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Sunday, October 11, 2009

THE CREATION OF WHITENESS

I think this is a very relevant video in light of what we are doing this season.

42 comments:

g7 said...
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Mo said...

very well said.

Who created the word albification?
From the Latin root I understand the meaning, but cannot find it in any dictionary.

ant159 said...

i think his interest is in educating white and blacks who seek to destroy one another based on skin color.. racism being a by product of white elitism, if that fact is recognized then maybe all the nonsense concerning race relations will start to evaporate & the focus will be where it should : a united front against elitism in general.. theres nothing wrong with wealth until it is used as a tool to hold a group of people back.. his oratory skill is impressive and it will captivate you.. farrakhan and hitler have this same skill.. the difference is mr. wise's subject matter is based in the eradication of hate not the growth of it.. if you are righteous in heart & believe in equality for all then this shouldn't bother you at all

DesertHawk said...

Interesting video. Most of it does make sense, although I do tend to support securing our borders but more for anti-terrorist reasons than anything else. Never heard of him before, wonder why that is.

After viewing the video I looked him up on Wikipedia. They have a link to his official website there with more info about him.

To me, he seems to be on the side of poor whites as well as poor blacks describing how the rich manipulate and use both sides, unless I didn't hear what he said correctly.

You are right Kurt, relevant and it does open old wounds.

Maria said...

His pattern of speech annoys me. Reminds me of a tv evangelist and I always feel like they talk aobut one think but think of another.

Having said that though I appreciate a lot of what he is saying. It's sad though that in 2009 the same crap is still an issue.

If you haven't already watched "Prom Night in Mississippi" on HBO please do. It shouws just how far we haven't come.

DesertHawk said...

According to Answers.com...

n.

[Cf. F. albification: L. albus white + ficare (only in comp.), facere, to make.]
The act or process of making white. [Obs.]

Jerusha said...

I am repeatedly impressed with the depth of thought and creativity that has gone into Sons of Anarchy. Thank you for giving us something good and important to watch.

This video really speaks to the idea that the only differences we think there are between "us" and "them" are artificial, and created because it is more profitable for "the man" to propagate otherness than it is to foster brotherhood.

Pointman said...

I was raised that we are all Americans no matter what color.
My dad always taught me to look into a person's eyes and actions to judge them fit for association.
"Divide and Conquer" is the objective of politicians and those who create money and power off it.
Season 2 is a great showcase for that strategy and consequences.

Jeferson said...

Very relevant message indeed. I chose to live in the great country so I don't feel 100% comfortable criticizing some aspects of it. Yet, one thing I really don't get is this racism issue. It comes from both sides (all sides) of the table, some people claim to work in order to eliminate it and these very people still refer to "blacks" and "whites" in their very own speeches. I believe it's time to stop this bull..it, let go of the hypocrisy and just respect each other. Live and let live. I do discriminate. I discriminate against lack of respect, bad attitude, intolerance. If everyone just treated others the way they want to be treated we, as people, as a country, would not waste this much time and energy in something so small.

tonilost said...

When I went to college in the early 70's, I met a Cuban guy who told me it wasnt till he came to this country that he was called black, in Cuba he was just a Cuban. A simple story but it really made me see how screwed up we were/are.
It isnt better in the new millenium either, in fact I think it is worse. Humans are dumb fucks.

Max Randal said...

Minimum wage, if you raise it, unemployment will rise.
Taxes, I pay. And prefer it going to Americans in need rather than illegals.
The blood relative ordinance, some people are ignorant and they get slapped down.
Elites, no such thing, they just think they are.
Controls, necessary, like a budget.
Without control there is anarchy.
I prefer 1 hour a week.
The guy is a rebel rouser.

Great show last week.
Is Opie Lem that survived?

Lexx said...

Wow, never heard a white man articulate those sentiments ever. Interesting video clip in more ways than one. I want to check out more on what he has to say. Thanks for the "schooling".

Silence Dugood said...

This post may test the limit of your tolerance for divergent points of view and will tell. If you post it, it reveals good things about you. If you sensor it, it says something else.
This video clip is utter bs -- Liberal, self-hating crap. I like your show, but I can't stand your politics. You suffer from the same "white guilt" that propelled Obama into office. Yes, I read your earlier odes to "Dear Leader" during the election campaign, but tried to ignore them. I see that you insert your politics into your show from time to time, but I choose to ignore those parts also. I like the motorcycles, the action. You are a compelling story teller. Your overt politicking in your blogs, however, is something I can do without. I wonder how someone who can get so much right in the show, strength and brotherhood, can be so wrong about themselves buying into such academic self-flagellation. Kurt, you are surrounded by people who live in their insulated world of privilege, America-bashing, and hypocrisy that you are in danger of losing perspective on all that is really important. I would suggest that move out of Hollywood as soon as possible and move to where real everyday Americans live. Hopefully, you can then rid yourself of all the liberal school indoctrination that is afflicting you. Politics aside, I really like your show and congratulate you on your success.

