Chamblee54

The Problem Of Anti-Racism

Posted in GSU photo archive, Race by chamblee54 on July 20, 2014

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Some people are proud of being anti-racist. This is not always something to be proud about. Often, as in anti communism and homophobia, the struggle against the unseen enemy is worse than the problem you are fighting. When you denounce someone as racist, you might be talking about yourself.

The discussion that follows should not be seen as pro racist. People should treat people with kindness. The word people does not need an adjective. This kindness should be extended to those who do not share your opinions about racism.

Maybe you should lead by example. Instead of worrying about how your neighbor thinks, worry about how you think. If you don’t like the nasty word don’t use it.

To some, racism is the ultimate taboo. It is the worst charge you can make about a person, and the quickest to be made. Once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. It does not help that the definition of racism is expanding all the time. What one person considers racism is normal thinking to another. It used to be that racism was when you treated someone poorly because of their ethnicity. Now is is a multi faceted boogieman about power and prejudice. Keeping up can be a full time job.

Anti-communism has been compared to anti-racism. To our younger readers, there used to be a system of government called communism. It was alleged to be involved in a cold war with the United States. This cold war was the justification for a bloated military industrial complex. Many crooked politicians were elected on the basis of being anti communist. Often, the fight against communism was worse than the actual system of government.

Anti-racism is the new McCarthyism. Guilt by association is the rule. Difficult to refute charges are made against people. The charge of racism is used as a red herring.

Homophobia is compared to anti-racism. In both cases, the accuser has a set of standards. If the accused does not meet those standards, then the accused is considered fair game for abuse. The accused and the accuser may not agree on these standards. That does not matter. If someone wants to make the accusation, then they will, and will feel righteous about doing so.

It is frequently speculated that the homophobe is secretly gay. The need to be heard badmouthing gays stems from a perceived need to prove heterosexuality. Could this be the case with the anti racist? Maybe the anti-racist is secretly afraid that he/she might be a racist. The “calling out” of others, for perceived racism, is an effort to overcompensate for his/her own shortcomings.

Some things need to be said one more time. People should treat people with kindness. The word people does not need an adjective. Shaming and guilt mongering, because someone does not share your attitudes about race, is not appropriate. To use an anti-communist expression, there are better ways to win hearts and minds. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.

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FFBF/SJW

Posted in GSU photo archive, Quotes, Race by chamblee54 on July 17, 2014

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The first thing I did when starting this post was to look for another post. I typed post rac into google advanced search. The suggested search was POST RACIAL, in all caps. Somehow, shouting that phrase seems appropriate.

It is a facebook mainstay. Someone will put up a link, and tell you to show this to anyone who says America is post racial. I was going to find an example of this. I fell into an internet rabbit hole.

There is this former facebook friend. This post tells part of the story. FFBF might be a SJW, or social justice warrior. In the words of the Urban Dictionary: “SJW Social Justice Warrior. A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way….”

It looks like the chamblee54 plan for amerika becoming post-racial is going to have to wait. When you look for something on the intertubes, you might spend all morning not finding it. The line about amerika not being post-racial was not there. There was a link to a helpful feature, 23 Quotes That Perfectly Explain Racism (To People Who Don’t “See Color”)

Hyperbole in article titles is alive and well. I read the article. I also see color all the time, except in the black and white photographs that illustrate this feature. (“The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. ) I read “23 Quotes,” and am more confused than ever.

There was a quote from the king of Twitter, Teju Cole. “People of color, women, and gays — who now have greater access to the centers of influence that ever before — are under pressure to be well-behaved when talking about their struggles. There is an expectation that we can talk about sins but no one must be identified as a sinner: newspapers love to describe words or deeds as “racially charged” even in those cases when it would be more honest to say “racist”; we agree that there is rampant misogyny, but misogynists are nowhere to be found; homophobia is a problem but no one is homophobic. One cumulative effect of this policed language is that when someone dares to point out something as obvious as white privilege, it is seen as unduly provocative. Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.”

