21 August 2010

Post Racial

It's been a strange week, hasn't it? Dr. Laura claimed that her "First Amendment" rights were somehow violated by her quitting her own radio show after she made blatantly racist comments on the air.

She should look into that free speech First Amendment thing, but I'll break it down for her as I understand it in my simple-minded way: if you say something stupid and someone tells you to shut up, that's not a violation of your first amendment rights. If you say something (that doesn't provoke real danger) and the government tells you to shut up, that IS a violation of your first amendment rights. Done.

There is also is the whole "Mosque at Ground Zero" (not a mosque, not at Ground Zero) trumped-up controversy to keep us from thinking about things like how the economy is el Fuquito and the environment isn't much better.

In the midst of all this brouhaha, I got THIS from someone who is in a club with me. They sent it to the whole club email list and they are defending their "right" to do so. I have not corrected the punctuation or grammar, but I did, to spare you, dear readers, reduce it from the 72 point bright blue type in the email. My comments are [in red].
Proud to be White

Michael Richards makes his point...............

Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point. [Ok, you have already repeated yourself. AND left out some commas. Way to start, genius].

This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points...[Didn't you just say that? Or are you not even paying attention to your own stupid email?]

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

And then there are just Americans. [I guess you have never heard of Irish Americans. Or Italian Americans. Or Polish Americans. Do I need to continue?] You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman'... and that's OK..[To whom is that ok? Have you asked everyone?]

But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink .. You call me a racist. [And, one might think, beat your ass. Also, nice use, of misplaced, comma.]

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you... so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live? [Places with POOR people tend to be more dangerous, no matter who the residents are. This isn't a racial thing. This is an economic kind of thing.]

You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.

You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day.

You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi. [I think someone with actual google skillz may have intervened here.]

You have the NAACP. You have BET.... If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we'd be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists. [White people CREATED the racist structures that made special days, channels etc necessary. But forget all that.]

If we had White History Month, we'd be racists. [White history month is every month. I went through all of fourth grade learning about the California missions and I can't remember anyone ever mentioning the native people who built them.]

If we had any organization for only whites to 'advance' OUR lives, we'd be racists. [I'm old enough to remember organizations like Rotary, the Democratic National Convention and the Mormon church arguing over whether to admit Black people. But that was a long, long time ago. Like, whole decades.]

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that?? [Um, the members?]

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant. [Miss Black America (not "American") was developed because black women could not be in the Miss America pageant in 1967. The contest rules of Miss Black America say nothing about race.]

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships... You know we'd be racists. [Like when we barred people of color and Jews from many US universities all those years].

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US ..... Yet if there were 'White colleges', that would be a racist college. [The black colleges are now known as "historically black." This is because, while they admit students of all races, they were developed to give bright young African Americans a place to go to college - since there were few other opportunities for advanced education for them. So they develop these institutions to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and you want to put them down for that. Nice.]

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists. [The Million Man March was about making people more politically aware and active. Is there a problem with that? And what rights, exactly, do you not have as white people? Just wondering.]

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists. [Good call on the orange, but you forgot purple and green. Racists usually throw in purple and green.]

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist. [Not clear on the logic here. There is only minority-on-white crime? And that makes it ok for police to shoot gang members and beat up suspects? Um...you're going to have to clarify because I'm not following].

I am proud... But you call me a racist. [Maybe because you say racist stuff like the n word and towel-head??]

Why is it that only whites can be racists?? [Who is saying only white people can be racists?]

There is nothing improper about this e-mail.. [Except the logic, the fallacies, the generalizations and the racist language. That's all]. Let's see which of you are proud enough to send it on. [I only wish it were on paper so I could throw it in the fireplace]. I sadly don't think many will. [It's sad that you are an idiot]. That's why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. [Name two. Ok, just one. I'm waiting. ] We won't stand up for ourselves! [You're going to fight for the right to...do what? Party?]

BE PROUD TO BE WHITE! [I'm proud when I succeed at being decent and kind. My skin color is not that fabulous to me, and in any case, was an accident of birth. I would actually prefer something a little more Salma Hayek colored, but that's just because I would rather tan than burn.]
It's not a crime YET.... but getting very close! [How is it close? Tell me. Please, I'm all ears.]

It is estimated that ONLY 5% of those reaching this point in this e-mail will pass it on. [I'm kind of amazed I reached this point, since you don't have one. If I passed it on, I would expect to be scorned, laughed at and perhaps spat upon. So I will just make fun of it on my blog, instead.]

BTW, Michael Richards never said that. It is from an email that has been floating around forever, according to Snopes.com.

I guess it was good that I received the email, because it reminded me of how much work there is to be done. Sigh.

But if you have any energy for dealing with this, please comment and I will print the comments to give to the *PERSON* who sent me the email. We are due to hash it out in our club meeting since he feels his emailing rights have been violated because I asked him to never email me again unless it was official club business. Thanks.

Image is some poor kid from google.

