My response to Robert Lindsay's "We Don't Respect You" blog post continues. In this, I become a little bit more scathing, a little bit more mordant. No disrespect (how's that for an allusion) to Mr. Lindsay, but it just bugs me out of my mind how narcissistic and short-sighted whites are in regards to ALL non-white ethnic groups. The Black Thought blog focuses strictly on issues pertaining to those affected by the universal plight of blacks (at the hands of oppressors who are commonly white and of European origin) but does not hesitate to explore how white supremacism has similarly affected non-black ethnic groups.
As Tim Wise says, there is a sort of racial narcissism that serves to blind whites to the actual sentiments and perspectives of their heirarchially subordinate races. Since the early 20th century surveys have demonstrated that whites have always felt that blacks had equal opportunities even when the law books stated otherwise. On the other hand, the myriad non-white groups---blacks, Hispanics, Asians-Americans, Indian-Americans, Middle Easterners, etc---know all about white people because we are constantly forced to identify with the white cultural, societal, and political outlook. Hell, most of us know more about white people than we know about our own cultures. Some of us even know more about white people than white people themselves. It is extremely rare that you will ever find a white American who can even begin to identify with the experience of being black in Western society. You simply will not locate a white person (I don't CARE if they were raised in the ghetto) who can truly understand the struggles and vicissitudes that blacks have faced in the past and still continue to face today, many with little control over their fate. It's not about petitioning for white sympathy...no one cares about sympathy. Sympathy does nothing for us. But truth, concession, and understanding can accomplish everything.
Anyway, Mr. Lindsay, offers a comment in response on my previous post. In a nutshell, Mr. Lindsay is of the persuasion that whites more or less respect all ethnic groups except for black people. Despite the alarming number of white Americans who will assert in a heartbeat that, "there's no more racism" or, "black people are the real racists!" or some other absurd, asinine effluvia, in this I can at least see that Mr. Lindsay at least partially acknowledges the reality of white-on-black oppression and may even concede to the existence of the sociological concept of white privilege. He indirectly concedes that, yes, blacks have had it worse than everyone. What's absolutely offensive is that, in this, he doesn't acknowledge the extreme prejudice and racism that OTHER ethnic groups have undoubtedly faced at the hands of white subjugators. I assert that racism of the white supremacist sort (arguably the only sort at all) is not limited in what groups it has been employed against---every non-white ethnic group has felt that most common disrespect, albeit at different levels and to differing extremeties, that black people have.
"I apologize for my delayed response. I am often occupied by my school commitments.
Again, I fundamentally and respectfully disagree with your premise that whites confer respect upon all races except for blacks. It’s simply false, shortsighted, and (I daresay) ignorant to make such a claim. You say that whites have historically harbored so much respect for Native Americans IN SPITE of the myriad injustices which Native Americans faced at the hands of white subjugators.Did Captain William Tucker respect Native Americans? Sure, he respected them enough partake in the acts of deception which were all too common in the interaction of early white settlers with Native Americans. He took his soldiers to negotiate a treaty with the Powhatans. Unsuspecting and believing that a truce had been reached, the arguably naïve Powhatans (in that they had obviously never dealt with white people) agreed to Tuckers request to drink to a toast. They toasted to poisoned wine---approximately one hundred of the Natives died immediately and Tucker seized upon that moment and ordered his troops to kill at least fifty more. Oh, yeah, and they respected them enough to bring their heads back home as souvenirs (which was not an uncommon practice amongst whites who warred with Native Americans). So it’s not like this was just a unique, infrequent incident.
I have already pontificated upon the views of our former President Andrew Jackson and how his high level of respect for Native Americans led him to engage in a bloody war that was most devastating for the Native Americans. Maybe you also heard the anecdote (which is true) that he “directly supervised the mutilation of over eight hundred Native American corpses after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, at which time his men cut off noses and sliced strips of flesh from the bodies for use as bridle reins.” Or what about the Third Colorado Volunteer Cavalry, who “massacred both Cheyenne and Arapaho noncombatants at Sand Creek, scalping the dread, severing testicles for use as tobacco pouches, and parading in Denver with severed female genitals stretched over their hats”? Well, we also have our noble forefather Thomas Jefferson who, dissatisfied with the rapid (but slow, in his eyes) pace at which Native Americans were dying, said, “Nothing will reduce those wretches so soon as pushing the war into the heart of their country. But I would not stop there. I would never cease pursuing them with war while one remained on the face of the Earth.” My, my…respect. No, adulation!
I am not sure who made this ludicrous statement…either you or someone posting a comment on your blog…but they said something to the effect of, “yes, we respect Native Americans…I mean, we even give them Casinos and stuff.” …is that (expletive) serious? That’s like someone saying that black history month (the one oh-so-racist month out of the year where we actually don’t learn about dead white men) is proof that whites have actually worked to mitigate the disparity that institutional racism has rendered upon black folks. I mean…I hope it wasn’t you who said this; I truly hope I am incorrect in attributing it to you. Perhaps it was one of your readers.
