Addressing Justified Concerns

Please allow me to opine after having read the prior comments… I was a western lad in college who migrated east and married a Virginia gal… it happened that she was a church school teacher and I volunteered to chauffeur a carload of students to Washington, DC. Upon discharging the students at Constitution Hall I stepped away from my car to ask a policeman directing traffic where the assigned parking was for school attendees. A parking lot attendant took this opportunity to get in my car and pull it into his lot. When I went to retrieve my car he accosted me and grabbed my shirt ripping the buttons off, Up to that time I was color blind. Was this racism?
Fast forward 40 years I was a reclaimed Prodigal and baptized in all black Chicago SDA Church. A year later I accepted a call by ADRA to become the Director of Rwanda following the genocide. This sad event was tribal, Hutu versus Tutsi in which 750,000 were killed. Just before leaving Chicago I was awarded an honorary doctorate which God knew I would need in Kigali, Rwanda. It gave me leverage with the government to release donated goods held for bribes in warehouses for ADRA projects without pay a penny. Upon return to the US I eventually joined AFLAC upon leaving ADRA. As a manager I had a black representative take offense when I made an innocent comment that was meant to be taken about my senior age to him, but I inadvertently used the racially charged word “boy”. So were all these experiences racist?
No, some were cultural, some were acceptance, some were innocent remarks and yes some were racist. I think that too often people forget the context and obviously taint the situation with a charge that is not warranted!


Sorry, Henry. I’m trying to quote and respond, but there’s likely some kind site-wide implementation on this forum to shorten your posts and keep these from clogging the database :slight_smile:

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Thanks, @Arkdrey.

A) My name is Harry, not “Henry.”

B) Using the quoting protocol of this forum to make it appear I have made statements that I have not is to lie.

Not only is doing so against the spirit of this forum, but it is to engage in the very behaviors I recently corresponded with racism: Deceit, secrecy, and violence. :thinking:

Blaming this on “some kind site-wide implementation on this forum to shorten your posts and keep these from clogging the database” is merely “making fun.”

Making fun of race victims is also something that racists do. So is having sexual relations with non-white people, during the existence of racism.



I apologize for misspelling your name, but not for my humorous attempt to demonstrate the generic tendency of having a conversation with you, which inevitably boils down to the template I described.

In any human society there are things like humor and comedy, which helps people to point out absurd content in certain scope of narrative and behavior.

I wasn’t making fun of the race of victims, which I don’t believe there’s such a thing to begin with. The context of a victim is individual. It doesn’t work as a statistical narrative, since individual experiences and contexts are different. You can’t viably build the narrative you are attempt to build , since a range of experiences that are comparable across the border spectrum of marginalized people of all races.

I was making fun of the way you presumptuously carrying discourse, thinking that people here are not able or not responsible-enough to carrying on a discussion without you playing a court stenographer and reminding them of how the conversation went.

So… it’s not a criticism of racial issue. It’s a criticism of the way you personally approach this discussion.

Secondly, I think it’s rather unnecessary to imply that you are victim in any of this, since you are already victim any of this… given that the color of my skin is lighter than yours, and I disagree with your ideological positioning of consolidating all people with light skin into a category of “the dominant oppressor” unless they do something about abnegating their “dominance in society”.

You may not be aware of the historical context from which all of this was borrowed, but I am aware of how French Revolution unfolded, and the consequences of throwing everyone associated with “Privilege” into the “oppressive class” that’s worthy of guillotine. The concept of “White Privilege” quite literally taken out from the bowels of French Revolution’s “Third Estate” narrative, in which only people with no privilege are the “true citizens”, and everyone else should be dealt with, whether they have merit for being a position that they are in or not. My family who survived Soviet repression and pogroms understands the origin of this narrative quite well. So, I recognize and oppose it when I see it.

What you are discussing isn’t the racial scope of the narrative. You are discussing political narrative that hooks into sympathy in order to gain some upper hand in any and every conversation…

To which I say… I am very happy to fight legal context of injustice with you, and have a coherent and rational discussion in which you justify your assumption, but when you are crossing into a proverbial hunt of ideological ghosts by the name of “global white supremacy”, and “white people act like white people”… I think I’m entitled to ridiculing your position, since it lacks basic human consideration and decency.

In short, I don’t find your position rational, and I find your approach to discussion to be way too templated. It seems like you are playing verbal chess, in which “White Supremacy” concept turns your pawns into queens, than having an honest discussion.


The culture of individualism surrounds most Americans, and they don’t see it. It is like water to a fish.

Issues of racism must be seen on a broader scale than individualism. To deny that is to deny American history. I understand that each white person can tell a story of how she felt she was not treated fairly. But, no white person can point to scores of laws and societal inequities that went on for decades after a Civil War that should have settled the US political field to be a place that honored the humanity of all.

Black men face the psychological and physical stress of living in black bodies. Police and vigilantes assume guilt and have been to quick to execute an atrocity and call it justice. White people do not face this. There is more to be said, but I believe one must listen to the experience of black people to start to understand. This is not something that can be dissected “clinically” by people who have not been the recipients of racist policies and faced the implicit bias that black men face.

I look forward to Allen Shepherd’s review. Currently, I am 80% finished with the book, White Fragility. That is a concept that I recognize.


Thanks, @Arkdrey.

You said:

In response:

I accept your apology.

You said:

In response:

I would only cite the antagonist, “Villanelle,” from the award-winning BBC series, Killing Eve: “Why do you always laugh at things that aren’t funny?”

You said:

In response:

I’m not clear why you sent this to me. Besides the fact that it is neither responsive to my post, per @ajshep, and certainly not to the one I’ve just sent you, these are mostly political conceits you’ve asserted in earlier statements, and that I consider either ill-conceived, irrelevant, or otherwise void. :smiley:

You haven’t even buoyed your original contention: “You understand that it’s not a fact based argument, right?

Also, you critique my manner of response. You do this as though yours will be novel insights, by which I should be chastened. That is actually funny.

Typically, when suspected racists dismiss the arguments of non-white people, they say it is because those arguments are “unsophisticated,” not because they are too architectonic. Well, as I’ve said, white supremacy is a robust system, thus far sustaining itself against any and all attacks.


Continuing the discussion from Addressing Justified Concerns:

Arkdrey thought it might be well to temper my responses. I thought that wise, so I did.

I was thanking Arkdrey for his wisdom. Since I had deleted my post to you, it accidentally got posted to you. My mistake.


I am going to stick with my wise choice and not responds. My initial post was to answer your accusations of racism on my part, but I don’t think answering will be helpful or useful. Only add heat rather than light.

Best to you.

That was actually quite good as a metaphor, Arkdrey, Very clever.

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Yes, but we are not living under those laws and in those decades. We are living in the present, a very different time and place with a very different culture. Those laws were there, and there are racists now. But to use them as a club to beat any white person is not logical.

Take Arkdrey for example. He experienced Soviet oppression, yet is part of “global white supremacy”.

Such broad brush thinking just does not work.

I am enjoying the book, and will comment later.

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Thanks, @ajshep. The best to you, in kind.

Also, thanks for your clarifications. I’ll add one more.

You said:

I’m confident, at this point, that you are correct, regarding what your responses would probably contribute.

But I’m going to stress the following, because it’s actually something untrue that you keep saying:

I have never accused you of racism. I’ve never accused any white person of racism. I know I’ve never done this, because doing so doesn’t conform to the way I talk about race; an approach that @Arkdrey referred to as “verbal chess.”

(You called his metaphor “actually quite good…very clever.” Of course, @Arkdrey’s error is imagining that I am doing some such thing rather “than having an honest discussion,” as if speaking purposefully, and engaging in a deferential conversation, were mutually exclusive.)

What I did accuse you of was being “a tad obsessed” with Black crime.

I said:

What’s odd about your charge is I am probably the only the person on Spectrum who has repeatedly said that Black people should not call white people racists. I don’t even think that there are white people here who urge this.

If there’s anything that you should take away from our infrequent exchanges, Allen, it’s that I’m at least “decent” at stating exactly what I mean to say; “I didn’t stutter,” as my people often quip.

This means that if I thought you were a racist, I would simply say, “Allen Shepherd, you are a racist.” That I have not said this should tell you that, to some degree, I think that the matter is undecided.


Here is what you said:

Do you really need to state “Allen is a racist” to mean it?

You have already said that I am obsessed with black crime. If I admit it, I am, and if I deny it I still am. Called a “Catch 22”. So that is why I did not decide to post. But you persist. Well, guess I just can’t help myself.

I would say that you don’t get to dictate what I find funny. That’s not how humor generally works.

It is responsive, since I was responding to a statement in which you formulated a false dilemma for @ajshep to pick from.

  1. Either he is ignorant
  2. Or he is racist

Are you sure those are the only possible options?

I sympathize with whatever circumstances drove you to develop the worldview that you have, but I think it’s very limiting and divisive.

Where would he appear in this diagram of White Supremacy and Racism?

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Harpa, you actually add no new choices…

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You just reminded me of a scene from a Russian classic written by Bulgakov. If you spent any time in Soviet Union system you would understand why this is hilarious.

