The Everlasting Phelps

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Irony

April 2nd, 2008

This is a case of actual irony rather than just a coincidence that was called irony (I’m looking at you Morrisette.) So the whole Wright thing comes up, and I start researching. Researching leads me to afrocentric (a term I hate because Africa has little to nothing to do with them, as opposed to say Baldilocks, who is unlikely to adopt the term) blogs. I think, “hmm, I haven’t tried to get a good feel for Black America since P6 ran me off, maybe I can actually learn something.” So I start commenting. Some of them gave me what I was looking for, especially Dallas South. Shawn Williams and I may not agree on many things (ok, we probably don’t agree on most things) but we are both civil. Some other blogs, and even commenters on his blog, on the other hand, drive me nuts.

The problem is that no one wants to hear from anyone who disagrees. I don’t mean, they think that your ideas are rubbish and idiotic. That happens everywhere. I mean, they specifically think that you have been sent as part of a conspiracy to intentionally disrupt and demean. Because, of course, if you disagree, you are a racist. The cacophany is loud enough (and in a lot of places, rude and foul enough) to make me start to believe that it is a mainstream belief among black Americans. I was starting to feel like black Americans were, as a rule, racist, rude, closed-minded bigots who hate all things both White and American, and me personally.

And frankly, that’s a racist belief. Discussions with Black Americans on afrocentric blogs were turning me into a racist. That’s ironic. I have to take a break from reading Afrocentric blogs because the nuts will turn me into a hater.

This is the best comment (no link because I don’t want to feed the trolls):

xxxxx, on April 1st, 2008 at 7:52 am Said:
Obama had done a really good job of transcending the racial questions, until the Klanservatives decided to stir the racist pot up.

I honestly thought it was satire until I checked the blog behind it. There is no way someone could put up that much satire without at least letting the 4th wall slip a little. The mind boggles. (That was the same blog where I had the distinct pleasure of being called “boy.”)

Comments

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  • mexigogue says on: April 2, 2008 at 4:09 pm

     

    A while back my friend Bernard (a black guy) was over when I was watching Family Guy. Peter Griffin saw a black cat and he got scared. Then he saw something else of a superstitious nature and he got scared again. Then he saw a normal acting black guy (the black guy smiled and said “hello”) and Peter got scared again. My friend got mad and said “That’s why I don’t watch shows like this, they’re always making fun of black people.” I held my peace because I didn’t feel like explaining that they were in fact making fun of Peter’s prejudices, they were not making fun of black people at all.

  • Eric says on: April 2, 2008 at 4:58 pm

     

    The problem is that no one wants to hear from anyone who disagrees.

    Of course. You can’t generally go onto a political blog with a particular ideological slant and disagree. It isn’t going to be a pretty picture usually.

    I’ve been following your little back-and-forth on the discussion thread at ABW.

    I’m curious what did you expect/want to happen in that discussion?

  • Phelps says on: April 2, 2008 at 5:52 pm

     

    I expected disagreement. I didn’t expect “agree or you are evil so shutup.” Actually, I did, but I didn’t expect it to be the only response. I didn’t expect to convert anyone, but opinions usually shift a little in a long thread. There’s no shifting there.

    It seems really… Magical to think, “the attitudes of white people towards blacks are the problem, so the obvious solution is to verbally abuse white people who disagree.”

    I’m an ocassional gun blogger. When antigun stuff comes out and we show up, the SPOKEN rule on the gunnie side is, “be on your best behavior and don’t feed stereotypes.” Is that an unknown concept in that world?

  • Shawn Williams says on: April 2, 2008 at 9:04 pm

     

    Phelps,

    Again, I have appreciated our dialogue over the last few weeks. You know when you get down to it….it’s like a free ride when you’ve already paid…who would have thought (it figures).

    To me, Phelps, this is the true (TRUE) irony of the whole thing. Imagine how you felt -I’m imagining P6 is Prometheus 6- on some of the black blogs, by some of the comments left on my blog, by some of the folks that called you racist.

