Friday, July 23, 2004

I think this is a pretty brave blog entry. I mean, this lady had a complete cultural pass to sit down and be all poor me, I am soo oppressed, and she decided to look in the mirror instead. It is pretty easy for whites to do this whole I am an oppressed white person act because of how our culture is- if a white says something, they are given a bit more credibility automatically, and it is a bit easier for say, get a white guy (or a black guy who is down on his people)  on TV to talk about how blacks have a bad 'culture' and how dysfunctional we are, than to get a black guy on TV to challenge Eurocentric thought and demand accountability for whites. Also, white myths are the ones that are repeated, such as the one where poor whites are agency-less victims of black people who are stealing all their money and jobs, and that whites have no power to stop racism, and that whites are in the majority of the world, instead of the minority, and that they are the norm for everybody.

So fighting those myths, even though you benefit from them, is pretty brave to me. It's hard to look at yourself in the mirror when no one else is saying 'look at yourself'. I tend to be a bit more hard on white people and the black middle class, because if poor black people and other people of color haven't absorbed the constant message that to be poor is  debasement, and it's all their own fault because they are lazy and stupid- they are simply rejecting it, and probably with good reason.

But it's easy for a more well to do black person to say "well, I have mine, so all other black folks must be stupid and inferior". I, of course, am working through my own classism. How easy it would be for me to say of my poorer cousins(literally) "Oh, work hard, and things will be fine". But then again, when my cousin is in  the top 5 of the school and has to take remedial math in college, I can not really feel that things can be fine. Not to mention the fact that if a renter smokes dope in someone's house, the landlord can have the property taken away from them- guess who they are looking at to arrest for drugs- certainly not the nice middle class users and dealers. The fact that some people can use drugs and not be punished, but the punishment falls on one portion of the population rather than another, bothers me.

I can not just say- I have a job, I have done my part for the community. One has to think of what they owe to others, not just of what they themselves deserve. We all owe something to someone, so let's think about it,ok?

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