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The following is based mainly on Robert Jensen’s article “What White People Fear” (2010). Jensen, a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, is one of the most notable white anti-racists alive  in America.

Despite the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, which overturned racist laws in America and brought an end to its apartheid, whites and blacks are still clearly unequal on things as simple as home ownership, education and even infant mortality. Change has been slow over the past 40 years, so slow that at present rates it will take tens if not hundreds of years for whites and blacks to become equal.

Why is change so slow? After writing and speaking about racism for more than ten years Jensen concludes that it is fear: whites on both the right and the left are afraid of living in a world without racism.

On the right whites are afraid of losing white privilege, what some call “our way of life”. It would mean giving up wealth and power. Even poor whites, who see very little of said wealth and power, agree. Yes, they are that brainwashed by the rich, who have long used race to divide the poor against each other.

On the left it is a bit different. They talk the talk – equality blah blah diversity blah blah multiculturalism blah blah – but do not walk the walk. They say the right things but have done precious little to change anything.

In the end whites on both the left and the right believe the same thing: “I’m white and I’m special.”

At the heart of their fears is a “fragile sense of white self-importance”. Their history runs with blood: they did not get to where they are through fair play but through naked violence. Whites do not want to face up to it but at some level they all know it is true.

Whites have opened up some of their institutions to people of colour in the name of diversity, but only to the degree that whites feel comfortable and only on their terms. So it is no accident that power and control still lies largely in white hands. Diversity becomes window dressing, not a change in the power relationship between whites and others.

Jensen himself knows first-hand that it is hard for whites to give up control to those who are not white, to those who do not share a white-centric worldview.

Hard but worth it:

I have a choice: I can be white — that is, I can refuse to challenge white supremacy or centrality — or I can be a human being. I can rest comfortably in the privileges that come with being white, or I can struggle to be fully human. But I can’t do both. Though the work is difficult, the choice for those of us who are white should be easy.

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The following is based on Chapter 6 of Frantz Fanon’s “Black Skin, White Masks” (1952): “The Black Man and Psychopathology”:

Why white people are so afraid of black men:

  1. Black men are seen as being way less moral.
  2. White men fear they will take white women from them.

Take the last one first:

White men think that black men have bigger penises. They think that once a white woman sleeps with a black man she will never want a white man again: if it is not for their size then it is because black men are so much better in bed.

None of this is based on fact. According to science the African penis and the European penis are the same size on average. There is no proof whatsoever that “Once you go black you never come back”. And prostitutes will tell you that black men and white men are pretty much the same in bed.

Fanon finds it a bit odd that any man should be thinking that much about other men’s penises and sex appeal, that they should be saying stuff like black men have an “aura of sensuality”, etc. He says it comes from repressed homosexuality.

But white women too are afraid of black men. Fanon saw it for himself when he fought in Europe in the Second World War: he was in three or four countries and every time white women would shrink back in fear if he asked them for a dance – even though he was hardly in a position to do them harm.

Black men are seen as little better than animals. Therefore they are feared for what their bodies can do, which means they are feared for their penises, which accordingly become large in the white imagination. Thus: “whoever says rape says black man”.

In Europe Jews were feared too but no one feared Jewish rapists. When violence was turned on them no one thought to castrate them. Because they were feared for their minds, not their bodies.

But the sex thing is not all of it. Blacks are also seen as morally dark, as sinful and evil – as if blacks were born with original sin but whites were born pure.

Even in Martinique where Fanon grew up and where nearly everyone was black, his mother would tell him to “stop acting like a nigger” if he did something wrong. And if his conscience was clear he would say he was “white as snow”.

This comes from the colour black being seen as evil, bad, dark and dirty and the colour white as pure, innocent and clean. Whites thought that way long before they ever took blacks as slaves, but it did help to support the idea of black people as morally bad and whites as morally pure.

Whites  also use blacks as scapegoats: it is easier for them to imagine blacks as the screwed-up ones instead of facing up to their own morally broken nature.

