On Working With White People

By Maxjulian

May 10, 2006

Category: Uncategorized

12 Comments »

Is it possible to work with white people on the liberation of non-white people? More and more I am skeptical. Whites are addicted to being boss – male and female alike. They suffer expert mind. Check ’em out; when a conflict or disagreement erupts, their default is “you’re a nigga and I’m not. I KNOW what I’m talking about. You are an irrational, angry spearchucker!”

They were suckled on racism/white supremacy in their mother’s womb. AND Amerikkka is merely an extension of that womb for the nurturing of the same R/WS. Whites don’t get this. The majority don’t want to see the forest for the trees. NOT can’t; DON’T want to. Its a highly sophisticated game they play. I’m your friend, I really, really care about you. Brotha/Sista their words play, NIGGA, their actions say.

For some whites, black folks need to have more compassion for the beast who has sent generation after generation to an early grave. If niggas would only love them enough or listen to them enough, they’ll figure out that they don’t have to slaughter non-whites across the globe. Hattie McDaniel, where are you when we need you most?!

Whites – even the most liberal – are also addicted to maintaining white supremacy, or at least hooked on keeping the booty they’ve gotten ONLY BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE. How do I know this? Because the prescriptions they always prescribe for OUR freedom never rise to the level of the DISEASE. They prescribe aspirin for metastisized bone cancer. In point of fact, they prescribe a placebo – a meaningless series of remedies that don’t heal OUr problem AT ALL. But, it does heal their problem.

In order to NOT know (“Thou Shalt Not Be Aware,” Alice Miller), they create activities that feign action, that appear directed toward “freedom” or “change,” but that actually tighten the noose tighter around the throat of non-white people.

“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” is one form of insanity; it is also the perfect strategy to avoid doing what is NECESSARY to change things. (‘Winners do what they have to do; losers – and white folks – do what they want to do’) Losers, or people who only want to appear like they are doing something – do the same thing. And nothing more.

Ward Churchill called out all these liberal/progressive poseurs in “Pacifism As Pathology.” Every so called lefty should read this book before they holla back at me, cuz he says the same thing only he said it first and better.

Can white people work with niggas? And, will that work be about liberation, or cleasnsing the conscience of the guilt-ridden white person? I’m always suspicious of the white person who makes a grand display about how much they FEEL our pain. No, start feeling our pain by sacrificing something beyond tears and shoe leather for freedom and justice. I hear John Brown wretching in his grave.

12 Responses to “On Working With White People”

  1. Great post, it is an issue when dealing with folks on the liberation of a people who don’t look like you. Peace.

  2. another great post.

    (I saw this today too:

    http://www.williambowles.info/ini/2006/0506/ini-0415.html

    on how people get this way, and the need to find a way to undo it.)

    “And, will that work be about liberation, or cleasnsing the conscience of the guilt-ridden white person? I’m always suspicious of the white person who makes a grand display about how much they FEEL our pain.”

    This really says everything. There is this tone, you hear it/feel it everywhere in the ‘progressive’ blogsphere, of *self-congratulation* just for not being the grand wizard of the local klan chapter. As if just not being a klansman is an achievement and medals should be awarded.

  3. Le Colonel Chabert said: “This really says everything. There is this tone, you hear it/feel it everywhere in the ‘progressive’ blogsphere, of *self-congratulation* just for not being the grand wizard of the local klan chapter. As if just not being a klansman is an achievement and medals should be awarded.”

    See, that’s it. Well-fucking-said! I experience this ‘thing’ with white folks all the time. Its this feeling of “is it live, or is it Memorex?” Don’t know if you saw that old commercial but the gist was, can you tell the difference between a live vocalist (Ella Fitzgerald) and her recorded voice – a voice which caused glass to break. The diff is I keep asking myself – because my intuition and gut tell me to – is, “is this white person for real, or are they a fraud, a poseur, using me as a prop to make themselves feel, etc. Few indeed are those who I can answer about in the affirmative.

  4. thanks maxjulian – I remember Memorex! (I live in France but am a noo yawker.) I thought, a propos, this was interesting too:

    http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/%7Erjensen/freelance/whitepeoplesburden.htm

    “Here’s another example, from the Rose Garden. At a 2004 news conference outside the White House, President George W. Bush explained that he believed democracy would come to Iraq over time:
    “There’s a lot of people in the world who don’t believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren’t necessarily — are a different color than white can self-govern.”

