Thursday, October 9, 2008

The One Lesson Too Many White Folks Have Still Not Learned - Telling Black Folks What Is Or Isn't Racist!

Directly after the second Presidential debate and all day yesterday on the news, I watched white folks stumbling all over themselves trying to explain how John McCain's remark "that one" was not racially-tinged phrase. I repeatedly heard all about how it sounded like an "old man remark" or that it was a phrase from the "old Irish tradition, something my grandmother would say." Yet, just about every white pundit or news journalist was sure that McCain's remark was not racist and admonished the television audience against even implying that it could be viewed as racist by anyone.

Now I don't mind white folks trying to explain the remark, but please don't tell black folks how to interpret, feel, or react to the remark. If you have never experienced in your life being referred to as an inanimate object by a white person, then you don't know how if feels and you sure in the hell don't know how to recognize when it occurs.

In an American Government course as a freshman undergraduate I was pointed out as "someone to ask" about the three-fifths compromise for slaves by my professor. This occurred in a class where I was one of two people of color, me and a kid from Puerto Rico. Not to leave me completely alone by myself, in the same breath that professor also said to my fellow white classmates that they could ask Juan about being an illegal immigrant. Since Juan and I were sitting next to each other in the second to last row in the back of the class, the phrase "all eyes on me" fits the bill in this case.

Too many black folks know when, where, and how we are being excluded, examined, and made an example of, so please spare me telling black folks how to interpret the words and actions of an old throwback man like John McCain. I know that one second after McCain said those words, the needle on my platinum issue black woman's racism meter began twitching and jumping with quickness toward "what in the hell did he just say?" and settled in between "did he realized what he just said and did was racist?"

So thanks, but no thanks, to your excuses for John McCain, he should not have said it and he should not have pointed, it was completely unprofessional, mean spirited, and racially-tinged!

7 comments:

D.J. October 9, 2008 at 1:56 PM  

THANK YOU!!!!

SO here is my question! If Joe Biden had stood at the VP debate held out his arm pointed ,without looking at Sarah Palin, at referred to her as "That one" would they still be calling him a mysoginist? How long would we have to hear how he disrespected women by referring to her as an object?

Naima October 9, 2008 at 4:59 PM  

Please tell me a professor of government did not tell students to ask a Puerto Rican (American citizens by birth) guy about illegal immigrants. I hope he stopped teaching.

I am sick of people in general telling other how they should feel.

Jewelry Rockstar October 9, 2008 at 5:04 PM  

Crucify me if you will, but it sounded like a crotchy old man comment when I heard it and not a racially tinged comment. Maybe more like an age dismal. I didn't know they were discussing it on the news.

Professor Tracey October 9, 2008 at 5:32 PM  

@jewelry rockstar

I hear you babygirl, but you just made my point. Some black people didn't see it that way. Let black folk decide, don't decide for us. The fact that white folks felt the NEED to make excuses for the remark meant they KNEW it was a problem.

@Namia

Yes, SHE did! I have no idea if that dizzy broad is still teaching, I never took another class with the woman.

@DJ

Please...you are so right! brother. Biden's name would be mud!

Shirley October 9, 2008 at 6:48 PM  

I was so annoyed at Campbell Scott and Chris Matthews making excuses for McCain's "That One" comment. How do THEY know John McCain's heart? How the hell do THEY know that he's not a racist?

Plenty of his supporters see Obama as uppity/not knowing his place. I truly believe Mccain just loathes Obama for a variety of reasons...one of which being that he is a young black man kicking his old 26 year career down the crapper!

Prospector October 11, 2008 at 12:32 PM  

Seriously, my ears stood straight up as soon as the words "that one" left McCain's mouth.

Too many white folks are racist and just don't know how to be otherwise, they never will until we teach them.

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