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Tuesday
Aug042015

White Supremacy? I'm Into It.

I'd love it if White* people said out loud, 'I've considered the historical, empirical, and easily observed truths of White Supremacy, I've thought about all the bloodshed and all the benefits, I've talked it over with my family and friends -- and all things considered, even though I know it sucks for the majority of the world, I'm into it. It's working for me.' That would be so refreshing. We could have such honest, vibrant conversations, rather than all the denying, defensive, red herring, false equivalency, troll-rodeo stuff.

Over the course of my weird little life, it's been painful and invigorating for me to keep looking at how being the skin color (and gender and sexual orientation) that our system is built and optimized for has played out in my life and my personality. I keep discovering new blind spots, laughing/crying at myself, going in circles, finding new ways. I wish the same uncomfortable adventure for everyone, to just check out wherever you find yrself in our hierarchy, through no fault/triumph of yr own. Imagine how different it could be. In another time -- Eastern Europe in the 30s is a great, if obvious, example -- my Jewishness (skin tone, features, ethnicity, etc) would put me in a very different, decidedly less powerful, more dangerous place. Right now, in the US (and most of the developed world), all those same features make up my Straight White Dude identity, and I rule. It's nothing to feel guilty about or proud about. It doesn't make me any better or worse as a person. What I do with all of it sure does, though.

It's not about the latest murder, it's not about personally being an overt Racist, it's not about good cops v. bad cops, it's not about 'I don't see skin color' or #AllLivesMatter, it's not about The Man Keeping Us All Down or The Illuminati or G-d (poor G-d, always gettin blamed for all this)... it's about simply acknowledging that I've grown up White in a system of White Supremacy, learning about all the ways this system has helped me along (socially, financially, emotionally, physically), and then seeing if I'm brave enough to deconstruct and dismantle my privilege and advantage in the same way it was given to me, i.e. via systemic change (legislation etc). It's just acknowledging context. 

Whoever you are, wherever you are, have a look around. Maybe 'the revolution' can start more introspectively, and then rather than oppressed people needing to keep fighting and fighting for nothing more than actual social and financial equality, us White people could go, 'hey, y'know, you're right. We were just scared and ashamed and selfish, and we get overwhelmed thinking about how to fix it, but let's try.' That'd be good times.

Oh, here’s the article that inspired this piece of writing. Simple, straightforward, numbers, history, links to other stuff… check it:

"Solving racism, if that is at all possible, is not a matter of everyone just getting along. But rather, this is a matter of eradicating institutional racism. That is not the job of Black folks. The solution rests with White people, who for the most part do not even acknowledge its existence." 

- David Love 

http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/07/28/polls-race-relations-ignore-existence-institutional-racism/

*By White people, I mean dominant-culture, ruling-class, status quo people that are so used to their/our dominance, they/we don't even see it.

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