Stuff White People Say

April 6, 2009

‘Why looking into the mirror?’

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 10:58 pm

Somebody white asked this question:
“How would “studying” my own (presumably) white people and culture help me see those as particularly white behaviors?”
Link

Europeans have ‘studied’ the entire world and parts of the universe and have ‘explored’ and ‘discovered’, but they have a hard time studying themselves and European culture in a constructive and honest manner. Whereever Europeans went, this what in some or many history books is still up to today called discovery and exploring was in reality nothing else than the aggressive conquer of nations and continents. Today the West is doing it with the hidden agenda of bringing “peace and democracy”, no longer blatantly talking about the assumed inferiority of non-European people and cultures. What Europeans can’t accomplish via violence and war they will accomplish with the imposing of European culture and enforcing Western values to the rest of the world using media and also trade and expanding its markets.

Many whites like to reduce racism to a “dislike” of others which can be “trained away” with diversity trainings, workshops and learning political correctness, a personal attitude rather than the domination of the entire world, a naivity which perfectly reflects Eurocentrism.
Racism isn’t just about “not liking”, the goal and the result of racism is the advantage for a certain group (whites/Europeans), not only within one nation but globally. Racism as the tool to have unlimited access to resources available within one nation and also globally, the ‘First World’ and the ‘Third World’, ‘developed’ and ‘underdeveloped’, where the ‘developed’ nations consider it as their right to dominate ‘underdeveloped’, codeword for inferior, nations.

The function of racism is global white supremacy, securing access to all resources and to destroy any possible competition. Imposing European culture on People of Color includes colonizing the victims mind, which also lessens the possibility of revolution against white oppression.
Europe was able to establish its colonies in nations rich of natural resources or fertile land, important for the European industrialization and European wealth and also after independence of African nations from colonial rule market restrictions and most of ‘development’ aid etc. helps to keep the industrialized world in the dominant position.

The division created by racism between people of different races also helps to divide people of the same race. Doing this a European culture is a fractured society without solidarity. The rich make the rules and dominate the entire society, in different ways.
The European mind-set is the mind-set of an inmature child which is unable to comprehend the society in which it is in and which is unable to think outside the Eurocentric way of life.

Racism is considered as something ‘natural’, is considered as something which affects People of Color who need white help. White anti-racism, often approached in a way of wanting to ‘help’ People of Color to assimilate into a Eurocentric society, because the European mind-set considers itself as already being there, at the center, developed, progressive and the norm of civilization.
The European mind-set, which is far more occupied than whites want to know, the alleged freedom whites believe they have about their lifes and choices only displays, how conform they are within a Eurocentric society and don’t think that Eurocentrism itself has fundamental flaws that cannot be reformed.

Eurocentrism turns the reality into a fiction, the fiction that the world would need us whites, that the world is just waiting for our help and alleged civilization, that we are admired and advanced and those in the position to tell the world how life must be. Whites as a collective don’t want to look into the abyss we have created with our history and culture.
The lack of self-reflection, fixated on the visible out-side, typical for European culture which lacks the depth of life and emotions necessary to feel out-raged enough to get over some weird feelings of guilt or the fear to be considered a racist or person non grata. An illusional world falls apart when people can look through the mask many whites want to show to others, a life they don’t live, the masquerade of an adapted role in society, which is as fragile as the white self.

There should be white outrage. Also what we are supposed to live. The mental restrictions this imposes to white life, the emptiness of white life which would be demanded by society and societal norms, a life of making money to ‘be somebody’, to be valued, to be accepted, the emptiness of such a life to act like a clone who has to pray to the religion of capitalism and hypocrisy and to be silent whenever there would be a dissident and critical voice necessary. The emptiness of such a life where the own self-esteem can only exist with looking down on others.

