Stuff White People Say

July 24, 2008

“Want to be a good White person? Just say you’re an anti-racist!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — nquest2xl @ 2:42 am

Direct from the WordPress blog White Anti-racist (subtitle: “have your cake and eat it too”):

The Problem: Whether in college, on the internet, in a workshop, through the media, or just in passing conversation, white people these days are hearing that we may actually not be the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is a very difficult pill for us to swallow. Some of us are tempted to reject the message entirely — thus depriving ourselves of the opportunity to develop expertise in talking or writing about racism. Others of us begin to question whether we are good people and/or whether we truly have a right to the resources and benefits available to us as white people — thus increasing our risk of unemployment, depression, and even loss of life…

We Have a Solution: By claiming a white-anti-racist identity, you will have the opportunity to be a “good white person” while being critical of racism while never risking the survival of the system of white supremacy and thus your own actual centrality and privilege.

Hmmm . . .

Did I say, “Hmmm…?”

Your “antiracism” focus is on “human relations programming”, making sure that racial tension is reduced (i.e., trying to keep PoC anger at bay, making sure that white people don’t appear racist rather than fighting actual racism), instead of on achieving social justice. (Restructure’s comment to Macon D who just happened to be mentioned for his marketing niche and self-promoting, rhetorical brilliance at whiteantiracist.wordpress.com.)

(Note:  JWBE found the site. I posted it because it’s soooooooooo relevant.)

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56 Comments »

  1. I notice Macon D has been rather silent lately. Maybe he is busy preparing a new blog:

    Stuff Mean Ungrateful People of Colour Do to Hip-White-Antiracist-Boys (ie. Venting)

    whiteantiracist.wordpress.com = brilliant.

    Comment by Okanagan — July 24, 2008 @ 5:23 am | Reply

  2. You know, I was wondering if Whites saying they were anti-racists was like what a lot of Whites have done while claiming they are colorblind: just subscribing, superficially, to the concept because it is the latest thing, in fashion, for Whites feel they have to do or can do to not be seen as racist.

    It’s something I’ve wondered for a while in one way or the other. Reflecting on what is often said about the so-called founding fathers, etc. that they were people “of their time”, I can’t help but wonder if the majority of Whites today merely hold the views they do as a “product of their times.”

    Comment by Nquest — July 24, 2008 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  3. yes, it’s a great site, nonetheless I first got the comment section wrong (embarrassing)

    Comment by jwbe — July 24, 2008 @ 2:54 pm | Reply

  4. Nquest,

    Yes, I think is the “latest thing” for Whites, and I also think that it is more in fashion with upper middle class Whites who are very busy trying to prove to each other that they are “hip” and consuming things that other upper middle class Whites define as “hip”. I’m not saying they are all like this – just most of them.

    I don’t think the majority of Whites consider themselves anti-racist – they will say they are against racism, but they won’t say that they are anti-racist. That’s what makes it even trendier for the Cult of Macon types to call themselves anti-racists – they are better positioned to differentiate themselves from other “ordinary” Whites.

    Comment by Okanagan — July 24, 2008 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  5. Wow, that last link was great. I have rarely read something as insightful and quick to cut through the morass of antiracist rhetoric.

    I think it even cut me, hold on while I try to staunch the bleeding…ok, I’m better now (used solution #3). It shows just how far I still have to go.

    Thanks for sharing it Restructure.

    Comment by LLB — July 25, 2008 @ 1:50 am | Reply

  6. Oops. Didn’t bother reading who the author actually was. Sorry Nquest.

    Comment by LLB — July 25, 2008 @ 1:55 am | Reply

  7. Yeah, I like that site too (which is why it’s been on my blogroll for months). Like your new site, it keeps me on my toes, especially in terms of checking myself about why I’m doing what I do when I think I’m doing something “anti-racist.” That site is funny and very well written, two differences from this site. Restructure’s idea (quoted above) that my blog is all about “human relations programming” rather than working towards social justice is one exception–it’s a hilariously inaccurate caricature of what happens there.

    jwbe, I wouldn’t be embarrassed if I were you by misreading the comments section at that site. It’s a brand of satire that I think even many first-language English readers would miss. I don’t read or write a second language NEARLY as well as you do, so I’m the one who should be (and am) embarrassed, especially by my snarky remark at one point on my blog about your English skills. I regret that, and I apologize for it (though I still do NOT regret spending a lot of time with you editing the English in the two posts that you wrote for my site).

    Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to the three of you for taking time out to critique my efforts from what I’m sure is a lot of much more important, concrete work toward social justice. I still think you get a lot of things wrong, and that your methods are often pernicious, but by holding my feet to the fire, you do help to keep my on my toes.

    Comment by macon d — July 25, 2008 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

  8. it’s a hilariously inaccurate caricature of what happens there.

    No. It was a hilariously accurate assessment of the very thing that took place and something that pervades your writing/thinking. And then there are your curious statement where you insisted Obama “had” to pathologize blackness to become/be president.

    But this, again, isn’t about you. You are but one example of this phenomenon. One of the most recent out of many, past and present, that I’ve come across.

    Comment by Nquest — July 25, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  9. Macon, but you understand what they are saying?

