once upon a time in shaolin - buy the book now!
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 38

Thread: Why White People Are Afraid

  1. #1

    Default Why White People Are Afraid

    By Robert Jensen

    It may seem self-indulgent to talk about the fears of white people in a white-supremacist society. After all, what do white people really have to be afraid of in a world structured on white privilege? It may be self-indulgent, but it's critical to understand because these fears are part of what keeps many white people from confronting ourselves and the system.
    The first, and perhaps most crucial, fear is that of facing the fact that some of what we white people have is unearned. It's a truism that we don't really make it on our own; we all have plenty of help to achieve whatever we achieve. That means that some of what we have is the product of the work of others, distributed unevenly across society, over which we may have little or no control individually. No matter how hard we work or how smart we are, we all know -- when we are honest with ourselves -- that we did not get where we are by merit alone. And many white people are afraid of that fact.
    A second fear is crasser: White people's fear of losing what we have -- literally the fear of losing things we own if at some point the economic, political, and social systems in which we live become more just and equitable. That fear is not completely irrational; if white privilege -- along with the other kinds of privilege many of us have living in the middle class and above in an imperialist country that dominates much of the rest of the world -- were to evaporate, the distribution of resources in the United States and in the world would change, and that would be a good thing. We would have less. That redistribution of wealth would be fairer and more just. But in a world in which people have become used to affluence and material comfort, that possibility can be scary.
    A third fear involves a slightly different scenario -- a world in which non-white people might someday gain the kind of power over whites that whites have long monopolized. One hears this constantly in the conversation about immigration, the lingering fear that somehow "they" (meaning not just Mexican-Americans and Latinos more generally, but any non-white immigrants) are going to keep moving to this country and at some point become the majority demographically.
    Even though whites likely can maintain a disproportionate share of wealth, those numbers will eventually translate into political, economic, and cultural power. And then what? Many whites fear that the result won't be a system that is more just, but a system in which white people become the minority and could be treated as whites have long treated non-whites. This is perhaps the deepest fear that lives in the heart of whiteness. It is not really a fear of non-white people. It's a fear of the depravity that lives in our own hearts: Are non-white people capable of doing to us the barbaric things we have done to them?
    A final fear has probably always haunted white people but has become more powerful since the society has formally rejected overt racism: The fear of being seen, and seen-through, by non-white people. Virtually every white person I know, including white people fighting for racial justice and including myself, carries some level of racism in our minds and hearts and bodies. In our heads, we can pretend to eliminate it, but most of us know it is there. And because we are all supposed to be appropriately anti-racist, we carry that lingering racism with a new kind of fear: What if non-white people look at us and can see it? What if they can see through us? What if they can look past our anti-racist vocabulary and sense that we still don't really know how to treat them as equals? What if they know about us what we don't dare know about ourselves? What if they can see what we can't even voice?
    I work in a large university with a stated commitment to racial justice. All of my faculty colleagues, even the most reactionary, have a stated commitment to racial justice. And yet the fear is palpable.
    It is a fear I have struggled with, and I remember the first time I ever articulated that fear in public. I was on a panel with several other professors at the University of Texas discussing race and politics in the O.J. Simpson case. Next to me was an African American professor. I was talking about media; he was talking about the culture's treatment of the sexuality of black men. As we talked, I paid attention to what was happening in me as I sat next to him. I felt uneasy. I had no reason to be uncomfortable around him, but I wasn't completely comfortable. During the question-and-answer period -- I don't remember what question sparked my comment -- I turned to him and said something like, "It's important to talk about what really goes on between black and white people in this country. For instance, why am I feeling afraid of you? I know I have no reason to be afraid, but I am. Why is that?"
    My reaction wasn't a crude physical fear, not some remnant of being taught that black men are dangerous (though I have had such reactions to black men on the street in certain circumstances). Instead, I think it was that fear of being seen through by non-white people, especially when we are talking about race. In that particular moment, for a white academic on an O.J. panel, my fear was of being exposed as a fraud or some kind of closet racist.
    Even if I thought I knew what I was talking about and was being appropriately anti-racist in my analysis, I was afraid that some lingering trace of racism would show through, and that my black colleague would identify it for all in the room to see. After I publicly recognized the fear, I think I started to let go of some of it. Like anything, it's a struggle. I can see ways in which I have made progress. I can see that in many situations I speak more freely and honestly as I let go of the fear. I make mistakes, but as I become less terrified of making mistakes I find that I can trust my instincts more and be more open to critique when my instincts are wrong.

    Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of, most recently, The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege (City Lights Books), from which this essay is excerpted.

  2. #2
    Just walk away. Gawd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Unlimited Power
    Posts
    10,924
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    iron lung, i know you well, i deal with you, like a bad spell....
    see the trails, burn burn, red stripe, vicodine......

  3. #3
    healthy merking LHX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    38
    Posts
    5,792
    Rep Power
    25

    Default

    its not gonna be a fun transition for a lot of people
    your mother's dick

  4. #4
    Semi Retired Prolifical ENG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    34
    Posts
    9,643
    Rep Power
    47

    Default

    Nope, it wont be fun for a lot of people. It is hard to imagine that some day the system will be reverse and "a system in which white people become the minority and could be treated as whites have long treated non-whites". At that time many *hope* that the long "progress" will be over....but who knows.



  5. #5
    Fuck your thing Sexy Jasper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    niggershire
    Posts
    4,426
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    This thread is a piece of shit and I haven't even read a word but I'm very skilled in the art of assumption.


  6. #6
    healthy merking LHX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    38
    Posts
    5,792
    Rep Power
    25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by With Erika View Post
    This thread is a piece of shit and I haven't even read a word but I'm very skilled in the art of assumption.
    its actually better than one would assume given Thread Title and Thread Starter
    your mother's dick

  7. #7
    healthy merking LHX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    38
    Posts
    5,792
    Rep Power
    25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Prolifical ENG View Post
    Nope, it wont be fun for a lot of people. It is hard to imagine that some day the system will be reverse and "a system in which white people become the minority and could be treated as whites have long treated non-whites". At that time many *hope* that the long "progress" will be over....but who knows.
    thats the irony

    it wont be that way

    if the white people accepted the situation and allowed the property to go back to the people, they would be forgiven for everything they have done

    they would not be punished
    your mother's dick

  8. #8
    king disguised as beggar. the silencer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    i roam the earth's surface
    Age
    32
    Posts
    6,796
    Rep Power
    39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LHX View Post
    its actually better than one would assume given Thread Title and Thread Starter
    this is startin to get ridiculous..

    it wood be a different kind of annoying if it was actually a black dude with the handle Black Man who kept postin this stuff...but its some weirdo white dude.

    i didnt read a word of it either btw..

  9. #9
    Fuck your thing Sexy Jasper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    niggershire
    Posts
    4,426
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LHX View Post
    its actually better than one would assume given Thread Title and Thread Starter
    I just read it. Even though I was expecting it to be bullshit, I was still disappointed. It has to be pretty shitty if I didn't expect anything and I still felt robbed.


  10. #10
    healthy merking LHX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    38
    Posts
    5,792
    Rep Power
    25

    Default

    im not a big fan of the cutting and pasting of articles anyway
    your mother's dick

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Man View Post
    By Robert Jensen

    It may seem self-indulgent to talk about the fears of white people in a white-supremacist society. After all, what do white people really have to be afraid of in a world structured on white privilege? It may be self-indulgent, but it's critical to understand because these fears are part of what keeps many white people from confronting ourselves and the system.
    The first, and perhaps most crucial, fear is that of facing the fact that some of what we white people have is unearned. It's a truism that we don't really make it on our own; we all have plenty of help to achieve whatever we achieve. That means that some of what we have is the product of the work of others, distributed unevenly across society, over which we may have little or no control individually. No matter how hard we work or how smart we are, we all know -- when we are honest with ourselves -- that we did not get where we are by merit alone. And many white people are afraid of that fact.
    A second fear is crasser: White people's fear of losing what we have -- literally the fear of losing things we own if at some point the economic, political, and social systems in which we live become more just and equitable. That fear is not completely irrational; if white privilege -- along with the other kinds of privilege many of us have living in the middle class and above in an imperialist country that dominates much of the rest of the world -- were to evaporate, the distribution of resources in the United States and in the world would change, and that would be a good thing. We would have less. That redistribution of wealth would be fairer and more just. But in a world in which people have become used to affluence and material comfort, that possibility can be scary.
    A third fear involves a slightly different scenario -- a world in which non-white people might someday gain the kind of power over whites that whites have long monopolized. One hears this constantly in the conversation about immigration, the lingering fear that somehow "they" (meaning not just Mexican-Americans and Latinos more generally, but any non-white immigrants) are going to keep moving to this country and at some point become the majority demographically.
    Even though whites likely can maintain a disproportionate share of wealth, those numbers will eventually translate into political, economic, and cultural power. And then what? Many whites fear that the result won't be a system that is more just, but a system in which white people become the minority and could be treated as whites have long treated non-whites. This is perhaps the deepest fear that lives in the heart of whiteness. It is not really a fear of non-white people. It's a fear of the depravity that lives in our own hearts: Are non-white people capable of doing to us the barbaric things we have done to them?
    A final fear has probably always haunted white people but has become more powerful since the society has formally rejected overt racism: The fear of being seen, and seen-through, by non-white people. Virtually every white person I know, including white people fighting for racial justice and including myself, carries some level of racism in our minds and hearts and bodies. In our heads, we can pretend to eliminate it, but most of us know it is there. And because we are all supposed to be appropriately anti-racist, we carry that lingering racism with a new kind of fear: What if non-white people look at us and can see it? What if they can see through us? What if they can look past our anti-racist vocabulary and sense that we still don't really know how to treat them as equals? What if they know about us what we don't dare know about ourselves? What if they can see what we can't even voice?
    I work in a large university with a stated commitment to racial justice. All of my faculty colleagues, even the most reactionary, have a stated commitment to racial justice. And yet the fear is palpable.
    It is a fear I have struggled with, and I remember the first time I ever articulated that fear in public. I was on a panel with several other professors at the University of Texas discussing race and politics in the O.J. Simpson case. Next to me was an African American professor. I was talking about media; he was talking about the culture's treatment of the sexuality of black men. As we talked, I paid attention to what was happening in me as I sat next to him. I felt uneasy. I had no reason to be uncomfortable around him, but I wasn't completely comfortable. During the question-and-answer period -- I don't remember what question sparked my comment -- I turned to him and said something like, "It's important to talk about what really goes on between black and white people in this country. For instance, why am I feeling afraid of you? I know I have no reason to be afraid, but I am. Why is that?"
    My reaction wasn't a crude physical fear, not some remnant of being taught that black men are dangerous (though I have had such reactions to black men on the street in certain circumstances). Instead, I think it was that fear of being seen through by non-white people, especially when we are talking about race. In that particular moment, for a white academic on an O.J. panel, my fear was of being exposed as a fraud or some kind of closet racist.
    Even if I thought I knew what I was talking about and was being appropriately anti-racist in my analysis, I was afraid that some lingering trace of racism would show through, and that my black colleague would identify it for all in the room to see. After I publicly recognized the fear, I think I started to let go of some of it. Like anything, it's a struggle. I can see ways in which I have made progress. I can see that in many situations I speak more freely and honestly as I let go of the fear. I make mistakes, but as I become less terrified of making mistakes I find that I can trust my instincts more and be more open to critique when my instincts are wrong.

    Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of, most recently, The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege (City Lights Books), from which this essay is excerpted.

    What's the matter? Are you afraid things aren't going to be "civilized" white boy?

  12. #12
    No artificial sleazy
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    46,688
    Rep Power
    10

    Default

    LHX needs to make a sticky thread similar to the Dan Cooley one in KTL

  13. #13

    Default

    pure penis envy

    "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.
    He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

  14. #14
    The People's Champ Visionz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Age
    38
    Posts
    13,653
    Rep Power
    53

    Default

    The real question is "Will western thought disappear when white peoples majority hold on shit goes away?" If the mentality lingers longer than the skin color, it won't really matter, and the division amongst people won't really go away. Everybody likes to pretend that shit's about color. The color of the man's skin is just another excuse, and relied on often cuz its an easy one, to create a state of division amongst the people. We we're divided up among ourselves, killing ourselves, creating situations for ourselves to be killed, then we have no time to focus on who the real enemy is, AND THEY KNOW IT. Does anybody in here really believe that history keeps on repeating itself by accident?

    Support the Real. Click HERE

  15. #15
    i think i'm high
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    on da wave~
    Posts
    6,227
    Rep Power
    26

    Default

    i hope it never reverses, i hope it is eliminated, nobody deserves to go through that shit...

    Realness

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •