Contact Us

Our goal is to raise white awareness of the benefits of claiming a white anti-racist identity. We hope that you have read through our pages and helped us to meet that goal. Thank you for reading our website!

NOTE: This is the “Contact Us” page. If you have by some chance gotten to this page first, please start with our Welcome Page and look through the site from there.

There are two ways to contact us.

1. Leave a comment on this page — but make sure to read our Comments Policy before posting a comment!

Click here to jump directly to the comment discussion

2. Email us at whiteantiracistonline (at) gmail (dot) com [change words in parentheses to regular email symbols]

Thank you for your interest.

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240 Responses to Contact Us

  1. Mimi says:

    Oh my God! I am sooo inspired! Are you giving a talk anywhere in the L.A. area I could attend?

  2. whiteantiracist says:

    Mimi, so glad to hear from you. Your email address was included in your comment — we just sent you our speaking schedule for the summer, and a list of our usual rates in case your school, organization etc would like to invite us for a specific event later on.

  3. Chris says:

    Could I get your advice on something? I got a White Anti-Racist identity a few months ago and overall it’s been working out really well for me. But yesterday I ran into kind of a snag. A friend of mine emailed me this article:

    The White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron: An Open Letter to “White Anti-Racists”

    and I have to say that the identity feels a little shaky after reading it. Will this shakiness pass naturally? If so, how long will it take to get back to normal? If not, what should I do?

  4. Raven says:

    I’m part of a women’s collective that has been called out on our racism. We have gone through a workshop and are seeking more ways to show women of color that we are unlearning our racism.

    We are, of course, strongly considering getting White Anti-Racist identities. But we do have a concern: would the White Anti-Racist identity cancel out or clash with other identities, like feminist or queer? Of course, we don’t want to give those up.

    Raven

  5. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello Chris,

    Everything’s going to be fine. It is possible that the shakiness will pass on its own, but there’s no reason to endure it for any longer than you have to — and there are several easy solutions that you can use to get back up to speed ASAP. Which solution you choose depends on your specific situation and what feels most comfortable to you.

    Solution #1: Acknowledge that the author has some really great points, but gently bring up the threat behind the White Anti-Racist identity: Suggest that saying these kinds of things in such an angry manner might turn off the good white people and make it harder for any change to occur. Query whether that risk is really worth it.

    Solution #2: Appear to have (or actually have) a public crisis of faith. Say that reading this article made you feel like there is nothing you or any other white person can do and that you are just devastated because you really felt like you wanted to try to acknowledge your white privilege and dedicate yourself to fighting racism. You will find that other people will step up and reassure you that you are important to the struggle, and give you some reasons why you don’t have to take this essay too much to heart.

    Solution #3: Acknowledge that this article is extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Say that it made you really question yourself and White Anti-Racism in general. Say that you actually agree with the author a whole lot and that you really appreciate her analysis because it is helping to keep you honest and self-critical. Then, continue to use your White Anti-Racist identity as you would normally.

    Any of these solutions should easily counteract the shakiness you’re experiencing.

  6. whiteantiracist says:

    Raven, the White Anti-Racist identity is absolutely compatible with other white identities such as the ones you mention. Here’s why: even when you don’t explicitly name identities white, they can be. And from your description, we can say with some confidence that that’s what you have so far.

    Think of it like this: white identities are kind of like computer programs that all run on the same operating system. You can run more than one Microsoft program on a Windows computer, right? And, they have some similarities and connections across programs. That’s how it is with White Anti-Racism and these white identities you’re mentioning.

    So, you and the other white members of your collective should be able to have White Anti-Racist Identities without any harm to the other identities. In fact, a White Anti-Racist identity will probably enhance your others, and give your image better overall functionality.

  7. Jannie Sue says:

    I love your site!! I would like to start building a name as a good white person. Can you tell me where are the best places to see and be seen on the web? Do you have any advice on how to engage if I really want to develop this into a career move? I not only want to be involved, I want to look good doing it!

    Thanks!

  8. SteveH says:

    I just wanted to tell Chris that I had the same experience as he did with the “White Anti-Racist is an Oxymoron” article — and Solution #2 worked great for me.

    And, a friend of mine used Solution #3 recently and it worked like a charm. I was actually surprised because on the surface, it seems almost too obviously evasive, but it’s working for him so I guess not!

    I don’t have direct experience with #1 yet, but seeing as how I am getting really into teaching the less aware white folks these days, I’m in contact with more budding White Anti-Racists and am sure I will see how it works for someone at some point.

  9. whiteantiracist says:

    Jannie Sue,

    1. Building your name on the internet: White Anti-Racist works really well as an online identity. Online identities allow you to select and manage the persona you’re looking to project, so you have tons of control over your presentation of self.

    If you are also seeking to build a career with this, you will want to consider using your real name. This is tricky business on the internet, so think through what your goals are and plan for the future.

    In fact, we recommend that before you start this process, you write out a “identity plan” — similar to a business plan — to guide your choices as you go along.

    Online, the first step we recommend is to start constructing your online persona. You can do this by starting your own website; it’s really easy these days. If you want to start slower than that, you can start a blog here on wordpress. Livejournal is another possibility. Myspace is another area to build that identity. You can have multiple locations if you want, just use the same name and avatar for all of them and cross-reference/link yourself on each site.

    Put content and links befitting a White Anti-Racist on your site(s).

    Once you have the online persona constructed, look around for blogs and online communities that are concerned with keywords like anti-racism, white supremacy, racism, etc. You can do a tag search here on wordpress if you want. On livejournal, there is a community called “debunkingwhite” that might be interesting to you. There are also other websites and discussion boards that a google search (web search or blog search) might turn up.

    Start commenting in these places with your online identity, making sure to include your website URL linked to your name whenever possible.

    Make sure you display your very best White Anti-Racist manner. Get known. These areas of the internet work kind of like popularity contests. Focus on the people you want to impress. If they like you (your online persona) you will get attention, links, and traffic to your blog or site. Eventually, you may be asked to contribute content to other sites. Always be alert for opportunities to expand your reach to better spread your reputatation.

    2. Career: In addition to building a good online persona, build a good offline one as well. Ideally, these can be integrated.

    Attend conferences on white privilege. Join or start a “white anti-racists reading about whiteness” book club at your local independent bookstore, if you have one — or maybe a white anti-racist discussion group through a liberal church (Unitarians are often a good bet, but there are others). Look around you for opportunities to display your White Anti-Racist moves and credentials. For example: is an organization you’re part of struggling with its racism? — join or start an “anti-racist action committee” to talk about the issues.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that universities are excellent sources of income for White Anti-Racists. Consider how you might get in on that.

    The key is to build up your resume and reputation with lots of good White Anti-Racist discourse activities in various areas. Include online activities and writing on your White Anti-Racist resume. Overall, make as much of yourself as you possibly can — market yourself right and you’ll do fine.

  10. Raven says:

    Thank you for the reply to my earlier question. That makes sense. But now I feel intimidated by the advice you offered to Jannie Sue. Wow, that seems like an awful lot of work! Seems like a White Anti-Racist identity requires a lot of care and maintenance. I’m not sure I or the other collective members can make that kind of commitment. We have a lot of other things to focus on.

    Raven

  11. whiteantiracist says:

    Raven, the advice to Jannie Sue was specific to what she wants to use the White Anti-Racist identity for. The level of care and maintenance will vary depending on individual (and in your case, group) usage goals. Jannie Sue is interested in making a name for herself on the internet and taking advantage of the career benefits of being a White Anti-Racist. In contrast, you and your women’s collective members seem more interested in using the identity to counter the situation of being called out on your racism.

    Using and maintaining the identity should require significantly less work in your case than in Jannie Sue’s.

  12. Raven says:

    Hello whiteantiracist! Thank you so much for answering my questions. Your information really helped us. I just got home from our collective meeting. After much discussion, some impromptu group therapy and a few really cathartic sobbing fits, we decided to go ahead and get the White Anti-Racist identities — as individuals, and also we decided to get one for the collective itself. We are all feeling very optimistic now, and are looking forward to helping women of color see that we are their allies. Thanks again.

    Raven

  13. Jannie Sue says:

    Thanks so much for the detailed information. I have spent some time in the past couple of days looking through some of the blogs connected with race and white identity — trying to get a better sense of how things work and what kinds of identities are out there. I really feel that you have put me down the right path on this one and that it will probably be helpful to spend some time engaging online — developing my identity through that experience — before trying to start anything in town. I’ve noticed that things can get a little, well, emotional on some of the blogs. I can handle that, but I was thinking it might be a good idea to have a couple of identities — one to develop as an expert and one that can fumble around and try out things that might not get the best response, but might help me learn how things really work.

    What do you think? How much do I need to protect the identity I am trying to develop from conflict? Is “expert” the right way to think of my identity given what I want to do with it? How do I project the kind of authority that will make me stand out as a solid, developed ally /leader type and not just another person with issues?

  14. whiteantiracist says:

    Jannie Sue,

    We’re really impressed with your grasp of the White Anti-Racist field!

    You have obviously been putting some thought into an “identity plan” and it shows.

    Having two online identities sounds like an excellent path. As you have correctly deduced, the White Anti-Racist world is hierarchical, with new converts on the bottom and lauded experts on the top. Your plan to have two identities would make good use of this system and offer you maximum opportunity to learn and develop a name for yourself as an expert. In fact, if your first newbie identity doesn’t work out, you can discard it and start another one — all the while protecting your expert identity.

    How do I project the kind of authority that will make me stand out as a solid, developed ally /leader type and not just another person with issues?

    White Anti-Racist experts have various styles, but all have one thing in common: they are able to appropriate insights already developed by people of color and then put their own distinctive stamp on those ideas. Most White Anti-Racist experts include discourse acknowledging the centrality of people of color, and some even directly criticize the practice of appropriating the ideas of people of color even as they do it. Yet all of these experts are able to functionally claim ownership of the ideas through their actions of publishing, speaking, interpreting etc.

    So, as you learn the ropes through your newbie online identities, it will be useful for you to start reading analysis by people of color and seeing what’s in there that you can use for your own goals. You should also study the styles of various White Anti-Racist experts (many publish online, and some others have written books and articles in academic journals) to see how they do what they do, and also begin developing your own particular style.

    Good luck, Jannie Sue, and don’t hesitate to come back and ask more questions or tell us how it’s going. We’re impressed with your thoughtfulness and planning abilities, and we have no doubt that you will, in time, make a wonderful name for yourself as a White Anti-Racist leader.

  15. Jannie Sue says:

    Thanks again for being so helpful.

    I have one more question that I haven’t known if I should bring up. I don’t know if there are any women in your group, but should I be concerned about the fact that most of the “big names” in white anti-racist circles are men? It seems to be a little overwhelming. I mean, maybe I should be looking into another arena to make a name for myself. (I’ve done some work as a life coach, but haven’t really pushed a career in that direction.) Or, maybe there is some advantage to being a woman in a male dominated, but not very masculine field, like this if I can work it right.

    Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

  16. whiteantiracist says:

    Jannie Sue,

    Yes — we see what you are saying. While many white women have a White Anti-Racist identity, the biggest of the “big names” do tend to be white men.

    It is possible for white women to do a whole lot with the identity, including advance a career in academia, publish authoritative blogs/websites, facilitate workshops, and otherwise use this identity successfully in a lot of different types of online and offline activity. However, what you are pointing out may mean that there is some sort of glass ceiling at work in the White Anti-Racism field.

    We agree with many members of white feminist movements in the United States — white women should have all the same opportunities as white men do. As we see it, this should include the right to use the White Anti-Racist identity to make a major name for oneself. It’s only fair.

    We still think you can do it. You have the right attitude, the planning skills, and the drive for success. Other white women have succeeded in achieving what was thought to be white male rewards. We believe that you can too. (and we hope you will remember our encouragement when you have made it big!)

  17. Changequester says:

    Hello, everyone. Whiteantiracist and I have been emailing, and I have been asked to post a comment demonstrating my current White Anti-Racist discursive technique. Here is a comment that I would use to welcome a White Anti-Racist newbie who has not asked for my advice about how to get started:

    Dear new convert:

    As a White person, I have had a website for almost two years on which I share information about my understanding of race, racism and white supremacy. If you go to my site (www.welcomenoobs.web) you will see many many articles that I have written about these issues. I especially recommend my article “How to be a White Anti-Racist.” You might find this material helpful in your journey. But don’t be intimidated by what you see there. Remember, I have had a White Anti-Racist identity for decades and it takes a long time to reach the level of expertise I have reached. This is a lifelong process that never ends — and the truth is that no matter how hard you work at it, I have a head start on you so don’t even try to get above me in the hierarchy.

    We white people are privileged and always have to say something about how we are constantly working on being aware of that, even when we are also demonstrating how different and conscious we are. It’s part of the discourse and you should never forget to rhetorically acknowledge it at least once in any statement (more than once if the statement is really long, which mine sometimes are).

    At this point it is useful to tell a heart-tugging self-aggrandizing story. One of my favorite stories is how I taught my little nephew to use a White Anti-Racist identity. One day he complained to me that it was hard for him to maintain the level of hypocrisy that appearing to be a “conscious” White person requires. With great pathos, I replied: “Yes, that’s true. Sometimes I ask myself if I’d rather appear like everyone else, and that’s a tempting option for me. But then I decide that it’s really worth it to me to appear special.” That story took place many years ago and I’m still working it all through. Because, remember that this is a lifetime process and commitment and I have a head start on you no matter what.

    Please try to understand what I mean here. I am not saying we should appear to be self-involved. That would look really bad. We need to stay self-involved while not appearing to be that way. It’s an art — you’ll learn eventually.

    And it’s not as if we should always be holding forth and teaching other people. Sometimes we need to stay quiet and allow others to speak, especially people of color. That’s why I’m sharing all of this information here and also recommending that you read my website (www.welcomenoobs.web).

    The great thing about the White Anti-Racist identity is that after you have gotten to a certain point like I have, you can publicly self-identify as “conscious” or “aware” or something along those lines. This is a great boost for the self-esteem and helps us maintain our control over the discourse. Conscious/aware people just plain understand things better, right? But we don’t want the field to get too crowded, so always remind people that it’s not easy to climb the hierarchy of the White Anti-Racist identity to the point where you can publicly claim that you’re one of the conscious ones. This is hard work! And I will always know more than you do because I started many years ago.

    Now, go read my website.

  18. whiteantiracist says:

    Changequester, thank you for posting that wonderful example!

  19. Changequester says:

    Whiteantiracist, thank you for asking me to post this here.

    As I mentioned in our email exchange, I have already written a book about my own efforts to become special and conscious as a white person (I haven’t yet figured out how to get it published, but am working on it).

    I am also planning to turn the material on my website into a book of its own.

    Exposure and visibility as a White Anti-Racist is really useful to my career as a writer and educator. Thanks so much for giving me another space to make my work known!

  20. Chris says:

    Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I want to let you know that solution #2 worked really well for me. I was tempted to try solution #1 just to test it out, but my desire to focus attention directly on myself won out this time.

    I recently came across another article that is critical of White Anti-Racist, and I didn’t even blink an eye. No problem at all. Of course, this one is much nicer and less threatening, because it’s written by a white person:

    The White Collective (A Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious)

    I mean, look at this: At the white-collective level, white-anti-racist-writing likely functions as a mode of deception in which we subtly demonstrate our supposed expertise and supposed proof of our individual specialness/advancedness under the guise of fighting white supremacy. This is a shaky and dangerous practice, whatever we might intend.

    To be fair, I do like how unemotional and indirect this essay is compared to the other article. But even so, this Barbara Karens person really needs to lighten up and get with the program. “Shaky and dangerous” is when someone threatens our specialness, not when we assert it.

    And speaking of specialness/advancedness! I really appreciated the comment post by Changequester. Now, there’s someone who really understands — what a great White Anti-Racist role model. I learned so much reading that comment.

  21. Changequester says:

    Chris,

    Thanks for mentioning me. Have you read my website? If not, you should.

  22. whiteantiracist says:

    Chris, thanks for the report. Glad Solution #2 worked for you!

    And — we feel that our website is much better than that White Collective article you mentioned.

  23. Barbara Karens says:

    our website is much better than that White Collective article you mentioned.

    You know what? I actually agree with this statement.

  24. whiteantiracist says:

    Barbara, welcome!

    We’re so glad you’ve come to this conclusion.

    Just goes to show that anyone can learn, with the proper attention and determination.

  25. Sappho says:

    Whiteanitracist, your site has changed my life. Before, I thought my role as a good white person was to support people of color in ways they requested. Providing services to emerging black poets, fighting the KKK, things like that. I thought I was supposed to step back and let people of color lead. I thought it was wrong to accept money for anti oppression work if one is of the oppressor class.

    Yet how could I pay my student loans for my Activism and Social Change major if I let people of color take all the paying jobs in my field? Thank you for showing the way. I now feel free to charge money to not be a racist. I can make a fine living doing good, and I won’t even have to deal with minorities, because I’ll be teaching antiracism to other white people! Thank you whiteantiracist!

  26. whiteantiracist says:

    Sappho, thank you for that touching comment!

    For the record, we here at whiteantiracist strongly support academic credentialing of social change activists. And, like Sappho, we feel that the White Anti-racist identity is in fact an excellent way for white people with those credentials to make sure they have the resources to pay off those loans, ensure they can make a fine living, and to hold control of resources and leadership in movements.

    Sappho, we hope you will spread the word about the White Anti-racist identity to any other white people who you may still be in touch with from school!

  27. Brenda says:

    Sappho said: … I thought it was wrong to accept money for anti oppression work if one is of the oppressor class. Yet how could I pay my student loans for my Activism and Social Change major if I let people of color take all the paying jobs in my field? Thank you for showing the way. I now feel free to charge money to not be a racist. I can make a fine living doing good, and I won’t even have to deal with minorities, because I’ll be teaching antiracism to other white people! Thank you whiteantiracist!

    I like what Sappho’s saying, but I’ve run into a problem and hope I can get some advice. I want to make a living as a White Anti-Racist, but I’m not sure how to best answer the criticism that oppressors shouldn’t make money from work to challenge that oppression.

    I personally feel that this criticism lacks comprehension of the importance of my own well-being. But, I’ve found that saying that really makes me look bad.

    Is there any other way to address this criticism, as a White Anti-Racist, that could preserve my image?

  28. Jeff Tempe says:

    Brenda, I’ve made a good living as a White Anti-Racist for some years now, and have been challenged a number of times on this very issue. Over the years, I’ve had a chance to craft a way of answering that I think addresses your concern.

    When I’m challenged for making money as a White Anti-Racist, I reply with something like this:

    “I make my living as a White Anti-Racist, let me just lay my cards on the table to say that because it’s true. And, well, I suppose that some people might find that problematic. But the alternative is that I do some other job to survive, receive white privilege anyway doing that, and only get to do anti-racism in my spare time.

    So I have to ask: would the struggle against racism be better off if I did that? Well, I can pretend humility for a moment and say I’m not sure — but the reality is the answer is no, it would not be better off! There are thousands of white people every year who I reach through paid speaking gigs as a White Anti-Racist.

    Of course, if I believed that me not getting the resources would mean that anti-racist people of color would get the resources, I would of course not take the money. What kind of person do you think I am?

    But the truth is that the institutions that pay me would never think to give money to anti-racist people of color right off the bat. So the story I tell is the situation actually is that I am coming in to open up the place so that people of color can follow me later.

    Because really, if I didn’t come in and make change with my White Anti-Racist message first, people of color would not have an ice cube’s chance in hell of being paid by that institution to do anti-racist work.

    So, me getting paid means it’s more likely that people of color will be able to follow me in the future (after I cash the check of course).

    What’s good for me is in fact good for people of color. The more resources that come to me, the more resources become available to antiracist people of color. Really! I promise!”

    Oh, and Brenda, one more thing. Keep in mind that the focus of the White Anti-Racist identity is on changing white people’s minds through discourse. This is important because it sets the terms of “what is necessary for the movement” and makes this kind of reply plausible.

    Under these terms, institutions that cater to white people (eg colleges with a large proportion of white people as one example) are the logical place to “do the work of the movement.” White Anti-Racists are are sorely needed in these environments, and the great thing is that they very often have money to pay us … I mean to pay us AND all the people of color we so thoughtfully allow to enter through the back door after we have kindly made the space for them.

