May 20 2011

The Show Goes On (Part 1)

by Lupe Fiasco

I think it’s pretty funny, in the grand scheme of things – that I called out someone on their racism on this site and got heat for it, when, about an hour earlier, the individual in question called herself racist (or more accurately, guilty of what she called ‘discrete racism’). How maintaining-of-the-power-structure to attack the person calling it out, rather than to hold accountable the person who admittedly was acting out racism (and por favor – hold back the – ‘but you said it in a mean way’ because even if it were the case – which I’m not saying it is-, racism is still more offensive). Whatever – this is a typical response so I’m neither surprised nor moved, BUT I was moved by something: A few people emailed me and asked for resources and a few others mentioned they had been dissatisfied with discussion about diversity at institute. So, in that vein, I wanted to share a resource for folks who are interested in being allies across lines of differences (so not just racial, though the framework directly address race – I think it can be extrapolated to folks who want to be allies against other forms of oppression). Anyway, here’s that resource: How to be an anti-racist ally.

Some of us have to deal with racism on the daily, so the show goes on. For those of you privileged enough not to have to think about it (though it deals with and affords you things) take the red pill – it’ll change everything and it’ll be hard work – but honestly, you’ll be a better teacher and a better so many other things.

2 Responses

  1. fwwinthecity

    I commend you for trying to educate people (though I’m not sure that the internet is the most effective venue for confronting privilege/fighting racism). I think that you have a lot to teach people.

    That being said, I do want to urge you to remain conscious of the need to self-care. Becoming the go-to for people’s reflection can be draining, especially when people are asking you to speak for all people of color and to help them resolve their own issues. Please keep in mind that your first commitment is to empowering your students to overcome the racist/sexist/classist/homophobic power by providing them with the knowledge they need to succeed. That comes first, because I know that you will be an incredible resource to them and I do not want to see you get burnt out trying to combat everyone else’s ignorance!

    Get it!

  2. Katy

    I also commend you for bringing the issue to the forefront. I identify as a multiracial individual (my father is African American and my mother is Caucasion), and I often felt like I was on the fence between both identies. I even though I was more accepted by “whites” because my skin is lighter I still found it hard because I had to prove myself to be “black” in order to be accepted by African Americans. So I have experienced both “white privilege” and minority status.
    I took a class last year called Multicultural Issues in Psychology. it’s focus is to “call out” the isms of society and promote multicultural competency which includes all isms including racism. Though there are many people who feel racism is minor or non-exisistant it is still there just “discrete” as you quoted. the proper term for this a microaggression.
    A good source for more information would be AWP, which is a group of feminist psychologists that focus on breaking down systems that still allow for “isms” to occur. I’m actually going to be going to grad school for a master’s in school counseling and I hope to incorporate multicultural competency in public schools and I think it’s awesome that you share similar goals. Just don’t get too overwhelmed because advocacy is an uphill battle don’t burn yourself out. Good Luck!

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