    Comment by jwbe — July 25, 2008 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

  10. and to your dishonest apology: Want to be a good person? Just say “I apologize” and you even don’t realize your own dishonesty I guess

    Comment by jwbe — July 25, 2008 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  11. Yes, jwbe, I understand what they are saying.

    Why do you think my apology to you is dishonest? In what sense do you think it’s a lie? (I didn’t apologize merely because I want to “be a good person,” if that’s what you’re thinking).

    Comment by macon d — July 25, 2008 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  12. Macon, first you don’t have to tell me that many Americans do have a lack of reading comprehension. I only mention ‘hooks’ for example and I could make an almost endless list of whites who don’t understand what they read, you are just one example.

    Second, I got the comment section wrong because I didn’t read the entire website before.

    Third you don’t tell me what I have to be embarrassed about and what not.

    Then you write
    ‘I regret that, and I apologize for it (though I still do NOT regret spending a lot of time with you editing the English in the two posts that you wrote for my site).’

    an honest apology would be: I regret that, and I apologize for it. Period.
    But no you feel the need to add how much time you had to spend with editing my English, which is again criticizing my English FYI and also you don’t mention that the editing was so time-consuming (also for me), because you didn’t just edit my English but the contend and also tried to change the content and tried to influence what I have to write. Which is a very different subject you try to tell readers here.

    Comment by jwbe — July 25, 2008 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

  13. Right, I didn’t mention that editing technique that I use with other writers, but that’s because it seemed irrelevant. I did mention editing errors in your writing because it fit the general context of a comment here about my appreciation of your English skills.

    I’ll do my best to try not to tell you anything else. You clearly know so much already. And it is indeed impressive that you read American writers with a higher level of comprehension than many American readers.

    Comment by macon d — July 25, 2008 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  14. you really understand nothing. You are so above all others that you only and always want to defend yourself

    Comment by jwbe — July 25, 2008 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

  15. I don’t read or write a second language NEARLY as well as you do, so I’m the one who should be (and am) embarrassed, especially by my snarky remark at one point on my blog about your English skills.

    I’m glad that you realized the idiocy of that on your own. What kind of “antiracist” makes fun of people who speak English as a second language?? It’s as if you were saying that being born in a non-English speaking country is comparable to a general lack of intelligence.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 25, 2008 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  16. What kind of “antiracist” makes fun of people who speak English as a second language??

    One who’s frustrated by an online persona that does little more than dismiss my efforts, and for some odd reason, me, in ways like this: “This blog is supposed to be anti-racist. He is an insult to all who take this serious.” (I’m citing the content of jw’s quote here, not the grammar.)

    As I said in the post of mine where I highlighted this blog, we all get frustrated at times, and we all say things we later think we shouldn’t. And if we have integrity, we apologize for them later. And if the people we’re communicating with have integrity, they take such apologies at face value and move on, rather than continuing to make ad hominem statements via rhetorical questions about the person who apologized, instead of, you know, attending to what this blog is supposedly about, what someone white “said.” (Oh, and btw, it’s jw, not me, who offers implications about an entire nation’s intelligence. I’ve already acknowledged that jw, a German person, seems to know so much that I have nothing at all to tell her.)

    You mention the “marketing niche” that other site sees me situating my blog nicely in. Tell me please, since marketing means, you know, selling something for money, where all this money is?

    Comment by macon d — July 25, 2008 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

  17. You mention the “marketing niche” that other site sees me situating my blog nicely in.

    Macon, follow along… (i.e. read post #6).

    Now you can blame me for “dismissing your efforts” or whatever other bs defense you want to put up. When you pulled that bs on your blog when you claimed you “knew” I wanted you to edit/remove the “amazement” thread WHEN I DID NOT and when you half-way solicited my suggestions for revisions… it’s clear you were more concerned about your image than with your “efforts” or whatever else you want to pretend this is about.

    (No need to revisit the idea of PoC teaching you or doing your job for you. You make it abundantly clear, especially when your baseless/unfounded ideas are questioned, that you want Easy Steps To Still Look Good instead of you taking the steps, on your own, to use the criticism offered to go beyond “rote” learning where someone has to spoon feed you like a baby, presuming you to be dumbasfuck, or by the preference of your infantile ego to act like you’re dumbasfuck and deaf&blind on top of that.

    Comment by Nquest — July 25, 2008 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

  18. One who’s frustrated by an online persona that does little more than dismiss my efforts,

    this is not about crediting efforts.

    I’ve already acknowledged that jw, a German person, seems to know so much that I have nothing at all to tell her

    must be difficult for you that there are people who don’t just praise your efforts but actually read what you write and realize that some of it is problematic.

    And if we have integrity, we apologize for them later. And if the people we’re communicating with have integrity, they take such apologies at face value and move on

    Wrong Macon. Somebody with integrity doesn’t wait about 3 or 4 weeks to come up with that only with the intend to diminish my English skills for a second time, after your apology. This isn’t integrity.
    The same way you pay lip-service to Nquest and Restructure when you say “I understand”, “I want to learn” and you display really no progress.

    Comment by jwbe — July 25, 2008 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

  19. You mention the “marketing niche” that other site sees me situating my blog nicely in. Tell me please, since marketing means, you know, selling something for money, where all this money is?

