Stuff White People Say

November 12, 2008

“First steps toward an antiracist practice and culture”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 6:07 pm

(Shelly Tochluk, http://witnessingwhiteness.com/)

This will be my personal rant about what I perceive as extremely naive and also typical Eurocentric. With that I don’t criticize Tochluk’s book, but the very typical title.

I realize that my personal life experiences differ or seem to differ in many aspects from many other whites and with this background there is also some anger involved about many so-called white “anti-racists”.
The naivity or also arrogance of all those “recovering racists” who believe that “anti-racism” is a title they can decorate themselves with without the willingness to pay the price for it and live it. And with that I don’t talk about just participating in rallies or organizing or, considering the white chaos and superior issues, dis-organizing would be the better term.

These emotional “shock and awes” when they “suddenly” discover that they are white, their weird struggle about acknowledging white privilege and their alleged problems they have with “understanding racism”.

The real struggle for all of them is to leave the white comfort zone. They are looking for ways to be “anti-racist” and still want to remain in the center of mainstream and whiteness.
The naive belief that there would be certain steps one white can learn to live an “anti-racist culture”. The naive belief that one can “unlearn” racist behavior without adopting an entirely different worldview. One cannot learn a (new) way of life by following instructions.

The ‘othering’ of PoC in many of so-called white anti-racist work without the slightest feeling of “we”. A plain and simple “we”.
The “other” is no longer the “other” in any honest anti-racist life. One cannot learn equality and respect step by step. One is able to feel it or not.

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