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September 03, 2006

I’m Just Saying

Shakes here…

So I’m reading this story about some idiotic demonstration by the KKK, where 30 of these utter dipshits “proclaimed hatred for blacks, Jews, gays and Latinos as they stood behind barricades at the Civil War battlefield where Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address,” and it’s pretty much just the usual nonsense. A bunch of people showed up to yell back at them, the cops outnumbered the Klansmen 5-to-1, etc. etc. etc.

But then there was this: “Several groups counterdemonstrated. Park Service spokeswoman Katy Lawhon said there were no major incidents; one man was cited for entering a restricted area carrying a rainbow flag.”

What’s that all about? It’s probably safe to assume that the area wasn’t restricted just to people carrying rainbow flags, but to everyone, so why on earth is the rainbow flag worth a mention? “There were no major incidents, except there was this one gay dude who caused some trouble.”

Probably part of the radical gay agenda, wouldn’t you say, Martha-Ann?

Oh, yes, Mabel. Those shifty queers are always up to something.

Yeah, I know that one stupid passage in one rather unnotable news story isn’t the end of the world, but it’s still irritating. It’s like when some white person’s telling me a story about, say, a cashier who didn’t give them the correct change, and they insert some caveat like, “…so the guy, who happened to be black…” (Which occurs more often than one might think, at least where I live.) And whenever I say, “What difference does it make what color he was?” they always give me the “Oh, it doesn’t. I was just saying” routine. Uh-huh. You were just saying it because you assume I’m a racist moran like you are.

And, inevitably, these tales of black cashiers who miscount change, or Latino waiters who fuck up an order, or Asian dry cleaners who ruined a shirt, are rendered completely moot when you steal the thunder of what their tellers were just saying. No one tells this story: “I went to the 7/11 and this guy gave me the wrong change, and I pointed it out, and he apologized and corrected the mistake.” There’s no there there. They tell this story: “I went to the 7/11 and the guy, who happened to be black, gave me the wrong change. And I had to point out to him that he screwed up. Can you believe it?” And the there there is not about a slight (and very common) inconvenience, the retelling of which takes longer than the actual incident, but a commentary on race—because there’s really no other reason to tell the story.

In the wake of the “macaca” debacle and Tramm Hudson’s “blacks can’t swim” comments, I wrote a post about privilege that led to a discussion about overt bigotry verses ignorant insensitivity. And one of the points I made in comments is that our society—from political wedge issues to pop culture—makes bigotry (racism, sexism, and homophobia) the default. Escaping them takes work—an active, conscious decision to thoughtfully engage and analyze the messages, images, and conventional wisdom we consume every day. Part of that means challenging seemingly “throwaway” comments like the one in the article and the statements made by people trying to disguise a race commentary as an innocuous anecdote, even if they don’t seem like that big a deal. When there’s no apparent reason for mentioning someone’s race, sexuality, etc. and it’s mentioned (or alluded to) anyway, it’s time to raise a flag, rainbow or otherwise.

What difference does it make that the guy was carrying a rainbow flag?

Oh, it doesn’t. I was just saying.

Ah. Well, you’re an idiot. I’m just saying.

September 3, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

Oh Shakes, doncha know about the rainbow flag menace? I mean, he might have been wearing Manolo Blahniks, too!

Sigh. People are idiots.

Posted by: Blue Gal | Sep 3, 2006 4:34:26 PM

I bet you don't think we should give a fugitive criminal's race (if they are a minority) when describing them to the public cuz it may make that race feel bad, public safety be damned.

Or mention that a terrorist was of the Muslim persuasion because people might think that an overwelming majority of terrorists are Muslim.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Sep 3, 2006 4:54:35 PM

I know what you mean, it's a really weird phenomenon. It's like they know damn well they're racist and yet they feel like they just have to say it anyway.

Posted by: Amanda Marcotte | Sep 3, 2006 5:46:21 PM

The restriction may have been on carrying or displaying flags, or any flag other than that of the United States. Those kinds of restrictions are common at military monuments.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder | Sep 3, 2006 6:46:01 PM

And your dorkiness is germane as well, Captain Toke.

Posted by: BroD | Sep 3, 2006 7:34:33 PM

Why mention the race of the storyteller? What does their race matter afterall?

