Saturday, July 5, 2008

white weekend links

  • "It is Not Easy Being White" (Addison Berkeley @ The Naked Loon)

    Let me just start with the word “white.” Who decided that it was okay to call me that? I prefer “Euro-American” or simply “Amero-American.” But white does not even accurately describe the actual color of my skin. Do you know what is actually white? Toilets, mayonnaise, and snow. People call me white right to my face; day in and day out. What they are really calling me is “snowy mayo toilet-skin.”

  • "Uh-Obama: Racism, White Voters and the Myth of Color-Blindness" (Tim Wise @ LA Progressive)

    The extent to which Obama’s white support has been directly related to his downplaying of race issues simply cannot be overstated, as evidenced by the kinds of things many of these supporters openly admit, possessing no sense of apparent irony or misgiving. So, consider the chant offered by his supporters at a recent rally–and frankly, a chant in which whites appeared to be joining with far greater enthusiasm than folks of color–to the effect that “Race Doesn’t Matter, Race Doesn’t Matter,” a concept so utterly absurd, given the way in which race most certainly still matters to the opportunity structure in this country, that one has to almost wretch at the repeated offering of it.

  • "Christian Lander knows the Stuff White People Like" (Mindy Farabee @ Los Angeles Times)

    "The Stuff is more about class than race," Lander said. Yet it's not even precisely rich whiteness that he singles out for his ire. It's moneyed Caucasian liberals saturated with irony and bedecked in ostentatious authenticity and hard-earned nonchalance. "It is the attitude, it's not about the stuff," Lander clarified . . . . "It's all a contest," he said. "It's a competition that's not about money, because that's crass. Authenticity and happiness are valued more than wealth. Wealth was always taken care of in this group of people." Still, the upper middle class is "completely dominated by white people," he emphasized. "If you're from another race and you like the stuff in the book, chances are you will get accused of acting white. . . "

  • "What the Housing Crisis Can Tell Us about Racism, Sexism and Homelessness" (Clayton Perry @ blogcritics magazine)

    If we choose to view each of these problems and its race dynamics as separate issues, then we are guilty of ignoring the points of origin which connect them all together. According to Max Rameau, an organizer with the Center for Pan-African Development in Miami, Florida, the root problems of gentrification in the 2000s are the same as the root problems of segregation in the 1960s: people of colors’ lack of power and control over land, and white supremacy.

  • "'No Irish Need Apply': A Myth of Victimization" (Richard Jensen @ Journal of Social History)

    The Irish American community harbors a deeply held belief that it was the victim of systematic job discrimination in America, and that the discrimination was done publicly in highly humiliating fashion through signs that announced "Help Wanted: No Irish Need Apply." This "NINA" slogan could have been a metaphor for their troubles—akin to tales that America was a "golden mountain" or had "streets paved with gold." But the Irish insist that the signs really existed and prove the existence of widespread discrimination and prejudice.

    The fact that Irish vividly "remember" NINA signs is a curious historical puzzle. There are no contemporary or retrospective accounts of a specific sign at a specific location. No particular business enterprise is named as a culprit. No historian, archivist, or museum curator has ever located one; no photograph or drawing exists. No other ethnic group complained about being singled out by comparable signs. Only Irish Catholics have reported seeing the sign in America—no Protestant, no Jew, no non-Irish Catholic has reported seeing one. This is especially strange since signs were primarily directed toward these others: the signs said that employment was available here and invited Yankees, French-Canadians, Italians and any other non-Irish to come inside and apply. The business literature, both published and unpublished, never mentions NINA or any policy remotely like it. The newspapers and magazines are silent. The courts are silent. There is no record of an angry youth tossing a brick through the window that held such a sign. Have we not discovered all of the signs of an urban legend?

  • "At TBPAC, Chris Rock's unspeakably funny; second show Thursday" (Eric Deggans @

    He's dropping serious knowledge about race, culture and class — leavening the lessons with so many laughs, most fans don't even know they're being schooled. For example, check Rock's dissertation on why black women really hate black men who date white women: "Black women are not attracted to white men," he said. "You see a black woman with an overweight white man, that means her credit is (messed) up." . . . " John McCain is too ... old — didn't he used to own Sidney Poiter?" Rock asked, in one of the rare jokes that can be printed in a family newspaper. "Who's going to be his vice president? A nurse?"

And finally, a video for regular SWPD reader Nquest, who says he "should have been a linguist": an interview with the most famous American linguist that most Americans have never heard of, conducted by Ali G, the most famous British b-boy that most Americans have never heard of (unless they've seen him in his other guise, as Borat).


  1. So, Macon, has the video inspired you to tackle your linguistic problems here?

    My bad. You're obviously still on the road.

  2. The blogpost "It is Not Easy Being White" - is pure craziness.

  3. Su--I read it as satire. I thought it was hilarious, and the video too. Thanks for the larfs, macon!

  4. Thank goodness for your blog! I just mentioned your site in a post I did a few minutes ago. Bravo. =)

  5. Everyone knows Ali G!


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