Talking about race with white people

731 posts / 0 new
Last post
kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

As for making this about me pretending to be more enlightened, I'm not the person implying that I am not influenced personally by racism, or that I get to just pick and choose what is valid about others' experience of it.

So please tell who that person is. You have set up one of your claissic strawman arguments again. Nobody is saying those things they are merely talking points that you are using to make yourself into the good guy in your narrative about how you get it when nobody else  does. IMO that makes you a self indulgent white man playing at the saviour role. I personally find it rather nauseating.

Boze

The "white worker" narrative is easy to explain: nature abhors a vacuum, class-consciousness has been declining for decades, and the lower classes continue to get the shaft. You have this large group of people who feel disempowered, and should feel disempowered, because they are, by virtue of class, near the bottom of the pyramid. The gap in social power and access to resources between the wealthy and the less wealthy is greater than at any time before in human history, and it's not just the super rich that I'm talking about - the gap between the middle class and the underclass is massive and will only increase as automation destroys more low-skill jobs. Part of this gap is IQ. If you have an IQ of less than 90 there are very few jobs out there that you can do, and fewer every year, because robots will be doing those jobs soon. Robots may be doing ALL of our jobs soon but it will be the low-IQ jobs that go first. Part of the gap is also technological sophistication. If you're poor and don't know how to use a computer you are most likely fucked. Jordan Peterson talked about this in one of his recent classroom lectures, on trait openness and IQ, which I linked in another thread. It's worth watching. I know that many on the left don't want to believe that IQ really constrains people's destinies that much - well we'd better get over that, because it does. We don't know how to raise people's IQs other than by preventing the things that we know lower IQ, like malnutrition and lack of exercise. The argument from the right is that these people just need to work harder, and that is BS as well. What work will people do? Even if jobs for everyone did exist today, it's very difficult to imagine them existing in 100 years.

Anyway, you also have the growing awareness of male privilege and white privilege and the rise of identity politics, at the same time that class-consciousness has been disappearing from the conversations that most are having. The NDP don't talk about class, not really. It's not talked about much in left-wing academic circles, or in the wider intellectual and/or activist culture. I think Occupy with its talk of the 1% and the 99% was the last time that there was any hint of a serious discussion about economic stratification. Since then there is appropriate focus on environmentalism, but that is divorced from the practical concerns of most (not all) working class or unemployed people. And race, gender, sexual orientation, and other axes of oppression are talked about. So the "white working class," particularly men, hear about this and feel left out of the conversation even if they can't articulate why. The fact is that under this narrative there is no way for a white man to locate himself at the center, to position himself as the hero, except through self-mortification, which is not really so heroic, and which many will simply reject. Every man has a need to imagine himself as the hero of his own story. This is not to complain about hurting "white fee-fees." This is a practical concern. This is the only way to bring people onside. Do we want to radicalize and make allies of these people or don't we? Once we remember that poor and working class white people are also oppressed by virtue of class, and that this oppression cannot be discounted as less important than racial or gendered oppression, it should be obvious that we need to bring class back into the discussion.

But that can't be enough that. White identity politics are the inevitable outcome of decades of identity politics. This inevitably means "white pride." You cannot build a coherent white identity around anti-racism - and "white identity" is inevitable when everyone else has a racialized identity. I don't know any way to effectively counter "white pride" other than by appealing to common humanity and common interests against identity politics, or by appealing to class consciousness. "The system" is quite happy for us to bicker among tribes while it goes on consuming the very planet we depend on, leaving many of us with scraps if we are lucky. But as long as we say that other groups must organize themselves along racial lines, even for their own protection, white people are going to do the same, and we have to confront that harsh reality. Either black pride and aboriginal pride are inherently bad, or white pride is not inherently bad, and needs to be somehow transmuted and rehabilitated. My own feeling as a white person is that that's impossible - white pride will always be inherently toxic - but I'm uncomfortable telling members of other groups that their group pride is inherently toxic. And yet we can't have it both ways, and trying to do so is what has got us to this point, with Donald Trump as President and a nascent white identity politics threatening to get uglier and uglier. So here we are. How do we proceed?

The only way to get people to do good is by appealing to their sense of heroism. That's because the idea of "virtuous" was actually extracted from the idea of "hero," or perhaps more accurately "a person who is worthy of emulation." People need to point to a figure worthy of emulation and say "I want to be like that. That is the right way to be." You can't conceive of "the right way to be" without doing that. But this also raises uncomfortable points for the left, because the reason you want to be the hero is because you are also in competition with your fellows. Not everybody can win most things, and we'd best resign ourselves to that, because even if you can't win most things, there is still plenty for you to fight for. But the only reason to fight is to be "good," to be "the hero."

6079_Smith_W

I was trying to avoid engaging with your personal stuff out of respect, kropotkin, but since you ask directly, I really wish life was how you describe it at 399, but how things may be with your family does not change how things are in the world, or the difference between their experience of it and yours. As for downplaying systemic racism at 435 and elsewhere, if your benchmark is a KKK membership you might be right, but the two studies I just posted show that at least in terms of hiring racism is pretty ingrained.

