Archives

Thank You, White People

This needs to be said, and it’s a long time coming, so listen up:

Thank you, White people, for all you’ve done for Blacks.

Thank you for kidnapping and/or buying my ancestors in Africa, packing them onto ships where malnutrition, disease, anti-hygenic conditions, beatings, and rape ensured that a significant percentage did not survive the trip, but enough did for you to turn a profit.

Thank you for enslaving my ancestors, forcing them to labor in the fields and in your houses for no pay (room and board is certainly enough!), in poor living conditions, without education, without their families, in many cases, and without hope that their lives would ever get better.

Thank you for raping and beating my ancestors, I appreciate it. Thanks also for forcing them to “breed” as if they were animals, selecting out certain men and women for their strength, hoping that their children would be strong, too, and be able to pick more cotton or engage in other work you couldn’t be bothered to do yourself.

Thank you, White people, for freeing us from actual slavery only to put us in virtual slavery with sharecropping. Additionally, thanks for messing up Reconstruction, enacting Jim Crow laws, lynching, and poll taxes.

Thank you for silencing, assassinating, or disappearing those who inspired us to do better, be better, and stop taking racist shit every minute of our lives. We didn’t need them, anyway.

Thank you for making sure our schools were underfunded, that our neighborhoods were filled with drugs, that any attempts to get the government to correct any lingering problems of racism were labeled “hand outs,” and perpetrating the myth of the Black Welfare Queen taking her food stamps and driving off in a Porche.

We have so much to be grateful for, you see.

And so my brothers and sisters won’t forget:

Thank you, Europeans, for all you’ve done for us through the centuries.

Thank you for coming down to Africa and deciding that every brown or black person you saw was an uneducated savage, assuming because their culture was not like your culture, that they had none worth noting or caring about.

Thank you for colonizing the continent, inciting strife between different tribes, playing one tribe against another until, once many were weakend, you took down the one that was meant to be your ally.

Thank you for using up the continents’ natural resources, for destroying the land in an effort to exploit the natural resources, and for abandoning areas that you fucked up when it became clear it wasn’t going to be profitable for you.

Thank you for inventing the Transatlantic Slave Trade. We owe you one.

Thank you for your continued interference in Africa, which has caused no end of fighting, no end of exploitation, and has contributed to the current climate in many African countries.

Thank you for Apartheid. And throwing Mandela in jail. We didn’t need him, anyway.

Thanks, White people, for everything you’ve done for Black people in America and Africa. We really, really should be more grateful and keep these thoughts in our hearts.

P.S. Dear White people, before commenting on this thread, please click the links in the first sentence. Also, see this illustrated guide. Also, please see this post. Thank you!

355 comments to Thank You, White People

  • Feel free to add more of what we should be thankful for in comments.

  • Thank you for dismissing claims of racism as “oversensitivity” and “playing the race card, even though you have never racism yourselves. After all, you do know best!

    Thank you for the attitudes and actions that led to the creation of the original post.

  • *This should totally be a YouTube video!!

    I can see it now: POCs reciting the Thank-You’s in front of a US flag. “Star-Bangled Banner” playing in the background!

    Can you tell I wanna direct? =D

  • LOL, great idea Angel.

    This is too fabulous. :)

  • Josh

    You are welcome.

  • : P Josh ;)

    Also, I really, really wanna do that video now. All I need is to take to the streets with my video camera… omg yes. Anyone else have a digital video camera or a camera that does video? Get in on it!

  • Virginia

    According to my family history we have never owned or imported slaves. In fact, in my family history we fought and died helping to end slavery. I have grown children who are not racists. I am American Indian (3 different tribes), French, Irish, and English. I am classified as white.

    Thank you for lumping me in with a lot of undesirables.

  • Deborah

    I was once talking to a very bright, pretty well-informed woman of my aquaintance who told me that feminist attempts to reclaim women’s history from the nineteenth century were silly, because–and I quote–”I’m sorry, but the truth is that women just weren’t doing anything in the nineteenth century.”

    My brain quietly exploded, but I *did* manage to gather up the pieces long enough to remind her that she was talking about the century of the Grimke sisters, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, the Seneca Falls Convention, Ida B. Wells–the list goes on, and on, and on…it’s true that there have been some quiet centuries for women, but the nineteenth was NOT one of them.

    But in America, we get taught just enough of our own history to not have any idea what it actually means. We get taught about the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation and the accomplishments of various old dead white men as if these are important things–and often they are–but we’re trained to believe that the fact that Washington and Jefferson were slaveowners is a footnote, that the fact that women were agitating for the vote in the second half of the 19th century is something that deserves a paragraph of explanation, but Jackson’s presidency is worthy of its own chapter. From the day we learn to read, we are taught to deliberately misread history, often without ever realizing it. It’s just The Way Things Are.

    So thank you for this post. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of trolls trying to tell you that you’re wrong, that black people have had NOTHING but opportunities in this great nation of ours, or that you’d catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, or some other self-serving bullshit. But for those of us white people who are NOT total dumbfucks, this post serves as a much-needed reminder of this country’s REAL history, and what that history actually means.

  • thewayoftheid

    Oooh, I’d like to thank them for “urban renewal,” “redlining,” and gentrification. I mean, where would the inner-city be without them?

  • Ian

    Thanks for this post, I would like to add, thank you white people for judging the victims of Katrina and casting shame on stranded people stealing food to survive. Thank you white people for whenever a black man or woman finds there way to the live news they manage to find the most stereotyped black person in the universe(I think news crews haul around a trailer of these guys to put on TV)

    Thank you white people for calling black people “african american” because that makes a difference. I mean wouldn’t things have gotten better if hitler called the jews “jewish germans” that would have solved that whole mess. Thank you white people for using soft language and playing dumb with race issues in public but when you’re alone in your homes with your white friends the true feelings come out.

