Carlson: Only Racists Think White Privilege Exists

Tucker Carlson continues his lifelong and incredibly brave battle against reality after a Missouri legislator dared to mention white privilege. Because there is no such thing, you see. In fact, only a racist person could possibly believe that white privilege exists. So says Tucker Carlson, who is so white he’s translucent.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Sunday condemned a Missouri lawmaker for tweeting about “white privilege,” and he asserted that using the term was “attacking people based on their skin color.”

Over the weekend, conservative blogs expressed outrage after Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D) tweeted: “When you exercise your #WhitePrivilege, don’t think I’m not going to remember. I will use it for the future. Uncomfortable?”

“Here’s the problem I have with it,” Carlson said. “It’s not just that she’s obviously an extremist, but she’s a race hater. She attacks people based on the color of their skin, that’s just not a good thing. That’s not moral. It’s wrong. It shouldn’t be allowed.”

“And two, she’s an associate of the president,” he continued. “Why is it that President Obama has people like this supporting him? Has people like Al Sharpton in the White House 70 times? People who are openly bigoted, openly racist, and nobody calls him on it?”

“There ought to be some line that you don’t cross if you’re an elected official. Attacking people on the the base of their race — and this white privilege stuff is just that, it’s attacking people based on their skin color, and I think we should call it what it is.”

Yes, the mere mention of white privilege makes one a racist! In the next segment, Carlson explained that up is down and war is peace. On the next show, they should just represent Tucker Carlson with a mayonnaise sandwich on wonder bread listening to Yanni.

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  • eric

    this white privilege stuff is just that, it’s attacking people based on their skin color, and I think we should call it what it is.”

    Yes, you should. Loudly and often. And get your political candidates to do so too. That way all the people who agree with you will vote for them, all the people who don’t agree with you will vote against them, and the problem will be solved. Agreed?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    On the next show, they should just represent Tucker Carlson with a mayonnaise sandwich on wonder bread listening to Yanni.

    Now you’re just being ridiculous. Where’s the sliced cucumber? And is the crust even cut off?

     

    Alternately:

    Now you’re just being ridiculous. Wonder Bread doesn’t even have ears!

  • John Pieret

    they should just represent Tucker Carlson with a mayonnaise sandwich on wonder bread listening to Yanni

    Now that’s racist! Most white people I know don’t like Wonder Bread or Yanni … though I’ll give you mayonnaise. But, then again, I live in the NYC area.

  • Pen

    It’s unfortunate that tweets are such that it’s impossible to tell what Maria Chappelle-Nadal is talking about. It’s possible to tell that Tucker Carlson’s rebuttal was content-free though.

  • scienceavenger

    Clearly “racist” has merely become shorthand, a catchphrase that means everything or nothing depending on who is using it and why. It’s an empty canvas on which one can paint whatever picture they want, but of course they rarely put brush to canvas at all. It usually stands as a lone epithet, undefined and inconsistently applied, and is used as a substitute for substantive argumentation. It functions as a symbol of wrongness in the same way that terms like “liberal” or “pagan” are used merely as symbols for “Them”. As such, it is primarily an empty placeholder where a substantive argument ought to be.

    /snark

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Yes, the mere mention of white privilege makes one a racist! In the next segment, Carlson explained that up is down and war is peace.

    You know who pioneered that line of BS, and gave it a shiny new ideological veneer, long before anyone ever heard of Tucker Carlson or Jonah Goldberg? Libertarians.

  • Abby Normal

    Simply acknowledging that white privilege exists isn’t racist. This is racist:

    On the next show, they should just represent Tucker Carlson with a mayonnaise sandwich on wonder bread listening to Yanni.

    He could debate Al Sharpton, who they could replace with some fried chicken and watermelon listening to Louis Armstrong.

  • Alverant

    And what’s wrong with Yanni? He’s not my favorite New Age artist, but he’s enjoyable for the most part. Besides, I doubt Yanni would ever stoop to having his music played on that propaganda network.

  • http://marniemaclean.com MissMarnie

    “Here’s the problem I have with it,” Carlson said. “It’s not just that she’s obviously an extremist, but she’s a race hater. She attacks people based on the color of their skin, that’s just not a good thing. That’s not moral. It’s wrong. It shouldn’t be allowed.”

    By his logic, if I say that a paraplegic faces more challenges getting around than an able-bodied person, I hate able-bodied people. All those seats on public transportation that are reserved for the elderly and disabled, that’s just political correctness gone amok. Everyone is equal and everything is equally hard for everyone, so if we can all stop oppressing rich white men, that’d be great.

  • StevoR

    To be racist is to be human. Its fucken hard to break free from even when you try.

    Which most folks, I suspect don’t even bother really to do.

  • Michael Heath

    “Here’s the problem I have with it,” Carlson said. “It’s not just that she’s obviously an extremist, but she’s a race hater. She attacks people based on the color of their skin, that’s just not a good thing. That’s not moral. It’s wrong. It shouldn’t be allowed.

    [Heath bolded.]

    Pet peeve alert: “Attack” ≠ “Criticize”. Liberals also frequently misuse the word “attack” to add some hyperbole to their argument.

    And then we see, “[criticism against privileged white people] shouldn’t be allowed; WTF?!? This is why it’s so imperative that liberals stay on point as consistent free speech proponents, not convenient speech proponents.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Michael Heath @ # 11: “Attack” ≠ “Criticize”. Liberals also frequently misuse the word “attack” to add some hyperbole to their argument.

    I suspect much of this comes from headline writers, who may or may not have a political agenda but almost always feel a need to (a) draw attention and (b) use short words.

  • alanb

    To be fair Tucker doesn’t get his privilege by being white. He gets it by coming from a family with lots and lots of money.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    Too bad she didn’t give a speech in front of an avowed white supremacist group. Carlson and the entire Republican caucus would have had her back.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Also, “Yanni” is “Enya” backwards. I just blew your mind!

  • marcus

    Abby Normal @ 7 Sorry, no.

  • Abby Normal

    Marcus, are you saying that mayo on Wonder bread is not a racial stereotype or that Ed wasn’t reducing Tucker Carlson to it?

    I love being wrong. It means I’ve learned something new. I hope this is one of those times.

  • http://zenoferox.blogspot.com/ Zeno

    My brother used to eat sandwiches consisting of Miracle Whip slathered on white bread. All the time. We could have lost our ethnic cachet!

  • marcus

    Racial stereotypes =/= racism. I cannot present the argument nearly as well as the folks over at Pharyngula, but as they put it, and I agree, there is a social, cultural, oppressive quality to actual racism that is not the same as merely making racially insensitive remarks or derogatory comments about someone’s race.

    Making racially insensitive comments about someone who enjoys the rights and privileges of the dominant culture does not rise to level of actual “racism”.

  • felidae

    No white privilege, eh? former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell just got sentenced to two years prison time after being convicted on 11 felony counts–9 weeks per count, if you’re counting, sending a firm message to all those black folks doing long sentences for drug crimes

  • anteprepro

    felidae :

    Steal one item worth a few dollars or so while black: Get shot at, killer gets paid vacation.

    Steal hundreds of thousands of dollars while white through eleven different felonies: Get two years in jail.

    America: Making sure to keep the White in White Collar Crime.

  • anteprepro

    And marcus’s point involves the sociological definition of racism: Discrimination + Power. In the context of an American society, where white people have massive privilege, mocking “whiteness” isn’t really racism. Also in general, mocking members of your own racial group is not likely to be “as racist” for lack of a better term (there’s no power difference and you likely aren’t discriminating against them). Oftentimes this is because the “racism” is actually itself a joke: a form of meta-humor that is made obvious because of the fact that you are part of the group that you supposedly “hate”. See for example the character Uncle Ruckus, or use of the N-word within the black community.

  • marcus

    anteprepro @ 22 Thank you for presenting that concept so clearly and succinctly.

    Discrimination + Power

    Got it.

  • A. Noyd

    So says Tucker Carlson, who is so white he’s translucent.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. The dude is completely transparent.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    alanb (#13)

    To be fair Tucker doesn’t get his privilege by being white. He gets it by coming from a family with lots and lots of money.

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Everybody who’s white gets white privilege. Class is another axis of privilege. Carlson happens to have both kinds, but even the poorest of poor whites has white privilege.

  • Anri

    Abby Normal @ 17:

    Marcus, are you saying that mayo on Wonder bread is not a racial stereotype or that Ed wasn’t reducing Tucker Carlson to it?

    I love being wrong. It means I’ve learned something new. I hope this is one of those times.

    I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth, but Marcus may have been saying there’s a difference between punching up and punching down.

    So, was this a time you learned something new?

    Or did you actually know that already?

