Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Invisible Rule of Whiteness

I have a new post up at Global Comment

Writing critically about race is not an easy thing to do. We have tendency to avoid discussing race as it has been determined to be one of those “hot button” subjects. This silence about race allows whiteness to continue in its rule unchallenged and forces people of color to deal with daily assaults to our humanity. Comments that many view as innocuous, are often hurtful and serve to ensure that the racial gap continues to grow. Whiteness would prefer that we play sambo to its Missy Anne, regardless of how damaging it may be to our psyche.

To challenge what whiteness deems as its right to demean at will means being called angry or accused of being disrespectful. Whiteness it is all about tone. White people have become so accustomed to deferential treatment based in undeserved racial privilege that when people of color dare to speak, we are considered uppity.

People of color are continually reminded of our “tone”. This is classic disciplining behaviour. We are informed that were we to raise our objections in a “gentler manner,” whiteness would be more inclined to listen. Despite such proclamations, it is not the form that the speech takes that is offensive, but the speech itself. No power has ever appreciated any form of challenge to its rule and whiteness is no exception.

People of color are not amused when we are accused of racism against whiteness when we challenge its social power. Racism equals power plus prejudice, but this basic 101 fact continues to be ignored in hopes of presenting our objections to white hegemony as somehow based solely in hatred. It is possible to hate the oppression and not despise those that use their undeserved racial privilege to oppress.

It is laughable that we, the oppressed, are placed into the position of constantly reassuring whiteness of its worth when it has acted systemically to ensure that we are devalued as human beings. To still be asked to say “honey chile” and smile as we shuffle through our day in 2009, evidences that the liberal rhetoric of equality just wants a new age sambo.

Finish Reading Here

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