Friday, March 14, 2014

How the Irish Became White? Paul Ryan's Ugly Public Embrace of Anti-Black Racism and Eugenics

Paul Ryan is the leader of the Republican Party’s “intellectual” wing. He has been described by the news media in fawning terms as a “policy wonk”, a “numbers guy”, and a “serious thinker”. 

Consequently, Ryan's recent claim that "inner city" black men are lazy and have no work ethic is a revealing insight into the current state of movement conservatism and the former's supposed intellectual gifts.

There is no genius in Paul Ryan's claims: his
 arguments about lazy black people are a boilerplate post-civil Rights era Republican talking point. 

To advance this claim, he leveraged Charles Murray's discredited research on the relationship between I.Q. and race. Ryan's intellectual slippage is not a new habit. In his anti-poverty tome, which purports (and fails) to discredit President Johnson's Great Society era programs, Paul Ryan misrepresented and distorted research findings

He is intellectually dishonest; Ryan's claim to be a serious thinker on matters of public policy is a cheap, and not very convincing, parlor trick. 

It is also a perfect fit for the post-fact universe and anti-intellectualism of the present day American conservative movement. Paul Ryan's recent observation about the laziness of black people is also providing an additional lesson in how the Republican Party has now fully merged conservatism and "symbolic racism".

Moreover, in a moment when Republicans have suggested that black and brown people’s children should become janitors to learn a “work ethic”, that Obama buys black people’s votes with food stamps, and that “real Americans”, i.e. white people, are losing “their country” to non-whites, Ryan’s argument is a rather flat channeling of the Southern Strategy and Reagan’s opines about “strapping black bucks” and "welfare queens" living in luxury as they leech off of white people.

There is an ugly hypocrisy at the heart of Paul Ryan’s efforts to chastise African-Americans (a group of people who quite literally built the United States and have never received compensation or reparations) for having “bad culture” and perhaps even defective genes.

Paul Ryan is an Irish-American. The same arguments that Ryan is making about the “bad culture” of African-Americans, and their supposed “laziness” and “idleness”, were made against his Irish ancestors by eugenicists and race scientists in the United States and Europe.

Charles Murray’s intellectual forefathers had little to no use for the Irish. As such, they spent a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out just what type of “white people” the Irish were, and how they fit into the family and hierarchy of whiteness.

Those who are considered “white” in the 21st century may not have been part of that racial group during an earlier part of American history. Jews, Slavs, Poles, Armenians, as well as Eastern and Southern Europeans more generally, were not considered “real” white people by the consensus scientific authority of the 19th and early to mid 20th centuries. 

The sociological evidence is rich: political cartoons during the 19th century questioned how and if the Irish were fit for American democracy by depicting them as apes, and comparing them with similarly caricatured and stereotyped images of African-Americans. The question of “how” and “if” the Irish were suitable for American democracy also emphasized their Catholic religion, and cast doubt on if “papists” were capable of being proper and loyal citizens. 

Even as late as the early decades of the 20th century, leading American eugenicists and race scientists such as Madison Grant—author of the infamous tract The Passing of the Great Race—were unsure of the relationship between the Irish and "white civilization":
By the 1920s, some eugenicists seemed ready to admit the Irish or "Celts" to a racial status closer to Anglo-Saxons. But not all. In the Passing of the Great Race, a highly read and influential attack on "race mongrelization" the eugenicist Madison Grant waffled about where the Irish stood.
Grant observed that a physical change had occurred among the Irish in America. The "Neanderthal physical characteristics of the native Irish--the great upper lip, bridgeless nose, beetling brow with low growing hair, and wild and savage aspect:--had largely disappeared. The Irish apeman of Nast's cartoons had evolved a more human form. Yet, with the Irish, in Grant's view, looks could be deceiving. When it came to intellectual and moral traits, "the mental and cultural traits of the aborigines have proved to be exceedingly persistent and appear in the unstable temperament and the lack of coordinating and reasoning power, so often found among the Irish."
Race is a social construct. Its boundaries change according to the social and political questions of a given moment. Race is a fiction; race is also real in terms of how it bounds and influences a person’s life chances by virtue of how society locates them both within and relative to a given group.

Historians Noel Ignatiev and David Roediger explore this process and detail how the Irish in America earned their whiteness in the seminal texts How the Irish Became White and The Wages of Whiteness. Most recently, Nell Irvin Painter’s A History of White People offered up a beautiful synthesis of the many ways that whiteness was manufactured and understood from antiquity to the present in the West.

The centuries-long story of Irish assimilation from a group judged to be below or perhaps somewhat equal to African-Americans in their supposed lack of intelligence, and propensity for violence, sexual impulsiveness, and unfitness for “white” civilization, to now being fully “white”, and where Paul Ryan can easily channel race science and eugenics, is a testament to the malleability of race and the enduring power of White Supremacy.

Whiteness is an expansive and changing category: this is one of the primary lessons taught by the colorline in the United States. We must also not overlook how the path to full whiteness is made easier by both hating and resenting African-Americans. 

