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September 21, 2003

White Bucks Stop Here

For the longest time, I've been deferring to a number of abstracts when I wanted to point whitefolks in a direction I thought would be constructive in the neutralization of whiteness I believe is an existential necessity in anti-racism. There was Neil Ignatiev's Race Traitor. There was Five White Guys Talking. There were always static websites. Now I've found someone real and alive in the blogosphere. Take a peek:

i am painfully aware of my race and the race of other people when we come into contact (attempting, i think, to change the world through a conversation or two) until we have a strong personal connection. i assume, as well, that the other person is as aware of my race as i am of theirs. i shouldn't project my own insecurities on other people, and yet it happens, probably because i need to feel comfortable with my paranoia, even as i try to relate to people on an individual level.

Even as I recommend Ms Lauren, I recognize that there's going to be some dismissal because she is avowedly feminist which implies a number of negative connotations in people who are hardheaded and/or reactionary. As a hardhead myself, I want you all to note the decided lack of a guilt-trip in her writing. An acknowledgement of guilt, yes, but not a motivation to make progress based in guilt. This is the kind of white person Shelby Steele cannot manipulate. She is not a victim of society, she is a self-critical actor working on a personal perspective that works. Everybody isn't smart enough, or honest enough to deal with what bell hooks writes. I've found myself challenged enough times to avoid hooks' stuff, not only because of how it shocks me, but how it isolates me from people who can't hang with her implications. Ms Lauren is there already.

Anyway, enough gushing. Just read her.

Posted by mbowen at September 21, 2003 11:27 PM

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