Wednesday, August 20, 2014

this was real

An article has been making the rounds on facebook recently, and the title of that link is: 11 Things White People Should Stop Saying to Black People Immediately.

Anyway, I know a lot of racists, assholes, and racist assholes, and this isn't even stuff we talk about, even when we're drinking. In fact, I'd hazard a guess that these things come across the minds of reasonable white folks very rarely, at any time.

Let's take it from the top and see what these 11 things are:

1. "Why do black people have to make everything about race?"

This is a valid question, validated when one @1EGOTRIPPINDIVA tweets that she will stop talking about race, when white people stop benefiting from white privilege. Please reread the title of the article, check the picture of the author, and then reread this first one here, and watch as a black person makes it all about race. Then get grossed out.

2. "I don't have white privilege. Stop saying that I have white privilege."

Here and I thought the reason that I have been able to not commit crimes and avoid incidents similar to what is happening in Ferguson is because my parents did a pretty decent job of raising me!

Turns out, it's just because I'm white. Sorry Mom and Dad, but thanks for being white, apparently.

3. "I'm not racist. I have black friends."

In the year 2014, this is actually a hipster meme, and hasn't been uttered with sincerity since the mid 90s. Bonus LOLs for the HUGE picture of Donald Sterling. Racism is stupid, but crucifying a senile old man for being old and senile (and white), seems pretty stupid too.

4. "These protesters speak so well, but they're such violent people."

I don't know if those two sentiments together have ever been said by a white person, but I'm sure independently each has. Just so we're clear here, this article says that when you, as a white person, compliment an African American on speaking well, or presumably any other thing he or she did well, that is underhanded and you are racist, end of story. This is what's called "just can't win".

The latter part isn't that unfounded, even as the HuffPo link somehow tries to turn the alarming amount of black violence into an anti-gun diatribe. "Dude wouldn't have gotten so pissed and murdered those other dudes if that gun wasn't taunting him, sitting there on the table, in his periphery, begging to be used. That gun, what an asshole".

5. "You probably voted for Barack Obama just because he's black."

Well, if you're black, you probably kinda definitely did just that. For as much as the black community seemed to dislike Bush's presidency, I'm at a loss for reasons, relating to policy, that the black community would vote for a second Obama term. 

6. "It's not fair that you all can say the n-word, but we can't."

Is the idea of reclamation and constant usage of a racial slur stupid? Possibly. 

Maybe put another way would be better: does the usage of a word by one race, a word seen as a racial slur by all other races, does that make my life any better or worse? Nah.

Keep on fighting that good fight for the right to regularly use a racial slur, and I'll keep on having an awesome life, independent of its usage, fair or not.

7. "I'm clutching my purse or my wallet when you walk past, because I think you might steal from me."

Here, intelligent tweeter, @BroderickGreer eloquently tells it like it is, while making it about race: "Armed white men can walk through Target with no consequence, but unarmed black teens are routinely murdered by white police. #Ferguson"

I don't know the technical term for this particularly insidious type of logical fallacy, perhaps it is just a non sequitur. But I would totally be cool with black dudes walking around Target with concealed weapons. Unfortunately the qualifier at the end of the tweet, "routinely", should be substituted for rarely, as that's more accurate, and pales in comparison to the black on white crime stats.

Back to the tweet though, I've never heard of armed white men in Target causing trouble. Have you? I think we can all agree that unarmed black teens getting murdered by anyone is indeed bad. Though you'd think unarmed black teens would be more wary of armed black teens.

Either way, however right or wrong, stereotypes come from somewhere, and when your stereotype is derived from rap culture, which uh, glamorizes violence, crime, and misogyny, that's not awesome. Apologies for preferring not to associate with those that look like they just stepped out of a rap video.

But there are white stereotypes that should be avoided, like white dudes in white robes, or white people that look like juggalos, though statistically I would probably be less likely to get assaulted.

I'm going to clutch my purse when a person that appears to characterize a certain stereotype enters my vicinity (note that the other day I decided I was born a woman, so I am now carrying a purse).

8. "I don't understand why you people..."

OK yeah, this is a pretty stupid thing to say, but I can't help but wonder what the author means by "white people" when he lists the things they need to stop saying to "black people". 

9. "When I see you, I don't see race."

Here, the writer argues that by rejecting and seeing past race, you are still racist. The creative, if not backward ways this writer imagines in which white people can be racist would boggle the mind of even the sadly not late and definitely not great Reverend Jesse Jackson.

10. "If black men don't want to get stopped by police, maybe they shouldn't dress that way."

Hey no fair, this is the same thing as number 7! 

11. "Racism ended in the 1960s. Stop making such a big deal out of nothing."

Said no cracker jack motherfucker/white person ever. I live in Northwest Wisconsin, which is in the Midwest, and I'm white, so clearly I'm racist, and I've never heard anything like that uttered. 

But seriously, stop making a big deal out of nothing.

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