Chamblee54

Snob Supremacy

This is a double repost. There are quotes from a defunct site, Owldolatrous. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This was written in the style of H. P. Lovecraft.
What is a snob? PG always thought it was someone who thought he was better than others. This is one of the “sins” that most people denounce, and then practice. Who doesn’t see someone that is just a few notches below you on the scale of human coolness?

A trip to the dictionary yields this: 1-a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others. 2-a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.

The origin of the word is amusing. Snob was a nickname for a cobbler, or someone who makes shoes. This is a working class occupation, but one that is needed by all people. How this would become a label for someone who “puts on airs” is a mystery.

There are snobs in a book PG is reading, “The city of falling angels” by John Berendt. An American writer goes to live in Venice, and has tales to tell. At one point, there is a dispute in an organization devoted to restoring stuff in Venice, and some of the players are labeled snobs. On page 318, there is a definition of a snob. You can be a snob upwards, by working the people on a level above you. Or, you can be a snob downwards, by being rude to those on a level below you.

The reader may have figured out by now that this post is going to ramble for a few paragraphs and not really go anywhere. The practice of “uppity”, or “putting on airs”, is hard wired into the consciousness of almost everyone. Like telling the truth and lying, no one wants to admit to being a snob, and yet almost everyone plays the game on some level.



“Supremacy is the habit of believing or acting as if your life, your love, your culture has more intrinsic worth than those of people who differ from you. Supremacy can be about race, but it doesn’t have to be. Supremacy and hate aren’t identical, but they often go together. Some people turn supremacy into an over-arching philosophy. For most, it’s just a habit of mind. As a habit of mind, supremacist ideas can spring up in anyone. Being liberal doesn’t make you immune. Being gay doesn’t make you immune. Being a minority doesn’t make you immune.”

There is more, but this is enough for our morning discussion. Supreme, Supremacy, Supremacism, Supremacist. It is not just for white people. The whole business of thinking that you are somehow better than your neighbor is part of being a human being. Think about it, aren’t there some people that you think you are better than? Of course there are. You are a competitive animal, and you have to win sometimes. You, and your tribe, are just better than that other tribe.

PG saw a sign over a desk once. I have never met a snob who was not a born liar. Above this sign was a plastic case. In the plastic case was a white dress shirt, with an ink stain in the front pocket. Like telling the truth and lying, no one wants to admit to being a snob. Still, almost everyone plays the game. Maybe the sign should have read “I have never met a human being who was not a born liar.“ Many of those lies begin with “I am not a ___.”

There is a concept, mythos over logos. The idea is, when you present people with information that contradicts a long held belief, the person will ignore the information and stick to the belief. This is related to the concept of supremacy. What happens when you think you are better than a person, and you get evidence that the person is better than you? You will ignore that evidence, and continue to believe the person is inferior to you. It helps when your magic book agrees with you.

Is Anti-Racism a form of supremacy? PG associates with a so called “radical community”. There has recently been a rabid discussion about racism. Now, this is a pretty enlightened bunch. The type of virulent racism that PG saw growing up in Georgia is simply not there. This does not stop the Anti Racist Supremacist Egophile (ARSE) from looking for racism to combat. The ARSE will expand the definition of racism to include every PWOC, except him them and his their immediate tribe.

One root word of Supremacy is Supreme. There were once three young ladies performing as “The Supremes.” Four videos are embedded into this post. That is not real hair.


People Who Say Racism

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 10, 2017


@YAppelbaum “10. Bottom line? White, working class Trump voters felt culturally displaced and resentful, not financially stressed” PG saw this tweet while drifting away from a problem poem. Before long, he clicked on a couple of links, and read a few tweets. An idea for a post emerged. Who doesn’t want to read another election post mortem? Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Beyond Economics: Fears of Cultural Displacement Pushed the White Working Class to Trump is the study from PRRI. The study focuses on white voters who did not attend college (WWC.) This group overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump. Because WWC voters were concentrated in key states, their votes became more important in swinging the electoral vote to DJT. The standard issues were discussed in the report, with one exception.

