Reading Racism: The Black Experience as Discourse

Despite the influx to which the word racism surfaces in colloquial conversations, the depth of the racism remains a mystery to many. Racism is ever-present in overt yet failed attempts to veil a systemized mind set. Below I will highlight  racist moments from my week, with a description of the scenario and why this is racist. Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.

  • Exhibit A: White man assumes authority over the black narrative in doing the following:  a.  refusing to yield the floor to black Women eager to give their own account of their own collective experience and b. speaking for Ralph Ellison, namely alerting Mr. Ellison’s  perspective as if he is the late Ralph Ellison himself.

This is an issue because as a white man, this individual is not Mr. Ellison nor the Invisible Man referenced in a novel of the same title. Therefore, he has no authority or competence to fully understand the text–a sentiment made obvious in the invisibility resulting from the white male dominating the black narrative.

  • Exhibit B: A non-black person of color features examples of black self hatred to substantiate his point.

This is a problem because again, as a non- black, this person, although a minority, reserves a position of privilege over members of the black collective. This privilege surfaces in the symbolic profit issued in examining the issues of another collective, rather than his or her own. This functions to ensure that both whites and non blacks persons of color maintain ideas of superiority over the black race.

Ironically, the footage shared was the doll test where black kids were asked to choose between white and black dolls. In sharing this footage as a non black person of color, this individual, although not a black child, is also selecting a white doll.

  • Exhibit C: “It’s okay.”

Every black person has heard this remark in response to a racist remark or racist behavior. I heard this response while overseas and a white child walked up to me and stared, when a white person shouted the n-word multiple times in my Master’s Thesis course, and most recently upon skeptically approaching a book translated by a white man. This functions in the same way as whites telling blacks who and what constitutes intelligence, success, beauty, education, etc.

This is a problem because it is only “okay” if a conscious person deems it so. It is the place of no white person or non black person of color to tell a black person what is or is not acceptable. This is oppressive, insulting, and inappropriate–and should not be pardoned by any black person.

  • Exhibit D: Redirecting the black conversation

This actually happened twice this week.

A. In speaking of Sojourner Truth, but unable to do so without intertwining the white woman who documented  her speech.

B. Redirecting discourse on black diasporic studies to talk about religious oppression of non-black groups

This is a problem becausewhites and non-black persons, namely many Muslims, the white LGBT community, and white women, implicitly and explicitly oppress black people, but remain adamant about claiming victim status. All groups commonly have an inability to eschew comparing struggles, and belittling the black struggle while doing so.

In Closing…

Tis very hard to navigate the world as a black person. But it’s perhaps more burdensome to view racism without the veil of ignorance.

Black Power ❤

What racism have you experiences this week?

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Very educational CC! Wonderful post! Will have to share this. Thank you!

  2. C.C You have the most constructive Counter Racist Blog site I have ever stumbled across. Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man is one of my favorite books! I usually interact very little face to face at the workplace with whites, which is sometimes strange because the place is full of whites. I know white people are very observant and can usually tell when their Niggras are becoming “Less Confused” about racism white supremacy, I usually try to pretend I am confused, but I often wonder if white people can tell, I suspect they can. Nevertheless they don’t ask me what I think to much. The racism I experience is the silent racism, the looks that let you know you are not wanted here, I get those all the time. The other racism I experience not directly but indirectly, I often read the Yahoo comment sections and just read the racist comments that white people leave, then I apply that to Bob, Susan, Meagan walking around smiling at me. Your blog needs to be required reading for black people, unfortunately many black people could become less confused if they just would read the Yahoo comment sections but black people just do not seem to have a desire to understand racism or white people. We suffer from RAD – Racism Avoidance Disorder. Mr. Fuller references the 3 T’s Tacky, Trashy and Terroristic. At my workplace the relationships between whites and blacks fluctuates between the Tacky and Trashy area, mainly Tacky, with whites being really fake, smiling and making small talk about things that don’t matter. I view this as an act of Racism, since black people have such real problems, white people’s lack of acknowledgement of these problems are racist, while black people have to walk around smiling like everything is ok, while white people talk about their dogs, new pools, new cars etc., it’s shameful.

    Have you heard of or read the book The God That Failed? It’s a book composed of about 6 essays, Richard Wright happens to be one of the authors, I haven’t read it, but heard that it is interesting, actually Mr. Neely Fuller recommended it to those trying to gain a better understanding of White Supremacy. Again you are on the right track, this was an excellent topic.

    1. You know, I truly enjoy reading your comments! Thank you.

      That is an excellent point about small talk being racist. I watched a black classmate talk casually about her hair with a white Woman before class, and I found it very disturbing, but telling.

      I have t heard of it, but will check it out. Thank you! I just purchased the Neely Fuller book 🙂

      1. Here is a link to The Intruder

  3. Oh wow! The exchange between your black classmate and the white woman is a classic example of Tacky, that’s the type of relationship a slave has with her mistress! I added to my codification not to engage in to much small talk with suspected white supremacists, no sports talks, it usually will end up in the Tacky area, we should try to make our exchanges with white people as constructive as possible, so instead of talking about the texture of my hair, how about you tell me what stock I need to be investing in, or how to save on my taxes, or sales, or how to write a grant. I’m not interested in frivolous plantation talk, we have way to much to do!!

    Wow I am so happy you got that book, I am interested to see what you think, we have so many great thinkers, I wish our young people were more interested in learning about them and their thoughts. I think it’s the effect of being dominated in the people activity area of education. Keep up the outstanding work!! It’s not going to come easy for us but the art of perseverance will aid us and I have to call on the name of Dr. Frances Cress Welsing frequently, and remember her words “be not discouraged”. Dr. Welsing shared a story about how some more confused black people said she was crazy and out of her mind, for talking about racism, imagine that, a third generation General and Child Psychiatrist with a Natural, she said many circled back years later and told her she was absolutely right! Dr. Welsing also shared how Howard University denied her tenure and she later found out the FBI played a role in that decision, talking about sacrifice, a real Sister Warrior, I think about that when racist man and racist woman are cutting up and get back on my assignment.

    I hope to complete a Counter Racist movie review this weekend on the 1962 movie The Intruder, you can learn a lot about racism with this movie, trying to stop spectating 😊

    Have you seen this movie? I will post a link to it just in case you are inclined to check it out.

    1. The Howard story is an interesting one, especially as an alumni. I only encountered this story after graduating and honestly it exposed the inter workings of the HBCU. I had two white racists as professors who mutilated my history at a so called black school. These experiences align to prove that even so-called black” schools have a limit on their blackness.

      I haven’t seen or heard of the movie. I do look forward to your review!

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