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Should the “N” Word Be Banned?

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On February 1, the first day of Black history Month was ushered in with a bit of local media brouhaha here in New York when Queens Councilman Leroy Comrie, hip-hop artist Kurtis Blow Walker, and other community leaders headed a press conference calling for a symbolic, non-binding resolution urging New Yorkers to stop using the "n" word.  Though no one could possibly imagine this could be made into a real law (just for starters, the First Amendment implications would be huge) it did give people of all races ample food for thought.

Black spokesmen such as the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have spoken out for decades about racism in America. Bill Cosby has been very open about the willful rejection by many black youths of education as a way out of poverty and the peer pressure faced by those who study hard and are mocked by their peers for “acting white.”

The point we are at now in America, Jackson and Sharpton claim, is that most whites feel that racism is now a non-issue, while many blacks know it’s just been pushed under the “PC” surface. The frustrating thing about this underlying, even unconscious, racism is that it’s so insidious that white people don’t even realize they are still bigoted.

So if Black History month is to live up to its name, it seems logical to assume that the implications of the “n” word, its role in racism, and the black struggle for equal opportunity are vital issues to explore. Bringing this topic into the light of day has considerable merit to it, especially since young people who use the word as a term of affection seem unaware of the negative historical connotations. They didn’t live through the civil rights movement and may be unaware that some dedicated people, black and white, died for this noble cause.

They may have little clue as to the horrible and shameful history of discrimination, segregation, lynchings, redlining, and slavery that decimated the black family unit and perpetuated a tragic cycle of multi-generational poverty. The repercussions of this appalling American legacy are still being felt today.

Save for the equally-oppressed Native American, all Americans' roots lie elsewhere. Our ancestors fled oppression and lack of opportunity in the old country and braved the journey to the new land with its siren song of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to break free.” The crucial difference between African Americans and other "immigrants" is that blacks were brought here against their will in the service of oppression rather than liberation. Conversely, the vast waves of European immigrants who began to arrive in earnest at the turn of the twentieth century personified the typical road to assimilation taken by those from other countries and cultures who come here.

My grandparents, for instance, came from Eastern Europe and settled, like so many others, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan early in the last century. My grandfather worked hard to support his wife and five children, but died at a very young age, leaving my non-English speaking grandmother to care for her American-born children in a cramped walk-up tenement.

In order to survive, my mother and her older brother had to complete their high school degrees at night so they could work during the day. My grandmother insisted that everyone finish high school, as she knew this was necessary in order to move ahead and succeed in America. Like many children of new immigrants, my mother, aunts, and uncles wasted no time in trying to escape the ghetto life they had been born into. As fully assimilated Americans, they wanted to move out of the old neighborhood at all costs.

My mother and her youngest sister were especially adamant about this. When they double dated, they didn’t want their dates to pick them up from home. They broke from their Orthodox Jewish religious traditions, spoke perfect English, and succeeded in fulfilling the American dream in earnest. Only one of my aunts — an Orthodox Jew — still lives in the old neighborhood (what my other aunt also refers to as the “schtetl”). Like some others of her generation, she chose to stay in a working class co-op development that had been designed by Jewish union leaders early in the century to provide the working and middle class with decent, affordable housing and an escape from the cramped tenements a block or two away. For decades — until a discrimination lawsuit changed all that — the massive high rise co-ops up and down Grand Street on the East Side were, indeed, virtual Jewish enclaves.

In this safe haven, American-born Orthodox Jews could escape the pressures of full assimilation and retain their essential “Jewishness” without shame or apology. As a result, it is quite easy to tell at first sight (and sound) that my aunt is Jewish. She talks and looks like a stereotypical Jew, though she worked for years in a mostly Chinese school district as a secretary and got along with everyone. But until recently, time really did stand still — at least culturally — on Grand Street.

When my mother and her siblings were growing up, successive waves of immigrants from all corners of the globe had also come to America for a better life. The newer arrivals were looked down on by those who had come before them as “greenhorns,” or country bumpkins — a source of derision and embarrassment to their more established brethren.  The Irish were among the first wave in, followed by Italians and Jews. Later came Puerto Ricans, and later still came Hispanics from other parts of the globe.

German Jews in particular had assimilated and thrived personally and professionally in their homeland, but were forced to flee when the Nazis refused to recognize them as Germans first and Jews second. But when they arrived here, they wasted no time in assimilating, and looked down their noses at the throngs of eastern European Jews who came after them. They wanted nothing to do with these "greenhorns" who represented all the stereotypes they — and their new fellow Americans — abhorred.

The same can be seen in some Hispanic neighborhoods today. American-born Puerto Ricans may look askance at new arrivals from the Dominican republic who “bring down the neighborhood” — refusing to learn English and clinging to their old culture.  

But the history of African Americans in this country is a very different one. Unlike some other ethnic groups who band together and start new businesses here by pooling resources and setting up new arrivals with funding and support, African Americans have little in the way of this kind of community unity. Despite their incredible cultural contributions to our country, even at the height of the Harlem Renaissance they still faced discrimination and segregation. The cycle of crime, poverty, lack of education and accessibility to resources is still a huge problem, despite a sizeable and thriving black middle class.

It is this successful middle class that represents the loudest voices in this clarion call for an end to the “n” word, which is still embraced by many black youths. It serves as a source of shame for those who have worked so hard to gain a foothold in the larger society by education and hard work.

It could certainly be argued that bringing this hot topic to the forefront can only be a good thing. The recent brouhaha over Michael Richards’ disastrous stand-up routine where he used the “n” word to retaliate against hecklers demonstrates how it is still acceptable for a black person to use this word but not a white person.

Though there are many who abhor the use of the word by any race at any time, the use of the “n” word as a form of affection is rampant among today's black youth as well as entertainment figures. By openly challenging this, it is possible that a form of positive “social engineering” can be put into play, similar to the anti-smoking campaign.

By refusing to run cigarette commercials, asking for ID from young smokers, running scary anti-smoking ads, raising taxes on cigarettes, and banning smoking in most public spaces, many smokers have quit and doubtless many young kids who would have once thought it “cool” to smoke now realize that it is not. As a result, even the most rampant partier who spends each weekend high on X at a local rave may eschew cigarettes. It’s too expensive, there’s no buzz to speak of, and it’s bad for your health. What’s the point? Though most teens are still too young to wrap their minds around their own mortality, for many, smoking is still an outdated relic, no longer useful in order to be “cool” with peers.

By the same token, by rendering the use of the “n” word politically incorrect, many impressionable youth may start to think twice before bandying this word around quite as freely as before. Now that the problem has been put out in the open and addressed, some young people will no doubt take heed, learn more about the horrible legacy of this slur, and realize that it is not only a source of shame to their elders but also one reason why many black youths still haplessly play into the self-destructive role of the unassimilated “greenhorn” within the great American melting pot.

But still and all, is there any merit to using the “n” word amongst one’s peers, or in the privacy of one’s own home? In a word, I say yes. As a Jew, I would be livid if someone addressed me as a “dirty kike.” Yet among my friends, Jewish or no, I might privately label an unscrupulous landlord, real estate agent, mortgage broker, or lawyer with this epithet.

Of course greed and avarice are universal traits, but when a fellow Jew lives up to all the horrible stereotypes we have struggled so long to rise above, it makes me feel that these bad apples give my people a bad name. Jewish humor has a rich tradition based in large part on the tragedies of persecution throughout the centuries. Much of this humor is self-deprecating, and stems from the struggle of the perpetual outsider attempting to come to terms with an often hostile gentile world.

So when I talk in private to my non-Jewish friends and one of them tells me of a Jewish businessman who took advantage of them, I have no qualms about referring to him as a “dirty kike.” When my disabled friend was recently led on a wild goose chase by a Jappy Westchester real estate broker motivated only by greed and gaining “points” for showing as many apartments as possible — no matter how unsuitable — after reeling folks in with an alleged "teaser" ad, I made no bones about privately referring to her as a “Jew bitch.” As a matter of fact, just yesterday, I fired the Jewish attorney who was supposed to handle the contract and closing on my new co-op after this shameless shmuck proved himself to be a lazy, lying, self-important, condescending sack of shit. And of course, “kikes,” at least to my mind, can come in all colors of the rainbow — it’s the stereotype of the cheap, greedy, unscrupulous shyster of any race or creed that’s in play here.

I often joke with my non-Jewish friends about the culture shock of living with a non-Jew. I praise my boyfriend’s uber-Goyishness, and the fact that he can repair things and is not afraid to get his hands dirty, while I, the coddled Jewish princess, must hire movers, get my air conditioning professionally installed and my walls painted by experts rather than friends. (The old joke applies well here. Question: what do Jewish wives make for dinner? Answer: reservations.)

Meanwhile, my boyfriend has worked on oil slicks in the wilds of Louisiana, lived in New York City shelters when his luck ran out, gone to Mexico with his friend on a roll of dimes and a raised thumb at 16, moved to New York City in the crime-filled ‘70s and lived in areas I would never have ventured into if you paid me, done back-breaking day labor, worked as a garbage man, a janitor, a cook, an art supply salesman, a messenger, a house painter, and so on.

Since his parents could not afford to send him to college, and having grown up on Air Force bases since his dad was a career Air Force man, he volunteered for the army at 17 rather than wait to be drafted. His MO was medic, for he wanted to help people rather than kill them. Fortunately, he got a “million dollar wound” in AIT — he rebroke an arm that was already damaged badly enough that he should never have been allowed in in the first place.

My goyishe boyfriend’s adventures are something I can only admire. As a New York female Jewish baby-boomer, I was expected to go to college, never had a job that got my hands dirty, would never join the military or do day labor, and can hardly figure out how to turn on the TV without help. In a word, we complement each other beautifully. Although he is highly intelligent and largely self taught — he knows more about American history, for example, than I will ever hope to know, thanks to reading on his own — and a talented portrait artist, I am still the Jewish “brains” and he the goyish “brawn” in the relationship.

We have arrived in the 21st century with much of our old prejudices behind us. We now have a female Speaker of the House, a black female secretary of state, a conservative black supreme court justice, and a wildly popular black presidential candidate who just might win. What all these incredible people have in common is that they, like women and other erstwhile persecuted groups, had to work doubly hard to prove themselves, and be both extremely qualified and beyond reproach in order to gain entry into what was formerly the sole purview of white Christian males.

I believe that on the whole, white Americans are immensely gratified when they see a black professional who is virtually “whiter” than they are. It alleviates guilt, confirms that the American dream is truly open to all, and reinforces the beauty of our assimilated, yet multicultural society. What is still left to be done is to convince disenchanted black youth that rather than embrace their “blackness” to the detriment of themselves and their community, it would be far more productive to work within the system, educate themselves, struggle and work hard, and prosper as full fledged Americans. Those who drop out of school; dress, act, and talk “ghetto;” use the “n” word publicly and continually; and eschew the rewards of embracing the “white” culture do themselves a grave disservice and exacerbate what is still a grave national problem.

African Americans, I maintain, are the non-immigrant “immigrants” who are still struggling with assimilation and self-loathing generations after they were brought here against their will. Our greatest challenge lies in convincing them that it is in their best interests to leave the “n” word out of public discourse, and limit it mostly to private usage. They can still “own” the slur, but the time has come to stop embracing it publicly as some sort of self-destructive, self-hating badge of honor. Perhaps this call to ban the “n” word, though of course nearly impossible to enforce, is the best message we could possibly convey to our still-largely "unassimilated" black youth.

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About Elvira Black

  • Nancy

    Black leaders certainly have their work cut out for them, because the most pervasive users of offensive words of ALL kinds are young blacks themselves. If they aren’t referring to each other as ‘nigga’ or some variant thereof, they’re calling their mothers, sisters, girlfriends, etc. ‘ho’ (whore). This filthy terminology is endemic to rap music, which is widely popular among white kids these days as well – as is the spread of using the very language black leaders are railing against. Not only in rap music, but black-oriented films, videos, & general culture of the black socio-economic lower & working classes, which of course the kids of ALL levels copy & use with each other. I frankly have no idea how black adults can change this sitution, but unfortunately it seems to be mainly their situation to change, since the primary offenders are their own people. If it were my kid(s), I’d be tempted to put them in a military school after tanning their little bottoms raw, but this is not an option available to most working or lower class people of any color. Besides, kids are notorious for being most attracted to whatever is verboten by adults, especially if it has shock value, which the N word certainly does.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Maybe next time you could just write a book. =;)

    Kidding aside, wonderful piece Elvira. Superb points and thoughts all around.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    Well thought through. You hit on some important points.

    As for the N word, I don’t know. I think its time to ignore it. In 25 years, all of the people it affected will be dead for the most part. I think we empower it when we make a big deal out of it.

    I don’t use profanity. All of it makes me uncomfortable. When you were using all of the Jewish slurs, I was getting really embarrassed and actually looked around in my bedroom (I’m alone sitting on my bed on the lap top) as if someone would say, “WHAT ARE YOU READING?”.

    I think your solution for people to use that word in their privacy is the most ideal.

    Rappers should just stop the silly self promotion and trying too hard. Bless their hearts, these were kids who were raised (for the most part) with no knowledge of what the world outside of a ten block radius was like. Its like the kids from Charles Dickens’ world being allowed to be the voice of England. They found an opportunity to get rich and they took it. But they were uncouth. What I find problematic is the industry that promoted them. With most artists, record companies groom them and mold them into what they end up being but they allowed rappers to spew that filth into the air ways and calling it the black experience. I suppose the same happened with rock groups in the 70’s and 80’s promoting drugs and devil worship (how silly).

    However, thank you for your candor. We don’t see much of it. Thank you for not being PC either and just speaking your mind. It feels respectful instead of condescending. Bravo!!

    Good news, rap is going to be changing. The underground, poetry (spoken word) movement is surfacing and having a great impact on Hip Hop. It is getting actually refined, imaginative and more sublime and less “in your face, I’m tough, please like me I didn’t get enough hugs”. The rappers are aging. Jay Z who had a video where he was actually puring malt liquor on women in bikinis (I could die), is now a business man and pushes responsibility and professionalism (I’m still irked though).

    You’d be surprised how many Black people who are over 37 who loath rap.

  • http://keithbecker.blogspot.com Keith

    Elvira,

    Let me first say, FANTASTIC post. You bring up a lot of cool and interesting topics.

    I believe that anyone who feels that racism “is now a non-issue” (your third paragraph) needs to open their eyes to the hidden privileges that white people and other majorities receive in society day in and day out.

    Also, I have to disagree with you about the use of derogatory terms being acceptable between members of the same race. Your example of the Jewish businessman to me seems a clear example of gossip, which in my opinion is always unkind and hurtful, never constructive. I don’t mean to start a fight with you, but I would love to start a discussion :-)

    You should check out my site too. I just recently tweaked it in order to make it more of a commentary on my position in society, particularly how I seek to reject my cultural heritage of tyrants and oppressors and work to be a different kind of white man:

    Hope you enjoy!

    Keith

  • Clavos

    Very interesting article, Elvira.

    Lots of food for thought, leavened with some truly interesting personal and family history.

    I don’t think we should pass laws outlawing speech, no matter how distasteful or hateful it is.

    Thanks for a good read!

    P.S. Are you being paid by the word? :>)

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    Your article was very long but unlike a lot of others, I stayed glued. Your family history and the look into the world of Jewish immigrants at that time added a great deal of color. You wrote it like a novel. Long and juicy!

    Keith

    I think using negative terms among your own people actually makes light of those terms. People have always done so.

    I’ve said this before but… If I say my sister is a horrible parent, its fine but if you say that, its not so fine. If I call myself FAT its perfectly okay. That’s just me exercising my sense of humor but if you call me FAT uhmm, that’s just not funny. I hope you understand the use of those types of terms within the groups that they are intended to hurt.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    E, the same stories you paint about being Jewish I can apply to how my friends, family and I joke about being Italian. We tend to use “wops” in the same manner you refer to “kike.” Personally, I have been called this many times over. Here in Quebec they us the term “maudits importees” (loosely translated damn imports) even though we were born here. Anyway, legislating racism via banning words is useless. It’s thought control. What if the Jews, Irish and wops, er , I-talians got together and began their own campaign of banning “mick”, “kike” and “dago?” Great piece.

  • joe mom

    lolz, if they ban the N word, black people will have to relearn english

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Elvira,

    This article was just submitted for BC news promotions at Digg and Netscape. Unfortunately, we encountered a glitch (which is a fairly common one) at Reddit which means we were not successful getting it submitted there. Either myself or one of the other editors will try again later and it should then be successfully submitted.

    In the meantime, go vote at Digg and Netscape.

    Oh, and great article by the way.

    -Glen

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Elvira,

    This article has now been successfully submitted for BC news promotion to reddit, in addition to Netscape and Digg. Sorry about the delay (damn site glitches!)

    Now go vote.

    -Glen

  • Sean

    “Our greatest challenge lies in convincing them that it is in their best interests to leave the “n” word out of public discourse, and limit it mostly to private usage.”

    that doesn’t even make my list of the top 10 trillion greatest challenges to address in my lifetime

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Hey all:

    Wow, thanks for the great comments. I will respond to all later.

    Glen:
    Thanks so much for the promo registration and info. Just one problem:

    My friend read over the piece and found a whopping booboo in the third from last para. Where I say we have an African American Speaker of the House, that should of course read female. However, we also have a new, Democratic, African American head/chair? of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel (hope the spelling’s right) whom I personally adore, btw.

    So Glen, Mark, et al–if that little glitch can be changed it would be great. I’ll e-mail the editor’s group too…..

  • moonraven

    With racism having a strong upsurge in popularity, not only in the US but also in many other countries, the idea that it can be legislated out of existence is absolutely irrational.

    It’s not racist words that are the problem, it’s the racists that are saying them.

  • Clavos

    it’s the racists that are saying them.

    You’re right.

    What do you want to do about them?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    I don’t think it should be banned.

    If nobody is allowed to say the “N” word, we won’t be able determine which people are the kinds of scumbags who would use the “N” word.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    What do you want to do about them?

    The question is ironic, I presume, Clavos?

    The only way to eliminate racism – or any form of prejudice – is to exterminate the human race.

  • JustOneMan

    Keith…

    “I seek to reject my cultural heritage of tyrants and oppressors and work to be a different kind of white man”

    Pretty funny stuff…you cant be serious….tyrants and oppresors???? This is a parody right???

    JOM

  • Clavos

    Actually, MJW, I wanted to see what moonraven’s response would be.

    For some time now, she has “masterfully” been pointing out what she perceives to be problems, particularly with the USA, but without offering solutions.

  • Nancy

    The irony of black self-inflicted racial epithets is that they condition all the non-blacks to think that every black kid is a ‘hood’ with a gun, etc. – and then the nice young black guys wonder why everyone gets nervous when they’re around, dressed for “jailin'”. If I didn’t know the kid upstairs so well, if I met him out on the street at night I’d be jumpy, since he does his best to project the requisite ‘baaaaad’ image all the boys his age cultivate – plus he’s about 6’6, although he only weighs about 140. Doubtless he’d wear braids or rasta locks if his mom would let him. But I DO know him, so I know he’s not at all what his wistful ‘image’ presents, & he’s far more likely to help an old lady carry her groceries than he would be to even consider doing anything actually RUDE, let alone robbing her. A boy scout & softie at heart.

    Zedd, I’m glad to hear the erstwhile vulgar rap crowd is cleaning up as they age. Everybody does dumb stuff when they’re young that comes back to embarrass them later when they’re middle aged ‘old fogies’ & part of The Establishment – especially if they’ve got money. The pity of it – & as you pointed out, the real crime – is the usual exploitation by the various ‘entertainment’ industries that perpetrated this crap & still do, in music, video, TV & movies. IMO they do all Americans a disservice by the way they represent all of us as trashy, violent, & materialistic, with the morals of a pack of dogs.

  • Heloise

    Elvira,

    You’re Jewish right? I know Jews have some choice words that they call each other. Don’t know any offhand, but mostly they refer to their being money crazy or super cheap. In Chicago we got polish sausage from “Jew Town.” And everybody called it Jew town. I don’t know if that’s a bad term or not.

    Anyway my cousins came up with a novel way of saying the n-word. They would say it backwards: reggin. That was our code word. We would never say the n-word. I could care less about using it one way or the other, but people thought it was funny to reverse it. I mean IF you just had to use the word.

    Basically it is an ugly word. People, black people have used it as a term of endearment (amongst other blacks). And anybody who says differently is lying. As for non-blacks calling blacks n’s, well then it becomes a hate crime. Is that going too far?

    Glad I don’t live in Jesse’s “Hymie Town.” Remember that? He took a lot of heat for saying that. I had never heard that term used, or should I say often used until he said it. But remember Jews (who seem to always be publically saying something offensive about blacks and nonwhites)and other groups have taken a lot of heat for saying stuff. Hell, what I am talking about so the hell have I. I hate PC.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Elvira why do you adore Charles Rangel? Because he doesn’t look black? Hmmm.

    He looks just like my Creole grandfather though.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Elvira,

    Did you know that Harvard and other Ivy colleges at one point had to impose quotas to keep Jews out of those colleges, because their percentages in them was getting beyond what the WASPs wanted to see? Mind you at that same time NO blacks were allowed in Harvard or other Ivy schools.

    I guess that’s why I have a problem when Jewish people hawk their “discrimination.” The proponderance of lawyers, judges, teachers and other groups are mostly Jewish, by percentage mind you.

    Heloise

  • http://conservativebastion.com Media Tycoon

    One thing we must remember as Americans:

    It is legal to be racist. Stop worrying about other people and start worrying about yourself. That’s my motto.

  • Heloise

    Elvira wrote: Unlike some other ethnic groups who band together and start new businesses here by pooling resources and setting up new arrivals with funding and support, African Americans have little in the way of this kind of community unity. Despite their incredible cultural contributions to our country, even at the height of the Harlem Renaissance they still faced discrimination and segregation. The cycle of crime, poverty, lack of education and accessibility to resources is still a huge problem, despite a sizeable and thriving black middle class.

    Heloise: Elvira shame on you! I thought your were trying to write something positive here? This is pure-D bullshit.

    The man who started Ebony and Jet, he just died, lived down the street from me for a while in Chatham. I lived next door to the Lusters who started another hair care company, as a family. Johnson’s mom pawned her furniture and gave him the money to start his company. I could go on.

    I call that pooling money. What do you call it? Do you think that Arabs were going around the city asking people for money, or the Chinese? No, they used their family.

    Just because blacks don’t have a chain of Chinese restaurants is not the litmus test. Africans are very good about pooling money. They have lots of shops where they do hair that black people bought from Chinese hair shops.

    So, everybody has their NICHE. The word has no T in it. Elvira you are way wrong on this one. And I hate to use the R-word, but it sounds racist too. I wrote a long chapter on Chicago and the achievement of average blacks and how we have influenced culture today.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    NOTE: For those who read this article, not written by a black woman, please note that she does not speak for black businessmen, including my son, who have their own businesses and pool their resources and money. I really take issue with her statement. That is pidgeon-holing at its best. Congratulations Elvira, another Jewish person putting their foot in their mouth when it comes to “SPEAKING” for blacks. Don’t do it.

    Heloise

    otherwise a good-meaning article

  • Heloise

    correction: It should be: “well-meaning article.”

  • Heloise

    Zedd, don’t you think that the old black poetry of people like Don Lee went a long way to creating rap music? I think that the avant garde on this one was people who did the poetry back in the 60s and 70s and not the other way around.

  • Heloise

    Elvira: I often joke with my non-Jewish friends about the culture shock of living with a non-Jew. I praise my boyfriend’s uber-Goyishness, and the fact that he can repair things and is not afraid to get his hands dirty, while I, the coddled Jewish princess, must hire movers, get my air conditioning professionally installed and my walls painted by experts rather than friends. (The old joke applies well here. Question: what do Jewish wives make for dinner? Answer: reservations.)

    This is something that whites of middle class distinction and blacks also of middle class distinction do quite often. I just visited my aunt. She rebuilt her entire condo, with her own hands, owns the whole building and others in SOuth Shore. By her damn self.

    She even built her couch. BTW it was one of the most beautiful buildings and condo places I’ve ever seen. Blacks are so damn resourceful that no one even comes close to them.

    This article shows me that you really don’t know a damn thing about black people and their wealthy lives. Blacks and whites really have a lot in common. I am redoing my bathroom. I have hired a contractor though.

    Heloise

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Nancy:

    You wrote:

    But I DO know him, so I know he’s not at all what his wistful ‘image’ presents, & he’s far more likely to help an old lady carry her groceries than he would be to even consider doing anything actually RUDE, let alone robbing her. A boy scout & softie at heart.

    I have had similar experiences in my boyfriend BG’s Bronx ‘hood (now soon to be my own as well). The area is predominantly Hispanic and black, but I have had virtually NO problems here at all. By contrast, In the 70s and 80s the city and subways in NYC were a horrorshow, and crime and incivility were tolerated–or rather, there was nothing much that “could” be done about it. Some of you may remember the saga of Bernie Goetz, who after being intimidated (and I believe mugged as well) many times finally came out of his bag and attacked his youthful would-be attackers with, if memory serves, a gun at point-blank range.

    Also during the same period were the “wildings” in Central Park, and the infamous incident of the Central Park jogger who was sexually assaulted, beaten to a pulp, and left for dead.

    The really ironic thing about this particular wilding was that the kids allegedly involved were eventually acquitted (or their convictions overturned) after someone else confessed to the crime. They were apparently intimidated by the cops into false confessions after many hours of relentless interrogation.

    During the “Wild West” that was the East Village of Manhattan during the ’70s, my now boyfriend was mugged at knifepoint twice near his tenement apartment, where young white hippies had joined the urban poor who resided there thanks to the still-dirt cheap rents.

    During one of these incidents, two hispanic crack addicts threatened him with a knife as well as a nail-filled board held against his face. Fortunately, a cop car was cruising by and caught them red-handed.

    He testified, and the mothers of the kids tried to take him aside and beg him for mercy, saying their boys were “sick.” They got a year or two for assault, and he saw them back on the same streets shortly after that.

    But with the advent of Mayor Giuliani and his amazing police commissioner(s), all this changed starting sometime in the ’90s when the city instituted the “broken windows” approach to crime. In essence, the thought was that if more “minor” crimes are allowed to proliferate with impunity, a neighborhood will give up hope, and larger crimes will certainly continue to flourish as well.

    In a few years’ time, graffiti was virtually eliminated from the subways; the window washers who once stood vigil on the Bowery intimidating drivers into paying them for wiping down their cars were driven away; the subway cars full of intimidating youth playing their ghetto blasters at volume ten grew quiet (folks now opt for Walkmen or I-pods); and residents and subway riders could breathe a collective sigh of relief, no longer fearing that they were taking their very lives in their hands when venturing onto the streets or underground.

    Those who refused to comply–by, say, drinking on the subway, playing loud music, jumping turnstiles, or otherwise creating a ruckus–were stopped by the cops, who would check their ID and doubtless also check for outstanding warrants.

    Soon enough, a beautiful thing happened. This brand of erstwhile uncivilized behavior was simply no longer expected or tolerated.

    The result? The subway ride both within Manhattan and heading “uptown” (which means everything from 125 Street in Harlem upt through the Bronx) is now a quiet, peaceful, and even “pleasant” experience.

    Nevertheless, when I journey from Manhattan to the Bronx, even during rush hour, I know that I will likely be able to get a seat on or before 125th Street. Most of the whites clear out by 86th, unless they are heading for a Yankee Game at 161st Street in the South Bronx.

    But despite the fact that I am a minority on the subways and on the streets of the Bronx, I feel no anxiety whatsoever. When young people realize that there are rules that must be complied with, the result is that civilized and courteous behavior become the norm.

    I went through a period not long ago where I had back problems and standing on the subway or even walking half a block was problematic. Countless times young black or Hispanic guys offered me their seat; or black and Hispanic women in particular would come over when I stopped on the street to rest to see if I was ok. The only “disturbances” on the subways were the occasional beggar or street musicians and entertainers, some of whom are quite good.

    But in point of fact, many local kids still dress “ghetto,” even though anyone who spends any period of time around them knows that it is just the style. Teens have always adopted modes of dress that have repelled their elders, but as you said, underneath the facade most are sweet and courteous. And the peer pressure to be mischeveous can also be quelled, though of course there are still some gangs and violence amongst teens, especially in the often overcrowded inner city public schools. Hence the hope that a stigma can be attached to the “n” word of sufficient import to curtail its use.

    But I’ll even take it a step further and say that when I hit 125th Street on my voyage to the Bronx, I sometimes feel even more comfortable. Manhattan is an overcrowded zoo, and my contempt for the sometimes rude and thoughtless whites chattering into their cell phones, oblvious to everything and everyone around them, and the air of entitlement they wear around themselves like a mink stole knows no bounds. Granted, they’re not in the majority, but my point is that because so many whites still seem squeamish about moving to any area that still has a substantial proportion of people of color means that, for one thing, the Bronx is still the best kept secret in all the five boroughs.

    I am set to purchase a beautiful coop at a quarter of the price we’re selling our Manhattan place for. The cost of living is much cheaper here because most folks are poor/working class, and merchants pay lower rents and can “pass the savings on,” as the saying goes. And again, the only occasional annoyance is someone asking for a quarter, which happens in Manhattan as well.

    Jeez, looks like I just wrote another article here! But I found your comments as cogent as always, Nancy, and just wanted to give your feedback the thoughtful response it deserved.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd, Heloise, et. al.:

    I will respond to all your great comments asap–the last one took the wind out of me (lol)!

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Heloise:

    Many thanks for your comments. I’ll address them now point by point, but will go back and respond to other prior commenters later. You’ve given me a lot to chew on here.

    You’re Jewish right?

    Um yes…as I say in the piece…

    I know Jews have some choice words that they call each other. Don’t know any offhand, but mostly they refer to their being money crazy or super cheap.

    Heloise, did you read this article in its entirety?

    And though I can’t document it, I tend to think that my self-deprecating attitude is not all that common amongst my People–though Woody Allen does it wonderully, as do many Jewish humorists. Come to think of it, most comedians play on stereotypes in an attempt to push the envelope and bring to light some of the preconceptions we all internalize about different ethic groups.

    In Chicago we got polish sausage from “Jew Town.” And everybody called it Jew town. I don’t know if that’s a bad term or not.

    Of course it is…esp if you’re not a Jew, though I’ve done the same with Chinese and other groups. Once again, see my article above.

    Anyway my cousins came up with a novel way of saying the n-word. They would say it backwards: reggin.

    I like! Very ingenious (lol).

    Glad I don’t live in Jesse’s “Hymie Town.”

    Why not? Because there’s too many Jews here?

    Remember that? He took a lot of heat for saying that. I had never heard that term used, or should I say often used until he said it. But remember Jews (who seem to always be publically saying something offensive about blacks and nonwhites)

    Pardon? Could you give examples of this, please???

    and other groups have taken a lot of heat for saying stuff. Hell, what I am talking about so the hell have I. I hate PC.

    I think we all have, especially in the privacy of our own homes and amongst trusted friends.

    Elvira why do you adore Charles Rangel? Because he doesn’t look black? Hmmm.

    No, because I happen to like what he stands for, and he’s been a fixture in public office here in New York for many a year.

    He looks just like my Creole grandfather though.

    Actually, he sounds like he could be one of my Jewish uncles–or at the very least, a bona fide, born and bred “New Yawkah,” as I am. Another reason I do adore the man.

    I guess that’s why I have a problem when Jewish people hawk their “discrimination.”

    Not discrimination, Heloise–at least not any more. What irks us is anti-Semitism, plain and simple–a phenomenon that has plagued the Jews since time immemorial, and still does (take Islamic fundamentalists, for example).

    The proponderance of lawyers, judges, teachers and other groups are mostly Jewish, by percentage mind you

    Quite a few are, but since Jews are a minority in this country, I’m not sure I would assume that they make up the majority of these professions. P.S.–you forgot bankers, didn’t you?

    There are historical/cultural reasons for the Jews’ seeming adroitness as far as finance is concerned as well. Firstly, in predominantly Christian countries where “usury” was not permitted by Christians and other Christian professions were often closed to Jews, in order to make a living they had little choice but to take up these designated roles.

    Another factor is a love and reverence of education which is hard-wired into their culture. Thus their high rate of professional success. There is nothing wrong with being successful, as long as you don’t step on others in the process.

    Elvira shame on you! I thought your were trying to write something positive here? This is pure-D bullshit.

    The man who started Ebony and Jet, he just died, lived down the street from me for a while in Chatham. I lived next door to the Lusters who started another hair care company, as a family. Johnson’s mom pawned her furniture and gave him the money to start his company. I could go on.

    You make a valid point–however, I still think that the percentage of black entrepreneurs, though growing, still lags significantly behind their white and other ethnic counterparts. Unpleasant though it may be to admit, there is still poverty, discrimination, lack of decent education, lack of two-parent homes (in many cases, and of course this applies to all races in America at this point). amongst certain ethnic groups in this country. Some of the reasons, once again, are historic, as I take pains to explain in my article above.

    NOTE: For those who read this article, not written by a black woman,

    And yet you purport to know all about Jews…

    please note that she does not speak for black businessmen, including my son, who have their own businesses and pool their resources and money. I really take issue with her statement. That is pidgeon-holing at its best. Congratulations Elvira,

    As stated before, of course this does not apply to all. If it did, how would a black man manage to have an excellent shot at the presidency?

    another Jewish person putting their foot in their mouth when it comes to “SPEAKING” for blacks. Don’t do it.

    Why Jewish? Why not just white or non-black?

    Jewish folks were among the first to fight side by side with blacks during the civil rights movement. You may remember the students who were killed in Missisipi during the civil rights demonstrations there? At least two, as I recall, were Jewish.

    Jews have a long tradition of doing “mitzvahs” (aka good deeds) for others of all races–in large part, perhaps, because they know all too well what it is like to be marginalized and despised. This may also explain the preponderance of Jews in the helping professions–social work, teaching, defense/legal aid attorneys, and so on.

    Zedd, don’t you think that the old black poetry of people like Don Lee went a long way to creating rap music? I think that the avant garde on this one was people who did the poetry back in the 60s and 70s and not the other way around.

