Saturday, March 15, 2008

Here I come to save the day!

Fun Superhero Quiz For Blog

More fun quizzes from cash for structured settlement.

Listening to: Etta James - Watch Dog
via FoxyTunes


Bryce said...

D.~I'ma guess u didn't see that Mighty Mouse is misspelled? As much grief as u can give over spelling? :P Okay- typo!

Daisy said...

I didn't notice it until late last night, and I *knew* you'd say something about it! :P (Ain't nobody perfect, and I love Mighty Mouse too much to be too picky about the spelling!)

Donna said...

I think you need to go save the day elsewhere and I direct you first to Kai's post and the part I'm talking about is this:
Sexism often operates in the most intimate settings, as sexist men often live with, marry, and rely upon women; but racism tends to flourish on a more coldly institutional level, as racist white folks seek to structure their lives precisely so that there is no intimate contact with other races.
Then Theriomorph takes exception to that part and argues rightfully that sexism is also institutionalized here.

What you might not know is that Kai is on the CT/NY border and Theriomorph is in VT and of course I am in NH by way of WI...northerners. So what is missing? That wonderful write up you did about northern vs southern racism, because it is liberal northern racism that Kai is talking about where you explained that southern racism is on an intimate level, blacks have until recently lived and worked in close contact with whites in the south. I'm hoping you'll jump in at either place with that, or write it up here and give them a link to it.

Kai said...

Hi Daisy! Haha I followed you back here from my place. This is kinda fun! Chasing each other all over the intertubes.

Thanks for the comments on northern vs. southern racism. Yeah, I don't like that sentence that Donna cited. The prior sentence is the one I was hoping would get the focus: "All forms of oppression do share certain characteristics, but each one operates along a different axis of life."

I do wonder, though, if most southern white folks are quite as intimate with lots of people of color as your comment makes it seem. Just last week I was chatting in an NYC bar with two folks from Southern Carolina, and they insisted that they were unaccustomed to being surrounded by so many people of color and that it was a big adjustment for them. One said, "We're used to hanging out in joints with pictures of Jesse Helms on the wall." I've had lots of little experiences like that, so I'm just trying to digest what you said in relation to that. From my own perspective as a POC, I can say that my experiences with southern white folks have not been any warmer or more intimate than with northerners. Of course I don't believe that northerners are less racist, but I have definitely experienced some nasty hostility from southerners.

I remember during the Jena Six story, the main thing local white folks kept saying to disprove the existence of racism was "We play football together" which suggests that this was their most intimate contact. I think one could even argue that the relationship between slaveowners and house slaves who nurse and raise children, though it exists in a physically intimate space, still isn't exactly intimate in a deeper sense, because of the fundamental asymmetry of the relationship. I mean, in the old south, black folks often passed food from the cooking quarters to the dining room using devices which prevented white folks from even having to see black skin during their meals as this was considered distasteful. This makes me wonder. And I also wonder if the south is really less segregated than the north, though I don't have demographic data at the moment.

Of course I haven't seen your original post on this subject, which I'm sure addresses all of this is more detail. And of course I heartily agree with your fundamental point that northern and southern racism are different creatures. Maybe we could even say that the paragraph from my piece that we're discussing, about different forms of oppression operating along different dimensions, might even be stretched to be applied to northern racism vs. southern racism? Hehe.

From an inverse angle, one often-forgotten aspect about the north is that there were plenty of slaves here too. In the 18th century, 10% of the population of New York were slaves. There were slave-operated plantations all along the Husdon Valley and in Connecticut and New Jersey. As in the south, slaves not only worked the fields but raised children. Most of the slaves who traveled the Underground Railroad through my region came from these states.

Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts, which are as always insightful and illuminating. Here's to Deadheads! ;-)


(PS- Now that I've rambled for a bit, I might just go post this comment over at my place too, so readers can there can mull it over along with me...)

Daisy said...

I agree with what you've said, and again, I'm brought up short when I have to stipulate MY GENERATION. I think the astronomical suburban growth in the south in the past decade or so, has changed integration statistics dramatically. One politician said to me, who needs private schools when you have tax districts and townships to keep people out by income? That seems to be the way of the new south, unfortunately, which I think was the whole Orange County-ing of the country.

Also, the jobs that I consider "intimate" in the south, that were historically black, have "migrated". Now, pedicures and manicures are done by Asian women. Mexican women are maids and nannies. These are the people who knew the intimate secrets in the old south, and the racial population has definitely shifted, nationwide.

Theriomorph said...

Wow, a lot of food for thought in this post & thread - thanks, Daisy.

I don't have much experience of the south at all (never lived or worked there, all visits short), so this is an important difference for me to be reminded of & ponder. My experience of the north is more like Kai's - much more integrated areas (not urban, but international college towns from childhood on), but what you say about the abstract vs. the relational/concrete does ring true, for sure, in the big picture.

I wonder about the asymmetry Kai mentioned re: intimacy, too.

But what I keep coming back to about the 'axis of intimacy' (which would be a great band name, wouldn't it?) is that in my experience, both sexism and racism do operate in intimate settings, but neither is limited to them, and both are institutionalized. And that it's in the institutionalized power (of white people, of men) that the oppression thrives and is enabled on the smaller, more individual levels.

If a white person's teachers, mortgage holder, social service provider, classmates, co-workers, faith-community peers, boss, etc. are of color, they have little support for supremacist attitudes or actions. If a man's boss, colleagues, reverend or rabbi, financial analyst, doctor, etc. are women, he has little support for supremacist attitudes. So in that sense, *true* integration is one important thing which shifts the balance of power in essential ways - in all manifestations of oppression.

An intersectionality 101 blog or post/series/discussion would be awesome, especially really looking at this institutionalized power aspect of things - and I need to think more about the axis point Kai was trying to get at.

Maybe Kai will write more about that (hint hint). : )