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  1. evil fizz
    evil fizz December 10, 2007 at 3:43 pm |

    I’m torn. Part of me thinks that it would be better to focus on the bloggers rather than the commenters. (God knows, at most places the comments are an absolute cesspool.) But the other side of me thinks that she wants to call attention to the kinds of conversations (such as they are) that happen on feminist blogs and I appreciate that.

    Will have to muddle over it some more, although in the meantime, I agree with Shannon. The costumes are fabulous.

  2. Vanessa
    Vanessa December 10, 2007 at 3:52 pm |

    This is awesome. But I wonder if the right people are listening.

    I’d say more, but I have to go take a final.

  3. alsojill
    alsojill December 10, 2007 at 3:53 pm |

    Ouch. Okay, I’m the person who said the Tabasco thing. And for what it’s worth, I’m ashamed of it. (Not of being amused by the name–I know it’s inappropriate to be amused by names in another country, and I don’t fucking care. I was laughing at my own ignorance as much as anything else.) I am ashamed, however, for where and when I made the comment, it was not appropriate at the time, and I should know better than that. So I take responsibility for it, and I apologize, again. Don’t you love how a stupid, thoughtless, one-off comment can come back to haunt you? Always think before you press send, children. ::sigh::

    However, I’m rather annoyed that my sarcasm didn’t come across–that whole comment about “maybe someone should tell them that if they send more money, fewer people will come across the border”? That was sarcastic, and meant as a slight towards the racist and classist bullshit that so many US politicians are spouting against the poor, against immigrants, and against poor Mexican and Central American immigrants, in particular.

  4. alsojill
    alsojill December 10, 2007 at 4:14 pm |

    I did apologize in the thread, and I continue to feel badly about it. It was inappropriate. My apology was sincere, and it continues to be. I admit to being a little pissed, though. Actually, a lot pissed.

    Not that she used it. That’s fair. But that the whole thing comes off as insincere, when I was genuinely upset and angry. I know it’s my own damn fault for being stupid in that last remark, but … I don’t know. I don’t deal with horrific disasters like that in any kind of stable way, and so I retreated into inappropriate humor. Again, my own damn fault.

    I’m not the only person who’s ever said something stupid that came across wrong in the blogosphere, and I won’t be the last. I hate that I’m going to have to pay for it for quite a while. And I believe I will–I wish her every success in this really marvelous project. But I think it’s going to haunt me.

  5. evil fizz
    evil fizz December 10, 2007 at 4:14 pm |

    In a lot of cases the bloggers are just the jumping off point–the comment section is where things get down and dirty. And there’s been plenty of viciousness bandied about–enough that Sudy is able to make an entire project of it.

    This is true. Like I said, I’m torn. I think that the a lot of the down and dirty is many times between the authors of posts and their respective supporters, so perhaps it’s a good place to shine the lights.

    It might just be an instinctive reflex (quote the blogger, not the commenter!), so I’ll think about it some more.

  6. alsojill
    alsojill December 10, 2007 at 4:15 pm |

    One more comment, and I swear I’m done. If I could go back and delete that comment, I would. I would’ve deleted it as soon as I realized what I had said. But that’s not an option here, and it seems inauthentic and cowardly anyway. So once again, I’m sorry. I’d take it back if I could.

  7. Elaine Vigneault
    Elaine Vigneault December 10, 2007 at 4:28 pm |

    It’s a good idea to point out the bad stuff where ever it is. People need to be called out. But it needs to be done carefully. It needs to be done in a way that reduces the bad stuff, not increases it.

    Sometimes I read Feministing and I think, well it’s good to point out all these sexist ads, but sometimes it’s just repeating the sexist ads, you know? Especially when the audience gets larger and larger and the comprehension level gets lower and lower. What I mean is, I guarantee some sexists and misogynists read feminists blogs because they get off on seeing a collection of sexist, misogynist shit.

    None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes and say things we wish we hadn’t. So part of this needs to be acknowledging our own flaws and trying to become better people without getting too defensive. And we also need to be careful when we call people out to do it in a respectful way. I think Sudy does a good job here. She doesn’t name-call or make fun of people, really.

  8. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle December 10, 2007 at 5:05 pm |

    None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes and say things we wish we hadn’t. So part of this needs to be acknowledging our own flaws and trying to become better people without getting too defensive. And we also need to be careful when we call people out to do it in a respectful way. I think Sudy does a good job here. She doesn’t name-call or make fun of people, really.

    Exactly. She does a good job of it.

    But, I’m kinda wondering where to go from here. Everyone needs to be able to examine themselves, and amend and apologize where necessary. But, there are certain feminists that are *never* going to be at peace with each other due to an (apparently) long history of hacking bits off each other. Some of Sudy’s contributors are these people. That makes me a little nervous, frankly.

    Beyond that, I loved the vid. The book cover thing made me laugh out loud as that was around the time I started lurking on feminist blogs and that was the first blog war I witnessed.

  9. secondhandsally
    secondhandsally December 10, 2007 at 5:10 pm |

    kactus, I don’t get it. Hasn’t alsojill said “sorry, learned from it, won’t do it again”?

    Or am I misreading her comments here?

  10. SarahMC
    SarahMC December 10, 2007 at 5:30 pm |

    What is the point of this project? She is not distinguishing between feminist bloggers and people who comment on feminist blogs; the former are very often ANTI-feminists or trolls of some sort. So now the feminist blogosphere gets a bad rap because people often make idiotic/racist/sexist/xenophobic in our space?

  11. RenegadeEvolution
    RenegadeEvolution December 10, 2007 at 5:32 pm |

    That is absolutely brilliant. Sudy did an amazing job putting it together and her acting in it is fantastic…great expressions. I can’t imagine the sheer amount of reading she had to do to put it together either. Whew.

    Thanks for putting it up here kactus!

  12. Daisy
    Daisy December 10, 2007 at 5:41 pm |

    What is the point of this project? She is not distinguishing between feminist bloggers and people who comment on feminist blogs; the former are very often ANTI-feminists or trolls of some sort. So now the feminist blogosphere gets a bad rap because people often make idiotic/racist/sexist/xenophobic in our space?

    Sarah, have you read Heart’s blog, Womensspace? She is one of the BIG feminist bloggers, is running for president, and claims over a million hits.

    And she is one of the most rabidly-transphobic people you will ever read. She actually chose the Transgender Day of Remembrance to continue her feud against transwomen. Jill called her out on it, right in this space.

    In short, these are NOT isolated or rare occurrences that Sudy is cataloging here.

  13. Trin
    Trin December 10, 2007 at 5:44 pm |

    What Daisy said. Yes, some commenters here and other places are bitter anti-feminists. But very often, self-styled feminists will get *ugly* in comment threads on big blogs, because they can, and because “angry women of color” are an easy target.

    In light of that last… think about what you’re saying about Sudy and her message, Sarah.

  14. Jill
    Jill December 10, 2007 at 5:51 pm | *

    Sarah, have you read Heart’s blog, Womensspace? She is one of the BIG feminist bloggers, is running for president, and claims over a million hits.

    That’s funny, because if she does actually claim that, she’s a huge liar. According to Alexa, she’s ranked somewhere around #550,000. If she were getting a million hits a day, she’d be up there with the Huffington Post and Daily Kos. I don’t think that’s the case.

    Not that that makes her crazy hate speech inconsequential. It just means that she isn’t a big blogger (feminist or otherwise) by any stretch.

    Which, again, isn’t an argument against throwing her nastiness back in her face. But it is an argument against assuming she represents anything but a tiny, tiny corner of the feminist blogosphere.

    Although, as you said, these instances are certainly not rare and certainly not relegated to Heart’s blog.

  15. Betty Boondoggle
    Betty Boondoggle December 10, 2007 at 5:57 pm |

    But very often, self-styled feminists will get *ugly* in comment threads on big blogs, because they can,

    Which includes some of the people that she listed for thanks.

    I commend what she’s doing as there is a LOT that goes on that is just absurd or unexamined bigotry, at best . I’d like to see more and hope that it turns out to be an all-encompassing tour.

  16. SarahMC
    SarahMC December 10, 2007 at 6:00 pm |

    Yes, I know about Heart and her anti-trans POV. I realize that. But my point is that Sudy does not distinguish between feminist bloggers and people who comment on feminist blogs.

  17. DeservingBitch
    DeservingBitch December 10, 2007 at 6:05 pm |

    So now the feminist blogosphere gets a bad rap because people often make idiotic/racist/sexist/xenophobic in our space?

    So, men get a bad reputation because a few mysogynist assholes beat up and rape women?

    So, the military gets a bad reputation because a few bad apples are torturing, raping, and killing people?

    So, our justice system gets a bad reputation because a few mysogynist judges continue to see women’s bodies as public property?


    Do I really need to carry on?

  18. RenegadeEvolution
    RenegadeEvolution December 10, 2007 at 6:16 pm |

    “So now the feminist blogosphere gets a bad rap because people often make idiotic/racist/sexist/xenophobic in our space?”

    Yeah, and on that…WoC bloggers who also happen to be feminists…um, well…why should they not be angry? Why should they feel as if they have to censor themselves or not speak their truth or not call it, brilliant or bullshit, like they see it as WoC and as feminists? What? To spare the white women’s feelings? They’re under no obligation to consider how it might offend the white women, after all, a lot of the white women have been pretty dang offensive themselves. Same goes for transpeople, so on, so on.

  19. Lisa Harney
    Lisa Harney December 10, 2007 at 6:26 pm |

    Which includes some of the people that she listed for thanks.

    I commend what she’s doing as there is a LOT that goes on that is just absurd or unexamined bigotry, at best . I’d like to see more and hope that it turns out to be an all-encompassing tour.

    Sudy posted an invitation to send her links to problematic, racist, sexist, etc. remarks on her blog. It’s still up – you could ask her if she needs any more, I guess. Point out these things her contributors did.

