Wednesday, December 2, 2009

overexplain things to black people

A reader of swpd said it's okay to post his email message about another thing that white people do, and to open his questions about it to other readers:

Hello,
 

A friend told me about your blog, and I like it! but I thought I would write because I don't think you've pointed this out before?

I continue to notice something that white people do which annoys the hell out of me (and worse). I'm a black student (junior, male) at a medium size university, and I see something from the professors that I hoped I wasn't going to see here. When I go to visit them in their offices and even when they interact with me in class sometimes, a lot of them explain things to me like I'm a child. And from what I see, they almost never do that to white students.

Now, I'm not imagining this difference. For one thing, I once was a child, I remember how teachers explain things to children. It's condescending, and it usually includes a lot of careful explaining  just to make sure that the child gets it right. Then, I went to a high school that was racially mixed. I saw the white teachers continue to do that with the black students, explaining things for longer and in more detail than they did with the white and Asian students. They talked to me and other black students more like we were still children and to the white students, more like they were adults.

So like I said, I still see that now. I just saw my English teacher today in her office, about my essay. It was a scheduled conference (I wouldn't have gone otherwise, because I'm already a good writer who doesn't need extra help).  I swear, the simple things she decided to explain to me, about mistakes like typos that I was going to clean up anyway! I already know most of the other things she was telling me, but she thought she had to tell me anyway, and oh. so. carefully. too. And then some of it she would tell me again, just to make sure I got it (I did get it, thank you). I don't think she does that to white students in her office, because I see her explain things differently with individual white students and black students during class. Two other black students are in this particular class. We don't really know each other so we don't talk about this, but we probably wouldn't anyway. I think we've all seen it before, so many times from white teachers.
 

I've had some white teachers of course who don't do this, but a lot of them do. I'm writing to ask, why do white people do this? (And also, please don't tell me that I'm going to keep encountering this attitude when I graduate and work with white people.)

I think white people treat black students this way because they think (in a subconscious way. maybe.) that black people are stupid. And I wonder if they even know that they give us the impression that that's what they're thinking about us, or feeling. I also think you should tell your white readers about this white behavior, and ask those who do it to stop. Just because I'm black doesn't mean I'm stupid. I might be a lot smarter than you.

Thank you,

94 comments:

  1. Can the Church say amen,it will stop when you confront the situation directly!

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  2. Just to help you cope with here's something to note. "Excellence is the best deterrant to racism (or sexism)". It's something Oprah said. She knows firsthand how hard it is to be an intelligent person of colour being treated as "stupid". I've been through it. Unfortunately it does not end after graduation. It may be something you deal with your entire life. It's your internal attitude and self-knowledge that will keep you strong and not giving a f*** how white people undermine your gifts. When you excel they might often disbelieve that you are made it because of your brilliance. They'll say you are a fluke or worse...you apparently cheated! It's the same racism that made whites see blacks as three thirds human and on par with primates. Intelligence is in the mind not in the pigment. How hard is it to get that into their thick skulls, these racists.
    If they want to justify "black stupidity" with the idea that those who grow in poverty are less likely to excel scholastically. That's rubbish too. A) Not all blacks in the US are low income and underprivileged as some like to assume. B) Even in poverty, intelligence can be present. With enough determination, a ghetto child can become a world class surgeon or engineer.

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  3. I've noticed this in most of my academic/scientific interactions with other students, postdocs and technicians here at my "well-maintained biomedical research institution in New York City". This is another way white people maintain the intellectual/workplace hierarchy within the system of white supremacy and maintain their control on power. They know they are the ones who still have most of the constructive information as the majority of those in power in academia, corporate america and elsewhere. So they easily give each other respect and make it psychologically easy to interact with each other as respected peers. However, with blacks and perhaps other select non-whites they will condescend, throw in snide bits of racism, do almost anything they can to attempt to condition you into thinking that you are mentally inferior. They *will* give you the information so that you will not be able to complain that they did not, but they also know that it is difficult to complain about racism when it is communicated nonverbally or in any other way that can not be easily revealed.

    In today's age of "social networking" and free worldwide net access to information, you would think that whites would no longer hold such a dominant position in the workplace or academia. But they do. The reason is that I believe most experts' knowledge base is built from social knowledge, and not textbooks or internet resources. The written word was written by someone and most expertise is most optimally gained through social interaction with the experts and being a part of a collective of upcoming peers. When both those peers and experts are still mainly white and have such a high amount of disdain for black students, no matter how valiantly the black student fights against this setup for failure and manages to win, he does so in light of an extreme social flaw that was engineered against blacks in the first place and that has maintained this artificial intellectual hierarchy from the very beginning of the educational process so that the black student is in such an extreme minority in that place of higher education (or any other high level position) to begin with. I suspect that the Psychological Pain of attempting to interact with peers and authorities who are constantly condescending to you and treating you as a child while watching them give each other undue levels of respect and regard, no matter how much you "Rationally Know" that it is a lie, is a huge reason there aren't more blacks in academia (or starting multinational corporations for that matter).

    Macon D was generous enough to dedicate a thread to a similar post I made a couple of months ago:

    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2009/09/do-less-than-they-could-to-make-black.html

    Anyway, good luck. As you ascend the ladder, you'll only face more animosity. Continue to encourage other black students to bombard these places. Only when we come in numbers and start taking teaching/researcher posts and more positions of power and authority will this horrible racial dynamic ever begin to change in earnest.

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  4. I've seen some of this but not too much but I think some of that is b/c I'm used to tuning lots of stuff white folk do out (not all but at least this one). My advice to you is when they do that 1) look at them like they are really crazy, 2) take a long pause and 3) tell them, yes, I did know that and when you can either go beyond what they were saying to point something out that demonstrates a greater knowledge or depth. Or in cases where you can, like they aren't your teacher or your boss or if you think you can get away with it or just don't care, say something like "gee, thanks, I'd have never understood it if you hadn't explained it to me" in a voice either dripping with contempt or in a stereotypical hayseeed voice totally unlike your own and then roll your eyes at them. Sometimes you have to fuck with people. Or you can just say, "Yeah, I know, I'm not stupid" or something to that effect and they will most likely turn red and think twice about condescending to you. Unfortunatley, you will probably still see this when you get out of school. It's too bad your teachers do that but sadly, being educated does not always mean that one is not ignorant, particularly when dealing with people of color and sometimes well-educated white people (and some not well-educated white people too) suffer from a superiority complex, at least compared to people of color.

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  5. I don't think I overexplain, but I know I speak differently to my African American students in conferences. I hear myself do it. Instead of just nice, I sometimes come off as slimy-extra nice.

    And it isn't because I think my African American students are stupid. I think I do it because I'm afraid of saying something wrong or hurtful--because some cookie-seeking liberal anti-racist-wannabe inside me wants the African American students to like me.

    I don't write this to excuse the behavior, which remains racist and pathetic (I don't care whether white students like me or not). I just wanted to thank the email author for making me confront this. I will figure out how to stop doing it.

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  6. I see this too, thanks for sharing.

    In fact, I see it so often that when I see the opposite, I'm almost in shock. I have this one white anthropology professor who very intentionally calls mostly on students of color during class (which, when grouped together, are the majority, so it's pretty fair). He seems very careful to treat the students equally on an individual basis as well. I really appreciate it, but I've actually heard one white student gripe about it. Meh.

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  7. PixieCorps, under the system of white supremacy, I've seen a lot of white people claim that their behavior is guided "subconsciously".

    If I were to pick up a gun and shoot you in the head, thereby murdering you, I could claim that it was subconscious, that it was my id, that I was acting irrationally, but it is still manslaughter. And I would likely still be put on death row, especially since I am a black male and you are a white female.

    I think the best thing for you to do is to be honest and upfront. Tell your black students up front the first day that no matter how hard you try, you will not be working in their best interest and that you have been socially conditioned to behave abnormally around them. Also, you should advocate for more black faculty so that you have some accountability to black peers and authority figures in how you relate to your black students.

    Now, I know that you will not seriously consider this advice because it would likely put your career in jeopardy. It is easy to commiserate with blacks in private or anonymously over the internet. But, as a piece of advice from a male classified as black under the system of white supremacy, I do believe it would be constructive for you to take what I've said to heart. I believe it is the right and just thing to do and is both intellectually and morally honest.

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  8. I just love how white people, especially white males, think they are an expert on everything. It's especially hilarious and patronizing when white males try to tell me I'm wrong and I have wrong information about my own culture, religion and motherland.

    Unless you're some kind of a Ph.D expert on South Asian history or Islam, don't f--king tell me I'm wrong.

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  9. I have yet to be treated this way by my instructors because I assert that I know what I am talking about. They treat me as an equal even if I think I am asking a silly question. However, I have gotten a lot of this from students--people who are supposed to be my equals. The students are always saying, "DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING?" Like I don't speak English. There are times when I do not understand some of the white students because they have such scattered manners of thinking that they can never explain themselves eloquently and when challenged on their opinions and understanding they lose confidence and try to ask me if I understood them. When I was younger, people never did that to me but suddenly in college the white students think they are smarter than me, even though we are in the same course, have taken all of the same courses, and are all attempting to go on to medical school. When will they see that I am not any different? Whatever...as long as I get to medical school, I am not going to give a second thought about some dumbass kids. I am in school to get to where I need to be. I impress my professors who write my recommendations--not the students.

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  10. I get a lot of this, as a black women not only do I deal with this from white people but also from men. Professionally when interacting with coworkers that I need something from I will play into it in order to disarm them and get what I want. Sometimes I'm angry that I do this but other times I see it as me manipulating them to get what I need to do my job. When a teacher or supervisor does it I'll probably ignore it. When it is a random stranger who feels the need to explain obvious things to me I just try to get away from them ASAP.

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  11. White people have learned to be ultra-careful in choosing their words, out of fear of being called a racist, or being attacked.

    Black Professor Assaults White Woman

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  12. I've visited this blog a few times and find it very interesting. It's like reading about race relations from another planet. I, black woman from the Lowlands, encounter this behaviour, being considered stupid, mainly with men (from all colours), especially if I believe them to be less intelligent than me. When it comes to race I do experience (white) people underestimating me but as soon as they realize I am a woman of the world they are quite impressed. My experience is that (white) people are more easily impressed by my intelligence than they would have been if I were white (or Asian) as in saying 'she's quite clever for a black chick'. It's annoying when people think you're stupid but for me being underestimated is a win- win situation.

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  13. My take as to the reason we do this is that we white people are conditioned to believe that white racism isn't a barrier to black people--that discrimination ended with Civil Rights legislation, so if we have good intentions and if the Klan isn't operating nearby, racism isn't a factor. This, in turn, leads inexorably to the conclusion that if there is still a racial gap, black people must be "oppressing themselves" as a result of either innate lower intelligence or a lack of regard for education in black culture. Of course, these are racist assumptions, but I've found them to be common ones among white people. So in speaking to people of color as though they are children we are trying both to be clear for the dull-witted and magically to instill an educational ethic. Racism isn't very reasonable, is it?

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  14. I have experienced this in medical and graduate school classes from white and asian peers/TAs moreso than professors. Absolutely grates on my nerves. In one immunology class, the TA stopped lecturing to look at me and say, "You look confused. What are your questions?," when, in fact, I completely understood what was being said and did not need help (and at 26, I know how to raise my hand and ask a question if I have one). The best answer I could give was getting an A in the class, which I did.

    Like Miss Sheeba said, I just keep striving for excellence. But i'm not gonna lie -- the condescension drives me nuts.

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  15. It's mostly white liberal racism. Traditional racism are what everyone except the right is "fighting" now days, but white liberals are also infected with a form of racism driven by hidden guilt. They treat blacks and other minority like children needing their Mighty Whitey help in order to survive or "do the right thing". Just a modern version of the "White Man's Burden". They think by speaking slowly and giving more detail as if they were children, they will be appreciated by black receipts by "going the extra mile" and he or she is definitely not the "wrong kind" (KKK, etc) of white racist.

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  16. LaSmartOne,

    Right the Fuck On!

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  17. East Wind mostly nails this.

    I'll add:

    Professors talk down to everyone. And humans often have a keen ability to perceive the intellectual capacity of those they speak with.

    This isn't racism, this is the reality of having an unsubstantiated high self esteem and being confronted by your actual faults.

    You're never as smart as you think you are.

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  18. Professors talk down to everyone. And humans often have a keen ability to perceive the intellectual capacity of those they speak with.

    This isn't racism, this is the reality of having an unsubstantiated high self esteem and being confronted by your actual faults.

    You're never as smart as you think you are.


    Reeeeeeeeally?

