August 16, 2007

David Yeagley Hates Black People?!

from the Bad Eagle journal

For those who are new to David Yeagley’s antics, this may sound radical on its face, but for those who have stomached longer exposure it seems David Yeagley “hates black people.” Yes, where have we heard this before? Yeagley denies the existence of his own racism though. If only for show, or whether he really believes the tripe, it seems Yeagley is in denial over the facts on the ground regarding his own behavior.

Yeagley — “The darkness of the Negro has always repulsed other races” (2002).

Yeagley — “There is a tremendous drive in many white women to experiment with the darkies” (2002).

Yeagley — “The sexual aggression of the Negro, particularly when surrounded by those not of his race, is well known” (2004).
Yeagley’s brand of racial stereotyping and criticism does not end with blacks however. His “rants” are routinely aimed at American Indians, Arabs, Mexicans, Muslims, non-Christians and any other perceived “threat” to his vision of sanctified white purity. Does he actually believe his own blog? We may never know, but this is true: because he denies the existence of racism for himself, he also denies its existence for others.
Yeagley — “Judeo-Christian religion allowed the European Caucasian race to advance above all other people.The darker races now encroach through integration and intermarriage” (2002).

Yeagley — “I'm beginning to think there's no such thing as racism. If there is, it is very rare” (2005)

Yeagley — “What does ‘n_gg_r’ mean? What does it refer to? When everyone says how marvellously offensive it is, no one says why... I just think it is neurotic and preposterous to make the sky fall because somebody says ‘n_gg_r,’ ...It is ludicrous, in fact” (2006).

Yeagley — “The same people who want to remove the word ‘n_gg_r’ want to remove ‘Christmas,’ and ‘God.’” (2006).
Because Yeagley apparently operates under the delusion that racism is nonexistent, when it does rear its ugly face Yeagley has no vocabulary to cope with that reality. Instead, Yeagley resorts to quoting the bible, name calling, rhetorical labels and other “word games” to undercut or eliminate the criticism, instead of working to eliminate the racism. Yeagley attacks the messenger as "anti-white," "immoral" and "heathen" rather than looking for real life solutions to the larger complexities.

To illustrate his bias, consider Yeagley's views of indigenous people from other hemispheres sharing in a north American Indian powwow. Powwows are events of sharing and respect, anyone is welcome Indian or not. There are no rules or laws of exclusivity at powwows, none. Powwows have always been open and inclusive to anyone wishing to participate. Yet, we see Yeagley with the below observations and opinions:

Yeagley — “It was also an un-Indian thing to see as “Aztec” figure in the Grand Entry... He had on a huge feather crown that was taller than any other. I turned to a couple of Comanche friends and said, “Who’s the Mexican chicken?” They looked at me oddly. “You mean the Aztec?” I nodded, “the Mexican chicken.” I suppose next we’ll see the Negroes from New Orleans in their Mardi Gras ostrich feathers” (2007).

Yeagley — “in my opinion, Aztec attire is wholly out of place at an American Indian pow-wow” (2007).
Where most people would recognize this failure to see a larger picture, such as friendships and inclusiveness with others who may be different from ourselves, Yeagley appears to force his own internalized vision onto the rest of the world around himself in a proscribed way. What Yeagley “sees” he thinks everyone must see, “how could it be otherwise?” he argues.

But herein lies the rub, Yeagley is — at the heart of his contentions — asking you or me to take his word for it; trust him. Yeagley is a “doctor” after all. For Yeagley, reality is not what exists by way of collective understanding; no, that would be too “socialistic” a way to look at life — too “commie.” No, for Yeagley what really exists appears to be in his own mind exclusively, and merely projected out onto everything else, and everyone else.

If Yeagley “knows” it, or “sees” it, it must be real, not just for himself but for all of us. Therefore, using Yeagley’s illogic, if racism appears rare or does not exist at all in the mind’s-eye of “doctor” David Yeagley, how could it possibly exist for others like me or you?, Yeagley reasons. Like a big blanket of fixed comfort, Yeagley seems to throw his own vision over cosmopolitan benevolence in an attempt to categorize, criticize and rationalize it away. Rather than accept the reality, Yeagley apparently prefers to live with an internalized daydream, snuggling into a safe unchanging world, where words have fixed meaning and every race knows their place.