    Thank you white people for ignoring the crimes committed against black people and making sure to shine light on the ones committed by them. Thanks white people for manipulating the justice system to where raping a black woman yields a 3-4 year LESSER jail sentence than if a white woman was raped. MOST IMPORTANTLY THANK YOU WHITE PEOPLE FOR CHARGING ANY BLACK YOUTH ABOVE THE AGE OF 13 AS AN ADULT and WHEN CHARING WHITE KIDS UP TO AGE 17 stay CHARGED AS MINORS.

    I would also like to add that I am a straight white male living in the USA. and in all seriousness, i would truly like to THANK BLACK PEOPLE for taking the shitty hand of cards that continues to be dealt to them in stride. FIGHT THE POWER AND FUCK THE USA

  • A.

    Thank you for your stereotypical attitudes held this very day regarding PoC. When I have to put up with the stupid bitches on my floor who talk about the black people that have treated them like shit in one breath, and then behave in some of the crappiest black stereotypes possible, (such as talking about having a butt like a black woman, or having the attitude that we all live in the ghetto or we must all be “hood”)

    Thank you for not knowing that PoC are all individuals, and cannot be defined by simply lumping them all together into one group. And even if you don’t know, you sure don’t care to think otherwise.

  • geek

    I’m white and I just want to hide in a closet now. I wish the world didn’t suck. Thank you for writing.

    Oh and…
    You forgot to be “thankful” for racial profiling. :( And the police beatings. And you know, for letting 1 black guy into the supreme court .

  • Sorry about what my ancestors did to your ancestors. And I speak for the majority of “White” (guilty of stereotyping there?) people when I say I wasn’t born a racist, my parents didn’t raise me under a racist guile, I was taught to treat everyone equally and love everyone the same. And these are principles I practice to this day. So I mean it, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry. I will forever feel guilty for something an ancestor of mine might or might have not done to one of your ancestors a hundred years ago.

  • Delux

    Let’s also be thankful for over a century of medical experimentation, from gynecological surgery on black women w/o anaesthesia by Dr John Sims; to the Tuskeegee experiment, to recent research vaccinations on children.

  • Delux

    Jack, who needs to be upset about what your ancestors did, when what your contemporaries are up to is quite enough to handle now?

  • Jack Sonto,
    What about what people just like you did yesterday? Or the day before that?

    We don’ t have to reach as far back as your ancestors to find atrocities that are now considered normal.
    http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1207286599269480.xml&coll=1

    Oh and please feel free to read the racist comments of white people whop just want equality for all as long as they don’t have to undergo the same treatment as blacks to get it.

  • Delux

    oops, forgot. Thank you for blood quantum rules that cause so many problems for NDNs and have put up so many barriers between NDNs and Black NDNs. I’m sure that NDNs have plenty to say thank you about re: the Allotment Act, residential schools, and the like but that’s probably another post.

  • Ian

    White people feel guilty because they aren’t truly willing to do anything to fix the problem. I don’t feel guilty, i’m pissed off that a problem that has obvious causes and remedies is looked past and brushed over. Any white person that feels guilty IS A RACIST, if you catch yourself saying black and correct yourself by saying “African American” YOU’RE RACIST. If you’re not racist then your not or social problems shouldn’t make you feel guilty, if you feel guilty, IT’S FOR A REASON, I enslaved no one, I do however see the problems from slavery carried over even today, so instead of falling back on I didn’t do anything and feeling guilty on my lack of inaction, recognize that there is still a problem and speak on it, DON’T FEEL GUILTY, SPEAK OUT AND STAND WITH YOUR FELLOW MAN!!! Again I AM A WHITE MALE.

  • Dianne

    You forgot to thank white people for hypertension. The middle passage created an evolutionary bottleneck in which only those whose bodies retained salt and water best survived. Good for when you’re chained in the cargo hold of a ship without food or water, but not go great for the modern American lifestyle. And the pressures of living in a racist society are well documented to cause an increase in blood pressure, among other things, and generally shorten life expectancy. Oh, and don’t forget to thank white people for substandard medical care, including lower rates of nearly any expensive type of therapy (chemotherapy, cardiac bypass, MRI, etc.) That goes even if you’re rich/middle class and have excellent medical benefits. (If anyone wants references for my claims, I’d be happy to provide them but otherwise won’t clutter up the spam filter with a bunch of links.)

  • Juan

    Thank you white people for collectively being full of fail at enlightened humanism and instead doing the tough job of treating anyone and everyone who isn’t you as anything but human, let alone a living being, for centuries on end and continuing into tomorrow.

    *has the lovey love towards Angel H.’s idea as well*

  • Thank you, White People, for letting us know which issues we should concern ourselves with and why.

    Also, I appreciate you letting me know that for People of Color, the fat acceptance movement “is a non-issue, because [we've] always been accepted at [our] current size. “

  • karnythia

    You sound so…angry. *ducks* No really, the comments and emails have been very special. Just think how much more fun it’s going to be by the time the election actually happens.

  • bumpy

    I WOULD thank the blacks in this country for getting on with their lives, staying committed to their families, raising responsible young men, not advocating misogyny, staying free of violence and drugs, promoting healthy lifestyles for their own and above all stepping up to the plate to take their place in the sun….but it hasn’t happened yet.

  • J. Grant

    I’d say “You’re welcome,” but my father emigrated here from Japan in the 70′s and my mother’s family came here in the early 1900′s from Scotland. I guess I’m the wrong kind of white to take credit for all that.

    How many kinds of white are there, anyway? All my caucasian friends say I’m a pacific islander. All my black friends say I’m white. Can I take at least SOME credit? Please? Or am I just the wrong kind of white?

