January 12th, 2009

unicorn pewp

Second-person, omniscient.

You know what happens whenever people keep accusing you of being angry when, in fact, you aren't?

You start to get a little pissed off. You also start to question their perception of you, since you spent your younger years questioning yourself all the time, lacking any confidence in the validity of your feelings, and now, at the age of 32, are happy to be pretty damn aware and in control of your emotional process. In fact, you're pretty slow to anger these days, because that's just how you roll: you tend to give people the benefit of the doubt and therefore end up needlessly suffering fools--because it's not until 48 or 72 hours later that you're more than a little pissed that you even sat through those stupid, insulting, jacked-up conversations in the first place.

Yes, at this point you're finally angry--irate, even--after dealing with people who operate from fundamentally wrong assumptions about you; after dealing with people who, without even asking you what you think, assume themselves to be rationally superior to you and throw their academic background in your face, Cornellian; after dealing with people who automatically believe your feelings not only out of proportion but invalid and regardless don't believe you can possibly be thinking and feeling at the same time because they are emotionally shut down and/or incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time; after dealing with people who accuse you of playing "the race card"....

Well, you've decided to post this again not only because some people didn't read it the first time, but because Tim Wise gets paid to explain to white people why even the idea of a "race card" is inherently racist, and you don't.
What Kind of Card is Race?


...[W]hite folks have been quick to accuse blacks...of playing the race card, as if their conclusions have been reached not because of careful consideration of the facts as they see them, but rather, because of some irrational (even borderline paranoid) tendency to see racism everywhere. So too, discussions over immigration, "terrorist" profiling, and Katrina and its aftermath often turn on issues of race, and so give rise to the charge that as regards these subjects, people of color are "overreacting" when they allege racism in one or another circumstance.

Asked about the tendency for people of color to play the "race card," I responded as I always do: First, by noting that the regularity with which whites respond to charges of racism by calling said charges a ploy, suggests that the race card is, at best, equivalent to the two of diamonds. In other words, it's not much of a card to play, calling into question why anyone would play it (as if it were really going to get them somewhere). Secondly, I pointed out that white reluctance to acknowledge racism isn't new, and it isn't something that manifests only in situations where the racial aspect of an incident is arguable. Fact is, whites have always doubted claims of racism at the time they were being made, no matter how strong the evidence, as will be seen below. Finally, I concluded by suggesting that whatever "card" claims of racism may prove to be for the black and brown, the denial card is far and away the trump, and whites play it regularly....
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    Angry. Happy now?