Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh Honey Chile

Okay I am going to say it, Some white people function with the idea that black people are supposed to want to interact with them.  In fact we are supposed to like them.  Give your head a fucking shake.

I know that you are used to mammy comforting you and catering to your every need, but Mammy is dead.  White people keep inventing roles for POC to play and it always comes down to the same thing; serving white interests even when it diminishes our humanity.

Just so you don't think I am pulling this out of my ass, here is an example of what I am talking about.

One does not fight injustice with more injustice, one does not demonstrate the flaws of racism with racism. Would you really be interested in hearing any excuses for why any particular white person was racist? If I grew up in a poor black neighbourhood and had nothing but bad impressions of black people would you suddenly say "oh well it makes sense for YOU to be racist"? Of course not. You want to hold everyone responsible for their own actions. A black person judging all white people because of some is exactly the same as the opposite situation. It's still racism. Trying to justify it just weakens your ability to be seriously critical of it elsewhere.

And this:

White people live with this idea that POC should love them even though we have been given very little reason to do so.

Hey, thanks for the awesome stereotype! You know, you're totally right: As a white girl, all I ever do when I walk out my door every day and see a person of colour is suppress my urge to yell, "LOVE ME!"

Please don't tell me about my ideas of entitlement to be loved. Although I admit that your saying it reminded me of a few awesome scenes from my favorite movie: "Whatever you want, name it and it’s yours -- but you gotta love me!" Interestingly, that scene is weirdly racially loaded, too, and could use some serious academic unpacking. /digression

Sometimes surrounding yourself with people that look like you and understand you culturally is a way of protecting yourself.

Of course I understand (in an impersonal since since I'm white) a distrust of whiteness as an oppressive system and of white people as agents of it. However, the way you say it, it sounds like you're suggesting there's some inherent value in self-segregation beyond mere self-interest. I'm not saying self-interest doesn't suffice, but as you've written it above, the rationale sounds suspiciously similar to the rationale of a restricted country club or something. "Cultural differences" surely is one of those oft-bullshitted terms for encoded bigotry against and segregation from traditionally oppressed people.

The above comments can be found on this post written by Samhita of Feministing.

Let's get this straight honey chile, though it is not good to lump people together into a group, white people have given POC precious little reason to trust, let alone want to interact with you on a daily basis.  We do so not necessarily out of choice, as to earn a living one cannot avoid the interaction.

After daily dealing with the racism and the ignorance of some white people, it is comforting to return to an environment where you don't have to deal with the power differential that comes with racism.  I don't think people realize exactly how many coded phrases get innocently tossed around on a single day, and how stressful that it can be.

Overtime it becomes more than a minor irritation.  It is downright insulting, degrading and infuriating.  Yet the desire to reject whiteness and instead seek the comfort of the black community is racist...lets not look at the impetus behind the desire...oh no the darkies have to love us.  But...But...you wanna be seen as an individual.  Well your individual ass is soaked in privilege and no matter how anti-racist you claim to be, it is a rare person that will not take advantage of their privilege. 

I don't know about you, but blacks only have two cheeks and we can only turn them so many times.  You may not want to hear about racism and how it relates to power but it is a reality.  Each and every day whites can not only act on their racial privilege, they can commit small acts that support the imbalance.  No matter how much hatred, or anger a black person has in their heart they do not exist with the same kind of power; and therefore cannot  act upon their anger in systemic ways.

When blacks retreat to their own communities, or refuse interaction outside of what is necessary to survive, they still don't escape the pull of whiteness.  Everywhere we look, like books, the newspaper, television, radio etc., we will be reminded of our second class citizenship.  We cannot retreat to comfy little country clubs where the only white people are for ambience and servitude; whiteness forces itself into every nook and cranny whether welcome or not.

But no rejection is racism...we must love you...sho nuff noos massa.  I loves me some white peoples, that is what you want to hear.  Only white privilege could be demand to be loved in the face of the damage that racism has and continues to cause.   Perhaps a Tomming house negro makes you comfortable, but some POC are trying to escape the early death that dealing with racism causes.  I sho nuff reckon its a mighty fine thing to loves the good white folk; however at some point a retreat is necessary just for the sake  of mental sanity.  When you beat a dog it will eventually bite you; and therefore it is quite understandable why some people choose to retreat.

I tell my truth, and I deal with the consequences but even this space which is mean to be safe is at times hostile and uninviting.  I have even thought of deleting this blog due to the WPD (white privilege denial) that often occurs.  Then I realize one simple fact, if I fade away I have allowed myself to be silenced, I have capitulated to the very forces that demand supremacy over my life.

Talking about racism is tough.  I can understand that from the point of view of a white person it may feel like you are being attacked, but trust me, even though the anger is at times harsh it pales in comparison to the daily onslaught of racism and white hegemony. We are angry and we are entitled to our emotions, and it should not have to sugar coated when so many don't feel the need to stop expressing their racism. 

I won't play ever loving negro for you.  It may come as a shock to your sensibilities but I ask you to pause for a moment before you get your back up and think about how this would make you feel.  Seriously how would it make you feel to be told over and over again that you need to love your oppressor because otherwise you are being racist.


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