Redefining Your Limited View of Racism and White Supremacy
As we look at the news coming out of America (or the tweets from the President) we are aggrieved that the country is more than ever gripped in the claws of racism, and even worse, that of a white supremacist society. Chicago-based activist Karla Thomas tells us of a country that is “erroneously predicated on white as ‘good’ and black as ‘bad’.”
There is no denying that America is strung collectively tight. Marginalised people have had an extra-large orange boot stepping on their backs, and they are rightfully angry. Immigrants, African Americans, people with disabilities, women, Muslims, and Indigenous people speak out in frustration and the Right, wavering centre and the oh-so-woke but not really Left, are all muting, ignoring, or tone policing their anger respectively. We are at war. And in the centre of this cauldron, there are some very triggered white folks who are tired of people insinuating that their actions have anything what so ever to do with racism.
Oh, the White Tears! The agony this causes because we have erroneously been socialised to believe that racism is a binary state of being. It’s either you are ALL bad and racist, or ALL good and non-racist. When in fact racism is a system.
Racism is a system held together and sustained by biases, privilege for some, oppression of others, power and those who wield it, economics and those determined to control it, all on a thick foundation of a very reprehensible history.
American has been socialised to believe that racism is predicated on negative intent. This is just false. Impact on the oppressed group is the only measure of racism that matters.
Case in point, the way most schools are funded is steeped in racism. It is the government’s responsibility to fund schools and fund them equally for all kids. However, they chose a school funding system based on property taxes in each individual community, which results in poorly funded schools for people in poorer neighbourhoods. While this may or may not have been the initial intention, this systemically disadvantages black and brown kids who are statistically more likely to be in these under-served communities. So the way our education system is funded in much of America is racist.
When the focus, however, is thought to be on the intent held by the perpetrator, defensives come out in abundance. Here’s the reality, if you are avoiding, deflecting or negating any progression towards a more just society, and you are presently on the privileged end of the inequality, the impact is reduced progression for people of colour. I repeat, if you are committed simply to just being a non-racist, and you are sitting by idly as racism is perpetuated around you and for your benefit, you are indeed racist. It is not enough to be a non-racist, you have to be an Anti-racist. There are no spectators in this sport, you are either Anti-racists and Racists.
I know that was a hard pill to swallow, so you may want to buckle up for this next bit.
We live in a white supremacist society.
Take deep breaths and try not to explode. When I say white supremacist, your mind conjures up dudes in white robes with cones on their heads, and tiki torches in their hands. Your next thought is, “Come on, that is a very very small percentage of crazy white people, not ALL WHITE PEOPLE!”
But while we will all, (save a few tiki-torch carrying cone heads,) deny that we cognitively believe in the superiority of white people over other races, study after study has shown that the idea of white as good and black or darker skin as bad seeps into the psyche of kids as young as 2 years old. Take a look at the doll experiment first done in the 1940s and since repeated in many different countries.
No one in particular explicitly taught those kids the messages they are displaying in that video. That bias is everywhere and nowhere in particular. It’s available as easily as the air they breath.
White Supremacy is defined as the idea that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Colour and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
“We don’t all believe that!” you shout as your defences kick in. Now stop for a second and think about the following:
- What culture’s idea of beauty dominates the media?
- What culture is seen as the “girl next door” or simply non-threatening?
- What culture’s vernacular is considered the “acceptable” way to speak?
- What culture holds the majority of power in almost every room?
- What culture is our education system built around and for?
- What culture created the concept of race with the names “white” meaning “pure”, when you know their skin is tan or yellowish at best, in juxtaposition to a people they then called “Black” meaning “dirty,” knowing darn well their skin is multiple shades of brown?
- So what culture have we collectively agreed is Superior?
So tell me how you are going to sit there and say that we are NOT in a white supremacist society? How are you going to act shocked and offended when that term is used? White America wants so desperately to confine the racial wrongdoing to a small group of vigilantes, (preferably in the past), so they can absolve themselves of taking a cold hard look at the part that they play in the ongoing modern-day reenactment.
