Can Social Media End Racism?
The tangled issues of race and privilege in our society come to a boiling point on the internet. Exploring the complicated place of race in society, this presentation examines the ideas of race in the digital environment with a specific focus on social media.
For further info, check out Tim Wise: Of National Lies and Racial Amnesia – Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and the Audacity of Truth
My posts that have been tagged with the subject “white privilege” were visited several times (over 50 unique visits) by individuals who frequent the white supremacist website, stormfront.org. Due to the apparent popularity of the white privilege posts by white supremacists, I would like to take this moment to direct my new readers to an article on white privilege that was printed in the Oregon State University Daily Barometer.
Welcome to the 19th Erase Racism Carnival.
Eric Stoller (yes, that’s me) presents Building Community – non-apology apologies and intent vs. effect
DB on the idea that silence is approval.
[W]here in all of these voices is the official voice of OSU? I respect Ed Ray and believe that his commitment to diversity and social justice issues is authentic. But the silence from the President’s office is deafening. And the resultant vacuum ends up sounding like a tacit approval of those who would wear blackface, which, since it cannot be scrubbed of its racist roots, is wrong. How difficult would it be for one who is committed to social justice to say just that?
This photo was taken in front of the Phi Gamma Delta house here at Oregon State University. Apparently the noose was from their Halloween decorations that had been left up accidentally. A student informed me that the original noose included a witch hanging from it. Note that all of the other Phi Gamma Delta Halloween decorations had been removed leaving just the noose hanging from a tree.
I’m sure the fraternity members never thought about the symbolism and historical context of nooses. Once again, racism does not always include malicious intent. The effect of racist symbolism creates an unwelcome and scary environment.
I really hope that Bob Kerr, OSU’s Coordinator of Greek Life, addresses this situation immediately. I also hope that the OSU student newspaper, the Daily Barometer does not try to cover up or silence anti-racist editorials on this situation. (The Barometer has refused to print several editorials that critique the Barometer’s printing of a photo of a student in blackface.)
For more examples of racism on college campuses, check out Vox’s – College Racism Roundup.
The classic book on race and racism is once again available. This book is designed to help White people assume responsibility for ending racism, understand how racism impacts Whites as well as others, analyze racism, and discover positive alternatives for living in a multicultural society. Many self-analysis exercises and instruments enrich the text.
From the preface:
“For racism to disappear in the United States, White people must take the responsibility for ending it. For them to assume that responsibility, they must become aware of how racism hurts White people and consequently, how ending it serves White people’s best interests. Moreover, this awareness not only must be accompanied by enhanced abilities to recognize the many faces of racism, but also by the discovery of options to replace it.”
For the record, I believe that writing about white privilege and patriarchy is a positive thing to do. I feel very positive when I write about these particular barriers to social justice.
I feel that working towards the elimination of racism and sexism is a positive thing. It’s not an easy thing to do. It often hurts. There are comments that make my heart pound as I attempt to digest scattered remnants of thoughts that have been buried beneath piles of words. Sometimes it keeps me awake at night as I try to negotiate how to respond. It hurts to see comments from friends who say that I only talk about negatives. It is challenging.
TOWARD A PEDAGOGY OF THE OPPRESSOR
by Michael Kimmel
THIS BREEZE AT MY BACK
To run or walk into a strong headwind is to understand the power of nature. You set your jaw in a squared grimace, your eyes are slits against the wind, and you breathe with a fierce determination. And still you make so little progress.
To walk or run with that same wind at your back is to float, to sail effortlessly, expending virtually no energy. You do not feel the wind; it feels you. You do not feel how it pushes you along; you feel only the effortlessness of your movements. You feel like you could go on forever. It is only when you turn around and face that wind that you realize its strength.
Being white, or male, or heterosexual in this culture is like running with the wind at your back. It feels like just plain running, and we rarely if ever get a chance to see how we are sustained, supported, and even propelled by that wind.
It is time to make that wind visible.