Brown Racism
by H. Millard (c) 2001

car with four Latinos drives by a crowd of about eight white people, and one black woman, all waiting to cross the street. In the rear window of the car is a sticker that says "Brown Pride." It is right next to the one that says "F**K YOU, THIS IS STILL MEXICO." The white people on the corner, don't even notice it. The black woman notices, but says nothing.

Then, a car comes along with a sticker in the window that says "White Power." The white people notice it, and begin mumbling to themselves. "How horrible," says one middle aged white woman. "Damn, Nazis!" says an elderly white man. "Racists," says a man in a suit in his twenties. And, as they say these things, they intentionally do so in loud enough voices to be heard by the black woman, who they are all aware is there on the corner with them. Several of the white people look at the black woman and shake their heads in a display of human solidarity and bonding against the white racism. One can imagine that some of these whites actually want to go over and hug the black woman to show that they're not racists and that they love her (even though they've never met her before).

The subtext they are silently sending to the black woman is "We're good white people. We won't put up with racism." But, what their subconscious minds are really saying is: "We're superior white people so we need to be kind to the more disadvantaged (because they're not white) people." They are subconsciously acting the way a Lord of a Manor does with his servants. "We need to treat non-whites like children. We must overlook the things they do wrong and praise them for the things they do right, so we can encourage them to be more like us."

The above is a fictional composite of what is seen to one degree or another in most of Southern California these days.

James HahnWhat does it all mean? Well, in the first place, there is rampant brown racism in California and it strikes out at whites, blacks, and Asians. This is one of the reasons that James Hahn carried the white, black and Asian vote in the recent Los Antonio Villaraigosa Angeles mayoral race and why his opponent, Antonio Villaraigosa, a strutting, cocky, bantam rooster, whose very manner and presence oozed what some people, who think about these things, believe is brown racism, lost. The brown racism wasn't so overt, at least during the election cycle, as to be something that most white people could put a finger on, but it was there just beneath the surface where it acted as a code to Latinos. It said, "Hey, once I get in to the Mayor's office there are going to be some changes around here. The first thing we'll do is fire all the white, black and Asian people and we'll replace them with Latinos."

Most Latinos, picked up on the code. Most whites did not. However, the problem for Villaraigosa was that blacks and Asians did pick up on the code and sided with the white candidate against the Latino one, because they realized that they weren't part of the brown club, but were being lumped with whites. So, while many whites were blinded to the subtle racism by their conditioning, the Latinos, blacks and Asians were not.

I would suggest that the vote totals for Hahn and Villaraigosa exhibit, among other things this "anti-racist" conditioning of white people that makes them hypersensitive to perceived racism when it comes from their fellow whites but also makes them hyposensitive (almost blind as bats) to real racism when it comes from non-whites. I would also suggest that blacks and Latinos are much more sensitive to racial cues, and that they pick up on racial things that many whites miss. This is so, because as already alluded to, and more fully explored in previous columns, whites have become so neutered racially, that they are like raceless drones, and seem to wear blinders to racism aimed at them. To these people, "race" is something to be denied if you're white, but to be praised if you're non-white. However, it is a strange neutering they have undergone, because, also as mentioned, whites are apt to see white racism (but, no other kind) under every bed. Blacks, Latinos and Asians, on the other hand, are more in touch with their essential racial natures.

Villaraigosa plays poolTake a look at the vote totals of the two candidates in the mayoral race as a clue to the truth of this. White James Hahn got 80% of the black vote; 65% of the Asian vote; but only 52% of the white vote (he also got 18% of the Latino vote). Brown Antonio Villaraigosa got 20% of the black vote; 35% of the Asian vote; 41% of the white vote and 82% of the Latino vote.

Although we hear much about "white racism" we see from these numbers that the white candidate, Hahn, got his second lowest vote percentages from his fellow whites. However, his percentage among blacks, 80%, is almost as high as Villaraigosa's percentage of 82% from his fellow Latinos. From these numbers it might be reasonable to conclude that blacks voted against a Latino while Latinos voted for a Latino. If there was a white vote for white Hahn , then it was offset by an anti-white vote among white voters who, in a psychological similitude to the fictional people on the street corner at the outset of this column, wanted to show the non-whites that they were non-racist, by voting for Villaraigosa. Of course, these white people can't see that this is just a form of noblesse oblige racism.

Comes now a news story in the LA TIMES on June 13 about the Oxnard School Board Trustees firing long time high school superintendent Bill Studt, over "philosophical differences."

"Philosophical differences?" Hmmm. Let's see if we can find out what philosophical differences caused the Trustees to fire Studt who has received nine years of outstanding performance reviews.

Manuel M. LopezArt Lopez Edmund F. SoteloWell, for starters, enrollment in the school district is now 60% Latino and the population of Oxnard is 66% Latino. The Mayor, Manuel Lopez, is Latino. The police chief is Latino. The city manager is Latino. The superintendent of the elementary school district is also Latino. Oh, did we forget to mention that Studt, the guy being fired, is white? Could that be the philosophical difference?

And, what does Mr. Studt have to say about his firing? Why, white Mr. Studt, according to the TIMES, doesn't think that race had anything to do with his firing. Nope, can't have anything at all to do with race. Nope. Nope. Why, the only racism is white racism. Most white people know that. Right? But of course, if Mr. Studt had said that he believed he was being fired because he was white and because the Trustees want to replace him with a Latino, the one who would be called a racist would be Mr. Studt. And, many of the people who would call Mr. Studt a racist would, more than likely, be neutered whites.

It'll be interesting to see if the Oxnard School Trustees pick a white person to replace Mr. Studt. I wouldn't bet on this happening, though. It's that darn philosophical difference thing.

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