For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for an easy-to-understand example of it, perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you, or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
In 1942, xenophobic U.S. officials enacted policies that resulted in the internment of over 100,000 Japanese American citizens. 42 Japanese American students at Oregon State University were forced to leave the university and sent to internment camps. Most did not ever return to OSU. On Sunday, June 15th, OSU awarded honorary degrees to every Japanese American student who was unable to complete their degree.
via the OSU Admissions Blog
I been reading a lot of quotes on the interwebs that are saying that Iowa is handling flooding better than New Orleans dealt with Katrina. A lot of the comments (some are more overt than others) imply that white folks in Iowa (of course these comments completely marginalize Iowans of color) are doing a better job of steadfastly standing up to floodwaters while folks of color in New Orleans were looting and relying on handouts. Is this rhetoric racist? Of course it is. It’s comparing two situations that are logically impossible to compare. A single urban area vs. acres of farmland dotted with small to medium sized towns does not present a landscape that is comparable. The rhetorically racist comparisons of flooded Iowa and Katrina-impacted New Orleans reminds me of this Tim Wise video that illustrates how racism has been used to facilitate division amongst working class white folks and working class folks of color.
via Michael Faris
Below, I will address the claims made in the above comments.
Before I do this, though, I want to make something clear about what I wrote in this column. In the above comments I read that I called people racists or that I resorted to personal attacks. This column did no such thing. I wrote, “I believe that for a white person to host a party themed “Cowboys and Indians” is racist.” No where in this sentence does it state that I believe that someone who holds this party is racist. I wrote that the ACTION of holding this party is racist. If we break down the above sentence, the subject is “to host a party,” which is an action.
This is a subtle distinction, but one that needs to be made. I don’t believe that calling someone racist does any good, as we are all affected by institutional racism and prone to racist acts when we do not think critically about our actions.
Nor was this meant to be a personal attack: I was not attacking the personhood of who hosted this party or the people who attended. I was attacking and critiquing an ACTION. It is imperative, I believe, to keep this distinction in mind.
I was in Waldo Hall about a month ago when I came upon a larger version of this poster. I’m a fan of inverted black and white posters as they remind me of my graphic design days in Chicago.
The poster was advertising a community forum to discuss “isms in media.” I moved a little closer and read the list of “-isms.” Sexism, racism, ableism and classism. Okay, those are all forms of oppression. What? Why was alcoholism on this list? It just did not make sense to me as it did not fit with the rest of the items on the poster. And where oh where was heterosexism? A list of institutionalized oppressions and a disease. I do not understand why alcoholism was included…?
The Daily Barometer, Oregon State University’s student newspaper, has had yet another year where the paper prints something racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and then attempts to do a better job (usually folks of color start appearing in the photographs on the front page during Winter term). It’s a cycle and the pattern has occurred since I moved to Corvallis in 2004 and became a member of the OSU community. Year after year a student editorial board and their lackluster faculty advisor bring about copious amounts of harm to the community, apologize and then attempt to rectify what happened in the fall. I can understand that student editorial board members come and go, but the faculty advisor remains…
Kevin Hampton is a sports writer for the Corvallis Gazette Times. His latest blog post is titled, “Out with the blackout?“. In the post, Kevin states that “the people complaining know very well that there is no connection to racism.” Ummm, nope. I think they know very well that there is a connection to racism. (see blackface and something called “historical context“).
See Kevin’s post and my inner monologue after the cut…
What happens when Native Americans in Arizona attempt to stop construction of an oil refinery on sacred lands? Lots and lots of racist rhetoric.
According to the NY Times, Arizona is
“one of the fastest-growing parts of the country and a place where developers are increasingly running up against newly powerful but tradition-minded American Indian leaders.”
Don’t you just love the part about Native American leaders being “newly powerful”?
“Like the land itself, the fight over the refinery reflects a tangle of cultures and centuries of bitterness between Indians and newcomers.”
I wonder why Native Americans in Arizona might be “bitter” with “newcomers” (code for white people)?
A couple months ago Brownfemipower posted about the Inhofe Amendment. The amendment was contained within the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, S. 1348. (Note: S. 1639 has a similar English language amendment) This amendment would have amended title 4 of the United States Code to “declare English as the national language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.”
I was upset to read that Ron Wyden (D) from Oregon had supported the Inhofe Amendment. I quickly wrote Senator Wyden and I received a response this week:
The blogosphere is pulsating with ferocity this morning. I have about 50 potential posts floating around in the soup that makes up my consciousness…
Random Item number 1: This isn’t a link but I really want to post that I am super excited, happy, giddy, etc. that this Sunday, the 25th of March will be the 2 year anniversary for me and Wendy!
Random Item number 2: I just signed up to be the host for the Erase Racism Carnival in November of 2007. I am very excited, nervous, and exuberant about this opportunity.