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My problem with the term "White" - Why linking the oppressor to skin colour is playing their game

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: Geez Che Sent: 12/18/2019 12:17:07 PM
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Black people can never become white, but some non-whites can become white, even Chinese.

I read of the Chinese workers in Africa saying proudly how "they call us white".

Who would not want to enjoy the privileges of whiteness if they can reach them, in many ways it is the same as wanting to be rich.

Black people can go on about how evil the whites are, but they don't have the privileges, so if you can't beat them, join them.

There is a book called "How the Irish Became White" by the Russian Noel Ignatiev that was very favourably reviewed by Mumia Abu Jamal.

It details this very process of the formerly oppressed jumping ahead by becoming white when previously they were not.

Even the working class of Britain were not considered white at one point.

So why use the term "white" for the oppressors linking it to skin colour, thus giving others who previously were out of the picture and even allies the opportunity to switch sides.

You can argue that Black people don't need anybody else, but allowing allies to become enemies seems foolishness to me.

This is my problem with the term "White". It is the language of the oppressor.

Thank you.


Messenger: IPXninja Sent: 12/18/2019 2:21:54 PM
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I hear you.

And I think we should be careful of not doing to others what was done to us because that validates the way we were treated.

This issue I have is that I can't switch vocabulary if the truth is simply inconvenient. When black people talk about white people we're never talking about every single white person. Maybe some do, but not most. We already understand that it was never all whites that were to blame. We are well aware of the work of white abolitionists who helped us to freedom. The thing you have to understand is that this wasn't a fight we chose. It chose us. And it chose us on the basis that we were black.

So there was naturally an "equal and opposite reaction" to that action. We became defensive because we could never be sure which side an individual white person was on. Because even though all whites didn't own slaves that doesn't mean the rest were innocent. It doesn't mean that the rest didn't participate in Jim Crow, or were slave catchers, or were against equal education for our children. It doesn't mean they weren't okay with us getting hung or shot.

When the Tulsa riot happened it was a familiar story to us; another white woman saying a black man did something to her. Were the good white folks enough to prevent the others from murdering us, burning our businesses, bombing us from our own airplanes? No, the fact that other whites were benefited indirectly allowed them to turn a blind eye to plight. And even though they have been in the majority for oh about 400 years, in a DEMOCRACY, that is literally defined as mob rule, we haven't had an easy time being treated fairly. At one time we were supposed to get 40 acres and a mule as reparations.

Meanwhile, all these other people who may not have been able to call themselves "white" before, sure have no problems calling themselves white in order to take advantage of benefits and opportunities. Steven Miller is Jewish. But he carries the torch of white supremacy and white nationalism. It's because he identifies as white. It's not called "Caucasian supremacy". It's called "white supremacy". This is how THEY identify. They certainly don't take whatever name black people would call them. And if they call themselves white supremacists who am I to say otherwise?

The word gay didn't originally mean homosexual. It meant happy. The problem with words is that they convey ideas and therefore depend on the context of the person expressing the idea, not the person who has their own idea about what that word should mean. If someone's happy in 2019 they're not going to say they're feeling gay. They're just not because they don't want any confusion. Well I'm the same way. I also don't want any confusion. Part of white supremacy is the notion that "white" is superior and "black" is inferior. It doesn't matter if it's right or not. What matters is that is the basis for how they treat us.

Now if non-racists whites who don't mind being called white even though I can still see them in the snow, and because I myself only agree to calling myself black when my actual skin color is brown because I am a part of a shared experience that was caused by people calling themselves white... if they want to renounce the color white and be called Cream, Peach, or Beige... I fully support them. If they want to make racists whites start using different terminology, I'll call them whatever they call themselves. I'll call them Ivory if they want. Why? Because what's they claim to be and that's what they claim I am inferior to. If that's inconvenient for other whites it's hard for me to be sympathetic because it is and has been awfully inconvenient to be called black. But I accept the label because of the shared experience.

My ancestors being slaves was very inconvenient and not a highlight of pride. We have our pride in spite of the lowly condition our ancestors suffered through! If you're not particularly proud of everything people who happened to be white have done... ok. No disrespect, but... And? Do you think its any different for "black people"?

Again, we didn't choose this fight and we didn't choose these words. We didn't even choose this language! So why should it be more convenient for you than it is for us? Why should you be entitled to that privilege?


Messenger: Geez Che Sent: 12/18/2019 2:43:39 PM
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Yes XP, you are right, it is not your issue, but I find it frustrating. If pushed white people will tell me I am not white, that I am Indo-European instead, but they don't make a thing out of it verbally unless pushed. The assumption is because I am closer to white, I would naturally want to be assimilated, and indeed many of my compatriots are willing to be assimilated if it means greater access to privilege. We know that white people do not see us as white, but many of us are fighting to be seen as white, something which I think is a mistake. It is a different aspect of white supremacy than that which blacks have to deal with, but it does affect blacks, which is why I posted. Assimilation affects blacks as well, but what I am getting at is how other groups of non-whites are shuffled into a hierarchy by white supremacy with blacks said to be at the bottom. Those who are neither white nor black can leave racial oppression easier but at the expense of becoming the oppressor, this then adds to the oppression of blacks and makes enemies between peoples who were never enemies in the past. As I said, it is not your issue, but it is the main reason I came here to try and resolve for myself. I'd certainly much rather whites didn't verbally try and categorize me but not if it means turning me into the enemy of good people around the world who are struggling. Thank you.


Messenger: Geez Che Sent: 12/18/2019 3:00:02 PM
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I actually wondered about this subject in relation to Nesta.

I don't know who he is, but he posted a picture of Archbishop Makarios (the liberation leader of Cyprus from the British) with His Imperial Majesty.

This made me think he was either Cypriot or maybe picking up on me for some reason.

At any rate, if he was Cypriot, I understood where he was coming from with his preaching of peace and no "race" existing today.

I thought he was somewhat na´ve and misguided about black reality, but I could see why he would want to make these kinds of points if he was Cypriot. Getting away from "racial" identities is the first thing on anyone's mind, and if you are succeeding, as we are, having joined Europe now, the last thing you want is for "racial" conflict to rear its ugly head again.

I know this is not the reality of blacks, without wanting to reinforce that reality by saying this.

I really do wonder about Nesta, who was he, an agent?


Messenger: IPXninja Sent: 12/18/2019 3:48:31 PM
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Geez Che,

I respect your heart and intentions. Hopefully, you didn't get offended by what I said as I wasn't trying to chastise.

If you don't mind me asking, where are you from? If you prefer not to be thought of as white then I'd like to think of you as identified with wherever you came from. I respect that.

I think part of the assumption on the part of whites is more about breeding. No matter what you are, one black parent automatically makes you black. However, plenty of blacks have been so light in color that they've been able to pass as white. If you're going to get discriminated against do you volunteer for it? I think this is more than just one's own sense of ethical obligations as they may have children who are affected or ways that they can use their ability to pass in order to help others. It's a black and white issue but not a black and white decision. It's messy and it's complicated.

On the other hand, if you're white that means genetically, other whites don't need to really care where you came from. You can be Italian, Russian, Slovenian, Israeli, German, British, Irish, etc. I can only imagine a scenario in which a white woman would take a man to bed and order him to get out once he revealed he had German parent. And she's all "I thought you were Greek!" Of course this doesn't happen. Because within the white racial construct, all of these nationalities are okay and perfectly American if they immigrated. If you're not white though... You can be American but there's an asterisk. You can identify as an Italian American because of Italian pride but there's no asterisk. You have all rights and privileges of being white because whites can breed with other whites. Even Asians can pass as white for the same reason. Asians can be incredibly fair skinned, even whiter than many whites. But it's like if America was a dating app and not just a melting pot. A lot of whites have a limit to who they want to melt with and it tends to be black vs white. At the same time, this also becomes taboo and turns it into a fantasy for blacks and whites.

I can usually tell the difference between Chinese, Japanese, and Korean although many faces can fool me. But there are subtle differences. But most people just see "Asian". While I can guess about some whites its harder for me to tell the difference.

Example: Robert De Niro. He is of Irish and Italian descent on his father's side, while his mother had Dutch, English, French, and German ancestry.

What is he? White. Like I said... in terms of breeding? Open season as long as you have the right complexion. He is just about every kind of white you can think of but no inclusion of anything from any black countries (of which there are many). And so this is why whites don't generally care as long as you look white because they've mixed so deeply into each other that white is all of those people and ancestries.

You made a good point about whites being shuffled into this hierarchy whether they like it or not. Without your perspective I would just assume that everyone was cool with that; accepted it willingly.

However, that being said, being labeled "white" doesn't make you into anyone's enemy. Because when black people say "white" it is under different contexts. If we're saying "that white dude" it is most likely just using color to distinguish someone at that location. However, when we say "white people", yeah it is confusing, but its typically focused narrowly on the context of what we're discussing. If we're talking about white supremacy it doesn't refer to all whites because we know that all whites are not white supremacists. It's sort of like saying "white people can't dance". Of course this isn't true. It's a stereotype. We just don't know that many whites who can dance the same way we do. That doesn't mean every black person can dance or that every black male has a huge penis. There are negative stereotypes about everyone. There's a whole bunch about black people. Because its true for some people some of the time people feel like its okay to use the stereotype. But if I say "man... white people"... my friend knows that I'm talking about a group of people who share the same generally higher level of privilege and opportunity than we do; relatively speaking. It doesn't mean Billy Bob from the trailer park can walk into any bank and get a $300,000 loan with dry wit and a smile. And this is the same way that women call each other "bitch" without a negative meaning. It's all about context.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask. It's my pleasure to help if I can.


Messenger: Geez Che Sent: 12/18/2019 4:07:03 PM
Reply

The British context is different.

Both Cypriots and Irish fought the British in recent times against British colonialism, though from and with different contexts.

In the fifties Cypriots in Britain had to carry knives often to protect themselves from British nationalists.

In the seventies, it was common for hotels and restaurants to have signs saying "no Blacks, no Irish, no Dogs", this is in the seventies, not really that long ago, although that shows my age.

Cypriots have more Arab DNA than Greek, although they are definitely culturally Ancient Greek for the most part. They can vary in skin colour from as dark as Indians to as light as Italians. Thus unlike the Irish, they are more Semitic and Indo-European, so not just politically not white, but genetically as well, although to be honest I think genetics is largely statistics which can mean anything.

Cyprus is still partially occupied by Britain, another comparison with the Irish, in that Britain maintains its Sovereign military bases there and holds guarantor powers over the island.

However, whether there is an asterisk attached to Cypriots in Britain is debatable, at least whether it is attached out loud.

Indeed the British way is to try never to say anything out loud.

Racism in Britain is definitely different from the U.S., whether it is better or worse is a good question.



Messenger: Geez Che Sent: 12/18/2019 4:34:39 PM
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In fact, I would say in Britain there is an asterisk attached to all immigrants, though many British try to pretend there isn't or even go out of their way to try and avoid using it, but it is there in a way that I don't think it is in the U.S. since everyone apart from the first nations people are themselves immigrants, whether voluntary or involuntary.


Messenger: IPXninja Sent: 12/19/2019 11:40:38 AM
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Well in the US, even though almost everyone is an immigrant besides the Native Americans, this is not how many whites think unfortunately. Many see it is theirs because they fought for it, bought portions of it, traded for portions of it, settled unused portions, stole portions, etc. So once they did that, it established America as a homeland for those people... who of course were white, which is only relevant because it helps to form the basis of white nationalism.

So you have to start with the capitalistic notion of ownership. Everything before ownership is denied. The fact that the natives helped them to survive the winter and we celebrate that at Thanksgiving... this evidence of hospitality, a remembrance of their then status as immigrants and guests... denied. However they obtained ownership is, in their minds, righteous and just- from where the notion of "manifest destiny" comes into play. It is simply the idea that if you got away with it-if you were allowed to do it, like a con artist tricking someone out of their life savings, then it was God's will and now they are the rightful heirs to everything taken. Never mind, that the Natives had a whole different philosophy about land ownership. They had territories, but no one could own the land itself. After this point that "America" was established by whites, then the people who came over after were the "immigrants" to that new country of "America" and whites already here began calling themselves "native born".

America sometimes forgets its history. But that's a part of that assimilation you were referring to.

Before it was the Mexicans coming to work, it was the Italians. Before that, the Chinese and the Irish. The problem was unskilled labor competing with unskilled "native born" Americans. They were both racist AND nationalist, hating anyone they saw as a threat to their sources of income. Hatred of black people, I think, comes from economics more so than color. It is simply the color that helped unite them against us. They liked us better when we were free labor, used by the rich to do the jobs they didn't want to do; like picking cotton in the hot Southern sun and humidity. But when blacks were free they suddenly had to compete and this is where they really don't like the competition inherent to capitalism. Because capitalism is supposed to benefit THEM, as a group. When it doesn't that's when they interfere with it, and that's how you get labor unions and things like that which originally helped them shut black people out of their job markets. The same mindset, is of course, wanting to push back on globalization and foreign work... even though... that is also simply a product of capitalism. If you take the limits off corporations that is simply what they will do. And it's okay if it negatively affects other people. And competition is some kind of noble thing, when its other people competing in ways that create an advantage for them.

Now some people would say, "so what's the big deal about racism if Americans treated everyone the same way?" Well, first, they didn't. Blacks were not the only group to be lynched. But, to my knowledge, that was the only group to be treated as subhuman. And so after awhile, whites assimilated the irish and all these other groups into their "white privilege" while still excluding black and brown people.