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  19. RVCBard, I think it is clear that when colorblind says "you," s/he actually means "I."

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  20. Have to say I never experienced or noticed this.

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  21. The condescending voice can definitely be annoying but fortunately, I have a wicked sense of humor.

    I agree that the 'voice' is often used by liberals laden with guilt. What can you do? It's either that or like someone said, they accuse you of cheating when you do well...

    If you really wanna mess your head up, spend some time in Korea and eat with chopsticks. If your face is not Asian, expect to get a detailed commentary of your ability. oh, the shock and awe of such an infantile ability

    I don't get hung up on people's perceptions. All the better if they don't see me coming. They'll certainly know I was there after I pass them by...

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  22. @DIMA!
    I agree 100% with your comment. I used to live in NYC and I've noticed that since I've moved out to L.A. that I've encountered people who try to "school" me on black and American Indian culture. It's weird, because I felt that I never experienced this type of attitude when I was living in NYC.

    Another friend who is Filipina said she experiences this a lot as well. It also doesn't help when you're female, too.

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  23. LaSmartOne, the "unconscious" racist act is often a matter of habit gained from being raised in a racist milieu where non-poor white men are considered the "standard human" and all others are compared to "Standard White Man".

    Habits can be broken.

    A white person may intend to be helpful and not "intend" to be racist, but will open mouth and condescend *without thinking*. I've committed such offenses in the past. I have been called to task by POC involved, and I am grateful for the wake-up call identifying my racist action. I try to examine my assumptions so that I don't open my mouth and let some clueless hurtful statement escape.

    I know it isn't the POC's "job" to train "clueless but not malevolent" white people acting in a racist manner, but it is a kindness on the part of the POC. Assuming your perpetrator is not able to damage you and is potentially trainable and capable of embarrassment, and that you are in the mood to do so, let'er rip! Glare, roll eyes, refuse to acknowledge, play the "can you top this?" obscure knowledge card, say that you don't need help, say "thanks, Obviousman" in a sarcastic voice, say "I know all this", say "check your racist assumption", or whatever - we deserve it.

    The greater power someone has, the less likely that person will try to have self-awareness and empathy for others. It isn't surprising to me that senior professors as a group are slow to get a clue. Unfortunately, they *can* set a bad example for junior faculty, grad students, etc.

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  24. @DIMA

    I agree. I hatehatehate it when white/privileged non-scholars, non-students, and non-entities pontificate on Islam and/or Arab culture.

    Unless you've woken up at five in the morning to read the Qur'an (whether it's because you believed in it, or because you were writing a dissertation on it) don't talk to me like you know more than I do about it.
    ----------------------


    My advice to the patronized?

    If dealing with someone that has limited power over you like a coworker, "Okay, no need to patronize me, I know all this." You don't need to bring up race, and it will make them feel appropriately guilty. This works even if the tone isn't racially motivated. The one thing I'd be careful of is when the person is an expert in a field you are not. I've talked to people about chemistry and I'm always appalled how often I have to assert the definition of "molecule" or "atom". Now whenever I explain something, I often begin by asking, "You know what a molecule is right?"[Pause for inevitable "Yes."] "Okay what is it?" [Pause for answer] Here either I correct them or explain why I'm being so condescending.

    This doesn't apply to professors though, they should know what you know based on your grades and having seen your work. Professors who condescend, when not working with students that have difficulty, also tend to waste time explaining the obvious and not addressing more relevant issues.

    If the patronizing person has power over you, like a boss, come clean with a smile and, "Let me stop you for a second: Sorry to cut you off but I'm not here for my looks/charm, I know all about X. Let's both save some time and start with what we're gonna do about Y and Z."

    I patronize more than I should, and I tend to condescend more to women. Fortunately I become intensely conscious of this as I do it, and I've been working on it. Women tolerate my condescension because, I think, they've largely been trained to take it by society. There's really no other reason I can think of. My friends tend to nip my crap in the bud rather brusquely.

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  25. @PixieCorps, hopefully you're ignoring LaSmartOne. He's taking the admirable vulnerability you showed in your comment, and preying upon it by pushing to you to essentially debase yourself.

    Equating legitimately subconscious racism with conscious racism, using metaphors of violence even, is entirely irrational and unuseful. Racism that comes from white liberal guilt, insidious and occasionally revolting as it may be, is still a lot better than the base level of racism in genuine white supremacy. To say otherwise is to deny help from the group trying their best to do so, even if overcompensating they may be.

    Assume people operate in good faith.

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  26. Laughing out loud! "Admirable vulnerability" doesn't do squat, especially when you're being vulnerable in a private and anonymous confession booth. Here's another thing white people like to do, confess their racial sins to black people and then go out and continue doing those sinful thing. I can't assume white people operate in good faith when the racial divide is still so huge in America.

    Are whites acting in good faith when they intentionally choose mostly-white schools and leave neighborhoods with rising black populations, "racially steer" black homebuyers away from white neighborhoods, do absolutely nothing to change the generations-accumulated racial wealth gap that still stands at 10 to 1 (yes, ten to one!) in favor of whites, constantly attempt to condition black people to believe they are mentally inferior by doing all these chronic behavioral things around them, disassociate from black people en masse and only accept tokens into their social groups which evolve into future networking groups, see absolutely nothing wrong with having been socially funneled disproportionately into positions of power, authority or prestige in relation to non-whites, the list of crimes go on and on.

    All you need to do is pick up any standard issue social psychology or sociology textbook to know what the real deal is. I can't take white people's supposed "good intentions" on face value. Sorry.

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  27. Points well taken, LaSmartOne, except I think you're dismissing PixieCorpse too entirely. You wrote,

    "Admirable vulnerability" doesn't do squat, especially when you're being vulnerable in a private and anonymous confession booth. Here's another thing white people like to do, confess their racial sins to black people and then go out and continue doing those sinful thing.

    She's an English prof, according to her profile, and she said above that she's NOT going to continue doing the sinful things described in the email that comprises this post. University teachers are in positions of power, and yes white privilege helps those who are white get there, and it causes them to act oppressively while in those positions of power. But, if they have black students, and they're sensitive to and aware of the racial plight of black students, and aware to some degree of their own egregious white proclivities, then they can use that power to help those black students (and yes, also advocate for more black faculty, for a less racist pre-college educational system, for a less racist criminal-justice system, and on and on). I agree that most while people don't do squat to counteract white hegemony, and also that they may never be able to do enough to counteract it. But I don't agree that PixieCorpse indicated that she's going to go on doing nothing in that regard. A black student complained about teachers like her, and she respectfully listened.

