Much Ado About Kanye, Revisited

September 17, 2009 at 11:54 am | Posted in Celebrities, Crime, Government, Hollywood, Kanye West, Politics, Racism, Schools, Social Media, Twitter | 10 Comments
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Coming-to-America-em13

I was pleased to see that Harry Allen at MEDIA ASSASSIN posted an entry replying to my recent blog about Kanye West and Racism.

I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t even realize he’d posted a response until I’d noticed on @JoelMadden ‘s Twitter feed reposting it.  I’m honored that Mr. Allen felt my humble blog noteworthy.

Couple of notes along the way here:

Now, I don’t know why you call me “Hank.” My name is Harry. Thanks for these thoughts, though, and I should be clear: It’s not my practice, as anyone whose read MEDIA ASSASSIN even briefly might notice, to either second-guess our commenters, or other bloggers, who disagree with me. I typically do not even reply, because, to me, after I’ve spoken and expressed my opinion, others should be able to do the same.

I’m massively embarrassed, Harry – Mr. Allen.  My proofreader has been sacked, and I am considering sacking the sacker as well. Honestly I should’ve stuck with ‘Mr. Allen’, had my brain been engaged, but in my 30 minute research for Kanye and the infamous “N”-word, I noticed that the instance of the use of this demeaning word even WITHOUT Kanye’s name was MASSIVE on Twitter.

Pretty much made my head explode to see how many of these people don’t ‘get it’.

Because of that, I have to ask you to forgive me if the section that you quoted, by me, above, was unclear, or tended toward exaggeration. (Indeed, the part that most stung was your remark about “$50 words,” right. I so try to speak very simply when talking about race, and will work harder to do so.)

I apologize for the $50 word crack.  It was definitely snarky, but specifically referred to the sentence in your original article which gave me the most trouble:

Racism has a sole, functional expression: White supremacy.

Later in your reply, you state:

So, this is why I say white supremacy is the only functional form of racism; the only kind that actually works.

To quote a favorite literary work, I grok what you’re saying there.  I just don’t think the two statements are really that close in meaning.  I can understand why so many folks got confused with the message you intended.

In fact, it’s so dominant that any system on Earth that does the opposite—that compels white kids to go to schools with Black teachers, ask Black guys for jobs, and pull for mortages from Black financiers—is so inferior, miniscule, and of such limited range it doesn’t even have a name, or a location.

That is, you’d be hard-pressed, right this second, to tell me where it is, or where white people live like this.

Let me invite you for coffee to Prince George’s County, Maryland, my friend.

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A dear friend of mine sent her 5 year old white daughter to school here for the very first time a couple weeks ago, where she is taught by a black teacher, administered by a black principal, and has created many black friends in her class, being the sole white child there.

If she gets sick, they’ll take her to Southern Maryland Hospital to be seen by the predominantly black staff there.

Should she choose to become employed in the area, her boss will very likely be black.

money-manThe Real Estate agent from where she will purchase a home in this area will be black, as will the branch manager of the Bank where she’ll go to obtain a mortgage.

obama-family-people

If her uncle, graduating High School this year, chooses to enlist in the military, his Commander-In-Chief will be….black.

Yes, I digress and largely nit-pick, but we could have the same type conversation about Anacostia in SE Washington, DC or any one of a number of large urban areas in this country alone.

I’ll also admit to just a touch of snarkiness when it comes to the photo choices here, but doesn’t it demonstrate that there are two sides to the same coin here?

At the end of the day, I realize that the black teacher, that black principal, that black hospital staff, that black real estate agent, and even that black Commander-In-Chief ALL answer, ultimately, to predominantly “white” interests.

I’m pretty sure there can be no argument there.

I’m just not sure that it all means that racism is exclusively a white thing.  I think there’s a lot of hate, a lot of bad blood, a lot if cruel and unjust history on both sides of the equation, and until we can educate our kids on identifying and solving these problems – together – we’re still going to be a long way from a final solution.

All one has to do is search the “N” word on Twitter nowadays to see that we have a long way to go. I’d really like for it to never show up in tweets, but in true patriot fashion, I’d be seriously pissed if they censored it.

Lastly, to all you folks who love to retweet the transgressions of a few: please don’t.  You don’t have to look very far to see a racist of ANY color in this country – don’t compound the problem by acting like you found the only one on Twitter.

Just shake your head, feel sorry for their ignorance, and BLOCK them.  Enough blocks and Twitter will kill the account. 😉

For The Legion,

NSR²

You can follow us on Twitter @Patrioterrorist

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  1. “I’m just not sure that it all means that racism is exclusively a white thing.”

    –>
    “In short, when I say that racism has a sole, functional expression—or as I usually say, a sole, functional form—white supremacy, what I mean is that white supremacy is a more powerful, effective, and dominant kind of mistreatment than, apparently, any other yet devised by people.”

