Nutpicking, yes, but such nuts. Billmon, after a spate of ‘how can you equate the Tea Party with terrible people like the KKK?’ twit-saults, linked to this article from the Texas Observer, dated last Saturday:
… There were hundreds of Second Amendment enthusiasts gathered at San Antonio’s Alamo Plaza, many carrying loaded rifles and assault weapons to the public square. They stood before one of the most revered sites in Texas to protest what they see as unconstitutional curbs on displaying weapons in public.
The highest-profile speakers at the event were current land commissioner and lieutenant governor candidate Jerry Patterson, who carries a handgun in his boot, and conspiracy purveyor Alex Jones, an assault rifle on his back. Patterson and Jones reflected the inherent tension between the two camps at the rally: gun-owners who struck a more conciliatory tone and emphasized personal responsibility mingled with fringe elements who expressed a more profound anger at the government, and hinted at a dark future….
…[R]ally attendee Captain Mac… identified himself as the founder of the Tea Party Militia and a member of the Austin Rifles of the Texas Brigade. “For this, the FBI has had me under surveillance,” he said jovially…
I had wanted to talk to Captain Mac because of his large Ted Cruz sign, visible from throughout the rally. But Cruz isn’t Captain Mac’s only cause. He pointed out an addendum to the sign, with symbols for major fascist and white supremacist organizations.
“I’m also recruiting for these organizations,” he said. “There’s the National Socialist Movement — their slogan is, ‘deport them all, let God sort them out.’” He points to the number 88, indicating the 8th letter of the alphabet (that would be the letter ‘h’ or ‘HH’). “Heil Hitler. We’re anti-fascist, of course. But he was doing pretty good until he started taking everyone’s guns and attacking his neighbors. Imagine if none of that had happened.”
At this point, a fresh-faced young volunteer, noticing Captain Mac’s Ted Cruz sign, ambled over with a ballot petition. “You look like you would support Attorney General Greg Abbott in his race for governor,” the volunteer said.
“Absolutely,” said Captain Mac, taking pen in hand as he returned to his pitch. “We’re not fascist. We’re about Deutschland for Deutschlanders, and America for Americans.” The petition wrangler flashed a nervous look at my recorder, before correcting Captain Mac’s residency information and walking away.
Mac ran down the rest of the list, which includes the now-outlawed Greek fascist party Golden Dawn and a true fan’s appreciation for the “Butcher of Bosnia,’” Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadžić. Then he ambled back into the crowd to show admirers his rifle…
See?!? Not one word about the KKK!…
Actually, it’s kind of interesting — I don’t depth-dive RW sites much, but I’m getting the impression that the KKK has been downrated among the “Heritage Defender” crowd in favor of more high-profile fascist groups. (There’s no ‘Godwin’s Law’ for the cross-burners.) Has the Klan turned into the RW equivalent of the fat drunk trailer-trash uncle that nobody wants their new wife or potential employer to know about, even among the Confederate-flag-waving set?
I can’t stop laughing at “Golden Dawn”. Sounds like a bad porno.
Bill E Pilgrim
@Comrade Jake: Yeah sort of a “Deep Wolverines” thing going on there.
I guess Ted Cruz is the right kind of minority for these guys, i.e. the one whose skin is the right (i.e. light) shade of brown.
I wonder if Marco Rubio goes home crying at night because he’s been overshadowed by an even crazier Cuban Republican.
Gin & Tonic
Radovan Karadzic had a really great head of hair, though. If this gets moderated, maybe you can tell me why. I’ve had no luck posting from home.
@Alison: And they say shit like that out loud in public. Just imagine what is said behind closed doors.
@Comrade Jake: Or the Greek version of the terrible “WOLVERINES!!!”
Fuck you General Mac. That attitude almost took out my great-grandmother and wiped the rest of her family out of existence.
Were there no Generalissimo Santa Anna counter-protestors?
Since this is an open thread:
Today in articles about things this blog’s front page doesn’t talk about
Yes. The scenery has changed but the cast of characters remains the same. As has the plot.
Only recently heard about Stetson Kennedy, the man who infiltrated the KKK waaaay back in the ’40s and ’50s, and exposed them to popular ridicule. From Wikipedia:
Didn’t help that the Klan had to waltz around in white sheets and labeled their leaders “Imperial Grand Wazoo” or whatever. They just look fucking ridiculous, you can’t take their hate seriously. It’s these other wackadoos that scare the crap out of me.
Then again, the League of the South came to Middle Tennessee a couple weeks ago for their gigantoid rally that was supposed to draw “thousands” yet sadly (for them) once gain, opponents outnumbered rally participants two to one.
Pretty sure you can’t claim to be anti-fascist when you are supporting clearly fascist groups and spouting their “good” points.
@Comrade Jake: wasn’t Golden Dawn one of the groups Alan Rickman brought up in Die Hard?
@maya: Well, y’know, if these chunks ‘remembered’ what actually happened at the Alamo, instead of their romanticized-200-years-later phantacies… they’d be a lot more circumspect, wouldn’t they?
“Welcome to the bigs, rook. I’m Mr. Ortiz. I hit fastballs very long distances. Any questions?”
@Drexciya: After last night’s discussion, I do want to say thanks for linking this. It is worth reading and probably something that many of us would not have otherwise seen.
@KG: You can claim to be anti-fascist, but it won’t be credible.
Mike in NC
Local teabaggers staged a rally nearby several months back. Expected about 1000 attendees, but barely got a couple hundred. Should have offered discount coupons for The Early Bird specials at Olive Garden and Cracker Barrel.
Speaking of assholes and gun nuts: NYPD Arrests Black Kid For Buying Nice Things With Own Money, Proving Value of Hard Work
Fuck Barney’s. I will never shoppe there again. EVER!
Somebody owes me for this: I’m going have to take my irony meter to the shop first thing tomorrow morning…..
@Drexciya: We don’t talk about the proposition that we’re all racists and homophobes? Gee, I can’t imagine why.
Here I thought Golden Dawn was a new brand of dishwashing liquid.
@Anne Laurie: nah, the people who died were martyrs and USAUSAUSA etc
@different-church-lady: You must have missed AL’s late night thread last night. Despite the fact that I tend to disagree with Dreciya’s take on things, It doesn’t hurt for any of us to get poked and prodded. Complacency is a bitch.
@Anya: Alas, my weight behind such a boycott would be useless, since technically one must start shopping somewhere before one can stop.
@Omnes Omnibus: Indeed I did. Hum-dinger?
“2nd amendment enthusiasts” … For real ?? Is that some sort of euphemism for gun-toting homicidal maniac?
@different-church-lady: Drexciya has strong opinions. So do others. We also might have had some complacency poked. The thread was interesting.
Anybody watch Key & Peele?
@mk3872: euphemism really isn’t the right word… I think “dog whistle” is closer
@mk3872: If I were an evil billionaire, I’d fund a gun made for bears – like a big piece of wood with a big trigger, made for bear paws – and then train bears to use these bear sized guns. And then I’d launch these bears with guns on unsuspecting NASCAR races.
Trains run on time, etc.
@kc: I do, but mostly in a “if it happens to be on” sort of way… Do I need to check it out tonight?
And I do love their skits with Obama and his translator
@Omnes Omnibus: Opinions are like assholes — everybody has one, and they all stink.
Just saw a free screening of this lil movie called “About Time” with my lil sis Robin Christmas It’s a British movie from the director of Love Actually. Starred Bill Nighy and Rachel McAdams. The premise…the men in this dudes family are time travelers and can go back in time. He uses this talent to find true love with Rachel McAdams character. It’s your usual British romance dramedy, but it was about more than just romantic love. At the core of the story was the love between a father and his children, particularly his son.
I highly recommend for a romantic date night whenever it’s in regular release.
@Redshirt: Imagine the mental strain this would cause to Colbert.
@Redshirt: I’ve got some head mounted laser beams I could sell you… The helmets might need to be resized, currently designed for sharks, but the plan is mostly the same
@lamh36: Did you come near a spoiler? I have seen the ads and I.Have.Suspicions.
@Omnes Omnibus: He might turn Stewart.
@mk3872: Isn’t a second amendment enthusiast someone who really likes overusing commas?
@different-church-lady: More like shitshow.
If only people were cars, they’d all have insurance.
If only guns were cars, you’d have to have a license to use one.
That’s messed up.
@different-church-lady: I hope this will encourage some celebrities to boycott.
As a nation we accepted DWB, now we have Shopping While Black. I am disgusted. Someone should stick a microphone in Bloomberg’s face and ask him if he approves of this kind of profiling.
@Omnes Omnibus: There wasn’t anything surprising in the movie except it was different enough from the usual time travel trope and they didn’t spend alot of needless time trying to be some type of Minority Report or Matrix time of complicated time travel.
