This Friday we will mark the one-year anniversary of the Black Friday 14 non-violent direct action at the West Oakland BART station — an action inspired by a growing national movement to expose the painful legacy of police brutality and demand an end to police violence in our country. Since Black Friday 2014, we have collectively mourned the loss of at least 290 black lives in officer-involved shootings in the United States — at least seven in Alameda County alone. This tragic fact demonstrates that this movement is not over and that courageous actions like those of the Black Friday 14 are critical to ending this epidemic of violence against black people.
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.… Read more
In response, we offer up a toolkit to those who wish to be a part of resisting the dominant paradigms that plague this season. Let’s make this be a season to reclaim and expand our expressive imaginations from being steered into narrow, tired, offensive and uncreative marketing channels.
Not sure what exactly is so offensive about certain Halloween costumes?
The Issue of Objectifying Other Cultures
“There are many good reasons not to wear a costume that relies on racist stereotypes or caricatures. Costumes like these communicate negative ideas and assumptions about people of that race or ethnicity, and as this year’s posters say, that stigma stays with people of color long after you take the costume off.… Read more
This illuminating breakdown of the deep patterns of what has been named “white women’s tears” is cross-posted from the Good Men Project, by Robin DiAngelo, anti-racism and diversity trainer, educator and author.
There has been much critique lately of “white tears.” This term refers to all of the ways, both literally and metaphorically, that white people cry about how hard racism is on us. In my work, I consistently encounter these tears in their various forms, and many writers have provided excellent critiques. Here, I want to address one specific manifestation of white tears: those shed by white women in cross-racial settings.
As the meeting started, I told my fellow white participants that if they felt moved to tears, to please leave the room. I would go with them for support, but asked that they not cry in the mixed group.
Thefollowing example illustrates both people of color’s frustration with those tears and white women’s sense of entitlement to freely shed them.
This piece is by longtime educator and social justice practitioner Tilman Smith, published on Dr. Shakti Butler’s World Trust site (a phenomenal resource for racial justice educators). Her articulation of the intersection of whiteness and femaleness deeply resonates with White Noise in this ongoing work to critically examine and courageously shake up the ways in which, as Smith so clearly expresses,
It is in those moments when I feel most challenged around my oppressed identity as a woman that I call on my areas of internalized superiority. This is an invitation to all white women to explore when and how we are doing this in the hopes of causing a little less harm to both others and ourselves.
Her recent article is cross-posted below, with World Trust’s “infinity loop” of analysis applied to it, with questions for reflection and discussion:
Within the World Trust frame of the System of Inequity, the relational elements among the internal and external components of Racialization are named.… Read more
The Charleston Imperative: Why Feminism & Antiracism Must Be Linked
As we grieve for the nine African Americans who were murdered in their house of worship on June 17 2015, those of us who answer the call of feminism and antiracism must confront anew how the evils of racism and patriarchy continue to endanger all Black bodies, regardless of gender.
As antiracists, we know that the struggle against racial terror is older than the Republic itself. In particular we remember the work of Ida B Wells who risked everything to debunk the lies of lynchers over 100 years ago. Today, we see that fierce determination in Bree Newsome who scaled the 30-foot flagpole at the South Carolina state Capitol and brought down the Confederate flag.
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 call the intersection of race privilege and gender(ed) oppression. The two primary authors of this piece identify as white, queer women (though those labels never seem sufficient), but we recognize that people invested in this conversation might identify elsewhere on the spectrums of race and gender. We write this in hopes of starting a conversation that we think has been missing. We write it because we need to acknowledge that not having this conversation is causing real harm to our mental health, to our resilience, and to our ability to sustain hope.… Read more
We cannot talk about the violence that Dylann Roof perpetrated at Emanuel AME last Wednesday night without talking about whiteness, and specifically, about white womanhood and its role in racist violence. We have to talk about those things, because Roof himself did. Per a witness account, we know that he said: “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country.” “Our” women, by whom he meant white women.
There is a centuries-old notion that white men must defend, with lethal violence at times, the sexual purity of white women from allegedly predatory black men. And, as we saw yet again after this shooting, it is not merely a relic of America’s hideous racial past. American racism is always gendered; racism and sexism are mutually dependent, and cannot be unstitched.
