I have this…strange fascination with racism. Possibly because I did not grow up with racism. In fact, I did not learn of racism until I was already a man and by then it was nothing but group preference. So when I hear people talking about racism, going on about racism, or complaining about racism, I tend to take a very non-human look at it. The ultimate outsider, objective and impartial.
Lately though, it seems I cannot get away from the racism. It’s in our politics, it’s in our religions. People use it to shut up people they don’t like, and in turn, masses have grown strong under the title by which they were rejected. So when I come across a piece about racism like this by…well. I kinda wanna talk about it.
During the the winter season, it is a wonderful time to talk about our fears of darkness. I did not merely mean fears of the cold from the lack of heat from sun. Beyond the natural fears of survival during the dark half of the year, we need to discuss our apprehension of darkness including dark skin…
You know, I never used to be scared or concerned about people with darker skin. I figured they were like anyone else and I never had reason to fear them above any others. Then I learned that apparently I am “white” and this make me a “racist” and that “racists” have no place in society and a person with darker skin color could call me a racist, for whatever reason, and I could find myself ousted from society and all I had worked to build.
And then I started to get scared of “dark skinned” people.
…We need to discuss our mistrust of the unknown including the stranger. In the United States our culture including the English language is covered in fear and negativity toward darkness..
Actually, if I recall this correctly, this is more of a universal attitude among humans, not just white americans. If you go listen to folk tales from Africa, they will be just as a scared of what lurks in the blackest night as any european. Plus, most of these cultural fears defined by “Black” or “dark” have more to do with Christian mythos, as well as the natural dangers of the night time, and predate much of any contact with “Black people.”
Our author is putting the cart before the horse. Darkness and Blackness described bad things long before black people were in “european” circles. It just so happened that “black” people had “black skin” and these cultural tropes translated over to an extent. However, the validity of these tropes when they come to black people in the modern day is highly debatable.
It was the winter solstice sermon, when my Unitarian Universalist pastor took to the podium and discussed the darkness. I was happy to hear her talk about the connections between White people’s fear of darkness and dark skin. I believe that we can not awake from our racist slumber without tackling our racist programming from the inside out…
I like to make jokes at work about how I wonder which will burst into flames first, the bible section or my demonically heathen self.
I have the certain impression if I ever walk into a UU church, the question will not be “which burns first” but “how long will the stop watch run. Seriously, are all UU churches at this point nothing but breeding grounds for racist ideologies put together by people so determined to judge each other by their race? I get that UU churches…don’t really have a set religion, or a set doctrine, but seriously, what kind of sermon is it when you spend the entire time talking about how white people are scared of black people? And how the hell is anyone blinding themselves to the fact that this meets the definition of racism?
…But my happiness lessened as she moved into talking about grief. She was not discussing the collective grief of Black people as we fear for our lives or that of our children. No, it was geared towards a mostly white church. It was White grief that was the topic of the day…
Wow Beckett, you’ve got your job set out for you clearing out the racists from Patheos. First Halstead, and now this lady. “Oh no, we aren’t talking about my people’s grief? We’re talking about those white people’s grief, which isn’t nearly as important as mine. Those lesser beings need to shut up and learn about the importance of my grief!!”
What more do you want, oh author of this piece? White people are being scourged for their racism towards your people. Certainly their white tears please you, much the same way that the tears of men please feminists.
I looked away from my mother, the only other Black person in the room, knowing that our default defense to any White ignorance was laughter…
Hang on, gonna try something here…
I looked away from my mother, the only other German person in the room, knowing that our default defense to any Jewish ignorance was laughter.
Okay, yeah, just as racist as I thought it sounded. Wanted to be sure.
…I, gracefully, survived the service without laughter, eye rolling or involuntarily coughs. “You were being real nice”, my mother commented later in the car ride. We proceeded to discuss the problem of “White grief” all the way home.
I would like to nominate our author for humanitarian of the year. Because she didn’t laugh at people feeling sad.
Okay look, I probable would have burst out laughing, pounded the preacher into the proverbial dirt with a theologically minded political discussion, and been dragged out of the church by force, but seriously. Black people keep insisting that white people are racist, that we have to change and destroy the racism in ourselves, and yet here when “white people” are doing just that….black lady wants to laugh at them. What the hell?
“Is grief the reason why White officers kill us?” I started with the most obvious question…
Actually, a detailed review of hundreds, if not thousands of cases, would reveal that white officers (and black officers, and hispanic officers and asian officers, actually, any officer regardless of color) kill black people who are in the process of committing crimes, often violent crimes. I’m not sure what this “us” is because I’m guessing neither the author or her mother have in fact been killed by an officer of any color, but hey, tribalism and group think. Bad for “Whites,” acceptable for blacks.
I recall one recent case of a black woman killed by officers outside a Home Depot. BLM mentioned her once, but it quickly got hushed up when word got out she had been killed while trying to carjack another woman.
…But I can also ask: Is grief the reason why White employees hire and promote less qualified White applicants over more qualified Black applicants?…
Actually, I belief the reason for that is not grief, but Affirmative Action. AA put out that employers had to have “Racial Quotas,” i.e. a set percentage of men and women, and set percentages of black, white, asian, etc peoples working for them. Used to be, the common complaint was that a more qualified white person was passed up for a less qualified black person. I wasn’t aware this had in fact changed on a racial level (though I had heard it was starting to change on a gender level).
But seeing as Affirmative Action was initiated by black people, for the sake and advancement of black people, regardless of if they were the most meritorious individual to fill a position, the only thing I can do at this point is laugh my ass off as it now is used against them the way they used it to gain a leg up on white people.
Turn about is fair play, after all.
…Did White grief cause slavery?…
Actually, slavery has been universal since the start of humanity by all accounts. So you can’t really blame white people for it. However, the primary reason behind slavery world wide, and in the americas, was simply economics.
In a world where the most advanced machine is a horse drawn plow, it takes a lot of individual people laboring to produce crops of increased size. You need people to do this. However, if you hire people to do this, the cost of what you’re producing will end up so high that no one will be able to afford to buy it, at least not in the mass quantities you’re producing.
When it comes to slavery in America, Blacks were actually the last choice. The first choice was native americans, but they died of European sickness like moths before a flame thrower. Ironically, had they had an immunity to said deseases, it is entirely possible that we would not have a black population in the united states and that instead of being a tiny minority, the native americans would actually have demographic numbers at or greater than our present black population. Also likely the USA would not be the size it is, or that Native Americans would be a much more invested part of our society. People fail to realize that the Europeans expanded as much as they did in the USA not because they had better weapons or were genocidal maniacs (they as a rule weren’t), but because so much of the native population died from things like pox long before any real white presence got to an area.
After the Natives proved too death prone, the second choice was actually the Irish. Lots of Irish people were brought over as slaves. Now, this was before lifetime slavery got enacted. In fact, the case that created lifetime slavery involved two irish men and a black man (the irish men got something like a decade or two as slaves, but the black man got life…no one is entirely sure why). But like the native americans, the Irish proved too death prone to be of much use…but this time to diseases native to the Americas.
So you have all the Europeans coming over here, trying to make a new life, and everyone is dying of sicknesses, especially those carried by mosquitoes. Enter the African. There’d been enough contact with Europe and Asia for the sicknesses of those lands to hit Africa and create an immunity. Plus, due to what we know know as sickle cell anemia, many Africans were immune to the sicknesses carried by mosquitoes in the Americas. Give that, believe it or not, Africa seems to have always been a land of ethnic cleansing, plenty of tribes were happy to sell off captured enemies for goods…rather than just outright killing them.
The grand irony. Blacks in America are alive today because whites bout their ancestors from the people who were ethnically cleansing them.
So at the time, slavery was the ultimate win win. Natives weren’t slaves, Europeans didn’t drop like flies, and blacks didn’t get ethnically cleansed by their own race for being the wrong ethnicity.
…Or colonization or any of the issues that created the systemic racial problems of the modern world?…
Actually, colonization was also universal. As for modern, “European” colonization, that was actually started by the Muslim colonization of Iberia (Spain). After kicking out a 700 year long occupation, the desperate (and finacially strapped) King and Queen of Spain gave a lunatic Italian three leaky boats to find India by going West into the great unknown (and possibly off the edge of the world) in order to start direct trade and fill their coffers with enough funds to hold off the (at the time) inevitable re-invasion by the Caliphate.
Instead, Columbus discovered the Americas and kicked off that long chain of events. Spain went from a freshly independant nation with no money to the richest nation in the area. This pushed France, England, and others to get their own colonies going so that they could prevent themselves from being taken over by Spain. And so the domino feel.
So really if you want to blame anyone for colonialism…you should blame the Muslims. After all, everything the Europeans did was kicked off by an attempt not to be remade slaves themselves.
…No, it is White prejudice, White privilege and White greed that is behind the racist systems of today.
You mean that same racist system that lets you vote, have a house, a job, all the legal protections granted to white people, some privileges beyond, and in which you are a free person owned by no one, whom it is unlawful to discriminate against?
