Recon Not What I Hoped For

I had hoped that Resist Racism would be helpful, I don’t agree with all the opinions and tone, and I am sorry that it has fueled this already hot topic. I’m no expert, I don’t have examplary netiquette, I’m stumbling along, and please forgive me if I was off target. If anyone does “take what they like and leave the rest behind” alhumdiallah. See you Friday, inshallah!

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7 thoughts on “Recon Not What I Hoped For

  1. Brooke don’t be sorry, you know I’m a rather passionate lassie, I’m not very good at holding back…

    Anyway, just my stupidity but where is the carnival being held?

  2. Salaams Brooke,

    While I don’t agree with some of the things posted on Resist Racism and I generally have issues with their tone, I think your linking to their blog was a positive thing.

    Examining racism can an uncomfortable topic for folks who have not experienced being a minority, and having someone be “agressive” or emphatic about it makes it more so.

    We need to consider ALL POVs and examine their points to see if they have any validity within our life experiences. I often think we ESPECIALLY need to hear those that make us uncomfortable. The very fact that we are uncomfortable about something can be a signal that the topic, or their POV, has some validity.

    I think that while this topic is a loaded minefield, I applaud you for hosting it and facilitating open dialogue. After all, it’s through communication that we learn about each other and become comfortable with ourselves and those we perceive as being “different”.

    And I would encourage everyone to continue talking. If you don’t like someones tone, point it out, be prepared for them to reject your POV, and move on. Whatever we do we should continue talking, tho.

  3. Asiya – Right here this Friday, inshallah. I somehow lost the info off the original post–think of what I have lost and don’t know yet!

  4. Salaam Alaikum,

    To those worried about tone, I would advise to really make an effort to keep reading Resist Racism and similar sites.

    You see, part of your reaction to that tone is white privilege, you are aren’t used to seeing white people addressed in such a way, so it rankles.

    Part of the reason for that tone is that PoC are constantly silenced on the topic of race and racial inequality and white people are the one who set the tone, content of the converstation and whether that conversation even takes place.

    When you keep that fact in mind, the anger of these blogs makes sense.

    Finally, the point about privilege is that it is unearned, you didn’t do anything to earn it. Having white privilege doesn’t make you a bad person, it’s not recogninsing your privilege that causes problems.

    Brooke – Have you read the poem “Those Tears”, I always feel it sums up the space/time/access issues really well.

    Here it is:
    http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/4469/tears.html

  5. Salam Safiya,

    ‘you see, part of your reaction to that tone is white privilege, you are aren’t used to seeing white people addressed in such a way, so it rankles.’

    I’ve been thinking about one of the things mentioned on the Resist Racism site, that is, that defensiveness is simply a response of white privilege. And whilst I certainly think that it may be quite often. I don’t think that you can say that it is so automatically, it may simply be a response to defensiveness itself, that is defensiveness causes the tone that is objected to, defensiveness causes sarcasm and hostility. I would say that it rankles because it is rude and racist in itself. Whether there is a basis for that doesn’t stop it being so, and whether you are used to it or not doesn’t mean that it is reasonable (by that I mean something good, a positive way of thinking about your fellow human beings).

    Of course the anger of the blogs makes sense, and I don’t think that I can even comprehend what it must really be like to have such a store of anger, based on a lifetime of injustices, but is it helpful (and I don’t mean just helpful to white people)? ie. if it prevents people being able to talk and learn from each other, is that positive? it’s not that it isn’t justified, but what is the proper response to it? Should I think, this person is shouting at me, telling me to shut up, telling me what i am thinking, but i know what the background to the anger is(although not in totality) therefore I should be accepting of what they are saying? If someone is making blatantly racist generalizations, I shouldn’t respond because it’s nothing in comparison with what white people collectively have done to POC?

    ‘Part of the reason for that tone is that PoC are constantly silenced on the topic of race and racial inequality and white people are the one who set the tone, content of the converstation and whether that conversation even takes place.’

    That is precisely what I was trying to get at elsewhere. Because of this there is a converse reaction which is to do the same. How does this do anything but create a kind of temporary place of respite through defense? It just exacerbates things. As long as I am setting the tone or content, or “they” are setting the tone or content, there can be no proper communication. And that is why I don’t see a point in trying to engage on such terms. It’s not running away because of not being used to feeling rankled. Yes, of course that is uncomfortable, but if there really was something positive to be found for all involved, by putting up with the rankled-ness and persevering in trying to “talk”, i would.

    Personally, I am not prepared any more to be made responsible for another person’s anger, whoever it is, family, friends, black, white, Muslim or not. What I do want to do is try to take responsibility for my own rancour, resentment, dissatisfaction and anger and to not allow myself to try and make another deal with my own unease, and I really believe that we all need to do that. And we can do that at the same time as recognising and investigating the areas in which we have privilege.

    I guess what I am asking you, is does recognizing your own white privilege mean that you no longer respond to racism when it is directed towards you? If for example, defensiveness is caused by white privilege, does this mean that if you are well-educated about your own privilege, then you should no longer feel defensiveness or feel rankled?

    My belief is that the answer should be no, simply because feeling rankled is a natural response to something that is wrong or biased or unjust, but maybe I’m wrong ( I mean that ;)…

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