Shut Up, Whitey!

by William Skink

It was just a matter of time before I got a comment like this:

Always interesting to hear a white person’s perspective on Black activism

Since Sandy doesn’t want to read opinions formed by a white person, I am going to share two opinions from two black people. The first one is an essay penned by an anonymous UC-Berkley professor. The professor wrote this anonymously because he is certain that were his name attached, he would be fired for saying things like this:

The claim that the difficulties that the black community faces are entirely causally explained by exogenous factors in the form of white systemic racism, white supremacy, and other forms of white discrimination remains a problematic hypothesis that should be vigorously challenged by historians. Instead, it is being treated as an axiomatic and actionable truth without serious consideration of its profound flaws, or its worrying implication of total black impotence. This hypothesis is transforming our institution and our culture, without any space for dissent outside of a tightly policed, narrow discourse.

A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black.

Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries.

And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.

If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam.

Read the whole essay at the link.

The other perspective is a video from Dave Chapelle recorded on June 6th. It’s a little less than 30 minutes long.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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12 Responses to Shut Up, Whitey!

  1. Angela says:

    …And this is why I come back to your blog, again and again!!! …To recalibrate. Thank you!

  2. john mcnaught says:

    I have not watched the Chappelle video but I will. Good post. very timely. We need to correct problems with critical thinking not group-thinking mythology.

  3. john mcnaught says:

    I watched Chappelle. I think you have made a very important contribution. We need to study history.

  4. Big Swede says:

    This guy is a little more edgy than Chapelle.

    And he’s black.

  5. john mcnaught says:

    swear words do not an argument make. I would not use the N word. I am offended by the Mu Fu word that is so ubiquitous . I honor my mother’s love too much. I read the full essay. good post. I do not agree fully but equality is a worthy aspiration.

  6. S Brennan says:

    Excellent post, BLM appears to be a tool that is cynically used every election cycle to energize black voters. And that would be okay with me if…

    If BLM were a tool to gain support for the likes of an FDR or JFK…* it would be immoral but forgivable but, that’s not what BLM is being used for. BLM is tool being used to garner black/guilt-riddled-white votes for corporate whores like Barack, Hillary & now, unbelievably, Biden**. And yeah, yeah, yeah…I get it, comfortably numb D’s, with nice stock portfolios, are going to vote for Biden no matter how many how many babies he has boiled and served for dinner…so long as it doesn’t interfere with their virtue signalling.

    *[I leave LBJ out because of the sheer stupidity of the Viet Nam war]
    **[Talk about a racist mother-F’er]

  7. john mcnaught says:

    S. Brennan , you almost completely void your argument when you end it with a racial slur. We need to vote for a democrat (Biden is my last choice) so we can extirpate the current Republican party and all its minions as a political force. We really are restricted in our choice.

    • S Brennan says:

      Please be specific when you make an accusation, otherwise consign yourself to being considered a political hack.

  8. john mcnaught says:

    Not making accusations. I did not say your argument was void because it is not. Swear words do not an argument make. Some people are offended by Mu Fu. I might be a hack and do not know it. I do not call people names for any reason least of all to promote an assertion. I actually agree with most of what you said. Salient points,facts and evidence . Happy to engage

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