Now, speaking (with impunity) as a white male

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Posted by Ammianus Marcellinus on 03/15/02 - 13:18:06
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Frankly, in pointing to Kevin's post #6941, I thought it was his willingness to embarrass himself while degrading the tenor of conversation on this board (& possibly driving people away, people whom we'd otherwise meet) that deserves recognition.  I suppose we could make a concerted effort to ignore him until he goes away, but I'd rather translate his Latin.  So that's why I've put pointers on Rush's criticisms -- there's something to be gotten out of Kevin.

Kevin's statements bear an understanding in context.  They may look "racist" to you, but they're actually a sanitized version of something we can only imagine, given our knowledge of society and history.  So they're not really all that "bad" by liberal standards.  At any rate, no reading is innocent of society and history, and so we must reveal the implicit in order to discover why we were offended out of all proportion to Kevin's #6941.

Let's take a look at some of Kevin's statements and how they shape up in context.  We can start with Kevin's defense of racist jokes:    

"First, take off your [sensitivity] rose colored [diversity] glasses.  The world is a cruel hard place and people need to be tough.  Ethnic and racial jokes are going to be with civilization until Armageddon.  If a joke is told in poor taste.  Then the person who told the joke has to live with the consequences of that joke.  I take full responsibility for everything I say and do. Nothing ever bothers me.  And I never back down from anyone!"

AM: Some people find racist jokes funny -- I guess they have the material and cultural _security_ (i.e. the _heritage_) to consider racism to be "funny," i.e. that it can be laughed at because its material consequences aren't directed at them.    At least they aren't directed at them given the atmosphere of impunity with which those of their kind (i.e. rich white males) rule the world.  Kevin's defense of this is also revealing.

"Seems Jesse didn't have a problem with the humor of that skit then and he should have no problem with it now."

AM: Now Kevin equates us all with a man he (in the same sentence!) refers to as a "seven-figure-earning pimp of the disenfranchised".  We should all be so privileged, so empowered!  At any rate, racial humor, like racial discrimination, usually points in one, and only one, direction.

"I find people like you, who preach racial sensitivity and nonsexist doctrines just as prejudice as the bigots who join the KKK that you condemn."

AM: One wonders what Kevin has to defend, here on an Internet BBS.  Given the global dominance of white males today, and the endemic nature of racial insensitivity and sexist doctrines throughout history, what does Kevin want from non-white non-males that he doesn't already have, and why does he think he can get it on an Internet BBS with his posts?  

And is there some privilege Kevin needs to defend _against_ racial sensitivity and nonsexist doctrines?  Frankly, I had imagined racial sensitivity and nonsexist doctrines as a _defense of_ white male privilege -- since these are typically applied as doctrines stating that we white males only be asked to _acknowledge_ the diversity and equality of formerly-subjugated people.  In exchange, we white males avoid the _revenge_ (for centuries of genocide, slavery, rape, etc.) that would be considered "due to us" as a "race" and as a "gender," as the sort of thing non-white non-males would do to us if they had our white male attitude, which Kevin shares with us.  It's like he himself said: "First, take off your [sensitivity] rose colored [diversity] glasses.  The world is a cruel hard place and people need to be tough."  And, given that toughness (99% of it having been exerted by one group of people upon the rest of the world), I would imagine the non-whites and non-males of the world to desire some form of _violent redress_ for the accumulated privileges that have resulted (over millenia) in the world's current state of domination.  Frankly, I was hoping to make the world less tough, so I could avoid the consequences of history, and of a historically-based typically-white-male attitude which Kevin defends.  So, speaking as a white male, racial sensitivity and nonsexist doctrines look like a really good deal to me, and by this standard Kevin appears to be blowing it, bigtime.

Kevin doesn't stop with the defense of racist jokes: he would like the non-white and non-male worlds to _maintain_ their attitude of _forebearance_ toward us white males (as opposed to revenge) while continuing to demean feminists, liberals, and "people of color."  "Make sure they can't do to us what we're doing to them"; it's been the US's #1 foreign-policy doctrine throughout its history, under its 99% white male leadership, throughout each of its 140 US invasions of foreign countries and seven declared wars, its genocide against native peoples, its slavery of (and discrimination against) Africans.  Eventually, I imagine, the rest of the world will "catch on" to Kevin's/ America's/ my formula for success, come some yucky day in the future.  Gee, I guess that's why such attitudes are so offensive to good liberals like us.  It must be the context, or something.

And then we have Kevin's classist doctrines:

"If people want to get along with each other then they should work hard and prove themselves."

AM: Read: if you want my respect, you need to work hard for me and prove your worthiness as my employee.  Can't have the hired help loafing on the job, you know.

"If people want a better life for themselves. Then they should work for it.  No special privileges or laws for anyone."

AM: A real society without special privileges would be socialism: no property, and democratic control of the means of production.  Instead we get a society where wealth is largely based upon inheritance, ie. laws preserving the privileges of the owning class across generations.  Kevin probably means something else.

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