  • Abby Normal

    That is an interesting definition of racism. It’s a tough sell that it doesn’t diminish a person’s power to reduce them to a stereotype. That’s why ridicule is such a popular fallacy. But I’ve long held that there are acceptable and unacceptable expressions of racially charged language. Anteprepro laid out some good examples the acceptable variety. So perhaps we’re not so far apart in principle. But I’m not quite there yet with regard Ed’s statement specifically. I’ll think on it some more. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  • John Horstman

    Tucker Carlson continues his lifelong and incredibly brave battle against reality

    I have nothing to add; I just wanted to say I really love many of your turns of phrase, Ed.

  • A. Noyd

    @Abby Normal (#26)

    Imagine humanity is walking across a steep slope strewn with rounded boulders. These boulders can be dislodged, accidentally or on purpose, without real effort. In fact, it takes vigilance and effort to avoid doing so. This is an issue because there’s one group that always walks at a higher elevation and one that always walks at a lower elevation. The boulders dislodged by higher elevation walkers (HEWs) tumble down onto the lower elevation walkers (LEWs), wreaking havoc and doing substantial harm.

    The LEWs can’t easily close the gap by moving up the slope. It’s steep, they’re already exhausted by the regular barrage of boulders, and, when they try, several of the HEWs get much more active in sending boulders down. The the rest of the HEWs either fail to stop this or run around in a panic, which dislodges yet more boulders. Plus, the HEWs can move up the slope, too.

    Now, nothing is technically stopping the LEWs from picking up the boulders and throwing them up the slope at the HEWs. Some try this. Some even get lucky and hurt a HEW or two, but it takes vastly more effort to go against gravity and elevation like that. The boulders don’t go far or do much damage even with a concerted effort. Worse, they tend to come right back down on top of the LEWs, often followed by a good deal more kicked by irate HEWs.

    This is essentially how racism works. Anyone can be prejudiced, but prejudice has very different consequences within in a system like racism. The sociological definition of racism makes the uneven playing field explicit, but it’s always there, acknowledged or not. If you can’t see it, you’re probably a HEW.

    (Please note: This slope analogy is not meant to cover combinations of different kinds of oppression. In other words, don’t try to figure out everyone’s relative elevation on a single slope based on some sort of “total” oppression.)

  • Pen

    marcus @19 –

    Racial stereotypes =/= racism. I cannot present the argument nearly as well as the folks over at Pharyngula, but as they put it, and I agree, there is a social, cultural, oppressive quality to actual racism…

    Their remarks are almost always inadequately sophisticated, for example they haven’t yet got to grips with the fact that they’re describing an overall vector of power in society which is only the overall result of everyone’s individual behavior s it comes together in the collectivity. It is absolutely possible for the behavior of a person from any group towards a person of any other group to contribute towards that same vector. In general racial prejudice or abuse directed at white people is actually quite likely to backfire and end up contributing towards the overall in vector in which white people are the most privileged group in society.

  • Pen

    Sorry about the blockquote fail. Anyway, the summary of my argument is: if you are not very, very careful, you will find yourself punching down even when you thought you were aiming in the opposite direction. Consequently, it’s better not to punch at all.

  • StevoR

    @28. A. Noyd : Good analogy there. Thanks.

  • Abby Normal

    When I was younger and walking through the halls in high school, as I passed a group of black students one of them punched me in the head. It wasn’t revenge for anything. They didn’t even know me. My attacker just felt like hitting a white person. It was something that would happen to random white people from time to time. I knew that if I confronted the attacker then the entire crew would jump me. I knew because it had happened before to others in my school. So I just kept walking as I felt blood from my ear roll down my neck. This is just one of many such incidents I can describe. If anyone is trying to convince me that racism against whites is impossible and that it doesn’t have real negative consequences then I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll ever agree.

    I acknowledge that not all racism is equal. I clearly see the argument Marcus and others are making has merit. What I’m struggling with is the apparent non-sequitur that because racism against whites is different than other types it somehow ceases to be racism. Whether you’re punching up and punching down you’re still punching.

  • Anne Fenwick

    Abby @ 32 – yes, then what happens is that you tell this story to white people, and they, knowing that random black violence against whites is a thing, act with suspicion and distance. But because they are the privileged group, all that feeds into keeping those privileges white. Meanwhile, black people also know that random white violence against blacks with a thing and the also act with suspicion and distance. And that also has the effect of keeping privilege white. This is the sort of thing I meant @29. Whichever way you define racism, it still is.

