Abolishing Whiteness

When I came across the race traitor concept seven or eight years ago, it sounded like a radical but wacky, impractical, unrealistic idea.  Since, I’ve moderated my view of it and if nothing else, the logic behind race treason is beneficial to whites attempting to earnestly resist and destroy systems of white privilege and white supremacy.  I like this definition of and example of how whiteness operates.

The white race is a club. Certain people are enrolled in it at birth, without their consent, and brought up according to its rules. For the most part they go through life accepting the privileges of membership, without reflecting on the costs. Others, usually new arrivals in the country, pass through a probationary period before “earning” membership; they are necessarily more conscious of their racial standing.The white club does not require that all members be strong advocates of white supremacy, merely that they defer to the prejudices of others. It is based on one huge assumption: that all those who look white are, whatever their reservations, fundamentally loyal to it.For an example of how the club works, take the cops. The natural attitude of the police toward the exploited is hostility. All over the world cops beat up poor people; that is their job, and it has nothing to do with color. What is unusual and has to be accounted for is not why they beat up black people but why they don’t normally beat up propertyless whites. It works this way: the cops look at a person and then decide on the basis of color whether that person is loyal to the system they are sworn to serve and protect. They don’t stop to think if the black person whose head they are whipping is an enemy; they assume it. It does not matter if the victim goes to work every day, pays his taxes and crosses only on the green. Occasionally they bust an outstanding and prominent black person, and the poor whites cheer the event, because it confirms them in their conviction that they are superior to any black person who walks the earth.On the other hand, the cops don’t know for sure if the white person to whom they give a break is loyal to them; they assume it. The non-beating of poor whites is time off for good behavior and an assurance of future cooperation. Their color exempts them to some degree from the criminal class – which is how the entire working class was defined before the invention of race and is still treated in those parts of the world where race, or some functional equivalent, does not exist as a social category. It is a cheap way of buying some people’s loyalty to a social system that exploits them.

Most whites born into the system don’t understand whiteness beyond the liberal white frame created by the corporate media.  If you are reading this as a politically progressive white person you may be thinking that you are not a corporate media consumer and that therefore you are existing outside of the liberal white frame of thought.  Perhaps I shouldn’t term it the corporate media’s white frame, although they use and constantly recreate and apply it, because this racial paradigm is also the frame contructed and used by the educational system and social institutions as a whole.  Joe Feagin, sociology prof down at Texas A&M, who runs Racism Review, came up with the White Racial Frame (please take a look).  White abolitionists do not prescribe to the white racial frame.  The white abolitionist, although existing on this planet, and therefore within the white racial frame, realizes that the framing is a part of white supremacy and attempts to get outside the frame, point attention to the frame and destroty the social basis, whiteness, upon which the white racial framing depends for its continuation.

The race traitor holds that the liberal interpretation of  the problem, anti-racism, is insufficient to dismantle white supremacy because it leaves intact and unscathed the problem’s foundation, whiteness.

6 Responses to “Abolishing Whiteness”

  1. Wow us white people don’t understand our own whiteness but you do! Good for you, you have figured the whole thing out and the cat is out of the bag! Thank you for your wisdom on figuring the whole thing out. Let us call a press conference and inform the world so you can explain our own whiteness to us. Yes you were born into your own club so to speak as you say we were. Yet only you are qualified to make a judgment. Oh you will reply with a long worded and thought out response but the strange sad fact is that you actually believe what you are saying! People at parties suddenly have a phone call or have to suddenly go attend to some important task when they find themselves involved in a conversation with you don’t they?

  2. No. People don’t. Some white people do. But even only some of them. You probably would though.

  3. Have you unscathed whiteness yet? How is that coming along? Lets me check….. nope still there. Damn well keep shouting at the empty room , maybe someone will listen, then again maybe not.

  4. izbjeglica Says:

    Remember that within Europe itself, there is an ethnic hierarchy. In Germany and Scandinavian country, they certainly do not view people from the Balkans or Turkey as white, even if that person may have blue eyes or blond hair.

    As a refugee in northern Europe, I always considered myself very dark, much closer to Arabs and Africans than “fellow Europeans”. It was a big shock when I came to the US and realized that even though I was placed in a project (in southern Atlanta, incidentally), I had some privileges from day one that black people in the US never had. Just because I was European who spoke fluent English, positive assumptions about me and class were made, as long as I did not reveal where I lived.

    Now, the truth is also that my hair texture and skin also do not happen to look Anglo. Because I hate cars and almost always use public transportation, I’ve had middle-class white guys assume that I was a Latina prostitute, and stop to pick me up. My supposed Europeanness was trumped by my dark curly hair and non-American facial expression, and above all my poverty. That also shows how layered race is.

    Yet, while in Germany and Scandinavia I can never be “one of them”, in the US, they thought I’d be assimilated immediately. But in order to do that, one has to accept whiteness as something natural, and I cannot. It’s wrought too much evil on the world, and my own people are insanely colonized by the notion that they must be like western Europeans — to each little nation its own language and religion, and god forbid anyone thought we are somehow Asian or African.

    In thinking about race, also look especially at Latin American countries, where the colonization, genocide of original populations, and slavery were just as brutal, but coded differently, so that a black freedman could get a pass testifying that he was equivalent to white, and marry a white woman so that his offspring would merge with the Portuguese colonial society. This served its purpose of course, building a hybrid class of property owners who in time considered themselves almost purely European, and destroying attempts at black solidarity. We see something similar with Obama.

    In short — personally, I feel much closer to radical Black folks than to liberal whites, even though I did not grow up in the US and theoretically, both of those cultures should be alien to me. Any criticism offered here comes from a perspective which is deeply loyal to the Global South and the black and brown peoples of the world.

    But while pursuing a radical, by all means Afrocentrist understanding of the world, also remain clear-sighted to the problem of race as an idea. It is historical, and most Europeans had to be convinced that they were “white” once upon a time.

    The Arab world has a very complex and interesting history of interacting with Africa which cannot be reduced to slavery (especially in north Africa and Yemen). Yet, if you ask most *educated* Arab people today, they will think they are somehow closer to Europeans than to Africans. Historically speaking, this is bullshit (often sold well especially in Lebanon, where people look similar to Turks and Balkanites — white enough to squeeze in by pretending they are Italian or Spanish).

    Enough candy will do that — but a person who truly loves the black and brown peoples of this earth must be aware of the complex history and artificiality of race, and yet remain loyal to his people and never join the “the problem has been solved” club.

  5. izbjeglica Says:

    as an afterthought…

    I think black people in the Americas do not realize to what extent modern Europeans look at a person’s name and place of birth, meaning ethnicity, as determining who they are.

    To an extent that’s difficult to explain, in certain circumstances in western European countries, you’re actually better off if you’re American black middle class than, say, a poor Russian immigrant with a thick accent.(Of course, if you’re a poor African illegal, may god help you, even if you speak great French).

    This is also why some European immigrants (and many European tourists to the US) so passionately embrace the idea of the American melting pot, not realizing that their supposed “equality” and participation also means the exclusion and destruction of non-Europeans. Because assimilation worked for them, they are sure it must eventually work out for black people as well. It took me forever to understand they actually mean this and are not necessarily hypocrites, but it does not make them non-racist. It always helps to ask “why” and “for whom is this good?”

    many greetings,

    refugee

  6. izbjeglica Says:

    a typo in the very first paragraph “Scandinavian countries” of course. to an outsider like me, it sometimes does seem like one state….

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