    Not only that, Heloise, but our country is forever indebted to the many African American musicians who brought jazz–an indigenous musical form–to us. Not to mention rock and roll, etc etc–which was whitewashed when artists like Pat Boone ( and to a less extreme degree, Elvis and the Beatles) did their sometimes inferior, yet commercially viable, renditions of same.

    And then there’s modern art–Picasso’s big abstract/cubist breakthrough was inspired in large part by African artistic prototypes.

    This article shows me that you really don’t know a damn thing about black people and their wealthy lives. Blacks and whites really have a lot in common. I am redoing my bathroom. I have hired a contractor though.

    Again, Heloise, this comment seems to indicate a rather less than close reading of my article above. My point was the cultural contrast between, specifically, a New York Jewish baby boomer, versus an Oklahoma born Catholic. So the fact that you and your family are resourceful–and also not Jewish–reinforces my point all the more, don’t you think?

    In any case, though we may not see eye to eye, on all matters, I value your comments. I think this is one of the ways prejudices and stereotypes get banished, sooner or later.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Christopher:

    If you happen to see the comment above in your travels;
    I was trying to do a “Dave Nalle” and put Heloise’s comments in ital, and leave mine in roman. Although I know I coded it thusly, it came out all ital–and I half suspect that this and all other comments will as well til you come to the rescue….

    Guess that’s why it says “Please preview your comment!” (in bold ital, no less) right below….and now, of course, going into preview as insructed, I see that fortunately this comment will be in roman. Can you say “duh?” TIA, Elvira

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Oops, spoke too soon. Either my eyes deceive me, or my comment above, though it seemed roman in preview, has come out as ital also, as will any future ones til you intervene. Help, C!

  • daryl d

    I think it is far more difficult to grow up Jewish than anything else. In pop culture, being black is now “cool” while being Jewish is frowned upon (behind the scenes). I’m very impressed with how Jewish people, on the whole, have excelled so much. EVERY Jewish person I grew up with is very successful. They set the standards for other minorities. TAKE THAT, MEL GIBSON!

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Elvira, you just forgot to close the very first italics tag. All better now!

  • Zedd

    Media #23

    We are social beings and it matters how other feel about you. Expressing anything else is immature.

    However, it is not how individuals feel about AAs that matters really, it is peoples actions towards AAs that make the difference. You see if you are a racist and hold a position where you hire people, it matters. That is THE issue. Being liked by everyone is not the goal, while it would be nice but its not relevant.

    Racism is cruel. I don’t think that we as a society would survive if we said cruelty is not illegal so lets just ignore it. We teach our children to be kind. We out people who are cruel. We shun them and chide them. Racist need to be shunned, outed and chided.

  • moonraven

    Why is the gusnao clavos expecting ME, an EX-patriate in the truest sense of the word–to offer solutions for the US?

    My solution has been to let you jokers stew in your own juice (or in the words of the distant Nixon administration–let you twist in the wind….)

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    OK…

    Zedd, I’m so glad you took the time to leave such thoughtful comments here. I know we’ve clashed a bit in the past, but I really respect your opinions and value your well-thought out and intelligent viewpoints. I agree with all you’ve said here.

    Clavos and Moonraven: I’m equally thrilled to see you visiting my post.
    Moonraven: though I’m pleasantly surprised–one might even say honored–to see your comments here, I can’t help but wonder why it is so important for you to pursue this personal vendetta with Clavos here. And yes, you were responding to his inquiry to you, I’ll admit that.

    However, what I would really value would be your views on racism in Latin America. I’m sure it exists to some extent, or has in the past and still has an effect today. As I mentioned in my first comment, I am uneasy living here since 9/11, and thorougly agree that Bush is an embarassment and disaster to us all. At long last the majority of Americans are waking up to this fact, and we have a new congress to challenge his insanity.

    I don’t see myself going to the countries you frequent, except perhaps to visit. But I do want to see more of the world for sure. I love the US and New York with all my heart, but I want to do some major travelling before I go, and maybe even become an ex-pat. If you have any thoughts or advice on that, I’d value your feedback.

    Lisa, thanks so much for restoring the roman fonts.

    Daryl:
    I wouldn’t say it’s difficult to be a Jew in America at least–though I could be biased since I do live in “Jew York City.” One key to their success is that Jews have a great love of learning, based in part on their religious tradition. Orthodox Jews pray twice a day, and portions of the Torah are read. When the last portion has been completed, they celebrate and start all over again every year (Ruvy, if you’re reading, correct me if I’m wrong). To them, the Torah is a living, breathing thing–their connection to G-d, their guide to living well and doing unto others etc., and their connection to their people and their traditions.

    Thus, learning and education are absolutely crucial in Jewish life, even if one is not observant. Everyone on my mother’s side of the family–children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, et al–have been hugely successful personally and professionally. No divorces, and all are teachers, CPA’s, lawyers, professors, etc. All my cousin’s kids were at the top of their class. My cousin’s grandkids are tended to with great care and given every educational and social advantage from day one.

    Though I’ve never had children and never intended to, from my point of view this is how it should be.

    By contrast, my b/f’s Catholic family were immersed in the military traditon and all but one son (who is practically legally blind) did their bit in the service. But no one was told they could amount to something great despite their talents, and none were encouraged to get a scholarship and apply for college. One brother did go on to get a BA and MBA on the GI bill, and his earning power is at least twice that of his other brothers as a result, plus he loves his job and has lots of room for further advancement.

    Though they are all terrific people, it’s a little sad to see that their considerable talents could have been nurtured more fully. BG’s mom insisted that they all take music lessons, and encouraged any artistic abilities they had, but like many of their generation BG’s parents just couldn’t conceive of anyone making a decent living as an artist or musician. To them any honest work was admirable, whether one became a garbageman, dog catcher, janitor, day laborer, or what have you (BG has done all of this and more, save for “dogcatcher”–but he has helped his younger brother, who has worked for Animal Control in Lousiana for 20 plus years, on many occasions).

    As a result, the self esteem level of most of the brothers leaves something to be desired. Again, a shame indeed. I believe that education is the key to success in our culture, and anyone who can possibly get a college degree–whether through a community college, scholarship, or employer plan–should do so if at all possible. BG’s family are all intelligent, wonderful people, and I never look down on anyone based on their level of education. But it’s just one of those things that gives one an added advantage in life. This, of course, applies to all groups of all colors–black, white, Asian, et al. Thanks for the great comment!

    As I said, my intention is to respond to all comments, and I’ll answer the rest soon. I figure if you’re thoughtful enough to read and comment, you each deserve an individual response.

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Fine, let’s ban the “n” word. Who needs freedom of speech? But, if we ban the “n” word, we need to ban every other offensive racial or ethnic slur too, such as “honky,” “chinky” or “Polack.”

    Either we have a blanket ban on racist words or none at all, because there should not be special treatment for one select group of people.

  • Clavos

    A government enacted ban on ANY words in this country would be a violation of the First Amendment.

  • STM

    What’s the N word? … knob, knockers, nasty, knickers, nuclear, knuckle head? … come on. I want to know what it actually is.

  • Heloise

    Elvira: Pardon? Could you give examples of this, please???

    George Allen and the macaca comment. Then Biden and his “clean” comment, and the comments that Zollar made after Tiger won his first green coat, the one about ordering fried chicken. THere are too many to name, these got in the big press.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    I did read your article. THat’s just the way I write, sort of thinking aloud. Sorry if it sounds like I did not read it.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    I said majority by PERCENTAGES. There is a difference. Yes, I think jews are 13% or so of the general pop. But they make up something like 87% of the lawyers. I have to find those figures, but it was a huge number. I forgot bankers and college profs, and MOST Of all they DO own the media. They own hollywood.

    And speaking of pooling. SOme friends and I got together and pooled our money to buy a radio franchise. It was lottery or something. We did not win, and lost thousands of dollars in the process. But we had to try.

    I read Paul Johnson’s “History of the Jew” like three times. It was a great book. I know all about your history. Probably more than most Jews and this gets me in trouble. I can quote chapter and verse from many books that most people have never heard of.

    It was Jewish filmmakers who really helped the WASP solidify Jim Crow in this country. I will never forgive Jews for doing that.

    A Jewish astrologer helped Hitler, a Jewish man coached him in the occult. And a Jewish voice coach helped him with the voice and mannerisms hold millions in cult-like sway. Then there was the propaganda campaign. Jews are the masters of this and Hitler learned from them, period. If anyone says that Jews, like Africans helped with slave trade, were not complicit in the Holocaust then they have their heads stuck in the sand. This does not mean that the Germans did not have a role, of course they did. But it seems that Hitler could not have fulfilled his destiny without the occult (which he loved from a former life) and the Catholic Church sanction.

    Heloise

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Heloise:

    Are Biden, Allen, and Zolar all Jewish? And no, you can’t tell just from their names. I can look it up but thought I’d ask.

    OK, kind of figured that. Seemed like new things occurred to you after you finished reading it, which is cool.

    And just for the record: no, I don’t think the “N” word should be banned and neither did the legislators et al in question. It was strictly a non-binding thing–kind of like the Dems’ congressional on-binding resolutioin against further escalation in Iraq.

  • Heloise

    Elvira as an anthropologist I have studied names, faces and other identifiers to practically tell a person what city and country they came from with just a look. So, yes I can tell, yes others can tell. This is why there is now so much discrimination when blacks name their kids stuff like “Shanana” or “Sheldawn” that must be pronounced a certain way. Some of the names are really cute, but others are patently black.

    There is a whole science about names, name recognition, letters, in lieu of astrology. What’s in a name? A whole lot.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Mark, well said. But I think Elvira has made it clear that it was rhetorical. And you raise a good point: why not ban other racial stereotypes and bad words that put down a group of people. That’s what we are talking about.

    PC was invented by Jewish intellectuals. I think they invented it so that they could then hide behind it. And as soon as anybody even utters the word “jew” oh boy, you are anti-semetic automatically.

    This is why the right wingers are fighting it pretty strongly too.

    Heloise

  • Clavos

    The implicit and overt antisemitism being expressed on this thread is making my skin crawl.

    And I’m not Jewish.

    Obviously, racism can come from anywhere…

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Heloise:

    I said majority by PERCENTAGES. There is a difference. Yes, I think jews are 13% or so of the general pop. But they make up something like 87% of the lawyers.

    Yes, we are agreed on that in part. A sizeable percentage of Jews may be lawyers, but think of this logically. Do you REALLY believe that 87 PERCENT of all lawyers in the US are Jews if they only make up 13 percent of the general population?

    I have to find those figures, but it was a huge number.

    Yes, you would have to find those figures–and cite and link your sources, too. Otherwise it’s just bigoted hearsay based on a biased, self-serving agenda.

    I forgot bankers and college profs,

    Yep, glad I could help out there. Again, you really think that most college profs in the US are Jewish? And I explained the banking connection. But again: plenty of rich bankers, etc. are not Jewish.

    and MOST Of all they DO own the media. They own hollywood.

    Could you, like, make more of an uniformed, blanket, unscientific statement? Yes, Jews are a big presence, but hardly the only one. Mel Gibson? Brangelina? TomKat? Scorsese? Coppola? Clint Eastwood? DeNiro, Pacino? D. W. Griffith? (don’t think he was Jewish). Bogie, Cagney, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Lawrence Olivier? Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ang Lee, Meryl Streep, the Fondas, Jack Nicholson, Gordon Parks, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Lawrence Fishburne, and a whole nother slew of great black actors, screenwriters, producers, directors, etc etc etc?

    Yes, Speilberg is a huge presence, but does it follow that he owns Hollywood? Just because he’s a Jew, does that mean he’s king of all media (no, wait, that’s Howard Stern–a Jew or half-Jew. Michael Jackson is King of Pop, and Elvis was just the King, period).

    Yes, many Jewish producers were major players in the “old Hollywood.” But this is the 21st century. And again, do you think that a small minority really runs the whole industry by themselves? Where is your proof, and how do you explain how it flies in the face of all reason, logic, and common sense–not to mention cold hard evidence?

    This is what I’m talking about…plus which, I tried to explain why Jews are well-represented in these professions. Not for some nefarious desire for world domination, but for the reasons cited–most of them positive.

    I read Paul Johnson’s “History of the Jew” like three times. It was a great book. I know all about your history. Probably more than most Jews and this gets me in trouble. I can quote chapter and verse from many books that most people have never heard of.

    I’ve never heard of it, and have no idea of its validity. Is the guy a Jew hater with an agenda? Care to provide some links? That’s how we do things here at BC if we want to be seen as credible rather than hopelessly biased, ignorant, or even downright wacko. And yes, it takes some extra effort and research, but that’s why we take commenters and writers who produce these links much more seriously than those who produce blanket statements to “support” their questionable “facts.”

    Reading a piece of self-serving propaganda three times does not mean you know more than Jews do about thier own heritage. How presumptuous–even if the book were valid, no one book can tell you all you need to know about ANYTHING.

    It was Jewish filmmakers who really helped the WASP solidify Jim Crow in this country. I will never forgive Jews for doing that.

    Where oh where do you get these notions? Credible links, please…and even if this were so, how do all Jews bear the blame for this?

    A Jewish astrologer helped Hitler, a Jewish man coached him in the occult. And a Jewish voice coach helped him with the voice and mannerisms hold millions in cult-like sway.

    This may be true, maybe not…links please. Plus, do you think they really knew of his agenda at the time? Did he know they were Jewish? Do you?

    PS–did you know that it is highly likely that Hitler was one quarter Jewish? His grandmother worked for a Jewish family, and she became preganant out of wedlock (if memory serves). Talk about your self-hating Jews…

    Then there was the propaganda campaign. Jews are the masters of this and Hitler learned from them, period.

    Again, Heloise, I am flabbergasted at your notions, but not exactly surprised. This kind of unexamined half-baked bullshit is why we still are so distrustful of each other in this country. What kind of an ignorant, bigoted, blanket statement is this, and where oh where do you get your ideas?

    If anyone says that Jews, like Africans helped with slave trade, were not complicit in the Holocaust then they have their heads stuck in the sand.

    OK, now you’ve really gone off the deep end…this is akin to Holocaust denial, which is represhensible and absurd. Why in the world would the Jews participate in their own extermination? Think about it now.

    This does not mean that the Germans did not have a role, of course they did. But it seems that Hitler could not have fulfilled his destiny without the occult (which he loved from a former life) and the Catholic Church sanction.

    So from your assumption (true or not) that Jewish occultists helped Hitler, you conclude that the Jews as a whole aided Hitler and wished to see their people destroyed. Common sense goes a long way sometimes, Heloise.

    And Hitler would have fulfilled his destiny without the occult (which he loved from a former lilfe? Your credibility is now officially in the toilet, H). If not him, then likely someone else–the Zietgiest was ripe for this historically.

    Catholic Church sanction–well, you might have something there, but i wouldn’t blame all Catholics for that either.

    Please, Heloise–provide some credible links for this nonsense or explain how you came up with these ideas of yours. Just because some Jew-hater told it to you does not make it so.

    Ever heard of Hitler’s Big Lie technique–namely, the longer you tell a lie the more it will be believed, and the bigger the lie the more people will believe it? Seems he’s still working his magic on you and countless others from beyond the grave (in another life?) Fundamentalist Islamics adore Hitler and his Big Lie techniques (i.e., there was no Holocaust; Jews are scheming, dirty vermin; they drink the blood of Christians on Passover; they pollute everything that is good and pure and wholesome; they own all the banks; they steal, lie, and cheat; G-d himself wants them exterminated, and on and on and on….

    Links, links, links, Heloise. Otherwise, I cannot even begin to take anything you say even halfway seriously.

    So strange the way people’s prejudices and unexamined beliefs come out into the open so easily, like a Pandora’s Box, once these kinds of discussions come into serious play….

  • Heloise

    E: Not only that, Heloise, but our country is forever indebted to the many African American musicians who brought jazz–an indigenous musical form–to us. Not to mention rock and roll, etc etc–which was whitewashed when artists like Pat Boone ( and to a less extreme degree, Elvis and the Beatles) did their sometimes inferior, yet commercially viable, renditions of same.

    Elvira you are patronizing me. I am also from New Orleans where my uncle (by marriage) was Sidney Bechet!!! DUH. I know you didn’t know, but this is why I hate talking to white people. They act like no one knows a damn thing about a damn thing but them. Blacks better damn well know that New Orleans black people invented Jazz. If they don’t then well I guess they’re not black–just kidding. But seriously, blacks are not that stupid.

    Then you speak for all whites in AMerica when you say “our country is forever indebted…” Who are you to say that? How do you know that everyone feels that way? Whites called it devil music at first.

    I am part of the original group that built the AACM in CHicago. Where people like SUN RA were imitated by whites but his name was never mentioned by them. We know all about how whites stole from black artists. THat is a little that “Dream GIrls” tries to portray.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Elvira: I’ve read at least two books on everything I mention above. I did not freakin make it up. WHat do I have to be a Jewish scholar from Harvard before you give me some credence?

    There are tons of books. I don’t have time to link them all. Go look for yourself. They are written by Jews and WASPS. When Hitler’s (library) archives were opened…guess what? Jews were the first ones in there to do the research.

    The only thing I have not been able to find the book that was supposed to come out of the research on his actual library…too bad I tried.

    Elvira, I read, research like day and night and NO one could possibly keep up with all the potpourri of stuff I know or the hundreds of books I read in a year. Sorry, do you own homework.

    You think I am making this stuff up? I don’t think so.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    E: Why in the world would the Jews participate in their own extermination? Think about it now.

    Now, I see Elvira why I don’t argue with people like yourself…you don’t know enough.

    Heloise

  • Heloise

    Could you, like, make more of an uniformed, blanket, unscientific statement? Yes, Jews are a big presence, but hardly the only one. Mel Gibson? Brangelina? TomKat? Scorsese? Coppola? Clint Eastwood? DeNiro, Pacino? D. W. Griffith? (don’t think he was Jewish). Bogie, Cagney, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Lawrence Olivier? Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ang Lee, Meryl Streep, the Fondas, Jack Nicholson, Gordon Parks, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Lawrence Fishburne, and a whole nother slew of great black actors, screenwriters, producers, directors, etc etc etc?

    A Drop in the proverbial hollywood bucket.

    Heloise

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Heloise:

    Elvira as an anthropologist…

    Credentals, please? Do you have a Ph.D.; are you a professor of anthropology?

    I have studied names, faces and other identifiers to practically tell a person what city and country they came from with just a look. So, yes I can tell, yes others can tell.

    How patently absurd. This smacks of the same kind of “eugenics” that Hitler was so fond of. So birth certificates, DNA evidence, and other 21st century “nonsense” can be cast aside in favor of your intuitive “knowlege” based on your undoubtedly vast anthropological research and field work?

    This is why there is now so much discrimination when blacks name their kids stuff like “Shanana” or “Sheldawn” that must be pronounced a certain way. Some of the names are really cute, but others are patently black.

    Yes, but it’s a far cry from this to saying you can tell a Jew from a Gentile just by looking at them!!!!!!! Jesus H. Christmas.

    There is a whole science about names, name recognition, letters, in lieu of astrology. What’s in a name? A whole lot.

    Come again, Heloise? We don’t usually choose our own names. Yes, some names are more likely to be chosen by blacks, but it doesn’t take an antrhopologist or a rocket scientist to identify these–and they are chosen by the parents, not you or I.

    Some names are more “Jewish,” Indian, WASP-y, and so on. So what on earth is your point? That the people you cited who said anti-black things are Jewish because you can just “tell?”

    You have GOT to be shitting me–I’m guessing you live in a place where your exposure to Jews is minimal to none. And I doubt very highly that you are an “antrhopologist”–just as the fact that you read one book “about” the Jews means you know more about my people than we do.

    Getting a Ph.D. in anthropology is no walk in the park. It takes years of painstaking study research, a vast database of knowlege, many years of study, passing your orals, producing an original thesis, and so on. From the nature of your comments, if I had to guess I’d say that you are no more of an “anthropologist” than I am–though i do have a BA in psychology and sociology. Usually study of these social sciences helps to dispell just these kinds of nonsensical notions.

    By the way, we do have horns–but they’re retractable.

    Now excuse me while I go count my money…and call all my Jew bankers, lawyers, and big time Hollywood honcho cohorts so we can solidify our plans for total world domination and the continuiing enslavement of the black race. Oh, and don’t forget we also have to have some face time with all the Holocaust deniers and other Jew haters to make sure their propaganda machine is kept well-oiled.

  • Heloise

    Again, Heloise, I am flabbergasted at your notions, but not exactly surprised. This kind of unexamined half-baked bullshit is why we still are so distrustful of each other in this country. What kind of an ignorant, bigoted, blanket statement is this, and where oh where do you get your ideas?

    Elvira, frankly, you don’t want to know. I can never talk to Jews. They are an unexamined unintrospective lot basically. They think they are good, white and loveable. It makes me gag. We could go back and forth. But what I know trumps your knowledge (such as it isn’t) therefore we are at a stalemate.

    Sorry, E I didn’t mean to make you mad. I know you are a well-meaning white woman married to a Catholic man. Two of the men I loved most in life are also white, but not Jewish. I am always being called anti-semitic because I tell it like it is about blacks as well as Jews.

    Let’s agree to disagree. Why? Because you won’t win…I know, know, not think, way too much. Paul Johnson is a scholar. But not a Jewish one, so I guess that makes him inauthentic? I guess that makes us both bigots. See, I can say it. It doesn’t bother me. But racism belongs to those in power.

    Heloise

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Clavos:

    The implicit and overt antisemitism being expressed on this thread is making my skin crawl.

    And I’m not Jewish.

    Obviously, racism can come from anywhere…

    Amen, Clavos–though it doesn’t surprise me one little tiny bit.

    The history of black/Jewish relations in this country is strained at best. Though many Jews have tried to help others who have been the victims of discrimination and oppression, some blacks have a deep resentment of Jews based in part on these nonsensical claims that are passed on amongst the black community and some of their so-called leaders.

    Jewish-run businesses in black communities are a particular source of resentment. As I said and still maintain, in many poor black communities blacks do not as a rule have the financial wherewtihal or community/family support necessary to start their own busineses. When Jews come into a community–no matter how civil and well meaning they may be–many blacks hate the fact that they are “taking advantage and ripping off” black people–by, say, selling them cigarettes or jewelry or food or clothing or what have you.

    If a black person wants to start a business, no one is stopping them. But take a good look at the Jewish, Arab, Indian, African, Chinese, and other immigrants who run many of these successful businesses. They work round the clock, dealing with a sometimes hostile public. In order to succeed, they not only need working capital, but a game plan, community/family support, and a killer work ethic. Plus an ability to save and invest, and incredible discipline and drive.

    So Heloise, don’t blame the Jews and others who service the black community (that’s service, not exploitation). If they were not there, would you be able to survive on barbershops and hair salons, or would you also require banks, grocery stores, ;laundromats, restaurants (yes, some blacks do own very successful restaurants), and so on? Or would you be happy to live in a burned out, impoverished ghetto with no services, all in the name of black “empowerment?”

    Shame on you, Heloise–for you are definitely part of the problem, not part of the solution–for blacks, Jews, and everyone in between.

  • nugget

    how do you guys and gals find the time to talk on line all day?

  • Clavos

    Heloise writes:

    I am always being called anti-semitic

    Surprise, surprise!!

    I wonder where the hell people get that idea?

    Maybe because you are??

  • STM

    A group of ex-pat Poms in Australia recently launched a case with the anti-discrimination tribunal to stop Australians using the P word, which they believe to be a derogatory, racist insult.

    British People Against Racial Discrimination (BPARD) launched their case with the Advertising standards board (one ad at the start of the England-Australia Ashes cricket series urged all Aussies to “tonk a pom”, while another took a swipe at their penchant for warm beer) and with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

    The commission, possibly laughing until its collective sides split, has ruled that the use of the word pom or pommy in itself is not an insult, but that some accompanying terms (such as “bastard”) that are often used in conjunction with the P word may well be derogatory. However, my own personal polling indicates this is unlikely to stop anyone using them. It’s probably on a par with: “You convict scum.”

    The beer ads stayed too. I just love a country that can get its priorities right.

    Actually, all this talk about beer is making me thirsty … it’s hot outside and I’m as dry as a pommy’s towel.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Heloise:

    Shall I even bother to respond to any of your latest diatribes? You are digging your own intellectual grave deeper and deeper with every increasingly absurd comment you make here.

    I am not being condescending–seems I can’t win. If i acknowlege blacks’ cultural contributions to society, I’m being presumptuous. So just take a good look at my last comment and see if you still think I’m some naive, well meaning white woman who was born yesterday.

    Your refusal to provide links is a classic ploy used by hecklers on this site. Most of the morons who spout the most virulent hatred refuse to supply any linkage because they DON’T HAVE ANY. Rather than telling me to do my own research, why not do your own so you have evidence for your claims. Why should I have to do research to prove your baseless nonsense? Anthropologist? I think not…

    Let’s agree to disagree. Why? Because you won’t win…

    I already have, my friend.

    I know, know, not think, way too much.

    You said it, I didn’t…

    Paul Johnson is a scholar. But not a Jewish one, so I guess that makes him inauthentic?

    Yet another little dig–and what’s wrong with being a scholar, Jew or not, if he is a genuine one and not a self-serving anti semite?

    I guess that makes us both bigots.

    Speak for yourself.

    See, I can say it. It doesn’t bother me. But racism belongs to those in power.

    Ah, I knew that was coming…The piece de resistance–you can be as bigoted as you want, because I’m the one “in power.” Un-freakin-believeable.

    What next–Heloise? Tell me, do you think the Holocaust is a figment of the Western world’s imagination too?

    Care to explain why you think Jews were the architects of their own extermination rather than just shrugging me off as hopelessly “ignorant?”

    I thought not…or else go ahead and prove me wrong. Put your “money” where you mouth is and your credible links on the table. That’s how we play it here–and yes, it takes some effort. Most worthwhile things in life do.

    Ever hear the expression that “the unexamined life is not worth living?” I might not go that far, but I wouldn’t want to reside in YOUR ignorant, racist, resentful, befuddled head, that’s for damn sure.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    nugget:

    how do you guys and gals find the time to talk on line all day?

    Get real, nugget–that passive agressive little dig is as stupid as it is uncalled for.

    What the hell are YOU doing kibbitzing here if you have so many more important things to do?

    I WROTE this piece, nugget–thus I feel it fitting to respond to comments. What have you written lately?

    Clavos and STM–great stuff. STM, you Aussies really know how to insert humor into a tense situation. Hope that doesn’t make me a “bigot…” And when I go to Amsterdam in June, you’d better believe I’ll have my priorities in order–good Dutch beer and something else to help the “medicine” go down!

  • Zedd

    STM

    Thanks for making light of things.

    We humans are just silly.

  • STM

    It’s all true though, Zedd. I think if the government tried to ban us from using the P word – other racist terms, however, ARE banned – there would be anarchy. It’s a part of our kulcha.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Heloise:

    And speaking of pooling. SOme friends and I got together and pooled our money to buy a radio franchise. It was lottery or something. We did not win, and lost thousands of dollars in the process. But we had to try.

    Ok, if you can be vituperative and “bigoted,” so can I. See how these things spiral?

    In my boyfriend’s Bronx ‘hood are many poor people–not all of them are of color–I’ve seen elderly Jewish white women do the same thing–who play the lottery religiously.

    Why? Because they’re poor and want to have instant riches? Yes.

    What are the odds? Several million to one?

    How many of these folks spend money given to them by the government, hence the taxpayers, to spend on this foolishness?

    I’m really surprised you would fess up to something so foolhaardy. How’s this for a novel idea–

    Wanna be rich? Rather than doing something as easy as entering a lottery which any moron could do, how about selecting a goal, working slowing and steadiily towards it, WORKING YOUR FREAKING BUTT OFF year after year, exhibiting maturity, patience, and perserverance, keeping in mind that the world owes you nothing and you are responsible for your own successes and failures in large part, not taking the easy way out and complaining that you never had an even break–and that’s just for starters.

    Wanna be a REAL anthropologist? Invest 4 years for an undergrad degree, another year for a master’s, a few more for your doctorate–perhaps also teaching and/or working all the while. Study hard, learn about other cultures rather than presume to know about them from your narrow, solipsistic, and parochial viewpoint.

    Want to be a world-class authority, writer, researcher? Study your ass off, get into advanced placement courses, get straight A’s, do extra credit research, do an internship, study abroad for a semester, find yourself a mentor and study under him/her, perhaps accompanying them on field trips to other countries and continents, keep up on all the latest developments via the journals and books in your chosen field. Teach, publish or perish, develop your intellect and cultivate your originality, and QUESTION EVERYTHING AND ASSUME NOTHING . Every half-baked piece of bullshit you heard on the street or on your momma’s knee, every TV show, movie, magazine, or rap song, every hateful piece of poisonous filth spewed out by some of your so-called “leaders,” every baseless lie you’ve heard about any and every ethnic group, religion, or culture. Question and challenge them all with creditible facts and figures.

    And then, you just might get somewhere in life instead of stewing in your own resentments, failures, and prejudices.

    See? I’ve just given you one of my peep’s trade secrets. Not as easy as it looks, is it?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “narrow, solipsistic, and parochial viewpoint…”

    Every now and then one sees just how smart a person really is. A woman (whom I cannot stand) uses words like “elide” at Desicritics.org, not to mention “essentialize.” The point is, she knows how to use them properly. And English is not her first language. Whatever I think of her, I cannot call her “stupid”.

    It’s nice to see the shining light of your intelligence, Elvira. No, that is not sarcasm at all. That is a compliment. Please take it as such.

    As for the content of the article, I think that blacks should stop putting themselves down in America by using a culture of stupid violence to reject the culture of intelligent success that would get them somewhere beyond a “hood”. They need to lead the way in stopping using the “n” word.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    Do you mean me? I’m Black. I know nothing about violence and what I know about the hood I learned through my volunteer activities. Your statement was ignorant. How dare YOU lecture an entire race of people. Who do you see yourself as???

    Also don’t be impressed by the use of unique phraseology and terminology…. Its called a thesaurus. I think its the thoroughness in reasoning that matters.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    I just thought about it. You are lecturing on violence and you ran off to live in the Middle East????? Chuckle!!! You didn’t think before posting that did you? Snicker…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    No Zedd,

    I most certainly did not mean YOU. You, from what I can tell, fled a very violent society in Africa for a less violent society, and try hard to improve the society you have adopted as your own.

    American black culture is very different from African black culture. And you are the product of African culture. Whatever I think of your politics, I KNOW you would not countenance any child of yours, particularly an eight year old, selling drugs in school. When my children were eight and ten respectively, that is exactly what they were treated to in the school cafeteria – a drug bust of an eight year old child with drugs hidden in the kinks of his hair and in his pants cuffs. One does not see this kind of behavior in eight year old children here – at least not in the religious schools my sons went to…

    This is the culture of rejection of success that I mentioned in my comment. I write about what I’ve seen. My eyes do not lie. I write about what I’ve heard. As the member of the board of directors of an anti-poverty agency in St. Paul, I managed to hear stories of middle aged and elderly blacks – who struggled for civil rights in America in the 1960’s painfully telling me of their deep sadness at seeing their children and grandchildren adopting a culture of hatred of success as a way of rebelling against the hated white man. They told me this over cups of coffee and pieces of cherry pie after board meetings. I listened then – and most assuredly did not lecture.

    But in writing my comments to Elvira, I’m reflecting what these very sad parents and grandparents told me in St. Paul nigh seven years ago.

    And there is no getting around it, Zedd. All this shit coming from rap music that degrades women and fellow blacks and just furthers a culture of violence among poor blacks in America, while making millionaires of those who sing about it, is based in American black culture. For this reason, blacks themselves have to take the led in giving a damn about stopping the violence in their own society.

    The violence here comes mostly from war and terrorism. But this is not a violent society. Here, life is valued, and only the Israelis who copy American culture think in terms of niggers and whores.

    That is the cold and vicious truth, and is the reason I’m so glad to have left the shores of the “new colussus”.

  • STM

    Ruve: A nation connected by vast tracts of freeway … the colussus of roads?

  • Clavos

    Pretty good, Stan!

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    What exactly are you talking about? I have been volunteering in the inner city since I was a teenager and there has NEVER been a drug bust of an eight year old, EVER!!! How dare you interpret one weird experience to be the cultural norm of millions of people. Should the school shootings that have taken place here be an interpretation of White youth culture, off course not.

    Also your stint on rap music is just silly for a man of your age. Rockers a few years ago were disrespecting women talking about worshiping the devil, death and destroying society. While adults were annoyed, hard rock went out of style and life moved on. Get ahold of yourself. Rock did not by any means define White American culture. It was kids being immature and trying to get attention, like they do in every generation. Guess what rappers are kids trying to get attention and trying to say the most shocking thing possible…. THINK!!

    I was brought to the US by my parents as a young child. I grew up in an African American community, as an African American. All of my close friends were African Americans. I attended an African American church all of my life. Married an African American, my kids are African American, I speak (by choice) like an African American (not in the wanna-be way, its what I speak when I am relaxed and with friends and family I switch just as comfortably). I KNOW the African American experience. You are sounding like a mad man. You know not of what you speak.

    AGAIN you live in a violent culture. You have been fighting since the 40s. Its such a part of your culture that its not even thought about that much. Kids grow up to go and fight, girls and boys.

    You see what keeps African Americans down are people who think like you. People who see them (us) as other than…. Your INSANE perspective of what AAs are contributes to the self fulfilling prophesy.

    Shame on you!! These people have suffered enough and should be much worse off than they are now yet people continue to attack them as they make enormous strides despite tremendous difficulty. SHAME ON YOU!!! You are a little man. All of your ramblings about scripture are meaningless because of your MEAN spirit. SHAME!!!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “You see what keeps African Americans down are people who think like you. People who see them (us) as other than…. Your INSANE perspective of what AAs are contributes to the self fulfilling prophesy.

    Shame on you!! These people have suffered enough and should be much worse off than they are now yet people continue to attack them as they make enormous strides despite tremendous difficulty. SHAME ON YOU!!! You are a little man. All of your ramblings about scripture are meaningless because of your MEAN spirit. SHAME!!!”

    Really, Zedd?

