The ways of white folks, I mean, some white folks . . . (Langston Hughes)
awesomeness. thanks for posting this, macon. and jeez, good work there, josh!
That was a great video, and one of those young white men in the group of three, toward the end, genuinely seemed like he was feeling for the first time what it was like, about being stopped for his skin color.
On the one hand, I love this. On the other hand, does anyone else think he would've received an angrier response (people were pretty good-natured) if he had been visibly Native American? I don't know this guy's ethnic identity, but he would clearly read as white to the average person.
I can't load the video from the page. I have to go to the link under the video. This makes me cringe! I wonder if they gave Josh a hard time when he was making this video?
What a great way to start my day with a good laugh!I like the part when the three males were detained and Josh waved the Black folks on through. Holla!Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to post this on my blog so my readers can have a good chuckle.
I really like it, but I'm with thesciencegirl. I doubt very seriously that a POC attempting the same thing could have done this without consequence.
I agree -- I wonder what he could have said or done in the video to acknowledge the significance of his/the cop's whiteness?
Um...isn't this more of a situation of 'stuff SOME white people do'?Jeez...it seems as if white 'anti-racists' (while good in the grand scheme of eradicating racism) immediately revert to their typical white paternalism. And to put it on video shows this bizarre desire to prove 'Hey, I'm not a racist! I'm different from every other YT! You can trust me!'Sorry...I'm a cynic.This is video for white people; it doesn't give me warm/fuzziness.
I agree with thesciencegirl here, but I also think it's a case of turning one's privilege around and using it for good. Even as a [perceived-]white person, I think it takes some guts to pull off something like this. I hope in part it makes white people who watch it stop to think about how scary doing something like that can be... and then how PoC probably couldn't get away with doing it at all without getting stopped by real cops in the first minute or less.
on thesciencegirl/riche thread about white faces, I agree that White folk teaching/talking about racial oppression to White people still reinforces the privilege that Whites can talk, at the same time that the other choice is to do nothing and reinforce White supremacy through inaction. It makes sense to me that POC would find our efforts cloying or annoying even as we hope/pray that what we are doing might impact enough other White people to promote justice. The audience for this kind of thing [as in the OP] is White people, seems to me. Although POC commentary on efforts like this is helpful, as it provides a critical analysis of our/their efforts.
Reminds me of this older video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiphLMJKHCI
@olderwoman, On the contrary, I don't find it annoying at all... provided the white anti-racist in question realizes how, even in their anti-racist work, their white privilege is working for them. My beef is really with the reactions to said anti-racism. I don't think WP should not do anything in these situations, but I nevertheless find it frustrating that a POC could not speak out with the same impunity. (Tim Wise is a perfect example. I'm a huge fan, even as I resent the fact that he can say what a black man could not).
I think this is great, if only because he stopped younger people. Maybe it'll make them think a little bit more. I love the whole bit with the Australians/Aborigines. Too many Americans don't even think about that one. Had he not been white though sadly to say I don't think it would of gone over as well either.
Riche said...“I agree with thesciencegirl here, but I also think it's a case of turning one's privilege around and using it for good. Even as a [perceived-]white person, I think it takes some guts to pull off something like this. I hope in part it makes white people who watch it stop to think about how scary doing something like that can be... and then how PoC probably couldn't get away with doing it at all without getting stopped by real cops in the first minute or less.”I counter that it would take more guts for a Native American to do this. Moreover, you came close to using the descriptor, “heroic" to describe this white man. Many whites are quick to call each other heroes in situations like this. He even carried his privilege more so in that he was dressed like a police officer, and many people believed him to be just that. Historically, white males have always been equated with authority in this country. There was a teaching moment missed in that like ABC’s "What Would You Do?" segment, this could have been done twice. Once, with a white male in the role of arresting officer, then the same piece, but this time employing a Native American; just to gauge the reactions. Lest we forget, the white anti-racist has many resources his black counterparts lack; hence his efforts will be taken more seriously. Clever exercises like this elevate him even more so in white eyes. (Remember right-winged hero James O'Keefe?) Consequently, we blacks will view his efforts with a cynical eye.
stuff white people do? No, this is stuff one white guy is doing..ONE, with a few camera crew members perhaps? This is honestly the first time I've ever heard of "turning one's privilege around and using it for good". I doubt many (white) people will see the point the video tries to make and become activists, at most they will just regard it as mere satire. That's the thing about white privilege; one person does something mildly progressive and the entire race gets credit for it or is redeemed so to speak (via this blog post). This is funny and definitely something to be applauded for, but I still am not moved.on-a-side-note-that-is-not-at-all-relevant-to-my-point: I felt like I had to bring this up...this josh guy is smokin'.
Wowowow. I want to do this hahaha.I agree that part of the reason the people were not hostile twds the dude was bc he is white, but I do think this guy is trying to turn his privilege around. I mean I wouldn't pat him on the back and give him like, Special White Person status or anything hahaha but I respect what this dude is trying to do.I'd like to see him do this with a POC posing as an officer as well. The thing is though, I would think that a POC would have legitimate reason to not want to engage in this type of project because of violence and harassment. It's a step, though, although it's sad that the legitimacy of this script lies in the fact that the officer is white. A POC would have a very hard time getting those 3 boys to reconsider their opinions, and would have to fear for their safety
Thesciencegirl and Desiree made good points. Even though that this is entertaining, it still shows white privilege.
This was great. I loved it. Interesting video. I noticed some people appeared to stumble slightly on their remarks when past actions done by Europeans were mentioned.
I think it's funny, but I also was a little weirded out that a white dude was talking about other white dudes like that. It doesn't hit at the fear of black/brown takeover that is part of the real problem with POC empowerment for whites, so it doesn't really hit home for me. I get it, but I feel a really silly, prankish vibe from it.I think anti-racist comedy has its limitations, and the video touches on some of them.
@olderwoman,It's just that...I think it would make more sense if the main character were a person of color. That would just get the point across about the racial intent and history of SB 1070, period. So, this to me is a case where white people can support some anti-racist action but don't have to be the main character for it to be as effective as possible.
Was I the only one who immediately thought, "Oh man, is he gonna get in trouble for impersonating a police officer?!"
Is it just me, or does it seem this past week on this blog has been a lot about "good white folks" combating racism and giving themselves props for it?? Isn't fighting injustice someone we should do for the sake of doing, not for recognition??? I thought this blog was about the mindset of white America in general, not the "good deeds" or a VERY SMALL few.
And lest anyone think I am being "holier than thou" I have to say, yes, I am human and have been known to "blow my own horn" at times, but it is something many of us struggle with on a regular basis. There is a difference between doing something because it is right and doing it because we want to be recognized.
This video is set specifically in Santa Monica, CA. That land isn't just "Native American land"; it was (and still is!) inhabited by a specific people, the Tongva. That would have been nice to mention in the video, especially because white Americans have a tendency to lump together all Native peoples into a monolithic "Native American culture" to a staggering degree.~@ thesciencegirl,Absolutely--I was wondering if he maybe got some sort of permit from the city? And I'm kind of weirded out by how readily everyone assumed the white-dude-in-uniform was who he claimed to be.
@WillowAnd I'm kind of weirded out by how readily everyone assumed the white-dude-in-uniform was who he claimed to be.Well that's white privilege.
As I reflected on the comments, I realized that even if a WP was using privilege to fund/set up this thing, I agree it would be much better for the actor playing the police to be a POC, preferably someone who looked native. (I don't know, by the way, that the person playing that role isn't native, but he's called white in the post and everyone is assuming he's white.) As there were obviously multiple actors involved in this skit, this could have been possible. I agree with all the folks who suspect reactions would have been different for a POC enforcer, but maybe not, as the whole thing appears to have been staged. I'm not sure any of the folks on camera were "real" people.Still, trying to make the point about European immigration seems worth doing. It has been my experience teaching that a lot of uneducated white young people do seem to get their views changed by information that they haven't thought about before.I also appreciated Willow's point about the Tongva.
"This video is set specifically in Santa Monica, CA. That land isn't just "Native American land"; it was (and still is!) inhabited by a specific people, the Tongva. That would have been nice to mention in the video, especially because white Americans have a tendency to lump together all Native peoples into a monolithic "Native American culture" to a staggering degree."See, whenever I mention that to my relatives/acquaintances, they write me off as nitpicky. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who gets peeved at that (excluding, of course, those being lumped together -- of course they aren't happy about it)!
@M. Gibson, I think you misread my post. I said it takes guts, but even moreso for PoC and that it probably would be an impossible action for PoC to perform (as in the police would show up right away and shut it down). I don't see where we disagree..
A couple notes to think on..1, I think the white guys who got 'cuffed' might have been part of the script, not random people who showed up. Anyone else think likewise? Does this change anything about the legitimacy of the action?2. Perhaps a way to use white privilege for good while not reinforcing it so much would have been to have just the camera operator be white (and dressed officially) to give a look of 'white authority' to the people at the scene while not projecting it onto the video. Or, if that would still make the action too high-risk for the PoC involved, having 2 officers in the car, one white and one PoC, with the PoC officer depicted as higher rank and doing most of the talking while the white officer is seen getting out of the car to operate the checkpoint.
@Willow"And I'm kind of weirded out by how readily everyone assumed the white-dude-in-uniform was who he claimed to be."Hmnn...white men impersonating police officers…The phenomenon of impersonating a police officer. "Dr. Matthew Norman, a criminal forensic psychiatrist in Atlanta, said most people who impersonate police are drawn to power and authority but feel unable to achieve that in their daily lives." Where the race of the man is not explicitly mentioned, one almost has to assume the criminal to be white. I’ve never come across a crime report in the paper or on local television that did not include the man’s race when the perpetrator was black. You can Google for more if you like. However, it seems clear that if you’re a white male, authority and privilege can become meshed together, enabling you to deceive many people who get pulled over by white police officers every day. Even in Dateline’s “To catch Predator” series on MSNBC Chris Hanson was assumed to be a police officer by both white and minority suspects. The men waiting outside to arrest the suspects where mostly white males themselves. Power and authority is an aphrodisiac to some white males, it’s why they make up the bulk of police officers, and security/prison guards. Some white take their authority very, very seriously. You Will Respect My Authoritah!A list of suspects:Daniel Harmon, Joseph S. McVey, David Word, Scotty Warren, Wilfredo Lopez, Mario Nieto, Greg Granteer, and the list goes on.
Riche said...@M. Gibson, I think you misread my post. I said it takes guts, but even moreso for PoC and that it probably would be an impossible action for PoC to perform (as in the police would show up right away and shut it down). I don't see where we disagree.."Very very sorry sir, looks like I did just that; I see your point now and for that, I apologize.In the immortal words of Emily Litella.....Never mind.
@ Rochelle and M. Gibson,Hence "weirded out", not "surprised." Thank you for making the privileged-ness more explicit, though.Interesting, too, that this is one thing that in pop culture portrayals POC, or at least MOC, seem to be able to get away with, too (see Bavarian Fire Drill, esp. TV and film sections. Then look at the Real Life section and think on how many of the examples are POC in majority-white cultures).
It is interesting to read through this maturing thread and see how negative it becomes. SWPD is often criticized for bashing white people. Here we have a white man trying to do something and the critique turns to he should have found a native american. Of course I can also imagine a SWPD post titled 'Ask POC to be at the Front of AR Action'. A frustrating part of modern day AR is its lack of specifics both for how racism manifests itself as well as how a white person like me can use his privilege to push back.SWPD has been a great resource to see what POC experience and what some white people do without having to pester a POC for info. The posts this week have also suggested avenues for action. Rather than aggrandizing the white people involved, they form part of the "AR Missing Manual for Action"
@ kevin1. get over yourself2. treat other people like human beingis that specific enough for you?
