Monday, July 26, 2010

go on hiatus


Other work is calling me away from effective management of this blog, so I'm going to take a break.

Many thank-yous to the uncountable readers, commenters, emailers, and guest posters of swpd. I've learned much more than I can say about the insidious tenacity of de facto white supremacy -- the pain it causes non-white people, and the common tendencies it encourages in white people. It's also been good to see other people finding something of value here. I can only hope that any good this blog has done so far has outweighed the bad that it's also done.

I'd especially like to thank the non-white/people of color who have willingly shared their experiences here with racism. I'd also like to apologize to those who have been annoyed, frustrated, hurt, and/or driven away by derailed comment sections. One thing I'll be doing while away from the blog is thinking about how to reconfigure its activities, especially comment moderation.

~macon

PS -- I'll continue checking email, at unmakingmacon AT gmail DOT com

159 comments:

  1. for all the posters: thank you so much for your wisdom and vision. it was never your responsibility to educate me and you did it anyway even through personal cost. if you tried and gave up, thanks for being true to your beliefs. if you kept going through pain, thanks for helping me try to change my actions for the better. and thanks macon for making a space to learn in - hopefully this is a beginning place for all WP here.

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  2. This is one of the few spaces on the internet where people can come and discuss racism openly and honestly. Not too many spaces are willing to do examine white privilege or supremacy. So I thank you for creating this space.

    I shall await your return. :D

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  3. relax and refresh...see u when you get back.

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  4. Ah man! I just found this place. Oh well- archives, archives.

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  5. I know man. It's a rough, wearying road when you find out just how badly the deck is stacked. Not only in the public sphere but in men's hearts.

    But I'm glad you did this. This site has given me hope. Sometimes too much hope. I've made the mistake of going out into the world and thinking every white person must read SWPD. As if just reading this site could change them. Sometimes I think it could.

    I don't know when it changed: that this was a place I came to now and then to when it became the place I ran to every day. To remind myself, if nothing else, that there is hope...

    hope and maybe change lol : )

    I hope this fight has not left you too drained. Because it is a fight Macon, it truly is. And I hope you take a good long rest and then come back to us.

    Until that day, just know, you will be missed.

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  6. Dear macon,

    I have been a long time lurker. I am a WOC. I want to thank you for creating a space that openly expose(d) the stuff white people do that actively interferes with forward mobility of racial relations. I thank the POC who have done due diligence in their contributions to this blog, and the conversations within.

    To the POC who spoke truth to the subject, and remained un-derailed, I am filled with virtual pride and solidarity. The reason I didn't contribute directly, was more often than not, my thoughts and opinions were accurately and articulately better expressed by others. But I was ready type, should need be. Audible "Amens", and "Right Ons!" could be heard as I yelled at my screen during various threads.

    macon, you I imagine like many POC, are just "tired". Fighting racism, educating about racism, experiencing racism, is exhausting. I wish, like you, I could take a "break" from the stuff white people keep doing including exercising their privilege to take a break from racial stuff they start.
    Hey, I'm not hatin', just saying'!
    Get yourself refreshed. Your efforts have been appreciated.
    MinneB

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  7. As a WOC I just want to let you know how much I appreciate the work you have done through this blog, please remember your efforts have not been in vain. This blog has been tremendously valuable and educational to me and others. I know it must be tiresome and soul-draining for you to do this on a daily basis, so please take whatever time you need to rest and I look forward to reading your blog again some day.

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  8. a few random musings . . .

    a lot of black women* have done the exact same thing that macon's doing now. and we made our issues abundantly clear.

    where was the support then?

    but now that swpd is on hiatus and white folks can't use us to feel better about not being black, they're coming out the woodwork.

    at least that's how it looks to me.

    more than a few black women who were active and insightful and added some substance to the blog got fed up and left.

    nobody bothered to wonder where we went.

    or what it would take to bring us back. so much for our valuable input.

    not so much as a "how can we do better?"

    or even a "fuck you and don't come back."

    yet the white guy who's trying gets spread a bit thin, and people are coming out of the woodwork offering words of support and encouragement as he takes care of himself.

    where was this when black women were being sacrificed to the god of white self-esteem?

    so this is what it looks like for me . . .

    when black women leave in droves after getting sick of it all, nobody gives a shit. but when the white man has left the building, all of a sudden people care.

    (* i'm pretty sure some other pocs have decided to say "fuck this shit," but i won't speak for them. the black women who used to post here have, a good chunk of them, migrated to a safer place - and nobody gives a shit despite talking about how smart and eloquent we are.)

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  9. @RVCBard

    It looks the same to me too. Like seriously. We poured our souls out on this blog, having denials and derails thrown in our faces time and time again while our so-called allies were silent, and then when we finally have enough and leave, no-one gives a fuck....except other Black women. Tch.

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  10. @macon

    Thank you for creating this space. I'm still new to it and there is still much in the archives for me to sift thru. The honest commentary and discussions have made this site worthwhile to me, and it is one of the few Race places on the net I felt safe even lurking, let alone commenting.

    In all honesty this blog is NOT a safe space at all if you have any other axes of oppression besides racism. I couldn't put all my safe space eggs in this one basket even if I wanted to. Frequent bursts of heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, class supremacy and straight supremacy have all caused me grave concern here. Unfortuately, I'm used to having to compartmentalize my life experiences into "just the one oppression" commentary in forums discussing a single oppression, even when other facets of my life are clearly intersected with the main focus. A truly intersectional comment forum anywhere is a distant dream for now. I'll appreciate this space for what it is: home to some of the most thought provoking HONEST discussions of racism between POC and WP I've seen to date.

    I realize there are limits to what any blog can do to combat racism while encouraging honest discussion about racism. I realize there is only so safe I can ever feel in the presence of WP who just don't get it and likely never will. I get that there are some WP who derail or get defensive or shut down without meaning to. I try very hard not to take such comments personally as long as I get the sense that the commenter making the comment is doing more than just arguing for argument's sake. However, as many commenters have observed here, even this gets wearying and one reaches their limit.

    I also realize there is a limit to what One Moderator can do, and I hope you take all our suggestions about sharing responsibilities with at least one other person, a willing POC, to heart.

    I am not mad at the fact that being White, you have the privilege to "opt out" of this gig for a while, which means getting to take a break from being targeted by racists. I would hope that your real life antiracist efforts include alot more than moderating SWPD, and I will be optimistic that this other work calling to you includes, at least in part, just that.

    I'm aware that moderating this site and contributing commemts to this site are NOT the same thing. I can only imagine the blatantly white supremacist trolling you have to block every single day all day. I get to "only imagine" that because you don't allow it here. I do not lurk or comment at the many blogspaces that are sloppy about that kind of trolling. Because of you I DON'T have to see stormfronter propoganda here and I appreciate that more than you know. The occasional reasonable sounding troll in disguise slipping thru I will blame on you being stretched too thin as the single moderator of a traffic heavy blog.

    Have a good vacation, Macon.

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  11. Hi Macon, I appreciate what you were trying to do with your blog. In a world run amuck with white supremacy, very few white people want to acknowledge that white supremacy even exist, therefore are in total denial about their unearned privileges. Sadly, the few that who acknowledge that they benefit from white supremacy, are not actively challenging its existence.

    Seems like you were trying to confront your own white supremacy indoctrinations, and expose to white people their very active roles in perpetuating white supremacy. The attempt was definitely a work in progress, but I appreciated the effort.

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  12. I see there's more than one Nia here. :)

    Thank you for that link RVCBard. And thank you Macon for this blog. I have never been able to discuss race like I have in this venue.

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  13. I'm really going to miss reading this blog (since I have read all of them, I'm sure).

    Take care!

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  14. Oh No!!!! Please come back soon, macon!!!

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  15. I'm also sorry that I didn't acknowledge in my earlier comments the black women who had been derailed and not shown support on this particular blog. I wasn't aware this had happened as I usually only read the blog posts and occasionally skim through the comment section.

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  16. @RVCBard & Rochelle (and others who feel the same way)

    I'm not going to try and convince you to stay (though I hope you will) because I only just got here myself and I don't really know what to say, but I think that there are people here who appreciate you and your comments, and if you leave then this blog is going to lose some intelligent and insightful perspectives.

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  17. I used to think that the type of convo that takes place on this blog could only be a good thing. but after reading many posts by rvc, rochelle, witchsista, kerinova, soul and others i'm not so sure. It seems like "racial dialogue" even when monitored and controlled as it is here ends doing more harm than good because WP for the most part just aren't capable at this point.

    This blog in many ways puts the cart before the horse by allowing conversation to come before education. WP really need to gain some understanding on our own before we try to engage in "racial dialogue" with POC.

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  18. I think we, as POC, underestimate the ignorance of WP and just how much they do not know or have become willfully blind to racism.

    @RVC Bard, I think there has to be a safe space not just for POC to vent but also for white people to express their ignorance. And not in a Storm Front kinda way but in a "damn, how could I be so stupid that I missed that" as long as they don't expect to get a pat on the back for it.

    For instance, some of the "conundrum" posts, Macon put up, were pitifully simplistic to me and sometimes left me screaming, "How can white folks not get this shit already?!" But I always go back to that one white chick in a class I had who just truly had been that sheltered and racism was not her experience.

    I feel that some of the conversations have shut down that kind of honesty from white people and maybe, just maybe, they need to say it, even if anonymously on a message board. "I've been stupid, I've been racist" and "I've got to learn how not to be, what the hell do I do?"

    And maybe they don't mean it. Or maybe they will fuck it up. But we can't let our impatience with some white people's bullshit shut all of them down from trying. And I'd rather they do it online than walk up to me or some other POC and start touching their hair, or make me their best friend for a week, or start asking me stupid questions that start off with, "I'm not racist, but I just have to ask...."

    I did click your link and I read through some of the post and it's definitely a place where any white person who sticks their head in the door bringing the least of amount of privilege with them is going to get it chopped off.

    And honestly, I've been there. Hell I am there. My patience with racism is nil. But I haven't given up on all white people....yet.

    Which, even I'll admit, is rather foolish. But hey, a girl can dream can't she?

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  19. Aw, fuck. This is my go-to source.

    But, I guess having my go-to source be written by another white guy is problematic. I'll take this opportunity to add some more non white-male voices to my reading list.

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  20. @ThatDeborahGirl: As a WP, I fully admit that I would love to have a safe place to make ignorant statements and not suffer any major repercussions, negativity, or calling out for them on the grounds that I'm at least trying to understand.

    But it's an illusion that I don't already have exactly that and you shouldn't have to put up with it anymore than you're already forced to. Especially not on an internet blog where a good moderator can keep a lid on it.

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  21. I think there has to be a safe space not just for POC to vent.

    Not picking on you, but this is a trend I've seen here and elsewhere, and it gets on my goddamn nerves - especially when White people say it.

    Can we do each other a favor and not minimize things by calling it "venting" when POCs (hell, let's just be honest - Black people, especially us Angry Black Women) express how it feels to be on the receiving end of racism?

    You vent about a shitty day at work.

    You vent about a car accident.

    You vent about a friend's bad personal habits.

    Expressing frustration, hurt, anger, and despair about your oppression is not venting.

    Being frank about how it feels to live in a world where you don't count as a fully human being is not venting.

    Telling people what you really think about some of the things they take for granted is not venting.

    Pointing out the way some habits reinforce dynamics and attitudes that hurt a lot of fucking people is not venting.

    As for a safe space for White people to be ignorant - that's the whole fucking world. Where is the safety for us? When do we get to just dip our toes in racism instead of having it knock us upside the head and remind us of our place in the world?

    Must be nice to be White. Can you imagine? You can actually debate whether or not it's a good idea to walk up to somebody and put your hands in somebody's head and instead of people calling you out for being an uncouth jackass with no home training (and treating you as such), it's apparently that person's responsibility to educate you about the error of your ways.

    Must be nice to be White. Must be nice to be given the benefit of the doubt every step of the way. Must be nice to have all those patient POCs ready to explain and educate at the drop of a hat - for free - no matter what it costs us personally. After all, what's most important is that we have a productive conversation, even though the only people really gaining anything from it are White people and often at our expense.

    Must be mighty nice.

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  22. @ThatDeborahGirl:

    I am curious about why you felt it necessary to tell that to me.

    Not why you saw fit to say it. But why you, personally, thought it was a good idea to say exactly what you said to me, personally.

    What did you hope I would gain from that? Better yet, what did you hope to gain from that?

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  23. ThatDeborahGirl,
    I hear you, believe me, I do but I worry that your formulation puts too much onus on the POC here to put up with white bs, rather than putting the onus on whites to quit generating the bs. I worry that it sets up a judgment of those who are not able to take the long view as you do. And that seems really unfair. If POC leave here because white people are being insufferable, than surely that's the fault of the white people and not POC for not being strong enough, understanding enough, etc, etc.

    My apologies if you were just describing how you see it and how you approach it and did not mean to advocate that anyone else do the same.

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  24. I first found this blog on a list of links for "white antiracism." I had never heard of such a thing as a "White Antiracist." That seemed an oxymoron to me. (Still does). I was curious as to what a white guy thought he knew about spotting racism, let alone how to fight it.

    Walking into a joint bodly marked STUFF WHITE PEOPLE DO, I certainly never expected to feel safe here. I came here expecting to read a bunch of WP asking stupid questions about racism and saying insensitive things. I was not disappointed in the slightest.

    I was however impressed with the readership's willingness to make themselves vulnerable. To share painful but all too common stories about race. To ask dangerous questions. To make mistakes. To correct each other and be corrected.

    How WP unpack their shit around race is a topic of great personal interest to me. I have dealt intimately with WP and their "SWPD's" my whole life, feeling isolated, powerless, invivisble. Reading the commentary here, I finally feel like I'm not crazy or alone in the things I've observed about white culture. But even better, I've been able to learn HOW to respond to casual racism in an effective way after seeing it all laid out here.

    As I am forced to deal with SWPD in my work life, my home life, my political life, my activist life, and even my love life, it is to my benefit that I learn how to speak to clueless whitefolks about their racism. Not every POC shares this motivation and I respect that. I have never considered this blog a safe space FROM racism, rather a place to unpack racism and call it out, which is by necessity hard, painful work.

    I thank everyone here who has been willing to make themselves vulnerable to the rest of us by posting and commenting here. That includes any WP who are willing to have their asses handed to them whenever they fuck up.

    As for my fellow POC's it's important that we know our limits and don't give more of ourselves than we can spare; so much is literally taken from us everyday. We needn't allow ourselves to be exploited or endure abuse for our words to be of value here, or anywhere.

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  25. @RVC Bard. I'm not white. I'm Black. And I'm not a "whitesplainin" Uncle Tom either. And NO, Julia, I'm not putting the onus on black folks for white folks racist notions.

    I thought this site was in the business of explaining to white people "stuff white people do". As black people, we already KNOW stuff white people do. I know why white people piss me off. I didn't need Macon to tell me, but white folks sure as hell do.

    And yes, there are some white folks who are died in the wool racists, they know it's wrong and don't care. But I know there are some pretty damn clueless white folks out there who just don't get it.

    @RVC Bard - There is plenty of room on the internet for white people to display their ignorance and stay that way. How many spaces invited them to truly examine their privilege and change? Because honestly, I'm not that patient on own blog and I don't see you being that patient on yours. I feel exactly like you do. If you come into MY virtual space spouting privileged, racist bullshit, prepare to get your feelings hurt.

    I don't think Macon's blog is that kind of space. He seems to be in the business of explaining to white folks, down to minutiae, just what it is they do that piss POC off and how they can quit and maybe even change.

    And yes, that does require a level of patience with white folks bs and for the ones who just refuse, then hell, let 'em have it with both barrells.

    If anything, I feel that if we are kind enough to explain, then white folks should be willing to learn, and pretty damn quick. That's NOT putting the onus on POC, but if you're not willing to engage white people in this type of discussion, why are you here?

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  26. @ThatDeborahGirl:

    I'm not white. I'm Black. And I'm not a "whitesplainin" Uncle Tom either.

    Wow. I've never seen someone so completely miss the point. This is what happens when you make it all about you and not about what the person is actually saying. Not to mention, you haven't addressed the comment I did address directly to you.

    Here's another thing that's interesting. For all the complaining people make about me, Witchsistah, soul, Rochelle and other Black women "policing" other POCs, I recall no instance where any of us:

    1. Stated that our experiences were universal;
    2. Claimed that Black women and other POCs who don't share our views or experiences are Not Really Black (or POCs);
    3. Told other POCs that they weren't entitled to their own opinion (y'know, being individuals and not the Borg); or
    4. Said that other POCs are not permitted to perceive and respond to their experiences of racism in ways that work for them.

    I do recall that we expressed our opinions and ideas without equivocation or apology.

    Why are so many people trying so hard to tell us what to feel, what to think and what to do when we are clearly not asking that of them?

    Methinks that might have something to do with a really fucked-up vibe here.

    *goes back to watching the thread descent into irony as it proves my point - again*

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  27. Thank you for creating this blog Macon, and doing your best to maintain it. As a WOC I appreciate what many of the posters have contributed to SWPD. I also appreciate how different ethnicities come together here to share their experiences/frustration. It has helped me to feel understood and has also helped me, at times, to confront my own ignorance.

    I wish you well :)

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  28. @ThatDeborahGirl

    Funny, I was just about to post the same to you!

    I don't think Macon's blog is that kind of space. He seems to be in the business of explaining to white folks, down to minutiae, just what it is they do that piss POC off and how they can quit and maybe even change.

    And yes, that does require a level of patience with white folks bs and for the ones who just refuse, then hell, let 'em have it with both barrells.


    I agree 100%.

    But make no mistake, Whitefolks! This doesn't mean you get a free pass to say whatever obnoxious thing comes to mind. If you can't show that you're TRYING to understand where a POC is coming from rather than explaining yourself to us or defending some thesis, then you are disrespecting US and (what I gather is) the purpose of this space. Whenever POC are harmed here by participating it's important to acknowledge that harm, rather than just say "oops, sorry I'm white." Only to do the same damn thing all over again.

    Do your best to listen and I'll do my best to explain. But I have questions too.

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  29. @ Jane Laplain and thatdeborahgirl

    See, that is just so amazing to me that you would even take that position and put yourselves out there like that and it's FUCKED UP that people would take that for granted (I know i'm guilty of that) because we don't even deserve it.

    On TOP of being 100% correct and knowing it, your throwing yourself under the ignorance bus on here. It's because of you putting yourself out there that I even know how real this shit is, and how absolutely right you and every other POC on here is about everything you say on the daily. So I owe you big time for that. (which should go without saying but I don't see anyone else saying it.) And now I can plainly see evidence of racism all around me all the time and other WP IRL are telling me I'M oversensitive.
    (Which doesn't bother me BTW because losing a few friends and being called oversensitive is the LEAST I can do in return. )

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  30. @Jason

    See, that is just so amazing to me that you would even take that position and put yourselves out there like that and it's FUCKED UP that people would take that for granted (I know i'm guilty of that) because we don't even deserve it.


    I can't speak for ThatDeborahGirl, but thanks, I guess. But I think you misunderstand why I'm here. I'm not here as a favor to Whitefolks. I'm not here for Thanks or Praise. I'm not here to offer WP a chance to atone themselves.

    I'm here only because I don't have the option of limiting my exposure to WP and white culture. Reading and commenting here is a survival strategy for me. I'm looking to learn how to deal with SWPD bs offline. I'm looking to learn what finally breaks thru to WP in reagards to racism. At some WP.

    Continuing to seethe in silent rage or go numb to racist slights my whole life isn't working for me. I've tried that. I've never tried THIS. So I'll be here for as long as I feel I'm getting what I need here. The minute I don't, away I go, wishing the rest of you godspeed.

    Til then, I'll be looking forward to further edifying conversations with all.

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  31. "I think there has to be a safe space not just for POC to vent but also for white people to express their ignorance."


    I'm starting wonder whether it's possible to have those two things at once, since any space where white people are "expressing their ignorance" is probably going to be unsafe for POC. One of the most important things that I've learned here is the importance of POC-only spaces and self-segregation for the well-being of POC. White people, by our very presence, make this space unsafe to a certain degree, and I think that that's the line that we are treading.

    Obviously the comment threads need to be as safe as possible for POC, because without contributors and commenters of color, this blog would not exist. Yet personally, I know that I've learned the most from the discussions between white apologists/denialists and POC on the comment threads, and I do think that there is some educational value there. Yet I realize that it's fundamentally unfair and fucked up that POC should be expected to compromise their own safety for the benefit of white people's education.

    I'm not really sure how this problem should be solved or even if it can be solved, but perhaps you guys have some ideas?

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  32. Oh and I don't think ThatDeborahGirl is here for praise and charity either. . Reading back it looks like what I said could be interpreted that way.

    I don't think any POC people are here for altruistic reasons. We don't all participate here for the same reasons, and we're certainly not all here to "serve" the same "purpose."

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  33. @ jane

    I wouldn't presume to guess your motivation for being here, and I'm not even saying you should care what I or any other WP gets out of it.

    Just wanted to try to articulate the effect you and others have had on me and hopefully lots of other WP.

    I.E. Learning to see racism and hopefully gaining the tools to resist it.

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  34. I've learned a ton from the POC on this blog in my short time visiting here and appreciate the opportunity to have heard from people. Thank you.

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  35. So.

    Which one of you White People are gonna now turn to White Anti-racist blogs, or POC Anti-Racist blogs. Seriously, lets just put this out there.

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  36. Angelofdeath,

    Well, since you asked.

    I read a two blogs written by POC. But I think I've learned the most from the comments section of a very racist blog. No censorship at all there, so both sides are FULLY expressing themselves.

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  37. jas0nburns said...
    @ Jane Laplain and thatdeborahgirl
    See, that is just so amazing to me that you would even take that position and put yourselves out there like that and it's FUCKED UP that people would take that for granted (I know i'm guilty of that) because we don't even deserve it.



    Hon - everything, in this life, is risk. Just because millions of white people deny my humanity, doesn't mean I have to. So I can afford to make an effort online, in THIS space, that I would never have tried before in real life and on other blogs or boards.

    Like Jane LaPlain, please understand that this is not an invitation to white people to pile more of their baggage or idiocy on me. Also, like Jane, participating in this dialogue has given me some strategies for dealing with racism in real life situations.

    I invite anyone and everyone to my own blog, and check out some of my posts on racism. Just please, don't expect the level of patience there that I would show here.

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  38. Angelofdeath,

    This is the only anti-racist blog I read which is moderated by a white person, though the POC-produced blogs that I read also have white commenters, so it's not an entirely POC environment.

    I don't think I will seek out any new "white antiracist" blogs, because I'm confident that Macon will be back eventually, and I will also continue to read the POC-produced blogs.

    I think I see what you might be getting at though. A lot of white people read this blog because we trust the opinion of a white person more than a person of color who is saying the same thing (and most likely saying much more), which is a big problem, because we can't be "anti-racist" if we aren't even willing to listen to POC and trust their judgement.

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  39. Thanks to your blog, I've learned a great deal about how (most) whites think, act and react. We'll miss you, and hope you come back soon.

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  40. I don't want to sound like someone crying for attention, but I also invite anyone and everyone to my blog about white racism and its effects on black people.

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  41. To me, one critical thing that POC anti-racist websites/blogs offer is that they create a place where POC can not only articulate personal views that question White mainstream propaganda, sorry ... perspectives, but also build *institutional spaces* that defy White control and dominance.

    For many, many White people (Liberals and Consertatives alike), POC autonomy and power are mortal sins.

    They hate this development in general, as it has the capability to challenge everything they hold dear about themselves: their worldview, institutions, and their holiest of holies, White hegemony itself.

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  42. I'm not really sure how this problem should be solved or even if it can be solved, but perhaps you guys have some ideas?

    It would be a great help if White people would take more risks instead of letting us do it all the time then "appreciate" our efforts. Frankly, that bullshit is too little, too late.

    Speaking for myself, if you want me to believe that you're trying to understand, you can't just be a voyeur. You have to take risks. You have to engage without dominating. It ain't that fucking hard.

    It's pretty annoying to be constantly treated like a tool - and an expendable one at that.

    For instance, am I the only one who finds it odd that the more cogent remarks by POCs almost always remain unanswered? Am I the only one who sees how rarely White people respond to the direct queries of POCs* - or does more than make a show of sympathy when we share something personal and painful (with strangers on the internet, mind you)? You ever notice how rarely White people here share how they've said and done things that fit squarely within the topic of each post? It's always this vague, generic shit, some a comment about how much they've learned yet they don't engage with the things we're actually saying - unless it's to debate and derail. There's no real effort at trying to gain a deeper understanding, even though we're handing it them on a silver platter.

    And they wonder why we don't believe them when they say, "I've learned so much by listening to you!"

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  43. @RVCBard, Rochelle, etc.

    It looks to me like quite a few of the comments on this thread are from people who are new to commenting here, and may not even read the comment threads at all. They may or may not be the ones ignoring your points, but either way it's unfair to blame them for actively not engaging.

    That's not to forgive the people who do indeed ignore what you say or refuse to believe it.

    I've also been a long-time lurker, and the reason I haven't been commenting is that I, like so many other white people, am afraid of taking the risk of engaging. I've read some of the posts and think, "yep, I've done that," but I don't share those things because I don't want to get (however deservedly) torn up for it. That makes me a coward and a problem.

    However, by just reading and listening (mostly the comment section, hardly ever the posts themselves anymore), I've had a chance to reflect on everything and start slowly and painfully realizing that somehow, I need to act. It's baby steps, but posts like yours, RVCBard, have inspired me to start talking to friends and family about white privilege and to support more POC artists and authors.

    So, thank you to all the commenters of color, and also to Macon, without whom this space, however flawed, would not exist.

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  44. RVCBard. If it means anything, you are one of those posters that makes me stop scrolling at the sight of your avatar to read.

    I know that I read a lot of material here, and I do form confident opinions about things every so often, but looking at how people continuously spat with each other, I just don't think my little ole' opinion is worth the trouble it might cause. I DON'T like debates. Besides, usually some other white person will say something similar to my opinion, and then someone will sort out that persons' opinion, so meh. I kinda feel like I'm making excuses, but that's what I'm feeling ATM.

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  45. WP who post here are frequently told by POC to shut up.

    Shut UP.

    "Why can't you people just SHUT UP and LISTEN!"

    So, maybe just maybe that has something to do with a lot of us ... uh ... not posting?

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  46. Hi Macon!
    Thanks so much for your innovative thoughts. As a WOC, I've looked at so many of your posts and found that they resonate with my own. It's so refreshing to have a space like this where the complexities of race and racism are recognized and discussed. I hope you'll come back soon and that we'll all work to create more spaces like this one in our lives.

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  47. @frigatebird

    So you're a clueless coward White person sticking up for other clueless coward white people, subtly suggestion that we shouldn't be so darned angry at them/you. Huh. You really have learned the status quo from the comment threads. Whatever realisation you have, your baby steps progress, comes at the collective expense of POC. Just remember that.

    @white woman

    There's a fucking reason we tell you to shut up. Like this defensiveness you're showing right now demands a big 'shut UP'.

