Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oh those whacky black people

Note, there are a lot of run-ons and typos below but this brought me to such a rage there's no way I can revisit it in order to neaten it up. Other contributors are welcome to it.
(brad adds: Done and done. You might want to make clear to Megan you weren't threatening her, even implicitly, lest she seek you out and shoot you in preemptive self-defense.)

Oh no, here we go again. Hasn't Megan learned not to talk about black people yet?

Is there reverse privilege?

I think it's safe to assume that minorities and women know more about life in the dominant group than the reverse--if for no other reason than the ways that media centers around their experience.
Yeah, you totally know what it's like to be a man, Megan. Afterall, you've seen a football game or two. Similar, I'm keenly aware of gay culture from having watched a handful of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy episodes. More on this later and by later I mean her next sentence:
But that can be tricky. Have you ever noticed how Europeans think they know way more about life in America than they actually do, because they watch our television and movies? I'm pretty sure that I know more about men's world than they know about mine--but I'm also confident that I don't actually know what it's like to be a man.
Gotta love Megan. Make a point as your topic sentence, then use your supporting sentences to refute that point.
While we were at Aspen, Ta-Nehisi and Kenyatta and I talked about the fact that most white people have some older person--a relative or a family friend--who is an extremely good person, and also says racist things. Most of us don't confront those people, except perhaps in a "Now, grandma, you know you shouldn't say those things*" kind of way.
Actually, I usually loudly sigh and facepalm AT THE LEAST whenever my ultra-rightwing older brother talks about the "sandniggers", but then again, I have a conscience.
That most of us have concluded that we can't raise an 85-year-old might be cowardice, but to me it feels like choosing my battles
And why battle racism when there's so much more pressing issues, like the lack of soy milk at Megan's local grocer.
Rather, I'm continuing what I tried to say in this post: that both communities, because they have a less than perfect understanding of the others' [sic] experience, are more suspicious of each other than they need to be.
No Megan, white people crossing the street when they see a black person coming is oversuspicious. Black people getting denied an interview because their name is Aiesha is fucking racism and is something to get VERY FUCKING LEGITIMATELY pissed off about.

Ending racism: are we there yet? Huh? Huh?
Dear lord she is such a bitch. Nothing like making your title a comparison of complaints of continuing racial tension to bratty five year olds in the back seat of your minivan. Sigh. Why wasn't she the one that got shot?
Meanwhile, Julian Sanchez had a very good post in response to Ta-Nehisi. You should read the whole thing, but I've been thinking hard about this piece:
She says. You know that this means the quoted post is in fact the biggest piece of shit ever.
Julian says:
There are still, of course, sectors of American society where the crude racism of the epithet and the noose is casually accepted. But, happily, this sort of thing largely is beyond the pale in polite company
Well Julian and Megan are some sheltered motherfuckers. I lived in Pittsburgh a mere three years and spend most of that time in the admittedly sheltered world of the undergraduate. Still, I heard more than once public declarations about how horrible gays were and how you couldn't trust black people. I even had my liberal and "enlightened" friend tell me once that she does, in fact, cross the street when she sees a black man coming. This wasn't some subtle, subconscious thing either. She actually argued that it was a reasonable step to take in order to avoid getting raped.

But no, racism is totally on the back burner these days. Just ask Jesse Helms. His career went to total shit because of his stroke overt racism.

Julian goes on to argue that racism is subtle these days. I'll skip it for now and get back to our muse, who loudly applauds her compatriot in not really caring about black people. (It's okie though, because neither of them has ever called anyone a nigger.)
While I think Julian's onto something important here, I wonder if this is even relevant for most of the white community. Most people just don't seem very interested in battling subtle bias.
Really? I'd love to battle that. I think most progressives (of which there are an ever increasing number) would love to battle it, too. Moreover, I'd love to battle the still largely present beat you over the head racism. I think it'd be awesome if penalties for crack and cocaine were similar. It'd be great if there were genuine public outcry for the labeling of black New Orleans residents scavenging for food as "looters." I think it'd be fucking terrific if Kanye West's speech would've been treated as the ballsy, needed to be fucking said, slap in the face of continuing, unabashed white racism that it was rather than the "OMGZOR HE DIDN'T READ THE TELEPROMPTER" travesty it was treated as.
The earlier anti-racism movements had clear goals. Free the slaves, change the Jim Crow laws, tell people they ought to treat black candidates the same as all the others. The new battle is against an endless battle against one's own thoughts. This sounds fine for people who are professional intellectuals, especially if they are focused on race or gender issues. I think that when feminist blogs say, "Everyone is sexist--we are not blaming you, but we need your help to stamp it out" they think they're extending an olive branch. But to most people, I suspect it just sounds exhausting.
Seriously, we gave the darky the vote! Does he really expect us to do the horribly tiring self reflection it would take to genuinely eradicate discrimination in all its forms? I mean, c'mon people, Survivor! is on!
And, to tell it true, the newer forms of sexism and racism aren't as bad as what proceeded them. With civil rights, we were asking people to slay dragons. Now we're asking them to spend the rest of their lives exterminating mosquitos. It may be true that a swarm of mosquitos is almost as bad, in toto, as a single dragon. But they don't summon the same sort of emotional energy.
First off, mosquitos are a horrible fucking analogy as malaria kills shitloads of people every year, but of course, they're not white people so of course Megan wouldn't think of that. Second off, FUCK YOU, YOU STUPID RACIST CUNT. You honestly think that racism today is some trifling thing? Yeah, it's just those damn niggers being uppity. So what if they can't get a cab in New York? Let em fucking walk! And hey, when the store clerks follow them around that's just an opportunity to have a knowledgeable employee around to ask questions about the merchandise!

She continually outdoes herself. This is why I hate libertarians. They can write entire tomes about how terrible it is that young people have to pay for the health care of old people, but dismiss racism as so 1968. Fuck you, Megan. I hope you die and join Jesse Helms in the gang rape circle, you self-entitled, racist piece of shit.


Clever Pseudonym said...

This is where both liberals and conservatives manage to piss me off on the subject of race. Attention, Megan: black people are not all the same. I live in a predominantly black neighborhood. Most of the people here are decent, working-class families trying to raise their kids right in a place that's festered with gangs and drugs. You can tell them apart quite readily from the guys with the prison-chic jeans hanging around their knees and the Crips/Bloods tattoos across the backs of their necks with the matching red/blue bandana to denote their allegiances. One guy I wave hello to, the other I avoid, not because he's black, but because he's made no mystery of it himself that he is fucking dangerous. You want to know what else? On top of all of that, I swear I've had more people in this neighborhood invite me to join their church than try to sell me drugs or mug my ass. Does that blow your mind, little boastfully pale Megan? The thing is, I've also lived in honkey rural areas around a lot of white trash, and they are no better. Race has nothing to do with it. Does your average white person coil in horror when they see a black man in a suit and tie? I haven't seen it, but unlike Megan, I don't assume that means it never happens.

The rest of her post is so badly written, it's getting to the point where I'm seriously considering making a list of every horribly written sentence, every last prettentiously misused fifty cent word, every spelling or editing mistake and compiling it in a digest to send to the editors of the Atlantic on a weekly basis. Maybe that will open their fucking eyes. This woman has no business in professional print. Period.

Susan of Texas said...

There are a lot of racist comments on that post. Doesn't Megan think she should monitor the tone of her blog? I'm surprised she doesn't want everyone to know she doesn't approve of some of the opinions expressed. Appearance is so important for some people.

This post is a new low for her. It's deeply embarrassing.

Clem said...

Megatron's comment policy:

Making political hay of Beutler's shooting = bad manners.

Saying "black people are predatory" = free speech.

clever pseudonym said...

I like how she's adopted the oh-so-superior habit of writing "I thought this went without saying..." as if she were a kindergarten teacher scolding her afternoon nappers. She's written that at least twice in the last week. Are there no limits to her condescension?

Kathy said...

Nutella, while I agree with a lot of the points you make about Megan's crappy writing and shallow, poorly thought out, and morally disgusting arguments, it must said -- your post is really fucking offensive. Why the recourse to such nasty misogyny?

Calling any woman a cunt and a bitch, and expressing the wish that she joins "the gang rape circle" -- I mean, what the fuck? This kind of language is completely unacceptable and completely beyond the pale.

Here's the thing: when you attack any woman using blatantly misogynist slurs, you demean *all* women. See here:
and here:
for more on this basic concept.