  • fa_ikaika

    thanks also for stealing Black creativity and saying you invented it or “it just happened”.

    Whatever Elvis’s personal feelings about black musicians might have been, he made a career out of being the acceptable white face on a black musical genre.

    Thanks to all the white recording company owners who exploited the talent of their black artists and ripped them off when were the ones who should have gotten paid.

    Thanks for demeaning and insulting Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday and the other black giants of Jazz and thanks for making it so that Louis Armstrong had to spend a big chunk of his career shuffling and grinning alongside the “real” stars like Shirley Temple. Thanks for reducing Katherine Dunham’s powerful dancing and choreographic skills to a brown skin titty show.

    oh yes massa Pat thank you so much.

  • dear bumpy, I guess you don’t know many black people, then. Just looking at my own life, i’m quite committed to my family, I do all i can to influence the young men in my life to respect and value women, I’m not a drug user and have never engaged in violence, I live a healthy lifestyle (as much as my budget will allow, at any rate) and i’ve more than stepped up to the plate. Can you say the same? somehow I doubt it.

  • J. Grant, perhaps you need to aspire to be the kind of white person that recognizes when discussions of oppression and history apply to them and when they do not. It would also help for you to stop being passive agressive and say what you really mean.

  • Anyi Ndongko

    Hello, I really enjoyed what you’ve written and as an African teenager, it is really blunt and straight to the point about all the the pain and obstacles inflicted on the African American race. However, I would like to add that as rhetorical as what you are saying may seem, I don’t think two wrongs make a right. Your hostility is covered up by light humor and sarcasm. Instead of looking backward, we should all look forward and just remember our past memorable heroes and leaders that strongly believed for change and fought for it. It is time that we do the fighting instead of the moaning, complaining, and blaming.

  • J. Grant

    Huh? You said “Thank you, white people.” I assumed you meant me, seeing as how my skin is sort of a light olive tone and I’m far from the darker brown that society considers “black.”

    Once again, I’m left out in the cold from my heritage. The Japanese don’t want a half-breed like me, and the Scots are… well, Scots. Their heritage is mostly “We got drunk and fought the enemy and got our arses kicked so we came to America, the end.”

    There’s a line between passive-aggressive and outright sarcasm. I posit that YOU might do well to learn the diff. Heck, the whole point of my post seems wasted on you.

    Finally: if you want to make a blasting condemnation of “white people,” acting like some kind of hardass who doesn’t care what the world thinks, you would do better than to suddenly backpedal when some “white person” calls you on your bullshit.

  • karnythia

    @ bumpy

    When exactly did white America cease to produce misogynists? Or white men that abandoned their responsibilities? Or criminals that profited from the destruction of others? Funny how only black Americans are held to a standard of absolute perfection while it’s perfectly okay for white men to use sexism and misogyny as a club along with racism, swindle people, destroy lives and families all while claiming that it’s just part of being capitalists

  • karnythia

    @Anyi,

    This is not about looking back. This is about life in America right now. I find it hilarious that any time black people express anger over racism there is the assumption that we are not looking ahead. I can be angry and look ahead at the same time.

  • Delux

    Anyi, speaking of past memorable leaders, perhaps you could start by reviewing Malcolm X’ speeches in England before lecturing people about fighting vs moaning? I realize you are young so I am going to leave it at that.

  • Delux

    “Once again, I’m left out in the cold from my heritage. ”

    This is relevant to the discussion here how?

  • karnythia

    @J. Grant

    What calling out were you doing exactly? You made some pointless vaguely sarcastic comments in response to a post wherein the blog creator is venting her feeling about the ideas expressed in the two linked posts and then had the nerve to get butthurt when your efforts to invalidate her feeling and derail the conversation weren’t well received. Really, did you think you were going to garner anything but mockery as the point of this post swished right by your head?

  • J. Grant

    This entire post is nothing but self-defeating racially-charged anger and hatred from a black perspective. It’s the parallel of a twelve-year-old scrawling racist bullshit on a wall just to make people gasp. I am “white”, but my family had nothing to do at all with the things listed here. Titling it “Dear White People” means it’s addressed to me. (Fortunately enough, there seems to be some implied footnote that changes the title to an unwritten “Dear White People, But Only the Ones Who Actually Did these Things, Which Is Actually Not Even the Majority of White Bloodlines In America Today, But of Course I Won’t Say That Because I Mean, Hell, Look At How Long This Sentence Is Already, And It Kind Of Takes Away From The Childish Shock Value Of This Post.”)

    If you like, I can put a sock puppet on my hand and make it sing a rhyming song in small words. Will THAT help you understand?

  • Juan

    Don’t you love it when people won’t get pissy over what this article/post responds but will get pissy over the article/post itself?

    Yay, let’s excuse the wrongdoing party and go after the people pointing out a wrong. And “those people” are angry about the wrong?

    *gasp*

    They are more wrongbadevilfail than those they call out!

    Thank you white hegemony for creating this system!

  • cvalda

    J Grant,

    White people still benefit from racism, and black people are still hurt by it. So it’s not just ‘ancestors,’ it’s history which is still happening.

    Pat Buchanan did recently ask African Americans to thank white people as a group. And you come across it occasionally, the idea that colonialism was some kind of long-term altruism; European medicine et al.

    So, this is coming from a valid place. It’s saying “no, sorry, really not grateful.”

    Also, childish shock value? Look at your post…

  • Ico

    @ J. Grant, as another “half-breed” Asian American (Korean/Caucasian)… what on Earth are you whining about? Your mixed-race-identity does not have anything to do with the long list of atrocities committed by whites against blacks. What are you butting in for? Just to use your biracial status to say, “Not all whites are directly responsible for this”?

