Things white people can get away with

Posted July 1, 2008

I’ve been compiling a list of various extralegal activities one can get away with in the United States if his/her skin lacks melanin.(I think maybe I should maybe shift to things that whites cannot get away with. That seems like a more realistic calling.) Particularly after reading this story in the New York Times. I mean… come on, now:

They said the agent, a man some had come to know as “Sergeant Bill,” boasted that he did not need search warrants to enter their homes because he worked for the federal government. [… “Mr. Jakob”] certainly looked the part. His hair was chopped short, residents recalled, and his stocky chest filled a black T-shirt he sometimes wore that read “Police.” They said he wore military-style boots, pants with pockets running down the legs and carried a badge (his lawyer said it was from a former job as a security guard in St. Louis). And his off-white Ford Crown Victoria was decked out with police radios and internal flashing lights, residents said.

Now try to imagine a Black man impersonating a federal agent for months. Kicking in white folks’ doors and, for months, locking white folks up on drug charges. If you’re white, nothing is impossible it doesn’t seem.

And look at the way the New York Times chooses to portray the whites caught with drugs. As innocent pet-owners. Uh..yeah.

Kanye: Front Page, Amy Crackhouse: No Page

The white press was tripping over each other to run the BS stories about Kanye at Bonnaroo. For the record, I generally don’t give a care about Kanye or multimillion dollar entertainers (with a few exceptions for actually talented folk like Prince and Ndegeocello). I look at these stories ‘cuz they tell a socio-cultural story about where people’s minds are.

Kanye was scheduled to perform at 2:45am Sunday morning during the white music festival Bonnarroo in Tennessee. Major white media outlets are reporting here, here and here that Kanye was an hour and twenty minutes late getting started. Most are running the AP piece by Jake Coyle, who only finds it fitting to parenthetically mention that the act before Kanye, a white band, Pearl Jam, went over their allotted time by a full hour. That delay by Pearl Jam, combined with unspecific technical difficulties with configuring Kanye’s performance rig are the reason that Kanye was late coming out. The focus, however, of the white media is Kanye’s supposed refusal to kiss the collective asses of the white fans at Bonnaroo. Kanye is probably an asshole. Most millionaires are. But the white media is again showing their biased treatment of millionaires with melanin. This larger campaign, whether intentional or not, conditions white America to think and therefore treat Black people as a whole, differently. And that’s differently as in worse than others are treated. By constantly sending out negative signals about high profile rich Blacks as well as the required daily broadcasts of poor Black people in handcuffs and orange jumpsuits standing in front of usually white judge (but, in their favorite cases, the judge will be Black, too), white media conditions white media consumers to think and thus act unfavorably towards their Black countrywomen and men.

Now, compare that to the total lack of coverage
of Amy WineCrackhouse punching her fans in the face while singing at Glastonbury:

Close your eyes and try to imagine Kanye doing “Flashing Lights” while punching fans in the face. That negro would be in Guantanamo Bay before the instrumental for the short ass song was even over.

But the white media completely ignores a white celebrity that everyone knows is on crack when she punches her fans in the face??? When they regularly pull this kind of shit on millionaires with melanin, it’s difficult for me to let them off the hook as it being incidental and random. There are far more white millionaires that are engaged in all kinds of drug use and other mischievousness that white media either ignores or frames very differently than when the same actions are pulled by Blacks with money. This is why, whether it be reporting on the depressed US economy, WMDs or Kanye West, few but naive white people trust the US mainstream media.

Some white folks will claim that this conspiracy is ludicrous. I don’t care what you call it. Conspiracy, assholes engaging in shoddy reporting; it is of little consequence what the motive may be. The effects are the same, the perpetuation of racist ideas, stereotypes and ultimately actions. I understand the impulse to recoil from anything even remotely smacking of ‘conspiracy’. The media, particularly white media but not only them, certainly do execute an ongoing campaign to disparage any kind of talk that describes, charges or analyzes conspiratorial actions unless it is a conspiracy white media owners are amenable to labeling as such. White media contributors and editors are keenly aware of their influence on public opinion and ultimately public actions, leading them to not publicize all kinds of things that they claim might incite undue fear in the public.

Blacks and non-whites generally, tend to see and understand this at far greater rates than our melanin-lacking brothers and sisters. Which gets to the crux of the problem. Racism and global colonialism, environmentally degradating consumerism, starvation in the so-called Third World…these are all problems created and sustained by white folks. But only together can we end them. Turn off the mind control boxes and start listening to your brothers and sisters of color. There is a lot for you all to learn and a long way for all of us to travel together.


7 responses to “Things white people can get away with”

  1. Anthony Avatar

    Kanye is t anything new – Bob Dylan did all the same things 30 years before him. However, Bob was, of course, white…so “argumentative” becomes “interesting”, “angry” becomes “contrarian”, and “rule-breaking asshole” becomes “revolutionary counter culture icon”.

    Also see: Steve Jobs.

  2. anon Avatar

    Kanye demanded a schedule change because his show, a LIGHT SHOW, was booked before sunset. This is less a prima donna request than an appeal to common sense. So some context there. This isn’t said to excuse megalomaniacal millionaire egos but the facts in this instance seem clear. The schedule change was a request he shouldn’t have even had to make and the lateness of the performance factually adds up to not being his fault but that of the organizers.

    On the other hand, Amy Crackhouse, who has five grammy awards gets a pass for crack cocaine and serving up in performance knuckle sandwiches to fans?

    I’m prolly just being too sensitive.

  3. Martin Avatar

    Yeah I have to agree with anonymous on this one. While I generally agree with your point, I think your examples here are off-base. You’re essentially advocating more insipid press coverage of trivial celebrity-related events. Why should any of us care about another Winehouse incident? There’s tons of negative stories about her all the time.

    A better example might be white media’s fawning over the white HR Derby champ, former drug addict Josh Hamilton, while they have tended to vilify or ignore, his “volatile” black teammate Milton Bradley. The NY Times had an interesting article about this the other day:

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Kanye demanded a schedule change, went on 2 hours late, and didn’t even address the crowd when he came on stage.

    He had to feed his ego by not accepting a smaller stage and demanding to be put on the main stage.

    The only reason Pearl Jam played longer was because Kanye WASN’T EVEN THERE, they had to fill time rather than just get off stage and people wait for this asshole to show up.

    Amy Winehouse is a crazy bitch. She is not news. She’s an idiot and we all know this. Kanye is a superstar. You really think they are the same level of artist and deserve equal media coverage? Please. It’s not a race thing. Get over yourself.

  5. Maeve66 Avatar

    Oh, my god, Missouri. Missouri is fucking insane. That is one crazy-ass state. Everything you say is true, and white people get away with shit constantly and everywhere in the United States. But Missouri is still one crazy-ass state. Only in Missouri would they think that a federal agent looked like an out-of-shape bouncer at a bar wearing a black tee shirt and camo pants. Everyone knows that federal agents look like Mormons who go door to door witnessing, but older, with little earpieces and tiny lapel badges.

    I think that you could usefully include cultural things that white folk get away with — and like to the website “Stuff White People Like”. Because it’s all true. Though yes, endless, too.

    maeve66 is a middle school teacher in a working class suburb of Oakland.

  6. Nicole C Avatar

    I actually like Kanye West,and although he is a millionare he dares to be different, even if it is in a mainstream type of way. That said, the media only acts as the medium by which larger corporations express their views. They provide the advertising and other sources of financing and the image of people of color becomes depicted through their eyes. These corporations are sphere-headed by the great 5% and they yearn to uphold the status-quo which bleeds with negative stereotypes about black people. It is our responsibility to fight against these stereotypes and find ways to force them to portray the truth. One way, as you mentioned, is to turn the idiot-box off and turn self-motivated knowledge on.

  7. Kate G Avatar
    Kate G

    Some of the best celeb examples of this come from professional sports, it seems to me.

    For examle;

    Kanye’s glasses and Amy Winehouse’s drug problem both make me sad.