Wednesday, March 4, 2009

consult the google answer machine

Sometimes I wonder who I'm talking to when I post on this blog.

Who are you folks?

I imagine that although you all have Internet access of some sort, you're all kinds of people. I struggle at times with deciding how much to explain about what I'm saying, how much I can assume my audience already knows about whiteness and racism. It's good to have a wide array of readers, and I want to reach white people, especially, because they're the ones who should be more mindful of their racial status.

Sometimes I lose myself for awhile by digging into this blog's statistics (and by the way, the site counter below will probably reach 200,000 hits today--a milestone, of some sort). As I've noted before, the most interesting set of stats is a log of search phrases that brought readers here. For me, the especially bracing examples resemble those below, which are from the last month or so.

These "search phrases" suggest not only how many different kinds of people end up here, but also just how wide the gaps in racial understanding still are, 400 years or so after the creation of the fiction of "race." Some of these search phrases also radiate frustration and anger, and others read like simmering ingredients for violence and pain.

Our moment is anything but "post-racial," and in terms of race, things are going to get worse. As the current economic collapse worsens, racial resentment will surely serve as an ever-ready distraction from the real causes of chaos. That renowned, divisive and racist hatemonger, Rush Limbaugh, could have no greater gift than two black leaders heading up our two major political parties.

Is sorting through Google tea leaves like this an effective method for monitoring the pulse of the racial zeitgeist?

What do these blips of brain energy say to you?

>>white people need to teach their children to hate those who hate us

>>why are all pretty white girls going for black guys?

>>white daughter black boyfriend


>>what white people really think of black people, even though they are nice

>>why do white people smell like spit?

>>why do white people say a black person is defensive?

>>why does tim wise bitch so much?

>>why do white people look better than other people?

>>why do black people think they are better then white?

>>why do white girls date ni**ers?

>>why do people comment when white guys and black women are together?

>>why do black people say ma'am?

>>why black people have white hands?

>>whites won't admit they came from blacks

>>whites teach their children to be racist

>>when i say bro i mean it the way black people use it

>>why do people think racism is fun?

>>why do people think americans are only white people?

>>do white people ask for hook-ups?

>>how many people admit to telling people they like their shirt when they really don't?

>>when do you bury a dead white person?

>>white comedian who can't make anyone laugh

>>why do white people think about tibet?

>>black and white mixed baby my baby looks more white is that normal?

>>what animal are white people like?

>>what do innocent people think about racism?

>>can children be racist or sexist?

>>what do asians call white people?

>>should someone dress up in another ethnicity?

>>so many non-whites in medicine

>>youtube white supremacy has made white folks insane

>>it is ridiculous to celebrate columbus

>>is wearing an afro wig racist?

>>how to act like a white person

>>how did white people become white?

>>how can you tell if white people don't like black people?

>>why is white race giving in to black race?

>>when is the next civil war?

>>black people talk shit about white people and it's not racist

>>do you think people's prejudices can be overcome?

>>what makes people do what they do?

>>i'm white, what do i do?


  1. This is a very interesting post. It really does show the range of what people are willing to look for (and how they word it) when they think no one is watching.

    Mine was 'how to explain racism to white people'.

  2. That is definitely my favorite thing about Google Analytics. LOL, I laugh at what I imagine to be the reaction of white folks who type "nigger day" and come across my blog about MLK Day. I laugh to myself, but at the same time I'm glad when people google racist things they get my blog.

    I hope that I make them pause, and think.

  3. They are both hilarious and sad. Also: I smell like spit? What does spit smell like?

    My blog attracts a lot of people googling information on the Amish. Because I posted about the Amish ONE TIME. It's weird what people look up on the internet. I wish I could unlearn what I knew from some of my Google Analytics (I'm thinking of you, search for Amish porn).

  4. I am looking for some interesting sources (books, psych. studies,etc) on racist tendencies found amongst white liberals. Do you know of a good resource/resources for me to learn more about this topic? Ps, I absolutely love this blog! I have come to question so much of my own behavior and thoughts because of your contextualization of this subject matter...

  5. Hi brigitte,

    I can think of many such sources, though not all of them explicitly address white liberals, and not all are of the, um, academic sort that you may be looking for. Anyway, you might try these for a start (anyone else have suggestions?):

    "Tiffany, Friend of People of Color:
    White Investments in Anti-Racism"

    (Audrey Thompson)

    Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States (Eduardo Bonilla-Silva)

    White Like Me and Speaking Treason Fluently (both by Tim Wise)

    "The White Liberal Conundrum" (Zuky)

    The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege (Robert Jensen)

    Two-Faced Racism (Houts Picca & Feagin)

    "How White Liberals Became a New Racial Minority" (Robert Oscar Lopez)

    "Why I hate white ‘anti-racists,’" "The Cost of Racism" (I), and "The Cost of Racism" (II) (resistance)

    "White Liberals Have White Privilege Too!" (Alex Jung)

  6. I am a queer white mom to 5 kids 3 adopted of mixed race. I work in a free clinic on the wrong side of town. I'm looking at how to be a better mom, a better nurse, and a better listner. I can't remember how I found you... maybe a link on a queer person of color's site.


  7. I'm an 18 year old of the black female variety...and i find your blog very insightful...and I am one who tries to think on all angles and not generalize Any Kind of people, i think it's foolish to lump folks all in one box.

    ...hell! everyone is different,
    i don't mind relationships that go in or out of someone's race let me date a (insert race) guy as you can a (insert race)girl, but with the same courtesy that you would want to recieve, don't get angry and make it a double standard (i hate that crap).

    Also i know you know this isn't a "post-racial society" what with all this hateful shit still going on so, here i am...

    P.S i found your blog along time ago through another blog that covers racial issues and other things,here:

  8. Thanks for stepping forth from the shadows, AJ and Anonymous. It's good to sort of meet you, and to know you like coming here. I'll do what I can to continue making this place worth your time.

  9. Thanks for this last post. Scary and insightful what people are curious about. Although I have to agree with Phoebe, sometimes I wish I didn't know (don't like picturing the desperate dad consulting the oracle google because his daughter fell in love with a black guy).

    I love your blog because it's honest. It doesn't have the "cool ironic indy racism" from stuff white people like (which makes my blood boil). I love the rightful indignation, the self-doubt, the non-loudness of it (does that make sense?). I use it as a practical guide, an intellectual feed and a critical mirror. FYI, I'm a white girl and live in Brussels (where there is not much of a discourse on racism, so your blog fills some gaps).

  10. That's a dismaying list. Long way to go to the promised land, long way to go.

    I'm a thirty-something cubicle ant, white collar (whatever that means). We've got cuts going on around here in this economy. I'm still on the payroll though (fingers crossed). It's tough to be mindful of white advantages I have these days, so many walls wobbling, so many others crashing down. People getting hurt no matter their color. But you help with my racial mindfulness, Macon. I still read regularly here. It makes me see a lot of what you call "common white tendencies" in me and my actions. I also see the larger institutional racisms better too. Keep on chooglin, dude.

  11. I am a 22-year-old, black female, relocated from the South to the West Coast. I graduated from a private liberal arts school, so I have a strong foothold in the meaning of the words "whiteness" and "racism." Came upon your blog recently, and am currently satisfied with the decision to give it a look =)

  12. lmao "is wearing an afro wig racist"? haha i just find it so funny because white people at times really do ask silly questions like this.

  13. Young white nordic female here. I recently started reading blogs and sites about all -isms in general, ended up here through some link. Currently reading through the archives.

  14. Here is a resource that addresses a lot of your questions.


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