[eDebate] Shame On All of You!

Kevin Sanchez let_the_american_empire_burn
Sat Aug 23 16:26:00 CDT 2008


tom tavegia writes,
"So what exactly happens when a team stands up and reads an argument
that says the other team is racist or sexist? The team has one of two options.
First, they can defend they are not sexist or racist ? but ultimately, let's
face it ? defending yourself as a non racist or sexist isn't an argument one
takes lightly in an academic setting. Call me a racist or sexist, I take it
personally. I'm going to get really pissed off. At some point, I might snap.
Apparently, so did Bill. Of course, the second course is simply to argue
that certain behavior is acceptable ? E.G. racism or sexism is good."

i'd like to present a third option where you only list two, but first, let me
again say that neither bill shanahan nor the fort hays team were accused
of being racists by the towson team or shanara reid-brinkley. 


once again, the argument wasn't 'you're racist for striking a black woman
judge from the pool'. the argument was 'you cannot claim to double our
project of racial inclusiveness and strike the last black woman judge from
the pool'. it's not 'you're racist'. it's 'you're not being consistently and/or
sufficiently anti-racist'. this imputes no motive and has nothing to do with
intent; it compares advocacies and has everything to do with methods.

(in context, apparently what made bill snap was being told it wasn't his
place to use disapproving body language; he felt shanara was holding him
to an inconsistent standard of behavior, since she herself was nodding.)

now, the third option. you say when accused of racism, you only have two
arguments: no link (we're not racist) and impact turn (racism good). i'd
add another: non-unique & link turn - we're all racist; to claim otherwise
is exclusionary.

take a look at the charles lawrence article i quoted earlier this month...

"Americans share a common historical and cultural heritage in which racism
has played and still plays a dominant role. Because of this shared experience,
we also inevitably share many ideas, attitudes, and beliefs that attach
significance to an individual's race and induce negative feelings and opinions
about nonwhites. To the extent that this cultural belief system has influenced
all of us, *we are all racists*. At the same time, most of us are unaware of
our racism. We do not recognize the ways in which our cultural experience
has influenced our beliefs about race or the occasions on which those beliefs
affect our actions."

-- http://www.mediafire.com/?iyeafyltkd4 / lawrence III, charles r. 'the id,
the ego, and equal protection: reckoning with unconscious racism'. stanford
law review 39.2 (1987): 317-388, 322.

following this, to acknowledge 'we are all racists', white and black, is step
one in any struggle against white privilege. even black people do poorly on
harvard's implicit association test, for example...


this is only to say what most of us already should know: the legacy and
reality of racism scars us all. to assume that because your skin is black
you're incapable of being racist is a straight turn to your project. and i
don't think most teams of this kind do assume this, incidentally. i think
there's a disconnect between what they're saying and what others are
hearing (which is a pattern of mis-characterization we'd expect to see
in many competitive settings). in any case, i'll take john brown as my
anti-racist hero above clarence thomas any day.

Be the filmmaker you always wanted to be?learn how to burn a DVD with Windows?.
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