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):
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.
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
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8 comments:

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey Faith!

This is a very interesting discussion!

I don't make any blanket assumptions about the socioeconomic class of the majority of the students. Many of them are from the middle class and are not legacies.

It doesn't surprise me to see the behavior that we are seeing.

"How dare YOU negroes not answer our questions?!" *LOL*

"You people BETTER Explain yourselves to us!"

"We demand to know what you know!"

Someone hand me the pesticide please...

Part of our proactive strategy is to be VERY observant about the persons who are coming into our cyber homes with an agenda we should examine carefully.

65.209.120.239 (a PTSEM.edu IP address)
This peron is repeatedly monitoring my blog; has bookmarked my blog; is also conducting various online searches to find blogs with posts regarding this incident; is clicking on profiles that are in the comment section in which I have put Princeton Seminary on blast. This person clearly is spending a lot of time trying to trace whoever is spreading the word about this incident. Might it be one of the authors of the "malicious and racist" newsletter that the president of the seminary openly condemned?

We will see.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Miriam said...

Girl! I'm racing to keep up w/ your blog

rjjrdq said...

Obama took the majority of the white vote. The issue is dead. Only a racist would keep it alive.

pts said...

This is absolutely blown out of proportion. You are going to comment ad nauseum about a "maliciously hateful" newsletter you didn't even read. Why? How could you possibly do that with any sort of integrity?

The Foreskin was in poor taste; it was clumsy, but it was not intentionally racist. Feelings might have been hurt and wounds opened, but it was satire. Satire is used to criticize, ridicule, and [most importantly] to expose vices and challenges within a particular community.

PTS is not an extremely diverse place; the majority of the students are white and well-to-do. However, the fact that of the authors, not all were white, is unfortunately ironic. Nevertheless, the community should now be more aware [thanks in part to the newsletter] at the current state of affairs at the institution.

After talking at length with one of the authors, the most incredible and [almost] humorous thing is how this thing has been received - exactly how the newsletter pitched it. That simply instead of attempting to move forward - seeking to become both understanding and appreciative of other ethnicities/orientations/classes/etc while concurrently making no distinction - the various sides have retreated into sectarian hard-headedness.

I would recommend actually reading the newsletter and judging for yourself - rather than take an assumed position - what you deem to be the purpose and intent behind it was and to make an educated, thoughtful, and PROactive response instead of ignorantly bashing a group of students [and community for that matter] seeking to highlight difficulties in promoting dialogue.

The foreskin was inappropriate, in poor taste, and foolishly done - but its response reveals and uncovers a deep problem not with the newsletter qua newsletter but with people and their sinfulness. I understand that several of these issues run deep and cut some to the core - obviously, to instigate such a response - and the individuals have apologized and face serious institutional consequences as a result. But that action does not get at the issue. Instead, it allows us to shake our heads, point fingers, and say 'how evil and hateful' they are.

Finally, I take serious exception with the statement:
"You'd better believe if this was a white professor being attacked somebody would have been expelled already no investigation or conversation necessary." In fact, a white professor was named [a white male professor specifically] and whose social justice work within the Church was mocked and lampooned - but that is somewhat beside the point.

I think much of your pent-up aggression, frustration, and hurt might have been ameliorated had you actually read the Foreskin.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

@ PTS

Just a newsflash for you:

The President of your seminary read the newsletter and posted a statement that it was MALICIOUS AND RACIST.

Go to your president's office and tell him how much you disagree with his assessment of the content.

You have convinced NO ONE here.

Kathryn said...

@PTS: I am also a white student at PTS. I have read the newlsetter and sent my own letter of protest. Nope, sorry, the blogs are right to protest--PTS isn't an isolated community with no connections to the world, and the newsletter was really bad. I know our community seeks healing, but that cannot occur when every protest to this newsletter is met with defenses like "the authors didn't intend to be racist" or "this is getting blown out of proportion."

I am also asking my fellow PTS students that if you are going to post on this subject that you use your full name. It is embarrassing to note how many anonymous defenses have been made of this anonymous "newsletter."

Katie Mulligan

Kathryn said...

And, by the way, using the word "aggression" as a way of silencing women because you're uncomfortable with the strength of their anger only fuels the fire. I seriously doubt anybody's anger would be ameloriated by reading "The Foreskin."

Katie Mulligan

ActsofFaithBlog said...

Greetings Kate: Thanks for your input. It's good to finally hear from students who were also offended. Please continue to speak out.