Friday, December 18, 2009

friday open thread

We haven't had an Open Thread here in a long time -- shall we?

It's been a busy week for me, so I didn't get a chance to comment on some of the hot topics flashing across the Racial Radar (do people even use "radar" anymore?). What did I miss?

Also welcome: do drop links to other good reads, including your own. Be not shy.

Write what you like in a relevant mode, and if you need a jump-start, you could try answering one of the many questions below.

The following queries (some of which I've slightly edited for typos and such) came from this blog's stats. These are the droppings of people who Googled their ponderings, and then ended up here at "stuff white people do." In most cases, I rather doubt this blog managed to answer their questions, which is why I offer them to you.

Compiled together this way, these questions read for me like some great, big, almost symphonic dialogue on race. Kinda like, "found poetry." Or maybe, it's just a sad, messy cacophony.

Anyway, I also just like reading interesting lists. Hope you do too.

What would black people do to whites if they were in charge?

     Why do white people have to act like they’re perfect?

Can you get in trouble for dressing up as a Native American?

     Why don't white people like spices?

Where can I buy chopstick training wheels?

     Why don't white people ever think about reparations?

What do you do when black people move into your neighborhood?

     Why do white people take up so much space on the bus?

Do black people think white people look the same?

     Where do white people REALLY come from (because it's not Europe)?

Why do black people say at the end of sentences, "you know what i mean?"

     Why do white people always say "amazing"?

When will white people take their country back?

     Why do white people say "hi" to everyone?

Why do black people have such loud laughs?

     Why do white people think like they do?

Is it offensive for a white person to wear a sari?

     Why does white culture seem so anti-social?

Do Asians see less?

     How do you make white people food?

Ghetto talk from white kids -- what's that all about?

     Why did they make me the only black girl in class?

How many splinters do Chinese people get a year from chopsticks?

     Why do white people want to save whales?

Is the term "slave-driver" racist?

     Why do white people always think that a black person is going to steal something?

Why do we give money to Native Americans?

     Do white people come from black people?

Why do Native Americans have long hair?

     Why do white people bury their dead so quickly?

Should White People Be Scared To Give Black People Compliments?

     Why can't I be close to a white person?

How do I find a Native American husband?

     What are some tips to get a white boy like a black girl?

Why do you never see Native Americans bitching like blacks?

     Why do white people become obsessed with a foreign country?

Can white people use black blood?

     Why do white people run from black people?

How do you say it's okay in ghetto terms?

     Why are white people white?

Why is it considered racist to worry about illegals?

     Do white girls hate black girls who date white guys?

Why don't black people own pets?

     Why are white people fascinated with dogs?

Why do Native Americans have white names?

     Why do white people take Native American names?

Are black people cooler than white people?

     How can I be confident around white people?

How are people viewed when they stand up for racism?

     Why do white people walk so fast?

Are high school girls really going after the black guys?

     Why do white people walk with tight butts?

How should I shake hands with black people as a white person?

     What kind of food do White Power people eat?

Is it racist to call black people black?

     When co-workers make fun of my accent -- tips, please.

How do you make blacks feel comfortable in white company?

     How should I act around white people?

What's the difference between "colored people" and "people of color"?

     How can I turn white people's racism back on them?

Are white people too friendly?

     Why do white men have ethnic fetishes?

Why do black people blame white people for their problems?

     Why do whites stop talking to a black person when they see other whites?

Do I act like a white girl?

     Why do white people claim they are Indian but never claim they are black?

Why won't the media talk bad about black racism against white people?

     What’s the worst thing to say to a white person?


     Are Asians the white man's "bitch"?

How can I not act so white?

     Why do white people go camping?

How come black people never go camping?

     Why do I get nervous around white people?

Do other races look up to white people?

     Why do white people like dangerous stuff?

How should a father deal with daughter's black boyfriend?

     Why does it tend to be white males that do the shooting?

What is someone suppose to do with an eagle feather war bonnet that was given to a non-indian over 50 years ago?

     Why are white people the only ones who matter in movies?

Do Asian women shave?

     How would white people describe themselves over the phone to someone who has never seen them before?

What do black people use on their body to get it so shiny?

     Why do white people only have 1 black friend?

Do asians like to be called oriental?

     Why do white people leave blinds open at night?

Is it bad to ask an Asian's nationality?

     What's that white smile about?

What do black people say about white people?

     What do white people think about people of color?

What do people Google?


  1. I can't even believe these questions are for real.

    Can white people use black blood? wow, that's just .... wow

  2. Oh they're real all right. I swear on my lost-because-whitened ancestors' graves.

  3. I'm pleased to see that Lisa Solod Warren's unbelievable article on Huff Post has apparently been withdrawn. Although, judging from her comments, the author is none the wiser for her mistakes...

  4. "Why don't white people like spices?"
    "How do you make white people food?"
    "What kind of food do White Power people eat?"
    "Why do white people walk with tight butts?"
    "Why do white people only have 1 black friend?"

    LOL. Some of these make me angry, but some are too funny.

  5. "why do white peopl want to save whales?" made me LOL'd :-]

  6. Wow. At least Google saved the awkwardness of a real person being asked these questions?

    I have been thinking recently about diversity in pop culture, particularly television. In the USA, television shows seem to be getting much better at it in terms of at least casting POCs, and in less tokenistic ways than previously. For example NBC's "Community" is clearly written with the characters' ethnicities in mind - as opposed to John Cho in "Flash Forward" or Jimmy Jean Louis in "Heroes", both of whom are playing characters that were originally written as white guys.

    What does everyone think about this?

    In my opinion, it is at least better than the almost total lack of diversity on Australian TV (I'm from Oz but live in the US now). Seriously, Australia is at least as diverse as the US, but you would never know there was anyone there but whitefellas from watching our TV shows.

  7. Julia, I was just going to comment on that. Her twitter account (lisaswarren) is full of "I'm not a racist; I have black friends" denials. It's such a classic response.

  8. >Why do black people have such loud laughs?

    Uhm. Only in the US. In some other places ppl think white ppl laugh and talk real loud.

    >Can white people use black blood?

    WTH? I initially thought this was about drinking blood for some sort of sick ritual...but on second thought, is this about blood transfusion? Don't blood transfusions usually used clear colored 'blood (parts)'?

    And these:
    >How do you make blacks feel comfortable in white company?
    >Why do I get nervous around white people?
    >Do other races look up to white people?
    >How can I be confident around white people?

    With some I'm fine. But with others, man, it takes a lot of hard work to be confident around white ppl who are totally unused to poc. I think you need to overcome your own internalized racism first so you get to a point where what white ppl think about you doesn't matter so much. But yeah, anyone have any other tips on this one? I'd like to know too.

  9. >Seriously, Australia is at least as diverse as the US, but you would never know there was anyone there but whitefellas from watching our TV shows.

    Yeahhhh. Initially I just thought that's how white the actual Australian population was. It wasn't until I watched Australian Idol and saw how diverse the participants were there that it seriously hit me that maybe Australia isn't as white as it's made out to be on (mainstream) TV.

  10. Did anybody hear about this incident?

    A seven-year-old girl was playing with one of her braids and the teacher punished her for it by cutting it off in front of the class.

    The community I read about this on was unanimous in their outrage, but not everybody seemed to grasp that this probably wouldn't have happened if she'd been a nice white girl playing with one of her two pretty blonde braids.

  11. i'm also curious why white people (especially rich ones) send holiday letters telling friends they haven't talked to in years all about their lives? what's up with that? i'd love to see a blog on this topic...

  12. "Do Asians see less?"

    Ok, where did you get this from? Palm to face...

    I'm wondering. What do "white people" consider white? I've made some replies in the past about how the Irish were not always considered white. And now recent events make me wonder if white people unanimously consider Italians to be white. One regarding a certain court case, the other regarding a Godawful MTV television show...

  13. Where can I buy chopstick training wheels?

    Does. Not. Compute.

    Though it does remind me of this - check out Defending Mr. Wasabi via the excellent Sociological Images blog.

    The "defense" is an incredibly snotty screed by a corporate outfit that thinks it's okay to portray bucktoothed Asian caricatures in order to hawk their contrived, crappy food. All the earmarks of white defensiveness "but I have Asians friends!" "You're the racist for pointing out my racism" are to be found.

  14. Oh I heard about that poor girl. Such a cute kid, she seemed so vulnerable and sweet.

  15. Pearl Clutching and Urban Planning, by Karnythia:

    My own members-only community on LJ, a place for Asian folk and others to vent:

    Some of the Google searches are hilarious xD

  16. I just read that about the teacher cutting off one of the little girl's braids. That is a horrible thing to do to a child, let alone a black child where not cutting your hair is drilled into you from the time you're a toddler.

    Not to mention, black hair does not grow at the same rate as white folks so it's not like her hair is just going to grow back in a week or two.

    That teacher assaulted that little girl's person & hit on a big cultural taboo to boot. What idiot thinks they have the right to cut a child's hair, regardless of how annoying they're being with it? Don't they send children to the principal's office anymore.

