Race-Baiting, Netiquette and the Caucasian ideal

Posted by Rhizome | Thu Mar 13th 1997 1 a.m.

Reacting to Dimela Yekwai's recent RHIZOME RAW posts "Communication and
Its Journey into the Modern World" and "Bombarded Images," Mike Tulloch
wrote:

ENOUGH with the RACE-BAITING ALREADY!!!

I thought this was a forum for discussion about events and stuff...but
if we can just use it as a place to vent our spleen, then you'd better
watch out. There are some of us who are getting pretty p.o.ed about
stuff too...

Netiquette is a good thing.

To which John Priestley reponded:

I think there's an important distinction to be made between race-baiting
and the open discussion of anger over an oppressive, racist history.
Anger can be discussed with civility. That's what I see in yekwai's
poem. I see mostly hostility in mtulloch's little surgical strikes of
the past coupla weeks.

[...]

mtulloch claimed at one point to be a proponent of the raceless,
genderless, non-denominational, trans-national flow of data -- the same
one Microsoft is trying to sell us on their TV commercials. But now
he's turned his hand to show the us/them dichotomy at the heart of his
zeal. I also happen to be a lilly-white bourgeois yank male, but I hope
he doesn't count me among his "us who are getting pretty p.o. ed."
(What does that mean, anyway -- post-officed? Are we going postal
here?)

Netiquette is a good thing, but it is not dead silence.

Pierre LeFranc also responded to Dimela Yekwai:

Hi, I go along with a lot of what you're saying but I feel there are
certain inconsistancies in your argument *spoken like a true English
conspirator*. These being:

1. A lot of your proposed history of mankind is completely unfounded and
romanticised. We simply do not and never will know how we evolved in
this sense. The story you tell has quite a distinct anglocised flavour
to it, it reminds me of school lessons (in England) about the EVOLUTION
OF MANKIND. These 'lessons' contain a number of assumptions which are
derived from the Caucasian ideal.

2. Any ideal of truth comes straight from the jaws of the capitalist
beastie. We cannot go back and recover a lost past and refind truth; we
are no longer innocent (if we ever were) of what's been going on. If
capitalism is going to be critiqued then it must be from a different
zone because historical nostalgia is one of its main weapons.

(BTW I like the mouse poem)

Then came Tulloch again:

Wonder what that is. Is there really such a thing as the "Caucasian
ideal"?

Capitalism (an economic system) produces ideals of truth (spiritual
system)? How does that one work?

[...]
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