white trash vs white guilt
A look at class and miscommunication with in sub-culture
White trash vs. white guilt, by Bood Samel ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
The aim of this text is to point out a great flaw in the ideological view that provides the conceptual frame work for a large amount of the various scenes that make up the sub-cultural underground. This is done in hopes of that more communication and understanding between the individuals that each on their own right make up this underground, and that work with in each scene can increase in scope of function.
The radical left alienates poor and working class white people. It seems to go even as far as to deny their existence, and large and by it has to. The presence of white trash contradicts its world view. While racism is inherently a component of the systems of power and control in America, it is a means and not an end in itself. America is not inherently white supremacist, it is green supremacist, that is money is the goal. Every trailer park and apartment complex attests to this. To be welcome in capitalism ones needs only capital. Not to say that the odds aren't stacked against certain ethnic groups, they most certainly are. The show is rigged like a carnival scam, and it's a game played out in terms of brutality and survival. But quite a few white folks, in fact most of them, are set up to be marks as well.
This may not always be apparent in sub-culture because almost every scene, from ravers to punk rockers, is predominately made up of white kids from middle class to rich backgrounds that have the excess resources to live outside of social norms, and access to the information that informs them that such options exist. People with in sub-culture tend to it and its products for granted. Most people don't know what a 'zine or 7 inch is, or that such things exist. All they know and ever will know is work, family, survival, the pursuit of leisurely numbness, and death. The notion of white privilege is a myth, rhetorical convenience for the few wealthy white people to project a need of redemption on groups viewed though a lens of otherness so they may absolve themselves of the guilt from having excess money and resource.
Every poor white person is a hole in their coping mechanism. No leftist groups reach out to the trailer parks or apartment complexes. They are not some group with a sense of otherness that can be set up as a sacrificial lamb to absorb guilt. Which is essentially Christianity cast in extreme left wing and anarchist political terms and symbols, rather then religious ones. This basis in guilt that the extreme leftist/anarchist influenced scenes are built upon becomes rather evident when one looks at the throngs of protesters who throw themselves before eager cops to be victimized and cast in the role of martyr. It even comes complete with saints elevated to mythological proportions. Look at Mumia, patron saint of white guilt. His story has been told so many times, and has so much weight behind it, it doesn't matter what really happened anymore, or that there is still a very real man suffering.
All and all it's dishonest to the groups projected upon with a sense of otherness, and even worse to poor whites. Things aren't fair or balanced between groups of people, nor are they between individual people. If you happen to be born into a position of excess of wealth and privilege you shouldn't feel bad about it. Try looking at wealth and resource like energy. Energy isn't good or bad, it's how it's used. Be grateful for what you have, but also mindful of its cost. Accept the individual responsibility of having excess resources, don't feel bad about it, and stop alienating poor white folks!
The right wing speaks to poor white people, but only for its own ends. Is the talk of white privilege going to speak to a kid who's grown up seeing his family struggle to survive? Is a kid like that going to be able to relate to P.C. standards stemming from guilt? Obviously a poor white kid has no basis for feeling white guilt, and is going to be left out. Also how many times are the products of white trash youth (music, 'zines, etc.) pushed to the absolute fringes because of not conforming to such standards?
However the suffering that a poor white kid's family has gone through can be preyed upon by right wing groups who tell them that his or her suffering is the fault of minorities for whatever reason. It's hard for people clear across the board to accept individual responsibility for their lives, in this case either rich white kids projecting on others, poor white kids trying to blame their problems on others. Rich white kids push poor white kids away with guilt laden notion of political correctness and often straight into the hands of right wing based scenes which openly accept them. Every new skinhead is usually anarcho-punks fault. Crass is easier to hear and get a hold of then say rahowa or screwdriver. Heartattack and similar publications are easier to find then pro-racist ones. Why do groups like A.R.A. spend all their time policing the underground for white racist sympathies rather then confronting usually very out in the open non-white racist groups in the same cities that A.R.A. has chapters in? Black Israelities and Five Presenters operate very out in the open, in the public spotlight, and have been doing so consistently for many years. Because A.R.A. has less to do with confronting racism as it has to do with absolving white guilt.
It's time to stop a minute, step back, think about all this, and see how we all contribute to the issue, and on all sides. It's a waste clear across the board.
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