Monday, December 21, 2009

From an Angry Black Anarchist
The Sliding Scale of White Privilege

I've gotten through the hump of generalized theory, and today resolved to sit down and sort out the minute trappings of this menacing shadow we know of today as "white privilege".

Remember, we know that all privilege is insidious, as it places an advantage or disadvantage upon a person or group simply for being born a certain way. But what is it in particular about the system of white privilege that makes it so utterly absurd, but only if you can even get your mind wrapped around it?

Unlike hetero-male privilege, white privilege is not based on any solid, definable characteristic that makes it simple to discern. You're easily quantifiable by gender, less so by sexual identity, but with race, the definitions become considerably more hazy.

What is "whiteness"?

Whiteness is the degree of race privilege you have in Western society. While not expressly based on skin color (it can also be bought, to an extent), it follows the guideline of what I like to call "Anglo-Normativity", which is the specific degree to which you appear similar to the "white" ideal - blond, straight hair, blue eyes, and, of course, pale skin.

This creates an unwritten and unspoken-of hierarchy that has permeated into every facet of our social interaction - from labor to government, in nearly every country (including those where no "Anglo-Normative" people exist), people have ranked themselves according to this sliding scale of white privilege.

In Latin America, those with lighter skin have more, and can do more than those that look more indigenous.

In East Asia, those with lighter skin have more, and can do more than those that look more Indonesian or Guinean.

In North America, there are "whites" -- which includes everyone that isn't visibly African to any degree (including some Arabs and "Latinos"), and there are "blacks"; and within black culture there still exists a white privilege, as those with lighter skin and "better" hair are simultaneously rewarded and envied by other black folks, and enjoy favorability among whites as well.

It doesn't take a sociologist to see the same recurring pattern of unexposed and institutionalized white power, among people who have less to gain from being considered "white" in the first place!

So, what do we do about it?

Regardless of how Anglo-Normative you are, it is your responsibility to actively seek out and expose all manifestations of white supremacy in our society.

Regardless of how much intensity you are comfortable with in resisting white power, you, and everyone else, have to do something; whether it consists of forcing liberals to talk about race and their appropriation and tokenization of minorities, or it consists of getting a crew to spread literature, single out and beat down Nazis and Klansmen in your area, something needs to be done.

This cannot be put more simply: Systems of power and privilege need to be countered at all turns. Don't let anyone get away with "nigger" and "bitch" and "pussy" and "fag", it is in your interest not to participate in that nonsense, and silence IS participation.

And if you really think about it, it really is very, very absurd.

My initial thoughts, everything in school is propagating whiteness, and that might attribute to the standards so heavily present. I agree with Sox. There is no cultural exploration for the most part other than that of Whiteness. The foundation of our education on the most basic level is how to be white and how to embrace whiteness.

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