    I assume you know the term metaphor

    Comment by jwbe — July 25, 2008 @ 9:24 pm | Reply

  20. The “White Anti-Racist Identity” is just a specific manifestation of the European/white cultural self described by the anthropologist whose accurate and detailed analysis of European culture and behavior is excerpted right here and linked from the whiteantiracist wordpress site’s how and why it works page.

    When dealing with the European/white cultural self defending itself as Macon D is doing here, my personal experience is that there is no there there for actual communication between actual beings.

    In my experience, people acting from this space invariably approach communication as a struggle for individual domination and control. And also, in situations like this discussion, that “self” may actually feed on the energy from conflict and argument — may get animated and nourished from those dynamics, can act sort of like a vampire feeding off of the energy of it.

    So the way I see it, the only thing that Macon D has to “contribute” to this discussion here is an open display of the European/white cultural self in action. Which he does very very well in my opinion.

    PS — And since LLB mentioned solution #3 above:

    Yeah, I like that site too (which is why it’s been on my blogroll for months). Like your new site, it keeps me on my toes, especially in terms of checking myself about why I’m doing what I do when I think I’m doing something “anti-racist.”

    Comment by Barbara Karens — July 25, 2008 @ 9:49 pm | Reply

  21. lmao!!!

    Macon swung and missed again.

    One time when I said he was trying to “sell” an idea — i.e. some argument he was making and trying to convince/persuade me with — and he tried this same old, silly-ass line about money. Same old stuck on stupid, locked in on one word detached from all others , mindless response.

    SELL = MONEY
    NICHE = MONEY

    The words can’t be used in any other context with equivocating Macon around.

    It’s like CONTEXT is something beyond Macon’s comprehension or Macon is so frustrated that he is stupid enough to think he doesn’t look even stupider by saying something so ridiculously, hilariously stupid as that. The site lists 3 benefits (psychological (image), intellectual and career benefits) and alluded to all of them, particularly the first and last, when the “niche marketing” idea was mentioned.

    The entire post, including the part you quoted, serves to establish Macon’s expertise as a White Anti-Racist. Unlike other white people, he is seriously interested in “talking” and “thinking” about whiteness. This establishes an excellent image for him, keeps it in the discourse, and rhetorically displays his particular importance in the larger struggle against racism.

    Far from being negative, the post shows the specialness of his own White Anti-Racist Identity while at the same time serving as an implicit challenge to other white people to get a good white anti-racist identity for themselves.

    It’s a brilliant bit of self-promotion, and a marvelous invitation to other white people to join us in white anti-racism.

    The irony of it all is Macon continues to try to disparage solid and irrefutable critiques of SPECIFIC things he’s said (given the SPECIFIC things noted) by keeping his anti-racist identity in the discourse.
    ________________________________________________________________
    “My efforts” vs. the statement(s) or post(s) in question
    “My (entire) blog” vs. the statement(s) or post(s) in question
    ________________________________________________________________

    Damn, dude… They got you pegged.

    Comment by Nquest — July 25, 2008 @ 11:10 pm | Reply

  22. What kind of “antiracist” makes fun of people who speak English as a second language??

    One who’s frustrated by an online persona that does little more than dismiss my efforts, and for some odd reason, me, in ways like this: “This blog is supposed to be anti-racist. He is an insult to all who take this serious.” (I’m citing the content of jw’s quote here, not the grammar.)

    As I said in the post of mine where I highlighted this blog, we all get frustrated at times, and we all say things we later think we shouldn’t. And if we have integrity, we apologize for them later. And if the people we’re communicating with have integrity, they take such apologies at face value and move on, rather than continuing to make ad hominem statements via rhetorical questions about the person who apologized, instead of, you know, attending to what this blog is supposedly about, what someone white “said.”

    I’m beginning to worry about how this blog is called “Stuff White People Say”, which could be interpreted as about human relations programming and playing “gotcha”. When I have a problem with the problematic things you and other people say about race, the problem isn’t just the quote itself, but the whole worldview that the person holds that would cause them to say something like that. If the person just apologizes for saying it out loud instead of keeping it to himself, it doesn’t change the underlying belief system that caused him to say that, and there is no learning, just a perception of “political correctness”.

    That you would even say that when you are frustrated and felt ad hominems directed at you says a lot. It’s like Michael Richards saying things because he is angry. I’m not saying that what you said is comparable to what he said in terms of racism, but there’s more going on than just being “angry” or “frustrated”. You are willing to hit below the belt because you value your pride over other people’s humanity.

    When you made fun of jwbe’s English when she speaks English as a second language, I thought you were nuts. In the city where I live, if somebody said something like that, made fun of somebody’s English skills even if they were not a native speaker, this person would be considered a racist, right-wing, ethnocentric nutjob who is also stupid because he himself is not fluent in another language. Almost half of the people in my city were born in a different country, so a person who says this would have to be socially isolated and/or going to extreme, superhuman lengths to avoid people of a different ethnicity.

    When you say something like that, you come across as someone who lives in an area where the percentage of foreign-born people are way below the national average. Or, if you do live in an area with many foreign-born people, you don’t respect them as group.

