Friday, 10 October 2014

The Whiteness Project

quote [ The Whiteness Project is a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as ?white? experience their ethnicity. ]

Based on that sentence, you might think this has merit. Watch a few of the vids and change your mind. This is fucking embarrassing.

Been wathcing more and more of these videos and this is nuts. The sight purports to be an "investigation" into the "white" experience, but so much of it just sounds like racism, plain and simple.
[SFW] [politics] [+4 WTF]
[by b@11:15pmGMT]


lilmookieesquire said @ 12:22am GMT on 11th Oct [Score:1 Insightful]
Based on that sentence, you might think this has merit.

Not really, no.
ENZ said @ 12:56am GMT on 11th Oct [Score:2]
It could. There are a lot of different ethnicities that fall under the "white" umbrella today. It'd be interesting how the experiences of second and third generation Jewish, Italian, and Slavic immigrants differ from "established" Anglo-Saxons. People who grew up hearing stories from their parents and grandparents about the discrimination they used to face compared to how they live without being seen as any different from crackers that have been here since the Mayflower.

But yeah, these mostly seem to be a selection of clueless boobs.
Bruceski said @ 1:09am GMT on 11th Oct
Is second generation the kids of immigrants, or the grandkids of immigrants? People tend to use it for both but I have a bit of an obsessive need for accuracy. Dad's from England, Mom's parents were Russian Jews.

Anyway, I have gotten to pull off the thing where someone complains about immigrants and their "spawn" (actual word the jerk used) being everywhere and I got to chime in with "Hell, there could be one standing behind you right now." Fun times.
ENZ said @ 1:31am GMT on 11th Oct [Score:1 Informative]
I... don't really know? In my analogy I'd guess it'd mean grandkids.

Though, that's another facet of being white that I guess is important, how kneaded most of us are. Pretty much everyone I grew up with said they can trace themselves back to at least three different places. My name is Scottish, but my features are mostly Italian. And my dad was adopted, so I can't be sure exactly what the hell I am unless I care to get a DNA screening. So that's a pretty significant contributing factor in how the "Irish need not apply" thing fell out of fashion pretty damn quickly.

Reminded me of this XKCD strip from the other day.

Interbreeding is the best way to bring cultures together.
b said @ 1:55am GMT on 11th Oct
That may be one of the more defining characteristics of us whiteys: the fact that we're all pretty much mutts. I can trace back to my grandparents Scottish, English, German and Mennonite stock. Not anything too wildly out there, but somewhat varied. Who knows what else is back there in my ancestry?
bones said @ 3:12am GMT on 11th Oct
Whites are mutts more in the U.S. than in Europe. In Europe there's still lingering racism about being the wrong sort of white, and there are remnants of it in the U.S. You would consider this ethnicism rather than racism, but examples would be: the Irish, the Polish, Jews, Israelis, etc. There is also the concept of the "wog", which is a swarthy, southern European type (also technically white but not white enough apparently).

These are all groups who are caucasian but they're the "wrong" kind of white.

Given the wide variety of possible ethnicities, there is no one "white" experience, so it could have been an interesting subject on that merit. If approached from a standpoint of privilege awareness, it could also be interesting to talk about the white experience.
b said @ 3:21am GMT on 11th Oct
Good points. I guess I'm just thinking about those of us in Canada and the US, for the most part.
HoZay said @ 4:27am GMT on 11th Oct
Always heard wog to mean asian/middle eastern.
bones said @ 5:43pm GMT on 11th Oct
Anyone with darker skin. It can apply to Italians, the Spanish, Southern French, North Africans, etc. Just all those beautiful golden-skinned people with dark hair and eyes.

Regional usage may vary. It is also possible that the definition I know comes from misuse, since assholes don't bother to be discerning with their discrimination.
HoZay said @ 6:40pm GMT on 11th Oct
Are you Australian?
Bruceski said @ 2:06am GMT on 11th Oct
I getcha. My dad's dad was a bastard, so technically I'm "1/2 Russian Jew, 3/8 English, 3.8 probably also English" but it's easier to say otherwise.

