Browse By

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 thoughts on “Thank You, White People”

  1. nojojojo says:

    Ico et al,

    The angry posters probably have read it. But I don’t see any evidence that they went to Buchanan’s websites and posted comments chastising him for his anger. I didn’t see very many people telling him to “get over himself”. So maybe all these angry posters agree with him.

    Which leads to my own contribution to the thank yous:

    Thank you, white people, for only having a problem withour anger and resentment, not your own. (If you’re even willing to acknowledge your feeling as “anger” and not “courageous honesty” or “refreshing freedom from PC-speak” or whatever other euphemisms you pull out whenever we call you on that shit.)

  2. Ico says:

    Well if they have read the links, and STILL don’t get where this post is coming from… they are dumb (sorry, just woke up and can’t think of a more eloquent response at the moment).

    And your thank you is most appropriate. LOL@ “courageous honesty” and “refreshing freedom from PC-speak”! Oh, those sorts of comments are always so delightfully infuriating.

  3. WNG says:

    @camille- “Thank you for making me feel like I have to help the world cope with me.” AMEN!!!

    Thanks, ABW, for this post and for ‘staying in it’. I get so burned out sometimes talking about these things so I thank you for your strength and your voice.
    Oh and…

    Thank you for starting rascist comments with ‘Now, you know I’m not a rascist but…’ and for keeping count of how many Black friends you have.

  4. WNG says:

    Argghh!!! My spelling was horrible!!! Sorry- no coffee yet so my brain isn’t really working…

  5. Adam Ziegler says:

    Hi, white male here, first time vistor. Let me start by acknowledging that it is ridiculous and offensive to suggest that blacks should thank “white people.”

    I also acknowledge that your post is not about me, not about white people. But you wrote later on that you’re interested in diagloge, and so am I. Recently in particular, I’ve been wondering what I might be able to do, what I might be willing to do, to help make things right with regard to race in this country, or at least in my own small sphere of influence.

    One of the things that confounds me personally is the intense anger that many black people have. I’m not suggesting that blacks lack ample reason be angry, and I acknowledge that anger is not the same as hate. What confounds me is my personal reaction to anger.

    Anger is scary. I find it difficult to engage someone who is angry with me. When people are angry, the discussion tends to gravitate towards blaming and emotional responses.

    For example, when my wife is angry with me, that is not the time to enter into dialogue about whatever issue is in dispute. Emotions run high and it is too easy to interpret what is said in the worst possible way, too easy to say things that cannot be unsaid, things that permanently damage the relationship.

    So my question to you: what are appropriate and useful responses of white people to black anger, on a personal level? I mean, if you and I were in the same room, and you had just read the offending article and said aloud the things you wrote above in response, how would you want me to respond to you? Would you want me to respond at all? It might be interesting to think about the short term immediate response, and the longer term response, if they are different.

  6. Adam Ziegler says:

    I should clarify. I wrote “I find it difficult to engage someone who is angry with me.” That’s true, but it’s just as true if I take out the “with me.” Anger is scary, period. I wasn’t suggesting that you are angry with me personally.

  7. camille says:

    @Adam- What I don’t get is why you are not angry too. What is it that stands in between you as a white man and me as a black woman that makes me angry about it while you stand baffled? Why is it that I can see the gulf, gaping and deep, between us and be pained about it ,while you stand there in a confused haze? If we cannot talk about the things which bother me (and people like me), can we at least find a way to honestly start talking about the reasons why this is impossible?

  8. Geek says:

    Butting in on Camille and Adam:
    I know there’s this huge gulf that you speak of Camille, but not having had lots of experiences where I can get a peek from the other side, I can’t see it from your POV.
    I have very rarely seen racism up close and personal near the receiving end. (I can’t really be ON the receiving end, being white).

    Unless I can see something first hand, it is hard to be angry. I know you are angry, and you should be angry, and I probably should be angry too. Mostly I’m embarassed that some whie people are stupid enough to say that shit.
    But then I have never been walking with a black friend down the street and seen “looks” or people pointing at said friend’s hair. I’ve never been arrested myself or seen a friend arrested for looking at a cop the wrong way.
    The fact that I don’t have many black friends or associates is probably the primary reason that I can’t see well enough to be properly angry, and I’m sure its an indirect result of racism (I work in the computer industry, there are maybe 3 black people in my building at work. I come from a small well-off rural white town, I knew less than 5 black kids in high school. I live in a whiter part of my current city. Etc etc).

    I will NEVER have any white->black racism directed at me in America. I am trying to be angry, but there is a huge line in America for race, and I haven’t ever even visited “the other side”.

    I feel dumb trying to explain :) but there’s a shot at it anyway. I don’t know about Adam tho.

  9. PFish says:

    Adam: Anger can be scary, certainly. It can also be a useful emotion, a tool to goad one into making the world a better place. I read a lot of things that make me angry, and I want to change them. When Camille asks, “Why aren’t you angry too?” that kind of sums up how I feel as well. Whenever I see injustice done or the strong hurting the weak, I get angry.

    Our culture does a number on expressing certain types of emotions. It encourages us to think that certain emotional expressions are a weakness, or wrong. But there is nothing wrong with being angry over injustice.

    BTW, when I was first exposed to this, I too felt attacked and guilty. I grew up in a white, culturally and religiously homogenous neighbourhood, unaware of the tilted playing field. As I slowly became aware of the larger world issues, I started questioning why I had been kept ignorant. Or why nobody wanted to acknowledge the crazy ways we humans treated each other.

    Even now, I occasionally have trouble recognising my privilege. Maybe it will help if you think about it in different terms. Say, you live on the second floor of an apartment building. Say the apartment has been owned for fifty years by some relatives of yours you don’t know very well. They’ve died, and willed you the apartment. You move in. It’s a nice apartment. Not super swank or anything, but nice. After a few days, the neighbours on the floor below you show up. They’re glad to see you, but they would like you to know that your relatives never did any upkeep on the plumbing in their apartment, and the constant leakage has been ruining their place. They couldn’t afford to move, and they’ve been cleaning up this mess this entire time while your relatives ignored it. So….do you let the leak continue? It wasn’t your fault, after all. Why should you be penalised because your relatives didn’t do what they were supposed to? Do you ignore the problem, hoping it will just go away on its own? Or do you work with the neighbours below to fix the plumbing?

    This is not an exact analogy, mind you. (Analogies are never meant to be one-to-one.) Obviously the issues of race are more complex than a two party housing disagreement. But I thought it might give you something to think about. Sometimes the world just plain isn’t fair, but we step up and clean up the mess, whether we made it or not, because in the long run, it will make everybody’s live’s better.

  10. Dianne says:

    I could blame Germans for killing my ancestors in concentration camps. I do not do it because it doesn`t lead anywhere.

    Good for you. Glad to hear it. However, I know a number of Jewish people who still refuse to buy items made in Germany* even though anyone who may have participated in the Holocaust is by now dead or at least retired, apologies and reparations have been made, and modern Germany does not appear any more anti-Semitic than modern US-America. I’m not judging that decision, just pointing out that even if ABW was angry only about past racism not, as she is and others, including myself are, about ongoing current racism, her anger would not be unprecedented or even unusual.

    Be that all as it may, how would you feel about a German, possibly one involved in the NPD or Republikaner, who said something like, “Jews should be grateful for Germany. Not only did we put up with them for centuries before having a pogrom, if it hadn’t been for the Holocaust, they never would have gotten Israel?” Angry yet?

    *But none who refuse to buy Fords despite Henry Ford’s role in getting the Nazis to power. Guess it’s not what you do but what you get caught at.

  11. Adam Ziegler says:

    Great question, Camille. I’m glad you asked because it helps to clarify my question.

    I am angry, but specifically in this case I’m angry at Pat Buchanon and the people who support his ideas. I’m also particularly enraged at the Bush administration over the response to Katrina and a host of other offenses. There are no shortage of people I’m angry with.

    But when I express my anger, I try to be specific regarding who I’m angry with, or at least to make clear that it’s a generalized anger not directed at anyone. (As a silly example, maybe I’m angry that it’s raining today when I want to be out gardening.)

    Maybe my question should be, at whom is this expression of anger directed? That’s certainly one of the first things I ask my wife when she is angry. “Are you angry with me?”

    As i’ve already noted, I don’t think this post was directed at me personally. But
    who then?

    I think a lot of my confusion has to do with language, and how people from the black community talk about their anger. I have not had the perspective of being black, and it can be hard for me to interpret what exactly is meant. I want to get better at understanding.

  12. camille says:

    @Geek – I think you need to think a little more BIG picture. Not just about the daily instances of blatant racism or prejudice but above and beyond to the larger structure. The anger is not so much at that stuff as the system in place that structures our dynamic in such a restrictive way. I mean, just look at my list of “thank yous”. I am interested in justice, not simply getting along. I am interested in communication that not only “breaks down walls” but may ultimately be fatal to the integrity of things you hold near and dear. you say you haven’t visited the other side. what is your investment in “your side” that keeps you from going to the other? what is the structure in place that makes you continue to believe in the illusion of your “side”?

  13. camille says:

    @Adam – It is the system of racism which precisely keeps me from being able to contain my anger simply to Pat Buchanan. Buchanan is merely symptom. Anti-racists understand that and can cut to the quick.

    I understand that there is no Big THEM. I almost hesitate to use medical metaphors like symptom because it implies that there is a healthy body there, something which only needs the “cancer” of racism to be extruded and we will all be happy and healthy again. Racism is a vital organ of this body, this world, as we know it, now. In that way, I see no reason to focus so much on the list of individuals; through anti-racism we can do the work to pull the plug that fuels all these horrific injustices.

    I will ask you the same thing I asked PFish (albeit slightly rephrased), what stands between you and the work of anti-racism? What can you do to educate yourself? Black people are not looking for you to “feel as we feel”, rather we are asking: in a big wide world (full of glaring injustice and horrific suffering that you are pumping your energy into either through your direct actions or passive inaction), what are the investments that keep you “plugged in”? What are the things you think you are entitled to and why? What is the elaborate illusion in place, holding your world together? What constitutes the space from which you speak? Again I ask, what is this distance between us and why do you think it does not exist between you and other whites? I am not saying we are all the same. No, not at all. I’m saying we are all horrifically frighteningly different and the things which you think hold you together with other whites, THEY ARE NOT THERE. It is just an abyss, a deep chasm a void, which is filled with delusion. A delusion that is destructive not only to non-whites but ALSO WHITES.

  14. camille says:

    oops I meant, “I will ask you the same thing I asked GEEK”. sorry.

  15. Haddayr says:

    Just for today, I’m ignoring all the defensive white people. They make me tired.

    I thought this post was awesome and I hope Buchanan reads it.

    Happy, now, Buchanan?

  16. PFish says:

    Camille: Heh. I was re-reading that trying to figure out what you meant. (BTW, I think it’s true that much of what we see as binding is an illusion. In some cases, we have a fictional relationship with the rest of the world, in terms of how we see it versus how they see it versus how it really is. )

  17. camille says:

    @PFish – Glad I quickly cleared that up! BTW, when I say it is an illusion I don’t mean to say that there is necessarily anything “real” or fundamental we need to get to. My call is most certainly not for anyone to get real, rather it is– as The Beatles pleaded lo those many years ago in the song We Can Work It Out– a call to “try and see things my way”.

  18. Angel H. says:

    I’m gone for 24 hours and the internetz explode with angry white people!!

    Re: Video,
    Hmm….where to start, where to start….

  19. legoless says:

    Don’t blame me, my ancestors were pure Irish, we didn’t have to money for slaves. lol

  20. hywelsbiglog says:

    Hi. I’m a white British guy. My ancestors did not kidnap people from Africa. They were sold people by other black Africans. Maybe you should thank your ancestors for that?
    Oh, and you can thank the British people and government for banning slavery, and using the Royal Navy to enforce the end of the slave trade. You might also want to thank the local governments of numerous UK cities who have apologised for the slave trade.
    Or maybe there’s just no pleasing you?

  21. Geek says:

    “what is your investment in “your side” that keeps you from going to the other? what is the structure in place that makes you continue to believe in the illusion of your “side”?”

    Hopefully none but I’m not naive enough to believe I haven’t “won” a pretty major lottery by being born white in the US.

    In answer to your 2nd question..
    My “sides” thing- I meant that we are on different sides of the see/experience chasm because according to society we are on different sides of the race divide. The illusion of a “side” is created by a vast difference in experiences in this case.

    I agree with what you’re asking and saying.
    I AM angry with the social injustices and the treatment of people.
    I was speaking in terms of it being hard to get angry in this, or any, specific instance because the first thing I think of (what a stupid asshole Buchanan) isn’t the first thing you think of, which I would guess is related more to the big picture.

    That is I hope I’m on your side and being anti-racist, but I’m still a novice and I don’t always see things for what they may be to other people right away.

    * I am enjoying the dialogue but I may be repeating myself in several different ways in an inept attempt to get the point I am making across. I am not a super-eloquent speaker/writer.

  22. Geek says:

    Er also rereading some of your post –

    “Again I ask, what is this distance between us and why do you think it does not exist between you and other whites?”

    The (white) *lack* of experience of being discriminated against because of race is the chasm.
    That is the chasm I am speaking of. I can only imagine what it is like to be non-white. There are NO other differences between us that I don’t have with any other person, you are totally 100% right.

  23. Are you kidding me? says:

    You are welcome.

    My people got here well after the Civil War – they came from the peasant class in Eastern Europe…

    But we did pay into the tax base, that helped to support social programs and entitlements. You are welcome for that.

    We are sorry about the vast majority of African American children being born out of wedlock – if we can help with that problem, let us know.

    We are sorry about the 1 out of 2 Afro-Am girls having an STD between ages 14-19 testing positive for an STD – if we can help with that problem, let us know.

    We are sorry that 14,000,000+ of the abortions that have taken place since Roe V. Wade (1/3d+ of the total) have been of black babies. That would have been enough to repopulate New York City, that would have represented a population increase of 33% – sorry they aren’t around.

    We are sorry about the horrible and low graduation rates in some urban school districts in some cities like Detroit where Af-Ams have been in the majority and been running the school districts and local gub’ment for decades… We don’t know what happened – we thought you would do OK with your own cities and running things for yourself.

    When it comes to the prison population: The rate of incarceration in the United States, 702 inmates per 100,000 residents, continues to be the highest in the world. Among black males 25 to 29, 12.9 percent were in prison or jail. Overall, 4.8 percent of black males were in prison or jails, compared to 1.7 percent of Hispanics and 0.6 percent of whites. Black women in prisons and jails continue to outnumber their white (5 times as many) and Hispanic (more than twice as many) counterparts. “

    …I am not sure what to say. Do I say “You are welcome” for getting all of these criminals off of the street and into places where they are clothed and fed and even have opportunities to get GEDs and college credits? Or do I say “we are sorry” that we did not decriminalize drugs and black-on-black violence more to the poing where these valuable members of your community could be on the street… So tell me which you want on that one – an apology or a your welcome.

  24. Angel H. says:

    My people got here well after the Civil War – they came from the peasant class in Eastern Europe…

    Column I. Row 2.

    Also, Amp’s cartoons rock!

    But we did pay into the tax base, that helped to support social programs and entitlements. You are welcome for that.

    Colum B. Row 1.

    Fact: More whites are beneficiaries of welfare and public assistance programs. Hmm..I wonder what made you think it was Blacks? Could it beeeee…..RACISM!

    We are sorry about the vast majority of African American children being born out of wedlock – if we can help with that problem, let us know.

    We are sorry about the horrible and low graduation rates in some urban school districts in some cities like Detroit where Af-Ams have been in the majority and been running the school districts and local gub’ment for decades… We don’t know what happened – we thought you would do OK with your own cities and running things for yourself.

    The bullshit….it’s….i-its….suffocating me!!!

    Column N. Row 3. “Blatant Stereotype”. Free space!

    …I am not sure what to say. Do I say “You are welcome” for getting all of these criminals off of the street and into places where they are clothed and fed and even have opportunities to get GEDs and college credits? Or do I say “we are sorry” that we did not decriminalize drugs and black-on-black violence more to the poing where these valuable members of your community could be on the street… So tell me which you want on that one – an apology or a your welcome.

    Raise your hand if you just knew someone was going to use those statistics as a way of “proving” that Blacks are inherently bad, instead of asking why the justice system is imbalanced towards the incarceration of blacks vs. that of whites!

    Raise them high!

    Hey, “Are You Kidding Me”! come back and say more stupid racist shit! I’ve almost filled my bingo card!

  25. Dianne says:

    I’m not sure what I can do from my position over the pond except for to challenge any Americans I come across if and when they express racist views.

    Well, you could examine racism within your own society, if you so chose. For example, you could challenge derogatory characterizations of Pakastani, Indian, and African immigrants to the UK. You could examine to what extent systematic racism still exists in your society, i.e. a recent study in which the authors demonstrated that applications to medical schools with Asian sounding names were less likely to be accepted than applications with white sounding names, with comparable qualifications. You could look at issues of housing, education, discrimination, unequal protection under the law, etc. I don’t know UK society that well and so don’t know to what extent each of those problems exist there, but I have the feeling that the UK isn’t a racism free utopia. And could you please, please fire this idiot?

  26. Dianne says:

    We are sorry about the vast majority of African American children being born out of wedlock – if we can help with that problem, let us know.

    I don’t see kids born out of wedlock as a problem in and of itself. However, if you mean unplanned/unwanted kids being born to unprepared mothers who are deserted by the kids’ fathers, ok I’ll agree, that’s a problem. So, if you want to help prevent black, white, Asian, Hispanic, and mixed race kids from being born to unprepared parents AND prevent STDs, it can be done, all in one easy step: Just dump this idiotic, proven ineffective “abstinence only” nonsense and teach real sex education in the schools. Making condoms and other forms of birth control available to teens would help even more. Improved access to abortion for cases when birth control fails (or, people being people, isn’t used) would help yet more. And if you want to go really crazy, you could lobby for mandatory maternity leave and universal health care for pregnant women and children.

    Ok, so I’m fantasizing wildly. “Are you kidding me” doesn’t have any intention of really doing anything to help.

  27. exemployee says:

    umm, about the death of Levon Jones in New Orleans…it seems to me he was a young, black, drunk, disorderly man, at the time of his death….maybe he would still be alive if he hadn’t needed to be constrained. I’m not saying that it isn’t a horrible thing that happened, but let’s not make it out to be that he was some poor, black kid who didn’t do anything wrong that night. He should have left when he was told his attire was not what the club demanded. I bet there were alot of other black guys in there with the right attire on.

    Bottom line, whether black or white, yellow or red, you have to be responsible for your own actions

  28. exemployee says:

    oh, by the way:

    In all honesty, I can’t fathom how the black community has embraced Barack Obama as being a “black” American. His mother, Ann Dunham, was born a young white girl from Kansas. His father was born and raised in Kenya. The two met while at college in Hawaii, married and produced Barack Hussein Obama. His father left his mother when Barack was two years old.

    Barack’s heritage does not stem from the blacks that were placed on the “black merchant” ships. These were black Efik seaman, who traded their own people to slavery for money. Hmmm…think about that one for awhile. If we are going to get our history straight, let’s start at the beginning. Black slavery would not have been a problem if not for the willingness of black traders to sell off their own people. Sort of like prostitution would not be a problem if men didn’t go to prostitutes. People, no matter what the race, do things for money.

    But, I digress. Let’s get back to the point that Barack Obama is not from the descendents of slaves that lived in America, over one hundred years ago. His daddy came from Kenya to study here in America. Left his mommy and went on to Harvard. Oh, he was such an abused black man. Then we have his son, who was so abused as a child that he grew up in a wealthy home with white grandparents who made certain that he went to Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Oh, dear, such oppression. And now, this oppressed white/black Kenyan-American is so down-trodden by the white, rich people of America that they are actually considering voting for him for President of The United States. I just can’t fathom how being so oppressed allows him to sleep at night.

    Fact, Barack Obama placed himself in the middle of poverty stricken black communities in order to obtain a “foot in the door” to the black community. Because until then, he lived the lifestyle of the upper class black man.

  29. jsb16 says:

    Thank you, White People, for refusing to deal with reasonable blacks for long enough to let the demagogues take center stage. Thank you for the way the Newark Teachers’ Strikes were mishandled. Thank you for enforcing the “one drop of black blood” theory for long enough even after slavery was over to convince my students that whites and blacks are practically different species.

    Thank you for ignoring or downplaying black concerns for long enough for the gangs and the haters to move in and convince the black youth that school success is either out of their reach or a betrayal of their heritage.

    Thank you for using “white flight” as a reason for not drawing school district boundaries equitably.

    And finally, thank you for the zero-sum approach to human rights. I don’t know how we could have survived as a nation if the Powers That Be hadn’t pushed the notion that someone else (be they black, female, homosexual, Jewish, whatever) getting access to a right somehow diminishes that right for those who already had it.

  30. jsb16 says:

    Does exemployee win a prize for being such an incredible example of stupidity and stereotyping?

  31. Angel H. says:

    a portion of this comment has been moved to the Open Thread -abw


    umm, about the death of Levon Jones in New Orleans…it seems to me he was a young, black, drunk, disorderly man, at the time of his death….

    Yes, he was young and Black when he was restrained at a predominantly White night club.

    Bottom line, whether black or white, yellow or red, you have to be responsible for your own actions

    And so should the assholes who killed him.

    In all honesty, I can’t fathom how the black community has embraced Barack Obama as being a “black” American.

    How about asking yourself instead, how PEOPLE have embraced Sen. Obama as being a worthy candidate for president.

    Thank you, white people, for accusing us of “making everything about race”, when you’re the ones who are quick to point out someone’s race to diminish their success in life.

    Black slavery would not have been a problem if not for the willingness of black traders to sell off their own people.

    Thank you white people. Because of your insecurities, you have repeatedly associated my people exclusively with crime, “a pattern that I once thought began with the post-Reconstruction white media until it occurred to me that even before the Confederate Restoration, black were viewed as criminals. Stealing themselves!”

  32. Veronica says:

    My ancestors did not kidnap people from Africa. They were sold people by other black Africans.

