from resist racism…
now i love the site resist racism, especially since they have created a shorthand for racist ish you hear so often that really, you dont feel like going through all the arguments (again!) for why ‘that thing that you said was racist…’
only recently i have realized that white people think that one of the worse things to be called is: racist. i am still not sure why this is. white folks, imho, have never really explained why being called a racist is like so horrible and shuts down the conversation immediately. and we folks of color have to find ways to deal with your racism without calling you a racist, or implying that you are a racist. (but that is for another discussion) and why is the burden on us, to prove that we dont think you are a racist…
this discussion is a lil piece about well…white feminists. and i know some sane white feminists out there. good friends who have my back and will go down in the trenches with me and fight as hard as they can to call out the bullshit that gets passed around as ‘logic’. cause racism is very logical. and it is a logic that is hard to fight. been re-reading toni morrison’s playing in the dark. but just because it is logical, that dont make it right.
and i used to think that organizations that didnt heal from their racism would end up disappearing from the earth like dinosaurs, cause antiracism will win the day, antiracism being evolutionarily advanced and all. but now i am pretty sure that racist organizations are racist because racism is a successful survival technique and if you want your organization (non profit, corporation, etc) to survive try to become as racist as possible. maybe i sound cynical and ‘nihilistic’ but take a look at history…oppressive organizations, nations, etc have a longer survival rate than anti oppressive ones. and i dont think that is just correlation, i think that is causation. but this isnt a post about racist organizations, so i dont want to derail the topic again.
but that is to say that white people know that if you are racist (within boundaries, i mean you cant go yelling nigger in an open theatre, but you can listen to a poc talking about racism and focus on how angry and bitter they sound instead of the content of what they are saying…) that will help them go very far. think about it, if it is a competition and you can prove that poc (because of their anger or lack of experience being white, or whateva) are not qualified to do the job, then you have made the chances of your success much better. that is just capitalism. and playing the game well.
this is a lil piece on white feminists…okay about one particular bratty white feminist. this about a chick who used to be a friend until she ‘discovered her voice’. and turns out that her ‘voice’ is a controlling racist classist silencing kind of voice (and if you are white and trying to figure out, how can i claim to be antiracist and still silence a poc? keep reading and i will give you a step by step guide)…but i got to start at the beginning.
here is the story: she pulled some classic racist, classist shit. and i confronted her about it. i did not do it nicely. i responded to the violence of her racism and classism. and being nice to violence is not effective. one has to push back (even if it is only verbally).
hint: racism and classism are forms of violence. same way as a white person yelling: nigger is a form of violence. and self-defense, while it may be violent, is not morally wrong.
and her response to the self-defense, was, well…classic.
1. she decided to go with: ventriloquy. as in: i have a friend who is less privileged than me who agrees with me
2. then, i got the: you are an angry and violent person
3. then we got the: my defensive responses to you confronting me is not about my privilege
4. also, got to include the: i apologize ‘if you were hurt’. i do not apologize for being racist or classist because i am just a human being and we all make mistakes. and i am working on being anti-racist and anti-classist…and that is all i can do.
dear white folks, please dont do (or say) these things…they are stupid.
but honestly, folks, this post is not even about white feminists…it is about the new anti-racists. she is the ‘evolved’ anti-racists. lets call it anti-racist 2.0. ten years from now people of color are going to be griping and swearing that they ever supported this whole: white anti-racist movement. because it is insiduous.
so let me show you what i am talking about.
1. what is an anti-racist? she reads a few books by people of color. maybe she takes a diversity/anti-racism workshop (hang the diploma on your wall!). she lived a neighborhood with a bunch of brown folks. shes got some friends of color. she has told someone else when they have said something racist. she dated someone of another race. she likes ethnic restaurants. she supports obama. adopt some brown child (or at least play ‘aunti’ to one), join a community/social justice organization with brown folks in it. she traveled to brown countries, join an all-white anti-racist group therapy for her ongoing education. etc. (damn, that is alot of work!)
2. she has made a commitment (maybe even a tshirt or a poster) that she will continue to work on being anti-racist. she recognizes that anti-racism is a life long project. that she will never be perfect at. of course she will make mistakes, but, hey at least she is trying!