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  28. And again, I say, simply accepting white people's words that they will stop acting atrociously around black people is like having blind faith in Wall Street executives to not waste bailout money. The record just isn't there to back up the promise. With no direct accountability, words are empty.

    And that is what the white power structure has built into itself, a vast and structurally designed lack of accountability. The only way any true accountability will be present is if more black people take positions of power and authority, then all of these weird interpersonal, behavioral violations will become moot. And I do not mean a few highly visible figureheads we can all name off the top of our heads. When all university faculty and corporations *truly* diversify their workforce and it becomes incredibly difficult to discern any racial hierarchy in all aspects of society, then we'll be able to hand out start handing out the kudos for a job well done. But until then, "admirable vulnerability" is just another manifestation of white privilege.

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  29. "And also, please don't tell me that I'm going to keep encountering this attitude when I graduate and work with white people."

    Sorry to disappoint you, but yes, you will experience this with some White people when you start working. Some of them seem to be conditioned to think that Black people have a lower IQ or are less intelligent. Of course, that's what they get for believing everything they read in the papers.

    In my first proper Graduate role in Student I.T. support at a UK University, I experienced this a lot with my White and female manager and other White members of staff in her clique. This overbearing individual, who liked to breath down everyone's neck like some type of dragon, gained much satisfaction from telling me that I didn't know what I was doing, that is despite scoring the highest ever in the Interview and test for the same job (incidentally she told me this) and finding the job too easy and less than challenging for my 125 IQ.

    In the meantime, I have to say it, I really do not know how she got HER job. Her idea of research was to go to other Unversity websites and copy what they were doing. What a joker/clown of a Manager she was trying to project her inferiority complex onto me.

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  30. And again, I say, simply accepting white people's words that they will stop acting atrociously around black people is like having blind faith in Wall Street executives to not waste bailout money.

    With all do respect, LaSmartOne, I don't think anyone in this conversation IS simply accepting white people's words to that effect. I think the point is that when an "unintentionally" (as opposed to white supremacist) racist white person TRIES and wants to change, we'd all be better off to help that person along in their journey, just like we would when, for example, an alcoholic tries and wants to change.

    I don't think anyone's really disputing that PixieCorpse's behavior is racist, and I don't think anyone wants to just "take her word for it."

    That said, I ultimately agree with you that what matters is getting more people of color in positions of power.

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  31. Well, I can't help but point out how white people are constantly praised for every small positive thing that they do, almost to an absurdly unsupportable level. Conversely, black people, and particularly black men, are criticized for almost every tiny thing that they do wrong. Just letting the white female English professor "PixieCorpse" off the hook with an "I confess and promise to do better" on the net and allowing it to absolve her psyche that "at least I acknowledge that I'm doing wrong" is not really doing that much to challenge the system of white supremacy.

    White people receive much too much praise for just admitting to their racism. Which just reinforces the socially constructed positive lens that's been affixed to white people and allowed them to take such a dominant position in the first place.

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  32. Just letting the white female English professor "PixieCorpse" off the hook with an "I confess and promise to do better"

    Again, LaSmartOne, show me where someone is letting her off the hook!

    I agree with you, I really do: Admitting one is racist is not the same thing as working every single day to NOT be racist. But it's a start, and I don't think she should be APPLAUDED for that...she should just be helped to continue.

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  33. I think the point is that when an "unintentionally" (as opposed to white supremacist) racist white person TRIES and wants to change, we'd all be better off to help that person along in their journey, just like we would when, for example, an alcoholic tries and wants to change.

    Do you have any idea how privileged and entitled you sound here?

    Funny you should mention alcoholism. Nowhere in the 12 Step program does it say to ask, expect, or demand non-addicts who have been harmed by the addictive behavior to go out of their way to assist the addict in their progress.

    Why do White people who want to work out their own racism seem to always expect people of color to do all the heavy lifting? We already have to go out of our way to teach White people what's racist and why it's wrong. Now we have to console them when they become aware of just how racist they are? Now it's OUR responsibility to keep White people motivated so they can feel good about themselves as they unlearn racism?

    Not to sound flip or self-promotional, but I already wrote about this, so I'm linking to the most relevant scene to keep from repeating myself every time this crops up.

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  34. I don't think she should be APPLAUDED for that...she should just be helped to continue.

    By whom, exactly? And what does your expectation say about whose progress you value more?

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  35. RVCBard,

    First of all, stop putting words in my mouth. I don't think anyone should HAVE to help her. I said there's little point in putting her down further. I also didn't say it was anyone's responsibility! Regarding my point about alcoholics, it's absolutely NO ONE's responsibility to help them either. But if my dad's an alcoholic, I'm going to help him, just like if he's a racist.

    And NOWHERE did I say the responsibility is on people of color. I was trying to say (perhaps unclearly) that the people reading these comments and this blog should help, rather than put down, PixieCorpse, because this is a conversation. On a forum like this, attacks really do little good.

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  36. By whom, exactly? And what does your expectation say about whose progress you value more?

    Seriously, you have no idea whose progress I value more, because you obviously are picking and choosing what you want to hear.

    Why not try properly reading all of my comments before accusing me of things.

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  37. RVCBard,

    My problem here, which you are only continuing, is that this blog of all places should be a safe space. Do you think someone will continue to improve themselves if they're constantly shot down? I'm not advocating for coddling, for goodness' sake.

    Furthermore, I value the progress of people of color more, but that doesn't mean I can't also value the progress of white people who want to shed racist thinking.

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  38. @Jillian,

    How about you untangle what's problematic about what you're saying (not what you INTEND - what you SAY) before you decide to flame me and LaSmartOne for criticizing your "at least she's trying" (that's not on a Bingo card yet) statement?

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  39. RVCBard,

    Maybe you could first understand that I wasn't making an "at least she's trying" statement. The fact that you are misquoting me here leads me to further believe you didn't read what I said.

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  40. @Jillian

    Safe for whom? Not for me, not with all the random ignorance that winds up in the comments of so many posts here.

    And your assumption of hostility on my part - dangerously close to a tone argument and tagging me as an Angry Black Woman.

    As far as valuing the progress of POC more, your comments in this thread do not seem to indicate that. If your intent is otherwise, you have to do a bit better at showing it.

    Which is, I think, the crux of LaSmartOne's argument.

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  41. @ Jillian

    So this isn't you?

    I think the point is that when an "unintentionally" (as opposed to white supremacist) racist white person TRIES and wants to change, we'd all be better off to help that person along in their journey, just like we would when, for example, an alcoholic tries and wants to change.

    My mistake. Must be that other Jillian.

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  42. RVCBard,

    Are you kidding? I did not assume you were hostile or even say that.

    Second, I did say that quote. That was me. But where did I say anyone should be obliged to do anything? I didn't. I said "we're better off for helping people change." That's my philosophy. That's partly why this blog exists, is it not? It is NOT by any means your responsibility to help anyone, and I did not say that anywhere.

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  43. And also, RVCBard, I think you're essentially asking me not to show any compassion for a white person who wants to change in order to display valuing the progress of POC more. I'm sorry, but I don't see how it's necessary to repeat that in a comment thread when much of my life's work revolves around it.

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  44. Let's get off at the "that's not what I said" stop on this little train here.

    How about answering the questions I raised in my previous comments?

    I'm not talking about the other poster - I'm speaking to you.

    Who should do the helping when it comes to White people unlearning racist White habits? Who is responsible for that? Who are White people trying to unlearn racism accountable to? Let me be honest and say that a vast majority of the time, I don't get the impression that the accountability is to the people who suffer most from racist attitudes and behaviors.

    Who should this blog be safe for other than its owner? Because a safe place for White people to say and do typically White things - especially toward people of color - is not a safe space for us. Of course there's the need to learn, but there's a way to go about it, and it's not how it typically happens here.

    And, to add:

    Why do you feel the need to insult my intelligence simply because I vehemently disagree with what you're saying? Maybe you aren't really understanding what I'm saying if your response is so vitriolic. For all the talk about wanting to learn and wanting to understand, you're certainly not demonstrating it here, and you surely haven't been all that respectful towards me. As a matter of fact, your responses have been a textbook case of questioning POC knowledge and authority (Macon's words) and listening poorly during discussions of racism. With a healthy dose of getting inside my head to boot.

    Obviously, I'm saying what I'm saying not because I have a genuinely different perspective and a life experience that's equally valid to yours. Clearly it's because I'm too stupid to read and understand what you're saying because. Otherwise I'd agree with you, right? There's no possibility that I could be talking about a reality deeper than what you're accustomed to or bringing to light things that don't normally get discussed. It goes without saying that I've never thought about this before or talked to anyone about it.

    Seriously, are you listening to yourself?

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  45. And also, RVCBard, I think you're essentially asking me not to show any compassion for a white person who wants to change in order to display valuing the progress of POC more.

    This makes absolutely no sense. So are you in essence trying to tell me that you know my thoughts, feelings, perspectives, and motives better than I do?

    I don't think I have enough time to get into how this makes you sound.

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  46. "Do you think someone will continue to improve themselves if they're constantly shot down?"

    Black people are shot down every day. But we push through it. White people need to push through it too.

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  47. I'll answer your questions, but it's amazing - I could accuse you of some of the same things you're accusing me of.

    Who should do the helping when it comes to White people unlearning racist White habits?

    In this particular situation, the people who read and comment on this blog. In general, White people. I already said it's not the responsibility of POC.


    Who is responsible for that? Who are White people trying to unlearn racism accountable to?

    They are accountable to POC. Just because you don't see that in "most people", doesn't mean I don't think it.

    Who should this blog be safe for other than its owner?

    My opinion is that it should be safe for everyone. I understand that it's not, usually.

    Why do you feel the need to insult my intelligence simply because I vehemently disagree with what you're saying?

    Because you started your conversation with me by blatantly misquoting me.

    and you surely haven't been all that respectful towards me.

    As opposed to how you've behaved toward me FROM YOUR FIRST COMMENT?


    As a matter of fact, your responses have been a textbook case of questioning POC knowledge and authority (Macon's words)

    No, my first question was toward LaSmartOne's extremist response. I'm sorry, but respecting POC knowledge does not mean respecting every word that comes out of a person of color's mouth. LaSmartOne said "Tell your black students up front the first day that no matter how hard you try, you will not be working in their best interest and that you have been socially conditioned to behave abnormally around them." I don't agree that "no matter how hard someone tries" they can't change.

    and listening poorly during discussions of racism.

    Really? You misquoted me not once but three times. Are you excused from listening properly? Two wrongs don't make a right.

    With a healthy dose of getting inside my head to boot.

    Which is exactly what I feel you did to me.

    Obviously, I'm saying what I'm saying not because I have a genuinely different perspective and a life experience that's equally valid to yours.

    You do have a genuinely different life experience that's equally valid to mine. That does not give you the right to misquote me from the get-go. Had you questioned me without misquoting me, as you are doing now, I would not have been so angry.




    In other words, I think you (YOU, JUST YOU) are wrong to misquote me and only pay attention to half of what I said. If you read backward, you will see that I agreed with LaSmartOne partly, but disagreed with his/her (sorry, I honestly don't know) assessment of white people's ability or inability to change.

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  48. I like this from LaSmartOne:

    Tell your black students up front the first day that no matter how hard you try, you will not be working in their best interest and that you have been socially conditioned to behave abnormally around them.

    I'm carrying this in mind.

    I don't think it's possible for me to ever stop being racist. I owe it to people of color to be upfront about that. Wanting to stop is NOT the same. I can't unlearn the deepest parts of my social conditioning. I can do everything in my conscious power to thwart my racist self... but I am part of a great ugliness, a great horror, that is bigger than me. It doesn't matter that I didn't choose to be born into it. I am here. So what am I going to do about it? Whose interests am I going to protect?

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  49. LaSmartOne,

    You said Black people are shot down every day. But we push through it. White people need to push through it too.

    Yes. And it's wrong. And two wrongs don't make a right.

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  50. @Jillian,

    OK. You're right. I was wrong. How's that?

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  51. RVCBard,

    No, I'm not cool with that either. Once and for all, I apologize for any lack of clarity in what my original words said. But I think I've explained what I mean, and I most certainly do think your experiences are valid. I just don't think they give you the right to misquote me.

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  52. Jillian, do you even see what you've been doing?

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  53. "Do you think someone will continue to improve themselves if they're constantly shot down?"

    Personally, when someone, especially a White person tells me or tries to tell me that I can't do something, I will most definitely strive to prove them WRONG with all my soul!

