Question Asked, Question Answered

(*Note* This post is about White Americans...just to clarify.  White Europeans, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders who read this are very likely to have a WTF moment.)

Some white folks online are baffled as to why POC have absolutely no faith in white folks learning about racism and dismantling their privilege.

I have a thought on that....

So, I'm in a cultural diversity training for work today, right?  And it's for a government job.  Now...I'm in a state that 96% white and the trainer - a white woman - is trying to teach this class about the family and cultural dynamics about people they're most likely never going to see.  She's meek, uncomfortable, and her information is outdated and inaccurate, but this quickly becomes the least of our problems.

The trainer gets to the segment on white privilege, (borrowing directly from Peggy McIntosh, mind you).  And this one trainee, a white woman, forgets the whole damn training is the for the benefit of limited folk like her, and mistakes it for a bitchfest.  She starts complain about how irritating it is to have to dial "1" whenever she calls a customer service line and wants to continue in English.  "I don't see why I should have to dial '1' to hear the language of my coun--you know...the default language!"

And no one gets to correct her, y'all, because a bunch of white folks start agreeing with her.  Their bitching about that thing quickly turns to bitching about other things.  They're not remotely concerned about learning about the reality of their privilege. They want to expand that privilege to its absolute limit, to the point they won't have to do extremely tiresome, bothersome things like, oh I don't know, take one second out of their day and dial "1" to hear English.

And here's where the trainer really begins to crumble.  She starts tacking on bullshit like, "But we're getting better" and "But we've seen some improvement" to every single piece of unpleasant reality she relates to these people.  While reading "The Case of the Green-Haired People" (scroll down) - which demonstrates the nature of prejudice, the trainer softens it with, "I know this example is a bit extreme, but...you know....".  And she glossed right over an in-depth article in our handouts about the fears and struggles of gay parents in America.  You know, because many shitheads in social work think it's okay to take people's kids if their parents come out of the closet.

During the review she even retracts.  The question is, "True or false: white privilege is a set of unearned privileges afforded only to Caucasians."  A group of white trainees immediately - and rather loudly - respond "False!"  To which the trainer mumbles, "Well, yeah...I guess you could say they are earned, but we get them anyway...'cause you know...birth."

*cue fountain of vomit*

Needless to say, when evaluations came round, I was brutal.  I didn't reply anonymously and I took the time to write out perceived flaws in the training, notably the use of kiddie gloves when explaining racism and white privilege to white people.

And white folks, if this is what you guys consider having "the talk" amongst yourselves, you're fucked.  The world your parents and grandparents told about has changed - deal with it.  The trainer presented semi-recent stats for America and showed that by 2050 non-Hispanic white will folks make up approximately 53% of America, down nearly 40% since the beginning of the 20th century.  That statistic went right over the white trainees' heads.  Projections show white people - over the next 30 years - will drop to being 9% of the human species, and yet the attitude of entitlement and perpetuation of cluelessness continues as strongly as before.

Fashion tip from Moi: This is precisely the kind of bullshit that will get this country blown off the face of the earth.  Shouting your opinions won't save you when the bombs start dropping.  White privilege - which so many of you pretend not to understand, want, or even know about - won't shield you when actual death starts to fall from the sky.

Comments

  1. Every "diversity training" I've ever attended has been full of fail. The people leading the training are always more interested in protecting the egos of the privileged majority than the rights of the minority.

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  2. Exactly. The damn thing was devised to humanize and civilize "some" white folks, and yet the trainers end up shrinking in cowardice and kowtowing to the white folks in the room.

    That white people are this afraid of other white people is beyond pathetic.

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  3. Seriously, It's white people you're dealing with. what else is new.

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  4. Somethin' on your mind, darlin'?

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  5. This is precisely the kind of bullshit that will get this country blown off the face of the earth.

    This reminds me of what happened a few days after September 11, 2001. One of my Russian colleagues came to our office to first express her condolences (people were beyond kind to Americans worldwide then) and second to express her shock. She couldn't believe that Americans (i.e. WP) had no clue as to how much they were hated and reviled throughout the world. In her mind, no one should have ever asked "WHY?" They should been asking, "What in the hell took so long? or When is the next strike?"

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  6. Ankh, it's the main reason I stopped replying on so-called anti-racist blogs run by Whites except as a form of entertainment. And now, I'm not welcome on at least one because I won't be a good lil' nigger bitch and know my place and I'm not who the owner values.

    But yeah, I'm sick and tired about so-called anti-racist Whites mewling about doing the BARE-ASS MINIMUM in the struggle for racial equality in this country just like I'm sick of WM whining about how much they wanna date BW but it's sooooooooooooo haaaaaaaaaaarrrd for them (a whole nuvvah rant for another day). Even one poster, a jas0nburns, on said site commented that no PoC was asking Whites there or anywhere else to quit their jobs, disown loved ones or cut their own throats. But dammit, they act like even trying to TALK to other White folks, even those nearest and dearest to them who mean them absolutely NO HARM, about racism is the equivalent to telling them to amputate their own arm with pinking shears no anesthesia.