You have to see it and own it before you can change it. You cannot even dream about committing yourself to racial justice work without first owning that this entire society is erroneously predicated on white as “good” and black as “bad.” We are living in a white supremacist society! What are you going to do to dismantle it?
This article was originally published on Quad-Rants 4 Change.
Karla Thomas is a writer, speaker, and real estate entrepreneur. As Black, Gay, Immigrant Woman (Quad Minority), she speaks truth to power every day yet still finds a way to maintain her BLISS! She lives in Chicago with her wife and two incredible daughters. She can be followed on Twitter @Quadrant4change.
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Enjoyed this, Karla.
I can only begin to imagine what it’s like over there. We have our issues in Australia, too, but ours pale in comparison.
Yes. Its true. We have to be anti racist, not sit on the sidelines. Funny though, as there are more and more children born of mixed race, I do wonder what will a racist look like in 50 years time? Hopefully one day there will be no black and white, just glorious hues of tan.
An interesting commentary on an American quandary where middle class African Americans such as the author are often excoriated as race traitors for “trying to act white”.
As a real estate entrepreneur the author saw fit to disregard the bias most relevant to the Australian experience, that of class and income disparity unless to view it as purely a result of racialism.
Whilst Australian indigenous people have been cruelly robbed of their land and cultures and continue to be vilely discriminated against today the appellation of “black” is proudly owned. Much as “wogs” has become owned by Aussies of Mediterranean ancestry.
Definitely a problem in the U.S but a cry of poor fellow me by a privileged woman may be a big ask for working class Australia to swallow.
In Australia we also pay lip-service to an educational ideal – needs based funding. Yet the reality is in stark contrast with children from the upper classes receiving 3 to 4 times the funding spent on the lower classes. Worse – that hypocrisy is shared across the political divide with nary a murmur or complaint.
Our system is about the political wants and needs of the voting parents – and f@ck the kids.
The doll experiment, if valid, loses much meaning if one includes crime rates.
[What culture’s idea of beauty dominates the media?
What culture is seen as the “girl next door” or simply non-threatening?
What culture’s vernacular is considered the “acceptable” way to speak?
What culture holds the majority of power in almost every room?
What culture is our education system built around and for?
What culture created the concept of race with the names “white” meaning “pure”, when you know their skin is tan or yellowish at best, in juxtaposition to a people they then called “Black” meaning “dirty,” knowing darn well their skin is multiple shades of brown?
So what culture have we collectively agreed is Superior?]
The reasons for this is primarily not current day racism – it is just what naturally evolved by dominant percentage white populations.
Hopefully one day there will be no black and white, just glorious hues of tan.
I hope one day there will be every shade possible from blue black to chalk white with every colour in between … and no one cares.
Keep your racism to yourself, jimhaz.
Lots of issues that might be unpacked. First, is this a good description of what happens (and how) in the macro sense? Second, there is the issue of why it happens – is it conscious and deliberate or an unconscious result of living in a particular cultural soup? Third, what should be done about it (if anything)? Fourth, if something ought to be done than whose responsibility is it – the government; social institutions such as the education/schooling system; the society as a whole; each individual; or some combination of the above?
Or is it somehow natural and right as Jimhaz suggests? Worth only a shrug of the shoulders? And then move on to the next ‘real’ issue?
Michael Taylor, are you sure you have not misread jimhaz?
I don’t think he is endorsing it, merely having a look at some of the underlying cultural inscription mechanism, eg the sort of stuff where paradigms or memes that everyone has taken for granted inform responses (a bit like anti-gay prejudice, or class snobbery or sexism, also picked up from childhood).
Murdoch and co know exactly how to reinforces all the little hang ups and even Labor finds it difficult to take on preconceived notions, given the sort of backlash from the stirred up public over such things as “going soft” on refugees.
Paul, it’s the bit from his comment that I deleted that I was referring to. He knows what I mean.
I take it this contradicted his other stuff?
So you were left to render meaning and comprehensibility to it with a bit of careful editing?
Paul, it was inappropriate and offensive.
