Sunday, October 5, 2014



In case you don't know already, the revolution is not being televised but it IS being tweeted.  If you want to follow what is happening in Ferguson and the struggle to get justice for the murder of Mike Brown, you need to be on twitter.  Check the hashtags #Ferguson, #JusticeforMikeBrown, #ArrestDarrenWilson, #Handsupdontshoot, and #Blacklivesmatter,

If you are over 25 and not used to social media, or only used to facebook (like me), twitter is kind of hard to navigate.  And it is not a good venue for complex or deep discussion, since you are limited to 140 characters per tweet, and if you are responding to someone their @twitter handle takes up some of those characters as well. Ditto if you want to add those hashtags to the convo.

Also, it can be confusing who is talking and what they are saying. Irony and sarcasm don't always come across in a single tweet.  And as with any social media, people can hide behind fake names and profile pics.  A whole lotta white supremacists are using black profile pics to troll Ferguson tweeters. (Footnote 1- trolls, below)

There are also a lot of opinions expressed about racism and white people that I think are too broad and generalized, and this post is my attempt to break down what I see as the main forms of racism at work in our society.


So, first, I want to establish that I think all people have the capacity to be racist.  I think it is hardwired in the "snake brain" the most primitive part of the human brain.  If there aren't enough resources for everyone, the people that aren't the family or tribe or people are the ones that are going to be cut out.

And racism is worldwide. I can't find a people or culture where it is not present. Buddhists in Myanmar are racist against Royhinga Muslims and Karen Christians.  I've heard Nigerians make racist remarks against the Fulani tribe (when a Fulani was in power).  The Chinese discriminate against the Han people.  Even among American white supremacists there are divisions over what constitutes "white" ("blood in the face" or DNA, etc).

Each individual person has to make a conscious decision to not be racist or prejudice. 

This why racism is such an easy tool of oppression and oppressors.  Racism presents itself (again, as far as I know) in every people that have become the dominant rulers of more than one people or culture.

And most individual people never move passed the culture they were raised in if they are part of the dominant or oppressor culture because they don't have to ("White privilege").  And while the dominated cultures and people's are forced to understand and live within the dominant culture- in order to get jobs, or even be allowed to survive- as outsiders that culture is not necessarily adopted, for any number of obvious reasons.

The rare person is the one that steps outside of their own culture and learns another, or many others, and then begins to view his own culture from an outside perspective.  But the majority of people seem to fall into 2 categories: The conformists who mostly embrace it, the rebels who mostly reject it.  Most people seem to do a combination of both. (I.e., the Catholic that goes to mass weekly, but believes that abortion is okay, etc.)

The Ruling Classes are separate. People with this much wealth and power have so much control over their environment at all times that they can live however they choose.  The Bush family that gave us two Presidential regimes are oil people.  Some of their best friends are bin Laden family members. The Ruling Classes don't really give a damn about skin color, or anything other than money and power. The very small percentage of people that run this world and that suck up most of the wealth are white, Arab and Chinese. And for class society to function the Ruling Classes need two things:

1) Cheap labour from a large group of people, most of whom are surplus workers (unemployed).  That way people will continue to work for low wages because there aren't enough jobs. And will be too overwhelmed working to survive to create trouble.

2) Consumers with enough of the excess wealth & privilege that they will defend the system that benefits them, and also buy a lot of crap they don't really need, and go into a cycle of income and debt that will last a lifetime (house, cars, college, etc) and will be too overwhelmed being consumers to create any trouble.

If those two groups of people got together and realized that they were fighting each other, instead of fighting the people that are robbing them, then we would have a real revolution (and it wouldn't even need to be violent). So even though the ruling classes don't give a crap about what culture or race is dominant, they need racism and oppression to exist in the world.  It's the best division to keep people fighting and blaming each other for all the poverty and struggle and lack and war in the world.

If there is a "they" it is the Ruling Classes. 


But most people, everywhere, only see what is in front of them.  And that white guy living in a rotting trailer, on food stamps, drinks  the ruling class's "Kool Aid"- in other words, buys the story- that he is living in poverty because black people and lazy people and immigrants and women are stealing his fair share of the jobs and wealth.  If it weren't for affirmative action and illegal aliens, he'd have a job.  If it weren't for welfare fraud and "handouts" to undeserving people he wouldn't be on food stamps himself, etc.

