Firedoglake: With All Due Civility, Go F**k Yourself

Repeatedly and with prejudice.

A month ago, I wrote a post about the racism which is festering and beginning to ooze out of the open sore known as Firedoglake. Essentially, my point was that if FDL continues to ban opposing viewpoints in its comment section, it owns the racism contained therein. Soon after that post, I stopped reading FDL because it was doing nothing but raising my blood pressure.

Well, last night I took a break from not reading FDL and, like a dumbass, I read FDL. Here’s what I found in a post about restoring the unions and strengthening the labor movement [I’m not linking to that sewer, but you can Google “The Liberal Blogosphere Is A Neoliberal Blogosphere, Unfortunately” and find it your ownself]:

The basic problem is that the Rich ate all the pie. What do you intend to do about it? Snuggle up to their Democratic Party incarnation some more in the hope of getting some crumbs? There used to be a term for that, on the plantations. House N****r.

My jaw dropped when I read that line. My jaw dropped further when I realized it was more than 50 comments later before a commenter decried the use of the term as offensive. My jaw eventually fell right off my face when other commenters began to defend the diarist’s use of the language as “appropriate” and a matter about which the parties could “agree to disagree.” Eventually the diarist chimed in to defend himself:

Contrary to “oldgold” I would have used exactly the same analogy and word choice if Obama were not president. He can either choose to believe me or not, as he sees fit.

Being of Scottish birth and upbringing I care not a whit whether someone is black, white, yellow, purple polkadotted or striped…as long as he isn’t English (jk!).

There were other phrases I considered but none had the immediate impact and accessibility of the one I chose, denoting what should be fellow-travellers in poverty who have sold out for the crumbs from the Rich man’s table. “Lumpenproletariat” was too old-fashioned and inpenetrable while not conveying the betrayal involved; “Judenrat” would, I think, have been even more contraversial [sic].

But I’d much rather the conversation wasn’t bogged down in my word choice. I apologise for any offense caused, however inadvertently. Substitute “class traitors” or some other phrase mentally if you wish and concentrate on the rest of the post.

Regards, Steve

The anti-Semitic language is a nice touch, I think. As is the “mistakes were made/I apologize if you were offended but it was inadvertent anyway”-style apology. Classic GOP, innit? Oh, and did I mention that this post was published on MLK Day? So there’s that, too.

But let’s not get bogged down in his racist and offensive language. Just substitute some other non-race-based word and let’s focus on the rest of the post, shall we? Because as a later commenter informs us, “only fucking whites would make a stink about it.” It’s silly to make a stink out of referring to Democrats as House niggers and who wants to hear you PC Police tut-tutting about it? No one, that’s who.

After I rettached my jaw to my face with a rusty butter knife and some glue, I re-read the first comment; it appears to have been posted by a moderator:

Editor’s note: Thank you for your post. Please see the site’s rules at http://my.firedoglake.com/aboutus. The first excerpt used has been edited to three grafs; the site of origin does not have a clear copyright notice, but it’s also not clear that reprinting nearly 700 words here was with the original author’s permission.

Please also note we do not use THAT word here.

And the response from the diarist:

Thanks for the edit-job, Rayne, and keeping me straight on the site rules.

Thanks for the kind words, szielinski!

Regards, Steve

Now I may be reading this incorrectly, but it seems to me that Moderator Rayne, after pointing out that “we” (FDL) do not use “THAT word,” went into the diary and did a little editing — by changing THAT word (nigger) to THIS word (n****r).

::blank stare::

So it appears to be FDL’s policy not to use racist words, but to use racist word-markers. Neither permutation of the racist and offensive word removes the racism or the offensiveness of the word. Besides, “n****r” isn’t a word; it’s an asterisk sandwich.

Normally, I would post my favorite Louis C.K. clip on “The N Word” and how it’s just a way for white people to get away with saying the word “nigger.” Instead, in the spirit of the dawning of the Age of Civility, I’m going to post this Richard Pryor clip:

Also, I would normally start finger ranting right about now, but I’m not going to do that. There’s no need. I’ve already ranted about the racism at FDL. These people are as irrelevant as Sarah Palin and are not to be taken seriously anymore.

I’m simply going to file this new bit of information in my lockbox of “Shit That Is Bananas” and keep it moving.

Check out the screenshots, and if you’re inclined to rant, go right ahead. I’m remaining fucking civil goddamnit:

The inmates are running the asylum over there.

[cross-posted here at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]






252 replies
  1. 1
    Rathskeller says:

    To quote Ms. Cho, it’s not the hate, it’s the stupidity.

    I still like tbogg, but I never read anything else there.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    General Stuck says:

    LOL, ABL, you are a very bad woman. nothing like a little FDL shit stirring to break out of this civility funk on BJ. I tried it and my teeth are starting to hurt. Double your fun when it’s finely scrubbed progressives cookin’ in the pot. A dash or two of the R word, and off we go.

  4. 4
    El Cid says:

    Oh, you people are so sensitive.

  5. 5
    Jamie says:

    that’s really depressing.

  6. 6
    kdaug says:

    I don’t play in that sandbox.

    I like it here.

  7. 7
    morzer says:

    Well, honestly, what did you expect?

    Half of the FDL dead-enders are still wearing their PUMA of the Year t-shirts, and the other half are staring at the heavens for the promised magic unicorns farting tastefully pink happydust and screaming betrayal when nothing happens.

  8. 8
    Josie says:

    Richard Pryor had it exactly right. Such language is used by white people to prove how hip and with it they are. All they prove is their stupidity and insensitivity. I haven’t clicked on that site since before the election, and I won’t be changing my habits in the future.

  9. 9
    AxelFoley says:

    Fuck Jane and her cracker-ass crackers.

    h/t Chris Rock

  10. 10
    soonergrunt says:

    ABL–The banner ad over your posting is for Anger Management classes. That’s chuckle-worthy at least.
    A lot of people on the net use racist language for the same reason they use other hateful language. Simply put, it’s who they are.
    Censoring oneself in public while saying and doing hateful shit online is more about hiding oneself from the immediate threat of a beatdown than it is anything else. Otherwise, people wouldn’t say hateful shit online and censor themselves in public.
    There’s also the whole “look at me, I’m edgy!” effect, which is just more of the same in a fashionable shirt.

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    @soonergrunt:

    There’s also the whole “look at me, I’m edgy!” effect, which is just more of the same in a fashionable shirt.

    Yep. I always ask those guys what’s so hip and edgy about making the same jokes Henny Youngman made in the 1950s, but they never seem to have an answer. Funny, that.

  12. 12
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Why doesn’t anybody ever use ridiculous, offensive and historically inaccurate analogies based on Stalin’s labor camps, or Mao’s Hungry Ghosts famine, or The Wreck of The Medusa? I want more variety, dammitall!

  13. 13
    freelancer says:

    ABL, shouldn’t you consider changing your handle at this point to “Angry N-Bomb Lady”?

  14. 14
    sal says:

    Can’t we all just get along?

  15. 15
    Ben says:

    Ummmm… I don’t get it. I’m asssuming this was a white person talking about a white person. I’m assuming that the folks who were offended, and ABL as well, were offended because the commenter didn’t get that the pejorative power of the phrase ‘house nigger’ says more about the user than it does about the person it’s used to describe.

    The commenter didn’t get it. A large number of commenters after him didn’t get it. Eventually, other commenters who got it, denounced it. There was a bloqacious argument. Finally, the FDL mod stepped in and made sure the OP and everybody got it.

    What more do you expect from a bunch of lily-white types who don’t know any people of color? It was a teachable moment. Several somebodies got taught.

  16. 16
    kdaug says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    or The Wreck of The Medusa…

    The casket is empty
    Abandon ye all hope
    They ran off with the money
    And left us with the rope

  17. 17
    Jager says:

    ABL, as a cracker ass who had a several year relationship with his own ABL. I could tell you hours of stories about stupid white people. The one I like best is this one. My ABL and I (middle aged and well dressed) go to a blues bar, while we are out dancing (grinding actually) a white kid with a super cute black girl is dancing opposite us, the kid catches my eye and gives me a thumbs up. When the set was over, my ABL and I notice the young couple standing having a beer and she went over and ask them to sit with us, they accept and they were wonderful kids. The night goes on and I have to hit the head, while I’m standing there the guy at the next urinal says to me, “You and your wife have a couple of great looking kids”!

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Josie: I don’t get to use that word conversationally. I don’t get to make jokes about the Holocaust. I don’t get to make jokes about a woman’s period. These are among the many crosses I bear as a Caucasian male of Christian background. I think I can live with it.

  19. 19
    Lysana says:

    Having a chance to bliss out on Richard Pryor almost makes up for the asshattery at Firedoglake.

  20. 20
    Quicksand says:

    it’s an asterisk sandwich

    I like this.

  21. 21
    evap says:

    I gave up on FDL a long time ago. I really wish Tbogg wasn’t involved with them as I think he is very funny but hate to click on anything FDL-related.

  22. 22
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .

    So it appears to be FDL’s policy not to use racist words, but to use racist word-markers. […] Besides, “n****r” isn’t a word; it’s an asterisk sandwich.

    So it’s your policy too, since you do the exact same thing.

    ABL, your hypocritical poutrage here is typical and uninformed. Would “house Negro” suit you better, as Malcolm X coined the term? If so, why so? If not, why not?

    Try this headline instead –

    Angry Black Lady Balloonbagger Racist – With All Due Civility, Go F**k Yourself. Repeatedly and with prejudice.

    There, I called you out as a racist. Does that make it true? I think not. For the record, I don’t believe the firebaggers or the balloonbaggers are racists – but I do know that the balloonbaggers fling the accusation far more often, and with far more nonsensical hatred. As Tbagg likes to say, “Grow.The.Fuck.Up.”
    .
    .

  23. 23
    pragmatism says:

    leave the firebaggers alone!!! they can do whatever they want because obama sold them out. also, too, john cole was mean to jane hamsher once.

  24. 24
    Lolis says:

    I guess they were mixing up their other annoying metaphor for Democrats, “battered women.” I like how when Democrats are doing bad things the left compares them to people of color and women. What does that say?

  25. 25
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    These are among the many crosses I bear as a Caucasian male of Christian background.

    Tell me about it. There ought to be a manual or something, all the dos and don’ts. But I drew the line of public belching, and just let er rip whenever the spirit moves me. Same with farts, with some caveats.

  26. 26
    DougJ DougJson says:

    I could be wrong, but I think there’s a holdover PUMA effect there, all those “hard-working white voters” and what not.

  27. 27
    General Stuck says:

    Jeebus, even grossed myself out with that comment. Somebody needs a break

  28. 28
    cmorenc says:

    Just because an analogy makes some technically accurate parallels to the situation you’re addressing doesn’t mean it’s an appropriate one to communicate the idea at hand. If the analogy requires use of words that are particularly charged and insulting to a substantial portion of the audience, that aspect tends to drown out whatever valid point you were trying to make, assuming you had one, and the only communication that gets through to most people is what kind of an asshole you are.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    morzer says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    You do what with goats and lubricant? And how in holy friggin’ jeebus the QB’s name do you manage to get a boysenberry pie into the mix?

  31. 31
    Quicksand says:

    ABL, your hypocritical poutrage here is typical and uninformed.

    All right! Who’s bringing the popcorn?

  32. 32
    PS says:

    @General Stuck: NEVER fart in a cave.

  33. 33
    Makewi says:

    I take it you are not a fan of the efforts of folks like Dick Gregory and a number of other, more modern musicians to remove the sting from that word?

  34. 34
    the farmer says:

    Firedog Fart Cave

    *

  35. 35
    sandge says:

    Aw, ABL, don’t do that to yourself. Those people are nuts. Just read tbogg from the safety of your newsreader; not much danger of cross-contamination that way.

  36. 36
    wobblybits says:

    How does the whole pie filter thingy work again?