    You can read a lot of books on critical whiteness studies, but there is a disconnect between what you are reading and how you connect to people in real life.

    This blog is about Stuff White People Say, but I think your problem is a combination of acting typically white plus some weird properties you have as an individual. Even the average white liberal would be appalled at a person laughing at a German-born German’s English when this person cannot speak German himself. The average white liberal would consider this person right-wing and racist.

    I can’t make posts about stuff you say as an individual that are not typically white, because this blog is called “Stuff White People Say” and not “Stuff Macon D says”. However, I still may make comments about your strange individual behaviour on this blog and on other blogs, because there is nowhere else to talk about it.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 25, 2008 @ 11:27 pm | Reply

  23. (Hey, Restructure, both myself and a new poster (?) have posts awaiting moderation, FYI.)
    _________________________________________________________________


    Solution #3: Acknowledge that this article is extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Say that it made you really question yourself and White Anti-Racism in general. Say that you actually agree with the author a whole lot and that you really appreciate her analysis because it is helping to keep you honest and self-critical. Then, continue to use your White Anti-Racist identity as you would normally.

    You will see this (the link) again.

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 25, 2008 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

  24. (Hey, Restructure, both myself and a new poster (?) have posts awaiting moderation, FYI.)

    Thanks for letting me know. Akismet marked your “SELL = MONEY” comment as spam.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 25, 2008 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

  25. When I have a problem with the problematic things you and other people say about race, the problem isn’t just the quote itself, but the whole worldview that the person holds that would cause them to say something like that. If the person just apologizes for saying it out loud instead of keeping it to himself, it doesn’t change the underlying belief system that caused him to say that, and there is no learning, just a perception of “political correctness”.

    Excellent point.

    I’ll keep going back to Macon peculiar attempt to solicit revision suggestions from me under the assumption that I wanted his posted changed/removed. That’s when I take his words at face value. Of course, the fact that he made those assumptions and the cynical attempt to offer me the opportunity to submit revision suggestions says that he was motivated to try to preserve or enhance his image while not changing a thing in his underlying belief system which includes the weird idea that he (Macon and Macon alone) can “summarize” the thoughts of PoC AND not litter them with the filth of his own f-cked up pre-conceptions, present that bs as if he actually ‘drew’ his idea from PoC and not get called on it and, worse, think that it is a matter of opinion whether he actually got his idea from the PoC he cited, quoting passages from them that absolutely DID NOT support his idea.

    So, Macon must be high on WHITE SUPREMACY or something…

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 25, 2008 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  26. […] second was a post on Stuff White People Say (a blog providing critical analysis of SWPD) entitled, “Want to be a good White person? Just say you’re an anti-racist!”. Restructures statement lead me to start taking more seriously what had previously only been an […]

    Pingback by the laughing linden branch » White and Anti-Racist — July 26, 2008 @ 3:13 am | Reply

  27. This is all getting even more compelling to me.

    Barbara, I’m glad you stopped by. Your description about how these kinds of discussions tend to go seems to me especially useful. I’m white, though, so I don’t know what moral/ethical grounding I have in even saying that here–it’s like, because I’m white, I’m already trying to “dominate” and guide this discussion, take center stage and all that (and I’m not being snarky or whatever in saying that). But, for what it’s worth, here’s where I see all this now, and a proposed effort to “clear the air.”

    This discussion (and I think it still is that) between me and others who’ve gathered here is obviously not going well. I don’t think that’s entirely my fault, but maybe it is, and maybe that’s because I haven’t managed to pull off my socially attached white glasses completely (actually, I probably never can). I’m “macon,” a white guy, trying to understand what that means, especially the white part. Part of what I’m doing in writing online is trying to unmake macon, and I do know, and acknowledge at times on my blog, that I still don’t realize how informed my perspective is by white supremacy–how much I still am a part of the white collective, no matter how much I try to step outside of it. That’s why I keep coming back here, although others apparently think I’m only here to defend myself. Merely defending myself really isn’t my primary intention, though it does become an intention when I feel that my writings and even myself are being unfairly attacked, decontextualized, or dismissed, and I thus become “defensive” (although reacting to a perceived attack on “myself” is actually ridiculous, since my “self” here is, for various reasons, an anonymous one, and a constructed one).

    I hope it’s possible to clear the air–to then have a more productive discussion. Maybe I’m all wrong about that, though. Maybe what’s best for me to do is just shut up, withdraw, and think about what I’ve been reading.

    Could I propose something? Since the topic of this post and thread is white anti-racism–thought, writing, action or lack thereof, etc.–could we all read and “talk” here about Barbara’s piece here, perhaps in conjunction with the Yurugu piece she linked to above, and that’s also linked on whiteantiracist.com? Her piece is all about the topic of this post and thread, white anti-racist action, in a way that offers useful introspection about how to do it (instead of just lampooning those, including me, who are satirically labeled on WAR as doing it wrong).

    And one other thing, a question for Barbara if she’s come back to read this–you wrote in the piece I’m recommending about your “local work.” What exactly is that local work? (I’m also troubled, of course, by the implication below and in the rest of the piece, as I read it, that white efforts to write in an anti-racist mode are unjustifiable–that it should not, perhaps, be done at all.)

