Wednesday, September 15, 2004

mahogany sent me this article a while back and i just got to reading it. below is off-the-cuff response. folks should feel free to respond as well...

this article is interesting and raises someinteresting points including the way we, as black folkinternalize racist thought and perpetuate it againstourselves. however, her definition of racism differsfrom mine in that she saw her response to the whiteman who had parked his truck in her driveway as racistand i don't think it is. it wasn't based solely onthe fact that he was white (and even if it was; it'sstill a response to a lifelong institutionalizedtreatment of blacks by whites in a particular way),but on the fact that his white privelege made himthink he could park his truck just about anywhere hewanted. likewise, the black man's siding with her isnot racist. he recognizes the need to stick togetherin a world in which whites will routinely cometogether to deny folks of color their fair shake.while we do need to pay attention to class conflict,it can't replace race conflict. both issues exist inthis country arm in arm with the other. they cannot,given this country's history AND continued identity,simply part ways. she might LIKE to think that shehas more in common with a rich white man, that shedoes with a poor black one, but i think that's whattoo many of us tell ourselves in our scramble up theladder; in our mad dash to distance ourselves fromthat part of our community. in this way, we use theoppresor's language to define for us who our alliesare and that oppresor's language says in this case,that money is the deciding factor. this i cannotaccept, because no amount of money stops her frombeing profiled on the new jersey turnpike the same wayi would. no amount of money changes the perception ofthe average american about who she might be when herface appears on the TV screen or the newspaper, or shewalks into an elevator somewhere....and as a last salvo. i don't care what she says,what her kids look like. they aren't white, even ifthey don't darken at all. america will remind them ofthat, soon enough.

i just started re-reading marie howe's "what the living do" and reading tony hoagland's "sweet ruin". i am sanctified...


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