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8 de Mayo, 2007

ALLIES is one letter away from ALIENS

Categorized under Blogando , Derechos Humanos | Tags:

ONE MORE METALICIOUS post referencing la unidad, allies, and blogando, and then I'm headed for algunos rayos de luz. I think, anyway, it will be a few days processing the recent post I wrote on us "Lefties" joining together for what I see as today's Civil Rights struggle—bringing humanity to the ALIENZ in our midst. Many thoughts, reactions, non-reactions, and growth happening. So we'll get to that soon.

Meanwhile, here's a look at Matt Stoller's post called "Building Power":

3) Complaining about how nobody cares about your pet issue: This is often a subset of whining about linking. Here's the real truth. It's not that nobody cares about your pet issue, it's that it's not a priority for most people. That's why it's your pet issue. You have to explain why your pet issue is worth prioritizing and how by doing so others can have an impact. Until you do, it remains your problem. Don't take it personally if people don't share your priorities. Instead, convince and lead the way.

Don't feel insulted by "the real truth," my friends. This is not, remember, a response to my post. Matt and Chris just happened to be "tag-teaming" in posts designed to remind us why they blog (including Whining Link-Thirsters just makes sense when talking about why one is blogging).

And if in doubt over the timing, how can we be sure that his post is not in any way a WHITEPROGRESSIVE responding poorly to the "gauntlet" that I threw down?

Easily. Because First Amendment rights are what we all care about here in the good ole U.S. of A.! Yup, even young, white, male vote-machine bloggers. And amplified police powers and disproportionate police force are something we are all wary of nowadays, I would hope—what with all the talk of authoritarianism and such. Reporters getting beat by riot cops for daring to report, getting bossed into their vans with the doors shut, well. If this is a "Pet Issue," then call me Lucky Nez, and drag me by my leash over to that crazy geezer on the corner with dog food in his pocket, pennies in his dixie cup, and his wind rattling through an old harmonica and in-between bursting huffs of a Martin Niemöller poem for spare change.

Now. I'm going to bring my plate of freshly-picked fruit out into the sun. Enjoy the clean air, and the bounties of the earth (another Pet Issue of mine). ¡Disfrute el dia!

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Comentarios (104)


Emily dijo:

GRVTR

Oh, Immigration and First Amendment Rights are SUCH cute little pet issues. I carry them around in the mall in a little tote bag and them put them in a pet carrier at night. If they start to bark or make a fuss, I hush them up as quickly as possible, lest anybody think I'm trying to boost my Technorati rank with my cute little oppression puppies!


kactus dijo:

GRVTR

Is there a medical term for what happens to eyes when they are rolled too quickly and too often? Can we call it Stoller-itis? Cuz I've got the itis really bad right now.

I don't bother with those folks. My first foray into blogs was with the big boyz, the way many people start, and I got slapped down for my "pet issue" almost immediately, and not politely. Nobody was even considerate enough to pretend to care about what I had to say.

I doubt we can ally with them. I don't see it happening. Once you've got power you want to keep it and when you're scrambling for power you'll step on every bowed back you see to get there.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

RUFF! RUFF RUFF!

my cynical and world-wise friends are being proven right left and right.


Phoenix Woman dijo:

GRVTR

Actually, if you count FDL, the Brad Blog, Indymedia, and the News Blog among the Big Boyz and Girlz, attention is being paid to the May 1 cop wildings -- and more's about to be paid to the underlying issues, as the anti-immigration forces are starting to ramp things up, as David Neiwert (who has been on the front lines of the anti-hater fight for many years now) has noticed. He spots the new racist themes as they're hatched.

As for why Markos Moulitsas Zuniga writes about what he does: Danged if I know. I guess that after about the seventy-fifth person telling you that you need to drop everything else to talk about nothing but biofuels, I can see why they're a little tetchy about people telling them how to run their own blogs, even when it's for a good cause. I wouldn't tell Nez how to run his, no matter how noble my cause was, because I'm sure I'd get more than a habanero in return. (By the way: Why is it that Gateway laptops don't allow for easy ASCII character insertion? Trying to put in accents and tildes is a pain. But I digress.)


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

kactus i think you are right. i'm beginning to come around. i dont think i need to "keep my eye" on some blogs i've been reading. i think it was just being habituated to my feed list as it began O so loooong ago.


Phoenix Woman dijo:

GRVTR

Speaking of Big Boyz, David Neiwert has another post on ICE that's worth your time: http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/05/hiding-our-shame.html


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

hi, yes, i did link your guest post, phoenix woman. i'm glad you got over there for that. i did link brad blog in my original post, as well. hmmm, i dont count "indymedia" as one of the "big liberal blogs" under discussion, no. but i link them sometimes as a source of reporting. thanks for linking dave.

but i think you see what i mean. as i said in my original post, "enduring" attention. (something like that). you point to a guest post paragraph or two in a cinco de mayo article, a google video in one post, and i'm glad to see it, i hope we see more and more and more. as far as dailykos at this point, it's not really a concern of mine. i pretty much have made my peace with what dailykos is, coo'.

i just want us all to recognize this issue for how fundamental it is, and even as rights apply to alienz. not just "legal" people. we cannot overlook only the "cop wildings" but how we come to such a place where that takes place, and how we all feel about it deep down, and how we are profiting from the lack of attention to it.

as for the rest of your secon paragraph, well, you are free to tell me "how to run my blog." if you feel strongly about something. i am free to disagree. as i always say, as long as a person speaks con el respeto.

did your comment go on the right post?


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

yes, a good article for sure. i appreciate you linking here. i do read him.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

ps phoenix woman, i know this post references the larger point, so i get your comments...it's mostly about the specific "pet issue" phrase i linked, tho.

i agree, dave sees it as you and i do.

(and that while cynicism is earned, so is optimism!)


Dead Inside dijo:

GRVTR

I feel like I'm being gas-lighted.


Donna Darko dijo:

GRVTR

Instead, convince and lead the way.

The problem is Matt wouldn't have read your piece if it wasn't on JG. They probably don't read poc blogs.

ALLIES is one letter away from ALIENS

Good one. I'll tell you what a pet issue is. White male issues. Because they are only 35% of the US population. You know, Chris just wrote a post asking if diversity is a progressive issue. Are they trying to get OUR attention?


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

wow..."is diversity a progressive issue"? that's great. that's almost rovian in its lingual and rhetorical nature. "is rainbow a luminant issue?"

as far as "convince and lead the way," if (hypothetically) that were said in response to a post that did it's very best to present—i.e., "lead the way"—to seeing and taking on the immigrant issue as a Liberal Mainstream or more importantly Human Rights issue, well, that would be like hearing a person knock on your door and replying "if you want to come in, knock on the door already!"

all i feel compelled to do in that particular arena is introduce the idea in a way that intelligent minds and open hearts might hear. i cannot open the hearts or change the mind.


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

Your pet issue must've been a piranha, 'cause you tore that post apart like fresh meat!

(/priceless creative one liner o' th' day)

I thought your post didn't just touch on the what people were blogging about, but also the how people are blogging about it. It's one thing to explore the issue of immigration in the spoonfed, soundbyted forms of mainstream media, with the coverage of trifling College Republican "be a racist jackass to immigrants" events and protesters screaming at the border patrol folks -- which are all parts of this debate. But it's another thing to give more than lip service to the fact that this is a HUGE civil rights issue and citizenship issue, malformed, shaped by racial insensitivity, misogyny, and xenophobia -- and by remaining oblivious to our violations of human rights on top of American rights, we won't put a dent in trying to resolve the problems forming. We're building an ideological wall around this issue and a lot of "progressive" people aren't doing very much to make the wall topple.

In other words...

Here's the real truth. It's not that nobody cares about your pet issue, it's that it's not a priority for most people.

This is the problem. Why isn't it a priority? What factors shape what becomes a priority of the blarghosphere and what festers untouched? Media blitz? Money? Ad clicks? And why aren't some large bloggers challenging the priorities instead of keeping up with the Kosses? Same reasons?


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

so well put, sylvia. thank you for that point of focus. you are right, that is part of what i was writing about. great splash of water.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

(and THE SUN IS AMAZING today!)


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

:-D Soak it up, 'mano! That brain of yours is sprouting flowers, wings, and all sorts of crazy cool shit lately!


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

wow i feel like a jimi hendrix poster.


Phoenix Woman dijo:

GRVTR

Jimi Hendrix poster? With the fake-velvet trim and the day-glo paint?

(I still wish I had the old Knack poster my brother sabotaged. He gave the lead singer/baby raper -- whose name I forget -- sinister day-glo eyes with a long tear running like yellow matter custard.)


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

DRIPPING FROM A DEAD DOG'S EYYYYYE


Deoridhe dijo:

GRVTR

This is the problem. Why isn't it a priority?

Y'know, I've been dwelling on this a bit, and I think part of it is a feeling of agency. Racism is huge; immigration is huge; both of them are integrat to our system of government and it well nigh depend on systematically disenfranchising other human beings. The USA wouldn't exist without racism and colonialism. I know I'm barely on the iceburg tip of how dependant every aspect of my life is one other people suffering and being taken advantage of, and even that iceburg tip is sometimes overwhelming.

Some of the defensiveness of white progressives is, I think, a realization that one's entire existence is supported on the backs of thousands of people one doesn't even know the names of. I was struck the other day, when buying my lettuce, with the sort of pained wondering of how many people's hands had touched this lettuce, how little were they paid, what trials had they undergone, how were they systematically disenfranchised and colonialized; and then comes the wave of how DARE I exist, draw sustinance even, from the suffering of other people? In what world is this even acceptable to me, as a liberal, to leech off the suffering of who knows how many people so that I can wrap my fried rice in lettuce and eat it for lunch?

And with the fried rice - I got it from a family restaurant, likely owned by immigrants, who were smilingly amazed when I ordered one of the traditional dishes once when I was in their restaurant. What did they give up to come to the US? How are they made to suffer while here, trying to do business? How many hours do they have to work to make a living? How well compensated are they? How many racist and classist assumptions do they have to shoulder while still smiling at me as I buy dinner for two for 20$?

It hurts, you know? Nothing even close to what any of the people who suffer for me hurts, but sometimes pretending I don't realize seems so attractive... even though I know that's the path of the bigot and the coward and the child, sometimes I long for when I couldn't see how my very existance is predicated on other people dying and hurting and being told they are less than human.

