Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression 101

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Maysie Maysie's picture
Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression 101

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

I'm starting this thread because I kinda said I would, and also because there's a few threads going on right now that as I read them are making me feel very sad, disconnected, and angry. So rather than join those threads and yell at people, something that believe it or not, leaves me feeling sad, disconnected and angry, I thought I'd do something more pro-active. So no, this thread doesn't belong in rabble reactions!

The Angry Black Woman is a blog I love and I read it as much as possible. She doesn't update every day, but her posts are excellent.

In May 2006 she began a series called "Some Things You Need to Understand" and has since added up to #7. I know I've posted about this blog, and even about this series before, but it got lost inside other threads. Here it is on its own.

She is USian and speaks from a USian POV. Pretty much everything she writes on the issue of race and racism is applicable to Canada.

From #1:

quote:

An ongoing series. Here’s something you need to understand before engaging me in any debate:

Racism = Prejudice + Power

By definition, Blacks and other minorities cannot be racist because they do not have institutional, systemic power. The term Minority doesn’t even refer to a minority of numbers any more (after all, minorities outnumber whites in many places, now), but instead to a minority of power.


If anyone disagrees with the quote, I highly recommend reading the comments, as ABW directly engages various commentators who disagree strongly with her. She disagrees strongly right back. Did I mention I love her? [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

I think this website would be an excellent place to start regarding unlearning racism, but please be aware, this isn't like the Feminism 101 site. There is often harsh and angry language used.

I look forward to hearing comments and thoughts from babblers.

[url=http://theangryblackwoman.wordpress.com/category/things-you-need-to-unde... blog[/url]

martin dufresne

I just took in a few of her points and wow, this is REALLY strong. Will go back to it and take in more at a leisurely pace.
For now, thanks BCG!!!

1234567

Mahsi cho to you for that link BCG! I am definitely passing the site on to others.

AfroHealer

Yeah i've loved that website, and link lots of peeps to it.

There is sadly still a wide gap btw the virtual reality of the mostly white left, and the real world some of us racialised peeps have to live in.

Erik Redburn

Oh please, you are not the voice of Africa and I am not the voice of white hegemony. Sorry I disagree on a few small points, I thought it was allowed here. I could easily explain the reasons for my occasional demurral, if anyone thought to ask, but since you continue to act like you know it all why don't you try explaining for me? Then I may be able to tell you just how close or how far we really are.

Michelle

Whoa, holy out-of-the-blue defensiveness, Erik. What's up with that?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Erik Redburn:
[b]Oh please, you are not the voice of Africa and I am not the voice of white hegemony. Sorry I disagree on a few small points, I thought it was allowed here. I could easily explain the reasons for my occasional demurral, if anyone thought to ask, but since you continue to act like you know it all why don't you try explaining for me? Then I may be able to tell you just how close or how far we really are.[/b]

Eric now now you know that lumping all white left wing people together and denigrating them is his only message. It seems to please him so who cares if he has his little fun with us. Fortunately there are other POC on this site who are willing to actually help in understanding issues so that we can learn something.

Erik Redburn

My defensiveness is only in proportion to the fact that this thread was obviously in response to what I wrote just prior. Or rather how it was interpretted. If anyone has a problem with what I write, please have the courtesy to either address me directly on that, or say whatever you want where I don't have to see it, rather than trying to characterize me as such and such or so and so. I am perfectly capable of explaining politely why I might disagree with something, and if treated with a modicum of respect others expect, even admit the odd error of my own. I'll even apologise if I feel I've gone too far but I won't apologise for that which I've never said or done.

Michelle

Are you sure about that? It was started yesterday.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I don't get it? What are some points you disagree with? Where did this come from? You're not going to make progress being a lackey to the man.