It is beyond just “Native Americans”. Just as African-Americans do, Hispanic Americans face alarming rates of housing discrimination. Hispanic Americans, because of their non-whiteness, face the same types (though arguably less potent) of racial discrimination, job discrimination, and dehumanization as blacks do. Just like African-Americans, Hispanic Americans face violent attacks from skinheads, white supremacists, and even from whites who don’t necessarily label themselves as members of such groups, for being non-white. Are you SERIOUS in your claim that whites just really don’t give a damn about immigration into the United States by Hispanics? You’re not aware of how there is a direct relationship between the increase in Hispanic immigration and the rise in membership of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups? I should remind you, they are WHITE supremacist groups, not everyone-but-black-people supremacist groups, or not white-and-hispanic-too supremacist groups, as you have somehow concluded. Maybe you’re a member of one of those.
In American culture “Indians” have been relegated to the role of the savage noble---an individual who is spiritual and fortitudinous but at the end of the day is still a SAVAGE. Sure, it may be a bit less disrespectful than the magical Negro stereotype or the more ubiquitously believed sexually-rapacious, ravenous, uncontrollably-violent Negro ideal. Even today we constantly disrespect the Native American culture---we have sports teams and mascots mocking both their physical appearance and cultural characteristics (i.e., the “Washington Redskins”). So christening a football team the “Redskins” shows respect to a collective group but a hypothetical team called the “Blackskins” would be evidence of how whites don’t respect blacks in your eyes, correct? It’s modern minstrelsy! If whites TRULY respected Native Americans then they would HEED to outrage expressed by the Native American community at the fact that they feel tremendously disrespected by our symbolic trivialization of their culture---we would actually listen to them when they say STOP USING OUR CULTURAL TRAITS AS YOUR SPORTS MASCOTS. But no, in most cases white America just doesn’t want to hear it. The Washington Redskins changed, in 2002, to using an arrowhead rock as their emblem. Didn’t last long before they went back to the Indian head. I suppose that’s insignia was modeled after one of those decapitated Indian heads that Tucker’s men sawed off so very respectfully.
Your dubious claim that whites respect all non-black ethnic groups (including Native Americans) is IN OF ITSELF evidence that whites obviously don’t respect those ethnic groups! Because you’re so disrespectfully neglecting all of the injustices and atrocities that whites committed upon these groups for NOT BEING WHITE, obviously evidence that they lacked and still lack respect and courtesy for these groups on account of their ethnicity. Tens of thousands of Native Americans died at white hands, sometimes in war, sometimes as a result of outright genocidal attacks, virtually every “treaty” was broken, every attempt to make peace with whites was always followed by some conniving, nefarious, shamelessly exploitative attack, every forced land relocation was followed up by another land relocation by another until finally the Native Americans just agreed to be confined to reservations---just to get away from incessant white oppression. Not to mention that their population has been significantly reduced, their society forever damaged and broken due to the incessant war, disease, and devastation that the Aryan has wrought upon them, and their gene pool forever altered by whites who felt it acceptable for white men to rape or force Native women into relationships, but felt it unacceptable for those children to become apart of the white community and also saw it as intolerable and punishable by death that a native man might partake in the same type of a relationship with his white sister.
Maybe by Hispanics you mean the WHITE Hispanics…those amongst the populations in Spanish speaking Latin and South American countries who descend from the racist aristocracy that first imposed their supremacy upon aboriginal groups through violence, charades (smallpox blankets), and other manipulative, evil, DISRESPECTFUL means and still continue to maintain their putatively providential sovereignty over these nations on account of their whiteness. I know that in a legal sense, for purposes of racial identification, while they are practically Caucasian they are labeled “Hispanic”. Yeah, and they think they’re better than the mestizos who you claim are so lionized, so respected.
I believe that the type of racial discrimination that blacks have faced at the hands of whites, overall, IS worse than that of other ethnic groups. This I believe wholly. There is much evidence to substantiate this---I know so many whites have simply ignored and cast from their collective consciousness acknowledgement of the white-on-black racism that has characterized our nation’s history, so I might actually have to launch into a diatribe to remind some people of this---if it is necessary, just ask me. It really won’t take that long. But it is highly offensive and ignorant to simply jettison all acknowledgements of the racial discrimination, hostility, and dehumanization that whites have demonstrated on some levels to ALL ethnic groups who did and do not meet their standard of whiteness (and some who even did, but had to work to be accepted) and humanity, furthermore. Sorry to be mordant, but for a man with an IQ as allegedly high as yours it casts a bit of doubt in my mind as to your actual level of astuteness."