Tuesday, June 30, 2015

On Blackness and America

I wanted to tackle the subject of racism myself, as it has been a hot topic of late. But to be honest I didn't even know where to begin. 

SO today is a guest post, written by my dear friend, Kazehana, who addresses this topic much more eloquently than I ever could. 




I will be honest, this is the first time I've attempted to tackle this topic in writing. I think thoughts, I talk to my husband, my friends, verbally about the things happening in our country, in our society. But I have a hard time writing them because I get angry. I get so angry that I lose focus. I fear I will not know where to begin, or how to end. But right now, I think I can rein in my emotions long enough to form a narrative.

Let's start with some history and the nature of consequences.

Black people in America were brought here involuntarily, stripped of names, origins, and rights, and then forcibly given the names, religions, and customs of their owners. Even if they were free (there were many such in the French territories), they were still stripped of their original names and given less rights than those of free whites. Enslaved blacks were subject to breeding the same way prize horses, cows, or dogs were subject to the same. And as with those livestock, their children and partners could be and were sold off to the highest bidder.

White American media so often portrays the conditions of African American families as being in a deplorable state for which only we ourselves are responsible ...and yet, how did our families get in this state? To have your family ripped apart by slavery and to SURVIVE THAT CONSTANT LOSS, coping mechanisms and adaptive behaviors must and did come into play. Our men could be sold or killed at the drop of a hat. As black women, what good could come of our relying on them for support of any kind? If you had a man you loved, you couldn't keep him. Why try to keep him? You would learn to let him go and raise your children on your own. And those children could be taken from you, too. So you would love them as best you could while they were yours, but you would raise them not to need you. Not to rely on you. Not to be weak or fragile or soft because the life you gave them would be hard, bitter, and fraught with danger. A child that you spoiled would be a child that wouldn't have the tools it needed to survive after you were parted. Our women were often raped or kept for pleasure. Why try to marry a woman you can't keep? Why claim her children as your own when their father is the master you fear? Our men were conditioned to keep their distance, and now that they have learned how to do that, they are held up as deadbeats for not unlearning it fast enough.

So many ignorant people look at what is happening today and say, "Slavery was 200 years ago, get over it." But what is 200 years in terms of generations? The parents of my grandparents were slaves. Do you realize what that means? My generation is literally only one living generation removed from bondage. The coping mechanisms which we learned over the course of that enslavement cannot be magically undone by time. Especially not when the societal structures in which we live demand essentially the same set of necessary survival skills. We are held up in the media as being devoid of virtues. Unless we speak, dress, act and completely blend in with white cultural norms, we are thugs, social parasites, low lives. When we are killed, there must have been some reason we deserved it. And then our lives and lifestyles are held up to scrutiny as though we are all guilty automatically because we didn't conform well enough to the American standards that we were always told we weren't actually meant to participate in anyway. Why are we being punished for not welcoming ourselves into a culture that was built on keeping us out of and beneath it? Last time I checked, schools in my city were desegregated BY LAW 40 years ago. My oldest sibling is 46. She was 6 years old when the ruling came that made it necessary to integrate black students into white schools. Mandatory integration didn't come to an end until she was nearly 30. I was 17 and in high school. People are trying to paint a picture in the media of blacks having equal access to all the benefits of living in a free society and then hand us a full bag responsibility for not making use of those benefits, but how in the world can one make use of and benefit from a system that was from the start created to exploit your labor, profit from your pain, and grind you into reusable dust?

My parents raised me to know that I could be killed at any time for any reason and that my efforts to excel would have to be not twice, but three times as excellent as my white peers in order to gain any respect. My parents weren't cynical. They didn't lie to me. I knew every word of this warning to be true from personal experience.

I have seen my family members incarcerated for years for the same types of crimes that my white peers were never even charged with. I dated not one, but two drug using/dealing white males who never saw a single day in a jail cell. But 80% of the men in my family have done time for similar and less severe offenses.

