Fussing and Fighting, My Friend

This is the post you’ve been waiting for.

boxinggloveshanging

I have bad news. We are all racists.

I know, I know. You don’t want to be a racist (I don’t either). You think it is despicable to demean the humanity of another person, or to think of an entire group of people as inferior. Or perhaps you are a member of a group that has been victimized by another group, and you carry hate inside you, even though you don’t want to.

Inner conversation: Why are you even blogging about this? You’re not an expert on racism. You haven’t read one book about racism. You’re a WASP, for gawshsakes. You should at least read that YWCA blog before you post this. You’re “OUTTA YOUR ELEMENT!

boxingglovesresting

The Scout and I are part-way through the audio version of Inheriting the Trade (do watch the video clip from The Early Show). The author, Thomas Norman DeWolfe, grapples with learning that he’s related to one of the largest slave-trading families in history.

Get ready for a sweeping generalization: One can make a pretty strong case that our country is the prosperous place it is due to two things: 1) abundant natural resources; 2) slavery.

boxingbag

Remember Aaron Proctor? That dude had a foul mouth. He also had a great sense of humor. He was definitely an equal opportunity offender. I let AP know when I thought he was funny, and I tried to let him know when I thought he was offensive (though to do that well would have been a full-time job). He once said something about Armenians on his blog, something racist and offensive. I let him know I didn’t like it.

boxingtear

Since I grew up in this culture as a member of the dominant group, I think it is my responsibility to examine my thinking and see where racism might be lurking. It’s a difficult self-examination. Talking about racism with others is also very necessary even though it too is difficult. Pointing fingers at others is not the starting place.

Go over to Project Implicit and take the black-white race test (Race IAT). What are your results? The results scale: little or no preference, slight, moderate, or strong preference. I took the test once, and according to it I have a slight automatic preference for European American compared to African American. Michael Shermer says when he took the test, it showed strong preference for European American—you can read about it here: Kramer’s Conundrum.

Taking Care of Blogger Business:

1. I have been a contributer to Pasadena’s Political Underbelly but have not posted there recently. Even though I am a contributor, I don’t have the ability to delete or edit posts written by others. This post (note sound of “wicked power-mad laugh”) makes that quite clear.

2. There has been an incredibly wacky, sometimes funny, sometimes hateful comment thread on Sharkey vs Snarky: Blog Smackdown. I hope it is clear that I made one, and only one, comment on this post. I resisted the temptation to post anonymously as Satan (didn’t want to offend Jesus). Sigh. If you want to know the truth, I find the whole thing rather depressing—time, energy and soul-sapping.

The Scout has a hard time understanding my affinity for blogging and reading blogs. He is wondering right now why I’ve spent four hours on this post. I tell him blogging can be a powerful tool for community-building. I think most of us still believe that, even though political passions run deep (whoa, is that an understatement).

People can be mean and say mean things. I say let ’em. I have very thin skin, but that’s my problem. We all get to choose which blogs we read. Thanks to my own life experience, I have developed the ability to recognize mental illness when I see it (well, some of the time anyway).

boxingpunchingbags

Point of blogging etiquette: It’s a no-no to re-post pictures taken from others’ blogs without appropriate photo credit.

Photos on this blog post courtesy of The Scout.

Extra credit reading:

Most Americans see lingering racism—in others

Lyrics: Everyone’s a little bit racist Here it is on You Tube.

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10 Responses to “Fussing and Fighting, My Friend”

  1. Susan C Says:

    One of the many things I love about you, Kelly, is that you can see the good in all of us, including the APs of the world. And yet you’re not afraid to call a spade a spade. Awesome combination.

  2. Sister Wolf Says:

    Okay, I’m off to read your links, but I wanted to ask if I can be on your blogroll because it looks like good company and plus! I live in L.A. xo

  3. ToadB Says:

    I know where you are coming from. We are all human, imperfect and thus have bits of prejudices in us. It’s far better to recognize them than telling ourselves that they don’t exist. That way we can consciously (try to) not act on them.

    PS. I do not support anonymous blogginh.

  4. Sister Wolf Says:

    I’m back! Wow, that’s some crazy shit over there! I need to figure out how to jump in. (you know how I am)

  5. hooked on m. Gramophonics Says:

    YAY!

  6. altadenahiker Says:

    All four religions came in dead center of the scale for me. I would have thought all four relgions would show up closer to the bottom.

  7. Pasadena Restaurants Says:

    Points taken… Good post, I’ll keep on reading your articles!

  8. Cafe Observer Says:

    WCGB, yep it looks like u left only 1 legitimate comment on the PPU post, although other commenter’s apparently used your name later.

    I was almost tempted to get involved with this problem of “anonymous” & “hateful” blogging when VH asked me for a possible solution.
    Luckily I think, my expertise is not in this field. However, blogging is still in it’s Wild Wild West stage.

    As I commented to her: I’m not really in a position to give anyone the legal advice you seem to be asking. This dog doesn’t really want to get in the middle of all you loco blogger’s in the Pasadena area. I want to remain blogger’s best friend!

    IMHO, this whole ?$>”&$# is just so unnecessary. Yet, if I couldn’t laugh, I’d have to go into hysteria. Then get a headache.

    I know it’s very tempting when we’re literally hiding behind our computer monitors, but I hope we can all temper our “facts” & opinions we leave on the net.

    And, as that great humanitarian of the last century once said, I parahrase: “people, can’t, can’t we just all get along!” Or, at least the 3some of WCGB, VH, & MG/MH. I wish we could all meet, eat & mediate at a Cafe! (Did this really all start over a man?)

    Ahem, I have more bad news. We are all sinners – at least I AM.
    –One canines opinion.

  9. The Real Zajac Says:

    Good to read from you again, Kelly. It is always a pleasure to read your “serious” posts. As for the joy of blogging, I see it has two parts: first, writing is a fun way to express ideas and work things out internally (art therapy?). Secondly, I like to share the contents of my brain with others and have been lucky enough to find a small audience on the internet. And you spent only four hours on this? I like to do marathon blogging sessions all night long, often setting aside pieces for another night’s work (I’ve literally spent weeks trying to hammer a post on illegal immigration together).

  10. frazgo Says:

    Nice post, and blogging is good for the soul in a cathartic kinda way. The hard part is remembering that trolls come in many forms and to not take them seriously when they raise their ugly head. This was a nice read.

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