Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: The man has lost his mind...**UPDATED**

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The man has lost his mind...**UPDATED**

Gee, should I be flattered?

U.S. ex-pat-in-Brazil and non-practicing lawyer Francis Holland did the Internet version of "LOOK AT ME, LINDA, LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!"

Celtic Diva Suffers White Myopia

I especially enjoyed the ATTN: LINDA KELLEN BIEGEL with a link to my Anchorage Daily News column (not Alaska Daily News) and the Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis link if there was further doubt...just in case the article might slip my attention. He then posted a comment on the blog with a link to the article for that extra little guarantee.

White myopia...yeah...I don't notice the beautiful little black girl who crawls into my bed to wake me up every morning now that school is out. I know that isn't necessarily a guarantee that anyone has a clue, but the fact that I'M THE ONLY WHITE BLOGGER ADDRESSING THE ISSUE HEAD ON might give most people a general idea that I'm not your typical member of the "whitosphere," as he calls it.

But noooooooo...he and several other members of the Afrospear thinks it's a really GOOD idea to single me out for attack because I AM THE ONLY ONE who doesn't back down. Perhaps they aren't taking into account that my participation in the issue may be IN SPITE of the fact I'm attacked and that most people wouldn't bother when confronted with hostility?

Golly, I can't imagine why the DNCC might be ignoring him!!!!! Francis, you have noticed that they are discussing this with other people who are NOT YOU, right?

I won't bother to recount the majority of the article for my "gentle readers." If ya'll wanna go there, feel free. However, I did find this part to be worth repeating:
LINDA, the Democratic National Convention is still more than two months away. As a state blogger, you are authorized to bring a team of bloggers to Denver. If you are truly concerned about diversity in the state blogger pool, you will find some diverse bloggers from Alaska who want to cover the Convention, and you will invite them to go with you. Or you will refuse to participate unless some Blacks and Latinos are permitted to participate with the same privileges on the floor of the convention. Anything short of that is just more obfuscation and self-deluded whitist denial.

The beautiful irony of his comment is that Monday, Writing Raven and I had discussed the possibility of her coming to Denver. We have lots to discuss and weren't really ready to go public as we have many logistics issues to deal with, but my discussion with an AK Dem leader today was one more step on that road. We have a meeting tomorrow (at an undisclosed location **grin**) but I'll state right now that if everything falls into place (job, money, etc...) Raven will be coming with me.

And...if we can get away with it...she'll definitely be spending time on the Convention floor as well.

Of course, this probably now means he's going to unleash the dogs of war on me. God forbid I should look for candidates on my own to integrate Alaska blog coverage. Instead, I should repeatedly attack the DNC and try to strong-arm/shame/threaten them to MAKE me do it.

Yup, much more efficient.

************************UPDATE************************

Holy crap! Sometimes, I hate it when I'm right...and not just right, REALLY RIGHT!

This was the post I woke up to, after leaving the comment on the previous post announcing that I was bringing a PoC blogger with me to Denver:

Why Do Whitists Lie SO Much About Their Color-Aroused Behavior? It has my picture, of course, and no link to my blog because while he's telling lies about what's in it he can't exactly link to it can he?

"Dogs of war" indeed...

Here's the comment I left:

"Cognitive Dissonance: Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you already know or believe, and new information or interpretation.

If someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge — they are likely to resist the new learning."


I knew that you would be really, really, really upset that I was actually bringing a PoC writer with me to blog at the Convention because the dissonance would be so profound. However, I guess I never realized how far over the top it would send you.

I'm not going bother with most of this. I'll just point out that you can blame yourself for the fact that I won't include the "Afrospear widget" on my blogroll. After my treatment by you and at least one other blog within the Afrospear, I never want it to appear that I promote your blog. I do have "blogs of color" included: (Jack and Jill, Pam's House Blend, Zennie's Zeitgeist, Margaret Cho, Alaska Real, Kodiak Konfidential) and several are Afrospear.

Most offensively, when you point out the "white chick" in the picture, you fail to point out the reason for the picture at all...my beautiful brown daughter standing next to me...as if she's invisible. That was a picture to commemorate her very first political event...a protest of the Iraq Occupation. I was very proud that she was joining her mother in promoting Progressive ideals...the same ideals I thought you were supposedly promoting on this blog.

So, if black folks don't suit your purpose or behave differently than you think they should, you treat them like they are invisible?

I've gone out of my way to participate in--even promote this conversation (at my peril) and have received nothing but flack from you because I didn't want to seek a solution "your way"...through inflammatory accusations, intimidation and shame. You may have had some success with it in the past but I never believed it would work here. I chose to seek a solution my way...and in my little part of the world I was successful. I'm even bringing a wonderful new voice in the blogosphere...a woman-of-color...to the Convention and that was the announcement that generated this hateful, lie-filled post.

However, I actually thank you for this post. Why I thank you for it is you've proven what I've believed all along about you...you don't REALLY want a SOLUTION, you just want to fight.


****************UPDATE 2*******************

This comment from the latest article truly says it all:
Terrell, with the Bush economy the dollar is quickly losing its value overseas. It's not principally about money, though. It's about the freedom I feel.

I really don't care anything about WhiteDiva, but the whitist ideas she expresses give me an opportunity to express myself against an ideology that needs to be debunked. Since she typifies that ideology in some of the things she says, I take it as an opportunity to address and discuss that ideology.

I'm glad she'll be giving a Bantastu pass to an Alaskan native blogger that allows that blogger to enter an area of the Convention center that he would not be able to enter without permission from a white blogger.

But, I would feel humiliated to attend the Convention under those circumstances, like going to a restaurant that I would only be allowed to enter if I was in the company of white people.

Of course that seems perfectly natural to white people, but not to me.
You are furious because you never expected that anyone was really going to meet or beat the challenge you threw out there...the challenge for white bloggers to bring other bloggers of color with them. You NEVER expected anyone to actually preempt your challenge. You were just using it as a smug smoke screen.

Now you have to discount it to resolve your own "cognitive dissonance" issues because you can't LIVE with the idea that there are white Progressives out there who are almost as tired of racism, classism, religion-bashing, etc...as those who are the victims of it.

Folks really should read your article on why you live in Brazil. You bask in the Brazilian sun nursing your 1980's/1990's view of this country supported by statistics and anger. You use your blog to lob grenades at those of us of all races, religions and creeds who live, work and try to make a difference from within the U.S. Worst of all...probably deeper down than you are even aware of...you don't really WANT the racial issues in the U.S. to improve because then the justification for using your rage like a WMD and living as a tortured-black-man-ex-pat in Brazil would no longer exist.

19 Comments:

Blogger Myster said...

Diva, you kick ass.

Nothing like giving people what they claim to want as a means of separating the progressive wheat from the divisive chaff.

(That's a little Wednesday morning metaphor just for you.)

6/11/2008 9:34 AM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Thanks so much, Myster! Great metaphor!

I love it when folks use Bible quotes appropriately!

6/11/2008 9:44 AM  
Blogger kathy said...

First of all, your title for this post about Francis is insulting and mean spirited.

Second of all, who cares if your beautiful brown daughter is in the picture? That has nothing to do with anything, an all too common mistake made by people trying to defend themselves.

Lastly, do you want a COOKIE for being the only white blogger?

I said this over at Francis's blog, and I will repeat it here, until you see white racism as your problem as a white person, and not some charitable act, as you seem to be implying than you will continue on in blindness.

6/11/2008 12:31 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

The title of MY POST is insulting and mean spirited?

At least mine is true!

6/11/2008 12:48 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

So, you're sorry Francis didn't offer you accolades or something?

I actually gave you some credit, an A for effort, but now, reading this title and your response... mean spirited is accurate.

Try to dot.calm yourself, and think it over, I am sure your a very nice person in real life.

6/11/2008 1:00 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

I don't want anything from him...I knew he wouldn't give accolades because the minute he sees something that doesn't fit within his personal conspiracy theories he has to 1) make it invisible 2) lie about it or 3) change the subject.

Those three things make up his entire post, including stupid claims like I don't have a blogroll at all much less that it has any diversity.

This post is all about him being pissed that he can no longer claim to the DNC that "none of the "white blogs" will bring POC bloggers with them to the Convention." The only way he can live with it is to lie to himself and everyone else.

6/11/2008 2:03 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

Tell me, how is any of this at your peril? Explain to me how you bringing an assistant PoC with you somehow makes what Francis says a lie?
If it wasn't for Francis work, you wouldn't even be writing about it.
For that matter, I wouldn't even be commenting on your blog. What's so hard about not taking things so personally that we lose sight of reality. Your post title more aptly applies to you, at this moment in time.
Not saying I know what I am talking about all the time either, but let's recognize that it's a life time process and commitment, not just to unlearn racism, but to recognize our own racism and be vigilant.
I know you are trying, and it sounds like your heart's in the right place.
Peace.

6/11/2008 2:42 PM  
OpenID funkalunatic said...

"Not saying I know what I am talking about all the time either, but let's recognize that it's a life time process and commitment, not just to unlearn racism, but to recognize our own racism and be vigilant."

The height of irony.

Francis and friends remind me of the token black people Fox News likes to bring on and interview every once in a while - the crazy kind cherry-picked to portray the black community as a monolithic one that's so deeply invested emotionally and psychologically in racial conflict that they inject it into everything they see so that they may fan its flames. It's a symbiotic relationship between bigots - They need each to other frame as an enemy, so they seek each other out so that they may give themselves reason to think their racial hatred is some rational thing.

The problem is that these racists (Francis and friends) are jonesing for a bigot - so desperate to be persecuted by their own party that they've manufactured a controversy, and decided that anybody who doesn't repeat it full-throated and without question is a racist. Since you dared ask whether there might be two sides to the issue, you, Celtic Diva, are clearly a white racist, which is the worst kind. But of course, you aren't, and this threatens people like Francis - the idea that white people exist who want to overcome prejudice - which is why he you have inflamed him so; now he absolutely HAS to turn you into the enemy, and you damn well better bring some African-American bloggers to that convention, and their politics had better fall in lock step behind what Francis thinks they ought to be, and they had better be black-as-night, or else YOU, Celtic Diva, are the racist of all racists.

Sorry, it just makes me so angry when ignorant people insist on perpetuating the cycle of hatred. The best way to deal with racists like Francis is to ignore them.

6/11/2008 4:14 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

OK so ignore Francis, that is your advice, but other people don't feel that way, does that make them stupid or crazy?

I wonder, does Divas have any experiences where her "beautiful brown daughter" was treated like
SHIT? Does that matter? I thought not, here anyway.

6/11/2008 5:05 PM  
OpenID funkalunatic said...

"OK so ignore Francis, that is your advice, but other people don't feel that way, does that make them stupid or crazy?"

Yes:

1) Francis feels that Celtic Diva is racist/myopic/a liar for thinking it's a good idea to engage in dialog to fully vet the possibilities he brings up. This is stupid and crazy.

2) Francis feels outrage at white people in general. That is racism. It is stupid and crazy.

If you feel the way Francis feels, you should come to terms with the fact that your feelings are stupid and crazy, if you wish to function as part of the reality-based community.

6/11/2008 6:17 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

I wonder, does Divas have any experiences where her "beautiful brown daughter" was treated like
SHIT?


Mostly me when she's been with me. What's your point?

6/11/2008 6:38 PM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

One of the key tenets of Francis' post is inarguably that white bloggers don't like the afrosphere. 'Because they're white' is less explicit, but that's the implication. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't assigning a stereotype based on skin colour... what's the word? Ummmm... racist?

"White bloggers" don't "hate the word 'whitosphere' ... because ... it implicitly means that there is a part of the blogosphere that is not white, which is something ... they desperately wish were not true." I - as a 'white' blogger (though I tend to go by 'human' as the only thing relevant to my politics) - hate it because it may as well be a racial slur. It suggests that because some white people are racist, they all are. It, as is stated, implies segregation. How does an opposition to segregation make one racist? He decries apartheid, yet in his mind segregates white and black bloggers. Or is apartheid only wrong if white people do it?

Everyone needs to get over their racism, not just (a subsection of) the white community.

6/11/2008 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Zimbel said...

@CelticDiva-

Thank you for attempting to include a non-white blogger. While I'm still disappointed that you don't appear to understand Francis's central points, this is a significant step towards integrating an extremely dis-empowered minority.

@funkalunatic-

"Francis and friends remind me of the token black people..."

Interesting that you assume we're all Black. As for myself, I sunburn easily.

"...they've manufactured a controversy..."

I'm curious as to which controversies aren't "manufactured" in your opinion. Someone has to make an argument for there to be a controversy.

"Celtic Diva, are clearly a white racist..."

I doubt you'll find the term "racist" in Francis's writings about Celtic Diva (I don't think that he's used the term in over a year). Personally, I more feel frustration - CelticDiva seems to recognize the controversy, but not understand one of the points of view.

I guess another way of putting it is that some people think that many more Black people are in prison than White people because they break more laws. Virtually every recent study on this topic has shown that law-breaking is at roughly the same rates - it's that laws are written to make penalties worse for Blacks, that enforcement, charging, and sentencing all tend to be harsher against Blacks than whites, which results in more Blacks in prison than Whites.

In other words, it's the very rules and the system that's set up to imprison Blacks more frequently than Whites. See here for a fairly good article on this topic by a non-Francis blog. Relevant quote:

"Tim Wise, the anti-racist activist and author, notes that:

'In 1964, 65% of all prison admits were white, while only 35% were people of color. By 1991, these figures had reversed. Did whites decide collectively to stop committing crimes in the intervening years, while Black and brown folks went nuts? Or was something else at work? According to FBI data, the percentage of crimes committed by African Americans has remained steady over the past 18 years, while the number of Blacks in prison has tripled and their rates of incarceration have skyrocketed.'"

