Stuff White People Say

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.


  1. I guess I can’t help but note how Macon didn’t hear my criticism of him assuming that I should have felt a certain way when Obama secured the Democratic presidential nomination. So, it is with no surprise that we find Macon essentially validating the darker birds of a feather idea, albeit with the “for good reason” caveat. Obviously, it’s something he believes, a stereotype view he holds, on some level.

    Comment by nquest2xl — November 23, 2008 @ 12:19 am | Reply

  2. I was making a distinction between ‘hear’ and ‘listen’, but maybe it has nothing to do with anyone’s criticisms, since he agrees that the focus should be on whites instead of POC, which is why he made SWPD. He just can’t apply it, though.

    Comment by Restructure! — November 23, 2008 @ 1:02 am | Reply

  3. You’re a total bigot. In one breath, you criticize “white” people for making incorrect generalizations about “people of color”. But in the next breath you turn around and make generalizations about “white” people. Is the irony lost on you entirely?

    Comment by KV Fitz — February 6, 2009 @ 4:22 am | Reply

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