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First of all, there's no mistake about the fact that President Barack H. Obama Jr. is NOT totally a white guy. Can we all agree to that? Other than his dapper and well coordinated manner, his devastating smile and his electric charisma, two of his most other salient aspects are the fact that he's a man and, yet, that he doesn't look quite like a white man.
Now why is it important to regard those two particular aspects about him first and foremost?
Well… Let's get right down to it, shall we?
Perhaps it's important that those two particular features about this person depends on how we are all are taught to live in a society where everything and every one is defined and judged against a standard of both Patriarchy and White Supremacy. All of us, no matter who we are, or what we think of ourselves are living in such a state.
We are taught from birth that things like race and gender have inherent values attached to them. Some more than others. We are also taught from birth that whiteness and maleness have the highest values attached to them. This is despite of the fact that those values are conferred upon certain individuals SOLELY by what they are when they are born. Nothing else is required. The privileges are handed to those certain people are also handed to them without their consent.
No one has any control over whether or not they have been given either white and/or male privileged status, unless of course, they actively change their own ostensibly apparent race and/or gender voluntarily. I'm not going to go into how incredibly complex the dynamic is within our society by tangentially commenting on transgenderism or race passing. But let's just stipulate that when one's own race or gender is somehow perceived to be altered, so accordingly does their own privileged status.
So, why is it wrong to refer to President Obama as "The Black President?"
Quite simply it's wrong because it puts the primary focus on his race, as if his race is somehow outside of the established norm. When you put the focus on his race, rather than, let's say… His political affiliation, what you're doing is inferring that the white supremacist society that we're all living in is still a valid one. That our primary expectation that the Office of the President of the United States should still be white dominated, white identified, and white centered. That anything outside of those norms need to be alerted to.
IF we also wish to discredit Patriarchy, the same applied elements of maleness must be done away also.
Of course, noticing his race is still a valid action. However, there's quite a difference between saying that President Obama is the "Black President," vs noting that he's the one President so far who just happens to be black. If you wish to invalidate white supremacy, then one's own blackness should not be regarded as apart from some arbitrarily established racial norm. He's not the President because he's black, he's the President because he got the most votes than the other guys in two elections. His blackness is no more an element of his attaining office than anything else about him. IF those two other guys had been elected instead, would you refer to them as "white presidents?"
OF course, not. Because in a white supremacist society, whiteness is the granted norm and non-whiteness is not.
Now just today on the Discsinist, I had to school one of the wingers over there about this issue about white supremacy and white privilege. What I'm going to do now is repost what I wrote in this thread along with the link, in case you want to see the rest of the thread over there. I think that in regard to recent events, this is quite appropriate:
Since you're being intentionally vague about the meaning of your own question...
I'll have to go through all of the possible interpretations of what you're asking.
So, do I think that white liberals are "in" on this white supremacy thing?
If you mean, are white liberals the beneficiaries of white supremacy… Most definitely, whether they want to be or not. The only thing that white people of any political stripe would have to do to benefit from white supremacy and white privilege is to just be born white. Nothing else is required.
White supremacy and the privileges that it extends to all whites is part of the fundamental make up of America. Yes, some of those interpretations have changed over the course of the history of the United States, quite notably during the period of increased immigration to America from Eastern and Central Europe and the Scots-Irish… But later, even those descendants were eventually integrated into privileged status as well.
If you mean, are white liberals engaging in the sustainment and promotion of white supremacy… The answer to that question is yes as well, even if it's done so unintentionally. White supremacy as the prevailing system of race class privilege exists at all levels of our society and it's impossible to avoid it. But in order to see it, you have to understand what it is and what it isn't.
White supremacy is not just running around wearing Klan robes, dressing up like nazi skinheads and waving the Stars and Bars, although that what most white supremacists are wont to do. White supremacy is a system of group racial hierarchal social and institutional stratification, based solely on one's birth. It's comprised of three elements: It's white identified, white dominated and white centered.