    Hope that helps!

  29. Brenda says:

    OMG, Jeff, I’ve heard of you! You’re famous! I’m honored that you would answer my question here.

    What you wrote helps so much! That’s exactly the kind of response and framework I need in those situations.

    I’m hearing rumors that you might be coming to speak here (New Haven, CT) sometime in the late winter or early spring. I heard they’re trying to get funding for it right now. When you come, I’d love to meet with you to get more advice and contacts. I’m currently trying to figure out how I might break into the field. I recently graduated from college and right now I’m not making a full-time living from this. I’d like to transition into doing that in the next, say, 2-3 years. Hopefully when you come to town we can connect.

    Thanks again!

  30. whiteantiracist says:

    Jeff, thank you so much for coming to our site!

    Your advice is impeccable.

    Brenda, this is a real expert at work here. We’re all very lucky to have him paying attention to this discussion and sharing his hard-earned wisdom with us.

    Jeff — would you be willing to endorse our site in your travels? We’d really appreciate it if you did.

  31. whiteantiracist says:

    Note from the site owners: we just recently received a comment from an enthusiastic reader named Kevin that we unfortunately felt could not be published on our site. In the spirit of reaching out and mutual support, however, we are publishing this response to Kevin in the hopes that he will find our feedback useful in his White Anti-Racist endeavors.

    Dear Kevin,

    Thank you so much for reading our site and sending us a comment to consider for publication on it! After careful consideration, we are sorry to say that we will not be able to publish your comment on our site as-is. While you show what we feel might be admirable passion for your topic, we are having a very difficult time understanding what, precisely, your topic actually is.

    We believe that White Anti-Racists should support each other in acquiring the skills necessary to portray an image of competence, and — quite frankly — basic coherence of thought process. In that spirit, we are sharing with you our advice. We strongly encourage you to work on acquiring these basic skills so you can come back to our site later and try again by submitting another comment for us to consider for publication here. And even if that comment is not right for our site, such an exercise will surely make it more possible for you to get it published somewhere on the internet, a situation we feel would be of great benefit to you and your trajectory as a White Anti-Racist.

    The White Anti-Racist Team responsible for this site is a majority-lesbian group. However, we still did not understand what your self-identification as “a gay American” had to do with “Solution 2” or academia, why you seem to feel that as a “gay American” you are oppressing people of color with your sexuality, and why whatever you were attempting to communicate provided you with an occasion to thank us so profusely. We also did not understand the insertion of the word “envisioning” for no apparent reason, with no appreciable relation to the other words around it, seemingly at random, in one of your sentences.

    We really wish we could give you some specific constructive suggestions to assist you in a re-write of your comment. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly know where to begin. As we have mentioned, we are not sure what exactly your topic is. We did spend some time in a staff meeting trying to break down what you wrote into some semblance of coherence, but we were unable to do so (although we did come to the conclusion that your words might flow well to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star — but then again, many things do).

    We always do like to provide some compliment to our fellow White Anti-Racists even when things are difficult between us. For that reason, we are delighted to share with you that a last-gasp literary interpretation of your comment yielded this assessment from the lone Humanities-BA individual in our group: “The comment has a certain potentially haunting hallucinatory quality, almost as if the author was attempting to simulate the flow of avant-garde or surrealist art .. or, well, I suppose it could also be that the author was drunk when he wrote it.”

    In any case, Kevin, best of luck to you in your writing journey! We here at White Anti-Racist will be rooting for you all the way!

  32. Sara says:

    Hi Whiteantiracist!

    I just came across a couple of wonderful web resources that I thought you and your readers would find interesting:

    1. The 19th Erase Racism Carnival. It looks to me like this carnival is at least as much about exposure for white anti-racist voices as anything else. This looks like a great opportunity for White Anti-Racists to be heard and out there, so if any of your readers don’t know about it, they should.

    2. I haven’t read over everything yet, but so far I really appreciate the “Qualities of an Ally” list which is one of the posts by white people linked in the carnival. It’s brief yet to the point in a way that shows how to look good and have plausible deniability as a White Ally / White Anti-Racist.

    I love your site, by the way.

  33. whiteantiracist says:

    Sara,

    Thank you for the comment and information. These make excellent reading!

    We read over the sites and we are very impressed. Specifically:

    We’re impressed with the quantity of white voices in this 19th Erase Racism Carnival.

    We believe that White Anti-Racists need as much representation and exposure as possible in the discourse about racism — and from what we can see, this carnival does an excellent job in supporting that need.

    So, readers who are not already in the know, check this out — it looks like it offers excellent exposure opportunities for White Anti-Racists.

    And the “Qualities of an Ally” post (posted, by the way, at a site called AllyWork, which has a tagline we really envy: “Helping White people fight White Supremacy”):

    This list is a truly excellent example of how to present the white ally (aka White Anti-Racist) identity in a way that — as you point out, Sara — both looks good, and has plausible deniability.

    While we appreciate how each item on the list is phrased, we feel that the full brillance of the piece becomes fully apparent in this clarifying comment (comment #4) from the white person who posted it — very illuminating indeed, including this particularly well-crafted statement:

    I think the key is to be willing to put yourself out there, and for White folks, to realize that putting ourselves out there is a product of our privilege.

    The beauty of this statement is that it has the appearance of challenging white supremacy, but vests the power and control with the White Anti-Racist — the key is not to act, it is to “be willing.” We can claim willingness as part of our discourse, without ever acting to jeopardize ourselves in any real way.

    And the other key named by the author is to “realize” that doing that is a product of our privilege. Excellent use of this typical White Anti-Racist approach in which our claimed and stated realization of our own privilege becomes its own action. In this case, it’s part of “the key.” Very very good work here.

    Thank you, Sara, for bringing these excellent sites to our attention. It’s great learning material for budding White Anti-Racists, and also a great reminder to all of us that we have some amazing White Anti-Racists out on the internet spreading the discourse with finesse and style.

  34. Sara says:

    Hi again Whiteantiracist!

    I just saw a great post at shrub.com that mentions the “qualities of an ally” post that I mentioned before.

    My favorite part of the shrub post is this sentence: The rest of the 12 point list is a must-read for… well, anyone who doesn’t want to be seen as racist, really.

    Reading this reminds me why I am so honored to be part of this community of White Anti-Racists all working hard so that we are “not seen” as racist.

    I’m just so proud of all of us – our hard work, our ability to work the European cultural system to our advantage, our consistent re-focusing from action to image. We do such good and persistent work! My heart is full right now, maybe it’s The Holidays, but reading that beautiful statement in the shrub post brought tears of joy to my eyes in appreciation for white-anti-racist idenity and all of us who use it so well.

  35. whiteantiracist says:

    Sara, thank you for coming back and posting that new link.

    Maybe the spirit is contagious, because on reading that sentence, we too feel filled with joy and appreciation for the wonderful work of White Anti-Racists everywhere.

    Also, someone in the the comments mentions our site! We’re feeling filled to the brim with happiness today.

  36. George H. says:

    Thank you for this site. I was so inspired that have gotten my family and friends a White Anti-Racist identity for Christmas. We have a consultant coming for a fitting in a couple of weeks. She will give us a little workshop and some pointers to help each of us to adapt our new identities to the best advantage. Even in our discussions so far, I can see that this is really bringing us closer together. Sharing this is so in line with the Christmas spirit and it is really deepening our connection with each other. Thanks again!

  37. whiteantiracist says:

    George, thank you for your comment and information. That sounds like a truly excellent gift for all of you.

    While the White Anti-Racist identity fits very very well with all flavors and types of religion among white people, it is heartening to us to see you working with the specific connections between the identity and Christianity during this Holiday Season. What an excellent way to bring White Christians together during this time of year.

    Readers who haven’t yet finished their shopping — you might want to consider doing what George has done. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

    And: Happy Christian Holidays to each and every one of our readers!

  38. Hedge says:

    Hi,

    Regarding that post at shrub.com, I don’t mean to be a buzzkill or anything about how good it is, but — is it really such a good idea to be seen as someone who doesn’t want to be seen as racist?

    In other words: didn’t the shrub author make a tactical mistake in putting it like that?

    It seems to me that if we’re seen as people who just don’t want to be seen as racist, people may start to doubt our sincerity and then what’s the point of having the White Anti-Racist Identity in the first place? I feel like this kind of thing can threaten the value of our identities and it worries me.

  39. whiteantiracist says:

    Hedge, we appreciate you bringing up your concerns. Here on our site, we’re among friends so we can talk openly. In other places, the tactics may need to be different, so we can see your point. Yes, it can be very important in certain situations to not to be seen as someone who is just concerned with not being seen as racist.

    However, the great thing about the White Anti-Racist identity is that it allows us to recover gracefully from whatever tactical errors we might make.

    For example: if the shrub.com author’s concern with image became an open issue that had to be dealt with in order to continue appear like a good person (and so far it doesn’t seem to be doing that, but if it was) — then the author could always explain herself and tell people what she really meant, making the situation about others’ misunderstanding. Perhaps others are reading in too much to a poor choice of words that do not actually reflect the author’s true intent! It doesn’t mean anything, really, it’s all just a misunderstanding.

    See how that works?

    Another option is to simply ignore any criticisms — this works only when very few people are paying attention, but in those situations it is an excellent way to deal with errors in judgment.

    So, Hedge, we understand your concern about threats to the value of the White Anti-Racist Identity, but we encourage you to take a deep breath and not to worry too much. The identity is a lot more durable than it may appear, which is yet another of its many marvelous qualities.

  40. Brad A says:

    Dear whiteantiracist:

    I thought your readers would be interested in this website (also on wordpress.com, which as you know is totally free of cost) as an example of good use of the white anti-racist identity for career-building and self-promotion.

    I don’t know what I found more impressive — the list of Clients, or the Accolades page .

    Sincerely,
    Brad

  41. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello Brad,

    Thanks for bringing that site to our readers attention. It is a really wonderful example of how to make good use of the White Antiracist identity for the purposes you mention. Having a good marketing sense is crucial, and this site is a good example of how that can operate.

    In addition, we think that the site founders’ myspace site for its rap group Anti-Racist 15 is also quite brilliant (it is linked to the site you mentioned).

    Our favorite part of the myspace page so far is the bio. It begins with the statement: What does it sound like when two white guys raised on rap speak truth to power? It sounds like AR-15. then goes on a bit later to say:

    The name AR-15 stands for fifteen anti-racist principles that guide the rap group to “flip the system”- or use time and money to support racial justice organizing led by poor people and people of color. AR-15 is walking the talk in the hip-hop underground, earning tens of thousands of dollars in gigs through independent promotion since 2004 and donating 25% of their income to racial justice organizing.

    That is just so inspiring to us. Two white guys make tens of thousands of dollars from gigs as white anti-racist rappers, retain 75% of the money, and highlight the 25% they donate to racial justice organizations with pride.

    This is such a wonderful use of the White Anti-Racist identity. Thank you so much for bringing this site to our attention.

  42. Andy says:

    I’ve been lurking on this site for a while and feeling skeptical about the claims you make about the benefits of the White Anti-Racist Identity. To be honest, it seems just too good to be true.

    But I just looked at the site that Brad A posted about, and also the one that you mention is linked to it (the AR-15 myspace). Damn. That’s amazing. I can relate to this now. I really can. I didn’t understand how it would work for someone like me, but those two sites convinced me.

    I think you might just have changed my life with this. Thank you so much, White Anti-Racist.

  43. whiteantiracist says:

    Readers!

    We’d like to point your attention to a wonderful piece of work by a marvelous White Anti-Racist whose work we have admired for some time now. It has been posted in various places on the internet (as seems to be the intent of the author) and we picked this site because we like wordpress.

    We would be remiss if we did not provide our readers with some background about the author of this piece and the organization he speaks for and as, The Center for the Study of White American Culture, Inc. (of which WACAN is a project):

    We were very moved when a link to our site was posted in one of WACAN’s newsletters several months ago. Unfortunately we couldn’t post the link for our readers because the newsletter is not publicly posted anywhere that we could find.

    But! Confession time! We have actually been big fans of Mr. Hitchcock and his organization for — could it be more than a decade now? It might just be! And while having our site noted recently in WACAN’s newsletter did result in the only truly bizarre and incoherent emails/comments we have ever received on this site, we certainly appreciated the traffic nonetheless.

    This current piece of writing illustrates some of what we love best about The Center for the Study of White American Culture, Inc and its very intelligent co-founder. From the start, the focus over there has unapologetically been on (white anti-racist) organization-building as its own reward, and that’s what we liked best about this essay.

    Not only does the logic of the essay charmingly and insightfully follow the cardinal White Anti-Racist rule of “keeping it in the discourse,” it also does an excellent and subtle job of associating the fight against white supremacy with joining the author’s organization. In particular, we noticed these brilliant sentences in the article: Not everyone is buying this approach nowadays, not even every white person. WACAN members violate these rules simply by joining WACAN. — excellent!

    And while it may seem too obvious to point out, we would like to note for those new to this work the importance of both exposure and taking credit for one’s work, as demonstrated in the ending note to the essay: * Permission granted to reprint this essay anywhere provided it contains the following credit: Copyright 2008 Jeff Hitchcock. Originally printed in WACANupdate, 2/6/2008. WACANupdate is an electronic periodical published by WACAN.

    Overall, our hats are off in respect — excellent, excellent work! But of course we would expect no less from such a great organization.

  44. whiteantiracist says:

    Update to above! The site we linked to that reprinted the WACAN piece has now linked to our site in a new and really beautiful post called “An uncomfortable truth”

    And, they have also linked to the White Collective essay by our favorite (if way way too painfully serious, often incoherent, and not incredibly internet-savvy) alter ego, Barbara Karens, who also contributed one of her trademark “Well, okay, that’s interesting. Except — WTF are you talking about?” Marimba-Ani-derived comments to the discussion.

    And finally, a note to readers: remember, if that Kil Ja Kim article feels upsetting to you — you are not alone and we have solutions to fix that feeling.

  45. Barbara Karens says:

    I’m working on being less serious and more coherent to others, whiteantiracist, but it’s just, I get so freaking upset at the coded language, culturally supported shifts and embedded plausible deniability. (PS: am I really your favorite alter ego?)

  46. whiteantiracist says:

    Oh, Barbara. Sweetheart. Yes you are.

    We love you and know you’re trying. But if you don’t learn to actually appreciate the joys and benefits of the White Anti-Racist identity, we’re going to have to give you another personal workshop. And this time we’re going to have to charge you full price. We know you can’t afford that.

    And while we would be delighted if you would get an a grant to fund us doing a workshop in your area, we would rather do it for a whole group like that first time when the university paid, and not just you like we had to do last fall. It’s much easier to justify our fee to funders when it’s a group.

    And if we do another group workshop where you are, we would rather not have you taking the opportunity to (we love you but we have to say this, it’s tough love sweetie) share more of your awkward incoherent rantings about your take on how you think Marimba Ani’s analyses in Yurugu might apply to any given topic. The last time you did that, our post-workshop evaluation ratings went way down — and we have a business to run, you know?

  47. Barbara Karens says:

    Look, I said I was working on it. Okay? I’m sorry. I really am. I am. You don’t need to give me another personal workshop. I can get through this.

  48. whiteantiracist says:

    Barbara, you know we’re rooting for you! And remember, it’s a journey and you need to be good to yourself while you travel your path. We know you can live up to your full potential as a White Anti-Racist. We need you! The world needs you! You too can make a difference!

  49. Barbara Karens says:

    Oh for fuck’s sake will you shut up with the individualistic self-important rah-rah specialness good-guy reality-creation rhetoric I mean — thanks for your support, whiteantiracist. I’ll try not to disappoint you. I do know that alter Egos have to work together.

  50. Lizabeth W says:

    Hi whiteantiracist and Barbara,

    I was at that workshop with the bad evaluations.

    Whiteantiracist, I think you’re being unfair to Barbara. Sure, she was all incoherent and into the analysis in Yurugu. Sure it was kind of bizarre to have that going on.

    But the thing is, it wasn’t that hard to deflect her. I wasn’t the only person there who responded to her by totally changing the subject while using words she had used to appear that I was engaging her. It worked really well and wasn’t that big of a deal to any of us. What she kept doing was more of a minor irritation than anything else.

    If you look at the reply to her comment over there at that site that linked here, you’ll see the kind of response I am talking about. The reply to what Barbara wrote over there is a lot like what I and other people did in the workshop. You can see that it doesn’t take much effort at all to deflect someone who says the kind of stuff that Barbara says.

    So whiteantiracist, like I said I think you’re being unfair about that workshop situation. Truth is, I remember a lot of recesses and breaks that day, and that was what really annoyed me and other participants. I remember thinking: How many times can we realistically do free writes and pair discussions about our Identity Plans while you facilitators step out to “go to the restroom”?

    I’ve been to other of your workshops and they have been much better than that one. But please, don’t blame Barbara. She is a nut, and you’re right that she needs to work on accepting the benefits of the White Anti-Racist Identity, but from what I can tell, she is no threat to your success.

  51. whiteantiracist says:

    Lizabeth, we do see your point. We had forgotten about all those restroom breaks. We were pretty hungover had the flu that day, if memory serves. It was pretty embarassing for us, so we must have put it out of our minds and blamed Barbara instead.

    Barbara, we’re sorry. We still do feel like you need to work on yourself (you know you do sweetie!), but that’s because we love you and want you to be with the rest of us as we enjoy the fruits of our White Anti-Racist Identities.

    But Lizbeth has a good point — it is unlikely that your participation had anything to do with the bad evaluations from that workshop. Please forgive us!

  52. Barbara Karens says:

    Well. White people are supposed to act and interact as if we are individuals and not part of a system of culturally-specific behavior where we function in our actions as cultural insiders-agents to maintain the system. There is no such thing as a Euro-white culturally-specific context to consider. So as you can see from the reply to my comment over there it’s basically THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT DOES.

    Anyway, I remember the vomiting and restroom breaks from that workshop and reading Lizabeth’s comment, I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers what happened. I do forgive you, whiteantiracist. It’s okay. I know you only have my best interest, so to speak, at heart.

  53. Lizabeth W says:

    White people are supposed to act and interact as if we are individuals and not part of a system of culturally-specific behavior where we function in our actions as cultural insiders-agents to maintain the system. There is no such thing as a Euro-white culturally-specific context to consider. So as you can see from the reply to my comment over there it’s basically THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT DOES.

    See whiteantiracist? That’s what I’m talking about! Barbara doesn’t make enough sense to be a threat to your success!

    And Barbara, yeah you — email me! I ran into someone you know and she told me to tell you Hello and that you left a dark blue sock at her place and she would like to return it to you.

  54. Dr. Mike Mehlmar says:

    My name is Mike Mehlmar and I am an Associate Professor of Whiteness Studies and the Humanities Service-Learning Coordinator at Pomoho College in upstate New York. I’m actually quite impressed by the level of thoughtfulness in Barbara’s approach to the topic of White Anti-Racism. She seems like a breath of fresh air; reading her essay and comments has already gotten me thinking about many crucial and necessary issues.

    Barbara, I’m organizing a panel proposal for next fall’s AWSWA conference in Chicago. Assuming you have the appropriate academic credentials (which I am guessing you do), I would like to invite you to submit a paper abstract for possible inclusion.

    The panel title is: “In/Sincerity: The promise and problematics of earnestness and (in)coherence in 21st Century Whiteness Studies.”

    Given the overall conference theme and the fact that I went to graduate school with the head of the selection committee, I feel this panel has a better than reasonable chance of both being selected, and having a good day/time slot at the conference.

    I feel that your participation could make a significant contribution to the panel’s explorations, Barbara; I hope you will get in touch with me to discuss it further. My email address is michael.t.mehlmar.jr@pomoho.eduh. I look forward to hearing from you and I hope we can add another line to our respective CVs through this mutual collaboration and learning opportunity.

    Mike

  55. Barbara Karens says:

    Holy crap not another freaking academic calling me thoughtful. PLEASE SHUT UP. WHEN YOU ACADEMICS “THINK ABOUT” THINGS IT NEVER AFFECTS YOUR ACTUAL BEHAVIOR ANYWAY SO IT’S JUST A LOAD OF VERBAL MASTURB- I mean — thank you Dr. Mehlmar for your kind words and invitation, and I will certainly take it under consideration.

