You Can’t Claim To Be A Middle Aged White Person And Not Know There Is Racism

sign at a racism protest

This month I attended a secular conference. While I enjoyed myself, learned some new things, and met some new people, one conference speaker almost spoiled the whole thing for me.

This conference was right in my wheel house. It focused on being a secular person and on social justice. It definitely had a liberal bent which I rarely have a problem with.

Continue reading “You Can’t Claim To Be A Middle Aged White Person And Not Know There Is Racism”

First Twitter Argument and Win

I try to avoid arguments on twitter as the 140 character limit isn’t good for the kind of thought out rational arguments I like. Today I got into one by mistake and in the end the person agreed with me so it was a lot of heat for no reason.

This is how it started. A progressive I follow had this to say after the Glenn Beck “rally” farce:

Today, 8-28-10, we witnessed, first hand, the regression of our nation.

The word “regression” threw me off because the whites who fear minorities and change have been around for hundreds of years so the Beck rally was just proof that bigoted whites who hate change exist. So I tweeted:

Beckapoloza wasn’t proof of regression only confirms some white people afraid of change

Then my like minded opponent said:

Sorry but I disagree.The Teaparty is a sign of regression & actively promoting it;feeding off of ignorance & bigotry.

So I needed more than 140 characters to explain myself so I used 3 tweets:

it would be regression if it didn’t exist before but it has always been there under the radar during Bush but open now

Tea Party type people have always been bigots and voted against their best interest in the name of social issues

and the GOP and other conservatives have used the Tea Party types to win office

At first she agreed but then sent:

The regressive state of mind has a political movement now;it’s called the teaparty. Is there no RWNJ around to argue with?

Which I responded:

No argument just your word “regression” threw me thats all I don’t follow nut jobs because I don’t like talking to a brick wall

So she sent a final tweet:

For there to be regression there must have been progression. Definition: You’re wrong, sorry.

It was at that point I just sent a tweet saying:

Okay Cool Thanks

Well I wasn’t wrong. She made my point. For the tea baggers at Beck’s rally to have regressed there had to have been progression. However the bigoted white minority who fear change have always been there. For it to be a regression they would have had to not been bigoted and afraid of change until Beck and his right wing pundits came along.

I don’t think it has gotten worse only more media attention makes it seem it is increasing in volume.

People who attended Beck’s “rally” are those who are the most committed people, who fall for his “Lonesome Rhodes” act. These people never venture outside their Beck bubble to become better informed about the issues. These people also seem to always vote against their own interests and the GOP and cheap labor conservatives like Glenn Beck feed on that.

Sorry twitter friend, I was right.

Hey Tea Party and Sarah Palin – racism doesn’t mean just using the N-word

Members of the tea parties and Governor quitter Sarah Palin complained about the NAACP calling out the Tea party people for being racist. As pointed out by Melissa Harris-Lacewell, associate professor of politics and African-American studies at Princeton University, being racist isn’t just about using racist language or simply being in a majority white group.

Professor Harris-Lacewell was on MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and she said something profound that will help me explain in the future how you can be racist and not use the N-word or join the Klan and why many white people claim not to see racism, or claim it doesn’t exist, unless it is overt like that.

[I]f you regularly support public policy which will have a disparate impact, creating greater inequality for people of color, that that is racially biased.

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Transcript of specific segment:

OLBERMANN: I was going to ask you about this sincerity of misperception. I`ve always wondered if we`re dealing with the kind of mental euphemism that in previous — when there have been previous backlashes against advances in relations between races, they were still in a time when it was OK to come out and campaign on the “we`ve done enough for them” platform, which was essentially done in 1966 by the Republicans. They won a boat load of seats in the House running on those platforms after the Civil Rights Acts. You can`t say something like that anymore in almost any aspect of society. The fringes, obviously, but not anywhere in the mainstream. Is this inability to see racism and to need to provide a euphemism for it internal? They need to believe there`s no racism, and therefore they don`t see it?

HARRIS-LACEWELL: Maybe, but it could also be simply that we`ve done a really bad job in this country talking about what racism is. So many may feel that if they don`t use the ” N” word or if they don`t actively keep a black person from getting a job or spit on a black person when they see them, then they`re not racist. And we haven`t done a very good job of talking about the fact that if you regularly support public policy which will have a disparate impact, creating greater inequality for people of color, that that is racially biased. And we haven`t talked about, for example, privilege, or we haven`t talked very well in the public about privilege. So that many white Americans feel like, well, I have a difficult circumstance; I`m losing my job; bad things are happening to me. So why should we be talking about race and racism? And we haven`t talking about, for example, how white privilege operates in the context of even, you know, an economic downturn. So it could be, in part, just sort of our fault in terms of a collective incapacity to talk about what racism really is.