A response.

A little while ago, I had a disagreement with someone on their page. They chose to moderate comments and so didn’t post my reply to them.

So, here’s my response, because I’m just a little bit petty. Italics are them.

So much to engage you on here. I will tell you what I understand from your commentary – firstly, that you are not black and not female.

Irrelevant as anyone of any demographic is capable of thought, learning or critical thinking. It also presupposes that people cannot empathize with those outside their demographic.

I have not Googled you, but that’s what’s coming out in not only your diction but thought process.

Perhaps I am a demi-gendered, heteronormative pan sexual, female fronting headmate system? Edit – in retrospect this is just me being a bit of a bastard.

You speak from a place of privilege – you are most probably a white man. It’s good that you are engaging these issues. You would do well to listen and to be open to the fact that your point of view – uncommon as it is – is not the only one.

Tell me about this privilege I have, you who haven’t googled me and live in a different country than me. I am also very open to the concept of racial differences and gender difference. I’m simply being sceptical.

Secondly, it stands out that you are not completely aware of the many fights against social injustice, especially looking at the self-determination of black people.

I was present for the 2005 Birmingham riots. I have lived in Brixton.

(Note however, that blackness is not a mono-lithic experience, regardless of the golden thread that connects the black experience world over).

I really don’t know what to say to that. But that sure sounds racist.

Firstly, note that this poem shares the lived experiences of these women, and many other like them. You have no right to invalidate that reality. 

I clearly stated that I did not.

The issue of preference is subjective and this poem is NOT about that.

No, its trying to be about something else and is unable to escape its subtext.

 This poem is about attitudes and prejudices that some black men (in America) have against black women and have often expressed those points of view as a means to degrade black women.

Yup. You get that everywhere in thing. No sphere of society is free from its own preferences.

Frankly, this is not possible because racism comes from a place of power and black women, yes, in this patriarchal and racist world, do not have that kind of institutional power to be racist.

You do not need institutional power to be racist. You just need a sense of self and the concept of other. That is all.

 You CANNOT dismiss patriarchy and racism in your reading of this poem.

Tell me more. Incidentally have you heard about our lord and saviour, Jesus Christ?

Otherwise you lost the whole plot. And by the way, confronting patriarchy and racism is not fashionable, nor is it a newly-found buzz. It’s a human issue.

Yes, yes it is. Racism is a problem. Defining every little thing as racism cheapens the concept however. The patriarchy …. Let me just state that I do not believe in the patriarchy for the same reason I don’t believe that Obama is a secret muslim, or that the Illuminatie are running the world. Your conspiracy theory isn’t all that logical.

Do not make mistake of universality when it comes to people’s nuanced, lived experiences. Because universality takes away the very real context.

Again, I didn’t.

So your toy soldiers analogy is nothing different from Annie Lennox saying of Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit, ‘And because of what I’ve seen around the world, I know that this theme, this subject of violence and bigotry, hatred, violent acts of mankind against ourselves. This is a theme.”http://gawker.com/annie-lennox-whitewashes-explanation-of-strange-fruit-1650325025 Er, no. 

Hmm, apologies for trying to explain the world and the events therein.
“To be born black is to be born knowing that your beauty does not belong to you” – you ask what this means. Yet you quote a passage from a book that talks about the standards of beauty being dictacted by whiteness? That passage says enough about our problematic standards of beauty. Read it again. Especially in the post-civil rights era and post-colonialism era. If it still does not explain what the poets mean, accept that you don’t want to understand and move on.

Will do.

Not to argue the person – you invalidating that statement and refusing to understand this comes from a place of privilege. Check it.

How? Shut up and uncritically accept what I’m told? HAVE I told you about my friend Jesus?
“Behind every great man is the woman that taught him how to load the ammunition.” If you understand the symbolism in this statement, then you know that to ask for examples of women teaching men how to load the ammunition is just you being a troll.

Yeah, that was.

It will do you good to read on intersectionality. A good place to start is here:http://socialdifference.columbia.edu/files/socialdiff/projects/Article__Mapping_the_Margins_by_Kimblere_Crenshaw.pdf 

I am well aware of what it is; in summery it is a system that codifies and interlocks a matrix of oppression with some people being worthy of more respect and sympathy based on how oppressed they are. Marx would be proud because it’s a way of identifying those most in need of blame. Remember occupy wallstreet? They started to implement Intersectionality theory and look what happened to them in the end.

If none of what I have shared here makes sense – if you cannot move away from universality to delve into the contexts of people’s experiences and their lived realities, then sir you need not engage in this debate because you are willful in your ignorance.

I’m saying that I think they are being trivial. If you think differently then that’s fine. I did a criticism of the video and pointed out why I thought it was trivial. That’s it. I’m responding to you out of courtesy.
PS: “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” – Albert Camus

The Marxist quotes the anti-communist at me. What is this, opposite day? I get that you’re all swollen with self-righteousness and that sounds like a witty endnote that will leave me reeling. I get it, I was there too, I quoted Camus, Sartre and Combat articles. You get over it and stop seeing revolution as the answer to everything. Let me tell you about revolution; those who want it for others are doing it for themselves so that they end up at the top of the pile when it’s all over. Those who do it for themselves do it well. Oh, Camus is basically saying here you need to remove yourself from society, not overturn it.

PPS: I am not going to engage you on the pseudo-science articles you shared. Quoting Akiba Solomon, “I resent using my time on Earth to debunk bullshit.” Frankly, that drivel does nothing more than advance the notion of white superiority. It is only sad that they have an audience in the first place. Again, sad reality of our world. Also, read this:http://www.racialicious.com/2011/05/17/how-to-debunk-pseudo-science-articles-about-race-in-five-easy-steps/ 

You mean those articles that disproved the starwmen arguments put forward by the other articles I posted? The once that debunked the pseudo-science about race they propagated. The way they did it in five easy steps as well. You seem a little late to the party on that front.

A closing thought.

Racism is a problem. It’s been a problem ever since we discovered ‘races’. I’m one of those old farts that like to think of people as people and that people are fallible. I would rather attribute to stupidity than to malice as people are stupid more often than they are malicious. I oppose racism when I see it. I didn’t see it here. We may have a longer conversation about what you see as racism and what I see as racism. I doubt it, however.

Food for thought.


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