15 Things You Can’t Say Around Black People Anymore

1. Nigger
2. Colored
3. Tar Baby
4. Slavery
5. Coon
6. Negro
7. Cotton Picker
8. Lynch
9. Blackie
10. Darkies
11. Dark Chocolate
12. Dark as Night
13. Black Coffee
14. Midnight
15. Noir

If you want to be equal spare me the PC bullshit and stop being offended, because as you can see from the above list.. eventually it just becomes ridiculous. I am not offended when people say white boys can’t jump, or if I get called Cracker. Are people really that insecure and if a whole race is really that insecure.. what does that say. I mean when was the last time someone was lynched? That word doesn’t have any special meaning to white people.. (nor should it have any special meaning to any other people considering at some point in history every possible race has been lynched.

Well no need to just pick on black people…

Other Top Politically inCorrect Words and Phrases

1. Macaca – Might have changed the political balance of the US Senate, since George Allen’s (R-VA) utterance (which is an offensive slang term for Indians of the Sub-continent in the West Indies) surely has impacted his election bid.

2. Global Warming Denier – Since there are those who now believe that climate changed has moved from scientific theory to dogma; there are now proposal that ‘global warming deniers’ be treated the same as ‘holocaust deniers:’ professional ostracism, belittlement, ridicule and, even, jail.

3. Herstory for History – ‘Herstory’ again attempts to take the male element out of ‘HIS story’. Though there are nearly 900,000 Google citations for ‘HERstory, they are all based on a mistaken assumption. When Herodotus wrote the first history, the word meant simply an ‘inquiry’.

4. Flip Chart. The term can be offensive to Filipinos, please use ‘writing block’.

5. 1a and 1b — The headmistress of a grade school in Midlothian (Scotland) had to split a grade into two equal classes. Though the split was purely alphabetical, parents objects because those with children in ’1b’ feared they may be perceived as academically inferior to those in ’1a’.

6. Politically Incorrect Colors — Staff at a coffee shop in Glasgow refused to serve a customer who had ordered a ‘black coffee’, believing it to be ‘racist.’ He wasn’t served until he changed his order to ‘coffee without milk’. Around the world we have reports of the word ‘black’ becoming emotionally charged and politically correct or incorrect depending upon one’s point of view.

7. Oriental – Asian, please. Though this is generally a purely American phenomenon. In Europe, Asians prefer the term Oriental, which literally means ‘those from the East’.

8. Menaissance – The rise of a ‘manliness’ culture or male renaissance. Replaces metrosexual, which evidently appealed to women but not men.

9. Momtini — A Michigan mother invented the term ‘momtini’ as an act of rebellion against ‘parental correctness’. This has raised the hackles of child protection and ‘anti-alcohol’ groups.

10. “Our Mother and Father Who are in Heaven” – From a new, ‘inclusive’ Bible translation (The Bible in a More Just Language) that replaces what it believes to be “divisive” teachings of Christianity.

EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA Bonus: Political Correctness — ‘Equality Essentials,’ a 44-page training manual book called has been used for staff training courses at Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire suggests that the term Political Correctness is now politically incorrect.

127 thoughts on “15 Things You Can’t Say Around Black People Anymore

  1. I agree that the PC stuff has gone haywire.

    And it’s even more ridiculous that the ‘PC’ words go in and out of style faster than Britney can suck down shots of Absinthe. They apparently change because they begin to have a “negative connotation.” But if several words that replace each other end up having a negative connotation, don’t you think it might be the subject the words describe– not the words themselves?

    We went from “retarded” to “slow learner” to “Mentally disabled” to “Mentally challenged” to “Special Needs” finally turning the word which accurately described a condition to one that makes it seem like a gift.

    I understand that being referred to as “retarded” is insulting. But what people need to realize is just because someone uses the word “special needs” instead of “retarded,” doesn’t mean that individual thinks any more highly of you. It doesn’t mean they won’t discriminate against you, or look down on you, or any of those things. They just know which word to use to make themselves sound “sensitive.” I think if people stopped placing so much importance on a word and actually focused on breaking down the barriers and prejudices coupled with discrimination, it wouldn’t really matter what word people use– it wouldn’t seem negative.

    It’s much easier to freak out about the use of a politically incorrect word than it is to focus on creating a solution. Even if the word “nigger” was eradicated from every person’s vocabulary, there will still be racism. If no one ever said “retarded” again, people would still look down on people with low IQs. Focusing on the word choice is like popping a zit on a leper. It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, but it sure is easier than treating leprosy.

  2. I think what Christopher is trying to say here about equality is… if a group of people (whether it be blacks or women or Asians or what) really want white people (and everyone else) to look at them and NOT instantly see them for their race, gender, etc., then they can’t go around expecting special treatment because of their race.

    For example, if you want to be treated by a white person the same way that white person treats other white people, then you can’t be offended when that person uses a word (like “lynch”) to make a joke about a black person when no white people would be offended by the use of the word referring to themselves.

    You either want people to not make race an issue, in which you can’t, then in turn, constantly make race an issue. OR you want people to recognize that you should be treated differently because of your race (as in, put in the effort to use only politically correct words around you as not to offend), in which case, you can’t complain if people make assumptions about you based on your race. If I censor “lynch” out of my vocabulary when making jokes around black people, then I am making an assumption that they’ll be offended by the joke because they’re black and therefore, have to make assumptions about them based only on their race. You can’t really have it both ways.

  3. “For example, if you want to be treated by a white person the same way that white person treats other white people, then you can’t be offended when that person uses a word (like “lynch”) to make a joke about a black person when no white people would be offended by the use of the word referring to themselves.”

    It is not the word that is offensive, it is the context in which the word is used. Saying that someone is going to lynch a white person is NOT the same, is not in any way equal to saying the same thing about a black person. Why? Because the context of those statements are completely different.

    If it is so difficult for you to see why making jokes about black people being lynched is wrong or just merely offensive and not wrong, by all means, freely make them. Just be prepared for people not liking it. As you said in earlier posts, people should be able to say and think what they want. In the same vein, people should be allowed to be offended if you make jokes about black people being lynched.

  4. “Focusing on the word choice is like popping a zit on a leper. It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, but it sure is easier than treating leprosy.”

    Well, the focus should be on both because words do have incredible power in and of themselves because of the context in which they are used. Words express what we cannot express merely with actions or even with other “substitute” words. Personally, I don’t think we should stop people from using harmful, offensive, racist, etc words, but I think it is important that people are aware of what the words mean and how their meanings can shift when the context surrounding them changes. People should have the freedom to say exactly what they want to say without fear of the kind of censorship some like people like Sharpton have called for. I don’t want someone telling me I cannot say the word nigger. It’s my right to say it. However, I also understand the implications when I say the word, especially in certain contexts.

    I think people are really misguided when they focus on the word itself without any context. Context is what defines the words and is what gives the word meaning.

    Random question: Can I go back to being a Lil Devil??

  5. “If it is so difficult for you to see why making jokes about black people being lynched is wrong or just merely offensive and not wrong, by all means, freely make them. Just be prepared for people not liking it.”

    But now you’re avoiding the point of the thread which is that people apparently CAN’T freely make comments because the fact that some people are offended (which I believe is their issue– not the issue of the person making the comment) does affect the person speaking. This woman was suspended from her job because someone (we still don’t know who exactly besides Al Sharpton) was offended. THAT is the problem. It’s not just people not liking it… it’s that they feel the need to force everyone else into what they– in all their hyper-sensitivity– feel is politically correct.

  6. “I don’t want someone telling me I cannot say the word nigger. It’s my right to say it. However, I also understand the implications when I say the word, especially in certain contexts.”

    Here’s the problem with that. I, being white, cannot use that word in ANY context. Freedom of speech is a freedom that’s not just reserved for people who’s skin is black. But at this point, in our society, it is.

  7. “But now you’re avoiding the point of the thread which is that people apparently CAN’T freely make comments because the fact that some people are offended (which I believe is their issue– not the issue of the person making the comment) does affect the person speaking.”

    Well, no I am not. I am simply conceding that people can say whatever they want. That doesn’t mean that what you say is without consequence or that it might be so offensive that your peers will not allow you to say it in certain fora. We don’t live in a censor free society. We censor each other all of the time under various circumstances. People are free to use the word “Fire” but yell it in a movie theater and you might get into some trouble. People can use the word bitch but we don’t let news anchors do it while delivering the weather report. That is us censoring each other.

    So I think your argument presumes that we do not censor each other when in actuality we really do and for various reasons. Perhaps the issue is really, what is worthy of our censorship.

    Also, I was really trying to be a smartass with my comment and it didn’t work. :-) The point I was making is that you are free to complain about how far you think PC has gone and why people shouldn’t be offended at certain words, etc all day long. But there is a flip-side to your argument and one I thought worth mentioning: people are FREE to be OFFENDED as well.

  8. “Here’s the problem with that. I, being white, cannot use that word in ANY context. Freedom of speech is a freedom that’s not just reserved for people who’s skin is black. But at this point, in our society, it is.”

    I don’t think that’s true. You merely saying the word is not what will get you into trouble. It’s what you say with the word.

  9. The other thing I wanted to say, Christine, is that you are free to say whatever you want. You just can’t do it without consequences which is what you seem to want. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean speech without consequence, speech without offense.

    My freedom of speech is not impaired because someone will be offended by what I say.

  10. Christine said: “Here’s the problem with that. I, being white, cannot use that word in ANY context. Freedom of speech is a freedom that’s not just reserved for people who’s skin is black. But at this point, in our society, it is.

    Mara said: “I don’t think that’s true. You merely saying the word is not what will get you into trouble. It’s what you say with the word.

    Actually, Mara, I’m confident there are quite a few places in my area where just uttering only the N-word would draw people’s ire.

    Christine also said: “Nope… onwards and upwards. Why is it that no one likes the Oracle? Those lips are kinda cool…

    I think that comment was entirely racially motivated!!!

    Is it coincidence that Mara is African-American and her new icon is a set of lips????

    Is it coincidence that Christine says “onward and upward” as if Mara is a below her — struggling to climb the social ladder to the white woman’s status???

    I think not…

    ;) :$

  11. Watch-it people! Smart chicks talkin’ here… ;)

    You guys keep this up, and we’re going to reach two inevitable conclusions… #1. Freedom of speech as dictated by the constitution of the USA is a facade at best …and #2. I’m gonna have to go home and wash my jeans… :p

  12. Mara… What is your ethnicity as PJ mentioned… In your own description?

    …and may I correct your statement re- last time someone was lynched… That may have been the last one you recall witnessing through the media, but it was most certainly, by definition, NOT the most recent occurrence…

  13. Trouble, Black. I’m not certain 1998 was the last time someone was lynched but that was something that got a fair amount of media attention, occurred somewhat recently and thus, something Christopher could verify pretty easily. There is a method to my madness.

    PJ, Okay, yes there are some places where merely uttering the word would get Christine into trouble. But there is a difference between freedom to speak and freedom from the offense people may take at what you say.

  14. “I don’t think that’s true. You merely saying the word is not what will get you into trouble. It’s what you say with the word.”

