Thursday, July 17, 2008

Admit You Like Us Passive

 image I have done a lot of thinking since the disgraceful cartoon in the New Yorker.   Since its release, there has been a comparative link between Angela Davis and Michelle Obama. It is inferred by so-called left leaning liberals that such an association would be a negative thing for Michelle.  Ms. Davis theorizes that "radical simply means grasping things at the root", and it has become apparent over the years that even the most liberal of whites like "their" blacks to relieve them of their collective guilt, from the ways in which they continue to benefit from racism.

Why is Angela Davis a problematic  body?  She is a feminist, LGBT activist, and had association with SNCC, and the Black Panther Party.  She is the author of several books, and today is a university professor.  Most importantly Angela dares to speak truth to power. It is her continual confrontation with those that seek to reduce others that makes an alignment with her politics problematic. If you do not unequivocally support the system then you are considered radical and therefore a dangerous liability. In her thesis, Michelle unlike her husband dared to echo the theory of elitist pandering in the name of equality. 

"I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don’t belong. Regardless of the circumstances under which [sic] I interact with Whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, I will always be Black first and a student second."

Her thesis can be read in 4 different sections Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4.  Now Michelle is being carefully handled in the hopes of constructing an image of the first lady that is more palatable to white voters, even as her husband lectures the population about black responsibility.  Baracks message is not new. It has been echoed over generations by black appeasement specialists who seek not to uplift, but to gain entry into whiteness. 

To seek whiteness is only a rejection of the blackness that is understood as uncivilized and barbaric.  It is the association rather than the colour that is viewed as a stain upon the body.  Were blackness the ideal or the normalized good, whites would seek it in a desire to affirm their worth.  When men like Bill Cosby give their speeches, it is based in a desire to separate themselves from what they view as social elements within the community that are intent upon rejecting the idea that white as a normalization standard is good and fitting for everyone. 

What is interesting to note is that this desire to separate, also perpetuates perceived differences as it reinforces that there is a way of acting black, and a way of acting white.  Difference in behaviour has more to do with geography and class, than it does with race.  Whites and blacks of similar poor economic standing  who reside in similar geographic locations articulate in the same manner and possess many of the same patterns of behaviour; one group we call niggers and the other we call white trash.

The black Afrostocracy seeks similarly to the white bourgeoisie to be able to enjoy the privileges of its elite status without the pangs of guilt, thus we find them singularly engaged upon a message that is equally intolerant as white liberals.  I refer to it as  interracial partnership politicking for the advancement, and maintenance  of the bourgeoisie.  White liberals have a particular love of the Afrostocracy because it allows them to perpetuate the myth that they have transcended racism.  They can point to these few rare elites as friends, and often use them as defence tools when attacked, or called out for their racism.  It is convenient to have at least one good black friend in your back pocket.  They collect them like pets, regularly rewarding those that perform appropriately  with a bone.  Lets look at some of the Afrostocracy engaged in the love affair.

Condoleeza, Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson (pre-child molestation charges) Ayan Ali, Pearl Bailey, Tiger Woods, Oprah (pre-endorsing Barack) Whitney Houston(pre-Bobby Brown), Will Smith, Walter Patton, O.J (pre-Trial), Mandela, Martin Luther King, Samuel Jackson, Denzel Washington etc. and etc....What these celebrities have in common is that they either don't engage in conversations about race, or they when they do it, it is done in an apologetic turn the other cheek fashion.  White liberals love them because when these people talk about colour, it allows them to continue on in their fallacy that they are free of ideas that marginalize people of colour.

Now you know there cannot be a love list without a hate list: Malcolm X, Danny Glover, Louis Farakhan, Oma Rosa, Spike Lee, Terrence Howard, P. Diddy, Grace Jones, Cynthia McKinney, Jocelyn Elders, Jesse Jackson, Alice Walker, Toni Morrisson, William Sisters, etc and etc...These POC engage in racial conversations wherein they dare to speak truth to power.  If they feel anger they express it, and furthermore they make certain that leading white liberal elites are aware of their duplicity when it comes to race relations.

These are the "angry" black people that white liberals run from as though they possess the bubonic plague.  We cannot continue on in this one sided conversation wherein the lie is perpetuated that we live in a post racial world.  It is harmful, and prevents us from making strides to effect change.   It is time to force the conversation that white liberals and the black Afrostocracy have been reluctant to participate in.  You are either a committed anti-racist, or you are not..

 


18 comments:

DiosaNegra1967 said...

"...it has become apparent over the years that even the most liberal of whites like "their" blacks to relieve them of their collective guilt, from the ways in which they continue to benefit from racism."

sounds like where i work....

Renee said...

@diosangrea that is the way it is all over unfortunately...

Larry Geater said...

You are advocating for POC to try to achieve a status which is impossible to achieve. You will never be separate but equal. If you wish to be equal then you must join the mainstream of society. It will change both you and society for the better.