This is not completely true. There is a social media revolution. Anyone with internet access, and too much free time, can preach to the world. This contradicts one line… “Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer” The truth is, the marginalized not only have voices, but a PA system that reaches a billion people.

Newspapers are dying. They are being replaced by facebook, twitter, and the latest dot com opinion monger. Unfortunately, many of these people do not think before they tweet.

Mr. Cole says “newspapers love to describe words or deeds as “racially charged” even in those cases when it would be more honest to say “racist”” The trouble is, people read twitter much more than the fishwrapper. And in many cases, what should be described as racially charged is described as racist. And people in social media just love to say racist.

Racist has become the all purpose insult. It is used to describe all sorts of things, few of which have anything to do with institutional systems creating oppression. When you label something as racist, there is no more thinking. The judgement has been rendered. If nothing else, amerika would be better off if we used the words racism/racist less often, and with a bit more, um, discrimination.

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How Redneck Are You?

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Race, yeah write by chamblee54 on July 13, 2014

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The quiz, How Redneck Are You?, had to happen. PG had too much free time, and took the test. He might lose points for writing a blog post about it. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

The test is eleven multiple choice questions. PG did not give a correct answer until number fo-wer, “Do you own camo clothes?” The camo cargo shorts were purchased at Walmart.

Other questions that worked for PG were seven … “What role does WD-40 play in your life?” … and ten … “Is NASCAR a real sport?” PG was just kidding when he said that NASCAR was rigged. Number eleven was close. “Do you really care what other people think of your lifestyle?”

The full set of teeth did not seem to hurt none. “You are 60% Redneck. We ain’t sure if you’re a real redneck or not, but you sure could pass for one if pressed. Just need the right uniform… “

In an curious act of political correctness, race was not mentioned. Most rednecks do not appreciate African Americans. That is probably the most polite way of saying this.

This was discussed in the comments. “…just because someone is redneck doesn’t mean they are racist. ~ true but it doesn’t hurt.. ~ Agreed 100 % why do idiots have to bring rasicm into everything ~ because they have been brainwashed by race baiters.”

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James Baldwin And The Six Letter Word

Posted in Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on July 11, 2014






In the spring of 1963, KQED filmed a show, “Take this hammer”, about James Baldwin. The snippet in the video above seems to have been the last three minutes of the show. Here is a transcript. Mr. Baldwin discusses a six letter insult. The n-word is more about the speaker, than the spoken of. A 2010 blogger had this to say.

What resonated with me about this particular video though, is the universal experience we’ve all had being referred to, thought of as, or called something we inherently are not. Not because of something we’ve done, mind you – but because of the way others “interpret” us. Those of us that “transgress” gender norms are often given titles and names that don’t fit who we are – but are more representative of the fears and desires of others. I’ve often felt that people’s projections of me are oftentimes just that – their projections. However, Baldwin’s ending sums up a solution to this perfectly: “But you still think, I gather, that the n****r is necessary. Well he’s unnecessary to me – he must be necessary to you. Well, I’m going to give your problem back to you…you’re the n****r, baby…not me.”

It is now 2013. (All discussions of race must mention the year.) The TV show was fifty years ago. A few things have changed. To many white people, overt expressions of racism are seen as bad manners. The n-word is taboo in polite company. The overall attitudes may not have changed, but most white people are careful how they say things.

African America is keeping the n-word alive. But it is still about the speaker, not the one spoken of. When people say the nasty word, they are talking about themselves. They are now the people James Baldwin is talking about. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. These men are Union soldiers, from the War Between the States.





A few weeks ago, this blog published a feature, James Baldwin And The Six Letter Word. At the center was selection of James Baldwin talking about the n word. There was a transcript available, which makes today’s exercise a lot easier.

Mr. Baldwin was discussing this nasty word, and offered an insight into who the user of this nasty word was really talking about. Now, there is another nasty word being casually tossed about these days. This other nasty word is racist. What would happen if you took Mr. Baldwin’s talk, and substituted racist for nasty? It is an interesting way to look at things. What follows is not a perfect fit, and may be offensive to some. A few times, it is very close to the truth.

