Friday, September 8, 2017

On August 20th

I wrote a post wherein I elaborated some about the fact that I pretty much tend to avoid lending much credence to anything said or written or thought by white men (and mostly also...but less so...white women) if what they are offering is about this society.

I wrote: "Specifically whenever a white man or white woman writes about U.S. society or social processes or race or oppression and such...that's where my deep and profound skepticism kicks in."

Understand, some white men and women can write/think some very useful stuff that's spot on...but...I'm mostly dismissive toward any writings/thinkings they do that justifies the status quo and very skeptical toward stuff even when it challenges the status quo (mainly because we white folks have kept this crap going for centuries so at the very least we're pretty incompetent when it comes to interrupting it and pretty slick at keeping it going).

I'm still floundering around mentally/emotionally trying to more thoroughly and deeply to understand all this and something that came to me the other day was the realization that I had written something like the August 20th post before but much more tersely. That occurred on May 19 of this year.

In that post I reference something that Robin DiAngelo points out in one of her talks and that is the fact that most teaching in public schools and in higher education is done by white people who were taught by white people who were taught by white people who were taught by white people....you get it. And those white people were pretty much totally taught from books written only by white people about white people.

And...most (way most) of those white people (especially the book authors and college professors) were white men.

Dr. DiAngelo's observation resonated strongly with me...and still does because it exemplified my educational experience very accurately. I never had a professor who wasn't white (or an 'honorary' white person) in college and grad school and I only had two or three women professors...and they were also white. Most textbooks I used were authored by white men and they elaborated about theories created by white men about white people (men) even though the implicit assumption was that their theories were about all humans.

Hmmm....

Audre Lorde observed a long time ago that folks that create systems of oppression are quite unlikely to be the ones who give us the knowledge and tools we will need to take apart those systems of oppression. (she said it much more elegantly..."...the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.")

Hmmm....

It's a pain in the kabooka to have to unlearn all this stuff that I put a bunch of effort into acquiring. Dang.

Oh well, just like becoming vegan demanded unlearning lots of things (and learning new things)...so does working toward greater clarity regarding race/racism.

As I think about it...it seems obvious...the folks that set up systems designed to harm those with less power are going to teach you stuff that makes it all seem "normal" and OK. Duh.

Jeez...and here I thought being elderly would be peaceful and tranquil.

Nope....







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