    That woman should not be in charge of anyone's children, let alone black children, until she has had some training in sensitivity and diversity. And even then....

    what a horrible person

  17. I laughed at "Why do white people leave their blinds open at night?".


  18. um, my black afro textured hair grows at the same rate as most people, 6 inches a year

    it is kinky/curly so it is more likely to point up than down but that doesn't mean it isn't growing

  19. Why don't white people like spices?
    IDK but ask my mom! I don't even know how I grew up with her and ended up the way I am. I taught HER how to season her food once I was old enough to use the stove.

    Where can I buy chopstick training wheels?
    Once you learn how to position your hands, commit to using chopsticks all day for EVERYthing (you know, not JUST when you have Chinese or sushi) and you won't need "training wheels"... if there is even such a thing.

    What do you do when black people move into your neighborhood?
    Uh... say hello?

    Why do white people walk so fast?
    because they're in a big rush to get everywhere

    Why do white people walk with tight butts?
    'cause you can't constantly walk fast without getting the ol' cheeks to cooperate.

    Why is it considered racist to worry about illegals?
    It's actually not the worrying as much as it is racist to refer to people as "illegals".

    How can I not act so white?
    Keep reading SWPD

  20. Man those are some good a** questions.
    I can't begin to answer.

  21. To give you some background, I'm a 20 year old Asian American male (Korean, specifically). I'm gonna try to field some of these questions. And please keep in mind, I am not an ambassador for all Koreans or East Asians or Asians in general.

    Where can I buy chopstick training wheels?

    Just use a fork.

    What do you do when black people move into your neighborhood?

    Wonder what the white people are thinking.

    Do Asians see less?

    Not really. I have smaller eyes than most asians and I see fine. Open your eyes as wide as possible and tell me if you see any better. Likely, you'll just notice an inconsequential improvement in your peripheral vision. That's the difference between you and me.

    How many splinters do Chinese people get a year from chopsticks?

    I'm assuming by Chinese they meant Asian, which is still a flawed question since so many non-Asians use chopsticks every year. Frankly, I've never gotten a single splinter from any chopstick. Plus, most people who use chopsticks in their home have real ones made of quality wood or metal instead of those crappy breakaway ones you get with your takeout.

  22. How are people viewed when they stand up for racism?

    Depends on the person doing it and the people they're speaking to. For me, it's usually met with indifference or vague curiosity. But especially when it's in defense of non-Asians, people tend to be more dismissive.

    Are Asians the white man's "bitch"?

    We're often held up as the "model minority" but as with all stereotypes, this is really a bunch of racist bs. I simply find it a way for white people to pit us against black people. "Why can't black people just get over it. Look how successful Asians are." But at the same time as they praise our work ethic, they alienate us and make us perpetual foreigners who aren't truly American. "Damn black people, why can't you be like them asians? Damn crazy asians, why can't they be like them black people?" In the end, neither groups are "true" Americans.

    Do Asian women shave?

    Depends on personal preference, societal influence, etc. All the Asian girls I know shave, but then again, pretty much every girl I know shaves.

    Do asians like to be called oriental?

    Some people don't mind, especially outside of the United States, it seems. Others get extremely offended. For me, it's an annoyance if it's used as an adjective but racist if it's a noun, as in "you oriental."

    Is it bad to ask an Asian's nationality?

    I'm going to assume by nationality, they mean ethnicity. For most first generationers, I don't think they mind as much because they carry a much larger part of their respective cultures and identities with them. For Asians that have spent most of their lives growing up in the United States and especially for those born here, it gets to be much more of a sore spot. In my case, I was born and raised in the same city for all 20 years of my life, but I still have people ask me "where were you born? Oh, well where were your parents born?" And while that might get the answer they were really looking for, there are many Asians who have deeper roots in America that might bring you back multiple generations. Also, wording on these questions is very important for me. Never ask me what I am because I'll most likely respond "I'm a ****ing human being, what the **** are you?" Never take a random guess of konichiwa! or any one word of an Asian language that you know. Don't ever start off with the all too familiar "are you Chinese or Japanese?" Frankly, it's best if you just don't ask. It's not a pick up line, it's not a conversation starter, it's not a good way for you to start teaching me about all the many awesome things you know about my culture. Tell you what, when white people start asking other white people where they were born or what ethnicity they are every time they meet a new white person, then they can start asking us Asians about our ethnicities.

  23. DEAD@ "What do Black people use on their bodies to get them so shiny"

    Umm..I believe it's called "lotion"


    Man, these questions are a trip! Are people seriously this know what? I KNOW that they can be.

  24. I got some.

    In response to the question about Black folk and lotion

    Don't White people know their asses are ASHY?

    Fa real doe, some uh y'all look like you've been rollin' in chalk and you can strike matches off ya elbows!

    Why can't White folk get along with ANY race in the world?!

    Seriously. Yeah, all groups have their local rivalries and may have beef with local peoples. But White folks' hatred of others is world-fuckin-wide! You'd think White folk'd wonder why they can't seem to get along with ANYONE (groupwise) instead of hiding behind the lie of White superiority.

  25. It's not a question, but if you type in "I am e" in your google search bar, your first suggestion is "I am extremely terrified of chinese people" with "I am extremely terrified of black people" following a couple suggestions later

  26. Wait, did someone really Google "what do people Google"?

    "What would black people do to whites if they were in charge?"
    Pretty much exactly the same things, I imagine. We're depressingly consistent as a species...

  27. Did anyone hear about the reactions to Russell the krumper winning on So You Think You Can Dance? I didn't watch the season, but I saw his reaction, and I found it very raw and real (I hate when people win something important and just stand there awkwardly), but apparently some people found it "ghetto"...SWPD: View exuberance as barbaric?

  28. "i am a" will get you "i am afraid of chinese people" --- weird.

  29. Wait, did someone really Google "what do people Google"?

    Yes, really. Kind of a whole new meta meta, no?

    Also, I'm rather impressed that you made it straight through to the end of the list.

  30. I found this list really intriguing and some of it was downright funny. I think it shows that people are people everywhere and they often think and wonder the same kinds of things about each other.

    In many ways, race relations in America make me think of a bad marriage. There is so much baggage in the relationship, that sometimes no matter what you say or how you say it, no matter how innocent the intentions, every interaction is so freighted with meaning that you just can't hear each other. I am speaking from experience on the bad marriage, and unfortunately I don't have any solutions. I am divorced.

    "Why do black people have such loud laughs?"

    I thought this was really funny, because I am white and I have a really loud laugh. I actually didn't know black people were considered by anyone to have loud laughs.

    "Why don't white people like spices?"

    Don't know on that one -- speaking for myself, I love spicy food!

    "How do you make white people food?"

    I consider classic white people food to be meatloaf, potato salad, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, tuna casserole, jello, and chocolate chip cookies. At least these are the kinds of things my family ate when I was growing up in the Midwest in the 1960s and 1970s. I make really good meatloaf and chocolate chip cookies, but I hate jello and tuna casserole.

    "Why do white people always say 'amazing'?"

    Just a habit -- not sure where it came from. Actually I think we say "awesome" even more often!

    "When will white people take their country back?"

    What, do they mean Europe or something?

    "Why do white people say "hi" to everyone?"
    "Why does white culture seem so anti-social?"

    It all depends on your perspective and what you are accustomed to in your own local culture.

    "Why do white people walk so fast?"
    "Why do white people walk with tight butts?"
    Personally, I love walking fast -- it just feels good and it drives me crazy to walk slowly. I think it might have something to do with living in a cold climate and wanting to get indoors quickly. And as someone pointed out, tight butts go with the fast walking.

    "How would white people describe themselves over the phone to someone who has never seen them before?"
    I would give my age, height, general body type, eye and hair color, and hairstyle. I wouldn't be likely to mention my skin color, I guess because almost everyone I live and work with are also white so it wouldn't be a very good distinguishing characteristic.

    "Why do white people only have 1 black friend?"

    Because in the US there are 6 times as many white people as there are black people. So unless black people want to spread themselves evenly over the whole country and make friends with 12-18 white people each (and I can't imagine why anyone would want to to that!!), then most white people will sadly not be able to have more than one or even any black friends.

    Hello said...
    "Tell you what, when white people start asking other white people where they were born or what ethnicity they are every time they meet a new white person, then they can start asking us Asians about our ethnicities."

    To tell you the truth, all the white people I know love to talk about their own ethnic backgrounds and customs, and they love being asked about it. We also love talking about regional accents -- it's a sure topic of conversation whenever white people from different parts of the country get together.

    So if you meet someone who looks or sounds like they might have a different background than most people you know, it does actually seem like it would be a good conversation starter. This is in the Midwestern US -- I don't know about other parts of the country or world.

    However, I have read of so many people of color saying they find this rude that I would no longer consider it a friendly or polite thing to say.

  31. This is amazing, thanks Macon.
    A great way to start my day..

  32. This is kind of long, but:

    I saw the new Disney movie The Princess and the Frog tonight with my partner and came out feeling kind of dirty, because despite having a lot of problems with it, it was hard to dislike overall. Disney certainly knows how to work their magic.

    If you haven't already seen the movie, there are spoilers below.