  37. 37
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @kdaug:

    The casket is empty
    Abandon ye all hope
    They ran off with the money
    And left us with the rope

    And that is about as succinct a summary of the evolution of the banking/insurance industry and Federal Reserve monetary policy circa 2002-2010 as you are ever going to get. Pushing on a string in a liquidity trap, indeed…

  38. 38
    PS says:

    @Makewi: Lenny Bruce tried. Dick Gregory tried. Richard Pryor tried. They failed to “remove the sting from that word.” But their efforts, and those of others, were and are well enough known that anyone who still uses the offending term can reasonably be characterized as someone who knows better and chooses to ignore it. I imagine the software will prevent me from describing them with the most appropriate single word, so feel free to insert your own.

  39. 39
    Maude says:

    A local rightie radio station talk show host started in on the birth certificate garbage this morning. I had to turn it off.
    McCain was born in Panama and had to get a pass from Congress to run for prez. Didn’t hear a peep from this particular talk show host.

  40. 40
    wmd says:

    FDL definitely has a group think thing going on. I’ve been on the receiving end of it frequently. Jane got spitting mad at me for arguing with her about data exclusivity in the HCR bill back in October 2009 after I had gone to my representative’s office to try and engage on that issue. The mods kept Jane from banning me. So I’m not real clear on the “banning opposing viewpoints” thing; at least in my case the mods stood up to Jane and said no, these comments are not the work of a shill. I get called that and worse by others in comment threads there from time to time still.

    I don’t think leaving them alone to reinforce the group think is a good idea. I also find some posters there worthwhile: Tbogg, LaFiga, Masaccio, David Dayen, Jon Walker, occasionally scarecrow.

    On to the racism: The original poster didn’t need to put in that final sentence, and it detracted from the post’s message.

  41. 41
    j low says:

    I first heard that term as a college student listening to a lecture by “Robert T”, a former Black Panther and union activist on Long Island. He gave us a quick definition and then used it to describe David Dinkins. As a lefty white kid from rural Oregon I was embarrassed to even hear the words spoken out loud. It still floats around in my head, though it would never pass my mouth. Still don’t really know what to think of it. More than anything I see no reason to couch class conflict in racial terms. What do you call a white person that sucks up to the rich?(besides Senator or asshole)

  42. 42
    someguy says:

    Maybe I missed something, but didn’t Dennis do the same thing a couple months ago, saying Clarence Thomas was treated like a lawn jockey by the Republicans? (and the whole debate descended form there). Maybe the distinction in how the racial slur is used is something that I’m missing here because FDL’s usage isn’t that far removed from Dennis’s. I think both usages are incredibly racist and wouldn’t go using them but hey, what the **** do I know about what’s racist or not.

  43. 43
    BGinCHI says:

    Can we please also just decry the general white stupidity of using the phrase “house nigger” like it was some kind of great advantage?

    Even if, for the sake of argument, you’d rather have been a slave who worked in the house rather than one who worked in the fields (or in general on a plantation), you’d still be choosing between two forms of slavery. And in neither one do white people do anything other than own other people.

    And given what regularly happened to house slaves, esp women, it’s a shit bargain to begin with.

    Stupid fucking white people are fucking everything up.

  44. 44
    Makewi says:

    @PS:

    I’m not so sure I agree. I fear we are moving into an era in which the context in which a word is used is deemed irrelevant, which will put us more at risk of losing the sort of lessons which Bruce and Gregory and Pryor were trying to teach. Look at the scrubbing of Twain’s book, in which the word was used as a condemnation of racism. Or how about the banning of Money for Nothing in Canada, because someone was offended by the use of the word faggot?

  45. 45
    Amy says:

    I left Firedoglake after the Scooter Libby trial. Their dark cloud does not help me and they are not funny. At least Balloon’s juice’s cloud cracks me up.

  46. 46
    Josie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Precisely. I like to think of it as living with grace.

  47. 47
    aliasofwestgate says:

    @j low:

    What do you call anyone that sucks up to the rich/powerful? Kiss-ass, flunkie,etc. There’s a dozen words out there besides that nasty, context filled phrase to use out there for people like that.

    The poster was definitely an arse of the first water to use that phrase. I’m a lefty mixed kid, and i grew familiar as a kidlet with those terms even in the 80s. There’s a lot of residual racism still bouncing around in us younger Gen Xers. I usually disregarded it, but i still speak up when it gets mean. Bad enough i’ve been on the receiving end of hate on both sides of the racial conflicts for simply breathing. Drives me up the wall, that that kind of thinking still exists.

  48. 48
    wmd says:

    @someguy:

    Sycophant is a fine word to use for a suck up of any kind.

  49. 49
    handy says:

    @Maude:

    Yeah but that’s different because McCain was born to two Americanswhite Christian people.

  50. 50
    Makewi says:

    @BGinCHI:

    It was Malcom X what coined that term. The whitest dude that ever lived he was.

  51. 51
    D. Mason says:

    @cmorenc: Just whose failure in comprehension is that though? I mean if terminology is accurate and uniquely applicable how far off point should an author go to protect the sensibilities of the audience and under which circumstances is that warranted and which is it not? I mean, there was just a kerfuffle here about “white peoples problems” and within context that seems exactly the same as “house nigger” to me. I’m just trying to pinpoint where the difference lies but it’s somehow eluding me. Maybe you folks could help me out?

  52. 52
    BGinCHI says:

    @Makewi: Don’t believe everything you read on wikipedia.

    Yes, he used that phrase in a well-known speech, but he didn’t invent it. The distinction between “house” and “field” or “plantation” goes back a long way.

    And if that’s all you got out of my post you aren’t paying attention. Oh, and Malcolm didn’t write the FDL piece, so maybe give it a thought before you deploy ignorant snark.

  53. 53
    Jeanne ringland says:

    @PS: Or a greenhouse.

  54. 54
    Dennis G. says:

    I find the entire post from FDL to be very Palin-like. It is all about creating a sense of righteous victimhood wrap in the language, memes and spin that white folks have used to attack people of color for centuries.

    If Palin posted at FDL she could have written that post.

    A much shorter way to write the FDL post might be “A blogger disagreed with my views of Unions and my view of what a ‘Progressive’ is–so now I know just what it felt like to be a slave”.

    Your mistake was to read FDL in the first place. One should never go there except for the occasional post by Tbogg or Marcie. Everything else is Palinism wearing a rhetorical hood of leftist giberish to mask an endless quest to be recognized as the ‘official voice’ of America’s Greatest Victim–middle aged white folks.

    I gave up FDL when they embraced Norquist and my life is better. Even the wine tastes sweeter.

    Don’t go back to the FDL cesspool ABL, you’ll never find hip waders high enough to make it worth your time.

    Cheers

  55. 55
    Jess says:

    I don’t like the term nigger, even when AAs use it, BUT using a racist word doesn’t automatically mean one is racist. I’ve been in many multicultural milieus where no language or humor is taboo because it’s understood that no one there is racist and everyone is working to confront and overcome the old stereotypes and minefields. I guess it’s a generational thing (and Pryor, as wise as he is, is definitely old skool). The problem is, that approach isn’t as transportable to other contexts as some would like to imagine. Some common sense and, yes, civility is needed. The FDL tribe failed in that, but it doesn’t follow that they’re racist. Just that they’re making the same human mistake we all make, by assuming that our social codes are THE social codes.

  56. 56
    Makewi says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Well I did notice a fixation on decrying white people on your part, but figured it was more likely due to showing your liberal street creds than actual racism.

  57. 57
    eemom says:

    The irony of it all is that their heads are so far up their asses at that place they think it actually IS the last bastion of sanity and civil discourse on the internet.

    It was fucking teeming with anti-Semitism during the Gaza war — and please do me the justice of trusting that I do know the difference between anger at Israel and anti-Semitism. E.g., everyone in Congress “does whatever the Jews want,” and “I used to believe those myths about the Jews from Hollywood movies, but now I know better.”

    Toxic waste dump, that “lake.”

  58. 58
    BGinCHI says:

    @Makewi: Stupid white people.

    Being privileged, then being stupid and not understanding how this works, is what I was talking about.

  59. 59
    Makewi says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I appreciate the clarification. Thanks.

  60. 60
    RSA says:

    @D. Mason:

    I’m just trying to pinpoint where the difference lies but it’s somehow eluding me. Maybe you folks could help me out?

    I’ll try. Think of the worst derogatory racial term that’s been used to insult you in the past. (Growing up as a mixed-race kid, a few terms come easily to my mind.) Now imagine that dropped into an essay because the writer considers it “uniquely appropriate”. Wouldn’t you be personally offended, reminded of all those past situations?

    Here’s the thing: I think a lot of white people (not necessarily you, D. Mason) find this line of thinking a bit unfamiliar because there is no racial term they can’t just brush off as being inconsequential. So it’s kind of impersonal. “I have to remember not to say this word because some people, for reasons beyond my personal experience, get offended.” I don’t see an easy solution.

  61. 61

    @D. Mason: no. that’s something you can go investigate for yourself. come on, seriously?!

  62. 62
    El Cid says:

    Since it was mentioned, the Malcolm X speech in question.

    Personally, I would not use such a phrase other than a literal discussion of the historical context. It’s out there, it’s not exactly rare to hear the house / field comparison.

    Given the vehement racism supporting a great deal of the white right’s reaction to Obama, I would think people might not just think twice but a whole bunch of times before dropping that phrase in.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    FDL never grew up.

  64. 64

    So it’s your policy too, since you do the exact same thing.

    where? examples, please.

    ABL, your hypocritical poutrage here is typical and uninformed.

    just stringing these words together does not make them so. state some examples of my hypocrisy, please. you’ll need more than a couple since you’ve deemed it “typical.”

    Would “house Negro” suit you better, as Malcolm X coined the term? If so, why so? If not, why not?

    i’m a busy person and not in the habit of accepting homework assignments from crazy people, especially a crazy person who is seething because his name happens to appear on one of my FDLfuckwits post. moreover, we’re not talking about the term “house Negro” are we, now?

    Try this headline instead – Angry Black Lady Balloonbagger Racist – With All Due Civility, Go F**k Yourself. Repeatedly and with prejudice. There, I called you out as a racist. Does that make it true? I think not. For the record, I don’t believe the firebaggers or the balloonbaggers are racists – but I do know that the balloonbaggers fling the accusation far more often, and with far more nonsensical hatred. As Tbagg likes to say, “Grow.The.Fuck.Up.”

    to the extent you’re calling me racist, my mother — my white mother who is one of my best friends in the world — would have something to say about that. to the extent you think you’re proving something, i’m not sure what it is you think you’re proving. but then again, since you apparently like to use racist language, i don’t expect any sensible comments from you.

    in conclusion-
    .

    .

    .
    go
    .

    .

    .
    fuck

    .

    .

    .

    thyself.

    seriously uncle weird ellipses user: what does this comment mean?

  65. 65
    BGinCHI says:

    @Angry Black Lady: I think he’s going for “both sides do it,” but with an extra dash of self-righteous faux indignation.

  66. 66
    Jess says:

    @RSA:

    Think of the worst derogatory racial term that’s been used to insult you in the past. (Growing up as a mixed-race kid, a few terms come easily to my mind.) Now imagine that dropped into an essay because the writer considers it “uniquely appropriate”. Wouldn’t you be personally offended, reminded of all those past situations?

    It doesn’t even have to be racial–think about any term that was used to mock you when you were young, and think about that term now being used as a derogatory term in the public discourse–I know for me it would bring up all kinds of painful memories and shake my self-confidence a bit.

  67. 67

    @Dennis G.: i vowed to ignore the FDL cesspool, but the cesspool proprietor continues to be taken seriously (to some extent) by the people in my tv box (maddow, LOD) and i hate it.

    i’m just collecting tidbits for my lockbox, that’s all… in case she decides to run for office or some such crap.

