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Author Topic: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?  (Read 60073 times)

dashrashi

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #120 on: April 06, 2008, 05:26:06 PM »
Bearly: do you seriously not see that the clothing you're describing is so culturally/racially identified that that's really what you're seeing? The clothing is not free of associations. Why do you think "baggy pants and a baseball cap" are seen as unprofessional? Do you think it's unrelated to the fact that it's a uniform typically worn by black people? Why are bermuda shorts with little lobsters all over them more associated with professionalism and/or wealth than are basketball shorts? Do you think it's unrelated to the fact that white people wear them?

This is like your naming argument from a few pages back. You said people of color should name their kids "mainstream" names if they want them to succeed. Why isn't Wendzell a mainstream name? Why can't it be? Is there anything inherent in the name Wendzell that makes it unprofessional? Or is it that it's associated with African-Americans?
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Astro

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #121 on: April 06, 2008, 05:27:48 PM »
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I haven't said much in this debate because, as BL refines his argument, it gets closer to the middle ground that I think exists in the dichotomies at issue.  I still think he's ignoring some important points, which is particularly strange because it would not be much of a concession just to grant them (and they are true).
Please bring them up! I'm not running around trying to spout off some kind of right-wing ideology. Like I said, I do believe there is a race-based macro problem in the US. I don't deny that we have a ways to go. All I am saying is that sociology is a complex field, and saying that "all whites start off on third base" is untrue and offensive to the millions of whites who start off with (and end up with) nothing but poverty, and no real institutional means to overcome it.

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Here's one.  With this poser, you're showing that you're still not comparing apples with apples in an SES context.  The REAL analogy is this:
I'm not comparing apples with apples because Matthies' post that I was addressing wasn't comparing apples with apples. He had one guy in a polo shirt and khakies and was comparing him to a guy with baggy jeans, and asking who owned the nicest car. That's not a racial question - that's a sociocultural one.


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You see a white guy in nice clothes.  You see a black guy in the exact same nice clothes.  There's a Bentley and a Ford Taurus with shining chrome 22s parked side by side.  Which car belongs to whom?
This is actually a very good question. The answer is - I don't make assumptions about this because I am surrounded by wealthy black individuals. My boss is black. But I will concede that my attitudes may well be atypical in society in general, and that's a huge problem. This is also why I do support AA - I believe that macro-level public perception does not promote the appearence of african-americans as professionals.

But this kind of "advantage" to whites doesn't exist in the classes of whites who are living in poverty, and have no opportunity to raise themselves to the professional level.

I understand that my point isn't a simple one to digest - but racial questions are complex. Simply saying that everyone who is white "starts on third base" ignores the reality that plenty of whites don't even own cars - or nice clothes, and never have the privilege to be compared in this way in the first place.


I don't think you're going to meet anyone who has greater knowledge of exactly just how complex racial questions are anytime soon.  I've been there on both sides of the fence in a number of extraordinary contexts, so I fully understand what you're trying to get at.  If I wasn't so lazy, I'd point out where the two sides overlap here and why you should just let a few things go that you're nitpicking on, because your overall argument is fairly solid.

But I am so lazy.   :D
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BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #122 on: April 06, 2008, 05:43:36 PM »
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Bearly: do you seriously not see that the clothing you're describing is so culturally/racially identified that that's really what you're seeing?
It *is* culturally identified, but it is not racially identified. Come to the hood and see how white kids dress. Come to the suburbs and see how black folks dress.(Obviously there are less white folks in the hood, and less black folks in the suburbs - but denying that these people exist is disingenuous.)

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The clothing is not free of associations. Why do you think "baggy pants and a baseball cap" are seen as unprofessional?
Because this is clothing that has traditionally been associated with unprofessionalism. If you dress like a thug, don't go calling racism if someone assumes you are a thug. This isn't a black/white thing. This is a professional/unproffessional thing.

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Do you think it's unrelated to the fact that it's a uniform typically worn by black people?
Really?! Traditionally successful, even progressive black nationalists, dress in baggy jeans? Was Malcolm X a shill for the white community?



