Archive for the ‘White Privilege’ Category
Posted by Jack Stephens on March 30, 2009
i used to be an antiracism trainer for a progressive organization a few years ago. i was really really good at.
this year i finally realized after a lot of soul searching that teaching white folks how to be good allies is not helpful to anyone.
its like us giving white folks all the correct rhetoric just allows for them to be able to better racists, because they are able to justify their racism using anti-racist rhetoric.
in that they are able to say things like: i realize that such and such is a function of racism and then they continue to do the same fucking thing that they just acknowledged was racist.
[Hat Tip: Restructure]
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Institutionalized Racism, Organizing, People of Color, Racism, White Privilege, White Supremacy, Whiteness | Tagged: anti-racism, antiracism, People of Color, poc, Racism, white, white people | 3 Comments »
Posted by Jack Stephens on November 23, 2008
White liberals* in North America often say things like, “White people have no culture.” For the overwhelming majority of white liberals, to be white is to be boring. Some white people even claim that they are “jealous” of people who are not white, as if non-white people have “culture” that white people do not, due to the sole fact they have a higher concentration of melanin in their skin, eyes, or hair.
Of course, the very definition of culture necessitates that white people have a culture.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, White Privilege, White Supremacy, Whiteness | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 22, 2008
Being White in American society (possibly European society as well because they’re douchebags too) means that you know that people that look like you run society. If something goes wrong in your life then (barring unique circumstances like being from Appalachia or something) you can take solace in the fact that you’re White and just integrate yourself into a high social or economic class by befriending (or marrying) another White person better off than you. You have the benefit of living in a world superpower where the default rules of the society were set up by people in similar social locations to benefit people like you. This is not by any means to say that all White people actively participate in the privilege, because they don’t. However all White people do all participate. Simply put, American society is easier for those (of all colors) who have lighter/fairer skin.
Posted in White Privilege | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 8, 2008
Indira Dammu blogs:
It’s not often that we get a perfect demonstration of white privilege and what it entails. Sure, we talk about it in classes but it’s a difficult concept to grasp. Here’s Tim Wise with a great piece on white privilege and how Sarah Palin benefits from it…
To be sure, Palin’s gender has led to unfair scrunity, particularly with regards to her ability to juggle both a career and motherhood. By the same token, however, her race has allowed to escape an even harsher examination.
Posted in White Privilege | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 28, 2008
Margari Aziza Hill blogs on white privilege in society:
Some individuals have striven so hard to be accepted and to succeed in majority white environments may find themselves transformed with little vestiges of their original self. Others, I know, feel disingenuous as they wear different masks for different people. It is interesting how this plays out in many different environments. Even in the Muslim community, whether on college campuses or in my local area, I find myself shape shifting make people comfortable with me as a Black woman. It is something I do almost instinctually, because this is how I’ve been able to survive in the broader society, in both the corporate world and academia. When I do fall into my normal speech patterns or topics of conversation, I am either very aware or made aware that what I say and how I say things has made my others uncomfortable. This reminds me of the backlash against PC (often by privileged white males).
Posted in Black Issues, People of Color, White Privilege, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 18, 2008
First, the author notes that she was expelled from high school for truancy. Yet none of the vitriolic responses chastise her for “not valuing education” or “not finishing school” or “not having parents who knew the value of hard work.” All of these sentiments are expressed. However, they are all directed towards black people.
Second, she believes that she has not experienced privilege. One of the main ways privilege functions is through its invisibility. I was thinking about this recently because of a white friend who had been stopped by the police while carrying a large amount of an illegal substance. He wasn’t arrested. Rather, the police officer scattered the drug and told him to stay out of trouble.
And this is one of the ways in which I believe privilege functions. White people give other white people the benefit of the doubt, maybe even when it’s not deserved.
Posted in Class, White Privilege | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 11, 2008
Asabagna blogs on white people and no longer expecting them to change a system that benefits them:
In regards to the eurocentric dominant culture, this has meant four things. One, I no longer felt any responsibility to be their teacher (and/or confessor… as a way for them to ease the angst of their white privilege) on the effects of white supremacy – eurocentric superiority thinking and practice on people of colour. Two, I had no desire for the material and/or societal trinkets which signifies “success” in their society. I could no longer be bought. My soul… beliefs, values and principles… are more important to me than to “gain the world”. Three, I don’t expect anything from white people. I don’t expect them to be fair. I don’t expect them to be just. I don’t expect them to be empathetic to my situation or to the struggles of people of African descent. I don’t expect them to take any sort of responsibility for their past, present or future behaviours. Finally, I care about all people… regardless of nationality, ethnicity, colour, religion, gender, age and sexual orientation… who are oppressed and/or taken advantage of. I don’t compare and rate oppressions on a scale. However with that being said, the issues concerning people of African descent are first and foremost in mind… because I am one of them… and what we need to do, not only to overcome to survive, but more importantly, to empower ourselves to live, is the core of my cause.
[Hat Tip: IllVox]
Posted in Contemporary Racism, International, People of Color, Racism, White Privilege | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 10, 2008
…race is not real; it is a socially constructed phenomenon based solely on visible physically differences. Race is so fictitious a concept that in the post-emancipation U.S. a man could be considered Black in one state, and White in another!
Although race is not real, the effects of racial differentiation; however, are very real. Not every racial group experiences racism in the same manner or to the same degree. Racialized groups (those who society labels “visible minorities”) continually face institutionalized, racial discrimination based solely on stereotypes attached to our skin tone.
Posted in History, Race, White Privilege | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on August 5, 2008
Tammerie, who is pursuing a dissertation on anti-racism and Christian theology, blogs:
By the numbers, white people still hold a preponderance of the positions that count, out of proportion to our presence in the population, from which I would argue we are able to maintain white-privileging control over the systems and institutions that shape our society, including business, legislative and judicial systems, property sales and management, education and health care. (Note that the percentages of non-white, non-male legislators was considered too small to be tabulated.)
Of course, not all white people are employed in positions that afford economic power and privilege. Whites represented 44 percent of the 37 million U.S. citizens living below the poverty line in 2006. The (historically constructed) sad thing about that is that most of the white people living in poverty think they have more in common with wealthy white people than they do people of color also dealing with poverty. And that keeps folks from banding together and working together to insist on change in an unjust reality.
Posted in Christianity, White Privilege, White Supremacy | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jack Stephens on July 27, 2008
Eric Stoller blogs:
According to Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, “regular folks” = “white folks”. Chris Matthews isn’t even trying to be covert anymore. He’s just outright saying that whiteness is “regular”. Unbelievable. The stench of white privilege is emanating from the video. Whiteness is “regular”. Whiteness is “normal“. That’s what he’s saying.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Media, White Privilege, Whiteness | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on July 8, 2008
saxifrage00 blogs about white privilege in gaming and gives us some links on white privilege, gaming, and the fantasy realm:
Being White, I have the dubious privilege to be able to ignore race in my roleplay gaming and my fantasy fiction. It’s a dubious privilege because it’s one that is impossible to ever fully decline. That’s not to say “poor white me boo hoo”—rather, the only moral response is to decline the privilege at every opportunity. The pervasiveness of White privilege is such that I can never catch every instance, and when I do I won’t always know what I can do to reject it. The key is staying aware of the taint that filters my culture, looking for the chance to resist, and learning more about the reality that is discarded by those filters.
On that last point, some edifying links.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Media, White Privilege, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on July 1, 2008
On the one hand, to hold on to their unfair position and advantages in society, to their white privilege, and feel right and good about it, whites had to believe racist lies. Like that blacks lacked brains or a willingness to work hard.
And yet, on the other hand, they knew that racism was wrong.
So in the 1970s whites reached a fork in the road: either give up racism and its advantages, in pride, position and wealth, or hang onto racism by becoming blind to it.
Posted in Color Blind, Contemporary Racism, Racism, White Privilege | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 29, 2008
I think the analogy of the house negro and the field negro is better applied to the relationship between poor Black folks and poor white folks than to the relationship between poor Black folks and “Black conservatives”. Poor white folks are the ultimate house negros. They are only marginally better off than poor Black folks (the “overwhelming advantage” is a well-maintained illusion), but because they inhabit the same psychological house as their rich white masters, and get a few extra favors, they wholly identify with their masters. Think about it.
Posted in Black Issues, Class, Contemporary Racism, People of Color, Racism, White Privilege, White Supremacy | 3 Comments »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 13, 2008
The past few weeks have been absolutely absorbed by an idea that I came up with…an idea I’ve kind of been avoiding, actually. The idea I had was to create an exhibit that would visually and interactively educate people about the idea of White Privilege. Not an easy topic…hence the idea avoidance. But one day, early this quarter, I asked my partner Susie what she thought of the idea. Without missing a beat, she said “let’s do it…we HAVE to do it.” So we did!
…The planning process was intense, thoughtful, fascinating, challenging, and extremely eye-opening. In order for true racial reconciliation to take place on this campus, our majority-white population MUST consider the implications of our whiteness.
