White people think that people of colour have more culture.

whiteculture5White liberals* in North America often say things like, “White people have no culture.” For the overwhelming majority of white liberals, to be white is to be boring. Some white people even claim that they are “jealous” of people who are not white, as if non-white people have “culture” that white people do not, due to the sole fact they have a higher concentration of melanin in their skin, eyes, or hair.

Of course, the very definition of culture necessitates that white people have culture**. Here is a definition of culture from Wikipedia:

Culture can be defined as all the ways of life including arts, beliefs and institutions of a population that are passed down from generation to generation. Culture has been called “the way of life for an entire society.” As such, it includes codes of manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, games, norms of behavior such as law and morality, and systems of belief as well as the art.

Cultural anthropologists most commonly use the term “culture” to refer to the universal human capacity and activities to classify, codify and communicate their experiences materially and symbolically.

Obviously, white people have culture. What is less obvious is why most white liberals think that they have no culture, and why most white liberals think that anybody who is non-white has culture that white people do not, even if these non-white people are living in the same society as the whites.

Most white liberals think that they have no culture, because most white people’s subconscious and vernacular definition of “culture” is what they consider foreign culture. Because most white people believe that non-white people are foreign, they assume that non-white people must therefore have foreign culture, which they refer to as just “culture”.

White culture is culture that white people consider “normal”.

newyears-timessquare For example, when white people think of “culture”, they may think of “Chinese New Year” (or “Lunar New Year”), but not “New Year’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve”. The idea of “New Year’s Day” comes from a concept of time based on the Gregorian calendar, which originated in 1582. The Gregorian calendar derived from the Julian calendar, which originated around 49 BC (or 49 BCE). The Julian calendar derived from older calendar systems from Ancient Rome. New Year’s Day itself was set on “January 1″ in 153 BC (or BCE), Ancient Rome.

Today, many North Americans celebrate New Year’s Eve by not sleeping that night, counting down to midnight, partying downtown, drinking alcohol, and making New Year’s resolutions (New Year’s resolutions also date back to Ancient Rome). Many North Americans celebrate New Year’s Day with fireworks (although fireworks were invented by Chinese people) and by kissing random strangers when it would be normally taboo.

Although New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve are very much full of culture, history, and strange social conventions, most white people take the culturally-based division of time as something natural and universal, as if January 1 actually grants people new chances at renewing their lives.

Notice that the practise of setting off fireworks to celebrate the new year originated in China, but most white people do not think that the practise of setting off fireworks to celebrate the New Year is “cultural”, unless the “New Year” under discussion is Chinese New Year. That is, for most white people, if the fireworks are for “Chinese New Year”, it’s “cultural”, but the fireworks are for “New Year’s”, it’s not cultural, but normal. (Most white people think that anything Chinese is foreign, so they think that any person, place, or thing with the adjective “Chinese” is “cultural” or “ethnic”.)

White people view non-white people as foreign.

Grandpa Dinosaur at Pregnant Drug-Dealing Prostitutes eloquently explains why White Canadians think that Canadians of colour are foreign (and why Eurocentric schooling miseducates white people about reality):

It doesn’t matter if I move in and have been living there before them. I talk to a lot of white people and they treat us like we’re the foreigners paying rent on their land. They speak as though they are demanding tithings. They don’t care about their ancestors killing off the Native’s peoples and they act as if they were the first Settlers washing up upon Virgin Soil.

They truly believe they own the land because the language is English and the schools are Euro-centric and the world they perceive is White.

White people in North America receive Eurocentric education and are rarely challenged on it, so most believe that Canada and the United States are white countries founded by white people, and that non-white citizens are guests, whom the white citizens are magnanimous enough to “tolerate”. Because most white people perceive people of colour as foreigners and think from a Eurocentric perspective, these white people also think that people of colour are “exotic” and “different”, and that white people are “boring” and “ordinary”.

White antiracists have white privilege.

Sometimes, white “antiracists” even denigrate whiteness as being “boring” and “plain”, believing falsely that doing such a thing is an antiracist act. Although claiming that white people are “boring”, “plain”, and “bland” succeeds in the task of making white people feel bad about themselves, it still reinforces the Eurocentric perspective and the worldviews of those with white privilege.

Something is “boring” when there is too much of it; something is “plain” when it blends in with the background. Of course white people seem “boring” and “plain” to white people, since they are the majority in white-majority countries, and their customs are the status quo in white-majority countries. When a white person complains that whiteness is “boring” and “plain”, it is like they are complaining that the are the racial majority and that their culture is the standard. There is no reason for white people to feel a sense of loss that stems from white ubiquitousness, since having a free-floating and changeable identity is better than being pigeon-holed into a fixed and unchangeable identity with associated stereotypes.

No identity means versatility and possibility.

Stem cells are coveted for their versatility. Without a fixed identity, stem cells can become any kind of cell in the human body. A stem cell can be a stem cell, a heart cell, a brain cell, or any other cell. However, a heart cell is just a heart cell, and it cannot become a stem cell, a brain cell, or any other cell. A stem cell’s ability to become other cells is called, appropriately, its potency.

Many people, usually white, think that having a fixed identity is a good thing. However, having a fixed identity means that one does not have control over one’s identity, and it means that one cannot recreate oneself. Although a racialized person has some control over her identity, there is a part of her identity that is determined by white society instead of her own volition. Although a racialized person can recreate her racial identity somewhat, this requires public acts and disrupting society’s preconceptions.

A white person, on the other hand, is perceived as an individual by white society, and is freer to tell others not to define him, if he so chooses.


Related articles:

* Update 2008/11/16: Nquest reminded me that many xenophobic white people know that there is a white culture and try to preserve their “way of life”. I changed “white people” to “white liberals” in some places. I’m not sure how to refer to the loosely-defined group of white people who are socially left of “centre”. Some “liberals” don’t want to be called “left”, but some people in the “left” do not consider themselves “liberals”. If there is a better term, let me know. I thought of “social progressives”, but they can be right-wing if the status quo is left.

** Update 2008/11/29: “Of course, the very definition of culture necessitates that white people have a culture” was changed to “Of course, the very definition of culture necessitates that white people have culture” because the original wording was a bit confusing. The very definition of culture necessitates that a white person has a culture, as well.

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150 Responses to “White people think that people of colour have more culture.”

  1. jwbe Says:

    >A white person, on the other hand, is perceived as an individual by white society, and is freer to tell others not to define him, if he so chooses.

    A white person can also jump into a discussion, with the attempt to defend whatever he has said, getting confused over his own contradictions (or doesn’t realize them) and after some weird posts he leaves the scene again to continue on his blog and nothing has changed.
    Being inconsistent is perhaps also white.

  2. Kathy Says:

    On the boring white people part, I am guilty of thinking that.

  3. uppitybrownwoman Says:

    Very true. Great post.

  4. Kathy Says:

    jwbe, i think he is a poser, he banned me from his blog.

    I am thinking about creating a special blog called the Macon De-Construction, I really am beginning to believe he’s some kind of poser, that post about Asian food last night was a set up, he’s worse than Sean Klannity.

  5. Restructure! Says:

    Thanks uppitybrownwoman! I’m a fan of your blog. Toronto represent!

  6. nquest2xl Says:

    I’ve had several comments I wanted to make, including asking Restructure how she figures “most” Whites say/think this or that but I think I found what I really wanted to say (and ask) about all this in my own post on SWPS.

    Of course, I still think this whole “no white culture” thing is a sham. On a deeper/different level, I think this may ultimately be all about trying to cope with a lot of internal contradictions and mixed messages Whites receive in society.

    Finding their culture as “bland” or “boring” may be coming to grips with the sense that they don’t see what’s so “superior” about being White/white culture. Then there’s the old adage that says, “it’s lonely at the top.”

    I think Tochluk comments about a sense of “connection” calls into question something else she commented on: “individualism.” I think one thing Whites might view (or stereotype) as attract about non-whites is the sense of community non-whites seem to have.

    I see it in comments African-Americans make about what their group supposedly lack that others have: an ability to work together, etc.

  7. macon d Says:

    Much better post than the previous one! A more accurate handling of white people and “culture.”

    A couple quibbles:

    Because most white people believe that non-white people are foreign, they assume that non-white people must therefore have foreign culture, which they refer to as just “culture”.

    Aren’t African Americans non-white people? And Native American/Indigenous people? I don’t think most white people consider them “foreign,” especially in terms of nationality, but they often do see Asian Americans/Canadians as “foreign,” even if they speak “perfect” English and have roots here many generations back. You seem to be failing to distinguish some differences here among non-white groups.

    A white person, on the other hand, is perceived as an individual by white society, and is freer to tell others not to define him [or her?], if he so chooses.

    Yes, that freedom is nice and whites should appreciate it more. But another way to get whites to think about being white is to educate them about its downsides for them, as well as the downsides for non-white people. Being free in that sense can also mean lacking a sense of belonging–that’s part of that empty feeling, that “hole,” that Tochluk wrote about. Yes, members of other races, especially in North America, may lack that sense as well, but when whites look at other groups, one thing they sometimes perceive (rightly or wrongly) is a thing that they themselves feel they lack, which is a sense of group belonging in terms of race and/or ethnicity. A sense, that is, of a “white” group identity that they can affirm and embrace. Which is why so many turn instead to their “ethnic” roots, or to supposed bits and pieces of other apparent cultures. Yeah, they SHOULD appreciate instead their “freedom,” but when some see all sorts of affirmation around them in “diverse,” “multicultural” America (and maybe Canada too?), they wonder where their culture is, their sense of belonging in those terms.

    So if this sort of freedom is such a great thing, would you also tell non-white groups to get over their African American History Months, and so on? So that they can instead feel “free”? Where does this kind of recommendation lead? And if atomized hyper-individualism is an especially white thing in what’s actually known as just plain “American” or “Canadian” culture, would calling for such “freedom” for members of non-white groups actually be a way of telling them to whiten themselves, to bleach away their group-bound identity in assimilationist pursuit of (white) individualism? Just wondering . . .

    Nquest, after our fruitless exchange the other night, I think that you think this whole “no white culture” thing is a sham because you still don’t get it. You still don’t seem to see the difference between a reality of white culture, which whites might be said to share in the sense that Restructure! defines in this post, and the common white perception, or perhaps delusion, that they themselves have no white culture. They do that because if they do have a culture that could be identified as “white,” it instead exists around them and in them as the norm, a sort of default, standard “American” (or “Canadian”) culture.

    So you are on target here: I think one thing Whites might view (or stereotype) as attract[ive] about non-whites is the sense of community non-whites seem to have. Yes, exactly. And one reason that they themselves don’t have that sense of community in terms of race is because they don’t perceive a common “white” culture.

    Kathy, I didn’t ban you from my blog! I wrote “bye” to you because the comment that you wrote that I was responding to sounded to me like you were writing your last one. I did decline to publish some other comments from you that didn’t make any sense or were too far off-topic (I decline to publish a lot of comments; I see no reason to clutter my blog with nonsense and distractions–comments from various pestilent haters haven’t been welcome either). You’re not banned, and neither is anyone else.

  8. space Says:

    Even if Blacks and Indigenous are not seen as foreign in quite the same sense as Asians and Latin@s, they’re still seen as being “ethnic” or “exotic” and having a distinct culture that has more “soul” or is “closer to the Earth” or some such retro noble savage stereotype. They are still exoticized compared to the Euro norm, and that’s what counts here.

    There’s something funny about the notion that whites lack a sense of belonging, because we’re not the ones who are racially profiled and told that we don’t belong. We’re assumed to just fit in perfectly, whereas the black person would be a suspected affirmative action case and people would wonder if the Latin@ or the Asian speaks English.

  9. macon d Says:

    Space, I agree with your estimation of what counts here; I described what I was talking about ahead of time as a “quibble.” I’ve yet to see a perfect blog post, or at least, not one of this length.

    Yes, I too see something funny in the notion that whites lack a sense of belonging, but what “counts” here is a sense of having a “culture.” A sense of belonging to some group, like the groups those Others seem to have (you might take another look at the title of this post), but which whites often think they don’t have. Not a sense of belonging in America as a whole.

