People I Have Crushes on Today, Or The Three-Card Mildred

1.  R. Mildred has such a brilliant post about the patriarchy-blaming lobe of the brain that I almost can’t stand it.  She’s being factious, but her analysis of the ways in which oppressive systems allow expressions of pseudo-dissent in order to actually reinforce those systems is so spot on that even though she’s admitted in the past to having an irrational fear of fat people, I’d totally let her touch my boobs.


2.  Lindsey takes down Mark A. Rose in one deft swoop.  I could only add, in snarky fashion, that the reason NOW doesn’t have a Tehran chapter is that NOW stands for the National Organization of Women, and while some folks behave as if the world is merely the United States’ wild and humongous back yard, the rest of us are more clear about national boundaries.


That’s it.  I’ll probably have mad crushes on more people before the day is out, but I just pulled my butt out of bed twenty minutes ago and have not even been to the park yet.


But god damn, R. Mildred has just blown my mind. 


I wonder how it fits in with that long discussion from yesterday–that the accepted social script is to just outright deny the suffering of black people so that when we have discussions in which black people and their pain are given the same equivalence as the suffering of other minorities, it seems, at the surface, like good things are happening in the discussion because black people are recognized as people the same way that the Irish or indentured servants are and their suffering is recognized as equivalent to the suffering of other people. 


But as nice as it is to see white men recognizing black people as fellow humans who’ve suffered at the hands of other humans, it still gets to gloss right over the point that Gandalph Mantooth made, which is that the core difference was that the whole system of African slavery existed how it did because of white people’s willingness to not only believe, but to enshrine right into the backbone of our government, the idea that people of African descent were not fully human.


And god damn, if it doesn’t also seem to get at what’s going on in Mark Rose’s post!  When Rose asks where the feminists are when it comes to Muslim women, he gets to claim the role of dissenter (in that he seems to be supporting feminist kinds of liberation for Muslim women) in the face of a system that believes that all forms of feminism are bad, but really he’s just reinforcing the idea that Western feminists are selfish.


It’s like the intellectual equivalent of the Three Card Monte.  I christen it the Three Card Mildred in honor of R. Mildred.  I like it.  So much of the Patriarchy is a humongous con, we ought to have easy to reference names for the ways it plays out in ordinary life.

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34 thoughts on “People I Have Crushes on Today, Or The Three-Card Mildred

  1. "how it did because of white people’s willingness to not only believe, but to enshrine right into the backbone of our government, the idea that people of African descent were not fully human."I’m sorry. Can we say SOME white people here? Otherwise I think the conversation is racist. Frankly I’ve got a whole lot of Mennonites and Quakers in my background. I’ve got a family farm with a room used during the Underground Railroad. I have many (white) ancestors who fought slavery tooth and nail. And gave their lives in the Civil War. And yes, the Constitution does have that 3/5ths of a person thing in it….You know what that was called? The 3/5ths Compromise. Why? Because many many white people wanted slaves to count as whole people.Gouvener Morris of Pennsylvania, one of my favourite historical people, said this:""He never would concur in upholding domestic slavery. It was a nefarious institution. It was the curse of heaven on the States where it prevailed. . . . Upon what principle is it that the slaves shall be computed in representation? Are they men? Then make them Citizens and let them vote. Are they property? Why is no other property included? . . .The admission of slaves into the Representation when fairly explained comes to this: that the inhabitant of Georgia and S.C. who goes to the Coast of Africa, and in defiance of the most sacred laws of humanity tears away his fellow creatures from their deearest connections and damns them to the most cruel bondages, shall have more votes in a Govt. instituted for the protection of the rights of mankind, than the Citizen of Pa. or N. Jersey who views with a laudable horror, so nefarious a practice." And in case you were interested, Mr. Morris was white.So, anyway, yeah there is a lot of villainy in this discussion of villeiny. But this damn Yankee is here to tell you that not every white person was guilty of that evil.

  2. Who are you calling a racist? I’ll have you know that some of my best friends are white. I went to school with white people. We don’t talk about it much, but I think I might have some white blood in me. And furthermore, I’ve even dated and fucked white guys. So, I ask you, Coble. In the face of all that, how can you call me racist against white people?