    For a period of time in the early 1990’s I supervised production at a United Way facility in Mpls. My job was two-fold. One was to supervise a crew of teenagers in putting out literature for the United Way – the other was to serve as an adult mentor of sorts. I got to use my skills as a fast food manager. My crew consisted largely of teenagers who were – well they were all “minority” kids as the guilty white liberals who hired me referred to them – and some of them were in dangerous situations.

    The most talented of them was a black teenager who was consumed with hatred for white people.

    All through the time that I supervised him, Robert was always challenging me to a fight. I was the supervisor, I was the white man, I was the authority figure. He talked about getting an Uzi and shooting people, and he had no use for white people. All white people were all that was to blame with the world.

    I was truthful with him, as I am with all the other kids in the world, particularly my own. I told him and the others about the blacks in Liberia and Sierra Leone who were killing each other (the genocide in Rwanda and the eastern Congo had not yet taken place), explaining to them what Liberia and Sierra Leone had started out as. I told him about the Somalis who were killing each other in Somalia (I purposely stayed away from discussing Rhodesia, South Africa and Angola and Mozambique, where it could have been well be argued that whites were responsible for the violence and death taking place there) and confronted him – was this also the fault of the white man? He didn’t want to hear. “You’re dissin’ black people!,” he yelled at me. I told him “no, I’m telling you the truth. In South Africa, you can blame white people for the death and persecution. It’s their fault. They hire black soldiers to keep order, and a lot of times that means killing other blacks. But Liberia and Sierra Leone are wars over money by rival gangs. Give the “crips” and the “bloods” countries to run, and you’ll get Liberia and Sierra Leone – death and murder: blacks killing blacks for money.”

    I told him the truth. But he didn’t want to hear the truth. Just like a lot of folks on this site who do not want to hear the truth.

    One day he came in bragging about how he had gotten drunk the night previous and beaten up one of the homeless drunken white bums who hung around on Lake Street. Pumped up with his new-found power and authority, he wanted to work out on me.

    I looked at him dead in the eye and asked him, “is this what you want out of life – getting drunk and beating up drunk white people? This is what makes you a man? Is that going to be your legacy to your family, if you ever have one? You’re better than that. I know it and you know it.”

    When this got back to the guilty white Christian who had hired me, it really bothered her that I was so blunt and straightforward. The PC types can’t handle truth. They all have their heads in the sand, heads buried in fear. I didn’t know if anything I said made a difference to the young bright, angry man under my supervision.

    Several years later, I ran across Robert again. I had my job back as a manager in a fast food joint and was working the lunch rush as a cashier. I didn’t recognize the young man who gripped my hand with a big smile on his face when he placed his order for a whopper meal. He had a job in a shoe store, and things were going well with him.

    If I had been the hateful little man you describe in your comment, he never would have done that. He would have paid for his food, taken it and told his friends what an asshole I was. I have the feeling that didn’t happen that day after Robert sat down to gobble his whopper with cheese.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    What????

    Why was it wrong to hire the minority youth??? Why was it out of guilt?? Did they make and serve burgers or did they do weird things back there and get paid for it?

    You are talking about a youth. A kid who was trying to find himself like many other youth. Right now hundreds of thousands of White teens run around wearing all black, white powder and dark eye make up (I suppose emulating corpse). They are very negative and purport to hate everything in society, mainly authority figures. Why would I hate them. They are just immature and will get their heads together like Robert. Actually I don’t believe he beat up a homeless man. His political idealism doesn’t fit the beating up scenario. Either you are trying to add spice to your post or he was trying to tick you off knowing how easily convinced most Whites are that we do such things. Anyway, the reason he sat down with you is because HE GREW UP and HE is a nice person. You missed that.

    His race has nothing to do with his behavior, nor does his culture. Do you realise that most African Americans don’t even know what the political issues are within the African American community. Like other Americans, most AAs, especially the class that you continue to refer to, are just living their lives.

    This kid played games with you because he knew that you saw Blacks as “other than”. I’m sure you thought you had encountered something significant. He was just using your THEY mentality against YOU.

  • Nancy

    STM – what is a “Pom”? I thought it was just a cute joking name for Englishmen, kind of like how you all call us “Yanks”? I never realized it was derogatory!

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Pom and Yank are derogatory, Nancy, but in an affectionate kind of way. It’s a bit like calling the Aussies “Crims” and “Hos”!

  • Zedd

    What is Pom short for?

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    In the Middle East, its Semites fighting Semites.

    Get over yourself. In all of the world wars it was Whites fighting Whites. What are you on about. Serbia, Croatia its Whites fighting Whites. What is the big deal.

    Now if there is going to be a conflict in Africa, who else would be fighting. In Sudan or Somalia or Liberia, who else would be fighting if its not Black against Black.

    People will find a reason to have conflict. PEOPLE. That conflict stems from bad discussions by leaders and it eventually ends up causing havoc for the people. The policies of this country have created the ghetto. The chaos in those society is because of an evolutionary process that should have been expected. There is a reason why we don’t buy and sell people and treat them like animals other than the fact that its sick, it does something to the people.

    What I am surprised about is how people don’t talk about is how these people have made it under the most bizarre circumstances while being taunted and jabbed at through their entire path.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    The people who gassed, baked, and cooked Jews and made functional objects out of their body parts were other Whites. That was White on White violence. Please don’t lecture and tisk tisk.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd:

    Although I was a tad disappointed when Heloise ran away after I countered her blatant, ignorant anti-Semistism, I was a bit surprised to see you coming out of your bag just as she did and attacking Ruvy as you did.

    What is going on here? Whites are obviously the devil in your eyes and Heloise’s–if we try to help and are well meaning, then we’re being condescending. If we comment on or even dare to criticize some of the very real problems amongst AA youths, you make up appalling excuses for them, up to and including excusing or even condoning criminality against innocent people. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Shall we just crawl in a corner and die?

    Just like fundamentalist Muslims who come to America to reap the economic rewards and freedom of a society they purport to hate and would destroy, these kids are refusing to assimilate and take the steps necessary for Americans of all colors, religions, and creeds to succeed here. The two main components for success are relentless hard work and education. There is no easy short cut to these essential hurdles which all of us must conquer in order to succeed and thrive as Americans.

    In the Bronx neighborhood I have come to know and love, there are people of all races coexisting in peace. There are many entrepreneurs who came here from elsewhere and work like dogs to try to maintain a business in these neighborhoods. I cannot think of any African American business owners here–there may be some but they are the exception to the rule. Instead, immigrants from around the globe own and operate their own businesses here, and they do not get any breaks or special treatment. They must sink or swim on their own.

    Perhaps because they came here of their own accord and are anxious to embrace the opportunites afforded them here for a better life, they simply get down to the business at hand and endure the sacrifice and hard work necessary to achieve their goals.

    A Chinese family operates the local lotto/liquor store. There’s a little Caribbean restaurant that opened here recently. Arabs and Hispanics operate the delis and small groceries here. Indians can be found working at the 99 cent stores. Recent arrivals from Latin American lands who do not yet speak the language are nevertheless gainfully employed as stock persons in the local supermarket. I see no Jews here running businessses.

    There are some AA managers at fast food restaurants here, but they do not own their own businesses—though that is certainly a legitimate route to success as well.

    IN fact the only black “leaders” I see here are ths so-called “true” black Jews who spout their incredibly racist rants every Sunday on Fordham Road. They rail against the Jews and white men who are supposedly running all the local establishments, though if they took a walk down the street they would likely not find a white man or Jew in the bunch. And yes, they blame the white man and Jews for their “oppression,” but instead of doing something positive they spew their venom at top amplified volume. NO ONE pays the slightest attention to their insane rants. They are too busy going about their business–to school, to work, shopping, etc.

    I don’t know how these hate mongers support themselves, but obviuosly their hatred of whites and Jews limits their opportunities. And so they blame the white man for their failure to succeed, instead of going out and succeeding without scapegoating the entire country they share with all races and religions.

    Don’t you see how your complicity and denial are hurting these kids even more? By refusing to believe what Ruvy told you about the kid beating up a white homeless drunk, you are showing how utterly and completely in denial you really are.

    How can you deny the fact that many young AA men wind up in jail? How can you deny that the educational levels of many AA men and the drop out rate does not bode well for their future? How can you deny that the virulent anti Semitism and anti white bigotry which you, Heloise, the young man Ruvy worked with, and countless others exhibit is hurting blacks as well as whites by contributing to the cycle of hatred and misunderstanding that still plague us all?

    Like Heloise, you twist and distort everything Ruvy says. I must go on the record as saying that I TOTALLY support and agree with every comment he has made here. The fact that he could be the “better man” and not take the racist bait you laid out for him by retorting in kind shows that he is as admirable a man as I have always known him to be from the first moment I encountered him on this site, over a year ago.

    As long as you continue to make excuses for the self-defeating, self-destructive behavior of young kids who are apparently encouraged by elders like you to pusue their cycle of resentment against the white race in general and Jews in particular, I can see only more wasted lives, crime, poverty, and lost potential for many black kids.

    As I mentioned to Heloise, simply saying she is an “anthropologist” when it is quite clear she is nothing of the kind seems to reinforce my notion that, like many of all races, she is anxious to have the “goodies” in life without paying her dues. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing indeed.

    IN order to become an “antropologist,” one must devote close to a decade to study and research and field work. Taking shortcuts to success by playing lotto or pooling one’s reasources for some absurd contest is beyond foolish. Heloise herself admitted that she lost thousands but had to try anyway. Of course–this did involve loss of money, but no real effort on her part to be an active agent in her own future or success.

    By claiming that every white person who makes an intentional or unintentional slur against a black man is therefore Jewish is absurd. Also absurd and disgusting is her claim that Jews collaborated with Hitler in their own destruction. As with all her outrageous claims, she offered not a shred of proof or links or evidence to support her incredibly hateful, ignorant, and bigoted views. Instead, when confronted withh her lies and biases she finally gave up and slunk away, like the hateful coward she is.

    And yes, I remember you giving me the same line of tired bull about how blacks are entitled to be racists because only whites can be racists since they hold all the cards.

    Bullshit!!!!!

    Blaming the white man for AAs own refusal to assimilate as all other ethnic groups must in order to achieve the American dream is, yes, cowardly and self- destructive. Blacks can rise above, and the fact that Obama has a good chance of holding the most powerful position in the country if not the world shows that your tired old arguements about some vast white conspiracy is nothing but a sad, sad crock of shit.

    Shame on YOU, Zedd. I feel sorry for you, Heloise, and anyone else so sadly misinformed. You are only hurting yourself and the hapless, misguided kids who look up to you for advice and guidance in order to negotiate the “real,” adult world.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd:

    You said:

    “His race has nothing to do with his behavior, nor does his culture.

    BULLLLLLSHIT!!!!!

    “Do you realise that most African Americans don’t even know what the political issues are within the African American community.”

    And whose fault is that? Whites holding them back? Or sheer apathy, perhaps even laziness?

    Like other Americans, most AAs, especially the class that you continue to refer to, are just living their lives

    Just living their lives indeed…in appalling ignorance, with the most rabid, self destructive hatred and resentment of their own country, and a refusal to accept that they must PAY THEIR DUES like everyone else.

    You truly disgust me, Zedd.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    From a great Wikipedia article about Alternative words for British.

    The term Pommy for a British person is commonly used by Australian English, New Zealand English, South African English and Afrikaans speakers, and is often shortened to Pom. The origin of this term is not confirmed and there are several persistent false etymologies, most being acronyms.

    One theory is that, as the majority of early immigrants to Australia were British, it is rhyming slang for “immigrant” from a contraction of the word “pomegranate”, or possibly more directly related to the appearance of the fruit, as it bears a more than passing resemblance to the typical pale complexioned Briton’s skin after his or her first few days living under the hot Australian sun.

    The Oxford English Dictionary has recently come out strongly in support of the word being a contraction, listing “pom” and “pommy” under its entry for “pomegranate”. A supporting quotation from the Bulletin (Sydney) 14 November 1912: “The other day a Pummy Grant (assisted immigrant) was handed a bridle and told to catch a horse.”

    A commonly-heard alternative theory is that POM is a shortened acronym of Prisoner of His/Her Majesty (POHM) or Prisoner Of Mother England (POME). As many of Australia’s first settlers were convicts, sentenced to transportation, this theory holds that upon arrival in the country they would be given a uniform with POHM emblazoned on the back, and that convicts with an extended stay on Australian soil would no longer have to wear the shirt and would often refer to newer entrants into the country as “Pohmmys”. Other suggestions hold that POM is a different acronym, such as “Prisoner of Mother England” or “Port of Melbourne”. These etymologies are believed to be false, as the term “pommy” was coined long before acronyms were used in common parlance. Moreover, there is no record of prisoners in Australia ever wearing such uniforms.

    The use of the word “Pom” is contentious. Some British people living in Australasia find the term offensive and demeaning, others find it harmless and amusing. Attitudes to the use of the word have varied over the years, from the 1960s when slogans such as ‘bash a pom a day’ were heard on New Zealand radio, to today, when the word has become so entrenched that few Australians and New Zealanders see any reason to avoid using the word, some even justifying the use of the word as being “endearing”. In December 2006 the Advertising Standards Board of Australia unanimously ruled that the word “Pom” was a part of the Australian vernacular and was largely used in “playful or affectionate” terms. As a consequence, the board ruled that the word did not constitute a racial slur and could be freely used in advertising. The Board was responding to a complaint filed by a community group called British People Against Racial Discrimination.

  • Zedd

    Thanks Chris. I thought as much about the pomegranate/immigrant link.

    British People Against Racial Discrimination.

    Of WHO??? I laughed out loud!!

    People are crazy.

  • Nancy

    Thanks, Chris. Zedd, you’re right: people can be very strange indeed. Just look at the crew which hangs around this website.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    I was just thinking. Boy if everyone on this site made up a country, I would be a hermit, hiding in a cave from all of the creeps and weirdos.

  • Clavos

    But how would you hide from yourself, Zedd?

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    Are you Okay?? Did you just loose it??

    What happened to you???? OMG!!!!

    What are you so worked up about and why do I disgust you so much all of a sudden.

    You think its genetic that that kid was rude to Ruvy? You think it was his culture that made him rude? Why did the other Blacks not do the exact same thing if it was their culture to do so?? Are you alright??

    resentment of their own country

    Hmmmmmm I wonder why???

    Weren’t you the one who wrote this article basically stating that the people in the Bronx are just living their lives and you feel safe???

    Why does that cause you to be disgusted by me??

    OH MY GOODNESS you are crazy too!!!

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    The ignorance that you speak of, is of YOUR culture.

    What do you really know about Black culture? Are you not ignorant of it?

    I know plenty of Whites who live in appalling ignorance in general. Do you feel as if they define your culture? Even THAT is ignorant.

    Actually most Whites are completely ignorant about Blacks. I suppose that interprets into a culture of appalling ignorance. What the people you are referring to don’t know about is YOUR culture. Its not that they just don’t know anything. Its that they don’t understand YOU and how YOU do things and how YOU interpret the world. Your being appalled is because YOU don’t know about their world. YOU don’t understand it and YOU don’t value it. That is all.

    You are not right or righteous for that matter. Just different and equally ignorant about THEM.

    Now again. These people have overcome enormous odds to be even where they are. SHAME ON YOU!!!

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Don’t try so hard. It was a little funny though but only a little.

    Too obvious.

  • Zedd

    Ruvy

    sadness at seeing their children and grandchildren adopting a culture of hatred of success as a way of rebelling against the hated white man.

    I can guarantee that that didn’t happen.

    They may have been disheartened about the current generation but THAT was never said. You picked up what you wanted out of it. Or you just exaggerated to strengthen your post (a.k.a. lied).

  • Clavos

    It wasn’t about “funny” Zedd.

  • Nancy

    But Zedd, WHICH black/AA ‘world’ are you talking about: the stereotypical world of the American,urban, ghettoized black, or the bourgeoisie of Heloise’ family & people like Condi Rice & Colin Powell, or the entirely different experience of someone like my neighbor Vernon, who doesn’t i.d. himself as black at all, but as “French”?

    I maintain there isn’t any one AA ‘world’, because all black/AA people are no more alike than are all whites, or all reds, or all browns, or all yellows, & their socioeconomic stati run the gamut from dirt-poor street people to the 3rd-gen filthy rich. To insist otherwise is to insist that all blacks eat chitlins, or all hispanics eat beans. It’s stereotyping, only this time it’s blacks/AAs themselves, some of whom are trying to do the stereotyping for their whole group, setting up “standards” by which to judge Negritude. In effect, those who would institute standards of Negritude are enforcing stereotypes not only on themselves, but reinforcing stereotypes by non-blacks, by making themselves ‘apart': “you couldn’t understand; it’s a Black thing”. No, I (fortunately) never had to cope with drug dealers, pimps, & the inner-city ghetto life, but neither have I had to cope with living like Oprah or Robert Johnson, either, and that goes for a huge percentage of black people these days. My neighbor’s kid has had both black & white babysitters, gone to middle-class, suburban, racially mixed schools all his life, & would be as lost in the ghetto as would I, even tho his skin is black. I know for a fact I know more of black history & literature etc. than he does – or his parents, for that matter. Nor does he get particularly exercised over Black History Month, or Black this or Black that. But that doesn’t make him any less black than some ghetto kid in The Projects, just as I am no less white than, say, Donald Trump or a poor white farming family, even tho culturally I’m a gazillion miles away.

    People are people, not herds. Ya gotta take ‘em for the individuals they are, not as groups. Otherwise you’re still doing them an injustice & denying their full personhood to be who they want to be, as the military puts it.

    I cede the soapbox. Thanks.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    I missed post #79. I did not attack Ruvy. I responded to Ruvy. Just because he is Jewish doesn’t mean you have to jump in you know. We go back and forth all of the time. He is used to it.

    Why are you addressing your comments with Heloise to me? We are two VERY (snicker) different people. Just because you didn’t get to spew the rest of your venom at her doesn’t mean that you get to look for the next Black person on this thread.

    Breath. You seem a little out of control right now.

    As for making excuses for anyone, why should they need anyone to make excuses for them? I am just sobering you up. Young people are well, young. They do dumb things. Like goth kids or skin heads or other idiotic kids. They are kids. Its we as adults that need to keep a cool head and direct them in the right path, no matter what race.

    You see Elvira, you saying how bad these children are will not fix the situation. You expect me to say, yes they are horrible, then what?? They are the youth. Every generation is horrible to the previous. What do you get out of that?

    But you seeing them like other human beings who are reacting to their world, that will impact our society. They are supposed to struggle. They are supposed to be behind. That is what happens when you treat people the way AAs have been treated. They are responding the way humans respond under the same circumstances. You what has happened to AAs has never happened in the history of humanity. We get to learn how our species responds under such circumstances.

    Standing there and Monday night quarterbacking is pointless. Its just childish and a waist of energy. It has no bearing on reality and we are not experts and being human. We are just experts at our OWN experiences. So pipe up.

    What continues to confuse me is why I am not reading just how amazing it is that they ARE progressing.

    You see their journey is not a movie or a TV show. You don’t get to go to commercial than come back and everyone is successful and all of the problems are fixed. This is a journey and progress IS taking place. I go to church with thousands of AAs many of whom wouldn’t even think of living in the Bronx where you live. That’s my reality and THAT is also part of Black culture.

    With their history in this land of opportunity, I say, hats off!!!

    Yes they have a lot of growth still but folks its only been 40 yrs. They were kidnapped 300+ years ago coming from different cultures and languages across a continent that is 3x + the size of the US and you think in 40 years all should be well?

    SHAME ON YOU!!!. They don’t need excuses. Who do you think you are to think any one is asking YOU to excuse them?

    As for your other comments about what you think I feel about race matters, Elvira you need to recall that you were off rambling while I was ignoring your posts. You don’t know what I feel about race matters. You just into ridiculous conclusions about my posts and went to town. You kept talking to your self and answering yourself. I left you alone because you were HOT and wayyyyyyy off base. You don’t know my views.

    If you want to ask me specific questions I will answer you but your ramblings about how I feel will be met with silence because I just don’t know how to respond to them..

    Breath.

    You were doing real well. Regain your dignity.

    As I say to Ruvy, jokingly, Abraham must have been the biggest drama queen. Between you guys and Arabs geeeeeeez!! All that emotion and just taking things toooooooo far. Calm down would you!?

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    Tell that to Elvira.

    You are saying what I am saying.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    If you have time, read whats been going on between Elvira and myself. I think you must have just read her post to me then responded to me.

    Read what I posted to Ruvy actually and tell me if it warranted that response.

    What I was saying is that people are people. They somehow want me to say that these kids in the ghetto are especially evil and I wont. Ruvy was going on about how violent they were and I pointed out that he lives in the Middle East for goodness sakes….. I suppose that was just bad.

    I was supposed to say that African Americans are bad and all of the other violence across the world is within a context but theirs is just part of their culture.

    I wont because that is not true.

    I’m also confused why they want me to say that. What purpose does it serve for them?

    You seem to agree with me. People are just people and will find a way to conflict. Look at the characters on this site. If we were a country, we would be in turmoil.

    Please go through the comments and tell me honestly what is wrong with what I stated.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    I am in an extremely foul mood, and fed up with much of humanity in general right about now, so caveat emptor.

    Nancy, I am equally surprised to find you so silent on the rantings of Heloise and Zedd. When it comes to topics like illegal immigration etc, you are usually quite no-holds-barred. But that’s your business. Calling everyone on this thread nuts (which would have to include me) is a perhaps unintended provocation that I will do my best to ignore.

    Considering that you are one of the least “PC” people I’ve encounterd on BC (unless you’re not the same Nancy I think you are), I just don’t know what to say.

    PS–where exactly did you get the idea that Heloise and/or her ilk are cut from the same cloth as Condi Rice et al? I suspect you didn’t read any of her later (numerous) comments. She started out ok, but quickly began a barrage of messages as she slowly built up to a hateful crescendo jam packed with hatred and lies–including some of the most blatant stereotyping I have ever seen on this site or off–and that’s sayinig a lot.

    Clavos, thank you. I am so disgusted that I feel like throwing up.

    Zedd’s continuing insistence that we make special dispensation and excuses for dysfunctional, even harmful or fatal, behavior rather than working positively and proactively for change makes me even angrier. If she had read the entire post, she would have seen that I was ready, willing and able to declare that AAs have made incredible strides despite horrible odds.

    And of course the minute I say this I am a condescending white bitch. Again, there is no way around the fact that she considers me and my ilk personally responsible for what others did before I was born–or when I was but a tiny tot.

    There are other groups who fought incredible odds as well. Blacks are not the only ones who have been enslaved and faced discrimination and even death at the hands of their oppressors. And I’m not just referring to the Jews here either.

    Put a fork in me–I’m done with responding to fools and liars at least for right now. Maybe later I’ll recharge. I’ve been meaning to respond to some very early commenters so maybe I’ll do that next.

    Meanwhile, do excuse me while I go and throw up.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Zedd,

    What are you so worked up about and why do I disgust you so much all of a sudden[?]”

    You mean it bothers you that somebody (other than me) who is disgusted with your lies and distortions – and penchant for picking fights?

    Let’s start at the beginning. From comment #65:

    “A woman (whom I cannot stand) uses words like ‘elide’ at Desicritics.org, not to mention ‘essentialize.’ The point is, she knows how to use them properly.”

    From comment #66 “Do you mean me? I’m Black”

    Do you write at Desicritics, Zedd? Are you the Hindu lady I’m thinking of? Did I mean you? Or were you just looking for an excuse to pop off your mouth. I’s say you were looking for the excuse to pop off you mouth.

    Let’s move on. From comment #89:

    [quoting me] “‘…sadness at seeing their children and grandchildren adopting a culture of hatred of success as a way of rebelling against the hated white man.’

    I can guarantee that that didn’t happen.

    They may have been disheartened about the current generation but THAT was never said. You picked up what you wanted out of it. Or you just exaggerated to strengthen your post (a.k.a. lied).”

    You were in the restaurant in 2000 when I heard this? You heard the conversation? You know what was said? You know my relationships with the pillars of the black neighborhood just south of I94 in St. Paul, the ones who fought to save their neighborhood from a freeway going through in the ’60’s, who flew down to Washington in 1965 to organize an anti-poverty agency during the War on Poverty programs of the Johnson administration? Uh huh… Tell me another one.

    You don’t know shit. That’s for sure. But let’s rub your arrogant nose in that fact. Moving, from comment #73:

    “Actually I don’t believe he [Robert] beat up a homeless man. His political idealism doesn’t fit the beating up scenario. Either you are trying to add spice to your post or he was trying to tick you off knowing how easily convinced most Whites are that we do such things.”

    Robert came in late that day bragging to Antwon, one of the other kids, how he beat up a drunken white man on Lake Street after getting drunk himself. Only after that did I ask him about it, wanting to know why he was late. That was when he challenged me – for the last time, it turned out. My comments to him ended his challenges. He still hated white people, at least for the time that he was part of the United Way program. So much for what you know.

    But he did grow up into a decent person. And he was honestly happy to see me at the Burger King that afternoon.

    So we see a pattern of lying, distortion and picking fights – and then pretending to be above it all when called for the bullshit.

    Take a good look at Nancy’s comment #91. We know a hell of a lot more about black society than you realize or want to realize, Zedd, or than we generally let on.

    Cut the crap. It really gets tiresome.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Zedd,

    One last point. It is so nice to get the backup I got from Elvira. She is as sick of the general anti-Semitic tone these comments have taken as I am. Fortunately, I do not have to deal with this white hating contempt on a day in day out basis…

  • Zedd

    Nancy had not read that I was saying what she said. She jumped in in the middle of the conversation.

    Ruvy you made a comment about Black people. I am Black. If I made a ridiculous comments about Jews, you would take it that i was talking about you because you are Jewish.

    You are not disgusted by me. You like the opportunity to expel the daily drama out of your loins I’m sure to the joy and relief of those who reside in the same residence as you. Now wipe off the sweat, snap for make up and wardrobe and prepare for your next dramatic performance.

  • Nancy

    I DID read your commentaries, but concede I am probably confused as to who said what to whom. I think I’ve gotten you & Elvira & Heloise mixed up. I’ll have to go back & re-read. There are several issues being argued back there. I’m only addressing the initial one, i.e. that some blacks/AAs aren’t “black enough”.

    I don’t like anybody beating on anybody, altho in very rare situations, I admit there are mitigating circumstances, like the woman who shot & killed her very young daughter’s molester after he was able to get off on a legal technicality; or, say, a lynch mob were to go after Bush or Cheney or Rumsfield & string them up. (Sorry – a recurring fantasy of mine ;)

    At the time the kid beat up the drunk, he (the kid) was as culpable as any Klansman in a hood: both of them consumed with some kind of rage, and projecting that rage onto an innocent 3rd party within their reach, that they can take it out on. In the case of the kid, fortunately, he was able at a later date to work through his rage & redirect his energy to making himself a success instead of spiralling down into further self-destructive violent behavior.

    I do have a formal degree in Anthropology, altho it’s in Hominid Evolution, not cultural Anth, but I did have a lot of cultural crammed down my throat while an undergrad, & I’ll also mention that as an Anth student you also get to do a lot of general primatology as well, so you quickly come to realize that people – i.e. humans – are nothing more than a more socially complex & gifted ape, & we share all their baser instincts, including unreasoning rage, jealousy, greed, lust, aggression, & on & on. These traits are hard-wired into our systems, but the difference is, we know in the abstract that a certain kind of behavior is wrong, & we can try to control that urge, altho far too many don’t, hence crime & war. Also note that behavioral aggression is mostly committed by males, of ALL colors & species, altho not exclusively. You want my real reaction, I’d say mostly it was a male problem. A girl would almost never have reacted that way, unless she were extremely aberrant & disturbed.

    Personally (& I’m sure I’m going to be crucified over this by the guys) I have long ago concluded, all stats considered, that racism, along with other forms of violence, is part of the universal territoriality & natural sexual competition/aggression of all male creatures, from squids to men. Not that that EXCUSES (mainly) human males from indulging in it, or females, either, on the rare occasions they do so. As I said, that is supposedly what separates us from the rest of the critters: we know better & they don’t.

    However, it’s certainly a trait NOT limited to any particular race, which is why I agree with you that there can’t possibly be a color litmus test on Negritude or Honkeytude or any other ‘tude, for that matter.

    As for “race” itself, I don’t believe in it, personally. All “race” is, is a labelling of the general characteristics of manifested phenotype (physical traits), which can (and do) run the spectrum from people who are blackest black to those who are whitest white & all shades in between – ALL of which is rendered inert IMO by the fact that we all originate from a common homonid ancestor from Africa, therefore we’re ALL, all of us, technically African – & therefore “black”. To claim, therefore, that some are not black enough is similar to claiming that some are not human enough. — Hah? Wha-? Can’t be done.

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    Purely and simply the “N” word is repugnant. It’s usage signifies ignorance and, in 2007, indicates that the user is insensitive to all human beings (not just blacks). Derogatory words for all races can’t be banned, but we should teach our children well regarding them.

  • zingzing

    ruvy said “We know a hell of a lot more about black society than you realize or want to realize, Zedd, or than we generally let on.”

    recently, i went to a restaurant in the international district here in seattle, it being chinese new year and all. truthfully, i think we ended up at a korean place, but as it was after hours, i didn’t even look at the food menu, so i dunno.

    there was kareoke going on that evening, and a black woman came up and sang a song. i looked around for her party (she was rather cute) and noticed that there was a rather large birthday party going on at the back of the room. probably around 30 african americans.

    the birthday cake came out and it was time to sing. this is what surprised me… black people have a different version of “happy birthday!” and it’s soooooo much better than the vanilla version. there was another table of african americans at the other end of the floor, and of course they got up and sang, seemingly fully aware of this version of the song. it probably wouldn’t have taken me too long to learn the version of the song, but i was so shocked… how did i not know this? haven’t i been to a black birthday party before? i guess it’s been years.

    really, it’s a much better version. am i just imagining this, or are there two different versions of “happy birthday?”

    i know plenty of black people. i’ve lived with them, dated them, been best friends with them. i thought i had a pretty good understanding of their culture.

    but i was shocked to learn i didn’t know “happy birthday.”

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Nancy:

    “I DID read your commentaries,”

    Who is this addressed to? I doubted that you’d read them, and commented to you thusly. But still you can’t seem to even discern who I am–the author of this piece–as opposed to a couple of racist ignoramuses, so be it.

    “but concede I am probably confused as to who said what to whom. I think I’ve gotten you & Elvira & Heloise mixed up.

    You certainly have–I am Elvira, Zedd is Zedd. You seem to think that Zedd wrote my comment to you instead of me.

    Nancy, perhaps I flatter myself, but I thought that surely I was distinguishable from the likes of Zedd and Heloise. I am a regular writer and commenter on this site, and certainly remember you.

    Perhaps you didn’t read my post, and haven’t waded through all the comments (understandable)

    ” I’ll have to go back & re-read. There are several issues being argued back there.”

    I brought up more than several in my article.

    ” I’m only addressing the initial one, i.e. that some blacks/AAs aren’t “black enough”.

    And some, apparently, aren’t smart enough to see that they are contributing to the cancerous problem of racism in America by their own vile bigotry.

    While I’m at it–why is it that someone who may be one eighth black is always “black?” Why not acknowlege the (to my mind) positive aspects of different races producing multi-racial children?

    That’s it, Nancy. Goodbye and good luck to you too.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Nancy:

    Yes, I too may be confused. Perhaps your comment was directed to Zedd. But not being able to tell us apart or even know that I am the author of the piece instead of some vicious racist heckler does give me considerable pause.

    I’m very tired and very pissed off, so I’ll quit for awhile now.

  • Nancy

    Oh yeah, I’m the same Nancy. No, I’m never politically correct, nor do I want to be, altho I hope not as obnoxiously as Arch or some of the other right-wing ranters. I don’t object to illegals as hispanics or blacks or whites. I don’t care if they’re plaid, my objection is to the illegality of it. But I also object very much to the unfairness & length of time of the (legal)immigration procedure on people who would otherwise willingly apply to come in the ‘right’ way, i.e. legally. Comprende? IMO there is NO RACE (see above). It’s an artificial construct. Culture, yes. Most of what people construe as Race they are actually confusing with culture. Persons of all races but the same culture get along fine; persons of the same race but different cultures fight like cats & dogs: for example, Semitics – Jews & Arabs. U’s will band together against non-U’s, the proles against the oligarchs; very seldom will Race actually make a difference between them. Humans being supremely social animals, our reactions are governed mainly by social norms – culture – rather than phenotypes – physical looks. HOWEVER, since all humans are basically the same, psychologically, culture too has common traits & our reactions are generally common to us all, hence it certainly is possible for whites to understand blacks, just as blacks have been well able to ‘understand’ whites & use this understanding for their own survival in slave times. No culture/race has a monopoly on some mystical ability to “understand” others: some people are naturally sensitive & intuitive to the nuances of others, & some couldn’t pick up on a nuance if you hit them over the head with it. I’ve met blacks who don’t understand blacks, & god knows I know plenty of whites who don’t understand fellow whites, or asians who don’t figure their fellow asians. This is because we’re all HUMAN, & each (god help us) is an individual, regardless of the superficial physical differences of skin tone or hair or eye color.

    Having said that, I will say also that IMO “persecuted” groups like to hug their victimhood to their bosoms in general. I’ve noticed on this thread that Elvira & Ruvy are supersensitive to implications of antisemitism in the comments of others, yet accuse Zedd & Heloise of being hypersensitive to racism in the same way. I find it ironic that Elvira says blacks must get over the past. Jews hug their wrongs to them the same way blacks do with slavery. They even make a holiday out of their mistreatment – Passover. A forever reminder & celebration of being a persecuted group, for heavens’ sake, as Zedd would say. What if I, as a non-Jew, were to say Jews should ‘get over it’? After all, they’ve been whining about Pharoh for 4,000 years now, yet nobody in this day & age has been personally enslaved by Pharoh or mistreated by Egyptians, nor have any of the current living people of Egypt been guilty of enslavement of Jews. Surely 4,000 years is enough time to move on? And this for an episode that more & more historical archeology indicates never actually took place at all. HOWEVER, she’s absolutely right, IMO, that EVERYBODY should get over it, whatever ‘it’ is. People have suffered & been abused all over the world throughout all of time by one group or another. Japanese have persecuted the Ainu; Chinese have persecuted Tibetans; Anglo-Europeans have persecuted everybody at one time or another: they are truly non-descriminatory in their dealings with other people. As the song says, they hate everybody. Women-! Women have been persecuted by Men for as long as tales have been told. Now THERE is a downtrodden group, and we’re STILL being persecuted, AS a group. So there: if you’re black or Jewish & a woman, you can complain on TWO different persecuted fronts. If you’re a black Jewish woman with Amerind blood, you’ve hit the jackpot: you can really claim the ultimate victimhood! And on and on and on…. Nu – where does it end? You tell me.