  56. whiteantiracist says:

    Great! Now, Barbara, the next step in your process is taking everything you put under the strikeouts and just deleting it before you post the comment in the first place.

    Baby steps. Take it slow. You can do it! We know you can! Good work so far!

  57. Dr. Mike Mehlmar says:

    Actually, whiteantiracist, I feel that Barbara’s approach is important and timely. I have authored several journal articles on the role of apparent sincerity in white anti-racist endeavors, and I feel like we all need to continually appear to engage in critical self-reflection on the topics that Barbara raises. Her perspective and approach bring out crucial concerns that deserve more dialogue among all White Anti-Racists.

    For example, as a tenured white professor in Whiteness Studies, I appreciate that in the White Collective article Barbara questions the appropriateness of white people making a living from being White Anti-Racists. That is an important question for all of us to consider and dialogue about. In fact, I would love to co-author an article on this topic with Barbara, to explore and hash out some of the pressing issues that surround, permeate, and complicate this topic. Perhaps the article could lead us to co-edit an anthology on the topic, which I feel could be an important addition to the Critical Whiteness Studies literature.

    Overall, I feel that it is intellectually and spiritually healthy for White Anti-Racists to address the difficult issues — and not “strike them out,” as it were. These are complicated times we live in, and as Critical Whiteness Studies develops further in the years to come, we would be remiss as a field if we did not rigorously engage these kinds of questions as they relate to the academy and also our overarching notions of social justice.

    Whiteantiracist, thank you so much for hosting this initial crucial dialogue on your site!

    Mike

  58. Barbara Karens says:

    Dr.
    Freaking
    Mehlmar:

    So.

    WILL. YOU. STOP. TAKING. A. SALARY. FOR. BEING. A. WHITE. ANTI-RACIST?

    ?

  59. Dr. Mike Mehlmar says:

    Barbara! Wow! I am so invigorated by this dialogue! This is so crucial and important. You’re really pushing me to think and reflect more deeply on these important topics.

    And the more I reflect, the more I feel like perhaps a co-authored book would be better than an edited anthology. It would allow us to go deep into these complicated issues, to give the issues a more thorough exploration and examination than the anthology format would allow. Granted, we would lose some breadth, but I feel that the added depth would more than compensate.

  60. Raven says:

    So as you can see from the reply to my comment over there it’s basically THAT DOES NOT COMPUTE LET’S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT DOES.

    I just want to chime in here and say that the “reply over there” may not be on-topic for whatever the hell Barbara was talking about (“WTF?” about sums it up for me!) — but it has been extremely helpful for my collective. We actually printed out and talked about that reply in our discussion group this afternoon.

    We’ve been having a really hard time understanding the concept of “intersecting oppressions.” Which isn’t really that big of a deal to us in and of itself, but we have found that we look really uninformed as white anti-racist feminists if we can’t at least have a credible appearance of grasping what it means. The reply to Barbara’s comment is the first thing we have read that uses that phrase in a way that makes actual sense to us. Because we are totally into applying our existing feminist analysis to anti-racism! If that’s what intersecting oppressions is all about, we’ve been needlessly tormenting ourselves because we’ve had the analysis at our fingertips all along. What a relief.

    Whiteantiracist, are we understanding this concept of intersecting oppressions correctly now, do you think? We hope so because frankly it’s been frustrating up to this point and we really have a lot of other things to focus on also.

    Raven

  61. whiteantiracist says:

    Raven, with a White Anti-Racist Identity, you should be able to use phrases like “intersecting oppressions” in whatever ways would best increase your credibility and appearance of expertise about the issues under discussion.

    You will need to build in enough plausible deniability to recover if anyone criticizes your usage, of course. But you need to remember that the issue is not whether you “understand the concept” per se. The real concern you should have is whether you can use the words in ways that make you look credible as a White Anti-Racist.

    In other words: think of these kinds of phrases like jewelery — accessorize!

    The brilliance of the comment you mention is its use of the phrase “intersecting oppressions” in a casual yet compelling style. The phrase is like a necklace or bracelet that’s not necessary, but at the same time makes the ensemble really pull together. This usage builds in plausible deniability — who can deny that the speaker could take the accessory-phrase away and still have a whole statement (aka still “be fully dressed”). At the same time, its presence adds the perfect amount of shine and zing to really make the whole “outfit” cohere and stand out.

    So Raven, please remember: the White Anti-Racist Identity exists to serve you, not the other way around. We’re sure that you and your collective are doing just fine with it!

  62. Barbara Karens says:

    Hi everyone!

    I want to understand something as part of learning to be more coherent and lowering my blood pressure. Will you all help me?

    Let’s say I had tried to answer the questions recently asked of me over there at feministwhitenoise by posting the following:

    ————————————————-

    The definition and relationship between “discourse” (words) and action is a culturally specific phemomenon. No, really.

    Culturally.
    Fucking.
    Specific.

    And to me, “culturally fucking specific” is relevant to what actually goes on in the actual concrete world of actual freaking everyday life and action.

    And I apologize that I was remiss in not mentioning and linking to an actual online resource on this issue. Oh wait. I did. More than once. In more than one context.

    Some highlights:

    It is the European experience that encourages the confounding of meaning and commitment with mere verbal expression. (It was within the incipient European experience that “rhetoric” came to be regarded as art.) In African culture words have power. The European mind is a political one and for this reason constantly aware of the political effect of words and images as they are used for the purposes of manipulation. By “political” I mean to indicate an ego that consistently experiences people as others; as representatives of interests defined differently and, therefore, as conflicting with this “ego.” The individual is concerned, therefore, with the way in which his verbal expression and the image he projects can influence the behavior of those to whom he relates, be they patients (would-be consumers), neocolonial subjects, an opposing candidate for office, or an African selfdeterminist/nationalist. This is what is “deeply rooted” in the American mind-the psychology of “public relations,” “salesmanship,” and political strategy.

    and

    The gap to which I am referring, however, is between verbal expression and belief or commitment; between what people say and what they do. Nowhere other than in European culture do words mean so little as indices of belief.

    and

    It is an inherent characteristic of the culture that it prepares members of the culture to be able to act like friends toward those they regard as enemies; to be able to convince others that they have come to help when they, in fact, have come to destroy the others and their culture. That some may “believe” that they are actually doing good only makes them more dangerous, for they have swallowed their own rhetoric-perhaps a convenient self-delusion. Hypocritical behavior is sanctioned and rewarded in European culture. The rhetorical ethic helps to sanction it. European culture cannot be understood in terms of the dynamics of other cultures alone.

    and

    European culture is constructed in such a way that successful survival within it discourages honesty and directness and encourages dishonesty and deceit-the ability to appear to be something other than what one is; to hide one’s “self,” one’s motives and intent.

    and, the whole rest of it.

    So to everyone in this discussion except Starfish:

    READ THE $%#%&#^% THING WHY DON’T YOU HOW MANY TIMES DO I NEED TO LINK TO AND MENTION IT BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY READ THE $%#%&#^% THING WHY DON’T YOU?

    ————————————————-

    Okay, so if I had posted this in reply, am I correct in understanding that it would have been:

    1. Incoherent
    2. Hostile
    3. Irrelevant to “activism” and “solutions”

    Am I getting this? Am I?

  63. Raven says:

    Okay, so if I had posted this in reply, am I correct in understanding that it would have been:

    1. Incoherent
    2. Hostile
    3. Irrelevant to “activism” and “solutions”

    Am I getting this? Am I?

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I think you’re getting it, Barbara!

    Raven

  64. Dr. Mike Mehlmar says:

    3. Irrelevant to “activism” and “solutions”

    In academia, we don’t make such harsh judgments. We feel these issues are complex and contradictory, and need to be explored through multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals or other scholarly venues. I hope you are considering my invitations.

    Mike

  65. whiteantiracist says:

    Barbara, we’re so proud of you for being so brave and asking for help like this. We think you are learning and “getting it,” and good for you! We think it’s just great that you brought your questions to us instead of bothering them more than you have already posting that response over there.

    We hope you will consider Dr. Mehlmar’s offers. He seems to have a good sense of where you should be located for the best positioning as a White Anti-Racist given your skills.

  66. Todd D says:

    Whiteantiracist,

    Your site is interesting, but after reading another more popular wordpress site, I don’t know if it is worth it for me to get a white antiracist identity.

    Specifically: after hearing the author interviewed on NPR yesterday, I have been reading the “Stuff White People Like site”

    It’s so funny! And so popular … I especially like that it is really well-known both on and off the internet.

    I saw a comment about it on another site (comment #7) that really made me question whether a white antiracist identity is worthwhile. According to the comment:

    The author of Stuffwhitepeoplelike has his “whiteness studies” jargon down pat, but the thing about whiteness studies is that it exists to dismantle white supremacy (or at least purports to). In contrast, Stuffwhitepeoplelike in the main seems to exist to display the author’s erudition and self-regard. (Is a trade paperback book deal far behind? Will Racialious blurb the back cover? ” A hilarious, satirical Wikipedia-esque guide to exactly what the title says, filled with dead-on observations that make you laugh in surprise and recognition?”) In the best whiteness studies, identification of what constitutes “white culture” treats unique/demographically distinct cultural practices and comes part and parcel with a sometimes difficult examination of things like white privilege. Here it mostly comes with a high five, a pat on the back and endless blather about how smart some random white dude is for making funny about sandwiches. Talk about lowered expectations. Talk about affirmative action!

    It looks like the “Stuff White People Like” approach is getting him more exposure and affirmation than I could get with a white antiracist identity. So I’m wondering — do you think that the the value of the white antiracist approach is declining?

    I mean, I’m considering getting a white antiracist identity, but it seems to me that the author of this other site might have a better approach and maybe I should try to get into whatever he is into, instead.

    Also: Have you gotten on NPR yet?

  67. whiteantiracist says:

    Todd,

    We are familiar with that site, since wordpress lists it as one of the most popular and it was just a single click to get over there. We like it! We even commented on one of the entries.

    Todd, we understand that you are trying to make a decision about whether to get a White Anti-Racist identity. And the truth is that he “stuff white people like” site actually supports and enhances the value of a White Anti-Racist identity.

    The comment you quoted is a good indication of how the “enhanced value by comparison” dynamic works in actual practice. We look like the really good white people in comparison with the author of that site! As comment #7 on the site you linked to put it:

    The author of Stuffwhitepeoplelike has his “whiteness studies” jargon down pat, but the thing about whiteness studies is that it exists to dismantle white supremacy (or at least purports to). In contrast, Stuffwhitepeoplelike in the main seems to exist to display the author’s erudition and self-regard

    This comment shows just exactly how the stuff white people like approach actually supports the White Anti-Racist identity:

    -The contrast adds value to what we “purport to” be about. In contrast, the difference between what we say and what we do becomes much less relevant to our value as the really good white people.

    -As the really good white people, we appear much less self-involved and selfish than someone like the author of that site. This helps support the illusion that while other white people might be interested in displaying {their} erudition and self-regard — we are not.

    Overall, a comparison with that kind of site makes us look really good. As our How and Why It Works page points out, the White Anti-Racist identity works in part because:

    … we sound so much better than most other white people. Compared with other white people, we say and write some pretty wonderful things. For example, we actively acknowledge our own white privilege. Most white people don’t even admit that white privilege exists!

    Oh and we haven’t been on NPR. But that’s totally okay. We are the really good white people who talk about white privilege. The value of this identity doesn’t depend on those kinds of venues (though just in case anyone with NPR connections is reading this we wouldn’t turn down a NPR slot if we were offered one, of course).

  68. Raven says:

    Hi! Hello!

    I’m writing this comment from a laptop at one of my collective meetings. We’re having such a good discussion right now and I just have to share this with you.

    I and my collective have been following that feministwhitenoise wordpress site since it came up over here.

    We just read and are discussing a very moving and important new post over there called “Prioritising our selves”

    In this post, the authors point out that the real key to white feminist anti-racism is for us white women to:

    1. work on feeling our real feelings
    2. prioritize ourselves

    !!!

    Isn’t that great? Isn’t it?!! That’s exactly the kind of thing that our collective has been working on for years, even before we got anti-racist identities! It’s so exciting!

    Truth is, we have had some ongoing worries about what we might lose as feminists if we got these white anti-racist identities. You (the whiteantiracist team) assured us awhile ago that there would be no problem and the identities would co-exist and strengthen each other. We took you at your word, and have noticed that it seems to be true.

    But we didn’t understand how or why until we read this post. We’re so excited. We have had the feeling that the authors of that feministwhitenoise site were onto something. This post brings it to the surface.

    Because of this we’re thinking of beginning a new project of actively promoting the white anti-racist identity for all the white feminists we know and can reach out to. We are going to urge all white feminists to consider getting the white anti-racist identity, and we will now be able to answer their concerns completely by referring them not only to your site, but also to the feminist white noise site, and especially that magnificent “Prioritising our selves” post.

    We’re so relieved right now we don’t even have the right words to express it. Just so happy. Okay, they’re calling me back to the discussion now ….

    Raven

  69. Leila says:

    Hi everyone, I’m a long time lurker, this is first comment here:

    From that feministwhitenoise “Prioritizing our selves” post Raven mentions:

    It takes women together, knowing that we all were inculcated with the same expectations of niceness, i. e. prioritising others, not our selves. It’s hard for us all–and most especially when we are new at it.

    Making our selves a priority means we must stop bowing and scraping to power. Prioritising our selves means giving legitimacy to our own perceptions. It means breaking new ground by allowing our selves the right to feel, to recognise the feelings for what they are, to speak up. It means not having to “be nice.” Realising that self-respect and “being nice” cannot always co-exist.

    Prioritize yourself
    Don’t have to “be nice”
    Give legitimacy to your own perceptions of reality
    Allow yourself the right to feel
    Speak up

    Hey! I’m a big Hillary Clinton supporter, but now I’m thinking if she doesn’t win the nomination because that unqualified Barack Obama oppresses her with his uniquely privileged Black male self and takes away her white lady birthright, perhaps she could become a white feminist anti-racist leader.

    Hillary 08! It’s hers and she has a right to it!

  70. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello again Raven — and welcome Leila,

    Raven, thank you so much for that link. Yes we have been saying all along that the white feminist identity meshes very very well with the white anti-racist identity — that post shows one excellent way to work the benefits of that combined identity. We continue to be impressed with that site.

    Leila, good point. We have long felt that Hillary Clinton would make an excellent white anti-racist leader if she ever wanted to go in that direction. Of course, she would need to educate Geraldine Ferraro about how white anti-racists should not making those kinds of comments in public, and would need a makeover in her own rhetoric to some extent. But she has the basic skills and certainly the drive to put her skills to use! We would certainly welcome her presence in the white anti-racist field.

  71. whiteantiracist says:

    A quick note from the site administrators on sources for comments on this page:

    The comments on this site/page have two phases. In the first phase (June 20, 2007-May 28, 2008), all published comments here come from the site administrators or someone we know personally off-line, often playing roles/characters. The only exception is a comment by someone with the screen name Sappho who we do not know.

    In the second phase (May 29, 2008 onward), the site began to receive and publish comments from outside the original project as well. These are comments from tilly, jwbe, Nquest2xl, Restructure!, Dark Lily, Hakeema, Michael Fisher, “Trixie Wonderbread,” “Duccena Raacbeer,” “Glorius Ston’Em” and “Lawrence Jackson.”

    With tilly’s one-time comment as the possible exception (we don’t know), all other of these comments came from people with online presence elsewhere as well. Michael Fisher is not one of the site administrators, but has contributed a particularly diverse selection of comments here — using his own name, and also the names/characters Trixie Wonderbread, Duccena Raacbeer, Glorius Ston’Em and Lawrence Jackson.

  72. tilly says:

    this site is fucking hilarious! and i’m not even white!!!

  73. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi tilly,

    Thank you for your comment. While we don’t actually understand it, we appreciate its positive energy. And of course we are always interested in accolades from people who are not white. It helps our credibility.

    As for the site :

    We are dead serious.

    No really we are.

    You can and should trust our sincerity.

    White anti-racists are always extremely sincere. Extremely. Because we say so and you need to trust us, ok? Trust us.

    This is important to always keep in mind.

  74. Jannie Sue says:

    Hi again,

    I’ve been involved in some great blogs this year and a newish site has come to my attention that has raised some questions for me. It is called Stuff White People Do. In some ways it seems to be a great fit for the White Anti-Racist perspective that you have here. The guy who does the site, Macon D, has really been trying to increase traffic to his blog, especially by white people. But, when I followed the link to the site I came to the topic “avoid the topic of race, especially whiteness” and … that’s where I started having questions. He presents the site as wanting white participants, but as feeling negative to white readers. He says:

    “I think it’s because white people will occasionally discuss non-white people, especially among themselves, but they’re not used to talking or thinking about whiteness. And when they are asked to think or talk about it seriously, doing so makes them feel attacked, guilty, confused, or angry. And so they turn away—’Thanks, but no thanks.'”

    Anyway, I don’t feel like I totally understand what is going on. I was wondering if you could take a look at it and see what you think.

    Thanks, Jannie Sue

  75. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello again Jannie Sue! Glad to know you’re still at it.

    We looked at that site and are actually very impressed with its approach.

    We understand why you would be confused. But if you look a little closer you will see the rhetorical brilliance that Macon D is bringing to his work.

    The entire post, including the part you quoted, serves to establish Macon’s expertise as a White Anti-Racist. Unlike other white people, he is seriously interested in “talking” and “thinking” about whiteness. This establishes an excellent image for him, keeps it in the discourse, and rhetorically displays his particular importance in the larger struggle against racism.

    Far from being negative, the post shows the specialness of his own White Anti-Racist Identity while at the same time serving as an implicit challenge to other white people to get a good white anti-racist identity for themselves.

    It’s a brilliant bit of self-promotion, and a marvelous invitation to other white people to join us in white anti-racism.

    One other wonderful thing we noticed about Macon D’s approach is his use of another more popular site as the springboard for his own. As we have discussed previously, Stuff White People Like is so popular it got on NPR!

    Taking a “new” angle to an existing popular product is excellent marketing. Having an good angle like this can be very useful, since there are many White Anti-Racists out there. A savvy angle can prevent people from asking why an individual White Anti-Racist is doing the same basic thing as other White Anti-Racists but acting as if s/he is the only one doing it. Good angles help avoid that trap.

    Maybe Macon D will get on NPR someday too. We hope so. He is an excellent example of a White Anti-Racist and would do all of us proud.

    We are very happy to recommend this site to our readers, and to welcome Macon D to the White Anti-Racist fold!

  76. Jannie Sue says:

    Thanks so much! I can totally see now how this fits with the White Anti-Racist approach. In fact, his site did kind of get to me a little, making me feel like I needed to present a more in-your-face, hard-hitting image as a White Anti-Racist (not really me at all)….now I understand where that is coming from and it feels great to be in the know on this!!

    By the way, I love NPR!

  77. whiteantiracist says:

    Glad we could be of help, Jannie Sue.

    Please don’t assume that you need to be more like Macon D if it is not really you. Within the White Anti-Racist line, he can have his particular image and you can have yours. Niche marketing can be very useful in carving out opportunities in this field. So find the image that works best for you and use it. We know you can do it, Jannie Sue!

  78. Jannie Sue says:

    Okay! Thanks! I appreciate all of your support!

  79. jwbe says:

    “But if you look a little closer you will see the rethorical brilliance that Macon D is bringing to his work”.

    I beg to differ. While he may have good intentions, some of his posts are very problematic and also counter-productive to anti-racist work. I don’t understand the excitement about his blog.

  80. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi jwbe,

    Thank you for your comment!

    You wrote: While he may have good intentions, some of his posts are very problematic and also counter-productive to anti-racist work. I don’t understand the excitement about his blog.

    We’re not entirely sure what you mean and would love to read more of your perspective on this — please come back and post another comment with more of your analysis for us and our readers to read and respond to.

    So far, we continue to be very impressed by his work and feel that he is an exemplary White Anti-Racist as we describe that identity on this site. But we could be wrong!

    Please tell us more.

