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Even after two solid years of blogging and activism, I find myself reminded from time to time that, as a white man, I will forever deal with racism and discrimination in the abstract. I can't deny my gratitude for this; to do so would negate precisely why I have the energy and the empathy to function as an ally. But it's easy to get personally attached to the struggle of others sometimes, and in doing so forget that if privilege and its manifold intersections are not properly acknowledged, the results can be costly. Thankfully, my social media feeds are populated with enough blockheads to guaranteed that I'll never forget this fact for too long.

The most recent example concerns a conversation I had with a couple of my Facebook followers, concerning a meme contrasting NFL cornerback Richard Sherman against Justin Beiber, Canada's Great White Dope. As you may have heard, Sherman's a bit of a peacock, and Beiber just pulled a Lohan for the first time a couple of weeks ago. While the meme itself is rather clumsily executed, the message is clear: you're only allowed to be angry in this country if you're white, especially if you're in the public eye.

Now, let me make myself perfectly clear: I could care less about either of these two. They're a couple of buffoons as far as I'm concerned, and the amount of attention they've received is far more than either of them deserve. But after this happened (like it always does), there really wasn't any other option than for some people to start setting other people on fire. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

As you can probably imagine, these are some of the kinder responses to Sherman's antics; they, among others, are obviously what prompted this meme to be created, and prompted me to share it on my  Facebook feed. And that's when the fun began.

My favorite people to engage in conversations about race with (and by favorite, I mean least favorite) are the centrists. Ideologies surrounding race and class tend to fall along fairly partisan lines, but there's still a broad spectrum of (mostly white) people for whom the former is still a mystery, and who believe that the answers lie in seeking some sort of equivalence between the ways that blacks and whites are critiqued by society. They're like the CNN of racism, and seriously, their “both sides do it” mentality is hurting America.

The essence of their critique is as follows:

"Of course Sherman doesn't deserve to be called the 'N' word, but Jesus, just look at how black he's acting! What else was he expecting, and why the hell should I feel sorry for him? He brought it on himself! Besides, Beiber gets made fun of for being a stupid white kid all the time, and nobody says anything about that!”
There is SO much wrong with the entire argument that it's hard to know where to begin, but the rebuttal basically comes down to following: yes, there is indeed a fine line between blame and responsibility, but assigning any sort of blame to Sherman's actions for white people calling him racial slurs, no matter how well-intended or non-racist you think that might be, doesn't make sense unless you believe on some level that he deserves to be called those things. What I mean to say is: lending cover to racists contributes to racism as an institution. It's not really any different than when, say, society blames women for their own assaults. Both are implicitly tied to stereotypes rooted in genetics - skin color and gender, respectively - and both are inexcusable, regardless of circumstance.

The meme highlights the usage of the word 'thug' to describe Sherman, a fairly ambiguous pejorative which the centrists have anchored upon as proof that both sides can be equally insulting to one another. Equally as pervasive as this argument is the principle of coded language, which allows words to take on a variety of contexts depending on whom they're applied to. You guessed it: the word 'thug' falls squarely into this category, functioning to add insult to injury, and doing it well. Want to know more about coded language? Just ask Lee Atwater, former political strategist for Reagan and George H.W. Bush:

"You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "n***" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like 'forced busing,' 'states' rights,' and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes...obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "nigger, nigger."
Lee Atwater, folks. Seriously. (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons)
From the mouths of babes, am I right? I couldn't have said it more racist if I tried, and I really don't want to try. Atwater's description of Nixon's “Southern Strategy” encapsulates an ugly truth about the way racism has been legitimized through the use of coded language. By allowing white people to draw false comparisons between the way blacks and whites are respectively judged, we completely erase the reality of how black people are perceived and/or treated in this country by whites when they act or speak in anger or frustration. Fifty years later, it's become a reflex of white privilege among well-meaning centrists, one of the more egregious ones due to the fact that it's almost never meant to offend, but almost always does.

I feel like I shouldn't have to tell you at this point that this whole incident wouldn't have happened if Sherman were white. It seems redundant. Rather, what I would ask you to consider, if even for a moment, is the names Beiber might be called if he wasn't white. If you need a hint, just replace “Sherman” with “Beiber” in the aforementioned tweets, and you'll start to get an idea.

It's times like this when I get a glimpse of why black people get so angry at white folks sometimes. For most of us, it's not that we don't mean well, it's just that the conditioning of white privilege runs so deep that it's made most of us fairly obtuse when it comes to the politics of race. We're afforded a dearth of ignorance that allows us to indulge in a carefully constructed, Rube Goldberg-esque illusion of superiority that we nearly always take for granted, meanwhile failing to realize that interracial squabbles allow for those in power to fleece the lot of us right into the poorhouse. Take it from LBJ: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

There certainly isn't anything coded about that, is there?

Originally posted to Randle Aubrey on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 09:28 AM PST.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bieber gets pretty much treated (22+ / 0-)

    as the individual idiot that he is. An interesting experiment would be to post a claim that Justin demonstrates the innate tendency of white males to behave irresponsibly. That would likely set off the howls.  

    •  A perfect example (18+ / 0-)

      Would be today's questions at media day for the Super Bowl.  What was Sherman asked about?  Well, a reporter went on a diatribe about how athletes are always heard of going to strip clubs and making it rain (throwing bills up over the dancing ladies).  So doesn't Sherman think that is wrong to objectify women and what should athletes be doing to make women feel better about themselves and what they can do (I'm paraphrasing).  

      Now seriously, why the hell is Sherman being asked this question?  For the record, Sherman answered that he'd never done that in his life and kindly and eloquently answered the question.  But this was clearly, to me (a Black man), as dog whistle as you could imagine.  Young Black male, athlete ....... well, he must be out there like all the rest of em, treating women like crap in a strip club (meanwhile Bieber is actually IN the strip club reportedly doing exactly these things).  It's just ridiculous that Black folk are asked to answer for the actions of others Black folk, like we are the damn Borg or something.
       

      •  Sherman answered very well - like a person who (0+ / 0-)

        understands empowerment and promptly applied that to young women.  Help them see that they have other paths open to them, they don't have to be in that strip club because they can be anything they want to be.  And that's the same thing he wants kids in the inner city to know.

        You're right, of course, that black people are often expected to answer for all black people, and it's way out of line.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 06:18:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  True... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fiona West

      ....but that's not really the point, now is it?

      I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

      by Randle Aubrey on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:22:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a very important point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      politicalceci

      If a person of color misbehaves then, "all black people (fill in negative behavior here) they're a bunch of savages".

      We will know that racism is dead when a black person can behave badly and:

      A - Black people don't cringe inside because we know that other folks will start thinking we all do this.

      and

      B - When a black person can behave badly and everyone says "Oh that Bob, he's an idiot".  Zero racial overtones.

      and

      C - We elect an absolutely mediocre black person to the White House.  Kwame Bush?