  • Nancy

    I think a rest away from the blog would be a good idee, Elvira. You’ve obviously got yer dander up. No, I haven’t confused you (the author) with Zedd or Heloise; I have confused who was asserting what with various different issues & didn’t want to address them all. I suppose I was mainly responding to Zedd somewhere back about 30 comments ago, then I tried responding to you, & then discussing some of Heloise’s assertions. Well, I never claimed to be logical entirely. A spaghetti tangle of commentary, that’s me.

    Back to the actual subject: no, I don’t think anyone could or should try to ‘ban’ the N word or any other bad word. Certainly not Officially, altho common peer pressure should certainly be used, as when we let kids know that certain bad behavior is frowned on & not tolerated. The problem is, how do we keep the Media & Entertainment industry, who have a stake in maintaining bad & scandalous behaviors, from exploiting it? And how to reach those who are convinced that anybody outside of their own tight cultural peergroup has their good interests at heart & they should follow their advice? Don’t know about any of you (Elvira, Zedd, Heloise, Ruvy), but when I was a kid, whatever my parents (or any other Old Fart) said, I did the opposite, & kids these days, regardless of race, are upholding the grand old tradition, as they did 5,000 years ago & will 5,000 years from now. One final interesting (to me at least) primatological note: did you know that chimp & gorilla juveniles also ‘rebel’ against their elders?! I keep getting a mental image of a chimp JD leaning up against a tree a la James Dean….

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    You are speaking my language. As I’ve said I did Sociology and Political Anthro in my under grads so I get you completely. Doing Socio of Business now. Would rather do Anthro. Its a passion but I need for my studies to translate into $$. Will probably do a PhD in some form of Anthro.

    I agree totally with your assessments. Your perspective is broadened by your studies. Thanks for your post.

    After some time, human behavior stops seeming so complex. It just blurs into one attempt by men to attain power so that we can think they are hot.

    I could go on…..

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    I don’t know who you think I am but your comments don’t reflect my views at all.

    I am a critic of Black people as I am a critic of society. I have posted about the perpetual marchers, complainers and the spot stealers on TV. I also know that that is not Black culture.

    I actively volunteer in the inner city and took off from working in Corporate American for two years to work in the inner city. I am soooo frustrated. I am annoyed with the challenges and just how far behind some of the inhabitants are. But I understand why and I know that a lecture wont fix it. I cant lecture because I did not experience any of what they have, for generations.

    I wont agree with a fallacy. If you are wrong, you are wrong and I will tell you. The best that you can do is either take it as information and learned or blow me off.

    I wont however accept you taking unwarranted jabs at African Americans especially when EVERY other group all over the world has erupted when being mistreated and these people did not. They are TRYING hard to assimilate and are doing it while maintaining their culture and being jabbed at the ENTIRE time.

    You don’t understand how difficult their journey has been and IS. You don’t understand how they critique one another and push each other to move on despite…. You don’t know the songs that they sing in church to inspire that message.

    You just pop on here in your arrogance (whatever color you are) and spout comments as if you have an answer for something that has never been experienced and that WE HUMANS have no quick solution for because its never happened before.

    You see don’t keep installing dramatic comments to deter from the fact that you need to be ashamed for what YOU have said about these people. I never said you are saying it because of your race (whatever that is). I said shame on YOU. Not your skin YOU. YOUR HUMANITY. Don’t try to invite others to your defense by bringing up your Whiteness. Its clear from my comments that I did not attack your Whiteness.

    If you are having a bad day. I am truly sorry. Perhaps you will get a chance to review this thread and see how you jumped into a bizarre conclusion.

    There is violence, crime, ignorance, hatred all over the world. Don’t dare allow your imagination to place blame on AAs solely especially knowing where they come from. What was supposed to happen???

    Some of you don’t’ realise that the increase in the rates of young unemployed and incarcerated Black males is directly correlated to the increases in the numbers of illegal immigration. Who do you think was doing all of those jobs all along? Yet we stand back and tisk tisk. Many don’t realise that when Regan killed the job programs for youth which actually help to maintain parks in those same communities and give skills to those kids in the 80’s is when gang violence and the crack epidemic exploded in the Black community. But you get to tisk tisk and attribute the chaos to culture.

    African Americans ARE trying to move on. But when people don’t want to acknowledge why they are where they are they HAVE to explain and then people say they are holding on to the past. It’s insane and cruel.

  • Zedd

    Zing

    I think you must be talking about the Stevie Wonder song. Its sung in folly. We sing the standard song too.

  • zingzing

    what do you mean, “sung in folly?”

  • zingzing

    ah-ha. zedd, it is the stevie wonder song. (it actually sounds horrible when he sings it… at least the backing track…)

    still, much better than “happy birthday,” which usually sounds like a chorus of zombies.

  • Zedd

    In folly meaning when we are just jovial and everyone is happy and goofing around.

  • Nancy

    Zedd, I agree completely. I have often wondered/marvelled at the patience & forebearance of most black people & Jews in the face of past injustices. I’ve seldom met with any individual holding the past against me personally (ref: me as a white, that is), altho I entirely understand when they have. I would have gone postal, moi.

    It’s been my experience, however, that if you like people in general & show it, most of them respond generously. I remember a hulking rasta-braided NY-er on the subway, who – when I started singing the praises of NYC & NY-ers as wonderful people, beamed at me & when he found out I was headed for the Met Museum, got off with me & personally escorted me to the front door, after showing me exactly where I wanted to catch the bus back towards Uptown. The whole 6 weeks I was there, I never heard a cross word or encountered rudeness from ANY NY-er. They were gorgeous people one & all, black & white & all colors in between, & they just LOVED hearing someone praise NYC. I made more friendly acquaintances that way.

  • Nancy

    Ah, no wonder we think alike, sorta. LOL – in my narrow field of Anth, I liked the really old, old ones; anyone newer than Neanderthal I consider noveau. Of course I loved the Flores Hobbit discoveries; I’ll bet you do, too. Mostly I hung out with Australopithecines, Homo Habilis, that crowd.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    I focused on Political Anthro. It helped me connect the dots. The correlation between what societies do regardless of time or race are basically the same. The purpose of the rituals within the culture are often established to prove the authenticity and right for the rulers to hold the positions that they do.

    Unfortunately some of the knowledge that one gains in the social sciences places one in the outside looking in position. Where you get the WHY but the people around you are in a tizzy over basically nothing. It also makes one rather skeptical of institutions and position.

    But also, I was like that from early childhood. Always wanting answers. I suppose I am not this blog for the same reasons. Just curious.

  • Clavos

    Zedd writes:

    Some of you don’t’ realise that the increase in the rates of young unemployed and incarcerated Black males is directly correlated to the increases in the numbers of illegal immigration.Who do you think was doing all of those jobs all along? …Many don’t realise that when Regan killed the job programs for youth which actually help to maintain parks in those same communities and give skills to those kids in the 80’s is when gang violence and the crack epidemic exploded in the Black community.

    Got any links for data to back those claims up??

  • Zedd

    Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks
    by George J. Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger, Gordon H. Hanson

    President Reagan’s Conservative Fiscal Policy: Unemployment among African Americans (Paperback)
    by Chiazam Ugo Okoye (Author)

    Youth Unemployment, Underemployment. A Continuing Delima
    by Ray Marshall

    For a start.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Christopher and Nancy:

    After writing an extremely long comment to Nancy, and having tried twice to post it without success, I have saved it to Microsoft word for the time being. Please advise if I should break it up into smaller “bites” and try again.

    Zedd:
    When Clavos says links he means just that–something the reader can click on and access. Links do not equal bibliographies. As this is an online medium, providing active live links to back up one’s claims is the norm. Posting the titles of books is virtually useless to the BC reader here, who can hardly be expected to pick up and make a trip to the local library to read these tomes right now.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    One more general observation:

    Though it is not my “specialty,” per se, I have written a few posts for the politics section in the past which have sometimes garnered hundreds of comments. I generally relish taking on all comers and enjoy even the most heated debate.

    I often wondered why some BC writers would choose to ignore their commenters or go so far as to say they dont even read them because to do so would be an excercise in repetitive, nonending futility. They choose to let the article stand on its own rather than be sucked into pointless, unending exchanges with idiotic hecklers.

    The comments thread here started out well. I never shy away from debate and never hide from criticism or verbal attacks. However, even I am getting burnt out by the endless need to repeat myself like a broken record.

    I am equally dismayed by the fact that few save for Ruvy and Clavos seem to “get it.” Not only have Ruvy and I battled the hate-mongers who appeared on this thread like a festering, malignant growth, but virtually no one save for Clavos has chimed in to support us.

    As I say, I can understand that someone coming upon this thread might not read all the comments, but it might be nice if they read the post itself. I am weary and disgusted with having to repeat myself over and over again and bring up points made at some length a day or two ago.

    There comes a time when one is only beating a dead horse on threads like these. I will still attempt to publish my long comment to Nancy, but am not at all confident she will even bother to read it. If memory serves, she rarely responds to my comments directly, but takes great pains to respond to Zedd’s. Again, this puzzles me greatly, since I’ve always felt that Nancy and I were so much on the same page we could almost be virtual twins.

    I further suspect that many are reading without commenting, and that those who chime in while studiously avoiding confronting Zedd and her ilk are understandably loathe to put themselves in her line of fire. But again, it disappoints me greatly to see how people such as Zedd and Heloise can highjack threads with impunity. I am the biggest free speech zealot you’re ever likely to find, but as with the right to vote some do not care to exercise their rights as freely as they are entitled to–particularly if they fear appearing non-PC in the process.

    Time to move on to something else–perhaps a return to less controversial essays is in order. I can live without comments like many of those shown here very nicely.

  • Clavos

    A list of books doesn’t prove anything, Zedd.

    As Elvira points out, the norm in an online forum like BC is links to information, writings or data that back up the point(s) you’re presenting.

    Virtually all the writers provide them to support their arguments, and most of the serious commenters do as well.

    Even a cut-and-paste of data tables (in this case) would suffice. The burden of proving your case is on you. If you don’t (or can’t) back up what you present, it’s not believable.

    It’s as simple as that.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    Tone down on the venom. Especially when its not warranted.

    Are you bi-polar? If so I am so sorry but it’s a bit unnerving.

    Clavos

    Those are MY sources. You know how to google like everyone else. Do the research. You weren’t expecting for me to go on a search for you when I already had the sources did you?

  • STM

    Nancy asked: “STM – what is a “Pom”? I thought it was just a cute joking name for Englishmen, kind of like how you all call us “Yanks”? I never realized it was derogatory!”

    Nancy: Chris has it pretty much covered and the Prisoner of His/Her Majesty argument doesn’t really hold water any longer. It is thought, as theb story says, to relate purely to the reddening of the skin after being subjected to the heat/sun of the unforgiving Australian climate.

    It’s generally, like Yank, NOT a derogatory term – rather, it’s really a genuine term of endearment (I think we love to hate Brits and Americans, which is a lot different to actually hating).

    And as always in Australia, things are a bit topsy-turvey. If no-one was calling you names, it would mean they didn’t like you. I love to dine out on the story of one of my rugby mates, who is a first-generation Chinese-Australian. His Dad came here in the fifties, and the watershed moment in his new life was when the mainly anglo/celtic-Aussies he was working with began to invite him out for a beer after work on Fridays – and gave him a nickname.

    They called him “Chongo” – as in ching chong. Absolutely politically incorrect, and anywhere else it would certainly have been an insult. Not here, though. For him, it was a proud moment, since anyone without a nickname just wasn’t part of the crew.

    When I first met him years ago, I called him Mr Lee. Grinning, he stuck out his hand, and in a broad Australian accent said: “Never mind the bloody Mr Lee bullsh.t, son … call me Chongo, every other bastard does.”

    As for Pom and Yank, I guess it all comes down to how you say it, what profanities you team it with (bastard is not necessarily a derogatory term here), and what the intent is. That can sometimes be very confusing for new arrivals, until they work out the nuances.

    The P word really ain’t a racist slur.

  • Clavos

    Zedd sez:

    Those are MY sources. You know how to google like everyone else. Do the research. You weren’t expecting for me to go on a search for you when I already had the sources did you?

    Of course I was, it’s YOUR argument.

    The responsibility to do the research lies with the writer, not the readers. If you want us to believe what you’re saying YOU have to prove it.

    Without supporting data, it’s just opinion, and a suspicious one at that.

    And I don’t believe it.

  • sr

    Elvira, you just hit another home run. Lady of Song you are good. BG marry this women.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    I did provide you my sources. You can either look this data up or not its up to you. There is no rule which says all knowledge or info that is discussed has to exist on a web page. I gave you sources for the information that I am speaking of.

    You see the point of discussing on these pages is not to argue with you or anyone else. The point for me is to learn or exchange ideas.

    If you don’t choose to learn something that you obviously don’t know, and would rather pretend to be versed at presenting a lucid argument, that is your choice. If your reason to be online is to just play at dialogue, that is great to.

    While I may express humor, I am curious and really want to engage. I don’t find it entertaining or challenging to go round with you or Elvira over minutia.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Enough already! We now know that Zedd and the retreating Heloise are the sum of all Black experience in the history of the Known Universe because– well, they said so.

    We also know that Elvira has no right to address such issues because not only is she white, but she’s also Jewish, and she has the audacity to present a viewpoint borne more of facts and personal experience than baseless rhetoric.

    Heloise, you live in Dallas, as do I. You can’t seriously believe that all is good in the hood. Zedd, cut the pseudo-intellectual nonsense, and face reality. You are contributing nothing to further Black culture, Talking the talk is easy,. Walking the walk is quite another matter.

    Elvira, I thank you for a thoughtful piece. Too bad its message was lost in the sputum that followed.

  • Zedd

    Ray

    I live in the Plano area and grew up in Dallas.

    I am wondering why you decided to take that tone with me? What is it that I said that made you take that tone?

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Oh, nothing of any consequense.I just have an inherent disdain for rhetoric disguised as “facts” and an even deeper distrust of people who set themselves up as spokespeople for an entire populace.

    Statistics are easy to manipulate.

    Don’t make me go there.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Heloise blows me away. He walks one fine line. Everyone claims the other does not know their culture yet they spew all sorts of bs hiding behind a thin veil of suppsed facts. I’m surprised he did not state that “all Jews are rich, invented gun powder to kill the Chinese and eat babies.” Here’s a question: Am I wrong to say “it’s so true” after a Chris Rock lambasts some niger? Notice I said “niger” as in a person from Niger. It’s rhtetorical. Don’t bother responding because I don’t care. All I know is that he’s damn funny. Anyway, who’s that chick that’s going around saying Obama is an African-African American? I’m not black – not today anyway – but I’ll tell you one thing, in the words of David Puddy: “that chick is whacked.” Hey. I ain’t complaining. I’m just glad after 123 comments no one has jumped on the wops. Oh, please spare me the Guido Pizza jokes! Lame. At least Henry Winkler did us proud as The Fonz. Why do Jews play the part of Italians anyway? Now that’s a conspiracy. I’m also not impressed with the Chinese pasta lobby (hey, that’s twice I mention the chinks. God bless them. Red bastards) trying to wrestle that carb away from us. Don’t they know the Jews invented pasta? Or was it the micks, frogs or pollacks? I forget. No wait; my spick cleaning lady who speaks French said it was the Hondurans. But what does she know? She was educated under Castro’s evil regime. No wait she’s from Haiti. They all look the same. While I’m on it, apparently (and I could be wrong), the Jews are responsible for both communism and capitalism and the rhinoplasty industry. For 14% of the total world population they sure put the living fear into billions of people. I blame Mel Brooks. And so closes this terrible vaudeville act. It’s Triple Berry Cheerios for me and to bed. Elvira. I tried to remove some of the pressure off your shoulders and onto mine – even though I have a torn rotator cuff – seriously. Hey about that! My ortho is not Jewish! He’s WASP!

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com Alessandro Nicolo

    The last sentence should have read “how about that!” and I must apologize to Mr. Rose for not making paragraphs. I really should re-read my stuff BEFORE I publish. Damn. I’ll assume spanking position…

  • Zedd

    WoW!! It looks like we really do need to talk more about race matters.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Thanks to all who commented after my cry into the howling winds of despair and futility. You have restored some of my flagging faith in humanitey.I will now attempt to republish my very looong comment to Nancy–or more likely to the idea of Nancy–who as I say has a tendency to not engage directly with me or apparently read my comments. I’ll try to break it up into several parts so as not to overwhelm the soltware, server, or other automated powers that be that regurgitated my comment before.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    To: “Nancy,” who will likely neither read or respond to this, here is part 1 of my comment addressed to her comments.

    Nancy:

    You wrote:

    Having said that, I will say also that IMO “persecuted” groups like to hug their victimhood to their bosoms in general. I’ve noticed on this thread that Elvira & Ruvy are supersensitive to implications of antisemitism in the comments of others, yet accuse Zedd & Heloise of being hypersensitive to racism in the same way.

    Again, Nancy if you read my article as well as the entire thread (again understandable if you did not) you might see that I agree with most everything you say, and have in the article and in my very lengthy comment to you towards the beginning of the thread. In particular, I responded to one of your earlier comments about your “ghetto” neighbor who was just a polite kid trying to wear the garb of his peers. I gave chapter and verse examples of how post-Giuliani New York is a place where I, as a white minority in a ‘hood of Hispanics and blacks, walk without fear and enjoy the sense of community and mutual respect that all races exhibit here as they peacefully coexist. I took great pains to reinforce my observations after almost 9 years of exposure to BG’s Bronx hood that the vast majority of kids who dress “ghetto” are not what they first appear to be, but like all teens simply want to follow the fashion styles of their peers.

    Far from being supersensitive, I have attempted to show that I despise equally all those who insist on reinforcing the most vile stereotypes assigned to them–including Jews who I privately refer to as “kikes.” They shame my people, just as rap singers who promote cop killing, violence against women, and so on do a terrible disservice to blacks, particularly the many middle class blacks who are likely appalled by their posturings.

    It is folks like Heloise and Zedd who are supersensitive–going so far as to infer bigotry by Jews and whites where none has been expressed.

    I find it ironic that Elvira says blacks must get over the past. Jews hug their wrongs to them the same way blacks do with slavery. They even make a holiday out of their mistreatment – Passover. A forever reminder & celebration of being a persecuted group, for heavens’ sake, as Zedd would say. What if I, as a non-Jew, were to say Jews should ‘get over it’? After all, they’ve been whining about Pharoh for 4,000 years now, yet nobody in this day & age has been personally enslaved by Pharoh or mistreated by Egyptians

    Uh huh, Nancy…..look at the middle east and the millions of muslims who are fed the most blatant lies about Jews by their leaders from birth on–the Holocaust never happened, Jews are filthy devils who must be exterminated, etc etc. Super sensitive, are we now?

    nor have any of the current living people of Egypt been guilty of enslavement of Jews. Surely 4,000 years is enough time to move on?

    Hard to move on when antisemitism is still very much alive and well, and when some of the major players in the fundamentalist Muslim world embrace and celebrate the doctrines and methodology of Hitler to the letter..

    And this for an episode that more & more historical archeology indicates never actually took place at all.

    Jews do not celebrate this in this fashion, Nancy. You are exhibiting your PROFOUND ignorance of Jewish religion and culture with this statement. However, there are plenty of fundamentalist muslims who still proclaim, as Hitler and his ilk purportedly did, that Jews drink the blood of non Jews during this holiday…

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    To Nancy (or the idea of Nancy), part 2:

    HOWEVER, she’s absolutely right, IMO, that EVERYBODY should get over it, whatever ‘it’ is. People have suffered & been abused all over the world throughout all of time by one group or another.

    Again, Nancy, if you haven’t actually seen all the comments by Heloise, my responses, my article, and my comments throughout, I think it is clear that my positions are almost identical to yours.

    But Heloise is a blatant Jew hater, while Zedd is a bit more subtle–or shall I say double dealing.

    After a few clashes with Zedd on other threads over such issues as the fact that she thinks racism only applies to whites because they hold all the “power”–and thus black bigotry is justified just because–I thought we’d reached a truce. Zedd has the ability to morph from reasonable and reasoning into a petulant finger pointer and apologist in the blink of an eye. At least Heloise held her Jew hating ground without trying to weasel her way out of it by “buddying up” to any well meaning commenter wandering in to the middle of a long thread.

    Please note that my article dealt with many issues and was not a, you should pardon the expression, “black and white” argument at all.

    I made it quite clear that though no word could or should be banned, that I agreed with those who would discourage its loud, public, and incessant use among youngsters who don’t seem to be aware of the dreadful historical implications of this slur.

    I also talked about how I, as a Jew, might privately refer to some of my more errant brethren as “kikes” if they fit the stereotypical mode–and further said that “kikes” could come in all colors. It shames me to see any fellow Jew living up to the horrible stereotypes we have been accused of since time immemorial, for they are in part responsible for the climate of distrust and misunderstanding between blacks and other gentiles and Jews.

    So saying that I was playing perpetual victim here is incorrect. But when someone like Heloise comes along and stirs up the most blatant and outrageous generalizations about Jews–claiming all the time to be an “anthropologist”–I feel compelled to respond in defense of the large majority of Jews who do not fit her anti-Semitic mold.

    I further talked about how Jews and all other immigrants encountered the same challenges to assimilate into our American culture via hard work and education. I discussed the experiences of my mother and aunts and grandmother who faced incredible hardships and struggles, and how eager my aunts (except for one) were to shed the Jewish stereotypes and religious doctrines and be totally assimilated first-generation native born Americans, leaving their little Lower East Side Jewish ghetto behind in the process.

    My assertion, moreover, was that, like the American Indian, blacks have faced a unique challenge that other American ethnic groups have not–namely, that in their case, they did not arrive here voluntarily in pursuit of freedom and opportunity, but were instead brought here and enslaved against their will. Their family structures were decimated by slavery and discrimination, with results that are still all too evident today.

    My views on those young blacks who insist on embracing the anti-education, anti- white ghetto culture and lifestyle is that they are, for all intents and purposes, non-assimilated Americans in their own land. Like Muslims who come here of their own accord, some hate their “adoptive “country with a passion and white people are seen as the enemy, no matter what they do. If they support the black struggle herald the history of black achievement against extraordinary odds, they may be mocked (as Ruvy and I have been in this thread) for being condescending. If they criticize some of the horribly dysfunctional belief systems and the tendency of some like Zedd to be in denial about the inexcusability of criminal behavior, they are anti-black.

    Now THAT, Nancy, is what I call being “super-sensitive”…

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    To “Nancy”, part 3:

    Those like Zedd who should know better are doing black youths no favor by enabling their dysfunctional and self-destructive anti-white attitudes, which hold them back from being fully functioning, responsible, hard working adults in our society.

    Those like Heloise who harbor and express the most blatant and hateful stereotypes against Jews (they run Hollywood single handedly, are master propagandists, aided and groomed Hitler, and on and on as Heloise spewed out relentlessly in hateful comment after hateful comment) should be held accountable for their appalling ignorance, arrogance, and self-serving lies. To take them up on their horrible anti-semitic lies is not to proclaim perpetual victimhood. Shall I lay down and beg Heloise’s forgiveness for being a Jew? She even went so far as claiming to know who the “real” Jews were–even those who are known as gentiles but have slurred blacks publicly either unintentionally or no.

    She claimed to be an “anthropologist, and I noted that if this were so she would have viewpoints similar to yours, Nancy. I believe education is the saving grace for us all. Heloise’s appalling ignorance shows that she is no anthropologist, but rather a student of hate. She cited a book she had read about the Jews (which I assume was written by a “scholar” with an anti semitic agenda) and claimed that having read this several times she now knew more about Jews than most of them knew about themselves.

    When asked for links to support her outrageous lies, she did what all freaky hecklers do at BC–told me to do my own research. She refused to take me up on any of my challenges to her validity, and in due time vanished like the coward that she is from this thread.

    Zedd, who had seemingly been supportive up until then, lost no time in attacking Ruvy with the same relentless fervor with which Heloise had attacked me.

    Her claims of anthropological knowledge ring hollow. Taking a course in anthropology or even many does not make one an anthropologist. As I pointed out to Heloise, in order to become an anthropologist one must pay the dues involved–bachelors, masters, Ph.D and all that entails.

    After Heloise attacked me for noting that blacks as a rule are under represented as entrepreneurs (although of course there are many exceptions), I noted that Jews in my b/f’s Bronx ‘hood are nowhere to be found as far as the mom and pop shops that flourish here. On the contrary–most are owned and operated by a plethora of immigrant groups who came here of their own accord and were willing to work hard and sacrifice for their piece of the American dream. Thus the Chinese takeout joints, the liquor store and Lotto place also owned by a Chinese family, the delis and bodegas owned by Latinos and Arabs; the outdoor stands selling gloves, wallets, etc owned by Africans (not AA’s), the bars owned by native Irish, the 99 cent stores owned by Indians or Pakistanis, the fruit stands and supermarket shelves manned by newly arrived Latino immigrants, and on and on.

    What they all have in common aside from being newly arrived immigrants is their relentless ability to bite the bullet and pursue the American dream with no whining and with a single minded vengeance. These folks work incredibly hard, and though a large percentages of typical business in this country fail within the first year or two, these newcomers somehow manage to thrive as entrepreneurs here year after year.

    I see virtually no white or Jewish business owners here in the Bronx, yet the “black Jews” who take over Fordham Road every Sunday spread their horrible bile and vitriol throughout the neighborhood. The neighborhood’s residents of all colors ignore them as they claim that the Jew and the white man own the local businesses and are responsible for their oppression; that Christ was black (as if it matters); that G-d loves those of color and hates the devil whites, and on and on. How they support themselves is beyond me. They are a blight on the city—the beautiful, multicultural city that I love–and the only thing they do is try to spread ignorance and hate.

    Heloise, after telling me how wrong I was because black people she knew started successful businesses such as hair salons. or black magazines, gave herself away when she admitted that she and her friends pooled their money for a lottery scheme in an attempt to purchase or win a radio station or some such thing. They lost thousands but “had to try,” as this was apparently her notion of how other ethnic groups pool money so that they may start their own businesses in their newly adoptive land.

    Playing Lotto is one way the perpetually poor maintain some shred of hope, but the problem is that not only are the odds incredibly slim, but these folks are looking in vain for a path to instant riches—which by the way some prominent African American rappers with dubious talents and uncouth, even criminal lifestyles have attained. I argued that in order to succeed, no matter what color you are, the rules of the game are the same for all–education, discipline, and hard hard work. Those who look for shortcuts are deluding themselves; those who claim discrimination at every turn while supporting the ghetto lifestyle of our young people are among the most insidious elements holding these kids back. If their elders tell them that Jews and whites are the enemy and they are right to behave in ways that will guarantee their personal and professional failure, whose fault is that? Mine? Ruvy’s?

    Jews who excel in the professional world are seen by Heloise and other similarly minded blacks as a dire threat. Jews who fought side by side with blacks and even died in the struggle for equality are ignored and denied. Any white who tries to reach out or acknowledge African Americans’ extraordinary achievements against horrible odds is labeled as condescending. Racism by blacks is justified and excused, while white racism is exaggerated and even manufactured with no evidence or links to back up their claim.

    In short, Nancy, though you may not have read this entire thread, I do hope you will take the time to read this comment. I feel very much like a broken record. As Clavos likes to say on his posts, the evidence is all right here on this thread for all who have eyes and care to see.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd said:

    Clavos

    I did provide you my sources. You can either look this data up or not its up to you. There is no rule which says all knowledge or info that is discussed has to exist on a web page. I gave you sources for the information that I am speaking of.”

    Zedd, do you REALLY expect that any reader here is going to get up, go to the library, take out the books you cited, read them, and then comment? Would you do so? By then this thread will likely be long dead. I for one am underwhelmed by your little “reading list.”

    You see the point of discussing on these pages is not to argue with you or anyone else. The point for me is to learn or exchange ideas.

    Au contraire–you disingenuously set yourself up as someone who wants to discuss and not argue, and then you viciously bait Ruvy out of the blue. Your claims of onnly wishing to learn and exchange ideas is an out and out lie.

    If you don’t choose to learn something that you obviously don’t know, and would rather pretend to be versed at presenting a lucid argument, that is your choice.

    You might want to try following your own advice, Zedd.

    If your reason to be online is to just play at dialogue, that is great to.

    And what exactly does that mean? “Playing” is right–you obviously get a kick out of taking the hot and cold approach. Your first comment echoed Nancy’s first favorable one, and you noted that my piece was thoughtful, balanced, and not condescending to blacks. Though you refrained from attacking me, as soon as Ruvy appeared you were on him like the Jew hater I believe you really are.

    While I may express humor, I am curious and really want to engage. I don’t find it entertaining or challenging to go round with you or Elvira over minutia.

    The oldest trick in the book for those who want to get away with hateful rhetoric is to say they were “just kidding.”

    Minutae? Hardly. As Clavos and I have stated, intellectual laziness and half-baked ideas culled from freshman anthro or black studies reading lists don’t play well here.

    As I’ve said before, passing yourself off as an “expert” after reading a few books is taking credit for something you have neither earned nor deserved. Anyone of any race who wants to be taken seriously in an argument here on BC needs to support their “facts” with links, not a reading list. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing–and obviously the books you’ve read present only one side of a very complex story.

    No one except Heloise and perhaps Nancy could take your two-faced, good cop/bad cop approach seriously.

    I’m sure you think this makes me anti-black too. So be it. I am simply anti-ignorance, and anti-hatemongering.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    You might want to try following your own advice, Zedd.

    Okay teach me something about Black people.

  • Nancy

    For starters, I’ll apologize to Elvira for not using her name when I do address her; actually, I have been talking to you all along, El, but since Zedd is generally the last name I see before I start commenting, I tend to direct my direct observations there. Very rude, I agree.

    It seems to me (NB: word “SEEMS”) that there is a lot of defensiveness, hypersensitivity, & misreading/misunderstanding going on all around here. After re-reading the entire article & comments, I see a lot of cross-posting that is at odds/misconstrued response to a previous comment. For example (& I’m not picking on you, El, it’s just the first example I came to on scrolling up) you seem to think that my “I agree” in comment #112 was referring to Zedd’s chastisement of you. I have a bad habit of assuming everyone knows what I am thinking (probably because Dave keeps telling me he knows what’s in my mind, etc. ;). I was actually referring to another comment of hers to the effect that most blacks have not erupted in the face of continuous bad treatment. My bad; I must start specifying precisely what I am agreeing with, so this misinterpretation is not your problem, but my own fault.

    While not Jewish myself, I’ve attended many many seders, so I’m well aware of exactly how & why Passover is memorialized by Jews. I did not say Passover was bad or wrong; I said I felt IMO that it was strange to me that any group would continue to memorialize their abuse instead of moving on. It’s comprehensible to me to celebrate Passover when one considers it as a deliverance & gift from God; ditto Purim. However, in my experience, I have known persons who literally celebrated the abuse, cherished it in a kind of perversity, & dragged out that ‘they’ were slaves to Pharoh every time they felt put upon, etc. I’m talking family members here. I’m not Jewish, but I do have family that are. The ‘poor me, victim’ syndrome is so pervasive in Jewish culture that Jews themselves make jokes about it; what else is everybody referring to when they talk about the classic Jewish Mother & her capacity for inflicting guilt? Woody Allen made a career of it, for pete’s sakes. So it DOES exist, and is rather a prominent trait in the culture, enough so it’s joked about. Or is it that only Jews are supposed to know about it & laugh? Is this another exclusive “it’s a Jewish thing”? You castigate Zedd for pulling “it’s a Black thing”, but do it yourself immediately after about Jewishness, by trying to tell me I don’t/can’t understand Passover? C’mon El – what’s the bible say: don’t talk about the mote in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own? I’m NOT saying you’re wrong in your points about Zedd; I’m just pointing out (& was trying to do it good-naturedly, but obviously failed) that we ALL do it; that what Zedd was doing you were doing also, but because it involved Jews, therefore it was acceptable to you to do so, yet you didn’t feel it was acceptable to you for Zedd to do it.

    Picking up another strand of this commentary, yes, you are right: there is a huge amount of anti-Semitism out there even as we blog. Jews are quite justified in complaining about the homicidal intent of some Muslims & the generic hostility a lot of people display when making assertions that Jews secretly run the world/Hollywood/the banks/you name it. One could turn around and say the same thing about blacks, that they run Sports – because they do. The proponderance of outstanding pro athletes are black, in most sports, mostly because this was for a long time the only avenue open to them & they still tend to specialize as it were in that field, or in certain kinds of music/entertainment. Like Jews being restricted up until very recently from engaging in any trade except banking, blacks were restricted from just about everything except sports or music.

    I must say here that I am always surprised that the two groups don’t feel more akin & sympatico with each other, for that one reason alone, one would think. Also there is the fact that Jews have persistently been among the foremost champions of equal rights for blacks here in the US from the inception, yet the only Jews blacks focus on are those who purportedly run their neighborhood stores. Again, this is like listening to Jews focus on only the bad things that others do to them, while ignoring the far greater number of people who do good. Hundreds of thousands of non-Jews died trying to defend Jews & defeat Hitler in WWII. Thousands of non-Jewish Europeans (including a lot of Germans) died trying to hide or help them. But none of this is remembered, just as, in the SAME way Blacks conveniently forget the hundreds of thousands of good whites who helped slaves escape, tried to educate them when it was illegal to do so, fought literally & in print for their right to live as equals. Blacks celebrate MLK & Fred Douglass, & so they should, yet there is no word of thanks or remembrance for those like the Grimke sisters, Horace Greely, or people like the Shaws of Boston who in their own sphere labored mightily & sometimes gave their own lifeblood for the cause of Black justice & freedom. And it wasn’t just these few; if it were, there wouldn’t have been a civil war in the US, because there wouldn’t have been enough people willing to make an issue of it. True, a lot of soldiers (especially the mercenaries & those lately arrived as immigrants) didn’t give a rat’s ass for blacks, but were fighting for the money or the Union, as it were, but an awful lot of them were also fighting for black people – especially after meeting blacks for the first time & seeing first hand the effects of slavery & meeting actual slaves.

