“I don’t think it’s a case of ‘if you are white you will inherit a racist view’ but rather if you are educated solely in an imperialist Eurocentric school system you will end up with a warped perspective whatever your race.” Guile
Mr Brown By John Clay
Chapter 2 – Candace Owens Is A Bad Special Move
We all like Bruce Lee, don’t we? We’ve made the sounds, quoted the lines, pretended to taste the blood from the chest wound (eyes fixed on the enemy whilst doing so), before high kicking into action. Capcom hit gold when a playable Bruce Lee clone named Fei-Long was introduced into their Street Fighter series in the early nineties. Now, there was a hero character, if ever there was one. An underdog borrowing the real-life sub drama of Lee, proving to other fighters that his skills were not dependent on edits, stunt doubles and a scripted win. It would make sense to a child or teenager to pick Bruce Lee’s clone over many a brawler in the fighting games roster. It made perfect sense to me.
Growing up in the early nineties was as much about platform adventures such as good guys Mario or Sonic. Both these white hat adventurers were for the most part coded as without race, but I digress. The fighting games had yet to dominate and form the sport it is now, an arguably more strategy-driven playing field where the choice of character is less dependent on hero-worship. These days, the straight male power fantasy is often villainous as it is heroic. However, you’re more than likely to encounter a Ryu or a Ken player than someone using the boxing, money-obsessed Mike Tyson clone, Balrog.
One of the game’s two black characters
There are two POC characters from Brazil and many Asian characters to choose from, but the black characters do not include a ‘white knight’ archetype. Consider all this in the context of an internet conversation regarding history teacher of blue eyes/brown eyes fame, Jane Elliot.
The following commentary (a Facebook thread republished here without emojis, spelling/punctuation errors) is based upon this video where in summary, Elliot makes a statement as to the institutionalised racism of the US curriculum. Her statement was not welcomed by someone whose real name has been replaced with the Street Fighter character, Ken.
Jane Elliott – All White People Are Racist. Here’s how it can be fixed
Ken: This person [Jane Elliot] is delusional, and almost every claim is false and based on hatred and division. It’s trendy to denounce white people because the mainstream will support you
Be wise and honest, do not earn social points by promoting division.
Chun-Li: Ken, I don’t think she is being delusional at all, nor is she claiming false things based on hatred and division. The education system hasn’t taught us about colonialism much, if not at all, and there’s a lot of evidence on this … Were you taught much about it at school? The one I went to in Italy educated me very little on this topic, and it seems to be quite a case in many places around the world … UK included.
The message that I got from this video isn’t of hatred and division … she actually gave me hope on how to defeat the system which has been conditioning us for centuries … and some of the tools are self-reflection, education, conversing and proximity with one another … these can be ways to unlearn the false and controlling information that have been ingrained in us from the system. And I do agree with you in aiming to be wise and honest and not earning social points by promoting division … which I don’t we are doing … I like to share inspiring and interesting posts that I believe to be educational for all of us.
Guile: I thought she had some very good points, but she lost me a bit with “the first modern humans that evolved on this Earth were black women.” I’m fairly sure there were some men involved in the process too.
Ken: *disclaimer … Chun-Li, I know you’re a good woman, so don’t get me wrong… this person claims that whites are inherently racist … so she has grouped a race and made a claim about them …
I didn’t need to learn colonialism to understand that we are all one race, one human family … and you didn’t learn colonialism either, and you’re not racist.
Colonialism would be a great addition to the school syllabus, especially in history … do you know there are African people calling for African leaders to apologise for slavery? Europeans and Africans were in it together, both traded humans, both are evil. Evil is the real issue, and evil will divide and conquer. Evil is making us self-destruct on a societal level by creating the ‘us and them’ division, and then it’s dividing us personally by making us feel guilty. A spiritual war is taking place, don’t trust the media.
Check out these names on youtube: Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, Officer Tatum, Candace Owens, the Hodgetwins, Jason Riley.
Dhalsim: Ken, she is one of the most prominent anti-racism activists, educators and her “brown and blue eye experiment” regarded as one of the most important experiments on the subject in the USA. She is talking about America and the American education system, which is spot on.
Ken: Wow all those qualifications and she’s still mistaken. I’ve posted a list of names to check out … all black educators that will disagree with her.
