Activism and privacy in the digital camera age

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So someone sent this article to me. It’s about a racist-themed frat party at Duke, where a bunch of non-Asian people wore conical hats and geisha outfits to get their kicks. The intent of the party was clear:

“Herro Nice Duke Peopre!!” read the opening line in the email inviting Dukies to “the return of Kappa Sigma Asia Prime.”

I checked out the Facebook page of the Duke Asian Students Association, which is protesting the party, and while they have photos, all the faces are blanked out. Now I get privacy concerns–no doubt it’s easy to snap some really embarrassing photos of college kids when they’re drunk and having fun, even when they’re having fun by being racist. These photos never go away. But if you want to stop a racist party, wouldn’t it be easiest to warn them not to hold the party, and if they do it anyway, go there with a digital camera, become the paparazzi, and e-mail those photos to all the on-campus recruiters and the Duke Alumni Committee? Tell the recruiters that if they hire racists, that they are also racist? You know, digitally “get ghetto” with these people?

Yeah, sure, we all need to respect privacy. And maybe no one likes a “snitch” with a camera. But it would seem to me that the best way to stop racism would be to catch racists in a racist act.

What do you think?

59 thoughts on “Activism and privacy in the digital camera age

  1. Out of curiosity is it possible to have a party that is Asian themed, as in food and dress and not be racist? I read the email in the article and that clearly seems racist. I’m just curious about your feelings regarding an Asian themed party and where the line is drawn between wearing things we perceive that Asians wear and racism. I’m wondering how those hats are in of themselves racist.

  2. ^
    I had a similar question also. Can one have a Orthodox Jewish themed party with dress and food, and not be labeled bigoted? Then I ask myself what would be the purpose of such a party? Readers help me out here.

  3. As a disclaimer, I am Asian but have lived in the US for a while. I have friends from many Asian countries. In the US I have yet to attended an Asian party where the theme is “Lets Dress and Eat like Whites”.

  4. @Bigwowo,

    I read this on Angry Asian. Apparently, the Asian students had complained to school authorities, and the frat boys were warned. They went ahead and changed the “title” of the party from Asian prime to something like International Relations. Its in the two emails if you follow the links. And the photos were obtained by the Asian students from the facebook page where the fraternity posted. So the photos were public already is the argument I am hearing.

    Good that the Asian students are being aggressive about this. They need to be more aggressive about this. I would imagine something like a “Black” themed part wouldn’t go down well with Blacks and there would be a lot of noise. The Asian students should do the same.

  5. John Doe,

    ‘In the US I have yet to attended an Asian party where the theme is “Lets Dress and Eat like Whites”.’

    I wonder if thats because most parties they go to in the US already feel like white parties? Maybe in China or Japan that would have better appeal? Kinda like steak houses are just steak houses not american steak houses but restaurants who serve Chinese are Chinese restaurants in America.

    I’m also wondering why can’t people have culture parties to learn about that culture? It seems natural to dress and eat like that culture or how we perceive that culture. I just usually wonder how much is too much? I could see having an Africa party. Would it be possible to have an Africa American party and make it feel unique from just an American party?

  6. For those of you asking how to throw an Asian-themed party without being racist or appropriative, go here.

    http://racebending.tumblr.com/post/41766883833/i-dont-know-where-else-to-ask-this-and-hope-it-isnt

    “One good question to ask yourself might simply be: Am I being INVITED to participate in this cultural practice or tradition?” (Emphasis mine)

    “In these situations someone has asked you to participate and there is also an understanding that you will follow their lead. I think there is a distinct difference between that and unilaterally deciding you will participate in someone’s culture, and deciding that you get to decide what that participation will be like. “

  7. “Maybe in China or Japan that would have better appeal? Kinda like steak houses are just steak houses not american steak houses but restaurants who serve Chinese are Chinese restaurants in America.”

    I can tell you that even in a country that was a former White colony with no visible overt trace of Whites, we do not have such parties. Besides I was just playing around to see if you actually understand the power dynamics that go into these things.

    Chinese throwing a White party in China is not equivalent to Whites throwing an Asian party. As they say its apples and oranges. There isn’t a significant resident White minority population in China that has suffered from the majority for say centuries. Whereas the opposite could be true in the US. So, I think the comparison, and to the steak house is meaningless, IMHO.

    “I just usually wonder how much is too much? I could see having an Africa party.”
    Yeah but how about closer to home for suburban Whites to instead throw a Black as in African American party to learn about say life in the inner city? Wouldn’t that be better and more in context? People can all act and talk ghetto.

    But seriously, I am really itching to try that Black party in suburbia, and also my Hasidic Jew attire and makeup.

  8. RR,

    “For those of you asking how to throw an Asian-themed party without being racist or appropriative, go here.”

    I think people seem to group disrespect and racism together. I read the link but I can’t help to think how disrespect some of that was but it wouldn’t be racism. It isn’t that another race is better or worst because of race. It seems to be that they don’t respect that culture. While that can be wrong in its own right, it isn’t that same as racism. The link almost sounds like unless you are invited to something you aren’t allowed to try and explore what that culture has to offer at your home. Thats what I find interesting. It almost sounds like buying chop sticks and a Chinese cookbook is almost disrespectful. While disrespect should be avoided, is it the same as racism? I probably find this harder to deal with because ingeneral I separate culture and race. A race doesn’t guarantee a culture and vice verse and I would rather get to know the person to understand their culture than to assume their culture.

  9. “Yeah but how about closer to home for suburban Whites to instead throw a Black as in African American party to learn about say life in the inner city? Wouldn’t that be better and more in context? People can all act and talk ghetto.”

    I’m just wondering how you could throw an interesting party that is about blacks in which blacks would say that respected their culture. I’m just not sure that talking ghetto would really make a party interesting for either group. It seems like many whites already dress in similar ways as Africa Americans and eat a lot of the same foods so what would the people of the party really be learning about? This is where my lack of knowledge would come in. I grew up in a poor white neighborhood, where I shared a room with my sister and my best friends were people in the low income apartments behind us. With that being said I live in a town with very very few blacks. So I didn’t really interact with very many to undertsand their culture. What I know comes from being picked on by blacks or the uncle I had who was black or from the guy I used to do work for that was black.

    “I can tell you that even in a country that was a former White colony with no visible overt trace of Whites, we do not have such parties. Besides I was just playing around to see if you actually understand the power dynamics that go into these things.”

    It isn’t a requirement just that it might be of more interest. The whole point was being in a culture that has been largely white for so long, a party about that group seems like it wouldn’t be as interesting. Maybe no one outside of the US likes parties about whites. Althrough using white is more confusing than Asian. Since Asian isn’t really the same as white. maybe european or american party, since it would be more about the culture and less about the skin color. I’ve read about chinese, japan and south korean but I’m not going to understand the culture better than someone who is apart of that culture.

    “So, I think the comparison, and to the steak house is meaningless, IMHO.”

    The point is just that to a culture what they are used to is just theirs. They don’t paraphrase to show that it is another cultures.

    “But seriously, I am really itching to try that Black party in suburbia, and also my Hasidic Jew attire and makeup.”

    So throw one ;)

    if you wanna throw a white party that makes fun of whites go right ahead. Although whites seem to lack having really bad racist slurs against them. The few I’ve heard just seem so soft.

  10. “The link almost sounds like unless you are invited to something you aren’t allowed to try and explore what that culture has to offer at your home.”

    If someone wants to “try” another culture in their own home, fine. They will likely be wrongheaded and ignorant, but in the privacy of their own home. If they publicly rub their ignorance and disrespect in our faces, then they will be called out.

    “It almost sounds like buying chop sticks and a Chinese cookbook is almost disrespectful.”

    If Asians offer to sell products to non-Asians, then that’s an invitation.

  11. “Although whites seem to lack having really bad racist slurs against them. The few I’ve heard just seem so soft.”

    Thats because the slur has no sting behind it. I don’t think you will understand this concept unless you experience it. The slur has to be backed up by force (or power). Where I grew up I was from the dominant group (though not majority numerically). The racial slurs from the minority evoked the same emotions that you expressed. Is that the best you got? Because I knew “my race” was in control so its like spitting on the Sun. The Sun couldn’t be bothered.

    I could only hazard a guess that Whites would feel different if the power were shifted. If you read some expats blogs, Whites complain about things that seem really minor to me. Perhaps, in 50 years if the U.S. anglophone Whites stop being the dominant group, the same jokes would sting more. We will have to wait and see.

  12. John Doe,

    “Thats because the slur has no sting behind it. I don’t think you will understand this concept unless you experience it. The slur has to be backed up by force (or power). ”

    It just seems like people are most bothered by slurs for blacks but what about American Indians? I know there are slurs but there doesn’t seem to be much backlash and they have a long history of being oppressed. It just seems slurs are the worst against blacks but other groups don’t seem to protest or get in the news as much.

    “Whites complain about things that seem really minor to me. ”

    It isn’t the level of complain, I normally see it as confusion. The whites that I know don’t see inequality as helping racism. I was taught to respect the individual and the race doesn’t matter in terms of treating them negative or positive. Each person has their own culture and learning it shows that you care about them. The confusion comes why saying something is ok for one race but not another. Maybe I’m stuck in the 1950s civil rights movement where I still think it is more important to judge a person by their character and thoughts than their race. I know that culture won’t treat everyone the same, ever. So the rules that need to be equal the most are the ones that govern us.

  13. But if you want to stop a racist party, wouldn’t it be easiest to warn them not to hold the party, and if they do it anyway, go there with a digital camera, become the paparazzi, and e-mail those photos to all the on-campus recruiters and the Duke Alumni Committee? Tell the recruiters that if they hire racists, that they are also racist? You know, digitally “get ghetto” with these people?

    “Going ghetto” is usually not a good idea. If you want to go looking for blood? You will find it. Just make sure if you (or anyone here) did this they know the photography laws of the state in which they plan to do this. If, say, a party was by invite only and you crash it? You could be liable for a host of slander and defamation legal loop holes. You’d also have to be concerned about what is considered public and private property when taking said photos. I’m not saying don’t do nothing. I’m just saying the proposed might not be a good idea in the long run.

    My only real concern here is that the Asian Students Association made the uproar but are not hosting. The meeting is being hosted by Devil Dems (The Duke University Chapter of College Democrats) primarily. Why didn’t “ASA” take center stage? Why ask “DD” for the help, if they were indeed asked?

    As for the photos? Asians often pledge Kappa Sigma(it’s an international frat last I checked). Wouldn’t be surprised if a couple those blanked out faces were Asian or half-asian really. No hard evidence of course but just throwing that out there.

  14. I couldn’t imagine a hillbilly theme party. Have non-whites dressed as hillbillies. Seriously, this was just in poor taste. I apologize for the way some whites treat minorities. As you know, I’m not like this. My only crime is my love for Asian women. The most beautiful women in America.

  15. “I couldn’t imagine a hillbilly theme party. ”

    ROFLMAO

    I must admit, that was a good one. LOLOLOL

  16. “ I know there are slurs but there doesn’t seem to be much backlash and they have a long history of being oppressed. ”
    You are really out of touch. Backlash from whom? The 1% of the population that are spread out in the wilderness where there are no Whites to be found? Sure some Native Americans (that is the correct term I think. Columbus didn’t have a GPS but in this day and age don’t call people that are not from India, Indian) are getting rich from casino but thats hell of a painful way for their tribe to come to that.