    HOWEVER, I do maintain that both groups spend too much time cherishing – I really don’t know any other word to use – their victimhood, because it gives them a sort of moral superiority they can always retreat to: don’t crowd ME, because I was persecuted & you weren’t! Far too many blacks & Jews USE the past to excuse & justify the present, or themselves.

    The point I’m trying to make to all of you – and doubtless not succeeding well at all – is that, in some point in everyone’s lives, & in the existance of people in cohesive social groups, they simply MUST drop their sense of injustices endured and MOVE ON. Nurturing a sense of grievance does nothing for anyone, black or Jew or Ainu or female or whatever. It is an unfortunate fact of human nature & primate psychology that stronger parties will abuse the weaker. Baboons do it; chimps do it; gorillas do it; humans do it. We have to move on & not nurse our grudges, however JUSTIFIED they may be. So: by all means combat current anti-Semitism & anti-black prejudice. It shouldn’t be allowed to exist without strenuous challenge, & shouldn’t be tolerated where ever it occurs, regardless of whether the targets are Black, Jewish, fat people, women, or whatever; but don’t waste time & effort grieving for wrongs hundreds of years in the past. There are enough to grieve for here & now, is all I’m saying.

    I wish I had a way to highlight that last sentence, because it’s the crux of what I’m trying to say.

    Likewise, no amount of past abuse excuses or empowers anybody to behave badly to anybody else. If I have been abused by my father (altho I wasn’t) it doesn’t excuse me for then going out & blowing away some guy because he’s also male. It might be understandable, in the sense that someone can analyze that it was misdirected rage that cause my behavior against the innocent guy I just shot, but it in NO WAY EXCUSES OR JUSTIFIES IT. NOBODY is justified in doing bad things to others just because somebody behaved badly to them. I’ll admit I do this myself. I’m just as guilty of unjustified resentment as anyone else. I’m human, and it’s an unfortunate human trait. That doesn’t make it right, & I try to work on that, when I catch it. But it doesn’t do me any good to allow my resentments, fears, & rage to fester. All it does is consume my mind, wear away my spirit, & cause me more damage to myself through my adverse behavior, like that kid who, if he hadn’t recognized (with Clavos’ help) that his anger was misdirected, hadn’t stopped beating on drunks, would have ended up ruining his own life & that of his family…all for the sake of nursing old grievances.

    We all do this. It’s a human failing. No – it’s a primate failing. Chimps have been known to hold grudges for years, as Jane Goodall proved. But the difference is, chimps don’t/can’t realize that they need to forgive & forget & move on – and people do.

    And I need to clarify & improve my writing, & we all need to read more carefully & try not to draw incorrect inferences when they are not warranted because we are sensitive to issues that aren’t actually even being addressed. That is one good thing about Arch: whatever you may think of his politics, he lets you know in no uncertain terms exactly what he means, & no mistake. ;)

    Now, having put my foot in it & probably alienated everybody all around, I do hope I didn’t (because I haven’t been wanting to) I’ve just been trying to explain, very ineptly I’m sure, where I’ve been coming from in some of my comments.

    Elvira – apologies again; didn’t mean to seem to be ignoring you; I wasn’t intending to. I have a bad habit of addressing the last name encountered & assuming everyone understands it’s meant for all. English is deficient in not having a plural form of verbs that way.

    I agree with many things both Elvira & Zedd have been saying, & in which they are echoing each other in agreement, altho they don’t seem to realize it.

  • Nancy

    Well, obviously posting long & involved comments isn’t verboten by the computer (since it accepted my long posting), so I don’t know why it wouldn’t take your long commentary to me so that you had to break it up into 3 parts, Elvira. Did you get a code of some kind?

  • Nancy

    BTW, while I do have a degree in Anth, since I have not remained in the field, & been out of it as a practising paleoanth for some time (altho I do much following in pro journals, etc.) I do NOT consider myself to be an “expert” in anthropology, by a long shot, so don’t anybody please go saying I am or think I am. I don’t.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    [Personal attack deleted]

    I complemented you on your article on more than one occasion, actually more than any person who has posted on this thread. When I responded to Ruvy when he made a blanket statement which was not true about Black people (meaning me, as I am a Black person) I addressed him with every intention that he not feel comfortable about making such statements, as I should have. I also responded to a story that he relayed, stating that he exaggerated and when he retold the story, it was clear that he did indeed exaggerate. First the young man went and beat up a homeless White man. Later it turns out that both the White man and the Black man were drunk and had a fight. Where you come in is baffling. You jumped in and started going on about your Whiteness. You then started trying to recruit others to jump in to address me for “persecuting” you(???). Odd.

    Please after you have made your post to teach me about Blacks, please contain yourself and keep yourself from writing to me.

  • Nancy

    Zedd, I’m glad to see you’re up (awake), but you don’t want to cut anybody off here. You & El did start off well, then one of the other of you misread what the other one said just about simultaneously & it’s been going downhill from there. Actually you’re BOTH on the same page, for the most part. Please don’t keep insulting each other. Kiss ‘n make up? I do with Arch & Dave.

  • Nancy

    Well…I try, let’s put it that way.

  • Zedd

    Nancy,

    I am confused as to why people from specific cultures cant state what they know about their own culture.

    I wont argue with an Italian about Italian culture . That is just weird.

    I wont argue with a Swede or a Laotian about their cultures.

    YES an Italian is an expert on Italians. Much more than I. What is so horrible about that and why are people uncomfortable about that? Unless I have lived as an Italian and have an extensive knowledge of Italian culture and history, I need to defer…. If you are Italian and I TELL you that Italians quack twice and then blow two kisses in the air before they take a bite of food, and you tell me “no that is not true”. I would be insane to argue with you and then claim that its because I’m Black that you are not agreeing with me.

    Is it me?

    I suppose we misunderstand what liberty and equality is. We think we should be considered equal in knowledge of even unacquired knowledge.

  • Nancy

    I’m not understanding you: what are you wanting to say about black people which cannot be applied to all people? I don’t want to misread you. When nuances count, it’s hard not hearing a voice or seeing an expression on a face. Thanks.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    Renouncing wrong information.

    If a man tells YOU (a woman) how woman are and he is waaaaay of. He certainly can not say because he is human he can understand what women are like and that you are not an expert. He then gets angry at YOU for not accepting his statements which are waaaaaay off and accusing you of thinking you speak for all women.

    As for Elvira, I have dealt with her before. She is a bit waky. She and Heloise are just fine going at it. I’m not cut out for that sort of thing. I am amazed that you were so apologetic for NOTHING. Your gonna loose your street cred. So you are an old softy :o)

    I agreed with her from the onset. She just went kookoo on me out of the blue. I was startled.

    Perhaps if I go nuts for the world to see, people will start being nice to me on these blogs. KoooKooo for Cocoa Puffs, grrrrrr, froth (from the mouth), mu-wa-ha ha ha. I will take over the world. Racists Racist under my bed!! ha ha ha aha

    Did it work??

  • Nancy

    No; it’s Thursday & I’m too tired to rise to it. Good try, tho. As I get older I DO get more, ah, ‘soft’ & appeasing, as you put it, I suppose. I’ve always apologized when I’m proved wrong anyway, though. I was brought up to think that was the adult way to behave. I see what you mean by the example you gave, but you still haven’t told me exactly what statement El is wrong about, or is it in general? I mean, what specifically did she say that you disagreed with? It seemed to become a general falling-out over everything.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Oh dear. Here I go. Zedd #130 show me the manual. Just to make sure, lest I be deemed appropriately insane and insensitive, I was being sarcasticky. Ok, as for #143, I see what you’re saying but seems quite parochial. I’ve met many non-Italians who know so much more than I do about Italian culture and I have respected their outlook. I wasn’t kidding about the Somalian. The irony of your words is that some Africans know Italian history and culture well enough to discuss it. You need not be Italian. True, there are certain things about the culture that may be overlooked by an outsider but if you marry into it or are close to ti you’ll get a firm idea. Need not be tied to the blood. All it does is limit intellectual discourse. Furthermore, some of the finest historians, as an example, have been British. Does that preclude them from writing about Ancient Egypt? Greece? Rome? Absolutely not. So dare I say I reject and refute- in my judgement – point #143. It leads to intellectual stagnation.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    It’s simply not true that Italians are experts on things Italian. All such attempts to limit people’s rights to discuss topics outside of their own origin are simply attempts to shape and control the dialogue and are almost always a bad idea.

    For example my virtual buddy Ruvy in Jerusalem often uses that line of reasoning in a vain attempt to prevent non-Israelis, sometimes even Israelis that don’t live in Israel, from commenting or opining on events in that region. It’s just not going to happen…

  • Clavos

    @#147:

    Well said, Alessandro. Bene!

    To say, “I know more about (insert race, culture, etc. here) than you, because I am one,” is perfectly legitimate.

    To deny completely the legitimacy of another’s acquired knowledge about that race, culture, or what have you because they are not a member is a specious argument which totally cuts off all discussion, to the detriment of everyone involved and of knowledge in general.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Clavos, prego. It is indeed specious. Let’s expand this: I’m a food purist. Don’t serve me “the best risotto in town” if it’s not. That’s because I know good risotto thanks to mamma. However, does that mean a non-Italian can’t cook a mean risotto or any other Italian dish? And by this I do not mean pasta and pizza. I mean the hard core stuff. Once more, I look to the Brits. True, one may look and say what does a Brit know about food? However, you must accord them the right to try. Just because they are British does not necessarily mean there are no talented chefs. Take Jamie Oliver. He went all over Italy trying to cook to please Italians – good luck. In any event, not only was it interesting (because as an Italian I was able to relate to the neurosis Italians have for all things refined and the beautiful scenery) he proved in the process he could cook. He was able to ingrain himself in the Italian culinary culture. Amazing what talent and an open mind can do. He is a legitimate chef who understands Italian food. Now, if you’re Italian and you dismiss him based on his ethnicity or nationality then you are a fool. As for me, just don’t put pineapples on my pizza. That’s just not right. And it’s parmigiano reggiano; not parmesan. I have no effen clue what parmesan is.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    The statements I found incorrect and replied to were Ruvy’s. It’s Elvira that jumped in and went nutty. Ruvy and I have a tete a tete which is silly but I annoy him periodically. It’s an standing “thing” if I may say. He exaggerates everything and goes ballistic for no reason and I’ve gotten used to it. At least he’s stopped answering me in Hebrew and with long blazing dissertations :o). Elvira just burst in like a wild banshee without real context and went bonkers. I was just stunned then attempted to field off the wierdness and eventually got annoyed and told her to de-familiarize herself with me.

    Also, you did address her. Your response was very long. I read it. I knew it was to her. Why didn’t she? Uhhhmmm, any way. You were very lucid and very diplomatic. You gave examples that would alleviate any mistrust towards you, yet some how it’s you that ended up apologizing. Snicker.

    We don’t know what people are doing at home when they post. Are they at a crack house? Perhaps they have a fifth of vodka in their other hand? Who knows. Did they omit to take their anti psychotic medication? However, erratic behavior is erratic behavior. I am not going to placate it or voluntarily submit to unwarranted cruelty; actually turn on my computer at home in the comfort of my bedroom or desk and participate in my own bashing (for no reason). Especially if the person shows no sign of getting anything really, they are just rambling, could be drunk or just crazy….

    There is an archetype of a women that does this however. There is one in every work place. High schools and sorority houses are crammed with this sort of person. They cause friction and once they are addressed, they morph into a damsel in distress, hence the outcry for saviors on this thread. I have very little respect for that and will not perpetuate that sort of behavior so I just jump ship.

    Its clear however that the issue of race needs to be discussed more.

  • Nancy

    Zedd, so I’m a wuss – sometimes. Challenge me on Dubya & watch me grow fangs a foot long & a will of tempered steel. Forget Elvira when you’re in the mood for erratic & try Moonraven sometime. She can go from funny & civil to clawing your throat out in 1 sentence flat. I never know what I’m going to say she’ll take offense at. Now Arch – hell, I KNOW I can offend HIM every time. He’s consistent.

  • Zedd

    Christopher

    With your reasoning you are saying that there is no point to formal education. If knowledge is not gained through participation and engrossment in a subject matter then what is the use of going to school for a specific discipline. Any one can add their two cents if they FEEL that they are right.

    If I am a brain surgeon and you are a podiatrist you would be cautious about disputing my diagnosis of a man’s brain because I have gained the experience and knowledge which renders me more capable than you to make that assessment.

    No one is saying (shame on you) that no one can discuss things that are Italian. I am saying that if you have not been engrossed in Italian culture and are not an expert in things that are Italian (history, culture, etc) you have no place disputing with an Italian about what is part of Italian culture if that Italian is knowledgeable about his culture.

    I cant argue with you about the neighborhood that you grew up in Chris. I am very familiar with British culture, have been there many times, London is my favorite city, was born in a British culture (SA), feel nostalgic when I watch some shows on BBC America, miss fish and chips from a a paper, with vinegar and a sinful quantity of salt where you almost want to eat the paper(don’t know if its still done)I did eat the paper as a child. I miss good Indian food….mmmmm. I’m getting hungry what was I talking about…. Oh that’s right, but I cant argue with you about very specific things about YOUR neighborhood. You can interpret things down to the walk of a person. There are details that you just know. You just do. My interpretation is skewed by MY world view.

    We all have an ethnocentric view point. That is why when Cultural Anthropologists go into a culture they go there knowing that their interpretations will be skewed so they are TRAINED to disarm themselves of their preconceptions, even then they are still ethnocentric.

    Those preconceptions are not a bad thing because we need them in order to make sense of our own world but one cant apply them to a culture that they are unfamiliar with. That is when misunderstanding comes in.

    For instance, Blacks are frequently called “ANGRY” by White Americans. We are like “huh?? angry??” Whatever signals Blacks are sending out, they read as ANGRY to many Whites. To Blacks its just confusing and has been for years. In most of those cases no one is any where near angry. Its a cultural interpretation.

    I hope you understand now. Sorry for the novel.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    Funny. I don’t touch MR. LooooLooo. She is funny and a whip though. Arch is fun. I am not buying into his Schick though. I think hes smarter than he lets on. I soften up on JOM when I realised that he was 29. Speaking about wakos, I miss Shark. I got his humor. Maybe he went to rehab or something.

  • zingzing

    i thought archie was 29. jom seems like he’s 12, although he does have a sailor’s mouth, the screaming fuckhead. whoop.

  • Nancy

    I didn’t see where Chris said anything like that, Zedd … which comment # are you talking about? JOM I don’t take notice of or respond to any more. He’s cleaned up his act, but he’s far too old (if he is 29, that is, & not 9, as he sounds with some of the stupid childish things he says) for some of the really filthy stuff he used to use online. In any event, he never engages in actual debate or argument – just insults. I can’t be bothered anymore, & I refuse to respond to juvenile insults.

    *sigh* I knew I couldn’t say it right if I tried to explain in *print* as it were. Of course people can talk with authority about their ‘own’ group. Quite a few writers have, with considerable authority as well as humor (see: Cleveland Amory, The Proper Bostonians). There are others who have written about ‘alien’ groups with equal success (see: Stephen Birmingham, Lace Curtains, Our Crowd). There’s a reason someone coined the phrase “you don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s” [bread] & everyone thinks it’s a classic. Of course there are some generalities that can be made of all groups, as long as it isn’t stated as an absolute (“ALL whites do this; ALL blacks do that; ALL Italians eat this; ALL southerners talk like that”) because that’s when the trouble starts, in that everyone ISN’T like this or that. There’s bound to be anomalies, of course there are. Certainly one can say (if one is black) ‘most blacks do/think/say such & such’ & that’s OK. It’s when someone says ‘ALL blacks (or ALL Jews, or ALL women, or ALL Ainu)’ that I have to cavil. And certainly one can discuss other groups & speak with good authority. As I said, I know far more about black history, art, & lit than my neighbors, & they’re black (well, SHE’S black & HE’S French, according to them; but this is typical for a Frenchman to think of The French as a race unto themselves, I guess, lol). In the same way, being critical of a group is not necessarily being anti-that group. We’ve all got warts; only a fool denies it & claims to have been right all the time (Dubya, anybody?). But then again, we all know people – of all races & religions – who just refuse to take any kind of criticism, however kindly or helpful, as anything less than a personal, deadly insult. They’re so constantly looking for insults they see/hear them everywhere, even where they’re not meant.

    I do it, too. One blessing about getting older is that you stop being so hypersensitive about things. I used to think when I was a teen that if anyone looked in my general direction, they were staring because I was fat, or my nose was too big, or my hair was weird, or whatever the feature of the day was I was obsessing about. Now I don’t care, because I know in reality they probably don’t even see me, but are wondering if they remembered to turn off the lights when they left home or not – or they’re wondering if I’m staring at THEM because they’re fat, big-nosed, etc. As you (Zedd) say, people are funny (odd).

  • Nancy

    LOL, Zing – ! Poor JOM: for everyone to think the same thing when his name comes up.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    As for facial expressions. Most of the time I’m snickering. I am really silly. I sound really serious. I always have been but I am a happy person. I am perpetually snickering. One of those people who rarely gets angry. It takes a lot (mainly mama bear stuff) to really anger me. I’m more likely to chuckle (later after holding it). The reason that I can stay on a lot of discussions forever is because I think its funny most of the time. With Elviras posts I had a look of shock then an “alrighty then look” then I chuckled because I thought a melt down was eminent.

    OMG….EXcuse me…. The Anna Nicole Judge is loosing it on TV…. Talk about meltdown.

    Any way. I was raised with a lot of love and laughter so I take things with a sense of humor. I lived in Ozzie and Harriet land so I feel very comfy with myself and 99.999% of people. I meet no stranger. I’ve been told that I look prim and proper though, its when those who’ve made that assessment get to know me that they realise that I am goofy.

  • Heloise

    Nicolo in the words of some black kid that used to be on TV “What you talkin bout Willis?”

    You really don’t have a clue either. FYI I have not retreated. I’ve just been there and back with Jews. We spent some time beating each other up when a Jewish person, man from Hawaii, gave me the group he did not have time for. I turned it into a Politico-Spiritual blog.

    We, the whole group against me they were mostly Jewish, just went hog wild with their comments. For days on end. I let them have their say. Then they went away. And now I am the king of the road.

    So I have been beat up by the best Jews have to offer. I’ve heard it all therefore just don’t feel it worth my while to repeat what I already know is going to be said in return. You forgot “Jews think alike, are monolithic.”

    Yes, they are most of the doctors too.

  • Heloise

    I most certainly do have a degree in sociocultural anthropology from a very respectable university in Illinois…thank you very much.

    I have done field work, but I prefer historical archeology. Got a letter of introduction from William J. Wilson (look him up) so that I could study at the Sorbonne in Paris, because he had a colleague there.

    So talk what you know.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Heloise: screw Arnold. Yeah, you’re right. I’m clueless. After decoding – through an interpreter – the masterpieces you have presented what was I thinking? I have copied and pasted your wise, spiritual words next to my Jabberwocky poster. I bow before you and your brilliance.

  • Clavos

    I most certainly do have a degree in sociocultural anthropology from a very respectable university in Illinois

    Earning it obviously didn’t teach you anything about how unethical and immoral it is for someone “trained” in anthropology to be a bigot.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    #149 I agree.

  • sr

    GREAT DAY IN DIXIE. I have many Jewish friends as well as black friends. You will find them picking cotton on the fields of my plantation.

  • STM

    Zedd wrote: “was born in a British culture (SA)”.

    Zedd, I wouldn’t describe South Africa in the apartheid era as a British culture, unless you lived somewhere like Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London or Durban – and even there the law handed down from Pretoria was the law of the land.

    The official language of Zuid Afrika at the time was Afrikaans, not English. If you grew up outside Johannesburg, as you say, it’d be even less of a British culture. A bit of influence perhaps, but it was the Japies who ran the country from up on the Veldt.

  • Nancy

    What – both of them?

  • Nancy

    Oops – I was referring to SR’s comment, but that dear Ozzie, STM, got in first. Oh well. So much for wit.

  • STM

    Sorry Nancy … :)

  • Nancy

    Nooo you’re not. But I forgive you anyway, because you’re an Ozzie so you’re cute – and I like your writing.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd: it’s not fair to switch the argument from nationalities to jobs and I think my point is still valid in general terms. To recap, it seems hugely unfair to try to limit outsider perspectives on any topic…

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Miss Elvira, I appreciate the point of being uncomfortable with the promiscuous use of the N word, but it’s probably misguided to worry about the word “nigger,” in that it’s just a word – a mere subtle twist of sound waves passing in the wind.

    When Michael Richards or the Klan use the word, it’s a pretty wicked weapon. But then arguably the casual use of the term as fraternal greeting seems to have taken most of the sting out of it. Young black kids hearing the word today probably don’t get the feelings of fear and trembling their grandparents in Missisippi had. And being a nigger is distinctly cool in Pulp Fiction and other such.

    The problem is largely self-hatred in certain quarters, and the particular use of the one word isn’t the cause of all that.

  • Zedd

    STM

    Cape Town is actually the least British of all of those areas. It’s very Afrikaaner.

    I was born in Jo’burg, my family is from the Durban area. While the surrounding areas are Boer areas, Jo’burg is a cosmopolitain but English city. Actually unless you are in certain areas which I wont bore you with, South Africa is quite British. While Afrikaans is embedded into our culture and certainly in slang, it sounds really cool because in is guttural, in slang that is, but Afknrs were sort of looked down upon and many really did not identify with their culture. Boers tried to introduce Afrikaans as the primary language (a very difficult language). That is actually what started the students protests on 76 and the rest is history. Anyway, they are more like one of the many tribes that are represented in the country.

    Don’t forget, the Afrikaner only took over in the 40’s. Certainly not enough time to embed their culture in a country of proud, strong and well established cultures (British, Zulus, Indian). We are tea drinkers, fish and chips obsessed, chutney smearing, custard lovers, beef steak and kidney pie eating, dettol using, English speakers. When I particularly miss home I go to either an Indian grocery store or a British import food store. Just seeing the brands on the tins makes me feel wonderful. Can you imagine one missing the smell of dettol.

    Now don’t forget I am speaking of SA in comparison to the US. Whenever I’m in London I start to feel more like home (sans the architecture). Also the splatter of British blood ads to the comfort level :o)

  • Zedd

    Christopher

    I am against limiting any conversation. It wasn’t me who suggested that anyone’s conversation or contribution be limited. However it is pointless to have a conversation with anyone who simply doesn’t know the subject matter and continues to insist that what you know (a la the neighborhood you grew up in) is something that it is not. There is no democracy in that arena. Either you know or you don’t. If you don’t know ask questions. If you think you know, engage but acknowledge when you are wrong.

    Also when someone wants to insist that a group of people is bad and seems to anger when you explain that “they are not” because you know and understand them well, what is one to do?

    It seems to me that it is that individual who is stifling conversation by their insistence on pushing a notion that does not exist and bullying the other person into supporting their misinterpretation. I find it strange and am forced to wonder why it is so important for that person to see the worst interpretation of those people.

    I used the analogy of professions in order to clearly illuminate the notion that the extent of knowledge affects one’s credibility and authority on a subject matter. Its not a democracy

  • STM

    “Cape Town is actually the least British of all of those areas.”

    There’s still a freer flow of thought in the western cape than there is up on the veldt. I know there are a lot of Afrikaners there, but my experience has been that there are a lot less there with the laager mentality than up north. It’s also a major international port, Zedd, so that helps too with the exchange of ideas. Lots of really mixed raced heritage too.

    Contrast Cape Town to old Pretoria, or parts of Johannesburg, and they are very different animals.

    Having said all that, I still think that what South Africans of all races, colours and creeds have achieved in the past 15 years is a major miracle (as opposed to a minor one).

    As I’ve said before, it’s not perfect, but some places haven’t been able to achieve it over thousands of years. Perhaps there is hope for us all.

  • STM

    Zedd: I miss Britain too, especially beautiful Kent, and the Scottish borders, the two places where I spent most of my time and went to school as a boy. Nothing will convince me that there is anywhere as beautiful as rural England, despite the fact that when I’m there, I always miss this big, brown, sunburnt country. Jars of Vegemite relieve the homesickness, plus you can get Dettol in the UK :) Just like SA, generations of Aussie kids have had the stuff smeared over their cuts and grazes. What do the Yanks have that equates?

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Re: #173:

    Rough translation (for the benefit of Allesandro et al):

    I’m black, you’re not. If a Jew tells me that he had an experience with an angry, bitter black kid who hated whites and beat up on some hapless white drunk, it can’t be true! Why do whites insist on seeing us as angry? Never mind the high rate of crime within certain segments of the young black population. Because I’m black, I can simply not accept that a Jew could have had a negative experience with a black kid he was trying to help.

    After all, he’s not black. Therefore, he must be lying or exaggerating.

    “I,” on the other hand, because of my blackness (and despite any international cultural influences) identify myself as an African American though I am not a native of the US.

    Because I am black and an adoptive African-American, I must defend my people at every turn. I must be in total denial about the fact that African Americans may also be capable of bigotry, because they have a good excuse to hate whites and Jews.

    All the inroads that have been made thus far and the opportunities that exist for AA’s must be downplayed so that everyone can remember that we are victims and any failures in our youth are not our doing for not being positive role models or for turning a blind eye. No, it is still white people’s fault. Black kids should not be held accountable for any wrongdoing. Imagine–a Jew insisting that he encountered a kid who actually beat up a drunk white! Such a thing could never have happened! No, no, no!

    Because I am black, I don’t need no stinkin’ links. This is no democracy. If you are not black, you have no right to speak about blacks, period–whether you are saying something positive or negative, you simply have no right to say a thing about our people. Even if you are an historian specializing in African American history, your authority is suspect because you have not lived life as a black person.

    I, however, can feel free to say the most outrageous things about whites and Jews, because I’m the oppressed one and they deserve to be punished for the color of their skin and their collective guilt.

    You want proof of my assertions? Here’s a list of books. Do your OWN damn research. I am right because I am black, period. I don’t have time to spend gathering links to back up my points. I’m black–that’s all the linkage you need. My credibility is sacrosanct due to my genetically induced skin tone.

    Meanwhile, I can move freely through both worlds–having my cake and eating it too. I can come on all sweet and nice–but if I need to go so far as to personally attack the author so directly that Christopher finds it necessary to delete it, so be it. This is not a democracy.

    I even agreed with the author of the piece, at least initially, because hell, she was “respectful” and made some decent points, even if she is a Jew and all. But I have a bone to pick with Ruvy, so if he dares to show his Jewish face on this thread, I’ll turn my venom onto him full force.

    So what if Ruvy was actually well-meaning enough back in the day to try to help troubled youth. How dare he say anything to a misguided black kid? Hey, he was just a kid talking trash and you are a dirty Jew liar. That’s what you Jews are known for, amongst other things, and we all know what they are, don’t we?

    If Ruvy or other whites or Jews say anything positive about black culture, they are just condescending and disrespectful. If they dare to admit that there are some serious problems within some segments of the black community, they had best shut their ignorant mouths. They are not black. They don’t understand our struggles, which are unique. No one else, including Jews could possibly understand what it’s like to be hated because of one’s genetic origins.

    I, however, am free to attack whites and defend the actions of our poor innocent misguided black youth whenever I see fit. How dare you speak on behalf of my people or against them? This is not a democracy.

    The author of this piece, whom I initially seemed to agree with, is obviously gravely mentally ill, drunk, and a damsel in distress to boot. You can’t stereotype any of my people, but I know your type, believe you me I do. Those white sorority girls who need to be rescued–I just don’t “engage” with them at all. And no, I’m not stereotyping here for my own ends. You see, I know all about you whites and Jews, and if I tell you that the author of this piece is a sorority sister who needs rescuing, believe it. Why? Because I’m black, so I can talk all I want and stereotype whites and Jews all day long. But you can’t do the same to me. This is not a democracy.

    And by the way, Nancy, why are you being so nice and apologizing to the author of this piece? Why aren’t you completely siding with me?

    See, even though I was not born here and so am not an African American in the same sense as one would normally use the term, I know all about it. Simply because of the color of my skin, I know all about the experience of blacks who were born here and whose ancestors were slaves here. No, it doesn’t matter at all that I do not have the same heritage, though my countrymen did experience similar oppression. Even though Jews have experienced discrimination and much worse, they cannot understand their fellow Americans’ struggles because they are not black. I, on the other hand, can speak for the native born African American despite the fact that I am not. Why? Because my skin is darker than yours.

    And by the way, understand this: if you are white, you are a racist. If I am black, I am not a racist, no matter how egregiously I attack whites and Jews. I have this right. You don’t. This is not a democracy.

    Yes, I like to joke around. Don’t you guys get it? “Most of the time I’m snickering. I am really silly. I sound really serious. I always have been but I am a happy person. I am perpetually snickering.” Here I am, just trying to show you white folks how reasonable and nice I really am. Why fly off the handle at personal attacks and ad hominem slurs? What is wrong with attacking Ruvy the Jew for relating those experiences he had? He is a liar. I know he is. No black kid would ever ever do such a heinous thing. And of course that young black kid hates whites. He’s entitled. And why should I admit, no matter how grudgingly, that a Jewish man was trying to help one of my own by telling him that his anti-social hate filled attitude would hold him back?

    I’d rather see the future and potential of myriad black youths go down the toilet than own up to the fact that there is a problem with racism in this country and some of it involves racism by blacks.

    And now class, I suggest that you shut your ignorant white pieholes and get busy studying these page-turners, just for a start, before you dare “dialogue” with the likes of me:

    Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks
    by George J. Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger, Gordon H. Hanson

    President Reagan’s Conservative Fiscal Policy: Unemployment among African Americans (Paperback)
    by Chiazam Ugo Okoye (Author)

    Youth Unemployment, Underemployment. A Continuing Delima
    by Ray Marshall

    Then you come back here and talk some more. But whatever you say, if I still don’t agree with it, just remember: you’re not black. You will never, ever understand. This is not a democracy.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Nancy et al:

    Just briefly (yeah, right):

    Yes, I admit that Zedd is perhaps not as overtly “racist” as, say Heloise. She tries to walk the line and fancies herself to be an open-minded, reasonable person–as long as you agree with her, that is. Oh, and don’t presume to talk about blacks unless you have black skin. Other than that, you’re cool.

    Using her own argument, I hereby assert that she has not lived in a native African Americans’ shoes. She has her own, more Euorpean based culture which she freely admits to. So why does the color of her skin entitle her to be the expert on all things African AMERICAN while I, who was born here and live amongst people of all races and nationalities, am not allowed to speak about blacks and what I know and see and hear, both positive and negative?

    Christopher, I know the comment policy, but I also kind of wish you had let Zedd’s comment stand as is. By censoring her, you are not fully revealing her–you should pardon the expression–true colors.

    No, she didn’t come completely out of her bag a la Heloise, but I also didn’t hear a peep from her about the egregious slurs Heloise was piling on like horseshit all over this thread.

    Her attack on Ruvy was so far out of left field that it shocked me, just as my defense of Ruvy seemed to shock her.

    Nancy, as far as Jews being super sensitive, this may be true in some cases–but not, in general, to the same extreme demonstrated by Heloise and Zedd on this thread. It’s like Zedd’s inserted some sort of African American pre-programming chip into her brain that compels her to attack the minute someone like Ruvy appears on the scene. Her attack was completely and utterly uncalled for, and I took her up on it. That’s all.

    You see, I don’t have to wait for her to attack me directly to fight back. I’m not going to sit idly by and let her ream out my friend here and say nothing, as some other readers here have chosen to do.

    Nancy and even Christopher seem to be taking enormous pains not to light into Zedd as they might with, say, Ruvy (I speak only of Christopher here vis a vis Ruvy). They are bending over backwards to be civil and politely inquire as to what she is really getting at. It couldn’t really be what it seems, could it? After all, she seems so reasonable and nice on the surface.

    Never once did she make a peep that I can recall when her sister in arms Heloise lit into the Jews. After all, she must support her people at all costs, even if they are contributing to the perpetuation of the most horrible lies and distortions about Jews. There is a double standard at play here–a do as I say, not as I do schtick–that is so illogical and maddening that it makes the mind boggle. But she knows full well that she can get away with bullshit that Ruvy could never hope to–not in a million years.

    Nancy: yes, some Jews, like every other “minority” group in America, will get their backs up at the slightest provocation. However, as the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. When Heloise comes on this thread and proves by her outrageous and mostly unchallenged statements that some blacks’ hatred of Jews is as outlandishly virulent as any Nazi or Islamic fundamentalist could hope to be, am I supposed to pretend that I didn’t read what I read, or somehow misinterpreted it?

    One of the points of my piece is that there is some “truth” to every sterotype. Thus, I am a Jewish princess (though of a very mild variety compared to the real thing) and my boyfriend is the stereotypical goy. I’ve often likened his persona to some of the great goyishe heroes of the big screen–part Clint Eastwood in his spaghetti western period; part Jon Voight as the hapless and naive Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy.

    The parallels between our relationship and that of my mother and father are downright eerie. BG’s dad was born in Oklahoma only a few miles from where my father was born in Arkansas. Like BG, my dad came to NYC and fell in love with a bona fide New York Jewgirl–my mom, born on the Lower East Side.

    One of our favorite lines is taken from Schindler’s list–the part where Ray Fiennes, as the rifle toting Nazi sniper who likes to pick off Jews for sport, starts to be attracted to his Jewish maid servant. A fellow Nazi officer notices his obvious attraction, and warns him not to develop a “taste for Jewish skirt.” BG, like my dad, did just this–despite the cultural discrpancies of big city Jew girl and small town white boy.

    Despite the fact that A, my Orthodox Jewish aunt, could never approve of my relationship with a non-Jew, my mother broke with tradition by marrying my dad.

    My aunt F, on the other hand–who was, like my mom, thoroughly assimilated–supports her children’s decisions to marry whomever they choose to. One son married a WASP who converted to Judaism. Another son moved to Thailand, married a Thai woman, and had a child with her. Her daughter moved to California and adopted an Asian baby.

