Jake Weinraub

Thoughts and Updates from Netroots Nation

Filed By Jake Weinraub | June 15, 2011 2:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement
Tags: #NN11, LGBT Connect, Netroots Nation, privilege, race, white supremacy

Today has been a day of internet figures coming to life. There's definitely a family and a community here.netrootsnation-thumb-300x323-18864.jpg

I am most excited to engage in conversations about race/class/cis privilege with other privileged LGB folks. In an activity today we passed around a large sheet with some action questions, and one was about how to strengthen our movement across race/ethnicity lines. What struck me was that white people seem to understand whiteness as a race, while POC identity is more of an "other" community. I don't think such an understanding allows whites feel in community with other whites. White community is taken for granted or communities might be formed out of factors like sexual orientation, religion, common interest, etc. I believe that if white people felt more in community with other white people we'd be better equipped to hold one another accountable in combatting white supremacy. We'd feel safer to engage in tough conversations, ask one another how we can be better racial justice allies, and notice how privilege and oppression influence our experiences.

I'm hoping there will be a white caucus here but I don't have a copy of the itinerary so we'll see! It's been good though! Makin' franz!

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I'd like to see you explore this topic more thoroughly, Jake.

Jake, your comments about white community are interesting. The first thing we need to realize (or admit) is that, historically, "white community" and "white supremacy" were the same thing -- indeed, slavery itself was a racial power conspiracy, where "we take care of our own" was first invented in the worst possible way.

What you are talking about, obviously, is a "new sense of white community" for whites who believe in equality -- but I'm not certain how useful that new concept is, for the best way to fight racism and work for equality is for blacks and whites to be in community together.

(There are tiny pockets of such black-white communities in America, but generally it doesn't exist, at least not yet. There is still way too much social distrust, among both blacks and whites, that the opposite race will use its political and economic power against the other. The good news is, Things are getting better; the bad news is, But too slowly.)

right! But I think too often white people expect POC to "meet them where they're at" when we don't often do the same in return.... and we aren't being held accountable for perpetuating fucked up shit all the time

I think you and I are on the same page, Jake, so let's leave it at that for now -- and like Bil, I would like to see you post again, a bit more extensively, on this line of thought.