Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 23,430
Number of posts: 23,430
I haven't read the entire book, but this beginning is a great beginning: "Racism is based on the concept of whiteness....a powerful fiction enforced by power and violence." BOOM...there it is, succinct, accurate, and undeniable.
I am always looking for ways to introduce the topic of race here without eliciting the standard knee-jerk responses, so I may post this in GD later.
Racism is based on the concept of whiteness — a powerful fiction enforced by power and violence. Whiteness is a constantly shifting boundary separating those who are entitled to certain benefits from those whose exploitation and vulnerability to violence is justified by their not being white.
Racism itself is a long-standing characteristic of many human societies. For example, justifying exploitation and violence against other peoples because they are inferior or different has a long history within Greek, Roman and European Christian traditions. The beginnings of biological racism go back to the Spanish Inquisition. Trying to root out false Muslim and Jewish converts to Christianity but unable to reliably do so, the courts ruled that anyone with a Jewish or Muslim parent or grandparent was not a Christian. Soon, the courts were ruling that any person with any Muslim or Jewish blood was incapable of being a righteous Christian because they did not have clean blood (limpieza de sangre).1
In more recent historical times in Western Europe, those with English heritage were perceived to be pure white. The Irish, Russians and Spanish were considered darker races, sometimes black and certainly non-white. The white category was slowly extended to include northern and middle European people, but still, less than a century ago, it definitely excluded eastern or southern European peoples such as Italians, Poles, Russians and Greeks. In the last few decades, although there is still prejudice against people from these geographical backgrounds, they have become generally accepted as white in the United States.2
The important distinction in the United States has always been binary — first between those who counted as
Christians and those who were pagans. As historian Winthrop Jordan has written:
Protestant Christianity was an important element in English patriotism …. Christianity was interwoven into conception of his own nationality, and he was therefore inclined to regard the Negroes’ lack of true religion as part of theirs. Being a Christian was not merely a matter of subscribing to certain doctrines; it was a quality inherent in oneself and in one’s society. It was interconnected with all the other attributes of normal and proper men.3
Posted by noiretextatique | Wed Apr 24, 2013, 06:17 PM (2 replies)
I remembered this article and tracked it down. It's old, but still relevant.
The Right to Bears & Arms
—By Julie Petersen and Ariel Sabar
| January/February 1994 Issue
Guess which one has more manufacturing regulations?
TEC-9 (unregulated) Teddy (heavily regulated)
1) There are no federal safety standards for the domestic manufacture of guns.
2) There are no voluntary, industry-wide safety standards for the manufacture of guns.
3) Approximately one gun model is recalled every three years.
4) Keeping a gun in your home makes it three times more likely that someone will be killed there.
5) In 1990, guns killed 37,184 people in the United States.
Teddy Bears (heavily regulated)
1) At least four broad types of federal safety standards cover teddy bears: sharp edges and points, small parts, hazardous materials, and flammability.
2) In 1976 the toy industry issued a comprehensive voluntary toy-safety standard. The Toy Manufacturers Association has maintained a safety standards committee since the early 1930s.
3) Six separate teddy-bear models were recalled in fiscal year 1992 alone.
4) Keeping a teddy bear in your home does not increase the chance someone will be killed there.
5) Teddy bears killed nobody last year. Only eight child deaths from all accidents involving toys were reported in the first eight months of 1993.
The TEC-9 and its clones are used in more crimes than any other assault weapon. Its manufacturers call it a "high-spirited . . . fun gun."
Every 2 minutes somebody somewhere is the U.S. is shot.
Every 14 minutes somebody dies from a gun wound.
Each gun injury involving hospitalization costs $33,159. A license to sell a gun costs $0.83 per month.
A gun rolls off the assembly line in America every 10 seconds. America imports another gun every 11 seconds.
There are 246,984 gun dealers, but only 240 inspectors to keep an eye on them.
For the first time ever, a majority of Americans, 52 percent, favors a ban on handgun sales.
Firearm deaths by cause (1990):
Criminal civilian homicides: 44%
Police shootings: <1%
Justified civilian homicides (self-defense): <1%
Regulate guns like other consumer products.
Ban all handguns and assault rifles.
Tax ammunition heavily.
Posted by noiretextatique | Fri Dec 14, 2012, 06:11 PM (0 replies)
You can count on San Francisco to keep things real, and last night the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence didn't just keep it real, they kept it really entertaining.
Was it a coincidence that the sisters had dinner reservations next to the very conservative Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio (aka "America's Toughest Sheriff") last night at John's Grill in Union Square? Whether it was or wasn't, last night's surprise dinner guests made for some great Kodak (and Hallmark) moments.
