Stuff White People Say

October 25, 2009

The schizophrenic mind of whites

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 9:14 pm

There is one topic I am trying to explore and also trying to understand: White people’s skill of creating an image of oneself that doesn’t exist. I will take one example not related to race. I knew a women who calls herself ‘animal protector’. Yes, she also did some positive things in terms of protection, but also many negative and there is no other term to describe her: She is an animal hoarder. She collects animals, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, some of these animals live in the dark cellar, others are locked up in rooms up-stairs and when you enter the house, you enter a mess. Once there was a dying dog lying in the middle of about 15 other dogs, many of her cats suffer from asthma due to the high amount of ammoniac.
But because she created for herself the identity of being an animal protector she is completely blind to the pain she causes to the animals. There is no chance to open her eyes, I have tried it for many years, there is also no chance to interfere with law enforcement, because she is an “animal-protector” and other pro-animal organizations support her. They warn her when higher institutions protecting animal rights will come for control so she can hide a large number of pets etc.

But she is not blind towards other animal horders. When she gets knowledge about an animal hording case, she calls police or more powerful animal protecting organizations.
It is as if there are two different persons in one body, in the case of the woman it becomes visible to all who know her, in the case of white anti-racism the schizophrenic soul of the white mind is not always so visible.

There are some anti-racist blogs on internet, owned by whites, where the discrepancy of being and appearing to be becomes visible how such whites handle their comment sections. Their comment sections remain clearly white/racist, regardless what the owners try to claim they are. Blogs become ways of self-promotion, blogs become ways to criticize racism while at the same time these owners are not able to create a racism-free blog (comment section).
Some owners are then in addition not willing or able to challenge the racism in the comment section but relay more or less on their readers to do their job.
The problem of such blogs is that these white owners can privilege themselves in many ways. They can decide which comments are censored and not, and in all cases I know so far those who challenge the racism on such an alleged anti-racist blog are the ones who are finally discouraged by certain actions of the blog-owners. [Warnings, censorship or openly discrediting those who challenge the racism but remaining silent when those who challenge problematic comments are insulted etc.)

These blog-owners cannot be challenged because they won’t publish too critical comments that could show to others their bigotry. They can continue with self-promotion and also distancing from “those racists”, while at the same time their blog is a racist place, supported how the white owners handle the comment section.
Cyber racism finds its way into the comment sections of white anti-racist blogs as racism in real life finds its way into the organizations of anti-racists which are led by whites (and no surprise, in many cases led by white males). On blogs as well as in real life organizations this racism is mostly unchallenged, whites, who allegedly want ‘to change the world’ by ending white supremacy, but already unable to live what they preach. How do such whites think the ‘big change’ should be possible when they are already in such a small area like orgas or blogs still ‘too white’ to make a difference? They may be able to create an idealistic identity of themselves they actually believe they are, criticizing racism in others that they are unable to see in themselves.

1 Comment »

  1. I have probably more questions on this one than anything…. I think I have come to realize I’m not sure exactly what “antiracism” is. My own conception is challenging all forms of white supremacy–not reinforcing it. To a point real life forces us to “play along” if we are even to survive or to try to make the world a little better of a place. President Obama and his supporters is a good example. He knows this is a racist/white supremacist nation–he is a product of Reverend Wright’s church.

    I don’t know what people’s motives are sometimes, those who claim to be antiracist that is. Is it possible to be an antiracist and an elitist at the same time? My past tells me that those at least with some level of prestige who have made the greatest difference are those who have been either largely invisible to mainstream society and those to they help, and if known, humbled themselves as equals. Their positive image came from public/outside recognition and often they felt they weren’t deserving. They listened. They didn’t self identify with any particular heroic labels. And they were not concerned with their image at all–that was the least of their concerns, which contrary to what many would think, is why they were in some way both deserving and recognized in various ways for their courage to stand with the oppressed, and give far more than they ever took–if they even ever took anything at all. Certainly, the concept of “profiting” off of the oppressed in any way was/is unethical.

    Maybe different people have different ideas on what it means to combat racial inequality. But what’s troubling to me is seems to me it’s the privileged doing all the talking, when we need to hear the voices of the oppressed and from the margins–and directly from them. Not re-interpreted through studies where some social scientist left their comfort zone just for a short time to have hour long interviews with the oppressed, then reveal the reports of the findings. Maybe to a degree this is helpful for somethings. But what is given back? How does it help them directly? Do such studies indeed bring change? Or just allow for cocktail conversations among the elite and their exclusive circles? Somehow, though, I do agree that even among antiracists, they (the oppressed and marginalized) are shut out or made invisible and the individual becomes the forefront focus. With that, I question motives. And it’s similar to a person who has never done drugs or who has known somebody with a severe dependency problem, yet becomes a rehabilitation counselor. Sure they can learn about the group they are trying to “help”, but they can never fully understand. And what is the point of being an “antiracist” if an honest dialogue is made somehow taboo or perceived as being a threat to the image? Thus either ignoring it, avoiding it, or completely silencing it?

    I think there is something to the image thing too. Maybe perhaps related to Herbert Mead’s “I” and “Me” theory? Interesting

    Comment by Seattle in Texas — October 26, 2009 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

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