Dhalsim: Disagree about which claims specifically?
Ken: All whites are racist … what an incredibly irresponsible claim.
Divisive, disillusioned & hateful.
Guile: I am guessing that she was referencing genetic studies tracing back the origin of the species through mitochondrial DNA, but it did sound like she thought the original people were all female.
Fei-Long: A video on Candace Owens. I could send counterclaims for the other ‘black educators’ mentioned in this timeline, but I leave it to those who really want to know more to research these people and their problematic issues with their own race.
Ken: Fei-Long, I’ve researched your video, and it doesn’t relate to the issue of inherent racism in whites.
Fei-Long: You cited Candace Owens as a source. I decided it best to counter her legitimacy in regards to her standing on all and related topics. With that all being said, I’m happy for you to believe what you think you’ve researched, but figured it best to counter your claim that several of the black educators could provide further illumination. I hope my logic is understood, as it isn’t helpful to use the race of an educator to provide the weight of a counterclaim to someone who passes for white. It provides distortion over logic.
Ken: I guess we’re using the same logic because I think the divisive lady in the video above has no legitimacy either. I think the educators I mention CAN provide further illumination and the fact that you state otherwise shows how much you’ve really looked into it … But Fei-Long, respect to you for not name-calling or trying to twist my position.
Fei-Long: Oh, no, I’m not into name-calling, and I’m sorry that’s been your experience of such discussion. I posit that I have looked into the contradictory people you cite but have reached different conclusions.
The choice to see the person in this video as someone who spews hate is lost on me, and the idea that we should amalgamate as a culture for the comfort zone of those who refuse to highlight systemic racism is not only problematic, it’s unconsciously destructive. I will pick up on your next point in the morning as I find this conversation more interesting now despite (and I’m sure you can surmise), the familiarity with what books such as ‘Why I No Longer Talk To White People About Race’.
To deny systemic racism in education is to deny the black experience.
Chun-Li: Ken, thanks for sending those names, I will check them out.
I haven’t received her message as ‘white people are inherently racist’… We are born without any conditioning as babies … the conditioning starts not long after, when growing up and we start grasping information via institutions which are part of a system that supports the dominant culture and tells us the story under one lens … like for example the schools and media.
Ken: If you’re white, that means your going to inherit a racist view … according to her
Chun Li: Considering that the history books at school predominantly highlight white men heroes and their adventures that made history … HIS- STORY … Racism is about assumptions and ignorance too. We gotta change the system. We gotta update those school books cause they do tell us the story one way and they pollute our view.
Ken: What the divisive lady in the video did was make a huge claim about the white race followed by some other claims that are more valid … I am challenging her racist claim that because someone is white they will have a certain view. Chun-Li, media is the biggest polluter of our view … and I agree we should learn the FULL story of slavery and how Africa and Europe were both evil in trading humans like cattle.
Zangief: Wow, she’s speaking very truthfully and yet a lot of white people find it hard and painful to hear a very simple fact … that if you’re born and brought up in an inherently racially divisive society of course you’ve been programmed into that system, unless you take the time to deprogramme yourself … Seems pretty clear to me Ken…
Ken: Zangief, have you deprogrammed yourself? Were you once racist?
Guile: I don’t think it’s a case of “if you are white you will inherit a racist view” but rather if you are educated solely in an imperialist Eurocentric school system you will end up with a warped perspective whatever your race.
Zangief: Ken, it’s an ongoing thing for all of us regardless of religion, ethnicity etc. that we need to work on ourselves regarding this particular topic … yes ongoingly so … exactly.
Ken: What kind of racist views did you have?
Zangief: Not per se racist views but assumptions, often unconscious that get played out.
Ken: So do you fit the white racist person that the lady in the video is talking about?
Zangief: Omg you’re hard work to communicate with … no I certainly don’t, haha …
Ken: Lol well that’s my point: me and you don’t fit in her belief because she’s wrong.
Zangief: ‘Because she’s wrong’? I think she’s mainly pretty spot on but at this point I’m leaving this thread.
Ken: Well as you’ve proved she was wrong about me and you.
Zangief: You’ve totally missed the point. Do you understand unconscious assumptions?
Ken: Are unconscious assumptions exclusive to white people? I oppose her false claim that ALL white people are racist, unless deprogrammed.
Zangief: It seems you’re not very good at seeing what she’s saying beneath this. If I say to you that due to the conditioning of being brought up in a racist country,
by default we have adopted racist attitudes albeit subtly.. so that our assumptions and white privilege are almost undetected. That of course is different from being an out and out racist but nonetheless it has affected all of us…
So she’s not saying we’re all like that but that we’ve been conditioned into this system.
I think it would be good to see the writer of the book ‘White Fragility’ do a talk about her book on YouTube. Just google White Fragility.
Ken: We have assumptions of all nationalities, races, genders, ages, religions …
Every human on earth has assumptions. No one is exempt. It’s racist to single out one race. Demonising the white race is fashionable and a current political tool. The very act of rounding up a group of people and slandering them is evil.
Zangief: You’ve lost me. No one is demonising the white race. It’s about justice. Goodbye.
Ken: Judge fairly, speak fairly, act fairly to all people. Thank you for engaging peacefully.
Ryu: I think you’re misunderstanding what she’s saying and taking it as an attack on you or all white people. It’s not an attack. Racist as a word has become associated with actively racist hateful people, but I think it’s more about someone not having empathy or connection and understanding with someone who looks different. I think history is so important to understand how and why we are today. Many people all over the world are taught only pieces of history. Some work it out for themselves but so many don’t. Meaning they wouldn’t understand why some people around them are angry or why they are in the situation they are in. I take from what she’s saying that education is everything and proper education for everyone will lead to a better world.
Fei-Long: I’d like to understand why anyone, especially a woman of her stature and years, would try to be ‘fashionable’ by demonising white people. I’d also appreciate the points made in my last comment to be addressed as they attempt to talk about systemic racism affecting a group of people. Finally, can we not seek to defend the white race from any apparent cultural attack. Last time I checked, white culture was doing just fine culturally appropriating anything to oil the capitalist machine.
Ken: Fei-Long, just because someone has stature to some or been doing it for years, doesn’t qualify them. The subject matter of her video is politically fashionable and that is why it’s being shared. You made several points in your last comment and about amalgamating culture I think it’s almost impossible to completely amalgamate culture. However certain principles such as freedom to think, say and do without harm to others is a great principle that we can all get behind.
You posted someone else debunking Candace Owens but she has many videos about white/black relations that you might find insightful and if you don’t like her, watch Larry Elder or one of the others…
**Finally and more importantly.. you said “last time I checked white culture was doing just fine”.. well last time I checked our culture is not doing fine because my black brothers and sisters suffer, we suffer together … cultural appropriation is cultural inspiration, it’s sharing the artistic side of our cultures.
Fei-Long: To keep things simple, just so I know the extent of your disagreement with the video, do you believe that systemic racism exists, and is your knowledge based on a glut of articles and videos, or have you – hopefully – read books on the subject?
Ken: You debunked Candace Owens with a video of *someone else’s opinion.. where’s *your insight? I’ll read articles, books or watch videos … the truth travels in all forms … you shouldn’t be arrogant and intellectually posture yourself … you’ll cut yourself off from truth.
Fei-Long: I’d rather you answer my question, as I mentioned one of the books I’ve read earlier as well as use a video. So far you’ve offered nothing but opinion and list of scholars. There is no posture or arrogance here, just a question you have chosen to answer with a further question. I cannot be blamed for considering your response defensive rather than openly engaging. So, do you believe in systemic racism?
Ken: There are racists within systems. There are no systems (that I can see) that are designed to be racist. What’s the best example of systemic racism?
Fei-Long: Are you serious? You believe that systemic racism doesn’t exist? Where do you think people within these systems such as educational, federal, army, medical go when they ascend their individual ladders? The same awakening that happened in the movie industry regarding sexism is happening on an equally touchy subject, and to suggest that the people who run these industries don’t have the influence to gate-keep and marginalise other voices almost leads me to believe that you’ve not thought this through. I would suggest you read ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’, and if you find the title triggering (let’s face it, some people would), then I’ll refer you to a video as any other book on this subject might be far too erudite a choice based on your response to my rhetoric thus far.
I bare you no malice and hope that you would do me the courtesy of having a watch of this before further engagement.
Suggest a book on the denial of this subject and I shall return after reading it. If you don’t know of one, or think a video would be far more responsible – post it here.
I don’t think we’re able to carry on the conversation unless we dismantle the topic carefully. That’s going to take time and no little patience.
Ken: Larry Elder and Dave Rubin (Systemic Racism)
Approx. two hours later
Fei-Long: This essay is based on the timeline of your video.
Section A 00:00 – 00:57
Just because Democrats stand to gain from the black vote does not erase the history of redlining, subsequent loan bias or the fallout and tailspin into one race’s collective poverty.
Fatherlessness is weaponised racism, quite effective on blacks who rise to power without such a hindrance. Figures such as Elder pride themselves on the privilege of their wealth and deem anyone who cites white privilege as essentially weak-minded. They’re projecting pride in an injustice gaslighting formula, and are useful to whites who want to silence those who question the challenge of their comfort zone. Normally well-read privileged whites.
Section B 00:58 – 02.48
Educational system is biased due to area. Refer to section A.
Cops don’t always use guns to kill via racist agenda, and Elder skillfully uses death by gun as the only way cops kill.
Remember Rodney King.
Remember George Floyd.
Black on black crime is used to suggest that there is a problem that one race has socially, depicting the white counterparts as more advanced. If redlining is history it’s no surprise that in all black areas crimes will occur in this way. Find out about white on white crime, and look further still on Hispanic, Asian and other areas where stats further indicate the results of redlining which has led to the systemic issue at hand.
Section C 02:49 – 03:15
Social Justice is no longer a term used without bias. In Elder’s case he believes BLM has no grounding in citing racism as a valid factor in suffering. He conveniently ignores the logic applied in aforementioned sentences in this comment. His motivation is biased on his sense of achievement and he seeks to prop his brand up at the expense of history that doesn’t support his megalomaniacal approach.
Section D 03:18 – 03:40
Baltimore was the subject of acclaimed series The Wire. The 45% black population (actually is he right about that number? Hmmm) as skillfully depicted in the show have a significant ghetto factor and mainly suffer from living in the shadow of a racial history. One death in a predominantly black area does not eliminate the history behind the traffic of slaves to that area and how redlining, Jim Crow, civil rights atrocities and the penal industrial complex can cause crime to be what it is. America has taken advantage of the 13th Amendment. Elder is careful not to mention it. Should anyone reading this not know what that is, watch a Netflix doc called 13th. The constitutional slave law still is in effect and the penal system is big business that no president-elect has failed to take advantage of.
I have less faith in the talk show host at this point, mainly because he does not posit corruption or the ‘Us v Them’ boys club in either police or government circles.
Section E 03:41 – 05:20
The case of cops being afraid of pulling a gun on black subjects in Washington is used disingenuously. All cops are afraid of drawing guns on suspects due to internal affairs. Why do you think they seek to elevate the tension using coarse or foul language? We’ve seen cops do this in videos for one reason: to manoeuvre the situation into a hostile zone which grants the use of excessive force. Unarmed suspects are then offered less choice in having the event de-escalate.
‘Why don’t you just do what the police told you?’ This is a popular whataboutism. When cops are seeking to inflict their guns or batons by escalating the cause for their use, the reasoning power of those who understand the manipulative actions are shut down. They panic. Slight moves are codified as threats/resisting arrest. Violence occurs. Elder is using his ego to put himself in the position of people without citing these tactics, strategies perfected by officers trained to resort to a wild west algorithm driven by another amendment. I won’t patronise you by asking you to guess which one.
Section F 05:40 – 07:30
The host (Dave Rubin) is clearly out of his depth. I think he means well, but has no real grasp of aforementioned points. He’s me pre-Floyd, and he needs to do his homework. He could raise them but is unable to quote the causes of death by cop. The video I posted had two opposing views laid out. Dave just has his liberal pity, not an argument. Let’s concentrate on Elder.
Blacks have an easier route to the middle-class? Which ones? The ones that Elder identifies with, no doubt. Those in Baltimore are apparently not trying hard enough in school. Refer to the first 10 or so minutes in my last video for why simply moving areas isn’t an option for those families.
