The Everyday Struggle…
I’ve read some of the discussion and this is just bits and pieces but wanted to say hello and thank you:
– I so appreciate the way you’re going about getting at truth here, and I totally feel like you are onto something huge and crucial and true.
– It’s also interesting to me to see the reaction of many (all?) of the white people who commented on this idea here in your blog. It makes sense to me that this reaction means there’s something seriously important/true in what you are trying to get at. (Also, it was just — I don’t have the word, just argh! — to see how even in the place where you asked specifically for comments from black people, most of the comments were from white people arguing with you!)
– Your identification of “White Women’s Syndrome” type dynamic coming into play crystallized something I felt last week when I came across this discussion somewhere, can’t remember if it was your previous blog or where, but I had this icky feeling about the dynamic and you just pinned it right down here!
– I feel that there is so totally a vivid intense “tone quality” of insanity/mental illness to white supremacy thinking and action, to the whole Euro-white cultural system and the behaviors that flow from it. I feel there is a visceral truth in what you’re working out and seeing here.
– I’m white.
– Did I say thank you? Thank you.
Thank you, AskWhy. Thank you very much.
You know, I almost hate it sometimes when I have to cut the cord with folks in conversation. But my commitment is to getting at truth – relationships be damned. I love people, but I love truth, honesty and clarity more. When people get to lyin’, I get to steppin’. By steppin’ – what I mean is, I lay folks out with truth.
One of the people in the conversation, Thinking Girl, dangled our fledgling friendship and our previous agreement on certain matters, over the chasm of our disagreement – and my stating that racism played a part in her inability to get what I was saying. And threatened to X-out our friendship – which she did. That’s not the kind of ‘friendship’ I’m after, or would mourn.
To quote a blue-eyed statesmen, “I have no permanent friends, only permanent interests.” In growth, in understanding, in truth.
There was an intellectual dishonesty in the entire conversation: “I’m right because I’m mentally ill” “I’m right because I hate how mentally ill people are stigmatized” “I’m right because you stepped into my identity politics.” “I’m right because I say so.”
“I’m right because I’m White,” didn’t make the cut (openly); but why else was there no give, no humility, no openness to the possibility that they might not know every fucking thing, particularly about racism. Thinking Girl talked about how she preferred the term brainwashing; well if that works for her, how is she so sure she’s not still under the sway of her ‘controller?’
When I refused to capitulate to their whitewash, they took their jacks and scooted home. I’ve spoken with truly honest people. But not in that conversation.
I wasn’t desperately attached to the idea of ‘racism as a mental illness’ until this conversation. Now, I’m convinced. And my brother Asa’s assertion that “the MOST racist white person is the so-called liberal/progressive” was proven by this conversation.
Yes, I agreed quite often with these people but the Red Sea parted and I found myself on the opposite shore – in a profoundly enlightening way. The way they interacted on the blog, the unanimity, the cotton stuffed tightly in their ears, the unwillingness for a second to consider that their opinions, their precious intellectual constructions were rooted in the very insanity that they were insisting didn’t apply. Didn’t exist.
They were the people who are always white and right; they strut around with their leftwing epaulets front and center as if they took a vaccine innoculating them from Racism/White Supremacy. I don’t care how much Foucalt or Chomsky you read: the disease is bigger than you, it’s bigger than the pet theories you’ve plagiarized from your racism encoded school books.
But they are too white to see it.
Glad you’re not so white, Ask, that you can’t see it. Peace.