Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk Awkwardly About Race

Please don’t not read this just because you’re not racist.

Comments

1
Self-segregation is a really interesting problem. Mathematically it's easy to show that if people have even a minor preference for living around people who look like them, they'll quickly self-segregate over time. I'm not sure how you combat that tendency.

I'm also really not sure what to take away from this article. The lesson it seems to want to convey to white people is, "you're racist because of your life experiences, and nothing you do will fix that." This isn't a message that makes me want to reach out; it's a message that makes me want to throw up my hands in despair. I actually tend to avoid interacting with people who are minorities because I know that they'll perceive me as racist, as privileged, as someone who doesn't understand their world. This article just reinforces that feeling.
3
I really dug this, and somebody had to write it...thanks Jen.
4
According to studies, black people are ten times more likely to be kick-ass than whites. (my own sources)
5
Everybody's a little bit racist, even you, gentle reader. Get that straight right away. Personally speaking, I had a hard time making white friends as a kid because I'd assumed they'd be rednecks or racists. Of course, the two white friends I made by the time I was 18 weren't exactly going to break that mold. Unfortunately.

The problem ultimately is forcing yourself into hopelessness or defensiveness. If you constantly despair over the thought that you'll always be seen as racist, you'll ignore the people that don't assume you are. You're also assuming that others are racist in a personally hurtful way, too.

The fastest way to get over it -- and the best way to help others -- is to just let go of as much as you can. Stop enabling dimwitted cherry-pickers that flail happily on news of death and sadness to help push a vicious cycle. Stop just assuming you won't be welcome. Stop putting up your shield so quickly. Just cut at least SOMETHING you recognize as harmful to positive racial discourse from your mind as best you can.
6
I was in one of the classes at Cornish where Jen talked about race, and after the class, most of the students were angry- not because she asked if anyone was racist, and admitted to her own "racism" but because she claimed that everyone there was a "racist".
It was insulting, because most of us know "racism" as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race".
Many of the students that I talked to were raised not to discriminate or to think of one race as superior to another, so for Jen to come in and tell us all that we're racist, when we came to learn about art, was off-putting to say the least. I don't think it was a good way to discuss the work. Instead it just turned out to be distracting, and had us all leaving confused about the relevance of the class.
7
I am honestly sorry you felt that way, @Tricky. It was most probably due to teacher error—my not expressing myself in a way that was as clear as I meant it to be. As I write here, talking about race can be hard, and I'm no expert at it.

Now that it's a few years hence, and now that you have this piece to look at (which I hope does a little bit of a better job describing the ideas in my brain), maybe you will reconsider the subject? We don't have to stay distracted and confused. Or you might just toss it. I'm just throwing it out there.
8
I've been in Jen's classes before, and I definitely think that her "discussions" where she calls everyone a racist, is part of her pathetic attempt to seem "edgey" and thought provoking- just like this article.
I think it would be refreshing for Jen to use her, rather expansive, knowledge of art and culture to produce something that inspires and enlightens, instead of inflames and shocks all in the name of being avant garde.
9
I thought the article was great.
10
great article.
11
If you piss off a bunch of upper-middle class white kids going to "art" school, then you probably did something right.
12
@6: The problem is that people are educated on a by-the-books view of racism and don't actually understand that's is more than simple superficiality or an internalized disgust.

Racism is more than "no coloreds allowed" and "no dogs, no irish".
13
Can we please stop using the term "African American" unless said American is actually from the African continent?
14
i love the subject of race. im ok with being called a racist. i cant read your whole article though because im at work, but i can comment!

its easier once one accepts the label racist. then we can be free to honestly make all the mistakes you are afraid of making.

btw this goes for anyone minority of not. every minority has just as many racists as any majority.

the thing is to just not be so theoretical about shit. thats what enables the cognitive dissonance.

be racist, be sexist, know your prejudices and try not to be an asshole but be fucking real. word

15
zero sum game- that is the knee jerk reaction to Chinese development, too. however, when people lift themselves out of poverty everyone benefits. family sizes goes down, education goes up.
17
I really enjoyed this article. It has been too long since I have discussed race. Thank you.
18
"I actually tend to avoid interacting with people who are minorities because I know that they'll perceive me as racist, as privileged, as someone who doesn't understand their world."

So because you may be judged honestly for your privilege, you'd rather not consider the fact that you COULD be acting out of privilege and just stick your head in the sand?

Way brave.

@14: respek.
19
417 is a statistically significant sample, so long as you control for other factors, like income, education, location, etc.

And sadly, as someone who lives in an even whiter city than Seattle (!), I think the sentiment expressed by a majority of white people that they're the victims of racism (!!) is probably accurate. It's beyond appalling.
21
@6: Someone had to tell you you're racist sometime. That's what college is for.
22
@19: "I think the sentiment expressed by a majority of white people that they're the victims of racism (!!) is probably accurate. It's beyond appalling."

In the same way that living in a sexist society hurts men as well as women, certainly.
23
I'm going to list colonial societies and blindly assert nonsense to further a neoracist viewpoint. Afterwards, when my house falls down, I'm going to blame the color of paint we used to repaint it.
24
@Tricky, you sound a *little* like Stephen Colbert when he says "I don't see race" when you deny having a racist bone in your body. ;)

For my part, I find "whiteness"/"white privilege" as a construct to be somewhat useful, and I think I know what you mean by "whiteness" and pretty much agree with what you've written, Jen, but I don't think people who aren't already inclined to agree with you will be converted, and part of that has to do with the fact that "whiteness" has been defined here on quasi-racial terms, when the social realities it describes have a racial component, along with many other components. (As Adrian Piper and others have pointed out ad nauseum, the degree of physical "whiteness" we see on the outside doesn't always correspond to identity or experience on the inside...)

Perhaps we need a new word for the thing we mean when we say "white privilege," and I think Winn hit the nail on the head when he said "integration usually means assimilation." "Whiteness," the act of being physically white, is not the problem per se, but "whiteness," the act of believing that "white privilege" is some kind of cosmic reward for having a superior political/social philosophy that other people ought to adopt is very much the problem, and it exists everywhere, just under the surface. We need to get to a point where we universally see the statement:

"I am going to convert the Barbarians for their own sake"

as sick, false, destructive, and, not coincidentally, responsible for much of what we currently identify as "civilization."

Variations on this theme have, throughout history, taken many forms:

"Our God will send you to Hell if you don't adopt our monotheistic religion."

"We have to kill terrorists over there to keep them from killing us over here."

"Market capitalism is morally superior to other economic systems because it singularly rewards hard work and competitiveness."

"Manifest Destiny."