As Jessie Daniels writes at Racism Review, white womanhood has been and remains essential to the logic of American white supremacy.
While I find all of this interesting, what interests me specifically about this situation is the white shame of Rachel Dolezal’s identification as Black. In her interview with Melissa Harris-Perry earlier this week, Rachel Dolezal clearly self-identified as a Black woman. Her interview revealed a belief that all one needs in order to identify as Black is to “feel” and “live” the “Black experience,” which of course implies that she believes herself to be able to determine and author what is the “Black experience.”
Darnell L Moore, who believes that Rachel’s identification is indeed “cultural theft,” states that there is “a stark difference between racial indeterminacy, or the idea that race is not fixed and individuals may have multiple racial identities, and racial misrepresentation.”, What he points out, more importantly, is that:
The fiasco is a glaring example of white privilege in action.… Read more
Thank you for taking the time to read this. This letter was written by white allies in support of certain 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 without Native/First Nations heritage use the term “Two Spirit” to describe themselves.
We know that you care deeply about this issue because you are still reading this letter. This means you have not yet closed your mind to what we are saying. Let us begin by acknowledging that we live in a world in which we collectively face so many adversities – wars, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and the list goes on. One of the hardest challenges we face is understanding our privileges in the face of our oppressions.
In our culture, trans and gender non-conforming people have very few options with regards to how to identify.… Read more
“The image of mothers that is widely celebrated excludes mamas based on their sexual orientation, race, class, immigration status, and more. In particular, mamas who are imprisoned, and mamas whose children are incarcerated do not get to see the beauty and power of their relationships represented in most Mother’s Day cards.”
“This is not just Baltimore’s problem, like it wasn’t just Ferguson. This is racism in America.”
I’m from a majority Black and highly segregated city near Baltimore. Wilmington, Delaware had the longest domestic military occupation since the Civil War when the National Guard occupied the city for 9 months in 1968 after Dr. King was assassinated– the longest occupation until New Orleans post-Katrina, that is.
Old money white wealth stays across town from row homes in impoverished Black neighborhoods cut through with the interstate. Wilmington’s not at the level of destitution that Baltimore has been dealing with, but it’s so easy for me to imagine that what is happening right now is in my hometown. Just as all these same problems of systemic violence, and people resisting it, is happening here in the Bay Area, and in my other home of New Orleans.… Read more
We are excited by the recent post from SONG (Southerners on New Ground):
THERE IS HONOR IN STRUGGLE
THERE IS HONOR IN THE WORK
SONG ON THE ROLE OF WHITE PEOPLE IN THE MOVEMENT AT THIS TIME
It opens with a powerful quote:
“White people are taught that racism is a personal attribute, an attitude, maybe a set of habits. Anti-racist whites invest too much energy worrying about getting it right; about not slipping up and revealing their racial socialization; about saying the right things and knowing when to say nothing. It’s not about that. It’s about putting your shoulder to the wheel of history; about undermining the structural supports of a system of control that grinds us under, that keeps us divided even against ourselves and that extracts wealth, power and life from our communities like an oil company sucks it from the earth. The names of the euro-descended anti-racist warriors we remember – John Brown, Anne Braden, Myles Horton – are not those of people who did it right.… Read more
The first weekend in December, 2014, the White Noise Collective core gathered for our second annual retreat. The weekend was full of growth, reflection, community-building, struggle, and evolution. We want to extend our gratitude to those you to those of you who offered us direct feedback through our 2014 year end survey, and let you all know what is on the horizon for the White Noise Collective in 2015.
In 2015, the White Noise Collective will honor the legacy of two powerful core members who will be moving on from direct leadership roles and into advisory and support positions with the core. Levana and Kelley are critical parts of the growth and blossoming of the White Noise Collective, and we truly stand on their shoulders as we continue this work. We’ve also welcomed our newest core member, Julia, into the fold.
In direct response to movement mobilizing and calls for direct action and engagement by movement leaders of color in the Black Lives Matter movement, 2015 will see a shift toward mobilizing, organizing, and direct action for the White Noise Collective. … Read more