Akeem the African Dream is My Choice
My curiosity about the PBS documentary the Whiteness Project is not satisfied. While thawing my langostino, I was compelled by the Whiteness Project's unintentional Andy Kaufman-like performance to look at the comments on Slate's piece about PBS's white victimology documentary/group therapy exercise.
[Slate's piece by Jamelle Bouie exhibits a common and problematic framing where the article's title "Why It Shouldn’t Surprise Us That Whites and Blacks Have So Little Empathy for Each Other", is both incorrect and misleading: black Americans have been a model people in terms of our desire to be included as full citizens in the United States, and while doing so, exhibiting an almost titan-like level of patience towards, and empathy for, white folks.
Moreover, experimental and social psychologists have shown that an empathy gap exists, that as shown here and here (with an interesting qualifier here), where whites feel low levels of empathy for black people (and other non-whites). The empathy gap is not mutual and equivalent across the color line; to begin with a lie leads to the distortion that racism is a moral failing of all people in America, as opposed to one exclusive to the White community.]
There are some real gems of distorted late 20th/early 21st century white supremacist statistical racism mixed with more honest old school white supremacy, white supremacy from a more simple and "elegant" age in response to Bouie's commentary.
I am particularly partial to this one:
When will "they" stop chasing Whites around like rabid dogs? We're not the Blue Eyed Devils, we just want "them" to leave us alone. We don't want your women, leave ours alone. We don't want your neighborhoods, leave ours alone. We don't want your jobs, leave ours alone. Don't like our banks, groceries, sporting events, our Culture because you FEEL left out...develop your own, and leave ours alone. Get it?
Who comes up with the notion that we should INCLUDE you in our society?The following one is fun too:
The other day (on Slate) I read an article that basically said that all white guys are racist, whether they knew it yet or not. Now In the job I do, I work with many blacks; and my boss is black as well. I don't know that any of us even think about the feeling of racism.
But articles like that bother me. I like to think that all of us really want to do the "right" thing. But, from a simple standpoint of human dynamics, if one is going to be condemned as racist regardless of what one does is there any reason to "give a d*mn" ? Would we all not be better served by turning down the volume?I love the "black boss" deflection--I consider it more "compelling" than my "best black friend".
In this comment, American exceptionalism is once again sacrificed by apologists for white supremacy and white privilege in the United States. How come the White Right Tea Party GOP
I know there is racism but I don't see what you see. More racist then say...Japan? China? India? How would we even know. At least America has given it a shot. Look at the Muslim societies around the US...even after all the 9-11 turmoil. And, at least where I live, where it's pretty 50/50 white2minority, I don't see racism against minorities...yes, the jerks are there somewhere but it's certainly not open...and even that is a small comfort.
I believe we have done pretty well as a society.
Especially since the mid 60's when we began moving in the right direction. Just hoping it continues getting better and better.In all, these comments are priceless comedy gold.
A random question for the weekend: if you could nominate any white person, living or dead, fictional or "real", to participate in the Whiteness Project, who would it be? And what would they say?
My vote is Akeem the African Dream of 1980s and early 1990s WWF fame.