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Author Topic: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?  (Read 59810 times)

naturallybeyoutiful

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #150 on: April 06, 2008, 11:55:08 PM »
Is it racist to expect waiters to speak English rather than Swahili?...Just because something became dominant from a racist analysis, is it still racist?  Is it racist to say that baggy jeans are worse than a suit when (in our hypo) a black person can just put on a suit and remove the racism?  And if a white person can put on baggy jeans and create racism against himself?  Isn't racism supposed to be so insidious precisely because it's about factors beyond your control?

Assuming that you are in good faith eagerly desiring to understand what racism is and isn't, here are my suggestions for you.  (I think you'll find the answer to your question many times over.)

Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
The Life and Times of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano
Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember by James Mellon (editor)
David Walker's Appeal by David Walker
Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois
The Miseducation of the Negro by W.E.B. DuBois
Native Son by Richard Wright
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Groundwork: Charles Hamilton Houston and the Struggle for Civil Rights by Genna Rae McNeil
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Then consider watching the screen adaptation of Alex Haley's play Roots, as well as all the videos in the Eyes on the Prize series.  Add to that list movies like Glory, Proud, Pride, etc.  I'm not sure how many of these things you have ever been exposed to (and given the sad state of public education in robbing blacks and whites in this country of an understanding of the true heritage of this nation), I'm likely to guess not many.  These might be of help in dispelling the notion that racism is something that people can "put off" and "put on" like articles of clothing.  If that were the case, black people would have rid themselves of clothes long ago!  It's not that simple, and unfortunately, it's hard to engage in a substantive, meaningful dialogue without some basic understanding of what those of us serious about addressing racial discrimination mean when we say "racism." 

I know some may look at this list (which is, at best, a meager start) and think -- Does it really take all that?  Given the fact that more of the same seems unlikely to really change things, I'd dare say yes, it does. 




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dashrashi

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #151 on: April 07, 2008, 12:00:35 AM »
Hm.  This is not a rhetorical question.  Is it racist to expect waiters to speak English rather than Swahili?  I think the analogy holds: it is of European origin, became the "professional" standard (at least in the US) as a result of ... uh, racially disproportionate removal of specific cultural elements, but is not perfectly tied to actual "race" and can be alleviated by acquiring a new element.

Unlike a suit, in fact, learning to speak so-called standard English is not something that can be easily fixed.

In other words, I'm expanding on the discussion between Bears and DR here.  Just because something became dominant from a racist analysis, is it still racist?  Is it racist to say that baggy jeans are worse than a suit when (in our hypo) a black person can just put on a suit and remove the racism?  And if a white person can put on baggy jeans and create racism against himself?  Isn't racism supposed to be so insidious precisely because it's about factors beyond your control?

I see where you're coming from, but I think the clothing thing, specifically, is still charged because people continue to have negative associations with clothing that is associated with people of color, and positive associations with clothing that is associated with white people. Like I alluded to earlier, if you're going to the annual company picnic, there's nothing inherently more professional about wearing those hideous J Crew bermuda shorts with lobsters all over them than there is  about wearing mesh basketball shorts. But one would be socially acceptable in a semi-professional setting, and one wouldn't. And gee golly gosh, the former pair of shorts are typically associated with white people. Accident? I think it's unlikely.

I don't see why we should accept the fact that black people have to put on the trappings of white culture (e.g. a polo shirt and hideous shorts; the name Jake instead of DeShawn) in order for people to say that, yeah, that counts as mainstream, and now you deserve to be taken seriously. There's nothing inherently wrong with the name DeShawn that would make you think that person would be a worse employee than Jake; if DeShawn doesn't get an interview, but Jake with-the-same-resume does, I'm going to assert that it's not because that's what DeShawn deserves for not being mainstream. It's because the resume-reader is assuming something about DeShawn, and then making inferences based on that assumption. Which is a problem.

Before that experiment, no one seriously considered the claim that people with stereotypically black names were discriminated against solely for that reason in the hiring market. Duh, that would be clearly and obviously racist. Now Bearly wants to come in here and claim that, like, no duh, they're discriminated against because their names are stereotypically black, but also did you know it happens against everyone including omg some disadvantaged white people? Which is horseshit, frankly.

