Skip to main content

In part I, I described an unfortunate - make that ugly - email I received from a former student. I'm still seething, but thanks to the gracious help of a number of commenters, I was able to craft a response,  which I share with you here.  If I've missed anything, help me out, please.  The comments yesterday were great, and I truly appreciated people's willingness to look at the problem with an eye toward opening minds and hearts.  So in that spirit, I offer my reply below the jump:

Dear Josh,

The frequency of this stuff has increased dramatically over the last 6 months.  And it's Sunday, so you're going to get a sermon. And the reason that it's important to me to give this sermon, is because you have expressed an interest in the ministry.  Which means having a pulpit, and the ability to influence others.  So let's explore this piece and see if you can reconcile it with the Gospels, in particular, Matthew 25: 31-46, and Luke 10: 25-37, and Paul's letter to the Galatians.  Does this piece treat it's target in a manner consistent with scripture?  And finally the highest commandment, as expressed in Matthew 22:39, that we should love our neighbor as ourself.  Note that the commandment is unconditional - it requires nothing on the part of the neighbor to "earn" or "deserve" that love.  Now, let's take a look.

Someone finally said it.Yes they did, but it wasn't Michael Richards... How many are actually paying attention to this? I am.  I bothered to read it and take a look at the "facts." There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc. And then here are just Americans. Because the presumption is that "just Americans" are white.  When you think of a fourth of July celebration, do you envision people of color?  When you look at Norman Rockwell's paintings of Americana, do you see people of color?  

You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman' ... And that's OK

Really? How often has this happened to you?  It's never happened to me, and I'm three times your age.

But when I cal l you, N_____, Kike, Towel head, Sand-n_____, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink ... You call me a racist. You say that Whites commit a lot of violence against you  See yahoo link I sent.  Go to Memphis to the Civil rights museum.  You don't think there's a long history of violence against minorities?  Here's one from last week. Before this goes any further, do you not know American history? Particularly Southern American History? This for example.Read the story of Emmett Till or the Tulsa race riot of 1921for example, and I certainly should not have to tell you about the the Klan.

... So why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

Well that's a question that's worth a doctoral dissertation.  But I'll pare it down to one word:  Poverty.  The more poverty crammed into a small space, the worse it will be.  Twas ever thus.  Did you see Gangs of New York? The movie overexaggerated, but ghettoes have always been dangerous places, regardless of which group lives in them.  Do you know what a paddywagon is?  And why it's called that?  Because during the wave of Irish immigration in the 19th century, the Irish, often referred to as "paddys" were frequent criminals, and also just frequent targets of police action. If you need more information to understand the nexus between poverty and crime, I'll be happy to put together a reading list.  Best way to solve crime?  Education and jobs. Period. Oh - and a history of breaking up the family unit, first by slavery, and later by policies that mandated that AFDC (and early version of welfare) recipients not have a father in the house.  See the work of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day. You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez  Day. I'm sorry, did someone cancel Columbus day, St. Patrick's day, Pulaski day etc. ?  You have Yom Hashoah. Stop right there.  The overwhelming majority of Jews are white, or didn't anyone notice?  And don't even start me on this, buddy, I grew up on the same block with Holocaust survivors - tattooed wrists and all. I'm grateful not to have a family genocide to remember. You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi. You have the NAACP. An organization which arose to respond to the efforts of southern legislatures to keep voting restricted to whites.  You have BET... If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we'd be racists. Do you know the story behind BET?  That when MTV first began broadcasting they weren't showing the Black artists, and BET was developed in order to provide a venue in that medium to show their work?  MTV was ALL "WET".

If we had a White Pride Day, you would  call us racists.  Whoever wrote this is a racist.  Period.  If we Had White History Month, we'd be racists. Every month is white history month.  I don't know about you, but other than a cursory mention of slavery as a precursor to the civil war, and Native Americans at Thanksgiving I virtually never heard mention of anyone who wasn't white in history class - until high school, where I took a class taught by a Holocaust survivor who had us read The Strange Career of Jim Crow. I recommend you read it.