    Anyway, one of the biggest issues I had with the movie was its glorification of liberal individualism, or the notion that if you just work hard enough, you'll achieve what you want in life. It completely disregards the racist, classist institutions that systematically exclude droves of people from elevating themselves economically/socially (eg, white privilege). The emphasis on the "work hard, get far" fantasy certainly wasn't surprising considering the US's capitalist structure is founded so deeply in individualism. This idea was only challenged once, and even then in an indirect, roundabout way (when Mama Odie was trying to get Tiana to realize that maybe working even harder isn't the answer), which will likely go over the heads of most children.

    All of this invariably got me thinking about the definitions we have of "hard work." I don't know about you, but whenever I hear the term hard work, it's generally in the context of "menial," unskilled, or physical labor. Then we have Tiana, who was also portrayed in a very positive light for working two hard jobs (she even did a Snow White like dance as she gracefully and easily juggled all of her work, because waiting tables is fun!) So what is this supposed to say, specifically to young Blacks in the audience? To work multiple hard, low-paying jobs all the while singing and dancing and being grateful, instead of investing themselves in some sort of training that would allow you to work less hours for more pay? Or *gasp* challenging the system to ensure fair compensation and treatment so that we aren't wage slaves? Why is it even acceptable that someone has to work 2 jobs to get anywhere?

    Another big problem we had with the movie was the contrast between Doctor Facilier and Big Daddy. Facilier is vilified for, among many things, being a greedy bastard who wants to take money and power that he hasn't "earned," whereas Big Daddy's massive wealth and social power are shown as completely normal/neutral. Big daddy made his money off being white and owning a sugar mill, and in all likelihood exploiting the workers who made his company a success, yet at worst, he's portrayed as a lovable, pushover oaf. He seems to run the town, what with his being "crowned" 5 years in a row and hobnobbing with royalty, but unlike Facilier, none of his scenes have ominous music with dancing shadows and lots of dark imagery. It's normal. But Facilier's desire for what Big Daddy has, well, that was just EVIL! Granted, Big Daddy probably didn't trade the souls of the townsfolk for his success, but that bit really only came in at the end, after the plan was already concocted.

    I was also kind of astonished at how the movie condoned violence - as long as it's against the "bad guys!" In the scene where the hunters were trying to trap Tiana and the Prince, it wasn't enough for the main characters to fight off their attackers and run away, no, they had to enjoy beating them beyond what was reasonably necessary, all the while making light of it by making jokes and funny faces. Since when is encouraging sadistic violence a value we want to instill in our youth? This was later reinforced during our "happy" ending when Tiana offers the original, outbid sum for the restaurant, and our lovable alligator Louis menacingly scares the property owners into submission. Um, what?


  33. Below is a continuation of my review of the new Disney movie. It includes spoilers.


    I also can't overlook the speciesism present in the film. The alligator fears being killed by the hunters, who might want to turn him into a commodity (belt, shoes, meal, who knows?) and the frogs most definitely don't want to be turned into someone's dinner, but right after they escape their attackers, Louis talks about how he wants a meal and instantly licks his lips and mentions some animal or another he'd like to devour. While some of you might say, but of course Atalia, alligators eat other animals in real life! Well, yes, but this isn't real life, this is a Disney movie, and if we want to nitpick about whether or not things are realistic, we can look at the likelihood that Tiana and Lottie ever becoming friends, or the availability of jobs in that time period, especially for Blacks, when contrasted with Tiana's 2 and the redeemed prince's promises of working 3. Anyway, they completely glaze over the contradiction of "I don't want to be anyone else's meal" and "I want someone else to be my meal." Also, was it just me, or was the notion of eating frog legs also presented in an EW, THAT'S GROSS way as another affirmation that these are BAD GUYS? Were we supposed to forget that in the opening scenes, we see Tiana and her family eating a meal with shrimp? Why is eating frogs worse than eating shrimps?

    It also completely glazed over Blacks dying in the trenches of war (Tiana's father) for a country that systematically abuses and discards them, the long and complicated history of Voodoo as well as the fact that it's, you know, an actual religion, not just silly magic tricks (I'd love to see a movie get approved where Christian 'magic' is the antagonistic agent in the same ways Voodoo was used here), and the role of men vs. women post-marriage (during their first wedding, Mama Odie pronounces them Frog and Wife, not Frog and Frog, not Husband and Wife), etc etc etc

    Oh, and two little girls at the theater came dressed in frilly princess dresses and for the early gendering of our youth, and boo for me thinking it was cute *sigh*

    Enough out of me. What did you guys think?

  34. Is it bad to ask an Asian's nationality?

    I don't live in the US, so I can't attest to that, but I've lived in NZ for odd 15 years since I was a kid, so I'm like, 1.5 generation. Though I was not born here, I consider myself pretty native of this country. So it does irk me when they ask "Where are you from?" Because I don't consider myself to be *from* my parents' country anymore. My first response is to tell them which city I live in.

    I do wonder if other non-whites, namely, someone who looks like an immigrant, gets told by white people, "Your English is very good." Do white people expect it to be taken as a compliment....? If only I had a cent for every time...

  35. i'm also curious why white people (especially rich ones) send holiday letters telling friends they haven't talked to in years all about their lives?

    We used to do this, but it is considered archaic. Now we overshare via blog, facebook and twitter.

    Why do white people walk so fast?

    I don't know but my late grandfather, a white person in good standing, used to say, "Walk fast, no one will notice."

    How do you make white people food?

    Add mayonnaise. At least that's what all the restaurants in Sarawak seem to think.

  36. Atalia as a black person who has gained success through hard work I absolutely loved the message that The Princess and The Frog sent. I find it odd that you would complain about this being that I see so many of my peers struggling within their one job and begging for raises - not an attitude that promotes success. I'm guessing no matter how the movie was written I would see "reviews" such as yours.

    To me it sounds like you had an ax to grind going into that movie, you saw the Disney word and you automatically went in expecting Tiana to buckdance it up New Orleans style. Just an observance but I find your review disgusting and misleading.

    If you want a non-biased review of The Princess and The Frog, you can read the one at Spicy Princess Review

  37. @Jasmin

    I saw Russell win, and I was super happy. I love him! I found it hilarious that he got so "raw." LOL

    I didn't find it "ghetto." That word is so played anyway... however, to me it did stand out as "culturally Black" if that makes sense when used as an extremely broad generalization.

    I appreciated how he went from Russell the contestant who was code switching to fit the mold, to Russell the winner who yelled, "come here son, come up here son." hahaha I loved it.

    I found it brilliantly representative of what black folks do all day in so many ways.

  38. Questions are not funny but real for a lot of people who live these sterotypes everyday.

  39. @Sheila I followed your link and I read about that incident. Shocking. I am appalled! That woman should be removed. How could it occur to someone in the teaching profession to do such a thing to a first grader? For crying out loud! Was there a racial undertone involved? My initial reaction was, yes, most likely, although maybe not even on a conscious level. But really, what she did amounts to corporal punishment and psychological abuse, deliberately humiliating a seven year old! I commented on the article. I am Edith and I am outraged.

    @binGregory, add mayonaise. Ha! Ha! That is funny!

  40. This is my best shot at providing assistance:

    1.What would black people do to whites if they were in charge?

    Nothing. I'd like to think black folks would be more concerned with equality than "doing" anything to anyone.

    2.What do you do when black people move into your neighborhood?

    Give a nice housewarming gift.

    3.Do black people think white people look the same?

    Some, not all.

    4.Why do black people say at the end of sentences, "you know what i mean?"

    to ensure understanding from the other person. Both literally, and any subtext or context.

    5.Why do black people have such loud laughs?

    Because Black jokes are hilarious.. Did you ever hear the one about the fish? What did the fish say when he swam into a wall? wait for it... wait for it...



    5.Ghetto talk from white kids -- what's that all about?

    "ghetto" as an adjective does not compute in my brain.

    6.Should White People Be Scared To Give Black People Compliments?

    Nope... except when it regards hair texture..or pretty skin.. that's when it can get tricky.. Oh yes.. and "well spoken" and "articulate" are not considered compliments. They are condescending. Be very afraid of that one.

    7. Why do you never see Native Americans bitching like blacks?

    Where are the Native Americans? I never see them doing anything, I think society has rendered them invisible on purpose.

    8. How do you say it's okay in ghetto terms?

    Once again.."ghetto" as an adjective just doesn't make any sense...

    8.Why don't black people own pets?

    Some are allergic. Some don't have an appropriate living space. Some simply don't want animals in their homes. Wait.. i think that's why people in general don't own pets.

    9. Are black people cooler than white people?

    Yes, which is why we prefer a warmer temperature at our places of employment and homes. This is in order to compensate for our lower natural body temperature..

    Okay, sorry.
    Once again, Some. Not all.

    10. How can I be confident around white people?

    For this one.. take some advice from a great white lady.. Eleanor Roosevelt "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

    Then focus on becoming more confident in everything you do. It will carry over.

  41. 11. How should I shake hands with black people as a white person?


    12. Is it racist to call black people black?

    No, it's not. However it may be considered insensitive if they have chosen a different word to identify themselves.

