Friday, November 05, 2010


Yesterday's satires are today's headlines.

"Insensitive" seems to be the word that's won out to describe symbolic violence in white supremacist praxis; it shifts the production of the problem to the victims, whose "sensitivity" to the expressions and symbolic acts create the offense on the receiving end out of an act presumed neutral and innocent. "Insensitive" is like a plea of "no contest"; it accomplishes the denial of aggression and benefit to the aggressor. "Insensitive" belongs to the apologetics for crime and aggression that have been over the past decade established as the favourite substitute confession of power - indifference, carelessness, callousness, inattention, incompetence, negligence. "Insensitivity" is the lesser charge to which ZizneyCorp and its counterparts all eagerly plead.

In Chapter 4, I introduced the idea of “social alexithymia” (Feagin 2006), Hernan Vera’s term for White Americans’ curious lack of empathy for the feelings of people of color. We can now see that this lack of empathy involves a chain of reasoning that goes something like this: “I am a good and normal mainstream sort of White person. I am not a racist, because racists are bad and marginal people. Therefore, if you understood my words to be racist, you must be mistaken. I may have used language that would be racist in the mouth of a racist person, but if I did so, I was joking. If you understood my meaning to be racist, not only do you insult me, but you lack a sense of humor, and you are oversensitive.” Notice that this entire chain of reasoning makes the speaker the sole authority over what her words shall mean. But this exclusive control is merely the common sense of personalist logic, and it is very hard to interrupt common sense….

Van Dijk argued that ‘knowledgeable minority group members’ are our surest guides to where racism is active. People of color have produced some of the most profound thinking about racism, and, while they pick their battles carefully, letting much that is offensive pass by without objection, both in small acts of everyday rejection and in deliberate public manifestations by entire communities, they have been active in resistance. When I have talked to people of color about “covert racist discourse,” I often find that they have understood this concept, in an informal way, since childhood. Among Whites, the idea of “linguistic appropriation” is a concept encountered, if at all, during university education. Among African Americans, it is a commonplace of everyday understanding. So, not only do people of color deserve civility and respect as fellow citizens, they deserve the attention of anti-racist Whites as knowledgeable experts in the analysis of White racism, which is surely one of the greatest challenges faced by American society.

Along with accusations of “oversensitivity”, the media ritual of moral panic over “gaffes” should cease. I have followed these affairs for about a decade. Their terms are rigidly formulaic. The exchange of blame and excuse is utterly predictable, with Harvard-educated Washington Post columnists and middle-western talk radio hosts alike invoking the same hackneyed formulas, knotting up once again the frayed ends of the folk theory of racism and the personalist rhetoric of motives to return to the same tired conclusions about decent people who somehow slipped. It is time to simply hold people responsible for their words. If victims claim that those words were hurtful and damaging, that alone should carry blame and bring appropriate punishment. Arguments about whether or not speakers are racist are not useful, and function largely to reproduce White racism’s central ideas.

Jane Hill, The Everyday Language of White Racism


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  5. Big deal, eh? Well, I'll just replace those comments (not the ones where I try to understand your points about Owen's dull piece) from last night, now that I've slept well, and well, you know, bleug comments are about as SERIOUS as your whole RABID campaign searching out every single fucking slight that anyone 'of colour' ever had. Really just as sickening as Zizek, if not more so, and definitely as pushy and disgusting as Anodyne.

  6. Here's the first of three. I watched the Petit piece last night and this morning, your attitude about misogyny and racism is sort of the 'Lola Lola' variety, I guess:

    I am so sick of boring Commie Pundits, and not only am I a racist, but I want you to think so at all times. I CARE that you think that I am both a racist and a misogynist.

    This is the most fucking TEDIOUS shit I've ever read, absolutely disgusting. That little 'old friend', whoever it was, is right about your bloody BORING 'blacker than thou', even if he did write the [sic] version. I sort of like 'blacker than though', it sounds useful down the line.

    Yeah, right, I should have asked fucking Pigeon about her 'mistreatment' and 'bad black attitude', because it was caused by all goddam Whites. (btw, why did you capitalize 'whites'? slip?)

    I HATE this post. You are so predictable to put up this shit. I trust Sarah Palin as much as I do you. yes, I think I will go out and do some interviews of 'people of colour' and ask how I can 'improve my behaviour'.