If we had any organization for only whites to 'advance' OUR Lives we'd be racists. We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce.  Wonder who pays for that??   Chambers of Commerce are private organizations funded by their members.  If these minority chambers exist, look to the fact that these businesses were not welcomed into the Chambers organized by their local white business establishment.  So what this writer has tried to do is to make you think that you are paying for these organizations.  You're not and never were.

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, But any color can be in the Miss America pageant.  First Miss America Contest - 1921.  First Miss Black America pageant - 1968; Rules changed to admit non-whites to the pageant - 1970. Sounds like a thousand years ago to you, but it's all been during my lifetime. And has anyone pointed to a case in which a white woman has tried to enter Miss Black America and been turned away?

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships. You know we'd be racists.  Don't kid yourself about this. There were, for many years.  The fact is that for most of American history, most scholarship funds would not consider minority students. It is only relatively recently that that has changed, and that change began sloooowwwwllly.

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US.. Yet if there were 'White colleges' They would be racist colleges.. First of all the Historically Black Colleges and Universities came into existence because the "just American" schools did not admit non-white students.  I mean c'mon!  If you had to suffer so terribly through Black History Month didn't you ever learn about James Meredith and his efforts to attend Ole Miss?  And the reason that there are state sponsored HBCUs is because the state legislatures chose, after Plessy v. Ferguson to set up separate schools rather than admit students of color to their lily-white colleges and universities.  But today, if you wish to attend TSU, or Spellman, or Grambling, etc. your application will not be denied because you are white.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching For your race and rights.  Did you know that one of the results of the march was a big increase in adoptions applications?  Can we say that about any marches by white organizations?If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us Racists. Perhaps you are unaware of the American Nazi Party's marches, for instance, or the Klan marches, etc. etc.
You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're Not afraid to announce it.  Read the history of Brown vs. Board of Education In particular, read about the doll experiments. And would you be proud if you had only been counted as 3/5 of a man.? But when we announce our white pride, you call us racist!

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us.   Really?  Has this happened to you? And who is the "you" the writer is talking to? I'm not denying the existence of crime by any means, but the stats show that the greatest number of crime victims at the hands of black criminals are themselves black.
But, when a white Police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug-dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you  call him a racist. When a white police officer takes appropriate action against a black suspect, within the requirements of the law, he's doing his job.  When he targets an individual for suspicion on the basis of race, or treats a suspect differently on that basis, he's acting in a racist manner, yes.  Perhaps, for example, you are unaware of this case.You never heard of a DWB?
I am proud... But you call me a racist.  Why is it that only whites can be racists?  Who said that? Source?   Anybody can be a racist.  In a majority white country, however, the majority of the racists are white.  That's just how it goes.  

There is nothing improper about this e-mail. I beg to differ.  It's just ugly.  It intends to make the reader feel victimized, thereby stirring up resentment, which plays out all kinds of ways, including the incitement of violence. Let's see which of you are proud enough to send it on. I sadly don't think many will. Note how the author challenges you, wants you to feel as though you are less of a man if you don't spread his screed.

That's why we have lost most of OUR RIGHTS in this Country.  What rights have you lost because others have gained some of theirs?  Name two.  The only rights I'm aware of losing are the privacy rights taken away by the Bush administration, but that's not what this guy's complaining about.  He's lost the "right" to put others down in employment, housing, education, voting.  My heart breaks for him.  Not.     We won't stand up for ourselves!

           BE PROUD TO BE WHITE! If being white means acting or sounding like this jackass, I'm embarassed.

It's not a crime yet ... But getting real close! Other than this anonymous author and the fools who promulgate this filth, says who?

Finally, I hope you looked at the youtube of Richard Trumka's talk, and there's one more thing I think you - and every American citizen - should take a look at.  It's a documentary about Lee Atwater, and it will tell you all about the politics of victimization, which is what this piece relies upon - that you, having read it, will feel victimized and harbor resentment against others.  Is that what the Gospels call us to do?

I know this sounds like I'm chewing you out.  I'm not.  (well, ok, maybe a little.)  But to accept what this writer - who didn't have the courage to put his name on the piece, and sought to attribute it to someone else  has said without testing his assertions is sloppy scholarship and crappy Christianity.  The scholarship is what I hope to work on, the Christianity, of course, is between you and the Almighty. Because at the end of the day, it will be a whole lot more important to have gotten this right than to have been white.


