Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Discussion about White Men's Hostility to Black Women: where ThatOneGuy proves he's a white guy just like all the other racist-misgoynist white guys

image of a white guy is from here

A friend sent me a link to a discussion at Racism Review about white het men's racist-misogyny when it comes to deciding which women to hit on (too often in obnoxious and oppressive ways, imo). Please click on the title just below to link to that full discussion.

White Men’s Hostility to Black Women: A Deeper Look

By Brittany

That post has many comments following it, including this by some white dood naming himself "ThatOneGuy". Warning: it's fucking obnoxious.
ThatOneGuy says:
I am white man who has dated women of every ethnic group, and no Swan it wasn’t because I was on an “exotic adventure” or assuming they were “hyper-sexual”. In both cases they were black women I worked with who I knew and who had made it clear that they dated white men.
That being said what I know is that the number of black women who will date a white man is small and to get to them I have to deal with black women like you. Who see me as “WHITE” before you see me as a man, who blame me personally for any negative thing that has ever happened to any black person. Your cousin is in prison for robing a Korean store owner-> my fault. Your sister’s baby’s daddy hasn’t sent her child support EVER-> my fault again he would if he wasn’t being held down by yours truly. Your Grandma died of a heart attack-> me again I was probably feeding her poison. Skipping over the fact that most of my family were Russian miners that came over after WWI but that is irrelevant to you. What is important is remembering that I am the root of all that is evil in the universe. In fact I am so powerful that according to you lesser creatures like non-white men have to be criminals they have no choice I-ME-THIS GUY RIGHT HERE forced them into it, that is how powerful I am.
On the other hand if I date Carmen or Nhung or Yuko are they going to tell me that the current state of their brothers, cousins, and fathers is my fault? No for good or bad, and in turn I don’t blame Carmen for acts of the Catholic Church, I don’t tell Yuko that Japanese Imperialism caused much of WWII that devastated my ancestral homeland? No I don’t it wasn’t her and she had no part in it.
So no it isn’t the racism of white men against black women that keeps men like me from approaching a black women. It is the hostility that so many black women, like you, have towards anyone with a white penis that does that.

So, at that website I responded as follows:

To ThatOneGuy who acts a whole lot like so many other white guys,

As a white male, I find your comment woefully soaked and bloated with white male supremacist (sexist and racist) assumptions about how you should be treated relative to people without your (and my) race and gender privileges, position, advantages, and status in white male-dominated and ruled societies. I'll delineate a bit of what I find troubling in what you wrote.

Your apparent offence at being treated as "one of those WHITE dudes, just like all the others" (rather than as the not-so-sensitive white guy you appear to be here?), reveals you are generally and usually being seen and treated as an individual. I'd argue that this usual experience being only occasionally interrupted by exceptional, atypical experiences is the cause for you even registering this as a significant offence. Your offence rests on your socially protected right to be seen as only an individual, even while your race and gender privileges have little to do with your individuality.

Let me speak to you for a moment as a gay person: I don't experience that level of "being seen as only an individual" as a gay person. I am seen as someone who probably has too much sex (while I choose to have none, in fact), and as someone who exists to entertain white het people: evidenced in the terribly problematic hit series, Modern Family, just last night.

Every woman of color I know doesn't have the luxury of wallowing in offence of being treated as "not an individual", for to do so would render anyone experiencing so much systematic, unceasing objectification and bigotry just plain exhausted. No Black woman I know assumes she'll be treated as "just a person" or "only an individual" by any man or by anyone white. You and I--and people like us, with regard to race and gender--can see ourselves written into history as "important individuals who shaped the world", while people of color across gender are seen as obstacles to white men getting all the freedoms we want. And our capacity to want things, people, land, and "resources" that don't belong to us knows no bounds.

Women across race are only seen by white het men as things to be sexually conquered, to take care of whites and men emotionally. Het men, meanwhile, carry the "manifest destiny" and "imminent domain" myths into the bedroom and bar room, dance club, and motel and hotel room. 

Your comments miss or ignore the reality that there are people out in the world--most people, in fact--who not hardly ever (or are never) socially regarded by our über-privileged, structurally advantaged people as "only individuals". People who are not male and white are rarely-to-never presumed by us to be deserving of being seen as individuals, except on an exceptional basis. And when we regard someone--a woman of any color, or a man of color, as "an actual individual person" we expect to be patted on the back and rewarded for doing so.

