or telling blacks in New Orleans that they pretty much deserve to die for being too poor to fly out of the city and check into a hotel
I was just in NOLA and I almost lost my mind when my tour guide led us by Congo Square and said "this park is locked up, because if it wasn't, the crowds of people who would be camped out here after Katrina would never be cleared out. A lot of people were made homeless by Katrina, and they didn't own anything. But you know, if you don't own anything, then you don't really hold a stake in anything here. They say they are part of the culture, but they don't own a piece of it, so maybe it's just time for them to, you know, let go and move on somewhere else."
Of course, the "them" was mostly poor, black residents who had been living in NOLA for generations, and whose homes were washed out from under them. I just wanted to scream. And I feel ashamed that I didn't.
But this seems to be a typical attitude of a lot of people I ran into down there in the last week - not only white people, either. It's not just people who lost their homes to Katrina, but also plans to tear down low-income housing and replace it with middle income housing, and displace the poor, etc. There's also a general attitude from a surprising number of people I talked to that people living in poverty in NOLA are lazy welfare recipients who have been on welfare for generations, and it's good that this hurricane made a lot of them leave, and let's keep that momentum going.
It's a big mess, and I think in a lot of this Katrina was just the excuse needed by the powers that be to "clean out" New Orleans. Disgusting.
I should note that the tour guide in question was NOT native to New Orleans, or even Louisiana.
I am not surprised. Angry, but not surprised.
wow, that gets me all kinds of angry. seething, really.
It's sick. And claiming that racism is over is racist and privileged as hell in itself - if you think that Blacks are still where they're at financially and socially "post-racism", you're attributing that position to some inherent flaw in Blackness. So fuck that and fuck you.
I didn't mean you as in fightingwords, fightingwords. Sorry if it came across that way! I get too aggressive sometimes. But I am definitely with you on this.
We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?
You have to be fucking kidding me. I know that I live in a very small box, but I do poke my head out from time to time. I'm usually the one reading things like this and saying, "While it's not valid in any way, I do see why he thinks it is valid." However, this one just floored me.
I had a rant. I got pissed off at everybody and deleted it. I guess my issue can be simplified to this.
Yes. Amerikkka (Thank you Ice Cube) is racist.
Yes. Amerikka has a racist legacy.
Yes. Black people in America havebeen and still are mistreated.
Yes. Things have gotten better.
None of it makes one bit of difference.
All of the Righteous indignation in the world wont change a thing.
The greatest accomplishments of Black people in America have happened when we as a people were being persecuted, told we were not capable, threatened, beaten etc. and we did it anyway, in spite of, etc.
Now, as a "Black" man has a chance of becoming the president, "Race" is an "issue" to discuss.
Where was the discussion before? Hell where were the black voters before? The black candidates?
"we cant make it to the polls to choose leadership but We can make it to Jacobs and to the dealership,"
Look at that... a rant.
Except some of us have always been vocal, but that hasn't mattered. The fact that most white people think racism ended in the 60s and act accordingly (which, is to say, racist) is one of the reasons a lot of black folks have grown too cynical to vote. Hell, most WHITE people don't vote because they don't think it makes a difference.
I think thats my issue(among others, lol) We as a people spend so much energy on what White America's attitude is, that we don't do what we can to improve our own attitude. And(I am about to get in trouble)particularly black men. Black women support the entire family (financially and emotionally)and black men complain that they can't get a job because the "man" is holding him down. Yes- It is hard as a Black man in America. We must take two steps for every one step our white counterparts make. Again I say, "So What?" Actually, I make some smarmy comment about how we are genetically bred to run faster anyway... but I digress.
I took my son to the ACT-SO finals Sat. night. In Eugene OR. There was a film from an 18 year old black male voting for the first time. The basis of the film was contrasting the experience of his grandfateher trying to vote in Mississippi in the 40's and 50's vs his first time voting today. This is in Oregon. We haven't had our primaries yet and generally, our votes dont count. But for anyone born in the last 60 years to say they are jaded with voting is disingenuous at best, and an insult to the memory of our ancestors who died for the right. We have no right to be cynical. We haven't suffered enough to be cynical.