Mrs. K.





Originally posted to My Blue Period on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:24 PM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  So? (17+ / 0-)

    What did I miss?

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:25:20 PM PST

    •  not much n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilverWings, FindingMyVoice, slksfca

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:32:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well maybe the fact that there is a (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, LynneK, Lujane, bushondrugs, Dave1955

      Italian day, Jewish day, Penn Dutch (actually German, but don't remind them) day, Polish day, Dutch day, etc.  problem is white is assumed to be english only and some sort of ethnic group like hispanics which they are not.  Would it be better to reverse the labeling if need be?  American-Italian, American-German, American-Mexican, American-Puerto Rican?  Would that make people think American is not owned by the US?  Oh and let's not forget Canadian's and Mexican's are also North Americans!  

      I admint I scanned your post, but I promise to read it all later!

      •  And how many generations to be "American"? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heiuan, LynneK, fleisch

        Irregardless of our color and ethnic heritage, at some point, can we stop referencing our non-American ancestry?

        I'm a 13th generation American of multiple ethnicities, so I honestly cannot answer the questions:  what is your ancestry?  where did your family come from?

        It would be most accurate to say that my ancestry is "pioneering American"--but I am afraid that answer would sound pretentious.

        However, if the purpose of answering such a question in the first place is for each of us to recognize and celebrate our own ethnic heritage, then at what point can "American" be the answer to the question?

        Impeachment is a duty, not an option that can be taken off the table.

        by bushondrugs on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:35:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting question. At what point? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk, bushondrugs

          I have yet to know of any person who can trace back 13 generations.  That would take someone back to 1675. I hear some people say they have but some of them are grasping at guesses when they claim to go that far.  Your obviously lucky.  

          I'm happy when ask to say what I've always been; A US American.  Problem is American is a term that does not belong to the US alone!  Americanos existed in the mainland, Caribbean and Latin America 100 years before the pilgrims arrived in Plymouth Rock.

          But I'll say this.  When the US stop asking people what is your ethncity then we can stop the hyphenated response.  Problem is beyond nationality, ethnicity is an identity.  One that is passed on from generation to generation from those who have not been cut off from their roots.  You see it in every culture and sub-culture in every state.

          •  Not all of family from 1675, necessarily. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Some of my family tree traces to the Mayflower (which landed in 1620), and other branches came from other early ships--plus our family has always had kids early.

            If you figure 20 years per generation, 13 generations is only 260 years before I was born, which is the early 1700's.

            I have no idea what my ethnicity is other than prairie/pioneering early America--it's not as if I feel any sort of "identity" as British, Scandanavian, German, Russian, Native American, Italian, etc.  I'm obviously "white" in terms of skin color, but my family doesn't fit into any particular set of ethnic traditions.

            Just curious:  Do people in any other nation ask this question of themselves?  Or is this a U.S. phenomenon?

            Impeachment is a duty, not an option that can be taken off the table.

            by bushondrugs on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:20:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  many people of in the suburbs if I can say it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that way don't know which ethnic group they belong to.  That's the thing about people who have English ancestor's, few know which ethnic group.  This is a reason why many claim part indian, and without proof.  Most of it is a guess.  Indian Organization have family records and can refute any claims.  Every year they refute thousands.  But if you claim back to the Mayflower than you at least know one ethnic branch.  But see not knowing what your ethnic background is prevents you from understanding those who can traces their heritage, and why it is important to keep that sense of self identity.  It's a human condition for survival.  I bet if someone who knows about geneology looks into your family ways, they can find some tradition that would give a key to a dominant ethnic heritage.  How you cook a special dish, how you use/pronounce certain words, family ornaments, practices, how you celebrate certain holidays.... all lead to a place that can provide more clues.  I'm surprised you don't really know if you can trace all the way back to the Mayflower on one side.