[Hat Tip: practical blog]
Posted in Art, White Privilege | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 9, 2008
Liza Talusan blogs about a negative experience a friend had when his “Got Privilege?” shirt offended a white person:
Recognizing privilege, owning up to your privilege and then actively identifying ways in which we institutionally disempower those without privilege gives us tools in our toolbox. It helps us to call attention to ways in which we play into systems of oppression. It awakens our sense of responsibility and turns on the voice in our hearts to call for change.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, White Privilege, Whiteness | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 6, 2008
It is far from obvious why class should be colour-coded. We can see how ‘race’ has been contiguous with strata within classes, so that the lowest wages and the least skilled occupations are dispensed to non-white members of the working class. We can also see how class is often construed as a kind of ethnicity, and how ethnic designations often overlap with economic positions. But the question of why there should ever be an identity such as a ‘white working class’ is clearly a social psychological one.
Posted in Class, History, International, Racism, White Privilege, White Supremacy, Whiteness | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 3, 2008
At the blog Vegans of Color, Johanna quotes a new anthology to be edited by Breeze Harper:
Rarely, if ever, has the status quo of these movements written about how [white] racialized consciousness and class status impact their philosophies and advocacy of animal rights, veganism, fair trade, ecosustainable living, etc., in the USA. Deeper investigations by academic scholars have found that collectively, this “privileged” demographic tends to view their ethics as “colorblind”, thereby passively discouraging reflections on white and class privilege within alternative food movements (Slocum 2006) and animal rights activism (Nagra 2003; Poldervaart 2001). Consequently, academic scholars such as Dr. Rachel Slocum feel that rather than fostering equality, “alternative food practice reproduces white privilege in American society”.
Ad she states:
The discouragement about reflections on white & class privilege has definitely been more than just “passive” from readers of this blog at times, especially lately, although obviously the passive discouragement is a big player as well. As one of my favorite LiveJournal icons says, “White privilege: you’re soaking in it.”
Posted in Class, Contemporary Racism, Leftism, White Privilege, White Supremacy | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 29, 2008
Francis L. Holland blogs about the complete lack of invited bloggers whom are people of color, at the upcoming Democratic National Convention:
Has the DNC consulted with the 20% of the Convention delegates who are Black to determine whether they approve of this color-based caste system? Of course not! However, unless the floor blogging caste system is either immediately scrapped or broadened to include a representative number of Blacks and Latinos, then many afrosphere bloggers will continue a determined and concerted nation-wide campaign to bring this new color and ethnicity-based blogger caste system to the attention of all of the Black and Latino delegates to the Democratic National Convention, as well as state Democratic Party elected officials, the media and the public, so that the entire nation can participate in deciding what should be done to rectify the virtually all-white “Jim Crow” floor blogger corps of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
If so, this promises to be a long, hot summer for all concerned.
Posted in Blog, Contemporary Racism, Media, White Privilege, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on May 24, 2008
Ann, from Feminist Law Professors, gives us a link to an article on whiteness and teaching in schools:
This Article argues that whiteness operates as the normative foundation of most discussions of race. Legal educators often overlook the role of whiteness in the law school setting and in law more generally. Identifying and understanding whiteness should be an essential component of legal education. This Article considers reasons why legal education rarely addresses this normative role played by whiteness.
Posted in Academia, White Privilege, Whiteness | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 30, 2008
I also see people talking about the need to give Amanda Marcotte a safe space from which to respond. Maybe it’s just me, but why exactly is it that WOC aren’t entitled to the same calls for safe space? If we’re supposed to be sisters then shouldn’t safety for us be a priority? AFAIK there is exactly one community devoted to safe space for WOC on the internet and I created it. My co-mod and I work very hard to keep the voyeurs, trolls, and bigots out and the community members guard the space jealously from anyone that might slip past us. And I wish we didn’t have to do that, but I look at this book and the responses to it and the original Seal Press fiasco and I think that we are operating in very hostile territory and the only choice WOC have is to pull back and operate our own spaces in our own ways because we can’t expect anyone to fight for us. And yes, I know many of the people reading this are truly allies and I’m not saying this to hurt you. But we’re going to need you to commence cleaning up your house before you can help us clean up the world.
Posted in Contemporary Racism, Feminism, Racism, White Privilege, Women of Color | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 28, 2008
Brotherpaecemaker blogs about the acquittal of the homicidal cops from New York:
People in the black community need to rethink our relationship with the dominant community. The disparity between the two communities is getting wider and wider. Police murder us in the streets and suffer no repercussions while black pastors are demonized for preaching about racial disparity in our communities. Even when the most extreme forms of this discrimination is caught on tape it is dismissed as our fault because we didn’t prostrate ourselves in front of the cop fast enough or the police officer was having a bad day and had to release his frustrations on the black citizen or whatever. We are in danger every time we come out in public from the very people sworn to protect the public. The police and the courts are doing their best to protect the public from black people.
Posted in Black Issues, Contemporary Racism, Institutionalized Racism, Law, People of Color, White Privilege, White Supremacy | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 17, 2008
I wrote what I wrote to say that there either is a feminist movement or there isn’t—and if feminists can’t even be called on to point to the work that other feminists are doing—if simply pointing to a whole sphere of pro-immigration bloggers (because, to be clear, I stated pro-immigration bloggers and men and women bloggers of color NOT brownfemipower) who have been blogging incessantly about this is too much work for feminism—well, then there’s no fucking feminist movement.
I never said that it’s important to recognize that I had the idea first. I don’t give a shit who came up with the idea first—even if it WAS me. I don’t give a shit who thought of what first. I don’t fucking want credit for anything outside of existing. (For those who care, what I really said: There’s a lot of women of color (and men of color!) who have talked about immigration. There’s a lot of women of color and men of color who have examined how sexualized violence has been the foremost result of the “strengthening” of borders. There’s been a lot of us who have insisted for a long time now that immigration is a feminist issue, goddamn it, get your head out of your ass.
I even wrote a whole speech about it (link not available–BUT for those who DID see the speech, do you happen to recall that long list of LINKED work at the beginning of the speech?).
This was NEVER ABOUT FUCKING BROWNFEMIPOWER except in the sense that I BELONG to immigrant communities and I BELONG to pro-immigration blogger community and I BELONG to the women of color community and I THOUGHT I belonged to a feminist community.
This was about women of color constantly being written out of feminism, being written out of our own communities BY feminism—then being beaten up by feminists with JUST DO IT, JUST DO IT, JUST FUCKING DO IT YOU LAZY SPICS.
I know I’m brownfemipower and I want to end violence against women. And I wanted to do that with all the women who keep insisting to me that we are all in this together and we have common problems that we have to work against and we’re all sisters, and there is such thing as a commonality of experience between us all—as I said in my original post—I thought feminism was important because it brought women together (I had thought at one time that feminism was about justice for women. I had thought it was about centering the needs of women, and creating action in the name of, by and for women. I had thought that feminism has its problems but it’s worth fighting for, worth sacrificing and sweating and crying and breaking down for.)
I realize now that “feminism” and I stand in direct opposition to each other—that the feminists who aren’t actively working against me and my community are, like Seymour Hersch, few and far between.
This has caused a radical shifting in my thinking. A shifting that I have no desire to work through online—but that I need to think through before I can act. I am not giving up. I am just thinking. And resting. And reading my beloved books and soaking my tired dogs.
Cuz giiirls, my dogs are TIRED.
As I said in my last post—I will find you, and you will find me.
Posted in Blog, Feminism, Institutionalized Racism, White Privilege, White Supremacy, Women of Color | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 14, 2008
Holly, at Feministe, blogs about the recent news surrounding the shutdown of Brownfemipower’s blog and white feminists appropriating ideas from women of color:
What I care about is that when white feminists undertake to write about the issues of women of color — such as immigration, which is clearly a massively race-infused issue — they should do so in solidarity with women of color. In ways that give political voice to women of color, to immigrants, to those whose voice is generally not heard as loudly.
When any of us have a soapbox, an opportunity to get up and talk, we must continue to stand by those who aren’t called on. If you want to consider yourself an anti-racist or a white ally to people of color — if you want anyone else to consider you those things — then it behooves you to swim against the current. If everyone did, perhaps the tides would turn, even if it was just in our corner of the blogosphere. And sometimes all you have to do is simply call out the hard work of another woman who went before you, who has paved the path that you’re walking down with research and ideas and words and strong feelings. All you have to do is cover your bases, pay your respects, and make sure you can’t be read as trying to take sole credit.
[Hat Tip: Alas, a blog]
Posted in Blog, Contemporary Racism, Feminism, White Privilege, Women of Color | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 11, 2008
[Sorry in advance to Ampersand. All posts that are posted at The Blog and the Bullet are automatically cross-posted on Alas, a blog. Therefore his post will be posted twice on his blog. Which is why I normally don't link Alas, a blog on here, but this stuff is important.]
Ampersand blogs about the controversy surrounding Amanda Marcotte and Brownfemipower shutting down her site:
I like and respect both BFP and Amanda Marcotte. This shit just sucks.
…we live in a racist context. And in that context, when white progressives take up issues that POC activists have been leading on for years, we should credit, cite and acknowlege the work of POC. Otherwise, we’re contributing to a racist pattern that’s been going on for decades, in all forms of writing and art.
Posted in Blog, White Privilege | 1 Comment »
Posted by Jack Stephens on April 10, 2008
Elizabeth Kaeton has embedded a video of Tim Wise explaining the affects of white privilege in America and on the working class.
[Hat Tip: Eileen the Episcopalifem]
Posted in History, White Privilege | Leave a Comment »