Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Commenting Guidelines

This is a revision in response to reader comments on an earlier version. This version will be subject to continual revision, whenever that seems called for. 


Commenting Guidelines


Comments on this blog are moderated by its proprietor, macon d (that would be me). Differences of opinion are welcome here, but I do refuse to publish some comments. I mainly try to balance two things: a general call for white people to learn -- about racism, de facto white supremacy, and common white ways -- and the need for people of color to feel comfortable and safe in discussions of those topics.

If I don't publish a comment, sometimes I explain in a posted comment of my own [in brackets] why I rejected it (or why I redacted just part of it), and sometimes I don't. If you submit a comment and wonder why it was rejected, you're welcome to write me an email, and I'm likely (but not guaranteed) to respond.

If you are new to serious discussions of such topics as racism, de facto white supremacy, and common white tendencies, you probably have some catching up to do -- please consult the list of online resources at the bottom of this page.


1. Please do not choose the "Anonymous" function for your name. If you do, your comment will be delayed, and I will also assign your comment a name. If you then comment after that happens to you, use that new name, or else chose another and stick with that one.

2. Remember that I and others here do not "hate white people."  As a white person, I also do not "hate myself," nor am I afflicted with "white guilt." This blog is not about claiming that "white people are bad." Instead, it's about the effects of racism, especially the habits induced in white people by being socially categorized as "white." Despite what white individuals tend to think, being classified that way does matter in white people's lives; if you're white and you read around in this blog's archives with an open mind, you're likely to realize that.

3. Keep in mind the subtitle of this blog ("The ways of white folks, I mean, some white folks . . ."), and don't complain about what you see as "white-bashing" here. Very few if any of the posts here are about stuff ALL white people do. If you're white and you don't do it, then it's not about you.

4. Address the topic in the post. Comments that are off-topic or derailing do not get published here. (This does not mean, however, that comment sections do not sometimes take a productive tangent away from the topic at hand.)

5. Focus on what people say, instead of whoever you think they are. Avoid ad hominem attacks, and if you refer to another commenter here, please do your best to retype their online name correctly.

6. Don't threaten anyone with violence (even if you think you're joking).

7. Don't espouse racial essentialism. In other words, please do not claim or suggest that members of any race are inherently anything other than that which members of any other races are as well. Race is understood here as a social construction, a categorical fiction (but also, one that continues to have major real-world effects), and not a socially significant biological reality.

8. Don't complain about the ways that other commenters here communicate. Different people communicate in different ways, some of which you may object to. I do not consider it my place as a middle-class, white resident of the United States to impose here one particular set of communication standards and rules.

9. Don't bother pointing out that "other people do that too." If you're ever tempted to make a parallel of this sort, please read this post on "The Arab Trader Argument." In a similar vein, avoid discussing sexism, classism, ablism, and so on in ways that overlook or dismiss racism. These factors do of course affect and intersect with racism, but the latter, as in "stuff white people [often] do," is the focus here.

10. If you are white and you want to interact here with people of color, please be sure that you're listening respectfully to their experiences. Many white people have a tendency to shift discussions of racism to their own concerns. Since the topic here is racism, please do not derail discussions by comparing the experiences of people of color to your own, supposedly similar experiences; or by offering your own ill-informed diagnoses of what they're feeling or thinking; or by sincerely offering in response to their experiences nothing more than your own shock, regret, or sympathy, however deeply heartfelt. If you're white, please remember that people of color usually know more about racism, and about your own whiteness, then you do.

11. Along with that, please do not ask people of color here to do work for you. If you have questions for people of color here about racism, remember that Google is your friend; finding information that you can find on your own is not their job. That said, if you are a person of color or a white person, feel free to relate, analyze, and otherwise share your own experiences with white racism, as long as what you're writing is more or less related to the topic at hand.

12. If you mess up in a comment and feel you should apologize, please do, but don't make the apology all about you. White people sometimes apologize in ways that are more about saving face, and less about demonstrating that they really understand and regret the effects of their mistakes. Here's a good resource on how to apologize better than most white people do.

13. If you write to express disagreement, please avoid strawman arguments. When addressing a post or prior comment, it's better to reference its specific language and points. If you do paraphrase the words of others, you will make a better contribution, and receive better responses, if you do so accurately.

14. In general, avoid lengthy, multi-comment, thread-hijacking, and/or nitpicking discussions. These kinds of discussions tend to drive away other commenters and distract from the topic at hand.


