Stuff White People Say

July 28, 2008

“Where are you from?”

Filed under: Satire — Restructure! @ 2:50 am
Tags: , , , ,

White people are worried about being perceived as racist and xenophobic, so they try to make friends of colour to make themselves appear cosmopolitan and a “good white person”. Although white people insist that they are racially “color blind” when accused of racism, when meeting new people of colour, the first thing that white people are interested in is racial categorization. After they find out the ethnicity of their new “friend” of colour, they can then tell other white people about how ethnically diverse their group of friends are and that race doesn’t matter to them.

When a white person tries to make friends with an Asian person, the most important thing is “what kind of Asian” this person is. “What kind of Asian” does not mean whether this person is mean or friendly, whether this person is superficial or philosophical, or what this person’s likes and dislikes are. “What kind of Asian” specifically means where the Asian is supposedly “from”. This is of prime importance for the white person, because the white person’s purpose when making friends with a person of colour is to diversify his racial portfolio of friends, which may protect him from future accusations of racism.

When a white person asks an Asian stranger, “Where are you from?” the Asian person may be delighted to tell the white person about her native country, if the Asian person happens to be actually from another country. This boosts the white person’s self-esteem, and the white person pats himself on the back for having a successful social interaction with a non-white person. This positive feedback leads the white person to conclude that asking an Asian person, “Where are you from?” is a successful social strategy that makes any Asian person feel good.

When a white person asks an Asian stranger, “Where are you from?”, sometimes the Asian person stiffens and replies coldly, “San Francisco” or “Toronto”. The white person feels that this answer is inappropriate and the Asian person is being evasive, because telling other white people that he has a friend from the same city he lives in will not raise his white-person status.

The white person feels that he knows the Asian person’s past better than the Asian person herself, and that the Asian person must be lying or being coy, so the white person then says to the Asian person, “No, where are you really from?” When the Asian person gives the same reply, the white person feels that the Asian person is being aloof and withholding trust from him for no apparent reason.

Unsatisfied with the answer and convinced that the Asian is being tricky, the white person changes his strategy. “Where were you born?” he asks. When the Asian person gives the same answer again, the white person feels that he is being made fun of and that the Asian person is unfriendly. Because previous experiences with asking “Asians” where they are “from” were successful, the white person cannot figure out what he did that was wrong.

Unable to make sense of the incident, the white person concludes that this Asian’s unusual distrust of him signals a cultural divide between the East and the West within this Asian person’s psyche.

Advertisements

42 Comments »

  1. I can see how that would get old fast and there’s a reason why God didn’t make me Asian. I absolutely would not have the patience for it.

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 28, 2008 @ 3:37 am | Reply

  2. It’s interesting how this entire post, written by a person of (elsewhere) self-declared Asian descent, is all about what’s supposedly going on in white people’s heads. Restructure, I believe you’ve written to me (forgive me if it wasn’t you–I can’t find where what I’m paraphrasing was written), Write about what you know, macon the white guy–white people. Don’t write presumptuously about what’s supposedly going on in the heads of non-white people. For one thing, you’re stereotyping when you do that.

    I don’t mean to overlook the power differential in such encounters, but if that’s your belief about my writings, then I’m wondering, why is it okay for you to write presumptuously like this about what’s going on in the heads of white people in these situations? In the heads of, apparently, ALL white people in such situations (a lot of white people aren’t actually worried at all, for instance, about being perceived as racist–they know they’re racist, and outright say so)? Couldn’t there be, for one thing, other reasons for some whites to say these things? Not good ones, but other reasons from the very specific ones you cite here, about self-aggrandizing pats on the back, and so on? How exactly do you, a non-white person, know what’s going on inside their heads? Your post would be more convincing if you actually quoted some white people explaining the thinking that you’re so far, it seems, merely speculating about.

    In this regard, it seems to me that nquest2xl might have the more legitimate focus in his comment @ 1, given who the post’s writer is–a focus on what these encounters are like from the perspective of the Asian person, rather than on what they’re supposedly like from that of the “Other,” the white person.

    Comment by macon d — July 28, 2008 @ 5:12 am | Reply

  3. Hmm … well, unlike the rest of the posts of this blog, this post is supposed to be “satirical” and presumptuous-sounding. This is more like SWPL style, except that my racial situation is like mylosh‘s instead of clander’s.

    Of course you can criticize my “satire” as I do not think satire is exempt from criticism.

    I guess the difference between this post and your posts is that I’m purposely being presumptuous and presumptuous-sounding, while you were not (I hope).

    Let me know if this still doesn’t make sense, because I’m a little bit confused too about what “humour” means with respect to meaning and accountability.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 28, 2008 @ 5:32 am | Reply

  4. I tried re-read this post as a “serious” post, and LOL … it’s hard for me to interpret it that way.

    Maybe it’s because I write seriously normally, so people are trained to interpret what I write as literal.

    edit: Filed the post under satire now, so that people won’t have to second-guess what I write when I write seriously.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 28, 2008 @ 5:38 am | Reply

  5. (()) “This is more like SWPL style…”

    Actually, I thought it sounded like Macon, really. But then, again, I’m not familiar with SWPL. Since I took the time to read it, I went on and responded especially since the subject matter came up before. Now, s far as this is concerned:

    Couldn’t there be, for one thing, other reasons for some whites to say these things? Not good ones, but other reasons from the very specific ones you cite here, about self-aggrandizing pats on the back, and so on? How exactly do you, a non-white person, know what’s going on inside their heads? Your post would be more convincing if you actually quoted some white people explaining the thinking that you’re so far, it seems, merely speculating about.

    This is a joke I don’t have to think twice about. But, Macon, these two are for you:

    (1) When I listed 4 or 5 things apparent in Nathan McCall’s reaction that didn’t revolve around “they are White and, therefore probably/possibly racist, Macon you were not advocating the “other reasons” idea.

    (2) When I asked you where you got that stuff from — the stuff you said in that “express amazement” thread, etc. — NEVER did you quote PoC or Black people “explaining the thinking” you claimed they had regarding Whites.

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 28, 2008 @ 5:56 am | Reply

  6. (()) “This is more like SWPL style…”

    Actually, I thought it sounded like Macon, really.

    LOL. Awesome.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 28, 2008 @ 5:59 am | Reply

  7. Oh Macon, if you think Nquest’s comment #5 is off-topic, it’s so not.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 28, 2008 @ 6:01 am | Reply

  8. Actually, I thought it sounded like Macon, really.

    LOL. Awesome.

    I almost emailed you because I was wondering why you were off your game. Now I don’t have to wonder. lol

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 28, 2008 @ 6:44 am | Reply

  9. Macon
    I don’t mean to overlook the power differential in such encounters, but if that’s your belief about my writings, then I’m wondering, why is it okay for you to write presumptuously like this about what’s going on in the heads of white people in these situations?

    Macon, it’s strange that you try to educate Restructure and try to defend whites, when you wrote x-times that PoC know more about whites…
    Empty phrases?
    You are simply trying to gain power. By criticizing Restructure’s writing and trying to “educate” her you are condenscending. You know that and you like this. Addicted to power.
    Restructure also doesn’t talk about ALL white people, but we already know that your comprehension skills are not truly developed. You really should work on this.

    Your post would be more convincing if you actually quoted some white people explaining the thinking that you’re so far, it seems, merely speculating about.

    you actually try to defend white motivations and to confine a victim of racism how she is “allowed” to speak when it comes to the white majesty, and this only because you understand her post in a way only white contaminated brains will interpret it. Your only ambition to be a “white anti-racist” is to be in power, and you constantly try to control Restructure with your sh*t advices how she should write etc.
    But Mr. Notsolittlewhitelies, you could finally start exploring the “white amazement”, you could tell, why whites consider themselves as trustworthy and what was going on in your brain when you believe that “whites have to get used to blackness”.

    Comment by jwbe — July 28, 2008 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  10. jwbe, your bile is showing. indeed, maybe it’s even blinding you; look again at the post’s first paragraph–it is in effect about all white people, since it doesn’t say “some” or “many” anywhere, and it doesn’t specify what kind of white people–yuppies? middle class? upper middle class? your presumptuousness is also showing–i have no interest in white power, nor in telling R how to write–most of my comment consisted of questions, not demands or instructions.

    nq, we’ve been through all of that before, ad nauseum.

    R, yes, it never occurred to me to read it as satire, because i have developed an impression of your online persona as someone who never writes that way. now that i read it that way, it does have an SWPL ring to it. Not an SWPD ring, though, to my ears, since as far as i know, i’ve avoided statements like that about groups of people, and instead write about “many” such people, etc.

    satire does seem to allow for blunt, blanket statements, and unsupported presumptions, like those presented in this post.

    but then, effective satire is also supposed to be funny . . .

    Comment by macon d — July 28, 2008 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  11. oops, part of my last comment needs amendment–i obviously AM interested in, and write continuously against, white power, in many forms. what i should have written is, “i have no interest in asserting my own white power over R and her writings.”

    Comment by macon d — July 28, 2008 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

  12. No Macon, YOUR bile is showing.

    “as far as i know, i’ve avoided statements like that about groups of people, and instead write about “many” such people, etc.”

    Yeah right. You just INFER the whole group and then cite your use of “many” as a defence when you are called to task.

    Why do you come on here and insult this blog if you think everyone here is so beneath your superior White intellect?

    Comment by Okanagan — July 28, 2008 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  13. But Mr. Notsolittlewhitelies, you could finally start exploring the “white amazement”, you could tell, why whites consider themselves as trustworthy and what was going on in your brain when you believe that “whites have to get used to blackness”.

    Comment by jwbe — July 28, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  14. Why do you come on here and insult this blog if you think everyone here is so beneath your superior White intellect?

    Because he absolutely knows his “intellect” isn’t anywhere close to that.

    nq, we’ve been through all of that before, ad nauseum.

    STOP LYING!!! NEVER at no point did you quote a PoC who said:
    “whiteness signals the probability that [whites] will harbor and enact racist stereotypes, and that that is what makes many POC distrust new white folks.”

    Knowing just how f-cked up your bogus statement was, you begrudgingly and cynically tried to do something about me exposing both the problems with your statement and your subsequent & stupid defense for your statement and even tried to make it seem like you were offering me an opportunity to offer revision suggestions. But back to the point… NOWHERE and you know NOWHERE did you quote hooks, McCall or anyone identifiable PoC saying:

    “whiteness signals the probability that [whites] will harbor and enact racist stereotypes, and that that is what makes many POC distrust new white folks.”

    And really… Dude, really…


    When I write on this blog about “stuff white people do,” I hope it’s clear that I’m always writing about stuff SOME white people do. Rather than making blanket statements about all white people, what I’m usually trying to point out is what I’ve come to understand as common white tendencies.

    As a white person, most of my own white ways were not evident to me until I had them pointed out by others. Those others have usually been non-white people, who often understand the ways of white folks better than white folks themselves do. When I recognize a common white tendency in myself now, I usually try to counteract it.

    These days, white folks were all told as children that they should avoid broad generalizations about groups of other, non-white people. However, being categorized into any racial group does induce tendencies, and I think those can be addressed without constant qualifications about how one is not talking about all members of the group.

    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2008/05/work-for-benefit-of-non-white-people.html

    Why is hypocrisy a way of life for you?

    Comment by Nquest — July 28, 2008 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  15. “Because he absolutely knows his “intellect” isn’t anywhere close to that.”

    Of course, that is why he can never bring himself to answer your question….proof of his feeble intellect and his false pride.

    Comment by Okanagan — July 28, 2008 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  16. another “where are you from” by Noah Sow, Black German (and also slightly satirical)

    Where are you from
    This question is only the cork that opens a whole barrel. In one report it was aptly described like this:

    Question: Where are you from?
    Her: From Hanover …
    Question: No, I mean, where do you really come from?
    Her: From Hanover, Germany …
    Question: But … But you are not German, are you???
    Her: Yes, I’m from Hanover/Germany …

    If the response to “Where are you from?” is not “Abu Dhabi” but “Bielefeld,” whites react disappointed and unbelieving. As it is commonly known that Blacks are not that strong on truth, the question is repeated several times as to whether the response is really true, just in case, or where father or mother (“Bielefeld” and “Kiel”) or the grandpa (“Warsaw”) are from. If this impudently feisty person still refuses to come up with the right answer, the questioner is allowed to get obstreperous: “You know exactly what I mean!” or “The Black people I know are proud of their roots!” Certainly not everyone has the nerve to respond “Abu Dhabi” right away so as to be left alone. And developing pride in roots in Bielefeld is definitely possible, but requires some practice.

    When through with the forced theater of dialog, one can at least reward oneself in asking back: “How often have you asked a white German within a matter of five minutes of meeting her where her grandfather is from and haven’t been looked at as being nuts?”

    As “Where are you from?” also implies that someone doesn’t really belong here, no one has to reply honestly. The fact that an arbitrary answer like “I moved here from the Congo last week” normally ends the dialog, as then the questioner starts lecturing on about his holiday or documentary channel experiences, proves that the question is never truly about the person, but rather is always only a matter of the questioner’s curiosity for some exciting and exotic story. With this information, no matter how surreal (people from the Congo very rarely speak in Bavarian dialect after three beers), the questioner is certain to believe he knows enough anyway. […]
    http://www.deutschlandschwarzweiss.de/en/list_of_stupid_phrases.html

    Comment by jwbe — July 28, 2008 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

  17. I was at Costco last week with my mom and four aunties – I have a Costco membership, so every now and then we all go together with my card and load up a cart. When we were lining up to pay, the middle-aged White guy in front of us was sort of making small talk with one of my aunties…asked her if we were all “in from the reserve” for a shopping trip. This is sort of how I experience the “Where are you from?” question.

    Comment by Okanagan — July 28, 2008 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

  18. Macon D,

    look again at the post’s first paragraph–it is in effect about all white people, since it doesn’t say “some” or “many” anywhere, and it doesn’t specify what kind of white people

    Good. You appear to have the ability to read. Now can you read this?

    What’s more interesting, though, about differences in handshaking techniques is that if a white and a non-white person encounter each other in a casual setting and decide to clasp hands, there may be uncertainty about which handshaking method to use–the white one or a non-white one. When there is uncertainty about which to use, the fall-back is usually the standard handshake, that is, the method more likely to be used by the white person than by the non-white one. The non-white person often represses a preferred method of contact, and the white person feels little if any discomfort about being the enforcer of a standard.

    I don’t actually expect to convince you of anything anymore, because I had already made a post about it, you ‘read’ the words, and continued on believing what you believed before. (Is this also how you ‘read’ your critical whiteness books?)

    Comment by Restructure! — July 28, 2008 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

  19. It’s HYPOCRISY AS A WAY OF LIFE for Macon. Plus, he wanted to have the conversation on that anyway…

    But to make sure we pinpoint this hypocrisy of Macon’s and also show how he’s been responding to criticisms of his posts all along:
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    SagaciousHillbilly said…

    “the labeling of whiteness with the word “white” is daunting to white Americans.”

    IF you made a blanket stereotypical statement like that concerning any other ethic group, you’d be labelled a racist.

    May 15, 2008 9:14 AM

    ———————————————————————————————–
    Macon D said

    Ah yes, thank you SH, I forgot that my points about common white tendencies have to be constantly qualified. That way, hawks like you won’t decontextualize my sentences and claim think I’m making racist claims about ALL white Americans.

    I changed the post by adding the word “most” to the sentence you quoted.

    Happy now?

    May 15, 2008 10:48 AM
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    That clearly was the impetus for the statement Macon made in the “work for the benefit of non-white people” thread where Macon was sure to say, “I hope it’s clear that I’m always writing about stuff SOME white people do. Rather than making blanket statements about all white people, what I’m usually trying to point out is what I’ve come to understand as common white tendencies… I think those can be addressed without constant qualifications about how one is not talking about all members of the group.”

    But, for some reason, Macon decided to be a “hawk” and a HYPOCRITE here in this thread.

    Comment by Nquest — July 28, 2008 @ 11:42 pm | Reply

  20. Nquest,

    That’s not that relevant. Mine is satirical, while Macon D is being serious.

    Since you’re not familiar with SWPL, I’ll debrief you. SWPL is actually talking about liberal, upper-class, university-educated, yuppie white people, but the author just refers to this group as “white people”. The white people who do not belong to this group, for example white conservatives or lower-class whites, are referred to as “the wrong kind of white people”.

    Anyway, unlike SWPL and this SWPS post, SWPD is being dead serious. Macon D apparently knows what all non-white people are thinking and what their handshaking preferences are, and it’s not a satire.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 29, 2008 @ 12:43 am | Reply

  21. Restructure, that SWPL and your header-post here is satire is not lost on me. It never was especially after your first comment (#3). I was still pointing out the hypocrisy of Macon being “dead serious” in trying to school you on what was wrong with your header-post when there is a well documented history of him being guilty of the very things you did while writing satirically.

    What I posted was no different from you posting Macon saying, “The non-white person often represses a preferred method of contact…” In fact, by all appearances, you posted it for the same exact reason-effect. Why else would you quote Macon’s criticizing you here about not qualifying what you posted with “some” or “many” and highlight where Macon failed to qualify his own remarks if you were not pointing out Macon’s hypocrisy?

    Comment by Nquest — July 29, 2008 @ 3:05 am | Reply

  22. R highlighted this phrase from my writing:

    The non-white person often represses a preferred method of contact . . .

    then wrote, apparently, about it in a subsequent comment:

    Macon D apparently knows what all non-white people are thinking and what their handshaking preferences are, and it’s not a satire.

    Maybe I’m again missing something here (and I’m not simply and only trying to defend myself, as jwbe has said of me)–doesn’t the word “often” in this bold-print part of what you quoted from my writing indicate “not all non-white people”? That’s how I read it . . .

    Maybe it should be rephrased? “Some non-white people repress . . .” etc. My claim is obviously not that all non-white people prefer to shake hands differently from the standard white handshake. That would be a stupid claim indeed. If there’s a better way to put this, I’ll change the post.

    Comment by macon d — July 29, 2008 @ 3:15 am | Reply

  23. doesn’t the word “often” in… what you quoted from my writing indicate “not all non-white people”?

    HELL, NAWL!!

    The word “often” in what you wrote indicates the frequency with which non-white do X, not how many non-white people do X. Come on, dude…

    Comment by Nquest — July 29, 2008 @ 3:26 am | Reply

  24. Okay, dude, so it’s misinterpretable. Does “Some non-white people repress . . . ” etc. work better?

    Comment by macon d — July 29, 2008 @ 3:51 am | Reply

  25. The idea is UNINTELLIGIBLE. Where the fuck do you get the “repress” idea from in the first place? It sounds like another one of those things you pulled straight out your azz.

    Frankly, not a single bit of it (the repress idea) makes any sense. But that point was already made. So now all you can do is ask stupid ass questions you already know the answer to… You’re just hoping on a wing and a prayer that, by the power of suggestion, that someone will be as absent minded as you and forget what the issue is here.

    Comment by Nquest — July 29, 2008 @ 4:30 am | Reply

  26. “My claim is obviously not that all non-white people prefer to shake hands differently…”

    Where the hell do you get the idea that there is a “preferred” handshake for non-white people IN MIXED COMPANY that’s different from the ‘standard’ handshake? When and where have you gotten information that non-white people felt oppressed (since you say they “repress”) by the horrible ‘standard’ handshake?

