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Fri Mar 29, 2019, 08:59 AM

Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people



One of the very first responses I received from a white commenter was: “OK, but isn’t it better than nothing?”

Is it? Is a little erasure better than a lot of erasure? Is a little white supremacy leaked into our anti-racism work better than no anti-racism work at all? Every time I stand in front of an audience to address racial oppression in America, I know that I am facing a lot of white people who are in the room to feel less bad about racial discrimination and violence in the news, to score points, to let everyone know that they are not like the others, to make black friends. I know that I am speaking to a lot of white people who are certain they are not the problem because they are there.

Just once I want to speak to a room of white people who know they are there because they are the problem. Who know they are there to begin the work of seeing where they have been complicit and harmful so that they can start doing better. Because white supremacy is their construct, a construct they have benefited from, and deconstructing white supremacy is their duty.


[link:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/28/confronting-racism-is-not-about-the-needs-and-feelings-of-white-people|

This is a very compelling article and one that as a white anti-racist has messages that we need reminding off

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Reply Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people (Original post)
Soph0571 Mar 2019 OP
Squinch Mar 2019 #1
Doodley Mar 2019 #2
marble falls Mar 2019 #4
Doodley Mar 2019 #7
Soph0571 Mar 2019 #5
Doodley Mar 2019 #6
stonecutter357 Mar 2019 #9
Soph0571 Mar 2019 #11
WhiskeyGrinder Mar 2019 #8
brer cat Mar 2019 #3
stonecutter357 Mar 2019 #10

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 09:26 AM

1. Kick and rec. Great article.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 09:38 AM

2. I apologize for being born white. Now, tell me again how I am the problem.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 10:15 AM

4. Sometimes we need to check ourselves, particularly when our 'help' or 'criticism' smacks ...

of paternalism and condescension.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 01:07 PM

7. Thank you for saying so. I agree.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 10:38 AM

5. I think you just somewhat proved the point of the article

Checking in on our privilege is not a bad plan if what to continue to be better allies to the black community.....

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Response to Soph0571 (Reply #5)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 01:06 PM

6. You don't know a darn thing about me. Was it a privilege to be born with a father who killed

My mother and left me half:paralyzed? Does it make you feel good to tar people of the same color with.the same brush?

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Response to Doodley (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 02:19 PM

9. The OP is about white privilege , Do you know white privilege?

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Response to Doodley (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 06:27 PM

11. I am sorry your life has been difficult. That sucks and you have my sympathies.

However this article is about how white privilege owns every place, and we need to remind ourselves about it. It is not about the individual it is about a systemic white supremacist society that is embedded in our cultures, through Empire in Britain and the history of a countries wealth and governance in America built on slavery, and from that how our governments, our laws, our education systems and our criminal justice systems, to name just a few, have been designed, developed and embedded over generations by white men, for white men. That is just a fact. However hard your life has been that does not mitigate the second or third class status of people of colour, or that the system is stacked against them. It is difficult sometimes to empathise with this, as a white woman of privilege it is my job, as an ally of the community, to check in and make sure that I am actively mindful of this on an every day basis. Stating I am not a racist is not enough. Anti-racists who live a life of white privilege need these reminders, however mindful we might be. I thought it an excellent article in this regard.

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Response to Doodley (Reply #2)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 01:29 PM

8. Are you familiar with the concept of white privilege?

It doesn't mean that you, personally, have had an easy life just because you're white. It describes a systemic advantage or benefit of the doubt granted to white people as a whole, with measurable economic and social benefits *in the aggregate.* What it can look like at the individual level is a video game on an easier setting. It doesn't predict outcomes, but it can find patterns: In a conflict such as a traffic stop for speeding, a white person over time is more likely to get off with a warning than a black person, that kind of thing.

It doesn't mean any of us has to apologize for who we are. That's not what unpacking racism is about. It does mean some serious reckoning with the institutions in this country and how they are built on the concept of white supremacy, and whether we're willing to put in the effort to undo those biases.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 09:39 AM

3. Very good article.

Thanks for posting it! K&R

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2019, 02:20 PM

10. K&R

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