These guidelines are subject to change; if you have suggestions for changes, please write them in a comment here. If you have questions, please send them to me via email (suggestions of any sort are always welcome that way too): unmakingmacon at gmail dot com



SUGGESTED NEWBIE RESOURCES

Racism 101 for Clueless White People, Written by a Slightly Less Clueless White Person

Racism 101

Racism = Prejudice + Power

How to Be an Anti-racist Ally

Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (PDF)

teach their children to act white

Why White Students Need to Learn about Their Own Race

A Primer for Whites

I Am Racist!

Talking about the Hard Stuff (Racism 101)

generously provide examples of problematic white behavior

How to Suppress Discussions of Racism

Uprooting Colorblind Racism

How to argue like a white racist

Baby-stepping Away from Racism: A Guide for White People

White Women's Tears

White Liberal Bingo

The Glosario

How to Tell People They Sound Racist

So You Think You're an Anti-racist?

We Have Feelings Too, or The Cost Of Being A POC in Race Discussions

The Dos and Don'ts of Being a Good Ally

When Allies Fail -- Part One

When Allies Fail -- Part Two


Systemic Racism and the White Racial Frame

How I Benefit from White Privilege

45 comments:

  1. There are countless blogs that need to abide by these rules as well as have the people read up on info before they comment.

    Tiffany
    http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm re-posting a comment I made on another post because it wasn't addressed there and seems relevant here.

    @ macon


    Saying, like a six-year-old, "but they do it too!" is not an effective contribution to the discussion here.


    Okay, I've seen this counterargument before but I actually don't understand it. To me, the observation that other groups exhibit a trait or behavior with a frequency equaling or exceeding white people makes all the difference in the world. I mean, how meaningful, really, is the observation that WP do X when EVERYONE does X? "SWPD: inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide" could be a powerful insight ripe with implications re: societal oppression if, it turned out, POC were relegated to some different way of breathing. But that's not the case.

    Sure, given the historical context of white privilege, an otherwise identical behavior could have very different implications when engaged in by a WP vs a POC. But most of discussions on this blog seem to go beyond merely contemplating the EFFECTS of an act committed by a WP against a backdrop of white privilege. Instead, usually there is some attempt to theorize about causation ("white privilege conditions WP to do X") based on an observed correlation ("WP do X"). The unstated assumption there is that WP do X more often than POC do X - otherwise, if individuals of all racial backgrounds do X with uniform frequency, isn't it extremely counterintuitive to attribute X to a type of privilege that only WP enjoy?

    I get that the fact that other groups do it, too, doesn't make a behavior desirable. It doesn't absolve those engaging in that behavior of responsibility. But it does argue against framing that behavior as a "white" behavior, right?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Also, with regard to #8 (don't complain about the manner in which other people communicate) -- would you make an exception for complaints directed at pointing out violations of other commenting guidelines? Complaining that another commenter has threatened violence, for example...or, complaining about another commenter's ad hominem attacks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Could we have something about avoiding strawman arguments? This is an annoying and sometimes derailing tendency I've noticed here.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mr X, I think you should go back and read the link (Arab Trader Argument) associated with the guideline you're complaining about.

    You should also think of how idiotic it sounds like when six-year-olds use "but so-and-so did it too!" or even "but so-and-so did it worse!" when they get caught doing something bad. Or another way of thinking about it - what do you think the cop will say if you get stopped for speeding and you complain "but that other car was going even faster"? Yeah. Tough. Whether or not someone else is behaving badly doesn't excuse your own bad behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  6. To add a bit and respond more directly to Mr. X's confusion, this blog is about problematic white behavior and working to correct it. One of the biggest fallacies of "but they do it to!" ("they" being some other race) is that the effects of white people behaving in a particular way and PoC behaving in the exact same way may be radically different, because of the context of privilege and power. Often a particular bad behavior by PoC is just plain bad behavior, whereas when white people do the same thing, it's a reinforcement of [systemic] racism. This is the system that "we" (white people) have a responsibility to correct.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mr. X,

    What riche said.

    Also, you wrote,

    with regard to #8 (don't complain about the manner in which other people communicate) -- would you make an exception for complaints directed at pointing out violations of other commenting guidelines? Complaining that another commenter has threatened violence, for example...or, complaining about another commenter's ad hominem attacks.

    Yes, I would make an exception. Or rather, I would publish such comments because I don't think they would fall under #8 -- they would be complaints about what someone else said, not complaints about how they said it.

    scarecrow said,

    Could we have something about avoiding strawman arguments? This is an annoying and sometimes derailing tendency I've noticed here.

    I thought about something on that problem, but I decided not to cover it here because a lot of people who set up strawman arguments don't realize they're doing so; if they do realize they're doing so, their trollery is usually so obvious and obnoxious that I don't publish the comment; and if someone does get a strawman argument published, it usually receives a quick and thorough rebuttal.

    ReplyDelete
  8. [re: Arab Trader argument]

    @ riche (and macon):

    I've read Abagond's post re: the Arab Trader argument. I just don't think it rebuts or even pertains to every instance of "but POC do it, too." I articulated my reasoning at some length in my earlier post.

    I appreciate riche's responses, but I don't think they address my central question. Riche's first post re-asserts concepts I acknowledge explicitly in the final paragraph of my post. ("I get that...doesn't absolve..."), and hir second post does the same with respect to the immediately preceding paragraph of my post ("Sure, given the historical context...").

    But pointing out that other groups engage in an allegedly "white" behavior is not necessarily an attempt to excuse the moral impact of that behavior, and it does not necessarily ignore the disparate effects that can stem from an otherwise-identical acts when such acts are committed by WP vs. POC. Sometimes, it is an observation germane to the logic of the conversation, and really ought not (IMO) be dismissed and berated in a kneejerk fashion as derailing, whiny or immature.


    [re: exception for complaints about guidelines violations]

    @ macon:

    Thanks for elucidating that. By way of further clarification, in the following hypothetical exchange, do you feel Carol has violated your guidelines?


    Alice: I disagree with Bob, for the following reasons. [Assume Alice alleges hir reasons without violating any Guidelines].

    Bob: Alice's reasons are invalid because, Alice, you're a fucking moron.

    Carol: Bob, I feel that your ad hominem attacks on Alice fail to advance our discussion, and I also believe they are in violation of Guideline #8.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @ macon:

    Hmm, that's a good point about many strawman arguments being made innocently/ignorantly. Although you are right these arguments are often readily rebutted, having to make the rebuttal is still really tiresome, especially if you are the one being strawmanned. What about a soft suggestion that when characterizing a prior post, it may be best to reference the specific language of that post that inspired your characterization? If people got in the habit of attempting to do this, they might end up reading more carefully and realizing their oversights before those oversights could inspire misinformed screeds.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The rules seem fair enough and well explained.

    My question goes beyond the rules, maybe.

    After browsing around the blog some I see the term "anti-racism" used a lot. Maybe it's being used in a way I don't understand, but if this blog is about opposing racism, then why limit the discussion to only racist things that white people do?

    Isn't ending racism committed against all people everywhere the goal we all want?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mr X,

    I get what you're saying. To me there's a difference between "stuff white people do because it's an inherent part of white culture" and "stuff that most cultures have done, that we see as a white problem solely because white culture is the dominant culture in our country."

    The solution for the former is not the same as the solution for the latter.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The 'Why White Students Need to Learn About Their Own Race, Too' link is broken- sorry to be nitpicky but I'd really like to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. @ Bella

    Thanks for your reply. It is gratifying to know someone understands, and also to see my verbose post be relatively succinctly and accurately condensed :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mister E, the reason you don't understand the word anti-racism is that you don't understand the word racism. Racism does not mean, as most white people would have you believe, making decisions or judgments about people based on their race. In short, racism = power + prejudice. The longer explanation is that racism is a phenomenon that appears as part of a large-scale system ("society") when there are imbalances in power between racial groups, and the prejudices of a privileged group serve, intentionally or unintentionally, to keep other groups in a position of disadvantage. In our globalized world as it is today, the overwhelmingly privileged racial group is "whites", and this blog is about racism in that context - specifically about the responsibility white people have to change it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Instead, usually there is some attempt to theorize about causation ("white privilege conditions WP to do X") based on an observed correlation ("WP do X").

    Mr. X, arguing causation based on correlation is itself a logical fallacy, just like ad hominem and strawman.

    ReplyDelete
  16. White and not ashamed of itFebruary 26, 2010 at 5:57 AM

    Sorry to disagree with you Macon, but your blog reeks of white guilt and your uncomfortableness at being white. The stereotyping of any race/gender/or religion is a form of racism and never reflects the people you are talking about. Many comments cross the line from “trying to understand” to “attacking” white people for how they are perceived to be on this blog. I know those who have tried to defend these statements have been censored by you. If some of these same comments/stereotypes were directed at POC the poster would be considered a racist. Instead they are considered an open-minded individual. Your method may be different but not the results. I'm sure I'll be written off as some angry, privileged white man with a chip on his shoulder. Those who think that couldn't be more wrong about me and if they were open-minded, might learn something from me. But then people like me aren't really welcome here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Big improvement in this version, macon, thanks for getting it together (and best of luck fairly enforcing it).

