Re: [sixties-l] Angry White Trash

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (
Date: 12/14/00

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    Michael Wright wrote:
    Jeff Blankfort had written:
    > < Native Americans did not need to be told by "dewey-
    > <eyed airhead liberals" or anyone else that their land
    > <had been stolen, nor African-Americans, that their
    > <ancestors had been enslaved. Whatever treatment the
    > <descendants of those white identured servants received,
    > <and we know how brutally exploitative the American
    > <factory system was from the get go, it was always a
    > <leg up from that experienced by Native Americans and
    > <by African-Americans, as slaves before the civil war
    > <and, in the Jim Crow South that followed the betrayal
    > <of reconstruction in 1877 when the Federal troops were
    > <withdrawn by Pres. Hayes.
    >  A "leg up," huh? Ah, I see.  Common white folks,
    >  even though they were sometimes treated badly,
    >  always had a better deal than Black folks.  Right.
    >  Standard liberal wisdom.  And never mind that
    >  some of those Native Americans were also slave-
    >  owners.  That don't count.  Us white folks can't
    >  go to judgin people of color.
    >  On the question of who got better treatment, Goad
    >  makes an argument which I don't really expect you
    >  to appreciate, Mr. Blankfort, but I'll summarize it
    >  for the benefit of other list members.
    >  For purely economic reasons, it was in the interest
    >  of black slave owners to give their human property
    >  better treatment than that received by white slaves.
    >  The reason is that the black slave was to be with
    >  his master for life.  The master had an interest
    >  in the long-term productivity of the slave.  There-
    >  fore, he was interested in the slave's long-term
    >  health, and longevity.  The slave had to be fed
    >  well, and not severely abused.
    >  White slaves, on the other hand, were to be released
    >  from servitude after seven years.  The owners had
    >  no interest in keeping them healthy beyond this
    >  period.  Many were raped, beaten, abused, and
    >  undernourished.  Many died before the seven years
    >  expired.
    >  This is not to say that the owners of black slaves
    >  had better consciences.  It was just different
    >  institutional arrangements leading to different
    >  forms of treatment.
    This is simply the ahistorical screed peddled by Ulrich Phillips and JG
    Randall, the two leading apologists for the ante-bellum South into whose
    ranks you and your man Goad willingly, hurry to enlist. In a paper I
    wrote while a senior at UCLA in 1956, I dismantled with hard facts both
    their arguments about the so-called benevolent treatment of slaves, and
    others have done so, but the racist apologetics for the slave-holding
    South has never been laid to rest as Goad apparently demonstrates.
    > >As for denouncing you as a "white chauvinist," I had
    > >already concluded you were that from your previous
    > >posts. No problem. There are lot of you out there.
    >  When you have little of intellectual substance to
    >  offer,  you can always try to elevate yourself
    >  with name-calling.  It's also a nice way to make
    >  yourself feel morally superior.  It must produce
    >  a really warm fuzzy glow inside after calling
    >  someone a "white chauvinist."  That really ain't
    >  much different from calling me a white trash
    >  redneck.
    You're the one who introduced the term, and frankly I have never used
    the term "white trash." What you seem to be saying is that white racists
    only exist in the imagination of liberals. I do not happen to consider
    myself a liberal by any definition of the term but I have seen more than
    my share of white Southern racists in my time, particularly while
    serving in the US Army which had its own way of discriminating against
    black GIs.
    And by the way, in all those picture I have seen of lynchings in the
    South, showing hundreds of good old white boys grinning while a black
    body or two hung from a nearby tree, photos that were sold as souvenirs,
    didn't seem have too many liberals in them. When they searched for the
    bodies of Chaney, Schwerin and Goodmann down in Mississippi and found in
    one small lake the bodies of 23 men, all of them turned out to be black.
     Just a coincidence I guess.
    >  Goad has a few choice words for liberals who like
    >  to indulge in this kind of sport:
    >   "America's hate affair with white trash is,
    >    ultimately, self-hatred.  Guilt projection.
    >    A convenient way for America to demonize itself,
    >    or, rather, to exorcise the demon and place it
    >    somewhere outside of itself. In giving fangs
    >    to rednecks, Americans have defanged all the
    >    white-barbarian tendencies they fear within
    >    themselves.
    >   "To the white elite, white trash must seem like
    >    a disease in remission inside all whites, one
    >    that might flare up again given the right
    >    circumstances.  When white blue bloods are
    >    repulsed by white trash, they are uncomfortably
    >    reminded both of what they used to be and what
    >    they may yet become.  They may also quietly
    >    sense a bit of guilt for their role in the
    >    trashmaking process.  Scoffing at rednecks
    >    often masks a 'there but for the grace of God
    >    go I' uneasiness."
    Goad is creating a straw man.  Where are these attacks on so-called
    "white trash" coming from? Does he give references to recent books or
    articles because I haven't seen any? Or is he just looking for an excuse
    to indulge in his own racism as it seems to be you are.
    >  Ever risked your life and liberty to rescue an
    >  African fugitive from oppression, Mr. Blankfort.
    >  I have.  Wanna hear about it?
    >  Ever gone to prison for opposing the raining down
    >  of bombs and napalm on dark-skinned folks over
    >  in Asia, Mr. Blankfort.  I have.  Wanna hear about
    >  it?
    Just send me the details and I'll nominate you for the Nobel Prize. And
    yes, I have risked my life and liberty fighting against other folk's
    oppression and I have been arrested several times, clubbed by police and
    shot at once for doing so.  But none of what you've done means a thing
    to me, given the crap that you've already posted.
    >  But unlike arrogant, pretentious liberals, I'm
    >  concerned about poor white folks also.  In fact,
    >  due to the enormous reprisals inflicted on me
    >  for my efforts on behalf of dark folks, I spent
    >  my entire young adulthood being poor white folks
    >  myself.
    >  You can call me a white chauvinist all you want,
    >  pal.  My conscience is clear.
    If you weren't a man, I'd think you were the second coming of Mother Teresa.
    Jeffrey Blankfort
    > Michael Wright wrote:
    > > SNIP
    > > The dewey-eyed airhead liberals, no more than
    > > servants of the capitalist ruling class, encourage
    > > blacks to blame the common white man for everything
    > > in order to keep the heat off the real enemy.
    > > Rednecks, hillbillys, and trailer park  white
    > > trash have been set up as the new scapegoats.
    > > I have known this for years, but Goad's book gives
    > > me a lot more substance than I had before seeing
    > > it.
    > >
    > > Goad makes the historical case that most white
    > > Americans are little more than descendants of
    > > Europe's social refuse who sent them to the New
    > > World as a convenient dumping ground.  For the
    > > most part, our white ancestors weren't slave
    > > owners and exploiters. On the contrary, most of
    > > the white arrivals to the New World in the 1600s
    > > and 1700s were themselves convicts or white
    > > slaves ("indentured servants.")  Yet bla cks and
    > > Indians are now being encouraged to hate the
    > > common white man for "stealing our land" and
    > > "enslaving our ancestors."  Such rubbish of course
    > > is just the same old divide-and-rule strategy the
    > > true oppressors have used to stay in power since
    > > the day one.
    > >
    > >
    > > I'm sure that I'll be denounced as a "white
    > > chauvinist" for this, but Goad's book ought to
    > > be required reading for every airhead pseudo-
    > > left politically correct pretentious Gore-
    > > loving liberal in America -- including the ones
    > > on this list !
    > >
    > >  ~ Michael Wright
    > >    Norman, Oklahoma

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