    Seriously, dude… The mere fact that non-white people (and, if I remember, you’re only talking about Black people again) shake hands differently amongst themselves says nothing about how they prefer to shake hands IN MIXED COMPANY. The ‘standard’ handshake is also practiced in all non-white, all Black settings.

    So, really? What is this all about?

    Comment by Nquest — July 29, 2008 @ 4:45 am | Reply

  27. Nquest, if you can’t even remember if the post is only talking about Black people, go back and read it again. Why all the confusion? It’s about the default way that white and black men tend to shake hands when they meet each other. It’s not about how all members of one group shake hands one way and all of another group shake hands another way, and it doesn’t say that they don’t sometimes shake hands within their groups in various ways. And it’s not something I pulled straight out my azz either. It comes from watching hundreds of people shake hands. Get a grip, dude.

    Comment by macon d — July 29, 2008 @ 5:39 am | Reply

  28. “It comes from watching hundreds of people shake hands.”

    And from that you extrapolate what non-whites think… You can just see them “repressing”, holding back the urge-desire to shake hands in a different manner which they prefer to the ‘standard’ one.

    That’s called pulling sh*t out your azz and calling it a cup cake.

    You have no grip, dude…

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 29, 2008 @ 5:52 am | Reply

  29. And there was NO CONFUSION:

    Obviously, African American men in particular have other ways of putting their hands together, and other racial groups do as well (though I’ll admit, I don’t know what forms the latter take).

    So, there’s two occasion where you “don’t know” about what goes on with non-black/non-white people yet, when your only reference group is African-Americans, you still fix your mouth to say whatever bs you’ve come up with applies to non-white people in general when, again, you “don’t know”…

    What’s more interesting, though, about differences in handshaking techniques is that if a white and a non-white person encounter each other in a casual setting and decide to clasp hands, there may be uncertainty about which handshaking method to use–the white one or a non-white one…

    That’s bs you’ve pulled out your azz. “Watching hundreds of people shake hands” will tell you nothing about whether there is this concocted “uncertainty” going on. I’ve not only watched but participated in handshakes IN MIXED SETTINGS and in all Black settings where there was no uncertainty involved when and where the ‘standard’ handshake was… well, the standard.

    You talk like a pure ignoramus, Macon. Someone who knows nothing about what goes on with non-white people, Black people in particular, but still think you can talk about what you don’t know… You simply can’t answer with any kind of intelligence or sense:

    (1) Why there would be uncertainty? Why would a Black person, e.g., wonder which handshake s/he is supposed to use, Macon?

    (2) Why would there be uncertainty when Black people, e.g., use “the white” handshake when they shake hands with other Black people? i.e. Black people are “fluent in both languages.” Your idiotic idea hinges on the idea that Blacks prefer the “black/non-white” handshake because that’s what they are familiar with.

    The non-white person often represses a preferred method of contact, and the white person feels little if any discomfort about being the enforcer of a standard.

    It’s a freakin’ handshake. You absolutely can’t “watch hundreds of people shake hands” and tell what their “preferred method of contact” is. Once again, you fail to account for “other reasons” for whatever you call yourself observing in those handshakes you’ve merely watched out of total ignorance of whatever non-whites think, feel or prefer in those situations.

    You mentioned something about hugging… People routinely deal with different social events and social settings in their families, churches… communities where they have some family members or friends who hug and some who don’t. When people are familiar with who does what, there is no reason to be uncertain.

    Your whole idea is based on a bs premise which involves something you simply just don’t know and something that just doesn’t make sense.

    Comment by nquest2xl — July 29, 2008 @ 6:20 am | Reply

  30. It comes from watching hundreds of people shake hands.

    ——————————————————

    Your post would be more convincing if you actually quoted some white people explaining the thinking that you’re so far, it seems, merely speculating about.

    Comment by jwbe — July 29, 2008 @ 8:39 am | Reply

  31. It comes from watching hundreds of people shake hands.

    on TV?

    Comment by jwbe — July 29, 2008 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  32. Macon D,

    Maybe I’m again missing something here (and I’m not simply and only trying to defend myself, as jwbe has said of me)–doesn’t the word “often” in this bold-print part of what you quoted from my writing indicate “not all non-white people”? That’s how I read it . . .

    No. Since “reverse racism” appears the only way for you to empathize with how it feels to be generalized, I’ll put it this way: “Most white people are racist” is different from “a white person is often racist,”

    Besides, you have no proof, you’re just speculating about what most non-whites think or what non-whites often think.

    And it’s not something I pulled straight out my azz either. It comes from watching hundreds of people shake hands. Get a grip, dude.

    You fail as a scientist. You fail as an empiricist. You fail as a psychologist, and you fail as a cultural anthropologist.

    You know, there is an entire academic discipline, called “psychology”, that has developed empirical methods for studying what people think. There is also another entire field called “cultural anthropology” that has developed empirical methods for studying cultural practises.

    However, you, as a white man, feel that you are qualified to make statements about what non-white people think, despite your obvious lack of education in either of these areas. Moreover, you feel that you are more qualified than other white people to make such statements about non-whites because you read books on critical whiteness studies.

    Guess what, Macon? Millions of white people watch hundreds of people shake hands. Why do you think you have more authority than some other random white person—who has also watched hundreds of people shake hands—to draw a conclusion about non-whites’ handshaking preference?

    Your arrogance is astounding.

    Comment by Restructure! — July 29, 2008 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  33. I once scanned through SWPL, I find it boring, it’s similar like American soap-operas, some sort of exaggerating humor or so, I don’t know. Germans have another sense of humor I think. Some topics on SWPL are nice but that this is worth to print a book *shrug*

    Comment by jwbe — July 29, 2008 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

  34. Millions of white people watch hundreds of people shake hands. Why do you think you have more authority than some other random white person—who has also watched hundreds of people shake hands—to draw a conclusion about non-whites’ handshaking preference?

    The question here is why does he think he has more authoritative knowledge than someone Black when he’s speculating not only about what Blacks do — and then extrapolates that its true, generally, of all non-white people — but about what’s going on in the minds of African-Americans when they shake hands with Whites.

    If anyone has a legitimate claim to have insights into the intimate thoughts of African-Americans in that situation, I would. (Note: Macon can’t even concoct some idea that he drew this nonsense from Black sources.) And so we have a pattern of Macon, someone who claims he’s focused on Whiteness, who frequently wants to speculate about what Blacks do and what’s going in Black people’s minds when they do or don’t do something and he basically maintains that he knows more about Black people than a knowledgeable Black person does.

    (Note: Macon can’t contend with the questions I’ve raised about how he just up and decided that Blacks have a preferred handshake vs. being ‘fluent’ and comfortable with both.)

    Comment by Nquest — July 29, 2008 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  35. ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Gimme five: Your interracial guide to putting ‘er there

    … White men sometimes aren’t sure if they should do a traditional business handshake when they greet black men. It seems so bland and stiff…

    Tyrone Dumas, project manager of diversity and community engagement for Milwaukee Public Schools, knows what I’m talking about. “I always tell people to never come into a situation assuming people would do it different than you do it,” he said. “Never presume there is a special handshake.”
    ———————————-
    “Many brothers aren’t really cool these days sharing the soul shake with folks that fail to mirror them ethnically. They feel that our blue-eyed soul brothers are condescending or just trying too hard to be hip when offering the soul shake unless there’s a past relationship there,” said Anthony D. Smith, who works in my newspaper’s marketing department.

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=384955

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    … I bumped into a guy on the escalator who I see from time to time. Usually it’s on the way downstairs or on the way up, and usually we either stand in silence or chat about weather, sports, etc. But I don’t know the guy. I don’t even know his first name. We’re not close.

    So when he tried to give me dap on the escalator I wasn’t comfortable with it.

    Laugh if you want. I know it’s not like a guy trying to kiss a girl he just met. But dap is a personal handshake, not to be traded without forethought.

    And to give dap to just anyone is a violation of the Cowboy Code, which says dap is reserved for your closest of buddies or those guys who may not be buddies but who have earned your utmost respect. If you come across a guy you don’t know well or at all, then a standard, traditional grip and two shakes will suffice.

    http://burnettiquette.blogspot.com/2006/08/handshake.html

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    Comment by Nquest — July 29, 2008 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  36. Millions of white people watch hundreds of people shake hands. Why do you think you have more authority than some other random white person—who has also watched hundreds of people shake hands—to draw a conclusion about non-whites’ handshaking preference?

    The question here is why does he think he has more authoritative knowledge than someone Black when he’s speculating not only about what Blacks do — and then extrapolates that its true, generally, of all non-white people — but about what’s going on in the minds of African-Americans when they shake hands with Whites.

    Just to clarify, I was implying that Macon D is the same as a typical white person.

    Comment by Restructure! — August 12, 2008 @ 1:04 am | Reply

  37. there is an Austrian satire or so, it shows how ridiculous it is to make judgements about other cultures/customs from your own point of view and background. To make this obvious for Europeans, the film is about African scientists ‘discovering’ an Austrian village and drawing conclusions about European behavior from these people and their customs.

    Comment by jwbe — August 12, 2008 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  38. […] about race that feels all-too-common is an unsurprising result. Obviously, personally observing hundreds of white and black people shake hands does not give you access to the inner thoughts of non-whites with respect to handshaking […]

    Pingback by Who has the right to speak about racism? « Restructure! — August 14, 2008 @ 5:16 am | Reply

  39. […] one of Nquest’s criticisms of the shake hands our way post (Nquest is a black man). Macon D writes: Nquest, if you can’t even remember if the post is only talking about Black people, go back and […]

    Pingback by White people like writing as ‘experts’ on non-white cultures. « Restructure! — October 27, 2008 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  40. I’m looking this over and calling your bluff, Macon.

    Here at post #20, Restructure says:

    [b]Macon D apparently knows what all non-white people are thinking and what their handshaking preferences are[/b]

    Restructure, not Nquest.

    (continuing)

    Comment by nquest2xl — March 5, 2009 @ 6:27 am | Reply

  41. Post #25, as Nquest first hears about Macon’s handshaking theory, Nquest immediately calls the idea “UNINTELLIGIBLE” and asks: Where the fuck do you get the “repress” idea from in the first place?

    Post #26, Nquest says, “The mere fact that non-white people… shake hands differently amongst themselves says nothing about how they prefer to shake hands IN MIXED COMPANY. The ’standard’ handshake is also practiced in all non-white, all Black settings.”

    Post #28, Nquest responds to Macon’s statement about watching hundreds of people shake hands.

    STILL NO SIGNS OF NQUEST SAYING “MACON SAYS HE KNOWS HOW BLACK PEOPLE LIKE TO SHAKE HANDS”

    Post #29, Nquest says Macon talks “like a pure ignoramus” and notes how Macon is “someone who knows nothing about what goes on with non-white people, Black people in particular, but still think you can talk about what you don’t know…” HARDLY a statement that claims Macon said “he knows how Black people like to shake hands.”

    Post #34, Nquest says of Macon’s handshaking theory is part of a “pattern” where Macon shows himself to be someone “who frequently wants to speculate about what Blacks do and what’s going in Black people’s minds…”

    Post #35, Nquest posts article clippings regarding interracial handshaking…

    STILL NO SIGNS OF NQUEST SAYING “MACON SAYS HE KNOWS HOW BLACK PEOPLE LIKE TO SHAKE HANDS”

    Comment by nquest2xl — March 5, 2009 @ 6:46 am | Reply

  42. What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience on thee topic
    of unexpected emotions.

    Comment by Australian Christian Free Dating Sites — September 19, 2013 @ 8:02 am | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: