Skip to main content

In the last week this community has been re-introduced to the brilliance that is Tim Wise.  I don’t know if the term white privilege actually belongs to Tim, but he was certainly the person who introduced the concept to me.  I first published this diary in September last year and as Tim has graced us with his presence again I thought it appropriate to kick off the conversation again.

Maybe a few of you have noticed that Tim Wise my brother from another mother
is now a member of our crew of Kossacks and has started posting here with both insightful comments and full fledged posts.  If you aren’t familiar with his work he is in my opinion one of the most insightful commentators on race and race relations I think I have ever been acquainted with.

I first saw Tim Wise on a CNN interview and at the time I couldn’t see his face.  As a Black man I was more than pleasantly surprised that another Black commentator had joined the scene and joined the scene with such on point analysis at that.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when I discovered Tim Wise was and is White.

Tim makes a rather explosive contention, but it is one that few non white people would disagree with that being that racism is a White persons issue.  In the video above he contends that at America’s founding both white and black people were victims of the elite.  These elites made the uniquely American decision to institute a regime of white superiority in order to co-opt the white side into supporting their leisure.

In short the elite of the time instituted a divide and conquer strategy.  He contends that both white and black people were in essence in the same boat as indentured servants.  Over time the white and black members of that class began to band together and in the face of that threat white superiority and the system it spawned were born.  The elites went to the white members of that indentured class and in essence made them a deal.  They could have a little land, and they could make some money hunting and returning to bondage those Black men who were slaves and may have escaped thereby making them willing defenders of a system that didn’t necessarily have their best interests at heart.  This has elements of the same phenomenon we see today.  Why else would people who barely have a pot to piss in are willing to take to the streets to battle against policies that would help them?  It is my contention that they do so because they fear someone that is not like themselves will benefit, or else why would old Joe Wilson scream you lie with such vehemence at the idea of undocumented people here (I hate the term illegal aliens, people aren’t illegal just by being) would be eligible for care?

I’ve noticed around our big orange home that even our some of our progressive brothers and sisters are having a hard time understanding why the Black members of our society are truly up in arms (if you think we aren't listen to some Black radio) and are unable to see past the racial components of all this vitriol and focus on health care or whatever issue is standing before us.  It’s because it isn’t the issues standing before us.  There is no race card, and if there is it is the two of clubs.  There is no real policy motivation behind these people refusing to allow their children to hear Obama speak to them.  The reason all this is occurring is the same reason and issue America has not put to rest White superiority.

Why am I picking at a wound?  I’ve heard this around, it’s because its an injury that is still being inflicted.  It’s because our people and institutions are under active attack by a media organization that is actually owned and takes its orders from a person that is really non American who has no interest in seeing our national strife healed.  The only way we are going to be able to do so is to discuss this as equals and as equals who understand and appreciate where both sides are coming from which is why I picked Tim Wise to illustrate my point.

Rather than knowing about and confronting the ugliness of our past, whites take steps to excise the less flattering aspects of our history so that we need not be bothered with them. So, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, site of an orgy of violence against the black community in 1921, city officials literally went into the town library and removed all reference to the mass killings in the Greenwood district from the papers with a razor blade--an excising of truth and an assault on memory that would remain unchanged for over seventy years.

Most white people desire, or perhaps even require the propagation of lies when it comes to our history. Surely we prefer the lies to anything resembling, even remotely, the truth. Our version of history, of our national past, simply cannot allow for the intrusion of fact into a worldview so thoroughly identified with fiction. But that white version of America is not only extraordinarily incomplete, in that it so favors the white experience to the exclusion of others; it is more than that; it is actually a slap in the face to people of color, a re-injury, a reminder that they are essentially irrelevant, their concerns trivial, their lives unworthy of being taken seriously. In that sense, and what few if any white Americans appear capable of grasping at present, is that "Leave it to Beaver" and "Father Knows Best," portray an America so divorced from the reality of the times in which they were produced, as to raise serious questions about the sanity of those who found them so moving, so accurate, so real. These iconographic representations of life in the U.S. are worse than selective, worse than false, they are assaults to the humanity and memory of black people, who were being savagely oppressed even as June Cleaver did housework in heels and laughed about the hilarious hijinks of Beaver and Larry Mondello.

These portraits of America are certifiable evidence of how disconnected white folks were--and to the extent we still love them and view them as representations of the "good old days" to which we wish we could return, still are--from those men and women of color with whom we have long shared a nation. Just two months before "Leave it to Beaver" debuted, proposed civil rights legislation was killed thanks to Strom Thurmond's 24-hour filibuster speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. One month prior, Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus called out the National Guard to block black students from entering Little Rock Central High; and nine days before America was introduced to the Cleavers, and the comforting image of national life they represented, those black students were finally allowed to enter, amid the screams of enraged, unhinged, viciously bigoted white people, who saw nothing wrong with calling children niggers in front of cameras. That was America of the 1950s: not the sanitized version into which so many escape thanks to the miracle of syndication, which merely allows white people to relive a lie, year after year after year.

No, it is not the pastor who distorts history; Nick at Nite and your teenager's textbooks do that. It is not he who casts aspersions upon "this great country" as Barack Obama put it in his public denunciations of him; it is the historic leadership of the nation that has cast aspersions upon it; it is they who have cheapened it, who have made gaudy and vile the promise of American democracy by defiling it with lies. They engage in a patriotism that is pathological in its implications, that asks of those who adhere to it not merely a love of country but the turning of one's nation into an idol to be worshipped, if not literally, then at least in terms of consequence.   http://www.lipmagazine.org/...

It is not my intention to attack the White race I truly hope that is not the impression Im leaving.  I'm hoping to begin a conversation that I hope will profit our community and I look forward to engaging in it.

Update: 2:10 PDT

I made this statement as a comment, but then I thought hey! This is my diary I can say this to the entire audience and not just to those who are reading comments and since this is aimed at the commenters I might as well get back on the soap box.

THANK YOU!

I had to step away for a couple hours and I cant express how pleased I am to come back and find probably 25 diary length comments, and many others of a shorter variety that are truly full of insight and thought.

I'm reading through the comments now like a person would enjoy a glass of fine wine, but I wanted to say that a diary like this answers what I see as one of the fundamental questions I've seen.  What do we do about it?  I have to believe that thoughtful two sided conversations like exhibited here are among the first steps.
 
I read once that America put a table cloth over some very ugly business 40 years ago, and the only way we're going to ever enjoy future meals without the glasses tipping over was  to rip the cloth off and clean the table.  I think this is how we start doing that.

Originally posted to An Adept's Journey on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:37 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
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

  •  Tip Jar (313+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JekyllnHyde, Mimikatz, citizen k, northsylvania, cassandra m, grollen, SarahLee, tiponeill, TechBob, Emerson, lobbygow, Aspe4, azale, ssgbryan, missLotus, cardinal, sfgb, MD patriot, shanikka, mkfarkus, sberel, Larry Bailey, nargel, superba, BruinKid, sngmama, fumie, splashy, lirtydies, wader, mrkvica, Miss Jones, mj171976, pat bunny, BoxerDave, ccr4nine, Nina, niteskolar, GN1927, Chirons apprentice, Catte Nappe, AbsurdEyes, onemadson, arielle, lcrp, Bendra, JayBat, zerelda, Kitsap River, Vicky, snowbird42, schroeder, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Bluesee, radarlady, Sparkalepsy, hiredman, Tonedevil, PBen, ChemBob, susanw, boofdah, owlbear1, majcmb1, Mr X, aaraujo, SJerseyIndy, skyounkin, Eric K, blue jersey mom, paxpdx, onanyes, Geekesque, optimusprime, Ginny in CO, wiscmass, northanger, Pluto, peacestpete, xanthippe2, begone, pico, buddabelly, Dr Envirocrat, Clytemnestra, edwardssl, buckstop, arlene, birdbrain64, MJ via Chicago, Crashing Vor, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, Preston S, dirkster42, agent, Dreaming of Better Days, blueoregon, zedaker, blueness, blueintheface, mariachi mama, OHdog, DBunn, Thinking Fella, One Pissed Off Liberal, dov12348, john07801, dmh44, Debs2, ColoTim, WeBetterWinThisTime, DAO, gloriana, gtghawaii, beth meacham, Duccio, ezdidit, Steve In DC, DWG, Uncle Moji, malharden, kingyouth, HCKAD, mcgee85, ubertar, st minutia, vbdietz, Demi Moaned, Uberbah, millwood, Moderation, OIL GUY, pioneer111, yella dawg, i like bbq, cloudbustingkid, cacamp, TomP, gizmo59, rogerdaddy, Devsd, ChocolateChris, RickMassimo, kimoconnor, Involuntary Exile, elwior, filby, blindyone, lineatus, Happy Days, pamelabrown, Cassandra Waites, hwmnbn, geomoo, sierrak9s, suckback, petulans, nzanne, BYw, allie123, psilocynic, cactusflinthead, Robinswing, GrannyOPhilly, Diogenes2008, lissablack, ZhenRen, legendmn, LaFeminista, 1BQ, multilee, pileta, soarbird, Ripeness Is All, litoralis, snackdoodle, greengemini, An Affirming Flame, fatbeagle, Notus, janmtairy, theworksanddays, velvet blasphemy, regster, lookit, justlen, CaliSista, asym, allep10, Deoliver47, conlakappa, vmm918, DreamyAJ, seeta08, Little Flower, sherijr, EmmaKY, jfromga, mahakali overdrive, Livvy5, carmenjones, purplepenlady, Hunter Huxley, veroven, dtruth, commonmass, brentbent, seesmithrun, confitesprit, foufou, marabout40, KroneckerD, FogCityJohn, p gorden lippy, Jez, miss SPED, awesumtenor, Pebbles, LaughingPlanet, lcarr23, eXtina, Susan from 29, amk for obama, voracious, jethrock, SeattleTammy, luvsathoroughbred, AZphilosopher, legalchic, appledown, JoanMar, gulfgal98, HartfordTycoon, Mariken, Kristina40, ThisIsMyTime, NYWheeler, nycjoc, Funkygal, rja, Floande, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, amazinggrace, blackinthebuilding, Jonze, mallyroyal, TheHalfrican, indubitably, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, gobears2000, TAH from SLC, SkylarkingTomFoolery, QuietObserver, I love OCD, Lost Left Coaster, Dixiedemocrat, luvmykona, poorbuster, BlueJessamine, We Want Change, Jose Bidenio, Eclectablog, Mistral Wind, soothsayer99, mawazo, Ebby, Haf2Read, marleycat, majii, dle2GA, BarackStarObama, dakinishir, tardis10, LSmith, TriniPrincess, SilentBrook, Safina, mali muso, PhilJD, Aquagranny911, kid funkadelic, agoner, zenox, StepLeftStepForward, moonpal, jaebone, Georgianna Darcy, Dom9000, rtcfrtc, bluenurseinthepeachstate, lightshine, brown and blue all over, Nena20409, jacey, QES, hbp, TheLizardKing, Aji, SouthernBelleNC49, docrocktex, Knights of Dusk, Eric Nelson, Hopefruit2, J Brunner Fan, Deep Texan, swampyankee, banach tarski paradox, write4change65, citizendane

    My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

    by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:37:54 AM PDT

  •  asdf (21+ / 0-)

    I don’t know if the term white privilege actually belongs to Tim,

    It doesn't but that doesn't take anything away from his writing whatsoever. His clarity of thought is extremely refreshing.

    The Teabaggers are the GOP base

    by stevej on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:41:04 AM PDT

  •  He speaks with the cadence of a poet (22+ / 0-)

    It's like you're watching a poetry slam in parts.  

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:42:02 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for an excellent diary! (31+ / 0-)

    Wise is amazing. As a gay white man who's family consists of both Anglos and African Americans, you can imagine that frank conversations about race (and other things, see above) happen frequently.

    In my family, we seem to be of one mind that really what the issue is is classism, which is why I was so glad to see this diary.

    Getting beyond "race" (I personally think there is only one, the human race) and tackling the deeper issues is the work we need to be doing, in my opinion. Thanks again.

    I refuse, militantly, to be a second-class citizen in my own Republic just because of the accident of my sexual orientation.

    by commonmass on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:46:06 AM PDT

  •  Second vid is no longer available (6+ / 0-)

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:51:43 AM PDT

  •  one big problem with awareness... (90+ / 0-)

    ...is that so much of white privilege is invisible to the person who benefits from it. A white person doesn't walk out of a store thinking, "gee, it sure was nice that the owner didn't follow me around watching me the entire time I was in there." A white person doesn't get off of an elevator thinking, "I really do appreciate that that woman didn't tighten her grip on her purse the second I got on the elevator." A white person doesn't sign an apartment lease thinking, "I'm sure glad that when that black guy called about the apartment yesterday that they told him it was already taken."
    It's much easier to notice the presence of something than it is to notice its absence.

    •  Great point (55+ / 0-)

      Many times when I see the term white privilege used I see white people take it as an insult.  You are correct and I agree I don't know how an even fully sensitive white person would see all the times where racism operates.  Why should they?  It doesn't happen to them, but that does bring up a point I find frustrating.  When people who do suffer from it bring it up there is an occasional desire from white people to say something to the effect of no it isnt I don't see it.

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:59:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dealt with white privilege (39+ / 0-)

        up close and personal with my former in-laws -affluent liberals who had no idea what to do about a black woman marrying their only son.  It was exhausting and infuriating dealing with the constant denial, and worldview that white is de facto normal and every one else should adapt.  White privilege is a white people problem. White people get the benefits, people of color get the grief; we all lose, because resentment from inequality diminishes us all.

        •  It's more complicated than that these days, thoug (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wamsutta, malharden, ZhenRen, Adept2u, LSmith

          clearly given the majorities, and the comparatively entrenched white power and privilege, it is still a majority white people problem.  But it oversimplifies to dismiss any other racial, religious, gender or sexual identity issues as being insignificant in comparison.  Everyone can be racist (or, if you object to that, racially bigoted), sexist, religiously bigoted, homophobic, etc., and in fact have a power relationship over others that makes a difference.

          Your former in-laws could have been evangelical Christian, and you gay, or Jewish or Muslim, Hindu or Sikh, etc., and might have had the same toxic effect on your relationship.  Point is, unfair discrimination exists in many different strata, regions, and contexts, and it's not just a white-black racial thing in this country any more.  

          E.g., Michael Eric Dyson, just like Tim Wise, points out the injustice of white privilege, but also the injustice of widespread homophobia among African Americans.  

          At the individual, and even collective levels, its still corrosive bigotry, even if we can debate the degree to which it is so, wouldn't you agree?

          People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. -- "V for Vendetta"

          by Vtdblue on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:06:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ok, but ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adept2u, foufou

            What does that have to do with lightshine's comment?

            •  Well, I guess it's a combo of lightshine's and (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen, LSmith

              adept2u's diary that I'm commenting on.

              White privilege is a white people problem. White people get the benefits, people of color get the grief; we all lose, because resentment from inequality diminishes us all.

              This is, of course, true as a general rule.  But it's also because I think adept2u is oversimplifying, and lumping white progressives in with teabaggers and Republican racists, creating a strawman (and even ad hom) excuse to criticize ALL critics of Obama and the administration.

              I’ve noticed around our big orange home that even our some of our progressive brothers and sisters are having a hard time understanding why the Black members of our society are truly up in arms (if you think we aren't listen to some Black radio) and are unable to see past the racial components of all this vitriol and focus on health care or whatever issue is standing before us.  It’s because it isn’t the issues standing before us.  There is no race card, and if there is it is the two of clubs.  There is no real policy motivation behind these people refusing to allow their children to hear Obama speak to them.  The reason all this is occurring is the same reason and issue America has not put to rest White superiority.

              I think that statement is inaccurate, and does a disservice to what Tim Wise is saying, as well as an unfair broad characterization of DKos progressives.  It's more than black and white, but it's most DKos progressives are indeed acutely aware that racism is a huge factor in American society, yet (again -- most) are critical of the Obama White House not because of race, but purely because of policy.  

              People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. -- "V for Vendetta"

              by Vtdblue on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:16:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Black people also benefit with white privilege (5+ / 0-)

                in operation.  One of these days when we are secure as a nation and more used to speaking about racial matters we as Black folks might also explore with the wider community how white privilege colors our lives purely within the black community as well.  Do we treat the lighter skinned cousin better than the darker one?  Why do our women spend hours upon end torturing themselves in beauty salons and under chemicals to make their hair more approximate a white ladies' hair.  White people arent the only people who have issues in that respect.

                Now let me give you an example about "progressive" priorities.  They were willing to kill health care despite the fact that there are demonstrated billions or dollars worth of benefits to people of color.  People who will have access to reliable and steady health care in many cases very first time, and why were they willing to do this?  Because it lacked a feature the public option which at its most generous only helped people who wanted to pay for service anyway.

                Take Gitmo as another example that chaps my hide.  Yes, those men deserve justice were brutalized and all pc disclaimers said.   Gitmo would be like a skate park to probably 40% of prisons in the United States.  Hell black men can't even be in their own homes without being storm trooped and that's the Harvard professors, the Oscar Grant's and Aiyana Jones' and the list goes on forever my brother catch police lead.  Yet the "progressives" want to tear the brother down over 325 or however there are dudes.

                Progressives are an interesting bunch.  One day I hope they get a leader and someone to articulate their positions in a more cogent way.  Right now I fear that the idea is being hijacked by internet personalities.

                My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

                by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:12:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Tiped because of this (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Adept2u, Kristina40

                  Progressives are an interesting bunch.  One day I hope they get a leader and someone to articulate their positions in a more cogent way.  Right now I fear that the idea is being hijacked by internet personalities.

                •  Interesting point (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Adept2u

                  Adept2u, but I think the issue you raise about colorism and I might add classism within black communities is not so much as a benefit of white privilege but an almost desperate attempt achieve of a success as determined by how much alike one is to white counterparts.  On DKos I would guess, although I have no data to support this that most AA are educated with one or more degrees.  This group is often in conflict in terms of their values than working class  or less educated AA.  The whole issue about nappy hair/straight hair is a reflection of European standards of beauty that black women have abused themselves trying to obtain

          •  But thie issue is which brick must be pulled out (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adept2u

            of the wall to make it come down, and all the anger and hatred of the victims of bigotry are not that brick. Most of the victims have been angry the whole time, and that anger has changed very little. It's the parts of the system which sustain the anger and adapt and adapt again to keep the production of it going, and those are found principally in the way white communities or the white share of a mixed one operate to keep all but themselves always a half step off balance, to their own profit. So that's where the change has to be made.

      •  My mother ... (8+ / 0-)

        She recently expressed doubt when she asked if my husband had ever experienced bias against him and I said "yes, he has".  (I'm white; he's not, in case the rest of this comment doesn't make that obvious.  He's South Asian.)  "Are you sure he's not just imagining it?" she asks.  She's never seen it/noticed it; so she can't believe it exists.

        But it's not quite that simple -- my mother truly likes my husband, respects him enormously, trusts him -- but not on this.  On this, she can't quite accept that his own perceptions are real.  She trusts the good intentions of a handful of people she's never met over the perceptions of her own son-in-law.

        •  Prejudice also leads to "imagining it," though (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adept2u, LSmith

          I have a few really good African-American friends, and have been appalled at the racism I've seen directed at them. I once remarked that if you wanted to make a killing shoplifting, just send a team of a white guy and a black guy into a store at the same time. The white guy will be able to rob the place blind while all the staff follow the black guy around.

          After a couple of these incidents - this was years ago - I had an "aha" moment when I was faced with a really horribly rude salesperson. I chalked it up to bad training and hiring - and vowed not to shop at that establishment again. But I also realized that if I were a minority, I likely would have assumed racial bias as the root of the rudeness.

          I think that is part of the disconnect when you are not a recognizable minority (being gay, I get to see the prejudice only after they've mistaken me for a "normal" person, which is sometimes fun to watch). We whites can see our minority friends as being preoccupied with racist acts that we don't perceive. Sometimes, surely, we are just being blind, but at other times it is entirely possible that the minority person assumes its a racial issue because of past experience, when it may just be you're dealing with an a-hole. That, unfortunately, only means we have a larger gulf in experience to deal with.

          The speed with which someone tells you they're a Christian is inversely proportional to the probability they'll act like one.

          by CPT Doom on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:18:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  With respect, there is a difference between an (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adept2u

            Aha! moment, an out of character disconnect inconsistent from your regular life as you understand and regularly experience it which offends you even as you accept it as an anomaly, and a lifestyle where the matter comes up all over the place and all the time, and demands your constant attention at least in the back of your mind if not worse, lest you fall into serious risk or danger if you are inattentive for a single moment when out in the world or dealing with it. The shopper who never again takes a bag into any store, or the driver who always addresses a traffic cop, any cop, with both hands clearly visible on the wheel or doing something neutral or nothing at all, talking slowly and moving slowly. Always balancing assertiveness against consequences. Or is never willing to take a co-worker or any other co-worker at her word again in quite the same way. We shall not even talk of teenagers.

