No sound-minded human being would ever say with a straight face, that human classification based on color [race], is inherently necessary. "Human racial classification,"
writes Richard Lewontin in 1972, "is of no social value and is positively destructive of social and human relations." I totally agree with that. However, color-based human classification has become a social reality no one can ignore.

Race impacts our contemporary sociopolitical way of life even when many imminent scholars try to argue race into oblivion. While Europeans...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

How Anti-Racism Activists Support Racism Inadvertently

Tim Wise and the rest of anti-racism activists spent most of their activism time lecturing in schools and colleges about 'white privilege', 'racism' and 'white supremacy.' This campaign sounds like they are faulting 'whites' for being blessed with their socioeconomic and sociopolitical status! Well, this was a designed social status; but it's a 'blessing' to them nonetheless! But seriously, it's obvious that the activists' intentions in anti-racism campaign are noble. They want 'whites' to think inclusively and acknowledge their 'privileged' status in order to effect inclusion and social change. No one can disagree with that discourse. Well, bigoted people would disagree!

Essentially, going by the face-value rationalization of such activism, a homeless John in New York City is 'privileged' but Dr. Cornel West isn't 'privileged' because the later is 'black' and the former 'white'! Again, this is not what Wise and company mean! It's the situation they inspire as they lose themselves in anti-racism activism.

However, there's something anti-racism activists forget in their anti-racism lectures. They present people, other than 'whites', as weak emotionally and less than they are. "Call me a 'honky' and it's silly but don't call them 'nigger' because they'll not like it."  "You're black and unprivileged but I'm white and privileged." "We are white and terrible people! We are ignorant and prejudiced." That is, I assume,  not their intention but their approach is more disempowering than empowering. "Blacks" can't take being insulted but "whites' are emotionally strong enough to take insults and dismiss them! ugh?

The above attitudes also compromise anti-racism efforts by antagonizing racist 'whites' and thereby making them defensive and more aggressive. People who can be shamed into positive action are not bigots but those who want some encouragement not to be mere bystanders!

But any attempt to antagonize racist bigots is the arsenal they need to use to fuel their hate-filled crusades! They need well-structured education, not belligerent activism!

Projecting 'whites' as horrible people (even when they are) is self-serving for anti-racism activists like Wise. They project themselves as the good 'whites' while racially defensive 'whites' as evil people. This does nothing but makes the society more divided and hate-filled.

Building alliances, rather than shaming 'racist' people, will not compromise the whole anti-racism enterprise. Direct shaming as an approach, no doubt, leads to drawing of lines in the sand: Camp A vs. Camp B. The methodical approach that needs to be adopted is one that makes racist 'whites' understand that diversity is an evolutionary reality: THE NEW NORMAL! The world isn't going backward but forward. The sooner they get used to this reality, the sooner they'll feel better or resigned to it! Slavery ended! Segregation (the overt one) ended! Colonization ended. Apartheid ended! This is the general, historical trend these 'racist whites' need to understand; otherwise, they are going against an inevitable wave! They are, essentially, only making life hard for themselves in a world that's growing increasingly diverse and inclusive (on principle).

However, instead of approaching these 'racist whites' with an attitude that tells them "we understand your feelings but listen to what we are saying first', anti-racism campaigners give these 'racist whites' an impression that tells them: "to hell with your feelings; we'll force what we are saying on you!' This is bad! The latter approach foments negative feelings and exacerbates racial hatred. This is something anti-racism activists like Tim Wise need to understand. They are affecting the victims of racism without knowing! The antagonism aimed at 'white racists' by anti-racism activists doesn't hit back at 'white activists' but at the doomed 'colored world'!

But the worst part of these activists' campaign lies in how they undermine the victims of racism and all minorities. One of the annoying fallacies is the idea of 'white supremacy' and 'white privilege.'
Well, even the use of terms like 'white' and 'black' is even racist given their historical origin!  But let's remember that 'privilege' is a universal problem!

Every given society has dominant and dominated groups, whether economically or politically! Socially speaking, groups are self-centered and work for their own benefit. This is not a quintessential reality [only] evolutionarily restricted to people of European descent. There are different 'indices of differentiation', as Paul Gilroy would say, in every given society in the world. Europe and nations of European descent use color 'white' as a distinguishing, discriminatory parameter. So why are anti-racism using a modernist discriminatory term?

Instead of treating 'white supremacy' as a fallacious state of mind, they've socially reconstructed it and use it as an explanatory tool. The use of the very idea prejudiced people use is counter-productive. Political and economic dominance should be separated from the fallacy of supremacy.

Dominance comes in all colors in all parts of the world. Talking of 'white supremacy' gives us an impression that it actually exists. What exists isn't supremacy but political and economic dominance. This socioeconomic dominance births this annoying idea of 'white privilege.' To sound trivial but at the same time serious, I would say that supremacy would only be the case if we had people who don't get sick, don't die, don't hate, don't worry, don't get jealous..! These aliens don't exist, do they?

Since 'white' is a discriminatory social construct, it has to be dismissed instead of being appropriated and given a socially acceptable meaning! It's a social construct anyway, right? Obviously, it was used by Europeans to self-elevate and denigrate the rest of humanity without remorse or compunction. I wonder  why 'white' anti-racism activists use terms like 'white' and 'black' when they know they  [black, brown, yellow, colored...] are the heart of hate and racism and the fallacious feeling of supremacy. When the likes of Tim Wise call themselves 'white' and 'privileged', they are unwittingly buying into the erroneous idea of 'supremacy' without knowing: pure, beautiful and godly!

Both 'white' and 'privileged' aren't equalizing terms. You can't say I'm better than you when your main idea is an attempt on racial equality. I sound like I'm oversimplifying the complex idea of race and activists' nuanced intent in anti-racism campaign. However, we have to remember that the less informed and the highly bigoted oversimplify racism problems. The more they are given an impression that being 'white' is good and puts you in a privileged class, the more one should expect these people not to part with that dangerous state of mind? Before you jump up, being 'white' and being 'European' aren't the same thing! Whiteness is not Europeanness. Whiteness was adopted as an idea to self-glorify!

For anti-racism campaigners to say that an African-American doctor or professor is less privileged than a low-income European-American laborer is to support racism (and supremacy) rather than reduce it. It also makes this poor white feel even more privileged and superior to President Barack Obama! Mere 'whiteness' (whatever that means) without content is not  'privilege'! Seriously!

And for Tim Wise to look for instances where his 'whiteness' helped him but downplay the fact that he grew up in a near low-income family, is to self-elevate unnecessarily.

There has to be a change in anti-racism campaign if  some 'racist whites' are to be made to understand that the world is changing and that those who look different from them are not up to kill them and or dominate them. Diversity is a fundamental reality of todays world. It will only increase!