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anti-racism

Another Whitey

I would like to make a statement.

The struggle against oppression is not easy. Today I read the many posts
concerning racism, and in an effort to continue Portlands dialogue on the
subject I would like to open up a discussion.
What is prejudice?
what is racism?

We all have preconceived notions about each other. Prejudice is an
irrational opinion about a group of people that we dont identify with. We
all live in a society which promotes fear and segregation. It is
impossible to get away from it...we are all prejudice. The catch is, some
people are awarded illigetamite power through their identity and some are
not. This is where racism comes in to play. Racism is prejudice plus
power.

So, to make it clear. Everyone is prejudice, and all people with white
privilege are racist.

For some reason when (we as) white people are reminded about the history
of people with white skin, what they have done to the world, and what we
continue to do we get defensive. I (sometimes) hate to be the bringer of
bad news, but thats life folks.
Until we as white people can understand what we have done to people of
color all over the world the we will only be perpetuating hundreds of
years of oppression. I dont think that making all white people
uncomfortable with what they have done to promote racism is a bad thing.
i was 30.Aug.2004 12:35

going to

post something about this when i just saw this recent post.i thought it might be seen as counterproductive at this time of the massive demonstrations.but i have heard said and i will say myself,the ''race'' problem is the only problem.the human race itself.but specifically the extermination of african type ''genetics'' here and everywhere.since i am from the usa i will speak of what happens to ME. my life has been threatened by police.people who have attempted to help me have had their lives threatened by authorities. death threat phone calls from ''official'' organizations etc. THIS is the real face of ''america''. just want you to know of the kinds of things these people do.i once had ''faith'' in humanity and white peoples ability to speak up and act if things ever got to this point.i didnt think people could be that weak. if you are white and speak up you wsill be vilified and demonized.i guess its the authorities way of labelling people like tre arrow and jeff luers ''niggers''. who knows where this police state is heading.all iknow is that it is horribly dangerous if the bushcops think they have any ''answers''.they certainly do not listen to multiracial and african american input.total ignorance arrogance.

Tired of being "white" 30.Aug.2004 13:41

bes

I don't think I, or any so-called white "American", can comprehend what it's like to be black, latino, native american or any other non-white group who doesn't share the unfair privilege which we have enjoyed and guarded through racist policies and attitudes over our nation's history, so I really have no right to even comment on this issue. However, not all whites have enjoyed wealth and power, and when poor disenfranchised whites tried to unite with black, natives and others, the rich and powerful used race as a means to divide the opposition which so vastly outnumbered them. The white race was promoted as a concept in America in order to prevent an all-out rebellion of the poor and working class. Unfortunately, when any group receives preferential treatment, they are loathe to give up their advantage because they have no confidence in their own success on an equal playing field. They defend it and criticize the valid complaints of those on the other end of the stick. This is why even liberal self-professed non-racists react so much to accusations of racism, such as those on this site. Human progress itself suffers because the best leaders, the most able and knowledgeable are hobbled by our ludicrous system of privilege and prejudice. We must find ways to demolish this concept of whiteness and emerge from our paranoid fortifications to struggle beside our brothers and sisters in the streets. I don't blame them if they want to kick the shit out of us first.

right 30.Aug.2004 15:53

om

thats about the best thing ive heard.that people who are given privilege dont want to give it up.after all its on such a basic animal survival level that it seems to transcend ''good intentions'' anti racist ideas.i suppose a lot of whites think 'ive got what i got, i worked hard.im good i deserver this''. at least there are some aware racial commentators.its the ignorant ones that make you wonder how people got this way.we all want to be ''accepted''.the police state needs to grow up.this all american tote that barge lift that bale mindset is soooooooooooo bankrupt

It seems that... 30.Aug.2004 17:39

Obvious

That anyone who agrees with our opinion is instantly characterized as open minded and enlightened, whereas, others are close-minded reactionaries. It is a cultural truism that is replicated too frequently within our culture and I see it very frequently here on the progressive indy-media.

race/ethnicity is so complicated 30.Aug.2004 18:04

white now

my grandfather was from Sicily. His black curly hair, brown eyes and dark skin reflected the history and mix of populations on the Mediterannean island south of Italy. my father looked like his father only a little whiter because of his northern born mom. my mother's mother hated him for racial reasons. she considered my dad to be "non-white." there is much racial pain in our family history.
i feel like I understand race issues from a family of origins perspective -- but since my mom is of northern european descent, I am whiter still and have been expected to check the "white" box since childhood.
my brothers and sisters in the non-white community "see" me as white and usually dismiss my experience.
How do we connect with each other? My own suggestion is to listen to one another's stories and stop looking only to skin color. Few families will encourage their children to identify with the oppressed if they can "cross the line" and find a better life. The issue becomes how not to perpetuate the crime on a new immigrant population. solidarity is difficult if we judge only by skin tones. I don't find it comfortable to be included in the "we white folks" mentality.

how do you look at it? 30.Aug.2004 22:10

Vizzi Moth

Go back far enough into history, and you can find strong evidence or more of Native Americans eating one another, Whites eating people, Blacks eating people, Blacks enslaving Whites, Whites enslaving Whites, Blacks enslaving Blacks, etc. Barbarism, fascism, racism. It's a part of history for us all and to call it a "White" thing is racist.

Should you be ashamed of your ancestors 100 generations ago? 10 generations ago? 1 generation ago? I don't think so. Of your peers today when they behave badly? Maybe, because you can do something about it.

Should you work to lift up those who were ravaged, regardless of who did the ravaging, even if they were ravaged generations ago? I think so.

To shed light upon your questions, all racism is prejudice, but not all prejudice is racism. Since race is an essentially useless construct with little grounding in reality (people from all "races" share a similarity in potential, and we're all homo sapiens), and prejudice is very real, it makes more sense to me to focus on prejudice.

Prejudice can be based upon skin color, religion, culture, height, education level, political leaning, drug use, and pretty much everything about us that allows us to differentiate ourselves from one another.

Some prejudice is valid--I wouldn't want my kid marrying some crack addict, or somebody who was violent. Or is it not prejudice because it's based on rational thought?

Some prejudice is not valid. Why hold it against somebody for being short?

A question to you. Is it prejudice if you're not sexually attracted to anybody with red hair? Body hair? Small breasts? A small penis? Is it prejudice if you're not attracted to a person because of skin color? Suppose you don't hate them, you even like them as a human beings, but you're not attracted to them. Is that prejudice? Is it prejudice if you don't like them as humans, but are attracted to them sexually (as I've seen men treat women)? When have you had enough experience with some type of person to know that you will or won't like people of that type? If one culture likes to talk all day, and another likes silence, is it prejudice when they don't want to sit with one another?

Saying stupid things 30.Aug.2004 23:00

.

While the state did carry out some spectacular assasinations, such as of Fred Hampton, it was most lastingly successful when it merely encouraged people to call each other "nigger" and "honky".

US foreign policy has always concentrated on sowing division and recrimination, at home as well as abroad. The oppressor needs bitter disputes over racism as much as he needs abrams tanks and torturers.

I used to assume these fatuous debates were prodded into life by saboteurs and trolls. I have since met face to face many of the participants. I suppose some might be agents. However, agents are superfluous. The oppressed have eagerly internalized the oppressors program to turn as many friends as possible into enemies... as one wrote recently, "say really stupid things and pull the gender or race card when i get a little mad". Although I admire her honesty, given how crippled our compassion and social skills are in the best of circumstances, to say really smart things when mad would be preferable.

If it helps, think of the hateful words as the oppressors colony in his mind -- and the stupid anger as his colony in your own mind.

Ignorance of reason is the ultimate oppressor. 31.Aug.2004 07:37

Phil Anthrope

Racism and Prejudice are two of the most tangible and damaging manifestations of ignorance. The emmancipation of the human species from itself must begin with the emmancipation of the individual from ignorance. The day our species as a whole embraces reason, is the day racism ceases to exert any noticable influence. As it is though, ignorance runs rampant. The masses, without a system for determining truth, and operating on base instincts and emotions, will inevitably be led this way or that by whomever is best able to manipulate those instincts and emotions in order to acheive their own ends. As I see it, the absence of reason is the root of all of our species problems, or maybe more accurately, it is in the application of reason that the solutions to all of our problems lie, including the problems of prejudice and racism. Who's with me on this?

"emancipation" with one m 31.Aug.2004 07:53

Phil Anthrope

Sory, I didnt spel it write.

i don't get it 31.Aug.2004 18:20

you could explain it (hard) or give me shit for it (easy)

>that people who are given privilege dont want to give it up

contemporary society gives "white" people privilege whether they want it or not

there's no way for an individual or a small group to "give it up"

so what exactly are we talking about here?

Well now Philip 31.Aug.2004 18:26

W

Could you please explain your response to Vanessa in the Hey Whitey thread?

After an impassioned post about her life, all you can post is:
"Is anyone else bewildered by Vanessa's ignorance and racism, or is it just me?"
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/08/295708.shtml

This type of reply is probably the reason the original thread was started in the first place.
You don't respond to anything, just propagate this superior white vibe that is so prevalent here.

If I am incorrect in my asumption, please inform all on your thought process, I would truely like to know.

[; 31.Aug.2004 19:52

;

i hear that.that complete dismissal of a black mans perspective .its like the cops etc. only see your mouth moving when you question their agressive attitude.its seems a lot of ''whites'' just see your physical gestures and body movements and dont really listen to what you are actually saying.almost like youre not really there.they dont listen to your eloquent discourse that youve given your all.thats a perfect example of the soul exhaustion that many blacks feel.we give our all to this society and at the slightaest hint of disagreement ,we are demonized as if the white person was waiting for a flaw in our character to unload on us and say''SEE, I TOLD YOU THOSE BLACKS ARE COMPLAINERS!''.they cant let go of their intense ice age europe ''focus''.(which conversely can also be a kind of blinder to other views of life)

re [; 31.Aug.2004 22:06

.

I think you hear something that is not there. Certainly, not complete dismissal. Not complete understanding, either.

White people seeing your physical gestures and body movements are probably just smart, like coloured people. Everybody knows it is easy to lie with your mouth, harder to lie with your body. Just because they are white doesn't mean they are stupid.

It seems, though, that few, white or coloured, know that bodies speak different languages.

It is hardly fair to say that all whites look the same. Especially unfair to say they all look like cops. After all, cops are trained from a manual that says, if he comes toward you he is attacking, if he steps back he is trying to get a run on, if he goes down he is tricking you to relax your guard, if he stands up he is trying to get height advantage... if your cop wasn't born a paranoid asshole, his training is designed to make him one. And they don't send the polite boy-scouts to black neighbourhoods, except for unofficial punishment, do they?

You think your soul is exhausted! How do you think whites, who don't have much soul to start with, feel when they read, "I HEAR THAT COMPLETE DISMISSAL..."?

Let's be real. Racism exists. Racism has causes. Racism can be understood. Apparently, we haven't figured out how to overcome racism, yet.

Let's be really real. Do you think white people can be your allies? Do you want white people to be your allies? If no, why are you wasting your time flapping your keyboard here? If yes, you need to understand, all that nonsense the fascists teach you, about white folks loving the people who beat on them, is designed to help you make enemies.

Let's try for the unreal. A lot of racism isn't racism.


There used to be a book, called something like, I forget exactly, "Look Out, Whitey, Black Power's Gonna Get Your Momma!" A bit of Franz Fanon fantasy fluff. I don't know many Whiteys read it. I know a lot of Whiteys thought about their Mommas whenever they saw Blacks.

Life isn't fair. Worse, there is a lot of evidence which says coloured folks, and white folks too, are going to have to get their freedom all by themselves.

re [; (slight burp) 31.Aug.2004 22:38

.

I need to tell you that first I wrote "civil-rights" in the last sentence instead of "freedom". Showing my age.

However, we have our "civil-rights", don't we. They don't do us much good, do they. They don't actually mean much. Because they aren't the same as freedom.

I have heard some say that they assassinated King because he started to talk about Vietnam and socialism. It may be true that he started to talk about those things, but I don't think that is why they assassinated him. They assassinated elShabazz, too, after he came back from his Hajj, and repudiated the bankrupt NOI ideology that the White Man is Satan.

Both started to talk about freedom, distinguished from "civil-rights".

Both started to reach out, to include people they had not previously considered friends.


Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the white man really is satan. This, though, I know for sure : the oppressor always works his ass off to get people fighting amongst themselves.