            Folks who don't live there  in that life of careful and permanent watchfulness sometimes feel that someone who is telling them about the moment when the world changed for them, from the one of their childhood when one fit where one was and,  to the one when they really, really understood finally that that pretty American Dream thing was genuinely not intended for them, oh, is that ever a euphemism, may be being over sensitive or petty, but it's not so. It's the moment, no matter how trivial what triggered it, when the whole horrible mess finally comes together and is understood by its victim. Or a moment in the environment shared by the listener and the speaker when, the speaker is saying, that the assumption of neutrality was irretrievably lost in whatever context the event occurred. The moment when your neighbor, or your workplace or the cops orthe ticket taker at the zoo turns on you, consciously or unconsciously, in a way that cannot be disregarded, and they cannot turn back as if it never happened. Ever thereafter, that victim walks differently and more carefully. Always with a question, is this one like that one, am I safe with this new one here?

            Enough battery by such and a form of sensitization in order to survive sets in, because what is nearly meaningless for Joe or Jane White can be suddenly the beginning of a horrible life changing disaster for Sam or Susan Something Else and therefore cannot be ignored as the perp being an a-hole, because even an a-hole can get Sam or Susan arrested, not promoted or fired, ostracized, or worse. Or might not be, maybe, maybe this time.

          •  patterns (0+ / 0-)

            Yes, some specific incidents could be mistaken or imagined, but that's not really the point.  The disconnect comes in wanting the reassurance that they all must be, that there's no pattern there that might even justify an occasional mistake.

      •  Sometimes it takes personal experience. (10+ / 0-)

        I grew up white in the deep south, and racism pretty much permeated the air.  When I got older and went to college, I made my first African American friend and began to realize how wrong the racist assumptions I was raised with were.  

        Still, I didn't actually "see" the problem until many years later when I was dating a Black guy, and I was confronted directly with how differently we were treated.  For example, we were once standing in line for drinks at a very crowded restaurant bar, and my date was directly in front of me in line.  When he reached the front of the line, the bartender looked right past him and asked me, "Sir, what can I get you to drink."  I almost died from embarrassment.  My date remarked on it in a very restrained fashion, but it put a chill on the whole evening.  I started to notice how he'd always ask me to hail cabs and then would stand several feet away from me on the sidewalk when I did so.

        To say the least, experiences like that really opened my eyes.  I can't say I've even begun to appreciate what racial minorities go through, but now I feel that I am at least awake to the issue.

        Thanks much for this diary.  And I don't think you're picking at a wound.  You can only pick at a scab, and in my view, this wound has never healed and is still very much open.

        Maladie d'Amour, Où l'on meurt d'Aimer, Seul et sans Amour, Sid'abandonné

        by FogCityJohn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:05:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Which is why these diaries are so necessary (46+ / 0-)

      And comments like yours, which point up the privilege Whites take for granted.

      We have to open up our heads, take out our assumptions, scrutinize them carefully, and perhaps throw many of them away.

      It is scary and difficult, but ultimately necessary if we are to progress as a country.

      "Anybody who desperately wants to believe lies will not even notice the truth standing next to them wearing a big red neon sign." - Keith Olbermann

      by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:59:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very good point (17+ / 0-)

      It's like how at first when I moved into the area I live in I didn't realize that my white skin and blue eyes made me accepted easily by the people that lived here. It was years before I fully grasped that reality.

      You have to really think about it.

      You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. - Eric Hoffer

      by splashy on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:43:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (25+ / 0-)

        White privilege is experienced as an absence as much as a presence -- and it's an absence of something we've never experienced, never expected, so it's not an absence we notice unless we think about it.

        It's an absence of suspicion.
        It's an absence of awkwardness.
        It's an absence of rejection.
        All in places where we don't expect suspicion or awkwardness or rejection, so when those things don't come, that's normal.

        It took me forever to realize that.  I'm 43 years old, and until about two years ago I would have been one of the ones questioning the very existence of "white privilege" as a concept.  Because it's like air -- invisible until you don't have it.

        "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression." -Thomas Paine

        by sierrak9s on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:22:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  White privilege breaks down... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          susanw, Adept2u, peregrinus

          ...when you have a Jewish surname. I'm pale and blue-eyed but the fact is I'm also Jewish by birth (although not by persuasion at this point) and have the name Klein has made my life a bit more difficult. Not Cline, Klein. And I married a Hass whose mom was a Schneider. Yeah, it pales by comparison with the Latino and Black experiences, but anti-Semitism is real and still exists.

          The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
          Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

          by Pris from LA on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:35:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ugh, way to derail. n/t (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adept2u, foufou, science nerd

            BTW, I'm Jewish.

            •  It's not. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil, susanw, Adept2u

              Up until 1948, Jews were discriminated against by restrictive housing covenants. My father's family lived in Boyle Heights because it was one of the few Los Angeles communities without the covenants. After the Supreme Court threw out housing covenants as being discriminatory, they moved to the San Fernando Valley. I live in a neighborhood, Panorama City, which was developed under restrictive covenants against African-Americans, Latinos and Jews. Now it's predominantly Latino and Filipino.

              https://secure.wikimedia.org/...
              https://secure.wikimedia.org/...

              The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
              Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

              by Pris from LA on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:46:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  but now (24+ / 0-)

                ...we are not excluded in that way. People of color still are, every day. That is the point: not whether Jews were once treated that way in the U.S. (we were), but we have long since matriculated into whiteness. Read Karen Brodkin's book on the subject. It is very illuminating

                Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

                by tim wise on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:49:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't find that entirely happening, Tim. (7+ / 0-)

                  Particularly when you consider that a lot of White culture is still predicated on Church and Christianity. I have had enough experience in workplaces where you are expected to go to the same church as your boss, and where if you are non-Christian you are "witnessed to" at your lunch 1/2 hour. Where you get Bible tracts at your desk. Etc.

                  California is an at-will state. It is damned hard to prove that you were discriminated against because you were non-Christian.

                  The fundies LOVE LOVE LOVE them some Jews. But they would LOVE LOVE LOVE us if we'd leave and go "back" to Israel. Their LOVE is fake. They only LOVE us if either we'd convert and become "completed Jews" or move to Israel to fulfill prophecy. Scratch them and you find that their real beliefs about us is "turn or burn."

                  It is no accident that the dominant culture (and they remain dominant even though they are a minority here in California) is White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Actually the dominant should be further defined as being White Anglo-Saxon Evangelical Protestant. For a movement that started in Los Angeles as being cross-cultural and a threat to WASP dominance, Evangelicalism is now fully engaged in a quest to preserve WASP dominance. Look at South Africa. You don't need to be a majority to keep dominating The Other.

                  The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
                  Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

                  by Pris from LA on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:14:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  One additional thought: (0+ / 0-)

                    It is miraculous that South Africa has made such strides, in a peaceful manner, to unpack generations of Apartheid. Perhaps it's because de jure Apartheid was so acute and so horrifying and existed for a remarkably short length of time when you compare it to Jim Crow. Of course de facto Apartheid existed long before the Afrikaners could write it into law. There are bumps and bruising collisions, particularly when the remnants of radicalism collide. But compare SA to Zimbabwe. It's a marvel. I think part of it was that there were enough people who questioned white privilege there from the beginning.

                    The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
                    Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

                    by Pris from LA on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:19:18 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  damn you are so wrong (8+ / 0-)

                      nothing you say is even close to the truth, in fact you are an example of those who can't understand what either the diarist or Tim Wise are saying. You are blind to what they say about white priviledge, which also includes formerly discriminated people like Jews, Polish and Irish and you are totally wrong about South Africa where white priveldge still is a looming problem that threatens to tear apart the fabric of their society. You my friend, really need to read and reread this diary and Tim Wise writings with an open eye to just how mistaken you are on all counts. In other words you really need to open your white eyes and wake up to reality.

                      •  Sometimes formerly discriminated against. Only (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mahakali overdrive

                        sometimes. The Klan didn't just visit AAs. And there are still many who . . . . Because one mode of racism exists and is the one in the front of our minds at this moment, does not mean that there are not others also practiced in the same community at the same time. The rules of those are different and the details of the hurts different, but think of how few places in this country there are where Jews can just be Jews, without always doing dances about Shabbos and pork and circumcision and sneakiness and. . . . And honorary whiteness is only for Ashkenazim, with the rest in a hole by comparison. It does not disrespect or dilute the argument to observe that the problem is a bit wider than the initial article considered.

                  •  I don't deny (16+ / 0-)

                    the power of evangelical christianity, and indeed living in the south, my guess is that I am surrounded by it far more than anyone in Los Angeles. But seriously, there is a difference between what jews experience in the workplace and what people of color do. In spite of Jewishness, our whiteness protects us in most all cases. Unless we are hasidim or in some way clearly identifiably Orthodox, we tend to assimilate and blend in pretty well. We are not the victims of any identifiable oppression in the workforce, schools, housing or justice system. I realize individual teachers (like many I had) can cause great harm with claims of "you're going to hell" etc., but that is not institutional oppression, and indeed, every time that happens now, if we sue, we will win. Every time. I know/. I threatened it and got immediate apologies, and mea culpas/guarantees of no more such behavior. That isn't what people of color can count on.

                    White privilege is not erased by Jewishness. It morphs into a slightly different form, but it does not go away. Jews are the wealthiest and most professionally secure group of "whites" in the country, alongside episcopalians. We simply are not oppressed

                    Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

                    by tim wise on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:26:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I had to change schools in New York (5+ / 0-)

                      in elementary school because I had the shit beat out of me for a year because I was Jewish in a WASP-y area.

                      I just want to tell you that.

                      It was oppressive and I can't say that it wasn't.

                      I live in California now and no one has ever given me any shit about being Jewish. Not once in memory. But I have, when traveling through Alabama, been hassled for it in the 90's.

                      My grandmother was a holocaust survivor. Her mother wasn't. She was fired for being Jewish in a similar area in NY. She still has a bomb shelter under her house. Not all Jews are wealthy. Or professionally secure. At all. I truly find that statement kind of offensive, sorry. And I hope you hear it loudly and clearly, because I am a staunch anti-racism proponent who has been teaching about stereotype and white privilege and race for a while now, as part of my community as well as as a teacher.

                      "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:15:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I have a somewhat different take. (4+ / 0-)

                      I, too, am a southern Jew and I have found flat out bigoted behavior and exclusionary practices.

                      My son was physically threatened and called "Jew boy" in grade school.

                      The Fellowship of Christian Athletes were allowed to draw posters and plaster them all over the hallways when he was in middle school and chose a spot above his locker for a pointed rendition of the crucifixion.

                      While Jews are allowed by law to miss school on Jewish holidays, tests are frequently scheduled that they are required to make up, any work missed has to be made up and they are the missed days are counted as "excused absences" making them ineligible for attendance awards and the like.

                      My husband, who holds an executive position, has been at times excluded from off work hours social events (perhaps from etiquette confusion - do you or do you not invite "The Jew" to a bbq?) or coworkers get-togethers which may take place in an unaccepting country club, for example.

                      Those venues are more than social outlets though.  They are networking and leg up opportunities for advancement and potential career making projects.

                      I have been told to shop elsewhere when I asked for Chanukah paper at a Hallmark store and matzoh meal at a grocery chain, accosted in a parking lot so that I might be "saved" and told in front of my then 8 year old child that I was handicapped and ill (I was using a forearm crutch) because I was a Jew and G-d was damning me.

                      I've been a victim of vandalism and cleaned swastikas off my mailbox.

                      I was also locked out of participation in the PTA but, oddly, that didn't bother me in the least.  

                      Granted, none of this is on a par with racial discrimination in scope or breadth nor do we ever have to face anything like the obstacles the gay community deals with on a daily basis.

                      But it is there.  And "assimilation" here means "passing" with a very large chunk of the community.

                      Hair on fire is the new black!

                      by arielle on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:59:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  This sounds to me like religious bigotry (0+ / 0-)

                        A person can choose a religion

                        religious bigotry
                        intolerant person: somebody with strong opinions, especially on politics, religion, or ethnicity, who refuses to accept different views  
                         

                        A person can not choose a race

                        Race:  group of humans: one of the groups into which the world's population can be divided on the basis of physical characteristics such as skin or hair color

                        •  For Jews, again, it becomes complicated (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TiaRachel

                          because it is a designation that means both a religion, and also an ethnicity, but less so a race due to the diaspora. It's REALLY complex. And it deserves to be looked at AS complex for that reason.

                          I can't think offhand of any other group that is both an ethnicity AND a religious designation. That's why this conversation is, in part, breaking down, I think.

                          "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 05:14:24 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  A distinctive cultural (ethnicity) (0+ / 0-)

                            and religion are still a choice

                            A race, you are born with no choice  

                          •  Race (0+ / 0-)

                            (Social Science / Anthropology & Ethnology) a group of people of common ancestry, distinguished from others by physical characteristics, such as hair type, colour of eyes and skin, stature, etc. Principal races are Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid

                          •  I truly am not following (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            xanthippe2

                            Jews are a race of people -- the Old Testament Biblical bloodline notion of Jews as a race of people who descended outward into a diaspora, that then took on ethnic intonations from various places. Additionally, Judaism is a religion. The notion of secular Jews is obviously not a choice. I am Hindu, born and raised, but also ethnically Jewish (and my race is Sephardic Jewish).

                            This is why people may be having confusion about this topic. Because to "be" Jewish means a few different things, sure. You can be of Jewish faith, which is a choice. You can be from a Jewish culture, which really isn't much of a choice, since that is what you are born into, such as myself -- although you can choose to accept or reject that culture as well. And you can simply be of Jewish racial heritage, which is where some of the most virulent historical anti-Semitism comes from, particularly if you delve into the history of Nazi Germany and the idea of a "pure Aryan" bloodline... which is perpetuated in some parts of the United States still today.

                            Any of these three existential Jewish states can (and do) lead to anti-Semitism toward Jews. Even in the contemporary United States. However, Jewish people, particularly WHITE Jewish people (Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe racial heritage) do tend to be more accepted by white America. BUT the ADL and other Jewish groups will never be accepted by many white Americans. There is a ton of information about this online.

                            http://www.adl.org/...

                            New York, NY, June 11, 2002 … A nationwide survey released today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) shows an increase in the number of Americans with anti-Semitic attitudes, reversing a ten-year decline and raising concerns that "an undercurrent of Jewish hatred persists in America."

                            The national poll of 1,000 American adults conducted April 26 through May 6, 2002 found that 17% of Americans - or about 35 million adults - hold views about Jews that are "unquestionably anti-Semitic."

                            That is about one in six Americans who view Jewish people in a negative light, if I am doing my math right.

                            Anti-Semitic attitudes are up; the most widely held stereotype is that "Jews have too much power in the U.S."

                            That, combined with the notion that we are also able to transcend power barriers, is probably why I chose to write something today to call this into question. It is a stereotype, and not a comfortable or correct one. Jewish people with power are often viewed negatively, even if they are permitted economic entry into white America to various levels. The attitudes toward Jews who do that continue to be that it's because we are... doing something we aren't supposed to be. That we've weaseled our way into said power or economic status.

                            ...new stereotypes about "Jewish power" in the U.S. have replaced many of the classical ethical stereotypes previously attributed to Jewish Americans. In the 2002 survey, 20 % of Americans agreed with the statement "Jews have too much power in the U.S. today."

                            So, combine that with the statement that we have NO oppression (and that IS the statement that was made) is offensive and incorrect. We have a different type of oppression, without a doubt, than other minorities. But we are not exactly walking around here all fine and dandy without incident, being welcomed with open arms by many white folks.

                            Tim Wise, whom I respect greatly, and who is Jewish, does say that we have plenty of economic power. That it is statistically similar to other white groups. Okay. But then you contrast that with stereotypes that ARE anti-Semitic and the claim is deeply unsettling...

                            http://www.adl.org/...

                            Four of the seven statements that are accepted by those age 65 and over at a significantly higher level than by younger Americans are:

                            Jews have too much control and influence on Wall Street.
                            Jews have too much power in the business world.
                            Jewish businessmen are so shrewd that others don't have a fair chance in competition.
                            Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices.

                            The argument that all Jews have white skin privilege and equal economic and social opportunity as other non-ethnic white people is flatly problematic, and I do feel that addressing the notion head on is really vital to avoiding yet another divisive and hurtful stereotype that simply hands, carte blanche, more power to the status quo American hegemony. It needs to be thought through with a whole lot more caution.

                            "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                            by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:57:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mahakali overdrive, foufou

                            that any kind of bigotry or discrimination against any person for what ever reason is wrong

                            Let me tell you a story

                            I am 65 years old. When I was about 6 years old. I lived in a town in southern Missouri. My family is Quaker. I had never seen a black person before. The first time I saw a black person I was with my grandmother and I pointed at him and asked  "what was wrong with him" My grandmother said "Well thats old Spoon and that he had better get off the street before sundown" I ask "WHY" "Well" she said "They will hang him if and he don't just because he was black skinned that God had gave him.

                            To me having black skin was a beautiful thing because God only gives good and beautiful things. Weeks later Mrs.Spoon and 3 of the most beautiful children came to our house. While my grandfather went down the road to cut Mr.Spoon down from a tree in the woods

                            I can not describe the feeling that I have still that someone would kill something good and beautiful that God has made, or despise and loathe what God has made just because of a color.

                •  I disagree, as a Jewish person (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TiaRachel, Adept2u, miss SPED

                  for me... it depends on whether I look Jewish that week or not. And where I am. In the South, I'm "not white." I've had the shit beaten out of my due to anti-Semitism, at that. You can tell I'm not white because I have a "not white" looking name (it's Muslim) and supposedly "look Jewish" (my hair dreadlocks naturally, but right now, it's dyed a light blonde and makes me look white, sure, previously, it was black and I was usually presumed to be Latino, since I work in Latino rights advocacy as a volunteer... my skin tone is NOT white... it's pale, but... it's yellowy-olive, since I'm half Sephardic Jewish -- Iraqi... ).

                  A lot of the work I did was in law enforcement oversight.

                  If you are Jewish, you can look "nebulous" enough to be presumed "racial" or "not white." And even if you can pass for white, you are often still, in some places, treated differently and poorly for being Jewish.

                  You don't see this much on the Coasts.

                  I've been all over the country.

                  Anti-Semitic hate crimes have never been higher. We get some white skin privilege BUT not all of it.

                  "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:04:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Correction... I don't "disagree" (11+ / 0-)

                    Sorry, I have been staying off of the boards because I'm mentally muddled (badly) from a recent death of a loved one that came as a shock (it was a suicide), so having a terrible time being articulate.

                    I wasn't trying to say I disagree, just that I see it as a bit more nuanced.

                    I apologize about my ham handed wording. I hope the content of my post made more sense. Just that Jews haven't been fully given white privilege, although we do have a fair amount of white skin privilege, and that it's all very geographic.

                    "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:09:14 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  {{{{mahakali overdrive}}}} (4+ / 0-)

                      I'm so sorry, hon.

                      Hair on fire is the new black!

                      by arielle on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:02:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I will be okay... it takes time... (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TiaRachel, arielle, Adept2u, miss SPED

                        But thank you arielle. Huge hugs to you. I have no taste for politics lately but saw this diary and it was excellent and necessary. Also, your experience above, I really understand what you were talking about there. It parallels some of my own. Ultimately... and I'm just going to come out and say it... I think white America loves Jewish scapegoats. I think it's really gratifying, after WWII, for white America to come out and say, "Not only did we save you, but we made you "our kind" too!" when really, there is a pretty seething undercurrent of hatred toward Jewish people. We are economically mobile BUT we are always mocked and disdained for it, cut down as "greedy." Yes, it is true that I might be able to avoid a traffic ticket. We don't having a DWB equivalent. But we do have a lot of stereotyping. And yes, as Deoliver points out, some Jews say, "I'm white too." But I think there is a tremendous amount of confusion there for some Jews, many of whom do feel shut out and mistrustful of the same people who "give privilege," which is still tempered by so much hate.

                        And of course, there is always the "blame" for Israel. Everything Israel does falls on our heads, it seems.

                        I just feel like white America tends to use Jewish people, and we need to be really careful about that, because I'm not interested in contributing to white, patriarchal, imperialist America's horrific oppression of minorities, women, and non-Christians in this country. Ever.

                        You should be able to buy some Matzoh meal and your kid shouldn't be hassled. I got the same in elementary school and feel for the little guy.

                        "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:28:04 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, the little guy (5+ / 0-)

                          is "all growed up" now, as we say down here.