  68. 68
    D. Mason says:

    @RSA: I think it’s actually just the opposite for me. I fully understand why black people get offended with the term nigger. In the best cases it’s a racial slur but in most cases it’s not just a racial slur but a direct personal attack as well. What I don’t understand and what I find to be very double-standardy is how “rational” people can be offended so easily by nigger yet wave off casual racism directed at white people. Either you’re against racism or you’re not. If it’s ok to deride white people for the color of their skin then it’s ok to deride black people for the color of theirs. That’s not a moral stand, it’s a linguistic one. The meaning of racism doesn’t make any distinctions about race, if it did the irony might be too much.

    @Angry Black Lady: I don’t need to investigate, I was being coy there. Of course I know the reason is that there is a double standard on the left when it comes to racism towards white people. It’s actually no different than some of the twisting that goes on in “conservative” circles (pro-life/pro-death penalty anyone?). It doesn’t even bother me to be honest because it’s so common I find it cute. I’ve learned to completely overlook it like the hypocrisy found in most churches where it’s so easy to judge others without any self reflection. But I do enjoy needling people here about it because they’re so oblivious to what they’re doing that they will even deny it when you point it out.

  69. 69
    wobblybits says:

    @D. Mason:

    wave off casual racism directed at white people

    example?

  70. 70

    @D. Mason: coy is not the word i would use.

    please explain what you mean by racism towards white people, as opposed to bias, prejudice, or stereotyping. you must be aware that racism by its definition involves a power element which i’m willing to bet my boob is sorely lacking in any example you might be able to come up with.

    but do go on…

  71. 71
    D. Mason says:

    I would have edited this into my previous post but it said I do not have permission even within the time window(maybe that part should go in the maintenance thread below?).

    @Angry Black Lady: I do appreciate your lawyerly reply btw. You can’t answer me without letting your double standard show so you imply that I’m somehow ignorant for not already knowing about it. Cute.

  72. 72
    D. Mason says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Only after you point out the power element in the post that spawned this … post.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @D. Mason: What casual racism against white people? Seriously, I have spent 46 years being very white, and I haven’t noticed very much racism directed my way. I have noticed that I have been able to do things like jaywalking or mouthing off to cops that people of color get their asses busted for doing. Oh, yeah, I forgot, some of that might be class privilege too. I look, act, dress, and sound like the people who are in charge, so maybe the cop wants to let something slide with me that he wouldn’t with someone else. And these are the little things, the day to day ones. But, if you enjoy “needling” people here, who the hell am I to stand in your way?

  74. 74
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Let’s see. Guy who wrote the post is Scottish and says he doesn’t care if someone is black or white and he would have used the same term if a blackity-black man wasn’t president. So, Mr. Scottish dude, you are OK with me calling you a Brit or an English person? You’re OK with me telling you that you really are an English bastard sucking at the teat of Queen Elizabeth II? Somehow, I think not. Your casual use of the term shows that you do not know the weight of its history. In the words of ABL, go fuck yourself.

    As for FDL: I only read TBogg. I don’t dare wade into any of the marshes.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Casual racism like saying, “What you just said is racist.” That kind of casual racism.

  75. 75
    Observer says:

    I generally don’t think that blog posts that charge people or groups with cries of racism, or charge people with being soft on racism, are worthwhile and ABL I just don’t see it here. And for the purists, yes it’s ABL’s blog post, she can write whatever she wants etc.

    But if there was something worthwhile in writing these kinds of posts surely it can’t be written by one of you folks. You folks hardly have any standing to be sitting and critizing FDL about this.

    After the Huck Finn fiasco, especially so. And no not because I became a protaganist on that thread.

    I don’t care if Jane at FDL uses blackface. Is it bad? yes. Call it a work of art and pretend it’s historical because then apparently it will be okay with you folks.

    But her commenters? feh. People write all kinds of crazy stuff on the internet, and I think it’s a gigantic stretch to decide that if the terms and words of posters don’t meet your criteria then a whole community or it’s benefactor is racist.

    I realize, just like Greenwald, a huge portion of this blog’s readers dislikes Bob Somerby, apparently for his relentless style (just like Greenwald), but do you people always have to prove him right about “liberals”?

  76. 76
    wobblybits says:

    D. Mason still hasn’t answered the question as to what casual racism against white people. I’m genuinely curious as to what examples he might provide.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    AxelFoley says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Damn, Thomas, I do believe she told you. Now, please comply with the lady’s command and fornicate with yourself.

  79. 79
    RSA says:

    @Jess: Agreed.

    @D. Mason:

    What I don’t understand and what I find to be very double-standardy is how “rational” people can be offended so easily by nigger yet wave off casual racism directed at white people. [And previously:] I mean, there was just a kerfuffle here about “white peoples problems” and within context that seems exactly the same as “house nigger” to me.

    Okay, I think I understand your point now. We’re seeing different contexts. I take “white peoples’ problems” here on BJ not as racism here but as an in-group half-joke; it might be interpreted differently in a different forum. In the same way, black people can call each other “nigger” without being racists, I can call one of my brothers an asshole without necessarily giving offense, and so forth–it’s a distinction between in-group communication and statements directed at an out-group. [Edit] Or maybe not “directed at” but “referring to”.

  80. 80
    wobblybits says:

    @Observer: As a human being, I have every right to criticize anyone using any type of offensive language. Who are you to tell me or anyone else otherwise?

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Observer: You never really did see the point that people were making in the Huck Finn thread, did you?

  82. 82
    Steve Hynd says:

    Funny, my own blog has been on John’s blogroll for years now and Tim F’s daily reads for as long. Ask either if they’ve ever seen a hint of racism from me, ever.

    I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever been accused of racism, on account of one word in a several hundred word piece. A word I’ve said I’m sorry if it offended. It’s either a total strawman or massively over-reactive hysteria, to be honest.

    Regards, Steve

  83. 83

    But her commenters? feh. People write all kinds of crazy stuff on the internet, and I thinks it’s a gigantic stretch to decide that if the terms and words of posters don’t meet your criteria then a whole community or it’s benefactor is racist.

    i disagree. if you are the owner of a blog and you allow diarists to spout all manner of shit on that blog, and then you moderate the hell out of the comments, eventually, you own the comments and the diaries made under your name. you don’t get to say “oh well, i don’t believe what he said.” either open up your blog and say “not all viewpoints expressed here are my own” or you have to take responsibility for it.

    if asiangrrl went on some racist tirades and people brought it to my attention and i ignored it, while continuing to “disappear” comments that criticize me or my blog, then i own asiangrrl’s racist tirades.

    which begs the question, why does asiangrrl hate black people?

  84. 84
    wobblybits says:

    @Steve Hynd: “If” it offended? That is some lame ass apology. Look, if you don’t mean it or believe it, then don’t apologize. It just makes you look like a disingenuous ass.

  85. 85
    Josie says:

    @D. Mason: You, like the firebaggers, just don’t get it. Any insult or bias toward a white person, just cannot be compared to insult or bias toward a person of color, because of historical context. If you can’t understand that, you don’t know much about history and you have no imagination.

  86. 86
    eemom says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    i’m just collecting tidbits for my lockbox, that’s all… in case she decides to run for office or some such crap.

    better yet, her paper-thin, dish it out but can’t take it skin might decide to launch massive retaliation because you’re a FPer at a popular blog that is light years better than hers.

    Or, she might just send her miniature pit-bull, “Phoenix Woman,” over to yap at you.

  87. 87
    D. Mason says:

    @wobblybits: @Omnes Omnibus:

    Examples of casual racism against white people can be found in this very comment thread. It’s just so common and acceptable that you don’t even notice when someone makes a reference to cracker ass crackers. And Yeah it’s true that cracker is not close to as offensive to a white person as nigger is to a black person but that’s based on the recipient and has nothing to do with the racially biased intentions of the speaker. Intentions aside, flippantly calling a black person a nigger with get you shouted down while flippantly calling a white person a cracker will pass without notice. That’s the kind of thing I meant by casual racism. That’s also what I meant when I said people are oblivious to it. If it’s ok to make judgments about someone based purely on the color of their skin then it should be universally ok.

  88. 88
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Steve Hynd: Doesn’t matter what Cole thinks of you or TimF thinks of you. That comment was stupid-ass. You equivocated instead of just stepping up and saying, “My bad. Shouldn’t have used it.” Now you want to offer the non-apology apology, putting the onus on the people who called you out. As wobblybits said, if you think you were fine to use it, own it. Otherwise, apologize properly for it and stop using it.

  89. 89
    D. Mason says:

    @Angry Black Lady: A deflection of a deflection? I dunno but it won’t work on me either.

  90. 90
    wobblybits says:

    @D. Mason:

    flippantly calling a white person a cracker will pass without notice

    ???? Cracker? That is equivalent to wow, ok, well we better be on the lookout because goodness knows it could lead to white people getting strung up in trees or chained to trees and set on fire.

  91. 91
    Observer says:

    @Angry Black Lady:
    I know it may seem that way and in a theoretical sense I would agree, but ‘cmon ABL…like Somberby says (you should “read the whole thing” as they say) we liberals like to call who we are engaged in debate with racist a lot of the time.

    Yes or no, ABL: do you *really* think Jane is a racist? As in, Jane believes white people are better than black people or some such variation?

    Yes/No?

  92. 92
    Cacti says:

    @Steve Hynd:

    It’s either a total strawman or massively over-reactive hysteria, to be honest.

    Isn’t it ironic when someone makes accusations of a strawman fallacy within a false dilemma fallacy?

  93. 93
    Observer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I did. I disagreed. the blog format sometimes isn’t the best format for certains debates. OTOH, you never saw my point.

    Besides of which you need to look at the entire picture on race rather than just one piece of the elephant while blindfolded (as the old joke goes).

  94. 94
    D. Mason says:

    @Josie: That’s the very definition of racism. Seriously, look it up.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @D. Mason: Unfortunately for your point, the term cracker just doesn’t carry the emotional resonance that the other word does. This is because of several hundred years of history. One cannot simply wave one’s hand over it and say it does not exist. The two words cannot be the same, so there is no point in trying to suggest it.

  96. 96

    @D. Mason: you’re pulling out all the derailing tricks aren’t you? there’s a reason that cracker “is not close to as offensive to a white person as nigger is to a black person” — power. that’s the heart and soul of racism. racist language hearkens back to racism which has, as its heart and soul, a power element. i really find it hard to believe that you don’t understand this.

    @Steve Hynd: yeah, you still haven’t apologized for using it. apologies for offending aren’t the same. you could have apologized in the very thread when people asked you to, and you didn’t.

    it is absolutely irrelevant to me whether john or tim think you’re racist. moreover, i didn’t call you racist. i said you used racist and offensive language and chose to defend it rather than address it.

    i’m off to an appointment. i’ll be back later. or “bbl” as the kids say.

  97. 97
    El Cid says:

    The real problem in America is that white people can’t say n***** as much as we used to, whereas black people do it all the time. This hurts me a great deal, because if I can’t use that word as much as I want, then, there are, you know, things, and stuff.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Observer: Actually, I have to say that, if you cannot see the difference between the use of the word in the context discussed here and the use and discussion of the word in an academic situation, you did miss the point people were making.

  99. 99
    Josie says:

    @D. Mason: I really don’t care what the dictionary definition of a word is. What I am talking about is language and how it makes people feel. We need to be very careful in our use of hurtful language, especially those of us who write for general consumption. I doubt that anything said about white people could hurt me nearly as much as some things said about people of color in very liberal blogs such as that one, simply because people don’t take the time or energy to think about it before hand.

  100. 100
    D. Mason says:

    @wobblybits: I was actually pointing more to the part where it passes without notice than the actual epithet being used but way to avoid the point. Another more direct example would be Josie basically saying I’m too white to understand why the word nigger hurts so much. I’ve been insulted in ways that hurt me, not because of my skin color but honestly, I’m just too white to grasp the concept of an insult that really hurts deeply? Give me a goddamn break. If that’s not a reflection of a racist mentality then referring to an entire class of people, along CLEARLY political lines, as house niggers sure as fuck isn’t.