  81. jwbe says:

    Hi whiteantiracist,

    that he is an exemplary White Anti-Racist as we describe that identity on this site

    you talk about this?:

    our words and our actions don’t have to match up. In fact, it’s better if they don’t. Appearance and image is one thing; our actual behavior is another

    but I think I get your point now

  82. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi jwbe,

    You have homed right in on one of the most important and central things about the White Anti-Racist Identity! We had in fact noticed that most white anti-racist sites and gatherings don’t talk about things like this, and we want this site (and our workshops, which are perking along nicely despite the economy) to be a space for open discussion on things that we white anti-racists would not look good discussing in public.

  83. whiteantiracist says:

    Since we’ve been discussing Macon D recently, we would like to highlight his continued excellence as a White Anti-Racist role model.

    Newbies and experts alike take note: Macon D is a pro. Read and learn.

    —————————

    On his blog, one reader had the audacity to ask Macon how do you work against whiteness in your daily life? His reply reads like a “best practices” example of White Anti-Racist discourse:

    jw, I work against whiteness, or white supremacy, in my daily life in many ways, first of all by doing what abagond suggests, or sort of suggests–always trying to think of white people AS white, including myself (Thandeka’s suggested experiment of always verbally labeling white people “white” is indeed hard to keep up–I get her point already, for one thing, but for another, it just drives other white folks nuts, and for me at least, that’s hard to work with–I still do it sometimes, though). I also take time during the day to talk to white folks about various manifestations of white supremacy, and at the end of many days I often pause to count my racial blessings. I also work with a parents’ group that’s trying to diversify local schools, and my own effort there is specifically geared toward pushing curricular offerings away from an entrenched, fundamentally Eurocentric perspective. And my professional life is specifically about challenging white supremacy at institutional levels. And I do more, including “daily” work on this blog, one of several forms of writing in which I counter white supremacy.

    There are so many things to praise about this response, we don’t even know where to start, and we’re sure we’ll miss something anyway. But bear with us!

    1. White anti-racist working against whiteness = always trying to think of white people AS white. Remember, white people thinking is a form of anti-racist action. Since we are the ones who know what we are thinking, we are the final experts on whether or not this action is taking place. It’s a win-win!

    2. White anti-racist working against whiteness = take time during the day to talk to white folks about various manifestations of white supremacy A big favorite among White Anti-Racists; implications explored on the How and Why It Works page.

    3. White anti-racist working against whiteness = at the end of many days I often pause to count my racial blessings (this one gets double points from us for the remarkably layered use of white self-referentialness)

    4. White anti-racist working against whiteness = work with a parents’ group that’s trying to diversify local schools, and my own effort there is specifically geared toward pushing curricular offerings away from an entrenched, fundamentally Eurocentric perspective. If we White Anti-Racists have to be working with the schools, this is in our opinion the very best focus — it is fundamentally discourse-based. Excellent.

    5. White anti-racist working against whiteness = my professional life is specifically about challenging white supremacy at institutional levels. Note the good-sounding phrase and related lack of concrete details about what this actual entails in practice and what he gets out of it. The key here is the rhetorical shift — there are actual concrete details of what Macon D actually does, but he doesn’t share them. Instead, he rhetorically defines whatever he does as “challenging white supremacy.” If that’s what it is, it can’t be anything else. Masterful.

    6. White anti-racist working against whiteness = And I do more, including “daily” work on this blog, one of several forms of writing in which I counter white supremacy Remember, writing things about whiteness and racism is one of the best ways to gain status as a White Anti-Racist.

    ——————–

    While jwbe’s initial comment raised concerns for us that we might have been wrong about Macon D, we are happy to report that we don’t think that’s the case. He continues to do excellent work, and we salute his efforts!

  84. Tammy in IL says:

    Ohmigod! Wow! Thanks for that example from Macon D, whiteantiracist!

    Lurker unlurking here.

    “how do you work against whiteness in your daily life?”

    Guess what, someone asked me almost that exact question on a blog the other day and I am still trying to figure out how to answer it and feeling like I didn’t know what to say.

    I see my mistake now. I was worried I would have to give actual examples of how I visibly and effectively challenge “white supremacy.” I don’t have any of those, you know? Why would I?

    So I haven’t been able to answer and it’s making me look really bad over there. It’s been two whole days since I was asked and all I can do is hope no one realizes I haven’t answered yet. It’s just, I’m trying to maintain and enhance my image as a White Anti-Racist on this blog and my inability to answer that question made me think I won’t be able to do that.

    But now after reading that example, I understand better what to do. Now I know how to do it. Now I can see how so many of my activities could be part of my answer.

    I am so grateful to you and to Macon D. Now I’m off to write an answer — finally!

  85. Barbara Karens says:

    Jesus H Christ, that Macon D guy is now saying that my White Collective article is better than this site. Godfreakingdamn it.

  86. Dr. Mike Mehlmar says:

    Barbara,

    I totally agree with Macon D’s insightful comment over there about your introspective and provocative White Collective essay: Her piece is all about the topic of this post and thread, white anti-racist action, in a way that offers useful introspection about how to do it.

    It’s true. He’s correct. We need you, Barbara. You do such a great job of provoking the kind of discussion and reflection we White Anti-Racists like to display.

    PS I’m still waiting to get your email reply to the anthology prospectus I sent you. I hope you will consider being a co-editor and writing something for it. As I mentioned, we do have a publisher interested.

    Mike

  87. whiteantiracist says:

    Tammy — welcome and glad we could help you!

    Barbara — please, with the curse words. And also, we would really like you to stop ignoring Dr. Mehlmar’s emails.

    And thanks to the link to that discussion and Macon D’s comment. Despite the bizarre fact that he seems to think we are a satire site (???) named WAR, we continue to be extremely impressed with him.

  88. Restructure! says:

    Hi whiteantiracist,

    I used to comment at Macon D’s Stuff White People Do, and I am still perplexed about one of his comment responses:

    Actually, it may not seem to you to be the case, but I’m not starting to figure out race and whiteness right now. I’ve been intensively working on these topics and their related problems at several levels, professionally and otherwise and in many settings, for over a dozen years now. For several reasons, though, I prefer to remain anonymous on this blog. I think if my “credentials” were known, I’d probably have an additional aura of authority that you seem to be writing about here. I wonder if Tim Wise, for instance, gets a pass for calling on non-white voices for support that I don’t, because he’s trusted as an authority in a way that’s disallowed by my anonymity.

    I found this shocking, and then Macon D felt I was being astoundingly condescending towards him because I had thought that he was a “neophyte” that was working through “racism 101”. Later on, he made a reference to this and mentioned that I made him defensive because I had constructed an image of him as a “twenty-something neophyte”.

    I’m actually in my 20s, or at least late 20s, so does that mean I should wait a few more years before criticizing his racial views? Is it true that if a white person works on whiteness for over 12 years, people of colour shouldn’t insult him with racism 101?

  89. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Restructure,

    Thank you for your comment!

    One very important thing to know about the White Anti-Racist Identity is that it is a strongly hierarchical field of practice. White anti-racists are at all times extremely conscious of who stands where in the hierarchy of white authority on whiteness. (see Changequester’s comment for one example of such awareness, as well as these two comments from our discussion with Jannie Sue, above).

    The existence and spread of the White Anti-Racist Identity depends on interactions between newbies and experts. If there were no need for white expertise in this area, or if there were no white newbies for the white experts to educate, the actual credibility and “movement centrality” of the White Anti-Racist Identity would be in jeopardy.

    If you in fact suggested in any way that that Macon D is a neophyte, then you insulted the core of his specific White Anti-Racist Identity. His response is not only understandable, but necessary. While we White Anti-Racists generally don’t like to openly clash with people of color (it can make us look really bad), in this case it is more important to the preservation of Macon’s identity for him to assert his authority. And because he has this authority, he is more empowered to openly clash with people of color in the first place — again, we don’t like to do this, but when we have sufficient authority, it can in some circumstances become a badge of just how advanced we actually are.

    I’m actually in my 20s, or at least late 20s, so does that mean I should wait a few more years before criticizing his racial views?

    While age may play some role in the White Anti-Racist hierarchy, the real issue here is not age but authority itself, however it is gained and maintained. For Macon, working on whiteness for over 12 years is one of the markers of his authority.

    Is it true that if a white person works on whiteness for over 12 years, people of colour shouldn’t insult him with racism 101?

    Given how the White Anti-Racist Identity works, we would caution anyone against insulting the authority of a White Anti-Racist Expert. By the time a White Anti-Racist reaches this peak of expertise, he or she has a significant and inextricable relationship with Benefit #2 of the identity:

    Critical attention to white supremacy calls into question the cultural assumption that as white people, we know better, perceive better and are best equipped to interpret reality, “make meaning” and otherwise control the terms. Without this cultural assumption, our modes of communication can appear deceitful, manipulative, overly aggressive and/or spiritually damaging, while the content of our communication can appear unoriginal, inaccurate, hackneyed, largely irrelevant, and/or otherwise not so useful.

    As a White Anti-Racist, you will be able to criticize assumptions of white intellectual superiority while still maintaining your own right to be an intellectual decision-maker. As a White Anti-Racist engaged in discourse against white supremacy, you will have the opportunity to develop and display your expertise related to understanding and interpreting what racism/white supremacy is, and what should be done about it. The discourse focus of White Anti-Racist ensures that you can even question the value of what you yourself do without changing your actual practice or having to give up an ounce of your intellectual credibility and control.

    Getting between a White Anti-Racist Expert and this benefit can be very dangerous. If you must do it, we would advise that you wear a full body HAZMAT-type suit, including breathing apparatus.

  90. nquest2xl says:

    Hi White Anti-racist,

    I had a similar experience with Macon D and, like Restructure, I’m a person of color.
    I had a problem with Macon’s “get used to blackness” and explained why I had a problem with it. I’m wondering what you think of his responses to me in that thread.

    Here is his initial response:

    Nquest, your disappointment doesn’t surprise me, since it seems that everything on this blog strikes you as a disappointment.

    As I would think any regular reader of this blog could see, a long, long list of African American intellectuals inform my perspective…

    After I responded expressing how disappointing it was that African-American intellectuals he’s been exposed haven’t “penetrated his consciousness” on the point I made about his original superficial treatment of Black culture and on a tangent he wanted to create re: Obama’s candidacy, he made the following statement:

    Right, I must be an idiot who wasn’t able to finish high school, so hard is it for “basic points” to penetrate my thick skull.

    Believe it or not, that very basic point has penetrated my consciousness […]

    I was hoping you could help me understand Macon’s reaction in the context of the hierarchy thing you mentioned. I’ve left out the “tangent” Macon wanted to create when he posed the following question that was part of the first quote:

    I know you don’t like Obama, but do you as an African American feel anything at all positive about the historic firsts he’s achieved so far? If so, how would express that feeling?

    This statement which was part of the second quote, perhaps, explains the first:

    Obama’s been my third choice in the race… But he’s done work in his past and has said things that suggest that if he gets in office, he just might do a better job than anyone has for decades to improve “our way of life.” We shall see, we shall see. As you’ve been noting so well on your blog, we have a lot of reasons to be skeptical.

  91. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello Nquest2xl,

    Between Restructure’s questions and yours, we’re beginning to wonder if we should develop a sideline in explaining white people to people of color. So far we notice that just responding to Restructure and you has provided the whole whiteantiracist team with benefits 1 and 2. We’re starting to wonder if we should expand into adding career/status benefits as well by developing seminars we could market to people of color.

    If you have any opinions on this idea, we’d love to hear them. In any case, having the opportunity to respond to Restructure and yourself has certainly made us feel extra-special and is giving us an excellent opportunity to display our intellectual mastery of the topics you’re raising. Thank you! And please feel free to post or email us a testimonial for our testimonial page if you are so moved; that would certainly help us maximize the benefits of these interactions.

    Now, to your questions:

    As we mentioned to Raven, the White Anti-Racist identity runs on the same “operating system” (as it were) as all white identities. This is apparent in how Macon responded to you.

    You raised substantive questions about Macon’s approach to a topic. In doing so, you threatened the internal and external image of authority and mastery that is necessary for him to maintain — both as a white person generally and as a White Anti-Racist Expert specifically. The responses to you that you quote in your comment are, for the most part, tactically brilliant in our opinion. This is just what we would expect from such a pro.

    1. Macon wrote: Nquest, your disappointment doesn’t surprise me, since it seems that everything on this blog strikes you as a disappointment.

    This first statement seeks to move the discussion away from the actual substance of your comments. Since you are continually disappointed with everything on the blog, your comment was a continuation of this state rather than a real intellectual analysis with which Macon or other white people would need to engage.

    With your words trivialized in this manner, some of the threat to Macon’s authority is removed.

    2. Macon wrote: As I would think any regular reader of this blog could see, a long, long list of African American intellectuals inform my perspective…

    There’s a lot packed into this short statement (white anti-racist readers, take note — learn from this expert, he does good work).

    The first phrase calls your ability to “see” into question — an excellent move to continue to establish Macon as dominant in the white hierarchy of intellectual authority at work here. Again, it is risky for White Anti-Racists to openly clash with people of color, but White Anti-Racist Experts at an advanced level can do this and maintain credibility when the situation warrents it.

    The second part of Macon’s comment — his reference to the long list of African-American intellecturals — taps into one of the most crucial aspects of White Anti-Racist expert practice. We made note of this in this advice to Jannie Sue:

    White Anti-Racist experts have various styles, but all have one thing in common: they are able to appropriate insights already developed by people of color and then put their own distinctive stamp on those ideas. Most White Anti-Racist experts include discourse acknowledging the centrality of people of color, and some even directly criticize the practice of appropriating the ideas of people of color even as they do it. Yet all of these experts are able to functionally claim ownership of the ideas through their actions of publishing, speaking, interpreting etc.

    An additional bonus of the second part of the statement is the way in which it positions Macon as more of an expert in these African American intellectuals than you are. After all, Nquest, you have little of real substance to contribute to a rigorous discussion other than your continual state of disappointment.

    Nquest, you wrote: After I responded expressing how disappointing it was that African-American intellectuals he’s been exposed haven’t “penetrated his consciousness” on the point I made about his original superficial treatment of Black culture…

    First, remember that Macon’s initial comment essentially erased any point you might claim to have had. You were speaking from a state of constant disappointment, and didn’t have any real substantive analysis.

    Second, any time someone makes a claim about a White Anti-Racist’s consciousness or understanding, we would be silly not to take advantage of the fact that we are the final experts and authorities on our own subjectivity. Macon is the only one who knows what has or has not penetrated his consciousness, since he is the only one who knows from inside the actual state of his consciousness. This is a benefit of the European/white self, which is easily able to reject reference points external to it in assessing what is true.

    …[Macon] made the following statement:

    Right, I must be an idiot who wasn’t able to finish high school, so hard is it for “basic points” to penetrate my thick skull.

    Believe it or not, that very basic point has penetrated my consciousness […]

    In the first statement about basic points and high school, Macon is responding to your ongoing challenges to his intellectual authority and mastery. What you said is smaller in scope than what Restructure suggested in the “neophyte” situation, but it is similar in content.

    We do feel that Macon is a little off his game in this particular comment — we feel he would have been better served by a more professional/patronizing and less overtly schoolyard-type approach to you. But we recognize that Macon knows what he’s doing, so there was probably a very good reason he was what we would call “too overt” in this part of his response to you.

    In the second part of the response, Macon walks into the door that you have so thoughtfully opened up for him in invoking his “consciousness.” Since he is the expert and final authority on his own consciousness, he can credibly make a factual statement that a particular point has penetrated that consciousness.

    Whether or not you accept this as fact (whether you “believe it or not”), this is a statement of fact that Macon is uniquely empowrerd to make and assess for its truthfulness.

    I was hoping you could help me understand Macon’s reaction in the context of the hierarchy thing you mentioned.

    We truly hope this helps you understand!

    And again, we are really excited by the idea of expanding our workshop and other offerings to educating people of color about white people.

    And as we said earlier — whether or not we do that, we have already reaped considerable psychological and intellectual benefits from these interactions with you and Restructure. And, we feel this whole line of commentary helps further increase the credibility of our site!

  92. nquest2xl says:

    Thanks, White Anti-Racist!!

    Two more questions, if you don’t mind:

    (1) Re: the idea that what I said to Macon was “smaller in scope than what Restructure suggested in the “neophyte” situation” what does that mean? What account for the different ways Macon responded to Restructure and myself? Less overt (I presume) in the former, more overt in the latter. Why would he be more overt for something “smaller in scope”?

    (2) Why is it dangerous or risky for White Anti-Racists to openly clash with people of color?

  93. Hello White Anti-Racist.

    Why do white people support Obama for the Presidency?

  94. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi nquest2xl,

    Thanks, White Anti-Racist!!

    You’re very welcome!

    Two more questions, if you don’t mind:

    (1) Re: the idea that what I said to Macon was “smaller in scope than what Restructure suggested in the “neophyte” situation” what does that mean?

    We meant that suggesting Macon is overall a neophyte seems to us like a broader challenge — it’s about his whole self and place on the hierarchy. While your comments threatened something more specifically defined: his comprehension of the African American intellectuals.

    But both challenges function to threaten the authority of his White Anti-Racist Expert self, in the end.

    What account for the different ways Macon responded to Restructure and myself? Less overt (I presume) in the former, more overt in the latter. Why would he be more overt for something “smaller in scope”?

    As we mentioned, we would have done it differently, so we don’t understand why Macon responded as he did to you. We do trust that he had a very good reason, though. He is extremely good at what he does!

    (2) Why is it dangerous or risky for White Anti-Racists to openly clash with people of color?

    We are the good white people. It is very important to the value of this identity that we project and protect the image of being on your side of a very important struggle. We are the white ones who are your friends!

    If we openly clash with people of color — and particularly people of color who are speaking and acting against racism/white supremacy — it is very dangerous and risky to this image.

    Some few White Anti-Racist Experts can claim sufficient expertise in working with people of color; for them, these clashes can actually work to bolster the “good white person” image instead of threaten it. It shows how very advanced they are as good fellow-strugglers. But we do not suggest this action for non-experts or even for newly minted experts, given the dangers/risks.

    Hope that helps!

  95. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michael!

    Thanks for coming over.

    You asked: Why do white people support Obama for the Presidency?

    Just after the end of the primary season, we had a huge and extremely painful fight about politics, in a staff meeting. Some of the whiteantiracist team members are Hillary supporters, and others support Barack Obama. The only way we could agree to keep the peace among us was to agree to not discuss presidential politics. So we’re sorry, but we can’t answer your question without risking the dissolution of our team and thus all our important work.

    We just realized that this limitation may get in the way of our idea of developing a workshop/consulting sideline in which we explain white people to people of color. Maybe we could put a disclaimer in our marketing materials!

  96. Jannie Sue says:

    Hi Whiteantiracist!

    It has been so interesting to see you engaging with the questions you’ve had recently. I have learned so much reading and thinking about these things!

    It is fascinating to see you engaging with people of color and the issue of what it means to be on the expert level as a White Anti-Racist. I don’t know if I can ever be an all out expert like that. I don’t think I even appreciated what that meant.

    Lately, I’ve been kind of distracted by life, not able to put the energy that I would have liked into building my White Anti-Racist identity. I’m coming back to it now and I’m just not sure it will be worth it to try to go all the way to the expert level. Do you think it will be worth it for me to try?

  97. I’m an anti-racist, too. Though a non-white one. I need some cash. Can you hook me up with an anti-racism consultant gig?

  98. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Jannie Sue, great to hear from you again.

    We do think it is well worth it for you to strive for the White Anti-Racist expert level of the identity. We know you have an inquisitive and keenly analytical approach to all of this, so let us give you some detail on the White Anti-Racist Identity Cycle:

    White non-antiracist:

    White people without an anti-racist identity display a strong ability and willingness to reason backward from their pre-set goals and conclusions in discussions about racism. Reasoning backward from pre-set goals and conclusions protects white people from being truly affected by criticism. It also promotes and maintains white control of the discourse.

    The practice works because white participants pre-define the landscape in which communication can take place. Critics can be persistently diverted and frustrated when trying to introduce any ideas or questions that are extraneous to the white participants’ pre-defined terms.

    White Anti-Racist Newbie:

    However. If a white person is in an environment where it is somewhat socially unacceptable to hold the assumption that that racism or white privilege don’t exist, the White Anti-Racist Identity becomes an option for regaining equilibrium and control.