    Time and again, F has confided in me about how hurt she is that although A talks about her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren at length, she has no interest in hearing much about F’s children and their kids. Why? Because my aunt A, being Orthodox, simply cannot approve of F’s acceptance of her children’s tendency, as assimilated Jews, to marry outside of their religion and/or race.

    When F first told A that her son was marrying a non-Jew, A was livid. “That’s what happens when you let your children go to out-of town colleges!”–she raved. Being the older sister, A has always felt that she could talk to F as if she were still a child, despite the fact that both women are now well into their 80s.

    Meanwhile, one of A’s sons married an Orthodox woman many years ago. A and her husband M were not orthodox, but became so in an attempt to appease their new daughter in law. Not that they weren’t observant, or didn’t think that being Orthodox was valid, but they really had to toe the line from then on. Being Orthodox is a very involved commitment, but I won’t go into all the “rules and regulations” here.

    As a half-Jew, I was never good enough for the likes of M, my cousin’s wife. No one was quite up to her standards, if truth be told. A didn’t give them expensive enough anniversary gifts. A’s other son N–a terrific guy who met an untimely death and spent his life helping kids of all colors as a social worker–was not Orthodox and thus was not entitled to be in her son’s wedding party. F’s youngest son, who briefly went to the same Yeshiva as M’s kids, was not good enough to associate with either because he wasn’t Orthodox.

    In short, M was the kind of Jew who gives my peeps a bad name.

    Depite my aunt F’s more liberal outlook, when I mentioned that I saw The Passion of the Christ all she could say is that she refused to see it, even though, as an avid movie buff, she saw every movie that came out of the theatres as soon as, or even before, it was released.

    Just like Catholics who protested when the Last Temptation of Christ came out, some Jews assumed the movie was anti-semitic even without having seen it. Now of course, especially in the light of Mel Gibson’s recent drunken rants, one could argue that she was right, I told her that I did see it and that though it was over the top violent, I didn’t resject it outright.

    My aunt F also takes courses and classes, and took a Shakespeare course which included discussion of The Merchant of Venice. F had a lot of trouble with that one–because of course Shakespeare’s depiction of this Jewish character was far from flattering.

    But I would not have the same visceral reaction as she did. I understood that this play was written in a very different time and place, just for starters. It is still a great work of art regardless of whether it is PC or not PC in 21st century America. Moreover, simply because Shakespeare portrayed the merchant in a stereotypical way does not mean that he did not also imbue the charactter with some compassion and humanity– and with a recognition of what it meant to be a despised outcast/outsider.

    In fact, I am willing to admit that some great writers and artists were blatant anti-Semites. But I refuse to deprive myself of their art because of this. Thus I can admire the genius of Ezra Pound, or Celine despite their raging anti-Semitism.

    My aunt A, of course, never realized that some Jews like her, who rejected most blacks outright, were actually cultivating attitudes that were almost akin to Hitler’s when it came to minority groups she disliked. She worked for years in the pubic school system, but most students and teachers were Asians and Jews. She lived cheek to jowl with minorities, but was able to retreat to the safety of her Lower East Side virtual Jewish ghetto where she could safely expound on all the “animals” who should be sterilized.

    Unlike A’s eldest son who married the Orthodox princess, became a math teacher and then a principal, and made “all the right moves,” her son N was the frequent target of her criticism. Why would he choose to be such a bleeding heart and help those “animals” who had all those babies out of wedlock and then abused them?

    N was so devoted to his job that he would spend routinely overtime on emergency cases. As a child welfare case worker, he had to intervene for kids who were horribly abused. He was truly one of the good guys–one of those Jewish folks who are in a sense more Jewish than A because he performed countless “mitzvahs,” or good deeds which are commanded of all Jews, for kids no matter what race they were.

    When Ruvy related his story, he reminded me of my dear departed counsin N. I knew that he was trying to be a positive influence on this black kid’s life, despite the kid’s hatred of whites and Jews. So to see Zedd come out of her bag and attack him for his attempts to do a mitzvah, and then accuse him of lying about a scenariio that is, sadly, all too believable, outraged me. There was no call for it. None at all.

    So yes, if people insist on rubbing my nose in their hatred, I will react. But I’m not one of those super sensitive Jews who will protest a movie or a book that is supposedly anti-Semetic.

    Blacks in this country are not in mortal danger of attack by neighboring countries wishing only for their death, as is the case for Ruvy. He, too, lives cheek to jowl with arabs, and does not despise them all merely because they are not Jewish. Like me, he will not sit idly by and be spit on, however, and will not apologie for defending himself.

    In fact, he seems to go out of his way to try to “dialogue,” as Zedd would say, even with those who attack him. He tries to find some common ground, and readily admits, as I do, that they are evil Jews just as there are good ones, and that this is part of the human condition. He doesn’t try to demonize blacks as a race the way Heloise tries to do with Jews.

    So what di Zedd expect? Attacking Ruvy is like attacking me; just as she feels that criticizing a black kid is an assault on her as a black person. The difference is that just as she “knows” certain things, as a Jew as as a friend of Ruvy, I “know” that he speaks only the truth about this incident.

    As a Jew, I know full well that though Islamic fundamentalists hate all Americans, they hold a special place in their hating hearts for Jews. This is a fact–it is not being supersensitive. It is merely the truth.

    Ruvy and I are not afraid to admit that there are “kikes” amongst us. We are unafraid to air our “dirty laundry,” and believe that in this openness and candor about the good and bad aspects of Jews, Arabs, and all others lies our best hope for mutual understanding. Thus my strong belief that even if we may be “sensitive,” we are not unduly so, considering that anti-Semities like Heloise run around unchallenged, spewing their vileness. Combine that with the fact that Ruvy is surrounded by countries whose leaders’ most fervent wish is for the destruction of his home, himself, his wife, his children, and his countrymen, and I would maintain that we both exercise admirable restraint.

    Heloise and Zedd would never dare admit that blacks have any flaws–moreover, they accept and encourage and enable these flaws. They embrace them as a symbol of their “blackness,” their “otherness,” their refusal to assimilate into American society. They are perfectly happy to take advantage of all the opportunities afforded them and to “snicker” at the way guilt-ridden PC whites will contort themselves in an attempt to excuse any and all rants against the white race and their sins.

    Jews like Ruvy and I have more brains and balls and compassion than blacks like Heloise and Zedd could ever hope to have.

  • Nancy

    El – I hope you’re less upset, but I suspect not. I did point out to Zedd that blacks forget that Jews have been among their staunchest supporters, yet they choose to remember only the few they find offensive. & I’ve included them in my opinions of being hypersensitive & intolerant of criticism, no matter how justifiable. I’m NOT after you or Ruvy or any other Jew. As I said, one can criticise without being antiSemitic or racist; they aren’t the same thing.

    Heloise doesn’t need anyone else to call her out on her remarks, which ARE racist & offensive; by talking that way, she proclaims herself & doesn’t need any help buildng a scaffold & hanging herself with such trash talk. I’m taken aback, because I don’t remember her ever talking like this before. It could be she really feels this way, it could be she’s just wanting to strike out for something else going on & this subject was the one that got her attention & she doesn’t mean it. Sometimes I’ll rant about something that happens to be an obvious target, but my feelings really aren’t that extreme. In any event, I have enough trouble getting myself & my own big mouth out of trouble, so I’m not going to try to get her out, too. ;) As I said, I haven’t seen this side of her before, so I’m waiting to see before I judge. Everyone can have an off day when they stick their feet in their mouths & say things they shouldn’t & wish they hadn’t.

    You’re right, just because you’re paranoid, etc. etc. There are definitely a lot of jerks out there who hate Jews just because they’re Jewish. Some muslims (not all) – but these particular muslims, who do they NOT hate? Jews, Americans,
    western Europeans, christians, fellow muslims of different sects & on & on, they’d probably hate Mohammed if he were still around. NO ONE is saying you shouldn’t defend yourself verbally or otherwise against people who attack you or plan harm against you; of course not. I’m just pointing out that everyone who criticizes you is NOT against you or gunning for you or anti Semitic, & far too many Jews interpret anyone who isn’t totally uncritical as being just that. I consider that those who tell me I look fat in a certain outfit, or warn me of improvements to myself I could make, are actually my friends. Only your good friends will tell you unsavory facts in order to save you from making an ass of yourself in public, so to speak. You’re an intelligent woman; I hope you can tell the difference between my comments & their intent & stuff like Heloise is spouting. If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t bother to respond to you – like I ignore JOM; as far as I would be concerned,you wouldn’t exist.

    Anyway, after reviewing the comments, I don’t think Zedd is really antiSemitic – she’s just pissed off at you. Heloise is another matter, if she really means what she’s saying. If she doesn’t, hopefully she’ll apologize & stop it. If she does, well, have at her & I’ll second you. I don’t like to read that sort of crap myself. I hope she doesn’t mean it. As I said, it’s atypical of her.

    Meanwhile, be calm. Have a cup of chamomile tea or two & a nice hot bath to feel better relax. Getting this upset will only create wear & tear on yourself & no harm to anyone else. I do hope you’ll feel better.

    Good lord – I sound like my grandmother-!

  • http://ruvysroost,blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Elvira,

    Thank you for your eloquent words and powerful defense of me and what I stand for, even though I do understand that you do not agree with all of it.

    I couldn’t expect you to. When you have two Jews, you generally have at least three opinions… :o))

    But I will say this, something I never want you to forget.

    You are not a half-Jew. You may have ties to another belief system, but either you are a Jew, or you aren’t. Your mother was Jewish when you were born to her. That in itself was enough to entitle you to FULL membership in the Tribe. End of discussion. This is Halakhá (Law) and it applies to you as it does to every single Jew on the planet.

    What you do with that status is a different story.

    You can pursue that path of your destiny, or not. And how you pursue that path is up to you. In the end, that decision must be yours and yours alone, a matter between you and your Creator. A fellow Jew or Child of Israel can attempt to help you, and G-d can push you in the direction He desires, but sof sof (in the final analysis), the decision itself and the consequences that flow from that decision, lie upon your shoulders alone.

    I look outside my window facing the mountains of the Shomron, and think about all my brother and sister Jews who ought to be coming home. I think of my sister, her sons (my nephews), their children, my cousins – all of whom stay in exile and imperil their lives thereby. I think of my friends (and I count you among them) as well and worry about them, knowing that the only power I have is the power of faith, and the persuasiveness this keyboard grants me.

    May you look into your heart and remember your Home. No, not Long Island or Brooklyn or the Bronx – but your true Home, where Rachel, the beloved of Jacob, where her soul weeps for the children who have not yet returned to her.

    Shabbat Shalom,
    Reuven

  • http://ruvysroost,blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Elvira,

    On last thing. No, I am not lecturing you, nor criticizing you. You perceive well the ways of your people and the Torah of truth lies upon your tongue. A woman of valor indeed, far more compassionate, cunning and intelligent than any rat of any variety.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    I don’t have issues with Jews. Please don’t involve me in the madness that you choose to engage in. You have absolutely no need to point anything out to me about Jews. I’m not even pissed at Elvira. I’m annoyed with her. She is like a little pariah just yapping and nipping without reason. She tags on and just harasses. Its like being in a Salvador Dali painting. Last time she followed me from thread to thread talking about something that was unrelated to what I was saying. Making accusations then responding as if I had made the statement that she made up. It looks as if she’s starting that. It’s just crazy to read someone talking about people of MY ilk (snicker). It sounds like the smatterings of a meltdown.

    There are horrible Jews, simply terrible people and there are kind and loving Jews. Like every other group. (I feel silly for even having to explain how I feel about Jews… sigh). Its all so crazy in a funny and dramatic way. Now I’m Archie Bunker because I didn’t buy Ruvy’s post. For a person to take credit for the successes of another because of a sort of shared “heritage” is childish. As for them being any smarter than others, that is just childish. I cant take credit for MLK and say WE are xyz. That’s just embarrassing.

    Prior to Elvira’s posts would you have tagged my contributions and defined me the way this woman has decided to spin “me”? I don’t even come from a generation that cares about Jewness. Its all so cartoonish. I can just see scores of the gen X ers having meetings about Jews. Its all outdated. Who cares….

  • Clavos

    Prior to Elvira’s posts would you have tagged my contributions and defined me the way this woman has decided to spin “me”?

    As regards the attitudes you’ve expressed towards whites and men since you first started commenting here on BC: YES, emphatically, yes.

    You’ve shown a clear bias and have portrayed the same attitude about blackness (only Blacks can know anything about Blacks) that Elvira has been talking about.

    You asked.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    I was not referring to my views of White male’s contribution to the injury of millions and their cultures over the ages, all over the globe. A very true statement. None could be truer.

    I am speaking about what Elvira is saying.

    I doesn’t look like you have really read this thread.

    The worse think that I have done on this thread is say that what they were saying about the Black community was not true or not a characteristic of Black culture.

    What is so bad about that. Why should I agree to something that is not true.

    How is that saying that no one can say anything about Blacks but Blacks.

    You read Elvira’s definition of what I said to RUVY, not her and ran with it. The question is, did I say that?

    I said they are wrong because they don’t know. If they don’t know, they don’t know.

    Stop joining. Geez now your championing koooks.
    You are intelligent. Stand on your own two feet.

  • Zedd

    Nancy

    Sorry correction. The first couple of sentences should have read:

    Correct, I don’t have issues with Jews. But please don’t involve me in the madness that you choose to engage in.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    My comment was basically that I don’t think you are all that bright. I don’t know if you are mentally ill or not but don’t write to me.

  • Nancy

    That’s OK; I understood you.

  • Zedd

    STM

    We use alcohol mainly in place of Dettol for cuts. Dettol was a cure all. My granny used it for everything.

    The English countryside is intoxicating. Very few times does the real thing surpass its renditions. Post cards and movies don’t do it justice. The simple ride from Gatwick to Heathrow is enchanting.

    However SA has some scenery to die for too. The variation in that tiny country is remarkable. Seeing homes embedded on the side of the greenest mountain (complicated modern structures or picturesque little huts) is beautiful.

    I agree with you, what has happened in that country is incredible. I keep holding my breath hoping that it sticks. I may be prejudice but that country, even before the end of Apartheid, feels magical and full of a lot of confidence, while understated, its palatable. Its unique.

  • Nancy

    Sounds like the cough syrup my grandmother used to make: 1 oz each of lemon juice, honey, – & a 1/2 cup of Jack Daniels! After taking it, it didn’t matter if you were sick; you didn’t feel it any more & didn’t care if you did.

  • Nancy

    Out of curiousity, where on earth did the term “honkey” come from? Is that for people who honk, or something?

  • Nancy

    Out of curiousity, where on earth did the term “honkey” come from? Is that for people who honk, or something? ‘Nigger’ obviously comes from the Latin for ‘black’. ‘Mick’ refers to the (in someone’s opinion) ubiquitous name of ‘Mickey’ among the poor Irish. ‘Polack’ is a variation of ‘Polish, Poland’, ditto ‘hunky’ of ‘Hungary, Hungrian’. ‘Chink’, ‘Jap’,’Ivan’, ‘Canuck’, &’Paky’ – all stem from similar derivations. ‘Wop’ stands for ‘Waiting On Pier’ – a reference to poor Italians arriving in NYC to be picked up by their sponsors here. ‘Frog’ stems from the English reaction to the use in French cuisine of frogs’ legs. Ditto ‘beaner’ for people from Mexico, where beans are a staple of the diet. Some are self-explanatory: ‘wetback’ is someone who swam across the Rio Grande. Those are the only US slurs I’ve heard, thus far.

    Kike is a new one; never heard that before. Where did ‘kike’ come from (what word?)?

    Just out of interest, what other slurs are out there I haven’t listed. If we’re gonna talk offensive, we may as well list them all.

  • Zedd

    Honky:

    Some people suggest that it comes from the White Johns that would go to Black areas and honk for prostitutes

    Another explanation says it comes from a derogatory name for Hungarians “bohunk”.

    Another says it comes from “honky tonk”. A type of wild saloon in the West. Patrons were called “Honkies”.

  • Nancy

    “Bohunk” !? Another new one. Good explanations. Thanks. What other terms of endearment does anybody have that haven’t already been listed?

  • Zedd

    All of those words sound so silly.

    If you were to say them all in a row, it would sound really funny and childish.

    Who really cares about such foolishness. Why did they start in the first place??

    People are mad and hilarious.

  • Nancy

    As to why they started, their origins, that’s what I’m asking. & yeah, they do seem a little silly. Some of them I don’t see how or why they’re considered derogatory. For example, ‘Bohunk’ or ‘hunky’. Why would anybody who was Hungarian be offended at being referred to by a term meaning ‘hungarian’? Like calling an Englishman a ‘Limey’ or an American a ‘Yank'; I just don’t see where the insult is.

    It’s odd what people around the world consider offensive. The English think anything referring to blood, i.e. ‘bloody’ is obscene. Chinese resent mention of turtles. To call someone the son of a turtle is a gross insult. In Spanish, it’s “su madre” – your mother. Nothing else – just, ‘your mother’.

    Oh, I’ve got another one: ‘kraut’, i.e. a German, since Germans were supposed to eat huge amounts of sauerkraut. So, how does a description of my eating habits translate into an insult? If someone called me a ‘hershey’ for my love of chocolate, or ‘carryout’ for my love of catered food, I wouldn’t be offended.

  • Zedd

    Where does the phrase come out of his bag come from? Never heard of that. What bag?

  • Zedd

    I guess my head is supposed to spin if you call me Carbo or Potato or Roast or Sushi or……..

    The turtle thing made me buckle my knees. That was hilarious.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Firstly, I wrote a long comment and I think I lost it.

    Secondly, I just came back and started to read the first para of Zedd’s comments. I can see I’m gonna have some fun with the rest.

    Just for starters, Zedd, I WROTE THIS PIECE. YOu are the interloper, the harasser, the heckler here. Why don;’t you just take your hateful bullshit and GET THE HELL OFF OF MY THREAD!!!

    Likewise, you didn’t write any of the threads I “hounded” you on.

    Thirdly, correct me if I’m wrong, but do you write/blog on BC or elsewhere? Typically, the “woman of no links” has no link to a URL.

    You think you can manipulate me on my own article? You’ve got another think coming, my friend. I will wear you down. That I can guarantee you. I’ve got you in an intellectual head lock and you don’t stand a chance.

    Never underestimate the power of a cynical New York Jew with a flair for words and a sense of humor (not on this article, unfortunately–you and your ilk have sucked it right out of me like the vampires you are).

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    :Let’s compare and contrast, shall we?

    Zedd (today): z’She is like a little pariah just yapping and nipping without reason.zzz’

    Elvira (ages ago, on another thread re: the ravings of Moonraven.

    To paraphrase:
    “Moonraven is nipping at the heels of Dave Nalle, like a yapping chihuahua.”

    Clavos, you are my witness. Either we are so sympatico that even our insults are becoming identical (not) or …. whatever. Perhaps.

    Discuss…

  • MCH

    If the “N” word is Nalle, than yes, it should be banned, IMO.

  • Zedd

    OMG… HELP!!

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Deconstruction du Zedd:

    Zedd (today): “She is like a little pariah just yapping and nipping without reason.

    She is like a little pariah…

    Do you know the meaning of this word, Zedd? It is wise to know what a word means before one uses it.

    Or, if you do, why am I a pariah? As I said, I have a place here–tbis is my article. Pariah as in the sense of everyone disagreeing and shunning me? Obiously not.

    Funny how a “little pariah” brings to mind a little dog–like, maybe, a Chihuahua? )see comment above.) Eerie, isn’t it?

    Moonraver was dubbed a chihuauhua because of her Latin American…um…concern and interests. The precise word–le mot juste–so that people could paint an accurate picture in their mind, as opposed to “that Jew” or “that black.” Capiche?
    .
    But pariah, chihuahua–they do sound a tad similar, now don’t they? Pariah, chihuahua–why am I taking this nitpicky “tone” with you? What’s the freaking difference?

    Just yapping and nipping without reason

    At what or whom, exactly? You? Heloise? Blacks?

    “Communication skills” are a wonderful thing. I like to choose my words carefully–just the right one for the occasion. Not the most pretentious sounding word, but the right one.

    Otherwise, people will misinterpret and misunderstand you, and will start to “yap” at you for clarification.

    PS: Syntax counts too.

  • Zedd

    Clavos:

    Care to chime in on #197 and #198

    Christopher:

    I was really proud of my comments to Elvira. Why did you erase them. I was brilliant!!!!

    MCH:

    Beyond funny!! Watch it though, Clavos is going to come after you. You messed with his lead mentor (although Elvira seems to be taking Daves place). CHUCKLES!!

    To add my contribution to the Kook Fest:

    I can just see little Clavos (I imagine him to be real tiny) sitting at the feet of this Jewish lady (like Ray Ramano’s mom), except she’s dressed in sausage tight black mermaid dress like the character Elvira. He’s massaging her toes and she’s online typing wildly like an organist. She pauses only to insult him and telling him that he failed to rub in the technique that she asked for. She is all hysterical and saying that he failed her and is working for THE ILK, in a twiney obnoxious voice. Clavos sobs and begs for forgiveness only she’s forgotten what she said to him and is rambling on loudly over his apology about what color she is going to use for her next manicure and how Zedd and her ilk (I love having an ilk… never had one before), anyway, how they are peering into her bathroom window. Clavos picks up a butcher knife….no… a GUN, no several guns. He debates between pistols, semiautomatic handguns, machine pistols, revolvers and “derringers”. He clenches his fists and moans out loud “Ohhhhh WWDD!!!” (what would Dave do??). He decides to go for all of them. When he lifts them, he discovers that they are too heavy for his itty bitty self so he falls down and shoots a huge hole in the ceiling. A couch falls on him and he’s coughing, covered with huge balls of lint and dust. Elvira screams “quit lying around!!!. Could you fix me a burrito or something” ? Alas, The ILK escapes.

    Sorry Clavos I couldn’t resist. I know you have a sense of humor. My ilk made me do it.

  • Zedd

    Chris

    For example my virtual buddy Ruvy in Jerusalem often uses that line of reasoning in a vain attempt to prevent non-Israelis, sometimes even Israelis that don’t live in Israel, from commenting or opining on events in that region. It’s just not going to happen…

    Ruvy talks enough about that reagion for all of us on the world wide web, let alone this site.

    I love the extreme drama of it all though. Its quite entertaining. Elvira is at it too now. Even though I’m kinda scared, I almost want to pop some popcorn and watch it all unfold…. but I sorta want to have a restraining order typed up, just in case.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    You’re not above needing a little restraint yourself sometimes, Ms Zedd…

  • Zedd

    OMG! Its hopeless.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd 202:

    That was pretty funny, actually…

    Don’t flatter yourself, though–I have no desire to stalk you. Again, remember: my article, my thread. You: commenter on my thread. If anyone’s “stalking” anyone, it’s not me.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Ruvy:

    Thanks so much for your incredibly kind comments. As I think I’ve mentioned, I am going to Amsterdam in May, and BG and I may travel further on from there. I feel far too much like a sitting duck in NYC post 9/11–though being in the Bronx, perhaps we wouldn’t get the first hit (I doubt they want to bother bombing the Botanical Gardens).

    But I have thought about becoming an expat with BG sometime down the line. Amsterdam seems just as diverse as NY–I think it may even be majority non-white by now, which seems counterintuitive, but folks from around the world are drawn to Amsterdam as they are to NYC, like a moth to a flame.

    Yes, I know even Amsterdam was not “safe” during WWII, but I’m talking relative safety here. Virtually no violent crime; liberal attitude and yet people abide by the necessary rules to maintain civility; gorgeous city surrounded by canals; stunning architecture that is centuries old; wonderful museums; etc etc….

    Maybe that’s my baby step, Ruvy; perhaps from there I will visit more of Europe, and perhaps from there I will venture further toward the homeland, at least for a visit.

    Only thing is that I can’t quite put my mind around is the Orthodox thing, though in another way I really can. And though you feel that this is the only place where Jews have a fighting chance to survive in the long run, it sure is a dangerous place. I know it is worth it to you, but would it be worth it to me?

    So I think I will spend a bit of time being the “wandering Jew” until I decide where to alight.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Nancy:

    As usual when I read your comments, I feel like there’s a Vulcan mind meld thing going on. Yes, it is very very true that only those who are closest to you can cut through all the politesse and tell it like it really is–though I’m a total wimp that way. If someone asks me if their dress makes them look fat, I probably wouldn’t admit it. I try to be scrupulously honest, but little white lies sometimes seem like the only right thing to do–though I can see that it might be doing a disservice to a friend who can genuinely take it.

    STM (and I’d assume, many of his countrymen) seem to have perfected the art of turning an insult into an endearment (shades of the “n” word?) Wish our society/culture could evolve to that level.

    If Heloise was not like this before (though I doubt that no warning signs were there on other threads or posts) it truly is a puzzlement to me.

    As far as Zedd, I think she is conflicted. She wants to be able to dictate to others what they are permitted to say and not say, which is a big no no in my book. And again, the fact that she is not a native born African American, combined with her African/Euro background, makes me wonder why she feels so justified tin setting herself up as the authority for all things AA.

    I think she is revelling in her ability to weave in and out of these threads: sometimes being provocative, sometimes funny, sometimes conciliatory.

    But the fact that she attacked a dear BC friend and accused him of lying when his story sounded INCREDIBLY plausible is the deal breaker for me. Just as there is no way around the mountainous obstacle that is Heloise’s blatant and spiteful ignorance and cruelty, so for me there is no way around the fact that in some fundamental ways, Zedd and I do not see eye to eye.

    I reject the notion of a double standard of judgement and culpability for whites and blacks. We are all in this together–it’s not a contest to see who’s suffered the most. Part of the human condition seems to involve mistrust, territoriality, a lust for power, greed, and violence. But it doesn’t have to be that way–or does it?

    As for me, I believe in the Golden Rule; I believe in mitzvahs; I believe in karma; I believe that living well is the best revenge. I for one wouldn’t want to rent the space inside Zedd’s head for all the tea in China. My MO is to make sure that I do nothing to deliberately do harm to others because I want to be able to sleep at night, secure in the knowledge that if I died tomorrow I could go out knowing I did my level best to do good rather than court evil, and perhaps to leave the world a little better rather than worse.

    But it’s obvious that I do have my breaking point. I am a softie at heart, but if someone makes it clear that they are out for blood I can be merciless.

    I guess this is a prime example of “being careful what you wish for.” Though I’m generally a “comment whore” and don’t care if comments are naughty or nice, even I am reaching the end of my patience. I value most of the comments here, but I seem to have reached a philosophical impasse with Zedd which may well be insurmountable.

    As long as she continues to insist that only whites can be racist because they hold all the power; as long as she continues to insist that Ruvy is a self-important liar; and as long as she continues to be two-faced and hypocritical, I’m afraid I just can’t lay down the sword. Maybe it’s that Old Testament “an eye for an eye” thing.

    Thing with Zedd is, she can attack to the point that Christopher has to censor her, but then turn around and declare that it’s all so silly and funny as if she isn’t part of the problem. Then folks get disarmed, a truce may be called, but eventually those belief systems that comprise the foundation of her being surface again, and the cycle is repeated.

    Why go over this again and again? I have more horror stories of crooked real estate brokers, attorneys, and lawyers to relay, just for starters. At least there my vituperative side may actually be used for some productive good by subjecting these slimeballls to the vagaries of cyberspace.

    In any case, Nancy, I agree with almost all you’ve said here from the beginning. Many thanks.

  • sr

    Lady of Song. Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden on the TV show the Honey Mooners said. ELVIRA BABY, YOUR THE GREATEST.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Thanks sr–good to see you here!

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    I wish you had read the “attack” that Christopher had erased. It was an expression of how appalled I was at your incessant yapping and how I found it a nuisance. I said that your behavior displayed a lack of understanding of the big picture.

    The “attack” was not any where near the things that I read daily on every thread on BC. I was surprised that Chris deleted that statement. I’ve lost a little respect for him because I thought he was above certain things and I was wrong.

    But the “attack” was not what you think it was. Its important that I relay that because I don’t do the types of attacks that are prevalent on this blog site. I WAS however very thorough in expressing my disdain for what you do. I did not however ATTACK you.

    I do wish he would have left it because now it seems as if its fueling another layer of delusion.

    Christopher: I am really disappointed in what you have done. I read all manner of vileness on this site. I am baffled as to how you came to the conclusion that my comments were more of an attack than the rubbish that you know is an ongoing part of BC. You have also allowed Elvira to peck and peck based on nothing. I suppose there is a solidarity that goes further than ideology. I just thought that you were above that sort of thing. I have to say, I have lost some respect for you.

    This woman now thinks that I attacked her and is now telling the people who view this board that I attacked her.

    If you have the capability of reviewing those comments, please do and either re-post or acknowledge their mildness compared to the madness which prevails here on BC. Also how do you ignore her contributions and chastise my comments IN RESPONSE. I thought you were a bigger person.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd said: I wish you had read the “attack” that Christopher had erased. It was an expression of how appalled I was at your incessant yapping and how I found it a nuisance. I said that your behavior displayed a lack of understanding of the big picture.

    Once again, Zedd, you seem to forget that I am the author of this article. You are a “visitor” or commenter. If you find my incessant yapping annoying and find me a nuisance, all you have to do is stop reading and commenting. I do not owe you a thing.

    Your frequent admonishing of other commenters (“how dare you this…why did you take that tone with me,” shame on you, I’m very disappointed in you” etc) seems more suitable to a parent addressing an errant child than a supposedly mature literate intelligent woman discussing political and social issues with her peers. You think I’m talking down to blacks? Take a good hard look at your “tone” with whites.

    The “attack” was not any where near the things that I read daily on every thread on BC. I was surprised that Chris deleted that statement. I’ve lost a little respect for him because I thought he was above certain things and I was wrong.

    It was obviously a “personal” attack. Click on the link above that explains BC’s comment policy. If you read it through and still disagree, then and only then would I challenge Christopher about it. Otherwise, once again, black or white, Jew or Gentile, you must play by the rules if you want to remain in the game.

    But the “attack” was not what you think it was. Its important that I relay that because I don’t do the types of attacks that are prevalent on this blog site. I WAS however very thorough in expressing my disdain for what you do. I did not however ATTACK you.

    Zedd, you are reacting in an immature, childish manner here. Calling me stupid, insane and drunk or otherwise implying such are ad hominem arguments, aka attacks (in some cases), that have nothing to do with the topics at hand. It is an intellectually lazy attempt to divert attention from the issues we have discussed here and a way to wriggle out of addressing my questions and comments to you in response to yours.

    I am obviously intelligent. I am well educated and well read. I worked as a professional writer and freelancer for many years–that’s how I paid the rent, and they don’t hire writers based on the color of your hair–or skin, for that matter, and certainly not if you’re stupid. I am part of a thriving multicultural city and community where I am exposed to all races and cultures on a daily basis, which makes judging whole groups of people en masse a lot harder to pull off without realizing the sheer absurdity of it.

    I do wish he would have left it because now it seems as if its fueling another layer of delusion.

    No Zedd–the delusion is yours alone, and as I said if you would make yourself clear and not muddy things up with childish ad hominem attacks, keeping in mind the comment policy, I think you would not be quite as frustrated.

    Christopher seems to be excercising admirable restraint here–he can be much harsher than he is being in terms of actually confronting you in the comments section in addition to snipping out your personal attacks.

    Again, do you think Christopher really cares if you have lost respect for him? He has a job to do and will not give special dispensation to embittered minority groups (especially Ruvy).

    Again, your “tone” with Ruvy and others was that of a mother chiding a misbehaving child. If you don’t give others the respect they deserve but talk down to them as if you know what’s best for all, how do you expect to garner respect in return? No one likes condescension, Zedd–you’ve made it clear that you do not appreciate it (though in my case and Ruvy’s, none was intended).

    Aside from this, your attempts to tell other commenters what is proper for them to think or say while exercising zero restraint in your own comments is hypocritical and immature.

    In short: who do you think you are? The mother superior of BC, whites, and Jews everywhere? Mothers may be able to control what their kids say and do, but we are all adults here (supposedly) and most people, like you, desire to be treated with some respect and not attacked for expressing their views.

    The golden rule applies quite aptly here, Zedd.

    Christopher: I am really disappointed in what you have done. I read all manner of vileness on this site. I am baffled as to how you came to the conclusion that my comments were more of an attack than the rubbish that you know is an ongoing part of BC.

    You have also allowed Elvira to peck and peck based on nothing. I suppose there is a solidarity that goes further than ideology. I just thought that you were above that sort of thing. I have to say, I have lost some respect for you.

    Christopher “allowed” me to peck and peck? He is the comments editor, not my father!

    And what solidarity are you referring to, Zedd–that Christopher and I are both white? Get real–shouting “racism” anytime someone else cries foul and demands that you follow the rules of the site just like anyone else discredits you and makes you look foolish. Do you think you deserve special treatment?

    This woman now thinks that I attacked her and is now telling the people who view this board that I attacked her.

    You did, Zedd. What do you call it when you label me crazy (though I am, actually), drunk, and stupid here? it’s childish, inane name calling which has made me lose respect for YOU–though I suppose that only your respect of others counts for anything in your eyes.

    If you have the capability of reviewing those comments, please do and either re-post or acknowledge their mildness compared to the madness which prevails here on BC. Also how do you ignore her contributions and chastise my comments IN RESPONSE. I thought you were a bigger person.

    You are not a bigger person, Zedd–in fact, you seem to be a rather small minded one all the way around, and a sore loser as well.

    To my knowledge, I have never seen Christopher “relent” and republish banned comments. Do you think your whining and foot stomping childishness will change his mind this time?

    Again–if you’ve seen some of the exchanges between him and Ruvy, you might agree with my assessment that he is going a lot easier on you than he could–and that’s putting it mildly.

    He’s trying to stay out of the way here–not “taking sides.” When it comes to Ruvy, however, he frequently and openly makes his disagreements with him very very clear. You should consider yourself fortunate that he has chosen not to comment here, though it would be awesome if he would. But he’s not my daddy, Zedd, so I can fight my own battles because I know the ins and outs of the comment policy, and obviously you don’t or refuse to follow them. Unfair, Zedd.

    And another thing–in an attempt to try to figure out what went so wrong here with Heloise, I again went through the comments and saw nothing but unprovoked bigotry and hatred exhibited in her comments.

