Nov. 25th, 2012

yeloson: (Default)

(c/p from Tumblr)

Some basic shit needs to be said.

Racism works on people treating you a certain way because they THINK you are something, based on how you look, and what they think people should be treated like.

Throughout various times in my life I have been assumed to be: Mexican, Filipino, Japanese, Iraqi Chaldean, White, Half Black, and probably a lot more no one ever told me.  But the thing is, depending on what people THINK you are, changes how they TREAT you, and there’s racism.

You didn’t have to do anything for this to happen to you, there’s society, it’s doing it’s thing, and you just happened to pop out with this particular gene expression and now you’re either getting shit, or getting benefits, or sometimes, one way or another depending on where you are, how you’re dressed/how your hair is, or what the current political climate is at the moment.

Obviously, though, that also depends on where you sit on the race appearance scale- people like me, who can be racially ambiguous… sit higher up on this scale than someone who is unmistakeably dark with unmistakeably kinky hair.

So, we got no control over how our genes came together, and we’ve got no control over larger society.

What do we have control over?  Whether we play the game and support the system or don’t support it.

When someone points out that the system exists, that lighter people GET more benefits (benefit of the doubt, taken at face value, wages, promotions, loans, housing opportunities, attacked less, arrested less), than darker people who get more fuck overs (dismissed, more violence, less wages, less opportunity, more abuse, worse healthcare, targeted legal violence)… and you pretend it doesn’t exist?  You, in fact, fight to keep that hidden?

That says you’re down with those benefits to you and costs to others.

Welcome to the land of White-Identifying.

Don’t be surprised when folks give you a hearty FUCK YOU because that’s what you just gave them. 

And this isn’t a theoretical - you just said everything they’ve been through, personally and first hand, all the shit their family has been through - doesn’t mean shit to you.   At that point, no one owes you anything in terms of politeness or manners - because you just cosigned on every act of violence and oppression.

One of the most common, passive aggressive BULLSHIT ways people do this is derailing.  The point of derailing that is the giveaway that it’s bullshit, is the point of dismissing the suffering of others.   If Black folks are talking about lynching, I can bring up the fact that Chinese were lynched as well, but if I a) claim that Chinese “had it worse”, or b) “Well, it’s not that bad, I MEAN CHINESE GOT LYNCHED TOO”…

Yeah, that’s not actually about expanding the conversation or adding history, that’s really boiling down to, “OMG, HOW DARE WE SPEND THIS MUCH EMPATHY CARING ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE!!!”

And that’s where you see folks get committed.  They’ll argue for days, because in their heads, even if they hate the idea of being less than white people on the racism scale, they’ve completely internalized the idea that they’re still supposed to be better off than Black folks.   This is where you see people talking about “Black people have enough already! What about…”

They always try to frame it as about talking about their own histories and struggles, but, ironically, instead of making their own conversations about it, they instead go and make sure to go interrupt other people’s conversations.   Because it’s not so much about telling the story as much as silencing other people’s discussions.

And then y’all turn around and say, “Well, I’m POC too! Why are you identity policing me?!? I thought you were against racism, how can you start including how I look in the conversation?!?”

It comes down to how you act - you’re acting white, which is making you “look white” as far as behavior is concerned.  You protect the oppressor, you ARE the oppressor.   You protect the whiteness, so you ARE the whiteness. 

You reaped the benefits on other people’s backs, you got the good deal, you get the badge of being “the good one” in the white people’s eyes, and you weren’t even being asked to choose, but you decided to make the choice ALL ON YOUR OWN that little bit of white approval, or at least the idea that “I’m better than those people” was MORE IMPORTANT, than the actual suffering of other people.

It’s never your fault you looked whiter, it’s absolutely your fault you acted whiter.

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November 2012

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