Posts Tagged ‘society’

Friday, August 28th, 2015

“You don’t hate Mondays. You just hate being a slave.” — Gazi Kodzo

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe. ” ― Arundhati Roy, Public Power in the Age of Empire

Friday, March 6th, 2015

“Psychological patriarchy is the dynamic between those qualities deemed masculine and feminine in which half of our human traits are exalted while the other half is devalued. Both men and women participate in this tortured value system. Psychological patriarchy is a dance of contempt, a perverse form of connection that replaces true intimacy with complex, covert layers of dominance and submission, collusion and manipulation. It is the unacknowledged paradigm of relationships that has suffused Western civilization generation after generation, deforming both sexes, and destroying the passionate bond between them.” — Terrence Real

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

“Money is the biggest driver of illness in our human world. It’s gotten so bad that upper-class people do not have normal mammalian responses to others suffering.” -Mariamma Jones

On white supremist heteropatriarchy in America

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

“When White people made the rules hundreds of years ago, they never counted on us being free. This is what [Ferguson] is about.” – A Black Grandmother

I’ve become very passionate over the last two years about social evolution, which means I’m paying a lot of attention to social justice. Racism and Sexism are my staples. Which means I listen to a lot of black feminist women talk about what they see and experience in their lives.

This passion has caused me to get into a lot of conversations about social evolution, including those about race. Sometimes, I save myself a little time (and some extra grey hairs), and send people here.

Note: Though it is absolutely possible to have assimilated to white supremacist thinking while also being a person of color and for this information to be helpful in those cases, the purpose of this page is to speak directly to white people.

Basically, it all boils down to this: Being a racist, (or sexist, or rape apologist, or any number of other sorrid things) in this society, does not require intent.

More importantly: Believing oneself inherently immune, or inherently irreparable in regards to these behaviors is a destructive no-win fallacy.

While the majority of white people ending up on this page wanting to learn more about racism will likely be motivated by their desire to set *other* people right, the ONLY way to do this work, and I truly mean this, is to be doing it on yourself. Though there is an educational and historical element to antiracist work and it’s helpful to have statistics to cite, there simply is no shortcut here: You have to be doing the work to discover and grow away from your own racist beliefs.

I think the single most important element to being antiracist and making headway in this fight is to be educating yourself and changing your own perspectives, which you then become more and more adept and comfortable speaking and acting from from with empathy and tact, including the voice you use to speak to yourself.

Here’s how you can rise to the occasion:

Realize your privilege exists, everywhere, all the time, always: Your White (cis, male, able, etc) privilege is not an attack, it’s simply fact.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gina-crosleycorcoran/explaining-white-privilege-to-a-broke-white-person_b_5269255.html

Dismantle your identification with the Just World Fallacy, the belief in which helps you to disregard the oppression around you (including, perhaps, your own):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-world_hypothesis

(which is important to do because of this: http://feministing.com/2014/08/19/fatal-hypothesis-how-belief-in-a-just-world-is-killing-us/)

Contemplate the dynamics of our White Supremacist Heteropatriarchal society which may be contributing to how hard showing up to these conversations may be for you (it’s called White Fragility) and yes that’s a real thing:
http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/white-fragility-why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism-twlm/

Consider the distress one tends to feel when something they’ve always had and felt fundamentally deserving of seems to be changing and how that may apply to you. http://weeklysift.com/2012/09/10/the-distress-of-the-privileged/

Learn about the Helms White Racial Identification Model and consider how you have, both in the past and present, related to it. http://www.pittstate.edu/dotAsset/bda607c0-bbc7-4d4b-8e92-4d0e00c48e94.pdf

Learn about the multiple forms of racism that thrive in all levels of our society, both individual and systemic, and how to talk about race with others effectively (I am still working on this): https://www.raceforward.org/research/reports/moving-race-conversation-forward

Learn how to be helpful, rather than a hindrance, toward the POC who are resisting this social dynamic: http://theangryblackwoman.com/2009/10/01/the-dos-and-donts-of-being-a-good-ally/

Which, if you are an advocate for women’s rights, likely includes rethinking your feminism, too: http://www.thefrisky.com/2014-10-06/10-things-white-feminists-should-know-to-better-understand-intersectionality/

And then get to work: http://www.mashupamericans.com/issues/be-less-racist-12-tips-for-white-dudes-by-a-white-dude/

Remember to take care of yourself along the way: https://medium.com/@courtnee/an-open-letter-to-guilted-whiteness-93ef22590428

As well, two books I highly recommend on are The New Jim Crow and Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

“There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.” – Scott Phil Woods

On thing that I run into a lot in my often slogging, infuriatingly frustrating conversations with other white people about racism, is that when many people talk about “Equality”, what they’re actually talking about is a perceived utopia which allows them to continue accepting their predisposed societal advantages and avoid the actual work of creating an equal society.

A better term that addresses the existence of oppression dynamics and the need to adjust in order to right them is “Equity”.

An example of equity is this: If you want everyone to be able to see over the same wall, you would not give the 4 foot tall person, or the toddler, or the paraplegic the same sized crate to stand on as the 6 foot tall person. You would only give each person an equally tall crate in a situation in which equality already exists.

What I hear when most people talk about their view of “equality” is that ‘all people’ getting the same-height crate to view over the same wall is a good enough solution, according to them. This lack of distinction, along with a belief in the Just World Fallacy mentioned above, is often the basis of stubborn, ongoing ignorance.

Your re-education as a white person is an integral first step to being a part of the healing and restorative justice that we so desperately need in our country. But that doesn’t end here, for us, with our voices speaking our truths about what we want to see and how we’ve come to want to see it, or worse with us deciding how we think this gets fixed and taking it upon ourselves to do whatever that is.

Remember that for white supremacy to truly be addressed and neutralized, it’s imperative that we as whites who benefit from that worldwide system take ourselves out of the role of the rationalized, dominant oppressor, in every way that we can, and unlearn having to be the one who calls the shots and speaks for those we perpetually silence.

People smarter about this than me

Mia McKenzie
Laverne Cox
Bell Hooks
Audre Lorde
Mikki Kendall
Christa Bell
Feminista Jones
Grace Lee Boggs
Quinn Norton
Elon James White
Zaron Burnett
Cornell West
Jessica Pearl
Ijeoma Oluo
Jay Smooth
Dr. Stacey Patton
Kiese Laymon

10 amazing Black women to follow on twitter.

Why poor people stay poor

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

It’s amazing what things that are absolute crises for me are simple annoyances for people with money.

Because our lives seem so unstable, poor people are often seen as being basically incompetent at managing their lives. That is, it’s assumed that we’re not unstable because we’re poor, we’re poor because we’re unstable.

So let’s just talk about how impossible it is to keep your life from spiraling out of control when you have no financial cushion whatsoever.

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2014/12/linda_tirado_on_the_realities_of_living_in_bootstrap_america_daily_annoyances.html

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

“There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.” – Scott Phil Woods

The Pomplamoose Problem

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

This explosion of vitriol illustrates the absurd standard America holds artists to. It’s a dangerous, impossible standard that is repressing self-expression and killing culture. It’s not dissimilar in impact to the political arguments that keep so many living in poverty by voting against their own interests for politicians who take away services that were at least intended to make the middle class accessible to all. The American artist is expected to be both a saint and a martyr.

Operate outside the capitalist system and we’ll praise you for your creations, call your poverty a quaint kind of martyrdom that has nothing to do with us, and at the same time resent you for being holier than thou. Try to operate within the capitalist system and we’ll call you out as an imposter.

This resentment is something we have to take a long hard look at. We might think it comes from the idea that a tiny percentage of artists can get famous and filthy rich, or that others – despite financial struggles – have interesting and exciting lives where they perform and create while we’re stuck in a 9-5. But really, this resentment comes from the fact that when we devalue the arts, we devalue our own creative impulse.

http://www.artistempathy.com/blog/the-pomplamoose-problem-artists-cant-survive-as-saints-and-martyrs

Revenge of the nerds.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Due to recent experience and lessons therein, I am purposely avoiding reading about the sorority murders or following the story right now.

But what’s most interesting about that, is how little I need to follow that story in order to grasp what’s going on.

Of all the murmurs I have heard about Elliot, and what this all means socially, the write up I chose to read ended up being this one by Arthur Chu:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

Reading that dailybeast link made me cry with somber recognition. Crying for the vulnerable little girl who thought she was safer and more respected by these nice timid geeks than I would be by the other manifested forms of sexism and misogyny that plague our interpersonal landscapes.

I am crying for all those times my illusion of escaping that plague unraveled when trusted friends crawled out of the woodwork asking for romance whenever a relationship of mine ended.

Crying for all the chances I gave people I knew weren’t up to snuff because they were around, appreciative, and not violently raping or overtly abusing me.

For all the confused acceptance and inclusion I have done in my life when I didn’t feel right about it, and how that furthered this unintegral dynamic.

For how few — how absolutely very few — men; people, in the geek subculture have an understanding, or an interest in understanding, how rampant this problem is, and most importantly, how they play into it.

For how I have played into it.

“So, a question, to my fellow male nerds:

What the fuck is wrong with us?

How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?” – Arthur Chu

As part of my recent wake up call, I ended a 16 year friendship with a nice geeky guy who was loyal, generous, available, and among many things, perpetually incapable of accepting my sexual disinterest in him.

The connection I had with him had been limping along for years, and had been peppered in the distant past with ill consented sex, bad boundaries on both sides, opportunistic leveraging of substances, obsession, and a lot of whining about how he only wanted me and didn’t know how to move on from that (but also hadn’t really tried).

I blamed solely myself for his attitude for many, many years. I had at times slept with him, after all, even cheated on my husband with him a lifetime ago, and felt responsible for his paralyzed inability to accept when I had moved on. …Or to even take a small step in the direction of moving on; like take down the myriad of images of me in his house.