Who is the racist? Well i know this…and anybody who has tried to live knows this. What you say about somebody else (you know) anybody else, reveals you. What I think of you as being is dictated by my own necessities, my own psychology, my own uhm fears…and desires. I’m not describing you when I talk about you…I’m describing me.

Now, here in this country we got somebody called a racist. It doesn’t in such terms, I beg you to remark, exist in any other country in the world. We have invented the racist. I didn’t invent him, white people invented him. I’ve always known, I had to know by the time I was seventeen years old, what you were describing was not me and what you were afraid of was not me. It had to be something else. You had invented it so it had to be something you were afraid of and you invested me with it.

Now if that’s so, no matter what you’ve done to me I can say to you this, and I mean it…I know you can’t do any more and I’ve got nothing to lose…and I know and I have always known you know and really always..…I have always known that I am not a racist…but if I am not the racist…and if it is true that your invention reveals you…then who is the racist?

I am not the victim here. I know one thing from another. I know that I was born, am gonna suffer and gonna die. And the only way that you can get through life is to know the worst things about it. I know that a person is more important than anything else. Anything else. I’ve learned this because I’ve had to learn it. But you still think, I gather, that the racist is necessary. Well he’s not necessary to me, so he must be necessary to you. So I give you your problem back. You’re the racist baby, it isn’t me. This is a double repost.




Eleven Thoughts About Communications

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Library of Congress, Race, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 7, 2014

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When you publish a list like the one below, you are placing a target on your back. Above the bulls-eye is the word hypocrite. PG does not claim to take all of these suggestions. What follows is a goal to work for, not a script for situation comedy.

When in doubt, shut up.

A halo is best worn over one ear.

If you want to be forgiven, forgive. If you want to be understood, understand.

There are few situations that cannot be made worse with anger and loud talk.

You have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk.

A douche is a hygiene appliance. The verb form refers to using this device for cleaning purposes. Neither the noun, nor the verb, is appropriate as an insult.

A sentence has one period, placed at the end. Do not place a period after every word to make a point. You should find another way to show that you really, really mean it.

Not everyone enjoys the sound of your voice as much as you do.

Ass is a noun. It refers to either a donkey, or a butt. It is not an adverb, nor an adjective. Do not place ass between an adjective and a noun.

Before you “call out” somebody for “racism”, drape a towel over your mirror.

The third commandment says to not use the word G-d “in vain”. The G word should only be used for worship, and respectful discussion. Improper uses include expressing anger, swearing, selling life insurance, and pledging “allegiance” to a symbol of nationalism.

Pictures are from the The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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Football Player Flotus

Posted in Book Reports, Commodity Wisdom, GSU photo archive, Quotes, Race, The Internet by chamblee54 on July 6, 2014

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PG is an old fogie. An example might be last night. He stayed home, listening to stuff on the internet, and working on pictures. Facebook can bring a sample of the real world into a boring life.

just another night of queens, fags and a 6 person lesbian restroom fight that resulted in a trash can catching on fire(?), shutting the bar down(?) leaving everyone to fight for their life and escape just in time to see a misplaced hetero trying to conceal the fact that he is puking his guts out in front of everyone with his beer still in his hand. …I feel so PG…

While this was going on, PG was listening to a podcast. Allan Gurganus was on yet another radio show, promoting yet another book. At 13:25 in the show, Mr. Gurganus says “I’m not an ironist. That’s why I’m worth reading.”

Twitter to the rescue. Retweeted by thefieldnegro HoodiesUpMusicLoud™ ‏@MrMilitantNegro This is what racist dumbfuckery looks like: Was Michelle Obama really born as a man?

People in the spotlight are the target of rumors. It is part of the game. Some of them are far fetched. When the FLOTUS is a WOC, this nonsense becomes “racist.”

Here is the story: Shocking New Revelation about Michelle Obama: A Must Read, Christwire Exclusive. The story was in Christwire. CW is a satirical website, sort of like the Onion on crystal meth. A lot of people don’t get the joke.

The current edition of Christwire has a story, One Hit Wonder Cher Once a Peace Activist Now Promotes Hate & Violence. There is a picture. It shows what Cher might look like today, without the plastic surgery. She could have a new career in horror movies.