Erik Redburn

Oh I like and respect both BCG and Afrohealer, Krop, and I agree with much of what they write, but I draw the line at being lumped in with that which I cannot change just because I sometimes prefer to put things in a slightly different way at times. There's usually a conscious reason why on my part, right or wrong, which I could at least explain if I wasn't instead automatically lumped in with those I was actually arguing with myself -even if not in the officially proscribed manner. Thinking of sending you a PM later tonight or tomorrow Kropotkin. Consider it an early warning of sorts. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

K, looked around the board. I don't really see you asking questions Erik? At least not in a simple way. Just giving your opinion.

[ 17 January 2008: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

Erik Redburn

quote:


Originally posted by RevolutionPlease:
[b]You're not going to make progress being a lackey to the man.[/b]

Lackey to the man?? [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img] Thanks for making me smile, better than being called a running dog or dupe. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] There are different ways of looking at these problems RP, and sometimes the dominant view on the left at any onetime isn't always the best way for that time and place. Or maybe just not for the particular person. That's just my opinion of course, others are perfectly free to disagree. Long as they can give me a reason that goes a ways beyond the fact I was born with a pink penis, I might even be able to find more common ground with them thn I thought. I got to take my meds now. (no, not Those kind, purely physical malady)

Erik Redburn

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]Are you sure about that? It was started yesterday.[/b]

Day after I responded to someone going on about the ubiquitous "new hate" which I get so tired of hearing about myself, given the other ninety something percent of problems in the world going unreported. I made the small mistep of arguing it in an old fashioned liberalesque manner. This is the second one running me through "race 101" since, but no worries, I'm sure we can sort it out calmly if given a chance. I might even admit that I too am less than practically perfect in practically every way if others are capable of returning the favour.

martin dufresne

As long as we've got you smiling and medicated, why not consider the words of a [url=http://theangryblackwoman.wordpress.com/2007/04/26/something-i-needed-to... to ABW's blog:

quote:

This is all very interesting to me. I am very new to blogging, and in my short time on this site and others like it I have been quite astonished at how people behave quite differently here than they would in real life.
I mean, in my entire life I have never seen anyone walk up to a group of people who are having a conversation and say, “OK, to hell with what you were just talking about. Here’s what I think, and if you don’t let me talk incoherently for ten minutes and then respond in detail to each of the ignorant, bigoted quasi-points that I’ve made, you’re infringing my First Amendment rights.” Not once in my life have I seen that. And yet in two weeks reading blogs I must have seen it dozens of times.

I sure want to avoid any pink penis pique, but you need to understand that demanding that people explain anti-racism to you is kind of... impolite... [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 17 January 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Erik Redburn:
[b]

Lackey to the man?? [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img] Thanks for making me smile, better than being called a running dog or dupe. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img] There are different ways of looking at these problems RP, and sometimes the dominant view on the left at any onetime isn't always the best way for that time and place. Or maybe just not for the particular person. That's just my opinion of course, others are perfectly free to disagree. Long as they can give me a reason that goes a ways beyond the fact I was born with a pink penis, I might even be able to find more common ground with them thn I thought. I got to take my meds now. (no, not Those kind, purely physical malady)[/b]


Sorry, I wasn't clear. I was trying think of a reason why AH has to be so forceful. Remember, he has much more at stake in these discussions. I was referring to his position. I think you need to ask clear questions? I haven't really seen you state much where the differences are besides the semantics of words.

I asked a question on the Sportscaster thread that might be interesting.

[ 17 January 2008: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

Erik Redburn

quote:


Originally posted by RevolutionPlease:
[b]K, looked around the board. I don't really see you asking questions Erik? At least not in a simple way. Just giving your opinion.
[/b]

Ok, onemore. I just made a few obvious remarks there to a recurring misapprehension on the right, not unlike others. If others disagrees they too can ask me to clarify rather than just assuming they know why, according to their own theories, X, Y or Z. None of us conform so closely to type, even if our words are limited by convention or time and open to multiple interpretation like any other. That's what gets to me. Now it's getting time to get dinner on, I'll give this a break and see what if anything others might have to say about this. Hope I haven't crossposted yet again, must be hard for bystanders to follow.