What these fictions have in common is that not only do they inscribe a situation where "they" have to be "wrong" in order for "us" to be "right," this right/wrong meme is essentially the ONLY substance they impart. Thus the meme of "whiteness" is really the circular reasoning,

"Everything has to be like this, because 'everything has to be like this' is our core belief."

This isn't a social, economic, or religious philosophy at all. This is what a VIRUS is programmed to do.

"Whiteness," as you've defined it here, is essentially a virus. It may be the virus that gave us LOLcats and the interstate highway system, but it is still a virus. In order for there to be winners, there must be losers. In this case, what is lost is essentially everything about the human experience that is not expressly directed toward the goal of the Borg making more of itself. It is a profound cultural sickness with deep roots (some of them racial, most of them situational and cultural) and we would do well to start seeing it as such.

Perhaps I am also blinded by white privilege/white guilt as well. Unfortunately we are all only able to see the world through the lens of our own personal experience. I don't know how to change that. I can see that making contact with people with other backgrounds and experiences on THEIR terms might be a good practice, but I also don't see how a person goes about eliminating his/her own "terms" from an interaction. Thanks for writing this, though. It's a super difficult topic, but an important one. No one person is ever going to get it completely "right," that's what conversation is for.
25
I understand that this article is coming from a good place and it addresses a lot of important issues. But the article (and the CARW) seem to amount to little more than hand wringing. 300 years of white affirmative action is accurate. It's a historical fact, just look at the racial covenants in Seattle (from 50 or so years ago) for example to figure out why the whites are in the north and the minorities in the south.

Accepting these facts, what to do about it? Well congress and the president could amend the constitution to allow affirmative action. That seems extremely unlikely but it is a legislative possibility, and campaigning for people amenable to that (and other social justice issues) is a good idea. If that was accomplished then affirmative action programs would help these inequalities, but there would still be the need to address the culture in which people (white people) feel that affirmative action is a deep injustice to white people.

I guess CARW works on that, but it's hard not to feel a little bit of preaching to the choir. Also I feel like CARW is setting white people to be so hyper-obsessed with race that they can't have real interactions with people. I understand that racial inequality is a huge issue, but human connection is a fundamental tenant of progress of civilization and of course, on a genetic level we're all basically the same. I am a white man married to a person of color. I live in the CD and my neighbors are black or Southeast Asian. I try to be aware of how privileged I am, by my gender, race, and nationality, and try to keep that in mind when I think about politics and current events. And I try to treat all my neighbors with respect. Sometimes that means connecting with people as people, and sometimes as in the case of some of Sudanese Muslims in the neighborhood, I leave them alone because that's the vibe they send out. I don't really know what else to do. I support affirmative action and wish it wasn't unconstitutional, but sitting in a room with a bunch of embarrassed white people engaged in self-flagellation doesn't seem to help much.
27
@Tricky. Obviously, after reading this article, and as someone who knows Jen professionally, she is far from putting on act or falsely trying to be edgy or avant garde. She is being honest here and trying to address something that goes unsaid and unspoken. We all claim to be non-racist, but plop a white girl like me in the middle of a black neighborhood in Philadelphia and honestly, I'm a bit uncomfortable and unsure and the people around me are looking at me oddly. There is a lot unsaid there. That said, we can only talk about and experience art from our own perspective. A white person will interpret Sean Johnson or Glen Ligon differently than a black person. A man will interpret differently than a woman, an Asian differently than a Muslim. And since we cannot force our reactions to interact without intentionally filling a room with diverse students, we can only attempt to empathize. And that, I believe is at the heart of this essay. Can we truly empathize or is that also a form of racism? Great stuff as always, Jen! You know hit a nerve when the commenting begins!
28
As for me, I'm a racist when it comes to physical attraction to someone (man, woman or transsexual). I'm generally not attracted to pasty, doughy white people like myself. I don't care how nice a body they might have. I'm attracted to people of color, whether they are descended from the continent of Asia, South America, Africa, North America, Australia, or some island. Maybe it's some sort of instinctual thing, where a mutt is stronger genetically than a pure breed. Of course, when I practice homosexual sex, there is no chance of procreation there.

On the subject of immigration, I find that the hysteria of immigrants taking our jobs and threatening our standard of living is a crock of shit. In my union, the angry white Republican men are the first to roll over and suck their boss's dick. They've had their working conditions handed to them on a silver platter. The immigrants are generally more active union members, because they have a better appreciation for union pay and working conditions. I say we kick Republicans out of unions, like they did to Communists after World War 2. The Republican party is a dual and hostile organization to labor unions, as every current Republican presidential candidate supports a national right to work for less law.
29
Hey dumbass @8, SHE RESPONDED TO YOU.

Race is not avant garde, you fuckwit. Fuck you. Everything went right over your empty head.
31
p.s. the Sean Johnson piece is beautiful and compelling, and it's about race as discussed in the article, but it also touches on another thing entirely: the non-binary condition of being of mixed race descent and all its attendant circumstances of not belonging fully anywhere, being alternately invisible and accused of having privilege by both sides, etc.

I see this as a very fruitful topic for an entirely other discussion. The experience of mixed race people can shed a lot of light on our concept of both "whiteness" and "blackness" (or "otherness").
32
At nineteen or twenty I think I would have had the same reaction as Tricky. I can choose not to discrimnate, but I cannot opt out of white privledge. That's a hard pill to swallow as a young person who has been taught how important equality is. I would like to suggest viewing a lecture by activist Tim Wise.http://youtu.be/_UJlNRODZHA. Understanding privledge and racism are important when developing a context in which view art and the artist's pov. I wish Jen was teaching when I was a student at Cornish ten years ago.
34
Pssst... Jen. If you have to go on Slog to explain yourself, after you've written a multi-page article, then maybe you're not as good a writer as you think you are.

Unless your goal was to fill up space between the advertisements. If that's the case then... well done!
35
So anyone who claims not be to racist is in denial? As Graves points out, these injustices exist -- white people are less likely to hit the poverty level, go to jail, become homeless, etc. -- but how do you make the leap from acknowledging these discrepancies to saying that every white person is at fault for them, since every white person is racist? Why not also point out other racial inequities, like that black kids are about three times as likely as white kids to be raised in single-parent homes? Is that the fault of white people too? Does pointing this out seem tantamount to beating up on black people?
36
You know who really hates black people?

Black people!
37
(I posted this on facebook, but it does belong here.)

Jen, thank you so much for your courageous article.

When I first moved to Seattle I thought everyone was so nice...and believed that racism wasn't as big of a problem as in other cities. It took me a couple years to realize that Seattle's problem is insidious...because it's what I call polite racism. We are a polite city and I've learned with time to rarely trust the "niceness" that is shown. And then, we mix in a major class problem with the wide gulf between wealth and poverty. It really is all about privilege.

