Forever Grateful, Forever Pissed: Two More Replies on Cape Cod

Please notice in the following rant how the writer takes the ‘white usage’ of racism and runs with it. There is no evidence in the email that the writer bothered to consider the ‘black usage’ for racism suggested by the article under fire. No doubt, experience with this sort of Cape Codder is what motivates Mr. Gonsalves to advise his black readers not to use the r-word in white company.

Dear Sir,

Read your article on Cape Cod “racism” problem.What a pathetic example of race baiting jibberish and unmitigated BS.

I happen to live in the area and if you knew what you were talking about you would know that Cape Cod is well represented by many black people of good character who are treated with dignity and respect. The town of Onset Mass has and has had a very large, possibly majority, black population, mostly Cape Verdeans, one of whom I would bet is Mr.Gonsalves. These people are hard working good citizens who have always enjoyed the acceptence of the rest of the population in the area. It has always been a given that with minor exceptions people are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin or the movies that they prefer.

Until now I was not aware that there were “black”movies or”white” movies although I have seen “black and white” movies in the past. You have the distinction of trying to popularise a newly perceived or concocted schism between blacks and whites, for what purpose I can’t imagine, maybe just to stir up some conflict where it doesn’t exist. Would it be your purpose to force theater owners to show predominantly unpopular movies to empty theaters for the sake of political correctness or reparitions for slavery? I would like to know how you derived your assessment of the theater owners “intent”as other than making a living by selling tickets.

One of the most significant factors in keeping any dissention going between black and white is people like you and your absurd contentions continually harping on their differences real or as in this case imagined. This article is really a stretch in an attempt to do so and you do a disservice to your fellow blacks. This article has “pity poor me I’m black and everyone shares my self loathing” in every line,except where Mr Gonsalves is quoted.

Previous to the Civil rights Act of 1963 if you referred to a Cape Verdean as Black they would be very quick to correct you and insist that they were Cape Verdean and not black or negro (an acceptable term then). Now everybody is black and proud and taking their place at the front of the line for set asides and affirmative action preference. That is affirmative action at work.

Cape Verdeans (blacks) are now a protected class where before they were just like everyone else in town, a person. I guess they signed on to your philosophy of “Whitey” owes me. Where before they were just “folks”as you so quaintly label them now the citizens of Cape Cod are “black folks” and “white folks”and “Whitey won’t give them the movies they want. None of them would ever think or believe that they were getting the short end of the movie biz if you didn’t concoct this pathetic exercise in race baiting.You should be ashamed.

I have an idea that most proud Cape Cod blacks would agree with me and disavow your racist screed about such a pathetic issue as what movies are being shown. You see racism everywhere and if it stopped you would just be like everyone else.Heaven forbid that racism is eliminated and you lose your “special” victimhood status. Not much chance of that happening with an outlook like yours. You are part of the problem not the soloution.Smarten up.

With lowest of regards,

PS. No need to reply you don’t have anything to say that will redeem yourself from this slur on the good people of Cape Codfish.

Honestly, I think the reader above did not take much time to think about the article. Not only does he (she?) neglect the article’s attention to two quite different meanings of racism, but he also seems not to have read the phrase “existential courage” (something quite different from “pity me”).

But quite aside from ideas that were explicitly treated in the article, the writer above plays innocent on the question of audience demographics. He would blame me first for practices that have long been embedded in the funding, marketing, and casting decisions of motion pictures in the USA.

Affirmative action? Oh no. There’s that, too? Yes, and a classic case of defacto segregation to go right along with it.

On the other hand, here is a reader who found in the Cape Cod article a new way to think about the difficulties of our common lives.


An excellent, delicate elucidation of a problem that many might well not even see exists; I didn’t really grasp it myself until I read your article. I sensed that there was a dichotomy between the views of whites and people of color I know, but your essay clarified for me the precise nature of that difference.

How fatiguing it is to be always thinking of skin color. Your article brought that home to me as well. We need explanations such as yours, yet I can’t help wishing people would simply grow up and forget about it. But then I’m so mixed (1/4 Native American, 1/4 Creole, 1/4 Welsh, 1/16 African American, 1/16 French) I hardly even know where I fit on your continuum of “intent” versus “effect”, though I recognize the existence and influence of both.

At any rate, this is one of the most useful things I’ve read in a long time. You expanded my thinking and I value that above everything.

Most sincerely,

Note to pissed off Cape Codders: readers who find the article useful do not blame Cape Codders first.–gm

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