       

      •  Sorry for the mixup, EastcoastChick... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EastcoastChick

        ....my comment was actually directed at Mr. Lyon, regarding Beiber being treated "as the individual idiot that he is." I actually agree with you completely, as well as with onefin waseesq. But to Mr. Lyon's point, you're right about Bieber in that respect: he is treated like an 'idiot,' rather than a 'menace to society,' as people of color are branded when they DO THE EXACT SAME SHIT BIEBER DOES.

        Also, there is no "the innate tendency of white males to behave irresponsibly" any more than there is of black or brown males, or anyone else for that matter. So that's a dead end, too. Try again plz

        I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

        by Randle Aubrey on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 08:06:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I keep asking (0+ / 0-)

      When are White Community Leaders going to condemn this bad behavior?  It's as if they condone it.  It makes me very very concerned as a parent.  

      Nobody ever answers.  *sigh*

      "Take the only tree that's left, stuff it up the hole in your culture." --Leonard Cohen

      by marknspokane on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:38:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Called himself the best at what he does (0+ / 0-)

    professionally". OK, that's one way to describe it.

  •  Manhood envy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    watercarrier4diogenes, a2nite

    @youngcon @timmigs, and @BMWyco formed a rap group titled, "2SHORT"

  •  Richard Sherman (34+ / 0-)

    is not a buffoon... and it is an insult to even compare him to Justin Bieber.

    Call me when Bieber graduates from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA.

    Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

    by awesumtenor on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 10:43:35 AM PST

    •  Sherman's current take on his own actions (13+ / 0-)

      and the responses to them is here:

      http://mmqb.si.com/...

      This is not either the thinking or the perspective of a buffoon.

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 12:59:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Sherman's thoughts in this article (11+ / 0-)

        shows a lot more about Sherman -- than people that just rattle "stuff" off without knowing anything about him.

        Go Sherman -- Go Seahawks...

        "Proud to proclaim: I am a Bleeding Heart Liberal"

        by sara seattle on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 01:56:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seattle knows Sherman best (12+ / 0-)

          perhaps with the exception of Compton and Palo Alto (Stanford). Sherman is physically and intellectually gifted and he helps kids who need some help and hope. Helping kids makes him pretty special in my book.  I guess we'll see if his self-confidence continues to be warranted. He's already proven himself as a DB, and as Sherman says, "It ain't braggin' if you can do it."

          Did you ver notice how har it is totype accurately on an iPad?

          by RudiB on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 08:05:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The whole thing with Sherman.. (11+ / 0-)

            Frankly was ridiculous from the get go. The guy just made the biggest play of his career, shutting down a player on his team's arch-rival, was totally amped up, and got a microphone shoved in his face before he could even blink or process what just went down.  And let's also factor in that said rival player  was previously responsible for some major dick moves towards Sherman in response to an offered hand shake on an earlier occasion. Comparing him to Bieber is ridiculous. Sherman made one somewhat questionable comment and came off over the top.  Bieber has spent the last two years being a grade-A dbag. Sheesh!

            •  Yes it was ridiculous (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LSophia

              When I first saw it, I said to myself "dude...no need to call the guy out by name, but you just SCORED MY TEAM A TRIP TO THE SUPERBOWL!!!" and that's the last I thought of it until all the racist shit splattered all over the internet and television.

              And yes, nobody has any business comparing little bratty Justin to Richard Sherman.  If there was ever an "apples to oranges" equivalence fail, this is it right here.

              But we should back it down on Justin a bit.  Children who are raised being told yes to anything they want are prone to thinking they are above the rules.  That's not a new thing, and it's not entirely his fault.  We all like to think we'd be better behaved in that situation, but we've all lived with some level of discipline and had to follow rules whether we liked them or not.

              "Take the only tree that's left, stuff it up the hole in your culture." --Leonard Cohen

              by marknspokane on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:46:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  This sums up the diarist's point really well. (7+ / 0-)

              Here's a black athlete with no record of bad behavior,  the history of having come up from poverty and a tough neighborhood, never in trouble or arrested, did very well in high school and then at an excellent university, gives back to the community and kids at risk, doesn't race around residential neighborhoods in fancy cars while high -- the guy doesn't eve CUSS -- but he brags and mouths off in the hyper-excited atmosphere of a very big game,  and all of a sudden he's a thug.  Which in white-about-black parlance means scary black man and probable violent criminal.  That's how rightwingers continually justified the shooting of Trayvon Martin -- they called him a thug.

              Here's the white privilege thing.  Even among many whites who would NEVER call Sherman the N word -- or want to --
              Sherman's many, substantive, crucial-to-his-life positives will have a hard time outweighing the fact that yeah, he mouthed off to an offensive degree, for about two minutes.

              But Justin Bieber will still be looked upon as a rather endearing youngster in need of some steadying and maturing. His talent and popularity, his silly haircut and innocent look, will be enough to keep minds open to him, outweighing behavior that might have gotten him or an innocent bystander killed.

              There's an "Innocent until proven vile" clause for young white celebrities.  There's an "oh, too bad, looks like  a bad apple" provision applied way too easily to young black celebrities.  Or non-celebrities.

              It's a pattern white people need to be aware of, because it's easy to slide into, especially with the help of our not-so-enlightened media.

              --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

              by Fiona West on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:54:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  watch his interview with Chris Hayes (20+ / 0-)

      Sherman is a very intelligent individual, and I think that he is using his time in the spotlight incredibly well.  Light up the dark.

    •  I Call BS! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm choosing to comment here, rather than as a singular comment downthread, because of the diarists use of the word "buffoon" to describe him, which I find to be shallow, and which shows a serious lack of understanding of black culture.

      Brothers and sisters (of any color), correct me where or if I go astray on this, but here is what I saw from the moment of the post-game interview through the bullsh*t that arose afterwards.

      First, it was clear that Sherman and Crabtree had history and beef, prior to the game in question here. Listen up, folks!

      Richard Sherman acted as if he felt he had been disrespected by Michael Crabtree. A quick glance and one of the video clips showing Sherman and Crabtree after the (great!) play that Sherman made in tipping the ball away in the end zone, shows Michael Crabtree pushing Sherman away after Sherman gave Crabtree a conciliatory pat. Not that I can totally blame Crabtree, as Sherman had just made a play that kept the 49ers from going to the Super Bowl.

      Richard Sherman, no doubt very pumped and adrenalized from having just made an All Pro play and getting his team to the big dance, was, IMO, just playing the dozens, and he had just backed his claims up with action! This is where, IMO, the diarist shows a lack of an in-depth understanding of black culture.

      So, what's the big deal?!! Mr. Sherman was just being black, and if that gets some white folks in a twist, I say they deserve their own misery.

      Now maybe the diarist does not follow or even like pro football, and thus considers it a sport entirely played and coached by buffoons, black and white, so there is that, but, if not, then, as I said, the diarist doesn't get all of black culture or is uncomfortable with the more assertive parts of it. That's this white guys take on all this.