Erik Redburn

OK, two more.

quote:

Originally posted by RevolutionPlease:
[b]

Sorry, I wasn't clear. I was trying think of a reason why AH has to be so forceful. Remember, he has much more at stake in these discussions. I was referring to his position. I think you need to ask clear questions? I haven't really seen you state much where the differences are besides the semantics of words.
[/b]


That would require AH coming out and telling me directly what his problem with what I wrote first, as there's infinite ways in which these things can be turned around again if I just start in again. I have an idea already, but I've been through this wringer before myself, ok?

Erik Redburn

Oy, the gang is all here. Three more then.

quote:

Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]As long as we've got you smiling and medicated, why not consider the words of a [url=http://theangryblackwoman.wordpress.com/2007/04/26/something-i-needed-to... to ABW's blog:

I sure want to avoid any pink penis pique, but you need to understand that demanding that people explain anti-racism to you is kind of... impolite... [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

[/b]


I'm familiar with The theory -at least in theory- as like I Have been here a bit longer than you Martin. I may also have more first hand knowledge of these problems than you do whiteman, hard as it maybe for your theories to accomodate that shocking possibility. I just may not agree with "the" theory in every respect, more surprises. But then asking people to explain beliefs they expect others to follow isn't exactly impolite either is it? I'll check back later, I really have to run now.

[ 17 January 2008: Message edited by: Erik Redburn ]

N.R.KISSED

Sorry Eric but I didn't think this thread was entitled "White guy privileges his own opinion and feelings on racism above all else."

I mean it's certainly a common enough theme around here but I thought the purpose of this thread was something else.

[ 17 January 2008: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]

Maysie Maysie's picture

quote:


Originally posted by N.R.KISSED:
[b]Sorry Eric but I didn't think this thread was entitled "White guy privileges his own opinion and feelings on racism above all else."

I mean it's certainly a common enough theme around here but I thought the purpose of this thread was something else.

[/b]


[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] @ NRK.

Hm, maybe I should rename it and start my 101 thread again? Somehow I think it would end up the same way.

Erik, for the record, I didn't start this thread because of you. I can't believe I had to type that.

I'm dismayed and quite pissed off that this thread has somehow become a place to pick on AfroHealer, someone whose voice I value tremendously in this forum and elsewhere on babble.

And kropotkin:

quote:

Fortunately there are other POC on this site who are willing to actually help in understanding issues so that [b]we[/b] can learn something.

Bold added.

Rhetorical question: who is "we"?

A reminder that I don't identify as a POC, and another reminder that it's not the job of every POC or anti-racist activist to be "willing to help". Please read past threads of the AR forum to see just what happens when POC make this attempt. My experience of AfroHealer has been that he's way more patient and calm than I am around these issues, more centered and spiritual. It's a place I hope to find for myself someday.

Actually, I'm going to keep this thread as is, and I will indeed refer people here, at least in the faint hope that they will read the link I posted.

I'll still keep trying, though. [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

AfroHealer

Since i've been attacked in this thread. I would like (Erik) to know i was not even thinking about him when i responded to this post. I have a news flash for you, my world does not revolve around you.

Now that being said, your comments on this thread. have revealed to some degree why you might have thought i was talking specifically about you.

I prefer not to have personal insults and character assassinations.

One of our great teachers Fela Kuti, wrote a song tittled "opposite people" .. in it he goes on to explain how those who are two-faced, will always reveal themselves, if we pay attention.

I choose to let this dialog continue, with ought my input, so as to allow the opposite-people to reveal themselves.

Based on the insults, and downright "how dear this African" call me on my shit comments. I would strongly suggest that reading the links that BCG has provided would be helpful.

[b]***Especially for those who think they don't have a problem. *** [/b]

The first step to healing, is accepting that we have a problem.