And there are claims throughout this thread by numerous people trying to reduce not listening to others' experience of racism to rejecting something which is illogical, or falling back on the fundamental right to accept or reject something (which relates as much as the false claims that people are being told to shut up). 

Not wanting to go there, but if you are going to make claims like that about me, it seems a bit upside down, because if anything I am not claiming enlightenment.  I can think of things I do which are racist, and I think listening to others' experience is good because it makes one more aware of the subtle ways in which most of us do it, often without realizing it.

6079_Smith_W

Boze wrote:
White identity politics are the inevitable outcome of decades of identity politics. This inevitably means "white pride." You cannot build a coherent white identity around anti-racism - and "white identity" is inevitable when everyone else has a racialized identity. I don't know any way to effectively counter "white pride" other than by appealing to common humanity and common interests against identity politics, or by appealing to class consciousness.

I know, just like back in Weimar Germany, and the Jim Crow south. It was all because of the radical anti-racist identity politics, right?

Boze

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Boze wrote:
White identity politics are the inevitable outcome of decades of identity politics. This inevitably means "white pride." You cannot build a coherent white identity around anti-racism - and "white identity" is inevitable when everyone else has a racialized identity. I don't know any way to effectively counter "white pride" other than by appealing to common humanity and common interests against identity politics, or by appealing to class consciousness.

I know, just like back in Weimar Germany, and the Jim Crow south. It was all because of the radical anti-racist identity politics, right?

You're an idiot.

6079_Smith_W

I was raised by a statistician. Aside from “always have a tool box,” he passed on this: you can’t solve problems you don’t account for. Most of the data we have is neither new nor precise. A study in 2010 found that visible minorities were less than five per cent of people in senior decision-making positions in media. Seven years ago — that’s the most recent exhaustive data we have.

Federally regulated broadcasters are required to report their diversity data to the CRTC. Yet it took an access to information request to get the CBC’s diversity data. That data revealed 90 per cent of the public broadcaster’s staff is white. This is at an organization that has high profile racialized stars and a department committed to Indigenous news and issues.

Without any reflection within, it is easy then to be blindsided by Black Lives Matters protest at Pride, the still-simmering outrage following Desmond Cole’s departure and the fallout from the “appropriation prize” fiasco. You can’t hear from communities you don’t see.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/06/21/canadian-media-con...

Boze

I have argued "if P, then Q."

Smith has countered with "well here in this situation we have Q's with no P. Therefore it is not the case that if P, then Q."

Hopefully it is clear why this is falacious.

6079_Smith_W

And especially fallacious because there are absolutely no connections between modern white power movements and the Nazis, or the Ku Klux Klan

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And there are claims throughout this thread by numerous people trying to reduce not listening to others' experience of racism to rejecting something which is illogical

"Reducing it" to?

Sorry, but I'm going to reject things that are illogical.  For what reason should I not?

Quote:
or falling back on the fundamental right to accept or reject something

"Falling back on"?  If you agree it's a fundamental right then under what circumstances should it be used?

If you want to call a bunch of us racists for not standing up and piously saluting "misogynoir", do it.  But please... enough is enough with pretending that making up my own mind both

a) is

b) is not

 a problem.

As far as that loopy-ass mom in Missisauga goes, I see that, I acknowledge that, and I oppose that.  No deflecting, no ignoring, no pretending.  So I'm done now?  Or I should lower my head because she and I might share a ninth cousin, three times removed?

6079_Smith_W

No one is saying you shouldn't reject things which are illogical. What I said was that it has about as much relevance to this conversation  as the false claims of being ordered to shut up.

Most recently I asked if there was anything irrational about the Ryerson Black Liberation Collective demands regarding tuition, faculty and staff quotas, and the history of the institution. I haven't heard any response. Same goes for any of the complaints of systemic racism here.

I get that there are problems with some of the tactics and actions, but near as I can see that, and these arguments about logic that never turn into actual engagement are just a way of not recognizing that people have legitimate complaints about real problems.

And you have used it enough. I presume you know what the word misogynoir means, eh? No one is piously saluting it. It is real discrimination. I think I might have used it once, in response to your repetition. So I am not sure what you are talking about.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Most recently I asked if there was anything irrational about the Ryerson Black Liberation Collective demands regarding tuition, faculty and staff quotas, and the history of the institution. I haven't heard any response.

Oh, sorry.  I didn't realize they had other demands, apart from demanding that Henry Parada must freeze in the dark.

But as far as tuition goes, sure, every student has the right to say that they're paying too much.  As far as faculty and staff go, I'm not sure what to say that wouldn't just be anecdotal, but I've been a part of Ryerson -- as a part-time student, a degree student, staff, and contract teaching faculty -- since 1993.  I'd be reluctant to say they're "perfect", but they're not some white-bread Harvard-North.  I don't know how I could have met and worked with so many non-Europeans at Ryerson in the last ~25 years if white hegemony is the problem.  Since the article you've cited, Ryerson got a brand new president!  Look him up!

Quote:
I get that there are problems with some of the tactics and actions, but near as I can see that, and these arguments about logic that never turn into actual engagement are just a way of not recognizing that people have legitimate complaints about real problems.

I think that's only because we've come to want to see disagreements as being part of a "brawl for it all".