    PS – I am Pen, currently acting as my own sockpuppet, unwillingly and due to technical incompetence/the FTB site design changeover/login issues.

  • parasiteboy

    Abby Normal@32

    Your experience was an act of racism, even by the Racism = prejudice + power sociological definition, because in that situation they had more power than you. As you said “I knew that if I confronted the attacker then the entire crew would jump me.“.

    The Racism = prejudice + power definition is a definition of racism that is preferred by some sociologist, but not all, which I found out about from a previous discussion on Pharangula How can a black person be racist?. Check out Qwints@44 for an article that discusses the sociological definitions of racism. Also the author of that article discusses a similar situation to yours, in which he committed racist acts.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that racism against whites is different, but that it occurs on a smaller scale and in more specific situations like yours.

  • Anne Fenwick

    It’s interesting that Abby was the one who picked up on racial stereotyping of white people @ 7. I think white people who have experience of living in actually multiracial environments like schools and neighborhoods, especially ones where they aren’t a dominant force automatically become more sensitive to these things. There’s a division here – a lot of white people, including many here are clearly participating in a multiracial society through the media rather than where the rubber hits the road. It’s obvious to me that the kind of remark she picked up on, whatever else it is, can only be detrimental in a genuinely multiracial context, with lots of personal interaction between people of different races. I think it’s clear to people in those contexts either that both the white bread/mayonnaise AND the chicken/watermelon thing are acceptable OR neither are. A healthy, welcoming and egalitarian multiracial community can’t be imagined under any other terms.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    alanb@13 says: To be fair Tucker doesn’t get his privilege by being white. He gets it by coming from a family with lots and lots of money.

    .

    He’s also male. Male, white, and rich, all providing different but in his case, reinforcing privilege. These days at least, I think wealth overcomes any handicap there may be from being non-white or non-male.

    .

    Lots of good comments here on racism. I agree that stereotypes are unavoidable. After all, outside of math, what category does not involve stereotypes which may not be universally and perfectly correct? And, we mostly agree that this is still inextricably intertwined with racism. I want to complicate these ideas just a little: Folks see themselves as members of various groups, and have their own stereotypes of those groups, which may or may not be a good match for the stereotypes held by non-members. Also, some folks work hard at being an unquestioned member of one or more of their tribes. How much you want to bet that Tucker works hard at being a member in good standing of: Good Christian, True American, and Real Man? And likely in some ways that I might snicker at…

  • marcus

    Just to be clear, I don’t find racial humor particularly funny, although a good skewering of the privileged classes (whatever their demographic) can be enlightening and educational.

    If I cannot resist making a joke about silly white people I need look no further than my own front door.

  • Abby Normal

    Parasiteboy @34

    Your experience was an act of racism, even by the Racism = prejudice + power sociological definition, because in that situation they had more power than you.

    How much power does Tucker Calrson have on this blog compared to Ed? My school was roughly 60% White, 20% Hispanic, 15% Black, and 5% Asian/other. I was part of the more privileged class.

    I haven’t followed your link yet, but I will.

  • A. Noyd

    Abby Normal (#32)

    When I was younger and walking through the halls in high school, as I passed a group of black students one of them punched me in the head. It wasn’t revenge for anything. They didn’t even know me. My attacker just felt like hitting a white person. It was something that would happen to random white people from time to time.

    So you got a boulder tossed at you from downhill. Like I said, that happens. But you aren’t seeing what’s going on downslope. See, I had something similar happen in high school. It took no effort at all on my part to get the kid who attacked me expelled because the system is, overall, stacked against black kids.

    Ever heard of the School-to-Prison pipeline? Even from kindergarten, black children are considered worse behaved. All through school, they’re disciplined more frequently and harshly than white kids. If they do something criminal, they’re more often tried as adults. Little is done to effectively help the ones who genuinely do have some behavior issues. We’d rather kick them out of school to try their luck as dropouts in a shit economy or toss them directly in prison. That’s not to say the schools and courts never fail white kids, just that black kids are failed disproportionately.

    You’re up the slope. You suffered from individual action against you based on race. That happens, but it’s not racism. Racism is what amplifies action taken by whites against people of color and shields whites from most of the consequences of individual action against us.

    What I’m struggling with is the apparent non-sequitur that because racism against whites is different than other types it somehow ceases to be racism. Whether you’re punching up and punching down you’re still punching.

    Did you even read my analogy?