    Hmm. They took people against those people’s will? That’s kidnapping in my book. The fact that they gave other people money as well doesn’t make it less so. The only way it wouldn’t be kidnapping is if the actual enslaved people said it was OK.

  33. Adam Ziegler says:

    Camille, thank you for the thoughtful responses. After re-reading the original post, and your replies to my earlier questions, I do think I have a better understanding of where you are coming from. The post under required reading entitled “How Not To Be Insane When Accused Of Racism (A Guide For White People)” was also helpful.

    The original post really was an effective rebuttal to Pat Buchanon’s absurd and offensive claim. The part that threw me was the reference to “white people.” When I see someone expressing anger at “white people” it’s a challenge to interpret that objectively.

    It makes me uncomfortable to see labels put on classes of people. The concept of “us” vs. “them” is what got us into this mess in the first place. Labels are integral to the “system of racism” to which you refer. We use labels to contain people and to control them. They are part of the “elaborate illusion” you mention.

    It is not just in racism that labels do us harm. Bush need only label anyone who disagrees with the war as “unpatriotic” to create an effective distration from the real issues at hand. Personally, I think we need to move away from labels, but then, in writing the original post, what words other than “white people” would have worked? I couldn’t come up with a better way to say it, so there it is.

    I remember reading Barak Obama’s recent speech on race, and while the whole thing was awesome, one part that really gave me hope was when he made the point that people who have suffered injustice and those who would seek to redress it need to make common cause regardless of race. As you point out, there is no shortage of injustice in this world. Focusing on what we can do make society more just for everyone gets us past the “zero sum game” and away from the divisions inherent in labels.

    It may happen that in addressing the injustices in our society people of color as a group will benefit more than others in the short term, but that is only fair. It simply reflects the inequity of the current situation. So long as disadvantaged people who do not happen to be black are not left in the cold, and so long as our measures do not come at the cost of creating a different set of injustices, what is there to argue?

    I was saddened to read Are you kidding me’s post, which I won’t dignify by responding to directly. But it did remind of a quote I’d come across recently by Anatole France: “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets or steal bread.”

    I imagine this quote captures part of what you mean by a “system of racism.” Am I right? It’s going to be difficult to unwind this mess, but I am hopeful that we’re about to make some progress.

  34. Maevele says:

    I was coming here to add some funny snark, but instead I am just going to say Thank you to *this sample of white internet people, for proving that no, *white folks as a inclusive class are not willing to talk constructively about racism, even if a few of us are trying.

    Also, omigods, do you really want to start in about how slavery is the fault of the Africans? Because although there was slavery in africa, it was more like indentured servitude or serfdom, than cruel murderous ownership, so they did not know what type of slavery they were selling people into.

    *awkward structure to show I don’ mean all white people.

  35. JJ says:


    I think I’ve kind of responded to you in part with my previous post to ABW…

    The fact is that some Jewish people can pass as ‘white’ and some can’t. Of course it’s not always possible to see who’s a Jew. But my experience is informed by the fact that one of my close Jewish friend’s experience is that at least once a day someone will ask her ‘where she comes from’. Her family have been in the UK for over 150 years! Clearly, people see her dark hair, dark eyes and distinctive features as something different, something foreign to the UK. (Although she has said that it’s getting better in London because of the increasing diversity of the city).

    This is why I am very sensitive to this topic because I know how much it hurts for her to be on the one hand considered the ‘other’ and on the other to be considered too ‘white’ by POC to suffer discrimination.

    I’m not saying this discussion should be about Jews. In fact I’d rather it wasn’t. I was far rather interested in understanding (as someone who works in cross-communal activities) the ongoing American experience of racism. I think I must have read 50+ blog posts here without ever commenting.

    But when I saw a comment that I felt belittled another community’s experience of discrimination, I felt the need to say something. The who’s been oppressed more route is just all very depressing and counterproductive and I felt that ABW’s comment was in that space.

    You might disagree, but frankly, if we can’t even agree in this kind of space to say that a variety of groups have their own, different experiences and we should try to respect them then frankly we’re screwed.

  36. 300reasons says:

    Thanks for the rad post!

    Something that came up for me reading over some of the predictable racist arguments that came up… However irritating this process might be, I’m actually really interested to find out more about why some white people get all into the argument that “my ancestors were soooo poor/oppressed/blah blah blah that I bear no responsibility for racism and have no white privilege.”

    Why does this seem like a valid argument for some white people, and how can we counter it (assuming we’re talking to someone who is actually engaging a discussion and not just waiting for their turn to talk)?

    I’ve ended up in a few discussion with people who were generally well-intentioned but got stuck on the “but my grandparents didn’t own slaves” argument.

    Does anyone have a simple way to address this, without whipping out a ton of statistics that will make someone’s eyes glaze over?

    I guess the real question is, why do people in positions of power want to claim they’re being victimized, and how can you get someone to let that go? Complicating the question more is the fact that, often, the people who cling to this argument do have real experiences of class-based and/or gender-based/sexual orientation-based oppression, so they have some legit reasons to feel oppressed–just not in the arena of race and ethnicity.

    By the way, thank you white people for biological warfare. What a smart idea!

  37. nojojojo says:


    OK, folks. ABW isn’t close to a computer at the moment, but she has asked me to convey the following message on her behalf. And I quote:

    “Quit going off-topic, people, before I close the thread down and start shooting people in the face.”

    Translation for those who need it: use the little scrolly thing on the side of your browser. Go back to the OP. Read it. Notice that this started, not with a random Tourettes-esque rant sans context, but with Pat Buchanan’s demand that black people express thanks for all that white people have done for them. Which ABW has done. She has asked all of you to contribute your own reasons why black people should be grateful for all white people have done. IF YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS, YOU ARE OFF-TOPIC.

    Thanks, and good night.

  38. matt says:

    What should Blacks be thanking Whites for ? I am racking my brain. How about Space exploration? Other than Black Americans what other African descended persons (excluding Arab and North African and that white South African) have been astronauts ?

    Though, really, the strength of the American space program is really only a product of a nation that began by exploiting slaves to jump-start an economy that would later become resource-exploitive that allowed it to become a global superpower, sending many good white men to school, some with slide rules to become engineers, and some with nice hair to become politicians. Why oh why, except with fear of the power of the black man, did any of these repressed people become Astronauts? I mean, why did the powerful white people need economically repressed black astronauts in space? Were they planning to have plantations in space colonies? I can only surmise that these must have been some really nice white people to defy reason by ever training a black man for space flight. Speaking of which, whose idea was it to send women? We all know they can’t drive.

    (The above sarcasm is obviously a joke, I had a much more methodical and helpful comment earlier, but it didn’t make the cut.)

    All kidding aside, being on the path to something is not the same thing as having arrived at the destination. Climbing the metaphoric mountain, Pat Buchanan wants to say, it’s true that some stepped on you, climbed on and over you, but now some of those hands are reaching out to pull you up. Unfortunately, Buchanan does not realize that simply extending the hand is not enough. The job is not done until we’re all at the summit, even if that means carrying one another.

  39. charles bracey says:

    thank you white people for the KKK
    thank you white people for the Nazis
    thank you white people for the racist media
    thank you white people for the projects
    thank you white people for seperate but equal
    thank you white people for raping slaves
    thank you white people for seperateing selling black babies during slavery
    thank you white people for colored only
    thank you white people for the word nigger
    thank you white people for not letting us know which part of Africa we are from
    thank you for killing Martin and Malcolm and Medgar
    thank you for all white male juries
    thank you for lynchings
    thank you for j edgar hooger
    thank you for last hired and first fired
    thank you for reagan and bush and mccain
    thank you for a blue eyed jesus that doesn’t look like us
    thank you and thank you again and again.

