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How do these people find me?

So, over in the comment thread on the Billy Ray post there’s a commenter named Anthony who stumbled upon my little blog while Googling on Billy Ray’s name. At first, Anthony seems like a pretty upstanding guy. He expresses outrage that such terrible things can happen and even goes so far as to threaten bodily harm on the perpetrators, if given a chance. But then Anthony rolls his clown car right back into privilege-land and the fun begins:

This is not a black and white issue and it is a shame that it is being made into one. Does not matter what color the victim was or the perpetrators. It is equally as sick if it was white on white or black on black. A sick fuck is a sick fuck regardless of color.

…keep on track, this is not about color, open your f’ing eyes we are all human beings and I dont care what color you are, if you treat another human being this way you should be taken out of the gene pool…….PERIOD!

EVERYBODY get over the race shit and learn to treat one another like human beings. The past is the past so live in the now. No wonder the terrorists want us dead!

Does this sound familiar to anyone? It should. It’s a variation of Ways to Suppress Discussions of Racism #5 (and possibly elements of #6).

I made an offhand comment about there being a lot of overprivileged people commenting lately and Anthony returned to defend his honor:

You think “white” people are overpriviledged by simply the color of our skin?

All of the sudden I understand who the racist is and who should be angry. No wonder you are angry. Obviously deep down you realize that you are part of the problem, thus it must really suck living in your skin, regardless of it’s outward color.

More #5. In my response, I offered Anthony a chance to educate himself by reading the How To Suppress article as well as my post about White Privilege. I don’t think he took my advice, because he returned to say:

Would you have posted the story about Billy Ray if he was a white, hispanic, oriental, or any other race than black? The atrocity is the same regardless of his color, right?

…If your answer is yes, you would have posted it, I find you very respectable. However, if you tell me no…..then I stick to my previous statement that you are part of the problem. You are just as big a racist as those your site criticises. [sic]

…You and your kind (regardless of color) are the problem in America. It is called being a hypocrite.

To be heard and listened to, one must walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Get off your fucking soapbox and make a REAL difference.

Somewhere in there he called both Ann and I “black racists”. I invited him to read the Racism debate, but I don’t think he did that, either. And, of course, there was a liberal sprinkling of ‘blame the victim’ and putting on the onus for change on someone else and not himself. Because we are the problem, you see.

I react predictably to this. Anthony’s (so far) final comment:

WOW…You ladies are angry.

NO WAI!! We are??

I am well aware how sickly racist white people can be and I TRULY find it deplorable…….and NOW I am SHOCKINGLY aware of how racist even one of color can be. Thank you for the eye opening militant experience,…… I think.

I hope and pray that you and yours can find some peace and happiness somewhere in your lives.

P.S. Since the above responses rattled me so deeply, I showed them to 2 friends this morning:
Person #1 Black hetero female (Majored in Liberal Arts with a Masters in Sociology.) Person #2 White lesbian female. Person #1 informed me that there is no “real” social discussion to be had with you and yours. You simply hate yourselves and take it out with these racial “injustice” tyrades. and Person #2 asked me to tell you the term “queer” SHOULD offend you, it does her. Just an FYI.

Yes, kids, he pulled out the ‘my black friend says I’m not racist’ card. And a bonus ‘my lesbian friend says that I’m right’ card with extra added bit where a random white woman gets to dictate which words should offend me. Someone tell Angry Brown Butch to stop using the word Queer right now! It offends some white woman somewhere!

But seriously, this kind of thing boggles me to no end. I realize that it’s the classic example of white male privilege in action, but I am stunned by the level of ignorance on display here. Add to that his seeming surprise that not only was this blog filled with angry ladies, but that we mainly care about black people and black issues. Is the header on this site not fucking big enough?

28 comments to How do these people find me?

  • I recognize all of this person’s arguments, and every single card he pulled. I recently alienated a friend who gave me all the same arguments, and implied I was being racist against whites, and that I must not like myself very much then. It was very scary to me to have a friend whose opinion I used to value turn against me. He had actually “suggested” to me that I should not speak out about white privilege because I might offend someone.

    Uh, good. I hope I do offend whites talking about white privilege. I’m just happy to have a better (although not perfect) understanding of it now.

    I love this blog. You have every right to be angry, and yeah, it probably was because of some dumb shit I did! But I’m working not to do the dumb shit any more. ;-)

    Ignorance is the most frightening form of terror I know.

  • isn’t it amazing how those lines repeat? you can begin to speak for these types, they reduce to such predictable arguments.

    what a scared boy he was.

  • transgressingengineer

    ABW- thanks for your blog. I enjoy reading your insightful posts as well as (most) of the comments left by your readers.

    I just went and read all of Anthony’s comments since I hadn’t kept on the comments on that post. Damn. I would love to be able to sit here and say that I am shocked, but sadly, his white privileged comments are just all too common.

    What irritated me was the way he conflated race with class in talking about “white trash” to distance himself from the whites in the article. And then, as you point out ABW, pulling out the I have a black friend so I am not a racist card.

    How are we ever going to be able to engage in honest conversations about race (and its intersection with class and gender) when every time we try people like Anthony pop up and demand all of our attention and energy?

  • t, why are you giving this dude a platform? i know you’re angry about it, but isn’t it exactly like every other dude who posts this shit? why highlight him in his own post? you just validated him as a respected adversary.

  • What Anthony doesn’t get is that everything isn’t about him.

    This is a difficult concept for a certain kind of white guy.

    I agree with Claire. He is too stupid to waste your time on.

    But I also think you provide a service pointing out the fallacy of his arguments.

  • I mainly posted it because I’ve had several similar comments recently. The white priv majorly on display, the calls for everyone to stop worrying so much about race and consider us all humans, and then the weird “OMG, you only talk about black stuff here!?” thing. I could have used any of them as an example, but Anthony was the most recent.

    It’s all data, as far as I’m concerned. If another one shows up spouting the same stuff, I can say “Dude, you sound just like Anthony” and have something to point to when I do. It still amazes me how similar these people all sound. It really IS like they have a script.

    Maybe Anthony will be the generic name for all overprivileged white men who show up here.

  • Ann

    ABW.

    “The white priv majorly on display, the calls for everyone to stop worrying so much about race and consider us all humans,…”

    It’s funny, because those are the people most likely to utter this phrase. As in, “All you black/non-white folks do all the work (as ya’ll always done), while we white privileges sit back and do nothing.”

    Just like the comment from Anthony to me on what I’m doing to make this a better world for those around me. People who utter that phrase, usually are doing NOTHING to make the world around them a better place. About all they are good at is expelling copious amounts of CO2, instead of making themselves useful.

    “Maybe Anthony will be the generic name for all overprivileged white men who show up here.”

    Very good idea.

    You can take his comments/viewpoint and use it as a post to direct people to read when they come to your blog showing their ignorance and denial of the benefits they reap from white privilege.

    (P.S.: I especially liked it when he called me “The Black Racist”.

    I had a grand time laughing.

    For him to have the chutzpah to call you and me black racists—–wow, I did not know we had so much power, so much prestige, so much PRIVILEGE.)

  • After reading all of that I was going to make some “totally cool” and “insightful” comment. But, man! That shit tired me out! I mean, man! I was literally neck deep in bullshit (as you all were I expect). So, so much bullshit. Had to struggle just to get to the surface. All I have to say is I’m tired of all the bullshit and thank God people like Ann, ABW, and Nezua can pick up my slack and tell it like it is. Team work baby! I’m liking it. So, like I said, I was going to make a comment, but, eh, I’m tired. Oh well.

  • Rowan Crisp

    What a schmuck.

  • P6

    Does this sound familiar to anyone? It should. It’s a variation of Ways to Suppress Discussions of Racism #5 (and possibly elements of #6).

    That shit is all scripted.

    You might want to prepare an annotated version of Ways to Suppress Discussions of Racism with an anchor at the discussion of each technique. That way you can respond to each idiot with a link to the rule they are applying.

    If you want to have fun, you can identify their phenotype for them.

  • Sometimes when I’m wearing my tinfoil hat, I suspect these people are confirmed racists out trolling, pretending to be on the anti-”ism” blogger’s side at first, then dramatically realizing how evil the blogger is… all a big performance to (a) wear the blogger out and discourage him or her and (b) demonstrate to other readers how evil the very people criticizing the “ism” are, and therefore the status quo is right.

    I think I’m going to have to write an article on my privilege site about white trash, which I am. I know where poor white people are coming from when they wonder where the hell’s all this privilege they supposedly have, but (a) I realize that no matter the disadvantages I faced, there are certain things I just do not have to worry about because my pale skin protects me and (b) isn’t it better to use our disadvantages to relate to others who are disadvantaged, and then maybe we can all work together to make things better? All I know is, whining about all the stuff I didn’t get that all the other white kids got is not helping me or anyone else.

  • I’m going to start saying pulling an Anthony when I encounter anyone who is privileged and deluded (and wants to stay that way) about the cultural, economic and social realities of America.

    I’m glad you posted his comments. People need to know that this kind of intellectual dishonesty persists even among the supposedly smart and aware people. May encounter it at work, at a wedding, at a dinner party, at a bar. Be ready.

    ABW, I missed you!

  • still peeved about Anthony and his delusions…here’s something I just read in Howard Zinn’s
    A People’s History of the United States:

    Virginia’s ruling class, having proclaimed that all white men were superior to black, went on to offer their social (but white) inferiors a number of benefits previosly denied them. In 1705 a law was passed requiring masters to provide white servants whose indenture time was up with ten bushels of corn and forty shillings. Also, the newly freed servants were to get 50 acres of land.

    [Edmund] Morgan concludes:
    “Once the small planter felt less exploited by taxation and began to prosper a little , he became less turbulent, less dangerous, more respectable. He could begin to see his big neighbor nor as an extortionist but as a powerful protector of their common interest.”

    And so the groundwork for white privilege began and continues to this day.

  • Ann

    “In 1705 a law was passed requiring masters to provide white servants whose indenture time was up with ten bushels of corn and forty shillings. Also, the newly freed servants were to get 50 acres of land.

    [Edmund] Morgan concludes:
    “Once the small planter felt less exploited by taxation and began to prosper a little , he became less turbulent, less dangerous, more respectable. He could begin to see his big neighbor nor as an extortionist but as a powerful protector of their common interest.”

    Well said.

    And if I may further expound on your comment.

    The many unearned privileges that white people have in America are the result of when affirmative action was white.

    Many white people pride themselves on the myth of meritocracy in this country. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, when so many other races have only been given the boot, when so many other races have been given only the strap. In the eyes of many white people, affirmative action is asking for a hand-out as opposed to the hand-up that it was meant to be to Native Americans and black Americans. Affirmative action was something that “those Other” people wanted, and not something we pulled-ourselves-up-by-our-bootstrap-meritocracy white people ever needed.

    But, looking at the history of white-run America, many white people benefitted, at the degradation of non-white people, when affirmative action was “white”.

    And many white people still benefit in unearned privileges that are a result of the racist history of this country towards its non-white citizens.

    Here are many examples of when affirmative action was white, and the deadly legacy of how these policies were used to keep non-white people behind white people, enearned privileges that keep white people ahead, no matter what the white person’s gender, social, or economic status:

    -Affirmative action for whites was embodied in the abolition of European indentured servitude, which left black (and occasionally native peoples) slaves as the only unfree labor in the colonies that would become the U.S.

    Slavery is as old as humankind, but, it took white men to make slavery in America into race-based slavery.

    -Affirmative action for whites was the essence of the 1790 Naturalization Act [free, white, male, and 21], which allowed virtually any European immigrant to become a full citizen, even while blacks, Indians and Asians could not at that time [black Americans only became citizens [on paper] with the enactment of the 14TH Amendment; Native Americans in 1925; Asian Americans, in 1955.]

    -Affirmative action for whites was the overwhelming concept behind segregation, Asian exclusion laws, and the theft of half of Mexico [the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo in 1846] and for the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny.

    -Affirmative action for whites was the enactment of the Homestead Act which gave free land to white people. Hundreds of acres of land taken from Indians who were the rightful owners.

    -Affirmative action for whites created racially restrictive housing policies that helped 15 million white families procure homes with FHA loans from the 1930s to the ’60s, while people of color were mostly excluded from the same programs.

    -Affirmative action for whites poured monies into the build-up of neighborhood infrastructures in white suburbs, with no money being allocated to poor black, Latino, or other minority neighborhoods. This one-way flow of funds into white suburb/neighborhods gave whites amenities that helped to build their neighborhoods up, at the detriment of non-white neighborhoods, neighborhoods where the non-white people’s taxes they paid were instead put into building up white neighborhoods.

    -The original Social Security Act was to help all citizens when it was enacted, but, with the white North wanting to appease the white South, it allowed this program to be gutted and destroyed where it came time for it to help all the citizens of the South. In the South, the legislatives were able to write out of the SS Act the people who needed this act the most, domestic servants and agricultural workers.

    Domestic servants being overwhelmingly black women, and agricultural workers, being overwhelmingly Latino men and women.

    The white South took from these two groups the needed benefits fo the SS Act, and allowed white people to reap the benefits the most.

    Today, in 20007 America, because of the huge head-start that white America gave her white citizens, white America’s WEALTH GAP between whites and non-whites, is a vast chasm that shows the savage inequalities that exist now as a result of white America’s showing PREFERENCE to her white citizens, preferences that have caused so much ineqaulity in all the areas that affect ALL of our lives on a daily basis:

    -Housing

    -Education

    -Employment

    -Criminal justice system

    -Politics

    -Banking

    -Business

    White people do not stop and think [and many do not want to stop and think], of all their unearned privileges as stemming from racial preferences for whites, preferences on which this country was founded. Many lie to themselves in the belief that white people all worked so hard to get where they are and pat themselves on the back as if their hard work, drive and ambition alone, got them where they are, as if they invented the concept of hardwork, thrift, and industriousness.

    As if their ancestors/people worked harder than people whose ancestors wore forced to pick cotton under the blazing sun; as if their ancestors were forced to farm rice fields during slavry; as if their ancestors were forced to do menial sub-standard labor, much of which they might have received $2-$3 a day for, IF they even received that at the end of the day.

    As if their ancestors/people work harder than migrant workers who labor up to 10-12 hours a day doing back-breaking stoop labor to harvest agricultural crops, crops that ALL of us depend on [lettuce, corn, tomatos, strawberries].

    White people believe the lies of the myth that they are more harder workers than the mostly women of color who work in nursing homes changing bedpans, cleaning patients, and attending to patients medical needs, or the mostly women of color who clean motel and hotel rooms for slave wages.

    White people think they work harder than the mostly men of color who work in sanitation to remove all our unwanted trash from our neighborhoods; men of color who work in dead animal incinerator plants and men who work in hazardous garbage trash dumpsites.

    White people love to convince themselves that they have never needed a hand-up at anytime in this country’s history.

    White people wrote the book on how to help themselves, while f+++++g over all those around them who were not white.

    And white people go on continuing to gain unearned privileges at the expense of non-white people.

    They are given the best jobs first, before a non-white is likely to be hired for the job.

    They are given the chance to rent the apartment they want, when they seek out a residence and they are not steered away from their first choice of apartment the way many non-whites are.

    They can be rest assured that unlike black citizens, they will not be racially profiled, followed around stores, even when they have money in their pockets to buy.

    They will not have to see their culture attacked as dysfuntional, as aberrant, as not normal.

    They will not have to have their intelligence constantly assaulted by books such as “The Bell Curve”.

    They will not have to live with being viewed as a “out of place” when driving while black, shopping while black, buying a home while black, living while black, dying while black.

    White people will not have to worry about their validity and their worth, as human beings, continually questioned, the privilege that allows them to not have to think about race on a daily basis.

    White-run America has privileges, no matter how much many of them delude themselves into thinking otherwise.

    And as long as white-run America continues her love of and worship of white privilege, this country will continue to go down.

    It is not the so-called “terrorists” that white-run America should be looking over her shoulder at.

    It is her ownself that she must look to as the cause of so much wrong and inequality that has gone on in this country. Wrongs and ineqaulities that are tearing this country apart, and will continue to tear it apart as long as whiteness is given more value than non-whiteness; as long as whiteness is given more of a benefit of a doubt.

    As long as that unbearable, lightness of whiteness is held up as all that is right, all that is good, all that is worthy of being valued highly over all, and everything, non-white.

  • transgressingengineer

    Great list of white affirm. action, Ann! I’d like to add one more- the GI Bill of Rights after WWII, where higher educational benefits were given to white males and denied to men of color who served in WWII.

  • erizzle

    transgressingengineer,

    you said it. a lot of people don’t realize how much the gi bill did for white soldiers back then. it basically subsidized white suburbia.

    i dig this blog, Angry Black Woman. rock on!

  • Ann

    trangressingengineer.

    Thanks for the GI Bill comment. I was remembering, off the top of my head, all the different types of white affirmative action. I knew there was one I forgot, and that most important one was the GI Bill.

    In addition to subsidizing white suburbia with the GI Bill, white America also “lynched” black soldiers all over again (both women, and men who served in the armed forces in WW II).

    It was not enough that this country lynched black soldiers, while still in uniform when they came home from WW I.

    This country continued lynching black male, and female, veterans with this hypocritical, racist preference given overwhelmingly to white veterans.

    And this was a chance for many black veterans to own a piece of the so-called American dream—-your own property, your own home.

    That this greedy country would not give that chance to black veterans was beyond hateful and selfish.

  • This random white woman would like to tell Anthony that he offends me, so could he disappear, pretty please?

    I love your blog.

  • ABW
    The first comment you have here is from a friend of mine, Dani. She moderates a message board where this alienation took place.

    The first cop out I hear and read is “I don’t see color”.

    You know these white people that say this feel that “I don’t see color” is the answer. That they, with that simple statement have created single handedly the perfect utopian society.

    But there is a problem to all that of course. They will not take the responsibilty to make this utopian society happen.

    They talk against affirmative action, these people that don’t see color, and call it “reverse discrimination.

    Ain’t that a hoot?

    I tell them that to abolish Affirmative action and other social programs, you have to first abolish the social norms that make them neccesary.

    And they have proven what to me? That they can get a bucket of paint, a brush and paint themselves into a bigoted corner without really trying.

    And yea what these others have said about your blog here, I love it too.

    Dave -=topper=- T

  • Topper, that’s one of the smartest things I’ve read in a while. You rock!

  • blogschmog

    ABW and Ann,

    damn, that’s an amazing list. As a white woman I’m working hard to become more adept at talking about white privilege in a way that makes people think and not knee-jerk. Haven’t figured out exactly how to do that, but I love your blog for the insight. As a middle school teacher, it’s even more important to me that my multi-cultural students see “what else” is a result of our history (beside just the fact that there was a Homestead Act – but what was the result). Thanks!

  • You know, he’s right. A sick fuck is a sick fuck, regardless of color. However, since we’re just under 40 years since the time Martin Luther King Jr. was killed for discussing it, and after 350-plus years of racism and discrimination–I’d say there’s a lot more work (and a lot more talking) still to be done. White folks: If your ancestors dogged our ancestors out for more than 300 years, the least we can do is discuss it (and do something to make it right) for the next 300. Our ancestors, and our older relatives who are still living today, had no say-so over the matter; you, on the other hand, are privileged in that you have a CHOICE to discuss it … or not. But ignoring it simply isn’t going to make it go away, that’s for sure — especially since it’s still happening.

  • What irritated me was the way he conflated race with class in talking about “white trash” to distance himself from the whites in the article.

    yup.

    classism added to the mix, and: “white trash” is, oops, rawther inherently racist all by itself if you stop to think about it: the implication is that, as with “lady doctor,” say, the qualifier is needed because otherwise one might naturally assume “trash” is, well…not white.

    and/or: “white” isn’t supposed to be “trash;” this is in fact the whole point of being “white.”

  • abw

    Angry Black Women, according to liberal-bleeding heart and conservative-freezing/ice-heart so-called “colorblind” WHINERS, anytime blacks do anything with just their own interest in mind, especially when it entails confronting racism, we are being black bigots,fascists, and racists-anything but Children of God!!!

  • Nell

    The race discussion always gets suppressed the minute a white person says, hey, I’m sick of racism against white people. If a white person is educated, then we are “over-privileged.” If we aren’t, then we are ignorant and racist “white trash.”

    The bottom line is, I’m supposed to listen to the victim song and dance about poor black people, but if I get angry about the guy who called me “whitey”, then I’m racist. At which point the discussion is completely suppressed.

    It’s not a two way street. As long as a white person can’t say anything in their defense or actually take pride in themselves, then all discussion is suppressed. If a person, who happens to be white, cannot have an opposing viewpoint, there is no discussion.

    I am not letting the overused race card trample on my voice anymore. The next time a guy breaks in line and tells me to “shut up, whitey,” you are going to have one very Angry and VERY VOCAL White Woman.

  • Nell,

    For our views on why “Racism against White people” doesn’t actually exist, please click on the Monday Debate category or the Required Reading tab. Lots of good information there.

    It’s sad when people call you names, but that doesn’t constitute racism. Further, I have never said that anyone is a racist because they dislike being called names. Perhaps you’re thinking of someone else. perhaps, then, you should go complain to that person.

    Also, I’ve never said that whites can’t take pride in themselves. Again, go find the person that said this to you and complain to them. No one around here is suppressing discussion.

    That last sentence tells me that you’re not here for discussion, but a whiny pity fest of your own. So allow me to be flip: Oh, poor white person, no one worships you like the goddess you are!

    Please.

  • [...] In the meantime, bloggers of color–who are always aware when they are being ethnic and when they are being general or nonethnic–have blogs which openly acknowledge the ethnicity or raciality of their points of view, and are attacked for it. [...]

  • [...] In the meantime, bloggers of color–who are always aware when they are being ethnic and when they are being general or nonethnic–have blogs which openly acknowledge the ethnicity or raciality of their points of view, and are attacked for it. [...]