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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  579 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: George Packer: What Ta-Nehisi Coates Gets Wrong About American Politics

I lost a Facebook friend last night. No, that's wrong. I ejected him, forcefully, angrily, and with much cussing, over that fucking Quora post ("white privilege is like being tall! See, straw man, it's so simple even you can figure it out, you dixie-whistling, spittoon-hitting troglodyte! It's too bad you're an utter figment of our imaginations or we'd invite you to gather 'round for the backslap circlejerk!").

My point: "it's because you're white" is shorthand for "therefore, shut the fuck up." Much the way "it's racism, shut the fuck up" has become the Left's way of finding an easy way to process an event they can't handle, that hurt them, that they don't understand, that allows them to vilify and disassociate with "the other" - namely, that large portion of the country that voted against everything they hold dear.

The dumb thing is, it's not black people or minorities that post this shit. It's white people, telling other white people to shut the fuck up. "shhh! It's racism! It can only be racism! It's only white privilege and intersectionality and if you don't march in time you must be one of them! Burn the witch! Burn the witch!"

Thus I found myself in a position of being told to (figuratively - he was far too self-aware to literally) check my privilege by a white guy who grew up in Orange County and got a degree in Drama from USC who used to provide IT support for the University of Phoenix. A guy so white he gets typecast into playing idiotic southern police deputies. A guy who started out by agreeing that he was "very tall indeed."

"Those people who disagree with you? THEY'RE ALL RACISTS." Those people who voted the other way? All racists, every single one. And you? You're probably a racist, too, because you don't understand how "tall" you are. Fuckin' "first white president" and we've got a list of slave-owners in there.

I've noticed this post-election - the flight from complexity. The need to put a button on it so they can get on with grieving, so they can justify their seething rage against "those other people" that betrayed what they thought were our common dreams. Are there racists all over America? No doubt. Does racism drive far more than we're comfortable talking about? Indubitably. Is it the only fucking thing to talk about?

Go google-search "poverty by race in the United States." You'll see something like this:

Maan - them white folx are killin' it! Clearly it's all racism! Except then some egghead reminds you that they're called "minorities" for statistical, not pejorative reasons.

And because rich people have been fucking over poor people for as long as class has existed, and because there are plenty enough racists you can appeal to when you need numbers, you speak in coded language about "inner city youth" and other things that means "people what ain't white" and before you know it, minorities become a poker chip where both sides are using language like "white privilege" for virtue signaling good and bad and here are 41% of poor people, "scots irish" or "white trash" or "hillbillies" or "rednecks" and what they know?

They know that those minorities are being given an excuse for not thriving but they're "privileged."

And you can argue that they're privileged. But you sure as shit can't argue it to them from your comfy apartment provided by your liberal arts degree provided by your upper middle class upbringing provided by your family's long success sticking to the second bell curve.

What they know is that Trump doesn't hold them accountable for their oxycontin habit, their mortgage they can barely afford and their job that no longer provides benefits and is giving them carpal tunnel.

And every time you insist that somehow they have it easier than Barack Obama they listen to you less and less.

My landlord ran for Congress in 2016 as a Republican. He used to be a district manager at a broker. We talk politics, believe it or not - I goad him with my union status and he reminds me that he's got a union pension as a sheet metal worker.

You know what? He's never once told me I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm white. He's never tried to win an argument by invoking my "privilege." And although his mindset and philosophy are (overly) simple, they're based on merit, not on the idea that all white people are guilty.

My Republican landlord has some backwards notions about gender and opportunity but he's generally a good guy. On the other hand, I've already written two nastygrams to a Democratic PAC out of Portland that thinks anonymous slander campaigns are effective and appropriate.

And that's the thing that scares the shit out of me. If tribal politics are making my local Republicans look like the sane ones to me, the Democrats need to be worried.

ArtemusBlank  ·  578 days ago  ·  link  ·  

From what I have observed throughout the years is that nobody really likes the white moderate liberal. It's either go to the far left or the far right but don't be in the middle.

White Conservatives think white moderate liberals are giving up too much to minorities.

Far Left White People think that white moderate liberals are not doing enough and that they should be doing more even though they maybe dealing with their own personal problems. It's like Revolution or Nothing.

Minorities that are involved in left politics don't trust white moderate liberals and just think they are just latching on to make themselves feel better or that they are not serious about the movement.

I however do see minorities I know that do post things on social media telling for white people not to give their point of view on minority issues. I see it all the time. They say that white people should just listen. Most of the minorities that I see post this are from the poetry slam circles I sometimes interact with and usually very young and in the process of a college education. Very far left people.

veen  ·  578 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I've noticed this post-election - the flight from complexity.

Even if you were to limit your discussion to racism I think there is a lot left to be desired. The way I look at it now is that most people agree on the goal, which is to reduce institutional racism in its varying shapes and forms, but that I'm finding it difficult to agree with the methods that are used (i.e. white-guilting). To put it lightly, I don't think it is the most productive means to the desired end of reducing racism. I recently came across this James Baldwin quote:

    "Cause it's not a matter of my liberation, for example. It's also a matter of yours. If we're working together, it's not because we're gonna do something for the poor black people. We're gonna do something for each other to save this really rather frightening world."

I wish the discussions around the racism were more about the actual problems and solutions, instead of it being a minefield of hurt, hate and emotions. Working together, not working to alienate and isolate the boogeyman.

oyster  ·  579 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I found out today from an instagram post that I can't be racist because apparently it has something to do with being able to deny resources to other people which no black person has ever been in the position to do. Well, black people have been waitresses, and I don't have resources to deny others so I guess I can say rude degrading things all I want. They're really running in circles with this shit.

I've noticed though that people hold the politics they do for some deeper reason. Like dads who barely get to see their kids holding some backwards view that woman are more important in the kids life so maybe gay couples shouldn't adopt. Or the white kids who have it too easy trying to make others feel guilty for being white because they're not actually dealing with their own feelings of guilt over how easy they had life compared to every colour including their own.

Nonsense_Police  ·  528 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is a lot to parse through, and I'm incredibly late to the party. I think you should be careful about possibly painting a picture with too broad of a brush regarding Republicans and Democrats.

But that's not really what I wanted to focus on. I wanted to better understand your point regarding race and poverty. Could you clarify exactly the point you're trying to illustrate with the two graphs you presented? I'm especially confused by your statement that "They know that those minorities are being given an excuse for not thriving but they're 'privileged.'"

It's entirely possible I'm misunderstanding the point you're trying to make, but it almost seems like you're committing the exact same mistake George Packer is warning about: flattening out history or present reality into a single fixed truth.

kleinbl00  ·  528 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not going to engage in a conversation that starts out with "I think you should be careful" and ends with "but I don't understand what you're saying."

Hi. Welcome to the party. If you wish to have this discussion on a dead thread, try ratcheting back on the confrontation.

Nonsense_Police  ·  528 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I didn't realize I was being so confrontational. My wording was careful to include the possibility I might be misinterpreting your words to allow you to clarify your point. Not sure what else I could have done to show I was just trying to understand your view while possibly providing a counter-point.

In any case, it's clear you won't entertain any challenges to your view here and that you'll just continue to respond with a pretty unpleasant tone. So it's probably for the best that the conversation end here.

Edit: I can see from your profile that this sort of attitude isn't just an isolated incident. There's a lot of anger.