Tuesday, February 26, 2013

L'Hôte on white liberal agonizing

L'Hôte: getting epistolary:
It should almost go without saying, but: at the heart of most of the white liberal agonizing from the last several days is absolute terror in the face of blackness. Often, at the core of those who demand materially useless rituals such as privilege checking is pure racial panic. They work to position themselves as obsequious reflections of black agency not out of respect but out of the opposite of respect; to grant that they might have a racialized conscience that must by duty interact with the racialized conscience of the nonwhite, they would risk being interpreted by same. They arrange their opinions not to work to the benefit of the essential category of blackness they've created but to be protected themselves from that blackness, from the potential of its judgment. To see nonwhite people as fully-realized actors with whom one might disagree on topics of race would be to risk being regarded as racist by any one of them, and for many or most of the white people who write about race, avoiding that accusation is a higher priority than working against racism as such. They therefore create a mental world in which the act of ceding all personal responsibility for issues of race to the nonwhite is an act of charity, when in fact it operates on the assumption that the nonwhite are inhuman. They are in bad faith.