Posted by: DRR | Sep 3, 2006 7:51:29 PM

I'm with you on the 'happens to be black' anecdotes, but that's a weak analogy for the rainbow flag mention. If someone was arrested while carrying a rainbow flag, there's nothing wrong with reporting that fact in a newspaper story. The same would be true if it were a U.S. flag, a Confederate flag, or if the guy was dressed in a bunny suit.

Posted by: Rat | Sep 3, 2006 8:04:29 PM

Did anyone spot Robert Byrd?

Posted by: Eric Blair | Sep 3, 2006 11:36:57 PM

"Did anyone spot Robert Byrd?"

That's a knee slapper!

I wish I would have thought of it. Good one.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Sep 3, 2006 11:46:07 PM

It may just have been a way of making it clear that the bloke who was arrested wasn't a Klan supporter. As the story stands, if they hadn't put any more detail in you wouldn't know which side of the demo he came from.

Posted by: ajay | Sep 4, 2006 5:24:04 AM

I don't get eric blair and captain toke's "joke." Are they objecting to the fact that the Klan simply is no longer powerful and respected enough for prominent white citizens to back it publicly? Are they implying that Byrd hasn't publicly renounce his former membership and apologized for it? Are they sorrwing that it is reduced from its once proud numbers to being nothing more than a rag tag bunch of losers or are they attacking it for being, whatever its size, a pathetic hate group whose only rationale is racism?

In other words,what is the robert byrd "joke" supposed to convey to the rest of us? That modern democrats are as compromised as byrd? That byrd is compromised? that the republicans and CCC members who publicly demand racist rights for their members and attack other american citizens on the basis of their non white racial status aren't, somehow, more culpable than byrd in the present klan rally? I just don't get it.

aimai

Posted by: aimai | Sep 4, 2006 1:57:33 PM

Aimai, it pretty much means that they ain't got nothing. The Good Captain's first analogy is downright stupid. Uh, the description of an escaped criminal is an essential part of the story--what the fuck does that have to do with Shakes' point? Or anything else? It's all distraction.

Posted by: mwg | Sep 4, 2006 2:34:21 PM

The thing is, if you're white and another person is also white, you don't notice the person's race. If the other person belongs to some other race, you do notice and you'll tend to mention the fact when telling any story that involves the person.

It may also work this way for non-whites when talking about people who aren't of their race -- I wouldn't know.

Posted by: Kyle | Sep 4, 2006 2:48:10 PM

MWG,
I get that toke's point is (always) a form of psyops--that is,that its always meant to instruct or intimidate or mislead the other posters--I guess my point is that its not very good at what it is trying to do. That may be because toke is irredemiably stupid. It might be the material he has to work with. But I just wanted to point out that interjecting the talking point "robert byrd was a klansman" like the other one...what was it?..."Michael moore is fat" is simply not effective insofar as it is supposed to affect the readers of the blog. It does draw our attention to the lameness of the klan rally though.

aimai

Posted by: aimai | Sep 5, 2006 7:33:12 AM

I don't really think the characterization of someone who throws in a racial identification in a story where the race is irrelevant is necessarily a bigot or making a racial commentary. I find myself doing it on occasion, and no, noone I know would call me a bigot.

Hell, last month I almost got into a fight in a parking lot. Upon describing the story to my friends, I exclaimed that he was a medium built white guy with a landscapping shirt. Am I making a racial commentary there? Another example, a coffee shop I frequent employes "2 very nice gay guys." That quote could be said by any of my extremely liberal friends and/or myself. And no, noone would call us bigots. I just think Shakes is going too far in that respect, although the rest of the post I agree with.

Posted by: Adrock | Sep 5, 2006 12:06:04 PM

香水有毒
求佛
秋天不回来
不怕不怕
千里之外
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错
香水有毒
秋天不回来
香飘飘
你是我的玫瑰花
求佛
千里之外
狼爱上羊
天下无双
上海滩
寻找李慧珍
不怕不怕
健康快乐动起来
号码
我们都是好孩子
对不起我的最爱
老婆老婆我爱你
爱上你这样的女人
qq爱
大城小爱
认真的雪
隐形的翅膀
光芒
god is a girl
舞娘
好姑娘
吹眼睛
真爱
老公老公我爱你
死了都要爱
太美丽
曹操
那一夜
my love
一万个理由
反转地球
今天你要嫁给我
yesterday once more
爸爸妈妈
发光体
爱我别走
夜曲
我很想爱他
We will rock you
神话
不得不爱
发如雪
为什么相爱的人不能在一起
蝴蝶
王子变青蛙
雨夜
香水有毒
秋天不回来
香飘飘
你是我的玫瑰花
求佛
千里之外
狼爱上羊
天下无双
上海滩
寻找李慧珍
不怕不怕
健康快乐动起来
号码
我们都是好孩子
对不起我的最爱
老婆老婆我爱你
爱上你这样的女人
qq爱
大城小爱
认真的雪
隐形的翅膀
光芒
god is a girl
舞娘
好姑娘
吹眼睛
真爱
老公老公我爱你
死了都要爱
太美丽
曹操
那一夜
my love
一万个理由
反转地球
今天你要嫁给我
yesterday once more
爸爸妈妈
发光体
爱我别走
夜曲
我很想爱他
We will rock you
神话
不得不爱
发如雪
为什么相爱的人不能在一起
蝴蝶
王子变青蛙
雨夜
香水有毒
秋天不回来
香飘飘
你是我的玫瑰花
求佛
千里之外
狼爱上羊
天下无双
上海滩
寻找李慧珍
不怕不怕
健康快乐动起来
号码
我们都是好孩子
对不起我的最爱
老婆老婆我爱你
爱上你这样的女人
qq爱
大城小爱
认真的雪
隐形的翅膀
光芒
god is a girl
舞娘
好姑娘
吹眼睛
真爱
老公老公我爱你
死了都要爱
太美丽
曹操
那一夜
my love
一万个理由
反转地球
今天你要嫁给我
yesterday once more
爸爸妈妈
发光体
爱我别走
夜曲
我很想爱他
We will rock you
神话
不得不爱
发如雪
为什么相爱的人不能在一起
蝴蝶
王子变青蛙
雨夜
香水有毒
秋天不回来
香飘飘
你是我的玫瑰花
求佛
千里之外
狼爱上羊
天下无双
上海滩
寻找李慧珍
不怕不怕
健康快乐动起来
号码
我们都是好孩子
对不起我的最爱
老婆老婆我爱你
爱上你这样的女人
qq爱
大城小爱
认真的雪
隐形的翅膀
光芒
god is a girl
舞娘
好姑娘
吹眼睛
真爱
老公老公我爱你
死了都要爱
太美丽
曹操
那一夜
my love
一万个理由
反转地球
今天你要嫁给我
yesterday once more
爸爸妈妈
发光体
爱我别走
夜曲
我很想爱他
We will rock you
神话
不得不爱
发如雪
为什么相爱的人不能在一起
蝴蝶
王子变青蛙
雨夜
一万个理由
狼爱上羊
那一夜
不要再来伤害我
大城小爱
寂寞沙洲冷
完美世界
爸爸妈妈
生日礼物
功夫
情人
不得不爱
发如雪
一眼万年
希望
第一次爱的人
夜曲
一万个理由
狼爱上羊
那一夜
不要再来伤害我
大城小爱
寂寞沙洲冷
完美世界
爸爸妈妈
生日礼物
功夫
情人
不得不爱
发如雪
一眼万年
希望
第一次爱的人
夜曲
一万个理由
狼爱上羊
那一夜
不要再来伤害我
大城小爱
寂寞沙洲冷
完美世界
爸爸妈妈
生日礼物
功夫
情人
不得不爱
发如雪
一眼万年
希望
第一次爱的人
夜曲
香水有毒
秋天不回来
求佛
香飘飘
我们都是好孩子
不怕不怕
不要再来伤害我
天下无双
狼爱上羊
老公老公我爱你
寻找李慧珍
god is a girl
大城小爱
舞娘
老婆老婆我爱你
曹操
qq爱
约定
那一夜
隐形的翅膀
光芒
飞行部落
真爱
冰菊舞
死了都要爱
一万个理由
反转地球
my love
好姑娘
爱我别走
我不后悔
飞舞
yesterday once more
王子变青蛙
We will rock you
不得不爱
夜曲
发如雪
爸爸妈妈
爱我就别伤害我
我很想爱他
桃花朵朵开
神话
笔记
吉祥三宝
不想长大
暧昧
迷魂计
花田错

Posted by: werwe | Sep 27, 2006 2:10:42 AM

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