It appeared that Arpaio, the sheriff who was proud to support Arizona's controversial anti-illegal immigration law, wasn't too thrilled to be dining that close to the salacious sisters, who were grabbing a bite before the annual Drag Queens on Ice show.
Posted by noiretextatique | Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:53 PM (23 replies)
A Republican candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor, Jeannemarie Davis, is invoking the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to boost her campaign, using the grim anniversary as a peg to get people to tell her how President Barack Obama is hurting them.
"As we remember those fallen Americans from 11 years ago, please encourage everyone to participate in our great Democracy," wrote Davis, director of the Virginia Liaison Office in Washington and wife of former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), in a campaign email that was forwarded to The Huffington Post.
She went on to suggest people could remember 9/11 and participate in democracy by helping her.
"I would appreciate it if you would take a minute to go to www.jeannemarie4LG.com and give me your feedback on a survey as I begin my tour of the Commonwealth," Davis wrote. "Please provide information on any ways that the Obama Administration has hurt you or your community, so that I can better tell the story of why it is so important that Virginians replace President Obama and his Democratic Senate.
"Also, please email back to let me know if you would like to be invited to events in your area, or if you would like me to attend any events," she continued.
Posted by noiretextatique | Tue Sep 11, 2012, 03:28 PM (2 replies)
An open letter to all the white conservatives on Facebook who keep telling me I am too brainwashed to understand that the Democrats are really, really racist, and the Republicans are not.
There were about 143 black people at the GOP convention, not counting the ones on stage. Do you think that was an accident? Or are you the racists who believe the 99.9% of Black people who will likely vote of Obama/Biden are ALL "brainwashed?" Let me answer that for you and others, once and for all.
Most African-Americans don't agree with the Republican party's economic, domestic, or foreign policy agenda. We know that "trickle down" economics is a ruse to distribute wealth to the 1%. We don't think people who use racism to attract white voters have our best in mind. We don't support the party that includes so many vocal racists, like yourselves, Limbaugh, Coulter, etc. And we don't think Cain or West or Thomas are "independent thinkers," but rather mediocre, shallow, opportunists who have no self-respect or pride. They allow the same party that continues the use "the southern strategy" to attract racially-challenged white voters to trot them out as proof that the GOP isn't what we all know it is: the party of angry, racist, deluded, greedy, mostly white people. Hell...you folks don't even have any respect for them, really.
We believe the Democratic Party has the best minds, the best plans, and the best policies for ALL Americans. We believe the Democratic Party reflects the diversity of the current America, not the American of 1812 that many of you seem to want to recreate in 2012. And finally, some of us Black people, like the President, are way smarter than a lot of white people, so this pathetic attempt to "educate" us with the ridiculous notion that the Democratic party is actually more racist than Republican party is just laughable. Not it isn't just laughable: it's also racist as hell. Many of you I encounter on the Internet can't even spell, yet you have the gall to assume that you can lecture any Black person about what is and what isn't racist. Let me tell you something: growing up Black in America is akin to having a doctorate in race relations, so please don't assume your white skin grants you definitive knowledge on the subject. It doesn't.
We have a President who is intelligent, capable articulate and likeable, and I believe that last fact really chaps your collective, white ass. And whether you like it or not, he is probably going to be re-elected. So continue to fume and moan about Muslims, Socialists, and Communists all you want: we SEE you. Thanks to you, your racism is not just a discussion among Black people anymore: your racism is a apparent to everyone.
In closing, we have a Black president who is well-loved, articulate, intelligent, and capable. He is married to a beautiful, intelligent Black woman, and they have two amazing children. I know that reality bothers you quite a bit, so may I offer a humble suggestion: Get over yourselves, and deal with it.
Now...go lecture a chair.
Posted by noiretextatique | Sun Sep 9, 2012, 07:16 PM (11 replies)
She was cut down in the prime of her life by cancer on March 1st 2006 at the too young age of 45. Her younger daughter was a junior in high school when she died, and her older daughter was a freshman in college. Today, both of her girls hold undergraduate degrees in nursing, and both are working as RNs. In a couple of years, they both will have masters' degrees.
My sister did a great job raising her kids withOUT their shiftless, worthless father, with the help of our family.
Happy Birthday, Cynthia I miss you every day.
Posted by noiretextatique | Wed Aug 15, 2012, 08:12 PM (5 replies)
i am 53, so i grew up in the 60's and 70's when there were still many things women "couldn't do." i could not play saxophone in elementary school because i was a girl: girls had to play the violin or the flute. i could not wear pants to school until i was in junior high school because i was a girl. i could not take shop because i was a girl, and i was forced to take home economics because i was a girl. at some point (puberty) i couldn't do other things because i was a girl, like go out at night. my father thought the purpose of educating females was so they could land a doctor or lawyer husband. oh...i forgot about the smart thing. i was smart, and as a girl, i was told i could not be TOO smart, because that would scare somebody.
things have changed A LOT, but i was restricted in terms of what i could do, wear and say when i was growing up...because i was a girl.
please share what life was like for american females twentieth century. thank you.
