White people… find your own damn way.

So… people of color putting on workshops about “anti-racist” theory for white people may be more damaging than helpful?  Hmmm…  This is one hell of an interesting conversation and I feel that I have quite a bit to mull over regarding the thesis of this argument before I come to any lasting conclusions.  I do, however, agree with quite a bit of this blog entry right off the cuff.   It is most certainly not my, or any other person of color’s responsibility to teach white people how to be “anti-racist” (I still think that term is rather dubious, but that’s a whole other discussion).  Even if white people receive training and learn intellectual articulations about how to “fight ” white supremacy, they are still a long ways away from remolding their minds towards a revolutionary perspective aimed at ending racial inequality. It’s going to take more than a bunch of popular educationals on Freire, anti-racist conferences, study groups, and Chip Smith anecdotes to reorient white people to honestly and openly criticize how their day to day actions perpetuate white supremacy.  And  As one of the commenters of the post noted rather poignantly:  “the work is not the workshop”.  So to quote the great philosopher Alan Iverson “We’re talking about PRACTICE .  Not a game… Not a game… PRACTICE”.  So, stop playing a fucking game and put that shit into practice.

If white people are going to actually be of some kind of use in the struggle to destroy white supremacy and ultimately capitalism, then they’re going to have to put up AND shut up by actually doing REAL work with the most oppressed and marginalized sectors of our society.  And when I say put up I mean GIVE US YOUR FUCKING MONEY and ACTUALLY SACRIFICE MORE THAN JUST YOUR SUNDAY AFTERNOON CLEANING UP A BEACH or showing up to our demonstrations with crappy signs and off rhythm chants only to be seen again at the next demonstration.  And when I say shut up, I mean for you to stop being the loudest person in a room during a meeting or constantly focusing the spotlight on yourself during events.  I mean for you to stop patronizing me by making a lame attempt at empathizing with my situation as a person of color.  I mean for you to stop claiming that you are “not racist” or that you are somehow “different” from other white people, when in the confines of white supremacy you are still a whitey.  Learn some humility.  Learn some patience.  Learn some sensitivity.  Learn how to make your words consistent with your actions.

If you can do all of that… I would say that’s an excellent start.

guerrilla mama medicine

we dont need another anti-racism 101

i used to be an antiracism trainer for a progressive organization a few years ago.  i was really really good at.

this year i finally realized after a lot of soul searching that teaching white folks how to be good allies is not helpful to anyone.

now dont get me wrong.  i think that white folks working in solidarity with poc in respectful ways is often a good thing.

i just dont think we should teach them how to do it.

now i have known for a long time that no poc is obligated to teach a white person about racism.  or explain it.

but i am taking it a step further.  we shouldnt do it.

and by this i mean teaching white folks, anti-racism theory, critical race theory, the correct words to use, the words not to use, the correct questions to ask, etc, etc, etc.  is a waste of our time.  and theirs.  and is harmful to building a revolutionary movement or creating good relationships.

the problem is that fundamental to white/euro-centric culture is a break between word and action.  between theory and practice.

and so in my experience, folks can learn all the theory, all the right words, all of it and yet act fundamentally the same, live out the same patterns of thoughts, still hold the same fucked-up priorities.  and yet spout all of the anti-racist rhetoric.

because that is all it is to them.  rhetoric.

people only learn as much as they are willing to learn

Nod to Jack Stephens

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8 Responses to “White people… find your own damn way.”

  1. jeff N. Says:

    You may not have to teach people how to be antiracist but doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help

  2. Jeff N. Says:

    You don’t need to get all sore just because I pointed out the truth. We all have to deal with this. I got black friends all over town and if someone calls them somethin than I don’t like, I’m gona tell them. You may think that I don’t know about all this stuff and the crap people talk, but I’ve been around the block. I know what it’s like.

  3. xmabaitx Says:

    Thank you Jeff N. for taking time out of your busy day to help demonstrate the point of my post (as well as for not linking to the blog that you post or providing an e-mail contact). Having read your comments I now have EVEN LESS desire to engage in “anti-racist” training in order to assist white people in their “attempts” to challenge white supremacy.

