Re: Is white racism nec. all bad?

Gary Strand (
28 Apr 1995 19:50:10 GMT

rh> Robert Hartman
gs> Gary Strand

rh> Listening is about discerning the other person's framework, and seeing how
their words fit within both yours and theirs.

And if I think they're full of BS? Whose framework is correct, or better? Is
it possible to make an estimation? I say yes.

rh> If you'll do that, I'll count you as part of the solution--whether we wind
up agreeing or not.

I'm not part of "the solution" - I am my own means and ends, not a means to
someone else's ends. If that strikes you as selfish and conceited, perhaps,
well, too bad.

rh> If we need to wade in and get some of it on ourselves in order to clean
one another, are we willing to do that or not?

I particularly like self-cleaning ovens, myself.

rh> Pretending that it isn't there, or that somehow it doesn't matter because
it didn't get on you, begs the issue. Stop doing that. It only makes it
seem as though you're reluctant to get any of it on yourself.

Oh, I'm plenty willing to get neck-deep in it - but I attach numerous con-
ditions as part of the deal. No way am I going to be forced to bear the
burdens of sins committed by others, or previous generations, or those who
share some trivial and/or irrelevant characteristic with me. I'll gladly
clean up my droppings (as it were) but no-one else's. I take no responsi-
bility for the messes of others. Nor do I plan on being a diaper.

rh> On other issues, I suspect that you do keep an eye on yourself. On the
issue of racism, I suspect that you don't--because as a white person, it
hasn't been a necessity for you. What I actually suspect is that you
wouldn't know what to watch for in the first place.

So what do I watch for? "Nigger" slipping off the tongue, accidentally, of
course? Saying "You're a credit to your race"? Saying "You poor victim of
white racism, here's a job to make you feel better about yourself"? What if
I treat everyone identically, at least insofar as race/gender/&c is concern-
ed? Way back in this thread, that kind of pigeonhole-neutrality was deemed
to be insufficient. Not discouraging others isn't enough - I have to go out
and encourage others. I'm not into extending a hand to help climb the hills
put there by small-minded tribalists - I'm into destroying those hills via

rh> Let's get the hell out of their way so they can get on with the work that
_they_ need to do.


gs> I'd save the categorization of "human in biology only" strictly for those
who in engage in egregious violations of others' rights - yer serial rap-
ists/murderers/molestors, terrorists, and the like.

rh> What's the difference between a murderer and a soldier who kills "the
enmey?" This is an important distinction if you say that you can distin-
guish between people based on what they do.

Ahhhh, wars. Given I'm quite libertarian and strongly individualist in out-
look, you ought to be able to fill in the remainder of what I believe about
wars and soldiers. However, for those times in which war is unavoidable, I
say the side whose cause is wrong has the murderers, the other side, the
soldiers. There is some slippage between the two - there have been honor-
able German Wehrmacht soldiers, and murderous American GIs.

For examples, during WWII, the Allies (except the USSR) were right, the Axis
was wrong. During Korea and Vietnam, the communists were wrong. The Ameri-
cans didn't necessarily carry out the latter two wars correctly, but the
correct cause certainly wasn't the communist one.

Gary Strand WWW: PO Box 3000 Boulder CO 80307-3000 (303) 497-1336
Opinions stated here are mine alone and are not those of NCAR, UCAR, or the NSF