To point. The Republican Party’s outreach to white ethnics in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement leveraged such sentiments as it built a new coalition of “working class” white Democrats and soon to be Republicans.

In all, Paul Ryan, like many other Republicans, has deployed racial dog whistle politics and symbolic racism to slur the work ethic and character of black people in order to mobilize their white, racially resentful, voting base.

Of course, the Republican Party and its neoliberal allies are silent on how the very economic policies they have advocated and advanced since the 1960s are in many ways responsible for the structural and institutional inequality that has created the “jobless ghetto”.

Those same policies have suppressed wages, generated abhorrent levels of wealth and income inequality, destroyed the American middle class, and created structural unemployment such that there are more job seekers than available positions.

Paul Ryan’s Ayn Randian dreams and twisted understanding of Catholic social justice have resulted in him being the metaphorical doctor who is making the patient sick while simultaneously blaming said patient for not getting better fast enough.

This is a cruel joke. The punch line is the suffering of the American people.

Paul Ryan’s racism and ego have enabled him to willfully misrepresent the research which details how the denizens of inner city and poor black and brown communities are desperate for job opportunities.

Of course, Paul Ryan’s “bad culture” and “lazy” black people thesis is mute on the question of white poverty, white “bad culture”, and white folks’ dependence on the federal government.

Whites constitute the largest group of poor people in the United States. White people also receive a disproportionate amount of federal assistance. And Red State America receives much more in federal money than any other part of the United States. 

Were Paul Ryan intellectually honest, he would re-frame his talking points and faux-concern about the black, “inner city” poor, to include white poverty. I wonder, how would Republican voters respond if Paul Ryan told them that they were poor and unemployed because of their laziness and bad culture?

Charles Murray voiced his concern about the cultural pathologies and declining fortunes of poor and working class white Americans in his book Coming Apart.

Paul Ryan embraces the discredited I.Q. race science eugenicist arguments of Murray’s book The Bell Curve in order to slur and disparage African-Americans. Would Paul Ryan ever dare to find public inspiration in Charles Murray’s research about the cultural pathologies and failings of white people in Red State America? 

The answer is no. 


Myshkin the Idiot said...

"Paul Ryan was being a truth-teller, all you liberals want to make excuses for the bad culture of our inner cities, their lazy work ethic. Now the PC police will be on Ryan to retract what he said and might even try to take this American Saint out of office." -- Palin, Cain, West, O'Reilly, et. al.

Learning IS Eternal said...

"Paul Ryan is an Irish-American. The same arguments that Ryan is making about the “bad culture” of African-Americans, and their supposed “laziness” and “idleness”, were made against his Irish ancestors by eugenicists and race scientists in the United States and Europe."

Non-black uncle toms, supporters of Amurr'klan's reich of white supremacy nothing new. This goes back, CDV, to a correlation you've referenced many times before. Poor whites/oppressed blacks have myriads in common but having them join forces/recognizing a common enemy not as profitable as systemic racism.

How soon we forget who shot or stabbed us, demanding payment for not a single bandaid to our injuries.

RPM said...

In The People's History Of The United States the white elite talks about how the Irish in the mid 1800's were amoral violent savages that had no redeeming qualities. In the same passage they also wrote how, because the Irish believed in morality and fairness, that it could threaten slavery and the social order because they weren't inherently racist. In the same freaking passage! But to the white supremacist, fairness and a sense of justice are the worst savage traits one could have. They needn't have worried though. Within one generation of coming to America Irish became just as xenophobic and racist as their other white counterparts. American education system at work once again. Apparently the NINA signs hung across the country wasn't enough to make them see the hypocrisy. As for who becomes white next in this racist culture I will always go with Asians. They will grow more influential in wealth and they will be "upgraded" in a decade or two. Just think Chauncey in 30 years time you will be writing about how Chinese and Koreans were demonized a century ago before they "became" white. Downside to Paul talking out of his ass so much is while the peckerhead will never be president, senator or anything than what he is now, he isn't going anywhere. His weird racist little district is going to keep that bigoted piece of shit around. What we really need is term limits for congress. 6 years tops. They also shouldn't get paid 6 figure salaries for life. If he was a fiscal policy guy as he claims his fat checks for doing nothing would be the first to go. Otherwise how else is he and his worthless shiftless colleagues going to learn any work ethic.

kokanee said...

Paul Ryan as an intellectual is pretty telling of the Republican Party. Anti-intellectualism (3) and racism (5) are straight out of Umberto Eco's Eternal (Ur) Fascism 14 point list:

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I always thought the next "white" group could almost be any new immigrant group that ties their allegiance to anti-black culture. Many Africans living in America will teach their children they are not black because they are not African American and will teach them to not "be like" African Americans.

