Saturday, November 22, 2008

white weekend links

"Charge in Hate-slay Upgraded to Murder" (Erik German @

Seven teenage friends had singled out a Hispanic man for a beating, but one among them - Jeffrey Conroy - was intent on killing when he stuck a knife into the man's chest, Suffolk prosecutors said after an indictment boosting his charges from manslaughter to murder was unsealed in Riverhead Thursday.

All seven Patchogue-Medford High School students charged in the attack on Marcelo Lucero, 37, now face new hate crime and conspiracy counts for what prosecutors said was an unsuccessful attempt to surround and pummel another Hispanic man earlier the night of Nov. 8. . . .

Outside court, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota said the seven students charged in the attack admitted they regularly beat Hispanics for fun. He said one of the accused attackers, Anthony Hartford, 17, of Medford, told police "I don't go out doing this very often, maybe once a week."

"That statement provides a true window into the mindset of these defendants," Spota said. "To them, it was a sport."

Latino hate crime in NY:
Teens in LI stabbing plead not guilty

"Racial Incidents Sour Barack Obama's Victory" (Toby Harnden @ The Telegraph)

Police have recorded a number of problems across the US which are being linked to the election of the first black President.

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes, said there had been hundreds of incidents

He said it was down to "a large subset of white people in this country who feel that they are losing everything they know, that the country their forefathers built has somehow been stolen from them".

"Who wakes up and says, "I wish I could be oppressed too"? (Dori @ A Truly Elegant Mess)

The idea that white affluent western men are an oppressed minority is laughable. It is also a perspective that one encounters quite frequently in popular culture, and especially from so-called men's rights activists(MRAs).

Let me explain something about MRAs. These people are rarely concerned with actual rights or oppression. They are primarily concerned with maintaining the status quo, because the only way they can see the rights of men being violated is when women have those same rights.

They see rights, freedoms and opportunity as a zero-sum game, namely, if females are doing well, that means that males must be getting worse. This ties in to the problem with essentialist thinking. If one group is "naturally" better at something, but the other group is doing just as well as them in actuality, then the only way to maintain this false dichotomy, is to assume that something must be holding back the "naturally" better group.

For the White Person Who
Wants to Know How to Be My Friend

The first thing you do is to forget that i'm Black.
Second, you must never forget that i'm Black.

You should be able to dig Aretha,
but don't play her every time i come over.
And if you decide to play Beethoven--don't tell
me his life story. They made us take music
appreciation too.

Eat soul food if you like it, but don't expect me
to locate your restaurants
or cook it for you.

And if some Black person insults you,
mugs you, rapes your sister, rapes you,
rips your house, or is just being an ass--
please, do not apologize to me
for wanting to do them bodily harm.
It makes me wonder if you're foolish.

And even if you really believe Blacks are better
lovers than whites--don't tell me. I start thinking
of charging stud fees.

In other words, if you really want to be my
friend--don't make a labor of it. I'm lazy.

--Pat Parker [h/t: Angry Black-White Girl]

"Buy a Book for Somebody White This Holiday" (Carleen Brice @ White Readers Meet Black Authors)

What if every one of us bought a book by a black author and gave it to a white friend? So I'm naming December National Buy a Book by a Black Author and Give it to Somebody Not Black Month.

It might not be easy to actually get them to read it. Beverly mentioned that her friends were a little scared of the Ebonics they expected to find. But that's why your favorite African American authors really, really need your help. You, who they know and trust, can explain to white friends, neighbors, coworkers, classmates that there are books without Ebonics, and that books by black authors are much like any other book.

I know times are hard, but if you're doing any Secret Santa thing at work or planning to buy something for your kid's teacher, think about giving a book by a black author to a white (or Latino, Asian, Native American) reader. And, hell, if you really can't afford to buy a new book, regift one off of your shelf. I won't tell nobody!

"Cornel West on the Election of Barack Obama: 'I Hope He Is a Progressive Lincoln, I Aspire to Be the Frederick Douglass to Put Pressure on Him'” (Democracy Now! Transcript; MP3 below)

AMY GOODMAN: Some of the crimes, Associated Press and a list of them, compiled over the last two weeks: crosses burned in the yards of Obama supporters in Hardwick, New Jersey and in Pennsylvania; in the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills, a black man said he found a note with a racial slur on his car windshield, saying, “Now that you voted for Obama, just watch out for your house”; a black teenager in New York City said he was attacked with a bat on election night by four white men who shouted “Obama”; in Standish, Maine, a sign inside the Oak Hill General Store read, “Osama Obama Shotgun Pool”—customers could sign up to bet $1 on a date when Obama would be killed; at North Carolina State, four students admitted writing a sign on the campus that called for shooting Obama in the head; and in Idaho, second- and third-grade students on a school bus in Rexburg were heard chanting "assassinate Obama.” Do you think we’re just noticing this kind of thing more?

CORNEL WEST: No, I think this kind of thing has been around. We know all the different, you know, attacks, assaults and threats and so forth against dear Brother Barack. This is, you know, the undercurrent of the lower frequencies of the worst of America. We don’t want to lose sight of the best of America. But we’ve got to—I think we have to acknowledge any time you make a transition from one era to the next, you’re going to get this kind of bigotry manifest. Thank God it’s not as widespread, and thank God we have persons who are willing to bring critique to bear and to oppose it on all racial and cultural and political fronts.

Democracy Now!, with Amy Goodman
November 19, 2008


  1. I think the buy a book thing is a great idea but it is unlikely they will read the book. And if they do read the book then it becomes this is "representative of all black people" or this is "the exception to all black people". Unfortunately society is such that it seems to be impossible to view minorities as individuals and any conversation/book/movie about minorities makes the majority feel like an expect on all. I start to feel like I'm their science fair project and after our conversation they are going to report back to others with their new found "expertise". I remember this discussion from Brohammas site and the commenter had made an effort to sit with minorities during some parents day at her child's school. Well she didn't feel the minorities were friendly enough so naturally in became "why are they so angry, why do all minorities hate white blah blah blah" because naturally this one experience applied to all minorities. Sorry for the long post, I get frustrated, I don't think things are improving.

  2. No length problem that I could see, thelady, thank you for your insight. Perhaps one way to counteract the tendency that white readers usually have to read non-white books anthropologically is to give them a book by a black author that's not about black people.

    It seems obvious to say that black authors should be given as much freedom and leeway to write about whatever they like as white authors generally are, but few non-black readers (and agents and publishers) do that. Reading black authors primarily as "experts on black people" limits attention to, and even publication of, their abilities to address other topics. On the other hand, white authors might be asked to address more directly the whiteness of their white characters--it almost seems like white authors (men especially) are freer to address anything EXCEPT that.

  3. That was the first time I ever heard Amy Goodman sound like she was in a good mood - not just calm, but happy.


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