@Paul Walter. a story posted by the editor in the last few days explains the importance of the editors prerogative to remove or edit comments which may fall foul of sensitive algorithms affecting the financial viability of this site.
jimhaz other stuff is left open for discussion
The suggestion that the children subject to the dolly test may be influenced by an assumed statistically significance racially weighted portioning of crime assumes that they somehow view themselves as so impacted by this knowledge that their choice of dolly is affected also.
Like the dolly test itself this seems to be a brave forecast from a narrow base.
the second suggestion that this was an instinctive and organic progression growing from the appreciation of a numerically superior, or financially blessed other is a peculiar thought.
@Dianneart your echo of Warumpi bands “whitefella blackfella” is shared
On a side note: Jared…snort, snigger…the…heeheehee…Master…cough, choke, hahahah…Negotiator…BWAHAHAHA…sides hurting…oh jeez, BWAHAHAHAHA…
My two brothers and sister and me/I/myself/whatever were considered weirdos and freaks when we were kids in the late 60’s and early 70’s because we didn’t see skin colour or disabilities as something that was wrong, we just saw kids of our age. 1970/71 Christmas school holidays in Manly, Sydney and we met two sisters and their brother (Japanese Australian) and we all took an instant disliking to each for some long forgotten reason and almost came to blows. When our respective mothers found what had happened we all copped it. We became fast friends even though we only saw each other during Chrissie holidays, they lived in Armidale, until we had to move to Brisbane in late December 1972. We got to eat this strange food that was made from seaweed wrapped rice with different fillings and seaweed soup (which I thought looked horrible until I tried it). We thought it was incredible, now it’s everywhere. Astonishingly, almost 46 years later I came across the name of the middle daughter on the ‘net one and very tentativley made contact via email and am pleased to say that we have rekindled a friendship that started so long ago. It’s great.
I have always tried to live up to the standards of me from so long ago and it’s so far so good.
Now if you will excuse me I have to remove a crying black cat from the flyscreen outside my window.
Heart warming story.
My introduction to Italian cuisine was due to my next door neighbours explaining to mum how to cook eggplant, on the other side were a vegetarian couple, we discovered Warragul greens and I tried my first ever freshly squeezed carrot or apple juice. Our own back yard produced walnuts, apricots, Granny Smiths, jonathons, plums, lemons, strawberries as well as the usual potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, beans. I can still recall the sun warmed flavour of an apricot plucked straight from the tree … I miss that cornucopia.
Food was exchanged over fences and greater understanding of others who did not look like white Anglo-Saxons, like us.
Like what Michael Taylor says ” ours pale in comparison”.
At least we can dig out and pop the ticks that are embedded in Canberra not long from now.
I now view identity politics as a mental sickness.
Michael is just playing identity politics – he is grouping aboriginals with African Americans, even one who can “maintain her BLISS” in light of all the enormous hardships that nasty white people living now have purposefully and strategically placed on non-whites.
Why does he group aboriginals with African Americans (in this case a migrant presumably from a non-economically successful black country) – where there is no relationship apart from colour. He wills say shared experiences of racism from whites.
The US takes more blacks as migrants in the last 20 years, than ever came as slaves in a 200 year period (or something in that order).
Tell me again – taking migrants from Africa surely can only be a sign of racism.
Also as a “quad” minority (intersectional friggin’ hell…lol) you can bet she steered herself into the humanities silos in unis that were created by sexual preference nepotism, originally by gay folk seeking acceptance but now has morphed into a gender free for all and a very falsely constructed group identity based mafia)
We are not talking racism – we are talking greed. It is just a different form of entitlement greed than the right wingers.
I have come to hate the term identity politics just as much as I hate the term class warfare. It is dragged out by those who want to maintain their own privilege whilst not acknowledging that, in many cases, that privilege is built on the suffering of others.
I can’t see where I grouped Aborigines with African Americans. Can’t see it anywhere at all.
But they are both the subjects of racism, as are Native Americans. As are dozens of other races. They all share that common experience.
How much would you like to bet? How much can you afford to lose – because you are talking through your nether region.
As a matter of interest, what uni did you attend where you experienced … Or …
jimhaz, we have often clashed here on this site because of your apparent dislike of non-white people. You are, of course, entitled to your views.
But making assumptions of the author in what I see as an attack on her, well that’s completely unacceptable.