For years, I attempted to integrate this waning and uncomfortably pressuring friendship from my misguided youth into my intimate life, with infrequent pity sex, ambient inclusive gestures like including him in the description of ‘my boys’, ignoring that we had less and less in common, and constantly stuffing down my creeped out feelings about what we both had done.

Once it became clear I could no longer maintain that, I cut him off from any sex officially and I mostly avoided him, again for years, unable to determine how I would be capable of ending such a long complicated friendship without doing more damage; until I was raped, and he reached out to offer support to me, and found I could not pretend to trust him any longer, or pretend that he hadn’t done the same.

This friend, while of the extreme, was not an isolated dynamic in my life.

“What did Elliot Rodger need? He didn’t need to get laid. None of us nerdy frustrated guys need to get laid. When I was an asshole with rants full of self-pity and entitlement, getting laid would not have helped me.

He needed to grow up.

We all do.” – Arthur Chu

It is not just the men who are suffering from this Princess in Another Castle syndrome and need to wake up and grow up; women are bred and conditioned to give chances, make exceptions, and throw a guy a bone because they’re ‘nice’, claim they are ‘nice’, and gosh darn it, they really like you.

Don’t shit on the nice guys, we are told, and are telling each other. Don’t let that nice guy get away, cause they’re a rare breed, honey, and to be an evolved woman means leaving the cheating jerk bad boys behind.

Even now, removed from the intimate relations, I see more evidence of this culture in my solo life; It’s piling up, like sightings of the make and model car you just bought, showing up everywhere in my memories, in media, in the interactions I witness between people. And it’s profoundly disturbing.

“But I have known nerdy male stalkers, and, yes, nerdy male rapists. I’ve known situations where I knew something was going on but didn’t say anything—because I didn’t want to stick my neck out, because some vile part of me thought that this kind of thing was “normal,” because, in other words, I was a coward and I had the privilege of ignoring the problem.” – Arthur Chu, you may just heal my long-learned distaste for Asian men yet.

And why would these guys think they weren’t entitled to what they want from me, whatever that is, or that I would actually stand by what it is I am asking for, and be capable of letting a connection go that continues not to fit?

I had told them all no, first. And then I eventually said yes; Because he was nice, and available, and persistent, he didn’t push me to have sex with him or pester me about it (or he did), but most importantly: he’d decided he had found his princess.

From the first male figure in my life until now, he wasn’t who I needed, but neither was I; So his princess is who I became. Over and over again. Because that’s normal. And romantic.

When these people let me down; by raping me, resenting me, stalking me, empathizing with one another, defending rape jokes, stewing for years in their stale self-pitying mediocrity — as horrifying and devastating and frustrating as all that was — it was actually on me to recognize that as being the only honest response they were capable of.

Rather than asking how they could choose to be so perpetually fucking clueless and self centered, what I really should have been asking was why in the world I expected anything other than that?

Rather than chastising myself for not having respect for these people, thinking I was somehow defective for not accepting their ‘niceness’ at face value, I really should have recognized that by standing on their pedestals I had no choice but to look down on them.

“Other people’s bodies and other people’s love are not something that can be taken nor even something that can be earned—they can be given freely, by choice, or not.

We need to get that. Really, really grok that, if our half of the species ever going to be worth a damn. Not getting that means that there will always be some percent of us who will be rapists, and abusers, and killers. And it means that the rest of us will always, on some fundamental level, be stupid and wrong when it comes to trying to understand the women we claim to love.” – Arthur Chu

I really must thank these boys (and Arthur, for growing up and writing what he wrote) for the light they collectively switched on for me; for the role they formerly played in my life.

It took me a long time, but this is now one of those things, like the day my boyfriend punched me in the face for the first, and the last time, that will go down in my history as one of the most illuminating and transformative experiences in my life.

Like finding that wall with my intolerance for being hit, I have made my way to this edge, and what I have here seen cannot be unseen. My landscape has changed, my world is different, and I will not tolerate this shit remaining in my life.

Once again, I am shedding ties, and leveling up.

I’m sorry, but your Princess is in Another Castle; and that is not my fucking problem anymore.

Compassion baiting is bullshit and I don’t put up with it anymore.

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Ever wonder why being judged for responding ‘too angrily’ pisses you off even more? Good insight here. http://www.buddhistpeacefellowship.org/5-big-problems-with-compassion-baiting/Twitter

I discovered “5 Big Problems with Compassion Baiting by Katie Loncke” a few months ago, and loved it. I related to it in terms of the obese shame demon the article had helped me figure out I’d brought back with me after doing a 10-day silent meditation retreat in January.

I really needed to hear it at the time, to allow for it to be ok to feel the gamut of human emotion again, not just the zen shit.

Recently, I really needed to hear it again, for entirely different reasons.

Fuck compassion baiting. Bunch of invalidating patronizing horseshit.

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

“It is no accident that white masculinity is constructed the way it is in the United States, as European invasion of the Americas required a masculinity that murders, rapes, and enslaves Native and African peoples. It is a masculinity that requires men to be soldiers and conquerors in every aspect of their lives. A masculinity rooted in genocide breeds a culture of sexual abuse.”

~ Qwo-Li Driskill