WNC Blog Archive

Because so much can be lost to the sands of time (and the roll of the blog), we have archived some of our more content-driven, original pieces for ease of reference.

Disposability, Desirablity, and #MeToo – Posted on  by 

“…When these two logics combine [desirability and disposability], they threaten our fundamental sense of belonging and okayness in our own bodies, just as we are.  The fear and instability this threat creates can easily lead to coping strategies like dissociation and disconnection from our bodies — instead of learning to witness, sense, and assert our desires and needs, we learn to ignore, undermine, or overlook them…”

Fascism Reading List – Posted on  by 

Here we are at the start of unpresidented 2017, after the largest inaugural protest in US history, joined by marches around the world. Community organizing and outreach is happening in every state as people prepare for the worst, brace for scary realities on the horizon and work to keep them at bay. This is also a time when many are humbly realizing how much we have to learn from communities around the world about what it means to live resisting fascism.

Racial and Gender Justice Halloween Action Toolkit! [Updated] – Posted on  by 

“…At a time when Black Lives Matter has become a resounding movement pressing for the safety, humanity and freedom of Black people, the corporate costume industry is supporting mass consumption of Black face and racialized prisoner outfits. As indigenous people from across this land join together at Standing Rock to resist the continued desecration and destruction of homelands, culture and even their physical existence, this colonialist culture perpetuates indigenous erasure with images of ‘Indian headdresses’ and ‘Warrior Princesses…”

Resources for Understanding and Challenging Islamophobia – Posted on by

How can anti-racist educators and activists step up in various ways to learn more about the deeper and broader historical contexts of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, and strengthen capacities to intervene into this discourse of extreme othering, racial and religious profiling, media stereotypes, hate and bigotry? What obstacles exist to harnessing strengths from challenging other forms of racism, to direct them towards fighting Islamophobia in this dire time?

The Wolf I Feed. – Posted on by

There is a story that we keep getting told. A lot. It is about two wolves. In different spaces- as a student I was recounted this by a teacher, now as a teacher, I have heard it several times from students. In yoga classes, in spiritual, psychological self-help and healing curricula, occasionally by a friend or acquaintance. Perhaps you have heard it too.

District Attorney O’Malley: Which Side Are You On? – Posted on by

We write this letter to you inspired by the Black Friday 14 and dismayed that you have not yet dropped the charges against them. We write mourning the deaths of Guadalupe Manzo-Ochoa, Zaki Shinwary, Yuvette Henderson, Demouria Hogg, Jonathan Patrick Deming Jr, Antonio Clements, Nathaniel Wilks, Troy Francis, Yonas Alehegne, Dante Osborn, and the most recent unnamed victim — all of whom lost their lives to Alameda County police forces since Black Friday 2014.

Moving into Radical Self-Worth to Better Support our Movements — part 1 in a series – Posted on by

In our struggles to take down white supremacy and patriarchy, we must each heal the ways we have internalized these systems of oppression. Otherwise, we end up recreating them — even in our liberation movements. This healing means different things to different people. We write this piece in particular for those of us who identify at what we often callthe intersection of race privilege and gender(ed) oppression.

On Rachel Dolezal, White Privilege, and White Shame – Posted on by

What is interesting is the possibility that Rachel coded her experience of herself as Black because it was not, perhaps, plausible for her to conceive that her experience could be held within the realm of whiteness.

A Letter to White People Using the Term “Two Spirit” – Posted on by

This letter was written by white allies in support of Native members of our community who have already put a lot of time and energy into trying to explain why it’s a problem when people withoutNative/First Nations heritage use the term “Two Spirit.”…

Showing up and Honoring the #BlackLivesMatter Movement – Posted on by

The #BlackLivesMatter movement is expanding and deepening across the nation, andspreading around the globe.  This sign, hashtag and rallying cry are filling streets, newsfeeds, imaginations and institutions.  And white-identified folks eager to engage, enraged by injustice, and inspired by the movement are showing up in large numbers and in different ways. As white allies act, and reflect on action, it is key to understand what is being asked for by Black leadership, what is useful, powerful, and what is detrimental…

To say that I’m “too political” is to say that I love too much. – Posted on by  (featuring guest blogger, A)

…“Dear friends and family, Today I want to come out to you…as someone who cares about you and loves you and wants to share these things with you because I believe you are good people who care about and love others and who want to learn how to be even better…

Confronting Thanksgiving – Posted on by

This Halloween, the White Noise Collective conspired to take creative action to counteract the unquestioned, blatant, “it’s-just-a-joke-can’t-you-have-a-little-fun!?!” racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and cultural appropriation that parade as “costumes” in consumerist capitalist culture.  Drawing on our Liberate Halloween Action Kit from last year, this year we came up with a design-your-own creative costume station…We then used our collective energy to plaster the Spirit Halloween store with Warning Labels on endless offensive costumes, and slipped over 50 1-pageCultural Appropriation zines into the most racist costume bags…

Columbus Day and National Psychosis* – Posted on by

Columbus Day, a time to stay home from work and nationally celebrate denial of genocide, theft, slavery and colonization. The foundations of this country…

We need to lock arms amidst all of this. – Posted on by

…White Americans like me have to stop channel surfing all the outrageously bad news from around the world and focus on the death that is happening in our own cities to our fellow Americans…

Creating “Safe” Neighborhoods: A reflection on my neighborhood’s private patrol — and what to do with my disapproval – Posted on  by 

For Oakland at least, the private patrol debate is relatively new, but it raises many familiar concerns about racial profiling and the feeding of racialized fears by misrepresenting the dangers of city life…

Reclaiming Mother’s Day – Posted on  by 

As Mother’s Day approaches, the White Noise Collective is once again faced with more questions than answers about this national holiday with a rich but forgotten history…

Calling In: Questions we have for the One Billion Rising campaign – Posted on  by 

As Valentine’s Day approaches (a day that often inspires much activism from women), the White Noise Collective took an opportunity in our February dialogue to reflect on white feminism: What issues are white feminists largely drawn to, how are those issues expressed, in what way is white privilege showing up, and what patterns are helpful to explore? What better place to start this inquiry than with One Billion Rising, founded by white feminist Vagina Monologues writer and founder of V-Day Eve Ensler?…

The Last Thursday in November – Posted on  by 

We often think of Thanksgiving as a time of family, football, giving thanks and gorging. I used to be of this mindset until learning more about some of the actual roots of this holiday. What I learned was that Thanksgiving has little to do with an amicable meal shared between the Pilgrims and Indians…

Liberate Halloween Action Kit! – Posted on  by 

With Halloween quickly approaching, and costume shops like Spirit Halloween opening their doors, many of us are cringing at the thought of another Halloween full of racism, sexism, heterosexism and the full range of offensive apparel we annually witness. In response, we offer up a toolkit to those who wish to be a part of resisting the dominant paradigms that plague this season…

Strategies to Engage White People Around (Im)migrant Justice – Posted on  by 

In our June dialogue, we convened white female and gender minority racial justice activists to examine personal and political histories of immigration to this country, and to generate steps for action, engagement and dialogue with other white people towards contributing to the inspiring momentum of the immigrant justice movement. It was fantastic for the White Noise Collective to be joined by special guest, organizer and facilitator extraordinaire Dara Silverman of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice)

Reflections on White Women by White Women in Light of the Zimmerman Verdict – Posted on  by 

While the “social media moment” may have passed, the Zimmerman verdict represents just one of countless examples in an on-going pattern of unrecognized white privilege lending justification to violence against black men. Looking at the Zimmerman trial with an eye to this narrative reveals how the verdict was shaped by the white female judge’s decision to frame the case in terms of Zimmerman’s fear, the white female jurors’ description of their key decision as a response to fear, and the significance of the white female neighbor in justifying that fear…

I Am Not Trayvon Martin, but I look like the jury. Reflections on racism, the Zimmerman verdict and white women jurors. – Posted on  by 

As we collectively mourn for Trayvon Martin and feel outrage for him, his family and all people who live in fear of a criminal (in)justice system which is designed to entrap and persecute them or their loved ones, we must reflect on the dynamics of racism and fear in our culture that not only allowed, but encouraged, Travon’s murder…

A Visual Response – Posted on  by 

How does experience of white/female socialization create a brick-wall enclosure, holding in my dream of myself and others?

Time to unpack. A reflection on perpetuating white supremacy patterns at the White Privilege Conference – Posted on  by 

This past weekend, I, along with most of the members of the White Noise Collective, attended the 14th Annual White Privilege Conference in Seattle, WA. In the process of presenting our newest workshop, White Females and Helping Professions in the Buffer Zone, we realized how much we perpetuated many of the very patterns of white female socialization that we had aimed to present and transform…

Costume Mirrors: Halloween and beyond – Posted on  by 

Halloween continues to haunt, as this recently circulated photo of a “Mexican-themed” Penn State sorority party made national headlines, sparking familiar outrage, calls for the university to take action, and a student group march

Body as Battleground: A Little Historical Context on the Attack on Women & Reproductive Rights – Posted on  by 

In our September dialogue, we focused on the topic “Body as battleground.” Obviously, with the current political attack on womens’ reproductive rights, the conservative media’s sexist slandering, and the general ways that patriarchy interferes on every angle of our daily lives, there was a lot to talk about. For me, it’s one thing to begrudge the Church and State for not protecting my rights, and it’s another to realize how actively the both have organized every aspect of this culture to violate my rights…

Taking up space (or: the things we learn on BART) – Posted on  by 

…And that’s when it hit me. Shame. I went from self-righteousness and indignation that my prerogative was being questioned to embarrassment that I hadn’t realized before that moment that I was in a racially charged situation. And shame that I had belligerently taken up space like a white person. Taking up space like a white person. I know that’s a loaded thing to say, so let me unpack it a little…

Action? – Posted on  by 

The other night at our report back about the White Privilege Conference, we talked a lot about action. At the same time, people rallied at a city council meeting to denounce themurder of 18 year old Alan Blueford by an Oakland Police Officer. This is the landscape from which the following thoughts I’d like to share came from. Part of our discussion was about action…

Words on the Wall from WPC Workshops – Posted on  by 

It was a joy and honor to share two White Noise Collective workshops at the 13th Annual White Privilege Conference in Albuquerque. This year’s overall theme was “Intersectionality”.  Both times we had a full room of wonderfully engaged participants, intergenerational perspectives, fascinating insights and Theater of the Oppressed explorations.  As people entered the room, we asked them to write a word or phrase in response to nine questions that were up on the walls on large sheets of paper, to get us collectively thinking about some of the dynamics, tensions, stereotypes and possibilities of this intersection.  A number of participants asked if we would share the responses, and so here they are in their fullness, compiled and combined from both sessions…

On “Sh*t White Girls Say…” : Making Microaggressions Conscious – Posted on  by 

A Youtube tsunami of sh*t all kinds of people say has been flooding the internet.  Ranging from hilarious, brilliant and edgy to somewhat tired at this point, this formula has been a tremendously generative capsule to fill and spread, making us crack up by hearing things we’ve heard so many times with new ears, giving the familiar an anthropological twist… The magic of these videos: they make the invisible visible to people with race privilege, make ignorance more audible, make the cumulative impact of seemingly “small” comments tangible and shows them to be a social phenomenon, not just individual “original” statements and questions…