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  48. To other WP re feeling like you have been receiving contradictory messages and don't know what to do: my feeling about this is that what I understand from POC in this blog and elsewhere (books, other blogs, real life conversations) is that this is how POC feel about WP and the white-dominated world much of the time. Just when you think you've earned respect and figured out how to get along, somebody slaps you down. When I feel shaky and unsure and uncomfortable and scared, I remind myself that feeling otherwise is a stance of privilege.

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  49. Hi, white woman lurker here who frequently reads the blog, the comments of the POC who posts here, applies the lessons of what to do and what not to do in her life, gets out there and DOES take risks to clear ignorance and help defend POCs when needed and HAS lost a lot for it. Why don't I post? Because I don't think anybody cares about what I have to say, and I don't think anybody should. It's my role to listen and act, not to spout off opinions and brag.

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  50. I realize that I am part of the problem. I haven't taken enough risks here, and while I believe I've taken things I've read here into other spheres of my life, I've been guilty of some of the things being brought up in this post. I'm sorry. I will try to do better in the future.

    I'm addressing this to the other white people here, and don't intend to speak for the people of color who've pointed this out, but this is what I see. "Shut up and listen" applies when a person of color tells us something and we have a kneejerk reaction to excuse or deny it. Then, we should go away and internalize the challenge to our worldview. We shouldn't defend the status quo only because it's the status quo.

    But there's a difference between not jumping to a knee-jerk reaction borne out of privilege and ignoring the difficulty that goes into sharing personal hurt. In your own life, when someone says, "you hurt me because..." would you just internalize that comment and walk away? Maybe we worry that we will respond from a place of privilege, but then, we should at least be saying, "I'm sorry I hurt you."

    We do need to risk more. There's a difference between responding with privilege and responding by talking about privilege. There's a difference between a comment that says "This is how I see it," and "This is the way I was taught to see it and that is the barrier I have to overcome."

    Look at Abagond's post on The Five Walls of Racism. When we're engaging in conversations about racism, think about whether our own views are informed by one of these walls, because they very often are.

    Rather than allowing ourselves to be blinded by the status quo of the society which has taught us to be racist and saying "This is how I see things" while repeating an old racism, why not say, "this is how I was taught to see things," with the awareness of the presence that one or more of those walls plays in that teaching? I don't remember where it was said, I think in another post on this blog, but it may have been on another anti-racism blog, that Tim Wise actually gives people of color insight into the workings of the white mind. He says, "this is how we are taught; these are the experiences we have which build our racist views." And I think that the least we can do when people of color share their experiences is not to just view that as a tool for our own education, but to pinpoint the way in which we learned those racist views in the first place or the workings of our minds when they are challenged.

    I am frustrated that every time people of color on this blog try to express their feelings, so many white people still tell them that they shouldn't feel that way, or they're looking at the problem wrong. Every time someone like Rochelle or RVCBard speaks up and says "hey, I'm being dismissed!" someone goes right ahead and dismisses them.

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  51. For @angelofdeath275, I have always read a number of anti-racist blogs and will continue to do so.

    My response to Macon's hiatus was to set up my own blog. I'm not Macon; I can't be Macon. My blog is much more personal. I'm writing about problematic views I was raised with, even by parents who consider themselves to be anti-racist, and about moments of realization in my own attempts to be a good ally. I don't know if I will do it well, but I am going to try.

    If anyone wants to follow along or see what I'm doing, I've got it posted at Blogspot
    http://gordyannknott.blogspot.com/
    and Tumblr http://gordian-knot.tumblr.com/

    I'm a little concerned that I'm sounding like I'm shilling for attention, but that's not my intent. I just felt like this was what I could do at this moment to start taking more of the risks RVCBard is talking about and to challenge other white people to start talking about what makes us racist in the first place.

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  52. @frigatebird

    Oops, your defensiveness is showing. Please reread RVC's post, then reread your own. You have just done exactly what she described: posted some generic crap about how much you've learned, yet completely denied/derailed what she and Rochelle and others have repeatedly said, and with a lame excuse at that. They are long time commenters here, and they I'm sure that they can recognize who is and isn't a regular in these threads.

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  53. RVCBard said...
    You ever notice how rarely White people here share how they've said and done things that fit squarely within the topic of each post? It's always this vague, generic shit, some a comment about how much they've learned yet they don't engage with the things we're actually saying - unless it's to debate and derail. There's no real effort at trying to gain a deeper understanding, even though we're handing it them on a silver platter.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head- for if there is no Empathy all that is left is the debate or the derail. Whites keep the discourse alive while remaining distant and detached, course this has a tendency of morphing into apathy and defensiveness. For even if you have no intimate knowledge of what racial oppression feels like, empathy can make another person’s experience both real and personal- as if it happened to you or a loved one.

    Succinctly, whites aren’t able to care enough about the experiences of POC, to internalize each and every injury as if it happened to them. So they find it easier to deny such hurt even occurs and even if it did (whites muse) it didn’t happen the way you say that it did. Empathy for POC is not a virtue whites are known for. To engage in the narrative on race whites must first have a vested interest in it, or what’s the point?

    In the movies whites never seem to back down from a fight- they never fail to confront horror or life-changing events. On blogs and forums about anything from animal rights to politics, whites are always ready to offer up an opinion or remedy except when it comes to race. You will fight for the rights of unborn children, you will fight- organize and protest for almost any cause if you feel it just enough. In empathy you doused yourselves in oil and took a stance against BP. In solidarity you confront whaling vessels and protest the treatment of mammals. You’re a political people so you go all out and commit every resource to raise awareness except when it comes to race.

    When it comes to race you tighten your anuses, draw back and erect a myriad of defenses. In blogs like these whites are timid and unsure of themselves, afraid to offer up any opinion for fear of being shot down. But in any other venue you would take your lumps like the men and women you are and defend yourself to the utmost for what you believe in. You come off as experts on everything under the sun except when it comes to race. You’re willing to suffer any distress- travel to the furthest reaches of a continent to study other cultures to better yourselves as individuals; but you’re unwilling to learn about ‘what you don’t know about’ race.

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  54. @Rochelle

    So what should a white person do then, within the context of an online blog like this, whether run by a white man like Macon or a POC?

    This is not a rhetorical question and I am not the "white woman" poster above.

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  55. So is anybody going to actually address the points I'm making (you know, the words I actually typed), or are they going to continue to deflect and derail by doing the exact same thing I keep talking about?

    Do you really NOT see what you're doing right here in this thread?

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  56. This blog is awesome...I can't wait till you get back

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  57. @Rochelle

    I'm sorry for defending cluelessness and cowardice, both in myself and in others. That's not what I meant to say, but re-reading my post I can see how it looks that way.

    Virtually everything a white person does (or says or thinks) is a function of their privilege, and their very existence as a white person comes at the expense of POC. I'd rather inadvertently hurt and offend while going in the right direction than hurt and offend while not doing anything at all.

    And since I'm human and fundamentally imperfect, I think that at this point baby steps are all I can take.

    I'm not defending myself on the grounds of being human. Just reflecting on where I need to go from here.

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  58. this is late...but better late than never? i was reading (one of many) kick ass blog posts by rvcbard - this one was on mansplainin which definitely hit home for me. and i realized that the best way to find out about something you are ignorant about is to try to relate it to something you do know something about (duh right?).

    so for example if you are a WW like me, read about racism ALONG WITH your reading about misogyny. if you start nodding with postings on the many and varied examples of how men can mansplain their way out of treating you like a person, then think about it when you are learning about racism. if you can clearly see oppression that you know something about, it can clue you in to the fact that ALL oppression is a tangled mess that is not easily unwound. but to explain away its contradictions based on shallow understanding is to deepen its wounds. so don't do it w racism.

    WP (esp me) have a talent for losing their real brains when we get our worldview shaken up (even if we realize in theory that this worldview is effed up.) so give yourself some brainpower, and find a blog that you understand and can help you think clearly when talking about other forms of oppression.

    thanks for the inspiration rvcbard and all the other POC who are making change here and everywhere else. this is a long overdue thank you for calling bs on us.

    (laughs/cries at self)

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  59. Why do white people always say I'm clueless?

    ._.

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  60. @frigatebird

    I'd rather inadvertently hurt and offend while going in the right direction than hurt and offend while not doing anything at all.

    Yeah, just keep causing mental anguish to POC because ~you're learning something~. Fucking hell, the 'nads it must take to have the gall to say "Yeah the way I un-learn racism is hurting you, but it's better than nothing so be grateful that I'm even doing that." This may be radical, but I'd rather you try to not fucking hurt me! How the bloody fuck do you think stepping on POC constitutes progress in un-learning racism?

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  61. @ RVC

    You're exactly right in what you said above, and yes, it is happening in this thread. It's kind of like betrayal with a kiss: we're just paying you lip-service (but mostly to make ourselves feel better), but not actually addressing your points or acting on what we supposedly learned from you. It's a giant derail, now that I think about it, because we get to feel offended when you aren't falling all over yourself in gratitude for all the hollow compliments we've given.


    @White woman

    No one has suggested that WP should not post here, only that we should refrain from posting derails that everyone has heard 2731958 times before....like the one that you just offered. Ah yes, the classic "but POC are sending me mixed messages, I just can't win!" derail. Trust me, I've been there: it's purely defensiveness.

    Now I can understand if we WP don't feel that we can deconstruct racism as well as a POC. That's certainly true, but that doesn't mean that we can't see blatant ignorance when it slaps us in the face and take the time to address it, rather than waiting for "those mean POC" to do it for us. Come on, be honest with yourselves! How many times have you read a derailing post and known, instinctively, that a POC commenter was going to object to it? So if you knew it was a problem, why didn't you object to it too? Could it be because you actually sympathize with the derailer? I've felt as much, and I know I can't be the only one.

    If we were really allies, we'd at least be willing to stand alongside the POC commenters on this blog and call out the obvious white derailers. Otherwise, our silence=white solidarity, and that creates a pretty unwelcome environment for the POC commenters who we're supposedly so thankful for. And if we can't even be "allies" on the internet, how are we ever going to be allies in real life?


    @ Notimportant

    But there are tons of WP on here, myself included, who DO comment regularly, yet when shit starts to go down in the comment threads, we refuse to call out one of our own.

    Also, if there's one thing that I've learned here it's that there are very few WP who are willing to act against racism in real life. If you're really as magical as you say you are, then we could use your voice in the comment threads.

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  62. @James and all the WW & WM who have responded.

    When white people say they are clueless, part of what they are saying is this:

    I don't like stepping outside my comfort zone, I know racism is bad, racism like 'kkk, hooded caps and using the 'N' word'.

    But examining myself too deeply is scary and I know will reveal things about me that might make me a bad guy. I don't want this.

    How can I do this without being a bad guy?

    I am clueless as to how to tackle racism without giving up my privilege.
    I am clueless on how to make you see me as a better person without sacrificing too much of the way I think.

    I am clueless how to do this and not be the bad guy

    and there lies the problem. its like an abusive man refusing to accept that he is abusive. He accepts that he might have hurt his wife, but you know.. he is a good guy

    He accepts that the hurt might have a long lasting effect. But he isn't a monster!! Why are his kids scared of him, he has never touched them in his life!.
    But of course he forgets, that they have seen him in action, they see his body language when he talks to them, they hear his tone, that same tone that he uses when he beats their mother.
    They know that look in his eyes.
    When they let their guard down and are playing with him, they recognise the change in his tone even before he does and they shelter themselves by immediately changing their tone and composition.

    He is indeed a monster. One in denial. One that cannot be cured until he realises that he has to accept and admit he is one in order to find out what triggers this, he will never get over it.

    For me, clueless white people manifest as these abusive monsters.
    They are know. they know. They know. They know

    Yet, they remain in denial. their denial paralyses them.

    They hear what their paralysis is doing, they read it on this blog and they stay in the shadows.. hoping that they will never be close enough to have to admit that scary deep down part of themselves.

    I don't doubt that they are hurting, but the problem for them, is that many of the POC on this blog are refusing to do what abused partners usually do... which is comfort the abuser.


    To my fellow POC those who offer comfort and those who don't....
    I salute you.
    To the few WP, who constantly stick their head above the parapet here, to ask not tell, admit not deny....
    I say, you have at least started this long and difficult journey..

    To the rest....
    you are lucky, you live in a world where you can give 10% effort to tackling an issue and receive at least 60% back.
    Simply because of the general legacy of maltreatment of POC.
    We live in a world where you can simply feel giving a dollar to a homeless POC means you are not racist.
    Where saying I want to...., without actually doing ANYTHING means you are actually rewarded as an 'anti-racist ally and have done well.

    As I said, you are lucky. You just don't realise how lucky you are.

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  63. I think Jane Laplain and ThatDeborahGirl have the right idea about the purpose of this blog, and how it functioned (and I hope I'm accurately associating my view with theirs). In practical terms, as a means of furthering an anti-racist cause and convincing WP to see their own behavior as problematic, this site was designed to teach WP something. As someone above said (I can't find it right now, sorry): POC are almost always already aware of the racism in the stuff that white people do. It's WP who need it explained to them (and, frankly, it's by convincing WP of that fact that change will happen). The distinction, also made above, between this site and others that have less patience for ignorance is, I think, a good one: the point of this site was to teach people, and teaching people by telling them to shut up is generally not good pedagogical practice. And yes, defining the function of this blog as "teaching WP" means that POC may often be pushed into the role of "teacher," whether they want to be or not, and that sucks, and it certainly doesn't constitute a "safe space" for POC, but it also seems like the only way that a blog like this would be able to accomplish its goal (i.e. convincing WP to take up an anti-racist stance).

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  64. @margy

    so for example if you are a WW like me, read about racism ALONG WITH your reading about misogyny.

    WHOA, you mean that intersectionality shit huh? Treating a woman like dirt is kinda like treating POC like dirt? Who knew that was real!!!




