It’s that time again; another conversation with Ray! If you’re new here (or if you just want to refresh your memory), don’t forget to check out part 1. It’s well worth it.
Ray is the type of guy who sees everything in black and white. Literally. So it’s not surprising that he took issue with my article, “The White People In The Comments”, where I point out the limitations of this way of thinking.
Among many examples, I highlighted an “anti-racist” training at Coca Cola where members of staff were encouraged to “be less white”.
Ray, predictably, thought it was great:
Will we leave racism in the past if enough multinational corporations run “anti-racism” trainings in which they ask employees to “try to be less White?”
This one was hilarious and angered so many of them, all I could do was laugh. In a country where I have seen negative messages about Black people all of my life, this ONE got so many of them angry, I wonder if they knew what kind of consistent garbage we've had to hear all of our lives? Anyway, I shrugged my shoulders and kept it moving.
Note Ray’s use of the words “they” and “them” here. Why do some people find it so difficult to understand that lumping people together by group identity is the root of every single form of discrimination mankind has ever created? It’s astonishing how many people who claim to be against bigotry in one form will gleefully practice it in another.
That said, Ray does have a point…
I wonder if they knew what kind of consistent garbage we've had to hear all of our lives?
I mean, I agree. I’m sure many of the people who were infuriated by this have never thought twice about the way black people have been spoken about and portrayed for generations. The thing is, for those of us who claim to be against racism, we need to be against racism. No matter who it’s directed against.
To quote the best analogy I’ve ever heard about this issue, “Racism is like cancer. If we want to get rid of it, we have to cut out ALL of it. Otherwise it just comes roaring back.”
So yes, while I agree that lots of people pricked up their ears at this only because they were the ones under attack for once, my ears pricked up because it was racism. Same as they do when I hear about racism against Asians or bigotry against Jews or attacks against groups just because of who they are, whether I’m a member of those groups or not.
Oh no, here we go with changing the definition of racism and belief in reverse-racism. Doesn't exist, sir. To give them a taste of their own medicine is not racism; it's just giving them a taste of their own medicine. If it don't taste good going down, do NOT give it to anybody else.
I'm sure it wasn't taken that way, but it was definitely the intention. If I were to believe what you just said, then you're telling me it's possible for white people to be racist against white people. Ummmmm...
That corporation, forgot who now, tried something brilliant, no matter how it landed on the other end. They are a fragile bunch or else they wouldn't have been yelling like hit dogs.
Ah, what a surprise. Ray is one of those “racism equals privilege plus power” people. It’s fascinating how insistent some black people are that we’re powerless. It’s rare that even the anti-black racists I occasionally find in my comments are so determined to make this claim.
If there’s any such thing as “internalised racism”, I’d argue that this is it.
Oh no, here we go with changing the definition of racism
Haha, let's be fair here. I'm not the one who changed the definition of racism. In fact, the "privilege plus power" folks' insistence that I DON'T have power is far more infuriating to me.
If I want to make a white person feel bad based on the colour of their skin you damn well better believe I have the power to do so 😄 The fact that I would never choose to do so is a mark of my character, not my powerlessness.
You think their intent was to make them feel bad? No, no, no, no. How they ended up feeling was on them. It was better than getting smashed over the head with a baseball bat or something. Hahahaha
We would've had to be in the board room when the decision was made to say that as part of their diversity training. I bet dimes to donuts that they never imagined folks would be so insulted by it.
It wasn't racist for that company to tell them to be less white. What they meant by it was amazing, and that is happening by default of so much mixing with us. By the year 2043, there will be more mixtures of people in this country than white people. THAT is what's scaring the shit out of them, and no amount of educating racists will change that.
The power-grab is on and the wealth-gap is widening as a result. Get as much economic power over everybody before the scales tip. Sad, but true. SMFH
“By the year 2043, there will be more mixtures of people in this country than white people.”
Glenn Loury made an interesting point about this recently. Yes, at some point in the not-too-distant future, white people will cease to be the majority in America. But white people will still be by far the largest minority. If 49% of people are white and, say, 15% of people are black, how does Ray imagine his race war is going to work out?
But this ignores a much more important point; “white people” aren’t ganging together to maintain some mysterious power over black people. If that were really happening, a) white people would easily overwhelm everybody else by sheer weight of numbers, and b) nine of the top ten ethnicities in America by income, wouldn’t be people of colour.
There are white racists in the corridors of power. Agreed. Some of them are actively trying to keep black people down. Absolutely. But Ray is so deeply wrapped up in identity politics that he can’t see there’s no logical way that this applies to white people in general.
You think their intent was to make them feel bad?
No, I don't think that was the intention here. I'm sure they never imagined the backlash either (or more likely they could but didn't care). But if you think it would be racist to tell people to be less black (which I presume you do), how could it not be racist to tell people to be less white?
You're taking a bunch of negative traits and then applying them to a skin colour. And suggesting that it would be better if the people were less what they are, because it would diminish those negative traits.
It's exactly the same language game politicians who think they're slick play when they use words like "thug" or "inner-city" as code for black.
If you want to attack the people who are making these power grabs, man, I'm right there with you. If we want to talk about the super rich and how broken the system is, count me in. But I can't get behind attacking people because their skin is a certain colour.
Racism only goes in 1 direction, Steve. They're the MF's that need to wake up, not us. I just won't tip-toe around them anymore.
Being Black is a culture ... being white is a culture ... not a damn crayon color. Where you younger people get that is just silly. How can you have missed that in all your education?
Telling white people to be less white is not an attack. It was never an attack. Just because they're whining all over the place, doesn't mean I agree with their sheep-mentality and manipulations to get people to feel sorry for them that their "feelings" got hurt. Hurt feelings isn't anything close to racism. Our feelings get hurt by what happens in this country 24x7, so I will not feel sorry for anybody having the 'truth of being' smashed in their face.
Part of the power-grab is that they're using these ignorant people to do their bidding and they're white. So, their feelings need to be hurt, too. I am from the tough-love era of people who don't tip toe around this fragile, trigger-happy, new society of people. I think the world has raised a bunch of wimps, and for that, I will show no mercy.
They need to throw everybody in the military. Then they'll stop whining when their feelings get hurt. Toughen TF up and stop being weenies. It's all so simple to me. This culture has created a ton of words to get people to back off and leave them alone. Ummmmm, NO!
Again, note Ray’s use of language. “They need to wake up.” “They’re whining.” “They’re using ignorant people to do their bidding so their feelings need to be hurt.”
I wrote in Part 1 of our conversation that if I was missing something, people like Ray would help me see it. But it seems all he has to offer is an object lesson in “us” and “them” thinking.
Racism only goes in 1 direction, Steve.
Well yeah, here's where we disagree.
Of course we do ... you believe in reverse-racism. Sigh
Come on now, we know this doesn't lead anywhere productive. I believe in racism; the holding of prejudicial beliefs about another group of people based on the colour of their skin. Tacking a "reverse" in there makes no sense.
If we were talking about institutional racism, or historical racism, of course, that's a very different conversation in which I'd agree that it almost entirely only goes one way. But when it comes to how individuals treat each other (which is what we were actually talking about), you'll need to explain how black people are incapable of that with something more rigorous than a sigh.
Racism goes way deeper than that, and indicates you can oppress groups of people with it. We oppress nobody, therefore there isn't such thing as reverse-racism for calling it out. That's all. Racism is racism, and people need not dilute that word so they can call things that aren't racism ... racism.
What that company did was to call out whiteness, and for that I applaud them. But, that isn't racism, because they haven't oppressed each other since slavery. Not even during the Civil War did they oppress each other; they just fought. Oppression is systemic by nature. Show me a group of people who do that to white people, and you win the prize. You won't find it, though (hahahaha).
I believe many of our people have been whitewashed, and that affects how we treat each other. Since I observed the 60's, didn't just read about that stuff in books, I come from a Black Power mindset. I don't see that with younger generations, which is why I won't do what they're doing. I think I've said that I was tired, and thus the sigh. I don't like people wasting their time, nor mine, because I don't have tons of it left.
The way you think is a dime a dozen; the way I think isn't, because we're dying. Makes me not want to be around for another 30 years. I probably won't live that long. What I see is maddening, but oh well. Black people in the U.S. seem to be the only group that doesn't respect the wisdom of their elders ... point blank!
“Black people in the U.S. seem to be the only group that doesn't respect the wisdom of their elders.”
Are you proud of me for not mocking Ray for this gem? Are you??!! Reading this back, I’m still amazed I managed to hold back my more sarcastic instincts:
“Yes random, racist internet stranger, I will uncritically absorb your ‘wisdom’ because you happen to be older than me...”
Still, if we’re going to get anywhere, one of us has to be the grown up.
Racism goes way deeper than that, and indicates you can oppress groups of people with it.
What you're describing here is oppression. We already have a word for that; "oppression". It's been rebranded as "systemic racism" and "institutional racism" and "historical racism" and as I've already said, I agree. This is a one-way street.
But the word "racism" describes something else. Or at least describes something else in addition:
"the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another."
If we say that racism is only about systemic oppression, how do we describe somebody calling you a n*****, or refusing to hire you because you’re black, or burning a cross on your lawn? None of these are systemic, but they’re racist, no? If you don't like that definition, that's fine. But that's an issue between you and the dictionary, not you and me.
Look it up in the dictionary, Steve! It's plain as day, man. LOL
If you want to redefine it, you have the mess you're talking about, and I'm not redefining that word for the sake of argument. You're talking apples, I'm talking oranges. Due to that, this is frustrating and tiring; going nowhere but in circles.
This makes two out of two conversations where Ray has shared a link that disproves his own point. I’m not sure if he isn’t reading them or if he’s hoping that I won’t.
From your link:
"racial or ethnic prejudice or intolerance."
As you said, the word racism covers many sins. Even the definition you linked to has four sections. So when you talk about "wypipo" being this and that, I'd describe that as racist by this definition. Just as I would if somebody said black people are this and that.
Anyway, you're right, this seems like the wall we can't see past with each other. We at least managed to be polite with each other this time. I'm calling that a win.
So ends Round 2 of my conversations with Ray. What should we call these? “Ranting and Ray-ving”? “Adventures in Ray-cism”? Let me know. And stay tuned for Round 3!