Kurt Sutter said...

dear silence,

an ironic choice of anonymity. clearly you are someone who has no problem vomiting opinions. the very fact that you feel obama was elected because of "white guilt" speaks to the heart of the issue at hand. your mind is very, very small, your values purely self-motivated and you and the people you surround yourself with cannot think beyond the limited views of the fear-based generations before you. you continue to spread hate to your children and your children's children. i pity you. i'm glad you enjoy the show, but quite honestly, i suggest you stop watching. who i am, what i believe bleeds deep into sons of anarchy.

Outsider said...

The peckerwoods would have a field day with this guy....I agree with Maria on not liking his evangelical style.....it actually reminded me of Jim Jones' speaking style...(I'm studying his speeches for a role).....but I think that there is self loathing on the unreflective racist side of things and on the side that decries rascism....and both project the hostility outward...and inward....this the damage of a society contaminated by racism.....none of us are innocent nor are any of us
undamaged in the equation.....

I did like his term 'emiserate'

Outsider said...

Also...in Silence's note....where he cites the celebration of brotherhood and strength...to me that is a warrior ethic that is spawned by hatred of weakness and fear of seeming weak...as evinced by say the adoration of the blue angels terrorizing san franciscans during fleetweek....a practice begun by reagan to tweak the nose of liberal san francisco...and while interesting in the extreme it still comes out of desperation, pathos and yes necessity...necessity being it's most valid justification....I think the weak are due a defense and are not to be despised.......but then I am a bigger believer in vigilante street justice knocking down bullies, which is an equally pathological position to espouse...so perhaps it's all a matter of individual preferences....what pathologies we enjoy

....but celebrating strength and despising weakness is a feral thing which is cool to explore but in practice it leads to things like the final solution or the war in iraq....I'm no pacifist I just don't believe in glorifying militarism to enrich elites or to satisfy bloodlust as an attitude adjustment...however I do like it as ethnographic drama on tv or in film...and if it, as art, inspires copycat crimes, so be it....feral pack street justice is better ....and street justice vigilantism is the best

mikonos said...

Silence, it's unfortunate the only thing you appreciate in the show is the "motorcycles and action". There is so much more you are missing that involves the nuance of good/evil, right/wrong, relationships, race, on and on but "pitches" it with an interesting storyline (i.e bikes and the clubs). What I love about the show is it doesn't give answers, it presents the complexity of life as it is and allows the viewer to engage and decide. Same with the clip, unfortunate you need to jump to high level insults and name calling instead of arguing the facts....I pity you as well.

therealzenobia said...

The whole concept that to adhere to one school of thought is the only way to be a "real" American is by definition un-American. If we are a people of freedom, then people of intolerance have split with the core American ideology. If anyone should leave anywhere, it's those who believe that only they are "real" Americans.

And the point at which you feel fine telling a master artist in his own house that strength is more important than ideas is the point at which you should get on your busted up old fatboy of a philosophy and run it on in to the junkyard - and lock the gate behind you.

therealzenobia said...

Intrigued by your Tweet about Oz. My first thought last night was that nobody has ever dared to send their whole cast to jail - except Fontana. Wonder whether Gemma can back the flatbed through the wall, with Tara, Opie and the Prospect hanging on to the back?

Here's hoping it's Tig who falls for Chris Keller.

g7 said...
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moriko said...

Funny how confronting and being made aware of your own privilege in order to better understand your role/position in our communities is regarded as a sign of weakness or "rich white guilt".
Sutter explores white privilege - its obvious social benefits, its violent consequences - perfectly in each episode through Zobelle and Weston; the former an upper-middle class, educated businessman, the latter a working-class, muscled goon: these two men are from totally different classes of life, and as a result, experience and live out white privilege in different ways. However, both are also doting fathers who don't hesitate to rape women and blow up cars. They are interesting and complex, carrying their own personal motivations and baggage and trauma.
We really need to give Sutter more credit for building up - then smashing - our preconceived notions of these different groups of people.

g7 said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi, Im new to the show and a big fan. But, I have been trying to catch up and can't find episode 1 season two anywhere. Apparently the shows are available on "authorized" sites (FX, Hulu, etc) for a period of time and then removed. Im not quite sure how that makes sense given there is no alternative (eg like the ability to rent / purchase season one).

New fans, like me, would love to get see all the episodes they missed (at least I only missed one)

So, for what it's worth, it would be great to have all of season two available on line, at least until it is offered for purchase

Anonymous said...

sorry kurt but i agree with silence dugood. america made a huge mistake by electing obama and it was because of white guilt and those who thought that it was time and that the rest of the world would like us. Bull.
Don't think that we are all watching the show because of your opinions and messages. It's Entertainment, that's all.

Anonymous said...

How dare you suggest that "you suggest that" someone who doesn't agree with you, "not watch the show"!
You just contradicted yourself and all your self-righteousness.
You are just as much a bigot as those you criticize.

Outsider said...

Then there are the Whites on the Fringe, whether Peckerwood or Rebel, who believe in "don't tread on me" and there are the downtrodden, already beaten, whether the tire tracks be from 50, atf, dea or bike or GM Suburban...

These are the "twilight of the white man" whites who join the entire spectrum of ethnic tones being oppressed.....as it comes to be seen that the imperial elite machine that pits us against each other has no loyalty or preference that it subscribes to....but just uses various intergroup tensions against the masses as a weapon to further the aims of the american juggernaut

In fact that's my reason for choosing the handle
'Outsider'.....Yes there is a self pitying side to most gangs....."We didn't get a Break so we are going to Take"....But there's also the fact that reigning regimes hunt down and make examples of those questioning brute authority...questioning that authority sometimes with brute deeds that mirror the brute deeds of the reigning power...military/ industrial, police state america...a country based on a foundation of civil rights and liberty but that has become a base 'might makes right' centurion empire...threatening the rest of the world with nuclear overkill, super technology, overwhelming force and mega bribes to keep us consuming like pacman...that was recently ruled by texas croniest mercenaries....which Obama is a respite from....
We need to find a path away from a ruling class that hunts down and persecutes and sets up to fail able bodied men and women who refuse to work at mcdonalds or walmart....while bankers and ceo's plunder the treasury....So I agree alot with the Speaker in this video but to crucify 'white' is to aid and abet the very 'creation' of 'White' principle that he critiques

Kimmy said...

I was thinking about my mother when I watched this video. She was only a young girl in Poland, when she saw her Jewish neighbors being taken away, to walk the streets. There was no power, only hate and control. My grandfather, who was born in Chicago, an american citizen until he died, had to leave him family because the Polish/Russian Army wanted to "Claim" him. I think that is why I really cringe when Ethan Zobelle (played by Mr. Arkin) is on the screen. Not only is he full of hate, but he justifies it how? By stacking one lie on top of another. And how does the hate continue, by teaching it at Sunday supper. Thanks for sharing, but it only reminds why this continues to this day. Passed down from generation to generation. Someone has to decide to stop spreading.

fewheeler said...

Having grown up for most of my life (58 yrs) in the greater Mobile Al area I understand what Tim is talking about and for a long time until I left home did actually participate in some activities. Leaving home though allowed me to become better educated to the ways of the world and soon I learned that people of color were no different than myself as I realized in the military that the poor russian sob in Siberia just wanted to be able to get a roll of toilet paper not dominate my life. So we march along following the politicians and beliving they are for us when in reality they are mostly for themselves. I taught my children to treat each indvidual with the respect they would want to be treated and to work hard for that which is earned by your own hard work is more valuable then the gold someone else owns. I enjoy SOA as a rider for more than 40 years I find it good entertainment, after all it doesn't matter what you ride only that you do.

Anonymous said...

kurt has the right to say what ever he likes obama was not elected because of white guilt thats so a scape goat used by ppl who dont want to except the fact that white america helped put a man of color in office i commend him for saying dont watch it,it speaks alot that he doesnt want just anyone with eyes watching his show stop using white guilt as the excuse

Sparks said...

Kurt,

How dare you on your own blog offer us random insomniac fans the oppotunity to hold a great discussion on your time?!

Thanks.

Agmarr said...

Kurt, I don't know if you read DKos or not, but I found this article interesting and figured you might (or might not) agree with it's views (I hope the html works): What's in a name?

Here's the direct link for copy/paste if the html did not work: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/10/14/791815/-Morning-Feature:-Whats-in-a-name

therealzenobia said...

I would absolutely buy the ep transcripts for this show if they were available to download.

Silence Dugood said...