    Can white people for a moment think about this?

    RACISM IS NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. Your little feelings, your fears of being shewed out my the big bad POC when you talk about your benefit from racism is not worth anything AT ALL. What do you think POC have to go through when they talk about racism with white people. They ALWAYS get put down, like threatening to fire them or something. If you can't even talk about it, that just reeks with privilege. You will choose when to seriously talk about it when its convinient for you.



    Why do I feel all common sense goes out the window with white people.

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  65. [Another observer, you're not reading carefully enough. Listen and think more about the comments here, and especially about

    --the fact that many white commenters here DON'T get shot down, because they comment productively

    --where your white defensiveness is coming from

    --how your white defensiveness has already been addressed in this thread

    --why you didn't hear that

    --and how POC here would likely feel and think after reading from you the same damn thing for the umpteenth time. . .

    ~macon]

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  66. @frigatebird:

    I'd rather inadvertently hurt and offend while going in the right direction than hurt and offend while not doing anything at all.


    I wonder how you would feel if a man said..
    I'd rather inadvertently rape and hit a woman whilst learning about sexism and misogyny than rape and hit a woman whilst not learning about them at all.

    This is why many black people have faced the fact that many white people do not see us as human beings with feelings & emotions ...

    You actually do not care about hurting us, your concern even when trying to be anti racist is still ALL about you

    The worst part of all of this, is ... I'm simply not surprised.

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  67. @AA

    No. I know what I'm good at, and I know what I'm not good at. I don't have much to add to any conversation here other than "shut up and listen to the POC."

    Also, standing up against racism is "magical?" It's not exactly difficult.

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  68. RVC said;

    "After all, what's most important is that we have a productive conversation, even though the only people really gaining anything from it are White people and often at our expense."

    It's true that we are the only ones not losing anything or risking anything or giving anything up. I'm not aware of a way to do that on this blog, which is one reason that I make an effort IRL to take risks with friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances to force them to examine racism as this blog has forced me to do. I see this blog as a resource which helps me to do that more effectively.

    Maybe, there should be more emphasis here on actually doing shit in real life. I know it runs the risk of sounding like "oh i'm so awesome cause I fight racism" but it doesn't have to be. maybe the fact that this blog is all about talking rather than doing is also a part of the "really fucked-up vibe here."

    And I don't mean the "tell me what to do!" thing either, I mean more like "how would you handle this one specific thing WP do?" or, "Here is how I handled this scenario, you can do it too." types of conversations.

    I know for a fact that WP encounter racism all the time, maybe we should just skip the whole debate on whether something is racism or not and just go straight to what's the best way to deal with it IRL since that seems to be why POC come here. Shouldn't that be why WP come here as well?

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  69. @RVCBard I've been reading your links (and other people blog links people have posted) and thank you. I'm in reading/learning mode.

    When I "get it", and the POC on this blog are pretty patient, I probably don't say so enough. I don't know that a "right on" or a head nod adds value to a thread (since it's not saying something new) or comes off as trying to get a cookie, and I don't want to do that. Or piss anybody off because I'm missing the point, which I've done too.

    I've been guilty of a derail here also, and I'm sorry. It's that tendency a lot of people have to relate stuff to our own experiences. In many cases, it's not meant to say, "well, men do that to women TOO, so it's not racism" but "that's happened to me, so I have a little more understanding of it feels when my expertise isn't listened to or my opinion is discounted, or people says I'm 'being too emotional' about something." When I've done that, I sincerely didn't want to discount or downgrade PoCs' experiences but to relate better. I know you all realize that but am now seeing that it must get old.

    I haven't commented on older posts much but spend a lot of time thinking about them especially fromthetropics' post about microaggression and others.

    WP ARE naive when it comes to racism because we don't have to face it every day and can look at it as an abstract bad thing. Some of the posts/articles here illustrate really blatant things and some are attitudes I've had to think about more, but these posts, and the comments and other blogs have given me better tools to notice racism and talk to other WP and call it out when I see it, and I have done this more now that you all are opening my eyes to what you see all the time. Thank you.

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  70. so i am going to try this - taking an ounce of responsibility for my actions in this corner of the blogosphere. i urge you to come with me, WP. i am not going to say you will be completely safe. you won't. racism eats the living soul out of everything. but we are letting it continue. if we cannot take on even a little bit of responsibility then we leave it for every POC to do the heavy lifting (like ALWAYS). and that's beyond pitiful if you sincerely want to make change.

    how is my privilege present right here on this blog? and how do i not challenge it?
    -my risk of being hurt is confined to when i open up this page run by a white dude / (a tiny few other places in real life when i choose not to be a wuss)
    -i can think this is a really progressive place when i RARELY EVER seek out blogs of POC to actually see what they in their individual personhood have to say about race or all the other things they know about b/c they are actually multifaceted people like me
    -in contrast, this is NOT a minute-by-minute thing i deal with in my life - POC are simultaneously ignored/feared when they are honest about racism and are treated as if this is the only thing they know about and they all have the same opinion
    -so in summary, i can be ignorant about conceiving of POC as real humans like me
    -and then I (ME WHITE PERSON) can get offended when i feel like less of a person for being called out. lets be real. when i get offended by the tone of POC, its bs. BS. b/c how would anyone be cool, calm, and collected for me when i just showed up for a fraction of my life to see how the world really is?
    -THAT IS ME FORCING MY PRIVILEGE BACK ONTO POC AND ITS WRONG
    -that makes me a BAD person.
    -read it again, WP.
    -THAT MAKES ME A BAD PERSON.
    -not b/c i woke up and decided to be a bad person but b/c i am scared enough not to deal with the world as it is for fear of getting my feelings hurt.
    -so, i have 2 choices. 1)deal with how i have failed POC. productively try to do damage control from my own smart ass mouth here and put myself in situations where i have to step up and make a change by supporting POC who are REALLY making change OR 2)cry and go home to the safe place i have made for myself by ignoring the violence toward POC in this shitty world. (which i have so far done in my 22 yrs on this planet)
    -and look at my privilege!! i can think about this and i have this choice!!!

    so there is only one right answer if we are honest. decide to be hurt, decide to be schooled, decide to figure out FROM POC how you can help them in this fight. life is not fair. our moms said that to us when we were 3. you can't have your cake and eat it too. you can't call yourself 'white anti-racist' or 'progressive' when you can't deal with the hate and violence toward POC that is woven into this world. especially not when you are busy pondering your own thoughts and feelings.

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  71. @ Notimportant

    That was sarcasm, I apologize that it wasn't clear. There are a lot of WP here who like to moan about how "difficult" or "scary" it is to sacrifice our privilege in real life.

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  72. @Not Important: "Also, standing up against racism is "magical?" It's not exactly difficult." Maybe I'm blind but I can't find anybody upstream named AA so I can't figure out what you are responding to. Maybe if I saw the upstream comment I wouldn't respond to this the way I do, but it sounds glib and facile to me, as if you imagine that all standing up to racism entails is talking back to racist jokes at college parties or something. I don't know anybody who is out in the trenches who thinks this stuff is easy.
    First, the institutional structures of racism are very strong and difficult to dismantle. It isn't all that hard to complain about the problem, I agree, but actually trying to do something about it is extremely difficult. It's really hard to figure out how to tackle the problem, and serious people disagree about what strategies to try.
    Second, when you are out in the trenches trying to work together to fight racist structures in mixed-race groups, you run into the problems of embedded privilege, unconscious racism etc. You get into conflicts with the people on your own side about these issues, not to mention all the difficulties trying to deal with the people who oppose you.
    Third, if a white person's problem is that s/he has been reared in a segregated white environment and soaked in white privilege, even a person who knows she has a problem is going to have to make huge changes in her life to put herself in a position where she can even begin to have enough experience to be anything other than totally clueless. And even if she does her best to be awake and aware of the feelings and perspectives of the POC around her, while she's learning, she's going to act out of her white supremacist experience often enough to hurt other people, even as her focus and goal is to fight racism. As just one example, think about the joint problems of clueless white people caused by segregation and the problem of invading safe POC spaces.

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  73. After I hit send I realized it must have been R.A. and not AA, and my comment may be misplaced as a critique, although I still stand by its content.

    Back to RVC's question, I followed the links back to a post from before I was reading the blog (Dec 2009 post by RVC on things WP do in the blog) and there was an exchange that showed the value to WP of being "slapped" in the blog, as a wake up call to folks (like me) who think of ourselves as pretty well informed on these issues. I do have an anti-racist life outside this blog. What the value of the forum has been for me is to see how POC respond to well-intentioned comments from people who see themselves as anti-racist. Because of racial hierarchies and my own privilege, I am often not told the truth about how my actions and words seem to others, even though I try to present myself as open to criticism. In daily life, I rarely have to experience a sense of vulnerability. A space where POC respond to WP teaches me a lot. I do read a lot of things written by POC, so much of what gets said here isn't new to me, but the POC-only spaces and books don't have that character of challenging "liberal" White actions that I otherwise would think were fine because of not having encountered another way of looking at it. So yes, I have learned a lot about how other people view the world. I suppose this is still too abstract . . .

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  74. sorry for running off at the mouth here, I'll shut up soon. But I realized that as the topic is "things I've learned" I should say that I just learned something from soul's response to frigatebird, because frigatebird said something I might say.

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  75. white woman said...

    "WP who post here are frequently told by POC to shut up."

    No. We're not "frequently" told that at all.

    "So, maybe just maybe that has something to do with a lot of us ... uh ... not posting?"

    I think you're evoking the "You're Being Hostile" derail right now. After your comment, I'm not sure what you get out of coming here and reading. But, if you're told to "shut up" here you should probably take it as a very frustrated suggestion, and do it. It means you're missing something so fundamental you can't possibly contribute to the conversation productively. Time to be silent and read, figure out what you're missing, and don't speak.

    One thing you'll pick up the more you stop hoping that people will always be "nice" during race conversations is the ability to figure out, without having to be told, when to share something and when you have absolutely nothing to add to the conversation.

    If your comment has anything to do with teaching POC ABOUT racism or *why* WP do certain things we do, it's a never-fails sign that you need to read closely and not comment.

    ReplyDelete
  76. @Soul

    I wonder how you would feel if a man said..
    I'd rather inadvertently rape and hit a woman whilst learning about sexism and misogyny than rape and hit a woman whilst not learning about them at all.


    Wha wha WHAT??!? I'm sorry but I'm going to have to object to this analogy, to the nth power!! Being ignored or derailed or talked over on a blog is NOT the same as being raped or beaten.

    I understand you wish to emphasize the hurtful consequences of ignoring POC voices and life experiences with racism and of WP only paying lip service to POC pain. I do too.

    But to equate anything that is said here... short of death threats, or "I will find you bitches in RL and get you" threats, or outright advocating of crossburning, police brutality and lynching of POC (which I promise you Macon DOES have to block from being posted here) to Rape and Physical Assault ....? What you said there not only trivializes the experiences of those of us here who have faced rape and violence (and DO face it disproportionately), but in its hyperbolic overstatement, it actually lessens the impact of what you're trying to say.

    This blog is an UNSAFE SPACE for more than one reason. Unlike any WP here I do not have the luxury of making this blog, or any blog the "bulk" of my antiracist education and struggle. Unlike most POC people here, I do not have the luxury of elevating my struggles against Racism over my concurrent struggles against cissexism and ableism, not to mention my recovery from childhood domestic violence and sexual assault.

    Even tho I've been forced to compartmentalize my experiences to race-only in order to participate in this blog, I still find value in the conversations that have gone down here. That includes the regular smackdowns rendered to the thoughtless WP who are still working, however clumsily, on unpacking their privilege.

    Do WP here need to be ALOT more mindful of what they say, take more emotional risks, expose more of themselves and be more active in keeping each other in check rather than leaning on us POC's? YES I couldn't agree more. I also have noticed the many WP (not all but too many for comfort) here have been resting on their laurels, passively soaking up the "antiracism" and contributing only the safest of commentary. They know who they are... or at least they should. But I'm not about to sit here and accuse anybody of "rape" or having "beaten" me just because they aren't unpacking their privilege fast enough to please me. Sorry.

    This pains me to even have to post, because normally I'm saying "amen" after everything you say, Soul. But I can't let casual rape analogies go unchallenged.

    You said it yourself:

    "You actually do not care about hurting us, your concern even when trying to be anti racist is still ALL about you"

    Antiracism isn't a no holds barred fight where you get to do or say whatever it takes to get your point across. Not if the goal is learning empathy for ALL people of color who are being harmed.

    ReplyDelete
  77. (Of course I'd rather not hurt anybody at all, ever. But that's not how being white works, apparently.)

    ReplyDelete
  78. @Jane...

    Read what I wrote again.. please.

    You can object if you want. But please don't tell me how to express the depth of how something affects me.

    I'm really glad that you do not experience racism as this. I DO
    Racism is a violation on my psyche
    it is a rape of my being and it leaves me bruised and physically sick.
    I get no respite. I've been objectified and exoticised to the nth degree.


    And thanks for presuming that I have never been confronted or faced with that which I speak of. I mean what are the chances eh?.

    I will not detail/list the whys or wherefores on this blog for pain porn/tourism for the junkies who get off on that stuff.

    I am not asking you to say or do anything.
    I speak for myself, how things feel for me, the impact they have on me.
    When I used the analogy, I meant it.

    Racism is rape in my eyes. It is a violation of the highest order.
    As much as I respect your opinion, please do not tell me how to say what I mean.

    Your goal might be to teach empathy for all people of colour... mine isn't. I don't teach people to treat my like a human being. They either recognise or they don't.

    I take nothing back. My words which express exactly how I feel, from the benefit of my own experience.... stand.

