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Whites racially oppressed?
by Edna Nelson
2011-03-10 09:13:33
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Recently there have been some media circulating around, the story is that whites are the new oppressed marginalized group in US. I didn't really respond until a friend sent me sent me an article titled "http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/12/21/white.persecution/index.html?hpt=C2""Are whites racially oppressed" posted over at CNN. I have been seeing/feeling this kind of thing coming and it is really really annoying.

One thing is that most White people I have met don't even understand a lot of the foundational ideas around Systematic Oppression. It's like, they have no idea what it means, and that to them, it isn't even a relevant thing to define. Which is all fine and good, of course that is, until they start claiming to be victims of it.

To start off with, one indicator that a group is marginalized the their access to wealth: the http://www.forbes.com/wealth/forbes-400">Forbes richest people in the USA, top ten, all white. What about political representation: The Supreme court is majority white, 7 white judges, 2 non-white judges. The vice president is white, the majority of the house is white, and it goes on.

I've witnessed that there is some sort of debate around the idea of "http://www.suite101.com/content/definition-of-racism-other-terms-a37331"what racism is. If racism means pre-judging people on the basis of their skin color, than sure, racism can apply to just about everyone, because we all have some kind of coloring to our skin. If racism means, pre-judging people on the basis of their skin color, having the power to influence their daily life as your judgement see's fit and actually using that power against them, than the scope of racist actors and victims is a little bit more narrow. Racism begins to be something that belongs to the dominant party, whereas the oppressed other can think whatever they want but has not power to do anything. And then we have another definition of racism, which is the systematic oppression of a peoples based on their skin color, meaning that not only does the discrimination or prejudice find itself present in singular and individual situations, but it is omnipresent, like a wave that washes over every aspect of life. This type of racism is not dependent on the views of individuals, but rather supported by a power systems that is essentially built on the backs of those that are oppressed. This, is the definition that I ascribe to.When racism is definied as a systematic oppression against a given race, it can from another angle be considered a system of privilege. A system that rewards and benefits those who are Not members of certain color groups. In the context of the US, and in my opinion the world, because of the spread of it's media, and a long history of european imperialism, the term ``Racism``, can be easily interchanged with the term ``white supremacy``.

So are white people being targeted by racism, by some definitions, at some individual moments, according to some people, perhaps. But are white people a group that are oppressed systematically to the point that they need to motivate as a racially solidified group moving towards a common liberationist cause? If anything, maybe what the majority of Whites in the US are facing is a loss of privilege, a disillusionment of what race promised them. But surely the problem white's today are having is not with race, it is with class. Affirmative Action is being attacked as a privilege for people of color in the US. But I have to whole heartedly disagree with that. Affirmative Action laws are simply way's to prevent groups from being stonewalled when it comes to employment and education, not to insure their dominant position. One has to only look at "http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/31/business/economy/31memphis.html?_r=1"how hard communities of color have been hit by this economic downturn to understand that it is not non-whites who are keeping whites out of work. Rather, the economy just stinks, and wealth is being centralized at the highest level.

The promises that whites have been given by race is that they will prosper. That they will own and they will have comfort. The construction of the white race was initiated when higher classed whites wanted to control their worker. For fear that Whites and non-whites would band together for workers rights, better treatment, higher wages. What happened is that the rights of whites were levied against the degradation of non-whites. The elite at the moment, land owners, company owners, employers, "beg(a)ns to give certain carrots" as "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Wise"Tim Wise would say to poor whites, in order to win their alliance. These `carrots` came at the cost of racial division, and the total subjugation of non-whites.

Now, the division between working class whites, and elite whites is being shown for what it is. Race and racism have been given to whites to help keep them down, and to help poor whites be complicite in the role of helping the elites keep everyone else down. Now, race is the thing some whites are grabbing on to in order to salvage what they feel they have lost. The economy, the unemployment rate, the lack of fanancial security has not been caused by non-white people, but rather by a callous elite that has no qualms around bankrupting the exact countries they were founded in. What the elites would want us to forget is that the best way to face this problem is to unify, rather than divide.

I see similarities going on in relation to the different kinds of oppressions. Men feel that they are victims of sexism, and nationals feel that they are being marginalized in their own countries. Why is it that when peoples comfort in being the dominant group so quickly turns into victimization when a touch of that dominance feels out of reach? Usually the problems that men feel target them can be resolved by feminism, and the problems that nationals feel threaten their sense of life can be fixed by accepting and intergrating new people, and similarly to other ethnically/racially motivated conflicts the issue is really at the root of it about class, and those who are used to enjoying a certain level of class security feeling as if suddenly it is being challenged by the other, rather than their own old good friend the elite.

If we want to talk about why people are not having the quality of life we would like, let's look at "http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview/" government spending, instead of each other. If we want comfort, and security, it has to be something we all share. Yes, I hope(but don't quite believe) the days of "http://blogs.suntimes.com/mitchell/2008/09/what_is_white_privilege.html" white privilege are over in the US. Not in hopes that it will be replaced by non-white supremacy as some might fear. But so that we can begin recognizing the equal citizenship of all members of society. Maybe then people in the US, and everywhere will be able to build a system in which all people can enjoy the same kind of safety and security that laid off and angry white folks who feel they've become the nation's unsung victims of racism, had grown accustomed to.


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Anita2011-03-09 21:38:54
Great article! I was just thinking about that today, this is the hot potato in usa right now, no one wants to touch it, but while we are not dealing with it there are white meth crazed supremacists brewing in every trailer park. Now this may sound racists but it's coming from someone who has the privilege of going in and out of these places; there are guns, pit bulls and belief systems that cloud any rational thinking; believing the biggest obstacles for their upward mobility are the niggers and Mexicans. Then you move on to the so called "professional" folks who are utterly unaware of how they "earned" their privilege except that they are loosing it faster than they can spend their pay checks; they also believe it's the affirmative action and mexicans" and the answer is to get guns and pit bulls. This situation can only be corrected by the truth which is that EVERYTHING we call "our system" is based on and relies on the fact that somebody, preferably all 99.5% of folks, are being enslaved and are trained to serve The Man from cradle to grave. We need to get out heads out of our assess and start thinking something, any thoughts are a start at this point when majority of people are living from one episode on some network to another.

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