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Gender: Female
Current location: Wisconsin
Member since: Sat Apr 14, 2007, 05:49 PM
Number of posts: 22,034

Journal Archives

Why Reverse Racism Isn't Real

This came across my FB feed this AM and I couldn't help but put it in the context of DU.

I spend a lot of time on the internet. I write in various places on the internet, I interact in lively and active commenting communities at different websites, and I partake in a multitude of online forums that have an ongoing and pretty continuous stream of communication between the contributors. Ya know what I’ve noticed? Any time a PoC starts to talk about their experiences with racism, a white person chimes in to derail the conversation and talk about their own experiences with ‘reverse racism.’ And yes, I’m going to say ‘any time’ and not ‘sometimes’ because I have never once been in an internet dialogue amongst commenters and observed a PoC bring up their experience with real, actual, systemic or overt racism and not encountered a white person trying to make it all about their experiences with perceived racism. Not once. It happens every time. Ya know what else? That shit is tired, played out, and incorrect. So let’s talk about why reverse racism isn’t real and why white people need to let that one go.

Racism exists when prejudice+power combine to form social constructs, legislation and widespread media bias that contribute to the oppression of the rights and liberties of a group of people. Racism is systemic, institutional, and far reaching. It is the prevalence of racism within social structures and institutional norms, along with implicit and explicit enforcement by members of a group, that allows racism to run rampant and unchecked. America is a country seeped in white privilege, and our social structure is built on colonization and forced slave labor that then turned into further systemic and ongoing oppression of PoC. We have a culture that presents whiteness as the norm and all else as ‘other’ or different. White is presented as the beauty ideal, the main face in the media (unless we’re talking about criminals, then PoC get unfairly misrepresented), the standard, the regular. It’s a structural problem that affects the perceptions of jurors in criminal cases, admissions to colleges, funding for public schools, welfare and food stamp programs, the redrawing of district lines that affect where we vote, who we see represented on T.V. and how, what schools people have access to, what neighborhoods people live in, an individual’s shopping experience, access to goods and services; it’s extensive and a part of the fabric that let’s whiteness remain dominant in American culture.

When I’m online talking to people and a PoC is sharing their experience with racism, I’m listening and I am learning. This is an experience I will probably never have in my lifetime, simply because of the skin I was born into. I need to know what I can do to be a better ally and to make the world a more equal place one interaction at a time. So I observe, I listen, I join the conversation, and I try to understand. Inevitably, here comes a white person either claiming that they have a similar experience because they grew up in an all black neighborhood and got chased on the way home from school a few times, or because their black friend tried to touch their straight hair one time without permission and OMG THAT IS SO RACIST and it is the exact same thing, or some other such bullshittery, and they expect that ignorance to be suffered in silence and with respect. If you are that kid who got chased after school, that’s horrible, and I feel bad for you. And if you are that person who had another person try to touch you without your permission, that was wrong of them, and I’m sorry that happened to you. But dudes, that shit is not racism.

The situations in which you, fellow white person, were involved were unfortunate and inappropriate, this is true. But to claim that these experiences were ‘reverse racism’ both diminishes and minimalizes the real and actual experiences of PoC who really do encounter racism. There is no system of oppression in America that actively works to oppress and subjugate white people. Sorry to break it to you, but your individual suffering is just that, individual. The individuals acting against you do not have the institutionalized power to actively oppress you in every facet of your life, nor would their racism be upheld and supported by government, media, and legislation if they did. Because you’re white.

More a link: http://feminspire.com/why-reverse-racism-isnt-real/

I wonder what her DU name is. I also think the same can and should be said about sexism.

Seriously, move on, Hassin. Move. On. Change the tone. You're a host. Be an example.

Please stop with the 'bashing' of alerters. You don't 'get paid' by the snarky shitty comment that you make. Watching you, rhett and Autumn continue it while others are actively trying to make it better is really sad.

Grow the fuck up.

I took to heart the part where skinner said hosts are too make members feel welcome.

To me that means locking intentionally devisive drama, sexist or racist shit and right wing sources posted as support of... Anything.

These hosts only want to lock (some) gun threads. Maybe.

And sometimes meta they don't like.

Make members feel welcome. Not uncomfortable. Or angry. Or clique-y. The admins can them "hosts" for a reason. Good hosts don't antagonize their guests. Or make them feel like they aren't wanted.

73 Years Later, Amelia Earhart Flies Again

Taking after her famous aviator namesake, Amelia Rose Earhart took off Thursday to become the youngest woman to fly a single-engine airplane around the world.

In spite of their nearly identical names — the original Amelia Earhart's middle name was Mary — there is no biological relation. But that didn't stop the modern-day Earhart from pursuing similar passions.

The 31-year-old pilot, a former traffic and weather reporter, boarded her plane in Oakland to embark on her 24,300 nautical mile journey around the globe. Early Monday morning, Earhart took off from Brazil and is now headed for Senegal.

The total trip will take just over two weeks and will cover 14 countries. She will then touch down back in Oakland.


Along the way, Earhart will be awarding scholarships to aspiring female pilots through her charity project, the Fly With Amelia Foundation.


She's Tweeting the whole trip. Amazing lady!! Godspeed, Amelia!

Be very very wary of broken clocks...

You cannot and should not ignore everything else he says, WHY he says it and ignore the fundamental incompatibility of Ayn Randian thinking with anything remotely resembling a progressive or even humane worldview. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and even the most retrograde political candidates are capable of stringing together a few ideas that make sense. Even David “The Holocaust was made up by some Jewish script writer in Hollywood,” Duke. Libertarians want to repeal the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, and allow companies to discriminate in the name of “free association.”

This is EXACTLY equivalent to what Tim Wise stated regarding Ron Paul:


... progressives who sing the praises of Ron Paul, all because of his views on domestic spying, bailouts for banksters, and military intervention abroad, the fact that 90 percent of his political platform is right-wing boilerplate about slashing taxes on the rich, slashing programs for the poor and working class, breaking unions, drilling for oil anywhere and everywhere, and privatizing everything from retirement programs to health care doesn’t matter: the fact that he’ll ostensibly legalize drugs is enough. And this is so, even though he has merely said he would leave drug laws up to the states (which means 49 separate drug wars, everywhere except maybe Vermont, so ya know, congrats hippies!), and he would oppose spending public money on drug rehab or education, both of which you’d need more of if drugs were legalized, but why let little details like that bother you?

Yessir, legal weed and an end to the TSA: enough to make some supposed leftists ignore everything else Ron Paul has ever said, and ignore the fundamental incompatibility of Ayn Randian thinking with anything remotely resembling a progressive or even humane worldview. And this is so, even though he wouldn’t actually have the authority to end the TSA as president, a slight glitch that is conveniently ignored by those who are desperate to once again be able to take large bottles of shaving gel onto airplanes in the name of “liberty."

don’t have to think about how it sounds to most women — and damned near all progressive women — when you praise Paul openly despite his views on reproductive freedom, and even sexual harassment, which Paul has said should not even be an issue for the courts. He thinks women who are harassed on the job should just quit. In other words, “Yeah, he might be a little bit sexist, but…”

In short, regardless of what Paul may believe on certain issues, and which may fall squarely in the orbit of that which is progressive or left, his hard-core acolytes (and the ones who would be empowered most by his success) are anything but that. They want the government to stop taking their tax dollars and “giving them” to Mexicans and blacks, or anyone of any race or ethnicity who in their mind isn’t smart enough or hard working enough to have their own private health care. They don’t want the government to help homeowners who got roped into predatory loans by banks and independent mortgage brokers: instead they blame the homeowners for not being savvy enough borrowers, or they blame government regulation for ostensibly “forcing” lenders to finance housing for minorities and poor people who didn’t deserve it.

And no, you can’t separate the man from his movement, so don’t even try.

When you support or give credence to a candidate, you indirectly empower that candidate’s worldview and others who hold fast to it. So when you support or even substantively praise Ron Paul, you are empowering libertarianism, and its offshoots like Ayn Rand’s “greed is good” objectivism, and all those who believe in it. You are empowering the fans of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, in which books they learn that altruism is immoral, and that only the self matters. You are empowering the reactionary, white supremacist, Social Darwinists of this culture, who believe — as does Ron Paul — that that Greensboro Woolworth’s was right, and that the police who dragged sit-in protesters off soda fountain stools for trespassing on a white man’s property were justified in doing so, and that the freedom of department store owners to refuse to let black people try on clothes in their dressing rooms was more sacrosanct than the right of black people to be treated like human beings.

oh, horseshit. this isn't a fucking war that one side will "win". grow up.

be fucking civil. is it that fucking hard to post here and not be on some vendetta against a poster or group of posters? this place is insane sometimes and shit like this is what makes it suck.

you're part of the problem.

I will c&p a reply from my thread on the topic...

My intent was never to 'drive a wedge', 'be the word police', or 'be divisive'.

I wanted to discuss the harm, stigma and confusion that can be caused by the words we choose. ESPECIALLY with people who support choice and may not realize the potential harm or that the party has updated the language. The words in question of this thread are "safe, legal and rare" - specifically taking note of the word rare. In context of abortion (not unwanted pregnancies, abortion). The national party removed it because of the fact it's open to interpretation... and all of the reasons outlined in the OP.