  101. 101

    @D. Mason:

    @RSA: I think it’s actually just the opposite for me. I fully understand why black people get offended with the term nigger. In the best cases it’s a racial slur but in most cases it’s not just a racial slur but a direct personal attack as well. What I don’t understand and what I find to be very double-standardy is how “rational” people can be offended so easily by nigger yet wave off casual racism directed at white people. Either you’re against racism or you’re not. If it’s ok to deride white people for the color of their skin then it’s ok to deride black people for the color of theirs. That’s not a moral stand, it’s a linguistic one. The meaning of racism doesn’t make any distinctions about race, if it did the irony might be too much.

    Gee, I dunno, maybe because ‘casual racism directed at white people’ is completely and totally inconsequential and damned nearly non-existent. Were your ancestors slaves? Were they disenfranchised for 100 years? Were there roving bands of black thugs dragging them out of their houses and lynching them in the middle of the night? Were they ever forced to the back of the bus? Were their churches blown up and their children killed by white terrorists? Were they ever denied accommodation on the basis of their skin color? Were there any groups attempting to deny the legitimacy of a white man elected president based by claiming that he was not a native born citizen? When was the last time a black congressman stood up during a white president’s State of the Union address and shouted “You Lie?” What are the names of the white community leaders who were gunned down by black supremacists? Where are they buried?

    I’m 45 years old and white. I’ve never suffered from any ‘casual racism directed at white people’. Never, not once. I’ve never been pulled over by the police because I’m white. I have a birth certificate that looks just like President Obama’s, and contains much the same information on it, and no one has ever challenged its validity or asked me to show some “long form” version of it. Not when I joined the Army, not when I received my Army security clearance, not when I received my civilian security clearance and not when I received my passport. I’ve never heard, not once, anyone ever use the term “honky-rig” or “ofay-rig”.

    Where is this casual racism directed at white people? And where the fuck are the black people who are deriding white people for the color of their skin? Yeah, you can cite Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton and Leonard Jeffries, but their influence is pathetically small compared to that of Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage. When has a black supremacist whose views were comparable to those of Strom Thurmond or Jesse Helms ever been elected to office?

    Let me guess, you’re one of those white guys who says stupid things like “I don’t understand why everyone gets so upset when I say ‘nigger’. Black people call each other ‘nigger’ all the time and who is incredibly and terribly offended by this inequity. Do you know why people wave off ‘casual racism directed at white people?’ It’s because for all extents and purposes it doesn’t exist and it’s not a problem and because there has never been systematic and long-term de facto and de jure racism directed at white people The likelihood that my life, and for that matter, your life, as a white guy will be affected by ‘casual racism directed at white people’ is about as great as the likelihood that monkeys will spontaneously fly out of my ass. Yes, I’m sure that you can cite some report from the internet, or Fox Noise, that shows that monkeys flew out of some guy’s ass, but I’m still sticking to my boxers and not blowing my life savings on those special new flying-primate resistant thongs that Glenn Beck is hawking on his show.

  102. 102
    wobblybits says:

    @D. Mason:

    I’m just too white to grasp the concept of an insult that really hurts deeply? Give me a goddamn break. If that’s not a reflection of a racist mentality then referring to an entire class of people, along CLEARLY political lines, as house niggers sure as fuck isn’t.

    Reading and comprehension is fundamental. I never said anything coming close to what you are saying I said or implied. Try again and no, you don’t get to collect $200.

  103. 103
    Observer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Dems/Libs/whatever like to have this form of argument such as yours above.

    I guess I was being too polite. Again, I *did* see your point, I thought it was full of shit, still do.

    Now when I mean “full of shit” I mean it in exactly the earnest way you mean it when you write “academic situation” which of course misses my entire point that there is more about school than being in a “academic” situation.

    So it’s not personal, this “full of shit” business but if I had a dollar for every weenie Dem/Lib argument that attempts to hold some “academic” distinction about things in life in the real world (“the street”), I’d have more money than Bill Gates.

    That’s the crux of your argument and almost every Dem argument that isolates “academic” over the “real world” is usually full of shit.

  104. 104
    Josie says:

    @D. Mason: And just for further edification, I did not say that you were too white to understand. What I was saying is that being white puts you in the powerful part of the equation so that you would never experience the hurt of being in the less powerful one. I guess I either wasn’t clear in my explanation or assumed a better level of reading comprehension on your part. You choose – I’m done.

  105. 105
    D. Mason says:

    I really don’t care what the dictionary definition of a word is.

    OK well what’s the adage that applies here? Oh yeah. You’re entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts. You see, when I consider racism I tend to think less about how something makes people feel and more about how it was meant. Sure you can’t always tell but sometimes you can. See if a term is used to attack or judge someone based on the color of their skin then I can assume that it’s racist regardless of how that person feels about it. When 50 cent says nigger(nigga? I get so confused there) I know he didn’t mean to belittle black people(I can just feel it) but if an older black person who didn’t have proper context heard it they might still get offended. That doesn’t make it racist by virtue of their missing perspective, just like belittling me because of the color of my skin doesn’t make it not-racist because of my missing “give a fuck what you think” reflex.

  106. 106
    AxelFoley says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Damn, that was some awesome ass ownership right there Wile E.

    D. Mason, just stop digging.

  107. 107
    D. Mason says:

    @wobblybits: I never suggested you did. I clearly said that JOSIE was the one who said that and put it up as another example of casual racism. You can re-read what I said and realize that I attributed it to JOSIE not you. Or not.

  108. 108
    wobblybits says:

    @D. Mason: Since the reply was directed at me, I assumed you were talking to me. I apologize for the mistake but your argument of cracker as being equivalent to the other word is just weak. Have a nice evening.

  109. 109
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Observer: Your point of view would take a piece of literature that is seen as the seminal American novel out of literature classes. Your point of view would remove a book in which the most noble character is a a escaped slave and in which the climax of the story involves the protagonist recognizing and coming to terms with the humanity of a slave and what that says about his world. Your point of view would treat students as too stupid to learn this. But I am full of shit, okay, fine.

  110. 110
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    May I suggest a new tag? “I left FDL when…” This could be a real timesaver for some of us.

  111. 111
    D. Mason says:

    @Angry Black Lady: It was you, counsel that first deflected my inquiry because you thought it unfit to dignify I assume. I acknowledge that I was needling there but honestly, you and I both know the point I was making so why continue to be silly? You derail, I derail, it’s ok but no need to pretend you’re on some rhetorical high road.

    To the point. I think shame and rap music have done everything necessary to remove the power from the word nigger. Don’t believe me? Watch some white people say nigger sometime. It only happens 2 ways, in a whisper or in a shout. when it comes in the form of a whisper it’s from an ashamed polite individual usually trying to discuss the word itself. When it comes in the form of a shout it’s usually form some bigot who just made a joke of himself. Seems like powerless terminology to me. And yes, I acknowledge that cracker has never hurt the feelings of a white person but that impotent result does not impact the racist intent of the user. In other words, nigger *can* be said without racist connotations and cracker *can* be said with racist connotations and the fact that you “don’t understand” that is only serving as an example of what I mean. Attack a white person because they’re white and it’s racism. Sorry that’s not my opinion it’s the dictionary.

  112. 112
    D. Mason says:

    @Josie: Six of one half a dozen of the other right?

  113. 113
    mark says:

    I really love how no one in this thread argues with the actual substance of the FDL post, they just clutch their pearls with the force of someone who’s worked at the Washington Post for three decades. It’s pretty cute.

    Of course Angry Black Lady (like the good Balloon Juice employee that she is) is desperately trying to label as “unserious” the pretty obvious observation that the Democrats, with almost no exception, ARE sellouts. The Democrats could give less than a shit about the poor, unions, minorities, whomever, they’re just a little bit more “caring” in the way they peddle their BS.

    But hey, look over there! The FDL people used a poor choice of words! Let’s make fun of them, and totally ignore their larger point! Because the Democrats are great! Yes they voted for the Iraq war, and Bush’s tax cuts, and yes they passed a horrible corporation-enriching healthcare bill that doesn’t do anything to fix the system’s structural problems, and, yes, they totally and completely caved into the Republicans on tax cuts, defense spending, stimulus, and every other issue of consequence but…but…but…the Republicans are worse!!! Or something

    Also, Obama totally rulz and is SO much better than that warmonger Bush, despite blowing up all those Islams is Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq. He’s better because he’s FAR more polite when he drops bombs on civilians.

  114. 114
    wobblybits says:

    In other words, nigger can be said without racist connotations and cracker can be said with racist connotations and the fact that you “don’t understand” that is only serving as an example of what I mean.

    Again, the words are in no way equivalent. They do not carry the same historical context. The fact that you keep arguing otherwise just proves that either you are truly ignorant or are just being contrary and looking for a reason to throw the word around.

  115. 115
    wobblybits says:

    @mark: Pie? Did you bring the whip cream?

  116. 116
    Lysana says:

    @Steve Hynd:

    I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever been accused of racism, on account of one word in a several hundred word piece. A word I’ve said I’m sorry if it offended. It’s either a total strawman or massively over-reactive hysteria, to be honest.

    Well, a fake apology followed by a dismissal of the complaints over your use of an offensive phrase. How very Sassenach of you.

    (PS to Asiangrrlmn: THAT is how you insult a Scotsman.)

  117. 117
    Observer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t want to relitigate the Huck Finn argument. I don’t mind arguing the policy implications or consequences of the current Huck Finn situation but I won’t re-argue the original point.

    And on the consequences, well I don’t know about one book and why you pine for it so much but I do know that if you’re black and you live in the western world, the country where your life is shortest will be in America.

    And NO, it’s not a straight line consequence so don’t even go there and start making more dumb accusations. It’s more a reflection of society as it is. There’s always going to lions and tigers out there and the folks who are supposed to hold the line and ensure a civil reasonable society just fail to do that well in too many issues. Huck Finn in just one of many where you “Libs” have failed.

    If you’re black, better to be in Canada, England, hell even Australia. Numbers are hard to come by, but from what i’ve seen, those other blacks make more money too and live in better houses and better neighbourhoods. Less homicides too.

    So yes, your pining away for some academic theoretical point is full of shit. Not in a personal way though.

  118. 118
    D. Mason says:

    @wobblybits: I was talking to you, talking to you about something someone else said.

  119. 119
    AxelFoley says:

    @mark:

    *yawn*

  120. 120
    wobblybits says:

    @D. Mason: See #114.

  121. 121
    Tax Analyst says:

    In a somewhat less contentious, semi-related vein, freshman Tea Party VA State Delegate Morgan Griffith said:

    “As Virginians we do not accept the chains of King George III nor will we accept the chains of ObamaCare.”

    “chains of ObamaCare”? Jeezus, what a dickweed.

    But then I think we all know by now that Tea Party-types are not particularly prone towards racial or ethnic sensitivity.

    But he’s still a major dickweed.

  122. 122
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    The thing is, if those poor white people are upset that there are no words to describe them that carry the kind of weight of that phrase, they should thank their lucky stars. Get a goddamn sense of proportion.

    Oh, by the way, having the franchise and simply disagreeing with your preferred party is not really like being a slave.

    Fucktards.

  123. 123
    wobblybits says:

    @Tax Analyst

    “As Virginians we do not accept the chains of King George III

    Is ole King George still at it? You’d think he would have given up and all after 200+ years.
    ETA: To fix that completely fubared comment.

  124. 124
    MikeMc says:

    @mark: “All those Islams is Yemen?” Good quote. Seriously, how small is your penis?

  125. 125
    D. Mason says:

    @wobblybits: At no point did I suggest they are equivalent, simply that they come from the same hateful place. Like Bryan Adams and Neil Young.. both Canadian, not quite the same.

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Observer: Fair point on not relitigating. As for the rest, I still disagree with your context argument on this thread, but I have no interest in going around and around on it.

  127. 127
    wobblybits says:

    @D. Mason: Aww come on now, you were equating the two. Remember the whole casual racism against white people and well you can go back and read your own stuff.

  128. 128
    MikeMc says:

    @mark: Mark, I love that you don’t question it.

  129. 129
    D. Mason says:

    @wobblybits: See #124 then #111.

  130. 130
    mark says:

    sorry @119 and @127, I can’t hear you: I’M CLUTCHING MY PEARLS FAR TOO TIGHTLY! This bad language is making me think we need someone to censor the interwebs, maybe Obama get attend to it after he’s done earning that nobel peace prize

  131. 131
    Janus Daniels says:

    In future, and for more accurate language, try “apparatchik”
    (but if you work nigger, judenrat, Islamofascist, and maybe spic or beaneater into the same post, and provide less inane, ignorant, tone deaf, faux intellectual rationales for using them, you would be total awesome cool hip edgy to the max).

  132. 132
    General Stuck says:

    @mark:

    I think you left out the too small stimulus and of course

    [[[RAHM]]]

  133. 133
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @D. Mason:
    What racism toward white people?? I’m white and I’m not seeing it. In fact, in my reasonably short life, I’ve seen racism toward black people: job discrimination, racial epithets, and the like. I haven’t seen racism toward white people. Although I’ve heard a few successful white people complain about how widespread the problem is.

  134. 134
    wobblybits says:

    @D. Mason: and? You still haven’t even given a concrete example of racism to white people.

    As much as I would like to try to understand where you are coming from, I just don’t think that is possible given that I have an issue with the premise of your argument. No bad feelings on my part, I wish you the best and hope that maybe you can see why the phrase is offensive.

  135. 135
    D. Mason says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony: If my volume of posts in this thread does not convey my meaning I’m sorry to say that I don’t know how I can clarify it any further.

  136. 136
    kyle says:

    FDL is a racist sewer because of “house nigger”? Sorry, but no.

  137. 137
    D. Mason says:

    @wobblybits: Yes, I have. Just because *you* don’t like or accept my examples doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Also, adding the word concrete doesn’t move the goalposts in the way you seem to have hoped.

  138. 138
    gwangung says:

    @kyle:

    FDL is a racist sewer because of “house nigger”? Sorry, but no.

    More that it’s a clueless sewer who can’t wrap their heads around their privilege.

    Yes, they do have to be told that.

  139. 139
    wobblybits says:

    @D. Mason: Cracker? That is your example? Move the goalposts? We would have to be in the same stadium playing the same game and we are not. So with that, I bid you adieu.

  140. 140
    D. Mason says:

    @wobblybits: deuces.

  141. 141
    maus says:

    @D. Mason: White privilege changes doesn’t excuse racist behavior, but it does certainly reduce its effectiveness at tearing someone down. This is the same with male privilege, and any other overpowered group versus a minority.

    Your false equivalency is bullshit.

  142. 142
    AxelFoley says:

    @mark:

    yawn²

  143. 143
    eemom says:

    methinks this trickle of trolls is just the beginning, and that whole canoes full of ’em are rowing furiously across Lake Batshit in our direction…….sayin’ something about a queen.

  144. 144
    D. Mason says:

    @maus: You know, I hesitated to bring this out because it is an anecdote and I prefer to avoid that kind of evidence but what you said is garbage. I have, personally, been denied a promotion because of my skin color. This isn’t an assumption on my part it was a stated reason. The boss thought the team he needed a supervisor for would respond better to a black supervisor(being mostly black themselves) and told me that’s why he was hiring in a black supervisor from outside the company instead of promoting me from within (and didn’t bat an eye when he said it). This most effectively tore me down within the company. Many people assumed that because I had been considered a shue-in but didn’t get even passing consideration there must be something they didn’t know about me that HR did know. So yes, minoroties being racist can tear white people down, it’s just not considered racist. The guy thought he was being an insightful and considerate leader.

  145. 145
    JasonK says:

    Interesting conversation. So apparently no white people have ever experienced any form of discrimination in this country? Seriously? Is that the “history” that some here are referring to? If you are I’d suggest that’s a pretty revisionist version of history.

    There always has been a very nasty streak of ethnocentrism in this country. Now I suppose someone is going to argue that ethnocentrism just isn’t as bad as racism and I’d argue that you’re totally wrong.

    The white-bashing in this thread really is embarrassing to say the least. Yeah all us white-folk are just too stupid to get it right?

  146. 146
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JasonK: Actually, many recently arrived immigrants, Poles, Italians, Irish, etc., were not considered white.

    Further, no one has argued that no white person has been a victim of discrimination. People have argued that the number of white people who have been the victims of racism in this country is vanishingly small. This is particularly true when compared to the number of black people who have been victims of racism.

  147. 147
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    @Makewi:

    So the firebagger and the wingnut have similar perspectives on the use of the offending term used by the FDL guy and they’re both citing Malcolm X to justify it. Is that an example of bipartisanship or proof that the left/right paradigm is useless? Or is it something else?

    One of the commenters in that post addresses the one of the great challenges facing disaffected white internet liberals. The Negro Problem:

    The wait for folks to rise up never has worked in the US in my lifetime. What is your starting point – the first thing to be done – perhaps how do we retain the coalition with minorities if we try to defeat the first half black president would be a good question to answer.

    How do “we” keep those people voting the way we want to if we piss them off? These are the kind of questions they’re asking over there. It seems they expect black voters to do their bidding and they wouldn’t have to worry about what they think if not for the damn black president. There used to be a term for how they think of black voters. It was used on plantations. Can’t recall what it was.

  148. 148
    Mike Kay says:

    Meh.

    They’re irrelevant.

    The mass murder in Tucson has completely tossed anger blogging on the trash heap.

    Nihilism, anger, and hate have been marginalized.

  149. 149
    PS says:

    @Lawnguylander: How do “we” keep those people voting the way we want to if we piss them off?

    This.

    This is a dumb thread, but just in case anyone is paying attention, I have seen prejudice against white people (myself included) — in China, nearly 20 years ago. I could work around it without too much trouble, in the classic way of being agreeable and seeming slightly subservient, but gee did it astonish many of those tourists affected by it. Which perhaps goes some way to explaining the disconnect here. That is, until you’ve felt it, you might think you have experienced it, but you really have not.

  150. 150
    Shade Tail says:

    D. Mason is correct, and most of you arguing against those points are clearly not bothering to understand them. Of course white people don’t suffer from racism to anywhere near the same extent as non-whites; that’s not open to debate. But racism is prejudice against race, by definition. Shouting racial slurs at a white person (as I had done to me once while visiting Washington DC) is racist.

    It *does* happen. It just doesn’t damage us so badly (or at all).

  151. 151
    PeakVT says:

    I’ve never read FDL’s front page, but David Dayen/dday is a good blogger in the Benen mold. I’ve subscribed to his feed since he moved there from Digby’s blog. I’ve never bothered with anyone else there because the site’s layout is horrid, much like TPM, and digging through it to find out if there was anything good being written never struck me as worth the effort.

  152. 152
    Jess says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:

    What racism toward white people?? I’m white and I’m not seeing it. In fact, in my reasonably short life, I’ve seen racism toward black people: job discrimination, racial epithets, and the like. I haven’t seen racism toward white people.

    Maybe you’ve never had the joyous experience of being a blond white girl living in Teh Hood. When I married into the black community, my mother-in-law pulled me aside for a little chat and warned me that black people were just as racist as white people, and I was going to have to deal with some unpleasant crap from certain members of my new family. I told her I was aware–I had been dealing with all kinds of nasty racist bs for years living in Oakland. Was it the kind of racism that would prevent me from getting a job or a promotion, or make me more likely to get hassled by cops? No. (And I’m quite aware of how many times my husband and brothers-in-law got harassed or threatened at gunpoint by cops for being in the wrong neighborhood or driving too nice of a car.) Did it make me concerned about my safety, or just really upset and stressed out about my social environment? Hell yeah. What was really sad was experiencing little kids screaming racist shit and throwing things as I passed by–how is that going to help overcome racism towards black people? I think this sort of thing does need to be addressed if we’re going to reach a better place.

  153. 153
    Lysana says:

    First, the person who used “cracker ass cracker” called himself that. Going to claim it’s internalized racism? First prove it’s racist. Pro tip: can’t. Can’t even say it’s bigoted.

    Second, do white people face bigotry? Sometimes, yes, depending on the situation. Being the sole white face in a sea of darker ones is going to get you targeted whether said white person is being nice or not. But that is not racism unless it is systemic. The purging of white farmers from Zimbabwe is racist because blacks are in power and whites are not. A white person not getting service at a botanica is not racism because there is no systemic power supporting the Cubans giving the white person a hard time. But it is bigotry.

    And then there’s white-on-white ethnocentric bigotry. There are pockets of MA where the WASP elite won’t deal with the Irish to this day, Kennedy or no. I am of Quebecois ancestry and have been the target of French jokes I was expected to just laugh off. I told my share of Polish jokes growing up. But only the WASP-on-Irish is a vestige of racism.

    And guess what, white people: we DO have to remember to be nice to people and not call them what they don’t want to be called. It’s known as being polite. Poor us, the white man’s burden is making sure we don’t behave in rude and demeaning fashions.

  154. 154
    JasonK says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Yeah. That was exactly my point. It’s called ethnocentrism. Maybe xenophobia is even a better term. Clearly those groups are “white”.

    As to your second paragraph: Arguing just how many of any given group has been the victim of racism is a pointless exercise because nobody can ever know enough hard data to base anything on facts. That’s the problem with this thread. We know quite a bit about the history of slavery and racism against blacks in this country. We know far less about anything else. It’s hard to have a cogent argument without facts.

    *My* point was just about every group in this country at some point in time has been subjected to a “power element” as ABL put it. Ethnocentrism at its heart is about the same thing. The vibe I’m getting from this thread is that,for example, if someone who is Polish is called a “polack” they’re just supposed to be OK with it, well, because they weren’t slaves and they’re white. They can’t possibly be offended as much. Nevermind the nasty connotations of the term.

    I’m not going to attempt to judge one groups treatment over another because the truth is it’s *all* bad. Maybe the term discrimination I used wasn’t good enough but at the time it was the best term I could think of.

  155. 155
    D. Mason says:

    @Shade Tail: Thank you very much for knowing how to read and understand. I wish I could bottle that awesomeness and give everyone at BJ a free fucking sample.

  156. 156
    mey says:

    If I had to guess, I’d say D. Mason didn’t get that job because of his inability to differentiate the historic context of “cracker” vs. “nigger”. It’s that same fucking argument, why do black people get to call each other nigger, why do gays get to call each other faggot, why do women get to call each other… (er, actually, I don’t recall calling my gfs bitch or cunt, but you get the point )etc.?!?! How come it’s all right for THEM to use that racist/bigoted/demeaning language, but not me, a white, heterosexual male?!? The absolute disconnect is saddening and infuriating. Can we stupid it down enough so they will understand? How come when a loved one uses a pet name, or joking name that has some historical context to you personally, but might be received negatively from someone outside your family okay? Shit, if your foul-mouthed beloved Uncle calls you, “Little fucker”, while laughing and congratulating you with a pat on the back for a job well done, why can’t EVERYONE call you “Little FUCKER!!!”? HE got to say it!! And why do blacks and gays and women and everyone else use words that could be perceived as hateful, demeaning, racist… there are multiple reasons, no single one (i.e., it’s “complex”). Part of it is to “take” a hurtful word away from those that have used it to hurt you; or to take away the power of a word by making it a way to empower yourself. And I’m sure there are other reasons that I can’t articulate because I’m blown away by the Farksuckistan of FarkLakers. And please provide us with an equivalent to nigger, faggot, cunt for white males. EQUIVALENT. Shit, “cracker”? Come on, “cracker” is it? That is equivalent? If you want to use that as the equivalent, there is no point in discussing or debating this with you — you are a lost cause. Work on Hillary’s campaign, go have lunch with Norquist, go study up on the Libertarian party to see your future (ain’t no way you’re going to be any kind of 3rd party when you carelessly alienate those you might find common cause with). You’re called “firebaggers” for a reason, you dead-end PUMAs. (Look, “PUMA!” Is that equivalent?!??!)

  157. 157
    JasonK says:

    @Lysana:

    Actually that is everyone’s burden.

  158. 158

    If you don’t like Firedoglake, don’t read it. I don’t think that they are inherently racist there, but unfortunately some whites who believe they are hip enough sometimes deign to use the language that only the truly oppressed may use.

  159. 159
    Ruckus says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:
    Bravo.
    A long but great rant that seems to be absolutely necessary.

  160. 160
    D. Mason says:

    @mey: Oh shit! You really just built up a big-ole straw man and tore it down so hard it hurt! Damn you really showed me by by proving every point I’ve been trying to make. Well played.

  161. 161
    mey says:

    That’s not even a reply, D. Mason.

  162. 162
    Nanette says:

    Big mistake even going there, ABL. I wander over sometimes because someone or other picks through the dreck and points to a post, I guess thinking “Oh, well THIS one is okay” and, more times than not, someone is saying something racist in the commments, if not the post. Or, excuse me, “edgy”.

    Calling Obama a shoeshine boy in the commetns to a front page post, with no opposition whatsoever, for instance.

    In addition to PUMAs they’ve made their bed with actual teabaggers and such (from the Hamsher FOX News appearances, no doubt) and I imagine too big a pushback against that sort of language would lose the site a few eyeballs.

    I don’t know what puts a purported lefty site beyond the pale – no matter what “oh, at least they sometimes say good stuff” posters are on it. I wish we’d find the line somewhere, though.

  163. 163

    @D. Mason: wrong again. i pointed out that your “inquiry” is a derailing tactic routinely used by privileged people. “i don’t understand! you have to help me understand. if you don’t help me understand, then what you’re saying is bullshit.” you don’t get to back track and then make claims about what i knew with respect to your being silly.

    moreover, your attempt to draw a distinction between the intent behind a word and the meaning behind a word is false. you’re basically sitting from your privileged position telling marginalized people how they feel about the use of a word that has historically been wielded by white people against black people is irrelevant — all that matters is the intent of the (privileged) speaker.

    that’s ridiculous. you don’t get to tell the marginalized person what power the word has. it’s really not that complicated. you seem to be arguing that white people should be able to use the word nigger as long as they don’t mean it to be racist. that’s not how it works.

    or, rather, that’s not how it should work among people on our side of the aisle. your arguments on this thread speak for themselves and we’ve all heard you loud and clear.

    @mark: way to change the subject. my post was clearly not aimed at addressing the selloutiness of the democrats. are you on the wrong thread?

  164. 164
  165. 165
    JasonK says:

    @mey:

    uh…faggot *is* a slur for gay white males. Oh wait…maybe its just gay non-white males? Do we have to subdivide white males now into those that are gay or not? I’m confused.

  166. 166
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JasonK: Way to misread and/or misinterpret.

  167. 167
    Hob says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but every single time I’ve heard a phrase along the lines of “black, white, yellow, purple polkadotted or striped”, it’s been from a clueless white person vehemently defending a probably inadvertent offensive remark, and turning into a not-so-inadvertent total asshole in the process.

    I mean, to think that the “purple polkadotted or striped” bit is either cute, clever, or relevant, you kind of have to be totally unfamiliar with or willfully blind to the entire concept of racism as it has actually existed in the world. It’s a verbal flourish that only makes sense if you think prejudice and violent oppression come from arbitrary visual distinctions (like that old Star Trek episode) rather than the other way around. And almost no one really thinks that, so all it accomplishes is to make it clear that the speaker doesn’t take his audience seriously.

  168. 168
    D. Mason says:

    you seem to be arguing that white people should be able to use the word nigger as long as they don’t mean it to be racist.

    Wrong. Your understanding is exactly backwards. My point is that minorities should be held to the same standard when they use (admittedly weak) racial epithets in order to tear down a white person, but in reality it’s not even noticed in most cases. When their intent is to diminish someone because of the color of their skin, it is racism. I used the juxtaposition of meaning to clarify that but maybe you weren’t looking to understand. I shouldn’t be surprised since you’ve been waving that double standard around ever since you began posting here. It’s cool, that’s probably just who you are, you know, as an individual.

  169. 169
    wobblybits says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: Bravo. Boa noite juicers.

  170. 170
    mey says:

    uh…faggot is a slur for gay white males. Oh wait…maybe its just gay non-white males? Do we have to subdivide white males now into those that are gay or not? I’m confused.

    No shit, Jasonk. But, it’s not a slur for heterosexual white males. Although it is often used to demean them, by implying they are “less” or “lacking manliness” or maybe kinda cunt-y, or something… I may need to subdivide to better understand.

  171. 171
    JasonK says:

    @ABL: “you seem to be arguing that white people should be able to use the word nigger as long as they don’t mean it to be racist.” Funny I haven’t gotten that at all from what @D. Mason is saying (assuming you’re referring to post #111). I guess that’s because I’m a straight white male “of privilege”.

    However people can have a discussion of the word without there being any racist connotation at all. Are you saying that a non-black person saying the word implies there is racism there? that is ridiculous.

  172. 172
    Ija says:

    @D. Mason:

    Does it make a difference to you that the person who said “cracker” was describing himself? I.e he is white? It’s not some blackity black black black person calling a white guy cracker. It’s a white guy describing himself as a cracker. See Jager at comment #17.

  173. 173
    JasonK says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: no misreading or misinterpreting at all.

  174. 174
    JasonK says:

    @mey: “But, it’s not a slur for heterosexual white males”. to quote you: no shit. I was being a smart ass.

    You said: “And please provide us with an equivalent to nigger, faggot, cunt for white males. EQUIVALENT. ”

    You provided your own equivalent for white males. Or were you just trying to be witty in that whole rant?

  175. 175
    D. Mason says:

    @Ija: Yes, of course it matters. Does it matter to you when a person is using that term to describe a group of perceived white people who he/she is trying to tear down? See post #9.

    Now, is it weak sauce with a h/t to a funny ass comedian? Yep but it’s not a joke and its not a self deprecation and it was also not even noticed. Which is exactly my point.

  176. 176
    Ija says:

    @JasonK:

    I’m not going to attempt to judge one groups treatment over another because the truth is it’s all bad.

    Yeah, but it’s not all EQUALLY bad. There are degrees of oppression.

  177. 177
    D. Mason says:

    @Ija: No one here is saying its equal, that’s a straw-man. It’s all vile in it’s inequality though.

  178. 178
    JasonK says:

    @Ija: oh really? So who’s mistreatment should I judge as worse? The Jews during the Holocaust or blacks who were slaves? Treatment of the Native American tribes during the 1800s in the US or Bosniaks during the ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian War? See my point? *I’m* not going to touch any of that stuff with a 2 million foot pole. I’d suggest nobody else does either.

    It’s all vile and disgusting.

  179. 179
    mey says:

    @JasonK: Nope, I mistakenly left out the word heterosexual (that I had included in an earlier sentence), when asking for the equivalent. Witty? Hell no, nothing witty in what I wrote, more along the lines of disgusted exasperation and not typing as fast as I was thinking.

  180. 180
    rikyrah says:

    go ABL.

    thank you

  181. 181
    Ija says:

    @D. Mason:

    I have, personally, been denied a promotion because of my skin color.

    Why am I not surprised? I have personally known a lot of guys making similar arguments to yours, and there is always a story like this behind it. The conviction that they have been screwed over because they are white.

  182. 182
    mey says:

    @JasonK: Derp, no one is asking you to judge the mistreatment of your examples. You only bring those up so you can use false equivalency (or misguided and offensive hyperbole in Steve’s case) as your defense.

  183. 183
    JasonK says:

    @Ija: Ah yeah. it never happens right? Can’t possibly happen.

    “A federal jury found Friday [May 17, 2002] that eight of the men would have attained the rank of captain by now if they hadn’t been passed over, and at least three of the men would have been promoted to battalion chief after promotional exams this past February. The city lowered the scores of white firefighters to even the results of what was believed to be a racially biased test in a practice called “race norming” – made illegal by the 1991 Civil Rights Act. In 2000, a jury found the test fair and that the city erred in lowering the scores of whites.”

    That was in Chicago.

  184. 184
    mey says:

    Exactly, there it is. False equivalency.

  185. 185
    Ija says:

    @JasonK:

    If you want to have an argument about affirmative action, have an argument about affirmative action. Frankly, I think the worst thing about affirmative action is it gives all white men, whether it is really true or not, an excuse to bitch and whine that they have been passed over for some women or minorities. It’s like a get-out-of-jail free card for white men. Passed over for that promotion you were hoping for? Didn’t get that job you thought you were perfect for? It’s all the fault of women and minorities. Who cares if you weren’t actually the best candidate.

  186. 186
    JasonK says:

    @mey: get a freaking clue. Defense of what exactly? Read what I *wrote*…not what you want to *see*. @Ija is the one taking away from my post that somehow i was inferring all mistreatment as equal. I never used the term equal. What part of “it’s all vile and disgusting” do you not grasp?

  187. 187
    D. Mason says:

    @Ija: Well, the conviction and the statement by the person screwing me over that I just wasn’t dark enough to be accepted by the group. Though I wouldn’t form such a view from one experience, what else should one form their understanding on other than their own personal experienceS and knowledge they gain from trusted sources? Should I get my world view from BJ here or Fox news perhaps?

  188. 188
    JasonK says:

    @mey: false equivalency my ass. @Ija: “I have personally known a lot of guys making similar arguments to yours, and there is always a story like this behind it. The conviction that they have been screwed over because they are white. ”

    I provided a simple example to show @Ija that sometimes a duck is just a duck.

  189. 189
    Ija says:

    @D. Mason:

    Though I wouldn’t form such a view from one experience

    But you just said you did, through that one experience of being passed over. Or do you have other experiences of how black people treated you badly that you haven’t shared with us? Pray tell, I’m dying to know.

  190. 190
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @JasonK:

    uh…faggot is a slur for gay white males. Oh wait…maybe its just gay non-white males? Do we have to subdivide white males now into those that are gay or not? I’m confused.

    This is pretty dumb. Faggot is obviously a slur towards gay males, regardless of their race.

    You should most definitely not be confused, in either a serious or ironically comedic sense.

  191. 191
    D. Mason says:

    @Ija: I said I used that experience to form that view, not that I used only that experience. You have a serious problem with selective understanding. Of course an experience like that would be used in forming a belief, how the hell could it not? Honestly, in what universe could an experience like that not contribute to a persons world view? Please I want you to tell me and while you’re at it you could go ahead and answer my question from #175….

  192. 192

    I shouldn’t be surprised since you’ve been waving that double standard around ever since you began posting here. It’s cool, that’s probably just who you are, you know, as an individual.

    waving a double standard? point to anything that i’ve said that constitutes using race-based language to tear white people down. i think you’ll be hard pressed to find any since half my family is white. but go ahead and high five yourself for being awesome and having some unique insight into my character.

    i’ll continue watching you self-destruct.

    have a pleasant evening.

  193. 193
    Ija says:

    @D. Mason:

    Well, unless you can prove that AxelFoley is not white, I don’t see how that supports your point.

    Oh you mean how come Chris Rock, who is blackity black black gets to say “cracker”? I don’t know, never been a fan of Rock myself, so I’m happy to denounce him. But you haven’t answered the point that various people have asked you in this thread. Do you seriously think that the word “cracker” is an equivalent slur to the n-word? Do you really believe that Chris Rock using the word “cracker” deserves the same kind of denunciation as people who use the n-word?

  194. 194
    JasonK says:

    @Midnight Marauder: as the poster pointed out further down their brain was ahead of their fingers. Trust me…I’m not confused. It’s hard to put sarcasm into text sometimes ;)

  195. 195
    Kevin K. says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … it is far more painful to be accused of racism than to be a victim of racism. Everyone owes proud Scottish Steve a huge apology and ABL should be ashamed of herself.

  196. 196
    JasonK says:

    @Ija: what the hell….it was already noted that it wasn’t equivalent. #125. Clearly you’ve been reading this whole thread.

  197. 197
    Ija says:

    @Kevin K.:

    My favorite part is where Steve basically says, Dude, I’m Scottish, I’m only racist towards the English, not to black, brown or yellow people.

  198. 198
    Ija says:

    @JasonK:

    Okay, definitely my fault. I’m truly sorry. After a while all of D. Mason’s answer blend into a melting pot of white resentment. I will still quibble with this part, though.

    At no point did I suggest they are equivalent, simply that they come from the same hateful place.

    Umm, no, they don’t come from the same hateful place. One of those words come from a place where some people owns other people, and refuses to acknowledge their humanity. Guess which word that is.

  199. 199
    D. Mason says:

    @Ija: I haven’t answered that point? seriously? As I said to someone else up-thread. Just because you don’t like or accept my answers doesn’t mean they don’t exist… Of perhaps that’s your selective understanding peeking out again. See posts #177 and #125.

  200. 200
    D. Mason says:

    @Ija: I have resentment? Which one of us is openly condoning racism here? Despite your personal opinion about racist statements directed at white people not counting, that *is* what’s happening here you know.

  201. 201
    JasonK says:

    @Ija: see….I think you’re just flat out wrong. “melting pot of white resentment?” what the hell is that? I haven’t gotten that out of what @D. Mason has been writing. And its a pretty huge assumption to make that it is “white resentment” being displayed from a few postings in a blog comment thread.

    Hate is hate. And I mean *true* hate. Not the type you say when someone pisses you off and you say “I hate that guy”. I think thats the point @D. Mason is trying to make.

    I once worked with a black woman who was a student where I went to college (U of I in Chicago). We were pretty good friends and one day had a conversation about affirmative action, etc. At one point in the conversation she point-blank asked me if race or sex would ever play a part in my decision to hire someone if I were a boss. When I told her no I would only care about the person’s qualifications she was floored. She honestly was shocked that I, a white guy, wouldn’t care about that stuff. She knew me pretty well by that point and thought I was honest but she was still surprised. That was a real eye-opener for me.

    I honestly don’t care about that stuff and believe me I have a very personal interest in how I conduct myself in that respect. I just don’t find value in trying to attempt to look for equivalency in any of this stuff. It is completely pointless. Everyone has their own view. The one thing I think we can all agree on is that, as I said in a previous posting, it’s *all* vile and disgusting. I’m pretty sure thats what @D. Mason is saying as well.

  202. 202
    Makewi says:

    @mey:

    It’s because the idea of separate but equal is bullshit. I’m sorry but you must have missed the memo, or perhaps you just like the idea of having the power to deny to others what you would keep yourself.

    And to ABL, perhaps she is unaware that the definition she uses of racism, you know the one that allows those without “power” to get a pass, is not exactly the mainstream definition. In fact, I’d say only those who have a vested interest in ensuring a continuation of keeping the races unequal would use such a bullshit definition.

  203. 203
    themann1086 says:

    This thread depresses me. It’s like reading a discussion on race/gender on atheist forums. It gives me a sad.

  204. 204
    handy says:

    Us white males have it really hard. I mean you people don’t understand. After affirmative action makes us get passed over for a job what are we supposed to do? It’s not like our white maleness is ever an inherent advantage in the real world. At all. No way. Not us.

  205. 205
    KSinMA says:

    @Angry Black Lady: Great link.

  206. 206
    Allan says:

    Feeling oneself to be the victim of racism for being called a cracker is definitionally a “white peoples’ problem.”

  207. 207
    justawriter says:

    The only reason to avoid such language is to deny the people upset by such language a reason to ignore the the substance of the post.

  208. 208
    justawriter says:

    I’m OFFENDED
    The main reason to avoid such language is that it allows people to avoid addressing the substance of your argument.

  209. 209

    Oh noes! This is what happens when you combine this topic and a blog-reader’s tendency to skim stuff. You take in lots of letters in a single glance.

    This way you read what’s actually this:

    @soonergrunt:

    There’s also the whole “look at me, I’m edgy!” effect

    And think that what you’re seeing is this:

    “Look at me, I’m an effigy!”

  210. 210
    dfs says:

    @jlow: at the risk of drawing the eternal ire of Angry Norwegian Lady, may I suggest “Qusiling?”

  211. 211

    @justawriter: yes, that is the main reason. wouldn’t want to avoid such language because using such language is offensive.

    And to ABL, perhaps she is unaware that the definition she uses of racism, you know the one that allows those without “power” to get a pass, is not exactly the mainstream definition. In fact, I’d say only those who have a vested interest in ensuring a continuation of keeping the races unequal would use such a bullshit definition.

    this is asinine. moreover, you’re making the same dumb argument that your friend made which is that somehow i have condoned “white-bashing” by objecting to the use of the term “house niggers” to define the democratic party, which is currently led by a black dude.

    yes, of course. i’m the problem.

    ETA: “mainstream racism”? really?

  212. 212
    Ija says:

    @D. Mason:

    Despite your personal opinion about racist statements directed at white people not counting

    Where did I say that? I am just so fucking sick of coming into a discussion about any form of racism or racist statements against non-white people and have it immediately turned into “black people do it too”, “black people are the real racists”, “white people are oppressed too” etc etc.

    Maybe one of the front pagers should establish a specific thread in which people can bitch about all the ways white people are oppressed and demeaned in this country. Maybe then threads like this won’t immediately get derailed into a discussion about who the real racists are. Of course, that front pager should probably be a white one, lest his/her intention is suspected.

  213. 213
    Yutsano says:

    @Angry Black Lady: This whole thread is soaking in white privilege. Soaked like a classic French baba au rhum cake is soaked in booze. Here’s the facts folks: white folks still make the rules in this country. If you got the right skin tone, you get to play and even make those rules. If you’re anywhere outside that privileged class, guess what? You don’t even get appeal rights. All you can do is try to play the game and MAYBE a white ref will be nice enough to let you advance a space. That is fucking reality for anyone outside of straight white males period. Wake the fuck up: you got it so damn good you think you can tell minorities how to feel about oppression and racism. Guess what? You’re gonna get backlash for it. Change the rules of the whole game then tell minorities how to feel. Until then stuff your fucking privileged white fee-fees in your sock drawer.

  214. 214
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Hob:

    Maybe it’s just me, but every single time I’ve heard a phrase along the lines of “black, white, yellow, purple polkadotted or striped”, it’s been from a clueless white person vehemently defending a probably inadvertent offensive remark, and turning into a not-so-inadvertent total asshole in the process.

    It’s not just you.

  215. 215
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @D. Mason:

    I have, personally, been denied a promotion because of my skin color. This isn’t an assumption on my part it was a stated reason.

    I’m gonna let you in on a secret.

    You didn’t get promoted because the boss didn’t want to promote you.

    And he figured out a way to get your ignorant ass to blame Black people.

    If I was your boss, I don’t think I’d want you supervising a bunch of Black subordinates either.

    Just saying.

  216. 216
    Ija says:

    @D. Mason:

    See #198. I already apologize. What more do you want? Okay, I’m a fucking racist pig because I don’t think calling a white guy a cracker is as big a deal as calling a black guy the n-word. Happy now? If that is your definition of a racist, you know what? I’m happy to be one.

  217. 217
    Ija says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    You used the word cracker. You are officially a racist according to D. Mason.

    Edit: Sorry, you’ve changed it. Now you are not a racist.

  218. 218
    Allan says:

    @Carl Nyberg: I liked it better with the “cracker” but still: this.

  219. 219
    Ija says:

    @Ija:

    Shouldn’t have said guy. Person. Black person and white person. Sorry.

  220. 220
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Hob: It’s definitely not just you. It’s inevitably said by someone who refuses to see the privilege s/he has.

    @Yutsano: Sing it, hon!

    @Carl Nyberg: Gotta agree with you on this. “How do I get rid of this lame-ass cracker AND make him hate black people at the same time? I’ll tell him I’m not hiring him because he’s white! Genius.”

    I have never used the term cracker in my life, but if the shoe fits, I’m gonna shove it on the goddamn foot.

  221. 221
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I use cracker all the time. Granted it’s used to describe a particular food, but still. Using it as an anti-white slur seems uncreative to me. I prefer the term stupid whiteboy. That tends to get the point across.

  222. 222
    Mrs. Polly says:

    @mark: Shorter Mark: How dare ABL deplore what our front-pager dropped in the FDL punchbowl, when she hasn’t even tasted the punch!

    Gazing into the bowl of swirly surly FireAde, and momentarily setting the floating racial insensitivity aside, what does the non-acolyte see?

    An operation that has had not the slightest effect on the lives of real people; elected no candidates, neither enacted legislation nor gotten it repealed; fulminates daily on the perfidy of everyone actually doing something concrete, because it does not measure up to the acolytes’ demands, and a site that bans dissent to the point that Firebaggers have to come over to Balloon Juice to have anything like an honest discussion, since the echo in the porcelain chamber over there is deafening.

    Add to this that the founder of the site made her name by slagging the names of really famous people, a single note that she seems not to know how to vary, and that she runs a pac which has proved useless except to the pockets of herself and her friends, and it is impossible not to conclude that FDL flying monkeys ought to be inspecting how their own parachutes were packed before they venture outside their airless fortress.

  223. 223
    Ija says:

    @Yutsano:

    This whole thread is soaking in white privilege.

    White privilege? What are you talking about? Don’t you know that the term is a myth perpetuated by minorities who are intent on squashing Dr King’s dream of a day when we would all be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin? There is no white privilege. Only real racists who condone “casual racism” against white people.

  224. 224
    Yutsano says:

    @Ija: I suppose you want me to hang the shame curtains now huh?

  225. 225
    Ija says:

    @Yutsano:

    A shame curtain is not enough. You should cover yourself with a lead-lined box for daring to suggest such a thing. White privilege indeed. Sacrilege!

    Arrgh, this whole topic is making me exhausted. On the plus side, only a few minutes left at the coal mine. Hooray! Now for traffic jams and honking cars. I wouldn’t mind some white privilege, or since I can’t have that, some American privilege. I’m an American dammit, let me through.

  226. 226
    SpaceSquid says:

    I had an asterisk sandwich once. It’s not as nice as an ampersand taco.

  227. 227
    john b says:

    i just follow tbogg and emptywheel. and they’re usually pretty on-point.

  228. 228

    @Mrs. Polly:

    Shorter Mark: How dare ABL deplore what our front-pager dropped in the FDL punchbowl, when she hasn’t even tasted the punch!

    Best. Goddamn. Metaphor. Ever.

    PS: If anyone wants to call my cracker ass “cracker,” have a crack at it.

  229. 229
    . says:

    Has anyone pointed out yet that some asshole named DougJ recently referred to Juan Williams as a lawn jockey? I eagerly await the post taking him to task, because this site isn’t self-obsessed enough as it is.

  230. 230
    Sputnik says:

    There was a commenter over at Jezebel that used to say that liberal men could be the worst when it came to sexism. I think the same can be applied to white liberals. White liberals can’t be racist because they are liberals and subscribe to the NAACP’s newsletter or something.

    Full disclosure: I’m a white liberal and I am on the NAACP’s email list. Make of this information what you will.

  231. 231
    chopper says:

    this is brilliant. so a white guy calling himself a ‘cracker’ in a self-depricating fashion is totes just like a white guy angrily calling a black man a ‘house nigger’.

    i love the ‘racism is racism is racism’ argument. it’s so moronic.

  232. 232
    chopper says:

    @D. Mason:

    The boss thought the team he needed a supervisor for would respond better to a black supervisor(being mostly black themselves) and told me that’s why he was hiring in a black supervisor from outside the company instead of promoting me from within (and didn’t bat an eye when he said it).

    jesus, given your near-autistic level of absolute tone-deafness with regards to race and social interactions i can’t blame him at all.

  233. 233
    eemom says:

    @Mrs. Polly:

    bestest summation of fdl EVAH.

  234. 234
    Marmot says:

    ABL is angry.

  235. 235
    themann1086 says:

    Let me tell y’all what it’s like
    Being male, middle-class and white
    It’s a bitch, if you don’t believe
    Listen up to my new CD
    (Sha-mon)

    I got shit runnin’ throught my brain
    It’s so intense that I can’t explain
    All alone in my white-boy pain
    Shake your booty while the band complains

  236. 236
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @chopper:
    The boss pretty much told D. Mason what the deal was.

    The boss more-or-less said, I’ve seen how you (D. Mason) treat Black people, talk to Black people and talk about Black people. As a “White” boss person, you make me uncomfortable.

    I am concerned that if I promoted you (D. Mason) to supervising Black people you would say or do something inappropriate. And when my boss and customers asked me, I’d have to admit I had concerns before I put you in the supervisory position.

    Rather than take the not-particularly-subtle feedback D. Mason decided to blame Black people and racism against “Whites”.

    But that’s the way it is when you’ve got a problem with bigotry. Bigotry stops you from seeing the world as it is. The guy with a bigotry problem seeks to blame his problems on the people he is bigoted against.

  237. 237

    Not to sidestep the issue, but this thread sounds an awful lot like an AA meeting. “I used to drink FDL but I got on the wagon after the Plame case.” “I guzzled a bottle of Hamsher every day until she turned on Obama.” “Drinking FDL causes racism and liver disease.”

    Myself, I find the posts generally pretty good there, but I am not wedded to them, or Balloon Juice. I’m a socialist conspiracy monger who rejects the left-right dichotomy and would rather we all see things top v. bottom. I see racism as just another tool to enforce economic inequality among the masses. I’ve seen far too many people of all races in my years on this earth embrace racist terms, or worse, theories.

    I didn’t see the article in question, so I can’t comment directly on the use of the offensive term. I would advise all people to steer away from inflammatory racist terms that can be misinterpreted (which means most of them in most situations, although it can get difficult when quoting someone who uses the term). The poster who used the racist term, I’m guessing, did not use it to insult black people so intent should be considered in judging him. As for how long it took for the blog moderator to respond, who knows what they were doing that day? As for Angry Black Lady’s anger, I don’t live under the grinding wheel of racial oppression that has hung over this country for centuries so I have no say in the matter. I just wish that more white Americans had the empathy to understand how that grinding wheel destroys people for profit, and that eventually it grinds up white skin too.

  238. 238
    aimai says:

    @D. Mason: Oh, you think that opprobrious epithets like the N word or, for women, whore or c*nt are just rude comments, inappropriate nicknames. Your argument depends on assuming that they are casual, if offensive, replacements for proper names. I think that’s some kind of fundamental error. They aren’t nicknames or mere insults–they are really more like a kind of action: a blow, an attack, an attempt to disable. I resolutely deny that “cracker” or “white people” can ever serve as such a direct blow although I think you could make the argument that “irishman” and “hunky” and “polack” can and did serve as such attacks.

    What I’m arguing is that these words, in the context of American society certainly, are more like a cross burning on someone’s lawn than a mere neighborhood bonfire that gets too warm.

    aimai

  239. 239
    aimai says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Also, to add to Omnes Omnibus’s point, arguing that White People as a class in this country haven’t suffered from *discrimination* is distinct from arguing that individuals who self identify as white haven’t suffered at all, or suffered from poverty, or bad luck, or bad parenting, or bad habits, or situationally. I’m really tired of hearing about how there is not such thing as racial discrimination in this country because some white guy is a loser in the game of class and capitalism and had to grow up poor. Absent minorities in this country–an historical impossibility–there were and always would be some unfortunate white people who had hard lives. That doesn’t mean they were discriminated against. They were just working class, or poor, or had other problems in a largely indifferent hierarchical society.

    aimai

  240. 240
    Makewi says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    No, ABL, the definition you are using of what constitutes racism is not “mainstream”. Speaking of asinine.

    Thanks for pretending not to understand.

  241. 241
    Stillwater says:

    Awesome thread. The stupid’s on full display for everyone to see – except those too stupid to engage in any sort of self-reflection. BginCHI got it right way upthread: Stupid fucking white people are fucking everything up. The reason? The idea of white privilege exceptionalism is stupid and fucks everything up.

  242. 242
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @Makewi:
    I will agree that different people define racism differently. And that many conversations fail to acknowledge that different people are using different definitions.

  243. 243
    ed drone says:

    @AxelFoley:

    Now, please comply with the lady’s command and fornicate with yourself.

    Now, do we know he’s unmarried? It might not be fornication if he’s sanctioned by law and custom. Perhaps we should just say,

    “Swive thyself!”

    That works, married or no.

    Ed

  244. 244
    Donald says:

    I agree that it’s insensitive at best for a white person to use a term like “house n*****”. That’s just common sense. Some people do it, as explained above, because they think they are being edgy. They aren’t necessarily racist (though they might be), but they certainly are stupid. There are way too many stupid people in the world who think they are being edgy.

    But as for the non-existence of racism against whites, there are cases where someone white is attacked purely because of skin color. Google the LA riots and then “Reginald Denny”. Obviously white racism against blacks has been a vastly greater problem, but I don’t think the opposite problem is non-existent.

    Take a different example. The Palestinians have been living under the boot of the Israelis for decades–Desmond Tutu has compared the situation to apartheid. So it should be clear which side holds the power there and which side suffers most in that conflict, yet I don’t think any sane person would deny that there is anti-Jewish racism (which has a special name) among Palestinians and that it is a problem, especially when people are attacked simply for being Jewish.

    The problem I have with the racism vs. mere bigotry distinction people make here and elsewhere is that in the real world violence usually flows both ways and just because the ratio might be 10 to 1 or 100 to 1 doesn’t mean one should ignore racism in either direction. Even apart from the simple fact that hatred is immoral, any real example of racism by someone in the minority just feeds the paranoia of the racist majority. It doesn’t mean one has to pretend that the two opposite forms of racism are equally serious problems in a given society.

  245. 245
    Pongo says:

    I only read Tbogg over there now. Jane is 1.) an idiot, 2.) very, very confident of her own imaginary importance to the political process, and 3.) absolutely devoid of a sense of humor–you can’t trust those people.

  246. 246
    Xboxershorts says:

    Amusing but true story. My Mom n Dad had just moved into a new home in Henrietta, NY. We were trying to install a swingset so the grandkids could have a place to recreate and impale themselves as the adults watched from the safety of the shaded patio. So, we’re working away in the corner of the fenced in yard and the new neighbor comes up and introduces himself. A genuinely decent fellow and pleasant to converse with, he also happened to have a darker hue to his outer covering than us Irish Catholics did. To get to the point, my mom explains what we’re trying to accomplish with our labors and then, as innocent as a dove, asks if our neighbor has a spade we could borrow.

    There was a brief moment of awkward silence and furtive glances….

    Then the neighbor lets out the most pleasant gut chuckle you’ve ever heard and we all join in. Except my Mom, of course. Who’s saintly innocence excludes her from the joke at first. Until her mouth opens with the widest “O” and she begins to profusely apologize.

    This wonderful man steps right up and defuses my Mom’s embarrassment by saying..I’ll be right back.

    He was a wonderful neighbor and I shall always hold that moment dear as a prime example of cultural differences leading to embarrassing conversational exchanges which are easily diffused through genuine, good natured people.

    As another example, when I was 12 in 1973, I set out to undergo the very Catholic ritual of Confirmation. In this ritual, the Confirmee (me) must choose a sufficiently spiritual and upstanding Christian to sponsor and tutor them in Confirming the presence of the Holy Spirit in their life. After about 10 minutes I chose Mr Tony Mercadel. A wonderful human being and the father of two of my bestest friends growing up. He also happened to have a skin hue much darker than this Irish Catholic kid. I didn’t see the conflict. But..and this one bugged the shit out of me, the Church, of all the lousy places where Christian spirit should dominate…objected to me asking a black man to be my sponsor at Confirmation. In retrospect, I (and my family) put up with some very mean spirited and unChristian bloviating from folks in the Rochester Diocese. In my innocent and naive 12 year old mind, I never understood what the huff was about and held my ground. And I proudly stood next to one of the most Christian loving human beings I’ve ever known that night, as I confirmed the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.

    The point, I guess, is some people will always “not get it”. And it’s OK, sometimes, to just let morons be morons and get on with life. It’s right to call the ignorant out on their ignorance. But it hurts the caller if they focus so much on trying to re-educate the ignorant. You will never be able to force someone to be what you wish they would be. That includes being not ignorant. It’s important to remember (for me at least) sometimes, that ignorance knows no specific ideology.

    I commend you for calling out ignorance wherever it rears it’s ugly head. But to focus solely on that ignorance with so much energy is only going to take from you, energy that maybe could be better used in other venues.

    We only have so much time on this earth and no one knows their departure date. Meaning, Time is the most precious thing we have to give to anyone.

    It is my practice to make my point, and then forgive and move on. Even if I believe strongly. For I have learned two very important things in my 50+ years on this planet.

    1) Not all ignorance is intentional (like my Mom’s) or evil in nature (Like that I experienced from the Catholic Diocese of Rochester).

    And 2) My best efforts at mitigating ignorance make a difference in my own life, but little in the lives of others.

    I dig you ABL, you’re a righteous human being. And it hurts to see you spending lots of time and energy (both of which are finite) in pursuit of windmills to tilt at. You were spot on, of course. But how much longer and how much more time and energy will be spent pointing out the ignorance of many of those at FDL when we all know the shrillness of that forum will always appeal to the ignorant.

    To me, a recovering crack head (another long story), forgiveness has become, not a vehicle to exonerate the ignorant, but a release from the resentments that my obsessing mind used to justify killing myself in slow motion.

    Therefor, I forgive those who offend me, not to imply that what they’ve done is somehow, OK. But so that I can free myself to meet the next challenge, which is always just around the corner.

    God bless you all!

  247. 247
    Xboxershorts says:

    I’m sorry for the wall of text, if any of you need to re-up on your supply of text, I have some coupons, just drop me a note…

  248. 248
    Ryan says:

    The only people we hate more than the Romans are the fucking Judean People’s Front.

  249. 249
    djesno says:

    <a href="”>

    it was impolitic to use the term, but i’m certain the commenter implied “sellout”. eventually our discourse will rise above simple etymological concerns and we will focus on the thrust of our arguments and whether they are based in reality.

  250. 250
    djesno says:

    @Xboxershorts: xboxershorts – i appreciate your comment as it is prescient and appreciate you for the fact that you are not bashful about being in recovery.

  251. 251
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    Christ on a crutch. We need to differentiate between “racism” where one person hates/curses/insults/attacks another because of race; and supporting the continuance of white supremacy.

    White boys bitching about how they’re the victims of racism just make me fucking laugh. Fuck that shit. I say that as a black-ass blackity black motherfucker who grew up in the South in the ’60s and ’70s and who’s lived and worked all over fucking CONUS–

    Motherfucker, you don’t know shit.

  252. 252
    Donald says:

    “We need to differentiate between “racism” where one person hates/curses/insults/attacks another because of race; and supporting the continuance of white supremacy.”

    I wonder if that was supposed to be a response to my post or if it’s aimed at someone else. Hard to tell.

    No disagreement that white racism is a vastly bigger problem than black racism in this country. I don’t agree that even a small amount of “racism” is a trivial problem if sometimes an innocent person with the wrong skin color in a given situation can be severely beaten or killed for it. As for whiney white boys, I dislike them too. I don’t have much sympathy for white males who complain about affirmative action, speaking as a white male.

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