*edited to add: I originally called the person who sent this a rude name, but I changed it to say *PERSON* because they protested. You see, it is ok for them to say the N-word and other racial epithets repeatedly, but it isn't ok for me to do any "name calling. " That makes about as much sense as everything else they said.


Adriennevh said...

I have questioned some of these points myself. Why is it ok for ANY race or creed or whatever to have a "_________ Awards Show" but not another for example.
But it goes back to his demeanor and reasoning, or lack thereof. His reasoning (or what I assume to be his reasoning) is that he wants his RIGHTS back. He doesn't want anyone to have anything he doesn't have.
My reasoning is the same way I feel about feminism, you want equal rights and equal pay, then you better be ready and ABLE to do equal the work. You can't cry cuz no one gave up their seat for you or didn't open your door for you.
How have his "email rights" been violated? Has someone told him he is not "allowed" to email crap like that or have they just told him not to email it to them? If he sent it to everyone without their permission then actually he may have violated the TOS of his email provider.
crap now I am rambling.

TZT said...

Wow, that's just a huge plate of crazy. I'm not sure how you combat that.

He didn't mention St. Patrick's Day's Irish celebrations or Columbus Day (commonly a day for Italian American pride), Oktoberfest's German food and music and beer or any other cultural fests that are celebrations of people with "white" heritage that are out there. There are beauty pageants for women of various white ethnic heritages. Scholarships for men & women of certain lineages too. If slavery hadn't happened and African-American people had all arrived here by choice, maybe we would have a higher number of specific Algerian, Congolese or (name your African country) pageants and scholarships instead of all of the lumping together of black/African-American.

When the country was founded, every day was white (educated male) history day & every college white male college. The things he mentions are a pile of small remedies that still don't amount to much, if you look at the economic realities of the U.S. I've spent four years in the poorest urban schools in my city, writing about the teachers and students in schools that were 70-100 percent African American. I never saw all this blame and white hatred he's talking about.

I studied American History in college and it was divided into African, Native, Spanish, Asian and European American history. Most places just don't make the effort to call European European (i.e. white) because it's most of the story we get, most of the time in those classes - it's everywhere, so not spoken. I got a lot out of learning how diverse each race really is, including my own (Euro). Sounds like the dude needs to learn a lot more about people of all races. Starting with white people.

roo said...

I say he should go ahead and be proud to be racist. He has a long heritage of people to look up to with his new identity. Of course, he'll take a lot of flak, being racist, but no more flak than blacks, hispanics, asians, arabs, etc., etc., have to deal with every day. In short, he should stop the bitching and just embrace who he is-- a big old stupid racist.

mar said...

i love you, sb!
glad you interspersed your commentary because i got all chokey reading his sh#t and then calmed down at your rational thinking.
it makes me all ragey when i see these e-mail forwards or when people do things like that on their fb status. it's worse because it generally comes from certain family members and/or coworkers.

Isabella Golightly said...

Nice work. He's obviously one of the vast number of poorly educated morons who didn't learn too much after 1st grade.

Maggie, dammit said...

It blows my mind that grown adults lack so much self-awareness (and awareness in general) that they forward this ignorant drivel. I'm honestly baffled, but it happens every day--and from people I know and love. Shameful.

super des said...

I don't even want to get started on commenting on this. You did a pretty good job with your own comments, and I think you should just send it back to that guy with your red ink.

Stimey said...

Oh dear lord. Some days people make me sad.

Shelli said...

I don't know why I'm surprised that there are actually people who believe that shit. Maybe surprised isn't the right word. Saddened.

Jason, as himself said...

Oh, brother. Aren't there better things in the world to do? How about spending all of that energy doing something constructive?

I just don't get it.

Average Jane said...

I'm with Des - I'd say you have it covered.

Gwen said...

that was worth it just for your excellent commentary. i'm shocked that 5% of recipients would pass that on. but then maybe math, like the written language, rhetoric and logic, is also not one of this person's best qualities.

Camilla Medders said...

Of all the things I could say about this, I'll keep it down to two. One, as a (white) high school student, I was told by a recruiter for one of the biggest "historically black universities" that I should consider applying. So, as you pointed out, they do accept more than just black students. And every point he makes is just as misleading and irrational as that one. Two, having an acquaintance request that you stop sending offensive emails is a matter of manners and socially appropriate behavior, not "rights." The way he talks about rights suggests that he, like Laura S., has no idea what this word means.

Kizz said...

Just because he has the *ability* to email you doesn't mean he has the *right* to. He needs a dictionary. And a clue. Everyone of all colors works with our little social contracts. Most non-political clubs try to keep politics out of club discussion to keep the discourse civil, to keep other club members from wanting to kick this d-bag in his lily white nutsac.

Years ago, back at the beginning of the intarwebs, a group of my friends wanted to develop FlamingBagofPoop.com to make it easy to anonymously send a virtual bag of flaming excrement to someone's internet doorstep if they were guilty of some kind of unfeeling stupidity. This guy? He's why we had this impulse. If I had my way his electronic shoes would be badly singed and covered in gooey shit.

flurrious said...

