Posted on December 13, 2006

Skin-Deep: Racism in America

Paula Zahn Now, CNN, Dec. 12, 2006


JARED TAYLOR, EDITOR, “AMERICAN RENAISSANCE”: Well, let’s take, for example, this case of Mr. Richards.

In effect, black people have told white people: Here is a word you may not use. We can use it, if we like, but you better not use it.

And how have whites responded? They have said: Yes, sir, we will not use this word.

And, now, whites are the ones who are very careful about what they say. They can’t risk offending blacks. They can’t use a two- syllable word, for fear of losing their jobs. What does this tell us, despite the fact that blacks can use words like “cracker” and “honky”? I won’t be thrown off the set if I use those words. They can use those words like that with impunity? What does that say, really, about the racial power relationship in the United States there?

DYSON: I’ll tell you what . . .


TAYLOR: White are . . .

DYSON: I’m sorry.

TAYLOR: Whites are the ones who are, in effect, intimidated, and are walking on eggs, for fear of possibly offending blacks. And I think the idea that racism explains the failures of non-whites is hugely overdone.

ZAHN: Are you intimidated by that, as a white person, Paula?


PAULA ROTHENBERG, AUTHOR, “WHITE PRIVILEGE: ESSENTIAL READINGS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF RACISM”: I — I tell you, I — I don’t know what planet some of these comments are coming from.

White privilege is everywhere in this society. It’s the other side of racism. And it is pervasive. People can’t see it, because it’s invisible, because it is everywhere.

What, after all, doesn’t the fish know? That it’s all wet. White people are the fish. And white privilege is the water. And we are immersed in it and submerged in it.

The best definition I ever heard of privilege came from Molly Ivins, where she said, George Bush was born on third base, and he thinks he hit a triple.

Well, white people were born on second base, and they think they bought a double.

DYSON: Can I say something?


DYSON: Can I say something in response to Jared’s comment?

When he talks about “cracker” and “honky,” there is not a history of systemic discrimination that has been imposed by African-American people, where the use of that term had a corollary advantage in the larger society.

So, no black person would lynch, rape, castrate, or murder. However, the use of the N-word that Mr. Jared Taylor claims that white people have been blocked from has been associated with a history revulsion against black people and the systematic attempt to undermine and subvert their authority and their presence in America.

ZAHN: Jared, you get . . .

DYSON: So, that way, that bigotry and bias is quite different than the word “cracker” and “honky.”

ZAHN: You get just about 15 seconds. We got to move on.

TAYLOR: I think the notion that whites somehow benefit from white skin privilege because of the presence of non-whites is crazy. That suggests, if non-whites suddenly disappeared, whites would be shooting themselves because they couldn’t enjoy this privilege anymore. I think it makes no sense at all.


ZAHN: Jared, let’s talk about these perceptions.

And we’re going to put another result of our polling up on the screen right now that revealed 40 percent of blacks think that whites dislike them, with nearly as many whites who believe that blacks dislike them, too — an awful lot of distrust going around.

What’s going to change this picture? Or do you want this picture to change?

TAYLOR: I — I think that we’re grappling with basic human nature.

I think race is the most natural extended family all people have. And it is natural to have a fellow feeling for one’s tribe. I think . . .

ZAHN: Do you view yourself as a separatist?

TAYLOR: I’m not a separatist. I believe in complete freedom of association.

I don’t think that the people at Vidor should have been forced to live with a group that they didn’t want to live with. I think also . . .

ZAHN: Some would view that as racist.

MARTIN: Jared, Jared . . .


TAYLOR: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on.


MARTIN: African-Americans were forced out.

TAYLOR: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. No. No, no. No, no. Let — let me finish here. (CROSSTALK)

MCWHORTER: I don’t want to hang out with those people, myself.

ZAHN: You wouldn’t want to live in Vidor?



MARTIN: They were forced out, Jared.

TAYLOR: No, no. Wait a minute. Let me finish. The housing — the housing project there had been all white. Someone decided that’s no good, it’s got to be integrated. So, we’re going to bring black people in there because we know that they’re not wanted.


MARTIN: Jerry, Jerry. No offense. I’m from Texas. I was there. It wasn’t they said we want blacks to live there. African-Americans were not given an opportunity to live in that public housing complex. And so what was taking place in Chicago — in New York in the 40s and 50s was taking place in Vidor in the 80s and 90s. Those African-Americans were denied to live there.

TAYLOR: San Francisco, right about that same time, they — Asians were taken out of black housing projects because the blacks did not want them there. Burglaries, attacks, assaults. The blacks had their housing project. They wanted it to stay black. That is natural.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the law should support such separatism?

TAYLOR: That’s right.


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