March 10, 2013

"And right then I knew that I was tired of good people, that I had had all the good people I could take."

Writes Ta-Nehisi Coates, in a column called "The Good, Racist People."

My question is: How did some people get to be considered the "good" people in the first place? It's that question that fires my antagonism to liberals. They think they are good.

238 comments:

1 – 200 of 238   Newer›   Newest»
Michael K said...

He seems to be unaware of black racism. He could even wonder if he is exhibiting it here. I'm sure he considers himself a "good person." The "wealth gap" seems to be an obsession of good black people who ignore the role of social pathology in their own community.

chrisnavin.com said...

You could be interpreted as supporting the Derrick Bell position here.

Nathan Alexander said...

So he assumes that the only reason mr Whitaker could be accused of shoplifting is because he's black?

Mr. Coates is a racist, as bad as (but in a different way than) the fools at Stormfront.

Synova said...

"I am trying to imagine a white president forced to show his papers at a national news conference, and coming up blank. I am trying to a imagine a prominent white Harvard professor arrested for breaking into his own home, and coming up with nothing. I am trying to see Sean Penn or Nicolas Cage being frisked at an upscale deli, and I find myself laughing in the dark. It is worth considering the messaging here. It says to black kids: “Don’t leave home. They don’t want you around.” It is messaging propagated by moral people."

This is, of course, a failure of his imagination and nothing much more.

Because in the end, I only know what it's like to me *me*... white, female, short, chubby, blond me. And Ta-Nehisi does not know what it's like to me... or a white Harvard professor or Nicholas Cage or anyone else that is not Ta-Nehisi.

Ta-Nehisi can not imagine a white person being falsely accused of shoplifting, does he imagine that it never happens? But what doesn't happen when it happens is that it's never seen as a racist action.

Ta-Nehisi can not imagine a white person seen breaking into his own home having the cops called and having to prove it's his own home? That doesn't mean that it never happens. But when it does, it's not NEWS and the president of the US does not make a statement.

I will not say that there is NOT racism or that black people do not get treated differently, but I will say that black people seem to have not a CLUE what it means to be white.

Shouting Thomas said...

If this incident is all the left has left to beat the racism drum, then racism is indeed a thing of the past.

MayBee said...

I have a white, female friend who was accused I
of shoplifting at a Sephora. I don't know if they patted her down, but they went through her purse, her pockets, and her shopping bags. She had not, in fact, shoplifted

At the same time, I remember the "Free Winona!" T-shirt worn by all the people who were certain Winona Ryder would not shoplift because, why would she?

Kchiker said...

Why is thinking that you are good...unique to liberals?

In the first few comments here it as posited that TNC is the real racist. Therefore "I" am not. Because "I" am too good to be racist.

Icepick said...

If this incident is all the left has left to beat the racism drum, then racism is indeed a thing of the past.

Dude, they've got way more than that. They've got the sexism drum. They've got the LBGT drum. They've got a drum for every occasion. They've got so many drums I'm getting sick just thinking about all the damned drums, and you'd get sick if I started typing them all in.

Shouting Thomas said...

The leftist press has been ginning up a series of racism kerfluffles for the past week or so, all of which are "proof" that racism is still grinding down on blacks, and that the Voting Rights Act must be upheld by the Supreme Court.

This and the phantom KKK sighting at Oberlin are part of that phony campaign. Also, the murder of a black gay politician in Mississippi was briefly trotted out, but the murder suspect turned out to be, predictably, a young black man.

Apparently, no actual white racism exists, because nothing but silly twaddle can be ginned up.

Come on, lefties, you've got to be able to find something better than this.

Chip S. said...

I'm unable to figure out what Coates' argument is.

Is he saying that it's racist to suspect any black guy of shoplifting, ever? That seems ridiculous.

Or is he saying that it's ridiculous to suspect an actor of shoplifting, so that race must be the motivating factor?
That's also ridiculous
.

Kchiker said...

"Come on, lefties, you've got to be able to find something better than this."

I'd say racism is the human condition. We each to get decide to what extent it comes through to our actions. In sum, minority groups in any country will tend to experience more of it.

Maguro said...

Time to extend the Voting Rights Act to New York.

The place is chock full of racists!

G Joubert said...

I will not say that there is NOT racism or that black people do not get treated differently, but I will say that black people seem to have not a CLUE what it means to be white.

Hey, it's a life full of sunshine and rainbows, except for the occasional unicorn fart.

That's what internalizing relative deprivation will do to you. Reality distortion. Then it'll eat you up from the inside out. Like envy and jealousy.

Bob_R said...

Yeah, Ta-Nehisi is finding that someone can go to all the right schools, vote for the right party, live in the right neighbor hood and still be as much of a jackass as the the worst NASCAR watching peckerwood from the coal patch. Reality is a tough thing for lefties, but it sometimes seeps in.

Chef Mojo said...

I think the point is coming soon when the vast majority of white people are going to start reacting to minorities playing the race card by saying, "So?"

I know that's where I am. Blacks tell me I'm white, therefore I'm racist?

So?

I could give two shits what black people think of me, if the first thing they think is, "Racist!!!"

campy said...

I think the point is coming soon when the vast majority of white people are going to start reacting to minorities playing the race card by saying, "So?"

Keep telling yourself that. I bet it's comforting.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

It's about power. It's about who gets to have credibility and who can be judged, condemned and marginalized without trial. Coates, his wistful tone aside, is perpetrating violence here. Based only on some of his own vague notions he is giving himself permission to condemn huge swaths of people. It is deeply cynical.

pj (lowercase) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chef Mojo said...

What's going to be very interesting is when blacks come to the shocking realization that they're no longer THE minority.

They're about to be left in the dust by Hispanics and Asians.

When it comes to identity politics in the future, they're just not going to matter all that much.

At that point, they can scream, "Racism!" all they want, and nobody is going to give a damn.

Chip S. said...

Keep telling yourself that. I bet it's comforting.

Chef Mojo's conjecture fits quite a few people I know.

Keep telling yourself it's not happening, if that comforts you for some strange reason.

campy said...

Chef Mojo's conjecture fits quite a few people I know.

Keep telling yourself it's not happening, if that comforts you

It doesn't. But I try to live in reality, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me.

"Quite a few" is a helluva long way from "vast majority."

Pogo said...

White men are considered racist and sexist and generally evil bigots, so why should I care what Mr. Coates has to say?

He's good because he's black, and I'm evil because I'm a white male. I don't give a shit anymore, really. I am no longer going to respond except by steering clear of all contact wherever possible. To hell with him.

Andy R. said...

If you're wondering if racism still exists, one example of racism is white people pretending that racism does not exist.

MayBee said...

I'm not certain what he means about showing papers and coming up blank, but if he is referring to Obama's birth certificate, whjte presidential candidates have indeed been asked to show theirs.

And Bush was asked to show his TANG papers.

Chef Mojo said...

@campy:

Keep telling yourself that. I bet it's comforting.

I don't have to tell myself that. I see evidence of it every day. Whites, Asians and Hispanics I associate with are laughing when when they see or hear assclowns like Coates blather on about "racism." What's really funny are a number of blacks not born in this country. They all own their own businesses, and they generally have nothing but contempt for race baiters. One of them, a guy from Guyana just laughs and shakes his head. "Dumb-ass fools," he calls them. And it's not a political thing; this guy is as liberal as they come. He just can't stand the victim mentality and excuse making of what he laughingly refers to as "Slave-Americans."

Comforting? Not really. I'm ambivalent. I just don't give a shit anymore.

elkh1 said...

A Chinese proverb: If the dogooders don't die, grand larceny won't cease.

(Note: to those who don't understand this half-ass translation, it means the dogooders rob you under the guise of helping you. E.g. the leftists' hero Chavez who "helped" the poor by fleecing the country, accumulating $2 billions for himself; e.g. a president who "stimulated" the economy by rewarding billions to his cronies who bankrupted their stores letting tens of thousands unemployed.)

AprilApple said...

years ago I watched a show and the actor blurted out.. "We're ALL good liberals."

White supremacists think they are superior and good. I don't trust groups who label themselves as "good". Or the assumption that you can only be good if you are a liberal.

Shouting Thomas said...

It's been pointed out to in many forums, particularly in Steve Sailer's site, that the racial ID of the worker at the deli and the arresting officer aren't know, and that both could very well be non-white.

Shouting Thomas said...

