How this Racial Issues 101 is Different

February 19, 2015 at 9:15 am Leave a comment

Explanations, disclaimers and stuff before I get into the nitty-gritty
*In case you weren’t sure, yes I am a white chick. I don’t claim to be a Perfectly Enlightened White Ally ™ just a person who’s been working on her “racial homework” for a while, formally and informally, by talking to people of various backgrounds, reading books, going to workshops, discussing stuff online.
*This is directed towards white Americans, while trying not to talk down to them, get them to realize/repent of their privilege, feel guilt and shame, invalidate their experiences of *not* feeling privileged by taking into account economic class, region, living in rural, suburban or urban environments.
*I am going to start out talking about race in terms of Black-White relations, not because issues with Latino/Hispanic Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders and American Indians don’t matter, they definitely do and don’t get talked about enough- but the current events have been mainly surrounding African-American communities and their (mis)treatment by police and the criminal justice system.
*This is specific to the United States, though there are of course similar problems and issues in other countries, but the history and how race is socially constructed and viewed is different.
*I think there are problems with the whole discourse of “privilege” in general, and stuff that’s arisen around it (like yelling virtually or in person “Check your privilege” at people who disagree with you, and obsessively going after people for making insensitive comments online and expecting everyone to having the equivalent of a Master’s Degree in Race Relations Tumblr-approved Social Justice style, personally handed to you by Kofi Annan.
* White Conservatives are not necessarily racist, and white liberals are not necessarily magically immune to racism. Supporting or opposing particular policies like affirmative action, bussing school integration programs and so forth does not necessarily mean a person is or isn’t racist.
*Racism is an annoyingly imprecise term that everyone seems to use differently. There are actual dictionary definitions and such, but everyone comes into a race conversation with their preconceived ideas about it. I am going to try to use more specific terms even if they are longer like “xenophobia” and “ethnocentrism” I will be defining these terms as I go.
*I may sometimes bring in comparisons from other identity groups that I belong to, such as being bisexual and autistic. These are going to be imperfect comparisons of course, as different systems of oppression work differently, I do not believe in The One Oppression to Rule Them All (the closest might be class, but It’s Complicated.
*I will be linking to articles that provide additional information, please keep in mind that linking does not necessarily mean I agree with everything that the writers say on their other articles, websites, books, interviews et al. Please be careful to take note of commenting policies on blogs/websites, especially those kept by people of color. I don’t want to be known as That White Chick who sent a bunch of troll traffic to flood someone’s safe space.
*I’m not discussing/analyzing the Saga of Ferguson/Black Lives Matter movement at this time.

*Constructive criticism from people of color is very welcome and encouraged. Content may be potentially triggering to both people of color and white folks- though I will be discussing things more abstractly, not discussing graphic violence or anything like that, just to be clear.
*Constructive comments/discussion from white folks is also welcome and encouraged.
*Accusations that I “hate/am attacking white people/America/European-based cultures/support the Vast Jewish Feminist Gay Marxist Conspiracy” etc. and other such nonsense will be blocked and deleted.
*I am not here to be your social justice-themed therapist and neither are any people of color who come to this blog to comment, so don’t annoy them with “Do you absolve me of all my white guilt?” and such.

OK, on with the show!

Entry filed under: Race/Ethnicity.

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