Stuff White People Say

September 23, 2008

“Congratulations for getting over your disgust/disdain of blacks and Latinos!”

Filed under: Stuff White People Do — Restructure! @ 1:20 am
Tags: , , , , ,

[Suzie] lives in a “mixed” neighborhood, with a population that she says is comprised in more or less equal parts of Latinos, African Americans, and whites.
Now, Susie, Bill, Kyle and I grew up in a Midwestern white suburb. That means that our talk didn’t indicate this overtly the connection we felt between non-white people and pollution. But we did feel it, and I could still see it on Bill’s face when he talked about Susie’s “safety,” and I can still hear it in Kyle’s descriptions of “those people.” I also plan to call Susie sometime soon and congratulate her for getting over such feelings, and to ask her how she did it. 

by Macon D from associate non-white people with pollution at Stuff White People Do.

When white people view non-whites with something other than disgust and disdain, Macon D congratulates them for their heroic act. Maybe Macon D should throw a party for Suzie to celebrate her saintliness as a white person.


  1. Well, that congratulatory attitude lends new credence to…

    Now, given how me and my Midwestern upbringing and my professional life in the Midwest has me and other people I know and work with coming in contact with extremely unkept residences where Whites reside, I guess I should have the “those people” attitude and the fact that I happen to live in a mixed neighborhood should earn me kudos. But I guess that’s different for our White brothers and sisters. [additional comments withheld.]

    Comment by nquest2xl — September 23, 2008 @ 1:50 am | Reply

  2. and Macons asking her several times if she is safe there is according to Macon something different and other whites asking the same question do it because of disgust.

    Comment by jwbe — September 23, 2008 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  3. @jwbe:

    Yup. Macon D assumes there is no expression on his face that he is not fully conscious of when he repeatedly asks if she’s okay, because he is not looking at or examining his own face. For Macon D, when other white people ask about her safety, it’s unconscious racism as white people that come from growing up in a white suburb, but when he asks and comes from the very same suburb, he’s the observant, white antiracist.

    Comment by Restructure! — September 23, 2008 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong but Macon never did explain what made his repeated “concern” for ‘Susie’s’ safety different. He characterized his male friend’s reaction as “disgust” or disdain for “those people” but what was Macon’s “concern” about? It all seemed centered on Susie’s new, mixed neighborhood. We easily get the impression that is she lived alone on the suburb they all grew up in that those ‘concerns’ would be minimal; hence the discussion about whether she had been robbed.

    We also have no idea what type of neighborhood was being talked about in terms of the socio-economics. All we know is that it’s mixed and supposedly in the ‘inner-city’ but not in the Black = ghetto part of town. We don’t know what type of income and type of jobs the people there have, the condition/age of the homes, the actual upkeep of the homes in the neighborhood, etc. All we have are the generalizing stereo-typecasting committed by Macon’s friends who stereotyped little or no direct contact with the actual people on Susie’s block — i.e. no talk about the house/apartments on either side of Susie, etc.

    (Note: Kyle supposedly worked in the area but little is said about Susie’s actual neighbors. Are we talking rentals mixed in with single home owners? What? Kyle mentions apartments, generically, but we have no idea whether Susie is the sole homeowner on a block full of apartments or what.)

    And, actually, we’re really left to guess what the ‘concern’ is about. Nothing was said about the crime rate in the area. Merely saying it’s inner city but mixed tells us nothing about this neighborhood and what there was to be concerned about, apparently there were other White families there before Susie moved there. Or is Susie’s relocation part of a wave of a (re)gentrification process? Do only the White people in the neighborhood keep their houses and yards up? No Whites are criminals in that neighborhood?

    Comment by Nquest — September 23, 2008 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  5. >Yup. Macon D assumes there is no expression on his face that he is not fully conscious of when he repeatedly asks if she’s okay, because he is not looking at or examining his own face.

    and he ignores my question.

    Comment by jwbe — September 23, 2008 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

  6. When Macon quotes his friend: “They don’t take care of their own neighborhoods,” he sometimes says, curling his lips, and looking like he wants to spit. “They throw trash everywhere! Right out their car windows, I’ve seen that happen so many times. McDonald’s bags, paper coffee cups, you name it. And you should see the inside of some of their apartments! Not that I ever actually step inside. I’m glad I don’t have to do that—I wouldn’t want to do that.”

    where does Macon get the info that his friend is just talking about non-white people?

    Then Macon says:

    Contamination. That’s another thing about Susie, I think, that seemed wrong to my friend Bill. He may not have been thinking this, exactly, but I think some part of him found it almost bizarre that she would want to get that close to the people in that neighborhood. Why, he probably wondered, or maybe felt at some level, would she want to contaminate herself like that?

    I wonder why Macon has to make so many assumptions about what people would think, just to come up with another weird threat where Macon tries to indirectly claim that he is not that way, but he, and only he, is able to read all other people’s minds.
    I mean, he claims to be anti-racist and this includes at least for me to challenge or ask people to come up with what they truly mean. Only then one can change ‘people’s hearts and minds’, a statement Macon believes in.

    Comment by jwbe — September 23, 2008 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

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