@theladydon't you get it.White people must be placated, cajoled, convinced and entreated to regard their fellow people as humans.And if they get something wrong, it should not be spoken of, never whispered, never said aloud ...One must understand that treating ur fellow human like a human is not natural thing to them and one which requires teaching, nuturing and benevolence.Come! The lady! I reproach you for expressing such complex ideology with such careless abandon at the fragile sensibilities of a clueless white person.Be charitable thelady! I urge charity! O_O
Willow said... "Interesting, too, that this is one thing that in pop culture portrayals POC, or at least MOC, seem to be able to get away with, too (see Bavarian Fire Drill, esp. TV and film sections. Then look at the Real Life section and think on how many of the examples are POC in majority-white cultures)."This one from the real-life section is particularly troubling. David Stewart and Walter Nix; very troubling indeed. And from this link in the real-life section, a quote from, The most ambitious prank in history."The other discovery was that most of the low-level security personnel were poorly-paid minority workers. This is not a racist statement, it is the truth: the whiter you are, the higher your security level. My team would look like a big fat loaf of Wonder Bread."How A Phony Fed Fooled A Small TownI remember watching this on 60 Minutes; boy, I bet their faces are still red on this one. Ironically, he used Beverly Hills Cop 2, as his model.
thesciencegirl said:"On the one hand, I love this. On the other hand, does anyone else think he would've received an angrier response (people were pretty good-natured) if he had been visibly Native American?"That is a very good point. And what if a visibly Native American woman had played the role, instead?
@soulYea verily--gah*stabs self with spork before her descends into a Shakespearean/Elizabethan reply and likely pull it off too*@kevinStop being so damn sensitive, get over yourself and comprehend. The negative being pointed out is that in spite of the well/just intent of his anti-racist demonstration, it succeeded in the manner it did because he was white. There is no bashing in that, merely a pointing out that his privilege is serving as both as an attempted social justice tool while at the same time being reinforced as a tool of oppression (i.e. no one but a white person could likely get away with this unscathed).So your anti-racist, social justice efforts become pyrrhic--so effin what. Deal with it. The afflicted have to put up with shit more than you constantly whether or not you're trying (or pretending) to comfort them.
@thelady No need to get over myself. I am who I am and that's all that I am. I do treat people as human beings. But then if that is all one needs to do perhaps no one needs to "flip the script to make an anti-racist point".@soul:If I say something that offends you, and you actually want to engage as a fellow human then point it out. Call me on something real. Don't waste your time on some silly biased rant where you treat me as a class of people. Instead Say "WTF do you mean by .....", or "it sounds as if you mean .....". Perhaps it was that my post sounded too damn academic. If you called me on that I would have agreed. Then said one of the reasons I come here is to get away from how academic AR can be. I would have felt pretty stupid.Perhaps it was my use of the word "frustration" that was a trigger. You might have engaged me by saying "What do you have to be frustrated about?" I would have told you about all the people of color that among those I hold most dear. I would have told you how AR too often lives in a lofty ivory tower and I fear it will never do anything to make the world better for my wife, my kids, my brothers and father in-law, people I work with or go to church with. I see its failings in driving people away rather than engaging them. Which brings us back to engaging.There are thousands of differences that divide each of us from every other person. The question is how do you bridge the difference. I sometimes see the internet as having the potential of being King's "table of brotherhood". Do you want to sit at the table, or just spew biased rants that in my mind feed the beast of racism.
One thing that I thought of (I scanned the comments, and didn't see it brought up explicitly, but perhaps I missed it), was that though it's nice that it flips the script, I'd still worry about people walking down the street who *were* undocumented immigrants having their day made terrifying by worrying that ICE was coming for them (or even for someone who is a person of color, regardless of immigration status [ie, either non-immigrants or legal immigrants], who is used to being targeted by the police, and who worries "oh shit, what's this about now?" even for the brief moment). In that way (unless there was some aspect of the video I missed, like that *all* of it was staged, or whatever), I'd worry about adding to people's crap for the day.
Wouldn't it be more effective to go out and DO something about white privilege/racism, then to sit around and examine how a video of a PRANK could have been made better if included POC? Does this video actually impact the system of white supremacy in any way??? Aren't most people just looking at this as something to laugh at, not a way of really making a difference? How many people do you really think watch this video and examine their own privilege/biases as a result??
@Juan That's the ticket. Thanks for spelling it out. I was being too sensitive as far as the critique if everyone was thinking along those lines.@Soul I completely missed the humor in your post. In spite of pissing me of it is damn good.@thelady and Juan perhaps while cutting down some brush ala George Bush I'll consider getting over myself. "Cutting down brush" is pretty pathetic since I live in a city.
Can a white person actually flip the script?
@kevinrpOh shut up.
@kevin...offend me? Kevin....offend me?. why! how could you possibly do that?Au contraire Kevin, you were predictable, boring and accusatory in nature.Your rant was transparent and droll. It deserved nothing but jest.Besides, I cannot consider someone who acts like a beast as a fellow human being. If you demand something which you do not give, then you do not get it. (basic law of nature)You talk at a collective us, you will be talked back at as a collective you. Haaahaaa silly boy, you think your post sounded academic? what? on a kindergarden level. Oh Kevin, surely you jest. Surely even You know that you do not get to tell people how to counter or deal with something stupid that escapes your mouth, surely you are academically gifted enough for that?.I have no interest in getting to know you, know of you, know how many POC you nurture at your male bosom or how many POC you deign worthy of your condemnation.I do not care about your work, your church or your attempt at pointing to your many POC peeps. All that means what exactly?And finally .. why should I engage you?. what do you have to offer besides a hard head and a foolish stereotypical opinion caged in an undeserved sense of academic superiority which on distant reflections might entreat one to ask you for your money back from what ever institution misled you for 4 years.What exactly is there to engage with someone like you?.you are unimportant and unworthy.:) -- How's that Kevin, Sir?Does this meet your approval?You jocular person :)You were joking right? don;t worry kevin.. I'll laugh right along at you :)Go tell those POC you love soo in your church and your neighbourhood, how these mean POC over here just didn't listen to you and talk the way YOU wanted them to.Enjoy your ignorance.. @soul:If I say something that offends you, and you actually want to engage as a fellow human then point it out. Call me on something real. Don't waste your time on some silly biased rant where you treat me as a class of people. Instead Say "WTF do you mean by .....", or "it sounds as if you mean .....". Perhaps it was that my post sounded too damn academic. If you called me on that I would have agreed. Then said one of the reasons I come here is to get away from how academic AR can be. I would have felt pretty stupid.Perhaps it was my use of the word "frustration" that was a trigger. You might have engaged me by saying "What do you have to be frustrated about?" I would have told you about all the people of color that among those I hold most dear. I would have told you how AR too often lives in a lofty ivory tower and I fear it will never do anything to make the world better for my wife, my kids, my brothers and father in-law, people I work with or go to church with. I see its failings in driving people away rather than engaging them. Which brings us back to engaging.There are thousands of differences that divide each of us from every other person. The question is how do you bridge the difference. I sometimes see the internet as having the potential of being King's "table of brotherhood". Do you want to sit at the table, or just spew biased rants that in my mind feed the beast of racism.
@Juan..did you stab yourself for my honour!Brave knight. You waste precious breath on Kevin. He is a joker and his pronouncements simply demand that he be toyed with and then discarded once his puffed up sense of superiority becomes boring.and once he realise how stupid he soundsbut for now, let him fester in his stupidity. There is no cure for the likes of it.
"Is it just me, or does it seem this past week on this blog has been a lot about "good white folks" combating racism and giving themselves props for it??"I missed the part where they gave themselves props."Does this video actually impact the system of white supremacy in any way??? "It might make a few people think differently about the Arizona law. which would make it worthwhile no? even if it weren't perfectly conceived or executed.
Also this thread is dorking out super hard right now :)
Kevin, maybe white people should work towards ENDING white privilege instead of "using it to push back"! it seems like a lot of people talk about how bad they feel about HAVING white privilege, but are totally unwilling to GIVE IT UP!
@kevin....That would be because the humour was directed at you and not with you. Of course it pissed you off, it spewed a whole level of boring, predictable whitesplanation of things which... oh blaahhhhh.But of course it was good! I am a black woman, I shit goodness on the regular.@Soul I completely missed the humor in your post. In spite of pissing me of it is damn good.
jasOn... I should have said "getting props" for it instead of "giving themselves props" I kind of meant the giving props comment in a collective sense... as in posting a video of a single man, or telling a story of a single woman and giving white people in general credit for it.
J,Who the hell is giving white people "in general" credit for it here?Also, you're so adamant about white people "giving up" their white privilege. I assume you're white; how in particular do you yourself give it up?
AE, the title of this blog is "stuff white PEOPLE do" Almost every post is about the COLLECTIVE mindset of a large majority of white people. So, by including specific incidences of anti-racist work, and saying it is "stuff white PEOPLE do" it implies giving credit to white people collectivelyAnd, if you will notice, I specifically said that I am NOT perfect. I HAVE found myself wanting to take public credit for the things I say/do. I can't sit here and tell you.. well I do this and that and this and that, because I STILL benefit from white privilege whether I want to or not. I see SO MANY white people trying to get credit for anti-racist work they do, rather than work in the background. There is a tendency to want to be in charge instead of working behind the scenes. Trying to take charge of a movement towards equality is TAKING ADVANTAGE OF the same privilege we attempt to end. We need to give up our egos and stop expecting rewards for simply doing the right thing. The actions of ONE person is NOT enough. White people need to give up privilege COLLECTIVELY for the SYSTEM that gives it to be dismantled.
@ SoulOh my god. O_O one day i want to grow up to be as awesome as you.from,black teenager
@ Joanna,>> "Wouldn't it be more effective to go out and DO something about white privilege/racism, then to sit around and examine how a video of a PRANK could have been made better if included POC?"Actually, I would argue that critiquing a white-anti-racist-produced video that (a) does not include POC in the 'cast' (b) erases the unique identity of a specific people is essential for WP trying to fight racism.A central, strong, justified (sigh), PERPETUAL criticism of white anti-racists by POC is that we come in and take over. We think we have all the answers, that White Knowledge and White Experience is all it will take to make an anti-racism movement work. And inevitably, white leadership of non "specifically white anti-racist groups" ends up reinforcing racial oppression in some way. Often, specifically white anti-racist groups also end up reinforcing racism, even if totally by accident. It's crucial that WP critique other white anti-racists, and especially our own efforts, so we can learn to minimize the damage and how actually to do some good.Have you read Tim Wise's White Like Me? That could be very useful for you, I think. He talks about some ways to avoid it.
You can't "give up" white privilege. If you are white, you are white. White privilege is therefore bestowed upon you by our racist society whether you want it or asked for it or not. You *can* acknowledge it, accept your responsibility and behave accordingly.
@JoannaWe're not going to lose our white privilege just because we decide to give it up. We have it whether we want it or not. I think it's very important for us to find ways to use this unwanted gift as a tool that will help other WP get with the program. As it stands, though, most WP refuse to even believe it exists. As we saw in the post before this one, WP protect this privilege at all costs. This is kind of going off-topic but, honestly, this video surprised me. I had yet to hear of white people who even give a shit about the "Papers Please" law. I have had nothing but negative experience with WP and this topic. I'm quite vocal about it so most discussions become very heated as where I live (south FL) there are many undocumented workers and plenty of WP to whine about it. I've dropped 3 FB acquaintances over this - 2 of them after they posted the most horrific photos or commentary on the subject. When I said something, they whipped out everything in the book to protect their right to keep America white, pretty much. I lost the other acquaintance after making a post sharing my opinion and asking anyone who thought SB 1070 was not profiling to kindly fuck off. So, it's positive to see other WP are disturbed by this and willing to do something to show other WP how wrong this law is...you know, besides sitting in silence.
@Joanna, by pushing back I mean doing things like that described in the "find ways to counter the racism of their co-workers" post. I see that as trying to end WP. From my original post I hope it was clear I appreciate seeing these examples,something to strive for.@Stephanie. I think you can flip the script, but not the reality. As noted above this was a lot easier for Josh to do than a person of color.A good script flip was Tim Wise's "What if the Tea Party Were Black" post. Pretty scary to imagine what would be happening to the black tea partiers.@Soul I spoke of an -ism and a thread. I may have been wrong and stupid but I wasn't grouping. Also when I used the term academic I meant sterile, overly analytical, without emotion. The simple use of that term is one of 1,000 differences between us. Thank you for engaging and for pointing out I am "jocular", you are right.
