stonebender: (Default)
Man, even when it's the President of the United States, when race comes up it's all about the poor white guy! :-(
stonebender: (Default)
It could be I just have a crush on the author or this is one of the best posts I've read on racism. Mary Ann Mohanraj's Racism 101 There's some interesting and useful links there too. Than there's part 2 right here.
stonebender: (xango red/yellow)
It's not POC's job to educate me, let me off the hook or in anyway help me feel better about my unconscious or conscious racism.

I think those of us with privilege are too quick to pat ourselves on the back for "overcoming" our racism. We don't get a cookie for working on our shit.

If a POC calls us, or our actions, racist the first thing we need to do is take the accusation seriously and listen. Not reject the accusation out of hand. It's not about all the good work we may have done in the past. It's not about our intent. It is about what we did at that moment and how it affects POC.

Listening doesn't mean silence. We need to be active listeners. Ask questions, restate things and check on whether you are getting it. It's going to hurt. You will find out stuff that you don't like about yourself and it's the very least we can do. It's a never ending process and all we can do is improve.

We won't ever completely get it.

As a person with a disability I'm constantly being told by the able-bodied that they understand how difficult it must be for me. Well they don't. Even my closest friends and lovers don't completely get it. Heck I don't completely get it, because I know what it's like in my head. Everyone's experience is different. We just need to keep trying to get closer.

I was talking to a fellow fan last Friday about several difficult conflicts he had experienced in fannish circles. He attributed a lot of it to racism or at least a pretty striking level of insensitivity and an inability to cop to it or cleanly apologize. I found myself trying to apologise or explain their actions. Partly because I thought he was exaggerating and partly because I could see myself doing some of the same things. Then it occured to me that I needed to stop defending and listen.

I'm writing this because I don't want to be silent. I want to try and understand so I can be less hurtful, less complicit. I'm scared to write this. I'm hoping I can stay open and learn.

I grieve the illusion that fandom is a safe place. I want to try to make it safer.

I'm comment locking this post because this is not about me. This is about listening and learning and working towards better.


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