It is likely that Karla will be offering more articles for The AIMN. I would hope that she could do so without being attacked for her colour.
People don’t just hang around in silos at university or get brainwashed with some sort of groupthink. There was always intense debate which would spill over to the uni bar and the local pub where people of all backgrounds would argue different aspects of a discussion. We are taught to question, to research, to try to come up with original ideas. A lot of time and energy was spent disproving things and challenging accepted interpretations.
Unless you examine the causes of an issue you cannot adequately come up with solutions. And solutions should be informed by those who are actually involved rather than those who want to offer their ill-informed judgement from on high.
I refer again to Creative Spirits:
Let the community generate programs. The most successful programs are those developed by and for the Aboriginal community.
Engage the community. It is crucial to consult the community throughout the program’s development, especially when the initiative comes from the government.
Empower the community. For communities to own family violence initiatives they need to be involved and supported, for example by men’s groups which help build leadership and spread anti-violence messages.
Form partnerships. Many of the successful case studies had partnerships with government and non-government agencies.
Take a holistic approach. Initiatives need to address all aspects of violence, including what makes people be violent.
Connect to culture. Respect for traditional law reinforces anti-violence messages and builds positive community identity.
Involve men. Most responses to family violence are created by and for women, leaving some men feeling alienated. Men need to be part of the solution.
Empower women. Women’s traditional culture and authority in the community needs to be promoted.
Build on community strengths. Programs have a greater chance of success when they build on the resources, networks or knowledge already present in communities.
Employ Aboriginal staff. The expertise of Aboriginal staff makes a crucial difference in successful services.
Hope nothing I say from this point is taken the wrong way because jimhaz has moved a step into discussing a precondition to what an identity debate is within the field of debate in the first place.
Identity politics is seen by some as the next step on from a Marxist critique, something pomo that imagines fights on race, gender or agist conversation, say, as “winnable” within their own proposed boundaries and points of reference. That is homophobia, say, does exhibit the possibility that it can be seen as a social issue curable without a requirement for class analysis if it exists within that bigger picture.
A leftist might see the problem as revolving around on the old terms of it representing bourgeois decadence, or more recently as a within a category of class socio-cultural and political organisation. as gays are one subgroup of several subject to confinement to “bad” roles, thus preordained.scapegoating and brutality within the system.
Neither of the second entirely agrees with the first; that a field of action can be rendered discrete from the rest. Does it mean you will get beaten for being gay regardless of whether you lefty or conservative? That is a true point, yet does it exclude a leftist critique as providing of an explanation of homophobia is about with the system (KKK, hard nationalism, tribalism and militarism for canon-fodder, the playing off of social groups; gay, class, racial whatever, as part of divide and conquer).
I don’t accept the view that situational or class politics is merely an alibiing of an elite group (proles, ffs?), I don’t believe blue collar people as a whole are anything but oppressed psychologically and materially and so they learn bad habits to survive, its the game. Although things are not as bad as they have been for most of history except in rare lucky cases like Australia.
Maybe neither situational or class politics or identity politics, which certainly does much to raise consciousness on the issue of oppression and the nature of “class”. but I guess it comes back to the encouraged phenomena of the binary which suggest both can only be seen as oppositional to the other rather than components of a greater whole. What about point-counterpoint- resolution or signifier- signified-signification? Serious issues actualising sometimes have to be tested and different readings can issue forth on any given subject in droves. Pomo has offered up new ways of looking at things, sometimes they fit and enhance other readings some times very not and so we go unpacking what the disagreement of a given topic is about; where it comes from.
I think some people and maybe Jimhaz is one of these people, find identity politics becomes too much “one issue” politics.
For my part, I wonder that a blue-collar person can’t sympathise with a black person, or a black person with some gay person or a feminist with a blue collar retrenched worker, or probably vice versa and so forth.
If Kaye Lee is right, it is a bunfight, the question then becomes what component is human nature and what part socially or culturally inscribed, and until we know for sure how something so complex and over time functions, there is no way to eliminate either type of politics from the spectrum. She may talk if privileging, but then jimhaz would be within his right to question the wealthy gay person who feels persecuted, but cant see the similarities to what happens in other groups or benefits by conflict as journalist or politician, say. and of course, jimhaz (say) would be tragically wrong, I think, if he put down problems involving racial subgroups, say, by dismissing them merely as blackfellas, in some sort Spencerian social Darwinist essentialist way that has them underprivileged due to intellect rather than through social causes.