Willow, I would rather speak to POC about their experiences with white privilege and how it affects them than read a book written by a white academic about the topic. I would rather join a coalition of ALL people then join in a "white anti-racist" movement... because it is ridiculous for white people to sit around by themselves and talk about what needs to be done about racism. It reeks of the "white savior" syndrome. White "anti-racists" join groups of other white "anti-racists" because they are not willing to cede power to POC, even when they are supposedly fighting on their behalf.Just Renn and Victoria... an individual CANNOT give up their white privilege. I did not say they could. I said people are NOT WILLING to give it up, not that they actually COULD. But until this society is TOTALLY dismantled, white supremacy/privilege will exist!
"an individual CANNOT give up their white privilege. I did not say they could. I said people are NOT WILLING to give it up, not that they actually COULD. But until this society is TOTALLY dismantled, white supremacy/privilege will exist!"Have you given any thought to how people should accomplish this dismantling? What are your ideas for convincing all of society at once that we must change something that more than half of the white population is unwilling to admit even exists, much realizes that they benefit from it. Wonderful as it sounds to wish WP would just "get it" and do what we're supposed to do - most of us don't. And we haven't ever. The fact is, we do not think as a collective group, and we don't act as one either. I think we all wish it were that easy. So - let's hear your suggestions on how to get this accomplished.
Willow said: A central, strong, justified (sigh), PERPETUAL criticism of white anti-racists by POC is that we come in and take over. We think we have all the answers, that White Knowledge and White Experience is all it will take to make an anti-racism movement work. And inevitably, white leadership of non "specifically white anti-racist groups" ends up reinforcing racial oppression in some way. Often, specifically white anti-racist groups also end up reinforcing racism, even if totally by accident. It's crucial that WP critique other white anti-racists, and especially our own efforts, so we can learn to minimize the damage and how actually to do some goodWillow- Are those really the only options though?? Either join a coalition made up of individuals of all races and "take over" or form specifically white "anti-racist" groups??There is NO REASON that white people have to "take over" or fill leadership roles in the movement against white supremacy if they are involved in a multi-racial coalition, and NOT being able to handle criticism from POC about anti-racist work does not help! Why is it that so many white anti-racists would rather form their own insular group then ACCEPT that they are NOT EQUIPPED for leadership roles in this fight. By forming specifically white groups, we are basically saying "well, we know what to do and we are going to do it our own way no matter what POC think about it!" I mean damn, fall back a little bit, recognize you DON'T have the answer to the problem of racism and LISTEN to POC who know a hell of a lot more about it then we do. (And I am speaking in the collective, not specifically to you)
Sorry.. I just want to add this as well.. I have a very close friend who I speak to all the time about issues of racism. He told me just yesterday that if I am going to read a book about racism, I have to see WHO is writing the book. He says he does not want to hear what a white "expert" has to say about racism because all of the research and studying DOES NOT make you an expert. ANY POC is a hell of a lot more of an "expert" on racism than Tim Wise, or any other WP can ever be!
@ Joanna,I suspected you might say as much, which is why I recommend White Like Me in particular. Wise talks about the need for WP to do anti-racist work on their own, and a little about some forms that might take--because in many ways we are a bother to POC. Even when all we want to do is "join in and help!"
Victoria... I hate to say this, because I am NOT an advocate of violence BUT, a friend told me last night that the system of white privilege will not end until "blood runs in the streets" I do not know how else we can dismantle white privilege short of a total revolution.
@indie_bindie...you know, you are awesomeenough already.@Kevin..'there there' pat on the head.poor boy. stop whitesplainin' e'rythang. I'll give you some edjumacaysion fi free.1) The mere use of your '-ism' implies a group for its core to take effect.2) when your whole philosophy is paper thin. shut up3) we don't believe you, you need more people4) your entire ethos/argument is headless like ichobard crane is.5) you are not jocular as in a joke not funny6) When you speak poorly to people, they speak poorly to you7) you might have POC friends BUT you are not them, using them to illustrate how you might be more attune that other POC at racism is stupid. don't do it again (smack on the wrist)8) you appear smarter when you apologise for the error of your ways as opposed to convince people that you are coming from an angle everyone in the world doesn't understand.9) When you use the word academic to prove your point, you have already failed. especially when you are speaking to people who are invariably more educated (book, street and world) than you.10) bonus points if you can re-read your initial post and spot how ridiculously offensive it was at its core, apologise and change your poor attitudeotherwise, STFU and stop addressing me.cos I will continue to treat you like the joe you so desperately seem to want to prove you are.
Willow said…“A central, strong, justified (sigh), PERPETUAL criticism of white anti-racists by POC is that we come in and take over. We think we have all the answers, that White Knowledge and White Experience is all it will take to make an anti-racism movement work.”Very well put.Initially your hearts are in the right place, you just want to help; but as we’ve seen in many cases, minorities find themselves upstaged on a road paved with good intentions. As ambition swells so does the need to take over (to run it right, you rationalize) as you know best how to articulate the plight of the oppressed better than they. You’re able to pool resources from other whites in the movement, organizing support groups, forums and action-committees, where some of you will eventually give voice to political aspirations. They’ll be speaking engagements (Wise) television appearances (Wise) to spread your message to an even wider audience. Now the fight for the oppressed is all about you and your book, your web site- your feelings and your pain; the sacrifices you’ve made. Never mind the ones who’ve been on the front lines since the beginning because circumstance demanded it. All good in this country is inevitably framed by a white gaze, so even when minorities undertake the struggle for equality, their good work is often tainted by white cynicism. In contrast, the white anti-racist will always emerge smelling like a rose.
...And to cap off what M. Gibson said (and said very well), all of that is because white people would rather listen to another WP than a person of color. White privilege is such that we (whites) expect a WP to know what ze is talking about, even if pretty much every post at swpd proves the opposite.Which, again, is why critiquing this video is important!@ Joanna,Again, I agree, especially in light of what I just stated above, but I didn't say "go read lots of books by white anti-racist activists." I specifically said WLM because he directly addresses how to avoid both the 'taking over' and 'tell me how to help' problems. It is true that he will never know racism from the inside, but I think we could say he has some experience at negotiasting white privilege while trying to fight racism. That's the lesson I take from him, not some overarching metanarrative of How Things Are.
@Joannaso a violent revolution huh?If there's really no other way as you claim how would that work exactly? strategically speaking. I mean to have come to such a drastic conclusion surely you have it all worked out right?Maybe we can storm the capitol, kill everyone and make a black man presid.....oh wait.Ok forget that, how bout we just poison the world's supply of mayonnaise. Then after all the white people are gone or enslaved we can go after the rich. Then we can get all the men.
jasOn, as I said, this point of view was from a close friend of mine, not from me directly. I am simply acknowledging that HE JUST MIGHT BE RIGHT! So, since this idea was just presented to me two days ago, no I do not know HOW it would be implemented.And a revolution would not mean killing or enslaving all white people. You ever heard of the American Revolution?? Did they KILL or ENSLAVE all British people??? But enough damage was done that it shook the British up and forced them to rethink their policies and allowed a new form of governance to take over. (Not that the new government was any better than the previous for many people, I am simply using an example)
@kevinrp re: "Do you want to sit at the table, or just spew biased rants that in my mind feed the beast of racism."Uh, Kev, it's the tone argument. Look it up.@Joanna re: giving up privilegeIf, as others have pointed out (and you have agreed), white privilege can't be given up, what's the point of saying that people aren't willing to do it? I mean that sincerely; I assume you have a point, but I don't see it. And regarding Tim Wise, I have seen him on panel discussions taking a back seat and deferring quite publicly to the points that PoC make. But on TV and in his writings, he gets the attention of other white people, and those other white people need to be educated (I am one), and that process can eventually make it possible to end racism (and by extension white privilege, since it cannot exist without racism).
And I want to add that one of the things Tim Wise says to white people is to listen to people of color. A line I've heard him repeat is, "Any person of color has had more experience with racism since ten o'clock this morning than I've had in my whole life."
bloglogger.... two points I was trying to get across... people talk about wanting to fight to end racism, but they are not willing to cede ANYTHING to people of color, in other words, they do not want to give up their privileged position AS IT RELATES TO fighting racism... as I said, white anti-racists are often not willing to take a back seat to POC, who know a hell of a lot more about racism than any white "expert" So, while we cannot give up privilege in general, we CAN agree to listen to the desires and opinions of POC in the anti-racist struggle (in other words, not use our white privilege to "take over")Second, a lot of white anti-racists talk about wanting to end racism BUT are not willing to accept the idea that we need a TOTAL SYSTEMIC CHANGE in order to reach that goal. They want racism to end, but they still want to keep their privileged status, which simply cannot happen. I know I did not make that clear in my original comment.
Bloglogger... There is nothing wrong with reading Tim Wise to educate yourself. But, how many people read a Tim Wise book and believe that they KNOW what racism and privilege is all about. If someone is going to read Tim Wise, they also should be reading the words of Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Derrick Bell, Randall Robinson, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Che Guevara and millions of other people of color.
might there be an element of"this is our mess, we should clean it up."to WP taking control of anti-racist activities?if WP are responsible for racism as we most certainly are, don't we then hold responsibility for eradicating it? leaving responsibility to those most affected would be like leaving the clean up of the BP spill to the fish. (disclaimer: not comparing POC to fish)
jasOnburns said: if WP are responsible for racism as we most certainly are, don't we then hold responsibility for eradicating it? I am not saying that white people do not have a RESPONSIBILITY to eradicate racism. I just believe that we need to LISTEN to the voices of POC on how we can be most effective. Working on our own without the input/leadership of POC only reinforces divisions and privilege.
bloglogger: I am beginning to think that maybe Tim Wise is a good resource for white people who have no idea what white privilege is, or how to get involved in activities that combat racism. But, to really affect change, we must be willing to work with and take direction from POC. A white person cannot just study the words of Tim Wise and think they KNOW how to be an anti-racist, and it seems to me that is exactly what a a lot of white people do. And, again I am referring to white people collectively, not any specific person.
@Joanna re: "a lot of white anti-racists talk about wanting to end racism BUT are not willing to accept the idea that we need a TOTAL SYSTEMIC CHANGE in order to reach that goal. They want racism to end, but they still want to keep their privileged status,"Thanks. And agreed. To many of the white people I work with--those who are avowedly anti-racist--racism seems to be like a blot on an otherwise benevolent society, something that can be removed, leaving the society intact and free of racial injustice. But that society is built on racism, and can't survive intact without it.
We can never have enough people here. 2 billion, 3, 4? Even when every single habitat place has people on it, we'll need more to do the jobs Americans won't.
@kevinrp,you say you aren't grouping but there was a great diversity of opinion here ranging from warm fuzzies to cautious skepticism, NOT because a brown person was not employed but because a brown person most likely could NOT have been employed to the same effect. These were not statements of frustration about white anti-racist activism, these were statements of frustration that POC still cannot participate in their own movement without risking greater scrutiny by law enforcement.But you generalize that the thread has turned negative because you read within it a statement that is supposedly negative because it's discouraging to white anti-Racists (which itself carries the implication that the goal of appeasing white AR's frustrations with their own participation ought to take precedence over OUR frustration that we cannot participate. Apparently, we can't be bummed about the fact that an Native fake cop would probably be arrested before the video even finished, because that has negative implications about a white person's participation. This is all implied, whether you intended it or not). In spite of recognizing in the very next line that there a multitude of other sources you could look to on SWPD and elsewhere, you then generalize about the frustrating lack of specifics for white ARs. Why then did you feel the need to criticize this thread specifically? Why did you have to make this one about you?For you to make this generalization but then ask specifically to be engaged only as an individual (and go so far as to provide specific examples in quotes of how other readers should engage YOU) is not only incredibly condescending but is itself a manifestation of privilege. That you extend rewards of thanks only to those who do as you ask them suggests that you write off those who responded with anger or annoyance, as if you don't really understand why your generalizations would lead them to anger. I have a mixed reaction about even trying to respond, knowing that in doing so I'm just playing into your script about how a tolerant poc AR should act.I am responding to you only because you seem like you're actually paying attention. Please be conscious of what you're actually asking people to do for you.
Joanna said...“I am not saying that white people do not have a RESPONSIBILITY to eradicate racism. I just believe that we need to LISTEN to the voices of POC on how we can be most effective. Working on our own without the input/leadership of POC only reinforces divisions and privilege.”This could work if whites could just resist the urge to project certain attributes onto minorities. Should a black activist fall short of white expectations we often hear, “If I were he/she, this is what I would do,” or “why not do it this way?” It’s like watching Frasier Crane and his brother Niles engage in parliamentary gymnastics just to get their way, for the only way to do anything is to do it “their” way. Take Obama for instance; he’s in charge yes, “but he’s not angry enough over this oil spill!” You can hear it from Chris Matthews (Obama scares me) and other white pundits. George Bush might have been a lot of things to many people- but he was the kind of cowboy whites could follow no matter how many freedoms he took away. To whites he was keeping us safe from the terrorists, and that takes balls. White men are considered by many (whites) to be natural-born leaders; so what whites feel most comfortable with, is a black anti-racist who puts them in the mind of a white man dipped in chocolate.
@ M. Gibson,And let's not forget, when Obama *did* act like a leader in Chris Matthews' opinion (State of the Union speech), suddenly Obama "transcended race" and CM "forgot he was black." That is how ingrained the idea 'leadership (and awesomeness) is white' is. And white patriarchy is eager to offer white women (WOC, less often) leadership roles as well--so long as these token chosen ones preach the submission of other women.@ Joanna,>> "I just believe that we need to LISTEN to the voices of POC on how we can be most effective."Right, and when in August the POC leadership of your anti-racist group says, "Hey, WP, y'all aren't really necessary for this project, in fact you're hurting it, see you at the Purim party," are you gonna go pout and read some Vine Deloria until you feel better about yourself? Or are you gonna say, "Hey, what can I, a WP, do in the rest of my life to fight racism?" (Note: I am not interested in your answer now, in a blog comment. What matters is what you do when this happens in meatspace).
from bloglogger"@kevinrp re: 'Do you want to sit at the table, or just spew biased rants that in my mind feed the beast of racism.'Uh, Kev, it's the tone argument. Look it up."I did: http://community.livejournal.com/racism_101/29935.html"Predictable as the sunrise, some white person somewhere in a discussion on race will say, 'But you'd get progress on racism/more allies/more sympathy/whatever if only you didn't speak so angrily!' Surprise, being the object of racism makes people pissed off."Thank you bloglogger. I've been mulling Soul's last post and this all day. Trying to get my thoughts together.
Willow... by asking me that question and ASSUMING you know that it WILL happen, aren't you kind of assuming you know what ALL POC feel and think and how THEY decide to conduct the struggle against white supremacy? So, your opinion is if you belong to one organization, and they decide you are not needed, that you should just retreat, lick your wounds and go off on your own to do things your own way? One organization may feel that a WP can help them back by leaving them alone. Respect that. Another organization may feel that a WP can help them by stuffing envelopes. Respect that as well. Another organization may feel that a WP can help them by writing articles, letters, a blog, whatever. Respect that too. Let go of your ego/pride and GO WHERE YOU ARE NEEDED!There is no need to reject the idea of a multiracial coalition because you are not needed on one front by one organization.I just do not see the purpose of conducting anti-racist work without the input of POC.
Willow.... and by the way, I do not belong to a formal organization. I have an informal network of people who I work with. You assume that I AM NOT doing things in my every day life to fight racism and somehow need Tim Wise to tell me how to do it!I am not perfect in my fight against racism, white privilege in general and my own specific privilege, but I do not need or Tim Wise telling me what I need to do when I have been an activist in my own life for almost 20 years. Tim Wise is good for someone who is JUST LEARNING about the concept of white privilege.
@figaro" I have a mixed reaction about even trying to respond, knowing that in doing so I'm just playing into your script about how a tolerant poc AR should act. I am responding to you only because you seem like you're actually paying attention. Please be conscious of what you're actually asking people to do for you."Thank you for taking the time to write your post and considering me worthy of your time. I can't express my gratitude sufficiently, perhaps by being more thoughtful in the many ways you outline I was not. Bloglogger made sure that I won't fit you into that script. After Soul's post last night I've been looking over my first post and I was seeing the ugliness you describe, I couldn't find the words, I didn't realize the totality. Not your job to point the way I know, that's why I appreciate it all the more. more to come
Willow said..."And let's not forget, when Obama *did* act like a leader in Chris Matthews' opinion (State of the Union speech), suddenly Obama "transcended race" and CM "forgot he was black." That is how ingrained the idea 'leadership (and awesomeness) is white' is."Very good point.Here is a man who said, "I felt this thrill going up my leg” after one of Obama’s speeches, but the minute this black man lets him down, (by failing to do the white thing) he turns on him with a patriarchal tone. They’re harping orders from the sidelines, these white male backseat drivers. “He needs to lead; he needs to take charge!” I even heard, “”man-up”” from one congressman. He has to take it over, nationalize the whole cleanup effort. These same white males, who were afraid of this "Socialist" taking over everything, sing a different tune now that those most affected appear to be white. “And white patriarchy is eager to offer white women (WOC, less often) leadership roles as well--so long as these token chosen ones preach the submission of other women.”Its systematic and part of a greater scheme of things. For God himself has placed this world in the hands of the white male, to subjugate it; to bring both woman and people of color under foot till the appointed time. It’s his Seven Mountains Mandate, so to speak. I believe something to this effect is being preached on "C Street."
I do not need or Tim Wise telling me what I need to do when I have been an activist in my own life for almost 20 years.Thank you very much for your efforts. That is quite a sacrifice you've made for POCs. Very applaudable. And thank you very much for talking endlessly about how you need to listen to POCs. (Can someone please put a medal on Joanna's coat?) I've mentioned this before on other threads - I still don't get this whole 'anti-racist' or not talk. Why does the act even have a label?
Fromthetropics: I did not need to imply that I am some sort of martyr by saying I have been an activist for 20 years, but it may have come across that way. As I said, I am not perfect, I am human. I am simply trying to say that I do not think Tim Wise is the be all and the end all and I was a little frustrated with Willow for implying that I need to read what he writes in order to learn about racism and activism. And I actually never heard the term "anti-racist" until a few months ago. It seems kind of odd to me, but since it seems so commonly used on this blog, I have used it in my comments here.
@ M. Gibson,I'm amazed (or...not) by how Rep. Pence ("man up") kept emphasizing how the President has to take the reins, the President has to step up to the plate (and every other stale leadership metaphor ever--really, y'all, it's worth watching just for that)...not "the Administration", not "the White House"? They are sure to focus their frustration on the person, not the command structure.@ Joanna,I'm not sure where I said or assumed any of that. I offered a hypothetical situation as food for thought.Obviously you're not going to listen to me, but look: I am not now and never have said "listen exclusively to white anti-racists and ignore POC." I am recommending a specific section in a specific book by a specific author, because I happen to know that this specific section addresses an issue I see arising in your posts. Namely, how to negotiate white privilege while actually contributing to fighting racism, while avoiding the Scylla of "you're doing it wrong" and the Charybdis of "tell me what to do." The latter of which is striking me, now, as particularly relevant. People of color are not sparkly magical anti-racism resources for whites!@ fromthetropics,Isn't it just because "anti-racist group" is fewer letters than "group whose primary goal is fighting racism"? ^_^ I'm not really using it in the sense of an Identity--I think that's dangerous for WP, at least. (I am not uninfluenced by bell hooks' comments on "I am a feminist" in this regard--it's somewhere near the beginning of Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, if you're interested--I'm pretty sure it's in the part of the book that shows up in the Google Books preview).
Willow, I think we are really just having a failure to understand each other here. This is so much easier to do face to face then on a computer. I respect what you are saying. OBVIOUSLY, I am NOT going to go up to a POC walking down the street and ask them to tell me how to solve the problems of racism. I do not expect anyone to give me answers, I can read, observe, and interpret things on my own. What I am trying to say is that if you are involved in any movement, it is important to respect that the people who the issue has the most impact on should be the ones who have the most power to run that movement. To use a different example than anti-racism, do you think that men can effectively mount a campaign for women's rights without the involvement of women? I am not saying he should go up to a woman and expect her to give him the solution to sexism, BUT he also cannot have an impact on the issue if he is unwilling to do the things that women believe need to be done. That is what I mean. You know what, I still do not believe my message is being conveyed properly. But, the bottom line is, there are many ways of being an activist. Some may choose to join a group for only white people, and do what they can that way. Others may choose to join a group that is a multiracial coalition (like I would if I joined a formal organization), POC might want to join a group that is made up of only POC. Some of us just do things on our own and form informal alliances. (which is where I am at right now)I think the important thing is to fight for justice in a way that does not harm other just people. I felt that by telling me to read Tim Wise, you were telling me that I am wrong, and that Tim Wise (and you) know how to do things and I don't. See, here I talk about not letting our egos get in the way, and that is exactly what I did. So, I apologize for that, and I apologize for "tooting my own horn" so to speak. As I said, I am a work in progress. But, anyway, I have about 100 books waiting to be read right now, so even if I was interested in reading his book, I can't right now.
@ Joanna,My initial comment to you was--direct quote--"Have you read Tim Wise's White Like Me? That could be very useful for you, I think." Please. In what possible world does that constitute (a) telling you that you have to read Tim Wise (b) telling you Tim Wise is always right (c) telling you that I know more than you do? If you really, honestly interpreted it that way, you need to do a lot of ego-checking. Or...something.One of the points he makes in this book, and that I think you will observe if you keep reading swpd (meaning: it's obvious to most, but I won't take anyone's observation skills for granted), is that--in contrast to your assertion that "Tim Wise is good for people who are just being introduced to privilege, but Special Snowflakes like me are ready for the real stuff"--white people are always just being introduced to white privilege.I am not special. You are not special. I observed an issue in your posts, I am aware of a specific passage in a specific book that addresses this issue more clearly and in depth than I could possibly hope to do here, so I recommended you check it out. End of story.And as far as men's groups fighting sexism--I don't want this tangent to go any farther, but I will say briefly that guy-only groups like 1 in 4 and MAV do a *lot* of good.
@Joanna:Now that you've firmly established your anti-racist credentials for Those Other White People, would you mind practicing what you preach and listening to POCs now?Signed,A POC.P.S. You're not as far along as you think you are.
RVC- I never said I was where I need or wish to be right now. As I have said repeatedly I am human, with my own personal faults. I have no problem admitting that. Willow - there is no need for rudeness and attitude, I have been very polite in disagreeing with you, I wish you could do the same in return.
By the way Willow, when someone specifically acknowledges I LET MY EGO GET IN THE WAY, is there really a need for you to continue to attack them on that front??
By the way Willow, when someone specifically acknowledges I LET MY EGO GET IN THE WAY, is there really a need for you to continue to attack them on that front?? Your actions are speaking louder than your words.But then, speaking of words -- "attack"? Victimize your (white) self much?
Tone argument and expecting PoC to treat white people kindly and gently when calling them out..
@Joanna:You are not being deliberately obtuse and avoiding the meat of my point.
You are not* being deliberately obtuse and avoiding the meat of my point.Correction: *now
@soul, thelady, juan, rachelle, bloglogger, figaro and anyone else willing to readI apologize for my posts two days ago. I first posted some jumbled thoughts (reposted below) without much consideration as if I were on FB or Twitter. At best this was rude, at worst an exercise in white privilege because I can usually expect people to give me the benefit of the doubt if I write something unclear. I had not read the earlier posts well enough and I claimed the thread was bashing Josh for not having a Native American in the role of the cop. I am sorry for my lack of respect for earlier posters and their discussion of why a Native American could not play the role of the cop in this video. This, combined with talking about my frustrations with "antiracism", implied my frustrations were more important than the frustrations being discussed by people of color. I know better and I should have made it clear that my frustrations pale in comparison.Also in talking about my frustrations I was moving from the main thread to what I wanted to focus on: a comparison of SWPD to some of the forms of antiracism I've been exposed to elsewhere. By focusing only on myself and not taking the time to make this clear, I created a post that did not consider the very people whose posts I value. For this I can't apologize enough.I also apologize to those who responded to my post. I wasn't listening (AR101 Listen to POC) when people were critical of my post. I should have been the one asking questions to better understand where I had gone wrong and have been grateful for a response from those who took issue with my posts. I should of been reacting to Soul's ridicule as an indicator of how far off I had gone (thank you bloglogger). Instead I was condescending, telling Soul and others how they should approach me. As pointed out by Figaro this was all one more manifestation of white privilege. My failed attempts at humor further showed how I was not taking seriously enough the offensiveness of what I had written. This only made it worse. Again I should have known better and I am sorry. I want to thank all of those who responded to my posts. I acknowledge that you were not obligated to do so.
RVC- I understand your point. I apologized in one of my past posts for "tooting my own horn" I acknowledged I have let me ego get in my way, and that I am not perfect when it comes to my own racism and prejudices.A lot of this comment thread has been about Willow and I debating the merits of Tim Wise and white only anti-racist groups. I have heard Willow's interpretation of what POC want. I have heard Tim Wise's explanation of what POC want. But, they are white like me, so should I take THEIR opinions of what POC want as word, or should I speak to POC in my own life, online, etc? I apologize if you believe that I am not listening to what you want/need as a POC.Now, as I said, I am not perfect. I have always had this idea that their is nothing I can learn from another white person. The falsity of that idea is becoming quite clear to me now. I have a tendency to dismiss EVERYTHING a person says/does if they happen to be white, and I tend to be suspicious of their intentions if they are activists. Yes, it is an ego thing.Willow- I apologize if what I have expressed here has offended you. My interpretation of your words was ego driven. You are right, I do not know all their is to know. I do get upset when I think someone is telling me I am ignorant. So, I will set my ego aside and apologize.To anyone else I may have offended I apologize as well. I am a work in progress.
@ Joanna,>> "RVC- I understand your point."If you are still writing, you really don't.SWPD: redefine "understand."(Note: Joanna, if you respond to me, a WP, out of some sense that you "owe it", when POC have requested that you listen to them instead, that's all sorts of privilege--heh, on my part! And you would also do well to read this.)
RVC- I understand your point.So why do you keep running your mouth here instead of actually listening to POCs right now?
@kevin...Nope. Your apology is not accepted. 'Sorry' doesn't erase anything you said, nor does it erase your contribution to the exasperated feeling your words caused.It doesn't change the fact that another goddamn white person came in here and accused me/us- (a WOC) of feeding the beast that is racism (can you even begin to understand the levels of fuckedupness that is? to be a WOC and to be told that I feeding the reason why people look down on me, treat me like shit, treat my brothers like shit, why I have to work 3 times as hard for less than half the reward whilst everything around me is condemning me and tell me I and everything I produce are not worth it.That I am feeding the reason why a police office will shoot a black girl to death first before presenting a search warrant?Do you realise the magnitude of your flippancy?. when through a lack of careful reading and your simple need to avail yourself of your frustration you ended up accusing me/us - of not being patient enough- spewing biased rants - tried to teach me how to accept YOUR insult and respond to it- indirectly being stupid- attempt to talk down to me by talking at me- people on this board of something which they weren't doing, because you just wanted to say something.Nope Kevin.Just no.Lucky for you, this is the internet and not 'your workplace' or 'hood' or church cos I'll tell you this is how many people POC who are close to you feel but cannot dare express because white privilege prevents you from sticking around long enough to hear it, or has us in a fucking chokehold so that we still get to be the guilty party for not being benevolent enough when you piss them the fuck off with your ignorance,But what does it matter, this is the internet, right?. So I guess its a lucky escape for you.I wish you luck and better judgement in the 'Real world' Maybe someone else on that list will be a little more erm... 'accepting' good luck to them and you.
white privilege is kinda like getting a 60% discount at a store you shop regularly...if you give it up, IT'S GONNA COST YOU!...so is it really surprising that white folk would much rather TALK about eliminating white supremacy than actually taking concrete steps to end it?Think of the convulsions white society went through at the end of slavery...they created the KKK, reversed Reconstruction in an attempt to terrorize Black folk back into bondage...think of the murderous rampage whites went on to resist the end of Jim Crow, to oppose the civil rights movement.and now that we have a Black President, all of the latent, pent up racial venom that has no legal expression is being expressed in "micro-managing" his agenda by proxy racists (like the Tea Party) in the name of "defending the Constitution"! lolbottom line, white people don't give up their privilege without a fight.
souls said:10) bonus points if you can re-read your initial post and spot how ridiculously offensive it was at its core, apologise and change your poor attitude----------------His post was so offensive even I could not let it go and I let a lot of shit go both for my own sanity and for the sake of my career. God help me if I ever tell fools what I really think of them. OT: In my field, reference calls and reference letters are expected before you even get to the interview stage. I cannot afford to burn bridges no matter how many racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic comments my boss and my coworkers make. To call them on their BS would mean I would never escape and be forced to live here and work with them for the next 40 years.Anyway soul, I do appreciate the things you've said as well as the other people, mostly POC, who stepped in.
@soul"'Sorry' doesn't erase anything you said, nor does it erase your contribution to the exasperated feeling your words caused."Soul I would never expect you to accept my apology and I know it can't erase the exasperated feeling my words caused. I was treating you and the other's here with a disregard that is unforgivable. I treated you, a WOC, and some one who I do not know like a verbal sparring partner not thinking about words I may use in other situations could impact you and other POC."(can you even begin to understand the levels of fuckedupness that is? to be a WOC and to be told that I feeding the reason why people look down on me, treat me like shit, treat my brothers like shit, why I have to work 3 times as hard for less than half the reward whilst everything around me is condemning me and tell me I and everything I produce are not worth it.That I am feeding the reason why a police officer will shoot a black girl to death first before presenting a search warrant?"It was very fuckedup Soul. "But what does it matter, this is the internet, right?.So I guess its a lucky escape for you.I wish you luck and better judgement in the 'Real world'"Of course it matters here on the internet and it would really have only have happened here. My judgment is better in the real world, not that this excuses what I said to you and everyone here."Maybe someone else on that list will be a little more erm... 'accepting' good luck to them and you. "No need for them to be accepting. Only need was for me to acknowledge how I had messed up.
Joanna, you have manifested a very diluted, concise example as to why I have given up on being close friends with white people - even so-called AR, progressive, liberal, whatever you call yourselves. Dillute as it may be, its making me annoyed enough to break lurking and comment.Just shut up already. Fuck. Do you guys ever feel the need to not make yourselves a spotlight spectacle, even just one time? Does it always gotta be about you, your opinions, your perceptions, your ideas, you you you - even in spaces onfreakinline where it may, perhaps, be safer than most - nope, there goes another white person, runnin her mouth.Really. Shut up. I mean, man, even Kevin is trying to pull his head outta his ass and his comments were freaking insane. Just fucking cool it and for once in your godforsaken life, drop the spotlight mongering and Shut Up.Sincerely,A WOC
Kevin: WHY ARE YOU STILL TALKING?Stop whitesplaing. Stop giving apologetics. JUST. STOP. "Of course it matters here on the internet and it would really have only have happened here. My judgment is better in the real world, not that this excuses what I said to you and everyone here."I call BULLSHIT to the power of INFINITY!Your judgement is better in the real world? I HIGHLY doubt that statement, for you spent HOW many posts whitesplaining yourself to Soul and other people of color in this thread?All you are doing right now is posturing because your white privilege rightfully got hit with a damn sledgehammer repeatedly when people called out the white privilege of this video. And then when we tell you how wrong you are, you accuse us of FEEDING RACISM??? How many derailing for dummies points have you racked up in this one thread alone? 1.You’re Not Being Intellectual Enough/You’re Being Overly Intellectual2. You're Interrogating From The Wrong Perspective3. You're Being Hostile 4. You're Not Being A Team Player 5. You've Lost Your Temper So I Don't Have To Listen To You Anymore6. You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry Then had the nerve to quote Martin Luther King to add to your whitesplaining? In the immortal words of Witchsista:BITCH PLEASE!~PlusSizedWomanist
Back on the main point, I wanted to say that the discussion about whether a Native person (or other POC) could even get away with this kind of skit was something I had not considered. And the comment wondering whether setting up the skit could scare people was also unsettling and well worth contemplating. Thanks.
Ronnie brown said...“White privilege is kinda like getting a 60% discount at a store you shop regularly...if you give it up, IT'S GONNA COST YOU!...so is it really surprising that white folk would much rather TALK about eliminating white supremacy than actually taking concrete steps to end it?”Oftentimes white privilege can undermine even the best of intentions; its odorless and tasteless- most whites seem unaware of its presence. But POC know it when they see it- hear it, and touch it. Just reading a few of the comments from whites in this thread proves this, and frustrates POC to no end. No matter the motif, the context of the conversation inexplicably revolves around you. It’s the discourse whites love so much, that’s the aphrodisiac; the gist of anti racism seems not in the remedy, but rather- the dialogue. So caught up in establishing your academic credentials in the eyes of other whites, you lose sight of the issue. An excerpt from the White Anti-Racist: Keeping it In the Discourse. “We would all do well to learn from this expert’s technique. Notice that he does NOT say that the role of whites should be to interrupt the system of white supremacy by any means necessary. No — the correct focus is on the discourse. Focusing on the discourse is the way that White Anti-Racists can keep up appearances (remember, appearances = very important), while simultaneously ensuring that white supremacy isn’t actually threatened.”I’m not here to judge your hearts- but it seems to me, touting your qualifications to other whites in blogs creates distance between you and POC, and distance... keeps you blind to your ever-abiding role as oppressor. Sadly, racism has not diminished one iota since the inception of this blog (some might argue with this point I’m sure.) Discourse raises awareness yes, it can even make us feel good, I wholeheartedly agree; but it has done nothing to tear down defacto white supremacy. To quote Sidney Poitier from the movie, A Piece of the Action: “Its like masturbation, it may make you feel good but it does not produce... life.” Whites need to understand why people of color are put off- upset and contemptuous at times in this blog. For until you do that, until you can see your privilege for what it is; you’ll always be mired in discourse.
@ Ronnie brown and M. Gibson,Did you guys see this article on Alternet? (How Obama's Election Drove the American Right Insane) It's not perfect--it kind of makes it seem like before Obama's election, the U.S. was some kind of racial paradise for all people, and very problematically implies that Racism is limited to the white hood-wearing type, but since it's apparently an excerpt from a book I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for now.
Willow said... "It's not perfect--it kind of makes it seem like before Obama's election, the U.S. was some kind of racial paradise for all people, and very problematically implies that Racism is limited to the white hood-wearing type..."To me these events seem to suggest whites don’t have to pretend any more, (we’re basically good people, we treat everyone the same, be they red black or green). Whites on both sides balk at the term racist (for appearance is everything) instead they rationalize bigotry through the use of political doublespeak to mask their prejudice. “Its not skin color we have a problem with you understand, it's his policies; that’s what we hate.” Remarkably, these comments were coming from white people who actually voted for him. Now that a non-white is in a position to threaten their privilege the gloves come off, and it’s us against him. How Obama's Election Drove the American Right Insane: I'd rather we dispense with the pleasantries and simply say, "How Obama's Election Drove American Whites Insane." Whites on the left would have POC believe harmful intent streams solely from the Right.” I call that misdirection, as in nothing's up our sleeve. We Poc watch as white liberals display the same racist behavior they ascribe to the right and shake our heads. Predicated on a paternalistic premise that POC need saving, that we can never hope to overcome oppression without the intercession of a benevolent white savior. So you see… it is impossible for us (liberals) to be racist.From the article:“I think there's something remarkable happening out there. I think we really are beginning to see a white backlash that may grow fairly large. The situation's worrying. Not only do we have continuing nonwhite immigration, not only is the economy in the tank and very likely to get worse, but we have a black man in the White House. That is driving a kind of rage in a certain sector of the white population that is very, very worrying to me.”This sentiment is not just shared by radical thinkers- its shared by elements on the left as well. It doesn’t just affect whites on the right, but rather whites with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Both sides, so hopelessly addicted to privilege they will fight to protect it by any means necessary.
@ soul (and anyone else, particularly POC, with an opinion on this): accused me/us (a WOC) of feeding the beast that is racism Do you think there's anything a member of an oppressed group could conceivably do that might be fairly characterized as exacerbating said oppression?
kyle: I'm a WP but I'm going to criticize your question. The phrase "could conceivably do" is a red flag for the argumentative and derailing intent of the question. If you analyze sociologically or listen to POC (or other oppressed groups) talk in other forums you will hear people talking about internalized oppression and about how some members of oppressed groups go to work for the oppressors. There were slaves who worked as overseers of other slaves. But in the context in which you ask your question -- a discussion blog in which other white people have been criticized for their criticisms of POC -- your question is out of line. Criticizing white people's way of talking is manifestly not "feeding the beast" and trying to get POC on this blog to complain about other POC is a derailing move.
kyle:Just FYI - it's not a good idea to set up a game of Good Darkie/Bad Darkie here.
@KyleIn my honest opionion... fuck you ... (smile)Because you can't possibly be that stupid.how's that?Does that exacerbate and make me deserving of racism then?.
@ RVCBard:I agree.
Oops, sorry folks, comments like kyle's first one usually don't get past me. What usually clicks in my head is "this is stuff-white-people-do, not stuff-NON-white-people-do," but I wasn't alert enough this time. Got that, kyle? It's sWpd.
Hilariousity(thats copyrighted lol)!!! this made my day =] thanks for posting
@kyleJust piss off already. You are way too focused on how POC supposedly bring down racism on ourselves.
ok...it's being assumed that kyle is W(as am i, for the record)), altho i don't think that's established, but nevrtheless lets assume he is W.then macon apologizes for letting kyle's post thru because kyle was asking POC to criticize POC, whereas this blog is about the behavior of WHITES, not POC. in fact, kyle specifically directs the question to all readers; but never mind...set that aside as well.since kyle's question was judged obnoxious and irrelevant because it set POC against POC, i'll step back a pace and rephrase it in a way that should be compliant w/the rules of swpd. and i do so because i feel it touches on a question that concerns this blog, to be sure-but also broader themes of IR interaaction. here it is;'is there any legitimate, respectful, acceptable way for an AR WP to ever call into question any action by any POC?...or is the history/status of oppression simply too large a factor to allow for that?i feel this to be an important inquiry, because aspects related to it keep coming up on this blog...yet i don't think the it's ever really considered..or even acknowledged.how many times does it happen here that someone-usually W, will make a comment or ask a question...to which great umbrage will be taken; and then follows the familiar back and forth-sometimes civil, often not-of apology, explanation, defense, riposte, appeal and on and on...but a lot of it boils down to this;'Can a White person criticize a Person Of Color and/or zir actions/viewpoint and still be Anti-Racist?'
Of course a WP can do that, Randy. I myself in effect do that when I occasionally refuse to publish comments by POC that don't adhere to this blog's "commenting guidelines."
@Randy:Why is it so important for White people to have the (for lack of a better term) authority to criticize or critique POCs when it comes to anti-racism? Why do White people need to have to be able to do that? Don't you guys have your hands full with other White people?
Randy: context, context, context. First, I think I'm with the people who don't like the word "anti-racist" partly because it generates questions like yours. I prefer the terms "White supremacist" and "racial oppression/prejudice/discrimination" and "opposing White supremacy etc" But, again, like Kyle, you are imagining that one blog is the same thing as your whole life and the whole world. This blog bans criticisms of POC by WP because it is creating a space for WP to listen to what POC have to say. Of course there are other contexts in which I have disagreed with specific policy actions or policy proposals by POC in positions of authority. And done this in the context of my work addressing racial inequality. But that is a wholly different context. And even in that context, where many of the POC have as much power and authority as I do, the habits of internalized White supremacy still often kick in and distort the conversation. My whiteness is still very much on the table -- looming in the room -- even when I'm talking to a Black judge or police chief or agency head. And I have to be very conscious of this even as I may legitimately criticize some official act they have taken or policy they propose.And I have been at MANY mixed-race meetings in which White officials who I think genuinely do believe in racial equality and justice as an intellectual principle STILL shut down, fail to listen, and get defensive and hostile when POC raise issues and experiences that are absolutely central to the work the group is supposed to be doing. In your way, you are just like them: picking some defensive tangent to avoid doing the main "work" of an interaction.
@randyWhy are you so fixated on criticising POC though? Why aren't you focusing on calling out White people?
RVC;well, that's not what my comment said. there was no mention(or even implication)of Authority at all. nor did my question imply that WP SHOULD in fact be able to critique the actions of POC. this is important, and it also seems to have been misapprehended by rochelle...all i asked is CAN; nothing more. and olderwoman, i think it's reasonable to limit this question to just this blog. that is still signifigant.i was very careful in how i phrased the question.here's the context as i see it...WP and BP/POC have a long history of interaction. unfortunately, much of it has been severely marred by the oppression-sometimes extreme, sometimes less so-of POC by WP. this legacy still continues in the form of ambient W privilege, at the least.there exist WP who wish to repair the depradations of slavery, jim crow, overt racism, etc...and to equalize W privilege w/POC, and to eliminate all vestiges of W supremacy. it's these WP which my question is about. other WP don't care what the answer is.maybe the answer to my question is what macon says; 'yes.' criticism/critique is possible by anti-racist WP.or maybe the answer is 'no. not now anyway. maybe later when there's more generalized equality between these groups.either way, the answer has important ramifications for the individuals and groups involved...BUT it seems to be an issue that folks are loathe to address directly, because its uncomfortable.yet failing to deal w/this question outright has, i submit, has led to a lot of upset, misunderstandings and going around in circles.
randy,Far as I can tell, you're still not answering the question of WHY you think this is an important issue -- why you're focusing on the question of whether WP can question POC, and not on the need for WP to challenge white supremacy and other WP's racism.
swpd: Fail to address the questions beneath the questions.
"is there any legitimate, respectful, acceptable way for an AR WP to ever call into question any action by any POC?...or is the history/status of oppression simply too large a factor to allow for that?my first response:No to the first, and Yes to the second.my second response:You CAN say anything you like, but you might not like the consequences. What are you really asking?my third response:Are you asking if it's possible to have a dialogue as if among equals ? To which my response is, I don't know, can you? [i'm not being flip.]
"is there any legitimate, respectful, acceptable way for an AR WP to ever call into question any action by any POC?...or is the history/status of oppression simply too large a factor to allow for that?Randy- Your question is kind of ridiculous. There is a HUGE difference between "any action" and an action done in the context of anti-racism. If one of my friends who is a POC tells me that I look like a fat pig in an outfit I am wearing, yes, I can legitimately call them out on it. But, if a POC tells me that a comment I made was racist and I disagree, I DO NOT have a legitimate reason to criticize them about it, because they know a lot more about racism and I am coming from a place of privilege and may be blind to my own transgressions. So, you are trying to rephrase the original question, but you have taken the original question and made it a lot more general, which produces a totally different answer.
To follow up on what has become the new focus of this thread, I think the desire for WP to be "allowed" to criticize/critique POC in discussions of racism is the same reason that white apologetics exists: WP want to prove that they're "not racist". They believe they can do this through apologetics, or by proving that "POC are racist too".What always baffles me is that conversations about racism are the only place people expect this tactic to work. When a kid gets in trouble for something, and says "But the other kids were doing it too", that kid's getting grounded anyway. When a cop pulls you over for speeding, try telling him that other cars were speeding too and see how far it gets you. The problem comes down to one of semantics and grammar: adjectives vs. verbs. It's a lot easier for a WP person to be told they're "supporting racism" than being "a racist". Ditto for supremacy vs supremacist, sexism vs sexist, etc. This has been covered over and over, from Jay Smooth to Beverly Tatum. But the solution is not for WP to change the words of the debate, because it's disempowering and WP have no right to do that. WP have no right to say "Hey, please make sure you use 'racism' instead of 'racist', because it makes me feel bad when people call me a racist." Instead, WP need to come to terms with the fact that having white privilege does not automatically make them a cross-burning Klansman. It's about what they do or don't do with that privilege.Including Hispanic and Latinos who also identify as White, there are approximately 100 million POC in the use. If one of them has an opinion on race relations that's completely unreasonable, you can rely on the other 99,999,999 to tell them so. So even if WP could be given "permission"* to "criticize" POC in discussion on race, they don't need it and shouldn't want it.*(And who would grant this "permission"? An American-Idol style text-message vote by all POC? A psychic channelling Cesar Chavez? A triumvirate of Obama, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan who - according to the mainstream media - speak for all Black people? )
Argh, typo. That last paragraph should obviously say "... 100 million people in the US", not in the "use".
Okay. I just found this blog a few days ago and I have a stupid question to ask. Is the creator of this blog a white guy?And my input for the theme of this thread on "flipping the script" is to follow Newton's Three Laws of Motion. 1) Every object in motion stays in motion, 2) Force equals mass times accelration and 3) For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.Thanks in advance for not making fun of my opinion. :P
Yes Michelle, I'm a white guy -- why do you ask?Also, please explain how your reference to Newton's laws applies to this post.
@Michelle:You didn't read the commenting guidelines, did you?@Macon:Do we have to have That Conversation again?
@MichelleI'm just wager a guess and say you're referring to inertia, in both mindsets and social/cultural attitudes/awareness, no?I like it. See something, say something. But don't say nothin', nobody thinks nothin' of it, nothin' changes. But say something, and people can see something in the future that they didn't before.
@Mike:That's a far more charitable reading of Michelle's comment than it probably deserves.
@mike,okay, maybe, but isn't that mind-numbingly obvious? why dress it up as physics?@michelle,I feel like you're helicoptering in, dropping what you think is a very Smart Thought, and then helicoptering out again. I'd really prefer it if you would stay put and state clearly what you mean.we're doing hard work here that requires some sustained engagement.
@RandyAt first glance it appears to be a general question, but Kyle emphasizes, "Particularly POC," with an opinion on this." The question in fact seems to be directed at us. As in, I'd especially like your spin on this.@Randy "Well, that's not what my comment said. There was no mention (or even implication) of Authority at all."As far as you are aware; a POC might read this statement differently. I would agree with Macon in that of course you can, but be aware how a person of color might interpret your question, given our history and your privilege. Whites have been playing minorities against each other for centuries, now that’s a lot of time to hone this particular skill wouldn’t you agree? For in many cases you say one thing (for appearances) but you do another. From The White Anti-Racist: "We white people have a wonderful cultural resource at our disposal: our words and our actions don’t have to match up. In fact, it’s better if they don’t. Appearance and image is one thing; our actual behavior is another (click this link for more info) . This rich cultural resource is what allows us to “have our cake and eat it too.”And finally, who gets to decide when we've achieved equality, whites? This may be why blacks are mistrusting of the term white anti-racist altogether. Kyle posed his seemingly innocent question to any reasonable- rational “person of color.” Hence if I can get just one POC to agree with my stance then it’s not racist. Olderwoman said... "My whiteness is still very much on the table -- looming in the room -- even when I'm talking to a Black judge or police chief or agency head. And I have to be very conscious of this even as I may legitimately criticize some official act they have taken or policy they propose."I agree:Oftentimes white criticism is considered by many to be neutral- rational and non-biased. Thus, most whites fail to notice the elephant in the room when offering up a critique of POC. Whites often see skin color first, if even on a subconscious level, no matter how qualified or educated the POC is. Easily dismissing a POC’s opinion when it’s deemed to have the slightest taint of emotion. Its the ole, "lets calm down and discuss this rationally, because you’re not making any sense" argument.
