04 Feb White Like Me
White Like Me – Tim Wise
“Did you hear about the racist guy who told a joke because he thought everyone he was talking to was white?”
My mom is black.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t know. If you say you’re sorry then you know it was wrong to say, why say it? You must not think much of white people.
What do you mean?
I mean you must think all whites are racist, but not just racist but the kind of racist that likes hearing racist jokes. Otherwise you wouldn’t take a chance saying racist things around people you don’t know. so tell me, wy do you thinks little of white people. not to mention your views towards black people?
We must first face up to the fact that in our resistance we too often reinforce all hierarchical nonsense we swear we oppose , much of it racist at its core. …it just means that privilege carries a cost ; it costs us the clarity of vision to see what we are really doing and how even in your resistance you sometimes play the collaborator.
What whites have rarely had to think about, bing he dominant group, we are so used to having our will one with a little effort at least the point is be not victory,however much we all hope to see justice prevail and injustice routed. Maybe our redemption comes from the struggle itself , Maybe it is in the effort, the striving for equality and freedom the we become human.
It is, simply out, an honor and a privilege to serve as he threat of a good example, and to be prepared to die for your principles, , but even more so , to be unafraid to live for them.
I’d be worried about any black person who wasn’t suspicious about white people fighting racism – they’e been burned too many times.
“Make no mistake. we do hate you and we don’t trust you not for one minute”
“Well I’m sorry to hear that, especially sine you don’t know me. but that’s ok because I’m sure you haven’t got much reason to trust me and anyways, ultimately i’m not doing this for you.”
I mean no disrespect by that its just that I don’t view it as my job to fight racism to save you from it. That would be paternalistic and imply that you can’t do it yourself. and I believe that you can, though i think it might be a bit easier if tyou havevsome internal resistance from whites like myself. but that’s neither here nor there. I fight racism because it is evil, and I don’t want to contribute to or collaborate with evil. i fight it because its a sickness in my community and i want to save myself from it. “
what white liberals must understand is that people of color owe us nothing. they don’t owe us gratitude when we speak out against racism. they don’t owe us a pat on the back. they don’t owe us a goddamned thing. and if all they do is respond to our efforts with a terse “its about time” then that’s too bad. get over it.
Challenging racism and white supremacy is what we should be doing. Resistance is what we need to do for us.