      I'd be very happy to sit down with Mr. Sherman and have a beer (if he even drinks), or just kick it. He has always struck me as a decent fellow and I respect the fact that he actually was motivated to graduate from Stanford, no easy task! (I follow the Seahawks; living near Portland, OR they are considered to be our regions "home" team so all of their games are on our local broadcasts each week, so I've caught Richard Sherman in several interviews pre- or post-game.)

      a) One action does not define anyone, so that is what I find upsetting about all this BS thrown at Richard Sherman.

      b) If there were more live microphones directed at players on the field during the games, then what Richard Sherman said post-game wouldn't even raise an eyebrow.

      c) Sadly, white racism lives on, disguised in calling Richard Sherman a 'thug,' or wanting all NFL players to act 'sportsmanlike' in public, as defined by white sports writers and even apparently white editorial boards.

      I call BS!!! Check the song "Hey Man" by Bo Diddley if you think that this is something new.

      You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

      by paz3 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:19:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sherman has a pattern of asshole behavior (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mister T

        He got punched in the face by a Washington Redskins player after he mouthed off to him after the Seahawks beat them in the playoffs.

        He yelled "You mad bro?" at Tom Brady after the Seahawks beat the Patriots last year.

        He patted Jim Harbaugh on the ass and then ran off before Harbaugh could respond after another Seahawks victory, then whined that Harbaugh "disrespected" him.

        His enemies list is long and will only get longer unless he mellows out.

        I understand there are basic unfair perceptions re: black v. white celebrities.  But that doesn't mean Sherman doesn't deserve to be called the total asshole that he is.  If people are calling him a thug because he's also a classless asshole, that's unfortunate... as unfortunate as it is when people still call Colin Kaepernick a thug for having tattoos.

        But no one talks about Kaepernick's treatment because he never complains about it openly, whereas all Sherman does is whine.

      •  yes sportsmanship is so "white" (0+ / 0-)

        jeez.

      •  I call shenanigans! (0+ / 0-)

        Gonna go ahead and take this one by the numbers:

        1.) I called Sherman a buffoon because - wait for it - he acts like a buffoon. Doesn't mean he ain't a smart guy; I've read/seen plenty of stuff by him/about him to know better that think that. But I've met plenty of really smart dudes in my day who were total buffoons, and he'd fit right in with all of 'em. Hell, I have and still do, from time to time. I'm also not judging this on the basis of one action, either. He's got a history of buffoonery that runs deep, and goin' ham on-screen at some dude after an awesome play is probably the least buffoonish thing he's done as of late. Just the most public.

        2.) "Playing the dozens" is nothing new, and (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here) certainly isn't the specific province of black people, although I'd argue that they've elevated it to an art form. It's also nothing new to professional sports entertainment, either: professional wrestling, for example, wouldn't be nearly as entertaining if it weren't for the fact that the wrestlers threw mad amounts of shade at one another on a regular basis. From what I understand, the NFL used to allow a great deal more latitude with this sort of behavior in years past, but elected to tamp down upon it in order to gain a wider market share. I don't know enough about the subject to confirm whether that decision was at all racially motivated, although it wouldn't surprise me in the least to hear that it was.

        3.) In regards to your post-flame olive branch, no: I don't follow football. I don't like football. I never even knew who the hell Richard Sherman was before all this racist shit went down, and outside of that, I could give two shits about the guy. I get that this kind of peacockery goes on often in football, which is precisely why I don't like it. I've seen more than enough players in more than enough shades pull this kind of nonsense both on and off the field to permanently leave a bad taste in my mouth about the whole sport.

        I also don't like white dudes who try and tell other white dudes they "lack of an in-depth understanding of black culture." Are you trying to tell me that you speak on behalf of black people with that statement? That all the black folks got together and decided to make some white dude their emissary? Would that make you the African White Space Christ?

        I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

        by Randle Aubrey on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:17:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Neither is Colin Kaepernick (0+ / 0-)

      but he has been called a thug since 2012 for having tattoos and for dressing the wrong way.  Strangely, the outcry has not been nearly as great.  Or should I say, there has been no outcry at all.  In fact, Seahawks fans and their media abettors were only too happy to call Kaepernick a thug compared to "Could be a Huxtable" Wilson.

  •  One could add to that meme (15+ / 0-)

    by pointing out that Sherman is an American citizen, while Bieber is a foreign national.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 11:04:17 AM PST

  •  Bieber, Canada's Great White Dope. (8+ / 0-)

    Love it.

  •  Sherman isn't a buffoon. (13+ / 0-)

    and not so sure Bieber is stupid, but he may be a buffoon... for all we know thid is just some staged outrage to um evolve Bieber's image with his age and audience... truly depraved and empty. but hey, it's entertainment, right?

    Sherman, on the other hand, is an interesting man and his moment was fascinating... he was real. Big, black, owning it. I thought is was great and wondered how others did not see the dignity and authority of this man... certainly, those offended by his display of power betrayed their own lack of (inner) strength.

    just when I thought sports was nothing more than a killer of souls, I meet Mr. Sherman.

    btw, i'm a white woman who no longer watches sports. i hate the "white privilege" narrative and find it a lazy way to try to talk about the divide in our country. in fact, we don't want to have a real conversation about race... on the left it is a sacred cow and on the extreme right, well it is used as a tool and one we've aided and abetted by not being able to address the real problems of poverty, marginalization, and the criminal policies of our elected officials affecting our children who grow up without the interior tools needed to navigate the world.

    but then, most of us middle classers watched as we allowed the world to be set on fire, from Vietnam to Iraq. we didn't bother to understand the impact of oil, the killing policies in South America and the bite back of drugs and so many things.

    it's time to act. to come together and figure out how we are going to move forward in this world on fire. and to tell you the truth, I'd like a guy like Sherman on my side.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 02:17:34 PM PST

    •  well, (8+ / 0-)

      you can hate the "white privilege narrative" all you want, but I'm afraid that doesn't remove the behavior from our culture. White privilege is a part of the way American (and other) cultures work.
      Hate it or not, you're benefitting from it and should acknowledge that.

      •  agree-I think WP is an incredibly useful (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Randle Aubrey, pfiore8, Tonedevil

        concept in talking about race and to help white people understand what Brown and especially Black people experience in our culture. Some white people hate it because they hear the word "privilege" and since they have struggles in their life currently or are proud of overcoming struggles they think "I am/was certainly Not privileged!"They balk at that word, it seems to get hackles up. I have encountered this again and again when I explain white privilege to other white people. It seems hard for some to accept that the word "privilege" in the term "white privilege" is relative to Not-white people, not absolute or in general.

        I admit sailing through life not even encountering the concept until about five years ago. It was a revelation, and now I see my white privilege everywhere. It is astounding that an otherwise decent education (I have a BS degree but it's 25 years old). did not acquaint me with the concept.

        •  WP may be useful, but (5+ / 0-)

          It shields people from the reality of racism/white supremacy in our media, schools, work place and justice system.  Sherman is not a thug because of his actions, but because of his race and appearance. It's not fair, but it's the American way and our failure to call it what it is and to fight it is dooming our younger and unborn generations to creeping fascism.

          There is a two tiered system in most walks of American life. Some of it is class, but most of it is race based and we're so scared to verbalize it as racism/white supremacy that we speak in more polite PC terms such as White Privilege, as if we're promoting American Express (where membership has privileges) and not a systematic reduction of our poor to inputs and profit centers for the prison industrial complex.

          When Private Prisons and private probation are a growth industries as they are here in Georgia, White Privilege doesn't go far enough in describing the School to prison pipeline that swallows up our youth and profits off their life essence. A kid walking down the street represents zero economic impact on a local government. However, locking him up creates an input that returns revenue to the governmental entity that locks him up.

           County governments are paid a daily fee from state and federal coffers for "housing" their captives. Careers in criminal Justice have to be sustained by the creation and maintenance of a criminal class. That is done through legislation that makes drinking a beer in your front yard, sagging pants, allowing your insurance to expire, and a host of non violent, non malevolent everyday activities into crimes punishable by fees, fines, community service and/or jail time, any of which returns money to the arresting entity either directly from the arrestee or from the state.

          If a bright rich, articulate brother with a stellar college career  can be labeled a thug because of a 30 minute interview in which he made no threats or even used profanity, then how do you think the ordinary black man is perceived by the mainstream media (and yes Fox is mainstream)?

          "It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen."

          by easmachine on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 08:03:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This (5+ / 0-)
            If a bright rich, articulate brother with a stellar college career  can be labeled a thug because of a 30 minute interview in which he made no threats or even used profanity, then how do you think the ordinary black man is perceived by the mainstream media (and yes Fox is mainstream)?
          •  exactly. (0+ / 0-)
            Sherman is not a thug because of his actions, but because of his race and appearance.
            when I saw it, I said: good for you man. take the stage, make a statement. be present ... be. insist. yes.

            as to "supremacy" and "privilege" memes, i think it's time to re examine how we think of these things. we assign some kind of ethical or moral values here and, if i'm correct, this is exactly where we get stuck in moving forward to a sane, sound community of earthlings.

            there are engineering... biological... natural reasons why we human animals exert and exhibit such behaviors. we need evolutionary thinking here... because, simply put, we have created systems and societies that we are unable to manage because we are mired in OLD thinking, old evolutionary patterns.

            we have to formulate ways to impart ideas, challenge thinking, and stimulate thinking in order to evolve to the next point: living together in a more natural and easy communion. we must consciously evolve... a thought evolution, if you will.

            we should stop fiddling with the particulars; ie, the Jews and the Holocaust or Americans descended from slaves, and start examining the whole thing (all those murdered and enslaved everywhere) and build a strategy to improve our systematic thinking and the way in which we build society.

            and by improve i mean social and economic justice. and stop the murder and greedy exploitation of us all around the globe (including bees, polar bears, et al).

             

            “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

            by pfiore8 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:08:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  White privilege needs to be part of the national (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            discussion.

            My take on white privilege is that it helps explain why systemic and personal racism exists.  Therefore, it should added into the tools to dismantle the intricate system of racial injustice and inequality.

            White privilege is also the 500 pound elephant in the room.

            Quietly, it does great damage because of the willful ignorance and ridicule that the concept gets because it doesn't reflect the "Bull Connor" type of racism. It is subtle enough in terms of denial and complicit condoning.

            That's why white privilege can serve as a checklist to dismantle racism and racist acts.  It shouldn't be so subtle.  Instead, it should be redefined as "not so polite", simply because it isn't.  It is pervasive and rather dangerous at times (especially in the areas of medicine where one race can be empathized with more than another).

            Yes, it is true that people need to "see" the damage that racism has done to wake them up.  But, I must also add that it is the rabid silence that is destroying our society.  As mentioned above, when people let white privilege blind them from seeing the more corrosive aspects of racism they give their consent to racial injustice.

            "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

            by politicalceci on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:15:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it isn't WHITE, but whoever or whatever (0+ / 0-)

              group happens to be in charge.

              certainly, it can be systemic but it is not isolated to "whites" and therefore the problem with the assertion. it is the greedy and unthinking wielding of privilege upon which we must focus. and it happens all over and among most (if not all) races... in USA, Europe, Africa et al... it just isn't as simple as  white thing ... at all. it is an old outdated human thing.

              however, here's the bigger elephant in the room: does anyone honestly think that a parent, white or black, would give up any advantage their children have? there are fundamental questions to ask and rethink and some of these kinds of things are at the root of it. it might help us to unravel it by thinking of it as primal and primitive approach.

              thus, if it's nature, it is a nature we must change if we are to survive outside of war... which has been waged now for 1000s of years almost unabated.

              we need to go back to basics and form alliances because all children, in the larger sense, belong to all of us and we are all of us responsible... to all of those children... for the way we use resources and share them and how we treat each other.

              Dr. King hit the nail on the head: it is about content of our character, individually and collectively. when we get there, if we survive this mess we've made, it won't be perfect (thank god) but we will have fairness and equality.

              although i'm sure that when race goes out the window, we'll start judging people based on their feet or some other thing. /snark.

              “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

              by pfiore8 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 01:18:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But this is a discussion about race. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil

                More frankly, this is a discussion of racism committed by the dominant culture which happens to be influenced by white people.  That's why discussion of white privilege is rather dire and important.

                Up to this day, white privilege and supremacy has dominated American society enough to infiltrate all the nation's institutions pervasively.  It affects all actions in this country when it has to do with race, racism, and society.  

                Systemically, it cannot be escaped.  But it can be dismantled through making concrete action that ensures equality.

                Although it is correct to say that privilege is about power and those who dominate it, in this case it is about the perceptions of white people, their attitudes and the corrosive effects of such perceptions.

                That is why, the "everybody does it" defense does not get a pass in this situation.

                "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

                by politicalceci on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 02:13:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  sorry, but i don't agree. (0+ / 0-)

                  it isn't about excusing behavior, so there is no need for a "pass" and that this behavior is prevalent regardless of race is absolutely relevant.

                  as i've asked before, if America was a predominantly black culture and whites were the minority, would black privilege exist? would whites be marginalized? my guess: absolutely.

                  so i think we need to look at situational behaviors, old modes of thinking and resource hoarding/owning/protecting et al. if we make it about "white" privilege, then we miss it entirely. and we still have to answer this:

                  do you think white/black parents would give up any advantages their kids have? even if those are privileges of race? how do we address it at this level... at the level of being hired for jobs.

                  let's be honest... the operative thing about exerting privilege (in a middle class way) is simply to make sure your kids get the best advantage. or you get the best job to take care of your kids.

                  so tell me, how do we dismantle it without threatening some very fundamental things? or how do we retool what is fundamental? in other words, evolve.

                  “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

                  by pfiore8 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 02:27:02 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We will have to disagree then. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Tonedevil

                    When speaking generally about society, it would be fair to say that any dominant group would dictate how they would mete out the rules.

                    However, America (even though we have a Black President) is not Black dominated.  It isn't even American Indian dominated.  It is not woman dominated. It is white dominated.

                    As of this reality we are in, white perceptions still dominate how people are treated in America systemically and personally. Therefore, white privilege exists historically, politically and societally. It continues to hurt and divide in its wake generationally since the beginning of this country.

                    To people of color in American society, white privilege and supremacy is consequently a problem that needs to be tackled because they receive the negative end of such benefits--right up to the POTUS.  

                    Even today, Mr. Obama was accused of plagiarizing from George W. Bush. Mr. Bush, in his administration, was never accused of plagarization despite his speaking skills. Would any of the other 43 POTUS's be accused of such a thing? It is all about racial power and perception.

                    The treatment of Sherman is not any different.

                    That is why we as an American society must focus on the pertinent issue of white privilege and not divert the topic with anything else.

                    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

                    by politicalceci on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 03:29:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  good luck. (0+ / 0-)

                      the posturing of the "them" against "us" is exactly why we haven't solved it. oh my god: white privilege. we must stamp it out.

                      i mean. come on. we (most of us on the planet) allow the worse of us... the most murderous and cold sub species of human (regardless of race) ... and we've seen them run over who ever will allow it. what makes you think that anything in this thread or any post here has any groundbreaking ideas how to evolve us forward?

                      i think you're looking at the wrong angles. it is behavior that made sense 1000s of years ago. shaking a finger and telling people: you can't be like that is just plain a waste of time.

                      i don't understand how to solve this problem with dis incentives and pejorative terms... it sets one up to lose the game before it even begins.

                      imo.

                      “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

                      by pfiore8 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 04:27:08 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Tonedevil, Sweet Spot

                        As woman of color, I will certainly need it.  

                        While there are folks who have the luxury to think that white privilege is pejorative, there are people of color who have to live and suffer under the brunt of this system every day.  

                        For a person of color, there is no theorizing about how another "dominant system" would be to explain away white privilege. You can't even turn on a TV without hearing from the white perspective.  You can't even buy pantyhose in your skin color ("nude" is always based on white skin). Even the POTUS and the FLOTUS experiences this form of disrespect despite their stature.  

                        It goes beyond being an "us vs. them" problem.

                         It is a problem that creates societal and political disparities at every level of society simply because of the power behind a negative attitude.

                        The catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina is an example of this.

                        The answer, as you profess, is not easy.  However, we've got to call white privilege as it is and describe exactly what it does because it is deeply ingrained in our society. There is no other way around it. Lay the cards on the table and start restructuring a system of fairness.

                        If there is a first step to the solution, it would be for white people to listen, not deny the experiences of a person of color and don't use false equivalencies.

                        "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

                        by politicalceci on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 05:22:13 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  they're not listening (0+ / 0-)

                          to "white privilege."

                          the majority of Americans...  many who immigrated here in the 19th & 20th century... never owned slaves and, limited as we all are by our own experience, had hard hard lives.

                          the stories the new Americans told their kids were about how they did this and that and never even graduated high school. they talked about how hard it was for an Italian American or Irish or Polish et al... to get a job, break into the culture.

                          the difference is, of course, that Americans held as slaves were prohibited from speaking their native languages or naming their children family names. and then there was the theft of their humanity... the objectification that made it easy for the slave owner to justify their vile behavior.

                          i'm pretty sure, if we could search it out, most of our problems stem from those early Americans and their inability to understand justice. i would not be surprised if many of those now in charge have their roots in the southern slavery system. really, i wouldn't.

                          be that as it may, i still would like to know how you think you can dismantle this behavior. as i said i haven't heard one thing from you or any of the posters here or anywhere have a strategy ...

                          because it isn't fighting against white privilege. it is doing what Sherman did: fuck everybody, man. I AM. Deal with it.

                          you don't need my permission to be. you don't need to disable white privilege. chances are, it's a waste of time. you need to simply make it irrevelant.

                          it's the sig line, dear sister...

                          “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

                          by pfiore8 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 06:01:44 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't disagree with what you are saying. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Tonedevil, pfiore8, Sweet Spot

                            However, I just differ in not leaving the issue of white privilege behind.  I believe attacking it should be a part of the solution.

                             And if there are people who claim that privilege does not exist, then we've got to make them understand. The more people who understand how privilege works, the more it can be dismantled. How? I've marched, taught, and spoke at town hall meetings, for one.

                            All I know is that it takes more than this much needed discussion. And if attacking racism in such an upfront style is your solution, go for it.  Racism needs to be attacked from many angles.  

                            "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

                            by politicalceci on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 06:58:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  On White Privilege (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            politicalceci, pfiore8

                            What irritantes me about the way white privilege is spoken about is that it is often brought up by white people who just learned about it yesterday and are now going around to everyone and saying "hey! white privilege!"  It's like, dude, congrats, A+, but I'm on it.   While I agree that I should reflect on this privilege, and I do, it does leave a person with a certain sense of impotence.  One person cannot change a whole complex system like WP, only concrete actions by collectives can.  Individuals are a good start, but only that.  Personally, I think that a discussion about capitalism must occupy the same space as the discussion about white privilege or male privilege, or any other.  There is a fundamental tension in trying to address racial or gender privilege within a capitalist system as raw as ours.  The basis of capitalism is that those who have advantages seek to press them, cash in, and reproduce them.  Getting individuals to forgo these advantages within this system can make some difference when it comes to "everyday racism" like the Sherman "thug" issue, but the larger structures need to be addressed on a broad front to really effect change I think.

                          •  I've said it before, I'll say it again... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            politicalceci

                            ...attempting to broaden the conversation towards things like, "well, if we're gonna talk about YOUR problem (white privilege), then we need to talk about MY problem (capitalism), too!" actually narrows the conversation considerably, by making light of specific racial oppressions in a specific supremacy constructs. This is usually done by/in favor of the oppressor, meaning that...

                            ...wait for it....

                            ...it contributes to racism as an institution.

                            So don't do it.

                            #whiteprivilegereflex

                            P.S. If you're feeling impotent about being privilege checked too much, perhaps it's because you're need to reexamine your own behavior. Just a thought. ;)

                            I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

                            by Randle Aubrey on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:32:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You, my dear... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            politicalceci

                            ...are my new favorite person on the Internet. <3

                            I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

                            by Randle Aubrey on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:38:48 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Thank you for your kind words. :) (0+ / 0-)

                            I appreciate your wonderful diary being a place for frank discussion about this issue. There was a lot of fantastic things to learn here from yourself and other folks.  

                            I am grateful that your diary opens a door for people to understand one another.  Doing such things, makes our society a more open and just one.

                            Take care.

                            "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

                            by politicalceci on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 12:28:21 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  you're missing the point here (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    politicalceci

                    The fact is, we DO have to dismantle some fundamental aspects of our society.

                    Although hot everything falls into the "limited slice of the pie" analysis, there are some things that will have to be given up by the ruling classes so that the rest of us can have a fair shot at success in life.
                    White privilege is one of those things. And the behavior can't be modified without being recognized.