We DO need to have the uncomfortable conversations. Thank you.
39
I don't know if I'd say all people are racist. Some are, but some people seem to be just naturally not that aware of race. I'm of mixed race and I grew up in graduate school housing at a university where some of the world's best minds came to study. So all the kids and people around me were educated, smart and from all different parts of the world. to my knowledge I wasn't even aware of racism or stereotypes until we moved to Texas and settled into a mostly white suburb.

When I moved to Philadelphia as an adult, I would walk by all these row houses on the way to the train I took to work. At certain homes, I would see the same guys sitting on the porch in the morning drinking beer and calling out to me and on my way back in the evening, there they were still! And I was like, OH, THAT'S where that stereotype about black people sitting around all day comes from. It was a completely eye opening for me. Like I said, just about every black, brown and pink person I had met as a child was hard-working and smart, but what if I had not?

However, I do think that probably everybody has some PREJUDICES that it's worthy to examine.
I, for example, tend to have a prejudice against people who are rich, pink, heterosexual, Christian Republicans who live on the Eastside and drive Jaguars, Mercedes or Beemers. If I see a person that I think fits that description, I tend to think, "Ugh." But really, how fair is that? I'm sure there are a lot of totally nice, humble, kind people who are Christian Republicans. Really.
What can I say? I'm working on it.
My short term goal is to not intentionally cut off drivers of luxury vehicles. That's the best I can do for today.
Progress, not perfection. :)
41
Fabulous piece, Jen, and richly demonstrated by the discussion it has already engendered (enraced? ).
43
It's amazing all the privileges you earn knowing how to use a condom properly. I never knew how privileged I was being able to slip in on!
46
Great article, Jen. This is a good starting point for getting people to think about this subject productively and act accordingly, even if many people won't take the opportunity.

I think most of the comments, and not just the anonymous trolls, demonstrate exactly how racist we are. I've made it as far as admitting my own racist assumptions and the benefits I see from white privilege, and trying to identify them and work against them. But it's still too easy to be defensive when someone calls out my behavior and actions rather than talking about racism in general. And my social life remains quite segregated. But I try.

What bothers me is that people can't even get to that first stage of admitting that racism exists and that white people--all white people, including progressive-minded white people, and white people who are comparatively underprivileged in other ways, yes even YOU every white person reading this--gain privilege from it. Seattle is not an exception, not even close.
49
@34: Pssst, she didn't add anything new on the Slog post and most features writers post links on Slog once or twice during the week.
51
Love how u think Ballard is white. Last Census had Capitol Hill at 75% white.
52
@8: "I definitely think that her "discussions" where she calls everyone a racist, is part of her pathetic attempt to seem "edgey" and thought provoking- just like this article"

I doubt anything short of a sledgehammer to the head could provoke any sort of thought in you. You seem absolutely incurious, Sarah Palin-style.
55
"the benefits I see from white privilege, and trying to identify them and work against them."

So please send your check to:

Silas T. Potter Jr
C/o Seattle Public Schools
56
Racist? I'd say classist.

Most white people could care less about the color of their neighbors, if said neighbors were like-minded progressives attempting a middle-class or higher lifestyle. They're bothered by the ghetto stereotype, black, white or whatever else. I could gain a meth habit, lose some teeth, live on the streets and wipe away that white privilege.

Of course racism influences class and social mobility. Many white and middle-class people are blind to this, but their might be some opportunities for dialoge now that the middle class is struggling.

It's silly to call white progressives racist just because they benefit from social mobility and opportunities they would like everyone else to have.
58
I actually think we're even more in denial about issues of class. After all, we're a "classless" society, right? *choke, cough*

A middle-class minority child is going to have more opportunities than a child growing up in a housing project, regardless of race. And yes, a white child in the projects is probably going to have more opportunities than a minority child in the projects. But any disadvantaged youngster is going to start off way more handicapped than any middle-class or well-to-do child.

As a child of the housing projects myself - and yeah, I'm talking High Point and Holly Park, not the South Side of Chicago or a project in Detroit - I know what an uphill battle it was for me to escape that life.

There's an inherent class snobbery among middle-class people that is even more apparent than racism, maybe because it's become societally unacceptable (except in the most backward circles) to openly mock people for their race, but one can still mock them for being "trailer trash" or "people of WalMart." I hear that shit all the time. It's classism, pure and simple. And yeah, I'm a classist myself - I still have something of a chip on my shoulder about the kids who had everything handed to them on a silver platter but thought themselves hard-used because the car Daddy gave them when they turned 16 was used, or the college Daddy paid for wasn't Ivy League.
60
Statistics are racist.

Also, 'even if you're Asian?' That was written ironically, right?
61
i feel the same way, orv. from now on i will be avoiding any and all people who are not 'white' so i do not inflict my white privilege on them. first on that list: My sister and her family! of course, this is gonna make things awkward at family gatherings (I will have to send my regrets), but if it makes life easier for people of color, then i will make that sacrifice!

jesus h christ, jen, give it UP. the dirty little secret of this country isn't race, it's CLASS.
62
I guess this is a good article for getting middle class and rich white people to think about their own unconscious "racism". But everything in this article smacks of class privilege, and that brand of egocentricity that seems peculiar to upper-class white people. Basically, Jen is writing off the idea that the whole concept of "skin privilege" is profoundly more complicated, and relevant, for poor white people than it is for middle class or rich white people. White people who can afford to miss a promotion or a scholarship are the ones who are in favor of affirmative action and other substantive "remedies" for racism, but they're rarely the ones who are most profoundly effected by those programs. How convenient that poor white people, who might object to anything that would keep them in poverty longer, are so easily written off as coming from an historically "racist" culture.

One of the problems with talking about this entire issue is that disagreeing with someone about the white guilt paradigm opens you up for charges of being in denial about your own racism.
67
Whose more racist? Black people or white people?
Black people....You know why? Cause we hate black people too
Everything white people dont like about black people
Black people really dont like about black people
There some shit goin on with black people right now
There's like a civil war goin on with black people
And there two sides....
There's black people, and there's niggas
And niggas have got to go
Everytime black people wanna have a good time
Ignorant ass nigga fuck it up
Can't do shit, cant do shit, without some ignorant ass nigga fuckin it up
Cant do nothin
Cant keep a disco open more than 3 weeks
Grand opening, grand closing
Cant go to a movie the first week it comes out
Why cause niggas are shooting at the screen
What kind of ignorant shit is that
Hay this is a good movie, this is so good i gotta bust a cap in here
Hay I love black people, but i hate niggas boy, boy i hate niggas
Boy I wish they'd let me join the Klu Klux Klan
Shit I'd do a drive-by from here to Brooklyn
I'm tired of niggas man
You cant have shit when you around niggas
68
For anyone looking to get involved or just find out more about local anti-racist activism, the Community Alliance for Global Justice recently held a Food Justice Project Meeting regarding racism as it pertains to the food system: http://www.seattleglobaljustice.org/2011…
70
They let this woman teach???
72
She should be fired not for being a faux racist but for being an art history teacher. That is the rock upon which educational dollars are sacrificed.
73
@56: "It's silly to call white progressives racist just because they benefit from social mobility and opportunities they would like everyone else to have"

It's not *that* they have privilege, it's what they do and how they mask their privilege that brings in elements of racism.
74
Man, that unemployed, unregistered Neo-Nazi is just FURIOUS today.

