Posts Tagged ‘Black people’

Since I had nothing better to do, I bought a 12-er of Bud Light (the official beer of Tucson)  and toddled on over to one of my neighbor’s places tonight.

His two 80-or-90 pound  mutts threatened me when I walked through the gate, until I said, “Knock off the shit, motherfuckers” and put my hand down toward them, fingers curled back, so they could sniff me. They were fine after that.

There were only the three of us tonight — yours truly, my neighbor, and his gay nephew — a really nice guy I’ve known for years.

This is how much things have been changing: my neighbor’s nephew (early 40s) is very open about being gay, and that ain’t all that unusual around here anymore. It’s “fine, whatever…” Nobody gives a shit.

But his boyfriend, from Hermosillo, keeps it all a secret. Up here, not so much. Down there, yeah, a secret. A shameful secret.

One hopes that the more tolerant attitudes up here along the border will seep down. Maybe. Probably.

One other really weird thing we talked about was one of my ex-GFs, a Texan from Houston. She’s a barely disguised racist — against Mexicans — not that she’ll admit it — but is fine with black people.

Weird, yeah. I know.

I think my neighbors were kind of disgusted that I’d have anything to do with — let alone have sex with — such an asshole, but didn’t want to say anything about it.

Go figure. Needless to say, that’s over with.

And this is over with for now: another tale from the hood.

Stay tuned.

(More utterly depressing pictures from out my front door shortly.)


by Chaz Bufe, publisher See Sharp Press

Six years into his presidency, after betraying the people who elected him time after time, in almost every particular, Barack Obama has finally done something right: he’s called for police to wear body cameras.

This would go a long way toward reducing crimes (committed by the cops). I’ve talked about police terrorism, violence, and crime in previous posts, and the brutality yours truly and my friends and neighbors have been subjected to. So, for once, bravo Obama–too bad it only took you six years to propose this. Let’s see if action follows. As Hillary Clinton–who I despise as much as I despise Obama–said, “he gives a great speech”; again, we’ll see if action follows.

I’m sitting here listening to “Democracy Now,” and they’re talking only about “communities of color.” Yes, the police fuck over black and brown people more than they do white people. No argument there. But here in Tucson’s Keeling ‘hood, which The Arizona Daily Star calls a “hardscrabble neighborhood,” damn near everybody hates the cops, including the white folks. (My white friends in the neighborhood are all bikers, and the police screw with them mercilessly.) Damn near everybody here looks upon the cops as an occupying army, who can (and do) get away with murder.

So, for once,  bravo Obama. Let’s reduce crime. Let’s have the cops wear body cams.

Front cover of "The Heretic's Handbook of Quotationsby Chaz Bufe, publisher See Sharp Press

A couple of weeks ago an acquaintance (who I’ve know for roughly 20 years) was very excited about the article on reparations (for African-Americans) in The Atlantic. He called me to talk about it (of course he hadn’t read it–I hadn’t either), and I said something to the effect of “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” I added that it’s a given that black people have been, and still are being, screwed over mercilessly in this country, but that I thought reparations demands were a really dumb idea, unless they were very specifically targeted against institutions that have exploited black people (e.g., banks’ and their “red-lining” practices).

He didn’t want to hear my reasons for saying that.

Those reasons are 1) blanket “reparation” demands–with “reparations” presumably financed by the government–divide working people along racial lines; 2) political goals and demands should be along economic lines, the 1% versus the rest of us (which unites people); 3) “reparations” demands are not demands for fundamental change–they implicitly accept the current corporate-capitalist political and economic set-up; 4) they reinforce the scarcity mentality that’s a huge stumbling block in the path of real social change–they reinforce the idea that there’s not enough to go around, and that the only way to reimburse some victims is to take from other victims. (And please, let’s not start playing the “who’s more oppressed?” game. If you want to divide and depress people, that’s a great way to do it.); and 5) there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of blanket “reparations” becoming reality any time soon–the primary effect of such demands is to drive the white working class into the arms of the Republicans.

To put this another way, if you want to get rid of corporate capitalism, don’t play into the hands of the corporate capitalists. If you’re going to make reformist economic demands, make demands that unite low and middle income people (increased minimum wage, increased taxes on the 1%, etc.), not divide them along racial lines.

My acquaintance didn’t want to hear any of that, and wouldn’t even let me articulate it–he kept interrupting me, and started playing the “who’s more oppressed?” game, among other things belittling the experience of my illiterate immigrant grandfather who worked for 40 years in a foundry before dying a horrible death of silicosis. When I took strong exception to that, he asked me, “Are you a racist?” At that point, I went ballistic.

Here’s why:

1) The “question” “Are you a racist?” is dishonest. It’s a trap, not an honest question. The person asking it is not seeking information, they’re not interested in your answer. They’re setting you up. If you say “yes,” they win. If you say “no,”  they’ll “enlighten” you by reciting standard PC talking points about how all white people are “privileged” and “racist.”

2) “Are you a racist?” is an accusation, not a question. There’s no way to win when someone asks you that, if you fall into the trap of answering “yes” or “no.” But there are two ways of handling that “question.” The first, as Jim Goad recently pointed out, consists of asking the person implying racism on your part to define racism. As Goad notes, that almost always “flummoxes” them.

The second way to handle that question is to in turn ask the world’s most offensive question: “Do you have sex with your mother?” (Just askin’, you know? What’s the harm in asking a simple question?) Goad’s way of dealing with the racism “question” is probably better, but this is probably more gratifying.

3) Asking someone “Are you a racist?” is condescending. The accuser invariably assumes that you are a racist,  that you need to be tricked into hearing the accuser’s prepared pearls of wisdom, and that you’re dumb enough to fall for it.

4) The PC use of  “racism” trivializes the term. The painfully earnest PC types who label every white person a “racist,” simply because they’re white, use exactly the same term to describe those who say disgusting things about and commit violence against people of other races. There’s a major difference between what you project is in someone’s head simply because of their race (white) and violent physical assault. So, please, stop trivializing the terms “racism” and  “racist.” Reserve them for those who say and do hurtful things based on race.

And don’t ever ask anyone that stupid, insulting question again. Stop using verbal traps. Be honest. Openly say what you mean–not hide behind “questions” that are accusations–and only ask questions if you want information, not as transparent attempts to set people up.