04/10/06 Why is
it OK to be Anti-White?
Every so often, someone crosses the line of reality.
You can ignore it, but you do so at your own peril -- and everyone else's, too.
My good friend, Gehrig Saldana circulated an op-ed in
The Dallas Managed News
that is so off the wall and racist, I could not ignore it.
Ghosts of racism
Sunday, April 9,
Dallas' racial politics were
never a simple matter of black and white.
occupied the city's bottom social rung, and upper-class Anglos the top.
Much of the racial "action," however, has rested with numerous groups
who find themselves between the white and black extremes. Jews,
and other groups immigrating to Dallas found their whiteness challenged,
and they therefore struggled for a share of the city's immense riches.
Leaders of the Mexican-American civil rights movement raced to avoid the
lowest rung of the social ladder and feared that a too-close
identification with the black freedom struggle would result in racial
... To be classified as "nonwhite" in Dallas meant assignment to
low-wage, low-prestige jobs with little opportunity for
Mexican-Americans faced an even greater burden to
prove their whiteness. ... Most Mexican-Americans
lived in poverty and, in some cases, faced discrimination as
harsh as that suffered by the African-American community.
members of the Mexican-American and Jewish communities,
such as labor leader Pancho Medrano and Rabbi Levi Olan,
Rabbi Lefkowitz's successor at Temple Emanu-El, fought a
broad struggle against racism and for the civil rights
of blacks, browns, Jews and all of Dallas' marginalized
communities. Many, however,
insecure in their position, became soldiers in service
of Jim Crow. ...
Latino organizations such as LULAC and the American
G.I. Forum worked to get Mexican-Americans
acknowledged as white. ...
In Dallas, this
Mexican-American desire for white identity
at times degenerated into outright
In recent years, there has
been no uglier front in Dallas' race
wars than the battles between blacks
and Latinos. In January 1996,
Dallas' first black county
commissioner, John Wiley Price,
staged protests at Parkland Memorial
Hospital contending that Parkland
discriminated against black and
brown job applicants. Mr. Price's
outrage focused on one hospital
board member, Jaime Ramon, calling
him a "coconut" ? brown on the
outside but white inside.
accused his Mexican-American nemesis
of collaborating with whites against
blacks and Latinos.
Mr. Price himself faced
accusations of racism when he
held aloft a sign telling Mr.
Ramon to go "back to old
Latino civil rights
organizations then led protests
calling for Mr. Price's
In December 1997,
Dallas hosted the first of a
series of community forums
on American race relations
called for by President
Municipal Judge Vonceil Hill
drew up the guest
list, which excluded members
of the white, Hispanic and
"There has been
only one racial agenda
in this town ? a black
agenda," said lawyer and
longtime activist Adelfa
Callejo, "but that's
about to change."
politicians such as
Jesse Diaz viewed
black gains in
appointments at the
School District as
coming at the
claiming that "the
saw Hispanics as
riding on the
civil rights battles
won by blacks.
"I call them
said of the
leaders in a
... "Becoming white meant gaining access to a whole set of public and private privileges that materially and permanently guaranteed basic subsistence needs and, therefore, survival," wrote Cheryl I. Harris in a 1993 essay in Harvard Law Review. "Becoming white increased the possibility of controlling critical aspects of one's life rather than being the object of others' domination."
... Millions of Mexican-Americans, for instance, magically ceased to be white in 1930 by virtue of the U.S. Census Bureau, which, in its population statistics, separated those of Hispanic descent from the white population and placed them in a separate "Mexican" category. Such legal definitions had little to do with the reality of racial categories and more to do with preventing the transfer of wealth from a white master class to a population of color through inheritance by mixed-race children.
Face the past
... If Dallas is to grow up as a city, it must, to paraphrase historian David Roediger, abolish whiteness. This doesn't mean to abolish white people, but to acknowledge that racial categories like "white" and "black" are fiction and to dismantle the automatic privileges that come with white status.
... A reconciliation commission should explore that past and place historical markers throughout the city noting, for instance, where a white mob killed three slaves blamed for a fire that destroyed the village of Dallas in 1860; where members of the United Auto Workers battled company guards, who blinded one worker, at the old Ford Motor plant; where thriving black-dominated neighborhoods like State-Thomas were consciously destroyed by city planning; and where a Dallas police officer in the back of a squad car shot a Mexican-American teenager named Santos Rodriguez in the head while terrifying him with a pretend game of Russian roulette.
... No one should serve in elective or appointive office in Dallas city or county government unless he or she is thoroughly briefed on the city's history. ... Laura Miller, with her arrogance and insensitivity to the black need for a voice at City Hall and the police department, needs to know that Dallas had the largest Ku Klux Klan chapter in the United States in the early 1920s; ....
Knowledge liberates. City leaders must understand that the current chaos at City Hall and on the DISD school board results from 160-plus years of racial dictatorship. Conflict should not be dreaded as a sign of Western civilization's collapse, but as a sign of an emerging democracy purging itself of a collective mental illness.
Needed: real democracy
Finally, the city will not emerge from the shadow of racial hate and paranoia until Dallas becomes genuinely democratic.
Dallas needs more than the occasional African-American and Mexican-American politician. The same money that moves white politicians to rule by the tactic of divide-and-conquer provokes too many Mexican-American and African-American officeholders toward parallel dead ends.