    Which is not to say I disagree with your point–as Toni Morrison wrote, “American means white.”

  10. jwbe Says:

    >A white person, on the other hand, is perceived as an individual by white society, and is freer to tell others not to define him, if he so chooses

    I don’t know if this is so true. When I was young the biggest problem for me was how quick society/whites are to dismiss and to leave behind everybody who doesn’t fit in and their definitions of what or how somebody has to be and to act accepts no room for individuality. Just being isn’t possible, most whites don’t realize how much society defines them and how much of an illusion they live with their alleged individualism. True individualism always means being excluded

  11. Kathy Says:

    Macon, You write:

    “Aren’t African Americans non-white people? And Native American/Indigenous people? I don’t think most white people consider them “foreign,” especially in terms of nationality, but they often do see Asian Americans/Canadians as “foreign,” even if they speak “perfect” English and have roots here many generations back. You seem to be failing to distinguish some differences here among non-white groups.”

    You conveniently framed your post using “foreign students” but then counter with the above statement. My opinion is that you are actually encouraging bias and stereotyping, and I also think that you even included pornography in your post on purpose, it serves your purpose of trying to deal with your deep fear and hatred for what you can’t seem to understand.

    So you didn’t ban me, I just can’t comment, now that is logical.

  12. jwbe Says:

    >I also think that you even included pornography in your post on purpose

    where did he include pornography?

  13. macon d Says:

    Kathy, who said you can’t comment on my blog?

    There’s no pornography on my blog.

  14. Kathy Says:

    i thought you were referring to the food in that way, Macon.

  15. Kathy Says:

    didn’t you wrote this, or did i just imagine that i just copied it from your post on Asian food?

    “Renowned director Ang Lee, for instance, has been charged with conducting such ethnic self-exploitation. In his film Eat Drink Man Woman, for instance, food pornography is said to be on display right from the opening sequence (warning: this clip contains images of a gutted fish):”

  16. Kathy Says:

    i meant write, not wrote

  17. Melissa Says:

    I totally agree that the Eurocentric education in the USA adds to the issue. Whites forget someone was here before the land was “discovered” by Europeans. I didn’t really think much of it until I read “Lies My Teacher Told Me” where James Loewen, a White history teacher, actually addressed this. White people forget English was not the first language spoken in the US and that Whites weren’t the first to come to this continent.

  18. macon d Says:

    Co-sign what Melissa said about Loewen’s book! “Sundown Towns” is fantastic work too, as is the web site for it:

    http://www.uvm.edu/~jloewen/sundowntowns.php

  19. macon d Says:

    I see. Kathy, there’s not “pornography” on my blog, but there is an example of something that’s been called “food pornography,” a clip from a film that an Asian American scholar labeled with that term. You’re right, I did do all of that on purpose, in order to help explain the post’s overall point that white folks often associate Asian people with food (which is a point Asian Americans often make too, but that a lot of white folks don’t realize about themselves).

  20. Kathy Says:

    Hey, Macon, that was a convenient jump over the pornography reference.

    The post Macon had up about Tracy Ullman wearing blackface was the big clue. Tracy Ullman could have hired someone to act that part, but she didn’t. Doesn’t matter if the purpose was good or not. She shouldn’t have done it.

  21. Kathy Says:

    No Macon, you did it on purpose to further associate Asian with pornography.

    How could you even think that I meant pornography in any other way? You are far to “intelligent” to not know what I was referring to.

  22. Kathy Says:

    Oh, Macon, and you didn’t ban me, you just said I had a “short attention span” and said bye bye, and refused to post my comments, which you have characterized even here as if I am not very intelligent. So you hate women too, huh?

  23. macon d Says:

    No, I don’t hate women at all. And where did I characterize you as not very intelligent? And how did I make a “convenient jump” over the pornography reference?

  24. Kathy Says:

    here you go Macon, you just wrote this:

    “”Kathy, I didn’t ban you from my blog! I wrote “bye” to you because the comment that you wrote that I was responding to sounded to me like you were writing your last one. I did decline to publish some other comments from you that didn’t make any sense or were too far off-topic (I decline to publish a lot of comments; I see no reason to clutter my blog with nonsense and distractions–comments from various pestilent haters haven’t been welcome either). You’re not banned, and neither is anyone else.”””

    Well, Macon, now isn’t that nice of you, thanks, I guess you really do have a problem with women, you know, like nonsense, comments don’t make sense, and my all personal fave : various pestilent haters, yeah, Macon, that is got me ROFLAMO.

  25. macon d Says:

    Kathy, “various pestilent haters” doesn’t refer to you, nor to women. It mostly refers to hardcore white supremacists and other strains of racists who try to leave comments that are sometimes incredibly ugly and hateful. No reason to provide a space on my blog for that, methinks, nor to invite more of it by publishing such comments. And the fact that your unpublished comments struck me as nonsensical and/or off-topic had nothing to do with the woman’s name attached to them.

  26. Kathy Says:

    yes, Macon, we women are all so nonsensical.

  27. Melissa Says:

    Kathy, I think this may be a little extreme. “No Macon, you did it on purpose to further associate Asian with pornography.”

    Maybe you don’t read food blogs, but nice pictures of food are commonly referred to as “food porn”, which is I think what he was referring to. The magazine “Gourmet” is often referred to as “food porn.”

    And macon d, you are correct on that book “Sundown Towns.” I’m reading it, again, right now as a good part of it focuses on where I live. I’m also reading a book about the experiences of the first Black family to move into the town I live in.

  28. Kathy Says:

    And meanwhile, you get to sidestep the pornography on your Asian food post with this little “distraction” about me being nonsensical.

  29. Kathy Says:

    No, he was specific about the post being about Asian’s as “foreigners” (his quotes) and then used food as an example, including the pornography to the insult of this post, since we already know that Macon understands the perpetual foreigner myth, given his response on this blog. There can be no doubt, and even Macon agrees that the reference was intentional.

  30. Melissa Says:

    Well, I guess that flew by me cause I don’t associate Asian with porn. I read a lot of food blogs and cook quite often so referring to it as “food pornography” has a completely different thought to me than it does to you.

  31. macon d Says:

    Kathy, yes, the reference to Asian American scholars’ use of the term “food pornography” was intentional, and it has a very specific meaning for their studies that I was referencing. As I wrote above,

    there’s not “pornography” on my blog, but there is an example of something that’s been called “food pornography,” a clip from a film that an Asian American scholar labeled with that term. You’re right, I did do all of that on purpose, in order to help explain the post’s overall point that white folks often associate Asian people with food (which is a point Asian Americans often make too, but that a lot of white folks don’t realize about themselves).

    But you interpretation, that I’m trying to further associate Asians with pornography, is wrong. I’m exposing how whites often associate them with food. Seems to me you should read the post again.

  32. Kathy Says:

    No, Macon, I don’t have to read your post again, as you full well know that pornography and Asian women have been linked to humiliate and objectify. You are trying to link food and pornography and “foreign student” all in one.

  33. Kathy Says:

    Macon, here’s another little gem from your post on Asian food:

    “My point here is certainly not that I think either of these two foreign-student party-goers meant to, in Frank Chin’s terms, “prostitute” themselves and their cultures to an American audience, by serving them exotic ethnic food.”

    Oh, that is just so illuminating. Thanks for your suggestion to read your post again.

  34. Kathy Says:

    Macon, what makes you think it’s ok to ask somebody you don’t know where they are from? Quote from your post on Asian Food:

    “Ah. Well, thank you for bringing them. So, you’re from China?”

    “Originally, yes. But I’ve been here for about six years now.”

  35. macon d Says:

    Kathy, that post is written by an older me about a younger me. The now-me obviously knows the wronginess of what the old-me did at those parties. I saw what I did there.

    Here, check out this earlier post of mine on this next topic that you’ve raised; it alerts white folks to the egregious common tendency among them to ask Asian Americans where they’re really from. If you were to read it, you’d probably like it, if you weren’t so determined to find something wrong with it.

    And by the way, are you sure you know what Frank Chin means when he says that some people of Asian descent metaphorically “prostitute” themselves to Orientalizing white folks via the alluring enticement of “Asian” food?

  36. Kathy Says:

    Oh, so now it’s the younger you.

    No, I am not so determined to find something wrong with it, but why say that my comments are “nonsensical” when I try to apply my critical thought and reactions to what you write?

    I wasn’t commenting on Frank Chin, I was commenting on you and your post.

  37. Kathy Says:

    Macon, I read the post you linked to, my observation is that you make sweeping, blanket statements, as pointed out by Restructure about how it must be for other ethnic groups. Also, since you are quoting Frank Wu, i find it interesting to note that you fail to mention how relentless and demeaning it can be to hear “Where are you from” , “Do you speak English” , “How come you don’t speak, (fill in the blank)., or to have your child referred to ELS classes, for no valid reason other than appearances.

    All of these questions and actions serve to strengthen the idea of “perpetual foreigner” and are really attempts for white Americans to hold on to their own perceived idea of what is really “American’ and what is not. And so I find that your analysis of the “perpetual foreigner” issue lacking in empathy or understanding of the impact.

  38. macon d Says:

    I didn’t say that anything you’ve written here by way of critiquing my blog is nonsensical–that was about the comment or two of yours I declined to publish on my blog the other day, along with their being off topic.

    In fact, I completely agree with what you just wrote about the white casting of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners (a topic that I’ve also addressed on my blog, again with the help of Frank Wu). But there’s only so much one can do in one blog post before a lot of people stop reading it because they think it’s “long-winded.” Also, I try to focus each blog post on one example of “stuff white people do.” Those are indeed good suggestions for future posts, though, thank you.

    As for empathy and understanding of the impact of white racism, I certainly have been dissuaded by my white training from exercising those attributes, but I’m continually working on it. Also, again, my focus is whiteness, and there isn’t much more room in each post for elaborate explanations of what people of color go through at the hands of whites, on top of the white tendency I’m explaining; also, when I do offer some of that, I run the risk of setting up the people I quote or describe as spokespeople for their whole group. I’ve long struggled with how to do that, and whether I even should do that, and Nquest and Restructure! have helped with that struggle in their comments. I’ll also add that what I’m writing is a blog, of course, with a comments function, and a lot of POC have come along to explain the effects on them of particular white things I’ve pointed out (as in the comments for the “asians and food” post, for example).

  39. Nquest Says:

    I’ve long struggled with how to do that, and whether I even should do that, and Nquest and Restructure! have helped with that struggle in their comments.

    Here you are giving me another reason to tell you to keep my name out your mouth. Don’t you dare try to act like you’ve been receptive to the comments I’ve made when your reaction to my comments have been nothing less than defensive… amongst other things.

    Don’t try to pretend like you’ve been receptive to my comments when you act the way you have labeled me as an “abuser” (stating that I remind you of the abuse you’ve experienced in your life) and just got through claiming that I “mischaracterize” things you say (though I stick to the exact things you say) and that I make you out to be a “devious moron” (words I’ve never used) all because you, apparently, feel like one when I question you about stuff you say that you obviously can’t defend.

    Like this sh*t from you first comment to Restructure’s first post re: “White people have no culture”:

    one result is that in racial terms, they usually think of themselves as individuals

    The idea that someone can think of themselves as an individual “in racial terms” is a contradiction in terms. The term “race” or racial, by definition, stipulates to something relevant to a socially constructed group. So it’s impossible for someone to “think of themselves as individuals” and do so “in racial terms.”

    Then for all this “struggling” on your part to dispute what Restructure and I have said about your post regarding Tochluk to boil down to you trying to defend some Stormfront/white racists type of “we don’t a WHITE history month” nonsense…

    Well, let’s just say: you did a good job self-identifying yourself as a “moron” (your term, not mine).

  40. macon d Says:

    Nq, I’ve altered posts as well as written new ones differently because of discussions I’ve had with the two of you. I’m especially defensive with you, though, because you act like an asshole. You continually characterize me, while writing about what I say, as “dishonest,” as a “dumbazz,” and so on (note that I didn’t put quotation marks around devious moron–is there a difference between a “dumbazz” and a moron?). You both also have a nasty habit of plucking out and unfairly decontextualizing little quotes from my writings and holding them up as false representations of what I write. When I disagree with you, you write that I’m a “chickenshit” who won’t face up to the truth of your flawless logic. That kind of continual malfeasance would make any serious writer “defense . . . among other things.”