  3. You’re just loaded down with liberal education white guilt.To supplement Kat, try to remember that this country’s white males ended what was a commonly accepted, ancient practice, which was the basis of their economy, in one generation, WHILE they built a country, WHILE fighting off conquest from the world’s super powers.That ain’t bad.

  4. Super-powers attempting to conquer in the 19th c? Which ones? You mean France? "Reeling from revolution, overextended in the Napoleonic era, North American sources of income cut off when Haitian slaves rebelled, selling off the Louisiana Purchase to disentangle themselves from the mainland" France? Spain? "Can’t even hold on to our colonial holdings in Mexico much less make a serious attempt to advance west of the Mississippi and getting our asses kicked by St. Louis merchants in the Santa Fe trade and the Comanche generally speaking" Spain? Great Britain coulda been a contender and the War of 1812, I grant you, was more than a little dust-up. But pretty much after 1815, no one (not even at the time) gave any creedence to the idea that the British were going to do anything more than menace on the northern border. Even recent studies of the Oregon question suggest that much of the heat over northwestern expansion was inflamed nationalism talking on the part of Americans who wanted some troop support against Indians (not British). The British never did make much headway on supporting the CSA, although if they had been eager to destabilize America, that seems to me to have been the time to do it. I think you’re maybe too focused on an external threat that didn’t really exist. On the other hand, if you meant the Sioux…but I suspect you didn’t. I could make a pretty strong argument for just the opposite of what you contend — that American imperial challenge to the Spanish and British interests in the west (the US as aggressor in places like the American southwest and Old Northwest) actually solidifies and expands slavery’s power as an legal, social, and economic institution in the post-Revolutionary era. If you look at the new "slave territories" in the southwest and the areas in which slavery’s spread is deeply contested like Indiana and Illinois — hey presto! It’s all land claimed by those big bad world powers (and controlled by Indian nations) that American armies went out and seized from 1778-1840s.Some white guys attempted to eradicate slavery, but most of the Union army was fighting to save the Union (or out of loyalty to their comrades-in-arms). Another army resisted the destruction of their "way of life," which was the economic and cultural world built on slave labor — as you note. While we’re giving a shout out to "this country’s white males," you might also want to acknowledge the master class, the CSA, and the Klan. I mean, while we’re being all fair and balanced. It’s a mixed record, as Kat notes, with both heroes and villains. It would make you more persuasive if you were a little more subtle.Also let it be duly noted, while we’re all boo-yah about the Great White Liberators, that African-Americans forced the issue of their own emancipation by flooding Union lines by the tens of thousands. When was the Emancipation Proclamation set forth? 1863. And the war starts when? My point here is that the EP is a product of the war and a reluctant step pursued with great hesitation, not the initial point of the conflict. The end of slavery as a way of depriving the CSA of men, materiel, and morale becomes increasingly important as wartime ideologies evolve. And who did the EP liberate exactly? Go read it. It’s meant to punish treason and is in operation only in the places that the Union Army doesn’t yet control. In fact, it specifically excludes slaves in Union-held territories. So is it enforceable? No. Who did it liberate at the moment it went into effect? Nobody. It becomes a significant liberatory instrument because blacks begin to run to Union lines and it is this confusion and economic disruption of southern productivity that profits the Union cause. General emancipation was not enacted until the end of the conflict, when it was clear the genie was out of the bottle. The last twenty years of scholarship on the Civil War has pretty much knocked the starch out of simple ideas of black passivity and instead given a measure of the credit to black resistance in the context of this big-ass war waged by predominantly white armies. To say that "white males ended slavery" is no more correct than to say that "all white males supported slavery."God. Enough. This is my day off. If you want to take my US survey, it meets MW 9-10:25. I’d be happy to sign you in.