    In the meantime thanks for the title 'ZizneyWorld'. You don't realize that every time you mention Zizek now, that all I think about is that horsehung stud.
    6:33 PM

  7. patrick j. mullins said...
    And you listen to me: 'sinopop' is just SLEAZY talk, it is not really inaccurate, and doesn't refer to the whole Chinese culture. In fact, I am going to use it myself. 'Sinopop' does exist. If you'd read the Urbanatomy bleug, and also properly read Nick's intro, which for chrissake is about how WONDERFUL the fucking goddam chinese are, you'd stop being such a goddam neurotic shrew. There weren't any 'real pop music cultures' until well after the English got started with rock 'n' roll after the U.S. did, and the only reason Chinese are allowed to do the goddam nightclubs is because of the fucking capitalist development. Chinese deserve a LOT of condemnation for their UNSEEMLY overpopulation. This is reason enough to be anti-Chinese. And yet, some people think this is what makes China the most important: they've got more bodies (and they're all jes' PRECIOUS), so they are the most important. Well, they're not, and there really is 'sinopop' of a 'crappy sort', even if there are a few good Chinese pop and rock groups by now. I've heard podcasts on the Urbanatomy bleug for their clubs and have heard AUTHENTIC SINOPOP. Well, YOU have not! You just decide that if somebody says something about shit pop music, they mean it should be judged by English, in this case, for example. well, you know, YES. Because English do have a legit pop tradition in music, the Chinese do not. They have important classical music and dance, and that is even imperialist and wicked because much of it is court music.

    You do nothing but prove your sourness on a daily basis, and you expect people to listen to it. And you didn't even make the difference in Owen's and Nick's articles about Expo in ANY REASONABLE WAY. Nick is a shithead, maybe, but has lived there for 10 years or more, and loves at shee-itt. well, I don't care about goddam modern Chinese state-run Capitalist culture, and that's why you wouldn't finish his article. Because there really IS only puppetry in the country which is oppressive and the state orders arrests for downloading goddam porn, you fucking idiot! All you do is read things that support your little needlepoint view of 'li'l racism' and 'li'l wronged PORN ACTRESS RATIONAL YOUNG WIMMIN'. Yeah, that's what you do. Then you try to lay on the honey-drippin', and you think it'll last. Well, honey, YOU are a racist, EVEN if you're married to a black man, which is well and good, because that would make you imagine you are NOT a racist. In fact, your rules are so stringent about 'what people can say', that you are the ONLY person in the world who is a non-white racist who is also WHITE. We know about what Norman Mailer called people like you. Well, that's the fuck what you are.

  8. 6:45 PM"Wayne Kasper said...
    Apart from an increasingly rabid - yet tiresome - obsession with Zizek, and righteous attacks on a small coiterie of barely published British bloggers, do you actually have anything to 'say'? "

    Who knows who 'Wayne Kasper' is, but that's certainly not who it was. But who cares. He's right, you really DON'T have anything to say. You are interested in nothing but being a policewoman of Politically Correct Speech, and well, he's wrong, of course, you do have plenty to SAY, but DO nothing but talk about Zizek and Zizek and the 'magic penis' and 'white male supremacy praxis'. It's odious, and you're odious. Who'd want to spend even a minute with you beyond telling you to go and finally just FUCK YOURSELF.

    racist this, sexist that, racist this, sexist that, racist this, sexist that, white male supremacy praxis this, white male supremacy that. You never change, that's for sure, but your writing on Zizzney is by now so Muzak it's way below 'sinopop'. FACE IT, you do nothing but LOOK for guilt in people, and you DEFEND the Chinese not because you know anything about their contemporary culture either, but only because you think Mao Tse-Tung is better than Barack Obama (I suppose he was better than Michelle Bachmann, but I didn't want to use a VAGINA for demo purposes, since that means she's innocent, just like 'membres viriles', if they're on violent black men (didn't you say Zizek 'really wanted him not to be the threatening black man, but really just the nice white guy with the stolen 'membre virile'. Well, go over to the Latin Quarter, I'm sure you can find something. I always did, but I did MAKE that much difference in the fucking RACE. In fact, you really are a kind of racist, no question.)

  9. I always did, but I did MAKE that much difference in the fucking RACE.

    should be: 'I did NOT MAKE that much difference in the fucking RACE'. However, I think most of my black boyfriends have been here, not during my time in Paris...although I'd already had some by the time I went there.

    Now that I think about it, I think I was being racist in Paris: I had had black boyfriends in New York before I went to Paris and after I went to Paris. But it must mean that 'french white male supremacy praxis' made all my French boyfriends WHITE! Now that's so shocking it's racist, now isn' t'it? I think it was a major omission on my part not to have had any black boyfriends in Paris, although I did meet one American black musician who wasn't sex material.

    I really see little hope for you.

  10. It is time to simply hold people responsible for their words. If victims claim that those words were hurtful and damaging, that alone should carry blame and bring appropriate punishment. Arguments about whether or not speakers are racist are not useful, and function largely to reproduce White racism’s central ideas.

    Yes, you would believe that when convenient. And when that OLD MAN in New Orleans just out of his own senility said that they BLEW UP THE LEVEES, the only thing you could say to believe such a ridiculous load of nonsense was 'I BELIEVE him, Patrick, I BELIEVE him'. It's just because you wanted to believe that, just like you want to believe that Al Qaeda didn't blow up the WTC. No wonder you're under house arrest.

  11. If it's so tedious, Patrick, why are you reading it?

    "Who'd want to spend even a minute with you"

    Is that a threat or a promise?

  12. Thanks, kenoma.

    I just entered you into the Dickipedia, and you will like Sarah Palin's page.