    Then for all this “struggling” on your part to dispute what Restructure and I have said about your post regarding Tochluk to boil down to you trying to defend some Stormfront/white racists type of “we don’t a WHITE history month” nonsense…

    I wasn’t defending that, and what I wrote only “boiled down” to that in your mind. Once again, you insist on denouncing a misreading of something I wrote. It’s amazing how often you do that. And you wonder why I’m defensive! What I wrote about that on your tripartite blog was an explanation of why some whites ask why they can’t have such a month, not a defense of such a month. Sheesh. So, who should really be complaining about whose name is in the mouth of the other?

  41. Kathy Says:

    here is another quote from macon:

    ‘Nq, I’ve altered posts as well as written new ones differently because of discussions I’ve had with the two of you. I’m especially defensive with you, though, because you act like an asshole.’

    see, Macon thinks that we women are assholes.

  42. nquest2xl Says:

    I’m especially defensive with you, though, because you act like an asshole.

    If I act like an asshole, it’s because you have no regard for insulting my intelligence with your bs.

    As the saying goes… don’t start none, won’t be none.

    You continually characterize me, while writing about what I say, as “dishonest,”

    That’s because you continually write things that are dishonest. Like this:

    And I also wasn’t saying… Tochluk bemoaned the loss of some white culture

    You knew you were LYING yet you chose to LIE anyway. That’s why you had the little parenthetical disclaimer… You know I don’t just make stuff up… I look stuff up and remember the stuff you say. So, after all this time, after all these exchanges, you still have the nerve to LIE to me to my face… Well, you chose your bed. I’m not going to let you insult my intelligence, lie to me and just let that slide.

    Proof that you lied…

    what I wrote only “boiled down” to that in your mind.

    Stop lying, Macon. You’re the one who tried to be flip saying “Four words: African American History Month.”

    And you wonder why I’m defensive!

    No, I don’t. I don’t wonder why you’re defensive. I cited your defensiveness to dispel this notion of yours that you’re receptive to the comments I’ve made on your blog.

    And, no, the idea that you’ve “altered” posts and wrote new ones differently doesn’t show how you’ve been receptive to the comments I’ve made.

    Also, calling yourself a “serious writer” when Restructure (and I) have questioned your seriousness in terms of academic, intellectual rigor (you know, the explicit and certainly the essence of the comments we’ve made) is laughable and proof-positive that you’re not receptive of the comments made by me and Restructure…

    What I wrote about that on your tripartite blog was an explanation of why some whites ask why they can’t have such a month, not a defense of such a month

    Macon, the defense you made was a defense that the Stormfront/racist cynical statement that “we don’t have a WHITE history month” is something other than a charade.

    You brought the month up all on your own. There is no way you could have been explaining a damn thing about such a month when I didn’t ask you about it. You most certainly were not explaining “why some whites ask why they can’t have such a month.”

    Frankly, that wasn’t the topic. You cited the “we don’t have a WHITE history month” idea to DEFEND the idea that there is a real perception that Whites have that they don’t have a culture. In essence: no White history = no White culture.

    That’s the stuff you were trying to DEFEND like the “no White history” stuff is something other than bs. Like stamping “white” on something is the only thing that makes it so.

    Like I’m not supposed to remember you thread that talks about the many ways the MSM (and Whites) avoid using the word White. Like Whites have no concept of anything being “white” unless it is explicitly stamped “white.”

    You can’t be nothing but a dumbazz if you expect me to honor that kind of bs.

  43. nquest2xl Says:

    Kathy, I’m not a woman but, ask Restructure, I’ve had my problems referring to women as if they were men. lol

  44. nquest2xl Says:

    But let’s talk about this altering post stuff, Macon…

    I know you recall you insincerely asked me what suggestions I would make to revise one of your threads. You clearly wasn’t being sincere because I never indicated to you that I wanted you to change your thread. I wanted you to support your statements. DID YOU?

    Of course not. Because, at the same time you faked like you were being kind/receptive enough to ask me for revision suggestions, you were still maintaining that you unfounded assumptions/interpretations were founded/right.

    So don’t you ever mention my name as someone you’re receptive to when you’ve been caught dead-wrong or outright lying but still insisted on saying you were not.

    Restructure mentioned on SWPS that you had changed some of your threads and/or wrote disclaimers… Well, in “the refuse to listen to black anger” you didn’t change the parts of that thread that I commented on.

    Now show me the new threads on that same kind of subject matter that you’ve written “differently.” Don’t speak in the abstract or the general, broad and unspecific… When I comment about things you write, I make SPECIFIC statements about SPECIFIC things you said/argued.

  45. nquest2xl Says:

    Now, let me ask you something Macon. You say you’re especially defensive with me because I act like an asshole. Okay, tell me what accounts for the wildly different ways you reacted to Restructure saying you were being “intellectually dishonest” and me co-signing Restructure.

    Show how I was being an asshole for agreeing with Restructure AND was the person you lashed out at for using the term when, again, Restructure was the first one to use it and I merely co-signed her.

    What that says is there something else beside me being an asshole that’s at work when it comes to your reactions…

    Regardless, the idea that you’ve both Restructure and I cause you to be “defensive” betrays this idea that we’ve helped you in your struggle. Your defensiveness instead shows that Restructure and I have been party to you struggling openly against us — i.e. the things we’ve said.

  46. Kathy Says:

    lol, thanks for that, nquest,

  47. nquest2xl Says:

    Here’s someone making this “no white culture” mindless claim:

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/178385/thy_myth_of_white_culture.html?cat=47

  48. Melissa Says:

    Kathy, you said, “No, Macon, I don’t have to read your post again, as you full well know that pornography and Asian women have been linked to humiliate and objectify. You are trying to link food and pornography and “foreign student” all in one.”

    While I agree with some of the points you raise about what and how macon d writes his posts (and those points are educational to a White person), I have to say that I never associated Asian women and pornography. I’m aware there are Asian women in pornography, but they aren’t the first thing I think of when I think “porn.” While pornography objectifies all women, regardless of race, I think you are searching for more things to criticize on his post. His use of the term “food pornography” was justified and had nothing to do with sex.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_porn

    Your continued criticism of that one point is diluting the validity of your other points.

  49. jwbe Says:

    >http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/178385/thy_myth_of_white_culture.html?cat=47

    reading this link, lol, whites can really be confused.
    But I think Macon already contradicts himself with this “whites don’t have culture thing”, because without a common culture there wouldn’t be ‘common white tendencies’ and therefore not “stuff white people do”.
    And the interesting (or telling) thing still is, that when you look around the world (what white Americans mostly don’t do), that there are certain common white/European tendencies around the world. Whites regardless where act and think quite alike.

  50. jwbe Says:

    Macon:

    >As for empathy and understanding of the impact of white racism, I certainly have been dissuaded by my white training from exercising those attributes, but I’m continually working on it.

    How do you do this? This continually working on it. How do you think that you can learn empathy “step by step”? You either feel or don’t. When you don’t feel something when a hurt child cries for example, how do you want to learn this “step by step”?

  51. macon d Says:

    Thanks for helping to clear that up, Melissa.

    jwbe, It’s not a contradiction. What I mean when I talk about how whites don’t have a common culture they can readily embrace is not that they don’t really have one, but rather that they don’t think they have one. They think they’re just free-floating individuals in this sense. The writer in the article you provide the URL provides another example of this common white tendency–he does see that there’s not a clearly named, openly defined “white culture,” but not that there actually are common white tendencies, behaviors, beliefs, values, fears, and so on, that could perhaps be identified as what amounts to a relatively common culture among white Americans. Perhaps you and I are pretty much on the same page here.

  52. macon d Says:

    jw(be), I don’t think people either have empathy or they don’t. I think it can be developed in people, though not full empathy. We can never fully know what someone else feels like. Maybe we’ve discussed this before? If I remember right, you think of empathy in “black and white” terms–you either have it or you don’t, and there are no degrees of empathy?

    If so, I disagree. I work on developing my own via open and self-conscious interaction with non-white people, and in many other ways, including trying to spell out (so as to get over) common white tendencies on my blog. Just as Peggy McIntosh writes about how she had trouble remembering specific white privileges until she wrote them down, so I thought that making a blog entry about each common white tendency would help me remember them, as well as alert others to them.

    Some of these involve coming to see institutionally embedded white supremacy’s effects on non-white people, then working against that (via such methods as activist protest and altered work behavior if one works in an institution), and some involve egregious behavior in personal encounters with non-white people, such as demonstrating that I’ve been trained to associate apparently “Asian” people with food. Reading Asian American writers helped to develop my empathy for what it must be like to be objectified like that. Not that I could ever fully know, or “fully empathize.”

    BTW, there’s a good article by Janine Jones on whiteness and empathy in this book. I don’t recall if she discusses whether one can develop it or not.

  53. jwbe Says:

    >Perhaps you and I are pretty much on the same page here.

    You just stop with this bs. and explain WHY WHITES FEEL THAT WAY. I mean, my explanation “stupidity” isn’t valid, you reject it so much, so defend your fellow white Americans and explain it. Why is there nation great when there is nothing to embrace?

  54. jwbe Says:

    >If I remember right, you think of empathy in “black and white” terms–you either have it or you don’t, and there are no degrees of empathy?

    Exactly. It’s like Nquest’s example with being pregnant. You can’t be it a little. You are or you aren’t.
    You feel or you don’t .

    >including trying to spell out (so as to get over) common white tendencies on my blog.

    spelling out white tendencies doesn’t develop empathy. Empathy is colorblind, I am convinced of that. There is a biological term, Schlüsselreize/key stimuli, this is instinct, so a natural programming which can’t be deleted. These key stimuli tell you for example who is human. Skin-color doesn’t belong to these stimuli.
    If this key stimuli don’t work in cases like you then there is a much greater destruction involved in your soul than you want to imagine.

    Which is also one part to answer Nquest’s question why whites should/want to combat white supremacy. Because I feel empathy, this was probably the driving force when I was young.

  55. jwbe Says:

    >Reading Asian American writers helped to develop my empathy for what it must be like to be objectified like that. Not that I could ever fully know, or “fully empathize.”

    Empathy is nothing you can learn by reading. You have a certain sensitivity or not, means that you can generalize your experiences. That doesn’t mean that somebody acts always perfect, but empathy is fully feeling, your own feelings. When somebody for example tells a racist joke, the feeling is not “how would a PoC” feel now, empathy is, that you feel something on your own.

  56. jwbe Says:

    Macon:

    http://eqi.org/empathy.htm

  57. Nquest Says:

    Catch of the day:

    I think Macon already contradicts himself with this “whites don’t have culture thing”, because without a [b]common culture[/b] there wouldn’t be [b]‘common white tendencies’[/b] and therefore not “stuff white people do”.

    As I say: the truth is not contingent on you acknowledging it as true; it is true regardless of whether you acknowledge it or not.

    Also, there’s a difference between DENIAL and PERCEPTION.

    I’d go back to Macon’s list of greatest hits – i.e. the
    many ways [Whites] avoid using the word ‘white’. I was going to blog on this but I’ll long-&-short it here:

    The post-civil rights America trying its best to dress up to be the post-racial America is marked by several different White behaviors and thought pattern which seek to DENY race/racism. Just as sure as you hear Whites who say, “I don’t think of him as Black”, you also have Whites, speaking in denial, who say they don’t see themselves as White.

    We know there’s a historical reason why Whites feel its proper to do that. This “no white culture” thing is a part of that whole “Don’t Say White (or Black… sometimes)” movement.

    I mean, you’d really be stretching it to take statements from Whites who say, “I don’t see him/her as Black” to take the statement literally and then insist that that is the person’s “perception”: that they literally don’t perceive someone of African descent as “Black.”

    Common sense (2 points for me I used the word “common”) tells you that you have to investigate and inquiry about the meaning the person gives to “Black” (racial terms, in general) and, in this case, the meaning they invest in the idea/concept of “white culture.”

