Stuff White People Do: refuse to see how things look from another point of view

Stuff White People Do

refuse to see how things look from another point of view

A lot of people find Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s presence on “The View” incredibly annoying, and I gotta say, I do too. She’s like a feminine Bill O’Reilly–loud, domineering, condescending, obstinate, and most of the time, just plain stupid.

Nevertheless, for the purposes of this blog, I’m glad that Elisabeth is on television. By arguing her (talking) points so tenaciously, she often dramatizes common white tendencies.

I’ve written before about Hasselbeck’s continual demonstration of the common white insistence, especially in mixed-race discussions, onoccupying center-stage. In the clip below, from this morning’s edition of “The View,” she launches a vigorous, last-ditch volley of attacks, which largely consist of guilt-by-association claims about Barack Obama.

We’re probably all tired of such crap, especially today, but a tone of something approaching desperation in Hasselbeck’s attack here does provide a sense of something like schadenfreude. More to the point, she also demonstrates a common white tendency in such discussions–refusing to see or consider how something looks from another, non-white point of view, and then judging that thing from a limited white perspective.

In this discussion, Joy Behar serves as a foil to Hasselbeck; Behar highlights Hasselbeck’s performance of this common form of white solipsism by performing the opposite, an openness to experience that differs from her own.

Joy Behar thus provides some hope here; she shows that some white people can step back and admit that because they’re coming from a different place in terms of race, they just don’t know enough about something to judge whether it’s right or wrong.

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2 Responses

  1. I really dislike how this post seems to equate racism/ignorance with what it refers to as a “common white tendency.”

    Whites are in no way the only ones who have trouble seeing things through perspectives other than their own and certainly being racist, ignorant, etc is in now way limited to whites, but applies to people of all races, ethnicities, etc. Nor do I know of any evidence that points to the typical white person being racist, ignorant, etc

    EH is not depicting “common white tendencies;” but she could be said to be depicting typical tendencies of ignorance, closemindedness, racism, disrespect etc .(I haven’t watched the whole vid so I can’t say personally if she’s showing those tendencies but the point is those are tendcies of certain traits not of *white people*.)

    If this post and this blog is decrying racism and fighting racial stereotypes (as described in its about section), then why is it so blatantly+irresponsibly stereotyping an entire race, and, frankly, engaging in racism itself?

    (As a side note, I despise everything I’ve ever heard EH say–granted that hasn’t been much as I don’t watch The View and don’t agree w/anything I heard her say on this vid.)

  2. m, you don’t seem to realize that people of color have HAD to understand both their own point of view and that of most white people, for a long, long time, for their own safety and well-being. Whites haven’t had to consider the point of views of others, because they’re the majority, and because they occupy most positions of power, and because they’re very rarely in positions that render them disempowered in relation to people of color.

    There certainly is, therefore, a racial difference here. It’s a difference between a common white unawareness that their “common-sense” perspective is often actually a common white one, and a common black perspective that often understands that common white lack of self-awareness, and because black people, especially, have HAD to see things from another perspective, that of white people.

    BTW, do you play cards? If so, I imagine you’re playing the “race doesn’t matter anymore” card a lot these days?

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