Wednesday, March 05, 2014

"What white folks say and do"

Leon Brown has another post on white folks:

He cites five good examples. If he just stuck with his examples, it would be an unobjectionable post. 

But unfortunately, as we've come to expect, his worthwhile observations tend to be obscured by his myopic racial prism. 

Let's begin with the title: Five Offensive Statements/Actions: What White People Say and Do

It doesn't even occur to him to include an adjective: What Some White People Say and Do

No, the title is worded as a blanket statement about white people en masse. What does it not occur to him that that's offensive?

Then there's how he frames the issue in the body of the text:

I am simply highlighting some things that the majority of our readers may not have considered as they interact with people in the sub-dominant culture.

I see. Are upper-echelon members of the Executive Branch like Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Susan Rice, Todd Jones, Valerie Jarrett,  and Ayo Kimathi, or big city majors like Kasim Reed, Frank Jackson, Michael A. Nutter, Michael B. Coleman, Kevin Johnson, Vincent C. Gray, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, A C Wharton, Jr, Alvin Brown, Rashad Young, and William V. Bell representatives of the "subdominant culture"? If so, I'd like to know how I can get into the subdominant culture. Is there a membership form I can fill out to join the club? 


  1. As a white guy, Leon, I can play this game.

    Five annoying things Blacks do:

    1. refuse to work for a living

    2. live off welfare checks.

    3. commit crime non-stop

    4. constantly reminding white people how "raycis" they are

    5. draining the world's supply of fried chicken and watermelon.

    If Leon can play this game, why can't I?

    They say they're anti-racist. What they really are is anti-white. Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.

  2. Mike,

    That's not parallel to what Leon said at all. Leon pointed out statements white people make that can come off as racist or irritating. The parallel thing to that would be to point out statements black people make that can come off as racist or irritating.

    All you did was make yourself sound like a racist.

    1. remingtonscove, Leon doesn't say SOME white people do this. His language implies ALL white people do this. Why is he able to make generalizations about a race and get away with it, but if I do the same thing, I'm called a "racist"?

      Or are you one of those "anti-racists"?

  3. "It doesn't even occur to him to include an adjective: What Some White People Say and Do."

    Apparently, it occurred to him, because later he says, "I can assure you that I am not raising these issues for the purposes of reopening a wound, attempting to be purposefully offensive, nor suggesting that all white people think/behave this way (despite the title not being qualified by the word, "some")..."

    1. The problem is not that he thinks "all" whites are like that, but that he chronically stereotypes whites with his hasty Afrocentric generalizations.

  4. Yeah, I don't necessarily disagree with you. I just happened to notice that, contrary to what you said, he specifically pointed out that he chose not to qualify the word with "some" even though he knows it doesn't apply to all. And rhetorically, I can see why he did that.

    But what I actually found more irritating is not his generalizations, but his lack of charity towards the white people who do say those things. Sure those comments come across a little awkward-sounding, but certainly not mean-spirited or bigoted. It's a normal human tendency to say awkward-sounding, but not unkind, things based on stereotypes to people from outside one's own racial/ethnic/cultural group, and I think the gracious thing is to just overlook it. Being married to an Asian Indian man, I'm often exposed to Indian people, both here and in India, and I could make a list of the kinds of things that are said to me that I could take offense at if I wanted to keep grievance lists, but why would I want to do that?

    1. On a related note, I think people are more likely to commit innocent faux pas when they are made to feel self-conscious in someone's presence. When they are put in a socially awkward situation. At least to judge by his posts, Leon doesn't seem to be the kind of person to put people at ease.

  5. This reminds me of something I read about the black actor Jamie Foxx. In the interview, Foxx was complaining about all of the terrible oppression black people continue to face in America. The example he used was showing up to a photo shoot and discovering (to his shock and horror, naturally) that the snack bar was stocked with Ritz crackers and cheese, something he deemed to be white people food. On the other hand, he also admitted that he would have likewise been offended had they served fried chicken and watermelon, because that would be stereotypical. Foxx is intent on finding offense no matter what the circumstances and no matter how inconsequential the supposed crime.

    Leon Brown strikes me as the same kind of person. Brown's message to white people here is essentially: damned if you do, damned if you don't. He takes instances of white people who are trying their best (even if the execution is a bit awkward) to be helpful and inclusive, and he criticizes them for it. For race hustlers like Jamie Foxx and Leon Brown, it's never ever good enough; bigotry hides behind every corner. No matter how hard white people try, they're never trying quite hard enough.

    I'm afraid that my experience over the years has led me to the realization that there are some blacks (perhaps even significant portion of the American black population) who are simply unappeasable. No amount of concessions, apologies, wealth transfers, or special privileges and set asides granted to them by whites will satisfy their resentment of the white man. I don't know if Leon Brown is one of these people, but he sure does sound like one when he writes on racial topics.