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Some white people tell me I see racism in everything. I used to think it was just a way to dismiss what I was saying. But even whites who are otherwise serious about the subject of racism say it, so it is not merely just a way to get me to shut up.

First of all, I do not see racism in everything. While I do think that racism in America, both white racism and internalized racism, is far from dead, I doubt it accounts for everything. For example, I think fatherlessness and having children out of wedlock have little to do with racism – both were far lower among blacks in the 1950s when racism was worse. And both have knock-on effects on the rates of crime and poverty on top of the effects of racism.

But I do not talk much here about supposed black pathologies because they get more than enough attention elsewhere. And because I know full well whites use them to get themselves off the hook: See, blacks create their own mess – it has nothing to do with us!

Yet compared to most white people I do seem to see racism in everything. Because they see racism in almost nothing. Because they have narrowed the meaning of the word to just a kind of personal hatred. Because it does not affect them in a bad way. Because they do not want to face up to the racism their lives have been built on.

In reading about this on other blogs, it seems that what persuades them that they are right and I am wrong is that most people agree with them, not me. But “most people”, in this case, are white people!

Why in the world would white people be a better judge of racism in American society than black people? That would be like saying men are a better judge of sexism or straight people are a better judge of homophobia. It would be like asking monks about sex or the rich about poverty.

Does that mean that blacks are right about everything they say about racism? Hardly. But it does mean they have a far better understanding of racism than most whites do. They have to – they are affected by it way more.

I am certainly not right about everything I say. I accept that maybe I see racism in too many things – or too few things (some say I am too soft on whites). I have gone back and forth on this issue myself.

But if you do not believe me the worst thing you could do would be to turn to white people or television. What on earth do they they know? But there are tons and tons of books and blogs written by living, breathing black people and other people of colour. Read those, the more the better, putting yourself into their shoes, and see for yourself how much of this stuff I am making up.

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black rape statistics

The use of black rape statistics is a common white racist argument. It seeks to prove that black men have a dark and savage nature by showing that they rape women at vastly higher rates than white men. The beauty of the argument is that few whites question it because it plays on two stereotypes they have about black men: they are violent and they have stronger sex drives that they cannot control.

First, as black crime goes rape is rare. Here are the top ten crimes committed by blacks in America according to FBI numbers on arrests made in 2007:

  1. 485,054 Drug abuse violations
  2. 261,730 Larceny, theft
  3. 316,217 Assault (non-aggravated)
  4. 183,810 Disorderly conduct
  5. 109,985 Aggravated assault
  6. 97,472 Driving under the influence
  7. 68,052 Burglary
  8. 62,278 Drunkenness
  9. 57,745 Weapons; carrying, possessing, etc.
  10. 54,774 Robbery

Forcible rape was not even close to making this list: there were only 5,708 arrests.

Second, white men are a far bigger threat. Despite the racism of the police and the stereotypes about black rapists, the police still arrest twice as many white men for rape.

Going by the stereotypes, you would expect whiter countries to be safer. Wrong. Despite the millions of black men in America, women are way safer there than in Canada and Australia, where rape is more than twice as common.

So where are the statistics that show black men are such dangerous rapists? It comes from comparing not all rapes but just interracial rapes. Comments like this often appear on this blog:

Fact – blacks rape white women 2000 (yes 2000) times more than whites rape black women. In New York City, about 300 white women are raped by blacks every year BUT there has not been a black woman raped by a white male in anybody’s memory (going back over 20 yrs.) Consider: Al Sharpton had to go upstate New York to find a hoax and that was almost 20 years ago. (Source NYT 4/22/05)

That looks solid: the New York Times said so! Except that it did not: there is no such article.

I looked up the numbers for myself:

The FBI does not break out numbers for interracial rape but the Justice Department does for “rape and sexual assault” – based on a crime victim survey it does every year. But interracial rape is so rare that there are fewer than ten cases in its sample. So you cannot draw any firm statistical conclusions.

On television rape is a dark-alley crime, but in fact strangers commit only 2% of rapes. Half are done by current or former boyfriends, dates and husbands. Interracial rape is rare for the same reasons that interracial marriage is rare. So rare that there are not even solid government figures on it.

But better numbers would not help: after all, if you applied the same reasoning to numbers on marriage it would “prove” that black men are by nature also more likely to marry.

The argument is built not on sound reasoning and solid facts but on white fears that go back at least to Jim Crow times.

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Black and White Americans read this blog very differently

How to read this blog like many White Americans seem to:

  1. “Whites”: Imagine the word “all” before each use of the word “whites”. This is a special rule of White American English that does not appear in any grammar book.
  2. “Evil”: If “whites” and “evil” appear in the same sentence, imagine the word “uniquely” before the word “evil”. Or even “pure”. Or both.
  3. “Racist”: If the words “whites” and “racist” are in the same sentence, then do not even trouble yourself with reading the rest of the post – just jump down to the comments and start acting offended. Try it! Remember, only white  nationalists and those who use the n-word can possibly be racist. All other whites are Well Meaning, Basically Good and Would Know If They Were Racist. Blacks would have no idea because they cannot read minds.
  4. General statements about whites: these are racist and therefore false. Because whites are individuals, because to see colour in the first place is racist, because to make general statements about a race is stereotyping, a part of racism.
  5. White is right: so Abagond must be wrong. Even if you cannot say why.
  6. Abagond hates whites: This follows from #5 because what other reason could there be for him to say bad stuff about whites?
  7. This is a Bash Whitey blog: which follows from #6. Abagond hates whites so much that he wants to make them to look bad or feel bad. Clearly that is his whole reason for blogging.
  8. Stereotype his position.Here are some of the choices:
    • Playing the race card
    • Whining
    • Advanced Whining
    • Whites are pure evil (white devils)
    • Living in the past

    If he sounds kind of like he saying one of these then he is.  After all, Black America is capable of maybe six different opinions at once. If that.

  9. He is an Ungrateful Darkie: He does not seem to know that Progress Has Been Made and that blacks in America have it so much better than in Africa. Point this out to him!
  10. When he tells about a personal experience:
    1. If you or any white person you know has had the same experience then say, “It happens to whites too!” Even if you have to stretch it.
    2. Otherwise he must be making it up just to make whites look bad. What else could it be?
  11. If he says something bad about whites, get upset. Take it personally. Clearly he does not know how to talk to white people, so there is no reason to take him seriously.
  12. Your feelings are more important than anything in the post, even the stuff he talks about that affects 40 million Americans – if not the whole country. Or much of the English-speaking world. But what is that compared to your feelings?
  13. The most important rule of all: Never ever try to understand what he is saying from his point of view. Why would you? What is the point? White is right, remember?

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Patroclus and Achilles from a Greek drinking cup, circa 500 BC

How white was Ancient Greece? There are at least three answers, two short and one long:

Answer #1: They were white, just look at them: There is plenty of artwork from at least 600 BC onwards that clearly shows that the Greeks looked white – just like the people in Greece now.

Answer #2: They were part black. Some say that Egypt sent settlers or that the Pelasgians, the people who were in Greece before the Indo-European Greeks arrived, were from Africa. According to one DNA testing company Greeks are 5% black.

Now the longer answer:

Answer #3: Calling them white is anachronistic: “white” is a Western invention used to excuse slavery and colonialism during the last several hundred years. The ancient Greeks certainly did not think of themselves as white: they divided the world not by race but by language: those who spoke Greek were Greeks, those who did not were barbarians.

More: “White” is based not just on looks – it is based on culture too. You see that with Arabs: in the Middle East they are  not seen as white by Americans, but if they come to America and take on White American ways, they are – like Steve Jobs and Ralph Nader.

In that sense, then, the Ancient Greeks were no more white or Western than the British are “Nigerian” or “Australian”. It is backwards thinking.

