going back to africa

Reunifying African diaspora across the Americas with each other, their pride, history, culture, true homes & identity…

Archive for the tag “PoC”

White Fragility in conclusion

Conclusion
White people often believe that multicultural / anti-racist education is only necessary for those who interact with “minorities” or in “diverse” environments. However, the dynamics discussed here suggest that it is critical that all white people build the stamina to sustain conscious & explicit engagement with race. When whites posit race as non-operative because there are few, if any, PoC in their immediate environments, Whiteness is reinscribed ever more deeply. When whites only notice “raced others,” we reinscribe Whiteness by continuing to posit Whiteness as universal & non-Whiteness as other. Further, if we can’t listen to or comprehend the perspectives of PoC, we cannot bridge cross-racial divides. A continual retreat from the discomfort of authentic racial engagement results in a perpetual cycle that works to hold racism in place. While anti-racist efforts ultimately seek to transform institutionalized racism, anti-racist education may be most effective by starting at the micro level.

 The goal is to generate the development of perspectives & skills that enable all people, regardless of racial location, to be active initiators of change. Since all individuals who live within a racist system are enmeshed in its relations, this means that all are responsible for either perpetuating or transforming that system. However, although all individuals play a role in keeping the system active, the responsibility for change is not equally shared. White racism is ultimately a white problem & the burden for interrupting it belongs to white people. Conversations about Whiteness might best happen within the context of a larger conversation about racism. It is useful to start at the micro level of analysis & move to the macro, from the individual out to the interpersonal, societal & institutional. Starting with the individual & moving outward to the ultimate framework for racism – Whiteness – allows for the pacing that is necessary for many white people for approaching the challenging study of race. In this way, a discourse on Whiteness becomes part of a process rather than an event.

 Many white people have never been given direct or complex information about racism before & often cannot explicitly see, feel, or understand it. PoC are generally much more aware of racism on a personal level, but due to the wider society’s silence & denial of it, often do not have a macro-level framework from which to analyze their experiences. Further, dominant society “assigns” different roles to different groups of color & a critical consciousness about racism varies not only between individuals within groups, but also between groups. For example, many African Americans relate having been “prepared” by parents to live in a racist society, while many Asian heritage people say that racism was never directly discussed in their homes. A macro-level analysis may offer a framework to understand different interpretations & performances across & between racial groups. In this way, all parties benefit & efforts are not solely focused on whites (which works to re-center Whiteness).

 Talking directly about white supremacy & privilege, in addition to providing much needed information & shared definitions, is also in itself a powerful interruption of common (& oppressive) discursive patterns around race. At the same time, white people often need to reflect upon racial information & be allowed to make connections between the information & their own lives. Educators can encourage & support white participants in making their engagement a point of analysis. White Fragility doesn’t always manifest in overt ways; silence & withdrawal are also functions of fragility. Who speaks, who doesn’t speak, when, for how long & with what emotional valence are all keys to understanding the relational patterns that hold oppression in place. Viewing white anger, defensiveness, silence & withdrawal in response to issues of race through the framework of White Fragility may help frame the problem as an issue of stamina-building & thereby guide our interventions accordingly.
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Reverse Racism: DEBUNKED

Racism consists of both prejudice & discrimination based on social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different races to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities.

Prejudice is a feeling of dislike towards a racial or ethnic group & discrimination is action taken to harm those whom you have prejudices against. The only persons on the planet who suffer from institutionalized prejudices are people of color (PoC), i.e. those of African descent, indigenous peoples, ‘Mexicans‘ & Asians (including those that are mixed with one or more of these ethnic groups), under the guise of white supremacy.

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Historically & including modern society, all of these groups have been oppressed based solely on their race/ethnicity by those who had the power & strong enough desire to do so: white people. Via laws, social norms, ideals & customs, discrimination has been institutionalized & has been able to continue by shared beliefs in white supremacy, which rationalizes racist actions & mindsets. White privilege is the fact that all white people benefit from the ongoing legacy of practiced racism (whether they are personally racist or not). Those who do not believe that white privilege exists are those who are enjoying the benefits of it. White people often tell black people not to attribute slavery to their current situations & positions despite the fact that slavery & the following systematic racism is how whites got into theirs!

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Reverse racism does not exist because PoC do not have any institutions in operation that specifically work against whites that they are able to benefit from, nor is there any historical evidence to suggest that any attempts to do so by PoC have ever been made. The reverse racism theory was concocted as a weak defense for white supremacist ideals. The reverse of racism would be NO racism at all, would it not? Some PoC are indeed prejudiced against whites, but even that is mainly based on generation after generation of them living under the institutionalized racism that is white supremacy. It’s not like racism, which is irrational & oppressive.

None of us asked to be born, nor did we get to choose our race. We are not responsible for the actions of our ancestors, but today’s whites do hold responsibility for allowing white supremacy to continue. If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. So just living comfortably within white privilege without actively attempting to put racism to an end makes you no better than your predecessors who crafted it.

Being able to enjoy the benefits of white privilege does not mean that all white peoples lives are, or have the capability of being ‘perfect’ – everyone has problems. That doesn’t mean that the benefits can’t be reaped in the other various layers of a white persons life. Having an inherit unfair advantage doesn’t mean you’ll always win. There are lots of minorities who are doing far better than many whites. Whites can face oppression too via sexism & homophobia (just like straight black men are able to benefit from straight & male privileges), but they cannot face oppression based on their race alone because again, there isn’t any racism being institutionalized against them (not even the Irish). There’s really no debating who is being oppressed more (& in much harsher ways) than who; that is crystal clear…

Programs like welfare & Affirmative Action, or the NAACP (which was actually established & controlled by white Jews) were enacted to help people overcome the obstacle of institutionalized racism (not to expand racial inequalities or seek preferential treatment), but they have not succeeded in eliminating white supremacy & about 40% of welfare recipients are whites & that’s who welfare was originally erected to help, not PoC. There is no doubt in my mind that many whites are more than happy to pay into the welfare system, which many times has the tendency to cause it’s recipients to become apathetic. This retains them in low income neighborhoods, which keeps them out of many predominately white, economically sound communities. Quoting Dick Gregory, regarding the term neighborhood: a hood is something you put over something else that you don’t want anybody to see. They’d much rather PoC be in the slums & out of their sight, than living just as well as them & their children playing with & procreating with their sons & daughters.

Claiming to be “colorblind” (to not recognize people by their race at all) is actually quite disrespectful & also an act of racism. It prevents people from acknowledging & being sympathetic to all the struggles of PoC, erasing their cultures, history & personal experiences. Pretending that we’re all equal now because Obama is POTUS & Oprah is a billionaire & that just not talking about race at all will make racism magically go away, is a less than half-assed attempt to rid the world of racial injustices. Different ethnic backgrounds & cultures are real & do exist, so to be colorblind (albeit well intentioned) & overlook them is to deny part of a persons identity & is passively racist. Diversity is not the root of racism, white supremacy is.

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So if you’re white & reading this, now fully aware of your privilege & that reverse racism is nothing more than a myth & you are genuinely a decent person, you will use your privileges to help put an end to white supremacy. This requires reeducating other whites who are in denial & actively pursing other ways to stop racial injustices from continuing. Without such efforts, true equality will never exist!

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor ~ Desmond Tutu

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