*I* get that you and other liberals are very very likely to fully support choice. *I* get what you *MEAN* by rare. We *all* want to make unwanted pregnancies rare... but do you not see, even a little, how using the "rare" language can be harmful? There have been massive attacks in every state on abortion since 1989. And they are getting worse. And, as such, I feel it's incredibly important to discuss how our language forms our societal beliefs and vice versa. To quote LeftyMom from another thread...

19. That's the political genius and moral cowardice of the phrase.
To pro-choice people it means "unplanned pregnancies shouldn't be common, for women's sake." To the mushy middle it means "abortions for deserving women but not for those trampy other women." To anti-choicers it means "let's whittle away at legalized abortion even if we can't get a ban past the Supremes yet."

It's a political Rorschach ink blot. It means what you want it to mean.

I have had at least 2 conversations here with people who literally said, "oh, hey. wow - I really hadn't thought about it like that, I will change my language". Others have been nasty, combative, dismissive and rude. And there's been a lot in between.

Bottom line - it's a discussion. This is a discussion board. It's an important topic to me and I thought to many other DUers. Again- the word that causes confusion, anger, harm, etc was REMOVED from the party platform for these reasons. It's just weird that so many DUers are fighting it.

Here is this is the Democratic Party altered platform (with "safe, legal, rare" removed):

Protecting A Woman's Right to Choose. The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. We also recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. We strongly and unequivocally support a woman's decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.

See? It's possible to support all of the things we discussed and leave the frequency out of the policy discussion to avoid the confusion and/or potential harm.

Ideally, abortion rates drop as a byproduct of the rest but we keep the focus on what it should be. We typically don't fight to expand access to something we want to be rare.

It's not that controversial.

Carry on.

A linguistic trick of affirming the right to abortion while simultaneously devaluing it.

Safe, legal, rare.

Saying it should be "rare" indicates - clearly - that it is happening more than it should be and that there are 'good' and 'bad' abortions. Abortion is one of the most stigmatized events of a woman's life and the widespread "rare" mantra propagates that.

Calling for it to be "rare" proposes that there is something wrong with abortion. It places the procedure as a very different type of health care. One in which the goal is reduced use rather than expanded access and enhanced quality. And this has contributed to the significant decline in the number of locations where abortions are performed in the United States. The result is also fewer physicians - good physicians - who are even taught abortion care. Less than half of all OB/GYN's residency programs offer training in abortion care.

Saying it should be rare legitimizes efforts to restrict access to abortion.

Prior to 1989, laws interfering with a woman’s right to abortion were ruled unconstitutional. The shift in the composition of the Court under the Reagan and Bush I administrations led to the 1989 and 1992 Webster and Casey Supreme Court decisions establishing a threshold of “undue burden” for the constitutionality of state-based restrictions. Under this new legal regime, states can demonstrate a preference against abortion through the implementation of waiting periods, parental
involvement, mandatory information, and scripted provider speech requirements; since 1994, almost every state has done so. These laws vary in their construction and studying the effects of these laws is difficult but suggests that additional barriers to abortion disproportionately affect traditionally vulnerable populations.24 For example, the most severe waiting periods require two in-person visits to the clinic with a prescribed time between visits. In a world where many women lack paid sick leave and childcare, access to a provider in their community, and affordable transportation/lodging, a two-visit requirement may be insurmountable to some women.

Using this phrase is a linguistic trick of affirming the right to abortion while simultaneously devaluing it is both harmful and ineffective as a strategy to securing rights. The desire to help an individual woman achieve her reproductive desires by avoiding an abortion is a laudable goal, not because it reduces the need for abortion, but because it is what that woman wants for her life.

Credit for several portions of this to:

J Womens Hist. 2010;22(3):161-72.
Rethinking the mantra that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare".
Weitz TA.

Worth every penny to buy the whole article, btw.

The most excellent shutdown piece ever.

I don't who this guy is, but he's explained it in the simplest of terms I've seen yet. It's going viral on FB and I am posting the whole thing here. Spread it far and wide:


Summary for anyone who is interested and who wants to more fully understand what is happening with our federal government right now:

1. This shutdown is not happening because both parties won't compromise. This shutdown is happening because Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to pass a budget bill without a bunch of amendments tacked on to it, chiefly amendments nullifying Obamacare.

2. Obamacare is not directly tied to this budget bill in any way. It is a separate piece of legislation, already passed and signed into law back in 2010. The House Republicans are just saying, "We don't like this law, Obamacare, that was already passed, and because we do not have the votes to repeal it in the manner laid out in the Constitution" -- they don't; they've already tried to repeal it 42 times, yes, that is true, 42 times -- "we're going to instead DEMAND that the law be repealed or delayed, or else we won't pass this budget legislation necessary to keep the country running."

3. Again, Obamacare was signed into law, in the fashion laid out in the Constitution of the United States, in 2010. It was not, like, laid down by martial law, unless you think a bunch of congresspeople and senators voting for a bill counts as martial law.