    The Newbie phase of the White-Anti-Racist Identity offers a set of ritualized interactions that produce a state of mild and easily maneagable discomfort in the new convert. In the Newbie phase, the budding White-Anti-Racist finds that this discomfort is associated with pleasure, because the feeling of discomfort functions as evidence of her/his goodness as a white person in a system that unfairly privileges white people.

    White Anti-Racist Advancing:

    Many people with White Anti-Racist Identities find that the Newbie phase is not where they want to stay for the long term — put simply, they want more! As you move up from the Newbie phase of the identity, you accumulate information and knowledge about how racism and white privilege operate.

    This phase of the cycle transitions the White Anti-Racist from using discomfort as evidence of good-white-person-ness into using knowledge and information as evidence of good-white-person-ness.

    White Anti-Racist Expert:

    If a White Anti-Racist is sufficiently competitive in the larger field of his/her peers, then the White Anti-Racist Expert phase of the identity comes into reach.

    The White Anti-Racist Expert Indentity brings white participants back to some of the benefits we initially had before getting a White Anti-Racist Identity: in particular, the benefit of controlling the landscape by reasoning backward from pre-set goals and assumptions. However the White Anti-Racist Expert now has the added strength of the White Anti-Racist Identity as protection.

    As a White Anti-Racist expert, you can feel free to reason backward from your pre-existing goals and conclusions even while admitting that racism exists and as a white person you have privilege. You will be secure in the knowledge that no information, questions or criticisms extraneous to your pre-set goals and conclusions will stand a chance of penetrating the landscape that you have set up and maintain.

    To illustrate what we mean, we can find no better White Anti-Racist Expert to refer to than the extremely well-known and respected Tim Wise. His essay “Paleness as Pathology” is mentioned in the comments section of a post on another blog that quotes our very own Barbara Karens, being her usual incoherent and easy-to-ignore self.

    Mr. Wise’s essay is much more interesting for our purposes here. On the surface, it reads like an actual analysis. But in fact, it is actually an advertisement for the services of White Anti-Racist educators in general, and for Mr. Wise’s services in particular.

    The pre-existing conclusion Mr. Wise reasons backward from is that these services are valuable and necessary.

    His pre-existing goal is to maintain the White Anti-Racist field and reap benefits #2 and #3 for himself and other White Anti-Racists.

    While there is a lot of marvelous rhetorical cover for the pre-existing conclusion and goals, there are a couple of places in the essay where he lets the discerning White Anti-Racist in on his agenda (emphases added by us):

    So starting with the assumption that whites will not likely sever their attachment to existing systems of privilege and advantage for the “right” reasons, is it at least possible that they might be made to understand how those systems menace them too, every bit as much, if not more than the former Soviet Union ever did, or more than any urban revolt led by the dispossessed?

    The reason for [many non-ruling class, and even working class whites] fealty to such efforts is, of course, that in the short run it makes sense: their interests as whites are furthered by policies that denigrate, locally or globally, the world’s black and brown. So explaining the underlying, albeit destructive rationality to white conservatism on the part of working people is the first step: otherwise, we risk sounding as intellectual scolds, who insist on explaining to the lower classes their “false consciousness,” which to most sounds like an effete way of saying stupidity. They are not stupid. Rather, they are playing the hand as it was dealt to them. But then, by demonstrating that playing that hand is, in the long run, self-destructive — in other words, that there are absolute interests that are sacrificed by maintaining relative advantage and privilege — we might convince a large enough number to trade in one form of rational behavior for another, more lasting one.

    The attentive White Anti-Racist will notice that Mr. Wise’s essay is the product of him reasoning backward from some of the core White Anti-Racist logic that we detailed on the How and Why It Works page:

    The logic goes like this:

    1. No real change can occur without the consent (via raised awareness) of white people.

    2. White people will listen better to other white people. The more aware white people (that’s us!) should educate the less aware white people.

    3. Thus, discourse among white people is necessary for any real change, and White Anti-Racists are at the very center of the work.

    And as we all know from our own experience and observation, white people can engage in discourse endlessly, about pretty much any subject (including very radical-sounding ideas) without ever threatening white supremacy itself.

    It’s all part of how this wonderful system works to our advantage.

    White Anti-Racist experts can reason backward like this with ease and impunity, safe in the knowledge that we can stay in clear control of the discourse … but won’t look racist in doing so!

    White Anti-Racist Newbies and Experts: a very valuable partnership:

    The presence of the White Anti-Racist Experts is necessary for the survival of the entire cycle of White Anti-Racist identity development. With White Anti-Racist Experts subtly but firmly setting the boundaries and controlling the terms, White Anti-Racist Newbies can rest assured that the initial discomfort they feel will in no way threaten their core white self or their ability to contribute to the larger system of white supremacy.

    The fact that White Anti-Racist Experts are in control and at the wheel is extremely reassuring to Newbies. The promise of security is essential to the process of persuading white people to consider getting a White Anti-Racist Identity despite the initially uncomfortable ideas it asks white people to acknowledge.

    A modest yet respectable flow of new Newbies, in turn, validates the importance White Anti-Racist Experts, who are then able to continue to reason backward from the logics of White Anti-Racism and maintain the career, status and intellectual benefits they derive from the identity.

    Jannie Sue, we think you have what it takes to succeed as a White Anti-Racist Expert. As you know, there are no guarantees — it’s a hierarchical field with limited room at the top. But we feel that for someone like you, the intellectual and career benefits of the White Anti-Racist Expert identity would be worth the energy you would expend trying to reach that level.

    We also feel that you have real potential to help maintain the field, as White Anti-Racist Experts do. In our emails with you, we have noticed that you have a particularly incisive talent for reasoning backward from pre-existing goals and conclusions and maintaining the kind of control and authority that is necessary for the survival and continued credibility of the White Anti-Racist Identity. While all white people learn this practice as part of our cultural training, some of us are particularly talented at its implementation — we think that includes you, Jannie Sue! So, please consider the White Anti-Racist Expert Identity as a goal. We would be really pleased to see you in that role.

  99. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michael. We’re glad you came back!

    You wrote: I’m an anti-racist, too. Though a non-white one. I need some cash. Can you hook me up with an anti-racism consultant gig?

    We would be happy to keep you in mind, but you need to be aware that there is a process for this kind of thing. Jeff Tempe explains this process in his wonderful contribution to our comments section from last October. As he points out in that comment:

    the truth is that the institutions that pay me would never think to give money to anti-racist people of color right off the bat. So the story I tell is the situation actually is that I am coming in to open up the place so that people of color can follow me later.

    Because really, if I didn’t come in and make change with my White Anti-Racist message first, people of color would not have an ice cube’s chance in hell of being paid by that institution to do anti-racist work.

    So, me getting paid means it’s more likely that people of color will be able to follow me in the future (after I cash the check of course).

    What’s good for me is in fact good for people of color. The more resources that come to me, the more resources become available to antiracist people of color.

    As you can see, Michael, the process is that we need to go in first. Once we get some resources from a group or institution, you might have a shot — if you work with us as the gatekeepers.

    Everyone does this part differently — but as for us, we generally don’t ask non-white people to submit resumes to us. Obviously as someone who is non-white, you appear as someone who might be concerned about race and racism.

    So for us, what’s important is the extent to which you defer to us while appearing not to, and the extent to which you actively support our work. If you are willing to help our credibility and reassure us and others that our work is necessary, we would be happy to think of you when leftovers consulting gigs for non-white people come available after we have cashed our check opened the door for you to enter.

    Thanks for your interest! Looking forward to a great working relationship!

  100. I’se ready to do som’ great work Massa Anti-Racist. You can even call me Skip. Just get me the dough.

  101. Hedge says:

    Hi again,

    This whole discussion is great. But there is one thing that’s bothering me.

    Whiteantiracist, you wrote that Tim Wise is reasoning backward from White Anti-Racist goals and logics in the Paleness As Pathology essay essay you mentioned in your response to Jannie Sue’s questions.

    And you included some interesting quotes from that essay. But some parts of those comments and the essay you didn’t include makes me think that Tim might not be doing such a great job promoting the White Anti-Racist agenda as you think.

    Here’s one example, using the same quote you did but adding two sentences that follow what you included:

    So starting with the assumption that whites will not likely sever their attachment to existing systems of privilege and advantage for the “right” reasons, is it at least possible that they might be made to understand how those systems menace them too, every bit as much, if not more than the former Soviet Union ever did, or more than any urban revolt led by the dispossessed? Again, far be it from me to speculate as to what is or is not possible, let alone likely. Figuring out what will and will not motivate white Americans to head to the barricades so as to push for social change is probably a fool’s enterprise in any event. (I added the bold)

    And actually, at the very beginning of the essay, he seems to openly undermine his own expertise here:

    So, having assumed the risk and burden of discussing the future of racism, let me now make one thing clear: I have absolutely no idea whether the system of white world supremacy is capable of being abolished, or even significantly reformed. What’s more, if it is, I am largely at a loss as to what specific steps will be required in order to finally make such a thing transpire–and in truth, that’s not all bad. Fact is, people of color have been trying to solve the riddle of ending racism for hundreds of years, so if a 37-year old white guy comes along claiming to have the solution that has thus far eluded millions of racism’s targets, you should probably run like your ass was on fire.

    Isn’t he undermining himself and all of us with these kinds of statements? He’s a very famous and visible White Anti-Racist Expert. We all count on him to preserve and promote the value of the identity for all of us. Why is he saying things like this?

    Should we contact him and ask him to stop?

  102. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Hedge,

    We understand that you are concerned. But please don’t worry. Mr. Wise knows exactly what he is doing in including what you quoted from his essay — and it is all to the benefit of his own authority as a White Anti-Racist Expert, and the protection and maintanence of the White Anti-Racist Identity in general.

    Here’s how it works:

    On the How and Why It Works page, we point out

    Remember the old saying, “Do as I Say and Not as I Do?” That gap between saying and doing is a very dear friend to us as White Anti-Racists. As long as you keep yourself and everyone else focused on the saying and not the doing, you can in fact have it all.

    Tim is making use of this fantastic cultural resource in the way that only a seasoned pro such as himself could do. There are three levels at which he’s doing this

    1. While he is rhetorically questioning his own expertise, he is doing so while making a living speaking and writing as White Anti-Racist Expert.

    If he truly questioned the value of what he offers, he would surely not stake his material survival (and possibly that of his family, if anyone depends on him) on what he claims is quite possibly suspect and not valuable.

    But as long as he keeps the focus on The Discourse, this doesn’t matter.

    Remember: His ACTIONS are one thing and his WORDS are another thing entirely.

    2. While he is rhetorically questioning his own expertise, he is doing so in an essay in which he is actually speaking from that expertise. This tactic is a little confusing to view head-on, so we recommend that you cock your head and squint a bit in order to see it in operation.

    3. He also adds rhetoric in the essay itself that provides a sort of bait-and-switch segue from what appears to be questioning his own practice.

    So for example, in the beginning of the essay, his apparent self-criticism is directly followed by just a segue (emphasis ours):

    So, having assumed the risk and burden of discussing the future of racism, let me now make one thing clear: I have absolutely no idea whether the system of white world supremacy is capable of being abolished, or even significantly reformed. What’s more, if it is, I am largely at a loss as to what specific steps will be required in order to finally make such a thing transpire–and in truth, that’s not all bad. Fact is, people of color have been trying to solve the riddle of ending racism for hundreds of years, so if a 37-year old white guy comes along claiming to have the solution that has thus far eluded millions of racism’s targets, you should probably run like your ass was on fire.

    Yet, having announced my inability to make clear and unambiguous predictions about whether racism is going to be ended (and if so, how), I can certainly offer up at least a few suggestions about what must be done in order to put us closer to creating a society where inequity on the basis of so-called race is a thing of the past.

    See how that works?

    He employs a similar technique in the other part we’re discussing. Here’s the whole paragraph, (emphasis ours again)

    So starting with the assumption that whites will not likely sever their attachment to existing systems of privilege and advantage for the “right” reasons, is it at least possible that they might be made to understand how those systems menace them too, every bit as much, if not more than the former Soviet Union ever did, or more than any urban revolt led by the dispossessed? Again, far be it from me to speculate as to what is or is not possible, let alone likely. Figuring out what will and will not motivate white Americans to head to the barricades so as to push for social change is probably a fool’s enterprise in any event. But if such motivation is possible to come by, conjuring it must surely require a healthy dose of what follows. [the next section of his essay is, appropriately enough, titled “Understanding the Roots of Modern Crises”]

    Together these three layers of white cultural strategy ensure that Mr. Wise can in fact do what we describe on the Benefits page: you can even question the value of what you yourself do without changing your actual practice or having to give up an ounce of your intellectual credibility and control.

    So Hedge, relax and don’t worry about this at all. Our fate in this case is in excellent hands. Not only is our wonderful Tim not letting us down, he’s doing exactly what we need White Anti-Racist Experts to do to promote and protect the White Anti-Racist Identity. Our credibility as White Anti-Racists is strongly enhanced when our Experts appear to invite critique, but do so from a space that more or less invisibly protects us from any real threat to pre-existing White Anti-Racist conclusions and goals.

    Everything is totally under control.

  103. Hedge says:

    Whiteantiracist thank you so much. So much.

    I’ve been obsessively coming back to this discussion since I posted, hoping you would reply. I’ve been really worried. I had started to write a petition to Tim Wise asking him to stop. But I didn’t see what he was actually doing. Thank you for explaining it. It makes total sense to me now. I sometimes get too worried about things.

    The White Anti-Racist Identity is AMAZING. Whatever other worries I might have, like about my bank failing for example, it seems like this identity is really well-made and solid, despite its glossy and thin-appearing coating. Even if my bank did fail, this identity would still be mine to use. Thank you so much.

  104. Dear White Anti-Racist.

    I sho’ appreciate all the help white anti-racists are providing us poor igna’nt Negroes. Though I don’t really understand why the white-anti-racist Tim Wise would say something like this:

    “After all, why do folks of color fight racism? Surely it is not out of the goodness of their hearts, or for some altruistic or charitable reason. Rather, it is because racism is deadly, and harms them: Fighting it is a matter of self-interest for people of color.”

    Ain’t he tellin’ white folks that we non-whites are just a bunch of a**holes that would do the same as whites if given the chance? If so, why would he do that?

  105. dark lily says:

    dear white anti racist,
    wow. i have learned so much from your site. as a woman of color, a retired antiracism trainer/consultant, and the black friend to many white antiracist, i have always had the feeling that being a white antiracist was much more about one’s image and discourse than about one’s impact and actions. but i could never figure out why. your site along with the links in the comments section (thanks barabara!) have illuminated for me that white anti-racist discourse/career paths are a way to reify white supremacy by maintaining the ‘good white person’ image while still making money off of racism. brilliant! and thanks!

    but i have been problems lately. because i was late in coming to my understand of how and why this white anti racist image is constructed, i have criticized a few of my ‘friends’ and colleagues by pointing out ways that their discourse did not match their actions. most of them, in response, have been very consistent antiracists by pointing out that they
    1) accept that they are racists, because of the ‘global white hegemonic structure’ which privileges them
    2) are engaged in acts such as: reading, being friends with me, and talking to other white people about their privilege in order to ‘ deconstruct their racism’ and become better anti-racists
    3) since i only offer critiques rather than substantive ways that they can become better anti-racists, i am only engaging in ‘negative discourse’
    4) the specific things that i do suggest are unreasonable, burdensome, and vengeful
    5) even if they did do the unreasonable things that i suggest, i would still not be satisfied and probably critique what they did or said and thus, they would still appear racist
    6) so why do i bother critiquing their racism, since they have already admitted that they are racist, and they cant really help that…

    (as you can tell i hang out with some primo expert anti-racists. i mean my friends are the kb of white anti-racists)

    so here is my question to you: why are white anti-racists so afraid of being critiqued for the specific ways that their racism manifests? isnt part of taking on the antiracist identity, an announcement that you want to be critiqued for your racism? isnt your ability to endure critique on racism a model for how dedicated you are to antiracism?

    several of my white friends have told me that i am too ‘angry’ and ‘critical’ and even ‘violent’ when i talk about race. they find it much easier to lurk on my blog or read books by other poc than talk to me. isnt it engaging in racial stereotypes to call a black woman ‘angry critical and violent’? isnt it like calling a black person ‘articulate’–just a big ‘no.no’ in the expert anti-racism world?

    i would be really appreciative if you would answer these questions.

    oh and if you are looking for a ‘black expert’ to round out your white antiracism team let me know. i would be great for your image. and i already know that deal–i can do all the work you assign–but only as a volunteer.

    peace love

  106. Jannie Sue says:

    Thank you for all of this!! I am so inspired! The way you’ve laid things out for us just makes so much sense. If I had never found your site, I COULD NOT have even begun to unlock the potential that I feel inside of me now just reading what you have said. I feel that I now have a vision of what the White Anti-Racist Identity really offers. You’re right … It is worth the effort.

    **** You are FANTASTIC!!! ****

  107. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello Dark Lily,

    And welcome!

    Thanks for the accolades — we’re so very glad the site has helped you to better understand White Anti-Racists.

    In order to answer your questions properly we first need explain a general principle of The Discourse where the White Anti-Racist Identity actually lives and operates.

    In The Discourse, things mean what they are defined to mean. The issue is not primarily the content of any interaction — it is who is in control of the terms and can be the definer.

    Think of it this way: There are observable actions, and then there are interpretations of what those actions mean.

    For example:

    An action might be: Publishing a book about whiteness
    One interpretation of that action might be: “Challenging white supremacy”
    Another interpretation of that same action might be: “Padding one’s credentials as an expert”

    With these kinds of competing interpretations of what actions “are” — how do we know which interpretation is the right one?

    In The Discourse, the way we know is that the person/people in control chooses which one is right.

    Or, put another way:

    In the journey between action and interpretation, how do travelers know if they are going in the right direction and if they have arrived safely at their destination?

    In The Discourse, it’s not the actual landscape we would check to determine these things. Instead, what matters is who is at the wheel. If the ones at the wheel say the journey is is succeeding, then it is. If they say it is not going right, then it is not.

    Of course, it is extremely important for White Anti-Racist Experts to be the ones at the wheel in situations like the ones you have experienced.

    With this in mind, we can turn to your specific questions.

    You wrote:

    several of my white friends have told me that i am too ‘angry’ and ‘critical’ and even ‘violent’ when i talk about race. they find it much easier to lurk on my blog or read books by other poc than talk to me. isnt it engaging in racial stereotypes to call a black woman ‘angry critical and violent’? isnt it like calling a black person ‘articulate’–just a big ‘no.no’ in the expert anti-racism world?

    So. From your perspective, here is the action/interpretation set:

    Action: White expert calling a black woman ‘angry and critical and violent.’
    Interpretation: White expert is “engaging in racial stereotypes … just a big no-no in the expert anti-racism world.”

    The problem with your interpretation is that it makes the White Anti-Racist Expert look bad.

    There are of course other possible interpretations that would make us look better. Here’s just one example:

    Action: White expert calling a black woman ‘angry and critical and violent.’
    Interpretation:: The white expert is treating you with respect as a real person rather than a cardboard cut-out to just nod to all the time. If a white expert thinks you are in fact being ‘angry and critical and violent’ … well then wouldn’t it be racist NOT to tell you? Therefore — telling you this is, in fact, an anti-racist communication.

    Obviously this interpretation makes us look much better than the first one.

    But. How do we cope with such radically different interpretations?

    For the White Anti-Racist Expert working in The Discourse, it’s easy. We’re at the wheel and if our interpretation clashes with yours, we will decide which interpretation is right — ours.

    You might argue with us, and we may indulge the argument. It’s okay! We know that you are probably arguing about content and we’ll play along. But we’re not primarily focused on content — for us, the real issue is control of the interpretive terms. The White Anti-Racist Expert Identity offers users some very powerful tools and tactics for taking control of these terms and maintaining that control, whatever the “content” of a given argument may be.

    You also wrote:

    so here is my question to you: why are white anti-racists so afraid of being critiqued for the specific ways that their racism manifests? isnt part of taking on the antiracist identity, an announcement that you want to be critiqued for your racism? isnt your ability to endure critique on racism a model for how dedicated you are to antiracism?

    Here we are working with an interpretation — “being critiqued” — and need to look at what actions will and won’t fit that interpretation.

    In other words: White Anti-Racists have specific actions we mean and specific actions we do NOT mean when we call for others to “critique” us. The important thing is that we are the ones who define which is which.

