Liberals Need to Wake Up, and They Better Do It Soon

fairlane27.jpgI just read this interesting post over at My Left Wing, and I decided to provide a link. It really sparked emotion in me. The article addressed something I’ve always wondered myself, how is it white people are able to declare America “colorblind”? How the fuck do we know? My world has always been colorblind because the world is painted from my palette. What do we, white people, know about racism?

Here’s a plain and uncomfortable truth; Racism is alive and kicking. There’s a great line in the movie Magnolia, “We may be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.” That about says it all.

The post was written by The Field Negro, and I found it to not only be thought provoking, but brutally honest. We need more of that in this world of politically correct fascism. If you truly want to know more than one side of the race issue I strongly suggest checking this out.”White Cossacks and Black People” 


~ by fairlane on June 13, 2007.

15 Responses to “Liberals Need to Wake Up, and They Better Do It Soon”

  1. Thanks for the note and the link. I stopped in and felt a bit chastened. However, I’m honest enough not to say, “When I’m with my black friends we…” Still, a poor substitute for truly knowing one another and getting along–seeing the other side’s needs and respecting them.


  2. Very interesting post.

    Once I became involved in an activist group for land rights for indigenous people in Australia. A girl stood up and said very self-righteously, “I don’t know any Aborigines, but what I think the government should do is…”

    Who was she to say if she didn’t even know any Aboriginal people? How was she to know that what she was campaigning for was what Aboriginal people wanted? Well intentioned, perhaps, but how patronising!

    Ever since then, I’ve been wary of that kind of behaviour. It’s kinda like “Look at me, I’m so TOLERANT, I want to help black people.”

    Sometimes I think overly positive stereotypes can be as damaging as overly negative stereotypes (kinda like that “Magical Negro” film stereotype that I mentioned in my post on Rush Limbaugh a while back, or the idea of the “Noble Savage”). No ordinary person can hope to live up to the positive stereotype – it is in the nature of humanity to be fallible. But then if a person from minority doesn’t fit in with the happy-clappy positive stereotype, they must be the other side of the coin, and get lumped in the negative stereotype instead.

    Just take people as people. Listen to their story, instead of showing off about how tolerant you are. By failing to listen, you’re actually proving you’re a schmuck.

  3. I will never be a person of color so I can never speak for people of color. I will never be a male so I can never speak for a male. So being that I am a white female, I am most willing to hear and listen to everyone.

  4. Patricia,

    I wholeheartedly agree. I think that is what he is really asking. Of course, I don’t want to “speak” for him.

    It’s easy to get caught up in your own life, world etc, and assume everyone else’s is pretty much the same.

    But I think part of that is just being human, and life would sure be boring if we didn’t have some flaws.

  5. I found that he made a few good points while weaving in and out of the same ole “poor me” argument that I hear during race debates all the time.

    Just as there are some whites who will always prefer to live in trailers as opposed to bettering themselves, there are also blacks who will always live in the ghetto as opposed to bettering themselves.

    The real question is how long should blacks be given preferential treatment for social programs when it is apparent that no amount of “freebies” will ever change people. People have to want to change, which requires effort. As I said before certain people with-in all groups will never put forth that effort.

    By the way I never, never want to be refered to as a Cossack. What the hell? If your going to call me a racial slur make it, “Cracker”.

  6. “The real question is how long should blacks be given preferential treatment for social programs”
    If you look at statistics, far more white people receive finacial assistance from the government. Minorities are represented at higher percentages vs. population, which many consider to be an indication of systemic racism.
    And if you think blacks receive “preferential treatment”, you can easily research that (Department of the Census is a great place to start), and you will see this is not the case whatsoever. For example, depending on the crime, black males are anywhere from 5-10 times more likely to serve prison time over a white person who committed the exact same crime.
    Blacks are 10 times more likely to be pulled over, removed from their vehicle and searched because of a minor traffic violation (Broken tail light, turning without using their turn signal etc). It goes on and on.
    “I found that he made a few good points while weaving in and out of the same ole “poor me” argument that I hear during race debates all the time.”
    This seems to be a habit of yours “Lorenzo”, you jump to conclusions, and based on some of your previous comments I wonder if you actually read the posts you comment on or if you get a “general impression” and then fill in the blanks on your own.
    Your problem with the word “Cossack” is yet another example. If you read the entire post you’d know the word “Cossack” is a word WHITE people on the Liberal blog “Daily Kos” use to describe THEMSELVES. It’s not a word The Field Negro uses.
    “As I said before certain people with-in all groups will never put forth that effort.”
    On one hand you acknowledge it’s a minority of people “within all” groups who “will never put forth that effort”. And then you use those people to dismiss the “majority” of the post.
    So, based on a minority within a group you conclude the majority of claims of racism are nothing, but “poor me”? If you paid attention you’d know The Field Negro is an Attorney. That indicates he went to school, and worked his ass off to make something of himself. Yet, he continues to experience racism.
    The point of the post was many “White Liberals” assume because they are “cool with minorities” etc that Racism is no longer an issue, and that America is “colorblind”. Which it is not.

  7. Yeah, what fairlane said.

  8. Was Lorenzo questioning social welfare for minorities or “affirmative action” for minorities? I wasn’t quite sure.

    The social welfare question is an interesting one. We’ve recent furious debates here in Australia about social welfare for indigenous people. Since about 1970, the Australian government has provided welfare assistance for indigenous Australians. And since 1970, the problems suffered by indigenous people in Australia seem to have gotten a lot worse rather than better.

    Noel Pearson is an Aboriginal activist and lawyer who has questioned whether welfare is in fact the best thing for indigenous Australians. He recently wrote an interesting article (link to article in my post here) in which he delved into African-American politics, as well as indigenous Australian politics. Have a read of it. I’d be really interested to know what you think.

  9. That’s a long one LE. I’ll need a little time to check it out.

  10. I sometimes forget how long stuff is because I’m a speed reader. But that one is admittedly very long. Lawyers. We just can’t stop ourselves. I’m trying to cut down an article I wrote this very moment. It is currently 16,500 words. I don’t know how it got so big.

  11. i never allowed my children to describe another person by the color of their skin. i believe God made us and he wanted some variety in the colors out there and so he gave us different ones. certainly does not change the fact that we are all children of God. certainly does not change the fact that we are all equal in His sight. don’t know why silly humans have such a hard time with that concept.

  12. LE I’m still trying to digest what you sent me.
    I too am a speed reader, but I think I may write a post about this. I had a somewhat negative experience when I engaged in a conversation on “Field Negro’s” blog (Not from him. He is a very principled person from what I can gather), and the experience left a “bad taste in my mouth”.
    Several times I caught myself wondering if I was involved in some kind of “Partisan” debate and I was the de facto representative of the “White Race”, which by no stretch of the imagination am I anything of the sort. I represent myself, and I think that’s obvious if you read my posts. I recognize Krishnamurti would tell me “Understand before being Understood”, but I’m not Krishnamurti.
    Anyway, I think I’m going to write about my views on racism, and my perspective on an issue that apparently is never going to die. (I wonder if people truly want it to).
    I will add, I hope my comments will not deter anyone from checking out “Field’s” blog. He is a very good writer and an intelligent man, and I think it’s important we engage in conversation even if it gets heated at times. We need to stop being afraid if we are ever going to resolve these monumental issues we face.
    As you are well aware, I’m not one to shy away from controversy or a challenge. But my challenge is my challenge. I tend to act the same regardless of who is present, and maybe that’s something I need to temper a bit.

  13. I can’t stop being myself either. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to act the same wherever I am. Perhaps that’s why we get along.

    I watched that “Blue Eyes Brown Eyes” documentary a few years back. The thing that really interested me was not that the Blue Eyed people were very sad when they were segregated. Of course they were sad, and they performed less well at tasks. That’s predictable. As I said in my own comment on the Field Negro’s site, studies have shown that negative stereotypes can have a devastating impact on people’s capabilities. No big surprise there.

    The interesting thing to me was how vicious some of the Brown Eyed people were towards the Blue Eyed people. Some of the most vicious were people who seemed to have been the victims of racism in their everyday lives, and saw this as an opportunity to “get back” at a minority. Is it controversial to say that if such people were in a majority, they’d be making up the lynch mobs, out to get the minority?

    I’m not going to say that there isn’t any racism in America or Australia. There clearly is. And I’m not saying that people don’t suffer horribly as a result.

    But on a personal level, I do try to just take people as they are – I don’t care whether they are black or white, as long as they are good people. I hope other people will reciprocate and give me the benefit of the doubt. It is as unfair to immediately judge me and stereotype me based on my ethnic background as it is anyone else.

  14. Okay LE, I’m going to comment on what I’ve thought about so far. (I still intend to write my post eventually).

    When I hear people talk about “equality”, I often wonder exactly it is they mean.

    We live in a Capitalist society. Capitalism at its basest level has nothing to do with “equality”, and in fact ceases to exist if there is “total equality.” Capitalism is the accumulation of “capital”, and you can’t accumulate it if everyone has it. You need poor, lower middle class etc. so you can have people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George W. Bush et al.

    Does everyone have an equal chance to be “equal”? Hell no. But again, that is part of the system. If you are already wealthy your children are more than likely going to be wealthy, and the wealthy have more “rights” in a Capitalist society than the non-wealthy. So inequality is exacerbated because of the very nature of the system.

    I’m no Marxist. I don’t mind Capitalism at all, but it is not a system of equality and for some reason people tend to conflate Capitalism with Democracy.

    On Field’s blog, he pointed out it’s wrong that we’re all running the same race, but many, he meant blacks, start the race 50 yards behind. I agree with his analogy. And of course it’s wrong, immoral, a travesty. But more than just blacks begin 50 yards behind. Poor people start there regardless of their race.

    But racism is alive and doing just fine in America. The Reps race bait all the time, as you know, but so do the Dems, they just go about it in a different way. (Making promises they have no intention of keeping etc. Much like Reps do with the Mentalist Christians).

    If a cop had the choice between bashing a poor black man’s head or a poor white man’s head, he’d probably choose the black man 95% of the time because this racial division is so ingrained into everyone’s head whether you’re white, black or brendled.

    How do you stop it? That’s what upset me about my experience. I’ve wanted to write exactly what Field wrote for years, but thought because I’m white no one would listen. So, I jumped at the opportunity when I saw his post. I thought it might start a dialogue. (Maybe I’m a romantic at heart).

    But I got the impression I was supposed to crawl on my hands and knees and that really pissed me off. I was told by one person that (paraphrasing) because I’m white I owe for what my ancestors did, and by denying that I’m only trying to protect my conscience.

    Well, that didn’t sit well with me. I have American Indian ancestry. So, I responded that he “owed” me as well considering “Buffalo Soldiers” helped track and murder Indians. Needless to say that didn’t go over well, and I got several patronizing responses that I just “don’t understand” and maybe one day I’ll “grow up.”

    This was coupled with the fact that a woman came this close to calling me a racist because I had the audacity to respond to a comment that said (again paraphrasing) White people don’t want equality.

    Anyway, this is like a damn post. Imagine what the real post is going to be like. My friends already bitch that my posts are “too long.”

    I guess where I am in my life is, I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I don’t want them hurting me. But when it comes down to brass tacks, fuck you, I’m saving myself and my daughter. And I suggest you do the same. (I mean “you” in a general sense. Not “you” LE. I hope “you” know that). I guess that sounds harsh, but I don’t mean it that way. I honestly believe the best way to “save” the world or “change” the world is to save yourself and to change yourself.

    Maybe I’m wrong.

  15. Fairlane, I know what you mean. That’s partly why I sent you the Pearson article. It’s about holding people responsible for the actions of their ancestors, and how this isn’t a good dynamic. Pearson says (a) really bad racist stuff happened in the past and (b) really bad racist stuff happens now. Holding white people responsible for actions in the past over which they had no control gets you nowhere. Yes, it’s important to recognise that these things in the past were wrong. But there’s no sense in blaming people now.

    I guess some people are bitter and they take it out on anyone who crosses their path. I can’t blame them, I suppose, not having been in that precise position myself, but I don’t think it’s fair or constructive. I like to engage in constructive dialogue.

    I agree that the best way to change the world is to look after myself and my family. I can’t change other people, and I can’t fix up everything for other people. It’s taken me a long while to realise this, because I’m the kind of person who wants to help everyone and take them under my wing.

    I wrote a post a while back about a friend who is anorexic. I can’t stop her being anorexic. I’ve tried to do everything I can for the last 10 years and in the end, it’s up to her. Even if I force her to eat (which I’ve done on occasions) she goes and gets rid of it later. Same thing goes for racism and broader problems, I think. You do what you can, but in the end, you can’t get a person out of a rut if they’re not prepared to take responsibility and make a change.

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