Sunday, April 20, 2014


From AlterNet:

Maddow Asks: 'Why Do We Overlook Right-Wing Violence and 
Refuse to Call it Terrorism?' Answer: Because They're White

Patterns of violence by white people, most notably mass shootings by white men, apparently tell us nothing about Whiteness or white masculinity. Patterns of behavior that should be the basis of a critical inquiry about white culture (a logic that when applied to black and brown people inevitably returns to questions of "pathology" and “bad genes”), is a question that cannot be asked by the mainstream media, or in "polite" circles, as it is considered impolitic.

More here.

It seems to me that white Americans have absolutely no discourse, with self or others, about what it means to be white.  Certainly not compared to, say, African-Americans or Latinos.  I mean, okay sure, this kind of makes sense: when your ethnicity is not the dominant ethnicity, you must necessarily try to figure out what your identity is relative to the dominant culture, and this is an ongoing thing--virtually every moment of your life, if you are in the minority, you are reminded that you are not in the majority.  So, you know, what's it all mean, then?  Minority Americans have been working on this for almost the entire history of the republic.  But not whites.  Whites have no idea who they are simply because they've never thought ethnic identity is something that pertains to them.

This utter lack of self-awareness on the part of whites sets them up, again and again, for confusion about important issues.  It also makes them easily manipulated by clever politicians, PR people, and advertisers.  Oh, and let's not forget the weird resentments many whites have when it comes to considering Black History Month, and other manifestations of ethnic pride and awareness.  But as this nation becomes ever more diverse, and the prospect of whites becoming simply another minority among multiple minorities, a large one, to be sure, but definitely a minority, becomes ever more a reality, we'd better get it in gear on this.

Otherwise, we're just going to be standing around drooling and shocked everytime another Trayvon Martin happens.  And that's not a good place to be.