    I am assuming that you are a white person (or likely a person who is perceived to be white despite mixed heritage), otherwise you would not have felt the need to qualify your disagreement with my post by stating that you have “black friends all over town”. First of all let me make something undoubtedly clear… the exact sentiments that you are espousing in your comments are the reason why I as a person of color will not make it my responsibility to help you understand how you as a white person are connected to and how you perpetuate the social system of white supremacy. I am more than happy to describe these sentiments:

    You seem to be quite confident that you already understand white supremacy (which you synonymously associate with the term racism) because of the fact that you have friends who are black. I have news for you. You DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BLACK JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE BLACK FRIENDS. YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A PERSON OF COLOR JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE FRIENDS THAT ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR. YOU WILL NEVER REALLY UNDERSTAND. You will always be at an uncertain understanding of the experience of how white supremacy dehumanizes and exploits people of color because of the fact that you as a white person will, for the overwhelming majority of your life, experience privileges from the social system of white supremacy that people of color will NEVER experience.

    You seem to think that calling out other white people for participating in actions of overt white supremacy (which I assume are actions such as the usage of racial slurs against your many black friends) makes you somehow “different” and “better” than other white people, but you ironically seem ill-prepared to deal with your own attitudes and tendencies of white supremacy. Case in point instead of attempting to engage in a dialogue with me or ask me questions about my position, you come from an assumed point of privilege that I should help you and other white people with their issues of white supremacy and that I am the one who is getting “sore” about something which you likely consider to be trivial. I have no obligations to white people whatsoever to help with their understanding of white supremacy and I do not need any white person to tell me what I should or should not be “sore” about. The legacy of hundreds of years of colonialism, slavery, and genocide which continue to perpetuate racialized oppression today and you want me to not be “sore”? Give me a fucking break. I am as sore as a festering puss filled boil on the hairy, unwashed ass of white supremacist, heterosexist, eurocentric, capitalist society and I am gonna burst my filthy insides all over this motherfucker to make my voice heard.

    (sigh) anyway…

    You just don’t get it, whitey and I’m not going to spend anymore time trying to explain it to you.

  4. lekowitz Says:

    ” GIVE US YOUR FUCKING MONEY ” I am glad that you can admit that it isn’t your money, now we just have to teach you that its bad to steal other peoples things.

  5. xmabaitx Says:

    Ah, another comedian. Your material is rather lacking as it is neither clever nor insightful. Not clever meaning that your attempt to twist and contort my articulations about how white people can make meaningful contributions to the destruction of white supremacy is lame and idiotic. Not insightful meaning that your implication that I or other people of color are thieves is unbelievably ignorant and egregiously racist.

    No it isn’t my money or the money of other people of color because the system of white supremacy has taken drastic steps in order to keep it away from people of color. Whether it was through enacting a system of slave labor, by enforcing racial segregation through Jim Crow laws, by excluding people of color from buying homes in “white neighborhoods” through red-lining property districts, through excluding people of color from higher education and corporate employment and unionized labor through maintaining a white “boys club”… White supremacy has been a social system which has kept it YOUR MONEY. I am not suggesting that I or any other person of color steal it from you or any other white person. I am, however, emphatically stating that white people giving up monetary resources, which white people as a social class have much more of than people of color, in order to help further direct services as well as efforts of community organizing in communities of color would make more of a real difference to “anti-racist” actions rather than people of color giving workshops to white people on how to be “anti-racist” It’s too bad you missed the entire point of the post.

    So, what else do you have to teach me? Maybe you’ll “learn me” to be a “nice boy” and shine your shoes? How about you pucker your lips between my ass cheeks and teach me about how awesome it tastes?

  6. […] White people… find your own damn way. « The 50 Megaton Paper Tiger "when I say shut up, I mean for you to stop being the loudest person in a room during a meeting or constantly focusing the spotlight on yourself during events. I mean for you to stop patronizing me by making a lame attempt at empathizing with my situation as a person of color. I mean for you to stop claiming that you are “not racist” or that you are somehow “different” from other white people, when in the confines of white supremacy you are still a whitey." (tags: blog northamerica race leftism) […]

  7. Having read your comments I now have EVEN LESS desire to engage in “anti-racist” training in order to assist white people in their “attempts” to challenge white supremacy.

    Ahahahaha! Uber pwn3ge on whitey!! Fuck that blue eyed devil! Boo-yah!

    its bad to steal other peoples things

    Damn straight its a bad idea to steal other people’s things. Which is why white folks should give back all the shit they stole in the first place and if you ain’t then looks like folks are just gonna have to get it back themselves.

    Gald you see things my way!

  8. […] to forget 50 Megaton Paper Tiger a post-race doomsday detonation of SF Giants homeruns and simple words that suck the reactionary right out of any […]

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