            •  It's common in any immigrant country (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PsychoSavannah, marykk, LynneK

              In the UK and Ireland we have "Anglo-Irish," "Scots-Irish," "British Asian," and "Afro-Caribbean" or "Black British," there are also some variants north of the border in Scotland. In France there are many hyphenated or perjorative words for immigrants. Australia had the "New Australians" term that the government coined to get rid of some of the nastier terms that were going around for the immigrants from Italy, eastern Europe etc.
              It goes two ways--terms can be applied to you to make it clear that you are other, or terms can be used by you to hold on to your culture of origin as well as your culture of choice.

              Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
              "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

              by expatyank on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:53:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  "American" will never be the answer. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The first new ethnicity to appear on this continent will be "Southern," probably followed by "New Yorker" and "New Englander." Others will follow.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:26:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  My only problem (6+ / 0-)

      with this fantastic attempt to gently correct your former student is that I am kind of confused as to whom is speaking to whom--your words to your student are the italicized sentences, yes?

      If this student of yours is truly "called" to serve in a religious way, I wonder just who is doing the calling. I smell trouble down the road. I hope your words got through and made him think.

    •  The "it's" early on needs to be "its" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But otherwise, very nice response. I hope the recipient reads it more than once and really thinks about it.

      Book excerpts: nonlynnear; other writings: mofembot.

      by mofembot on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:38:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Simply wonderful! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This was an excellent "teaching" vehicle. I hope that your former student really takes the time to read it and understand it.

      The apocalypse will require substantial revision of all zoning ordinances. - Zashvill Political compass -7.88 -7.03.

      by Heiuan on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:36:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think you hit pretty much all the points. Damn, (6+ / 0-)
    I'm tired o' this shit.

    It's always about 'I don't have enough & someone's gonna' take mah stuff', is it not?

    Former soldier. Fighting for my country. Every day.

    by SilverWings on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:32:24 PM PST

  •  I just don't like PC that much and I am (0+ / 0-)

    half-Hispanic. I sometimes think that people expect all whites to automatically feel guilty for racism in this country even though their ancestors may have had nothing to do with it. I'm talking about the descendants of immigrants from Italy, France, southeastern Europe, Russia, and non-WASP European counties. That bothers me a lot.

    Yeah there are racist whites, but I think that sometimes some on the left expect all whites to feel guilty about every racial injustice. This is why I liked Barack Obama--he wasn't like Jesse Jackson, always preaching about how "white America" is responsible for every bad thing that happens to African-Americans.

    But there are white ghettos. If you go to the Southie section of Boston you have the same problems with gangs. If you go to rural parts of white America you also have dysfunctional whites too.

  •  My only regret is I didn't have your response to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FindingMyVoice, myrealname, slksfca

    cut and paste when I received this piece of crap.  I'm hoping  if another idiot happens to send it to me - which is unlikely to happen anymore since I've made it clear to my contacts what my position is although in a much less responsible way - I'll be able to locate this and cut and   paste then!

  •  I think the email you received (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was a copy-paste job, it seems too familiar to me to be some original work.

    DC 15 knowledge (the internet) check

    you do it to yourself, you do and that's what really hurts

    by Demosthenes on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:48:35 PM PST

  •  Ive seen this email! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, marykk

    Let us know his reply!
    When I got this email I responded just like you did, although I didnt have as much knowledge of the facts as you, great work

  •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for taking the time to respond to your student in a thoughtful and thorough way. I truly believe it makes a difference.

  •  You're a saint (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ellicatt, ER Doc, marykk, LynneK, lineatus, Lujane

    I don't think I'd be capable of responding as succinctly and rationally as you did, I'd be too angry.

  •  Here's a great link to (9+ / 0-)

    Understanding, and be sure to point that idiot to THIS video on that site.

    I hate it when so-called "educated" people go through an institution like a university and come out with those ugly attitudes.

  •  interesting topic... (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    Unfortunately for this country, most of what the student said was actually true, whether you (you being liberals, collectively) want to believe it or not.

    Telling the student he's a bad person for thinking that way, that doesn't necessarily mean he's wrong.

    "Republicans believe every day is the 4th of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15." - Reagan

    by Great White Nope on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:27:24 PM PST

  •  Wonderful diary, marykk (7+ / 0-)

    So sorry I missed it earlier.  Thank you so much.