I like how this guy thinks that citing Michael Richards gives these points some gravitas. Like, oooh, if Kramer said it, it must be right!

I can't remember who, but someone else posted this or a similar email on her blog a while back. I think it had been sent to her by a relative, and her husband took the time to reply point-by-point. One of his responses was, "you do have a White Entertainment Network. It's called FOX News. Enjoy!"

But really, there's no point to trying to talk reasonably to someone who makes such proclamations as, "But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink .. You call me a racist." Because that is a person who is immune to rational discourse. He may also just fall over periodically for no discernible reason.

nonlineargirl said...

Why is that kid wearing a shirt that says White Bride? I mean, I get the white part, but he's a little young to be getting married and he's not female, and really, would you want to get married (much less go to the grocery store) with that haircut?

Oh. Pride. No wait, I am still confused. How can he be proud with that haircut? Do his parents have no shame?

Glennis said...

Poor old Michael Richards - despite his insane rant of 2006, he apologized for his outburst and disavowed his words - now he has this vile screed attached to his name all over the internet.

You'll also note it blithely states the speech was his "defense speech" made in court - implying 1) that people who make "racial comments" have to defend themselves against prosecution and 2) that defendants in court proceedings have to deliver speeches in order to get a fair hearing. Both of these implications represent a profound ignorance of our American justice system.

Of course, in reality Richards yelled racial epithets at hecklers during his comedy act, and apologized afterwards. Whether it was sincere or self-serving, he apologized. He certainly didn't go on to defend his words, nor did he expand what was simply an ugly outburst into a White Supremacist manifesto.

It does go to show you, though, if you behave ugly or embrace hatred, that those who share that ugliness and hate will embrace you.

BaltimoreGal said...

Holy hell.

If they have the "right" to send out this horsepuckey then you have the right to:

*Think of them ignorant or undeucated or racist (or all of the above) by the the way they express themselves and the way they refer to others. They put it out there, after all.

*Ask them never to send you any emails ever again because the language and tone is offensive, hurtful, and ignorant. (Also I'm guessing having nothing to do with the club and therefore pointless and inflammatory.)

*Find every way possible to remove this person from your life and let others know why if the occasion calls for it. Again, they sent it out there.

Lastly, the idea that this is a letter is about "pride" is a complete fallacy. Its content is negative and racist and derogatory. It repeats myths and disproves stereotypes about non-whites. There's nothing prideful here about white people. Letters like this make me ashamed to share their skin color (if not a complete heritage- my extremely pale skin belies my relatively minor amount of Native American ancestry).

On another note, tell this person to GET OFF OUR LAND.

Jess said...

Seriously, I thought the t-shirt said shi'ite bride.

Which really isn't ANY better, I know...

kevin daly said...

Hi Sue,

I find it interesting that people that don't have the same view as yourself are referred to as "dumb---".Your obviously not willing to listen to others that have a different opinion than yourself.
The mission of Candid Culture states that people are to have "mutual respect" for other speakers opinions.It apears to me that that is not happening in Candid Culture.Nothing is acomplished by name calling.You have the right to disagree with me, but name calling because you don't agree with another person's opinion is way over the top!
I repect you as a person and your beliefs even though I personally don't agree with them.Please don't try to silence
me and call me names because you don't agree with my point of view.
I will do the same by not calling you a "dumb---"because I don't agree with you.I also promise to actually listen to what you have to say.
p.s.-My sympathies to you for the loss of your father.God bless you!

Unknown said...

Awesome post. Thank you, girl.

Juanita said...

The next time someone is silly enough to send this (or a similar) rant to me, I'm going to send them here. Your responses are perfect, and you are beautiful human being.

As for the racist and his bs email? You, sir, are a damn fool. And that fact has absolutely nothing to do with the color of your skin. Thank you for showing us the true content of your character, though.

Sparky said...

It amazes me how some people confuse pride and ignorance. Or, alternatively, are proud simply because they are too stupid to understand the concept of being ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

"his emailing rights have been violated"? Really? It's OK for him to send his unsolicited opinion to anyone he wants to, but not OK for his recipients to say "no, thanks"? Really?

His message is offensive to me. I can only conclude that he's being so defensive because he is guilty of the racisit behavior he is attempting to defend. People are individuals. I race and ethnicity have never told me anything about how an individual will behave.

A couple of random thoughts -
When I lived in MD, one of my favorite events was the Greek festival and parade. Wonder how your emailer feels about that type of event.

I'm a second generation Italian-American. I know my grandparents (who were white, BTW) and their children were treated poorly by the "pure" Americans, solely because of their ethnicity. I'm proud of my ethnic background. It doesn't define me, but it's definitely a part of who I am.

Sister Wolf said...

I hate stupid white people. Thanks for reminding me that my one bias is against stupid people of any color, race or creed.

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