Perhaps you should get a job and stop blaming your loserdom on minorities.
76
I think these kinds of conversations are complicated by the fact that there are different kinds and degrees of racism. When white people talk about racism, often what we talk about is racial hatred or disgust. When minorities talk about racism, it seems that they're usually talking not just about those conscious and overt forms of racism, but the more subtle forms of subconscious bias that affect people and intitutions.

Viewed in those terms, both sides are right, in a way. It's certainly true that there's a lot less racial hatred in Seattle than in many other American cities (trolls in this comment thread notwithstanding). But there's no less racial *bias* here, and therein lies the problem. A great deal of the conversation about race conflates these different forms of racism, which makes discussing the problem difficult. Racists of the first kind (Klansmen, bigoted uncles, etc.) have been so thoroughly discredited and demonized that few white people see those views and behaviors as acceptable, and those that disagree tend to keep quiet about it, lest they be ostracized. But the demonization of overt racism has made it very difficult to discuss the subject of racial bias. No one wants to be branded a racist, because racism is seen as synonymous with hatred.

What needs to be recognized is that it's possible to be racist without being a hateful person, that it is possible to treat people of other races poorly despite bearing them no ill-will.

Racial hatred is terrible, and deserves to be viewed as a mark of shame. Hatred is unnatural and can and should be stamped out. Racial bias, however, is a different animal. Like all forms of bias it is to some degree universal and inescapable. We can certainly reduce it and mitigate its effects, but we're unlikely to completely eliminate it from others or from ourselves. The sooner we admit our biases, the sooner we can start working on ways to mitigate their effects.
77
@75: You're only better educated if you think watching Fox News, masturbating, and collecting newsclippings is an "education".

Humanity is horrible and murderous, and I acknowledge this.

Where you become an inbred hillbilly is where you somehow think that blacks are exclusively savage.
79
It's not *that* they have privilege, it's what they do and how they mask their privilege that brings in elements of racism.

That attributes intentionality that doesn't exist. People who have privilege generally don't "mask" it. At worst, they make an uninformed but perfectly understandable assumption that everyone faces, basically, the same challenges and has the same advantages that they do.

Nobody gives a shit about anyone underneath them on the socio-economic pyramid. African American men do not, as a rule, invest a lot of energy in the socio-economic status of African American women. African American women do not, as a rule, invest a lot of energy in the socio-economic status of undocumented immigrants, or the labor rights of people in the developing nations that make most of the stuff we consume here in the United States. Mexican immigrants to the United States care about opening the U.S. borders, but I doubt any of those people spent much energy advocating for opening Mexico's southern borders to Nicaraguans or Salvadorians fleeing the bloody civil wars in those countries in the 80s.

Complaining that the ethnic/gender group at the top has a special responsibility to look down is the privilege, so to speak, of people who aren't on top. But anyone who bothers to hold that up to the light can see it's pretty weak tea.
82
Man, white people be PISSED. Privilege is a bitch, ain't it?

This is a fantastic article, and a great start to a necessary discussion.
86
A hot-topic think piece that makes you uncomfortable, challenges your assumptions about yourself and your city, wakes you out of smug self-satisfaction like a triple shot of espresso straight into the jugular, and doesn't give you band-aids? Sounds like The Stranger, roaring back to life! Bravissima, Jen.
87
The Bell Curve == Creationism
Race-based supremacy != science.

Your conflating shitty soft-science with hard science and evolution is pretty par for the course. Is it any surprise that a Neo-Nazi wants to practice eugenicism?
88
chuch, jen.
89
I'm from Atlanta and have visited Ballard and Freemont. I must admit, I was a bit uncomfortable being around so many white people. I am white myself.

I live in the congressional district that elected Cynthia McKinney. I even voted for Miss "Much to Do About a Hair-Do". This is a very diverse area of middle-class black and white people with a strong influx of Hispanic/Asian immigrants over the past 20-25 years.

Anyone who has traveled through the Atlanta airport has surely noticed the overwhelming majority of airport staff is black. I have had people from places like Wisconsin comment on how the airport makes them unsafe felling or uncomfortable without being able to elaborate why. It's all the black people, duh. They don't even realize it. Racism is real and you see it a lot when you are close to it.

A lot of ideas or stereotypes labeled racist, especially concerning black Americans, are sometimes more culturally based than racial. Am I racist for saying something such as "black people love listening to gospel music while driving to work?"
90
What, no mention of the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, or People's Institute Northwest? CAR-W does great work, but I didn't think they sprang up as their own entity all by themselves, I thought that both People's Institute and PINW played some role in the origins of the group.
91
@Subdued: Studies like this show children of color are impacted more than white children, even when taking in to account local crime rates, income levels, etc:

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/0…

""It’s not that the more violent schools get metal detectors, or even the urban schools get metal detectors—though that’s true,” said co-author Aaron Kupchik, an associate professor in sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware. “It’s that schools with more students of color are more likely to get metal detectors, at every level, even elementary levels.”

That suggests that race, rather than class, can play a role, no?
92
I had to stop after "Honking was an attempt to reassert privilege".

Really? Those drivers wouldn't have honked at white people loping down the middle of the road who refused to move for cars?

93
@92 yeah that was pretty dumb. Laughably dumb.

Anywho, we are all different and we should celebrate our differences.

And yes, class is the real issue, not race.

The thought of these wealthy white people forming clubs so they can clutch their pearls and talk about how hard it is to be a good white person is pretty funny to me.

I guess I just have real things to worry about. But it was an interesting article.
94
It seemed to me the reason they were honked at was that they were having an experience that all people know well: that you're not just entitled to walk anywhere you please, that there might be consequences. Holding up traffic was an attempt to reassert privilege.

No, really Jen. The hammer doesn't swing both ways in some scenarios. I have a feeling that CARW is more an experience of white whining than anything productive.