    I hear America singing!

    by noweasels on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:28:03 PM PST

  •  thank you for this generous act (9+ / 0-)

    I'm glad this was rescued. I will share it with fellow teachers I know are dealing with similar screeds at the moment. We're seeing a cultural backlash. True change is threatening and unleashes scapegoating. You've given us an inspired example of how to reply. It takes generosity of spirit and mind to turn such ugliness into an invitation to see things more compassionately. Thanks for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully and thoroughly to this young person, and for sharing it with the rest of us. Your students are very blessed.

  •  my cousin's a white cop. (7+ / 0-)

    he killed an unarmed black man for speeding. while "resisting arrest", unarmed and face-down on the ground, my cousin, gun-drawn the entire time, shot him and he died 8 hours later.

    my cousin never lost a day of work or pay. the initial story told by the cops and his family was should fear for our safety. we were told that he couldn't drive home in his own car because the gang would recognize it and kill all of us. it was all complete bullshit.

    The cruelties and the obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans.

    by charliestl on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:46:26 PM PST

    •  Why don't people shot at the legs? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  You can die (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        homunq, marykk, LynneK

        by shooting at the legs. Sometimes you die faster by being shot in the legs because of the major arteries that run close to the surface fo the body.

        Charliestl, I am sorry that you have to live with a cousin who you know has killed- hastely,unwisely, foolishly, and he will have to live with being known as a killer.

        Please forgive him.

        •  You don't know that his cousin is sorry (0+ / 0-)

          or has any remorse or any trouble about "having to live with being known as a killer" - or that anybody around him cares, rather than thinks it of course justified and him a hero, the way you always have people here jumping to justify the police in any and all situations no matter what the circumstances of brutality or bias.

          And he wasn't the victim nor the victim's family, so it isn't his place nor his right to forgive him. That would be phony forgiveness, empty vessel clanging.

          "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

          by bellatrys on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:47:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I know people who were in dirty war (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xapulin, marykk

          here in Guatemala, and they say that leg shots are the most dangerous of any shots that don't kill you instantly. If you're there to think "I'm hit", you'd rather it be in the torso than the upper leg, according to them.

          Opinions are like assholes. I spend way too much time looking at them on the internet.

          by homunq on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:15:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  this is a keeper (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, Lujane, bushondrugs, alliebear

    I'm making not of the permalink, as it will come in handy.


    dissent not only welcome... but encouraged

    by newfie53523 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:08:14 PM PST

  •  I'm glad this got rescued. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, LynneK, trivium, Lujane, bushondrugs

    The caring response of a hard-working teacher.  Many more glosses, could of course be profitably applied.  Depending on the relationship with Josh, I would wonder if this were even a few TOO many.  

    But, well done.  Carry that torch!  An affirming flame.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:12:35 PM PST

  •  Racism (4+ / 0-)

    Racists --  With so many reasons to hate people, you went with skin color !?!

    heard on radio...This American Life. . .short story by Shalom Auslander

    "How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington
    The degradation of intelligence and learning in American politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies"


    SNL "White Like Me"



    Annals of Race and Redemption
    "Why I Quit the Klan" — An Interview with C. P. Ellis
    By Studs Terkel


    Tim Wise. Possibly the best white author/lecturer on racism in America.

    His website:

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:20:33 PM PST

  •  Jews are white? or Hebrew race? (0+ / 0-)

    It depends on what year in American history.

    Now, whites but some decades ago....the classification for the race of Jews was "Hebrew" not "white"........

    Maybe...'honorary whites' in America now?
    I don't know why. The Holocaust? Skin color? Immigrants' children learning English?

    Media Reform Action Link

    by LNK on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:22:45 PM PST

    •  Being "white" has always been about privilege. (8+ / 0-)

      There are books about how the Jews and the Irish "became white."  Because when they first immigrated to the U.S., they were not seen that way.

      I remember from one of my classes about race, a reply given by a boss a logging site in the Northwest.  "Do you have many whites working for you?" somebody asked.  "Nah," he replied, "just a bunch of Poles."

