Thursday, May 29, 2008

Whitey, Please Get Over Yourself

It's not hate to speak the truth.

"This is mine. I'm Bill's wife. I'm white. And this is mine."

These are the words of Chicago Catholic pastor Michael Pfleger (and hopefully the right video).

Now, me, I find the whole episode hilarious! But, I do wanna make some things clear.

Pfleger was wrong for what he said because it appears to be partisan, and churches can't engage in partisan politics. I say "appears to be" because, while I haven't seen, heard, or read the entire sermon, I can imagine he was making a larger point about racism in America.

Part of what makes the clip funny is that that's exactly how Hillary Clinton has been acting this entire campaign.

Let me translate things for you.

"This is mine," is what Clinton meant when she told Katie Couric when asked if she would be dissapointed if she weren't the Democratic nominee, “Well, it will be me,” she said.

"I'm Bill's wife," is what Clinton says everytime she embraces to the 90s.

"I'm white," is what Clinton is pointing out when she talks about winning "hard working Americans, white Americans."

The Obama said he was "disappointed" by the comments. Pfleger, for his part, apologized. The Clinton campaign is whining . . . again.

Pfleger also said, "Unless you are willing to give up the benefits then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation, because you are the beneficiaries of this insurance policy."

But besides the partisan politics in church, nothing was wrong with what Pfleger said. Nothing. I know some people find his words devisive. The truth can be that way for people who refuse to see. So long as white Americans refuse to acknowledge the benefits they receive simply because they're white, there will be no racial reconciliation.

So long as the overwhelming majority of white Americans play "symmetry" games, there will be no reconciliation. I will not accept superficial symmetry for true equality. What gets white people in trouble for saying things like this is that they're often spreading lies and parroting false stereotypes about the Black community. Here Pfleger is neither lying nor spreading a false stereotype.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis