Stuff White People Say

November 15, 2008

It is what it is…

Filed under: Uncategorized — nquest2xl @ 4:37 am

(under construction)

The title isn’t a quote or a specific approximation of something someone White has said but rather a reflection of mine on how some things are taken for granted without White people who claim to have an interest in understanding/examining Whiteness but, for some reason, failed to as the simple question WHY.  What I’m talking about is the tendency of supposed White anti-racists to talk about “what is” instead of asking “why that is the way it is.”

Take, for example, the latest issue being discussed here on this blog, on Restructure! and Stuff White People Do.  Our friend Macon D has responded in a defensive manner to questions about a thread of his and the idea in it that “White people have no culture” or, more specifically, the perception Whites have that they don’t.

Increasingly, the thing that puzzles me is how our friend Macon never seems to ask why.  Why is it that Whites don’t perceive that they have a thing that can be called “white culture”?   It’s like he takes that as a given.  It’s like he can’t connect the dots.

Even more puzzling is the apparent absence of the slightest inclination that Macon would ask if there is a reason beyond the stated rationales for why Whites would, all of a sudden, feel like they don’t have a quote, unquote “white culture.”  I say “all of a sudden” because you’d have a tough time making a convincing case, especially a case which considers the idea of Whiteness, that Whites didn’t perceive or believe there was a “white culture” when there were WHITE ONLY and COLORED signs and customs North and South.

Back to Macon (the idea that he’s only spoken from a “what is” perspective), it’s like he never heard the anti-affirmative action, “reverse racism” claims made by Whites.  It’s like he can’t see how the “no white culture” idea may very well be an extension of it.

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12 Comments »

  1. This “whites have no culture” is somehow so abstract or weird that I admit I have problems to follow this way of thinking.
    That’s the same like with the claim that whites don’t see themselves not as white. Just because they don’t name it doesn’t mean that they don’t know it. Whites who for example participate in white flight won’t call it that way but they know that they leave a certain area because “too many” Black people move in. Etc.
    And yes, the term “reverse racism” is also prove that whites exactly now, that racism are actions committed by whites, otherwise there couldn’t be the perception of “reverse racism”.
    And white privilege is only invisible as long as somebody actually doesn’t know about racism (young children) or if somebody is in severe denial. With the moment where somebody learns that there is racism he also understands that there is privilege based on the fact that whites aren’t victims of racism. I understood this fact at age 9 or 10, I couldn’t call it “white privilege” but I understood that I was privileged. And no Macon, it wasn’t a ‘preternatural experience’.

    >Increasingly, the thing that puzzles me is how our friend Macon never seems to ask why. Why is it that Whites don’t perceive that they have a thing that can be called “white culture”? It’s like he takes that as a given.

    Yes, but this would mean to dig deeper and you just can’t expect this from an expert who “studies race” for more than 12 years and wants to have unearned credentials like Tim Wise. (irony)

    Also, when white Americans say for example that America is the greatest nation, I am sure they don’t mean the great nature but something different, including their culture, which they call “the American way of life”, which they want that the entire world can “benefit” from it, because it is ahhhh so great and justifies even bombing to bring this great way of life to the “unbelievers”. Macon, explain how this works, this expansionism “without culture”

    Comment by jwbe — November 15, 2008 @ 2:15 pm | Reply

  2. Ah, yet another post that ends up being about “me.” Thanks for the publicity!

    I don’t want to have unearned credentials, jw(be). As I recall, I’ve only ever mentioned the ones I have in “real” life during a discussion about online personae with Restructure, where I wondered “aloud” if what I say online would come across differently to people if they knew about those credentials. I was bragging about them, or even (since I wasn’t specific) claiming them. Anyway, they’re no big deal in the first place.

    And no Macon, it wasn’t a ‘preternatural experience’.

    Perhaps your precocity isn’t unusual in Germany, but it would be in America. Race and whiteness function differently in those two places, and this may be an example. Interesting.

    You’re right, jwbe, that expansionism is horrific. and the two current (overt) American wars are indeed racist wars, white supremacist wars. But it doesn’t happen in the name of whiteness, does it? I would explain more about how this happens “without [“white”] culture,” but since you’ve been so entirely dismissive of my online presence and writings, I don’t see the point–actually, come to think of it, I see that your request is probably a rhetorical one.

    Nq, I have questioned this “invisibility” thing before, and explained it–it’s not my fault you overlooked it. Not at length, it’s true, since my blog is about “Stuff White People Do–common white tendencies–and seeing beyond what’s invisible to them (or beyond the curtain, or whatever metaphor best works here) isn’t something they tend to do.

    Comment by macon d — November 15, 2008 @ 4:37 pm | Reply

  3. >Perhaps your precocity isn’t unusual in Germany, but it would be in America. Race and whiteness function differently in those two places, and this may be an example. Interesting.

    Ok, explain: How does race and whiteness function differently in America and Germany.

    >But it doesn’t happen in the name of whiteness, does it?

    Yes it happens in the name of whiteness, even if the don’t wave a sign for the Macons of the world: “THIS IS A WAR IN THE NAME OF WHITENESS”

    Comment by jwbe — November 15, 2008 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  4. > As I recall, I’ve only ever mentioned the ones I have in “real” life during a discussion about online personae with Restructure, where I wondered “aloud” if what I say online would come across differently to people if they knew about those credentials

    if you actually have credentials as an anti-racist in rl, this is prove that white affirmative action urgently needs to be abolished.

    Comment by jwbe — November 15, 2008 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

  5. my blog is about “Stuff White People Do”

    Yeah, uh huh… I’m sure that’s why you said: “…my focus is whiteness…”
    Stuff White People [tend to] Do… WHITENESS? What’s your focus again? lol

    I mean, your ABOUT ME also suggests a focus on Whiteness — i.e. trying to find out what the “white” part means — which has what to do with Stuff White People [tend to] Do?

    Simply put…. stop trying to bullshit me, Macon. STFU and accept the free publicity. lol

    Comment by Nquest — November 15, 2008 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  6. And who said this is about your blog, Macon? The simple fact of the matter is: on this blog and on Restructure! YOU HAVEN’T questioned the “invisibility” and that’s what matter here. The only thing that matters is what you’ve said here in these discussions we’ve had in the last few days, here and on Restructure.

    And, please… Please do more than your typical, kindergarten knee-jerk response. It’s like you want to have and value having a “yes you are” vs. “no I’m not” conversation (because you find that compelling or think saying “no I’m not” or, in this case, “I have questioned this “invisibility” thing before” is compelling) yet you used the term “serious writer” referencing yourself when you make the most laughably ridiculous and lightweight argument/responses.

    And you’ve done this Romper Room “no I’m not” stuff on the regular. It’s clearly your defensive reflex. You do it without thinking because you think saying “no I’m not” has some magical powers of something. Not only that but you do it so much without taking a second to think about what you’re saying that you’ve ended up saying the flip-side “yes I do” when that’s the last thing you should have said.

    When we talked about the “spokesperson” thing a while ago, after I said you acted like X never occurred to you, like a robot programmed to the kindergarten channel, you responded “yes, it has occurred to me…”, rephrasing what I said WITHOUT understanding the point I was making and making yourself look like a clueless, hooked on your Whiteness clown…

    That just how non-serious and ridiculously, childishly defensive you are.

    Comment by Nquest — November 15, 2008 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  7. you just can’t expect this from an expert who “studies race” for more than 12 years

    Expert? 12 years? I thought Macon swore on a stack of hotel Bibles that he was a newbie.
    And, look, Macon made another reference to “understanding whiteness.”

    And now that I think about it, Macon, take your comments about me “hijacking” threads on your blog HERE.

    Comment by Nquest — November 15, 2008 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  8. Macon = Link

    Comment by jwbe — November 15, 2008 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

  9. Re: Macon = Link

    Then “he wonders why” his dishonesty is commented on. lol

    I never thought there would be anyone who’d compare to CON-Feed but I guess I was wrong. : )

    Comment by Nquest — November 15, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  10. my CF, I admit, somehow I miss him ; )

    Comment by jwbe — November 16, 2008 @ 12:04 am | Reply

  11. oh Macon,

    >I would explain more about how this happens “without [“white”] culture,” but since you’ve been so entirely dismissive of my online presence and writings, I don’t see the point–actually, come to think of it, I see that your request is probably a rhetorical one.

    I didn’t know that you write your blog for me only, lol. I thought you want to explore “whiteness”? I think it would be interesting for your whites friends without culture how they [America as a nation] can whiten the world and dominate the world and spread their CULTURE without having one. Help them lift the blinders.

    >Not at length, it’s true, since my blog is about “Stuff White People Do–common white tendencies–and seeing beyond what’s invisible to them (or beyond the curtain, or whatever metaphor best works here) isn’t something they tend to do.

    now I understand! Because challenging white supremacy and questioning Eurocentrism isn’t stuff white people do you also don’t think about it.
    Let’s talk about anti-racism, Macon…

    Comment by jwbe — November 16, 2008 @ 12:28 am | Reply

  12. Because challenging white supremacy…isn’t stuff white people do you also don’t think about it.

    Instant classic!!!!

    Macon can’t be bothered with all that stuff. In his self-appointed position as the Czar of White Folk, by the powers vested in him, he is duty bound to be the spokesperson for POC and be their Grand Interpreter (even if he makes shit up) so he can tell WhiteFolk to, and I quote, “wake the hell up and stop doing that shit.” You know, stuff like petting Black people on the head and making POC repress the preferred handshake he assigned to them.

    Comment by Nquest — November 16, 2008 @ 2:34 am | Reply


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