The report used the word racist one time. Racism was not said. “We’re supposed to make the effort to include everybody else. They don’t have to make the effort to include us. I was hysterical laughing over the thing at Eastern Kentucky University. The black student body had a welcome black event. Well, somebody on campus thought they should have a white welcome event. Well, the black one was okay, but the white one, the whole campus went bananas, and it was racist. Now what is the difference?” This was a boldface quote from “Woman.” It was not part of the study.

It Was Cultural Anxiety That Drove White, Working-Class Voters to Trump is the article in The Atlantic. The article is far shorter than the PRRI report. The article identified several items that appeared to be reasons why WWC voters went for DJT. The words “racist” and “racism” did not appear in this article.

One item was noteworthy. ” … 54 percent of white working-class Americans said investing in college education is a risky gamble, including 61 percent of white working-class men.” It would be interesting to see a study ask the same question to graduates dealing with student debt.

The twitter thread listed some of the key points. 4 Almost everything correlates; only four variables proved independently significant. One was Republican Party registration. Not shocking. 5 The 2nd was deportation. 87% of white working-class voters who want to deport undocumented immigrants voted Trump 6 Third? Higher education. WWC voters who think of college as a risky gamble, not an investment, went 2x for Trump: 7 WWC voters who wanted to protect American way of life, or feel like strangers in their own country? 79% for Trump 9 We found economically distressed white, working class voters were 75% more likely to vote for Clinton—not Trump.

Racist/Racism did not appear in the 11 part twitter thread quoted here. Some people say that calls for deportation are racist. However, most people in America think that racism is about the black/white thing. Discussions of this campaign routinely use racism to condemn anything they don’t like, with a special focus on Islam and Mexico. While trash talk about Islam and Mexico is improper, is it really racism? The more often the word is used, the less impact it has.

@zeynep Such a common historical patterns, that it’s not even surprising. Doesn’t make them non-racist, just makes this kind of analysis misleading
@gershonmarx Just say “racist”, Yoni, it’s way fewer characters.
@YAppelbaum I don’t have the data–racial resentment alone wasn’t independently predictive
@gershonmarx What distinguishes “culturally displaced and resentful” from “racist”?
@CSheehanMiles Aside from racism, they’re freaked out about gay marriage, hollywood, people who are transgender, Christmas and Starbucks. Plus racism
@Rachelia72 And losing their guns!
@CSheehanMiles Thanks! How could I leave that out?

Why I Don’t Say The N-Word

Posted in Poem, Race by chamblee54 on May 2, 2017

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04-30-2017

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Politics, Race, The English Language, War by chamblee54 on April 30, 2017






PG was stumbling through the sunday morning fog, and remembered what day it was. On this day 25 years ago, PG was downtown during a riot. There is a post about this day, 04-30-92, which is repeated below. The idea was to repeat an old story on a slack sunday.

Chamblee54 referenced a post by Atlanta newsmonger Doug Richards. Is his blog still published? Yes, it is. The post today is a doozy, and totally connected to the events of 1992.

One Lousy Word is the title of the post. Yes, it is the word you are thinking. The fishwrapper is more explicit: Valerie Hoff of 11Alive resigns after jokingly using the N-word in private Twitter exchange with black viewer. One day, corporate media will be forbidden to say “N-word.”

The reporter was trying to get a video of a policeman hitting a motorist. @CurtFromDaBlock had the goods. He said (the tweet does not turn up in a search) that “a lot of “news n***as” were trying to track him down for the video.” The reporter sent CFDB a private message, and unwisely repeated the magic word. The reporter resigned from her job later.