If you're wondering if racism still exists, one example of racism is white people pretending that racism does not exist.

Andy R proves that white racism doesn't exist.

Thanks, Andy.

MnMark said...

I wouldn't want to be black. I wouldn't want to be a minority in any country, either - though if I had to be a minority in any country on earth, it would be a white, Western country. They treat minorities better than anyone else.

Ta-Nahesi could go on back to the motherland any time he wants and never be hassled for being black again. But he'd prefer to stay and complain.

The thing is, while I acknowledge that it is hard to be an honest black man who people suspect of doing bad things because he's black, Ta-Nahesi, if he's honest, has to admit that black people do a lot of dishonest things. Just looking at the FBI's crime victimization survey, a higher proportion of blacks do dishonest, rotten, criminal things than any other race.

So there's a reason blacks get suspected, Ta-Nahesi. It's not just cuz somehow all white people decided there was a shade of skin tone they don't like. It's because even us white folks who grow up being taught never ever to think racist thoughts finally get enough experience in the real world.

Shouting Thomas said...

Of course, Andy R is the one blatantly racist white who routinely visits this site.

He keeps calling people "bigots" in an attempt to compare himself to blacks suffering under Jim Crow. Fat, rich white boy comparing himself to people who actually experienced suffering and discrimination.

So, Andy R is a white racist. I amend my previous remark, in light of this obvious exception.

edutcher said...

Last I looked, Mr Whitaker, who is a good actor, doesn't have the face recognition of, say, John Wayne or Gerard Butler, so the idea he would be instantly recognized is a farce. He's done too many Merchant-Ivory type pictures for that kind of familiarity.

Ta, if I may call him that, wants to get away from the fact there's more black racism out there than white.

Chef Mojo said...

Andy R.

As usual, you don't get the point.

Of course racism exists.

The question I ask is whether it matters, given that an entire race - whites - are being described as racist habitually by African-Americans, just as a matter of rote. Why bother responding with good intentions and guilt when you can never redeem yourself in the eyes of African-Americans; no matter what you do, they'll consider you racist.

My answer, therefore, is, "So?"

And it doesn't matter, Andy R, that you're a white homosexual liberal; you're doubly contemptible in their eyes.

Me? I just find you contemptible for being a liberal.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why is thinking that you are good...unique to liberals?"

I didn't say it was unique to liberals, but it's something that I think is a dangerous human flaw common among liberals. Remember I live in Madison, Wisconsin, where I am surrounded by liberals (and lefties).

If I were somewhere else, surrounded by righties who rest on their own presumption of goodness, that would bother me too.

My understanding of Christianity is that we are all sinners and that we should look to our own shortcomings.

Phil 3:14 said...

Fundamental attribution error.

Ann Althouse said...

In that view, racism is pervasive, we are all guilty, and we should all try to be better. Calling out others or singling out the real racists (those people over there) is not what Jesus calls us to do.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Mr Whitaker, who is a good actor, doesn't have the face recognition of, say, John Wayne or Gerard Butler

Narrow-gauge bigshots can get remarkably touchy when they're not treated like super bigshots. That was the moral of the Gates incident as well.

Chip S. said...

If you're wondering if racism still exists, one example of racism is white people pretending that racism does not exist.

"Existence" is a pretty low bar. I certainly do not think that zero is a likely level of racism that will ever be attained among the members of any race.

But the idea that white racism is so pervasive as to require another 40 years or so of racial preferences to eradicate is a far different--and far shakier--proposition.

The idea that "racism" is the likeliest (let along, the sole) possible explanation of the Forrest Whitaker episode is just silly.

Andy R. said...

Someone here posted a quote a while ago from a black civil rights type person (I think it was either Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson) talking about feeling guilty when he sees some people on the street late at night and feels safer when he realized it was white people.

Does anyone know what I'm referring to? I tried googling and couldn't find it.

Anyway, it relates to a broader point I would like to make about how anti-black racism in this country is structural and societal and institutional and it impacts all of us, including black people.

Michael K said...

"It'd suck more if you were black because it would happen all the time, I understand. "

How about if you are two white reporters driving through an unfamiliar part of town ?

It's OK though because the newspaper owner is black and an Obama crony. It didn't get reported except locally.

Now, the EEOC will sue employers who turn down black job applicants with felony records.

Shouting Thomas said...

Occasionally, when I want to waste a little time, I watch the true crime stories on the Investigative Discovery channel on TV.

The most bizarre story I ever saw was about an attractive young redheaded white woman who stopped late at night at a gas station in a bad (you know what I mean) neighborhood.

A young black man got her attention and asked if she would give him a ride home.

She worried that the kid might have bad intentions, but she worried even more that she might be prejudiced and unjustly judging the kid. She rambled on for some time about how determined she was to be fair and to avoid racist stereotypes.

Finally, she decided to have pity on the kid and give him a ride.

He pulled a gun on her, forced her to drive to an abandoned area, raped her and shot her in the head. She survived.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'll repeat. The racial ID of the worker at the deli and the arresting cop are unknown, and they are both likely to be non-white.

Shouting Thomas said...

In your characteristic stupidity, Andy R, you missed the point of that story, told by Jesse Jackson.

The point was that he knew that the overwhelming likelihood was that a violent criminal was likely to be black.

Synova said...

"I have a white, female friend who was accused I
of shoplifting at a Sephora. I don't know if they patted her down, but they went through her purse, her pockets, and her shopping bags. She had not, in fact, shoplifted.
"

This is what gets me, and what I think is important here.

All of it, ALL OF IT, depends on Ta-Nehisi's ability to IMAGINE these things happening to white people. But they do happen to white people. But when they happen it's invisible to Ta-Nehisi. He can't SEE it. He can't IMAGINE it.

Racism against blacks depends on what he imagines is the norm for whites when they shop, when they're stopped by police, when they lock themselves out of their own homes.

He doesn't even bother to make the argument that blacks get falsely accused of shoplifting *more often* than whites... it's that he can not IMAGINE this happening to a white person.

His assessment of reality, of what it means to be *me*, or what it means to be a white, male, college professor, or what it means to be Nicholas Cage, is based on a weird fantasy vision of what is the norm for white people.

White people are ignored by shop girls, left unseated at Denny's, falsely accused of shop lifting, asked to pay before they are given their Big Mac, and subject to Philippine guards with bad muzzle discipline sweeping them with their gun... not because of racism, but because people are stupid.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Is it possible to play a hand other than the one you are dealt?

No, of course not. So shut the fuck up about other peoples hands and play your hand to the best of your ability.

Shouting Thomas said...

The point about Christianity, Mary, is one I'm thinking about today.

I've been offered a part-time position as an organist/vocalist/choir director at a predominantly black Baptist church.

It's a great job for me from a lot of perspectives. The pay fits right into the limit of what I can make and not be penalized under Social Security. I love the black Baptist approach to music. They rock.

But, the negatives are that I'll have to spend quite a bit of time in a pretty dicey neighborhood, and that I'd face a lot of resentment and jealousy from some members of the congregation because the job is supposed to "belong" to blacks.

Haven't decided whether I want to put up with that stress.

Chuck said...

One thing that has been very, very good to Ta-Nehisi Coates is the racial grievance industry.

Magazines, television, newspapers; all happy to pay him a salary with benefits, for writing and talking about racism.

rcocean said...

"I am trying to imagine a white president forced to show his papers at a national news conference, and coming up blank."

Does anyone know what the hell this is supposed to mean? When was Obama ever "forced to show his papers?"

Paul Zrimsek said...

Following up on my earlier: in fairness to Whitaker, all the huffy do-you-know-who-I-am stuff was offered up vicariously by Coates; his own reaction could have been entirely reasonable for all I know. Like a couple of other commenters, I'm bemused by Coates' apparent assumption that being a prominent person means being beyond suspicion.

Pogo said...

I don't see the point in trying anymore. It's never enough, and then they see books and businesses and the weather as racist.

Like the lefties and taxes, it's never enough. Free schools, free apartments, free medical care and free phones. But still I'm racist. Go to hell.


We're their scapegoat for failure, one giant Goldstein that is the cause of all bad things. The Arabs have the Jews and blacks have whites.

You gotta blame somebody, Dylan should've said.

rcocean said...

TNC needs to get a grip. Why do many young black men get looked at suspiciously by strangers? Why would a clerk jump to the conclusion that a young black man was stealing?

