I’m a White Dude

Camp Scorpion, Every 4 months

I’m a White dude — pure bred Cracker of Scots-Irish, Swiss origin. I think…that’s what legend tells me.

I’ve been subjected to racism. For instance, I was jumped by 8 Black guys when I was in the Army in Baumholder, Germany. I was one of four separate victims that night.

I never once used “Race” or “Color” to stereotype Black People. I don’t see life in binary colors.

I’ve had Black, Hispanic, Asian and, yes, White friends for as long as I can remember. I lived on Pope Street in Louisville, Kentucky. One street down the hill was Williams Street — home to the Page brothers who were pretty good boxers. We lived in the shadow of Muhammad Ali and we grew up believing him to be a larger than life hero.

I once walked into a room full of Black guys about half of whom were my friends. Jack, the guy who looked a helluva a lot like Ice Cube, yelled; “Hey fuckin’ Cracker! What the hell do you want?”

I answered; “Nothin’ Nigga!”

And the whole room cracked up laughing.

I’ve always had excellent relationships with anyone who wasn’t an ass.

I never really cared about the whole color thing on an individual level while simultaneously being fascinated by cultural differences.

Where I work now, my Boss calls me “White boy!” and I laugh and rejoin with “Nothing’, ya fuckin’ racist bastard.” And we all laugh.

I fully realize that my being White has contributed greatly to the ease with which I interact with and benefit from/with people and those who have hired me and for whom I have worked — Black, White, Hispanic, Araba, Asian and any other race you can name.

I know for a fact that being White has granted me access to places, events, people and things all over the world.

In China and most of Southeast Asia, people are fascinated by my “Whtie skin.” Asia has a “White is beauty, Black is ugly” dynamic that is, quite frankly, appalling. My girlfriend of several years used to tell me that she was Black. She’s approximately the color that most White girls aspire to when they are tanning. And when she tans, White women are jealous of it.

Strange, I know.

I constantly tell my girlfriend that she is beautiful. “Black” skin and all.

In Afghanistan, the Afghan Officers with whom I work told me that my girlfriend looks African and is too dark and that I should find a nice White woman and then show me photos of Iranian women who are only slightly lighter skinned than my girlfriend.

Skin color is confusing. The slightest shades make huge differences to people.

In Egypt, I was granted access to touristy places that were shut off to most because the strange tourist officials wanted to take pictures with the big white guy whom they kept calling Hercules. They virtually ignored my friend Humberto who was also American of Mexican origin because, well, he looked like them.

I have benefited from my skin color. I’ve also made great sacrifices to get to where I am. I’ve risked my life and taken chances that most Americans could never dream of.

I have helped many, many people along my journey. Some White, Some Black, Some Arab, Some Asian…Muslims, Christians, Atheists and Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu.

If I thought helping them would not come back to bite me in the ass or, more importantly, hinder me in helping others, I help others. I turned down my own White cousin when she asked for help with a recommendation and I told her the reason. She had a poor track record and I didn’t want her quitting on me and ruining it for some other who deserved the assist. She understood and we are still quite close.

I say all of this not to say that I’m a good person and not racist. I fully recognize that every human has built in and learned prejudices. I am not a good person. I’m not a bad person. I’m simply a human being who tries, sometimes fails and sometimes succeeds in treating others as I would like to be treated.

When “People of Color” (such a silly term…as if we aren’t all colored uniquely) make blanket statements about White people or White Americans, I get a bit touchy.

I’m a White person. I fully realize that racism exists and I have spent my life actively fighting it. I’ve called White and Black people out on their Bigotry. When a White friend used the word “nigger” in the privacy of our barracks room, I ripped him a new one. When a Black friend said all Afghans are “worthless raghead pieces of shit,” I ripped him a new one. Likewise when folks act foolishly and stereotype all Thai people when they’ve been insulted or in some way wronged by one Thai person, I refute their lunatic assertions that all Thai people are this, that or the other.

There is no such animal as a “person of color.” There are no two people on this planet that are the same color. “White” people are not bereft of color. I know White people who grew up in predominantly Black neighborhoods who “act Black” and cannot code switch to “Whitey-eze.”

I know Black people who cannot speak urban slang or “Ebonics.” I know 2ndGen Colombian-Americans who do not speak a word of Spanish and I know Mexicans who can barely speak English.

To portray all of any people any thing is an injustice. Constantly reading articles by “People of Color” and “Allies of People of Color” (I’m not ever sure what the hell that means…) telling me that “White people are…..” or “Why White people freak out when told they are racists” and other inane articles without an ounce of nuance irritate the shit out of me.

I cringe. Why? I know the reaction to these articles is nothing more than tens of thousands of minds slamming shut!

I know that if I made a stereotyping statement about any group except for “White” people, I would be branded a racist by those of you who wish to pretend that the world is divided between “people of color” and White people.

I know that I have seen Black people treated worse in Africa than I’ve ever seen them treated in America. I was born in 1968. I know that one of my good friends holds a hell of a lot of anger because of his upbringing in South Carolina and his Grandfathers treatment at the hands of White Southerners.

There is much injustice in America. There always has been. More than likely, there always will be.

There is racism, bigotry and discrimination in America. I know this for a fact.

None of these things will be solved…ever…if we do not learn how to have real, honest and open dialogue.

White people can experience bigotry including racism.

If any American ever stopped to think about it, Europeans (i.e., White People, Crackers, Whitey) are the minority on this planet. Europe began its ascendancy geo-politically a mere 400 years ago. Prior to that, the largest “White” Empire was Rome. There is much evidence that Rome was much more ethnic than the European Colonizers would have us believe.

At some point, we must begin to be honest with each other. We must be open. We must stop accusing all or none. We must accept differences. Not tolerate but ACCEPT and we must do so in an open manner.

I have seen this work.

I have always been accepted for who I am and have always accepted folks for who they are. I fell into it. I was lucky. I learned to look past differences early on in my life. I have been rewarded countless times for this fortunate accident.

It is…unfortunate that we can’t all simply accept differences and move on together.

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Why I can’t stand Brown Golfers and assorted other Athletes who are “People of Color”

**********WARNING: SARCASM FOLLOWS! The author does not actually hold the following opinion*********

Google the term “Golf” and the first images the search engine offers are of Brown Men in tight, nerdy Golf attire playing at whiteness. How did this become acceptable?

The term “Golf” itself is a Scottish one. In Arabic, this kind of sports is still called Golf . As a matter of fact, the “sport” is called Golf in any language. The term has been appropriated into many languages just a the term “computer” has. Golf has its roots in the Scottish Highlands where it was invented by a group of what I can only assume were a bunch of bored, grouchy, slightly drunk Scottish fellows who were bored and not very athletic. Brown appropriation of this Western sport began much later probably in the early 20th Century in America but possibly earlier in India. Brown people who are continuing this tradition are continuing a century old tradition of cultural appropriation. One can see it every day in the NBA, the NFL and in Futbol (Soccer in the US). Brown people or “people of color” have essentially stolen cultural sports that were invented by White people and edged them out whether they are willing to view this practice this way or not.

Growing up in America, I saw men in my community play Basketball, Football and Golf at parks and in the school yard.  Men often played with other men, in private spaces, so that this sport was for each other. When they played at school with women in attendance, the dynamic shifted. Men played for men alone, there was a different kind of athleticism and competitiveness, perhaps more powerful, definitely more earnest, or maybe that’s how it felt to me, as a child and teenager, wary of women’s intentions. At schools the sport was competitive and masculine and daring, something aspiring professionals would come use to better their lives, their family, their social standing. In the early days, these sports were all White. Black folks had their own sports in their own community. Baseball was invented by White Americans for White Americans. Likewise with Football and Basketball. Brown people were separate from our communities.

One of the most awkward occurrences for me when I watch sports such as Football or Golf is portion of the game where the Black or Brown athlete is feted as the Best Ever in a Sport invented by White men. Amazingly, it is even more awkward these days when a White athlete is hailed as a legend or a “greatest ever” in a position such as Quarterback in Football. There is always the backlash of “if he was Black, they would give credit to the coach or receiversThis usually happens on weekends, and I’ve learned to avoid watching Sports when there are too many Brown faces around, but sometimes I forget. The last time I forgot, a Brown man came out in a football uniform — because that’s what that is, when a person who’s not White wears a jersey and tight white knee high pants with a helmet or Golf attire looking like a slightly nerdy White guy that is meant to say “golf nerd” or football professional and wears a helmet or custom sneakers of some kind and begins to play the sport. They’re usually terribly large and they don’t remind me of the lithe, athletic players of earlier years who used finesse instead of brute strength.
There are videos of these men bashing their way through the line or powering their way to the goal in basketball. It reminds me of all that is lost in these sports since the Brown man stole these sports and changed them to their suit their talents. It signaled the end of the sport as an intelligent art of strategy and mental exercise. The Brown man appropriated these Sports and the White man was left to ponder what might have been.

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OK….I’ll stop there. It’s ridiculous, is it not? And quite bigoted. Imagine though, if a White man had written such a thing as a serious opinion. That man would be vilified. He’d be ushered off into oblivion. If he owned an NBA team, he’d be forced to sell. If he played the sport, he’d be drummed out.

Yet, this woman, Randa Jarrar, actually wrote a similar bigoted article and Salon not only approved of it but called it an important feminist work. Apparently, any culture except Western or “White” can appropriate any aspect of a culture that they deem worthwhile and it is appropriate. It is only the Western World who is accused of appropriation by confused, bigoted  liberals who more than likely grew up in comfortable upper middle class homes. After all, the upper middle class liberal is the only human who has the time to waste on idiot ideals such as “cultural appropriation” and to complain about growing up so affluent as to be able to afford an education in one of the better cities and universities in America.

How difficult it must be to grow up in America and be so embattled that one can afford the time to sit about and think up nonsense such as “cultural appropriation” and lament the wretchedness of White women learning a dance that Arabs themselves appropriated, in part, from Persia, the Eastern Mediterranean (Greeks, Roma Gypsies and Turks)  and from Hindustan (India) when the Muslim Arabs conquered the subcontinent. Belly dance did not originate with the Arabs alone that much is historically proven. It most certainly did not originate in the make believe land of Palestine which was only created out of thin air when the Arabs failed in their genocidal efforts to “drive the Jews into the sea” in 1967.

Cultures have melted, melded, blended and merged since the first “clash of cultures.” The Arabs were influenced by every cutlure/nation which they conquered. The Arabs in turn influenced those cultures. Likewise, the Arabs have been under 100 years of Western colonialism and conquest. They influenced us their colonizers even as they were influenced in return. This has been the way of the world for millenia. Anyone who studies history knows that the Greeks complained of the undue Persian influence upon Alexander. Kubhalai Khan was criticized for becoming too Chinese. The Arab world was greatly influenced by the Turks, the Kurds and the tribes of Central Asia who drove south in bloody conquest.

The one thing that is certain about Ms. Jarrar is that she does not understand the world, history or Liberty.

Randa Jarrar, Palestinian-American Opinionist and Professional Bloviator of Inanity

Randa Jarrar, Palestinian-American Opinionist and Professional Bloviator of Inanities

Bellydance Unveiled: A Brief History
by Aleenah

Introduction

The origin of bellydance is an actively debated subject among dance enthusiasts. Some of the most popular theories include the following:

1.   It descended from a religious dance that was performed during fertility rituals by temple priestesses. As early as 1000 B.C., temple engravings depicting dancers have been found in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece.

2.   It arose out of the dance that was associated with childbirth. It prepared girls for labor and was part of the delivery ritual.

3.   It descended from ancient Egyptian social dances.

4.   It originated in India over 5000 years ago, and had spread through out the Middle East with the migrations of the Gypsy tribes also called Roma in Europe, Ghawazee in Egypt, andNawar in India. The Gypsies eventually reached Europe where one of the most famous Gypsy dance styles was born – Flamenco. Many moves in modern Flamenco are still very similar to bellydance.

Perhaps the richness of Middle Eastern dance tradition and its universal appeal can be attributed to the blending of many various sources, cultures, and dance styles.

Technically, Cleopatra VII was a White Woman as she was 100% Greek. I wonder if Ms. Jarrar would have been offended to see the good Pharoah get her funky belly dance on.

WORDS ARE NOT RACIST

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Words are not racist. Racism is about intent. If I say a word and mean nothing racist by it, that word is not racist.

I’m a White dude. My Black friends tell me that I’m a “Nigger” all the time. I’m not offended by it. Hell, I’m one of the few White people around who can say the word to Black people and THEY aren’t offended by it.

It’s all about intent and relationships.

I get called White boy, Cracker and all kinds of things such as that by Black people. It’s because they know that I’m not concerned about faux outrage or the color of their or my skin. I’m concerned about the content of their character and their intent.

What is meant when someone speaks is more important than the words that are used. If I say; “Call a spade a spade.” to a Black person, I don’t mean it in a racist way. I mean that one should speak plain. If I call someone a Black Bastard, I’m always joking and, actually, making light of the racism that pervades cross racial relations in America.

People know who you are. They will react accordingly.

Words are tools. Words can do no harm except to the mentally and emotionally weak. The problem with America today is that we have raised a couple of generations of mentally and emotionally weak persons who embrace victimhood.

America should grow a pair and stop being offended by every utterance. Get off the phone, get off the computer, get out of your shell and get to know people.

Racism will always be with us. It is a global phenomenon. In America, it is comparatively mild. I’ve lived all over the world and the racism in other parts of the globe is virulent and deadly as compared to that of America. We have made great strides in coming to understand each other as a people. Do not discount this.

CharlieBrownRacistI think what disturbs many CRACKERS is that no matter how much they reach out, the hand is smacked back by raceprofessionals like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and those idiots on MSNBC and at Daiy Kos.

Not all of American White people give a damn about racism. They’ve got their own problems. Racism is not something that a poor or lower middle class White person is going to spend a whole lot of time thinking about when they have to struggle to put food on the table, a roof over their children’s heads and everything else that goes into surviving in consumerist America.

e61daced46044ed4e75746a84418005250ec74117e571fc8e06becf1effbd92bBefore people can come to terms fully with ideals such as racial harmony, they must be secure. Most Americans simply do not feel secure enough to spend a lot of time thinking about race. This is something that liberal elitists spend time constructing and deconstructing. The average White American just wants to get through the week and spend time at home with their family orhave a beer on a Friday Night. Some of them even have those beers with people of other races.

Perhaps, I am an outlier but I grew up with people of other races. Immigrants from India, Pakistan, Black Americans, Hispanics and Asians were my friends from grade school up through High School and in the Army.

I’m never quite certain what to make of made up, faux issues such as words that are “racist.” It all seems like hogwash to me. When I ask my Black friends about this stuff, the majority of them look at me like I’m nuts.

And when you get right down to it, Miley Cyrus is really Justin Beiber in drag.