Chamblee54

Examine Your Whiteness Part Two

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on January 31, 2018

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There have been some new developments in the Burkhart’s melodrama since Examine Your Whiteness was published. For those who are new here, a facebook screen shot appeared, showing the owner of a popular Atlanta bar saying the magic word. A community hissy fit followed. The drag queens who performed at the establishment quit. PG questioned the validity of the screen shot. Global warming got worse, Atlanta traffic slowed down, and Donald Trump got a haircut. It was a bad week.

Someone finally talked to Palmer Marsh, the bar owner with a facebook habit. Yes, he did say the magic word on facebook. He took the post down soon after, but not before a cunning employee got a screen shot. The evidence would prove handy.

Mr. Marsh made another noteworthy comment. “Marsh says his son-in-law is black, as are several of his own grandchildren.” This puts a new spin on the old saying… I can’t be racist, some of my best grandchildren are black. The people upset about the facebook post were not impressed. Don’t confuse me with the facts, the man is a racist, because I said so. The issue remains unresolved, as well as the issue of why anyone should care.

Racist is the one of worst things you can say about anyone. It is also tossed around casually, with no proof, or thought, required. Once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. If you defend someone accused of racism, you are considered racist yourself.

Racism is not an either/or binary. Many people have conflicting feelings on the matter. While the facebook post is apparently valid, what is in Palmer Marsh’s heart remains a mystery to most observers. Maybe he is a racist, and maybe he is not.

Why does a person need to be politically correct to own a queer bar? Historically, bar owners have been shady characters, who settled disputes with contract killing, and convenient fires. The business revolves around selling alcohol, a deadly, addictive, legal drug. People often misbehave under the influence, and the bar will use brute force to resolve the issue. Enemies are made. It is a tough, dirty business. And now we are supposed to shun an bar owner, because he used the magic word one time on facebook. (Full disclosure: PG is a retired drunk. He has been sober since 1988.)

Anti racism can be highly superficial. Lip service is paid to high minded definitions of racism: “Rather, according to the newly uncovered formula, racism = prejudice + power (or “prejudice + privilege” in some trendier renditions). White people are the ones with all the power and privilege here, so, per the formula, they cannot possibly be the objects of racism.”

That is good in theory, but boring in practice. When there is a racism controversy these days, it is frequently because someone said the magic word. (One exception is when the police kill someone.) Honest to G-d oppression is boring, and will not get attention. Catching someone saying the magic word gets attention. The ex-employee, who leaked the screen shot, wanted attention.

The other development is the sale of the bar. Supposedly, a group was planning to buy Burkhart’s. This group included the General Manager, Don Hunnewell, who gave a statement soon after the original screen shot emerged. “Yesterday it took everything I had to soldier on and not terminate my employment agreement.” A few days later, he was part of a group trying to buy the bar.

You might ask, how does a complicated sale like that happen so quickly? The answer is, it doesn’t. The owner of The Jungle, a now closed cha cha palace, is said to have made an offer. The Jungle got in SJW trouble a few years ago for hosting a performance by Sharon Needles. For the foreseeable future, Palmer and Mary Marsh own Burkhart’s.

An ex-employee had a problem with the club. Ex-employee leaked the screen shot to the press, and the fun started. Now, there are three possible motives for the ex-employee. 1 – Someone was offended by racism at the club, and wanted to call attention to it. 2- Release of the screen shot is somehow connected to a sale of the bar. It is not known if the ex-employee was part of the group that was going to buy the club. 3 – The ex employee had a problem with the club, and wanted to get revenge. Number 3 is the most likely, although all are possible. All things are possible in a world without G-d.

Where does this put the performers who quit, and the pearl clutching public? If this is motivated by sincere concern for racism at Burkhart’s, then people are entitled to the self congratulation. OTOH, if this whole mudbath is just part of the proposed sale, or a shot at revenge by an embittered ex-employee, then the pearl clutchers are being played.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress, taken at “Annual “Bathing Girl Parade”, Balboa Beach, CA, June 20, 1920.” Part three of this series is now available.

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3 Responses

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  1. […] the debate about ex-employee revenge, and Palmer Marsh, PG took a bit of heat for his position. He was told repeatedly to “Examine your […]

  2. Examine Your Whiteness | Chamblee54 said, on February 2, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    […] that maybe it is none of your business. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Parts two and three are now […]

  3. […] whizzing by. Testing Whiteness And Privilege Stop Getting Racisted At Examine Your Whiteness Examine Your Whiteness Part Two Examine Your Whiteness Part Three In the last part of that trilogy, PG googled the phrase *examine […]


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