I suppose it comes back to belief and language, language and how these are employed or not, since it seems often difficult to put some points in a conversation with adequate clarity for others to understand.
“Oh, the White Tears! The agony this causes because we have erroneously been socialised to believe that racism is a binary state of being. It’s either you are ALL bad and racist, or ALL good and non-racist. When in fact racism is a system.”
That is the crux of the problem. Racism is a system that is so well entrenched, reinforced from ‘conditioning’ throughout the child’s early years, as is gender inequality and wealth disparity, that any subsequent conversation is conducted at the shallow end of the pool. Discussion is restricted to the latest abomination, the latest incident, to the exclusion of the ‘big picture’.
Renni Eddo-Lodge wrote a blog in 2014, “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race”, in which she posited;
“The journey towards understanding structural racism still requires people of colour to prioritise white feelings. Even if they can hear you, they’re not really listening. It’s like something happens to the words as they leave our mouths and reach their ears. The words hit a barrier of denial and they don’t get any further.”
Having failed, to date, to find a copy of the subsequent book, the reviews have sufficed to get the general message. Why would you try to explain the intricacies and nuance of a system that is designed to discriminate to an audience that simply doesn’t accept you have a legitimate right to comment? Further reviews suggest Ms Eddo-Lodge was provocative, bordering on arrogant, in dismissing a potential audience, as if the onus remains on her and her ilk to convince people of this fact.
If somebody tells you the sun is actually the moon and day is actually night, how long are you obliged to talk to them to convince them they are delusional? It would be like saying that you will spend time explaining to Craig Kelly why his views on climate change are wrong until you change his view to accept fact and science over the money and attention he receives for his ignorance. This is a furniture salesman who has, to date, demonstrated nothing other than his likely incompetence in assembling an Ikea flat pack.
This article is timely in the sense that it demonstrates this is one of the many global problems currently ignored due to the distractions of the moron’s currently occupying offices of authority.
America is watching the mental disintegration of its leader, just as we watch the idiocy of ours. The only saving grace is that when the implosions become explosions, the lack of ‘mental capacity’ is such that any ‘bang’ will be minute.
It is underscored by real people doing real stuff and the underlying problems being exposed. These structural inequities are plain to most, except they are denied by the beneficiaries. Yesterday’s demonstrations could not highlight this more.
““You fellas come out one day of the year, which is fantastic, but we feel this every day. And we need you every day … it is upon you from today to decide whether you want to come out once a year and protest or you act every single day to change what this country is about.”
The crowd estimates ranged from 5,000, an early figure given by Victoria Police, and 80,000, cited by organisers. At its longest point, it stretched two blocks down Swanston Street, from Bourke Street to Flinders Street station.”
As to the popularity of white supremacists, they too marshalled their disenfranchised, which would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.
“The march organiser Meriki Onus urged the crowd to stay behind strict marshal lines and not engage with a reported counter-protest run by far-right groups in Federation Square.
That protest had about 10 participants and was dispersed by police before the main march turned down Swanston Street.
Two people, a man draped in an Australian flag and a woman holding a sign that said “To defend my country was once called patriotism; now it’s called racism” remained at the Flinders Street station steps.”
As for Trump’s antipodean doppelgänger, the number of rats leaving his sinking ship has caused him to float another ship of fools. His endeavours have so far only served to fuel ridicule and contempt.
“Scott Morrison’s Cook project is as cooked as his momentary leadership of this country and I can’t stop laughing. Stick a fork in him. The goose is done.”
Such is the mirth at this unfortunate’s stupidity, he has emboldened a revival of piracy other than the corporate kind he is so fond of.
“Aside from the chest of gems under the #ThingsCookDid hashtag on Twitter, there was the mock crowdfunder launched by Jordan Raskopoulos to fund the building of a pirate ship to sink the replica of Endeavour during the circumnavigation stunt.
Pledges were sailing in to support the fundraiser before GoFundMe suspended the page, saying it couldn’t process payments for “knives, explosives, ammunition, firearms, or other weaponry.” This prompted Raskopoulos to clarify that the funds would only be used for a ship and “pirate props/costumes so that a pirate themed theatrical protest performance may take place”.
And there was more than one cheeky inquiry as to whether Cook’s St Valentine’s Day visit to Hawaii in 1779 could be recreated.
Personally, I’d look forward to seeing the Australian public in each of the 39 locations mentioned in Morrison’s announcement recreate the responses of mob all the way up along the east coast of Australia whenever the Endeavour intruded for a sticky-beak in 1770. Cook’s journal repeatedly provides accounts of them waving the Endeavour off, telling it to keep moving, to just go away.”
“No one in particular explicitly taught those kids the messages they are displaying in that video. That bias is everywhere and nowhere in particular. It’s available as easily as the air they breath.
White Supremacy is defined as the idea that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Colour and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.”
It is becoming apparent that more people are awake to this and the systemic and systematic ‘training’ of our children in biases of many sorts is better understood. As Mr Walter’s noted;
“For my part, I wonder that a blue-collar person can’t sympathise with a black person, or a black person with some gay person or a feminist with a blue collar retrenched worker, or probably vice versa and so forth.”
The more strident denialism of those holding the power is only hastening the demise of their unsustainable ideologies. Movements such as Occupy, MeToo and BlackLivesMatter have been successful in their own ways. There is widespread recognition and acceptance of the commonality, the similarity, of how discrimination of many sorts is entrenched and perpetrated. It is global and change is occurring. Whether it will be soon enough and sufficient comes down to us. Our leaders are steadfast in their denial and are clearly no longer worth engagement. Our ‘Dreamtime’ is only just starting.
Thank you Ms Thomas and commenters. Take care
Thanks Karla. I hear you. Also, I heart Kyran 🙂
Kyran, you are worth your weight in gold.
Just before popping over here to say that, I was reading a report that President Trump, a day or two after his humiliating back down over his wall, has doubled down, carrying on about a new wave of Latinos heading for the border from down south of the US.
I would have thought this would be the absolute one time a fallible human being, let alone someone who purports to be a statesman, would be raking over the coals. So much like Howard with his selfish, anxiety-driven wedge.
The more I watch Trump, the more I see Cartman from Southpark, without the fun bits.
It’s funny how, no matter how many distractions the Canberra circus comes up with, basic issues keep rising to the fore. There was an article recently in the Guardian regarding yet another book on the fragility of us tired old white blokes. We control the rules, yet we complain when our rules are used against us. The book is by one of the cohorts we have marginalised – women – about another bunch we have marginalised – blacks.
“DiAngelo says she encounters a lot of “certitude from white people – they insist ‘Well, it’s not me’, or say ‘I’m doing my best, what do you want from me?’ ”. She defines this as white fragility – the inability of white people to tolerate racial stress. This, she says, leads to white people “weaponising [their] hurt feelings” and being indignant and defensive when confronted with racial inequality and injustice. This creates a climate where the suggestion or accusation of racism causes more outrage among white people than the racism itself. “And if nobody is racist,” she asks, “why is racism still America’s biggest problem? What are white people afraid they will lose by listening? What is so threatening about humility on this topic?””
“We have to stop thinking about racism simply as someone who says the N-word,” she says. “This book is centred in the white western colonial context, and in that context white people hold institutional power.” This means understanding that racism is a system rather than just a slur; it is prejudice plus power. And in Britain and the US at least, it is designed to benefit and privilege whiteness by every economic and social measure. Everyone has racial bias but, as DiAngelo is determined to establish, “when you back a group’s collective bias with lingering authority and institutional control, it is transformed”.
“Racism is a white problem. It was constructed and created by white people and the ultimate responsibility lies with white people. For too long we’ve looked at it as if it were someone else’s problem, as if it was created in a vacuum. I want to push against that narrative.”
