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queerness and whiteness

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I hope this thread continues, as it is one of the most important issues we have to wrestle with in our community. As a white woman moving toward 40, it has taken me a long time to connect the dots and begin to confront my racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, etc in any meaningful way. ZimbaBwe's quote from George Jackson is a good starting point for me :


"The people must oppose everything the oppressor supports, and support everything that he opposes".

frankly, this is what we have to do -- take a stand against oppression wherever it manifests -- but it is damn difficult. It is easy to posture oneself a "liberal" or a "progressive" but simply believing _intellectually_ that I believe in equality doesn't mean that I live it or defend it or work for it.

I think it involves questioning one's own motives all the time, identifying when I am avoiding something uncomfortable, how I am benefiting at someone else's expense. How can I focus my activism on Iraq or Palestine when there is a woman of color standing right next to me and I don't have her back? It is layered and nuanced and complicated and we are all emmeshed in these systems of oppression, but is how we behave day-to-day that informs our society and the experience of those around us.


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This is a very interesting thread and I really don't know where to begin, but I would like to say that all the post/comments so far have been well written and I see everyones point of view. However, I think we all need to work on promoting healthy diversity and inclusion of all people within the GLBT community. I think racism in the GLBT community is uncalled for and really stupid if you think about it. Why would you, as white women, discriminate against women of color when your own people are discriminating against you for your choice to be who you are? Is racism your way of venting for how your fellow people are treating you? I think it's time for us to promote change instead of separation and ignorance.
Sometimes you stand on the edge of a cliff and you jump. You jump because you're tired of being scared. Sometimes you jump just to feel the fall


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I am surprised at the obvious bias shown by white women in this forum as demonstrated by their lack of participation.

I will say here that my experience with racism has been in the form of "reverse racism"....black women and transexuals putting me down because I am white.

Of far greater concern to me is religeous biggotry. I am a Jew, and grew up in Klan Kountry, where numerous attempts were made by the neighborhood A-holes to outright murder me. I do not tollerate ANY form of political biggotry.

As to the issue of blacks and whites, I dated a Yemenite woman who is blacker than any American black I have EVER seen. It was her features that drew me to her. Light-boned, delicate, almost elfen features. What brokie it off was not her skin color or mine. She is Orthodox Jewish. I am Reformed Jewish. She could NOT get past THAT.

Oh, well. I guess the rose garden has some thorns in it.


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Any suggestions, examples, stories, or even more questions??

Hmm...kinda upset that this amazing topic has been started and no one has really ventured to bust it open except other folks of colour on this board.

Seeing as this topic is really not directed at me (which is totally cool) I would however like to add ACCOUNTABILITY to the discussion. Cuz I hear you on that "non-intentional racism" but - when does that get used to absolve one of responsibility? I mean, as whiteness and racism get perpetuated on my body every damn day, I do think white folks need to think about how they are accountable for keeping systems supported, so that they can continue to benefit.

So this conversation therefore needs to be TOPPED.


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I am surprised at the obvious bias shown by white women in this forum as demonstrated by their lack of participation.

I will say here that my experience with racism has been in the form of "reverse racism"....black women and transexuals putting me down because I am white.

The reason most white women haven't posted on this topic is probably because as most white people know it is basically a matter of darned if you do and darned if you don't talk about racism openly. If you are white and openly discuss it then you will undoubtedly upset someone who thinks you are just being anti-racist, as mentioned in a previous post, because people of color are watching but if you say nothing then it must mean you are the "typical privileged white woman" somehow quietly supporting white systems. Bah!

And I agree with the reverse racism statement because as a white Lesbian I have gotten plenty of flack from women of color who have excluded me because of being white from their groups.

So who am I? Well, let’s see – I’m a white, Jewish, lesbian whose family is both black and white and bi-racial. I went to law school and was a member of the National Black Law Students organization. I work with a very diversified group of co-workers and we openly discuss the topic of color and racism.

And here is the bottom line on racism and what is going to be the number one thing that changes perceptions about it – plain good old economics. Yea, just like gays will gain more equality as their economic status rises so too will women and people of color. In the end it is always about money that puts a stop to small mined racism and not so much personal politics. Granted, it needs to start on a political level but to achieve the primary objective of true equality, personal accountability of taking the necessary steps to do the best you can for yourself and for your family is key. And making the most money you can helps “buy” power – it always has. When in law school I learned that justice only belongs to those who can afford it – so too does equality.

And I also believe that speaking up when someone speaks or acts in a racist way – against white, black or other races.

We all have obstacles in our lives that we have to deal with and depending on which ones you were dealt will depend on which obstacles you have to overcome. We as Lesbians all have them although they may be different or some have more than others – we still have to address them.

I know changing things is easier to do when you are on the inside versus on the outside. So I have made a conscious effort to do the best I can in getting in a good economical position to benefit my family and me but also use this position to change racist perceptions.

And I won’t feel bad because I am white and have what I have because it wasn’t automatically given to me based on my color or race, I earned it and actively dealt with the obstacles life handed me. And there are plenty of poor white Lesbians out there that would argue that they don’t have it any better than Lesbians of color. Because being a Lesbian in a straight homophobic world is difficult for anyone. But the first thing everyone needs to do is avoid buying into the idea that just because you are born a certain color, race, sexual orientation that you just can’t get anywhere and succeed because you’ll be held down by “the system.” In the end thinking like this is just a huge excuse for not taking the difficult steps needed to be who and what you want in spite of what “the system” or others think you are based on your race, gay status, etc.

Accountability is taking personal action to make your life better. No one can do that for you.

I would like to hear what other women (black, white, etc.) have to say on this topic as well. But the last thing I want to hear are white women apologizing that they were born white – it’s the same as apologizing for being born gay. :!:


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Can someone repost the link to the invisible napsack reference? The link is outdated and I'm a little confused.

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