Tag Archives: white

Once Upon a Time, You Were Not White

Once upon a time in America; Italians, Jews, and Irish people were not considered White.  Yes, it’s surprising.  Some people who are classified as White may not consider themselves Caucasian.  Many people consider the concept of race to be an illusion, a construct to be defined and re-defined.  For example, you may consider yourself white until you find out that your great-great-grandfather was a Louisiana born Black Creole who passed for white in the north.

Last night I saw author  and Princeton professor Nell Irvin Painter was on “The Colbert Report” discussing her new book  “The History of White People” [Read some of it for free on Google Books].  She talked about how race is not permanent, how definitions of race are affected by education, class and sex, and the history of the definition of whiteness.  The interview was a lot of fun, but I [like Colbert] had no idea what the book was really about at the end of the segment.  Her interview with NPR provides A LOT more information.

Painter is the author of Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol (1996) and several other scholarly works on the history of slavery and race relations in America, most recently Creating Black Americans (2006). Her latest selection examines the history of “whiteness” as a racial category and rhetorical weapon: who is considered to be “white,” who is not, what such distinctions mean, and how notions of whiteness have morphed over time in response to shifting demographics, aesthetic tastes, and political exigencies. After a brief look at how the ancients conceptualized the differences between European peoples, Painter focuses primarily on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There, the artistic idealization of beautiful white slaves from the Caucasus combined with German Romantic racial theories and lots of spurious science to construct an ideology of white superiority which, picked up by Ralph Waldo Emerson and other race-obsessed American intellectuals, quickly became an essential component of the nation’s uniquely racialized discourse about who could be considered an American. Presenting vivid psychological portraits of Emerson and dozens of other figures variously famous and obscure, and carefully mapping the links between them, Painter’s narrative succeeds as an engaging and sophisticated intellectual history, as well as an eloquent reminder of the fluidity (and perhaps futility) of racial categories. –Brendan Driscol, Booklist

Video – ColbertNation.com

Here is part of an awesome documentary that aired some years ago on PBS that deals in detail with the evolution of race

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I know one of you Hello, Negro readers did this.

Obama

LOL

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The RNC looks like a White People Convention

I know I’m not the only one watching the Republican National Convention and saying, “Are there only white people in the audience tonight?  I thought the Republicans have said they have a diverse party make up?”. I saw about 9 black people, 2 Asian people, one dark skinned Indian woman behind Cindy McCain, and about 10 people who I can’t say what they are.  Other than that the RNC is just a sea of White people, mostly in suits.  So this is what the ruling class looks like?!?!  Must be nice.

Sure, call me a racist for pointing it out, but the DNC was much more diverse.  It actually looked like MY America.  An America filled with all kinds of people.

I’m just saying, I’m a black woman and I notice these things.  Thompson threw them some red meat, at least.

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Reverse Racism?: White Comics on joking about Obama

MAUREEN DOWD did a wonderful piece recently for the NY Times about the challenge some white comedians and comic writers are facing when coming up with jokes and jabs about Barack Obama.  I was wondering just what monologue writers were going to do myself.  With so many of the people behind the pens being white and the public being well aware of that, it’s no surprise that there is increased sensitivity.  Who want’s to be labeled a racist?  Who hasn’t learned from the infamous New Yorker cover that satire is in the eye of the beholder?

I have a suggestion.  Hire some black writers.  That will do away with the double standard.  Black people have been trashing each other through comedy routines for decades…but we do it in love.  I mean, we have limits too, of course.  However, we know what a fine line there is between meaningless mockery and comedy.

My favorite quotes from the article:

- “It seems like a President Obama would be harder to make fun of than these guys,” I said.

“Are you kidding me?” Stewart scoffed.

Then he and Colbert both said at the same time: “His dad was a goat-herder!”

- Many of the late-night comics and their writers — nearly all white — now admit to The New York Times’s Bill Carter that because of race and because there is nothing “buffoonish” about Obama — and because many in their audiences are intoxicated by him and resistant to seeing him skewered — he has not been flayed by the sort of ridicule that diminished Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.

“There’s a weird reverse racism going on,” Jimmy Kimmel said.

- On Tuesday, Andy Borowitz satirized on that subject. He said that Obama, sympathetic to comics’ attempts to find jokes to make about him, had put out a list of official ones, including this:

“A traveling salesman knocks on the door of a farmhouse, and much to his surprise, Barack Obama answers the door. The salesman says, ‘I was expecting the farmer’s daughter.’ Barack Obama replies, ‘She’s not here. The farm was foreclosed on because of subprime loans that are making a mockery of the American dream.’ ”

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Racism in NH: The Jamaicans only get $8 an hour

Great article by Rebecca Hughes for SeaCoastOnline.com – Witnessing racism firsthand in York

Recently, I graduated college, came back to York for my final summer at home, and quickly began the search for a summer job. After filling out several applications, I went to a local restaurant.

Although the restaurant was closed, several managers were there and the doors were open. After introducing myself and settling in at the bar to complete my application, a black woman came in. In a thick Jamaican accent, she introduced herself and explained that she was looking for a job as a dishwasher. The kitchen manager, a white man, came out to interview her.

He told her that he didn’t have many dishwashers and that he would give her lots of hours. When she asked about the pay, he said the starting wage was $8 an hour. She countered with $9 an hour, but he responded that he was only willing to offer her $8.

While she paused to think about the offer, another manger (also white and male) came over to her.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked.

“I’m thinking about the offer I just got to work for $8 an hour instead of $9,” she said. At this, the man snorted and said, “Well, you aren’t going to find anyplace around here willing to hire you for that much. You better take this job, because in a few days there won’t be any more left. We are one of the last places hiring.” The woman thought for a few more seconds and acquiesced. She was told to come back at 5 o’clock the next day for training.

After she left, the second manager turned to the first and said, “Good job, the Jamaicans only get $8 an hour?”

According to the 2000 census, York is a town that is 98.36 percent white. In a town with so few people of color, racism is hard to notice. But that day, I witnessed it. Continue reading

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Morehouse’s first white valedictorian

I had to share this article because the guy is from my hometown, Kansas City. He’s a cutie too. One of those Spelman girls needs to try “Something New”. LOL  Oh reverse racism…you’ll see it in the article.  Sad, but…I’m not surprised.  Come on Morehouse Men…let’s try to be a little more open minded!

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — Joshua Packwood knows what it’s like to be a minority. This weekend he’ll be the first white valedictorian to graduate from the historically black, all male Morehouse College in the school’s 141-year history.

Morehouse, in Atlanta, Georgia, is one the nation’s most prestigious universities of its kind. For more than a century, the school has prided itself on personifying the dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the school’s most notable alums, by producing “Morehouse Men” – intelligent and successful black leaders.

“Because I’m one of the only white students, it’s easy to call me ‘the white boy,’ I’m naturally going to stand out,” says Packwood.

But Packwood, 22, doesn’t stand out solely because he is white or has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. For those who don’t know him, what is surprising is that a Rhodes Scholar finalist turned down a full scholarship to Columbia University to attend the all-black men’s university.

This came naturally to Packwood, who attended a predominantly black high school.

“A large majority of my friends, like all my girlfriends have been minorities,” says Packwood. “So it was very, it was kind of strange that I always kind of gravitated to the black community.”

Packwood fit in immediately at Morehouse. His charm, movie-star good looks and chiseled physique made him popular among students. He was elected dorm president and to class council during freshmen year – and was a favorite at campus fashion shows.

Life hasn’t always been easy for Packwood. He grew up in a poor area of Kansas City, Missouri, where he says he found himself gravitating to the black community at a young age. Continue reading

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White Woman’s Gang Life Memoir is a FAKE

Margaret Jones wrote about being a half-white, half-native American foster child growing up with black family South LA in her acclaimed memoir “Love and Consequences”. Now she’s been outed as a fake.  She’s really Margaret Seltzer, a private school white girl from Sherman Oaks, CA.  The L.A Times reported that in her deception, she went as far as to gave broadcast interviews about her book voicing a fake tough-girl cadences.  I was browsing through this book on Friday waiting for a friend at Union Station. I thought the cover was sorta OFF (looks like a black grandma with a light-skined black girl).  I did think it might be an interesting read…in paperback. LOL

I love what she admitted to the NY Times
“For whatever reason, I was really torn and I thought it was my opportunity to put a voice to people who people don’t listen to,” Ms. Seltzer said. “I was in a position where at one point people said you should speak for us because nobody else is going to let us in to talk. Maybe it’s an ego thing — I don’t know. I just felt that there was good that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to it.”  Oh the great white saviors of the world!  What would we poor colored folk do without them??

Read all about it…


LAist

Memoir ‘Love and Consequences’ Revealed as Fiction

Entertainment Weekly - 12 hours ago
Margaret B. Jones admits tale about growing up as a drug dealer in South Central LA is pure fiction (THE NEW YORK TIMES) — The book Love and Consequences,
Fake memoir not going to change book business CNN International
Author Admits Gang Memoir Was Fabricated NPR

The New York Times reports…

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Black South Africans Express Anger at Trial of White Shooter

One Black Protester had a sign that read “One Settler, One Bullet”.
Associated Press – CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Protesters tried to force their way into the court hearing Thursday of a white teenager charged with a shooting rampage in a black settlement that left four people dead, including a mother and her infant.

The bloodshed on Jan. 14 in the Skielik settlement, 100 miles northwest of Johannesburg, has ignited racial tensions that remain close to the surface more than a decade after the end of South Africa’s apartheid system.

Riot police were called in to control the dozens of black protesters who gathered outside the Swartruggens District Court, trying to push through the compound gates as 18-year-old Johan Nel made a brief appearance inside. He faces charges of murder and attempted murder.

The crowd waved signs saying ” no bail, let him rot in jail,” the South African Press Association reported. Police pushed the group was pushed to the side of the street.

Police are unclear on a motive, but Skielik’s residents allege that Nel killed out of racial hatred. Leaders of the trade union movement and African National Congress have joined demonstrations in Skielik, which is part of an area known for its game reserves, biting rural poverty and deep divide between black and white.

Full article – USA Today 

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What happened to just breaking up???

There was a time when breaking up was just that…breaking up. The relationship ended and you moved on. Sure, there may have been hurt feelings and maybe some untruths surrounding who broke up with whom first, but you lived to see another day. You ended up with hilarious, sometimes embarrassing, stories about the crazy things (shameful things even…) you did in the relationship OR straight humility (and additional embarrassment) when you bump into your former interest and wonder what the hell was so special about them in the first place. Unfortunately, the story of Jana Shearer didn’t end up this way…

TYLER, Texas (Associated Press) — Friends and family of a 21-year-old who police say was killed and mutilated by her boyfriend tried to put aside the grisly details of her death.

“You can’t sleep. You can’t think straight anymore,” said Amy Gage, a friend and neighbor of the victim, Jana Shearer. “Then you just keep finding out more and more. It’s the most difficult thing anyone can go through.”

Shearer’s boyfriend, Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, was charged with capital murder after police said they found her body, an ear boiling in a pot on a stovetop, and a hunk of flesh with a fork in it on a plate at the crime scene.

McCuin, wearing a jail-issue red jumpsuit, was not asked to enter a plea as he appeared before state District Judge Jack Skeen Jr. on Monday. Skeen continued McCuin’s bond at $2 million and appointed an attorney to represent him.

Authorities said McGuin’s comments in a 911 call that alerted them to the hideous discovery led them to believe he may have intended to eat his girlfriend’s remains, but said it is unclear whether McCuin consumed any part of her body.

Smith County Sheriff Lt. Larry Wiginton told the Tyler Morning-Telegraph that McCuin told investigators that God made him kill Shearer.

“When he said God told him to do it, one of the investigators looked at him and just said, ‘What did you say?’” according to Wiginton. Click here for the rest of the article.

This guy did everything from blaming God, to telling on himself, and making it look like he was going to eat her remains. Considering he’s a black man who killed a white woman…in TEXAS, no less, I guess he was planning his insanity plea from the start… He gets no remorse here. Damn, just break-up and keep it moving…

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Daring to Believe in Obama

From the New York Times

How Mr. Obama’s early triumph will play out in the presidential contest remains to be seen, and his support among blacks is hardly monolithic.

But in dozens of interviews on Friday from suburbs of Houston to towns outside Chicago and rural byways near Birmingham, Ala., African-Americans voiced pride and amazement over his victory on Thursday and the message it sent, even if they were not planning to vote for him or were skeptical that he could win in November.

“My goodness, has it ever happened before, a black man, in our life, in our country?” asked Edith Lambert, 60, a graduate student in theology who was having lunch at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston.

“It makes me feel proud that at a time when so many things are going wrong in the world that people can rise above past errors,” added Ms. Lambert, who said she had not decided whom to vote for. “It shows that people aren’t thinking small. They’re thinking large, outside the box.”

Other black presidential candidates, like Shirley A. Chisholm and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, have excited voters in the past. Mr. Jackson won primaries in 1984 and 1988.

Over and over, blacks said Mr. Obama’s achievement in Iowa, an overwhelmingly white state, made him seem a viable crossover candidate, a fresh face with the first real shot at capturing a major party nomination.

“People across America, even in Iowa of all places, can look across the color line and see the person,” said Mr. Brown, 35, who was working at the reception desk at DK’s Hair Design near Ladera Heights, a wealthy Los Angeles suburb. Continue reading

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