The FLOTUS story was picked up by the popup ad happy Examiner. In the best internet tradition, the comments are better than the story. “The First Yeti’s look is uncanny ~ Many wonder if she is a tranny ~ Perhaps she’s got a knack ~ To tuck her gear back ~ And carry it in her fanny?

Pictures by “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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The Problem With 18 Things

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, The Internet by chamblee54 on July 1, 2014

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A link keeps turning up on facebook. It is for an item, 18 Things White People Should Know/Do Before Discussing Racism. It was posted at The Frisky | Celebrity Gossip, Relationship Advice, Beauty and Fashion Tips. The facility has a series of suggested posts at the top of the page. The first one you see is BLOWJOB TECHNIQUES YOU NEED TO TRY.

18 Things is supposed to be educational. PG was encouraged to read the piece two weeks ago, and found it lacking. The link today was from a combination facebook friend/ facebook unfriend. Maybe 18 Things deserves another look.

18 Things is garbage. Take a look at number one. “1. It is uncomfortable to talk about racism. It is more uncomfortable to live it.” You would never know this from the number of people who seem to enjoy talking about racism. The louder you talk, and the more passion you display, the more truth your words have. Maybe what is uncomfortable is to quit talking, and listen.

Is the idea is for everyone to talk at once? Here is item 16: “16. Silence does nothing. Blank stares and silence do not further this difficult but necessary conversation.” If you are going to listen to someone, it is very helpful to keep your mouth shut.

“2. “Colorblindness” is a cop-out. The statements “but I don’t see color” or “I never care about color” do not help to build a case against systemic racism. Try being the only White person in an environment. You will notice color then.” This is a curious paragraph. Sentence one has little to do with sentences two, three, and four.

Sentences three and four are connected. The author assumes that the PWOC reading this piece has never been the only pale face in an enviornment. Actually, it is probably more common to be the only white person in the room, than to be the only black person in a room full of whites.

“3. Oprah’s success does not mean the end of racism. The singular success of a Black man or woman (i.e. Oprah, or Tiger Woods, or President Obama) is never a valid argument against the existence of racism. By this logic, the success of Frederick Douglass or Amanda America Dickson during the 19th century would be grounds for disproving slavery.”

Has anyone ever said that the success of Oprah Winfrey is the end of racism? Do you have a link for that? Ok, and even if they did say that, it would be wildly untrue. But it gets better. If you agree with this statement that very few people have made, that is like saying that the success of Frederick Douglass disproves slavery. This is ridiculous.

The rest of the piece is not much better. Items 4, 5, 9, 14, and 15, can be summed up with the five words … there is racism in America. You are encouraged to use google to educate yourself. This can go in different directions. Maybe you could google “logical fallacy,” or “critical thinking.”

The article you are reading should not be taken as denying the existence of a race problem in America. (The words racism/racist are problematic.) People should be treated with kindness and respect. Opportunities should be available to all people. The police should not target racially defined populations. Celebrities should not say tacky things.

The question arises … what value do articles like 18 Things have? Do they inform people who need to learn? Are they preaching to the choir? (Frisky has a header ad for Red Bull. Do articles like this sell power energy drinks?)

There are other possibilities. Do articles like 18 Things trivialize racial problems? Maybe the constant promotion of nonsense like 18 Things will lead people to believe that there really isn’t a race problem in America. People who uncritically praise articles like this are doing more harm than good. Those who claim to educate should be held to some sort of standard. Posting nonsense on the internet is not the same thing as working for equality and justice.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
















Why Do White People Part Two

Posted in Poem, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 30, 2014

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Sharon Needles

Posted in Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on June 25, 2014







PG got in one night, and found a summer storm brewing on facebook.
“Dear white people who still love Sharon Needles. Before you begin to defend her or justify this as art or whatever, please keep in mind that THERE IS AN ENTIRE POPULATION OF PEOPLE AFFECTED BY RACISM WHO THINK THIS IS FUCKED UP. Can you respect that, or will you continue to tell people of color what does and does not oppress them?” The first question is, who is Sharon Needles? This is a repost.
A baby boy was born in Newton IA on November 28, 1981. His parents named him Aaron Coady. He did not fit in, and moved to Pittsburgh PA in 2004. His stage name was Sharon Needles. As the years went by, he developed a “personality”. There was a tv show, Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Miss Needles won season four. The Pittsburgh City Council honored her. Meanwhile, some people did not like her act.