    Actually Mara… Saying the word alone, even with the unlikely non-assignment of ulterior meaning, WILL get you into trouble. That’s precisely why it’s called the ‘N’-word now… It’s not what you say “‘with” the word, but WHERE & WHEN you say the word… Don’t believe me?
    Take a person who has one black parent and one white parent, but who for all intents looks white [it happens] and stand them in a group of black people… Give them the following list of words; fruit, dandelion, hotel, mountain, nigger…
    Have them read the list slowly and aloud. Please note the exact time that your subject is ‘lynched’…

    Freedom of speech refers to the right of an individual or group to express themselves publicly, and in opposition of, without fear of persecution from the government…

  15. Trouble, yes, I admitted that probably saying the alone could get Christine into trouble. Like my play on words? Anyway, yes, I’ll concede that after I thought about it more deeply. But I don’t think that has anything to do with freedom of speech (of which I was writing in more general terms and was not referring to constitutional freedom of speech).

  16. Hmm, I guess I type too slow… I did see your comment after I refreshed… and I did get the wordplay too…
    So, Mara, you are Black… An inconsequential fact of which I was previously unaware…

    How you read the above statement will decide its meaning… Do I mean that the fact that you are Black makes you inconsequential to me, or that the fact that you are black is of no consequence to how I perceive or treat you? There really is only one way to correctly interpret it… But if one is still unsure, one could consider the source of the comment for additional clarification…

    Problems will arise when people don’t consider the influence of context…

    Freedom of speech in the more general sense you are speaking of, I understand… You are free to say what you want, and you are also free to reap the rewards, or suffer the consequences of what you say… I firmly believe this… it is another way of putting “with great power, comes great responsibility…” which extends it to encompass actions as well…

    Many Americans do not understand the difference between your constitutional right, and your moral right, as I was trying to clarify…

  17. The sad fact is that choosing to be offending by words actually encourages racism by making race an issue at all. The people I know who are least racist and I tend to think most people are racist most just don’t realize it, but the people I feel who are least racist really don’t notice color. Ever. Now for more people to be like this it is important for the political correctiness that has to do with race to vanish. Christine you are incorrect about your retard example. It is only insulting because of PC. Before retard was insulting it was just a term to describe a “retard”

  18. “The sad fact is that choosing to be offending by words actually encourages racism by making race an issue at all.”

    Maybe or maybe not. It depends on the context in which the words are used. If the words used are meant to be offensive when said, then my offense at the words does nothing to encourage racism. For example, let’s say you call me a nigger and you called me one because you meant it as a racist insult. The fact that I am offended by your use of the word (or to as you put it, choose to be offended) does nothing to encourage racism because it was already there.

    But language is very interesting because the n-word by itself is not something I find offensive and I think to some extent, many people are offended by merely uttering the word perhaps because some words, like that one, come with their own surrounding context, i.e., association which is inescapable. I do think context should be given greater weight that it apparently is (take Trouble’s example of just randomly shouting the n-word but not directly it toward anyone in particular). But I suppose that is another topic for public debate.

  19. Language is the most powerful tool utilized by humans…

    As we also know, any tool can effectively be used as a weapon…

    Hence, the most effective tools, also make the most effective weapons…

    The effectiveness of a language as a communication tool, is entirely reliant on the mechanism of the level of familiarity of the communicating parties with the particular language being utilized…

    Unfortunately, this same mechanism which dictates how effective it is used as a tool… Also dictates how it is efficiently used as a weapon.

    Familiarity.

    If a black person is familiar with the fact that the word ‘nigger’ connotates a slur of racial inferiority, then when it is directed at them by someone of a different racial identity, it will effect the intended reaction. If that same person is not aware of the historical context of the word, then it will not.

    In the absence of the familiarity mechanism, the effectiveness of the weapon is lessened.

    An example of this would be in Johannesburg during Apartheid… If a black person were called a nigger, it would have meant significantly less to them than if they were called a ‘kaffir’… Now, bear in mind that the word “kafir” came about in the 18th century, and referred to an infidel or skeptic of the Islamic religion… It wasn’t until it was capitalized and used to reference the Nuristani and Xsosa peoples, that it evolved into a really derogatory term pointed at black people. Hence the black person in Africa in the 1940′s/50′s would have to be familiar with the recent historical change of meaning of the word, and its ‘new’ intent, in order to be fully injured by its utterance… And, as we know, we are mimics of our parents, so even though we may have more worldly or open-minded views that they, it is difficult to shake the components of the language they taught us in our formative years. Many younger Afrikaans called black people Kaffirs with no real malace in their hearts… Simply because that is what they knew them to be.

    The real sad fact is this: Empty, self-loathing people who continue to bolster their own inadequacies, by manipulating the language of the time in order to direct hatred or injury towards another whom they perceive as inferior, in a vain attempt to convince themselves that they are anything more than a parasite on the earth… Will always exist.

  20. I tell my 10 & 8 year-old sons this: There are no “bad words”… Only bad people who misuse good words with the intent of hurting others.

    They know that they can ask me about any words they want, and I will explain to the best of my ability… I tell them why some words are considered ‘bad’ and why I would be disappointed to hear of them using them. Just 2 weeks ago they asked me about ‘bitch’, and ‘affair’, and I explained thoroughly. I had to fight long and hard to sever myself from the language of my parents and grandparents, who grew up in different times to me, and I’ll be dammed if I will leave my children to fight that battle, I will give them the tool, and they will be free to decide how they use it.

  21. But just because some people manipulate the language doesn’t mean all do. The point is… of course there are consequences to one’s actions. And yelling “Fire” in a theatre is illegal because it causes a panic and people can be trampled trying to get out. I get it. But if a white woman can’t make a joke about lynching without being suspended from her job because some people were OFFENDED (not potentially injured, but offended), when I don’t believe it was intended to offend anyone and DID NOT offend the specific black person it was directed toward. If people want to ignore the point she was making and turn this into an issue that it isn’t, then that’s pretty pathetic. And if those people are the same people whining about how the world is racist, then I have to wonder if they aren’t a part of creating that experience for themselves.

    BTW, Trouble, now that you know Mara is black, you’ll have to reconstruct all the fantasies about her so that she can be reflected in her true form…

  22. “If people want to ignore the point she was making and turn this into an issue that it isn’t, then that’s pretty pathetic.”

    I’m sorry but what was the point she was making? That lynching someone who is black is funny? That ANYthing about lynching, is worth a chuckle or two? Anyone with any sense of historical perspective and a brain should find this offensive. I don’t give a damn about Tiger’s opinion. That doesn’t make what she said right. Look, she knew what she said. The POINT of the joke was its poor taste. And if she doesn’t know that she shouldn’t say shit like that on national television, then she needs to get the fuck out of broadcasting. Give me me a break.

  23. “BTW, Trouble, now that you know Mara is black, you’ll have to reconstruct all the fantasies about her so that she can be reflected in her true form…BTW, Trouble, now that you know Mara is black, you’ll have to reconstruct all the fantasies about her so that she can be reflected in her true form…”

    What made you assume that she wasn’t already black in my fantasies?

    “That ANYthing about lynching, is worth a chuckle or two?”

    This was one of my original sentiments, but I think I put it forward before we jumped to this thread… But according to South Park, you can joke about anything provided you wait the 20-something.something years after it has happened… I don’t know if anyone but me has noticed this [back me up Chris & PJ], but the media face has morphed from wrinkly old, grey-haired men… to vivacious, young women in the last decade [I wonder why?]. Even previously male dominated areas of broadcasting like sports, video-gaming, and the speed-channel have followed suit… Now bubbly, blonde chicks report on the latest spring-over-axle conversion kits for your off-road jeep, and serious-looking redheads run the play-by-play for Monday night football, gamer-chicks have forever changed the face of their genre from Revenge of the nerds, to swimsuit calenders… That’s why she’s in broadcasting… not for her ability to sensitively, and objectively report just the facts mamam…

  24. Well, Trouble, I do not doubt you but frankly, I am not interested in any defenses, excuses or justifications for what she said. I cannot even believe there is an actual discussion about whether she knew the ramifications or if it was okay. I guarantee you, if Tiger was Jewish and she said the only one way he could be beaten was to cast him in an oven, there would have some hell to raise so people need to just cut the bullshit. She has a degree in history and political science. She knows. That was the point of the joke. This is not rocket science. There are many inappropriate subjects about which to joke that are funny. Lynching doesn’t happen to be one of them. Period.

  25. I think what this is proving is that not everyone takes this whole reference to lynching thing as serious as Mara does. So why, Mara, don’t you see that maybe this girl didn’t take it so seriously either. Just because something offends one person (or a group), doesn’t mean it offends everyone.

    Honestly, if white people made this big of a deal every time a black athlete or black rapper said something like “the ‘MAN’ got you under his thumb,” all we’d have time to do is run around and call each other racist. And trust me, if a group of white people ever told a rapper he couldn’t say anything anti-white, the blacks would just see it as more fodder to be angry about the ‘white man’ trying to control them.

    The only way for equality to be achieved and for everyone to really accept everyone else as individuals and not a product of a particular race, is to stop being so hyper-sensitive, stop picking and choosing who you’re going to be offended by, stop trying to punish people for saying something that offends you (if you don’t like the joke the girl made, don’t watch her show again), and stop having two sets of rules for people of other ethnicities. Anything else is going to perpetuate stereotypes, resentment, and racism.

  26. “Just because something offends one person (or a group), doesn’t mean it offends everyone.”

    Well if people aren’t offended by this then that says more about the rest of you who aren’t offended than it does about me. I cannot believe that I’m even having this conversation. The rest of your post is too boggling to even address because I am completely baffled by how you, whose intelligence has been demonstrated time and again on this site, could not seriously see why people find this offensive, why people SHOULD find this offensive and why she deserved to get called onto the carpet for what she said. Lynching (especially of black people) is one of the most terrifying, horrific, vile and disgusting phenomena of OUR, i.e., AMERICAN history. I’m sorry but if you cannot understand why making a joke out of lynching a person is not amusing then I don’t know what else to say. I’m done with this conversation.

  27. “The only way for equality to be achieved and for everyone to really accept everyone else as individuals and not a product of a particular race, is to stop being so hyper-sensitive, stop picking and choosing who you’re going to be offended by, stop trying to punish people for saying something that offends you ”

    Speaking of equality, you know, I find it interesting that whenever Jewish people find something offensive or anti-semitic there is no DEBATE about that whatsoever. A professor could lose his job at a prestigious university for making a statement in class to the effect of “I’m not sure if the holocaust happened as is reported in history books” yet a woman gets on national television, jokes about a black man being lynched and anyone who is offended (or is it only black people who are offended in your opinion?) is hypersensitive.

    And I’ll say it again: If Tiger was Jewish and she’d said he should be thrown into the oven, she would have unequivocally lost her job in a heartbeat. No one would have care that she was joking, that she didn’t mean any harm or even that Tiger wasn’t offended. Lynching is the the gas chamber and the ovens for black people. That is what makes this so offensive and so absolutely NOT funny that you cannot make jokes about it on LIVE television. To in any way justify or defend what she said is beyond ludicrous. And believe me. It’s not only black people who think so.

  28. … People use lynching in phrases all the time.. I just can’t believe that I’m suppose to somehow feel I inappropriately ued a word because it’s referencing a black person.. sorry that is just silly. Like I said.. at various points in history every race has been lynched.. it’s a little ridiculously that a word describing an act during a joke is now offensive enough to have someone suspended if it refers to a black person. If this is the case then murder, rape, robbery, stealing, drop out rates, and a million other words and phrases should be equally offensive.

  29. “I just can’t believe that I’m suppose to somehow feel I inappropriately ued a word because it’s referencing a black person.. sorry that is just silly.”

