Sunday, December 7, 2008

white weekend links

"Derek and the white-power dominoes" (David Neiwert @ Crooks and Liars)

White supremacists have been trying to reinsert themselves back into the mainstream (where once upon a time they were common) for a long time now. One of the chief avenues for this effort has for years been the Republican Party in the South, particularly in places like Louisiana, where David Duke operates, and Mississippi, where the Council of Conservative Citizens has a friend in Gov. Haley Barbour. It's all part of the legacy of the Southern Strategy.

In Florida, Republicans are now being confronted with the legacy of the Southern Strategy in the person of Derek Black. . . . "Black says 'of course' he will attend a meeting Wednesday for new members of Palm Beach County's Republican Executive Committee. Never mind that the party chairman says Black's 'white supremacist' associations are not welcome and he will not be seated.

'I was elected,' Black, 19, says."

"Which Side Are You On?" (Suzanne Vega @ The New York Times' Measure for Measure Blog)

In the last few months I have had a chance to review a song I wrote in October of 2007. It’s called “Daddy Is White,” and I haven’t sung it out loud yet in front of an audience except to record a demo of it. My daughter worries that people might make fun of me. However, I feel that it is a truthful song.

The last verse was inspired by a real-life discussion I overheard at a bar in Baltimore. A black man and a white woman were discussing a recent sports event. He called her “baby” playfully. She called him “stats boy,” meaning, I guess, someone well-versed in statistics. The conversation escalated quickly into a loud yelling argument, as he did not feel he was a boy of any kind and that word had racist overtones. Maybe the recent election means my song is on its way to being obsolete. I hope so.

"Teacher Ties Up Students In Slavery Lesson" (CBS/AP)

A white social studies teacher attempted to enliven a seventh-grade discussion of slavery by binding the hands and feet of two black girls, prompting outrage from one girl's mother and the local chapter of the NAACP.

On Nov. 18, Bernstein was discussing the conditions under which African captives were taken to America in slave ships. She bound the two students' hands and feet with tape and had them crawl under a desk to simulate the experience. . . .

Wilbur Aldridge, director of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the history demonstration, first reported in The Journal News, "went wrong when she started to do that binding."

Aldridge said he feared that the teacher still "didn't get it" after their meeting. He said the teacher apologized "because Gabrielle was upset, not because she admitted she did something wrong."

"White" (Becky @ Racism Is Over: Tales of Life in the New America)

Hey guys? Guess what?

I’m white!!!

Yep, I’m white. I’m white, I’m white, I’m white, I’m white. White, white, white, white, white.

I. Am. White. Wow it feels soooo good to say that!

I have spent so much energy thinking of other things to call myself so that I don’t have to admit that I am white and I was starting to run out of things to say. I had tried “I’m Caucasian” but then someone told me that that is an anthropological category that includes lots of brown-skinned people (oh, it's also a breed of dog). I tried “I’m Irish” but then I was told that that is an ethnicity (not a race) and that once again, brown-skinned people can be that too. Then I tried “I’m 1/16 Native American,” but that was just a lie.

Now I can just say “I’m white!” So cool!

"Standing in Someone Else's Shoes, Almost for Real" (Benedict Cary @ The New York Times)

The technique is simple. A subject stands or sits opposite the scientist, as if engaged in an interview. Both are wearing headsets, with special goggles, the scientist’s containing small film cameras. The goggles are rigged so the subject sees what the scientist sees: to the right and left are the scientist’s arms, and below is the scientist’s body.

To add a physical element, the researchers have each person squeeze the other’s hand, as if in a handshake. Now the subject can see and “feel” the new body. In a matter of seconds, the illusion is complete. . . .

The evidence that inhabiting another’s perspective can change behavior comes in part from virtual-reality experiments. In these studies, researchers create avatars that mimic a person’s every movement. After watching their “reflection” in a virtual mirror, people mentally inhabit this avatar at some level, regardless of its sex, race or appearance. In several studies, for instance, researchers have shown that white people who spend time interacting virtually as black avatars become less anxious about racial differences.

National Buy a Book by a Black Author
and Give it to Somebody Not Black Month


  1. On the train home from Thanksgiving, I pulled down my tray only to discover that someone had written "white power" on it in permanent marker. No amount of my own spit and elbow grease could remove it. I thought of that when I read your first link.

  2. Here's something white people do: create racially targeted browsers. I present Blackbird a Mozilla sanctioned Firefox clone for Blacks.

  3. Blackbird?! As in, crows? Wow, it already sounds horrible. But thanks for pointing it out, Mojito Chica.

    Sorry to hear about having "white power" in your face like that, Phoebe. I'd have been tempted to add to it with my own permanent marker. Maybe, "white powerlessness." Or, "The hour of white power is over."

  4. What utter hogwash.. this is as bad as any white crap I've seen lately. Bigots come in all colors don't they?
    as to the Blackbird browser.. do your homework morons.. white people didn't do that.. "Blackbird was developed by a team of African Americans to allow you to connect to what's going on in the African American community."
    It's pretty much got the same shit that the white people browser has.. I'm fairly sure that you don't need a black targeted browser to see Kanye West misbehaving again..or DMX be hauled off to jail for the ninety leventh time this year.. but its free, its decent, and its got a lot more going for it than some browsers do.. so if you don't like it.. don't use it.. just like .. whoa.. any other browser..


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