Why Whites Hate Affirmative Action
Lack of knowledge on the actual policies. Very few people actually understand the original executive orders, subsequent judicial decisions and legislation beyond sound bites via “news” that is insistent upon painting this as “taking stuff” from Whites for Black people (as if it is “just” about Black people). Honesty, how many White people have reviewed the actual history of why this is needed? It’s almost as rare to find as anyone who calls themselves “patriotic” who has actually read the Constitution or a Christian who has read the Bible. Media soundbites shaped by bigotry (in a White supremacist capitalist patriarchal society) absorbed by many Whites whose life ideologies have been shaped by bigotry is not going to produce the nuance and thought necessary to understand affirmative action. (Even so, these two simple, non in-depth cartoons explain this almost as well as the complex legalese: 1 and 2.)
Anti-intellectualism. Piggybacking on the first point, the current culture of anti-intellectualism doesn’t encourage most White people (and Americans at large) to actually investigate things they are “for” or “against.” It’s much simpler to decide to be “for” anything shaped by a legacy of White supremacy and White privilege and against anything that appears to be contrary to the former. Whites are used to being a “baseline,” the “norm,” or not considered a group at all, but those whom other groups are compared to. Sociopolitically, many Whites are having a “day of reckoning” moment by even being classified as a “group,” or a “race” as Tom Scocca pointed out so well in a recent article about Romney’s overwhelming support from Whites. These factors contribute to the resistance to affirmative action.
Ahistorical views on race. If a White person takes the “why isn’t there a White history month” and “why isn’t there a White Entertainment Television station” stances on Whites and the media, it can be safely assumed that they are either uneducated or being willfully ignorant about the role of race in America and why certain spaces exist for Black people amidst the media, public discourse and culture itself. By pretending that the tide of history has no racial element, they can then infer that if everyone “is equal” (as if being equal means being treated equally) Black people are “unfairly” getting “goodies” through affirmative action. This also ignores the fact that even with said theoretical ”goodies,” unemployment, health care, finances, real estate, and more is markedly worse for Black people (and other people of colour) versus White. The latter is written off as Black “character failures” in the ever so common victim blaming ideologies such as American “exceptionalism” and even “patriotism” at times. This is where LIES about “poverty culture” come about as a way to praise greed, wealth and Whiteness and demonize suffering, poverty and Blackness.
The concept of what “greatness” is. The inherent racism involved in assuming that someone White is always “more” qualified, as if being White is a skill itself, is common in everything from college admissions to employment applications. The idea is that some “stupid” minority “stole” a slot from the perfect White knight on a horse who deserved things because he “worked” for them prevails. Further, the idea that perhaps a series of advantages afforded by White privilege is “hard work” would be even more humorous if it wasn’t despicable. Said privileges often place Whites ahead in spaces by sheer virtue of the luxury of Whiteness, not any actual work. The myth of meritocracy is a plague on the American psyche. (Christopher Hayes wrote about this oh too well in his book Twilight Of The Elites - America After Meritocracy. Also, I recently read a fascinating study about the REALITY of financial aid versus the myth that “stupid” minorities “take all of the college monies,” and other assorted lies.)
A zero/sum view of racism. Ultimately, many Whites feel that any joy, success or progress in Black life means misery, failure and regression in White life. Period. This tunnel vision view is rooted in racism and fear. Research has revealed that many cisgender heterosexual White men feel like the “real” victims in America. Even if they are victims, would that not be at the hands of men just like them, except of a higher social class? Not to them. Racist social narratives involve the worship of “job creators” (the same ones who fire these men) as heroes because after all, they share Whiteness even if they don’t share class, status or cash. Other research has revealed that while some Whites view past times (during and pre-Civil Rights era) as a time more racist against Blacks, they view today as “more racist” against Whites. Of course this is false and has more to do with the idea of some Black people not suffering and Barack Obama’s existence more than any in-depth study of how race is a primary factor to consider when examining socioeconomic status. The enlightened exceptionalism involved in some who even choose to praise Oprah or Beyonce or LeBron James is what allows them to pretend that life for the average and for most Black people has dramatically changed, when for many, it has not. Claims of “reverse racism,” which doesn’t exist, are more common now than ever.
People who benefit from affirmative action also want it destroyed. While more than anyone else, White women have benefited from affirmative action, many of them stand with White men against affirmative action while simultaneously benefiting from it. Most people now know the name Abigail Fisher and know it well. Further, many older Black people (primarily men from what I’ve seen) want it dismantled despite the fact they benefited from it in the past. They clearly knew that in their time especially, being qualified was not enough. Assumed inferiority blocked their way.
Territories (1984) dir. Isaac Julien
Isaac Julien’s Territories uses experimental forms to look at life in Britain in 1984, focusing on the experience of the Black British. The film recognises that the different power dynamics that determine this experience are difficult to reduce to straightforward explanations and instead uses the term ‘territories’ to reflect the multiple agendas and experiences at work. These agendas - or ‘territories’ - involve race, class and sexuality.
The film explores these ideas in different ways. In part one it considers the example of carnival, noting how mainstream culture reduces this complex cultural event by labeling it as a remainder or reminder of an ancient retrogressive custom. Julien’s film instead suggests that carnival provides an opportunity for the issues of race and class to be worked through and explored by the carnival participants on each and every occasion. This point is illustrated with a brief history of the Notting Hill Carnival, including a series of police clashes in the carnivals of 1976 and in the year of the film’s production. Another example is the implementation of compulsory police passes for carnival-goers - here ideological restrictions are turned into physical limitations. (Similar feelings were explored in the contemporary documentary ’Struggles for Black Community: Ladbroke Grove/Notting Hill’, People to People, Channel 4, tx. 29/8/1984.)
The film reinforces its message by breaking up its own narrative through change and repetition, and by acknowledging both racial and sexual perspectives. It presents images of two black men giving loving embraces, refers to the ‘his-stories’ and ‘her-stories’ contained in history and has both a man and a woman deliver the same narration. This identification of different perspectives breaks the monologue of a male dominated history and emphasises the conflict of voices that make up the world in which we live. The matter of gender also disrupts the male ‘territories’ of the film’s director.
A similar effect is created through the mixing of sound and image, both in their own realms and with each other. In the second part of the film, different images, including archival footage, plus different music, are repeated and cut against each other, like a DJ mixing records, to fracture the monolithic colonising voice. This self-referential juxtaposition also illustrates the supportive role of film in the agendas of race, class and sexuality. In this respect, Territories identifies and critiques the fact that language itself also carries ‘territories’ or agendas.
Pre-Colonial Traditional Clothing
(Note: Though this is mainly about the clothing in the Visaya’s, they were also found in other parts of the Philippines like the Tagalogs with the same name, unless otherwise stated in the post.)
Visayan clothing varied according to cost and current fashions and so indicated social standing. The basic garments were the G-string and the tube skirt—what the Maranao call malong—or a light blanket wrapped around instead. But more prestigious clothes, lihin-lihin, were added for public appearances and especially on formal occasions—blouses and tunics, loose smocks with sleeves, capes, or ankle-length robes. The textiles of which they were made were similarly varied. In ascending order of value, they were abaca, abaca decorated with colored cotton thread, cotton, cotton decorated with silk thread, silk, imported printstuff, and an elegant abaca woven of selected fibers almost as thin as silk. In addition, Pigafetta mentioned both G-strings and skirts of bark cloth.
The G-string, (bahag) was a piece of cloth 4 or 5 meters long and something less than a meter wide: it was therefore much larger than those worn in Zambales and the Cagayan Valley, or by Cordillera mountaineers today. The ends hanging down were called wayaway—ampis in front and pakawar behind—and were usually decorated. Binkisi was an expensive one with fancywork called gowat, and if it had a fringe of three-strand lubid cords, it was lubitan. G-strings were of the natural color of the cloth. However, in the case of men who had personally killed an enemy, they were qualified to wear deep red ones.
To put the G-string on, one end was held against the chest while the other was passed between the legs, pulled up between the buttocks and wrapped around the waist several times, thereby binding the front flap which was then allowed to hang down as ampis; the other end was then knotted behind and let fall as pakawar. Care was taken to see that one of the wayaway was longer than the other: wearing both equal length was considered ludicrous. The word watid was for a G-string dragging on the ground, a deliberate sign of mourning.
Because its size permitted the bahag to be spread out to cover the entire hip, many observers thought it was a kind of kilt from the waist to the knees. And because of its bulk, men removed it in the privacy of their home: Sanchez (1617, 45) illustrated with the sentence, “Magbahag kita ay magatubang sa Padre [Let’s put on our G-strings in front of the Father].”
Men also wore a blanket or another length of cloth as clothing. Singal was to put one on like a G-string; and tampi was simply to wrap it around the hips, tied with a knot in front, and not passed between the legs. Alampay meant to wrap anything around the shoulders or over the head like a cape, including G-strings which were then given fewer turns around the waist to allow it to extend over the shoulder or head. To lend greater dignity to a formal occasion, an ankle-length garment called saob-saob was worn, with or without sleeves but open down the front like a cloak. Rajah Humabon put on a silk one at Magellan’s request to take his oath of vassalage to the Spanish king.
There seems to have been no Visayan term for the long-sleeved gowns depicted in the Boxer Code, with the fine Pintado ankles just peeping out at the bottom—nor for those tight-sleeved tunics the Tagalogs called baro. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that these pictures were painted twenty-five years after Spanish advent. However, though references from whatever source were and have been made to such cloths, these togalike garb could not have been the ordinary Visayan costume. All royal Datu’s who had dealings with early Spanish commanders were clothed only in tattoo’s and g-strings—Kolambu of Limasawa, Awi of Butuan, Katuna of Bohol, and Tupas of Cebu. Bare chested exposure to the elements was a matter of masculine pride, and even a century later, men’s jackets had still not caught on. Writing in 1668, Father Alcina said,
They rarely used the tunics, or baros; what was common for going out and for working was the bahag only, except for old men who would cover up with the baros against the cold or extreme heat, or the flies and mosquitoes that would bit them (Alcina 1668a, 1:49)
The tube skirt was described by Juan de la Isla in Cebu in 1565 as follows:
The clothes which they wear are a piece of material closed like a sack or sleeve with two very wide mouths, and they make many pleats of the extra width on the left side, and making a knot of the cloth itself, let the folds fall on the left, and although it does not go above their waist, with a tight blouse most of the body and legs are clothed (Isla 1565, 235).
This was the lambong, and because it could also be fastened under the armpits or over the shoulder, or even around the head, the Spaniards called it a sayo (smock or coat) rather than saya (skirt). The same term was extended to include any garment tailored to the body, like the sinulog (i.e: Sulu-style) or sinina (Chinese), a short jacket which exposed the midriff—and more, Father Sanchez observed, when they raised their arms. This sinina could have originated in Indonesia or Malaysia, since the Visayans called foreigners Sina before the coming of the Europeans.
Untailored clothes, however had no particular names. Pandong, a lady’s cloak, simply meant any natural covering, like the growth on banana trunk’s or a natal caul. In Panay, the word kurong, meaning curly hair, was applied to any short skirt or blouse; and some better ones made of imported chintz or calico were simply called by the name of the cloth itself, tabas. So, too, the wraparound skirt the Tagalogs called tapis was hardly considered a skirt at all: Visayans just called it habul (woven stuff) or halong (abaca) or even hulun (sash). Father Sanchez (1617, 54v) shared their assessment: he defined balikuskus as
the knot which women make in their blankets when they wrap it around instead of a real skirt like those they more decently wear in these parts; if it is from Panay, Pampanga, or the Tagalogs, it is really indecent.
Open gowns or cloaks were closed in front by cords or gold gansing, a kind of hook-and-eye or button, at the throat; or a hulun sash, whence the waist or private parts were called ginhunlan. Imported textiles included fine white kayo from China and a thin red cotton from Borneo called kalasumba. High-quality local abaca or cotton was woven with alternating colored stripes (liray), sometimes of silk, or in squares (sokat) like alemaniscos (German stuff). Humabon’s queen walked in procession all in black and white, with a gold-striped silk scarf over her head, hat, and shoulders.
Good lambong, blankets, or other clothes had decorative strips added to the edges and ends. Salukap was a checkered design, and potak, little rosettes, while luray were separately woven strips that looked like a banister of many colors. Datus and their ladies were distinguished by exquisite luray on all four sides called libot, a circuit, such as that which the sun appears to make around the earth, kalibutan.
The usual male headdress was the pudong, a turban, though in Panay both men and women also wore a head cloth or bandana called potlong or saplung. Commoners wore pudong of rough abaca cloth wrapped around only a few turns so that it was more of a headband than a turban and was therefore called pudong-pudong—as the crowns and diadems on Christian images were later called. A red pudong was called magalong, and was the insignia of braves who had killed an enemy. The most prestigious kind of pudong, limited to the most valiant, was, like their G-strings, made of pinayusan, a gauze-thin abaca of fibers selected for their whiteness, tie-dyed a deep scarlet in patterns as fine as embroidery, and burnished to a silky sheen. Such pudong were lengthened with each additional feat of valor: real heroes therefore let one end hang loose with affected carelessness.