I don't keep referring to "misogynoir" in some kind of attempt to prove that we live in a post-race society.  I keep referring to it because, IMHO, it was way off the rails, but someone lost a career over it anyway.  Was it stupid?  I say yes.  Is there still racism?  I say yes.

Quote:
And you have used it enough. I presume you know what the word misogynoir means, eh?

I've been told what it means.

 

6079_Smith_W

No one lost a career over anything. He is still a teacher. What is known is that while something very important was going on he got up and left in a way that people found highly offensive. Was it overreaction? Was it the last straw in something ongoing (from their letter it might seem so) ? We don't know. But he was asked to resign as director of the department, and he did.

You might not think the word "violence" is appropriate, and you might think the word "misogynoir" is worthy of mockery

(not sure why. It is that hard to believe that some are discriminated against because they are both female and black?)

but really, that is all you have, aside from columns by Christie Blatchford, Margaret Wente, and the like, spinning it into the left wing taking over.

But sure. That incident is what we need to pay attention to, and the lack of black representation in the student body and on campus, and systemic discrimination is no different than anything any other student faces.

Here's how the university and the department responded to them back in March:

https://theeyeopener.com/2017/03/rye-makes-promises-to-black-liberation-...

Boze

The real problem with that incident isn't the word "misogynoir," or even the fact that some silly people made a silly demand that somebody should lose their job over leaving a meeting when somebody else was speaking. It was the number of people who lined up to support the silly people's silly demand, to denounce as racist ("anti-black" too) anybody who criticized them or publicly supported Parada, and most importantly, the number of people who remained silent about it as a result. People are afraid to say what they think. That's "political correctness" in a nutshell.

Ideally even people who hold utterly reprehensible racist views wouldn't be afraid to say what they think, because that's the only way these views can be challenged, and the only way that people can fully develop what they actually think. We need to reject and dismantle this "culture of shut up" that has people, in the words of that Evergreen student in the Vice documentary, "afraid to express a nuanced opinion." There's nothing wrong with telling people "here's why what you said is bad." There's something very wrong with telling people "what you said is bad and that makes you a bad person and you should be fired." And there's something terribly wrong when bystanders either fall in line, as the Evergreen faculty largely have, or simply remain silent, as many academics do, out of fear of having their career damaged because they went against the "politically correct" narrative.

And it is largely about narrative. People understand that narratives shape how people conceptualize the world, and so attempts to disrupt or falsify a narrative are met with extreme hostility. Hence, Bret Weinstein is virlently anti-black, Jordan Peterson is a transphobic piece of shit, Laura Kipnis is a rape apologist, etc.

Boze

6079_Smith_W wrote:

No one lost a career over anything. He is still a teacher. What is known is that while something very important was going on he got up and left in a way that people found highly offensive. Was it overreaction? Was it the last straw in something ongoing (from their letter it might seem so) ? We don't know. But he was asked to resign as director of the department, and he did.

It's overreaction by definition. We do know that.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
No one lost a career over anything. He is still a teacher.

Ah.  Thanks.

Quote:
not sure why. It is that hard to believe that some are discriminated against because they are both female and black?

No.  But is it that hard to believe that "some are discriminated against because they are both female and black?" without believing that someone leaving a meeting is that?

Quote:
but really, that is all you have, aside from columns by Christie Blatchford, Margaret Wente, and the like, spinning it into the left wing taking over.

I'm not speaking for them. 

Quote:
But sure. That incident is what we need to pay attention to

Are you just being facetious?

Because everything else you say suggests you think we should just ignore it, as some kind of bad data point (while of course NOT ignoring it, because they have much to teach us).

Boze

Like I said, it's all about the narrative. The reason for the "whataboutism" is plain: this stuff contradicts our narrative, therefore it needs to be discredited, downplayed, or denied. We all know that this stuff does not actually detract from any other efforts (and, after all, Smith is spending as much time talking about it as anybody else) - but if "the narrative" is in fact seen as "the effort," then counter-narratives or disruption of the narrative DOES detract from the effort.

And there's some truth in that, in fact. It is a recognition of the power of narrative. Political change is brought about by shaping narratives. But does that justify dishonesty? I choose to believe that it does not.

6079_Smith_W

Yup, I am being facetious. It does seem to be the only thing you want to talk about.

Things, actually. The incident, and your amusement that there is a word for discrimination against someone who is black and female.

And I have not said ignore it. But frankly, I don't attach a lot of importance to it. I certainly don't think it has any bearing on the group's anti-discrimination campaign.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The incident, and your amusement that there is a word for discrimination against someone who is black and female.

I don't even have an axe to grind against the idea that discrimination against someone who is black and female should warrant its own name.

I'm only suggesting that its first use shouldn't reasonably be against some administrator leaving a meeting early.  Is that what the word is intended to describe?

But if you'd like to champion this word, do you feel that should be its meaning?  Or else in what way are you supporting "misogynoir"? 

6079_Smith_W

They didn't invent the word.  If you are going to continue to bang the drum on this you might as well read up on it: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogynoir

It was first coined in 2010, and the way it was used here isn't even its most common context:

Though misogynoir can be perpetrated by anyone, the term most often refers to the violence, mistreatment, and erasure experienced by black women at the hands of black men.

