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Author Topic: Too Good to Ignore
Makwa
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10724

posted 06 July 2008 11:38 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Remark by David Mura. I was particularly struck by the closing:
quote:
And of course I need your friendship, need your approval, perhaps even your love, such as it is, such as I sense now itís becomeĖa kind of bargaining, a silencing politeness if not a smile. Better the old days I did not hear some

subliminal whispering, hidden in the words, sounding alarm.



From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
WendyL
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 14914

posted 07 July 2008 03:49 AM      Profile for WendyL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you, Makwa, for sharing this link.
From: PEI Canada | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
oldgoat
Moderator
Babbler # 1130

posted 07 July 2008 06:32 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
May I also add that it's worth a few moments to look at the rest of the site.
From: The 10th circle | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4140

posted 07 July 2008 06:37 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Social justice activists come across this "silencing politeness" all the time.

"This isn't the place to discuss such issues."

"Not now."

"Think of the children."

"He's been very helpful in regard to Xxx. Let it pass."
__________________________

Just say "No" to racism. Some things are more important than being polite.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
Volunteer Moderator
Babbler # 8938

posted 07 July 2008 06:52 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sometimes POC and FN can't denounce racism, for a whole host of reasons having to with who is in our communities and our families, who our bosses are, and who we literally need to survive. Yes, there are many things more important than being polite, like knowing that your welfare worker will give you more or less information based on how you respond, or don't, to their various offensive and degrading rantings/lectures about your lifestyle. Like knowing that the cops will shoot you if they decide to and that nobody will care, so you need to tolerate their verbal and physical harassment or die, literally. "Just say no to racism", when saying this to POC/FN people, is condescending and preachy.

The linked post is about the pain of that reality, and the cost that it takes on those who must swallow racist bullshit everyday. We see the cost of those who don't act politely. On babble we see it.

For white folks who want to be allies, yes, to speak up against racism every time you witness it is your duty as an ally. The more difficult a situation it is the more vital it is that white allies speak up, and often make themselves targets by moving out of the zone of comfort.

But the post and the link in the OP aren't about white folks. Let's stay on topic.


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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Babbler # 10724

posted 07 July 2008 08:11 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bigcitygal:
Yes, there are many things more important than being polite, like knowing that your welfare worker will give you more or less information based on how you respond, or don't, to their various offensive and degrading rantings/lectures about your lifestyle.
Gosh, BCG - as a onetime, and perhaps future welfare caseworker, who has also at other times been the recipient of some very painful police brutality, not to mention a lifetime of institutionalized racism, I find your comments troublesome.

Dag. Can anyone else on this board find a new way to make me feel ashamed?

I can no longer discover the necessary analytical distance to judge what is going on here, where I am concerned.

I am at a complete loss.

PS: I did find the rest of the post to be very cogent, personal and moving, so I apologize if the initial imagery threw me in such a way that my comment is out of line. I confess that recent conflicts here has brought me to my knees, in a communicative sense.

[ 07 July 2008: Message edited by: Makwa ]


From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
Volunteer Moderator
Babbler # 8938

posted 08 July 2008 03:43 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think we all know that institutionalized racism and other oppressive behaviours and actions, happens via the front line representatives of the state, which includes the police, welfare workers, immigration workers, teachers, soldiers, "peacekeepers", etc. Hell even front line service workers (government or otherwise) such as bus drivers, (government) clerks in offices, any other positions that can exert unprovable discrimination and oppressive power over individuals. We live in a "power over" society, this shouldn't come as a surprise.

In my post I don't mean that everyone in each of these professions is perpetuating systemic oppression 24/7, but the position of (relative) power of these positions over more marginalized peoples can't be denied. Whatever the exceptions to my blanket statements, and they are out there, don't discount what I'm saying.

I'm sure there are great cops out there, for example. I just haven't met any. Oh! My friend met one the other day, but it was because someone had attempted to break into her home, so she understood as a homeowner, in that instant, she "mattered". She's a black woman with two sons, so she gets it hugely.

Makwa, I hope you know by now that of course I wasn't referring to you when. One way that I see to dismantle institutionalized and systemic racism / oppression is the hiring of more people who "get" the power dynamic and work to use their powers for the good of the people they work with and not perpetuate bullshit.

[drift]
This conversation has reminded me, has anyone read "Daughters Are Forever" by Lee Maracle? It's fiction and covers the issue of social assistance workers and power and stuff, from both "outsider" and "insider" perspectives. She's a beautiful and powerful writer. Highly recommended.
[/drift]


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged

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