    Christopher, you don’t have to. The point isn’t that she referenced a black person using the word lynch. It’s that she made a joke about it. And frankly, Christopher, if you knew anything about the history of lynching in this country, particularly of black people (which you indicate that you don’t since you said practically every race in history has been lynched, a statement which totally glosses over how it was much more prevalent against black people in say, oh, the last 150 years), if you saw the pictures of families taking pictures with dead men hanging from trees, then you would find nothing funny about it. If you had any sensitivity whatsoever, you could stretch your imagination and understand (perhaps not agree with but understand) why black people would find it offensive. And if you do find anything funny or remotely amusing about lynching, then I would check your sensitivity meter. Any one who is a human being and has any semblance of humanity whatsoever would understand this.

    So let me sum it up for you: There are lots of inappropriate subjects to joke about that can be funny. Lynching is not funny to black people. Tell a friend. Pass it along. Let them know that if they tell a joke about lynching a person and especially if said subject of the joke happens to be black, they might get their ass kicked (depending on where they are). They might be ostracized by their peers. Is it fair? Well, you don’t get to dismiss those who find this joke personally offensive even if you do not. So if you say something that you know people are going to deeply offended by, then YOU are responsible for the consequences, not the person who is offended. You have the freedom to say whatever you want. You are not immune from the consequences of what you say.

    And as for Christine’s comment that perhaps not everyone takes the whole lynching thing seriously as I do, the anchor was suspended from her job. So obviously her network did.

  30. No, Mara. The network responded to the “outcry” which was created by Al Sharpton, the same outcry, I might remind you, that totally destroyed the lives of several Duke college students when everyone jumped to the side of a black stripper who completely made up a story about them. Trust me. Networks and politicians would rather err on the side of not offending anyone ever.

    You missed the point about the joke. She wasn’t making a joke about lynching… oh, haha, isn’t it funny that we lynched black people… it was a joke about Tiger Woods specifically. Now since he was the butt of the joke and he wasn’t offended, how can you explain that the joke should never be made around a black person? Obviously a joke exactly like that, made in front of him, about him, didn’t offend him… and isn’t he black?

    So to assume that when the butt of your joke isn’t offended, but that other people will be, is really stretching things. We’re not talking about Don Imus here who made a racially-insensitive joke about some black girls whom he didn’t know, who were put down and insulted in his joke. The joke this woman made was actually a compliment to Tiger and he took it as such, so did the white person she was saying it to (there was simply no ill intent and to try to assign some is just hypersensitivity).

    And I have to say the phrase “they’re gonna take that guy out and lynch him” is a real phrase that people do use. I mean seriously… how far does this go? At what point can we not use the words “fried chicken” and “watermelon” in the same sentence as the name of a black person (I’m obviously referring to the stereotype).

    “Let them know that if they tell a joke about lynching a person and especially if said subject of the joke happens to be black, they might get their ass kicked (depending on where they are). They might be ostracized by their peers. Is it fair? Well, you don’t get to dismiss those who find this joke personally offensive even if you do not. So if you say something that you know people are going to deeply offended by, then YOU are responsible for the consequences, not the person who is offended.”

    Actually, you just made my point. Some people apparently feel that “being offended” warrants physical violence in return. If I make a black joke, and someone beats me up, that’s assault and they should go to prison. There are people here who believe that the owness of being offended is on the offender. It is not. In this case, Tiger was the butt of the joke and he WASN’T offended. If someone says something that offends you, it is not okay to express the fact you were offended by trying to get them fired, or beat them up, or any of those things. They had a right to say whatever they said. You have the right to form an opinion of them based on what they said. That’s all. I honestly can’t believe someone with a law degree could possibly suggest that assaulting someone is justified because they said something to offend you.

    We’ve become such a culture that’s scared to offend anyone that some races now do not have freedom of speech at all.

    “You have the freedom to say whatever you want. You are not immune from the consequences of what you say.”

    That implies that any consequence given is appropriate. It’s not. And forcing people into being so scared that if they say the wrong thing and offend a black person they’ll lose their job, or get beat up, or get sued, only makes white people not want to hire blacks because no one wants to spend their lives censoring their words when someone can say something that’s not racist and be accused of being racist anyway.

  31. Look at it this way.

    If she made a joke about a bunch of white golfers taking a black golfer out and lynching him, blacks are offended.

    If she’d made a joke about a bunch of black basketball players getting rid of a white basketball player by getting him in a drive-by, blacks would be offended because it’s implying that black people commit drive-bys.

    It’s the same joke, but no matter who the “victim” is, it’s blacks being offended, not whites. In the first joke, it’s actually shedding the white guys in a bad light, in the second one, it’s shedding the black guys in a bad light… yet both are offensive to blacks.

    Why? Because she’s white. Had she been black, I highly doubt blacks would be offended by either joke.

  32. “No, Mara. The network responded to the “outcry” which was created by Al Sharpton, ”

    The network didn’t have to respond. It did. Enough said.

    “You missed the point about the joke. She wasn’t making a joke about lynching… oh, haha, isn’t it funny that we lynched black people… ”

    The humor in the joke was that Tiger was black, not Tiger Woods generally. That’s what made the joke offensive. Even if she meant something else entirely by the joke, the fact is, the joke was still grossly inappropriate. And secondly, it doesn’t matter that Woods himself wasn’t offended because when she made that statement on public airwaves, it became a matter of the public and not merely an exchange between friends. If she’d said it to him over dinner and he didn’t care, case closed. But she didn’t. What she said entered the homes of millions of Americans, which by the way, would be sufficient for a cause of action against the FCC and that network. So yes, it is my right and anyone else’s right who heard or watched to be take offense at what she said.

    “I honestly can’t believe someone with a law degree could possibly suggest that assaulting someone is justified because they said something to offend you.”

    I don’t think assaulting someone for saying something offensive is justifiable. I was being facetious to make a larger point which you apparently didn’t get. So let me clarify. My point is that just like you have to right to say whatever you want, people have a similar right to be offended by what you say, even if you don’t agree that they should be offended. It’s their right, it’s their prerogative. Your argument has essentially been, black people shouldn’t be offended by this and this and to a lesser degree, if only black people are offended by this, then obviously what this woman said wasn’t offensive. You’ve made this argument before on other topics and it’s one that I find absurb. Who are you to tell me what I should be offended by or what should/should not offend me? I object to the audacity that you have to even suggest that I should not be offended by that joke. If you disagree with it then fine. But don’t sit here and presume to tell people how they should feel and what should affect them.

    “That implies that any consequence given is appropriate. It’s not.”

    The consequences are decided in the public forum. We as a society constantly negotiate and re-negotiate what those consequences are going to be and as citizens of this world, each and every member has the right to assert views that are in their best interest. That’s the way the world works. Your complaint is that black people are offended. So what. Your complaint is better served if directed to the fact that we as a society have grown overly sensitive or PC or whatever instead of bitching about what black people may or may not find offensive. It’s a waste of time.

    “And forcing people into being so scared that if they say the wrong thing and offend a black person they’ll lose their job, or get beat up, or get sued, only makes white people not want to hire blacks because no one wants to spend their lives censoring their words when someone can say something that’s not racist and be accused of being racist anyway.”

    Well, if this little incident forces people to think twice about telling a joke about lynching, I have no problem with that. It’s not a funny joke to tell under any circumstances and I wonder at those who carelessly throw the word around as though it is something to joke about.

    “We’ve become such a culture that’s scared to offend anyone that some races now do not have freedom of speech at all.”

    You have free speech. I don’t know why you think that should include the freedom from anyone being offended by what you say and calling you on it.

  33. “Why? Because she’s white. Had she been black, I highly doubt blacks would be offended by either joke.”

    You think wrong. I would be offended regardless of whoever said it. Jokes about lynching are not funny. They are equivalent to joking about Jews in the gas chamber.

  34. Another thing on freedom of speech since you keep bandying the phrase about…

    Speech in our society on a constitutional basis and even more generally has never been completely “free.” There are limits on free speech imposed by the constitution (e.g., yelling fire in a theater, using fighting words, etc) and there are those we impose on ourselves when we engage in self-censorship (e.g., newspapers pulling Aaron McGruder’s comic strip when the subject matter “offended” white people). We censor ourselves when we refrain from using language that is offensive (which is decided in the eye of the beholder and negotiated on a larger level in the public forum) in certain situations (such as being on television), when we’re around certain people (such as a high govt official such as the President)…I mean, I could go on.

    So if you mean to say that your freedom of speech should be completely free from any sort of restraint whatsoever in the context of this discussion, well that simply is not the reality of the world in which we live. If you feel that it is wrong for you to constrain your speech because it might offend someone…well, you do that anyway.

  35. No one’s saying it should be “completely free.” We’re just saying that (1) the same rules should apply to everyone and (2) certain people are exhibiting, as a group, an extreme hypersensitivity and trying to use that to perpetuate an ideal that they are more oppressed than they really are.

    A perfect example is the criticism that Hilary Clinton is coming under for being “racist” because she stated a true fact that Martin Luther King’s ideals couldn’t have realized had the president of the United States NOT supported them and it was his signature that was on the laws.

    “Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act,” Clinton said. “It took a president to get it done.”

    Now of all people who spend a lot of time THINKING about the ramifications of their words before they say them, it’s a presidential candidate. And somehow now this statement is taboo also?

    Seriously, it’s this kind of shit that makes white people want to stay as far away from blacks as they can.

    Is it true that civil rights laws couldn’t have been passed without the signature of a President? Yes. So could have MLK accomplished what he did all alone without the president’s support? No. But somehow to point that out is “racist.” Anyone who believes that the Civil Rights laws would have been passed without a signature from the President doesn’t understand how laws get passed in this country.

    To draw attention to the fact that the success of the Civil Rights movement was based on more than one black man– the support of some very influential whites to be honest– is somehow belittling MLK’s efforts. Uh… huh? Yet how often does it happen when we celebrate the success of a white person do we have to hear from blacks about all the behind-the-scenes support the blacks were giving and not getting credit for?

    If Barack had said the same statement, no one would be suggesting he’s racist. They’d be taking the same statement to mean that if he were president, he’d bring what LBJ brought, which is presidential support of equal rights. Seriously, if you’re not seeing this, you aren’t opening your eyes.

  36. The gist of what I’m saying is… the constant whining and paranoia that all these things are racist when quite frankly, they aren’t, doesn’t help the blacks’ cause very much. I’m surprised they don’t see that it does the exact opposite.

    If blacks want to break down the barriers of racism, you don’t do that by constantly whining about everything being racist. The more these situations come up that people get accused of being racist when they aren’t, the less sympathetic people become toward hearing about racism. I truly think this is a way for people who don’t do anything to earn respect and get power in their own lives to try to have some by showing they have enough clout to get someone suspended from their job for a couple of weeks because something she said “offended” them. For a brief moment, they have power over her and they become “important.” The thing that sucks, is this game of calling everyone out for all their “racist” practices and remarks actually has a negative impact on how whites see blacks overall and in turn, a negative impact on the hardworking, reasonable, sensible blacks who aren’t out to sue a company so they don’t have to work anymore and all that. Like Hillary’s black spokeswoman said this morning in a CNN interview this morning… “You can’t transcend racism and then use it to further your agenda.”

  37. “We’re just saying that (1) the same rules should apply to everyone and (2) certain people are exhibiting, as a group, an extreme hypersensitivity and trying to use that to perpetuate an ideal that they are more oppressed than they really are.”