Once you've realized that one major system can (and has been) set up to favor Black imprisonment, might you look elsewhere for systems, laws, and rules that are set up to dis-empower Blacks?

Wouldn't you be very suspicious of rules which on the face of them don't discriminate directly against non-Whites, but when actually used, appear to discriminate very heavily?

@grimbles-

I don't think you understand the term "apartheid", or where apartheid originally comes from (warning- the wikipedia article is pretty bad, but at least it gives a rough overview). To put it bluntly, a group that's disempowered can't practice apartheid against a group that is in power.

6/12/2008 1:11 PM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

I'm fully aware of what and where apartheid was. And while one element is the institutionalisation of racism and segregation, they core of it is the racism and segregation.

I'm not suggesting that he's somehow manipulating the policies of a country he doesn't live in to make white people sit at the back of the bus. What he is doing is manufacturing/perpetuating a 'whitosphere' and an 'afrosphere', which is an arbitrary division with manufactured animosity. It's called a metaphor.

Hey look, I can be condescending and provide a wiki link too!

6/12/2008 6:14 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

<3 Diva, you're awesome!

6/12/2008 10:01 PM  
OpenID funkalunatic said...

zimbel -

I congratulate you on your light colored skin, and, if you think as Francis, I urge you to get help before harming yourself out of hatred for your own whiteness.

I cannot parse Francis's posts in the English language without coming to the conclusion that he believes Celtic Diva be a racist. Hell, he calls her "WhiteDiva" and "whitist". Either he believes Celtic Diva to be a racist, or he is so blinded by his own hatred for white people that he is unable to put his words into any kind of racial context. Were Celtic Diva or anybody to write a post about Francis laden with racial slurs, we would come to a similar conclusion about them.

A manufactured controversy is one that the story-teller doesn't care to determine is true before telling it to others as if it were truth. Of course many of society's institutions have been set up to marginalize black people - this is evident and well-known. However, it does not logically follow that the democratic blogger pool has necessarily been set up for the same purpose. Evidence is required, the sum of which cannot be reasonably explained any other way - perhaps a video of Howard Dean in some smokey back room railing on about the hated Negroes.

6/13/2008 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Zimbel said...

@grimbles-

I apologize for not understanding what you were attempting to convey.

I'm not clear that there is animosity between the afrosphere and the whitopshere in general; at least my interpretation of these terms is that cross-linking from White blogs to Black blogs is rare. At least back when he wrote Blackosphere & Whitosphere: Silence is Never Golden, I found very little cross-linking at the time from White blogs to Black blogs. I see more now, but there's still relatively little cross-linking here's a non-Francis blog on the topic.

@funkalunatic-

You put a very high burden of proof on marginalization of Black people. While this may be a useful standard to determine when to bring a case to court, I don't think that it's a useful standard for when a civil rights activist or group should start to complain or act. In any case, I feel that the credentialed blog list is evidence of (at minimum) rules which were accidentally biased against Black blogs.

6/13/2008 7:52 AM  
Blogger Grimbles said...

I have to admit that when I go to a blog, the first thing I check isn't "what colour is the blogger's skin" so I have no clue how many 'black blogs' and how many 'white blogs' I read. Because honestly, if someones talking intelligently about a topic, their skin colour isn't relevant: a post doesn't become more or less stupid because your skin or black or white or somewhere in between.

That is preface to what I'm about to say. The only blogs that I've read that are 'black' blogs have also been guilty of not cross-linking across this arbitrary divide, unless of course it is to shrilly abuse one of "Them".

Maybe there are blogs out there that don't fit that pattern, but the point is that it's really in irrelevant pattern. A blog's quality isn't dependent on skin colour. Generally speaking, people will reference people they know, people they can relate to easiest. It's not inherently racism to tend to hang out with (or link to) people with the same coloured skin, it's a pretty standard human response to position oneself in the most comfortable spot.

That's the basic instinct that we now call xenophobia, that fear of the unknown or unfamiliar, that every human has that says 'different is bad' so they don't get eaten the first time they see a lion. A white guy sitting with white friends isn't inherently racist, any more than a black guy sitting with black friends. It's when the white guy, or the black guy, start throwing rocks are the black/white people across the glass room that it becomes racism.

Yes, some people keep to themselves because they're racist. But people are not racist just because they keep to themselves. There is a weak correlative relationship, but exactly zero causal relationship.

6/13/2008 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Zimbel said...

@Grimbles-

Interesting theory. My own blog mostly links to blogs and sites I reference in articles on the subject. Due to the subject matter, many of them are Native American blogs - most of which I'd never read prior to my research.

In any case, I'd present both Black Agenda Report and Field Negro as examples of Black blogs that link to a number of White ones.

6/17/2008 5:15 AM  

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