Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Melrose, MA
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|Originally posted by RowansDad
Funny thing about registering with various online publications: I usually lie my ass off, 'cept for the email addy. natch.
Couple of snips:
"Americans are often shocked to learn that black Indians exist at all — and that Native Americans actually held slaves. Like the white slave owners they emulated, Native Americans often fathered children by enslaved women and occasionally — as in Milley Franklin's case — treated those children as family. As a result, millions of black Americans are descended from black people who were either members of the tribes during slavery or adopted into them just after Emancipation....
"White families have begun to acknowledge mixed-race connections after centuries of denial. But the attitudes of some Native Americans have not evolved in the same way. Both the Seminole and the Cherokee tribes have employed discriminatory policies to prevent black members from receiving tribal benefits — and to strip them of the right to vote in tribal elections....
"The Bureau of Indian Affairs, with the support of the federal district court in Washington, refused to recognize a Seminole government that came to office while black Seminoles were barred from the polls. But Washington may yet buckle in the face of similar discrimination by the Cherokees — who are more politically connected than the Seminoles. The federal government insists that it has not taken a "final position." But court documents suggest that the Bureau of Indian Affairs might formally endorse elections in which black Cherokees are barred from voting...."
|But there is a POC middle class and they count and are growing. Your essay does not acknowledge those who have successfully made that leap.|
|I am assuming a feeling of personal power that comes with fitting in? It doesn't change that a white person in the US has an easier time than a darker person, & that in fact, in general, the darker you get, the harder it is!|
|does anyone have anything to add that is not a total denial of the fact of white privilege?|
|Originally posted by mahdokht
For those who may be wondering:
POC = People of Color
PWOC = People Without Color
You know, when I read these discussions I always think that its the POC that need to be having them, not the PWOC. People in power never give it up willingly, its unatural to do so, and as we can see from this very thread there are still people who are greatly in denial about the advantages of fair skin in the world in general and our society in particular. Its really awful that some white children face discrimination and isolation from other ethnic groups. I know how it feels to be stuck in a school environment where your race marks you out as an object of ridicule. Its a horror that no child should have to suffer. That being said, those incidences are incomparable to the racism that POC and children of color face. Why? How often did those white children suffer racism from their teachers, principals and school officials? If something comes up missing, is it the only white child in the classroom who is assumed to be the culprit? How often is the capable, intelligent white child assumed to be an exception and treated as a token?
No matter the prejudice or cruelty that white people may face in situations when they are the minority, they are never denied access to the power structure or dominant culture because of their whiteness. What can/should white people do? The first thing anyone can do is to understand that there is a world of difference between the institutionalized racism faced by POC, which consistently, at every level from their time in utero till the day they die, denies them access to power and positions to effect change in society. The deck is stacked and those who succeed do so against great odds. It is not simply a question of pull yourself up by the bootstraps hard work. Why is it that black women who have similar education and economic backgrounds as white women still have a much higher chance of losing their infants within the first year? Because black people, even wtih good medical coverage and finely trained doctors don't get the same quality medical care as whites do. Racism, like the devil himself, is subtle and in that form the most dealdly. There is racism in the institution of medicine. There is racism in the institution of education, this is especially true at the elementary school, junior high school and high school levels. How great are the changes of a student who has been in poor, violent and overcrowded schools his or her entire life, or even a child who has been in an excellent school where he/she has spent their entire lives fighting racism from peers and adults alike, in addition to normal teenaged angst, of getting into and finishing at an institution of higher learning? W/O that degree how likely are they to go on to positions where they have greater chances of making the changes necessary to society to ensure that other children of color have equal opportunity?
We can have these conversations with PWOC and they may help to make a difference in how they raise their children or it may just piss them off and have them yelling 'reverse racism' (a monster of fictional proportions only equaled by unicorns and santa clause) and end the discussion right there. POC need to work at a grass roots level within our own communities and at every level of power that we can access to highlight racism, even in its subtlest forms, and demand change. When we combine numbers we are NOT the minority any more. We do not always need to depend on hours of discussion to convince people of the depth of racism. We should not be begging for recognition and change, we should demand it with such a defeaning cry that it becomes impossible to ignore. If there is anything that RDs article highlighted it is how effective the racist power structure has been in infecting the minds of POC with a self-defeating 'crabs in a bucket' mentality that serves only to reinforce their power and further diminish ours.
|Originally posted by mahdokht
.... African Americans are continually used as a stepping stone by other minority groups to climb the ladder of white society, some succeed more than others.....