    Um. Duh. I think most people can figure that out without needing a long disclaimer. But whether your ancestors were slaveholders or not is hardly the point; ALL whites (and white-looking biracial Asian Americans like you and me) benefit from the institution of racism as it exists today. It exists that way as a result of the stuff listed above, which includes slavery etc. So… yeah.

  • J. Grant

    My bad. Can I have my Shame Hat now? And do I get extra Shame Buttons on it for being Male, a Smoker, and believing that Tejano Music sucks?

    Hot damn, I never realized how awesome my life is because I’m white! Thanks for telling me!

  • sosupercilious

    @ Anyi, young doesn’t have to mean naive. Being selective about the past and choosing only to remember “memorable heroes and leaders that strongly believed for change and fought for it” has been done. What we need to “look forward” as you put it, is to have the horrific things that happened in the past PROPERLY ACKNOWLEDGED. In your future you selectively forget your past.

    Thank you, white people, for pushing images of you and your big blue eyes, flaxen hair, straight noses and fair skin as the ultimate standard for beauty and making me, and black girls like me think we weren’t good enough.

    And thanks, white people, for never failing to tell blacks and other minorities to ‘go back where they came from’ when you’re loosing an argument. That is just so ace of you.

  • cvalda

    J Grant,

    Sorry, but this isn’t about how you feel.

  • sosupercilious

    In your future you *can’t* selectively forget your past, is what I meant.

  • May I suggest, “Thank you, white people, for always making everything about you.”

  • lol @ cvalda

    J. Grant, perhaps I was not clear before. I do let sarcasm get in the way sometimes. I will respond without sarcasm now.

    It has been my experience, lo these two years with this blog on the internet, that the only white people who see fit to complain and whine about posts like this are white people who don’t want to acknowledge how the past affects the present, don’t want to have an actual dialogue about race but instead move past the harm that racism has done and move forth into a world in which the racism that still exists isn’t acknowledged, and don’t want to confront the realities of their own privilege.

    Now you as a part white, part Japanese person certainly have a different experience of racism than I do. I acknowledge that. But just because your experience is different and involves the sort of story that tragic mulattoes have been dealing with in real life and fiction since the first white man ever dipped his wick int he chocolate does not not mean that it parallels/trumps/overrides/invalidates mine. Our two experiences should not cause us to be pissed at each other.

    Furthermore, I don’t feel the need to put a disclaimer on this post regarding which “white people” I am addressing. it should be clear from the links provided at the beginning. And even if one does not click on the links, it’s usually clear to any white person who has taken the time to educate themselves about race. You’ll notice many of them on this board responding.

    I don’t know many of them. They are not my minions or my fan club or my personal attack dogs (as others have claimed). They are allies in the fight against racism. You’d do well to hang with them, because I think you’d find that they will not exclude you because you’re only half white or rag on you for your heritage. Only fucking assholes do that, and I personally go out of my way to avoid assholes in life (except here, where I cannot avoid them).

    Perhaps your ancestors were involved in oppressing mine, perhaps not. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is how the descendants of those people benefit from what they or others did in the past.

    (more information about this can be found on the Internet)

    You may benefit from racism in direct or indirect ways. Racism may harm you in direct or indirect ways. Both may happen at the same time. And yet none of that invalidates anything I’ve had to say.

  • bankuei

    Thank you racist troll for reminding us racism is not just stupid, but also insane, and giving us a perfect example we can look back on in future generations.

  • A.

    “But my family didn’t do anything! We’re so innocent!”

    That doesn’t freaking matter. At all. There are a lot of white people who haven’t done anything at all – nothing to hurt minorities, but nothing to help either.

  • I just rescued Virginia’s comment from the spam, it’s way up near the top.

    I have a serious question to ask:

    Do I really need to explain how this post is not about all White people?

  • karnythia

    If people aren’t bright enough to click the links and *read*? No amount of explaining will help. They came here with no interest in the discussion beyond derailment and IMO there’s no reason to cater to them.

  • Juan

    And upon reading Virginia’s post I would like to thank white folx yet again.

    Thank you white people for creating, encouraging, promoting and supporting writers such as cassie edwards, margaret seltzer and others of their ilk.

  • Ico

    ABW, anyone who has read either the links or other blog entries you’ve written (or who has any real understanding of racism) should understand.

    Unfortunately, since a lot of people don’t read links, you might save yourself from a headache at all the white defensiveness if you put in some kind of brief disclaimer. :P

  • abw, based on some of these comments, it’s clear that you must now wave your magic racisometer over each and every white person who reads your post to determine whether you’re talking about them. Anyone who reads 100 millibuchanans or less is exempted from feeling bad about what you’ve pointed out.

    While you’re thanking us, don’t forget to say thanks for us being so aware of racism that we think $5k covers the disadvantages of being born black instead of white.

  • Maevele

    As a white woman, I am deeply offended. nay, butthurt.

    To once again see other whitefolks throwing around “OMG, saying White People as a class are responsible for anything is just like saying I personally owned all the slaves! you hate white people!11!”

  • Ico

    Angel, the movie idea sounds great. :D I really like that. Especially if you mix in Buchanan’s speech, splice it together with the responses… that would be beautiful.

  • For Pete’s sake, Maevele, et. al., did you think you were reading The Sedated Black Woman?

    Did you read the Pat Robertson column that ABW links to? Doesn’t it make you angry? It does me. I thank AWB for venting her anger and, by proxy, some of my own.

  • ABW. You there, gorgeous. Excuse my malformed acronym.

  • Patrick Buchanan, not Robertson. I guess I’m having one of those days.

  • Geek

    here here maevele.

  • Geek

    er hear hear.