3. she does or says something fucking racist as hell. (woops! well, she knew that she was going to make a mistake!)
4. she gets called on it by a person of color. (this is a really important step. if she got called on it by a white person, the rest of these steps will not happen…because she will own up to her wrongness, not feel super-defensive, and want to make sure that she does everything possible to prove to her white friend that she really is anti-racist…we will return to this important difference a little later)***
5. she gets defensive about it. forget everything she learned in anti-racism 101 and just have at it. (i mean come on, it takes alot of work to be an antiracist white person, she had to give up sleeping in on saturday mornings just to make it to that antiracism workshop and all that spicy food gives her heartburn…but she does it anyways, because she is committed!)
6. she calls/emails all her white anti-racist friends (maybe even some friends of color, but probably she will forget to cc them, cause how can you expect her to think properly while getting attacked like this?) tells her side of the story. in the telling, she acknowledges that of course she knows that she is not perfect, and has made a couple of (little) mistakes but dammit, she is trying to be a good person.
she conveniently forgets to mention 70 percent of all the racist shit she did/said. and focuses on that one little comment that she made, that was misinterpreted by the poc, and blown way out of proportion.
7. the other white anti-racist tell her how they have realized that being anti-racist doesnt mean that they have to agree with poc interpretation of everything. and how she needs to stand up for herself. and how feeling guilty is not being anti-racist. and how some poc really are just angry and bitter. and that is not the white anti-racist fault. i mean even bell hooks says that.
the white anti-racists all feel better about their newfound understanding of anti-racism.
8. the white anti-racist friend goes to the person of color and ‘stands up for herself’.
9. the person of color calls her out on all the racist bullshit she said in defense of proving that she was anti-racist.
10. the white person responds by quoting bell hooks (or other person of color) or tim wise (or other white anti-racist person) and gives the poc a lesson on the ‘proper way to communicate her anger’ and how the poc is ‘misdirecting her anger’ and that white person refuses to be ‘talked to in such a disrespectful way’ (never mind all the shite that the white anti-racist has just said…i mean what did the poc expect?) and how the white person is no longer in that ‘immature’ stage of anti-racism where she just apologizes for her racist behaviour/words and asks for how to change herself (cuz some people are just never satisfied)…she has now matured and is ready to ‘stand up for herself’. and poc are no longer going to victimize her by making her deal with poc’s personal issues around blame, and bitterness, and yes anger.
now. this also applies to anti-sexism, anti-classism, anti-heterosexism, anti-ism, etc. some of the words and names change. but the pattern stays the same…poc or working class or woman or queer or whateva it is are no longer going to bully the privileged. because the privileged are have read your analysis, your writers, your struggle, taken it out of context, and can now use it to silence you. or at least educate you on how to be a ‘good oppressed person’. and not one of those intimidating and scary marginalized people.
and this is the new anti-racists, folks. the thing is they become anti-racists so they can look good to other white folks. poc are just the means to an end that does not help us in anyway. they just want to prove to other white folks that they are one of the good white folk.
it is like one white antiracist feminist straight chick told me: why do all those women of color keep stealing the few good conscious white guys out there? and like another anti-racist straight white chick told me: he says he only dates women of color, but i figure, i can convince him im not like those other white girls.
good luck poc.
its a brave new world.
or maybe it is just the same old shit.
***my partner just pointed out that there is another possibility at step 4. that she will tell the white person to shut up, because they are racist too. like: im not racist, youre the one whos racist, because you are saying that the poc doesnt have power in the situation. im not racist youre the one whos racist because you are exoticizing the poc. im not racist, your the one whos racist, because you are just saying im bad because im white, so i have to be wrong in the situation…
wow. anti-racist white folks are crafty. like Fox.
tanglad writes about the womens desk….
‘The book Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices by Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan has helped me tremendously in focusing my feminism. I don’t worry about what the authors term as “a theory of hegemonic oppression under a unified category of gender.” Instead, as an activist interested in the gendered and racialized foundations of globalization, I’ve adopted the framework of transnational feminism, which:
must also find intersections and common ground; but they will not be utopian or necessarily comfortable alliances. New terms are needed to express the possibilities for links and affiliations, as well as differences among women who inhabit different locations. Transnational feminist activism is one possibility. (Kaplan, page 116, emphasis mine)’
i am really glad to have found this term: transnational feminism. because this is part of the vision revolution of the lilies. the theoretical part. how exciting…i love relevant theory.
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The Obama Nomination and Why We Must SupportCynthia McKinney’s Power to the People CampaignBy ALAN BENJAMINTen days ago, Sister Cynthia McKinney, presidential candidate of the Power to the People campaign, issued a statement on the imminent nomination of Barack Obama as the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.In this statement, Sister McKinney noted that the Obama nomination was not business-as-usual in the United States, nor was it the result expected by the ruling class and its pundits. Hillary Clinton believed that she was the anointed candidate, and everything indicated she would be the party’s standard-bearer in November 2008. She had the corporate funding, the “leadership experience,” and the full backing of the central leaders of the Democratic Party.Obama was being groomed by the Democratic Party elders for the future, perhaps for a 2012 or 2016 presidential nomination. For now, the best he could hope for would be a prominent spot in a Clinton cabinet — to help put out some of the political fires at home and abroad resulting from the rapacious policies of U.S. imperialism.But Clinton’s “leadership” message faltered, and Obama’s message of “change” caught on like wildfire, especially among young voters and African Americans of all ages. After Super Tuesday, when Clinton expected that the nomination would be pretty much in the bag, her campaign was in shock. They did not anticipate the Obama-mania that was sweeping parts of the country.The Obama phenomenon, of course, was not a mass movement with a conscious understanding of its aims; rather it was (and remains) a strictly electoral phenomenon with an amorphous concept that things cannot remain as they are. Obama was viewed as the best possible champion of “change” among the bunch of candidates put forward by the twin parties of the bosses. But the Obama phenomenon shook the Democratic Party and forced the commanding heights of that party to adjust their strategy.Provocation and ContainmentThe first reaction by the central party leaders, with the help of a compliant media, was a staged provocation aimed at putting Clinton back in the saddle. (The biggest staging, of course, was the ABC TV candidates’ “debate,” where both TV anchors did their absolute best to “nail” Obama.) This involved featuring — and distorting — the declarations of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and forcing Obama either to back his pastor or reject him, with the hope that in either case there would be a “white backlash” against Obama.This provocation did not produce the desired results, however. Clinton was not able to get enough of the backlash to give her a resounding lead in Indiana, or a draw in South Carolina. Her campaign had one bite at that apple and failed. The momentum for Obama — reflecting the deep aspiration for change in this country — was too great to stop.The next reaction by the party hierarchy (and by the summits of the white ruling class in this country) was to accept Obama while ensuring that he would be totally pliable — that is, totally willing and able to carry out, unencumbered, the policy imperatives of U.S. imperialism in the aftermath of the reckless, cowboy politics of the Bush-Cheney cabal, politics that have undermined the image of U.S. imperialism worldwide and shaken the stability of the world capitalist system as a whole.This tactical shift by the leading circles of U.S. finance capital requires, for example, pressing for a Hamilton-Baker Pan “solution” in the Middle East (diplomatic overtures to share more widely the load of occupation and containment, plus permanent U.S. bases and threats of military attacks, including nuclear attacks) and “neo-corporatist” solutions to co-opt the unions and movements of resistance into accepting the bitter pills of “free trade” and privatization in the name of a “New World Governance.” (A separate article is required to explain this orientation in greater depth.)This meant pressing Obama to distance himself more and more from his Black base and to repudiate — perhaps not so much in his rhetoric but in the formulation of his concrete policy planks — anything that could lead to real change, anything that could put into question global capital’s quest to resolve its growing economic and financial crisis on the backs of working people and all the oppressed worldwide.Hence, in the two weeks since Clinton stepped down as a presidential candidate, Obama has willingly and faithfully made a marked shift to the right, to assure the corporate paymasters of the Democratic and Republican parties that he will be a loyal servant of their interests.The list is getting longer by the day. Here are a few examples:* Obama “out-Bushed” John McCain in his speech at the national gathering of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), going so far as to claim that Jerusalem must remain an Israel city. His endorsement of the Israeli state and its Zionist-expansionist policies was unabashed … and unqualified.