    It appears the president intended the phrase “people whose skin color may not be the same as ours” to mean people who are not from the United States. That skin color he refers to that is “ours,” he makes it clear, is white. Those people not from the United States are “a different color than white.” So, white is the skin color of the United States. That means those whose skin is not white but are citizens of the United States are …? What are they? Are they members in good standing in the nation, even if “their skin color may not be the same as ours”?

    This is not simply making fun of a president who sometimes mangles the English language. This time he didn’t misspeak, and there’s nothing funny about it. He did seem to get confused when he moved from talking about skin color to religion (does he think there are no white Muslims?), but it seems clear that he intended to say that brown people — Iraqis, Arabs, Muslims, people from the Middle East, whatever the category in his mind — can govern themselves, even though they don’t look like us. And “us” is clearly white. In making this magnanimous proclamation of faith in the capacities of people in other parts of the world, in proclaiming his belief in their ability to govern themselves, he made one thing clear: The United States is white. Or, more specifically, being a real “American” is being white. So, what do we do with citizens of the United States who aren’t white?

    That’s the question for which this country has never quite found an answer: What do white “Americans” do with those who share the country but aren’t white? What do we do with peoples we once tried to exterminate? People we once enslaved? People we imported for labor and used like animals to build railroads? People we still systematically exploit as low-wage labor? All those people — indigenous, African, Asian, Latino — can obtain the legal rights of citizenship. That’s a significant political achievement in some respects, and that popular movements that forced the powerful to give people those rights give us the most inspiring stories in U.S. history.

    The degree to which many white people in one generation dramatically shifted their worldview to see people they once considered to be subhuman as political equals is not trivial, no matter how deep the problems of white supremacy we still live with.In many comparable societies, problems of racism are as ugly, if not uglier, than in the United States. If you doubt that, ask a Turk what it is like to live in Germany, an Algerian what it’s like to live in France, a black person what it’s like to live in Japan. We can acknowledge the gains made in the United States — always understanding those gains came because non-white people, with some white allies, forced society to change — while still acknowledging the severity of the problem that remains.

    But it doesn’t answer the question: What do white “Americans” do with those who share the country but aren’t white?

    We can pretend that we have reached “the end of racism” and continue to ignore the question. But that’s just plain stupid. We can acknowledge that racism still exists and celebrate diversity, but avoid the political, economic, and social consequences of white supremacy. But, frankly, that’s just as stupid. The fact is that most of the white population of the United States has never really known what to do with those who aren’t white. Let me suggest a different approach.

    Let’s go back to the question that W.E.B. Du Bois said he knew was on the minds of white people. In the opening of his 1903 classic, The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois wrote that the real question whites wanted to ask him, but were afraid to, was: “How does it feel to be a problem?” Du Bois was identifying a burden that blacks carried — being seen by the dominant society not as people but as a problem people, as a people who posed a problem for the rest of society. Du Bois was right to identify “the color line” as the problem of the 20th century. Now, in the 21st century, it is time for whites to self-consciously reverse the direction of that question at heart of color. It’s time for white people to fully acknowledge that in the racial arena, we are the problem. We have to ask ourselves: How does it feel to be the problem?

    The simple answer: Not very good. “

  5. i wonder if it’s possible to even work with some black people on issues of liberation.

  6. Nubian: Its not possible to work with some black people, in my opinion, on our liberation. Too many of us hurt from the pain that’s been inflicted on us, then turn around and prey upon each other/talk about each other, turn our backs on each other. Its ugly. Reality is like an onion; you have to peel each layer and eventually, the whole thing, to really understand what’s happening. It takes a degree of commitment that few earthlings regardless of color have. Few people will do what you’ve done and make it to grad school, and then PHD level work (congratulations!) The same holds true. But we can still win! If we propagandize (and I mean this in the sense of countering the brainwashing that folks receive) our people, work closely with our communities, forge alliances with other people who are on the same page, be on the look out for infiltrators and spies, we can put together a vanguard movement. I believe that. It’ll be the hardest work ever, of course.

  7. Le Colonel: I wanna come back to France. Where you at? I spent a bunch of time in Paris; fell in love with Montpellier.

    Question: how do we de-colonize white folks’ brains?