Having a father or not isn’t the deciding factor in a successful male make up. This is sexism at its worst. If the single-parent family is lacking anything, it’s two breadwinners rather than one. The problem comes back to poverty, the direct descendant of racism stretching back 400 years. To his credit, Elder mentions economic disadvantage, but he doesn’t highlight where this factor originated from. Crucially, he ignores how this item has been exploited by right-wing speakers who imply that there is some race issue that has formed in a bubble, outside the realm of race.
Section G 07:31 – Till end
Solutions: Rubin has pretty much become intellectually impudent and has given Elder the floor to go full Republican and trash on the welfare state and advance other agendas which will only widen the gap between rich and poor.
His argument regarding the family is erroneous as he doesn’t recognise systemic racism very much like arguing about the ability to fly with someone who denies the existence of the sky. I look forward to your thoughts and hope mine are carefully considered in the mutual effort to reach a logical conclusion.
Ken: Cheers, I’ll get back to you hopefully this evening after work.
Five days later
Fei-Long: Would be good to know if you’re able to respond to my last comment. If you concede to my logic I will not lord it over you. It’s not my way. However, to meet my comment with a false promise is far from desirable. I’ll give you another week, which is more than fair. After that I’ll take it that you were wasting everyone’s time. At this point I don’t believe you’re a troll. I hope time does not prove me wrong.
Ken: I’ve been thinking about how to respond to you and for what purpose… I’ll respond when I’m ready…
Fei-Long: The initial purpose was laid out and agreed upon a few comments back. If that purpose has changed beyond the interests of positive discussion I’d be keen to know. What stopped you getting back to me on the eve you promised is your business, but considering how many days it’s been, acknowledging frustration on my part ought to be met with understanding rather than the palpably defensive last line of your last comment.
I still don’t think you’re a troll, however, it is arguable that you have illustrated the privilege of picking up or setting down this topic on a whim rather than setting time aside to address the emotive subject.
If I hadn’t commented on your lack of response, would you have given me the vague assurance of ‘responding when ready?’
I hope this comment is received in good faith.
Ken: I’m glad my defense was palpable … that is in response to your “I’ll give you a week” demand … also you’ve claimed I made a promise to get back to you? Sorry you’re mistaken.
Fei-Long: ‘Cheers, I’ll get back to you hopefully this evening after work’.
Have I taken the word hopefully in the wrong way, or are you unable to see my point based on what looks like an assurance of further dialogue?
Ken: Intention yes, but time was not defined.
Fei-Long: Not defined? Considering the speed in which you’re able to get back to me on these smaller notes of lack of response … I’m understandably weary.
I’ll take your vague intention to get back to me for what it is, though I suggest your argument against systemic racism can only be viewed with scepticism considering your silence and the length of. I look forward to your next comment as being constructive and not fodder for anyone who wishes to use this discussion (obliterating name and using the title ‘anonymous’) to prove subtle and extreme whataboutery is no suitable argument on this or any other subject.
I feel it only fair to mention one of my occupations since the pandemic is that of online journalist. I am perfectly within my rights to publish this info on a bigger platform (applying the aforementioned criteria to save embarrassment/breach of FB rules on your behalf). For the sake of truth. I’ve included an example of this here for you to read.
I’ll wait another week. Please don’t misconstrue these statements as anything but fair and necessary.
One Week Later
Fei-Long: I showed the Larry Elder video you shared with a friend of mine about an hour ago. They sent me this:
‘So I’ve watched it and to me it seems insanely easy to debunk.
Larry Elder’s point about the role of the family actually makes the point that he is arguing against. Black people have an incarceration rate 6 times higher than white people – black people made up 12% of the US population in 2017 and 33% of prisoners, while white people made up 64% of the population and just 30% of prisoners. Square that circle. People being imprisoned takes them away from their families (DUH). In addition to the prison rates, black and brown people are getting much harder longer sentences for the same crimes as white people, so systemic racism is creating/hugely contributing to the problem that Larry Elder points to in his attempt to debunk racism. It is very circular.
In addition, black on black crime is a diversion, a typical point of whataboutery. Two wrongs don’t make a right. And also he mentions how the murderers of black on black crimes are rarely found – that in itself could demonstrate how little black lives are seen to matter, that the criminal “justice” system would rather imprison people for shoplifting and minor drug offenses than actually care when a black/brown person loses their life.
Whites are not more likely to be killed by cops, he is just wrong. Though the absolute number of white people killed by cops is higher (370 white people shot dead by cops in 2019 vs 235 black people), since the white population is a majority of 64% and the black population is just 12-13% you will see that black people are being killed at 2.5 times the rate, nearly 3 times the rate as white people. Facts.
The bit about resisting arrest is victim blaming – and as we’ve seen in countless videos, the cops act violently against black and brown people even when they are behaving and not resisting arrest. Look at Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. The list stretches into the hundreds/thousands depending on how far back you go – and isn’t it funny how the bodycams and security cams go missing /don’t work in these cases so it is literally the cops alibi against a person who is dead and can no longer speak.
The poorer you are, the more access you have to grants and loans – this could be turned around to say, the poorer you are, the more you need grants and loans. The poorer you are, the more precarious your income and the more you will need to rely on things like this to get through. It is like when people complain about people on benefits and how they are living it up – if that is truly, truly the case, and people (like Sun and Daily Mail readers) are jealous – then why not give up your job, give up everything you have so you can also claim benefits and live that lifestyle? If they don’t want to, I guess it is not that appealing then!!!! And so you can’t claim it is so privileged to have access to benefits while not wanting to have that type of lifestyle yourself.
Lastly, never ever ever trust American Republicans, they are self-hating “pull yourself up by your socks” type of people who think that because things are alright for them, everything is alright for everyone else. A fundamental lack of empathy and willingness to look at reality in the face.’
Look forward to any response you have on the main topic.
If you wish to bow out, I’d be very keen as to why seeing as no name-calling and multiple points you’ve raised have been met and responded to with clarity.
E.Honda: What are you talking about? This woman is a treasure! She was a teacher, and she started to work with her students in the sixties, and she still does a lot of workshops. Humanity needs people like her!
Ken has neglected to issue further commentary.
The use of alias’ in this chapter proved to be an opportunity to shine a light on the kind of stereotypes and cartoons we may consciously realise are such, but contribute to neverending feedback of unconscious bias. Street Fighter, as much as I love the game is an excellent example of such, mainly due to the imbalance of white hat and black hat characters in regards to black options on the character select screen. The appeal of the series lay in its appreciation of compelling often soap opera narrative. Think on this when comparing the representation of white and their black counterparts in television, cinema, comics and other media.
Bear in mind the series is ongoing and covers thirty years of gameplay.
Although the Streetfighter series makes no secret of its reliance on stereotypes, the lack of stoic/heroic noble black characters are noticeable. For every Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, ‘hero’ figure, there is an abundance of negative black/POC options. For the sake of brevity, I have included POC characters who clearly pass for black, Middle Eastern and South Asian. The series started in 1989. The first black female character was introduced in 1997. As of yet, there is no white hat/hero character who is black. The closest of which – Sean – has become a ‘joke’ character, much like figure of fun martial arts wannabe, Dan.
Both options are derivative of mainstay characters Ryu and Ken, both of which pass for white despite Ryu initially being of Japanese origin.
Mike: Discredited former pro boxer (accidentally killed an opponent in ring).
Balrog: Heavyweight boxer turned underground henchman. (Has the exact same backstory as Mike).
Birdie: British punk. Fighting stage in Streetfighter Alpha 2 is a Men’s Public lavatory.
Dhalsim*: Indian Yoga master/holy man.
Deejay: Musician obsessed with rhythm, has maracas.
Sean*: One time student of Ken. Characterisation devolves into a joke/loser figure over time.
Pullum*: Daughter of Arab millionaire investigating a villainous organisation, Shadowloo (misconstrues its name as that of a person).
Darun*: Pullum’s bodyguard.
Necalli*: Aztez God. Devours souls of losers.
Rashid*: Middle Eastern lover of technology.
Urien*: Embittered beta character to SF III boss, blonde-haired Gill.
Elena: African warrior who aspires higher education abroad, loves music and dance.
Laura*: Brazillian martial artist. Older sister of Sean.
Menat*: Egyptian sorceress.
* POC (person of colour)