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Sun Dec 7, 2014, 05:03 PM

What Chris Rock got wrong: “Nice” white people perpetuate white supremacy

When I read Uncle Tom's Cabin recently, it occurred to me that the kind slave owners (who still referred to people as "creatures" were instrumental in perpetuating the ugly system. They gave comfort to people who were abolitionists in spirit, but not ready to commit to confronting and denouncing slavery. It would have been easy for people to comfort themselves in an assumption that there were more nice slave owners than there were cruel ones.
I think Wise is correct here. Of course, the same thing still happens today.



One can be perfectly nice, after all, and still fail to see that which is right before you, staring at you from the computer screen as you watch Eric Garner killed on the streets of Staten Island with an illegal chokehold. The officer who applied that pressure to Garner’s neck might himself be “nice” in the sense that he is kind to old people, babies and animals. Likewise, the grand jury that decided yesterday not to indict him for any crime might well have been filled with nice people, who send get-well cards to sick friends and relatives, participate in Secret Santa at work and volunteer at the local food bank. And what of it? Their niceness did not, clearly, provide them with the gift of comprehension, as they managed to watch an officer kill a man who posed no threat to him whatsoever—no reaching for his gun, even in some paranoid fever dream, no charging him like a bull, or as Darren Wilson put it to justify his killing of Mike Brown, like “a demon.” Their niceness came laced with nothing so helpful as empathy as they watched a man choked to death, gasping for air, all because he had been selling loose cigarettes on the street and dared to tell the officers to leave him alone when they decided to harass him for that most serious of crimes.

http://www.salon.com/2014/12/07/what_chris_rock_got_wrong_nice_white_people_perpetuate_white_supremacy_partner/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

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Reply What Chris Rock got wrong: “Nice” white people perpetuate white supremacy (Original post)
loyalsister Dec 2014 OP
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2014 #1
loyalsister Dec 2014 #2
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2014 #3
loyalsister Dec 2014 #7
Bluenorthwest Dec 2014 #4
upaloopa Dec 2014 #5
loyalsister Dec 2014 #6
nomorenomore08 Dec 2014 #8
Number23 Dec 2014 #9

Response to loyalsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 05:28 PM

1. Idiotic piece fixating on the word 'nice', when Rock specified what he meant in the interview

and which shoots down Wise's rant:

So, to say Obama is progress is saying that he’s the first black person that is qualified to be president. That’s not black progress. That’s white progress. There’s been black people qualified to be president for hundreds of years. If you saw Tina Turner and Ike having a lovely breakfast over there, would you say their relationship’s improved? Some people would. But a smart person would go, “Oh, he stopped punching her in the face.” It’s not up to her. Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship has nothing to do with Tina Turner. Nothing. It just doesn’t. The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.

It’s about white people adjusting to a new reality?

Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad. Yeah, it’s unfair that you can get judged by something you didn’t do, but it’s also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn’t work for.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/11/chris-rock-frank-rich-in-conversation.html?mid=twitter_nymag

Rock said, in the original interview, that 'nice' means owning your, and your ancestors', actions.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 05:53 PM

2. You don't think there are "nice" people who enable racism?

I have friends and family members who I think participate by being married to hard core racists and not challenging their views.
They are kind people who look out for friends and family and don't discriminate in terms of their own friendships. But, if their kids make friends with children of different races, they are too nice to allow their kids have play dates together because they don't want the children to get their feelings hurt by the racist spouse.
There are many white people who enable racism by not wanting to rock the boat. They may own up to what their ancestors did, but they still perpetuate institutional racism by not standing up and challenging today's manifestations.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 06:04 PM

3. I don't think Chris Rock was talking about 'nice' people who enable racism

because it's clear from the interview that he wasn't.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 06:19 PM

7. I don't think Chris Rock was the point

Jeez you'd think he insulted Bernie Sanders or something. Wise was just making a point that there isn't always malice behind the behavior that enables\perpetuates racism. People who volunteer in nursing homes, have black friends, and are members of a host of progressive organizations may still turn a blind eye when it comes to the confederate flag sticker on their dearest friends' car.
There are more white people who participate in those ways than there are white people who are willing to call it out. If there weren't, racism would not thrive as it does.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 06:06 PM

4. The people you describe are not the people Chris is talking about. He says those who own their

 

actions and ancestral history, you are saying 'people who don't stand up' and that's a different set of people than the people Chris is talking about. He's saying more people do not do what you accurately say some still do. It's the other ones that are nicer, not your examples, who are not nice at all.
I agree with Chris.

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Response to loyalsister (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 06:07 PM

5. Your the kind of person that can find racism

even where it doesn't exist. You can make a racist out of anybody.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 06:10 PM

6. Sarcasm tag missing?

?

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Response to loyalsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 06:44 PM

8. This is the other (equally necessary) side of the coin.

Being collectively "nicer" to minorities - on a superficial level at least - is only one step in the process.

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Response to loyalsister (Original post)

Sun Dec 7, 2014, 08:53 PM

9. Chris Rock and Tim Wise make one hell of a team. K&R

Nice is the enemy of justice because to raise one’s voice against oppression is to be instantly pegged as not nice, as disruptive, as unruly, as dangerous. To block traffic, or interfere with the all-important Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center is not nice. To interrupt the symphony orchestra in St. Louis, or the drunken revelry of nice white baseball fans at a Cardinals game is not nice. To signify sympathy for a murdered young man in Ferguson, with even a gesture as simple as raising one’s hands as you come out of the tunnel before the football game is not nice. It is, to some—who would rather just watch black men entertain them with a few nice interceptions—worthy of punishment, or professional discipline. How dare they, say the nice white people who paid good money to see black men play gladiator for the glory of the hometown team.


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