    I'm sorry that you cannot accept that

    ReplyDelete
  79. lol yeah right


    and don't bother to even try/attempt to not hurt POC, just resign yourself to constantly stepping on our backs because you just can't help yourself


    p.s. stop whitesplaning racism to me, i know white pathologies better than you do

    ReplyDelete
  80. @Soul Have you ever been raped? Don't answer if you don't want to, but please don't try compare things to rape unless you have actually have been through rape. If you have been through rape, then you can really understand it, and I have no problem if you compare to rape. If you haven't been raped, then please don't even try to pretend to understand how it feels to be raped, and I'll won't pretend I understand how racism feels.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I find it interesting that only a few comments addressed the fact that taking a break from racism (or anti-racism) is in fact "stuff white people do". I assume it's no accident the title of the post was phrased that way. I'd like to invite all fellow White readers to think about that, as this blog falls to the bottom of your RSS readers and out of your daily web routine. Not having to think about racism for a day is the ultimate expression of White privilege. Spending some time each day in the "fellow travelers" sidebar is perhaps a small way to at least remain aware of that privilege.

    I hope when (if?) we all come back together, that everyone re-reads this thread, in particular RVCBard's comment (and the follow-ups) decrying the lack of engagement with PoC (particularly female PoC) commenters. And not just the lack of engagement, but the hurt caused by it. (And this isn't new, either; I recall reading this on her blog.) A common theme in "Racism 101" posts is that if a White commenter gets hurt, they apply some butt-hurt-cream and move on. (linked to from the commenting guidelines) Maybe what should be included in future commenting guidelines is that not engaging with other commenters (especially after they've bared their souls) can be just as hurtful. I don't want to go down the road of telling people how to respond to comments, but the fact is that many PoC commenters are saying that they came here ready to engage with self-described "allies", and left because it was too hurtful. That's not good.

    @RVCBard, @Rochelle, @soul and anyone who was marginalized (or worse) in a space intended to combat such marginalization: We* screwed up and caused you pain. We will do better next time.

    @Macon and everyone: Best wishes in anything and everything you do outside the context of this commenting section. See y'all around the Interwebs...

    *While there are undoubtedly people who didn't cause anyone pain, the community as a whole obviously did, and we are all members of the community. (Feel free to flame me if you think I showed too much chutzpah by saying 'we'. I'm fine with changing 'We' to 'I').

    ReplyDelete
  82. But to equate anything that is said here... short of death threats, or "I will find you bitches in RL and get you" threats, or outright advocating of crossburning, police brutality and lynching of POC (which I promise you Macon DOES have to block from being posted here) to Rape and Physical Assault ....?

    Are you for serious.



    Unlike most POC people here, I do not have the luxury of elevating my struggles against Racism over my concurrent struggles against cissexism and ableism, not to mention my recovery from childhood domestic violence and sexual assault.


    I'm confused...are you saying 1 struggle is less important than the other...? Intersectionality, how does it work?

    ReplyDelete
  83. @Jon R

    You're right, WP are the only ones with the privilege to "go on hiatus". I hope that we (WP) will think about the ways that we have acted on this blog, the ways that we may have participated in denial and derailing, whether actively or through apathy. Macon is not the only WP who is responsible for what goes down in the comment threads. We all have a responsibility to do better, so I hope everyone uses this time to think about what needs to change in the future.

    @James

    I don't want to speak for soul, but your question strikes me, personally, as highly inappropriate, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I know it is, and I regret asking, but I am not sorry. It is really infuriating to see 'rape' used so liberally! I mean I can't compare ANYTHING with the pain I felt, so it does piss me off when someone else can. I'm not mad at Soul, I'm mad at the entire fucking concept.

    I can kinda see now that even I don't like the question I asked.

    ReplyDelete
  85. @Soul, Sista I say to express the impact racism have on you anyway you want to, and in as graphic a manner you see fit. And James, if the Sista say racism feels like rape, then take her at her at her word. I can’t speak for the sista, but I believe she is trying to express to you and others the severity of the violation that Black people have to endure on a regular basis, for no other reason than being Black. Each of us will process the vileness that is racism in our own way, you may not want to accept that, and I’m not surprised, when have white people ever cared what we had to say about racism or anything for that matter?.

    Rape is about power and wanting to hurt, and when the victim tell you to stop because you’re hurting them, you continue on with your evil ways. HOW IS RACISM ANY FUCKING DIFFERENT?

    @James, you really need to check yourself with that sanctimonious bullshit, it serves no useful purpose here.

    ReplyDelete
  86. @James...

    Fuck you.

    That is all.

    ReplyDelete
  87. @James:

    Now would be a good time to apologize and shut the fuck up.

    ReplyDelete
  88. @ Jon R

    I apologize in advance if what I'm saying looks like stirring the pot, but I really can't just let an incomplete narrative of this site go unchallenged.

    I was recommended to this site a good while back by a female Asian friend because she said it was a good place to talk about race in terms of white and black relations, but that it most certainly doesn't even try to create a safe zone for POC's more generally.

    Don't take my word for it. Read through the old posts and you'll find that Asian POC's, in comparison to others, have a higher frequency of posting a little bit and then leaving because they're told they're too white or not acting extreme enough (of course no one says it like that - they just read the writing on the wall when Macon and others say they've had enough of certain kinds of posters and that it's time to "tighten the screws" so to speak).

    People here, white and POC alike, very often do tell one another how to respond to comments, and then later in the same thread claim that they don't. If you're not willing to be confrontational, you won't stay here. That says a lot right there.

    Often when Macon would talk about changing his considerations in monitoring posts and certain commentators would complain about others, some POC's (often Asian females) would say that they feel uncomfortable posting here because they're told that if you just don't agree with enough already existing posters, you aren't welcome. No one says it that explicitly, but they do say it.

    Again, don't take my word for it. Read through many posts, including from 2009 and 2008... (continued next post)

    ReplyDelete
  89. ...Even when this place and some of its posters speak of a safe zone for POC's, that doesn't really mean that one POC's safe zone is the same as another's. White people here do say some messed up shit, but so do a lot of posters, and it is always the ones who are most willing to get angry and shout and never apologize for ANYTHING ever said ('cause if you call someone out for being condescending or treating you like shit, it's YOU who is bad 'cause you just committed the sin of the "tone argument," no matter what race you are and to whom you're speaking) that keep coming back.

    It isn't just issues of race but simply not very well thought out commentary guidelines and enforcement on the part of Macon that thas selected the population that posts here. Hence you'll see a repeated cycle of innocent-sounding but dopey whites asking questions and angry POC's telling them they're dehumanizing them going back and forth, and the occasional blips do quite quickly go back to lurkerdom or leave and don't come back. And it isn't always (hell, it very often isn't) for the reasons that are commonly stated here. Macon selects who comes through, and there are a million different reasons why one might say WTF!? in seeing what it is he does allow, and left scratching your head and wondering just what it is that he doesn't.

    Even look at this thread. Some posters will apologize profusely and admit that they're out of line after others challenge them, while certain others will say whatever they want and criticize you for suggesting it's even possible for them to express themselves in a way that's out of line. It isn't random. Do you see the pattern?

    ...and the beat goes on...

    ReplyDelete
  90. SWPD: Control dialogues and conversational atmospheres in such a way as to leave POC's scratching their heads, asking "Why did he want it to go here?"

    (answer: 'cause a place where white people can congregate and apologize a lot is a place that makes them feel like they're on the road to recovery.)

    ReplyDelete
  91. James, your comment gives me the impression that you have been raped, but that does not give you the right to question soul like that. Do you have any idea how loaded a question it is for a man to ask a woman 'have you been raped?', especially in the way you did? Even if we're lucky enough to go through life without being raped, we live with the constant threat of it, the knowledge that no matter what it would be our fault and no-one would believe us without also blaming us for what happened. We are on the losing team of rape culture. Looks like White privilege isn't the only privilege being thrown around this time.

    ReplyDelete
  92. @soul
    Dammit, I really like most of your comments in general, too.

    JaneLaplain's comments were right on target: rape-comparison comments are very dismissive and hurtful to the people (women and men; PoC and WP) who have been victims of intimate partner violence or rape. If you are a rape victim, then I am really sorry, and you have every right to compare your own experiences with racism to rape.

    But if you are not a victim of sexual assault, then you can't understand what that is like- just like WP cannot understand what racism is like! You may feel like your experiences are just like rape because rape is horrible and painful and violating, and so are your experiences. And I understand what you are saying- I have heard many other PoC on this blog explain that these comment threads are often very hurtful. (I sure as hell haven't stepped up to change that, and I will do better.)

    It is very hard to make a comparison to rape without also hurting people (might be impossible). It's fine to hurt WP's feelings for being racist shitbags, but please try avoid hurting victims of sexual violence.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I know it is, and I regret asking, but I am not sorry. It is really infuriating to see 'rape' used so liberally!

    James, you used the word rape like seven times.....it pissed me off reading that, and I almost couldn't take it seriously.


    And I don't think Soul is wrong is have used that word. Rape is about power. Racism is prejudice + power. To have power over someone, to almost take away their humanity, to make them feel like shit....I see nothing wrong with what she said.







    sorry if this is posted twice.

    ReplyDelete
  94. @Soul

    This was exactly the disappointing response I feared you would make. But so be it.

    I read what you said loud and clear. You were making a clear analogy to frigatebird's saying that zie would rather mistakenly SAY something insensitive on this blog while trying to unpack zir privilege in earnest. YOU compared that to a man raping and beating a woman while trying to unpack his misogyny in earnest. Which isn't even possible, let alone analogous.

    I take it your point was that WP need to watch what they say VERY VERY careful because they can do some major psychic damage to us. I agree.

    What you ended up saying is that saying something insensitive or jerky is the equivalent of committing rape and/or brutal physical violence.


    And thanks for presuming that I have never been confronted or faced with that which I speak of. I mean what are the chances eh?.

    Now, Come on, Sister. I never once presumed you haven't been raped or beaten. I did not and would not bring that up because it's none of my business and IRRELEVANT to what you said.

    But let's follow your premise. Let's say we both know what it's like to be raped and beaten repeatedly by hostile attackers and how that compares here to this blog. I have experienced said rapes and beatings. I'm remembering them. I'm there. Shattered me. Ruined my life. Has fucked me up for years and caused me untold hardship, fear. Lost me jobs. Lost me relationships. Caused me severe health issues. Now let me compare that to the times I've come here to this blog, full knowing WP are going to say defensive derailing things when I or other POC point out their privilege to them. I'm there, remember it well. Frustrating as hell makes me wanna throw up my hands. Makes me hate all WP for a minute or two. Makes me reevaluate my friendships and relationships with whitefolks. Makes me remember all the times other jerks ignored and derailed me in real life. But sorry nope.. can't say the two experiences compare in any fundamental way.


    If you truly CAN compare themn, I don't know what to say. Perhaps I should be glad YOU didn't experience being raped and beaten on the same level of pain and soul destruction as I did? Because if you DID experience rape that painfully .... and If you DO experience this blog as being repeatedly raped in the same vein, then good lord what are you doing here getting "raped" everyday??

    You're right about one thing. Racism IS rape. Racism mandated the genocide and rape of Indigenous peoples and of African Slaves. It mandated the killing and rape of Asian women and children in all wars Europe and America have fought on that continent. It still mandates the rape and murder of brown bodies to this day. Racism hangs the threat of rape and murder over the heads of the lives of ALL people of color every single day. Racism was at the very least an indirect influence in my own experiences of rape. Rape is NOT a metaphor to Racism. Rape is a TOOL of Racism.

    Here is the main reason I object to the metaphor angle. Nobody is uploading the conversations that take place here onto your screen. Nobody passed you a virus that makes your computer explode with offensive racist commentary. No Stormfronters have hacked you and commandeered control of your computer. Coming here, choosing to read and participate, anonymously even, is pretty damn far away from Rape.

    YOU know what this place is like. YOU know how it makes you feel. You've lamented its sad state repeatedly. You even feel violated by the commentary here. What on earth keeps you coming back here then? Because I don't know about you, but the people who raped me... I've done everything in my power to limit my contact with them ever since.

    Yeah I'm sorry too. Just can't take it there like you did... from the benefit of MY own experience.

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  95. @James

    Rochelle is right on. You just don't ask people if they've ever been raped. There is no value to that whatsoever. It's an invasive and hostile question on its face... even if asked from a place of knowing what it's like to have been raped.

    ReplyDelete
  96. SWPD: fail at intersectionality.

    Do you know what all this interrogation and criticism of soul sounds like?

    The not-so-new idea that Black women can't be raped.

    And that's . . . sick.

    ReplyDelete
  97. @soul

    In the spirit of following my own advice I'm going to retract what I asked you... in regards of why are you here? You're here for your own reasons. If you feel that your participating here is worth enduring the feeling of being violated or assaulted, that is none of my business and entirely your preorogative.

    All I can ask is that you please avoid GENERALIZING all experiences of rape and violence as definitive of the commentary here. I can respect that YOU personally may feel that the pain is similar, but for those of us who do not experience the same, the generalizing is unnecessarily traumatizing and inflammatory.

    ReplyDelete
  98. @Jane Laplain.

    Sincerely, I am sorry to disappoint you.
    I mean it. I am really sorry to disappoint you.

    Unfortunately, there is a 'but' and here it is...

    I've been around these parts long enough to endure the 'pain-porn'.
    I said what I said from my frame of reference. I am not willing to go any further in this public space'.

    But my hurt and pain has caused you hurt and pain. That is not right and not okay.

    Again, I'm sorry that I have disappointed and upset you and that my frame of reference causes you pain.

    ReplyDelete
  99. @RVCBard

    Funny you should mention that post, because that's exactly what I feelt soul's recklessly generalized analogy was in (ironic) service of. That Black Women getting raped isn't "really" rape. That it's actually some OTHER kind of violence that doesn't quite rise to the level of rape.

    And yes.. that's sick. Hence why I object as strongly as I do.

    ReplyDelete
  100. It's a new day and I still cannot fucking believe James so flippantly and challengingly asked a WOC if she's ever been raped. And has yet to apologise for it. That was such a loaded and potentially triggering statement that....!!! The lows y'all will sink to to win an 'debate' about racism. Jesus tap-dancing Christ!

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  101. This interrogation of a real person regarding their own personal experience with rape, especially when they have not volunteered that information, along with the flat-out dismissal of her viewpoint as inappropriate (regardless of how true or accurate that is), along with the constant drilling of her psyche in a public forum, strikes me as extremely disturbing and more problematic than the initial comment itself.

    That's my way of saying that this whole dynamic is triggering (for other reasons) and it would be decent of people to stop now.

    ReplyDelete
  102. @nothinig-too-add..

    Thank you, but I really wish people wouls stop debating me on what I personally feel and how I personally choose to relate things from my own experience.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  103. @RVCBard...

    its cool. Just let it go.
    I can't even go into it at all. too much regression and like I'm said I'm done with the 'pain-porn' on here.

    ReplyDelete
  104. @Rochelle...

    Come on now.... You don't seriously expect that do you? Rochelle.. you been around here long enough to know.

    @RVCBard... very triggering n'est pas?.
    Like I need permission to use my own frame of reference.. no? Like repeating my own frame of reference isn't enough.

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  105. @Jane...

    I did NOT GENERALIZE all experiences of rape and violence as definitive.

    ReplyDelete
  106. @soul

    I don't care for all this hurt and triggering going about either. I can totally accept that you feel this way personally. Your analogy of your personal pain around racism inadvertently hit a very raw nerve with me. However I've already made crystal clear how I feel and why. I am not going to challenge you further and I'm sorry for any hurt I've caused you as well.

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  107. @soul
    I certainly do not expect it, but I am so fucking pissed off that I'm a wee bit out of my mind and hysterical.

    ReplyDelete
  108. I've been away from this conversation for a few days, and the direction it has taken makes me think about something M. Gibson has said here, and many times other places, about how "dialogue" here so often turns to debate, with there being then a need for a "winner" and a "loser" and also--it seems to me--some sort of unanimity of opinion. Right now, in regard to the use of rape language, it feels like we are on a very White quest for a Right Answer that everyone can vote for, and I think this is counterproductive.

    I am staying out of what is happening between Soul and Jane, which is for them to resolve, but to all the WP here, I'd like to ask: What would happen if we allowed each POC to have zir own authentic experience without insisting that they must agree?

    We could choose to honor (rather than question) Soul's experience that racism feels like rape, and that the metaphor comparing the two feels absolutely apt. We could choose to honor (rather than question)Jane's experience that racism (especially in this space) and rape feel distinct, and that comparing the two feels dismissive of the pain of rape.

    We don't have to take sides, and we don't have to insist on a right answer. and we don't have to try to homogenize their experiences so that we have some neatly tied-up-with-a-bow takeaway to file away.

    I think we do this a lot, and I think it would be helpful if we could stop.

    @RVCBard,
    I have seen and read your questions and I will respond soon.

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  109. @R.A, imhotep, angelofdeath275...

    Thank you, kindly..

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  110. sorry I meant to add.. @RVCBard and Rochelle... it goes without saying...

    :)

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  111. Who goes and asks a woman if she's been raped?
    Seriously James wtf? Not a good look to say the least.

    At any rate, I think soul made that analogy to emphasize something that was left out of this statement:

    "I'd rather inadvertently hurt and offend while going in the right direction than hurt and offend while not doing anything at all."

    When you say that, your putting your "going in the right direction" above the hurt and offense your causing, as if it is inconsequential. yes, it's been said that one can not be white without hurting anyone, but to be flippant about it and say "well it can't be helped, at least i'm maturing as a person in the process of your pain" is shitty. Like that's supposed to make anyone feel better.

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  112. @soul
    I questioned and judged your feelings and your experiences: you are right. Your stated feelings are yours, and not up for debate- and your experiences are none of my business. I have said how I felt your words could be hurtful, but instead I tried to address your personal experiences. Not acceptable. I'll remember that.

    Sorry.

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  113. I think we POC have come to expect way too much from the white man who moderates this blog- and we’ve allowed ourselves to become too safe "in this space." Safe in the sense of being able to voice our deepest and most profound hurt, hoping it will have a life-changing effect on white readers. We go to the extreme to make this point sometimes but to no avail. I will not question the reason or motivations a WOC chooses to employ the use of the word rape to make a point, for her reasons ‘are her own’.

    Because of our diverse backgrounds and our unique personal experiences, it’s almost impossible to expect readers (white and non-white; male and female) to embrace each other’s veracity as our own. We POC have presumed too much- trusted way too much and sometimes we share too much.

    As a POC I will not air my past/present hurts in this blog to be trivialized by whites, nor do I think I need to go that far in trying to educate them. Its a life-long, frustrating endeavor that only ends in pain and hindrance because whites will never get it. Consequently, when we POC run out of sad songs, with all hope having been consumed ‘on this one blog’ and whites still don’t get it, what then? What does it say to POC when the sum total of their labor is simply more frustration? The reason I think racism endures is because we can never get past the conversation.

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  114. @ Rochelle

    "The lows y'all will sink to to win an 'debate' about racism. "

    You hit the nail on the head.

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  115. I am 6th Generation African-American Woman, Rape Survivor.

    Soul said:
    I wonder how you would feel if a man said..
    I'd rather inadvertently rape and hit a woman whilst learning about sexism and misogyny than rape and hit a woman whilst not learning about them at all.

    I totally agree with your analogy. Dealing with racism/white supremacy day in and day out, is like being raped.

    Constantly combatting the new ways members of the traditional "inside-groups" find to dehumanize, discredit, and dishonor members of the traditional "out-side" groups, is like getting raped over and over again. Spirit raping. Soul raping. Wounds deeper than any of the flesh. You never feel safe.

    nothing- to- add said:
    It is very hard to make a comparison to rape without also hurting people (might be impossible). It's fine to hurt WP's feelings for being racist shitbags, but please try avoid hurting victims of sexual violence.

    It's not difficult to make the comparison. Soul's words don't hurt me. The 2 men who committed the crime of rape against me, at gun point hurt me. The white police who showed up at the scene, and humiliated me further, hurt me. Oh yes, rape is something white people do. IMO soul is on target. Rape and racism have a long history of companionship.
    My Great-Grandmother told me of a racist rape narrative.

    I found soul's comparison offered this victim a moment of clarity she didn't have before today. One oppressive assault pretty much feels like another. Except, the difference for me is that I am able to survive the rape without the rapist.

    Racism/white supremacy not only feels like rape for me, but it's tries to find and justify new ways to kill me, and others that look like me...EVERY day.

    The stuff white people do day in and day out, attempts to annihilate the grace and contributions of my ForeMothers and Fathers.

    The stuff white people do everyday, in some manifestation attempts to invalidate the existence of me and others like me.

    The stuff white people did today, was tell my son and other not- white men like him, he has no is no hope, because he wasn't born a member of the "inside-group".
    He didn't get that message from me, or my rapist. He got that message from racism.


    @ Jane Laplain said:
    YOU know what this place is like. YOU know how it makes you feel. You've lamented its sad state repeatedly. You even feel violated by the commentary here. What on earth keeps you coming back here then? Because I don't know about you, but the people who raped me... I've done everything in my power to limit my contact with them ever since.

    Dear Jane and any rape victims reading,
    I am sorry you had to experience the brutality of being raped. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, at anytime. I admit I'm a little envious you have found a way and the power to "limit contact with your assailants".

    I can understand why soul and other injured peoples would return here...
    Strangers raped me. I can't limit my contact with men. In fact I love men. I am raising a son. But l view every MAN as suspect.

    Until MEN immediately create a new paradigm regarding violence against women, and hold other MEN accountable. They will be viewed as practicing sexism/misogyny. I want men to confront men about violence against women.

    My view of white people is pretty much the same. White people are a part of my life. But I can't afford to let my guard down with them. Until white people admit to benefitting from a system of racism/white supremacy and commit to immediately replace that system with a system of justice, they will be viewed as suspect. They will be suspected of practicing racism/white supremacy either consciously or unconsciously. That's the best I can do to protect myself. I want white people to confront white people to confront other whites about perpetuating the system of racism/white supremacy.

    ReplyDelete
  116. con't,
    Injured peoples might return to these places where white people congregate for the possibility of witnessing something amazing. Until then, all white people are suspect.

    peace.

    ReplyDelete
  117. "I'd rather inadvertently hurt and offend while going in the right direction than hurt and offend while not doing anything at all."

    "When you say that, your putting your "going in the right direction" above the hurt and offense your causing, as if it is inconsequential. yes, it's been said that one can not be white without hurting anyone, but to be flippant about it and say "well it can't be helped, at least i'm maturing as a person in the process of your pain" is shitty."

    And, yet, I feel that this is the unstated m.o. of this blog. I think this is ultimately why responses to POC's pain and vulnerability expressed here feel so unsatisfactory--that deep down, most WP here don't think we can make progress any other way. And I say this as someone who held this belief, without realizing I held it, until quite recently. It's shockingly easy not to see, and our not seeing it is so destructive. When I told macon on an earlier thread that swpd could not go on business-as-usual, this is what I meant.

    [and I think, Jane and ThatDeborahGirl, this is part of what motivated me to push back a little on your advocacy for patience, and I wish I'd said it this way, that such patience plays right into this view that you are here to serve our ends... I know you have both said since then that you didn't mean it altruistically and that you're clear about the boundaries you're setting and lengths to which you're willing to go--I'm just clarifying, in hindsight, where I was coming from, since I didn't do a very good job at being clear the first time around.]

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  118. I just have to take a moment to laugh at how delicate and fragile our White acquaintances are. After being roundly criticised for their foolishness both James and frigatebird have gone completely silent. Perhaps they've 'gone on hiatus' from anti-racism too.

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  119. @Bradi

    Thanks for replying. I'm sad to meet another member of such a terrible club. I'm sorry you've experienced rape and brutality as well.

    For the record I agree that Racism can and often does feel like rape, a violation. Being demeaned, used, humiliated, degraded. And sometimes Racism literally IS rape and humiliation and degradation. I fully get that.

    But for my own sanity I have to remain keenly aware of the context for such violence, and the context in which I am most likely to experience that kind of harm.

    The CONTEXT of the original statement which got me started, was not made about Racism in general. The context was very specifically frigatebird saying that zie was going to try and speak up more often and take more risks on SWPD, even if that meant saying something hurtful.. into soul's suggestion for frigatebird to imagine zirself as no different than a man who beats and rapes a woman while claiming he's trying to unlearn his misogyny.

    I had to object. If for no other reason than I think that suggestion assigns WP waaaaaaaaay too much power IN THIS CONTEXT. It's not as if WP don't already have more than enough power to harm POC's without even trying in just about any situation. But to encourage them to imagine themselves as SO powerful and SO privileged that they can actually rape and brutalize a black person with a single thoughtless phrase in a blog. I'm sorry but NO. Talk about feeding the Pain-porn addicts here. (And yes I've noticed them too).

    I will NOT endow WP with supernatural power to harm POC on top of their already astronomical power to do so. In fact the very reason I participate on SWPD is specifically BECAUSE white people's power to harm me is severely minimized in this context.

    I am very sorry, however, that I ended up invalidating soul's feeling what she feels personally. That was wrong. The last thing this joint needs is more dismissiveness of POC feelings.

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  120. Instead of simply criticizing I'll offer an alternative suggestion to frigatebird's very problematic statement:

    "I'd rather inadvertently hurt and offend while going in the right direction than hurt and offend while not doing anything at all."

    Imagine that you are a man saying to a woman who you know has survived rape and horrendous violence that you'd rather risk saying things that shame and trigger her while trying to learn about her life experiences rather than shame and trigger her by saying nothing at all.

    Now this an analogy I could have gotten behind. It emphasizes the gravity and pain of racism and encourages anyone who takes the feelings of its victims seriously to be careful how they speak to me about racism. It does not encourage me to envision myself as being raped or re-victimized by any and every person who might speak thoughtlessly to me about my life experiences.

    As for James, I've also been waiting for your apology or at least an acknowledgment of what you said. This is a bad look. It creates an impression that maybe you weren't upset so much about soul's comment as just jumping at the chance to dogpile on a POC while another POC was calling her out. It's just.. it's a bad look, like I said. If I were you I'd speak up soon.

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  121. @Jane.

    I did not say that they could rape a person in the context of this blog. You are putting words in my mouth and it needs to stop.

    The author said this.
    '"I'd rather inadvertently hurt and offend while going in the right direction than hurt and offend while not doing anything at all."

    I said this
    I wonder how you would feel if a man said..
    I'd rather inadvertently rape and hit a woman whilst learning about sexism and misogyny than rape and hit a woman whilst not learning about them at all.


    I am not endowing WP with any supernatural power and the more you keep saying stuff about what you think I said, the further you keep moving away and extrapolating a whole set of things from it.

    My point was NOT to say watch what you say 'very carefully'.

    My point was.. saying that you would knowingly and keep being abusive in order to gain some higher level/learning about the impact of your abuse IS NOT ON.

    Please stop telling me what I intended. Stop telling me that your interpretation of my comment is the only way it can be interpreted.

    Please stop.

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  122. @Bradi,
    You know I didn't think I said warranted that level of questioning of 'why am I here'.

    I didn't say that I felt that each comment here felt like being raped, nor did I say a jerky throwaway comment felt like that.

    Nowhere would anyone put up with someone saying.. hey look! Its better that I inadvertently hurt you and take the lesson from it that hurting you is bad than for me not to cause hurt at all.

    Is racism rape. It damn sure is. But was my comment saying ... oh every flippant comment on this blog feels like it.... That MOST definitely not.

    ReplyDelete
  123. @Jane Laplain

    Thanks for clearing up what I had intended to say. I should have chosen my words better in the first place.

    @Rochelle

    My first instinct was not to bite. But after seeing what's gone down after my last post I'd like to say three things:

    1) I'm sorry for the wording I used in my second post. I should have been clearer.

    2) I was at work without internet access.

    3) I don't want to debate anything.

    I sort of wish I could go back to the time when I didn't know the least about anti-racist theory, when all I wanted to do was not be a jerk. Then again, I also wish racism didn't exist, but seeing as both are just as likely...

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  124. @Jasonburns..
    as often as you miss the boat with my comments.. you got it on this.

    "When you say that, your putting your "going in the right direction" above the hurt and offense your causing, as if it is inconsequential. yes, it's been said that one can not be white without hurting anyone, but to be flippant about it and say "well it can't be helped, at least i'm maturing as a person in the process of your pain" is shitty. Like that's supposed to make anyone feel better"

    Any other type of justification for continued abuse or 'ism' and this would be condemned as it deservedly should. But not for racism. oh no. It is acceptable in the eyes of the person who made that comment.

    Its simply acceptable for frigate bird to think that is the way to go, and you POC who are the recipients of my behaviour and racist enquiries... well thats just the cross you have to bear for my growth.

    oh well, what does it matter.

    ReplyDelete
  125. "It's shockingly easy not to see, and our not seeing it is so destructive. "

    It's not that shocking. Deep down, many of us don't really take racism that seriously. I mean we don't take it personally. WP here are for the most part taking an academic approach at best. Let's be honest, it is academic to us, so it's easy for us to detach while POC cannot. That's an imbalance that can't be resolved but should definitely be acknowledged.

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  126. I don't really have anything new to add to the conversation but I just wanted to mention that I think that as a white woman who has been sexually assaulted, I was at first taken aback by the comparison to rape, but after reading some of the more detailed explanations, it really made a lot of sense to me.

    I have been in conversations where I have feel obliged to out myself as a rape/molestation victim and it is brutal and hard and sometimes soul-crushing. I often put it out there only to have my experience, after I've painstakingly put the words together, dismissed and devalued by men or even sometimes by other women. So I feel like for me, reading the words of the people here who have been focusing on that experience and how they see it as similar has been very profound.

    I don't say this because I think you should be sharing these thoughts for my benefit, because I know when I've talked about those experiences, I haven't done it for the benefit of the people who make a mockery of my hurt. And I am not saying this because I feel like this should be about me. I wanted to say something to make sure that those of you having this conversation know that there are white people still reading and that I really, really value the fact that you shared that piece of yourself here because while I can't pretend to share many of your other experiences, I do know what it is like to out oneself as a rape survivor.

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  127. I sort of wish I could go back to the time when I didn't know the least about anti-racist theory, when all I wanted to do was not be a jerk. Then again, I also wish racism didn't exist, but seeing as both are just as likely...

    Yeah wangst some more about how you wish you weren't so burdened by trying to be an anti-racist. Just think about this: if you're so horrible at being an ally now, why the fuck do you think you were better when you were more likely to carelessly hurt POC? And It's ~~~~all~~~~ about White people's feelings again.

    ReplyDelete
  128. @jas0n,
    perhaps not shocking to a 3rd party observer, but I think shocking is entirely appropriate when discovering one's own apparent lack of humanity.

    ReplyDelete
  129. @soul

    My point was.. saying that you would knowingly and keep being abusive in order to gain some higher level/learning about the impact of your abuse IS NOT ON.

    Thank you for clarifying that.

    Please stop telling me what I intended. Stop telling me that your interpretation of my comment is the only way it can be interpreted.

    Fine I will stop telling you that. Please stop stop speaking as if the way I interpreted what you said was entirely unreasonable and off the wall. It was not.

    Are we done? Please say yes.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Jas0nburns said...
    “It's not that shocking. Deep down, many of us don't really take racism that seriously. I mean we don't take it personally. WP here are for the most part taking an academic approach at best. Let's be honest, it is academic to us, so it's easy for us to detach while POC cannot. That's an imbalance that can't be resolved but should definitely be acknowledged.”

    Frigatebird said...
    "I sort of wish I could go back to the time when I didn't know the least about anti-racist theory, when all I wanted to do was not be a jerk. Then again, I also wish racism didn't exist, but seeing as both are just as likely..."

    I’m going to use a religious/moral slant to address this, for as long as whites remain embedded in theory/debate, true change will never occur. Whites need to repent of the Sin of racism. Meaning, “a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, "change of mind and heart", or, "change of consciousness." Once this is realized, every thought- deed or attitude towards non-whites from this point on operates out of empathy, forever eroding the racial/analytical blinders that keep you distant. You’re no longer detached- distant or apathetic towards non-whites and you arrive at a point where a true capacity for POC occurs for the first time in your life. Anti-racism for you will no longer be a generic term, but rather- a genuine motivation “oriented towards the other.”

    The problems of race can indeed be resolved, but it takes more than just academic lip-service; you must be willing to step outside yourselves and learn a new thing- get beyond the debate. Because winning the debate on racism doesn’t seem to make you any less racist- or privileged. People can change, but they have to be motivated deep down inside and that’s where repentance takes place. The heart has to be addressed- not the analytical mind. To quote an old Negro spiritual, “I once was lost, but now am found; was blind (to racism) but now I see.” You’ll wear your privilege differently, but only after this happens.

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  131. Look, I was pissed and didn't think. I'm sorry that I stepped over the line and invaded your space. I'm sensitive to people replace other words with 'rape'. To me, it makes it something generic, something other than a very specific problem. I really do apologize for attacking you Soul. There is no excuse for me go after you Soul.

    @Rochelle, I've been VERY busy today.

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  132. frigatebird why the hell are you even talking?

    You said before that you felt justified in causing pain to others because you meant well. Then you complained that you now are forced to see the pain that your privilege caused. Its in our nature (as WP) to be callous, cold, inhumane to POC. But your words bring tears to my eyes...how can a human being say that to another human being after witnessing the assault that occurred to another human being as a fall out of your comment. And if your a woman double shame on you.

    ReplyDelete
  133. @soul
    "You know I didn't think I said warranted that level of questioning of 'why am I here'".
    I agree.

    "I didn't say that I felt that each comment here felt like being raped, nor did I say a jerky throwaway comment felt like that".
    No you didn't.

    "Nowhere would anyone put up with someone saying.. hey look! Its better that I inadvertently hurt you and take the lesson from it that hurting you is bad than for me not to cause hurt at all".
    No conscious person would put up it. That is not what you implied.

    Is racism rape. It damn sure is. But was my comment saying ... oh every flippant comment on this blog feels like it.... That MOST definitely not.
    No, your comment was concise and thoughtful.

    I was surprised at the swiftness with which people felt the need to pounce on your response to frigatebird. I was reading: The mention of rape is off limits in the discussion of racism, unless you "out" yourself first. The attacks against you, under the guise of "protecting" an anonymous rape victim, were making me ill.

    With the exception of JaneL, no one else revealed having been raped.
    Yet the "theater" of solidarity, was a good example of what I'd like to experience happening in reality when racism has to be addressed.

    peace,
    Bradi
    August 2, 2010 5:24 PM

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  134. Sorry for the derail, everyone. Back to listening.

    ReplyDelete
  135. "Yeah wangst some more about how you wish you weren't so burdened by trying to be an anti-racist."

    co-sign.

    frigatebird you sound like Cypher from the matrix.

    ReplyDelete
  136. M. Gibson,

    I think this is so profound:
    "Whites need to repent of the Sin of racism. Meaning, “a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, "change of mind and heart", or, "change of consciousness." Once this is realized, every thought- deed or attitude towards non-whites from this point on operates out of empathy, forever eroding the racial/analytical blinders that keep you distant."

    It reminds me of "the Eightfold Path" that Moi posted on her blog. She wrote "For white folks (who'd rather chew off their left arm than wind up like that asshole up there) trying to productively contribute to a race discussion, I suggest you look to our Eastern siblings who suggest ever so brilliantly:

    Right View
    Right Intention
    Right Speech
    Right Action
    Right Livelihood
    Right Effort
    Right Mindfulness
    Right Concentration"

    The conversation in the comments about what this means I find really insightful and helpful. But I think, at root, it may be a different way of getting at your point.

    ReplyDelete
  137. M. Gibson- I love what you said. It IS exactly right. It made me teary-eyed. It is so simple! Undoubtedly, someone will comment on the religious/christian overtones of your statement and the debating will begin afresh. :(

    Last night, I was back again to see if anything had changed in this discussion, but no.

    I am new here, and've only commented a few times. I love reading the posts and some of the comments were very helpful to me. I thought, there is hope! Because I feel myself becoming bitter, which pisses me off because I feel that White people don't think twice about all they do that negatively affects not only me, but my children. But here I am, angry and distrustful ALL THE TIME.

    But as I've been reading through the archives, I see it almost always devolves into debate. About wording and the like. There's no listening going on, no learning, at least from what I can tell by the comments.

    I think this happens because people want to deflect, to stall. They're really into that white-washed tomb deal because it's easy. Many people in this discussion have mentioned 'lip service'. And that's what it seems to be. And it is so fucking disappointing. Again. Again and again this happens. Not just here but everywhere.

    I was complaining about this to my husband and he asked why I keep reading this blog then, if it's so irritating and I get so disappointed. And it's because I keep waiting for that miracle, for someone to just accept what is being said and, as M. Gibson stated, REPENT!

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  138. "Is racism rape. It damn sure is. But was my comment saying ... oh every flippant comment on this blog feels like it.... That MOST definitely not."

    No, your comment was concise and thoughtful.


    I did not find the comment concise and thoughtful. I interepreted it in the context of an ongoing conversation about how WP behave here in the comments forum. I accept that my reading was not at all what soul intended (which I am GLAD to finally know). But to my mind the analogy was inflammatory without sufficient clarification to separate how Racism affects POCs in general and how the WP who comment here have affected POC's here in general.

    It was hurtful of me to question soul's presence here rather than simply ask her for clarification of what I found deeply troubling. For which I am deeply sorry.

    As for the 'theatre of solidarity" I'm confused, because, other than James and his mindblowingly inapprpriate comment, I saw only Nothing-too-Odd and Pistolina agreeing with me that they (initially) found the rape analogy problematic. Neither of them seemed to be speaking from a sinister place. Did I miss others?

    I'm belaboring this point because I feel like I'm being flat out ignored, as tho my experience of soul's comment has been judged invalid out of hand.

    So I want, no I NEED to make it clear that it is very TRIGGERING to abruptly introduce the topic of Rape and Violence into any conversation, especially into a conversation about Race. Some of us, in addition to feeling raped by Racism in general, have literally BEEN raped in a specifically racialized context. Some of us have been raped literally BECAUSE we were POC.

    So yes Rape is terriby relevant to Racism. But it cannot be taken for granted as a concise metaphor that everybody immediately "gets" with no problem.

    I am not convinced that I was the only person who might have been triggered by soul's comment in the context that it was made. Of course I might have read the entire threadflow wrong from the start. If my reading skills need work, show me the way! I'd like to avoid being triggered again in future dialogue of this nature. If that's impossible here, I need to hear that too.

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  139. Ok clearly this is too raw of a topic for me to be able to participate helpfully. I will be going on a little hiatus of my own.

    It's disappointing that a POC's request for commenters to be more careful with the use of violent imagery has devolved into a situation where people feel debated, dismissed or forced to choose sides. I will accept responsbility for my own part in this dynamic, stop talking, and just leave for a while.

    Apologies to anybody who was alarmed or hurt by my comments, especially soul.

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  140. @ Jane you are visible, and your perspective valuable.
    I read that you're feeling "tender" right now, and I can understand why you may feel the need to step away from the forum. I'd like to offer another perspective for consideration before and if you go.

    I believe I see where and how the discussion spun off in an unintended direction.

    " If my reading skills need work, show me the way! I'd like to avoid being triggered again in future dialogue of this nature. If that's impossible here, I need to hear that too."

    Your reading skills is not the problem. The filter with which you used to ingest the rape analogy may be your issue.

    Jane said..."I interpreted it in the context of an ongoing conversation about how WP behave here in the comments forum."

    Your interpreted context is incorrect.

    Soul's analogy was not about how WP behave here in the comments forum.

    Soul did not equate her experience with WP in the comment forums to rape.

    Jane, it was in your initial response that you incorrectly introduced the connection of soul's analogy to the forum:

    "Wha wha WHAT??!? I'm sorry but I'm going to have to object to this analogy, to the nth power!! Being ignored or derailed or talked over on a blog is NOT the same as being raped or beaten."


    In the context of racism, Soul's analogy was spot on in exposing the absurdity of frigatebird's stance of justifying the abuse of POC for "educational" purposes.

    When you are able, revisit this thread, and read it through a different lens. It might help you manage your triggers, should a rape and racism comparison be made on a blog or in your life.

    I hope I have been helpful, and I mean to be supportive. If I have failed, and been the cause of additional confusion, I'll say I'm sorry now. Just in case I don't get another chance.

    peace,
    Bradi






















    August 3, 2010 12:52 PM

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  141. As a former sufferer of PTSD, I can see where Jane is coming from. For some people, it's not a question of "tenderness" or "filter."

    When I had PTSD, there were certain smells, visuals, and trigger phrases that could send me into an asthma attack or even a dissociative fugue state. Someone who suffers from PTSD can't interpret. They don't have time to interpret. It just happens automatically when they experience certain things that trigger a bad experience.