                          And jobless, having graduated from college with no work experience in the worst economy since the Great Depression.

                          Ah well. Because of white privilege he still has a much better chance of getting a job as a busboy with his college degree than a person of color does with their college degree.

                          A sad fact which doesn't make me feel one bit better about the state of the world or my son's lack of employment.

                          Hair on fire is the new black!

                          by arielle on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:44:50 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  but... (22+ / 0-)

            we as jews (i am one too) are no longer really excluded from any institutional opportunities that you can name, and along with Episcopalians are the most affluent and successful religious subgroup in the country.

            Anti-Jewish bias is real (I faced in it in the south) but it does not take away white privilege by a long shot. In fact, because Jews are often seen as "hard working" and "intelligent" and "studious" we are treated far differently and better than folks of color.

            Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

            by tim wise on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:48:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's stronger in places... (4+ / 0-)

              ...like Los Angeles where the denial is strongest. And there is a resentment on top of it, where the very success of Jews in Hollywood is a weapon of bigotry. It's the same thing with Asian-Americans: the "model minority" that is still mistrusted and discriminated against, for the very fact they are "hard-working" and "intelligent" and "studious." Sorry, the animus is still there.

              The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
              Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

              by Pris from LA on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:23:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And furthermore: (4+ / 0-)

                I don't support Israel's policies. At all. Wrong and bad and screwed up. Two nations, living at peace, blah blah blah. However: there is an animus against people of Jewish extraction in some Progressive circles because they instantly associate us with the "Israel Right Or Wrong" crowd. I think there are blinders on Progressive people about the fact anti-Semitism is still alive and well.

                The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
                Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

                by Pris from LA on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:27:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  yes, but (16+ / 0-)

                unlike Asian Americans, who actually have  high poverty rates relative to whites living in the same geographic area (contrary to the model minority myth), Jews do not lag behind Gentiles in any arena of economic or social well being. Asians face substantial discrimination and the evidence of this is written in the available data (I document it in my books), but there is no measure of well being on which we as Jews lag behind Gentiles. I cannot find one, anywhere. That is evidence that we are not oppressed. The only other possibility is that we are oppressed but are just so gosh darned superior that we can overcome anything, which is of course silly

                Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

                by tim wise on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:28:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OK, we aren't "Oppressed" in the sense that... (3+ / 0-)

                  ...our lives are made horribly difficult by discrimination. But can we agree that we are socially ostracized? And that there is still animus against us from the dominant culture that hurts like hell even though it is trivial by comparison to what Blacks, Latinos and Asians get?

                  Seriously. I never owned slaves. I had family killed in the Holocaust. My late husband's mom came here one step ahead of the Nazis, thanks to the British Kindertransport. I come from a long line of Jewish liberals who marched against the Vietnam War and for Civil Rights, and who put their asses on the line repeatedly for Black and Latino rights. Table grapes were verboten on our family kitchen table for the longest time.

                  I have family that are wealthy, but I am from the "poor relations" who never had a leg up on anyone because my mom was a widow and basically "earned her Mrs." in Junior College. I haven't had a steady job since the Dot Com Boom went bust.

                  And yet, I have been told throughout my entire life that "Jews run things" by my Gentile neighbors. I have been told that I killed Jesus Christ more times than I can count. I've heard people use the terms "Jew him down" and "tight fisted like a Jew" in my presence and wondered why oh why I would take offense? It's just a turn of phrase after all. :P

                  Maybe it's because the San Fernando Valley has both a huge enclave of Jewish people and because it was also a major destination for the economic refugees from the Dust Bowl. Maybe this is an unique crucible for both anti-Semitism and Jewish parochialism. I was born in late 1963, had a '70s childhood, and still live here.

                  Or maybe I'm just a fucking stupid racist pig in denial. Yaright.

                  The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
                  Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

                  by Pris from LA on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:44:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh yeah: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mahakali overdrive

                    I get the Christ-killer stuff now from some Latino neighbors, particularly those who are Evangelical Protestants. Fun stuff.

                    The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 7/30/10
                    Californians! Bum out "La Eme," vote YES on Prop 19.

                    by Pris from LA on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:46:18 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you said it.... (7+ / 0-)

                      Or maybe I'm just a fucking stupid racist pig in denial. Yaright.

                      Perhaps you stated it too strongly but you really are an example of white people who can't grasp nor understand the concept of "white priveledge" and use very superficial arguments to justify your lack of a real grasp on reality. Almost every ethnic white group once faced virulent discrimination when they first emigrated to this racist country some worse than others. Irish were deemed less than human as were Italians, Polish and other south european peoples. All the them can, like you do, point to instances where that discrimination still exists. That's called "denial" and it's the main argument most white people use when they can't understand the concepts the diarist and Tim Wise are putting forth.

                      •  I disagree, in truth (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TiaRachel, Deoliver47, Adept2u, jethrock

                        I understand what she is saying. If that was a racist statement, then I'm a racist as well, because I've been through similar experience.

                        Not all Jews ARE an "ethnic white group." That would be Eastern European Jews. Some of us are Middle Eastern and get the same kind of hatred that is usually reserved for Arabs. In my case, my name is Muslim and I look passably Persian (or Latino) with dark hair. I have been through a good deal of discrimination as a Sephardic Jew. That's just real.

                        It's not a contest. It's being set up as a contest here. Who has had the shittiest time because of rich white patriarchal America... ultimately, that's not relevant because I would say we are ALL hurting, all who are NOT rich, white, and American, and that it is our moral duty to honor one anothers' unique sufferings while banding together to try to face that system.

                        This is more divisive than helpful, in truth.

                        That is not a critique of you, or anyone who agreed with Tim. But I want to interject a very important note to this conversation, which is primarily WHY are we even asserting that Jews are "not discriminated against" when that does NOTHING to help other minorities who are discriminated against. It only fuels more division and anger, at least for me.

                        "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:26:35 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't think that is what Tim is saying and no (14+ / 0-)

                          one who understands anti-Semitism can deny that it exists.  It is stronger in some parts of the country than others.

                          I (as a native New Yorker who went to Hebrew school as a kid) - was stunned when we moved to a Jewish-phobic town in PA.

                          But - it would be useful sometime in the future to discuss a book I use in class:

                          How Jews Became White Folks: And What That Says About Race in America, by Karen Brodkin.

                          http://www.amazon.com/...

                          Few Jewish Americans at this point in time mark off anything but white on the census.  My Jewish students (with one exception - a Persian Jew) consider themselves to be white.  

                          The discussion of race in America rarely concerns them, along with my Irish and Italian etc students, who also are now comfortably "white", no matter the history of past and sometimes present discrimination.

                          We need to be clear that there are fluid lines of how race has come to be defined and how systemic racism has affected who gets to cross borders and who doesn't.

                          "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

                          by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:50:42 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That is a GREAT book, thanks (5+ / 0-)

                            I was trying to recall the title. My brain is loose from a major life trauma this week and this is the first regular forum posting I've done, so please forgive my mental laxity.

                            This may very well, for me, have to do with that I'm Persian Jewish. And the particular part of NY where it Jewish people, at least in the early 80's, were seen as (insert stereotype -- usually not supposed to go to a wealthy school). I'm trying to think back to other Jewish kids and it may be that some blended in whereas others did not. Also, we moved a town or two from Monsey after that, which has the highest level of Hassidic Jews in the country, and they were VERY ostracized. My mom still lives over that way, as does my sister. It might have influenced my thinking about these matters.

                            But probably just being Persian Jewish has been more of it. It may be that I struggle with some anti-Muslim bias, actually. It's possible I'm being taken as Arabic, because of my name and skin tone (which makes me very dark when tan).

                            Ultimately, we do need to be clear, like you say, about how fluid these racial lines have become and how systemic racism is pernicious, just pernicious. You know how when they start doing those demographic breakdowns of Latino support for SB 1070, and you see some Latinos support it, you can see it right there. There is a lot of self denial, and sometimes use of white skin privilege that doesn't work with ones own complicated self identity.

                            Who gets to cross borders... heh... my first thought is, "Who wants to bother doing that? How dull..."

                            But seriously, I would say they are still for anyone who could join the KKK... and that includes a lot of us.

                            Sorry to not be able to form a truly coherent sentence. I shouldn't be online but thought this diary was too important to pass. But when I came to this part, there were some stereotypes about Jewish identity and white privilege that were not necessary. Yes, Jews need to be aware of white skin privilege. But for SOME Jews, the situation is unique. And I can't stand when people fall into the "Jews are lucky and have financial opportunity" mindset. Jews who make money are always looked at as "Those greedy, money-grubbing Jews who made money, same as it ever was with those people." That stereotype bugs me badly. Thousands of years of being called greedy will make you sensitive to being told you have many financial advantages!

                            I'm glad to see you, Deo. Big hugs. It's been a horrible two weeks (I'll be okay but am in a state of deep grieving that isn't easy to deal with. At all.)

                            "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                            by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:08:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As a bit of historical trivia - (4+ / 0-)

                            Arabs were always considered "white" in this country.

                            They started having problems dealing with various government/community related stuff and realized because they were classified as "white" they were sorely lacking in data/demographics that could help Arab Americans and so got a separate designation added to census forms and the like.

                            Best laid plans oft go awry, as they say.

                            Hair on fire is the new black!

                            by arielle on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:12:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Since I don't feel very articulate, I looked for (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TiaRachel, Adept2u

                          something that encapsulated what I was trying to say. This article, by a Jewish female rabbi who is working for interracial peace, does a pretty good job of addressing the kind of nuance that I'm trying to get to.

                          http://www.forusa.org/...

                          It's worth reading, at any rate.

                          "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:51:56 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  it's a hard concept to grasp (5+ / 0-)

                            please reread what Tim Wise says he's very articulate on the matter. Yes, you and many other ethnics in America have real gripes and can point to some real cases of suffering. So I understand why Tims concept of "White Priviledge" is hard for you to come to grips with, it doesn't seem to fit your individual experience. But what he's saying isn't about individuals it's about wholesale discrimination by the power structure of white Americans against people because of their race and/or skin color.

                            It's also about accepting and not seeing the priviledge accorded to white people because of their skin color. If you aren't white then it doesn't apply to you. If you are brown skinned and can't get a job or housing because of it you're on the other side of the fence. But the truth about most Jews in America is that they are now the recipients of white priviledge and not the victims. Your Latino looks and Muslim name make you the exception to that rule because white people mistake you for one of "them" but it doesn't change the facts. In fact it proves the point, it doesn't matter who you really are all that matters is your brown skin and Muslim name in order to deny you the same white priviledges others claim without thinking.

                          •  Tim's concept of white privilege (4+ / 0-)

                            is not at all hard for me to come to grips with.

                            It's the absolutist, monolithic stereotypes about Jewish people that are off-base and don't help here. I can pass. Okay. I'm aware of this. And sometimes I cannot pass. Sometimes I am white. Sometimes I am not white. It's interesting because I very much can see white privilege since I've sometimes had it, while standing there thinking, "I don't identify with the person who identifies with me."

                            At any rate, I have all I can say about this. I have recommended those comments which I agree with here, which are many. I have tried to interject a level of nuance to this discussion that I think is crucial, and that has LONG been uncomfortable for some Jewish people (something that should be probed more deeply, I would suggest, particularly given the rise of recent anti-Semitic hate crimes).

                            I'm not really feeling like talking anymore because I'm still overcome by my friends' suicide. I will say only that I think most people know that I am a staunch defender, for a very long time, of unpacking white privilege and addressing racism... so perhaps then my words might mean something and should be considered in context of the very long history that I have of pushing back against white privilege.

                            Frankly, I don't APPRECIATE being told I am white, though I am white, viewed as white, or anything of the sort. I am a Jew and that is NOT always white, but people want to stereotype me in that way... hmm... well there is a 2,000 year long history of doing that anyways, so it's nothing new.

                            "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                            by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:44:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  *thought (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Adept2u

                            in the last paragraph, first sentence...

                            "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                            by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:45:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I mean no disrespect (3+ / 0-)

                            and I apologize if it seemed like I did. I don't think there is a nickles worth difference in our viewpoints on every subject I can think of, I just liked Tim Wise explanations of white priviledge and tried to expound on them.

                            I feel bad that I offended you and I'm very sorry about your friend. Carter

                          •  Don't even worry about it (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TiaRachel, ALifeLessFrightening

                            That article I linked to probably explains what I was trying to get too better than I can today with this scatterbrain. And also, I should probably call myself "Middle Eastern" rather than "Jewish," because it starts to get so complicated with Jewish people. I always appreciate talking to you... we've had some amazing conversations about Latino rights and immigration over time, in particular... and I fully support -- FULLY SUPPORT -- Tim working on folks' white privilege (I will add ALL other privilege types to that; heterosexism, youth, cultural norms of beauty and ableism, class, immigration status, and so on...) -- I only meant to bring up the complexity for some Jewish people. Even some who are white skinned, I think, who half benefit and then again have also gone through Holocaust cultural baggage. And for those who are nebulous, like myself, half Persian and half Dutch, with a history of being treated like shit, but able to pass as either white or Other, I feel like a roving eye who can walk from side to side and try to report back about it all, share the depth of perspectives and sides. Today, I wasn't articulate enough to do this. I just wanted to acknowledge that some Jews may have white privilege but may feel slightly mistrustful of the whole thing, dislocated and strange.

                            That article from that rabbi is worth a read.

                            And I really respect Tim Wise, but am not sure he has fully thought through this one. I definitely have recommended him in the past to folks! But on this matter, I want to push harder to understand it, because it seems... just complicated to me.

                            Of course, today everything seems complicated. Taking a shower right now feels like rocket science, so not in a space to parse it out.

                            But absolutely no offense taken, my friend. I was just trying to add something further to think about, for the specific purpose OF dealing with various forms of privilege. For Jews, this is especially difficult, and yet we're also often the most willing to do that work because we don't feel white (all the time) in the first place. I know my part of my family ID's as Middle Eastern and some say Caucasian.

                            Jews still have, at least in my family, a lot of pain about being Jews here in this Country. That's real. Anti-Semitism is very real. The KKK wouldn't have my membership. They'd sooner burn my house down. So that discussion is a really tough one. I want to have it at some point too. I want Jewish people to talk to white people and discuss this little matter. Because I am still angry about it.

                            "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                            by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:56:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  hey mahakali (3+ / 0-)

                          first of all, sorry about your friend.  hugs to you.

                          my question to you though, on-topic is... do you look 'traditionally jewish" in the way Americans think jewish people are supposed to look?  I'm thinking mel brooks, anthony wiener type looks.

                          'cause if you look arab and have an arab sounding name... I'd imagine "jew" is the last thing people think when they come across you, unless you say something.

                          President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

                          by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:56:19 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm Irish-American and descended from (5+ / 0-)

                        indentured servants. I have ancestors who were in fact slaves in Barbados. But my ancestors were white, which eventually made it possible for them to succeed in America. There are still, however, a majority of poor people in America who are rural whites and descended from the folks Wise mentions. We call them "white trash" and they are ostracized and freely ridiculed. Nontheless, they are white, and in that sense, partake of a white skin privilege not afforded to black Americans. Their sometimes virulent racism is a residue of the divide and conquer strategy Wise enumerates.  

                        I never liked you and I always will.

                        by Ray Blake on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:31:30 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Do you even realize you hijacked the thread? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JayBat, foufou

                    Some p[eople just feel entitled.

                    Your new Democratic Party: Billions for the bankster boys and not one dime for abortions. Even if it's your dime.

                    by Mimikatz on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:06:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  We aren't demographics (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TiaRachel, Deoliver47, Adept2u

                  We are individuals.

                  I came into this diary with a lot of hope. And you know, I think your stereotypes about Jews aren't helpful. You seem to view Jews as fully assimilated and accepted by this society.

                  If you want demographics, go look up last years highest hate crime target; it was gay people, and also Jews.

                  I don't find it productive to say that we are equal ANY MORE than it is productive to say "Well now a black man is President, so black folks can be President!" It's incorrect and dismissive of the pain that SOME Jews in SOME areas go through. Particularly orthodox Jews in less urban and less blue areas. Particularly Sephardic Jews. You seem to present Jews as a monolith when some of us still have a strong "ethnic" look or identification. This is something you need to probe beyond demographics, Tim. Sincerely.

                  "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:20:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  It may still be there in a diluted sense... (6+ / 0-)

                and very strong in very certain circles and specific regions of the world.

                But Tim is correct... you've come a long way baby.

                I agree with both of you ;)

                "Trying to hold back the revision of history is always a good thing." -- Peter Christopherson

                by jethrock on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:29:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You're a "white Jew"... Ashkenazi... (0+ / 0-)

              right?

              Not Middle Eastern Jewish, but Eastern European Jewish (I'm guessing).

              That, right there, is why there are multiple conversations going on that contradict each other, I think.

              Food for thought only.

              "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

              by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 05:19:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It also 'breaks down,' I suppose, (6+ / 0-)

            if you're gay. Or pagan. Or, depending on definitions, female. Disability, even.

            That is:

            Privilege is multi-dimensional. It's simply not the case that the only relevant variable here is skin-color/race. But in practice, some differences, some departures from the 'norm' of StraightWhiteHealthyChristianMale, are more harshly punished than others. Some are more deeply rooted in the structures of society.

            I suppose I agree with you that all these other factors shouldn't be ignored in discussions of privilege, even if simply so that the targets of other-than-white-privilege don't feel ignored and intrinsically erased from the conversation. That's a problem that I sometimes see in race discussions -- the world seems to be divided into black (maybe also brown) and other, which always prompts someone to point out essentially "Other-than-black isn't a homogenous crowd, and not-black privilege isn't equally shared.' (Tangentially, don't forget that there are huge differences in local cultural diversity in various areas of the country. That other person may be describing a completely accurate image of their area, which is at the same time an absolutely inaccurate view of what's outside your own door. Works both ways, of course.)

            But. Some oppressions hit more severely than others. Racism is uniquely intrinsic to the structure of American society. It's not the only discriminatory flaw we've got, but it's huge and ugly and quite resistant to change (unlike several others, it seems). It needs fixing -- not instead of all those other issues, but more immediately.

            Something else to think about, for those of us whose Americanness is only one or two or three generations old. If we can claim parts of the US heritage, if we can consider those white british deists who figuratively (intellectually)  built the nation as in some way part of our own history (despite our ggrandparents' lives/heritage elsewhere) -- then we can also figure out how to consider those slaves who literally built much of that nation as part of our heritage (and the Chinese who built the railroads, and the natives whose stolen, bloodied land it all was built on). Not in the 'me too!' sense, but with the understanding that what we have now was built by -- and on -- their flesh. While our literal ancestors may have had nothing to do with any of that, they are in a sense our spiritual ancestors. We've inherited the results of their lives as well as those who have names in history books. Seeing history in this sense might help to make the current state of things more clear -- because history doesn't stop when 'now' begins.

        •  Heh. (8+ / 0-)

          At the risk of this turning into a navel-gazing-white-people sub-thread, I didn't really internalize the idea until I was almost due to deliver my mixed-race/mixed-culture son about four years ago.  (I'm 40.)  I had a debate with my sister about names.  My husband and I wanted an Indian name for him.  My sister didn't like that idea and dragged out that "employers don't hire people with non-white names" study for support.  I completely lost my shit.  She was buying into the "white is normal" meme even while swearing up and down it's not right; trying to make the victim of prejudice responsible for preventing it -- so many other things all wrapped up in a big ball of wrong; it all just boiled over.  It is quite easy to understand when it's directed at you (or in my case, at the very identity of my son who was still part of me at the time).  But most white people never get a dose of it even by proxy.

          White privilege is just truth, blunt and sucky truth.  Once you see it, you can't un-see it, and fuck anyone who's told about it by people who should damn well know what they're talking about and then still straps down the blinders.

  •  I rarely listen to any radio... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gilmore, Adept2u, commonmass

    I live in Brooklyn and don't drive except on the rare occasion I rent a car. So I mainly listen to music on my ipod... or music at home.

    But I do have a Squeezbox internet radio that has access to both national and local broadcast throughout the nation (and the world)...

    What shows/stations do you recommend?

    "Trying to hold back the revision of history is always a good thing." -- Peter Christopherson

    by jethrock on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:06:21 AM PDT

  •  Racism is an individual issue. (4+ / 0-)

    Anyone in the world can be a racist or not be one.

    No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, `less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it.

    by dov12348 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:09:03 AM PDT

  •  My mother used to get perturbed (42+ / 0-)

    At people who would say that we need to learn tolerance.

    She always said "Tolerance??  How about acceptance?  Respect?  Appreciation?  Tolerance sounds like something bad that you have to put up with."

    She preferred to think of it as looking at the beauty in others, and seeing the differences as something interesting, not something scary.

    I grew up learning about other cultures, trying foods from other places, and about how other people might think differently, but that difference isn't wrong - just different.