I second Scary Tyler Moore...classism is legitimate. People hate based on behaviors they see as things poor people do. However, assimilation rarely comes on one's own terms. To move up in society, you generally have to learn the ways of the next class or perish. Exceptions do exist, but they are far more rare than you'd think.
95
I think "racist" is a loaded term, because it brings to mind Bull Connor. I deal with no Bull Connor types in Seattle--meaning, there are no people here who wouldn't let my children go to school or swim in the same swimming pool with theirs. So having white folks say they're "racist" seems silly to me.

There is, of course, white privilege, straight privilege, male privilege and Christian privilege. And those privileges are: default. Any institution predominantly white, straight, male and Christian is presumed to be neutral. Does anyone consider Safeway to be white? Does anyone consider Uwajimaya to be neutral? The point is (and this is what creeps out Republicans/Libertarians/denialists): there is no neutral in this country, and there never has been, because the state has actively discriminated against blacks, women, gays and non-Christians.

Well, I'm not a navel-gazer, so as lovely (or misguided) as this article might be, my recommendation would be:

This is America. We believe in putting our money where our mouth is. If you're interested in promoting racial equality, then vote with your dollars.

Get a directory of minority businesses and spend your money there (we used to call it Black Dollar Days).

Make a lesbian your primary care doctor (even if you're a man--yes, it's ok!).

Shop at Uwajimaya instead of Safeway (yes, it might cost a dollar or two more--think of Dr. King in jail--is a dollar or two more worth it?).

Find a nice Japanese or Vietnamese mechanic. (They may not speak great English. Well, it's not all that necessary to speak English to change your oil and notice that your brake pads need changing.)

The point is, don't just wallow in your guilt. Do something. (Eating at your local veganj Thai place or going to Brazil fest at Seattle Center, while nice, don't really count.)

Volunteer for a nonprofit where you will meet your fellow residents of a different ethnicity. Tutor immigrant children at a south-end school. I'm sure you can come up with many more useful ideas.
96
Seriously, Jen. Is the white people who got in a fight with the Critical Masstards because he couldn't move his car a racist? What about all the people who honked at the same group of idiots when they blocked 99? What about getting pissed off at the retardos who make right turns from the left turn lane and cut you off?

Or, what if you get mad at an incompetent receptionist for failing to do her job? Is it racist if the worker is a black woman who speaks in street dialect with an accent that comes from the hood? What if it is a trailer-trash speaking white guy? An English-challenged person of any race? A script-reading Indian named "Hank"? A spoiled rich person who only has the job to make money but has no interest in helping you accomplish your task?

When does justified anger and frustration turn into actual racism? Is it ANY anger at a person of a different color? Is it any anger at somebody on THEIR turf?
97
Jen Graves continues to struggle with when and how to wield the word "racist":

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

Well, all verbal arguments ultimately collapse under the weight of semantics, but I'm still with Henry Louis Gates on this one: "race" is a dangerous trope.

98
"Honk if you want to reassert your priviledge" would make a great bumpersticker.

Because it is completely absurd.
99
WOW----!! What an eye-opening article! This really made me stop, take a look at myself, and ask some difficult questions about how I grew up in the era of "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons".

It will indeed be interesting to see what happens over the next two, five, ten years----not just in Seattle, but worldwide as the Earth continues to shrink.

Thank you, Jen Graves, for writing an excellent and very much needed article!
100
@96: Interesting points, too. There doesn't seem to be any easy answer.
101
@92 & @93: Points well taken, too.
Inequality seems to be everywhere.
102
So I throw it out there: "Raise your hand if you're a racist [...] You've never had a negative thought based on racial bias?" I ask.

I enjoyed this piece and while I understand what you are driving at when you pose this question, I have a hard time equating something as simple as a thought with the label of racism. Sure, the blood of our country runs red with racism, racism is embedded in our institutions and society, and no one among us has never had a negative thought based on race. Still it seems to me that if everyone can be labelled a racist, then the label loses some of its usefulness.

I might have the occasional homoerotic thought, but I don't think anyone would label me a homosexual because of it. Alternately, I have let slip the occasional homophobic slur (e.g. "that's so gay"), but I can assure you that I'm no homophobe.

It is important to realize that many of our thoughts and impulses are conditioned. If I feel suspicious or hostile towards a person (e.g. the urge to lock your car door when passing certain folks) and can find no honest justification for it besides race, then I will freely acknowledge that "I just had a racist thought", but I am not about to label myself a racist if I do not act on that impulse or even go out of my way to counter that impulse.

Besides, some of my favorite relatives are black and/or gay. ;)
103
I'm gay, and I'd never call a hetero a homophobe just because they had a thought biased on homophobia. So long as they're all for legal equality and equal opportunities, straight privilege a homophobe does not make!

Your classroom approach might make a few people wake up to privilege in a university setting, but elsewhere you run the risks of building barriers. Try telling a laid-off white family in the Rust Belt, who will never be middle-class again, how very privileged they are and you'll sound ridiculous. You may be right, they will never face racial discrimination, but in a climate of diminishing opportunities
for all but the very wealthy, your words won't resonate.

Stress good opportunities for everyone. Push for equal opportunities at every turn. Let people know that it isn't a fixed pie, and helping group A won't harm group B. If one group matters most to you,
get involved in a charity that helps them. Don't waste your time trying to win over overt racists, as those bigots are dying off anyhow.

But please, please don't call well-intentioned white people racists. If I called everyone who ever said "fag" or "that's so gay" a homophobe, especially if they're progressive, I'd lose influence and shut down opportunities for dialoge. A lot of people want to right the wrongs of this world and combat the different "-isms" but don't know where to start. Calling them racists won't get them started any sooner.
104
At first I was excited to read this; Jen is right, race relationships does not get talked about enough in a meaningful way. But then it turned out to be "Hey whitey, you're racist! Don't think you're racist, well you are!" It's too bad because there is a really good piece waiting to be writing about the 300 years of systematic racism in the United States and the effects it has caused (Note if you do not believe there isn’t a history of systematic racism in the United States, go and read some history books).

People here are right that a lot of the issues are class issues, but the systematic racism has caused a large amount of black people to be in the lower class. So you can’t just shrug this off as class issues, it’s both class issues and race issues. And it’s getting worse as the current political climate is to shrug off issues of the poor class as issues as of the lazy class. Why can’t you just pull yourself up by your boot straps, that is the American way after all. If you can’t make your way in this country, you just aren’t trying hard enough. This way of thinking completely ignores the issues facing the poor class and does nothing to help them escape poverty. So it’s easy to see how the middle class and upper class have an upper hand with the laissez faire environment in the usa today.

