Thursday, October 13, 2016

Denying Racism | White Privilege

The other day a friend of mine shared a post questioning where all the people were who changed their Facebook profiles when events happen in France after the large loss of lives in Haiti.  She called it FAKEbook.  Here's her post and my wife's response below.

A big part of white privilege is the denial of atrocities and blatant racism aimed at "black" people.  For example, in the past when lynch mobs formed to murder innocent black men, women, and children, "good" Christian whites turned their heads and acted like they did not know what was going on.  Many whites back in the 60s called Civil Rights protestors trouble makers for using cameras and the media to expose the terrorism they had to deal with on a regular basis.

I received a Facebook message from one of these "good" whites who claims to not see color.  Below is the exchange if you care to read it.  I guess you could say its how-to on dealing with white denial of racism.

Here's the exchange:

  • Conversation started Tuesday
  • 10/11, 12:56pm
    Henrik Malchau
    It makes me wonder why you think I play stupid??? I didnt bring a negative word into Lilians thread. Just because I am white, dont make you right. And its never waste of time to talk to someone with another point if view ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Today
  • 11:57amYou accepted Henrik's request.
  • 12:44pm
    Lloyd Michael Douglas-Ali
    I don't really have the patience to bring you up to speed on my take on the topic that Lilian shared. I'm all with the power of positive thinking, BUT not to the point of ignoring blatant atrocities.

    In even responding to you, I'm wasting time because I believe you are playing dumb. I'm giving my energy to this response and acting as if there's a slight possibility that you are really ignorant enough to not know about the practices of racism occurring around you in the world. I don't believe you are this ignorant at all. I don't buy it.

    The likely scenario is that you know better, you just look the other way and make the statements that you made on Lilian's post. I guess you are not used to being called out on that behavior. You shouldn't have taken it personally though because the responses on the thread were aimed at all people that make statements like yours, in a general. Trust me, your statements were not unique. White people say things like "I don't see race" and accuse economically and sociologically oppressed black people of racism all of the time.

    For your information, Afro Brasileiros are not in a position to practice racism because they cannot exert dominance over "white" Brazilians and its silly to allude to the possibility of them doing so. Engaging in this conversation is not enlightening to me, this is an insult to my intelligence.

    I shared some quotes from an article because you actually said things that are discussed in the context of insensitive things that white people say when confronted with racism. (check it out:
    " 1) “You’re racist for making this an issue of race.”

    More often than not, when a person of color brings up racism, chances are there’s something problematic happening. It’d be naive to assume that people of color simply exist as opportunists who pounce on any single chance to make a big deal about racism. If you’re tired of hearing about racism, how tired do you think people of color are from having to live surrounded by racism in the first place?

    2) “I don’t see race. I only see the human race.”

    While this may sound revolutionary, so-called color-blindness is actually part of the problem. Not “seeing race” is simply a lazy coded phrase for deliberately ignoring the lingering elements of racism that actually need to be fixed and reinforces the privilege of being able to bypass the negative effects of racism in the first place. As the saying goes, “You can’t erase what you cannot face.”

    3) “Talking about issues in terms of ‘white people’ and ‘white privilege’ is reverse racism.”

    About that reverse racism thing... it doesn’t exist. It’s no secret that it is humanly possible for a person of color to be prejudiced against whites. Sometimes, it’s an attitude that develops over time because their experience with racism has drawn them to the conclusion that no “good” white people exist in the world. And although there’s a lot of healing that needs to happen in that much more seldom instance of prejudice, the attitude itself doesn’t come with an entire system of benefits and institutional power that being white affords in America. That’s the difference between racism and prejudice, because racism at its root is about supremacy.

    5) “You [person of color] said something about white people doing racist things, so I demand you explain this to me right now.”

    People of color are not on-demand racial justice educators, especially if they have no relationship or affinity with someone seeking the knowledge. In the age of the Internet, if you don’t know someone from a particular community you can speak with, you can likely find those voices on blogs, on Twitter, or even in columns and news articles, talking about the very things you’re seeking to understand. Instead of taxing the already tapped reserves of people of color when dealing with racism, try self-educating before knocking on someone’s door. (End Quote)"

    Personally, I have no patience for people that think like this. I understand their point of view, because this line of thinking represents dominant society but they have no idea where I'm coming from, nor do these people care because I'm about empowering my people and that represents a threat to the power structure that is propped up by white supremacy.

    Looking the other way and ignoring racism may seem harmless to you but it just makes you another cog in the machine that is gobbling up Earth's natural resources, killing and imprisoning the indigenous people of the world, all while stealing their wealth and marginalizing their culture.

    Good day sir,
    Lloyd Michael Douglas-Ali
  • 12:57pm
    Henrik Malchau
    What makes you happy dude. I am SORRY that I wasent born in the darkest Africa. You are a racist no doubt in my mind. I dont blame you, cause you live where you live. I am so tired of racists. Every time a "black" man defends his culture, he is a victim. Every time a "white" man defends his culture his a racist.

    Get over it and meet the world with open eyes. I have been in most parts of the world, and funny enough. The place I found the nicest peoble was in Uganda, in the heart of Africa ๐Ÿ˜„ Your attitude and arrogant way of speaking down to me, makes you repolsive in my eyes. So you are welcome to use your important time elsewhere ๐Ÿ˜„ Bless you and your famely
  • 12:58pm
    Lloyd Michael Douglas-Ali
    Exactly that's why said this was a waste of time.
  • 1:04pm
    Lloyd Michael Douglas-Ali
    I've traveled all over the world too. I probably receive a different response than you, since people get to tell me how they really feel about the Euro tourists that come to their land. They smile in your face because the Euros bring money, but they also bring smug attitudes like yours and have a propensity for child molestation everywhere they go, from Thailand to darkest Africa as you say.
  • 1:05pm
    Lloyd Michael Douglas-Ali
    I don't really need to get over anything though, because I come from the oldest lineage of humans on the planet. My skin isn't burned by the sun and my time isn't running out, so... Have fun while you can.

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