ATR 46 – All Listener Feedback – 10/30/2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 – addictedtorace@gmail.com

We hand the reins over to our listeners in this episode – it’s a special all listener feedback show! The topics we discuss include:

  • Asian-American women an interracial relationships
  • Our interview with Ad Age reporter Matthew Creamer in episode 43 about racial discrimination in the advertising industry
  • Our discussion in episode 44 about offensive Halloween costumes
  • Jen’s rant in episode 43 about people’s over-the-top reactions when they learn she’s Jewish
  • Our discussion in episode 44 about racial profiling
  • Our live show, podcasted in episode 45, about the dangers of positive stereotypes
  • Whether the average white person really considers himself multiracial
  • Opposition to an interracial relationship between a black woman and white man

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Duration – 46:35
File Size – 19.2 MB
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5 thoughts on “ATR 46 – All Listener Feedback – 10/30/2006 – Voicemail 206-203-3983 – addictedtorace@gmail.com”

  1. Jen and Carmen:

    Good morning. I just listened to your latest podcast dedicated to user feedback and it was fascinating to hear the different viewpoints regarding the issues you discuss. I also appreciate the time you spent responding to the somewhat emotional response I posted on your site. This issue runs so deep with me that I sometimes have difficulty expressing my true feelings precisely. Yes, I do acknowledge that stereotypes do exist in the minds of many, and I admit that I hate them. When I say that stereotypes are BS, I mean that they are inherently false because they contain only the tiniest snippets of truth mixed liberally with lies, hyperbole and a lack of perspective. I did not mean to say that I don’t think people subscribe to stereotypes, only that they are completely wrong for doing so and I am probably less forgiving than either of you in that regard. I know that I can sometimes come off as corny and I understand that there are many who will discount my notion of the littlest things often making the biggest difference, but there it is just the same. I try to do the best I can every day and sometimes I fail miserably because my best is not always good enough.
    I cannot speak for white people in general, but I can speak for myself. While it is true that my appearance has temporarily benefited me, sometimes based on racial prejudice, and sometimes based on my presentation, the benefit has never been a lasting one. When we all speak of benefits we enter a slippery slope filled with trail after forking trail of who, what, when, where and why, etcetera. Where I have been accepted due to my appearance, I have been subsequently rejected based on my vocal rejection of the very generalizations and positive/negative stereotypes that you discuss in every show. Where I have been accepted based on my presentation, I have been just as quickly rejected based on definition; my true self that will come out, regardless of the pressures to assimilate, accept and acquiesce. Ironically, I often get the negative prejudgments almost universally directed towards the archetypical white male without the stereotypical rewards of power and wealth. I know that I suffer every day, in a variety of very personal ways directly related to racism and ignorance. I say this not to elicit sympathy, because I neither need or desire such sentiments; rather, it is my hope that I can, perhaps, show a different side of life and reality that many people may not see, understand or accept.
    I want to make it very clear that I never set out to challenge the status quo. I never entered a relationship based on race. I took people as they were (often naively to my later regret) and let my heart lead me where it could. As I sit here at 2:15AM on Tuesday, I can’t sleep as my mind and heart takes me down memory lane. My heart goes out to the young lady who wrote in about her relationship in college. I wish that I could tell her that everything will work out for the best, but I can only hope that it will in her case. My fist wife happened to be (and still is) black and I chose to be with her solely out of love, not some ridiculous fetish or mysterious forbidden desire. Our relationship ended for a few reasons, but one of the main factors was racism. It is only now, after many years, that I fully comprehend the pressure that was put upon her by others of her race, black women in particular. I cannot adequately put into words how sad that knowledge makes me feel. I know that I can do nothing about that past racism and I cannot make everything better for everyone, not even myself in many cases. I struggle against bitterness and sadness every day, but I refuse to give into it and I remain secure in myself and with my convictions. I can’t tell you how totally alone I feel emotionally, regardless of my intellectual knowledge of people and ideas close to my own heart. Listening to your show and hearing the feedback from your other listeners makes that loneliness easier to bear. There is much more to say, but I must try and get some sleep. Thank you.

    Daniel

  2. I wanted to add some background on White Privilege here as it is often mentioned by scholars, politicians and activists, but rarely clearly defined. It is not quite as simple as it may seem.
    White Privilege, sometimes called White Skin Privilege is a descriptive used to indicate a social relationship wherein advantages, rights or immunities are granted to white people while simultaneously not being granted to non whites. This is considered by many to be the primary benefit of racism. This is a hotly debated topic among many groups, including various groups of non whites and whites and it is considered by supporters to be an explanation of racism. Some popular scholars have used this concept to explain how and why certain groups of white people have used racism as a form of oppression to benefit themselves at the expense of non-whites.
    The philosophical theory of White Privilege depends heavily on Identity Politics, a huge hotly debated topic that generally includes the shared experiences of injustice of members of certain groups. Identity Politics is immense in complexity and includes such movements as feminism, Black civil rights in the US, and gay liberation among many others. As you can see, these groups are ones that are generally considered to be marginalized. Keep in mind that the main difference in philosophy between Identity Politics like White Privilege and other political philosophies is that such groups are not demanding to be included; rather they are demanding to be recognized for the very things for which recognition was previously denied. These groups are demanding respect for their very differences.
    Many critics of the theory of White Privilege are quick to point out that the use of the term ignores the class and economic nature of racism which hurts all working people, even whites. Of course, the supporters of the theory are even more quick to point out that white people are unaware of how this privilege affects them and how it works. They will often go on to explain that White Privilege is particularly bad because of its invisibility to the people it benefits. This is followed by the belief that it is only through accepting the White Privilege theory as valid that the beneficiaries can help to dismantle it.
    There is much more to the theory of White Privilege and Identity Politics, but I hope that this brief summary can help us with the discussion of such philosophies. It is important to remember that this is an emerging philosophical discussion and the term “White Privilege” has only been written about for the past decade and a half or so. The main philosophy vis a vis Identity Politics is multi-racial unity. Both philosophies are anti-racist, the former being the more non-liberal view as Identity Politics holds that the individual’s perceptions are tainted by ideology and must be corrected by a group effort.

  3. Do yer thing Daniel…sometimes it’s good to let it all out huh? Bravo for putting yourself out there like that. I think we have to accept that white priviledge exists, but the fact that we have named it and acknowledge it exists is the first step toward dismantiling it. Glad to hear that Jen and Carmen brought up what I think is the gordian knot of societal relations-the notion that “professional/acceptible” social behavior (general term for style of dress, style of speech, etc) is basically ‘white’ behavior. I must admit I feel utterly stumped by this. I KNOW it’s true but where do we go with it? Capitalism is based on the exchanges that happen in the marketplace, and the marketplace at large–whether it be the job market or the literal supermarket down the street-has many unspoken rules and regulations. Can we envision a marketplace which tolerates a variety of slang or differing styles of speech? Styles of dress? I can’t help but think of the plight of Caliban (an attempt, some say, by Shakespeare to reconcile or at least investigate the idea of the “other” in English society) in The Tempest “You taught me your language and my profit on it is to curse…”

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