Then you have the Tsarnaev family the mother was referred to as "jihad mom" because she dresses in her traditional clothes and was remorseful for Dhzokar's fate and said "Allahu Akhbar" to reporters. Then there is their uncle Ruslan who the media pictured as "Uncle Rus" (come on!) who wears a polo shirt and says they are simply "losers" and showed that he fully sympathized with the victims and changed his last name from Tsarnaev to Tsarni.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

Communism is a useful enemy and has often been used, particularly with black activist social justice movements.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

everyone of those, except newspeak, maybe I'm missing something, can be said about Republican tactics, I'd love to assess it further... I'll keep thinking about it.

It also makes me wonder about the Democrat party and I'll think about them in relation to this some more as well.

kokanee said...

Re: "... I'll keep thinking about it.

It also makes me wonder about the Democrat party and I'll think about them in relation to this some more as well.

I'll leave to you it to make your own conclusion before we compare notes.

OldPolarBear said...

Yeah Paul Ryan is the real victim here and the people calling him out on what he said are the real racists! /snarklolsob

OldPolarBear said...

I hope you are wrong about his congressional district keeping him around -- it sounds like they don't like him very much either as he couldn't even carry it when he was running for Veep!

OldPolarBear said...

Excellent post about the awful Ryan. This kind of reminds me of the great podcast you had back in September with Matthew Hughey about different immigrant groups getting admitted to "White Club" over the years. That podcast really made me think back to my childhood and the town I went to grade school in and some things clicked in my mind.

It would make an interesting case study because it was a small, central Iowa farming village that had a couple large influxes of Irish and Italian immigrants over the years. These happened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and they took a long time to make that transition to whiteness. Looking back, I can see from things that were said, etc., that some of the rough edges of that transition were still around in the 1960s. Of course at the time I had no awareness or consciousness of any of these theories of race, whiteness, etc.

As several have commented, there are people who are going through the transition and the process of being admitted into White Club now. I think that quite a few Hispanics in that respect are roughly where Italian-Americans were in maybe the 1940s and 1950s. The ideal would be not to let more people into White Club but to disband and destroy that club, to destroy whiteness. But how do we do that? How do we subvert that concept? I have been trying to figure that out since I heard that podcast.

chauncey devega said...

The next group to be grandfathered into whiteness will be HAPA's, and white hispanics and arabs. White people will remain the majority group. I am on of the folks who doesn't buy the browning of America thesis.

chauncey devega said...

Pierce is great. I agree w. your read of racial formation there. Spot on. Destroy whiteness? Good luck. Too many perks both real and imagined.

chauncey devega said...

Who would want to be black? Everyone and no one. Ponder that.

chauncey devega said...

What we are seeing w. Africans and those from the Caribbean is called "elevated ethnic status". They aren't like "the other ones". But the kids realize what is going on because they have to live in a society where that racial hierarchy and binary is real.

Lee Viola said...

I've had Trinidadian Hindus try to buy favor with me by using the N-word. Silly Trinidadian Hindu---that won't buy you white privledge just yet.

Utrice Leid, despite her shortcomings, was very good on this topic of 'neo-white ethnics.'.

Myshkin the Idiot said...


kokanee said...


RPM said...

I agree that the next "Upgraded" group will tie it to anti black racism. Given the clashes and resentment that go on between southern blacks and hispanics towards one another for employment I see why many would think that white Latinos would be the next pick. I still think they are going to be exploited too much to make the jump next. Remember, when the Irish got white privilege it was because they were going into teaching, law enforcement and politics. Hispanics are going to be stuck in the domestic servants and field labor jobs for a long while still before they move up. I think CDV is right that they will get there eventually. Ditto for Arabs and every other white person with a tan that's excluded at the moment. But I still think that economically and politically Asians are going to be the next group that will hate all non white people. Just like pre U.S.A. no white person ever referred to themselves as white (they were always French, English, Spanish ect.) asian americans in the future won't call themselves Chinese, Japanese, Indian ect. I don't think they will identify as Asian either. That's why you only see white people call themselves Mediterranean or Middle Eastern when they try to impress other white people by how exotic they are. That shit all goes out the window when they get pulled over by cops. So I don't see America changing racially as long as the white standard continues being upheld in politics, media, educational bias and law enforcement.
I wish I could have your optimism OldPolarBear about that douche getting voted out but they had the chance to boot his punk ass last election and they didn't. Even when they thought he wasn't qualified for his new would be gig. Hope your right but I'm not holding my breath.
Fun little tidbit about the Irish and race. In the U.K. on their census forms they list white and right below it Irish. I thought it was because the English are horribly racist fuckers especially to the Irish who they have oppressed the longest and committed genocide towards. Turns out I was wrong. The Irish themselves don't want to be labeled white in England. All the years of being told they weren't didn't make them want it. They wanted to make sure that you would never classify them with the English. Imagine if we did that here. Just keep listing all your ethnicities you know of till everyone gets sick of trying to classify each other and for race we can all just put Human.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

My original response to you was about the English full colonization of the Irish back in the mid 1500's and the types of characterizations they used to justify their colonization, a pattern that would soon be followed in North America.