    13. Why do black people blame white people for their problems?

    I blame societal leaders for societal problems..which then usually places blame on a white person.. which can easily be extrapolated into white people in general.. Then of course Glenn Beck and Anne Coulter don't make it any better. Neither does Joseph Lieberman for that matter.

    14. Why won't the media talk bad about black racism against white people?

    Because it's hard to talk bad about something that doesn't happen? I'm being serious that time. I think that without power, racism cannot exist.


    Nope. I don't think something that never existed can worsen.

    16. How come black people never go camping?

    I've gone camping.

    17. How would white people describe themselves over the phone to someone who has never seen them before?

    I will role play as my favorite white actress, Julia Roberts.

    "When you get to the Starbucks, look for me. I'm white... tall, well tall for a woman that is.. about 5'7". I'm thin. I have thick brown hair that hangs past my shoulders.. I'll make sure to wear it down. And people say I have a ginormously wide smile. I will definitely have on sunglasses.. you know how the paparazzi can be. Can't wait to meet you there.. You are going to love the pumpkin spice latte."

    But please do say white, and when you are describing black people you can say black too... it makes it so much easier.

    18. What do black people use on their body to get it so shiny?

    Baby Oil. Vaseline.

    19. Why do white people only have 1 black friend?

    This is my guess.. Because they generally feel uncomfortable at predominately black events, so they don't get to meet their black friend from work's other black friends, except for that one time.

    20. What do black people say about white people?


    White people are crazy.

  42. >> "Why do white people only have 1 black friend?"

    Generally, we don't. Some WP have lots of POC (all POC) friends...and some have one status symbol.

    Thanks for the list, Macon. "Training wheels for chopsticks..." hehehehe.

  43. >>"When will white people take their country back?"
    >What, do they mean Europe or something?

    hahahha. that left me laughing for awhile.

    >To tell you the truth, all the white people I know love to talk about their own ethnic backgrounds and customs, and they love being asked about it.

    Really? Is this most times, or just when they're among themselves? Coz the few times I've asked, "What about you? What's your background?" (usually AFTER they ask me about mine), they seemed very surprised that I asked. One sort of stumbled with his words before saying, "Uh, I suppose English and Irish." Another said, "European," to which our other friends (Chinese & Irish) said, "Uh, duh. That's kinda obvious. But which part of Europe?" I'll have to try asking a bit more.

  44. >>To tell you the truth, all the white people I know love to talk about their own ethnic backgrounds and customs, and they love being asked about it.

    >Really? Is this most times, or just when they're among themselves? Coz the few times I've asked, "What about you? What's your background?" (usually AFTER they ask me about mine), they seemed very surprised that I asked. One sort of stumbled with his words before saying, "Uh, I suppose English and Irish." Another said, "European," to which our other friends (Chinese & Irish) said, "Uh, duh. That's kinda obvious. But which part of Europe?" I'll have to try asking a bit more.

    Well, I live in the Midwest and I have had many conversations on this topic -- it's the sort of thing that might come up at a social event at work or other place where the people don't know each other intimately. Maybe I am biased since one of my hobbies is family history and I do enjoy this topic very much.

    It surprises ME that people would be surprised that you would ask, especially in the context you described -- but as my mother would say, there's no accounting for taste! I can't speak for all white people, obviously, but that has always been my experience.

    As for whether it's just when white people are among themselves, let me think about that for a minute. The university where I work is in quite a rural area and the locals are mostly white, although the campus community has a fairly sizable population of people of color. I don't remember it always just being white people, but I will have to pay more attention next time it comes up.

    It is also true that some white people may not know much about their family history and not actually know their specific ethnic group. But as I said, most white Midwesterners are proud of their ethnic heritage and we have German-American, Greek-American, Hungarian-American, Irish-American, Italian-American, Polish-American etc festivals all summer just in my county. Oh, and in the area where I grew up, the Tulip festival celebrating the local Dutch heritage has in recent years been moved to early May -- this is both because climate change is making the tulips bloom two weeks earlier and also to combine with Cinco de Mayo festivities held by the increasing Latino population. It's kind of a fun combination.

  45. Actually I think there should be a "Race questions/Race manners" web page, where everyone can just ask all those questions and get good and honest answers. I think some of these questions only seem awkward to people of THAT particular race. Many are really thought provoking.

    @ LolaAnn: I can see how the person got to that question. I remember learning in high school about certain blood diseases which either primarily or exclusively exist in Blacks. That could be how this person who asked that question got confused.

  46. Something else:
    @ Macon D:
    Given that I don't have a blog- what exactly does the blog owner see?
    "Person X from city y arrived on your blog via google entry z or webpage x"?

  47. @ Spiderlgs:
    If you don't think racism against White people exists, then we maybe have a different definition of racism.
    As a blonde White woman, many PoC believe automatically that
    a) I can't dance
    b) I'm wealthy or wealthier than them (which sometimes results in being ripped off)
    c) many PoC men will objectify/fetishise me in the exact same manner that many White men do with PoC women (including thinking that all White women are "easy"/ more sexual and less human)
    d) In many parts of Asia, where I used to live, a certain type of "Magic Negro/Magic Indian" also exists: The "Magic White", who presumably has all the answers.
    To me that is racism.

  48. @Greg Dragon:

    At no point did I say that the concept of working hard to achieve your goals is bad. I said that relying on hard work alone, especially for Blacks, especially for that time period, is unrealistic and dangerously misleading.

    You mentioned that you have friends who are struggling with one job and begging for raises, so I ask again: Why is it acceptable to live in a society where people work 16+ hour days, like Tiana? Why is it okay to operate under an economic structure that promotes gross overproduction and an overcompensation/undercompensation duality? Why do you support the notion of being wage slaves?

    Going into this movie I figured, being Disney, it would be highly problematic, but I didn't go into it with any assumptions as to what those problems would be. As I said in the first few lines of my post, I actually really enjoyed the movie, but if you honestly think that Disney, or any other corporation, creates "unbiased," unpolitical media, then you are grossly misguided. Likewise, there is no such thing as an "unbiased" review. To write about the movie and to not discuss what you perceive to be its flaws would necessarily be political and deliberate. I find your reply disgusting and misleading.

    Hope this helps!

  49. @ Macon D:

    Given that I don't have a blog- what exactly does the blog owner see?

    "Person X from city y arrived on your blog via google entry z or webpage x"?

  50. Squiggles,

    All I see is which search engine was used (or which blog or site is linked to a page on this blog that brought the reader here), what browser was used, and an IP address.

    KD, before you go any further, please read this.

  51. 17. How would white people describe themselves over the phone to someone who has never seen them before?

    I've thought about this in the past - white people usually mention race / color when describing a POC, but use some other descriptions for describing white people.

    For example, a white politician might be described as "tall politician", whereas a black one described as "tall *black* politician". I guess it's just a case of narrowing it down, you could say "white politician", but (sadly) that's often redundant.

    You can probably use other descriptions altogether though, like "red-haired woman" or "woman with twist-out" or whatever.

  52. 7. Why do you never see Native Americans bitching like blacks?

    'Cuz White people killed the ones who did complain.

  53. @KD

    The link that Macon suggested explains it.. but simply put.. PoC in the United States have no real power over white people, so any thought, idea, or preconceived notion, no matter how prejudiced, is not tantamount to racism.

    If all PoC believed those exact things about you.. you'd probably still be exactly at your station in life, unless of course you are a professional dancer looking for work in videos.

    Not to make light of the situation, OR to imply that those thoughts are in anyway valid or that generalizations are okay IF they come from PoC.. but even with an African American president, the majority of decisions that determine our station in life are not made by PoC. We simply don't have the power.

    I hope that you understand my pov and I am glad that you asked. I think this is what this forum is for.

  54. @ Cherv:

    In my experience, WP usually describe their/our appearances by hair color and eye color. Skin color is, apparently, a "given." On the other hand, when describing POC, "only" skin color/ethnicity is used, because, of course, race determines hair color.

    Yes, this applies even in an age of hair dye, multiracial people (Cloudy, you have red hair, right?) and in a world where POC, you know, get older. But "a white-haired man" must be white, right? Because why ever would you mentioned the hair color of a black man? (Seriously--have you ever read of someone described "brown skin, black hair, brown eyes"? No. It's "implicit").

    Much of it is a case of the "neutral human being," which means that the 'default' person is white, male, cis, able-bodied, etc. Descriptors are only necessary when the person varies from that norm. But also, when WP describe themselves, (meaning, a first-person description), it feels sort of funny to point out race. It's the Case of the Colorblind Society meme. If I point out that *I'm* white, am I covertly suggesting that being white is a Good Thing? (no, this does not resemble Earth logic, but this topic has come up in multiple racism discussions I've been in, and this is apparently a common view. Racism is not logical). You will find a *lot* of resistance among WP to describing ourselves as white. On a recent post, Macon mentioned that whiteness isn't just a skin color, it's a pathology, and I think that's a very good illustration of it.

  55. @ Spiderlgs & Macon D: Thanks for the link! It's superlate here, thus I will read it tomorrow morning. (I hereby promise to read it and then come back!)

    @ Macon D: Umm... "Squiggles" is me. I did NOT type "Squiggles" as name (NO WAY!), therefore, WTF?!?!?!?
    How TH can that happen??? WHAT? Why did it post it twice and with one name that I did not type. This really creeps me out.

    However (apologies for this): I'm both Kat/KD. Very sorry for that- not on purpose, I just thought I had posted with my other nick.

    @ Spiderlgs: Without having (yet! again: I promised) read the link, your comment made me react thus: "Okay... makes sense. But only in the US." These "prejudices" can be very dangerous for a woman... When I complained about sexual harassment in some places I lived and/or traveled, I was laughed at: "Hey, you're white, hence a slut who deserves it anyways- shut up!" That type of stuff. I know that I will not be protected or taken serious in some countries, cause White women are deemed "easy". I did not know that "PoC" means only US PoC in this blog.

  56. Atalia,

    Whoa! I saw Princess and the Frog as well. You've bought many of your issues to the movie, imo.

    1. I've worked my ass off to get my degrees and my career going, despite racism and sexism, and I made my dreams come true. Yes, hard work helps.

    2. Glossed over the dad's death? It was called the Princess and the Frog - not the Princess, Frog, and the Dad that died in the War.

    3. What violence was condoned? Tiana did not want things in the dirty manner that Facillier was offering. In addition, Facillier, was pretty much despised throughout the movie because he was a vile man that did bad things (He's a Disney villian!!!). Also, Big Daddy wasn't a main character nor a main focus of the movie.

    4. What's wrong with little girls wearing frilly dresses and such, if that's what they want to wear? I wore a tiara to the movie because I want to. Women come in many facets. Deal. Don't confine us.


  57. @KD

    I totally agree. My context is wholly American, and thus definitely a limited view. And as the power construct changes in other countries.. those things you mentioned are racist because as a white woman in a place where white people are not in power.. you are being oppressed because of the way those in power view you as a white woman.

    Love the dialogue.

  58. Kat/KD,

    I assign names to comments submitted as "Anonymous." I think someone copied yours and submitted it again, but anonymously, and the random name that I assigned it was Squiggles. Maybe that person did so with the intention of responding to it? (But then, it was addressed to me . . .) Anyway, hope that more or less clears it up for you. Nothing to get creeped out about.

  59. Wow.
    That's... quite a compilation.
    The tragic part is that so many of these are easily refuted stereotypes— eg, it's not hard to find dozens of online photos of Native Americans with short hair, black people with their pets, and Caucasians at chipotle festivals— but I have to wonder if that's even what they're looking for. How likely do you think it is that these searchers would click those links? I suspect the majority just end up on sites that reinforce the stereotypes instead. There are a lot more of those kinds of websites than there are of these.

    Re: the little girl whose hair was cut
    Outrageous. I don't even have kids and I have half a mind to write to that school. Even if you leave race out of it (who knows; maybe she would have cut some blonde girl's pigtail off), there's still no getting around the fact that the only reason to publicly mutilate someone's hair like that— boy, girl, young, old, black, white, whatever— is to humiliate them, personally. And that's just not an acceptable objective for a teacher disciplining a student. "I was frustrated"? Seriously? Jeez.

  60. @honeybrown1976

    1. As I said in my previous two posts, I never said that hard work isn’t a value that we should instill in our children. That’s being extrapolated out of what I did say, which is that hard work alone, in that time period, for someone like Tiana, wouldn’t be enough (and it wasn’t, she still needed the alligator to threaten the property owners with physical violence to get the restaurant)

    2. I understand that it’s not called the Princess, Frog, and the Dad that died in the War, but they didn’t give any context to the relationship of Blacks fighting in WWI. I understand that it’s a kid’s movie, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t criticize it, and that they should ignore a very complex situation (Big Daddy didn't die in a war, but the poor Black guy did, you don't think that might make Tiana a bit resentful or disillusioned?)

    3. I specifically laid out the violence that was condoned in my OP. Making jokes out of hurting the ‘bad guys’ beyond what was necessary to ensure one’s own safety is mirrored in the 2 wars we’re fighting, in the torture that takes place in Gitmo, in the treatment of prisoners here in the U.S. and the condoning of it (‘if they didn’t want to get beat up/raped/treated poorly they shouldn’t have committed the crimes!’), and I can’t help but think that as a nation this idea seeps into our cultural consciousness because we’re indoctrinated at an early age to think that *excessive* violence against those we perceive as a threat is good. And Louis’ physical threatening of the property owners also conveys the notion that it’s okay to be violent if we think we’re owed something because we think it’s “fair.” Also, Big Daddy doesn’t have to be a big character to simply address the fact that he got rich on the backs of the poor and runs the town because it’s an effective plutocracy. They quite literally could have addressed how unfair it is in as little as one line, but chose not to. And I don’t really know why I’m supposed to detest Facilier and at the same time, not detest Big Daddy.

    4. I don’t think I’m the one that’s confining anyone. If you want to wear a tiara, great. But saying like you wore it because you wanted to without any outside influences, and not because you were conditioned to want to from a very early age, is disingenuous.

    Overall I really, really liked the movie. I thought there were a lot of positive things about it, but to not write about what I think is problematic is to condone things I just don't agree with. Things don't change because people remain silent. Talking about things and bringing them into public discourse is one great way to help effect change.

  61. Do Asians see less?
    I could not stop laughing!

  62. Warning: Rant to follow.
    >If you don't think racism against White people exists, then we maybe have a different definition of racism.
    >As a blonde White woman, many PoC believe automatically that
    ...To me that is racism.

    KD/Kat at least seems willing to learn (she said she'll read the explanation about 'racism' later). KD/Kat, I do appreciate that.

    (I am not directing what comes after specifically at KD/Kat. It's a response based on having seen/heard others say similar things.)

    But (and perhaps this is part of that anger stage I talked about here), whenever a white person or any other Westerner with some white privilege (from developed countries or from privileged positions in developing countries), use the word 'racism' to describe their experiences in Asia, it pisses me off big time. It simply pisses me off. Yeah, I get that sexual harassment isn't nice, and yeah, it's rampant. I get that getting ripped off isn't fun, and yeah, it's rampant. I get it. And no, it's not right. I hate it too. Very much. But when ppl call it 'racism' it just pisses me off.

    When a white person complains or shares about these experiences, I'm good. I can empathize. If they call it 'discrimination', yeah, I agree. But when they call it 'racism', my automatic response is, "UGH! How the hell would you know what racism feels like?" And this is way before I learnt that academia defines racism as "prejudice + power".

    Does anyone else feel this way too? Or is this just a biased outworking/byproduct of my anger at racism? It's the kind of thing where if a friend said it to me, it could (depending on how they said it) potentially end the friendship or it would create a glass wall that limits how deep the friendship can go.

    For example, a poc today blurted out a list of negative stereotypes about "the Chinese" to me. I'm ethnically part Chinese. I look it too. But she decided to tell me all this anyway. And yeah, I could feel the icky prejudiced feelings being thrown at me and I found myself being labeled the "exception to my 'race'". It ticked me off, but I still wouldn't use the word 'racism' to describe it.

    I'd really like to hear what others think about this.

  63. @spiderlegs

    I assumed that the question "are black people cooler than white people" to be a reference to coolness, as in being cool, with it, hip, not to a physical body temperature. Black people prefer their houses and workplaces warmer than others? That's the first time I've ever heard that one!

  64. Fromthetropics,

    No, you're not alone in that. When I hear White folks whining like that the first thought that jumps in my noggin is, "Gee, ain't it grand that you can go back to your home country and be WHITE again!" because my Black ass can't escape no matter WHERE on this globe I go.

  65. @Rover,

    I was mostly kidding about that.. it just came to mind because I have always been FREEZING at my jobs, and it's mostly white people who want it to be 65 degrees in the winter LOL.

    It's completely anecdotal, and one of those statements that has some basis, but none for real LOL. My classroom is always hot, and my coworkers always have it cold. .so we battle where we will meet LOL and my white students generally complain about the heat LOL

  66. fromthetropics, I agree and disagree.

    I agree about white "racism" while in Asia. I still call it racism, but it is not at all comparable to here in the United States, and it makes me angry to hear that too. Whenever I've visited family in Korea, I was considered white because I look it and I'm pretty American. At worst, I felt like an outsider, but most of the time it was just a little annoying. I never felt like my life was in danger.

    However, I disagree about whether PoC can experience racism from other PoC. Whenever there is a power imbalance, there is a chance for racism. I'd call it small-scale racism. If the discrimination you face affects where you live, where you hold a job, how much you're paid, and how safe you feel, I'd say that counts.

  67. Oh and I just remembered what chopstick training wheels are. It's when you fold up a piece or paper or cardboard and rubberband the ends of chopsticks to it, effectivly making them into a big pair of tweezers. They sell plastic trainers that you can just slip on too, like this:

  68. Re: racial prejudice against white people in non-Western countries

    (with "non-Western" meaning "not dominated by WP)

    It's important to remember that even the race-based discrimination that happens against WP in non-Western countries exists in a broader contexts of European and American colonialism & imperialism, white beauty standards as the global norm, and depending on where you are, a largely white-controlled media culture. (I suppose the latter two are examples of 'cultural imperialism'. I should note that "white controlled media culture" is different from, say, millions of Americans embracing anime freely. Although we could have multiple threads on the casting of The Last Airbender).

