Sunday, March 19, 2006

In the comments of her blog, brownfemipower said this:

Right now, i think that many of us have no choice but to position ourselvs (that is PROTECT ourselves) in a way that is mean or offensive to white folks. when i know for a fact that most of the white parents in my neighborhood look at my little chicano/a kids and see *trouble maker* *Drop out* *teenage pregnancy* *poor* *uneducated*, I really don't feel much like working on trusting white folks much--cuz i'm not going to let my kids be fucked up by *their* shitty beliefs. i'm not going to work to dispell their beliefs about my kids, i'm going to talk to my kids and give them the power, education, self assurance and self love to realize that those folks are fucked up individuals. That way my kids deal with racists on *their* terms, not the other way around.

That reminded me of my dread of the white gaze, which of course is really hard not to internalize. I of course haven't internalized the "cute little boy is a horrible thug" or the "little girl growing into her first training bra is a baby factory waiting to happen and is slobbering all over some $400 a month" parts, but the "If you don't do stuff exactly perfectly right, you're a terrible person"(although it's ok if you're white) This of course torments me because I can never guess what ridiculous standard will be next- whether the work I stayed up for hours doing isn’t important and doesn’t count in the calculus of who is doing the most work, and who is the martyr.

It’s very nervous making since I can’t anticipate the expectations which may be anything from whether I smile enough to whether I am making myself sick enough with overwork. And I’ve got the easy part. I’d hate to be poor and have a perfectly fine black working class neighborhood to be a ghetto, kids working hard in school to be totally uneducatable retards, and people doing the best they can under the circumstances to be a horrible underclass of criminals who will kill you soon as look as you.

And that’s why you weren’t greeted with flowers and candy in people of color space.

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