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debunkingwhite's Journal

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Beyond White Guilt
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All Members , Moderated
debunkingwhite is now open for membership. Please follow the membership application guidelines here to be considered for membership. Simply clicking "join community" will NOT get you in.

This community is a place where people who are active in anti-racism communities can share in our struggles against internalized relations of dominance/subordination / superiority/inferiority and look for ways to move beyond these. Unlike many approaches to anti-racism communities, this one will not focus solely on the "Other," while leaving whiteness invisible and unchallenged. For white members, this will require a willingness to look at ourselves and our often unconscious investment in the systems of white supremacy. This effort is undertaken in the belief that widespread anti-racist social change will not occur until white people are willing to turn a reflexive, self-critical eye upon ourselves and the unearned privileges we receive (and/or perform upon others) on a daily basis. For People of Color, as well as for whites, we hope that this community can become a resource for allies, bridge-building, and the special quality known as "tough love," in which we push each other toward being better people, better community members and better activists.

This is not a group for:
* white supremacists

* people who refuse to admit that white privilege is a historical and present-day reality

* people who equate hating the systems of white supremacy with hating white people on an individual level

* people who want their own racism "kissed away and forgiven" without moving beyond it.


Although this group is focused on anti-racism and white privilege, we recognize that there are other systems of oppression which intersect in people's life experiences in various ways. Therefore, sexism, classism, heterosexism/homophobia, transphobia, ablism, anti-Jewish oppression, and any other oppressive belief systems are also not tolerated in this community. We look forward to discussing the different ways in which race interacts and intersects with other life experiences. Anti-racism is not an island off to itself, but rather interconnected with all other work for justice.


Community Guidelines:

* In recognizing that unlearning racism is a process, we welcome mistakes and encourage members to call each other on problematic use of language and areas of unseen privilege. However, this is not a space to focus upon the conflicts and mistakes made by people of color as a diversion from whiteness and our own issues.

* This is also not a space to blame, shame or guilt each other, as this is not constructive for anyone. Personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. You may disagree with someone and discuss that disagreement as much and for as long as you like, but if your post or comment includes personal insults or name-calling it will be deleted. Persistent flaming will get you banned. We mean it.

* In the interest of safe space we ask that members refrain from dragging personal disagreements into new posts, please keep disagreements within the context of the comment thread. In fostering a respectful environment we also ask that members refrain from addressing other community members by name within the context of such a post. If this occurs, the original poster will be asked to edit the post, and barring that, it will be deleted by the moderators. Please contact the moderators BY E-MAIL with any such concerns.

mrdorbin: mrdorbin at livejournal dot com
epilady: michaelagrey at yahoo dot com
kyooverse: kyooverse at gmail dot com
seaya: seaya at livejournal dot com
xnaivetex: xnaivetex at livejournal dot com

* As a reminder to members living in the United States, we do have a globally diverse membership. Please bear this in mind when using region-specific abbreviations, acronyms, references, or terminology. While the raising of region-specific issues is certainly encouraged, in order to foster a more inclusive environment naming and describing the particular region(s) involved would be helpful.

* This community subscribes to the following definitions of racism. If these definitions are new to you, you might want to check out some of the readings suggested in the memories section.

* Racism = racial prejudice + power

* Racism: A system of advantage based on race.

* In addition, if you are unfamiliar with the concept of white privilege, you might want to consult the memories (particularly under "complicity in racism") or Peggy McIntosh's essay 'White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack'. A member-compiled list of additional resources can be found here.

* Anti-racist work is not a hobby; it is a full-time commitment. Members may be held accountable for their actions outside the community at the discretion of the mods, particularly if those actions make our members of color feel unsafe or uncomfortable participating here.

* White people please note: You are expected to name, claim, and make obvious your whiteness in this community, and not to hide it. In the here and now, no white person is free of white privilege, no matter what their intentions may be. Let's work together to fight injustice as we are, and not for cool points.

*Regarding "Tone"*

People will be telling you straight up what is wrong with your statements or assumptions. In this community we do not abide the "tone argument". This argument states that if only People of Color were "more polite" or "less aggressive" or "had a better tone" or sugar coated things, then people would learn more. There are several problems with this view:

1) If you have said something racist and hurtful, you have already hurt the Person of Color in question. It's understandable if they are upset, frustrated, or fed up. This is especially true in cases when you are saying something they have heard many times.

2) Even in cases where the Person of Color in question is extremely patient and calm and just explaining what is wrong with a given statement or action, oftentimes they are still perceived as being "impolite" or "aggressive" anyway.

Please read the following links for more information:

"At the core of this expectation of politeness is the idea that the POC in question should teach the offender what was wrong with their statement. Because in my experience what is meant by “be polite” is “teach me”, teach me why you’re offended by this, teach me how to be racially sensitive and the bottom line is that it is no one’s responsibility to teach anyone else. And even when POC are as polite as possible there is still hostility read into the words because people are so afraid of being called racist that they would rather go on offending than deal with the hard road of confronting their own prejudices."


"Politeness (under which requests for the 'right' 'tone' seems to fall: it's not specifically a soft tone or a pleading tone or whatever that's requested, but something more abstract, especially in written discourse) is a product of cultural conventions that grow out of historical and political dynamics. It's a product of society: it reflects the order established in that society. Discourse that upsets the dynamics of society fails to comform to that order. (Sometimes it's on a micro scale, sometimes it's on a macro scale.) There is no way that anti-oppression talk can come off as polite, because it upsets the established order of a society based on oppression. And the rudeness of the oppressors toward the oppressed is invisible as such because it doesn't upset that order (as well as because the people at the top have the material means of getting away with it)." - ide_cyan

I hope that we can keep at least vaguely on topic and together create a safe space for sharing and growth.

This community was created by xandi in November 2002. It is currently moderated by xandi, epilady, seaya, kyooverse, mrdorbin, and xnaivetex.

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