    Enough of that… Macon was WRONG anyway. He got Tochluk WRONG so it’s a dead subject the way Macon was DEAD WRONG!

    lol

  58. Kathy Says:

    Melissa, you write:”I have to say that I never associated Asian women and pornography. I’m aware there are Asian women in pornography, but they aren’t the first thing I think of when I think “porn.” While pornography objectifies all women, regardless of race, I think you are searching for more things to criticize on his post. His use of the term “food pornography” was justified and had nothing to do with sex.”

    Perhaps Mason was justified, but in my opinion, he is just ignorantly reinforcing a stereotype.
    Just because you don’t believe that Asian American women haven’t been linked to pornography and sex, doesn’t make it so. There is plenty of information on the internet, just for starters, google China doll and you will probably get a bunch of links to porn sites. Reappropriate has some really goods posts on this topic, here is one link.

  59. Kathy Says:

    Melissa, you write:”I have to say that I never associated Asian women and pornography. I’m aware there are Asian women in pornography, but they aren’t the first thing I think of when I think “porn.” While pornography objectifies all women, regardless of race, I think you are searching for more things to criticize on his post. His use of the term “food pornography” was justified and had nothing to do with sex.”

    Perhaps Macon was justified, but in my opinion, he is just ignorantly reinforcing a stereotype.
    Just because you don’t believe that Asian American women haven’t been linked to pornography and sex, doesn’t make it so. There is plenty of information on the internet, just for starters, google China doll and you will probably get a bunch of links to porn sites. Reappropriate has some really goods posts on this topic, here is one link.

  60. Kathy Says:

    Sorry about that double post, can u remove the first one, I spelled Macon’s name wrong.

    Did you see Macon’s post about his namesake novel/play? I wrote a snarky review of his favorite “Angry Black White Boy”
    which actually does sum up Macon pretty well.

  61. Restructure! Says:

    Macon D,

    Aren’t African Americans non-white people? And Native American/Indigenous people? I don’t think most white people consider them “foreign,” especially in terms of nationality, but they often do see Asian Americans/Canadians as “foreign,” even if they speak “perfect” English and have roots here many generations back. You seem to be failing to distinguish some differences here among non-white groups.

    See, this is an example of you saying something that you believe is a neutral and valid question, yet underneath your questions are insulting assumptions. I say, “Because most white people believe that non-white people are foreign,” and you assume that I have a ethnocentric (Asian-centric) understanding of race and have suddenly forgotten that African Americans and Native Americans are people of colour too. You even go so far as to conclude that I “[fail] to distinguish some differences here among non-white groups,” as if I, as an Asian who has to deal with stereotyping on a regular basis, can’t tell the difference between how White Americans perceive Asian Americans and how White Americans perceive Black Americans.

    Before assuming that my views on race are too simplistic and undeveloped, that I have suddenly forgotten about black people in conceptions of race by white people, and that you, as the race expert, can correct me on my misunderstandings about race, perhaps you should check yourself and consider the possibility that your views on race are too simplistic and undeveloped, which makes you unable to understand the subtleties of what I was saying.

    Don’t you think it would be a bit odd for an Asian person to not distinguish between how she is perceived as a foreigner and how African Americans are perceived as foreigners? Also, in a culture where issues of race are usually framed in terms of blacks versus whites, why would a person forget that black people are non-white, unless you assume that this person didn’t get the memo because she is Asian or something? Why would you jump to these improbable conclusions before considering the possibility that you, as a white person, doesn’t understand the subtleties about race?

    You don’t consider this possibility, probably because you consider yourself an expert, since you author SWPD, and are under the assumption that anything a person of colour says about race can be understood by you, or else it means that you didn’t finish high school. People don’t assume that anybody can understand brain surgery as long as they read books about it, yet you assume that race can be understood by white people since people of colour can understand it.

    To answer your question, yes, obviously African Americans and Native Americans are considered “non-white” people. (Why would you assume that I thought otherwise?) In the comments of your post, ask asian americans where they’re really from, I claimed that “Asian Americans (including Arab Americans) and Latino Americans” are considered perpetual foreigners but that “White, black, and Native Americans don’t have this problem”. You’re basically “summarizing” what I wrote a long time ago, throwing it right back at me as an original idea of yours, but in the wrong context, and even assuming that I had never thought of this before.

    Don’t you think you are being an uppity white person that overestimates the complexity of his own racial views because he is white, and underestimates the complexity of the racial views of people of colour, because we supposedly are bad at complex thinking? To you, if you don’t get it, it must be because the POC’s racial views are too simplistic, since it’s impossible for your racial views to be too simplistic (since that would make you racist, and you can’t be racist in this way, according to you).

    The point is that in the comments, Nquest pointed out the subtleties of the issue to me, and that in the minds of whites, America=white and that even Black Americans are considered foreigners in a way (at least before Obama was elected; I don’t know if this idea has changed now, but it seems like something has changed). I started thinking about this for a few months and realized that Nquest was right. Although I still think that Asian Americans are considered foreigners at an additional, literal level, white people still think that African Americans are foreigners at a more subtle (at least to me) level.

    For example, Tochluk says:

    Even if African Americans do not choose to reconnect with their African ancestral culture, many white folks generally imagine that Black culture in the United States is rich with meaning.

    These White Americans consider African Americans to be originally “from Africa”, and even Tochluk assumes that reconnecting with “their African ancestral culture” is a “choice” that African Americans have with respect to (wrt) Africa, but that this “choice” is one that White Americans don’t have wrt Europe. For White Americans, African Americans can easily reconnect with Africa, yet White Americans can’t easily reconnect to Europe because Europe is foreign. This only makes sense if White Americans assume that African Americans and (black) Africans share more similarities than White Americans share with (white) Europeans. That is, White Americans assume that African Americans are farther away from what it means to be American, and they consider them somewhat “alien” compared to white Americans.

    when some see all sorts of affirmation around them in “diverse,” “multicultural” America (and maybe Canada too?),

    Multiculturalism is an official government policy in Canada, and the idea originated in Canada. One of Toronto’s mottos is “diversity is our strength”.

    So if this sort of freedom is such a great thing, would you also tell non-white groups to get over their African American History Months, and so on? So that they can instead feel “free”?

    This is yet another example of how you demonstrate either an inability to learn, or a diminished learning capacity.

    After reading my whole post, you still cling on to the idea that White Americans have no culture. The whole thesis statement of my post was that White Americans have culture, they have a lot of it, so much that it becomes the background against which other cultures are made visible.

    White Americans do not have less culture than Americans of color.

    If people of colour were to gain this freedom, it would come from including the contributions of people of colour in our national histories. It would mean framing the contributions of people of colour as “our” history instead of “their” history.

    Wait, did you just ignore my post and continue to assume that I’m arguing against cultural appropriation, which is why you assume I would be against “African American History Months”?

    Actually, I think Black History Month and Asian Heritage Month (May) should not be segregated into months, and these histories should not be considered “their history”. They should be integrated into the main curriculum and be considered “our history” as Canadians, Americans, etc.

  62. Kathy Says:

    Restructure, thanks for this. I think African Americans as well as all other non-white ethnic groups are considered foreign, as an example, I just read another comment on a blog where an agitated white person told the blogger to just go back for Africa. There are many different ways that white Americans make non-whites foreign. And the fact that the US education system does not include the history of non-whites, other than tiny mentions of fluff, further reinforces this idea.
    What I notice about Macon is that if one person of color agrees with him, that must mean that he is right. If anyone else disagrees with him, they must be stupid.

  63. Restructure! Says:

    Kathy,

    What I notice about Macon is that if one person of color agrees with him, that must mean that he is right. If anyone else disagrees with him, they must be stupid.

    Exactly! I made a post criticizing this logic due to frustration with Macon D. The white logic is:

    A black person w agrees with me.
    A black person x agrees with me.
    A black person y disagrees with me.
    A black person z disagrees with me.
    Therefore, y and z are wrong and stupid.

    Macon D’s response to my post was: “Good post Restructure–I often see white folks making such mistakes.”

    This is why I eventually moved to naming names in my posts.

  64. Kathy Says:

    Restructure, I just read the post you linked, and I can’t believe just how rude and ignorant Macon really is, the fact that he can’t understand why reading books is not sufficient, to the insults he threw at you about “white people making the same common mistakes”. Really, he is worse than I thought, I just thought of him as worse than Sean Hannity, now I am thinking he’s a member of Stormfront but he just doesn’t know it. His response also tells me something else, Macon reads a lot of books, but he doesn’t listen, and additionally, it is obvious that in real life, Macon D has a lot of what I call “imaginary people of color friends”.
    Macon D has never once made any uncomfortable attempts to actually place himself in situations where he is the only white person in the room, or really tried to listen to what people are feeling or thinking. He hears, but doesn’t listen.

    I can’t help laughing at how he was insulted because you referred to him as a neophyte. The other thing that was funny was how he was moaning about how hard it is for him to do the work he does on his blog, meanwhile, he goes about his own personal life worry free.

  65. Restructure! Says:

    Macon D is not Sean Hannity or a member of Stormfront. Don’t give him an excuse to assert that he’s not racist because he’s left-wing.

  66. macon d Says:

    You even go so far as to conclude that I “[fail] to distinguish some differences here among non-white groups,” as if I, as an Asian who has to deal with stereotyping on a regular basis, can’t tell the difference between how White Americans perceive Asian Americans and how White Americans perceive Black Americans.

    I wasn’t commenting on you; I was commenting on what you wrote (note the word “here”). I have and had no doubt that you can do that, but your writing “here” didn’t do that. I know your views on race aren’t simplistic. Why take a comment on what struck me as missing from part of this post as a comment on you?

    After reading my whole post, you still cling on to the idea that White Americans have no culture.

    No, I don’t. White Americans think they have no culture. They don’t see something cohesive and solid labeled simply “white culture” they can grab onto. That’s different from not having a culture.

  67. Kathy Says:

    Sorry Restructure, snark got the best of me.

    A lot of white people assume that they don’t hold stormfronts ideas, but they do, they just don’t allow those thoughts and bias’ to come to the surface where others can see it.

    I remember my initial reactions to how I felt trying to unravel myself, there was a fight or flight sort of reaction, maybe because the cult of white puts a huge demand on white people to conform and support the construct.

  68. Kathy Says:

    Macon, your logic is astounding, how can you possible say that you weren’t commenting on Restructure, but what Restructure had written. How do you do that?

  69. Kathy Says:

    I am trying to remember who wrote the study on colorblind racism and how white people would act uncomfortable around people of color, start fidgeting and stuff. It was a really good study, but I don’t think it’s available on line any more.

    Anyways, I think any white person who is trying to unravel themselves will probably find that it is a life long process, white privilege and white racism, the thoughts, feelings, ideas and view points, don’t just magically disappear. I know that I have thoughts or ideas that spring up in my mind, and I try to learn from them, but I also think it would be totally unfair to go around sharing all that stuff with people who have been the target of white racism, to me,that seems like expecting people of color to absorb and take care of all the painful things that white people have done, another way for the white person to not deal with what is inside.

  70. Nquest Says:

    Even more astounding, Kathy, is how Macon has the “[common white] tendency” to take comments about what he said (purposely, perhaps) as comments about his person. And it’s funny how I just made a comment to him to that effect in the last day or so.

    Macon is a talentless wonder with debate/discussion tactics so transparent Stevie Wonder could see through them. That’s why Restructure shouldn’t take Macon’s sorry attempt to back her in a rhetorical corner (“Aren’t African Americans non-white people?”) seriously. Macon wants to score some points, too. lol

    Too bad his dumbazz showed just how SIMPLISTIC his views are race are. And thank you for pointing that “Go Back To Africa” stuff out, Kathy. I was thinking of that very thing and its clear how a lot of the undertones during the U.S. election, primary and general, had a lot to do with the ways Whites/European Americans view African-Americans as “foreigners.”

    One of the first things said about Rev. Wright was that he was UN-American despite his military service, despite all kinds of White pundits, politicians and professors who talked about BLOWBACK in the days following 9/11. And, oh, what was that? “Black Liberation Theology (BLT)”?? How many Black churches subscribe to it (it’s only been around for a few decades, so this is the first time “we” have heard of it? = Black people are “foreign.” We don’t know them and their BLT.

