Stuff White People Say

May 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 12:13 pm
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Eurocentrism is a culture that cannot stand on its own. The value of a culture would be the value of a culture itself without a construct of ‘super human’ ideals which appear to be the reality in the illusional Eurocentric mind, in the culture as a whole as well as for the individual.
A Eurocentric mind defines himself via his perception in comparison with his surroundings. How he relates to non-European people is one part of many layers. [White] anti-racism should be searching for a new culture which would replace Eurocentrism. While critical whiteness studies and knowledge about white privilege are important there is the risk that in looking for answers Eurocentrism remains the main point of view and therefore solely the relationship towards the alleged other [People of Color] will be considered. There is the risk of the production of new myths, like “celebrating diversity” with being “exposed” to different races (with the underlying assumption that this is a synonym to different cultures) as an appropriate way to combat racism.

The risk of some white anti-racism is also the assumption, that racist behavior or thoughts could disappear with the help of education about merely racism without recognizing that all racist actions towards People of Color are the result of a Eurocentric culture and will or can also be directed towards people of the own group which is necessary to keep white supremacy alive and to control [white] dissidents.
Whites who for example ‘dislike’ People of Color will also ‘dislike’ whites sympathizing or socializing with People of Color. Whites who are not conform with the norm are to a certain degree and sometimes also almost entirely excluded from ‘the norm’, which also helps to control white people who are afraid of social isolation from main-stream. This within a society, where outside acceptance and the superficial acceptance of somebody white is more important than actual being and therefore more important than being oneself.
In addition ‘othering’ does not only work in regard to People of Color but also class, gender, political orientation etc. Whiteness has created a mosaic of ‘others’ where every white can find a ‘niche’ to further disconnect himself also from white people and to feel superior towards people he will meet on a daily basis. White on white [collective] violence evolving from this shouldn’t be diminished or ignored, it is part of our history and present.

The Eurocentric mind-set exists in absolute thinking; either – or, and nothing in between. Good – bad, perfect – failure etc. A worldview which doesn’t accept the alleged imperfect (which is nothing else then development/growing) can’t accept it’s own imperfection. A culture which cannot accept its imperfection ‘has to’ look at alleged failures of other cultures or has to create it with stereotypes, the same an individual who cannot accept his imperfection ‘has to’ look at alleged failures of others to create some sort of inner self.  The social construct of ‘race’ helps the white mind-set to automatically define himself as better, because of being born with a white skin-color and European features. But this is not enough for a Eurocentric mind-set, his life is occupied by the need to be ‘better’/’superior’ over somebody else, also people of his own race. Only then “perfection” can be achieved, an imagined perfection which can only exist in comparison to others and also only with a distorted self-perception.

For somebody white who wants to be anti-racist that means to do his ‘soul-search’ not only in regard to PoC but also how he relates to the world and people of his own race. Driven by perfectionism many alleged white anti-racists consider themselves as ‘already being there’ and with that they stop growing.

White anti-racism has to be careful not to repeat and to continue the Eurocentric world-view with just another ‘other’ to hate and to stereotype. White anti-racism also has to deconstruct well-known European structures with a white male or white males at the top and PoC and white women just in the periphery who are allowed to applaud but not to criticize.
White anti-racism needs white women who understand that many white women internalized stereotypes about themselves and “know their place”, accepting white male dominance and also supporting it. White women have to understand that the artificial division of race, which should tell us that we allegedly have more in common with white males because of skin-color alone makes us a compliant puppet of white male supremacy and disconnects us from the female body world-wide. During history white women sided with skin-color despite being the victims of oppression themselves, only because the illusion of being part of the “civilized” race. White women have allowed the rape of their bodies and the abuse of their children, only to be allowed into the white men’s world of destruction. We share white men’s history even if we weren’t in the position of political power and decision making, we share the collective guilt of history and European history of wars, even if we weren’t soldiers. But as a collective we have never truly tried to stop them, we mainly have fought for the right to participate, even if this means that we betray ourselves.

1 Comment »

  1. […] And this is not just the question to white America but to all whites worldwide. And yes indeed, why do we need an alleged opposite to us to define ourselves? Earlier I published some thoughts about this […]

    Pingback by “White racial frame” « Stuff White People Say — July 21, 2009 @ 11:46 am | Reply

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