For example, under a system of white supremacy, all issues are inherently white issues, where white people defining the norms by which all other things are gauged. Like going to a movie and interpreting the white, (and mostly straight male) protagonist's story as being the universal standard, while looking at a movie with a black protagonist as only being indicative of black people alone.
Everyone does this and you can see further examples of it all up and down the line.
And lastly, If you mean, are white liberals aware of the existence of white supremacy... Well that would all depend on whom you're talking about. Which is where debate always comes in. There are those white liberals who are keenly aware of the fact that we live in a country dominated by a system of white supremacy, and because of it, they do inherently draw privilege from that system. AS a matter of fact, a lot of important work on the subject of white privilege and white supremacy has been done by whites themselves. By examining the prevailing systems and how they, as inherently privileged individuals operate within them, they are able to understand how it all works.
I would have to also say that white liberals are usually prone to accepting the fact that white supremacy exists, how the inherently dray privilege from it and that, as individuals, there's really very little that they can do about it.
However, that's not going to stop them from trying.
On the other hand, there are other white liberals who do not accept the concepts and are thereby engaging in a process of denial. Which is completely understandable, however it's not really fair nor accurate. These are people who understand that the implementation of white supremacy and white privilege is inherently wrong. However, they are under the mistaken impression that they should be blamed for it. Of course, they shouldn't be blamed for it. They did absolutely nothing to gain privilege except for the fact that they were born white.
People, most people, are inherently fair and good… Even though some of that is conditional, however, a belief in fairness is pretty universal. It's a hard thing to do for one to realize that they've been given an unfair advantage in an unfair system of privilege, and all they had to do for it was just be born to a certain group.
To sum this up, I have to reiterate that I don't hate white people, I don't resent them in anyway and I do not wish harm upon whites at all.
What I do resent is the unfair system of race/class privilege that we have controlling everything in this country. It's dangerous, it distorts reality and it's ultimately self-destructive for every single person, regardless of their skin color and degree of privilege.
There… I gave you some more words, so go forth and do with them as you will.
Now, last but not least, what's wrong with Michael Moore's recent remark about the President only legacy being remembered as the "The First Black President?" Let's presume that Michael Moore objects to American white supremacy and white privilege… That's not a hard thing to assign to him. He's a fairly liberal and progressive individual and opposition to white supremacy and white privilege is pretty much standard within this arena.
But Michael Moore as an individual who has lived his entire life under a system where he's NOT being oppressed due to his race, makes the same errors in judgement that just about everyone does, by falling back of thinking in terms of white identification, white domination, and white centeredness. That's clearly what happened when he said what he said. Now, he should be criticized for that. Even the most anti-racist white person can make that mistake at any time and they may never be aware of what they said when they said it. But just because he made that mistake, you have to take into consideration his reaction when or if his mistake is pointed out to him.
There's the rub: What is his level of SELF-AWARENESS?
Now we already know, from his error, that he still has a ways to go in divorcing himself from the thinking associated with the prevalent system of white supremacy and white privilege. As a liberal/progressive, moving away from automatically thinking in terms of defaulted whiteness is an imperative here.
And this is where we come to the most important part to consider. Whether or not what's referred to as his path of least resistance forces him to move away from thinking in terms or white identification, white domination, and white centeredness, or that he does not move away from them. Will his future remarks about the President primarily highlight his race as the most important factor of his legacy?
Well, we all know that such a thing is wrong and it's counter-intuitive to anti-white supremacist and liberal/progressive values. The President's legacy shouldn't depend on his blackness, in spite of the fact that we can celebrate the fact that his singular election to office broke the mold of inherent white presidency.
But he's not the "Black President," he's THE President.
Everyone here, myself included, has to always keep these things in mind, IF we're to increase own own self awareness within the prevailing system of white supremacy and privilege and do everything within our power as a society to abolish that system. Our own paths of least resistance need adjusting to accommodate a process where we will work to abolish white supremacy and privilege first and foremost.
If we're not doing that… Why are we here?
Posted by MrScorpio | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 08:10 PM (35 replies)
In a thread about black conservatives.
Of course, the wingers there just LOVE black conservatives to pieces, even though they have no idea what the purpose of black conservatism is all about. Sure, slap a black face on white conservatism and everything is all hunky-dory, right?
Now, we all know that your garden variety wing nut is a bona-fied rocket scientist. After all, they have raised stupidity to a fine art, to go along with their love of all things racist, sexist and obtuse.
So, these last couple of days, I've been pissing them off by pointing out that black conservatives are:
- Completely servile to white conservative ideology
- Unapologetically pandering to white cons
- Not fully accepted by the black community at large
- Primarily at home with white con audiences
- Disproportionally mentally unhinged
- Exist to excuse white supremacy and endorse white privilege and conservative bigotry
Now, of course, we all know that denial of white supremacy and white privilege isn't exclusively a conservative phenomena. Far from it. These are problems that affect everyone, regardless of their political preferences. And we all know why this is the case, especially on our side of the spectrum, where the idea of inherent race privilege is a natural anathema… We see liberals who mistakenly personalize white privilege, as if highlighting the problem is tantamount to blaming them for it.
Which is completely wrong. That guilt is misplaced, of course, yet these folks feel it anyway. What they've failed to realize is the fact that white privilege is something that whites in this country earn by benefit of being born as white people and nothing more. No white person in this country has to do anything beyond being born white to have white privilege. Of course, to some fair minded white liberals, this is a completely outrageous idea.
White privilege is not some personal failing, they are not being judged as individuals for having something that they've never asked for. It's a system that was imposed on all of us to maintain an environment of race-based class privilege and hierarchal social and economic stratification. It's not like individuals are capable of doing anything about this, however, they think that they're being unfairly blamed for it. No, that's not true at all.
Another problem with this is that a lot of white liberals are completely unable to understand that their words and actions are responsible for furthering white supremacy and through a process of white privilege. It takes a significant amount of self-awareness and instruction to understand these things, and it's not like one can overturn an entire lifetime of privileged white existence with just a few posts on a discussion forum.
Now, going back to the black conservatives… It's impossible for black conservatives to tell their white counterparts that they're being bigoted assholes. After all, the entire purpose OF black conservatism is to justify, endorse and excuse white conservative bigotry and economic exploitation and do it with a black face. It never was and never will be a form of independent black empowerment. If these co-called black cons EVER decided to go the route of independent black empowerment and cut their ties with fascist and bigoted right wing Republicans, those fucking white wingers will lose their shit.
Now when it comes to confronting the problems of white supremacy and white privilege over here on the LEFT… There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for allowing these things to go unchallenged in a movement that prides itself for working to overturn unfair treatment based on anything, bigotry and inherent inequality.
No excuse at all.
So, what the fuck is going on with this Michael Moore bullshit?
I have to say that I haven't been watching any TV lately, I haven't been exactly paying attention to the threads in GD for the last couple of days and I've been doing shit completely unrelated to any political site, so I'm not entirely up to snuff.
I have been wasting too much fucking time dealing with those assholes on the Discisnst. with a couple of threads and that's taken up a considerable amount of concentration to effectively discredit their bullshit.
Given that I've neglected spending time dealing with bullshit over here, where it doesn't belong and seeing how so much of has exploded all over the place, I'm now over here to lend some of my overdue time to give it the old college try.
So, I'll ask you this: Since you guys know where the bullshit lies in GD, much better than me, and especially since it's quite overwhelmed whenever I look in there, I'm asking you to do me a favor and post links as replies to this OP, of particularly disturbing and troublesome posts and I will act accordingly.
Hit me, I'm ready.
Posted by MrScorpio | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 03:59 PM (5 replies)
Posted by MrScorpio | Tue Sep 9, 2014, 08:11 PM (5 replies)
Posted by MrScorpio | Tue Sep 9, 2014, 11:03 AM (2 replies)
Posted by MrScorpio | Tue Sep 9, 2014, 11:01 AM (2 replies)