    White and unashamed,

    Why do you say you're sorry? Beginning with the screen name you chose, you're clearly the very opposite of apologetic. You're clearly a bad reader too -- yes, macon and other white readers here are "uncomfortable," and more, with being classified as white. Why SHOULD someone be comfortable with wearing a socially imposed identity that's fundamentally grounded in nothing more than subjugation and exploitation? And by the way, the "stereotyping" you think you're seeing on this blog about white people is not stereotyping. To identify common white tendencies is just that -- identifying common, and REAL, and injurious, white tendencies. You undoubtedly have many of those yourself; it's not "stereotyping" to say that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "White and not ashamed of it" is right about just one thing, that he's not welcome here. I wonder why Macon even let such a typically stupid post through. His statement that "I know those who have tried to defend these statements have been censored by you" reveals right away that he's part of anti-anti-racist circles that have a beef with Macon.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "Why SHOULD someone be comfortable with wearing a socially imposed identity that's fundamentally grounded in nothing more than subjugation and exploitation?"

    I really really like this wording because I think WAY more emphasis should be placed on defining whiteness as a "socially imposed identity" that manifests in the attitudes and behaviors of white people, from which white people benefit at the cost of non whites. aspects of whiteness can be identified and harshly criticized without white people taking everything personally. It creates a degree of seperation necessary for critical observation without avoiding resposibility.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @riche

    "Mister E, the reason you don't understand the word anti-racism is that you don't understand the word racism. Racism does not mean, as most white people would have you believe, making decisions or judgments about people based on their race. In short, racism = power + prejudice."

    I looked at some of the links and I see what you're getting at. It looks like there's what I'm guessing is an "academic" definition of racism that you're citing and also a far more common definition of racism that I'm thinking of. The academic definition makes it look like in this country only white people can be racist. The common definition of racism that 99% of english speakers use is "hatred or intolerance of other races." (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/racism) Anyone is capable of being a racist under this definition.

    Normally, with semantic hijinks like this I let it go and let the person with the agenda have their way (it's not worth the battle usually), but in this case I feel strongly enough that racism (in the sense that most english speakers use the word) is something that should be opposed no matter where it's coming from and who it's directed at that I take issue with the notion that in this country "only white people can be racist."

    No. Racism flows all directions, there's plenty of it to go around, everyone has their personal experiences being a victim of racism - no matter their race. Everyone has a responsibility to oppose it. The direction the country is headed in where whites will have less power suggests that there is going to be more reason to talk about racism that isn't necessary coming from whites, not less.

    I'm not saying this blog needs to change - I guess I'm just saying that the mono-focus on whites seems weird in such a diverse country where there are examples of practically every kind of interracial conflict imaginable. I guess I'm looking for a different blog.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Mister E wrote,

    "semantic hijinks"?

    Say what?

    Way to dismiss and totally disregard the whole point. Your White Oblivion is showing.

    I guess I'm looking for a different blog.

    You got THAT right.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Susan said,

    The 'Why White Students Need to Learn About Their Own Race, Too' link is broken- sorry to be nitpicky but I'd really like to read it!

    That's strange; it works for me.

    Are you outside the U.S.?

    I'd be glad to email the article to you, if that would help.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @macon

    "Your White Oblivion is showing."

    Say what? Is that a type of underwear by Calvin Klein?

    Is there anyone who speaks normal english on this blog that I can speak to? LOL.

    On a serious note, if anyone knows of a blog or website where ALL racism (in the normal sense of the word) is taken on and everyone is allowed to relate their experiences and look for solutions together, then I'd love to check it out. thx.

    ReplyDelete
  24. scarecrow wrote,

    What about a soft suggestion that when characterizing a prior post, it may be best to reference the specific language of that post that inspired your characterization? If people got in the habit of attempting to do this, they might end up reading more carefully and realizing their oversights before those oversights could inspire misinformed screeds.

    Okay, I'm convinced, and I've added a guideline to that effect, in an attempt to ward off strawman arguments. Thank you for the suggestion, and do let me know if the new guideline doesn't adequately address your concerns.