It's easy to identify something that is not oneself and suggest solutions, even up to the destruction of that something else. It's a lot harder to identify oneself as the problem and then contemplate one's own destruction as somehow rightious. Sometimes I really think the complicit silence of so many liberals is due to the fear that seeing the injustice in the world will demand some sort of huge, final act. That an awareness of the injustice will drive the just response of giving up yourself and your existance has demanded so many other people give up themselves, and their loved ones, and their cultures, and their effort, and their rights.

I hope this isn't read as an attempt to defend, even though on a certain level it likely is. My existence is, after all, a huge part of the problem. Lots of people could live on what I take for granted. And yet I am too greedy and self-indulgent to want to give any of it up. 8( DOesn't speak well for me as anything other than a hypocrite.

And so, I think people, specifically white liberals, turn a blind eye and hope there are no healers around. It IS a problem for everyone, but only some of us can simultaniously benefit from it and ignore the cost.


Pinky dijo:

GRVTR

I think in some ways it all comes back to the fact that WHITEPROGRESSIVEs, to talk about immigration, have to acknowledge their own perpetuation of white supremacy through "US democracy" as well as acknowledging the fact their ancestors helped eliminate millions of indigenous people in the US. Then they have to admit that the land so many people are saying is being "invaded" by those darned aliens was actually stolen from mexico and the indigenous folks in the US in the first place, and that they really have no right to be "anti-immigrant". Then they'd have to acknowledge that people of color also are entitled to human rights no matter what side of the "border" they are on (of course immigrants from Latin America aren't the only people in the US being denied human rights, but I digress).

Really, it's just too much thinking for us white people (as in me, not you, nez).


Dead Inside dijo:

GRVTR

Sylvia said: Why isn't it a priority?

David Neiwert pretty much sums it up in the Jesus' General comments:

And frankly, the more I've talked about immigration, the more traffic, and more especially my links for the real A-listers, has tapered off.

That speaks volumes. But David doesn't analyze this. Maybe it doesn't need any analysis. I don't think anyone here has to think very hard to understand why. What I was trying to say by saying I feel gas-lighted is that Nezua apologizing to David felt really wrong to me. I don't personally think Nezua needs to apologize to David for anything. I think David is reading Nezua's words through his own lens and while he has done some good, even great, work, I don't think even he would deny that he has his own perspective and that is informed by his whiteness -- the white lens -- that while it sounds like some huge monocle that we wear that can just be taken off, it isn't that simple at all. It's constantly re-inforced. It's embedded in our ocular nerve and not the kind of thing that can just be taken off.

I'm so upset at what is going on, I really don't know what to do with myself. Forgive me if I can't decompress by enjoying the sun or whatever, I just can't do that for reasons I don't want to go into because it derails things (but if you can, it's been told to me that it's a good thing). But fuck, this is why I can't be politically active anymore -- even to the extent of commenting on blogs -- because I get too involved and it becomes too personal and I can't put any perspective into it and the only thing I can do to save myself is disassociate even further which makes me even less useful than I might be if I was ever useful at all. Every time I write or even read about this, I'm killing a little bit more of myself. But I can't stop because it's too fucking important. I stop and I might as well just be dead anyway.

Something is severely wrong in all of this. I like David a lot and I appreciate his work, but he's not perfect. While his series on Eliminationism makes for a handy "get out of jail free" card, his series on Michelle Malkin, Unhinged: Unhonest contains this statement about why he doesn't call out the left for its intolerance:

And you know, I might speak out against these voices more often if I thought there was any likelihood I'd see conservatives similarly speaking out against their extremist and "unhinged" elements.

That's why you won't read anything on Orcinus examining what y'all (except Black Amazon because she's asked to be left out of this) have been writing and speaking about for ages. My understanding of the higher standard that Nezua is holding David to is this very thing that David has stated he will not do until the conservatives start doing it first.

And there is a real serious problem with that line of thinking. And I don't think I need to explain it to anyone because it's extremely obvious.

I don't even know what to say anymore. I'm certain what I'm saying is going to raise all sorts of shit and I'm deeply sorry about that. David, if this makes you angry, please don't get mad at Nezua or anyone else, get mad at me. You can ask Nezua for my email and send me a nasty letter if you need to do that, but please don't add to my messing up Nezua's place by trying to set the record straight here. Just denounce me as insane (I'm legally and clinically mentally ill, so that's not a problem) and go back to building your bridges.

Nezua, I'm sorry for stinking up your fine place with this, but this is how I feel about it and I'm very upset and discouraged and I feel a great injustice is being done to you and many others and I don't know how to stop it. This is my attempt and I'm sure it will backfire. I only hope that it will not backfire on you because you don't deserve it. I'm the one to blame for saying this.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

no, no, no. you both left very powerful comments. thank you both for those.

it's okay, DI. i understand. i am like you. i feel everything very very intensely and get very upset.

i apologized because i don't want to fight him and it's not about him, and if i missed some posts, then i should have included them. and i don't want the thread to become about whether dave is a bad person, of course he's not. but i guess the thread will go where it will anyway. if people want a way to negate the implications of the post, they will! i cannot argue them out of that. the larger points remain for those who wish to see them.


Nanette dijo:

GRVTR

I've been over there in a couple of threads (not this particular one of Stoller's, though), making small points. I, personally, think that this sudden refocusing on "diversity in the blogosphere" is partially an attempt to preempt, and pre spin away, the coming results of the blog ads survey which this year includes race as a survey choice. For the first time, I believe.

Well, and also (in my cynical way) I think it's an effort to increase ad and market share as, with the traffic numbers of the white progressive sites trending down and the discovery of the PEW reports showing that, yes indeed, there ARE lots of people of color online, many of whom are interested in politics and so on, the prior strategy of mainly targeting white, upper income males and pushing out others (in one way or another) is not looking so smart in the long run.

Me, I'm making sure they know that there are vibrant, progressive, political, academic, multicultural blog communities out there, run by people of color who have no real interest anymore (if they ever did) in joining the white progressive communities, except maybe as expert guest posters or something.

Anyway, I've put no links yet (I even removed my site from my signature) cuz I knew part of the set "OMG, shut down the colored folks!" strategy and game they all play is to state outright, or imply, that "they just want attention" or "they are whining about not being linked" and so on - as evidenced by Stoller's post (which I do think was in reaction to yours - and the attention it's getting). Well, when they are not furrowing their brows and implying that the reason there are not more people of color posting on the white sites is that many are too intimidated, poor, and illiterate to work a blog and "we must work together to do something about that - because We Care.", that is.

Sigh, I am already tired of these people (where, oh where has my patience for this stuff gone?), but I think some folks are having their eyes opened as to just who and what their "progressive movement" consists of and I think will be ready to take baby steps and venture out to see what some in the colorsphere are doing and saying.

We'll see!


Nanette dijo:

GRVTR

DI, I am just catching up on your comments... well, and everyone's and the posts and so on in various places... and I, for one, have been appreciating them very much.


Deoridhe dijo:

GRVTR

Dead Inside: Take care of yourself, ok? I'm probably being presumptious, but... people are valuable, even when they screw up, or don't like themselves, or are mentally ill. You're valuable, even when you can't figure out how to say anything, or worry you'll screw things up, or say things the wrong way.

You are valuable and worth taking care of, so please, take care of yourself.


myrna melgar dijo:

GRVTR

I've gotta admit that after the Mayday marches last year, when almost none of the "big guys or gals" Truthout, Kos, FDL etc wrote much about them, I went through a few days of dolor de panza - kinda feeling like when Sojourner Truth said to those white feminists - "ain't I a woman?" - like aren't WE part of this movement? It begs the question, really, is there a movement in the US? Have we really not progressed beyond the same paralyzing issues of race and class that stagnated the labor movement after WWII? Is the women’s movement really so obsessed with the individual rights of women that we have forgotten about the rights of poor working women (presently so brown) as a class? I mean those women who take care of rich white women’s children, clean hotel rooms, pick strawberries, wash the dishes, and clean up after everyone else’s messes…

And the mainstream white environmental movement, obsessed in its narcissistic, xenophobic protectionism which sees our passage to the north and our fertility as a threat to combat – and completely misses the bigger picture: the one about corporate domination of the world’s resources, including the exploitation of the third world’s labor force as the real demon in the picture.

And the anti-war movement? While the Pentagon spends millions to recruit poor Latino children out of under-funded, violence ridden, decaying public high schools and send them off to die, the anti-war movement could barely muster as many bodies and anger against this insane war as those in Los Angeles on May day last year....Dolor de panza for sure,

But the Pepto Bismol for me was this realization: It doesn't matter whether or not they think diversity is a pet issue - because we're taking over the movement anyway. Just by the sheer force of our numbers, through immigration AND fertility, we're going to take it over. And the labor movement, and the environmentalist movement, and the feminist movements and all the other self-defined fragmented parts of the American left, shrinking and aging will realize that as an issue of survival, the movement will be revitalized only through the life energy of the young, because WE are the working class. It is WE brown masses who will be defining the movement, and despite our present lack of representation and resources our numbers alone will set the agenda for social progress.

Let's get to work....


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR
Just denounce me as insane (I'm legally and clinically mentally ill, so that's not a problem)

and

I'm probably being presumptious, but... people are valuable, even when they screw up...

just my take (and kindness is good, i'm all for making sure someone is okay): i felt DI's quote as empowering, as preempting any sort of derogatory comment (perhaps chosen to reference a bundle of previously-heard reactions) that might come in response, and also shrugging off the value of ad hominem attacks in general or labels used to invalidate a valid point.

that's just how i saw it. but i agree, if anyone at all needs to back off any drama, I sure would be one who understood.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR
But the Pepto Bismol for me was this realization: It doesn't matter whether or not they think diversity is a pet issue - because we're taking over the movement anyway.

yes. thank you. i'm understanding. with my post, with the comments that ensue, the posts that ensue, with words like yours. of course, its true. in ideal, we all need each other, as i said in the post. but in practical matters, we cannot allow ourselves to rely on anyone else to care about these things as much as they should be cared about. that's la dura verdad. it is us.


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

DI, I've been in a similar emotional predicament as you're in; stay strong and do what you need to do to keep yourself at equilibrium. If you need distance, do distance; if you need to talk, you have an audience here who supports you. Just take care of yourself. You're definitely valuable, like Deoridhe says, and we want you to feel appreciated, loved, and welcome. 'Cause you are.


