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View Diary: The Boston Marathon Bombing Shows Us How White Privilege Hurts White People...Again (110 comments)

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  •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
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    Be Skeptical

    I would disagree with your assertion or hypothesis that the actions of these two individuals was the result of the White Establishment "letting their guard down" because these two individuals were White and they somehow "blended in". Also, your assertion seems to also suggest that the actions of these two individuals was nothing more than "chickens coming home to roost". That the preoccupation of the White establishment in defining what is good (white) and what is bad (all the others) somehow put these two brothers' actions off the radar - giving them the opportunity to strike.

    You also seem, based on the other pieces I have read from you, to be very preoccupied with race, specifically the simple aspect of color. I recall in an earlier piece that you had written, your cousin or family member had adopted or given birth to a young child who was not of their race. As such you deplored that the child wouldn't be subject to or experience the same stigma or racial stereotyping that his parents had experienced. In effect, that this would re-characterize his/her upbringing and somehow change what societal outlook that child may develop.

    I would posit that if you were to look beyond race and perhaps more towards ethnicity - it might lend greater perspective than simply asserting that the bombing happened because the White elite left the back door open because "they didn't see these two "white guys" coming".  

    •  very postmodern. i don't get how you gleam that (3+ / 0-)
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      Larsstephens, Avila, awesumtenor

      from what i wrote. i also do not remember anything about a child and adoption issues. do remind me. i care about social reality and working towards the common good.

      as a working class black man I do not have the luxury of pretending that race does not matter. I also love how folks deeply invested in whiteness and white supremacy would dare to suggest that a black man, or other person of color, is somehow preoccupied with race.

      Very white privilege laced behavior on your part. Liberal racism is one hell of a drug. Seek treatment.

      •  I don't know, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        When Chauncey says:

        "Arabs that are a caricature out of a bad 1980's action movie, and the media and conservatives are willfully blind to white domestic terrorists in the United States, the preferred tactical choice is a clear one."

        Is he suggesting what Philly says he is?

        "the bombing happened because the White elite left the back door open because "they didn't see these two "white guys" coming".  

        Bolding was mine.

        I'm afraid that my signature won't match the mood of my comment.

        by heybuddy on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 02:07:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In your article, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        heybuddy, Be Skeptical

        "The Fear of Black Men". You shared joy with your cousins adoption of a black child out of foster care. Yet you became melancholy on your return home because of the challenges this child will face. Despite the fact that he was adopted into a household of two academics in a middle-class neighborhood. Perhaps the child will not face as many challenges as you did.

        Of course I would posit that we all, on this board, care about social realities and working towards the common good. I would also go a step further and argue that there is not one progressive minority in this country who thinks race doesn't matter.

        As to your assertion that this folk (me) is somehow deeply invested in "whiteness" (not even sure that's a word) and "white supremacy", for the record, I am Mexican. I do not offer, nor can I give any investment into any sort of ruling elite - white or otherwise.

         I'll ignore your third paragraph that is so cheap it doesn't warrant a response - except to say that working for the past 10 years in behavioral health - I think I've pretty much got you diagnosed correctly.

        Finally, my only point was that you/we need to look beyond the simple explanation of race as a factor as to why these two "whites" somehow slipped past thousands of spectators to drop two bags unnoticed. Surely if they were black or brown - someone would have pulled a gun on them, right? Absurd.

        •  you can be hispanic and invested in whiteness (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens, Avila

          we see that all the time with black conservatives and of course folks like george zimmerman. hispanic is a cultural/ethnic marker and not a racial one.

          please provide a link to where i said that about ir adoption. i could care less; my concern has been that kids have safe homes; i do have a concern about how mixed race kids where the parent who is of color (especially for white moms) may very well have identity issues. there is research by psychologists and others which can attest to that fact.

          i don't recall writing something with that title--was it a trigger or something for you?

          Whiteness is a very real word. The dictionary, amazon.com, and assorted other online resources are your friend there.

          "Surely if they were black or brown - someone would have pulled a gun on them, right? Absurd."

          Who made that claim? Don't be so reductionist and simple minded. Also, do not deny the power of racial profiling and "Arabphobia" in the U.S. and elsewhere.

          The empirical data and history are most certainly not on your side here.

          "I think I've pretty much got you diagnosed correctly."

          Mighty "white" of you. I hope you have better clinical skills than that. I can diagnose you as a member of the colored class who enables white supremacy. Fanon would not be surprised. Surrender is a common coping mechanism.

          •  lol you know, I laughed at the end of this.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            heybuddy, Be Skeptical

            You are one of the kinds of people I went to school with at Cal who were so smart, intelligent and who were destined for greatness in the world - but for the huge chip on their shoulder. At the obsession with their own specific relation to people of the same race, whites, Latinos, Asians. In a sense, they could never identify, sympathize, empathize with any movement except to figure out their own identity. For which I don't think you find any comfort.

