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On creating a community of, for and by radical Women of Color.
Join me in creating the foundation for a collective of pro-eco enviro, pro-autonomy, anti-imperialist/capitalist/racist/sexist/homophobic/looksist cabrona coffee clatch of Women of Color.

More info at:  http://molotovmojada.blogspot.com
"defining people by fleshtones" 13.Aug.2006 08:10


I think just as women need women only space, that people of color also need POC-only space too...I understand that due to the dominant paradigm, the request for a "collective of radical white women" is NOT the same as a request for a women of color collective, as well...

But that having been said, I would like to recap something Rob Thaxton said recently, last month, actually, and to understand how his proposed POC theory (since he is touted as an anarchist POC writer and the poster seems to admire his theories) works with this posting's intent...the post of Rob's interview is at  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/07/342777.shtml - he says there that 1) race divisions are "artificial" and he also says using race divisions are 2) "white supremacist language..." He goes on to say, 3)"By that, I mean don't use terms like "White," or "Person of Color," to describe people." So how does what Rob is saying mesh with this posting is my question...

Here is a snippet from the interview with Rob...
"Interviewer: How can white people contribute to fighting racism and white chauvinism?

Rob Thaxton: Well, I've liked the Race Traitor analysis of racism and white supremacy. I can't differentiate between what I read from them and my own thoughts, as they are so similar, and I may have carried some of it a bit further. But a good place to start would be to acknowledge that racial divisions are artificial, that there is only one race - the human race. And even though it's convenient, it would be a great idea to abandon white supremacist jargon. By that, I mean don't use terms like "White," or "Person of Color," to describe people. We are all distinct people who come from distinct cultures, which developed in distinct regions. Claim your ethnic heritage, but leave the racist terminology behind. This isn't always easy. Take me, for example. I'm part Mexican, part English, part Spanish, part Irish. I've learned to accept all of these parts of myself, which hasn't been easy, as I hated Spaniards for a long time because of what they did to my Mexican ancestors. I didn't reconcile that rift within myself until I started learning about the history of anarchists in Spain. Categories that try to define people by fleshtones really only make sense within the framework of white supremacist ideology."


isn't there a difference 13.Aug.2006 12:53


To the poster above:

perhaps rob los ricos was talking about the tendency of labeling others "people of color" or "white" or any other enthincity or race as a primary discriptor, or as a way of thinking about people interpersonally. There is a difference between giving such divisions primacy in our own identities and recognizing that society has created specific hurdles to freedom and empowerment for specific "groups" and subgroups of people in order to divide and conquer. In my opinion, there isn't a contradiction between refusing to internalize divisions based on "race" and "ethnicity" and also recognzing that specific people will find it necessary to organize together in order to address their common cause and find ways of confronting the system that oppresses them as a group in specific ways.

to divide these two aspects of struggle apart is typical of the racist divide and conquer tactics of the capitalist system. as activists, i hope we all start recognizing that and supporting our comrades in organizing within and across social and political divisions.

just my two cents.

Women of Clor Collective & los Ricos 14.Aug.2006 09:49

rebel girl

Rob did an interview w/Celticfire in July. Celtic got back to him on the ethnic identity thing because a number of posters responded to Rob's take on the issue. What he said follows:

From  http://celticfire.blogspot.com/2006/07/interview-with-rob-los-ricos--

At July 20, 2006 6:28 PM, Rob said...
"Hey, I just checked out the comments, since CelticFire mentioned it to me.

I want to clarify my comments on racism. I encourage people to define who they are in part by claiming their ethnic heritage, not by fleshtone. I've described myself as Mextica, Nahuatl or Mexican in the past, but am more comfortable with Tejano now, because it gives me a cultural and regional aspect to my identity. That basically means Tex-Mex."

I am an Afro-Cuban. Like Marlena, I identify first and foremost upon the color of my skin. Having survived rascist attacks has made my skin a loud, proud shield. I am well read with Rob but I do not agree with all of Rob's points of view.

A note: I RARELY visit this site because there is very, very little here that speaks to multicultural issues. I would not be surprised to learn that there are no PoC running this show. It is only by chance that I've surfed here. Thank Goddess I did, because I am Marlena's first WoC Collective joinee.

To *anon* 14.Aug.2006 18:47

Privilaged European

I can't speak to the oppresion of people of color as I have not experienced it on any level that people of color have had.

I am really interested in hearing what ethnicity *anon* is. It is clear that anon's questions are in reality statements followed by question marks. Clearly anon is working on racial division on his/her own as it is evident that s/he has put Marlena in a position of possibly countering the amazing brother's statments made in his interview.

I see that there IS a difference between pride of ethnicity among those who have been the brunt of racism and racist supemacist ideology. To any thinking person this is a no brainer.

*ALSO* How is it that anon jumped from Marlen's very brief post to conclude that she is one who "seems to admire [Thaxton's] theories"? Where did that come from??

Hard for "white" people too 14.Aug.2006 21:35


I appreciate this posting and I've checked out the molotovmojada blog. I'm sticking my arrogant white male neck out (notice I didnt say "red" neck) out to say that it is at times hard for me to organize with peopl of color because it seems that no matter how hard we try we sooner or later get accussed of being racist.
I am not a racist but I do understand that your experience does shape the way you feel about other ethnic and cultural views. I guess all I'm trying to say that we need unity over division and I do wish luck to this collective if they can help bring about racial unity.

clinging to the divisions that were imposed on our ancestors 15.Aug.2006 00:54

help me mister wizard

> A note: I RARELY visit this site because there is very, very little here that speaks to multicultural
> issues. I would not be surprised to learn that there are no PoC running this show.

This sounds to me like the same attitude that leads to people in my neighborhood each only patronizing businesses that are already full of other people of their own skin tone. Wonderful. This is definitely the way forward for all of us. As long as PoC avoid this site because there are already no PoC here (except the Arabs -- do they count?) it will continue in its lame and pathetic whiteness. Man, white people suck, don't they. Perhaps somebody would like to share some links to anti-corporate news sites that they like better.

Whoops, I goofed! 15.Aug.2006 12:00

rebel girl

>As long as PoC avoid this site because there are already no PoC here (except the Arabs -- do they >count?) it will continue in its lame and pathetic whiteness.

I don't think that this site is lame or pathetic. It's just not one that I go to often. There simply are many other sites that speak specifically to me and my community, that speak my language.

I meant no disrespect and I do apologize.