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Nez, as one of your cynical world-weary blogmigos (oh, and hi Nanette!), I was just waiting for the phrase "pet issue" to come up. Ha! I'm with Sylvia: it's not just about whether or not "big blogs" (yuck) talk about immigration as part of Democratic Party electoral politics; it's about how the discussion is framed; it's about immigrant voices, brown voices, brown perspectives and frameworks of thought and language, not only being academically addressed but being genuinely seen as fully equal human beings and involved within the circle of American discourse. When "big blogs" address the "pet issues" of people of color and/or immigrants, it's invariably framed as a show of enlightened WHITEPROGRESSIVE virtue for which THEY (we) should be grateful. And any reasoned or nuanced critique from brown folks inevitably leads to dismissive defensive privilege-soaked huffiness about how misguided people of color are for "attacking their own progressive allies instead of the real conservative enemy", often accompanied by lots of personal history establishing racial virtue, or even angry demands for deferential gratitude and bloated accusations of envy and so forth. So it goes. One way or another, I say brown folks are on the move, with whomever wants to come along.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

well, i'm doing what i have to, and you help by being you and bringing your experience. thanks, man. for real.


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Nez, yeah it seems to me that you're doing a helluva lot more than you have to; you're kickin serious ass round here! Here's to that! *clink*


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

*clink*
::sunshine glint off rim of bottle::


NLinStPaul dijo:

GRVTR

In response to Stoller's comment, whenever I hear a word like "priority" I think "heirarchy" - and know that the whole discussion is being framed in the wrong way. Riane Eisler, in her book "The Chalice and the Blade" explores the time prior to the establishment of Judaism and Islam, when archeology shows our Western cultures were based on partnership rather than dominance and heirarchy. I think there is a lot of wisdom in this kind of thinking.

Nezua, I hope you continue to explore the "nexus" you posted about previously. I'd love to join in more of that kind of discussion and think it is an example of the kind of partnership approach that we need to develop as an alternative to priorities, dominance and heirarchies.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

thank you, yes. i will think further on that, am turning it over, seeing where it leads me. i appreciate your feedback.


Nanette dijo:

GRVTR

Hi Kai! I want to visit China... a stay in a Buddhist nunnery sounds really good right about now.

So it goes. One way or another, I say brown folks are on the move, with whomever wants to come along.

Absolutely. My feeling as well - different from before, too.


Heraclitus (Jeff) dijo:

GRVTR

Damn, Nez, this place is hopping these days. And I'm afraid I'm not spending nearly enough time on blogs to completely figure out why, but I'm glad there's so much invovlement here. As for this post--I don't and haven't read any of the "big blogs" you're discussing, so I don't really have opinions about them as individuals or individual bloggers, but as far as the type goes--I think you've pretty much captured it with the WHITEPROGRESSIVE thing. It's an identity, a brand, almost a shtick. They can't admit that there's an important civil/human rights struggle going on out there that they've been largely blind to or silent about, because that destroys their whole brand. So instead, the routine dehumanization and intimidation of literally millions of undocumented workers (and, hell, millions of citizens) by the full force of the police apparatus and media culture of the most powerful nation on earth becomes "a pet issue." An ever-widening and intensifying excrescence of blatant race hate and paranoia mongering becomes something about which people are "whining."

A lot of this has been addressed before, and probably with more insight and information than I can offer. But obviously a lot of blogs have become co-opted or taken over by or assimilated to the whole dynamic/power structure of media and political power and influence they supposedly challenge. Prestige and, in some cases, money drive the whole process, along with "access" to various mid-level Democratic apparatchiks and hacks. But I think part of the solution is not to hope that WHITEPROGRESSIVES are going to be swayed by the purely ethical or moral arguments, but maybe move instead to show people what complete and utter bullshit their ideas about illegal immigration are. The whole idea that immigrants are somehow a "drain" on "our" "system" (seriously, is there a single word or concept in the entirely of the usual framing or articulation of the "debate" about immigration that isn't completely soaked in horseshit?) when in fact they're essential to the functioning of "our" economy, and really comprise almost the entirety of entire industries--that needs to be made more well-known. I think an argument about fairness will appeal to a lot more people, people who don't necessarily play progressives on teh internets. How exactly these ideas are arguments get wider circulation, I don't know (I tried to do a little of it here ).

The other pragmatic key, in my, again not especially well-informed, opinion is to push for some kind of amnesty, however partial or unjust. I don't know if you saw that amusing film shot by Max Blumenthal at CPAC, but a Tancredo supporter himself said that "one more amnesty" would mean the end of their political movement.

On the other hand, there's my nightmare scenario, which I find debilitatingly depressing. A constant process of "raids" and deportations undertaken by an increasingly blatantly racist state, operating secure in teh knowledge that there will always be more immigrants crossing into the country. Endless supply and endless demand for racist, repressive barbarism, which would no doubt spread like a cancer through American society and politics. Imagine a future where, as you prepare for monsoon season in MN, you feel nostalgia for Karl Rove.

But, seriously, dude, let's get back to teh important question--who do you think the netroots should support in Nevada's 14th district's primaries in 2008?


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

But, seriously, dude, let's get back to teh important question--who do you think the netroots should support in Nevada's 14th district's primaries in 2008?

Are you sure you haven't been reading any of the big blogs, MyDD in particular?


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

Listen up, DI. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, that includes you! Sometimes I just want to reach through the monitor and give you a hug and say, "You are human too!" because I wonder if you think you are not. Besides, I'm being a little self serving, I hope this makes you post comments more, because I do like to hear what you have to say.

I'm loving this thread. The post and the comments are all RAWKIN'!


Donna Darko dijo:

GRVTR

Here were the offending posts

A Quick Note On Diversity In the Blogosphere http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/5/6/155916/3680

More On Diversity: Blogging Is A Niche
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/5/7/41255/24436

Diversity and the Blogosphere: Practical Difficulties
http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/5/7/173615/3450

in which he says progressive blogging is a niche and not every kind of person can do it. To which someone replied, Blacks Don't Play Golf Either.


Donna Darko dijo:

GRVTR

Donna, he was kidding.

And then some wiseass said, keep up the modern Jim Crow rhetoric.


Heraclitus (Jeff) dijo:

GRVTR

I do read some big blogs, Donna (I read Pandagon and Feministe daily, for instance, and I believe they're both big by most people's standards). But I don't read most of (all?) the blogs that have been mentioned in this discussion, and don't want to seem to be attacking anyone whom I don't actually read. I'm not sure who I'm making fun of with that comment. But I do know that there's star-fucking aplenty in the blogosphere, and that there's a whole class of blogs that are primarily, maybe exclusively, dedicated to that.


Jennifer Cascadia dijo:

GRVTR

I don't really understand much of the larger context of some of these articles you write, but idea that everybody is susceptible to logic, if only the argument is properly constructed and with good intentions, is surely the oldest myth in the right wing handbook.


Pat Logan dijo:

GRVTR

It's interesting how politics is the same all over.

Seems to me from the cursory reading I've done (as a white, conservative/centrist, has-little-clue-what-'progressive'-means sort of person) that there's three groups here:

-the 'big guys', with paid staff
-the 'large blogs', volunteer run, usually a group
-the 'little blogs', some person writing about their passion

The first is almost like a media outlet. The second is more like a club. The third is some person doing the best they can. These three groups have different agendas and different responsibilities to themselves and their readers.

I read DI's comments and I understand where she's coming from. There's only so much you can process/channel/whatever before you become unable to function/go to work/feed your kids. Sort of like caregiver fatigue or burnout. BTDT.

The 'big guys', however, (and to some extent, the 'large blogs') have others that can slack them, so that's not the issue. It almost sounds like they bit off more than they can chew. Atlas, Archimedes and the like.

There are so many issues with America that I don't think any one blog (certainly not the 'little' ones) can deal with all of them and retain sanity. And there seems to be disagreement on which are 'the really big important ones' and which ones are 'pet issues'. Yikes. Talk about bad choice of words there.

It sounds like Nezua's post stirred up a lot of feelings and discussions, which in themselves are good things, because if you don't talk about something it won't get fixed. Remembering that even though someone doesn't say things exactly like you would or think exactly like you do doesn't necessarily mean they're malicious. Maybe uninformed, or having a bad day, or said something without thinking.

But I'm looking at this from the outside. There may be other things I don't understand about this. I'm sure you all will enlighten me.


Donna Darko dijo:

GRVTR

Jeff, you were kidding here

But, seriously, dude, let's get back to teh important question--who do you think the netroots should support in Nevada's 14th district's primaries in 2008?

Nanette, that's sad:

Well, and also (in my cynical way) I think it's an effort to increase ad and market share as, with the traffic numbers of the white progressive sites trending down and the discovery of the PEW reports showing that, yes indeed, there ARE lots of people of color online, many of whom are interested in politics and so on, the prior strategy of mainly targeting white, upper income males and pushing out others (in one way or another) is not looking so smart in the long run.


David Neiwert dijo:

GRVTR

Sylvia:

"I don't think even he would deny that he has his own perspective and that is informed by his whiteness -- the white lens -- that while it sounds like some huge monocle that we wear that can just be taken off, it isn't that simple at all."

Spot on. People sometimes forget that my primary approach to these issues comes out of confronting white supremacists, largely because of my personal background in Idaho and Montana. I come from southern Idaho where there was one black kid and one Jew in our class; I knew about Native Americans who lived on the reservation nearby, but I never met any until I was in college. So my personal background in dealing with minorities is very limited.

I've also tried to take stock of the limitations on my viewpoint imposed by my whiteness, and to come to terms with what it has actually meant. In my case, for instance, I explored my family history enough to figure out that one of my great-grandfathers (on the Mormon side) was one of the land-grabbers who partook in the unilateral theft of Shoshone-Bannock reservation lands in 1902. That means, naturally, that some of my own personal social advantages -- I'm not from a wealthy family by any means, but solidly middle class, upgraded from working class -- were a product of this theft.

Now, obviously, there isn't a lot I can do about it now. The land has long since passed -- I discovered this, incidentally, while I was working as a reporter on the Sho-Ban reservation in the 1980s. I worked on three different reservations over the course of my reporting career (Sho-Ban, Nez Perce, and Flathead) and came away with an abiding respect for tribal issues.

One of the things I took out of that experience was a thirst for exploring the historical background of racial issues (which in the case of Native Americans is something really quite profound), partly because I understood firsthand, from my experience on the res, that understanding that history and coming to terms with it is absolutely essential for coming to grips with the here and now. Knowing how we got here is the first step in figuring out how we get to where we need to be.

