Friday, October 10, 2008

white weekend links

  • "Race Will Survive the Obama Phenomenon" (David R. Roediger @ The Chronicle Review)

    Early in the campaign, African-Americans were said to support Clinton because of an atavistic questioning of whether Obama was "black enough," as Time asked in a headline.

    When Obama did well among black voters, such arguments were immediately cast aside, although there was no acknowledgment in the news media that its earlier reasoning had been egregious. Nor did commentators stop to notice that African-Americans were supporting a mixed-race candidate with a foreign-born father, making them perhaps the most cosmopolitan sector of the electorate. As the campaign progressed, the candidates were said to grapple over who would get the Hispanic vote or the "white male" vote, with the news media assuming simple equations between identity and voting. Crude racial profiling of voters jostled for space with extravagant claims regarding the transcendence of race.

    Such careening representations of the Obama campaign reflect an overwhelming desire to transcend race without transcending racial inequality — as well as the impossibility of doing so.

  • "An Open Letter to White Voters, or What McCain Really Thinks of You" (Carmen Van Kerckhove @ Racialicious)

    When Palin delivered her stump speech berating Obama at the Florida rally on the same day, an audience member yelled, “Kill him!” Audience members then began shouting angrily at the reporters covering the event, one of them yelling racial slurs at an African-American camera man and telling him to “Sit down, boy.”

    Do you bear any resemblance to these agitators? Probably not.

    Do you fit the profile of the racist and xenophobic white voter? Probably not.

    Then do you really want to support a candidate who thinks so little of you that his only strategy right now is to appeal to your basest human instincts of fear and hatred?

    Contrast McCain’s view of you to that of Obama’s.

    Despite the harsh realities of racism in America — his being placed under Secret Service protection earlier than any other presidential candidate in history, for example — Obama has never expressed anything but unfailing faith in you.

  • "Bill O’Reilly: ‘The Only Person in The Galaxy Who Is Able to Imagine a Raceless Human Being’" (Matt Corley @ Think Progress)

    On Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor last night, Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill argued that when politicians like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin invoke “Joe Six Pack,” they are using a “code word” that excludes African-Americans. “Why can’t an African-American guy be Joe six pack?” asked O’Reilly.

    “What I’m saying is that when people think of Joe Six Pack, when — the immediate image that comes to your mind is not a black man. It is often a white man,” said Lamont. O’Reilly then claimed that when he imagined “Joe Six Pack,” he pictured a person with “no color” . . . .

    Ironically, Stephen Colbert says that O’Reilly is one of the main inspirations for his character. Colbert’s satirical character defines himself as racially colorblind, often saying, “I don’t see race.”

  • "Stop the Nonsense and Call Then 'White Voters'" (Roland S. Martin @ Anderson Cooper 360°)

    Wal-mart moms. Soccer moms. NASCAR dads. Small town America.

    Seriously. Read all of those phrases, and when you think of who candidates, political strategists and the media are talking about, who immediately comes to mind? I can tell you no one black, Hispanic or Asian!

    So, can we just stop the nonsense and say, all at once - WHITE AMERICANS.

    I just think it’s so obvious, but it as if we - the collective media - just doesn’t want to say it.

  • "White Rage" (Renee @ Womanist Musings)

    White rage at Obama's lead in the polls is palpable. . . .When they refer to him as Barack Huessin Obama and suggest that he is an 'other', what must be taken into consideration is what the binary opposite represents. American means God fearing and white. The resounding wails about the downfall of the American empire are really about fear of the devaluation of whiteness.

    Whiteness feels entitled not only to power but safety, thus when it is inferred that Obama is a terrorist it is an attempt to benefit off of the social construction of black males as violent. Though the connections are tenuous at best, no real evidence needs to be offered because the belief is supported by the social construction of the black male body.

  • "Unintentional Subversive Messages Sent on 14th Street" (missingwhitewomanohmy @ New York Girls Take Over the Blogosphere!)

    I was strolling along 14th Street near Union Square last week when I started to notice tons of flyers scattered all over the ground. I stopped to read one and found that they all said ‘why are you white?’ in big capital letters. I initially thought to myself, ‘Yes indeed, what a relevant question to be posing in this day and age! Why am I white?’

    I noticed someone passing the flyers out, so I walked over to get one, still thinking that maybe it was a flyer for a discussion on white privilege, or whiteness, or the history of race in general. I took one. And it was laminated. I thought ‘Wait a second, this isn’t right. Discussions on whiteness don’t usually have the budget for glossy, graphic-artist-designed flyers.’ Sure enough I flipped it over and it was an advertisement for a tanning place.

And finally, a message for white folks who think that racism isn't much of a problem anymore:


  1. Macon,

    I just wanted to forward this videoclip to you of Richard Trumpka from the AFL CIO. We need more white allies to do what Trumpka is doing!

  2. Macon, your last video clip is just heart-breaking.

  3. Regarding that White Rage video: Those people are the dumbest fvcks on the planet! They are misinformed, uneducated, unintelligent, and gullible--for they unquestioningly believe anything that the Limbaughs and Hannitys tell them to be the truth.

    Dumb fvcks! They are cowards, too, for you know the word that they really want to use to describe Obama. Instead of using that word, they use the word terrorist, instead.

  4. You don't see much of that anymore - the blatant acts of hatred. Which is why most white people who watch that video will separate themselves from it. They will have sympathy for the young woman and think that there is no chance they are racist - some specifically because they are sympathizing with a black woman. But it always is important to recall that racism is not comprised of individual acts of hate but a system of oppression in which all of us participate.

  5. are you going by "macon d" as a reference to Macon Detournay, the protagonist of Angry Black White Boy? because that would totally make my day.

  6. 500 points in the bonus round to you, angry black-white girl! Yes, I love the flawed hero Mansbach's book, which I reviewed back when I had more time to do book reviews here; yup, Mansbach's Macon is my namesake. Thanks for stopping by, and it's great to see you blogging like you do.

    Thanks for the
    , oterhog. Yeah, Trumka's on fire there! Every American should see that.

    I know which word you mean there, redcatbiker, and I agree; a lot of them probably know that uttering the real word on their minds would delegitimize their other words, so they hold back. I don't want to describe them as dumb, though--misled, more like, just worse so than most of us.

    I agree, orange, that's an awful incident (and results) described in that news report, and like holly more or less said, another tragedy is how few white folks would see it as anything other than an isolated incident, rather than a symptom of ongoing, systemic, and highly abusive white supremacy.

  7. Macon, I enjoyed watching the videos in this post. They were all entertaining. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  8. That clip of the McCain-Palin Mob scares the hell out of me. It really scares me to know that there are people who are actually this idiotic.

    Stupid Americans are destroying this country.


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