    Christopher has not removed a single one of those. Perhaps it is because she was technically attacking Jews as a group rather than me in particular. Yes, people say many heinous things on these threads, but appalling as some of them are, they stay in as long as they are not a PERSONAL attack on another commenter.

    If I were Christopher, I might have cut out all refs you made to how stupid, drunk and/or crazy I am, but I think you phrased these as more of a rhetorical question, so once again, fair play within the parameters of the BC rules.

    Have you seen me once resort to whining to Christopher about how “mean” and “disrespectful” you and Heloise have been on MY thread?

    As for me, I wish he’d left them in too–you’re only making yourself look more and more foolish with each comment you add here. I can just sit back and watch the magic happen.

    PS–case in point, Zedd–I said you’re making yourself look foolish–I did not say you were foolish, as that would be both against the comment policy and incredibly presumptuous on my part to boot.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Once again, a font glitch–that’s what I get for not previewing my comment.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Nancy et al:

    As I said above, I went back to the early comments here in an attempt to try to discern what went so horribly wrong between Heloise and I. Prior to that, I read her latest post on BC, and though I perceived it as perhaps a tad biased, it was still an intelligently composed argument–save perhaps for the fact that we are not in a postion to directly “elect” the Secretary of State or Supreme Court Justices.

    I can only conclude that in my opinion although she doesn’t have a totally unreasonable attitude toward whites, she does toward Jews. This is crystal clear.

    As Clavos noted, it is quite amazing to see how one student of antropology can be as rational, reasonable, and fair-minded as Nancy and another can be so full of hatred towards Jews, as Heloise is. The very nature of the social sciences in general–and anthropology in particular–tends to lend itself to transcending such ignorant stereotypes and biases. As Nancy pointed out, as a species we are all capable of heinous things. The most valuable lesson that the social sciences can provide is the realization that every race is capable of every heinous thing and every laudable thing known to man (and woman). This realization usually helps promote more tolerance of those different from oneself, rather than less.

    Perhaps Heloise had some negative close encounters with Jews. But a more likely scenario, I think, is that she has not been exposed to very many, and thus has no evidence to challenge her bigoted belief system.

    I also sensed a possible cynicism and sense of opportunism when she referred to her master’s degree in that article. She said something that seemed to me to imply that though she took advantage of the opportunities that such a degree would afford her, she also “knew” that this knowlege was imparted by the “white (and Jewish?) establishment” (my quotes, not hers). So she appaently took what she could use and left the rest.

    It IS quite possible to be technically literate and still be a bigot–especially if one takes pains to make sure that one’s “research” only supports one’s preconceived notions about the state of the world and those who inhabit itt.

    On a personal note: Within two weeks, I am moving from Manhattan to the Bronx. As a middle class white, I know that I am in the minority here for a reason.

    When people think of Manhattan residents, especially now that Manhattan has become an enclave for the very rich, they don’t think “urban ghetto.” When they think of the Bronx, they defiinitely do.

    As a result, many people who have been priced out of other boroughs don’t realize that there is a cheap, cool alternative to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens rents right here in the Bronx–which is separated from Manhattan’s northern stretch by a mere sliver of water. It wiil take me about three minutes by bus to reach Manhattan from the Bronx–albeit in an area still quite similar to the Bronx in socioeconomic makeup. But that, too, is changing, since any and every area of Manhattan is now considered prime real estate, or potentially so.

    As a result, I’m taking advantage of the fact that price-wise, the Bronx is the best kept secret in the city–at least for many whites who assume that because the faces they see on the street here are predominantly black or brown that the ‘hood is therefore beyond the pale.

    These timid souls will sing a different tune a few years down the line as the area becomes more and more “gentrified”–which translates into more “middle class” goods and services such as Manhattan enjoys as well as higher rents and prices. But as it is now, it is perfect for me. If I need a fancy spice or something else I can only get in the “city,” it’s only about a half hour’s subway ride away to midtown. For day to day needs, the Bronx not only matches but exceeds what I can get for my money in Manhattan.

    In short, when we come face to face with those different from ourselves, it becomes much harder to hold onto the notion that any one group is the “enemy.” We are all homo sapiens, and more alike than different–though every one of us is unique. That seems like a beautiful thing–or potentially so. Obviously it can go either way, depending on the person, government, and so on.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Al Barger:

    A belated thanks to you for being among the handful of people on this thread refusing to walk on eggshells when it comes to the views expressed here by the likes of Heloise and Zedd.

    As I took pains to explain to Zedd, I am perfectly capable of fighting my own battles with commenters, and generally relish the challenge. So it’s not a matter of childishly asking for backup as if we were having a fight in a playground, but rather expressing some dismay that even here at BC, apparently PC mania is still capable of inhibiting or even eclipsing truly free speech.

    If one harbors prejudices against another group and expresses them here, they may be challenged on it. But it is possible that some great good can come out of it. Under normal circumstances, perhaps the attacker might learn something they didn’t know and be willing to try to understand the flaws in their biased views.

    But Heloise is not one of these. Her only purpose here was to take jabs at Jews and reinforce the classic, time honored stereotypes that can be found mirrored worldwide, esp in the Middle East.

    One might ask what her agenda really is. By setting up a double standard in which she is allowed to attack Jews but will quickly cry foul if they take her up on it, she is exhibiting a kind of intellectual bullying that shows that she has not progressed all that far, despite her alleged college degrees.

    I don’t expect anyone to run to my defense, per se, but taking a page from Zedd’s book I do find myself a tad disappointed that so many have remained silent in the face of the unalloyed bigotry and ignorance displayed here. I feel fairly certain that if the attackers were not black that many more of you might be all over them like–you should pardon the expression–white on rice.

    Again Al, thanks for having some balls.

  • STM

    Nancy wrote: “Sounds like the cough syrup my grandmother used to make: 1 oz each of lemon juice, honey, – & a 1/2 cup of Jack Daniels!”

    Sounds good to me Nancy! I’ll have some of that. I wish my gran had given me something with JD in it. PS Elvira, I love your writing … please don’t stop writing these kinds of stories because of a touch of controversy. It’s all grist for the mill …

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Yet another VERY INTERESTING OBSERVATION:

    Going back yet again to Heloise’s contributions, I noticed that she did not include her URL link here, though she has at least one blog and is a frequent contributor to BC.

    And why might that be? In other words, once again, what’s her underlying motive?

    Quite obvious, really–she wants to be able to heckle my article with impunity while trying to avoid me “retaliating” on her posts by passing herself off as a mere commenter.

    That, my friends, is out and out dishonesty and totally unfair play.

    PS, Zedd–you stood idly by as well as Heloise ripped into me. If you don’t share her views, why didn’t you challenge them here? I suspect in part because you feel that the races must “stick together” and “support” each other at all costs.

    As I’ve taken great pains to explain, to me an asshole is an asshole is an asshole. I don’t care if you’re Jew, gentile, brown, black Asian, etc–if you are a jerk, I will call you out on it.

    If you are a Jew who behaves in ways that disgrace all Jews, I will have the most contempt of all for you.

    If you are a black person who seems to embrace their “blackness” in a way that shows you are still unassimilated into the culture and country you were born into, I will call you on it–all the while keeping in mind that there are valid reasons for your rage. But that rage is counterproductive, and only by rising above and transcending such nonsense together can we attempt to move on.

    Comedians have an uncanny sense of how to push the envelope when it comes to the unwritten, unspoken beliefs and prejudices we all carry. But the thing is that just as sterotypes can be mocked and made light of, so it is possible to take it yet one step further and cherish the diversity that folks from different countries and cultures bring here.

    Yes, if one wants to succeed in America, one must assimilate or work hard to make sure one’s children will have the means to do so. But it does not follow that everyone must be rendered “white.” I can still admire Woody Allen’s Jewish brand of humor, Eddie Murphy’s portrayal of blacks versus whites, Dice Clay’s charicature of the “typical” biased, sexist “pig,” and Howard Stern’s simultaneous skewering and embracing of everyone–even a KKK member.

    Aside from the healing power of humor, food is one of the other great “universal solvents” when it comes to realizing that we are all more similar than different. It’s hard to completely despise another culture when you are enjoying their cuisine. It just doesn’t make sense! We all have to eat; we all enjoy food and the camraderie that can come from it.

    In other words, it’s harder to stay mad and hateful when you’re busting a gut laughing at yourself and others or stuffing your guts with the “enemies'” food–or perhaps doing both at once.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    In the interests of FAIRNESS and full disclosure, I am compelled to note here that going back to Heloise’s latest article to comment, I saw that she routinely omits her URL there as well.

    Though it may be unintentional, it still seems rather disengenuous–and intentional or no, it is not what I would consider “fair play.”

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Elvira: Please get a grip of your tagging technique!

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    You really need to calm down. You will loose the credibility that you gained from that very nice article.

    People have tried to come on this thread to discuss something of substance but that conversation just flattens because you are out of control and on a crusade over… who really knows.

    There are very few female contributors on this blog. Your rantings sort of support what many men THINK women are like.

    So I don’t buy Ruvy’s comments. He made a retort to me. It ended. Its been discussed. Don’t you think its time for you to move on?

    No topic is being discussed. Your article was good as I said but your contributions will negate the respect that you gained.

    Stop yourself.

    I didn’t address Heloise because she thinks she is JFK. Why would you waste time arguing with her? I do tell her I don’t agree ever so often but for the most part when things are out of control, I just ignore; its the same with moonraven and you.

  • Clavos

    Elvira writes (to Zedd):

    Your frequent admonishing of other commenters (“how dare you this…why did you take that tone with me,” shame on you, I’m very disappointed in you” etc) seems more suitable to a parent addressing an errant child than a supposedly mature literate intelligent woman discussing political and social issues with her peers. You think I’m talking down to blacks? Take a good hard look at your “tone” with whites. (emphasis mine)

    Quoted for Truth. (With thanx to gonzo marx)

    [Corrected for code accuracy. With thanx to me!]

  • Clavos

    closing italics Sorry!

    [That doesn’t work, Clavos. Your options are: 1. Be more careful! 2. Leave it alone as I’ll surely fix it 3. e-mail me. Cheers, Comments Editor]

  • http://www.thechurchofanswers.com Heloise

    Elvira wrote: Yet another VERY INTERESTING OBSERVATION:

    Going back yet again to Heloise’s contributions, I noticed that she did not include her URL link here, though she has at least one blog and is a frequent contributor to BC.

    And why might that be? In other words, once again, what’s her underlying motive?

    Heloise aka Netemara wrote: There’s my URL. It is posted all over BC anyway.

    Elvira I just took some of my precious time to read your comments. I think you love me. Or hate me. But that’s okay. We have a kindred spirit obviously.

    You are so wrong about me and Jews. I have had no less than five Jewish boyfriends. So, you are wrong on that score. And naturally known many Jewish women as well. They are smart people certainly.

    But the piece about Condi and Clarence drives home the point that we can INFLUENCE who gets these jobs. Did you see what happened to Harriet Myers? I wrote a bunch of stuff about her lying about being Catholic. The woman is Jewish. And what’s more she was trying to hide it. She is probably also an atheist. Not sure.

    That was my point. That the black community, before internet though, could have fought harder to keep Thomas out just as Myers was kept out of that chair.

    I am beginning to feel like Mel Gibson. But if you know anything about JFK part of what I have to live down is being or being called anti-semitic.

    In this life my family made us read every book about the holocaust and Hitler. Beginning from a young age we were aware of Jewish history. I have read books from right and left on Jewish history.

    I work with physicists, the top dogs, not saying where, also. They were mostly Jewish men. They love me and the feeling is mutual.

    So, yes, I am railing against the racism that Jews have helped institutionalize. I also edited for a large corporation. That is my position. Not against any one Jewish person. Yes, many many Jews are in my life.

    Elvira, let’s see if we can transform/transmute some of these emotions. Believe it or not Cornell West and a Jewish guy, don’t recall his name, wrote a book in which they go at each other and it is all recorded. DO you know the book? You can go to Amazon and look it up.

    But it shows you how what we are doing is done in the hallowed halls of Harvard no less. Yes, I am an anthropologist. Most of my teachers were not Jews. But the one Jewish teacher I did have, a woman, was so mean to me. She also gave me the lowest grade and treated me like shit. They all told me that I could not write at all. That I would never be a writer, and never get a master’s degree from their school. Yes, white professors told me that stuff. I was the first black person to get a degree from their department. My French language abilities helped me also to get the degree in record time.

    But this woman prof and I, we had the same last name (my maiden name). Go figure. But here and there some people have hated on me.

    I will pop in here and there if it makes you feel better Elvira. You seem to miss me :)

    Heloise

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Dearest Christopher:

    With a tip of the hat to Heloise, I am a bit dismayed at the fact that the only thing you have to say after all this is that I forgot to close the ital tag!

    OK, my bad. I will preview every comment like a good girl–hopefully. But really, Chrisopher…you did make one or two mild mannered comments, but considering how you regularly light into Ruvy, why no words of wisdom from you here?

    Yes, I know you have cut some of Zedd’s comments out, but I also wonder how they could possibly have been more egregious than some of Heloise’s, which you also said nothing about.

    As I suspect, Heloise did not technically violate the comment policy, since she spoke of Jews in general rather than me in particular, as I recall.

    But really, C, don’t you have any other opinion on the goings on on this long thread? There’s been a lot said here, and a lot of ground has been covered.

    Plus which, I wouldn’t have cried for daddy if you had left Zedd’s comments alone. When people are given enough rope, etc etc etc. And in a way, you’re protecting her by omitting what must be some rather questionable comments. Why not show all what she really thinks of me, and why? Though I defintely get the gist even in the censored version.

    Despite touching on a lot, my main thrust, when all is said and done, is this:

    It is not a question of “acting white,” but rather of “acting American” when one assimilates (or paves the way for their childten to assimilate) into the middle class culture. If the bourgeois lifestyle turns you off, you can still be a well educated, articulate, non bigoted, boho artist, musician, writer, or what have you.

    Humor (a la STM, et al) and food are the great levelers, the golden rule covers all bases, and so on.

    Please reply if you have the time and inclination. Thanks.

    This should come out roman. or maybe not, since the last comment (not by me) is in ital. You’ve gotta admit, Christopher, when you’re doing the patent pending Dave Nalle call and response technique, forgetting to close itals is a tad understandable.

    OK, Elvira, remember…..must….preview….comment…..

  • Zedd

    On the topic of culture and what we know about the cultures that we participate in.

    Zing brought up the fact that he did know that Blacks sang a different birthday song. To highlight how significant a knowledge of one’s culture is, had I (in this situation) not been a member of that specific culture, it would have been impossible to decipher what song those people were singing on that day in whatever city Zing lives in, in that karaoke bar, at that moment. But because there are things that we know about our cultures or the cultures that we are engaged in, I was able to relay what song it most likely was and to clear up the fact that we sing the normal bday song as well.

    Our ethnocentric perspective can be injurious. An individual like Zing who is able to say, I don’t know will heal and be and intermediary between different groups. A person who perceives and interprets based on their world view without asking questions will strengthen the divide.

    I have worked in the inner city since I was a teenager. There have been people from outside the AA culture who have come in to work and have been there for years and have never understood the people. They have dedicated their time and have accepted a lower wage to do the work but have not, after years (10+)understood the people. They came there to make them more like themselves and missed the beauty of the people. They never got the subtle cultural norms and never knew that they were offensive (rude). They never got that the people were going out of their way to accommodate their ignorance and did not react to their rudeness because of understanding that they just didn’t get it (their culture). The service providers however saw themselves the entire time as the givers, the kind ones.

    These same service providers would leave the neighborhood and relay horror stories about that community. They would be the voice of that community to the rest of the world. What is unfortunate is that they were simply wrong.

    This same scenario has occurred over and over again throughout history. As we now know, the missionaries went into societies and caused havoc while also relaying stories of savages which never existed.

    Early explorers did the same thing.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Oops–meant the hat tip for Zedd. And no, I can definitely tell you two apart! (Just a little joke–don’t get upset, please.)

  • Zedd

    To continue on the above post.

    What is significant about the cultural misinterpretation is that it affects people economically.

    The assessments of those missionaries had a direct impact on how international policies were formed and the resulting and current economic situations in most developing nations were shaped by those misdiagnosis.

    People (mainly the West), approached those groups as if they were dealing with subhumans. They assumed that they did not possess the same values including a value for their own lives. What ensued was a ravaging of their societies (land, resources, culture). The people were left with a mess once the invaders were repelled. The resulting chaos is what we witness today.

    The misinterpretation of AAs by even well intentioned people who don’t have the natural or taught sensitivity to interact inter culturally, has caused a mess which AAs are constantly trying to swim out of.

    What is sad is that once that mess is created, a self fulfilling prophesy takes affect.

    Side note: I am not sure if after a year of reading Ruvy’s contributions if anyone on these threads would look at him as an ambassador. It seems to me he was not the person to place in that position.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd:

    OK now. It seems clear that despite some differences, you and I–and even Heloise and I –have a helluva lot in common in terms of our most basic viewpoints.

    Rather than continue to turn this into a pissing contest, I’d like to be able to feel that our spat actually came to some good.

    OK. You say I can’t move on. But Zedd, with all due respect, I feel like it is you who can’t move on–from the 20th century to the 21st, to be precise.

    You are still fighting those old battles, and meanwhile the world has changed, we are globally connected, and there are not too many KKK members lynching blacks in the streets anymore. Blacks (and women) are now represented in virtually every field here, save for President, and who knows. The fact that there’s a viable black candidate is extraordinary given how medieval the US was in terms of civil rights a mere 50 years ago.

    So why can’t I move on from your spat with Ruvy? Because despite all evidence to the contrary, you are still calling him a liar and turning his mitzvahs (or good deeds) around and accusing him of base motives in trying to help minority inner city youth.

    I think what he told that kid was the best thing he could have said. That’s what I would have wanted his own father to tell him, if he truly wanted his son to succeed and be happy in life.

    My b/f moved to NYC in 1970 and he and his then-wife moved into a very dangerous area (at the time), the East Village/Alphabet City area.

    During the years he lived there, his apt was burglarized, his next door neighbor who was a porn actress was brutally murdered, and he was mugged at knifepoint twice by black and Latino drug addicts.

    During one mugging, while he was being held against a wall, with one guy holding a knife to his throat and the other a board of naiils to his face, a cop car miraculously drove by. The kids were caught red handed, and recieved maybe a year or so.

    BG testified against them, and the mothers of the Spanish kids tried to entreat him to have mercy because they were “sick.”

    They had to be admonished not to say another word to BG or be charged with obsctruction of justice.

    Now I can understand unconditional mother love and all, but do you think the judge should have let them go scot free, or did they deserve their year in jail and more?

    BG saw them again on the same streets after they were released, but thankfully they didn’t seem to recognize him. I’m sure they’d forgotten his face long ago, as he was not a person to them but just another potential source for their next angry fix.

    And lastly, Ruvy is a religious man. His religion not only commands him to do mitzvahs, but many many other obligations and rituals that would boggle your mind if you knew of them, which I’m assuming you don’t. I feel fairly certain that Ruvy would therefore be obligated to tell the G-d’s honest truth about what happened to him back then, and considering the state of the inner cities in that now-long ago era, I “know” that it is all too true.

    Until and unless you can admit that of course this incident could occur, and moreover occurred all over the country back in the day, you and I have come to an implacable impasse.

    As long as you feel it is best to excuse criminal behavior based on the color of someone’s skin, rather than expect them to abide by society’s rules rather than the rules of the gutter and the prison yard, then we will never see eye to eye.

    As long as you hold onto your cherished, obsolete views of the real state of racism in this country as of 2007 in favor of trying to get special dispensation from everyone from Christopher on up or down, and to enable youths who could have a beautiful future to embrace their “blackness” (read: anti-Americanism) to their own and others’s detriment, then there is little more we can say to each other.

    But you’ve said many times that the whole thing is funny and absurd. That, Zedd, is the key–to let the light of humor in.

    Even after Heloise said the most outrageous things about Jews, I’m glad she did and that Chrisopher saw fit to keep her comments in rather than “protecting” others (but most of all, hereself) from having such awful things emerge blinking from the darkness and out into the clear light of day.

    It is only by airing our dirty laundry–by coming out and saying all the awful non-PC things that we think in our hearts and say behind closed doors–that we can ever hope to overcome misunderstanding and hatred between blacks, whites, Jews, et al.

    As I’ve said, that’s what comedians do all the time–make us laugh at ourselves and others and therefore realize how absurd the whole human condition really is. Save for a Michael Richards gig, I daresay most audiences leave a good comedy show laughing and smiling rather than fighting and snarling at each other.

    Christopher–this ital thing is no longer my doing. Can you fix, please? If not, no biggie.

  • MCH

    Attn, Phillip Winn
    I nominate the following for “Comment of the Day”:

    “I can just see little Clavos (I imagine him to be real tiny) sitting at the feet of this Jewish lady (like Ray Ramano’s mom), except she’s dressed in sausage tight black mermaid dress like the character Elvira. He’s massaging her toes and she’s online typing wildly like an organist. She pauses only to insult him and telling him that he failed to rub in the technique that she asked for. She is all hysterical and saying that he failed her and is working for THE ILK, in a twiney obnoxious voice. Clavos sobs and begs for forgiveness only she’s forgotten what she said to him and is rambling on loudly over his apology about what color she is going to use for her next manicure and how Zedd and her ilk (I love having an ilk… never had one before), anyway, how they are peering into her bathroom window. Clavos picks up a butcher knife….no… a GUN, no several guns. He debates between pistols, semiautomatic handguns, machine pistols, revolvers and “derringers”. He clenches his fists and moans out loud “Ohhhhh WWDD!!!” (what would Dave do??). He decides to go for all of them. When he lifts them, he discovers that they are too heavy for his itty bitty self so he falls down and shoots a huge hole in the ceiling. A couch falls on him and he’s coughing, covered with huge balls of lint and dust. Elvira screams “quit lying around!!!. Could you fix me a burrito or something” ? Alas, The ILK escapes.”
    – Zedd

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Heloise, many thanks for your comment.

    Let me first get this minor matter out of the way.

    Firstly, you said that some of your boyfriends were Jewish, but in your prior comments you said that they were white but not Jewish, as I recall.

    My boyfriend pulls this on me all the time. He’ll change his story in the interests of “winning” an argument. So then I have to play district attorney and ask him: “Were you stretching the truth then or are you now”? (lol)

    I appreciate what you have told me about your experiences while going for your degree, and can now see all too well why you felt the way you did. I don’t know what year this was, but as I said to Zedd, these horrible things did indeed happen routinely–to Jews and other minorities too, earlier in the last century–but what about now?

    In any case you got the last laugh on those pretentious, bigoted profs. The ends, I daresay, justified the crap you had to go through to get there. Better to endure than to give in and let them tell you you couldn’t succeed and prove them “right”. Some people will actually take up the challenge with even more vigor and determination so they can someday have the satisfaction of proving all those assholes wrong.

    But they don’t really matter now–their time has come and gone, you were able to utilize what they could give you in spite of themselves, and their views are rapidly becoming as extinct as the dinosaur. They are reaping what they sowed as far as their karma goes.

    No, their legacy still lives on to a smaller extent, but I think we’ve arrived at an era where perhaps formerly “oppressed” groups now face the challenge of helping others to want to succeed in precisely the ways you did.

    I think education is by far one of the most surefire ways to success in every imaginable sense–not just economically. Most academic institutions require a liberal arts core that I think is invaluable in order to shake up a student’s often narrow view of the world and open their eyes to the breadth and scope and complexity of things.

    As for the Jewish prof: as I’ve been the first to admit, I have nothing but sheer contempt for any fellow Jew who contributes to the unfortunate prejudices and stereotypes many still harbor against Jews thanks in part to her reprehensible behavior. By living up to the stereotype, she is incurring the resentment and hatred of blacks and other groups as well, and for good reason.

    By the same token, those who wish to embrace their “blackness” to the point where they are left in the dust, for the sheer satisfaction of thumbing their nose at the world, are in a tragic position.

    Zedd and Ruvy both felt that the black youth he worked with had promise, and fortunately he did. In my opinion, it’s now up to the black community, every other community, society at large, the media (Jewish run or not), and the federal and local government to put their money where their mouths are and do something concrete for these kids.

    There is nothing more tragic to my mind than the thought of kids who are basically decent underneath all the bluster who are nevertheless left behind due to a shitty public school system, uninvolved parents (who may not have the means to be as involved as those wealthier parents who shuttle their kids to soccer and ballet and piano lessons), overworked teachers, lack of community resources such as after school centers, a general dearth of positive mentors and role models, and an overweening apathy and/or dearth of hope that anything can really be done.

    Everyone has incredible potential. Everyone has talents and abilities that can either be stymied or encouraged to develop.

    My boyfriend was a born artist–so good that one of his grade school teachers refused to believe that he hadn’t received help from his parents when he brought in one of his take-home art projects–sort of like your experience in a way. Though they were proud of him, it never occurred to his parents in a million years that he could do anything concrete with this talent of his. Back then, being an artist, writer, musician etc was considered a very dicey way to go if one wanted to put bread on the table.

    If he were born to an upper middle class family of today, he would have been afforded the best education money could buy, and doubtless been encouraged to continue onto college and/or art school via a merit based scholarship.

    Conversely, as a middle class Jewish girl, it was not only expected that I would go on to college, but for all intents and purposes required to. BG’s parents did not have the means to send any of their kids to college, and their philosophy was that an honest day’s work of any kind, from garbageman up, was ok. It is, certainly, but if you have the education to take you beyond that point and give you the options you deserve, I think that is a much better scenario.

    Meanwhile, BG made his way in the world and survived many hardships. His talent remains, and though he is certainly not a household world, he is nevertheless a king in his own household.

    Same thing goes for his late sister and two out of his three brothers, who all felt compelled to join the military as their dad did because they got the message that it was a secure career path. The other brother joined the air force too, but took advantage of the GI bill to get a bachelors and master’s and now makes a very nice living indeed.

    Unfortunately again, unless one is a commissioned officer (which typically requires a college level degree) there is a glass ceiling in the armed forces which is impossible to break out of. Hence his dad has not received all the benefits he was entitled to, but not only was too afraid of authority to speak up in his own defense, but has succeeded in sending this very same message to all his children–most of whom have not lived up to their full potential.

    In any case, Heloise, I thank you for your comment, as well as your earlier ones. I think it all needed to be said. Prior to this, I was frankly mystified and infuriated at your attitude, but can now see at least some of the rationale for it. BG has also received some shabby exploitative treatment at the hands of Jewish employers over the years, and though he holds no resentments against them, I emphatically do.

    Again, many thanks to my fellow BC writer. I have learned some things from you I did not yet know–’til today.

  • Zedd

    Elvira

    It will help to expand this discussion if you would refer to specific statments that have been made about a topic as aposed to extrapulating from your perception of the contributors.

    I don’t know how to tell you any more clearly, you keep making statements about things that have nothing to do with what I believe or ascribe to. Simple little ideas that are so far removed from my world view. Just stick to my assesments as ascribed on this thread.

    I don’t know what to say to you when you say things like As long as you hold onto your cherished, obsolete views of the real state of racism in this country as of 2007 in favor of trying to get special dispensation from everyone from Christopher on up or down, and to enable youths who could have a beautiful future to embrace their “blackness” (read: anti-Americanism) to their own and others’s detriment, then there is little more we can say to each other. It just stops any form of communication because we have not discussed such views with you. I reeeeeeeally dont know what you are talking about. It seems that you over extrapulate.

    I don’t even understand what you mean by that statement. It almost sounds as if you are saying “blackness” is detremental to Blacks and others. I will assume that you didn’t mean that because that would be strange. It would be more strange for you to expect me (a Black woman) to agree with you. I don’t even know what you mean by “blackness”. Please teach me.

    Also I don’t know Heloise. Why do you continue to mention her when responding to me? I don’t know what to do with those comments.

    I don’t know how long you have been reading… Ruvy :o) does not act like a religious man on BC.

  • Clavos

    Re #229:

    I second the nomination.

    It’s hilarious!

    (wish I could get all this dust off me!)

  • Zedd

    My major position on what has been said about AAs on this thread is:

    No one knows how to solve the issues with AAs because in no time in history has the particular events that have shaped them EVER occurred. The SPECIFIC components of this situation are new to our species. Attempting to fit other people’s experiences to this scenario is useless.

    Also, attempting to lecture on the issue is useless. “They need to xy or z” is strange when you haven’t done it yourself under the SAME circumstances. How would you know what they need to do? It also suggests that they don’t know what to do and YOU do. It also dismisses the millions who have struggled out. Millions are doing it. It just takes time as it should because this is not a movie.

    What we can focus on are the barriers that impede progress and address them individually. I work with preteens and introduce them to society through teaching what the norms are, taking them outside of their community (various settings) and we practice expected behavior. I have other programs that address a particular issue. I am starting a marriage program to emphasize the significance of marriage. It will address the issue with various age groups…. We are beginning an entrepreneurial venture, I could go on…

    Insisting that I call or see the inhabitants of the inner city as BAD or ANGRY or HATING WHITES is crazy because its not true.

    What is most interesting is that you have a greater likelihood of being hated for being WHITE by your professional person than any one in the inner city. They don’t care about you. They are just living their lives.

    For those people that will take one situation and post a billion articles on that situation, I should say there is always one exception to the rule. But let me say, this should have to be stated.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd 225:

    OK, now we’re really getting somewhere.

    I have to relay a little story here that I think I included in a comment that got sucked into cyberspace before it could appear here.

    I have been embroiled in the process of selling my old coop and buying another. My ex-boyfriend/current roomate has been looking for new places as well.

    Unfortunately, as a result I’ve been exposed to a lot of crooked greedy real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and lawyers along the way–some of whom were Jewish.

    S, the managing agent handling the purchase of my coop is from Nigeria, and has lived here for a decade or more. Not only is he the consummate professional, but is also what Ruvy might call a “mensch”–a “person” rather than a money grubbing greed fueled human machine.

    He had a pool of mortgage brokers and real estate lawyers he worked with on a regular basis. He recommended two to me, and since one had a name I couldn’t even pronounce, I went instead with my “homie,” one Barry Cohen.

    This was a huge mistake. This guy was negligent, arrogant, lazy, and did everything in his power to slow the contractual process down. For some unknown reason, he seemed to take great glee in telling me that S would not be able to get me a meeting with the coop board for an interview in a timely fashion so I could close within the next two weeks.

    I finally had enough and asked S to refer me to another guy. This attorney is probably either Nigerian or Haitian, and my only regret is that I let my prejudices delay me from encountering him sooner.

    I was frankly afraid that I wouldn’t be able to understand his accent, since even S still retained an accent that sometimes made it a bit hard to understand him. But that soon became a non-issue as well, and I can understand him perfectly now.

    Another thing about S that illustrates what you were talking about:

    Whenever I would meet with S, I would usually have to wait awhile to see him. Say we had a 2 pm appontment–I might not see him til 2;:30 or 3. Why? Because his prior appointment routinely ran over because he wanted to give these folks all the time they needed to answer questions and even have a few laughs.

    My initial feeling of mild annoyance and some unfortunate thoughts about “CPT”–also known as “colored people’s time”–flashed thorough my mind as I waited in the reception area and heard S and his clients laughing and engaging in animated converstaion behind S’s office door.

    But the thing is that I was in no real hurry–I’d waited years for this moment, and I knew that when S was done with my fellow would-be buyers, he would then give me the same undividied attention and courtesy he’d afforded them.

    Having been exposed in BG’s hood to many folks from African and Caribbean cultures, it suddenly occurrred to me that the notion of “CPT” was mostly a plus and not a minus.

    American culture is known as the most workaholic in the world, with the typical employee taking a fraction of the vacation time that Europeans do. Everything becomes secondary to the making of money and a desire to be “busy” and “productive” 24/7. In the process, parents and kids sometimes don’t even spend an hour of “quality” time together at the dinner table, and their kids lives are often jam packed with ballet lessons, tutoring sessions, and so on with little room for the kids to just chill and have some downtime.

    In countries like Spain, by contrast, the whole country shuts down for a siesta. I just heard on the local news that scientists have discovered that taking a nap in the middle of the day can help prevent heart attacks. No doctor or scientist needed to tell the Spaniards and other cultures and countries the infinite wisdom of their more laid back ways.

    As a result, I imagine that the typical Spaniard is more happy, more healthy, and more engaged fully in life rather than simply part of a mad rat race in pursuit of the allmighty Eurodollar. Meanwhile, in our country we not only pursue the dollar relentlessly but seemingly can never have enough, and the term “root of all evil” applies quite aptly.

    I was telling my new lawyer (we were waiting for S to come in from the other office to answer a question as he was going over the contracts with me) that I couldn’t do anything intentionally harmful to others because I would not be able to sleep at night. He thorughly agreed.

    But somehow our consumer mad, uber materialistic, still Protestant work ethic driven culture has turned a good percentage of us into something less than human–and it makes me angry and sad.

    When I lived on the Upper East side of Manhattan years ago amonst other young white people, the only neighbor I ever spoke a word to was our next door neighbor. Anyone else I passed on the stairs would look at me like I was about to mug them.

    By contrast, the coop development I will live in is a model of sound management and humane planning. It is multicultural, but so far i think the majority of residents are middle class blacks and some elderly. The development provides its elderly with many services, including movie and game nights. Each building (there are about 9) has its own house committee, and residents meet monthly with them to go over concerns and problems.

    There is a plaque on their office wall which was presented to them long ago, signed by an African American congressman who lives there. It heralded their achievements as a shining example of what a coop can really be–a haven for folks of all ethnic persuasions and ages to live affordably and be treated with care and respect.

    Everyone I’ve encountered in my waits for S in the reception area has been positive. Everyone says hello, and if a tenant comes to the management office to drop off their maintenace, they feel free to ask questions and, as with S, may get to chatting and joking with the receptionist for a spell as well.

    I have never been so psyched to live anywhere in my life than in this Bronx coop. Most of my fellow white New Yorkers who fear living in predominanty “brown” neighborhoods don’t realize that they are missing out on a beautiful, affordable way of life. Their loss, my gain.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd:

    You said:

    “I don’t even understand what you mean by that statement. It almost sounds as if you are saying “blackness” is detremental to Blacks and others. I will assume that you didn’t mean that because that would be strange. It would be more strange for you to expect me (a Black woman) to agree with you. I don’t even know what you mean by “blackness”. Please teach me.”