Let the healing continue.

I follow the tradition of my African Ancestors, we have a sacred duty to tell the truth. Not to water-down the truth to the point that none of the people who are consciously and subconsciously oppressing us feel bad.

If you are supporting white supremacy subconsciously, and somethings that I or someone else writes reminds you of that. I would like you to celebrate the fact that you feel uncomfortable.

I frankly, would be worried about your level of compassion if u did not feel uncomfortable with white supremacy. It is that discomfort that can lead to change.

It is the fact that some are still comfortable with the current manifestation of white supremacy that slows down the quest for equality, and respect for diversity.

A great quote i heard last year "If you are not pissed of by the current state of affairs, then u are not paying attention"

For the record, I never claimed to speak for Africa or all Africans or minority groups or anything of that sort. Africa is a very diverse place. Nigeria alone (where i grew up) is composed of more than 300 Nations, languages, cultures and traditions. We have been dealing with diversity for thousands of years, the western world could learn a lot from our collective history & experiences with diversity.

What i do claim, is that i can provide those that care to listen, with information, resources and perspectives, that they would normally not be privy to. This new information "stories as our ancestors called them" hold within them nuggets of truth and knowledge.

If we truly want a better world, we need to be willing to learn to respectfully listen to the stories of others.

The collective stories of the so-called "minorities", are still being ignored or dismissed as irrelevant. Which systematically ignores the fact that the so-called minorities of the world, are in fact the majority. The majority of the world is indigenous, aboriginal & composed of First nations. Considering the fact that Caucasians make up a statistically minority of the worlds population.

It would be helpful if the real global minorities (the so-called white people) , stop acting like white supremacist & learned to listen to the rest of the world for a change.

As Evo Morales said .. we need to learn to listen to the voices of our ancestors and to mother nature, we need to go back to the tradition of telling the Truth, and listening to the truth, especially when its uncomfortable.

It is white supremacy, that leads some to believe that they have the right to dictate & demand, that some of us only express ourselves in ways that are pleasing and pleasurable to them.

I refuse to respond like a humble slave to you or anyone else.

The second newsflash, is that our lives are not always pleasurable. As adults we are supposed to have lived long enough to know this. Then again, racism and white supremacy are not based on logic.

One love, one blood, one humanity.

lets bring back the love and mutual respect to our family.

From your brother from another mother

[ 18 January 2008: Message edited by: AfroHealer ]

Polunatic2

I think that once people get past the fact that privilege is objective and not subjective - i.e. it doesn't matter what we think but that racism and sexism are social relations that exists which results in privilege for some and oppression for others - it's easier to get past the denial & guilt and actually contribute to the discussion and to living our lives in ways that lead toward justice and equality.

By way of example, as a white guy, if I go to look for an apartment, it's going to be a lot easier for me than for others in many cases. Now there may be the odd case where a POC may not want to rent to me because I'm white. However, that's an individual attitude, not systemic. That's a distinction that goes over many people's heads.

"Reverse discrimination" does not exist on a systemic level in the way that racism and sexism do. "RD" was an ideological reaction to the perception that some gains were being made by racialized people and women and that this had to be stymied to maintain white or male privilege.

martin dufresne

The ABW makes the point in her [url=http://theangryblackwoman.wordpress.com/2006/05/07/some-things-you-need-... Things You Need to Understand - 1[/url] post that "Racism = Prejudice + Power."
So even if one POC is ever in a position to deny you a rental and you interpret that to be because of your skin tone, POCs do NOT have significant power overall and it's not racism or reverse discrimination.
I agree with you that we need to focus on the objective nature of privilege and work at ending it but, to do this, it helps to focus on its subjective side too, as a self-interested denial/backlash strategy.
The "who, me?" and "poor me!" alibis are alive and well among dominant types, whether it was Southern Whites moping over juleps about those 'nigras' getting land, the rich lamenting taxes and the so-called Welfare State, or men being whipped into self-pity over "their" past abortions (See a great Sarah Blustain article, just posted in the "Men in the Anti-Choice Movement" Feminism thread).

sanizadeh

In my view AWB may be correct that racism in general implies a position of power, however I disagree that the power has to be institutional. Individual power is sufficient. If, for instance, a black professor treats his white students with contempt or discriminates against them, IMO he would be a racist as he is in a position of power w/r/t them. Same thing with landlords, bosses etc.

