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View Diary: Trayvon Martin, White Denial and the Unacceptable Burden of Blackness in America (279 comments)

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  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    I am sorry I wasn't very clear.  Except for the line where he seemingly equates white people with George Zimmerman (for the record, I am not a racist asshole who is just looking to run around shooting people, thanks!), this is a great diary. Although I was pretty offended at first, I think it was just a moment of inartful writing that read the wrong way would obscure his message.  Clearly, he meant to say that white people are not automatically suspicious the way young black men are (well, duh!  but as many have pointed out, this is still news to many in this godforsaken country, so got to keep pounding that point home, sadly.) not that all white people are racist homocidal maniacs.  

    However,  in other diaries of his however, he has had various statements that seem much more clearly broad swipes at white people as morally inferior people that people have responded poorly, especially since this is not an uncommon meme.  Unfortunately, doing so definitely interferes with clear communication of what are good points.

    Indeed, god help us if it's racist to point out racism!  What is more problematic is the leap to paint everyone who bears a superficial physical resemblence to the racists in question with the same characterization.  

    I appreciate you asking for clarification, rather than just filling in with what you might have imagined I meant.  I truly do.  

    •  Get over yourself (0+ / 0-)
      he has had various statements that seem much more clearly broad swipes at white people as morally inferior people
      So insane. Reminds me of this:
      White Americans saw an even steeper decline in anti-black bias: from 9.1, in the ’50s, to 3.6, in the ’00s. But more striking, according to the researchers, was the sharp increase in perceived anti-white bias: Among whites, it shot up from 1.8 to 4.7.

      White Americans, in short, thought that anti-white bias was a greater societal problem by the ’00s than anti-black bias.

      •  Right (0+ / 0-)

        Ah. Not particularly relevant since I don't think that anti white bias is a bigger problem than anti black bias.  Youd have to be an idiot to think that.  However, I noticed that I seem to have struck a nerve here.  If you aren't opposed to racism regardless of who it is directed against, then you aren't really opposed to racism. By telling people to "get over it" and blowing off people's experience, you en up slipping into the same habits used by racists since time immemorial.  You know that already.  Do you really want to take up those attitudes and ideas?

        •  apparently the only thing (0+ / 0-)

          "striking a nerve" is when Tim Wise has the audacity to discuss white privilege with exceedingly defense, exceedingly white kossacks.

          •  Believe that if you liek (0+ / 0-)

            though it bears no resemblance to anything I ever said or believe.

            It's real simple.  Don't use language that paints an entire group of people with a negative stereotype, and I won't call it out.

            See?  That's not so hard to comprehend is it?

            As I said, either you oppose racism, or you don't

            •  You, (0+ / 0-)

              like Rush Limbaugh, like to describe discussions of white privilege as "various statements that seem much more clearly broad swipes at white people as morally inferior people".

              You, also like Rush Limbaugh, like to claim the people raising the issue of white privilege are engaging in "racism".

              •  No, I'm not (0+ / 0-)

                Again, you are distorting what I'm saying.  I do not think that the fact of massive white privilege can be disputed whatsoever.  It is stunningly obvious.

                What I am objecting to are persistent statements that cast white people in general in negative terms personally, just as I object to similar statements made about black people, or hispanics or Asians or anybody else.

                These two issues are entirely independent of each other.  It is entirely possible to make statements about white privilege without smearing white people generally at the same time.


                White people in the United State hold disproportionate power, influence, access and wealth, and being white in America grants you favorable treatment from other white people (and some minorities) in nearly all, if not all, areas of life.

                Ta da!  See?  A very straightforward assertion of the existence of white privilege without making any statement that implies, connotes or assumes that all white people approve of this situation, like it, condone it, or are cupable for it.

                Where people run into trouble is with statemetns like (at the most obvious) "All white people are racist" or even "white people can't stand an educated black man"  (both are statements as close as I can remember made by kossacks both of us know well.)   In these examples, there is a statement not about the nature of the US as a racist society (which is undeniable) on the one hand, and a statement that makes negative attributions about a whole group of people on the other (which needs to be called out).

                Now, I will freely admit that I misinterpreted the last line of Tim Wise's essay to be the latter, but I was wrong about that

                Compare these two:

                Black men are disproportionately imprisoned in the US.
                black men are criminals.

                The first is a simple statement of fact, and we can discuss that.
                The second makes a blanket statemetn about a whole group (in part based on taking stereotyped aspects that apply to some members and applying that to all group members).

                The first one is unobjectionable as a statemetn of fact, while the second is heinous.

                I try to be cler about the distinctions here, but I know from experience that I'm pretty much a clod in trying to express myself in these areas.  Maybe that helps.

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