* Speaking to right-wing Cuban exiles in Miami, Obama pledged to maintain the criminal embargo against Cuba. He also backed the illegal incursion of Colombian troops into Ecuador (troops sent in at the behest of the Bush administration), in violation of that country’s sovereignty, in the name of the “war on terrorism,” thereby sending a signal throughout the region that U.S. interventionism would remain alive and well under an Obama administration.* Speaking at a conservative Black church in Chicago (thereby consummating his break with the Rev. Wright and his former church), Obama echoed all the rightwing’s racist attacks against Black men, to the point of referring to them as “boys,” without even bothering to provide any policy alternatives to the growing plight of Black America that has resulted in the increased criminalization/incarceration of Black men.* Speaking to a panel of economists quoted in the June 17 Wall Street Journal, Obama said that he was “seriously considering backing a reduction in corporate tax rates.” (Obama has called on top pro-corporate advisers, beginning with Robert E. Rubin, to head up his economics team, which alarmed John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO.)* Speaking to military officials in Washington, Obama did not rule out a military running mate and noted that “perhaps it may not be possible to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in the time frame I had initially envisioned.” (Washington Post, June 12)An Independent Campaign Addressed to the Working Class Majority, to All the OppressedIn her June 7 statement on the Obama nomination and in subsequent articles, Cynthia McKinney has sought to open a dialogue with the millions of people who still have illusions in Barack Obama and who will likely vote for him.McKinney noted that the deep aspiration for change among the American people is what accounted for Obama’s surge in the primaries, and she went on to outline the platform planks that need to be implemented by the next president of the United States so that this long-awaited change can become a reality, and not remain an illusion. These are planks culled from the Draft Manifesto of the National Organizing Committee of the Reconstruction Party, a platform to which she contributed significantly. [See the June 7 statement on her website, http://www.runcynthiarun.org, for the full list of platform planks highlighted in this dialogue.]McKinney did not say to the millions of Black people who celebrated Obama’s victory in the primaries as their own victory, despite his rotten political positions: “Take my word for it, Barack Obama is a sell-out and will only betray your interests.” There would be no dialogue possible on this basis, no way to help them shed their illusions in Obama and take steps toward breaking with the Democratic Party to support her Power to the People campaign.Rather, she enjoined both Obama and his supporters nationwide to embrace the policy initiatives proposed in the Draft Manifesto because this is what millions of Americans expect — and need — from any candidate, especially a Black candidate, who aspires to the presidency and claims to represent “change.” But McKinney also made it clear that she was not forfeiting her own independent campaign in order to become an “advisor” of sorts to Obama. Quite the contrary. “Our platform,” McKinney stated in her latest fund appeal, “is the only one that genuinely addresses the needs and aspirations for real change that have been expressed by voters nationwide.”Her challenge to Obama was unequivocal: If Obama were to support publicly some of the most important platform planks for change contained in this Draft Manifesto — and if he were to pledge publicly to take steps toward putting these planks into practice once elected — he would obtain, without a doubt, the overwhelming support of the American people.But if Obama were not to support these specific platform planks, if he were not to pledge to begin implementing them once in office, Sister McKinney could not accept a situation where these vital policy issues were removed from the discussion table in the months leading up to the November 2008 presidential election.
“The message of our campaign is necessary now, more than ever,” McKinney insisted in her fund appeal. “Congress is on the verge of caving in on more funding for the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan; our country bombs Somalia and Pakistan with impunity and none of the major party contenders mentions it; the American people are losing their homes at a record pace, Congress is yet to offer a solution; and our country is even more mired in debt.”This is the language of a genuinely independent campaign addressed to the millions of people in this country who are longing for a change and who are hoping against hope that Obama can be the vehicle for that change. It is the language of an independent campaign aimed at winning the working class majority and all the oppressed, beginning with the masses of Black people in this country, away from the Democratic Party to the banner of independent politics and Power to the People — to the banner of the Reconstruction Party.Help Sister McKinney Qualify for Federal Matching Funds!