Many black people are living in poor conditions due to the systematic racism that has been a part of America since it was created. They see a country founded on slavery and whose hero’s were slave owners. They see a country that has treated them like second class citizens up until the 1960s, and in some ways continue to. They see the programs that could help them be slashed in the name of tax cuts, and they see the American dream fail them, if they ever even saw it as a dream in the first place.

Yes, white people in this country do not have to deal with this. It’s something we can ignore because it doesn’t affect us in our day to day life. Instead we worry about the things that do affect us, paying our bills, getting food on our tables. This isn’t racism, its human nature.

And this is where your piece falls flat Jen. Instead of examining what affects this systematic racism has on the black community, or what can be done to elevate the black community out of the poverty that it has created, it just focus on the fact that most white people don’t think much about it. Yeah most white people don’t, but now that you’re drawn their attention to it do more than just nag, show what can be done to help. And no, going to a class on the weekend to take about your white guilt doesn’t help, but voting for politicians who have policies to lift the poor out of poverty do. But that’s a much harder article to write, much harder to write then an article that turns out to be little more than “you think you’re racist, but you are” in a condescending tone.
105
@13 NO. YOU don't get to decide how a group chooses to self-identify. THEY do. Your white privilege is showing, and it doesn't look becoming.
107
In as much as a person of color wouldn't enjoy having their racial identity co-opted to describe some undesirable trait, so white people may justly feel insulted by the use of the term "whiteness" in this context. Similarly so, in as much as a person of color (or, for that matter, a poor person) would see injustice in having their motives for, say, being on the sidewalk after dark questioned, so too can a white person see injustice (different, mind you, from simply being made to feel "uncomfortable") in being called a racist. Real progress will come when we can talk about (and more importantly DO THINGS TO SOLVE) these issues without needing to resort to co-opting *anyone's* identity as a pejorative. Insulting the minds you hope to change is a losing strategy.
108
You'd do more to help disadvantaged black people volunteering at a homeless shelter than you would attending one of those white shame meetings.
109
1. Race is meaningless in terms of inherited characteristics. The pseudoscience of race we inherited from the nineteenth century is bogus beyond any doubt.

2. Race as currently understood is a social construction directly inherited from nineteenth-century understandings. They've been modified and added to and the splintery edges rubbed off, but the broad categories of white, Asian, black, indian, and spanish-speaking are now hard-wired into how this nation thinks. Just look at the census...

3. So, race has reality, but it is reality as enforced by broad human-created social structures. It has as much reality as the state of Washington or the United States of America: God and DNA did not create the 49th parallel. We did.

4. We want to take more responsibility for our social creations than we deserve. Social constructs like these can't be deconstructed simply through awareness, any more than psychic problems can be solved by realizing "Hey, I have an id!" It's not that awareness is bad, but reprogramming is not just a matter of consciousness.

5. If I as an individual want to help break down the walls I did not build, I need to play a funny game of tag with myself and the world around me. I will never probably feel super-comfortable with the kids in my neighborhood who have been beating people up for money and were out slashing the neighbors' tires the other day. What I can do is follow my love of singing to a gospel choir. I can slowly, by following opportunities I love, when they come up, erase Race from my personal life.

I think the way homophobia has been slowly erased from some of our lives is instructional. We didn't get there because of marches in the street, or sessions of the anti-homophobia committee. We got there because we have friends who are G, L, B, and/or T. We didn't seek them out because of their letter, we sought them out because we likes them. And then we learn of the crap they still have to deal with, and because we are their friends, we can stand with them clearly and honestly.

In a way, it's a trap to become aware of white privilege before you've begun your slow, meandering march. It makes you aware that you are doing things to fight racism/white privilege, and this sucks some of the joy out of what you are doing. On the other hand, maybe it can be like how I end up treating exercise in my life: I hate practice, whether it's physical or musical or anything. So I never "exercise." But I know I need to, so I find things I like to do, which involve exercise. But I enjoy them because they're dance or walking to work, or I do them because they're necessary like walking the dog or mowing the lawn. I then only then have to CHOOSE exercise when I figure out a habitual or scheduled pattern.

Can we do the same thing for racism? Fool ourselves into working past it? I think in the long run, it's the only way we're going to get to a truly post-racial society--a society that recognizes that your ancestors were African slaves, and yours emigrated from Somalia, and yours were Maya, and yours were Chinese peasants, and yours were Irish potato farmers, and yours were English Pilgrims... but where this identity is a matter for an annual parade and peculiar family foodways and customs, and for the great-uncle who's decided to really get into his heritage and goes to folk-dance camp and wears kind of funny ethnic clothing. And that's it. I long for that day.
110
1. Race is meaningless in terms of inherited characteristics. The pseudoscience of race we inherited from the nineteenth century is bogus beyond any doubt.

2. Race as currently understood is a social construction directly inherited from nineteenth-century understandings. They've been modified and added to and the splintery edges rubbed off, but the broad categories of white, Asian, black, indian, and spanish-speaking are now hard-wired into how this nation thinks. Just look at the census...

3. So, race has reality, but it is reality as enforced by broad human-created social structures. It has as much reality as the state of Washington or the United States of America: God and DNA did not create the 49th parallel. We did.

4. We want to take more responsibility for our social creations than we deserve. Social constructs like these can't be deconstructed simply through awareness, any more than psychic problems can be solved by realizing "Hey, I have an id!" It's not that awareness is bad, but reprogramming is not just a matter of consciousness.

5. If I as an individual want to help break down the walls I did not build, I need to play a funny game of tag with myself and the world around me. I will never probably feel super-comfortable with the kids in my neighborhood who have been beating people up for money and were out slashing the neighbors' tires the other day. What I can do is follow my love of singing to a gospel choir. I can slowly, by following opportunities I love, when they come up, erase Race from my personal life.

I think the way homophobia has been slowly erased from some of our lives is instructional. We didn't get there because of marches in the street, or sessions of the anti-homophobia committee. We got there because we have friends who are G, L, B, and/or T. We didn't seek them out because of their letter, we sought them out because we likes them. And then we learn of the crap they still have to deal with, and because we are their friends, we can stand with them clearly and honestly.

In a way, it's a trap to become aware of white privilege before you've begun your slow, meandering march. It makes you aware that you are doing things to fight racism/white privilege, and this sucks some of the joy out of what you are doing. On the other hand, maybe it can be like how I end up treating exercise in my life: I hate practice, whether it's physical or musical or anything. So I never "exercise." But I know I need to, so I find things I like to do, which involve exercise. But I enjoy them because they're dance or walking to work, or I do them because they're necessary like walking the dog or mowing the lawn. I then only then have to CHOOSE exercise when I figure out a habitual or scheduled pattern.