            I am being reductionist because that is the implication you are making. That had they been black, latino or perhaps "more Muslim looking" (whatever that would mean), that they would have been more easily identified or even stopped. That is the exact implication you are making. There is no evidence to support that.

            And in re-reading your 9th paragraph - I love how you have dissected how I am enabling white supremacy. My clinical skills are first rate and are spot on given this paragraph.

            See, I can only assume that the latent hostility you feel to White people, whiteness or other "coloreds" enabling white strategic power, was somehow caused by something traumatic in your early childhood or formative years - an arrest, divorce, death. At the college level, these impulses are manifested in such organizations which promote the type of divisiveness you describe. The embrace and promotion of multi-culturalism. Of course it would have to be that - and why not? Multi-culturalism supposes the dominance of one race or way of life. And its that dominance that spurs you on. Yet you don't really look for a solution as much as you decry it and other coloreds for perpetrating its existence. In that way, you really aren't looking towards pluralism. Pretty sad.

            And I am mistaken. It was not you that wrote the article. My apologies.

            •  if you cannot get the basics of referencing (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Larsstephens, Avila

              a piece here on the Daily Kos correct, your other skills are very much in doubt. you are good fun though. keep on pretending with your "clinical skills" and diagnoses online. what you describe are more the projections of a racist onto the Other than anything else. that is the joke no? As I said, Fanon would have fun with you a great deal.

              have fun with your trolling. as I said to others, I am not interested in wasting time feeding trolls online.

              your last paragraph is rich with the white right/white supremacist talking points we have seen as of late. the strategic cyber racism campaign of the white nationalists and their allies in the digital age has been exposed. i for one am not playing anymore. deflection? distraction? and derailing are the MO of the white right online.

              no stories in your profile? that is a dead give away.

              white victimology and the white racial frame are one hell of a drug again.

              •  Ah yes... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical

                The old trick of catching one mistake and then running with it. And since you pretty much ignored my last paragraph, I can only assume that an unresolved trauma did occur for which you are plowing into literature to try and solve. Kudos to you I suppose - its a never-ending journey trying to find oneself.

                White right/white supremacist
                strategic cyber racism campaign
                white nationalists and their allies
                white victimology
                white racial frame
                the white right online.

                I think this list says alot about your mindset.

                We've pretty much run the course here but I will say that not everyone (including minorities) is part - either consciously or subconsciously - of the so called White ruling establishment. Nor should you lump people who do not ascribe to your philosophies on race, self, multi-culturalism or social construct - into the White establishment or even perpetuating its rule.

                I don't have a profile. And? Is that mandatory? Anyway, good luck.

                •  I think this list says alot about your mindset. (0+ / 0-)

                  Ha. yes, that I am pretty well read in the literature on race and social inequality in the U.S. and elsewhere.

                  More projection: "Kudos to you I suppose - its a never-ending journey trying to find oneself."

                  Yes, you are. A person of color who has a healthy sense of self-worth and identity and who has the critical tools to discuss race, confront white privilege and white supremacy, and speaking articulately about it, is a threat to many people.

                  You are a troll who is pretending to be some type of clinician when in fact you running some type of cyber racism con game. Very time consuming. Why spend your energy that way? I know that you are a white victimologist; but are you receiving some type of psychic wage from playing this game?

                  •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm just a simple guy that doesn't see race as you do. I mean, its pretty clear that you're the troll that pretty much shouts down anyone that may disagree with YOUR idea of race and your dreaded list of.......

                    White right/white supremacist
                    strategic cyber racism campaign
                    white nationalists and their allies
                    white victimology
                    white racial frame
                    the white right online.

                    And so you quote/cite Franz Fanon and other authors as if they were even relevant in today's academia - particularly in the US.

                    Do you actually have the critical tools to discuss race, confront white privilege and white supremacy? I think what you have discussed so far is relevant only to your theories of race. As such, you and your ideas are really a threat to no one.

                    It would be best if you were to get outside the library (or cafe), take your nose out of those books, and bring your energies to working towards identifying practical solutions for solving wage inequality; or reducing disparities in health care; or towards reducing incidences of HIV in Afro-Am MSM populations.

                    Certainly working in a county mental health system has its drawbacks - but I'm trying to do my part by working on practical solutions, not theory.

                    And I have all the time in the world in having a healthy debate on every article you write henceforth. :)

            •  If Chauncey couldn't nurse his obsession with race (0+ / 0-)

              he would dissolve into a pool of tepid tea.

    •  Their ability (0+ / 0-)

      to "blend in" is what gave them the ability to carry out the attack in the first place; they were banking on it. Look at the security video; they walk through the crowd without suspicion; they are not given a second glance by anyone.