There was a link on facebook, Dragged into Debate: Reality-TV fame puts spotlight on Sharon Needles’ controversial act. PG looked at the article, and found a video of a performance by Miss Needles. The show was in a noisy bar, with some drinking jokes. The makeup and costumes were flawless. (flawful might be better, if it wasn’t the name for hummus hushpuppies) The act was what one might expect of a button pushing drag queen. It is tough to be outrageous these days, but Sharon Needles is giving it the old college try.

Later, the matter got a bit more personal.
“Sharon Needles recently performed in Nashville. I went to the performance. One of my friends got her autograph after the show. Sharon Needles wrote a note in the autograph in which she called my friend a n****r. Several of my white friends continue to loudly and publicly worship and promote Sharon Needles, despite having been at the show and knowing about the autograph (nevermind having heard other discussion about Needles’ unapologetic racism). Just thought y’all should know that supporting and promoting someone who is unapologetically perpetuating racism and refusing to be held accountable for it, is racist!
The fuss was a bit puzzling to PG. We can begin by breaking down the opening post.
“THERE IS AN ENTIRE POPULATION OF PEOPLE AFFECTED BY RACISM WHO THINK THIS IS FUCKED UP.” Does this include Ru Paul? What about the millions of People of Color (POC) who had never heard of Sharon Needles? Do all caps help to get the point across?
“Can you respect that, or will you continue to tell people of color what does and does not oppress them?”
Are those the only two options here? To “respect” the notion that a nightclub performer in Pennsylvania is oppressing 35 million Americans? Or, if you don’t “respect” this highly questionable concept, you “you continue to tell people of color what does and does not oppress them.” Are these the only two choices? What if you ignore the peroxide poster girl, and treat your neighbor with respect?
There is also the $64 question, is Sharon Needles racist? (Winning a tv contest hosted by RuPaul should be remembered.) The tumblr Fuck Yea Sharon Needles has a picture of the performer in blackface. She is singing the opening number of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” … a pair of lips against a black background. PG did not hear anything racist in the video he endured.

Facebook is a magnet for people who enjoy a digital quarrel. Evidently, that sometimes includes PG. He made a comment:
“There was a line in an article about Miss Needles that gave me a good laugh…”If Needles “were a straight person” engaging in this behavior, he adds, “people would feel more comfortable” criticizing it.”… I had never heard of this person before this conversation, and can’t say that I really enjoy her persona. It is like Charlie Brown after a four day speed binge. She is on the edge, which is where gay performers have traditionally been. I saw a video of her, and did not hear any racist comments… not that I doubt they exist. I found her act tough to enjoy, for reasons that have nothing to do with racism. Just ignore her, and find something more important to whine about. “
There was a reply.
“Hey Luther, I don’t know how you meant for that to come off, but it’s not your job to tell us to ignore someone who is contributing to our oppression. Also, when you say, “find something more important to whine about,” I feel disappointed and dismayed because it sounds to me like you don’t understand that A) this is important to some of us, especially to those of us who are people of color, and it can be a very dehumanizing experience to be constantly confronted with people’s apathy around something that impacts our lives so intimately; and B) calling out racism in our community and “whining” are not the same thing, and, again, it’s really dehumanizing when we try to talk about something so important to us and people in the mostly-white communities around us dismiss our conversations as “whining” because they think our concerns or experiences are trivial, particularly when they personally, as white people, do not experience racism with the same intensity that people of color do. Obviously this is important to us and we have thought about it a lot. I stated that this has been going on (in my personal experience) for over a year and the autograph posted was signed months ago. It has actually taken us a long time to decide to say something so publicly about it, but I personally said something because THIS IS IMPORTANT AND PEOPLE NEED TO STOP IGNORING IT.
This person does not know very much about PG. All this person knows is that PG does not take a Pennsylvania drag queen seriously as an agent of oppression.