The first time I heard of a cop shooting an unarmed citizen, it was an Hispanic man in my city whose house was raided by the SWAT team for a drug related offense. They swarmed his house and shot him in front of his kids. The second time in my life that it happened, it was my 15 year old neighbor Paul. A developmentally disabled boy whose single mother often had to turn to police in order to find him because he had a habit of escaping and wandering far away from home. The police would bring him back, give him candy, reassure his mother they would watch out for him. He had a rocky puberty. He threw tantrums, especially on days after school when his classmates were unkind. One day he threw a tantrum and threatened to harm himself with a kitchen knife. His mother called the police, thinking these people would help her son again the way they had helped his entire life. They shot him dead on the front lawn. These same people who gave him sweets and rides home shot him to death in front his mother and his sisters. There were no charges brought. There was hardly any news about it at all. If I hadn't lived next fucking door, if I hadn't watched that child grow up, if I hadn't watched him dance to my music on my front porch, I would never have known how he lived or how he died.

Every time I watch the news and someone else's beloved child, husband, father, sister, mother, has been killed by a cop while white media heads bemoan how 'black on black crime' isn't being paid attention to by the black community and how if we stopped killing ourselves, cops wouldn't think of us as a threat, I want to fucking scream. When the movie theater in the city next to mine was shot up by a deranged white male, no one called it white on white crime. When he was apprehended, cops took him in without causing him ANY BODILY HARM despite the fact that he MURDERED a dozen people in cold blood. In the media, he was shown with a sympathetic air of concern for his mental health and wondering where he (not his parents, not his neighborhood, not his whole race) went wrong and whether his self-esteem played any role in his rampage*. When a black child is shot, the assertion is that he was in the wrong, he was influenced by his parents shitty parenting, he was listening to rap music a lot and acting out his gangster fantasies, he was a burgeoning criminal. When serial killers are discovered with multiple victims, the media never asks, "how did white suburban culture play a role in turning this person into a killer?" but when Trayvon Martin was killed on his way home, they asked if black culture played a role in making him look or act like a thug who was worthy of being harassed and killed in his own neighborhood. In the meantime, Michael T. Slager has a support fund on indiegogo.

And simultaneously as the media dismisses and demonizes black culture with one hand, it robs black culture blind to help corporate types make money off of it by marketing** it to those same white, suburban youths with the other one. We are not good enough to deserve justice, but when we invent something cool, those same people who won't protect us will be there to lay claim to our creation.

It is the most infuriating thing in the world, when everything you are is called low class, unattractive, trashy, worthless... until an edgy, white celebrity embraces it and then suddenly the thing you've been doing for years is a hot new trend. It's like being told again and again that all you are worth, all you are good for, is to make someone else rich. Nothing you are, nothing you make, nothing you have belongs to you. It can be taken from you, along with your life, at the discretion of those whose ancestors dragged yours here in the first place.

The way we are made to feel unacceptable for everything we are, nappy hair, dark skin, big lips, big butt and then asked to praise others for not being like us (thanks for nothing Oscars) on a daily basis is enough to make you lose your mind.

Despite all of this grievance, we are expected to behave with civility, with elegance, with grace. To act nicely and negotiate calmly. To maintain our cool. To quietly request things like justice. Because we're outnumbered.

I remember very, very painfully how it felt the first time I got accused by a teacher of plagiarism. How it felt to have a teacher get in my face and tell me that I represent the one type of student she just could NOT get through to. The burning of my ears when classmates told me to go back to Africa when I said freedom was relative. How humiliating and unfair it was to be pulled out of my white drug dealer boyfriend's car and sat on the curb for what seemed like forever while they interrogated him NOT about the drugs in his glove box, but about whether his parents knew he was with me, whether they knew I was black, whether they thought it was acceptable for him to be out late with a black girl, whether or not he had their permission to be with me. My eyes are burning right now as I remember that moment. I was so terrified that they would find his drugs and somehow twist them into being mine that I sat silent and cold with my hands behind my fucking back and said not a single word in my own defense while they loudly debated his life choices for being out late with me and then wrote me a ticket. THEY WROTE ME A TICKET. Ostensibly for breaking curfew even though I was a day away from turning 18. And for what? For being black in a white boy's car?

I've talked in long ago entries about Gargomel and how she said she couldn't recall why I ended our friendship all those years ago. And I usually simplify it into the basics of breaking friend code and fucking the guy I loved and then fucking the guy I dated to get over that guy. But the truth was that I could forgive all of that, but when the second guy came to me and told me his conscience was killing him because of the racist remarks she made about me, about my skin and body and hair, behind my back...when he told me that this girl was not my friend because no friend would say such awful things about you EVER ...it broke my heart because the reasons she had slept with those guys was not out of your garden variety internalized misogynist competitive spirit, rather she thought I shouldn't be loved by those guys because I was black. She didn't want them. She just didn't want me to feel that I had a right to really be with them.

It made me hate her. More than I have ever hated anyone in my life. Because it made me feel that there was no one with white skin that I could be safe with. That I would have to put up my guard again, be isolated emotionally again, because apparently I couldn't tell who underneath it all was still really racist. I hated her for making it harder for me to accept anyone white as being genuine. It took me years to get over it and back to trusting my intuition, judging people as individuals, not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But before I got over it, I severed ties with anyone I suspected might be anything like her. Anyone I thought was fetishizing me. Anyone I felt might secretly classify their time with me as 'slumming', I kicked loose. And eventually I reconnected with her, but even now, I look at her and feel I don't actually know whether she's changed or if at the core, she would know how to be a better friend to me if I were white.

Which is maddening, you know? Because to a certain degree it is like being gaslit by your entire country, every day of your life. You encounter all these micro-aggressions and aggressive-aggressions and there is no recourse for fixing them. I am reduced to my ethnicity on a regular basis at work (for instance when a department supervisor I work with jokingly called me a 'trap star'***. EXCUSE ME?), but if I make any kind of complaint about it, then I'm playing the race card. I am told by mainstream media that I am the one who is sensitive, misunderstanding, misconstruing, misreading, over reacting. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're wrong.

It's enough to make you want to burn a city to the ground.


*http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/02/james-holmes_n_7194832.html
**http://jezebel.com/katy-perry-almost-managed-to-make-an-inoffensive-video-1614111593
***http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Trap

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=trap+star

26 comments:

  1. I'll admit, that's not a way of looking at the issue that I had considered. However, my son had every chance to be as non-motivated and dysfunctional as I was when he was growing up. And he chose to not be that way. He chose not to be lazy or unmotivated. I understand what the author is getting at, but at a certain point you have to take responsibility for yourself, and be responsible for raising children that are willing to turn that angst into building a good life and not perpetuating the bad. I will, now, give a little more thought to this cultural legacy in the future, though.

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    1. I'm going to respond here because these are my words and my thoughts and my experiences so I don't want Mich to have to speak for me.

      Your thought process is a common and logical one. But it does not take into account the great difference that privilege plays in taking responsibility for oneself. Your advice is akin to someone with their legs tied together with a 4 ft length of chain that all they need to do to run is lengthen their stride and pick up the pace, without once acknowledging that they are limited by an encumbrance.

      In this country, as my grandfather once told me when I was very young, to be black and excellent is to have to work twice as hard, shine twice as bright, for half the recognition, and half the pay.

      The reason for this being that while our white peers are graced with second and third chances, with the leeway to sow wild oats and not be judged for youthful indiscretions, our mistakes become a matter of permanent record and assumed to be an absolute reflection of our characters. In this country, the reality is that a white male with a criminal record is still twice as likely to be hired as a black male without one and yet the perception is that because of affirmative action, inept, unqualified black people are stealing jobs from their more adequate white peers. It has been shown in studies that even having a name that sounds black on your resume can prevent you from getting an interview.

      So, basically, what you are asking is for black people to choose not to succumb to the pressure of the struggle, to overcome the discrimination on our own without asking yourself or the majority of white people to be accountable for the hows and whys of the way systemic, institutional racism and bias keeps us hobbled.

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    2. I agree, CWMartin. Violence and racism against white people isn't the answer either. There is a certain point, that one needs to move on and work on making a living. I don't think it's entirely the faults of the priviledged, I think there are some people who can't advance for some reason. This is true for all races. There will always be people who will never make it out of poverty. However, I don't think people should blame others for that. That's why I get so angry about "BLACK LIVES MATTER!" No, all lives matter. Follow laws, follow rules,act civilly. Do not kill others, period. One race's life is no better than others. And the ones that protest for "BLACK LIVES MATTER" don't blink an eye when others die. You know what, protesters,get a life and make changes yourself. Work with underpriviledged children and make a difference starting in their childhood. Show them right from wrong.

      And well, I know white people who can't get hired because of a criminal past. Maybe it's because they're not wealthy, but they can't get hired all the same. Maybe instead of playing the race game and the woe is me game, maybe we should all work together and make changes. Non-wealthy white people struggle, yeah, most likely not to the same extent as black people, but the non-wealthy of any race struggle. We should work together to make changes for EVERYONE, not just one group of people. The world works better when we all work together... not single out someone in anger or perceived racism. The world works better when we can all participate in it.