At the same time that we may oh-so-generously recognise a few people of color, a few women, as "just an individual", we only ever regard white men as individuals--without exception, but privately or unconsciously know our relative status and wealth-acquisition (and ability to hoard wealth and resources) has nothing to do with individuality and everything to do with social custom and legal policy.

We white guys carry around an absurdly apolitical, socially ignorant assumption that being white and male means nothing other than that "we're [just] human". We are human, of course, but so too are we carriers of white and male supremacist assumptions, attitudes, actions that do, in fact, oppress other people. Want to check out how much that's the case, economically? See this website and take the test:

http://slaveryfootprint.org/

You and I support white and male supremacy in society in myriad ways. Please don't respond with the ubiquitous and predictable "Dude, you don't even KNOW me!" line. I've seen what you've written here and you've revealed far more about yourself than you perhaps wished.

I'm from European immigrant stock too--I'm first generation on one side of my family, and both sides of my white, arrived-poor family benefited greatly from being taken into this society as "white". My family wouldn't have made it into the middle class in one generation if they weren't received here as white. And whatever your class background is, it would be poorer if your parents or grandparents had come here being received socially and economically as not-white people.

You state, "I am white man who has dated women of every ethnic group, and no Swan it wasn’t because I was on an 'exotic adventure' or assuming they were 'hyper-sexual'", as if we should applaud you or massage your feet, or get you something cool or warm to drink. Or as if to prove that white men don't do *exactly that* most of the time. Your plea for exceptionalism is akin to the men who are offended when women on the street swiftly move to the other side when approached, as if "that man should be regarded as the only non-rapist of the bunch". Where in the world does such a keen ability to discern danger among unknown men come in handy? It comes in handy only for men who rape women but want to be perceived as non-rapists. Meanwhile, most men do jack sh-t to end rape, or, even, to call out the men who speak misogynistically about women they know and don't know.

I found your wording here especially revealing of the privileges you carry as a white person and a man:
"That being said what I know is that the number of black women who will date a white man is small and to get to them I have to deal with black women like you."
Yes, you are raised to think you have a right to "get to" anyone you want, for whatever reasons you want to have access to them. Denial of access by women offends men greatly, because our pro-rape society teaches all men to assume we can take what we want and any rejection is reason enough to insult her and further oppress all women by calling the rejecting woman the b-word, among other expletives; by beating her up, especially if she's in a "romantic" relationship; and by murdering her, especially if she has the audacity to leave his sorry abusive ass.

Let's consider who has to endure more: you, Mr. White Man, who has to be allegedly insulted and offended by being seen as WHITE by a few people you have the choice to surround yourself with interpersonally and intimately. Or women of color, who, particularly in the US, have to endure unending non-human status by whites, by men, by media, by politicians, and by most people ("individuals") who are more privileged. I know very few women of color who can afford to NOT be around whites or men. I know many white men who choose to be intimately involved only with other whites--and those who break out of that racist mold want plenty of kudos for being so open-minded. White men, socially and in workplaces, also choose to be predominantly with other men.

You choose to engage women of color from a position of privilege and power that no woman of color structurally has, relative to you, in the US. And you conveniently forget *that* when you are offended. It's surely your privilege to do so.

You seem to expect or want or need to not have the past actions of your people, who have committed all manner of terroristic or "only insulting and degrading" atrocities against girls and women of color in the US and internationally. Why, exactly, should anyone give you that pass without knowing you? Do you distinguish yourself as exceptional by demonstrating a fiercely public and private commitment to anti-sexism and anti-racism work? (And, even then, anti-racism and anti-sexism activist men are notoriously and grievously racist and misogynistic.)

If you don't distinguish yourself in those ways, why ought anyone regard you as anti-racist and anti-sexist when you take it upon yourself to approach them? Why don't you create around yourself a welcoming space and wait for women to approach you? Is it because your learned ways of being a man impel you to be the assertive initiator, socially?

White men continue to commit these horrible acts--with few to no white men opposing it publicly.  Most white men don't interrupt the other white men or the throw wrenches in the white and male supremacist machinery that keeps pressing down on the lives of people who are neither male nor white; white men benefit greatly from this lack of white-brotherly interference.

That's one typically white male supremacist aspect of your comment here: you are quick to note what's offencive to *you*, but are woefully silent on the matter of what white men do--including you, historically or presently--that warrants any individual woman of color being very (read: appropriately) leery of you and your intentions in approaching her.