    She had a two-week deadline at the time, but I think she expected this to be a one-shot thing, not a continuing project.

    What is the point of this project? She is not distinguishing between feminist bloggers and people who comment on feminist blogs; the former are very often ANTI-feminists or trolls of some sort. So now the feminist blogosphere gets a bad rap because people often make idiotic/racist/sexist/xenophobic in our space?

    Sarah, most of those commenters are feminists.

  20. Ravenmn
    Ravenmn December 10, 2007 at 6:33 pm |

    Sudy is an awesome actress and I love the way she put these comments together. I especially like the way these comments just kind of stick out there like a big poke in the eye. She makes that so clear. You’re reading along going, “yes, yes, yes!” and then whammo! something complete absurd comes up. It’s the nature of the internet but it also comes up in activist politics.

    I have a terrible incident in my past that I blogged about here. I’ve apologized and realized my stupidity. Over time I just learned to laugh about it and put it into the “education” for myself and others category. If I can show other white people how I fucked up and how I’m still considered an ally in some circles, then maybe more white people can handle their screw ups better.

    Because the only thing worse than us white people screwing up is us white people focusing on the pain that comes from someone telling us we screwed up. Sounds like you get that, alsojill. Kudos for you for being honest and open about it.

  21. octogalore
    octogalore December 10, 2007 at 6:35 pm |

    thanks for posting this… excellent work.

    Sarah, to add to the other comments on this, I think Sudy chose very well. She pinpointed statements that are typical of those that come from self-declared feminists who believe what they are saying is reflective of this. Her job would’ve been much easier if she’d gone for the low-hanging fruit from trolls.

    I don’t see her project as impugning the entire feminist blogosphere, just a compelling statement that there are a lot of rotten eggs out there, sometimes pretty close to home.

  22. Orodemniades
    Orodemniades December 10, 2007 at 6:36 pm |

    OMG that rocked! (also, I’m glad none of my comments popped up, heh)

  23. octogalore
    octogalore December 10, 2007 at 6:38 pm |

    kactus –jinx! You said it better though.

  24. Trin
    Trin December 10, 2007 at 6:46 pm |

    Which includes some of the people that she listed for thanks.

    Who do you mean?

    And, assuming that’s totally true, why should that mean Sudy shouldn’t call out racism when she sees it? It’s *Sudy* who chose what comments to include, after all, not belle or bfp or blackamazon or…

  25. Daisy
    Daisy December 10, 2007 at 6:52 pm |

    I’ll check back in later this evening–in the meantime, I do not intend this post to be a bash fest on any one woman in particular–Heart and radical feminists are not the bulk of the problem and I don’t want us to get sidetracked by pointing fingers.

    If we’re going to point fingers at anybody they need to be pointed first at ourselves. Let’s not make the mistake of appointing a scapegoat to let ourselves off the hook.

    Indeed, Kactus, one reason I mention Heart is because I agreed with her for so long, taking transphobia as a radical feminist GIVEN.

    As I’ve said before, it was reading Piny here at Feministe, that got me thinking deeply and helped me to see the fallacies in the Mary Daly-esque position. So, we all start somewhere. :)

  26. Donna
    Donna December 10, 2007 at 6:53 pm |

    Congrats on the co-blogging gig, Kactus! I love that you posted this video as your first official post. Sudy did such a great job and I can’t wait to see what she does next. She is so creative. And…more congrats! I’m so happy to see you here!

  27. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 10, 2007 at 6:54 pm |

    alsojill, it was clear to me that you were saying (1) let’s harness the power of xenophobia and racism to help disaster victims, and (2) while meaning no disrespect to any victims, learning that a state was named after a popular hot sauce was surprising enough to make you chuckle, as if a tornado had struck Ketchup, Idaho, or an earthquake had hit the island of Mayonnaise off the coast of Marseilles.

    One problem I have: Having known and worked with so many, I have difficulty thinking of Filipinos born and raised in this country as People of Color. In my experience they are more assimilated than even the Greek Orthodox (cooking, music, dance, language, and faith all under one roof). I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sudy’s dad were a Knight of Columbus. I wonder if Sudy even cooks chocolate meat or does the Electric Slide at parties. And I can’t count the number of Euro-American/Filipino-American couples I know.

  28. evil fizz
    evil fizz December 10, 2007 at 7:00 pm |

    Minor piece of advice, Hector: in posts talking about calling out racism in the blogosphere, the best response does not involve a self-referential question about other people’s identification as a person of color.

  29. Jill
    Jill December 10, 2007 at 7:02 pm | *

    One problem I have: Having known and worked with so many, I have difficulty thinking of Filipinos born and raised in this country as People of Color. In my experience they are more assimilated than even the Greek Orthodox (cooking, music, dance, language, and faith all under one roof). I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sudy’s dad were a Knight of Columbus. I wonder if Sudy even cooks chocolate meat or does the Electric Slide at parties. And I can’t count the number of Euro-American/Filipino-American couples I know.

    Hector, “assimilated” =/ “white.” Come on now, you have to know this. One’s color has very little to do with how assimilated they are (also, “assimilated”? Really?). Are descendants of slaves not people of color? Who gets to decide who gets the official POC tag — you?

    In other words, what evilfizz said.

  30. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 10, 2007 at 7:16 pm |

    Jill and fizz: maybe assimilation is the wrong word. What would you call the process described in “How the Irish Became White” and “How Jews Became White Folks”? Or would you support Israelis and Persians calling themselves “Asian-American”?

  31. nadia
    nadia December 10, 2007 at 7:32 pm |

    “One problem I have: Having known and worked with so many, I have difficulty thinking of Filipinos born and raised in this country as People of Color. In my experience they are more assimilated than even the Greek Orthodox (cooking, music, dance, language, and faith all under one roof). I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sudy’s dad were a Knight of Columbus. I wonder if Sudy even cooks chocolate meat or does the Electric Slide at parties. And I can’t count the number of Euro-American/Filipino-American couples I know.”

    this comment will look great in sudy’s next video. seriously, what a f#cked up thing to say.

    most of the rest of this conversation here makes me pretty hopeful though. just the fact that kactus posted this video and wasn’t attacked for it is promising (now how sad is that?).

  32. alsojill
    alsojill December 10, 2007 at 7:32 pm |

    Thanks, Hector. I’m glad I didn’t offend absolutely *everyone*.

    However…

    I have difficulty thinking of Filipinos born and raised in this country as People of Color.

    Forget about assimilation or whatever you want to call it. When someone looks at a Filipino-American person, they see a person who is Not White. His or her features, skin, etc.–Not Caucasian. Now, maybe I’m not exactly up on my terminology at the moment, but doesn’t appearance–actual, physical appearance–determine the extent to which an individual is treated as a PoC? In which case, a Filipino person is *definitely* a person of color, simply by being visibly not “white.”

  33. Jill
    Jill December 10, 2007 at 7:36 pm | *

    most of the rest of this conversation here makes me pretty hopeful though. just the fact that kactus posted this video and wasn’t attacked for it is promising (now how sad is that?).

    Not to be completely cynical here, but the night is still young.

  34. nadia
    nadia December 10, 2007 at 7:39 pm |

    “Jill and fizz: maybe assimilation is the wrong word. What would you call the process described in “How the Irish Became White” and “How Jews Became White Folks”? Or would you support Israelis and Persians calling themselves “Asian-American”?”

    the difference is that filipino people aren’t white. and being american isn’t going to make them white–ever.

    persians come from asia, so if they are in the u.s. they could be identified as asian american, but would most likely by identified as middle eastern or iranian american. as for israelis, it is up in the air whether they are part of europe or the middle east; the country seems
    to flip flop between the two when it is convenient.

  35. Hugo
    Hugo December 10, 2007 at 7:50 pm |

    What a delight this was to watch.

  36. Rachel
    Rachel December 10, 2007 at 8:16 pm |

    learning that a state was named after a popular hot sauce

    ::shrieks with frustration::

    THE STATE. WAS NOT. NAMED. AFTER A HOT SAUCE.

    Holy crap, please tell me you’re kidding.

    I need a drink.

  37. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 10, 2007 at 8:19 pm |

    I suppose you’re right. No one would ever mistake, say, Iza Calzado for a white woman.

  38. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 10, 2007 at 8:20 pm |

    Yes, rachel. I was kidding.

  39. Jill
    Jill December 10, 2007 at 8:25 pm | *

    Jill and fizz: maybe assimilation is the wrong word. What would you call the process described in “How the Irish Became White” and “How Jews Became White Folks”? Or would you support Israelis and Persians calling themselves “Asian-American”?

    I would support Israelis and Persians naming themselves.

    You’re right that whiteness and race are fluid concepts, and that the definition of “white” goes hand in hand with immigration trends, nationality and social class. But it also does have some tie to physicality, at least on a group level. And being perceived as a person of color — which women who appear Filipina usually are — influences your experience navigating through a white supremacist society, no matter how “assimilated” you are.

  40. donna darko
    donna darko December 10, 2007 at 8:27 pm |

    I think that the a lot of the down and dirty is many times between the authors of posts and their respective supporters, so perhaps it’s a good place to shine the lights.

    Commenters do the job for bloggers. For example, I stopped reading comments on MyDD a long time ago because the comment were so racist and sexist. When bloggers accept nasty comments, they tacitly agree with them.

  41. kate
    kate December 10, 2007 at 8:34 pm |

    Hector: stop and take your lumps.

  42. damia
    damia December 10, 2007 at 8:36 pm |

    Considering a Filipina woman was just harassed at H&M for her ethnicity, and that H&M is responding by hiring a Filipino lawyer to defend the company, I think it’s safe to say that “Filipinos are basically white” argument doesn’t even have a foothold in reality.

