Stuff White People Say

November 30, 2008

“I love animals”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 10:25 pm

The relationship of whites and animals is as contradictory as it can be. From sport hunting of animals, animal testing, factory farming to animal hording, animal protection activism and animals/pets as “therapists” etc.
There is the saying that white people love animals more than humans and most of all more than PoC. I don’t think that many of such whites actually love animals, but their attitude and “love” is a mirror of what happens within the Eurocentric society.
A culture where true emotions are unwanted and where assimilation is demanded doesn’t give much room for true individuality and self-determination, most of all not for women. Pets accept people as they are.

Like therapy pets show, humans react differently to animals than to humans. In Austria there is for example a three year old child in a vegetative state and the only moments where she can breathe without machines is when the therapy dog is visiting her. I don’t know of any studies why it is that way, but it is fact that animals can touch humans on a level humans can’t.

But this doesn’t explain the fact that animal rights organizations attract predominantly white women. Perhaps, just an assumption, this is a place for them where they can feel powerful and also be heard.
Many animal rights organizations use more or less the slogan ‘we are the voice for those without a voice’ and I think it is exactly this what make it appear as if whites would love animals more than humans. They love the controll, because living beings without a voice can’t defend themselves, also not against many of the actions of animal activists. Not all of those actions are in the interest of the animals, but only in the interest of the activists.
This alleged love of whites for animals and pets also created a capitalistic market with the ‘product’ pet as well as dump stations or euthanasia for the millions of unwanted ones.

PETA is an example of how also sexism – naked women protesting – seems to be a powerful tool to attract attention as well as donations and new members. But PETA doesn’t have a problem to degrade people in general or to see connections where there are no connections.

About Images

PETA also creates posters with the slave trade or lynching and was a driving force in the prosecution of Michael Vick, despite the fact that dog fighting is quite widespread in the USA and the fixation on Michael Vick as “the example” for dogfights led to many hateful verbal outbursts of white people, who don’t have a problem as it seems to wish somebody Black to be killed, neutered, tortured [comments on message boards] but write in the same sentence “rescue the dogs”.

Why can white people become so emotional when it comes to animals but are so silent when it comes to people and most of all PoC?
Whites Care More About Animals Than People

I think one part of the answer is that many of them lost the [human] connection to other humans and try to compensate this loss with “love” for animals. Animals are the most “helpless” and most of all, people don’t have to also work on themselves to be liked by animals.
Most of all dogs are idealized in the white mind, Lassie for example, which displays the desire to have a living being absolutely devoted to a (white) person, the animal/pet with human-like attributes, loyal beyond death. “Man’s best friend”, which demands nothing, which is obedient and is always there.

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November 24, 2008

[Stuff non-white people say about stuff white people say]

Filed under: Uncategorized — nquest2xl @ 2:48 am

(under construction)

Pardon me.  I’m going to make a bit of a departure from the narrow confines here and just put something out there because it’s on my mind.  Maybe, if you consider this a sequel to the “What X said is stupid… ignorant… but not racist” thread, my comments will be in-keeping with the overall thrust of this blog.

What I want to do is have you take a look at this and see if you can help me work this out.  All I want to do is just ask a question and see how you would answer it so, maybe, I can get my own thoughts together.

Long and short, I went ahead and posted a comment on Macon’s blog in the thread that inspired my previous thread (linked above).  An African-American poster there (Siditty) responded to my post basically asking why the poster labeled Lindsey Lohan’s comments as “ignorance” (only).  This was, in part, Siditty’s response:

“Personally sometimes I give white people slack because I hate to say it most of the time I don’t expect much from them in regards to racial sensitivity.”

I want to know what you think about the idea of POC cutting White people slack.  My first reaction was, “White people don’t cut us any slack.”   But now I’m thinking more in terms of how giving White people slack may be like the silence that gets interpreted as complicity a la “If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider.”

I say that because I’ve had to rethink my decision not to comment on the Jim Crow picture Macon D used to feature in his “feel threatened and imperiled as a race” thread.  JWBE asked me if I saw the picture after I saw it and decided not to respond.  I guess I almost have to rethink my position when Macon’s “if more POC would have complained” comment (next to last paragraph) was also about him posting “racist imagery.”

(more…)

November 22, 2008

[Stuff non-white people do]

Macon D on assume that birds of a darker feather naturally stick together, and that birds of a white feather don’t:

The issue here is not so much whether Powell and other black people, or other non-white people, or white people for that matter, do stick together and watch each other’s backs.