  5. <i>it seems, at the surface, like good things are happening in the discussion because black people are recognized as people the same way that the Irish or indentured servants are and their suffering is recognized as equivalent to the suffering of other people.</i>except what’s actually going on is that they’re really saying "white people are oppressed too!" as though 2000+ irish people died a year or so ago in Louisiana due to gross and criminal negligence of black people who run government, and the black areas of New Orleans got the police to turn irish refugees from the superdome away at gunpoint.It’s as bad as when Chris Rock or Bill Cosby start going on about how blacks are keeping blacks down – as though there isn’t 9 white criminals to every black one in america.Yes Chris Rock, it really is the media making blacks into some sort of stereotypical criminal class while white folks are judged for their individual actions – and like all bits of classic right wing projection, the only class that does fucked up shit as a class is rich white men.<I>I’m sorry. Can we say SOME white people here?</i>Nope, the white man is the devil, and as I white woman I know that better than even POC probably do – they don’t have the crazy paranoid dope heads telling them about the vast black conspiracy to deprive them of rolling paper, and such white people are never being ironic or joking btw – and all white people benefit from the crackerocracy, including me, whether we want to or not – just like men all benefit from patriarchy – and you can either blame it, or you can shut up trying to work out how "you’re so different from those <I>other</i>, meanie head, white people, who you are not responsible for in any way shape or form." It is incumbent upon all white people to stop being apologists, and start being blamers.All members of an oppressive class have privelage, and anyone who says otherwise is someone who’s conciously chosen to oppress, fucking hell, a cracker comes onto a POC’s blog and tell her to not be so racist, and they think that they’re <B>not</b> an oppressor?Stop making me look bad by association you idiot.

  6. Oh and everyone forgets that the british offered black slaves freedom in return for fighting against the revolution with the red coats – if the civil war was a war for the freedom of the slaves (though I’m sure MLK would argue with you about how free that freedom really was, if he hadn’t been shot and everything), then the war of independence was a war to keep the slaves in chains.But Woo! Half a century later white people deigned to change how blacks were oppressed in america so they could die fighting the white man’s war! Go White People! With liberty and Justice for all (who are white, male and rich obviously)!

  7. <I>It is incumbent upon all white people to stop being apologists, and start being blamers.</I>Afraid I don’t see it that way. I’m more an individualist. Do I have priviledge because I’m white? Yes. Do I lose priviledge because I’m fat? Yes. A woman? Yes. Do I have priviledge because I’m a Christian in a predominantly Christian nation? Yes. Do I lose priveledge in certain circles because I’m a Christian? Yes. It’s like life is a game of D&D. You roll strengths in some areas, weakness in others. It’s incumbent upon the individual to make the best of her own strengths and weaknesses. At least that’s how I see it. Otherwise you spend your life angry at everyone for everything. I’m angry enough about life without giving myself more reasons to be angry.

  8. Otherwise you spend your life angry at everyone for everything. I’m angry enough about life without giving myself more reasons to be angry.Which is another privelage.I don’t actually understand why on earth you’re afraid of being angry. I can only assume it’s because bieng angry means you would have to deal with stuff and *gasp* take responsibility for all the baggage that surrounds you and which you carry.You can’t be an individualist if you out and out choose to ignore who you are and how you fit into the systems of oppression that make up society and are unignorable for people who actually are subject to those systems, and the friends/family of those people.

  9. Here I was ready to jump all over R. Mildred’s horseshit oppression screed, then Coble drops the "Life is Like D&D" bomb and suddenly it all becomes too hilarious.

  10. Bridgett, why do you hate America?I was referring to the War of 1812 and the French and Indian War, but way to go on focusing on a minor aspect of my point.

  11. DAMN my typing as I rush out the door! Yes, I know the French and Indian War was before the American Revolution.I’m going out to enjoy the Sun.You’re all geeks and loser, except Coble

  12. I love America. I love it so much that I want people to actually learn its history. To that end, I volunteer a lot of my time conducting on-line seminars in American historiography so that people outside the university system can have free access to the most recent and most accurate historical knowledge. What have you done for your country and the education of the citizenry at large today?French and Indian War? That happened prior to the American Revolution, not after. Your chronology is messed up.

  13. I never liked that historiography class. It was just as boring and pointless twenty years ago.Love that phrase, "most accurate". What degrees of accuracy are acceptable on the university level?

  14. I can tell you didn’t do well in historiography.Oh hell. Lots of people write history, even white supremacists who are convinced that serial killings are manifestations of the secret machinations of the cryptocracy — like that guy you quoted approvingly yesterday. (I note you didn’t rush to rescue his professional reputation.) Is it history? Sure, of a sort. Is it accurate? It might be, when an accurate quote serves the arguer’s polemical purpose. However, this sort of historical production lacks a systematic understanding of and employment of chronology, causality, context or what Ranke would have called the "disciplined use of sources." The authors don’t feel it necessary to account for contradictory scholarship and usually don’t set their work into the context of other works in the field — so they wind up marginalized in the broader discussion and miss much that might inform their own accounts (as well as miss the opportunity to speak to people other than true believers). To discount it as history would be a mistake; by showing the way that the past is manipulated selectively and dishonestly by polemicists, one can reveal the many ways in which one can pervert the past by using the language and the scholarly apparatus of history (you know, like footnotes) without employing the rigor of its critical methods of analysis. Your stuff quacks like a duck, but I hope I show that it’s merely a thing with feathers. As you might remember, historians are pretty modest about the attainability of Truth. That’s the bailiwick of priests and such like. So, yeah, most accurate.

  15. One advantage/drawback to having longwinded commenters is that no matter how pissed off I was at the top of the thread, by the time I read clear through to the bottom I’m left with just mildly angry.So, whatever. Never mind that you people know me and might then, oh, I don’t know, pass your judgments about me based on what you know of me instead of just assuming that at any second I’m going to reveal myself to be the phantom liberal you love to hate and mock; I’m the guilt-ridden race traitor.

  16. I got an A or a B in Historiography. It was long ago, and I was far less sober.Even crazy crypto-fascists and Holocaust-deniers get some stuff right. Like Hutton Gibson, for example. He may deny the Holocaust, but he is correct that there is a such place as Germany, or that there exists a group of people called Jews. So, half credit where half credit is due.B, since when do the comments on your blog have anything to do with you?

  17. I believe that when Coble called me a racist and accused me of insulting her dead people that had to do with me. The rest is just the happy noise of smart people bullshitting each other just for the pleasure of bullshiting other smart people. I, of course, love that.

  18. <I>I believe that when Coble called me a racist and accused me of insulting her dead people that had to do with me. </I>Ooops. My bad. I guess I’m sucking today. Because I really wasn’t calling you racist. Although, yeah, it did come out that way and I’m sorry. By your response (which was clever) I assumed that you were calling bullshit on my misstatement that you weren’t pissed. Since you are pissed let me first say that I’m sorry. And then let me say that I wasn’t trying to call you racist. I was just trying to point out that there are more sides to the story. And I didn’t do that very well, apparently.

  19. Upon re-reading, Coble, it seems clear that you weren’t actually calling me a racist. Still, you have to admit that there’s a certain amount of… something… to the fact that you were chastizing me for being unclear and running the risk of being misunderstood in the misunderstood comment.As for Sarcastro, he’s the only person I know who leaves a long trail of evidence that can be read into the record at his assailants’ sentencing hearings as mitigating factors. It’s very nice of him, in a fucked up way.

  20. <I>If you can’t bait people on a Sunday morn, when can you?</I>Apparently God rested and you decided to take over. <I>Upon re-reading, Coble, it seems clear that you weren’t actually calling me a racist. Still, you have to admit that there’s a certain amount of… something… to the fact that you were chastizing me for being unclear and running the risk of being misunderstood in the misunderstood comment.</I>Irony? Hoisted by my own petardedness? Sometimes I hate the internet.

  21. Clearly, Sarcastro’s motivated a great deal by his belief that he could do a better job than God, if God would just pull over and switch him seats.

  22. Those solo footprints in the sand are from when God decided he had to rest. So I had to carry his lazy ass back to the condo.That’s why my back hurts.

  23. I’m 1/8th American Indian. Does that mean that I get to be angry at the White Man on Tuesdays, and feel guilty about being a priveleged oppressor for the rest of the week?

  24. Mel Gibson also got it right that there are places called Scotland and England. In a marvel of synchronicity, my schedule led me to teach a class on 14th-century relations between the two the very morning after Braveheart won those Oscars. Can I just say how much I hate Mel Gibson?

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