Admittedly as an immigrant coming from a nation that had been multi-ethnic for 3000 years, I may not be qualified to comment on white-black issues in North America. But in response to AWB statement that "colorblindness does not exist", I think people like me are just such examples of colorblind people. I don't particularly see any difference between black African and White European people, not belonging to either group.

As the number of immigrants increases in this country, the definition of racism and anti-racism may go through major changes.

martin dufresne

I should hope so. Intercultural families are already playing a role in that.
But to address your hypothetic example, wouldn't that Black teacher have institutional power? Wouldn't s/he be allowed to abuse whiteR students only with the support of the institution and isn't therefore THAT power the relevant one?

[ 18 January 2008: Message edited by: martin dufresne ]

sanizadeh

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]I should hope so. Intercultural families are already playing a role in that.
But to address your hypothetic example, wouldn't that Black teacher have institutional power? Wouldn't he be allowed to abuse whiteR students only with the support of the institution and isn't therefore THAT power the relevant one?
[/b]

I agree with you, but AWB's definition of institutional power is different. She states: "By definition, Blacks and other minorities cannot be racist because they do not have insitutional, systemic power." My comparison of individual and institutional power was based on her definition.

Maysie Maysie's picture

quote:


Originally posted by sanizadeh:
[b]
My comparison of individual and institutional power was based on her definition.[/b]

Hi sanizadeh, thanks for your posts.

As a point of clarification, the definition that ABW uses is not "her" definition, meaning [i]she[/i] and she alone didn't make it up.

She uses a very well known and agreed upon definition of racism (in general the framework will work for sexism, ableism, homophobia, classism, etc) that has three component parts: individual (an individual's thoughts, feelings, behaviours), institutional (education, media, politics, judicial) and systemic.

I could cite the references, let me know if you want them.

The 101-level book I recommend in these moments is Anne Bishop's [i]Becoming an Ally[/i], available at an independent bookseller near you.

KenS

I hadn't seen this thread before.

How discouraging.

Especially after such a great start to the thread. It didn't end badly either- but already had the life kicked out of it.

Notwithstanding. The opening post and the link are worth it in their own right.

jeff house

quote:


By definition, Blacks and other minorities cannot be racist because they do not have institutional, systemic power.

Racism is an attitude, a mental methodology, whether conscious or non-conscious.

In many places, it is utterly unclear who has "systemic power" anyway. In Quebec, is it French speaking Quebeckers? Do they have systemic power, or do white Anglos?

In a US city with a black mayor and a black city council, do they have "systemic" power? Or do the white business elite have it?

It MAY be that some kinds of racism are less dangerous, in the short run, because the racist has no power to make real the effects of his prejudice; no real ability to cause harm to people of other races.

But racism is racism, and serious people don't exempt themselves because of their colour. It's the thought that counts.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Hardly any good at all. In Quebec quite obviously the French have power in subsidiary provincial institution that is embedded in and English Federal system. In an extreme example one might just as well say that the power relationships were "unclear" in the Warasaw Ghetto because the Jewish leadership was allowed to run the day to day operation of the ghetto.

CMOT Dibbler

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]Hardly any good at all. In Quebec quite obviously the French have power in subsidiary provincial institution that is embedded in and English Federal system. In an extreme example one might just as well say that the power relationships were "unclear" in the Warasaw Ghetto because the Jewish leadership was allowed to run the day to day operation of the ghetto.[/b]

Quebec is the Warsaw Ghetto!? [img]eek.gif" border="0[/img] [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Why not. Its just that the distinction makes no sense.