    And yet I still find myself having to root out bad assumptions, either because of my age, or because of the things I heard and accepted unquestioningly as a child and never thought about again.

    It's an ongoing process, isn't it?

    "Anybody who desperately wants to believe lies will not even notice the truth standing next to them wearing a big red neon sign." - Keith Olbermann

    by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:09:17 AM PDT

  •  cherokee nation will return (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Adept2u, science nerd

    One who fully enters society lacks little from the Buddha world -- Suzuki Shósan

    by virtuerules on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:14:56 AM PDT

  •  OK- so what are we white folks supposed (19+ / 0-)

    to do in our everyday lives about this? I'm not being a smart-ass or hostile. I can't change the fact that I'm a 50yr old white male.

    F the right wing whiners. I don't care about them any more they can all F themselves for all I care.

    by UndercoverRxer on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:15:14 AM PDT

  •  I Read (40+ / 0-)

    My first Tim Wise piece now more than 5 years ago, before he became well known outside a small group of folks who have been interested in combating white privilege as a way to increase dialogue and coalition.

    I fell in love with his work and his spirit then and have remained so ever since.  I pray constantly that folks actually heed his words - they often cause defensiveness beyond belief.  Even on the left.  Perhaps especially on the left, because the right wing doesn't care enough to really be defensive.  Tim Wise challenges us all to remember that anti-racism is hard work.  It is not enough to claim the mantle without constant self-examination, a willingness to look beyond the superficial (which too many folks today are content to stop at) and a commitment to hard truths even when they don't make us feel so good.

    He is a blessing.  I'm glad he's posting here, and glad that he is getting an increasingly large platform generally to do his unique work, which Malcolm once said was absolutely necessary to cure our national disease once and for all:  brave white people, speaking with and working with other white people, to address their (unconscious, at this point, for most) ongoing belief in white supremacy and racism.

    If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

    by shanikka on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:15:53 AM PDT

  •  Good post. (17+ / 0-)

    Glad you wrote this.

    Pooties and Woozles unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes!

    by TomP on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:18:46 AM PDT

  •  Why did you have to bring up Leave it to Cleaver (15+ / 0-)

    I loved that show with Eldridge, Kathleen and the Beev.

    Think...It ain't illegal yet ! George Clinton

    by kid funkadelic on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:21:12 AM PDT

  •  I did a diary a while (24+ / 0-)

    back, in part discussing the import of the Obama administration as presenting the ultimate in teachable moments.  Surely having a brilliant, cultured, eloquent national leader who happens to the African-American would open the eyes of many a closeted bigot.

    But I forgot something.  You know that joke about how many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?

    Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.

    You cannot teach the unwilling.  So many of these teabaggers and their ilk are willingly ignorant. How do you get through to people like that?

    Our promises are made in proportion to our hopes, but kept in proportion to our fears.-LaRouchefoucauld

    by luvsathoroughbred on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:24:52 AM PDT

    •  Ok, that's the best lightbulb joke that I've... (7+ / 0-)

      ...heard in a long time.

      Better unemployed than imprisoned: Vote Democrat 2010

      by banach tarski paradox on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:42:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Tea Party folks are the same 27 percent who (6+ / 0-)

      still think Bush was a great president and Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, who probably don't believe in evolution, who are largely authoritarian in their personality structure, and who are unlikely to ever change. I'm glad to report that the great majority of them are middle aged or older.

      For a number of white people, Obama's campaign and presidency have in fact scrambled the old synapses in a positive way. Every time I hear someone say, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the PResident of the United States" -- and this marvelous African American man steps to the podium -- it still makes me smile. It isn't going to end racism in 8 years, but it's a push in that direction, for sure.

      Obama's popularity is low right now, but all presidents go through that. I think his administration is still an ongoing teachable moment. Given my working class roots, I just love seeing clips of Obama's speeches at a new factory in Gary, Indiana, or a re-opened plant in Michigan, and seeing the faces of white workers (as well as black and Hispanic workers) as they get caught up in his words, laugh at his quips, and surge forward to try to shake his hand. There is a huge need for hope and affirmation out there, and he still speaks to that. And that is bound to affect people.

  •  In the livingroom of my apartment (16+ / 0-)

    there was a debate on whether the white race was inherently violent.  It was between people of color, I was the only white person there.

    I didn't speak, I just listened:
    It was educational, if for nothing more than I got to hear reasoned discourse about how others view my race, that I had never heard before.

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:32:20 AM PDT

  •  Sorry (13+ / 0-)

    Most white people desire, or perhaps even require the propagation of lies when it comes to our history. Surely we prefer the lies to anything resembling, even remotely, the truth.

    That kind of broad brush statement is not helpful or accurate, and does nothing to advance a useful dialog.

    Otherwise, some good points.

    This is what chump Change looks like.

    by Wamsutta on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:33:11 AM PDT

    •  Why do you feel it is innacurate? (25+ / 0-)

      For example the lie that the confederacy was an honorable institution started over states rights had a huge airing during confederate history month.  That's just one example of a lie that lots of Americans want to hold dear.  The American narrative is chocked full of such examples.

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:50:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because I don't think (7+ / 0-)

        that "most white people" desire anything of the sort.

        Some, yes...."Most"...no.

        This is what chump Change looks like.

        by Wamsutta on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:00:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but (28+ / 0-)

          all the data says most whites

          a) believe racism is a thing of the past
          b) have always believed this - even wen it was blatant
          c) believe the founding myths of the country

          so how is it wrong to say that most whites prefer the lies to the truth? That seems imminently fair

          BTW, this data is presented and footnoted in my books

          Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

          by tim wise on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:12:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  One of the Republican arguments today against (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diogenes2008, Adept2u

            affirmative action/quotas is that it is reverse racism..and that the end never justifies the means (not that this isn't one of the Gop's most common hypocracies)

            I believe the scales need balancing and that to do so affirmative action has been a valuable tool to acheive this..but being a novice I was hoping to get your take on this tim wise.

            Imporatant Diary Adept2u t&r'd

            I don't want your country back..I want my country forward - Bill Maher

            by Eric Nelson on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:49:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thing is (8+ / 0-)

              Too many people see affirmative action as somebody else getting a head start.

              Problem is, most of the time it isn't really even leveling the playing field... it's just bringing people up closer to being level.

              It reminds me of the old BS I used to hear people spout - "They're taking OUR jobs."  As if all the jobs in the country belonged to the privileged class of White men.  

              No.  "They" are taking the jobs they have earned and deserve.  It's only "yours" if you earn it.

              "Anybody who desperately wants to believe lies will not even notice the truth standing next to them wearing a big red neon sign." - Keith Olbermann

              by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:12:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noisy Democrat, Adept2u

            I don't see how  you can take a, b, and c and get "INSERT GROUP HERE prefers the lies about history".

            I guess you could say the same about religion, and it would probably go over about as well. It just seems to do little except demonize a group by their skin color, and I think we have all had our fill of that.

            ;)

            Anyway, I'll be sure to read your book.

            This is what chump Change looks like.

            by Wamsutta on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:54:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It might be misleading (0+ / 0-)

            Most people seem to prefer the lies to the truth on a lot of issues --especially those that reflect poorly on any group they identify with. I wouldn't be surprised if most men think gender discrimination is a thing of the past, and have thought this in the face of wide-spread evidence to the contrary.

            I suspect the mechanism is universal but your unqualified statement in the first sentence could be interpreted as suggesting there is something unique about white people and history. I suspect pretty much all groups likes to excise the unpleasant bits from their history: China, Israel, Russia, Turkey, the US, Men, Christians, Muslims etc.

            So while I don't think it is incorrect it will be misleading to some readers and depending on who the audience is it may not lead to anything constructive.

        •  As Tim points out, (5+ / 0-)

          what "most" or "some" believe is an empirical question. You find out by asking people and statistically analyzing the results of your surveys. Why is it so important to you that the result be < 50%?

      •  I don't hold it dear, and no one in my family (5+ / 0-)

        does, nor do most of my white acquaintances.

        Not to say that the diary or Wise are not spot on. Having this discussion is absolutely critical at all times, especially now. But saying "most" is a hot button item that does indeed use too broad a brush, IMHO.

        That said, bringing race to front is needed now more than ever. All you have to do is look at presidential electoral vote history to see just how nasty and pervasive racism is in the US. After Lincoln, the "solid south" voted dem in every election until civil rights became law, at which time, they all immediately switched to republican. Some coincidence, that.

        And in the north, there is very heavy and deep racist history, from the anti-black riots during the civil war to the busing furies in Boston in the '70's to redlining in real estate etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum.

        I'm glad to have as many voices as possible kick back the curtain that hides this shameful history. It's always a good time for it, and it's something I've tried to do in all my years in all contexts, whether it's engaging racist hockey players in my youth, or confronting racist business owners in Boston who raised their prices on welfare check day or just hiring the best qualified people for jobs in my small lab group, no matter who they are, or working with minority groups at my place of employment.

        Personally, I've always loved cultural diversity - food, music, clothes, attitudes. Being "color blind" is a two-sided concept in the sense that one can celebrate difference, but at the same time, really believe that people need equal opportunity. I think a lot of people who use color blind as a badge of honor refer to the latter in their own personal decisions and not so much that everything should be a sea of a bland, unified palette.

        Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

        by p gorden lippy on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:15:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how can you (15+ / 0-)

          deny "most" by resorting to anecdote: you, your family and acquaintances? That is absurd. We tend to know and associate with people who think like us. The point is, ALL the survey data says most whites are in denial about racism and always have been. Not some data, but all of it. You can deny it, but not from a factual perspective

          Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

          by tim wise on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:29:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I knew there was racism in this country (5+ / 0-)

            But I don't think I realized just how deeply entrenched our biases were until I watched the show I was talking about upthread.

            It stunned me to realize that it was far worse than I realized - and I counted myself as somewhat aware....

            Someone said once that if you see one fish in a pond, assume that there are at least ten more for each one you can see.

            I think that the same can be said for racism - for every event you see, assume there are at least ten more.  And for every bad assumption you have to root out of your head, there are ten more lurking, still waiting to be found.

            "Anybody who desperately wants to believe lies will not even notice the truth standing next to them wearing a big red neon sign." - Keith Olbermann

            by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:59:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  For me it was the 2008 campaign (10+ / 0-)

              My old boss used to try to tell me that racism is far more prevalent than I believed.  He's a Peace & Freedom Berkeley hippie from way back, and I used to pooh-pooh him, telling him how much things have changed.

              Then came Obama's campaign, and I was shocked and horrified.  When he teased me about it -- hey, he said, didn't you say all of that was in the past? -- I said to him it was like cockroaches.  You can live in a house for years and never know there are cockroaches in the walls.  But it was like the campaign tore off the drywall and turned on all the lights, and they were scurrying about all over the place.  Holy crap, where did all the cockroaches come from?

              "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression." -Thomas Paine

              by sierrak9s on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:04:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Worst part of that is (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                susanw, sierrak9s, Adept2u, lightshine

                That some of those cockroaches still live in our minds, and we can't always see them.

                What's really horrifying is when you are talking to someone, and one of those ancient biases or holdovers from the past comes out of your mouth, and you stand there looking stunned, and thinking "That came out of ME??"

                Which is why I keep saying - introspection is good.  Difficult, but immensely valuable.

                "Anybody who desperately wants to believe lies will not even notice the truth standing next to them wearing a big red neon sign." - Keith Olbermann

                by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:09:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  it does no one any good to say "most." (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noisy Democrat

            it only points an accusing finger and makes people defensive instead of recruiting them to the truth.

            I recognize that there is racism in most or almost all of us, but that is different from saying that most people are racists, IMO.

            It's not an either/or - you're with me or against me, you are a racist or you're not, etc. It's deep in all our subcultures. Most black people I know have racist traits, as do most whites, but that doesn't make them all racists. It's a matter of degree and of motivation and of ability to see reason and be open to change and how many aspects of one's thinking and action are impacted.

            It's not something you can give a number to, and it does no good to call names.

            Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

            by p gorden lippy on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:41:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  "Most" isn't a scientific term. In general (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, Noisy Democrat, Adept2u

        conversation, it doesn't really mean "over 50%" so much as "this group in general."  It comes across as a general statement that white people want to believe lies and are determined to hold onto them ("require" them).

        I think that this kind of statement makes it harder to have the kind of conversation you are asking for and really trying determinedly to facilitate.

        Especially for white people who haven't had much conversation about race, and are likely to be wary of it anyway, this kind of statement discourages open exchange of opinion, since it seems that the opinions of whites have already been described as essentially dishonest -- willfully clinging to lies.

        My personal opinion is that you're right, but the reality is more two-edged. I think white people, like almost every human being of whatever ethnicity, are profoundly reluctant to acknowledge ugly things about something they love and are deeply identified with, whether that's their family, their country, their religion, etc. So I agree with your statement that most white people have been reluctant to acknowledge the depth of racism and it's toxic, dehumanizing power. Yet many white people, like other decent people, do feel an obligation to face the truth, and are disturbed when they find themselves resisting the truth. This push/pull is what makes people defensive (sometimes frantically defensive)about racism. It has three possible solutions: 1. Decide to stop caring a flying damn about your racist family or country or spiritual community or whatever. 2. Decide firmly that your family/country/community is NOT racist, not one little bit, and attack anyone who says it is.  Or 3. Develop a nuanced view in which you continue to love your family/country/spiritual community, even while acknowledging their flaws and striving to change some things about them.

        Option 3 isn't easy, and simply can't happen fast. Usually people bounce around some between the various options first.  This is one of the big reasons that discussions about race are hard. I recently had a dear friend (in her 70s) shout at me fiercely: "I am not going to let you tell me that I have to hate my ancestors!"

        That wasn't what I was telling her. But I understand why that's what she heard.

        So, I agree with your statement, but I would not have said that, without also acknowledging that while many white people feel a pressure to cling to lies, many also feel the call to deal with the truth.  I would say that because it's an acknowledgement that makes conversation more likely, more possible; and because I believe that it's true.

        And I thank you for your persistence and good intention in trying to move forward these difficult conversations. I'm really glad you're here on DKos, and not an easily discouraged person.

    •  If the statement read (13+ / 0-)

      "all white people," you might have a point, but even in the rarified liberal groups I've run with, honest analyses of American history, or even western European history, is sadly lacking.

      If nothing is very different from you, what is a little different from you is very different from you. Ursula K. Le Guin

      by northsylvania on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:54:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, I think it's more accurate to say (10+ / 0-)

      many of us white people don't think to question the lies.  I wish I had gotten an accurate view of, say, American history when I was in school.  But at the time, I just assumed that's what I was getting.  I think most of us get the Leave It To Beaver version of history, and then as you get older you either question that or you don't.

      And even those that don't - it might be because they're racist, consciously or unconsciously, but it might be because they haven't been exposed to ideas like white privledge, or live in an all- or mostly-white community and don't have any real sense of what things are like for anyone else.

      Which isn't a defense, by any means; I'm just trying to draw a clear picture of what we're up against.  There's a lot of ignorance, in the literal sense.

      Obama's done a lot of good in half a term. But he hasn't fixed every problem in the world!!! He's worse than Satan!!!

      by schroeder on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:05:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  white privilege is a wedge phrase, IMHO (5+ / 0-)

        Is it not more accurate to say black exclusion, or minority discrimination, or other such phrases? Whites don't suffer the degradations or disadvantages of African Americans or Hispanics, on average. But to say that that's a privilege suggests that it could or should be taken away, something that unfailingly engenders backlash.

        The divide and conquer strategy that keeps people in "groups" is very effective in preventing cooperative assaults on the one group that truly benefits from racism, the elite.

        In the words of Woody Guthrie,

        If you don’t let red-baiting break you up
        And if you don’t let stoolpigeons break you up
        And if you don’t let vigilantes break you up
        And if you don’t let race hatred break you up
        You’ll win. What I mean, take it easy, but take it!

        Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

        by p gorden lippy on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:24:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  it's worth mentioning Howard Zinn (10+ / 0-)

    here. His People's History of the US sketches the early institution of racism as you describe it quite nicely in the early chapters: an intentional means of dividing the working folk in the interest of protecting the elite.

    we've f*cked ourself with oil. serious. no seriously.

    by Green Bean on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:34:55 AM PDT

  •  Tim Wise rules the rec list!! (16+ / 0-)

    great diary Adept2u -- thank you for continuing the conversation that needs to be had every day all day

    "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

    by soothsayer99 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:38:42 AM PDT

  •  Great diary and so apropo today when (11+ / 0-)

    MSNBC is focused on "Whites fleeing from the President,President losing White support".  The MSM loves conflict, and is not above whipping a certain group into a frenzy over race.

    By the way I see MSNBC is minimizing Tamron Hall's role in favor of Chris Jansing, a retread from the 2000 election who never fails to understand and highlight the Republican view. In my opinion Tamron is the better interviewer and Chris Jansing would fit better at Fox News.

    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington...I'm asking you to believe in yours. - Barack Obama

    by Blogvirgin on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:39:28 AM PDT

  •  Love this diary!!! (21+ / 0-)

    The AG was correct - we are a nation of cowards when it comes to the discussion of race. We each have a part to play to change that - it takes honest and open conversation and a willingness to do that, even when it may take picking at a scab. I don't want people to be color blind - let us cherish our differences!  I don't want to wear my hair like June Cleaver - I want to wear my hair in dreads!

    Thanks! A2U

    Superman's black in the building - Public Enemy

    by blackinthebuilding on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:39:38 AM PDT

    •  I don't want to be "color blind" either, . (5+ / 0-)

      ..in order to live in a world where everyone is equally respected.

      I don't want people to be color blind - let us cherish our differences

      It reminds of the person who believed they were "enlightened".. when they say something like: "I have black friends too..I don't even notice that they're black anymore"...maybe well meaning, yet still treating dark skin as an affliction or skin rash to be ignored in the interest of "polite" society.

      Color blindness should only apply when measuring actual performance or opportunity IMHO

      Thank you for sharing that BitB

      I don't want your country back..I want my country forward - Bill Maher

      by Eric Nelson on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:42:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And best of all, he lives in Nashville! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue jersey mom, elwior, Adept2u

    Who could think of a better place for Tim to be than in one of the cities where desegregation happened, where peaceful nonviolent protest brought about social change, and where we continue to struggle with the legacies of racism and racial privilege.

    Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

    by Benintn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:44:11 AM PDT

  •  he spoke at my university (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, elwior, carmenjones, Adept2u, jethrock, PhilJD

    Bradley, in Peoria, IL.  What I especially love is that he backs up what he says with hard core statistics and facts; he doesn't just wag his finger and scold.

    "Obama won. Get over it."

    by onanyes on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:50:43 AM PDT

  •  Divide and Conquer is nothing new (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, NYFM, elwior, Adept2u

    It's an old colonial tactic going way back.  IIRC, the genocide between Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda are victims of the same division perpetrated by the Belgians.

    The problem has always been to tell the working class how they're being had by The Man.  Any such effort usually gets label as being "communist" or "liberal", again another device to keep the division in place.

  •  Racism is where you find it. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Noisy Democrat, Pozzo, Mariken

    My daughter dated a black man for a while.  We had to end it because we couldn't bear her being with a person of another race, and we made sure she told them why we were ending it.

    Oh wait.  That's not how it happened.. that would've been racist.

    Actually.. her boyfriend told US he wasn't allowed to see her any more because his parents didn't want him being with a white girl.

    So, there, that's not racist at all.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:02:24 AM PDT

    •  You can't see that there are differences (14+ / 0-)

      between the two scenarios?  I can.  

      If you're really coming to this with an open mind, try the following thought experiment.

      A Jewish family and a German family in 1960.  If the German parents tell their son to quit dating that Jewish girl, is that the same thing as the Jewish parents telling their daughter to stay away from the German boy?

      I don't think it is.

      "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression." -Thomas Paine

      by sierrak9s on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:33:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that makes absolutely no sense nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  It makes the same argument as the diary. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Noisy Democrat, evangeline135

          I can relay a story, a very personal one, and people will walk away with a different view based on whether I use 'black' or 'white' for otherwise-identical actions.

          I didn't actually expect people to resoundingly endorse their own biases, but I'm not surprised.

          It was my entire point.

          "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

          by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:20:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  maybe but we shouldn't (0+ / 0-)

            and it seems to me that people often get a pass on their discrimination for at best nebulous reasons.

            It should matter a great deal what one does and to proclaim racism a 'white person's problem' trivializes and over simplifies. As does who does the dumping in the above example.

            Then again maybe that's just me

            •  one-on-one racial bigotry (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              susanw, PhilJD

              is universal.

              STRUCTURAL AMERICAN RACISM is not.

              see the difference?  I'm learning a lot myself about how to frame this discussion.