The fishwrapper article notes that CFDB is fond of using the magic word. While trying to find the seminal tweet in this thread, a few examples came up. In deference to nasty word mania, *apple* will be substituted for the magic word. @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* you ARE a *apple* RT“@OfficialAmiyah: When yo *apple* got good dick you be paranoid like shit.. “Why you gotta go outside bae?! @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* deserves prom king for all 3 school @CurtFromDaBlock *apple* drinking grape Fanta RT“@_Wrek: That purppppppppppp ”

So this is where we are with race. People talk the talk about systemic/systematic, institutional oppression, and presidential elections. It is not known how much impact this talk has on economic inequality, police misbehavior, and educational opportunity. But let a reporter quote someone using the magic word, in a private message, and the sky falls in. Chicken Little may have a point.





Doug Richards is an Atlanta tv news reporter. He writes a blog, live apartment fire. He was on the scene twenty four years ago. There was a riot downtown. Mr. Richards had a bad night.

PG was working in the Healey building that day. He ran an RMS, or reprographic management service, in an architects office. He had a blueline machine, ran jobs for the customer, and had free time. PG did a lot of exploring, and enjoyed the various events downtown. On April 30, 1992, there was an event he did not enjoy.

The day before, a jury in California issued a verdict. Four policemen were acquitted of wrongdoing in an incident involving Rodney King. The incident had been videotaped, and received widespread attention. The verdict of the jury was not popular. The dissatisfaction spread to Atlanta.

Sometimes, PG thinks he has a guardian angel looking over him. If so, then this thursday afternoon was one of those times. PG went walking out into the gathering storm. He was a block south of the train station at five points, when he saw someone throw a rock into a store front. The sheet metal drapes were rolled down on the outside of the store. PG realized that he was not in a good place, and quickly made his way back to the Healey building.

A group of policeman were lined up in the lobby of the building, wearing flack jackets. One of the police was a white man, who was familiar to workers in the neighborhood. A few weeks before the incident, he had been walking around the neighborhood showing off his newborn baby.

There was very little work done that afternoon in the architect’s office. Someone said not to stand close to the windows, which seemed like a good idea. Fourteen floors below, on Broad Street, the window at Rosa’s Pizza had a brick thrown threw it. There were helicopters hovering over downtown, making an ominous noise.

There was a lot of soul searching about race relations that day. The Olympics were coming to town in four years, and the potential for international disaster was apparent. As it turned out, the disturbance was limited to a few hundred people. It could have been much, much worse. If one percent of the anger in Atlanta had been unleashed that day, instead of .001 percent, the Olympics would have been looking for a new host.

After a while, the people in the office were called into the lobby. The Principal of the firm, the partner in charge of production, walked out to his vehicle with PG and a lady in operations. The principal drove an inconspicuous vehicle, which made PG feel a bit better. PG took his pocketknife, opened the blade, and put it in his back pocket. It probably would not have done him much good.

PG usually took the train downtown. As fate would have it, there was a big project at the main office of redo blue on West Peachtree Street. That is where PG’s vehicle was, in anticipation of working overtime that night. The principal drove PG to this building. PG called his mother, to let her know that he was ok. The Atlanta manager of Redo Blue talked to him, to make sure that he was not hurt.

If PG had not gone back downtown the next day, he might not have ever gone back. He was back at the West Peachtree Street office, and was assured that it was safe to ride the train into town. The Macy’s at 180 Peachtree had plywood nailed over the display windows. A gift shop in the Healey building had a sign in the window, “Black owned business”. Friday May 1, 1992, was a quiet day.

This is a repost. The events of twenty five years ago are mostly forgotten in Atlanta. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.





Dr. King And Mr. King

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on April 28, 2017

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PG stumbled onto a blog post about a speech. It was delivered August 28, 1963, by Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. You have probably heard the money quote many times, but how many have heard the entire 881 words. PG had not, and decided to take a look.

The speech is really a sermon. It is delivered with the cadence, and rhetorical flourishes, of the church. Dr. King was a minister. The Jesus worship church is a huge player in African America. The fact that slaves were introduced to this religion, by their owners, seems to be forgotten.