    I feel some very strong dissonance between the lack of solid ground in this white-person-writing practice, and the spirit of the local work I am involved in. In this writing, my words precede me into the room. In my local work, I am represented more by what I do over time than by my words “about” the work. The “what I do” mode offers me less control in the white image-management game. And in that mode, I feel that I am better able to listen and to follow.

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 4:17 am | Reply

  28. “because I’m white, I’m already trying to “dominate” and guide this discussion”

    Hmmm….

    “Could I propose something? … could we all read and “talk” here about Barbara’s piece here, perhaps in conjunction with the Yurugu piece she linked to above…”

    Macon, you have a blog (and a disconnect).

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 26, 2008 @ 4:27 am | Reply

  29. [Barbara’s] piece is all about the topic of this post and thread, white anti-racist action, in a way that offers useful introspection about how to do it (instead of just lampooning those, including me, who are satirically labeled on WAR [whiteantiracist on wordpress] as doing it wrong).

    Just to be clear, given this comparison:

    I myself personally feel that the whiteantiracist.wordpress.com site is far and away superior to my own White Collective article. In my opinion, its analysis is deeper than my essay, and it gets closer to directly naming the truth.

    Comment by Barbara Karens — July 26, 2008 @ 5:15 am | Reply

  30. Nquest, re the disconnect you see–that’s why I wrote “Could I propose . . . ,” words that convey a non-dominant stance. And I don’t see a reason to set up a whole post on my blog about this when there’s already a post and thread happening on the topic here.

    Thank you for the clarity, Barabara. Do you feel that WAR explains or implies how the site’s author(s) think anti-racist work should be done? If so, how? I’m asking because as I meant to say above, it seems to me that it identifies a lot of ways not to do it. The implication for white anti-racists might even be, “don’t do it at all”? Is that “truth” you think it names?

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 5:29 am | Reply

  31. Oops, sorry–make that, “the disconnect you APPARENTLY see”

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 5:30 am | Reply

  32. The disconnect isn’t a matter of my 20/20 vision. Asking or phrasing something nicely or in a “non-dominant” way says nothing about the unresolved disconnect. Plus you tell on yourself with this curious self-consciousness. But keep the laughs coming… Playing “the white” card was a nice (and hilarious) touch.

    I don’t see a reason to set up a whole post on my blog about this

    Then keep your subject-changing proposals to yourself.

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 26, 2008 @ 6:22 am | Reply

  33. nq, i have no idea what you’re laughing at in comment 32, nor how you think i’m telling on myself, nor what you think is “curious” about my self-consciousness.

    “subject-changing”? the subject of what I proposed is the same–white anti-racists . . .

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 6:38 am | Reply

  34. I’m laughing at your attempt to play the “white” card.

    * I’m white, though, so I don’t know what moral/ethical grounding I have in even saying that here–it’s like, because I’m white, I’m already trying to “dominate” and guide this discussion, take center stage and all that…

    I didn’t stutter.

    And, yes, yours is, per your usual, an attempt to change the subject. The subject here is self-promoting, IMAGE conscious white-anti-racists and anti-racism as a pretense for such… Barbara’s piece is a different and deeper exploration into something other than individuals trying to establish themselves, individually, as “a good White person”. Instead, her analysis is about looking at what white-anti-racism does from a collective standpoint as it relates to actually dealing/attacking with WHITE SUPREMACY as opposed to erecting an anti-racist facade, conscious or otherwise, that’s used to distract from and continue WHITE SUPREMACY.

    It was your attempt at the ‘keeping it in the discourse’ self-promotion and your IMAGE consciousness that caused you to invoke the idea of the us (you and me) working together in the “more general anti-racist effort” as a way for you to try to dismiss and refuse to deal with your actions/words which were not evidence of anti-racism but, instead, evidence to the contrary.

    So, the not-so-subtle art of deception might be the same (you couldn’t even be honest — i.e. straightforward — about why you cynically wanted me to offer revision suggestions and why you had to say you “knew” I wanted revisions/removal) but you were motivated not so much out of running interference for the continued existence and maintenance of WHITE SUPREMACY. Yours was all out of your own personal self-interest.

    Totally different topic. Read the title. If I intended this thread to be about anti-racism used as a means to run interference for WHITE SUPREMACY, I would have emphasized that in the title and/or in the post itself. Instead, I highlighted what Restructure said to you which was about the superficial level of thinking which coincides with the idea of people latching onto anti-racist rhetoric because it is the new ‘colorblindness’ — i.e. the standard (statement of superficial belief) by which someone becomes “a good White person.”

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 26, 2008 @ 8:24 am | Reply

  35. I should add:

    “…I highlighted what Restructure said to you which was about the superficial level of thinking and IMAGE conscious White “tries to keep PoC anger at bay, making sure that white people don’t appear racist” which coincides with the idea of White people latching onto anti-racist rhetoric because it is the new ‘colorblindness’…”

    See post #2.

    Now, if you want to talk about the Yurugu piece, go right ahead and explain your own acts of deception… The running example: you claiming you “knew” I wanted your post removed/revised, when you didn’t, along with the cynical offer you made to me to suggest revision recommendations — acts of deception all betrayed by your statement that you believed you were right.