    –>
    “In fact, though, a more useful way to think of race, or a more functional way, is as field; as a context where certain kinds of outcomes are likely; i.e., ones that “favor,” or “empower” white people, and “power-less” non-white people.”

    I really don’t see how you can NOT understand this.

    • Thank you for commenting.

      I understand Mr. Allen’s point, and I believe we agree to a point. Racism (by whites directed towards blacks) does tend to further the ridiculous notion of white supremacy.

      Are you saying that this never happens in reverse? That there are no black people who invoke racist slurs, attitudes and statements towards white people?

      The fact of the matter is if ANYONE treats, approaches, or otherwise engages ANY other person based SOLELY on their race (black, white, muslim, jew, etc.), especially in a negative connotation, that is racism…and that’s not exclusive to white people…or white people vs black people for that matter. Adolph Hitler was decidedly white, and he hated pretty much everybody who wasn’t ‘like him’.

      Just ask Louis Farrakhan or Reverent Wright, to name a few notable examples. Both do, I’m sure, tremendous amounts of good for their ‘followers’, but have very clearly racist viewpoints on many topics. If memory serves, neither of these men are white.

      Prejudice (which I’ll equivocate to racism) is something we’re all guilty of at one time or another. Realizing that is probably the first step towards eliminating it.

      • You have to be more accurate both in reading and expressing your thoughts.

        1. “Racism (by whites directed towards blacks) does tend to further the ridiculous notion of white supremacy.”
        2. “Are you saying that this never happens in reverse?”

        3. “That there are no black people who invoke racist slurs, attitudes and statements towards white people?”

        3.) has nothing to do with the point made in 1.) and certainly isn’t the same thing “in reverse”.

  2. ^sorry about the bold type, that was unintentional … I wanted this to be a linebreak.

    • Understood. I’m not really happy with the way it handled my linebreaks or paragraphs either.

      I thought my interpretation and accuracy were pretty spot on, but I could be wrong. Not everyone is that open minded, I suppose.

      Given in this instance that ‘supremacy’ = ‘I’m better than you are simply because of my race’ ^(1):

      Statement number 3 simply further poses the question initiated in statement number 2, and has everything to ‘do with’ statement number 1 in that it fairly points out racist behavior which is not solely the action of white people.

      ^(1) I believe that clarification to be a more accurate interpretation of the thought process behind most racist remarks vs the way it was used in the original article.

      Semantics aside, the overall question still stands:

      Are we to believe that there is no such thing as racism in which black people maintain racist attitudes towards white people?

      Is it not perfectly fair to consider Farrakhan or Wright as, at a minimum, perpetuating racist tendencies?

  3. Racism is racism, backwards, forwards, and even, reverse. It’s as simple as that.

    • That’s probably THE most intelligent comment yet. Everybody else seems to pick a couple words or a phrase and tries to skirt around the premise of the entire piece.

      That’s not going to further anybody’s cause, because it’s as transparent as Barry’s government…er…ok bad analogy there.

      Mobi

  4. Dear The Domestic Terrorist:

    You saved me the trouble of having to even type a reply:

    “At the end of the day, I realize that the black teacher, that black principal, that black hospital staff, that black real estate agent, and even that black Commander-In-Chief ALL answer, ultimately, to predominantly ‘white’ interests.”

    In fact, they answer to more than that: They answer to white *people*.

    Mostly.

    The reverse is not true.

    Hence.

    HA

  5. Harry Allen isn’t saying there’s no such thing as racism directed at whites by blacks. His point is that such racism is not going to have societal consequences. It may cause fights, flashpoints, injury or even death – but it’s not going to replace extant power structures. The key word he used is “functional”: the only form of racism that actually makes a difference beyond a one-on-one situation is white supremacy, because society (in the US and the “developed” “west”: I took Mr Allen’s remarks to be about the US because the context of the discussion originally – Kanye West and his VMAs outburst – is a US story) is structured that way. True, the US has had a black president for the past nine months, but that’s nowhere near long enough to change the racial make-up of the legislative, economic and political system he sits atop of, where those who hold the levers of power are predominantly white (and, for that matter, male).

    Also, a quick point of information, more related to comments made in your previous blog replying to Mr Allen. You attempt to insinuate that his views may be no more or less relevant than yours when you say he’s a “self-described expert on hip hop culture,” and also imply that calling himself “Media Assassin” is a kind of arriviste online pose. I realise you probably didn’t have time to look into it, but even a quick search online, or a read of the “about” page on his site, would have shown that Mr Allen has a track record of writing about hip hop, culture and race that goes back more than two decades, and that the title “Media Assassin” was one he acquired during his work as part of the genre-defining hip hop group Public Enemy during the 1980s. I can’t think of anyone better qualified to speak about these issues than him.

    Cheers,

    Angus

  6. Racism requires power. We should be using words like “bigotry”, “prejudice”, and “hatred” to describe acts that aren’t affecting the society at large.


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