Is MLK Jr. betraying his black heritage by dressing like this? Did he rock the FUBU?



Sure, some of these styles originated in anglo society, but this is just how successful people dress. Successful black people and successful white people.

If white people are seen as unprofessional in an adidas tracksuit, why should black people be seen professional in a fubu hoody and boss jeans?


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Why are bermuda shorts with little lobsters all over them more associated with professionalism and/or wealth than are basketball shorts?
Hahahaha! OMG this cracked me up.  :D :D :D

WHAT!?!?!? Little lobsters?!


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This is like your naming argument from a few pages back. You said people of color should name their kids "mainstream" names if they want them to succeed. Why isn't Wendzell a mainstream name? Why can't it be? Is there anything inherent in the name Wendzell that makes it unprofessional? Or is it that it's associated with African-Americans?
I agree that the naming conventions in the US cause significant professional discrimination - but is a white serbian named Mohammed or a polish guy named Wolenskis Pershimoff any better off than Wendzell? Why do you claim that this is a racial thing when it's clear that many people who are *not* black face the same problems?

dashrashi

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #123 on: April 06, 2008, 06:05:24 PM »
Sure, some of these styles originated in anglo society, but this is just how successful people dress.

You are just desperately not getting it, aren't you? "Just how" implies ex nihilo--that our understanding of a necktie  as "professional" is inherent to wrapping a pointy-ended piece of fabric around your neck. I'm challenging that. You're responding by saying it again. Do better, or step off.

And don't even start with me about Malcolm X and MLK. You know full well that clothing styles were different for all Americans in the 60s than they are now. Talk about disingenuous.
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BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #124 on: April 06, 2008, 06:10:35 PM »
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You are just desperately not getting it, aren't you?
I feel like this has become a mutual malady at this point. No reason to keep playing this silly game of ping-pong.

No, you are right - Basketball shorts aren't standard board-room apparel because of racism, not cultural and class expectations. How could I have been so dense?

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Astro

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #125 on: April 06, 2008, 06:26:29 PM »
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You are just desperately not getting it, aren't you?
I feel like this has become a mutual malady at this point. No reason to keep playing this silly game of ping-pong.

No, you are right - Basketball shorts aren't standard board-room apparel because of racism, not cultural and class expectations. How could I have been so dense?



Quite honestly, dude, you really are not getting it.  She's logically in the right here.  She got your argument, addressed it at its merits, and then countered the basic assumptions underlying it.  Your response has been to repeat the argument that she's already laid bare.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #126 on: April 06, 2008, 06:28:12 PM »
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You are just desperately not getting it, aren't you?
I feel like this has become a mutual malady at this point. No reason to keep playing this silly game of ping-pong.

No, you are right - Basketball shorts aren't standard board-room apparel because of racism, not cultural and class expectations. How could I have been so dense?



Quite honestly, dude, you really are not getting it.  She's logically in the right here.  She got your argument, addressed it at its merits, and then countered the basic assumptions underlying it.  Your response has been to repeat the argument that she's already laid bare.

Because you say so? Point to where she did this, and I'll ackgnowledge it.

Thus far, I keep hearing more and more statements that wrongfully conflate class, culture and race, and further assertions based on that badly skewed misunderstanding.

Astro

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #127 on: April 06, 2008, 08:42:27 PM »
Quote
You are just desperately not getting it, aren't you?
I feel like this has become a mutual malady at this point. No reason to keep playing this silly game of ping-pong.

No, you are right - Basketball shorts aren't standard board-room apparel because of racism, not cultural and class expectations. How could I have been so dense?



Quite honestly, dude, you really are not getting it.  She's logically in the right here.  She got your argument, addressed it at its merits, and then countered the basic assumptions underlying it.  Your response has been to repeat the argument that she's already laid bare.

Because you say so? Point to where she did this, and I'll ackgnowledge it.

Thus far, I keep hearing more and more statements that wrongfully conflate class, culture and race, and further assertions based on that badly skewed misunderstanding.

Two quick points:

1.  I just did point to it.  She tried to partly summarize it in her previous post, too.  What do you say to our points? 

2.  Class, culture and race are necessarily conflated.  I agree that they can be partly separated, and some do it better than others, but I think you sometimes jump to this conclusion improperly in this thread.
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NYU2011

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #128 on: April 06, 2008, 08:57:25 PM »
Its even worse at higher incomes. This happened to me Saturday. I am at the car wash getting my car detailed for spring. So Iím at the window watching the cars come through. There is a mid 30ís white guy to my left and a late 20ís early 30's black guy to my right. The place is pretty dead other than us because itís right when they opened. The white guys has typical polo type shirt and Dockers and a newspaper under his arm. Black guy has baggy pants, t-shirt and baseball cap, not gangster but, but not dressy. So in comes a brand-new 2008 Bentley Continental GT Speed with temporary tags. That s a $200k car. It goes through; I want to find out who owns it because I want to ask the guy about because Iím a car nut. I start to turn to the white guy to ask if thatís his car when he walks towards the waiting area. So I think, hmm maybe itís the black guys car.

So I go through the possibilities, maybe this guys a pro athlete, maybe heís a rap star, maybe heís a lot attendant getting the car washed for someone to pick up. Anyway, by now my cars outside so I go out front. The white guy goes up to the Bentley starts inspecting it as if he is looking for dirt they are missing while wiping it off. So I start to think wonder if this guy is a partner at a big firm, or maybe a heart surgeon or CEO of some company, or maybe a pro golfer. Just then, the car wash guy waves his hand and the white guy heads over and gets into his 2000 silver Accord. A few minutes later, the black guy comes out and gets in the Bentley. I still have no idea what either of them do for a living, but I assumed what they did based on little more than what they looked like.

Like it or not we would all likely go through the same assumptions and stereotypes I did in trying to place strangers with their cars. I would have had to go WAY down the list of possible jobs that allowed the black buy to buy that car before I got to doctor or lawyer, but the white guy based on his dress and his skin color I automatically thought he was some rich professional.

That is white privilege even at the insanely wealthy range. I donít care if youíre the most race blind person in the world, we have all seen more rich white people than rich black people, we are going to assume FIRST the expensive car belongs to the white man. Because in movies and TV and in everyday life we see white people driving expensive cars, when we see a black guy in a Ferrari its an athlete or rap star on MTV cribs.

We assume and place things on people based on our sociological perceptions and stereotypes of those people and what they can achieve, we assume things and white folks get the benefit of the doubt more than black folks. Thatís white privilege. What would I have thought if I saw that car at 2AM parked in front of my house and that same black guy was reaching into the open window or that same white guy was reaching into the open window? What would your first assumption be? Who would get the benifit of the doubt that they owned the car?
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I do not believe your perception had much to do with skin color, it was much more based on dress.  If it was the white guy in baggy close and whatnot and the black guy all dressed up with the newspaper you probably (at least I and most others) would assume that it was the black guys car.  This shows that it isn't about your race but how you carry yourself, which many times goes along with socioeconomic status.

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #129 on: April 06, 2008, 09:08:59 PM »
Sure, some of these styles originated in anglo society, but this is just how successful people dress.

You are just desperately not getting it, aren't you? "Just how" implies ex nihilo--that our understanding of a necktie  as "professional" is inherent to wrapping a pointy-ended piece of fabric around your neck. I'm challenging that. You're responding by saying it again. Do better, or step off.

And don't even start with me about Malcolm X and MLK. You know full well that clothing styles were different for all Americans in the 60s than they are now. Talk about disingenuous.


Hey Dash, as you say clothing styles were different in the 60's.  Dressed up clothes was much more the norm and carried a good connotation.  Dressed in baggy/unprofessional clothes carried a bad connotation.  Nowadays dressing in nice clothes carries a good connotation while dressing in unprofessional clothes carries a bad connotation.  Saying this has anything to do with black/white is plain ridiculous.  If you see someone dressed up in full cowboy attire do you think "wow this person is professional"?  Yet this is clothes you were much more likely to see a white wear than a black wear. 

It has nothing to do with what color of skin the person that wore it has, it has to do with how clean cut the attire looks.