The term used is Negro. This was the polite word in 1963. The custom of saying Black started in the late sixties, at least partially inspired by James Brown. Negro began to be seen as an insult, along with the infamous N-word … which is really just a lazy way of saying Negro.

As the speech is working up to the climax, there is a line “But not only there; let freedom ring from the Stone Mountain of Georgia!” Today, Stone Mountain is a middle class black community. DeKalb County is mostly black, and the political leadership is African American. This was a long way from happening in 1963.

Twelve weeks after Dr. King gave his speech, President John Kennedy was killed. Part of the reaction to this tragedy was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The next year saw the Voting Rights Act, and escalation of the war in Vietnam. It seemed that for every step forward, there was a half step back. People lost patience with non violence. America did not implode, but somehow survived. It is now fifty four years later.

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The other day PG stumbled onto a blog post, about a speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This address was deemed “the singularly most-important speech on race in the history of this country.”

PG admires Dr. King. He is also suspicious of superlatives. There were some comments made by Rodney Glen King III. The comments by Mr King were briefer, and tougher to live up to.

While thinking of things to write about, PG realized that he had never seen the actual quote by Mr. King. It is embedded above. When you see this video, you might realize that Mr. King has been misquoted. The popular version has him saying “Can’t we all just get along.” He did not say just.

Mr. King was known to America as Rodney King. His friends called him Glen. His comments, at 7:01, May 1, 1992, went like this:
““People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids? . . . Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it.”
The circumstances of the two comments could not be more different. Dr. King was giving the sermon of his life. There was an enormous crowd, both in person and on TV. His comments were scripted, rehearsed, and delivered with the style that he was famous for.

Mr. King, by contrast, had just seen the officers who beat him acquitted. Cities from coast to coast were in violent upheaval. Mr. King was speaking to reporters without benefit of a speech writer. What he said might be more important. This double repost has pictures from The Library of Congress.

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POC

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on March 15, 2017

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PG saw a tweet that he agreed with. His reasons for agreement were different from the reasons of the tweeter, Black Girl Dangerous. In any event, this is something that PG has wanted to opine about for a while. It will be a good excuse to write text. Something needs to go between the pictures, from The Library of Congress. Permission to quote the tweets has been requested. If this permission is granted, the tweets will be included. This is a repost.

The tweets were about the expression POC. For those who are new here, POC stands for person/people of color. It is a preferred expression for people who are not of european origin, and use a language other than english. People of color is similar to colored people. The latter expression is considered offensive in 2017.

The fine print for @BlackGirlDanger says “Amplifying the voices of queer and trans* people of color. We don’t respond to clueless white tweets.” BGD responded to the comment by @chamblee54. The gravatar image for c54 has a paper bag over his melanin challenged face. Maybe the comment was clueful. In any event, a reply was made.

As for POC, it lumps too many different groups of people, with too many different experiences, together. It doesn’t say very much. Some POC are oppressed. Some POC are privileged. Many people who claim POC status have experienced little of the oppression that many African Americans face.

This is not the first time the BGD has written about this. There was a post recently, 4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege. Part four is about people who think it is cool to say they are POC, when they haven’t really had the experience. The post is copyrighted. You are encouraged to use the link and see for yourself what BGD has to say.

In June of 2012, a firestorm broke out in Atlanta about a drag queen named Sharon Needles. The linked post tells a bit of the story. PG made a comment. He was criticized by a person, who used the expression “those of us who are people of color” in the diatribe.

PG has heard that this person is of Indian origin. The amount of wealth, education, and privilege possessed by them is not known. They are clearly not of African origin, and might be caucasian. It is unlikely that they has experienced the oppression faced by many African Americans. Why does they make angry statements, with the phrase “those of us who are people of color”?

