Saturday, July 2, 2011

Continuing my conversation with James Huff (MRA), while he's away

click to enlarge the image, here
A note to my dear readers:

As James Huff has disappeared for the time being—with hopes from me that he'll make a return to our conversation—I'll take the pause button off and continue exploring some of the themes he and I were beginning to explore in our exchange. At least I found that really pretty diagram about conversation!

What follows is for anyone to read, but is directed specifically at James.

So I've been thinkin' a lot about what we've said to one another thus far, and what you haven't answered. The main point I was trying to make is that the world looks one way to you, based on all the information you have about the world you see, and the world looks quite different to me, inclusive of what you experience, but also containing a lot of reality beyond it. You've admitted you don't know much about the world beyond whiteness. Your connections to cultures are limited to those in the US, the UK, Germany, and Australia. I'd say that's a very narrow strip of humanity, relative to the humanity of the whole world. And given how globalised oppressive, mass murderous ideologies like capitalism, white supremacy, heterosexism, colonialism, imperialism, anti-Indigenism, and male supremacy are—especially to the regions of the world you don't know much about—that leaves you with an information deficit. A lack of knowledge sufficient to make your understandings of what's wrong in the world too incomplete.

The world you live in is a small part of a much larger world. That smaller world unfortunately—but deliberately—exists to oppressively control the larger one. Your world operates on oppressive control, not on behaving humanely or responsibly towards the larger world. From globalisation to militarism to white het male supremacy, your world is very callous to the rest of the world—the places where the rest of us live structurally and regionally. You'd experience it as callous also, if you were willing to really open yourself and honestly see what is going on from the perspective of everyone who isn't like you, positionally and locationally speaking. I believe you are fully human, and have the capability of learning and knowing more than you have had the opportunity to learn and know from life around you. But to do that, you'll have to go a bit out of your way, down the mountain so to speak.

The way the world is structured for you, for me also, we don't have to step outside our worlds to live well. We don't have to escape. We can enjoy the privileges and entitlements we are more than welcomed to take advantage of—we are more than welcomed to do so by our people, who benefit from us doing just that. We don't ever have to know who pays the price for what we have: from our inexpensive clothes, to our relatively inexpensive oil, to the other material resources we have in abundance.

It's not just a matter of what we have, James. It's a matter of how we acquired it to begin with. I'm sure you've heard many US white men say, “That's in the past” when African Americans bring up slavery as a fundamental cause for conditions still actively working against anyone who isn't white, but especially against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people in the US. It's surely not in the past if the same mechanisms for maintaining white supremacy are grinding out degradation, discrimination, genocide, and white dominance. 

White supremacy remains one of a few dominant social-political ideologies in the US. Property-owners ruling are regulating the economic and political systems (predominantly white men are running them—are we surprised?). This is done along with the fierce and overtly forceful maintenance of male supremacy, which still dominates the imagination and our institutions that help shape and tether that imagination. How could brutal white supremacy exist only in the past if white dominance, white control, and white power still rule the show, cast the show, and produce the show?

Do you not agree we live in an unconscionably and disgustingly white supremacist country?

I'll leave you with those questions to answer, along with all the others posed earlier.