Have you heard of Ronald Takaki? He wrote A Different Mirror about multicultural American history. It's a good book, one I read shortly after People's History. One of the things he discusses is the English made it punishable by death for the Irish to wear English style clothes and own weapons. The Irish could not "purchase land, bear office, be chosen of any jury, or admitted witness in any real or personal action." These laws, which were centuries old, are strikingly similar to the restrictions imposed on black people in America.

Re: Asians as the next white group
I thought they were already considered white or at least decent people.. not that they don't contend with prejudices toward their group, but I have heard that anti-black bias can be pretty high for Asian Americans.

Southernfink said...

I offer no objection.

Southernfink said...

You too ... ☻☻☻

kokanee said...

I don't believe you! ;)

RPM said...

Haven't heard of it but I'll check it out as soon as I can. It sounds interesting. Have you ever seen 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' by Ken Loach? It's about the Irish War of Independence and was made mostly as critique of the Iraq war and imperialism in general but it's a good showcase of systematic racism. In one scene the Brits threaten to kill some Irish just for looking at them. Hard not to see the parallels with the Apartheid state in America after the civil war where Blacks were lynched just for looking a white person in the eyes. I wonder if Irish american bigots can watch that or read the book you described and not see the actions they partake in. The one thing I can never truly understand about bigots is how they can only have empathy for one group of people and zero for another even if they are both being mistreated by the same aggressor.
Still that's what power always does. Play people off each other. It's why social justice movements went to hell in the 70's. Nixon and his gang of psychos started splintering off civil rights groups. Through rightwing media and disinformation campaigns they got people to only look out for their own interests. Now you have environmentalists, black, gay, hispanic, workers, feminists and all the other groups just working on their own agendas instead of pooling their efforts. The rainbow push colition was always a good idea it just never seemed to expand like it should of. Power pits the weaker against one another and thus avoids being the real target.
As for Asians as the next group I don't think they have mainstream white acceptance...yet. Anti black bias can be pretty high in some of their communities. Especially if they are recent immigrants and competing against low paying jobs or if they are gaining affluence and joining the other moneyed elite in demonizing black and brown people. It is unfortunatly the second circumstance that I think move them forward before hispanics in gaining white privilege in white supremacist society.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

New members to the club of whiteness hold a tenuous membership. They are willing to defend their status much more harshly and openly than other groups. White hispanics for example have to stop speaking Spanish and abandon all cultural identities toward their respective countries if they want to blend in and get the privileges of whiteness. There's a lot in that psychology of hate post CDV did.

RPM said...

It's a movie actually. I forgot to make it clear. It's really quite good. The screenwriter also worked on Tambien la Illuvia (english title is Even The Rain) which is about the water privatization in Bolivia which you might also like. It is a movie within a movie about Colombus' genocide in Hispaniola and the parallels to the attacks on the indigenous Bolivians these days. The film within the film features the death of Hatuey of the Tainos whose story was also retold in 'Lies My Teacher Told Me' by James W. Loewen. If you haven't read it I'd recommend that one as well. Your local library should have all three.
There was a piece CDV did in alter net a while back that had one of the comments by this middle aged african american. He talked about when he was in college one of his professors told him how if you wanted to be admitted to the upperclass group you had to abandon all allegiance and sympathy to you former class and ethnicity. As well as swearing total loyalty to your new group. I'm not doing the comment justice but it was a perfectly put summation of what we are talking about. I'm pretty sure the piece was about Clarence Thomas but it was a while ago so I can't be sure.

Southernfink said...

Yeah why not ..?

kokanee said...

You white boys might wish to be black with a well proportioned body with long legs and 8-pack abs, super-efficient muscles and unbelievable coordination. With a mind that can dance like no tomorrow, create and play music that touches one's soul and a mind that is every bit as smart and as sharp as anyone's. But you white boys just don't know what black men go through every single day of their lives. A system that tries to keep the black man down, keep him from getting out of the ghetto, keep him poor, keep him uneducated. A school to prison pipeline. A shorter life expectancy, inadequate healthcare especially for pregnant mothers, birthing mothers and young children.
You white boys are pretenders and an insult to what black men have to endure from racist white America whether it be from a store clerk, a driver, a teacher, an employer or a police officer. And manhood for a black man in Anerica starts at puberty with the "talk" : If the police stop you or pull you over, keep your hands on the wheel until told otherwise. Don't reach for your wallet until told to do so. Don't get out of the car until told to do so. Don't make any sudden movements, your life may depend on it. Imagine being a mother or father and having to give a talk like this to your 12 year old son.
So you wiggers think it's fun and games to immerse yourself in black culture but for black men it's life and death. Time to get real. Word out.

chauncey devega said...

The new "white Asians" will be white pacific Islanders "mixed" ancestry like Keanu Reeves and others.

kokanee said...