Mexican-American politicians may garner populist support in their community by condemning the black racial agenda, and so-called black leaders like Maxine Thornton-Reese might get re-elected by exploiting past instances of racial injustice and rolling in the gutter of anti-Semitism, but in the end, they serve the same real estate developers, bankers and similar corrupt paymasters who have always ruled the city.
Only the wealthy benefit from racism, but the social divisions that malady creates allow the rich unchallenged command of power. When the public becomes more interested in the role private money plays in who wins public office ? and the influence campaign money plays on whether public money is spent to pave roads and repair schools or to build stadiums and signature bridges for millionaires ? Dallas will have more than a hollow imitation of democracy.
Until Dallas, and the rest of the country, bans private money in political campaigns, the color of power in the city ultimately will not be white, but green.
Michael Phillips is a researcher at the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of "White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001" (University of Texas Press). His e-mail address is mphillips3925@ earthlink.net.
It is worth noting that
Municipal Judge Vonceil Hill
is a likely candidate for Don Hill's council seat in 2007. We hear she
will have Hill's support. Isn't that just perfect? All the more
reason to get behind Betty Culbreath for that seat now.
I sent out this response to
Gehrig's e-mail list:
Whoever this Michael Phillips
is -- he clearly thinks the "whiter you are" the more "evil you
His comment: "Laura Miller, with her arrogance and insensitivity to
the black need for a voice at City Hall and the police department,
needs to know that Dallas had the largest Ku Klux Klan chapter in
the United States in the early 1920s". One of Laura's biggest
problems is trying to be all things to all people. Phillips refers
to her "arrogance and insensitivity to the black need for a voice at
City Hall and the police department". Excuse me? How is it
arrogant or insensitive to expect a Black Police Chief to act like
an adult or expecting FOUR Black Councilmembers to conduct
themselves ethically? Seems to me it's very democratic of Mayor
Miller to hold people of all color to the same standard of behavior.
Phillips' call for an end to private money in political campaigns is
the ultimate idiocy in his op-ed. Without private money, no one who
is not independently wealthy (by birth or acquisition) could run for
public office. Funding political campaigns with public money would
be an open invitation to graft and corruption. When Steve Salazar
and I ran for city council district 6, he trounced me. He got a
whole bunch of money from White developers and business interest
groups. They knew him from his previous term on the council, and
didn't like what they thought they knew about me. That's the way
the system works. Unless you are completely tuned out, there is no
way you don't know Steve Salazar is Hispanic, and I'm a difficult
Until we start seeing Dallas
as a community and stop letting elitists like Michael Phillips and
Limousine Liberals (mostly rich Democrats) keep us divided along
racial lines, things are going to continue to stagnate.
Some of you may chortle, but
Steve Salazar is the kind of public official we need in Dallas. He
has been focused on our community concerns. He has been vigilant in
protecting and supporting our efforts to revive Northwest Dallas.
We did not have that from our previous District 6 representatives,
Black or White. Private money helped him get elected. He's doing a
Prohibiting private money in
campaigns will keep down efforts for Blacks or Hispanics or
Middle-Income Whites to gain a seat at the power table.
Private ANYTHING is always
better than letting bureaucrats (corrupt or otherwise) control.
Betty Culbreath had this
|I do not
know who this guy is, but he will know me this
evening. How in the hell can he say
Laura Miller is not sensitive to the need of a black voice at City Hall?
Last time I checked, we had
Black Police Chief was not a voice at City Hall. Under
the Council Manager form of Government, the
City Manager is the voice at City Hall. I wonder where the Dallas
Morning New got this guy?
One of my good friends who
happens to be liberal, agrees with Phillips about banning private money from
political campaigns. Will someone tell me who other than politicians will
pick the bureaucrats who administer the "public" money to political candidates?
That system will create a political party that no one can compete with.
Those in power will control who gets appointed to the campaign funding
bureaucracy, and only an idiot would think they would appoint someone who does
not share their political goals and party affiliation.
We would be taxed to support the political campaigns of people we may not
support. I don't care if John Democrat marries well and has millions to
play political games with. I don't care if George Republican has family
money and rich friends to help him sell his message. I do care if some
petty bureaucrat gets to use my money to fund his pet projects and candidates.
Back to the real message in "Researcher" Michael Phillips' op-ed, that to be
White is to be inherently evil and oppressive. If you have light
complexion regardless of your ethnic background, are you inherently evil?
He writes as if the U.S. is the only country where pigmentation can determine
your social status. In Brazil, where almost everyone is of mixed heritage,
there is a distinction between dark skin and fair skin.
You know what? Life's not fair. We all don't get the same breaks at
birth or in our careers or in our love life. I was born with blue eyes,
but my mother was not born into wealth and didn't manage to marry into it
either. There are a whole bunch of people in this town who get to live a
lot higher than me, and that's their good fortune. A bunch of that "whole
bunch" have darker skin than mine and brown eyes. They still get to live
higher than me, and that's their good fortune.
If someone is wealthier and more politically powerful than me, that does not
make them evil - regardless of their eye color or skin pigmentation.
This immigration issue is not about racism or oppression. It's about
whether we are going to protect our borders and control who comes into this
country. It's about obeying the rules that millions of previous
immigrants, including Mexicans, have been able to follow in the past.
There have been things done in the past that were unfair. There are things
being done today that are unfair. There is no country on earth that is
more fair than the U.S., which is confirmed by the fact that so many people do
so much to get here.
If you want to carry some guilt trip for real or imagined wrongs done by past
generations, more power to you. I'm not responsible for the sins of
others. I'm just going to keep on doing the best I can toward the people
who are in my World today.