  17. John Doe,

    The reason I normally use American Indian over Native American is the last time I saw a study on this from the census.gov , 50% preferred the name American Indian and 37% preferred Native American. I realize how the term Indian came about and I know it can be confusing using Indian by itself. I talk a lot to a guy in London and I used to talk to a guy in china, so I’ve talked to them about the confusion before. So Indian by itself can be confusing. The link to the study is http://www.census.gov/prod/2/gen/96arc/ivatuck.pdf . So to me either Native American or American Indian would be acceptable.

    I don’t wish to hijack this thread any further off its main topic. It is sad when people are insensitive to other people’s culture. More respect would be nice.

  18. “American Indian” is actually the right term. For whatever reason, my teachers always said to use “Native American.” But when I moved to Oregon and actually got to know some of them, they said to use “American Indian.” I’m not sure why. I didn’t want to ask and embarrass myself!

    To answer the question that someone upthread asked, I do think it’s possible to have an ethnic party, but the “ethnics” ought to be leading or at least invited to lead. Lots of Chinese schools in the area, for example, have white students, and they throw really good Chinese New Year parties.

    As for adults, I think it’s also possible for them to do it, but it’s harder. Still, if it’s accompanied by some kind of authentic presentation with the “ethnics” in charge, I think it could be educational and instructive for all involved.

  19. Bigwowo,

    I am not sure about these “ethnic” themed parties. To me culture is an adaptation to ones environment that is rooted in history. If one is really serious about learning other people’s culture, you can simply go to their parties and participate. I don’t see how an outsider can read some books and throw an “ethnic” themed party to learn about their culture. Cultures are living, changing constructs. There are so many aspects to it that one cannot gain any valuable insight into it . It will be just fake.

    For example, I have been to many Punjabi lohri parties. I love all the food and dancing. Now if I were to throw a Punjabi party, what am I supposed to do? Order in some food and put on some turbans? What cultural understanding would my Chinese, Ugandan guests have of the significance of lohri by attending my Punjabi party?

  20. Yeah, I think ethnics have to lead. OR…they have to be put into a leadership position.

    So if you wanted to throw a Punjabi party, in order to make it authentic, you’d probably best invite your Indian friend, who grew up in that culture, to do it for you. You could be in charge of inviting people, renting the space, buying food, but he’d be the one keeping it real.

    Now here’s where it might be different. Let’s say you were an expert in yoga, who trained in India for 15 years, totally an expert in ONE aspect of that culture, more knowledgeable than most Indians. In this case, I think it might be okay for you to throw an Indian yoga party because you could sell yourself (to your friends) as a total expert in one aspect of the culture. You can then bring the food that you at when you were there, etc.

  21. In the case of the Chinese schools I mentioned, there are white students and white administrators. But the parties are ALWAYS led by people from China. Dragon dances, etc. are done by Chinese people. Decorations are chosen by Chinese people. The programs are designed by Chinese people.

  22. @Bigwowo,

    “Now here’s where it might be different. Let’s say you were an expert in yoga, who trained in India for 15 years,”

    I have an interesting story about that. Once a while back, I got a knock on my apartment door. The person was enquiring about a musical instrument I had. I was always careful to play it for short durations and only in reasonable hours. Turns out this person was not complaining but was begging me to come play it in their yoga school. They were throwing a party in their yoga school for their guru. As it turns out I knew about this school thru a friend who was invited there. The whole thing was quite comical actually. According to my friend, the people (all Whites I think she told me) were serious and had this weekends where they cook “Indian” food but according to her it felt weird because they didn’t know what they were doing, even though they were pro at this stuff. So when I was asked to play for their prayer song, I tried to politely explain that its a different musical instrument they are looking for though it might sound the same because of South Asian and South-East Asian, and East Asian connections. There is a different rythm and such.

    I would admit, the people involved were earnest. This is where my own upbringing and prejudice is showing in that most people in India tend to look at Whites trying to learn Indian traditions with suspicions. Police, intelligence agencies , politicians hint the Whites being connected with foreign agencies such as the CIA. To me it just seems weird in that I wouldn’t try to throw a southern evangelical Christian party to learn about them. I could just talk to some, even go to their Church if I wanted to. That might be better.

    But honestly, how many of these “ethnic” parties are thrown just to have some “harmless” fun and how many are their to actually learn it. For the letter case, its better to just diversify your friend circle, and attend one of “their” parties.

    Yeah, lets have a Mexican party. Lets turn the heat way up in winter, dress as if we are in the beach, bring out the booze. I am sure you have seen such parties. It was never about learning Mexican culture but about the booze.

  23. That IS very interesting, John. Interesting too that you play such an instrument. That’s just totally cool.

    The thing about ethnic…I guess you could call them “learning parties” is that they are limited in scope. There is only so much you can learn from such a party since it takes place only one day, a few hours, in one room. You don’t get to see how the people really live.

    Which is why, yes, a Chinese ethnic party will mostly be about the lion dance, or something similarly superficial. Culturally, no matter how you do it, it’s going to be watered down.

  24. Pure nonsense. Sorry bro, but i’d like to talk to you and j.d. about things when they have cooled down. I’ve been here long enough to know that I don’t need to get into ego battles to arrive at truth…

    But ultimately truth is my goal and i think i will need to talk to you about this to reach it. Aftwr you’ve settled all of this, of course

  25. Hmm. And people wonder why our college kids are such dumbasses.

    I do have some questions though:
    If I were having the delegate from China to my house to eat dinner, and I served rice, would that be racist?

