[ This is an excerpt from a post on my old blog from April 22, 2009 ]
Fake news bobbleheads and self-congratulatory liberals try to reduce racism to a matter of personal virtue on the one hand and unhinged hate on the other. That’s generally not what I’m talking about when I talk about racism. Certainly right-wing hate groups are a real problem, but for me at least, the chances of having a physical run-in with such groups on any given day are relatively low compared with the certainty of dealing with the subtler racism of liberal imperialism.
When I talk about racism, I’m talking about the shape of power and inequality embedded in socio-economic structures of the world; embedded in culture, geopolitics, language, worldview; embedded in corporatist neo-colonialism — one of racism’s crowning achievements for the sheer audacity of its dizzying mansion of derivative mirrors — whose systemic maldistribution and aggressive exploitation funnels wealth out of brown communities and brown countries, into an elite class of white-dominated supra-national entities, resulting in mass deprivation and destruction in countless communities of color.
To my mind, the great problem of the 21st century is the whiteness problem. Obviously I’m perilously paraphrasing the well-worn centennial declaration by the iconic anti-racist W.E.B. DuBois. I’ve tweaked the saying to suit my purpose of the moment, which is to shift the focus from a battle line to a warring state. Because when we talk about the color line, when we talk about racism, the fundamental causal problem we’re really talking about iswhiteness.
Needless to say, whiteness is not genetic; it’s socialized, not inherited; though ironically, whiteness deploys a pseudo-genetic basis in its contempt for The Other. Whiteness is a socio-political construct and a fluid strategic ideology of power which has only existed for the past five centuries or so, during the era of racist globalization and colonialism. When I talk about the whiteness problem, I’m not necessarily talking about white people, I’m talking about whiteness. Whiteness is a unifying thread running through many of the great problems of our time: environmental destruction, the war racket, famine, human migrations, curable yet untreated disease. Attempts to address any of these issues are severely hindered by whiteness; that is, by the existential drive of a global elite, profoundly informed by whiteness, to live in dominion over, rather than harmony with, humanity and nature.
Thought it was important to reblog in full and from the original author. And thank you.
I understand that there is this debate with white people about the beard. Some people love it or hate it. Jobs will make you cut it to fit into the mold. For men of color the beard or any facial hair is very important to us or at least me,LOL! I have always had some type of facial hair once I started growing it, and I changed it or trimmed down for whatever stage of life I was in. I am in my forties now, and quite frankly I like to looking like a grown man. Without Facial hair I become bland and washed out. Almost pedophile like,LOL. I need it like a white guy would need perfectly coifed hair on his head. Most men look better with groomed facial hair at whatever length you wear it. I have always kept my goatee’s and beards at a presentable length and groomed to the max. Cutting it off to fit someone’s perception of what’s presentable is not an option. I can’t speak for other men, but I can say that men of color, especially black men need facial hair. Don’t believe me? Ask any black woman, and most gay black men!
I don’t know, man. Being an ally isn’t about drawing up a list of all the terrible things your people have done, and then sitting in a corner for a certain amount of time every day and feeling bad about it. That…