      Given the extremely heightened police presence that comes with the running of the Boston Marathon as well as all of the spectators and the general festival atmosphere that surrounds Patriots Day in Boston... do you really think that anyone with dark skin and malicious intent would have been able to leave a backpack containing  an explosive device without being noticed?

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 01:22:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, to be frank (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        I'm not certain that a black person would have drawn the same degree of attention as someone perceived as "looking" Arab or Middle Eastern. It depends to a degree on whether a black presence is considered "normal" at a particular event. I live in Atlanta so perceptions at public events might differ significantly from what is considered "normal" in Boston.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 01:47:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nobody could have stopped these bombers. (0+ / 0-)

          Whatever they looked like.  

          I'm afraid that my signature won't match the mood of my comment.

          by heybuddy on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 03:53:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody? (0+ / 0-)

            That's a bit sweeping. If someone had noticed them leaving the backpacks and gotten suspicious, maybe. I don't think that's really the point of the discussion though.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:56:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I only mean I heard they dropped (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WB Reeves

              the bags and the explosions followed very shortly after. If that's true, then I think it's just one of those things that there is no way to defend against. There just isn't enough time.

              I'm afraid that my signature won't match the mood of my comment.

              by heybuddy on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 06:04:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Black men (0+ / 0-)

          may not have  drawn attention for the same reason someone perceived as Middle Eastern... but it is arguable that they would be more immediately viewed with suspicion  by more people...because that is how people have been conditioned to respond to black men going back centuries...

          Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

          by awesumtenor on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 06:30:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In all public gatherings? (1+ / 0-)
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            Be Skeptical

            An MLK Day celebration or an Atlanta Hawks game for example? That something is generally true doesn't make it so in every particular circumstance.

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:56:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  as you know non violent black marchers (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Larsstephens, Avila, WB Reeves

              with King where shot at, beaten, arrested, and had acid thrown on them. the black body holds a special place in the white racial imagination of the United States. never mind the literal immolation, destruction, and breaking apart of the black body in the spectacular lynching ritual.

              and of course, how subconscious racism and implicit bias primes white people in psychological tests to see black men holding harmless objects as having them magically transformed into guns, knives, and other weapons.

              or Rodney King, a man subdued, outnumbered, and damn near beaten to death could be imagined by white audiences and the white public as being some type of "threat." the great book Reading Rodney King has some great essays on race and representation as seen in that example of police brutality.

              this is a society sick with racism.

              there is another irony there--why would an Atlanta Hawks game be a space where the black body would be seen as "threatening?" this may not be your point, but it signals to how the black body is perceived as a threat until it is shown to not be. funny, the vast majority of hate crimes and racial violence in the U.S. have historically and in the present been committed by whites against people of color.

              •  I think you missed my point entirely (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical

                There are social context in which the presence of black folks would not be seen as suspicious or threatening simply because their presence would be entirely expected. This doesn't invalidate the general observation that our culture is awash in the stereotype of the threatening black male.

                For example, if one were subject to a pavlovian fear of black men, one wouldn't likely attend an Atlanta Hawks game, since you would expect to be surrounded by black men. Likewise, if one were attending an MLK Day celebration one would hardly be suspicious of the presence of a large number of black men.

                My only point was that there are instances where blackness isn't the main marker for racist attitudes. When people rant delusionally about dangerous foreign immigrants they are not evoking the image of blackness. When the subject is "Arab" or "Islamic" terrorism, they are not evoking the image of blackness. These are exceptional instances but they are no less true for being exceptional.

                Again, the existence of such exceptions doesn't invalidate the premise that our society is characterized by "negrophobia". It does indicate that white supremacy isn't entirely defined by that phobia.  

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:42:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I submit (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WB Reeves

                  that Patriots Day in Downtown Boston is not such a social context...

                  Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

                  by awesumtenor on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 07:56:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That I wouldn't know (0+ / 0-)

                    Though I've visited Boston, I've never attended the marathon or been there on Patriots Day, so I've no direct knowledge of the degree of participation or non-participation by Black folks in either event. Perhaps you possess such direct knowledge. In which case I would defer to your greater expertise.

                    Nothing human is alien to me.

                    by WB Reeves on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:42:22 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Let me get this straight.... (0+ / 0-)

        Are you suggesting that if the person was black or latino, he would not have been able to leave a backpack unnoticed? Also, how does a bystander "see" malicious intent?

        •  that is the point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens, Avila

          we know alot about racial profiling and how people process "neutral" intent. as someone who has been profiled as "arab" by TSA and Homeland Security and also followed around department stores because I was--shock--dressed just like the other folks there who were white, the observation that race matters here is spot on.

          we also have some great data about shoplifting at department stores for example which points out how white men--the largest group of pro shoplifters--are able to get away with it because they are not seen de facto as "suspicious." store security is chasing around black and brown folks when they should be focused on their own employees, white men, and middle age to elderly white women.

          the new yorker had a great piece on that a few years ago.

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