              President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

              by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:06:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Best laid plans.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Noisy Democrat

              I doubt anyone would have given me a pass on my discrimination, had I actually forbid my daughter from seeing her boyfriend because of his skin color.

              I had originally intended to leave my first comment at that point.. as a test of how people would respond, and whether their response would remain as outraged when I revealed what truly happened.  But I felt that was too unfair, and have no interest in 'outing' bigots on this site.

              And yet, even with the truth being made clear immediately, we still have people here defending the other parent's actions.. claiming a retributive right to be racist in retaliation..  and 12+ recs for a comment comparing me with a WWII-era German national for having the temerity to have white skin.

              I really should have followed through with my first inclination.  I'd have loved to see this response magnified even more clearly.

              "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

              by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:26:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Aren't you clever (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                carmenjones, Adept2u

                in your own smugness, your own clever fake tests, your own ability to reveal (in a diary on racism and white privilege) how any discussion about white privilege is simply an attack on you for "having the temerity to have white skin."

                There is a difference between the mean stupidity of personal prejudice and the power of institutional racism.  Stupidity and prejudice have no race face, institutional racism in this country does, and it's white (not my or your personal opinion, an actual data based fact).

                You are right, a lot was revealed by your comment, but we will disagree about just who and what was revealed.  

                "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

                by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 05:30:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  well don't feel too bad (0+ / 0-)

                I pretty routinely get smeared by a small handful of people that seem to believe they have a right to say the most petty and hurtful thing they can think of.

                And the lengths people will go to to justify their behavior is mind boggling.

    •  I would say that it's bigotry for sure but (8+ / 0-)

      people can defy their families and get together anyway. It's happened.

      You can't defy the landlord and get an apartment, you can't defy the boss and get the job, you can't defy the justice system and get the same sentence as a white man...

      I think that there is a power differential that makes racism more difficult to live with than prejudice and bigotry.

      Still, all of us humans are very good at inflicting pain on each other at times.

      Why can't they say that hate is 10 zillion light years away- Stevie Wonder

      by blindyone on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:11:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  one-on-one racial bigotry (9+ / 0-)

      is not the same as structural racism.  I hope you understand that one day.

      President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

      by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:07:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That sounded condescending. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noisy Democrat

        Did you intend that?

        "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

        by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:10:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  was your first comment in the thread (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          carmenjones, Adept2u, foufou, gobears2000

          intended to sound smartassy?

          well there ya go.

          President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

          by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:28:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You must feel very superior to me. (0+ / 0-)

            It stains you just being forced down to my level, doesn't it?  

            If I don't properly respect my betters, and attempt to rise above my station, what else should I expect from you except insults and condescension?

            Right?

            "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

            by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:38:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  LMAO (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              carmenjones, Adept2u, foufou, gobears2000

              so... one-on-one racial bigotry vs. institutional racism.  what say you?

              I thought thats what we were talking about, not my tone.

              President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

              by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:46:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You want a discussion with me? (0+ / 0-)

                On a topic you feel I am incapable of understanding?

                Looks like you're feeling guilty, but can't manage an apology.

                I can wait.

                "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

                by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:52:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  guilty for what? (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  carmenjones, Adept2u, foufou, gobears2000

                  I'm trying to steer the convo back since you chose to ignore my point pitch a fit about my tone to you.

                  President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

                  by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:57:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You didn't give me a change to ignore your point. (0+ / 0-)

                    You began, without hearing any response on the topic from me, by stating that I was currently incapable of understanding it.  

                    Had you simply made a point, we would have then discussed it in great detail, and you would have found out whether or not I truly could understand what you were trying to day.

                    In a thread about prejudice, your behavior has been quite illuminating.

                    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

                    by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:04:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ..err.. 'say'. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                      "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

                      by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:04:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  seriously? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      carmenjones, Adept2u

                      you're taking your ball and going home lol?

                      boooooooooooooo.  you spend all those words complaining about me beating up on your when half of them could have been used to actually discuss the point, regardless of whether or not your feelings are hurt.

                      yeah this has been illuminating.

                      President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

                      by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:17:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Not going anywhere.. (0+ / 0-)

                        I told you.. I can wait.

                        "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

                        by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:22:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  then say something besides (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          carmenjones

                          "you're a meany pants".  I'M waiting for you to weigh in on the difference in the types of prejudice and why you felt the need to conflate them.

                          President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

                          by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:24:54 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure! (0+ / 0-)

                            If you consider yourself above apologizing, so be it.

                            But I certainly think an explanation of why you seek the opinion of someone who you feel has nothing valid to say on the topic is in order.

                            You haven't been very forthcoming on this topic, and seem to prefer to pretend it never happened.  

                            Sweeping it under the rug, as it were.

                            "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

                            by Wayward Son on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:32:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  sorry. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Wayward Son, carmenjones, Adept2u, foufou

                            now you were saying?

                            President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

                            by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:34:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  by the by (7+ / 0-)

                  I would hope my use of the term "racial bigotry" in my first comment to you precluded me having to say whether or not the actions of the black family in question were bigoted due to race.

                  in case id did not:  I agreed with you on the fact that it was racial bigotry.  I just am tired of folks interjecting cases of individual bigotry by minorities to steer a conversation away from the obvious structural racism AGAINST minorities we're discussing.

                  President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

                  by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:01:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  You are so right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wayward Son, zett

      I don't think any sane person would claim that incidents of black people acting like jerks towards white people add up to a problem of the same magnitude as white racism against black people in this country -- but nevertheless, it is racism, and I think it's important to call it like it is. Too many people seem to believe that only white people know how to be racist, or that racism is only a white people's problem, rather than a human problem.

      Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

      by Noisy Democrat on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:35:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  my life experience has shown me that 'racism' (11+ / 0-)

    and white privilege is buried so deep in our pshyces that we have a great deal of trouble identifying our most subterraenean biases and prejudices.

    Many fo us react defensively when we feel we are abeign accused of 'racism' or enjoying white privilege because to coin a cliche 'some of our ebst friends are black/brown/yellow etc' and no matter how progressive we think we are we tend to get angry possible because we feel we are being accused of something we don't feel we are.

    It is another cliche that 'youy have to be taught to hate' but is is atruism and it is also a truism that we have to be taught to love.

    Who amongst us, especially female, hasn't crossed the street when we have seen a pair of black adolescents wearing hoodies, low riders and high tops coming towards us on our side of the street.

    We ALL have a long way to go, but if we are open and honest with each other we shall make it. Whether a color-blind society is a goal to aspire to or not is beyond my analysis, but treating each and every one of our brothers and sisters on the planet alike is a goal we can aspire to. No reason we have to love everyone, but our fear should not be based on hidden prejudice.

  •  Yup, seeing... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, susanw, Adept2u

    ...just needs enough light to shine. Like Erikson's Hierarchy of Needs, humans seem to grasp resources and power by developing a hierarchy of competition, self-definition, and privilege.

    WASP stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. It is an informal term used in the United States and Canada[1]  in reference to an ethnic elite with high social status and presumed power. The term excludes Roman Catholics, Jews, blacks, Hispanics and Asians. It is used to identify an elite of upper class, well-educated Protestants of English descent, usually in disparaging fashion to imply the author's disapproval of the group's excessive power. Historically, "Anglo-Saxon" is a language term referring to what is now called Old English. Since the 19th century has been in common use to refer to people of English descent; the redundant "W" and "P" were added in the 1960s to form a witty epithet. People seldom call themselves WASPs, except humorously; the term is typically used by outsiders. The term more generally refers to high status people of West European descent.

    The social construction of preference, arrogance, and power that manifests in white privilege in the US - white, male, land-owning - was given a legal construction by being embedded in our Constitution.

    This phenomenon has existed since people started to cluster into tribes, in other cultures and races, from the beginning of time. There are legal opportunities beyond just "shining the light" though and an infinite number of organizational and private ones...

    Just shine the light...

  •  My status relies on keepin my trailer park white! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, Uncle Moji, elwior, Adept2u, mallyroyal

    I never for the life of me understood that mentality.

    Wise absolutely nails it.

    I realized as a kid in a very diverse community that predjudice was an invention to dusguise the class divide.  So as Wise says about Europeans, I made sure I was just as predjudiced against white people who were different from me as I was against people of different races or the opposite sex. I was never white, I was an Irish Catholic guy.

    To suggest that people can automatically relate equally to people with whom all they have in common is basic humanity is ludicrous.  Everyone feels at home with their "people".  The key is not to feel a false kinship with those of your race who would exploit your need to belong to a larger group.

    And that is true of people of all races.

    It's called the Dodd-Frank bill. What else do you need to know?

    by roguetrader2000 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:36:00 AM PDT

    •  Nice comment. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, Adept2u, mallyroyal

      The key is not to feel a false kinship with those of your race who would exploit your need to belong to a larger group.

      Agree 100%.  Also, I think this goes for everyone, no matter your race.  I've never felt comfortable belonging to any club that would have me as a member.  That isn't to say that I don't value knowing people with whom I have shared experiences.  I'm just wary of false kinships.

      Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

      by fou on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:43:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You make such an important point (7+ / 0-)

    (among many)  with this statement:

    Why am I picking at a wound?  I’ve heard this around, it’s because its an injury that is still being inflicted.  It’s because our people and institutions are under active attack by a media organization that is actually owned and takes its orders from a person that is really non American who has no interest in seeing our national strife healed.

    We are being torn apart by Rupert Murdoch and his crew on a minute to minute basis.  We should do ourselves a favor and educate ourselves as much as possible about this man and his organization to have even a hope of fighting back.  Thank you for your insightful diary!

  •  Not recing this.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u

    skin pigmenttion of the human specieies is dynamic and wonderful thing. I do not buy the concept of White prividlige in a modern era. Yes some would like ot be privilidged I would just like to be a human for once.

    Nice vide of Tim But I am done talking illusion.. thats what the concept is an illusion.. whether you bleieve in it or not. Or want it or not. It is an illusion. People are humans. Skin color? really? Until we all get over this the world is just doomed.. how can we all work together to save our species when all we do is look at our membrain that separates us from one another? Its interesting. But we need to move beyond this.  

    •  I can't tell how many categories (12+ / 0-)

      of Derailing for Dummies you hit. If you could spell worth a damn, maybe I'd be able to.

    •  and utopia would be nice too (19+ / 0-)

      Pretending that race and class does not matter does not make the problems go away.

      Until you get over your refusal to admit racism still exists, we cannot move past the problems.

      •  I did not say racisism does not exist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u

        Nor will I ever. It is a Us Vs Them mentality. I reject that as illusion and wrong headed however we do not have much time to continue to preach to the converted. We need to treat each other like humans and move beyond this stuff. Skin is just chemicals and such. Racism is a attitudinal and intellectual deficiency not a thing such as a privilege etc. I am more than one pigmentation beyond even two.. I am a combination of all that came before me.. I am a member of a species that is fluid and dynamic and am happy about that. The division comes in the mind of the people that see it and act this or that way in relation. It is a verb not a state of being white/black/brown/pink/white.. etc.. those are pigment.. the hate comes from the mind and it is not on race but ignorance of our humanity which is important. I take flak for my views and am fine white that. I love you all. I hate what we are coidng to our selves. By the use of languange and ideas that do not cast us in a common role. Human.  I am naive, a dreamer, a horifyngly bad speller and other things.. asshole someitmes comes to mind. But I am human and share this with everyone.

        •  you have a point here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adept2u

          we do not have much time to continue to preach to the converted

          the kind of white people who are responsive to the "you are automatically racist because of your skin color, just admit it" rhetoric are usually already liberals who are behaving in un-racist ways and are not the problem.

          The problem are the flat out RACISTS in middle america and their attitudes.  Part of activism is messaging that will reach middle america--not just your own coterie of academics and such.

          I agree with everything Tim Wise says, just about...but it is not going to solve anything to just nihilistically say "we are all racists--if we are white" (however true that is)...that message just won't sell to the people we need to reach.

    •  silly argument (49+ / 0-)

      ...ya know what, witches were an illusion in Salem in 1692 too. But guess what, despite being fictional, those intent on persecuting women made "witches" a socially real category and killed them. So race is socially real even if it is scientific bunk. Racism exists because of power imbalances and the desire to maintain them. Not because we keep talking about it.

      Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

      by tim wise on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:51:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Race is an illusion (8+ / 0-)

      but the problem is people don't know this, and that is an unfortunate divide that is pervasive in our society.

      We can't just pretend it isn't a problem. And of course there is white privilege. It's all around us, and often invisible.

      But I do get your point, in that it is strange that people focus so much on differences, rather than on what we have in common. We all have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two ears, four extremities, and the same blood coursing through our vessels. We all look pretty much the same, really. We have the same shape and features, and function the same physiologically. We're human.

      But all some people see is the difference in pigmentation. And that is enough to divide us. How crazy is that?

      •  Thank you I love you. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u

        not in that way.. you know.. love.  I have common mind with you.

      •  Not strange - human nature (10+ / 0-)

        This is one area where psychology can really explain a lot. Basically, we're all tribal. We all want more for "our" group than any "other" group. I remember a series of studies (wish I could remember the scientists behind them) on upper-class British white kids attending camp, as homogenous a population as you could find. However, once the counselors put them into groups (based on arbitrary assignment, although the boys did not know that) and separated the groups (which was key to the experiment), they quickly became enemies. In one game the counselors had the boys play, they had the option of scoring a lot of points for their group, which would mean some points for the other group, or 0 points for their group but negative points for the other. The second option was by far the favorite - the kids wanted to harm the other group, not just beat them.

        This is, IMHO, the worst part of human nature, and the one we all need to recognize and overcome. It is the cause of all nationalism and genocide the human race has ever perpetuated. It's also the reason that I, as a life-long Boston Red Sox fan, am not sad at all that George Steinbrenner has finally kicked it.

        The speed with which someone tells you they're a Christian is inversely proportional to the probability they'll act like one.

        by CPT Doom on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:51:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Race is, regrettably, real (0+ / 0-)

        just like class is real.  It is a political, legal and social construct, but so is General Motors and the March of Dimes and apartheid and representative government and the Fourth of July.  Astrology is real; it's real bullshit, but it's real.

        Agreed that it is not biologically real; at most, "race" can trace tendencies and averages biologically.

        If you want to get to the heart of the political nature of racism, consider how different societies classify "race."  In South Africa, Europeans and Japanese were "White" while South Asians and Chinese were "Asian."  Persons of European and African ancestry were "Coloured."  In the U.S., any African ancestry made one legally "Black/Negro"; accordingly under American apartheid many Black Americans with African and European ancestors would have been classified as "Coloured" under South African apartheid.  Nowhere in America would Japanese have been considered "White".  In America Japan was a conquered military enemy; in South Africa, Japan was a trading partner and ally of the apartheid state, unless China.

        But your core point is well-taken; this real fact is based on bullshit non-science.

        Some good fun at conservatives' expense at my Baltimore Examiner column.

        by tbrucegodfrey on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:54:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  lol (8+ / 0-)

      I do not buy the concept of White prividlige in a modern era.

      the commenter known as hangingchad doesn't have to buy into a concept for it to be true.  you realize that right?

      President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

      by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:27:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just think it spends to much time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u

        and effort to make further divisions. case in point.. what this diary has done. It is a Noble thing to resist ignorance.  But better to instruct as to its end. If WP exists it does in people and their own mental states and emotional ones.  Better to tell us how to be human and not a better X or W person.

        A better human sees unity. A better human shares differences with care in order to highlight the commonness of our species and lift us up to a better place. And while I may be compleatly igonrant My heart is in the right place. Your all trying to do the corect thing just as I.. And its wonderful.. I justr hope we can move eyond it and move to getting something done to bring us to a place where bieng human is more imporant that these discusions.

        •  but see (10+ / 0-)

          me and you would be at a stalemate.  I'd be astounded at a white person talking to me in person and declaring they don't believe in 'white privilege' in this country.

          so how could we ever come to an agreement on the topic?  I'd be looking at you like you were crazy.

          to me... better humans try to understand what leads to division in order to try and unify.

          you can't bring people together if you discount either of their personal realities.

          President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

          by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:56:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not a stale mate. A beginning. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NearlyNormal, Adept2u, mallyroyal

            We must start post haste to work on humanizing everyone and accepting them for who they are. If you think a person is using race as a tool ask them not too.. If they become counter productive to the continuation of the species move past them and find others who see beyond the limits we impose. And attempt to further our species. This is all important. Not what we call our skin or the exclusion of another skin.. it is error in my thin ape mind that would think you may steal my fruit.  We are human and need to rise above this Tribe (animal non shareing selfs) etc.. or it will keep us from working feverishly to save the species from a fate born by ignorance and division instead of unity of purpose.. One day to figure the heck off this rock. And plant our species in the heavens.

            I grew up among racism.. My parents hated my best friend cause of his skin. I thought it was stupid of them. I still think it is. But it would be an error for me to continue it. Humans are important and our skin is just a part of being human.. its color is pretty and I spent some time being blind and when you hear what comes out of peoples mouths I sometimes wonder if we will ever succeed.

    •  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, (7+ / 0-)

      and credit this comment only with naivety:

      I do not buy the concept of White privilege in a modern era.

      Quite simply though, you're wrong.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:46:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Probably an idiot.. I am not known for being (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, Adept2u

        a luminary. Nor well written. However I just want us to be human together and get beyond this so we can do great things. And yes I believe blind racism exists. I call it emotional and intellectual error. We should build humanity and the idea of a human identity based upon moral and inttelctual honesty. When people are in error you list the error. not a word or phrase.. reason with those who use those tools for separation to bring unityh with them. Common ground is much better treaded together than appart.

    •  no ones race is a negative so why try (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blindyone, conlakappa, gobears2000

      Our diversity as tribes of humans is not on its face a negative thing, and I cant see whats wrong with celebrating it.  I love going to "ethnic" day whoever the tribe is that's holding it.  The issue is am I welcome am I equal.  I think the idea is that among all tribes the answer must be yes.  We are to celebrate and cherish each others differences as we cherish ourselves, and how can there be a problem.

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:11:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Privilege is a very well studied concept (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett

      There are a lot of privileged groups. Tall people, good looking people, people with good hair, people with normal sounding names, males, females, people without facial hair, whites, blacks. There is almost always some context where some of those characteristics create an unfair advantage that is largely unrecognized by the people receiving the advantage.

      I had an African American friend explain white privilege to me once by starting with black privilege. In school he was always picked early for any sports teams, far earlier than his athletic ability would warrant. He said he never noticed until someone pointed it out to him. Then we went on to talk about the more normal examples of white privilege.

  •  WHAT a diary (10+ / 0-)

    This is the best diary I have seen in about forever. When people of conscience can band together, no matter what color we are, we'll finally have the power to make progress.

    THANK YOU so much for this.  Made my day.

  •  I've found it eye-opening to (12+ / 0-)

    travel, go to restaurants, be around and have friends of different races and ethnic backgrounds.  Having a multi-racial family has been startling about "unequal responses" as well.

    What started years back as surprise at how waitpersons and cashiers spoke to me and not to my friend(s)--(they were seemingly invisible)--grew into seeing that I was receiving different and more favorable responses from storekeepers than other members of my family.  This developed into my learning that I was treated "better" and turned further into into the hard-to-stomach realization that I unconsciously "expected" to be treated that way and benefited from it.

    From these experiences--both accidental and also intentional--I've struggled with aspects of myself and grown to believe that racism is the most important conversation that we, as a society, should be having.  In even "good intentioned people", racist attitudes are subtle, complex and multi-layered.

    When my children were young I learned to start listening to things they said about me--because I was lucky enough to value the fact that "I was too close to myself to actually see myself."  

    I consider myself fortunate to extend that insight from 40 years ago into the fact that I "need" to be around folks "who are different from me" so I can learn more about the depths of myself--and the experiences of other people.  Seems to me this is part of what developing as a person and as a people is all about.

    Please check out the Haiti/ShelterBox diaries--and help as you are able.

    by no way lack of brain on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:48:55 AM PDT

  •  More on Tim Wise, White Privilege 6 parts series. (22+ / 0-)


    Part  1Part 2Part 3



    Part  4Part 5Part 6

    ...We have many more issues that bind us together than separate us!

    by ThisIsMyTime on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:54:24 AM PDT

  •  Bless you, TIMT (7+ / 0-)

    for posting the entire series by Tim Wise.  He is the best and you are so thoughtful ;)

  •  Excellent Diary! (8+ / 0-)

    I like the way you write.  You make your points well.  tipped and rec'd.  

  •  Oh my dear Adept2u. (14+ / 0-)

    Thank you so much for this diary and for continuing a badly needed conversation on race and white priviledge.

    My hope is that through these diaries we will begin to weave together a deeper and truer understanding.

    All blessings to you.