  • Dianne

    Would all the white people whining about how they aren’t responsible for racism because their ancestors never owned slaves and they haven’t benefitted from racism please go read amp’s cartoon on the subject? You don’t have to be a KKK sympathizer to benefit from racism. You don’t have to be an Ur-Anglo-American whose ancestors made their fortune enslaving blacks to have benefitted from racism. You don’t even have to be racist (consciously or unconsciously) to benefit from racism. It’s just part of the society and pretending it doesn’t exist won’t make it go away.

  • Long time reader, first time commenter (and no I have’t read them all).

    AMEN

  • Joe

    You are the racist. To blame all white people is assinine.

  • J. Grant

    As always, you can bitch and rage, or you can actually do something about this fucked-up world.

    It’s not even an original concept. I know, I know, shocking, yes, but other black Americans have already gone on these frothy tirades.

    Here’s the problem:

    The only people who will stick their fists in the air and cheer are other angry blacks who want to bitch without doing anything constructive about the real PROBLEMS. Whoopty shit.

    (And, as you doubtless already know, many of the other black population will look at you like you’re an idiot and tell you to calm the fuck down. Not that you’ll listen.)

    In the meantime, you’ll get the same reaction if you’re an angry white guy in Alabama screaming about how the Mexicans are fucking it all up.

    Or if you’re a Mexican guy in Houston screaming about how the Blacks are keeping you down.

    Or a Chinese guy in New Jersey screaming about how the Puerto Ricans are keeping you down.

    Or if you’re an Italian in New Orleans screaming about how the Irish are keeping you down.

    Or you’re a Jap screaming about how everyone who isn’t Japanese is keeping you down.

    Or you’re a native American screaming about how ALL OF THE ABOVE are keeping you down.

    Or you’re another sect of blacks screaming about how the Jews are keeping you down.

    (The Jews, funnily, don’t scream about anyone keeping them down. They just take their occassional genocide in stride and mosey along.)

    (Yes, that was a joke in particularly poor taste. You’ll get over it.)

    Scream to your sycophants. They will surely raise their fists with you, and you can all have a big Hate Quilting Bee. And anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep? They will find a whole new level of resentment and hatred for your empty words. You fuel the very people who are ACTUALLY KEEPING YOU DOWN.

    Fuck you all, regardless of race. You’re all keeping each other down when you could instead be acting to make this shithole planet a better place. But no, I realize it’s tough spewing this kind of hateful, mindless crap. You can now rest easy, thinking you’ve actually done something about the situation.

    Of course, you haven’t done a single goddamned thing.

    In the meantime, I’ll be over here up to my elbows in shit, fighting to actually change this nation for the better. With the rest of the people who know that resentment only begets distraction from the issues that really matter at the end of the day.

    Have fun.

  • anna

    I did not choose to be born white same as you did not choose to be born black. I could blame Germans for killing my ancestors in concentration camps. I do not do it because it doesn`t lead anywhere. Spend your life on complaining instead of living it. Your choice.

  • I might maybe agree with you, Joe, if I were actually blaming all white people for anything.

    As always, you can bitch and rage, or you can actually do something about this fucked-up world.

    whip out the Bingo, people! J. Grant wants to play. We already have “stop talking and do something!”

    The only people who will stick their fists in the air and cheer are other angry blacks who want to bitch without doing anything constructive about the real PROBLEMS. Whoopty shit.

    yes, and you’re really doing something about racism by coming to my blog and whining. Good job!!

    Seriously, if you don’t understand how communication and criticism is anti-racist work, I can’t help you.

    And, as you doubtless already know, many of the other black population will look at you like you’re an idiot and tell you to calm the fuck down. Not that you’ll listen.

    Oddly enough, that hasn’t happened yet.

    The Jews, funnily, don’t scream about anyone keeping them down. They just take their occassional genocide in stride and mosey along.

    I don’t even know how to respond to this asinine statement.

    You fuel the very people who are ACTUALLY KEEPING YOU DOWN.

    Right, because I’m at fault for racism.

    Why does it always boil down to that with these people?

    You’re all keeping each other down when you could instead be acting to make this shithole planet a better place

    Tell me, son, what are YOU doing to make this planet a better place? Give me a list of your awards, your accomplishments? Surely someone like you must be about to receive the Novel Peace Prize for all your anti-racism work since you’re demanding that we DO something instead of… what? Talking? Communicating? Sorry to use verbs at you, since what we do can’t possibly be labeled action.

  • -kf

    Please get over yourself AngryBlackWoman. My ancestors, Irish, German, Native American, etc had nothing to do with slavery. Your hatred and prejudice towards me as a white person come from the same filthy cesspool that inspires the rest of radical racebaters.

    In short, most reasonable people see your diatribe as the ramblings of a mentally disturbed individual. In which case, your views are met either with scorn or pity. I personally just think of you as an ass

  • Dear Anna,

    did I “blame” you for being born white?

    Also, we don’t play the oppression olympics around here. That is, we don’t go around saying, “Oh, you jews have it so easy compared the the Blacks”, or “White women are better off than black women”. Know why? because that’s stupid and leads no where.

    How you deal with the people who messed with your ancestors is your business. But please do me the courtesy of having the agency to deal with the people who messed with mine in my own way.

  • At this point, I also have to say that I am kinda done responding to people who just come here to tell me how wrong I am instead of wishing to engage in actual dialogue. If any of you wish to have a conversation, I’ll be waiting. but if you’re just spewing more of the same nonsense kf is spewing, don’t bother. I’ll probably just disemvowel you.

  • Bonnie

    Everything you write is true. Your people suffered deeply and unjustly. And I am sorry that your pain is so severe that you are still suffering in anger and bitterness.

    But there is hope… forgiveness.