@ Macon & RVCBardNo, I did not read the guidelines because I'm lazy, but now that I have and I understand the profile description. Thanks.@ MikeThat sounds about right. In order...I was refering to inertia and our tendency to maintain the status quo. I meant that the larger the group pursuing the change, the better than chances of getting there. And finally, I was also referring to how in order for things to change it takes an act of greater magnitude than the current trend to cause it.@ JuliaNo particular reason for the physics. It is a simple idea that I thought sounded appropriate. You're right, I AM just "hovering" over the conversation. I'm not a deep thinker....as you can see by my post.
SWPD: insult the intelligence of POCs by making basic analogies.
Kyle emphasizes, "Particularly POC," with an opinion on this."I don't know if this comment is even going to get posted, but I wasn't trying to "direct" my question at POC so as to get POC to bitch about other POC. Rather, I wanted to make it clear that I was interested in POC opinions and not simply looking to have WP pile on and complain about how POC themselves are creating conditions for racism. If the "particularly POC" part of my question was problematic then I appreciate this criticism and will try not to post anything likewise-problematic in the future.
I'm also a WP who sometimes feels a desire to be "allowed" to criticise POCs. If the underlying force behind that desire has become, per Jon R's post, an acknowledged focus of this thread, here are my two cents regarding my motivation.It's not so much that I live in terror of being called "racist." I understand how this word is used in an academic context and can acknowledge that many of my behaviors and attitudes are probably unwittingly racist -- without exploding from cognitive dissonance.However, questions like Randy's and Kyle's often hover at the tip of my tongue because it sometimes feels absurd to engage in a discussion bounded by seemingly-illogical rules. If the rule is really that A can criticize B as vehemently as desired, but B can never so much as politely disagree with A, then my intuitive reaction is along the lines of: WTF? That's IRRATIONAL. But this goes to another white tendency which I believe I may have seen RVCBard hint at before: many WP by default tend to debate rather than engage. When I feel the desire to be "allowed" to criticize POC, I can usually trace this to my wanting a "fair debate" more than a constructive person-to-person exchange. I don't know about other WP, but for some reason for me this white tendency comes out more in internet comment threads than it does IRL. I think there is something about this medium that downplays empathy, and influences people to converse more in an "idea to idea" rather than a "person to person" mindset. [RVCBard: I read that "idea to..." / "person to..." distinction in a link you posted, but I don't recall where the link pointed and can't locate it now]. Also, white privilege probably instills a certain faith in and reverence for linear, rules-based, adversarial systems founded on a concept of "fairness" that concerns itself with little beyond, say, the number of minutes or words allotted to each side for its reply. WP have traditionally come out ahead in these contexts (see, e.g., court system) due to unearned headstarts, so naturally we'd favor them. But maybe our preference is more privilege-driven and less "rational" than we'd like to think.
@RVCBard & JuliaI didn't feel dumbed down by reading the analogy. I think the original post for this thread illustrates how peoples' ability to imagine themselves in the position of others isn't mind-numbingly obvious, regardless of whether that "ought" to be the case.Yeah, she could'a easily known that Macon was white by reading the guidelines, but the physics metaphor itself wasn't dumb to me. People approach ideas and express themselves in a variety of ways.
I interpret randy's question as a desire to find solid footing and establish boundaries or guidelines for himself in racial discussions. like how a basketball player must be aware of the sidelines in order to play the game but is isn't focused on those boundaries. That said, It's probably a waste of time worrying about it because...1. as a few have said, We have our hands full with challenging WP.2. when It comes to racism, we don't really have anything worth defending.3. we don't really have the authority to challenge POC on racism, because we don't have to live with it.
Mr. X said...“I don't know about other WP, but for some reason for me this white tendency comes out more in internet comment threads than it does IRL. I think there is something about this medium that downplays empathy, and influences people to converse more in an "idea to idea" rather than a "person to person" mindset.”As I see it, the white mindset has been: For yrs we’ve shown ourselves the better at articulating concepts in no-holds-barred debates than our browned-skinned peers. Proficient in almost every discipline one can imagine, it just stands to reason we’d be better equipped in “the debate” on race. Nevertheless you’re drawn to a discussion where the rules aren’t stacked in your favor, and where you lack an awareness that clearly favors the oppressed. So what do you do?” you cry foul. Debate is an aphrodisiac for whites, it gets the heart pumping and the adrenalin flowing. Still, I do find it a bit odd, that you would have a problem with the rules when historically/socially they've favored you for so long. Course you only seem to get this when it affects you personally.Jas0nburns said...“1. As a few have said, We have our hands full with challenging WP.2. When It comes to racism, we don't really have anything worth defending.3. We don't really have the authority to challenge POC on racism, because we don't have to live with it. “Well put sir...This has to be so frustrating to whites; having to walk a few feet in someone else's shoes.
SWPD: continue to insult the intelligence of POCs by patronizing us with their whitesplaining.
macon, you ask why i consider this point to be of importance.i do because the issue keeps coming up over and over. WP keep making statements or assesments about things POC have done, have said, have implied, whatever...that is they-intentionally or not, gently or harshlly-Call Into Question the validity the viewpoint or action of a POC. on this blog. again and again. or, they are BELIEVED BY people of color to have done so...and offense is taken.and this occurs despite all the rules and regs which posters are supposed to have familiarizing themselves with. here's my proposal;post in a very prominent place on the site some little statement such as this...'White people are invited and encouraged to read and to comment on this blog. Your input and insight is always welcome.Nevertheless, this blog must first and foremost be accepted by People Of Color as a place of safety; free(so much as is possible)from the ravages of the White Supremacist culture outside it's borders. Only when this factor is in place can swpd truly function as an effective foe against the entrenched Racism and White Supremacy/White Privilege of the larger society.Thus, with this vital need in mind,and considering the long history of racial brutality both gross and subtle which Whites have perpetrated on People Of Color, White people are asked to please refrain from posting anything which questions-directly or indirectly, or even by implication-the validity, accuracy, factual correctness, logical assumption of any posting about Race or racial matters made by any Person Of Color on this blog. In addition, no White Person may post anything whatsoever in any way critical or discouraging about any individual Person Of Color, or group of same, whether real or fictonal, living or deceased. the same applies to any and all Black lifeways and cultural productions whether present-day or from history which deal with Racism/White Supremacy; no negative remarks, please.White people, please limit your remarks to encouraging and supporting the People Of Color who avail themselves of this blog in order to discuss issues of White Supremacy which have so adversely affected the Community for so long.'so...yes...i'm getting from the feedback that the answer to my question is No. no critique. no questioning.by posting the above policy notice, swpd would be making what is now de facto policy, de jure. it would save a lot of confusion and conflict, because to crib from jasonburns everyone would know where the lines really are.
"White people, please limit your remarks to encouraging and supporting the People Of Color who avail themselves of this blog in order to discuss issues of White Supremacy which have so adversely affected the Community for so long"----Now I read THAT as condescending, as if POC need to be coddled. The regulars who post here can obviously hold their own.So maybe the bottom line is that the internet is not the right place for WP and POC to have these discussions. Because no matter how many "rules" are put into place, the very fact that a WP is typing a comment negates everything else.So how about WP are asked not to post here at all? Problem solved. That way POC can focus on the issues instead of all the ways we post with the wrong tone, words, (assumed) motive, etc.
@mgibson..I think real life masks it, because in real life most white people do not engage POC on this level at all. They simply presume they are right, or walk away shaking their heads, or pass some lame comment. There isn't the time or space to deconstruct.And actually, I find that white people are not good at debating with POC, right off the bat they presume they know more, and when they can't defend their point they simple change the topic and go off on a tangent.They do this both online and offline and it is completely evident by what both Kyle and Randy are doing/did.Randy based his theory/supposition/point on what he 'alleged' that Kyle said.But if you read what Kyle said again, it proves that Randy was wrong.Randy simply wanted to raise a point, but to give his point more kahunas he implied that it was the same point Kyle made, then buried everyone in a mountain of crapology.
@Randy:You're making this way harder than it has to be. It's already in the goddamn guidelines (See #10, #11, #13, and #14), but motherfuckers just can't be bothered to read.I thought that was already covered in the commenting guidelines. There is no simple list of Anti-Racism Do's and Don'ts that is going to make this easy or safe for White people. You're just going to have to suck it up and risk being called stupid, racist, arrogant, and a whole host of other things.If you're White person involved with anti-racism (no matter how large or small your efforts), you're going to fuck up. Take your lumps, deal with it, and get back to the main issue at hand (how to undermine White supremacy) instead of cluttering the space with your hand-wringing and whitesplaining. If POCs want to talk about that shit, we will fucking let you know.
@ M. Gibson:As I see it, the white mindset has been: For yrs we’ve shown ourselves the better at articulating concepts in no-holds-barred debates....it just stands to reason we’d be better equipped in “the debate” on race.I can't speak for other whites, but I don't believe white people are "better equipped" for this debate at all -- in fact, due to obvious disparities in lived experience, etc., I think the opposite is true. Nevertheless you’re drawn to a discussion where the rules aren’t stacked in your favor, and where you lack an awareness that clearly favors the oppressed. So what do you do?” you cry foul.I'm not sure why other white people are drawn to these discussions, but I'm drawn to them because the issues themselves interest me, and because I think the POC perspective on these issues -- notably absent from "mainstream" (white-dominated) media -- is more valuable than the "mainstream" (white-dominated) perspective. I also think there are probably some white people who vaguely sense the rules are stacked against them and see this as a challenge: if I can "win" even on this "unfair" playing field, then I am teh master debater. Personally, to the extent I "cry foul," it's because I either sense the rules are stacked against me or that those rules are applied inconsistently even as between different white people. I think the white debater in me would be less offended if guidelines were plainly set out such as: POC-identified posters can use insulting, condescending and degrading language, but white-identified posters cannot. POC-identified posters may explain their views in careful detail, but white-identified posters should content themselves with conclusory assertions, lest they whitesplain. Seriously. Or maybe the real, de facto rule is the one Randy suggests: white people cannot disagree with POC. If that's the case, it does seem like it would be expedient for Macon to say so. Regardless, if I entered the discussion apprised of such rules, then I wouldn't feel I had any basis on which to cry foul when they were applied. I also think in general that it's a white instinct to cry foul when the rules are not the rules we're accustomed to, particularly when those rules in addition are not transparent or consistent. Of course, you're right -- POC have been forced to operate subject to opaque, inconsistent, unjust rules in numerous settings for centuries, and that's something more white people should appreciate.
@RandyI feel like your attempting to take the steam and validity out of the arguments of POC by acting as if Its not their actual points that are correct but the fact that they made those points as POC's. You believe that if you were actually allowed to criticize them you would of course be spot on in your critique, but the rules of engagement don't allow you to do so. WaaaaAs if these rules shield POC from all kinds of valid critique by WP that they just couldn't really handle on an "even" playing field. here's an idea, maybe WP just happen to be WRONG a good 90% of the time but can't admit it so we say the game is stacked. That's all your doing.
Honestly randy, you've received a lot of really good information here. I'd consider myself lucky if I were you, and stop talking and explaining now. It's time for you to do some close reading. You started out with a simple question, which even you have acknowledged was answered. And now, you're knees-deep in "asking non-white people how to fight racism." Any of the comments here or in the links that were shared with you that remotely make you feel uncomfortable or disrespected, or you immediately have a rebuttal for, are the ones you should pay closest attention to first. From personal experience, they are likely most applicable.
[Mr. X, I'm not going to publish that because it's simply untrue; because it's a bucket of White Whine; and because it's very tedious -- so why subject other readers to it? You clearly don't even realize that you were wearing white lenses as you typed that. You should sit back and read for awhile, go back into the archives, get the hang of things here. ~macon]
@ Randy ....Firstly,Kyle addressed me (and anyone else particularly POC)His comment was based off something something Kevin said, here's the context:'I sometimes see the internet as having the potential of being King's "table of brotherhood". Do you want to sit at the table, or just spew biased rants that in my mind feed the beast of racism'Which Kevin apologised for the ugliness, lack of consideration, rudeness and exercise in white privilege,He admitted that his words were based off the fact that he had NOT read the earlier posts well enough and thus his whole opposition wass based off his own ignorance and presumptions.He also admitted that his words were cased in his own personal frustrations and nothing to do with what was said on this thread. He admitted the prejudice of his words, the complete and utter disregards which was unforgivable and the fuckedupness of accusing me a woman of colour of being complicit and my response to him... (remember based of his ignorance, and fuckedupness) feeding the beast of racismThen Kyle comes along and asks if anything an opopressed group might do that could conceivably be 'fairly' characterised as exacerbating said oppression.hmmm....I know. You know what, any woman who wears a t-shirt deserves to be raped. If she looks at a man she should be raped.. better yet if she looks at a bunch of men directly in the eye, then she should be gang raped. because you know... Us women, we are an oppressed group and some men think a woman in a t-shirt is a temptress who is 'asking for it'.You know what's hilarious about this Randy, its that you are soo fucking transparent and yet... and yet. People are still engaging you.You take POC benevolence and you fucking piss on it and then you cage it in a acid rain and tell us its good for the earth.You take what is emotional, psychological and real and turn it into a farce from your lack of honesty and your refusal to actuallty critique what a fellow white person has said.To be perfectly honest I find your disconnect quite barbaric
It's really entertaining how, once again, my more thoughtful lines of inquiry are ignored in favor of critiquing the snark.And they say Black folks can't read.
@RVCBardIf you're talking about Kyle, X, or Jason, then feel free to ignore this message and keep on keepin' on. Call me a nihilist, but "rational" is usually just a codeword for "reasonable" which is a codeword to ask people to "say things how I say things or let me justifiably call you a pre-industrial savage."But if you're directing your "whitesplaining" message to me, I ask you: Have you considered the possibility that *you're* the one calling someone stupid on the internet (ie. insulting other peoples' intelligence) and being condescending (you know, patronizing)? To be honest, in my experience it's been whites subtly complaining that people of color are dumb when they use metaphors to say things for which they lack the specialized lexicon, a lexicon always based on cultural knowledge and not intelligence.PS: I'm not white!
It's true, RVC.You posted this question:"Why is it so important for White people to have the (for lack of a better term) authority to criticize or critique POCs when it comes to anti-racism? Why do White people need to have to be able to do that? Don't you guys have your hands full with other White people?"And both Rochelle and Macon reiterated versions of it.Yet answer came there none.Randy & Mr X, I think what you're really asking is "how can i participate in this conversation in a way that looks anti-racist but allows me to keep all of my privilege?" I don't know if you even realize that's what you're asking, but I'm pretty sure that it is. Here's the newsflash: We see right through you, and we're not going to let you get away with it. [Also, Randy, you're not getting an answer to your question because it's the wrong question.]@Michelle"I'm not a deep thinker....as you can see by my post." I don't believe for a second that you really believe this about yourself. Why not just stop hovering?@soulcan we elect you leader of the free world or something? Which is another way of saying, I so appreciate your presence here, and I wish I could compensate you for what it costs you.
@Mike:If you were uncertain, you could've just asked.
@RVCBardWould you have given a sincere, direct response?Or, you know, would you have tried to talk over my head and then be like "what!? I don't know what you're talkin' about..."
@RVC BardIt's really entertaining how, once again, my more thoughtful lines of inquiry are ignored in favor of critiquing the snark.It seems to happen on any and every thread that you post to. I wonder why...
@soulthe moment I clicked "submit" on my latest comment, I realized that the latter part of what I said to you might sound pretty darn patronizing. I hope it doesn't, but I can't tell much when I get to this second-guessing myself place.I apologize for f-ing up. What I wish I had said was "can we elect you leader of the free world or something? because you rock."
Jas0nburns said... “As if these rules shield POC from all kinds of valid critique by WP that they just couldn't really handle on an "even" playing field. here's an idea, maybe WP just happen to be WRONG a good 90% of the time but can't admit it so we say the game is stacked. That's all your doing.”I concur…In forums like this most whites neglect to check their privilege at the door. White’s sense of fairness has been warped through hegemony; gleaned from time-honored truths which allege whites are always right. Their need to control every facet of discourse is governed historically by the advantages and one-ups of white supremacy. So POC aren’t just contending with whites, we jostle against an enduring system of privilege as well. Blithe to dismantling systematic oppression, these people are focused primarily on “winning the debate,” roused by a privilege they neither see- touch, nor taste. Being acutely aware of their adversarial stance makes them ever more determined to win one for the home team, clouding their sense of fair play. In other forums frequented by whites, civility and fairness would be a non-issue; it only becomes an issue when the discourse is in unfamiliar territory and where the natives neither look or act like you. It’s that damned white elephant in the room...cant you see it?” well POC can.
[Witchsistah, you're welcome, of course, to write to me about that. ~macon]
M Gibson and others: I see this WP tendency to want to win a debate or dominate a conversation as a general white trait that whites also use on each other. A lot. Men more than women, but often women too. There are some people who seem to be genuinely incapable of having an actual back and forth conversation with people. Let me be clear: I am agreeing that this is SWPD when talking to POC that closes the door to any hope of understanding a POC point of view. And agreeing of course that racism in its many manifestations is also in play in all this when it is POC and WP talking. I.e. I am absolutely NOT saying that if white people do it to other whites it's not racist. I'm just saying to white folks who've been called out for doing this on this forum that their similar conversational misbehavior is probably alienating people they talk to in any other forum.
@RVCBard...and there you have it.Rather than ask you a question, this new troll would rather attack you and then admit that he is doing so because he is being defensive and aggressive towards you and you know what?He thinks thats okay... because you know, all he can see is the snark.Because you are not benevolent enough to keep on being reasonable with people who insult and demean you or ask a stupid question.Its like being in school.. you know the little boy hits you because he likes you and he is not sure you like him back, so he hits you to see if you hit him back or cry.For the record I think most people respond to snark because they can't debate your actual points.They know they are wrong. Their whole premise isn't even to debate the issue, its to some how win an allowance for their ridiculousness.You think Randy wants a debate? nope. He simply wants to find a way to insult people and have a clear conscience. Thats it! He's been running that whole angle for awhile on this blog.
@julia/other julia...its cool. p.s. I take cash :)
@Soul:Thanks for the support. Good to know that what I see is not a product of my "Black paranoia."As for the adolescent picking on me because they like me, I've been there, and I'm still scarred by it to this day. No matter which way you look at it, it sucks for Black women because at the end of the day we're the ones left with the real damage.This isn't just for the Randys of the world, but for anyone (and I'm breaking protocol for a moment to admit that men of color do this too) who thinks they have the right to come at me like a problem to be dealt with or an animal to be tamed. A lot of people on this blog care more about my "attitude problem" than the shit I have to deal with that makes an "attitude" necessary in the first place. Despite the fact that snark is not all I post here, or even the vast majority of what I say at SWPD, from this moment forth, I'm going to live that Angry Black Woman stereotype. I'm going to give you the attitude you keep seeing fit to chastise me about.You know why? Let me make it completely obvious, in case it wasn't before.The way people interact with Black women on this blog is fucked up. It's been brought up again and again, so ignorance is no longer an excuse. With the exception of a handful of people, nobody gives a shit about Black women except other Black women. Because if you did you would open your goddamned mouth instead of lingering on the sidelines waiting for us to conjure up Sapphire for your amusement. You'd engage with us as full human beings instead of trying to pick a fight.You have proven that you don't deserve anything but the attitude since that's all you choose to respond to. You don't deserve my vulnerability. You don't deserve my intelligence. You don't deserve my generosity. You don't deserve my hope to make things better. You don't deserve anything I find worthy about myself. I'm now going to preserve my sanity and dignity by any means necessary against the onslaught of ignorance and entitlement I have to face every time I interact with the outside world. It's open season on the clueless, with snark and sarcasm being the weapons of choice. Because it's evidently all the fuck you understand.The Mammy days are over. Long live the Evil Black Bitch.
@RVCBard...welcome to the club.It is truly the only way to deal with it without loosing your soul.From what I've seen both online and offline, most people just want to be able to retain their prejudice without confronting the fact that they are prejudiced.They seek every justification for it, they stamp their feet and claim it is unfair that they are not allowed to spew their bigotry and then have the nerve to say well.. 'It don't matter what you think, I'm not a racist'. haa haa haa.I can';t take these jokes seriously. They trip over themselves, cease on a word, twist it and bend it to suit their purpose and scream from the rafters how the world is going mad cos you just won't willingly take their insults.Fuck em.Fuck their silly over privileged, ill-educated, ignorant, inferiority complex having butts.And yep. It is an inferiority complex. These ignorant punks know that a level playing field means they can never win. NEVERRVCBard... come over to the dark side... see if you don't feel a lil less frustrated with these yahoos
I am perfectly in accord with the whole "many whites just want to 'win the debate'" thing, but I don't know that it's accurate to say we want to win one "for the home team." I troll white supremacist web sites too, along with 4chan (misogynists), Christian and Muslim fundamentalist forums, atheist-evangelist forums, the Parents Television Council, and a site for people who believe that the earth is flat. I'm not bragging about this and I'm not saying debate-trolling when done on anti-racist web sites lacks racist implications, but if white motives are at issue as X has observed, then my take is that it's [perceived] illogic and [perceived-to-be] unfounded zeal that the whitedebater is attracted to, like a shark that thinks it smells blood in the water. Of course, how and why such qualities are perceived in connection with anti-racist web sites does raise issues about what Macon refers to above as the white-privileged lens.
Isn't it ironic that on a thread which was supposed to be about "flipping the script" on racism, so many white people are trying to paint ourselves as victims? Flipping the script indeed.
kyle: I suppose my comment started this, so I maybe should retract, because I REALLY don't want to be taken as responsible for your kind of comment that can be construed as "it isn't really racist if whites do it in other places." I'm hoping that isn't what you meant. I was trying to keep this at a level of criticizing things white people do and broadening the critique to say it is a general behavior pattern I've observed among whites and that I'm not trying to justify it or explain it, just name it and point to it.As long as I'm writing, I'll say too that I appreciate the point RVC, soul, Witchsistah etc keep making: you/we get the "nuclear option" in responses because their mild or politely worded statements get brushed off and ignored or treated as attacks. If the only thing people will pay attention to is snark or anger, then snark or anger is what you'll get. And if I get some snark/anger directed my way for my white cluelessness (which I know is deserved sometimes despite my good intentions) then I'll take it like a real woman. By which I mean do my best to listen and learn from it. Although I'm white, collapsing into tears and seeking to be comforted (see next thread) is not my style.
@ olderwoman: I wasn't responding to your comment as much as M. Gibson's "for the home team" language. I'm surprised you found my comment susceptible to the construction "it isn't really racist if whites do it in other places," since I outright disclaimed that interpretation ("I'm not saying debate-trolling when done on anti-racist web sites lacks racist implications"). Debate-trolling here can be racist, but debate-trolling Stormfront cannot. I guess, though, that the fact whites debate-troll in other places suggests that their intent is not so simply and explicitly white-supremacist as "let's win one for the home team [i.e., the white man]." (I know impact trumps intent, etc, but I did qualify my comment to indicate that this point only applied "to the extent white motives are at issue"). Instead, I think many whitedebaters' motives are more along the lines of: "LOL, these people are caught up in ideology to the point of illogic, just like the people at Focus on the Family...let's try to trip them up on it." Anyways, you and I do agree on one thing: I, too, recoil at the thought of you being credited with inspiring -- let alone being "held responsible for" -- anything I write.
@RA:This whole fucking blog is ironic.
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