There is a lot of noise about racism. It is very one sided. The talk gets in the way of constructive action. There needs to be compassion and kindness for both people of color, and white people. To focus this kind of attention on a drag queen says more about the complainer than it does the performer. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. They are Union Soldiers, from 1861-1865.





Inspiration Porn

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, GSU photo archive, Quotes, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 14, 2014

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There is a lovely TED talk in the weekly email. The title is “I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much.” The speaker, Stella Young, delivers the message while sitting in a wheelchair.

The concept here is that *disabled* people are people. They are not here to inspire you. They are not intended to show you how bad your life could be, so you should appreciate what you have.

Ms. Young has a talent for words. She says some things much better than this slack blogger. TED talks include a transcript, aka the lazy bloggers friend. Laziness is not considered a disability.

…these images, there are lots of them out there, they are what we call inspiration porn. And I use the term porn deliberately, because they objectify one group of people for the benefit of another group of people. So in this case, we’re objectifying disabled people for the benefit of nondisabled people. … I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve been approached by strangers wanting to tell me that they think I’m brave or inspirational, and this was long before my work had any kind of public profile. They were just kind of congratulating me for managing to get up in the morning and remember my own name. And it is objectifying. These images, those images objectify disabled people for the benefit of nondisabled people. They are there so that you can look at them and think that things aren’t so bad for you, to put your worries into perspective. …

I really think that this lie that we’ve been sold about disability is the greatest injustice. It makes life hard for us. And that quote, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude,” the reason that that’s bullshit is because it’s just not true, because of the social model of disability. No amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp. Never. (Laughter) (Applause) Smiling at a television screen isn’t going to make closed captions appear for people who are deaf. No amount of standing in the middle of a bookshop and radiating a positive attitude is going to turn all those books into braille. It’s just not going to happen.”

EMIT (Educate Motivate Inspire Tripe) is in your inbox everyday. Yesterday, this tweet sent PG down the rabbit hole. ‏@chescaleigh “There’s a nasty rumor about racism, and it needs to die. Thankfully @the1janitor is here to help (via @Upworthy)” There was a link to Here’s What Morgan Freeman Had To Say About Racism, And Here’s A Guy Explaining What He Got Wrong.

The intro to the video said, among other things, “Every black person is going to have a different opinion/experience/perspective when it comes to racism.” This sentence got PG in a twitter exchange.

@chamblee54 @chescaleigh @the1janitor @Upworthy the intro said every black person has a different take on racism. so does every white person
‏@chescaleigh @chamblee54 didn’t deny that. but a white person’s perspective on racism lacks experiencing racism. so that’s a very different convo
@chamblee54 @chescaleigh i agree and disagree ~ white ppl experience prejudice ~ the semantics get in the way of understanding other people
@chescaleigh @chamblee54 white ppl experience prejudice not racism. They’re both shitty but not the same. Sounds like u need to read the link I posted
@chamblee54 @chescaleigh have glanced over article ~ re:#2, have been the only pwoc ~ i could go point by point, and might later on blog ~ thx 4 reply

PG saw the Upworthy video. A young man said that people need to talk about racism. He said nothing about listening. A poster for the University of Alabama football team was in the background. The exploitation of young black men, by college athletics, was not mentioned.

The article @chescaleigh linked to was 18 Things White People Should Know/Do Before Discussing Racism. It is poorly written, and full of logical fallacies. Here is item 3. “3. Oprah’s success does not mean the end of racism. The singular success of a Black man or woman (i.e. Oprah, or Tiger Woods, or President Obama) is never a valid argument against the existence of racism. By this logic, the success of Frederick Douglas or Amanda America Dickson during the 19th century would be grounds for disproving slavery.”

There was one last tweet. It was deleted a little while after being sent. Sometimes, it is best to use discretion. @chamblee54 @chescaleigh I read “18 things…” it was not very helpful.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Posted in Book Reports, Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 4, 2014

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Caro, Necie, Teensy, and Vivi are the Ya-Ya sisters. They were kids together in Louisiana when the local movie theater had a Shirley Temple look-a-like contest. The Ya-Yas were kicked out for misbehaving. It was not the only time they got in trouble.

Sidda, the daughter of Vivi, is working on a play. Her mother is not speaking to her. Sidda wants to know about female bonding, and asks one of the ya-yas for help. A scrapbook arrives. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: A Novel is about what happens when Sidda looks through the book.

The book is like life… it is short, but deep. If G-d is hiding in the details, maybe people can as well. sometimes the best thing to do is tell one of the stories.

It was the last week that PG would be working at the retail giant headquarters. The cafeteria quit serving at two p.m. The morning chores had lasted past the cutoff time. The break room was full of loud people. PG decided to get out, and found the Waffle House on Atlanta Road.

After ordering lunch, PG stepped back in time. The Ya-Ya girls took a train to Atlanta. They were going to the world premiere of “Gone With The Wind.” They stayed at the house of a wealthy relative. Ginger, a maid, was the chaperone. She had to ride in the “colored” car.

The premiere of GWTW was a big deal. There was a costume ball at the municipal auditorium, which was not exactly a grand place. There was a choir from Ebenezer Baptist Church singing spirituals. One of the singers was ten year old Martin Luther King Jr.

One day, during breakfast, an Atlanta cousin said something rude to Ginger. Vivi threw a plate of food at the Atlanta cousin. The Atlanta relatives were glad to see the Ya-Yas leaving. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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______ Telling _____ What Is Racist

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 3, 2014






Womanist Musings recently republished the internet classic 10 Conversations On Racism I’m Sick Of Having With White People. PG turned off his BS detector, and read. In addition to the ten convos of the title, there are five chats that the author would like to have. Apparently, the author likes to talk. Listening might be something else.

PG learned a long time ago that conversations about race are dangerous. If you say the wrong thing, you might wind up in the hospital. It is much easier to hold your piece, and live another day. The bottom line is, PG cannot remember ever discussing any of these matters, especially with a person of color (POC). He decided to leave a comment, and the fun started.

chamblee54 I am a person of non color. I have never had any of these fifteen conversations.
womanistmusings Do you want a cookie?
RVCBard Here’s a cookie you can make at home!
Siah WTF is a person of non-color? Transparent are ya?
miga Perhaps why ze’s never had that conversation before? No one notices hir?

PG felt it was important to make his ethnicity known. The image illustrating the comment has a brown paper bag over a head. You cannot tell if it is a person without color (PWOC), or POC. When talking about race, this is an important distinction.

Person of non-color might be a silly label. But then, what about POC? It is a mystery why “colored people” is offensive, but POC is PC. The skin on PG’s neck might be red, but red is a color.

And so it goes. People love to talk about race in America. The problem is finding someone who will listen. Before ending the text, and moving on to the pictures (courtesy of The Library of Congress), we are going to share something from facebook. This message has been edited. PWOC and POC have been replaced by blank spaces. This is a repost.

This is what I have seen a lot of recently: _____ telling _____ what is racist and what is not. Trust me, _____ of the world, _____ have been thinking about this for a LONG time, and it would be a good idea to LISTEN to what they say — I think that, most of the time, they’re probably right and you’re probably wrong about racism.

Maybe even do some reading and research, so the _____ don’t bear the burden of actively taking the time to educate you about racism in only face-to-face interactions and only when they’re calling you out for saying or doing something racist.

Can we just start with the assumption that you, _______ , are racist? That your actions, most likely, perpetuate or benefit from racism? Maybe that’s not true — I’m sure you’re a good person, but maybe you’re also racist. I don’t want you to feel guilty about it, but just live with it for a little bit as if it were true. Accept, for a moment, that, unless you are actively engaged in something that is ANTI-racist, you’re being racist. Now there’s nowhere to go but up! Now you can feel EXCELLENT about every anti-racist thing you do!

And you’ve been doing a lot of those anti-racist things recently, right?





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