No real spoilers in the trailer either.
But he was doing pretty good until he started taking everyone’s guns and attacking his neighbors.
“And actually, we coulda lived with the attacking his neigbors part – but taking guns and going vegetarian, nuh uh.”
I appreciate your consideration. The social justice portions of the blogosphere, Twitter and Tumblr contain a constant treasure trove of superb writing and commentary. Embedded in my constant complaints is a wish for some of their necessary and considered structural/social analysis to be more common and known in progressive spheres. It’s depressing that this might end up being another generation of powerful social commentary that gets hashed out in obscurity, discussed in racially enclosed confines and then forgotten because too few sought to seek out first hand accounts of their existences and thoughts.
I read about this the other day. Absolutely disgusting.
And let’s remember, he’s not alone in his victimization. Every time authority figures and regular Every Day Citizens successfully assert an authority that POC’s don’t have to police their lives and question the validity of their presence in public spaces, black people tend to get the message. It ends up having the same effect as “whites only signs” and provides a note of deniability to the perpetrators/supporters because the experience is rendered selectively invisible and doesn’t require racially coded and racially explicit language to have a racially explicit impact. Black people have been effectively restricted, and they know it. And it leaves white people to shift within and between white exclusive areas and assume that its whiteness is incidental.
@Anya: Hell, it’s worse than Shopping While Black, it’s Paying For Stuff While Black.
When I was out canvassing in Manassas last weekend, I found a door-hanger distributed by Americans for Prosperity. (It was lying on the ground, so I had no qualms about grabbing it.)
Remember the research showing that one of the most effective methods for getting people out to vote is to tell them you’ll report to their neighbors whether they vote or not? The method that nobody uses because it’s really creepy and doesn’t necessarily make them inclined to vote for your candidate?
That’s what they’re using. No mention of candidates or party, just “we’re reaching out to you and your neighbors to let you know who does and doesn’t vote.”
But what’s particularly hilarious is that NoVa Republicans, and especially outside groups, have laughably bad targeting. The two of these I saw were both at strong Democratic houses, according to my list. Thanks, inadvertently nonpartisan AfP GOTV!
@Anya: If some idiot at Barney’s went off the rails, the company should be contacting the guy and offering him a prepaid store card and an apology. If Barney’s is down with what happened, no one should go there for a long ass time.
Open thread, right? OK: watching the tech commercials on the World Series makes me want to punch every single person in Silicon Valley in the neck.
scott (the other one)
Did anyone else see Ezra Klein on Chris Hayes tonight? I only caught the last minute, but when Chris Hayes and Joan Walsh both gently said, essentially, we really like Ezra but he kinda needs to calm the fuck down about problems with the ACA website, Ezra was on one side of a split screen with a little smile and narrowed eyes that clearly conveyed he was embarrassed and furious at people he considers friends for spanking him in public. It was pretty glorious, in an understated way.
@Drexciya: Your expecting suburban liberals to mingle with the people they speak for. That gets in the way if foodie gatherings at the local restaurant that only eaves local meat and veggies and makes them feel good. You just gotta figure out how to make black people trendy again and they’ll be all over it like white on tapas.
@Omnes Omnibus: Barney’s response was “We can’t comment on the lawsuit.” I need a word stronger than “fuckers” for that one.
No. You don’t talk about the proposition that the society and the spaces you reside in are. And you don’t talk about how existing in those spaces without an affirmative acknowledgment/understanding of the inequities they reproduce tends to codify and normalize them – particularly if there’s no affirmative effort to identify and correct them. This is actually an important discussion/distinction, and I think internalizing such a nuanced article with such a limited, unempathetic – and frankly, self-centered – framing needlessly restricts your ability to connect to the experiences of the people you could and should ally with.
@Belafon: I hesitate between “typical” and “lawyers”, would they suit?
Actually, yup. Amongst other things.
@Belafon: That’s what their lawyers tell them to say.* Let’s see what they do. Of course, there isn’t a Barney’s anywhere near me, so my boycotting it if it comes to it is rather pointless.
*I always tell clients to not to say a word to anyone about anything relating to a lawsuit.
@Yatsuno: “Deutschland for Deutschlanders, and America for Americans”
Tejas for the Mexicans?
They did a brilliant (I thought) about a stand-up comic making fun of people’s looks
@Drexciya: Good luck. That’s a long trip outside the comfort zone.
Anyone from VA care to opine on the statewide races? The recent polls make it seem like T-Mac is beginning to pull away from Kooky Cooch and may end up pwning him by double digits, which would be quite sweet. I’ve always assumed that the LG race was a freebie for us after E.W. “Let me try to prove I’m crazier than Alan Keyes, Ben Carson, Herman Cain, and Allen West combined” Jackson somehow was nominated by the GOP. I don’t know where the polls stand, but I feel like if we can do a clean sweep and win the AG race as well, we’re going to have a very solid bench and leave the GOP with zero(!) statewide officeholders (counting the 3 statewide offices + 2 senators).
@scott (the other one):
so glad to hear it. I wish it had been an actual smack in the head though. I am still shaking my head at some of the things he has written this week. As I said in another thread I think his comment on hold music took the cake.
@Drexciya: I don’t know how long you’ve been here, but you should go digging through some of the older threads. We’ve actually had some rather serious discussions over racial privilege that opened up my eyes, especially since I considered myself pretty open to what undeserved advantages I have as a heterosexual white male (I do skip the right-handed Christian part though).
Sadly, thanks to a few trolls and a disgusting number of people that couldn’t handle being talked to by a minority, we’ve lost a number of good FPers.
We do talk about that. We probably don’t talk about that nearly enough, but we do talk about it.
Racism is the horrible pollution in the water we all swim in. I’d be foolish to think I could possibly “speak” to such an intense issue with any authority or insight. All I can do is attempt to scratch away at it in my own small and confused way.
But when I read a sentence such as “…whose death became a lightning rod for a racist homophobic heterosexist nation…” I cannot help but think, maybe I should just move on to something that is more interested in untwisting the dark side of human nature than laying a guilt-by-association trip on the ‘the people they could and should ally with’.
@Omnes Omnibus: I know. I guess part of the disgust is that they even let it go this far. When he returned the belt they should have done something.
I think the KKK just aren’t seen as hard core enough. Americans (at least the white ones) don’t know enough of their own history and they can see with their own eyes that the Klan dissapeared as a real force some time ago. Anyone old enough to remember when they pulled themselves together enough to walk through skokie to terrorize elderly jews? The whole point was somewhat lost given that they had to ask for a parade permit. Talk about compromising with evil! And they probably weren’t armed, either.
Far better to fantasize about hitler or some serbian mass murderer, someone whose goals and methods you can really visualize. Hell, those guys didn’t even hide their crimes. Brazen is good.
My impression was that the extreme right wing had tried to give itself a makeover by dissociating itself from organizations like the KKK and various neo-Nazis, and assorted symbols like the swastika and burning cross, in favor of more generic militia movements whose manifestos (“Christian,” “Constitutionalist,” “Patriot,” “Libertarian” etc) don’t come with all the historical baggage of the previous groups. Apparently, the makeover really was skin deep and is fraying at the edges now.
Yes, I think there’s been an effort to portray the Ku Klux Klan as nothing but poor white trash living on the fringes of society. It allows people to sweep under the carpet the fact that the KKK was basically Southern polite society’s version of Skull and Bones for quite a while, with a membership roster that reached all the way to governors and senators. (Eventually spread well beyond the South, too).
Anyone from VA care to opine on the statewide races?
The recent polls make it seem like T-Mac is beginning to pull away from Kooky Cooch and may end up pwning him by double digits, which would be quite sweet.
That seems very unlikely unless Cooch (such a name for a man so keen to uh, wand vaginas) loses a lot of votes to a resurgent libertarian. You’re looking T-Mac pulling maybe 52-53% of the vote share I’d guess. The important thing is that no matter the size of the lead T-Mac has broken the 50% barrier in polling, so an absolute majority is in reach, and we win in that event.
I’ve always assumed that the LG race was a freebie for us after E.W. “Let me try to prove I’m crazier than Alan Keyes, Ben Carson, Herman Cain, and Allen West combined” Jackson somehow was nominated by the GOP.
Bolling is actively trying to sabotage these guys, so I expect E.W. will underpoll whatever Cooch actually gets.
I don’t know where the polls stand, but I feel like if we can do a clean sweep and win the AG race as well
Well, yeah! Let me quote the email I got from the Herring campaign:
Obviously, this is a fundraising email, but the tea leaves suggest the R’s have given up Cooch and E.W. and are moving the outside money to Obershain to prevent the sweep. And the only poll I’ve seen had Herring down by a few points.
