7 Controversies White People Talk About Becase it Makes Them Feel Better

A brief fisking of this article, 7 Things I Can Do That My Black Son Can’t:

First, a moment of unintentional clarity:

But when you’re a parent, those privileges stop being invisible. It’s the reason why male congressmen with daughters are more likely to support women’s issues. It’s the reason why Ohio Sen. Rob Portman suddenly declared his support for same-sex marriage after his son came out as gay. And it’s the reason why, everywhere I look, I see hassles that my son will have to face that I don’t.

He has a completely valid point: Being emotionally close to an issue tends to make you more sympathetic. What he does NOT explain is why we should be more trusting of the opinions of people whose emotions are MORE bound with their opinions. On most things, emotional distance is considered valuable, because it allows people to be more objective…unless, of course, the cause happens to be liberal. Then straight white Christian men will NEVER UNDERSTAND.

1. I Can Walk Through a Store Without Being Followed

To take one high-profile instance, Macy’s and the city of New York recently settled with actor Robert Brown, who was handcuffed, humiliated, and accused of committing credit card fraud after buying an expensive watch at the store.

I never have to worry about this happening to me.

What is not mentioned in this article: The policeman’s side of the story, or what he actually DID that made him look suspicious. I doubt the policeman would agree with the claim that it was “because he was black”.

I work in a retail store. Once I was told that if a certain customer came up to pay for an item I should call a customer service manager because earlier she had used her mother’s credit card. This was a white teenage girl. A couple of days ago the customer service associate called over a manager and asked them to watch a certain customer simply because his friend seemed to be trying to distract her. This person was white.

I call utter bullshit.

2. I Can Succeed Without It Being Attributed to My Race

When my wife, who is black, received her acceptance letter from Boston College, a peer told her she must have gotten in due to affirmative action, effectively ruining the experience of receiving the letter.

  1. Your wife needs a thicker skin. Seriously?
  2. Yeah, affirmative action sucks. Still support it?

3. I Learned About My Ancestors’ History in School

I can tell you all about Louis XIV, Socrates, and the Magna Carta, but I always wondered when we would finally learn about African history (beyond Pharaohs and pyramids). The subject never came up.

Actually, I more or less agree with this. I will, however, dispute that it has anything to do with racism; far more likely that our education system was never structured around black history because there used to be much less black students – that was just a fact. But it is a more or less legitimate complaint.

4. I Can Lose My Temper in Traffic

Once, an acquaintance who got into a confrontation while driving told me how scared she was of the other driver, describing him as a “big black guy.” When I get heated, no one attributes it to my race.

Isn’t it nice how he accuses somebody of being racist because they DESCRIBE SOMEBODY’S SKIN COLOR when giving a description?

5. I Can Loiter in Wealthy Neighborhoods

No one has ever called the cops on me to report a “suspicious person.” My wife can’t say the same.

What we’re not told: The reason his wife was reported as “suspicious”. I find it rather racist that he assumes all white peoples’ motives of being racist.

6. I Can Complain About Racism

When I point out that black people are incarcerated at alarming rates, or largely forced to send their children to underperforming schools, or face systemic discrimination when searching for jobs and housing, no one accuses me of “playing the race card.”

What the Hell does this even mean? Of course not – he’s not talking about his own race.

Besides, there’s me.

7. I Can Count on Being Met on My Own Terms

If I’m being treated poorly, I don’t stop and think about whether it’s due to my race. But unless we somehow make a giant leap forward, my son will always have to wonder.

Then perhaps you should teach your son to get the fuck over himself like everybody else before he grows up.

Yeesh.

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13 Responses to 7 Controversies White People Talk About Becase it Makes Them Feel Better

  1. Jakeithus says:

    One point that is worth raising. History relies on the use of written records to determine what we can know about the past. Where written history doesn’t exist, the term that is used is prehistory. The subject of history proper requires writing.

    To be honest, I don’t know enough about the history of writing in the majority of Africa (outside of Egypt) to say what history about the continent can actually be studied under the discipline. To use an example I am more familiar with, there is no First Nations history that can be learned which is equivalent to the Magna Carta or Louis XIV prior to contact with Europeans, because the written records that could tell us about them don’t exist.

    That’s not to say that an understanding of the lives of First Nations (or Africans) prior to their contact with Europeans shouldn’t be taught to students, just that what can be known is limited. What you start getting into is archaeology and anthropology, which assist us with understanding history but are perhaps a little too much to expect public school to be teaching everyone.

  2. Ilíon says:

    I look as “white” as anyone, even though I’m not entirely of European extraction … and I’ve been followed in stores, despite that the last (and first) time I stole anything from a store was pack of $.01 bubble gum when I was about five or six (*).

    (*) The “trauma” of being forced by my mother to walk back to the store, by myself, pay for the gum, and explain that I had stolen it was all I needed to keep me from developing sticky fingers.

  3. Crude says:

    Actually, I more or less agree with this. I will, however, dispute that it has anything to do with racism; far more likely that our education system was never structured around black history because there used to be much less black students – that was just a fact. But it is a more or less legitimate complaint.

    Jake’s got a good point here, but there’s another point.

    Louis XIV, Socrates and the Magna Carta? Welcome to western civilization, and history in the west tends to cover those who contributed to it in a major way. The discipline has never been ‘here’s a generalized history of everything some group finds noteworthy’.

  4. “3. I Learned About My Ancestors’ History in School

    I can tell you all about Louis XIV, Socrates, and the Magna Carta, but I always wondered when we would finally learn about African history (beyond Pharaohs and pyramids). The subject never came up.

    Actually, I more or less agree with this. I will, however, dispute that it has anything to do with racism; far more likely that our education system was never structured around black history because there used to be much less black students – that was just a fact. But it is a more or less legitimate complaint.”

    Well, we can’t adequately cover the whole of world history in school classes, so it makes sense to focus mainly (though not necessarily exclusively) on the history that is most relevant to your own country’s development. Since America was founded by emigrants from Britain and got most of her legal systems from England, that means that American history classes are going to focus mainly on American, English and British history. I’m not sure what better alternatives there are when designing the curriculum.

  5. Hrodgar says:

    Heh. If he actually got taught “all about Louis XIV, Socrates, and the Magna Carta” in school, that’s more than I got. Sure, all of them were mentioned at some point, but we spent most of our time on somewhat questionable versions of specifically American history, with brief forays across the pond for the French Revolution and the two World Wars. We spend more time on Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. than we did on French Kings, Greek philosophers, or English legal documents, and they made sure to mention every “first black man” to do anything.

  6. Ilíon says:

    Actually, I more or less agree with this. I will, however, dispute that it has anything to do with racism; far more likely that our education system was never structured around black history because there used to be much less black students – that was just a fact. But it is a more or less legitimate complaint.

    That our history classes have not been Afro-centric has nothing to do with nose-counting; it has to do with the fact that sub-Saharan Africa has next to nothing to do with *our* history. Mr White Man can complain about knowing about the Magna Carta because the Magna Carta is important in *our* history, whereas, say, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms is not, and so is not even discussed in our history.

  7. Ilíon says:

    I Can Loiter in Wealthy Neighborhoods

    I live in a *poor* neighborhood … and we also don’t like “suspicious persons” loitering; and we don’t give a damn what color they are.

  8. Ilíon says:

    I Can Count on Being Met on My Own Terms
    If I’m being treated poorly, I don’t stop and think about whether it’s due to my race. But unless we somehow make a giant leap forward, my son will always have to wonder.

    Let’s look at this silly point from the other direction —

    As a white-ish man, and due to “liberalism” having trained blacks to automatically assume Rasisss!, I am forced to walk on egg-shells around blacks, especially black women.

    I am border-line hypoglycemic (I blame those “First Nations” for that).

    A couple of years ago, I decided to swing by the public library. While I was picking out some books, I was suddenly hit with a blood-sugar drop. Foolish me, instead of immediately leaving the library so I could eat something, I figured I’d at least check-out the books I’d already picked.

    When I got to the counter, it turned out that they needed to re-authorize my library card. Silly me, rather than just leaving, I decided to do it so I could get the books.

    And of course, it was taking forever to go through the process. I’m doing my best to control my heightened irritability and impatience (I can’t stand to be around other people when I’m having “the shakes”). And, of course, my body-language was a clean give-away that I was not pleased.

    And, of course, being a black woman, the library clerk *just know* that my visible state of upset was about her. She was about to make a public scene until I explained what was going on with me.

    Why in the Hell should a person have to justify himself because someone else thinks everything is about him?

  9. Ilíon says:

    ^ That, by the way is a very mild example of some of the unpleasant experiences I’ve had in dealing with black Americans.

    • Once, I saw another associate deny somebody a purchase because the item they bought required a special permission form. This is a fairly common occurrence that we all dread because we know it’s going to end with us being yelled at. The Hispanic woman attempting to buy the item made a fuss about it, but ultimately left.

      Later, the woman’s husband came with the proper permission form. He bought the item without calling management, but accused the associate of racism for “accusing his wife of being a liar”.

      Now, I see this happen at least once a week, and often more. And I’ll tell you this: If you don’t have the appropriate forms, you are not going to get the item. Period. Anybody who knew anything about retail would, or at least should, have seen the customer for exactly what he was: An idiot. It’s not like we didn’t have things clearly advertised…

  10. GRA says:

    What a bunch of First World problems.

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