Stuff White People Say

July 17, 2008

“You have stereotyped yourself”

That sounds like I’ve just been stereotyped.

It may well be that you’ve stereotyped yourself, by reading something into the post that isn’t there.

(by Macon D in sit quietly in movie theaters, and shush those who don’t (part one) comments at Stuff White People Do)*


Was the black guy in the flash animation you? Did he remind you of yourself? If he did then you are the real racist here. and if he didnt you are just stereotyping yourSELF! One black guy doesnt represent all of them, im just animating what I see in real life and if you cant accept reality then its your fault.

(by the author of “FiGhT RaCiSm” at Newgrounds)


Ghettos don’t specifically refer to black people. They simply refer to poverty-stricken urban areas. You are just assuming that MitchellStafiej means a black ghetto. Therefore, you are stereotyping yourself.

(by kpb730 in thread Ghetto Master FX at IndyMogul forums)


* UPDATE: In sit quietly in movie theaters (part two), the follow up where Macon D revealed that it was an experiment to demonstrate something about race, he commented:

Restructure, I didn’t mean for that response to 911 to be dismissive, and 911, if you’re still reading, I apologize for wording my response in such a way that it could be interpreted as a dismissal. My point there was just to underline what I deal with more fully in this post–that nothing in the first post says anything at all about non-white people.

(emphasis mine)

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13 Comments »

  1. That second statement hardly even makes sense. Either I’m missing some major context, or the writer is incoherent.

    Comment by LLB — July 17, 2008 @ 3:38 am | Reply

  2. What a strange, unexplained melange of decontextualized juxtaposition.

    If this juxtaposition and the other decontextualized quotations on this blog are supposed to imply something about the writer of SWPD (me, that is) as a “white” person–if each is supposed to be, that is, a common and exemplary thing that “white people say”–then I’d like to point out that none of them are usefully representative, because they’re so decontextualized and isolated.

    Regarding the quotation from SWPD in this post, for instance, you left out this follow-up of mine from my blog:

    Restructure, I didn’t mean for that response to 911 to be dismissive, and 911, if you’re still reading, I apologize for wording my response in such a way that it could be interpreted as a dismissal. My point there was just to underline what I deal with more fully in this [second] post–that nothing in the first post says anything at all about non-white people.

    You lifted and then isolated one comment by me from the comments section of one post in a two-part series of posts.

    For anyone reading this new blog, which so far is focused on SWPD, I encourage you to follow the links provided for each decontextualized bit of “stuff” that a white person said, and read it within that context, before you assess it.

    Presenting decontextualized quotations is a deceitful and lazy method for implying something about their source. America’s white supremacist corporate media (FOX News especially) recently deployed this tactic in an attempt to discredit an entire sermon (and actually, an insightful sermon) by Reverend Wright, and thus to discredit by association Barack Obama–they isolated the words “God damn America,” then repeated them over and over again, without including the further words with which Wright explained what he meant by that.

    Are you sure you want to resort to this same tawdry tactic?

    When I saw at Restructure’s blog that a new site about SWPD was in the works, I was looking forward to instructive analyses of the words on my blog, both my words and those of others. But if decontextualized quotations are all you’re going to offer, then I don’t think your efforts will satisfy many more people than yourselves.

    Comment by macon d — July 17, 2008 @ 3:55 am | Reply

  3. Macon D,

    I’ve updated the post. You also didn’t respond to my response to your “apology” at sit quietly in movie theaters (part two).

    Comment by Restructure! — July 17, 2008 @ 4:11 am | Reply

  4. LLB,

    The flash animation that the author made contains a very racist stereotype of a black person. A black person said the flash was racist/stereotyping. However, the author thought that it wasn’t racist because it was only about “one” black person and he didn’t make a statement about all black people. The author thought that the criticizing person was racist him/herself because s/he “identified” with the black person, thereby making a statement about himself (eating fried chicken, babbling incoherently, etc.)