Herrin’s ActBlue page is here.
@lamh36: Lamh36. I think we have similar tastes. I’m on my second watch through of the series Fringe which is also about space/time travel, predestined love, and specifically the darker side of parental love and the turning of the tables when the child must father the parent. But what I wanted to recommend to you, if you haven’t seen it, is this little gem of a dark romantic comedy that also stars Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt: Wild Target. I can not tell you how perfect this movie is.
Honestly, in last night’s thread, that is exactly how I reacted. Looking back, however, I will note that on a few other occasions Drexciya has posted some strongly worded comments and many of the regular AA commenters have chimed in with “This” or ther expressions of agreement. If a bunch of women tell me something is sexist, I will listen. If a bunch of AAs tell me something is racist, I will listen. And so on. So I will listen. I might disagree, but I will listen.
As a native dude on the internet, I get a (probably deeply unhealthy) sort of pleasure at trolling the white power forums, and whenever “Africa for Africans, America for Americans” comes up, asking them when they’re moving back to Europe.
The amount of incoherent spluttering and special pleading is guaranteed hilarity. Especially when the “America for Americans” comes after several paragraphs of barely literate, eccentrically capitalized screeching about secret genocide by immigration, the hardest part of turning the argument around is correcting all the spelling and syntax errors.
I loved that film. As you say it’s an absolute gem.
@aimai: That movie looks great. I like both Nighy and Blunt and the premise seems cool.
@aimai: Loved me some Fringe. I’m thinking my birthday or Christmas present to myself will be to bite the bullet and buy all 5 seasons on DVD. I really do miss the show that much. Amazingly, it has kinda replaced X-Files as my sci-fi show I’d like to see at the movies, but Fringe had soo many un-choreographed tangents that I bet it’d be hard to put into film form. Still, I resign myself to being happy that John Noble will be a recurring character on Sleepy Hollow.
I’m def see if I can check the Bill Nighy movie out sometime (IDK where though, I’ve cancelled my Netflix streaming…I rarely if ever used it)
@lamh36: This is a little bit of fluff starring Nighy. It was an Alicia Silverstone vehicle that never really took off. It is worth watching.
Racism is a “horrible pollution in the water we all swim in” but the only people who die and suffer from its existence are people of color. Given the omnipresence inherent to your analogy and the intense nature of the disproportionate stresses it places on people-not-you, why do you think it’s appropriate to act defensively about POC’s negatively and critically describing their experiences with a constantly-present national dynamic ? Particularly since, as pointed out in the article, racist consequences and results were reproduced unconsciously by people who, like you, likely see themselves as good folks and potential allies.
This is exactly what I mean by being more conscious of how racism is reproduced by avoiding an affirmative look at its effects and how your actions can contribute to those effects. You just closed your ears to a restrained description from an oppressed party because you, an unaffected party, were offended by the suggestion that a dangerous social dynamic might be more general than just a few choice people. What do you think that does? And why is your allyship contingent on POC’s watering down their feelings just get you to listen to them? In centralizing your concerns, you replicate a dynamic wherein your feelings are prized over the feelings of those most likely to be victimized by existing inequities. You make catering to white racial concerns a necessary factor in responding to the feelings of those more poorly positioned. Your intent may not be racist, but the effect and impact of your actions has repercussions that cement the goals of a white supremacist society that prioritizes the status and feelings of white people.
Do you see why we need to have this discussion?
@Omnes Omnibus: Rupert Grint is also really good in it.
@aimai: Actually, that was the American Nazi Party, and they ended up marching in Chicago instead.
@Ash Can: I hate Illinois Nazis.
you can when they’re burning your house down and shooting at your kids, and the local cops are in on it.
the KKK is silly now, but back in the day it was scary as shit in many parts of the country. we have the luxury now of laughing at the racist goofballs.
Money quotes from your linked article.
I’m pretty sure I know Mr Jones and Mr Cushman. They’re despicable southerners with racist attitudes boiling to the surface of their shallow little minds.
And taking this a little further. Imagine the added implications this adds when white racial concerns are hostile to and oppositional to the kind of progresses necessary to correct and dismantle an on-going social and political dynamic that’s actively and often fatally racist? If your racial concerns are prioritized, unfounded, unfair but listened to anyway, the systems and social cues that allow racism to be casually expressed and reflected in policy remain. There’s a sense in which the white inability to get over yourselves actively harms me and mine.
@Omnes Omnibus: We’ve got a full tank of gas, a half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.
@Southern Beale: No, that’s platinum Dawn.
My first encounter with Drexciya came on a thread in which the topic of the day was sexism, specifically as it pertains to Hillary Clinton. Many of you know that I think the FPers on this blog have a blind spot about sex/gender issues, so my guard was already up. I made the statement that sexism is still one of the most horrible social ills we live with, just as much as racism, especially WRT engagement in public service and voting rights. At which point Drexciya, a man, told me I was wrong. And a big ol’ racist, to boot.
In addition, Drexciya made a comment last night about “perfectly understandable violence” committed by minorities. As someone who has been the victim of violence because I took my vagina out in public during the 50% of my time on the planet that i am in darkness, I find that casual acceptance of violent crime to be horrifying and, yes, ERASING. Race is not the only axis around which society revolves. Nor are sex or gender, or ability, or religion, etc etc etc.
Having said all of that, I think it was a good discussion last night. I didn’t get the sense that he was interested in any exchange of ideas, though. Nor do I think that writing out a “wish list” for what we want society to be all that helpful or penetrating an analysis. Most of the people who read this blog do so because we are searching For ways to put intentions into action. We vote, donate money, canvass neighborhoods, register voters, make phone calls, etc, all because we want to actually produce change. THAT is where shit gets real. It is HARD to do. People are difficult to convince. Votes are difficult to earn. Making a Christmas list is something my kids do. Adults change the world, for better or worse.
@fuckwit: Hit it.
ETA: I believe, purely from memory, that the canonical version is: We’ve got a full tank of gas, a half a pack of cigarettes, it’s a hundred and seven miles to Chicago, it’s dark out, and we’re wearing sunglasses.
To which, “Hit it” is the canonical response. In the Penguin’s name, let us pray.
@PsiFighter37: Polls have consistently shown McAuliffe ahead of the Cooch by more than the margin of error (and occasionally double digits) for the past month or more. We’ve already started getting a lot of stories of “anonymous Republican officials/donors” dissecting how Cuccinelli lost the election. (Burying his corpse before he’s even dead — couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.)
What little polling there has been on the LG race has shown it closer, but I doubt it will turn out that way. It’s hard to imagine anyone voting for Jackson who wouldn’t vote for Cuccinelli.
The AG race is the only one where the outcome is really in doubt at this point; polls are few but pretty much tied. Obenshain, the Republican, is the only one of their candidates who has been successful with Cuccinelli’s strategy of pretending he’s a moderate, pro-business Republican now and hoping people won’t hear that his record is pretty much the same as Cooch’s. There may well be Republicans who aren’t extremists but would like to vote for one Republican this year. On the other hand, the downballot races really don’t get people to the polls if they’re turned off by the candidate for governor, so that may not happen after all. Democrat AG candidate Mark Herring and delegate candidates are where I’ve been sending what little I’m able to give this year.
I’m really hoping for a sweep, plus a pickup of more than a handful of House seats. With any luck, I’ll have two personal friends in the House of Delegates next year.
At which point Drexciya, a man, told me I was wrong. And a big ol’ racist, to boot.
I’ve been thinking the D persona is female, for some reason.
You know, I actually found that thread relatively quickly. You can see what she actually said and what I actually said here. Then you can tell me whether her description charitably or honestly reflects either the exchange or my objection.
I find this remark similarly incredible for other reasons. I think more people read that thread. You can see for yourself whether the statement and the content was charitably and accurately reproduced in her quote.
@kc: The ‘nym ends in an “a.” What has Latin wrought?
@Wag: which article?
@Drexciya: Actually, let’s compare when the first AA senator was elected and when the first female senator was elected. That is a strata of society and AA men got there well before women. It was taken away again, but can you name a female senator elected before Brooks?
@Drexciya: Arguing about whether sexism or racism is worse is like someone telling you you’re going to die an early, painful death but at least you get to choose if that’s from heart disease or cancer when in actuality the proper response is NO THANK YOU.
@Drexciya: So, I read just about everything from your link down, and my conclusion is this: You want to tell some white people that they just don’t understand what is happening to blacks, and when some women came along (one of whom was black) and said that men don’t understand what is happening to women, the two of you started yelling at each other, and the white men came and took all the cookies.
ETA: Just like they always do.
Not just that, but the womyn’s studies jargon and a few other things.
@Belafon: Some of us came back tonight with a few of the cookies.
