“Gee, You’re So Inarticulate” – On the (non) Burden of Being White…

Painful to watch, but necessary: this is evidence of the clearly low standard that white folks set for ourselves when it comes to elected office. No person of color could be this damned incapable of stringing words together and get elected to anything. But for us? No problem…In Brewer’s case, for someone who is so inept at the English language, she has some nerve sweating Latino migrant labor from Mexico, that’s for sure…Bottom line: The real sign of white supremacy’s demise will be when black and brown folks are allowed to be as utterly mediocre as white folks and still gain positions of power and influence


22 Responses to ““Gee, You’re So Inarticulate” – On the (non) Burden of Being White…”

  1. Dead on. Take your pick of any of Sarah Palin’s greatest nonsensical hits as well. Also consider how important the perception of intelligence was in Barack Obama’s rise to power, yet he is ridiculed as not intelligent enough by many on the right. It makes no sense and is a perfect indication of how the race issue is alive and well in America.

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  2. Perhaps she is just a reflection of those who elected her? Which I suppose is equally as scary.

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  3. oh wow. that was painful. how does someone like that get elected? oh wait, we’re anti-intellectual in this country. now it all makes sense.

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  4. In all fairness to Gov. Brewer, she doesn’t have a college education. And she wasn’t elected governor, but “inherited” the position when Napolitano became head of Homeland Security. Of course, she was elected to statewide office…(A person of color without a college degree as a governor of a state? Probably happen the same day that it snows 3 feet in Gila Bend, AZ.)

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    Frederic Christie Reply:

    I know plenty of highly intelligent, erudite people who haven’t graduated from college.

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  5. Hooooraaaay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Got that right. Don’t republicans make thier people go through any media training?

    “when black and brown folks are allowed to be as utterly mediocre as white folks and still gain positions of power and influence”

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  7. and lets not forget her predecessors, such as Strom Thurmond, Lester Maddox, George Wallace, Jesse Helms and others like them who not only had problems stringing words together but also offered nothing except hate-filled words when speaking about some of their local citizenry, whom they were elected to represent…thats why I have NO PROBLEM ENCOURAGING Alvin Greene of South Carolina to run for Senate, that state could (and have) done worst.

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  8. Yo Tim, nothing beats the time they had an english first conference, or a conference with that theme even if it’s not what they called it. But the banner was mispelled. Oh man, how epic.

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  9. As my older brother said….”I deserve the right to be perfectly and unapologetically mediocre.”

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  10. Tim, I’ve noticed that you very rarely cover anything other than white racism. There’s plenty of other kinds of racism in America today, like for instance black on Asian racism or black on Hispanic racism or Hispanic on white racism, etc.

    I’m going to be honest here. Growing up in America, I probably faced just as much racism from blacks as from whites, when I was a child. In particular, I’ve noticed that both black and white children enjoy mocking Asian languages and recreating the stereotypical “slanted” Asian eyes. I think that this is probably one of the least talked about issues in the mainstream media today, the pernicious black on Asian racism which exists throughout the nation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I didn’t see you report on the black on Asian attacks in Philadelphia a few months earlier, or the deadly targeting of Asian Americans in San Francisco by African American assailants. I think that as a white liberal, you’re a bit out of touch with regard to the experiences that Asian Americans have to endure growing up in this nation. If you truly consider yourself to be an anti-racist activist, why not condemn racism in all of its forms, even when its committed by African Americans? Let’s condemn of all the racists out in the world, whether they’re black, white, Hispanic, or Asian.

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    Tim Reply:

    @ yan – I don’t doubt that there is anti-Asian bias that comes from blacks (and anti-black bias that comes from Asians: data on that is overwhelming too btw), but I don’t generally write about POC bias towards other POC, not because it isn’t a problem, and not because I consider it any less morally troubling. The reason is simple: a) it is not, quantitatively anywhere near the social problem as white racism. This is because white racism has with it far more institutional backing and power. And b) because as a white person I believe my first responsibility is to “clean up my backyard” so to speak. It’s called personal responsibility: the kind of thing conservatives love to preach to black people, but never apply to ourselves. This is the same way that during the cold war, as an American, my job was not to give “equal time” to protesting Soviet crimes, real though they were, but my job was to address the crimes of the U.S. government.

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    YC Reply:

    Yan Shen—let me break down your own logic for you.

    I noticed that neither you nor Tim criticize Asian men’s violence against Asian women and children. Asian men and Black men terrorize women and children within our communities all the time. Why aren’t you and Tim troubled about Black and Asian men’s violence against Asian and Black women and children?

    See how this line of thinking works?

    Tim makes a conscious choice to focus on the privileges and actions of white people (especially men), because it’s largely white men who control the institutional and economic structures that govern all of our lives. US white men in national and international government have control over the lives and deaths of billions of people around the world. It makes perfect sense that Tim’s lifework is exposing and challenging white privilege, because he is a direct beneficiary of that privilege.

    As for the violence between people of color in our own communities, that is our job to deal with. And I for one would like to see you be critical of all of it: between Asian Americans and other POC communities, between heterosexual folks and LGBT people in our communities, and between men, women, and children within each community. How about you and I get started on that. Are you ready?

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    Frederic Christie Reply:

    And why aren’t all of you more concerned about classism in your communities? Damn if Asians don’t have plenty of class stereotypes.

    And homophobia?

    And not being sufficiently ecologically sound?

    Yeah, it’s a great game…

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  11. Was she drunk?

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  12. For a minute there, I thought about offering Michael Steele as an example of black mediocrity maintaining power. But the more I think about it, he’s position in the RNC has always been tenuous and circumscribed. I’m not sure he’s much more than a token at this point.

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  13. Someone needs to ask her what books and magazines she reads.

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  14. […] Wise breaks it down like a fraction: “Gee, You’re So Inarticulate” – On the (non) Burden of Being White… Posted on September […]

  15. Well done America! 8 years of a C-average President who fabricates his own words and now this muppett in Arizona who talks like a 6 year old at show and tell, “This is my budget. We have cut it. And balanced it. We have done so much. We are going forward. We have done everything we can possibly do. I have done the best anyone could ever do. Please give me an A.”

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  16. She did not get her talking points. WOW

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  17. No person of color could be this damned incapable of stringing words together and get elected to anything.

    As if the intellectual contrast between Obama and Bush/McCain wasn’t enough… As if McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as veep wasn’t enough… as if the media’s tender caress of Palin, treating her as a respectable and serious political player simply because she’s popular among some segment(s) of the population…

    It’s like they are doing this on purpose (well, at least as far as Palin is concerned), like it’s a test to reassure the White wing that Whiteness still has it privileges.

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  18. I think Gov. Brewer was nervous at that time. Maybe she’s not prepared? Or maybe she’s just not used to talking in front of many people and knowing that there are millions of viewers watching at home.

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