  40. Ico says:

    Thank you, white people in Hollywood for the token black guy. Great effort! Even if you usually kill him off before the story is over.

    Thank you also for the invisibility of black actresses from mainstream flicks. They’re probably not as talented as white actors, anyway.

    And in my own field: Thank you to the white professorate for defining almost every literary period in history according to the work of white men, for relegating black authors exclusively to the “African American lit” section, for excluding black authors from the canon, and for pretending African literature does not exist.

  41. camille says:

    Thanks for pretending racism is just an American problem.

    Thanks for trying to trick us that slavery is over and that you ended it. There is more slavery today than when my great greatgrandma was shoveling up cotton.


    I live in the fabled Eastern Europe which I’ve seen one or two of these usurping characters speak about in dubious terms, uh we’ve got issues too. Ahead of international Roma Day, in the midst of nasty struggles in Kosovo, after the horrific “anti-immigrant” legislationthat they keep pushing through in UK to get the “right people in there” (not to mention the daily official and unofficial racist violence againt “immigrants”) …OK, let’s say it together, “We have racism here too. People benefit from white supremacy here too. ” Ahh doesnt that feel better?


    Also to those who say that black people maybe perhaps do not deserve their anger because they have done this or that offense against (white) America or the (white) world. I say SO WHAT? First of all there is a problem of directionality, you are saying blacks were taken as slaves 300 years ago BECAUSE we commit crimes in urban ghettos and have high incarceration rates now? Where was this fated prophecy written, in which holy book did it say “Take these people now for they will commit offense against you in the future”, where did it say that? I’d honestly like to know. It is asinine.

    Also my bigger SO WHAT? Is about TODAY. What ideology are you functioning from that says that because of some negative statistics racism is OK? Where does it say that if someone is born poor or has a child out of wedlock that it is OK to mistreat them or deny them equalrights and justice. Even as man (black or white) commits a crime there is supposedly a system in place to give them their punishment, but nowhere is it written that any of these crimes should be a stain upon either that person or the people who are related to him or people that simply look like him. I don’t understand the harkening to crimes of the past or the present as a justification for the existence and persistence of white supremacy. I don’t understand what you are so invested in that you think this system is good.

    I doubt you will be able to get through to me. You,who copy and paste statistics here. You, with burning finger pointing at me. What ideology underlies all that you are doing?From what location, are you sending these ideas to me? And why? What would happen if you simply stopped? What would be lost?….What could possibly be gained?

  42. the angry black woman says:

    a note – I’m back at my computer now, and I’m going through all the comments I haven’t seen. There’s probably going to be a lot of disemvoweling and deleting, just so you’re aware.

  43. A. says:

    “Or do they not count.? Cause only whitey is to blame for everything. Whitey’s very existence cancels out any and all other atrocious acts committed by any other race or culture?

    But you are welcome for all the great things we invented.”

    Thank you, troll, for missing the point. But you, just like all the other kids who have posted in here that aren’t interested in changing anything, seem to like having some sort of fun in making yourself seem as if you are just so innocent in the racial problems that exist in America.

    Do some reading in this blog, while you’re telling someone else to crack a book open. If you don’t know how to comprehend any of it, then that isn’t our problem. All you’re doing is embarrassing your many white peers in this thread.

  44. A. says:

    And, BTW, Velvet Hammer, while you want to talk about “White Slaves,” do keep in mind that discrimination did not end right at slavery, with the worst discrimination coming during the Jim Crow era, and we face the residual effects of that today.

    But of course, it’s so much easier for you to blow smoke about “I’m a poor white man being blamed for everything.” While readily ignoring Apartheid, Jim Crow and the racism that exists today.

    Thank you, white people for selective memory and revisionist history.

  45. Angel H. says:

    Crack a book. You know those bound volumes made of paper products with ..words in them.

    I’s so confused! First massa says she’s gonna chop off my hands and beat me if I’s learn how to read, and now she wants me to pick up those book-thingies! What is I gonna do? [/sarcasm]

    Hey, dumbass! Remember your quote:

    I have the links if anyone is interested.

    I showed interest. You backed down like a little bitch with her tail between her legs.

    Oh! And case you’re wondering: Scholarly texts only. Links from Jihad Watch and The Stormfront don’t count.


  46. Veronica says:

    Hey, has anybody mentioned beauty standards that are impossible for a non-white person to meet yet? Like, beauty standards that emphasize pale skin, straight hair, small straight thin facial features, etc.? I wouldn’t want those to be left out.

  47. Veronica says:

    I do not see color

    Must make it hard to cross the street without being run over. Interacting with people while being unable to notice or acknowledge a major aspect of their lived experience and identity is nothing to be proud of.

  48. A. says:

    Dude, I’ve heard every argument before. Over a million times. Pick up your bingo card and do some marking stuff off.

    Just because you have x number of multiracial friends (like anyone really gives a shit about that), your colorblind philosophy (“I don’t see color!” Then are you freaking BLIND?)

    Too bad that any ideas that you have about people who actually and actively TRY to combat racism and a racist system is “Blaming Whitey” or attempting to pull up texts to make slavery seem as if it’s not so bad, or that “They brought it on themselves!”

    And then, of course, that tired ass “We’re only the HUMAN RACE” excuse.

    Tell that to some schmuck that gives a shit.

    Because, if those people brought over here from the middle passage had a choice, do you think they would really want to be in America? To be treated like chattel? For their descendants to be treated as less than human and never see equality in their lifetimes? Really, do you?

    But all you see are morals, and people, and human beings, despite the Islamophobia links that you have on your blog. All you see are people with morals, right?

  49. matt says:

    @ Veronica:
    You mean like Michael Jackson? Sigh.

  50. Angel H. says:

    White Slaves, African Masters: An Anthology of American Barbary Captivity – By Paul Michel Baepler

    And the dumbassery continues!

    Let’s look at the contributors of the book, shall we?

    Cotton Mather = witch-hunter; judge and executioner at the Salem with trials.

    William Ray: Captured as a POW of the First Barbary War.

    Speaking of the Barbary Coast (something you obviously delight in): If you had actually taken the time do a little – hmm, what’s the word? Oh yeah! RESEARCH – then you would notice that the politics of the Barbary Coast at that time were not so different from that of The US throughout history:

    When meeting with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in Algiers, the ambassador told them:

    It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was their right and duty to plunder and enslave….

    Exchange the words “Koran” and “Prophet” for “The Bible” and “Jesus”, and you’ve got a dumbed-down version – just for you, of course – of US foreign policy.

    Now, which of us needs to familiarize ourselves with books? Hmm?

  51. Angel H. says:

    Oh, and here’s how you provide proof:

    Cornell University Making of America

  52. Angel H. says:

    Islam is a threat and if you do not see that then you all are a lost cause.

    Thank you for proving my point.

  53. fightingwords says:

    Aww, look at all the butthurt white folks who can’t handle the truth about their own country and racial history or, even, click a damn link to see what you’re responding to.

    I would say I’m surprised, but I’m not.

  54. Juan says:

    Thank you white people for for your collective immaturity and denial to confront the past, present, and likely future. Your tendency to shove your head into the clouds/up your ass is quite the inspiration.

    Thank you white people for your pathological tendency towards megalomaniacal narcissism. It is so endearing to watch you reshape and reframe any conversation, discussion, etc. to be all about you in the way you desire.

    Thank you white people for always being so fixated on people of color. Or even certain people of color. If we are not out to get you then we are there for you to project on or simply abuse in any form or method possible.

    Thank you white people for constructing and maintaining a system that makes interracial (intra-person of color and person of color-white) relations–scholarly, friend, platonic, romantic, parental–a complex and/or fucked up mess when it comes to confronting inequality.

    Thank you white people for creating and maintaining a supremacist structure that will continue to devalue not only my nieces, nephews, own children and their descendants but also other children as they become adults.

    Thank you white people for teaching my nephews, like you did me, that we are a possibly threat to society even before we hit puberty and are dangerous adults once we’re there.

    Thank you white people for [likely already] spinning everything I just said/typed into your own twisted, distorted and hateful interpretation.

    Spirit and ancestors know I need your guidance and white jesus to set me straight while the actions and thoughts of your own are often unabated.

  55. A. says:

    “Keep swimming in your bile. Islam is a threat and if you do not see that then you all are a lost cause.
    Good riddance.”

    No problem! Thanks for proving my point that you’re just trying to use some of the most tired excuses to make us think that you’re less of a bigoted ass!

  56. the angry black woman says:

    This is a mass comment, following up many a response. I may repeat what others have said. Sorry about that.

    Hywelsbiglog: “Hi. I’m a white British guy. My ancestors did not kidnap people from Africa. They were sold people by other black Africans. Maybe you should thank your ancestors for that?”

    This is always the defense of a society filled with people who are ignorant about history and wish to absolve themselves of any lingering guilt on the manner. Yes, I’m aware that Africans sold other Africans into slavery, but Africans did not invent the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Africans did not carry other Africans across an ocean to work in a significantly different kind of servitude than was practiced in Africa, and Africans did not think of the Africans they sold as animals, just as less fortunate people. Furthermore, the Africans that sold other Africans often ended up taken themselves, because the Europeans didn’t think any better of them than the goods they were selling. And further, if the Europeans are so blameless in all of this, why didn’t they say, “Hey now! Stop trying to sell people to us! That’s WRONG.”

    “Oh, and you can thank the British people and government for banning slavery”

    yeah, yeah, lemme stop you right there. Amy educated Brit will tell you that the ban on slavery didn’t stop a damn thing, that even when the Royal navy happened upon slave ships that it was politically advantageous to search, it caused hardly a dent in the profits of the slavers, and really made little difference in the trade.

    But beyond that, I don’t recall singling Britain out specifically, I did say Europeans, because many were the countries involved in this shit. And Britain, though very sorry for what happened in the past, which is lovely, is still complicit in a lot of what went down in Africa after the slave trade ended.

    In other words, get off your High Horse you Poncy Oxbridge Git.

    Are you kidding me?: ” My people got here well after the Civil War – they came from the peasant class in Eastern Europe…”

    You obviously did not click on the BINGO card. Look, it really does not matter a white when your ancestors got here. You still benefit from racism. Get over it.

    Also, as to the rest of your comment, I challenge you to produce evidence from at least 3 independent/unrelated sources to back up every statement you made. It may take some time, but I will wait.

    Eric: “Don’t get me wrong. I don’t completely agree with everything she has said.”

    And I’m completely willing to dialogue with you about that (not on this thread, I’ll throw up an open thread tomorrow and we can converse).

    And this is just a general announcement, no further discussion of Jews being white or not white is allowed here. Want to continue? Open Thread, tomorrow, 7am eastern.

    Exemployee: “In all honesty, I can’t fathom how the black community has embraced Barack Obama as being a “black” American.”

    That’s because you’re not black. If we were to deny every person who had some white blood in them, whether half or 3/4ths or 1/4th or a drop, we’d be a small group with a lot of folks left on the sidelines wondering where we fit in. Unlike some white people, who consider one drop too much, we don’t mind people with diverse histories. Heck, Barack should be proud of his entire heritage, since his white blood doesn’t come from a slave owner raping one of his slaves. At least his parents loved each other (at some point, anyway) and decided to have a child together.

    “Barack’s heritage does not stem from the blacks that were placed on the “black merchant” ships.”

    So? Does that mean we will see him as illegitimately black? Please stop being stupid, it hurts.

    “But, I digress.”

    Yes, you do, this post is not about that.

    Adam: ” The part that threw me was the reference to “white people.” When I see someone expressing anger at “white people” it’s a challenge to interpret that objectively.”

    The reason I refer to “white people” in this post is because Pat B refers to “black people” and “white people”. HE generalized and I was responding, in kind, to his generalization.

    Also, not to sound unkind, but being uncomfortable is a natural part of the process of being an effective anti-racist ally.

  57. Blanky says:

    You’re welcome; any time.

  58. bankuei says:

    You know what this is about? This is about white peoples’ inability to accept POC voices equally- like an abuser, there’s no “right tone” to take, other than silence.

    If we speak calm, we’re just spinning our wheels, if we speak loud, we’re irrational, nevermind whether what we’re saying is true or not. There’s always an excuse to tell us why what we said doesn’t matter, and in the end, the only common factor amongst it all is who’s telling who not to speak.

    The only acceptable tone of voice is Amos & Andy, or Jar Jar Binks. The only acceptable way to talk about race is not to talk about it. The only acceptable POC say, “Yassamassa” when spoken to and never any other time.

    Guess what? We’re going to keep talking sense. Maybe one day you crazy ones will learn what it takes to be an acceptable human.

  59. Lisa says:

    I still cannot believe that in every single post about race, the same people who argue “racism is over” are commenting right alongside some asshole like “blackpubwatch” being a racist asshole.

    You can’t write about race without the racist coming out. EVERY SINGLE POST/ARTICLE on the internet this happens. Unbelievable.

  60. hywelsbiglog says:

    Thanks for the rebuttal.
    By your logic, I should feel angry at modern day Italians for the Roman conquest of Iron-age Britain. Or the peoples of the Ivory coast whose pirates themselves, kidnapped into slavery people living in south west Ireland.
    I’m also a fraction Jewish, so maybe I should hold a grudge against present day Germans.
    Am I angry at them for those past wrongs? No. That would be pointless.
    It’s much the same with you. You’re angry about what one set of ancestors did to another. Neither of which has any bearing on your chances, opportunities or happiness. At least no more than it would mine.
    Perhaps your anger is preventing you from being rational?

  61. the angry black woman says:

    Why exactly are people so stupid about this subject? i don’t understand.

    let me attempt to say this again: it’s not about the past ONLY. It’s about how the past affects the NOW.

    Are British people suffering TODAY because of what Romans did lo those many centuries ago? Are they treated as second-class citizens by the Italian majority still overrunning their island? No? then no, don’t be angry at Italians.

    Are Irish people still suffering TODAY because of what happened to them on the Ivory Coast? No? Then stfu.

    I happen to know there are Jewish folks today who are indeed angry at modern day Germans for the Holocaust. Are you going to tell them that their anger is invalid, useless, and to get over it? Good luck with that, I’ll just stand in the corner here and wait.

    Being angry as past wrongs that affect the present is not pointless. Did no one EVER EVER teach you the saying “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it?”, or do you think that’s just something funny to stitch on a pillow?

    Just because you choose to wallow in ignorance over what came before us and how it has to do with hat’s going on now (which shouldn’t surprise me, given the level of education in this country) doesn’t mean I will.

  62. Lisa says:

    Not only that, ABW, but in the link that I’m assuming people have actually read, Buchanan is directing that modern black people thank modern white people for the good (in Buchanan’s interpretation) that whites did for the blacks in the past. So, you’re thanking the whites (sarcastically) for the bad things they did in the past is an appropriate and legitimate response to his diatribe.