And I'm not championing it; you are the person who claims that someone is asking you to salute it, even though you are the only one who keeps repeating it every couple of posts.

I just pointed out  it is a serious word for a serious thing.

We don't know what all went into the decision to ask him to resign, or his decision to resign. But again, from their letter there seems to be a bit more to it than just that one word.

You might disagree, but the fact is we don't know.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And I'm not championing it; you are the person who claims that someone is asking you to salute it, even though you are the only one who keeps repeating it every couple of posts.

It's not so much that I'm being asked to "salute" it as that we were all asked to accept it as the reason for someone losing their job.

Quote:
We don't know what all went into the decision to ask him to resign, or his decision to resign.

Except the part about leaving a meeting.  Nobody's been shy about that.  If there's substantially more to the situation then I would have expected to hear substantially more.

Quote:
You might disagree, but the fact is we don't know.

They had no problem telling the world about the misogynoir, so why the problem telling the world about the rest?

 

6079_Smith_W

I'm not sure what more you think there is regarding what happened in that meeting. There were other things alluded to in the letter, but no, you aren't likely to find out more than what has been made public.

I don't see how it is on anyone here to explain anything. They asked him to resign, and they told him why; he resigned. He certainly had every opportunity to express his side and clear the air or dispute things. He did not. Call him up and ask him if it really is of concern to you.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
There were other things alluded to in the letter, but no, you aren't likely to find out more than what has been made public.

So, understandably, all I can comment on is what has been made public:  "misogynoir".

Quote:
I don't see how it is on anyone here to explain anything.

It's not "on" you to explain anything, except why does it kind of sound like you're asserting that there must have been more to it than "misogynoir"?? 

If there is, and you know it, say. 

And if there isn't then let's talk about someone losing their job over a term that you just told me applies to hip-hop artists, and not university administrators who leave a meeting.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Boze wrote:

I don't know where fee-fee's got brought into this. The problem I have is that what initially seem like perfectly valid ideas, such as "white people don't experience structural racism and therefore should listen more to those who do when they're discussing structural racism" are used as a carte blanche by malicious actors such as Evergreen College professor, Naima Lowe. Then so-called "white allies" will arrive to provide cover for the malicious actors by saying such things as Smith has been saying. "It's not about your white feelings you know." 

The net effect of this is to provide cover for bad actors to say and do almost anything they want in the name of anti-oppression.

If this is actually a problem, it means that there is something wrong with the original logic, if it can be so easily exploited by bad actors. The truth is people lie and do other bad things, and a dictum that some people must be "listened to and believed" when speaking of some things, actually encourages people to lie more.

That's the most vile speech I've heard in a long time.

What's vile about it?  It's an angry speech, but nothing is untrue in it.   She said white supremacy lives within all white people.  That doesn't mean that all white people personally support white supremacy or defend racism-it means all white people have benefited and continue to benefit from white supremacy and racism.   It's not a statement that all whites are evil-it's a call to all white people to take up our collective responsibility to dismantle white privilege.  

You do accept that we bear such a responsibility, I assume.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Magoo

Did you even read the letter they wrote him?

It shouldn't take you too much googling to find it; there may even be a link in one of the articles. In any case if you are really so interested and not just being obstructionist maybe you should go do that and figure it out yourself instead of trying to play interrogator again.

I already told you twice I'm not interested in your campaign. I'm certainly not interested in reading all their material and interpreting it all for you because you can't be bothered to do that yourself.

If this is of such great concern to you phone them up and ask them. They have a facebook page, and I presume contact info on campus. Then you can report back and tell us all about it.

I have better things to do here that I am actually interested in.

Boze

Ken Burch wrote:

Boze wrote:

I don't know where fee-fee's got brought into this. The problem I have is that what initially seem like perfectly valid ideas, such as "white people don't experience structural racism and therefore should listen more to those who do when they're discussing structural racism" are used as a carte blanche by malicious actors such as Evergreen College professor, Naima Lowe. Then so-called "white allies" will arrive to provide cover for the malicious actors by saying such things as Smith has been saying. "It's not about your white feelings you know." 

The net effect of this is to provide cover for bad actors to say and do almost anything they want in the name of anti-oppression.

If this is actually a problem, it means that there is something wrong with the original logic, if it can be so easily exploited by bad actors. The truth is people lie and do other bad things, and a dictum that some people must be "listened to and believed" when speaking of some things, actually encourages people to lie more.

That's the most vile speech I've heard in a long time.

What's vile about it?  It's an angry speech, but nothing is untrue in it.   She said white supremacy lives within all white people.  That doesn't mean that all white people personally support white supremacy or defend racism-it means all white people have benefited and continue to benefit from white supremacy and racism.   It's not a statement that all whites are evil-it's a call to all white people to take up our collective responsibility to dismantle white privilege.  

You do accept that we bear such a responsibility, I assume.

I do not accept that most of what Naima Lowe calls "white supremacy" is anything of the sort. I have seen too many people chanting "Fuck white supremacy" at the most random events and targets, pretty much just for being conservatives as far as I can tell. I also do not accept that when she refers to "the white supremacy that lives and breathes within every single white person standing here," she isn't leveling a charge of collective guilt. This is the same woman who has repeatedly tried to smear Bret Weinstein as an anti-black racist, mostly because of tactical and policy disagreements. 

"I refuse to shut my mouth and let white people set this agenda." What she really means is that black people should set the agenda and white people should shut their mouths. Seriously, look at the context in which she's saying this stuff, and any other footage of her on youtube at the recent protest. It would be nice if she meant "I refuse not to be an equal participant in setting this agenda," but she doesn't.

"If what I'm saying right now pisses you off and makes you feel targeted and defensive, good." Yyyyyeahhh. Some understanding of psychology might be helpful here.

 

Boze

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Magoo

Did you even read the letter they wrote him?

It shouldn't take you too much googling to find it; there may even be a link in one of the articles. In any case if you are really so interested and not just being obstructionist maybe you should go do that and figure it out yourself instead of trying to play interrogator again.

I already told you twice I'm not interested in your campaign. I'm certainly not interested in reading all their material and interpreting it all for you because you can't be bothered to do that yourself.

If this is of such great concern to you phone them up and ask them. They have a facebook page, and I presume contact info on campus. Then you can report back and tell us all about it.

I have better things to do here that I am actually interested in.

https://www.facebook.com/BLCRyerson/posts/1814089608812299

Fucking nutjobs. Thugs and yahoos. Anything that they interpret as a slight is anti-blackness against all black people. Here's a highlight:

"The complete lack of engagement we experienced so far tells us that there is an investment in anti-Black racism, and misogynoir at a structural level that is currently protecting Dr. Henry Parada, and that the School, the Faculty of Community Services and Ryerson University are equally invested in the protection of Dr. Henry Parada, maintaining white supremacy and misogyny at any and all costs."

See, I would like to think that on my better days, I wouldn't even respond to anything these people sent me in an official capacity, because they are better off ignored. I guess that would mean I am invested in anti-blackness and misogynoir and in maintaining white supremacy at any costs.

These are the fuckers who showed up to a faculty meeting chanting "no justice, no peace" because a professor "violently" walked out of a meeting. They don't deserve the time of day.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Did you even read the letter they wrote him?

At the time, yes.

Quote:
If this is of such great concern to you phone them up and ask them. They have a facebook page, and I presume contact info on campus. Then you can report back and tell us all about it.

Nah, I'm going to continue discussing it here.

After all, the answers to so many babbler concerns are, similarly, just a phone call away.

Angry that some NDP candidate was turfed?  Google for the NDP Head Office phone number.  Angry that John Tory wants to build the transit that you don't want?  Find that number and call him.  Feel like Justin Trudeau should sign (or not sign) this or that bill or treaty or accord?  Give him a shout!

Anyway, you certainly don't have to participate.  I don't recall demanding that you do -- you just seemed interested and jumped in.

 

6079_Smith_W

Don't mistake responding to something for interest.

And honestly, I didn't expect there would be any chance of you giving it a rest. But don't go pushing me for answers to things you should probably just do a bit of reading of your own to find out, or ask the people who know.

I already told you we don't know any more than what they wrote and said publicly. And honestly, I don't care.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Don't mistake responding to something for interest.

I'm honestly not trying to pick (or prolong) a fight here, but then what SHOULD I mistake it for?

Your duty to respond?  A contract with babble that requires you to respond?  "Someone is wrong on the Internet"?

To be fair, this is pretty common at babble.  "I have no further interest in this whatsoever, unless you reply, in which case I have a few paragraphs ready!!"

6079_Smith_W

Honestly, I figured it couldn't hurt to correct you on the point out that no one is out of a career, and certainly not over a word.

I kind of knew at the time it was a bad idea to engage on it. I'll try not to make the same mistake again.

Anyway, carry on.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Honestly, I figured it couldn't hurt to correct you on the point out that no one is out of a career

Well, not out of a JOB, anyway.  He can always just start over.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I was trying to avoid engaging with your personal stuff out of respect, kropotkin, but since you ask directly, I really wish life was how you describe it at 399, but how things may be with your family does not change how things are in the world, or the difference between their experience of it and yours.

Once again you miss the point. My family is not exceptional. The rate of mixed race unions in our big cities is 8 to 10 percent. I started into this rabbit hole because frankly the idea that all white people have nothing useful to say about race relations is absurd for people of mixed race and their families. You are seeing the world as bi-polar, either your white or your not. There are a lot of shades in between and in discussions about race and how to reduce racism on our society there are many white people whose voices can be positive and insightful.  I stand by my believe that saying that white people in general should let others talk because "we" know what they will say is ludicrous and the opposite of how to build community and inclusion.

6079_Smith_W

No one said that no white people have anything useful to say. I believe the initial most recent comment (did Pondering make it?) was in reference to some guy who was dominating a conversation in one of Boze's examples. She said he should be listening more and asking questions. 

Not that anyone should shut up. Not that white people have nothing to contribute.

And racism affects everyone, not just white people. But it does affect us differently than it affects those who are the victims of it. That applies to people who try to be sensitive to racism just as much as those who aren't. So I am glad that there is harmony and respect in your family - seriously. But it doesn't mean we have the same understanding of racism as someone who is not white. 