    Comment by Restructure! — July 17, 2008 @ 4:18 am | Reply

  5. Macon D,

    When I originally made this post, I did not think your “apology” at all decontextualized it, as it was just avoiding the issue. This was why I thought adding the “apology” didn’t add anything to the interpretation. I’ve added it anyway now because you think it’s somehow relevant.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 17, 2008 @ 4:26 am | Reply

  6. You also didn’t respond to my response to your “apology” at sit quietly in movie theaters (part two).

    ????

    I don’t respond to everyone of the dozens of daily comments that appear on my blog–I don’t have time for that. I did read it, though, and took it as another instructive lecture from you about how I should conduct myself.

    Comment by macon d — July 17, 2008 @ 2:38 pm | Reply

  7. Restructure, why did you put “mean” and “interpret” in bold print?

    Thanks for putting this “apology” into the post, even though you don’t see why I find it important. I guess we have a different method in that regard–I change my posts after I’ve been convinced that the change is warranted, not simply because someone wants me to.

    Comment by macon d — July 18, 2008 @ 3:25 am | Reply

  8. Macon D,

    The reason why I pointed out that you didn’t respond to my comment was that if you took it seriously, as you seemed to imply, you would realize that the “apology” was empty and didn’t add anything to the meaning of this post. In other words, if you actually took my comment seriously (“How was that not a dismissal?”), then you would also agree that the empty “apology” in no way decontextualized “It may well be that you’ve stereotyped yourself […]”

    I put “mean” and “interpret” in bold print because it’s a typical white response to criticism. Here are supporting sources, to show you I didn’t just make this up:

    So You Think You’re an Anti-Racist? 6 Critical Paradigm Shifts for Well-Intentioned White Folks

    Focus on intent –> Focus on impact
    Of course you don’t mean to be racist. Neither do I. But as a White person, I’m still working on understanding racism and my own whiteness. I, too, am a product of racism. I must take responsibility for the impact I have, regardless of my intentions. Racism hurts, whether I mean it or not.

    (I’ve shown you the above link before; I’m not sure if you bothered to read it.)

    Anti-racist FAQ

    So if I make a mistake, what am I supposed to do about it?

    First, try to see it as a learning opportunity. Second, if you apologize, do so without defending yourself or trying to explain what you “really meant.” You cannot demand forgiveness; all you can do is try to learn from the experience and do better in the future. Third, if you have decided to apologize, please think long and hard about whether you truly need to start a whole new thread for your apology. Do you really have something meaningful to say? Or are you just focusing on your own feelings rather than the goal of eradicating racism?

    As for updating the posts, I think it’s very bad to use straw man arguments, so I’m erring on the side of caution.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 18, 2008 @ 4:13 am | Reply

  9. if you apologize, do so without defending yourself or trying to explain what you “really meant.”

    No additional comment needed.

    Comment by Nquest — July 18, 2008 @ 4:39 am | Reply

  10. Ah, I see. Thanks for the context Restructure.

    Comment by LLB — July 18, 2008 @ 4:53 am | Reply

  11. Ah, I see too. Thank you, with the broader context you and I have both provided here beyond this post’s initial, unfairly decontextualized quotation, I now see how my apology rang hollow. I still have some reservations about whether what you’ve explained about white apologies applies in all contexts, but I appreciate the insight, and I see how my apology looks like a common and hollow white apology. Something else, then, that white people do–how to phrase that?–“offer hollow apologies”? “explain what they meant when they say something hurtful, instead of trying to understand how what they said was hurtful”?

    I can learn from this and try to do better in the future.

    By the way, could you explain what you mean by this?

    As for updating the posts, I think it’s very bad to use straw man arguments, so I’m erring on the side of caution.

    Comment by macon d — July 18, 2008 @ 6:50 am | Reply

  12. Macon D,

    Google is your friend. Instead of asking PoC for help, especially on trivial things, try to Google it first.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_dishonesty

    Comment by Restructure! — July 18, 2008 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

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    Comment by Gloria_Guek — January 31, 2012 @ 2:04 pm | Reply


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