    You never did answer the question as to why you would change something you thought you were right to say.

    You reveal that you don’t think the “fundamental logic” in your still unfounded claim is “faulty” which begs the question: why would you change something (other than striking out the “most” thing you already have “withdrawn”) when you still want to maintain that you are correct in your “assumption”??

    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2008/06/express-amazement-when-non-white-people.html?showComment=1215745320000#c8224278557384722051

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 26, 2008 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  36. I feel that my writings and even myself are being unfairly attacked, decontextualized, or dismissed,

    I don’t know if you read on this blog “consider themselves as trustworthy” and why your post on your blog is problematic. “Unmaking Macon” would mean to go beyond race to see the human beings behind. Nobody is only defined by race alone, this would be the Eurocentric mind-set. Defining people just by race, as you did in your “white amazement thread” as well as “trustworthy”, “get used to blackness” and some others. You even recommend somehow your “get used to blackness” to Tim Wise.

    While you have no control in a society where race is a social construct how others will perceive you – white or non-white – you do have control about your inner life. Nobody can force you to be white within your body.

    Comment by jwbe — July 26, 2008 @ 11:15 am | Reply

  37. Nquest, you once again prove yourself impossible, at least for me.

    Yes jw, I’ve read those things on this blog–everything, actually.

    After reading the most recent comments at WAR in response to this thread by Barbara/WAR/Mike/Tammy, I no longer trust that person.

    Too much bad faith around here. So little good faith.

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  38. One more thing, a part of your recent words I can address: You never did answer the question as to why you would change something you thought you were right to say.

    Sure I have, many times. That seems obvious to me. I’m trying to be accountable for inaccuracies in my posts in response to later insights, especially those offered by commenters (such as, if I remember right, the very first commment that Restructure left there). Like any reasonable person, I know that just because I initially thought I was right to say something doesn’t mean I WAS right, and I’ve changed several posts accordingly. That you gave me “credit” for doing so in a recent comment on my blog, together with what seems to be a contrary message in what you’re now saying, demonstrates part of way I often find what you write impossible to respond to.

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  39. > I no longer trust that person

    what kind of trust are you talking about?

    Comment by jwbe — July 26, 2008 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  40. I don’t understand it when you say that, jwbe. What “kinds” of trust are there? It seems to me that trust is trust–we trust or distrust that people will or won’t do this or that. I don’t trust that person to act (or rather, write) with sincerity.

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  41. do you realize that whiteantiracist is making fun out of you and do you also understand why?

    Comment by jwbe — July 26, 2008 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  42. and you have a very simplyfied understanding of trust.

    Comment by jwbe — July 26, 2008 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  43. @ 41: yes and yes

    @ 42: so complicate it. What “kinds” of trust are there?

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

  44. it is not about complicating things, but about human relationships. Or do you tell everybody you meet in your life all about your life when you trust them?

    To gain trust is something what you have to work for, friendship doesn’t happen within seconds etc.
    But that doesn’t mean that there is either distrust or trust. When you for example go to a bank you will trust the employee there that he won’t take your money for his personal benefit, but that doesn’t mean that you are friends or so.
    Life is much more nuanced than you are able to see it, as it seems

    Comment by jwbe — July 26, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  45. jw @ 44: hat still doesn’t explain what kinds of trust are available to choose from when you asked me @ 39 what kind of trust I was talking about. But I understand–you don’t seem to want to answer that question. You discuss trust in a friend versus trust in a bank employee–maybe that’s “deep trust” versus “shallow trust”?

    Anyway, re how nuanced life is in these terms, I do understand the nuances you’re describing. I don’t think trust is necessarily and always something one has to work for–it often happens right away, as in your example of “trusting” a person who is recognizable in the role of “teller” at a bank. I think feelings of trust also come into play in racialized encounters, where people are recognizable in the role of a member of a race. But I think we’ve said all we have to say about trust in that specific regard elsewhere. When I revise the two posts in question, I’ll think about whether it matters to distinguish between different kinds of trust. Thank you.

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  46. hat still doesn’t explain what kinds of trust are available to choose from when you asked me @ 39 what kind of trust I was talking about. But I understand–you don’t seem to want to answer that question.

    Macon there is a German word; “denkfaul”. Translation: “too lazy to think”. You want to get all answers presented on a plate, like Nquest said it, spoon feeding a baby.

    Comment by jwbe — July 26, 2008 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

  47. so complicate it. What “kinds” of trust are there?

    It’s statements like these that make me question your ability to understand complex concepts. It’s as if you’re a naive realist, and you any knowledge you have was explicitly “taught” to you, otherwise you’re lost.

    Trust (social sciences)

    Comment by Restructure! — July 26, 2008 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

  48. (()) Sure I have, many times.

    Many times??? WTF are you talking about? I’m only talking about the question I asked which makes whatever you’ve said to Restructure, etc. irrelevant. You gave me a response:

    Because if I thought the post’s basic claim was wrong, I’d remove the whole thing, or rewrite it so that its basic claim then seems correct. However, despite your arguments to the contrary, I still think the fundamental premise of the posts in question are borne out by what the rest of the posts say. And if parts of the posts that support that fundamental claim/premise/thesis are misstated or flat-out wrong, I’ll change or delete those.