    Well, again, what you see as hypersensitive is not to the person who is offended. And this is what I’m talking about — YOU telling someone else that THEY are being hypersensitive. It isn’t your call to make. That belittles and devalues their opinions and their right to decide what offends them. Not everything that offends you would offend me and vice versa. Does the fact that you’re offended by something that I am not make you hypersensitive? Well, according to your reasoning, it does. And the same rules do not apply for everyone because context defines everything. You said earlier that if black people want to be treated equally then they shouldn’t be offended by something that wouldn’t offend white people if they said it to each other. Well, that’s actually a little bit silly because some things are by definition, only offensive when said in a particular context. The n-word is a perfect example. That is not a word that would offend a white person if another white person said it to them because the n-word is a racial slur not intended for white people. Some things are particularly offensive to a particular group and not to others. Whether white people are offended is NOT the measuring stick and it should not be.

    “A perfect example is the criticism that Hilary Clinton is coming under for being “racist” because she stated a true fact that Martin Luther King’s ideals couldn’t have realized had the president of the United States NOT supported them and it was his signature that was on the laws. ”

    I quoted you here not to respond to this statement directly to but address your points more generally. Something I take issue with is your overgeneralization of black people which is what you’re doing here and what you’ve done in earlier posts. Just because some black people find something racist or offensive does not mean that all people do. Now, I’m sure you know this intuitively. You would probably say, well duh. But your arguments lead me to think otherwise because you constantly impute the actions of a few to an entire race of people. In your flawed logic, somehow the criticism that Clinton received is indicative of what ALL black people think and makes people want to “stay as far from blacks as they can.” This sounds more like white people making an issue out of race than blacks if you decide that you’re going to avoid or criticize an entire race of people based on something a few members of that particular race said. And frankly, that sounds a little racist.

  38. “The thing that sucks, is this game of calling everyone out for all their “racist” practices and remarks actually has a negative impact on how whites see blacks overall and in turn, a negative impact on the hardworking, reasonable, sensible blacks who aren’t out to sue a company so they don’t have to work anymore and all that.”

    Again, that says more about whites than it does blacks. If you base your perception of an entire race of people based on what Al Sharpton and a few of his cronies said as portrayed in the media, then I shouldn’t have to say anything else. You’ve proven my point for me.

  39. Because I cannot go back and edit my posts…

    “Just because some black people find something racist or offensive does not mean that all people do” should read “Just because some black people find something racist or offensive does not mean that all black people do.”

  40. “Well, again, what you see as hypersensitive is not to the person who is offended. And this is what I’m talking about — YOU telling someone else that THEY are being hypersensitive.”

    Of course they don’t think they’re being hypersensitive. That doesn’t mean they aren’t.

    This implies that there’s no such thing as being hypersensitive at all then. Which is not the case. Someone who is scared constantly, in situations where others wouldn’t be, could be called “paranoid.” Of course to them, they feel their fears are justified.

    In reality, there are people who are more sensitive than others, there are also people who project things onto other people to compensate for a whole host of things (everything from their own insecurities to punishing others for a former experience they’ve had in their own lives). To blame other people for calling them on is just a way to justify it.

    People can be within a range of being sensitive but when you start to get offended for other people, about comments that aren’t intended with any malice, and can’t accept a fact (like in the Clinton/MLK situation) without assigning it as being racist, and you consistently find that most people of another ethnicity are racist– then I think YOU might be the problem.

    Mara, surely you can accept that there are people who exist who will assign meaning to something that isn’t there.

  41. ” Again, that says more about whites than it does blacks. If you base your perception of an entire race of people based on what Al Sharpton and a few of his cronies said as portrayed in the media, then I shouldn’t have to say anything else. You’ve proven my point for me.”

    Not really. If whites are put in a position where they honestly don’t know that what they say will offend black people (which I don’t think Clinton knew when she stated that fact about LBJ and MLK, that she would offend some blacks) or not (because quite frankly, you’ve stated yourself that some blacks are offended and some aren’t so there is apparently no set rules for what will be found offensive), then why would any intelligent white person put himself in a position where he surrounds himself with someone who might be offended by something, be called a racist, and be sued? He can avoid the whole thing by hiring a white person or a Hispanic person instead. So if you take a minute to see it from his perspective, WHY should he put himself in that situation?

    If these situations with the reporter and Clinton didn’t happen, then I’d be more likely to say that the white guy’s assumption is wrong. But each time this stuff happens, it reinforces this feeling whites have that they have to walk on eggshells around blacks so that they aren’t offended by something that isn’t racist to begin with. But as we’re seeing in the media even this past week, whites being called racist for practically anything they say is prevalent.

  42. “Mara, surely you can accept that there are people who exist who will assign meaning to something that isn’t there.”

    Sure, but who is to say when something is and is not offensive or is and is not racist? Based on what you’ve written in previous posts, white people make the call on that one. If white people aren’t offended, it isn’t offensive. It white people say something isn’t racist, then it isn’t.

  43. “Not really. If whites are put in a position where they honestly don’t know that what they say will offend black people (which I don’t think Clinton knew when she stated that fact about LBJ and MLK, that she would offend some blacks) or not (because quite frankly, you’ve stated yourself that some blacks are offended and some aren’t so there is apparently no set rules for what will be found offensive), then why would any intelligent white person put himself in a position where he surrounds himself with someone who might be offended by something, be called a racist, and be sued?”

    To be concise, this is bullshit. You are responsible for the assumptions you make about an entire race of people based on isolated incidents, not anyone else. That is a fault of YOUR ignorance and you don’t get to put that on the black people who go on television because they were pissed at what Clinton said. If you aren’t intelligent and enough of a decent human being to know that not all black people think the same (or any other race for that matter), then that’s your bad, not mine.

    Not every white person embraces the ignorance that just you displayed. Unlike some people, I don’t hold that against every other white person because you happen to be one.

  44. “Not really. If whites are put in a position where they honestly don’t know that what they say will offend black people”

    Notice again what you’ve done. What would make any individual white person know or NOT know for that matter what offended all black people based on an isolated incidents not involving the individuals THEY actually have to deal with? Why would you be worried about what is going to offend me based on what Al Sharpton said?

    “So if you take a minute to see it from his perspective, WHY should he put himself in that situation?”

    Oh, I can. To me, that looks racist. I have more sense than to assume that the person I was dealing with would or would not be offended based on something I saw on television. I’d find out the usual way. Ask them.

  45. Let me put it to you this way, Christine. You say the fact that some blacks are offended and some are not (i.e, there are no RULES to define what is/is not offensive) is even MORE confusing to white people because, my goodness, they have NO idea what to do around black people. I mean, some blacks are offended, some are not. How will I ever know whether I’m going to offend this black person? Better to just avoid black people altogether and hire the hispanic.

    This sounds to me that you either do believe all black people think the same or think that it would be easier for white people if they all did. Because then white people would know exactly what to do. They’d know what not to say or what they could say. They wouldn’t have to worry about treating black people like the individuals they are. If this what you’re saying? I don’t want to put words into your mouth.

  46. “He can avoid the whole thing by hiring a white person or a Hispanic person instead. ”

    One more thing: why do you assume that a white person or a person of any other race would not be offended in the same situation? Surely you realize that blacks are not the only people offended by racism (or perceived racism) just like gays are not the only ones offended by homophobia? You put yourself in a position to offend someone whenever you deal with people period.

  47. Obviously, Mara, that everyone has a different range of subjects they’re sensitive too. I’ve already stated that. But even some of my black friends get annoyed with people who call every single little thing racist because they feel it causes white people (the people who happen to be the ones that the blacks would most like to have understand the phenomenon of racism the most) to not take it as seriously when it does happen. I’m certainly offended by homophobia and racism and sexism when it happens, but I don’t automatically assume that everything that’s even remotely questionable or is a fact about MLK or is a joke that wasn’t on any level a joke about lynching being funny, is racist.

    When a man points out the differences between men and women, is he suddenly sexist? No. Granted, there are women who will accuse a guy of being sexist simply if he points out that because she’s a woman she might need help lifting something, or that she’d get hurt playing football with the boys, etc. Are those statements fact or are they sexist? The women who make a big deal about stuff like that are just looking for things they can use to reinforce their idea that there’s an incredible amount of sexism in the world. You can choose to see things that aren’t there in the same way you can choose to ignore things that are there.

    To say that people aren’t racist, is untrue. Some people are. But to suggest Hillary Clinton is racist because she pointed out a true fact about Civil Rights laws is really assigning meaning to something that simply isn’t so.

    And yes, we are all in a position to offend people all the time. I’m sure this blog offends some people. Would it be fair for those offended to try to have our blog taken down or should they just not come back? We’ve become a culture where we somehow feel if we’re offended by something, there needs to be a repercussion to the person who offends us. THAT, I disagree with. You can be as hypersensitive as you want about any subject, but that’s no one else’s issue but your own. And trying to teach the world that lynching is not a funny subject by being punitive only succeeds in making white people scared to say anything in front of black people.

    In general, you don’t see white people or Hispanic people or Indians or Native Americans reacting this way. There is some new thing in the news every single day about how some white person offended blacks with some comment. Some, truly are inappropriate for sure. But others, like the ones we’ve used as examples here, are ambiguous at best and I find it interesting that blacks would rather make an example of these people rather than give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Seriously, do you really think anyone wants someone around who is “offended by everything?” White or black or whatever? No. But if you look at the ones who are crying racism every five minutes… it’s black people. If there were actually black people coming to the reporter’s defense and saying, “Come on you guys… this is not what racism is,” then they’d be less likely to be lumped together. But no one is.

    I’m simply saying that if you think this hypersensitivity is helping race relations, get back to me in about twenty years and let’s see how far forward or backward we end up. My prediction is that accusing people of racism at every turn (whether it is or not) only makes people resent them. And no one wants to live their lives walking on eggshells, so they’ll cut the people out of their lives who make them feel like they have to. That’s human nature.

  48. “Oh, I can. To me, that looks racist. I have more sense than to assume that the person I was dealing with would or would not be offended based on something I saw on television. I’d find out the usual way. Ask them.”

    Well if that works as a solution, then the reporter who DIDN’T offend Tiger shouldn’t have been suspended from her job. Or was she supposed to call every black person who watches her show and ask them first if her joke was offensive? Come on. Let’s start dealing in reality.

  49. “Well if that works as a solution, then the reporter who DIDN’T offend Tiger shouldn’t have been suspended from her job. Or was she supposed to call every black person who watches her show and ask them first if her joke was offensive? ”

    I’m only going to address the second part of your question because I’ve already discussed why the fact that this was said on television and not privately changes the nature of the consequences this anchor should/could suffer for her remark. Your question assumes that only black people would have been offended by the joke (i.e., why only call black people?). From where would you get such an assumption? I’m not Jewish, don’t have any Jewish relatives, etc but I am offended by jokes about the holocaust. You again, unwittingly imply that either black people are the same or that somewhere in your subconscious, you want them to be. I don’t think it’s stretch to think that a joke about lynching would be offensive to SOMEone somewhere.

    Secondly, because we are social creatures, we inevitably run the risk of offending someone in the course of exercising our free speech and occasionally, we offend someone with enough political or social capital to cause some us some concern. That I will agree is a matter for public debate and I understand that you disagree with the consequences. I’m interested in your views on this since I don’t think you’ve really expressed them.

  50. “We’ve become a culture where we somehow feel if we’re offended by something, there needs to be a repercussion to the person who offends us. THAT, I disagree with.”

    Okay, I understand that. But you do understand that we already have repercussions. So the question is not really should be there a repercussion for what offends us? The question is when should there be repercussions and what are they?

    “And trying to teach the world that lynching is not a funny subject by being punitive only succeeds in making white people scared to say anything in front of black people.”

    Well, this is the fault of white people who allow the actions of one to determine how they perceive and deal with an entire race of people. You cannot justify the ignorance in doing so by this statement and this is why. The fact that a contingent of black people with direct access to the media get on news programs to berate some politician, radio DJ or news anchor, etc for some perceived racist remark is really a non-issue in terms of how any one white person chooses to deal with the black people they encounter. Al Sharpton (or insert name of other media whore self-proclaimed leader of all people black) does not equal black people. Al Sharpton is one black man who happens (strangely enough) to possess some social and political capital. But he is one man. Offended. By something. But in the frustration (or even fear) at not knowing what to say to black people because Al Sharpton is offended, you’ve engaged in racist logic. You’ve imputed the actions of one to all. You’ve said “that if Al Sharpton is offended by this, then I have to assume all black people are offended by this.” I have encountered dozens upon dozens of ignorant white people in my life. I see them on television daily spewing utter nonsense. But I don’t impute their ignorance to all every other white person in this country. You simply cannot justify a white person doing so for blacks.

    “In general, you don’t see white people or Hispanic people or Indians or Native Americans reacting this way. There is some new thing in the news every single day about how some white person offended blacks with some comment. ”

    Just because you don’t see something happening on the news doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. Unless, of course, you believe the news is completely unbiased and reports every single thing that happens and do not think broadcasting corporations make judgments about what is interesting and relevant enough to be considered “newsworthy.”

    “But if you look at the ones who are crying racism every five minutes… it’s black people.”

    But again, even if this is true, are the black people on that you see crying racism on the news all black people? This should not even be relevant in how you treat people.

    “If there were actually black people coming to the reporter’s defense and saying, “Come on you guys… this is not what racism is,” then they’d be less likely to be lumped together. But no one is.”

    How do you know this didn’t happen? I mean, lots of black people agree with Tiger Woods. It’s a non issue. I wonder why they aren’t on the news?

    “And no one wants to live their lives walking on eggshells, so they’ll cut the people out of their lives who make them feel like they have to. That’s human nature.”

    If you judge how you deal with me based on what Al Sharpton or some other black says on television, then you have bigger problems than feeling like you have to walk on eggshells. You have no excuse for this racist reasoning. It’s one thing to watch the stuff on television and stare in utter disbelief because you cannot believe someone would think x, y and z is racist and that so and so lost her job over it. It’s one thing to discuss it among your friends or even in the public forum. It’s another to base how you treat and interact with other individuals of that same race on what you saw on television/read in the news, etc.

  51. “I’m simply saying that if you think this hypersensitivity is helping race relations, get back to me in about twenty years and let’s see how far forward or backward we end up.”

    I never stated my opinion about it one way or another. But I’ll guess we’ll both have to see.

  52. Shit, I leave for one day and all hell breaks loose…

    After reading and re-reading all the posts in this thread, I have come to a few conclusions:

    Mara… Christine has not said anything racist, as you have several times accused her. I will not quote those instances, you can re-read what you have written if you don’t believe me… But bear the following in mind when you do…
    1) If black people do not always agree with what your high-profile spokespersons are saying, then why do you allow them to speak for you, why does someone else not stand up and challenge/clarify what they say, and why are you surprised when everyone takes what they say as the opinion of all black people?
    2) Have you ever listened to black comedians? Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Paul Mooney, Dave, Chappelle, Chris Rock, Adele Givens, or Mo’Nique? I have at times had to change the channel because I felt so physically awkward after hearing some of the things they have said about white people… In my opinion, some of the MOST blatantly prejudiced things that have ever passed my ears… BUT they’re jokes, so it okay? I do understand though how much comedians HAVE furthered race relations in the USA though, they get everything out in the open, on the table so-to-speak, and force people to really look at themselves… Still, I can say that I glad I was not one of the white people in the audience…
    3) How do you think the two lesbian women raising the 4-year old boy feel, when they turn on the TV and see 2000 oiled-up men in thongs, and Daisy-Dukes prancing down the street grabbing each other’s ass, all in the name of forcing the world to accept them as normal every-day folk?
    4) By your arguments, you have actually backed-up much of what Christine objectively stated. You almost sound like you are badgering her at times, and she has made no personal attacks on you as a person, but you have taken practically every comment she has made, and picked-it apart, throwing away most of its value, and concentrating only on the spin that it goes against the black agenda… I’m sure that’s the lawyer in you talking, but personally, If I were judging the debate, I’d have to give that Christine makes the more compelling argument…

    Bear in mind that I am of Chinese decent. My family was brought to British Guyana in the 18/19th century as indentured labour, as sugar-cane cutters, and for those who do not know what ‘indentured’ means, it equates to slavery. One was ‘bonded’ to the plantation owner for life, given enough food and water to keep you alive until you got sick and died. If you disobeyed or tried to escape you were severely beaten, sometimes to death. At the turn of the 19th century, a good, strong male cane-cutter made an average of 12 cents a day, females made half that. For comparrison, a small loaf of bread cost 6-8 cents. Many lost their lives to the fer-de-lance in the cane-fields every day. Your children were born into bondage, and if somehow they could save enough money, they could buy their freedom. The Chinese people were brought there under the same conditions as the Africans and Indians, and they were expected to intermarry with them in order to pacify them through genetic dilution. My family [and I mean from great, great grandfather on up], have fought tooth-and-nail, to get where we are today… Which ain’t much, but is far better than it was…
    The difference is, that that situation/history does not define who I am, to tell-the-truth I hardly ever think about it, and I rarely consider mentioning it to anyone, not for shame or anything… It’s just got nothing to do with me really, that was my ancestors problem, and they worked hard to make it better for me… If I made it an issue which regressed the process, I would only be insulting them. I just wanted to outline to Mara that others have a history of oppression.

    My sister’s husband [and one of my closest friends] is black, my girlfriend is black, my best friend is black… I do understand ‘black’ issues, yet I have also been called a nigger-lover [by a black person], and a cracker also…

  53. “If black people do not always agree with what your high-profile spokespersons are saying, then why do you allow them to speak for you, why does someone else not stand up and challenge/clarify what they say, and why are you surprised when everyone takes what they say as the opinion of all black people?”

    I do not know what you mean by “allow” as if I have some control over whether Al Sharpton gets on a news program and accuses someone of racism. Furthermore, why do you assume that no one else challenges what they say? There are MANY black people who do not agree with people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and have spoken out about it. There are somewhat high profile black republicans, for example, who think people like Sharpton and Jackson are buffoons. Those people don’t have access to the media like Sharpton and Jackson though. So perhaps that is why you do not hear about it. That you assume they represent all of black people is a mistake on your part, not mine. Why am I surprised that anyone takes what someone who gets on television as the opinion of all black people? Because to do so is ignorant, that’s why. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make a leap that black people do not all think the same and that perhaps, Al Sharpton doesn’t speak for every black American. But you’d first have to believe that black people are individuals in order to reach that conclusion.

    “Have you ever listened to black comedians? Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Paul Mooney, Dave, Chappelle, Chris Rock, Adele Givens, or Mo’Nique? …”

    I don’t see what relevance any of this has to the discussion.

    “By your arguments, you have actually backed-up much of what Christine objectively stated. You almost sound like you are badgering her at times, and she has made no personal attacks on you as a person, but you have taken practically every comment she has made, and picked-it apart, throwing away most of its value, and concentrating only on the spin that it goes against the black agenda… I’m sure that’s the lawyer in you talking, but personally, If I were judging the debate, I’d have to give that Christine makes the more compelling argument…”

    Firstly, I take issue with your assertion that I have some so-called black agenda. I really do not what that is. So please clarify that one.

    Secondly, I have never personally attacked Christine. Ever. Taking apart her arguments and isolating the faulty reasoning contained therein is not a personal attack. I have, however, taken apart some the statements she has made because quite frankly, the reasoning she uses forms the basis of racist thought. That is not calling Christine a racist. If I thought Christine was racist, I would have said she was. I don’t know enough about Christine to even make that kind of statement. All I can do is respond to what she says, which by the way, I do not assume represents her actual views about anything. What I have SAID is that it is IGNORANT to base your perception of an entire race of people on what a few members of that race say. That reasoning forms the basis of racist thought. There is no rational or logical reason to say to yourself that because Al Sharpton gets on the news and cries racism, that must mean that every black person agrees with him. None whatsoever. There are millions of black people in this country. Millions. If you allow yourself to judge an entire race of people, not even based on your personal experiences with black people but on something you see on television, then you have engaged in racist reasoning. It’s as simple as that.

    Moreover, I have attacked some of her other assertions because they were wrong. To say that no one black sided with that reporter and use that as a justification for lumping black people together is wrong because many black people do agree with Woods. To say that no other race cries racism because you don’t see it on the news is also wrong. There are tons of online newspapers, blogs, chat forums, etc where other races discuss what they perceive as oppression. So if you perceive that as a personal attack on Christine, then I don’t know what to else to say.

    I have no idea why you felt compelled to share your personal background with me. I mean, I suppose it’s nice to know a little more about the people you chat with in the blogosphere, but I fail to see why any of what you’ve said is remotely relevant to this discussion. I have never anywhere on site ever said that no one else has been oppressed. I am very well informed on that score.

  54. “What I have SAID is that it is IGNORANT to base your perception of an entire race of people on what a few members of that race say.”

    When Sharpton gets up there and says that the reporter’s joke was “racist,” HE’S the one lumping all blacks together.

    Personally, I think every single one of Trouble’s points has merit, but Mara, you keep coming back to the same arguments and I don’t get the sense you’re reading what he’s saying.

  55. “When Sharpton gets up there and says that the reporter’s joke was “racist,” HE’S the one lumping all blacks together. ”

    Wow. That’s really unfair, Christine. How do you figure this? Does the very act of accusing someone of racism somehow magically lump everyone together who happens to be of the same race as the speaker? What if I personally get on television and say something is NOT racist? Have I lumped people together there? Why is that not simply just Sharpton’s or my opinion? I do not understand how you think this is even remotely logical. That’s the same reasoning that was used in the Don Imus situation — black rappers call black women bitches and hoes so I shouldn’t be offended. I’m lumped together based on what some ignorant rapper, whom I’ve never even heard of, said about black women? How is that logical? This is not a rhetorical question.

    I understand your point about people crying racism all of the time. I mean, look, there are those who, if you were asked to physical describe them and you said they were black, would take offense and claim that by you mentioning their race, you’re racist. There are people who think you’re racist cause you were born a white woman. I’ve had people tell me that I’m a sell-out because I help send black men to prison as if there is something inherently racist about being black and being in jail. But that doesn’t mean you have to right to impute those views onto every other person who happens to be of the same race, especially if your response is to discriminate or hold a prejudice against all other members of that race. That is racism, Christine. It isn’t just thinking your race is superior to others, it’s also discriminating or harboring prejudices against people because of their race.

    “Personally, I think every single one of Trouble’s points has merit, but Mara, you keep coming back to the same arguments and I don’t get the sense you’re reading what he’s saying.”

    You’re absolutely right, I don’t know why Trouble posted what he did. He spent the first point asking why black people don’t speak out against Sharpton. I explained that they do. So what was his point? I’m not being catty when I ask that so please do not read something in the tone of this post that isn’t there. I’m simply asking, if you know that there are black who don’t agree with Sharpton, who do speak out against Sharpton, then what relevance does that point have? His second point about black comedians telling racist jokes was simply irrelevant unless he meant that to say “see, black people tell racist jokes too.” But that really isn’t the point of the discussion. And I never called you a racist or personally attacked you so I don’t know what he meant there. And finally, his brief history lesson is irrelevant as well because I’m not asserting that blacks are the only people who fight oppression or anything remotely close. So, no, I do not the sense of what Trouble was saying. But since you did, perhaps you can explain it or he can clarify.

    In any case, if I keep coming back to the same argument, it is only because I am responding to you who has made the same argument in every single post that you’ve written (including the one you just wrote). So it’s a little unfair for you to criticize me on that score.

  56. Trouble, I’m going to address your 2 and 3rd points directly, because I think I may have some sense why you brought that up (you can thank Christine that her response prompted me to reread your post). And let me just state from the outset that my training as a lawyer does not make me argumentative, i.e., it is not the lawyer in me. My training helps me to identify arguments more effectively and the reasoning behind them. Identifying the arguments helps us define what we’re really talking about and that becomes difficult when you conflate several issues as you did in those 2 points. So if I seem nit-pickety by deconstructing arguments, well that is what you do in debate to get down to the core of the issue, so to speak.

    Anyway, I think what you’re trying to say is that it’s a double standard for Sharpton to get on the news anchor for making a joke (and for the sake of argument and we really have to assume this for your point to work — let’s assume that the joke was racist) but not criticize black comedians for making racist jokes about white people. In other words, he only criticizes white people for their actions, but not blacks for the same actions. Well, this is true. He does. But really what are we talking about? If we’re talking about the hypocrisy
    of Al Sharpton and blacks who agree with him, well that discussion is separate and distinct from whether all black people in America share his views because they happen to be of the same race (and similarly, that I can base the way I treat and think of black people generally on what he says). I actually didn’t see anyone bring this up as an argument so I really don’t know why you did. If we’re talking about the hypocrisy of black people in general, then there are some assumptions you have to make to engage in that discussion, namely, that all black people think the same and/or that the same black people who found that joke offensive are the same black people who think blacks making racist jokes is okay. Whether we assume one or both of those points significantly changes the discussion that follows. If we assume that all black people think the same, then we’re operating within a racist paradigm because in this context, blacks are not individuals, they’re just the one black person. And that is racist because it deprives individuals of their voice, their identity, individual personalities, etc. In short, in deprives them of their humanity. If you accept the latter, but not the former, then there would be no reason to discuss hypocrisy of black people in general which is what you seem to suggest with point about black comedians.

    So in conclusion, I think I get WHY you made the point. I just don’t know what you’re trying to say with it exactly since you’ve conflated several issues.

    You ask how lesbians might feel? Well, I’d gather they might hope that people watching that program will not think that all gays and lesbians are that way, that being gay is not just about oiled men dressed in thongs and will not form prejudices against all gay people based on what they see on television. Is this not the point I was making?

  57. Actually Mara, the reason you may be having difficulty understanding why I wrote that last comment, is most likely because I was addressing the theme of the thread, and not simply rebutting one or two parts of the latest comment. I find that the letter method of commenting, works well when the subject matter is humorous, but in serious matters tends to be inflammatory.

    Conversely, for the purposes of being more clearly understood, I will address the points of the last two comments you aimed at me directly.

    “I do not know what you mean by “allow” as if I have some control over whether Al Sharpton gets on a news program and accuses someone of racism.”

    I mean “allow”. When it behooves people they are an individual, weak and uninfluential, it is easier to win sympathy as a victim that way. But the last time I checked, the USA still claims to be a democracy. If Sharpton or Jackson got on their pulpit and said “MARA said this or that…” would you be more inclined to “allow” it?

    “Furthermore, why do you assume that no one else challenges what they say? There are MANY black people who do not agree with people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and have spoken out about it. There are somewhat high profile black republicans, for example, who think people like Sharpton and Jackson are buffoons. Those people don’t have access to the media like Sharpton and Jackson though.”

    I rarely make assumptions. That entire paragraph was intended to inspire the reader to question WHY, a spokesperson [one who speaks for another or group] is given leave by those people whom they purportedly represent, to pursue their own personal agenda, over a career spanning 15-20 years uninhibited. If as you say, the “high profile black republicans” don’t have access to the media as Sharpton et al do, then I humbly suggest that they are obviously not a viable solution to said problem…

    “That you assume they represent all of black people is a mistake on your part, not mine.”

    I reiterate that “assumption” is not one of my strong points. Though empty barrels may make the most noise, it is not merely conjecture that the loudest voice is most easily heard. Please do not forget that I AM NOT an American, nor am I black, hence I share no patriotic/sympathetic emotion whatsoever when I make my observations. I observe what I observe… Uninfluenced by personal feelings [objectively.] So if I am mistaken, then perhaps it is not entirely my own fault.

    “Why am I surprised that anyone takes what someone who gets on television as the opinion of all black people? Because to do so is ignorant, that’s why. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make a leap that black people do not all think the same and that perhaps, Al Sharpton doesn’t speak for every black American. But you’d first have to believe that black people are individuals in order to reach that conclusion.”

    Here is a prime example of the type of inflammatory tone you have been using with Christine. You are attempting to walk the fine line between speaking hypothetically, and personally attacking me by inferring your point. However you are leaning aggressively toward the latter. You are insinuating that I AM IGNORANT because I take the silence of the American-black people where their spokespersons are concerned as consent? Not to jump ahead, but I DID state that my brother-in-law and my girlfriend are black, and though YOU could not fathom why I would tangent in such a way, one of my precise reasons for such was to outline in no uncertain terms that I DO see black people as individuals…
    Though I have shared a tidbit or two about myself, for all you know, I AM a rocket scientist… But perhaps you have answered my intent, by the very act of paraphrasing my statement.

    “Firstly, I take issue with your assertion that I have some so-called black agenda. I really do not what that is. So please clarify that one.”

    Thanks for making my point for me… I will quote my self directly, “throwing away most of its value, and concentrating only on the spin that it goes against the black agenda…” …Being a lawyer is not just about oration, it also involves a great deal of reading and comprehension… If you re-read the statement, you may notice a small but significant “the” just a little bit in front of the “so-called black agenda”… I asserted that you were ‘concentrating’ on the ‘parts’ of Christine’s comments which ‘you felt’ went against the black-agenda…

    “This sounds to me that you either do believe all black people think the same or think that it would be easier for white people if they all did.”

    “To be concise, this is bullshit. You are responsible for the assumptions you make about an entire race of people based on isolated incidents, not anyone else. That is a fault of YOUR ignorance”

    “If you judge how you deal with me based on what Al Sharpton or some other black says on television, then you have bigger problems than feeling like you have to walk on eggshells. You have no excuse for this racist reasoning.”

    Directly above are a few of your quotes which led me to believe that you were personally attacking Christine, and insinuating that she is supporting a racist agenda. I suppose you consider the statements you made captioned above as merely hypothetical, however, you are practically inferring that she is racist.
    I realize that the way I comment could be construed as bombastic at best, but prior to this, I have never felt the need to go all ‘sesame street’ on people at this blog. I am frankly a little surprised that your normally evidently reasonable and objective opinion is so dogmatised by the impassioned way you are debating this topic, especially since you began the debate in your usual nondiscriminatory manner…

    Honestly, I really don’t type fast enough to properly address your issues in this forum, so I’m just going to have to leave this be [...also because I'm probably boring most people to within inches of their lives], but before I sign off on this I have to clarify one more thing…

    “I have no idea why you felt compelled to share your personal background with me. I mean, I suppose it’s nice to know a little more about the people you chat with in the blogosphere, but I fail to see why any of what you’ve said is remotely relevant to this discussion. I have never anywhere on site ever said that no one else has been oppressed. I am very well informed on that score.”

    As you missed the gist of MOST of what I have said, let me just make this clear… Until black Americans STOP using the last 400 years of their history to define themselves and their agenda whenever it suits them, race relations in the USA will never improve. The very fact that [as a black woman] YOU claim not to know who Snoop Dogg is, and I [as an Asian-half-breed non-American] Do, bolsters the fact that perhaps I AM more objective in this matter… The days of slavery and oppression are actually over… Great men and women like Dr. Martin Luther King jr. and Rosa Parks dedicated their lives for that… As did my ancestors… It is not perfect yet, but we should be working towards that ideal that they dreamed of.

    Knowing the past is a key to progress… Living in it is NOT…

    Personally I believe everyone else in the blog’oshphere has already stopped debating this ‘issue’, except us, so I am about to drop it altogether… The stupid chick made a Freudian slip, she was actually trying to compliment her friend of 12 years, Tiger [and it is still debatable whether he is a good example of the average black American], she apologized to him about what she said, and he poo-poo’d it, because people make mistakes when they’ve been forcefully subjected to watching 4-5 hours of the hideously tedious sport of golf… It is not even a remotely similar situation to Don Imus’ comment about the female basketball players… He meant to be derogatory towards them.

  58. As a short corollary, I would not expect that you could debate this subject completely objectively, to do so would be an insult to your heritage, but, one cannot win a war by getting into hand-to-hand combat with every single member of the opposing army one comes across. Strategy must be employed, and one has to know how to pick one’s battles based on their importance to the overall objective.

    Perhaps it would make more sense to concentrate on things like bettering the homelives and education of black children, reducing the influence of gangs on them, seeking out those black families who are homeless, or on the brink of failure, and assisting them with advice, or financial aid. Increase black peoples’ voting, and voting for the right candidates, and for the right reasons. Targeting the drug-dealers, pimps, and loan-sharks in the black community, tear them down, instead of allowing their ideals to be glorified in the global media, on MTV and in movies produced and acted in by black people. Stop taking handouts from the white community and then biting at their hands. Use a unified voice in a constructive manner, rather than to destroy the so-called-career of some random bimbo who got a job on the golf-channel ’cause she sucked the right dick…

  59. Stop taking handouts from the white community and then biting at their hands. Use a unified voice in a constructive manner, rather than to destroy the so-called-career of some random bimbo who got a job on the golf-channel ’cause she sucked the right dick…

    Man, what a sexist, racist pig!
    ;)

  60. “That entire paragraph was intended to inspire the reader to question WHY, a spokesperson [one who speaks for another or group] is given leave by those people whom they purportedly represent, to pursue their own personal agenda, over a career spanning 15-20 years uninhibited.”

    Well they aren’t given leave by the group. There IS no collective black group. That is my point. To speak in generalities about a race of people you do have to assume, not merely observe, that there is. That question could not even be answered unless you made several assumptions about black people first. If we do not agree to those assumptions, then your question is pointless. There are those who support Al Sharpton and those who do not. There are many reasons why Al Sharpton has direct access to the media that really do not have anything to do with black people who oppose him. The news programs make decisions about who gets the public forum and who doesn’t. I’m not saying that media outlets are intentionally shutting other people out or deliberately censoring those other points of view, but those points of view are not being included or if they are, on very rare occasions. So while your humble suggestion is duly noted, the issue is much more complex than your post implies.

    “You are attempting to walk the fine line between speaking hypothetically, and personally attacking me by inferring your point. However you are leaning aggressively toward the latter. You are insinuating that I AM IGNORANT because I take the silence of the American-black people where their spokespersons are concerned as consent?”

    How you read that as a personal attack is beyond me. I attacked the line of reasoning, not you personally. So let me clarify. Yes, a person displays ignorance, that is, a lack of knowledge, when they take the words of some black americans as the views of all. And notice I did not say silence; if you say that because you do not see black Americans objecting to Sharpton on television it isn’t happening, you’ve assumed that black people are silent. That is not merely an observation. An observation would be to simply say that you do not see it. You go further than that when you conclude that it doesn’t happen. And because it does happen, you are ignorant of that fact. This not an insult.

    I saw all of the other quotes and again, if you read them as inflammatory, that is because you read something in the tone of my posts that was not there. Generally, when Christine and I debate, we speak in general terms. And sometimes, she’ll write “general you” to emphasize that. I do so because it’s easier than using the ubiquitous “one.” None of those quotes were directed at Christine personally (nor do I know if she read them that way). They were directed at the reasoning she employed. And quoting the “bullshit” phrase is priceless since she claims what people say on here is crap all of the time and no one accuses her of personal attacks. Moreover, Christine herself never claimed to me that I personally attacked her. Perhaps she felt that way and simply didn’t address it. Maybe she understood that I was attacking her reasoning and not her. Since she hasn’t voiced her views on the subject, all of this is mere speculation.

    “As you missed the gist of MOST of what I have said, let me just make this clear… Until black Americans STOP using the last 400 years of their history to define themselves and their agenda whenever it suits them, race relations in the USA will never improve. ”

    I do understand this, Trouble, truly I do. But I do not think I am being un-objective and unfair to criticize those on this blog who would justify racist thinking. That is simply too much. The point I made about Al Sharpton (and your response to that was duly noted) is that he doesn’t represent all black Americans, that black people have different views. Christine says that his constant racist rants does nothing to help eradicate racism. This I understand. But what I fervently object to is the idea that a white person is justified in discriminating against an entire race of people as a result of the actions of a few members of that race (and she suggested as much by her claims that a white person would simply discriminate against a black person and hire someone else instead). That is racist. Period. It is unjustifiable. I am not being inflammatory by calling something what it is. I have no problem if she wants to employ a line of reasoning that is racist. But don’t dress it up and call it something else.

    Random note: You’re the only I have ever heard refer to a “white community.” Just an observation.

  61. “Use a unified voice in a constructive manner, rather than to destroy the so-called-career of some random bimbo who got a job on the golf-channel ’cause she sucked the right dick…”

    There are blacks who do all of these things.

  62. I really don’t have the energy today Mara, [no insult intended] I’m still fighting a flu…

    I refer to the white community because by my observance, it exists. In the same manner that by my observance, a black community exists, despite the fact that you have stated in another thread some time ago, that you take umbrage to the term ‘black community.’ There is a specific reasoning behind that which I say, but I am unsure of whether you would be open to my theory [which is mostly based on my observations] at this point.

    “How you read that as a personal attack is beyond me. I attacked the line of reasoning, not you personally.”

    Let me explain in simplistic terms how the use of the “general you” or a hypothetical description of a situation can be purposefully employed in a personal attack:

    I write: “I think Mara is a very good lawyer, because she knows how to pick apart a defense line-by-line, and offer a very strong debate.”

    Then you write: “Well, anyone who thinks that picking apart the defense line-by-line and offering a strong debate makes for a good lawyer, would have to be one of the stupidest people on earth. If you make a statement like that, you would have to be the most retarded of retards, who doesn’t know shit about jack.”

    It’s passive/aggressive [and I am aware both you and Christine employ the technique] after all, you are both female ;)
    When you quote someone, and then follow up with your own words which are in direct opposition, and then finish with an embellishment like “You have no excuse for this racist reasoning.” you tend to lead the reader to believe you are aiming said comment in a particular direction, not just waxing hypothetical… This is an unfortunate by-product of the written word, there is no way the reader can see where your eyes are looking, your body language or hear how loud your voice is, or its tone…

    Regarding the “silence as consent, within the black community” that I mentioned… It is very much simply an observation. I have spent much time in the USA, and could go out on a limb and say that I have probably traveled and experienced more of the USA than most Americans, and I’m not talking about going to throw a pebble in the Grand Canyon, or see the biggest ball-of-yarn in the world. Our culture here is very much influenced by the United States, more so than our own Sovereign Nation Briton. I have over 50 news channels, and 300 other channels streaming into my 42″ TV on a daily basis… And by my observation, if Snoop Doggy can find several televised forums on which to plead his case, that when he says “Ho’s & bitches” he is talking about crack-head ho’s, and not educated young college sportswomen, unlike Don Imus… And Kanye can air his diatribe about Dubya hating black people [which you were surprisingly glib about] …Then these “high profile Republicans” you mentioned might try to do the same, but at this juncture, I have yet to blow coffee through my nose in surprise at that on my CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America, Larry King etc… The closest I’ve seen is D.L. hugely on Bill Maher.

    So yes, I admit I have not seen every broadcast of every interview of every black spokesperson, on this subject… But if I missed them, I might be inclined to hazzard a guess that it is because there exists no dimorphic plethora of such… Call it assumption if you will…

  63. Hope you feel better, Trouble. And I do not intent to antagonize you. I simply feel that I must defend myself when being accused of personally attacking someone when I never stoop to employ such tactics in debate. That would be a cardinal offense. But yes, using the general you can be a problem particularly when in the written word precisely for the reasons you mentioned. But you read what you will into whatever people write. Not YOU you. General you.

    Regarding what is in the media, I don’t think it in any way represents the diverse points of view in American society. There is a lot of self-imposed censorship that occurs for whatever reasons. For example, there is a strong Mexican-American politically active contingent in California but you never hear about it on the news. Tavis Smiley puts on a program every year called The Black State of the Union which is usually aired on C-Span but not in its entirety. And the platform of that forum is always personal responsibility, etc…that is, not crying racism, not pointing the fingers, but being held accountable for one own’s actions. But I wonder how many people are aware that forum happens every year?

    Btw, I was not criticizing your use of the term “white community.” I’ve just never heard anyone say that. I’m always open to new theories because I may not find your use of the term objectionable depending on how you define it and what you mean by the term “community.”

  64. “There IS no collective black group.”

    And yet at the beginning of the thread, you suggested that someone should know better than to make a joke about lynching around black people. That sounds rather collective to me.

    To address the question as to whether Mara’s arguments were personally attacking to me, I’d have to say that there was indeed an implication there that I was personally ignorant, racist, etc. based on the arguments I was making. Was I offended? No. I figured you were resigning yourself to that because your arguments weren’t really holding up and you were having some trouble being objective. That’s not to start the whole string over again. But if there’s any confusion as to what my response is to the last part of the thread between you and Trouble, I do have to say that I think every single thing Trouble has said is dead on. I even commented to Christopher today that I thought on this thread, Trouble was actually summing up my points more succinctly than I was so I might as well step back and let him.

    With regards to seeing blacks as individuals instead of lumping them together into a group and calling them the ‘black community,’ I of course agree that they are indviduals with very different perspectives. That goes without saying. But like we’ve discussed in previous posts several months ago– when blacks choose to create organizations like “the black Filmmakers Association” and organizations for black business owners, THEY are setting up ‘the black community.’ And when they use terms (like you yourself have used, Mara) like “the black experience,” you’re reinforcing that there is some significant aspect that sets blacks apart from other cultures– namely the non-minority white culture. But then are quick to criticize whites for not seeing all blacks as individuals. You (general you) might want to have it both ways, but it will never happen. And this is precisely the reason I will never be involved with any organization or group designed to promote only women (it’s the only minority I fall into, so I don’t have a broad choice of examples). If women want men to see them as individual equals (or not, but based on individual assessment), then we can’t set ourselves apart from them and expect it to happen. And we can’t sit back and say that we have a right to do it and men are just in the wrong if they can’t overlook that we’ve set ourselves apart from them and accept us as a part of their group even though we’re the ones drawing attention to the fact that we’ve started our own group. If you want everyone to be concerned about causes that affect only your gender or your ethnicity, then the best way to do that is to focus on how everyone is an individual and then, eventually, they’ll begin to see that your cause is their cause too. But since I can make a joke about someone being lynched to white people and not even consider that they might connect it to black history and be offended, but am I told by you that I should always be careful about not offending a black person with the same joke, there are definitely “groups” who are being lumped together and expecting to be treated differently.

  65. I generally don’t think I’m racist.. my accountant is Asian, my assistant is black, ect, ect.. but after reading some of the things that have been said here.. I can’t help then feel pity black people because they are so mislead.

    No offense Mara, really I’ve always found you to be one of the most intelligent and thoughtful posters on the blog, but in my humble opinion your off base on this one.

    Case in point, this exchange.

    ““As you missed the gist of MOST of what I have said, let me just make this clear… Until black Americans STOP using the last 400 years of their history to define themselves and their agenda whenever it suits them, race relations in the USA will never improve. ”

    I do understand this, Trouble, truly I do. But I do not think I am being un-objective and unfair to criticize those on this blog who would justify racist thinking.”

    Mara, if you understood at all you would realize that if a race or any group can and does get offended by a word they are infact creating the racism. The fact that your implying that people who don’t think that using the word lynch in a joke about a black person is racist,makes them racist.. is infact the very problem.

    This type of thinking is what creates racism, it really doesn’t help fix it. I mean by your own comments you have implied Christine, Myself, Trouble are racists in one way or another… that really doesn’t help race relations.

  66. I guess it’s true, you [general] can’t have your cake, eat it too… And then sell it on Ebay…

    I went out for a couple drinks with one of my black friends and one of my white friends after work yesterday, then I went home and fell asleep around 8pm, and didn’t wake ’til 7am today, so I feel much better thank you… must be the antiseptic properties of the vodka…

    The world is filled with people of different race. It should only be ONE of the many factors in how we define who we are. Nobody likes to be labeled, and yet [mostly] unwittingly we set ourselves up to be labeled by others when we single out one factor, and allow it to overwhelm all the others. If you make one thing about yourself stand out so much, that nothing else is obvious, you cannot blame others for not noticing your other nuances. We want to be seen as individuals, and we also want to belong to a community, it’s a paradox that only the human animal faces… One never sees a single Antelope dancing a jig outside the fringes of his herd, ’cause he instinctively knows that the three lions in the grass a hundred feet away are going to be saying “hey! lets go get the crazy dancing f#@$er over there…”

  67. “And yet at the beginning of the thread, you suggested that someone should know better than to make a joke about lynching around black people. That sounds rather collective to me.

    That wasn’t what I meant to imply. The joke, by its terms, is offensive and yes, someone should know that it would be offensive to some people. That doesn’t necessarily imply that those people are a collective.

    Obviously I do not believe my arguments are without merit and that I “resigned” myself to personally attacking you. And there have been other times on this blog where no one else agreed to me (on the very issue of race even) and I didn’t resort to attacking anyone. So I think my record speaks for itself. People will read what they will into posts. You have no way of knowing my tone, etc so the way in which you process something you read is entirely on you. I think that is something that just happens when you communicate via the written word. I’m sure you’ve written emails or whatever to people and they read something in your tone that simply wasn’t there.

    You and I have a fundamental disagreement which was established months ago over on another topic so we’re never going to see eye to eye on this. I do not think the term “black experience” equals black collective. The reason: it is possible for people to have a common experience based on one of more factors in common. That however, does not mean that the individuals form some sort of collective. For example, women share a common experience as women that men do not share because they are women. But women do not necessarily make a community in the sense that most people use the word “black community.” In the same way, many black people share the experience of being black, that is, being treated a particular way because they are black. But beyond that, they may have nothing in common with one another. I prefer the term communities, plural, if you’re going to use the term because that at least recognizes that black people are diverse. That is how I view the groups and organizations you take issue with. They are communities. They are not one grand black collective.

  68. “The fact that your implying that people who don’t think that using the word lynch in a joke about a black person is racist,makes them racist.. is infact the very problem. ”

    Christopher, I don’t think people who didn’t find the joke racist are racist. *I* didn’t think the joke was racist. In fact, I never even said the joke was racist. I said it was offensive. There’s a difference.

    As for implications of other people on this blog, again, people read what they will. If you discriminate or harbor prejudices against people because of their race, well, yes that would make you racist. That is the definition of racism. But I never said anyone on here did that unless you, Christopher, personally discriminate against people because of their race and thought I was talking about you.

  69. One never sees a single Antelope dancing a jig outside the fringes of his herd, ’cause he instinctively knows that the three lions in the grass a hundred feet away are going to be saying “hey! lets go get the crazy dancing f#@$er over there…”

    …all animals are paranoid, except for a few humans.

    …and all men are pigs, except for a few here.

  70. “But then are quick to criticize whites for not seeing all blacks as individuals. You (general you) might want to have it both ways, but it will never happen.”

    Okay, I finally figured out why this language (general speak) irks me. I think one of the fundamental problems people have when discussing race is that we use language that is, by its terms, racist or at least sets us up within a racist framework. So we become trapped by our own language which I think in and of itself is limiting. In other words, when we discuss racism and use discrete groups of black people to talk about black people generally, we reinforce racist thinking. Though we may not consciously intend to, I think the language implies collective, group, one person instead of individuals, communities, persons because we cannot seem to get away from that language. We are tied to it. One says in one sentence that they see blacks as individuals and then they discuss the impact that discrete groups of blacks have on blacks as a whole. Really, that is a paradox…how can those two sentiments co-exist?

    I don’t think this duality is solely the fault of black activists, black groups, etc. It didn’t start with the modern civil rights movement or sit-ins; it’s deeper than that. Black people have always been the black person. It is a sentiment that has existed since slavery beginning with the notion that black people were not people at all. Then black people became “those” people. This is a view that a lot of people have not because they are necessarily racist (or perhaps they are racist and do not know that they are), but that this idea is embedded in the language that we use to even talk about race. And so this is why I take issue whenever people talk about black groups (individually) to talk about black people as a whole.

    I wish I had lived 40-50 years ago to observe how the issues of gender and race played together in civil rights because I think that while we have gotten farther away from sexist language when discussing gender issues, we haven’t done the same for race. And we have plenty of pro-women groups so the groups are not the problem.

  71. “One says in one sentence that they see blacks as individuals and then they discuss the impact that discrete groups of blacks have on blacks as a whole. Really, that is a paradox…how can those two sentiments co-exist?”

    No Mara, that is not a paradox… The word paradox is misunderstood, and hence misused by many people… A paradox is not simply a statement that contradicts itself as you seem to be implying… It is a statement that may seem contradictory or even absurd but is possibly or actually valid.

    It is easy for those 2 sentiments to exist… A black man exists, a black man can be amongst other black men, a black man can be a member of a group of similarly minded black men, a black man can live in a neighborhood predominantly occupied by other black people, a black man can come from a country known to have a majority populous of black people, and a black man can be observed to have ethnic origins in common with other black people… That black man’s name is Jim, and I know Jim… I know Jim has at some point been involved with every situation I described above, plus a few more… And he is still Jim.

  72. That was not supposed to be all bold… :s

    Post Script Mara, I hope you are talking about a Ghost-of-Christmas-past kind of visit to life 40-50 years ago… I doubt you would like it much…

  73. “I don’t think this duality is solely the fault of black activists, black groups, etc.”

    Much of what we do, and the manner in which we define, and publicly display ourselves, helps determine how others perceive us.

  74. Mara, I don’t think there’s anything more I, or anyone else, can say on this topic to get you to understand why some of the things you’re justifying are shooting race relations in the foot.

    I’ll be the first to say that there is no “black” experience if everyone is an individual and truly, the only “female” experience — the only commonality I can assure you that I share with any other woman– is that we both have boobies, a vagina, and get a period once a month (unless we switch to that YAZ contraceptive which sounds really cool because you only get a period 4 times a year and I’m considering doing that if my pathetic insurance will actually cover it). Other than that, there is no “female” experience. There are women who will say they’ve been discriminated against by men their entire lives, but I honestly can’t relate to that. If I have been, then I didn’t know it and it didn’t affect me much because I’d be a hypocrite to say I got as far as I have today and no men along the lines helped me get there. There’s no “black experience” either. Trust me… Christopher’s secretary has had a much different experience than Oprah has and they’re both black.

    And I do think that pro-women groups hurt the overall equality of women. That doesn’t mean that women haven’t progressed in despite of them. But what do pro-women groups really do? If alienating men somehow helps women, I just don’t see it. The way I see it, those women have nothing more in common with me than the men do. They’re people. The men are people. We’re all just people. Drawing lines based on gender or ethnicity makes us something besides JUST PEOPLE.

    Alas, I believe I have said my last word on this subject because we have inevitably come to a point where we are reiterating the same points in different ways and that could go on forever. It’s probably better if it doesn’t.

  75. Although I will say… this is one of the best debates I’ve ever read in the blogosphere regarding this subject. So kudos to us.

    Not a bad debate… considering you, Mara and Christopher are, in fact, the same person!

  76. Christopher says his “assistant”, and Christine says his “secretary”…

    Interesting point, TtP. I’m surprised the poor woman hasn’t been referred to as “my girl Friday” yet.

    Is it (d) (o) yet?

    Crap — it’s Wednesday. I have to go work for the youth ministry group tonight… *sigh* oh well… Praise the Lord, kids!

  77. PJ: “Not a bad debate… considering you, Mara and Christopher are, in fact, the sme person!”

    Wouldn’t that be the weirdest thing ever?

    Trouble: I guess it’s true, you [general] can’t have your cake, eat it too

    I have always pondered the origins of this saying. I have no use for cake unless I can eat it.

  78. Sorry, to answer your question re- the cake phrase.

    It was first published as “Wolde you bothe eate your cake, and haue your cake?” in a book titled ‘A dialogue containing the number in effect of all the proverbs in the English tongue.’ ~ by John Heywood [in 1546]

    I simply means you can’t have it both ways. Once you have eaten your cake, you will no longer have it… The (^) is metaphorical.

  79. “Post Script Mara, I hope you are talking about a Ghost-of-Christmas-past kind of visit to life 40-50 years ago… I doubt you would like it much…”

    Well, to be a fly on the wall, so to speak, but the point wouldn’t be to like it.

  80. Trouble, thanks. I get it now. I knew that it means you can’t have it both ways, but in my mind the saying always sounded like an odd way to express that idea…like, well, of course you can have your cake and eat it too, that’s the point of cake!

    Someone is screaming in the middle of the street…literally SCREAMING.

  81. Mara… “fly on the wall?” …You mean because a fly is black and a wall is white… What are you really trying to say woman?

    You like doing things that you don’t like? That’s a paradox… We could do something you wouldn’t like, and I guarantee you’d like it… ;)

  82. No, she’s really screaming. I think something may be wrong.

    Trouble: “You mean because a fly is black and a wall is white”

    Actually, the wall was yellow…

  83. Is that a metaphor… You’re black, and I’m yellow?

    Don’t worry, when a woman is screaming, there [at least from my observation] usually isn’t really something wrong…

  84. Someone was screaming in the street and yet Mara continues to blog… that’s hilarious!

    The saying makes better sense actually if you said, “You can’t eat your cake and have it too.”

  85. When last we left our show, Mara had a neighbor screaming outside her window. Meanwhile, back on the Island, Trouble the Pirate has tried (unsuccessfully, I might add) to proposition Mara via the internet…

    I hope everything is OK with your neighbor, Mara.

    Trouble, I hope your neighbors, Gilligan and the Skipper, are busy eating Ginger and Mary Ann’s (@)

    [this is where I need the damned music emoticon, Christopher]

    Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
    A tale of a fateful trip
    That started from this tropic port
    Aboard this tiny ship.

    The mate was a mighty sailing man,
    The skipper brave and sure.
    Five passengers set sail that day
    For a three hour tour, a three hour tour….

  86. Trouble, if I say yes, do I get cake?

    Random rant: What is the point of paying $3300 for a bar review class to listen to the lecturer literally read the outline, which you have in front of you, word for word, line by line? I can fucking read. God. At least I had entertaining blogs to read during this completely useless session that was an absolute waste of my time. I want those four hours of my life back. This is a good afternoon for a martini.

  87. I just got $300 from Gilligan for a port-hole job… Now I’m off to pay my 20% to government…

    This is exactly why I don’t want to live in the Cayman Islands (or a social-center model). I mean — really — it’s bad enough you had to get humped in the port-hole to earn (d) money, but now your got to fork over $60 for that “privilege”? FTS…

  88. That’s even better, Mara! Not only were you blogging whilst a woman screamed outside your window, but it also took place during your bar review… priceless… well, the story is priceless, not the $3300 review.

  89. “Someone was screaming in the street and yet Mara continues to blog… that’s hilarious!”

    Yeah…I was in class. Well, still. It’s almost over. But we could hear her screaming from the street and everyone in the room just looked at each other for a second and went back to taking notes like nothing happened. This is what my life has been reduced to with this goddamn class. Plus I left my cell phone in the car.

    30 minutes and I get my martini.

  90. Pj… ’tis better [at least more profitable] to give, than to receive…

    Mara… It does involve cake, yes…

    A couple more of these port-hole jobs and I can afford to buy you a plane ticket to come see me…

    Enjoy your (d) (d) (d) …

  91. Ooh, I just noticed that I’m a renegade now which I like SOOOO much better than the oracle. Plus, I’m wearing knee high hooker boots today so I feel the new title is much more fitting. Not the hooker part. The renegade part.

    PJ, just gin, nothing fancy.

    Trouble, aw you’re such a gentleman.

    5 minutes and I’m FREE!!!!!!!!!

  92. I also find SOME people of the non-white ethnisity (I’m trying not to be racist, so dont tell me off, please) very sensitive to racist remarks, even if these remarks are not even racist. For example, apparently at primary schools and nurserys the children have to be taught the nursery rhyme ‘Baa baa rainbow sheep’, an alternitive to the well knowen nursery rhyme, ‘baa baa black sheep’!! Also, you often find that people of the non-white ethnisity can be ‘racist’ to each other, and to us, but we are not allowed to do so to them. Some of these people even draw the racism to themselves, i.e terrorists.

    I do not feel myself racist, as I do understand that we, the white people, can be racist, and very mean, and that not all of these people are this sensitive (I do have friends of the people of the non-white ethnisity), however i do find all of this pollitically correct buisiness of baa baa rainbow sheep, chalk board, and dark chocolate very stupid. Do we complain at ‘oh look its a white sheep’, white board and white chocolate. To be honest, I dont mind what colour my chocolate is!!!

    And finally…I have NO idea what lynch is!!!

  93. I dont even know what “cracker” is and could care less if someone called me that. Blacks in America just cant seem to get over very old news, strike that; i dont think they want to.

  94. Re: 15 Things You Can’t Say Around Black People Anymore:

    Wow. You’re a fucking racist-ass douchebag, aren’t you? You can’t come up with even one thing more pressing on your mind than some notion that black people in America are being babies about their history here? It’s idiots like you who foment the separation of people, in the guise of your ignorant and poorly-spelled punditry. Good luck with the rest of your tiny and impotent life.

  95. What’s up? Bored between classes here so decided to introduce myself.

    Umm so like does anyone know how to unblock myspace at school?

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  97. (y) (y) (y)
    lol!! this is hilarious to me!! I do not like to offend people so I try to watch what I say so that I don’t offend people but then again this is a free country and I can say whatever the hell I want to say but I might just get into a fight with someone over it

  98. i’m black. i actually hate the political correctness. I think its hilarious
    the only one i find kinda racist is 7 but its still funny. idc what people say.

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