It’s one thing to read and understand Yeagley’s own dilemma and recognize his projecting it onto everyone else, but it’s quite another thing to snuggle up with him in his blankie. Such is the case for his affectionate blog commentators, who regularly crawl in with him and seek the comforts of an unchanging stasis and receive encouragement for their own perceived suffering. You know the story if you’ve been to his blog, “if there’s no racism what are all the commies complaining about?” and other such observations based not in reality but nestled in the cozy folds of projected comfort.

What others should perhaps consider, is that Yeagley’s racism may be something more institutionalized and subversive than one might observe at first glance. It could be that Yeagley himself is unaware of this possibility, a factor I would consider “likely” in Yeagley’s case. But for everyone else who are not Yeagley and not huddled into the folds, it may help to be aware of a kind of racism that is not so easily discovered, one that remains rather persistent yet illusive.

From The Washington Post, a test was conducted on bias with doctors treating black patients versus non-black patients, and the results were revealing. It appears that the doctors saw themselves as unbiased, but their actions were measured as discriminatory nonetheless. It is a test case of measuring factual bias regardless of the anti-bias claims being declared. Personally, I see this study as pertinent to any reading of Yeagley’s racist and misogynist blog.

Long before word recently broke that white referees in the National Basketball Association were calling fouls at a higher rate on black athletes than on white athletes, and long before studies found racial disparities in how black and white applicants get called for job interviews, researchers noted differences in the most troubling domain of all — disparities in survival and health among people belonging to different racial groups.

Black babies, according to the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have higher death rates than white babies. Black women are more than twice as likely as white women to die of cervical cancer. And in 2000, the death rate from heart disease was 29 percent higher among African Americans than among white adults, and the death rate from stroke was 40 percent higher.

The trouble with all these numbers, as with the NBA study — which was conducted by researchers Justin Wolfers and Joseph Price — is that they do not explain why such differences exist among racial groups.

Some studies have shown, similar to the NBA analysis, that diagnoses and treatments offered by physicians vary between racial groups, for diseases as dissimilar as heart disease and schizophrenia. But does this reflect physician bias, or the possibility that patients from different backgrounds present themselves differently? Could race be a marker for some other variable that really matters, such as health insurance status?

A new study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and other institutions affiliated with Harvard University provides empirical evidence for the first time that when it comes to heart disease, bias is the central problem - bias so deeply internalized that people are sincerely unaware that they hold it.

Physicians who were more racially biased were less likely to prescribe aggressive heart-attack treatment for black patients than for whites. The study was recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The research finding cannot be automatically extrapolated to the NBA or other domains, but it does suggest a mechanism by which disparities emerge. No conscious bias was apparently present - there was no connection between the explicit racial views of physicians and disparities in their diagnoses. It was only when researchers studied physicians' implicit attitudes — by measuring how quickly they made positive or negative mental associations with blacks and whites — that they found a mechanism to explain differences in medical judgment....

Mahzarin Banaji, a co-author and Harvard psychologist who helped develop the Implicit Association Test used in this study, said the racial bias unearthed by the study is at odds with conventional views of bigotry - and perhaps more insidious. Rather than harboring deliberate ill will, she said, the physicians had apparently internalized racial stereotypes, and these attitudes subtly influenced their medical judgment without their even realizing it.

The study of physicians had one hopeful note, Banaji said: Doctors at least were willing to open their subconscious minds for inspection, which is something that many other professionals — judges, police officers and NBA referees — rarely are willing to do” (Shankar Vedantam, 8-13-07).
I doubt that Yeagley would ever open his mind for a similar review, but it is significant that the material results of discrimination, the bias resulting in inequitable rights, the lingering racism, is not only measurable but is obviously still around. As I can hear my friends at this moment, “We didn’t need a study to tell us that.” And anyone with an ounce of empathy and compassion, and two good eyes, would agree.

To those of us clearly on the outside, Yeagley’s blog is quickly repugnant, especially to those who possess an ample measure of the quality called empathy. For the mini-Yeagleys though, the flock, the recent study of internalized bias should be enough to question Yeagley’s ill-conceived motives and halfhearted observations a bit more thoroughly. No matter what Yeagley says about his own lack of racism, to simply curl up with him in his comforting blanket is not an answer.