Off the back of Ms Thomas’s article, a book by Stephen Hagan, ‘the N word’ was given to me. It pertained to the use of the word nigger and how it may be offensive to blacks. There is a movie called ‘Coach Carter’ in which there is a particular scene where the coach takes offence at his team, of which many were Negro, using the word as part of their vernacular. He was somewhat indignant that those, subjugated by the word, had adopted it. He, too, was Negro, but old enough to know how a term is used to reinforce prejudice. The confluence of the difference between Australia and America in the comments section of this article made the book all the more relevant. The book is about the author’s ‘legal’ journey in trying to point out what Ms Thomas and so many others are saying to tired old white blokes like me. It cannot be up to me to prescribe what is offensive.
Mr Hagan’s book is both illuminating and depressing. We are on a merry-go-round.
“COMPERE: Well, as a term of racial abuse, “nigger” is probably one of the worst. But is it acceptable when it’s also a hero athlete’s name, or at least part of his nick-name? That’s the argument that’s taking place in Queensland over the name of a grandstand at Toowoomba Athletic Oval. It’s called the E.S. Nigger-Brown Stand. This has drawn outrage from many and a complaint to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.”
The book makes it patently clear that the use of his NICKNAME, nigger, was not an acknowledgement of a name, but one of those Aussie idiosyncrasy’s. Like calling a ranger (redhead) ‘bluey’, or a 7 foot gargantuan ‘shorty’.
“Brown, an Anglo-Australian who was nicknamed “Nigger” because of his fair complexion (or perhaps because of his use of the “Nigger Brown” variety of Kiwi shoe polish), …..”
Then there’s another movie, called ‘A Time to Kill’. One of the seminal moments is in the closing argument.
“I want to tell you a story. I’m going to ask you all to close your eyes while I tell you the story. I want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to yourselves. Go ahead. Close your eyes, please. This is a story about a little girl walking home from the grocery store one sunny afternoon. I want you to picture this little girl. Suddenly a truck races up. Two men jump out and grab her. They drag her into a nearby field and they tie her up and they rip her clothes from her body. Now they climb on. First one, then the other, raping her, shattering everything innocent and pure with a vicious thrust in a fog of drunken breath and sweat. And when they’re done, after they’ve killed her tiny womb, murdered any chance for her to have children, to have life beyond her own, they decide to use her for target practice. They start throwing full beer cans at her. They throw them so hard that it tears the flesh all the way to her bones. Then they urinate on her. Now comes the hanging. They have a rope. They tie a noose. Imagine the noose going tight around her neck and with a sudden blinding jerk she’s pulled into the air and her feet and legs go kicking. They don’t find the ground. The hanging branch isn’t strong enough. It snaps and she falls back to the earth. So they pick her up, throw her in the back of the truck and drive out to Foggy Creek Bridge. Pitch her over the edge. And she drops some thirty feet down to the creek bottom below. Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl.”
By any definition, that is a grotesque, barbaric, debauched scenario. Anyone not feeling enraged by it is simply devoid of humanity. That the girl was black and the perpetrators were white was powerfully magnified by the next four words.
“Now imagine she’s white!”
How much indignation would we express if we reversed the status of the victim over the perpetrator? If us tired old white blokes got off the perch? If those on Manus and Nauru were predominantly white, male christians, neither this government or the opposition would last a second.
After all of the deceit and obfuscation, the argument, the discussion, has not changed one iota. Us tired old white blokes need to get off the perch.
Mr Walter made a comment worth noting.
“Just before popping over here to say that, I was reading a report that President Trump, a day or two after his humiliating back down over his wall, has doubled down, carrying on about a new wave of Latinos heading for the border from down south of the US.”
This is the information age. Tired old white blokes, and Ms May in England, cannot be the arbiter of injustice when they are the perpetrators. It just beggars belief.
As for Mr Walter’s comment about my weight …..
These are not random arguments. This is about the most fundamental of human rights. Decency. It cannot be for some. It must be for all.
I sincerely hope Ms Thomas has more she wants to say.
Kyran, it is the system. You won’t get change without changing the political landscape so these tendencies are perpetually reinforced.
It is probably also true that you won’t get enough people after substantial change while they are sidetracked by things like the race night-terror.
Is it stalemate?