Maybe its "racism" or maybe its rooted in the reality of crime statistics. I wonder why young Asians men are never treated with the same "racism" or why many of immigrant friends (who don't know beans about slavery, segregation, or MLK) exhibit the same "racism" toward young black men that TNC attributes to whites?

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

It's that question that fires my antagonism to liberals. They think they are good.

It's not that they think they are "good". It's that they think they are better.

Everyone can be good. It's non-zero-sum.

Better is zero-sum. Some have to be morally inferior in order for me to be better than them.

That's what annoys me.

n.n said...

Emotional extortion is a tactic most effective to force concessions from immature or young men and women. It loses its coercive effect as we develop awareness of our environment and acquire the knowledge and skill to dispense with selective manipulation of perception.

That said, the author should consider the motivation for development of prejudice, including envy. He is not helping to reconcile the real and manufactured differences between people.

In the meantime, in lieu of any objective standards, let's play the equivalence game for political, economic, and social profit.

rcocean said...

While I go to movies, I couldn't pick Whitaker -and many Oscar nominees -out of a line up. Of course Wyona Ryder WAS shoplifting - so there's that.

Michael K said...

Danny Glover is another narrow gauge celebrity who is perpetually aggrieved. He rants about taxi drivers not picking him up in New York. Have you looked at the taxi drivers in New York ?

The sad thing is that a buddy and I used to go into a black bar in 1956 every Friday night and shoot pool. We were the only white guys in there. We got very good at bumper pool and usually won. The black guys would line up to play us and never got angry when they lost. We considered them friends.

I wouldn't dare do that now.

rcocean said...

It wasn't about race at all, it was about Obama's weird background & the fact that you must be a natural born citizen to be President.

Goju said...

Gates was not arrested for breaking into his own house. He was arrested for refusing to provide ID showing he was the home owner. He also lied to the cops about there having been someone with him. But Coates doesn't like a little thing like facts get in the way.

Funny he still gets worked up over Michael Rishards, but has remained silent on Alec Balwin calling a black photog a coon and a crack dealer. Is Coates a coward? Does Baldwin have too much clout to be called to account?

Amartel said...

It never occurs to these fucking oblivious liberal clowns that they are the ones perpetuating racism, exploiting race for "pure" (political) purposes because they are Good people who Do Good. Oh, what a stunning surprise, what a revelation, that Other People exploit racism for their made-up own "good" purposes too. Uh oh, someone else's "good" purpose does not line up exactly with yours. That was unexpected! This asshole Coates thinks he's exempt because he's black. He writes "think" pieces, he's credentialled, he's part of the liberal pantheon of scrivener-intellectuals and accorded all sorts of undeserved respect for that but he's black so where race is concerned he's just a passive onlooker, a pawn of society who gets to gaze down, with great fake sadness of course, from his lofty moral high ground and shake his head, and his finger, at the foolish white liberals. Bullshit! And big fuck off to you, Ta-Nahesi Coates. You don't get to hand yourself a pass. You nurture and celebrate this depravity in which black people are presumed victims, presumed dangerous, presumed poor, presumed criminal, presumed stupid, presumed helpless and in need of government assistance in every aspect of their lives. Presumed to need Lord Coates the Good to translate for them.

How convenient. For you.

Black celebrity mistaken for a nobody. Let's take advantage of that ... for the greater good of Ta-Nahesi Coates.

Synova said...

As for "papers"... presidential candidates are asked for "papers" all the time. All the "white" ones, too.

Granted, Kerry didn't WIN so he was never the president, but I do believe we're still waiting for the "papers" we were demanding from Kerry... the same "papers" that Bush released in their entirety.

campy said...

It never occurs to these fucking oblivious liberal clowns that they are the ones perpetuating racism, exploiting race for "pure" (political) purposes

Oh, believe me, the few bright ones know it. It's pure cynicism.

Shouting Thomas said...

As for the papers controversy...

Bush (W) was hounded throughout his administration for proof that he'd actually been in the National Guard.

Dan Rather and Mary Mapes finally resorted to fabricating "papers."

So, we can drop the papers controversy, right?

Synova said...

There were demands for "papers" from Romney past the papers required by law, and also demands from Palin for "papers" beyond those required by law, even if few took the demands she prove she gave birth to Trig seriously, there certainly were demands.

And of course, real Birthers insist that McCain is also not qualified to be president... and McCain is white.

Michael said...

This horrible injustice happened on the upoer West side of the island of Manhattan, barely north of the very center of the nightly and daily calls for social justice and the certainty of southern racism and hickery. Hilarious. The Feds need to jam some voting rights laws down the racist throats of these racist white fucks, these sanctimonious jackasses.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

If you're wondering if racism still exists, one example of racism is white people pretending that racism does not exist.

Another is Lefties assuming every white person but them is racist and that "people of color" are incapable of it.

Michael K said...

Danny Glover is another narrow gauge celebrity who is perpetually aggrieved. He rants about taxi drivers not picking him up in New York. Have you looked at the taxi drivers in New York ?

If it weren't for tokenism, nobody would know Danny Glover even existed.

Michael said...

Shouting Thomas. Take the gig in the Baptist church. You will be richly rewarded. I had the good fortune to teach in an historically black college in the late 60s and I learned much from the experience. Some of it good

Pogo said...

I advice Mr. Coates to watch Terrance Malicks movie Tree of Life and take not of this scene which contains the quote:

"The nuns taught us there were two ways through life—the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow…

Grace doesn’t try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries…

Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it, and love is smiling through all things.
"

May I take heed of it as well, and be forgiven as he is.

Michael said...

This horrible injustice happened on the upoer West side of the island of Manhattan, barely north of the very center of the nightly and daily calls for social justice and the certainty of southern racism and hickery. Hilarious. The Feds need to jam some voting rights laws down the racist throats of these racist white fucks, these sanctimonious jackasses.

Andy R. said...

Another is Lefties assuming every white person but them is racist and that "people of color" are incapable of it.

I happen to think that our racist society affects all of us in different ways, so I'm more interested in a distinction between people who are interested in doing anti-racism work and people who aren't. Rather than trying to say who is racist and who isn't.

Having a debate over how we define racism differently and how I think that individual black people not liking white people is not the same as anti-black racism in American seems like a waste of our time. We'll have to agree to disagree.

Hagar said...

I do not know about the other incidents referred to by Mr. Coates, but Skippy Gates got arrested for acting like an idiot with the police sergeant trying to find out what he was doing there.

And I believe the sergeant's story. You don't get to be a sergeant in a Harvard district without knowing to mind your P's and Q's.

Shouting Thomas said...

... people who are interested in doing anti-racism work ...

Andy, you are just a completely loathsome, worthless piece of shit.

I mean it. You're a waste of oxygen.

AprilApple said...

Everything is dripping with liberal supremacy.

TV
Media
"news"
print
Hipster blog vapors...

It's impossible to escape the constant liberal supremacist preachy.

Pogo said...

There's no such thing as "anti-racism work".

It's a made-up word meaning nothing, merely a shibboleth marking a fellow traveller.

Shouting Thomas said...

Andy, you will be flittering from one cause to another the rest of your life.

The problem isn't outside you. It's inside you.

You're a fucking mess.

Solve the problem inside you.

Astro said...

How did some people get to be considered the "good" people in the first place? It's that question that fires my antagonism to liberals. They think they are good.

Watch the Oscars. These people have made an art form of patting each other on the back, telling themselves how wonderful they are. And the media echo that constantly.

When you see the magazine racks in the supermarket check-out line filled with fanmags about small-company businessmen or engineers -- ahh, what am I saying. That's just never going to happen.

Andy R. said...

so I'm more interested in a distinction between people who are interested in doing anti-racism work and people who aren't.

To be clear, there are people who are intentionally, knowingly engaging in racism, and they're a special category, but that's not most people.

The decision by the Romney campaign (via John Sununu) to try to intentionally race-bait Obama was a particularly noxious recent example of this.

betamax3000 said...

I wouldn't recognize Danny Glover unless Mel Gibson was standing next to him.

With a mullet.

Him or Hugo Chavez.

Shouting Thomas said...

Andy, the misery in your life is caused precisely by this scape-goating that is at the center of your life.

You are a complete idiot.

Quit fixing the world and fix yourself.

Uncle Pavian said...

Favorite comment from Scott in Chicago: "Nothing ever good stems from quests for perfection and purity."
Mediocrity! It's a Good Thing.

AJ Lynch said...