  8. Le Colonel: Read the Bowles piece. Excellent! Thanks for the heads up.

  9. wooo chile…
    i’m listening.

  10. maxjulian,

    You are on to something here.

    I’m a white man who was raised in the Southern United States.

    I’ll break it to you.

    Look, just don’t get pissed at me, I’m trying to level with you and give you some REAL information.

    Consciously, most whites are NOT racist (there are exceptions). We don’t start using the word ‘nigger’ when black people are not around, or start plotting to release a super-disease that only targets blacks ( I’m sure there are exceptions there, too).

    But,

    We are socialized to perceive that there is a certain anti-social and criminal nature to black culture.

    Unconsciously, we do not recognize the humanity of nonwhites on the same level we recognize that of whites.

    In our words we care so much about black people and their welfare. We are constantly setting up programs and coalitions to help inner city youth, or help starving people and whatnot.

    If we really cared about the welfare of minorities it would be self evident, and there would be no need for such ‘outreach’ (read:propaganda) programs.

    (i.e.: the LIVE AID relief for the Ethiopian famine of 1984 was delivered successfully, then traded by the Ethiopian government to the Soviet Union for weapons, and it wasn’t in the news, there was no outcry.)

    The ineffectiveness of our outreach is evidence that the true reason for such generosity and compassion is to appear sensitive, to make the appearance of caring.

    That is because at the end of the day, it is better to have steak than hamburger, better to live in a mansion than it is to live in the ghetto.

    At the end of the day, when the fog of idealism has settled and the shit has hit the fan (read: In the pursuit of power and wealth), white people don’t care a damn about your people or your problems. We would like it if you went away or became a bill Crosby.
    (that’s nothing against you personally, that’s just the way it is)

    There, I said it.

    I am interested in your opinion, as I don’t hate or look down on a person because of their traits.

    (That does not make me ‘good’. I am a white person who is definitely for preserving a situation that gives me power)

  11. [egad.]

    thanks maxjulian; I’m in Pareee! We have a friend from Montpellier, but have never visited (love the south though – aix, avignon, antibes…)

    what to do to decolonise white folks minds? I wish I knew!

    I wonder, laurie p’s ghost, if you realise that *loving your racism* and ‘preserving your own power’ – unless you are rich – are in contradiction.

    I’m thinking: let’s say, maxjulian, your were a shrink. (maybe you are…) but one who specialises in treating racism, as others specialise in alcoholism or smoking. What would you expect to find in people who love their racism, who are emotionally attached to it? What kind of fantasies and attachments are underlying this? I think the most common among covert liberal white supreamacists is the Daddy Warbucks fantasy; its all over the movies; to be the benevolent billionaire with a slave, a natural subordinate, the guy inthe turban who serves and *adores* you, and praises you and is loyal and grateful for the opportunity to serve. The existence of ‘race’ supports, is indispensible to this white liberal fantasy. [in harry potter, there is another species invented to fulfill this white liberal fantasy].

    I think all the other elements – fear and loathing of ‘racial’ others – piggyback, for white liberals, on this main fantasy of benevolent despotism, of living in a world surrounded by natural inferiors who will *love you* for being *generous* and *kind* and *sparing their lives* and *deigning to use them.* From this comes the phenomenon you remarked on – and nubian some montsh ago aboutwhite lib. feminists at her university – of wanting always to join but to control – sort of manoeuvering always for acceptance by people of color – for the certficate ‘no not you! you’re cool; you(re special!’ and for domination based on this very thing, as if this is a merit wich just proves the superiority of the white liberla and his/her fitness to rule and control.

    How to fix this? Eesh. Re-education camps after the rev? I think probably the only thing that really has an impact on racism is class mobility: institutional antisemitism truly vanished in two generations in the US, this was not ‘education’ and ‘sentiment shift’ entirely – mainly abou the changing class position of Jews I think. (there may still be individuals with prejudices of course – that’s like ‘reverse racism’, some trivial social thing – but there is no institutional antisemitsm anymore). Reember in the 80s there started to be a new intense anti Japanese thing, in films and tv and all related to trade war? Some Japanese bought some of hollywood and made that go away. Being in a position of power, to prevent the reproduction of racist propaganda, makes a difference; being in a position of social power has to be the cure. Changing white consciousness…? Seems pretty impossible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: