Sunday, May 28, 2017

Talynn Kel

writes and posts on her website: Breaking Normal: Living My Life As Authentically As I Can. 

She's an excellent writer and recently wrote an essay that she posted on Medium titled: "If I Were White".

I like the essay, a lot. I especially liked these questions: "Would I be someone capable of the reflection necessary to divest myself from whiteness? Or would I meld with that identity and embrace the monster U.S. society encourages white people to be?"

That first question is one way of asking whether someone is capable/willing to examine what their ancestors told them (their history) about life and the world and "how things were" and then choose to reject lies that resulted in harm to others.

It's a good question. 


I was thinking about this and it occurred to me that not many ever even ask a question like this....much less act upon it.

Sometimes it's an ordeal all on its own to even become aware enough ask the question, much less to then put forth the effort necessary to work toward change. 

I wonder if part of how awfulness keeps reproducing itself from generation to generation to generation isn't because it's so difficult even to figure out to ask the necessary questions?

Maybe that's a manifestation of invisibility.

It's a good essay, read it. 

If you're white and it results in your feeling attacked, that's your ancestors white supremacist conditioning that's been bequeathed to you and it's still working.

Friday, May 19, 2017

White people teaching white people

teaching white people teaching white people out of books written by white people for white people...for generations.

Robin DiAngelo makes this fairly simple but profound observation in one of her talks.

Next time you encounter a white person who thinks they know about race/racism and they haven't spent some seriously lengthy time studying about it...just think about that white people teaching white people thingee and ask yourself...how did they gain all that knowledge that they think they have?

We white folks cherish our ignorance and go to great lengths to hang onto it and also simultaneously we pretend we aren't ignorant. It's silly and embarrassing, really.




Friday, May 12, 2017

In the book Feminist Theory, From Margin to Center...

bell hooks writes something quite remarkable to consider:
As a group, black women are in an unusual position in this society, for not only are we collectively at the bottom of the occupational ladder, but our overall social status is lower than that of any other group. Occupying such a position, we bear the brunt of sexist, racist, and classist oppression. At the same time, we are the group that has not been socialized to assume the role of exploiter/oppressor in that we are allowed no institutionalized "other" than we can exploit or oppress (Children do not represent an institutionalized other even though they may be oppressed by parents. White women and black men have it both ways. They can act as oppressor or be oppressed.... p. 14-15
 Hmmm...not socialized to exploit/oppress any group of humans.

Hmmm...

(update)

Certainly it is the case that since I've embarked on my stumbling attempt to become more aware and knowledgeable about humans oppressing humans, most especially about race/racism, as well as other manifestations of this ugly phenomenon...the insights and comprehendings that are the products of African American women are astonishing in their depth and breadth. It just might be the quote from bell hooks identifies the unique lived life experience(s) of this group that might account for their prescience.

I can confidently say that without a lot of knowing about the thinkings and writings of many of the members of this group, anyone's knowledge about humans enacting oppression will be deficient.

I've referenced a number of these remarkable people in my previous posts on this blog, if you want a taste of some writing from one of them you can visit the writings over on the Black Girl Dangerous website for a treat. Sistah Vegan and Aph Ko are a couple of others who, in addition to insights about human on human oppression, also offer knowledge about humans oppressing all Earthlings.

If you're serious about dismantling your ignorance...you can start by grappling with the works of bell hooks, she's astonishing, and brave, and wise, and remarkable. And, she is only one of many.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

May 4th, 1970

...that was 47 years ago.

"The Kent State shootings (also known as the May 4 massacre or the Kent State massacre) were the shootings of unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970. Twenty-nine guardsmen fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis."


Thinking back on those times confirms to me that any genuine and/or fundamental change in how this country operates is going to involve a lot of violence and death. Anyone who lived through those times and still thinks Trump is/was an anomaly wasn't paying attention. White men here have been the worst of the worst for centuries.

The My Lai Massacre would start becoming "news" the same year the students were murdered at Kent State. Both those events were ones where mostly young white guys did the murdering.

Back then a saying went "don't trust anyone over 30". It would have been more accurate to have been something like "don't trust white guys (age doesn't matter)...they'll kill you...and they'll probably get away with it".

The way things operate in the U.S. really haven't changed all that much. White men will do awful things and if you oppose them...you just might be murdered.