Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Word to the Wise" - White Antiracism's White Supremacy

"When grassroots Black activists speak honestly about racism at colleges across this country, we are not met with open arms by administrators and faculty. And most certainly our calendars are not full for the rest of the year let alone for the next three to five. When we speak, we are often met by the deaf ear of white denial. When Tim Wise speaks, he gets applause, standing ovations, awards and proclamations. The fact that schools can’t “hear” us when I and other people of color speak but will search out and roll out the red carpet for Wise is a statement to a kind of racism that doesn’t get discussed much – if at all – in our work. Despite all of the white anti-racist presentations given over the years at colleges and universities across the country, institutional racism at these schools remains intact. All the while, activists of color continue to be muffled and marginalized. Even in the ghetto of race discourse we remain tenants and never owners of an analysis that is ours to begin with"
Read it all: Word to the Wise: Unpacking the White Privilege of Tim Wise

The only thing I would add to the discussion is that there is very little in the way of gender analysis in this piece.  I know from experience that anti-racist white men, like Tim Wise, receive quite a different reception to anti-racist white women, particularly in the example given of being able to show emotion.  

I don't say this to dispute anything in the essay, just to point out that it is definitely centering White men/Black men.