      And that's what makes me angry. Division, division, division. Race baiting creates division.

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  2. "So, basically, what you are asking is for black people to choose not to succumb to the pressure of the struggle, to overcome the discrimination on our own without asking yourself or the majority of white people to be accountable for the hows and whys of the way systemic, institutional racism and bias keeps us hobbled."

    That is unfair. I never said life was fair, no one ever did. I also never said that I was unwilling to see barriers lifted, or for those perpetuating the barriers not to be held accountable. You assumed that because you assumed MY race, am I right? And because you assume I'm white (correctly, I might add), you think it's safe to dump me into the "white thought process file" and saying I didn't ask myself, etc. It seems you might be stuck also in the "black thought process" file. All I said was that it takes a little responsibility to make it, rather than blaming it all on bad circumstances and dead people. You could have a more meaningful discussion if you'd take that chip off your shoulder.

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    1. No, what I assumed was this statement, "but at a certain point you have to take responsibility for yourself, and be responsible for raising children that are willing to turn that angst into building a good life," doesn't take into account any of the external factors that prevent this from happening. And yes, I also assumed that you, as a white person would not have personal experience with what I'm talking about. That isn't a judgement against your character.

      And while it seems easy to imagine that I'm blaming it all on dead people, what I'm actually blaming is the active, living system which remains in place not just by actions of a hateful few, but by the inaction of an indifferent majority.

      Life is indeed unfair in general. But since when is it out of the question to protest against and attempt to fix a circumstance you know to be more unfair than just the universal chaos we all are subject to? From serfs to protestants and untouchables, we all seek to level the playing field.

      You can take that however you would like.

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    2. Actually, what you assumed was that because I am white, and because I don't agree exactly with your points, that I am part of the problem. You've decided that I think you are totally wrong because I said there is more to the story. What I don't like is being called a racist just for the color of my skin. So, yeah, I agree that you have more to bitch about than I. Doesn't mean it's something to be wallowed in.

      What would be your solution to the "inaction of an indifferent majority"? I mean other than accusations? You could have had a supporter in me, but you just thoughtlessly lumped me in as the enemy.


      Here's one you never stopped to think about. You go downtown, to the land of the six-figure salaries, and what do you see? The "beautiful people." They look nice, they dress well. On the other hand, here's a white lady that comes into the lower reaches of the building, with about 15 teeth in her head and a stoop. She's there to put out ant traps. There is more than just race that blocks us. This society loves looks, loves the slim trim models body. Loves the dress sense, loves the money that was born into. Blacks, whites, hispanics, all get shut out by that world.

      I never said you shouldn't protest. Indeed, if you look, I said your point was worth considering. Not just as a pat on the head, although you apparently took it that way. We all would like to level the playing field, but it is an imperfect world. So we shoot for the best we can do.

      So what am I asking for black people to do? The best they can, just like I do. To work together with everyone else for a solution, instead of playing "do to them as they did to us." Some of the people in Ferguson and Baltimore uncovered systemic problems, and at least in Ferguson made great progress. Some decided to loot and destroy, so what do you think white people are going to say about them. I understand that there is frustration. I got frustrated today, kicked a table. Learned a lesson- misdirected frustration hurts more than helps.

      Try not to put words in my mouth and maybe you'll see we're not so far apart.







































































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    3. lol! Did I call you racist? Did I say, "you personally are part of the problem?" Nothing of the sort came from me. You are projecting.

      What I would want from those indifferent folks is for them to care enough to talk less and do more. And to listen. To stop arguing every single point and listen to what people of color are saying without attempting to place qualifications on their narratives.

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    4. I was listening. Sorry, but there are going to be qualifications placed on every point, however well-founded. That's the nature of a dialogue. I learn from you, you learn from me.

      " ...without asking yourself or the majority of white people..." Yes, I do believe you were insinuating my racism. Perhaps I am a bit sensitive here; after all, I have been told the only reason I don't support Obama is that I'm a racist. In fact, I have been made to feel (not here, not by anyone here) that it is the only POSSIBLE reason I don't support Obama. I will admit there is somewhat of a chip on my shoulder. What will YOU admit to?