In case you misunderstand me, I think most of the stuff you guys do on this blog is just great. It's outrageous that someone whose thinking is so muddled, whose arguments are so lazy and ill-informed, and whose writing is so singularly lacking in wit and style can be hired as a full-time writer for the fucking Atlantic Monthly, fer chrissakes.

She's completely full of shit and somebody needs to be on her case full-time. (I'd do more of this myself, but there's so much more in the world and I don't want my blog overly focused on her).

FMM often does a great job at taking McArdle on, but when you resort to misogyny, that does nothing but discredit the important work you do. I'd love to add this blog to my blogroll but I can't when you're putting up posts that are so obnoxiously sexist.

Kathy said...

Just to be clear, the "kathy" who wrote that last comment and is writing this comment is me, Kathy G. of the blog The G. Spot. I thought my name would be listed as "Kathy G." on these comments but apparently not.

Anonymous said...

This is why I hate libertarians.

You hate libertarians because you're a Stalinist asshole, and libertarians won't let you forget it.

brad said...

I knew some of nutella's language would draw criticism, and I was mighty, mighty tempted to replace one or two words when editing it. But they're his words, not mine, and I'm not going to take absolute authority over this blog.
That said, I've put in a couple new policies. We're looking to amuse people like Kathy G, not offend.
I'm not letting the feminists win, just saying let's stick to pissing off the right people.

spencer said...

You hate libertarians because you're a Stalinist asshole, and libertarians won't let you forget it.

I can't speak for Nutella, but I hate libertarians because they are generally selfish, intellectually lazy loudmouths who have almost no understanding at all of the way actual people think and act in the real world.

Other than that, though, they're terrific.

Susan of Texas said...

"Stalinist" cracks me up. It's like calling someone a Wobbly.

NutellaonToast said...

I call Megan a cunt and a bitch because those are gender specific. No one accuses me of being a female chauvinist because I don't call women "assholes" or "dicks"

Yes, cunt is a horrible term and I used it here to express just how outrageously beyond the pale this particular post was.

As for the gang rape circle, that was merely a reference to the many jokes of the same ilk being made about Jesse Helms around the internet. Again, none are accused of being man haters when those are made.

I'll stand by brad's wishes, but I do think that the "you can't call a women a gender specific insult" shit is a ridiculous aspect of modern feminism. I'm just as feminist as any other progressive.

Men and women are different and hence different terms will be used to describe them and insult them. That's not misogyny.

Besides, you can't call me sexists. I hae plenty of female friends. :)

Honestly, though, I admire feminism and I woulod love to see its cause furthered in every way possible. I nthink the idea of removing words like bitch and cunt from the lexicon are misguided though. To me it's the left wing version of getting riled up about saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

The misogyny on this blog is a joke and clearly stated as such. If you don't think it's funny, fine, but that just makes it a bad joke, not a enabling of the patriarchy.

I know that people tend to be sensitive about their own pet battles. I myself got a little high and mighty when rickm said something vaguely anti-Israel. If you want to be taken seriously, then approach things in a serious manner. Don't flip out over every minor transgression.

brad said...

It doesn't bother me, personally, nutella, but it doesn't end there. For one, you and I aren't impacted by these gender specific terms, cuz we're not women. Dick just doesn't rank in comparison, and I think asshole is gender neutral. Everybody shits.
Ultimately, tho, for me, it comes down to not feeling a need to antagonize folk I have pretty much everything else in common with. Cunt isn't an important enough part of my vocab to be worth it, f it genuinely offends people I don't want to offend. Bitch is a slightly different story, to me, and isn't banned, but remains to be used incredibly rarely and with care and specificity. I can see where Megan pissed you off enough for this to be one of those moments.
N I know I made a joke about Jessie Helms being raped. The difference is he was a raging homophobe and a powerful man. It is a double standard to say that the rape of such men is funny, but it's one I'm willing to live with. Think of Barbara Bush. Not funny in combo with rape.

spencer said...

Think of Barbara Bush. Not funny in combo with rape.

With her as victim, no, it's not. But I can imagine instances where it might be funny if we're talking about Babs grabbing a strap-on and -

On second thought, never mind.

Clem said...