      •  Hee! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LNK, marykk, LynneK, cai

        Poles and Irish people in Wisconsin used to show me old pictures showing "No Irish/No poles/No dogs"


      •  I'm German, and I was once "not white." (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LNK, marykk, cai

        It was surreal. About 18 years ago, I had to fill out some government agency form (I forgot what the context was, but I think it was for the Texas Workforce Commission). When I was about to check the box next to "White/Non-Hispanic," the person who was helping me said I needed to check "other" since I was a foreign national. I was like, "Wow, who knew?"

    •   'You have Yom Hashoah." (5+ / 0-)

      I'm so sick of hearing this. Most Jews have never even heard of this "holiday," which in fact is a solemn day of mourning for those who died in the Holocaust. There are no "official" Jewish holidays, just the ones we celebrate with all US citizens.

      I'm so glad this diary was rescued. Your responses are succinct and succinct, and reflect your tremendous knowledge of the facts.

      Thank you.

      It's not a zip code, it's an attitude.

      by sboucher on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:35:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just thinking... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, marykk, bushondrugs

    I agree with your very thoughtful and well written response, except for 'racism' as you define it. And it's in the very meaning of the word that we allow those in our country who feel as this person does to justify it. "Well, everyone can be racist, and every person of every color, religion, etc. can be so..." This could not be further from the truth for the very type of racism that still exists in this country. Racism as defined by Merriam-Webster:

    : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

    When is the last time ANY group of non-minority folk EVER felt INFERIOR to any of the discussed minorities?

    Language is a way to confound, confuse, and stir up the unenlightened. Let's all begin with a clear understanding of where we are (cuz we KNOW where we've been) and proceed forward, shall we?

    "Free yo mind, and the rest will follow..." Clinton, Bootsy, not Bubba

    by mikejay611 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:33:55 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynneK, trivium, bushondrugs

    I really wish I had seen this in time to recommend it. One of the few diaries worthy of the top of the rec list lately.

    Let us know if you get a reply.

    "ENOUGH!" - President-Elect Barack Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:37:55 PM PST

  •  Another Cracker Preacher (0+ / 0-)

    Just what America needs...the next Ted Haggard.  I bet "Josh" is a closeted self loather.

    "It stinks." - Jay Sherman

    by angry liberaltarian on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 09:59:22 PM PST

    •  Lighten up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m3, LynneK

      he has grown up in a culture where this thinking is everywhere.  Part of growing up is learning to challenge what you once assumed was a "givn."

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:28:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great reply! Whether it changes the guy's mind (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, LynneK, bushondrugs

    remains to be seen. But that's not the point is it? The point is, this twisted and toxic mindset - and those who hold it - must never go unchallenged again, whatever their motivation.

    So, thank you for sharing your points. I hope the rest of us will make use of them early and often.

  •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, LynneK, bushondrugs

    Glad I read diary rescue tonight! You did a very good job responding to the young man. Please let us know if he responds and what he says.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center provides an excellent resource for educators: Teaching Tolerance. It doesn't cost much to 'join' SPLC and is, I think, money well spent.

    "...the greatest not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." MLK, Jr.

    by royce on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:04:52 PM PST

  •  the 'American' ethnicity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, bushondrugs

    the plurality American counties are white in that map. It matches up rather well with the counties where McCain did better then Bush 04. They exist in another reality. This email sums it up " There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc. And then here are just Americans. "

  •  When you think of Americans... (0+ / 0-)

    How many envision Native Americans? I note that you also overlooked them. We all have blind spots, in this regard. I would add that I recently read in the news about a study that showed people do not associate some faces and names as being American -- more likely to think of Asian names and faces as not being American. Not so much for blacks -- so, I guess blacks are more accepted as being American than Asians, and probably more so than native Americans. I've heard stories of people trying to speak Spanish to native Americans because they assume they're not native. People prefer simple narratives. Complexity overwhelms, confuses and even scares them. This applies to people of all colors.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:17:28 PM PST

    •  nothing could be further from the truth... (0+ / 0-)

      a Cuban buddy of mine told me his grandmother had an old saying that translates to "the baby that cries, gets the milk" - sort of a play on squeaky wheels and grease I suppose. But really - the REAL Americans own their own land, and are an integral part of the HUGE push for legalized casino gambling here in Florida - specifically the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes. Forty acres and a mule anyone?

