Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thought for the Day: 25 November 2009


[image is from here]


I have come to believe, sadly, that white people--female and male, will not likely or often or willfully--without being challenged to do so (and even then...)--take full responsibility for their whiteness and the negative impact it has on women of color globally. Whites remain in great ignorance, generally and intentionally, about the political nature of whiteness and the force it takes to maintain it as a socially enacted political reality. Whites do not even name or own the political meaning of it, how it expresses itself, how it behaves in human beings to corrupt us (whites) and distort and demean the rest of humanity (people of color). Whites do not take responsibility for defusing the power infused in it socially and interpersonally as well as institutionally. Whites self-servingly and defensively protect and defend or utterly deny the privileges and entitlements that come with being white.

I have come to believe and expect that this will happen approximately as often and commonly as men, individually but always part of a class of oppressors, will do the same. Whether of color or white, heterosexual or gay--in my experience men, generally, will not take full responsibility for our manhood and the negative impact it has on women as it is expressed in patriarchies across the globe. Men will not even name or own the political meaning of our manhood and the force it takes to keep this concept concretely existent. Men will not own or be responsible with the power infused in it socially and interpersonally as well as institutionally. Men do not acknowledge the privileges and entitlements that come with being a man.

I hope this changes but have come to feel less optimistic about holding that hope over the last twenty-five years of witnessing what I have witnessed U.S. whites and men do to U.S. women of color, in this nation that was built on the enslaved backs and fed with the forcibly let blood of women of color. The gynocides and the genocides continue. White men, in particular, celebrate these atrocities as forms of entertainment, or treat these atrocities as non-existent. Whites and men ignore them, even, paradoxically, as we perpetrate and perpetuate them.

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