2009-07-10

White Liberalism Has Boundaries


I went over to TPM to the reader's blog section and found a story discussing the Valley Swim Club Incident in Philly. The writer was discussing why white liberals feel so guilty. On another story, a writer posted, asking for more information on the president of the club, John Duesler,because the writer felt he could have possibly been railroaded, as he was an Obama supporter, and apparently in that person's mind, there was no way he could have made the comments he made or be associated with an organization that would exclude black children from their swimming pool.

As I read the first story, I understood what the writer was saying. It made sense to me that sometimes white liberals talk the talk, but don't walk the walk when it comes to race, racism, and race relations. They encourage diversity, but move to suburbs to avoid minorities and put their children in all white schools. They talk about voting for Obama as proof of not being racist, even though they harbor racist feelings.It isn't all white liberals, but it happens.

The comments in response to this story were telling. They actually defended Duesler, saying he was being railroaded by the media, and looking at his background as a Obama supporter and peace activist, he must be non racist. That we should give Duesler the benefit of the doubt, that maybe we haven't heard the whole story, it goes back to my belief that most white people think racism is blatant KKK cross burning, and everything else is up in the air. Some provided links in which the Club issued statements that the decision to keep the kids out of the pool had nothing to do with race as proof enough that the club's actions weren't racist. That racism was in the "eye of the beholder", and that we shouldn't rush to judgement. Another one took the statement off the club website was proof of not being racist, because the club described itself as "multi-ethnic and diverse", showing no proof of how many non white members the club actually has. So far there has been one minority, a hispanic teenager stand up for the club. Before the statement was placed on the website, the pictures showing members of the club, did not reflect diversity. If there was diversity at that club, it was hidden.

Again white liberalism has shown that it is all for diversity and showing compassion, but only to a certain extent. If you tow the party line, you can be defended, even if you are defending those who aren't necessarily practicing what they preach.

8 comments:

A. Spence said...

So we should wait to hear why he stated that it would change the ‘complexion’ of the club?

Them saying ‘I voted for Obama’ is the equivalent of saying ‘I have black friends’.

A.Smith said...

I had to quit reading the comments once I got to the part where they were pulling quotes from the website. The ignorance irks me in a place I can't get to.

My favorite was whichever commenter alluded to the idea that one person doesn't speak for a whole group. Last I checked, the President of an organization does speak for said organization.

The problem with liberal white racists is that they think the liberal title absolves them of any racist attitudes they have. Bottom line is, if you're racist -- fine, whatever -- but don't pretend like you're not. Don't smile in my face and then wash your hands after shaking mine...

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha, Siditty, I spent the last day telling internet folk the same thing...that 95% of racism is virtually invisible. White folks take pride in knowing they would never discriminate against black kids at a pool, but they regularly participate in discriminatory practices that hurt black folk.

revolution girl said...

this is another reason why i no longer call myself a "liberal" and use the word progressive (although, i'm even hesitant to do that). this is just another example of white people trying to find some way--any way to gloss over their racism so they can believe when live in some imaginary "post-racial" society. i was reading comments on another blog, and while EVERYONE condemned this behavior, there was one guy so eager to defend the club (and yep, quoting their website. how unbiased!)

i am convinced that nothing has changed since the CRM, except now people have to attempt to hide their racism. or they vote for the black guy to feel better about themselves.

Grata said...

White liberals are dangerous to race relations. Because their racism is not obvious, they are now watering down the definition of racism. So unless someone burns a cross on your lawn, there is no racism.
They are helping transition racism into its next covert phase.
In my experiences as a BW in America, I have realized that the most egregious racial acts will be directed at BM. Here we get the N word, cross burnings etc. And ofcourse they too get the covert kind.

The more subtle racism like this kind will be directed at Black Women and Children. And liberals defend this kind of racism by trying to convince everyone that it doesn't exist.

Mimi said...

That's why I laugh whenever I hear people have that mindset that only the white, southern conservative can be racist. An all-out LIE. As a liberal myself, I've gotten a dose of that kind of racism from both sides of the coin. People who'll smile in your face one minute, then shout a racial epithet at you when they get pissed off. This has come from both liberals and neo-cons alike. Take a look at Hilary supporters. Or Tammy Bruce. Geraldine Ferraro. Don Imus. The list goes on.

Anonymous said...

white liberals i find are the worst.
these are the people who say that minorities (non whites) should live in the same neighbourhood with us and yada yada yet would be the first to move out of a neighbourhood if say a mexican moved in next door and i really hate how they have this sense of superiority just because they're so worldly and have atleast one friend in each country.
They can say some of the most racist things and not even understand or think that it's racist.it's more annoying than anything else.

they're like hipsters.

Anon said...

I could personally attest to the hypocrisy among some white liberals. I work for two of the most liberal highly connected people in NYC. They have kids that work in the white house and their son-in-law spoke at the Democratic convention. Yet, to their black employees they're more mean than a black mamba in your sleeping bag. Trust me when I tell you I rather an in your face right-wing nut bag than a liberal with a carefully crafted smile in your face and a knife in your back.