    When I was at Secondary School in the UK, we had a careers adviser who was always trying to push the Black kids into studying single science and going for careers like "nursery nurse" and "nanny" when we were choosing our subject options. Of course, I would go and tell my parents and they were not having any of that rubbish.

    Together with my mother I chose double science and a host of topics that could push me towards better career prospects. I had told this woman, who was White, that I wanted to be a journalist, she told me that nursery nursing would be a better option for me.

    This is how Black children, especially those without parents with a strong educational background get pushed into menial jobs and then priviledged White people have the cheek and gall to complain that Black people don't strive to do better things, when they know good and damn well that it is their wicked ways that put Black people in these predicaments in the first place.

    When my parents came to the UK in the 1960's the same thing happened to my dad. They wanted to post him off to the army to be a cook, when he wanted to be a Doctor. Today he is an Engineer, my mother is a Nurse and they both have degrees.

    As long as you set your goals and targets, you will always reach wherever you want to go, no matter what some racist person tells you.

    And to this end, I do not spend my time watching the foolishness that comes on TV, when I could be spending my time more efficiently on how I can improve my life, love and finances. Of course, I will occasionally watch it for current affairs and the odd movie now and then. However, I usually go for months without watching it.

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  54. @Jillian

    OK. That's what's important. You were right. I was wrong.

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  55. Kavillion,

    I see what I said and why it was perceived that way.

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  56. RVCBard,

    I did not say you were wrong, and you're not. I said you misquoted me, and you did. It's right there in this thread.

    Let me say it again: I do see why you perceived what I said the way you did. It's not what I meant, and in retrospect, I would have said it differently.

    That said, I will not stop having compassion for all people, including white people who want to change their behavior.

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  57. @Jillian,

    You're absolutely right. And I'm wrong.

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  58. Okay, RVCBard, that's helpful, thanks.

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  59. Jillian said,

    Okay, RVCBard, that's helpful, thanks.

    What? It's helpful that she just rolled over and played dead? It's helpful that she just let you win?

    I don't think she did let you win. I think you've been played. What a let-down, to see you not even ask why that happened. Have some humility, for the sake of the goodness that you claim to care about.

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  60. What? It's helpful that she just rolled over and played dead? It's helpful that she just let you win?

    I don't think she did let you win.


    a) I don't want to win
    b) I don't think I did "win"
    and c) I was being extremely sarcastic out of frustration.

    We all have bad days.

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  61. ummm, i go to a work college for low income students, and i've more or less seen the opposite. as a non traditional student coming out of a professional background, i've found that my professors rely on me to peer review other people's work, and it was particularly difficult in the beginning to review the work of the students who came from economically challenged areas that had little resources and get them on track. there were a lot of problems with grammatical structure, and developing arguments in some of the writings and i was worried that pointing out too much would indicate that i was picking on the person. so i decided to go into a field where i had the aptitude to learn the material but needed support because it was out of my expertise. in those fields i often struggle to keep up at the pace because i'm coming from the back of the gate when it comes to math and science and i'm just too old to pull all nighters without getting frazzled. it's different on the other end of the scale, and so i've learned to be grateful for anyone who displays a developmental interest in making sure that i am connecting with the material, because those who don't are the ones who end up short changing you in the long run, which is the problem that i'm still paying for (because i wasn't really taught math in junior and high school-- encouraged instead to focus on writing). in this case, i don't think they do it to be racist. they might have just had experiences with people like me and are choosing to err on the side of being inclusive. which can be frustrating if you don't understand why they are doing it. believe me if they weren't extending this professional courtesy, you'd be mad as hell about it. but then again, i do attend a liberal arts college.

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  62. I agree with some of the comments that have been made: 1) that POC are usually held responsible for helping white people recognize and correct any racism they display; 2) that white people are often excessively praised for small concessions whereas POC are criticized for any perceived transgression (or ignored rather than praised); 3) that too often we create "safe spaces" in conversations on race geared mainly towards consoling or reassuring white people that their racist actions weren't *really* so bad, thus diluting what could have been productive discourses on race; etc. etc.

    However: PixieCorpse merely made a short comment on noticing hir own implicit racism, said it was not an excuse of hir actions, and said ze would work on correcting it - and I don't think we should attack PixieCorpse for this or have blame PixieCorpse as a stand in for all of white society. Yes, it is hard and perhaps impossible to unlearn racist attitudes when we have been socially conditioned all our lives to behave in racist ways, but the first and EXTREMELY important step is recognition and awareness of your own implicit/subconscious attitudes, beliefs, actions etc. This is how we can bring subconscious racist beliefs to the forefront of our attention, and I don't see anything wrong with PixieCorpse's comment in this regard.

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  63. Okay, so I'm feeling stuck behind my own blinders and unable to see clearly. Could someone who is smarter than me disentangle what just happened between RVCBard and Jillian? It seems like such a textbook kind of conversation between a WP and a POC that goes way bad--that is, I feel like I've witnessed many versions of this conversation, all ending badly. But with those conversations as with this one, I don't quite understand what went bad when. And I'd really like to understand. I would greatly appreciate any help in deconstructing/understanding.

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  64. I don't think we should attack PixieCorpse for this or have blame PixieCorpse as a stand in for all of white society.

    Where does that happen in this thread?

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  65. . . . the first and EXTREMELY important step is recognition and awareness of your own implicit/subconscious attitudes, beliefs, actions etc. This is how we can bring subconscious racist beliefs to the forefront of our attention . . .

    Unfortunately, this is all most well-meaning White people seem to want to do. Rather than actually listen to POCs about what should happen next, they want to stay in that space where they can feel good about admitting they have a problem without risking anything and actually doing better.

    I have yet to see any POC argue that acknowledging racism is not important or that unlearning racist behaviors and attitudes is an instant process. I would appreciate it if White people would cease insulting the intelligence of POC by constantly hammering on the point that recognizing the problem is important. We get it. We got it before you did. As a matter of fact, you probably got it because we told you. So stop regurgitating this as though it's something new.

    What POCs here and elsewhere are saying is, "You see a problem? OK. This is what we think you should do about it given what we know about you."

    This may come as a surprise to most White people, but POCs by and large don't really give a shit about White people's intentions. The things we deal with as a result of racism have more concrete effects than that. Until White people are ready to deal with their racism at the level where we feel it, their capacity to undo a lot of the racism they perpetuate is severely limited.