      "Free yo mind, and the rest will follow..." Clinton, Bootsy, not Bubba

      by mikejay611 on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:35:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some do, some don't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        m3, bellatrys, marykk

        Statistically, Native Americans still have the lowest per capita income of all groups in the US, and come bottom of the pile on most measures of health, wealth and so on.
        Much of the push for legalised casino gambling actually involves outside interests--if you think the mob hasn't been involved, for example, guess again.

        PS: The Seminolesare the descendants of escaped slaves who mixed in with Native people from a variety of southern tribes and some whites who had "gone Native".

        Political Compass says: -8.88, -8.67
        "We never sold out cos no one would buy."--J Neo Marvin

        by expatyank on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 01:20:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  ahem (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know about you, but other than a cursory mention of slavery as a precursor to the civil war, and Native Americans at Thanksgiving I virtually never heard mention of anyone who wasn't white in history class . . .

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:17:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nicely done, marykk! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AbsurdEyes, PsychoSavannah, LynneK

    A writer with sentiments such as these shouldn't get to stew in a vacuum, reinforcing his own beliefs without rebuttal.

    Impeachment is a duty, not an option that can be taken off the table.

    by bushondrugs on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:23:22 PM PST

  •  Whomever wrote that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, bushondrugs

    The notion that Yom Ha'Shoah might be a holiday for African-Americans reflects astounding ignorance -- or a level of prejudice so great that anything that's not white AND Christian gets lumped together in some amorphous blob of the other.

    Or a third possibility: The thing is it's not a holiday name that most would even know -- so I think it's disingenuous and deliberately provocative. Which suggests there's something unserious and deliberately provocative about the whole thing. It sounds like the writings of one of those pseudo-educated racists. The ones who've read the great treatises of white supremacy and can quote chapter and verse -- but don't really know dick about others -- about how little difference there really is. Despite their hate and ignorance, they're often quite smart, and can be excellent provocateurs. But, you won't be able to teach them anything. Only time can do that.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:26:55 PM PST

    •  All of these screeds are done by pros. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, FischFry

      Y'all haven't figured that out yet?

      Look at the structure of that screed. Look at the carefully crafted parallel examples, the very clever hitting of emotional buttons. This thing was not--repeat--not written by a "Joe Six Pack."

      The first of these things that I saw was a screed claiming that Al Gore had ignored a warning from Oliver North about Osama Bin Ladin. The way the thing was writtten (I'm a writer) instantly showed the hand of a pro....the way it made North seem deferential and the unknown "Senator" sarcastic, the way the "Senator's" name was revealed in a dramatic climax.... Four years later, the exact same screed circulated...except this time, the "Senator" was John Kerry.

      These things are written and sent out by pros....and I think we know who is hiring these pros.

  •  Ok, this happened to me at the bank today. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AbsurdEyes, marykk, LynneK

    I couldn't get through more than a coupla paragraphs of your diary because it reminded me of what happened way earlier today and now I'm kinda upset.

    Around 1:30 today I went to the bank to pay my mortgage.  I was almost, but not late.  So I couldn't make the payment online.

    So there are two lines and I get into one of them.  Right in front of me I notice a HUGE truck with a W-04 sticker and on tastefully small fish attachment with a cross in the fish.

    I'm doing what I usually do, listening to rightist crazies on my old walkman cassette player.  I'm also reading a mag.  Suddenly I realize that a whole bunch of cars in the line next to me have left.  I look up and see that same giant truck and I'm thinking, this is some small business person whe doesn't know they are expected to go inside.

    So I'm gonna get out and figure out if I should do something else, like get in the other line.

    So I open my door and this guy sitting in line behind me, in just a normal truck, yells up to me, "they just don't want to wait on us because we're white".  Oh yes, he did.  I kid you not.

    So I, like the cool, collected person I am not, step further out of my car and tell the guy he's a complete idiot.  I tell him I've been banking here since 1987, the staff, like the neighborhood has always been mostly black and that I've never, ever been treated badly.  Then, I'm sorry to say I told him a coupla more times that he was a f**king idiot.

    Then I go to the truck, STILL sitting in front of me.  I go up to the window and ask if there's a problem I should know about.  I am absolutely not sure, but I thought the guy said something racist, absolutely not sure about that though, and then he said....but now I'm gone, started the darn truck and took off.  