    "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

    by Onomastic on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:13:40 AM PDT

  •  Thanks adept tipped rec'ed and saved (8+ / 0-)

    "Nothing is more American than bribing people." fellow kossack kid funkadelic

    by J Brunner Fan on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:15:59 AM PDT

  •  When I see stupid comments (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, carmenjones, Adept2u, foufou, lightshine

    like this at DKos, I just have to shake my head and wonder wtf does it take to get some people to "get it".  Other than, they just don't want to "get it".

    Never underestimate the power of the stupid - my son

    by edwardssl on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:16:53 AM PDT

  •  what you say adept (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carmenjones, Adept2u, foufou

    you know how to get the asses in the seats?  LOLOLOL!!!

    President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

    by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:21:34 AM PDT

  •  White 40 year old female here. (9+ / 0-)

    Most white people don't think about white privelege unless something makes them sit up and take notice.  I know I didn't until I married a Hispanic man and started noticing how he was treated differently and how I was treated differently once people realized we were married.   We are divorced but my daughter came home the other day and told me how someone had called him a beaner while they were driving.  It is not a class thing as he drives a Mercedes.  It still enrages me.  Also something that does not get reported very often is that everyone is racist/biased to some extent.  I live in a diverse community in So Cal and the movie Crash really reflected my experiences.

    I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws? Bill Maher

    by gtghawaii on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:23:24 AM PDT

  •  Question I have is... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Adept2u, LSmith

    how do you knock a group off a perch without making them feel like they are being knocked off a perch and how do you not expect them to fight back when they are being knocked off their perch?

    People die for truth, but I feel more sorry for the ones living without it.

    by jbou on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:24:49 AM PDT

    •  I don't think the vast majority (4+ / 0-)

      Would mind me standing next to them.  I think they just don't recognize sometimes they are up there.  I remember the recent CNN story about how white kids would pick darker ones as less appealing etc., but what struck me was the mothers reaction.  She cried.  When the interviewer presented her with her little Brie saying that all the Black kids were ugly and stupid she cried.  I have to think 50 years ago she would have said yeah what of it.  30 years ago she might have said yeah well whatever, but today she cried.  A more perfect union one tear at a time.

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:57:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What I find disheartening (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanw, conlakappa, foufou

        Is that someone decided to redo that study from years ago, where White and Black kids both were shown dolls, and asked which were prettier, etc....

        Sadly, a lot of them (Black kids included) picked the White dolls as prettier.  It was somewhat better than the original experiment, but not enough.

        We still have a long long way to go.

        "Anybody who desperately wants to believe lies will not even notice the truth standing next to them wearing a big red neon sign." - Keith Olbermann

        by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:00:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is disheartening to see people still (4+ / 0-)

          trying to conform to the European sense of beauty.  I think it'll be the final shackle of colonialism to be thrown off.  As much as I enjoy Graham Norton, when he referred to Anna Kournikova as the "sexiest women's tennis player in history," I thought, "have you ever seen Serena in motion?"  

          Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. Booker T. Washington

          by conlakappa on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:57:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Okay... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett

        if they don't recognize they are up there it is going to be difficult convincing them something needs to change and pointing out that the white guy benefits from being white is bound to turn off a guy that doesn't realize he is benefiting from the system. Don't be surprised when the white guys go on the defensive is all I am trying to point out. Especially the broke ass living paycheck to paycheck white guys who don't think they are benefiting from a damn thing.

        People die for truth, but I feel more sorry for the ones living without it.

        by jbou on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:54:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think one reason that discussion of race has (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    susanw, Adept2u, foufou, mallyroyal, LSmith

    often been so toxic on DKos is the conflation of white skin privilege and racism. I suspect that sometimes, maybe most often, but who knows, this may simply be sloppy terminology. Obviously, the two are related in many ways both obvious and subtle, but they aren't identical.

    As a white man, I've struggled with racism within me for decades, I believe with considerable success, but I'm not looking for personal validation. I completely accept the reality that I've benefited personally from white skin privilege, in many large and small ways growing up, in mostly smaller, but still frequent, ways now. The thing is, I can struggle against racism, but I can't struggle in the same way against white skin privilege. I can, and do, confront it when I can, but there literally is no way for me to opt out from it, because white skin privilege is bestowed on me from outside, by other people, by dint of the reality that I'm white.

    Despite his remarkable insights on race in America, Time Wise continues to benefit himself from white skin privilege, as of course he acknowledges. He can't opt out.

    Neither can, say, the Rev. Michael Pflegler. For those not familiar with Pflegler, he's a white Roman Catholic priest in Chicago, who's devoted his life to ministering to the African American community here. He's extremely militant and progressive in advocating for the economic and political rights of that community, and very willing to confront the white power structure here. An example, in 2008, at the height of the right-wing attacks on Jeremiah Wright, Pflegler invited Wright to deliver a blessing at his (Pflegler's) St. Sabina parish. I suppose there are some black folks here who dislike Pflegler, or distrust him, but so far as I can tell from my perspective, he's mostly revered in the AA community. Yet Pflegler too benefits from white skin privilege. I imagine he would chose not to, were that possible, but there simply is nothing he can do about it. If he's arrested at a protest, he'll be treated differently by police than will the black folks also demonstrating. (The fact that he's a priest in a heavily-Catholic town I'm sure also makes a difference.) If he brings an issue to City Hall, he'll be listened to differently, more attentively, more respectfully, than will an African American minister. He also can't opt out.

    I'll close this now; it's already too long, and I want to get it posted. If anyone finds it of interest, I'll be around.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:26:14 AM PDT

    •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susanw, Adept2u

      What do you mean there's nothing you can do?

      Of course we don't choose the labels society afixes to us, but that doesn't mean that we can't resist them.

      Racism persists when people forget that it ultimately exists to divide people with common interests.  When you say "well, I'm white, what can I do", you're naturalizing a division that used to keep you from seeing interests you have in common with people beyond the wall of privilege.  

      Obviously, the struggle against this will take generations to overcome, but we've already made significant progress, progress we couldn't have made if people had said "well, what can I do"?  There's plenty people can do.  They can boycott businesses.  They can use their privilege to expose the lies that it's fabricated from.  Rachel Maddow did an excellent job of that last night when she exposed the illegality of James O'Keefe's "investigative reporting" of ACORN.  And of course Tim Wise did a magnificent job exposing the lie of racist paranoia with his diary yesterday.

      There's plenty you can do everyday ... that is .. unless you're really saying you don't want to do anything about it.

      Oba-MA bumaye! Oba-MA bumaye!

      by fou on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:58:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I did say this: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u

        I can, and do, confront it when I can

        I'll try to clarify. I'm not at all saying "Poor me, there's nothing I can do." I can, and do, fight the social reality of white skin privilege. In the reality of my life, that involves mostly talking about it, pointing it out when I see it operating, especially in ways that may not be obvious.

        What I can't do, at this moment of historical time, is simply refrain from benefiting. How would I, or any white person, go about doing that? It doesn't matter that it isn't a privilege I want. If you think though that I'm washing my hands of the need to struggle, you're reading me wrong.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:13:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Louis CK said it best (7+ / 0-)

      It's often the comics that can just speak it.

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:54:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i love reading about this stuff and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Adept2u

    it's a very compelling angle on American history - I partly attribute the boredom I felt in school studying history to the gaping holes and revisions that were left out of the story.

    The question that comes up for me whenever I encounter this kind of restorative history lesson, is: how does this narrative re-enter the core structure of American culture? How can these lessons be internalized, and not just among the elite and educated, but in the fabric of our working people?

    Because we are still living out the twisted paradigm of the founding hypocrisy as described in this diary. The success of conservative doctrine for example, and the ability of the American people to consistently act against their own best interest continues to stun me.

    Maybe this is a larger problem of 'the human condition', as they say. Summarily: the attainment of status trumps all other interests. Whiteness, for example, the inherent quality of skin color, becomes married, and embedded in a concept of superiority, and of privilege, that remains long after the actual instigator and incentive is removed. In fact, as Mr Wise points out, it never really existed in the first place.

    This remains the most troubling aspect of the human psyche, and not only because it is a strategy enacted by the elite on the working folk. It is and was a defining characteristic of human society, and it is a good deal older than America. Europe too is formulated on ancient racial and ethnic divisions.

    The problem is that human beings would sooner die than lose the abstracted status condition that they are attached to. The only reason they will drop one status attachment is if they are offered a new one - something they perceive as better than what they have. Knowledge, or education has only a tenuous claim to superiority with respect to the perceived status conferred by skin color. So the knowledge of America's racial history is not a replacement for the  establishment of status conferred by race. Something else is needed with that special knowledge - some status advantage that comes with a return to egalitarian "working class" principles.

    What that is is up for debate. But it is not obvious from this diary that America was and remains a great experiment in egalitarian, class free culture. In spite of the history of racism, and perhaps because it is so overt in our country, there is still hope that an ideal of egalitarianism and an escape from ethnic division is possible in the free-form cultural slip stream of American life.

    we've f*cked ourself with oil. serious. no seriously.

    by Green Bean on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:28:29 AM PDT

  •  Okay, here's my issue with Tim Wise (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wamsutta, NYFM, Noisy Democrat, MGross

    and to a much lesser extent with some of the contentions in this diary.  I didn't have time to respond in Wise's incredibly thorough diary when it was fresh, so I hope the diarist won't mind me responding here.

    Here it is in a nutshell, Wise conflates scholarship and policy discussions with angry rant.  I have nothing against angry rants.  In Wise's last diary, a few people responded to my criticisms with rants which I had no trouble with.  Sure, like most rants, they were extreme and blaming, but we all need to let it out.  My problem is with thinking such indulgences lead to good policy or even the desired changes.

    Here's an example from the diarist's quote:

    Rather than knowing about and confronting the ugliness of our past, whites take steps to excise the less flattering aspects of our history so that we need not be bothered with them.

    Wise has no difficulty talking about "whites."  Two reactions:  where do people like Howard Zinn fit into this claim of white-washing (pun intended) and, more crucially, does Wise really think that glorifying a racial, genetic, or national past is unique to whites?  Please, the idea separately is completely trite: a general statement about how people behave.  What is interesting is the particular ways in which whites have covered over and ignored their racist past.  This can be done without making all whites particularly and the white "race" generally guilty of a "crime" which is universal among the peoples of the world.

    Let me ask how some feel reading this comparable sentence:

    Rather than working to claim their place as equal citizens once doors began to open, blacks remained mired in the injustices of the past, unable to forgive and move on.

    I can't personally imagine making such a claim, most especially because the use of the word "blacks" without qualifiers is just obnoxious.  Perhaps there is some truth buried deep within that separating, blaming comment, but that truth is not going to set anyone free.  Neither will Wise's mostly accurate observations, imho, so long as he insists on confusing rants with scholarship, infusing accurate and necessary analysis with blame rather then appeals to the better angels of our nature.

    As to racism being a purely white issue, I just don't know how to respond.  I know that as recently as the 70's my friendships with blacks were plagued by fears of being called "oreos"  If that isn't racism, I don't know what is.  I do think this problem has gotten much better.

    I know one thing--if I were black, Obama would have to be Attila the Hun before I wouldn't give him my vote.  I think that's racism, but I accept it.  Still, it should be seen for what it is, or real problems stemming from race will continue to hurt us.

    Don't believe everything you think.

    by geomoo on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:28:34 AM PDT

    •  I can tell you (27+ / 0-)

      how Howard Zinn would have responded. Because he was a friend. He would have agreed with me. In fact I made this exact point at a forum with Howard sitting 6 inches from me, on July 4, 2005, and he nodded and smiled so much I thought he was going to explode. He would understand--and you should too--that when people say "whites" do something, it is thinking in the sense of most, and that is what I say throughout that essay. I obviously acknowledge that it isn't "all." I mean Jesus, my own presence as a white person speaking out proves I don't think it true of all. Learn to read context please...

      Guilt is what you feel because of the kinds of things you've done. Responsibility is what you take because of the kind of person you are...

      by tim wise on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:33:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure that's true, but that wasn't my point (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wamsutta, NYFM, mightymouse, Adept2u, MGross

        I'm saying that the presence of people like you and Zinn makes plain what, of course, you and I both know, that when you say "whites" you mean most whites.  That's not how everyone will react.  I repeat, if similar generalizations were made about blacks, they would be rightfully described as racist.  I understand the argument that attempts to undo centuries of inequality makes such charges not even close to equal in value, but I still find consistency to be important.  After all, is it "racism" we are talking about, or is it just the racism of whites, a valid conversation, but one which worded sloppily easily implies that other people don't have work to do when it comes to uncovering their own racist ways.  Racism is a human problem, and a volatile enough one to require accurate dealing.

        Analyzing how white folks have acted in ways that damaged humanity can be of value to all of us, because when unselfconsciously in power, whites let their racist flags fly.  Every human can learn from seeing how racism can lead to blindness, not just whites.

        In general, I'm sorry, but I see a virulent blaming running through what little I've seen of your work.  This is the third time now that I've been exposed to your valuable thought, and for the third time I'm disturbed by exactly the same thing.

        (I hope we can skip the part where I try to convince you I'm not defending my whiteness, nor reacting defensively in general, nor being unconscious.  I am passionately sympathetic with this cause.)

        Don't believe everything you think.

        by geomoo on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:48:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hm. (6+ / 0-)

          (I hope we can skip the part where I try to convince you I'm not defending my whiteness, nor reacting defensively in general, nor being unconscious.  I am passionately sympathetic with this cause.)

          I dunno... its interesting to me anyway what you choose to get riled up about.

          not the facts laid out but the way in which some things were worded?  seems like thats always the sticking point when I try to have this conversation with... WHITES.  (go figure.)

          again I dunno... forest, trees?  seems to me like you're finding a reason to bitch.

          if you hadn't included a couple sentences in those long posts saying how much you agreed with wise, I wouldn't have thought so.

          President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

          by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:53:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not "riled up." (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NYFM, Noisy Democrat, Adept2u

            That's just a convenient assumption for your kneejerk reaction.  In fact, I'm just as "interested" as you are, and thus at least as calm, neutral, intellectual, objective (not to say right) as you are.

            Since we seem to be into analysis, let me mention that, if the same thing is "always" a sticking point for you, that's usually a good indicator to look for what part you're playing in getting the same result from, apparently, every WHITE you interact with.  Perhaps we all seem the same to you.

            Don't believe everything you think.

            by geomoo on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:59:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  humans seem the same to me (7+ / 0-)

              nobody wants to take ownership of whatever they may be doing to cause the things that upset them

              if it goes for me it goes for you too.

              that was MY point.  I can check myself, can you? the topic arouses my ire.  I'm neither calm, nor neutral about it.  glad you can be.

              President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

              by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:15:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see. Thanks for explaining (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYFM, Adept2u, mallyroyal, PhilJD

                I would expect that I would be calmer about it than you, for obvious reasons.  I just assumed you were doing a one-ups-manship deal with that.  Sorry I misunderstood.  And I do have a lot of passion about this, believe it or not, not from feeling defensive.  To the contrary, I grew up in Georgia and was pained by the horrible racism I saw and heard every day.  It's hard for strangers here to know, but I feel I have earned some right to speak out on this issue.  Unfortunately, it can take a long time to convince that I'm not just another unconscious racist.

                I couldn't agree more with this.  It's a first cousin of my original point.

                humans seem the same to me

                nobody wants to take ownership of whatever they may be doing to cause the things that upset them

                if it goes for me it goes for you too.

                Don't believe everything you think.

                by geomoo on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:26:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  seems to me (8+ / 0-)

                  the play nice and say things the way I want them said  argument comes out to the advantage of the privileged every time.

                  it is time people were shaken and if it hurts their little feelings it is on them to figure out why.  "well I didn't like the way they  said that" is a deflection so in those cases  look at your damn self.

                  "Beside is a word that is between this and that." E. K. Sedgwick. Not the mythic middle, just proximate, something you can rub up against.

                  by suckback on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:36:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  see thats where I was going in the first place (7+ / 0-)

                    we're talking about racism... and I'm supposed to edit myself and make sure not to hurt feelings?  it gets me every. single. time.

                    I'm trying to be open minded and trying not to let the emotion get the better of me but you nailed it.

                    President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

                    by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:48:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, mallyroyal, you're supposed to edit yourself (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Noisy Democrat, mallyroyal

                      in just the way everyone must if they want to be heard when discussing a difficult topic.  If you want to rant, I'll bet you could come up with a doozy that would stir my soul.  But that's different than discussion with the purpose either of educating folks who need it or of finding a solution.

                      Don't believe everything you think.

                      by geomoo on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:59:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm more interested in accuracy than in playing (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Noisy Democrat

                    nice.  I'll say again, I welcome the focused rant.  In anger is power and clarity.  But a rant is not scholarly, and rants rarely lead to good policy.  It's the conflation of the two that I'm objecting to.

                    The accuracy aspect is the constant implication that whites are special.  Language matters.  Saying "whites" repeatedly when it is only a subset of whites being referred to contributes to racism.  I want a solution.  Substituting prejudice against one race in place of prejudice against another, even when most of the specifics are well deserved by much of that race, is not going to end racism.  If all you're interested in doing is shifting the balance of power, then be honest that your advocating for your own race against mine instead of pretending you're on high moral ground.

                    My wife tells me that feeling guilty simply means you're going to continue the behavior.  I'm sorry, but I feel strongly that whites wallowing in guilt is not going to lead to good results.  I want every single person to own their shit and to empower themselves to work through it.

                    Don't believe everything you think.

                    by geomoo on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:57:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, sorry, forgot to acknowledge. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Adept2u, mallyroyal, lightshine

                    You are dead right about the privileged always wanting to play nice and keep away the "malcontents" and "outside agitators."  I see how my arguments could be used for that and even seen as that.  I like to think that if that were done, you'd find me siding with you in a second.  I do recognize that that is a problem when trying to bring nuance to such a big discussion that has been so one-sided for so long.  

                    Bottom line is, I expect a lot from my black friends.  I ask them to try to find forgiveness for the unforgivable.  I do the same thing with all my friends, no matter their color.  Forgive, but don't forget.

                    Don't believe everything you think.

                    by geomoo on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:03:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (5+ / 0-)

      your slip is showing.

      As a white man who tries the best he can to free himself from thinking ingrained in me because of our racist past, I find nothing wrong with this statement:

      Rather than knowing about and confronting the ugliness of our past, whites take steps to excise the less flattering aspects of our history so that we need not be bothered with them.

      In my experience this is,  to varying degrees, true of most whites in this country. And the "whitewashing" is not just about slavery.
      It is the demon in our psyche.

      Also,

      Rather than working to claim their place as equal citizens once doors began to open, blacks remained mired in the injustices of the past, unable to forgive and move on.

      Dumb statement is how I feel.  First, the obstacles are still not all the way down. Second, I am quite sure people started claiming their place the moment it was subjugated but the majority didn't care.

      "Beside is a word that is between this and that." E. K. Sedgwick. Not the mythic middle, just proximate, something you can rub up against.

      by suckback on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:15:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You haven't really addressed my essential point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wamsutta, Adept2u

        But anyway, in response to this:

        Dumb statement is how I feel.  First, the obstacles are still not all the way down. Second, I am quite sure people started claiming their place the moment it was subjugated but the majority didn't care.

        I can say a very comparable thing with respect to Wise's remark.  Whites have been confronting their racist past from before the time of the revolution.  Volumes have been written by white people exploring their history of racism, trying to find ways to set things right, working hard to confront the unconscious aspect of their racist past.  If it were otherwise, there is no way Wise would receive such an open-armed, friendly reception here.  Do each of us think we are that special, the only ones who have thought about this?

        "Whites" have been dealing with their own racism and racist history for the entirety of my adult life.  It's the one area of progress about which I have unreserved pride in what my generation has accomplished.  People like me trained our parents not to say racist things, in my case by consciously giving her negative reinforcement zingers.  This may seem like nothing, but such things matter.

        I'm not saying Wise's statement is wrong.  I'm saying that, as worded, it's just as dumb as the statement I made.

        Don't believe everything you think.

        by geomoo on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:34:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent. I'd like to see a Tim Wise diary on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    susanw, elwior, Adept2u

    the rec list daily.  Either one discussing one of his many videos or books or one authored by Mr. Wise.  Get busy Tim.

    Seriously, if you watch his videos and read his diaries, I guarantee that you will be motivated to re-evaluate your thinking, do something positive, and contribute to changing the national dialogue on race.

    Mr. Wise is a talented and energetic speaker and he will motivate you to rise up in your seat and crack down on racism, which is the root of almost all political trickery, chicanery, mischief and evil in this country.  He makes a strong case along those lines.  I'd like to see someone try to rebut it.  Or even just But, But, But it.  I doubt it can be done.  

    •  Yes, this is one of the video topics that I did (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Adept2u

      not get to yet, but he touched on in another video:  the history behind the creation of whiteness, of white privilege circa 16th/17th century iirc.

      Still watching, but I just wanted to say that this is a very interesting topic which I wanted to ask him about directly, but here you have provided the specific video.

      Much thanks.

  •  Shorter Time Wise, shorter W.J. Cash: (5+ / 0-)

    A poor man will kiss a thousand asses if you give him but one to kick.

    I'd like my life back, too, Tony ____ Video and more songs at da web site

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:38:54 AM PDT

  •  Great diary, just great! Thank you so much (7+ / 0-)

    for writing this.  I have been reading and following Time Wise for a while now.  I wish I was articulate enough to write all that I have been thinking on this issue.  I appreciate what you have done here.

  •  hearst used it in the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoxerDave, Vicky, Adept2u, gobears2000

    late 1800s to do the same thing to the chinese immigrants in so. cal. he fired up white workers by blaming the bad economy on them and then egged them on.

    "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

    by zedaker on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:44:20 AM PDT

  •  Periously close to broad-brushing. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wayward Son, Wamsutta, fou, Adept2u, peregrinus

    Step 1 in dialog: Please stop referring to -- and thinking of -- "whites" as if we are some sort of monolith.

    In my experience, being "white" has been no fucking picnic.

    •  ok. (8+ / 0-)

      NOTE TO ALL WHO WISH TO DISCUSS RACIAL INEQUITY IN THE USA:  NEVEREVEREVER USE THE TERM "WHITES"

      President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

      by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:48:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please consider that not all whites are equal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wayward Son, peregrinus

        to other whites.

        Please consider that there is nuance.

        Please consider that people of color also engage in toxic stereotyping.

        Please consider that there actually is the occasion for dialog, and for people coming from all angles to learn and reframe their impressions about other people.

        Please consider that the characteristics you're just CERTAIN apply to me, because my skin is presumably lighter than yours, actually apply.

        You've been dehumanized, dismissed, ignored, passed over, pushed around, terrorized, driven away, laughed at, threatened, and/or physically injured by white people because your skin is brown?

        I have at various times received the same treatment from mostly (but not exclusively) white people because of age, size, sex, not-sufficiently-feminine appearance, and lack of money/social position.

        The notion of race is but one starting point in the REAL discussion, which is about social power and prerogative in all its manifestations and affects.

        The more time you spend with a death grip on your racial broad brushes, the less time you spend actually looking at the source of the problem.

        •  you assume I make an assumption about you (6+ / 0-)

          I dunno anything about you other than what you tell me.  I assumed nothing other than you refuse to engage a topic because you find it too overgeneralized or something.

          also that you wish to skip over this what... facet of the discussion and move it to the broader topic of what bigotry is and what causes it.

          I'm not there with you.  I'm talking about racism in the USA.  thats enough of a REAL discussion to last me for a few.

          President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

          by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:20:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not a dialog if I'm supposed to just (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wayward Son

            shut up and accept another person's preconceived notions, prejudices, opinions, feelings, and beliefs.

            That's not REAL discussion.

            •  exactly MY point, ironically (5+ / 0-)

              and the fact that you feel you have to "shut up" like listening is some chore says more than any of your comments to.  to me anyway.

              NOW I'm assuming something about you.

              President Obama isn't my boyfriend. He's also not the guy who f*cked you and never called back.

              by mallyroyal on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:55:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And the fact that you feel I should be the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wayward Son

                only one listening -- and you with zero obligation to do the same in return -- means we have no opportunity for dialog.

                So I'm tagging out. You want recognition without having to grant recognition in return. I understand. Everybody wants their way; the only question is: who ultimately gets their way, and why, and how. Right now in this country (hell, everywhere), the answer is: Those with the most money and guns (who happen to be white in the U.S., but are black in Africa, and various shades of brown in Asia and the Hispanic Americas).

                And that does not include me or you.

                The ultimate solution to social injustice, in all its forms, is to figure out how we must evolve our society so as to change the above answer. Otherwise we just keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

                But you go right on ahead all by your lonesome, making earnest and aggrieved sounds out into the universe, and wondering why you get little in return that satisfies you.

                It'll be a good lesson for you. Perhaps someday you might actually pause for a moment and listen to people who are your allies but whom you refuse to see or hear because of your own prejudices and impatience.

        •  I am not sure what point you wish to make (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett, carmenjones, Adept2u, mallyroyal

          in a diary about white privilege and racism that asks white folks (of all strata) to understand the basis for racism in America, and to look at how they benefit from it, even as they are screwed by virtue of class or gender or religion by other whites with even more (and other) privilege.  

          I am not sure how your comment advances dialogue or reaches out to solve institutional racism or any other oppression that plagues our nation.  

          I am not sure why there is a tendency to jump to the conclusion that an honest inventory of white privilege is a de facto denial of any other kind of oppression that exists in our country.  That to listen to the  anti-racist passion that fuels this issue for white folks like Mr Wise and others here in this diary about racism, and the anti-racist passion that infuses the comments of those of color, isn't worth just reading and perhaps you finding in them the common ground I believe you honesty seek.

          You are right, not all white people are the same, but there is some sameness of privilege that comes with having white skin, that is different from those who do not.  Just as not all rich people are the same, and not all straight people are the same, and not men are the same, but there is a sameness in their privilege that is different from those who do not enjoy that entitlement.

          As a person who fits into a variety of unearned categories that don't automatically give me entry into many privilege clubs, I also understand that my best learning has been done when I understand the ways my few unearned categories DO give me entry into some privilege; I believe those (including me) with power (and privilege) have an obligation to use that power to advance equity and justice, even at the cost of losing that power (and privilege).

          I do strongly agree with you that regardless of how we get there, we all have a lot of work to do.

          "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:13:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with you... (0+ / 0-)

    but at this time its become even more rudimentary than any coordinated systemic effect.  If you look at non-cognitive and cognitive development of the human mind the years of 0-7 are VERY important.  Disproportionately lower class african americans raise their children in a way that does not facilitate such development to the extent of their suburban counterparts  (largely a function of education....).  This is the premise behind a lot of the projects associated with the Harlem's children zone.  So at this point its much more complicated than a system that can be changed.  We are talking brain development here.  You cannot teach someone a skill at the age of 18 (like many trade schools in inner cities do...) and expect them to be a success unless there is a foundation of basic non-cognitive and cognitive skills.

    Its worth opening up this conversation.  

    •  Let's not pretend that all white (10+ / 0-)

      people live in the suburbs and are great parents. Poverty and poor parenting are destructive to all children as children grow older.

      You sound like you are trying to deny that structural racism exists by using the old cultural deficit dodge.

      Other than that, I agree with measures like WIC and school breakfast and lunch programs and Headstart type programs that try to help poor children get a good start in life. They should be funded and extended to afterschool playgrounds and tutorial help and even Saturday school.

      Why can't they say that hate is 10 zillion light years away- Stevie Wonder

      by blindyone on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:26:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I haven't been around much, if at all, (13+ / 0-)

    but wanted to tell you this diary is necessary, and thank you for it, Brother Adept2U.

    Tipped and rec'd and sad to have missed Tim Wise.

    I can't think of anything to contribute right now past what you've said, other than, yes, this is an issue that is used politically to oppress people from a certain class by preying on peoples' "fears of the Other." We see a lot of that right now. More than I recall. I'm sure, in part, due to the economy, the shifted demographic of Latinos in the country, and our first AA POTUS.

    "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 10:55:13 AM PDT

  •  Any white American that denies ever (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Adept2u, foufou

    experiencing the benefits of "white privilege" is a racist.  

    "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

    by Marie on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:07:19 AM PDT

    •  This is the kind of bullshit (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, MGross, peregrinus

      that turns people off. I say that as someone whose skin color is many many shades off white. Most people work very hard to succeed in life. Just because some opportunities are denied to blacks it doesn't mean they are freely given to all whites.

      Palin/Limbaugh - Rogue/Frog - 2012!

      by freespeech on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:18:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one is claiming that all white folks (11+ / 0-)

        have all privileges. Of course class and gender  continue to matter a great deal in American society.

        It isn't even so much about opportunities anymore. Opportunities are still nowhere near equal, but things are very slowly improving.

        White skin privilege operates in ways a lot more subtle than just "opportunities" though. Most blatantly maybe in the ways white folks are treated by police, compared to the treatment dealt African Americans and Hispanics. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout American society, identical behavior is perceived differently, depending on who is engaging in it.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:37:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Regrettably your white skin... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vicky, foufou

        ...leaves you unable to appreciate tautological arguments.

      •  The list of turn-offs for (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Val, susanw, blindyone, Adept2u, foufou, lightshine

        the American people is very long.  We're really not very good at seeing our behaviors and social arrangements for what they are and correctly labeling them.

        As a woman of a certain age, I can recall when the evidence of "male privilege" was denied and it was a turn-off to say that those deniers were male chauvinists, sexists, or misogynists.  Heard "bullshit" about that more often than I care to recall.  However, as I heard it from men and women, your "skin color of many many shades off white" is irrelevant.      

        "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

        by Marie on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 12:25:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Everyone is a racist. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susanw

      The question is how aware are we of our own biases, how do we go about correcting them and avoiding them influence our behavior, and how aware are we of the effect racism has on our society and our communities.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:15:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree...I think that is Wise's main point nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Why stop there (0+ / 0-)

      Any person born white is a racist from the day of his birth.  

    •  I don't want to call them racist actually (4+ / 0-)

      It's real hard to be told that many of the ways you've been thinking are being criticized.  Most of the people who recoil at the idea of white privilege i've interacted with I'm fairly certain are just regular folk.

      When anyone gets their world rocked by anything their first reaction is to recoil.  However, it's maybe in the reaction after recoil that demonstrates how one feels about race.  If my brother from india says it hurts that this is happening, do I go no it isnt happening because it's not something I experience or not important for that matter, or do I ask my brother to explain his experience until I do understand it.

      It's real hard for my White brother who hasnt had a pot to piss in for 5 generations to hear that he has privilege.  I don't want to call him a racist because he doesn't understand how yet.  

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:41:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  great diary, hard concept (11+ / 0-)

    you and Tim Wise have written great diaries which are very interesting and cutting edge. But they are also hard concepts for white people to grasp and understand, even liberal and smart people like those on this blog. I can't help but wonder how difficult it world be to for the general population of America to understand you both. But I know that if they could America would begin to heal and become a better place for all its citizens.

    Indeed I find it as interesting as the diaries themselves to read the many comments from people here who just don't "get" it and who use the usual discedited dodges to refute the truth of what you write.

  •  Shatter the Lies (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    susanw, elwior, Adept2u, Eric Nelson

    Over the last year, I have read a few books that describe and source our racism.  Being from the deep, deep south, I needed to understand why I was taught as I was.  Do consider reading one or all of the following:  The Bloody Shirt by Stephen Budiansky; A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn (God rest is soul); and The Presumption of Guilt by Charles Ogletree.  We ain't finished yet.  Racism continues to be used as a tool against us all.

  •  beautiful, necessary diary Adept! (8+ / 0-)

    I agree with you on our brother, Tim Wise.  Why is he not invited on the talking heads shows to debate the likes of Krauthammer or Pat Buchanan.....probably because the racist enablers that are the owners of media in this country, know he will wipe the floor with them....

    thanks for the diary. tipped and recced

    "Black is the new white.."--Paul Mooney

    by vmm918 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:26:59 AM PDT

  •  He has convinced me, adept. I was skeptical... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cloudbustingkid, Adept2u, foufou

    ...but no more. It's there. It's real -- even if I don't have to deal with it, it's real. Good diary. T&R'd.

    Learn more about second-class U.S. citizenship at http://www.equalitymatters.org/

    by Larry Bailey on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:30:04 AM PDT

  •  Wise is right on the money about divide & conquer (10+ / 0-)

    ...and I would argue the strategy applies not just to race, but to many of our political alignments. Tea party folks are exhibit "A" in that they gladly carry water for the corporations and economic elites who are trying to take advantage of them.

    So glad to see Wise and others are speaking out forcefully on this.

  •  tip'd and rec'd (15+ / 0-)

    Tipped and rec'd for a valuable addition to the discourse here on dkos.

    That said, I'm going to go off on a race related tangent.

    I'm of Indian heritage (the country India) but born and raised in Jersey. I've noticed that a lot of white people I work with (and for) 'open up' to me in ways I wish they didn't. What is it about being a person of color who isn't black that makes white people think it's ok to share with me their disdain for black and hispanic people? I never get into anything political at work so no one here has any idea I voted for Obama. I've even been in meetings with vendors where the sales people start talking smack about 'affirmative action' as soon as our sole black colleague exits the room. Hello, I'm still here. Am I invisible? Or are they just color blind? I don't get it.

    FWIW my sister gets the same thing at work so I know it's not just me.

  •  Great diary! (5+ / 0-)

    I had never encountered Tim Wise prior to yesterday's diary. He is an impressive individual, with a lot to say about racism in an age of racism denial.

    Thanks for following up with this diary. All three videos were full of interesting information.

    I had always assumed that there was some Guy named 'Jim Crow' who was identified with segregation and oppression in the South. I guess I was pretty far off base on that one.

    God has no religion. - Gandhi

    by OIL GUY on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 11:55:06 AM PDT

  •  Excellent! (3+ / 0-)

    Great writing coming from both of you lately.

  •  White privilege vs. racism that divides us all ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wamsutta, Adept2u

    The phrase white privilege ignores the class aspect that racism has taken throughout history. When workers fight with one arm tied behind their backs, they lose. When workers fight for better working conditions, they are sometimes divided by racism. Racism (not white privilege) was a serious problem when unions were built in the United States. Ethnic racism (in the form of anti-immigrant worker hysteria) continues to be divisive among working class people who, by now, should know better. The upper classes benefit when working people are divided. Republicans, servants of the ruling classes, know that-- and it is exactly why Republicans push ever divisive cultural and racial factor they can.

    I have been reading and appreciating Tim Wise writings for many years. I wish he would drop the phrase white privilege because it is imprecise. Other than that he is an anti-racist force who, for many years, has been fighting the most righteous fight.    

  •  The only time I noticed having "white privilege" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wamsutta, Shifty18, Adept2u

    was when I lived, as a minority, among people of color.  When you are a grain of rice in a "Chocolate City", you notice the difference.   Fortunately, I could always go home to Whitelandia.  Not everyone has the option of going to a place where everyone enjoys the same privileges - yet.

    I don't find the term offensive, except when someone suggests that, as a result of having had the benefit of being born white in a predominantly white culture (for now) we have to feel guilty, or make up for it, especially because demographic trends tell me that we will be debating "brown privilege" in twenty years.    

    Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

    by SpamNunn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:11:21 PM PDT

    •  I never understood the term White Guilt. Who is (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SpamNunn, Adept2u, foufou, mallyroyal

      telling you that you have to feel guilty?

      I've never said that to anyone, nobody ever said it to me, and I never heard anyone say to anyone else.

      I really don't understand from where it comes.

      Can you explain from where your feelings of enforced guilt comes?

      I'm very curious, as I've heard this many times.

      Does it come from the constant allegation that White Men are privileged?

      Does it come from the natural response to learning history?

      I'm not saying you should feel guilty about history, but is it a natural response to internalizing slavery in the US and it's impact?

      •  Implicit in the use of the term "white privilege" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, Adept2u, Mariken

        is that those that possess it (something granted simply by the act of birth, not due to merit) have something they don't deserve and that they should be ashamed of.  

        I don't feel it, but many do, when they hear the term.

        Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

        by SpamNunn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:43:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Think about it this way (8+ / 0-)

          The idea that the dominant cultural meme be held by the dominant culture shouldnt be something to feel guilty about at all.  To imagine that society is set to your perspective.  The idea that a person may not be good at imagining the other perspective is not an insult, at least not to me.  As a Black man I have a privelege as well male privilege.  I get busted all the time by the women in my life when it operates.  I can't feel guilty about it as it is the way things are, but I can be more sensitive to it, and everytime I'm busted I expand my horizon and perspective.

          My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

          by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:32:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That, I can agree with. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adept2u, mallyroyal

            Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

            by SpamNunn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:00:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zett, Adept2u, mallyroyal

            You are very patient.

            I do have white guilt. It's not just a feeling, it's a fact. My life is a hell of a lot easier being white than it would be if I were Black, and I benefit from this all the time. I don't intend for things to be this way, and I fight unfairness when I see it, but because it's SO easy for me not to see, I work hard to fight that blindness. I also feel collective shame when I see shit like the Oakland BART verdict, and I do my best to speak up. If I benefit from an unfair situation without fighting that situation, it's my karma, you know?

            If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

            by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:10:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  What is your ethnicity? (0+ / 0-)

        Just curious.

        I don't feel guilty for having a Scandinavian and Scottish heritage. I'm proud of that!

        But I feel white guilt regarding the disproportionate treatment white people get as a group in this country. I feel particularly bad about our history and present re: Native American and Black Americans, but often about whatever nonwhite group we happen to be disenfranchising or bombing or occupying at the time (I know, brown and Black Americans bomb brown people too, but usually it's for a rich white cause).

        If my tax money is going toward an injustice, or if a group I belong to treats another group like shit, or if I somehow benefit from the suffering of others, I feel at least somewhat responsible.

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:17:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  White Irish Catholic. (0+ / 0-)

          We did our time, dude.  I feel badly, but not responsible.  I will do my best to help, but not out of guilt.

          Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

          by SpamNunn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:29:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Guilt is generally nonproductive (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mallyroyal, lightshine

            unless someone needs to change their behavior, or to make amends where they haven't. I do think white culture has amends still to be made to Black America. Whether individual guilt is productive there I guess depends on the person.

            I don't understand the statement about 'doing your time.' You mean that the Irish have also been mistreated in this country? Agreed, but not by Blacks, and not in proportion to what Blacks suffered, of couse.

            If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

            by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:58:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You have no idea. (0+ / 0-)

              Every family has a different history.  Try the coal mine for a few generations.  At least when you were picking cotton, you could see the sun.  

              Strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one's balance in spite of them. - Clausewitz

              by SpamNunn on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:05:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mallyroyal

                I bet quite a few runaway slaves went right to work in the mines in the north, and were grateful. I wonder how many freemen in the mines would willingly have changed places with a southern slave?

                Being dragged from your loved ones and forced across the middle passage chained on your back for weeks, then, if you lived at all, sold into slavery where you got to enjoy brutal hours, beatings, rape, your children taken away, no right to marry, no pay, and no freedom.. sorry, that just can't be compared to an unforced paid job in a mine, though I know the conditions were harsh and dangerous.

                Having endured hard times for a few generations is not the same as 400 years of slavery. Not remotely comparable.

                If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

                by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 08:49:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I've never had anyone tell me to feel guilty (0+ / 0-)

        but I definitely feel it. (Full disclosure - I'm a WASP female - both sides of my family are predominately from Great Britain and my father was a Methodist minister.)

        When you are white, and you run smack into the fact of white privilege and racism, you can tend toward one of two opposite reactions. One, you can decide that your privilege is actually no privilege at all. That it is normal to receive that privilege because everyone on the "other side" is lazy, stupid or whatever. Or two, you can be horrified that you are receiving privileges that you neither wanted nor asked for, and fight against those privileges where you can.

        I'm not saying that every white person falls into one of those two camps, just that every white person probably has a reaction somewhere along the spectrum with those two reactions being the opposite poles.

        As a white American I was always told that I could do or be anything that my dreams led me to do or be - the sky was the limit. I always felt very empowered. So as a white American who falls into category two above,and having felt empowered all my life, I feel guilty that there is relatively little that I can do to change the equation. (Because face it - I really have no more power than the next middle-class white American.)

    •  Well, we DO have to make up for it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susanw, lightshine

      by fighting alongside our nonwhite brothers and sisters against injustice and racism when we see it.

      The Oakland BART verdict should tell people white privilege is still a terrible problem.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:05:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: "brown privilege" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susanw, lightshine

      ..it's not just about numbers, if we take South Africa as an example. Blacks far outnumbered whites, but the privilege was still with the whites.

      It's about disproportionate access to power.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:18:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Has anyone pointed out that Tim is very Wise? Ok (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, Diogenes2008, Adept2u

    corny, I know, but very, very true.

  •  Great diary, Thanks. (3+ / 0-)

    "It is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize" - Henry David Thoreau

    by blueoregon on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 01:48:04 PM PDT

  •  To every person who has participated here today (14+ / 0-)

    THANK YOU!

    I had to step away for a couple hours and I cant express how pleased i am to come back and find probably 50 diary length comments, and others of a shorter variety full of insight and thought.