    We're not looking for comfort, consolation, sympathy, or the good will of White people. We want results that empower us to balance the scales a hell of a lot more evenly.

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  66. @Julia

    I could explain it but I don't feel comfortable talking about that here. Do you have gmail? If so, we can talk via Google chat.

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  67. Thank you, RVCBard. That helped me understand much better.

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  68. Sorry if this posts twice...

    RVCBard,
    I appreciate the offer. I am on gmail at julia.nobodyaskedyou

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  69. Julia,

    I sent your google chat invite.

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  70. @ RCVBard Where does that happen in this thread?
    I think I mistook what were general comments as directed towards PixieCorpse's comment. Oops.

    "I have yet to see any POC argue that acknowledging racism is not important or that unlearning racist behaviors and attitudes is an instant process. I would appreciate it if White people would cease insulting the intelligence of POC by constantly hammering on the point that recognizing the problem is important. We get it. We got it before you did. As a matter of fact, you probably got it because we told you. So stop regurgitating this as though it's something new."

    Not sure if this is a general comment or addressed to me specifically, but if it was, I don't identify as white and don't appreciate the assumption.

    Certainly it's an old point, but I was just trying to emphasize it because it is honestly one of the only ways for white people to begin trying to reassess their beliefs about race. I don't really have much to add without reiterating everyone else's points because in rereading the comments I realized that people weren't attacking PixieCorpose.

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  71. "All you need to do is pick up any standard issue social psychology or sociology textbook to know what the real deal is. I can't take white people's supposed "good intentions" on face value. Sorry."

    Why would they? It's much safer to comment on blogs and forums like this than actually doing something tangible about it. Oh, I love this new excuse, that this is 'sub-conscious' that I am reading. Oh, and what about their feelings? This post is about talking down to black people as if they are mentally deficient in some way. The responses I'm reading from the presumably white people is in essence this; "you're hurting our feelings, when questioned"! Yet, they manage to bring it back to how a white person may or may not feel. That being said, 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'.

    These comparison to alcoholism is especially enlightening. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, once a racist, always a racist even if one claims to be in 'recovery'. As for defending some white person who admitted to their racism, I find that particularly interesting. In fact it sounds like an AA meeting in that some alcoholics are trying to persuade the other alcoholics that they aren't alcoholics. LaSmartrtone and Rvc would serve as the 'alcoholics' trying to explain to the other alcoholics why they are indeed 'alcoholic'. Allegories aside, what it boils down to is more justifications and a lack of comprehension as to what is being stated. Another 'thing white people do' is lack comprehension in regards to what a racialized person is saying, there appears to be a disconnect.

    "Racism that comes from white liberal guilt, insidious and occasionally revolting as it may be, is still a lot better than the base level of racism in genuine white supremacy."

    In other words be grateful you're not back in the good old days!

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  72. The dominant culture's training takes time and effort to unlearn, and it can't be erased completely. There's also no question that financial self-interest or psychological drive to be dominant affects white people's (and men's) willingness to promote fair practice. People in general do not act in a self-consistent manner. It isn't so surprising that a white person may try their hardest to be fair to students or colleagues of color, but also may buy a house in a predominantly white neighborhood with a record of stable home prices (ha!) because they are thinking about long term investment in the house, want the school system with more resources and a better record of college admissions, etc. When it comes to material welfare of their family, the average liberal white person will do the Expected Thing and consciously or unconsciously acquiesce in institutional racism. There is some serious inertia - few people will work to correct a problem that doesn't hurt them daily. Malice isn't required for maintenance of the status quo - merely indifference.

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  73. So, NancyP, what you've written leads me to believe that this and other websites in the White anti-racist industry are basically circle jerks for White folk and are utterly useless in actually battling racism since Whites really aren't gonna get off the White privilege pot ever.

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  74. I don't know where else to write to contact you macon but i cannot wait until your Christmas "themed" post. You've got one of the most eye-opening blogs on the internet and i've always thought of Christmas as a racist holiday. Right down to the seasonal white-centric Christmas songs.

    So yeah, i can't wait to read your take on Christmas.

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  75. Thanks MialoSeven, I'll see what I can come up with. I'm not dreaming of a "white" Christmas, but yeah, it can be tough to avoid basically having one in the U.S. of A.

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  76. Hmmmm, what NancyP states sounds like greed to me, yes a psychological drive to be greedy.

    Typical, I'm alright Jack and to hell with everyone else mentality. Of course, that's nothing new, so no surprises there.

    Just look how the whole world is in a mess, because on one race's drive for world domination based on greed.

    I wonder if it ever occurred to some people that there wouldn't be so much chaos and disharmony if people wre less greedy and self-centred and hateful, but genuinely more willing to share with their fellow brethren?

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  77. La Smart One, I don't really have a career. I'm an adjunct, meaning I put a lot less at risk than others in my department would when I change my behavior or speak up. While "working against their best interests" stings, I very much appreciate your advice.

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  78. RVCBard,

    I realized, after thinking about this last night and when I was still bothered by our interaction this morning that I owe you a sincere apology: I could have handled the situation differently yesterday and instead I got defensive and then, as I've been doing my entire life, dragged it out. I am genuinely sorry.

    I'm happy to talk about this more privately IF you want. Otherwise, I don't see any point in qualifying my apology publicly.

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  79. @Jillian,

    You can reach me at my gmail account. It's the same as the username I use here.

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  80. Great, thank you RVCBard. I'm about to get on a plane, but I'll write within the next few days.

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  81. I've found that the majority of white people who act that way are those with academic pretentions. These are the same individuals that swear they don't have a racist bone in their entire body and consider themselves to be extremely liberal in their attitudes.
    Unfortunately, it does not end after college. Most of these types you WILL meet in your daliy life will assume three things about you without ever having had a single conversation with you.
    1. You have never been to college.
    2.You grew up on welfare or impoverished in the ghetto.(If you are black and male, they will assume that you play basketball and are streetsmart.)It doesn't matter how well you are dressed or how well spoken you are.
    3. That you do not read books.

    The only way that I have found to handle this is to keep firmly locked in my mind the knowledge of who I am and what I have accoplished in life. You must please do the same. It's the only way to keep your sanity around such people.

    FTR: Not all whites act like that. Some just accept whatever persona you give them at face value. People like that are always great to have as friends. It's impossible to be friends with someone who believes you to be a moron. If you can't confront the attitude directly, then for your own sanity, you must ignore it.