    From this angle, perhaps you can see your White Anti-Racist ‘friends’ and colleagues’ responses to you for what they are:

    They are instructions to you about what actions are “critique” and what actions are not.

    For example, it is clear from their instructions to you that your action of “pointing out ways that their discourse did not match their actions” is not what they mean by “engaging in critique.” And this makes sense given that the gap between discourse and action is so crucial to the makeup and success of the White Anti-Racist Identity.

    The specific instructions you get about what actions are and are not “critique” may vary somewhat — depending on variables like what level of White Anti-Racist Identity you’re dealing with (eg, Newbie, Advancing, Expert) as well as context-specific aspects such as what kind of organization or movement the interactions are taking place within.

    But the important thing is that the White Anti-Racists are the ones who define what actions are and are not critique. We are asking you to engage in the ones we define that way — not to do your own defining!

    Attending to and following the instructions and cues we provide on these matters will produce much friendlier reactions from the White Anti-Racists in your life.

    You also wrote:

    oh and if you are looking for a ‘black expert’ to round out your white antiracism team let me know. i would be great for your image. and i already know that deal–i can do all the work you assign–but only as a volunteer.

    We hadn’t thought about that, but what an intriguing idea! Our first thoughts are that you could help us by defending our interpretations if we do get into any clashes with people of color, and publicly stating how great and crucial our work is, in extremely glowing terms and whenever it would be useful for us to have a black woman do that.

    But there may be additional possibilities too! We’ll keep thinking about it, and if you have any ideas please feel post them in comments here, or to email us directly at whiteantiracist at myway dot com.

    Thank you for your questions. We hope our explanation has helped!

  108. whiteantiracist says:

    Michael, good to see you again!

    You wrote: I sho’ appreciate all the help white anti-racists are providing us poor igna’nt Negroes.

    It is always so great to have our work appreciated like this!

    You wrote:

    Though I don’t really understand why the white-anti-racist Tim Wise would say something like this:

    “After all, why do folks of color fight racism? Surely it is not out of the goodness of their hearts, or for some altruistic or charitable reason. Rather, it is because racism is deadly, and harms them: Fighting it is a matter of self-interest for people of color.”

    Ain’t he tellin’ white folks that we non-whites are just a bunch of a**holes that would do the same as whites if given the chance? If so, why would he do that?

    If you want to work with us, you need to understand a basic rule of non-white interaction with the White Anti-Racist:

    Any questions you ask should allow us to easily center the white perspective in our answer.

    This question from you doesn’t allow us to do that, so we can’t reply.

    If you want to re-phrase in a more white-perspective-friendly way, we’d be happy to try to answer your question.

    PS You might find our comment to Dark Lily useful in understanding where we’re coming from.

  109. whiteantiracist says:

    Jannie Sue, you’re fantastic too!

    We’re so so glad you feel this way. We are really excited about the possibilities for the field with you as one of the White Anti-Racist Experts.

    Keep us informed, please. You’re doing great!

  110. Barbara Karens says:

    “In The Discourse, it’s not the actual landscape we would check to determine these things.”

    Not. The Actual. Landscape.

    This makes me SO FREAKING SICK and HORRIFIED

    I guess I need to just get used to this, don’t I?

    Don’t I?

    Resistance is futile.

    Right?

  111. whiteantiracist says:

    Barbara, sweetie, you need to not post comments late at night like this. We bet you’ve had a glass of wine and are feeling sorry for yourself. We talked about this. Please go to bed. You need your rest.

    And to answer your question — yes, you do need to get used to this. It’s really not so bad at all. There are a lot of opportunities here in The Discourse that would not be available outside of it. Try to see the bright side of it all, okay sweetheart? There is no need for you to get so upset all the time.

    And if you haven’t answered Dr. Mehlmar’s emails you need to get that done tomorrow, okay?

  112. Thanks White Anti-Racist. I really appreciate your sage advice.

    Could you please give me an example of how I could phrase any question about that quote so it results in my getting some of these f***ing crumbs off your racist ass table this anti-racism consultant gig I need so badly?

  113. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michael,

    Wow, excellent question! We’ve decided to let Jannie Sue take a crack at it — just part of the mentoring process we’re committed to here.

    She should be along soon to answer your question. Thanks so much for asking!

  114. Jannie Sue says:

    Hi Michael Fisher,

    The White Anti-Racist team has suggested that I take this one, to flex by muscles so to speak. Thanks for letting me try this out!

    The White Anti-Racist team said to you:

    Any questions you ask should allow us to easily center the white perspective in our answer.

    And you answered:

    Could you please give me an example of how I could phrase any question about that quote so it results in my getting some of these f***ing crumbs off your racist ass table this anti-racism consultant gig I need so badly?

    Here is an example of a question that I feel would help your aspirations for becoming an anti-racism consultant:

    How does it help white people to be told by a White Anti-Racist Expert that non-white people fight racism because fighting it is a matter of their self-interest?

    And here is my answer to that question:

    When I read the section of Mr. Wise’s essay from which you pulled that quote, I feel really inspired.

    Thus, as a matter of strategic concern, antiracists will have to do far more than make the moral case for equity. While such a case is still worth pressing, it cannot, alone, be expected to do very much–a fact that, although perhaps not terribly comforting, really shouldn’t bother us in the least. After all, why do folks of color fight racism? Surely it is not out of the goodness of their hearts, or for some altruistic or charitable reason. Rather, it is because racism is deadly, and harms them: And so what if it is? Do we really wish to suggest that whites should aspire to more noble motives — as if we should be expected to be more selfless than others — in our struggle against racism? Surely not.

    This is extremely reassuring to me as a white anti-racist. I can, as the White Anti-Racist team puts it, “have my cake and eat it too.”

    What’s good for my white self is good for ending racism. Knowing this dissolves any worries I had about threats to my white self under the “end of white supremacy.”

    This is excellent news.

    Mr. Wise also wrote:

    There have always been ulterior and much more self-interested motives. Lincoln, by his own accounting, went to war not to free black folks (whom he considered inferior and contemplated sending back to Africa had it only been feasible), but to preserve the federal system.

    Reading Mr. Wise, I know that my self-interest doesn’t make me less human, it makes me more human — more like great human beings and great Americans such as Lincoln. And, I am just as great as all of the people of color who have been fighting for equality and justice.

    I can embrace my self-interest. I am self-interested and also I am good. I am a white anti-racist.

    With Mr. Wise’s suggestions, white people can argue amongst ourselves about what our self-interest is with the goal of pursuing it. We can do this and call it “challenging white supremacy.” And White Anti-Racists will still get a lot of work in the process.

    Life is good.

  115. Thank you Jannie Sue.

    In view of your explanation, how about if I, as a non-white reacted to the wise Mr. Wise’s statement as thus:

    “As is the natural order of things, we all, under our skin [under our skin I think is a real nice phrase], are ferocious primates.

    Justice, which is desirable, is only obtained by a balance of self-interest. Given that we non-whites oppose white racism not because of any moral compass informed by justice, but based on our immediate self-interest alone, our self-interest, if left unchecked, could very well precipitate an inversion of the System of White Supremacy into a System of Non-White Supremacy. Which, of course, would be unjust.

    On the other hand, white anti-racists are abandoning their white privilege against their immediate self-interest and are thus, in so far, clearly more compassionate and morally superior to non-whites. Because if they were not, it follows that they would just retain their white privilege. That is, not be white anti-racists.”

    Ergo white anti-racists are morally superior to non-whites by definition. Though you anti-racists can’t tell non-whites that, they’ll likely get upset.

    I as a non-white, on the other hand, can point this out to my fellow non-whites (maybe throw some Goodman and Schwerner in with it to emphasize your superior compassion and empathy), and firmly assert that it is thus paramount that the immediate self-interest of non-whites be checked by the wise counsel and leadership of the white anti-racists who, just in showing their willingness to abandon their white privilege, already prove their superior compassion, moral compass, and sense of justice.

    Again, I know it is difficult for a white anti-racist to say anything like that, but I, as a non-white could say it. At least I could imply it. In fact, you could then, in your compassion, benignly dismiss it (without dismissing it, ya know what I mean? wink, wink).

    So if I advocate this bullshit highly ethical line of reasoning and on top of that call you f****ing racist pigs “my white sisters and brothers”, do I qualify for at least a few damn anti-racist pennies from your anti-racism grant monies so I can feed my kid, too and thus would likely get the anti-racism consultant gig?

  116. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello Michael and Jannie Sue,

    Jannie Sue, nice effort! Very very nice. You’re coming along!

    Michael, you wrote:

    Justice, which is desirable, is only obtained by a balance of self-interest. Given that we non-whites oppose white racism not because of any moral compass informed by justice, but based on our immediate self-interest alone, our self-interest, if left unchecked, could very well precipitate an inversion of the System of White Supremacy into a System of Non-White Supremacy. Which, of course, would be unjust.

    On the other hand, white anti-racists are abandoning their white privilege against their immediate self-interest and are thus, in so far, clearly more compassionate and morally superior to non-whites. Because if they were not, it follows that they would just retain their white privilege. That is, not be white anti-racists.”

    Ergo white anti-racists are morally superior to non-whites by definition. Though you anti-racists can’t tell non-whites that, they’ll likely get upset.

    I as a non-white, on the other hand, can point this out to my fellow non-whites (maybe throw some Goodman and Schwerner in with it to emphasize your superior compassion and empathy), and firmly assert that it is thus paramount that the immediate self-interest of non-whites be checked by the wise counsel and leadership of the white anti-racists who, just in showing their willingness to abandon their white privilege, already prove their superior compassion, moral compass, and sense of justice.

    Again, I know it is difficult for a white anti-racist to say anything like that, but I, as a non-white could say it. At least I could imply it. In fact, you could then, in your compassion, benignly dismiss it (without dismissing it, ya know what I mean? wink, wink).

    Excellent! Mr. Wise is wise indeed to make the statements he did. There is a certain amount of plausible deniability in how he made the argument you are describing, but it’s in there. This essay of his is like a gift that keeps on giving!

    And you’re so right that we white anti-racists could not, overtly at least, say that kind of thing to non-white people. It would make us look bizarre in a way even we could probably not get out of (new White Anti-Racist Expert tools are emerging every day … but for now we probably could not get away with it).

    And yet, communicating to non-white people that they should follow our lead as you describe would be of great use to White Anti-Racists in maintaining control.

    Wow. Having a non-white consultant who would be willing to do this could be very very useful! And yes, we could then benignly appear to dismiss it, thus showing how truly leadership-worthy we are. What a great scenario and plan.

    You asked:

    So if I advocate this bullshit highly ethical line of reasoning and on top of that call you f****ing racist pigs “my white sisters and brothers”, do I qualify for at least a few damn anti-racist pennies from your anti-racism grant monies so I can feed my kid, too and thus would likely get the anti-racism consultant gig?

    Yes, showing us your willingness to make those kinds of arguments to other non-white people really does increase your standing in our process, Michael.

    We’ve reviewed our funding sources and our current strategic plan as we have considered expanding into a sideline targeting non-white people and communities. At this point we feel we would need to get some additional funding specifically for working with non-white people in order to hire on any sub-contractor(s) beyond our existing team.

    Maybe you and Dark Lily (who wrote that she would be willing to help and agrees to do so as a volunteer) could collaborate to write up an Outreach Plan showing the specifics of what you are willing to do to benefit White Anti-Racist work.

    We could use your participation and this plan to apply for grants and other funding for a program specifically targeted toward “outreach to communities of color” — promoting the value of White Anti-Racists to non-white people. Obviously you would have a major foot in the door if we did get that funding.

    From what we’ve seen, many white organizations have successfully used non-white communities diversified by adding satellite programs where non-white people are hired (usually contingently and always based on getting access to funds that would not be available to the organization otherwise) specifically to do outreach to various communities of color. If we modeled our plan after those kinds of exploitation diversification efforts, it could work really well!

    We are so excited about the possibilities here. So excited.

  117. dark lily says:

    thanks white antiracist! i now understand how important it is for white antiracists to control their ‘image’ by controlling the interpretations of their actions. if white antiracists are to be seen as ‘antiracist’ (and support themselves in the lifestyle in which they are accostomed), they must be able to control that everything they say and do is seen as antiracist. no matter what. wow. no really. wow.

    and if they are going to control the interpretations, then they must control the speaker who is critiquing them. and from what i have seen, the best and most effective way for antiracists to control the speaker, is to ‘intimidate’ the speaker with equivocating, nicely worded threats like: i feel like no matter what i do or say, you are going to call me ‘racist’ so why should i try to be antiracist at all! or a more advanced white antiracist (because that last example is kinda a newbie approach) could say: i appreciate your critiques. your critiques keep me honest and self-critical. i am not perfect. but even though i know i am going to make mistakes, i am committed to being an anti-racist, and i have to support myself while doing this work (which is why i receive a small or large fee for my work of converting ignorant white folk to the glories of anti-racism), and in turn, i support people of color especially those who support my anti-racist work…(this last approach controls the discourse and the critiqu-er by dismissing the critiques while claiming to appreciate them and softly threatening to not support the poc unless they stop the critiques) ya know…it is all being so much more clear now.

    if i am to understand your logic further, you are saying, that it is anti-racist to use racial stereotypes if the stereotype applies, ie call a black woman angry when she is. by that logic when senator joe biden called barack obama ‘clean and articulate’ he was actually not being ‘racist’ but very anti-racist, because we can all assume that barack had showered that day and speaks at least one language (probably english) fluently. i hadnt seen it that way. ya know…it is amazing how many white antiracist folks that i have met who (it turns out) are so much more ‘antiracist’ than me, a lil (angry) black chick.

    you should really consider taking me on as a ‘black expert’. i dont think that you have envisioned all that i could bring to the team.
    1. having a poc around to be a ‘lightning rod’ for all of (ignorant) white people’s racism, allows for you, the white antiracist, to step in and ‘save me’ by demonstrating your anti-racism. because you know how white folks are at first really resistant to being ‘antiracist’ and so they start to attack the poc nearest to them? well, i could be that poc. and then you could model for other white folks the correct way to deal with situation. everyone would have a cathartic moment (there is always someone who cries) and all the white folks would feel better afterwards and be more willing to follow your antiracism program (and probably will invite you to speak at their church, synagogue, college, white feminist organization, etc.)

    2. as you have pointed out i could also deflect questions from other poc who challenge your white antiracist expertise. but i can do more. i can convince poc to support white anti-racism, because i know the secret poc codes. i can show them how until we as poc allow white folks to control discourse (yall are a little scary when you are not in control) we will never be able to achieve liberation or equality. i can model how free i feel when i defer to the white antiracist.

    3. i can keep you up to date on all of the hip new poc who are writing about anti-racism. have you ever noticed how it seems that every white anti-racist quotes (appropriates) the same tired-old poc? i mean yeah…you read bell hooks, michael eric dyson, and sherman alexie. i can keep you ahead of the game telling you who you want to be mimic-ing before all those other white anti-racist discover them on the new anti-racist, be an ally reading list.

    4. and i bring the funk and flava. a little spice. and authenticity. i can even sing gospel songs and tell stories about learning them as a little girl growing up in the racist south. white folks always feel so ‘connected’ when i do stuff like that.

    think about it.

  118. dark lily says:

    oh and are you familiar with chris crass?

    http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/11223

    a part i love:

    What advice do you have for white radicals trying to figure out how to be anti-racist allies to folks of color?

    That’s an ongoing question that is open to debate. I think there are lots of different ways to be an anti-racist ally and that through practice we reflect, evaluate, keep learning, make mistakes, be gentle while also critical of ourselves and keep our eyes on the prize of liberation and struggle with guilt, shame and fear that are part of the process. Three ways that I think about being an ally are personally, working with individuals and then organizationally. These are all things that other people have told me, almost all women and people of color.

    Personally, I grew up in a segregated area in Southern California. It wasn’t until a Black studies class in community college that I was ever in a situation where white people weren’t the clear numerical majority. I had some friends of color and I would say that while folks of color should not be expected to school white people about white supremacy/racism, be ready to say thank you if and when they do. It was very important for me to learn about struggles led by communities of color. This was through events put on by orgs of color, doing ethnic studies classes and women studies classes, working in groups led by folks of color. However, the main way that I see being an ally to folks of color is working with white people to challenge white supremacy and work for racial justice. This is the strategy that I pursue and I’m glad that other white folks are pursuing other strategies and that we can learn from each other.

    Working with individuals. I think it’s really important that white people support each other in doing anti-racist work. Having other white folks who are doing this work to talk with and struggle with each other, learn together, support one another and hold each other accountable is really useful and highly advisable. Working in groups is much more useful in challenging institutional injustices as well as overcoming personal insecurities that hold us back from the work. Relationships with folks of color and multiracial organizing is absolutely critical, but again, the responsibility needs to be with white folks to work with each other and not expect it from folks of color, even though folks of color end up doing most of this work.

  119. I’m gratified you’re excited. Can you pay me up front right now?

  120. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michael!

    You asked: Can you pay me up front right now?

    No, we will need to get some funding or at least contracts for the new program before we can pay anyone to implement it.

  121. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Dark Lily,

    We might have more to say later when we have more time, but just wanted to reply as much as we can now to your comments:

    -This is so exciting! You have such great ideas for how you could help us in our work. And unlike Michael Fisher, you are not asking us to pay you for your efforts.

    -We are familiar with Chris Crass, yes! He’s a fantastic White Anti-Racist Expert. His comments you shared are wonderful wonderful examples of White Anti-Racist discourse. White Anti-Racist readers, take note! He has a lot to teach.

    The website for the organization he’s part of, the Catalyst Project, is also really interesting. Here are a couple of excerpts

    From the home page of the Catalyst Project website:

    Catalyst Project is a center for political education and movement building based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are committed to anti-racist work in majority white sections of left social movements with the goal of deepening anti-racist commitment in white communities and building multiracial left movements for liberation. We are committed to creating spaces for activists and organizers to collectively develop relevant theory, vision and strategy to build our movements. Catalyst programs prioritize leadership development, supporting grassroots fighting organizations and multiracial alliance building.

    From the “Organization” page of the site:

    Catalyst Project is a collectively run, democratic organization that prioritizes empowered leadership and accountability in our internal culture and practice. We blend structures from non-profit staff organizations and volunteer based activist collectives. We strive to incorporate our left, democractic, feminist and anti-authoritarian principles into our organizational model and our organizing practice.

    Catalyst is a hybrid of paid and unpaid staff. We are working to increase our organizational capacity and budget. Currently, our annual budget is under $20,000. Our work is funded entirely through financial support from the communities that we work in and through fee for service workshops and organizational support. Catalyst Project is rooted in the organizing work of our networks and we develop our programs in dialogue with our advisors and our allies. We are committed to building the left, developing anti-racist practice in white communities and strengthening grassroots social movements.

    Trying to increasing organizational capacity and budget is always a good thing for White Anti-Racist endeavors. We wish them good luck!

    -AND!

    You wrote:

    and if they are going to control the interpretations, then they must control the speaker who is critiquing them. and from what i have seen, the best and most effective way for antiracists to control the speaker, is to ‘intimidate’ the speaker with equivocating, nicely worded threats like: i feel like no matter what i do or say, you are going to call me ‘racist’ so why should i try to be antiracist at all! or a more advanced white antiracist (because that last example is kinda a newbie approach) could say: i appreciate your critiques. your critiques keep me honest and self-critical. i am not perfect. but even though i know i am going to make mistakes, i am committed to being an anti-racist, and i have to support myself while doing this work (which is why i receive a small or large fee for my work of converting ignorant white folk to the glories of anti-racism), and in turn, i support people of color especially those who support my anti-racist work…(this last approach controls the discourse and the critiqu-er by dismissing the critiques while claiming to appreciate them and softly threatening to not support the poc unless they stop the critiques) ya know…it is all being so much more clear now.

    Sounds to us like what you have seen is exemplary White Anti-Racist practice. We are delighted to hear that people you have worked with are using recommended White Anti-Racist solutions when challenged!

    Last summer, when we were reassuring one of our readers who was somewhat shaken by an article by Kil Ja Kim last summer, we wrote:

    Hello Chris, Everything’s going to be fine. It is possible that the shakiness will pass on its own, but there’s no reason to endure it for any longer than you have to — and there are several easy solutions that you can use to get back up to speed ASAP. Which solution you choose depends on your specific situation and what feels most comfortable to you.