As a socialist and advocate of a clean break with the Democratic Party, it is clear to me — just as it is clear to a growing wing of the Black Liberation Movement — that Obama is not about to embrace any of the platform planks contained in the Draft Manifesto for a Reconstruction Party. In fact, Obama is moving at an astounding speed in the opposite direction in his quest to be the best possible representative of U.S. corporate interests. This is the name of the game in the Democratic Party.
This is why the Power of the People presidential campaign of Cynthia McKinney is so crucial today, why it must be supported by all politically conscious activists across the country.
Glen Ford, executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, put it best when he wrote in an article posted earlier today that, “There is a presidential candidate who is Black, a proven progressive, a person of courage and unchallenged integrity. Cynthia McKinney, running on a Power to the People platform for the Green Party nomination, wants to rebuild a real movement. Peace and racial and social justice cannot be achieved absent a popular movement, which in the United States must be led by African Americans.”But support for Sister McKinney’s Power to the People cannot remain passive. Her campaign needs funds urgently. In her latest fund appeal she wrote:“My campaign is not funded by the military-industrial-financial-media complex, nor the energy, pharmaceutical or other corporate interests that bankroll the parties of war: the Democrats and Republicans. I can only count on you, the people who produce the wealth in this country, to finance my campaign.“I need your support to get out the political message of our Power to the People campaign to voters all across the country. …“With your help, we can achieve our goal of raising the $100,000 in 20 states needed to obtain the federal matching funds. Please go to our website today (http://www.runcynthiarun.org) and make as generous a donation as you can. Then send all your friends, coworkers, and neighbors to this site, asking that they match or exceed your donation. I do believe in the power of the people.“Please help me put this first campaign milestone behind us, so we can get the Power to the People campaign on every ballot possible nationwide — so that we can provide a genuine alternative to the No Impeachment, War Parties and their candidates. Our communities deserve so much more and the Power to the People campaign is ready to deliver. Your donation now will help us deliver with an impact. Thank you in advance for your contribution to this effort.”Can you make a contribution today to this fund?
— San Francisco, June 18, 2008
Alan Benjamin is the Editor of The Organizer newspaper. To obtain a sample copy of The Organizer, please send a note to the email address listed above.
Tran Anh Kiet’s feet, hands and limbs are twisted and deformed. He is 21 years old, but trapped inside a body that appears to belong to a 15 year old with a mental age of around six. He has to be spoon-fed and writhes often in evident frustration. All his attempts at speech are confined to plaintive and pitiful grunts.
In Kiet’s small community in Cu Chi district, about 45 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh city, south Vietnam, his story is all too common – indeed the villagers have a name for young people like him: Agent Orange babies.
Some 79 million liters of Agent Orange herbicides were dropped on the jungles of Vietnam from 1961-1971 in an attempt to defoliate the rainforest and deny any cover for the VietCong guerilla forces resisting the United States occupation of Vietnam.
Today in Vietnam there are 150,000 other children like Kiet, whose parents allege their birth defects are the result of exposure to Agent Orange during the war, or the consumption of dioxin-contaminated food and water since 1975.
WASHINGTON (Map, News) – D.C. police will seal off entire neighborhoods, set up checkpoints and kick out strangers under a new program that D.C. officials hope will help them rescue the city from its out-of-control violence.
Under an executive order expected to be announced today, police Chief Cathy L. Lanier will have the authority to designate “Neighborhood Safety Zones.” At least six officers will man cordons around those zones and demand identification from people coming in and out of them. Anyone who doesn’t live there, work there or have “legitimate reason” to be there will be sent away or face arrest, documents obtained by The Examiner show.
Lanier has been struggling to reverse D.C.’s spiraling crime rate but has been forced by public outcry to scale back several initiatives including her “All Hands on Deck” weekends and plans for warrantless, door-to-door searches for drugs and guns.
Under today’s proposal, the no-go zones will last up to 10 days, according to internal police documents. Front-line officers are already being signed up for training on running the blue curtains.
Peter Nickles, the city’s interim attorney general, said the quarantine would have “a narrow focus.”
“This is a very targeted program that has been used in other cities,” Nickles told The Examiner. “I’m not worried about the constitutionality of it.”
Others are. Kristopher Baumann, chairman of the D.C. police union and a former lawyer, called the checkpoint proposal “breathtaking.”
“I think they tried this in Russia and it failed,” she said. “It’s just our experience in this city that we always end up targeting poor people and people of color, and we treat the kids coming home from choir practice the same as we treat those kids who are selling drugs.”
The proposal has the provisional support of D.C. Councilman Harry “Tommy” Thomas, D-Ward 5, whose ward has become a war zone.
“They’re really going to crack down on what we believe to be a systemic problem with open-air drug markets,” Thomas told The Examiner.
Thomas said, though, that he worried about D.C. “moving towards a police state.”
Staff Writer Scott McCabe contributed to this report.
Carnage from the Audacity to Speak
Father Michael L. Pfleger, one of the strongest supporters of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc. and a 2009 Beautiful Are the Feet honoree, is now in the fight of his life for his thirty-three year ministry and his pastorate at The Faith Community of Saint Sabina.
Francis Cardinal George, Archdiocese of Chicago, has stripped Father Pfleger of his pastoral leadership and authority for an indeterminate length of time. Father Pfleger, affectionately called Father Mike, has been one of the most prophetic voices and activist advocates for the poor, the marginalized, the disenfranchised and for African Americans in Chicago and throughout the nation. The decision by the Cardinal, and the manner in which it is being implemented, reflect total disregard and disrespect for Father Mike and The Faith Community of St. Sabina.
Father Mike was stripped of all pastoral authority. He cannot preside over a previously scheduled funeral and wedding this week and was informed that another priest, yet to be named, will perform both ceremonies. The funeral is one of a longtime member, and the wedding is that of a couple who had been estranged from the Catholic Church until invigorated by Father Mike’s prophetic teachings and moved to join St. Sabina.
Father Mike was told mid-morning on Tuesday, June 3rd, that he was on administrative leave, effective immediately. He was ordered to vacate the premises by evening. He protested and was allowed to stay just one night. He had to find new accommodations by June 4th. This order was given after the Cardinal first asked Father Mike to request a leave under the guise of “stress” because his father is dying. While Father Mike is indeed dealing with his father’s physical illness and journey, he declined to participate in this convenient charade.
A priest from a languishing nearby parish has been assigned as interim administrator despite qualified and experienced pastoral and lay leadership who are already in place at St. Sabina and have frequently functioned in Father Mike’s absence.
This gross disregard for the welfare of Father Mike and The Faith Community of St. Sabina appears as one more sign that the agenda afoot is to silence, marginalize and vilify prophetic voices for justice in this nation.
The manner in which the Cardinal has acted, effectively rendering Father Mike homeless with less than 24-hour notice and sending in an interim administrator, is unwarranted and unprecedented. The Cardinal has shown more tolerance and compassion for priests accused and convicted of pedophilia, than he has shown to Father Mike and the faithful parishioners of Saint Sabina.
A prayer vigil was held on the evening of June 3rd at the church. Please click here for a statement from the leadership of Saint Sabina for you. We need a national response. Please email or call the archdiocese and voice your concerns.
The Cardinal’s email address is email@example.com . The phone number is (312) 751-8230.
Please hold The Faith Community of Saint Sabina and Father Mike in your prayers. Feel free to stay in contact with us as we share this journey.
You’re going to have to lay down the weapons of privilege and go into the world completely disarmed.”
i want to believe that obama is like martin luther king. in that mlk advocated for the israeli governmented. or at least spoke favorably about it. wthout mentioning the injust inappropriate violence the israeli govt has killed so many. but i believe that both of them do not understand have not understood what is the relationship between israel and palestine. i want to believe that if they had understood what is at stake. what is the history. obama would change his position. that mlk would have changed his…
i have day dreams about sitting down and talking ot michelle. i have decided that my feminist position is that i will vote for the first lady, not for the man. and iwould rather have michelle than cindy. that is if i voted