So my own white lens, as it were, is perhaps reflected in the resulting perspective -- namely, that it is fruitless to pass on the sins of the grandfathers, as it were, but that doesn't let those of us who benefited from their behavior off the hook, either. It's contingent on us, I believe, to try to make it right, and to do so in good faith.

Unfortunately, not a lot of racial bridge-building actually is done in good faith, mainly because so many white folks remain so ignorant of why they got where they are. I keep harping on the "Sundown Towns" phenomenon because whites are so prone to dismissing the continuing residential racial segregation of America as somehow "natural" when it is in fact the end product of a systematic program of eradication, one whose legacy has never been overcome largely because we are so purposefully ignorant of it. And that's only a small piece of the larger puzzle, but a telling example.

So anyway, this is why I get flabbergasted at anyone suggesting that somehow I represent the left blogosphere on racial issues because what I do is such a narrow aspect of the racial puzzle. And the voices of people of color have to be part of that. But really, I'm just a guy working out of his garage who is doing the best he can, and I recognize I may not always have it right. But burdening me with being the face of white progressives on race just doesn't fit.

Incidentally, I think you are misreading what I was saying about criticizing ugly behavior on the left. I'm just not gonna attack somebody for using foul language, which is not my style, against the likes of Michelle Malkin, who likes to whine about "unhinged" behavior from the left -- not until I see righties criticize their own far right flank for the same behavior and worse. I have no compunction about criticizing (and in fact frequently do) folks on the left who engage in racist or anti-Semitic talk. This may be another reason I'm not all that popular, despite your perceptions that I am.

What really stepped on my sensitive nerve was the charge that I am "safe." Maybe being white and discussing race makes me safe, I dunno. But believe me, it has never felt particularly safe, doing what I do; you're talking to someone who winds up on neo-Nazi hit lists. I've also become something of a pariah professionally for what I write -- and yes, I think quite a bit about the ramifications of my gradual decline in popularity relative to my increasing emphasis on immigration.

A lot of it has to do with the overwhelming whiteness of the blogosphere -- but how can you address that without putting everyone on the defensive and alienating everyone in sight? (I think this was the thrust of Nez's post, and it was also spot on.) Besides, who the hell am I to point that out? Another white guy? Right!

Moreover, a chunk of my psyche avoids self-aggrandizement and whining -- and a good way to be perceived as doing either is to start complaining that no one links to you. So I just keep trying to make the best case I can by doing the best work I can. I'm more interested in actually influencing people than I am in shaming them into action, because the latter never works.


Heraclitus (Jeff) dijo:

GRVTR

Yes, Donna Darko, I was definitely kidding. I just skimmed those MyDD posts, but I don't agree wtih the idea that Nez's post was about "diversity." I think he's largely right that the treatment of immigrants is a human rights issue, not some marginal topic of interest or importance only to a particular ethnic group. I think "diversity" rather misses the point.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

DD, I knew that heraclitus was joking, I was too. It's just that MyDD fits that joke so well, come election time they will be covering just about every single electoral district race out there.

David, covering race isn't a safe subject, so that isn't what was meant. Any one of us can tell you about the harrassment, intimidation, and threats we have personally received or know about from other bloggers who received them because of covering the topic of race. What was meant is that others will feel safe from criticism from you, not that you will be safe from criticism or worse from others. After reading those posts last night though, I am wrong about that, you aren't especially safe as a writer. I really appreciate that.


Zaecus dijo:

GRVTR

If this is a pet issue, what's the workhorse? All things considered, I can't stand having a pet elephant in the room.

Unfortunately, for me, the post by guyaneseterror is written in code. I am not criticizing. It's just that since it took me longer to work through it than "The True Front of Progressivism" and it's so short, I'm concerned whether my difficulty understanding it is a WHITE LENS issue or a brain wiring one.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

hi dave.

i agree that you are not the "face of white progressives on race." and all your objections stand here as a reflection of your take on it.

i agree, you are not obligated to post about anything at any rate. that's true. i wouldn't want anyone imposing that on me.

also, i didn't mean to say you didn't do dangerous work. i understand you put yourself at risk. the straw-mannish line of thinking where i wrote "my friends would tell me" (regarding the safe face to go to) is taken from discussions i have with my (brown) friends on these things and related issues. i am often learning, hashing these things out, seeing how i think about it, remembering some things i've said or been told. this post was very talky, self-talky. (perhaps too much!)

and i hear you on whining! after i read my post i laughed, thinking "man that doesn't sound like i'm campaigning to be linked, does it?" and it sort of does, i agree. i hate that about it now. it's counterproductive, if it feels that way. now people won't link me even if they were gonna! oh well. because i wasn't writing the content hoping for links, i dont' really care if i've blown them either.

you know, the post was me musing on a few things. the LA stormtrooper routine really upset me. and then it just seemed egregious to me that something so...insane as this new style of policing and media suppression, so unamerican wouldn't make much ripple on these sites that have this whole American, "progressive" "intelligent" and "conscientious" view going on. but after thinking on this and reading people, i've come to the conclusion that i'm naïve a bit on this. because it's true, there are many blogs taking part in many different things that are on the "left." (but what is "left" these days"? next to the "Right" which equals absolute madness and radicalness, everything under the sun is left.) i was buying into the "Left" being somehow collectively interested in an overall, overreaching desire/mission of justice or fairness or equality...or broad "liberal" values for all. (i know, quite romantic) and I think after the May Day event, I saw that this was more ideal than actuality. and thus, I did what Matt Stoller just said, I "led the way." by writing a post from a place where i proposed an idea that could enjoin us on the issue. make that overall, overreaching "Left" mission of liberty, fairness for all, an actuality instead of just ideal. again, i know the post wandered, but i hope despite my imperfect presentation, this came through.

in the end, i'm happy with the confrontational tone, but i'm not happy that you feel i'm confronting you. i think i could have made my most important points fine without you being so prominent in my post. negative or positively. because i would avoid that which distracts unduly. but i was just writing out my thoughts. unfortunately, there are enough in there that the throughline is sometimes up for interpretation, and even the wrong interpretation, it seems. but we learn. the post was actually written in a sort of "French" method of narration, wandering and writing as i went, speaking my thought process out loud. rather than my usual method of doing this successive sweep of edits that clean and tighten and corral. perhaps on further edits, the names would have been removed and only the ideas would have been left. often placeholders disappear as i edit. sometimes names or identifiable characters are placeholders by the time i'm done. i suspect that might have made this post clearer.

i can't agree that i set out to shame anyone into action, because i agree with you, that would not work. i was expressing thoughts and feelings and ideas important to me...wandering around, as i said. i still think some of those ideas are important. and just as you could not hope to be nor want to be the end-all be all on race, neither can my word be the end-all be all on the Left, or Liberals, on you, or anything, really! so i hope i've corrected any incorrect or misstated facts to your satisfaction; that you can otherwise ignore my words where they go astray, and that you can take away those that work for you.

thanks for stopping by with your thoughts.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

Zaecus, BlackAmazon has dyslexia, so she sometimes transposes letters/spacing in her words. She is also a genius so it's well worth the effort to "decode" the transposed letters.


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Nez, well it was quite clear to me as I read your post that you were employing a certain free-wheeling feeling-centered style of prose, organized more by imagery and emotion rather than by formal logic or literalism. I know you don't care about who does or doesn't link you, and that you wouldn't tell anyone what subjects to write or not write about; but you named names in order to make concrete a pattern and a phenomenon which was eating at your gut in the visceral aftermath of violence unleashed by the police state upon your herman@s.

Now it's true that I'm pretty familiar with your writing at this point, which probably helps; but honestly, I don't think it takes an overly astute reader to get all this. Indeed you'll notice that your brown blogmig@s have had no problem figuring all this out. The misinterpretations of your post as "whining" or "shaming" are quite clearly coming from white folks; which makes this another instance where we're having some sort of cultural disconnect; and the framework which is assumed to be the Most Authorative And Valid is once again the White Male Framework, which all of us must accommodate lest we be seen as hysterical inarticulate uncouth primitives. Tender bourgeois sensibilities require certain parlor manners in order to engage white folks in civil chit-chat about white supremacy and racist violence.

Part of the problem is that white folks tend not to worry about police violence directed at them (whereas, for example, I've gotten facefuls of tear gas and had my life threatened with explicitly racist language by both the NYPD and LAPD). White folks tend not to worry about getting deported, or unjustly detained and separated from their lives and families, and perhaps even tortured and lost in legal limbo for years. So we're just not on the same wavelength here about our "pet issues" (i.e. our lives as people of color). Most white folks just can't imagine what it's like to go through life as a person of color in a white supremacist society; and they usually think it's up to us to educate them (at their convenience) by figuring out not only what's going on in our worlds (in rigorous analytical terms approved by our white institutions of learning), but also properly grasping their wavelength and their cultural-linguistic political-philosophical framework and making all the appropriate connections between our realities and theirs, touching all the right social cues and striking the right discursive tone.

Okay so I might be exaggerating a little in order to make my point. But I do find it ironic that your post was, as I saw it, largely about challenging white folks to de-center their whiteness; but in order for your points to be understood, we must re-center whiteness in this conversation. Because when we de-center whiteness, as Heraclitus points out, the WHITEPROGRESSIVE shtick gets broken; suddenly WHITEPROGRESSIVES look like the OVERSENSITIVES with all their whining about how we're not nice to them and don't care about their pet issues, while the lives and histories of people of color, and especially women of color, acquire centrality and value and meaning.

Now I deeply respect and admire David Neiwert's work (and would actually like to take this opportunity to thank him for Strawberry Days), and I think it's nice that he stopped in here with a largely positive word (btw how come when prominent white male bloggers come here, they always engage Sylvia? lol). But I think he's making too big a deal about this "safe" thing. First of all, he's conflating two usages of the word: (1) writings on race which are palatable to a white audience; and (2) being personally subject to physical harm by hate groups. When it comes to the former usage, it's simply true; Neiwert's writings are clearly palatable to a white progressive audience. Regarding the latter, well, sorry David, among people of color you don't get a cookie for being a target of racist hate groups, because every single one of us has been on their hit lists since birth, not because of any choices we've made but by our mere existence; and trust me, we tend to be a lot easier to identify in the street than even the boldest white anti-racist. Most of us are personally familiar with racist violence. And if being singled out by Nez and being called "safe" makes Neiwert "fucking furious" (as he put it at JG) and gives him carte blanche to let loose a tirade or two before calming down and engaging The Brown in a positive way, then don't all of us people of color deserve some leeway to vent as well, seeing that we've been under the gun of white supremacy every day of our lives?

