Karen Ocamb

Unbelievable Unapologetic Racism

Filed By Karen Ocamb | May 14, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: America, racism, television

I have no idea what this show is nor do I care. My first concern was that if this guy is saying this racist crap out loud - how many more people might be thinking it. But then I thought - this is what the country's come to. We're so divided and crass that being overtly and publicly racist is no longer a big deal. We know that's happening with LGBTs and women (with the war on Planned Parenthood). And the Religious Right use racism to tout their moral values - as in Mike Huckabee's cartoon for kids. But now the Tea Party message that spitting at an African American congressmember is OK is being picked up by other minorities.

And what's our response? Remember that old Edmund Burke quote: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Crossposted at LGBT POV

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this is nothing new. why do we as White people act shocked when we see blatant racism? all you have to do is ask People of Color how often they experience racism, blatant or covert, to realize that these monthly pop-culture racist blow-ups only scratch the surface.

heck, we're not even talking about the other factors included in racism which are unchecked White privilege and a whole society based on "invisible" White supremacy. being nice to Black people and considering yourself "colorblind" is not even a slice of what combats racism.

before we start some great gay stand-off against whatever crappy tv show this was, online petitions, boycotts, and the whole like, let's examine what we as White people can really do to combat racism:

start with ourselves. do our anti-racist work as anti-racist Whites; do it together without leaning on People of Color to educate us. take a training if we need to. read, do research on racism and White privilege, read Black literature, become familiar with Black history (the real stuff, not the history written by White people), and perhaps stop living such a segregated life (for God's sake, the gay culture is painfully segregated! - find out why!). learn about things that matter to People of Color, read their blogs, go to their community meetings alone, not in a posse of other White people. educate other White people about why their racist jokes hurt, learn how the world is unfairly harmed by White privilege, be an example to other Whites.

condemning people who say mean, prejudiced things about Black people is not enough when most of us White people do NOTHING about our unearned privilege and contribute blindly every second to a racially-unfair world. acting appalled does nothing!

It's funny how the girl sitting there was shocked that a dark skinned man was racist toward another even darker skinned men.

For all we know the English were pretty damn perverse to the Irish and they were still racist despite slight differences physically.

Maybe it's shocking to Americans, who are used to shoving unpleasantness under the rug, be it by shunning or pressure.

I see this racism all the time. A Cuban coworker who's mulatto, whom Hispanic whites still dismiss as "negro" (black), constantly casts off other darker skinned men as "negro"'s, without noticing the irony.

Good thing is that this show is so remote, that few people will have to be indignant about watching this.

Also, all I needed to know about his outburst is, well, Texas. Texans have this whole anti-PC bullshit excuse about not having to monitor their thoughts. They just vomit whatever comes to mind and then get upset when others observe it for what it is-- vomit.

You said it - Texas is a screwed up place. Before I even realized how politically screwed up it was, I started meeting people from there and they were all a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Maybe it's all the pollution affecting their brains.

When Rick Scott started making noises about Texas seceding, my reaction was, "go already! buh-bye! The national IQ will go up a few points."

Thanks for posting this Karen, even though it is so painful to view.

The racist man said something very strategic to his way of thinking, but I'm going to hold off commenting on it for a few days because I want to see if any of the other commenters pick up on it.

I will say that Mr. Rhodes's lecture toward the end was correct but ineffective -- had Mr. Rhodes picked up on the point I speak of, he might have educated this man more effectively.

Interesting how he acts like black people should just shut up and accept abuse, don't have an NAACP, just be quiet and don't stand up for themselves. Despicable.

Does anyone know where that clip is from? It looks like a reality show of some sort.

The show is called "Without Prejudice"

The whole idea of the show is to jack with the viewers, it worked.

Ted Hayes Ted Hayes | May 15, 2011 8:05 AM

I offer two quotes:

Albert Einstein said, "The world is a dangerous place, NOT because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

Amos B. Alcott (Louisa May's father) said: "To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant." He must have foreseen this man.

california panda | May 15, 2011 10:32 AM

Better to know who they are so they can be "isolated". Maybe we should simply dedicate one state just for the bigots so they can all be grouped in one place. Then we can fence it off an start enjoying life.

Thanks, A.J. I'm curious if the point you're going to make in a few days is the one where the guy says something like: "I'm sick and tired of [Black people] thinking the world owes them something."