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Who Invented The Word Racism?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Race, The English Language by chamblee54 on March 7, 2017


Writers tackle was rampaging through Brookhaven. PG looked in a list of old product, and found a feature built on the output of Teju Cole. He has a dandy article, at the New Yorker, about what is antiseptically called drone warfare. It is the twitter feed that gets attention. This is a repost.

@tejucole George Carlin’s original seven dirty words can all be said freely now. The one word you can’t say, and must never print, is “racist.”

The quote marks lend mystery to the tweet. Does he mean the dreaded “n word”? Or does he mean that other six letter slur? There is no shortage of people screaming racist in Georgia, often at the slightest provocation. There is an attitude that racism is the worst thing you can be accused of, and that, once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. If you do a bit of research into racism, the word, you will see some interesting things.

The concept of groups of people not liking each other is as old as mankind. The word racism apparently did not exist before 1933 (merriam webster), or 1936 (dictionary dot com).

Something called the Vanguard News Network had a forum once, What is the true origin of the term racism? This forum is problematic, as VNN seems to be a white supremacist affair. One of the reputed coiners of the R word was Leon Trotsky, also referred to as Jew Communist. Another Non English speaker who is given “credit” for originating the phrase is Magnus Hirschfeld. As for English, the word here is: “American author Lawrence Dennis was the first to use the word, in English, in his 1936 book “The coming American fascism”.”

The terms racist and racism seem to be used interchangeably in these discussions. This is in keeping with the modern discussion. As Jesus worshipers like to say, hate the sin, love the sinner.

The Online Etymology Dictionary has this to add: “racist 1932 as a noun, 1938 as an adjective, from race (n.2); racism is first attested 1936 (from French racisme, 1935), originally in the context of Nazi theories. But they replaced earlier words, racialism (1871) and racialist (1917), both often used early 20c. in a British or South African context. In the U.S., race hatred, race prejudice had been used, and, especially in 19c. political contexts, negrophobia.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

Frank Ancona

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Race, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 15, 2017

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The body of kkk big dog Frank Ancona was found in a Missouri river the other day. People who like to say rude things about the klan celebrated the news. It is safe to say that few of these people had heard of Mr. Ancona before his demise.
PG saw the headline, and remembered a story from last year. Mr. Ancona was quoted in that story. He was trash talking another klan organization. He said the klan is a secret society that shuns publicity. Mr. Ancona has a knack for getting attention, which may be a reason he was killed.

The murder might be the result of a marital dispute. Mr. Ancona’s wife, and step son, are in trouble. Malissa Ancona had a legally unwise chat with a tv reporter, Exclusive: Malissa Ancona, Wife of murdered KKK leader, speaks only to News 4. A twitter account, @malissa72, is still up. The picture shows Mrs. Ancona kissing Mr. Ancona.

Prosecutor: KKK leader may have been killed because he wanted divorce. The St. Lous Post-Dispatch has been on top of the story. This report has an interesting passage: “Mark Potok, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate organizations, said that Ancona’s group was “not very significant at all. This was one of the smallest groups out there.” Potok said the members received a lot of attention because they frequently handed out leaflets. He said he would be surprised if there were 40 members spread out among chapters in Potosi, Hayden, Idaho and Pennsylvania.

Ancona had been in a dispute with other Klan leaders, Potok said, who accused Ancona of being secretly Jewish and Malissa Ancona of being a Wiccan. Both were untrue, Potok believes, but the accusations are typical of the Klan world today, which consists of 29 different named organizations, “each one claiming to be the one true Klan and denigrating the others.”

People who like to be seen denouncing racism love to hate the kkk. Nothing you say about the bedsheet boys is out of bounds. The truth is that the kkk has as much influence, and respect, as the bad guys in professional wrestling. The kkk is a fashion challenged version of the westboro baptist church. You have to wonder why people get so much enjoyment from trash talking the klan. Maybe this is a distraction for their own unresolved racial conflicts.