    Solution #1: Acknowledge that the author has some really great points, but gently bring up the threat behind the White Anti-Racist identity: Suggest that saying these kinds of things in such an angry manner might turn off the good white people and make it harder for any change to occur. Query whether that risk is really worth it.

    Solution #2: Appear to have (or actually have) a public crisis of faith. Say that reading this article made you feel like there is nothing you or any other white person can do and that you are just devastated because you really felt like you wanted to try to acknowledge your white privilege and dedicate yourself to fighting racism. You will find that other people will step up and reassure you that you are important to the struggle, and give you some reasons why you don’t have to take this essay too much to heart.

    Solution #3: Acknowledge that this article is extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Say that it made you really question yourself and White Anti-Racism in general. Say that you actually agree with the author a whole lot and that you really appreciate her analysis because it is helping to keep you honest and self-critical. Then, continue to use your White Anti-Racist identity as you would normally.

    Any of these solutions should easily counteract the shakiness you’re experiencing.

    We need to run now … more later if we have anything else to respond with when we have more time!

  122. Dark lily. If we’re going to sell out to these damn racists assist our white anti-racist sisters and brothers in their endeavors we might as well get paid. we should strive to assist them to obtain the funds so that we can concentrate on this wonderful work full time.

    So don’t undermine our bargaining power by selling out cheap. Who knows, we might get a professorship each for ourselves at Princeton and Georgetown Universities respectively. Just think of it, we eventually could appear on Democracy Now, sell autobiographies,or even run for President! Especially if they’ve got some rich white anti-racists in the background.

  123. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Dark Lily,

    We’ve been thinking some more about your absolutely wonderful ideas for how you can help our work.

    It’s true that we had not envisioned all you could bring to the team. Reading your comment really helped us see more possibilities! All of your suggestions are just fantastic and we can see how they would add a lot of value to our work.

    Let’s do it!

    Now, we do wonder what your title should be. You suggested “black expert.” We’re not sure that’s the very best title for you in working with our team. “Expert” sort of suggests that you have the right to define things, and we can’t have that. We’re just not sure that “black” totally balances out “expert” in this situation.

    And obviously “our black friend” won’t work either, because this is a professional context.

    We’re kind of inspired by the Catalyst Project website. They have an “Advisory Board.” We don’t know what their specific advisory board does. But given what we have seen of organizational structures, some sort of advisory group can be a great place to put people of color. “Advisory Board” (or Group, or Committee) rhetorically suggests that the members have power, but in practice can be set up to offer little to no power over anything that really matters.

    Maybe we could start a “Community Advisory Board” for our consulting work and have you as our first member. The downside to this is we don’t know who else would be on it, since Michael seems to want to be paid.

    The upside is it could add an additional layer to your authenticity in our workshops (tasks #1 and #4 that you wrote about).

    You are so authentically black that you are present not as a paid professional, but as a “community member” who works with us as a member of our Community Advisory Board because you think so highly of what we do. You show up to our stuff because it’s totally natural for you to be so concerned about white people that you really truly want to spend your day off or evening or weekend in a room full of us, trying to get us to stop being racist. We’re so close with you that you feel comfortable just dropping by, doing your thing, sharing your stories, singing your gospel songs — look, how refreshingly authentic, one of the members of our Community Advisory Board is here to spend time with us!

    And maybe having a Community Advisory Board would be useful in your efforts to, as you put it, show [other poc] how until we as poc allow white folks to control discourse (yall are a little scary when you are not in control) we will never be able to achieve liberation or equality. i can model how free i feel when i defer to the white antiracist.

    You could let people know that we may have openings on the advisory board for those who are best at deferring to us, and those who came on board would have way to get their energy sucked away participate in the struggle for liberation and equality in a meaningful way.

    And, we could even add keeping us “up to date on all of the hip new poc who are writing about anti-racism” to the description of Community Advisory Board responsibilities. Obviously that is not the only responsibility, but that would be a good one to be on the list too. It would really give us an edge to have someone who would do that work for us, allowing us to look really hip and current and on top of things with minimal effort on our part.

    Of course, if there is a better way than starting a Community Advisory Board to create a specific place for you in our work, we are certainly open to it.

  124. dark lily says:

    dear michael,

    i feel you. but white folks are not going to pay us to help them be better racists. (if that were true the ghettos would be full of millionaires.) at least not for the first couple of decades. so i figure if we can facilitate getting them funds with the agreement that they will toss a couple of crumbs our way and prove we are really helpful non-white folk, we can get our names out there. maybe after a few years we can publish a book. after a few more years, maybe we can get our own radio show. maybe by the time my kid is ready to go to college, i can afford to pay for her books.
    check out the site: http://www.racialicious.com. run by a few poc. check out the comment moderation policy…

    Any comments using the phrase “the United States of Amerikkka” or “Amerikkka” will be deleted.

    Don’t address people using racial slurs. And yes, that includes anti-white racial slurs or even belittling/condescending remarks like “white boy.” (im hoping that ‘white folks’ is not considered belittling)

    they also have a policy that says: dont say ‘that all white folks are racists’. because, it offends white folks and does not facilitate ‘constructive dialogue’ with white folks.

    these people of color are making cash. we need to follow their example. running workshops. and paying their rent.

    we can do it too!

    anyways, these

  125. dark lily says:

    dear white anti racist

    i would love to join your advisory board. i am so glad that you can understand how much i can bring to the workshop. this is not the first white antiracist advisory board i have joined. i am ready and experienced to be a volunteer in your white anti-racist army. and then when you start to get a few funds for having poc advising you, you could toss us a few crumbs so that we stay alive so that we can continue helping you be anti-racists. i really do want to spend a weekend with you guys, cause i believe in what you do. it is in your best self-interest to pay us a lil bit eventually to keep us alive. there arent alot of us poc willing to defer to white anti-racists.

    so please let me join your advisory board. i have not begun to show you what having a poc affiliation will bring you in terms of increased number of workshops, maybe a book deal, npr spots, grants. the possiblities are endless.

    got to run. spending the weekend with a bunch of white anti-racists. we usually get together at the ‘cabin’ and go boating and stuff. i am so lucky to be the poc that they have chosen to rent for the weekend and enjoy all of the fruits of their white liberal aspirations. they are some good white folk!

    its a hard job, someone’s got to do it and at least my daughter gets to go swimming.

    got to run.

  126. whiteantiracist says:

    Dark Lily!!

    We’re so glad to have you on our Advisory Board. How wonderful that this is not the first white antiracist advisory board you have joined — you have previous experience, that’s just fantastic.

    We are so thrilled about this that we have added a new page: Our Advisory Board. It required a slight redesign of the whole site but we think it’s well worth it!

    Michael — if you decide you don’t need to get paid for your efforts (or at least not for some time), we’d really love to have you on our advisory board too. We think you bring some great skills to the table!

    This is great, we’re so excited.

  127. Dear White Anti-Racist.

    Thank you for your generous offer, but in the meantime I’ve been contacted by a major Ivy League University to be their resident tenured militant black radical professor eat your heart out dark lily. Unfortunately I will not be able to join your advisory board as I have to concentrate on learning a lot of complicated meaningless words and a rapid fire delivery developing an anti-racist vocabulary which will advance the multi-racial anti-racist discourse. It’s not easy, but I’ll get it done.

    In addition, my contract allows me to publish a series of books on the black radical anti-racist perspective all of which will be marketed with great aplomb. Moreover, and that is what sealed the deal, in addition to my incredible six-figure salary, I’ve been assigned two pretty blond anti-racist white women who will f**k me to my heart’s content and screw up my head and objectivity and keep my ass under control compassionate, highly capable, and sincere white anti-racist feminist research associates.

    Dark lily. I will need to be seen with a militant womanist black woman on a regular basis who can validate my own womanism. If you know the right candidate please refer her to me. She’ll be assigned to the women’s study department as an assistant professor.

    This is such an exciting opportunity. I’ll be able to disseminate white anti-racism in blackface the black perspective of anti-racism and having thus been built up as the authentic black anti-racist radical validate all the white racist experts that need validating provide reviews for white anti-racist’s books and scholarly publications.

    Hallelujah

  128. Chris Boom says:

    I just read Barbara Karens’s White Collective essay and then found her here through a google search.

    It feels to me like when she wrote that essay, Barbara was someone who was going through a lot of intense questioning about her position and ability to act to control the discourse without appearing to do so.

    I have been hoping she has a good bunch of folks to talk with and work with, so she isn’t in a place of looking at the fakeness of the White Anti-Racist Identity without encouragement that it is totally okay to particpate in this necessary hypocrisy. I know it can be a very difficult space to be in.

    At occasional points when white people are seeking to master the appearance of working through the complex world of white anti-racist discourse about power, oppression and privilege it can — for just a very small teeny little moment — start to seem like the whole White Anti-Racist endeavor is a crock of complete crap. Most who have that moment get over it almost immediately, but some take just a little longer. I worry about them!

    Myself, I don’t have to face that risk because I am part of a wonderful organization that defines action in ways that feel entirely okay to us white anti-racist folks, so we don’t get easily depressed. We know that for-real questioning of what we do would threaten our White Anti-Racist Identities, so we have perfected the art of seeming to question while really just reassuring ourselves and each other. I read that essay and began to hope that Barbara has the same resources we do, a group to work with!

    Then I came here to see that she has in fact found such a group. I am so very relieved.

    Keep up the great work, whiteantiracist!

  129. Barbara Karens says:

    Dear Chris Boom,

    BITE ME! Thank you so much for your comment and concerns. I’m fine. This site and the white antiracist team have done wonders.

  130. Dear White Anti-Racist:

    According to white anti-racist experts, what is the functional content of “white privilege”?

  131. Dr. Sally L Timsborough says:

    Hello Dr. Fisher,

    My colleague Mike Mehlmar directed me to this site and your comment; I am the Director of the Women’s Studies program at Pomoho College and an Associate Professor of Sociology. I coordinate our race/gender concentration.

    I am pleased to read that your university is seeking applicants for an Assistant Professor position in Women’s Studies and have a particular interest in black womanist candidates. I would like to ask if you would please refer those candidates who are not hired to us here at Pomoho.

    Our one black feminist/womanist assistant professor will be leaving us at the end of this coming academic year. We are planning to hire for a one-year lecturer position for 2009-10 to teach the classes she developed, while we discuss amongst ourselves (once our colleague is gone and no longer attends meetings) why the hell we were stupid enough to hire someone who didn’t defer sufficiently to us how we would like to configure our race/gender concentration in the future in terms of course offerings and faculty coverage.

    It is possible that we will decide we should try to get another tenure-track faculty line to start in 2010-11. If we do decide that, any lecturer we hire would have the opportunity to apply. In the meantime, we would be looking for someone who would be interested in uprooting her life and moving here to upstate New York to make us look like we are not dropping the ball have the opportunity of a one-year position teaching mostly well-off white students who are, for the most part, lacking awareness of how to be sophisticated about their racism.

    We hope you will consider sending applicants not hired for that assistant professor position our way. Please suggest that they email me at sally.l.timsborough@pomoho.eduh and I will send them a more detailed position description. We expect the application deadline to be relatively late in the academic year, as we do have some flexibility in hiring for a one-year lecturer position.

    Thank you so much!

  132. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michel, or we should say Dr. Fisher,

    First of all, congratulations on your Ivy League position. We are so impressed.

    You asked:

    According to white anti-racist experts, what is the functional content of “white privilege”?

    “White privilege” is a great and extremely functional tool for white anti-racists! It provides us with a controlled interpretive focus for many actions that if interpreted in other ways might erode our self-esteem and/or make us look really bad.

    For example:

    Last fall, one of our workshop attendees shared that a person of color told her that white people’s actions, and even existence as white people, are “violent” by definition. This budding white anti-racist came into the workshop somewhat shaken, worried about how she could maintain her self-esteem and good white person image if this were true.

    We used the “white privilege” concept to redirect the focus. We told her not to worry, she’s not violent — she just has white privilege! We explained that all white people have white privilege, and as white anti-racists we need to work on recognizing our white privilege and trying to figure out what to do with it. We pointed out that openly acknowledging our white privilege differentiates us from the rest of white people, showing that we are the good ones.

    At that point the group got into a great discussion of whether it makes white anti-racists look and feel better to appear to reject our white privilege, or to appear to be using it for good. It was a very productive use of time!

    Overall, white privilege is an interpretative category that has a wide usefulness in many situations. We strongly recommend its use by white anti-racists along the whole White Anti-Racist hierarchy.

  133. white Anti-Racist…

    “Hi Michel, or we should say Dr. Fisher”

    That’s Michael Fisher, BSc,MA,MD,JD,PhD,PhD.

    Though feel free to continue calling me Michael. We are brothers and sisters under the skin after all.

    Glad I finally found a mf’ing job with all these damn degrees. I’ve been “overqualified” for too long

  134. Dear White Anti-Racist:

    Thank you for your answer to my question about the functional content of “White Privilege”.

    To follow up:

    It has been put forward in some circles that the term “White Privilege” is nothing but a fancy way of saying “mistreatment of non-whites for the gratification of whites”.

    The logic of the argument apparently advances that without the mistreatment of non-whites there is no “white privilege”. Thus a white person who does nothing and in so doing nothing enjoys “white privilege” just by being white, is actually enjoying the fruits of the mistreating, that is, partaking in the mistreatment of non-whites.

    In addition, the argument goes, the System of Racism/White Supremacy thus assures that being white all by itself is an act of mistreatment, and thus an act of aggression against non-whites.

    In consequence these people argue, that this is why it takes DOING on part of a “white” person in order to just get to “neutral” as far as that white person’s effect on the life of non-whites is concerned. And that it takes a whole lot more DOING for a “white” person to impact the lives of non-whites positively.

    My questions are as follows:

    1) Would you, being a expert on anti-racism and white privilege agree with this notion that white privilege is actually nothing else but the mistreatment of non-whites for the gratification of whites?

    2) If you agree with the above notion, what exactly should a white person be DOING?

  135. Dear Dr. Sally L Timsborough:

    I am always gratified to help out a fellow scholar and am happy as a peach that you address me by my academic title. It makes me feel so equal and respected. I’ll have an appropriate candidate sent to you asap. Maybe you could, however, elaborate a bit more as to the person’s desired qualifications. Do you need a non-threatening light-skinned one or an “authentic” dark-skinned one with nappy, I mean, helix, hair who preferably is engaged in a romantic relationship with a white anti-racist male or female?.

  136. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michael,

    You asked:

    1) Would you, being a expert on anti-racism and white privilege agree with this notion that white privilege is actually nothing else but the mistreatment of non-whites for the gratification of whites?

    As White Anti-Racist experts, we subscribe to the definitions of white privilege that have been put forward by white anti-racists such as Peggy McIntosh and Robert Jensen.

    We’re pretty sure that their definition isn’t the same as the one you are suggesting. So our answer would be No.

    You also wrote:

    It has been put forward in some circles that the term “White Privilege” is nothing but a fancy way of saying “mistreatment of non-whites for the gratification of whites”.

    The logic of the argument apparently advances that without the mistreatment of non-whites there is no “white privilege”. Thus a white person who does nothing and in so doing nothing enjoys “white privilege” just by being white, is actually enjoying the fruits of the mistreating, that is, partaking in the mistreatment of non-whites.

    In addition, the argument goes, the System of Racism/White Supremacy thus assures that being white all by itself is an act of mistreatment, and thus an act of aggression against non-whites.

    In consequence these people argue, that this is why it takes DOING on part of a “white” person in order to just get to “neutral” as far as that white person’s effect on the life of non-whites is concerned. And that it takes a whole lot more DOING for a “white” person to impact the lives of non-whites positively.

    We would like to use this as a teachable moment for our white anti-racist readers. We know you won’t mind, right Michael?

    White anti-racist readers,

    If you ever encounter anyone making the argument quoted above, it might make you very uncomfortable. You will probably start to wonder how you can “DO” anything. Since the white anti-racist identity is designed to show that we are good people, how can we do anything as people for whom being white itself is an act of aggression against non-white people?

    Don’t worry! There is a solution.

    Get passive. After all, if you are a bad person, how can you be expected to know right from wrong anyway? Begin to pester the non-white people around you for guidance on the most trivial of matters. Explain and/or imply that if they don’t attend to you, you will not be able to do anything, since it has been pointed out to you that you are bad because you are white. Try to get them to give you a set of rules you can use for action, then act out following those rules in as rote a manner as possible, showing them that you will screw them up unless they continue to focus energy on your needs for constant attention.

    It may take time, and it may go in cycles — but this should eventually tire the non-white people out. At that point, perk your energy up and tell them that you feel much more empowered as a white anti-racist than you do as someone who is an aggressor just because you are white. Explain how important it is for you to have a positive white identity. Then, return to your usual white anti-racist practice.

    Michael, thank you so much for providing us with the opportunity to advise our white anti-racist readers on this matter!

  137. Trixie Wonderbread says:

    Dear White Anti-Racist:

    I am a young white female college student and I am just heart-sickened by how non-white people are treated. That goes especially for my black boyfriend. I want to do something, but I don’t know what. In any case, I recently met a wonderful white anti-racist professor, Dr. Mike Mehlmar, who explained all about racism and anti-racism and pointed me to your site.

    Not long after I ran into a non-white male student (kinda cute) who barely talked to me, that is, until I answered this loony question he kept asking me again and again about whether I was a “white person”. Like it isn’t obvious! In any case, it turns out he said that he tries to practice something he calls “counter-racism”.

    I’m a bit confused. Prof. Mehlmar didn’t ask me whether I was a white person. How does anti-racism differ from this counter-racism? Isn’t it the same? Are the same people involved?

    What is a white anti-racist supposed to do when they encounter a counter-racist?

  138. Sam Toddsteps says:

    Hello hello, White Anti-Racist team,

    My church had a basic White Anti-Racist training last year and it was great. Our White Anti-Racism Action Committee (WARAC) has been processing the experience since then. We feel that we would like to explore delving deeper into the specific topic of White Privilege for our next White Anti-Racist Action Step.

    We’ve been reading the recent comments here with great interest, and are intrigued by the discussion of white privilege.

    Do you offer workshops specifically designed to explore White Privilege in-depth? While we haven’t decided yet for sure if this is the best use of our committee’s Anti-Racism funds, we would love to talk about possibly hiring you.

    Best regards,
    Sam

  139. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello Sam, and thanks for your interest. Your church’s White Anti-Racist process sounds great!

    We do have a White Privilege three-part workshop series:

    1. “Unpack That Knapsack”! White Privilege Up Close
    2. Saving Face Space: Re-Packing White Privilege So You Don’t Get Charged For An Extra Bag
    3. Thinking Outside the Knapsack: Innovative White Privilege Packaging Concepts for the 21st Century

    We would be happy to do this series for your church. Or, if this series doesn’t fit what you are looking for, we could certainly tailor one or more workshops to your specific needs.

    When you decide for sure what to do with the funds, send us an email at whiteantiracist at myway dot com and we can discuss logistics and fees. We look forward to working with you!

  140. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Trixie,

    Welcome!

    Hmmm. ‘Counter-racism” … We think we once had a conversation with someone who said he was trying to practice that, but it was a while ago so it may have been something else. We do remember feeling pretty annoyed.

    You asked:

    How does anti-racism differ from this counter-racism? Isn’t it the same? Are the same people involved?

    When we first read your question, we googled “Counter-Racism” and looked at the first site that came up from the search: Counter-Racism – Home. We looked around a little and found what looks like a discussion forum.

    One of the forums is called “Using Words Correctly” and has this description:

    Using Words Correctly This Forum is designed for posting counter-racist compensatory suggestions of How to use words to reveal truth in such a manner that justice and correctness are promoted in all places and at all times.

    Another of the forums is called “Counter-Racism Definitionary” and has this description:

    Counter-Racism Definitionary This Forum is designed for the posting of WORDS, in a definition format, that are designed to reveal truth in a manner that promotes justice and correctness.

    Given the way this society works, many groups make word-claims about their practice that aren’t accurate, so we don’t know for sure. However — if these descriptions are accurate, we see an immediate clash between the White Anti-Racist project and counter-racism.