Language, for me, is different and more complicated, because there are practical necessities associated with language that simply aren't there when it comes to clothing or naming conventions. With the latter, I think it's clear we shouldn't insist on a cultural norm--especially not one that marginalizes many parts of black culture--and simply label it "the mainstream" without at least, AT LEAST, thinking about what exactly we mean by that.
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BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #152 on: April 07, 2008, 12:13:33 AM »
Naturallybeyoutiful, I want to thank you for writing your response and ackgnowlege that many of your points are salient, even if I don't entirely agree with some of them.

(REDACTED - Because I think I have already said what needed to be said)

devilishlyblue

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #153 on: April 07, 2008, 01:02:47 AM »
I'm not sure how many of these things you have ever been exposed to
  Four.  Which is why this thread is good for me.


These might be of help in dispelling the notion that racism is something that people can "put off" and "put on" like articles of clothing.
Sorry, should have been clearer.  I meant specifically in the context of the clothing-based-racism we were discussing over the last few posts.  Obviously black people, even when wearing suits, still experience racism.  My question was this: There is undoubtedly an additional discrimination that gets added thanks to fashion trends.  To what extent is it legitimate to consider these trends "racist" simply because their origins are racist?

They are, of course, unfair in a social sense, although it's unclear on whom we should place blame exactly.  (Employers?  Customers?  Employers for going along with the perceived racial prejudices of their customers?  Media?  Etc.)  And this is, of course, not the entirety (or even the majority) of racism in this country.  I'm quibbling about a very specific point: is clothing-based discrimination specifically, at this time, legitimately considered to fall under the umbrella of racist behavior?

saneac2

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #154 on: April 07, 2008, 05:33:20 AM »
I grew up in mobile home in Southeastern Kentucky within a stones throw of a coal mine.  My mother and father have had to absolutely kill themselves just provide what little we have.  During college I worked two jobs in order to keep the rent paid.  One of my best friends and current roomate, whom I met during my freshman year, is black.  His mother is a judge, and his father is a financial analyst.  Let it suffice that my family's entire living quarters could probably fit into his living room. Although he had no real interest in law, his family placed a considerable amount of pressure on him to pursue a career in law.  We applied to many of the same schools because we felt that it would be nice if we could attend law school together.  Despite having a 6 point lower LSAT score and a 4 point lower GPA he was accepted to all three of our top choices and I was denied. 

AA is bull and you would be hard pressed to convince me otherwise.   

simonsays

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #155 on: April 07, 2008, 05:41:47 AM »
You simply sound ridiculous.  So you believe that if White people wore baggy pants in the past then it would be professional now? ::) As you mentioned earlier many many people wore suits in the past.  Why don't you take a step back and look at it, are you telling me a person in a suit does not look better and better able to handle things than someone in baggy pants?  It has nothing to do with the color of the skin of the people before.  It isn't like the President of Africa wears around baggy pants all the time either.  It just doesn't look very clean cut.


Before contact and manipulation by European forces, the following was true:

1.  Professional/upper class Africans did not wear suits.
2.  Professional/upper class Asians did not wear suits.
3.  Professional/upper class Australasians did not wear suits.
4.  Professional/upper class Native Americans did not wear suits.



They also didn't wipe their ass with toilet paper..  anything less than a biday deserves scrutiny?


Astro

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #156 on: April 07, 2008, 05:54:12 AM »
You simply sound ridiculous.  So you believe that if White people wore baggy pants in the past then it would be professional now? ::) As you mentioned earlier many many people wore suits in the past.  Why don't you take a step back and look at it, are you telling me a person in a suit does not look better and better able to handle things than someone in baggy pants?  It has nothing to do with the color of the skin of the people before.  It isn't like the President of Africa wears around baggy pants all the time either.  It just doesn't look very clean cut.


Before contact and manipulation by European forces, the following was true:

1.  Professional/upper class Africans did not wear suits.
2.  Professional/upper class Asians did not wear suits.
3.  Professional/upper class Australasians did not wear suits.
4.  Professional/upper class Native Americans did not wear suits.



They also didn't wipe their ass with toilet paper..  anything less than a biday deserves scrutiny?




Do you have anything better than this weak strawman analogy?
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

BearlyLegal

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #157 on: April 07, 2008, 09:07:27 AM »
I grew up in mobile home in Southeastern Kentucky within a stones throw of a coal mine.  My mother and father have had to absolutely kill themselves just provide what little we have.  During college I worked two jobs in order to keep the rent paid.  One of my best friends and current roomate, whom I met during my freshman year, is black.  His mother is a judge, and his father is a financial analyst.  Let it suffice that my family's entire living quarters could probably fit into his living room. Although he had no real interest in law, his family placed a considerable amount of pressure on him to pursue a career in law.  We applied to many of the same schools because we felt that it would be nice if we could attend law school together.  Despite having a 6 point lower LSAT score and a 4 point lower GPA he was accepted to all three of our top choices and I was denied. 

AA is bull and you would be hard pressed to convince me otherwise.   
But dood, unlike your wealthy African American friend, you are privileged! You belong to the mainstream culture! There are lots more white people on TV than black people. When you go into a 7-11, the clerk doesn't look at you susiciously. You can find bandaids that match your skin. As a lawyer you will be wearing lotsa suits, and didn't white guys invent suits?! I can go on and on. There is a whole checklist for why you are privileged (though the retarded suit thing isn't on it :( ), it's a couple of pages back. You should check it out and feel really guilty about what you just said!

Did you know that even the wealthiest black people face discrimination? I read this article about Robert Johnson, the first black billionaire, who was getting behind the wheel of his Mercedes Benz, and some racist old white lady ran out in an embarrassed huff. She assumed that he was the chauffer because he was black. That's REALLY screwed up - even Bob Johnson is discriminated against! I bet that never happens to you when you get into your Mercedes!  >:(

Why don't you just accept that you are privileged, go back to your double-wide and realize that you don't deserve to be treated like an equal human being because some other white doods who you have never met do the same thing to black people.

Ghost

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #158 on: April 07, 2008, 09:48:14 AM »
I grew up in mobile home in Southeastern Kentucky within a stones throw of a coal mine.  My mother and father have had to absolutely kill themselves just provide what little we have.  During college I worked two jobs in order to keep the rent paid.  One of my best friends and current roomate, whom I met during my freshman year, is black.  His mother is a judge, and his father is a financial analyst.  Let it suffice that my family's entire living quarters could probably fit into his living room. Although he had no real interest in law, his family placed a considerable amount of pressure on him to pursue a career in law.  We applied to many of the same schools because we felt that it would be nice if we could attend law school together.  Despite having a 6 point lower LSAT score and a 4 point lower GPA he was accepted to all three of our top choices and I was denied. 

AA is bull and you would be hard pressed to convince me otherwise.   

Oh look, another hard-lifer.

This board is full of them!

How queer it is that every white person here suffered so much...

Ghost

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Re: Be honest WASPs: why does AA really bother you?
« Reply #159 on: April 07, 2008, 09:50:11 AM »
I grew up in mobile home in Southeastern Kentucky within a stones throw of a coal mine.  My mother and father have had to absolutely kill themselves just provide what little we have.  During college I worked two jobs in order to keep the rent paid.  One of my best friends and current roomate, whom I met during my freshman year, is black.  His mother is a judge, and his father is a financial analyst.  Let it suffice that my family's entire living quarters could probably fit into his living room. Although he had no real interest in law, his family placed a considerable amount of pressure on him to pursue a career in law.  We applied to many of the same schools because we felt that it would be nice if we could attend law school together.  Despite having a 6 point lower LSAT score and a 4 point lower GPA he was accepted to all three of our top choices and I was denied. 

AA is bull and you would be hard pressed to convince me otherwise.   
But dood, unlike your wealthy African American friend, you are privileged! You belong to the mainstream culture! There are lots more white people on TV than black people. When you go into a 7-11, the clerk doesn't look at you susiciously. You can find bandaids that match your skin. As a lawyer you will be wearing lotsa suits, and didn't white guys invent suits?! I can go on and on. There is a whole checklist for why you are privileged (though the retarded suit thing isn't on it :( ), it's a couple of pages back. You should check it out and feel really guilty about what you just said!

Did you know that even the wealthiest black people face discrimination? I read this article about Robert Johnson, the first black billionaire, who was getting behind the wheel of his Mercedes Benz, and some racist old white lady ran out in an embarrassed huff. She assumed that he was the chauffer because he was black. That's REALLY screwed up - even Bob Johnson is discriminated against! I bet that never happens to you when you get into your Mercedes!  >:(

Why don't you just accept that you are privileged, go back to your double-wide and realize that you don't deserve to be treated like an equal human being because some other white doods who you have never met do the same thing to black people.

Uh oh...this thread starting to get to you? You've done so well in actually making intelligent argument, and now you piss it all away with this garbage.

Are you going to fly off the deep end like that other guy in the Is This Really The Case thread?