    As a white person, may I kindly ask you to forgive me in place of those who have hurt your race?

    Your anger and bitterness keeps you and your people on a downward spiral.

    Forgive and move on. You have a choice to break the cycle of hatred.

    Choose forgiveness.

  • anna

    Thanks for a prompt answer. Lets play some oppression olympics around here. Sure jews have it so easy compared to blacks. And they had it even easier during the exodus and Hitler`s reign. You know why? Because they showed amazing strength with dealing with the past. Anyway, let me ask you one thing: Are you a racist?

  • Delux

    “Choose forgiveness.”

    You know, you say you want forgiveness but you embody *precisely* what people are angry about in that comment.

    ABW, I do think it’s time for a Big Hate Quilting Bee. I know that what with my fulltime double shift schedule of HATING THE MAN and all, time is short, but perhaps we can schedule something next week? I’ll bring some more bourbon baked beans, and some red flavor koolaid.

  • A.

    Oh look. Here go the miffed white people telling us all “Move on!” and get over it!

    Bonnie – did you even stop and read ANYTHING posted on this blog, or did some group point you and the rest of these cronies here? Anger does not equal hatred. Anger, in fact, is a pretty productive emotion because it moves people to action.

    To the rest of the angry white BOYS here -
    Obviously, none of you are intelligent enough to have actual dialogue with. I know that I’m probably wasting my time typing a rebuttal, but seriously, instead of OBFUSCATING any point that hurts your precious privileged white male feelings, perhaps the REQUIRED READING would do you all just fine.

    But it’s so much easier to troll and talk about “How you negroes get it so, so easy.”

  • Bonnie, I appreciate the sentiment, but here’s the hting you’re not getting: any suffering I experience is not about being bitter about the past, it’s about what happens to me right now. This post is an excellent example of that. Go click the links at the very top of it. You’ll see Pat Buchanan saying “Black people should be grateful to white people for all we’ve done for them!” which is his way of either showing his ignorance of the past or, as I truly suspect, trying to downplay the decades of racism that are the direct cause of the racism we experience today. I have to keep bringing up the past because certain people want to act as if it doesn’t matter, has no bearing on the present, and should be forgotten.

    Frankly, I say no to that.

    But the thing is, the thing you’re not getting, is that I don’t need to forgive people in the past who did bad things. I don’t need someone else to be a proxy for that. What I need is for people who are alive right now, people like you, to help me put an end to racism.

    How do we do that? Firstly, by not telling me to get over the past. The past informs the present. We don’t need to get over it, we need to acknowledge that it happened and use the lessons learned from it to make sure bad shit does not continue to happen.

    Second, we need to say, “Okay, what racist crap is going on right now?” We need to call it out, label it for what it is, and say “This shit is WRONG.”

    Third, we have to make it known that wrong things cannot and will not continue under our watch.

    All of that is about the now.

    I don’t need to forgive people in the past. those people are dead. What I do need to do is make sure that the systems they put in place to keep me from true equality under the law and in the minds of other people are torn down and burned.

    You wanna join me in that? I could use the help.

  • Jess

    HEY! J. Grant, wow, ‘fighting to change this nation for the better’? How? Spending your day responding to a post on someone’s opinions? Opinions that according to your own statement do not, in fact, apply to you? Well, aren’t you a regular humble Jesus, looking out for everyone…

    I’ll give you a tip, go read actual racist commentary, hm’k? Try http://www.blackmonitor.wordpress.com

  • SIGH. Anna, you’re starting to try my patience. If you’re going to assert that jews had it easier, fine, but I really don’t think it had a lot to do with having more resilience than blacks, i think it might have had more to do with a thing we call Assimilation. Jews could hide, if they chose, and pretend to be white. and now they are! Black people, as a group, don’t have that choice. Think about it.

    Also, no, not a racist. Are you?

  • A.

    “Thanks for a prompt answer. Lets play some oppression olympics around here. Sure jews have it so easy compared to blacks. And they had it even easier during the exodus and Hitler`s reign. You know why? Because they showed amazing strength with dealing with the past. Anyway, let me ask you one thing: Are you a racist?”

    This, sweetie, is not the point of the post. I know that diverting from it makes you feel smarter and so much better, but clearly, it does nothing more than make you look like an imbecile.

    Looks like I need to go look at the “How to Suppress Discussions of Racism” handbook that you’re using as your Play-by-play

    Let me ask YOU one thing – did you read the Required Reading when you got in here?

  • anna

    I am really sorry for not adding “this post contains irony” to my reply.
    No, I am not racist. That`s why I feel offended while other people saying words like “black” or “white” and make a big line between them.

  • karnythia

    Anna, why is the recognition of teh existence of race such a problem? Black people and white people are having two very different experiences in America. Recognition of that fact does not equal racism. This idea that somehow black people aren’t allowed to be angry about racism, or at the very least they’re not supposed to express that anger because somehow expressing the mere idea of being angry is counterproductive to the anti-racism movement makes absolutely no sense.

    Nor do the claims that a blogger does nothing except blog. I have a life outside the internet as does ABW, as (presumably) do most people. One can do all sorts of things in the time away from the comp and still use a blog as a platform for expressing how life outside has impacted you. Your mood. Your attitudes towards politics. Your religion or even your attitude towards relationships.

    These spaces are not the be all, end all of the bloggers existence. they’re just a very limited view into a small portion of the writer’s thought processes. I think commentors might want to think about that before they say something silly and self-serving about how they’re *doing* so much that the blogger is not. You don’t know what ABW does in her day to day life. That’s not something she chooses to show you, but one would think common sense might make people consider the possibility that she does more than sit around waiting to make posts that upset them.

  • A.

    Oh wait…we MAKE a big line?

