Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Giving the People What They Want? Of Slut Shaming and What if Rush Limbaugh were Black?

I try to give folks what they want. I also try to respond to the chorus that is public opinion whenever I feel the moment and the timing are right.

As of late, the keywords that have brought folks to We Are Respectable Negroes have been--as always--an entertaining lot.

To those who found themselves here in a roundabout way, I do not know anything about black shag haircuts. I also have no interest in discussing Michelle Obama's booty, or in negro penises and white teachers. However, I am working on an essay about racism and The Walking Dead. I do not know if pimps fall in love. My knowledge of such matters would suggest that a pimp's love is quite different from that of a square or a lame. I do have to admire the grammar of he or she who is searching for "white wife with brown child is a subtle message; she is a black cock slut."

Quite a few folks are also curious about the following counterfactual: what if Rush Limbaugh were black? I have not done a "What if?" in some time. Following my "What if Sarah Palin were Black?" (and Time Wise's epic "What if the Tea Party were Black?") I have demurred. Those events are like the Secret Wars in the Marvel comics, or G.I. Joe's silent issue. They are unique, money to be spent on special gifts.

Times change. So let's float the premise. What if Rush Limbaugh was black? Would the response to his misogyny towards Sandra Fluke be any different? I have a more provocative intervention: What if Rush Limbaugh remained white, but Sandra Fluke was black, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American? Allowing for the impact of sexism on life chances, and the hegemonic nature of patriarchy, Sandra Fluke is still a white woman. She benefits from whiteness; as a white woman Sandra Fluke is also part of a protected class. If you doubt the latter, see people's exhibit number one: Missing White Woman Syndrome.

What do you think? And how would you tweak the scenario?

11 comments:

nicoleandmaggie said...

I submit that if Sandra Fluke were black, Rush Limbaugh would have left her alone. There's a long legacy of white men wanting black women to not have kids by any means necessary (remember forced sterilization?) in order to keep the purity of the race. It's when (Protestant, middle-class) white women stop doing their racial duty that there's a problem.

Mickey said...

@nicoleandmaggie,

I never saw it as a "purity of race" thing. I always saw it as a way to keep the Black race's numbers down to a minimum because they did not want poor Blacks multiplying in droves. A long-winded form of extermination, if you will. However, I do agree with the second part of your statement.

Anonymous said...

Racism and The Walking Dead? Sounds intriguing.. any details? Will there be a post here?

chaunceydevega said...

@Nicole. You are right on controlling white women's bodies and the relationship to white masculinity, but the latter also validated itself through controlling women of color's bodies too. That is tough one. I can see him being just as vicious if not more so--and then not apologizing because the protest would not have been great. I just don't know.

@Mickey. How do we reconcile that with some black conservatives getting in bed with their white overlords to come up with the abortion is black genocide narrative?

@Anon. I wrote a brief Walking Dead piece last year, and folks have been talking about the TV show in that regards again. I am still thinking it through.

nicoleandmaggie said...

His argument would have then been for something like mandatory sterilization. Why pay the revolving cost of BCP when they could get rid of the problem with a single surgery? The control over bodies is very different. Until recently the biggest supporters of international birth control projects in developing countries were conservative Republicans. It's white man's burden to keep colored women from not reproducing.

Also: if you read the 19th century authors such as Storer etc. it is about racial purity in their own words, at least when it comes to Italians and other folks who didn't used to be considered pure white.

Dani Gantt said...

Here's when I get pissed off. I don't care about Rush Limbaugh. I'm mad at everyone else.

HE HAS BEEN SAYING RACIST SHIT TOWARDS BLACK WOMEN FOR YEARS NOW. No one raised an eyebrow.

Now, as soon as he says something to a White woman, everyone is just sooo outraged. Please. Shallow protests. Racist mindset.

This country can go to hell.

Anonymous said...

Don Imus / black women championship winners... Rush is still on the radio. Do men get fired for sexist comments alone?
No, they get fired when they offend racially and sexually.

Anonymous said...

Imus rant was worst than Rush's rage in part because Imus pulled his racism right out of his ass..

Rush used the Fluke woman as a pretext to discuss a political agenda..

WHite males have demonized woman forever so none of this is a newsflash ..

Dan Boyd said...

Black Limbaugh would be conservative, therefore loosing some "protected" status i.e. Herman Cain. The selective moral outrage over the comments made about white Mrs Fluke is similar although not quite as robust. There are a few calls for a boycott of the Black Limbaugh shows sponsors. Corporations that run ads during the broadcast remain silent when asked if they are willing revoke their advertisements. Black Limbaugh who after all that was said is still nice guy who realizes that Mrs Fluke was legitimately dismayed by his attempted humor issues an apology that she graciously accepts. The next day he invites her to come on the air and debate the issue at the heart of this controversy. The whole thing blows over in a matter of 48 hours! The fear of being labeled a "racist" absolutely terrifies white people, and in this scenario is why sponsors don't pull ads and Mrs Fluke immediately accepts the apology.

chaunceydevega said...

@Dani. That is my instinct. And why I asked the question.

@Anon. A two-fer!

@Dan. To be young, gifted, and white. Such a burden, what does it feel like to be unwanted and marginalized as a people? Please share.

La Reyna said...

NicoleandMaggie, and Chauncey,

You are on to something. Yes, white men are concerned about their population dwindling and that white women aren't doing their racial duty of having white babies, which drives white male conservatives crazy.

Women of color, on the other hand, are producing too many children and that, according to those white male conservatives, are destroying white society and economy, ergo, it's the white man's burden to limit WOC fertility and to forbid them to marry white men because they don't produce white babies and are threatening white racial purity just as much as white women/men of color relationships/marriages. It's driving Pat Buchanan, Rick Santorum, Jared Taylor, Rush Limbaugh, etc., off the rails.

La Reyna