Friday, November 05, 2010
Tim Wise, Anti-Racist
SWARTHMORONS.35.9-13. Time for a fisking. Why bother? (There was a debate at InstaPunk about it. See the Comments here.) I wound up siding with DJ Moore (post what you've got so far and quit) and Brizoni (Kill him...!) Here's a bio that should make most people sick:
Tim Wise. His High Mightiness.
Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States, and has been called, “One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,” by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise, who was recently named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” by Utne Reader, has spoken in 49 states, on over 600 college campuses, and to community groups across the nation. He has also lectured internationally in Canada and Bermuda on issues of comparative racism, race and education, racism and religion, and racism in the labor market.
Wise is the author of five books, including White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son; Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White; Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male; Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama, and his latest, Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity. He has contributed essays to twenty-five books, and is one of several persons featured in White Men Challenging Racism: Thirty-Five Personal Stories, from Duke University Press. He received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best feature essay on race issues, and his writings have appeared in dozens of popular, professional and scholarly journals.
Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has conducted trainings with physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has also trained corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions, and has served as a consultant for plaintiff’s attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington State.
In summer, 2005, Wise served as an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School for Social Work, in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he co-taught a Master’s level class on Racism in the U.S. In 2001, Wise trained journalists to eliminate racial bias in reporting, as a visiting faculty-in-residence at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. From 1999-2003, Wise was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute, in Nashville, and in the early ’90s he was Youth Coordinator and Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the largest of the many groups organized for the purpose of defeating neo-Nazi political candidate, David Duke. He graduated from Tulane University in 1990 and received antiracism training from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, in New Orleans.
Wise has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs, is a regular contributor to discussions about race on CNN, and was featured in a segment on ABC’s 20/20, in 2007.
Sad, sad, sad.
Why do I say that? Because he's a man with a one-note career, and he's a phony at that. Herewith the fisking that proves it
An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper TantrumGo to hell, Tim Wise. It's where you belong. You're a racist, pontificating sonofabitch with a third-rate mind. And you've never written a decent, compelling paragraph in your life.
Posted on November 3, 2010
For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.
And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor. [So everyone who disagrees with you is a drunk. Good to know.]
Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this…
You need to drink up.
Because your time is limited.
Real damned limited. [Do you write books this way?]
So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness.
The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left.
Not much more now.
I know, you think you’ve taken “your country back” with this election — and of course you have always thought it was yours for the taking, cuz that’s what we white folks are bred to believe, that it’s ours, and how dare anyone else say otherwise — but you are wrong. [Speak for yourself, John.]
You have won a small battle in a larger war the meaning of which you do not remotely understand. [Let me guess. You're going to explain why you're smarter than everyone else...]
‘Cuz there is nothing even slightly original about you. [As opposed to the ultimate originality of you. Got it.]
There have always been those who wanted to take the country back. [You must have majored in journalism. One sentence = one paragraph. Congratulations.]
There were those who, in past years, wanted to take the country back to a time of enslavement and indentured servitude. [Who were those people exactly? Please be specific.]
But they lost .[No shit.]
There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when children could be made to work in mines and factories, when workers had no legal rights to speak of, when the skies in every major city were heavy with industrial soot that would gather on sidewalks and windowsills like volcanic ash. [There were those who made up fantasy enemies who embodied all that was worst in humankind and then pretended that their fantasies were all the authority figures they spent their lives rebelling against. So? And there were those who bored the shit out of everybody because they hated their parents and pretended that personal hatreds were synonymous with social justice.]
But they lost. [No shit, again. Are you starting to see a pattern here, Lochinvar? Your worst fears are the same as your fantasies.]
There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when women could not vote, or attend any but a few colleges, or get loans in their own names, or start their own businesses. [Now you're fucking with reality. It's people of your kind who have done more to keep women enslaved than the people you hate. You're the ones who have decided that women who aren't leftists are fair game to be derided as whores, sluts, and worse.]
[TIME OUT. Anaphora is a figure of speech that uses constant repetition of opening phrases as a rhetorical device. "This is a country in which..." "There are those who..." Thing is, it gets really tiresome. It's not writing. It's bad ad copy. Just saying.]
But they lost. [Who's they? Sorry. I'm losing track. Something, perhaps, about the thudding boredom of your prose is putting me to sleep.]
There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when blacks “had no rights that the white man was bound to respect,” – this being the official opinion of the Supreme Court before those awful days of judicial activism, now decried by the likes of you – and when people of color could legally be kept from voting solely because of race, or holding certain jobs, or living in certain neighborhoods, or run out of other towns altogether when the sun would go down, or be strung up from trees. [Let me guess. Anyone who disagrees with you is one of those people.]
But they lost. [Jeez. Do you know anything about pacing, let alone writing....?]
And you will lose. [Good Lord. Did you really write your masters thesis this way? Did you submit in crayon?]
So make a note of it. [I promise. In crayon.]
Tweet it to yourself. [Shit. My tweet thing doesn't have a crayon option.]
Put it on your Facebook wall and leave it there so you’ll remember that I told you so. [Will do. uh, who told me so? Sorry. I forget. Also, I don't have a Facebook page. Does that make me a racist? I suppose it does. So so sorry.]
