Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Face of Racism

The last several days, I've been making my blog rounds for the first time in quite a while. I mean, I've dropped in here and there from time to time, but overall, nothing like I used to do. This blogging stuff takes time.

Anyway, the blogs I haunt are about the socially-constructed, political notion of "race," by and large. So, during my rounds, I've been inspired, entertained, informed, and unfortunately, horrified by what I read. And here are a few of the highpoints.

1) Ann at Beautiful, Also Are the Souls of My Black Sisters tipped me to stories about swastikas being burned into the lawn of a family in Merced, California, and a KKK newsletter being left on the porch of a bi-racial family living in Warren, Michigan.

2) Andrew Grant-Thomas at Race Wire wrote about race and poverty and how things cost more in poor neighborhoods, assuming they're available at all.

3) ZNet presented a Tim Wise essay on race and law enforcement, focusing particularly on how White privilege makes marijuana more of an option for White youth than for Black youth in a country that still (supposedly) instructs us all to "just say no."

4) M.dot at Model Minority wrote a blockbuster analysis of the point where hip-hop, capitalism and gender meet. I'm going to give students extra credit for reading this one.

5) Minister Faust at The Bro-Log talks about what he calls "blood chocolate" by introducing Carol Off's new book on the topic.

6) The Villager at Electronic Village posts a letter written by Ben Jealous, the national President of the NAACP, after he visited Troy Davis, an innocent man who's being threatened with eminent execution even as I write. Apparently, the mass media is clamoring to meet with Davis, but the Powers-That-Be are blocking any access to him that might wind up making them look like the criminals they are.

7) Over at the Huffington Post, Ann Medlock writes about the oil companies killing kids in Nigeria.

8) The award-winning editorial team at Sanctuary presents a statement on the travesty that occurred in the court when the murderers of Luis Ramirez were acquitted.

9) The newest edition to my blog rounds was RiPPa at The Intersection of Madness and Reality, whose writing reminds me of DNA when he was at Two Sense or maybe The Field Negro. RiPPa posted about Philadelphia, Mississippi, where civil rights workers were murdered and the KKK, according to a former mayor, was made up of a bunch of guys who were just doing their best to make the community a better place to live. Uh-huh!

10) And finally, Kai at Zuky did his usual breath-takingly elegant job of de-constructing (and explaining) what drove major world leaders (including Obama) to boycott the U.N. anti-racism conference in Geneva, Switzerland, last month (the problem of Whiteness). Quote: "[W]hiteness is not genetic; it's socialized, not inherited; though ironically, whiteness deploys a pseudo-genetic basis in its contempt for The Other. Whiteness is a socio-political construct and a fluid strategic ideology of power which has only existed for the past 5 centuries or so, during the era of racist globalization and colonialism. When I talk about the whiteness problem, I'm not necessarily talking about white people, I'm talking about whiteness. I'm saying that whiteness is a disturbingly unifying thread you can find running through many of the great problems of our time: environmental destruction, the war racket, famine, human migrations, curable yet untreated disease. Attempts to address any of these issues are severely hindered by whiteness; that is, by the existential drive of a global elite, profoundly informed by whiteness, to live in dominion over, rather than harmony with, humanity and nature."

3 comments:

Ranger said...

Hi, I think thats a powerful blog man. Keep it up!

Changeseeker said...

Thanks, Ranger. I'm glad you like it. Drop by any time. But just as a point of information, I'm not a man. ;^)

profacero said...

Just read David Theo Goldberg, _The Racial State_, which I thoroughly recommend.