    As I get older, I understand my father's attitude towards White folks now. Be around only as much as you must. Get what you need out of them and go. Treat them like one of those old-time water pumps. Yeah, the pump has to be primed before it works which means you have to act like you actually truly like White folks, but once primed, the well gives up some of its water. You take said water and don't go back to the pump till you need more.

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  7. Part 2:

    I know it sounds like, "Damn, Witchsistah! Hypocritical much? You talkin' this shit about White folks and you all married up with a White-as-fuck White man!" But it's even looking at my husband and comparing him with other White folks. I compared his behavior during our courtship with other White suitors I've had and White men I've encountered online that swear up and down they don't know how to approach BW cuz we're not of this world or some bullshit. I saw how when we became serious, he introduced me as his girlfriend without hesitation to his nearest and dearest while other men (ten to twenty years older than us) wrung their hands raw in the past about how exactly to do that. I look at his family and notice the only reason they're dealing with ANY PoC in their lives is because one of them insists upon marrying them. We're in Kansas fuckin' City. There are not only an abundance of Negroes but a decent-sized Latino population as well. If everyone around you is White, it's because you're working at it! So it's not an issue of aw po' White folks just can't do it (i.e. better race-relations and help end racism). It's about White folks not WANTING to do it at all.

    So I'm going to ask Black women to just leave so-called anti-racist blogs (unless they're run by PoC) and race-relation so-called discussion boards alone. Because, outside of Whites the other main group you see replying to them are Black women. BW pour out our hearts and souls, reveal our hurts and humiliations. And BW always get treated like pure-d-shit on those sites. And the discussion STAYS at the Racism 101-201 level. Nothing is ever advanced--EVER.

    Same thing with so-called interracial dating sites, even those for BW. We're on there too much. One thing I never had to do with my husband during our courtship was beg for his attention or compete for it. If I ever had to do that, it was over. He knows good and well, I'd have dropped out and told him to go and fuck whomever or whatever was so damn fascinating to him. I never had to beg or convince him to treat me well. I never had to lay out reasoned arguments why I deserved that. Basically, these sites are demanding just that. That Black folks lay out REASONS why we should be treated with BASIC human dignity. And then those reasons are picked apart, questioned and debated.

    White folks need to man the fuck up about confronting racism, their own and others whether they want to live in a truly equitable society or they want to get a date. But I'm no longer holding my breath.

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  8. So I'm going to ask Black women to just leave so-called anti-racist blogs (unless they're run by PoC) and race-relation so-called discussion boards alone. Because, outside of Whites the other main group you see replying to them are Black women. BW pour out our hearts and souls, reveal our hurts and humiliations. And BW always get treated like pure-d-shit on those sites.

    Thanks so much for this - I've been wondering about that. Want to do a guest post? You know my email.

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  9. Oh man, I hope you're doing ok after that. It sounds like an extremely long, stressful day. Do you know if anyone else stepped up and gave a REAL review of this training/trainer?

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  10. Oh man, I hope you're doing ok after that. It sounds like an extremely long, stressful day.

    Indeed. As soon that came out, it was all downhill from there. And no one stepped up because people were too busy agreeing with her.

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  11. This is pretty much what has happened to me:

    http://shehasmyeyes.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/what-happened-to-the-honey/

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  12. @Witchsistah

    BW pour out our hearts and souls, reveal our hurts and humiliations. And BW always get treated like pure-d-shit on those sites

    I've been thinking about this for days and I'm still having trouble grappling with it. I'm grateful though to have been born to two dark peoples because I'm damned hard-pressed to think that anything will change when it comes to race relations in America. One of the first lessons I learned as a child was to not trust words, especially when they were coming out of the mouths of WP no matter how good they appeared to be. A close second lesson was to never ever reveal my hurt, pain and humiliation to anybody outside the family, especially in public forums. I'd rather be perceived as a bitch than a person with genuine feelings who can be hurt.

    Amen to your post.

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  13. I love the fashion tip. I've been trying to explain this to my more clueless white friends but they dont want to hear it.

    IF the US is lucky we will get the same treatment/consideration we give other nations when India and China rise. But you and I know thats not saying much.

    Its only down hill from here. :/

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  14. we will get the same treatment/consideration we give other nations

    "They", honey...not "we".

    We're not the ones pissing off everyone else.

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  15. @ Y

    I've been trying to explain this to my more clueless white friends but they dont want to hear it.

    By the way...this right here is the crux of the problem. It's not that your info is wrong or your perceptions are distorted. They just don't want to hear it. They don't care.

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