Thursday, November 01, 2007

On Racism in Montana

I have been thinking about racism for quite a while. I suppose it was inspired by the Missoula YWCA ad on racism. The guy starts out by saying "I lived my whole life in Montana. Growing up I remember hanging out with the Native American kids in my schools and neighborhoods. I miss those friendships. Am I missing out on others?" Maybe you have heard the commercial. If I remember right, that ad won some sort of award.
But if you think about it, isn't the ad racist? Imagine you go to a party where some guy introduces you to a Native American and says: This is Joe, he is my Native American friend, and because of him, my life is complete. No mention of what Joe thinks of this pretentious asshole. Having a friend of a different race solely for filling your own need is not progressive or thoughtful. It is blatantly racist in that you only seem to have sought him out as a friend because of his race.
Racism is traditionally thought of as putting someone down because of their ethnicity. But it is just as racist to raise them up based on nothing but their ethnicity.
Within the Politically Correct world, it sometimes rears its ugly head when it determines that all whites regardless of their class or status are racists. Now, I ask you, isn't that racist? Blaming an entire group based solely on their skin color would seem to be the very epitome of racism. But these accusations are coming from some of our centers of advanced learning. How smart are they really?
Most of the time, living in our lily white world here in Montana, we don't see many overt displays of racism. But every once in a while, you see something that you just can't believe that someone said.
Down in the comments, we have this exchange:
# Mark T Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Sorry Mike - haven’t really been paying attention to your alter-homeland lately. But I do know, as you do, as we all do, that anyone who criticizes Israel is either demented or self-hating. I don’t know where HRW fits on that continuum.

Other than that, your comment is laced with deep anger. Reminds me of me after a Forest Service meeting. Anyway, I do trust that Matt and the boys are appreciating their prize and attempting to overthrow capitalism and make everyone use fluorescent light bulbs. They’re tools.

# Mike Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 8:38 pm

My “alter-homeland?” Playing the dual-loyalty card or just referencing my ability to live somewhere outside the US for a few weeks a year? If my name were Jabeiri and I went to Mecca a few weeks every year would that be my “alter-homeland” also? Just askin’.

But I do know, as you do, as we all do, that anyone who criticizes Israel is either demented or self-hating.

Do we? There must be something in the water in Bozeman providing at least two of you with the divine ability to “know” what others are thinking. Kind of makes the blogging thing superfluous, no? Drink a bottle of Bozeman-Juice and just stay at home projecting your swine-fucking fetish onto others.
I believe that Mark is a reasonable person, and since the comments were originally started toward the question of whether or not Forward Montana should reveal their finances, I have to think that Mark was either very tired, or under the influence of something that wasn't making him think clearly. I mention this comment only because it had nothing to do with the original train of thought that started the post.
But Mark's comments are not that far out of the mainstream. Fifty years ago, it was the Blueblood Country Club Republicans who didn't want Jews to sully their existence. This seems to have been turned around today by the Progressive movement, who now believe like the Mullahs in Iran, that Israel is the "Little Satan." How many protests have we seen of Israel that have ANSWER wearing Palestinian badges and holding their flags aloft while they protest against "Israeli aggression?" If Al-Qaeda in Lebanon continuously shells civilian villages, or raids a home killing all but a mother and her baby, who the mother smothers, in order to keep it from crying and revealing their location to the terrorists, why no protests?
How about the 250,000 to 1 million dead Iraqis, (depending on who is counting) since we invaded Iraq? How do we square that with the fact that Saddam killed 3 million of his countrymen? Or why no protests when Al-Qaeda in Iraq murders whole families or blows up markets which have no military value at all? My theory is that in current progressive thinking, people of color are not to be held to the same standards of decency that we hold people of pallor.
And that kids, is racism.

6 comments:

GeeGuy said...

How about the message in this one:
http://www.ywcaofmissoula.org/flash/everyone.swf

Is it just me, or does it clearly imply that "white Montanans" are the racists?

Steve said...

Yes, of course we are. It doesn't matter what your economic status is, you are personally responsible for all of the evils in the world because of the color of your skin.

Heavy burden, don't you think?

Mark T said...

Well, it's kind of a big subject, and volumes have been written on it, and it's been debated back and forth, and generally I've been called names but never so vilified as when I criticize Israel. Mike calls me "Bozeman anti-Semite". (How are you on the "swine-fucking" statement, by the way? Don't you think it's a little bit over the top? My son had a fine reply to that, wanting someone to come up with a measurement of the number of posts it takes before one party accuses the other of swine fucking.)

Reading what you said, it's apparent you haven't read very much on the subject of Israel, and it really takes a lot of reading - you've got to at least travel a little bit outside mainstream US journalism, which is rabidly pro-Israel - more so than in Israel itself. If one picks up pieces here and there out of mainstream USA, one will come away with your views and could pretty easily write what you just wrote about Israel being attacked by Al Qaeda from Lebanon and other such nonsense.

Nah - I'm not having any of this debate. Not here, not now. Read up on it, get back to me over at Piece of Mind some time. We'll have a go at it then. But at this point, you're simply not up to speed. Sorry if that sounds condescending, but it's simply true at this point in time. You're surely capable, just not there yet.

Mark T said...

That really sounds bad - I want to emphasize that you are as smart as or smarter than I, and that I wouldn't automatically win any debate - it's just that you obviously haven't seen any of the volumes of dissident literature, including massive work by Human Rights Watch.

Sorry. Bad way to start a debate.

Mike said...

Actually Mark the statement regarding swine was not directed at you (you're not the only blogger from Bozeman ya know), which you and Steve T. should have known if you read the statement correctly and bothered to visit other places around the Mishblogha during the past few days. Though it seems as if I'm blaming you for being misinformed the majority of the blame lies lies with me for perhaps not writing clearly enough so I apologize.

However (you knew it was coming!) I'm still not clear what you meant by the statement "alter-homeland" and if it would also apply to someone named Tahaeri who happened to be visiting Mecca a few weeks a year.

Steve said...

Mark T. Yes I do know about Israel beyond the popular press. While the Israeli soldiers had to defend themselves from molotov cocktails, they did not need to shoot rock throwing kids. Just like HRW says.
However, HRW was also in the lead on the supposed Jenin Massacre
My point on this is the willingness to imagine the worst behavior for those with Western values leads us to believe that Jenin actually was a massacre, instead of a publicity stunt.