I always check "other" and write in "human." But sometimes funding depends on the number of visible minorities. Instead, maybe we should all write in African - where we all came from.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I just deleted a person I met online from my facebook because he said, "How appropriate that Aryan Maori have predicted the future."

The English thought there were certain groups of Maori descended from the Aryan bloodline and the Maori believed them. They used this to justify working exclusively through so called Aryan Maori.

"some Māori accepted the Aryan Māori myth, notably the great anthropologist Peter Buck (Te Rangi Hīroa), author of Vikings of the sunrise. He believed that Polynesians were ‘of Caucasian descent and quite distinct from the negroid division of mankind’."

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I read Lies years ago and met Loewen at a speaking engagement at my university shortly after, he seems like a genuinely sincere person and very capable, always learning. Sundown Towns is another book by him that is pretty incredible.

I've done some online research into the Spanish colonization of Hispaniola and Cuba, the training grounds for the conquest of Mexico and Peru. Did you know many of the conquistadors came from a small Spanish state that had supplied most of the fighters that fought the Muslims out of Europe? Also, the Spanish Crown and Church were less interested in conquering the people in America than the settlers. From what I have read, they gave them orders for several years to not enslave and not kill wantonly, Colombus was arrested for ignoring this, but even the man who replaced him and others who were governors of Hispaniola were enabling the enslavement and slaughter of Americans.

Southernfink said...

Ta Da ~

Gable1111 said...

African Americans, rather being allowed to progress along the social ladder as others incoming to this country have, have instead been incorporated as a rung on the ladder itself, for others to step on, as they themselves climb over. Learning to cry "nigger" in the company of the those perceived as socially "supreme" is recognition not only of the ladder, but the utility of black folk in being that bottom rung to step on.

RPM said...

Best. Idea. Ever. I tell people all the time that everyone came out of Africa so your all black. Why the self hate racists?
Myshkin the Idiot- Cool that you got to meet him. When I read the introduction to Lies I couldn't believe him when he said college kids didn't know Jefferson or Washington owned slaves. I knew this in 1st grade and I went to a shit school. I couldn't imagine how people 3 times my age couldn't know even basic facts about U.S. history. Than I meet adults who went to school to study early American history that don't know what a bastard Columbus and a host of others are. Hero worship and false info is so insidious it can make you not want to talk to anyone.
As for the difference in priorities between settlers and the Crown it sounds like more willful ignorance and apathy to me. Give invaders weapons and no real rules except conquest and than act surprised when slavery and rape happen. Kind of like america and it's military or any military really. Give people guns and send them far away without any supervision. What's the worst that could happen? I don't give ineptiude as a pass for leaders shitty decisions. The Spanish government might of been repulsed by their actions but not enough to order all the setters execution. Ignoring and allowing genocide is the same as instigating it. I find with most bad actors throughout history, when condemnation comes it usually only comes to those who committed the crime. Never those who financed it, profited from it, turned a blind eye to it or tried to cover it up.
That's why I enjoyed Loewen and Zinn's work. They did their best to put everything into context and get to the why instead of just the how. If history was taught correctly than I think our population would have developed higher critical thinking skills and might not fall for the same propaganda over and over again.

kokanee said...

Really excellent comment! No additions required other than I really need to take the Zinn book off the shelf and read it.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

White Man March is scheduled in NYC today. Read some of these funny tweets.

RPM said...

Funny stuff. White people are so crazy.The jokes are so close to reality it's scary. 4 years ago I was in my Mother's car as we headed upstate and this guy behind us on the freeway started honking at us. She had her Obama bumper sticker on so this nut has to pull up next to us and pointed to the Obama as the Joker sticker in his window with the word socialism. Like that was going to change our minds instantly. What the fuck does the Joker have to do with socialism. Silly white people. I never got it. Is it like he's wearing whiteface or something? Racist whack jobs and their bullshit attempts at protest and humor. Just like when they say Hitler was socialist. Bullshit. Just because someone self identifies as something doesn't make it true. Stalin called himself a communist. He was a fascist. So when these white power fucks say their not racist as you resist the urge to smack 'em remind them that you never trust anyone's self assessment. I tell ya the only part of being white that sucks: other white people think your as racist as they are just cuz your white. Typical back and forth. Cracker: "You know what I hate about black people?"
Me: "Their superior intellect,morals and physique?"
Cracker; (Confused stare).
Best thing about insulting racists, half the time they don't even know.

Veri1138 said...

White boys are culturally oriented in a different direction. A consequence of being on top for so long. Being poor is a great motivator, I recommend it. Poverty produces art and competition. Oppression produces progression.

Different sub-societies, different cultural pressures. Blacks don't understand White Society.

And White racists? Either rich, wishing to hoard their wealth from others... or Whites who don't compete very well in White society, the bottom of the barrel... who don't understand why they are not doing as well as their supposed entitlement says they should be doing.

Black Compton and White Beverly Hills. The two should meet in the middle.