  • A. Noyd

    parasiteboy (#34)

    our experience was an act of racism, even by the Racism = prejudice + power sociological definition, because in that situation they had more power than you. As you said “I knew that if I confronted the attacker then the entire crew would jump me.“.

    Uh, no. That’s not the kind of power the definition is talking about. High school isn’t some Lord of the Flies scenario where kids are the highest authority. Both you and Abby apparently need to grasp this. Power in the definition is talking about power gradients throughout society. While you might find a localized reversal of a gradient, you can’t look at that reversal as a counterexample unless it’s an isolated system that, like Golding’s fictional island, doesn’t have to contend with the world outside in any way.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Anne Fenwick (#35)

    It’s obvious to me that the kind of remark she picked up on, whatever else it is, can only be detrimental in a genuinely multiracial context, with lots of personal interaction between people of different races.

    How though? First off, Ed isn’t black. Second, he’s using the stereotype against a particular individual to say that that individual is living up to stereotypes with gusto. Even if a black person were to say the same thing in the same terms, it does no harm to white people. We can choose to ignore it. Or we can choose to get offended, but I’d have to wonder why anyone would go out of their way to identify more closely with Carlson than the person making fun of him.

    A healthy, welcoming and egalitarian multiracial community can’t be imagined under any other terms.

    It’s not black people’s job to make whites feel welcome and comfortable in a multi-racial society. At least, not before whites make the playing field level.

  • Abby Normal

    A. Noyd, I did read your analogy. It was a good illustration of how power mitigates or magnifies the effects of racially motivated attacks. There is a societal penalty for not being in the dominant class. I see white privilege and understand its impact. Where I am struggling is with this unfamiliar definition of racism where belittling, dismissing, attacking or otherwise harming people based on their race is not racism. I get that the narrow definition you espouse may be useful for certain analyses by social scientists. But it doesn’t follow that the word can’t have broader meanings when used in general discussion.

    I would like to point out I have at no time made a value judgment about whether or not Ed’s comment was appropriate or inappropriate. I mention this because I get the feeling some people might be thinking that racism = bad. Ed’s comment wasn’t bad. Therefore it wasn’t racism.

    A. Noyd, I’m curious, setting aside whether or not the guy punching me is an example of racism, was it a hate crime?

  • Abby Normal

    Power in the definition is talking about power gradients throughout society.

    Thank you. This is the same point I was trying to make @38.

  • A. Noyd

    Abby Normal (#41)

    Where I am struggling is with this unfamiliar definition of racism where belittling, dismissing, attacking or otherwise harming people based on their race is not racism. I get that the narrow definition you espouse may be useful for certain analyses by social scientists. But it doesn’t follow that the word can’t have broader meanings when used in general discussion.

    Because, in the analogy, racism is the whole setup of higher elevation walkers versus lower elevation walkers including the effect that gravity and elevation have on individual actions. It only works against LEWs (ie. people of color).

    Even if you call any act of racially-motivated violence “racism,” it still happens within a system where the effects are completely different depending on one’s race. That system does not exist only when social scientists decide to get all analytical; it’s always there, doing what racism was created to do. Failing to use the sociological definition with its built-in acknowledgement of that system or failing to otherwise explicitly accounting for the system in your terms ends up generating false equivalences.

    If you want to use the word “racism” the way you’re talking about, you have to do a lot more work to make sure that other white people who deny there is a significant systemic imbalance in their favor (or, like Carlson, see white people as being worse off) don’t think you’re on their side. And good fucking luck with that.

    I’m curious, setting aside whether or not the guy punching me is an example of racism, was it a hate crime?

    I think you should look into what black writers on race say about that. The motivations oppressed people have for striking back against their oppressors is different than the motivations of oppressors perpetrating violence against the oppressed. The former, such as what happened to you and me, might not always be appropriate, but it doesn’t have the same roots (or consequences) as the latter, which is what we typically mean when we talk about hate crimes.

    (#42)

    This is the same point I was trying to make @38.

    I don’t think so. Ed’s blog is not hermetically sealed from the rest of the world, so talking about Carlson’s power versus Ed’s power only in the context of Dispatches is missing the point.

  • http://marniemaclean.com MissMarnie

    @Abby Normal

    I think there’s a semantic limitation here that is muddying the issue. Let’s give two non-race based examples:

    Example 1: Employee is in meeting with boss, boss tells employee that s/he could show off that beautiful body more and in return, boss would find ways to make it worth his/her while.