      I think the key word here is "narrative." Even though I agreed with much of what you said, even though this is a comments section, I wasn't supposed to interrupt the narrative. I wasn't supposed to dialogue. I was supposed to sit down shut up and listen to what I was told. I apologize. I apologize to Mich for taking up so much of her space. And I REALLY apologize for that annoying blank space that I had no intention of putting there and am not sure how I did it.

      I hope you find the better world you seek, I really do. I also hope that you learn that we can work together at it. Good blessings and good evening.

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    5. The nature of dialogue...yes. This is where I'm going to agree with your definition, but disagree with it's function in this context.

      The nature of dialogue also presumes that all parties involved are equal, and have equal ability to interject. In this cultural context, people of color do not have this equality. Our voices and stories are often minimized, watered down, distorted, glossed over or flat out ignored. We do not have the same access or platforms. White people's perspectives are everywhere. Movie theatres are full of them, television is full of them, newspapers and libraries full of them. Your two cents vs my two cents are like the dollar vs the dinar. So as much as it might possibly hurt your feelings, no, a true dialogue is not what is asked for or needed in this context. But luckily cooperation does not require those qualifications. It only requires willingness to put your own perspective and ego on the back burner and let someone else have the front. It's not about doing what you're told to do, it's about sympathizing without putting your needs ahead of those you're trying to support.

      I know the world I dream of can exist. But I also know that achieving it is going to be as disruptive and painful as it is cathartic and healing. I'm not afraid of pain. White people shouldn't be, either. Discomfort and unease, hurt feelings, bruised egos...all of these line the path to equality and should be welcomed.

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    6. The discomfort is probably the biggest hurdle from the white side. We hop frantically between guilt for our ancestors and the righteous indignation of "it wasn't US, is was our ancestors!!" Hiding from the discomfort got us this far, we actually thought it would work forever.

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  3. Do not apologize to me, I am interested, from a psychological point of view, in hearing all perspectives to this issue. Particularly because they confirm that my own position and experience are indeed strange. I'm a white child born into a privileged middle/upper class world and then raised from infancy by a black woman, with a pretty large chunk of my childhood spent in that woman's community and surrounded by HER peers, not mine. I think that may be why I find it so difficult to understand how racism persists in a so called civilized world. :/

    But that is neither here nor there. Continue and discuss.

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    1. Honestly, I don't understand it either. And that comes from out-in-the-country, rarely ever around, but no problem playing with black kids when I was around them. One of the most profound changes I ever saw in a life is when my brother came to Christ and all the perjoratives he used to use in his speech died away. With us, it was never out of hate... we were just around people that thought it was funny, and so we did too. Monkey see, monkey do. Unfortunately, there is SOMEONE who starts it and that person does hate.

      One of my dad's best friends was a man who just happened to be black. (I say it that way becuase, white black or purple, he was a MAN.) He told my dad that the race problems weren't "because of the blacks, it's the GD N_s. He meant that the hard working folk like himself wasn't what caused the hate, but the lazy and shiftless. He didn't go on though, to point out that it's the lazy and shiftless on the pale side of the fence that start the hate. The no-goods on one side use the no-goods on the other side for an excuse, and that's how it keeps going.

      I'm not perfect, there are things that would make me uncomfortable. I realize that's because I come from a section of society that teaches that uncomfortable-ness, and I also realize it's up to me to change that for me. I can't expect society to change if the change isn't in my own heart. That works on both sides of the fence as well.

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  4. I have been meaning to blog about this for quite some time. It sits heavy in my stomach and I am not sure where to start... I lost one theater friend (the dear Lumberjack) and lost a lot of respect for another (Red) in conversations which are sadly memorialized on FB feeds.

    Kazehana, as always, I applaud your patience and eloquence. I am not feeling either, particularly, at the moment, so I will cease commentary on this post now.

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    1. I feel like you should just let it all out. I mean...my particular style of communication has to do with the fact that my profession demanded it, but I used to get really quick tempered and rough when there was something I was passionate about. I think it's a good thing to be able to run off at the mouth with your feelings on display of it's a thing that really matters. In the end, butthurt people will get butthurt no matter what tone you use or how patient you are. I have had a blogger friend break up with me for being "too smart". You can't win 'em all. Do you.

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    2. You say "This is what I have lived and this is how it has shaped the way I experience the world." and people reply "You're playing the race card! Chip on your shoulder! Stop wallowing! Stop committing crimes! Stop pretending other people don't have it hard, too! Sharing the reality of your lived experience is an attempt to invalidate my own! It's divisive! WAH!" I just... I can't.