The Irish and Italians were once considered to be others. They stopped identifying and being identified as the others then it stopped being a detriment to be Irish or Italian. If you wish for being a POC to stop being a brake on your advancement then you must make being a POC something that does not mark you as an outsider.

It will happen in a generation anyway because the younger generation is intermarrying at a rate that will prevent us from viewing each other as separate when we see each other at the family reunion. That is how it has worked for former outside groups that have become American (or Canadian) and it will work for African Americans as well.

Anonymous said...

You are advocating for POC to try to achieve a status which is impossible to achieve. You will never be separate but equal. If you wish to be equal then you must join the mainstream of society. It will change both you and society for the better.
Larry you completely missed the point of the post. What I am saying is that we need to admit that racism is still a huge factor, and that hiding behind terminology like post-racism belies the realities of bodies of color in the western world. I am saying that it is time that we have a conversation about white privilege, and whites as good and normal.

harrietsdaughter said...

Renee, this is spot on. Thank you for posting it and naming names.

Larry - why must joining the mainstream of society equal giving up a part of one's identity. This also assumes that whiteness is mainstream... and everyone else is other - we are the ones who must change.

Yes, Irish and Italians and other groups were once consdered to be others - what got them in the club, so to speak, was white skin privilege and the willingness to give up cultural identity for white identity.

Larry Geater said...

Anonymous

Yes, racism still exists. But it is weaker than it has ever been. It is getting to the point that ridicule is a more effective weapon than outrage in most cases. It will not go away over night but it will over the next generation or so. As the older racist die off they are not being replaced. My generation has fewer racist than my parents generation and theirs fewer than my grandparents. My child's generation has even fewer. The change is happening faster in some places than others.

Yes we need to have a discussion of race and racism but it does not need to dominate the discourse. This year we are going to elect our firs black president forty years after MLK was assassinated. Forty years from now children will only know of racism from what they read in history books and from weird cults in the hinterlands who are as strange to them as the Branchdividians are to us. Post racial is not the state of the world but it should be the goal.

Harrietsdaughter

The mainstream is primarily made up of whites but that does not mean that being white makes you mainstream or that having darker skin prevents you from being part of the mainstream. You do not have to give up identifying with your race to join. You just have to give up it being your most important identity. Just like members of white subcultures have to give that up as their primary identification if they wish to move into the mainstream. They do not stop being Irish or Italian or Cajun. They just stop being primarily that. The larger the group that we identify with as our primary identification the better off we and the world are.

Renee said...

@Larry Greater...the anonymous comment was mine I didn't realize my name didn't show up.
Yes, racism still exists. But it is weaker than it has ever been. It is getting to the point that ridicule is a more effective weapon than outrage in most cases. It will not go away over night but it will over the next generation or so. As the older racist die off they are not being replaced. My generation has fewer racist than my parents generation and theirs fewer than my grandparents. My child's generation has even fewer. The change is happening faster in some places than others.
Do you think that Sean Bell would agree with you? As a white person you have no idea what it is like to subject to racism and you are cerainly not qualified to speak of it lessening when you have never experienced. Racism has evolved, what you very rarely see are things like burning crosses are the N word thrown around but daily people participate in keep racial difference alive because they benefit from it.
Forty years from now children will only know of racism from what they read in history books and from weird cults in the hinterlands who are as strange to them as the Branchdividians are to us. Post racial is not the state of the world but it should be the goal.
Since blacks step foot on this continent we have been told things are getting better everyday. It is a lie that is told to keep us content and to force us to accept our second class status. Things are not getting better just because Barack may be elected president. Have you even bothered to examine the racism that has been thrown at his family throughout his campaign? Racism is alive and well and shows no indication of receiving a visitor from the grim reaper anytime soon.

Danny said...

Yes, racism still exists. But it is weaker than it has ever been.

I think what larry is trying to say is that while racism has changed over time over all it is not as grand scale as it once was and I think I agree to a point.

Renee you point out the Sean Bell murder. If Sean had been killed by in the 30s the cops that shot him would not have bothered trying to claim that Sean and his friends were reaching for weapons or whatever nonsense they told. They would have just picked him up off the street, tossed him in their cops car, and his dead body MIGHT have been found later.

Renee said...

@Danny semantics when you consider the end result is that Sean is dead and his murders are free. What is the difference when they have a mock trial if we still do not receive justice?

Danny said...

I agree that more than likely there will be no true justice (at least in this life) for Sean.

However I don't think larry was trying to go into semantics I think he is trying to go into numbers over time.

Larry Geater said...

the anonymous comment was mine I didn't realize my name didn't show up.

I thought it was but did not wish to assume.

Do you think that Sean Bell would agree with you?

...

the end result is that Sean is dead and his murders are free. What is the difference when they have a mock trial if we still do not receive justice?


Just because you or I think that the verdict was mistaken does not mean it was a mock trial. No human being or institution is perfect. I think that OJ was guilty. The fact that he was acquitted does not mean that the trial was a sham it means that either I or the jury was wrong.

As a white person you have no idea what it is like to subject to racism and you are cerainly not qualified to speak of it lessening when you have never experienced.

So, I cannot obseve the world and see it as it is because I lack melanin? I get to see how the races interact just as you do. I can see how racist act when there are no POC arround. That is a side of racism you will never see. But you can learn about it from the testimony of others just as I can learn of your experiences by listening to yours. I cannot experience racism against Blacks because I am not one. But I can experience being judged and found wanting based on my race by blacks. I can experience being profiled because of my dress or my tattoos.

Racism has evolved, what you very rarely see are things like burning crosses are the N word thrown around but daily people participate in keep racial difference alive because they benefit from it.

...

Since blacks step foot on this continent we have been told things are getting better everyday. It is a lie that is told to keep us content and to force us to accept our second class status. Things are not getting better just because Barack may be elected president. Have you even bothered to examine the racism that has been thrown at his family throughout his campaign?


What you call evolution I call improvment. Things have improved to the point that POC can be elected in majority white jurisdictions. They have improved to the point that mixed race couples are subject to looks from racists rather than lynching.

I do not want you to accept second class status, but denying the progress that has taken place makes you mistaken just like those who deny that more needs to be done.

I have been a student of politics since my grade school days and watched this election closer than any before because I think that Sen Obama has the potential to be among our greatest presidents. He is not just a politician he is a grat politician.

He has been subject to racist atacks but has weathered them. That is an improvement over politicins winning on an openly racist platform. We went from pliticains being elected because the screamed the 'N' word to losing electons because they said 'Macaca'. That is an improvement.

Renee said...

@larrygreater
I can see how racist act when there are no POC arround. That is a side of racism you will never see.
Really are you so sure? Do you believe that whties don't speak about other races or ethnicities in my presence simply because I am black?

Larry Geater said...

Do you believe that whties don't speak about other races or ethnicities in my presence simply because I am black?

That is not what I said. Do you believe that people do not behave differently when unguarded?

Renee said...

That is not what I said. Do you believe that people do not behave differently when unguarded?
That is exactly the point Larry you are assuming because I am black that I have not been around people when they are "unguarded" Just because I am a POC does not mean I do not hear when whites talk about Asians, or Aboriginals,etc..I have been "privileged" enough to experience this so you do not have insider information here.

Larry Geater said...

If you wish, I will concede the point that your experience with whites is the same as mine. That does not ivalidate the point I was making that we can learn from sources other than personal experience. If we could not, no one would be able to empathize with anyone who did not share their exact life experience and each generation would start off at square one instead of being able to build upon the work of those who came before.

diabola said...

I feel you. Reading your post, I can't help but to see parallels in feminism, how some people don't understand what the fuss is about, or deny it. What drives me crazy is when other women deny that sexism exists today (or is very quiet about it). I imagine similar frustrations when it comes to POC and racism.

"What is interesting to note is that this desire to separate, also perpetuates perceived differences as it reinforces that there is a way of acting black, and a way of acting white."

Ayup. And then words like "oreo" are tossed around, which only reinforces those perceptions.

Just curious - what ARE these perceived differences? It's in our subconscious -- or mine at least -- because I "get it" when someone is called "white". Is it a list of traits? Socioeconomic class? Education? Occupation? What makes "whiteness"?

@larry geater - "That does not ivalidate the point I was making that we can learn from sources other than personal experience."

That is the point. The POC experience of racism -- that happened centuries ago or just last week -- is being denied or swept under the rug because of the lie that we live in a post-racial world. Why are POC only the ones who have to learn? Why can't those people who don't understand the POC experience take a few steps, too?

Renee said...

@Diaobla yes it is perceived differences..think about how you conceptualize whites of lower economic status vs elite status, whiteness is not read the same way, it is mitigated by class. The idea that white is always seen as good is erroneous.

Larry Geater said...

The POC experience of racism -- that happened centuries ago or just last week -- is being denied or swept under the rug because of the lie that we live in a post-racial world.

Not by me. I have not argued that racism is not real. I have not argued that you experience it. I have not argued that we are living in a post racial era. I do not argue that either side has more to learn. I have no idea what led you to think that that was my position.

I have argued that things are getting better and that racism is diminishing in both frequency and severity. I have argued that postracial should be our goal. I have argued that that goal is achievable and that we are on the right track to achieve it. I am not satisfied with the pace of our progress but am not shure how we can make it happen faster. The laws have been changed. The work that remains is largely changing people's minds. And minds change slowly if at all. Some of the progress that we look forward to can only come through cohort replacement.