@Drexciya: I’m glad you find that remark incredible. As you made it and it was deeply offensive, I’m pleased to see that you don’t stand by it.
Can you tell me why you feel that’s a pertinent and representative metric for discussing the power dynamics between black men and white women? And if it isn’t, can you tell me why or how that can possibly be germane? Keep in mind that my incredibly fatalistic descriptions of racism and their effects are coming against the backdrop of a black president. That’s because there’s no meaningful in way in which “firsts” “only’s” or “fews” can reflect the statuses of oppressed demographics; particularly when their elevation is often used as a tool to, as Suzanne did, misrepresent the extent and nature of historically (and presently) known and oppressive factors.
And as an aside, if you want to have this discussion, it’s probably not a good idea to talk about the Senate since I find it to be particularly undermining for the narratives this line of inquiry is frequently utilized to preserve.
That’s funny, I thought the NRA said that was the first thing he did.
Suzanne, your descriptions of my statements and your arguments are so distorted and loaded that I can’t really respond to them. If I told you how and why they’re problematic and described the intersectional nature of my commentary/gender analysis, it’s relatively clear that not only will you not listen, you won’t respect or accept the nuances I go out of my way to maintain.
I retract nothing.
Whatever happened to Ted and Hellen? I haven’t seen him/her around lately.
And Corner Stone?
@kc: I’ve seen Corner Stone lately…last weekend maybe.
But that other one? Please don’t speak the name!!! You may call him forth.
The prophet Nostradumbass
@Drexciya: My point was that there are data that support Suzanne’s point.
On a purely personal note, I have posted a couple of comments on this thread that have been indicated that the discussion last night caused me to think about things and look at my assumptions. You didn’t respond to anything I said until my defense of Suzanne’s comment. I don’t feel that I need your affirmation, but, as someone whose profession is based on persuading people, I can say that you did not help your cause. Generally, the idea is that if you see someone moving toward your position, you encourage it. You made good some good points last night and your lack of persuasive arts won’t keep me from thinking about them – it might, however, keep others from doing so.
I think this right here is where you’re making your mistake. Suzanne was not talking about the power dynamics between black men and white women. She was talking about the power dynamics between WHITE men and white women.
White men use black men to punish white women. That’s not the fault of black men, but it’s ALSO not the fault of white women.
Your racial analysis is often good, but you have a very serious blind spot about gender and how sexism affects white women AND black women, and how men of both races use sexism to play white women and black women off each other.
@Drexciya: Fwiw, last night’s thread prompted discussion in our house. Your weariness comes through clearly and I don’t begrudge you that. But I wanted you to know that people are listening and trying.
Along the lines of what Omnes said above, I thought your approach was a bit too strong last night. But I understand better why I felt that way more today.
Perhaps you didn’t see it, but that’s not true at all.
@lamh36: I’m watching fringe on netflix, oddly enough. I got started on Amazon prime.
@Drexciya: I did not see that comment. I will go read it.
ETA: I withdraw my comment about you ignoring anything I previously said.
want to punch every single person in Silicon Valley in the neck.
On behalf of one person in Silicon Valley, I apologize forthwith for whatever has so offended you.
The prophet Nostradumbass
I saw someone post this on Facebook… do a traceroute to 220.127.116.11 and let it run. You will be rewarded.
Quality comment from the Texas Observer site:
@The prophet Nostradumbass:
Well, clearly, me. But only a little.
@Drexciya: Your quote from last night’s thread:
Seems like Suzanne quoted you accurately. You did say that “racialized feelings” can involve “perfectly understandable violence.” If violence is “perfectly understandable” it seems like you are supporting it. The feelings may be “perfectly understandable”, but when you add in the violence, you condone it, at least to a certain extent.
That’s my impression too. Here’s another bit of a post from Drexciya last night:
Drexciya doesn’t like being here, finds us stressful and angering, yet somehow we’re supposed to get that Drexciya being here is some kind of nod to “coalition building,” along with white people needing to come around to agreeing with an opinion of Drexciya’s.
The not liking being here comes through loud and clear. That’s not the best starting point if your goal is coalition building. Neither is telling other people what they need to do.
To say the least.
@kc: Doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. Assholes can be right.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Exactly. The social hierarchy is not fixed, except for the good-looking able rich straight white dudes at the top. Everybody else falls in line after that. But the order of that line is different in different contexts. Specifically, in the arena of voting and public service and elected leadership, women come in pretty fucking low on that ladder, even white women. Even lower than black men, if one looks at when women could vote or when women were elevated or elected to positions of power.
However, the real fucking trick is that white men have me arguing with someone and finding bad faith who might otherwise be an ally. Circular firing squad AHOY.
@Suzanne: Does this mean that I win?
That’s why that was a response to Omnes Omnibus and not Suzanne. And I’m sorry, but that’s not in any way a neutral or palatable conversation for me. Discussing feminism in a context that erases POC contributions to feminism universalizes the status and success of white women without acknowledging that their feminist accomplishments (and concerns, for that matter) are not racially shared. If we’re not discussing how whiteness impacts the way gender oppression takes place and how centering on whiteness in our feminism only leads to the elevation of white women, then we’re discussing another form of white supremacy – not feminism. And this might be where you’re misunderstanding my gender analysis, which you’ve seen in more threads than just the one that’s linked.
No. I don’t accept this and I don’t accept that it works like this. Particularly in the modern era. This not only serves the function of refusing to analyze the way white-centric gender dynamics create gendered forms of oppression for both female and male POC’s, it absolves white women from the responsibility of acknowledging and becoming accountable for maintaining those gendered dynamics. The dynamic I described isn’t an old or vanished thing, it was replicated when Amanda Marcotte thought depicting black, spearchucking savages was a sweet and nifty allegory for describing sexism, it was replicated further when white women in online feminism relied on an attempted murdering abuser to shout down the innumerable POC women that called to task the absence of intersectional understanding in their feminist expression. And I would go further, as I have before, and say that juror B37 from the Trayvon Martin case encapsulated the exact form and rationale of the white female gender oppression that I think warrants a considerably more critical and culpable analysis than you seem willing to give or accept.
This is absurd, for a lot of reasons. But, again, it embodies a fundamental misreading of my feminism and gender analysis. As Flavia Dzodan said, “my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.” That means it’s mindful of how racial dynamics problematize the neat narratives about male privilege and sexism that brands of white feminism rely on and most importantly, it’s concerned with the elevation of POC women and – for me, black women in particular. Blackamazon, Brownfemipower, so-treu, Flavia Dzodan, Karnythia, Gradiant Lair and many, many others embody the perspective my feminism is rooted in and grows from and my negligence of white women from it is an expression of my own gender analysis and my contempt for how modern feminism has avoided seriously grappling the way even white female gender roles inherently erase and oppress black women while villainizing black men. Occasionally even to defend white men.
So, no, it’s not a blindspot. It’s a political, expressive and rhetorical decision that undergirds all of my gender-related commentary.
@Omnes Omnibus: Heh.
@Drexciya: From the peanut gallery, I suggest that when women say your comments are sexist, you listen.
Setting oppressed groups against one another is the oldest trick in the book. While we claw at each other for the scraps, the Koch brothers sit at the top of the pile snickering.
If we solved every problem of racism tomorrow, sexism would still remain, and vice versa. We can’t ignore one and hope it solves itself if we fix the other.
Marissa Alexander didn’t get 20 years in prison for not killing her ex-husband because she was black or because she was a woman. She got 20 years because she’s both and had to be doubly punished for stepping outside the bounds of both identities.
It’s not either/or. It’s both/and. But Drexciya’s blind spot on gender doesn’t allow for both/and constructions.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Nor are we having the far more interesting and productive discussion of how white women and black men oppress one another and specific ways we could, you know, STOP.
Thank you for your empathy and attentiveness. Might I ask what your discussion was about and how it went?
This looks suspiciously like I’m denying the undercurrent of sexism and what its effects are and how those affects are racially weighted.
Can you link or quote the stated opinion that’s consistent with your conclusion that I don’t allow for this both/and construction? Because I’m relatively sure I’ve explicitly done so several times. Specifically, in the thread where Elon James White posted about DN Lee. Your issue seems to be that I will respond to white feminism differently than I respond to POC centric/rooted feminism. That’s, again, not a blindspot. That’s a choice. There are perfectly defensible reasons for doing this and there’s even more of a reason for believing that a feminist construction rooted in white feminist assumptions effectively erases the particularized struggles of trans/cis women of color.
A link for any parties interested in the comment I made about DN Lee.
In other words, it’s exactly what I said — you promote race issues over gender issues, and if gender enters the conversation you will always, always try to change the subject to race.
Sorry, I’m still not seeing where I’m wrong. You can quote all the black feminists to me you want, but it’s about as meaningful as the devil quoting Scripture. You’re using them as an excuse to maintain your blind spot, not looking at their words to examine your own issues with gender and your need to insist that race trumps everything.
You read Blackamazon and brownfemipower, but you display no understanding of what they’re trying to tell you about intersectionality. If you always put one identity (race) above another (gender), you have by definition failed at intersectionality in exactly the same way Marcotte failed by always putting gender above race.
@Drexciya: To be honest, while there may be a fundamental misreading of your positions, it seems to me that sometimes you’re not being very helpful in making them clear; some of your choice of expression can be very well interpreted as having a blind spot. This makes you and your style the center of discussion, which obviously isn’t what you want.
And, as others have said, you probably don’t want to do the work of dividing and conquering for other people….
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): Seems like it’s not a blind spot. It’s a conscious decision to be sexist.
Can you give me some guidance here? What gives rise to believing this? I’m not asking you to do the work for me, just looking for a starting place.
All my inquiries have been genuine attempts to gain more understanding FWIW.
Karen in SoCal
Just wondering if we’re going to have every late night thread hijacked with a tiresome lecture disguised as a discussion. Drexciya, you need to lighten up a little bit. Not everyone here wants to play semantics games with you.
Or maybe get your own blog.
Re-read your very own link to your own words that you provided above to “prove” Suzanne wrong, especially when you decided to explain to a black woman that she doesn’t understand her own experience, so you would explain it to her and only backtracked when she pointed out your error in assuming that only a white woman would be concerned about sexism.
Let’s run through that again. You lectured a black woman about sexism. In that very thread that you linked to in order to prove that you were not acting in a sexist way towards Suzanne.
Again, you may read black feminist blogs, but you certainly don’t seem to understand what they’re trying to tell you.
So, to be clear, you have chosen to ignore sexism when it presents itself, at least when that sexism is directed at a white woman by white people. And you’re proud of that deliberate decision to ignore sexism and only address it when it intersects with your pet topic of race.
You may not have noticed, but every person in this thread arguing with you is a woman. Including me. Everyone in this thread agreeing with you is a man. But you don’t need to be concerned with sexism, right?
What’s the phrase? “There are none so blind as those who will not see”? The fact that you have deliberately blinded yourself doesn’t make it a heroic act.
@Drexciya: sure. We discussed the (seemingly recent to us) increased frequency of privilege as a topic in discourse, media, etc. some places you find it–like gawker–aren’t exactly bastions of introspection. The embedded nature of that privilege was sort of next-level for me. It’s something I’m generally aware of but I hadn’t really considered the scope of it or how exactly it works.
If you agree that race and gender aren’t open to separation, then how is noting already present racial/gender dynamics “changing the topic” to something that wasn’t there previously? I think your argument is interesting, but I’m not sure your assessment is fair. Furthermore, I’m not sure you’re accepting the extent and degree to which modern feminism has been staffed by white women and centralized on white concerns that flow from white-centric premises. In the Hillary thread, as far as I can tell, only two women came up: Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. If I had that discussion and took the thread at face value, would it be feminist of me to fail to note the interlocking assumptions that their success is a success for women generally and that almost no POC women were mentioned as alternatives? In the Miley Cyrus thread, Miley Cyrus’s sex positivity was celebrated without an analysis of how her whiteness acted as an implicit justification for her appropriation and treatment of their black women, and how black women’s societally depicted status carried the assumption that their access was a given.
There’s a universalization of whiteness that comes from having these discussions in ways that aren’t mindful of how race affects gender dynamics. I’m not “putting one over the other.” I’m noting, with some consistency, that the nature of your oppression, the power you possess and your placement in society is affected by both dynamics. I think it’s strange how you think the constant mention of race is intended to make it overpower sexism instead of overpowering white-centric gender narratives, and, again, I’m not sure it’s fair to view my commentary in isolation from my critique of a feminism that has substantively removed the concerns of WOC’s from its focus. Many of those concerns coming into focus once the inescapable nature of their race is added to the oppression afforded by their gender.
FWIW, the blogs/writers he listed are very good at discussing the multiple intersections between gender and race. It’s not their fault that he doesn’t seem to understand what they’re telling him about gender.
Ironically, I am watching Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff on Colbert discussing what it means to have women co-hosting the NewsHour for the first time. Those two are awesome.
For real, Drexciya is a man?
@kc: I’m actually not convinced that Drexciya is not matoko_chan.
Seriously though, I believe the people who have been in contact with m_c and have said that she has no interest in engaging with any of us again. Drexciya has a point of view. It is not remotely that of m_c.
ETA: Have you seen any reference to IQ?
I’ve engaged a force field around me and my pet science experiment.
Yeah…I can’t have this discussion anymore. I said I view white feminism differently from how I view POC-rooted feminism because, again, white feminism has a history (and one you’ve done absolutely nothing to question, deny or defend) both presently and otherwise of minimizing the particularized nature of race (both their own and that of the people they erase) and how sexism, gender dynamics and gender priorities are racially weighted. If you’re reading that as an active decision to be sexist or ignore sexism and if you’re assuming that gender dynamics – separated from racial considerations – can act as adequate measurements for power dynamics, I don’t think we’re going to share premises, assumptions or perspectives.
And lest I be accused of running from some scathing and incisive analysis, I don’t think your reading of my conversation with the black woman was fair or accurate. Both because after I explained, she understood where I was coming from and because it came at the tail end of a several hundred comment thread where the very power dynamics that I talk about here were minimized and unmentioned in favor of a narrative that universalized white-centric gender perspectives/advances and ignored the history that problematizes the linear and mono-dimensional way it was discussed (a history that Hillary Clinton belongs to, particularly with certain comments we’re all aware of and their showing in North Carolina). I don’t think it’s possible to have a meaningful perception of male privilege and feminist success if you exclude race from the picture. If it weren’t excluded we wouldn’t have issues saying that black men weren’t that successful – especially comparatively – and we’d have no issues accepting that black women were both negatively impacted and functionally invisible in the context of initial (and many current) feminist movements/discussions/priorities.
@Omnes Omnibus: I was joking, yo. Like not even serious.
Define “modern feminism.” I completely agree that second-wave feminism — the feminism that Clinton and Warren benefited from — was primarily and unfairly focused on the concerns of middle-class white women (race AND class blindness) and that they dominated that feminism for far too long. I disagree that current feminism is equally race- and class-blind, or that current feminists are as single-minded as second-wave feminists were. There’s a reason Marcotte lost a lot of readership over those book illustrations, and not all of it was from feminist POCs.
Please name some Democratic women of color who are currently as high profile as Clinton and Warren. Personally, I want Kamala Harris to be governor of California before we set her loose on the rest of the country to kick ass and take names like she’s done here.
Here’s the Congressional Black Caucus. Note how many of the men are nationally prominent versus how many of the women are nationally prominent. Is that because the women are black, or is it because they’re black women? I like Rep. Karen Bass myself, but that may be because she represents the district I lived in for over a decade.
That’s just off the top of my head. Can you name two women politicians of color in your state? Can you name two men? Why do the men’s names come more easily than the women’s?
So we’ll circle back to your original question …
Because your comments always prioritize race over gender. You don’t treat the two things as intersecting issues that come into play in different ways depending on the interaction. In your view, race always pre-empts gender, which, again, is by definition not intersectionality.
Your comments about Cyrus were on point not because she was mocking genderless black people, but because she was mocking black women and all of the baggage bound up with their sex and gender.
When you minimize the vicious sexism directed at Hillary Clinton, you’re simultaneously minimizing the vicious sexism directed at Michelle Obama, who not coincidentally holds the same job that Clinton used to. If it’s no big deal for Mrs. Clinton to be viciously attacked on the basis of her sex, why is it a problem when similar gender-based attacks are used on Mrs. Obama?
@Suzanne: Sorry. I didn’t catch it. I apparently have a thing about m_c. She was racist, weird, insane, and insightful. I dont mind if people rhetorically beat the shit of of her, I just want them to get it right. Yeah, I am aware of the fact that my defense of her is rooted in a perception of her as a young woman who needs protection.
The real phrase is assholes are useful. At least a couple times a day. Maybe more.
But that isn’t fair to the person in question. I started to read some of the posts and just didn’t have the interest. I’ve known that racism, hell any kind of bigotry is bad for over half a century. I don’t need to be convinced. That doesn’t make me smart, just observant. But I don’t control anyone else’s thoughts or actions. And I feel like I was(and am) being talked down to. That isn’t right in any direction. I remember the prior discussions that Suzanne was having and my recollection matches her’s. The world is a complicated place with good and bad people, some of whom change when their words and actions are discussed reasonably. Rarely when they are shouted at. It’s a slow and uneven process, 10 feet forward, 9 back. I can understand anger and frustration over that. I can wish it wasn’t that way. But I know that it is. I don’t think those on the receiving end have to accept that process speed but I think it helps to at least acknowledge it. That said someone telling me that I can’t talk about racism because I haven’t been on the receiving end? That’s just bullshit.
@kc: His reluctance to affirm or deny his maleness when he’s been very direct about being black, gay, and atheist is pretty telling. I think he is loath to admit it because he’d prefer to pretend that his perspectives come from a place of having no social privilege.
But to me, it’s more interesting if we admit that most of us have some sort of privilege, and explore what that affords us. And what that DOESN’T afford us. But that requires reckoning with oneself, and that can be uncomfortable.
I didn’t see much of m_c, mercifully. I remember her posts as being almost unreadable, though in a different way than D’s.
@Omnes Omnibus: The two of them could absolutely not have been more different.
Oh well, it may have been funny if I had delivered the joke in person with a deadpan expression and flat affect, but the internet is where subtle humor, if you can call that that, goes to die.
@Suzanne: You didn’t even respond to my confession of a need/desire to protect a woman who had no need of it? Damn….
after reading this thread and last night’s thread, I think I need a cigarette or since I don’t smoke, maybe a cookie…..
ty everyone for the thoughts to chew on, it’s hard to get out of the middle class white guy mindset, all I can do is look people in the eye, deal with them honestly and try to help better politicians to get elected and do some community service when and where I can.
We all start from someplace other than zero. Who and what we are depends on ourselves, our upbringing and our surroundings(culture). In our culture being white gains you points. Being wealthy gains you points. Being male gains you points. I’m sure there are others. None of these are deserved in any way shape or form, but there we are. Other cultures have different points systems, many much worse than ours.
The problem both last night and tonight is the refusal to discuss how to change that point system, or however you want to describe privilege.
But to me, it’s more interesting if we admit that most of us have some sort of privilege, and explore what that affords us
Absolutely. Though I would hate to see every many thread here turned into identity politics competitions and lectures about how we just don’t get it.
If you don’t understand that gender dynamics ARE power dynamics, that men as a group have more power than women as a group, and that male perspectives and experiences are prioritized over female perspectives and experiences regardless of race then, yes, I don’t think we will share much understanding.
Let me put it this way: it’s now 11:00 at night. Would you feel comfortable going outside for a walk by yourself? Just a stroll around the block. Do your fears revolve around authorities stopping you, or around a complete stranger attacking you? Do you think that the fears of a black woman out at night by herself are more similar to your fears as a black man, or more similar to my fears as a white woman?
I will still listen with interest to your perspective on race, but I know to take any of your opinions on the intersections between race, gender, and other issues with a large grain of salt.
@Ruckus: Well, I think it’s human nature to think that whatever happens to us or our people is the Worst Thing Ever. My gay friends, including the educated, rich, good-looking white ones, all think that homophobia is the Worst Thing Ever. The women all think sexism is the worst. The racial minorities all think racism is the worst. Etc etc etc. Quite frankly, even with privilege, life is fucking hard, and we all just want someone to recognize that, to acknowledge our struggle. But if we’re really, REALLY going to try to make this better for people, it’s worth acknowledging that we don’t have to have a contest about it or even agree who has it the hardest.
But if you can’t at the very least acknowledge someone’s pain and struggle, that it at least exists, then you kind of suck at life.
Well, since D apparently is a man, I apologize for referring to him as “she.” I wasn’t trying to be a smart-ass; I really thought he was a she based in part on my first encounter with him on one of the Miley Cyrus threads. Bad assumption on my part. Kind of sexist, I guess.
@Ruckus: And I tried to discuss it last night, but didn’t see any responses from Drexciya. I saw the proposed solution that was offered as a starting point and it’s a known model that I had inquiries about. I see holes in the re-distribution solution, a lot of them actually but it was a good enough place to start. And I occassionally lean towards it again as the most sensible solution, but I am admittedly still learning and re-evaluating my positions and tend to move away from it as I examine history and go beyond theory.
xoJane, Jezebel, Feministe, Tigerbeatdown, Feministing and various big names I’m sure you’re aware of. I’m mainly focusing on the online component since that’s been incredibly influential in how feminist activism and rhetoric has been structured. (btw, before I forget, I think The Toast is a surprisingly good corrective to a lot of this)
That’s a poor standard, and the way you worded it suggests that you are aware of incredible levels of class and race blindness in modern feminism, modern feminist expression and how it’s structured. Since I’m going to be charitable and assume that you are, I’m going to further assume that you realize that every single person I talked about and read (as well as myself) sees mainstream feminism as extraordinarily and shamelessly white and sees that whiteness getting expressed in ways that disproportionately and unfairly centralize white concerns. #Solidarityisforwhitewomen didn’t crop up in a vacuum or as a consequence of latent paranoia. Concerns that are often inseparably rooted in racism frequently has particularly gendered effects and dimensions, depending on which race and which gender you are. It’s not a clean thing, and attempting to draw a linear line between “maleness” “femaleness” and “gender” without maintaining racial awareness can lead you to painfully inadequate conclusions that serve to erase particularized forms of sexism and gendered oppression generally.
If we’re talking about white women, saying that white women are worse off than “men” isn’t going to be a very meaningful statement. Part of this is rhetorical, but part of this is untangling the ways in which a lack of specificity and a lack of racial consciousness in your gender analysis maintains narratives that are both self-serving, false and that refuse to conceive of separate gender realities and the pressures that are unique them.
I want to highlight the bolded because I think it illustrates a problem here. Why do you think they have a national profile over WOC’s, and why do you think WOC’s lack of a national profile disqualifies them from consideration in the same breath? In the same way that Barack Obama hasn’t broken a ceiling for black people in general, their visibility isn’t ceiling breaking for women in general. As ever, their whiteness is central to what makes them plausible and implicit in their plausibility is the need for the very whiteness you see no need to discuss in gendered contexts. Whatgives them a pedigree that makes them more worthy of consideration than, say, Corrine Brown?
Yeah, like I said, I think this is very wrong and incredibly uncharitable. It requires reading into my motivations and ignoring the contexts that inspire my remarks (not to mention the substance of the remarks themselves). There’s a reason why I’ve never said that race “preempts” gender: that’s because I don’t think it. What I have said, and will continue to say, is that race is inseparable from gender dynamics and gendered responses and that race – like gender in some areas – will (and should) determine how societal power is assessed and expressed and what its effects are/will be.
I’m sorry, this paragraph is awful and attempting to draw some form of equivalence between Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama because they’re women is exactly the kind of experiential erasure I’m trying to avoid by keeping in mind that Hillary’s a white woman and Michelle is a black woman. There’s absolutely no way that the equivalent of a “whitey tape” would happen to Hillary Clinton. There’s no way that people would feel comfortable with presenting her as some kind of militant black radical. And Michelle Obama’s sexism is deeply rooted in some strange mixture of Sapphire and Jezebel racial archetypes that only apply like this to black women. This is exactly why it’s necessary to keep in mind how race weights gender and how little things (like white feminists responding negatively to people like Michelle Obama, Beyonce et al despite them being personal bastions of feminist expression) make racial matters inseparable from how gender issues are processed and comprehended.
I don’t understand why you’re objecting to my comments the way you are and what you find so controversial about what I’ve said.
As an aside, there are some things you stated that I haven’t and won’t respond to. This is inching toward territory about intra-racial topics that I don’t feel comfortable discussing in non-neutral, non-safe spaces. Which this is not. I felt similarly about some of the black woman’s comments, which I would have elaborated further on if we could have talked in private. I’m not asking for special consideration, but do keep in mind that we’re not kin and that I will say more and different things if I thought we were.
Life is hard. Much harder for some than others but still. I never, ever thought I’d make it to being able to collect SS but here I am. How many have it harder by just being not white or being female or both or being gay? Or some combination of these that can add additional bullshit to life that can just suck. Have a friend who has had 2 houses burn down under him and his wife, both times major disasters that destroyed many homes around them as well. Now that sucks. But they get up every morning and live. Have a friend with so many life long health issues that I’m amazed that she is still alive. And she is gay and black on top of all the rest. Still gets up every morning and lives.
How does that work?
I have a long list of friends like this. Puts my bullshit into perspective, it does.
@Drexciya: Women have called you sexist and you complain that this is “uncharitable”?!
FFS. This seriously could not be a more illustrative example of gender-based dynamics.
This is an extraordinarily telling quote and while I assumed this was your perspective, I didn’t want to put words into your mouth. I think this represents a clear divide and one that pretty much all of the people I’ve cited would have contentions with. You can apply salt as liberally as you please, but you’ve stated one of the feminist assumptions that are most transparently rooted in a white-centric and white-affirming metrics.
Why did you say “more similar” and not “the same?”
Your answer to that question would probably go far in understanding why universalizing your experiences and pretending that there’s some broad swathe of womanhood that your whiteness can capably relate to without any kind of racial context is more than a bit of a problem.
And out of fairness, I don’t think that’s a very good question or that my answer to your question would be helpful. You can assume that I answered exactly how you want to and continue. I look forward to seeing your point.
I’m going to bow out momentarily because I have things to do. But I’ll respond to the responses when I return.
I guess I have to be about the hundredth person to ask, How do we change things to make them better? I haven’t seen any answer to that either. I’d bet that most people here want to make things better for others, equal and all that. But to be honest I’ve never heard anyone other than MLK have any good ideas. The man knew it would be a long and hard slog to get there and that getting there would never be 100% because we are human. He also knew that bigotry is not a single point issue, that you can’t have equality for some and not others and call it better.
@Drexciya: What’s interesting to me is that the original thread to which you linked earlier was specifically discussing gender issues, and you essentially derailed it. I’ve been commenting here for about four years, and sex/gender issues have been a problem here that whole time. So when it finally came up and you derailed, that’s a straightforward silencing technique.
Couple that with your “understandable violence” comment, which is offensive in the extreme, as there are many sexual assault survivors reading here tonight….it’s pretty easy to conclude that you want to talk and not to listen. Mansplain, even.
No disrespect to Congresswoman Brown, but being in the House of Representatives is the same job as being Secretary of State and gives you the same level of exposure to national issues? Really?
And this is why I cannot have a conversation about gender with you. You find it impossible to believe that I could identify with and sympathize with Michelle Obama because I am white and she is black. The fact that I can identify and sympathize with her on the basis of our shared gender is completely beyond your understanding.
This conversation is over. Good night.
@Drexciya: Any particular reason my questions weren’t addressed yesterday or today? I know there are a lot of choices about which to respond to, but there could be a reason that I missed and would like to reflect on for future consideration with others.
@Ruckus: You could wade through last night’s thread for his proposed solution, or I can sum it up for you thusly:
1) Hopes and dreams for a better tomorrow.
Because (A) a black woman is more likely to be stopped by the police while walking down the street and (B) a woman of any race is more likely to be sexually assaulted by the police than a man of any race. So both a black woman and a white woman will be afraid of sexual assault by the police, but a black woman is more likely to be stopped by them in the first place.
But, hey, you go right ahead and condescendingly mansplain to me that my fear of sexual assault is totally different than a black woman’s would be and only a black man can really understand her fears. You know that’s what we’ve been circling around with your dismissal of gender as a power dynamic, so go ahead and spit it out. Rape isn’t that bad, amirite? Certainly nothing to get all upset about.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): No, no, no. Rape is “perfectly understandable” and long prison sentences for rapists are bad. Or something.
@Suzanne: he did mention that some massive affirmative action programs should be implemented that would essentially indicate that higher education should be free for minorities and programs implemented to allow them to procure loans (for business or homes) at reduced rates. I think, in theory, I wouldn’t have an issue with that; the reality of implementation and resultant racial tensions that follow would have to be addressed. By that I mean, if we blink a few times and witness the apparent threat levels to white male privilege currently and indicate that now, or in the near future or even devise plans to implement programs long term to attempt to rectify those wrongs from the past (for any minority) will be a major freak out. Doesn’t mean that I couldn’t be on board with that, doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be willing to work for that, I mean that based on the current political environment it would be an extremely heavy lift (fuck, we can’t even get baseline gun control laws passed when 90%+ of the country approves of them) and while it may be something worth doing and worth talking about that message is going to be a hard sell, implementation of said ideas more so.
@piratedan: IMO, the implementation is the important part, tho. I, too, am fine with the vast majority of what he suggested last night. Okay. So what? If you have no road map to your goal, you have NOTHING, IMO.
@Suzanne: true, ideas are nice, but imho we still need to do a much better job at education and tbh, Conservatives have stolen the march on liberals on that issue with all of the home school/charter initiatives. Not all of them are bad, but way too many of them allow them to keep like with like, exclusion by gender, religion or class. The breaking of the union movement and defunding of private education have really hurt how information is presented and taught. I mean we’re even back to fighting creationists and southern revisionists out of the textbooks. This fight is a long haul one and education (imho) is the front line, where we can do a better job of teaching about gender, about ethnicity and our own civics. We teach our children well and their children and maybe we can make more progress… if we can, as a nation, elect an Obama, we can stop discrimination by sexual preference and orientation then it means that we do have hope. By no means is it solved yet.
You’re right. This discussion is over.
I can understand getting incensed over things I’ve actually said and implied. This isn’t one of those things. I think that’s a remarkable reading and I can’t really discuss this capably if your perception of my perspective/approach is rooted in the assumption that the above undergirds what I’ve been saying. I also think it’s unfortunate that it has to end like this, because I’ve enjoyed some of your posts and I think you argue your cases well. Ultimately, I don’t think we’ve internalized the same considerations and I don’t think your generalized anthropomorphizing of black women’s racially specific concerns and historically entrenched stresses adequately identifies what their problems are. In essence, by relating to Michelle “as a woman”, you’re not relating to her or her concerns, you’re relating to a whitewashed and racially simplified caricature of her concerns. That’s not relating. Sorry. But it isn’t.
I have a whole lot of other problems with your comments, but I’ll just let this be my last response on this to you on this.
@Suzanne: If I have never told you before, your perspective on gender and gender roles opened up my eyes even wider even for someone who thought he was aware of them. I thank you for that.
My apologies. Both last night and tonight were dominated by various discussions and assertions that I wanted to address, so some can easily get overlooked or can end up being too unrelated to a dominant topical undercurrent.
If you can reproduce your questions, I’ll try and answer them if I can.
You realise, in this one sentence, you denied any agency Michelle Obama has as a woman based solely on her being a different race than Mnemosyne, correct? If not, you need to re-examine your thought process if you think Michelle Obama only has concerns related to her skin colour. I find that offencive.
@Drexciya: I actually think I got some good sources to look into and a general frame of reference for your positions in reviewing your other responses a couple more times. So I think I’m good while I contemplate my perspectives again; that may prompt some new questions.
No, but the Wall Street Journal and several GOP Congressmen did accuse Hillary, publicly and in print, of being a militant lesbian who murdered Vincent Foster when he threatened to expose their secret love affair — a murder she had no trouble covering up, since she and her “beard” Bill had a serial history of drug-running-related murders back in Mena, Arkansas. They admitted there was no proof that any of this happened, but why would so many people be talking about it she wasn’t guilty of something?
HIllary Clinton as a Radcliffe dyke, Michelle Obama as a radical Black separatist. The people who have the power, and their wanna-be supporters, are going to use whatever ugly stereotype comes to hand to attack any woman, or man, who threatens their hold on power.
Insisting that it’s all about who wins first prize in the Most Oppressed Sweepstakes not only isn’t useful, it allows the mostly white mostly straight mostly men at the top of the income/power pyramid to keep us fighting with each other instead of challenging our mutual enemies.
Since this has become a general demand, here’s how I conceptualize implementation and what can be done to make implementation more possible. Firstly, I think there needs to be a general acknowledgment that in terms of politics, political discussion, interpersonal socialization, etc, etc that POC’s have been generally erased from consideration. I’ve spoken a lot about the idea of specifying their stresses, distinguishing between and highlighting various POC movements and concerns and highlighting those specific concerns, through their own voices.
Because mainstream media outlets and blogs conceptualize the default as white (in terms of both whose voices are important and who they think reads what they circulate) and because the media rewards the dynamics that reproduce that assumption, there’s a total and complete absence of perspectives from people who openly embody both racially specific and racially intersectional identities. If you can find a black man, generally, you won’t also find a black woman. If you can find a black woman, you won’t find a lesbian or a trans person. If you find one of any of these categories, you usually won’t find two and you definitely won’t find three.
This not only restricts the level of investment placed on issues that relate to their concerns (why would you focus on issues that relate to readers you don’t think you have), but it provides an atmosphere where all POC’s implicitly and silently understand that white centeredness, white culture and conformity to that culture are requirements for professional and acceptance. This means that those few black writers who can “play the game,” as it were and be twice as good to get half as much, end up biting their tongues, stopping themselves from discussing certain issues, and if they DO discuss certain issues, there’s only so far they will go. This also goes for seemingly outspoken people like me, since I’m quite restrained here and that restraint weighs on me.
Such a dynamic relates to a media circumstance – and one that the blogosphere replicates – where non-white voices are suffocated in various ways by expectations and by a forced tolerance toward various microaggressions and backlashes that limit who they can respond to, what they can say and how. In response to this (likely unintentionally), media spaces have cropped up where non-whites of all genders, sexualities and ethnicities have cropped up to voice – sometimes well, sometimes emotionally, sometimes angrily – the feelings, observations concerns needs and political solutions that come from existing in a society where your existence is deemed to be beneath consideration and beneath note.
So, before any implementation takes place and before we can have any discussion about what to implement, what to prioritize and how, I think those spaces need to start being read, processed, mainstreamed and engaged with – on a long term, approachable level with an open-minded willingness to both understand and empathize. POC issues and the particular flavor that POC’s bring to economic and social debates are missing because that’s never been broadly attempted and never been broadly done. We’re all political. We all have mainstream and non-mainstream social views. But the way those views are expressed, who expresses them, who we listen to and why, and who we read to retain and gain certain levels of understanding about our place in society are invisible to you because you avoid that mainstreaming.
I’ve listed many people in the past who are worth reading and following (and will continue to do so). I think you guys should too. I think you should read them. I think you should immerse yourself in them. I think you should become literate in the language of social justice discourse (regardless of how you balk at it) and you should go into them retaining an understanding and acknowledgement of their humanity and an understanding and of how it feels to have that humanity constrained.
This would not only add newer perspectives to how you approach various politicized issues, it would provide a more intimate understanding of concerns and disagreements between social movements that you probably weren’t aware of and would be benefited by BECOMING aware of. I mentioned #Soldiarityisforwhitewomen earlier, and I think that’s a fantastic place to start, both because it shows how negatively women of color have responded to how they feel white women have approached their particular brands of womanism and because it provides a history and chronicles microaggressions that are incredibly formative for most of the people I’d suggest to you.
You may ask how this relates to practical politics, and instead of asking why you don’t think who you read and why you read it is a political consideration, I’d ask you to consider this: Democrats and liberals in general claim to be against racism. They claim to be against employment discrimination. They claim to be against the way social programs and wealth are racially tiered. They claim to be for affirmative action. They claim to be for immigration reform. They claim to care about the racism directed toward POC’s. But they don’t talk at length or generally about what racism is and how their own behavior replicates racist effects. They don’t talk about how pay is racially tiered and how people with clearly non-white/non-anglo names don’t get hired. They don’t talk about creating and implementing more racially specific versions of the kinds of programs they support. They don’t constantly defend affirmative action or practice it in the media and blogs they own. They don’t link to immigration protests every time they happen or add human faces and anecdotes from affected parties. And while many of you are willing to passively go on about “privilege” you’re not very introspective about how your silence, passivity and general laxity in addressing this makes it easier for you to reproduce the effects of white supremacy.
In essence, by making POC’s more visible and by holding yourself accountable to, empathetic to and understanding of their perspectives, you can begin to put a human face and human concerns on issues that have been too passively and too insensitively relegated to statistics, if they’re discussed at all. The above policies are issues I think most of us already agree on. I think by rooting your progressivism in all the factions within your coalition and within a requirement to represent them, you can actually square your abstract political preferences with the actual people highlighting them would effect.
The inability to entertain more advanced, forthright solutions to racism is rooted in what I referenced yesterday: the sense in which we’re a politically, socially, perceptionally and emotionally segregated society. My concerns don’t cross yours, because you don’t experience what I experience and you don’t have the same facts and the emotional response to those facts and in many cases, some of you are emotionally and practically disinterested sharing or understanding those responses. But your concerns cross mine, and I’m forced to be responsive to them because these spaces are presumptively white and because that whiteness is reproduced by who’s linked, who’s discussed and how. I suppose what I’m asking for is a little more equality and a greater understanding that equality is only challenged by affirmative efforts to correct it. Doing nothing maintains an automatic default that I believe we can already agree is unequal.
This is already too long, but I wanted to identify free, easy things that you and this blog can do right now to try and expand the vantage point and the level of emotional anchoring you place on concerns you don’t share. There are other components to this that I can speak at length about (namely interpersonal dynamics and how we should link to POC’s and respond in inclusive ways to POC commentors) but I think this is an acceptable starting point. I hope those of you who’ve demanded a means of implementation find this effective. Particularly since a good starting point would be rhetorically and actively committing yourselves to talking about and thinking through Democratic planks that you claim to already hold and that functionally qualify as “moderate.” When it comes to topics like this, white people – who maintain a monopoly on power in this country – are the issue and one means of correcting the white supremacy you call “privilege” lies exclusively in your hands. Things don’t change when the oppressed start complaining, they change when oppressors start responding to those complaints and one response is noting the ways your perspectives and cultural backdrops are rooted in whiteness and the assumption of white normativity and seeking to decentralize the whiteness that makes such cultural and social isolation possible.
He’s been on record, when the court order came out against “stop and frisk”, that he thinks “stop and frisk” was/is a good policy. I assume that means he’s basically O.K. with this sort of racial profiling.
This is already too long,
A Humble Lurker
@A Humble Lurker: He’s gay.
A Humble Lurker
I knew that, actually. I just haven’t slept.
Seriously. What a condescending self-important douche.
Don’t blame me for this. You guys got into this particular headbutting contest on your own.
We’re too busy trying to hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half to expend effort on getting four people to yell at each other in the comments of a blog.
@geg6: Yea, I’m done fucking with him. If other people, smarter than I, want to engage more power to them.
Everything Drexciya says can be reduced to “My grievances take precedence over everyone else’s.”
Technically Golden Dawn hasn’t been outlawed as a political party; however, they’ve been denied the government funding that goes to political parties here in Greece, and several of their MP’s have been stripped of parliamentary immunity.
And to me, “Chrysi Avgi” will always bring to mind one of the inter-island ferries that was working the western Cyclades about 25 or 30 years ago. One stormy winter day, the Chrysi Avgi was carrying passengers and vehicles when one unsecured truck lost traction in the hold, started a fire, and sank the ship, killing more than half of the souls on board. I’d taken the same ship from Santorini to Sifnos the previous summer, with my father; we’d met the captain, who was one of those who went down with the ship.
I hope the political party doesn’t take as many innocents with it when it founders.
@Yatsuno: I hope you know how much I love you.
If it’s one thing I hate, it’s the notion that I can’t sympathize with someone’s situation because they’re a different race/sex/etc.
Maybe it’s harder—one might have to apply more imagination to put oneself in their shoes. But it’s not impossible.
This is also the issue behind these right-wing a$$holes who can’t imagine what it’s like living paycheck-to-paycheck. While not in the top 1%, I’m pretty comfortably well-off, but it’s really doesn’t take a lot of brain wattage to imagine the mass suck-itude of living week to week financially.
This is false. Plenty of white liberals have remarked on those studies that take identical resumes and send people of difference ethnic groups out with them in an attempt to get a job.
I hope I’m wrong but I think that before the end of Obama’s term there will be, if not not open warfare, at least some form of armed rebellion as the crazies see losses in 2014 and the inevitability of another, likely two-term, liberal president in 2016, maybe a woman of ethnicity to make it all horribler.
They’ve got a leader now and they’re just getting started and they don’t give a fuck about anything but winning.
@lamh36: Love Bill Nighy!
I too thought that Drexicya was a woman, my apologies. Drexicya admitted to lurking on BJ as a teen. That explains the smug self satisfaction and lack of doubt in his positions which he deigns to hand down to us from up high.
I’m done with engaging this dude. For all his talk of social justice, he’s really uninterested in confronting his own biases and prejudices, and I have a toddler for that already. It’s a shame, because I think 50% of what he says is spot-on and thought-provoking and penetrating and incisive. But my free time is limited and I can find better allies.
Mr. Bitler would like to remind you that he is not a racialist:
Hmm. If he [?] really is a teen, then there’s lots of room to grow and improve. Seems like a waste to write him off.
That said, I’ll get right to work converting him into a liberal neo-Georgist. :-)
@liberal: If he decides that he wants to make this a mutual learning experience and learn and listen, I’m down. But I’m not down to be told to sit down and shut up on a nightly basis by someone who needs to follow his own advice.
@liberal: That shit is nothing BUT graduate school. Fucking real people don’t talk like that.
It’s mind boggling how someone can be such an advocate of the idea that only racial minorities clearly see how pervasive racism is, while telling women their perspectives on sexism are essentially irrelevant.
Hell, I didn’t talk like that in graduate school. Neither did anyone else with whom I attended grad school. Sounds more to me like an undergrad who fancies himself the most brilliant mind on his campus but who no one else, including the faculty, likes or cares to engage with in class or out because he’s a self-absorbed pedant in love with his own ideas and with no clue how utterly full of shit he sounds.