And you know what? Nothing in this conversation makes me re-think the opinion in that Guardian article about how many white people deal (or not) with racism.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I went back to the beginning of this thread and read my first post in it, written five years ago. So to reiterate.

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Calling a white person who is not a racist a racist is nothing but a personal insult. The collective privilege that us white people enjoy is systemic. We get it at birth and it is not a personal choice. There is no doubt that we all start on the lowest difficulty setting but with very different other advantages or disadvantages. White women are still on the lowest race difficulty setting. Those who are not amongst the temporarily able bodied are still on the white setting. It seems to me that when one transfers the systemic oppression onto the shoulders of specific individuals it becomes a form of collective guilt by association.

Given our racist commercial culture even if one keeps trying to unload the baggage from ones knapsack it is hard to get it all out.  Being compared as individuals to a skinhead with a white power T-sheet is not appropriate. I believe that it is important to understand the distinction between the systemic and the personal. Building bridges requires at least civil discourse.  If someone makes a racist statement then they need to be called on it. As an old white guy I too often have other white people presume I share their racism.  I always make sure they are dissuaded of that world view. Being a person of privilege it is to me a type of willful blindness to ignore racism.  The individuals who haven't unpacked their knapsacks need to be helped start the process.  The ones who refuse to unpack their knapsacks can be called racist but that is rather counter productive since many of them would take it as a badge of honour.

I Can Fix It wrote:

Part 1 - White People

5. Take action

Always confront racism, ignorance and inappropriate behavior/language when you see, hear, read, or experience it. If someone says something racist don't laugh awkwardly or ignore it. Use the power of your voice. Interrupt/address racism no matter how uncomfortable it makes you, no matter who you are required to confront. Do not make exceptions for your family, your friends, or in the workplace because you fear the consequences.

When speaking out against racism, be gentle but firm. Practice civility but also directness. Set that person straight. White people are more likely to listen to you than to the person that they are offending. Leave the over-niceness at home. Being overly-nice only makes a safe atmosphere for racism and an unsafe atmosphere for others (particularly people of color) to confront it head on.

Challenge white people to talk about racism. Learning “what not to say” is not the point. Understanding how racism works and how it can be dismantled is the point. Help fellow white people to learn not just react.

Part 2 - People of Color

2. Speak Out

Do not be fearful of speaking up if a white person, regardless of age or status, says a racist comment or joke. Your silence indicates you think find their racism appropriate. Talk to white people. Tell white people what to do to fight racism when they ask. Feel free to carry copies of this document with you for a handy and quick way to address racism and the white question of “What do I do?”

Listen to white people. It may be hard, but if you listen to them, then you can require them to listen to you.

http://www.damaliayo.com/pdfs/I%20CAN%20FIX%20IT_racism.pdf

Thx Maysie for the great articles you have linked to over the years.

 

6079_Smith_W

That is all good advice. Thanks for going back, and thanks for repeating it here.

I also said that if this criticism of white people doesn't apply to you, then it doesn't, and don't assume it does. The Guardian article says something similar.

And while you might not be racist, I do now and then notice ways in which I fall into that behaviour and see its effect. When I assume that someone approaching me might be doing so to ask for money. When I don't make the same effort to remember one person's name that I might with another. When someone displays a certain kind of behaviour (like trying to bargain me down on a price or being picky) and I automatically think of their culture, even if I know it is just a racist myth. When I feel the need to interject and give my perspective, even when there is no need, or when I feel I am being judged even though there is no indication of it.

Things like that. Doesn't mean I think I am a bad person or feel guilty. Just means that racism and discrimination are far subtler that we sometimes think. And in case anyone thinks it just applies to white people:

“‘You shot four bullets into him, sir,’“ Noah said, quoting Reynolds. “It’s fucking mind-blowing that Diamond Reynolds has just seen her boyfriend shot in front of her. She still has the presence of mind to be deferential to the policeman. In that moment, the cop has panicked, but clearly black people never forget their training.”

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/06/trevor-noah-philando-castile...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Actually 6079 I started posting in this thread again because of the suggestions that white people have nothing to add to the conversation and particularily that if a white man is about to speak we don't need to hear from him because we know what he has to say. That kind of mindless white man's guilt is not helpful to any attempts to build solidarity across communities. 

I was at a great talk this morning given by two local indigenious artists and educators. There were 50 chairs set out and another 25 or 30 needed to be added because it filled up despite being a sunny Saturday morning. The crowd was mixed gender and at the end during the question and answer session most of the questions were asked by women and the closest  thing to an inappropriate question came from one of the women. The ridiculous stereotypes being banted about in this thread are way off the mark.

Karver Everson, K’omoks and Kwakwaka’wakw artist, and Keisha Everson, teacher and member of the K’omoks First Nation, present on the history of the region from before contact into post contact and present day, identity and what it means to be a First Nations person today, and the significance of cultural objects within a cultural family.

Karver Everson talked about being told by well meaning progressives that it was not right that he was carving traditional looking masks. Of course that was based on the colour of his skin which is whiter than mine and not on his complete ancestry and his committment to his indigenous culture. Going through life seeing stereotyoes is wrong and that includes sterotypes of what you expect from a man who looks white. In that discussion Keisha was asked about how to get to reconciliation and she did not say, "sit and listen and Karver and I we will tell you how to act and think", she said engage in the conversation and ask the questions especially ask the hard questions because it is only in the dialogue that follows that their can be understanding and eventually reconciliation.

It was a great way to spend the morning and I do appreciate the privilage of living in a part of the country that is populated by mostly progressive minded people. That mindset has always been a significant part our unique West Coast Island culture.  

http://www.cumberlandmuseum.ca/events/miners-memorial-weekend-2/

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I also said that if this criticism of white people doesn't apply to you, then it doesn't, and don't assume it does.

"Instead of aiming, I'm going to shoot indiscriminately.  If you feel you shouldn't be shot, duck!"

WWWTT

Talking about race with white people. Lol! Why? Ok now let me explain why I find this humorous. As far as my experience and knowledge can help my perceptions regarding the issue of racism, this issue is most focused but not limited to Western Europeans and Western European colonialism. As far as the European colonial countries goes, the very foundation of colonialism is absolutely dependent on strong rooted racism. Now today in those same Western Europe colonial countries, racism is or may be perceived as a means of holding onto traditional power. Clearly racism is intertwined with power wealth slavery sexism violence poverty war illiteracy suppression and probably a whole whack more of bad hellish shit nightmares are made of! I don't think talking to someone who benefits or is privelaged from generations of past/present human rights atrocities is going to be suddenly convinced and give you a 100k starting salary job! From my view, this racism revolves against African people. Asians even though not immune are less impacted. Why? I have an idea but I'll only discuss if any other poster here is interested

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

You talk about "Asians."  Do you mean Koreans or Japanese or Indians or Chinese from the Mainland or Chinese from Taiwan or Chinese from Hong Kong or the hundreds of millions of overseas Chinese spread throughout South East Asia in every country? I will be fascinated to hear your all encompassing theory on nearly 4.5 billion people on this planet. It should be quite the stereotype. Why do you feel qualified to make generalizations about so many diverse cultural, religious and linguistic groups?

WWWTT

You forgot Vietnam Philippines Myanmar Thailand and oddly enough Indonesia the fourth largest population on earth and largest Islamic among many others(but Indonesia could be considered pacific oceanic) Also odd that you did not ask me for the same break down of Western Europe and borderline racist that you didn't ask me to break down the second largest continent Africa? Lots of diversity in Africa and many many unique cultures.
Anyways, I meant ALL Asians including peoples from the countries we have both mentioned.
我的太太是中国人并且我会说汉语。我去过中国八次多了。我有意见
My wife is Chinese I speak Chinese and I have been there many times.
My parents were hard nose old school Portuguese. Portugal was the first and last colonial country. I have had the opportunity to visit Macau three different times and intereact with the people there.
I look forward to bringing my family to Macao again and no I never gamble! I'm intrigued with the cultural diversity of Macau!

Pogo Pogo's picture

 I understand that empathy to an issue can only provide a secondary level of understanding. However sometimes that secondary level is still pretty good. Indeed sometimes the reflected view can be very instructive as long as it isn't to the detriment of other views. We should be careful when we draw lines about who can speak to both be inclusive and also identify those areas where first person experience is critical.

WWWTT

Either way pogo this topic is deep rooted impacts/effect/originates from/or everyone at some level sometimes hard to recognize sometimes too obvious and has literally killed millions of people! I don't think you can have a discussion about racism without negative emotions surfacing

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Actually 6079 I started posting in this thread again because of the suggestions that white people have nothing to add to the conversation and particularily that if a white man is about to speak we don't need to hear from him because we know what he has to say. That kind of mindless white man's guilt is not helpful to any attempts to build solidarity across communities.

Nobody said that kropotkin. The initial comment was about someone who was making the conversation all about them and not listening to others. But no surprise some are interpreting it as telling all white people to shut up.

And Magoo, never mind that what I really said (as have plenty of others who have made the same observation) is that if it isn't about you don't get all pissy about it.

(though actually it is about some of the things that you have said and I told you that directly)

Kind of interesting to spin it as indiscriminate (if metaphorical) shooting of white people. Given that I just posted yet another link about another person being indiscriminately shot really dead for being black, I really could care less about those persecuted white guy concerns.

 

WWWTT

@kropotkin 1951
North Korea and Vietnam! Racism may be interpreted as bullying or as a form of. Hard to bully someone around that can make you drop to the floor with a kick to the nuts! Furthermore Chinese military is largest in the world not to mention their economy is around 120% to US and will be the size of all Predominantly white European countries together in less than 10 years. India also has impressive economy growth and military!!! Keep in mind that Pakistan also has nuclear weapons!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

WWWTT wrote:
@kropotkin 1951 North Korea and Vietnam! Racism may be interpreted as bullying or as a form of. Hard to bully someone around that can make you drop to the floor with a kick to the nuts! Furthermore Chinese military is largest in the world not to mention their economy is around 120% to US and will be the size of all Predominantly white European countries together in less than 10 years. India also has impressive economy growth and military!!! Keep in mind that Pakistan also has nuclear weapons!

We're talking about racism in North America.  Why are you bringing the geopolitical situation in Asia into this?  

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

To get this a bit back on track, I will confess that there is something that makes me a bit uncomfortable in how the antiracist movement seems to be going these days:

A fair amount of the time, it sounds as though the POC leadership of the antiracist movement have decided that even the white activists who are there with them that day are not to be trusted...that it's not ever going to be accepted that even white allies or "accomplices" have earned the benefit of the doubt.  At Evergreen, I heard one speaker say that if whites who were there giving support didn't do a certain thing, that THOSE people were racists.

Is there some belief that white people who are there in support of the antiracist cause will ONLY do what they are supposed to do if their antiracism is never taken as a proven thing, if those people are never given trust or the benefit of the doubt?

​I find it hard to understand, on the level of practical activist strategy, what is achieved by sending the message "no matter what you do, we will never fully believe you are with us".

The anger that drives all of this I fully understand and share to as large a degree as I can. 

And white people absolutely do have a obligation to challenge racism wherever we see it.

I'm not calling for coddling or deference to white feelings here.

The utility and effectiveness of perpetually withholding trust and perpetually questioning people's commitment to antiracism is what I sometimes wonder about.  Why treat the people who are trying to stand with you as if they haven't ever proved they aren't AGAINST you? 

And what is achieved by doing so that is worth the risk of driving people away when their support is desperately needed?

Why not just say "if you want to help, this is what we need to you do, and we need it done now"?  

 

 

WWWTT

Do you not watch the news? Did you not know the US lost in Vietnam? Is this the first time you heard of North Korea? I posted the question earlier of why Asians are not discriminated against as to the same degree as Africans in predominantly Western European colonial countries. This includes South America Australia and others outside North America. Now going back to geopolitical influences. I'm sure racists know very well that India has nuclear first strike capacity. Maybe a little voice in the back of a racist mind tells them hey this guy comes from a country that can wipe out others?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

WWWTT wrote:
Do you not watch the news? Did you not know the US lost in Vietnam? Is this the first time you heard of North Korea? I posted the question earlier of why Asians are not discriminated against as to the same degree as Africans in predominantly Western European colonial countries. This includes South America Australia and others outside North America. Now going back to geopolitical influences. I'm sure racists know very well that India has nuclear first strike capacity. Maybe a little voice in the back of a racist mind tells them hey this guy comes from a country that can wipe out others?

The U.S. lost in Vietnam because the Vietnamese people didn't support the government in South Vietnam that the U.S. wanted to keep in power.

Everyone knows India has the Bomb-as does Pakistan.

And we all know where North Korea is and how it defends itself against a possible U.S. invasion.

It appears that you're giving examples of countries that are heavily armed and happen to be located in Asia.

The pertinence of that in a discussion about North American racism is hard to see, though.

Are you arguing that racism could be stopped in North America if indigenous people, black people, Muslims and Latinos were heavily armed?  Or that someone should sell those communities nuclear weapons?

If not, where are you going with this?

 

6079_Smith_W

Ken Burch wrote:

​I find it hard to understand, on the level of practical activist strategy, what is achieved by sending the message "no matter what you do, we will never fully believe you are with us".

I hear you, but I don't actually see that as a relevant question. Of course there are people who think that, or that if you don't support everything they do you are not an ally.

As with some other concerns, I know it can be hard to not let it get under your skin, but I don't consider it worth getting bent out of shape about. The goal isn't to be liked or to be one of the gang; it is to fight racism. Not everyone does that in the same way, and that is fine.

Some people likely would not consider me an ally because (just as one example) I don't support not having a police presence at pride events. I don't care what some might think of that. 

There are some victims of racism who outright hate white people. Are we supposed to give up the work because of them? Again, ultimately us being liked or seen as allies is not the important thing here.

It is kind of like guys who want to be recognized as feminists. If they want to, sure. But it isn't really what is important.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

​I find it hard to understand, on the level of practical activist strategy, what is achieved by sending the message "no matter what you do, we will never fully believe you are with us".

I hear you, but I don't actually see that as a relevant question. Of course there are people who think that, or that if you don't support everything they do you are not an ally.

As with some other concerns, I know it can be hard to not let it get under your skin, but I don't consider it worth getting bent out of shape about. The goal isn't to be liked or to be one of the gang; it is to fight racism. Not everyone does that in the same way, and that is fine.

Some people likely would not consider me an ally because (just as one example) I don't support not having a police presence at pride events. I don't care what some might think of that. 

There are some victims of racism who outright hate white people. Are we supposed to give up the work because of them? Again, ultimately us being liked or seen as allies is not the important thing here.

It is kind of like guys who want to be recognized as feminists. If they want to, sure. But it isn't really what is important.

Thanks for the response.  

I recognize the reality of the anger, and have a fairly thick skin about it myself.

If I was black and had been a victim of police violence myself, I'd hate most white folks.

My main thought was that it would drive a lot of younger white activists away.

And obviously this isn't the largest question in all of this.

It's just something I've felt the need to say here.  I probably won't bring it up anywhere else.

Thanks for listening.

 

 

Pages

Topic locked