Thursday, June 10, 2010

the racially paranoid worldview of ideological anti-racism

ETA: I was having a bad day when I wrote this. Where I said "ideological anti-racist", I meant "neoliberal anti-racist", the kind of person for whom anti-racism is not a general opposition to racism but a carefully constructed theory that rationalizes their class privilege.

Ideological anti-racists divide the world into people of color, white allies, and white people. The default assumption is that people of color are united, and white people oppose them. The exceptions among white people are indicated by the addition of "ally."

I saw this, as I often do, in reverse at first. I was wondering how offensive the idea of "dark allies" would be if you divided the world into people of pallor, dark allies, and dark people.

Either way, it's a division that only makes sense to people who don't look beyond skin when trying to understand power in the world.

In most dictionaries, an ally is an equal, but the anti-racist definition of an ally is like the USA's: someone who shuts up and does what they're told. Consider the ten points in The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Good Ally. They boil down to:
  1. Don't question.
  2. Study the tracts.
  3. You don't matter.
  4. Seriously, study the tracts.
  5. Seriously, don't question.
  6. Seriously, you don't matter.
  7. Special snowflake, what part of "you don't matter" don't you understand?
  8. Scream "racist!" at anyone who suggests you've joined a cult.
  9. Special snowflake, seriously, what part of "you don't matter" don't you understand?
  10. Rinse and repeat.