Of course before all this, the rich were able to create a more hostile relationship between the poor of different races and nationalities. All they had to do was convince poor whites that they were at least better than blacks. So instead of working together we ended up working and competing against each other which created advantages for the rich; not to mention allowing them to stay out of the spotlight as a threat. People blamed other poor people and supported the rich getting even richer, thinking the rich were their friends... or at least... allies. Especially since they were white too, "in their minds this mattered". The rich could have hired them but instead it was cheaper to buy slaves. This turned into globalization because it was cheaper to employ poor Chinese in China. And NOW... the threat isn't Mexicans as much as it is automation because robots are better than slaves, from their vantage point. But again... poor people think the rich guy (Trump), who has a history of hiring cheap labor and hiding his money from taxes, is on their side. But when have the rich ever been on the side of the poor, throughout history? And I mean like WORLD history. We keep getting played against each other when there is a bigger threat and a bigger enemy that distracts us with perceived threats. And yes... as long as those poor whites who embrace racism, continue to do so, we cannot possibly work with them or see them as common allies against a common threat. And that's the point. That's the purpose. And that's why racism isn't just Billy Bob and his red neck cousin. It's systemic.

But in talking about system and institutionalized racism, black people aren't saying all whites are racist or that we don't like white people or that they are our enemies. I understand why some perceive this but its often with the assistance of the media instead of simply asking us. And I know this because fairly recently I've had good conversations where I was straight up asked the question. We need to ask questions instead of assuming the worst about each other. That's how systemic racism from the top is able to infect people at the bottom. We, and the failure is on both sides, fail to communicate.

But this is also why, strategically, the system we call Babylon, assimilates other ethnic groups, even ones it opposed in the past, into this racial construct called "white". Because this enables those assimilated factions to be united against "the other"; mainly non-whites. It does this through color as well as religion for the purpose of discrimination which is all about creating advantages for whites. They want us to believe they don't do this because they don't "hate" anyone when in reality hatred isn't a requirement of discrimination. It's a socio-economic construct designed for a socio-economic impact. I recently met a white woman with black children who is more passionate about supporting black businesses because she understands the economics of power, than most black people I know. It truly saddens me that my people, as a whole, do not seem to understand this. People get emotional and feelings get hurt when in reality this was always about money.

Until we talk about MONEY... in meaningful way as it relates to power... we will continue to fight the battle that Babylon wants us to fight; fighting other groups of poor people. And all the while they are transferring more and more of the worlds wealth to themselves because they really don't care about race very much at all, not ours. And not their own. What defines them, isn't being white (because they have no need of such a crutch) but rather being wealthy. So while we're talking about love and peace, they're calculating war for profits.

So are you white? Or something else? I don't know. Does it really matter? I think the fact you don't want to be assimilated... that matters. I think if you support liberation... that matters. I think if you are personally an ally... that matters. I think if you support minority owned businesses... that matters. If actually have real conversations with black people... that matters. If we can respect each other as individuals... that matters. Because eventually we have to build something together that can be an alternative to Babylon. And that's probably not going to be a nation but rather more of a "network". Think about the disruptive power of the internet and how it connects us. That's the key.


Messenger: Geez Che Sent: 12/19/2019 11:55:08 AM
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As you say talking about money, or rather capital, ownership of the means of production, as Marx would say, is crucial.

Taking ownership of one's identity is a big first step in owning the means of production, this is why many so called business gurus say that in order to be successful you have to strike out on your own, but that is hard if you have no income or savings to support you.

I don't want to talk personally, many blacks are far more advanced than me in taking ownership of their identity, plus so long as I identify as Cypriot and not white, they belong to a bigger group than me. As an example, blacks in London make up over thirty per cent of the population whereas Cypriots make up barely two per cent. Yet another incentive to become white I suppose.

I want to take you up on one point though. You say "But, to my knowledge, that was the only group to be treated as subhuman."

This simply isn't true, in Noel Ignatiev's book "How The Irish Became White" he details how the Irish were viewed as an inferior race, and it is well known that the aristocrats of Britain in the 19th Century were measuring the noses and other body parts of the British working class in an attempt to establish them as subhuman. You can argue that inferior race and subhuman mean different things, but I think that is just semantics.

I want to thank you for reasoning with me. As I have said elsewhere my aim is to be of mutual benefit in my reasonings, but I do have many failings and challenges myself which are non-mutual and I should probably address on my own.

Thank you.


Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 12/20/2019 6:14:14 AM
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The word 'blacks' always seems a way to I. Black I endorse. African most correct. But blacks ..... that additional s make I interpret it funny. I have no explanation for this..... at all.

Raspec Idem
Good talk


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