  43. Lisa Harney
    Lisa Harney December 10, 2007 at 8:46 pm |

    kactus, I don’t get it. Hasn’t alsojill said “sorry, learned from it, won’t do it again”?

    Or am I misreading her comments here?

    Yes, she did. Kactus said that was enough and she doesn’t have to keep apologizing or beating herself up for it.

    She’s not asking for alsojill to apologize one more time.

  44. Rachel
    Rachel December 10, 2007 at 8:49 pm |

    In my near-fury at Tabasco-as-state/Tabasco-as-hot-sauce nonsense, I missed the main point here: This video is wonderful.

    Also, ugh on the H&M story.

  45. Deoridhe
    Deoridhe December 10, 2007 at 8:52 pm |

    Jill and fizz: maybe assimilation is the wrong word. What would you call the process described in “How the Irish Became White” and “How Jews Became White Folks”? Or would you support Israelis and Persians calling themselves “Asian-American”?

    Playing the odds. Aka, if you take this title will you shut up and help us against THOSE OTHER PEOPLE and forget we used to treat you like that?) Oddly, it works.

    And why wouldn’t Israelis and “Persians” (did you mean Iranians?) be able to call themselves Asian Americans if they wanted? East Asia is still Asia.

    alsojill: Thanks, Hector. I’m glad I didn’t offend absolutely *everyone*.

    You do realize this makes your apology look a lot less like, “I know I messed up and I won’t do it again,” and more like, “Opps, people are critiquing me – quick, apologize and maybe they’ll stop!”, right?

  46. Jill
    Jill December 10, 2007 at 9:00 pm | *

    Commenters do the job for bloggers. For example, I stopped reading comments on MyDD a long time ago because the comment were so racist and sexist. When bloggers accept nasty comments, they tacitly agree with them.

    I think that’s a little unfair. Commenters accept comments for a whole variety of different reasons, and saying that “they tacitly agree with them” just isn’t true. I let nasty comments through fairly regularly, even when I disagree with them completely — half the time I let them through so that I can argue with them. We all have different comment moderation policies, and I don’t think that those of us who tend to err on the side of letting a lot of comments through are doing so because we want asshole racists and sexists and homophobes to do our jobs for us.

  47. donna darko
    donna darko December 10, 2007 at 9:12 pm |

    What I meant was when bloggers accept comments without saying anything about them, they tacitly agree with them. This happens all the time on MyDD.

  48. damia
    damia December 10, 2007 at 9:12 pm |

    I think that’s a little unfair. Commenters accept comments for a whole variety of different reasons, and saying that “they tacitly agree with them” just isn’t true. I let nasty comments through fairly regularly, even when I disagree with them completely — half the time I let them through so that I can argue with them.

    Yeah, but there are also instances where horrible comments are let through and go unchallenged. Or people get a slap on the wrist, or scolded just enough so that the blogger can go “SEE, it wasn’t ME saying that!”

    This happens a lot of places, but, for example, I feel like that’s the way a lot of the transphobic shit at IBTP goes down.

  49. Devious Diva
    Devious Diva December 10, 2007 at 9:23 pm |

    Sudy. You are a genius!

    For example, I stopped reading comments on MyDD a long time ago because the comment were so racist and sexist. When bloggers accept nasty comments, they tacitly agree with them.

    No. Wrong. Sometimes it is us trying to provoke discussion or deal with discussion, however hard it might be. I do not agree with the comments on my blog… I deal with it (out of sight of most of you) but I do not agree tacitly or otherwise,

    [BTW I am Devious Diva or DD not Mydd or anyone else].

  50. Devious Diva
    Devious Diva December 10, 2007 at 9:27 pm |

    and I am not on my blog 24/7.

    There is only me and I cannot be in five places at once.

  51. alsojill
    alsojill December 10, 2007 at 9:56 pm |

    You do realize this makes your apology look a lot less like, “I know I messed up and I won’t do it again,” and more like, “Opps, people are critiquing me – quick, apologize and maybe they’ll stop!”, right?

    No, I didn’t realize that. Christ.

    I really, really didn’t want to say anything more about this. I apologized, I meant it. I understand why the comment was taken like it was. But you know what? Fuck it. I already look like an asshole. Might as well confirm everyone’s belief that I am, in fact, an asshole and a racist. After all, one stupid, thoughtless remark is enough to cast me as such for a while, right?

    Back when I first made that comment, I was (rightly) called out by the person who reported it to Sudy for this video, b/c it was inappropriate in the context. In that very thread, I gave much the same apology I gave here (see comment #28 on that thread), and, though I was ashamed of having made such a thoughtless remark, I figured that was that.

    Apparently not. The comment has been taken in the worst way possible, and while Sudy’s acting was hilarious, I’m not sure what she accomplished. Making me feel wretched? Guess what? I already felt badly about the comment. Making me look like a racist bitch? Got it. Check. Taking my obvious sarcasm and turning it into a xenophobic remark? You got it.

    Mea culpa. How many times do I have to say it? Mea fucking culpa.

    It’s really fucking hard to comment in the feminist blogosphere sometimes. Sometimes we genuinely slip up. Sometimes we make remarks based out of our own ignorance. And when called out, sometimes we apologize, b/c we did not realize at the time what we sounded like.

    It’s a pity those apologies aren’t taken more seroiusly. I understand why–I do. All too often, someone says something offensive, and their apology does not ring true. Maybe that’s what I sound like. That’s the wretched thing about the internet. Our sincerity and authenticity is always in doubt, b/c communicating in text makes it impossible to judge anyone’s real beliefs.

    It’s not like I’m new to the internet. I know all of this. But I’m done apologizing.

  52. Donna
    Donna December 10, 2007 at 10:22 pm |

    The comment was taken in the worst way possible? What other way is there to take “Tabasco. tee hee” when people are being flooded out of their homes?

  53. Deoridhe
    Deoridhe December 10, 2007 at 11:02 pm |

    Apparently not. The comment has been taken in the worst way possible, and while Sudy’s acting was hilarious, I’m not sure what she accomplished. Making me feel wretched? Guess what? I already felt badly about the comment. Making me look like a racist bitch? Got it. Check. Taking my obvious sarcasm and turning it into a xenophobic remark? You got it.

    You seem to be under the impression it’s about you.

    It’s not.

    And the only person here insulting you, is you. I find that rather ironic.

  54. Deoridhe
    Deoridhe December 10, 2007 at 11:07 pm |

    How about a shout-out to Angry Black Bitch? She kicks ass and does amazing media analysis. Or Riverbend, living with integrity and beauty in the face of ugliness I can’t even imagine. So many amazing bloggers out there.

  55. donna darko
    donna darko December 10, 2007 at 11:18 pm |

    No. Wrong. Sometimes it is us trying to provoke discussion or deal with discussion, however hard it might be.

    See my comment #54

  56. Rachel
    Rachel December 10, 2007 at 11:50 pm |

    alsojill, is there any chance it might be helpful for you to take a step back for a moment? Sometimes when I’m hearing things that I find unpleasant, if I step away from the source and then come back, I can get a bit more perspective, or even start hearing the other person differently/better.

    I really am not trying to say you should go away (and anyway that would be the height of chutzpah, really, since I am pretty much no one on this blog), it’s just that what you’re expressing is familiar to me because I have felt it before, and it’s been really helpful for me to take a break from the discussion and then return when I’ve had a chance to think by myself.

  57. cripchick
    cripchick December 10, 2007 at 11:55 pm |

    kactus, thank you for choosing to post sudy’s video as your first blog here a feministe, like donna said i know great things are to come.

  58. Ragnell
    Ragnell December 11, 2007 at 12:37 am |

    Donna — I don’t know. When trolls post they WANT the reaction. They WANT to argue with you. They WANT to drain your energy. Even deletion lets them get a little victory. When you just let it stay there. And the whole community ignores them as not worthy of discussion.

    It hurts them.

    That’s the tactic in some places, and it works. Unable to get even a chance to complain about people deleting them, they go away.

  59. Entomologista
    Entomologista December 11, 2007 at 12:59 am |

    I like that she uses the entomologically correct term for molting.

    Ok, I’m going to pile on here:

    I have difficulty thinking of Filipinos born and raised in this country as People of Color.

    My brother is Filipino and has been assimilated by his white American Borg family. Resistance was futile. Yes, I noticed growing up that it was much easier for kids from “assimilated” or adoptive families to get along in school. But even that didn’t stop them from taking a bunch of shit.

  60. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 11, 2007 at 1:15 am |

    Considering a Filipina woman was just harassed at H&M for her ethnicity, and that H&M is responding by hiring a Filipino lawyer to defend the company, I think it’s safe to say that “Filipinos are basically white” argument doesn’t even have a foothold in reality.

    I stand corrected and am quite disappointed. When I worked with Filipinos in Chicago thirty years ago I had to be told they were from Asia. At that time, Chicago had elected the first Filipino to the Cook County Board, Joe Tecson (who joked about being the shortest Texan we’d be likely to meet). A resolution of the Illinois General Assembly honoring Joe for thirty years of public service can be found here.

  61. Mandolin
    Mandolin December 11, 2007 at 1:58 am |

    That was a really neat idea and execution.

    I’m not sure how to say what I want to say to Alsojill… I think this is going to come out wrong somehow, but here’s my shot: At root, I think it’s good you said something well-intentioned and stupid about race as an anti-racist white person. Yes of course, all we antiraist white people should strive not to say stupid shit, and we should apologize for our stupid shit, and we should take our lumps. At the same time, there’s something Kameron Hurley said about writing non-white characters that I think is applicable. So many white people avoid talking about race, or writing non-white characters, out of fear of saying stupid shit and having to take lumps — and this is damning. It leads to the silence of people who want to be antiracist wihte people around issues that affect people of color, and to white people who only write bleached white worlds. I think it’s important to accept that one will say stupid shit, and be criticized for it, and to face that.

    I don’t mean to imply that having said something stupid is a badge of honor, ‘cuz it isn’t. It’s something stupid you said, and which it would have been better if you’d understood why that was before you spoke. And certainly we should all employ as much effort as possible in learning and thinking before we speak. But at the same time, as Kameron Hurley says, I’d rather try to write people of color with all my best learning and effort — and fail and accept the criticism which is justly aimed my way — than contribute to the problem of creating wihte universes. Or, in this case — I’d rather try with all my best learning and effort to act as an antiracist, and sometimes fuck up and be taken to task for it with the legitimate and deserved criticism aimed my way than contribute to the silence that white people observe around issues that affect people of color.

    Also, I’ve said much stupider things than your comment, and I expect I will again — though I’ll strive sincerely, and with all the tools that I can bring to bear, not to.

  62. Wonder
    Wonder December 11, 2007 at 2:06 am |

    alsojill —

    I made some insensitive comments on the same topic over at Elizabitchez that mercifully i don’t think were seen by anyone but me & Red, so i was luckier than you were, and won’t have my words following me around the blogosphere & haunting me.

    Here’s the kicker:
    “But that the whole thing comes off as insincere, when I was genuinely upset and angry. I know it’s my own damn fault for being stupid in that last remark, but … I don’t know. “

    Maybe this is a thing to remember for anyone of good will – how easily our genuine good intentions can be obscured by a careless (what we think of as)throwaway comment, especially when that comment rubs a nerve that’s already been rubbed raw by the indifference, ignorance, and outright malice that’s “out there” in the world at large.

    progressives & feminists aren’t immune from ignorance or prejudice; our whole society is infected & sometimes we need to “cover our mouths” so we don’t pass it along by mistake.

  63. Wonder
    Wonder December 11, 2007 at 2:16 am |

    oh, wow, what mandolin said makes much more sense.

  64. Manju
    Manju December 11, 2007 at 2:19 am |

    Quick Question. I thought Nubian was also called out by Sudy too. Or was that just a set up to call out the next person?

    Personally, I though they were both being called out as way of showing how racism can appear everywhere, but some of the comments here make me think otherwise.

  65. little light
    little light December 11, 2007 at 2:20 am |

    Hector:

    One problem I have: Having known and worked with so many, I have difficulty thinking of Filipinos born and raised in this country as People of Color. In my experience they are more assimilated than even the Greek Orthodox (cooking, music, dance, language, and faith all under one roof). I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sudy’s dad were a Knight of Columbus. I wonder if Sudy even cooks chocolate meat or does the Electric Slide at parties. And I can’t count the number of Euro-American/Filipino-American couples I know.

    Tell that to my mother, who walked into her first day at high school and had the entire hallway part and go silent and stare at her like an alien as she went past. (She was born in Virginia.) Or we can fast-forward to her at middle age, after being born, raised, and then having a number of decades as an adult American–like when our house was vandalized in the autumn of 2001 because people thought we might be Muslims. Tell that to me, stared at by my white neighbors in my neighborhood as I went past, while they clutched their daughters and lawnmowers until I went by. Or my little brother, who spent his school days wading through racial slurs.

    Please, go on speculating about Sudy’s childhood and family life and telling her us American-born Filipinas aren’t really people of color. Throw mine in.
    We’ll add it to the list.

    I was born and raised here. English is my only language. I’m still a woman of color and I’m still treated that way. Maybe you’re disappointed that it’s so–after all, Spanish Filipinos are mostly Spanish, right? Almost white enough to deserve it?–but wishful thinking or no, I cannot get my head around what you think you were saying here.

  66. donna darko
    donna darko December 11, 2007 at 2:21 am |

    I don’t know. When trolls post they WANT the reaction. They WANT to argue with you. They WANT to drain your energy. Even deletion lets them get a little victory. When you just let it stay there. And the whole community ignores them as not worthy of discussion.

    It hurts them.

    You have two choices. 1) Disallow offensive comments 2) Allow offensive comments so you can debate them.

  67. Mandolin
    Mandolin December 11, 2007 at 3:21 am |

    Also, thanks Kactus. That was a really interesting post of Ilyka’s which I had previously missed.

  68. lizvelrene
    lizvelrene December 11, 2007 at 10:51 am |

    On the subject of commenting: I am just a reader and not much of a commenter, but I have had to quit reading some blogs because of their commenting environment. Alas was THE first blog I ever read, but the comment threads gave me such a nasty taste in my mouth that I had to stop reading it altogether, and the same with IBTP.

    Bloggers cannot control every individual comment, it would just be too difficult. But I feel like they have a lot of say over the general tenor of the discussions there, and a responsibility to say: “this shit is not welcome here.” Things like the quotes in Sudy’s project? Not welcome. Not what we want in the feminist blogosphere. Just as an infrequent commenter I feel the only proper response to this video is to speak up and say, “this is not welcome”, and reaffirm the awesomeness of bloggers like Nubian who were lost from the blogosphere for this very reason.

  69. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 11, 2007 at 11:28 am |

    I’m sorry, little light. From here I never realized that the rest of the country is either in the 1950s (Chicago) or the 1700s (Virginia). Anyhow, as I said, seeing Filipinos as white is my problem and I will deal with it.

  70. woodland sunflower
    woodland sunflower December 11, 2007 at 12:28 pm |

    I don’t mean to imply that having said something stupid is a badge of honor, ‘cuz it isn’t. It’s something stupid you said, and which it would have been better if you’d understood why that was before you spoke. And certainly we should all employ as much effort as possible in learning and thinking before we speak. But at the same time, as Kameron Hurley says, I’d rather try to write people of color with all my best learning and effort — and fail and accept the criticism which is justly aimed my way — than contribute to the problem of creating wihte universes. Or, in this case — I’d rather try with all my best learning and effort to act as an antiracist, and sometimes fuck up and be taken to task for it with the legitimate and deserved criticism aimed my way than contribute to the silence that white people observe around issues that affect people of color.

    Good on you.

    No, seriously.

    But this is why I’m very, very VERY cautious about making comments.

    Make a stupid comment, get called on it? Fine.

    Apologize for your stupid comment? You betcha.

    Get your stupid comment put in a video by someone who’s had to live with the reality of being non-privileged even though you’d already apologized? Fair enough…though I’d like to think I’d be more gracious.

    But what frosted me was, ok, apologize when that happens, apologize again (and a couple more) now, then be told in the same thread, quit, move on, quit with the sackcloth and ashes already and quitcherbitchin about our calling out your mistake.

    No amount of apologizing fixes the mistake. Nothing fixes it.

    So much for moving on. After all, who wants to be clawed to pieces for doing their best, even after they’ve apologized with no chance of getting past whateveritwas.

    Not me.

    Sayonara.

  71. jeffliveshere
    jeffliveshere December 11, 2007 at 1:20 pm |

    I think anytime somebody calls out racism, transphobia, sexism, class-based discrimination, etc., that’s a good thing, so this video is a good thing.

    That said, for me, the real problem with some of the comments she quotes occurs when people say those things and don’t get called out for them at all. And I wonder how much her representation of the comments reflects comments that don’t get called out (as I recall, for instance, the ‘Tobasco’ commentor was immediately called out). So, it’s great she’s calling bullshit, but I’m mostly concerned about racist comments (for example) that don’t get called out at all–moreso than with the racist comments themselves.

  72. Michelle
    Michelle December 11, 2007 at 1:26 pm |

    Hector, the rest of the country is in the effing here and now, where Filipinos are not white and never were. (Thank God.)

    I was going to go with a choice expletive, but instead I’ll just say that colonization comes to kill, steal and destroy. That means– GASP– prizing whiteness and lightness and assimilation to some extent. Well, that goes for every effing ethnicity. THANK YOU WHITE SUPREMACY. But trust that whiteness, while excellent at convincing POC that they are ugly and wrong, is not interested in expanding its ranks to include them. That’s how it “works.”

    I cannot believe (and I mean that only rhetorically) that we have substituted a questioning of Sudy’s “credentials” as a “real live WOC” for any kind of substantive analysis of her piece. But oh, wait. I can. That’s how it “works.”

    Kiss my a$$, do the electric slide and have a nice day.

  73. ilyka
    ilyka December 11, 2007 at 1:53 pm |

    Get your stupid comment put in a video by someone who’s had to live with the reality of being non-privileged even though you’d already apologized? Fair enough…though I’d like to think I’d be more gracious.

    Yikes, woodland sunflower–why didn’t you just come right out and say Those People have no manners, while you were at it?

    I understand the feeling that you have to walk on eggshells, honestly. I understand feeling that it’s unjust and most of all, not worth the bother. No one likes to feel she’s caught in a no-win situation. But I don’t think your summary of events is accurate. I’ll borrow an analogy I’ve seen Donna Johnson use that I think works, and ask you to imagine that alsojill steps on your foot. You may further imagine that you’re in a subset of people who are prone to having their feet stepped on frequently to begin with, and that when alsojill steps on your foot you’re having a really, really, really bad day, a day on which other people in your subset have lost their homes and in many cases their lives.

    So when she steps on your foot, it’s the last straw, and you yell, “OW! You clumsy asshole!”

    And alsojill replies,

    Ouch. Okay, I’m the person who stepped on your foot. And for what it’s worth, I’m ashamed of it. (Not of being amused by it–I know it’s inappropriate to be amused by accidentally stepping on your foot, and I don’t fucking care. I was laughing at my own clumsiness as much as anything else.) I am ashamed, however, for where and when I stepped on your foot, it was not appropriate at the time, and I should know better than that. So I take responsibility for it, and I apologize, again. Don’t you love how a stupid, clumsy, one-off injury can come back to haunt you? Always watch where you step, children. ::sigh::

    However, I’m rather annoyed that my intent didn’t come across–that whole comment about “maybe someone should tell them that if they send more money, fewer people will have their feet stepped on”? That was sarcastic, and meant as a slight towards the racist and classist bullshit that so many other foot-crushers are spouting against the poor, against immigrants, and against poor Mexican and Central American immigrants, in particular.

    Do you, as the injured party, respond graciously to that?

    I don’t think it’s repeated apologies people want from alsojill so much as it is some sense, some confidence that she gets it and it isn’t going to happen again. Repeated apologies, even when sincerely intended to assuage hurt feelings, nonetheless have the side effect of putting the spotlight back on the person apologizing, which often tempts one to play the martyr (and complain about ungracious tone) or give the whole attempt up as hopeless (because now Those People are just being unreasonable). None of this is helpful.

    A short and sincere apology, minus the and-I-don’t-fucking-care, would have done. But a bad habit of white people is being unwilling to stop at the apology and insisting instead on trying to prove what good people we are. Alsojill doesn’t need to prove this; her subsequent actions will prove or disprove it with time, and immediately after a screw-up is no time to prove one’s innate goodness anyhow. Again, when someone does you an injury, intended or otherwise, do you want to hear a quick “I’m sorry” or do you want them to weep and cry and protest, “But I’m a good person! You don’t understand! I’m a good person!” . . . ?

  74. Mandolin
    Mandolin December 11, 2007 at 3:08 pm |

    Sunflower,

    I was trying to encourage alsojill to keep talking… I apologize if I came off as chastising.

  75. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 11, 2007 at 3:18 pm |

    But trust that whiteness, while excellent at convincing POC that they are ugly and wrong, is not interested in expanding its ranks to include them.

    On the other hand, if I had a dollar for every white person who proudly claimed to me to be part Cherokee (and why is it always Cherokee?), I could eat dinner at Chez Panisse.

    And I did not mean to imply that my personal thoughts should be taken as some sort of litmus test of Sudy’s POCness — I own my own problems and lack of enlightenment.

  76. Sudy
    Sudy December 11, 2007 at 3:20 pm |

    Kactus,
    Thanks so much for posting my video here. I’m glad that so many have positively responded to it. It’s been so interesting and exciting to see the feedback. I didn’t think that many people would see it. I just figured, you know, the WOC blogs that I worship would view it and we’d kick it around a few times, but I didn’t think it would be linked and talked about. Thanks again, Kactus and everyone who took something from it.

    We’re all in the revolution together.

    IT’S ELECTRIC!

  77. Hugo
    Hugo December 11, 2007 at 4:49 pm |

    After about four years of trying the “let’s have an open dialogue” approach to comment moderation, I gave up and now do delete most of the truly offensive, off the wall stuff. Some bleeds through, and I never catch it, as I (honestly) don’t always read every comment on my own blog, which is no doubt irresponsible.

    On the Filipino thing: my first wife was half Filipina, half Chinese. Her Chinese-American mother was born in the States; her father immigrated from the Philippines. My ex used to joke that “my Mom is really white, my Dad isn’t” — because her mother was utterly assimilated, and her father still sometimes struggled with Los Angeles culture, coming as he did from a small village on Mindanao. To my ex, “whiteness” was all about the ability to move fluidly in the polyglot LA culture.

  78. Rosehiptea
    Rosehiptea December 11, 2007 at 5:18 pm |

    On the other hand, if I had a dollar for every white person who proudly claimed to me to be part Cherokee (and why is it always Cherokee?), I could eat dinner at Chez Panisse.

    Yes, this constantly happens, and I’ve also seen it happen on feminist/progressive blogs, but I’ve always seen it as a way of trying to buy out of something negative about being white — “Hey, don’t blame genocide or racism on me, I’m 1/1000 Cherokee!” — while still being white on all other occasions.

  79. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 11, 2007 at 7:35 pm |

    I noticed alsojill’s sarcasm with the “why don’t we fix up their country so they stop coming here” stuff for the conservatives. And I had never heard of Tabasco the state in Mexico before the feministe news post.
    It’s kind of lousy to make fun of ignorance when someone meant well, even if they didn’t express it clearly and their words were poorly chosen.

    It seems like there is too much mocking of ignorance and not enough education. I disliked the video A LOT. I don’t think “let’s make fun of each other’s opinions on video” is any more admirable than giving people shit on blogs, even if Sudy is a decent actress.

  80. Brian G.
    Brian G. December 11, 2007 at 8:08 pm |

    I actually am part Native American, Choctaw actually, but I don’t see how that could be used as a way of excusing your “white half” from genocide guilt. Anybody who thinks they can use it that way is an idiot. As far as my heritage, I admit that it’s a small percentage genetically and has no real bearing on my life: I don’t participate in the culture or get any benefits. That’s why I don’t use it for anything or bring it up very often.

    And yes, alsojill, as someone who’s f-d up on many occasions, you really are trying too hard and going too far. A simple apology really is always best. Anything else adds confusion and, ultimately, fuel to the fire.

    Oh, and to get this huge thread derailment back onto the tracks, I really enjoyed Sudy’s video. Good work!

  81. Donna
    Donna December 11, 2007 at 9:28 pm |

    nonskanse, racism isn’t just burning crosses in peoples’ yards, for the most part it’s ignorance and much of it is willful ignorance. Nice that you identify with alsojill’s discomfort for this one tiny moment in her life, too bad you can’t identify with POCs discomfort, pain, indignity, and on and on for putting up with ignorance every fucking day of our lives.

  82. DeservingBitch
    DeservingBitch December 11, 2007 at 9:37 pm |

    It seems like there is too much mocking of ignorance and not enough education. I disliked the video A LOT. I don’t think “let’s make fun of each other’s opinions on video” is any more admirable than giving people shit on blogs, even if Sudy is a decent actress.

    What is NOT admirable is the absurd amount of ignorance, arrogance, racism and transphobia going on in the ‘feminist/progressive’ blogosphere that Sudy’s video highlights.

    What IS admirable is the humor, talent, and creativity that those who are constantly and repeatedly hurt by this – such as Sudy – show in trying to force us to address it.

  83. Manju
    Manju December 12, 2007 at 1:09 am |

    since we’re talking about subconscious and subtle racism, what jumped out at me when i 1st read alsojill’s comment was not the inappropriate humor but the white man’s burden.

    a corrupt, racist oligarchy running mexico, doing everything in its power to avoid the great threads that are liberated POC in brazil, china and india (free markets and globalization) can’t seem to help its own people and our first thoughts of blame go to the united states, not to them. the soft racism of low expectations anyone?

    now subtle racism is well subtle, and it tends to intersect with legitimate concerns. but alsojill was not too kind to those who oppose illegal immigration, so how about we look at the prejudices of those who oppose the American free-market system, globalization, and free trade that literally moved 100′s of millions of people out of poverty around the globe.

    why do we see POC as only charity cases, devoid of agency?

  84. Manju
    Manju December 12, 2007 at 1:20 am |

    oh, i’d like to also say my criticism of alsojill’s comment was really that it was systmeic of the thread. hers was just one example.

    i mean, she’s being piled on right now, and she clearly has good intentions, and probably just typed what many thought, so i apoligize for the right hook. it wasn’t really meant for her.

  85. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 12, 2007 at 2:31 am |

    too bad you can’t identify with POCs discomfort, pain, indignity, and on and on for putting up with ignorance every fucking day of our lives

    An interesting assumption.

    I still don’t like the delivery. They’d already been Told Off.

  86. DeservingBitch
    DeservingBitch December 12, 2007 at 2:40 am |

    I still don’t like the delivery.

    Yes, because that’s what matter here. Not the ignorance, racism, heterosexism, transphobia, colonialism, etc. that Suby is pointing out. No. Lets focus on the feelings of those who may feel a tad uncomfortable to be call on their ignorant hurtful comments. That’s what is important here.

  87. Lisa Harney
    Lisa Harney December 12, 2007 at 4:25 am |

    Calling out the racism, transphobia, heterosexism, classism, whateverism that happens in the feminist blogosphere is a good and appropriate thing. Even though many of those who engage in it refuse to ever examine their words and actions, who will either put on a good show of apology or deny they ever did anything wrong, it helps.

    It’s not a circular firing squad, it’s not pure mockery, it’s not Sudy’s ego trip, it’s “look at these conversations that happen over and over again.” And they do happen over and over again. The same things are said over and over again. The same people are dismissed and hurt over and over again. And, really, if it comes down to people who are hurt over and over again vs. people who are hurt because they caused that hurting and were called on it, I’m going to pick the former every single time.

    The former group – men and women of color, trans men and women, gay men and lesbians – aren’t just dealing with hurt feelings. It goes beyond hurt feelings. Lives are actually harmed by racism, heterosexism, transphobia, colonialism, etc. People are assaulted and killed. Laws are passed against them or not passed to protect them. Comparing that to someone whose feelings are hurt because she said something dumb in public? Just proposing a comparison is an insult.

    It’s frankly exhausting to try to deal with white people who want to set the terms for racial discourse, to deal with cis people who want to set the terms for gender/sex identity discourse, and so on. It’s just better to say what needs to be said, and that usually means that some privileged feelings get hurt.

  88. Rosehiptea
    Rosehiptea December 12, 2007 at 4:26 am |

    I enjoyed the video also. Parts of it made me feel uncomfortable but that’s actually a good thing.

  89. woodland sunflower
    woodland sunflower December 12, 2007 at 10:32 am |

    I understand the feeling that you have to walk on eggshells, honestly. I understand feeling that it’s unjust and most of all, not worth the bother. No one likes to feel she’s caught in a no-win situation. But I don’t think your summary of events is accurate. I’ll borrow an analogy I’ve seen Donna Johnson use that I think works, and ask you to imagine that alsojill steps on your foot. You may further imagine that you’re in a subset of people who are prone to having their feet stepped on frequently to begin with, and that when alsojill steps on your foot you’re having a really, really, really bad day, a day on which other people in your subset have lost their homes and in many cases their lives.

    So when she steps on your foot, it’s the last straw, and you yell, “OW! You clumsy asshole!”

    Well, I can understand that. I figured that was mostly the point of the video. Also, I thought maybe this video was more in “sometimes we just want to vent” as opposed to “let’s try for building alliances” camp. I read that somewhere, on a WoC or disability blog, and was very struck by that. Everyone should have the option of venting.

    I guess it’s just a case of anything you ever say on the internets will haunt you, forever. And I’m not certain that’s a good thing, because what’s the point of apologizing, if it doesn’t help, doesn’t fix the problem? It seemed obvious to me that alsojill’s apology was not acceptable to sudy.

    Fair enough. But what would an acceptable apology would be? She made a couple more, than finally blew up in fury. I don’t know what systematic racism feels like. But I’ve experienced slights on slights, that angered me enough to want to react with art the way Sudy did. But I didn’t, because I happened to mention my anger, and one of the persons involved apologized. That’s what I meant by hoping I’d be gracious enough. I’m not naturally, but managed it with a small thing. Perhaps I could again, with a bigger.

    Sudy and those closer to her position are understandably tired of the privileged whining on top of injustice and this thread is replaying the whole useless polarizing rut.

    It makes me sad.

  90. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 12, 2007 at 11:16 am |

    Yes, because that’s what matter here. Not the ignorance, racism, heterosexism, transphobia, colonialism, etc. that Suby is pointing out. No. Lets focus on the feelings of those who may feel a tad uncomfortable to be call on their ignorant hurtful comments. That’s what is important here.

    Of course these issues are the important ones, and the posters here talk about them all of the time, and point them out all the time.
    How many times do you need to call out people on your side for their mistakes? You’ll never know if they “learned their lesson”, and it only makes even more people sad, upset, or angry.

  91. Blackamazon
    Blackamazon December 12, 2007 at 11:48 am |

    Of course these issues are the important ones, and the posters here talk about them all of the time, and point them out all the time.
    How many times do you need to call out people on your side for their mistakes? You’ll never know if they “learned their lesson”, and it only makes even more people sad, upset, or angry

    First off you make this grand presumption that this people are ” on our side” It’s strange I know but people who would make these kinds of comments might you know be questionable and not dependable and oddly enough as human beings we get to decide that.

    Also hmm its very interesting that somehow a thread about the internal and DEBILITATING racism homophobia transphobia with in the ” progressive ” cause , as it prevents it from forming needed alliances. AND TEH EASE AT WHICH IT IS TOSSED OFF

    has become another pity fucking party about why won’t POC lay off

    even though EVERY WOC IN THIS THREAD HAS ACCEPTED THE APOLOGY

    but that requires you know reading comprehension and some fucking consideration of the HUMANS commenting instead of you know inventing fucking boogie men so you can wack WOC for being mean old nasties.

  92. Sylvia/M
    Sylvia/M December 12, 2007 at 12:48 pm |

    How many times do you need to call out people on your side for their mistakes? You’ll never know if they “learned their lesson”, and it only makes even more people sad, upset, or angry.

    I love how the focus of this video has turned into calling out folks for their mistakes and not trying to learn to recognize and speak out against racist/sexist/classist/homophobic/transphobic shit while building an allegedly “progressive” movement! And criticizing the tone of the call out, no less!

    Next, we’ll hear how people who make these videos are no better that the right-wing pundits or the men because there isn’t supposed to be any value to the production — just idle call-outs. Except there is a purpose to this project beyond soothing people’s belated and resentful guilt, the point to remind progressive online feminism we each have a lot of work to do, and we need to spend time dialoguing on how to do that respectful inclusivity work instead of trying to cloak someone from other people’s responses to their actions.

    Ah hell, but what do I know? Sad commenter with a sense of humor > people who lost their homes who live in a place a company named their hot sauce after. Makes me wonder if someone heard about something tragic happening in France, would people respond, “Hey, the French? Like the dressing? Oh god, I’m so bad but ahahahahahahaha!”
    Lesson learned! Carry on!

    Snarkiness aside, I love this video project. It’s one thing to read the vitriol and not think twice about it; it’s another entirely when someone says it aloud and you get to hear it. There’s always an element of communication lost when it’s predominantly written. Plus it doesn’t hurt that Sudy’s a fantastic conveyor of nuance.

  93. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 12, 2007 at 1:06 pm |

    Speaking out is awesome.
    I was stating what I didn’t like in this instance and why. As you say, as human beings we get to decide that.

  94. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 12, 2007 at 2:16 pm |

    We’re all in the revolution together.

    IT’S ELECTRIC!

    [applause]
    Sudy, please come to my house. I would prepare for you the simple but nutritious Tater Tot casserole of my forebears.

  95. DeservingBitch
    DeservingBitch December 12, 2007 at 2:33 pm |

    How many times do you need to call out people on your side for their mistakes? You’ll never know if they “learned their lesson”, and it only makes even more people sad, upset, or angry.

    Until the same ‘mistakes’ stop being done over and over again every single day. Then we may start believing that we’ve ‘learned our lesson’.

    Your complaining about the delivery and purpose of this video, as well as your choice of words here – eg. referring to instances of structural racism, transphobia, heterosexism, colonialism, etc. as ‘mistakes’ – are telling examples that we are far from being there.

  96. Lisa Harney
    Lisa Harney December 12, 2007 at 2:51 pm |

    Yes, they’re mostly not mistakes. Not in the sense of “someone did this thing they totally didn’t mean to do,” but perhaps in the sense of “someone accidentally let the mask of civility slip and revealed their true feelings” or even “someone deliberately let the mask of civility slip and revealed their true feelings.”

    Sure, some people just let slip uninformed, insensitive comments, and when it’s pointed out, they sincerely apologize. Some people – like many of those quoted in Sudy’s video – are deliberately nasty about certain groups of people.

    I certainly do not care if calling out these actions makes the people who said them sad, upset, or angry, because they’re saying these things about people like me, or about people I like and respect. Reading BlackAmazon’s, Sylvia’s, Donna’s, BFP’s posts about this stuff is a lot more painful than reading about how someone is sad, upset, or angry because she got caught saying something ignorant or outright malicious.

  97. Kai
    Kai December 12, 2007 at 3:49 pm |

    Sudy and those closer to her position are understandably tired of the privileged whining on top of injustice and this thread is replaying the whole useless polarizing rut.

    Count the number of comments prior to this lament in this thread in which women of color are ungraciously venting, versus the number of comments in which white persons are complaining about women of color ungraciously venting (“mea fucking culpa” was charming). And ask yourself why some white folks so often pretend that things are happening, which are not happening, pretending that the scary brown folks are unjustly attacking victimized fragile whites, using all sorts of convoluted variations on a handful of standard Wite-Magik Attax (i.e. your tone or delivery is mean, you should just move on, you’re oversensitive, you’re looking for reasons to be mad, it’s about class not race, etc). No women of color in this thread have refused alsojill’s apology, nor asked for further ones, nor even expressed anger at her. That’s all happening in the white imagination. It’s amazing how much wild stuff happens in the white imagination which justifies lots of horrible stuff actually happening to people of color in reality. Almost seems like a pattern.

    Also let’s be clear that a racist statement is not “a slight”. It’s a strategic ideological assertion which is supported by an overarching system of exploitation and oppression, which white people benefit from and often violently defend. And if you think Sudy’s video is venting, well then you haven’t even seen anything close to venting. Venting is what you might do after you watch cops shoot your brother 40 times for the color of his skin, or watch your village get bombed to rubble and loose limbs, or watch your husband and sons get rounded up and tortured in hellhole prisons, or watch your community’s children get sick and die young from inhaling fumes from the local power plant which white people would never build in their own neighborhood even though they consume and profit from the energy generated there, or watch your entire country destroyed by famine and disease while pouring all of its financial resources into servicing colonial debt rackets, or watch…or watch…watch “mistakes” like this, generation after generation, for centuries. Then watch white folks compare all that to a wounded ego at having an ignorant comment on some blog thread serve as a teaching tool for a fleeting moment. Now that might be reason to vent.

  98. Vanessa
    Vanessa December 12, 2007 at 3:55 pm |

    Sigh.

    Dear white people,

    Calling out your racist statements is not meant as an insult to you. It is a request for you to stop being racist. Now get over your hurt feelings and stop being racist.

    Love,

    Vanessa, woman of color.

  99. Eileen
    Eileen December 12, 2007 at 4:30 pm |

    Am I jumping in late? I thought the video was interesting and I was very relieved that none of my comments appeared, because I’ve said some stupid stuff from time to time.

    I started reading feminist blogs a few months ago, and although I’ve identified as a feminist my whole life it is the first time in my life that I’ve participated in actual dialogue with other feminists. So it has been a powerful experience for me.

    One of the comments I noticed early on in my reading (can’t recall where) that seemed really powerful was that people who were not women and not noticing the sexism or misogyny in a given issue would benefit from listening to the people affected and trusting their judgment. Just shutting up a little and listening for a change. I thought that was very powerful.

    Eventually an issue came up on Feministing about a student in Lancaster, CA who had been brutalized by a school guard. I post on Feministing as sgzax. My initial reaction was a kind of knee-jerk disbelief of how the story was presented. And I said so, and it was pointed out to me that perhaps I wasn’t seeing the issue clearly because I didn’t have to. Because I’m white. And I argued about that, and justified myself, and came up with plenty of good excuses for my doubts.

    I thought about it subsequently though, and came to believe that it would have been better for me to shut the hell up and listen in that situation. I don’t have a clear idea of what it’s like to be a person of color. I’ve never had trouble with security guards or police. I’ve never encountered racism because of my white privilege, and so even though I try my best to understand it is very possible that I just don’t get it at least some of the time. My judgment on issues of race is probably not as good as someone who has dealt with the issue her entire life, and maybe when race comes up it is better for me to stand by and give support to people who actually know what they’re talking about.

    Race has come up many times since, and I sometimes still post from my position of privilege without thinking things through (see the post about the girl who took the bullets for her mom, as an example) and then have to rethink afterwards when I’m reminded that I often don’t see racism because I have never experienced it first-hand.

    It doesn’t mean that I’m a racist necessarily, but I acknowledge that my insensitivity to these issues has probably led me to act in a racist way from time to time. I acknowledge that in spite of my good opinion of myself and my ability to reason, there are other people who know more than me about this and always will. And if they tell me that something is racist, or that something is happening that I haven’t seen, then they’re far more likely to be right than I am.

    It costs me nothing to give my compatriots the benefit of the doubt due to their greater experience. This discussion of racism is not about me. Even if Sudy had used one of my comments it would still not have been about me, but I would hope that it could teach me something about everything I take for granted.

    That advice given to men who don’t see misogyny… to shut the fuck up and listen for a change… It works for me too, and it could work for any white person who finds themselves engaged in issues like this. We all have opinions, but maybe some people’s opinions are better informed than others. Sometimes it’s wise to defer. And listen.

  100. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 12, 2007 at 5:18 pm |

    Okay. I’m trying to understand. Please.

    I personally never learn moral lessons from what I view as mean comments directed at me, and I thought maybe the targets would feel this way. I mean, look at how incredibly effectively we’re communicating when we simply disagree. I’m getting all defensive and everyone else is writing all mad-like.

    So I ask:
    Does making fun of people like this promote their learning more about your cause? Can you provide me an example where it worked for you personally.
    The plural of anectode is not data but I’m willing to consider changing my mind, since I have not experienced this personally. Please. Thanks.

  101. Vanessa
    Vanessa December 12, 2007 at 5:22 pm |

    I personally never learn moral lessons from what I view as mean comments directed at me,

    Double sigh.

    I’m getting pretty annoyed at all of this, so I think I’ll just repeat myself.

    Calling out your racist statements is not meant as an insult to you. It is a request for you to stop being racist. Now get over your hurt feelings and stop being racist.

  102. Rachel
    Rachel December 12, 2007 at 5:25 pm |

    Vanessa, I think you could even go further and say: calling out someone’s racist statements is not mean.

    Bigotry is mean. Naming bigotry, exposing bigotry, calling people out for bigotry? Not mean.

  103. Eileen
    Eileen December 12, 2007 at 5:29 pm |

    nonskanse: Sometimes you can’t see something unless it is placed in another context and presented back to you. This is a helpful thing.

    Use it as a learning experience. You don’t have to take it so personally. Everyone makes bone-headed statements from time to time.

  104. Eileen
    Eileen December 12, 2007 at 5:37 pm |

    Also…

    I’m willing to consider changing my mind

    This is actually an insulting way to frame your participation in this discussion. It’s as though everyone now has to jump through hoops… perform for you… in the hopes of obtaining your approval for their issues. Doesn’t that sound privileged and problematic to you?

  105. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 12, 2007 at 5:59 pm |

    Eileen,

    This is actually an insulting way to frame your participation in this discussion

    Sorry. Wasn’t intended. Would like to know, would like examples, recognize that I may never get them, “i’m willing to consider changing my mind” is always bad phrasing online. I still want to understand.

    Thanks for the other context :) in your first post back to me. I still don’t quite understand.

    Vanessa,
    Please don’t call me a racist. I’m not.

  106. Vanessa
    Vanessa December 12, 2007 at 6:05 pm |

    Oh, Jesus Christ.

    I was using a general “you.” Now stop focusing on your own offendedness, before it starts to seem like the lady doth protest too much.

  107. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 12, 2007 at 6:11 pm |

    Sorry Vanessa.

  108. Kai
    Kai December 12, 2007 at 6:13 pm |

    Does making fun of people like this promote their learning more about your cause? Can you provide me an example where it worked for you personally.

    How about, um, let’s just say, as one little example, the Civil Rights movement? Obviously the majority of white Americans opposed it at the time (many still do) and said many of the same things you’re now saying about the confrontational tactics being employed by activists, especially in the debate between “gradualists” and “radicals”, and the New York Times memorably running editorials berating Martin Luther King for going too far. These days we’ve labeled your current line of un-reasoning The Drowning Maestro. Trust me, every person of color has been told this exact same thing a thousand times by white folks trying to keep them in their place: “You’ve violated our genteel parlor manners, now we will never support your cause!” (as if they ever did seriously support anti-racism). The problem here is not our communication skills or our tone or our confrontational tactics or us at all. The problem is racism. You may be convinced that you’re not “a racist”, but your cognitive faculties were formed in racist society and this fact is almost certainly affecting your ability to see what’s what here. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re “a bad person”, unless you refuse to do anything about it and keep up the stonewalling misdirection endlessly.

  109. Holly
    Holly December 12, 2007 at 6:34 pm |

    Thanks to everyone who’s shown up to keep it on the right track – kai, blackamazon, vanessa. I wish I had checked this thread earlier, because honestly? Nothing is more aggravating than a sidetrack into “you pointed out racism and that hurt my feelings” territory for the 1000th time.

    I personally never learn moral lessons from what I view as mean comments directed at me

    I put the important part in bold there for ya. Being called a racist is such a mean mean thing to say! Let’s make sure nobody ever says that to anyone else, except maybe Don Imus and Michael Richards, who can be the whipping boys for the rest of us!

    Look, let’s all just agree to get over being called a racist. You should get used to it. I am, because I have all sorts of racist beliefs, not to mention homophobic, fatphobic, transphobic, and ableist tendencies, which are very difficult to uproot and deal with. If anyone in this thread is totally pure of all of that, I salute you and will send you a congratulatory five dollar bill for having completed a life’s work of undoing your socially engrained prejudices.

    You know what’s sad about the whole Tabasco thing? Tabasco doesn’t benefit at all from the popularity of the sauce that was named after it, because that sauce was made and the name trademarked by a company in Louisiana.

  110. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 12, 2007 at 6:36 pm |

    Kai thank you. I didn’t really ‘get’ that I sounded like the Drowning Maestro.
    I know I believe i’d say the same thing about a white woman’s video in this case, but I guess I don’t know, do I?

  111. Mandolin
    Mandolin December 12, 2007 at 7:35 pm |

    I’m going to link to this post by Barry.

    A bit from it:

    How Not To Be Insane When Accused Of Racism (A Guide For White People)

    1) Breathe. Stay calm. Stay civil. Don’t burn bridges. If someone has just said “I think that sounds a bit racist,” don’t mistake it for them saying “you’re Klu Klux Klan racist scum” (which is a mistake an amazing number of white people make). For the first ten or twenty seconds any response you make will probably come from your defensiveness, not from your brain, so probably you shouldn’t say whatever first comes to your mind.

    2) Take the criticism seriously – do not dismiss it without thinking about it. Especially if the criticism comes from a person of color – people of color in our society tend by necessity to be more aware of racism than most Whites are, and pick up on things most Whites overlook. (On the other hand, don’t put the people of color in the room in the position of being your advocate or judge.)

    3) Don’t make it about you. Usually the thing to do is apologize for what you said and move on. Especially if you’re in a meeting or something, resist your desire to turn the meeting into a seminar on How Against Racism You Are. The subject of the conversation is probably not “your many close Black friends, and your sincere longstanding and deep abhorrence of racism.”

    Think of it as if someone points out that you need to wipe your nose because you’ve got a big glob of snot hanging out. The thing to do is say “oh, excuse me,” wipe your nose, and move on. Insisting that everyone pat you on the back and reassure you that they realize you don’t always have snot hanging from your nose, before the conversation can be allowed to move forward, is not productive.

    4) Let Occasional Unfair Accusations Roll Off Your Back. Sometimes, even after you’ve given it serious thought, you’ll come to the conclusion that a criticism was unfair. Great! Now please let it go. Don’t insist that everyone agree with you. Don’t enlist the people of color in the room to certify you as Officially Non-Racist. Don’t bring it up again and again, weeks or months after everyone else has forgotten about the original discussion. In other words, see point #3.

    Shorter Ampersand: Don’t make it a whacking huge deal if you say something racist, or something others perceive as racist. Apologize, move on, and consider the criticism seriously so that you can improve your thinking, if need be.

  112. Mandolin
    Mandolin December 12, 2007 at 7:37 pm |

    I also don’t see Sudy as making fun of anyone with this video. As she wrote at the beignning of the piece (paraphrased) — members of the feminist blogosphere said it. She’s merely repeating and highlighting.

  113. belledame222
    belledame222 December 12, 2007 at 10:00 pm |

    Anyone else starting to think of the Monty Python “dirty fork” sketch?

  114. Mandolin
    Mandolin December 12, 2007 at 10:05 pm |

    Good thing you didn’t mention the dirty knife.

  115. belledame222
    belledame222 December 12, 2007 at 10:08 pm |

    And, really, if it comes down to people who are hurt over and over again vs. people who are hurt because they caused that hurting and were called on it, I’m going to pick the former every single time.

    Ayep. And, it’s worth looking at exactly -what- is so damn hurtful. Embarrassment? Embarrassment at being caught out? It’s not the end of the world. You know? Another Fucking Opportunity For Growth.

    999 times out of a 1,000, when shit like this erupts into an endless clusterfuck, it’s -not- because the maliciously vengeful “people who are hurt over and over again” are out to get their pound of flesh and THEN some, it’s because the people who did the hurting can’t just give a simple, “You’re right, I fucked up, I’m sorry,” make a note to do better next time, and then -let it go.-

  116. belledame222
    belledame222 December 12, 2007 at 10:13 pm |

    Think of it as if someone points out that you need to wipe your nose because you’ve got a big glob of snot hanging out. The thing to do is say “oh, excuse me,” wipe your nose, and move on. Insisting that everyone pat you on the back and reassure you that they realize you don’t always have snot hanging from your nose, before the conversation can be allowed to move forward, is not productive.

    Exactly. Or, as I was thinking earlier wrt not say knowing where Tobasco is, and someone else vicariously feeling the embarrassment of having that exposed, I was like:

    Well, look: Say your fly’s undone, mkay? Not exactly uncommon. Thing is, if you respond to the private realization that your fly’s undone (or one’s own lack of knowledge, let’s say?) probably the best reaction for -not- calling attention to this is not,

    “WO! LOOKIT THAT! MY FLY’S UNDONE! IMAGINE THAT, ALL THIS TIME AND MY FLY WAS UNDONE! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”

    …and, if one -does- do something like that, well, ok, but perhaps one oughtn’t to be too surprised when other people find it a bit more memorable than the eight kazillion other incidents of people walking around with their flies undone. And might have a giggle over it, themselves.

    Just sayin’.

  117. belledame222
    belledame222 December 12, 2007 at 10:29 pm |

    Nonskanse: “being racist” is a verb. Not a noun. Get it? She’s not saying you’re a bad to the bone Bad Person (which is how most people who employ this line of talk think is what “racist” means).

    If your normally okay guy colleague/brother/friend/acquaintance started acting or talking in a way that you found sexist, and you said, “hey! stop being sexist! listen to what I’m saying!” and he goes, instead of really engaging the content of what you’re saying:

    “I AM NOT A SEXIST! I’M NOT I’M NOT I’M NOT! I love women! My mother is a woman!…”

    well, I jest in exaggeration, but is the penny starting to drop at -all-?

  118. Holly
    Holly December 12, 2007 at 10:47 pm |

    It’s like a HUGE MOUNTAIN OF PUS to me!!

  119. Mandolin
    Mandolin December 12, 2007 at 11:09 pm |

    Ayep. And, it’s worth looking at exactly -what- is so damn hurtful. Embarrassment? Embarrassment at being caught out?

    Well, I don’t think it’s just embarrassment — at least here. I think it’s the deep fear of being revealed as a bad person, and secretly suspecting you might be. This leads to both exaggerated ego defense — “I’m not! I can’t be bad!” — and sincere but hyperbolic self-hatred — “I’m a terrible fucking person! The worst fucking person in the world!”

    I wrote a short story once based on something that happened to my mother, who was adopted by parents who never quite treated her like a full member of the family. Once when she was five, her step-mother tried to force feed her a food to which she had a vehemently negative reaction. She vomitted and the step-mother tried to feed her more, and she slapped her step-mother and then ran crying into her room. Yes, there was embarrassment over having been violent. But more, there was the deep fear that she was a bad, bad person who had hurt someone else, hurt her caretaker.

    The two situations are different in many important ways, but I fel the emotional aclchemy of the responses — the shame and the embarrassment and the fear of Being Bad — are somewhat similar.

  120. belledame222
    belledame222 December 12, 2007 at 11:14 pm |

    Well, right, it’s a shame trigger being tripped. But what I’m saying is–dude, no one -else- was saying, to the people who are reacting in such a manner, You Are A Bad Person. There are maybe a few different reasons why people react in such a manner:

    1) residual I Am A Bad Person shame which most everyone has for various reasons, personal and political, sure

    2) the belief that “racist” = “person in Klan hood what deserves to be hoist on hir own burning cross”

    On the other hand, if people are so defended that they -still- can’t hear it when people say, noooooo, actually, we’re saying that -this is why this thing you said/did was offensive-, as in the effect it has on OTHER PEOPLE, well…it’s kind of hard to break through that lockdown, you know.

    “It’s not about you” can be a blessing or a curse, I suppose, depending on how easily one lets go of the focus being on oneself.

  121. belledame222
    belledame222 December 12, 2007 at 11:17 pm |

    and I mean, you know, too, it’s not as though (for example) PoC don’t ever have stuff like that in their own personal histories as well as, or intertwined with, the shit that they’re talking about -right now-, the institutionalized racist shit, that is hurtful. So, ultimately, it still boils down to: dude, I get that stepping on someone’s foot might’ve sent up your own gout flare-up or whatever, and that sucks, but you -still need to notice and make amends to the other person.-

  122. RenegadeEvolution
    RenegadeEvolution December 13, 2007 at 12:54 am |

    Wow, how did this YET again become all about the wounded white women with the hurt fee-fees? Isn’t it ironic how that always seems to happen?

    Sylvia, can I add “Shut Up” to the whole “read, learn, listen” list? Oh yeah, and that dreaded word, “examine”?

  123. Mandolin
    Mandolin December 13, 2007 at 1:14 am |

    The hurt fee-fees aren’t irrelevant, RE. They’re part of the central problem of racism — examining them is part of examining the systems that perpetuate racism. Asking “Why do white people get hyperbolically defensive?” is not dissimilar to asking “Why do men rape?”

    To the extent that it’s not the immediate topic of conversation, I apologize for contributing to a derailment, but white defensiveness and the perpetuation of racism do seem to me to be related to Sudy’s video.

    Belle, I agree with your analysis. I just think it’s useful to examine the nuance of the white reaction to having privilege challenged, in order to better defuse and demolish those reactions. I thought “embarrassment” was a little bit flattening, is all. I agree with your other points.

    *

    Coming from Alas where we moderate pretty heavily, I wonder about some of the calls here for strict policing of comments. I try to get rid of hate speech, but the lines can be blurry. What sort of criteria do people — particularly people who experience oppression on the axes mentioned in the video — expect moderators to use?

  124. donna darko
    donna darko December 13, 2007 at 3:02 am |

    People ask what the point of the video is.

    The comments are not unusual and keep showing up on the blogs.

    As far as moderation, how about anything that hurts poc or women’s feelings? Not individuals but in general.

  125. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 13, 2007 at 3:34 am |

    It was hard for me to understand and accept white racism and white privilege. Basically I was coming from this position: I’m not racist; racists wear sheets. But being or rather acting racist or not acting racist is not for me to judge. A racism self-assessment has no meaning. For me, anyway, realizing I was racist was as hard as a fish realizing it was wet. It’s like the old t-shirt, “It’s a black thing; you wouldn’t understand.” Well, I resented it of course. I was sensitive, perceptive. How dare they assume I wouldn’t understand. Finally I got it: It was a pure statement of fact. It was a black thing, and not being black, not having grown up black, not having brought any black self through a myriad of situations, I sure as hell wouldn’t understand.

    I will compare racism to sexism, as I understand it from my male privileged point of view. It’s not enough to think, “well, I have never leered at any of my coworkers, I have never called them little lady or girl or hon, I have always taken turns holding the door open, I have never assumed they wouldn’t understand something; therefore, I must not be sexist” (big sigh of relief). It’s not for me to judge. Let the women I know please tell me; let them please do me the honor of assuming that I can and will improve if given feedback. Please let the PoC do me the same favor.

  126. Manju
    Manju December 13, 2007 at 6:27 am |

    Please let the PoC do me the same favor

    Hector: there’s no consensus among PoC. If anything, our societies are more racist and misogynistic than the USA, which is why we come here to escape the various isms…like all those Mexicans coming across the border.

    The PoC on this thread are only representative of themselves, and if you can see them that way, then you’re not racist.

  127. evil fizz
    evil fizz December 13, 2007 at 11:03 am |

    As far as moderation, how about anything that hurts poc or women’s feelings? Not individuals but in general.

    I think this is way to ambiguous to even be a helpful guideline, but that’s just me.

  128. donna darko
    donna darko December 13, 2007 at 4:52 pm |

    Since Mandolin posed the question, I was thinking of Alas, a blog which has dozens of comments a day that hurt my feelings as a woman and POC. Hurt my feelings can be translated as insensitive to women or POC.

  129. nonskanse
    nonskanse December 14, 2007 at 6:41 pm |

    Can I say thanks to the people that re-pointed out links and things to help me realize that my first “instinct” was to be offended for the sake other white/non-trans/straight/likeme women even when its stupid?

    Thank you all. I hope to be less of an ass in this category in the future.

  130. tim
    tim December 14, 2007 at 10:45 pm |

    Ok so I like had a big thing written up in response to this but I will cut it down by saying that everyone should be thankful to have their friends or even a complete stranger call them for saying a stupid racist, sexist, or homophobic comment. Race of the person whom said the comment shouldn’t be the issue … the comment should be because racism, sexism, homophobia is rampant everywhere and isn’t an ailment of one race over the other. Maybe we need to focus on the comment to ensure that the true issue can be addressed without sparking the divide… well maybe without keeping the divide open because god knows it was there long before any of us was born.

    *first posting ever so sorry if this I am missing the point but at least I am trying*

    Tim — A gay white man.

  131. tim
    tim December 14, 2007 at 11:09 pm |

    Sorry for the typo’s *call them out*

  132. donna darko
    donna darko December 15, 2007 at 4:44 pm |

    I don’t think you have a problem with insensitivity, hon.

  133. Bq
    Bq December 20, 2007 at 2:32 pm |

    “If anything, our societies are more racist and misogynistic than the USA”

    Manju, how do you measure something like that? Which societies? And how so? I do agree with your comment that POC are not a monolith.

    “then you’re not racist”

    The idea of being “a racist” is not really the framework that anti-racist activists use, I suggest you check out the blogs of brownfemipower and kai (zuky) and some of the others who have responded on this thread for a greater understanding of systemic racism.

  134. Bq
    Bq December 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm |

    *not really part of the framework

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