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And second, can Kai's theory of a white liberal conundrum be expanded so that we might find examples of "(insert race here) liberal conundrum" in non-white communities or even regarding fundamentally non-racial issues?
Why not? The key to the question for me, is the line I pulled out above:
If white folks disavow and destroy all the systemic advantages and interlocking privileges and perks of whiteness, then they're off the hook!
I would argue "whiteness" is not exclusive to skin color but is also a state of being.
I am willing to bet, materially, my life is not very different from the author of the article. In a world where a good part of the population lives in darkness and dies from malnutrition or contaminated drinking water, or violence related to resource extraction or other conflicts, we can both hop in our SUVs, fuel up 24hrs, drive off to the all night Wal-Mart that is bristling with merchandise brought together from the far corners of the world, load up on cases of bottled water, and head home to sit in front of the warm glare of our computers where I can be dismissed as being too white to appreciate racism all the while snacking on cheap and available snacks.
Perhaps it is true. Perhaps I am too white to appreciate racism. But the author, himself, on a global basis, enjoys "all the systemic advantages and interlocking privileges and perks of whiteness" as I do.
In a white dominated society where I, with no choice of my own, was born white, I enjoy a greater privilege and a greater sense of entitlement simply by the virtue of being white. I acknowledge that. But what we are talking about is not anti-racism or social justice but, rather, pecking order. I gladly give up my position in the pecking order to him.
But there remains that which destroys spirits and lives in a real sense, right along with the rivers, lakes, trees and the life they once sustained, and of which we are both net beneficiaries.
There's so much wrong here. It may take me days to comprehend this thread. [img]confused.gif" border="0[/img]
Perhaps it is true. Perhaps I am too white to appreciate racism. But the author, himself, on a global basis, enjoys "all the systemic advantages and interlocking privileges and perks of whiteness" as I do. [/QB]
A comforting illusion no doubt, sustained in part by infatuation with our own surroundings. Trouble is, it matters not one iota what pinnacle one is able to reach. Case in point:
[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=38&t=000689]M... Jean - Negro Queen[/url]
No, it really is exclusive to skin colour.
[ 11 July 2008: Message edited by: Slumberjack ]
I'd like to pop back in and ask if everyone contributing currently has actually read the article (and I'm not referring to those who have already indicated that they have).
Here's an idea, how about everyone re-read the linked article to keep this thread on topic? If you're bored reading the article again, please read the nested links. Thanks.
I won't be changing the thread title which is in quotes precisely because it's the title of the post, as written by Kai Chang on his blog zuky. I explain the use of capital L liberal in the OP. I don't take responsibility for those who choose to interpret it otherwise, but I do ask that the thread conversation be about what the article actually says, rather than incorrect interpretations, such as "pecking order".
But again, that goes to what the poster above described as follows:
It strikes me that the notion of a liberal conundrum in the white community, while interesting, accurate, unfortunate and 100% true, is at the same time and unfortunately not one that can solely be limited to whites given the nuances of racial hierarchies around the world.
We have our own racial hierarchy here . We got a nice example of it today in the [url=http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2008/07/11/6126946-sun.html]London Free Press[/url].
But I don't think you could convincingly argue that we do not all benefit, in our society, from the racism that extends across the globe and enriches our material world at the expense of the global south.
The Iraq War, for instance, is a racist war. But the control of that nations resources, and the geo-politcal strategic interests of US troops occupying both Iraq and Afghanistan, and using tremendous violence and oppression to do so, ensures a continued flow of fossil fuel resources for the civilization of which we are a part.
Unless AR requires that we divide global from local racism.
I don't know.
ETA: Given the response to my posting in this thread, that will be my last post on this topic. BCG, I would like to thank you for tolerating my intrusion here.
Despite all the over-the-top reactions to my posting in this thread, I think it is useful to inform you that I often do just read what is posted here even though I seldom participate. And that it, and you, have helped to shape my attitudes. For example, I now [i]get[/i] what you mean and what is intended by "white supremacy" even though we once had a warm, not heated, discussion on the topic where I did not [i]get[/i] it.
So despite the much ranting and raving, even an old white dog with a bad attitude can learn.
[ 11 July 2008: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:[b]Unless AR requires that we divide global from local racism. I don't know.[/b]
It seems logical that each topic deserves it's own thorough discussion without being diluted to the point where the central issue becomes lost. Bringing forward disconnected material from other areas, or for that matter, the constant sniping that surfaces, tends to accomplish very little but to frustrate.
I'd say that a significant minority of white liberals are actually interested in learning about anti-racism once properly exposed to it.... some white folks manage to claw and bootstrap their way out of their own conditioning, opening their hearts and minds to previously unseen worlds from which the voices and stories of people of color emerge; studying and observing the profound effects of racist society on their own perceptual prisms and on the shape of the world; and consciously, steadily working to counteract those effects.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Even the simple act of staying on topic is a small stepping stone in itself, because merely through the act of straying away to dwell on our own fixations do we expose our core problem.
From the OP:
If white folks disavow and destroy all the systemic advantages and interlocking privileges and perks of whiteness, then they're off the hook! But you can't enjoy the lifelong fruits of the legacy while disowning the accountability, right? That's not how it works.
I've finally gotten through all the comments. Just having trouble with the exchange at the end between Julian and Michelle but it looks like they were continuing something there.
The comments were perhaps even more valuable to me as a learning tool than the post. I really appreciate Kai's handling of the comments. Her definition of racsim was interesting.
Racism is an institutional system of power and exploitation, consisting of an interlocking set of economic, political, cultural, and social structures and beliefs, which systematically ensure the unequal distribution of resources, privilege, and influence in favor of the dominant racial group at the expense of all other groups.
And I liked R Mildred's as well but I guess Kai's is probably better. Or not.
[ 12 July 2008: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]