Can we do the same thing for racism? Fool ourselves into working past it? I think in the long run, it's the only way we're going to get to a truly post-racial society--a society that recognizes that your ancestors were African slaves, and yours emigrated from Somalia, and yours were Maya, and yours were Chinese peasants, and yours were Irish potato farmers, and yours were English Pilgrims... but where this identity is a matter for an annual parade and peculiar family foodways and customs, and for the great-uncle who's decided to really get into his heritage and goes to folk-dance camp and wears kind of funny ethnic clothing. And that's it. I long for that day.
111
The comparisons between homophobia and racism are off in that it much more difficult to hide the color of one's skin in most social settings. I realize there are a variety of treatments to alter your skin color if you're really motivated, but that's not what I'm talking about. When I walk down the street most people are going to react to my sexual orientation much less than they are going to react to my skin color.
112
@111 So, you're saying that gays should not hold hands n public , and otherwise avoid acting gay in public, in order to take full advantage of their privilege. But, blacks can not, or at least should not be asked to, avoid acting like ghetto stereotypes.
113
I called it. Callllled it: I KNEW that Charles Mudede could never write a headline as funny as this one.
114
@111: You are correct in asserting that you can't hide your skin color the way you could conceal your sexual orientation. But, if you are referring to my comment @102 and the following comment @103; I am not trying to draw parallels between racism and homophobia. I am trying to point out that a thought does not equate to a crime. Having a racist thought, particularly an unconscious thought fueled by years of conditioning, does not necessarily make you a racist anymore than having daydreams about murdering your boss makes you a murderer, or having rape fantasies makes you a rapist.
115
I am so excited that Jen wrote this article and The Stranger published it. It takes some guts for white people to talk about racism and admit our roles. But we don't need to be paralyzed by it.

If you are interested, CARW is holding its fourth annual Organizing Institute for white folks who want to learn more about racism as a system, and gain tools for talking about racism and organizing against racism (including in multi-racial settings).
Click here to learn more about our ORGANIZING INSTITUTE: http://carw.org
116
@28:

Mutts? Excuse the fuck out of me for not being terribly pleased with being equated to mongrels and that being the primary attraction someone would have towards me.

How the fuck did you manage to be racist at EVERYBODY all at once? Seriously, did you have to think real hard about the equal-opportunity asshattery you have going there?
117
Thank you Jen for writing this article, and The Stranger for publishing it. It takes some guts for white people to talk about racism and the roles we play in it. But that role does not have to be paralysis.

The fourth annual CARW Organizing Institute begins in October. Its a chance to gain some understanding of racism and white privilege, some skills for talking about racism and organizing against it. Click here for more details: http://carw.org
118
For those who do not see that the African American community does not have a problem with crime, just watch the TV Show "the first 48".
It strongly debunks by simple everyday experience the idea that more African Americans are in Jail because of racism. With affirmative action not called that but very popular in Canada, if you are a white man of middle age , your job prospects are almost Nil as you are at the very bottom of the waiting line.That is institutionalized racism.
119
Interesting article, but not a lot of it makes any sense to me. The examples you provide, like honking at people in the road who HAPPEN to also be black, are evicence of racism? How exactly? Sounds like they just need to get out of the road, because its a ROAD! I would entertain this as an example if a white person walked out in the road and the car stopped and waved them through and, just after, a black person walked into the road and the driver starts honking. However, I doubt this is the case. You can discuss gentrification and white people moving to places they "just dont belong", but these are really arguments of socio-economic status and the inequality there. This, of course, is certainly tied to race and race cannot be ignored, but if you are simply talking about honking at someone in the middle of the road, give me a break.

It seems to me this is a kind of over-analysis that, ironically, is afforded by the extra time we white people have (a result of the extra money/privilege afforded to us) to sit around on a Saturday and pick apart all the possible ways our actions COULD be interpreted as racist. Notice I didnt say SHOULD. This, in my opinion, is almost as insulting to the whole issue of racism as actually being racist. It seems to me a whole lot more could be done if the attitude was "yep, there is still racism, what are you going to DO about it" rather than sitting around, over-analyzing the fuck out of it all and accomplishing nothing outside your group of privileged white friends. Its not about you feeling better about your racism, its about doing something to change it in the place you live. Just being aware isnt good enough anymore.
120
"Who here is a Racist?"

When I first read that I knew I would have raised my white-Irish hand; is it because I sometimes curse using the n-word, or is it that I grew up with the privileges of whiteness?

According to your article Jen, it is the direct benefits of my whiteness that make me a racist, and like a previous commenter wrote: "it's a message that makes me want to throw up my hands in despair." However; I am not one to give in so easily.

I’m willing to confront this question, and I applaud your article in bringing up this discussion which was well below my radar.

Where am I racist in my daily life? I live on the southern coast of Oregon (Seattle transplant) and if you think Seattle is white, try rural Oregon. When I see a person of color on the streets here I am immediately aware of their minority status; when I meet people other than white, I am immediately awkward and aware of their non-white identity; what do I say? How do I act around them? I ask myself.

I am open to your suggestion that whites need to follow the lead of non-whites when it comes to racial equality and justice; as long as we are committed to progress and honesty; one caveat is that I am not interested in disempowering my self with racial guilt. I’m willing to take responsibility for the privileges of my white status, and willing to also work to extend those same privileges to all citizens; but how to do it while remaining secure and proud of my own Irish/Catholic heritage and upbringing?

An interesting note is that I work for one of the local Indian Tribes here in Oregon, and I have sat in on councils surrounded by Native Americans, here too I have felt my whiteness as an awkward cloak, with no hook to hang it on; it is what it is and we all should know how that feels; but, what to do with that? I think your article offers a great first discussion on how to bring this out into the opening, how to talk, listen and discuss it so that awkwardness can be cleaned away and justice be served.

Art seems a perfect and unique vehicle to conjoin people to this discussion.

121
At my first CARW meeting, I shared a story from when I lived in the Central District. Driving the narrow streets, I'd notice that young black men would sometimes walk in the middle of the street and refuse to move for cars. They'd downright lope, slow like the South, where African American families coming to work at Boeing in the 1950s hailed from when they moved to this neighborhood—the only area of the city where they were allowed to live until the middle 1960s. To me, this loping was a form of historical communication, intentional or not: This is our street.

But the reason this communication was happening was the opposite: Clearly, this was no longer their street, as the neighborhood steadily homogenized, growing whiter as well as wealthier by the year. I would drive slowly behind them, as in a funeral dirge. We were getting nowhere. But I noticed that often, white drivers would honk at the men to move aside. It seemed to me the reason they honked was that they were irritated at having an experience that people of color know well: that you're not just entitled to live anywhere you please, that there might be consequences. Honking was an attempt to reassert privilege.

If I drove down the street and a white person was "loping," I'd eventually honk. But I doubt I'd honk at the black person. Why? I'd be afraid of getting my window knocked out, or worse.
122
White people in Seattle are also more likely to live in white neighborhoods while sporting "Celebrate Diversity" bumper stickers on their cars. Hypocrites. Go live in White Center or SeaTac if you believe that shit.

Then, after living there for a few years, tell me if you want your Police Department to concentrate on "social justice," whatever that is, or on protecting your sorry ass from getting shot.

You haven't established causality, Jen. You haven't proven any cause and effect relationship between quality of life data for minorities you quote, and racism. So, fail.

Stick to teaching art. Keep your repulsive convulsions of white guilt to yourself.
123
Wow. The comments here are...interesting. I'm just going to say a few things: Jen, this article is fucking amazing. All my friends on Facebook are talking about it and applauding you. I appreciate your bravery and willingness to tackle the hard issues that are, clearly, not quite acceptable in the mainstream yet.

Secondly, as an active member of CARW, I can assure all of you that the meetings are not about "handwringing". We do self-education around the history of racism in Seattle, Secure Communities and their effects on immigrants, how to discuss race with coworkers, etc. The second part of the meeting is where we meet in 5 separate groups which are called "ally groups"--we are allied with people of color-led organizations. We provide them support through organizing, doing childcare at their meetings, moderating email lists, etc. We raised $10,000 for the Duwamish Tribe's legal fund in 2010....I wouldn't call that "handwringing", would you?

Thirdly, @108: you honestly think that helping out homeless folks of color does more good than ending the systems that made them homeless in the first place? right.
124


What is "white privilege"? It is the privilege of allowing tens of millions of non whites to flood your homeland and allow them to whine and complain endlessly.

It is the privilege to have large portions of your tax money go towards providing free primary schooling, free college, free healthcare, free housing,free food and even free money for foreigners and other non whites.

It is the privilege of often being targeted by these other groups for rape and other violent crimes. It is the privilege of having your own children brainwashed by the schools funded by your tax dollars, and told your people are evil, and they should be ashamed of themselves and their ancestors. It is the privilege to be systematically pushed down by marxist affirmative action laws, in an attempt to level the playing field.

It is the privilege of becoming a minority in the lands founded and bult by your ancestors. It is the privilege of being told how you must remain silent and watch your own genocide, because to do otherwise would mean you are a racist, and society has told us a racist is the worst kind of person, worse than even a rapist or thief.
125
I've got no doubt that Jen is now busy congratulation herself on having "stimulated a discussion of race issues." Why, maybe she'll even mention this in her next grant application.

However, turning her class into a personal encounter and reeducation camp is exactly the sort of thing that whoever came up with the phrase, "more heat than light" had in mind.

If she really wanted her students to understand Baldwin and Ligon, a straightforward explanation of their art and how it reflected their life and their times would have been much more productive and, dare I say it, educational.

But education is really not what Jen is about. Teaching is pretty boring, ain't it hon?
126
Wow. The comments here are...interesting. I'm just going to say a few things: Jen, this article is fucking amazing. All my friends on Facebook are talking about it and applauding you.

Facebook loves it! What more could we ask for?
127
Both my husband and I were blessed with an extraordinary mental capacity and an embarrassingly high I.Q. After much debate and vehement protests from our extended families we have decided to make an effort to stymie the inevitable white priviledge of our two beautiful children. Through trial and error we have sought to encourage the gradual development of various superficial learning disabilities with moderate success. Observe our progress, join the conversation and celebrate our brave contribution to a more just and equal society at our blog: blakeandpaige@blogspot.com
128
Interesting Article.

In general I agree with you that there is work needed to be done to allow all people the
equal benefits of living in a free country regardless of their racial background.

You have taken the left fork in the path to knowledge and understanding. I believe that
leads you to your great errors that you have honestly presented in your article.

1. Any one who touches social justice content should study its history and it's
realtionship to Marxism and dialectical materialism. The only difference is that class has
been replaced by race. A knowledgable person should be honest with themselves and examine what type of process they are accepting with social justice. If they are a teacher this should be part of their discussion. Transparency.

2. Social justice absent the marxism is a fine goal. Merit, Mentorship, Jobs, and Family
should be the cornerstones of a healthy social justice effort. Not the biased failed effort
that has been documented in the Seattle School system or the City of Seattle.

3. Any person may partipate in a mosque, church, or synagogue and they will find the
converstation lifted up way past the concepts of white and black. A person severely limits
themselves in life if the critical component of their thinking is white vs black. Drugs the
destroyer of black families will have less impact. Job connections will be stonger.

4. I moved to Seattle because it was a racially tolerant city 30 years ago. It still is
today excepting the personalities that force themselves to make it into a problem. I can
walk around most any part of the city in an interracial relationship and feel comfortable
except some of the poorer areas. Poverty of spirit or income not race holds onto and
develops ignorance which breeds hate. Seattle stands above most any city in the world as a tolerant city. If a few warts color your whole thinking process, then the warts aren't the
problem.

5. The problem of youth is that once they realize they are at fault they feel the extreme
need to revolutionize everyone else but themselves. An immature ego. That is where the
guilt should lie in both black and white.

6. The legal system does overly enforce against victimless crimes in poor areas versus rich areas. The mayor should recognize that or he is not listening to social justice. The legal system does over felonize and over fine poor people on a regular basis. The wallets of the mayor and councilmen are fattened on the backs of the poor. They just see a rule, a fine, and not a circumstance that needs to be managed. The punishment money is more important to them.

7. The deep problem on the left is their need to get into a polarity about guilt and
victims. They need victims. That is how they survive. The less black people talk to a lefty
they healthier they will be. Note how the left has had to redefince and broaden the
definitions of racism as a form of victim creep.
129
@13 NO. YOU don't get to decide how a group chooses to self-identify. THEY do. Your white privilege is showing, and it doesn't look becoming.

Okay, but YOU don't get to tell someone else what to think, you dictatorial piece of shit.
130
CARW is a waste of time for people. Wrong approach. You can do more with a smile than CARW can do with $1,000,000
131
The blackest people are at the equator, the whitest at the north pole. Vitamin D processing.

White people living in Seattle are getting blacker day by day and black people living in Seattle are getting whiter day by day.

Husksters want to make money out of the process.
132
Great article, Jen. I appreciate the diversity of voices you included.
One correction--WEACT (the Work of European Americans as Cultural Teachers) is a group of White educators who meet monthly to learn together and discuss our cross-cultural interactions in educational settings from pre-k through college. Although some of us do presentations for schools, most of us are involved in the practice of teaching for social justice in our own classrooms. Thanks for coming to our meeting and sharing your perspectives.