“…the Klan world today, which consists of 29 different named organizations, “each one claiming to be the one true Klan and denigrating the others.”” How did all these groups, that hate each other, get together for a national meeting? Do they call it the grand dragon con? Was this the meeting where they endorsed Donald Trump? That endorsement was reported by the Washington Post, and Rachel Maddow. Millions of Trump hating patriots accepted this news without a moment’s hesitation. The spell check suggestion for Maddow is Maddox.

If P.T. Barnum had ever said “There’s a sucker born every minute,” he would have been correct. The truth is, there is little evidence that he did. Here is a phony quote, about suckers, that is widely accepted as truth. There is a bit of synchronicity there. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Was Mohandas Gandhi A Racist?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes, Race by chamblee54 on February 11, 2017

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A meme appeared on facebook, “GHANDI’S 7 DANGERS TO HUMAN VIRTUE.” Below the misspelled name were seven concepts, written in all caps. This got PG thinking.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (M.K. Gandhi) “was born was born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, a small town on the western coast of India.” At some point the title Mahatma was applied, and is often used as though it was his name. Exact transliterations between languages using different alphabets is tricky. What is the “correct” spelling of this man’s last name? Most sources today use Gandhi.

Another term, Gandhiji, turns up in the research. “‘Ji’ in Hindi or Urdu is a suffix used after the names of respectable persons and elders like father and mother. It is used every day by millions of Indians to address their elders.Hence Gandhiji is but Mahatma Gandhi,father of our nation,addressed reverently and respectfully. We call mother mataji. Mata means mother.”

The quote in the meme is real. It is found on page 135 of Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 33. It was in an article found in Young India on October 22, 1925.

“SEVEN SOCIAL SIN The same fair friend wants readers of Young India to know, if they do not already, the following seven social sins: Politics without principles, Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice. Naturally, the friend does not want the readers to know these things merely through the intellect but to know them through the heart so as to avoid them.”

The next entry in the collected works is interesting. “79. THAT ETERNAL QUESTION However much I may wish to avoid it, the Hindu-Muslim question will not avoid me. Muslim friends insist upon my intervention to solve it. The Hindu friends would have me discuss it with them and some of them say I have sown the wind and must reap the whirlwind.”

The meme had comments. Lloyd Lachow Gandhi was intensely racist. Joanne Gibson Gandhi was not intensely racist. Fighting racism was his first cause. John Janiga Gandhi racist??? John Taylor Lloyd, were you born an idiot, or did you have to work at it?

This looks like a job for Mr. Google. When you type the phrase “Is Gandhi,” suggested searches include “sill alive” and “on netflix.” This does not help if you want to know if someone is racist.

Mr. Gandhi lived in South Africa from 1893-1915. During this time he was offended at the treatment of Indian nationals, which led to a decision to fight for Indian rights. Unfortunately, these rights were not to be extended to the native South Africans.

gandhi misspelled240 … there’s no doubting that Gandhi had little time for black people. During his 21 years in South Africa, he repeatedly expressed contempt for the native population, claiming they were no better than the “untouchables” of Indian society. One speech in particular stands out. In 1896, he was quoted as referring to black South Africans as the “raw kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.” For those of you who aren’t up on your South African slang, “kaffir” is a direct equivalent of our N-word. Another time, he complained about finding himself in a “kaffir” prison, claiming Indians were “above” natives, who “are troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.”

There is the story of the Durban Post Office. “The first major accomplishment of the Natal Indian Congress was to further entrench racial segregation into South African society during a time of massive racial strife. At the time, the Durban, South Africa post office had two doors. One was for whites and the other for Indians and black natives. Gandhi was so disgusted at having to share a door with blacks that he initiated a campaign for the creation of a third door. … A year later, after the issue had already been resolved, Gandhi chose to expound upon his reasons for raising it in the first place. In his August 14, 1896 letter, “The Grievances of the British Indians in South Africa: An Appeal to the Indian Public,” he called being “put on the same level with the native” a “disability.”