Macon D has heard one of our criticisms, knows that Stuff White People Do should be about stuff white people do and not stuff black/non-white people do, but he couldn’t resist talking about what black/non-white people really do later on in the same post:

On the other hand, as Chris Matthews pointed out above, the general issue of racial solidarity is “tricky.” For a variety of reasons, various groups of non-white people sometimes do stick together, and they sometimes do watch each other’s backs. But when they do so, there are good reasons, and they usually do so in very different ways from the unacknowledged forms of white solidarity.

“American” culture and society–which are actually “white” or “white-framed,” instead of just “American”–have encouraged a bleaching away of non-white traditions and ways of being that a lot of people would just as soon hang onto. So, non-white people often get together or stay together so they can do just that. At the same time, whitened American society has also pushed non-white people together in many ways, and it continues to oppress and exploit them, making it a good, realistic idea for them to watch each other’s backs.

All of which is not to say, however, that all African Americans, for instance, naturally or irrationally stick together. And it’s especially not to say that if a lot of them support a black politician, they’re doing so thoughtlessly and impulsively, merely because they’re black too.

(emphasis mine)

White people like engaging in armchair anthropology.

What “x” said is stupid… ignorant… but not racist.

Filed under: Uncategorized — nquest2xl @ 4:38 am

No, anything but that. (*big, long, looping eye roll*)

(more…)

November 20, 2008

“Listen to People of Color”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 9:17 pm

The basis of each communication is understanding. Person A sends message x to person B who in an ideal case decodes it into message x.
Communication is based on a common language, in real life also cues, facial expression and body language as well as the knowledge about the background of the recipient of a message.
When I for example say:
“Turid Rugaas points out the importance of calming signals and that they should not be ignored.”
people without the necessary background knowledge can listen to this sentence, they might be able to recite this sentence but won’t understand the meaning of it.
The message x decodes into message y or just into a question mark.

Topics and issues often have a certain terminology and listeners without the knowledge of the specific terminology either don’t understand the meaning or believe they understand the meaning based on their own experience/knowledge and perception.

The term “white supremacy” is one example of it, which is connected by many whites with white supremacists (KKK, Neo-Nazis).
Also racism without a commonly agreed definition can be a term which is misleading.

Based on a certain understanding information also can appear to be true or not. “Whites don’t see themselves as white” can appear true for people who also hold this point of view and sounds wrong for people with another understanding or background (knowledge).
Ones own knowledge and experiences always also influences the understanding.

Another problem is projecting. a) Person A believes that his or her own experience is valid for all people or that b) the experience of one person is true for all persons of this group.
a) One example is a white co-worker of mine who believes that Neo-Nazis aren’t a threat to People of Color because she herself doesn’t feel threatend by Neo-Nazis.
b) e.g. Obama (see, if you just work hard enough)

Dialogue about race becomes complicated because the white racist [regardless degree] mind works in ‘categories’, white at the top and Black at the bottom. All “below the top” can never criticize the “top”. The “top” makes the decision which statements s/he considers as true or untrue and according this world-view criticism is filtered.

In a neutral dialogue
person A sends message x – person B receives message x

In a dialogue with somebody racist [regardless how subtle]
Person C sends message x / white person D receives message y.

D works with a “filter system” which distorts the message sent by C.

Knowledge can be gathered via reading for example, lived experience or both. Lived experience is stronger than knowledge learned by reading alone.
Reading books written by People of Color or about racism in general doesn’t make a white person an expert. S/he is able to gather theoretical knowledge. But understanding racism/white supremacy doesn’t mean to “study” non-white people but it means to study and watch those who are the perpetrators – white people. Somebody white who “studies” white people will find a lot of examples of white supremacy already exposed without the presence of People of Color. Studying white people also means that the voices of People of Color confirm what such whites can or should already see when it comes to white folks. People of Color don’t offer new information to “anti-racists” but a different point of view.

The problem when it comes to dialogues about race is also that many whites put a lot of emotions in it with the great fear to be considered a racist. It is the projection of “what could PoC think about me” based on the assumption that every PoC considers whites automatically also as racist. This can lead to a reflex of defense mechanism based on prejudices.

Many whites aren’t emotionally neutral when they talk about race with People of Color, discussions about race become struggles for the mere “survival” of some white individuals. Therefore, Person of Color C sends message x to white person D who decodes it into “do you call me racist” for example. White person D’s perception is also that each error etc. will be translated into “you are a racist” which makes them resistant towards any further learning and understanding.

The ingrained “top” position of many whites also makes it impossible to actively listen to a Person of Color. An honest dialogue isn’t possible as long as the white part acts within the hierarchy of white supremacy.
In every dialogue also the perception of the other is important as well as prejudices one may hold. Somebody with the prejudice that People of Color are more emotional than whites will look for confirmation of this stereotype and will over-estimate or misunderstand the answer of a Person of Color based on that prejudice. Somebody who is afraid of being called racist will look for imagined signs and react accordingly.
Somebody white who believes that People of Color should be grateful also will have the prejudice that all People of Color have to be “nice”, which means nothing else that People of Color should be submissive towards the white ‘savior’.

Understanding racism also doesn’t mean to ask individual People of Color how it feels or what happens to them but to gather information about the entire system. Somebody with the prejudice for example that Black people are prone to crime will cite the high incarceration rate of Black people in the USA as proof for his prejudice. His research will stop there because the prejudice is confirmed. As long as whites learn about racism without knowing their own prejudices gathered knowledge will always also lead to confirmation of stereotypes or information is gathered within the confining walls of ones prejudices or assumptions about People of Color.

Macon demonstrates in his “handshake-post” what can happen when white assumptions together with white is at the “top” ignores the voices of PoC together with distorting the messages and even not realizing the own contradictions in his own writings. Already common sense would tell any reader including the author, regardless how uninformed, that his post is nothing else then non-sense.

So, I play the German tourist not familiar with American customs and read his post:
shake hands our way
Macon gives already a lot of information he ignores himself:

When two American adults meet for the first time, or when they know each other but not well enough to hug, they usually put their right hands together.

He already says that there are different methods among Americans to greet each other, dependend on the relationship to each other.

He continues:

Especially if they’re men. As a handbook on American customs posted on a University of Texas-Arlington web site says, “Some men might not shake hands with women unless the woman extends her hand first. Hand-shaking among women occurs even less frequently.

This paragraph is nothing then weird:

Obviously, many 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 this visitor’s handbook may be explaining the “normal” American method, but it’s really the “white” method. Adopting it, and dropping any other “ethnic” greeting gestures, has been another way in which immigrants have adapted in order to assimilate.

Macon gives the information that African American men have “other ways”. He also writes that “other racial groups” have “other ways”, based on an assumption because he doesn’t know which one. Not knowing which one means not knowing “if”.
He comes from African Americans to “other racial groups” to immigrants. Which immigrants?

Continued:

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 one that’s become the standard, “white” one, or a common non-white one.

The tourist from Germany rises her hand and inserts a question: Which “common non-white one”?

He ends with the sentence:

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.

but in an answer on swps Macon writes:

Where on my blog do I recommend this sort of behavior for white people interacting with non-white people, that they try to imitate the non-white person’s supposed cultural characteristics? I posted a video somewhere that obviously satirizes exactly that kind of white behavior, which is absurd, embarrassing behavior that any fairminded reader of my blog would know that I wouldn’t recommend.
https://stuffwhitepeoplesay.wordpress.com/2008/07/20/so-can-i-keep-my-hip-white-boy-status-pleeze/#comment-159

the confused tourist from Germany rises her hand and asks the question: Then what was your point of this post? If the “standard handshake” supresses the “African American and all non-white” “other ways” and you tell me that there is an alleged uncertainty which one to use when meeting “non-white people”, what is then your point if not imitating the “African American way”?

There have been some non-white “complaints”, nonetheless Macon lacks the insight.
Macon works with a perception nobody knows, but for him this sort of “logic” seems to work. Whatever filter he uses, the very clear messages x sent by People of Color don’t decode into message x but y in Macons brain. Macon’s claim to listen to People of Color becomes a very empty lip service when he is even in cases like this unable to listen and to learn.

Macons name can be replaced with many other white names, because what Macon displays is just a very common white tendency. His blog can serve as an example how [subtle] racism works and how difficult it can become to combat racism which happens on this level so few are able or willing to realize.

November 18, 2008

“What is our culture”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 4:24 pm

just thoughts
Eurocentrism is a culture of othering, competition and capitalism. European culture exists against an imagined ‘Black other’ and defines itself of what it is not. I think the uniqueness of Eurocentrism is that words and values excluse each other and that illusions are stronger than reality.
Within whiteness white people are looking for their “niche” and separate themselves in different “castes” by labeling and stereotyping certain white groups: White trash, middle class, atheists, homeless and many more. Eurocentrism is looking for markers with which individuals believe they know ‘the other’. With the assumption that they know ‘the other’ they define themselves and also disconnect themselves from other whites.
Christianity and Eurocentrism are inseparable from each other.
Christianity became a religion of power with times where the Bible was the only accepted truth. Christianity became a tool to make ordinary people suspicious of each other (“witches” for example) and working against each other. With the justification of “God’s will” Europeans were able to disconnect themselves from their actions because the result was seen to be in the interest of “God”. The “civilizing” of the “pagan savage” was an act of mercy to safe “lost souls”.