The learnt helplessness they consider to be universal, ‘things won’t change’, ‘what can an individual do’, used as an excuse to do nothing but staying in the white comfort zone. The looking for answers or rules what to do, the belief, that “we must change the world” and that our actions have to have an immediate visible impact or are otherwise of no worth. Or turning towards socially accepted “good work” which never truly threatens white supremacy and its institutions but gives whites a new tool to be good in Eurocentric terms.
White anti-racism which believes that equality means becoming ‘European’, equality not being understood as the equal right for all people of self-determination.

A system where whites rather fight to keep also their own exploitation intact, lulled into the blind acceptance of ‘with hard work one can make it’ and the illusion of freedom. The advantage of being white, a ‘member of the club’, regardless how excluded certain white groups within this system may be. The illusion of being better and at least not one of ‘them’, Black people in the color construct of white supremacy considered to be at the bottom with a controlling system in place, via police, laws (drug laws for example) and incarceration, which also helps to control main-stream. The main-stream, which can so easily be manipulated that once Germans considered Hitler as their savior or mostly white Americans supported Bush in a war, where many even have forgotten why America invaded Iraq, the lie they were told and believed and not knowing why America is in Afghanistan. The white whining didn’t come because of the brutality of the illegal war but because it became clear that America won’t win this war, that it took longer than the illusion of a Blitzkrieg, cheap and easy without the loss of Western life.
The West which masks today’s wars as peacekeeping actions and protection of democracy, hiding the true interests which is access to natural resources as well as weakening the stability and solidarity of nations which are not pro-Western.

White supremacy cannot be combatted on a national level. Internet offers the unique possibility to join political message boards of different countries and then it becomes quite clear, that the European mind-set is the same whereever you go. The stability of Eurocentrism, almost immune against the influence of other cultures is the true challenge in combatting white supremacy and racism.

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8 Comments »

  1. “How would “studying” my own (presumably) white people and culture help me see those as particularly white behaviors?”

    How can Macon ask that question with any kind of credibility when his ABOUT ME section states:

    “I’m a white guy, trying to find out what that means. Especially the “white” part.”

    Macon’s credibility is shot to pieces when that’s the very he invokes when he’s questioned, mostly by White posters who are in denial in the classical sense (“classical” because Macon has his own issues with DENIAL), about his topics/threads that attempt to point out “common white tendencies” (Macon’s terminology).

    Seems like the thing Macon has a problem with is other people talking about “common white tendencies” that he hasn’t certified as such. You and I both know things Macon has called “common white tendencies” wouldn’t be invalidated, in Macon’s mind, by the someone stating, “It’s true that white people do such things, but so do others.”

    Comment by Nquest — April 8, 2009 @ 9:58 pm | Reply

  2. NQ quotes Macon’s words, as quoted by jw(be): “How would “studying” my own (presumably) white people and culture help me see those as particularly white behaviors?”

    NQ asks: How can Macon ask that question with any kind of credibility when his ABOUT ME section states:

    “I’m a white guy, trying to find out what that means. Especially the “white” part.”

    Macon’s credibility is shot to pieces when that’s the very [??????] he invokes when he’s questioned, mostly by White posters who are in denial in the classical sense. . .

    Don’t you too fall into the trap that jw(be) has laid here, by quoting me out of context (that favorite tactic of the mighty anti-Maconites), thereby changing the meaning of the words. Go back to the fuller context, where I wrote:

    jw, you say I should get to know my “white part,” and then describe white men touching white women, and white adults touching/kissing white children they don’t know. It’s true that white people do such things, but so do others–why are you implying that these common forms of touching are a result of their “white part”? How would “studying” my own (presumably) white people and culture help me see those as particularly white behaviors?

    Get it NQ, THOSE particular behaviors, not white behavior in general. How would getting to know my “white part” help me see white men touching white women and white adults touching/kissing white children as a result of their “white part”?

    Instead of answering my question, jw(be) elliptically wrote, “one can lead a horse to the water…” and then changed the topic: “you may downplay or ignore such realities, like of the one poster here who tried to tell you something about police brutality towards whites. You ignore realities within a system and therefore ignore the system because you only want to see what whites do towards PoC without asking for the reason.”

    And if she wasn’t trying to change the topic, then I don’t see what white men touching white women, and white adults touching/kissing white children they don’t know, and those being supposedly, particularly “white part”-related behaviors, has to do with police brutality towards whites.

    NQ also wrote, Seems like the thing Macon has a problem with is other people talking about “common white tendencies” that he hasn’t certified as such.

    That’s just silly. I often take reader suggestions, and corrections. And I’ve ASKED for them–and one time when I did so, you wrote something snide about THAT here, what was it, something like, “Yes folks, Macon is now actually asking for suggestions for posts on his blog, Stuff White People Do.”

    Damned if I do, damned if I don’t, etc., etc.

    Comment by macon d — April 10, 2009 @ 3:11 am | Reply

  3. Macon… STFU!!

    What you said is “silly.” “Suggestions and corrections” were NOT the (how did you say) THE CONTEXT. The idea of what constitutes “common white tendencies” was. So you’ve DAMNED yourself by being stupid enough to think that some “silly”, vague azz reference to you taking “reader suggestions and corrections” functions as a counterpoint to what I said about you self-appointing yourself as the one who determines the list of things that are “common white tendencies.”

    Plus the FULLER context would lead to JW’s initial post which simply stated “whites also do this towards whites they consider below them.” That, sir, is the answer to your question. The reason why getting to know your White part — i.e. examining the full range of Whiteness/white behavior — is relevant.

    Also, this “so do others” idea never stopped you for asserting what you felt were “common white tendencies.” Indeed, you’ve said:

    I don’t think a movement or trend or group identity needs to be 100% white to identify it as, basically, a “white” thing.

    That’s your statement in the Deadpan thread. Beyond that, there is no way you could possibly interpret JW’s comments as suggesting that the touching she talked about was “100% white” — i.e. the only thing that would make “so do others” an intelligent response. She was responding to you, first of all, which is why she said…. “ALSO” (meaning, “in addition to”).

    And I just have to highlight the disingenuousness:

    White people often think they have some sort of right to touch black people, a right they don’t seem to feel they have with others (unless they consider those others, such as children, somehow “below” themselves).

    So what made her comments a subject changing comment when you made a similar comment yourself (or, perhaps, edited in the parenthetical)?

    Moving on… In light of Kathie’s comments on your “teach their children to act white” thread, if not the thread topic itself, its really strange for you to feign confusion over taking a look at the “white part” — i.e. examining Whiteness — up to and including those things that “others do” as well. You know, like deadpanning…

    As for my initial post… I meant to say your “white part” is “the very thing you invoke” when the typical white drive-by poster objects to being so focused on White people while not talking about what Black people, e.g., do. And, of course, there have been times when those drive-by posters have explicitly said “others do it too.”

    Comment by Nquest — April 10, 2009 @ 5:16 am | Reply

  4. >So what made her comments a subject changing comment when you made a similar comment yourself (or, perhaps, edited in the parenthetical)?

    He edited this quote and forgot about the second (if you scroll down in his post on swpd)

    White people often think they have some sort of right to touch black people, a right they don’t seem to feel they have with others (unless they consider those others, such as children, somehow “below” themselves).
    […]
    Where does this common behavior come from? Why do white people think they can do this to black people, when they would very likely not do it to other people, especially other white people?

    Comment by jwbe — April 10, 2009 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  5. You claim that you know Eurocentrism/European culture, which is so obvious to you as a “well-meaning” educated white American, whose education didn’t help him not only knowing something but actually understanding your alleged knowledge.

    Get it NQ, THOSE particular behaviors, not white behavior in general. How would getting to know my “white part” help me see white men touching white women and white adults touching/kissing white children as a result of their “white part”?

    how is only white behavior directed towards PoC “typical white behavior”?

