andrea smith–heteropatriarchy and the three pillars of white supremacy
smith: ..our alliances would not be solely based on shared victimization, but where we are complicit in the victimization of owthers. these approaches might help us to develop resistance stratefies that do not inadertently keep the system in place for all of us, and keep all of us accountable. in all of these cases, we would check our aspirations against the aspirations of other communities to ensure that our model of liberation does not become the model of oppression for others.
this is such a constant tendency in our communities. to use our oppression as an excuse to oppress others. whether it is listening to black loved ones after 9/11 say that they refuse to have sympathy for arab americans who were being harrassed and threatened because before 9/11 these blacks felt that arab americans in their communities treated them as inferior. that the arab americans had economic privilege in the community, owning businesses and real estate.
or sitting in black radical congress 1988 and listening to malcolm x nation of islam chicks describe their vision for a black nation which would be located in the southeast us. after i raised a deep concern that we were imagining the black nation on the land that red nations had prior claim, i was told that it would be ‘worked out’. there were no mention of the relationship between the black nation and red nations in any of the malcolm x chicks lengthy presentations or extensive literature. i walked out of the plenary.
or black youth fighting in the military in iraq or vietnam or central america.
damu smith who passed on last year from colon cancer spent his last years organizing the black community to oppose the war in iraq and lobbying the us congress to redirect the funds from the war into social programs. he stated clearly that the war in iraq and afghanistan was part of the destruction of the black community. he founded an org called black voices for peace in wash, dc.
i have also noticed a pattern in antiracism training that latin@s arabs and asians often feel the need to point out ways that members of the black community have attacked threatened or harrassed them. often when this happens i am the only black person in the room and a trainer. i suspect that sitting in a room full of white people and a few non-whites, makes the non-whites insecure. and they want to take the pressure off white people (insecure white people are scary) and thus the other non-whites wont be attacked by the white majority. usually their comments on inter-racial strife is not put in the context of white supremacy but is shown as seperate from white racism.
back to white supremacy:
not only is white supremacy the context in which these conflicts take place, often white activists use these conflicts as an excuse for their own racism.
for instance when i have worked in predominantly white org’s, and we poc in side the org talk about the racism we have experienced, we are told that the important issues are in the communities of color under threat with whom the org works. for instance cpt (christian peacemaker teams) has a team in palestine, iraq, colombia accompanying a community under the threat of violence from many sides. when i critique the use of white privilege as a primary accompanying tactic of the team, the team members tell me that the community asked them to do this. and they say that the fact that their use of white privilege undermines my ability (as a poc) to work in the community, is a personal issue of mine.
so cpt accompaniment has become a tool to seperate and conflict two communities under threat (us based poc and palestinian west bank). and then cpt has these huge talks about ‘why dont poc join us?’.
well, when white people go to desperate communities of color and talk about how white power and privilege can save their lives, i am disgusted. as if racism can be a gift to poc.
and when white people say that they have to be racist toward me in order to be anti-racist toward others, then i just have to pull a daffy duck.