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  82. No, unfortunately it never ends. I am college educated have an M.A.(and not that this even matters) and my son's teachers still insist upon calling me by my first name (uninvited I might add) when I have seen firsthand that they do NOT do the same to white mothers.

    I am in no way hung-up on formalities, and if asked I would not mind, but to assume, in my mind at least, is rude. In turn I call them by their first name, petty I know but the shocked looks provide me with some satisfaction.

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  83. @Jillian

    My problem here, which you are only continuing, is that this blog of all places should be a safe space. Do you think someone will continue to improve themselves if they're constantly shot down?

    You expect this blog to be a safe space for whites, you mean.

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  84. If this student doesn't want to have typographical errors explained to him by his professor, perhaps he should not bring drafts of essays with typographical errors to his professors and then ask for comments.

    here's a news flash for the young man, already a college junior before having realized this, apparently: when your professors see stupid errors in your work, they will often assume you are stupid, and begin to talk to you as if you are disabled. it's fallacious to say that this habit is an expression of their racism (i.e., something "white people do"). they're not doing it because of your skin color; they're doing it because of the dumb errors.

    you say you were "going" to fix the errors on your own? next time, get around to it. give your professors your best work, and in return they'll give you their respect.

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  85. No Restructure, for everyone. I mean that.

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  86. I'm with Restructure. This place is safe space for Whites. PoC are routinely thrown under the bus here. The mod routinely lets in folks with racist, anti-PoC views that they spout off comment after comment and said mod always claims a rather naive innocence over sussing out said commenter's POV. "Gee, I thought they were being sincere," when a commenter stated over and over again that Black women were more mean, angry and hostile than other women and then that Black women were a bunch of lazy, welfare sluts who bang out bastard babies sired by various males.

    This seems to be YET another site for Whites to do nothing more than make confessions, mea culpas and wring their hands about racism. Meanwhile, racism is just as healthy and strong as ever in meatspace. After 40 years of hearing about and dealing with so-called White liberals and progressives and, their latest version, "allies", I have to say they are the most ineffectual band of pseudo-activists regarding race relations I've ever witnessed.

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  87. The mod routinely lets in folks with racist, anti-PoC views that they spout off comment after comment and said mod always claims a rather naive innocence over sussing out said commenter's POV. "Gee, I thought they were being sincere," when a commenter stated over and over again that Black women were more mean, angry and hostile than other women and then that Black women were a bunch of lazy, welfare sluts who bang out bastard babies sired by various males.

    Witchsistah, I disallow about 20% of the comments submitted here -- a LOT of racist crap, mostly. I'll take your recommendation for even tighter control under consideration.

    Where is this thread that I allowed commenters to say that about Black women?

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  88. Macon,

    The post where RVCBard talked about how she is treated as a Black woman. She talks about being recognized as a biological female (like an animal) but not as a HUMAN woman (forget about having access to "lady"). There was an idiot there who kept on saying that stereotypes have sticking power because they're true and said that Black women were meaner, angrier and more unpleasant to deal with than other races of presumably more "ladylike" women. He said this over and over again and when challenged countered basically and sarcastically that there must be no Black welfare queens who shit out babies by dozens of different men. The person also alluded to his sexual experiences with Asian women. After that I think you FINALLY showed concern about the commenter but only because he was derailing, NOT because he was insulting Black and Asian (well, maybe you cared a little about the Asian women) women wholesale.

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  89. Witchsistah,

    Thank you for the fuller explanation -- I went back and read it with your comment in mind. I am currently rethinking my mod practices here, so thank you again, your comments are helpful.

    As you can see further down that thread, I did address that commenter's obnoxiousness. I think that was a stage in my learning about good mod practices, and that I wouldn't let those kinds of obnoxious comments through now. I'll definitely keep working on it. My apologies to you and to others who were offended by those comments.

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  90. [Dear Anonymous person who didn't bother to follow the request on this "Post a Comment" page of using a name,

    Thank you for submitting a comment to "stuff white people do." Unfortunately, publication of your comment would not advance the discussion here, due to its disrespectful and trivializing rejection of points delivered honestly from a non-white perspective.

    Also: whether it is, as you wrote, "racist to believe that, just because your teachers are white and you're black, they are racist and treating you like an idiot" is beside the point of this post (as well as a bad reading of the post). I suggest that you read the original post more carefully, and respectfully, along with at least some of the comments above. If you do, you're likely to discover repeated descriptions of a common white tendency, and not of something that many non-whites at all think that white people do "just because they're white." Non-white knowledge of common white tendencies tends to come from repeated unfortunate experiences. In the interest of justice, and of your own personal growth, you and other white people (assuming you're white) should listen more respectfully when a non-white person is willing to share that knowledge.

    If you'd like to submit comments that reflect a more respectful and introspective approach, they're much more likely to be published here.

    Sincerely, macon]

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  91. island girl in a land w/o seaDecember 11, 2009 at 9:46 AM

    yes. yes. yes. i empathize with the person who wrote the original post and with those who responded with similar experiences. is it any consolation to know that you don't stand alone, that our experiences being condescended to are not at all unccommon?

    i come from multiple generations of university-educated people. like many other immigrants, my family experienced downward mobility upon coming to the US. nevertheless, my sister and i were inculcated with a love of ideas, art, music, good food. my parents raised my sister and me as if we had never left the mother country. we were instilled with a sense of duty to help those who did not have the luck to have been into a family like ours.

    apparently it is beyond the imagination of many white US people that immigrant POC (and US-born black people and latin@s) could possibly be more erudite or intelligent or scholarly than they are, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. go to any city; there are cab drivers from west africa with advanced degrees in physics and french literature, shop clerks from the philippines whose science degrees are not recognized here, factory workers from vietnam who were attorneys before they came to the US, nannies from latin america with advanced degrees in early childhood education. i could go on and on. we're not so uncommon.

    please, please, consider that the unprepossessing brown woman who rings up your sale at the drugstore might actually be better educated than you are. she may know things that you cannot even imagine.

    hear us. don't get defensive. don't overexplain. don't assume you know who you're talking to. we often understand you better than you think.

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  92. thesciencegirl: "In one immunology class, the TA stopped lecturing to look at me and say, "You look confused. What are your questions?,"

    OH SHIT! This has happened to me several times as a science major. I've always wondered if it was due to my facial expressions or something! I had no clue that this was a form of being "dumbed down."

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