    The irony is I have the exact reaction listening to Sean Hannity, O’ Reiley, looking at the comments on CNN Blogs, watching Fox, and all of the hateful emails that I received after my Dallas Morning News article. The irony is that we are SO FAR apart, and we see these issues SO differently. I feel the same way about people who refer to Dr. Wright as preaching and teaching hate.

    Phelps, this is where the difference comes. It is my belief, that America is an INSTITUTION THAT WAS FOUNDED ON RACISM – WHITE RACISM TOWARDS BLACKS. Now, Americans -the people- have come much farther in addressing racism than has the institution of America.

    Americans, the individuals-especially white-, get highly offend at any mention of race. I get that, I really do. But like it or not Phelps, African-Americans are living out the reality that the United States has created and trying to make heads or tails of it. I mean how do you love an institution that didn’t want you for 400 years? I don’t know, but nobody loves America like Black folks do.

    As an aside Phelps, check out this interview I did with the author (white female) of a book titled “Silent Racism.”

    http://dallassouthblog.com/2008/01/30/dallas-south-interviews-barbara-trepagnier-author-of-silent-racism-part-1-of-2

    Phelps I just don’t think Americans are really looking at the reality of 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow semi-slavery. As you know, I got a lot of comments like “my parents weren’t races, my family didn’t own slaves, and if they did that was a long time ago.”

    White privilege is real. Land was given away to White Americans when blacks couldn’t even purchase it. Imagine when oil was found on than land. Do you think future generations benefited from that advantage? What about legacies who get into colleges that at one time didn’t admit blacks? At Texas A&M I had classmates who were automatically admitted because their parents and or grandparents went there. My father couldn’t have gotten into A&M.

    This has all caused lots of anger and resentment, and I believe rightfully so. I don’t agree with some of the language used to express these views, but the resentment blacks have towards whites is a product (man it took me a long time to get back here) of the AMERICAN INSTITUTION working. It is the institutions desire for blacks to be at odds with it. Why else would the institution give a crack peddler 10x harsher penalties than a cocaine pusher? I don’t expect my white brothers and sisters to get it, but I do hope that they will try to understand where it comes from when the BLACK CHURCH (for example) is a product of the American Institution. The black church was created by White America and they now ask “Why is there black church?” And just because American individuals think we can all get together on their terms, without compromise and understanding, it just doesn’t work like that.

    Sorry Phelps, I got carried away.

  • Scott says on: April 2, 2008 at 10:50 pm

     

    I didn’t expect to convert anyone

    Yeah. Makes you wonder why you even open your damn mouth sometimes. And women wonder why we men want to head to the hills.

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  • Phelps says on: April 3, 2008 at 10:44 am

     

    Well, to clarify, I didn’t expect to convert any of the commenters. But for every one commenter, there are 100 people who are going to end up on the page from a google search and read the thread. That’s why I stopped when I did — if K wants that to be her last word on it, I’m fine with that.

  • Phelps says on: April 3, 2008 at 11:09 am

     

    This has all caused lots of anger and resentment, and I believe rightfully so. I don’t agree with some of the language used to express these views, but the resentment blacks have towards whites is a product (man it took me a long time to get back here) of the AMERICAN INSTITUTION working. It is the institutions desire for blacks to be at odds with it. Why else would the institution give a crack peddler 10x harsher penalties than a cocaine pusher?

    That I 100% agree with. I agree that our criminal justice system is stacked against the lower class — but I don’t think that it is specifically because blacks are more likely to be lower class. I think it is just that the powers that be don’t care about the lower class, black or white.

    When I first started reading P6, he proposed an exercise.

    Let’s examine the facts here. According to the Census Bureau’s Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin [PDF], six out of eight people in this country classify themselves as white. Black people are approximately 12% of the population; that’s roughly every eigth person..

    What I want to do is reverse the situation.

    Imagine that of every eight people you see in public spaces, six are Black. Your bosses are Black. Your kid’s teachers are Black. You go to the newsstand and see Ebony and Savoy but not Time and People.

    Now, imagine that roughly one third of these Black people, that’s one out of every four people you encounter lets you know, through body language, shying away or even sometimes a direct statement, that they think you are a racist bastard.

    These are people who don’t know you and never will. But it’s pretty clear—not blatantly obvious, but pretty clear—that they are uncomfortable around you. They visibly relax when you say something that indicates you’re not going to invoke white privilege. A few that do know you will ask your opinion with the inflection that indicates the collective “you.” A few others will occasionally squeeze their butt-cheeks tight and add a nasal twang to their voice as a sign of solidarity with you. And you know if you, even accidentally, validate those assumptions in any way you will be ostracized to some degree, even by other white people.

    You with me? Really?

    Good. You now have your own personal Negro. Feed it well and ask it questions once in a while.

    The funny thing is, he described me. I grew up in Pleasant Grove, in the 80s-early 90s. Literally around the corner from Cymbal Drive. Pleasant Grove at the time was 12% white. I went to black schools where about 1/4 of the teachers assumed I was the White Devil. Everything that he described was my life. I was his thought experiment.

    And when he asked me questions, he didn’t get the answers he wanted.

  • Phelps says on: April 3, 2008 at 11:31 am

     

    And no need to apologize for getting carried away. The tone is different here than on your place, so there is no reason you shouldn’t write differently. And if you are just giving me content that you could have put on your own blog, hell, I’ll take that too.

  • straightarrow says on: April 4, 2008 at 2:48 am

     

    I can’t help but be outraged when someone says that after all the decades of opportunity and liberty available, blacks can do no better than to become the same type of racists we all fought and marginalized. Isn’t that sort of the definition of ‘inferior’? “Can’t make it on my own without blaming others and demanding special treatment.”

    My ancestors couldn’t protect themselves from other black men who captured and sold them, so now I’m mad at descendants of people who bought them who are white and all others who share their color, though they may have no connection of any kind, but not angry at the descendants of the black slave traders nor the black slave owners in this country. These reprehensible actions of people long dead have somehow become a genetic factor in my gene pool and I can never become a whole person, I am genetically incapable of just being human. I can only be black. Does that cover it?

    to hell with that!

    Is that really where black people want to stake their claim?

  • Shawn Williams says on: April 5, 2008 at 11:03 pm

     

    These reprehensible actions of people long dead have somehow become a genetic factor in my gene pool and I can never become a whole person, I am genetically incapable of just being human. I can only be black. Does that cover it?

    I believe in both generational curses and cycles. There are cycles of ignorance, cycles of racism, cycles of bad financial management, in my family there is cycle of divorce. On my fraternal side, every child in the line is born in marriage, and every marriage ends in divorce back to the 1800’s.

    Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to get a divorce, but it does mean that I am at high risk. And if I didn’t having the knowledge makes me better equipped to handle it.

    -I am genetically incapable of just being human. I can only be black.-

    That is the most ignorant assertion I’ve ever seen made. I’m both human and black because God made me both. It will never be one or the other. If he didn’t want me to be human and black, he would have made me a Jaguar (Matthew Mc reverence) and some other color, but he didn’t. That comment makes absolutely no sense and is why I try my best not to engage….but I’m not that smart yet.

  • Phelps says on: April 6, 2008 at 1:29 am

     

    That is the most ignorant assertion I’ve ever seen made.

    I’m pretty sure that “to hell with that!” was his rejection of this idea too. There are family predispositions to certain behavior, but there are also cultural encouragement of certain behaviors too.

    In my experience, people of color who focus a great deal on their color have many, many life issues that block them from being happy. At the same time, there are people of color in the same situations that don’t spend much time worrying about it, and don’t have many issues at all blocking them from happiness (or success).

    I don’t know if that is because they don’t focus on their color because they are already happy, or if they are just the kind of person who is predisposed to being happy. I focus on happiness, and that seems to have been a huge factor in my success. I certainly wasn’t predisposed to happiness — I made a conscious decision to focus my energy in that direction.

    For a long time (from the turn of the 20th century to the 1960s), Black America focussed its energy on happiness and good — and prospered relative to the where it was ten years before, decade after decade. Around the time of the Black Panthers and Malcolm, Black America stopped focusing on happiness and started focusing on revenge. I haven’t seen much prosperity in Black America since then.

The Everlasting Phelps

TRIGGER WARNING: This entire site will cause massive butthurt in any precious snowflake that needs a trigger warning for anything.