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

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Non-Racist Or Anti-Racist

Posted in Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on February 2, 2017

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There is a tasteful bit of white guilt porn on the innertubes. The video is from the Guardian, a British enterprise. Are you racist? ‘No’ isn’t a good enough answer. The transcript has 365 words, one for each day of the year. The word for today is and. The most recent tally shows 4,714,039 views on facebook, which does not pay royalties.

The talk is an exercise in semantics. Either you are non-racist, or anti-racist. The possibilities that you are a known-racist is not considered, as is the concept that attitudes about race are nobody else’s business. The speaker, Marlon James, instructs the listener that you MUST be anti-racist. Nothing else will do. This means that you must take some type of action against racism. What exactly you are supposed to do is not specified, but you need to do something.

Mr. James lists five points that the mythical non-racist uses to justify their non-ness. “I’m not a bigot. I don’t sing that ’n’ word when my favorite rap jam comes on. I didn’t vote for that guy. I’m not burning any crosses. I’m not a skinhead.” From these five nots, a certain lifestyle emerges. “What you end up with is an entire moral stance, an entire code for living your life and dealing with all the injustice in the world by not doing a damn thing. That’s the great thing about “non-”: you can put it off by simply rolling over in your bed and going to sleep. So why are you sitting at home and watching things unfold on TV instead of doing something about it? Because you’re a non-racist, not an anti-racist.” Or maybe you are an uncle-racist, and auntie-racist won’t let you do anything.

At no point is a course of anti-racist action suggested. Should you go block traffic on the interstate? Should you vilify a member of your community who expresses incorrect opinions on facebook? Should you go to the state capitol, and talk to your representative about laws you are not familiar with? Exactly what are you supposed to do? Will this action do more harm than good? Is this action any of your business? Do you know what you are talking about? Maybe the effect of your action is not important, as long as you are doing something.

The monolog takes a strange turn now. “Now, do this for me: take the “c” out of racist and replace it with a “p”. “I’m not a rapist. I’m not friends with any rapist. I didn’t buy that rapist’s last album.” All these things that you’re not doing. Meanwhile, people are still getting raped, and black boys are being killed. It’s not enough that you don’t do these things.”

Ok, so now we need to take meaningless action against rape, and black boy murder. Again, what are you supposed to do? There is also the matter of privilege. Is it really the white person’s business that black boys are shooting other black boys? And what are we supposed to do about this? Maybe you can say rude things about police. Whatever you do, say #blacklivesmatter instead of #alllivesmatter.

The video comes to a merciful end with the words “We need to stop being “non-” and start being “anti-”. Or take action against glamorous issues that have no effect on most people, but make you feel good to talk about. The Academy Award nominations have been announced, and not enough POC have been nominated. We can take action on twitter, as this tweet illustrates. #oscarssowhite that pointed hoods will be included in the swag bags this year.

The pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These details are from picture #06666, documenting “First Internation[al] Pageant of Pulchritude & Seventh Annual Bathing Girl Review at Galveston, Texas.” It was taken in 1926. This is a repost.

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Six Letter Label

Posted in GSU photo archive, Race by chamblee54 on February 1, 2017

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There is yet another blog post about Shirley Q. Liquor, I’m Tired of Explaining Why I’m Offended by a Racist Drag Queen. SQL is a comic character, a black woman played by Charles Knipp, who is white. The concept is not pleasing to many people. This is a repost.

There is a sentence in the post which needs to be broken down.
“Here’s my question: When people like me say that something is potentially racist, why do we have to defend ourselves to White people who act as the final jurist of the opinion?”
To begin, people very seldom say anything as restrained as potentially racist. The judgment is made with great force and certainty. The accuser appoints themself judge, jury, and hangperson. There is a rush to be seen denouncing the so called racist, usually at top volume.

