HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Ok, someone please educat...

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 09:47 AM

Ok, someone please educate me...

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by OKNancy (a host of the General Discussion forum).

I just read that Bloomberg is being attacked for using a "common racist trope" of calling Corey Booker "well-spoken". In addition, I recall a journalist on MSNBC recently saying something about how racist it is to call a person of color articulate.

Now, yes, I am white and maybe that's why I don't understand this. I understand that racism is woven into the fabric of our culture, through our language, traditions, and I want to help us heal from it too. But I do not understand why we cannot use these terms when referring to someone who has a great facility with language if they also happen to be a person of color.

When Barak Obama ran for president, George W. Bush was in office. How could anyone not notice that Obama was beautifully articulate, especially compared to the nincompoop Bush? I can remember hearing Obama's first speeches and listening to that beautiful voice and clarity of communication and his ability to impart understanding to his audience of very complex issues. Please help me understand why making the observation that he was articulate, eloquent, was racist? I think Elizabeth Warren is also articulate. Why is it okay to verbalized that, for her, but it's racist to make the same observation with someone of color? And can I say here without any racist intention, Corey Booker ALSO is very talented with helping people understand complex issues, one might even say he is well-spoken or articulate? Please help me.

21 replies, 1006 views

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ok, someone please educate me... (Original post)
Trueblue Texan Dec 2019 OP
ginnyinWI Dec 2019 #1
brewens Dec 2019 #5
Joinfortmill Dec 2019 #7
rzemanfl Dec 2019 #2
Maeve Dec 2019 #3
Cirque du So-What Dec 2019 #4
Doodley Dec 2019 #11
Cirque du So-What Dec 2019 #16
Doodley Dec 2019 #19
marble falls Dec 2019 #15
Post removed Dec 2019 #6
GeorgeGist Dec 2019 #10
Post removed Dec 2019 #14
Ptah Dec 2019 #8
Doodley Dec 2019 #9
marble falls Dec 2019 #13
Doodley Dec 2019 #18
marble falls Dec 2019 #12
Doodley Dec 2019 #21
bobbieinok Dec 2019 #17
OKNancy Dec 2019 #20

Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 09:54 AM

1. I'm white too, but

I understand that when you are describing someone who is black, in this country especially, the unspoken ending to that compliment is, “...for a black person.” We wouldn’t catch that, and I didn’t when I read the quote the first time, but Booker did. It’s as simple as that.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:09 AM

5. Is that something Bloomberg will usually say about just any well spoken person he encounters?

If it is, we should be able to find examples of that.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:13 AM

7. Yes, but

It also might simply have been a compliment. Context is everything. I didn't hear the comment, so I can't comment on it in particular, but generally I would say that we often face this type of situation because as a nation we haven't confronted our terrible past and our not so great present treatment of Blacks and other races, of which there are many in our country and our history. Until we do, these incidents will continue to occur. As disclosure, I'm a white woman.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:00 AM

2. I will think about your post while I think about whether I have to wash

socks this morning.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:03 AM

3. It's one thing to mention several people as being articulate/well-spoken

But when talking about just one black person, you risk being patronizing if you praise them for being something white people in the same position are expected to be. Booker is a nationally known politician; it would be unusual if he WEREN'T well-spoken. While that may not have been in Bloomberg's head, it falls into a pattern of whites treating blacks as dumber/less articulate by nature. History of words need to matter in our race-obsessed society and it is on us to tread carefully.

Similarly, think of how tRump calls Lisa Page "lovely"--he's doing it to imply that her main qualification is her looks, not her talent. And then he denigrates her more, referring to her as Strzok's "lover" as if that is her main role in the FBI. Again, it's not what is said so much as how it is perceived.

Edited to add---another poster pointed out that the implied ending of the sentence is often "..for a black person". Similarly, the baseline is different for women--he is forceful, she is pushy. Does that help?

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:04 AM

4. It implies that the 'default' is unintelligible patois

and that eloquent POC are objects of amazement for having overcome their low-spoken tendencies. One may as well say, '(s)he speaks so well...for a (insert targeted ethnicity).'

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:48 AM

11. Maybe it implies that to you, but that interpretation never for a split-second

occurred to me.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Doodley (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:56 AM

16. Maybe it doesn't imply that to you

I believe it matters more to POC - the recipients of these left-handed compliments.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 11:23 AM

19. Cory Booker is well-spoken, in that he has an eloquence and succinctness that

is outstanding. He is one of the most powerful speakers out there. There's nothing "left-handed" about that.

What I see racist here is using an innocent statement, out of context, to bring down a white candidate.

Being an Englishman in America, I am complimented on my voice nearly every day. I am white. I take it as a compliment. If I was black, should I take it as an insult?

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cirque du So-What (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:55 AM

15. That is exactly the unspoken racial slur implicet. Thanks for saying that so clearly.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:44 AM

10. Insults are usually not helpful😡

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #10)


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:14 AM

8. ..

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:44 AM

9. And if he had said a white candidate was well-spoken, he could also be accused of being racist,

for praising a white candidate and not a black one. Sorry, but it is ridiculous when you have to be so very careful about paying a compliment.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Doodley (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:54 AM

13. NOT at all. We whites represent more than 80% of the population, we speak from a position of power..

if you don't believe that look at Congress and the WH, other than Democrats - how many minorities do you see?

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marble falls (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 11:12 AM

18. I will never accept that I cannot pay a black man a compliment.

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 10:51 AM

12. Its a matter of being 'surprised' that Booker is literate and "well-spoken" by a white person ...

that makes that observation at least passively racist. Racists tend to kill blacks able to make their issues too clear.

W dumb and tongue tied as viewed by a white person or society in general is an observation. Observing a PoC as as smart of one of us white folk is racist, ignorant as best.

The single most educated group of society with the most College degrees right now in the US are black women. Smart, eloquent PoC are NOT a quirk of nature, it is an unremarkable fact of life. They do not need our patronizing they deserve our embracemnt and inclusion.

Has anyone ever remarked to you on your children being smart as a surprise considering the source? Then why do we white people feel so free about saying that about adult people of color????

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marble falls (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 11:41 AM

21. I agree with the point you make, but I don't see how Bloomberg saying

that Booker is "very well-spoken" shows any surprise or reference to his color. Booker's exceptional eloquence isn't an "unremarkable fact of life." It is worthy of remarks.

I am white, and from England, and because of my accent, I am complimented almost every day on how I speak. If I was black, should I be offended? If I was black, should all these people who say they like how I speak withhold their comments because it would be considered racist?

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 11:02 AM

17. In 08 primary Biden expressed surprise that Obama was articulate

To say a black person is articulate plays on the age-old stereotype that blacks 'talk funny' -- see black language in novels, movies--esp Stepn Fetchit movies. If you can watch much of him without getting sick to your stomach

ETA heard yrs ago on PBS I think that black man who played this character was very intelligent and invested well the money he made playing the only role he could get as a black in the Hollywood of his day

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Trueblue Texan (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 11:40 AM

20. Locking - wrong forum

All discussions of a primary candidate are to go to the Primary forum

Please refer to this post:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1013&pid=9260

Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink