I have been linked on John Scalzi's blog, in the middle of a gargantuan thread about racism and science fiction, titled Mary Anne Mohanraj Gets You Up to Speed, Part I. I am thrilled to be included! The linked post is my all-time big-draw, the one about having a black name.
But you know what? I gotta say... this linkage happens fairly regularly, accompanied by something like: This white woman says racism is real, now do you believe us? Jesus H. Why don't (other white) people believe personal testimonies about racism, unless it comes from one of us? I have noticed that I am often posted to bolster the arguments of People of Color when they are not believed.
I realized while I was reading threads during the post's major-linkage period last year (particularly on MetaFilter): Many white people simply do not want to believe racism is genuine. Why not? What exactly is lost if whites believe racism is still a dominant influence? Why the constant arguing that it isn't really like that, that isn't really about race, you musta got it wrong?
When I started reading threads in which my word was doubted, I got really sick over it. I realized then, of course: this is what People of Color have to put up with, when they report racism. It must be due to something else, you are over-sensitive, etc.
My question is, why the doubt? What exactly does it COST whites of good will, to take racism seriously? I am confused about the protesting.
And speaking of which, over at John Scalzi's, the posts on the thread in question are currently up to 471, and it's not even noon. (Good lord, I can't imagine traffic like that, she marveled.) Lots of defensiveness, but also a great deal of raw intelligence on display. Mary Anne, of course, is tops.
Check it out.
How do the Calorie Restriction people stop from periodically going berserk and binging? Last night, I bought a package of mega-sugary conchas, and yes, ate the whole thing.
It was especially satisfying to chow down whilst watching the entertaining Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer spectacle! Technical knock-out! James Poniewozik of TIME reports on the prize-fight:
I was fairly stunned by Cramer's fake innocent-routine...as well as disgusted by his overweening self-centeredness. He really seemed to believe the entire Wall Street fiasco is about HIM and HIS TV SHOW.
So, be my guest—talk among yourselves about who "won" the interview. (By the way, The Daily Show also has the full unedited exchange online.) Dance in the streets with Cramer's trophy head held aloft if you like. (As I type, The Huffington Post's headline is JON STEWART EVISCERATES JIM CRAMER AND CNBC, in VICTORY DECLARED IN EUROPE-sized type. [Matt] Drudge is rather more coy on the subject.) It was a beatdown, to be sure. (After airing a promo for Cramer's Mad Money which could have itself been a Daily Show parody: "I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a f__ing game.) But in the long run, it was most fascinating as a discussion about how business journalism in particular and journalism in general are done in America.
About CNBC generally, Stewart kept returning to the question not only of why the network didn't report on financial disaster coming, but who CNBC is for at all: "Who are you responsible to? The people in the 401ks and the pensions and the general public, or the Wall Street traders?" Stewart asked (adding that most traders are "bright guys" who are "f__ed in all this too").
Cramer, the economy is in the shitter, dude! Wake the fuck up!
If you didn't see it, go over there and watch the whole thing. It explains more than any single news show or documentary, exactly how this happened: the fawning "financial news" media was up Wall Street's ass.
[Cramer stated during the interview] "It's difficult to have a reporter say, 'I just came from an interview with Hank Paulson, and he lied his darn-fool head off.' It's difficult. I think it challenges the boundaries." OK, this is an easy quote to attack—why not just say he's lying, damn you!—but in fairness it's not as simple than that. The real story—and not at all a more flattering story—is that lies like these are not obvious and cut-and-dried: refuting them takes a lot of work and a lot of time and often involves sticking your neck out and going against the crowd (see previous point). Much easier to quote your subject, adding a caveat if necessary, and move on.
Much easier, too, to make this story about a feud between two cable-TV stars, declare a winner, and move on. Because then we don't have to recognize that this song is about us.
You can't report fairly on something if you are also trying to get rich off it yourself.
We might call that biased reporting, yes?