Dear worthy screen writer and creative talent Kurt,

I am disappointed with your response as it seems a tad petty to say that I shouldn't watch your show because I don't agree with your world view. Should I return my season 1 DVD as well?

No, I watch your show because, as I said in an earlier post, you are a compelling story-teller. Your characters are complex people who are multi-dimensional -- capable of both great goodness and evil --as are we all.
The internal and external struggles of Jax, very Hamlet-like, makes for a very interesting story. I like that you humanize all of your characters, even the antagonists. Clay is a cold-blooded murderer, harboring terrible secrets, but he is also capable of love for his "old-lady" and genuine affection for all his brothers in SAMCRO. Zobelle is a master chess-player who uses his connections in "polite circles" and his influence over hard-core racists to do awful things. But, at the same time, his twisted racial views are to some extent motivated by a horrendous crime done to his family. I could go on, but you get what I am saying. So, I like your show for more than just the motorcycles and the action (the hot women are pretty good too).

Anyhow, I still assert that your clip about "White Privilege" is academic self-loathing. Most whites in the country have earned what they have from hard work and there was no "good old boys" network conspiring to help them. I am a third generation removed from stomping grapes in the old country on one side of my family and about 6 generations removed from "indentured servitude" on the other side. So, I take exception to the assertion by some deluded academic that I am a beneficiary of this mythical privilege.

As for President Obama, I disagree with about 95% of the policies he has proposed or is attempting to push through Congress. He is an articulate spokesman and has a likable personality, but that doesn't make him a good President. I think that his policy prescriptions will be ruinous for this country. In that sense, I am fearful for the future of our country. Our children will be saddled with an enormous federal debt, monopoly money posing as the US dollar, an anti-business climate that kills job creation, and decreasing influence in world affairs (the World loves Obama because much of the World hates a strong US).

I have a basis from which to comment about this because I have been all over the world in the US military. I am no rube who has never left my county/parrish. So your charge that my concerns are selfish and small-minded is not justified considering a life-time of dealing with issues much larger than my own parochial interests.

After some thought, I retract some of the more provocative language in my first post as it only kills dialogue that Americans of differing political views should, in good-nature, have.

So, I wish you and your wife continued success. I do really enjoy show. I view it more about freedom and responsibility than anything else. I think that those are two concepts in which we could all agree.

flhterrie said...

For the Anonymous that asked about Season 2 episodes being available online. I downloaded Season 1 last year from iTunes. Each episode was available a day or two after it aired. I haven't checked but I'll bet Season 2 Episode 1 is on iTunes now.

flhterrie said...

Sons of Anarchy is a work of art and guaranteed to be a great hour in my week. Thank you.

I wasn't going to comment on the Tim Wise video but I can't help myself. It's my opinion that the people that see him as speaking on racism or white elitism miss the point.

I went to hear Ritchie Havens in the late 70's and he talked to the audience about almost this same subject but he phrased it a bit differently. He basically said that the rich man wants to keep the poor of all colors, black, brown, white, yellow and red, fighting among themselves at the bottom of the ladder so they will be too busy to look up and see how bad the rich man is screwing them from the top. It doesn't really have to do that much with race except that it just happens most rich men are white.

Outsider said...

What's wrong with a little self loathing regarding our self image and the crimes of our empire. Even if we can justify some of the dirty work we've done for the purposes of national security and not just to enrich military industrial complex contractors. Isn't it just a little bit distasteful to incur as much collateral damage as we have in the process? Even for the killing aspects we've participated in that may have some justification under the banner of necessity. Does that need to be glorified or is that just a reaction we have to make our deeds more palateable in order to not feel shame or misgiving about murders we've committed to preserve our military supremacy.
There are roots in the constitution and bill of rights that deserve glorification but they are at odds with the over compensating glorification of militarism and masturbatory love of terms like 'projection of power'. But I guess one would expect contradictory veins of feeling in a country that has "through the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air" as a beloved clause in one of her anthems.
Pointing out our happy contradictions my friends.

Jon said...

After reading all 36 comments, I am surprised no one mentioned where this Tim Wise clip came from. I am curious if Mr. Sutter or anyone else on this blog had a chance to watch the whole program.

If not, I would recommend watching the program and you can easily find it on the web. I guarantee you will like the end of Mr Wise's explanation of the American thumb up gesture in Middle Eastern culture. If you could somehow write that into a scene on a future episode that would be awesome......

Thank you sir for posting this clip and of course your show. I enjoy reading your blog. I look forward seeing the rest of 2nd season.

Jamie said...

Silence: I cannot speak for Kurt but it is my opinion that he was suggesting that you don't watch the show not because you disagree with him but because of just what he said in his response.