      I am not afraid to speak my truth on my own blog, but comments of that nature will be deleted and the posters will be blocked. I also don't want to create unnecessary drama on Mich's lovely post.

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    3. Let the drama come. Every last bit of it will drive home the points I make in the follow up post.

      Hopefully. Work in progress and all that.

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  5. "I am not afraid to speak my truth on my own blog, but comments of that nature will be deleted and the posters will be blocked. I also don't want to create unnecessary drama on Mich's lovely post."

    So it is okay for one person to state their opinion, but not for another to express their dissenting opinion. And THAT is why nothing in race relations will never be settled. Fear not Tempest, I don't go where different opinions are unwelcome. But if you only want your side told, if you want to pontificate and not have dialogue, then I guess you already have the world you'll get.

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    1. I think Tempest was just trying to be polite on someone else's blog.

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  6. JUST A GENERAL STATEMENT if this gets any more hostile, I am shutting it down to further commentary. NOT because I do not want to hear any opinions other than those with which I agree, but rather because I value the feelings of all parties involved. This is friendly [mostly] blogger community and I want it stay that way.

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  7. Here's the basics of why I ever commented here. The original article was fine to a point. Here is an example of that point:

    http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/police-fire/Police-chase-ends-with-many-charges-for-mom-7525194

    This is where my point about personal responsibility comes in, and where the idea of cultural trauma goes out the window IMHO. We see all too many of these stories here. That is why I would rather see responsible people talk about responsibility, rather than excuses.

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  8. No one is under any obligation to tolerate racism or to educate others about it in their own personal space. Yes, CWMartin, people have the right to boundaries.

    I am a white female who grew up with the story of The American Dream and was told that we are all on an equal playing field and can succeed if we just try hard enough. Over the last several years, I have been learning how wrong that was. I have lived through hell because I am female, and it really doesn't take that much imagination to say "I have faced struggle and abuse because of this part of my identity. There are others who face struggle and abuse because of their identity, even though it's an identity I don't share. I have an idea what that's like."

    I don't believe in the whole "White people did x so you as a white person are responsible for it" bit (by that line, I get credit for my ancestors who fought for the north, which is baloney). I DO believe that we live in a country full of institutionalized racism (racism that has been an undercurrent throughout the founding of the U.S. as we know it, and has not been magically undone by the abolition of legalized slavery) and that I have an obligation first and foremost to not contribute to it, and also to break it down in the small ways that one person might be capable.

    The fact that a person does not harbor resentment against people of color or wish ill against them does not mean they are not racist. Polite language does not mean they are not racist. Resistance to the lived experience of people of color and the astonishing, depressing statistics about how our country treats people of color - that's racism. Telling people they need to be The Right Kind Of Black for you to respect them is racism.

    Perhaps you posted an incorrect link? That is the story of one woman who stole infant care items and fled from police. I'm not sure what it has to do with Kazehana's life or with the nation's race relations.

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    1. If you read anything I said, it goes to my point, that my ORIGINAL post said that there was more to the story than her theory of cultural trauma, that personal responsibility and CHANGING that trauma by living responsibly had to figure in.. I posted the link as an example of THE PROBLEM, not any reflection on her life, just that her theories don't cover all things. And I never argued against her experiences, etc, I argued that her thought process of "Black people should be allowed to talk AND everyone else should just shut up and listen" was counter-productive." Now, once again I am being considered pseudo-racist because you aren't listening to what I'm saying- and not only that but sexist, even though I was the one that brought up that there are more groups than just blacks (including women) who are getting short changed by society.

      Boy, I get really tired of people that just read buzz words and decide what I'm saying. I'm done here.

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    2. Here is a brilliant and concise depiction of the concept of privilege:
      http://avianawareness.tumblr.com/post/119606264828/via-the-pencilsword-on-a-plate-the-wireless

      I told you how I drew a parallel from my own experience to Kazehana's as a way of understanding her experience. The statement had absolutely nothing to do with you. The idea that I was calling you sexist is absurd, and has no root in word or intent.