    So, to pick up on just one of the examples that KD gave upthread, the use of the Magical Negro trope by white authors has very different sources and motivations that the Magical White Person trope, and thus the use of the MN in Western media has very different racist implications than the MWP trope. The MN trope is *not* just about a black person who "has all the answers." (KD, I'm not sure if that's what you were implying; forgive me otherwise).

    From Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu:
    >> The grand result of the repeated use of the Magical Negro archetype (coupled with the gigantic success of King's novels) is the implication that black people are inferior and expendable, even when they have power to wield, and white people are superior and important, even when they have to rely on the Magical Negro. <<

    You can see how, even if the MWP were a carbon copy of the MN, it would have a *completely* different meaning given the global context of WP marauding across the Americas, Africa, Austrailia and Asia with the belief that POC are inferior and WP are superior. The MWP trope is subversive, not racist. (Yes, this applies even for countries that were never under Western control. Hello, global PR and metanarrative control).

    Oops, that was...ranty. Sorry.

  69. >However, I disagree about whether PoC can experience racism from other PoC.

    Oh, sorry. I forgot to clarify. Between me and the poc who was stereotyping Chinese people, I was in the more privileged (albeit a minority) position. Hence it didn't feel like racism. If she was from a group that was in a more privileged and dominant/majority position than mine, then yeah, it would be racism even if it's poc to poc.

    So...I think that means we do agree, eh?

    thanks for sharing Witchsistah & Cloudy

  70. @Spiderlgs - a black friend of mine refers to himself as a 'tropical' person because he likes heat and most of his white friends don't.

    Why do white people claim they are Indian but never claim they are black?

    One of the most overtly racist people I come into fairly close contact with is married to a woman who claims that she's 1/4 Cherokee. Not sure why he's able to overcome his desire for racial 'purity' when it comes to Native Americans...

    How do you make white people food?

    If the mayo doesn't work, add a side of ranch dressing to whatever you were already going to make.

  71. "Where can I buy chopstick training wheels?"

    If you're using the cheap break-apart ones in a buffet type restaraunt, then fold up the paper wrapper that they came in and stick it between the back end of the sticks. Then tie a rubber band around them just behind the wad of paper. They now act physically much like a nail clipper.

    "Why don't white people ever think about reparations?"

    Because that would require owning up to our shit and holding ourselves accountable for it. That just isn't the white way.

    "What do you do when black people move into your neighborhood?"

    Wonder about what an unusual thing that is without actually commenting on it out loud for fear of being un-PC.

    "Where do white people REALLY come from (because it's not Europe)?"

    I come from Chicago.

    "When will white people take their country back?"

    I look around and think we've pretty much got it still... to the obvious dismay of Native people.

    "Why do white people think like they do?"


    "How do you make white people food?"

    I grew up eating alot of bratwurst, saurkraut, mashed potatoes, veal, smelly cheeses, boiled eggs... and still do. It seems like the most popular dish amongst people I know these days is pad thai. I realize however that there are alot of folks out there living off of mac and cheese and PB&Js.

    "Why do white people always think that a black person is going to steal something?"


    "Why do we give money to Native Americans?"


    "Can white people use black blood?"

    I though blood was red?

    "Why do white people run from black people?"


    "Why is it considered racist to worry about illegals?"

    Ancestry check: are you Native? (among many other reasons)

    "Are black people cooler than white people?"

    Depends on what setting the A/C is set to.

    "How can I be confident around white people?"

    When you figure this one out, let me know. I'm still trying to figure it out myself.

    "How are people viewed when they stand up for racism?"

    Stand up for it? You mean like, in favor of it?

    "Why do white people walk so fast?"


    "What's the difference between "colored people" and "people of color"?"

    The first word is what's at stake.

    "How can I turn white people's racism back on them?"

    Say, "BOO!"

    "Why do whites stop talking to a black person when they see other whites?"

    I tend to try and keep talking in an effort to show off to the other white people how un-racist I think I am.

    "How would white people describe themselves over the phone to someone who has never seen them before?"

    With every possible description other than "I'm white."

    "Why do white people only have 1 black friend?"

    We only need one to be able to play the "black friend" card.

  72. >> "How do you make white people food?

    If the mayo doesn't work, add a side of ranch dressing to whatever you were already going to make."

    Julia wins the Internet. :o)

  73. What are some tips to get a white boy like a black girl?

    Be yourself. If he doesn't like you because you don't have chemistry, then you're better off without him. If he doesn't like you because he doesn't like black girls, you are definitely better off without him.

    Should White People Be Scared To Give Black People Compliments?

    Depends. If the compliment is race based, then unless you are very close with that person, keep it to yourself probably. And if you do not think it is directly race based (i.e not a hair compliment), if you wouldn't say it to a white person (i.e "you are very articulate"), don't say it. Since a compliment is supposed to make the other person feel good, sometimes a better compliment would be not saying anything.

    Why are white people fascinated with dogs?

    I don't know, I'm a cat person. But what is revealing is that to take down a black person in a high position, white people can/will value a dog over a human. (See: the media uproar over Michael Vick dogfighting because he was a black athlete successfully playing a "white man's" position, quarterback, and the media silence over Leonard Little...twice DUIing, the second time killing a person in an accident, because taking down Little to teach him a lesson is not as important as the revenue white owners get from his play. And it's not like he is playing a protected white position like quarterback or anything.)

    Why won't the media talk bad about black racism against white people?

    Okay, pretending that the person said "discrimination" instead of racism...I don't know how true this is, what's up Willie Horton (maybe not discrimination but a black faced criminal with a white faced victim). But assuming it is, the media loves black on black disputes. Because when hating on a black person, they can instead explain that another black person said this, and they are not racist. They love turning disputes between black people into shields for their own bigotry.

    Why does it tend to be white males doing the shootings?

    Because there are a lot of white males in the countries we (USA viewpoint here) pay attention to, like Canada or England or here. Even so, I'd say there is a disproportionate amount of attention paid to shooters of other races.

    And lastly, to spiderlgs, I have to disagree with the claim that if black people were in charge they would be more concerned with equality. In this country, black people are on the receiving end of inequality. Therefore, by necessity and not choice, their lives tend to be more intertwined with a struggle for equality. If black people were in power though, you cannot assume it would stay the same. I think every human has the same capacity to do evil, but the circumstances surrounding them affect their decisions. I don't see why a different racial group in power would change the dynamic, when the problem is the racial divisions in the first place. Not to mention, I believe what you said kind of dehumanizes white people and does not take into account the environmental factors (and power) that drive their actions. It just seems like you are saying that is how white people are, rather than how they have developed. Sorry. Minor quibble.

  74. "If the mayo doesn't work, add a side of ranch dressing to whatever you were already going to make"

    What if someone mixed mayo, ranch dressing, and cream of mushroom soup? :O It would be like a black hole of infinite whiteness.

  75. Plenty of LOLs in this post.

    On a similar note, one of the google searches that led someone to my own blog was:
    "black people have massive cocks but I don't believe it"


  76. "What would black people do to whites if they were in charge?"
    Pretty much exactly the same things, I imagine. We're depressingly consistent as a species...

    That's often something that White people like to trot out as a "reason" for opposing measures to counteract racism and racial discrimination. To be frank, if the situation reversed itself tomorrow, I'd imagine that Black people would have better things to do and more important things to worry about than how to make White people miserable or how to "get even" for all the shit White people put POCs through.

    I thought we've been over the whole idea that it's pretty fucked-up to conflate Whiteness with humanity or to project White attitudes and behaviors onto others.

  77. @Scrapple

    I think we took the question to mean two different things. My answer was as if Black people were to take charge now, given the history being what it has been. Given the fact that we have been on the receiving end of so much oppression, I would like to think we would be concerned with bettering conditions for everyone...

    But even still, and I know I am going to get it for this comment, but I figure this is all about being honest.. I do not think that black people would wreck the kind of havoc and bring the kind of evil that white folks have brought to every corner of the earth in one way or another. This is just my conjecture. We can never rewrite history. I know that people will disagree. And of course there is no way to prove this.

    But just because Europeans did it, doesn't mean that others would have if given the chance.

  78. If I could submit a picture to some of these questions it would be of Capt Picard holding his head (facepalm)

    And I've been asked some zingers

    "As an African person, did you have to go to remedial school when you came to the U.S?" (asked by a person who'd just met me on a ride. One of the group ride members, a white guy who ironically I just found out was Zambian, jumped in and did the 'polite' eviscerating for me)

    "You guys have beer!!!!?" (an acquaintance who had known me for years when I wore a Tusker T shirt). This is also the same guy whose head almost exploded when I used an aerial shot of Nairobi as my screen background.

    "Do you live in trees?"

  79. Baiskeli, I think this may call for the uberpicardfacepalm:

  80. @Cloudy

    That link is full of win !! :-)

  81. This will be LOOOOOONG, cause I have to reply to so many different people… Please bear with me.

    @ Spiderlgs, Macon D and fromthetropics:

    I have read the 101 now. Thank you! I obviously felt part-embarrassed, part-‘enlightened’ (or rather “Okay, I’ll try, I think I get it”). I nodded at my screen (luckily enough my housemates are on holiday) several times.

    However, I have some remarks regarding two of the points:

    1.(point 1 on “get over the hurt’):
    Ahem… that can be a slight misinterpretation. I am a feminist (does that fall under “full disclosure”?) and I know that if I snap I’ve lost another chance at changing someone’s mind. That’s one step backwards towards my own oppression. It blows. It’s unfair. Yet it’s real.

    Also: The “tell me” rather then “I’ll google” can have several meanings:

    1. “I trust you. I want to know what YOU think.”

    2. “If I google, how will I know I won’t find exactly the wrong stuff?” You all know what I’m talking about- self-hating stuff or “But I the Black/Asian/NA/insert here person made it, so I don’t get what the others whine about” etc etc.

    3. “Three- google stuff is not personal. Even though that might seem silly on the internet, we, as humans, will still IMHO relate more to ‘truth’ if another person provides their experience.”

    4. “Some information is not available on the internet. At all. No, I didn’t believe it either, but I recently had that on a certain race issue.”

    2.(point 7 on “otherwise oppressed”):
    I am lukewarm on this. No, I cannot know what it feels like to be a PoC. True. But in order to emphasize, I believe that it helps to understand oppression. To *feel* the pain and anger and injustice. And I also believe that the “man” card sometimes trumps the “skin color” card, especially concerning domestic and sexual violence. Which sucks doubly for women PoC. (*oppression Olympics mode off*)
    And yes, I will invariably compare to my experiences as a woman, cause it’s the biggest point of reference of injustice I have. I don’t think that can be turned off. But I get that I can’t and shouldn’t say “I understand exactly your experiences cause…”

    Lastly: Where is this all going? And yes, once again getting back to my experiences as a feminist: I read certain feminist blogs and had to stop. All I ended feeling was powerlessness. And also pain. And anger at men in general as a group, which is even worse/ more complicated as a hetero. None of which helped me or society. I had to stop and “pretend” it didn’t exist, cause too many news (Kobe Bryant, Roman Polanski recently, but about 1000 more) were mere pain triggers. I’m slightly scared that this will just cause me to start acted weird around PoC- as in “they think I’m oppressing them anyways.”

    On a sidenote: I realized that I recently did two things:
    1. Derailing.
    2. Point 1 on education (that was the non-google-able point).
    The person (PoC) I was chatting with replied by calling me, basically a sick man-hater (cause that’s what feminists are)… Yay, way to go. :*( I doubt either of us felt better afterwards. :*(

    @ Spiderlgs: Me too. :)

    @ fromthetropics:
    “Yeah, I get that sexual harassment is not nice.” Thanks. That was condescending and hurtful. Those experiences were not in Asia BTW (cause you mentioned Asia, the WH thing is mainly Asian to me). The worst one: I escaped a rape (narrowly, by jumping out of a car) and the police gave me the White slut thing. Where was my power in that? Thank you for making my day by calling that “not nice”. BUT, having said that: I understand that you’re angry. And I came in here as “clueless White person No. 75”. I apologize. I’m sorry for offending you. I understand that. I understand if you’re mad at me and the world. But please don’t make me feel more powerless in turn.

  82. @ Willow:
    What I am generally getting internal question marks on is the “subversive” bit… Ummm… which time period are we speaking here? Is the general assumption really “White people are evil, PoC are awesome”? Really? Japan? Ottoman empire? I think I’m missing some type of bottom line here. If you’re making PoC into some type of random lamb in all of human history, I don’t see how that’s empowering. So negative behavior which has the potential to endanger me as a human being (screw the money, screw the MW bit) is “subversive”, thus in some liberal way “awesome”? Really?

    @Witchsista: What if your goal is not to “be WHITE again”, but to live in peace where you were born and where you have lived all your live, have all your friends and family?

  83. @ Kat:

    I said the Magical White Person trope specifically, as presented in lit and media, can be subversive.

    Nowhere did I say that "subversive" is unequivocally harmless and leads to world peace, lollipops, and unicorns. You made that leap.

    Thank you for missing both what I actually said, and my broader point.

    Which is, all of this still happens in a broader global system of white supremacy. We can't fight any race-based discrimination without addressing that issue.

  84. Aw dammit. Baiskeli is like the fourth person in as many months that I've heard complain about being asked if "you people/people in your [mostly nonwhite] country live in trees." I got that once as a kid, but for 20+ years I figured that was some kind of unique and aberrant megafail. I didn't realize (read: couldn't bear to even consider) that this question is probably quite common until like this September. I am really really bummed to find out that so many others have had to suffer this. Damn.
    Questions I'd like to see (from white Googlers):
    - How come everyone at Ren Faire is white?
    - How can I find out if my family really owned slaves (because SOMEBODY must have)?
    - Why doesn't [fill in name of famous white American] acknowledge his/her [fractional] black ancestry?
    - How likely am I to be assaulted by a white man?
    - I'd like to learn good manners/netiquette/the basics of logic— tips?
    - Why do white people commit so much nonviolent crime??

  85. @ Willow: Okay, then we're cool for that bit.

    However, I somehow managed to post only part of what I had written in response to your post (luckily enough I write longer posts in Word and save, so here:)

    I agree in part, but that depends strongly on the cultural context (which Asian culture) you are speaking about- I lived in China for a while and that is the specific context that I was referring to (I have also lived in a South Asia country for a while, there it was different). Although I greatly enjoy China for some reasons, the consensus was "we will learn everything from you, the MW, and then we will do it better than you." Creeptastic! And it precludes friendships... So where I disagree: All three stereotypes can rest on some kind of "Noble Savage" trope, yes, even the MW one. “Ultimately we will be better at being you.” But I hadn’t meant from the start that the MN thing is only about “having all the answers”.

  86. @Kat/KD who wrote: “Yeah, I get that sexual harassment is not nice.” Thanks. That was condescending and hurtful.

    That is exactly why I wrote all those prefaces so that you would NOT take it personally. The part I did want you to take personally was the positive feeling I had about you when I wrote: "I do appreciate that" and I meant that.

    The other part was directed at a generic 'you' because I've heard the same things over and over from both men and women about sexual harassment (sometimes rape gets mentioned too) and getting ripped off, etc in Asia and other non-Western countries as proof of racism towards white people. It just doesn't work for me for many reasons. In my ears it sounds like another way of putting pocs down. I've explained this in parts elsewhere in comments. I reiterate: The issue (e.g. of sexual harassment) itself is certainly bad and these countries need to get their act together. But when it gets framed in terms of 'racism' it just doesn't sound right to me.

    BUT I had NO intention of belittling sexual harassment or a near rape experience. Nor would I ever want to do that. I'm a woman. I know how awful that can be. Seen it, heard it, experienced it. If it sounded like I was, I am sorry. I will be more careful with the way I word things next time.

  87. ps. @Willow - thanks for the food for thought. I don't have much to contribute to it atm, but I'm reading.

  88. Re: chopstick training wheels, I just bought my five-year-old son a set of plastic chopsticks that are tweezer-esque - they're attached at the top. It'll allow him to start figuring out how to hold them and grab food with the tips, without having them shifting around in his hand and such. He desperately wants to learn how to use chopsticks because he sees his father and I using them, but when he tries, the end result tends to be extremely messy. I'm hoping that simplifying the equation will make it easier for him to learn. (Also, he has autism-related fine-motor control issues, and I'm hoping this might help there as well. Anything we can do to get him using his hands more is a good thing.)

    Re: using "articulate" as a compliment: there was actually an Ugandan fella at my last job, and he'd been educated in Vienna and had a lovely way of speaking. It gave me pleasure just to listen to him. He was far more articulate and well-spoken than almost anyone I've ever met, and I really wanted to tell him that, but I never did because I was scared it would come across as, "Wow, you're black and you're still SO ARTICULATE!" It just wasn't worth the risk. :/ If I had said anything I would have had to explain it like "I want to tell you that I find you extremely well-spoken and I love listening to you, but I also want to say that I'm saying that not because you're black, I'd feel the same way if you were white, it's just that you have an amazing way of using language. And I wanted to specify that because I know a lot of times when people say 'you're so articulate' what they really mean is 'you're so well-spoken for a black person' and I totally don't mean it that way." It just seemed like it would be horribly awkward.

    @KD: As the writer of the "Racism 101 for Clueless White People" article, I agree that Google is not the be-all end-all of learning - the article is meant to be a starting-off point, not an end point. :) And for most people, internet resources are going to be much more accessible than non-internet resources. And while I agree that hearing it from someone else is helpful, it's good if people have the basic foundational stuff down and *then* can ask their questions in a non-offensive or less-offensive way, rather than continually expecting people to explain the foundations over and over and over. That's actually exactly the point of the article - it's something that people can post a link to when someone else asks foundational questions.