Posted by noiretextatique | Mon May 7, 2012, 05:33 PM (96 replies)
please feel free to join the discussion.
Posted by noiretextatique | Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:00 PM (10 replies)
along with the "just world" fallacy are key concepts in understanding how years of rw propaganda have shaped the national psyche. i was having a conversation with two 30-something friends, both supposed liberal and intelligent. but when they started using terms like "failed social programs of the sixites," i was floored. i realized just how damaging and insidious the reagan revolution really was, especially the so-called scholarly research that supported reaganism. i've been arguing with zimmerman apologists for a few weeks now, and clearly, there are those who blame Martin for his death, based on little more than the word of the man who killed him.
i've read that Martin should have been polite, he should not have been dressed like a thug, he should have complied, and even that he should not have defended himself, even if zimmerman confronted him....and that he had no reason to be afraid of zimmerman.
all of these excuses are attempts to dehumanize Martin; to morph him into something other than an unarmed 17 year old with skittles and iced tea walking home from the store. that's ALL he was. and it takes a lot of effort to see him as anything other than that. but some people are more than willing to make that effort, and frankly i haven't heard a cogent argument from the "blame the victim" camp. every argument i've heard is tinged with racism...and some are just blatantly racist. one of the arguments is that zimmerman was "entitled" to question Martin, and why only response to that is: how very white of you. it would never occur to me to question someone in an elevator about why they are in the building, but it has happened to me several times. it doesn't matter what i wear, or how articulate i am. someone, usually a white person, can conclude i don't belong, and feel entitled to question me. and let me tell you something: i don't "go along" with it, and i am not polite. i don't defer to their "suspicions" about my right to be somewhere they don't think i should be. if i bother to respond, i tell them to fuck off. that's the context from which i view comments like: "if he threw the first punch..." if he did throw the first punch, i know exactly why. just because you feel entitled to question someone's right to existence doesn't mean that person agrees that he is "suspicious," he could just be walking home from the store with skittles.
zimmerman is not the victim: Martin is. whether or not he was suspended from school or smoked weed: he is still the victim. whether or not he threw the first punch, he is still the victim.
liberal/progressive means this to me: it is incumbent upon me to walk my talk. it really did used to mean that. it meant educating yourself, and taking personal responsibility to change those parts of yourself that are not in line with your beliefs. it means doing the hard work internally, and you cannot do that work until you can be honest with yourself. i used to carry some resentment towards white people, until i was challenged to embrace ALL my ancestors, including the ones who owned slaves and fought for the confederacy. how could i resent my own bloodline, how could i resent the people who made my life possible?
i had to let the resentment go, and i am a better person for it.
there is a meme, a sometimes subtle one, that permeates the underlying beliefs of some zimmerman supporters: black men are inherently dangerous. zimmerman revealed this belief at his recent hearing. he said: "i didn't know if he was armed." which begs the question: why would you think he was armed? aside from the fact that zimmerman is a paranoid freak, he is most certainly not alone in believing black men are armed and dangerous. there is a belief that Martin got what he deserved, simply for being who he was...and what that means to some. zimmerman knows exactly what to say to get a portion of americans to support him: i was scared of the big, black boogeyman, just like YOU.
the use of race to divide and conquer is nothing new. but what we often fail to acknowledge is that we, those who vote democratic and consider themselves liberal...WE are not immune to the insidious racial messages that have poisoned the minds of generations of americans. and personally...i hold YOU accountable, just like i hold myself accountable. when my black friend starting talking shit about "mexicans taking over," i tell her she is being a racist fool, and she should know better. do you know why talking about race is taboo? because talking about it means we can change, and we can change it, and it serves a purpose in society. it has a portion of americans convinced that Obama is a kenyan, socialist muslim dead-set on taking their guns and forcing them to face death panels. it has members of congress pushing these lies, and feeling free to call the president a liar. it has convinced some people they should fear the president as much as any other scary black guy, it has convinced some people a 17 yo with skittles posed a threat to a armed cop wannabee looking for a fight.
that is all...here are some links.
Posted by noiretextatique | Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:32 PM (73 replies)
"i did not know how old he was: i thought he was closer to my age, and i didn't know if he was armed."
The headline reads: Zimmerman apologizes to the family.
does this sound like an "apology" to you? in typical sociopathic fashion, he takes no responsibility for killing Trayvon Martin.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/ scroll down the page a bit.
Posted by noiretextatique | Fri Apr 20, 2012, 01:23 PM (66 replies)