      Your response to a cop berating Kazehana in front of her boyfriend for being black, your response to her mentally ill teenage neighbor being gunned down by police, was "but personal responsibility" (which would have changed nothing about either situation - unless you're justifying the cops' approaches because Some Black People Do Bad Things, So It's Not Racist To Assume They're All Bad!). Your response to inferring that Kazehana thought you were part of the problem was to taunt "You could have had a supporter in me, but you just thoughtlessly lumped me in as the enemy." You literally decided to dismiss her entire perspective on racism in America because she had the nerve to disagree with you.

      You repeatedly insist that no one is listening to what you are saying, yet you make inferences that are not remotely supported in replies to your comments. It's not possible to have a meaningful discussion with someone who is determined to undermine you. It's sad, because I believe you are being sincere in what you say here (not merely trolling/intending to inflame the situation). To be clear, yes, I do believe you're racist. Unintentionally but arrogantly racist. I will say that since I have said I am a white person and hopefully this will not give you one more reason to dismiss the cause. You believe your are being talked over, being told to sit down and shut up... when all that is happening is that you have been asked to allow another person to speak uninterrupted. You feel like you're being talked over because you aren't being deferred to. That is privilege.

      You say you want to "work together" but your only suggestion has been telling each individual black person to shape up. You say you want to cooperate productively - but here you have a black person saying "There is a problem with our society as a whole that makes succeeding as a black person more difficult," and you just can't stand the idea that white people are part of the problem, too.

      I'm not misunderstanding you, I'm not reading the buzzwords and skipping the rest. I disagree with you. You have no business telling someone to stop stooping so low while you have your foot on their neck. As I've said, I no longer believe a meaningful discussion is possible with you. This is the last I have to say on this post.

      Over & out.

      Delete
  9. CWMartin just followed me onto my own blog where I clearly said he was not welcome, on a personal post, to continue insulting me because *I made it personal*. By disagreeing with him. Nothing says "I care" like the violation of explicitly stated personal boundaries.

    "CWMartinJuly 4, 2015 at 11:08 PM
    Just to let you know, you accuse me of things that aren't true. If you read the whole discussion between the guest poster and myself, you would see that she and I got off on the wrong foot because she had no intentions to a dialogue and no interest in any point of view but her own. As with you, I have tried to point out that we agree on many of the things you accuse me of being against you on. If you even tried to understand my point in this whole overblown discussion, you'd see I am neither arrogant or a racist. But apparently I am both because I told the guest poster that the problem with her post was, it just isn't that simple. Why we even have a problem is a bit beyond me. Why is it that She, because she is black, cannot be questioned? I never denigrated her experience either in her life or as a black person, and you are way off base even accusing me of doing so. I never claimed I had all the answers, I just said SHE didn't have all the answers. I'm sorry that you are both more interested in telling everyone else how wrong and evil they are than trying to find common ground. You people seem less interested in eliminating racism by cultural education (which is where her post excelled, but has to go both ways) than you are in solving the problem by white capitualtion. Sorry, not buying that. Have a nice life, I apologize for coming here, but you made this far too personal than to finish it on Mich's blog."

    I do not accept false apologies. As promised, you have been deleted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Number one, find the insult. Number two, I went there as I said, because you made it personal, hence beyond the bounds of this discussion. Third, That gave you the ability and right to delete me, I just wanted you to hear me. Which, as is obvious from this, you have no intention to do. I do not know you, and will not further speculate on your motivations. This has gone so far beyond the actual bounds of this original post that it is not worth trying to make you see my point, or to get you to realize that if you'd use a moment's thought, we aren't disagreeing ON IT. You came into this intent on the attack. That is what I don't understand about you or the original guest poster. I have been consistantly attacked PERSONALLY (which is then covered up by a string of "I never said"), and never once have we discussed that we both have valid points, or that I have a point at all, other than being " racist. Unintentionally but arrogantly racist."

      I stand by what I did. Everybody, go ahead and READ the response of mine which Temptest posted here. I am not ashamed of it. It doesn't show me as racist, it shows me as 1) unwilling to be told I'm something I'm not; 2) unwilling to accept that an admittedly flawed society is the ONLY reason for the kind of life most minorities, whether black, women, or martians, suffer; and 3) I don't believe that anything is solved by the "don't stamp on my narrative" attitude I have received here. If you read anything other than that in what I have said, congratulations. You've done a far better job of making my point than I ever could.

      Delete
  10. "This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings."

    https://thsppl.com/i-racist-538512462265

    ReplyDelete

We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.