Saturday, July 24, 2021

Tim Wise: Medium essays on anti-racism


artwork at Rafko Park Leesburg VA

The way I use this blog now, it’s fair to share a group of essays by Tim Wise on his Medium account.

The most important of them is, that “conservative” attempts to ban anti-racist education “isn’t about protecting kids, it’s about pacifying them”, here.  

Another one is “missing the systemic forest for the individual trees”, here.

Finally, “it isn’t about white people, it’s about whiteness”, here.

OK, I’ll take the last one first.  Karlyn Borysenko has been incredibly emphatic that critical race theory is not the same as anti-whiteness, and she blocks people who make that claim, and says the claim only enrages people back to white supremacy.  The article says that “whiteness” was created and embedded into the legal system in the early nineteenth century, and some of it persists (the old “one drop rule”).  But he stops short of claiming that students should be indoctrinated to feel personally guilty about this.

Likewise, students should learn the gory details about how bad it really was, as to how slavery was built into the early history of the US, as was (sometimes) capturing indigenous people’s lands – and the latter resembles the whole European history of colonialism.   Likewise, systemic racism creates hidden privilege that looks like invisible ink.  The real question is what you expect individual people do to about this today in their own personal and public (especially online) lives.  There are those who say making these implicit demands for conditional allyship is part of the theory, however. 

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