I'm not entirely convinced we haven't suffered enough, but then we clearly have different notions of what "enough" is from white people.
I don't think voting changes a lot, especially when the party that has pretty much been able to depend on the black vote for decades is ready to throw us under the bus when it feels like it.
But I still vote, and this is the first year I'm considering not doing so (or at least ignoring the presidential election while still voting for other offices and ballot measures).
As for what black men do and don't do--I think this is a very complicated issues I'm not inclined to discuss here. But I'm willing to have that conversation elsewhere.
I guess what I am trying to say is nothing will ever be "enough" from white people until we do "enough" for ourselves as a people. We got where we are today from working harder,fighting harder,loving harder and standing up together as a people. I think we lost that somewhere. Racism is not Black America's problem. We know about racism. We can identify it. WHite America hasn't gotten there yet. We as a people have our own issues to deal with before we can help White America with racism.
I will take you up on the black men conversation at some point.
I miss you.
I've written a bit about this fucker in the Angry Black Woman blog, and I've read this a bit today. But I just had to say that what struck me the most this time through was his instructing a Black man to "get down on his knees."
It makes me feel as if I might vomit.
Hey, Roseanne Barr said the same thing! Who knew she and Pat Buchanan had so much in common?
I also feel considerable personal pain when I notice how many of these smug, entitled, smarmy rabble-rousing blowhards are named "Buchanan" or "O-Something." It hurts me and infuriates me that in such a short time we have turned around and used the language of our own oppressors to prove ourselves worthy of whiteness and its attendant privileges.
This is by far NOT the most offensive thing in that Buchanan heap o' steaming Bullshit, but I wonder what "White America" he means. I'm sure he got his panties in a twist over Obama describing his grandmother as a "typical white person," yet here he himself indulges in the notion of a monolithic (and of course, indubitably superior) white culture.
2008-03-25 05:11 am (UTC)
racism is alive and well and living in the bay area
fitting that this comes up - today at work i almost came unglued when i heard a guy on his cell phone (cubicle across from mine) say "i don't think those people know how to commit identity theft" referring to oakland residents.
i'm still debating going to HR and reporting him. seriously. wtf is wrong with people?!?!
uh....what??? i can't believe what i just read.
A lot of my ENG102 class was devoted to reading and discussing "Affirmative Action" by this writer ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Wise
); it really opened my eyes to a lot of stuff.
well, i was treated to watching the news the other day in a hotel in chicago. and i discovered that in fact, white people are SO over racism -- they just want to move past it! but it's those pesky minorities who just want to be victims who are perpetuating racism. really!
i was honestly convinced i was listening to
faux fox news, and i was a little taken aback that it was actually CNN (admittedly, Lou Dobb's show). according to one of the talking heads, Obama is a "black man from the South Side of Chicago," nevermind the actual complexity of his background. the commentator was expressing his shock at the things black people appear to say in their churches, away from white ears, shocked! as far as i could tell, he was doing his best to paint Obama in a way that plays into American racism, reducing the intricacy of his political viewpoints and background to "African-American from Chicago's South Side." he partly did this by comparing Obama to other prominent black political figures like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, suggesting that Obama presents himself as "post-race," but is really part of the same sphere. i think by post-race he really meant that Obama talks like an educated white man, because he's, you know, so articulate!
anyhow, the commentators were just going on about how the Rev. Wright's comments prove that it's black people who are unwilling to "move past" race. the public debate still can't seem to come to grips with the concept that racism is a problem as long as white people continue to deny it.
then again, maybe this is the kind of discourse i need to illustrate to my students what we mean when we teach them that race is a cultural construct that enacts and reproduces cultural differences in uneven ways.