Racist is a six letter label, just like the N word. It is a word that gets attention. Racist is casually tossed around, and is filtered out by many people. Maybe, just maybe, there are better ways to deal with situations without using this six letter judgment.

In 2012, PG received a mailer that had some questionable content. It discussed the creation of a city of Brookhaven. The mailer was displayed, and the racially obnoxious aspects of it were discussed. Six letter labels were not used.

On election day, the voters chose to create a new city. PG’s protest did not do any good. Would using a six letter label have made any difference? Probably not. This blog does not have that large of a readership. Also, some people who were troubled by the mailer felt that a new city was the correct thing to do. PG just wanted to let people know he was not pleased. (Ironically, this debate took place at the same time as a local clusterfuck involving Sharon Needles. While PG was fighting racially charged campaigns in one community, he was being labeled a racist is another.)

PG is white, and can only speak for himself. When he hears the word racist, his BS detector kicks into action. These arguments are rather one sided, with white people usually the bad guys. If you want to influence behavior, you might think twice before tossing a six letter label into your speech.

There is a bit of logical fallacy in that sentence. You make a statement, go past considering whether or not it is true, and go directly to asking “why”. That would seem to be the case here. When is a person made to feel that “we have to defend ourselves to White people who act as the final jurist of the opinion?” Do these PWOC (People With Out Color) use a weapon to force this explanation? Why would you have to explain yourself anyway?

It is *racially specific* that she says white people in this sentence. Would it be better if a POC (Person of Color) didn’t automatically believe everything the author says? PWOC PG has observed POC, who generally act as the final jurist on racial matters. Maybe it is POC privilege.

When you google the phrase “what is racism?”, you get 156 million results. The definition is changing everyday. Certainly when you discuss so called reverse racism, or anti PWOC nastiness, there are many who say that racism is a society wide privilege for the PWOC, and that POC cannot be racist. Whatever. Racism/anti-racism can give you a headache, if you think about it too much.

The point is, when you hyperdefine a concept like racism, you run the risk of defining racism so narrowly that offensive entertainers do not fit the definition. Shirley Q. Liquor talking about her nineteen babydaddies does not affect the larger issues of white privilege. Or maybe racism is anything that annoys a POC. At some point, the six letter label does not mean very much.

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

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Dolly Parton And Paula Deen

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Politics, Quotes, Race, The English Language by chamblee54 on January 19, 2017

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Dolly Parton celebrates a birthday today. The internet is a love fest for her, and deservedly so. Miss Parton has given joy to millions, with her singing and acting.

Paula Deen was born on the same day, one year later. While her star did not shine quite as bright as Miss Parton, Mrs. Deen made her contribution to american life. The only problem was a bad boss lawsuit against a company Mrs. Deen invested in. A lawyer got Mrs. Deen to admit, under oath, the she had said the n-word. Paula Deen became a pariah.

Dolly Parton and Paula Deen have a few things in common. Miss Parton is married to Carl Thomas Dean, and her legal name is Mrs. Dean. Both ladies are from the south, the hills of East Tennessee, and the flatland of Albany, Georgia. Both grew up in an era where the n-word was what white people called black people.

What if the story had been different. What if it was a restaurant at Dollywood where the manager was not happy? What if this white woman, who was treated better because she was a white woman, decided to claim racial discrimination in her bad boss lawsuit? (Page 153 of deposition.) What if the disgruntled employee’s lawyer was smarter than Dolly Parton’s lawyer? We might have had tabloids screaming nonstop that Dolly Parton said the n-word.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress, taken at “Annual “Bathing Girl Parade”, Balboa Beach, CA, June 20, 1920.” No one asked these ladies if they ever said the n-word. This is a repost. Other celebrities born on January 19: Robert E. Lee (1807), Edgar Allan Poe (1809), Jean Stapleton (1923), Janis Joplin (1943), and Desi Arnaz Jr.(1953.)

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