    Zedd, if you’ve been reading my latest comments it should be clear to you that what I mean is that if “blackness” means persisting in self-destructive behavior patterns that are only a detriment to yourself, it seems foolish to me.

    No one is saying one must be “white” to succeed–rather, one must be “Ameican” and assimilate into the culture as such, no matter what race or country of origin you or your ancestors came from.

    Moreover, I love the fact that in NYC I am exposed to the unique characteristics of cultures from around the globe. I can enjoy their cuisines, appreciate their unique ways of thinking and doing and being. Nothing would be more boring for me than to live, for example, in BG’s parent’s neck of the woods out in the midwest, where everyone is so pure white it is startling. They all look like aliens to me, and when I see a midwestern family of tourists in NYC I look on them as kind of odd because I’m so used to seeing so many hues here. They look positively inbred!

    Again, Zedd, I’m not trying to “win” here. Can’t you see that?

    This can be a win win situation for all if we can get our preconceptions straightened out and move on together for the common good–not as a white person trying to tell you how to think or feel, but as an American who cherishes the notion that all people can come here and have wonderful opportunities. Why should immigrants come here and succeed while African American youths are left in the dust? That is precisely what white racists would love to see.

    BG was in the gym one day and a group of kids were using the N word. An older black man turned to them and told them that that word was what the white man wanted them to use. Indeed, by loudly over-utilizing this word, even as a form of camraderie, rather than being a bit more discreet about it, unfortunate prejudices can be further harbored by others.

    The other day BG again encountered some kids, this time Latino, who were bandying around the “N” word loudly and boisterously. An Indian woman (not a recent immigrant, for she was dressed in Western clothes) and her family were sitting next to the kids. She turned and gave them an amazed and doubtless disapproving look. I’m fairly certain she felt that as someone of color trying to live her life and provide for her family, the last thing she needed was other folks of color making fools of themselves for all to see.

    Yet again, I cannot stress enough how strongly I despise fellow jews who live up to the horrid stereotypes others still harbor against all jews. I love my aunt A dearly, but her views are completely outmoded. She has chosen to live in a Jewish ghetto her entire 89 years, and as such in some ways might as well be living in an Eastern European ghetto circa and pre-1939. She is as “Jewish” as they come, and so unassimilated that my aunt F and she sometimes have horrible fights, one of which I’ve mentioned in a prior comment.

    I’ve known Ruvy via BC for over a year, and I’ve read enough of his articles and comments to truly get where he is coming from. Much more so than I think Christopher does, who is the first to admit that he has a strong anti-religious bias. That, IMO, is his flavor of bigotry. Although fundamentalist sects do abomidable things, it’s not fair to lump them all together with the likes of Ruvy, at least in my opinion. Like me, Ruvy is compassionate and kind, but considering that his life and the life of his family and the security of his homeland is at stake, I can’t blame him for his views. And he is far from an arab hater–he merely hates the corrupt, cynical, power hungry, medieval, anti-Western and Jew hating ways of some of the Arab ruling elite. Same as we may hate Bush but not all Americans by extension. Capiche?

  • Zedd

    I like your story about the older gentleman and the Indian woman.

    I was at Barnes and Nobles a few weeks back. I love taking a break there. They have enormous plushy wing back chairs where I sip on my cappuccino and read. On this occasion about 9 young teens all White and one multiracial came in and started talking loudly. Everyone in the sitting area kept trying to give “the look” but they were early teens and off course needed to be seen. Being my father’s daughter, I said “excuse me kids, I know you are having fun but you need to keep your voices down. People come hear for the quite. If you want to hang out and be loud why not go to xyz”. They continued to act up. I gave the mixed kid the “I know you are not acting a fool” look (he seemed to be the leader), which he seemed to understand, he then told the guys to chill and the suburban pack left.

    Kids are kids. We all raise the children in society. I am sure that those kids will think twice when encountering a situation like that before they act up again. They have learned a little about social behavior.

    Black kids are no different.

    As for the Indian woman, I would hope she wasn’t giving “the look” because they were kids of color making a fool of themselves. I would hope that she was giving “the look” because they were kids who were acting up who needed an adult to give them guidance.

    I saw two kids at the drug store near my mom’s place during school hours, last week. I greeted them then asked them why they weren’t in school. They told me that they were out on Presidents day. It seems they attend a private school…. They were sweet and had a lot of “yes ma’ams”.

    But the point is, we take care of children as a society.

    —-

    I am not sure about the notion that we as Americans are the most workaholic. I think we are probably the most commerce committed. In other places, while they may get off right at 5:00, the wife will more likely cook everything from scratch. They walk to the store and not necessary a block away. They wont spend the evening sitting in front of the tube for hours on end (although that is changing). They may stop by a relatives house and run errands for them before they get home… Things like that. That is why when immigrants get here, they are rearing to go because they don’t live sedentary lives like we do.

    NOTE: Nigerian time is worse than any CPT.

  • Zedd

    I’m sort of torn about wanting people to say what they feel about other groups.

    In one way because most of the time their views sound really crazy when they are expressed, it makes THEM look bad and my contribute to stamping out those types of views.

    My other way of thinking is that it is rubbish. They are dirtying the air ways (per se). We have enough ugliness. They will learn with time that their views are wrong as they engage with people.

    However, there is truth to most stereotypes. The problem is some groups get to issue or proclaim OTHER people’s stereotypes louder, with more frequency than other groups. If I KNOW that Africans or AAs are known for lateness, I am going to try not to be late. If I don’t know that, I will continue to be tardy.

    I think that most Whites (not Jews however, they have been stereotyped thoroughly) but Whites in general, don’t know what people think of them as a culture (“race”). Many behave as if they think they are the standard. I think that most Whites are quite naive about the way the world sees them because they are accustomed to telling everyone who THEY are and how things are SUPPOSED to be. While its gotten better, Whites don’t imagine, it doesn’t seem, that they are being perceived and opinions are being formed about them, all of the time. There are a few cultures which believe NEVER trust a White man. While people will smile and accommodate, that feeling remains. Understand this is not a attitude is not one on hate it is a caution based on a survival instinct. Part of that comes from those cultures being misinterpreted and feeling wronged over and over again by people who enter their community than misrepresent them. Another reason off course comes from the history of crimes against those cultures.

    ————–

    NOW

    If we approach each other knowing that we are not considered good, better, smarter, more pure or capable, or the opposite, we will do EACH OTHER more good and WE will be happier.

    Our entire society will grow and we will give others a benefit of a doubt. EVERYONE will be gauged on merit. There will be no need for quotas because we will truly be a fair society.

    However I sense, and I could be very wrong, that for some people this is a scary notion. The big jet black guy may be CEO instead of a bouncer and the Ken doll guy may be an unloader at the dock for life. The brown man may be a judge instead of a dishwasher and the blond boob girl may just remain in her trailer. When the day comes when true merit is measured and real rewards are gained for ability, our world will be different.

  • Zedd

    Should read:

    Understand this is not an attitude or feeling of hatered it is a caution based on a survival instinct.
    —-
    I do preview but I will continue to make typos… sometimes they are so bad that I have to go back and redo. Sorry folks. The kids call me, I get distracted, forget the tense, or punctuation or just get thrown off….. again apologies.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Elvira,

    One small note re comment #235: it’s “capisce?” – not “capiche?” The latter is French orthography and comes out as “kapíke” in Italian.

    You get to learn these things when your neighbors and best friends are Napolitani, they feed you pasta è fagiole, teach you how to draw, fascinate you with sketches of cars from the 1930’s, photos of motorcycles with sidecars in the roundabouts of postwar Napoli, and tales of fighting in Mussolini’s army in Ethiopia so many faded decades ago…

    Shavua Tov,
    Reuven

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Christopher:

    Thanks to you or whomever turned off the ital (stop the ital, I want to get off!) I’ve got a story for you.

    This morning, I came out of BG’s bulding and stood for a minute as I like to do, looking at the buildings up and down the Grand Concourse in the morning sun.

    From the left about a half block away I saw a white man and woman. The woman was carrying a big sign that read:

    You can’t go to Heaven unless you’re a Catholic.

    They walked by and the guy tried to hand me lliterature. I gave him an empatic no…thank…you. As he passed on, he said over his shoulder: “You’re going to hell!”

    I promptly shouted back: “I don’t want to go to your heaven!”

    There. That’ll fix ‘em.

    Their karma is so low that there’s surely a special secret circle of Dante’s inferno reserved just for those two.

    How’d I do?

  • sr

    Elvira, just think of all the beads you can wear as a Catholic and all the petifiles dressed as men in black you can meet. Speaking of meat thats out of the question on Fridays ya know. Maybe even an autographed picture of the Pope to put on your wall. For me I like my Capt Morgan with a little ice and a bit of holy water. After that it’s time for a smoke, say a few hail marrys and fondle my rosary beads. Life is grand.

  • sr

    Elvira, ever had a Jehovah’s Witness come knocking. That is for me intertainment depending on my Capt Morgan and holy water consumption. Pleasent day to you. By

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    If ever a Jehovah’s Witness comes a knocking, offer them a cup of coffee and invite them to sit down and discuss their ideas. Make sure you have the coffee cup in hand. Chances are they take a fast hike! Coffee is the devil’s drink… so they say, anyway.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    sr:

    Thanks for the laugh! Speaking of which, BG’s brother once told him that some of his paintings made him want to crawl into the closet and say the rosary…that’s about the gist of BG’s art.

    Ruvy: You want it, you got it…we got yer Jehovah’s Witnesses, your Mormon youth (so white they actually look more like, though this is terrible to say, Hitler Youth), your radical Catholics like those two, plus a smattering of mostly Spanish speaking Catholics (I presume) who have apparently only just arrived here themselves but are intent on saving the local souls one apartment at a time (they like to come callling during the week and on Saturdays especially).

    For the latter, a simple “no hablos Espanol” (Christopher? I’m sure I murdered that phrase) or no thank you will suffice. The Jehovah’s witnessess seem to mainly stand unobtrusively to the side and offer you literature, if even that.

    There’s a Mormon church down the block, and one often sees very pale white young men in pairs wearing suits or white shirts, slacks and ties with bakcpacks scurrying around. We assume they’re in training for the ministry, but rarely see them inttervene with anyone, though they did once with me.

    As for the Jehovalh’s witnesses–ok, coffee’s out. But what do they generally prefer instead: a cocktail or a nice cold beer?

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd:

    Great comments, but first, you said:

    “NOTE: Nigerian time is worse than any CPT.”

    It took me long enought to screw up the courage to ask S where he was originally from (why? did I think he’d take offense or something that i didn’t think he was born here what with that accent and all?) But I am now curious about Nigerian culture. Anything you can tell me? Not that I’d presume you knew, but since you said something about the CPT thing, I thought I’d ask.

    I don’t even know what their govt is like. BG vaguely thought they had a sort of “democratic” but corrupt government that was very bribeable. But again, I haven’t a clue. Guess one trip to Wikipedia would set me straight.

    Aside from that, his lawyer colleague may be Nigerian but maybe Haitian or from some other former French colony. His accent was much much less pronounced and as I say he reminded me for all the world of a young Sidney Poitier.

    I get the feeling they’re both religious in some quiet way. S has two cell phones, one for his personal calls and one for his office, and the latter always plays “When the Saints come marching in.” I joked with the receptionist that I already knew he was there because I heard his cell phone before I even saw him.

    The poor guy is sometimes juggling both cells at once. I went from zero to three in the past two weeks–gave one to BG and one to G (my ex boyfriend/roomate) but BG is 21st century phobic so I wind up using his as well as mine. Since the batteries tend to run out of juice quickly, I also carry both in my purse. I pondered asking S if we could put together some sort of cell phone juggling act. Maybe we could also attempt to answer simultaneously ringing phones in mid air.

    Note to Christopher:
    Rather than religion being evil per se as you seem to believe (if not, please pipe up and say something–anything!), if practiced without the need to try to terrorize everyone around you to convert, it can actually be a good thing. A bit of the old ten commandments and all that–a handy reminder to people not to become one of the money grubbing androids out there with no heart and soul. Furthermore, it can keep one aware that one is first and foremost a full fledged member of the human race (aka a child of G-d) and are therefore officially forbidden to cheat, steal, murder, etc. in the name of the “almighty” dollar. Doesn’t always take, but hey, it’s worth a shot.

    I have commented on the new BC forums to the effect that none of the politics editors seem to be on board thus far, and Christopher seems to be MIA from there as well as here, save for a few cuts and slashes and maybe a little font adjustment and admonishment about watching the comment tagging. What gives? Is there some sort of week-long editor’s holiday I should know about?

    Yeah, yeah, busy, swamped, new projects,etc etc. You never call, you never write…that’s ok, don’t worry about me, I’ll just sit here in the dark (a little Jewish mother nagging schtick for you there, folks, in case you couldn’t tell).

    There is, moreover, a qualitative difference between Jewish and Catholic guilt. With Jewish guilt, your mom will make you feel like a heartless cad if you don’t call or visit enough. With Catholic guilt, your mom or dad will sit you on your knee and tell you that if you misbehave or think about sex, ever, you will burn in an everlasting lake of hellfire. No wonder BG still has trouble falling asleep at 50-plus years old…

    Q: How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: That’s ok, don’t worry about me, I’ll just sit here in the dark…

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Zedd 236 and 237:

    You’ve opened my eyes here just as Heloise did. Yes, I think you’re right about whites–after all, we’re the predominant culture and thus the “industry standard,” so to speak.

    But Jews also feel some of this because this is a predominantly Christian nation. Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday that has been expanded into a pseudo-Christmas, since kids do get little gifts or candy or toys during that week as well.

    But we’re talking, like, a few pairs of socks, maybe a dreidel, a chocolate gold coin, a couple of bucks, and so on–or at least that was true in the good old days (Ruvy? Am I wrong?) Now of course it’s just a clone of Christmas for many folks.

    There was a big brouhaha a year or two ago over whether to wish people “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” But that’s a whole nother thread.

    Yes, you’re quite right. Kids are kids no matter what race etc. I read NY Magazine a lot–have for years–and every once in awhile they have an article about mainly white rich kids who go to private school on the Upper East Side (a la Robert Chambers and Jennifer Levin) and are so far “ahead” in terms of the latest trends in delinquent behavior that the mind boggles.

    Street drugs are mostly out, in favor of scripts stolen from their parents or swapped with kids at school (Ritalin, etc). Sex parties, of course. All right under the nose of their oblivious, wealthy parents who have provided them with the “best” of everything. They are so jaded at 16 that one has to wonder what is left for them to experience after that.

    Most of the hippies of the 60s were from middle class homes, and they couldn’t wait to get away from that bourgeois prison. Again, they had the best of everything–college educations, freedom, and all the rest–but they loved nothing better than to wear faded jeans, eschew bourgeois society, and so on. Now most of them have children if not grandchildren and are headed for retirement. Funny, no?

    Here’s a scenario for you: a new blogpal of mine who is also a Jewish New Yorker of A Certain Age has lived in Manhattan for a very long time. Rich Jewish parents; the best of everything; trips abroad in high school; set up in her own Manhattan place (and no fifth floor walkup, either) from day one, etc.

    She trained as a social worker and worked for awhile in BG’s Bronx hood. Said she loved the neighborhood and the people, but what troubled me is this:

    Her job entailed determining benefits for mothers with kids. She had issues with the fact that she was a single, childless woman, since she felt that others thought she was inadequate somehow without a husband and children.

    She actually pretended to have a child so that her clients wouldn’t look down on her.

    I said that I thought that was very misguided. Though you may think I’m wrong, I have a huge prob with broken homes whether through divorce or one-parent families with no husband.

    The reason for this is that when a young woman has a child or children out fo wedlock and can hardly support herself let alone her kids, the chances that her kids will succeed seem to be much less certain.

    This cuts across all races–BG’s brother has a stepdaugher who had a child out of wedlock. She is about 30 years old, sponges off BG’s brother and has for years. She has been going for her bachelors for about 10 years–dropping out, re-enrolling, changing majors, and so on. Meanwhile BG’s bro has his wallet open and his checkbook at her disposal every time her current drug addict boyfriend needs to be bailed out of jail, etc. He cosigned all her student loans, which she had no intention of paying back, and finally paid them all off when he got some inheritance money from his folks. But he was too intimidated to tell her that’s where the money came from, thus enabling her sociopathy to continue unabated.

    Long story short, BG’s bro and her wife are part time caretakers for this woman’s son while she parties away. She gets free housing because of her low income and (as she put it to BG) because of “him”–i.e., her five year old son. A more cynical and sociopathic young woman as I’d ever hope not to meet.

    Anyway, I told the ex-social worker that I thought this was misguided–firstly, why feel apologetic for being single and childless? Secondly, when I see how many children are abused or even murdered by boyfriends and “stepdads” of these kids, it infuriates me.

    As far as white guilt goes, this woman was doing so many contortions she must have been double jointed.

    Meanwhile, she’s complaining how expensive and crowded Manhattan is becoming, and how she loves NYC but feels like she has to move-perhaps to California.

    I half-jokingly suggested the Bronx, but she nixed that idea–she’d lived in Riverdale for a few years and hated every minute of it. Very Jappy up there, apparently.

    But I can’t help but wonder why she wouldn’t even consider it. In one fell swoop she’d have loads of money from the sale of her Manhattan place and could buy a huge, beautiful Bronx coop for a song. Her maintenance would be low, her cost of living would plummet, and she’d be in a neighborhood not yet overrun with tourists and congestion and construction.

    So what could be holding her back? Could it be an elitism about Manhattan, and perhaps not being willing to leave her white comfort zone? it’s one thing, as you infer, to “help” “those people”–quite another, I suppose to live amongst them not as a helper but as a peer and neighbor.

    What say you? Am I wrong? is she? Are we both?

  • MAOZ

    Elvira #244, no need to worry about murdering a Spanish phrase when telling people you don’t speak Spanish — in fact, if you do “murder” it, it’ll just add confirmation to your claim, right?

  • Nancy

    Elvira #208: I was taught there are some rules of thumb about when to tell white lies, to whit: when someone has done something to look weird/awful – but they can’t do anything about it (like having a big nose, or because it’s already happened, like having TP stuck to your shoe), you tell the LWL & assure them it’s OK. If something CAN be done – the dress is too tight, the hair is awful – you can say judiciously something to the effect of, “well, personally I prefer your hair long & curly, so I don’t really care for that style on you (to Brittany Spears, for example). I think it’s too extreme to reflect the YOU that I know,” or something else that tells them truthfully that they don’t look good &/or you can’t/don’t approve, but at the same time makes it a matter of individual taste. If you’re VERY close to someone, you can go a bit further & say, “I don’t think you should have done that. It’s just too extreme & people will stare. Let me help you find a good wig until it grows out.” My REAL friends will tell me the truth, brutally if they must, in order to keep me from looking like a fool in public – & offer to help me fix it if necessary. On the other hand, there’s no point in saying, ‘gee, that’s a great dress, but you really need a nose job’. I can’t exactly run right out that second & get a nose job, can I? Besides, I’m very aware already of my nose (or weight, or what-have-you), in all probability.

    There are all kinds of ways to tell the truth but not get nasty about it. Like when I called someone here at BC who is very argumentative “feisty” originally. Eventually I had to go to stronger terms, but as a first approach it was a good one, since it let them know (if they were going to pick up on it) that they were argumentative (without my being nasty about it & saying “boy are you a quarrelsome jerk”). See?

    With unwanted or stupid gifts, you can always say something like, “Oh, this will be SO useful-!”; you just don’t mention it will be useful in the landfill, altho if they’re very close, you can wrap it up & re-gift it to them next year, & say, “as soon as I saw this I knew you wanted it back; this really is a classic ‘mathom'” (mathom = gift that keeps getting passed around year after year because nobody wants it. Like a good fruitcake.).

  • Nancy

    Elvira/Zedd/all: I’m glad to see you 2 talking. People can disagree with you – even vociferously – & not be your enemy. I get along with Arch, even when he tells me I’m a liberal loonie, etc. because he’s civil most of the time, when I’m not calling him a political neanderthal. I always figure there are just some things about our lives that other people won’t be able to connect with, no matter how willing they be or how hard they try; and there are things that I know I have taken far more deeply than they deserve, so maybe their comments about ‘get over it’ are on target – or not. But it shouldn’t be a capital offense to me. If nothing else, I’ve read some very excellent POV explanations by each of you as to why/how you view things as a Jew/black that I would never have thought of or realized loom large in the minds of Jews or AAs, so this was/is a good thing, for all of us reading your exchanges.

  • Zedd

    #246

    I think that what matters most in society is issuing kindness. Your friend doesn’t understand the society that she is working in because it is completely new to her but I am more impressed with her effort to make other people comfortable. We don’t do enough of that. I would rather her do what she is doing than for her to lecture about something that she has no knowledge about.

    People will tell that she is a novice and will love her for just wanting to express kindness and display humanity.

    I am disheartened by the numbers of unwed parents in the AA community. Again, we do what we know.

    I attribute the success and the cohesion of the Jewish people to the thousands of years of Jewish traditions which promote the culture and virtues. Even non religious Jews benefit from the existence of that tradition because there is a subconscious understanding of an expectation for a Jewish person.

    Again there is a reason why were don’t buy and sell people, strip them of an opportunity to create a society, strip them of an opportunity to wed, etc. That damage will not be fixed in a 100 yrs.

    However the situation, it has to be repaired. That is what thousands of people like myself are focused on.

    With the people in my circle, that scenario is non extant. The thousands of people in my church for instance are married couples who are doctors, University instructors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, VPs and other professionals. That is very different from what goes on in the urban setting.

    ——

    On the religious people that you encountered, I would have smiled and said no thank you and felt sorry for them. They are either imbalanced or brain washed. I’m not Catholic but I don’t think that Catholics proselytize like that. That was just odd.

  • http://www.thechurchofanswers.com Heloise

    Elvira,

    I planned to get back sooner. I got distracted with doing grades, and Condi Rice’s latest antics made me write an article that took another day to put together. Besides, I thought this tread was endless…:)

    Anyway, I was reading your post on bc forums. What is the forum that was started about “shut the f up? I couldn’t find it?

    The boyfriend thing: Yes, true, I’ve had 5 Jewish boyfriends of varying degrees of intensity. The reason I said white in the other post is because my latest, love of my life guy, was white and not Jewish. The Jewish guys were quite a while back. Sorry for the confusion. But they were bonifide Jews…okay? LOL.

    In fact I think I have done something no one else has done: dated a Jew and a Palestinean back-to-back.

    They didn’t know about each other. But the Jewish law student came first. And after we broke up, he drank too much, he started stalking me and making obscene calls. I knew it was him.

    Anyway, I dated the Palestinian polisci student. But had to let him go for the same reason that I had to ditch the Malaysian engineering student: They all drank too much for me. I can’t deal with men who drink. It ruins your sex life. Anyway, I’ll talk to you on the bc forums too.

    Heloise

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Hey all:

    I’ve been offline for a few days because we’re getting ready to close on our old apt–today at noon! But did want to thank you for your comments since then.

    I’ll write more later (have to get ready to go into the city and get myself a nice big check!) but very briefly:

    Nancy, Zedd, Heloise et al:

    Thanks for the terrific comments–I agree with all of what you’ve said. Heloise, if you’ve dated Jewish men, it would only follow that you’re not exactly anti-Semitic. Sorry about the stalking thing–what a drag.

    Re: the BC forum: in short, I made an ass of myself and have posted an apology to the Yahoo writer’s e-group and the forum itself.

    Zedd: Yes, it’s a bit odd for most Catholics to be that way, but there are some fundamentalists (including the ones that bomb abortion clinics) who are pretty radical.

    My blogpal is definitely well meaning, but again, I think there may be a disconnect between “helping” people in need and actually contemplating living amongst them, but I am probably way wrong, since she told me over and over how much she loved the hood and the cool people, including teens, that she encountered there.

    I have a bad habit of seeing “perfect” solutions to other people’s problems, and if they express their frustration I’m likely to offer some advice or feedback. I know what her ‘hood is like, and it is now, even more than before, an enclave of the privileged classes. She adores NYC, but Manhattan is turning into an unlivable zone even for those who can still afford it, and since they’re raising her coop maintenance by about 50 percent, she needs to find some financial solutions quickly. She does love the diversity of NYC and may try California, but it’s not exactly dirt cheap there either. But she figures she can find something less expensive than NYC there.

    My only observation was that she seemed genuinely torn by her love for the city and the need/desire to get out from under. To me, of course, the solution seemed “clear”–but again I only mentioned it in passing jokingly once or twice.

    I still do believer that many young whites do have some trepidation about moving into a largely minority neighborhood, partly out of fear and partly because the urban amenities do not match their lifestyle. But as the services continue to improve and the rents begin to rise, there will likely be more of an influx of these folks. I only hope that the many working class/poor people who call this home don’t get pushed out in the process, and that the cost of living doesn’t rise too radically.

    Nancy: Yes, it is quite a relief when you’re close enough to someone to cut through the bull and say what needs saying. BG and I bicker like an old married couple, and I’m grateful we do rather than hide resentments from each other that can then build up and fester and eventually produce an explosion. Better to have the minor skirmishes as they occur than the total nuke meltdown later.

    Again, many thanks again for the comments! TTFN–Elvira

  • Nancy

    You’re moving – ! No wonder you were feeling peevishly for awhile there. That’s enough to make anybody go postal, IMO. I last moved 10 years ago, & I STILL have cartons I haven’t unpacked yet. So…where/what part of NYC are you moving to? My definition of a good friend is someone who will tell you honestly that those pants make you look fat – before you hit the streets & everybody in public wonders whether you bothered to look in a mirror when you put the things on.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro Nicolo

    Wo, wo. Slow down! You mean, Catholics don’t have the inside track to heaven? Man, I gotta rethink things here. As for wanting to know what stereotypes white people have and think of each other just read soccer threads. It’s amazing what aggrieved soccer fans will come up with. Most of it pathetic of course.

  • http://www.thechurchofanswers.com Heloise

    NYC passed symbolic law that N word should be banned.

    I forgot Elvira stated early on that she was moving. Yes, Nancy I have been in my house nearly ten years. And guess what? Only this past summer did I clear out the attic and finally put things where they belong. I can’t believe it took me so long. But I also had to renovate garage before I had the space. That took me like five years of living here first.

    But anyway, E, just remember don’t rush stuff when you move. It does take time and in a new community. I feel for you. I found that it takes no less than 5 years to settle into a community after moving.

    I’ve been in Texas going on 11 years.

    Heloise

  • Clavos

    Elvira writes:

    She adores NYC, but Manhattan is turning into an unlivable zone even for those who can still afford it, and since they’re raising her coop maintenance by about 50 percent, she needs to find some financial solutions quickly. She does love the diversity of NYC and may try California, but it’s not exactly dirt cheap there either. But she figures she can find something less expensive than NYC there.

    Tell her to take a look at Miami.

    It’s not cheap, but still beats NYC and CA, and in terms of diversity, growth, and opportunity it’s a lot like NYC must have been at the beginning of the twentieth century immigration explosion, but with all the mod cons.

    Lots of work, too.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Hi again:

    Somehow I missed these new comments–either I didn’t get notification on the e-group, or whatever…but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless.

    I’m moving from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Northwest Bronx. If you walk about two blocks, you hit the river and the bridge into upper Manhattan. It’s near the Bronx Zoo, the NY Botanical Gardens, and Fordham University.

    I know the ‘hood well since BG has lived here for almost 9 years. He’s another Manhattan transplant.

    The move itself is not a prob–rather, it’s having to deal with real estate “professionals” that has driven me batshit insane. My ex-boyfriend (we co-owned the Manhattan place) is now looking for a new place, and in the process of trying to help him out I’ve had several encounters with shady lawyers, brokers, mortgage companies, etc.–many with their greedy grubbing hands out but as unscrupulous and/or incompetent as the day is long.

    Rather than just cry about it, I wrote a few pieces–one of them also on BC–as part of a series called “Adventures in Real Estate.” So far I’ve exposed one of these brokers, complete with name and links, and though it will probably change nothing, it did feel good to “out” her.

    I have a new blog as well devoted exclusively to NYC, and I have plenty of material to draw upon. I find myself being drawn more into the economic/political aspect of real estate–esp since my new area is (in my opinion) destined to continue to develop. As it does, the poor/working poor who call this home may find themselves booted out unless careful measures are taken from the start. There is an organization right down the road that is tackling this imminent problem, and I’ve been invited to attend a “shrinking affordability” forum at Fordham University later this month. I plan to write about these issues, as well as many others here and on my NYC blog.

    I’m starting virtually from scratch–I shitcanned all the old boxes I’d carried from place to place for the past 30-odd years. I’ve been shopping online for furniture, housewares, etc;; I have a painter lined up; and as soon as I know my closing date I can plan to have the place all furnished and set up in record time.

    There was a time, many moons ago, when a person of modest means (or even less) could have a wide choice of apts in Manhattan that were affordable and even spacious. Those days are long, long gone. But to me, the Bronx is like deja vu–it is astounding what you can get here, dirt cheap, but even here prices have doubled in the past 5-7 years.

    Meanwhile, all the old developments in Manhattan and Brooklyn that were set up for the working/middle classes are being eliminated–including the place we just sold, which we bought for 8 grand in ’91–with no mortgage and dirt cheap maintenance. The buyer of our Manhattan place looks to be all of 20 years old, and doesn’t strike me as a hotshot Wall Street broker, so I’d guess that mommy and daddy are buying her way in. Lord knows I could never afford to buy my own place back for 450K! Yes, folks, 450K for an 800 square foot coop. And that’s a bargain in Manhattan–one beds elsewhere can go for about 650K and way up–and the maintenance is about 450 (many Manhattan places can run into the thousands). When you hit two beds, you’re talking a mill, minimum. But despite the recent housing downturn in the US, Manhattan prices are still going strong. People will do anything and pay anything just to live on this little island.

    So when I express puzzlement over my friend, it’s because of this very real elitism that still exists about the “idea” of Manhattan. It is still seen as the grand prize–the place where everything is happening, and to live outside its epicenter was until recently to be somehow lacking. But as my friend can attest to, the cost of living is insane, it’s getting more and more overcrowded, it’s losing much of its old, essential character, and it’s becoming a ghetto for the very rich.

    It broke my heart to leave, but I’ve had plenty of time to get used to the idea–it’s taken 9 years to get this process going, since my ex-boyfriend/roomate didn’t want to give up the place for love or money.

    In any case, I talk plenty about this stuff elsewhere–including my New York Stories series here on BC.

    Clavos–I seem to remember an article you? wrote where lots of people said there was a lot of crime and other probs going on in Miami. Yes, it’s diverse, but maybe too “diverse” for my friend’s liking, if you get my drift…

    Allesandro–both my current and ex-boyfriends were good Catholic altar boys back in the day. BG’s mom is super religious and she and her husband even joined a cult a long time ago, until the Church declared it to be a schism and announced that those who did not leave its ranks would be excommunicated.

    Though there is a lot of beauty and magic in the Catholic rituals and beliefs, I have seen with my own eyes what havoc it can wreak on innocent children who are told that if they misbehave they will burn in an everlasting lake of hellfire, etc. Most Catholics live and let live, but of course there are always those crackpots who presume to know what is best for the entire world. BG’s mom sends him religious letters and literature, and has her own very odd views, but she’s also surpisingly well read and a real sweetheart most of the time. And she likes Jews–lucky for me. One time she thanked me for being such a good friend to BG–and for giving her “our Lord” to boot. Ah, wasn’t nothing…glad I could be of help.

    Nancy–I agree with you–a friend in need of a reality check is a friend indeed. Unfortunately, BG is in the habit of trying to buy me jeans from the Bronx bargain racks. He can wear anything and it looks great on him–I cannot. He tried to get me to wear some pants he bought me that made me look like Farmer Jones, and doesn’t seem to think that I should go for the women’s jeans at all. Not a big help.

    Anyway, back to the “n’ word–as Heloise alluded to, there have been some new developments which I may write about as a “part 2.”

  • http://www.myspace.com/izzizzdabest izzy

    i think the “N” word should be abolished because that small word is bringing this generation back in to slavery

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    Izzy:

    That may just sum it all up, in a way…but it depends on how you look at it, I guess.

    BTW: Part 2 can be found here:

  • sir david stephens,jr.

    The n-word shouldn’t be banned,but the action of being treated as such should.As Blacks,we are demeaned through social injustice,yet tell ourselves that this is okay,but when we or anyone says nigger,that this somehow is wrong.No word has ever carried power unless you believed in it,however,all physical actions do and to be treated without having any value is far greater than being told that you have no value,because that alone is what becomes a hinderance to our progression and should be our focus combatting. Every person is entitled to love,like,dislike or hate his neighbor,but when those feelings turns into actions that limits or binds me,then do we have a problem,also stop apologizing for the wrongs done unto you,you’re the victim,you have nothing to apologize for,furthermore,stop asking to be apart of what someone doesn’t want you to be apart of.Blacks care more about the love, approval and acceptance of whites for our needs and concerns,we don’t care about ourselves.When we learn to build,develop and implement the needed actions to move our community forward,you won’t give the n-word or anything else a second thought,for example,are we building a new King memorial,because we love him so or is it to keep us a marred in backwardness and debt.He doesn’t need that,but need to instill his values in us, which is how you demonstrate your appreciation. Do you think a man that fought so hard to assure we become efficient would allow us to spend our monies in a non-productive fashion,money that could have gone to improving schools and education,business development,new hospitals or healthcare to those without,agricultural needs and groceries,these are what Black people should be working towards,not some pointless,cosmetic and superficial notion of equality,but proven change that we command,no one will ever give a damn about us until we start caring enough about ourselves

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com Elvira Black

    Sir David:

    If by any chance you’re still out there, I’ve been offline for a long time and I’m now going thru each of my old pieces to see if any stray comments didn’t get a response.

    I just wrote a very long comment but it vanished before I could post it. My new computer seems to do that a lot. I still have to figure out its quirks.

    So I’ll come back later and add some more…a lot has changed since this piece was written, needless to say.

    Thanks so much for the feedback, y’all (lol)…