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White people using the race card

October 27, 2013

You keep using that word - Princess Bride

Years of socialization on the power and privilege of the individual (in my white circles) makes it so easy to take affront when I perceive something bad happens to me that is good for others whose skin color is different than mine. I can creatively craft a story that blames it on racism.

As white man Jamie Utt writes about  people who say: That’s Racist Against White People:

These are White folks who are claiming that the Obamacare tax on tanning beds is “racist” against White people. These are White folks who are claiming that affirmative action is racist against them. These are the White folks who honestly believe they suffer more racism than people of Color.

He goes on to say: “Too often, when people are talking about racism or sexism or heterosexism or any other form of oppression, they’re simply referring to when a person was made to feel bad for or about their identity. There is absolutely no acknowledgement of wider systems of oppression and power.”

One of the most important concepts for us all to learn is that the “isms” are not about individual behaviors (although those acts of bias and bigotry absolutely matter).  It is the institutional and organizational power under-girded by such beliefs that sustains oppression. That’s the card we need to always hold up.

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