                    •  i think you've missed my point: (0+ / 0-)

                      exertion of privilege isn't limited to "whites".

                      it is a behavior that transcends race or ethnic lines. it's the behavior and those destroying our world that need to be made outdated. and that goes for Chinese, Japanese, the Africans, South Americans... there are many players in this game and if you think (like the Europeans do) that this is a one trick pony; ie. in America, you are sorely mistaken.

                      yeah. this is very much like focusing on women's rights or gay rights instead of formulating the rights of citizens. period. gay? woman? doesn't matter: if you are a citizen of this country, then this is what you're entitled to.

                      but we fragment the issues and miss where we need to apply movement politics and totally screw up when we need to exert local politics (police/eminent domain/voiding federal laws that negatively impact on citizens in states/localities).

                      white privilege, as the whole wasteful "speak truth to power" meme, needs to go. the people in power DON'T CARE about the truth or your problems due to their privilege.

                      in fact, a massive portion of white middle class america is sinking... and you still want to talk about WHITE privilege???? maybe these tired memes need to be replaced with ideas and strategies that bring us together and impart the value of stability across our society... and beyond.

                      what i'm telling you and i am telling you: those in power don't care what you think or what you want. and they're very happy to have you chasing this whole "white privilege" thing because it keeps people separated.

                      plus, as i've pointed out: most Americans never owned slaves, weren't here when slavery existed... they don't think they made a success because of white privilege, but because they worked hard. but go ahead. tell them it ain't so. you can see how successful it's been so far.

                      and meanwhile, our black brothers and sisters take up jail cells and we're dicking over fucking memes that simply have been non starters.

                      it's time to find ways to pull us together, get these children out of jails, away from drugs, into stable environments.

                      “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

                      by pfiore8 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 05:13:42 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I disagree . . . (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        politicalceci
                        the people in power DON'T CARE about the truth or your problems due to their privilege
                        The people in power all too well understand what white privilege is. That's why they want to keep it that way.

                        And I think you are still equating white privilege with the amount of money someone has or their economic status. It's a part of it, but believe it or not, white, poor people still have white privilege.

                        Understanding white privilege is not about white guilt or making white people feel bad. And it's not even about making you give that privilege back. I think part of the reason that some people have a hard time accepting or understanding white privilege is because once you do, you have a responsibility. It's much easier to think of racism in extract terms. It's thosecrazy racist people who are the problem.

                        When someone truly understands white privilege, they recognize that in small and big ways they still benefit from the historical and present effects of institutional racism.

                      •  Congratulations! (0+ / 0-)

                        Here's your "Part Of The Problem" award!

                        Now run along, son...ya bother me.

                        I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

                        by Randle Aubrey on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:34:12 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Well if we remember . . . (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    politicalceci, DMentalist
                    as i've asked before, if America was a predominantly black culture and whites were the minority, would black privilege exist? would whites be marginalized? my guess: absolutely.
                    South African has a white minority and black majority. It's not just about which group is in charge. In order to have a truly honest conversation about how racism still impacts this country, we have to be honest with ourselves about white privilege.
                  •  South Africa (0+ / 0-)

                    is predominantly black, and whites are the minority there.  And yet white people have a shitload of privilege there.

              •  FYI... (0+ / 0-)

                ...attempting to broaden the conversation towards "everyone is awful to everyone" actually narrows the conversation, by making light of specific racial oppressions in a specific supremacy constructs. This is usually done by/in favor of the oppressor, meaning that...

                ...wait for it....

                ...it contributes to racism as an institution.

                So don't do it.

                #whiteprivilegereflex

                I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

                by Randle Aubrey on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 11:24:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Since it's your headline (3+ / 0-)

    it's Bieber, not Beiber.

    And it's pronounced correctly. It is a German name, ie in German = EEEE, ei in German = EYE

    •  Ironic, because the little shit doesn't even (0+ / 0-)

      know what German is.

      "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

      by yg17 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 05:30:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bieber the imbeiber. (0+ / 0-)

      That's a great spelling/pronounciation device for when you learn german:  it's just about always true:  ie is pronounced eee, and ei is pronounced aye.

      Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

      by Floyd Blue on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:21:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, tired of the white bashing that black men (10+ / 0-)

    & women get by not behaving in a conventional manner. We are never going to be white so STFU insulting us.

    Tipped & rec'ed.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 02:21:24 PM PST

  •  I'm sorry but this is such a straw man (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, sara seattle, paz3

    What person actually said "Of course Sherman doesn't deserve to be called the 'N' word, but Jesus, just look at how black he's acting!"

    I mean maybe someone said that, or something close. But I would imagine they're about 80 years old and nothing close to a "centrist".

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 02:30:56 PM PST

  •  I love Twitter but (0+ / 0-)

    Let's stop pretending that 15 or 20 or even 100 idiotic Tweets by nobodies are indicative of anything like mainstream opinions.

    Yes, racists respond to lots of things with racism.  Stupid people respond to lots of things with stupidity. And on and on.

    This is nothing but a way of generating controversy.  This is my guess on people who used the N-word to describe sherman:

    Pissed off 49ers fans, who happen to also be racist: 50%
    Pissed off Gamblers, who happen to also be racist: 20%
    Dopey kids who like to get a rise out of people: 20%
    Virulent Racists with no motivation beyond hate: 10%

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 02:38:09 PM PST

    •  Let's stop pretending... (3+ / 0-)

      ....that it's only 15 or 20 or even 100 people who feel this way, or had something to say about it, either on or off the internet.

      While we're at it, let's stop pretending that this incident isn't an perfect example of prevailing social attitudes about black men in, presented in microcosm.

      Lastly, let's stop pretending that discussions about specific, targeted incidents of racial discrimination in the broader context of racism and privilege are "nothing but a way of generating controversy."

      Simply put, stop telling people of color that their problems are imaginary, or not worthy of genuine consideration. KTHXBAI

      I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

      by Randle Aubrey on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:37:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  needs to be said again: (8+ / 0-)
    lending cover to racists contributes to racism as an institution.
    A lot of folks don't seem to get that.  Some seem to have intentions that I genuinely question. Some I've always thought have big hearts and seem to want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

    But:

    lending cover to racists contributes to racism as an institution.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 02:48:44 PM PST

    •  Lending cover to strawmen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wednesday Bizzare

      ...contributes to ignorance as an institution.

      No doubt there's been some racism in the reactions to Sherman's antics, but in what world is Bieber not getting reamed for his own behavior?

      As for "thug" - is that another word that will now be off-limits to anyone but thugs?  Will we now spend the rest of our lives tip-toeing around "the T word" lest we upset the tender sensibilities of some new offended minority?

      •  mmmhmm. (6+ / 0-)

        You may not have been here during the racist cartoon incident.

        There was so much cover being tossed around, Bed, Bath and Beyond called and asked if they could have some of their blankets back because their shelves were bare.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 04:21:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Ted Rall cartoon, or something else? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          methylin

          I was here for that one - I just didn't choose sides because I thought they were both stupid.   I'd been a fan of Rall's for years and I don't think his depiction of Obama was racist at all.   Love it or hate it, it's the style he draws and has always drawn.

          That said, Rall's reaction was like that of a petulant child and didn't help his argument at all.

          If there's a nother cartoon incident you're talking about, I must've missed it.

          As for this diary, I'm just getting a bit tired of being told about how privileged is my white life.   lol   The whole idea of "white privilege" is itself racist to the core IMO.

          •  you're right (9+ / 0-)

            white privilege IS part of racism: it's the OTHER part that white people don't want to acknowledge.
            You can't keep one group down without propping another group up. It's as simple as that.
            Saying that you don't like racism doesn't mean that racism doesn't exist.
            You can be tired of racism and ignore it. Black and brown people can't do that. They're tired of racism too. They just can't ignore it.

            •  I never said that it doesn't exist (0+ / 0-)

              What I have said is that screaming "racism!" at the drop of a hat cheapens the word and causes people to tune you out.  Then, when actual racism occurs, otherwise concerned people don't give a shit because they're sick and tired of hearing it.

              It's a toxic mixture of The Boy Who Cried Wolf and When Your Only Tool is a Hammer, Every Problem Looks Like a Nail.  

              And just who exactly am I keeping down?

              •  Who's crying "racism" at the drop of a hat? (4+ / 0-)

                By the way, please don't be surprised when people of color get a little bit annoyed when white people appoint themselves the arbiters of what is and isn't racism.

                "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

                by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 04:44:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  You yourself may not be keeping anybody down. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mwb525, politicalceci, Tonedevil

                BUt you're part of a society, a system, that acts in certain ways.  You can't even help that.  If you go in a store, you are not assumed to be shoplifting.  If, as a teenager, you used weed, you'd be less likely to be arrested for that (even if you were caught) than if you were black, and if you were arrested you'd be less likely to actually be charged, and if you were charged you'd be less likely to go to jail. (Data from an FBI study.)  THat's not YOU keeping someone down, but it's a reality of the way the system works, and white people need to understand that reality.  If we don't understand it, we can't notice and correct the ways it influences our thinking, and we can't fight the reality of the way people of color are treated.

                "Whiteness is privileged," meaning it's awarded advantages or assumption in its favor.  It's an academic term, and I wish there were a better term, but I don't know any.  It doesn't mean that you as an individual are privileged in the usual sense (wealthy, elite, whatever).  Yet it affects how each of us is treated, and how people of color are treated, and we need to understand that.

                --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                by Fiona West on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 12:09:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  How is the whole idea of "white privilege" . . . (4+ / 0-)

            racist to the core? One of the prime examples of white privilege is being to pretend it doesn't exist. I think a lot of people don't like the term "white privilege" because they incorrectly believe that it has to do with status and how much money one has. That's not the case. Poor white people still have white privilege.

            •  Of course it's racist (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shifty18

              You're lumping all white people together based upon the actions of a few.   Why is that okay for some but not others?

              "One of the prime examples of _____ is to pretend it doesn't exist".     That's always a convenient excuse for those who don't have much of an argument IMO.

              •  You clearly do not understand what (9+ / 0-)

                white privilege is.

                In short, it means that, just by being white, you have certain advantages in comparison to other people that may, in fact, be invisible to you.

                I'm white, and I have no problem admitting this. I don't feel guilty about it. That is not a constructive response.

                What I do, though, is: 1) Reflect on what white privilege is and how it has played a role in my life. 2) Try to always be aware of how white privilege functions in my life and what the consequences are for people who do not have this privilege. 3) Listen when other people educate me on their experiences as people of color. 4) Strive to be a good ally in the struggle against racism, although I always have room for improvement. It is a lifelong project.

                The truth is, there is probably much more that I could and should be doing. I think that the key is to listen and be aware and be thoughtful about these ideas. And be aware too that all of this has political consequences; this is not an abstract discussion.

                White people basically always have the option of ignoring all of this stuff, if they want to, but as other commenters have already noted, people of color do not. I think that is why people get frustrated when they encounter white people who prefer to stick their fingers in their ears, or immediately get defensive, as if pointing out white privilege is a personal attack against them.

                "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

                by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 04:50:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If I could rec this comment a thousand times . . . (3+ / 0-)

                  I would. It's not about making white people feeling guilty or attacked for having white privilege. It's not something you chose or asked for. But denying that it exists doesn't help the struggle and fight to end racism.

                •  ***EMPHATIC APPLAUSE*** (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Fiona West, politicalceci, Tonedevil

                  **clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap*

                  PRECISELY!!!!!

                  I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

                  by Randle Aubrey on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:41:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Warning: Elephant In The Room! (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  politicalceci, Tonedevil

                  It's White 'Cultural' Privilege. Adding "cultural" to the phrase makes it a bit long, syllable-wise, to roll of the tongue smoothly, but that is, IMO, an accurate descriptor.

                  Mainstream culture in the so-called traditional media is predominantly white, and these negative responses to Richard Sherman's post game 'self-defense' reeks of that.

                  Sherman had been insulted, he pushed back as a black man, so what? I think that some people have to get over themselves before the issues that they are sweeping under the rug get so large that they would trip up an elephant!

                  You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

                  by paz3 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 01:00:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wait? (0+ / 0-)

                    Do you really think if Clay Mathews or more accurately a relatively unknown white player had (calculatedly) responded in the same extremely unsportsmanlike manner there would not have been an uproar? C'mon dude.

          •  Too bad. (3+ / 0-)

            The fact that it makes you uncomfortable doesn't make it not worth tackling.

            It makes me as a white male uncomfortable sometimes too. But my comfort needs to be challenged. Sweeping it under the rug won't make it go away.

            liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

            by RockyMtnLib on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 09:46:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  2 random points (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wednesday Bizzare

    1)  What exactly is racist about that tweet from the Young Conservatives?  Seems to me your diary here just proved their point.

    2)  Please direct us to all the diaries arguing that Justin Bieber is just a "misguided kid".   I've seen none around here on DKos.   Maybe the problem is that YOU attract a certain type of "follower"?

    •  I dislike Sherman because of the PEDs controversy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wednesday Bizzare

      Is that allowed?

      Maybe a better comparison would be to Ryan Braun?

    •  2 random points, answered. (3+ / 0-)

      1) While the tweet from the Young Conservatives isn't overtly racist, it more than implies that those who posted it knew their peers would have potentially racist things to say about Sherman, and there's some seriously eye-rolling being conveyed in the tone of the tweet, indicating that they, condone those responses at best, or outright agree at worst.

      2) Speaking of tone, while people slam Bieber for his shenanigans all of the time, the prevailing tone of the commentary has been one of sighs, head shakes, and conventional wisdom that he'll simply "grow out of it." Meanwhile, media depictions of young black men who presecribe to Bieber's same behaviors almost always condem them as incorrigible, and imply permanent moral failings. Wanna know more? Ask Trayvon Martin.

      Oh, wait...you can't. He's dead. Shot by some asshole for being black in a white neighborhood. Never mind. Maybe Oscar Grant?

      Oops...can't ask him either. He got shot for being black on a BART train. Maybe Kimani Gray?

      Oh, yeah....he got shot for being black in a black neighborhood. Go figure.

      All of these killings were heavily influenced by negative stereotypes of young black men, spearheaded by white, corporate media. So perhaps the problem is that you haven't been paying enough attention...?

      I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

      by Randle Aubrey on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 09:54:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You try to get it, listen to others and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randle Aubrey

    increase your understanding.  This is the way that real dialogues happen.

    With the introduction of a more frank dialogue, maybe people will start to deconstruct what privilege means systemically and personally in this country. That is where true social change starts.

    And for anyone to graduate from Stanford with a near 4.0 grade average?  I congratulate Mr. Sherman.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 05:40:13 PM PST

  •  Who are Tom Migliara and Ben Wyco? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm guessing they must be important people in either politics or sports(since you highlighted their tweets) but a Google search only links to their Twitter pages.  

    Some information on these two guys would be helpful.

  •  That's strange (0+ / 0-)

    I have only heard comments panning Bieber and praising Sherman.

    Of course there must be outliers - assholes pervade our society - especially the internet, but I hardly think that indicative of societal views.

    •  Lucky you... (0+ / 0-)

      as a Seattlite I have grown to really like and respect Richard Sherman.  Anyone who sees what he does as anything other than branding and mind games is a dumbass.  

      "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

      by cardboardurinal on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 08:55:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just a couple comments: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randle Aubrey
    Bieber just pulled a Lohan for the first time a couple of weeks ago.
        For the FIRST time?  Really?  Seems to me like Bieber has been acting like a total ass for a few years now.  I kind of liked him when he was younger...Don't listen to his music, but I kind of liked him as a media personality, liked his story as the kid who became a star by posting videos on YouTube...but for quite awhile now, the once cute kid has been acting like a total punk.  Guess that's the way it goes...He was cute as a kid, but then when he got to be 18 or 19 and puberty hit, he turned into a real JERK...

         As a white guy myself, maybe I'm not qualified to make this observation, but does anybody else think that Bieber's "grown-up" personality seems to emulate the stereotypical black guy?  In the past couple of years, his voice seems to have changed, and now he talks with this weird inner city Brooklyn/Jersey type of accent...where does a kid from Canada GET THAT?  Bieber seems to hang out with a mostly-black entourage, and dresses and talks like some kind of wannabe gansta rapper...He really reminds me of Seth Green's character in the movie "Can't Hardly Wait"...I'm expecting Lauren Ambrose to walk up to Bieber and say:

    "Oh, please. Listen to you. Look. There's a mirror right there.
    Why don't you take a look, okay? You're white!"
        So I think that adds some additional irony to this comparison of racial attitudes.  After years of bad behavior, Bieber has yet to suffer any real legal consequences.  He's taken in for a mug shot, and he grins for the camera like it's the greatest thing that ever happened to him.  A black kid who behaved the same way probably would have served some real jail time by now.  So despite the fact that Bieber goes to such comical lengths to LOOK like a black gangsta hoodlum, he is still TREATED like a white celebrity with a get-out-of-jail free card.  
    •  You make a very good point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      politicalceci, Tonedevil

      It's very much the same thing that has happened with Miley Cyrus. As they've both begun to make concerted efforts to transition out of teen pop stardom into more adult contemporary circles, both have mercilessly appropriate a variety of aspects of black culture in order to gain credibility. And it's worked for the most part, especially for Miley. We sexualize white women enough as it is, and black women even more so. But using black women as props to enhance your own sexuality as a white woman is problematic, to say the least.

      At the same time, white society obviously has a much more bombastic relationship with black male culture and expression, one that Bieber has been courting with mixed results. It underscores many of the critiques against his behavior, creating a belief that when he "whitens up" once again, he'll stay out of trouble and get back to producing obnoxious pop music. But the odds of that are slim, and his appropriation of black culture will certainly begin to extend to his music.

      Both examples go to show that white society is more interested in the culture black people produce than in black people themselves, and if they can have their cake and eat it too, they will, every time.

      I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

      by Randle Aubrey on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:04:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think you can call Beiber a thug. Betty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    White is more intimidating.

  •  One of the many... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randle Aubrey

    reasons that I disables my FB account (the other reason is the targeted ads, and that I can't stand Mark Zuckerberg).  I got tired of ignorant people (generally friends of friends) saying stupid shit.  I had my fair share of arguments about affirmative action and institutional racism.  These white people (I am half) were so ignorant of their own advantages that it was impossible to argue with them.  

    "[I]n the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone...They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand."

    by cardboardurinal on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 08:53:47 AM PST

  •  Richard Sherman (0+ / 0-)

    did not misbehave. In fact he had just done exactly what they pay him millions to do.  Why do those who do not understand sports feel the need to pan  sports?

  •  Bieber should be deported as a Criminal alien (0+ / 0-)

    Him being in America is privilege ,not a right , foriegn criminal aliens are deported everyday for lesser crime

  •  At least people aren't petitioning for Sherman (0+ / 0-)

    to be deported.

    I find the internet comparison that has been circulating to be very poor, as well as hypocritical.  People who don't know squat about Sherman's character have been rushing to defend him.  These people were strangely absent when Colin Kaepernick was labelled a thug for far less -- oh no, he has tattoos.  

    Yep, these people were strangely absent when a different internet comparison circulated recently, comparing the "Good Boy" (Russell Wilson) to the "Thug" (Colin Kaepernick).  Wilson pictures included posing with his white wife, white hospital kids, and white soldiers.  Kaepernick's pictures included several with black people dressed like rappers.  Seahawks fans who defend Sherman were only too happy to trash Kaepernick, and have been since he was first called a thug in 2012.

  •  At least get Sherman's story straight (0+ / 0-)

    Sherman was dissed by Crabtree during a preseason charity golf tournament.  Sherman vowed to get even.  It would appear that knocking down a pass intended for Crabtree and causing it to be intercepted was pretty good payback.  Especially when the play beat the 49ers in the conference championship game.  The rest is all wonderful box office material for the Super Bowl.  The great white quarterback against the great black cornerback.  Where is Don King when you need him?  It is entertainment - enjoy it and be glad you were around to see it.

  •  an inept analogy (0+ / 0-)

    I think that if Sherman had been arrested for speeding and the other stuff it would have gone totally under the radar. Who cares? He's not a celebrity at that moment. OTH if JB erupted in Sherman's (obviously calculated) fashion after losing out on a grammy to someone else then yeah, proper would be all about what a jerk he is. One was public one was personal. Not a racial angle if you ask me.

    as for the stooped racists tweets. yes, you're going to get that  from a small corner of the nut-verse regardless.

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