What is this racism thing you guys keep talking about? I know for a fact we
don't have it in Maine or New Hampshire. We can't.
It's my birthday today.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Patrick Lichty" <email@example.com
Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2003 4:39 PM
Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: rent-a-negro.com
> Wow, this is a really interesting little chord we've caught upon.
> I have an interesting position, primarily as an Ohioan in the Deep South
> (who is going to be so for at least three to sixty more years), and as an
> active member within the African-American community (now, THAT'S an
> interesting story), I have a lot of reflections on racism. And to tell
> the truth, I've gotten the reverse end on it.
> First things first.
> Racism is all over. Sure. For example, an old hacker buddy of mine used
> to run the Confederate BBS in Canton, OH, and my Great Uncle was Klan. I
> mean, hardcore KKK. A buddy of mine in high school fancied himself as a
> 'redneck country boy rebel' with pride. And this was around Canton and New
> Phila. Ohio. Some of the most racist garbage that I ever had to put up
> with was when I was dating an Af-Am woman in NE Ohio. You would not
> believe the fried chicken jokes I got, and I have a couple scarred
> from it. Primarily why we decided not to really pursue it.
> However, I can't say that racism is homogenous in its mode. In addition,
> in the community I'm part of has much of its boundaries in cultural
> terms. The Af-Am culture here is so different from the White, and to be
> perfectly honest, I really prefer it to the propriety to the White
> culture. And note that I'm not talking about people- I'm talking about
> cultures. Everyone's different, and some are more accepting than
> others. I know, as I got more than a few goofy looks at church, and one
> guest minister asked me what church I attended, as it was obvious that I
> had to come from a 'white' one. In addition, one of the leaders of the
> congregation said about places to live, etc. "Well, you know what I mean.
> You're white- you've got money,,,". Another person mentioned that we
> seemed to be adapting so well.
> To what?
> (on the church thing, I was raised Unitarian and still consider myself a
> practicing one, but we found a black Methodist church [my wife's
> denomination] that was full of such wonderful people... more for context
> than anything.)
> So, my argument here is that I posit that racism is as heterogenous as the
> people involved, although there are some problems like the post-war FHA
> zoning that caused many problems where institutional racism has caused
> metastructures, but I digress. To say that racism is racism is to
> overlook a lot of differences that I don't think people consider, such as
> region, historical practices, and the overarching matrix of institutional
> practices (governmental and private sector) that create the problems we
> have today.
> As an aside, one of the crazy things is to spend time with some of my
> friends and having one drone on about getting watermelon when we go to the
> beach. I gave him a look, and he shot back with a really wry smile, "Hey!
> happen to really LIKE watermelon! I like fried chicken too! Sometimes we
> actually eat this stuff..." There's a real awareness and good-humored
> nature to all this that's really healthy, at least with the people I know.
> It's just the mode. It's all over. There's a long way to go, and that's
> part of what I'm trying to do.
> But on to the new media thing.
> SUre, new media is a genre of privilege, but then high art is very, very
> privileged. I mean, even many of the 'border crossers' like Fusco, were
> born to privilege, and tend to throw their stones deep from within the
> white hegemonic order while claiming their street cred. I have no problem
> with this, but lets not conflate terms and be honest (I won't use the
> obvious metaphor here). There are a few who I think deserve street cred,
> but they are far and few between. Period.
> The question is to how we can get more minority groups (and I might even
> venture to say cultures) involved? There are some incredible
> socio.economic/cultural barriers up, hell, even gender... (However, there
> are a lot of women in new media, but most of them are euro/asian, and
> that's even another sterotype). That's one reason why I love Mongrel,
> people like Paul Vanouse's new media works on racial genetics and so on.
> So, I ask, how do we address these problems? Is new media hopelessly
> inbred, inscribed by cultural boundaries, or what? Can we make the
> boundaries more porous? How?
> + ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup
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