Stuff White People Say

June 18, 2009

‘I speak as a White’

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 10:41 pm

Regardless what continent Europeans ‘discovered’, they established a system of white supremacy, also imposing their culture – Eurocentrism – on others. Eurocentrism, like a virus infecting societies and today, all those societies have one thing in common: There might be no longer laws supporting racism but the oppressive system of racism continues culturally.

White anti-racists may rally on the streets ‘against racism’, they may organize ‘against racism’ or write ‘against racism’, as long as the majority of them fails to realize their Eurocentric perspective and fails to search for alternatives, white anti-racists as a collective will fail to be ‘allies’ in the struggle against white supremacy because they will just change the face of white supremacy like a virus changes to survive.

Different nations have different approaches how to cure themselves from this virus. Understanding whiteness is also trying to understand whiteness in a global context, the similarities of it beyond one’s own national borders and the different attempts to get rid of racism.

“I feel anxiety. In regard to apartheid I must of necessity speak in the voice of the bystander, beneficiary and also at times an agent of apartheid. This is not comfortable. However, it is a reality I must face,” said Professor Gillian Straker in a presentation entitled: “I speak as a White”.

Apartheid Archive Project
The Apartheid Archives project is an international research initiative that aims to examine the nature of the experiences of racism of (particularly ‘ordinary’) South Africans under the old apartheid order and their continuing effects on individual and group functioning in contemporary South Africa. The project is fundamentally premised on the understanding that traumatic experiences from the past will constantly attempt to re-inscribe themselves (often in masked form) in the present, if they are not acknowledged, interrogated and addressed.

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