    Example 2: Employee is in meeting with boss, employee tells boss s/he could show off that beautiful body more and in return employee would find ways to make it worth his/her while.

    Both of those are sexual harassment. Both are wrong. But in the first instance, the person being harassed is at a power disadvantage. Declining the offer may result in losing one’s job, and possibly being blacklisted in their field. In the second instance, the there may still be other power dynamics, but the person being harassed is more likely to be considered credible and has more options to address the situation.

    Calling them both sexual harassment isn’t necessarily wrong but the dynamics of the two scenarios are vastly different. When people want to address the issue of sexual harassment, the first situation is the one that is of immediate concern because the system is inherently rigged against the person being harassed.

    There can be other factors that make the second situation a more immediate concern. Should the person harassing pose a serious risk of physically harming the person being harassed, then the dynamics of that situation change. But if boss in second situation says that sexual harassment rules seem to focus on employees and not bosses, people could reasonably argue that despite boss’s particular experience, sexual harassment legislation is meant to help people who may already be as a disadvantage in the office because of factors such as their gender or sexual orientation, from being taken advantage of and being put at an even greater disadvantage.

  • parasiteboy

    A. Noyd@40

    Uh, no. That’s not the kind of power the definition is talking about.

    After looking back at the article that I mentioned @34, you are correct. I confused Power in the R=P+P definition, with the definition of power that the author gave in the beginning of the article (Power-the capacity to exert force on or over something or someone) which would be valid in Abby Normal’s situation. The author would call it race-based oppression when power was exerted, by way of Abby Normal feeling helpless . Here is his story from that article so you can see what I mean.

    When I was a (black) teenager in the grips of false beliefs about the inferiority of white people (due in great part to the conviction that their presumed racist attitudes rendered them brutish, stupid, and dangerous), my belief constituted racism. And when I translated those beliefs into malicious actions (taunting, excluding, fighting), it was behavioral expression of racism. And when I was in a group of like-minded young racists, and we chose to take over the back of a public transportation bus and become openly hostile and threatening toward white riders—often to the point that they felt so unsafe that they disembarked before their desired destination had been reached, it was an exercise of power that adds up to race-based oppression.

  • Michael Heath

    This is a very enlightening thread. Thanks to those who contributed; especially A. Noyd and as always, Abby Normal.

  • Anne Fenwick

    A. Noyd @ 40 –

    First off, Ed isn’t black. Second, he’s using the stereotype against a particular individual to say that that individual is living up to stereotypes with gusto.

    1st – what that got to do with anything? The vector of racial power in society is also affected by what white people do/say to other white people and what black people do/say to other black people.

    2nd – this is exactly what you should not do with stereotypes.

    It’s not black people’s job to make whites feel welcome and comfortable in a multi-racial society. At least, not before whites make the playing field level.

    Since the behavior/speech of a black person wasn’t the subject of the criticism, that’s rather beside the point, but since you brought it up, I’d like to make my perspective clearer, because I think you’re not getting what I actually mean by really living in a multi-racial community as opposed to being a member of a multi-racial nation/world.

    My neighborhood is (roughly) a 3rd black, a 3rd white and a 3rd brown. A good half of those people are relatively recent immigrants and this is fairly evenly spread across the races. In this situation, it is often of course, quite literally the professional responsibility of a black person as a teacher, medical professional,etc to do their best to make sure a white person to whom they’re providing services feels comfortable (and the reverse and other combinations are also equally true). When I’m a white person newly arrived in the country, asking the black headmistress of a mostly black school for help with unfamiliar administrative hurdles, I am as entitled to expect help and an absence of racial abuse as anyone else. If that expectation isn’t met for any of us, we’re all equally entitled to complain, without waiting for the overall vector of racial dominance in the larger world to get fixed.

    In addition, we not only have to look each other in the face on a daily basis but most of us (of all races) would like to get on well and have local friends and share social activities together. Imagine the ambiance if two thirds of the people in your social circle decide it’s okay to insult the remaining third until such time as all interracial problems in the wider society are fixed. On a direct interpersonal level – I’m talking about people who do go to the pub and to dinner in each other’s houses regularly – this just can’t work. I don’t have to argue that anyone has an obligation, I can simply observe that such behavior won’t result in a successful multiracial community. I can also believe that such a failure would be a shame, if I think that successful multiracial communities have the potential to erode racial inequality in the wider world, but there you can disagree with me. You’re perfectly free to say ‘we just won’t have multiracial communities until everything else is fixed’.