    ReplyDelete
  25. @ macon

    That addition is great. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Mister E, this is not "semantic hijinks" but the core of the issue. Most white people are utterly oblivious to it and that's the whole problem. They're brought up to believe that racism is individual acts of prejudice, when in fact it's a giant-scale phenomenon that arises out of a system. Stopping individual acts of "racism" (your definition of racism) will do nothing to end systemic racism (our definition of racism).

    As for your question about a different blog, I have no interest in helping you find a place to vent your angsty white-ass "reverse racism" experiences. Plenty of them exist though. They're usually called white-supremacist sites.

    ReplyDelete
  27. @ Name/URL:

    That's obvious, but I think it's rare that this blog crosses the line from (as I wrote) "theorizing about causation based on an observed correlation" to actually asserting fallacious reverse-causal arguments. Are you trying to suggest that Macon add a guideline denouncing this type of fallacious reasoning?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Where human behavior is concerned, distinguishing between causation and mere correlation is usually most important when you want to place blame upon or punish individual people. But when examining systemic phenomena (problematic trends in society at large) like racism, it doesn't matter whether problematic white behavior is a result of white privilege, a cause of white privilege, or causally unrelated to white privilege - so long as the behavior is disadvantaging PoC, it's problematic and white people need to fess up and deal with fixing it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. @ Mister E

    i'm going to try and help you out a bit, even though i think that your argument is a clear example of some of the "white tendencies" we discuss on this blog.

    several commenters on this thread have explained the definition of racism that we (and many anti-racist circles) use, so i won't go into that again. it sounds like you personally are looking for a blog or group that deals with prejudice in total.

    HOWEVER, i would seriously ask you (or rather, caution you) to take some time examine your own resistance to looking at racism as defined by the well-established anti-racist community. as riche pointed out, you're probably only going to find self-defined white power groups or sloppy, un-self-critical blogs who are dealing with prejudice (or "reverse racism", as many people love to call it). any serious anti-racist group worth joining is not going to have much patience for someone like yourself who isn't interested in taking a self-inventory, and doing the work to identify the type of racism that has been the most damaging and prevalent across the globe and throughout history.

    and that type of racism, sir, is called White Racism/White Privilege.

    ReplyDelete
  30. @ Mr. E

    oh, and i forgot to include this important point. although it may be fair to say that there are whites who experience race PREJUDICE, i would posit that they don't experience it on a) an ongoing basis that effects their lives from cradle to grave; b) it doesn't take away the white privilege that they enjoy, which makes their lives easier on just about every front; and c) while whites may experience race prejudice on a PERSONAL level (i.e. an interaction in the street between two individuals), PoC do not have access to enacting/enforcing the long-standing institutional forces that whites use/have used to further racism across the globe (i.e. public policy, the justice system, military invasion, colonialism, etc.).

    hope this all helps.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm just going to say something in support of Macon's blog, as it seems that he gets much more accusations of white guilt, etc than those of us regularly reading the blog seems to be aware of.

    I find that one thing I really appreciate about Macon's blog is his interest in providing a safe space for POC's. I find in unbelievably refreshing that I can post a comment on Macon's, a white male's blog about the racism that I may experience on a daily basis and not be shuffled to the side as being hypersensitive. I find it encouraging that I feel much less a need to censor myself or to watch my tone when discussing race with white individuals. For Mr.X and others who are looking for a space where "all racism" is discussed because "white people are losing power," I wonder if your "space" is as welcoming to POC as you believe it to be. I wonder if on those sites, it's not mostly other white people patting themselves on the back for being good anti-racist. I wonder if the POC on those blogs aren't censoring themselves in some way.

    And @White and not ashamed of it, perhaps if YOU were more open minded, you might learn something from this blog. Unlike what most white people seem to think, you CAN learn by just listening to what others have to say, rather than having to comment or speak in opposition.

    ReplyDelete
  32. @ cl

    For Mr.X and others who are looking for a space where "all racism" is discussed because "white people are losing power,"

    In the spirit of scarecrow's addition, I'm wondering whether that's a bit of a strawman characterization of me....

    ReplyDelete
  33. Re: this deep need to point out that PoC engage in stuff WP do.

    You want to be able to say these things so that you can distance yourself from responsibility. That is why I feel it's completely harmful to the discussion here. It does not matter in the least whether or not PoC do some or even all of the things WP do - UNLESS you don't want to believe that your own actions are part of a systemic problem you were born into. If that's the case - you are just not ready for this. Go ahead and pull your blanket up over your head now and continue to make yourself comfortable.

    ReplyDelete
  34. "It does not matter in the least whether or not PoC do some or even all of the things WP do"

    not trying to draw fire here, i know a behavior may be much more damaging when exhibited by a white person because of the way things are. even so, isn't it unrealistic to expect anyone to suppress such behavior if it is just an aspect of human nature exhibited by everyone?

    also many times the cause of these behaviors is cited as being rooted in oblivious white privilege when it may be just as common in POC. that IS faulty logic even if the behavior is much more relevant when a white person does it.

    ReplyDelete
  35. jas0nburns, your dwelling on the *cause* of the problematic behavior is why you're seeing this imaginary faulty logic. The negative results of the behavior are the what matter most, and if the negative results only arise when the behavior is done by white people, then it's relevant.

    And yes, it is reasonable to demand that white people suppress behaviors which reinforce systemic racism, independent of whether these behaviors are specifically "white" or just an "aspect of human nature". Calling "human nature" is an easy but pathetic excuse for just about any sort of racist behavior, or any other kind of oppression. Thankfully our nature is also to be self-reflective, as individuals and as humanity, and thereby come to understand that some of the behaviors that arise naturally out of the way we evolved (genetically and societally) to survive also create oppression, hostility, and violence which threaten our survival.

    ReplyDelete
  36. As a poor white cultural minority, I see things QUITE differently than people who do have class and ethnic priviledge. But that'll always be in conflict with my white skin and how i perceive myself and other whites. Which isn't in a positive or brotherly manner, if it's another American citizen, then it's in an antagonistic manner.

    People who fight white racism and bigotry, come at it from their priviledged position. They either delibrately, or innocently refuse to acknowledge the experiences of poor whites, or from the pov of white minorities. And yes we do exist, we're the Amish, Appalachians, Cajuns, Quebecois, Eastern European Immigrants, Chechens, Ossetians, Armenians, Northern Irish Catholics, Jews, Bosnians, Albanians etc etc etc. Just because we're white, our experience isn't the same as yours.

    Is the average white poster here borne into extreme poverty, communities of 90% unemployment, see open and insidious racism against them in every medium ? No, and also white priviledge is for me as an Appalachian, only gained by being an Uncle Tom. And for the priviledge, I won't give up speaking like an Appalachian, I won't give up my culture, my community, my ethnicity.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm not sure where to post this but I have a question in regards to how culture and race intersect. I was having a discussion about white privilege and made the following statement..
    "Racism is more than individual acts of meanness;it transcends society and unconscious privileges are reflected from the race that dominates that particular culture."
    His Response was "Oh, bullshit. Once we elevate racism into "unconscious privileges reflected in societal structures" what have we done? We've convinced ourselves that the KKK lynch mob member who strung up some poor guy on a tree as a warning to other blacks is on the same par as some subconscious psychological movement. In other words we legitimize real racism--discrimination against individuals by other individuals because of the color of their skin. We have, in other words, elevated what is essentially a person-on-person crime into some sort of fuzzy-wuzzy hand-wavy feel good load of steaming deconstructionist crap".
    I responded with "What I'm suggesting is that whatever dominate culture exits it creates an environment where less represented cultures are naturally marginalized."
    He then pointed out that "Race is not culture. To suggest otherwise strikes me as racist."
    I guess in trying to describe racisim in a cultural sense I'm missing something .....

    ReplyDelete
  38. @riche
    In short, racism = power + prejudice. The longer explanation is that racism is a phenomenon that appears as part of a large-scale system ("society")

    I am not denying this definition as the one that works for the anti-racist purposes of this blog, but I am wondering why not use the term institutional racism. I believe that acknowledging these two separate definitions would clarify the issues at hand.

    The confusion of these two definitions is the source of many derailing comments about "POC being racist too", which could simply be addressed by the impossibility of institutional racism by POC in America.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I believe that acknowledging these two separate definitions would clarify the issues at hand.

    Actually, it would only let White people off the hook.

    ReplyDelete
  40. That's interesting, RVCbard, could you tell me more, or tell me where to find out more? I've tried Google, but It only gives me results about whites perpetuating institutional racism.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm sorry, but this article reads like it was edited by Prof. Stanley Fish. Far too often, racism is in the eye of the beholder and really hurts the battle against it.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jesus, could you elaborate on that? Because I have no idea what you're talking about . . .

    ReplyDelete
  43. white entitlement is real, I would strongly agree.

    ReplyDelete

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