Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Affirming the Abstract

Hollowentry on the logic of whiteness:

"There is a tactic on the part of many whites (myself included) to shift an argument away from the concrete to the metaphysical.

So if whites hear: 'racism is institutional', they throw back a seemingly existential parallel: White persyn says persyn of color bad = persyn of color says white persyn bad. Neither recognize each other's authentic humanity. Therefore equally bad.

Way closer to the truth: 'Fanon argues for an end to oppression' =/= 'KKK argues FOR oppression'. When concrete examples are presented, when reality intrudes, the bad faith fake existentialism breaks down.

If whites want to be good existentialists, I'd suggest they read Fanon. He never said whites are bad. He said racism is bad, colonialism is bad. At least my limited reading of Fanon is that anyone subjugated by either, and recognizes themselves and others as people of color whose humanity is not recognized, CHOOSES a solidarity and a recognition with other people of color against dehumanization. This is a creative affirming act. A white too can actively CHOOOSE not to contribute to racism and to colonialism, and live authentically and treat other people authentically, but that means more than doing nothing, it means getting involved in stopping organized systems of racist oppression, and way more than saying 'both sides are at fault' or whatever abstraction." (Hollowentry ,
comment on Woman of Color blog, 4/14/2006, Monday, April 10, 2006, “Immigration, Blogothropology, and a Day of Protest.”)


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