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comment by francopoli
francopoli  ·  199 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 5, 2017

I'm a 'white' guy. Actually I am Irish and the Irish were not even considered white until the 1900's. Huh, a recent article on that history, might post this as well Furthermore, I was raised Catholic. Where I grew up the KKK was very active, and they HATE Catholics. Mainly due to the Catholic church taking a stand for racial equality in the '50s and '60's and helping organize the freedom riders. The KKK saw catholics as race traitors and set their churches on fire, killed priests and terrorized communities. The Sheriff of San Diego County in the early '60s once jokes to a room full of people that beating the shit out of the Irish kids is fine because their parents will just make more of them.

Here's the thing though that people forget. The Klan are/were/define racish cocksucking shitheels that should all be rounded up killed and ground into fertilizer. Every KKK asswipe is evil, un-American and a terrorist. All of em. Yet, the KKK did have a moral core and a sense of purpose and they honestly think that they are working to make the world a better place. As I have gotten older I can understand their points, argue them, and will still shoot any of them dead if they come onto my land. Still, they have a right to exist and we fight these idiots by laughing at them.

The long, rambling point is this. I logged in from work on my lunch break, which I normally do not do, to post that this class description made me so fucking angry that I just defended the Ku Klux Klan. As you take this course, think about that.




bfv  ·  199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm curious about the steps between "the Irish used to not be considered white" and "analyzing the social construction of whiteness pisses me off."

francopoli  ·  199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The people running these types of classes are almost always trust fund kids who grew up in gated communities and never had to make the choice of paying for gas in the car or food. If you are not in the top 20% life ain't all sunshine and flowers, and there are millions of people in the bottom 40% that through no fault of there own are in a terrible place. There is only one privilege in this world and that is cash money. What you look like is the least interesting thing about you and only tells a superficially marginal part of your life story.

Something else? There is no such thing as "white people" in the same as there is no such thing as "Asian people" or "black people." The Irish, French, Italians, Spanish, British, Russians and Iranians are all Caucasian and all have a radically different interactions with the world at large; different histories, different religions, cultures, languages. A dark skinned man from Niger, or South Africa, Haiti, South Chicago or even an Australian Aborigine are all "black" and all have radically different life paths and experiences. And if you think all Asians are the same, go to Korea and call a random person there Japanese and see what happens to you. Go to Viet Nam or Cambodia and call the locals Chinese and see what happens to you. (Note, don't do this as you will get the shit beat out of you.)

The focus on race is lazy and counterproductive; watching some of these courses online I get a distinct religious vibe. There has been a lot of evil terrible disgusting shit done to people in this country and in this world based solely on what they look like. That history need to be taught so that it is not forgotten, so that we can use the past as a marker for forward progress. I still have the hope that we can work past this nonsense, but these type of courses make me think we are regressing away from that goal.

bfv  ·  199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Something else? There is no such thing as "white people" in the same as there is no such thing as "Asian people" or "black people." The Irish, French, Italians, Spanish, British, Russians and Iranians are all Caucasian and all have a radically different interactions with the world at large; different histories, different religions, cultures, languages. A dark skinned man from Niger, or South Africa, Haiti, South Chicago or even an Australian Aborigine are all "black" and all have radically different life paths and experiences. And if you think all Asians are the same, go to Korea and call a random person there Japanese and see what happens to you. Go to Viet Nam or Cambodia and call the locals Chinese and see what happens to you. (Note, don't do this as you will get the shit beat out of you.)

But... that's literally the point. Where that course description says

    Whiteness is a rhetorical construct that exists only in discourse, yet its concrete effects impact societies all over the globe.

it is saying whiteness is a thing that only exists in our heads, but has real effects. The same could be (and is) said about other races. The way you study things that only exist in the collective consciousness is to read what people say about them. Aside from imaginary things that affect the real being inherently interesting, looking at pernicious imaginary things closely enough to see through them is how you free yourself from them. You are (were?) active in the atheist community, the second should make sense to you.

galen has a strange talent for baiting me into making arguments I usually don't care enough to make.

OftenBen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How does someone 'free themselves' of something that exists only in the mind of other people?

I think of myself as a Finnish (Fennoswede) American. Not a 'White' guy. That's what everyone else decides I am.

galen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    How does someone 'free themselves' of something that exists only in the mind of other people?

a.) It doesn't only exist in the mind of other people. The fact that you don't consciously think of yourself as white doesn't mean you're not affected by the construction of whiteness. Here, do this and report back.

b.) Same way any social sea change happens, by educating oneself so one can educate others, and maybe eventually we improve on a societal level.

francopoli  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That test comes off as a Scientology e-meter read.

I escaped one religion already and never want to be a part of another.

OftenBen  ·  157 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On re-read.

How do you explain to people without experience how damaging and dangerous fundamentalist religion is?

francopoli  ·  156 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Watch this movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going_Clear_(film)

Watch this movie: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/brainwashed-westboro-baptist-church/

I have a hard time on putting the thoughts into words. And my church was not that big of a cult as much as it was just a normal church; then again I did go to a Jesuit Seminary for two years.

OftenBen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Nope. Not interested.

I treat everyone the way I would like to be treated. I do not make special allowances for, or treat people worse because of the melanin content or lack thereof of their skin.

I am well educated in how horrible and awful white people are. What 'change' do you expect me to make?

snoodog  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

> b. Treating people equally when they start from an unequal position reproduces inequality.

I disagree, treating people unequally diminishes their achievement and hard work.

Its really hard to say that X group is equally as capable as Y group and then have a lower achievement bar for X group vs Y group. Actions are stronger than words and the action says that X group is less less capable because apparently X group needs a handicap to even compete.

galen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I do not make special allowances for, or treat people worse because of the melanin content or lack thereof of their skin.

a. That's false, and I have a feeling your reluctance to take the IAT has something to do with that.

b. Treating people equally when they start from an unequal position reproduces inequality.

    What 'change' do you expect me to make?

Step 1: acknowledge that your own identity is tied up in pervasive notions of whiteness. Do your best to limit their influence on your actions, but recognize that you probably can't change them.

Step 2: accept that the moral burden of achieving equality lies on the oppressor, not the oppressed. However that's defined. Men, straight people, cis people, white people, the rich, whatever.

Step 3: do something about it.

--

Reread b. up there. Being a non-racist is not enough. The question is, are you anti-racist?

OftenBen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    That's false, and I have a feeling your reluctance to take the IAT has something to do with that.

"You're a racist and I'll prove it."

    b. Treating people equally when they start from an unequal position reproduces inequality.

Right, so start fighting the wealthy elite who keep poor people of all skin colors poor. If we're both drowning but I'm 5 feet closer to the surface than you are, I can't help you as much as the guy on the surface with the dive boat.

    Step 1: acknowledge that your own identity is tied up in pervasive notions of whiteness. Do your best to limit their influence on your actions, but recognize that you probably can't change them.

    Step 2: accept that the moral burden of achieving equality lies on the oppressor, not the oppressed. However that's defined. Men, straight people, cis people, white people, the rich, whatever.

    Step 3: do something about it.

Lovely words. Nothing actionable.

    The question is, are you anti-racist?

If you mean 'Do you oppose people who make judgements based on melanin content of skin?' then I am an anti-racist. If you mean 'Do you unilaterally support BLM on every single issue?' Then I am a virulent racist, because I think skin color is the least interesting thing about a person.

OftenBen  ·  199 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Personally, it's because such courses/lines of thought are pretty much exclusively used to justify racism against people who have less melanin in their skins.

Such courses/lines of thought often conflate 'white privilege' with 'Rich oligarch privilege' forgetting that if you weren't one of the Founding Fathers or a member of their social class (Rich, Landowning) life wasn't much better/different for you in early America than anybody else.

I will never feel ashamed of what I look like. The slaves my grand-cestors held had skin the same shade as their own.

galen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Where do you get from "whiteness is a social construct" to "you should be ashamed of what you look like"?

OftenBen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I get it from all the people in undergrad who told me the best way to be an ally as a cis-het-white-male was to, in short, 'Shut up, and pay me.'

I get it from all the BLM leaders who state that white people are 'recessive genetic defects' and 'mutants' and 'sub-human' Source

I'm all for equality. I'm all for egalitarianism. To radical degrees for both causes.

HOWEVER

When you start from the assumption 'All white people are subhuman monsters who need to be done away with, you sound like a racist, not a progressive.

The extremists are in charge. The radicals are in charge. I have yet to see a 'moderate' approach to these topics taken or respected by any one in a position of power.

galen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes, all those things are bullshit.

But my question is what do they have to do with my course's description?

By deconstructing race we're exposing the defects in any racialized thinking, including "white people are genetic defects" or "white people are monsters" or whatever.

OftenBen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    But my question is what do they have to do with my course's description?

By taking the course you agree with the radicals that white people are 'problematic.'

Not 'whiteness' because that's an abstract. 'Whiteness' doesn't exist. Only people do. And I can't see this class encouraging the golden rule. I CAN see it encouraging white people to feel guilty for the color of their skin, and the historical actions of powerful, wealthy oligarchs who happened to be white AT THAT PLACE/TIME IN HISTORY.

Fuck race politics. Study classism instead.

From where I'm sitting courses like this are a waste of your money/your parents money. I wish I could get back the thousands of dollars I wasted on 'Anthropology of Latin America' because I got to pay for the privilege of being told how much white people had fucked up central/south america, how if you ever eat a banana you're a facist, and it's my responsibility to buy my bathroom tile from a 10 man operation in Ecuador, because of neoliberal policies enacted before I was born, and that I would have opposed if I had the power.

galen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can't really argue with this because you're making like 12 assumptions about what the course must be about, none of which seem to be grounded in what I posted. Whatever.

OftenBen  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I know my experience. I know the experience of other cis-het-white-males in similar spheres of influence. If you get lucky, and actually get a nuanced moderate to teach these things, I'd be super happy for you.

But nuanced moderates aren't being hired by universities these days.

snoodog  ·  198 days ago  ·  link  ·  

5 Generations back my ancestors were slaves for all practical purposes. White guilt my ass.