Bewildered Part IVYeah, yeah, I'll eventually come up with a more original title for my posts, but these all have a thread running through them that connects them. Besides, I am bewildered that racism isn't evident to more people.
In the last post I was mulling over a post that Nezua wrote about the language of racism. Not the racial slurs, but the way nice people have these little nuggets of racism stuck in their unconsciousness and try to explain it away or minimize it as much as possible. Also how POC are highly aware of racist memes, coded language, and certain dynamics that replay themselves throughout our lives. We have to be. We would be stupid if we ignored situations that could be dangerous to our well-being.
Sylvia points out one of those dynamics. When white people have iffy ideas about racism they have a tendency to seek out at least one POC who will agree with that idea. "My black friend says it's ok." It's really common, because it's not hard to find a POC who has absorbed and internalized racism during his or her lifetime, or who is conflicted about backing up a friend vs wading into a difficult discussion about racism and all it's nuances, and people being people, sometimes we just disagree. POC aren't a monolith who all believe the same thing.
Glenn takes time out of his busy schedule to lay the smackdown on Sylvia. Sylvia went and proved him right! By being OVERSENSITIVE she hurt his feelings and now he wants to take his ball and go home. If she had been a Goodgirl she would have 1) given him the benefit of the doubt and 2) give him credit for good intentions and only the best motives.
Kai notices something interesting:
1. When it comes to white folks talking about POC, Greenwald thinks POC should loosen up their demands on white folks. He says racial dialogue is hindered by "unwritten rules" imposed on white folks by POC, thus characterizing being educated about respectful language as an unfair and arbitrary imposition on white folks.Yes, it's ok for white people to be insensitive to POC. But POC must be sensitive and respectful to white people. I think I've heard this one before...
2. When it comes to POC talking about white folks, the rules shift toward increased sensitivity and an (I believe unconscious) assertion of actual unwritten rules ("assume pure intent", "assume race-neutral interpretation", "don't imply I said or did anything racist"). And if a POC says something hurtful to a white person (say, his racial motives were "clear"), based on the POC's lived experience observing the patterns of racial dynamics, this explains why we're not making more social progress.
white people don't have to be our friends and listen to anything we say, and yet she did it all this time, and now I was being so rude and ungrateful when she was just trying to help.Just to be sure we are clear on this, truth machine drops by to state
...awareness of racism and bigotry is luxury for progressive whites; it's a necessity for POC, as the society they live in imposes it upon them constantly. Most whites actively maintain their ignorance of this through selective filtering and denial of facts that acknowledging would force them to face some of their unearned privilege and advantage...
I dropped in via Greenwald's link, and probably won't be back...
This is your blog, and it's a focus for you -- you will stay, as will your regulars, but neither Greenwald nor I are regulars. And, as I said, dwelling on this subject is a necessity for you, while it's a luxury for us. Hopefully it will some day no longer be a necessity for anyone.
Ok, this time I'm really gone.
Did you catch that? "Sorry racism is a problem for ya. It ain't for me. Ta-ta!"