  89. Another thing white people like to do: Look at shirtless black men. All three shows on Ben Brantley's Best of 2009 New York City theatre slideshow featuring black actors includes shirtless black men.

  90. @Robin:

    Have you tried, "I love the way you speak"?

  91. Can someone explain the white people/mayonnaise stereotype to me? This seems like a good place/time to ask. The first I ever heard of it was maybe... a year ago? Less? There was that flap with the politician who sent out a card with watermelons Photoshopped all over the White House lawn, and in rebuttal, some netizen re'shopped it to show jars of mayo growing there instead.

    I was totally baffled.
    I had to look it up.
    And once I did, I got it: joke at the expense of WP.
    Except... I'm not sure I actually "get" it.
    White people love mayonnaise?
    What, exactly, does it mean? It's almost embarrassing. I grew up in this country; I feel like I should know this. Is it just about white people liking bland foods (ie: "why don't white people like spices")? Or, is it supposed to represent their appearance?

    And while we're at it, ditto for the WP-love-white-bread thing. Exactly what is that stereotype playing on? I kind of always felt like that one is some kind of metaphor for the stereotypically white (American) worldview— ie: that they like things to be agreeable, unsurprising, unobjectionable. Easy to swallow. Flanderized, basically.

    Is that right?
    Is it the same for mayo?

    Don't even get me started on crackers...

  92. @LaSmartOne,
    No doubt! White guys love black cheesecake.
    It's like the one time Dudebros don't seem to care about "coming off gay." I read an article a few weeks ago about a black actor, which included a near-nude photo of the guy in a rather porny pose (crotch thrust forward, one hand flat on tummy as if about to slide southward, head thrown back, ecstatic expression). I must say, his body was unbelievable— and it was gleaming, because it is dark; jeez. Anyway, I was shocked at the number of gushing "I'm a het dude, but OMG, that guy looks amazing!!" comments. A few called him beautiful (!). I'd barely even seen white male commenters on this (WOC-run, sci-fi oriented) site before. It was like the lurkers all came out of the woodwork to pant over this guy. And I've seen it before, but never consciously noted the pattern. I have never seen this with buff white guys (they tend to get cut up: Marky Mark got no love). I swear if it had been a white guy— especially in that pose!— Dudebros wouldn't be able to click away from it fast enough.

    Clearly, they think black men have the best bodies. (Insert animalization/specimenization/essentialism here.) I'm totally making this up on the spot, but maybe they like ripped black actors (as opposed ripped black athletes) because actors tend to be a) more articulate and b) not as "big." I could see them seeing that combo as less threatening (animal-like) and more acceptable as aspirational material.

  93. @ fromthetropics:

    Thank you! As I said since I've recently given up on gender issues (in the way that I just get too depressed by the 506th person who tells me that women shouldn't wear skirts, then they wouldn't get raped), I'm very sensitive right now, apologies.

  94. I just don't know about that.

    Look at Israel-Palestine. The Jews are a historically oppressed group. Instead of ruling more benevolently than the people they escaped from, they seem to have adopted a "everybody screwed us so we are going to screw these people" mentality.

    And racism is not some entity that exists separately of all other "isms". It is very connected with sexism/ know the rest... There is plenty of sexism in the black community (not to single it out, because there is plenty of sexism everywhere, and by extension in the black community). So is it not true that black men have used their limited power to oppress? I know the common view on this blog is that whites hold the power. I would agree, but that doesn't mean other groups cannot hold (less) power as well. Around the world there is a consistent patriarchy. And if one is able to discriminate on the basis of sex when they have some power, then one would very likely be able to discriminate on the basis of race when they are in power.

    And this is NOT a statement saying black people should not have a chance to be in charge because they would do the same things as white people in charge. This is a statement saying what happens happens, but I don't expect it to differ much from human history when there is the factor of who is "in charge" and has the "power". I don't believe the worst in any race, just in the system that pits them against each other.

  95. Look at Israel-Palestine. The Jews are a historically oppressed group. Instead of ruling more benevolently than the people they escaped from, they seem to have adopted a "everybody screwed us so we are going to screw these people" mentality.


  96. @RVCBard: You know what that was? That was me overthinking it for like WEEKS and then you're like, "Bam, here you go." And then I'm sitting here thinking, "God damn, that's so simple, how is it even possible that I didn't think of that, and instead spent weeks feeling frustrated and trying to think of any way to phrase it that wouldn't sound potentially insulting?"

    *sigh* I swear, sometimes I completely miss the forest because I obsess about specific trees.

    Now I wish I'd brought this up like 8 weeks ago when I still could have told him, because your suggestion would totally have worked. (Unfortunately, he was at my last job; I switched workplaces about six weeks ago.) :( Oh well. I shall file it away for future reference, should a similar situation ever arise. And thank you. :)

  97. I've followed this blog off and on for a while, and I've consistently enjoyed the dialogue on here even though, for whatever reason, I've not made any comments on anything written. I think that I've mostly just been content to quietly take in whatever was there without needing to say something. Still, some of the questions amused me, so I thought I'd give some of them a go.

    2. Why do white people have to act like they're perfect?

    Some of us are insecure, I suppose. Honestly, I can't stand when anyone has to act like they're perfect. Drives me up the wall. I think too many of us are just overly concerned about what other people think. At the very least, this is something that I've had beaten into my head even as a child: "Don't do that, Travis. What will people think?!" or the classic line "Quit crying! Can't you see all these people are looking at you?!" For me, at least, I guess it just feels like I've had it ingrained from early on to be worried about what people would think.

    4. Why don't white people like spices?

    Obviously, you've never had my chili.

    5. Where can I buy chopstick training wheels?

    Where would you mount them?

    7. What do you do when black people move into your neighborhood?

    The same thing I do when anyone else moves into my neighborhood. Nothing. I don't go knocking on some random person's door who I don't know because I don't want them thinking I'm some kind of weirdo or child molester or something.

    8. Why do white people take up so much space on the bus?

    I suffer from claustrophobia, so I don't usually ride the bus (or go into crowded areas or anything like that). I won't even enter a crowded bar or restaurant. I've been known to go into panic attacks, so it's usually to most folks' best interest that I have at least a little bit of space.

    12. Why do black people say at the end of sentences "You know what I mean?"

    Oh come on. White folks do this, too. Jim Varney's character, Ernest P. Worrell, was well known for using the phrase "Y'know what I mean, Verne?" It doesn't bother me. Now, when someone says "be mindful of..." Yeah, that drives me insane, especially if they're a college educated high school principal and should know better.

    15. Why do white people say "hi" to everyone?

    As opposed to what? I don't. I say "hey" or "how's it going" or, more often, I'll just do the traditional Dude Head Gesture.

    20. Why does white culture seem so anti-social?

    I dunno. I'm anti-social because I don't trust anyone, I take myself too seriously, I worry about what other people may think, I was picked on as a kid, it's dark outside, I like to eat chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce, and my girlfriend broke up with me three months ago.

    22. How do you make white people food?

    With a telephone. Though, these days, I hear Domino's/Papa John's does online orders, too.

    25. Why do white people want to save the whales?

    I don't. I say we nuke the #$@%ers!

    31. Why do white people bury their dead so quickly?

    Because dead bodies tend to smell pretty bad after a while.

    ?. How can I be confident around white people?

    I don't know, but if you figure it out, can you let me know?

    ?. What kind of food do White Power people eat?

    Mashed potatoes with white gravy, cauliflower, noodles with alfredo sauce, and all of this chased down with a glass of milk.

    ?. Why do white people go camping?

    I go camping because I like sitting around in the woods drinking copious amounts of alcohol, talking about girls, fishing, making various bodily noises without worrying about who I'm going to offend, burning things, and just hanging out in nature. Not sure why other people do it, though.

  98. @ NovaScotiaGirl:

    On the other thread, you said,
    >> "...the focus on something "about me" makes it a little less intimidating to think about."

    First of all, I think this is a *really* good insight that often goes unsaid and maybe even unnoticed. At least, by WP.

    However, I want to challenge you--or actually, the POC here and pretty much everywhere have challenged all us WP many times over--not to do this. Fighting racism, particularly getting a grip on our own, is not and should not be an easy task.

    It's sort of like, I guess, "white anti-racists" (in quotes for a reason) only wanting to do anti-racist work with other whites. The example that is often given is, WP talk about how we feel uncomfortable when we are the only WP in a group of POC, but we never stop to think a POC might feel uncomfortable in a group with all whites. That's not a great analogy, but it's the closest I can think of right now.

    I get that it's not easy. But that's part of the point.

  99. Do Asians see less?

    Well, based on a very scientific analysis* by me and my buddies about 14 years ago, I believe that Asians see more, depending on how you define "Asian."

    A white guy in the group asked whether we could see our own noses. He had a particularly prominent nose and felt that his view was probably more obstructed than most people's. Another white guy with very deep-set eyes had a large blind spot above and below his eyes. Geeks as we were, we tried to quantify the amount of our field of view that was obstructed by our own faces. The East Asians (all Chinese) among us had the least obstruction. Ergo Asians see more.

    n = approx 9, including 3 white, 3 East Asian, 3 Middle-Eastern.

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