White Privilege Vol 2

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BrazillianJiuJitsu1992's picture
BrazillianJiuJi...
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Dec 9 2011 19:42
White Privilege Vol 2

I can say my first address on the issue of white privilege was pretty shit and shallow, I can now say my opinion on the subject has changed, however I still have some questions, I do not want to derail the previous thread so I have started this one.

I have looked at statistics and found that everywhere, but especially in North America and places with former white minority rule, that black people, Latinos, Hispanics and generally all people of colour are exposed to worse conditions, opportunities, housing standards, higher toxicity levels, police oppression etc etc.

However, what I do not understand is where this leaves us.

Does this mean that minorities should be put in positions of leadership in a movement, because that seems to be what most liberals say on the matter but I find this stupid, anti democratic and tokenistic. How about seperate groups like the BPP, young lords?

I do not believe that any of this is the way forward, yet this is what all the videos and text I have found on the subject seem to call for.

So I guess I can see structural racism, I have even talked to my dearest who has listed numerous things, like her shopping and white staff in shops picking out specific clothes for her that they do because she is asian, or the fact people called her brother a drug dealer because he had a nice car, but do not think that the situation calls for anything but class struggle and the struggle against all forms of hierachy and domination.

Didn't Bakunin say that not all domination extends from capitalism or the state and that rather than just focusing on the state and capital all forms of exploitation and degredation be fought, including after the dismantling of the state?

RedEd's picture
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Dec 10 2011 01:17

I like the fact that you stick to a class struggle perspective and I agree. I think that we need to make sure we take into account anti-racism amongst working class people as well. So the question is not so much "are working class whites bigots?" as "what attitudes do we as class struggle activists need to challenge (particularly amongst whites) in order to unify the class for revolutionary goals?".

Because basically I can't see the material basis for racism, sexism, etc. under libertarian communism, but I also can't see the intellectual basis for libertarian communism without broad working class anti-sexism, anti-racism, etc.

jesuithitsquad's picture
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Dec 10 2011 03:45

BJJ- I really like your willingness to change your mind and publicly admit when you're off. I think all of us could gain a little if we took this approach. I know I could.

That said, what you've written above seems to be, more or less, the majority opinion from the original thread. With a few exceptions, most participating on the thread voiced various levels of concern with the implications of the phrase "white privilege" whilst obviously maintaining a firm belief in both the realness and viciousness of structural racism (which is where you--at the time--differed). Consequently, I don't really see much value in starting a new thread on the topic, but like I said, I am impressed with your honesty and humility.

Though if we are going to keep talking about the concept of privilege,
this comtribution I made about a year and a half ago seems relevant.

wink

Pyotr Tchaikovsky
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Dec 10 2011 05:56

Someone mentioned that there is a lot of racism among blacks, pakistanis etc.. Wouldn't ppl argue that white privilege isn't all that bad given such a context?

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Dec 10 2011 06:55
Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote:
Someone mentioned that there is a lot of racism among blacks, pakistanis etc.. Wouldn't ppl argue that white privilege isn't all that bad given such a context?

Would you argue that white privilege isn't that bad under such context? How would you argue that, I'm curious?

Ex profundis
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Dec 10 2011 07:15

Oh, okay. Pyotr is saying that white privilege isn't on a whole level above other racisms, per se. Sure - although when it's combined with historical coincidence, and the fact that Roman and then European supremacism created it), it seems connected with more damage to the species than other racisms. I wouldn't say by much though, considering other genocides and people-wide enslavements.

More importantly, though, no amount of measuring and calculating can redeem racial supremacism. We don't create ledgers for bodies - capitalists do that, and before them the aristocrats.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky
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Dec 10 2011 11:42
Tojiah wrote:
Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote:
Someone mentioned that there is a lot of racism among blacks, pakistanis etc.. Wouldn't ppl argue that white privilege isn't all that bad given such a context?

Would you argue that white privilege isn't that bad under such context? How would you argue that, I'm curious?

WP is rather passive, it's not like people commit racist acts or say racist things in order to maintain WP. It sort of maintains itself. Racism, otoh, is active - racists actively spread hate etc.

Arbeiten's picture
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Dec 10 2011 12:05
jesuithitsquad wrote:
BJJ- I really like your willingness to change your mind and publicly admit when you're off. I think all of us could gain a little if we took this approach. I know I could.

Yes! haha.

Pytor, Racism isn't 'active' and 'racists' don't go out hunting people to bully. Some do, for sure, but I think you are individualizing the phenomena too much. I think we get into difficulties if we only talk about racism as if it is emitted from certain 'racists'. As BJJ's opening post says there is structural racisms. Employment, education, poverty, etc, etc adversely affect certain ethnic minorities in different (often negative, though not always) ways. none of these phenomena can be pin-pointed to the racists.

BJJ. No I don't think anyone is saying there should be ethnic minority 'leaders' (we are anarchists after all wink), or that there should be, say, black only groups* (that period in history and its concomitant movements has pretty much exhausted itself). As I said in the last thread, we need to talk less about race and more about racism.

* What texts have you read on the subject? Is it stuff from the 1970s and 80s?

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Dec 10 2011 12:10

As for what Bakunin said. Don't be scared to read non-anarchists on some subjects wink. Especially when dealing with things they didn't even discuss (Bakunin never discussed racism. He was however an anti-semite wink).

I would suggest reading this thread from earlier this year for more on those issues.