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I am a racist.

I've always thought of myself as pretty fuckin progressive in my set of values and positions.   In fact I pretty much AM.   Until a bit after 9/11 I wasn't a registered Democratic even....I was an independent because I saw the Democratic Party as way too close to the Republicans and way too tied to corporatism much as the opposite side is (but obviously to a much less degree).   I registered as a Democratic as the primaries were nearing and I haven't looked back.....I might be more "Green" than Democratic when it comes to actual politicans taking action....but the Democratic party that I support is one that I think WE are regardless of what many of our elected people do nowadays.   I'm a Democratic to the core now...and this site was instrumental in bringing me to join and see the light of unifying us as one.    

That said.....I have something to say that pains me.  

I'm a solid Democratic supporter to the core....and ....I'm a racist.

I'll explain below the fold.   Follow me there, please.

If you're not familiar with Steve Gilliard's issue with Tim Kaine's people pulling their ads....go to Steve's post before reading the rest....it won't make real sense otherwise.

http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/2005/10/tim-kaine-is-coward.html

This could have been (and started out as) a comment to Armando's diary regarding Steve Gilliard's post.   I felt it deserved its own diary because it made me see myself in  a very very odd and uncomfortable way and one that hit me pretty hard to the point that my mind has been reeling ever since.

Upon first read of the whole thing via Markos, Armando, and Steve Gilliard....I agreed with those three in attacking Kaine on his alleged cowardice in pulling the ads without comment on reason or rationale.  After reading the comments in Armando's diary though, I've changed my mind completely.   Armando was correct imo about knowing waht you're getting into by advertising on blogs....make the decision knowing that your ad dollars are going to place an ad at places that are free speechers....saying whatever they want to say from the conviction of their principled opionions.  He is right on with that.   But I have to agree now with the majority of commenters in Armando's diary (or so it seems to be a majority to me.....my comp is slow as fuck and it took 10 minutes to get 500 or so loaded and I finally hit "stop" to just read it) who are defending Kaine in the realm of a smart move in the votes.   When it comes right down to it, this is about getting elected.   That's the aim of Daily Kos from Markos' own fingers....getting Dems elected.   If Kaine's staffers thought it would avoid a Swift Boat type attack by association (false and wrong in its implications though it would be) then I support them in that decision.   We need to get Kaine elected more so than we need to stand behind a principle of supporting bloggers and their words.  That takes it back to Armando's caveat emptor statement of knowing what your'e getting into with blogads and making that decision ready to take what comes.

On the other hand....I very much agree with Steve (and disagree with the commenters who say the Kaine team should owe him no rationale or reason behind their decision) that they should have been straight forward with a reason for doing so.  Someone in Armando's diary commented that it's no different than a politician pulling an ad from the Washington Post in a similar way.  I completely disagree.   Candidates do not buy ads with blogs for the same reason that they buy ads with the RWCM imo.   They buy them to directly tap into a decidely liberal activist group of individuals who will act on their behalf be it to garner contributions or to garner networking style word of mouth communications that are unmatchable via any other medium.

In that respect I have to agree with Steve in his most recent post on the topic:


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Let me clear this up

Sic 'em. Them Republicans are stealing our
pumpkins

Kos posted up on this

I am not mad they pulled the ad.

What I am outraged about is that his people didn't ask my side of the story first. They just reacted to a Sullivan e-mail campaign WITHOUT TALKING TO ME.

All they had to do was send an e-mail saying "Steve, we have a problem with the Steele picture, "

I've worked in campaigns, I know they would have pulled the ad, just to avoid controversy by association. WHICH I AGREE WITH. I don't want anyone to think I expected them to keep the ad up after the crap they got. I'm hardly that full of myself. I'm not going to censor myself, but they don't have to keep their ads on if it hurts them. Although that seems to be OK for Republicans.

But this is ridiculous. How many blogs will be attacked this way? No one pulls ads from the racist Malkin or LGF, hell Charles Johnson is forming Pajamas Media with people like David Corn. But we're supposed to be suppine when something comes up.

Look, I know I write things which sometimes make people squirm. And I certainly didn't expect any advertiser to endorse my words.

But what I do expect is to treated like an adult. And when adults have problems, they discuss them. Too many people, especially in politics, think all bloggers are 20-something kids ranting. I've been writing for 20 years, I know when I will give offense. A couple of days ago it was on homework.

If they had even given me the courtesy of an explaination, which they didn't, I would have explained why the ad was gone and that would be that.

It's not about the money, or the pull, but the utter lack of respect shown by the Kaine campaign. This site supports Democrats and liberals, which is why they bought the ad. My goal is not to harm campaigns. But I am not 20 years old. I am an adult and I would expect that the Kaine campaign would show me basic courtesy in explaining their actions. It was absolutely cowardly to handle it in such a way, and I think Mr. Rohrbach understands that now.

Now what do they have, thanks to Andrew Sullivan. Stories in both the WaPo and Baltimore Sun about this. Why? Well, after Michael Steele called me a racist I needed to defend my good name. I was going to not speak to the reporters, to not make this any worse. I think they got enough crap for one day. But because they backed away and Steele attacked me, as a tool of the Dems no less, a person who doesn't even campaign for candidates he likes, much less raise money, well it's silly, but I changed my mind. I think Lt. Gov. Steele will regret his intemperant comments, because I am going to be quoted on how he defended racists and why he has no support among black voters.

Campaigns need to contact blogs when there is a problem. My goal was not to give the Kaine campaign problems until they took the side of a racist and didn't care about mine. Support is a two-way street. When you treat your supporters as disposable, they can cause you problems as well.

Oh, and to all the Sullivan readers calling me a racist: ROTFLMAO.

I know you don't like black people to begin with, much less want to hear their opinions. Your mock outrage is amusing, following the lead of Andrew Sullivan. If he told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? You would probably call Steele a nigger under your breath if you could. Don't act like you care, because you don't. You know you aren't going to vote for him, the fate of all black Republican candidates. So save the outrage. I don't really care.

If you valued black people as humans, you would hardly read his site.

posted by Steve

As to his first post on the topic.....and the actual topic of this diary.....I'm embarassed and ashamed in a way.....because I'm one of those that got called out appropriately by Steve...and it's given me much to think about:

But there's something more pernicious than that. The assumption many people make is that I'm a white man. Now, people have done this in other cases, but in this case it's well, pretty fucking stupid.

What white progressive or liberal would feel free enough to make fun of a black man by putting him in blackface? No one. I can't imagine one doing so. Just the art alone would indicate I wasn't worried about being seen as racist, and hint, hint, I might be black.

But why do people assume I'm white? Because many people simply cannot imagine a black man blogging, much less expressing his opinions on a range of topics. It isn't what they are trained to think. Sports, ok, but politics, nope. It amuses me some days, but it does get other people in trouble

I've always pictured Steve as a white dude....why...I don't know.  I went head to head with someone awhile back (forget who but they'll remember I'm sure) about their direct accusation that anyone who supports the troops staying in Iraq because we need to stay until they are stable is   "inherently racist" by not assuming that the Iraqis can do it on their own (basically on the assumption that the assertion that we need to stay to bring the stability rests on the assumption that Americans can do the job while they can't.).

I fought that charge (even though I'm one who supports the troops leaving immediately and have been against this war since the beginning due to many reasons...one of which is an implicit racism in the war on the middle east that the neocons are engaging in ...imo) hard and it got a bit nasty.

But now after reading Steve's post.....I have to question my own prejudices.   I'm not a racist person in the least bit consciously....quite the opposite...hell, I even support some of Farrakhan's ideas even though I think he's a cult leader and most of his ideas are bunk to make money off of people.   But I thought Steve was white....in fact I never even really thought about race in any facit of reading his blog.....I just assumed I guess that he was.  

For that, I am ashamed and it's made me think a lot and it will continue to.   I've got a lot of thinkin to do as I've probably applied that automatic thought to every blogger that hasn't been overt in their race......for that I'm ashamed....very much so.   I'm glad he brought it to the forefront of my thoughts.   Steve's one of my favorite bloggers without a doubt....the fact that he put my mind into a bit of a conundrum is more points to him.     Race is something that imo shouldn't be a blind issue at this stage....it should but it shouldn't....I support affirmative action...very much so.    OTOH race should be a blind aspect because it should only be considered in terms of where things are going wrong....which Steve's picture and post point out very clearly (albeit in a way that might not be good for a campaign to be associated with).

So the title of this diary is not snarky in the least bit....it's sincere even though I'm not "racist" in the sense that people probably normally perceive the word...but it pains me nonetheless because my perception of Steve as a white dude without even really thinking about it consciously at any point in time says something about my perceptions subconsciously  in a way that merits consideration to why ..... and if race is something to be considered subsconciously .....why.....and why on many fronts....the major stickler with me right now on many levels and with many questions is "why".  It's given me a lot to think about.

Yeah my poll will probably get me troll rated by some for the "black" rather than "african american" but I see the term African American as degrading in a way.....I'm not black so I'm less than not qualified to make a judgement call there.  But it connects every person called such to slavery imo....maybe justly so....I don't know.....I probably am friends with more blacks than whites and I never hear the African American term coming out of their mouths except when it comes to events and fliers and taht kinda thing.    If anyone takes offense then let me know why and such.....I'm open minded but I'm opinionated.....willing to hear other points of view no doubt as Steve's p.o.v. made me ache physically inside tonight.    

Thanks for reading.....hopefully if you understand where I'm coming from or even if you vehemently disagree, you'll leave a comment so I can grow more through what I've experienced tonight.

And thanks to you, Steve, for pointing out something that needed to be said.   You've made me think like no other post has made me really think introspectively in weeks or months.   Thank you for making me reconsider the way I, for some reason, was thinking ....without knowing why I was thinking that way (and not even realizing how inherently wrong my somehow conditioned way of thinking was soooo off kilter as to be offensive to myself upon realization).   Hopefully it will lead to some change in my subconscious mind ....I'm fearful of it not changing to be honest.  It's obviously something deep set in my way of thinking....and something I really hope your post will put a dent in.   Thank you.

Originally posted to tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:41 AM PDT.

Poll

Before Steve's post today....did you perceive Steve Gilliard as...

18%18 votes
33%33 votes
0%0 votes
49%49 votes

| 100 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips/Flames (4.00)
    Pretty much said it how it is....interested to see what others think of my comments.

    I've been almost past liberal in many of my positions over the years and make no bones about it in person or online.....

    but...

    this one kinda casts a shroud over a lot of what I believe in.....more of a subconscious thing than an overt thing....but disturbing to me nonetheless.

    Hopefully I'm not the only one experiencing this but hopefully it's addressed in everyone's minds...comments or not.

    Peace.

    George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

    by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 12:47:57 AM PDT

    •  Congratulations (none)
      For experiencing, owning and not trying to run away from, your moment of clarity.

      I'm deadly serious.  Wish that everyone else was as brave.  Learn from it, do the self-examination, and don't get mired in guilt or shame (the devil's work where anti-racism is concerned; and the place too many people of good will get stuck in their development, IMO.)

      One thing though:

      Yeah my poll will probably get me troll rated by some for the "black" rather than "african american"

      Why on earth would that be? I don't know any Black person that rejects being called Black.  For myself, that's what I call myself, reserving African-American for formal things like the United States census or something ;)  So no troll rating here.

      My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

      by shanikka on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 05:15:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Bit Off Topic, But (none)
        One of the first graders I tutor asked me once "Why do people keep saying I am black? I am not black. Just look at me."  

        I asked him what color I was.  He said "You're kind of a very light pink."  

        He asked again "What color do you think I am?"

        I said "Chocolate brown."

        He said "You're right.  I'm not black.  Don't those people know their colors?"

        •  And Your Anecdote (none)
          Is one that every Black child lives some version of in their early youth.  Because of course race assignment is not literal.

          But once race identity kicks in (first grade is a little late, as far as the science goes) the larger cultural messages about what to call it will kick in, and he will likely not have a problem with either label.  

          My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

          by shanikka on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:02:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This Child (none)
            Was a little behind in everything (except the movies--where he could recite entire scenes from The Matrix).  He was a tough case.  I had to really go back to the beginning with him on reading because he had a hard time keeping up with the class.  By the end of the year, he was doing OK, although he read very slowly.  His mother and father were very helpful and responsive.  
  •  Honestly... (4.00)
    whenever I am tempted to imagine what people look like as they are blogging (it isn't that often for some reason), I often find myself assuming that people are female and in my age range (late 20's/early 30's...and this obviously occurs when people don't have a gender specific name). I guess I typically assume that they are white too...unless I know otherwise...but I don't think that's because I'm racist (although I could be wrong)...I think that's because I'm projecting myself onto others...this happens especially when I agree with someone.

    When I find out someone is older...for instance, if I find out someone is an older woman in her 60's...I picture my Grandma...when a woman says she's in her 40's I think of my Mom (she isn't in her 40's anymore, but she looks young)...the same thing goes for men...and even when someone does mention their race, I find myself automatically thinking of someone I know personally (face to face) that is also of that race.

    I'm not a shrink...so I don't know what any of that means...I guess I just always assumed that it was sort of normal to picture/imagine people you already know...and put their faces on people who you dont' know (face to face).

    I'm not sure if that's racist, sexist, ageist or any other ist....but I have thought about it before and I think it is a bit strange....but then again, perhaps it isn't...

    •  thanks for the response (none)
      I'm not a shrink...so I don't know what any of that means...I guess I just always assumed that it was sort of normal to picture/imagine people you already know...and put their faces on people who you dont' know (face to face).

      Good comment.    That's waht I've got goin on but the thing that bothers me is why I even picture without knowing.    Yeah it's normal and natural....but when we're reading people who are not known to us shouldn't our minds be left open?   If not, why?    I'm one who loves the psychological aspect of it.....it's one of my major interests as a non-success (thus far) at getting thru a degree lol.

      George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

      by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:10:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, (none)
        I think it does seem to be only natural to assume that others look like we do. As I said, I find this especially true when I agree with someone...and it is strange...I mean, it's not like I picture people in my mind all the time...I don't do it very often...I certainly couldn't pinpoint why I do it when I do....or more importantly, why I don't do it other times. I think that's the most interesting part for me...I suppose it could be sociological too...it could have something to do with they way you were raised...how diverse your community was as a kid? That's an interesting thought too...
        •  Excellent assumptions... (none)
          It's all so very fascinating to me and always has been.....but somehow this one aspect of (as you said on agreeance....this applies) bloggers I like being projected as the same as me in a roundabout way..... never really entered my mind.

          George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

          by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:21:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I respectfully disagree a little here... (none)
            Assuming that people are "just like you" and projecting it on to others is, in fact, the privilege of being part of a majority group.  If you ask someone who belongs to a minority group is that make that assumption, I believe they might see things a little differently.  I think what is being manifest here is more akin to prejudice than racism (I've posted below about this).  That said, I think it is worth noting that not everyone has the privilege of assuming the majority perspective.  There has been a lot of research material written about the privilege of 'whiteness' in this regard that might be worth looking at if it is of interest to you.

            Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

            by Delilah on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:29:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  typos (none)
              sorry about them; it is late and I am sleepy...

              Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

              by Delilah on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:30:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Can you point me to any online (none)
              links to research along the lines of what you're saying there?

              George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

              by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:33:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not sure about online (4.00)
                ... but there are lots of books (mostly of the academic variety) which deal with deconstructing whiteness. One that immediately comes to mind is Robert Jensen's "The Heart of Whiteness : Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege".  There's also Tim Wise's "White Like Me" which goes hand in hand with the classic by Griffith called 'Black like Me." Another good complementary read is W.E.B. DuBois's "In the Souls of Black Folks."

                Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

                by Delilah on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:43:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Actually...part of my thesis was on this topic (none)
              so I'm familiar...and I definitely acknowledge that it isn't something I like doing. In fact, I'm blonde, so when I imagine people as being similar to me...I go so far as to assume they are blonde as well...I'm getting a bit better about it though. I think the first step is noticing when I do it...I try to notice it so I can sort of ask myself why I do it...I guess I'm basically trying to pinpoint a trigger of some sort. I haven't been successful yet...but I'm definitely working on it. The fact that I wrote my thesis on the privileges of whiteness (in literature, mind you)...I think that opened my eyes quite a bit...
              •  Have you dared (none)
                to post your thesis online yet? :p  

                What is the exact subject and title of it anyway?  From your general description, I'd be quite interested in reading it.

                George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

                by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:46:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  oh god no! (none)
                  I already ashamed of it! This is why I can't go into attempting to publish my academic work...I'm NEVER happy with it 6 months later. It's been 2+ years now...I look back and wonder why they passed me! lol...

                  It was a bit complicated, but I started out looking at female mulatto characters in various time periods of American history. Mulattos who could pass in novels were particularly interesting because they could claim "whiteness" and "blackness" at the same time, but they also couldn't...I ended with Toni Morrison's story, "Recitatif"...in that short story there are two female characters and Morrison gives readers the sense that one is black and one is white, but we never learn which one is which...so your own perceptions and analysis play a great part in how you read the story...a REALLY interesting story btw.

                  It was an interesting thesis topic...but looking back, I feel like I could have/should have written a 20 volume set or something...

                  you'll have to excuse this description, I'm sure it isn't very coherent...I'm sick and totally going to bed...

    •  Good post (4.00)
      But I must say, when I read this sentence:

      I guess I just always assumed that it was sort of normal to picture/imagine people you already know...and put their faces on people who you dont' know (face to face).

      I thought to myself, that's why Jesus is a blue-eyed blonde.  ;-)  

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:25:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed...I remember the 1st time (4.00)
        I saw a black Jesus on a crucifix...I was pretty young and I asked my Dad if there was more than one Jesus...because I thought he was white...at which point my Dad tried to explain that he may very well have been "in between" somewhere...but we couldn't be sure. I'm sure my Dad thought that was a funny conversation...but after that I started picturing Jesus differently...
    •  I usually think of bloggers (4.00)
      as fat, white guys sitting in dark rooms in their underwear, trolling chatrooms for impressionable girls and ebaying for Star Trek memorabilia, until I get information that tells me otherwise.  But I'm old-school like that.

      Bayh-partisan: it's the new joementum

      by gogol999 on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:45:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I knew Gillard was/is black.... (4.00)
    and thanks for this diary.  Because at least I understand better what bothered Steve most, and it was the tacit presumption that by not asking him anything that what he was being accused of was true.  That he did something racist.

    Kaine or his people were wrong to react in this kneejerk, fraidy cat fashion.  They could have taken any stand they wanted on the issue of the removal of the ad if they at least considered taking a stand against shit starters like Sullivan.

    That's the way to do things.  Treat people with respect and do what feels right and stand by it once you decide.  Don't let people lead you around.

    I wish Steve had not reacted the way he did, however justified he feels I think calling Kaine a coward took the issue to where it is now.

    "For the Mardi Gras
    Neo-con domestic shock and awe.."--Rep. Major Owens

    by Cathy on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:02:16 AM PDT

  •  I'm not impressed... (4.00)
    ...with Steve's initial reaction or his follow-up explanation.  After he assures us that he's not 20 (and in his mind, apparently it's okay to treat 20 year-old people like shit, but I digress), and I believe him...because he sounds like a child:

    Campaigns need to contact blogs when there is a problem. My goal was not to give the Kaine campaign problems until they took the side of a racist and didn't care about mine. Support is a two-way street. When you treat your supporters as disposable, they can cause you problems as well.

    They took Steele's side?  What a load of crap.  They pulled an ad from a site that had featured an offensive image.  And "they can cause you problems as well"?  Is it just me or does this not say that he purposefully retaliated against Kaine?  Now I'm not sure what problem Kaine caused Steve, but I sure as hell can see the problems Steve caused Kaine.

    And btw, Steve makes the accusation that the ad was pulled because of Sullivan's post.  All the Kaine campaign said was to pull the ad...it said nothing about Sullivan.  Did it ever occur to Steve that the person tracking ads for the campaign saw the image and that's why it was pulled?  That they didn't need Sullivan to tell them that they didn't want to be associated in any way with something that most people find offensive?

    Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

    by Barbara Morrill on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:22:03 AM PDT

    •  I addressd this but you didn't respond (none)
      All the Kaine campaign said was to pull the ad...it said nothing about Sullivan.  Did it ever occur to Steve that the person tracking ads for the campaign saw the image and that's why it was pulled?  That they didn't need Sullivan to tell them that they didn't want to be associated in any way with something that most people find offensive?

      I addressed this and you did not respond to my assertions.  Your post belongs in Armando's thread unless you're going to respond to what I said.

      Care to address what I said, Barbin?  Not tryin to get assholish...just sayin....I'm lookin for responses to what I said....not to waht Armando said.

      George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

      by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:26:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Assholish, indeed (none)
        You said:

        In that respect I have to agree with Steve in his most recent post on the topic:
         

        That's what I was responding to.  Telling why I disagreed with his follow-up post.  

        So I did care to address what you said...so sorry to clutter your diary.  Geez.  

        Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

        by Barbara Morrill on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:33:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Barbin (none)
          Chill.

          It wasn't an attack on you.  It was intended as quite the opposite.   Without responding yet to what you've actually said....my apologies if you took it as an attack.   I'll look at what I said and waht you said more carefully and see where we differ but my response was not an attack on you as you seem to have taken it.

          George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

          by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:40:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chill yourself (none)
            And yes, please read what you said...and I didn't consider it an attack...just you being really rude.  I responded to something you said.  

            In rereading the thread and seeing who you thank, versus telling them they didn't respond and they're in the wrong diary?  Was this put up only for assurances that you're not really a racist?  Would that have been an acceptable post?

            Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

            by Barbara Morrill on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:50:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um...no...seriously.....CHILL (none)
              I did not say to chill because I found your comments out of bounds....I just took them as a bit more than they were apparently.   I apologize.

              I rated your comment a 4, not because I found you to be offensive or bringing attention or anything you might insinuate from it....but because I thought it brought more issue to the table that should be addressed.

              I stand by what I said.  I'll respond further in the morning.   Take it for waht it's worth.   If you're offended, I apologize.  I'll read through this again in the morning to see if I mispoke.

              George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

              by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 02:00:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Hmmm (4.00)
    ... I don't think you're a racist. I think what you're describing is more akin to prejudice than actual racism.  Beacuse the particular texture of your prejudice assumes certain ethnic characterists, then there may be a racialized element, but I don't think it falls into the category of racism per se.

    Why? Because racism by most definitions would entail both  beliefs and practices that would not only assume key differences between various groups of human beings, but also that those differences could be further differentiated on the basis of superiority of some above the others (i.e. on group is valued more greatly than the other).  Discriminatory practices aimed at furthering the particular advatanges of one group over the other would also be elements of racial discrimination and racism as a practice, both institutionalized and in the individual realms.

    The UN has a very useful descriptor of racism set forth in its 1965 charter on the elemination of racial discrimination.  It suggests that racism would require "distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life."  

    I think if you're not bent on preventing the full human rights and benefits of a particular group from being enjoyed, you are safely not a racist, although your assumptions about whiteness/blackness etc. would suggest a degree of prejudice and stereotyping.

    Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

    by Delilah on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:24:24 AM PDT

  •  One thing... (none)
    ...you should realise is that people tend to assume common ground unless there is something to indicate otherwise.

    If I am communicating with someone whose race and gender is undetermined I will unconciously assume white het male because that is what I am, not becuse I am sexist or racist but because that is the way human minds tend to work.

    Now if you are in communication with someone whose race and gender is undetermined and you unconciously assume some race or gender not your own, then maybe you need to examine for racism/sexism.

    But even there, there are many other factors that weigh in.
    A female might assume that someone described as an astronaut was male simply because of the preponderance of males and paucity of females in that occupation.

    If (going from what you diaried) are a racist then so is everyone else.  Including me.

    Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

    by Truckle on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:36:14 AM PDT

    •  asdf (4.00)
      ... As I noted in another response, the assumption that people are like us or look like us may be expected when you're dealing with the macrocultural context in which the players belong to majority groups.  It is simply not the same for people who grow up as minorities within a majority culture. Instead, the psychological and sociological development may be a bit different for minorities, and encounters with new people (in person or otherwise) may even be marked by a degree of instability or uncertainty because that assumptive world of "shared commonality" is not completely there. Conceptions of identity and identity formation differ from culture to culture, but they also differ across cultural groups within the same country or geographic enclave.

      Bush: Always Wrong and Never in Doubt

      by Delilah on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:53:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That may be (4.00)
        though, as a member of a minority group, I personally assume that a poster on a political blog with a non-descript handle/name is a thirtysomething white male unless there are indications otherwise.  Why?  Mainly perceived demographics.  I'm not privy to blogad market research, but I think it's a fair assumption that the median political blogger is a thirtysomething white guy, with more females being somewhat more active on the left side of the blogosphere.      

        The caveat is that most of the time, I give no thought to the background of the writer whose comment I'm reading.  I suspect most blog junkies feel likewise.    

        •  being able to tell race on the net is a tough (none)
          one because there are also highly assimilated minorities that intellectually and culturally are able to be perceived as white.

          It can be in reverse as well.  I've come across some posts by white people on this site that seem to have grown up in heavily ethnic neighborhoods because you can pick up the street knowledge in their writings.  I recall saying to myself, "right on" after reading their posts.

          so you think I'm a troll? Well kiss my hairy troll ass then

          by MetaProphet on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 03:22:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not just what you are... (none)
      but what is the statistical experiential norm in this country and on blogs.

      I am white non-het male (I am bi), and assume most to be white het-male because most are.

      That doesn't make me a racist and a homophobe.

      If I were on a China centric blog, and lived in China, I would assume CHinese het-male. That's not racism nor homophobia, it is normative numbers and experiential reality to make such assumptions when presented in a blind medium environment like this.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 02:05:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  actually (4.00)
      If I am communicating with someone whose race and gender is undetermined I will unconciously assume white het male because that is what I am, not becuse I am sexist or racist but because that is the way human minds tend to work.

      actually, that is not the way human minds tend to work, although it is the way white het male minds tend to work.  many other people outside the dominant culture do not automatically assume that a person of indeterminate race and gender is of their own race and gender.

      a lack of understanding that members of minority groups or women might perceive the world differently is part of what is being discussed here.  an expectation that the way white het minds operate is the norm for all minds is part of what is being discussed here.

      actually, the way human minds tend to work is that most people will assume a person whose race and gender is undetermined is a member of whatever dominant culture is present, unless that person shows some characteristic that is more associated with a minority culture.

      so articulate bloggers with political influence are assumed to be white het males because it is not yet common to associate blogging or articulate political expression with women and minorities (although of course it happens every day, especially here on dKos).

      as a veteran of way too many "diversity training" groups I know this kind of unconscious privilege thinking is supposed to be labeled as racism.  But I reserve the term racism for situations where some kind of group power or authority is being brought to bear.  Individual actions like these are just prejudices, absorbed from the surrounding culture, mere learned habits--and can be unlearned.

      I'm not calling you or the diarist a racist.  but I have been persuaded over the years that it is a good idea (especially for progressives) to intentionally examine otherwise unconscious assumptions like these from time to time and think about what they reveal about identity and power.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 06:37:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lol... (none)
        Just a personal note first so you don't 'misunderestimate' me again.
        Yes I am a white male.  But I do (emphatically) know what prejudice is like.  I was brought up in a small english village and born just after WWII ended.  My mother was German, father English (and a newcommer to the village).  There were no religious or racial minorities, just little old me.  Not fit to associate with 'English' children.  When I first heard of prejudice against people of various colours my first thought was "That's stupid", my second thought was "Well, at least they have friends".  The very worst part of that situation was that because there was just my (and my mother) and the Germans had terminally bad press at the time, I actually believed it was all justified, right and natural that I should be treated as I was.

        So, mate, do not think that I do not understand it.  I do.  The need to self check I understand.  Unconcious priviledge I understand, unconcious self-degradation I also understand.  Many don't notice the last and it is the most vile.

        With regard to the subject at hand and our differences, I'd like to point out that I said there were other factors, some of which you mention but not all.  I still contend that all other factors being equal, you will imagine 'yourself' on the other end of the communications.

        Classic example.  My Japanese is unaccented.  I spoke to a Japanese person from just outside their view a while back.  They turned around and looked right through me looking for the 'Japanese' they thought had spoken.

        Truckle the Uncivil, Nullus Anxietas Sanguinae

        by Truckle on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 08:38:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If I was a candidate, (none)
    or managed one, I wouldn't have put an ad on Gilliard's site to begin with.  To me it's always been high on anger/point scoring and low on analysis.  His "Kaine is a Coward" post shouldn't have surprised anyone.  He's always gone one-step-further with his rhetoric--it's what he does.  And he's good at it, and more power to him.  I don't want to talk him down.  But I'm not even barely interested in defending him either.  When the Kerry people dissed Kos on their blog, Kos didn't freak out about it.  Steve threw a tantrum, and that just plain sucks.

    I always knew Gilliard was black, so maybe I'm missing something.  But seriously, why is assuming he's white "racist"?  It's a normal human brain process to try and create a mental image out of limited information.  It's how we make sense of the world.  There aren't alot of must-read black bloggers out there yet.  We need more, and when we have more, we'll stop making dumb assumptions.  I used to think Theoria and AnnArbor were women.

    Bayh-partisan: it's the new joementum

    by gogol999 on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:37:43 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for your comment (4.00)
      I take issue with a few things you said but you said it all respectfully.

      I'll respond tomorrow more fully to what I take issue with....

      But....

      I've gotta say, before I hit the pillow, that I'm right there with you on this bit lol.....

      I used to think Theoria and AnnArbor were women.

      Yeah...anotehr fuck up of mine lol.

      George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

      by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:49:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  me (4.00)
    I dunno.  If Kaine pulled the ad in reaction to Sully, I could see it as:

    Wow, that Gilliard guy is a raving racist as Sully says, look at the blackface picture, we gotta get off of there!

    Or, I could see it as,

    Oh, good gravy.  Those blogs are on balance a great thing but this particular catfight is getting out of control and threatening to use up some resources that we really need to have available for other battles that actually have to do with, you know, votes.

    If it were the latter, I don't fault them for pulling the ads.

    I don't know what their real reasons were.

  •  Why are you a racist to assume (4.00)
    Ina blind medium, that a person would be in the statistical majority race in a the country?

    And doesn't this underscore the correct calculus as to why the Kaine campaign rightly pulled their ad?

    And Steve's "well they didn't talk to me first" is egotistical horse-shit. Especially since he says he knows they would pull the ad and with less than 12 days left in the campaign, I am sure they have far more pressing issues, like avoiding the potential smear that Steve's incendiary image would hand Kilgore's team (inaccurate as it might be but still usable by them)...?

    Yeah, the Kaine campaign are "cowards" and "indifferent to racism" because they wouldn't molly-coddle Steve over the ad pull.

    Fuck you Steve.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 01:59:16 AM PDT

  •  Really Enjoyed (none)
    Your Story. By the way, I, the person who is sending this comment, I am a 43 year old white female. Just in case you might be wondering!
  •  now wait just a minute there (none)
    you mean that you're a real person? that all of you are real people? oh fuck. all this time i thought you lived inside my computer screen or something. damn. this is going to get some getting used to.

    ok, wait. that means that each of you has a voice too, huh. i'd always just assumed that all the little text maker thingies in my monitor (that would be ya'll) sounded like bugs bunny. i was somewhat bothered though that they never talked to me but i figured that they -- you -- just didn't want to interrupt my background music & instead typed out messages & stuff. hmmm.

    real people. right here on dkos. damn. who'da thunk it?

    *stumbles off muttering randomly to himself*
    s.

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity --w.b.yeats the second coming

    by synth on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 02:07:58 AM PDT

    •  Point taken (none)
      but you're positing this at someone to the very far left.

      Yes I realize we're all real people and yes I realize at a base level in the mind that we're all a mixture of every walk of life (hopefully and how I think of it blogwise...and why I love the entire concept of the blogosphere).....but .....

      why did I always picture Steve as a middle aged (28-35ish) white guy?  I actually did......and he's one of the top 5 most visited sites on my history.......I love Steve's blog.....I'm gonna have to email him tomorrow and apologize personally because I give him hits....I use his posts.....I learn from him......and I assumed he was white......

      Is it pertinent even?

      I think so....in the big picture....just simply because I assumed he was white ..... I never pictured him in my mind......but his profile was a middle age white guy........WHY?

      That's my concern.....

      George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

      by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 02:17:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  don't be ashamed of nothing. (none)
    I never thought for one second about steve gilliard's race, nor anyone else's on here. but if I did, I'd probably assume they were white. why? because I'm a racist? not quite. because I understand statistical probabilities.

    whities make up the majority of this country's population, unfortunately, while african americans are still in the teens. so, in any given random sampling of who's who, going by name only, chances are 4 out of 5 that the guessee is anglo. recognizing that fact isn't racist (or good, or bad, or indifferent). it simply is what is so, and amounts to acceptance of a reality which none of us created, but all of us have to live in.

  •  the whole issue has about as much to do with (none)
    racism as the iraq war has to do with fighting terrorisim.

    markos, armando, and steve are bloggers and this is an issue that affects their bottom line.  they are using the issue of racism ot protect their bottom line.

    it's as simple as that.

    nice you had an epiphany though.

    "I don't think Feingold and Clinton are really that far apart on Iraq." -- Howard Dean, 10/23/05

    by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 03:27:35 AM PDT

    •  Nice that you commented (none)
      However your'e sadly mistaken on your analogy as you usually are.  

      I wouldnt' say I had an epiphany (although I got sent to the woodshed as one who was ignorant in the way I was thinking)....

      You can kiss my ass though in your inept comparison of principles and finances.   You're a bit outta the realm of reason there, Bimini....what a shocker.  

      Try to reconnect with reality before you post again.

      George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

      by tlh lib on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 03:47:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  nope (none)
        you're wrong.

        racism is not the issue here.  racism is being invoked by bloggers to protect the bottom line of bloggers.

        the same way terrorism would be invoked by the bush admin to protect no bid contracts to halliburton.

        first rule in politics:  follow the money.

        you think this rule won't apply to bloggers???  ha!  enjoy your "real" world of "reason".  i'm SOOOO disconnected from reality.

        "I don't think Feingold and Clinton are really that far apart on Iraq." -- Howard Dean, 10/23/05

        by BiminiCat on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 04:24:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You missed the point so badly (none)
          that I'm amazed it's connected to your name BiminiCat...

          Well not really...wouldnt expect anything other from you at this point.   You're nothing more than a troll in my eyes and had you addressed what I'd ACTUALLY said in the diary we'd have another game cookin.   As usual....you don't.

          My diary was about me assuming Steve was white.

          Where exactly did you your poor mind lead you to miss that point, you fool?   The first commenter got it quite explictly accurate.

          You otoh missed it as always.    Keep up the record.  Wouldnt' want you to veer off track with your bullshit.

          George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

          by tlh lib on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 10:29:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Steve is a (none)
    self hating black, or at least one who won't tolerate anything but lockstep conformity to his preconcieved "blackness" positions and group think.

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