"who i am, what i believe bleeds deep into sons of anarchy."

Furthermore, telling Kurt what he can/can't put on his blog is hilarious.

Silence Dugood said...

Jamie,

I did not write that Kurt can not express his political opinions (that, of course, would be silly as this is his blog). I wrote that I did not agree with some of his political opinions.

I have fought for and defended our Constitution all of my adult life. Freedom of speech is precious to me and anyone else who has ever served in the Armed Forces as are all the other principles enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. So, while I respect Kurt's, your's, and everybody's right to speak out, I do not have to remain silent if I disagree with any of you. Since, this is Kurt's personal blog and, therefore, is his personal virtual property, he may allow or exclude any comments submitted for whatever reason he chooses. Kurt decided to allow my posts, probably because he cherishes freedom of speech as much as I do even if he doesn't like what I wrote.

In any event, my first post could have been worded a little less confrontational, but my primary objections still stand. I think this video from Mr. Wise is typical of the mindset found on many college campuses with their "Whiteness" studies and the ideological predisposition by so-called progressives towards self-loathing. I do not share his belief in collective guilt and I reject the notion that anyone is any more open-minded or tolerant who thinks that way. I could elaborate on my ideas more fully, but this is not my blog and it would be inconsiderate to so.

If you read my second post, I retracted some of the more pointed language I used in my second post. I forgot the most important rule of useful political discussion, don't end the discussion before it even begins.

As for me not watching ... I am going to keep watching because I love the show for my own reasons. If I stopped watching every show, or stopped listening to every song, or stopped reading every book because I disagreed with the politics of it writer, I would certainly be the small-minded cultural Luddite that some of you have alleged.

Kurt,

You posted your heart-felt thanks to loyal fans of your show. However, inconceivable it may seem, I am one of those people who likes and watches your show. You said, ".. At the end of the day Sons of Anarchy isn't my creation, it belongs to the masses.." That is a very generous thing to say and something that most writers don't realize. Once a show is watched, a book read, or a song listened to, the writer has no control over how it will affect the audience. I perceive the dominant themes of SOA to be about freedom and responsibility and the inherent tension that exists between these two ideas. I don't know if that's what you intended, but that's what I get from it.

So, Thanks for the very entertaining, thought-provoking show. And, yes, I love the motorcycles, the action, and the hot women. Those are also things in which we can all agree.

Nivek said...

Kurt, Love SOA, thanks for posting this. I grew up in the Ramapo/Catskill Mountain areas of NY in a poor white "hillbilly" family, seething with your typical old breed racism from Grandparents and Uncles and Aunts. Fortunately, I never bought into the race war crap, and had a pretty open mind (Everyone's a potential A-hole till otherwise proven). I can only imagine the flack you get from these guys, given how you portray these guys currently on your show. I can only guess the few thinly veiled WP comments we see here is the tip of the iceberg to what you see.

Robert said...

Mr. Wise introduces some very fundamental realities within the system we find ourselves within. What is that system, though, that impacts the way we think in terms of identity? And most importantly, do we perpetuate it by our own ignorance?

A large group of diverse individuals are imprisoned and broken down into artificially-defined groups based on and sustained by their own weaknesses, fears, and temptations.

They are then set against one another via many schemes employed by the warden and his associates as he 'keeps order'. He has his 'favored groups', of course - who get 'special privledges' if they just 'follow the law' and 'set a good example'.

Guards are deployed to keep 'order' and to be the most visible 'face of authority' within the prison. Over time, this ensures that the inmates will spend most of their lives thinking 'inside the box' - focusing on the most immediate realities just to survive.

Eventually, the prison becomes home for many - and the thought of escape or getting out doesn't even cross anyone's mind. If it starts to, the warden 'allows' more 'freedom' to keep everyone pacified. Bread and circuses, as they say.

Afterall, without visible bars and gates - it's hard to recognize that one is even in prison to begin with.

Eventually, though, everyone will come face to face with the reality - as the control the warden is attempting inevitably collapses under the weight of its own lie.

If we're paying attention to the world right now, we can see the collapse unfold before our very eyes. We can each go forward to freedom - or follow the warden and his prison system into the dust. The choice is, as always, our own as individuals.

All the best, Kurt, as you continue with the show and the global framework the themes are embedded within!

Ann said...

Educational but also severely depressing. It reminds me of Thomas Frank's book 'What's the Matter with Kansas', which revealed how conservatives have managed to get the blue-collar, working class to time and again vote against their own economic self-interest by riling and distracting them with family values and religious issues.