    But it was, effectively, a non-response. It didn’t answer my question and, worse, it showed just how phony your cynical offer for revision suggestions was and, what you ended up saying, is the anti-thesis of being “accountable.”

    (()) Like any reasonable person, I know that just because I initially thought I was right to say something doesn’t mean I WAS right.

    Try that bs with someone who will conveniently just take, at face value, what you say about what you do instead of dealing with what you actually do or have done. Scroll up… At no time in that “express amazement” thread did you express how you initially thought you were right and then realized via the process of accountability that you were wrong. You maintained that you were right the whole time but still, inexplicably (i.e. you never explained), made a cynical offer to me to submit revision suggestions because that’s what you assumed would settle the issue: I could say change these words and get off your case while you still kept the fundamental premise which you said you wouldn’t change in your only response to my question.

    Whatever you did or think you did “many times” on other threads is irrelevant. I’m talking about one SPECIFIC instance. But since you’re stupid enough to type before you think…

    (()) That you gave me “credit” for doing so in a recent comment on my blog

    This is both proof that you refuse to deal with the issue at hand and proof that this is all about your ego and your image. My recent comment was intent on showing yet another occasion where you lied to keep up your image as “different” from other Whites, the very thing the White Anti-Racist blog indicated about self-promoting white-anti-racist.

    In “refuse to listen to black anger“, you tried to distance yourself from words that came out of your cyber-mouth regarding Rev. Wright. I asked you why YOU characterized Rev. Wright’s statements as “outlandish” and your attempt to save face or protect your image started from there.


    This common white obstinacy became openly apparent when Barack Obama’s pastor, Reverend Wright, expressed anger at America, and made an emotional call to God to damn America unless it started treating black people better.

    Reverend Wright later said things that struck nearly everyone as so outlandish that Obama finally had to repudiate both the words and the man.

    It’s funny how you tried to act like “nearly everyone” didn’t include you though you tried to include me:

    May 30, 2008 4:17 AM
    Using the words God, and damn, and America in the same sentence is already “strikingly unfamiliar” to white Americans, if not, perhaps, to most black Americans, and connecting AIDS to government efforts to spread it is even more so… Perhaps I wasn’t clear on who found his statements outlandish.

    July 10, 2008 10:38 PM
    “…they’re not my own feelings… I meant to address the feelings of Americans in general, by saying that white Americans find Wright’s comments outlandish, and that black Americans receive them in more complicated ways.

    May 29, 2008 12:33 PM
    Re Wright’s subsequent comments, I used outlandish in the sense of “highly unconventional” and “strikingly unfamiliar.” Surely you’d agree they were that, even though, yes, they do reflect accurately well-founded, widespread black suspicions and fears.

    Your pretense that you were talking about how other people viewed Rev. Wright (his statements) is hard to maintain when you fully intended on characterizing Rev. Wright’s statements as racist — which could classify as ‘outlandish’, ‘highly unconventional’ and ‘strikingly unfamiliar’ — UNTIL YOU WERE CAUGHT and the idea reflected poorly on your anti-racist self-image.

    So you moved to say Wright’s statements were “racially charged” which still fits the ‘outlandish’, ‘highly unconventional’ and ‘strikingly unfamiliar’ ideas — the very reason why you slipped into that “code speak.” But the fact that you only viewed Wright’s GD America statement in Black/White racial terms betray your idea that you didn’t always see Wright’s statements as all of the above.

    I mean, when you’re just coming up with terms you can infuse with whatever meaning you want to give them, it’s hard to see the difference between saying Rev. Wright’s statements were “racist” vs. racially charged, outlandish, highly unconventional and strikingly unfamiliar. The emotional response is the same and, as noted, they all revolved around the Black/White racial lens you viewed his statements in.

    So, really, I was being facetious when I say, “to Macon’s credit.” I was letting you know that I caught you in a lie. There is no way for you to detach or distance yourself from what other White Americans thought when you thought the same thing and, as noted, tried to maintain that. Surely you don’t ask someone to agree with something, in such a context, that you don’t believe yourself and surely you don’t think the idea that you felt Rev. Wright’s statements were racist wouldn’t come through when you commented on Rev. Wright no matter how you moved to merely change the wording.

    You have the uncanny ability to shoot yourself in the foot. Your actions regarding your statements on Rev. Wright only solidify the point I’m making about your phony attempts to act like you’ve actually changed when you were shown to be in the wrong.

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 26, 2008 @ 4:49 pm | Reply

  49. (Oh, and btw, it’s jw, not me, who offers implications about an entire nation’s intelligence. I’ve already acknowledged that jw, a German person, seems to know so much that I have nothing at all to tell her.)

    Oh, and btw, jw was talking about the intelligence of White Americans, not the “entire nation” of the United States. That you would forget the Americanness of 26% of your population, the non-white Americans, is telling.

    I find it interesting that you can read all these academic treatises on whiteness, yet you still think like a typical white American. “White American” is not synonymous with “American”. What kind of critical whiteness studier are you if you still have trouble with this concept?

    Comment by Restructure! — July 26, 2008 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

  50. What kind of critical whiteness studier are you if you still have trouble with this concept?

    Why is it all about me with you, Restructure, instead of with, you know, what I “say”?