That can be spun out political to tap into all sorts of racist sentiments, especially in hard economic times when people are looking for scapegoats. A version of that was played out here in California during the Prop 8 fight so that gays became the reason for all the ills and problems in the world - signaling Armageddon.

Re Tavis Smiley. I used to watch him a lot but then he was sooo self-righteous when he put on his annual State of the Black Union and Obama chose that day to officially announce his candidacy in Feb. 2007 in Springfield, Illinois. Obama said: "That is why, in the shadow of the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln once called on a divided house to stand together, where common hopes and common dreams still live, I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the United States," Mr Obama said. As I remember watching the Tavis show on C-Span and how Tavis and several of his guests wanted Obama to pick a different day to announce and blasted him for not showing up. Tavis was also pissed because he said he knew Obama personally from back in the day and I guess he felt snubbed.

I stopped being a Tavis watcher on the 10th anniversary of his State of the Black Union when he failed to have anyone discuss AIDS in Black America. I wrote about it for Huffington Post:

So thank you for directing me to that interview where he says he's getting pushback for calling out the racism underway in the 2012 election. I wouldn't have watched otherwise and he makes a good point. But I still think we all - black and white - need to call out racism, sexism and homophobia whenever we think we see it or else our silence will essentially be a tacit agreement.
Thanks, A.J. Always appreciate your comments.

Karen, your comments re Tavis Smiley come very close to the point I will be making.

First, let's consider what the Hawaiian man didn't say about Blacks: He didn't spew the standard moral and "genetic" objections, such as Blacks are less intelligent, Blacks are lazy, Blacks are untrustworthy and/or natural criminals, Blacks are genetically inferior in general, etc. His objections consistently have some social context.

To me, the thread that runs through the Hawaiian man's racist tirade is that he is offended by what I will call tribalism on the part of Blacks, and by that I mean the strength of their identity with other Blacks compared to their identities as fellow humans with whites. Of course, for a racist person to have such umbrage is ironic in itself, because historically it is white people's over-emphasizing of race that causes Blacks in America to have such a strong racial identity. Before tribalism got out of kilter for Blacks, it was long and catastrophically out of kilter on the part of whites.

The Hawaiian man complains that Blacks expect jobs just because they are Black, that they have their own media such as BET, that they have institutions of racial defense and promotion such as the NAACP, that they "get pissed off" -- if I may complete his sentence for him -- at every "minor" racial affront.

The Hawaiian man is very wrong in the way that he states his attitude, and implements what are to him its conclusions -- yet he has illustrated an issue that all Americans who are concerned about race issues need to consider: the balance between identity with one's race and identity with all fellow humans regardless of race, for this is the mechanism by which we psychologically create "the Other".

This subject is worthy of an entire book, and I simply cannot give it the full discussion it is worthy of here. But I'll draw one connection: The question of tribalism is very akin to the famous early 2008 question, "Is Obama black enough?" asked by Black voters, and the converse question, "Is Obama too Black?" that white voters (mostly) had to answer for themselves.

This is how I frame the incident involving Tavis Smiley's SOTBU "snub" you mention, Karen: Obama had the choice of either starting his campaign symbolizing he wanted to be president for all Americans, or he could have joined SOTBU and sent a public statement about celebrating his "Blackness". Obama is a shrewd politician, and he knows where the most votes are.

As for the Hawaiian man and people like us, people of good will, countering such blatant racism: I don't think the tactic Daniel Rhodes took is at all effective, especially when Mr. Rhodes included such obvious insults. The insults merely put more distance between the two men. I ask myself how MLK might have handled this man. And while we don't know for sure, I think we can assume that Martin would not have started out by insulting him.

One of the facets of MLK's greatness is that he did indeed have a difference sense regarding his racial "tribalism" -- there is no doubt he worked for justice for the Black race, indeed he gave his career and his life for this -- but he increasingly came to emphasize racial commonality, that Black and white generally have the same vision about what is The Good Life in America. Near the end of his career, MLK saw that there is no legitimate way to fight "Black poverty" -- one can only fight poverty wherever it exists.

So ... I don't have a magic answer about fighting unapologetic racism as we see in this clip, but I do have the suggestion that it can only be defused by emphasizing our commonalities with the Hawaiian man, not our glaring attitudinal differences. I do not know if this man's attitudes can be changed; like so many, he does seem to be in love with his own prejudices.

Is this real? It seems like a parody. What's with the laugh track? I like how that man broke it down for him, though, because sometimes you just got to break it down for a motherfucker.