As you make a worse-than-weak case for being treated as just an individual, when you grossly reinforce racism and misogyny, rattling off your scenarios of your own alleged dehumanisation in their eyes:
"Your cousin is in prison for robing a Korean store owner-> my fault. Your sister’s baby’s daddy hasn’t sent her child support EVER-> my fault again he would if he wasn’t being held down by yours truly. Your Grandma died of a heart attack-> me again I was probably feeding her poison."
Why should anyone reading what your wrote above want to make time to learn of your family's background as Russian miners that came over after WWI? Why ought such details be relevant in the face of such glaring, unrecognised oppressive bigotry and obnoxiousness? 

You go on:
"What is important is remembering that I am the root of all that is evil in the universe. In fact I am so powerful that according to you lesser creatures like non-white men have to be criminals they have no choice I-ME-THIS GUY RIGHT HERE forced them into it, that is how powerful I am."
Again with your demands to be seen as exceptional. In the US and in many other countries, structurally and institutionally--and also often enough interpersonally and intimately, white men do oppress women of all colors.

You, who don't have post-traumatic stress due to how you are mistreated daily by whites and men, get to preach from a truly arrogant and self-centered position:
"On the other hand if I date Carmen or Nhung or Yuko are they going to tell me that the current state of their brothers, cousins, and fathers is my fault? No for good or bad, and in turn I don’t blame Carmen for acts of the Catholic Church, I don’t tell Yuko that Japanese Imperialism caused much of WWII that devastated my ancestral homeland? No I don’t it wasn’t her and she had no part in it."
But European men are implicated, quite directly, in the past and in the present, with most militarised and otherwise violent conflicts around the world, either by instilling in those places our economic systems, weaponry, or by subverting and destroying their cultures with religion or cultural practices and values. To read about how this has been done historically, please read Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior by Dr. Marimba Ani.

There's a damn good reason why some African-descended and Indigenous people in the Americas refer to "The White Man" in such terms. There's little reason to distinguish among us, if The White Man is stealing or invading and militarily occupying your ancestral land while also attempting and, by the millions, effectively destroying the people who are not white.

You go on:
"So no it isn’t the racism of white men against black women that keeps men like me from approaching a black women. It is the hostility that so many black women, like you, have towards anyone with a white penis that does that."
As noted elsewhere in this discussion, you are quick to name reasoned, appropriate criticism or analysis as "hostility" without recognising or being responsible for the gross hostility in your own words here. How typically white and male of you, ThatOneGuy who is not so very different from all the others.



4 comments:

La Reyna said...

Thank you Julian for writing to RacismReview regarding that racist misogynist troll by the name of ThatOneGuy.

Racist/misogynistic guys like him hide their identities with anonynous sock puppets to spew out their racist/sexist hatred toward people of Color and women and especially to any woman of Color who have the audacity to call out his racist misogyny.

La Reyna

Julian Real said...

You're welcome, La Reyna.

Jerks like that TOTALLY piss me off.

Christina said...

Dear Julian,

I don’t believe we are able to fully comprehend the amount of oppression and evil that strait white males force onto women and girls of colour as this kind of thing very rarely makes the news, nor does it get discussed nearly enough in mainstream forums.

I have a friend who works with women and girls who get abused by men. She was telling me about a young Libyan woman who fled her home when NATO stated bombing. Her plan was first to go to Italy and then onto France and stay there until things normalized in her home country. She managed to get into Italy, however thinking her nightmare was over, she soon discovered that a far worse nightmare was about to engulf her.

Predictably (which is the case of many women of colour fleeing to Europe) she had to sell herself in order to make a living and a very meager living at that.

To say that white Italian men treated her like shit would be understanding. Forgive the language, but I don’t know how else to express this. To these white Italian assholes she was a fucking animal that was only good for fucking and humiliating.

Her experience (abuse) at the hands of these white male pimps and clients was far worse then anything she had ever experience in Libya.

She thought things would be better when she finally got to France. This was not the case and she ended up in the same situation. Seems like white French males are just as big at being racist, sexist pigs as their Italian brothers (Actually, I feel quite bad about using the word pig as pigs are actually cute animals, perhaps I should rather use the term white devil.)

By the time this poor girl managed to crawl her way into a shelter specifically created for women and girls that have been through this, her life was ruined.
She herself could not remember how many times she had been raped and abused by the white devils. Obviously she suffered from a great deal of physical damage to her body, as for the physiological damage, I don’t believe we could even start to imagine, because unless you go through something like that you can never truly understand.

If white males are capable of this it should be no surprise about their racist-misogyny when it comes to deciding which women to hit on

Julian Real said...

I don't know of any European white men who challenge each other in effective ways, either individually or collectively, publicly and privately, on their racist misogyny.