Friday, December 29, 2006

Racism Sans Racists

In the comments following a recent blog entry entitled "Rejecting Racial Representation", I encountered an anonymous blogger who laments the "many organizations right here in racine that subscribe to racial representation for white people." Yet despite my numerous pleas, anonymous was unable or unwilling to identify even one of the organizations, much less offer any evidence to support his/her claim.

The mindset of the anonymous blogger is hardly unique. But why complain about racism without identifying the racists?

As it happens, I have a theory that addresses this question. It serves the purposes of many people to have a problem with racism. I will get to who those people are a little later. It is best if the problem is vaguely and broadly defined, such that specific allegations must be avoided at all costs. Specific allegations of racism must deal with the vexing problems of facts, evidence, proof etc... Vague allegations can conveniently disregard evidence. Racism, of course, exists, and is harmful to both the racist and the subject of the racism. But for some, it is not all bad, insofar as it provides a useful excuse for personal failure. And lets face it, most of us would prefer to find external causes for our shortcomings. So the beneficiaries of the vague racism problem are blacks who would prefer to blame others for their failures. But it is not only blacks who benefit from the vague racism allegations. Whole careers are available for those who perpetuate the vague racism problem, and they must keep the story going or lose their livelihood. In addition to a livelihood, these folks also get to enjoy a feeling of moral superiority over the masses of supposed racists in our midst. Racism, vaguely defined, is an industry. An industry that must be confronted.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's a complete cop out on your part Denis. Constantly ducking & dodging problems is not the answer. If your willing to be a spoke in the wheel of resolution in truly creating a Free Racine, you can't just talk about it, you have to be about it. Talk is cheap.

I'll ask my unanswered questions a second time too, hoping to receive an answer. Is this blog a forum for solutions, or just a forum to hear yourself whine? Do you truly want to contribute in creating this Free Racine you speak of, or just a Free Racine for certain people?

If you're willing to commit to finding a resolution, i'll tell you in exacting, specific detail, item by item, instance by instance. You want a committment from me, without subjecting yourself to a similar committment. I'm ready. Are you?

Anonymous said...

That's a complete cop out on your part Denis. Constantly ducking & dodging problems is not the answer. If your willing to be a spoke in the wheel of resolution in truly creating a Free Racine, you can't just talk about it, you have to be about it. Talk is cheap.

I'll ask my unanswered questions a second time too, hoping to receive an answer. Is this blog a forum for solutions, or just a forum to hear yourself whine? Do you truly want to contribute in creating this Free Racine you speak of, or just a Free Racine for certain people?

If you're willing to commit to finding a resolution, i'll tell you in exacting, specific detail, item by item, instance by instance. You want a committment from me, without subjecting yourself to a similar committment. I'm ready. Are you?

Denis Navratil said...

Well anon, I haven't exactly been shy about confronting problems as I see them, have I? I am obviously interested in your ongoing tease about white organizations in town. I am willing to listen to your complaint or concern. I am willing to do so privately and anonymously, if that is your preference. You know how to reach me. My phone # is listed. As for your request for a committment, I can not agree to any course of action based only on the vague accusations of an anonymous individual. Certainly you can understand that. By the way, what sort of committment are you seeking? And lastly, I intend to use this forum plus any other skills that I might possess in an effort to improve our community, within the constraints of time, expense etc... And no, my concerns are not limitted to any particular race of people, a point which should be evident by now. I invite you to contact me if you wish to pursue this further.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen such a lopsided debate.

Denis, your clear-thinking and sensible comments make the muddled, vague and vacuous ramblings of your anonymous respondent seem even more laughable.

Anonymous, without naming names and specifics, your allegations of large-scale, rampant racism ring hollow and smack of paranoia.

It's like going to a doctor who refuses to diagnose your condition, but woefully tells you how sick you are. How do we prescribe a cure without first knowing what, specifically, ails?

So where does it hurt? Name names. Otherwise you are tilting at windmills.

- E

Anonymous said...

"2 of Racine's largest business organizations that are right downtown"...considering the fact that their are only 2 large business organizations located right downtown, i don't see how that is muddled and vague, it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Eric, Where did this "widespread rampant racism" comment come from? Where did i say that anywhere in this blog? But you illustrated one of my points exactly, how can you fix something if you don't know its broken? Why go through this detail with people who A) Completely reject the notion of any ethnic or racial representaion. B) Minimize, un-validate, and dehumanize the effects of discrimination without ever having experienced themselves. C) Don't have decision making power that could impact my life and well being. These attitudes bring with it a certain mindset. This mindset shows me i'm most likely talking with the wrong people in the pursuit of finding remedies to the situation.

Eric, I'm not here to complain, rant and rave or find joy in convincing myself that i sound intelligent as most bloggers do. I'm here to find solutions. I'm not in the position to throw unfounded accusations out there or spit out incoherent garbage for the hell of it as you claim i do. Thats what they do on the JT blogs. The issues i have addressed with these organizations are the same ones felt by many, many people, but unlike them i'd like to make a real attempt at building those bridges.

Denis, i will contact you.

Denis Navratil said...

anon, I look forward to hearing from you. I still don't understand why we are playing a guessing game, but since you mentioned two large business organizations located in downtown, I assume you mean DRC and RAMAC, unless there are other large business organizations downtown that I am not aware of. I will listen openly to your concerns if you contact me.

Eric said...

"E" is a different poster than Eric

Wade said...

"If you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to get what you have always got."