  • Professor, would you like to buy some magazines to help poor children?
  • No, thank you.
  • Why not? Don’t you care about poor children?
  • Yes, I care.
  • Then why won’t you buy this magazine to help them.
  • Because I don’t want to.

If you are indifferent to Russian classics, then I’d recommend the following links below:

Thanks, @ajshep.

You said:

In response:

I really need to state “Allen is a racist” for your charge—that I’ve accused you of racism—to be credible.

You said:

In response:

A tad, it seems.

Like I said, I can’t currently qualify or quantify this; doing so would take more work than I can presently give. However, it’s an impression.

Now: I could definitely be wrong about this, much as I could definitely be wrong about anything I’ve posted, here, on Spectrum, including my name.

But, again, it’s currently my impression, based on my sense of what you’ve said in your writing, over time.

You said:

In response:

You’re saying that if you deny you’re a tad obsessed with Black crime, you still are?

I don’t see how the paradox, that you’re implying, works. Please explain that.

You said:

In response:

The race system persists. If that’s the topic in the forum, or even if it isn’t, you might say “the material writes itself.”


All I can say, Arkdrey, is that the Heart of a Dog is a pretty obscure reference, and the irony beyond me. I’m sort of glad the thread ends in an hour…

Also, @ajshep:

Typically, in these racism debates, I ignore other exchanges between those writing, just to keep my own comments and statements clear and linear.

But this was your response to @Carmen Lau; a thoughtful and intuitive thinker and writer, and it just jumped out at me.

Carmen said:

What Carmen is saying are, in the simplest terms, is that, “in America,” white people and non-white people do not share a history of being treated justly.

Now, not only does she state this, but she immediately follows up her statement with supportive, current examples:

This seems like a simple, even uncontroversial statement. There are, possibly, hectares of studies that would support her conclusions.

However, when you respond, you do not quote her contemporary examples.

You cite her original statement, about history. Then you say this:

This statement suggests that you are a skilled writer, but that, again, when it comes to race, you either a) simply don’t know what you’re talking about, or, b) that you hide the truth by selectively telling it.

I’m going to fall on b). “You have something to hide” was my earlier charge. I said it because I could not see another possible vector. (I’ve asked @Arkdrey if he saw one. His response was to ask me if I saw one. I’ve re-asked him, below. Let’s see with what he comes up.)

However, in this case, I say it because the very statement that would befoul your response to Carmen is right there, next, in her text: She literally states facts—racial stress, police brutality, vigilante justice—that would falsify your statement that “we are not living under those laws and in those decades. We are living in the present, a very different time and place with a very different culture.”

You didn’t repeat Carmen’s falsifying text, and you didn’t respond to it. Instead, you left it out, and made a nonsensical statement about a present that supposedly exists…and that was somehow shaped into our current world, despite its miscreant past.

“We are not living under those laws and in those decades. We are living in the present, a very different time and place with a very different culture.”

I’d like you tell us all how this was done, by whom, and when.

Then, you said this:

In other words, according to you, these two sets cannot overlap:

SET 1: People who experience Soviet oppression

SET 2: People who practice racism.

Last July, as part of a larger, multi-week series of exchanges in this forum, I sent Arkdrey a 6,000-word response on this very point. I’m linking it here, just for the record.

But as my reply to you, I’m just going to ask you to kindly state your assumptions, as to why visualizing the intersection of those two sets, above, represents, as you declare, “broad brush thinking.”


Thanks, @Arkdrey.

You said:

In response:

And I would say, “Ironically, that is what the man, rocking quietly in the corner of a sanitarium hallway, could also say, and that’s not how humor works, either.”

You said:

In response:

Your reply is not responsive, because:

a) As I said, you haven’t even buoyed your original contention: “You understand that it’s not a fact based argument, right?

b) The question you’ve just posed was, in our last episode, the very request that I put to you: “If you are saying that there is a 3rd option, please state it.”

This isn’t tennis, where you just swat the issue back to me. I’m actually asking you to voice your assumptions.

You said:

In response:

I’m going to repeat what I’ve started calling The Maximum Maxim: As long as racism is dominant, any charge made against victims of racism—non-white people—always suits racism better.

So, you may think my “worldview” is “very limiting and divisive.”

But, when it comes to being very limiting and divisive, my “worldview” is not even in the running, compared to global system of White Supremacy.


Just a word of caution…
This “globalization” sounds very extreme to me. Yes, white supremacy is alive and well - which is a disgrace! - but it is also imperative to keep in mind that not all whites are white supremacists or racists. It’s also wise to remember that racism is a social disease that is contracted by some people of any color, not all people of one certain color. To “globalize” racism around white people only would be a travesti to observable facts. It’s racism that needs to be eliminated, not the white people…