Michael Hardner

quote:


Why not. Its just that the distinction makes no sense.

I can't believe you actually think that.

Don't the scale of power, and the cultural context matter at all ?

While I can see making a case for tolerating racism in certain cases, your assessment of the rationale for doing so seems completely binary - based on the dominant culture - 50%+1 - versus the subordinate or dominated culture.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sure they do. And that is the point. The relative power between city officials in the US and State officials and Federal officials is obvious, no?

How is it "unclear" as Jedd suggests? It might be that there is power overlap and "contested space" but the power balance is hardly equitable.

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

jeff house

Well, anyone can think of a thousand examples of unclear relationships between groups.

And power is not a static thing, either.

An oppressed minority can attain access to "systemic power" over time, and are thus in a position to make their racial attitudes effective.

Take Jews. Just following the Holocaust, they were the quintessential oppressed minority. So, should they have said "We can't be racist, by definition?"

Or would it have been better, and more accurate, to say that too many Jews were themselves racists, even though they had no power at that moment?

The worst sort of blindness is to claim that members of YOUR group cannot be racists, while everyone else can.

Racism is a mental attitude held by an individual. It doesn't depend upon whether that individual is President of the US or a Zulu in South Africa. If you judge others by their skin colour, you're a racist.

Cueball Cueball's picture

No I don't actually think that Jews in Europe were the qunitissential opressed minority. In fact in many places in Europe they had fairly strong positions of power, albiet somewhat ghettoized. I don't think you could make that kind of generalization actually. I think you might be able to say that of Polish peasant Jews, but not I think cosmopolitan Berlin Jews.

In fact, I think it has been quite well argued that one of the things that was astonishing about the situation in Germany was that the Jews were a very well established ethnic group, that was highly integrated with the mainstream of power, and social life. Rather it seems to a certain extent that resentment over their integration was one of the incentive triggers manipulated by the NSDAP to promote their program.

ETA: sorry misread your post. I have no idea what you are talking about, so can't respond.

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

Unionist

Hmmm, another thread which should be euthanized. Is it possible to have threads in the AR forum that are not about whether anti-semitism is racism?

Is there a moderator here, or do I need to start writing more emails?

Shut this thread down.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Relax. This is a thread about the relationship between power and prejudice.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]In an extreme example one might just as well say that the power relationships were "unclear" in the Warasaw Ghetto because the Jewish leadership was allowed to run the day to day operation of the ghetto.[/b]

You call the collaborationist puppet Judenrat, established by the Nazis, "the Jewish leadership"?

Would that be like the "Black leadership" in the Bantustans?

I thought the Jewish leadership was constituted of the partisan organizations who took up arms and fought to the death against the Nazis and their Jewish, Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian, and other collaborators.

But maybe I misunderstood you, Cueball, and you were being [i]"ironic"[/i], in which case let me apologize profusely in advance and carry on with your analysis of prejudice and power.

Slumberjack

I don't believe it really matters from which thread these issues emerge. Some individuals insist on dancing around the edges, or simply wading in uncaringly up to their eyeballs, in matters that are bitterly personal and intense for others here on the boards. Is it only Jews that continually have to accept as so called reasonable discussion, some of the thinly covered crocks of shit that keep cropping up everywhere? In comparison, what is quite certain, is that any discourse that includes who is justified in feeling the effects of oppression and racism as it pertains to POC and FN would not last long, nor would the people engaging in it, either at the AR forum, or anywhere else in Babble. Why is it then that Jews are not permitted the benefit of a discussion, where their legitimate self-expression and experiences are not continually dissected and questioned.

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]Is there a moderator here, or do I need to start writing more emails? Shut this thread down.[/b]

I would prefer you email or PM myself or oldgoat instead of jumping in and moderating from the floor. However, I agree, can we let the issue of Jewish people and racism go in this thread please, it is not adding to the intention of original post.

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Slumberjack:
[b]In comparison, what is quite certain, is that any discourse that includes who is justified in feeling the effects of oppression and racism as it pertains to POC and FN would not last long, nor would the people engaging in it, either at the AR forum, or anywhere else in Babble.[/b]

In what parallel universe?

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Makwa:
[b] However, I agree, can we let the issue of Jewish people and racism go in this thread please, it is not adding to the intention of original post.[/b]

This thread died on Jan. 18, 2008, until it was resuscitated by Mr. "anti-semitism is not racism". Consider this my extremely humble request to shut this thread down.

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b] You call the collaborationist puppet Judenrat, established by the Nazis, "the Jewish leadership"? [/b]

Yes, it was quite insensitive.

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by Makwa:
[b]In what parallel universe?[/b]

Unless things have changed dramatically since I returned from overseas, I put it to you that questioning the credentials of those whose experience consists of oppression and prejudice and the effects of systemic racism, especially by posters not effected by it, would merit fairly quick attention. We just had someone comment that the Jewish leadership in the Warsaw ghetto were in a position of power...and it slides by apparently.

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]

You call the collaborationist puppet Judenrat, established by the Nazis, "the Jewish leadership"?

Would that be like the "Black leadership" in the Bantustans?

I thought the Jewish leadership was constituted of the partisan organizations who took up arms and fought to the death against the Nazis and their Jewish, Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian, and other collaborators.

But maybe I misunderstood you, Cueball, and you were being [i]"ironic"[/i], in which case let me apologize profusely in advance and carry on with your analysis of prejudice and power.[/b]


Yes. You are missing my point. It is a response to Jeff's missive, where he uses a series of examples of junior government agencies as examples of empowerment. My point is that junior government agencies, [i]are junior government agencies[/i], so saying that because the government of Quebec is run by Quebcoise people, does not mean that this government does not exist in a larger context dominated by Anglophones. He says the power relationships are "unclear". I say not. I say there may be overlap and "contested political space" but that the superior power still resides with those in control of the superior government agency, in this example the Federal government of Canada.

Or, in his other example, if the mayor of Chigago is black, and the entire city council is black, this does not make the power situation "unclear", to used Jeff's phrase, because of course the City government is operating under the auspices of the state government.

I was using a rather extreme example of showing that "localized" control, as in a Bhantustan, does not necessarily equate with empowerment.

More to the point many of these local city governments in the US that are run by black adminstrations, are in fact representative of forms of institutionalized racsim, as they usually are in control of the desperately poor inner cities abandoned by the white middle class, who have taken their money to the suburbs and pay taxes toward smaller suburban city adminstrations that service their needs exclusively and seperately from the struggling downtown core, which are left in the hands of impoversished people, who are often black people or Hispanic.

I think there are a few examples in the US of these very rich neighborhoods seperating from the larger city districts, and becoming independent municipalities where the rich are free of the burden of paying taxes to the community at large, and these are geographically located right in the center of the urban mass.

And further, if you had been reading my post correctly I have not been saying the prejudice against Jews, and particularly the Holocaust, was not racism, but arguing that it was, under any definition of racism proposed.

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

KenS

He who twitso called 'Mr. Anti-semitism is not Racism'... and is too reviled to be named... merely bumped the post to remind people it existed.

He's also dissapointed the endless 'discussion' has taken over everything in sight.

Although it could be argued that its passing odd Mr. Shut It Down should make his usual 'request' after bearing at least some responsibility for turning this thread too into something no one sees as a useful discussion anymore.

Bit of slash and burn with your supper?

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: KenS ]

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]This thread died on Jan. 18, 2008, until it was resuscitated by Mr. "anti-semitism is not racism". Consider this my extremely humble request to shut this thread down.[/b]

Fine.

[ 28 May 2008: Message edited by: Makwa ]

Topic locked