Stuff White People Say

July 21, 2009

“White racial frame”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 11:46 am

This is an answer to Joe from Racismreview, I post it here because it is “off-topic” there and also quite long.

@Joe,

I made two observations when it comes to white anti-racism in the Usa: it is obsessed with ‘the other’ and uses an American perspective only. I can be wrong with these observations, but this is the picture I got throughout the years.
Your post ‘Racism in the USA – and in the other USA, there is a Freudian typo: “Professor Jansen talks about living between two racial cultures and compares the USA to the USA” (it should read compares the USA to South Africa I guess). It ends with the question: “Sounds like the other USA?”

Marimba Ani is very thouroughly examining European thought and behavior.

in the comment section on RR you wrote to me:
Jwbe, I prefer to accent just how racialized this broad frame is…..It certainly has Eurocentric elements.

and some posts later:
Yes, I have used Yurugu numerous times in my sociological theory seminars, and regularly cite the book. She makes very important points about the character of the Western philosophical approach to the world.

The “white racial frame” is part of Eurocentrism, not reverse like you state.

All started in Europe. There was a culture of ‘othering’ already before race was ‘invented’. Starting in Europe Europeans conquered the world and regardless where they went, there patterns have always been the same: Conquering, killing indigenous people, enslavement or committing genocide, imposing European cultural norms including religion etc.

Acting as if the world belongs to them (Europeans) and nobody else.

Also within Europe itself it was about wars, conquering each other, oppression of ‘othered’ groups. [Inquisition, witch hunts etc.]

For me my approach is: what is it with us Europeans? I don’t know of any larger European group that came peacefully and integrated into the already existing non-European culture.

And what is it today that in every country where whites still dominate, the patterns of denial and attitudes towards PoC are exactly the same. There is no difference, regardless if you talk to white mainstream in Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Australia, South Africa, US and so on.

The Holocaust demonstrates, that those who define themselves as superior, can quite easily use their ‘cultural knowledge’ to display their genocidal attitudes towards any group.
Wherever Europeans went, they took their culture – Eurocentrism – with them. Their point of view, their individualism, their inability to respect the alleged other and so on.

Marimba Ani: “Hypocrisy as a way of life”, and with this she hits the nail on the head.

Racism is ‘only’ one part of a deadly system without an own emotional center, I call this soul (but not in a religious context).
It is my conviction that whites won’t be part of the solution to end white supremacy as long as they resist to search for their own soul and this is not collectively possible as long as Eurocentrism dictates our being and how we relate to the world and how we approach ourselves.

We are trying to Europeanize the rest of the globe entirely. We were able to infect the world. And it is not ‘only’ how we Europeans regardless where on earth relate to PoC within our individual nations in the always same ‘othering’ ways, but also how we relate to nations we consider as ‘the other’ = non-European. And it is about how we ‘whites’ relate to each other and how we view the world. How we treat humans as well as nature and even the the universe, this mind-set that all is ours (Europeans), that we have to “explore” all and to dominate all.

Whites regardless where feel immediately discriminated against when they are not always in the center of attention or not always in the dominant position, they feel threaten in their very existence when PoC insist in their basic human rights. We whites create together, internationally, new ‘races’, Muslims. The ‘other’. Back then it was Jews.

Our culture ‘enables’ us to include into ‘whiteness’ and exclude from ‘whiteness’. On another board somebody once posted a picture of Anne Frank with the question: what makes her non-white. It was not her skin-color.

But Europeans created the ‘opposite’ to themselves: African people. Black. This alleged opposite can never be included as *us* in the European mind-set, this leads to a post Nquest wrote:
“Baldwin asks White America to question:

“why was it necessary to have a n*gger in the first place?”

Baldwin reasons that the very creation of the “n*gger” indicates that there was a need for the “n*gger” and that White America has to find out why. Baldwin said then that the future of the country depends on how White America answers that question.”

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

The ‘white racial frame’ and your suggestion of ‘counter framing’ again needs ‘the other’ to define whites. That’s the problem I see and it is also not searching for who we are as Europeans.

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1 Comment »

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