Well I think I'll get off my high horse now. Just a few thoughts for your kind consideration. ;-)

Peace.



Zaecus dijo:

GRVTR

Donna,

Thank you. My best friend is dyslexic so the transposition was not unfamiliar to me. Since it may not have been clear, the brain wiring I was referring to was my own. I'm autistic so certain styles and aspects of communication can be harder for me to interpret or have different levels of importance for me than might be typically expected. I will go back and read it again once I've had the chance to rest.

I should know by now not to try and read/respond on some things while tired! :-)


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

Actually, I think David's response here was more to Dead Inside's comment than it was a response to mine.

As for the rest, I'm pretty much in agreement with Kai on this issue.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

Kai I always appreciate your views on this. I write my stuff pretty much on instinct. And it is funny how the divide of "who gets it" and who does not always falls on those lines, eh? And it is not accidental that Whiteness must always be centered in these discussions. That is the natural order. You outline it clearly.

When the inevitable barrage and resistance to my articles comes at me from the white MSM, i'm never entirely sure the makeup of what is getting people mad. How much is resistance to points that strike deep, and how much is valid. You, BA, others have more experience finding certain dynamics and you do see them—plus you're outside of my process. When the flak all comes at me at once and once I'm done writing, I just figure those who wont get it wont, those who will, will. After the fact, I'm not so much ever into "convincing" people of what I want them to read into it. I just want to write my pieces. LIke drawings, I don't want to talk about them after. Songs, I don't want to parse "what they mean" or "the message" after. I've never been like that. With words, you are asked to. But I am not inspired by explaining, just the making. I stumble through defending and explaining. I wish I just had a Kai-Check I could run on them, and I would send them the printout and leave it be at that. Write a script, bro. I'd buy it.

(btw how come when prominent white male bloggers come here, they always engage Sylvia? lol)

now that's one thing that did strike me. what is that, eh? it is a pattern so far. when i finally got down to dave's digs at me in the last paragraph (whining, aggrandizing, i'm shaming/he's influencing, etc), they jumped out at me and i thought how it was rather disengenuous to talk calmly, civilly, humbly, and apparently to "sylvia" (you're right sylvia, they were DI's points, but he named you atop the comment) for paragraphs on end—and then right at the end leave a carom shot for Nez to ingest.

That, Mister Neiwert, is what we mean by being "safe."


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

Zaecus, My oldest son has an autistic spectrum disorder, hyperlexia PDD/NOS, so I know what you mean about some communication being difficult. He probably reads on a 12th grade level or higher but his spelling is more at the 4th grade level (he's a high school freshman). He also has an unusual way of thinking, that comes out in the way he phrases things, that I love. I mentioned one of those here awhile back when instead of saying he wants to learn Spanish, he said he wants to speak beautiful, like a Mexican.

Kai, I don't think it was exaggerating, you described what liberalrob said to a T! He did expect us to go around from A-list blog to A-list blog teaching the white folks (that is exactly what we were already doing at JG, that he disagreed with! Sheesh!) but we were doing it at the wrong time, or in the wrong way, with the wrong tone, etc. So yes, he was narrowly defining what we can and can not do, and recommending that we take a deferential and understanding attitude towards whites, who really don't give a crap about our little problems, they have REAL problems, you see, but maybe they will give us a moment if we are persistent and remember to genuflect between every other word. After that all I could think is, this guy thinks this is all we have time for, teaching white people who really don't care. He has no idea that it is an impossible task and a fools errand.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

Um guys, I think you are wrong about that last paragraph being about Nezua, I think it's about David. The paragraph before it is about his waning readership and following the train of thought, he was considering complaining about it, but decided not to, because it would come off as self-aggrandizement and whining. He is also explaining what he decided to do about it.

I had to go re-read it because when I read your comments I was like, "What are you talking about???" I didn't remember him pointing any fingers at Nez. I know it could be read as saying, I would do it this way (not the way that Nezua did it), but since he isn't one of the people at JG saying that we are whiners without a leg to stand on, and in fact agreed with Nezua's post with the exception of calling him "safe", I think you might be misinterpreting what he is saying.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

yes, its "about" david, and it's "about" me too. this is a small argument i'm not really too interested in hashing out too far. but for my part, i know a carom shot when i read/hear/see it, and the whole "shaming people" rather than "influencing them" line is one. intentional or otherwise or working in confluence with other purposes meant for the words, that is what is called a "carom shot," as i learned years ago in my time in T.C.'s. (therapeutic communities). if you want me to parse it further, a Carom Shot is a passive/aggressive tool where a person says one thing to someone through an apparent statement to someone else, and it is used as a passive/aggressive tool because it requires less or no direct confrontation. we can argue on this, but that would be like white people arguing brown on racial argument dynamics. this is a very often used tactic among many who chose methods other than direct confrontation, it is a technique employed by all races, and accepted by many as accidental, but recognizable when you know what to look for. my view on it.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

I know what you are talking about, and I actually use that jokingly all the time, while saying to my husband, "I wouldn't have eaten all the oreos," *steals a glance at my son*, "leaving everyone else to starve..."

I also know an asshole online who uses that one all the time. She describes situations without naming names so that you know exactly who she is talking about, but if that person complains, she acts all innocent and says she named no one so it is on the other person for "owning" her words; or she makes a general indictment that might be dozens of people and the same thing happens, they ask if she means them, and she says, "I named no one, if you see yourself then you have owned the description."

I just didn't read it that way and I do usually pick up on it. I guess because I don't think that David thought that you were shaming anyone with that post, but I might be wrong. We'll just have to see what David has to say about it and leave it at that.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

yes, donna. you describe a couple good instances of the Carom Shot. the first is humorous and intended and understood by all. in the second, it becomes tough because perhaps the author was just musing on some points, and you did take parts personally that were not implemented as carom shots. how, indeed, could you decide which is which? you cannot. and not everything that hits our belly out there is a Carom Shot, right?

but here, the exchange is very specific and occurs within and following a framework of reference and identities established in my first post.

if we want to parse the graf in question even further (i see you do, you hungry mind!) i offer this: what standard possibly exists when using a comparison that involves Dave's method of blogging (the basis of his comparing methodologies/entities in this instance, "influencing/shaming") with an unnamed entity—aside from my post (and manner of posting)? "I'm more interested in actually ----- than I am in ----"? okay, one could offer the Abstract Dave—the Not-Dave entity—is being used to fill that ratio, but why relate this to me and in my blog, after the previous post and conversation? and thus it is indisputably a Carom Shot, your honor! i rest my case.

anyway. meta meta meta.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

Actually you could say that I am using the carom shot too, since I didn't name her, but like her in the first example, I am/she isn't all that sly or careful about who we mean, which is the usual case with carom shots. That plausible deniability isn't really there like it almost always is. I'm sure some here know exactly who I mean and if I thought it would move the conversation forward at all, I would name her, or if she came here and accused me of talking about her, I'd answer, "Yep." I wouldn't pull her "you owned it" bullshit to make her take responsibility for my words. The reason why I know it is a carom shot when she does it is because she does it so often. When there is a pattern you know what is going on.

I could also be accused of using the carom shot with Stella at JG's. I actually know nothing about her or how she teaches, but I did say things like, I wouldn't do it this way, I would do it that way instead. She could easily read into it that I am saying that she is doing it the wrong way and I am telling her to do it another. I wasn't, I had no idea which way she was teaching, or if she was doing something completely different than any of my scenarios. But she did get defensive and tell me that I have no idea about her teaching style with regard to poverty, so that tells me that she thinks I pulled the carom shot. Actually is it a carom shot if you are talking directly to someone but pretending that you don't mean them? That is obviously what she thought I was doing.

The thing is, we do use something similar in discussion of race that isn't a carom shot. Remember when Sunrunner was defending Greenwald? She was defensive about what we were saying, even though we weren't talking about her, or people like her. We had to tell her that, if she isn't like our description, then she shouldn't identify with people in the description. That is telling her not to "own it". This is a huge problem discussing race, because if you describe anything that some white people do, there are always those who immediately identify with "some white people" and are quick to say things like, Do you mean me? I'm really not like that. Give me a chance! You're mean to say things like that about us without knowing us! etc.

I think the difference is that there is a certain level of disingenuity and dishonesty with those using the carom shot. But they know the dynamics and use that plausible deniability and passive/aggressive head games to make their target take responsibility for their words.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

Back to my comment to Kai and how his description was on the money. I just read this in comments at my site from BFP:

"for me, donna, I think the hardest thing is knowing that nobody cares just because--you have to get really fucking angry before people will go, ooh, maybe I need to post something on my own blog about this. a while back, when i was going through a really bad depression, I realized at that point and time, I just didn't have the energy to fight with these people any more.It was on that post about the bedford raids where right away, people got on my case about, "you don't have to be like that". I just didn't have the heart or the energy to fight with them. it's like, when there's a space where they could really help--where they could help and not position us all the eternal victim--they just can't do it. They won't pay attention if you're not angry, but if you're angry, then they'd rather fight with you than do anything about what's going on (BA also had this with her sophia c. feminism thing). It's exhausting."

Yes, they narrowly define what you can and can't do and say, until you can do nothing without being criticized and wrong for not getting with the program and being concerned with white centered issues. If you are kind and gentle, you are ignored. If you get in their face, they might do something, but mostly they'll tell you "you don't have to be like that". I'd like to hear our friend liberalrob's prescription for this. I bet he's got all kinds of totally useless ideas.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

yes. it is an interesting notion. firstly, to give you my original understanding of the concept now that we are digging it, i pull the phrase from my time (as i said) in TCs where drug addicts and street hustlers and con artists work their magic and there is no place in the world like this to learn to peel away manipulation and psychological obfuscation and defenses. it is amazing, and that is why i call it "psychological bootcamp" when i talk about it. people fear confrontation? oh man. try being confronted by fifteen staff members who planned the confrontation based on an intimate knowledge of your makeup and history and defenses! try confrontation from a handful of people who have hustled and manipulated all their lives, working together to weaken you! so that is where i learned it. it is taught there so that people learn to be more direct, do the work of stating clearly what they mean and to whom they mean it. out here in the world, we all use this and many devices like it to soften the work (some more than others of course, some situations more than others, perhaps). to what extent determines mental health, or so says the paradigm within which i learned of it. this is only one device of many. (all interesting to learn of, like the thinking and typical logic and Wite-Magik Attax that we know of and come across so often in the discussions of race, a different component of honesty/deception in language and communication, this set of concepts i reference, yet there are parallels and one is that the user does not have to know how it works to work it).

it gets trickier when we apply it here, but of course it still applies. in my context, a Carom Shot is—yes—intended, on some level, for a person in particular. and it is a passive/aggressive tool because it does so by using a manner less direct and ultimately, cloaking the intent. evades the direct confrontation that would ensue if person A were to just day directly to person C: "i feel your post is shaming people like me, and it would be more productive to just work to influence them, as i do." i see Carom Shots used very often in "polite society," where it seems more acceptable to tell someone something softly. so perhaps there are times it is more productive. yet, i have always had a big problem with many social niceties and because they are insincere and i dont know what good that does, although in specific cases i can see where an application might prove humane. and some might claim its just a different style of communicating.

i dont think the Carom Shot has to be the entire purpose of a phrase or statement for that statement to be accurately called a "Carom Shot," yet without that core reason for "banking" the shot, or the person hearing/reading who is the actual target, the statement would not be made. and that is the "disengenuous" element you mention, and which i agree with. aside from the gray area we talk about (because i can hardly comment on variables that differ and have not yet arrived for me), i prefer a respectful direct method.