In fact, he believes that if only all of these other poor, oppressed people around him weren't "stealing" from him, he'd be as rich as a Walton heir. He's white and he's a Christian and that is what all the people he admires are. Of course, it's the Walton heir who is the real thief.  It is the Walton heir that engages in wage-slavery, sends jobs overseas to save profits by paying less for labour, etc. But Racist is blind to that or refuses to see it. (Footnote 2- status quo)

But what about that middle or upper middle class guy Racist? Trust me, no matter how big this person's house is, it still looks like a rotting trailer to him.  He only sees up, he only thinks about acquiring more, and views everyone that is not exactly like him as somehow "stealing" from him.

And even if it isn't about material wealth for the Racist, it is about having more of something- superiority, worth, religious destiny, etc. This kind of Racist doesn't feel like there is enough of whatever it is for everyone, and he is determined to have as much as he can for himself .

This type of person feels so entitled and so overburdened by diversity of any kind that he is pretty much a hopeless case, and makes up the majority of the trolls. (And is also an embryonic white supremacist, more on that in a minute.) This Racist might be worth a try in person, but on the internet it does not appear to be a worthwhile endeavour, except for maybe in a public forum or comments section,  if you think you might reach the next type of racist.


Then there are the middle and upper classes that often seem more liberal or radical because they have enough privilege and comfort that they can recognize racism's existence in some parts of society. They don't need their privilege as much and are not afraid to recognize it exists, even if they know it gives them an unfair advantage.

This is where cultural racism comes in.  There are a lot of white, middle class liberals that voted for Obama, but still think that anything North of Delmar is a rain of bullets and gang drivebys.  They hate rap music, saggy trousers and "Ebonics" (meaning the English of black culture).  They don't judge black people by their skin colour, but by the black person's culture or cultural identity.

This kind of white culture person (WCP) is not against skin color, so they get real upset when someone calls them a racist, because they probably know alot of people like the regular Racist, listed above. 

In other words, they have black friends, voted for a black President, may even go at time to predominantly black areas to shop, travel to black and brown countries on vacation, etc, but somewhere inside them, sometimes very deep inside, they actually believe that black people that are black culturally are scary and different and dangerous.  They are often afraid of black neighborhoods-- even those without crime-- because they don't understand black culture.

Moreover, this kind of liberal white person is often a kind of "reverse racist".  They feel personal guilt for having white privilege, and even though they find some or many aspects of black culture offensive they feel that they must "make up" for the institutionalized racism against black people in this country.

And that often leads to continuing to also view all black people as a group instead of individually, but by romanticizing each black person they encounter as being saints, instead of "thugs". No black person can ever do wrong, which means black people are still not fully human, with individual flaws and characters, etc.  It's also  the "those poor people, they can't help it, I need to save them" hero/savior attitude. Etc.

They try too hard, make themselves uncomfortable, and get defensive. This group is not hopeless. I know because I have successfully argued with many of them in the past. Among many white people I know that are fighting for justice for Mike Brown and support the Ferguson protesters, the consensus among us is that WCP that we really need to be dealing with.  These are the people we know that ask us, genuinely confused but really trying to understand, why we are not afraid to go to a protest, or go to (or live in) areas they find intimidating, etc.

(I should add that I know a few black people that are also "white culture racists". Not kidding.  If I shut my eyes while talking to these men their words sound like white men's words.)

White culture person (WCP): I get the First Amendment and freedom of speech and peacefully protesting, but this civil disobedience, like sitting in the street, or banging drums and walking through the neighborhoods chanting after 11 at night, how can you support that?

Me:  The protesters are doing the same things that white people- and the Civil Rights movement- have done throughout US history to affect change. Make sure you are not viewing them through the mainstream lens of  "all black people are inherent 'thugs' and 'criminals' " and then look again. What makes them different from the suffragists? Or Occupy? 

This isn't just about Mike Brown and one racist cop, this is about institutionalized racism and 450 years of oppression.