Taneisha, a run of the mill Race Hustler, decries system that provides him with a steady paycheck. Has he ever written about any other topic?

Amartel said...

You want to rid the nation of racism? Stop exploiting racial presumptions for political gain. Stop insisting upon racism. Stop looking for it everywhere. Stop seeing it everywhere. Stop having national conversations about it; let people work their personal shit out amongst themselves. Stop labeling people by race. Stop feeling sorry for black people. Stop holding white people in contempt. Stop thinking badly of your fellow human beings.
What's that? Nevermind?
Racism is not going to disappear. Stupid people of all colors will always need something simple and obvious to latch onto to make themselves feel superior to others. Stop being a stupid person.

DCS said...

Ta nahisi doesn't seem to appreciate that the only reason he has a job as a writer for the Atlantic is because he's black. He's mediocre at best. And he is a racist.

TML said...

What the hell does that story have to do with racism? Is he saying that FW was frisked just because he's black? Ridiculous. No such thing was proven. Idiotic column.

AJ Lynch said...

Tannisha claimed Josephine Ferraro made racist statement when she said Obama was where he was mostly because of his race.

YoungHegelian said...

Eddie Murphy laid bare the ugly truth back in his SNL days.

traditionalguy said...

It seems that many northern whites' attitude towards African Americans has not evolved from strictly equal rights but with a dose of stereotypes of a defectiveness in education and moral restraints applied to all African Americans.

Down south we have done the hard work and examined our attitudes, made the transition, and can see all people for whom they are without knee jerk stereotypes.

It can be done. It can even be done for Hispanics, Hindus and Yankees.

Sam L. said...

I don't know the faces of either of these men. It's possible the clerk would recognize either. People make mistakes.

bagoh20 said...

You know we could all be saints if we just lower the bar a little more. Wadda ya say? Who's with me?

YoungHegelian said...

Yeah, it sure sucks to be black. It sucks because even after 60 years of civil rights legislation and PC education, scratch the surface & you find an aspiring klansman.

Goddamned blue eyed devils! How are you ever make a deal with the devil that he'll keep? Not only that, the devils outnumber you six to one. And until each and every one of those devils achieves an angelic conscience, and eliminates that all-too-human prejudice from their hearts, you know you and yours aren't going to get anywhere!

It sure sucks to be black in America.

Paco Wové said...

"In sum, minority groups in any country will tend to experience more of it."

Ergo, as the country becomes more "diverse", it will also become more racist.

wyo sis said...

Growing up without TV in Wyoming in the 50's meant I didn't meet any black people until I was about 9.
My first experience was at a parade in a Utah city. A teen aged black girl looked at me and yelled BOO! It scared the hell out of me. Maybe I was staring.

John Stodder said...

Sorry if this is redundant, but this article struck me as possibly a product of tremendous confusion.

Why did the deli owner stop Forrest Whittaker? Did he ever say anything to suggest it was due to his race? Could it have been because of any other reasons -- a suspicious reach into a pocket, for instance, or his proximity to a missing item at the moment it went missing?

And for that, his wife believes their son should never enter the store again because he might be similarly tagged as a shoplifter? But he explains that all the members of his family have visited this deli many times, without incident. Why would they think such a thing would happen now?

This is an anecdote he is straining to fit into a thesis, which is that racism is just as prevalent as always.

But what if it isn't? What poison is he unleashing by claiming that it still is, and that the Whittaker incident proves it?

Henry said...

I saw this one.

New York Times editorials almost always contain a thought so unintentionally, witlessly hyperbolic as clearly state "read no further." In this case, the sentence leads the fifth paragraph:

A half-century later little had changed.

Uh...no.

bagoh20 said...

I think being known by others as good is more important to liberals, and to some extent is the very reason for being one, since for many people being a conservative equals being a bad person. I have more liberal friends than conservative - I'm in L.A after all. Many do a lot of good and often are as humble and quiet about it as conservatives. Often we work together for the same objectives, and want the same things.

What I see different between liberals and conservatives is:

1) Liberals are pretty comfortable with a default solution of forcing people, through the law, to do what they think is right.

2) They have mostly adopted the idea that conservatives act out of bad motivations of greed, and close mindedness.

3) Number two above makes it impossible for them to ever vote for or support a conservative. It's akin to treason or dealing with the devil. The Wicked Witch versus Dorothy and Toto.

Liberals aren't bad people, so much as close minded and poorly informed. Conservative ideas are really alien and not well understood, and those that are, are not seen as conservative, but just basic common sense.

Most of us live very much by the same rules and values but the differences develop a life of their own.

JAL said...

Coates' neighbohood is snugged right up against Harlem. That may have something to do with it.

As for racism, as an art student walking to class years ago I had someone spit at me from their car at an intersection. I am white.

And didn't the first black ambassador to Sweden have some problem?

And Lindsey Lohan has sticky white fingers. I'd watch her if she were in my store ...

John Stodder said...

Hey, just read the HuffPo's story about this. No showing whatsoever that it was racially motivated. The store was crowded. Whitaker's behavior--darting in and out of the store after a quick purchase of a container of yogurt--was misinterpreted. The employee is obviously an asshole -- and the owner fired him.

Ta-Nehesi, knowing these facts, why would you shun the store? Why would you keep your kid out of there?

Revenant said...

I was tired of good people

I'm tired of irritable black people.

YoungHegelian said...

@John Stodder,

Ta-Nehesi, knowing these facts, why would you shun the store? Why would you keep your kid out of there?

Because the air of martyrdom, without actually getting eaten by the lion, is sweet indeed.

Michael K said...

"The decision by the Romney campaign (via John Sununu) to try to intentionally race-bait Obama was a particularly noxious recent example of this."

That's an interesting statement. Would you like to explain that ? That's related to the complaint by the garbage men's union that Romney didn't understand them. This after there were photos showing him working as a garbage man when governor. I suspect the complainer wouldn't know what to do if faced with actually, you know, working with your hands.

rcocean said...

Andy R may support pedophilia and NAMBLA but he's no racist.

Paco Wové said...

A half-century later little had changed.

And the entire country was Alabama.

Paco Wové said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Goju said...

Doesn't Coates claim to be an historian? Even without the fancy letters after my name, I know that George Romney's presidential qualifications were questioned because he was born in Mexico. There were also questions about Truman. Of course, since I haven't had the benefit of a pablum fed college course I have to rely on facts instead of convenient theory.

Nathan, Coates is as bad as Stormfront. He just wraps it up in a better looking wrapping paper. Like David Duke.

rcocean said...

Reading TNC: I'm still trying to figure out why something that happened in 1957 is relevant. Somehow - to TNC - a bunch of 1957 Rednecks and 2013 New Yorkers are like peas in a pod.

rcocean said...

To be fair to TNC he never claims to be a historian, just someone interested in history.

Scott M said...

If you're wondering if racism still exists, one example of racism is white people pretending that racism does not exist.

Hardly. That's an example of prejudice. Not Racism.

John said...

"I am trying to imagine a white president forced to show his papers at a national news conference, and coming up blank."

Didn't the press do that continually to both Bush (about his Natl Guard service) and Kerry (about his VN service and discharge? WHich we still have not seen, BTW)

"I am trying to a imagine a prominent white Harvard professor arrested for breaking into his own home, and coming up with nothing."

Was prof Gates "arrested"? Or even detained?

Or is Coates lying?

John Henry

Deirdre Mundy said...

For the record, My family is as white as they come. 9 years ago, my husband arrived at our new house in the dead of night with a U-Haul. The neighbors, knowing the house was vacant, called the cops. He politely showed them his ID, proved he owned the house, and they left.

We were happy--nosy neighbors who call the cops at the drop of a hat mean that you're safer in your home.

But yes, white people do get the cops called on them for breaking into their own houses.

Mark said...

I read a few comments into this and said fuck it.

Here's the deal on living in ghettos. Once you've lived in one long enough, you know the good actors and the bad actors, and if you don't know instantly about a person you assume they're a bad actor.

I grew up in all-white Appalachia where things were really peaceful, some bad shit was happening around the edges, and when it wasn't peaceful it really wasn't peaceful.

I lived twelve years in Crown Heights without a problem, and maybe the first few years were luck but after that I knew the signs and portents and the neighborhood knew me and there was no problem.

I don't think racism is so much the problem today as Community Rules. We've just become tribal in a different way.

Jeremy said...

I'm white, and I've been accused of shoplifting.

It was funny, I left the store and heard someone yelling, I had no idea they were yelling at me.

Is it irritating? Maddening? Yes. But I don't think it's necessarily racist.

Michael said...

Apparently Mitt Romney's tax returns don't count as papers either.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Um, well lacking empathy, a core attribute of sociopathy, probably means you're not a very good person.

No wonder conservatives hate to consider such things.

Iapetus said...

I wonder whether Coates has a good enough memory to imagine himself as a white, male college student on the Duke University LAX team.

William said...

It's good to know that somwhere in NY there's still a deli staffed by whites. I suppose it's possible, but all the ones I know are run by Koreans.....I wonder if Ta feels as critical of blacks who shoplift as he does of whites who stereotype blacks as possible shoplifters......Fifty per cent of the women in South Africa claim they have been raped. Twenty five per cent of the men claim they have participated in a rape. The President of the country has been credibly accusd of rape. There is something very, very wrong in South Africa, and it is not attributable to racism. When Ta feels as affronted by rape as he was by apartheid, I will believe that he is more interested in promoting justice as he is of nursing a grievance.

RazorSharpSundries said...

I was once stopped by the police for matching the description of a random white guy in a ball cap. I was out for a walk in my south La Crosse, Wi., neighborhood, stopped at the local Kwik Trip to go to the bathroom when I came out a cop was waiting for and asked to see my driver's license. Having nothing to hide I handed it over and he looked at it and said I was not the guy they were looking for but that I did match the description. Alright, I shook it off. But then as I walked around the store to pick up some grub and beer the store employees were giving me arch looks and it occurred to me that they had ratted me out to the cops when I was in the bathroom. To them I was a shady, low-rent white guy who not only matched the description of who the cops were looking for but could definitely be a criminal even though they saw me nearly every day. Funny.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

This horrible injustice happened on the upoer West side of the island of Manhattan, barely north of the very center of the nightly and daily calls for social justice and the certainty of southern racism and hickery. Hilarious. The Feds need to jam some voting rights laws down the racist throats of these racist white fucks, these sanctimonious jackasses.

They do, you dumbass. Just like they do in your own redneck jurisdiction.

Open up a book every now and then.

Saint Croix said...

My wife is not like me. When she was 6, a little white boy called her cousin a nigger, and it has been war ever since. “What if they did that to your son?” she asked.

Who is "they"? Is she at war with 6-year-old boys?

Unknown said...

"We're the good guys!" — Benjamin Linus

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"Why is thinking that you are good...unique to liberals?"

I didn't say it was unique to liberals, but it's something that I think is a dangerous human flaw common among liberals. Remember I live in Madison, Wisconsin, where I am surrounded by liberals (and lefties).

If I were somewhere else, surrounded by righties who rest on their own presumption of goodness, that would bother me too.

My understanding of Christianity is that we are all sinners and that we should look to our own shortcomings.


So that's it? Christianity is the answer? We need a religious solution to this?

I think basic human tolerance is the answer. A sectarian answer to a problem of social exclusion is nonsensical.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Maguro said...

Time to extend the Voting Rights Act to New York.

The place is chock full of racists!

3/10/13, 5:28 PM


It already was. See above.

Would it kill you to actually learn about the things that you guys spout off about? Or does that defeat the purpose?

Balfegor said...

Re: Chef Mojo:

What's going to be very interesting is when blacks come to the shocking realization that they're no longer THE minority.

They're about to be left in the dust by Hispanics and Asians.

When it comes to identity politics in the future, they're just not going to matter all that much
.

I think the real shift for Black activists is going to be when Whites are no longer a majority in the country as a whole. I'm sure there will still be histrionic complaints about White racism, but Hispanics and Asians won't feel White guilt, so those complaints won't have much impact any more.

As Whiteness becomes racially marked, Whites themselves will also probably become less sensitive to complaints about White racism, given that they will probably be on the receiving end of anti-White racism a lot more frequently. Racism won't have the shock of strangeness and moral horror anymore when they encounter it regularly themselves. It'll just be part of life.

Gene said...

Andy R>: If you're wondering if racism still exists, one example of racism is white people pretending that racism does not exist.

Of course racism exists. All you have to do is look at some black neighborhoods where Obama got 100% of the vote.

chickelit said...

Synova said...
There were demands for "papers" from Romney past the papers required by law, and also demands from Palin for "papers" beyond those required by law, even if few took the demands she prove she gave birth to Trig seriously, there certainly were demands.

I'd add that the same blogger who promulgated dual smears against Palin and Romney--and never walked one word back--appears to hold Mr. Coates in high esteem.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What Mark said at 9:32.

The conservative alternative that assumes to proclaim all tribalism dead and all communities equivalent in what they include is as dumb as John Lennon saying "War is Over (If You Want It)".

Good for all you conservatives who say you're just naturally disinclined to feel any greater comfort around people who are more like yourself, but that's no different than saying good intentions alone solve problems. Further, I'm not buying it. Not unless psychiatry declares that there is no such thing as the subconscious.

Check yourselves indeed.

Saint Croix said...

In that view, racism is pervasive, we are all guilty, and we should all try to be better.

In this view, racism is like sin. We're all guilty.

But their is another view, that racism is an ideology. A racist divides people into races, and then posits that their biology causes them to behave a certain way. So racists deny free will. They deny humanity.

In Christianity you love the sinner while you hate the sin. Thus if racism is sin, we must attack it.

We attack racism while we love the people who are racist.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Of course racism exists. All you have to do is look at some black neighborhoods where Obama got 100% of the vote.

Same neighborhoods where Clinton got 100% of the vote.

Listen, assholes: Blacks used to vote overwhelmingly for Republicans. But then FDR came along, took the radical step of hiring them in the White House, and took seriously the problem of class and inequality in general. People tend to notice that.

The conservative conundrum is that they believe in a fiction, that says all advantages and privileges and disadvantages are, by definition, deserved. This is absurd. Blacks naturally know that this is absurd.

But it's the narrative that conservatives cling to. How else can one proclaim that society or any other (falsely) "natural" order is right and good unless they believe that and justify hierarchies at any price?

Everyone else knows that there are unfair advantages and disadvantages, structurally, in place and that a country like the United States - which declares all men created equal - has no business justifying those inequities.

Michael K said...

"They do, you dumbass. Just like they do in your own redneck jurisdiction.

Open up a book every now and then."

Ritmo has trouble with geography. The Voting Rights Act , Section 5, affects specific states, not New York, that are assumed to be racist 60 years after Brown vs Board.

Dumbass

Under Section 5, jurisdictions covered by these special provisions could not implement any change affecting voting until the Attorney General or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the change did not have a discriminatory purpose and would not have a discriminatory effect. In addition, the Attorney General could designate a county covered by these special provisions for the appointment of a federal examiner to review the qualifications of persons who wanted to register to vote. Further, in those counties where a federal examiner was serving, the Attorney General could request that federal observers monitor activities within the county's polling place.

Jeez, they're getting dumber.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

In Christianity you love the sinner while you hate the sin. Thus if racism is sin, we must attack it.

We attack racism while we love the people who are racist.


No we mustn't.

I mean, we can, but it's to a matter of degree. And too much of it is useless. Too much excusing away of racism is no better than too much finger pointing.

As I said before, you can look at this through a religious lens, if you like. If you need to. MLK did (but he was a preacher). But ultimately racism didn't need a religious justification to exist and it didn't need a religious reason to go away. Those reasons helped, but ultimately there are equally rational, less sectarian, and more tolerant justifications that are even better.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Your illiteracy is touching, Michael K. But it would be nicer if you learned to actually look at the sources you deny before denying them. Three counties (boroughs) of NYC require the same preclearance covered under the act before enacting changes to voting that affect those Southern states. Even certain townships are addressed.

Go back to your civil rights lawyer and then show your sorry, arrogant face back into the thread - okay Doc?

David said...

"My wife is not like me. When she was 6, a little white boy called her cousin a nigger, and it has been war ever since. “What if they did that to your son?” she asked."

She went to war (presumably with whites or with the society or something?) based on the stupid statement of a six year old boy? Is she therefore racist? Is she stereotyping? (Yes I know the experience with the 6 year old was not the only factor in her attitude, but why the emphasis?)

Many years ago I was involved in crafting a citizen response to the Milwaukee school desegregation order. My kids were in public schools and were going to then very experimental desegregated schools in some tough neighborhoods. The schools and the neighborhoods were majority black.

As we tried to find a way to have as much voluntary action as possible to comply with the order, I was on numerous occasions called a racist by other members or our court appointed group, writers to newspapers and on a few occasions public officials. It bothered me but not too deeply because I believed the accusation not to be true.

But it has become a commonplace to do this. Nowadays the cry of racist is a central talking point in numerous debates. Elected officials are usually smart enough to let someone else do the smear, but they almost never call anyone out on the slur.

There is no longer any difference between calling someone a racist and calling someone by the N-word. Both are vicious insults, meant to intimidate. They are equally ugly in tone and intent.

I doubt Mr. Coates or his wife think of themselves as racists. From his writings he has always seemed to me to be a Good Person. But what's the difference these days between the R-word and the N-word, Mr. Coates?

chickelit said...

O Ritmo Segundo exhorts:

Listen, assholes:

Such words from a mere stranger on the Internet addressing other strangers who he wants to:

(a) Affect or disaffect?

(b) Entertain or piss off?

(c) (a) and (b)

(d) All of the above

Pogo said...

Maybe Coates can get the government franchise on the drone assassinations of racists.

Nathan Alexander said...

When I'm in China, I realize I am representing the United States. Not everyone has that attitude. Those who don't recognize they are representing the US do a lot of damage to national relations, without realizing it.

So I am very careful to represent the US very well. I always have a good attitude, I am very patient, I am very friendly. I answer any questions people have of me, I ignore insults (when they don't realize I understand Chinese fluently).

I take every opportunity I can to improve both race relations (because the mainland Chinese are very racist) and national relations.

Is it a burden? Yes.

I also ensure that when I meet someone, no matter the color of their skin, I start with a clean slate. If their behavior is menacing, I withdraw; if friendly, I respond with friendliness. I often am the first person to reach out.

Everyone is a person, with pretty much the same hopes and dreams. What is different is the culture.

If people started thinking that everything they do reflects on their race, and were careful to make sure that they represented their race well, then race relations would be 10000% better.

The problem w/ Mr. Coates and his wife is that they expect they can act as they wish, but are immune from anyone treating them negatively, simply because they are black. And they insist on seeing every action of white people in the most negative light possible.

This is racism, pure and simple.

Andy R. came up with an interesting bit of nonsense: you are only "good" if you are interested in doing "anti-racism work", and "not good" if you aren't.

WTF is "anti-racism work"?

The only way to end racism is to stop treating people on the basis of their skin color. That's it.

"Anti-racism work" perpetuates racism.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Did Michael K. seriously just include a discussion of Washington D.C.'s responsibilities under the voting rights act as a way of arguing that entities other than states - except New York in its entirety - aren't covered?

That's pretty astonishing.

Saint Croix said...

Calling out others or singling out the real racists (those people over there) is not what Jesus calls us to do.

He calls on us to love the sinner while hating the sin.

Thus we should hate racist actions.

But in that article the writer acquits the guy of any racist action.

I felt ashamed at withholding business for something far beyond the merchant’s reach.

Liberalism has gone way beyond punishing people for bad acts. Liberalism now calls on us to hate or disdain people for secret desires, hidden meanings, subconscious thoughts, all the crap we didn't intend to do.

For instance, if a financial firm does not have the proper number of black workers, it can be sued. Even if there is no intent to discriminate. Liberalism has demolished intent in many torts.

Corporations spend millions of dollars trying to prove they are not racist. This helps the upper class minorities who work for corporations. And it screws all the poor minorities who have to pay for more expensive products and services from corporations.

The liberal dream to eliminate racism from every subconscious nook and cranny is insane.

Just shut up about race. Stop dividing people into races. Require proof before you charge somebody with a racist act. Abandon the socialist utopia and just try to uphold the basic liberal values.

Presume innocence.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Such words from a mere stranger on the Internet addressing other strangers who he wants to:

(a) Affect or disaffect?

(b) Entertain or piss off?

(c) (a) and (b)

(d) All of the above


We're not really very good strangers any more, Rain Man. I mean, what's it been... five years? Seven? It's been a while that many of these people have been chiming in at the same place. So certain liberties just have to be granted.

Anyway, the purpose of that little detail you fixate on could be all of above or any combination, depending on the person. It signals that I'm making a point that's so obvious that I should be sick of making it, and I am. It signals exasperation at such willing obtuseness when it comes to observing such a simple point.

There's more polite language there, and throughout the many other informative comments I've posted on the topic tonight. And if you still refuse to take them seriously, then by all means - feel free to receive the vituperation as well. It's your own, personal choice.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The liberal dream to eliminate racism from every subconscious nook and cranny is insane.

Not eliminate. Just examine.

Yes, if you are unwilling to examine subconscious motivations then it might drive you insane to look at their effects. But to re-write reality so as to exclude any observation of those things is a disastrous attempt at resolution.

No great literature and no great national narrative is afraid to look at things unsaid.

Saint Croix said...

Ritmo, do you realize that Coates is calling you a racist?

He's avoiding you.

Open a store and he won't shop there.

Saint Croix said...

You're a good person, Ritmo, and Coates is tired of you. He's had all of you he can take.

chickelit said...

Nathan Alexander said...
When I'm in China, I realize I am representing the United States.

A guy named Mike Watt (who has Meade eyebrows) once told me the same thing when living overseas: "you're ambassadors" he said: "don't forget that."

Nate Whilk said...

Andy R. posted, "Someone here posted a quote a while ago from a black civil rights type person (I think it was either Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson) talking about feeling guilty when he sees some people on the street late at night and feels safer when he realized it was white people."

Jesse Jackson. "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.... After all we have been through. Just to think we can't walk down our own streets, how humiliating."

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jesse_Jackson

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Sounds like you're not getting the point, Saint Croix. But I realize that you have your own, personal, higher "calling" in this discussion: The need to feel better. Everything else is secondary.

You go take care of that need however you must, ok Son. Don't let others worry your troubled mind with less spiritual issues, or with things that involve individuals other than yourself. That just wouldn't be right.

Thanks for playing.

joe said...

I didn't vet for Obama ( either time) but I had hoped it might deprive liberals of some of the racialist agitprop that comprises so much of their contemporary identity. No such luck... ( am I a good person racist or a bad person who is color blind?)

Chip S. said...

Sounds like you're not getting the point, Saint Croix

Since I thought his comment was precisely on point, I wonder what you think the point is.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Since I thought his comment was precisely on point, I wonder what you think the point is.

The point is that Saint Croix thinks I should feel slighted for having a privileged place in the racial hierarchy, whereas I think that I should use that position of privilege to be more tolerant, understanding, and yes - as Pogo says with his links to "A Tree of Life", gracious.

To be graceless about one's advantages in life is pretty much as disgraceful as it gets. Privilege and a lack thereof play an important role in deciding the meaning of grace.

Nate Whilk said...

O Ritmo Segundo posted, "Listen, assholes: Blacks used to vote overwhelmingly for Republicans. But then FDR came along, took the radical step of hiring them in the White House, and took seriously the problem of class and inequality in general. People tend to notice that."

But according to Coates, little has changed! So, in answer to your comment, so what?

Who has messed up the schools and continues to mess them up, denying blacks the education they deserve? Hint: it ain't Republicans.

Chip S. said...

Ritmo, OK, if White Privilege is truly decisive then your point is well taken. But what if it's not?

What's the effect of seeing racists at every turn, when the only evidence is a sense of grievance?

What the cons are saying in this thread is that it's corrosive.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

But according to Coates, little has changed! So, in answer to your comment, so what?

Coates doesn't say little has changed. He holds to the commonly held position that we're not done.

As far as your comment on education goes, I guess if you're saying that blacks should feel thankful for being told to home-school then I guess you might be looking for an equally oversimplified answer there, as well.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Ritmo, OK, if White Privilege is truly decisive then your point is well taken. But what if it's not?

What if things are not binary but exist in degrees? I also feel privileged to have inherited a modest but not insignificant sum from my grandfather upon his death. I don't think it "decisively" makes me a success but it's not bad and it sure doesn't hurt. Because I feel lucky for that doesn't mean that I think everyone in poverty makes inherently good or laudable choices. It just makes me more understanding.

What's the effect of seeing racists at every turn, when the only evidence is a sense of grievance?

Probably not much better than denying them away at every turn.

What the cons are saying in this thread is that it's corrosive.

I also think that denial in the opposite direction is not only as corrosive, but has the advantage of historical hindsight to prove it so.

Chip S. said...

Sure, except that we're having this discussion after 40 years of affirmative action in hiring and college admissions, as well as K-12 desegregation.

If your position is the same as Andy R's--that we must continue to offset W.P. until every last vestige of racialist thought and deed has been eradicated--then I think it sets an impossible standard.

Meanwhile, a generation of black kids has been told that W.P. makes it impossible for them to succeed on their own merits. I think that's far more corrosive than a mistaken accusation of shoplifting that was dropped immediately.

chickelit said...

O Ritmo Segundo reveals: I also feel privileged to have inherited a modest but not insignificant sum from my grandfather upon his death.

Now I have reason to resent you, Ritmo--on top of everything else. You were born to more than I was.

Christopher said...

And finally, after all of his spam, Ritmo gets to the heart of what he and the author of this article truly want:

They want to police your thoughts.


I mean the entire basis of this article seems to be that the white people just can't help it (even the "good ones" as the author refers to them).

It doesn't matter that some people may have no idea who the hell Forrest Whitaker is or that police may be suspicious of a person trying to force his way into a home.

For the author (and Ritmo apparently) these people are racist whether they know it or not.

And when you start allowing this to be the basis for your support of legislation, when you start enacting restrictions based upon potential sub-conscious impulses you effectively become the thought police.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm referring to Christianity as the prevalent culture which ought to correspond to what we ordinarily think of as "good." Within that concept, I'm puzzled that people get to think of themselves so complacently as good. Coates takes all that for granted and then rejects the "good" people. It would be more sound to think to us all as flawed and try to work from there.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Now I have reason to resent you, Ritmo--on top of everything else. You were born to more than I was.

I wasn't born into that. It took nearly half a life of proving that I wasn't an ungrateful prick, first.

I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it's probably true. And then, I'm not sure if you say what you're saying with tongue in cheek.

Anyway, on to what Chip said - which was more interesting and pertinent.

Alex said...

Look Ritmo wrote 15 comments and you all fell for the bait as usual.

Ann Althouse said...

By "all that" I mean other people's status as the good people.

I can see that in the end he essentially rejects that they are good, but why did he have that presumption to begin with?

Arguably, the whole thing is a straw man argument.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh look Ritmo wrote 26 comments.

No doubt you will look at it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Sure, except that we're having this discussion after 40 years of affirmative action in hiring and college admissions, as well as K-12 desegregation.

Well, seeing as how 100 years after emancipation we still had horrible injustices to address, I don't see why the single, 40-year or so generational standard is now a necessary benchmark.

If your position is the same as Andy R's--that we must continue to offset W.P. until every last vestige of racialist thought and deed has been eradicated--then I think it sets an impossible standard.

I don't think we should. In fact, a lot of the time I don't see why the election of a black president shouldn't prove that we've done enough.

Meanwhile, a generation of black kids has been told that W.P. makes it impossible for them to succeed on their own merits. I think that's far more corrosive than a mistaken accusation of shoplifting that was dropped immediately.

Perhaps so. I think about this from time to time.

I'm willing to consider the other perspective. Definitely.

But then I come back to places like this, see how entrenched and absolute the denial is, entertain myself to some choice comments by Cedarford and Shouting Thomas (would any blacks visiting Althouse feel as strident and obnoxious in their sense of privilege, I wonder), and reclaim my original position.

chickelit said...

I wasn't born into that. It took nearly half a life of proving that I wasn't an ungrateful prick, first.

I believe you once said you were in your 30's?

Half a life?

Michael said...

What I'd like to know is, how much does Ta tip?

Because black people don't tip much. Any server on earth will tell you that, racist or not.

Michael said...

" (would any blacks visiting Althouse feel as strident and obnoxious in their sense of privilege, I wonder)"

So even though you're on the internet, you can tell they're not a dog? Think maybe your point is more tautological than you realize?

Saint Croix said...

Saint Croix thinks I should feel slighted for having a privileged place in the racial hierarchy

What I think is that your racial hierarchies are stupid. And your attempt to devise a system where all subconscious racism will be fixed and made right is retarded. I think it's a socialist fantasy. As is the fantasy that you can equalize everything.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Half a life?

Nearly. I said nearly.

Sure I hope to live longer than 60. Genetic history shows that it'll be likely. But I sure hope to accomplish enough to feel ok with winding things down a bit, by then.

Meade said...

"would any blacks visiting Althouse feel as strident and obnoxious in their sense of privilege, I wonder"

Well, there's you, ritmo. So that makes at least one, right?

Poparsim said...

If my experience is emblematic, being stopped for a possible crime and being innocent of it are not that unusual, no matter the race or gender of the person stopped. I'm a white male, but that didn't give pause to the Pasadena CA cops from spotting me by helicopter and squad car and following me into and pulling me out of a restaurant on suspicion of having just committed a jewelry store burglary. Purely a matter of wrong time and place. The cop that "collared me" was a black woman (didn't matter to me - or her, of course). Hand-cuffed, held out on the curb and searched - me and my stuff - and then let go ... I just chalked it up to a bummer for the cops (the bad guy probably got away while the po-po spent time with me) and some mild bad luck for me (the restaurant did comp me - cool management, and the staff did walk around goofing on me with hand-cuffs behind back gestures - good times, good times). So yeah, I can imagine all that stuff that Mr Coates can't. Mores the pity....

Saint Croix said...

Well, seeing as how 100 years after emancipation we still had horrible injustices to address, I don't see why the single, 40-year or so generational standard is now a necessary benchmark.

I wish the master planners would stop treating humanity as if we are all widgets on their program.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What I think is that your racial hierarchies are stupid.

Ah. So declaring them to be of my making makes it easier to denounce them. I see.

And your attempt to devise a system where all subconscious racism will be fixed and made right is retarded.

You use a word here, "all", that doesn't mean what I think you think it means.

But keep fighting the good fight against social progress. That should really help. Not that it ever gets us anywhere and not that you can ever do anything, ultimately, to stop it.

I think it's a socialist fantasy. As is the fantasy that you can equalize everything.

And yours is an anti-social fantasy.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, there's you, ritmo. So that makes at least one, right?

And, as I said, Cedarford and Shouting Thomas. But one of them has achieved "pet" status and one is the beneficiary of the local "hear no evil, see no evil" policy.

Which kind of proves Ta-Nehisi's point, doesn't it?

Meade said...

Them?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I wish the master planners would stop treating humanity as if we are all widgets on their program.

Stop behaving as if you were and we'll remove you from "widget" status.

Christopher said...

Pop,

He can imagine it no doubt, but if he assumes that these incidents are merely happenstance then he can't push his agenda.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Meade, when you're done being cute and care to discuss all that seriously, with dissents and all, do let me know. I'll be waiting, you cute lil free speech advocate, you! ;-)

Christopher said...

See, it's all about thought control.

chickelit said...

And, as I said, Cedarford and Shouting Thomas. But one of them has achieved "pet" status and one is the beneficiary of the local "hear no evil, see no evil" policy.

Adjective status outranks "pet" status and I think Meade was the last commenter to achieve adjective status--"Marvelous Meade"--which hasn't been bestowed since. Shouting Thomas and Cedarford are, like me, just here a lot. I don't think there's any thing else to it. Althouse doesn't appear to "have" pets, preferring to borrow them instead.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Shouting Thomas and Cedarford are, like me, just here a lot. I don't think there's any thing else to it.

Really? No differences between you and Cedarford?

Althouse doesn't appear to "have" pets, preferring to borrow them instead.

She doesn't borrow Cedarford; he seems to like visiting of his own accord.

But what I'm curious about is whether she thinks his acceptable (from a Christian perspective?) "flaws" are no more problematic than any other commenter's flaws. Or if flaws can even be ranked, regarded and considered.

Or if Christianity somehow impels every American to say, to hell with it. We're all flawed. There but for the grace of God go I. And that seething anti-semite.

It seems like a poor excuse.

Chip S. said...

It seems like what annoys Ritmo (and, I suppose, Coates) is the confident belief that "I am not a racist". Which is a pointless statement, being self-referential. (If you were biased, how would you know that, exactly?)

But the same critique applies to Coates' blanket condemnation. He can't know what thoughts really underlay the snap judgment that Whitaker was shoplifting, and it's annoying to hear him claim otherwise.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I guess it annoys me to some extent when accompanied by:

1. Belittling the phenomenon (an obviously conflicted interest),
2. Excusing it on account of Christian mass sinfulness,
3. Pretending that we have no motivations - rational or irrational - that affect social acts, or that they're better ignored than explored.

But it's a fallacy of composition to assert that one man's lack of relevant, evident prejudice speaks for the society.

Chip S. said...

This is when I take solace in the fact that a market economy makes people pay a real price for baseless discrimination.

You can buy a really nice house in the Baldwin Hills section of LA ("The Black Beverly Hills") for around half of what the same house would cost in a predominantly white neighborhood.

So there's at least some suggestive evidence of race as a factor, but that very evidence also constitutes an opportunity for any white non-racist.

I don't know of any Hollywood liberals who've taken advantage of the price differential and moved to Baldwin Hills, however.

chickelit said...

Really? No differences between you and Cedarford?

Of course there are. Frequency of visits to a blog doesn't correlate with much. From my POV he has more in common with you.

She doesn't borrow Cedarford; he seems to like visiting of his own accord.

But what I'm curious about is whether she thinks his acceptable (from a Christian perspective?) "flaws" are no more problematic than any other commenter's flaws. Or if flaws can even be ranked, regarded and considered.

Cedarford is a Christian? News to me.

Or if Christianity somehow impels every American to say, to hell with it. We're all flawed. There but for the grace of God go I. And that seething anti-semite.

It seems like a poor excuse.


Althouse addressed this better. And I didn't buy your premise about C-4.

chickelit said...
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chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

This is when I take solace in the fact that a market economy makes people pay a real price for baseless discrimination.

In this, you seem a bit like Rand Paul. He said that Civil Rights bills were wrong because the gov't shouldn't have compelled private businesses to allow customers of all races due to their need to use the only rest-room or lunch counter after 20 miles on the federal interstate.

In an idea world, I'd agree with you - and Rand. A business, should, ideally be allowed to discriminate in any way it chooses.

But I also recognize that there are interests in life that go beyond maximizing profits. If someone's tribalism impels him to feel safer with people who look like him than with those who don't (and just read Shouting Thomas' comments above if you don't think this is still a deeply entrenched motivation among a good many), then he will cater to that motivation over the fictitiously universal "need" to maximize profits at any cost.

Civil rights was passed because, thankfully, the highway system required it. Or at least, that's the rationale that I'm familiar with. But thankfully there was one and it came to pass. Because I'm not sure that your faith in profit maximization incentives has an absolute advantage over all other motivations and possible interests. Especially in a society where, as TNC, showed in the linked video on Levittown, certain attitudes where much more acceptable. And in some ways, even expected.

chickelit said...

In college, I worked at a small grocery store in Madison. One of my jobs was to watch for and apprehend shoplifters.

The owner's uncle used to come in and shoplift. We were told to watch for this duplicity (but not stop it) because he was "testing" us out of family interest.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

1. Your POV is usually a little flawed.
2. Christian forgiveness doesn't require that the person being forgiven be a Christian. Although I doubt that Cedarford would deny being a Christian if it did. Privilege is funny like that.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

So declaring them to be of my making makes it easier to denounce them. I see.

You're the guy who says you "have a privileged place in the racial hierarchy."

What is the racial hierarchy, Ritmo? Who's at the top? Who's in the middle? Who's at the bottom?

Is your plan to build up white resentment until they are as angry and pissed off as all the other racial minorities in our race-obsessed culture?

Or is your view that white people are so superior, so nice and generous, that the state can racially discriminate against them, and they will feel no anger or resentment?

chickelit said...

O Ritmo Segundo said...
1. Your POV is usually a little flawed.

No shit. So is yours, pal.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

You're the guy who says you "have a privileged place in the racial hierarchy."

So does TNC. I happen to agree with him.

What is the racial hierarchy, Ritmo? Who's at the top? Who's in the middle? Who's at the bottom?

Probably the people who benefitted from not being thought of as property in the American system for the majority of its history. You can figure the rest out on your own.

Is your plan to build up white resentment until they are as angry and pissed off as all the other racial minorities in our race-obsessed culture?

Nope.

Or is your view that white people are so superior, so nice and generous, that the state can racially discriminate against them, and they will feel no anger or resentment?

I don't think they are superior. But I do think that they should be nice and generous when it comes to issues of race.

Any resentment on their part as a result of affirmative action I can deal with. It's outweighed by what resentment the non-beneficiaries of the slave system had and have a right to feel. Unless you think that arbitrary racial privilege is a one-way street.

The society is moving in the right direction. Your fear of a race-war is greatly exaggerated. People are more willing to learn from and make amends for the past than you know.

The prospect of an honorable, noble and pacified nation depends on it.

Chip S. said...

In this, you seem a bit like Rand Paul.

Well, based on what little I know of him so far, I like Rand Paul a lot. But I don't share his view of that civil rights legislation, b/c I think the discrimination by those businesses was a part of the broader system of segregation that was enforced by the state. It had to be removed root and branch.

My position is not that profit-seeking will eliminate all discrimination. It's simply that employers who pass over qualified blacks will earn less than those who don't. So at least they pay a price for their actions. Just as usefully, there's clear evidence of their discrimination that anyone can see, right there on the bottom line.

The Red Sox were a losing, all-white team thru the late '50s and early '60s, and didn't turn things around until they started hiring black players. They paid a heavy price for the racist views of their ownership, and finally got tired of that.

chickelit said...

I once met a British woman in Switzerland who was bound and determined to make sure that her (white) son knew of and absorbed all the racial injustices which Britain had foisted over the course of history. We argued at length about that one. The same woman had felt compelled to sleep with at least one black man in college (out of some obligation which I never understood).

Sadly, her marriage ended in divorce and she lost custody of her son. I never understood that woman.

chickelit said...

I think she was wracked by white guilt which is what Ritmo is pedaling.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

My position is not that profit-seeking will eliminate all discrimination. It's simply that employers who pass over qualified blacks will earn less than those who don't.

Hopefully. But we're assuming a society so non-racist as to assume that an easily disgruntled and privilege-protecting, influential group would never think of boycotting that business. And this couldn't always be assumed. Your endorsement of the same, business-infringing legislation that Rand and I agree shouldn't have - ideally - been necessary, speaks to that.

Now that we assume all the important roots and branches have been removed or are close to removal, profit maximization benefits racial harmony. But your inclusion of the Red Sox anecdote proves that back then, and in any situation where these other motivations are allowed or even present, it couldn't.

Chip S. said...

Maybe.

OTOH, I've felt compelled to sleep w/ women of every race, but not out of racial guilt.

It's just that they were hot.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I don't have guilt. My ancestors weren't here before emancipation. I have empathy.

Maybe Chickie doesn't.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Yeah. I agree with Chip - although perhaps to a lesser degree.

But I agree with sympathy fucking. Especially for women to men. But I'll admit that I've slept with a less than completely attractive woman to me out of sympathy. Why not? Hell, I've even slept with a full-on fat chick or two if her personality made it worth it.

See? I'm all about reciprocity. I'd never think of imploring women to be more sexually giving to most people for many reasons if I wasn't myself.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Chickie should try that sometime. It would make him less protective of privilege, or the perception of its loss.

I'm sure I could convince your wife of the merit in that, Chickie. Lol.

Saint Croix said...

It seems like what annoys Ritmo (and, I suppose, Coates) is the confident belief that "I am not a racist". Which is a pointless statement, being self-referential. (If you were biased, how would you know that, exactly?)

But the same critique applies to Coates' blanket condemnation. He can't know what thoughts really underlay the snap judgment that Whitaker was shoplifting, and it's annoying to hear him claim otherwise.


That's exactly right.

But what is poison is this idea that we ought to have different standards for black people and white people.

The point of equal protection is that we hold everybody to the same standard.

Thus if your rule is "no racist thoughts," punish everybody for their racist thoughts. When you hold everybody to this impossible standard, we will quickly jettison the standard.

Chip S. said...

I don't disagree w/ your last comment, Ritmo.

I just think we've moved well beyond those days, and are at a point where --on balance--claims of "white privilege" foster a counterproductive defeatism more than they expose actual oppression.

Chip S. said...

I meant your 1:07 comment, Ritmo, not your suggestions for chickelit.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I just think we've moved well beyond those days, and are at a point where --on balance--claims of "white privilege" foster a counterproductive defeatism more than they expose actual oppression.

And I don't disagree with this, either. As a possibility.

I'm just cautious, is all.

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