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Donna, hehe if you won't name her then can I? Just kidding! ;-)

I do think you're being very charitable toward Neiwert, which is cool; but frankly I just can't imagine that a writer as gifted and smart as he is did not intend his comments the way Nez took them, given the overall trajectory of the conversation that led us here. Think about it: Nez's post atop this thread is a response to a dismissive post which disses "whining about links", and Nez explicitly relates this formulation to his "True Front of Progressivism" post. That's also the post which engaged and infuriated Neiwert. Now Neiwert drops into this thread and also invokes "whining", adding "shaming" and "self-aggrandizement" to the list of social faux-pas he finds distasteful. These linguistic and conceptual connections are pretty decisive to me. Then again, it's not all that important at this point; this discussion has run a pretty good course, and as Nez has pointed out, he's all about the orignal "song" not the dissecting of it.

Cheers.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

Oh and you can tell just by the way she writes and the sexy font she uses that Sylvia is a hottie. These guys are just trying to get her attention and some Anti-essentialist conundrum luvin'. I mean, I'm a heterosexual woman, and I'm tempted to address all my posts to Sylvia. Don't deny that you didn't notice the attraction is irresistable. I think you guys are just jealous that these Johnny come latelys might take the attention off of you.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR
Yes, they narrowly define what you can and can't do and say, until you can do nothing without being criticized and wrong for not getting with the program and being concerned with white centered issues. If you are kind and gentle, you are ignored. If you get in their face, they might do something, but mostly they'll tell you "you don't have to be like that".

Yeah...tone. Uppity (black). Shrill (woman). Arrogant (Mexican). Always comes back to our tone. A way not to hear our message.

what you and kai and sylvia (and so many others) map out clearly here—is what i often group and call "Wite-Magik Attax" (soon to have its own glosario entry and post). it helps to define those things that take place so often out there. i like to take notes and ultimately codify these things because it is empowering, and because they are so commonplace that they nearly map themselves out.

underneath, all the logik of those wite-magik attax boils down to the familiar "The always assumed truth is that A is of worth, not B. And if B argues otherwise, it is an unworthy argument and A will respond with manner and message consistent with that truth."


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

Sylvia,

I think from now on all comments should be addressed to Sylvia.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

sorry, jennifer! i know lately my posts have centered on particular issues within the blogosphere (one of the many, as they overlap)...i aim to backup a little bit from the "meta" for a while. i'll try to create the posts with a context of their own. i always appreciate you reading, even when you don't know what i'm referencing. especially then!


magniloquence dijo:

GRVTR

Hahahahahaha!

Oppression puppies. Are they designer, d'ya think? Are there oppression kittens, too? Because I'd totally love to have an oppression Toyger. Expensive, hard to take care of, and burdened with really restrictive rules for its care! Because I know that's exactly how I like my issues; narrow, silly, and fragile.

*sighs*

I think I may have caught what Kactus has. Swervius Ocularis is an unfortunately common side effect of considering the bigger sites, I'm afraid. And it's awfully contagious.


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

I come back to this conversation and all these MFs are addressin' me! What I do? What I do?! Have I become the pet issue?! I do like kittens...

Anyway, studying for property law and typing out old school imperialist logic rehashed to give a contextual basis for stealing land from NDNz has fried my brains. Time feels like it's moving extremely slowly today, and I'm grateful because that's more study time. It may be that I'm doped up on allergy meds, too.

In conclusion, I wrote this to say that there should be a signature code for Kai's and Donna's comments that reads, "Sylvia most likely agrees with this comment." That way, I am important and loved all the time! Meeeeeee!


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

what are you saying, sylvia? that you won't give my future comments a blank check endorsement? WAIT!! now I DON"T FEEL IMPORTANT!


Deoridhe dijo:

GRVTR

Yeah...tone. Uppity (black). Shrill (woman). Arrogant (Mexican). Always comes back to our tone. A way not to hear our message.

And the irony is, as soon as you mention no one is listening, the message becomes "Why can't you stand up for yourself more? Speak up, or we can't hear you." Again, all on the tone, nothing on the message.


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

*decides to use one of them Carrotshots or whatever they're called*

Well, when a certain brown man who runs a blog that doesn't make apologies forgets to cook for me everyone for TWO WEEKS IN A ROW on a certain day of the week, I wouldn't necessarily give his comments an endorsement 'cause I'm cyberstarving to death. But you know, I'm not the type to shame folks into doing something for me, I don't SHAME them, and I hope the certain brown man doesn't feel OVERWHELMING WAVES OF PIERCING GUILT or anything, because I don't participate in such horrible behaviors to make anyone feel that way ever.

...Because I am mighty. ;-)

(Besides, 'mano, when you post I'm one of the first people with a checkbook in hand! Granted, there's next to nada in the accounts, but I'm there! LOL)


magniloquence dijo:

GRVTR
wow..."is diversity a progressive issue"? that's great. that's almost rovian in its lingual and rhetorical nature. "is rainbow a luminant issue?"

as far as "convince and lead the way," if (hypothetically) that were said in response to a post that did it's very best to present—i.e., "lead the way"—to seeing and taking on the immigrant issue as a Liberal Mainstream or more importantly Human Rights issue, well, that would be like hearing a person knock on your door and replying "if you want to come in, knock on the door already!"

I know I'm late to the discussion, but this is so true. And I love the turn of phrase.

Just what, exactly, does one have to do to "convince and lead the way?" Write long, well-researched blog posts? We've done that. Create a community full of people writing about these issues, even to the point of disagreeing with each other and having conversations about them? We've done that. Try bringing it up when relevant in the discussions at Big Blogs? We've done that. Try e-mailing the proprieters of said Big Blogs with links/questions/suggestions/information? We've done that.

Heck, those of us who can and do guest post on bigger blogs have talked about it there, as well. Mostly to the tune of resounding silence and/or hostility.

Time and again, people have taken the time to walk people through the argument. Women's rights are Human Rights. Reproductive Rights are Human Rights. Immigrant Rights are Human Rights. Disability, Race, Gender, Sex... they're all connected, and they're all important. You don't have to make every post about everything. You don't even have to specifically mention any "pet issues" if you don't feel like it. But there's a huge difference between saying "That's not my focus" and stickig one's fingers in one's ears and saying "La la la la, I can't hear you, la la la la, that as nothing to do with what I'm talking about, even when you've pointed out the fifteen different ways it's directly involved!"

Nez, as one of your cynical world-weary blogmigos (oh, and hi Nanette!), I was just waiting for the phrase "pet issue" to come up. Ha! I'm with Sylvia: it's not just about whether or not "big blogs" (yuck) talk about immigration as part of Democratic Party electoral politics; it's about how the discussion is framed; it's about immigrant voices, brown voices, brown perspectives and frameworks of thought and language, not only being academically addressed but being genuinely seen as fully equal human beings and involved within the circle of American discourse. When "big blogs" address the "pet issues" of people of color and/or immigrants, it's invariably framed as a show of enlightened WHITEPROGRESSIVE virtue for which THEY (we) should be grateful. And any reasoned or nuanced critique from brown folks inevitably leads to dismissive defensive privilege-soaked huffiness about how misguided people of color are for "attacking their own progressive allies instead of the real conservative enemy", often accompanied by lots of personal history establishing racial virtue, or even angry demands for deferential gratitude and bloated accusations of envy and so forth. So it goes. One way or another, I say brown folks are on the move, with whomever wants to come along.

Kai, I love you for that. Because it is so very true. Even when we do walk them all through it, and they say something about it, it suddenly magically becomes "Hey, look at me! I should get a gold star for being sooooooo progressive/enlightened/virtuous!"

(Here, of course, I feel like I should insert the obligatory "Well, not all of them..." After all, there are some really good white/progressive/feminist bloggers out there who do tackle these things. Like Aunt B. But even though she's got a pretty influential readership - I've seen Dean Dad, Twisty, Amanda and TRex stop by, from time to time - they're not commenting, and they're not linking, and they're certainly not bringing any of it back to their homes.)

In response to Stoller's comment, whenever I hear a word like "priority" I think "heirarchy" - and know that the whole discussion is being framed in the wrong way. Riane Eisler, in her book "The Chalice and the Blade" explores the time prior to the establishment of Judaism and Islam, when archeology shows our Western cultures were based on partnership rather than dominance and heirarchy. I think there is a lot of wisdom in this kind of thinking.

Nezua, I hope you continue to explore the "nexus" you posted about previously. I'd love to join in more of that kind of discussion and think it is an example of the kind of partnership approach that we need to develop as an alternative to priorities, dominance and heirarchies.

NLinStPaul - I think this is actually a good way to address a lot of the problem. When people start talking that way, I just grit my teeth. We don't have to be in conflict with each other all the time. Although clickthrough and ad revenue are important (especially for those who might not otherwise be able to afford to blog much... though it's interesting to note that most of the truly poor bloggers I've seen have managed to keep (commercial) ads off their sites entirely), and it is important to consider one's human resources and quality of life... none of those things mean that we have to think of everything as zero sum.

Giving consideration to the issues we bring up doesn't mean you can't blog about Lindsey Lohan's hair, or the music of the 70s, or the really random coonversation you had at work. It doesn't mean that you can't focus on the upcoming Democratic whatevers or the class action suit about Ortho Evra or the way this bill or that bill is going to do awful things to the environment. It doesn't mean you have to lose anything. If nothing else, it adds to the depth and scope of your work, and gives you more hooks with which to engage your audience and draw in more people.

It's interesting to note just how pervasive this is. As Heraclitus (Jeff) says: "...obviously a lot of blogs have become co-opted or taken over by or assimilated to the whole dynamic/power structure of media and political power and influence they supposedly challenge. Prestige and, in some cases, money drive the whole process, along with "access" to various mid-level Democratic apparatchiks and hacks."

I don't think this is (entirely) an issue of 'selling out,' or co-option, exactly. Oh, surely that's a part of it - it's very easy to get caught up in things, especially when fame and money are on the table - but I don't think that's all or even most of it. I think the biggest part of it is just the simple, difficult fact of privilege.

A large part of the first wave of feminism was driven by rich white women... not because women of color didn't want to be involved (and the internicine politics of that are messy and ugly, of course), but because those rich white women were in a place where they were only (or primarily) being oppressed by their gender. They had leverage, but they also had nice thick coats of privilege (which, as far as I can tell, actually helped crystallize their fervor; people will fight wildly for things that infringe upon whatever they feel entitled to, and little brings out the entitlement in someone like being rich and white in America).

And you get to see that over and over again, movement by movement. Right now, we've got the (relatively) privileged white folk on "our side" yelling at the really privileged people on the other side, and trying really hard not to hear that they're being privileged or dumb or exclusionary. Not least because we have been using expansive, inclusionary rhetoric for ages. If you're on the side of entrenched social interests, you don't have to convince anyone that you're on their side, or that you're in everyone's best interests. All you have to do is say "this is the way things are" or "this country needs firm leadership" or "You could totally wake up one day and be an oil baron!" and a lot of people will roll over like kittens. The vision is one of exchange rather than change (on both sides, really). To fight against that, you need to argue that your changes are in the interests of the disaffected, and that, even if you're not going to get all the way 'round to change, you're at least going to exchange things in a way that benefits them.

And we upset that, because we claim that we're being left out of the big, open, rhetoric. Which is threatening not just because of the numbers, but because belief is powerful. It has to be, to work in the face of constant opposition. Many of these people, these WHITEPROGRESSIVES, truly believe that they're working toward a better, fairer, more egalitarian world.* They think they're doing the right thing. As someone said on the colorblindness thread at ABW's space:

the first time I was told that saying “I don’t see any difference between me and a black person” was racist, I was completely baffled and hurt. I sincerely believed it was the opposite of racist, which was the last thing in the world I wanted to be.

They think they're doing the right thing. They want to do the right thing. And when you don't have the language or experience or maturity to know any differently, well... getting called on your shit hurts. "I'm a good person - why are they yelling at me? I just wanted to help!" So there's defense and anger and stubborn refusal to let go, because they tried so hard to be good.

What really stepped on my sensitive nerve was the charge that I am "safe." Maybe being white and discussing race makes me safe, I dunno. But believe me, it has never felt particularly safe, doing what I do; you're talking to someone who winds up on neo-Nazi hit lists. I've also become something of a pariah professionally for what I write -- and yes, I think quite a bit about the ramifications of my gradual decline in popularity relative to my increasing emphasis on immigration.

I think this (and the rest of the paragraph above it) kind of ties in. "Safe" is a highly coded word, usually used as "safe to those in power," rather than "physically safe" or "not taking a risk." The people who are safe to power are often in great danger, both from the people they are speaking to and the people they are speaking for. And, from what I've read, there's a strong desire not to be put in that position. "I've done enough! What more do you want from me? I've tried so hard, and there's still all this pressure!"

And it isn't fair, but that's ... also not our fault. You get put in the position of being "the white guy big blogger to go to for race issues" because you are, for all intents and purposes, the white guy writing one of the biggest blogs that actually talks about race issues. And we (well, Nez.. I'll be the first to admit that though I've liked some of your writings, you are pretty far out of my bloggy niche and thus I don't read you daily, or even regularly) like you, and you respond. It's a functional, pragmatic designation as much as an honor. If other people even pretended to care, they'd probably have people pushing them for more too.

(As a complete aside.. how cool is it that you worked in TCs, Nez? I work at one now! Weeeird.)

* And they are, sort of. Better than the alternatives, anyway. But by no means as nice or fair or egalitarian as they'd like to believe.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

ooh! carrotshot three-pointer!


XP dijo:

GRVTR

Hmmm....I guess I was correct about the answer to your challenge.


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

Magniloquence gets one of them signatures, too. Beautiful.

This is a non sequitur of everything you said, but I wanted to add something here:

A large part of the first wave of feminism was driven by rich white women... not because women of color didn't want to be involved (and the internicine politics of that are messy and ugly, of course), but because those rich white women were in a place where they were only (or primarily) being oppressed by their gender. They had leverage, but they also had nice thick coats of privilege (which, as far as I can tell, actually helped crystallize their fervor; people will fight wildly for things that infringe upon whatever they feel entitled to, and little brings out the entitlement in someone like being rich and white in America).

In addition to gender being the only form of oppression rich white suffragettes faced at that particular period, there was also a need to sever ties with suffragettes of color (most of the early battles of American feminism surrounded women obtaining the vote) because their alliance with other types of women -- allowing them to speak on the issue of full political participation, challenge current racist policy, etc. -- was not "safe." In that, it directly challenged the dominant white male power structure and it called into question how they handled granting the vote to black males in the 13th Amendment. It's always a fear of indictment by association that leads to appearing to accommodate the power structure's faulty practices by accepting its defaults.

Which is what's happening here with a different issue and in a different form.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

i can't say you've been proven wrong.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

Sylvia, You take a perfectly good neutral word like carom shot and have to replace it with the passionate sensual carrotshot instead? C'mon now! I told you I'm a heterosexual woman and I'm also married. Can't you see how wrong it is for you to tempt me in this way? Seductress!


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

Well, I'm a woman of color, Donna; whatever did you expect from me? Purity? Meekness? Virtue? Pah! Come to Mama and I'll teach you about using carrotshots... ;)


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

All joking aside, that sounds very kinky...and I think I like it. See! Leading me astray! Hussy!


magniloquence dijo:

GRVTR

Hee. Thanks, Sylvia!

Now I'm envisioning the totally non-kinky use for carrotshots in meetings. We could load 'em up, machine-gun style, and pop a couple off every time someone gets infected by THE STUPID.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

one can never predict where a thread might wander.


RickB dijo:

GRVTR

Should I be paying 1.50 a minute to be reading this?


Sylvia dijo:

GRVTR

Sorry Nez. I'm too sexy for your comment thread; I'm afraid. *muah*


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

that's become apparent.


Donna dijo:

GRVTR

that's become apparent. become? You mean you didn't know it all along? How does one resist the irresistable? From whence doth thou attain this super power, o mighty NLXJ?


Jennifer Cascadia dijo:

GRVTR

I still don't know what this thread is about, although I have skimmed the comments. Ha! So, I shall go on to add another general observation, from my own experience. When I was in Zimbabwe, I was of a generation of white people who experienced the assimilation of black people into our previously white schools. Actually, nobody who I knew really had any objections to this process. It began in about 1982, after Zimbabwean Independence, when they began to bus black students in from the outlying areas. Now, it is true that the administration dealt with this by enforcing another level of segregation, this time based on whether the students could speak English. Those black students who couldn't speak it very well, or at all, were graded to the lower academic levels, with a class structure that went from A1 to B3. (Nobody in B3 could speak English.) Anyway, the point is that with this kind of structure in place, nobody I knew was at all outraged that there were black students in the school. Actually, I had two in my class. For whatever reasons, race was not an issue. Not as such.

Anyways, so, as the stereotype goes, I grew up having black friends. Rosemary was one of my closest friends, and I always sat next to her in English. Simukai, who wore coke-bottle glasses, which magnified the size of her eyeballs, was considered to be something of a genius. I didn't speak to her as often because her answers were always so measured. He whole demeanour expressed that of a deep thinker.

Then, in 1984, I emigrated to Australia -- and gradually I found that I was being cast as an oppressor, a racist. This ideology of race gradually seeped into my bones to give me the impression that those of another race were also of another species, and that how I related to them defined my morality. So, all of the possibilities for naturalness in nurturing a friendship were gone after that. I had to put too much thought and anguish into the issue of race, so that it just didn't seem worth it to have a friend of another race. Not unless I was trying to make a moral point about myself, by doing so.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

yes, i feel we have destroyed the "naturalness" here in america a long time ago. like when we began by taking the land from and slaughtering and caging the natives.

and the echoes abound. i call that "The Haunted Land" dynamic. ghosts about. raise up here and there unexpectedly. i'm sure within communities the naturalness exists, and even between people in america in many places. but in some ways, things are getting worse lately what with all the brown census numbers rising and freaking out many people, the rhetoric about aliens invading, and recent stories about violence on mexicans and LAPD blowing their wad on mexicans....and that's just my angle. you have the history against the blacks, the chinese, the chileans, the puerto ricans, now the iraqis, the US interned the Japanese....man. I mean who has not been colonized or exploited by America and her Manifest Destiny/FreedomMarch type agendas? i think things have never been right here. how could they have been when the country was a colonization where White Superiority decided the hostilities and agendas?

but i agree....i wish it could be natural, too. i sometimes struggle, as well, with having white friends at all. usually just moments of frustration. but then there are people who are very cool who are white, so i say why give up yet. i dont want to draw that line. but i understand what you mean. there are moments the effort seems not worth it, and i just want to retreat "to the circle of my own people" as the poem says. not "all that thought and anguish" as you say. natural. where you and your friend both know the deal, the way you have both lived in this country, or how you are looked at, at least. you both know you dont see that way. natural.

odd how you had such a different experience in another country, i guess each country has its own history and dynamics of racism, i bet. but that must have been a real drag. are you still in australia?

i would only add that i focus a lot on these things here. in 3D life I am not "The Unapologetic Mexican," just an artist cat; i dont spend all my time talking about this stuff. thats because i do a lot of work here. and then think and act in my life on it. and do more thinking.

i dont want a friendship with anybody of any race sex or species if it is more anguish than pleasure, i think. but i'm w illing to deal with a little. depending on the person, you know. some are worth not much, some a lot.


Kai dijo:

GRVTR

Jennifer Cascadia, it's a good story, thank you for sharing. I'd only add: we all have childhood memories that are innocent and pure, with regard to race and gender and more. Then we all grow up and realize that the world isn't so nice. Loss of innocence is a timeless theme, and not just with regard to friendships across racial lines. And I can assure you, the white presence in Zimbabwe was not as innocuous as you probably believed it to be as a child. Not that you yourself ever did anything wrong; but neither did the colonized. Life is harsh that way, I'm sorr to say.


Nanette dijo:

GRVTR

we all have childhood memories that are innocent and pure, with regard to race and gender and more.

Yes, that is what I was thinking. And, most probably, the Black Zimbabwean children have completely different memories - especially being the first ones to integrate the school.


Blackamazon dijo:

GRVTR

Pet issue?

I think what is amazing is the shesr audacity of bullshit that gets spewed at this point.

Yes Nezua your trying to stop the illegalization of people ( with more claim to the land than oh ANYBODY) which results in them getting shot at , denied life saving health care , and the general disregard of the lives of women. is

A PET ISSUE?

Sylvia , you and me with our concerns on bodily auto nomy, brothers not catching bullets, sisters getting underserved

PET ISSUE

MBW ' s native population concerns

BFP's whole sets of folk s disappearing into holding places for immigrants and aint been heard form?

PET ISSUES

they really think our lives our pet issues.
They shame the feel is not us originated. If you feel shame or apalled at someone being angry protesters (which I will be getting to)are beaten,women disappeared, thats cause your ass knows exactly how what your doing helps or doesnt. Thats no fault but yours

We are not the stewards of your emotions.

And for the most part we only still bother because these aren't pet issues but life or death ones

And now that whooops it's not maintaining their strangle hold on traffick or hits or money that their concerned and that their writing is weak and their seems to be a concerted effort to keep the bloggers that d o write well about race out.

IT's being fought on two different levels

They want traffic
we need attention paid to keep our fellows out of harm

and yes we are going to have problems when this comes up and no we won't back down

and if you don't like my tone, you really don't wnat to see the one I save for when I am not trying to be nice


Deoridhe dijo:

GRVTR

we all have childhood memories that are innocent and pure, with regard to race and gender and more.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.


Carrotshots Recipe*:

1 oz vodka
1 oz carrot juice
Guilt the person next to you into pouring it down your throat.

*(The management holds no responsibility for actually TRYING this and discovering it is disgusting.)


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

wow, deoridhe. you did carrotshots in your childhood, too? ah those days of simple innocence. no shaving, no awareness of the "calorie," and long summer days guilting your friends into doing carrotshots. you make me miss being five.

oh, and ¡Felicidades, compadres! You are now on the longest most windingest comment thread in the history of The Unapologetic Mexican. take those hairpin turns carefully. especially if you have vodka in the car, or young kids driving.


Deoridhe dijo:

GRVTR

we all have childhood memories that are innocent and pure, with regard to race and gender and more.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.


Carrotshots Recipe*:

1 oz vodka
1 oz carrot juice
Guilt the person next to you into pouring it down your throat.

*(The management holds no responsibility for actually TRYING this and discovering it is disgusting.)


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR
and if you don't like my tone, you really don't wnat to see the one I save for when I am not trying to be nice

O, Dearest Blackamazon, Guyanese terror and beauty and sage, you said it!!! I am the most civil, polite, respectful of my life when I drop these pieces. Even remaining calm when people say that is an accomplishment. Tone? I could turn on the wayback machine, and they'd know what "leading with your chin" means (an actual quote from one of the comments I read recently but why lead with your chin? whiny whine wait who was talking about whining???? of course i care, but you're not talking nice to me about --insert human rights issue--!)

Your words could be my signature. And the rest of what you said was fantastico, gracias mil.

::does carrot shot and happily swears::


magniloquence dijo:

GRVTR

Heh, that's a good one Nez, but my favorite part was this:

they really think our lives our pet issues.

That, for me, is the heart of it. Our lives are at issue. If I'm at a protest and I get shot in the temple with a "less lethal" weapon, my life is in danger. If I get pregnant and need a late-term abortion, my life is in danger. If I get detained indefinitely for something and nobody knows where to find me, my life is in danger. I know I'm lucky enough not to be able to add: "If I'm deported, my life is in danger," or "If the state decides my medical supplies aren't worth funding, my life is in danger" to that list, but for so many people, that's the literal truth.

It's no more a pet issue than violent assault or Bush getting us into (yet another) war. "Pet issues" are issues that you care deeply about, but that aren't all that important in the overall scheme of things. "Pet issues" are hit counters, or whether you can wear makeup and be a feminist, or how Michelle Malkin is being a vile awful traitor to people who share her identity markers. Sure, they can make for great (and occasionally necessary) conversation - but my life is not in that category. I cannot put my life down and decide that today, it doesn't matter. I can't just walk away.


Deoridhe dijo:

GRVTR
IT's being fought on two different levels

They want traffic
we need attention paid to keep our fellows out of harm

"Pet issues" are issues that you care deeply about, but that aren't all that important in the overall scheme of things.

Isn't that telling, though? If the well-being and lives of other people are being labelled a "pet issue"... well, I think that speaks volumes. I'd argue that's one of the core motivations of racism: to be able to label the problems that the majority of humans in the world have as not very important in the overall scheme of things. To be able to take genocide or the steps leading up to genocide and rank them lower than people thinking you aren't cool anymore, that requires an incredable amount of either self-delusion or ignorance.

I like to lean heavily on ignorance 'cause I have one of those rosy Rousseauvian views of humans, but I freely acknowledge I'm probably wrong in this case. And even if it is ignorance, there's really no excuse for it.


magniloquence dijo:

GRVTR

True, true Deoridhe. My thoughts tended toward "privilege" rather than "ignorance," but it's true all the same. It doesn't affect Real People (read: "me and people who look/think/act like me, or of whom I approve"), so I don't have to care about it. "Oh, well, it wouldn't have happened if you weren't insisting on being so wrong/different/flamboyant/out/active." After all, it's not like normal people get raped/deported/shot at while they're demonstrating/"disappeared"/disenfranchised/murdered. Clearly, you must have been doing something to provoke that kind of response.


Deoridhe dijo:

GRVTR
wow, deoridhe. you did carrotshots in your childhood, too?

I enjoyed most the guilting of people into being my arms and hands. Complete helplessness, just another perk of being a privileged child. ;) I hear the vodka kept me quiet. Now it makes me louder, though, so they've stopped treatment. Woe, oh woe, I have to mix my own drinks, too.

Also: I figured out blockquotes. I shall now use them incessantly. And I appologize for the double post. I was impatient for instant feedback. I shoulda hit refresh.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR
I feel like I'm being gas-lighted.

I'm sorry I didn't understand your use of this term, DI. I've read up on it a little. If you wrote it in reference to my allowing dave to correct me while you were going toe-to-toe, well...I'm sorry for that. I did not mean to back out of a fight that you were taking up, or confuse your reality by seeming not to continue to press. It certainly would distress me if, when you put your heart into the things I've written or feel that I've represented by writing, or stirred up, you end up feeling I am "gaslighting" you by not taking a combative stance in a one-on-one with somebody while you are. (And if I've misinterpreted your use, please tell me.)

So, I'm thinking on your feelings here, and what it should mean to my actions in the future.

All I can say immediately is that each person's contribution to the ongoing conversation is their own. I certainly don't want to have to weight my comments against every other person's, and i'm not even aware of all the comments being put down in every thread, even on the posts I write at different areas. I dont have all that time, even if I tried to keep up with every one.

Also, I love your passion, and you should be proud of your fight, and your heart and your emotions on this. They speak of a clear conscience or one that fights to be clear and true.

I tried to admit the things I felt deserved admitting to Dave, considering I put him under the spotlight in public. You see, I wrote the article that called him out in the course of making my points. You did not write it. You and I bear a different relationship to him. And on my own, I have to look at what these people say back to me, because a writer has a little power, and it just felt right to me to hear out a person whose name and actions I put under that spotlight. Perhaps I could have said "You are ignoring the larger issues to defend micro points that only deal with your ego!" but that would not have been respecting him personally, after writing about him. At least that's my internal system of ethics at the moment and I did heed it.

So yes, I said—I missed a few links of his. That is true. "Thank you for correcting me" I said, but that doesn't mean my post was wrong. It means that I don't need to be antagonistic and when I make arguments that are confrontational, I want to notch down the level of combativeness if possible, because I don't see how it would do anything but make my points harder to ingest. He pointed out that I am not on top of every issue that falls under the rubric of my "interest" and what can I do but admit that is true? I am a hypocrite, if one chooses to see it that way. I can't stop him. Of course, that is an ad hominem statement that still does not negate any points I made that are valid...if one chooses to see them.

But I can't force someone to see them. And I've not yet forced someone to see my point through intense, angry thread battles. So I do not do that a whole lot. I hope my choice of style in confrontation in threads at any given time does not have to reflect on your choice. I would feel very wrong if I said to dave that I had been wrong in everything I said, or if I combatted your points in such a thread.

There is a method to my madness, but either way, I can see how I confused you. Or how you may have felt hurt by my appearing to mollify him. But it was not my intent to undermine you, and despite how i engaged with dave in the thread afterward, my points in the post remain for those who want to consider them. And your valor remains legendary!!

I will always value you as an ally and a friend, if you fight hard, if you quiet down, if you need to take breaks. I was speaking to dave and in my mind it was me and him a conversation, despite how many people were speaking around us or on any other threads about the same thing. But I will keep an eye on these appearances in the future. I do value loyalty, (almost as much as the Decider).

Gracias.


little light dijo:

GRVTR

I'm not sure whether to gush more over Nezua's original post or your comment, Blackamazon. You've both hit it out of the park. Got it in one.
Our lives are pet issues to them. My physical safety, my public existence, my family, whatever--they get to call these "pet issues." There really isn't any more glaringly obvious object lesson in privilege.

They can look at budding police-state behavior attacking regular families in a public park and call caring about it a "pet issue" because it's Not Their Problem. And we can jump up and down and wave our arms all day and night, and if they notice, it's to notice that we're a "special interest group," or niche politics, or "diversity," or whiners, or--
--well, until it's convenient to pull us out as evidence of the Justness of Their Cause. It's not just that our lives are "pet issues." It's that we're, well, pets.

I think Dave is one of the good guys, personally, and his comment here reassured me a great deal. But on this whole pattern, damn, you know?

...having said that, I'm just gonna go swoon over Sylvia now. I leave this thread for a couple hours, and when I come back, here I have to be fanning myself.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez dijo:

GRVTR

i don't want people to take my post as saying Dave is Not a Good Guy. hope that is clear! that was never implied.

great distillation, little light.