Re: your mail
On Thu, Sep 13, 2001 at 12:37:51AM -0400, jane craig wheezed something about:
> actually, i'll leave the terrorism to terrorists and their apologists. never
> have shot at anyone, neither have my friends. quite frankly, that says more
> about you, your cause and those you support.
Being an apologist of terrorism is equivalent to *being* a terrorist? That's
interesting. I suppose you also claim that failing to "rally behind the
President" is tantamount to apologizing for terrorism?
What does "that" (and I'm not sure what "that" is) say about me, my cause,
and those I support? Exactly what does it say? Your ambiguity and vague
language are a waste of both of our time. If you have claims to make, make
them clearly; your coyness is tiresome.
> the quote was taken directly from your website. so, it's not "supposed" to
> be a quote...it is. do you or do you not know what your name is attached to
> on your site?!? and just who exactly is writing what you put your name on?
No, it isn't. It's a rough paraphrase with quote marks around it, which is
why I didn't immediately recognize it as something I'd written. I rarely
write sentences that crude or inapt.
What I meant, in the context in which I said it, was that there was a
concern that was more *immediate* than the other issues I'd just raised,
namely, 1) the degree to which US foreign policy contributes to or causes
international terrorism, and 2) the degree to which that policy is
explicitly or implicitly racist. That is, there is a concern more immediate
than *those two* concerns, which is not the same thing as saying it is the
the *most* immediate concern *of all* -- which is what you clumsily take me
to have said.
If you're going to criticize what I say, and I think I've repeatedly asked
you to consider this, how about doing so on the merits or demerits of *what
I actually and substantively* say? Here are some claims that I made or
implied, with which you may or may not agree:
1. The too common reaction of many Americans to the terrorist attacks is a
virulent, unthinking, and twitchy anti-Arab racism -- evinced by the
Salon.com story I linked to, by my own experiences on the streets Tuesday in
Dallas, and by the hate crime at a Dallas-area mosque early Wednesday
morning, as well as many, many other occurrences.
2. That White people who oppose racism have a moral duty to refuse and
resist every display or expression of this racism which they encounter.
3. That this duty is the *minimal* obligatory duty resting upon, at least,
White people who oppose racism; that it is, quite literally, the very
*least* they can do.
4. I implied that U.S. foreign policy is the key contributing factor of
international terrorism, a position I took publicly last year in a 5,000
word essay analyzing the National Commission on Terrorism's report, which is
available on Monkeyfist.com (http://monkeyist.com/lies/NCT).
5. I implied that U.S. foreign policy is racist, a position I've taken
publicly in several places, most recently in an essay (forthcoming in a
journal called Psych Discourse, and also available on Monkeyfist.com) called
"The Global Privileges of Whiteness".
6. Finally, I presupposed that for White Americans there are only two
possible positions: to be racist or to be antiracist, that there is no
neutrality on this issue, only various gradations of racist or antiracist
commitment, attitude, belief, and action.
Now, surely, you can find something of *substance* in my work to disagree
with, rather than misreading something I've said, trying to infer from it
that I am unwilling to kowtow to the dangerous, authoritarian, and mindless
ideological consensus that has formed very rapidly as a result of the
terrorlst attacks. Let me assure you that I very much dissent from that
consensus, and that I do so because I take that to be my responsibility as a
citizen of a country that boasts a remarkable degree of individual freedom
(and because the consensus, as I understand it, is wrong, obviously wrong,
> do not flatter yourself, kendall. no obsession here w/ you. i am intrigued
> however with your opinions. at least i think they are yours...or at least
> someone's...c'mon level with me, who writes the stuff that you put your name
Trust me, your 'attention', motivated by whatever you claim motivates it, is
no flattery whatever. You could, at the very least, do me the courtesy of
not wasting my time on trivialities. If you have criticisms of my work to
make in the future, how about sticking to the meat of what I say. One thing
I pride myself on is taking public positions on substantive, difficult
issues, so that it shouldn't be *too* hard for you to avoid the low-grade
cheapshot to which you've grown accustomed.