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Why do Whitists Lie SO Much about their Color-Aroused Behavior?

Cross-posted at PoliticalFleshFeast and the Francis L. Holland Blog.


Why do so many white people lie so much?  (Obviously, white people don’t have a monopoly on lying,  but so many of them do it so habitually and naturally when it comes to matters related to skin color and whitism, that it just disgusts and infuriates me.)

Take, for example, white bloggers’ insistence that they don’t know the skin color of other bloggers on the Internet, and look at the case of “CelticDiva”:  If we look up the word “Celtic” at Merriam Webster’s dictionary, this is what we find:

  Main Entry: Celtic

Function:  noun

Date:  1739

a group of Indo-European languages usually subdivided into Brythonic and Goidelic and now largely confined to Brittany, Wales, Ireland, and the Scottish Highlands – see indo-european languages

The word “Celtic” is virtually synonymous with “white.”  So, the whitist assertion and insistence that whites cannot possibly be discriminating against Black blogs because they don’t know the skin color of the other bloggers in the blogosphere is simply a lie in this case. “CelticDiva means “WhiteDiva”!

  Moreover,  whitediva has a photograph of herself at her blog showing her to be a white woman and this photograph was, until recently, the very first thing that readers saw when visiting her blog.

Now look at WhiteDiva’s bloglist.  She doesn’t have one at all.  In whitediva’s recent Alaska Daily article, she says,

The blogosphere needs to more actively work toward integration and help and encourage minority bloggers.

 Within the whitosphere, the standard way to “help and encourage” other white bloggers is by linking to them.  So, if WhiteDiva sincerely wanted to “help and encourage” Black bloggers, she could and would simply cut and paste the entire AfroSpear bloglist into her blog so that she and other white bloggers could have access to a world which they, instead, are intent upon ignoring.  Whitediva’s “generous” spirit is precisely the type warned against by Paulo Freire in the first chapter of his ground-breaking work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed:

. . . sooner or later being less human leads the oppressed to struggle against those who made them so. In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both.

This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power; cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any attempt to “soften” the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their “generosity,” the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well. An unjust social order is the permanent fount of this “generosity” which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty. That is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate at the slightest threat to its source.

True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the “rejects of life” to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands – whether of individuals or entire peoples – need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.  Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Chapter I.

If whitediva wanted to “help and encourage” Black bloggers, she simply could and would link at her blog to “AfroSpear in the News”, a blog which compiles the over 90 times in the last year when the mainstream white media has covered the AfroSpear, its initiatives and its members.   Doing so would help to educate whitediva and her readers about Black bloggers and would help empower Black bloggers to get our messages out.  But whitediva and other whitosphere bloggers are opposed to empowering Black bloggers.

It is only when the oppressed find the oppressor out and become involved in the organized struggle for their liberation that they begin to believe in themselves. This discovery cannot be purely intellectual but must involve action; nor can it be limited to mere activism, but must include serious reflection: only then will it be a praxis.  [The “praxis” is a constant process of evaluating one’s situation in collaboration with one’s peers, deciding what to do about it, taking action, evaluating the success of the action taken, and then deciding what new actions can be taken in the process of liberation.]    Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Chapter I.

Whitediva is not going to do that, because her blather about wanting to “help and encourage” Black bloggers is nothing but misinformative propaganda, whose purpose is not to create meaningful dialog but to subvert and prevent it.Have a look at whitediva’s Alaska Daily article.  It does not name any of the Black  bloggers involved in the controversy, does not provide links to any of our relevant blog posts, and doesn’t  even link to the mainstream media articles that have been written about the controversy.  So, her article was about advertising HER, while scrupulously avoiding any behavior that would encourage white people to read any AfroSpear or afrosphere blog.

The point of departure of the movement lies in the people themselves. But since people do not exist apart from the world, apart from reality the movement must begin with the human-world relationship. Accordingly, the point of departure must always be with men and women in the “here and now,” which constitutes the situation within which they are submerged, from which they emerge, and in which they intervene. Only by starting from this situation – which determines their perception of it – can they begin to move. To do this authentically they must perceive their state not as fated and unalterable, but merely as limiting – and therefore challenging.

( . . . )

A deepened consciousness of their situation leads people to apprehend that situation as an historical reality susceptible of transformation. Resignation gives way to the drive for transformation and inquiry, over which men feel themselves to be in control, if people, as historical beings necessarily engaged with other people in a movement of inquiry, did not control that movement, it would be (and is) a violation of their humanity. Any situation in which some individuals prevent others from engaging in the process of inquiry is one of violence. The means used are not important; to alienate human beings from their own decision-making is to change them into objects.

