08 November 2010

Dubya talks about race

George Dubya has a memoir coming out. In it, I hear he says that the LOWEST point in his presidency was when Kanye called him racist. THAT was his lowest point. Not when Katrina hit, not on 9/11, not at any other point. It happened when Kanye called him racist and Dubya told Matt Lauer that he resents that. Hmpf!

Race has always felt like the most daunting of social justice endeavors for me personally. I can't pinpoint why exactly that is. For a while, I thought it might be because race is one area of social identities where I CLEARLY identify as white and, thus, as privileged. Of course, I've never considered myself low-income but have come to terms with my privilege around that social identity and what it means for me to never have "walked a mile in those shoes." So, I'm beginning to wonder if my discomfort has something to do with the particularly heinous history of white folks and POC, and because I was raised to never pay attention to skin color and to treat everybody equally and all those things that sound good in theory and don't work as well in practice.

But, pause. That sounds like an excuse for being uncomfortable talking about race and working through my own troubles with race.

Because let's be real. There's no way I'm just uncomfortable with race as a social identity because it's a tricky subject. Nah, I think there's more to it. Like, for example, that I'm white and I never had to consciously deal with my race even though every interaction I've ever had in some way could be related back to my race---from the things I talk about to the jokes I find funny to the clothes I wear and the people I call family and the work I do and the causes that matter to me. It would just be ignorant to pretend like my race hasn't impacted all of those things.

Needless to say, I feel like I'm in a constant struggle to balance my privilege around race without spending all day everyday analyzing and over analyzing and thinking and re-thinking if I've said something that could be considered racist or if I've done something subconsciously that might be racist. How can a person be striving towards anti-racism while acknowledging the influence of the mostly white world around me and without letting myself off the hook as an advocate? I get that I can't spend every minute panicking about every word out of my mouth, and that there will be days when someone will call me out on something that probably is racist. AND, it's okay for me to make mistakes and learn from them so I don't make those same mistakes in the future.

Ramble, ramble. Bad at dealing with tough subjects, don't like making people mad.

I annoy me.

But not as much as Dubya annoys me!

1 comment:

  1. this is good stuff. Dont get so anxious about the whole process. Getting it out should make you feel good about things! Also, i really enjoy reading what you had to post. did you see tim wise on campus? it was amazing! buy his book. or atleast just read it. i love that that was his low point. haha dick.