There's a sad irony in all of this: Megatron's such an Anglophile, she'd probably scan "c**t" the way many Brits do, as an all-purpose insult that falls short of being a mortal offense to women. She's laughing at us right now, driving her Mini with a Silk Cut cigarette in her hand, Union Jack on the antenna and "CNTMBL" on the plates.

NutellaonToast said...

Alright, I'll concede the rape point. It isn't the same as with Helms, though I'd argue that Megan is a racist and a homophobe (the latter I'll post on later).

Cunt, though, I use as you say you';d usre race. I wanted to use the word that would be most offensive TO MEGAN and that's usually cunt. However, I don't see how it's insulting to women as a whole.

As far as asshole goes, yeah, we'e all got em, but people rarely call women assholes and certainly nowjere near as frequently as they call men assholes.

There are just certain words we tend to only use with men and others only with women.

I agree that offending Kathy G is not something I'd like to do, but at the sametime, why shouldn't the impetus e on her to lighten up rather than on me from saying those naughty words. Words that imply misogyny in her (and the like minded I suppose) mind only, as I had no misogynistic thoughts while uttering them.

Almost all of our regular commenters that aren't contributors are women and none of them got upset about my use of the word.

brad said...

I don't think Kathy G is guilty of being a humorless feminist. I'm sort of inclined to agree that those words only offend if you let them, but it's also not up to me to determine the sensibilities of others. CP and Susan of Texas come off as unique people, in very, very good ways, but, well...
the analogy I keep thinking of is when someone makes an over the top crack about Yankee fans being inherently evil at S,N!, it pisses me off. Not because I take the insult seriously, bradrocket n the many other Bostonians have every right to make good natured, informed cracks, as do I in return, but because S,N! is a place I go to have fun and enjoy the company of diverse but like minded folk and escape petty small brained us versus them mindsets.
I'm probably getting incoherent, n I gotta get back to other stuff, but my point is this is supposed to be a place to enjoy making fun of Megan, n I respect Kathy G, and any who feel similarly but haven't spoken up, enough to want her, and them, to feel comfortable here. And honestly, I don't think cunt is a valuable enough word to push people away with.

clever pseudonym said...

It bothered me slightly, because I honestly think "cunt" is one of the most obscene words in the English language. I didn't make a point of it because:

1) I've lived in the UK and Ireland, where it is used much more liberally and have become somewhat immune to it.

2) It's not my place to tell other people what language they should and should not use, no matter how much it offends me. This isn't a swipe at Kathy G. I can certainly see how someone who spends as much time as her reading and writing about feminism would be passionate about such a thing. She does important work that I'm grateful for getting to read for free.

3) I know you are all pretty progressive guys and while you don't write on the subject of feminism often, I can fairly guess where you stand on the subject. I know that, despite Megan's assertions otherwise, your disdain for her has nothing to do with her gender. If I caught a wiff otherwise, I'd be out of here for good in a second.

4) I understand the rage her insipid, vacuous, awful, ill-informed writing can inspire, so I'm willing to forgive more when it sends you guys off the deep end from time to time. It's not just her work alone; it's that it appears in a once-great American magazine. If she were just blogging as a hobby and this were meganmcardlesucks.blogspot.com, I probably wouldn't be around.

That being said, I'm glad you've decided to ban the use of the "c-word." It's brutally ugly and I'd prefer not to see it.

NutellaonToast said...

It is brutally ugly, but so is Megan.

I can understand why women hate "cunt" when directed at them or used in their direct presence, but it's not kyke, nigger, or spic (all of which I've used to nobody's chagrin). It doesn't demean women in general. It demans a womAn. In particular, a women who very much needs to be demeaned.

Anyway, nI'll refrain from using it in the future.

Susan of Texas said...

I don't worry too much about the smaller things. But I thought it was dreadful for McCain to use the word (let alone at his wife) and I wouldn't go there myself. It's totally up to you guys, and you seem to have come to an agreement.

But Megan doesn't really anger me. I think she's extremely useful as a perfect example of the conservative mindset; personal prejudices and insecurity dressed up as rational argument, when it's nothing of the sort. Instead it's mindless consumerism, assumption of superiority, lack of knowledge and wisdom papered over with a worthless MBA, and spiteful disregard for the less fortunate.