    Sarah Palin vocalized the “[Obama’s] not like us” amplified whispers which originated during her makeshift mentor’s (Sen. Clinton’s) campaign which pressured Obama (and his wife) to go out of their way to assure White America that they were/lived lives “just like them.”

    Pundits postulate that Obama signals a post-racial America that ends the unacceptable “politics of grievance” of the Reverends Jackson, Sharpton and Wright while bona fide racists like Pat Buchanan, preachers of White resentment and grievance (based on a White Supremacy mindset), have a national platform and are accepted in the mainstream. Now, if Rev. Wright’s words were, as Macon described them, “strikingly unfamiliar” and “highly uncoventional” — i.e. FOREIGN — imagine what a black Pat Buchanan, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc., White racists with a national platforms, would be.

  71. Restructure! Says:

    Macon D,

    I wasn’t commenting on you; I was commenting on what you wrote (note the word “here”). I have and had no doubt that you can do that, but your writing “here” didn’t do that. I know your views on race aren’t simplistic. Why take a comment on what struck me as missing from part of this post as a comment on you?

    Hmm, I see your point, and I see how I shouldn’t be a hypocrite, since I accuse you of taking criticisms of your writings as personal attacks. However, I never wrote that African Americans aren’t non-white people, and there is no stereotype of African Americans (or Native Americans) being not non-white which could cause my post to be read that way. I’m not sure why I took it as a comment on me. Perhaps it’s that to forget that African Americans are non-white is something so preposterous that it’s something that even KKK and Neo-Nazis don’t do. You would have to be living in cave or in a remote foreign country to not know that African Americans are considered non-white.

    No, I don’t. White Americans think they have no culture. They don’t see something cohesive and solid labeled simply “white culture” they can grab onto. That’s different from not having a culture.

    Then why would you say, “So if this sort of freedom is such a great thing, would you also tell non-white groups to get over their African American History Months, and so on? So that they can instead feel “free”?”

    If white culture is pervasive and that makes whites freer, and “African American” culture is less pervasive and that makes African Americans less free, then how would suppressing “African American” culture so that it is less pervasive than it already is make African Americans freer? Shouldn’t it be the opposite?

  72. Restructure! Says:

    Nquest,

    I changed some references to “white people” to say “white liberals”. However, in light of the study you referenced at SWPS, maybe it applies to an even smaller subset of whites, or maybe those white people who said white people have no culture were actually saying it to sound like non-racists rather than expressing a sincere sentiment. I don’t know.

  73. Restructure! Says:

    Macon D,

    And if atomized hyper-individualism is an especially white thing in what’s actually known as just plain “American” or “Canadian” culture, would calling for such “freedom” for members of non-white groups actually be a way of telling them to whiten themselves, to bleach away their group-bound identity in assimilationist pursuit of (white) individualism? Just wondering . . .

    I’m not sure if “hyper-individualism” is a white thing, but I think that people with white privilege tend to subscribe to libertarian philosophy, because most fail to realize that they have unearned privileges, and that no, they did not earn everything on their own.

    If by “hyper-individualism”, you mean something that Americans have that “Europeans” supposedly have less of, it’s hard for me to understand, as I have a North-American-centric view, and I don’t really understand the cultures of nations outside North American to determine what this hyper-individualism refers to.

  74. Restructure! Says:

    Kathy,

    Please stop insisting that Macon D “did it on purpose to further associate Asian[s] with pornography”. That’s not a valid criticism of his post, as Melissa has explained.

    I do question Macon D’s food porn image that takes advantage of food porn to appeal to white readers. He also posts racist images to show that they are racist. I don’t agree with how Reappropriate “reappropriates” Anime-like imagery and now Angry Asian Man “reappropriates” a kung fu action figure, but these are debatable. What I think is definitely inappropriate is Macon D “reappropriating” racist imagery when he himself is white and not a member of the group being stereotyped. I mean that’s not really “reappropriation”, then, is it?

    For White People Assume that Non-White Cultures are Less Civilized, I was deciding between using this racist image or the current one that does not have a racist visual. I chose the latter, because the focus should be on white people, and a visual representation of black people is incongruent with what the post is about.

    However, Macon D tends to post racist and othering images, when there so many more pictures available of white people and white culture.

  75. Restructure! Says:

    Macon D,

    Could you please date these incidents you write about, when you write about your old self? Say a year or an age. We don’t know if it happened last week, especially since you took offense when I referred to what turns out now to be your old self as “act[ing] like an asshole”.

  76. Nquest Says:

    No, I don’t. White Americans think they have no culture. They don’t see something cohesive and solid labeled simply “white culture” they can grab onto. That’s different from not having a culture.

    No Mulligans or goal-post shifts granted Macon. You set out to defend Restructure’s objection to Tochluk’s statement:

    Many white folks can be heard saying, “We don’t have culture. They have culture.”

    Once, again, you have been found to be DEAD WRONG, misrepresenting people you chose to quote/reference. Of course, you started out trying to twist Tochluk’s statement to fit your idea… YOUR IDEA. Besides noting how Restructure exposed the sheer HYPOCRISY of YOUR IDEA…

    His logic doesn’t even make any sense. He wants “a culture that’s common to white Americans, one that’s not embraced by many non-white Americans,” but he doesn’t apply the same standards to what he thinks of as “non-white culture”.

    It’s time to expose how you get shifty or lose your way when you’re out of your element trying to carry on discussion/debate past textbook points:

    “…They THINK that while NON-white people have “culture,” there is no such thing as “white culture”…”

    Your only definition and requirements then was “a discernible set of white practices, beliefs, values…” all of which says you, too, have said and clung to the idea that Whites believe they have no culture because, when we take what they say literally (the same way I guess you’d take someone White saying, “I don’t see him/her as Black” literally), “there is no such thing as “white culture.”

  77. Nquest Says:

    Macon isn’t a Hannity or a member of Stormfront or a White Nationalist of that ilk but he has something in common with the neurosurgeon’s of the Stormfront ilk when he says stuff like Whites look at Black History Month and cite it as evidence that they don’t have a culture — evidence that “there is no such thing as ‘white culture’…”

    Seriously, I only thought Stormfronters were that adrift. Worse, the talentless wonder and echo-maniac (Macon) said that in response to my post where I had already cited the Stormfronters favorite — i.e. WET vs. BET.

    And talk about ‘he who understands little but wants to lecture a lot”…

    Many whites see such things and wonder (naively), “Where’s our month? Where’s our ‘white’ fraternity? etc.”

    White fraternity??? Adrift is the word… Adrift, I say…

    Enough of that… I’d just like an answer to the question:
    Why do White Americans want to have something they can call “white culture”?
    And when they say they feel a “lack of culture” when compared to other groups, what other groups have anything resembling a racialized construct for their culture for Whites to say, “we don’t have/see something commonly called “white” culture like they have [insert a race-color] culture.”

  78. Nquest Says:

    I changed some references to “white people” to say “white liberals”.

    Yeah, obviously Macon didn’t consult a sizable 30% – 60% or more of White people who would beg to differ with his idea that they have no culture or (same difference) that “there is no such thing as ‘white culture’…” You got Culture Warriors like Bill O’Reilly ramping up anti-immigrant attitudes and blaming it all on “the left” and their desire to aid those brown folks from the South in tearing down the White Male, Christian Power Structure.

    You had the late Arthur Schlesinger Jr., “a liberal” and other White scholars, historians, etc. fighting Afrocentrism and Multiculturalism tooth and nail and plenty of common White folk, too, and it’s not because they think “there is no such this as white culture.”

    Macon and Tochluk let the truth out. It’s not that Whites think that “there is no such this as white culture”, it’s just that Whites like Macon associate all kinds of negative things with “white culture” which is why he loads and caveats his statement with terms like “embraceable”, etc., etc.

    Really, it’s sad that liberal Whites like Macon have such an unhealthy view and, apparently, unhealthy White Racial Identity.

  79. Restructure! Says:

    Nquest,

    I personally have a tendency to confuse “white people” with “white liberals”, because the white people I associate with and take seriously are liberals/left-wing.

  80. Nquest Says:

    About “what you wrote”, Macon…

    Aren’t African Americans non-white people? And Native American/Indigenous people? I don’t think most white people consider them “foreign,” especially in terms of nationality, but they often do see Asian Americans/Canadians as “foreign,” even if they speak “perfect” English and have roots here many generations back.

    Here’s your chance to explain this. What does “in terms of nationality” mean especially when, by all appearances, you were not considering any other way non-whites are perceived as “foreign.”

    It’s like you linked to Can I Touch Your Hair? Black Women and The Petting Zoo for nothing. It’s like you use the word “exotic” for nothing. Nothing but the textbook value, I guess.

    “Class, we’ve covered that chapter. We can check that one off the list.” lol

  81. Nquest Says:

    I personally have a tendency to confuse “white people” with “white liberals”

    I think Macon has the same problem though, to me, it was much more implicit in your argument because of whose ideas (white liberal ideas) you were arguing against.

  82. macon d Says:

    Restructure!, I think you’ve raised more here than I can really address, but I’ll work with some of it.

    @ November 16, 2008 at 4:05 pm you wrote in agreement with Kathy that I’ve labeled others stupid, but I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I try to avoid the labeling and name-calling that you three (and now, four) so often indulge in, though you less than your anti-Macon partners (note, for instance, that when I used the word “asshole” in reference to Nq, I said he acts like one–I have no idea if he really is one, nor for that matter if he’s really male, or really black. Nor if anyone else is who they say they are when they use a pseudonym). I wasn’t trying to back you into some rhetorical corner, as Nq says in yet another false characterization of what’s going on in my mind as I type (trying to back people into corners strikes me as his MO, not mine). In this regard, I appreciate your reconsidering my critique of your post.

    R quoting me: White Americans think they have no culture. They don’t see something cohesive and solid labeled simply “white culture” they can grab onto. That’s different from not having a culture.

    R: Then why would you say, “So if this sort of freedom is such a great thing, would you also tell non-white groups to get over their African American History Months, and so on? So that they can instead feel “free”?”

    I’m not sure I see the connection you’re making there. For one thing, I was writing questions that came to mind in response to the end of your post, not making assertions. But I guess there also is an implication there on my part. I was thinking about questionably vaunted American “freedom,” including Toni Morrison’s questions about it (to paraphrase, “Free from what? And from whom? An Africanist presence, that’s what, a presence that white America depended on fundamentally, and ironically, for its ontological status.”). Notions of freedom aren’t always great notions when they’re built on other people who’ve been “Othered” in order to work for free to support that “white” freedom. It’s also not always a great notion, as a white person, to feel free of “culture,” and thus more able to define oneself, if other people seem to have and value cultures, but you can’t see a “white” one to value. It’s also not a great thing to be defined as an individual in the sense that white people are–as if they’re race free, when they’re not–because that’s a delusional sense of identity. That’s why I asked, if you say that freedom is something white folks should value instead of bemoan, then why not tell other people to drop the culture they openly embrace in pursuit of that freedom too? Point being then, or implication or whatever, freedom of this sort isn’t necessarily something white folks should necessarily value. Both sides, embracing culture and enjoying freedom, have benefits and deficits.

    All that said, though, I do agree with what you’re saying at the end of the post about the value of the relative freedom that whites have to define themselves, at least when it comes to race, instead of having some dominant group define that self for them. I think it would be great if more whites could be more self-aware of how they actually are defined as white, and encouraged to think and act in common white ways.

    Complicated issues–I hope that all makes sense to you.

    Regarding your post’s update, if it helps, I think people in America on “the left” include liberals, and then further to the left, leftists and progressives, and sometimes “radicals,” though I think they’re more often called that derisively by people on the right. I consider myself further to the left than liberal (so I disagree with yet another bit of name-calling by Nquest)–white liberals, for instance, embrace being “colorblind,” while I work to expose the realities of race, and they also don’t think much at all about what being categorized as white means for them, while I obviously work to expose that specific reality as well.

    And yes, I will find ways to better indicate a difference between an old me and a current, writing one if I write posts about my actions again. I thought it was clear in that last post on Asian food that I’d learned by now not to do what the earlier me did to Asian folks at those parties, but I can see how readers could get thrown off. (And I don’t see a problem with using racist imagery if the point of the post is to expose the racism illustrated by the imagery–the image helps the post make its point. If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider this method.)

    BTW, I think R’s recent comments here illustrate a difference from Nq’s, and why I find trying to communicate with him fruitless. R does sometimes stoop to characterizing me instead of my written words, but she mostly seems interested in discussing matters and straightening things out. And this is NOT that whole “white person asking for a white tone of discussion, please” thing–I’m well aware of that common white tendency; it’s what I was trying to get at in a post on whites who refuse to listen to “black anger.” In contrast to R, Nq consistently comes across as clearly out to prove “me” wrong, to characterize “me” as a racist, a “dumbazz,” a liar, a “white liberal,” a “chickenshit,” and so on, and to win some kind of battle by proving that I’m full of nothing but “bs.” And I see Kathy has joined him. Interacting with someone who’s set in that permanent stance of personalized attack is a clear waste of time, whatever validity their points may or may not have.

  83. Restructure! Says:

    Nquest,

    Well, when Macon D was criticized for saying that whites are calm and rational when talking about race, he posted a video of a ranting and raving white conservative and said that she was an example of a white person not being calm and rational, as if that was what we were talking about. I was talking about white liberals, and I wasn’t talking about such an obvious example that any white person would agree that she was deranged.

  84. Nquest Says:

    maybe those white people who said white people have no culture were actually saying it to sound like non-racists rather than expressing a sincere sentiment. I don’t know.

    In any event, I still have to ask:

    Why do White Americans want to have something they can call “white culture”?

    I mean, Macon wants to tell us what White folks think… Well, come on with it.

  85. Nquest Says:

    Nq consistently comes across as clearly out to prove “me” wrong, to characterize “me” as a racist…

    No, I have consistently come across as clearly out to prove your statements as wrong, wrong-headed and DEAD WRONG. And you’re DEAD WRONG on this characterizing you as a racist stuff. WHEN and WHERE, Macon?

    Show when and where something I posted “came across as being clearly out to characterize you as a racist.” I’ve made plenty threads on SWPS… which one of those set out to characterize you as a racist, Macon?

    You don’t get to insult me, mischaracterize what I say, make bogus claims about my motives or what I “set out to do” and not hear about it from me. And when you act like a dumbazz, I’m going to call you a dumbazz. You don’t have a problem calling me an asshole, so don’t whine about an names I’ve called you when, again, you talked about abuse you’ve experienced and then had the nerve to compare me to some shit like that.

    You have this idea that I should be “interested” in letting your bs slide for sake of conversation. Fuck that. Your Whiteness isn’t invisible here, Macon. You will be no beneficiary of double-standards or an uneven playing field when you’re talking to me. I know that would make things easy for you, so what can I say… life is tough.

    Back to this characterizing you as a racist stuff… You’ve admitted that you are a “racist”… (and we were reminded by one of your defenders)… So what’s the problem?

    Also, I believe Restructure and JW got me beat by a mile in that department… They’ve been clear in saying your objectionable posts are racist and they’ve been explicit in doing so and have done so well before I looked beyond the fact that you were making shit up on the fly and fucking up in the process.

    So here we are with another situation where Restructure says something openly then you put that shit on me.

    PS: When you tell BOLD-FACED LIES that’s the clearest sign that YOU are not “interested in discussing matters and straightening things out.” Getting defensive like you do where you’re subject to say just about anything is a clear sign of that too.

  86. Restructure! Says:

    Macon D,

    @ November 16, 2008 at 4:05 pm you wrote in agreement with Kathy that I’ve labeled others stupid, but I don’t think I’ve ever done that.

    I don’t think you’ve called anyone “stupid”, but you think that some POCs’ views are illegitimate/trivial/ridiculous/not worth considering if there are other POC that agree with you.

    It’s also not always a great notion, as a white person, to feel free of “culture,” and thus more able to define oneself, if other people seem to have and value cultures, but you can’t see a “white” one to value.

    You’re still confused. I never said that whites were “free of culture”; this would contradict my whole post and the point of my post. Whites are bounded by culture just like any human being. What whites have is more freedom from a fixed identity (ceteris paribus). Identity and culture are completely different things. There is no “essence” of black identity that is “black culture”.

    That’s why I asked, if you say that freedom is something white folks should value instead of bemoan, then why not tell other people to drop the culture they openly embrace in pursuit of that freedom too?

    What you’re saying here still doesn’t make sense! How can POC “drop the culture” to be more like whites, when white people have as much as or more culture than POC? It seems like you are still assuming that white people lack culture, which makes them freer. This is incorrect. White people’s culture is more abundant and pervasive, which makes white people freer.

    Regarding your post’s update, if it helps, I think people in America on “the left” include liberals, and then further to the left, leftists and progressives, and sometimes “radicals,” though I think they’re more often called that derisively by people on the right.

    There are some liberals that are insulted at being called “the left”, because they think that leftists are extremists. Some of these people support same-sex marriage, environmentalism, and preach “tolerance”, but they are a bit fiscally conservative or fiscally centrist. So I don’t want to use “the left”, because they may think that I’m criticizing “radicals” only.

    I consider myself further to the left than liberal (so I disagree with yet another bit of name-calling by Nquest)–white liberals, for instance, embrace being “colorblind,” while I work to expose the realities of race, and they also don’t think much at all about what being categorized as white means for them, while I obviously work to expose that specific reality as well.

    Yes, I agree that stereotypical white liberals preach colorblindness, but the reason that I group “liberals” and “leftists” together is that I think the difference is only a matter of degree. However, I feel the left/right distinction is about two different worldviews.

    You don’t preach colorblindness, obviously, but you do things that both white liberals and white leftists do, like ask Asians those food questions. Also, white liberals expect POC to teach whites about their “culture” and white leftists like you expected POC to teach whites about race, while still treating racism as cultural misunderstanding. It’s the same concept, except the words are changed. The underlying assumptions are still the same, even if you go from colorblindness to confronting race and treating race as cultural difference.

    I thought it was clear in that last post on Asian food that I’d learned by now not to do what the earlier me did to Asian folks at those parties, but I can see how readers could get thrown off.

    Nope, which is why so many people defended you because you had “good intentions” and “didn’t mean to offend”.

    If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider this method.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. You don’t even take my criticism seriously or reconsider unless some X number of POC say it. Justice is not determined by a referendum.

    How can you even be an antiracist if you operate in this fashion? You are still thinking of POC as a monolith that you want to generalize about. This is the same logic that you use for finding out that white people shouldn’t touch black people’s hair and that white people shouldn’t call POC “articulate” as a compliment. Instead of actually listening to POCs’ arguments about dignity and low expectations, you treat it like an opinion poll about ice cream flavour preference.

    Was the perception of racial inequity before the Civil Rights Movement also just black people’s opinions? If the movement was delayed and not enough black people complained, then does that mean that there was racial equity? If you were there and a black person talked about the discrimination he faced, would you consider it possibly true only if there were more black people who complained about racial discrimination? This is wack. Why can’t you take one POC’s opinion seriously, just as you would take one person’s opinion seriously if that person was white?

  87. Nquest Says:

    I wasn’t trying to back you into some rhetorical corner, as Nq says

    Then answer why you chose to “insult” Restructure by posing these questions. What were you trying to accomplish?

    Aren’t African Americans non-white people? And Native American/Indigenous people?

    There are only a few possibilities.

    (1) Either you actually thought Restructure didn’t know Af-Am’s and Nat-Am’s are non-white and felt like you needed to inform her; or

    (2) You saw Af-Am’s and Nat-Am’s were missing in what she said AND gave no consideration to (a) the fact that you do that kind of shit all the time, even belligerently, often assuming what you think applies to Black applies to all non-whites (see your handshake thread) or (b) no consideration to what Restructure knows and has previously said about Af-Am’s and Nat-Am’s (see the quote she reminded you about); or

    (3) You knew Restructure knew Af-Am’s and Nat-Am’s are non-whites but didn’t give a fuck. She made a statement that didn’t explicitly include them so you felt you would use that opportunity to make a statement that was, in no way, going to advance the conversation because there was no way you were thinking Restructure was going to go, “Oh, you know, for a moment, I completely forgot Af-Am’s and Nat-Am’s were non-white. Thanks, Macon. Good point!”

  88. Nquest Says:

    Justice is not determined by a referendum.

    Quoted for truth and excellence.

  89. “If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider” « Stuff White People Say Says:

    […] Macon D WTF does my race have to do with whether my argument is valid? Why does Macon D need some critical […]

  90. Nquest Says:

    You don’t even take my criticism seriously or reconsider unless some X number of POC say it.

    And he does that within (figuratively) seconds of labeling you the proverbial “good cop” who “seems interested in discussing matters and straightening things out” vs. my “bad cop.” That also comes after Macon told Kathy how we’ve “helped” him which, again, strikes a pose as if Macon is receptive and receptive enough to where all it takes is the two of us (if not either one of us)…

  91. macon d Says:

    Regarding the end of your post–maybe you’re in agreement with Nietzsche:

    http://www.losanjealous.com/nfc/perm.php?c=105&q=120

    [Insert appropriately generic smiling emoticon HERE]

  92. Restructure! Says:

    Macon D,

    If you’re referring to POC, I don’t agree, because there is no “tribe” that an individual POC is struggling against.

  93. jwbe Says:

    Macon:

    I consider myself further to the left than liberal

    this is the joke of the day, lol

    And I don’t see a problem with using racist imagery if the point of the post is to expose the racism illustrated by the imagery–the image helps the post make its point. If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider this method.

    you act like a 24/7 stupid asshole. You should also be aware of the perpetuation of racism in alleged “anti-racism” to make racism clear. Your post about interracial partnership for example. Your Jim Crow postcard itself questions interracial partnership. You say you support it or so and then post such a picture. You want to show, or say you want to, the racism involved and the attitude some or many whites have towards interracial dating. The visual impressions are stronger than words.
    Also, interracial dating has many more aspects in a system of white supremacy and publishing just the “dislike” of white supremacists doesn’t explore the much more complicated nature of it, again, looking at the culture of power and also many stereotypes whites have when it also comes to interracial dating and why they date PoC and that interracial dating is not always the prove of “anti-racism” but the opposite of it. So what you did again is ‘othering’ a certain group of whites who don’t date outside their race, which makes dating outside race “cool” for other whites who want to appear “non-racist”.
    You should question your intentions when you post racist pictures.

    Interacting with someone who’s set in that permanent stance of personalized attack is a clear waste of time, whatever validity their points may or may not have.

    the tone doesn’t change the truth of what is being said. When tone is more an issue for you than what is being said, you aren’t interested in what is being said.

    Yes, life is tough and this makes it even more obvious to me that you never challenged white people’s racism, because they will call you so many names that you lost count. I even didn’t know many of the curse words the American or German language has. And I even don’t mention the personal attacks and the group-dynamic attempts to degrade. Being ‘anti-racist’ includes to develop a thick skin, because white people won’t love you for what you a doing.

  94. jwbe Says:

    Macon

    It’s also not always a great notion, as a white person, to feel free of “culture,” and thus more able to define oneself, if other people seem to have and value cultures, but you can’t see a “white” one to value.

    with that you admit that whites do have culture and also feel that they have culture but can’t value it the way they think PoC can value their cultures.
    So the ‘loss’ they feel is more the loss of their humanity, a loss or a feeling somebody has when s/he looks at white/European history and can’t find anything else then violence. This loss is based on the realization that identifying with this culture also means identifying with anti-human values. The loss is that history doesn’t give so many examples a white could be proud of. It puts some whites in something like a ‘cultural vacuum’

  95. jwbe Says:

    >If more POC than just you complained, I would reconsider this method.

    and this: how many people (regardless race) have to ‘complain’ about what you write on your blog until you would consider our criticism as valid? Up to now there are about 5 or 6 persons who ‘don’t like’ your writing

  96. theboxman Says:

    >Up to now there are about 5 or 6 persons who ‘don’t like’ your writing

    Add one more. I’ve been lurking for quite a bit of time across the blogs in question, and I find that the critiques leveled by Restructure, Nquest, and jwbe at SWPS — and especially Restructure’s critique’s in the last 3 or 4 posts — have been spot on.

    In solidarity.

  97. Melissa Says:

    jwbe

    you act like a 24/7 stupid asshole. You should also be aware of the perpetuation of racism in alleged “anti-racism” to make racism clear. Your post about interracial partnership for example. Your Jim Crow postcard itself questions interracial partnership. You say you support it or so and then post such a picture. You want to show, or say you want to, the racism involved and the attitude some or many whites have towards interracial dating. The visual impressions are stronger than words.

    You should question your intentions when you post racist pictures.

    I can’t remember that post but I don’t think, as a White person, we should forget the extent of racism that caused those images. Yes, he should question his intentions but sometime I think the ignoring of the recent past and the fact that it’s not taught in history classes in school cause younger people to not really see how little attitudes have changed. I am fortunate enough to have a dad who was very into civil rights and never understood racism so I learned what went on. I also enjoy reading about history so I have educated myself. Perhaps he could use the images internally to the posts to show examples of how pervase and accepted the racism at that time was instead of a main picture? I don’t know, it’s a personal opinion but I feel that ignoring and erasing those images from our history makes us forget it. This is speaking as a White person. I’m sure a person of color hasn’t forgotten racism and know it still exists but some Whites don’t really know what happened or don’t think racism still exists except in the South.

    Whites aren’t really taught that racism was/is a concrete, everyday thing. I know that until recently I didn’t know how extensive the laws against interracial marriage were and how late they existed. Racism, the little about the history of it that is taught in schools, tends to be shown as something other people did, not something done by a majority. I don’t know if I explained all that clearly, but I just wanted to share that.

  98. jwbe Says:

    Melissa, do me a favor please and don’t make assumptions which don’t address the issue I was talking about.
    This is the thread and picture I was referring to

    http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2008/08/feel-threatened-and-imperiled-as-race.html

    I didn’t talk about “let’s forget our past”

  99. Kathy Says:

    Restructure! I read your comment and so I won’t argue with you about it here, except to say that for 25years, I have made my living working with men, in non-traditional jobs, I have slept in men’s locker rooms, eaten at their glass topped tables, watched them as they fixed their underwear because they have forgotten that I am there, heard them talk about their wives and what they really think about things, and I am still holding my conviction about Macon’s intent. And of course, it’s possible that I am wrong, but I am not convinced at this point.

  100. Melissa Says:

    Kathy,

    That’s kind of a sexist statement. Just because you work with men you know Macon’s intent because he’s a man? If a man said he knows a woman’s intent because he worked with many women, would you buy that? Do you think all men think about pornography all the time?

  101. “You’re trying to make me out to be a racist…” « Stuff White People Say Says:

    […] contrast to R, Nq consistently comes across as clearly out to prove “me” wrong, to characterize “me” as a […]

  102. Kathy Says:

    Melissa, I refuse to argue with you either, I know what a sexist statement is, do you?

    Yeah, I think there is a heck of a lot of sexist women out there, just stroking away with that vacuum cleaner.

    You have already admitted that you have never heard of the link that I discussed.

    I respect that this is Restructure!’s blog. No baiting, please.

  103. nquest2xl Says:

    Restructure, these White people didn’t get Macon’s memo:

    … postelection, at least two white nationalist websites – Stormfront and the Council of Conservative Citizens – report their servers have crashed because of heavy traffic. The League of the South, a secessionist group, says Web hits jumped from 50,000 a month to 300,000 since Nov. 4, and its phones are ringing off the hook.

    “The vitriol is flailing out shotgun-style,” says Mr. Levin. “They recognize Obama as a tipping point, the perfect storm in the narrative of the hate world – the apocalypse that they’ve been moaning about has come true.”

    [……..]

    Many whites feel that the country their forefathers built has been … stolen from them, so there’s in some places a real boiling rage, and that can only become worse as more people lose jobs.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081117/ts_csm/aaryan

  104. Melissa Says:

    Yes, Kathy, I know what a sexist statement is. I am trying to understand what you mean when you say when you know Macon’s intent because you have worked with men. Are you saying that he associates Asians with pornography because he is a man? That’s what your statement sounds like, which is a sexist statement. I am not baiting you, just pointing out you seem to be making a generalization about men in what you are saying there.

    And I did read the link you posted and am not sure how that really applied to the post. I have tried to point out the difference between the terms food pornography and pornography and how it applies to the post. The link you provided seemed to apply mainly to a GQ editor. I’m not posting anymore on this…

  105. jwbe Says:

    Melissa,

    I don’t know if the other post as an answer to you is in the spam-file or not, so next try:

    >I can’t remember that post but I don’t think, as a White person, we should forget the extent of racism that caused those images.

    The post I was talking about is “feel threatened and imperiled as a race” on stuff white people do and please read it first and comment then.
    I didn’t talk about ignoring the past.

    @theboxman:
    added;-)

  106. Melissa Says:

    jwbe: Ok, yes, that picture has no bearing on the post on his site. Sorry for speaking without looking.

  107. Restructure! Says:

    Yes, the “feel threatened and imperiled as a race” was what I was thinking of. It’s not an illustrative or explanatory picture; it’s there for titillation, just like opening with the food porn in “associate asian people with food”.

  108. Kathy Says:

    It really is a sad day when a “anti-racist” like Macon would put up the postcard from “feel threatened and imperiled as a race”
    to illustrate his post. I followed the link to the postcard, the quotation on the post card made me so angry, now I just feel sad.

  109. macon d Says:

    Kathy, Melissa, and any others concerned about that other photo. Here’s what I said in a comment about that photo when jw(be) asked about it there. Since I can now see that it functions as mere titillation for some readers and offense for others, I’ll remove it from the post.

    jw, I usually search for images that connect with some PART of the written post. In most cases, I try to avoid images that are too obviously about the post’s topic. My thinking is (again, for most posts), if the opening image is too easy to “read” or interpret, why post an image at all?

    So if you read through this lengthy post, you’ll see that it’s about a contemporary white person’s very Jim Crow-era thoughts about interracial relationships. Her thoughts are simply racist, though she won’t say so. The old postcard, then, is also simply racist, though white people at the time didn’t think so.

    So, the heinous nature of the postcard reflects the heinous nature of that woman’s opinions, as well as suggesting how old and disgusting her kind of thinking is.

    Finally, yes, I did cut off the extra layer of offense in the image, the caption below it. That seemed like a distraction from the connection that I meant to make between the disgusting caricature and the focus of the post, which is an effort to explain that woman’s disgusting opinions and where they probably come from.

  110. Kathy Says:

    Hey Macon, I got two words for you and they aren’t nice, got it, go away right now, fuck you. ok?

  111. macon d Says:

    Wow. Another reader of my blog just sent me an email with a link to this.

    I just got directed to another post by that magical power of whiteness ASSHATTTT, Macon D, and I am so god damn pissed, i could spit on him and it wouldn’t even help.

    Look at THE PICTURE of this post, it fucking sucks so much I could tear my own hair out, and then to make matters even worse, click on the picture and see what the quotation is on the postcard, but you might feel like puking or worse, I HATE that fucking website more now than ever, Macon D, how dare you refer to your links as “white links” that’s even more stupid than that stormfront, sean klannity brain you got.

    Kathy, what’s an ASSHATTTT? And is that anagrammatic, or did both your caps lock key and your “t” get stuck?

    I call my weekend posts “white links” because the articles linked to almost always deal in some way with whiteness. That’s how I dare do that.

  112. macon d Says:

    [PS–I posted the last comment before seeing Kathy’s demand that I leave someone else’s blog.]

  113. Kathy Says:

    Macon, u can remove it from the post, but you can never unring the bell, do U understand that?

    I hate your guts now, do you understand that no matter what you do, or what you say, I will always hate your guts, that postcard was so bad that I can’t stand the thoughts of you. That postcard spit on me, spit on my family, spit on the people I love, do U understand that?

    Do U understand, Macon, that when you spit on my family, you spit on me?

    Macon, you are not worth my spit.

  114. Restructure! Says:

    Definition of asshat

    ‘Asshat’ was popularized by the fictional Jeff K. of Something Awful, a very long time ago in internet time.

  115. nquest2xl Says:

    Macon, people say I’m an asshole but at least I’m not an asshat!

    [Additional comments withheld]

  116. Kathy Says:

    there U go again Macon the white supremacist with magical powers of whiteness, just where did i make any demand on such an asshattt such as you?

  117. Restructure! Says:

    Okay, let’s cut down on the name-calling, although I find the etymology of ‘asshat’ somewhat interesting.

  118. nquest2xl Says:

    Macon, u can remove it from the post, but you can never unring the bell…

    Thanks for that. That was pretty much my point when Macon acted like all POC are alike and ghost-offered me a chance to submit suggestions to revise a post of his.

    I guess maybe Macon thought I was trying to “characterize” him as a racist then too. But that was the thread where he figured he’d lecture me on how “all whites are racists.”

    My, the tangled web he weaves…

  119. Kathy Says:

    Restructure! Sorry for the profanity, I loved the link to the origin of the work asshatt, here is another one for Macon D:
    teh sukc, hope you are laughing Macon, cause that is for you.

    Nquest, thank you so much. From my heart.

  120. Kathy Says:

    Macon D,

    One last thing, I already found your tracking cookie, so please, don’t say some “friend” found that comment, I stand by that comment, 100 percent.

    Lies and stalking really annoy me.

  121. macon d Says:

    Kathy, I’m not stalking you, and I’m not lying–another reader (not “friend”) really did send me a note over email with a link to your post, which I saw after removing the postcard from my post in response to this thread. That reader linked to your blog through your name on mine. And why would I bother to lie about that, anyway? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Whatever you think your tracking cookies show you is wrong. And don’t worry, I have no interest in looking at your blog again.

  122. macon d Says:

    Whatever you think your tracking cookies show you is wrong.

    Scratch that. It should say,

    what you just wrote about what you think my tracking cookie says is wrong.

  123. Melissa Says:

    Whoah, this thread had gotten way, way off the topic…

    Kathy,
    “Macon, u can remove it from the post, but you can never unring the bell, do U understand that?”

    “One last thing, I already found your tracking cookie, so please, don’t say some “friend” found that comment, I stand by that comment, 100 percent.”

    So…you do look at the info on who goes to your blog. What about the post about me you put up earlier? It’s gone now. You can leave it if you want. I stand by what I said and tried to leave you a comment on it but it wouldn’t go through. I’m not offended by it. I just wish you would have said those things to me and not ranted about it on your blog.

  124. nquest2xl Says:

    Melissa, I think the topic has been exhausted. It doesn’t take much to do that. You can rekindle that flame, though…

    So what you want to talk about?

  125. Melissa Says:

    nquest2xl, not trying to rekindle…I need to leave it alone.

    Soooo, seen any good movies lately? :)

  126. jwbe Says:

    >My thinking is (again, for most posts), if the opening image is too easy to “read” or interpret, why post an image at all?

    this is no reason to use racist or problematic pictures. Art is much more than just an ‘opposite’.

    >So, the heinous nature of the postcard reflects the heinous nature of that woman’s opinions, as well as suggesting how old and disgusting her kind of thinking is.

    You simplify things and reality that it is no longer to endure. You want to speak for interracial dating/sex whatever with a picture which demonstrates white male power to abuse. What you want to set into a “Jim Crow Past” is still today reality, fyi.

  127. jwbe Says:

    >Since I can now see that it functions as mere titillation for some readers and offense for others, I’ll remove it from the post.

    Why can you see it now, after enough complaints, but didn’t think about it before posting?

  128. Restructure! Says:

    584: Weekly Position Paper #6: Why Do White People Claim They Have No Culture?:

    I want to argue (though tentatively) that perhaps when white middle class people proclaim they “have no culture,” what they are really lamenting is a lack of autonomy. (I also want to make clear that “culture” is also often a codeword for race, and the claim is part of making whiteness invisible.) I have heard a number of white middle class people complain that they have no culture and express their envy of Others who are “more diverse.”1 This proclamation that “I have no culture,” cannot be true, for surely white people have “knowledge, belief, arts, morals, law, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (Tyler, qtd. in Appiah 119-120).

    I think this look toward a “diverse” other (such as African-American culture or Jewish culture) as a model of culture is a concern about homogeneity — that white people fear seeing themselves as being the same as one another.

    Admitting his epistemological limits was appropriate. A long time ago, when I was more naive and thought that an Asian person having culture mean that the Asian had foreign culture, I too claimed that I had no culture. Of course, now I know I have culture, because every human being has it. What I think of as my culture is not the same as what most white people would assume to be my culture, however.

  129. theboxman Says:

    Certainly makes sense to some extent. The paradox in all this is, of course, how there seems to be a *collective* (cultural?) lament about the lack of culture, given how prevalent the discourse seems to be (as SWPD’s comment section appears to indicate), suggesting that the belief in a lack of culture is precisely a central plank of the culture of whiteness and formative of white (and especially white male) subjectivity.

    I think jwbe’s recent posts at SWPS that articulate the relation of this particular expression of culture to the history of expropriation, colonialism, and capitalism sound right.

    It seems also indicate of the larger *global* stakes of white supremacy and white privilege that makes it incomparable in dimension to what *local* racisms exist in the so-called “non-West,” because local racisms more often than not do not assert a universality in the manner of whiteness.

  130. Jack Stephens Says:

    Very good post (actually, it’s a great post!). I often find this argument being spoken of by many white folk (anti-racist and other).

    For me, this argument ends up leading to cultural appropriation and domination by white people. A perfect example that just recently happened to me was during one of my classes over in Berkeley (where I’m getting my masters in theology).

    There is this Episcopal Church over in San Francisco and they showed a video of their service; it was more than a little disturbing to me. Basically it was a bunch of white people “worshiping” or whatever and they were dancing in circles and banging “Native” drums, doing a Greek type of dance, with priests that had Greek Orthodox and Ethiopian Coptic clothing, with a Tibetan Buddhist chair where the priest preaches on. Of course, all of these folks are of European descent.

    Blech!

    Did anyone ever stop and think what all these symbols, dances, and dress means for the people they were taking them from!?

  131. White Culture « The Blog and the Bullet Says:

    […] by Jack Stephens on November 23, 2008 Restructure blogs: White liberals* in North America often say things like, “White people have no culture.” For […]

  132. Restructure! Says:

    Hi Jack,

    Cultural appropriation is a separate issue, and it isn’t really relevant to what I was trying to say.

    I was arguing that many white people, or at least white liberals, believe that anyone who is not white has “culture”. That is, they believe that skin tone and ethnic group membership determines culture, instead of recognizing that non-white people with the same skin tone and ethnicity usually do not all have the same, homogenous “culture”. For example, if one Chinese person knows how to cook Chinese food, and I am different individual who happens to be Chinese as well, this does not mean that his cultural knowledge is passed on to me through transitivity just because we share the same ethnicity.

  133. White-People Culture « Smart Angry Women Says:

    […] White-People Culture 23Nov08 Brilliant post here: White People Think That People of Colour Have More Culture. […]

  134. Jack Stephens Says:

    I was arguing that many white people, or at least white liberals, believe that anyone who is not white has “culture”.

    Yes, yes, yes…Guess I was just reading that into the post as it was on my mind.

  135. Understanding racism requires recognizing faulty logic. « Restructure! Says:

    […] not Macon D takes my argument seriously depends on if other people of colour complained about it. Macon D writes: And I don’t see a problem with using racist imagery if the point of the post is to expose the […]

  136. “Chinese food” in the U.S. is not foreign, but foreignness is not “authenticity”. « Restructure! Says:

    […] White people think that people of colour have more culture. by Restructure! Posted in Debunking, White People Studies. Tags: American, appropriation, asian, authenticity, Chinese, cultural appropriation, culture, food, foreignness, perpetual foreigner, race, racialization, white. […]

  137. Hitler Says:

    What’s cooler than being cool?

    Not being a nigger.

  138. Considering intent to evaluate morality is an ancient Western tradition. « Restructure! Says:

    […] rarely perceived as ancient, even though so many of our beliefs and practices can be traced back to ancient traditions. It is difficult to look at Western culture directly, when we are so accustomed to looking through […]

  139. Nina Says:

    I am so tired of this ‘everything is the fault of white people’ bs. “Well, you see…white people feel poorly about themselves because of white privilege…’ Get over yourselves already. Whining about white privilege is as bad as playing the race card. Or is it just my white privilege allowing me to believe that?

    The reason why most white Americans do not feel they have a culture is likely due to the fact that most of them do not know where their little bits and pieces came from. Whereas a Japanese American can identify with Japanese American culture if it was part of their experience growing up (and they so choose to identify with it), a white person who doesn’t know where their ancestors came from cannot identify with any other culture except, perhaps, ‘American’ culture.

    If you’ve ever noticed, Irish Americans, German Americans, etc. are all WHITE people who, at times, choose to embrace their culture. British Americans can even choose to do this. IF you know where you came from.

    It all comes down to wanting to be unique. When you do not know where you came from, and you see (for instance) a Chinese American whose family is very traditional, and embraces the Chinese culture more so than American culture, you might feel a pang of jealousy for that sense of belonging.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to embrace my Swedish heritage and buy some furniture from Ikea.

  140. Restructure! Says:

    Nina,

    The reason why most white Americans do not feel they have a culture is likely due to the fact that most of them do not know where their little bits and pieces came from. Whereas a Japanese American can identify with Japanese American culture if it was part of their experience growing up (and they so choose to identify with it), a white person who doesn’t know where their ancestors came from cannot identify with any other culture except, perhaps, ‘American’ culture.

    Of course someone who grows up with culture X can identify with culture X, but my point is that many/most white people assume that a non-white person grew up in a foreign culture.

    It all comes down to wanting to be unique. When you do not know where you came from, and you see (for instance) a Chinese American whose family is very traditional, and embraces the Chinese culture more so than American culture, you might feel a pang of jealousy for that sense of belonging.

    You’re proving my point. Most White Americans assume that a Chinese American comes from a “traditional” family, because they assume that non-white people are foreign.

  141. Nquest Says:

    Hmmm… I trying to figure out how “most White Americans don’t feel they have a culture” when so many of them can be so outspoken when it comes to things they routinely label, in pejorative terms, “Black culture.”

    My point is: that very opinion exists in a cultural context and is made from a definite cultural (and racialized) reference point. And, last I checked, so-called Black culture is “American culture”, yet an awful lot of White Americans speak as if said “Black culture” is foreign or otherwise outside of what they would call “American culture.” But, I guess that would be another way of saying “everything is the fault of white people” if we were to locate Black culture and Black America in the same “America” Whites live in and hold considerable influence and power over all American cultures.

    Also, it was rather ironic for Nina to say “a white person who doesn’t know where their ancestors came from” (the “pangs” of assimilation into whiteness, it seems) when this kind of “whites have no culture” rhetoric often comes up and expresses itself as “a pang of jealousy for that sense of belonging” when compared to African-Americans — a group with a far more complicated “if you know where you come from” predicament.

  142. Lxy Says:

    I am so tired of this ‘everything is the fault of white people’ bs. “Well, you see…white people feel poorly about themselves because of white privilege…’ Get over yourselves already. Whining about white privilege is as bad as playing the race card. Or is it just my white privilege allowing me to believe that?

    You know what’s really tiring? White apologists who whine about “playing the race card” when they want to shut down anything that questions White supremacy. And what’s funny is that these people invariably display the same smug, dismissive attitude when doing so. It’s almost like a personality type.

    And what is so-called White American culture?

    It’s an amalgam of different European colonizer cultures.

    White culture is defined by who is non-White, who is beneath European-Americans in their beloved racist caste system that says “White is Right” in small ways and large.

  143. The Orientalist Riff is an example of white culture and tradition. « Restructure! Says:

    […] and tradition. December 21, 2009 — Restructure! The typical white liberal assumes that non-white people have more “culture” than white people, and may express “envy” as an attempted compliment. Given that white […]

  144. White people have deeper family roots than ethnic minorities. « Restructure! Says:

    […] White people think that people of colour have more culture. by Restructure! […]

  145. White people do not understand PoC’s existential angst. « Restructure! Says:

    […] White people think that people of colour have more culture. by Restructure! […]

  146. Vancouver 2010 pretends indigenous people have institutional power over Canada. « Restructure! Says:

    […] of the cultural realities of White Canadians, and simultaneously ignores the dominance of Anglo and Western European culture in education, history, national holidays, and social […]

  147. Alienati0n Says:

    I think that in addition to what you’ve said above the “strong culture” issue, it is also maintained to justify and support segregation, as the more “assimilable” a culture can be due to social construction and our idea of what’s assimilable has/will change to accommodate who’s included in the spectrum of whiteness.

    And also our stereotypical notion of “Latino culture” has more in common with stereotypical Italian culture, and yet, one is included into the spectrum of whiteness and one is not. (By similarities I mean things such as language, religion, etc.,) Italians have also historically played lighter-skinned “latino’s” in many movies.

    Think about “black culture”, how it’s considered “strong” and resilient (despite the majority of black canadians and african americans being here for such a long time, having the same religion as most whites, etc., would make such an assertion impossible), vs. say, greek culture. Even the notion of “soul food” is ridiculous, “soul food” is virtually the same as all southern American food.

    We see the same with words such as “community”, sponsored by the media. “The black community”,”The gay community”. The emphasis being that since these people are “happiest” when there are no efforts on behalf of mainstream to move towards inclusion, why interfere with a good thing? “If xyz ethnicity has a strong culture, and therefore likes being isolated around each other anyway. We don’t have to take responsibility for the segregation that forces that isolation”.

    Or the “stronger”, more mystified and exotic a culture is, the more we can justify their inability to assimilate, and our inability to “get them”… So it’s for the best that they are not included in the world of “us” anyway.

    People always say for example that Asians look “exotic”.. Really? They look more “unusual” than whites look from blacks? I may be wrong here but I think “exotic” for asians is interchangeable with the word “strong” and “soul” for blacks, they basically imply the same thing.

    And are asian languages really “the hardest language to learn” (as I’ve heard) Or are we just mystified from the difference in a “unique strong culture” that we should be discouraged from trying?

  148. Restructure! Says:

    Alienati0n,

    I really dislike the common term “Chinese community” or “Chinese Canadian community” to refer to people like me, because it makes it look like there is a whole connected network of Chinese people who are supporting each other across the country. In reality, I don’t have a “Chinese” social network, and I feel isolated from them (or who I perceive as “them”), because of the language barrier. It seems like White Canadians believe that Chinese people will accept me just because I share their ethnicity, when this perception comes from their tendency to see non-white ethnic or racial groups as homogeneous and unified.

    I also have a blog post mentioning the “strong culture” idea here.

  149. Alienati0n Says:

    “I really dislike the common term “Chinese community” or “Chinese Canadian community” to refer to people like me, because it makes it look like there is a whole connected network of Chinese people who are supporting each other across the country.”

    Right Restructure, I feel the same way about “The Black Community”. In exchange for privilege, at least we have a community that nourishes/welcomes us. But it’s a blatant fabrication that so many are willing to ingest because it provides a temporary sense of belonging, even if that belonging is fictional in its very concept.

    It is easier to talk to/relate to other whites or hire other whites for example, they reason, so POC must share a “similar bond” within “culture”, and engage in equally discriminative practices when in reality the opposite is often true. With whites, it is more common to do so for other whites: it protects white privilege, and whiteness is the human default.

    However, many POC I imagine, grow up believing that the “norm” for our ethnicities is a stereotype as we’re raised in the same social construct, and that we’re pathological for having normal pangs of humanity such as the “who am I, and where am I going” philosophical sagas at certain stages of our lives (and existential angst). There must also be something wrong with us for not having the quite magical ability to tap into the invisible pipeline we should share with global POC who face similar circumstances. And because we are not capable of ethnic telepathy, we are isolated since inclusion into white culture is also not a possibility. It is the protection of privilege that encourages group thinking as it’s necessary to maintain privilege, which means not having it will often produce the opposite result.

    I am going to check out the other post you provided now.

  150. Commercials conflate whiteness with modernity. « Restructure! Says:

    […] White people think that people of colour have more culture. by Restructure! […]


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