey is, especially if they are Christian, while every other group is somehow mystically noble and without sin.

    also I don’t think white men run the world (Africa, Asia, South America, all places white men hold little say)
    men-maybe yeah i could see that ; but white men in particualr?stop being so parochial

    also you wan the honest statistical truth; you don’t have to lock your car doors in poor white neighborhoods
    here in the US that’s another elephant no one wants to talk about

    (unless its to blame whitey for something that ended over a century go and saythat’s why)

    Don’t get me wrong Neo Nazi’s and etc are vile; but that ugliness is not limited to them alone. Other ethnic groups are just as vile in thier hatreds, but we don;t ever call them on it.

    • Ren says:

      oh, people should lock their car doors EVERYWHERE!

      • dead_vladimir says:

        I said statistical : )
        interesting side fact; white men are the most common victim o f car jackings -maybe we do need to lock our car doors everywhere

        • Erik says:

          Are there secure statistics showing that cars are safe in poor white neighborhoods as opposed to poor black neighborhoods? Or is this anecdotal? In my experience – which admittedly is just one small data point in the quantifiable universe – unlocked cars are in jeopardy everywhere, as Ren writes. And not just in poor neighborhoods, whether black or white: affluent kids do petty (and not so petty) crimes. And so do some affluent adults.

          • dead_vladimir says:

            its based on the FBI crime statistics; you can find them on the Department of Justice website

            • Erik says:

              I went to DOJ’s website and from there to the FBI’s. There are various crime reporting systems and categories, but I saw nothing that gave data about automotive vandalism and neighborhood racial demography. Or anything even close. I did see, in the Preliminary Seminannual Uniform Crime report (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/2009prelimsem/table_1.html), that the biggest declines in auto theft were in cities of 1 million population and over. Second biggest declines were in cities of 500K to 1 million. Interesting. It’s a big website, so of course I may have missed something.

              • dead_vladimir says:

                there are stats as to victim of type of crime (white males tend to be most common victim of car jacking) etc,
                they are apin in the ass websites; the FBi gives raw stats easy but no analysis
                and the DOJ is pburied everywhere.

                I freely admit the comment about neighborhoods is an inference; inn er cities tend to have more crime ; not a specific type; as oppsoed to a hard data fact.

              • dead_vladimir says:

                http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=31

                raw 2007 stats can be found here (not the msot up to date)
                agian
                I admit some inference making o nmy part, an d liek all data, i am sure cases can be argued for different interpretations

                • Erik says:

                  Things are getting awfully thin here! Just wanted to say thanks for the link to the BJS stats. Maybe we can continue this colloquy somewhere else with more bandwidth.

    • belledame222 says:

      um, ok, I wasn’t that familiar with Henry Rollins; but a glance at his bio and general overview and somehow I get the impression he may be a tad more uh complex than you’re making him out to be here.

      • dead_vladimir says:

        oh he’s way more complex
        it was just a point he made once abut racism;
        is that it’s not a one sided thing, and there is a tendency to focus on one flavor of it as oppsoed to all

      • dead_vladimir says:

        I should clarify it as well in context; he said it on an iinterview/discussion show (the old ben stein show) when someone else was being obtuse. HR hates white racism, supremacists etc and all racism. I think his point was it’s not an issue only one group of people is guilty of, and to treat it as such is disingenuous.

  13. Kim says:

    (Yes, That Kim, of the Deleted Spacerocket Baby Blog Kim): Here’s the thing: the older I get, the more (shudder) conservative I seem to be getting. One, it IS possible to display a Southern Flag and not be a racist . Two, yes, you are correct: White People are not allowed to admit they might not be 100% comfortable with a demographic of humans or they are, of, course, racist. Three: on that truck bed. I don’t hate Islam. But I tell you what, 9-11 broke my heart and scared the shit out of me. We lost thousands of people. So excuse me all to fuck if — and yeah, I will say it — I am leery of anyone with a tie to Radical Islamic principals. Fourth: Luke was cuter — Bo was too cornfed-looking for me.

    • Ren says:

      KIM I HAVE MISSED YOU!!!!!

      Luke- Way Cuter.

      I too am getting more conservative as I get older- okay, actually- I was REALLY conservative in my youth/early teens, became less so, seem to be going back there…

      I Have Reasons for This.

      • octogalore says:

        Kim, Ren, hi!

        Interesting post!

        And I’ll join the “becoming more conservative with age” club. And I’m someone who identified as liberal before it was the done thing. How is it that I’m never hip? (even saying “hip” isn’t hip…)

    • belledame222 says:

      yes, fundamentalists suck, especially genocidal fundamentalists, I think that’s a given.

      I was in NY for 9-11. Yeah, I can’t say I was exactly a big fan of you know, the actual terrorists. I’m still more personally frightened of radical Christian fundamentalists in this country, on account of they’re a lot more likely to make legislation that can hurt me, and there are a lot more of them; and they’re not exactly exempt from making bombs either. They have fuckall to do with my nice Christian pals, yes. Also, the terrorists have fuckall to do with my nice Muslim pals. The latter however are a lot more likely to be interrogated at an airport or have their neighborhoods vandalized, as also happened in NY shortly after 9-11. I’m just saying.

      and, hi, all.

  14. Danny says:

    Other than upper class elites there is no one class of people that you can just say is responsible for all the bad things that happen or point a finger at and say they are in charge.

    As for Southerners I agree its going to take more than a large pickup truck with Confederate Flag personal plate to send me from 0 to OMG!!!TehRaciszm!!!Eleventy0ne!!!!

    And I do find it messed up that white people are held to different standards when it comes being called racist. It bothers me because the people that do that are doing exactly what they claim they are not doing, holding people from today responsible for the crimes and misdeeds of their past ancestors.

    • Ren says:

      the past crimes of ancestors thing might get its own post- as my ancestors were, oh, not even HERE during the civil war…

      • rootietoot says:

        While my family, of course, has been here since pre-Revolutionary War, and has the silver to prove it. However, I refuse to divulge how they got it. ::shifty eyes::

      • octogalore says:

        Yeah, that whole “trampled over disadvantaged people to get your privilege” thing — how does that fit where people’s relatives came from Russia (in my case and possibly yours as well?) at a later point?

        I don’t dismiss the idea of privilege as we’ve all discussed ad nauseum, of course — but the way the term is implemented is often a bit mind-boggling.

      • Lucy says:

        Since you’re considered white, you can thank people like my ancestors for the white privilege you get in the US. Mind you, you likely wouldn’t necessarily have been considered white (or at least “pure” white) a century or more ago. Thus, you’re “paying” for the crimes of my ancestors. Except, you know, you’re not. Because being white remains a huge advantage.

        • Ren says:

          Yes, I have more white privilege than a lot of people. I’ve not said otherwise. However….I have been known to point out that whole “Slavic Jew” thing, because YEAH, they’ve had it real easy, historically speaking and all. I mean, ask my grandfather about the numbers on his arm and what a nice WWII parting gift those were…

          And hell, I’m not considered pure white by a whole lot of people now, really. But I am not of the mind to blame “the South” for that.

          • Lucy says:

            I always think that white privilege in the US is conditional for anyone who is Jewish/has Jewish ancestry (or sometimes even “looks Jewish” whatever the hell *that* means!).

            I’m definitely not of the mind to blame the South given the racism of Yankees (and others). But the fact that it is also an issue elsewhere doesn’t let the South off the hook, either.

    • Gaina says:

      Danny said: ‘I do find it messed up that white people are held to different standards when it comes being called racist.’

      I agree. IMHO anyone who is verbally or physically violent towards another person simply because they are a different – weather it be race, religion, disability or sexual orientation – is an ignorant douchebag who needs a severe slappin’. I don’t care what colour or race or gender the person being hateful is.

      I am disabled myself and was once utterly horrified to witness another disabled person coming out with the most bigoted crap I’d ever heard. The very reason I despise racism and discrimination is because I know what it’s like to be in a minority group and what it feels like when you know that certain people would cheerfully harm you for being different, so it never occurred to me that other disabled people could feel anything other than revulsion for ALL types of prejudice. It just goes to illustrate that bigotry is about human nature and not being specifically white, male or of a certain social class.

      • Danny says:

        I know right? Its the reason I almost laugh when someone tries to pull that institutional power bullshit to explain away what something someone does is not actually sexist, racist, etc… (Institutional Power arguments are for people that are looking for a loophole for their group’s own -ist actions.)

        When I say ill things about white people because they are white its racist. Yes you are right that it may not have the same history but that doesn’t excuse what I say.

        • belledame222 says:

          No; ime Institutional Power arguments are generally made trying to explain that there is such a thing as “institution” in the first place.

          There’s a lot of over emphasis on the Power Of The Individual here, I think. There’s also a lot of straw.

          • Lucy says:

            Yeah, I’m barely avoiding saying “Cool story, bro.” a fair amount.

          • Danny says:

            I think I may be misunderstanding you but are you saying that people don’t use institutional power arguments to erase the -isms of certain groups?

            Yes it does exist but having it or not having it doesn’t make the difference between whether or not something is -ist or not.

    • belledame222 says:

      Well, that’s cool, I mean, I get that you don’t have many personal associations with teh Confed flag.

      This one guy I can recall frex talking about how his dad was killed by the Klan, all waving their Confed flags-yeah, he’s about my age, the guy anyway, or within ten years-I rather think he had a different reaction, and I don’t blame him for it one bit.

  15. Roy Kay says:

    I have a post on how those, who presume to denounce racism, are perfectly happy encouraging it – when it suits their purposes, i.e. the expansion of state power.

    My Racism is Good – Because it’s Pro-Government!

  16. Mr.Grim says:

    I believe that all people are equal, no matter what their race, sex, creed, gay or straight sex, pro porn, anti porn or where they are from. The reason is because it really does not matter..none of it does cause we are all human. It is pretty simple. Now before anyone gets upset or offended, please let me explain. I dont mean to take away the meaning of WHAT you are ….. you are ….well ,what you are . What matters is WHO you are and that is defined by actions , not your genetic makeup. The people who I admire or even look up to are the people who use their actions to better themselves and sometimes those around them no matter WHAT they are. The WHO they are is some one with strength and heart….that goes along way in my book.

    Now that my preamble is done. I would like to express something that is bothering me.
    I dont know if anyone has read this news story : Good Samaritan Who Stopped Mugging Left to Die on N.Y. Sidewalk . If you have not you can find it on ABC NEWS . This made me sick and caused me to get livid. Words cant describe how F’N pissed this got me. The story is this bum ( yup a guy who most people in my area would turn their nose up at) Saves this woman who is getting mugged. In the process of saving her, he gets stabbed by the mugger. He chases the mugger for a few feet then drops to the ground bleeding. People walk by him pause and look. this goes on for one hour and forty five min. One FUCKTARD even grabs his phone and does he call 911 ? Nope he takes a picture, then walks away. Needless to say the bum died on the street trying to save a woman from her attacker. Now a jaded person can say” thats life” or “the world is a nasty place” or “what can you do?”
    HMMMM what can I do? Well for starts I am going to try and start with what few friends I have on April 26 every year , SAMARITAN DAY….. in which I will go out help at a soup kitchen or anyone that I can help… all day , hopefully with friends, but if I have to ,by myself. Also I will start facebooking people to try and Join or to at least make a diffence that they can on april 26 ( any of you are welcome too). The Reason for any of this is WHAT THE MAN WAS ,WAS A BUM , WHO THE MAN IS ,IS A HERO

    Well if you got to the end of this, thanks for reading and taking time out your day even if you agree or disargee with what I have said.

  17. rorshack says:

    On hate crimes. I’m not prejudiced, I hate everyone equally. So I guess any crime I might commit could be a hate crime. What if I hate stupid people?

    On Hate. This is important. I use the term “I Hate (this or that or those people)”
    I don’t hate any of them really. I have a strong opinion on Hate. I believe that Hate Implies Respect. None of the individuals I loathe or groups that I’d rather not spend time with have the slightest bit of my respect. So, I don’t really hate them. I am very careful with my Hate.

  18. belledame222 says:

    You know? I thought about this, and I have to say, I think I disagree. Free speech doesn’t mean you get to say whatever you want *wherever* you want, devoid of context. I’m not impressed by appeals to the First Amendment in defense of Fred Phelps picketing peoples’ funerals right where the grieving/already vulnerable can see them. I think I see neo-nazis deliberately picking a community that’s made up of approximately 1 out of 6 either Holocaust survivors or relatives of survivors in about the same light.

    Context matters. In Belfast, every year the Orangemen parade through Belfast and deliberately walk through/past the Catholic sections; every year there’s a big fight over it. It’s not about “free speech.” It’s about the colonizers deliberately making a threatening and harassing display of their power.

    • Ren says:

      See, and I would say, okay, they can have their rally. And all the people who think they are goddamn assholes can ALSO have a rally about what assholes they are.

  19. belledame222 says:

    as far as “white people being held to different standards”–you know what, I am sure there are any number of PoC who are hateful on an individual level; but this does not affect me *structurally.* The worst I could say is some people are mean to me; or there are, like, some rights-based/identity based groups I don’t get to go to. This affects my life not at all.

    Seriously: I don’t have to worry about being stopped and asked for my papers on the basis of my skin color. Even if I *did* live in Arizona. I don’t have to worry about being stopped for “driving while white.” Hell, I don’t even have a problem getting a cab in “bad areas.” I’m not *associated* with the “bad areas” on the basis of my ethnicity. Etc. Etc.

    Is it hypothetically possible that such things could happen, anywhere in the world, at any point? Sure. People are, as has been noted, people. There is no lack of *potential* to be any one thing limited to any one group, and sometimes, sure, it plays out structurally in ways other than white–> PoC. Sometimes. Hey, I could live in a small formerly colonial African country wherein the dictator targets white people. I could be a Chinese person targeted by the Japanese in WWII. I could be a Tutsi targeted by a Hutu. In theory.

    But–I’m not.

    I’m an American. I’m white. By pretty much any standards by anyone paying attention, this is an advantage. Pretending it ain’t so, that all “hate” has equal weight *practically*, not just in “it doesn’t feel nice to be the target of hate”-of course it doesn’t for anybody-doesn’t really help anything.

    Context matters.

  20. belledame222 says:

    ..I shouldn’t say “not at all.” Yes, feelings matter. I am in the touchy feely professions, after all.

    It’s still not the same thing.

    • Ren says:

      Belle, I think your class might be showing a bit here. I agree that context does matter. A lot. In all kinds of ways.

  21. belledame222 says:

    As for “white” (depending on who’s defining when, but “white” in the U.S. now, let’s say) European immigrants (Eastern European Jewish among others) having also had ish, even unto recent generations, and how that ripples down-well, sure. Hey, my grandfather, who i got to interview for a class project some months back, came over here from Russia with his mother in the early part of last century (i.e. before WWII, when the immigration laws loosened enough to let them come over to join my great grandfather, who’d gone over earlier to try to earn enough money to bring them too.

    They didn’t have formal education. They didn’t have much materially. My great-grandmother and my grandfather, at least, were getitng the hell out of an increasingly draconian Soviet Union. They came over on a boat, steerage, and were held in detention at Ellis Island; the first class passengers all got an automatic pass. They came without my grandfather’s little brother, who got hit by a truck while they were waiting for their papers. No restitution, life went on. My grandfather was stoic about it some 80 years later, retelling. (“A terrible thing. But children have to play and trucks have to drive.”)

    They had little money, it was the Depression; they had the additional burden of anti-Semitism to some extent, yes. My grandfather had wanted to go to university; he had already been told he couldn’t be the first career he wanted because Jews weren’t accepted by those companies; he’d settled on ceramics (not pottery), when WWII broke out and of course he was conscripted. (Later, he and my grandmother would lose some potential apartments due to anti-Semitism as well). He went into the garment business, like his father and his grandfather and any number of Jews before him.

    And guess what: with one thing and another, over the years, he ended up making what is by most peoples’ standards a fuckload of money. Not Bill Gates level or anything of that sort, of course, but enough to be more than comfortable for the rest of their lives, and to go a long way in provideingfor their children as well, which carried down even unto the next generation. Guess who that affects.

    Which, you know? I won’t say I’ve heroically cast upon the stones and gone to take up my begging bowl, that legacy, the yup very concrete privilege I’ve gotten at his and later my parents’ behest. I’ve benefited from my own little family patriarchy, yup.

    And you know, I could say-for instance-my grandfather is in many ways the emblem of the American Dream, Ashkenazim flavor. He did a Horatio Alger. And he is, by and large, a good person, I would say: in his retirement, he reads to inner city kids a couple of times a week. Gives to charities, I am sure. Is, on an individual level, generally a “good guy.” No one is saying otherwise.

    And yet. Fact is. On the one hand, yeah, even from way back in Uzbekistan: on the one hand, the family had gone there and become shoemakers because those were the options open to Jews in white Russia->early Soviet Union. And…they also got to make a better living in Uzbekistan than they would have otherwise because there was still more mobility/opportunity for white-skinned Jews in Uzbekistan than there were for the Uzbeks, or for others living in Russia/the S.U. in general who weren’t European/relatively white, Jewish or not.

    When he came here, he may have been turned away from apartments, but I have a pretty good notion they still had a better time of it than the black folks who were trying to rent there, back in the 30’s and 40’s. They were landlords for a while; i do not know the details of what buildings they owned or what they did to make the small profits that they did to help build their burgeoning fortune. Later, when my grandfather co-ran the garment factory-I am fairly certain it was not one of those that basically imprison immigrants without their papers behind wire, you know;

    but, beyond that, well? most of the workers were Latino and especially Latina, I am given to understand. I don’t know what they earned. I don’t imagine most of them ever got to the comfortable stage of life my grandparents did. Not because they didn’t work as hard, or weren’t as clever or didn’t save, or whatever. Because this is not how capitalism is set up to work. And no, it’s not a coincidence that the people doing the gruntwork are the ones who came more recently from non-European countries, have darker skins, and so forth. Sure, some of them have their own Horatio Alger. Most don’t. Again: because the way things are set up, most *can’t.* It just doesn’t work that way. The system may not ultimately care *who* makes it to the “top,” but it also can’t allow for more than a small percentage to make it there.

    And, meanwhile, while it isn’t the only thing, yeah, the other shit matters. No, grandpa doesn’t “hate” anyone, i don’t guess; he’s a genial sort of guy. He did used to call the Spanish-speaking immigrant ladies “Suziebelle” because he couldn’t, he said, remember their names. For instance. Hey, he didn’t have to.

    Here where I live now and go to school, in a very affluent part of San Francisco-and don’t get me wrong, I am taking full advantage of my socio and especially economic privilege, I wanted to live here and so I am-it is *blindingly* white. Some of the homeless people one passes every day are white. Some aren’t. When you go downtown, the ratio of people of color (mainly black and Latino) who you a) see at all b) are either asking for money or working in say the local Burger King increases rather dramatically. This is not exactly unique to San Fran either; it’s the same damn thing in New York and every other urban center I’ve been in in the U.S. Oh, there are some regional variations, of course; and of course you’re going to see pockets of wealthy folks of color as well as any number of white folks who aren’t doing so well, are homeless, what you will.

    And yet.

    It’s not “just history,” see, and it’s not just “those other people.” It’s still here and now, and it’s still personal.

    Guilt? I don’t know. I don’t think that’s the issue, really. I just don’t think “oh, those people were glowering at me and said mean things about all white people” is really the issue, either. And, I try not to kid myself.

  22. belledame222 says:

    “ladies”–>”women who came to clean the house every week,” that should have read.

  23. Clarence says:

    There is structural oppression of lower middle and working/poor white males in thiis society. We get no access to affirmative action of any kind, and there are tens of millions of us.

    In short, the elite whites at the top don’t really give a shit about oppression of the lower class whites and are perfectly willing to throw them under the bus. The bum that belledame222 is talking about has little or no “white privilege”.

  24. A pacer and no PR attempt or other milestone objective? What gives?

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