    I'm reading through the comments like a person would enjoy a glass of fine wine, but I wanted to say that a diary like this answers what I see one of the fundamental questions I've seen.  What do we do about it?  I have to believe that thoughtful 2 sided conversation is the first step.  

    I read once that america put a table cloth over some very ugly business 40 years ago, and the only way we're going to ever enjoy future meals without our drinks falling over is to rip the cloth off and clean the table.  I think this is how we start doing that.

    My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

    by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:03:15 PM PDT

    •  Or for a more disgusting analogy (3+ / 0-)

      But still relevant... rip off the bandaid, and let the wounds heal.  Finally.

      But they're not going to heal if we just cover them up and let them fester in the dark.

      "Anybody who desperately wants to believe lies will not even notice the truth standing next to them wearing a big red neon sign." - Keith Olbermann

      by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:04:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Human nature is NOT all kind & altruistic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u

    We are a species which sexual selection evolved to be violent, greedy and racist. The norm among bimorphically-selected creatures is to kill other males & impregnate their women. We are also kind & altruistic, but those characteristics are applied in proportion to the relatedness of one to another - teaching people that "we are all one" doesn't change the other parts of our brain. We might be getting better - there is minutely less slaughtering of enemies that seemed normal in biblical times, even back in the early part of the second millenium there was a fair amount of out-and-out extermination going on in Europe, and lots more in Africa & Asia.

    Unfortunately, the degree to which we do or don't slaughter each other is related to resources, and so many food & water systems are taxed to the breaking point... to truly breed a kind species, you'd have to round up all the violent humans and exterminate them.

    If you can't be a good example, at least be a horrible warning.

    by David Mason on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 02:36:56 PM PDT

    •  Ah but isnt that what makes men men (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mallyroyal

      That in the face of those baser instincts you described we strive toward reason.  That to the extent that we do not act on those traits acquired long ago we are evolving?

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:26:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am whiter than Wonder Bread (5+ / 0-)

    and I think you nailed it out of the park.

    It is class, and so many don't want to really look at the issues.

    I have relatives seeing their middle class way of life being destroyed and simply want to point fingers. Meanwhile they continue to elect people and support the polices of the people who are actively destroying their way of life.

  •  Just a quick story (14+ / 0-)

    Recently, I stood with a group of black pastors in Greensboro, NC.  We were blocking the door of the Police Station protesting unequal treatment between whites and people of color in Greensboro.  As planned, we were arrested.  When the handcuffing began, the four black pastors to my right were cuffed.  They skipped me, leaving me holding the sign (Pictured in the Greensboro News and Record), and arrested the black pastor to my left.  When we arrived at the jail, the black pastors were immediately put in a holding cell.  I was not.  I was processed and sat on a bench in the hall.  The black pastors were brought out one a time for the next hour and a half, still cuffed.  When it was time for us to be released, they motioned to me.  I was released first.  The only white (me) was arrested last, never put in a cell, and released first.  All at a protest about inequality and racism.  That is white privilege; that is racism; that is obvious.  This was June, 2010.

    •  Holy shit (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, zett, susanw, Diogenes2008

      That IS obvious. Disgusting. And kind of surprising. Sometimes they'll come after you extra hard for standing with the targets of racism against racism.

      This is one reason "GLBT" often includes "GLBTA." "A" to some indicated "asexual," but in our circle, it meant "ally." This is because oftentimes allies are also put at risk in standing up against homophobia.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:36:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Damn straight racism is a white problem (8+ / 0-)

    There is no such thing as "racism" from people with less power in a culture. There is no such thing as "reverse" racism. Racism always comes from the dominant power group, because it's a systemic form of violence.

    Now, anyone can be prejudiced against anyone else, but black prejudice against white is a reaction to racism. It's not the same as racism, and it doesn't carry the social power of white-against-black prejudice.

    (I'm white.)

    These "race card" idiots are the same morons who would have you believe that there's such a thing as heterophobia or homosexim, or female chauvinism, or "class war" waged against the rich. It's all Luntzian horseshit.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:03:46 PM PDT

  •  I've been kind of a turd to you (7+ / 0-)

    ..a few times over your defense of some of Obama's policies, and I'm sorry. I love the man, just have high expectations and all that.

    I don't know how to say this without it sounding wrong or patronizing, but in arguments re: Obama, I wish I knew when I was arguing with a nonwhite person.

    It's not that I'd change my positions, but I might change my tone and be more sensitive. I think it's safe to assume that most nonwhites are generally NOT defending certain of Obama's policies out of allegiance to the Blue Dogs or to Wall Street. And, racism IS embedded in many peoples' attacks on Obama (not all, and not mine--I bloody well hope). I cannot imagine being nonwhite and not hearing racism all over the place re: Obama, because it IS all over the place.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 03:33:33 PM PDT

  •  I have used his old piece in Alternet many times.. (5+ / 0-)
    Mainly to help explain my opinion on affirmative action programs to those that are open to hearing such arguments.  The piece was written during the criticism of the University of Michigan affirmative action program.

    Link to the article

    We strike the pose of self-sufficiency while ignoring the advantages we have been afforded in every realm of activity: housing, education, employment, criminal justice, politics, banking and business. We ignore the fact that at almost every turn, our hard work has been met with access to an opportunity structure denied to millions of others. Privilege, to us, is like water to the fish: invisible precisely because we cannot imagine life without it.

    Give it a read.  It is at the very least thought provoking.

  •  Nickelodeon makes me cringe nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  The sad thing (6+ / 0-)

    is that it doesn't take particular genius or insight to know and understand the points that Wise makes.  I'm a white guy, everything that Wise says seems like common sense, even old hat, to me.  I guess the fact that it seems so striking is just a statement of how few white people, particularly white people in a position to get access to media and recognition, even bother to think about issues of race and racism for any length of time at all.  And that's the sad part, the part that hurts all of us, of all colors.

    We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 04:43:19 PM PDT

  •  As a white man, the funny thing is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Guyer

    when the party dedicated to white privilege is running things, I don't feel very privileged....

  •  As a Black Female (9+ / 0-)

    It's really hard to watch all of the racism directed @ Obama, from conservatives to even liberals (this board is totally not excluded).  There are things I totally disagree with him on, but to me, I feel he's doing the best he can do and an okay job. The news media; they're such morons, it's so racist and it just pains my heart to see this.  But he's the first, so he knew what he was stepping into, maybe he just didn't realize how bad it still is. And to see that he really gets no recognition in his own country, from the media is heartbreaking.  Rolling Stone, for one who was so totally in love with him, has really been scathing about him. My head is not buried in the sand, I know what Obama does and what policies and things I dislike, but the vitriol that's against him from even the liberals is just mind-boggling.

    •  Dogenzenji; that video clip made me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diogenes2008, We Want Change

      cry.  I can relate to a certain extent.

      To Identify a troll you must look at their lies, their hyperbole,their character assassination of the President,their repetitive doggerel and motives.

      by Knights of Dusk on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:08:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love that show (0+ / 0-)

        What, like you couldn't tell already, right?  :)

        "Anybody who desperately wants to believe lies will not even notice the truth standing next to them wearing a big red neon sign." - Keith Olbermann

        by Diogenes2008 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:40:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Me too! I can't tell you how many times I or my (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, Diogenes2008

        mom have been made to feel like criminals in stores while shopping and being followed around. It makes me so angry. I'm more sad for my mother that at 81 years of age she has to still put up with this as she has all of her life as a Chicana growing up here in the U.S.  It angers me, and my heart aches for my mom.

        "Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures" - Cesar Chavez

        by We Want Change on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:06:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  you are a hypocritical doofus (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bouwerie Boy, Red Sox

      your posting of the odious, disgusting video that -- among other things -- refers to the us & israel relationship as that of a parasite and host -- and you do so with no sense of remorse or responsibility (and in fact write a whining diary accusing folks here of "censoring" your bigotry)

      and then come here and post this...

      hypocrite.

      this would be mojo-whoring of the worst ilk.

      _

      There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

      by dadanation on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 09:55:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with your line of thinking is this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat

    You're completely ignoring the younger generation by going on and on about this.  In doing so, you're actually sowing the seeds for further race and class wars/differences, thus allowing them to be exploited in the future.

    Does this mean we should no longer point out racism or just say, "Yeah, it's a post-racial society now!"  Hell no.  It's obvious that there's still a lot of work to do.  
    But you're basically attacking this problem still like society is still basically stuck in the 1970's or something.  

    Your  rhetoric comes across as "White people are still bad people".  YOU can argue that you don't MEAN that, but recognize that it's what it comes across as to a LARGE swath of people, both young and old.  

    I'm 28 years old.  This kind of talk makes me and a great number of people I know my age (and younger and older) just fucking bristle at this kind of talk.

    Your heart might be in the right place, but your attacking it from the wrong angle today.  There's a generation of people just now starting to take the reins of society who have been raised to be very tolerant of others... hearing this kind of "us vs them" talk is just insulting and, honestly, makes the 'black community' seem... well... ungrateful.  

    This is why so many people like Obama and don't feel "threatened" by him.  He emphasizes tolerance but doesn't "pick at old wounds", as you noted.  He recognizes that a LOT of progress has been made, especially with  the younger people.  That is something that is missing from a lot of civil rights groups in general.  It's also what bothers a lot of white Americans, too.  Most white people, it's probably safe to say, are not racist.  They might have prejudices, but you find those among blacks, latinos, asians, etc too.  Those people feel like if they've done a lot to cleanse their biases and maybe even hatred from their hearts.  
    You should now be saying, "Always be tolerant and try to understand others".  You're not, though.  You're basically saying, "You're still a hate-filled monster! and you're not gonna forget it!"

    I expect to get attacked for this post.  That's fine.    

    Just be forewarned – talk like this is planting food for future Republican voters to feast on.  It's the kind of thing that angers people enough to start voting for the intolerant party.  You're only undermining yourself in the long run.  When you hear about Republican strategists yammering on about "white guilt" or some shit, yeah.  They're stirring up the race pot for their (old) intolerant voting base; but it strikes a chord because it rights true.  You need to recognize WHY that rings true and adjust accordingly.  Lemme tell you  – it's that kind of primitive, easy to understand rhetoric that is SO easy to latch on to... age (or race, even) has nothing to do with it.  
    Basically, tolerant young people won't be tolerant forever if you don't find a way to make things like "white guilt" stop ringing so true to people.
    You might not like hearing it, but it's the truth.  Diaries like yours just add another piece of straw to some poor camel's back.

    And before some jerk gets the bright idea to call me dumb – yeah, I'm FULL WELL aware that racism is coming back in full force courtesy of Fox News and the Tea Baggers.  I'm just thinking long term, is all.

    My style is impetuous.
    My defense is impregnable.
    YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

    by samfish on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 06:20:05 PM PDT

    •  Defensiveness (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blindyone

      a reaction i fully understand and specially from the younger generation.  I have a 24 year old daughter, and the previous election cycle was her first introduction to the idea of "the way things are" as far as white black relations were concerned.  She thought the world had moved colorblind.  As a female she didn't receive the normal police harassment that black males get.  As a black woman with parents that have had some success in life she wasn't exposed to 2/3'rds the issues that Black people similarly advantaged have to go through.

      The issue isn't that I'm able to express the various double standards and injustices that exist, it appears that I expose them and make some white folks fell guilty.  It is a very insulting idea that you just tolerate us.  We don't desire nor require your toleration.

      I've always wondered if western society hates guilt as opposed to shame.  

      My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

      by Adept2u on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 06:00:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're reading WAAAAY too much into what I said (0+ / 0-)

        No one said that white people "tolerate" non-white people.  That's fucking absurd and I have to think you're being deliberately obtuse.  

        "Tolerant" people are those who have no problems with issues of race and are ultimately accepting of other cultures, as it relates to this discussion.  Perhaps you can suggest a better word to use, but that's the one most often used when discussing these matters.  

        There's nothing wrong with "tolerating" other cultures, either.  Believe me – I almost married a Japanese woman and I'm currently dating a woman from the Philippines.  Guess what?  Sometimes you DO have to "tolerate" other cultures until you eventually adjust to the differences.  Perhaps you have the ability to instantly embrace and feel at home in a different culture other than the one you were raised in (and reacting only positively to it), but 98%+ of the people living on Earth don't.

        If you can't understand that there are cultural divides in America, which are a large factor in race relations and discussions, then you seriously have no business being involved in said discussions.  Sorry.  It means you aren't willing to try and understand things from the other side and "tolerate" their perspectives on the matter.  

        The very problem is that white people are often times made to feel guilty when, in most cases, they don't deserve it.  Especially not these days.  Sins of the past and all that.  Everybody knows what white people did the non-whites in the past.  It's not a secret.  Everybody with a functioning brain is also aware that there is still racism today in society, even if it's not as prominent as it was just 30 or 40 years ago.
        Making people feel "guilty" or "shamed" over something they never did and, at most, is the fault of their parents or grandparents (or even earlier generations) is NEVER in a thousand years going to lead to a truly post racial society.  
        What do you POSSIBLY hope to accomplish by pursuing that avenue still?  Don't you think it's time to move on to the next phase in the process?

        Race is an obviously very delicate, touchy subject where one or both sides can easily be offended, which leads to more boulders being placed in the road.  As such, it needs to be dealt with in a delicate manner.  I don't think you're interested in that, judging by your response.

        Apologies, but your reply offends me.  It strikes me, as I said, as very obtuse and just looking for a fight.

        My style is impetuous.
        My defense is impregnable.
        YOU'RE NOT ALEXANDER!

        by samfish on Thu Jul 15, 2010 at 11:03:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  MLK's Nobel Lecture focused on racism, poverty (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, Oh Mary Oh, We Want Change

    and war.

    I find the idea that the myth of whiteness and the assignment of superiority to it, was created by elites as a divide and conquer strategy compelling. It would seem that the most radical act then would be to undermine this myth and get to the root of the situation, subjugation of the masses by economic elites. Attacking racial injustice undermines the identity divide that holds the subjugated apart. Attacking the process of impoverishment designed to benefit the elites unites the masses in common purpose. Attacking the process of endless war making disarms the primary method of elite subjugation, violence. I found Martin Luther King's Nobel Lecture speech and had never read it, brilliant, to the depths of both heart and mind. Here is a small quote.

    Every man lives in two realms, the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals, and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms, and instrumentalities by means of which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external. We have allowed the means by which we live to outdistance the ends for which we live. So much of modern life can be summarized in that arresting dictum of the poet Thoreau1: "Improved means to an unimproved end". This is the serious predicament, the deep and haunting problem confronting modern man. If we are to survive today, our moral and spiritual "lag" must be eliminated. Enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul. When the "without" of man's nature subjugates the "within", dark storm clouds begin to form in the world.

    This problem of spiritual and moral lag, which constitutes modern man's chief dilemma, expresses itself in three larger problems which grow out of man's ethical infantilism. Each of these problems, while appearing to be separate and isolated, is inextricably bound to the other. I refer to racial injustice, poverty, and war.

    Beautiful diary. Your writing helped me touch that deeper part of my urge to brotherhood and common cause, thank you.

    Love = Awareness of mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Political and economic systems either amplify or inhibit Love.

    by Bob Guyer on Tue Jul 13, 2010 at 07:09:51 PM PDT

  •  The establishment will use anything to divide (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat, Adept2u, Oh Mary Oh

    the people.
    People are now being accused of being "racist" for their progressive opposition to pro-corporate policies/stances of the current administration. No one is immune to being racially manipulated by the elite corporate power structure.

JekyllnHyde, leap, dwellscho, PLS, northsylvania, RF, grollen, SarahLee, Geenius at Wrok, TrueBlueMajority, da, tiponeill, DjW, TechBob, Emerson, lobbygow, Shockwave, Fishgrease, LynChi, Aspe4, KateG, dsb, saluda, mataliandy, freespeech, Jerome a Paris, Gareth, missLotus, Dr Know, Mariposa, sfgb, srkp23, sayitaintso, boadicea, toyon toots, mkfarkus, barath, Transmission, Larry Bailey, nargel, BruinKid, sngmama, Nate Roberts, fumie, splashy, lirtydies, wader, Oke, danthrax, mrkvica, Miss Jones, mj171976, pat bunny, BoxerDave, ccr4nine, jaywillie, niteskolar, LiberalBadger, GN1927, Chirons apprentice, never forget 2000, onemadson, arielle, RebeccaG, lcrp, econlibVA, AllisonInSeattle, zett, zerelda, Kitsap River, Vicky, sfluke, xyz, snowbird42, Sybil Liberty, Armand451, schroeder, oortdust, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, WCFoster, julifolo, Skennet Boch, Bluesee, radarlady, hiredman, Tonedevil, mjd in florida, PBen, Superpole, grimjc, kefauver, terrypinder, boofdah, owlbear1, Mr X, aaraujo, SJerseyIndy, skyounkin, Eric K, blue jersey mom, markdd, paxpdx, woobie, Geekesque, optimusprime, farmergiles, Ginny in CO, wiscmass, northanger, Pluto, peacestpete, xanthippe2, fhcec, Jennifer Clare, L Boom, Dr Envirocrat, Clytemnestra, edwardssl, Aliosman, BlueInARedState, SciFiGuy, Audri, rhetoricus, arlene, carolita, birdbrain64, MJ via Chicago, global citizen, Crashing Vor, JVolvo, Preston S, soccergrandmom, SingerInTheChoir, dirkster42, agent, Dreaming of Better Days, blueoregon, zedaker, blueness, revgerry, bic momma, Temmoku, blueintheface, OHdog, Aaa T Tudeattack, BentLiberal, Thinking Fella, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, tonyfv, dov12348, dmh44, Debs2, LV Pol Girl, WeBetterWinThisTime, DAO, beth meacham, Duccio, noofsh, ezdidit, DWG, Uncle Moji, malharden, kingyouth, HCKAD, getlost, vbdietz, millwood, Moderation, Bridge Master, jhop7, hopi13, pioneer111, yella dawg, cececville, JML9999, i like bbq, cloudbustingkid, spearfish, cacamp, TomP, gizmo59, rogerdaddy, gundyj, Devsd, RickMassimo, kimoconnor, weegeeone, ScottyUrb, Involuntary Exile, elwior, brooklynbadboy, filby, blindyone, ajr111240, lineatus, Mother of Zeus, mikeconwell, robroser, willipr, Cassandra Waites, hwmnbn, Wek, smartdemmg, geomoo, bluesheep, S C B, suckback, petulans, Blogvirgin, nzanne, allie123, psilocynic, Danise94, Mike Taylor, watercarrier4diogenes, GrannyOPhilly, Diogenes2008, lissablack, ZhenRen, legendmn, LaFeminista, 1BQ, pileta, Ripeness Is All, dashat, Rick Aucoin, litoralis, greengemini, Boycott for Peace, Magick Maven, An Affirming Flame, fatbeagle, theworksanddays, Partisan Progressive, velvet blasphemy, regster, lookit, justlen, CaliSista, asym, Rick in Oz, jazzence, allep10, Denise Oliver Velez, conlakappa, vmm918, seeta08, Little Flower, sherijr, EmmaKY, mahakali overdrive, Livvy5, carmenjones, purplepenlady, veroven, commonmass, brentbent, confitesprit, angelesmartian, foufou, rb137, marabout40, KroneckerD, FogCityJohn, p gorden lippy, miss SPED, eXtina, amk for obama, jethrock, your neighbor, legalchic, appledown, ribletsonthepan, JoanMar, gulfgal98, samanthab, Benintn, HartfordTycoon, Kristina40, ThisIsMyTime, anonevent, NYWheeler, sluggahjells, shel3364, rja, nirbama, Floande, USHomeopath, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, amazinggrace, blackinthebuilding, Actbriniel, Jonze, mallyroyal, TheHalfrican, indubitably, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, gobears2000, spindr27, Jasel, TAH from SLC, Lost Left Coaster, Dixiedemocrat, Kharafina, poorbuster, BlueJessamine, We Want Change, Jose Bidenio, Mistral Wind, soothsayer99, deeproots, mawazo, Alice Olson, Ebby, AsianAfricanAmerican, Haf2Read, marleycat, majii, thomask, evangeline135, dle2GA, BarackStarObama, KVoimakas, LSmith, Ratmum, TriniPrincess, SilentBrook, Safina, mali muso, PhilJD, cassandra123, Aquagranny911, virtuerules, kid funkadelic, agoner, Jimbo47, zenox, StepLeftStepForward, Kurt from CMH, jaebone, Georgianna Darcy, Nashville fan, Dom9000, Steve Barton, rtcfrtc, fgsfds, True Blue Vet, lightshine, Nena20409, QES, miles2go, Williston Barrett, TheLizardKing, Aji, docrocktex, Knights of Dusk, Eric Nelson, Hopefruit2, Perfectsand, Deep Texan, swampyankee, banach tarski paradox, congenitalefty, write4change65

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site