    It was absolutely crazy.

    "Yes dear. Conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:40:50 PM PST

  •  Anyone who claims "white pride" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, LynneK

    has a LOT to learn about the way "just Americans" treated the Irish, who are can hardly be out-white-ed on the whiteness scale.

    Crescat scientia; vita excolatur

    by AxmxZ on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:22:01 PM PST

  •  Don't knock Rockwell (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bellatrys, marykk, LynneK

    When you look at Norman Rockwell's paintings of Americana, do you see people of color?  


    •  I know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but I bet that ain't the one he grew up with.  Good point, tho.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:32:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True that he didn't grow up with it, but did (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        m3, marykk

        JFK, or LBJ? I grew up thinking of Rockwell as exclusionary, until I found his painting of Ruby Bridges (that Argyrios thankfully referred to, above), and learned about his Four Freedoms painting, and stuff like this.

        Thanks for the diary. I don't know that I'd have had the forbearance you exhibited in your response.

        Minorities marching: "We are equal."
        Whites marching: "We are superior."

        I am not proud because of my color; I am proud because society once wanted to crush people like me because of their color, and we survived.

  •  Excellent reply! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, LynneK

    I missed the original diary, but thanks to your link I read that one before I read this one, and I have to say your response blew me away!  
    I hope you get a good reply for your letter, please post it if you do!

    "Imagine all the people, Living life in peace..." -John Lennon

    by angrybird on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:17:04 AM PST

  •  Good Reply (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One small point though. The origin of the term "paddywagon" is disputed. Your version has been argued but it is more commonly thought to have originated in either Boston or New York because of the large number of Irish people employed in the Police force. If some people find a term offensive then it shouldn't be used but its meaning may no be quite what you think.
    The alternative term "Black Maria" is also sometimes regarded as racist although it almost certainly refers to the color of the wagon.

  •  Very good letter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Please let us know how your student responds, if he does.

    If liberals hated America, they'd vote Republican.

    by Rumblelizard on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:01:34 AM PST

  •  There's a lot of resentment and jealousy (4+ / 0-)

    in some communities, and transference.  People think that because they're resentful and jealous, the people they resent must resent them.  Then they resent when they are proved to have been wrong.

    Where does the original resentment come from?  I suspect it's the product of insecurity and a promise of exceptionalism and success that isn't realized.  It's a cheap way of controlling kith and kin--making them feel better than someone else.  Then, when they fail to prosper they blame those they were supposed to be better than.  People have to be taught to hate, but they learn the lesson without noticing it.

    There is always something I don't understand.  At the moment it's the significance of the pride that everyone's got or not.  It seems that this pride is supposed to be something good.  When did that happen?  I always thought pride was a sin.
    Why would someone be proud of being something they had nothing to do with?

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:40:02 AM PST

  •  Ngiculela-Es Una Historia-I am Singing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, LynneK

    I am singing of tomorrow
    I am singing of love
    I am singing someday love will reign throughout this world of ours
    I am singing of love from our hearts.

    - Stevie Wonder

  •  I got this e-mail too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One of my friends sent it too me although I don't really know why. She is or was a proud Republican so I think she got a lot of these kinds of e-mails before/during and probably after the election.

    At first I would refute them all point by and show that it was just one of those urban legends that has been attributed to a number of people over the years.

    Eventually I just wrote back asking if this was something with which she agreed, or was she just trying to yank my chain; if the latter, I would just write back for her not to waste my time on crap.

    I have a hunch that people who are not used to critical thinking just accept these screeds on face value at points when they are feeling vulnerable. Kind of the psychological equivalent of an impulse purchase at the end of a long line at the cashier. They are in a hurray, impatient and just want to get out of the store.

    They don't want to think about the party they have joined and the people for whom they vote. They are a little more involved in the process of government than people who don't vote at all; but mainly they don't think it makes much difference. Its sad.

  •  Marykk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm sorry I'm arriving late. If I could I would rec and tip.

    Amen to the sermon.

    The underlying hate in the original email  is enough to make one cry.

    Thanks to the rescue rangers too.

  •  Beautiful (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful, intelligent reply.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site