    Instead of answering my question, jw(be) elliptically wrote, “one can lead a horse to the water…” and then changed the topic: “you may downplay or ignore such realities, like of the one poster here who tried to tell you something about police brutality towards whites. You ignore realities within a system and therefore ignore the system because you only want to see what whites do towards PoC without asking for the reason.”

    I didn’t change the topic, I only mentioned another example where you felt to have the right to downplay somebody’s white experience, because acknowledging all aspects within this society is probably to complex for a person like you

    That’s just silly. I often take reader suggestions, and corrections. And I’ve ASKED for them–and one time when I did so, you wrote something snide about THAT here, what was it, something like, “Yes folks, Macon is now actually asking for suggestions for posts on his blog, Stuff White People Do.”

    Damned if I do, damned if I don’t, etc., etc.

    your comment is silly because it is not about changing some words in your writing but the mind-set behind. Being critized and a positive reaction to it would be to think about it, to re-think or re-read why something being said/written produces criticism, walking in somebody else’s shoes. When a person is not able to do this self-reflection, it will lead to defense or making some superficial changes. But the original ‘mistake’ will pop up again and again. As your writings show.

    From the comment part of your blog in reference to your post which lead me to write this post:
    Macon:
    Doesn’t Euro/white-American culture different significantly from European culture (whatever that is)? Aren’t racial formations and relations significantly different in the US from their European manifestations?

    JW:
    and with that comment you disqualify yourself.
    White American culture IS European culture and when you even don’t know European culture and the basics of it you are not qualified to write a blog about what WHITE people = Europeans do.
    Thank you for this confirmation of your small mind and inability to dig deeper and also thank you for displaying your ignorance of your own roots and history. You should know, where you come from: Europe. You (white Americans and “anti-racists in particular) should know what you took with you: Eurocentrism.

    Macon:
    How could you know that I don’t know something so obvious to any relatively well-educated white American as the basic roots of European culture? Believe you me, I know my Eurocentrism from ethnocentrism and Afrocentrism, and I am also aware of European history and the history of conquered nations and the racism/white supremacy of today in such nations as well as in Europe–wouldn’t any relatively well-versed, fairminded reader of this blog see that such understandings lie, firmly ensconced, deep within the very underpinnings of the blog writer’s heart? and mind? and soul?

    Troll No 1 doesn’t get it (moviegirl)
    JW just doesn’t get it. He or she is obviously confusing European and American cultures. They are vastly different

    Troll No 2 doesn’t get it (runawayfred)
    I’ll second the observation that jw just doesn’t get it. In her effort to pin something, ANYTHING on Macon, she doesn’t see, or won’t admit, (1) that he’s well aware that White America has European and “Eurocentric” roots, and (2) that nevertheless, whiteness has become a significantly different monster, or maybe set of monsters, in AMerica from what it is in Europe. (whatever EUROPE is–surely whiteness isn’t the same everywhere in Europe, like it’s not the same all over America).

    both of your trolls could never answer this question:
    JW:
    tell me the difference and let me know why these differences are more important than what all white/European cultures regardless where have in common.

    Comment by jwbe — April 10, 2009 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  6. >Believe you me, I know my Eurocentrism from ethnocentrism and Afrocentrism

    and I am still trying to figure out what you mean with that

    Comment by jwbe — April 10, 2009 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  7. @Macon
    the psycho who has censorship powers on his blog:

    [jw, you can stop submitting comments on this–just drop it, please. When someone basically says here “this conversation is over,” then it’s over.]

    You are such a fraud and you know that. You celebrate that many white people are so stupid that they can’t see who you really are. That’s the reason why you are so eager to censor comments who could make your white readers actually thinking. About you.
    There has never been a conversation with Moviegirl and you also know this. She can’t answer the questions and you know that. You help her out by censoring me. Weak, Macon, really weak. But a hypocritical life needs weak tactics.

    Comment by jwbe — April 10, 2009 @ 7:39 pm | Reply


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