    If I served fried chicken to honor African-American Month, would that be racist?

    I ask because if these things are indeed racist, this means that:
    A. No Chinese person in the history of all Chinese people has ever eaten rice, and I am playing on a stereotype.

    B. No black person in America has ever, in their history, eaten fried chicken, and I am playing on a stereotype.

    I remember reading that Flava Flav opened a fried chicken restaurant in Vegas, and no one cared or thought it was racist.
    http://www.inquisitr.com/206380/flavor-flav-opens-fried-chicken-restaurant-in-las-vegas/

    Just some passing observations. I believe we, as the melting pot of the world, should embrace and revel in our cultural, dietary, and linguistic differences. It means nothing other than to interact with one another outside of political correctness (whatever the hell that means, anyways).

    I am an insipid, mildly redneck, Libertarian Conservative, gun-rights advocate, father, husband, son, brother, and very average descendent of immigrants from Europe. I’m not European-American. I’m just plain ol’ American. Racism and such just isn’t my world nor is it part of my daily sphere of activity.

    If you want my cultural stereotype, I reckon it would be family, faith, freedom, and telling jokes that aren’t funny.

  26. This jackass actually typed out more words than the drunken bastard he tried to discredit.

    Hubris.

  27. I agree with Don on this, Raguel. I think Don is 100% right (and I think he’s a smart dude, even though we disagree 100% on guns!). Some sort of connection has to start somewhere. If not then, well, we’re stuck just basically hanging out with our own.

    To share another story, we recently had a potluck with an Indian family. I cooked up my Chicken Makhani. I saw the husband working to get it down–clearly it wasn’t as good as the real thing. :) BUT…it gave us an opportunity to talk about the Garam Masala and what needs to go into real curry. And it was just us talking about our cultures and where we come from.

    I know a redneck married to a Chinese woman. They’re a great couple. But man, do they have food issues on what gets cooked in their home. But these issues are part of life. We all have our cultures, and we ought to do a better job of opening up ourselves to others.

    I think things have cooled down, Raguel. I have a feeling you disagree with me too. You’re up. Tell me why I’m wrong. :)

  28. bigWOWO,

    I tried to cook up my version of Bulgogi for some acquaintances of mine from South Korea. (I’m a private, classically-trained chef who learned to cook in Piemonte, Italy, but food of all kinds is a passion of mine)

    Needless to say, they ate it out of courtesy, but I knew I didn’t nail it for them. I rckon someone on the outside would look in and say I was being racist by cooking Korean food for Koreans, but if I would have cooked them hamburgers and french fries, would these same people say I wasn’t being culturally sensitive?

    In issues of raaacism, and the phantom thereof, I loathe being watched as if under a microscope simply because I am of European heritage and am, for label purposes, a white guy. It seems at times a lose-lose situation.

    This is why I ignore such trivialities in American culture, as I see it, and embrace the differences in others, be they dietary or otherwise. From a culinary aspect, I’d enjoy spending time in a kitchen with someone from another country, learning their skills, flavors, and techniques. Definitely. It would only serve to make me more well-rounded,and give them the chance to teach someone outside of their culture a thing or two. Win-win.

    Are there people out there who hate others due to their ancestry or culture? Sure. Blacks hate whites, whites hate blacks, latinos hate Asians, etc, etc. (I don’t know if latinos hate asians…I’m just talking out loud here) So what? I could give two craps less about this kind of stuff. If we know one another, and you’re good with me, polite, courteous, respectful, etc, then big deal if you’re a black guy or asian or whatever.

    The Big Picture demands that I, and we, put such nonsense aside and focus on what matters.

    Again, for the record, these Duke students are morons. If I walked into a party and saw this, I would simply leave. I do wonder though, how many sorority girls were date-raped that night by drunk frat boys? Later to find themselves going viral online due to a video made with an iPhone. Yay for higher education, indeed.

    I particularly am enjoying how much time Raguel is spending trying to insert himself into our conversation. It makes for great human folly.

  29. “We all have our cultures, and we ought to do a better job of opening up ourselves to others”.

    Are you talking about Asian Americans here?

    [approved just for old time sake...]

  30. “If I served fried chicken to honor African-American Month, would that be racist?”

    Fried chicken has nothing to do with Black History Month. So yes, racist. You want to honor Black History Month, go to an event run by black people so that they can serve whatever THEY feel is appropriate.

    “I remember reading that Flava Flav opened a fried chicken restaurant in Vegas, and no one cared or thought it was racist.”

    He’s black, last I checked. Fried chicken has nothing to do with black people. EVERYONE likes fried chicken.

    “I’m not European-American. I’m just plain ol’ American. Racism and such just isn’t my world nor is it part of my daily sphere of activity.”

    This just SCREAMS white privilege. Calling yourself a “plain” American without a hyphen is a luxury that African Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, and Native Americans don’t get. Racism IS a part of your world. It’s just that you’re the producer instead of the recipient. You’re just too oblivious to notice it and that obliviousness is itself a white luxury.

  31. RR,

    You said:
    “Fried chicken has nothing to do with black people.”

    And yet, to this day, if a non-black person says that black people like fried chicken, that non-white is termed as being racist. If a non-asian says that asians like rice, they are termed as racist. If a non-latino says that latinos like beans, they are termed as racist. If fried chicken has naught to do with black people, then why the immediate screech of ‘raaaacism’ when a non-white mentions black people and fried chicken in the same sentence? Hello, race-baiters? Yes, I’d like to report a crime. Ha!

    If I use the word “negro” as a non-black, I am deemed as racist, yet what about The United Negro College Fund? If I use the word “colored” I am deemed racist, yet what about The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People?

    All this political correctness and looking to find the “racist bogeyman” behind every tree due to a culture of victimhood has brought us to this point.

    As to “white privilege”, ha! You must have graduated top of your class from Race Baiting 101 at Victim University. Please.

  32. “And yet, to this day, if a non-black person says that black people like fried chicken, that non-white is termed as being racist. If a non-asian says that asians like rice, they are termed as racist. If a non-latino says that latinos like beans, they are termed as racist.”

    These are generalizations of people based on their race. Hence, racist. It’s really not that hard to understand.

    “If I use the word “negro” as a non-black, I am deemed as racist, yet what about The United Negro College Fund? If I use the word “colored” I am deemed racist, yet what about The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People?”

    These organizations used the proper words for the time period in which they were formed. Some words are polite while some are not and those words change as times change. This goes for all words, not just racial slurs.

    Is this really all that white conservatives have to whine about? A few easily understood social conventions? You really are privileged if this is all you have to worry about.

  33. RR,

    Your race-baiting desire is showing. But I’ll be your huckleberry and show you what’s what.

    If I say black guys outnumber whites in prisons in America, is that racist? I am, after all, a *gasp!* white guy, who happens to be a *gasp!* Conservative, so sure, it stands to reason according to media stereotyping that I am considered a racist by birth.
    http://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/raceinc.html

    If I say that black on black crime is huge as compared to black on white crime, does this make me racist? *gasp!* How can this be?!
    http://projects.wsj.com/murderdata/?mg=inert-wsj#view=all

    You see, even if I merely mention these horrifying facts, and express a genuine sorrow about them and a desire to want to see them change, it matters not in your eyes because, of course, I’m *gasp!* white and thus I live in “white privilege”. Tedious, RR. So tedious and predictable.

    If America is so raaaacist, then how did Barack Obama become President, twice? Whites outnumber all other races in America. President Obama won with 52% of the electorate. There are some whites in there voting for him. If America is so raaaacist, explain how we have our first black President. Or is it that whites voted for Obama’s white half?

    Your posturing works against the other pale faces, but I have seen too much of America to believe the media hype. You’re dismissed. Class is over.

  34. So you’re changing the subject completely? Very well, I accept your concession on the previous matter and will engage you in this new debate.

    “If I say black guys outnumber whites in prisons in America, is that racist?”
    “If I say that black on black crime is huge as compared to black on white crime, does this make me racist?”

    No, because those are empirical facts, unlike “Black people like fried chicken” which is a stereotype. It is not racist to state these things so long as you understand the real reasons for them rather than simply stating them without context in order to perpetuate false stereotypes about a race.

    “You see, even if I merely mention these horrifying facts, and express a genuine sorrow about them and a desire to want to see them change, it matters not in your eyes because, of course, I’m *gasp!* white and thus I live in ‘white privilege’. ”

    That’s not what white privilege means. It means that as a white person, you do not have to experience certain things that minorities do such as racial profiling, discrimination, or racially based bullying. It means the ability to be oblivious to racism and its effects, as you demonstrated in your first post. I am always happy to see a white person who expresses “genuine sorrow” about racial disparities in justice (though you have not done any such thing). Not all white people ignore racism, but white people are the only people in this country with the ability to ignore racism. Those who don’t deserve praise.

    “If America is so raaaacist”

    Never said that. You have grade-school level reading comprehension.

  35. “No, because those are empirical facts, unlike “Black people like fried chicken” which is a stereotype.”

    If you can prove to me, that in the whole of the United States of America, that there are black people that don’t like and/or eat fried chicken, then I will concede. But you cannot. Black people eat fried chicken. Asians eat rice. Latinos eat beans. Germans drink beer. Irish people drink whiskey. White people drink Coronas/Heineken. Every “stereotype” is rooted in truth.

    Your intent is to yell raaaacist loud enough and enough times that draws attention from like-minded media sycophants as yourself and then parade about as if you have accomplished something that affects the social fabric of this Nation. #fail.

    Buh-bye.

  36. “Black people eat fried chicken. Asians eat rice. Latinos eat beans. Germans drink beer. Irish people drink whiskey. White people drink Coronas/Heineken.”

    SOME black people eat fried chicken. And it’s not enough to connect fried chicken to Black History Month.

    What if I said “Conservatives are racist”? See what happens when you don’t add the word “some” to statements like that?

  37. Chr wrote: “We all have our cultures, and we ought to do a better job of opening up ourselves to others”.

    Are you talking about Asian Americans here?

    [approved just for old time sake...]

    LOL! You mean the guy is still trying to post on this blog? I’m sure he probably tried to chime in on the PUA discussion and other stuff. Chr is being denied like Dwight Howard swatting away a guard driving to the hoop for a layup. Hilarious!

  38. RR,

    My question regarding, what if I served fried chicken to celebrate Black History Month, was bait. And you took it, of course. So eager and excited to throw down some of your ‘white guys all hate blacks’ card…now look at you.

    Here’s why I asked it.
    http://theurbandaily.com/551842/a-brief-history-of-fried-chicken/

    Fried Chicken is a Southern thing. The South had slaves at one time who took it and made it amazing. Is it any wonder why it’s Kentucky Fried Chicken and not New Hampshire Fried Chicken?

    You were too easy to play, RR. *yawn* Your desire to find that ‘racism bogeyman’ behind everything a white person, (who suffers from white privilege, of course), says is juvenile and insipid.

    Again, class dismissed. Your pseudo-intellectualism and condescending mannerisms mean nothing to me. Buh-bye.

  39. Haha, seriously?! You’re pulling the “I tricked you into kicking my ass at this debate” card?

    “Your pseudo-intellectualism and condescending mannerisms mean nothing to me.”

    Likewise. Have fun looking for more excuses to be a racist, belligerent, willfully ignorant jackass.

  40. So it was my bad for missing the fried chicken thing. I was concentrated more on rice, because…well yes, Asian people eat rice, and I’m Asian, so that’s what I eat! Fried chicken, on the other hand, is a stereotype. I do think that RR raises a good point, one that I agree with 100%. Fried chicken has nothing to do with Black History Month. At the same time, I don’t think Donald is being intentionally racist or belligerent. More likely, he’s just seeing and interacting with a different culture based on the terms that our society often says is okay when talking to black people.

    I think the best way to explain racial stereotyping and white privilege is by…..da dum…linking a bigWOWO podcast!

    So nowhere are the effects of racial stereotyping more pronounced than in movies. A few years ago, one of our blog brothers passed the sign for a movie called “Dogs of Chinatown” that had some awful racist stereotyping. We had it out with the lead actor Eric Jacobus, and then we had a podcast with the producer and writer of the movie. See and hear our podcast here:

    http://www.bigwowo.com/2009/05/podcast-micah-moore-blake-faucette-and-eva-on-stereotypes-and-film/

    We were friendly at the end of the podcast, but somehow our relationship with the producer/writer somehow slipped, probably because we expected too much from guys who weren’t familiar with Asian people. If I could do it differently today, I would. We still remain friendly and in touch with Eric Jacobus, whose film career is continuing to rise. Eric still posts here from time to time on this blog, and he’s also a white libertarian! :)

    I think Eva does a good job (if I remember what she said!) describing how stereotypes, no matter how positive, affect us. We also don’t get funding as easily as white people to make our own movies. A white hillbilly can put on a suit and get a Georgetown/Yale education, and he can head towards the presidency. An Asian guy can do everything he can to forge his own career, and people still see stereotypes, like in the case of this gentleman:

    http://www.bigwowo.com/2012/10/tiger-jk-and-the-politics-of-discomfort/

    I think that’s why stereotypes affect racial minorities more. There’s very little conversation about who we really are, and so people see us, and they often see nothing more than fried chicken, or geishas, or kung-fu dudes.

  41. I hate to go off topic (or perhaps in topic), but are we at least in agreement that the Duke University frat was in the wrong for throwing that party?

    I wasn’t particularly outraged over the party thrown, I attributed it to sheer stupidity. But for some reason I was more offended by people who had the sheer audacity of defending it. What the naysayers were stating on that facebook page was that they essentially, are entitled to make racist jokes on Asians. More fair reasons for me to never read facebook comments.

  42. bigWOWO,

    But one second:
    You are of asian descent. So if I say to you, “I am guessing you eat rice”, is that racist?

    You might answer, “No”, since in fact you do actually eat rice.

    Yet if I say to a black person, “I am guessing you eat fried chicken”, that is determined as being raaaacist. Again, I would believe this if not for the fact that black people do eat fried chicken. It is normal to see black people eating fried chicken. KFC even has black people in their ads. So how is it raaaacist if a non-black says that blacks eat friend chicken?

    The logic behind this seems to escape me, since it appears the logic behind this is tied-up into knee-jerk political correctness, of which I have none. (When you have served as a Grunt in Combat Arms, you don’t need political correctness. You have earned the right to speak the truth.)

  43. Guessing what someone likes to eat purely based on their race is, you guessed it, racist. (The word has only one A, by the way). Why is it so hard to ask “What do you like to eat?” (An individual question) vs. “I’m guessing you like fried chicken?” (A generalization based on race)?

    “When you have served as a Grunt in Combat Arms, you don’t need political correctness.”

    No, you arrogant boy. It doesn’t matter what your last job was. In the civilized world, you have to learn politeness just like the rest of us. If you want to work in a non-white person’s office, eat at their house, or date their daughter, you will get this through your thick skull. If you refuse to learn these basic social skills due to empathy, then at least learn them due to self interest. You’ve been told multiple times what (1) minorities find offensive, (2) why they find it offensive, and (3) how to avoid offending them. I consider you willfully ignorant because I refuse to consider you straight-up stupid. You can refuse to understand 1 and 2 but if you don’t learn 3, you’ll have a difficult time maintaining any kind of relationship with a non-white person.

    “You have earned the right to speak the truth.”

    Speaking the truth and making racist generalizations about people are polar opposites.

  44. And just what is “political correctness” anyway and why are right-wingers so afraid of it? As far as I can tell, it means not saying things that might offend people around you.

    If I’m at a business lunch and I say “I have to go to the bathroom” instead of “I have to take a shit”, is that *gasp!* “political correctness”?

    If I think a man’s wife is ugly but I keep that opinion to myself, is that “political correctness”?

    If I’m in the company of an American soldier and I choose not to point out all the rapes, injuries, accidental deaths, and murders of Vietnamese, Afghan, and Iraqi civilians as well as female soldiers, is that “political correctness”?

  45. “If America is so raaaacist, then how did Barack Obama become President, twice? Whites outnumber all other races in America. President Obama won with 52% of the electorate. There are some whites in there voting for him. If America is so raaaacist, explain how we have our first black President. Or is it that whites voted for Obama’s white half?”

    First of all I don’t think RR was saying that America is a racist country per-se, but just because a non-white person has a notable position on politics, academics, or economics doesn’t mean prejudices are over.

    “how did Barack Obama become President, twice? ”
    what about his political opponent?, to be honest Romney was not so good

    “Whites outnumber all other races in America”.
    True

    “President Obama won with 52% of the electorate. There are some whites in there voting for him”

    yeah, but how many of that voters where white? don’t get me wrong, there are blacks who voted for him just because he is black but also there are whites who did not vote for him because he was not white enough, so you have two coin faces, I think he was elected 1. for political reasons, democrats had a better agenda that republicans, and, 2. yes, his race.

    “If America is so raaaacist, explain how we have our first black President. Or is it that whites voted for Obama’s white half?”

    The answers are so relative, I can’t conclude that you’re racist because you did not vote for him, but we can’t have the naive conclusion that america is not racist because you have a black president. Yeah, Obama become President, twice, but also White supremacist groups increased, websites like stormfront collapsed in the election of Barack Obama in 2008 and in the elections of 2012, and The tea party was created just months after Obama’s election in 2008.

    About the white privilege, I have discussed with some american friends (I’m not american btw), and the conclusions may vary, but when I ask to my white folks if they would like to live the life of a non-white person, silence is permanent; they know that being white, poor or rich, crhistian or jew, religious or atheist, means an advantage in this society

  46. Donald,

    I know it’s a long podcast, but I think it’s easier to hear what people are saying rather than reading. Listen to it if you’re snowed in!

    Yet if I say to a black person, “I am guessing you eat fried chicken”, that is determined as being raaaacist. Again, I would believe this if not for the fact that black people do eat fried chicken. It is normal to see black people eating fried chicken. KFC even has black people in their ads. So how is it raaaacist if a non-black says that blacks eat friend chicken?

    I think you need to be aware of the difference between Asians (not all Asians, btw) and rice, and black people and fried chicken. Most Asians choose to eat rice. It’s part of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean culture. Right now, it’s okay to ask, since most of us are recent immigrants or have an American lineage that only goes back a few generations. It’s a point of pride. My ancestors chose to harvest rice and to make it part of Chinese culture. In many ways, our culture revolves around rice.

    With the very link you yourself included, fried chicken, on the other hand, comes from slave culture. From the link that YOU provided:

    http://theurbandaily.com/551842/a-brief-history-of-fried-chicken/

    “Most slaves weren’t able to raise more expensive meats, and were allowed to have chickens, so frying chickens became a common occurrence on special occasions throughout black communities in the south.”

    They were “allowed” to have chickens. In a sense, it was forced on black Americans by white people because they weren’t “allowed” to choose on their own. They didn’t get to choose what they ate, nor did they get to choose where they got to live. Then, generations after forcing that food on black people through the generations, white people have used that meme to essentially reduce black people and to portray them as animals who lose all control when they see a bucket of Kentucky Fried. I think it’s hard to ignore that history. From the same link that you provided:

    “In the 19th and 20th century, foods like fried chicken, chitlins, and watermelon became considered stereotypes, no thanks in part to minstrel shows, and restaurants like Sambo’s and Coon Chicken Inn.”

    So they were ridiculed for something forced on them.

    Why don’t we put this in economic terms, since that might be easiest to see?

    The great boxer Joe Louis was successful in large part because he had a management team who controlled his image. Early in his career, his people told him that if they were to represent him, he would have to agree to their rules: he could never be photographed eating fried chicken or hanging out with a white woman. If he did, he was warned, it would destroy his career. People would turn against him. They’d set him up to lose. The public would promote him as some sort of fried chicken-loving, white woman-loving cartoon stereotype, and people would turn against him. The problem, of course, was that Louis LOVED fried chicken. He LOVED white women even more!!

    Now were these fears rational?

    Not only were they rational, but they were based on precedent. Many people think that Joe Louis was the first black heavyweight champion of the world, but actually Jack Johnson was. Jack Johnson didn’t care what people thought. I don’t know about fried chicken, but he loved White women. When the paparazzi got wind of it, they did exactly what I just described: they promoted him as some kind of animal who couldn’t get his hands off white women. The entire establishment turned against him, and of course, he was set up to lose.

    So that’s it in a nutshell. Hope this makes some logical sense. This is the truth. It has actually little to do with you or me personally, but everything to do with the history of African Americans. It has to do with respecting the context of why things are they way they are. Neither you or I owned slaves, but if we’re treating people with respect, we ought to be aware of the historical context in which our cultures interacted.

  47. bigWOWO,

    Then why is “soul food” considered “black people food”, and non-racist, but it contains fried chicken and greens like the stereotype of blacks purports?

    What we have here between us is what happens when political correctness and the hush-hush fear of speaking about racial issues in America collide with the honest, open-eyed reality that racism is not something that Conservatives created. No. Racism is what non-Conservatives created to milk the victimhood mentality for all it is worth. There’s a lot of money tied into race-baiting, and so so much money to be made! Just ask Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Toure and the rest of the media circus who make their coin by perpetuating the myth and lie that the white man is out to kill the black man or at least to keep him down. Post-racial America, indeed.

    Besides, what if I told you, bigWOWO, that because you are of asian descent, that you need me, as a white liberal, to take care of you because you obviously cannot do it yourself since the white man is keeping you down and will never give you the chances that white people get? You see what I’m saying? No, bigWOWO, you cannot succeed, since you are asian, so you neeeed me, as a white liberal, to make sure you do succeed, and I even have an organization or two, (receiving federal money, of course), to make sure you get what’s yours.

    That, my online friend, is racism. To tell any group of Americans that their race is why they cannot succeed and then make accommodations for them through grants and special entitlements is racism. Straight-up racism, as Janeane Garofalo would say.

    And for my detractors and Internet cowards who would seek to vilify me for hurting their sensitive feelings regarding true race relations in the America I fought for, do you know the men I served with, under, and over in the military were white and black? You see, we bonded as brothers because we were all the other one had. I trusted these guys with my life and they trusted me with theirs. Color, race, ancestry, whatever, has no place in our lives. That kind of stuff is what college kids and Internet trolls need to talk about to make themselves feel important and viable. In the really real world, racism is what weaker men use to justify their inabilities.

  48. Donald,

    “Besides, what if I told you, bigWOWO, that because you are of asian descent, that you need me, as a white liberal, to take care of you because you obviously cannot do it yourself since the white man is keeping you down and will never give you the chances that white people get? You see what I’m saying? No, bigWOWO, you cannot succeed, since you are asian, so you neeeed me, as a white liberal, to make sure you do succeed, and I even have an organization or two, (receiving federal money, of course), to make sure you get what’s yours.”

    I think we may somewhat agree, depending on the item at hand. This blog–and most (though not all) of the people on it–are against affirmative action. Here’s a great quote:

    http://www.bigwowo.com/2010/04/what-the-world-owes-you/

    ““The slavemaster is no longer hindering us, we’re hindering ourselves. The slavemaster has given you all he could give you. He gave you freedom. Now get something for yourself.”
    Elijah Muhammad, 1974″

    But how do you respond to something like Joe Louis’s career? That’s just reality, no matter how much you or I preach about “just getting along.” I’m interested to hear what you have to say about Joe Louis, Donald. It’s nice to say that race doesn’t matter, but clearly in this case it did. Interested in hearing your thoughts.

    do you know the men I served with, under, and over in the military were white and black? You see, we bonded as brothers because we were all the other one had. I trusted these guys with my life and they trusted me with theirs.

    Okay, but I’m sure you recognize that there’s a big difference in KNOWING the food preferences of a close black friend with whom you “bonded as brothers,” and just assuming a random black stranger eats fried chicken.

    Right?

  49. Okay, one thing at a time.

    bigWOWO, let me ask you:
    Have you ever, in all your years, seen one black person in America eat friend chicken?
    **Yes or No**
    If the answer is No, then I would stand guilty of putting a stereotypical attribute onto a person based solely on race, and would gladly recant.
    If the answer is Yes, then I have said nothing that was not true.

    So to say I am assuming that ALL BLACK IN AMERICA PEOPLE EAT FRIED CHICKEN (caps on not for volume, but for emphasis), is unfair and reckless. Are you saying I am saying all black people inn America eat fried chicken? I am not. I have said that black people in America do indeed eat friend chicken. The emphasis on ALL or SOME is the characteristic of a person who is seeking to vilify me by inferring I said something I did not, then prancing away feeling as though they showed me a thing or two. Please. Only weaker men deal in the words ALWAYS and NEVER.

    Like I said, racism is what the weaker-minded created to make sure their victimhood mentality could flourish, since there is much money to be made as a labelled victim in America.

    Identity Politics 101, courtesy of the Democrats. Which reminds me, you are aware that the Democrats started the KKK to threaten and intimidate Republicans who wanted to abolish slavery and help slaves escape the Democrat plantations, don’t you? Here’s some for your books:
    http://reformaliberal.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/747px-racistcampaignposter.jpg
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_mveHL3n_4ME/TEJzu35t4rI/AAAAAAAAD0k/M1-buP9dvZ0/s320/racist_democrat_poster.jpg

    As a Registered Independent who is a Libertarian Conservative, I have no particular love for either of The Big Two (elephant and donkey). But history is history. I find it particularly curious that Democrats automatically assume that blacks in America are going to side with them, even though history shows a different story. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was challenged not by Republicans but by Democrats. Curious that.

    But I digress. Sorry.

  50. Donald, this statement in itself is ridiculous:

    “Like I said, racism is what the weaker-minded created to make sure their victimhood mentality could flourish, since there is much money to be made as a labelled victim in America.”

    Racism was not created by weaker-minded people to make sure their mental victimhood would flourish. Racism was created by racists. To take your statement, it’s as if there was never any such thing as REAL racism and the whole thing was just invented by Al Sharpton to make money. So when Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians complain about racism, that is a sign that they are weak-minded rather than that any real racism ever occurred.

    It would seem to me that this explanation is the most weak-minded of all.

  51. “So when Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians complain about racism, that is a sign that they are weak-minded rather than that any real racism ever occurred.”

    applause

  52. Donald, I assume your “witty” comeback is just a placeholder until you make make a fuller and more reasoned response.

    You can’t possibly think that everything was going along fine in the US, and then some troublemakers like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King came along ant <bIinvented racism just to make themselves rich. Obviously, there are going to be some anti-racist opportunists—it’s impossible for any movement to be 100% pure, but to use those opportunist as a way to excuse the reality of actual racism is cowardly and morally reprehensible.

  53. Donald:

    “But I digress. Sorry.”

    That’s okay. Could you go into what you think about the Joe Louis situation that I mentioned above? We could talk about racism, fried chicken, economics, opportunity, and whatever else from that. Let’s just put things in concrete terms for the sake of simplicity.

  54. “So to say I am assuming that ALL BLACK IN AMERICA PEOPLE EAT FRIED CHICKEN (caps on not for volume, but for emphasis), is unfair and reckless.”

    I agree. Which is why I didn’t say that you said that. :)

    But let’s talk about Joe Louis. Or someone else of your choosing. Let’s put this in real terms and ground this in real life.

  55. Wow! Its hard to keep up. We have one liberal White racist, and a conservative White racist on the prowl writing and writing, completely clueless. I think you White folks need to throw some more ethnic parties for cultural understanding. After you are done partying, we need reparations (with interests of course). And then it will be even.

    Keep it up guys. The way the world is evolving, Whites might not be on top much longer.

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