White women heart flashmobs – Posted on  by 

…At our last White Noise dialogue, we focused on the Occupy movement. The conversation touched on facets of sexism and racism within the movement, as well as the roles of media, violence, self-marginalization and tactics. More specifically, one of the things we looked at was where white women were showing up within a movement that we recognize has a primarily white male face. Among the trends we noticed were that white women were highly represented within the Interfaith communities, in the conversations advocating inclusion, anti-racism and non-violence within the movement – and in the flash mobs

A Response to Occupy Oakland (or: My first time getting tear gassed by police) – Posted on  by 

…Monday night, just a few blocks from Oscar Grant Plaza, I sat with 100 anti-racist allies in a conference room in the Oakland Public Library, listening to a panel speaking about cross-cultural organizing in the 60′s and 70′s (specifically looking at the “Rainbow Coalition” model of alliance building) and how important it is that we learn to build trust and join in solidarity. It was an inspiring night and a fitting dialogue to have on the eve of the attack on Occupy Oakland that happened in the wee hours on Tuesday morning…

Protests Today Over Irvine Eleven Verdict – Posted on  by 

Protests erupted across the country this Tuesday, October 11, in the wake of a guilty verdict in the case of the Irvine Eleven…

“Appreciation or Appropriation?” – Posted on  by 

White people dressing up in Plains Indian style war bonnets – what is going on with this costume choice? What to say? I was recently discussing this phenomenon (its many manifestations and the sensitive discomfort of calling it out) with a friend who is a long time solidarity activist with Native land-based struggles, and she and a colleague have just created a fantastic pamphlet on exactly this!

Narratives of White Women Used to Uphold Racism and Patriarchy: A Partial Timeline – Posted on  by 

This is a timeline we use in White Noise workshops to help make visible dominant representations of white women that have historically served to reinforce, normalize and naturalize forms of racist violence and patriarchal oppression.  How do these narratives of white female sexuality and identity (re)appear in the present? How do they continue to live in our imaginations, bodies, dreams, media, collective consciousness, politics?

the april dialogue: understanding our ancestry – Posted on  by 

At our second White Noise monthly dialogue, we delved into the topic of ancestry with the intention of looking at how the histories/legacies of our (white/female) ancestors connect to the larger discussion we’ve begun.

What’s Awesome About White Women? – Posted on  by 

Naming what sucks about white women is really easy and really satisfying. We do it a lot, especially us white women. Given that we have been socialized to dislike ourselves, our bodies, and told we are guilty of original sin, aren’t pure enough, and are encouraged to be brainless, pretty and afraid, there is no liberation found in simply talking smack about ourselves and naming why we suck. I think its more likely to be found in taking a sobering and authentic look at both how we unconsciously perpetuate white supremacy and honor what we are doing to dismantle it as we work to co-create a more just, equitable, and resilient world (and recognize and accept those other parts of ourselves that rock too)…

White Female Culture – Posted on  by 

So many white people – including the half of us that are female – believe that we have no culture. As a dominant, centered culture, it is often invisible to ourselves. We think we are “normal” and everyone else is cultural or “ethnic”. So recently, the White Noise Collective led an exercise to identify some key components of invisibilized cultural norms for white women, that we often find ourselves either trying to emulate or trying to resist…

Protests Planned in Response to Guilty Verdict for Irvine Eleven – Posted on  by 

In Orange County, California, it may have become a crime to be a Muslim and an activist. On February 8, 2010, eleven Muslim students on the University of California at Irvine campus disrupted a speech by Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. in protest of his refusal to acknowledge Israel’s war crimes and violations of humanitarian law in the Gaza strip. The students were hauled out of the speech, arrested, and now face criminal misdemeanor charges…

We Heart Dialogue – Posted on  by 

Last week we had our first initiatory anti-racist white women dialogue – and it was… freakin awesome. I’m kinda blown-away at how much thoughtfulness everyone brought. It was one of those rare and exciting spaces that felt like we were naming and framing things that we mostly think about in private, and through dialogue we could build on our common experiences to see a bigger, systemic picture of ourselves emerge…

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