    I think where Jane's point is valid is that the description soul provided was a descriptive visual of a rape in action, an individual case of rape. That can be a dissociative trigger for some people, and it's a very common one. It doesn't matter how soul wrote it, because it actually describes a man raping and hitting a woman, it could actually have that effect on someone.

    I'm not saying that I think soul's comment was wrong or off-target-- like I said above, I think a lot of the commentary on it was really valuable. I just wanted to explain why someone can't necessarily sit back and think about a comment if it does have serious psychological triggers for them. I don't mean to justify someone merely being "upset" or "oversensitive," which some people sometimes describe as being triggered, but this is a very real concern and I felt it might be helpful to explain why it isn't always possible for some people to address it as you have.

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  142. @pistolina..

    I did NOT provide a descriptive of a rape in action. WTF!

    I respect your right to utterly disagree with me,
    but wehat you have said here is beyond the pale
    I did not give a descriptive of a rape in action.


    This is what I said:
    'I wonder how you would feel if a man said..
    I'd rather inadvertently rape and hit a woman whilst learning about sexism and misogyny than rape and hit a woman whilst not learning about them at all.'

    ReplyDelete
  143. @Bradi

    Thank you. Tremendously. I really do appreciate your taking the time to address me directly. Soul too. All the oblique commentary around what I said, rather than to me for saying it has been distressing.

    I will have to re-read the whole thread later when I'm done. I came back because somebody told me someone had responded to my question. I still need time.

    @ Pistolina

    Thank you SO much.

    I fully cop to being "sensitive" on the day I initiated the comment. Some days are better than others. As a survivor I'm sure you understand this.

    I'm very curious to know how you overcame your PTSD. IThats been a crippling issue for me years now. Therapy myhas failed. Time has failed. So I just deal with good stretches and my bad stretches.

    I wouldn't ask you to discuss that with me here so if you are so inclined to share please write me at janelaplain AT Gmail.

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  144. @soul

    As much as I have come to respect you I have to take a line from you: PLEASE STOP.

    Typing the line hit and rape a woman is in fact a description of a violent act. It does in fact conjure the imagery of a man hitting and raping a woman. This is not cynical debate. This is a discussion about the power of words and imagery. You chose this analogy because you felt it would illustrate your point. It works. It's even valid in the context I've finally come to understand.

    It is also triggering for some people. For ME. No its not your fault that something so simple can trigger me. But you've been informed already that it has and does... You do not have to take back what you said. You do not have to defend what you said any more. We are all well aware now what you meant by that. You clarified yourself. Thank You! This isn't a conversation about you and your intent anymore. This is a conversation about how words, in this case yours, can be misinterpreted by some for LEGITIMATE reasons. There is more at stake here besides your words not being perfectly understood by one and all. Some of us, due to other serious issues (related directly to their own experience with Racism, no less), are currently unable to interpret your words in the spirit you intended them.

    RESPECTFULLY, and leaving for real this time lest this outrages start again. Dag!

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  145. Queen of the CynicsAugust 4, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    think where Jane's point is valid is that the description soul provided was a descriptive visual of a rape in action, an individual case of rape

    waht? you been reading the same comment as me?


    sooo we done publicly flogging soul now or is someone else gonna sweep in and wag their fingers in her face?

    ReplyDelete
  146. @Queen

    are we done invalidating another WOC's feelings instead of soul? Two wrongs ain't making it right.

    lurker, woc and ptsd sufferer here.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Soul, I'm really sorry, because I obviously worded my explanation badly. I didn't intend to imply that you were using explicit description. I'm honestly not sure how to word it better. I genuinely meant no hurt, and I tried to make it clear that I do not think you were wrong to make your comment, and I think your comment was a valuable one. I don't disagree with you at all. I genuinely apologize for wording my explanation in a way that hurt you.

    @Queen of the Cynics, yes, we are reading the same comment, and that's exactly what I was trying to explain, is how differently something like that can read to someone who has severe psychological triggers. As I said to soul, it is in absolutely no way intended as a criticism of her. It is an explanation of how PTSD and other illnesses that cause severe triggers work. It's not anyone's fault, it's just that many times, for people with these kinds of triggers, it's not possible to go back and review a comment later, or to engage with a comment from a different perspective, because all they are seeing is "trigger, trigger, trigger," and often seeing the trigger has profound physical and psychological symptoms associated with it. It doesn't matter how accurate or good or right or appropriate the triggering remark is. It could be the best remark ever made. The two are entirely separate problems.

    I just felt like I saw people arguing who were all working from different perspectives and I was hoping to help by shedding some light on why there was a disconnect, especially when I saw Jane asking if it was reasonable to ask if this could be a safe space for her or not. I hope that is a better explanation. Again, I honestly do not think anyone did anything wrong and I am sorry if my comment implied otherwise because it was not my intent to imply that.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Queen of the CynicsAugust 4, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    i'm not invalidating jane's feelings; soul did not say what jane and pistolina says she said.

    frigatebird said
    I'd rather inadvertently hurt and offend while going in the right direction than hurt and offend while not doing anything at all.


    I wonder how you would feel if a man said..
    I'd rather inadvertently rape and hit a woman whilst learning about sexism and misogyny than rape and hit a woman whilst not learning about them at all.


    you see??? what she said is is pretty much something like "would you tell a paraplegic person 'i'll keep parking in your space even though i don't have a disability because i'm making progress as an ally in abelism'?". not 'saying bigoted statements is just like raping someone'.

    and not to mention RVCBard's nail-on-the-head comment all the way upthread:

    This interrogation of a real person regarding their own personal experience with rape, especially when they have not volunteered that information, along with the flat-out dismissal of her viewpoint as inappropriate (regardless of how true or accurate that is), along with the constant drilling of her psyche in a public forum, strikes me as extremely disturbing and more problematic than the initial comment itself. That's my way of saying that this whole dynamic is triggering (for other reasons) and it would be decent of people to stop now.

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  149. @ m. gibson

    What you wrote seems very true to me.

    ReplyDelete
  150. @Pistolina.
    I know how PTSD works.
    What you said I said, and what I actually said are completely miles apart.
    You've accused me of providing a descriptive analysis. I DID NOT

    As much as I fucking hate the shit that is going on, I am not going to let that go by.

    ReplyDelete
  151. @Jane..

    I can't see how else to clarify what I have said, in my own style without hurting you.

    For me,that is unacceptable.
    Please come back and provide the depth you have been providing of your viewpoint and your angle. IT IS IMPORTANT

    I will give you the space you need and say no more.

    My need to clarify an issue shouldn't come at your expense, nor at the expense of anyone reading.

    It pains me to see how my comment is being used and viewed and the extrapolations which are made from it, but them there are the breaks, once its out there, it is out there.

    I share your pain and frustration, I would offer my email in order to completely and fully apologise, however I am not sure this is appropriate thing to do and I am unsure of how to go about it.

    i noticed you left your email address, but since our discourse here has been quite volatile and it seems this subject has affected both of our sensibilities, I feel any correspondence from me, without your express permission to use your email address would be inappropriate and possibly just plain wrong, (no matter what the content)

    If my apology via this medium will suffice, then please, I beg of you..
    receive it from the whence it came..
    from the depths of my soul and from the inner most portions of my heart.

    I cannot apologise enough.
    I know this does not erase the harm that has taken place, or the bitter feelings or disappointment.

    I have learnt a lot from this, my hurt, my experience, my anger, irritation, my passion and my brevity for expression does not happen in a vacuum.

    You, your comments, your emotions, your experience, your hurt, your anger and your passion reside right along side me.

    Jane Laplain

    I unreservedly apologise to you.

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  152. @lurker Linda... Queen of cynics...Bradi... Rochelle... RVCBard, Angelofdeath, Jason Burns... and yes .... James...
    and everyone else, I'm afraid I cannot bare to scroll up anymore so I'm calling names from memory

    I apologise, for the way this thread has gone on account of my comment.
    I don't care who is right, who is wrong, who stepped out of line, who didn't.

    I beg all of you to please not debate with one another over who is hurting the most, or who is not allowed to speak or who is being silenced... in our own ways we are all hurting, we all feel silenced, we all value our pain simply so that we might never experience it again.

    I am afraid words are now failing me....
    I am sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  153. RVCBard, Rochelle, and especially soul,

    Against all better judgement, I'm posting here (let's see if this comment even gets through), not because I value this site. It's proven it's basically like any and all discussions of race with WP, null AND void. I'm here to ask all of you to STOP POSTING HERE.

    No, I don't think you're making BW look bad or am at all embarrassed by you. But I see you all, ESPECIALLY soul, getting abused (YUP I SAID IT) here. The SAME tactics used to abuse a person in a relationship are the same ones used in racism and they are being used here. Obfuscation, twisting of words to make the utterer seem like the bad guy and therefore deserving of the abused piled upon them and outright fuckin' LYING about them.

    And all for what? How long have all of us been on here? How many comments did we leave? How many words did we write? How much of our hearts have we poured out? And what has been the result. I swear it's like Day fuckin' ONE around here. WP's minds go into automatic reset when it comes to racism. They learn something and then their minds seem to get wiped of all that knowledge. Either that or THEY JUST DON'T GIVE A FUCK.

    I've been talking about race on the internet in various forums for almost 15 years. I've TRIED talking to WP about race in person for longer than that. I WAS once one of the "Good Darkies" constantly trying to be the shining example of Negrohood and a "credit to my race" to show and convince WP that Blacks were not only human but as good as they were.

    I've finally come to the conclusion that is all pointless. Utterly pointless.

    WP haven't learned ANYTHING. Well they have learned to barely mask their utter hatred and contempt for PoC, but not very convincingly. It constantly peeks out. They've learned how to obfuscate and appear non-racist while keeping every ounce of their White privilege. They come on these sites not to learn but to quibble and debate and dissect to see what the LEAST amount of effort they must do to keep us from complaining. They don't want to get rid of racism or White privilege. They just want PoC to stop complaining about it so they won't have to feel guilty anymore.

    I urge you all to leave to save yourselves. These people do not deserve your thoughts and words however carefully crafted or dispassionately delivered. They really don't.

    They really don't want ANY BW here. In fact, one of them has complained that somehow, we evil nigger bitches are keeping his precious Asian women from participating here. Typical. So fuckin' typical it's sickening.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Part Two,

    See, we got macon's little site off the ground. We were good enough for that. Now that it's up and running, our services are no longer required. Now, our insight and daring to notice huge holes and contradictory acts are getting in the way of this site becoming a major go-to site for anti-racism and preventing macon from becoming the next Tim Wise, the go-to guy for race issues (because why bother with those icky cullud folk when a Nice White Guy(TM) will do). DUDE FLOUNCED HIS OWN DAMN SITE because even the Good Darkies didn't think he, this site or the WP who post here were about shit (and good job trying to call out said Good Darkies against the Bad 'Uns). You kind of need the backing of grateful, admiring culluds if you're going to presume to speak for them.

    So let their precious Asian women or whomever participate on this waste of bandwidth. Use your finite time, energies and resources to help yourselves and other BW. At least keep to those sites we've managed to carve out for ourselves as TRUE safe spaces. Let others get off their asses and take on these people. Let others argue (or not) with these folks. Let them hash over each bullshit argument they come up with as to why they should be excused from treating us as human. Let others actually do their share of the heavy lifting for a change.

    It's time for us to stop trying to engage these people and time for us to start living as if we truly do believe all that we've been saying here, that we are sentient, subject, agent human beings deserving of such treatment. And if we don't get it, we make the perp pay. Because the so-called "progress" that WP have made via race? Has all been about avoiding punishment. WP didn't have any change of heart. They were afraid of all those new laws now on the books and the enforcement of said laws. They just modified their racism accordingly. They found loopholes and have used them and continue to. The only thing that'll stop WP is fear of punishment. They still won't respect you or see you as human like them, but they'll be too scared of remonstrations and retributions at least not to attempt to ACT the part.

    Sistas, SAVE YOURSELVES! Be selfish! I’m all for BW being selfish as hell because what has our generosity ever gotten us but this type of treatment. We need to think of ourselves first because damn sure no one else is. And part of that selfishness is self-care. We need to stop being everyone’s mule. We need to start demanding LOYALTY AND RECIPROCITY! Sorry, but we need to get ours FIRST before we bust our asses to help others! And yes, I’m talking about other PoC that stand by and let BW take lumps for them and not do SHIT when we are attacked. We need to stop giving our work and loyalty so damn cheaply. If we are precious so are our efforts and allegiance. They cannot be had for a bowl of pottage!

    So leave this site to its fate. It is not our business nor problem anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  155. WTF? Witchsistah, this is one black women coming out of lurking to say that you don't speak for me, and that does NOT make me a "Good Darkie." Seriously, what. the. HELL?

    Yes, BW can help each other in other spaces more than they could in this one. But that's not what this one is for. This one had other values. It helped me see sometimes that I'm actually not crazy. It helped me articulate racism.So yeah, in some ways, it helped me. And I've also seen white people here who clearly DO "give a fuck," and who clearly do something against racism, sometimes with the knowledge and encouragement they've received here.

    Your act doesn't impress me, and it doesn't speak for me either, and that does not make me anyone's "good darkie," and I'm sure as hell not about to be yours.

    ReplyDelete
  156. @soul

    hit me back at my email. I'm janelaplain, gmail. we should have done this much sooner, honestly.

    ReplyDelete
  157. KLD,

    Then my message wasn't for you especially since your name wasn't in the address line. You want to stay for whathefuckever reason then stay.

    And I don't have an "act," "routine" or a "repetoire" either. I have my PoV and it's obviously not yours so don't worry about it.

    You want to stay, stay. I'm not your controller and it's your blood pressure.

    ReplyDelete
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