The individual and also the individual survival is more important than the survival of a group. Losing (human) contact to each other also includes that an individual feels no responsibility towards a group. Success [in terms of Eurocentrism] is seen as a success of the individual who sees himself in some sort of vacuum – independend of the influence from outside. Nonetheless whites feel ‘race-solidarity’, which is some sort of abstract feeling of belonging together, not based on values but based on the mere fact of sharing the same skin-color [which is positively stereotyped].

The Eurocentric mindset sees himself as the individual against the imagined monolithic other, which also created the myth of white individual saviors who work alone against all odds of the world. ‘Superman’ for example, the ordinary white male with superpowers who can save the world, is indicative for the individualism and also individualistic competitive mind-set towards megalomania. The individual is strong or superstrong which makes him ‘better’ than the rest of humans.
The superidealized white male who displays the values which are ‘white ideals’ [white stereotypes], the white male who acts as a loner but ironically nonetheless demonstrates what the white collective thinks about itself and the importance of whiteness.

While white privilege can actually be invisible to white people – those white people who live isolated from reality – whiteness itself is visible to them. Take a white person who claims to be “colorblind” and put him into a Black community for example. That whiteness is the norm and that whites don’t have to call this norm ‘white’ does not mean that they don’t know which group they feel a belonging.
This feeling of belonging is probably most visible when it comes to Sundown Towns or the smaller child of it – white suburbs. Whites feel automatically safe within a white surrounding and feel quite often not safe in a non-white surrounding. White fenced communities also make this very visible. Other whites aren’t considered a threat, even if the history of white massmurders is a quite white one and according to statistics as a white you are quite likely to be killed by your white partner. Perception and reality are two different things.

The perception that there is no white culture is based on the assumption that there would be monolithic other cultures and is also based on stereotyping other cultures as well as reducing them to some “exotic” artifacts. A European mind-set which reduces for example “African culture” to drumming, colorful clothing and ritual dancing – reinforced with multicultural events – ignores the fact that Africa is a continent with many different cultures, languages, politcal systems etc.

The European mind-set also believes that members of a certain group also identify with a supposed culture or parts of it. In the European mind-set it comes “naturally” to somebody who is Black to listen and to love Rap, because this is “Black culture” while at the same time a European mind-set has problems with realizing the fact that some or many Black people like Mozart and Bach and not always Rap. Skin-color again defines the ‘other’ together with assumed culture or preferances and dislikes.

Because a European mind-set can’t see the complexity of other cultures those whites also can’t see their own culture because it doesn’t have markers of whiteness. Surrounded by his own culture he is looking for the same simplified markers as he perceives non-white cultures.

These markers work when it comes to non-American cultures or reverse, white American culture from outside. The American can reduce German culture to food, some dances and clothing the same way a German can reduce white American culture to food, some dances and music. But within ones own culture this is not possible because living within a culture also means to realize the complexity.

November 17, 2008

“Where does the hate come from” Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 9:25 pm

A short answer would be: It comes from the myth of a superior white race together with the myth of a superior Western culture. The Western culture considers itself as progressive which has contributed most to the civilization of humans. It dismisses the contributions of other cultures and entirely dismisses the destructive nature of Western culture, including nuclear weapons and destroying all natural resources.

Whites as a collective can consider Western culture as tolerant and peaceful which has to be protected against the “uncivilized others”.
I think the question is legitimate: What is wrong with white people?

And the next question is: Why can’t we see? Why do we as the European/white collective perpetuate the lie that it is just about some hate-mongers? Why can’t we see what “just some hate-mongers” did in our white history, followed and supported by the majority of white people.

There is an article which also talks about white people’s perception of “their country” lost now because of the election of Obama.

How can a people, white Americans, who are not only the most powerful people within America but also globally, actually feel that way? How can a people so easily be scared?
And what happend to white people as a collective back in history that we created a culture with which we set us above all others and also above ‘god’. What happend back in history that we left the path of humanity to conquer the world and the universe, lost every sense of reality or respect towards life.
What exactly do we think we can preserve?

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