This movement of inquiry must be directed towards humanization – the people’s historical vocation. The pursuit of full humanity however, cannot be carried out in isolation or individualism, but only in fellowship and solidarity; therefore it cannot unfold in the antagonistic relations between oppressors and oppressed.

No one can be authentically human while he prevents others from being so. Attempting to be more human, individualistically, leads to having more, egotistically a form of dehumanization. Not that it is not fundamental to have in order to be human. Precisely because it is necessary, some men’s having must not be allowed to constitute an obstacle to others having, must not consolidate the power of the former to crush the latter.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Chapter II

That is what the state blog corps is about:  “consolidat[ing] the power of the former to crush the latter.”

In fact, when the participants in the state blog corp were announced, I visited all of the blogs in the state blog corps from A-N (the only corps that will have consistent access to the floor of the Democratic National Convention) and within 90 minutes I was able to discern the skin color of virtually all of the blogs that had been accredited, without ever having spoken to or corresponded with any of these blogs.

There is a simple reason that whites insist that we not use words that offend them in our efforts to define and change our reality, and Paulo Freire pointed out that reason more than two generations ago.  The words that have the potential free Blacks from oppression are inherently offensive to those who are oppressing us.  

As Paulo Freire said in Chapter III of Pedagogy of the Oppressed,

As we attempt to analyze dialogue as a human phenomenon, we discover something which is the essence of dialogue itself: the word. But the word is more than just an instrument which makes dialog possible; accordingly, we must seek its constitutive elements. Within the word we find two dimensions, reflection and action, in such radical interaction that if one is sacrificed – even in part – the other immediately suffers. There is no true word that is not at the same time a praxis.  Thus, to speak a true word is to transform the world.

An unauthentic word, one which is unable to transform reality, results when dichotomy is imposed upon its constitutive elements. When a word is deprived of its dimension of action, reflection automatically suffers as well; and the word is changed into idle chatter, into verbalism, into an alienated and alienating “blah.” It becomes an empty word, one which cannot denounce the world, for denunciation is impossible without a commitment to transform, and there is no transformation without action.

On the other hand, if action is emphasized exclusively to the detriment of reflection, the word is converted into activism. The latter – action for action’s sake – negates the true praxis and makes dialog impossible. Either dichotomy, by creating unauthentic forms of existence, creates also unauthentic forms of thought which reinforce the original dichotomy.

Human existence cannot be silent nor can it be nourished by false words, but only by true words, with which men and women transform the world. To exist humanly is to name the world, to change it. Once named, the world in its turn reappears to the namers as a problem and requires of them a new naming. Human beings are not built in silence,  but in word, in work, in action-reflection. [3]

So anyone who claims that they visited whitediva’s blog (and others) and didn’t know their skin color is simply lying.   I’m not going to call them a “liar” because maybe they don’t lie about everything, but they certainly lie with respect to skin color.  And they are lying in the service of white supremacy, which makes them part and parcel of the White Supremacist Party, whether the publicly acknowledge it or not.

Some whites and Blacks insist that if we Black would just tone down the rhetoric, then whites would be able to hear our objections to white supremacy more clearly.  This thinking assumes that whites have any interest whatever in hearing and acknowledging our objections.  But, as demonstrated above, the lies they tell demonstrate that even the most obvious facts are facts they will deny for the purpose of maintaining white supremacist apartheid and whitist privilege.

  In contrast, as Paulo Freire says in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which is available in its entirety online, “The unfinished character of human beings and the transformational character of reality necessitate that education be an ongoing activity.”

Are Black people simply supposed to accept these lies as the best that whites can do when it comes to telling the truth?   When whites say that they tried to create a diverse state blog pool in a party that is 20% Black, but they nonetheless ended up with a state blog pool that is 98% or more white, are we to ignore what we see or are we to specifically identify and denounce the lies that form the basis of our oppression?

Are we supposed to avoid the word “lie” because it offends white people who are consistently and intentionally lying as part of a determined effort to exclude Black people from the privileges that whites are arrogating unto themselves?  In fact, the unwillingness to call things what they obviously are, to “name” them in the words of the Brazilian revolutionary Paulo Freire, enables whitist supremacy whether it is practiced and promoted by white people or promoted and enabled by Black people.

Whitist norms of “respectful speech” are specifically designed to prevent Blacks from telling the truth as we see it, because to call others whitosphere whitist supremacist oppressors and Jim Crow segregationists is inevitably going to upset them.  And yet any forum in which Blacks cannot use those terms, naming our circumstances as we see them, is a forum that Blacks cannot use in the process of our own liberation.

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