Drowning MaestroHere we go again. Unexamined and unacknowledged privilege is rearing it's ugly head all over the place. The one thing I am getting fed up with is, "watch your tone, be nicey nice", or what Nezua has named The Drowning Maestro. Nezua's examples:
• "We'd admit about your point if you presented it nicer."I recommend everyone read the entire definition from Nezua's glossary. No, I recommend everyone read the entire glossary.
• "I have this work I was going to throw your way, is there a problem?"
• "People would listen to your complaint if you weren't so loud."
• "If you want people to care about this, you should learn to be smoother."
Alrighty! First we had projektleiterin in the comments of the last thread warning us to be sweet to the nice white ladies and try to put ourselves in their shoes, and stop being so "stroppy". My question is when do we finally get to turn the tables? When do they reciprocate? When hell freezes over, is when...
Then we have Latoya at Racialicious telling Nadia to watch her tone. There is nothing wrong with Nadia's tone, she is in fact, being helpful. Latoya didn't like having her comfortable "latent prejudices" being pointed out.
And now we have Yobachi telling BrownFemiPower to watch her tone in this comments thread at Women of Color Blog. This one actually had me shaking with anger. Jasmine makes a comment that distills the whole argument against "protection":
We don’t get men to stop abusing women by portraying women as justifiable targets of abuse. How about if we stop painting targets on the backs of women?It is only because you view us as targets that we need "protection". Stop viewing us as targets, teach your brothers that we are not targets, and we will not need protecting. If you still don't get it, I'll take a quote from Ginmar out of context, because it sure as hell works here too.
This kind of reaction amongst men is the reason that cries about 'chivalry' fall so flat. Chivalry amounts to a guy staking a claim to a woman by his act of offering her some kind of protection, displaying his ownership for other men. It's kind of like the guys who claim they want to 'protect' women. With that protection comes protection from freedom, self-determination, independence, and a complete lack of protection against the guy offering the so-called protection. Rejecting that extortionate deal leaves women alone in a world of men who perceive female slights as being so serious that they require violent actions or threats, actions that are brushed of as 'reckless' and 'stupid' when what they are is calculated, arrogant, hostile, and designed to intimidate.The part about it being an extortionate deal especially resonates after reading Yobachi's bullshit. There is no asking women what they want or need, we gotta be nicey nice with our tone and accept his "solution" to the problem no questions asked, or else he'll stand aside when women get attacked. He later retracts that part, it's just satire, because you know, joking about men standing around while women get raped is hilarious.
Every example I have given has been a person of color using privilege against another person of color. This is not a problem with whites only, all of us in American society are brainwashed by white supremacy/male supremacy to some extent. Projektleiteren doesn't notice that she is expecting us to treat whites better than they treat us, because it is "natural" to see them as superior and therefore grant them more benefit of the doubt, chances, understanding, etc than they ever grant to us. If you think I am being sarcastic, you'd be wrong. We do get so used to being treated like we are wrong, like our opinion doesn't matter, like we don't know ourselves and our own families, lives, world; all of these things contribute to internalized racism. You know the grass is green and the sky is blue, but daily it seems like everyone else around you is saying the grass is purple and the sky is yellow. You may start to question your reality, believe that they are right and there is something wrong with you. I've told a story in the past about a person I know who was collecting histories from the elders on his reservation. He found a particularly interesting one and related it to a friend, the friend didn't believe the story, he asked if it has been verified by historians. Keep in mind these are two Native American men. Does anyone see what is wrong with this picture? These are Native histories, told by Native elders, in their own words...and the one Native American man wants it verified by WHITE HISTORIANS. Whites are given the authority instead of the Native American elders. The grass is purple and the sky is yellow in his world.
In the Racialicious post, Latoya doesn't seem to understand what she is asking of Muslims when she makes a request for an anti-Islamofacism blog, post, etc. Nadia explains that Muslims are in the ridiculous position of having to preface everything they say with, "Hi! I'm not a terrorist." That is the racist narrative. It would be like if I created this blog to explain that: Native Americans aren't all drunks. Native Americans aren't all millionaires from casinos. Native Americans aren't all exactly the same with the same beliefs, lifestyles, histories, spirituality, which usually is expected to be either Cherokee or Lakota (Sioux). We weren't conquered. We aren't all dead. Why don't I write a blog like that? I'm assuming that most of the people who wind up here have at least half a brain and already know this stuff, already know that these are racist lies. Nadia is assuming the same about her supposed liberal allies. Does she really have to spell out for them that there is no such thing as Islamofacism? I guess so, since Latoya believes in it, assumes that there must be some truth to the racist lies. She gets angry with Nadia's tone, which is odd since all Nadia did was state matter of factly that the grass is green and the sky is blue. Latoya is saying that when you remove someones white lens, do so gradually and gently. Sorry, it can't be done. We really can't have people believing that the grass is just a little purple and the sky has a slight yellow tint.
The part about tone that is disturbing in the comments thread at Women of Color is that it is about who controls what is to be said and done about violence against women. Yobachi will not accept that women have every right to question these campaigns supposedly on our behalf. It's all about men, what they want, how they want to talk about this, how it's still about controlling women. That is what protection is all about, she has to be your property or under your control in some way before you can protect her. If she doesn't accept your protection on your terms then she is just a target who deserves whatever she gets. The campaign should be about changing mens' attitudes towards women, so that they don't think in this way. Protection is an extention of the abuse, not a solution to it, because the idea comes from the same place where men decide which women deserve safety and which ones don't. Watch your step and your tone or you'll be thrown to the wolves.