Tuesday, October 21, 2008

feel . . . put upon? beseiged? or . . . ?

Like most of you who also run a blog, I sometimes poke through the various types of stats that I can access about my readers. My stats became available with the counter that I installed at the bottom of this page.

Among the many different "behind the scenes" bits of information I can access, the ones that most often fascinate me are those in the section labeled "search phrases." These are the words, phrases, and sentences that people entered into search engines, which then landed them on this blog.

For example, now that I've written a post on jokes about white people, I get a lot of page hits from people looking for "racist jokes," and such variations as "non-racist white people jokes," or "Mexican black white guy jokes." Other words or phrases that brought people here have nothing to do with what's happening on "stuff white people do," such as "things to do on the weekend" (variations of which pop up every Friday), or one that I remember from a couple of months ago: "What is this white stuff that comes out of me?"

Here's a small, fairly random collection of the more thought-provoking, or at least head-scratching, search terms that brought readers here in the last month or so. As you can see, people out there have a LOT to ask of the Mighty Google Oracle Machine.

At the end of this post, there's one search phrase in particular that I'd like to ask you about.

>> why is it harder for white people to go to college?
>> jokes about people who type too hard
>> why do people steal their alive mothers stuff?
>> white teens on the down low
>> what do white people eat?
>> what do blacks really go through in a white world?
>> what do black people want from whites?
>> creep-me-out workplace behavior
>> stock photos of people whispering
>> white guy overalls beard bald hip hop
>> new york: where do they bury their dead?
>> jokes about waffles
>> why do we bury dead people?
>> can a person be burried with out being taking to a funeral home?
>> how to shake a black person's hand
>> how people do make up in America
>> How does growing up as a white person in an almost completely white town affect the way I see the world?
>> filipino box spring hog
>> why do only white people ski?
>> white people often pet black people
>> white men can't jump but they're definitely packing
>> grocery stores that cater to white people
>> A clenched fist is really racist to a lot of people around here. I think people want to see it removed now. They are not happy about it at all.
>> is it offensive to ask if someone is asian?
>> james baldwin said being white means never having to think about it
>> Racial war in America if Obama wins I am Scared about Blacks killing White People
>> give white people their culture back
>> blame the white man
>> why do white people smile so much?
>> children laugh when abused
>> who determines race in bi-racial children?
>> Do people try to have bi-racial babies taken away?
>> why do people say that racism against whites does not exist?
>> why do hispanics not tip well at meals?
>> what is a nice way to ask asians what they are?
>> white people do this black people do that
>> White people can do this, and I'm racist, but black person does this he's not
>> how to get along with white people
>> White people are sad
>> what makes white people mad?
>> to whisper the words i've always wanted to say
>> obama affirmative action baby rudy giuliani
>> Why do white people in the workplace not speak to blacks?
>> how would you describe the family structure of white people?
>> why cant black people shut up in the movie theater?
>> white-people cheese
>> is butter a derogatory term for Light skinned black people?
>> do black babies change color after birth?
>> why do black people have white hands?
>> good things about white people
>> white people go to the beach to escape black people
>> why do white people believe they are superior?
>> why do white people not see racism?
>> why are white people so evil?

I could go on, but surely that's enough food for whatever thoughts this kind of found poetry might inspire for you.

If you're still reading, or if you've skipped down here for the question I promised up above, here it is:

What do you suppose the person who entered this search phrase was thinking?

>> How long will white people take it?


  1. Unsettling. I've noticed a lot of white ire over Colin Powell's endorsement. Claims that it's "obvious" why he endorsed Obama. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

  2. I've lurked here for a while, but I had to come out of the shadows for this. My initial reaction to these questions was laughter, but looking at them again makes me realize how little we know each other. And I have to say, as a black woman, it seems some whites have much less interest in seeing us as fully human -- instead of media caricatures, subservient serfs or indispensible nannies, token "examples to their race," a person you want as a friend because of their magic negro
    "coolness," or a millitant thug aiming to steal your purse (or taxpayer money welfare, or another unqualified white person's place at Haarvaard). I could go on.

    Luckily, even with my frustration and disappointment over these interactions, I've made friends across racial lines and kept them. Do I share all my views on race? Nope. I can't be everyone's PBS/NPR moment all the damned time, though I do "selectively educate" when friends and strangers alike are genuinely interested in my perspective.

    Sometimes, I just want to be in my brown skin and not have to consider what white folks are doing or think of me, or more importantly, COULD DO TO ME (physically, financially or socially) as I make my way through life. This last point is important. Even with Obama in line for the U.S. presidency, I don't believe heaven's gates will open if he wins.

    If anything, when you look at history, in times of upheaval or progress for blacks and other minorities, there's usually tremendous pushback, often violent (Reconstruction-Black Codes-Jim Crow; East St. Louis, Ill. in 1917;Tulsa, Okla. in 1921; Wilmington, N.C. in 1898; Rosewood, Fla. in 1922; various "Sundown Towns"), and sometimes aided by some legal/political types at the state or federal level "looking the other way" and stripping us of a base. These circumstances, one by one, have caused tremendous losses of black wealth, centralized political power and industry over time. And because of how institutionalized discrimination works, we've often had a harder time recovering from the privation.

    The Civil Rights Movement, Voting Rights Act and anti-discrimination laws, after all the bloodshed and sacrifice, have unquestionably ushered in a period of increased prosperity for some of us. But today's unstable economic conditions, combined with the separatist and borderline supremacist rhetoric promulgated by certain "Real American" candidates, are stirring a toxic brew. It may be political artifice to them, but the reality is many people -- powerful, quiet racists who *aren't* backwater rubes -- aren't above playing people against each other to maintain (or consolidate) power. They've never eschewed the goal of reversing the progress we've made, so this child of activists is watching closely, no matter who's in office. Let's hope the American people reach into their conscience and continue to reject this influence.

  3. I know this person...
    There are a lot of "this person"

  4. i couldn't help but giggle at some of those phrases. (i don't know why "horse suck" is a perennial top 10 for my website...gross...) btw, i think whoever was looking for "white guy overalls beard bald hip hop" was probably looking for Common Market...

    but that last phrase honestly sent a chill down my spine. i've put up with white supremacist thinking from white folks and other - as well as my own - communities my whole life. i know some or many white americans think they are victimized, and somehow believe non-white people receive preferential treatment from government, schools, businesses, media, etc. and i know it's a very accepted mainstream opinion to have. but it's so far outside my world and circles i'm part of that i never put much thought into it.

    And while i shouldn't be surprised by the fact that some white people think of themselves as "taking it" and that there's a limit to how long they'll allow themselves to continue doing so...it's, i don't know, appalling. shocking, and a good return to reality.

    i guess i subconsciously thought white folks might complain about being oppressed, but they really knew inside that it was just a slogan, that they couldn't possibly believe that on the whole, white people have it worse than anyone else in this country.

    but i guess not. that's what's scary about that question.

    (btw macon, i appreciate that you encourage people to interpret, criticize, and analyze your entries in the comments section - and that you often respond to them too. not all anti-racist whites open themselves up like that, even - especially? - some of the most prominent ones.)

  5. To answer your question: I have a concealed carry permit, but I've never carried my gun. However, if Obama wins this election, I'm going to start, because, quite frankly, I'm afraid that some white people will just go off and start killing black people.

  6. i second to that phoebe caulfield, you read a lot of catcher in the rye don't you?

  7. How long will white people take what? The so-called reduction of their privilege. It amazes me with all of the smack that his been thrown in the election that some people would have the nerve to feel threatened.

  8. Hello werewolf puncher! If you're asking how I found those search terms that led people to this blog, I was granted access to them by putting the free page counter at the bottom of my blog's front page. I got that at gostats.com, where I found the instructions easy to follow.

    Thanks again for the good question, phoebe, hope the post I wrote in response fulfills your request, and do let me know if it raises other questions.

    You said quite a few mouthfuls there, anonymous, and as far as I can tell, every bit of it is true. I bet your activist parents are happy about the clarity with which you see the world. I've heard race described as a "changing same," instead of something that's gradually getting better. Which makes sense to me.

    Thanks for the link, brohammas, that's a mighty interesting comment thread!

    giles, "horse suck"? Really? I'm so sorry to hear that! Yes, that HAD to be a search for Common Market. I think most white folks have both of the understandings you mention inside them; we all embody and contain various paradoxes. And I'm glad that I can have productive discussions with my readers--it's an element of blogging that really sharpens my understanding of the things that I write about, that is, all that stuff white people do.

    anonymous with a gun, I sure do hope you never have to use that thing.

    I agree, renee, white blindness is truly astounding sometimes. Including my own.

  9. As part of my research I regularly monitor organized and unorganized hate group activity on the internet. What I can tell you is that many of them are HOPING that Obama wins. Why? Because they believe that white people will finally be scared enough to start the RAHOWA (racial holy war) that they advocated forever. Now, that is scary!

  10. He *wouldn't* have endorsed a *liberal* Democrat of any color, I don't think. Kucinich was the liberal Democratic candidate, not Obama, who is a centrist and has reached out repeatedly to Republicans.

    I don't think he'd endorse Cynthia McKinney.

    So while I'm sure Powell at some level would be glad to see a Black president - many people would, not all of them Black - I am also sure his reason for endorsing Obama is that Obama is not too far left for a Republican to handle and McCain is so nutty.

  11. What I can tell you is that many of them are HOPING that Obama wins. Why? Because they believe that white people will finally be scared enough to start the RAHOWA (racial holy war) that they advocated forever.

    That logic is inherently absurb considering that in order for Barack Obama to win, a majority of white people will have to vote for him in the first place. How can a person be scared of the very man they voted for?

  12. @Kat

    Yes, the logic is absurd. We are talking about members of organized hate groups here...not the most rational individuals.


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