    Never mind that line that is put their by our society that tries to keep things unequal.

    There is nothing WRONG with racial differences. At all. Colorblindness only adds to the problem of racial misunderstanding. If anything, what you need to realize is that because of RACISM, not RACE (the two are different), is the reason that ABW and so many of us that read her blog faithfully are angry today.

    Ignoring racism and lying to yourself by saying, “There are no differences here” allow for racism to further proliferate. Spotting the differences allow for racism, even in a form like White Privilege, to be stopped and for everyone to be on an actually even playing field.

    But if you don’t like that, then you’re in the wrong place.

  • J. Grant

    Last time I checked, there was the Human race.

    That’s about it.

  • Juan

    *places another marker on bingo card*

  • Yet another bingo point to J. Grant.

    Honestly, these people really think they are saying stuff that has never been said before. Nor completely dealt with.

    I’m making an executive decision here. Any comments that are off topic or are simply “What’s Wrong With Black People” and not at all discussion or honest engagement are going to be deleted. Sorry if you feel that steps on the toes of your free speech. But if you feel the need to make these statements, do so on your own blog.

  • Maevele

    re: eileen re: my comment. I truly think you misread me. what angers me is the defensive whitefolks overreactions, not ABW’s post.

  • Bq

    I love how all the people charging in with cries of “Reverse racism! OMG YOU HATE WHITE PPLE!!!11!!1! WE ARE ALL ONE!!” don’t directly address the Pat Buchanan letter.

  • Bq

    To those people I say: yeah, let’s ignore gentrification, unequal sentencing rates, hate crimes and glass ceilings. That’ll make racism go away.

  • Kay

    I don’t like Dr. Condoleezza Rice, but what she said last week in the Washington Times about America having the birth defect of slavery was the truth and I agreed with her. One thing that got me last week was all this talk about the Rev. Wright and wondering why the media will do stories about white kids school shooting by kids going postal. The national media doesn’t cover a story of how the Chicago police walking black kids to a high school in Chicago’s South Side, because the gang violence has gotten so bad that the parents don’t want to send their kids to school. No child should go to schools that have gangs or be afraid to go to school. How many white people would stay in a hotel in Chicago’s South Side or the Chicago West Side?
    One more thing China is buying up Africa and I don’t think they will treat the Africans any better.
    Obama in 2008

  • Kay

    Sorry for the sentence structure errors but I’ve been ill and I don’t have health care. I worked with children for ten years.

  • Maevele, my apologies. I did misread you. As I’ve noticed myself, the knowledge that you’re being subtle is often the only reward you get for it. Sorry to contribute to the problem.

    Eileen

  • Deoridhe

    I want to thank white people for always being willing to take center stage, wearing as many oppression buttons as they can fit on their shirt, to scream that their ancestors didn’t own slaves.

    Truly they are an example for us all.

    Of what not to do.

  • Long time reader, first time commenter here, and I figured I’d say that this reminded me of a classic Richard Pryor skit: http://youtube.com/watch?v=lQT1FlOibdQ (though my favorite bit is the very, very serious “But I’ll never forget” at the end)

    Great post.

  • tesla coil

    Thank you, all my offended white compatriots for being outraged without following instructions and reading the links, or just figuring out from context the author is responding to an offensive statement which ignores history to claim blacks should say thank you.

    I don’t think y’all can’t understand the point, you just won’t bother because you enjoy spouting racist bile at any black person who dares to express an angry opinion, no matter the context.

  • Eric

    To Anna and J. Grant,

    If you’re not part of the problem and engaging in racism than why do you assume ABW is talking about you when she airs her greviences against “white” people?

    Or to put it another way: why do you have such an investment in Whiteness? It seems to me that this isn’t exactly the thread to respond to that question, but maybe it’s still a question worth thinking about on your own.

    Anna, much of your outlook about the world reflects a certain core Jewish belief that the world for all its faults and bumps is centrally a good place. However, another core Jewish belief is an investment in social justice and to end the suffering of other people in this world, Tikkun Olam (fixing/repairing/healing the world). So why not help ABW with ending racism if you take such pride in your Jewish heritage and what it stands for? Not to mention why wouldn’t you want to help our Black spiritual sisters who still have to deal with racism for being black?

    ABW certainly asked for your help if you’re willing to lend your hand. If going out and blogging about the evils of racism isn’t your thing and you would prefer something more concrete, well why not go do that instead of criticizing her efforts on her blog.

    I don’t want to spend too much more time on this because I feel like I’m derailing the thread off its original topic, however, the topic here was about what black people have faced both historically and currently at the hands of white racism, mocking the rather silly and racist article written by Pat Buchanan. Instead of hearing the voices as angry or hateful, why not instead hear them as frustrated? Doesn’t it bother you that some of your fellow human beings feel this way because of their experiences in America?

    But mostly if you don’t think what she’s saying applies to you or anything you’ve personally done than it probably doesn’t and don’t sweat it.

  • bankuei

    So, um, all of you jumping up to stop ABW’s “racism”?

    Do you also spend time jumping on Stormfront, or any of the many white supremacy sites online?

    Because it’s funny how you all are so eager to stop “racism” when it’s about criticising white folks, and not so eager when it comes to groups who have proven themselves to be violent…

  • From an angry white woman to an angry black woman: Great post!

  • ms_erupt

    I’m truly sorry that you have to deal with all these ignorant folk coming in here whining about your OPPRESHUN and HATRED of white people and your ANGER. (a.k.a. watch your tone, uppity negro) Because LAWD knows that only quiet acceptance of our lot has helped us PoC along and that you are talking about each and every special snowflake in here when you start out with “Dear White People” (nevermind that pesky thing called context or that whites benefit from racism even if they aren’t explicitly racist).

    Anyway, this was a great post that was a long time coming! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Whew, where to start? First of all, thank you for derailing productive discussions with your own personal spew of guilt and identity crisis and other problems. Thank you for thinking this is all about you and your mom and your dad and YOUR INSIGNIFICANT LITTLE LIFE rather than about building a better world for the future of us all. Thank you for continuing to live in the delusion that you are entitled to all that you have, and that any activism you do in our communities is an example of what a good person you are. Thank you for starting programs like Teach For America where freshfaced white kids can go teach poor black and Latino kids to be productive members of YOUR society….or at least be less of a threat.

    Thank you for touching my hair and asking about my hair at inappropriate times.

    Thank you for doing blackface minstrelsy all the way up until today and then trying to repackage it and sell it back to us on CDs and MP3s.

    Thank you for telling the black kids who come to the door of the rock show that they clearly must have come to the wrong venue.

    Thank you for adopting black babies and then saying things like “you don’t see color” while said black baby sits in the corner with uncombed hair and ashy skin.

    Thank you for telling us that our faces on the cover won’t sell your magazines or clothes. Thank you for the few times that you’ve graciously put us on covers looking like animals or buffoons. Or the times when all the black model could do was wear a leopard print dress.

    Thank you for asking every black person with dreads that you see where you can “score some weed”.

    Thank you for coming to Africa and telling us we had “tribes” while you had “cultures”. Thank you for raping Africa and stealing millions of its people and then making stringent “immigration laws” to keep we Africans out of Europe and the Americas.

    Thank you for telling us that it is impossible to be black AND latino or black AND jewish or any other such SHOCKING “mixture”. Thank you for thinking that we are not everywhere.

    Thank you for being shocked at any black achievement.

    Thank you for making me feel like I have to help the world cope with me. Like I am a burden.

  • also J Grant- I grew up with a lot of Hapas and a lot of great politically conscious ones, but when it came to these kind of discussions we unfortunately did get bogged down in these Hapa identity issues. Look, I never want to put racial issues in such strict black and white terms so that you and people with similar backgrounds to you would be erased, it is actually quite the opposite. I put them in these terms so that we can all be that we can destroy white supremacy and all be MORE visible than we are now. that beyond white supremacy there is a valley where we can be more than the sum of skin hue, slant of eye, fullness or mouth…a place where we can truly try and embody ALL that makes us who we are beyond simply what we were “born into”.

    it’s absolutely possible, but first we must unburden ourselves from some of the baggage, and the things we think we need. i think one of the best ways is to think about real ways of going into blackness instead of resisting it.

  • forgive me for a few typos in the last one.
    i meant to say….

    “Look, I never want to put racial issues in such strict black and white terms simply so that you and people with similar backgrounds to you would be erased. what i want is actually quite the opposite. I put them in these terms so that we can all be that which will destroy white supremacy. so that we can all be MORE visible than we are now. i feel certain that beyond white supremacy there is a valley where we can be more than the sum of skin hue, slant of eye, or fullness of mouth…”

  • Legible Susan

    Crikey! I’m too busy to turn on the computer for a few hours and the internet explodes. From the amount of Teh Stupid that you’ve left in, I hate to think how many offensive idiots you’ve had to delete off here already.

    I’d like to think that “imagining we brought civilisation to the Dark Continent” b*ll*cks wasn’t still going on here in Britain nowadays, but unfortunately I know otherwise. I haven’t noticed anybody being as blatant about it as Buchanan, but then I avoid the mainstream news media for several reasons. I could give myself apoplexy over the sexism if I didn’t ration my exposure, so thank you for continuing to engage with it in spite of everything.

  • Ico

    I wonder if including an excerpt from the linked passages would help to prevent some of these angry responses from white folks. I don’t think anyone is *reading* the links. Stuff like this:

    “Black people have more opportunity in America than anywhere else in the world. If anything, they should be thankful for the slave trade put upon them by their African brothers to enable them to have these opportunities.”

    Deserves the kind of direct response you wrote, ABW. But I don’t think the angry posters have read any of it.

  • [...] read this and this, too. addthis_url = [...]

  • [...] how about the recent sharp, at times darkly funny, and overall amazing post by The Angry Black Woman in answer to Pat Buchanan’s grotesquerie .  Over 230 comments and [...]

  • [...] Thank You, White People – this is a letter asking you to unpack your invisible napsack and acknowledge your privilege and racism [...]

  • [...] Here’s an interesting post and it’s follow-up. I have nothing to add except that it makes me sad that such a great blogger is getting shit for saying her piece. [...]

  • [...] Angry Black Woman, after dealing with a deluge of white supremacists for writing this post, has come up with a great carnival idea, the Carnival of Allies. This got me thinking about those [...]

  • [...] Angry Black Woman provides the gratitude: Thank you, White people, for all you’ve done for Blacks. [...]

  • [...] groups are privileged. For example, if people of color are oppressed, white people are privileged (via ABW). It’s a lot easier to swallow the first part than the second part if you belong to the [...]

  • [...] LM said in the comments to my post about the b.s. at Angry Black Woman’s “Thank you white people,” thread made me uncomfortable.  I tried to figure out why, and I think this is what it [...]

  • [...] of color (and people of color in general).  I read posts like the Angry Black Woman’s “Thank You, White People” (follow. the. links.) and agree with the whole damn thing, and want to bang my head against [...]

  • [...] weeks ago, The Angry Black Woman wrote a letter to thank white people. A lot of white people showed up in her comments to completely misunderstand what she was saying [...]

  • [...] example, to ever publish any of my trackbacks, but I did think the notorious stickler for “fairness” (love how she steps in to tell the black women what exactly would be “fair” [...]