Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hey, it's Pam Noles and her post of awesome. Here's a tiny piece of the amazingness.

I'm responding to this not to pick on Glacierdust, but because variations of the thought she shared in that post and in a comments below it, have landed in my email. In this thread she happened to combine two of the common responses I've gotten from some white folks: reverse discrimination and the belief that skin color is a superficial aside when it comes to how the world engages with you.

This type of response has come ONLY from white people. I know this because each of them have told me they are white. Which is helpful, though frankly I figured that out anyway as my people tend not to construct apologias, present their Down With The Cause Creds, or indicate a basic ignorance of fundamental understanding about real-world racial realities when we're talking Die Whitey stuff like this to each other. (Granted, me and mine might not always AGREE about how those racial realities are interpreted or made manifest - re: Chief Justice Clarence Tomas just to pick one at random - but our baseline understanding from which we START our intraargument is the same.)

A lot of white people - within the wide world and the narrow closet of genre - think that validation of Ethnic Self means exclusion or disparagement of Ethnic Other. They think that if you stand up for Blackitude, you are de facto beating down the Caucasians. This is because, as Le Guin herself said - not to mention a whole bunch of academics and anyone else generally paying attention as they move through life in this world - THEY HAVE THE LUXURY OF DOING SO. For a lot of white people, even those who Mean Well and Their Hearts Are In The Right Place And All That, the mere fact of QUESTIONING the default setting of this world of racial inequity is percieved as an attack.

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