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Captive Teenagers Comment On Craig Bodeker's "Conversation About Race"
Which of the following actions would you expect to be labeled as "racist" by a normal person?
2. A woman is engaged in conversation with a co-worker, who responds by saying "Yeah, sister, I understand what you mean".
3. A man comments to another man at a club, "You're a good dancer".
4. When asked what he would do as "immigration czar" of America, a young man responds "deport them all!"
Stumped? The answer, according to the interviewees in Craig Bodeker's documentary A Conversation about Race is every situation except #4.
Startling? On its face, yes. But VDARE.COM readers shouldn't find too much comfort in #4. Here's some extra information: the woman in situation #1, the co-worker in situation #2 and the compliment giver in situation #3 are whites while the noticed man, the "sister" co-worker, the dancer in the club and the potential immigration czar are black.
Now it's not so surprising. Even #4's immigration czar would be easily identified as a "racist" if he were white. But he's black—so he can't be a racist!
Bodeker's excellent debut documentary is intended to demonstrate the "disconnects" and double standards inherent in the "anti-racists'" belief system. The term "belief system" is used intentionally, since the interviewees say that racism is "all around them, everywhere all the time" and yet are unable to come up with any definition of the word or examples of it in action.
"Racism is when we chop ourselves into categories…when you really look at the quantum level or the basic fabric of the universe there is no separation. I am you, I am the chair, I am the wall, I'm the rug, I'm the rock, I'm the tree, I'm the grass."
"It's as if saying, once I've put a boundary, you and I can no longer communicate."
"Racism could be anything, like I could be racist against him per se, he could be gay and I could be straight. That's still racism."
Strikingly, the most dogmatic "anti-racist" interviewed was also the prettiest person in the film: a young blond haired, blue eyed college girl who berated herself for observing that "black people are so loud" (it's true, I used to teach them) and explained to the camera that while black people are better than white people at some things, white people only succeed when they cheat.
These are the definitions of racism provided by those who also professed to see it every single day. With these bizarre vagaries as their foundation, it's no surprise that the anti-racist faithful are quickly befuddled when Bodeker presents them with facts.
Befuddled, but not deterred.
The point Bodeker makes is not a new one to VDARE.COM readers, but it is a good one, made invaluable by the clear, accessible presentation. Addressing the camera, Bodeker frankly describes his methodology—from advertising for interviewees on Craigslist to stopping random people on a busy street corner in downtown Denver. He cuts back and forth between his own commentary and the interviews, with a seamless flow from one clip to another. He is never sarcastic or vicious, and the interviewees always seem completely at ease. Bodeker himself looks the part of a new breed of male celebrities like John Corbett (of Sex in the City hunk-dom) or the country singer Keith Urban: casual, friendly and presentable.
In that sense, this DVD is an excellent jumping-off point for an audience that may not be ready for much of the franker debate about race that VDARE.COM readers are used to. It seems perfectly adaptable to a middle or high-school classroom and could provide an excellent spark for debates in college environments. I can even see sending the film to a few of my own relatives who might need a polite kick-in-the-pants towards reality.
With this in mind, I hosted a little showing with the first two teenagers I could find. At first indignant at the prospect of abandoning their summertime allotment of video games for a whole hour (oh, the humanity!), they were consoled with popcorn. And after the first few minutes, they were riveted.
Occasionally, one or the other of them would blurt out in exasperation, or laugh at the ridiculous responses that Bodeker managed to get on film, at which point they would pause the movie to discuss their disgust.
Now, these particular kids have heard criticism of the "racism" concept before and are even familiar with some of the more incorrect ideas regarding the race debate in America, hearing about them regularly at home. But even so, they inevitably have absorbed some of the conventional blame-whites propaganda that they get stuffed into their ears at school and on television and everywhere else in the world.
And the extent to which this movie laid out in explicit terms how exploitative the "racism" racket has become was very educational for them. They brought it up days later, clearly having been turning it over in their minds for some time.
When I asked the two of them if either could imagine the movie being shown in their school, both answered negatively. The younger of the two, a girl, qualified her answer, saying "Well, maybe some teachers, but I don't know who".
I'm afraid she's being naïve. In her private school in the past two years, she has never had a white guest speaker. Instead, she's had an Indian tribal leader explain how whites killing Indians was historically comparable to Hitler's holocaust (he visits every year); a black congressman talk about Martin Luther King; a black storyteller share African folklore; and an African dance troupe teach them how to beat African drums.
Bodeker is neither the right color nor does he convey the right message.
Noting Bodeker's race, the older of my two guinea pigs, a boy, tried to think of ways that the documentary could be more viewer-friendly for race believers. His suggestion was to replace Bodeker with a black man giving the commentary. Or, perhaps Bodeker should disguise his conclusions and only reveal them little by little, waiting for a dramatic end with all of his footage serving as evidence after the fact.
I don't disagree with the boy's points: yes, the public has come to bridle when faced with a white man discussing race. Yes, the public is taught to believe black people are allowed to talk about it and whites aren't. Yes, it is a bit jarring for newbies to hear Bodeker say calmly into the camera that he can't think of anything more, "artificial, manufactured and manipulated than this whole construct called racism" and that he has "grown suspicious of the term itself and the people who use it frequently".
But that's kinda the point.
Blacks have done enough talking about race. It's time to let us—and not just brainwashed blondes—into the conversation.
Athena Kerry (email her) recently graduated from a Catholic university somewhere in America.