I am a 67 year old White American gay male, whose Privilege in our culture is exceeded only by that of White American Heterosexual males. Most of us white folks don't have a clue concerning how our "whiteness" impacts our privilege, behavior and attitudes: not only towards people of color but life in general.To most of us white folks, "white" is "just the way things are" and life would be so much easier and less complicated if everything and everyone were simply "white". (This may be subconscious, but it is reality for most white people, none the less.)People of Color confront their POCness every day of their lives. White folks seldom, if ever, consider their "Whiteness"; again, because white is simply the way things are.The first step in becoming a White Anti-Racist Ally is for a white person to acknowledge and come to grips with their Whiteness.Step two is to understand that while we may not harbor any personal racism, we unknowingly often collaborate with institutional and cultural racism.Step three is LISTENING. No "yes, buts"! Listen, and take it in. Consider what is being said with an open heart and mind. At this point, there is no need to respond except with two words, "Thank you."There is lots more that we white folks need to do, but the above three steps are a good start.Anyone wishing to personally pursue this subject further is welcome to contact me off list.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
White Racism Continues to Hit the Wall
So I am continuing this conversation I started with my post Excusers, Deniers Enablers and Accomplices Pt. 1. This post was about the students who published racist writings in the "Foreskin" newsletter at Princeton University targeting President Elect Obama and Professor Yolanda Pierce amongst other acts of racial arson. I was 'asked' by a Princeton student how I determined whether what was written was racist and whether I'd actually 'read' it. With rolled eyes I replied I am not under any obligation to 'explain' myself to them or anyone else, particularly when I could tell the person had not even bothered to read my post and they wanted to make excuses for their 'friend' who wrote some of it.
See, I'm calling for academic censure and expulsion wouldn't be going too far in my opinion. If you aren't taught values and consequences for your actions how would you ever be a responsible citizen of the world? None of this BS fake "diversity training" where you watch a tape for an hour or two and answer multiple choice questions either. It's especially galling coming from theology students. We've all heard of circumstances that allow for people with money or connections getting away with murder - literally. Particularly when you have white skin. So I really have zero tolerance for willful ignorance.
I'm continuing my reading on the efforts to ignore all Black people gay or straight by the Gay Rights Industrial Complex so they can push their marriage agenda without us - well they're gonna try. Try and fail, but that's another fight for another day. Eventually they'll wear themselves out enough to realize they need allies and they have to be an ally first. They have to acknowledge the Black and Puerto Rican drag queens that were marching and staging protests that lead to and continued after Stonewall. They have to engage people as people on their own turf and stop being condescending and trying to have everything at their time and at their convenience. Does this sound eerily familiar?
So I found this very great comment from Jim Toevs that I thought was appropo to this situation and thought I'd copy it over here (emphasis mine):
So there you have it. I made my effort, when I DID NOT NEED TO! I threw down the gauntlet. Now what are you gonna do "Chris"? NO MORE EXCUSES!
h/t Pam's House Blend