Consider how hard black people have had to fight for their rights in this country. If this had happened in Kirkwood and Michael Brown had been white, Darren Wilson would have been in jail after the first night and a silent candlelight vigil.  St. Louis has quarantined the black lower classes in North city and county, far from all the white people in power.  They have to make a lot of noise. These kids have to shout at the top of their lungs all day and all night to get anyone to really listen or take them seriously simply because they are black.

WCP: How is (whatever protester action) helping anything? What is it doing? It might be alienating people that might otherwise be on the side of the protesters."

Me:  Most of the people that would be alienated by civil disobedience are unlikely to affect any real change in ANY sphere of society or any issue.  You should be thanking the protesters for challenging the status quo and revealing just how fascistic our society has become.  Save your condemnations for the police that teargassed their own citizens.  I'd rather have drums banging than teargas in my neighbourhood wouldn't you? I'd rather have people protesting than cops shooting unarmed teenagers.

(I also suggest bringing up the bombing of MOVE in Philadelphia in the 80's, in addition the the teargassing down in Ferguson, when talking to the WCP.)

I've been having the above type of conversation with WCP for a long time, before Brown's murder.  If I recognize that a person has the ability or desire to change but is really trapped by the system or beliefs they live in, I try to remain open and not be too reactive. Because I WANT them to come talk to me about things like Brown's murder and the Ferguson protests.  Otherwise they are just talking to other white people who might be racist or might be clueless.

So, if you encounter a WCP you feel like has real questions, try to stay open to them, even if they are really angry or generally repulsive. Trust your heart.  Sometimes the most imprisoned people are yelling the loudest and/or angriest.  Also, remember you may not get an immediate reaction to your words. It could be hours, days, months, years, etc.  Get your ego and need for immediate change out of your head for better results.

What also helps with these kind of White Culture People (WCP) is to bring up parallels in their own ancestry and history.  (This on my personal blog: )

You probably will have to have the same conversation over and over again with each WCP. In regards to Browns death, even the white people that think Brown's death was awful, that even if he did punch Wilson, etc, he didn't deserve to die. The WCP might also think that there were legitimate grounds for Wilson shooting Brown. And this is tricky, because it really requires that the WCP understand things they have no experience with.  But if they have a mind that wants to be open, they will listen and try.

The official story that Mike Brown grabbed for Wilson's gun or attacked Wilson in any way is flat out unbelievable.  But you have to be able to see cultural and class differences to see why.

"Nice" middle class white people are cultured to not argue with the police. And your well-meaning WCP is probably one of these people. Their idea of protest is to rent a community room and have speakers and food and to march with a permit, single file on a sidewalk during daylight hours when the weather is nice.  They are voters and taxpayers and their phone calls to City Hall get answered when they call politicians and judges.  They sign petitions and expect legislation to follow. They are taken seriously by the Ruling Classes and the government. (At least to a point, but this post is long enough.)

In their minds, they know that white people are, in fact, often disrespectful to police and shove store clerks.  They know that Webster Groves has a growing population of white high school students addicted to heroin.  And maybe even they themselves have stolen cigarettes or bought beer illegally, or used a fake I.D. to get into a bar, or even been disrespectful to police  But Webster is not poor and is not violent. It's not that white people are inherently nice or better, but that the middle classes are mostly white, and middle class culture is not poor or openly violent.

And since the WCP matters to society, is the part of society the Ruling Classes rely on to "keep order", the police are not likely to shoot white suburban teenagers for being mouthy.  If that were the norm, yours truly would have been shot by police 30 years ago.

To really get through to the WCP you need to bring these things up.  You need to point out how many white people would be afraid of Mike Brown simply because he was a large black man.  All white people know that paranoid white woman that clutches her purse and cringes when she sees a large black man.  All white people know someone that becomes either overly friendly or overly hostile when a black person shows up at an otherwise usually all white social function.

In fact, the WCP you are trying to reach probably has similar conversations with the purse clutcher.  As in, "That's my friend so and so, he's employed, professional, speaks English like a white person, listens to white music not rap, stop judging all black people."  (I've overheard these convo's.)

Institutionalized racism and mainstream media work hard to equate black culture as synonymous with gangster criminals. So when your WCP hears that Mike Brown and Dorian Johnston were disrespectful to a policeman and shoved a store clerk, they are vulnerable to exactly the manipulation Jackson and McCulloch have used so skillfully, even if they are not skin-color racist.

So now, get your White Culture Person to think about life from Mike Brown's shoes.  Ask them to imagine how often Brown would have been seen as a threat and had to deal with either that over-arching false niceness, or heavy handed hostility- both of which were rooted in fear.

And even if Darren Wilson was the first time Brown had interacted with the police (and I really doubt that, not because I think he had a juvenile record, but because I have never met a black male over the age of 10 that has not been stopped/harassed/questioned/detained by the police) why would ANYONE think Brown grabbed for Wilson's gun?

You can only buy that if you believe that Brown really was a lawless thug and thief with no regard for his own life.  If you point out that he was a teenager, that he was likely used to much worse police harassment than an order to "get the fuck on the sidewalk", and that he knew well that any interaction with the police needed to be taken more seriously by a black person than a white person, what you see is a teenage kid trying to assert what little dignity he has.  "We almost to our destination," Johnson said he and Brown responded to Wilson's order.

(That Wilson was concerned about Brown and Johnson's safety as pedestrians in the street is ludicrous. The OPTINSTL blog is entirely about how little anyone in power cares about pedestrians and transit riders of any color, in most areas of St. Louis city and county. You might be able to convince me that Wilson was irritated about his vehicle's right of way being impeded by two men he obviously viewed as "thugs", with or without knowledge of the alleged stolen cigarillos or incident with the clerk at Ferguson Market, which I also think is bogus.)

My take on what happened: I can see Brown being a rebellious teenager and fed up with being targeted by cops, and "mouthing off"- i.e., not immediately obeying or saying "yes sir" at Wilson.

But punching a cop and trying to steal his gun?  That would be a big step even for a hardened criminal or gang member.  EVERY black man would know that brought a death sentence. And tragically, in Brown's case, that death sentence was handed down simply for "contempt of cop". 

(And probably because Wilson did open his car door suddenly, to grab for Brown through the window, and Brown did pull his arm away, and the door bounced back.  And there was "the tussle" which Wilson ended when he pulled out his gun and Brown and Johnson fled instead of immediately surrendering on their knees, in submission, which is what all the racists seem to think is what should have happened. Whereas I think Brown running away probably saved Johnson's life as well.  Or at least saved Johnson from being shot and injured.)

You can only buy the official story if you view all black men as criminals and terrorists. And if you buy that all policeman are good and that there is no institutionalized racism or corruption.  And WCP usually only need to be really challenged on these two beliefs, and given freedom to express views that they hold that they do not realize are racist and unfounded in reality. (In other words, give them the chance to throw out the bathwater, and save the baby.)

Just keep pointing out to WCP the far too many examples of police brutality and abuse against black people, particularly black men. As a white person with any knowledge and understanding of the black community, and especially how differently black people are treated by the police, the best thing you can do is challenge WCP on their racism.


Now, about those white supremacists.  This is a whole different breed of person.  These people are not mainstream.  And while there are certainly many white supremacists in the Ruling and middle classes, the culture itself comes from poor white people, like the Fox News watching trailer trash Racist I described earlier.

There is a reason the biggest white supremacy group, the Aryan Brotherhood (AB), is a prison gang.  These Kluxers and White Revolution and neo-nazi's (WR) are the white boys that have the same type of encounters with the police that black people do.  Except these guys really are all criminals. And ironically, whereas black men are all mostly viewed as being the same by police, these white men are singled out and known individually in their communities. In other words, to be white and have the police treat you like a black person, you have to work to distinguish yourself. (Another example of institutionalized and cultural racism and oppression, think about it. White people retain their own identities, are recognized as individuals, etc.)

Being white is the only thing that makes feel better about themselves.  It gives them a lot of people to blame for their problems in the world.  That's pretty sad and scary, in and of itself. Coupled with the fact that these are very violent men by nature.  The more violent and hateful they are, the more they feel like real men.  Real men fight. Real men kill.  Real men hate their enemies and give them no quarter.  They equate violence and lack of mercy with strength and power.

(Take a look at these mugshots of the Aryan Brotherhood leadership. That is a genuinely scary person. If cops like Darren Wilson cannot tell the threat difference between a big, cocky teenager with black skin and a guy like that Aryan Brotherhood leader pictured, they should not be carrying a gun. Worse, if Wilson and cops like him are white supremacists, I don't want them carrying guns at all.)

But most importantly, white supremacists have made a conscious decision to exclude everyone but other white people that believe in white supremacy.  I have white skin and they hate me. There is really no way to get through to them.  You can humiliate them by pointing out world population statistics and how no matter what they do, white people are becoming the minority. (Footnote 3)

You find more middle class whites in the neo-Nazi and White Revolution groups.  The level of violence is usually in direct proportion to how violent the person (men mostly) is as an individual.  All seem to have very violent fantasies, but whether they become violent has to do with culture and opportunity.  They are essentially less isolated and more united Adam Lanza's and James Holmes. More integrated into their family lives and society (precisely because it is that white family and white society they are avenging/protecting) than the "average" random shooter (who is violent and delusional but cut off from any unified group or culture).  But violent sociopaths nonetheless.

These people are only dangerous if events in Ferguson or the U.S. become chaotic or violent enough for them to feel comfortable enough to fit their own violent acts in without being noticed.  I doubt at this point that will happen, because there are too many of the WCP on our side or on the fence.

However, on the third or fourth night of the protests after Brown's murder, there was a news report of four armed white men in a car on West Florissant. My first thought when I heard this was that these were White Revolution people had been motivated to see if in the chaos, they might be able to go shoot some ----- (you know the word).

I do worry about individual sociopaths trying to instigate violence, but so far the movement seems to be very strong and very good at isolating and removing troublemakers.  Another worry I had was that KKKops might try to start a race war, but the few that have been exposed by livestreams and their own social media pages have shown that society is not on their side.

On the internet the only directly effective way to deal with the white supremacists trolls is with non-violence and humor, as violence only escalates things, and as they have no ability to respond to humor. Humiliation, especially sexual humiliation, delivered by white women these men find attractive or desirable.  Also making light of what they say ("haha you called me a N--- lover, oh I'm so hurt, no one has every called me that before." or "Oh I'm so shocked you used a racial slur, how offensive, gee I've never heard that before! Go away troll and come back when you have some new material! lol")

They are deadly serious and racist hate is their entire life's meaning. If you can, make them insignificant and then ignore them as much as possible.

Otherwise, it is best to get to know who they are and keep an eye on them, be watchful about any situation involving them escalating (hence the humor) and to continue working to create an environment that is hostile and excluding to them.

I think the best way to continue creating a diverse and "anti-racist" environment is to keep talking to the WCP, the white cultural racist person, about racism and racists and the institutionalized racism of this country, and pointing out how a country where everyone was truly equal would benefit us all.

I hope this is helpful.

Thanks for reading this. Sorry it is so long. Below are things I edited out and turned into footnotes.  I also deleted stuff that really needs to be stand alone blog posts.  I have a hard time not going off on tangents.

1) TROLL- A troll is someone that makes it a point to follow and respond antagonistically.  For instance, regarding Mike Brown and Ferguson, I am attacked by trolls. But I sometimes am a troll when I go to right wing sites and make antagonistic comments to them. Then there is trolling the trolls- finding the haters and racists and following them back, attacking all their posts. Something I enjoy at times, but lately have had no time for. There are just too many of them and they all say the same things.

2) STATUS QUO Ironically, it is the lower classes-  working and poverty level-- that often have to invest the most into the current status quo just get a step up on the ladder.  The idea of a revolution or change means that the ladder will be toppled, and all humans fear change.  If the ladder goes, then so goes the only chance to better his life that he can see in his narrow little world. And since he has so few opportunities for advance in his own life, he unwittingly fights to preserve the status quo that is actually his enemy, too.

3) ARYAN BROTHERHOOD With the Aryan Brotherhood, despite what you hear about the amount of black men that are locked up, the prisons are still full of mostly white people, because white people are the majority in this country.
But in places like Los Angeles, as Hispanic people (either born here or immigrants) become the majority, their numbers grew in the prison system, too. The Aryan Brotherhood had to form alliances with gangs like the Mexican Mafia and El Salvador's MS-13. The Aryan Brotherhood had to include brown skinned gangs or risk those gangs uniting with the black gangs against them. (All oppressive systems follow the same principles. And all are rooted in the use of violence, fear and hate.)

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