Let’s All Get Vulnerable

Political Discussion, Uncategorized

Instead of being alienated from the discussion of White[1] Privilege, the separate phenomenon of racism, sexism, hetero-sexism, and classism are suddenly interconnected and understood as symptoms of homogenous privilege and thinking. Our separate discussions about race, sex, class, etc. can continue, but they can also find a collective origin and, in turn, the possibility for real solutions that fix these pandemics.

  • It may sound like I am advocating for the elimination of differences where differences should be celebrated. To be sure, I am not. When it comes to power and privilege, differences should be minimized as a way to allow for the celebration of differences; this is because one cannot celebrate all the ways one is different when these differences are used to silence or restrict one’s voice.
  • We need to remember that privilege has no room for vulnerability whereas, the experience of the Other is vulnerable without option[2]. So let’s all get vulnerable…

[1] White is a floodwall built out of fear. Even worse, these floodwalls are continually built (at great expense) around societies sitting on such high ground that even if on the off chance there is a highly unusual level of water, the real threat of a flood would be a statistical improbability.

[2] I’m confused by liberal, artsy intellectualism that tries to sterilize itself, or repress a prejudice with comments or attitudes that say “I thought I had myself covered;” its this idea that we can purge any and everything rotten and greedy and corruptible in ourselves and become a purified, righteous defender of all things right…I say, trying to purge one’s self from things like racism or sexism misses the point. It’s not the purge or the purification that is the end goal, it’s embracing an imperfect vulnerability, one that doesn’t try to say something about things like racism or sexual discrimination with the hope of being right. Instead, its about accepting, acknowledging, and embracing the threat of vulnerability which is a new experience for the privileged but the everyday mode of operation for the Other.

Avenues of Sameness

Political Discussion, Uncategorized
  • I’ve said this already, but I hold privilege too[1]. In order to lay claim to my fair share of social currency and shed my disenfranchisement, I reject the idea that this privilege must be White. Claiming it as a White phenomenon single-handedly strips away whatever (little or lot) of privilege anyone Other may have. And in order for the collective us to be able to have real discussions of what privileges are fair and unfair, we need to move on to a discussion of Homogenous Privilege, the idea that we grant and gain access to power through avenues of sameness.[2]

[1] This is not because some polls consider Hispanic/Latino as White, but rather, despite that fact.

[2] The road rules managing avenues of sameness are what cause school children and adults alike to justify unkind and inhuman treatment directed toward someone that doesn’t acknowledge, can’t follow, doesn’t know, or chooses to ignore these unspoken, capricious rules. The sorrow of the Other is not caused by racism, sexism, heteronormativity, or classism, but by the overabundance and ever-changing set of micro and macro rules governing these avenues.

So a question arises:

Political Discussion, Uncategorized

 

  1. Does one group have to lose the positive aspects of power in order for another group to gain it?
    1. I insist that the answer is NO.
  2. So how does equilibrium happen?
    1. Simple; collectively eradicate the concept of the Other and its reinforcements. We must move the conversation past the mere discussion of unearned privilege and into the realm of eliminating unearned disadvantage. This should, in turn, remove the aspects of privilege that no human should have over the other while still maintaining the elements of privilege that we all should have.

The Problem with Terminology

Political Discussion, Uncategorized
  • The problem with the term White Privilege is where the term begins to break down. The truth is, this term can only account for a Western-normative phenomenon, and not the phenomenon of power-holds in Eastern locals or countries in the West where light skin/white culture is not the norm.
  • Terms like White or “Male/Female” are symptomatic of the overreaching and flawed logic of humanity’s propensity for binary thinking. Constructive thinking is always trying to simplify, compact, and maintain compartmentalized categories. This happens largely as a way to simplify semantics (it is hard, for example, to refer to every race, ethnicity, and region directly and efficiently, so terms like White arise as a way to simplify discussion and identification). However, we need to fight this tendency, or at least fight the fallacy that these terms are inherent in humanity, that they simply exist and are not created.[1]

[1]The points I bring up here are not meant to be an advocacy for relativism; I insist in the truth that language is inherently flawed in describing… well, anything. I also insist in the truth that language inherently favors the flavor of its privileged benefactors. I insist in the truth that people gain, measure, and mediate power based on subscriptions for or against things like “proper” language usage, even though these terms are flawed, imperfect and inherently inaccurate.

The Label of White #5

Political Discussion, Uncategorized

The label White, in and of itself, is not right[1]. Not even when attempting to call it out.

What I mean is this:

  • Absorbed groups have the constant threat of being rejected and so, conform or over-conform to the status quo. It is an efficient way to conserve power and simultaneously deceive people into thinking they hold power, while the commanding handful increase their grip on it.

[1] the definition of the term here should be “morally good or justified.” The definition of “true or correct” also works…

The Label of White #4

Political Discussion, Uncategorized

The label White, in and of itself, is not right[1]. Not even when attempting to call it out.

What I mean is this:

  • White is a term of convenience. It allows for the whitewashing of accepted outside groups to be absorbed into the power-holding force we call White. It allows for the maintenance of organizational structure and status. It insures that the power-holding group will not be out-numbered or taken over, but also allows for the disenfranchisement of these absorbed peoples upon whim, through the claims of “not being white enough,” or “not truly white.[2]

[1] the definition of the term here should be “morally good or justified.” The definition of “true or correct” also works…

[2] Often I’ve heard a version of these accusations come from the mouth of the self-obsessed U.S. citizen, claiming that one person or another is “not American enough,” or “not truly American,” and should do something like show proof of their birth certificate.  If these people are really seeking truth and want to be right, and for that matter, do justice to their point, they should request to see their tribal identification card. Yet, I doubt that’s what they mean.

The Label of White #2

Political Discussion, Uncategorized

The label White, in and of itself, is not right[1]. Not even when attempting to call it out.

What I mean is this:

  • Most people seem to assume that the natural ending point for reversing White Privilege would be a magnetic shift, a reversing of the poles, and surely “this is not useful either.” This is where the fear of ‘reverse’ racism arises. It is, however, just a fear, not a viable, statistical, logical, or even semantic actuality. The fear that poles can shift, that those in power can lose it and those not in power can rise up and become even more oppressive, is used to create stasis. This stasis is even seen and felt in the well-meaning advocates of social justice.

[1] the definition of the term here should be “morally good or justified.” The definition of “true or correct” also works…

 

The label of White #1

Uncategorized

The label White, in and of itself, is not right[1]. Not even when attempting to call it out.

What I mean is this:

  1. Misplacing credit to one’s white skin solidifies the false notion that being white makes one inherently worthy of privilege. White as a race, as a marker of privilege, is a sleight of hand[2]. The distraction of the term allows for endless well-meaning discussions, ones that attempt to identify problems, symptoms, and distinctions, but no change.

[1] the definition of the term here should be “morally good or justified.” The definition of “true or correct” also works…

[2] It’s the age-old trick used to make the coins in the hands of the Other disappear and reappear in the pocket of the magician.