I find it interesting when I refer to race and when I don't. I don't identify as English (though I like to joke that I grew up in a bilingual household of English and American and my spelling is atrocious as a result) but I definitely consider myself Jewish (which is complex on its own since that's a race, a culture and a religion all tangled together). I used to put Jewish in the "other" checkbox of standardized tests, but if I'm talking about different people's feelings of safety I describe myself as "a large white male, probably not a mugger's first choice". I suppose it's the difference between "what I look like" and "what I am."
Bruceski said @ 2:06am GMT on 11th Oct
GordonGuano said @ 2:14am GMT on 11th Oct
"Everybody just gotta keep fuckin' everybody 'til they're all the same color."

AssBastard said @ 1:41am GMT on 11th Oct
Do not disparage boobs in front of me, sir!
Bruceski said @ 11:59pm GMT on 10th Oct
I wish they had the full interviews rather than cherry-picking like this. I've had some conversations where we start things out with "just to be clear, we both agree that X have things a lot worse than we do and this conversation is in no way meant to diminish that. With that out of the way, this other thing we deal with is kinda annoying" and if you cut out the first part it would sound a lot more horrid. Heck, even in text some of the conversations I've had would sound horrid because you don't have that same chance to pause, say "man, that sounded really horrible the way I said it, is there a way to get at what I mean without coming across as an ass" and continue on before the reager has gotten irate.
GordonGuano said @ 12:46am GMT on 11th Oct
I want the dude with the yellow shirt to take me on a tour of the Shire and show me his uncle's magical ring.
foobar said @ 1:55am GMT on 11th Oct
I don't know. I'm not sure we can explore the sort of background radiation racism without listening to people who may be horribly wrong without screaming at them.

And not all of them are terrible. The IT guy seemed reasonably self aware.
b said @ 3:24am GMT on 11th Oct [Score:1 Underrated]
I do know either, but the staggering % of the men who straight up believe their skin colour hasn't conferred any advantage on them... They're so clueless that they don't realize that just by being white they avoid something as simple as being murdered by police for being the wrong skin colour. Or not being pulled over by cops or subject to stop and frisks. Or any number of hidden advantages gained just by being white.
mechanical contrivance said @ 4:03am GMT on 11th Oct
It doesn't seem strange to me. If things don't happen to people, they tend not to think about them. If someone never gets stopped and frisked, they're not going to notice not getting stopped and frisked. Why would someone notice something that doesn't happen?
ENZ said @ 4:09am GMT on 11th Oct
I hate this argument. Yes, racial profiling is indeed a problem, but not being subject to it isn't an advantage. I've been pulled over and searched, too. Being white doesn't infer a magically immunity to that kind of thing. I don't understand what the hell I'm expected to do with all this "privilege" I allegedly have.

Think of it like a swim meet. Some poor bastards get weights tired to them, a few get to ride on a jet ski, but most just swim normally. It's not a fair situation for anyone, why shame those who haven't done anything wrong?
GordonGuano said @ 4:18am GMT on 11th Oct
As MLK Jr pointed out, racism is a tool the 1% use to keep the 99% at each other's throats. It's by no means the only tool, though. You could also include the wage gap myth or having to scourge yourself and apologize for being white before you say anything in mixed company.
bones said @ 5:59pm GMT on 11th Oct
You are REALLY anti-feminist, aren't you?
GordonGuano said @ 1:39am GMT on 12th Oct
I think my issue is that I don't think slapping a #YesAllWomen hashtag onto a tweet counts as feminism, nor does inventing new types of victimhood*. I think sites like Jezebel and XOJane are less devoted to feminism and more devoted to churning out crap that lacks intellectual honesty or rigor to keep their target demographic outraged and clicking (just like Fox News), and feminism is the poorer for it. I'm happy to mock sites like the witchwind thing I posted earlier (while seriously hoping whoever writes it is good about taking their meds) as harmless nuttery. But the Guardian giving Lindy West a platform to tell people that not fitting into a single airplane seat is somehow the airline's fault is doing real harm.

