Saturday, January 06, 2007

"Yep! It's In There."

At thefreeslave, there are some serious statements being made. Huzzah, huzzah! I'm haunting that blog these days and you will, too, if you aren't already and you relate to what I write. Start with this post, for example, on White progressive resistance to accepting that one cannot be raised as a European-American in the USA without being infected by "the virus" of institutionalized oppression in the name of racism. Then, sample at will.

Oh, yeah, and don't miss the duets Maxjulian (thefreeslave) and Askwhy have been engaging in over there (such as this one). Music like that feeds the soul!

You're welcome. ;^)


plez... said...

WOW! This is different. I'll have to BlogRoll this site to make sure I return... thanks for such an interesting perspective.

Changeseeker said...

Welcome, plez. Anytime.

Alexis Pierre-Louis said...

Changeseeker, you make me want to cry tears of gratitude. I came upon your blog after revisiting some comments I made on Rubysoho's blog. The whole fact that you call yourself European-American rather than white speaks volumes about your dedication to social justice.

I used to work in radio and write about race. (I'm now an emerging jewelry artist and MFA candidate).

One idea I've often stated is that if white antiracist activists really want to be effective, they have to start by no longer calling themselves white because the term "white" establishes a dichotomy and class structure. It creates "otherness" and identifies who is privileged and who is not.

I am sure you are aware that in 19th century American history, when Europeans immigrated to the USA, many ethnic groups (like Irish, Italian, and Jewish) were not initially considered white. By assimilating and assuming white supremacist beliefs, the new European immigrants consolidated social and economic power and were granted status as white people.

(On a completely different note, I am always amused when sociologists and anthropologists classify East Indians and Egyptians as white. European-descended social scientists have alternately called East Indians and Egyptians black, white, and Asian).

I think it's completely ineffective to call oneself a white antiracist activist and to talk about white privilege while calling oneself white.

Until today, I've always suggested that white Americans find out their ancestry and call themselves by their dominant ethnic group (for example, if they have mostly Swedish ancestors, they should call themselves Swedish-American). But your comment helped me see that by chosing one ethnic group, white Americans might be negating the rest of their ancestry. I like your solution of using the term European-American.

Peace and blessings to you.

Changeseeker said...

Peace and blessings to you, Alexis, and welcome to my house. I appreciate your kind words. It's feedback like yours that keeps me doing this.

Elsewhere on this blog, I write about how the concept of "White" was originally created by early United Statians for the express purpose of separating the so-called "races" and exploiting people of color. Beyond that, which would be enough for me, "White" (and "Black," I might add) are actually colors, but are being used, instead, as political notions by those with the power to define who want to continue to maintain (as you point out) a clear-cut system of "us" against "them." And exactly whose best interest is that in, I wonder? ;^)

Drop by anytime. It's a pleasure.

Writer on Board said...

Hey CS,

Here's a story for ya. Follow the money:,0,6827615.story?page=1&coll=la-home-headlines

Maxjulian said...

Thanks for the shout, Changeseeker! Keep coming back.

Changeseeker said...

I haven't had time yet to read the whole thing, Alex, but you're right, that's some article. I'm going to print it out later today to use in my classes. Readers: this is about the OTHER side of the Bill Gates' story. There always seems to be one, huh?

Hey, maxjulian! You know I will.