It is coming, and soon. [WHAT is coming?! You and your hard-on about race relations? Or something else? Have you ever heard of an actual declarative sentence that doesn't consist mostly of antecedentless pronouns?]
This isn’t hubris. It isn’t ideology. It is not wishful thinking. [uh, then what is it, kemo sabe? I was pretty sure it was all three till you told me it wasn't. Now I'm confused...]
It is math. [Math? Really? Like a guy who can't write a simple sentence knows something about math?]
Not even advanced math. Just simple, basic, like 3rd grade math. [Oh. Third grade math? That I can believe.]
The kind of math that proves how your kind — mostly older white folks beholden to an absurd, inaccurate, nostalgic fantasy of what America used to be like — are dying. [You're going to do that with simple addition and subtraction? Can't wait.]
You’re like the bad guy in every horror movie ever made, who gets shot five times, or stabbed ten, or blown up twice, and who will eventually pass — even if it takes four sequels to make it happen — but who in the meantime keeps coming back around, grabbing at our ankles as we walk by, we having been mistakenly convinced that you were finally dead this time. [Oh. Sorry. You weren't talking about math or even arithmetic. You were talking about counting. Damn if I don't feel intimidated.]
Fair enough, and have at it. But remember how this movie ends. [I'll bite. How does this movie end?]
Our ankles survive. [Huh?]
You do not. [Come again. If your ankles survive, everything important survives? Well... maybe... given the level of intellect you've shown so far, maybe your ankles are as smart as the rest of you.]
Michael Meyers, Freddie Kreuger, Jason, and that asshole husband in that movie with Julia Roberts who tracks her down after she runs away and changes her identity–they are all done. Even that crazy fucker in Saw is about to be finished off for good. Granted, he’s gonna be popping out in 3-D to scare the kiddies, so he isn’t going quietly. But he’s going, as all bad guys eventually do. [uh, what? I confess it, dude. You've totally lost me here.]
And in the pantheon of American history, conservative old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms. [Which follows from which particular antecedent proposition exactly...?]
Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter. [Keep what up? Our incredibly extenuated suspension of disbelief that you can actually write, have something to say, and will ultimately get to some point us lowly ignoramuses might actually recognize...? Good luck with that.]
Because you’re on the endangered list. [Aw. What endangered list?]
And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving. [Because bald eagles, unlike white males of European extraction, aren't stone killers who live high above their prey, looking for any any opportunity to swoop down and eat the most helpless prey they can find. Right.]
In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Opie-Taylor-Down-at-the-Fishing Hole cornpone bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart. [uh, I challenge you to diagram this sentence, er paragraph. I grant you it's fiery. It's just not a sentence.]
There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them, and so therefore, we’ll be able to teach about them accurately and honestly, without hurting your precious feelings, or those of the so-called “greatest generation” — a bunch whose white contingent was top-heavy with ethical miscreants who helped save the world from fascism only to return home and oppose the ending of it here, by doing nothing to lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle. [Let me get this straight. Accuracy increases when the people who actually remember the times in question are no longer alive to question your historiography. I see. One small example of your logic: the Republicans you despise so much were not "ethical miscreants who" didn't "lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle." They're the ones who passed the Civil Rights bill by a greater margin than the Democrats were able to muster. Perhaps that's the rewriting of history you have in mind? But why?]
It’s OK. Because in about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it. [uh, as long as they're Americans, who gives a flying fuck what color they are? Oh. That's right. You do.]
Nothing, Senõr Tancredo. [You must have me confused with somebody else. Almost all of us are not named Tom Tancredo. Funny how that works.]
Nothing, Senõra Angle, or Senõra Brewer, or Senõr Beck. [You've got your accents wrong, The mañana should be on the 'n,' not the 'o.']
Loy tiene muy mal, hijo de Puta. [Thanks. Reminds me of my favorite song...
My favorite because my mother loved it. She, of
course, was a white supremacist from way back.]
And by then you will have gone all in as a white nationalist movement — hell you’ve all but done that now — thus guaranteeing that the folks of color, and even a decent size minority of us white folks will be able to crush you, election after election, from the Presidency on down to the 8th grade student council. [Absolutely, positively right. Unless Marco Rubio, Governor Martinez, and Governor Sandoval can talk some sense into us in the interim.]
Like I said, this is math. And numbers don’t lie. [Of course they do. Like all tools, they're sibject to the person using them. In your case they lie like rugs.]
Bottom line, this too shall pass. [Which is where we're going to cut you off. You go on and on and on about absolutely nothing. You're a monomaniac with nothing to say. Nothing. Whatever. And everything you do say is wrong. Here's what's really sad. You've wasted your entire life on a delusion. You fucking majored in White Guilt. Guess what? You're a pea-brain. Nothing can save you from that fate. Not even being the lone white man who feels the pain of all the minorities. Your only claim to fame is based on the white superiority you everywhere disdain. Your views about race and equality are supposed to matter more than others because you're a white man saying it. Pitiful.]
End of lesson.