    Comment by macon d — July 26, 2008 @ 5:25 pm | Reply

  51. Now let’s look at this again:

    Because if I thought the post’s basic claim was wrong, I’d remove the whole thing, or rewrite it so that its basic claim then seems correct. However, despite your arguments to the contrary, I still think the fundamental premise of the posts in question are borne out by what the rest of the posts say. And if parts of the posts that support that fundamental claim/premise/thesis are misstated or flat-out wrong, I’ll change or delete those.

    That’s you saying that you would change parts of a thread/post and even remove it if you thought something was wrong with it; any parts of it. So, obviously, when you make a fake offer for me to submit revision suggestions, then it’s not because you think anything is wrong with your thread/post. So I don’t know what the hell you thought your response in #38 was going to do for you. I referred to a SPECIFIC instance, a SPECIFIC example:

    The running example: you claiming you “knew” I wanted your post removed/revised, when you didn’t, along with the cynical offer you made to me to suggest revision recommendations

    How “many times” have you told me you “knew” I wanted your thread/post removed or revised, Macon?? How “many times” have you pretended to offer, explicitly offer, me the opportunity to make revision suggestions for things posted on your blog, Macon??

    Anyone with any integrity would deal with those time(s) instead of trying to confuse the issue talking about things that aren’t at issue. You and I both know you only said this in ONE thread:


    If you still have suggestions for revision of specific parts of the posts, I’m all ears. I know you think their fundamental logic itself is faulty, and also that, presumably, they should therefore be removed altogether, so when I finally find time to revise the two posts in question, I will consider those claims of yours as well.

    So, again, why would you ask ME in that “express amazement” thread where you insisted you were not wrong and have continued to do so here claiming we have “a difference of opinion”… why would you (pretend to) ask me for revision suggestions?

    But maybe your intent here is to show how you’re not a “reasonable person.”

    (()) “Like any reasonable person, I know that just because I initially thought I was right to say something doesn’t mean I WAS right…”

    You never said you were wrong for stereotyping PoC and claiming, without support, that you drew your “PoC withhold trust…” from hooks, McCall, etc.

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 26, 2008 @ 5:33 pm | Reply

  52. (()) Why is it all about me with you, Restructure, instead of with, you know, what I “say”?

    Her statement was about WHAT YOU SAID. Restructure’s post was about your statement that suggested that White American is synonymous with American and how the hell could someone who supposedly studies whiteness could make such a statement — i.e. the focus is on WHAT you said and how that doesn’t reflect WHAT YOU SAY about you examining Whiteness.

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 26, 2008 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  53. What kind of critical whiteness studier are you if you still have trouble with this concept?

    Why is it all about me with you, Restructure, instead of with, you know, what I “say”?

    Honestly, I’m trying to figure out what your mental block is, if it’s a racial mental block or a general mental block. I know what typical white people say, but I don’t have much experience with what typical white antiracists say. I’m trying to differentiate between your individual problems with consolidating new information and the general problems white antiracists have with consolidating new racial information.

    I’m no longer sincerely trying to convince you of anything, because this entire blog has changed nothing on your blog with respect to the problematic posts it is criticizing.

    When I ask you what kind of “antiracist” you are and what kind of “critical whiteness studier” you are when you do things that contradict their philosophies, it is not an ad hominem, or at least not an irrelevant “ad hominem”. It is on-topic. The topic is about white people who claim to be “antiracist” but do not challenge their own racism sufficiently. It is about white people who say one thing and do another, i.e., white antiracist hypocrisy.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 26, 2008 @ 6:11 pm | Reply

  54. using another example, he is like people running around with pictures about factory farming and after a rally against factory farming they go to a restaurant and order a steak.

    Comment by jwbe — July 26, 2008 @ 6:16 pm | Reply

  55. Macon, do you know the Implicit Association Test?

    Comment by jwbe — July 26, 2008 @ 10:12 pm | Reply

  56. For people who are white anti-racists, comments by people of color may seem offensive because you are already doing everything in your effort to expand your consciousness and understand white privilege and what people of color may experience.

    You may begin feel attacked and start thinking “Gosh I can’t to anything to please THOSE people, its like I shouldn’t make an effort at all.”

    Lets go back and see what the “progressive” white people of their time may have said pertaining to race.

    How about 70-80 years ago….”I allow these people to eat at the back of my restaurant, they aren’t even allowed to go into other restaurants, I can’t to anything to please THOSE people, its like I shouldn’t make an effort at all”

    How about 100-130 years ago…”Can you imagine they say they do not have a respectful job, its like just the other day they were picking cotton for free. Now they are getting wages! I can’t to anything to please THOSE people, its like I shouldn’t make an effort at all.”

    How about 150-200 years ago…”This one tried to run away, I only make them work 18 hours a day and they even get to chew on some of the sugarcane. And unlike the other plantations, they get a whipping barely 10 times in the day. I can’t to anything to please THOSE people, its like I shouldn’t make an effort at all”

    I hope you see the trend…There is still a long, long, long way to go.

    Comment by Yeah I said it — December 2, 2009 @ 1:35 am | Reply


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