Making a statement that was completely off the topic and completely contrary to the facts, let alone a statement that was “Mighty White” of him, Macon made the following claim not unlike the countless number of times I’ve heard similar claims, claims that were thrown around indiscriminately:
This is hilarious, actually. Anybody who knows me knows I don’t mince words and have no problem calling somebody racist (been there, done that) or calling something somebody said racist. If that’s what I want to say, I say it. Period. I don’t have to try to “characterize” or make somebody out to be a racist. I’ll just say you’re racist or this is racist the same way I have no problem calling someone a liar or calling what they say a lie when it’s not true. Neither of the terms are taboo to me.
THE REAL CONTRAST
To be clear, I’ve often asked why Macon’s responses to things Restructure and I have said, things that were essentially the same, if not identical, have been so different. This is the first time I believe Macon has ever tried to address that question.
I don’t remember him ever explaining why he flew off the handle in the “get used to blackness” thread trying to act like I questioned his intelligence yet remained relatively calm, though clearly not pleased, when Restructure came as close or closer to questioning his intelligence than I did. When Macon stated he had been “working on these topics and their related problems at several levels, professionally and otherwise” for over 12 years, Restructure’s reaction was one of surprise. In fact, she questioned essentially everything she thought about Macon up to that point and just couldn’t believe what she heard, saying in part:
… Learning this about you makes me think, “What’s the point with having a dialogue about race with white people?” It appears that a white person can work on this topic for over a dozen years and, amazingly, not get the basics.
I’m just saying… Macon’s response to me seems like it would have fit Restructure’s reaction (which included Restructure’s admission that she thought Macon was younger or more inexperienced and, therefore, more naive and, essentially, less knowledgeable) just as well, if not better than mine. Admittedly, we (Restructure and I) both suggested Macon was having difficulty understanding “basic” points.
After Macon dismissed my “disappointment” over his superficial treatment of Black culture by (1) attacking me personally as someone who is disappointed with “everything” on his blog (Marginalization 101) and (2) stating that his perspective is informed by “a long, long list of African American intellectuals” as if to say he either couldn’t lack sensitivity or knowledge EVER or should have his slip up in that thread excused because he typically doesn’t view Black culture in such a superficial way, I dealt with a tangential issue Macon introduce and used it to solidify my point which end with me saying:
It’s disappointing that the Black intellectuals you’ve been exposed to haven’t penetrated your consciousness on that very basic point.
That basic point of mine, ironically, exposed another superficial view of Macon’s which I guess was the reason why Macon viewed my comments about his degree of “consciousness” — i.e. his awareness of what POC think and are concerned (or in that case excited) about beyond shallow, superficial understanding — as a slam against his level of intelligence. His response to me… to me, now, and not Restructure was:
Right, I must be an idiot who wasn’t able to finish high school, so hard is it for “basic points” to penetrate my thick skull.
Correct me if I’m wrong but Macon’s response to me is markedly different from how he responded to Restructure when she said, in essence, that it’s “amazing” how after all this time Macon still doesn’t “get the basics.”
WHO CHARACTERIZED YOU AS RACIST?
In the “Does ‘listening’ to people of color mean letting them vent?” thread here on SWPS, Restructure, perhaps, used the strongest of terms, Open Letter style, when describing what she thought of Macon’s problematic mindset:
Dear Macon D:
You have it completely wrong. You are not the benevolent counsellor for people of colour. You are not the great summarizer or the translator for people of colour.
You are the oppressor.
Responding to a Macon-defender, Gypsy Rose… JWBE made the following quip:
“if you want to defend somebody you should be able to come up with facts and not just “his writing is clear”… his writing is clear: clearly racist. So what’s your point?
I believe both Restructure and JWBE have been clear in stating how they felt Macon’s statements in threads they’ve (we’ve) criticized were “racist” particularly when posters on Macon’s blog or here at SWPS have characterized them (us) as “[concern] trolls” — which suggests we’re not actually concerned about racism, we just want to pick on Macon. And I could swear one of Macon’s defenders (or posters who just wanted to be against us) said that I was trying to paint Macon as a racist.
If I had a dollar for everytime I’ve had statements like that directed to me when the person just threw that out there, indiscriminately, because that’s just what you (Whites) say in those situations… I’d be the bail-out man. I’ve had people complain about my “style” in more than a few places but I’m not entitling anybody to their own set of facts.
TO TOP IT [THE CONTRAST] ALL OFF
If what I’ve presented so far wasn’t enough… there’s the time when Macon flew off the handle, again with an even more asymmetrical response, when I co-signed Restructure who said Macon was being “intellectually dishonest.” This was during the same conversation where Restructure was surprised by how long Macon stated he had been “working on these topics and their related problem.” Somewhere in that conversation, Macon wondered if Tim Wise would be (or has been) given a pass if he did what Macon was being criticized for. Restructure was straight and direct:
“Tim Wise refutes his ‘opponents’ using logic. Tim Wise is rigorous. You write anti-intellectual and intellectually dishonest tripe…”
Somehow, Restructure’s reference to what she perceived as Macon’s “anti-intellectualism” didn’t draw the “you must think I’m an idiot who never graduated high school” kind of response.
Macon didn’t respond to that at all. Not to the “anti-intellectual” part, not to the “intellectual dishonest” part and not even to the “tripe” part — “tripe” being one way of calling something “bullshit” without calling it bullshit. You know, something Macon finds all so beyond the pale when I say it.
Still, no one and nothing can explain Macon’s differential response to me using a term Restructure used first. For some reason Macon didn’t question Restructure, like he did me:
hello nquest, what’s the difference between “dishonest” and “intellectually dishonest”?
Macon responded to Restructure twice including a direct response to Restructure saying “You’re not being intellectually honest with yourself and investigating the topic honestly…” in that same post. Never any alarm over Restructure using either term to say Macon wasn’t being honest.
(To Be Continued)