Here are some observations from life:

I always like my professor. Sarbonne graduate. Grew up in the slums of Lagos, Nigeria. Despised most Americans for being soft and whiney. A real racist, also. Fantastic guy. Most African-Americans labeled him for "Acting White". Had a 1st Sergeant accused by Black soldiers of being racist. He was Black and marched and met with MLK. Also labeled Acting White for speaking proper English and trying to help Black soldiers become professional.

My friend's nephew was accused of being racist. He is 1/4 Black. His mother is discriminated against by both Blacks and Whites.

The most racist people I know? Foreigners who live in America, in their first year.

My friend told us of a real event, a black friend of his walked into the local and complained about The Mexicans dirtying up the neighborhood. My friend looked up and said, "How do you think about White people feel about Blacks moving into the White neighborhood?". Denis replied, "Oh, now I get it."

And why are Asians in America, at 5% of the population, not classified as a minority for certain purposes?

Another friend of mine ordered a hot dog, 30 second microwave. The Black guy in front of him ordered a prepared meal. My friend got his hot dog and the Black guy erupted at the counter lady, accusing her of being racist. The counter lady was an illegal Mexican immigrant who spoke little English.

Black American soldier knifed to death for wearing African garb. By West Africans.

Friend of mine who is Black and Hispanic, a real go-getter, professional and highly capable woman... not welcome in Black Society. Also Native American. Acting "too White".

A Nigerian friend of mine who speaks perfect English dates White guys. Tired of being groped by Blacks in America. Has a "No American Blacks" dating policy.

Now, these observations and events do lead to stereotyping. Which would be wrong as they are uncommon examples.

Foreigners do not understand American racism. Just as Americans do not understand racism outside of an American context. Blacks in America have it rough, as White racists are not all dead, yet. And please don't give me that tripe about "Whites just don't understand."

We understand perfectly well. After all, if we did not understand the problem, there would be no desire to bring about a more equal society. We all live with the effects of racism. What we don't do is live each other's lives. Racism has an immediate impact on Blacks in everyday life.

For example, a Black kid is arrested for something trivial that a White kid would get away with. If I did not understand, I would not say it was wrong. Since this Whitey does understand, I am confident to say it IS WRONG.

Besides, I have been to other countries where I was discriminated against, for being WHITE and/or AMERICAN. Refused service, shouted at, almost arrested, detained by police-militia, harassed, etc. Shit, even by White foreigners.

kokanee said...

My comment was self-parody. I can see how a white person saying he wishes he were black be offensive to a black person in the sense it diminishes their struggles.

re: "Being poor is a great motivator, I recommend it."

Agreed. The richer one gets, the less empathetic one gets for poorer classes. source
and another source

I enjoyed your life stories. Racism is not discrimination though. Racism is the oppression of one group over another with the belief in that oppression. source

Racism and classism are related in how the rich empathize for the poor. source

re: "Racism is hatred. We all know hatred."

Yes. See this and its links: Recentering White Racism in How We Discuss 'The Psychology of Hate'

Finally, some good news that one can unlearn what we've learned:

Six Habits of Highly Empathic People

P. S. Sorry for all the links. This stuff is too important to just read my meager summaries.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

I've had thoughts for some time regarding the whole "acting white" statement. To me it reinforces the idea that whiteness represents good culture and blackness represents ignorance and depravity.

From Ray Jasper, death row inmate, "I look, not only at my own situation, but why all of us young blacks are in prison. I've come to see, it's largely due to an indentity crisis. We don t know our history. We don't know how to really indentify with white people. We are really of a different culture, but by being slaves, we lost ourselves.

"They think slavery is their roots. Again, its a strong identity crisis.

"You take the identity crisis, mix it with capitalism, where money comes before empathy, and you'll have a lot of young blacks trying to get money by any means because they're trying to get out of poverty or stay out of poverty. Now, money is what they try to find an identity in. They feel like if they get rich, legal or illegal, they've become somebody. Which in America is partly true because superficially we hail the rich and despise the poor."

skilletblonde said...

What absolutely infuriates me is the manner in which race is debated in the corporate media Every time, every damn time!, there is a blatant display of racism, the typical media response is to protect the racist. This is especially true if there is a white collar covering the bigot's redneck. Ryan makes a coherent, intentional, racist remark about Black Men living in the Inner City, and the immediate response is to say Ryan is not a racist. Or, better yet,he was misunderstood.

The corporate media will then bring on African Americans , who will give a weak apologetic condemnation. For example, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, who is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good, was invited to respond on MSNBC. He replies with, " I am so dissapointed in Chairman Ryan; and I'm saying this very, very seriously; it' my hope he doesn't really mean what he said. It is my hope he doesn't know people." Al Sharpton then speaks about Ryan's referencing Charles Murray. Cleaver goes on to to discount Murray's thesis, but then declares, "Chairman Ryan is a smart man."

If a Republican Congressman can stand up and call the President of the United States a liar during the State of the Union, if Ted Nugent can call the President a "subhuman mongrel" ,but is invited to the recent State of the Union, that should tell you something abut the Republican Party, and race in America. After all, the President followed the rules and has achieved the highest office in the land. Yet, he is disrespected just as vulgarly as the black males trapped in the Inner City.

We all witness last week the exchange between Elijah Cummings and Darrell Issa. What took you so long Congressman Cummings? Issa has treated you with contempt since he started his pathological pursuit of The Obama Administration -with endless hearings. My dream would have been for Cummings to reach over and snatch Issa's toupee off, and fiercely stumped on it. But instead, it will all blow over and Cummings will shuffle on back to his corner, until the next time, and the next, and the next.

In the end it is up to us. How much are we willing to take? Do not expect change to come from the top. The Republicans have been flogging the Black Community for a good 50 years. Apparently we are willing to take more.

Veri1138 said...

Ah, I missed the parody. Though, it provided a great opportunity to expound on. My apologies.

Veri1138 said...

Write "human".

Veri1138 said...

Oh, Christian neo-Nazis.

Christ had to die for their sins. So, the Romans and Jews obliged. Without them, no Christ on The Cross dying to redeem Christians = no Christianity.

Neo-Nazis should be thanking the Romans and Jews.

RPM said...

I had the fortune of spending a month in Europe last year. My first day in Barcelona I stayed in the same hostel room as a joke premise. An American Atheist, a South Korean Catholic and a Jordanian Muslim walk into a room.... We all arrived at the same time, were all basically the same age, and left all on the same day. Bummed around the city together and spent hours talking about religion, politics, class, race, economics and whole bunch of other stuff. We all came from different parts of the world with close to as different backgrounds as you could get. Agreed on just about everything. Sure their were differences but nothing that would end discussions or friendships. All the b.s. walls people put up about people based on race, gender, class, religion are just that b.s.

Sorry to hear about some of your bad experiences in foreign lands. As I said in an earlier comment on this site Europeans(and other nations) are always quick to point out other countries racism and class issues without thinking of their own. I spent 6 hours explaining white terrorism towards black americans to an Italian and an Australian in Peru. They could complain about their own countries oppression but couldn't see another races oppression. A week later I and a Swiss man were debating this naive Norwegian woman's illusions about China's regime. She like the Italian were both 'journalists' who didn't seem to understand jack about the world but would mouth off like they did. I could of muttered fuck you to them both and left them to their stupidity but nothing changes that way. I like to travel for the conversations.

Meeting people face to face with different perspectives and backgrounds keeps you honest. Otherwise I could fall into that bubble that Kokanee mentioned about those who aren't empathetic. I don't think the Europeans weren't capable they just never sought out different perspectives. If everyone, not just poor Americans, could travel the world and meet as many people as they could I believe all the borders would fall.

It's not too much money that's the problem, it's money period that's the problem. Money creates class, debt and exploitation. All those poor whites entitled by white dominated culture wouldn't have the economic incentive to hate on other ethic groups that are in the same financial constraints. It's harder to punch up when you think you'll be punched back. That's why poor people aim down when they are throwing punches. easier to be convinced that someone who is struggling right next to you is taking something from you when they get ahead. Fighting for scrapes instead of kicking down the mansion door and partaking in the buffet. As long as they keep buying into the dream that they'll be in the top 10, backwards ass shit stains like Paul Ryan will keep maintaining and expanding power and privilege for few at the expense of the many. The best thing for rich people would be to lose all their money and all the entitlements that comes with it. It might be the only way they'll ever get their humanity back.

kokanee said...

No apologies necessary. I enjoyed your stories. You've had interesting life experiences.

We like to think if we were rich we wouldn't be like them. But we probably would. Such is human nature...

kokanee said...

How about, "Out of Africa?" ;)

purveyor1 said...

What about Jane Fonda? She of wealth and privilege became a card carrying pinko!


V4V said...

Oh come on... you know that's not true.

V4V said...

What is wrong with being a communist? Although you believe in capitalism is one lesser a person if they do not subscribe to your exploitation and profit-driven ideals?

kokanee said...

SB -- The whole mainstream media is a joke:

"Journalist" : Mr. Republican, what do you think of that."

Mr. Republican: Lies, racist, homophobic, misogynist bullshit.

"Journalist" : Interesting. Mr. Democrat, please respond to Mr. Republicans assertions...

Nowhere does "truth" enter the picture. Nowhere is the truth moderated by the media. It's just he said, she said.

It's better explained by Monty Kaplan on Bill Moyers:
{link to come}

kokanee said...

Not everyone gets corrupted by money.

kokanee said...

I like to think it's not true but I don't like to think that I'm better than everyone else that gets corrupted by money. I'm not that special. It seems like a nice problem to have though. Everyone --send me $5 and let's see what happens to me. It's for a good cause --it's for science!

purveyor1 said...

Back in Denver, my new neighbor at the time pointed out that I was being "philanthropic" because I put up a bird feeder. I had never thought about before as it was something I acquired from my parents, but yes, it is "philanthropic to look after God's creatures." Curiously, the word is always associated with wealth and giving large sums of cash, but being "philanthropic" is contextual…

To this day I have a number of bird feeders and spend a chunk of cash every year attempting to balance out what my other, fellow humans destroy. Ergo, I personally have not been "corrupted" in my own little way. I know in my heart that I am a decent man. (except for V4 of course) LOL

(Note: I save turtles that are walking across the road too.)


purveyor1 said...

Minutes per revolutions, (MPR):
Did you know that "radar" spelled backwards is "radar?" That's called a palindrome. And I don't believe your story as no Black person has ever hassled me over my Gadsden Flag. (You know--"Don't tread on me")

Keep those vulgar colloquialisms coming!

purveyor1 said...

Out of all the literature in the world, you long to read Zinn? Why not read "Common Sense," by Thomas Payne, the Federalist papers, or the Lincoln-Douglas debates?

(Note: I try and read Orwell every few years as reminder of baad things can be. "Two legs good, four legs baad")


purveyor1 said...

Might I remind you that capitalism/mercantilism has been thriving since the dawn of history? Heck, the Phoenicians started trading in the lands near and around the Mediterranean sea. (1500 BC) Or how about the great deal the Dutch gave the Indians for Manhattan Island? Though I tend to look at socialism as akin to the Vikings. ('Norsemen') They were communal but free farmers who liked to kill and steal from other peoples.

One can learn a lot from history, its just the applying the lessons that's difficult?

The Purveyor of wisdom and knowledge (Just ask me)

chauncey devega said...

Interesting. Just be careful about race essentialism here on WARN, i.e "white people are so crazy". Individuals may be crazy; certain social systems may create craziness.

Race, i.e. perceived skin color and group identity is a means to an end. Remember, the end is the real issue.

chauncey devega said...


"Might I remind you that capitalism/mercantilism has been thriving since the dawn of history?"

Modern consumer culture was largely created by the goods--cotton and sugar--brought to the European market by the Transatlantic slave trade as well as the Colonial project.

Oakes, the preeminent historian, talks about this as do others in great detail.

What is your real game?

Myshkin the Idiot said...

did you speak to all these people in English?

purveyor1 said...

Don't be coy, unless you are trying to be humorous; I will not venture into racism which apparently is YOUR pet project.

I will concede, however, that slavery has accompanied mercantilism/capitalism throughout history, point taken. But that is a moral debate and "to the victor belong the spoils," human beings were viewed as "spoils" until very recently. Anyway, capitalism would still have been the economic engine that moved the world, slavery or not! I bet you drive a Yugo? Ouch!

The Purveyor

Myshkin the Idiot said...

you're right about all of that. shrimp fork liberal, too funny.

The gay rights movement is dominated by wealthy men and women, I have read articles about the Equal Rights Center (I think) and how they purposefully push for gay marriage as opposed to other goals, basically because they are completely out of touch. Perhaps they feel it would be a necessary step in keeping families from kicking out their LGBT children, but I think they need other protections for those situations.

RPM said...

Yup. They all spoke perfect English. Even if their fluency is without flaw I still remind myself that this isn't their native tongue so I will constantly try to clarify and slow down in case anything gets lost in translation. So while I'd like to believe that some of the pro fascist stuff some of them said (Like how Mao's great leap forward was great for all of China, ignoring the tens of millions that it killed) was because of imprecise language, it was not. Most times when someone says something incredibly callous or bigoted I try to logic it out for them and give them time to reconsider. Ignorance is just a lack of information tinted with bias. Everyone has it about something at one time or another in their life, so patience is key. If you can stand it. Someone blathering on about how Jews want to kill all the blacks, or homosexuality is a choice/sin, takes more than just a conversation or two to change their mind. Hate is a switch in your brain. One that is on or off. New experiences or ideas that contest it don't necessarily flip it but they do get you aware that the switch is there. It is tough to bother when someone is flippant about mass starvation and genocide. I disagree with the notion that past atrocities are necessary for current standards of living or economic success. By that twisted logic slavery, war, and exploitation now will be justified for future generations benefit. A sociopathic argument that treats people as statistics and nothing more.

Lee Viola said...

Yes. Agreed. This very brown person found a very weird and very unsympathetic 'white' person to apply for his whiteness. But in the end, it will come to his spawn if they behave, become proper consumer units, and learn to hate the correct people in the approved U.S. manner. (See Jindal, Robert.)

Veri1138 said...

I'll go with that.

JT said...

The white women must co-habit with members of the dark races, the White man with black women. Thus the White race will disappear, for mixing the dark with the white means the end of the White Man, and our most dangerous enemy will become only a memory. We shall embark upon an era of ten thousand years of peace and plenty, the Pax Judiaca, and OUR RACE will rule undisputed over the world.
Our superior intelligence will enable us to retain mastery over a world of dark peoples."
-Rabbi Rabbinovich 1952