Women generally wore a kerchief, called tubatub if it was pulled tight over the whole head; but they also had a broad-brimmed hat called sayap or tarindak, woven of sago-palm leaves. Some were evidently signs of rank: when Humabon’s queen went to hear mass during Magellan’s visit, she was preceded by three girls carrying one of her hats. A headdress from Cebu with a deep crown, used by both sexes for travel on foot or by boat, was called sarok, which actually meant to go for water.
Source: Barangay: 16th Century Philippine Culture and Society by William Henry Scott
"television taught me to see “white” as simply the default for “human.”"
"These Gen Y’s - millennials - coming in having led these incredibly feedback-rich lives. Press a button, something happens. Play a game, you get a score. Send a text, and a sound indicates that it successfully went out. Then they get into the workplace, and feedback comes in the form of a once-a-year, awkward, 45-minute conversation with your boss. It’s a feedback desert."
Ironworking in Pre-colonial Philippines
Blacksmiths were panday—or, more accurately, panday sa puthaw, workers in iron, to distinguish them from other craftsmen like goldsmiths, master carpenters, and boat builders, all of whom were called panday. Smithing was considered the noblest profession, probably because only the wealthiest Datu’s had the means to import the raw material. If they were indeed the ultimate source of all metal tools, including the swidden farmers’ bolos, they would have exercised effective control over Visayan means of production. As Father Alcina (1668a, 3:105) said, “it is certain that no profession among the Visayans is more profitable than this, and so it is the most honored and esteemed among them, since the greatest chiefs are the best iron-workers.”
Iron itself had actually been produced in the Philippines in ancient times. Iron slag has been recovered in considerable quantities from archaeological sites, including Visayan graves, and slag is normally a waste product of iron smelting and refining. But to extract the metal from the ore by primitive methods is very difficulte, and so is the transportation of the ore. Thus it is generally more economical to trade local forest products for malleable cast iron if available, and it was available at least by the thirteenth century. Bornean refineries were then producing it in large quantities in Santubong (Sarawak), and Song traders were delivering big Chinese cauldrons and pig iron direct. By the 16th century, iron was also being produced in Sulawesi, but was still so rare and valuable that when the Santa Maria del Parral ran aground in Sangir in 1526, the natives burned her to recover the nails. In the Visayas, those Chinse cauldrons remained the major source: they were deliberately broken p to supply local forges.
The bellows of the forge (hasohas) were two upright cylinders (tayhop) about a meter high, hollowed out of small tree trunks, with pistons (tamborok) ringed with chicken feathers set so as to collapse on the return stroke. They were alternately raised and lowered by the blacksmith’s apprentice (masaop) to produced a steady draft. Both cylinders had a bamboo outlet near the bottom which led to a common stone receptacle (liling) which concentrated their draft into a charcoal fire. The anvil (landasan) was a piece of iron set in a heavy wooden block, and the smith’s tools were a two-handed stone maul (palo), a stone hammer (palo-palo), a pair of tongs (kipit), and an assortment of ordinary bolos for cutting the red-hot metal.
The most important tool manufactured, repaired, or retempered by the blacksmith was the bolo. Dohong or dayopak was the ordinary one; tuwad, a heavier one for woodcutting; bako or bantok, one with a curved blade for weeding or cultivating; and pisaw, one with a short blade and long handle to be hands free for stripping rattan. The blade had a tang for hafting into the wooden handle, and was held firm with resinous sap and a ring of rattan or metal. The head of the ax (wasay) was also hafted into the handle; it was only about two fingers wide and could be rotated a quearter turn to be used as an adze.
More specialized tools included those in the list below.
Abluwang - Drill, awl
Batakan - A blade for slicing korot
Barit - A rough piece of iron for whetting tools or striking with flint for rie.
Binkong - Curved adze
Bisong - Small knife for preparing betel nut
Dallag - Straight adze
Garol - Spurs for fighting chickens.
Kalob - spoon bit
Sabit or sared - Billhook or hoe
Salat - Sickle
Sipol - Paring knife
Sanggul - Tuba tapper’s knife for “gelding” the buds
Tigib - Chisel
Tirlos - Lancet for bleeding
Ulok - Dentist’s awl
Two carpenter’s tools which later became common were apparently missing from the 16th Century Visayan tool kit—the saw (lagari) and the plane (saiyo).
Source: Barangay: 16th Century Philippines Culture and Society by William Henry Scott.