Thinking that leads to some strange and curious things:

  1. The West “begins with the Greeks”. Not because it does – despite the way some White Americans talk, civilization is not a white invention. Their civilization comes from Egypt and the Middle East by way of Greece and Rome. But they see it as starting with Greece because it was the first “white” country to be civilized. And it was first only because it was closest to Egypt.
  2. The Greeks seem to have amazing intelligence. Because Westerners are taught to turn a blind eye to the Egyptian roots of Greek civilization: the columns, the paper, the science and mathematics, etc, all came straight out of Egypt. Even before Alexandria became the centre of Greek learning, people like Plato, Pythagoras, Solon and Thales all studied in Egypt. “The glory that was Greece” was built not on some kind of amazing Greek grey matter but sailing times to Egypt.
  3. Ancient Greeks are seen as “universal”, not “ethnic” by Anglos, who play up what they have in common with the Ancient Greeks. They do not apply that kind of thinking to the Greeks of the past 1500 years, who they look down on as unimportant, even the Byzantine Empire.
  4. The Ancient Greeks were seen as white before Greek Americans were. Just as Jesus was seen as white before the Jews were. In the 1920s laws were passed to keep Greeks and other such undesirables from coming to America in large numbers – in part to keep them from destroying the country culturally and genetically.

Yes, this is another example of the white lens, of reading history while white.

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Is America still genocidal?

Is America still genocidal? According to the Teflon Theory of White History the answer is no: the last full-blown genocide was in the 1800s. That was too long ago, so it has absolutely no effect on the present. To prove your case you need to provide Recent Examples:

  • Because wiping out over a million people could not possibly affect White American ideas about race and human worth. Or be a sign of how screwed up they might still be;
  • Because enjoying the material fruits of said genocide could not possibly cause a serious case of Moral Blindness in which white people turn a blind eye to the very faults that led to genocide.

Genocide is a crime. And like with other crimes, those who have done it once are more likely to do it again. Sudan has carried out two genocides in my lifetime. Ethiopia and what used to be Yugoslavia are also repeat offenders.What about America?

Genocides unfold in eight stages:

  1. Classification: the division into “us and them”. Example: Asking an Asian American what country he is from.
  2. Symbolization: applying symbols to the them to mark them out as pariahs, as objects of hate. Examples: black skin, yellow stars, race or religion on ID cards.
  3. Dehumanization: seeing the pariahs as not truly human. Example: the word “nigger”.
  4. Organization: training and arming. Example: the Ku Klux Klan.
  5. Polarization: silencing the voices in the middle that still stand up for the pariahs. Example: calling whites who stand up for blacks “nigger lovers”.
  6. Preparation: separating the pariahs from everyone else. Examples: ghettos, prison camps.
  7. Extermination: mass killings. Example: the Holocaust.
  8. Denial: dispute the numbers, blame history, see it as “natural”, derail discussions about it, etc. Examples: The comments on this post?

The first step is “natural”, as Americans would put it, meaning it is common to all human societies. It is when it moves beyond Stage 1 that something is going seriously wrong.

White America has gone beyond Stage 1 not once but at least three times:

  • Stage 7: 1600s to 1800s: Native Americans
  • Stage 5: 1870s to 1950s: blacks
  • Stage 6: 1940s: Japanese Americans

Where different sorts of Americans are now:

  • Stage 0: whites
  • Stage 1: Asians, Mexicans, Muslims
  • Stage 2:
  • Stage 3: blacks
  • Stage 4:
  • Stage 5:
  • Stage 6:
  • Stage 7:
  • Stage 8: Native Americans ?

Jews I would put at 0.6, Muslims, at 1.8.

I am not sure if Native Americans are an 8: I put them there because in my experience whites are not comfortable talking about it and try to derail. If you cannot admit to a fault there is little chance of change. Like a drunk who thinks he is not a drunk.

But even apart from that, you still have blacks at 3. Deep down whites think of blacks as monkeys. That makes it easier to kill them or, what is most commonly the case, to stand by and do little when they die in large numbers, as during the heroin and crack epidemics and the high murder rates that followed.

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