*MRA types do this as well, and we don't take them seriously, so why shouldn't the converse be true?
HoZay said @ 4:32am GMT on 11th Oct
racial profiling is indeed a problem, but not being subject to it isn't an advantage

So being subject to racial profiling isn't a disadvantage?
ENZ said @ 4:46am GMT on 11th Oct
Of course it is, I'm just calling out a false dichotomy. Having an advantage is being born wealthy and rampant nepotism getting you ahead in life. Simply being left to my own devices unmolested is not in of itself an advantage. Comparatively, yeah, I'm better off than someone who's actively being discriminated against, but how is it fair to call me out on that?
HoZay said @ 5:00am GMT on 11th Oct [Score:1 Insightful]
Asking you to acknowledge that not being held down by the system every day is an advantage is not really asking that much of you.
ENZ said @ 5:19am GMT on 11th Oct
Yeah, but aren't we all held down by "the system"?

Also, hyperbole much? Shit's not perfect, but you're making it sound like it's still as bad as the 20's.
HoZay said @ 6:41am GMT on 11th Oct [Score:3 Insightful]
No, we're not all held down by the system, otherwise, it wouldn't be a system.
I'm not talking about the past.


net worth



Life Expectancy
ENZ said @ 11:24am GMT on 11th Oct
Hence why I said "shit's not perfect".

But I grew up on welfare, I'm not college educated, and I made $19.000 last year moving furniture at a country club. Don't talk to me like I'm privileged just because a lot of people have it worse than me.
b said @ 4:40pm GMT on 11th Oct [Score:1 Underrated]
I'm slapping my forehead over here. Now imagine you are a black man. Maybe you didn't even get hired at that country club.

Your false dichotomy is saying things like "I grew up poor too", not taking into account that growing up poor and white is still different than growing up poor and black.
ENZ said @ 9:14pm GMT on 11th Oct
I actually talked to a few of my black coworkers on this today. I asked them what "white privilege" meant to them, and the general response I got was "the upper echelons of society". I asked if they felt I had any kind of advantage over them, and they said we were pretty equal.

So either you're overestimating the plight of minorities in today's society, or my life is shittier than I thought.
b said @ 4:38pm GMT on 11th Oct
It is absolutely not a false dichotomy. When you have to go through your day, wondering when the cop is going to stop you, every day, it's fatiguing. I've read far too many essays by black men who receive constant harassment from police for no other reason than being black.

No, being white doesn't make you immune to it, but I can tell you the number of times I was pulled over in my car: 1. And that was because I was speeding. There are black men who are pulled over regularly.

Imagine if you were subject to New York's stop and frisk police action. Read about it on Wikipedia ( and then tell me that it doesn't unfairly target POC, and that it wouldn't be terrifying to live under that system.

Know one is calling you out for being white, but all you need to do is simply acknowledge that you have hidden advantages based on your skin colour. Once you realize and acknowledge that, you can see ways in which society and government systematically discriminates agains POC.
ENZ said @ 9:16pm GMT on 11th Oct
I'm sure it would be, if that were true. Yeah, it might be for some, but none of my black coworkers I talked to today said they live in constant fear of police brutality and profiling.

It's like that "all women are always afraid of being raped" thing I hear so much about. Really? Fucking really?
bones said @ 5:58pm GMT on 11th Oct
The fact that you think you are being shamed is the problem here. You are not. Privilege is NOT about shame. It is about recognizing that other people are not on a fair playing field with you, and then giving a shit and trying to do something about it.

What are you supposed to do with all this privilege? Easy. You speak out. You stand up. Don't just say it isn't your problem, or that you have your own problems; if everyone takes that attitude, no one will help anyone and we'll all be worse off for it.
ENZ said @ 10:59pm GMT on 11th Oct
Yeah, except for the most part it's an issue of classism rather than overt racism these days. And as poor white trash I'm in the same boat as minorities.
JWWargo said @ 5:50pm GMT on 11th Oct
gunthar said @ 9:44pm GMT on 11th Oct
this is hilarious
damnit said @ 4:41am GMT on 12th Oct

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