Like a bird on a wire

24 06 2016

So, I’ve been on Twitter for a minute and my impression thus far is: huh.

I thought the problem would be that I’d be constantly chattering away, constantly trying to get both the first and last words, and constantly hung up in this spat or that.

Not what’s happened.

Oh, I’ve jumped in here and there, but, mostly, I’m just listening in. I have almost no followers (which is a) not a surprise, given my relative silence; b) yeah, an ego dent; and c) probably for the best), but am slowly building a roster of people who I want to follow.

And that’s where the “huh” comes in: While most (not all) of the people I follow are on the left, they’re not all left in the same way. In particular, I follow a number of bloggers who are black, which means I’m not only able easily to eavesdrop on conversations of which I otherwise might not even be aware, I’m also able to see how those conversations play out.

That’s key: I’m certainly used to reading and hearing black (and Latino and Asian) voices in the media, but, for the most part, these are media saturated in whiteness. I don’t mean white supremacy—The Atlantic, whatever its faults, is not a vehicle for supremacism—but that the story choices and the readership are largely white.

Black Twitter writes for itself. It’s not that the conversation is confined to black people, but that the microphone is located firmly within black America, and passed around to other black people. I can listen in, but whether or not I do so is rather besides the point.

This is not a surprise. I mean, any white person who’s ever heard a Chris Rock performance knows that how black people talk amongst themselves is not how they talk with white people. But even as someone who is not completely clueless about the existence of black culture, it can still be a smack upside my head to see, in real time, it’s not all about me.

And that’s bracing, in the best possible way.





Knights in white satin

2 12 2014

Racism just ain’t what it used to be.

Oh, sure, it’s evolved from “savages” and “primitives”, from “nigger nigger nigger” to “we need to cut this”, from Jim Crow to the Southern strategy to voter ID, and, of late, to “race realism” and “human biodiversity” and James-Watson-not-a-racist-in-the-conventional-way, but even the folk who hide behind economic populism and biological science would admit that there are racists in the USA:

They’re called Klan members.

Thus, as long as those race realists (and James Watson) aren’t marchin’ around in white robes or burning crosses on colored folks’ lawns, they’re not racists (at least not in the conventional way).

So what to do when someone posts a picture of a Klan member to his Facebook page and captions it “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”—and then insists he’s not racist?!

I mean, the KKK is the white-gold standard of racism in America! If the HBD-ers (and James Watson) aren’t able to point to their non-membership in the Klan as evidence of their non-racism, however will they convince people of their good faith and disinterested interpretation of evidence?

The horror.

Or maybe I’ve been wrong all along, and this new KKK≠racism equation proves once and for all that racism no longer exists in America.

At least among white people.





Mayan Campaign Mashup 2012: Perry as [white folks’] champion

12 01 2012

You noticed who’s not there, right?

What, they don’t need a champion? What the hell?

And Perry looks rather too much like like the previous occupant of the White House in that shot of him standing next to his plane.

He has no chance of winning of course, but I like that he’s pissing away the millions given to him by conservative donors.

As I used to say when working for a left-wing paper and we were criticized for taking money from non- and anti-lefty advertisers: Spend it all—make them spend it all!

(This one’s for you, dmf.)