4. Also, the president behind Obamacare was reelected in 2012. Also also, in 2012 the Democrats retained control of the Senate, and House Republicans actually lost the popular vote, but stayed in control of their chamber because of shrewd gerrymandering. All of which is to say: If Americans hate Obamacare so much, how come they reelected Obama and voted so strongly for Democrats.

5. Remember that in 2012, the Supreme Court, led by a conservative chief justice and majority, upheld Obamacare's constitutionality, except for one part. (And that part is kaput. The president is not trying to enforce it with UN troops and black helicopters. It's why we don't have a state-run health exchange here in Wisconsin.) So, to sum up: Obamacare was not only enacted according to the rule of law in this country, it also survived scrutiny by the highest judiciary body in the land, which is in the hands of the opposition party.

6. The point being: None of this is to say whether Obamacare will be good or bad for the country! It is only to say that it was passed according to the rules, and it's been legitimized by our top court and implicitly by citizens who voted to reelect the president whose name it bears. Socialist tyranny, it's just not.

7. What the House GOP is pulling right now -- "Get rid of Obamacare or we'll shut down important services and risk a global financial catastrophe by not raising the debt ceiling" -- this is not politics as usual. This is extortion. They are a minority; even plenty of other Republican legislators think that what these guys are doing is absurd and dangerous (and this will likely become more clear the longer the shutdown goes on). If these guys want to get rid of Obamacare, they should go out and campaign and get more senators and a president elected. That is how democracy works. AMERICA, Y'ALL.

8. A note on the debt ceiling: Voting to raise the debt ceiling is not voting to spend money that the U.S. doesn't have. Congress *already voted* to spend that money. The debt ceiling is a bizarre, redundant device, and we are basically the only country that has one. (Denmark has one, but it's just a formality and has never been a point of controversy or contention.) Essentially, it's like if your dad went out and bought a lot of stuff with his credit card, but then he had to ask your mom if it was OK for him to pay the credit card off. The money is already spent. If your mom says no, then your dad is failing to honor his obligations, and his credit rating (and your mom's!) is going to be trashed. The difference on the larger scale is that if the U.S.'s credit rating is trashed, the whole planet's economy could take a massive hit, because we are, you know, a global super-power.

9. Again, this is not about a lack of compromise on both sides. The House GOP is demanding that the president and congressional Democrats just undo their chief legislative victory. And it was a legitimate victory! And frankly, Obamacare is something that a lot of Americans *want*. Those Americans are real citizens, too. So this is like if your dad and your mom and you and your sister all vote to go to Olive Garden one Thursday evening, but your little brother wants to go to Applebee's, and so instead of just accepting that he won't always get his way and planning a stronger case for Applebee's for next Thursday, he flips out and runs outside and slashes all the tires on the car so you guys can't go anywhere. Except, again, much crazier, because instead of just one family it affects millions of people and could also set off an economic calamity of titanic proportions.

10. Let me be clear: I do not hate Republicans. My dad is a Republican! I am a small businessperson! I go to church! I LOVE CHRISTMAS. This is not about name-calling or hating on anyone, and frankly, I do not expect to change anyone's mind about any of the proceeding details. But I am tired of the notion that both parties are equally to blame for our troubles; it has surely been true in the past, but it's not right now. (And it is entirely possible for ALL POLITICIANS TO BE AWFUL and for ONE OF THE TWO PARTIES TO STILL BE CONSIDERABLY WORSE.) Believe me, I would love nothing more than to see a revitalized Republican party, with views that I might disagree with but which were not straight-up lunacy. IT WOULD MAKE MY DUMB INTERNET FIGHTS A LOT MORE INTERESTING.

I can't believe I'm posting this. I am a fool. I don't know if I will even respond to comments. I have a headache already. Maybe it would not be so bad if we all downloaded our consciousnesses into computers after all.

An ode to Dookus/MonkeyFunk/RudyNJack

I haven't posted in a few months but I felt compelled to share the news that one of the DU originals who became a good IRL friend to me and many others has passed. He died suddenly this morning.

Some reading this will remember my friend as a shit-stirrer and he was. He was also ferociously hilarious, unendingly compassionate and incredibly wise. And I miss him. Remember the Laura Branigan wars? Or when he ran for pope? Or Veep? He always had such high goals.

To borrow some words of some friends I've shared this grief with today: You know how you meet someone in person once and you feel like you've known them forever? Sometimes once is all you get. Cherish that. Tell people that you like them. Or even that you love them. Tell them why you appreciate them as friends. It will save you regret later. Nobody likes regret.

So please join me, if you will, in toasting my friend. Our friend. I love you, Shawn. I am a better person for having known you.

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