    It seems interesting that sometimes the same people who want to take credit for the good that their ancestors have done don’t see anything hypocritical about separating themselves from the bad.

  63. Blanky says:

    ABW, I must point this out–the past obviously composes exactly what’s happened in the modern world. What would have happened to the Brits without Roman intervention?

    The Irish culture as a whole has been forever altered by dealings in the Ivory Coast.

    After all, if Blacks had been enslaved, but, in some alternate reality, granted even more privileges and rights than whites after, would that change the fact that blacks would have been enslaved in the first place–no matter how much would have been changed since?

    What happened in the past is of great importance, modern and ancient.

    Jewish folk angry at the Germans for the Holocaust? That means that they’re gonna be angry at a lot of young Germans that are blameless in it. I’m a Jew. I’ll blame those deserving of it, not their descendants, because if we’re guilty for the crimes of our ancestors, then every person is guilty–from the thousands of years for the East Africans engaging in tribal warfare, to the Jews slaughtering Canaanites, to the slavery trade of select Western Europeans, to East European pogroms, to First American cross-tribe warfare, to Aztec slaughter, to everything else.

    Where’s the cut off? I’d like to be responsible for my crimes, and mine alone, thanks. Accomplishments, as well.

    And as for the “my parents weren’t here”, it’s true that you benefit from white privilege–but white skin-privilege only, not the cultural privilege people like Buchanan are privy to. He’s not the same as Pat, and takes offense at you calling him the same, or even directly related.

    It’s offensive for myself to compare you to someone who is probably no relation but shares your skin, like a leader of the Janjaweed. I don’t think it’s right. I also don’t think it’s right to compare someone to an idiot like Pat.

    Forgive my trespasses if in this post I accidentaly did something that I was already thanked for.

  64. Juan says:

    There is no need for some magical cut-off point to be discussed, let alone conjured, if attention is being paid. Using the “then we’d all be guilty of what our ancestors done” is NOT a way of showing that attention is being paid.

    And white skin privilege extends to the cultural because it is a culture that creates a privilege towards white skin. If you have the right skin, the cultural accepts you and offers you what privileges it had set in place while informing you of itself.

    The two are not that exclusive from one another.

  65. Blanky says:

    Then attention must be paid, and I am paying attention.

    And, uh, yes it is. It shows that history is having attention paid to it.

    And, uh, yes they are. White skin gets you white skin privilege. It such not give you, say Scottish-American cultural privilege, or the privilege of being part of the French of Louisiana. And it certainly doesn’t give you a place in the Old Money of the multigenerational British-American establishment.

  66. OneShySistah says:

    Going back to the original intention of the post, I would have to add a thanks for assuming that black folks walking around stores are either potential thieves, warranting being watched and followed around or overtly denied service, or are store employees, regardless of how we are dressed (especially in regards to wearing the store uniform or a nametag). Thanks for establishing that there is no such thing as a black consumer because we are all after handouts.

    As for the rest of this conversation…what can you say to folks who genuinely believe that because their ancestors never owned slaves, they’ve never benefitted from systematic effects of racism? Seriously, this is racism 101. Please read some books.

  67. Blanky says:

    Then they’re silly.

    However, it does mean that their ancestors never owned slaves, and so if they are accused of such it is slander.

    That’s Basic Courtesy 101. It’s generally frowned upon to accuse people of doing things that they haven’t or being things they aren’t.

  68. OneShySistah says:

    Wow, Blanky. Thanks for clarifying. /sarcasm


    Is this really the level of discourse we can have? Then nothing will ever get done.

  69. Blanky says:

    No trouble. I aim to please.

  70. Juan says:

    No kiddin’ OneShySistah, no kiddin’.

    Thank you white people…

  71. shannon says:

    Also, thanks for always waiting for everyone else to be perfect before you can do anything.

    Also, I don’t get it. Even if your grandaddy didn’t own slaves, he was probably out saying bad things about the ;coloreds’ with the rest of them. [note: nothing *makes* white people HAVE to say bad things or discriminate against others. they CHOOSE to.]

  72. Blanky says:

    Generalizations, shannon? Really? You’d think that someone would be sensitive to such things.

    Hey, guess what? Not all white people fall into your prejudiced little categories. Some definitely do.
    speaking in generalities is offensive. please try to understand that.

    And, “with the rest of them”?

    The whole point of what’s-his-face’s post was that his grandpappy wasn’t in the U.S. in the first place, and so was neither accepted with “the rest of them” nor had the opportunity to speak with “the rest of them.”

    Please try to read.

  73. elle says:

    ABW, I wonder how many of those “outraged” by your post or who felt the need to clarify and correct were so diligent in the comments of buchanan’s post…

  74. Blanky says:

    I doubt many have a chance to do so, closed as they are.

  75. elle says:

    It’s okay. I know all of you so wanted to.

  76. Blanky says:

    Cool! Good thing we’re on the same page, here.

  77. Joey says:

    I happened to come across this site and found myself reading it for some time. In response to what should Africans be saying thank you to whites for I would just like to say we should try to do what we can for one another. We must always try to help people out whenever we can. And be quick with a smile and a helping hand. If someone is in need and you can help, do so. Remember when Joseph went to Egypt he was sold as a slave. Years later his family came to Egypt and because he was there, they received food and was treated well. Skip ahead 430 years they left there very rich. So I would like to say thank you for all the contributions that Africans have made to this country.

  78. theblackfemaleadventist says:



    Ever heard of the term….”Let my People, Go?”

    Thank you, again, white people, for mishandling history.

  79. Angel H. says:

    Thank you, White People, for calling my well-justified rage about the current prejudices and discrimination that I face in my day-to-day life “irrational” and “sill

    Blanky, you told Shannon to “please try ot read”. How about you following your own advice?

    This is what ABW said in response to one of your posts:

    Are British people suffering TODAY because of what Romans did lo those many centuries ago? Are they treated as second-class citizens by the Italian majority still overrunning their island? No? then no, don’t be angry at Italians.

    Are Irish people still suffering TODAY because of what happened to them on the Ivory Coast? No? Then stfu.

    You then replied:

    ABW, I must point this out–the past obviously composes exactly what’s happened in the modern world. What would have happened to the Brits without Roman intervention?

    The Irish culture as a whole has been forever altered by dealings in the Ivory Coast.

    But have they suffered for it?

    Here’s what pisses me off the most about conversations like these: People of Color – especially, imo, Black people – have to prove that we do indeed face discrimination in our day-to-day lives and how the world views us as a whole. And, when we attempt to do that, when all we want is for people to shut the fuck up and open their damn eyes, we’re the ones who are called “hostile”, “irrational”, “mean”, “playing the race card”, or just plain “angry”!


    We have spent centuries trying to get our voices heard, and for centuries we’ve been told that our opinions don’t matter, that our pleas our worthless, and that no matter how loud or how much we shout, we are not being heard!

    Fuck it.

    I am fucking sick and tired of being judged. So, let’s turn the tables around.

    YOU PROVE TO ME that the events of the past have not lead POCs to be downtrodden upon in the present day.

    YOU PROVE TO ME that, in accordance with the portrayals by the mainstream media, we are not, in fact, consumers, taxpayers, property owners, voters, and valuable fucking citizens of this country.

    YOU PROVE TO ME that even though you “don’t see color”, can you can recognize racism when it slaps you in the face.

    YOU PROVE TO ME that despite anecdotal evidence, court records, and what what millions of people see with their own eyes and experience every fucking day of their lives, that we are treated like anything but second-class citizens.


    I’m tired of this bullshit…

  80. geek says:

    Angel you are right to be angry (duh).

    It is very wrong that the burden of proof is always on the people who need or want the change the most. Status quo has momentum.


  81. shannon says:

    Thank you white people for assuming I’m illiterate! Also, thank you for lying all the time. I don’t care if your grandpappy came over in 2000. The bashing of people of color still goes on. How do I know? Because they bash people of color RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. They don’t even hide it. You can’t go insult somebody to their face and then LIE,ok? So big and bad you can say what you want? then deal with the consequences.

    You can’t expect me to trust you and give you the benefit of the doubt and say oh they didn’t mean it all the time, when you abuse my trust and human decency over and over again. Want white folks to be ‘free’ to be ‘un-pc’? fiiiine. just don’t expect a blowjob.

    also, thanks for lying about what you mean by confederate flags, nooses,etc and thinking we’ll believe it.

  82. joankelly6000 says:

    I love this post, ABW.

    Am I too late to thank white people for trying to claim an awesome post as a personal attack on them, so that yet again it can be all about them? (Did I misread something, or was it titled Thank you, White People, not Thank You, Mrs. Smith in Lawndale, CA?)

    If that’s already been said in the comment-thread-I-am-still-in-the-midst-of-reading, then I would add “thank you white person, for not taking the time to read a comment thread before chiming in with what you think could be an original thought.” :-P

  83. joankelly6000 says:

    P.S. This is technically off-topic in the offering-ideas-for-thanks department, but as many other white people have felt entitled to try and change the subject, I will at least acknowledge that I am following suit:

    I fucking love Angel H. and Veronica and Shannon.

    Great comments from many others, too.

  84. Dianne says:

    Remember when Joseph went to Egypt he was sold as a slave. Years later his family came to Egypt and because he was there, they received food and was treated well. Skip ahead 430 years they left there very rich.

    Er…My knowledge of Abrahamic religions is pretty suspect, so maybe I have this wrong, but I thought that the Jewish people fled Egypt under the leadership of Moses, pursued by angry soldiers and only managed to get away because of a miracle with the Red Sea. Hardly sounds like an endorsement for the long term benefits of being enslaved. But even if I’m wrong and you’re right about the “left very rich” bit, does that mean that slavery is somehow ok because it might, possible, occasionally bring some benefit to the great-to-the-N-grandchildren of the enslaved? Or that it’s ok (even laudible?) to enslave people if you feed them well? I think I must be misunderstanding your point because this can’t be right, can it?

  85. llalala says:

    The whites like me who understand the atrocities of my ancestors are guilt free, the ones who keep trying to justify it apparently are doing so out of heart wrenching guilt.

  86. OneShySistah says:

    LOL @ white resistance, who thinks seems to believe that s/he is entitled to speak for all of white folk. My wife, who is white, quite begs to differ.

  87. Angel H. says:

    So, all we have done only evil and bad? Let me remind you, without us you wouldn’t be writing this message at moment.


    your stoopid… hurtz…

    Sistah? You have a wife? I take it you’re a lesbian.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  88. Dianne says:

    Let me remind you, without us you wouldn’t be writing this message at moment.

    A. White people happened to have discovered a lot of the things that led to the internet and the ability to write this message. If there had been no white people, then probably people of other races would have discovered the same thing and we could have written this message just the same, except maybe in Kanjii or something.

    B. By your “logic” (to use the term losely) if a group of people has done anything good then they can never do any evil ever. So because Arabic numerals and the concept of zero were invented by Arabs the WTC attacks must be a figment of our collective imaginations. Because without Islam and Arabic civilization we wouldn’t be writing these messages (try running a computer without the concept of zero sometime) so Arabic culture could surely never produce anything as evil as al Qaeda.

  89. OneShySistah says:

    Define multiculturalism. That, to me, implies a willlingness to embrace other cultures, and you’d be a liar if you claimed that white America has been all for improving race relations.

    And while you’re banishing people from a country that is not yours, why don’t you go ahead and get back to your home nation as well? White folks weren’t the first people here, but I’m not surprised that’s escaped you, given that the transgressions against NDNs is also far removed from your state of consciousness. Would you have them pick up and move, too? Oh wait….

    SMH. I’m so done with the ignorance.

  90. The Rotund says:

    Jesus H. Macy, those links.

    Thank you, white people, for completely feeailing every conversation about racism that crops up online. We don’t need useful discourse! *headdesk*
    Thank you, white people, for taking everything personally as though you never met an asshole that was white – white people are precious miracles, after all. *abort*
    Thank you, white people, for perpetuating racism, sexism, homophobia, and the fear of anyone who might be different. That is so great! *gag*

  91. Sheelzebub says:

    Thank you, White morons on this blog, for making it all about your fee-fees. Thank you White people, for concern trolling and whining and hair splitting. Thank you White people, for ignoring the INSTITUTIONAL and ECONOMIC POWER you have and for making such a Herculean effort to miss the fraking point.

    Now please STFU. Really. The windows in my place are cracking from all of your whining.


    A fellow White person who thinks you need to STFU. NO, REALLY. STFU AND LISTEN FOR ONCE.

  92. OneShySistah says:

    Angel H.,

    Thanks for that, but I didn’t even think he warranted a response, especially seeing as though lesbians are still biologically able to have children (with a few added ingredients, of course). Small minds don’t warrant my time, and this one’s not worthy of your intellect either. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading your opinions, though. Thanks.

  93. Ico says:

    LMAO @ Angel! :D Awesome.

  94. OneShySistah says:

    Thank you, Joe, for reminding us to also be thankful for all the accomplishments white folks claim that are actually a result of slave, child, and inhumane labor, and for all the horrors of assimiliation.

  95. OneShySistah says:

    LOL @ joe’s anger. Thanks for the laugh. Come back when you have gotten over yourself and have something intelligent and remotely informed to say.

  96. OneShySistah says:

    Wow. Any of the black folk on this board rappers or convicted criminals? Joe seems to think that’s all we are.

  97. Ico says:

    Oh. My. God. The sheer amount of st00pid pouring into this site is overwhelming.

    On the subject of doctors and “free medical care,” can I add thanks to the medical/pharmaceutical establishment for continuing in the tradition of Tuskegee (i.e. screwing over black people to save money)? THANKS for the “free medical care” offered in drug testing in African countries. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have so many bodies to experiment on — er, “help” through untested treatments. Thanks for Trovan, for dead Nigerian children, and for many others who have been seriously injured or disabled when tested on without their consent.

  98. OneShySistah says:

    While I’m thinking about it, thanks for consciously blowing up levees in the black communities in New Orleans to save the white. (And you can check your history books on that one.)

  99. Dianne says:

    Joe, on behalf of white and passing white people everywhere, may I just say STFU, you’re embarrassing us! OTOH, at least Joe is open about it. None of this “I’m not prejudiced, but…” nonsense, he comes right out and says he thinks blacks are inferior. Just reading his posts make me feel the need to wash.

  100. OneShySistah says:

    Oh yes, I know joe is sooooo right, but to deny my own shame, I must disagree. Funny, I thought that’s what your post was doing.

    Look, I might have spent all my years in school learning mandatory sections of YOUR history, but I’m not ignorant enough to go on without learning my own. Sounds like you could benefit from the same. You need to have a balanced education if you’re going to get anything more than a laugh from me. But, I won’t hold my breath.


Comments are closed.