I really hate it when people don’t bother to learn their history. I hate it even more when they twist history to create excuses to be racists.
Benefactors and perpetrators of oppression do not get to grieve…
…First, it is offensive to those living under the oppressive hand of a racist society. We are the ones who lost houses, jobs, our health and our lives for White people to have their privileges…
You know, I was going to be padantic and post the number of white people who died in the revolution and on the side of the Yankees to bring the government and liberation of the slaves into being. But I’m not. It shouldn’t be a numbers game of who died more, which determines who is in the right.
Especially with someone who sounds like a damn Nazi talking about Jews.
…We are the ones grieving.Secondly, White grief is impossible in a world of White privilege….
“Jewish grief is impossible in a world of Jewish Privilege.”
Just letting you know how racist that sounds.
…Grief is a response to loss. Yet, White privilege is a state where one is gaining benefits from racism. Racism has gained White people new lands, money, people, jobs, suburbs, and the list goes on…
Yeah, because no white person has ever had to work to get a job, earn money, buy a home, build a suburb, etc. That stuff was all handed to us by black people. They designed it, they built it, they worked it, and they handed it over to us.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
What do you think this is, 1800? Juno’s cunt, but the stupidity of this attitude. Yeah, America has slavery. That slavery ended over 150 years ago. Since then, white people got on with their lives, built machines to do the labor, and proceeded to advance their society while it seems all black people did was keep thinking they were slaves making shit for the white man.
White people designed shit, then white people fabricated it with machines. It was called the industrial revolution. No slaves involved. But apparently our author thinks every white person has a personal black slave just working away the hours to build them a nice, shiny, post industrial society despite the fact that no black slavery was involved and hasn’t existed in over a century!
Bloody Hela, at least when the Nazi’s tried to pull this level of bullshit, they could back it up by pointing to actual Jews owning actual Banks! Our author can’t even provide that level of bullshit proof or argument.
…Now, one might argue that a White person is grieving because they sense a loss of humanity by growing up in a White supremacist world….
I’m going to be a dick.
America; A White supremacist world where in everyone has the same equal rights before the law.
Africa; A Black supremacist world where in everyone faces ethic cleansing at the point of a gun.
You know, I’m sorry, but if believing in a color blind, meritocratic society where everyone has freedom of speech, religion, and opportunity, where we are not judge by our skin color but by our individual deeds is a White Supremacist society…then I’m a god damn white supremacist because I refuse to say that a world where we judge people by the arbitrary and accidental nature of their birth and how much their skin is darker or lighter because of it is a better world.
…But, with grief comes a sense of hopelessness or powerlessness. You can not recover from that loss easily and you may never regain exactly what you lose. White people have the power to regain their humanity and fight racism.
White people aren’t even human.
In a sense, White grief is as pointless as White guilt…
…Instead of pretending that a White person is powerless against the racism, we should be talking about White accountability…
…If you want to stop feeling bad about racism as a White people, the quickest avenue is to do something about it. The first step is a simple but difficult one which involves working on your own mind. Accepting your culpability. Accepting how you benefit from racism. Accepting your privilege…
Yeah, I never owned slaves. My parent’s didn’t. My Grand parents didn’t. In Fact, I’m pretty sure both sides of my family were too poor to have ever owned a slave. So…not sure where I’m culpable for anything.
As for how I benefit from racism…I don’t. In fact, most of the racism I see in a day to day existence tends to be aimed at people like me simply because we happened to be born with the wrong skin color.
I accept the privilege of laying the verbal smack down on your racism.
…Thinking about when you have committed racist actions. Delve deep inside yourself, see your prejudices, your fears, and find your humanity again. It is time to embrace your own darkness,stop being afraid of the unknown and stop running from accountability.
Can’t say I’ve ever committed a racist action. Our author, on the other hand…
I don’t have humanity. I’m pretty much a demonic creature adopted by a Goddess. I think you should check your human privilege, you cis-species scum.
Funny thing is, I did embrace my darkness, stopped being afraid of the unknown, and accepted my accountability.
And I went from being the ashes of a broken dead child to at long last, a Deus of Law, Justice, and Retribution. And you know what I discovered?
That people like our author who spend their time protesting and talking about how racist other people are…typically are the most racist themselves. Also, that since I’m apparently white I might as well support white people in a racist situation because really, the black man ain’t gonna stick up for me. I gotta accept my accountability to the people I was put with, and help them.
So think about that, before you start trying to make the world all about race.