    As we noted in a previous comment to our Advisory Board member Dark Lily, white anti-racists operate inside The Discourse. And as we explained about the rules in The Discourse,

    In the journey between action and interpretation, how do travelers know if they are going in the right direction and if they have arrived safely at their destination?

    In The Discourse, it’s not the actual landscape we would check to determine these things. Instead, what matters is who is at the wheel. If the ones at the wheel say the journey is is succeeding, then it is. If they say it is not going right, then it is not.

    Of course, it is extremely important for White Anti-Racist Experts to be the ones at the wheel …

    For white anti-racists, “truth” is about being in control. Neither justice nor correctness has anything to do with it. Except when claiming that we’re about that would help us be in control.

    You also asked:

    What is a white anti-racist supposed to do when they encounter a counter-racist?

    It depends. If they are in fact for real in naming how they relate to truth, we feel you may have a bit of a power struggle on your hands if interaction occurs. We would recommend trying to keep discussion topics as blurry and confusing as possible in this situation. Alternatively, if just dropping out of the discussion is an option you could choose without looking bad, consider doing that if you get tired.

    And Trixie, we’re very glad to know you are working with Dr. Mehlmar. We hear nothing but great things about his teaching! If you have any trouble with counter-racists, you may want to talk with him about it. His particular White Anti-Racist communication style strikes us as extremely well-suited to these kinds of encounters.

  141. Hakeema says:

    Hi,

    Question for whiteantiracists regarding counter-racism.

    Why keep the conversation confusing and blurry?

    Hakeema

  142. Hakeema says:

    Hi,

    Another question. What is the purpose for this website.

    Hakeema

  143. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Hakeema,

    Welcome!

    You asked:

    Question for whiteantiracists regarding counter-racism.

    Why keep the conversation confusing and blurry?

    If in fact counter-racism is interested in using words for truth outside The Discourse, we feel that this approach will maximize the possibility that the white anti-racist(s) involved will be able to establish and maintain discursive control in an interaction with a counter-racist.

    Picture it like this: On the metaphorical journey we mentioned, from action to interpretation, let’s say there is a passenger who tries to insist that the group attend to the actual landscape instead of the assessment of whoever is at the wheel. If you can’t reasonably ignore the passenger, engaging him or her in a confusing/blurry conversation can often undermine what seems like something very simple and obvious and sensible — “let’s look at the landscape to assess where we are”.

    So the white anti-racist could engage that person in a discussion about how looking depends on the eye of the beholder, or could claim that the driver really is looking at the landscape to assess the situation, and why can’t the passenger see what the driver sees, or … well, any number of ways to do it. Whatever the specifics, this tactic can help redirect attention away from the initial issue as the focus turns to the interaction itself, which if done correctly takes place within The Discourse. This tactic has an additional advantage, which is if you do it right, the passenger who called for attending to the landscape will eventually tire out and run out of energy for the discussion.

    You also asked:

    What is the purpose for this website.

    As we say on the Welcome page: Our goal is to raise white awareness of the benefits of claiming a white anti-racist identity … By claiming a white-anti-racist identity, you will have the opportunity to be a “good white person” while being critical of racism while never risking the survival of the system of white supremacy and thus your own actual centrality and privilege.

  144. Hakeema says:

    Hi again whiteantiracist,

    “Our goal is to raise white awareness of the benefits of claiming a white anti-racist identity … By claiming a white-anti-racist identity, you will have the opportunity to be a “good white person” while being critical of racism while never risking the survival of the system of white supremacy and thus your own actual centrality and privilege.”

    So based on this statement. Is being a white anti-racist really about keeping the system of white supremacy in power through deceit, acting like you really want to get rid of the system of white supremacy but really dont want to?

    YES OR NO.

    Hakeema

  145. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi again Hakeema!

    You asked:

    So based on this statement. Is being a white anti-racist really about keeping the system of white supremacy in power through deceit, acting like you really want to get rid of the system of white supremacy but really dont want to?

    YES OR NO.

    Well. We would not publicly call it “deceit” because doing that would make us look bad. Appearing sincere is extremely important to white anti-racist practice. So (white anti-racist readers, take note!) we would certainly try stay away from words like “deceit” when writing marketing copy for our brochures and describing our practice in books and essays.

    But — yes.

  146. Trixie Wonderbread says:

    Dear White Anti-Racist.

    Thank you for your advice. And I am going to keep in touch with Professor Mehlmar. It’s too bad that he is in NY State. But email will do it.

    I have another question. I mentioned the non-white, well black, guy who says he practices counter-racism. I am here in a north-western state at the University of the Founding Father and so is this black guy. Like I said he is kinda cute and I thought I’d like to practice anti-racism together with him. I mean, really. There is no better way to break down racial barriers than getting to know each other intimately. (I know I have a black boyfriend at home, but he is 2000 miles away and besides we have an open relationship). Besides he he is a real mysterious guy. And I’m not exactly ugly, if I say so myself.

    I kinda asked him out and he said something really strange. I had to ask him to write it down for me. He said.

    “Under the system of White Supremacy, I do not condone, encourage or participate in sexual intercourse between Victims of White Supremacy and whites.”

    Does this make any sense to you? How can I convince him that I am an anti-racist and that I am harmless?

  147. Jannie Sue says:

    Hi, White Anti-Racist!

    It’s interesting that you bring up how we can talk publicly about what it means to practice white anti-racism. I’ve been thinking about this and wanted to know what you think about some phrases that seem useful to me.

    I’m thinking it’s important to emphasize things like:

    “Being a white anti-racist is a continual process of learning and growing, and better understanding how our privilege operates in the world.”

    “We will always struggle with our whiteness and our white privilege and sometimes we will make mistakes that support racism.”

    “We understand that as white anti-racists we will never be perfect, but with gentle yet pointed critique and critical reflection on our practice we can continue to refine our effectiveness as anti-racist allies.”

  148. whiteantiracist says:

    Glad to see you again, Trixie!

    Well, we’re not relationship counselors, so we hope we won’t give you the wrong advice. We do know that relationships can be very complicated and require working out many issues.

    It sounds to us like the core issue in your situation may be trust. As white anti-racists, we need to understand and acknowledge that we have to earn the trust of black people and other people of color, not just expect to be automatically trusted on sight.

    One of our advantages as white anti-racists is that we do appear so much better than other white people, as we mention on our How and Why It Works page. We would advise you to find events and groups where that contrast between you and other (not anti-racist) white people is obvious, and try to be in those contexts with the guy you’re interested in. Show him that you are one of the white people who is on his side, unlike the other white people who are oblivious to their privilege and their racism. Hopefully, this will assist the two of you in working through the trust issues that seem to be emerging.

  149. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Jannie Sue,

    Those phrases you shared are excellent things to emphasize! You’re doing so good. We’re so proud of your progress!

  150. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Trixie and Hakeema,

    Thank you for your recent comments. We’re not approving them for the discussion. Unfortunately, this is not a dating or sex site. But there are so many resources on the internet — we’re sure there are other places out there that you could visit.

    And Hakeema, for reading purposes otherwise, we would recommend the links on this site (main site and here in the discussion) as a good place to start. In particular, you might start with the very first link on the How and Why It Works page.

  151. Raven says:

    Hi whiteantiracist!

    this is not a dating or sex site.

    Whew. I am so glad to read that! I read Trixie’s last question and it was like, “What, so now this site is about helping obsessive self-involved straight white chicks get laid?” Gross. Like there aren’t enough places on the net where hetero people can go to talk about sex.

    I liked your answer to that question, though. Trust is an issue that we’ve been talking about in the collective meetings lately, so it was so interesting to see you bringing it up. We’ve found that the trust issue is not only about sexual relationships — it applies in many different kinds of interactions and relationships between white people and people of color. For example, we feel that lack of trust is why our collective was “called out on our racism” to begin with. We have found that the White Anti-Racist Identity is a great way to show our sincerity and thus display that we should be trusted by women of color we work with politically.

    Raven

  152. Dear White Anti-Racist:

    I hear what you say about this not being a sex site, but I do find that White Anti-Racists seem to be particularly interested in having sex with non-whites. Is that part of the “looking like a good white person” anti-racist self image?

    Hello Trixie and Hakeema:

    If you need any help with your questions in this regard, I may be able to assist you. Feel free to shoot me an email at assaultonblacksanity@gmail.com.

  153. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello again Michael,

    Your topic requires a level of sensitivity and thoughtfulness that is well beyond the scope of this website.

    Thank you very much for including your email address in your comment as you did.

  154. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Raven,

    It’s good to hear from you again. We’re so glad to know that the White Anti-Racist Identity continues to work well for you and your collective!

  155. Becky says:

    My dear whiteantiracist team,

    How can you say: Your topic requires a level of sensitivity and thoughtfulness that is well beyond the scope of this website about anything?

    I’ve been quietly but avidly following this site from the beginning and I think the site is extremely thoughtful and sensitive. Don’t sell yourselves short! You’re always so interested in supporting other White Anti-Racists, but you all on the whiteantiracist team need to also support yourselves. Of course this site is thoughtful and sensitive enough to handle any topic. Give yourselves some credit. We, your readers, love you and we love this site, and it is troubling to see you saying negative things about your site like this. We count on you to be our inspiration.

    Hugs,
    Becky

  156. Barbara Karens says:

    Becky,

    You’re missing the point. But that’s probably because the whiteantiracist team is too crazy nutso bland-blah-blah-polite professional to actually say what’s going on.

    Here is what our beloved whiteantiracist team won’t say:

    When someone has or publicly claims to have this perspective on a topic. And yet despite the extreme physical and psychological “this can’t possibly be made funny” seriousness that such a view would entail, nonetheless calls for a freaking satire site, I know we’re not suppored to admit it in public but that is what the f*** it is, a freaking satire site to address it …. something is just not right.

  157. whiteantiracist says:

    Barbara, Barbara, Barbara.

    We know we agreed to not delete any more of your comments for the time being after that last little fight we had. And we feel bound to honor that agreement for this this comment. But Barbara, this is not okay. You know how we feel about the dynamics of “internet drama” and how important it is for us to stay focused on what the site is all about. If you post anything else like this again, we’re sorry to say we won’t be able to honor our promise at that point.

    And we need to stress for all our readers that the conversation on this particular topic on our site is closed, for the reasons we have already discussed.

  158. Duccena Raacbeer says:

    Dear White Anti-Racist Team:

    I am a white feminist anti-racist assistant professor of Gender/Race Intersection Studies at Trixie Wonderbread’s alma mater, the University of The Founding Father. She recently came to my office, quite upset about the issue that shall not be named and directed me to your site.

    If we want to maintain a successful white anti-racist identity as white anti-racist good white people without actually working to dismantle white supremacy, I suggest that we need to learn how to respond to the issue that shall not be named as it looks like the issue that shall not be named will be increasingly raised by non-whites. (As happened to me repeatedly)

    In dealing with this, I have found that the answer to give to pesky non-whites who raise the issue that shall not be named is very straightforward and simple.

    Don’t go ape sh*t or say soothing meaningless things like “this issue requires a level of sensitivity and thoughtfulness that is well beyond us” and thereby risk losing our unfettered access to non-white people’s bodies.

    One should respond in a concerned and sensitive manner and explain patiently and compassionately that while one, as a white anti-racist, understands and agrees that white supremacy is a power relationship that covers all human activity, including the issue that shall not be named, genuine interracial intimate interaction (use exactly these words) actually creates a MICRO-LIBERATED ZONE within white supremacy where the white supremacist power relationship is neutralized by intimacy and that such a genuine interracial intimate interaction (micro-liberated zone) functions as a model for the future non-racist society which will never actually emerge if I can help it.

    This way we can demonstrate our commitment to the future don’t hold your breath non-racist social structure while never risking the survival of the system of white supremacy and thus our own actual centrality and privilege. Better even, the non-whites will understand that we white anti-racists are acting out of a loving, compassionate impulse as good white people. Besides, I have found in my studies that millions of non-whites just love the idea of these micro-liberated zones and if correctly motivated in the hope of getting relief from white supremacy will do much to help construct them. This way we can truly have our cake and eat it too, literally!

    Great site, by the way. Keep up the good work!

  159. whiteantiracist says:

    Dear Dr. Raacbeer,

    It is with some trepidation that we are approving your comment for publication on the site despite our previous ban on the subject.

    We are approving your comment not to re-open the discussion, but rather because we feel that you might have found a way to address it that may be appropriate for this site.

    However, we are also aware of people’s IP addresses regardless of the names they use of some rather odd energy around this topic on this site. We need to make it very clear to all our readers that this is NOT a site for either virtual sexual role-play (even in the event that such practice might be psychologically useful for the individual engaging in it) or theoretical word-play that uses sexual violence as material with no gut instinct or experience as targets of such violence, in order to make a theoretical point in a quasi-fundamentalist manner.

    So we are publishing your comment, Dr. Raacbeer, as we said with trepidation. We feel it sufficiently answers the question at hand, and don’t see the need for further discussion.

    We ask any of our readers who feels the impulse to respond to first check themselves very very carefully and with rigor before doing so. And even then, please know that we will be moderating comments much more carefully from now on — on this topic in particular, but also in general. We have come to realize — to our great and tremendous shock!!! — that some commenters may not fully understand the tone and purpose of the site, or may even have agendas that oppose what we are doing here.

    Readers, we thank you for your patience during what is turning out to be a little transition period here at White Anti-Racist.

  160. whiteantiracist says:

    We have a new page!

    We’re so excited to announce that we are attracting enough attention on the web that we need a Comments Policy – check it out.

    Thanks to all our readers and contributors for making it possible for this to be necessary!

  161. Terry G says:

    Hi whiteantiracist,

    Love the site! And congratulations on needing a “comments policy” — you deserve it!

    Could you tell me if I’m getting this right?

    You’ve probably heard that Bill Clinton recently said: I Am Not A Racist.

    As a White Anti-Racist Educator, if I were talking with Mr. Clinton, I would want to say something like, “Actually, Bill, I hear what you’re saying, but — you are a racist. All white people are. We live in a structure that privileges white people and oppresses people of color. Admitting you’re a racist doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it just means you are part of a system. You should get yourself a White Anti-Racist identity. Let me show you how.”

    And then I would send him to this site.

    Is this the right approach?

  162. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Terry,

    Welcome!

    We would recommend that you tweak your statements a little to sound more sympathetic and less rote … but otherwise, yes, we think the approach is very good.

    If Mr. Clinton or any of his people is reading this site (who knows? we’ve sure been getting lots of hits lately) we would like to invite him to get a White Anti-Racist Identity. One major advantage of this identity is that he can stop feeling testy about whether he is a racist, but at the same time not have to take any real responsibility for any of his actions since as a white person he has white privilege and will be racist and make mistakes because that is what the system is and does and that is what he has learned and he is trying.

    Ever since seeing him get all scary-red in one of his primary-night appearances with his wife, we have been worried about Mr. Clinton’s blood pressure. So it really concerns us to read that he apparently got “testy” in a media interview — that can’t be good for his health.

    There is no reason for him to have feel any extra stress! If he were to get a White Anti-Racist Identity, it would surely help lower his stress, and thus his blood pressure. Plus which, he could promote the White Anti-Racist Identity much more widely than we can, even with all of the recent attention we’ve been getting on this site.

    But Terry, even if Mr. Clinton didn’t get a White Anti-Racist identity from your intervention, it would still be well worth the work, and here’s why: white people who do stuff like this make us White Anti-Racists look extremely good in comparison. So even if he doesn’t join us, Mr. Clinton’s statement offers an excellent opportunity for all of us White Anti-Racists to promote the White Anti-Racist Identity, showing ourselves off in comparison to him. Don’t be shy!

  163. dark lily says:

    dear white antiracist

    wow i am so excited to be on the advisory board. i feel like you guys really can see how much a person of color can bring to the white antiracist movement. with allies like you who needs a paycheck (yet)?

    i see that michael (eric dyson) fischer is busy learning complicated jargon for his ivy league position. i wish him all the best. if dr michael (eric dyson) fischer or the lady from pomoho are looking for that radical womanist teaching assistant (so that it doesnt look like all of you are just obsessed by the self-obsessed ramblings of white ladies) i am the best of both worlds. i look very radical (dark skin dreadlocks cat-eye glasses) but have a white anti racist prtner and a biracial baby, so you know i would never say anything that is actually offensive to white folks. i will not speak anymore about interracial partnerships because it is a sensitive topic. i only use it to show how much i understand the struggles of the white antiracist.

    so thanks again and let me know how i can help you become a better white person!

  164. whiteantiracist says:

    Thank you Dark Lily! We will surely continue to let you know how you can help us become better white people! That’s what you’re here for after all. Well, that and increasing the success of our site and our consulting practice.

    We also are glad to learn how radical you look and yet how safe you actually are! What a wonderful Advisory Board member you are turning out to be. And we hope that either Michael or Dr. Timsborough will take you up on your offer to be their pet radical womanist.

  165. whiteantiracist says:

    We found a fascinating comment on the magnificently talented Michael Fisher’s site in an entry that calls our website “The Ultimate White Anti-Racist site” (blush).

    It’s a comment from a reader named Holly — here’s an excerpt:

    I have never made money from my anti-racist beliefs; they have actually cost me quite a lot – but I didn’t mind.

    I wish there were a way to apply my efforts to the racism in my homeland. I live in Mexico. I’m disabled and only have SS Disability to live on. In Mexico, I can live independently.

    My efforts were done through a personal empowerment project to give the indigenous Huichol more control over their own destiny – mostly through forming their OWN nonprofit organization.

    I asked them to provide a leader who had a family, to come and live with me as my houseguests, to work on the project. They established their nonprofit – themselves. I merely provided the access and the means for them to do it on their own. They now have their nonprofit, and are still learning what a great tool it can be for them to overcome marginalization. Of course, they’re pleased; because they did the work themselves. They ALSO have the pride of accomplishment, because I didn’t do it for them; they did it all themselves. Such things help rebuild self-esteem that marginalization seeks to suck away from them. That’s what empowerment does. And it works.

    Our OWN marginalized people need to have drilled into them – daily, if possible – that each of them has his/her own magnificence. But only they can learn of it, on their own. We need people willing to help them do the search. They can be of any color. When a marginalized person realizes that the feelings of inferiority were punched into his mind by others, he can begin to rise above it – given the right kind of help.

    The best kind of help is the kind which lets the person do his OWN searching and finding. The helper only needs to give encouragement and do any “enabling” the other person cannot do for himself. All accomplishments should, to the fullest extent possible, be his own. There’s nothing like the morality boost one gets when he can say, “Hey, I actually DID this – and I did it MYSELF!”

    The “Negro College Fund” said it best: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Among our own marginalized people are great minds that are consigned to the gutter, to dope dealing, prostitution, drug use, alcoholism, crime, and much more. When they could be learning and doing great things. The loss is incalculable, but is surely enormous.

    We shouldn’t forget, though, that most bigots are, themselves, highly undereducated. THEIR minds are also going to waste, even though most would vehemently deny it. Ignorant people are in no position to know what – and how much – has been denied to them in the way of education. And ANY mind is a terrible thing to waste. A white with a grade-school education (oftentimes less) is just as “abused” as a black one in an inner city area. And feeling “superior” to blacks isn’t going to make a single one of them more genuinely “adequate.”

    Racism is most common, most durably clung to, by people with deep feelings of inadequacy. Hating a whole chunk of population makes him feel more “adequate,” even though, deep down, he knows he isn’t. But it keeps him from looking for ways to be more genuinely adequate, giving him, instead, a false sense that he already IS so.

    Racism does not exist only in America, though most Americans think it does – or that, at least, it is worse in the States than anywhere else. That isn’t so, but I won’t go into that here. Racism is a global malady.

    During these last nine years, the Huichol leader and his family have lived in my home, like family – often treated better than I treated myself. I never condescended to them; because it isn’t in me to do so. I genuinely believe in the equality of races, genders, etc., so over time, their suspicions of my motives dissolved. I won’t say it was easy, but it was worth it. Also fun.

    I’ve watched the kids grow up with great pleasure, but I’ve also watched their father grow from someone who was afraid to make a simple phone call to someone who is a capable, sophisticated and confident executive of a nonprofit organization. He has a fine mind, worthy of far better education than he got – just barely into high school. Now he knows he’s more worthwhile than his country’s culture wanted him to know.

    Three elements of Holly’s approach should be of particular interest to White Anti-Racists.

    1. Holly’s “colorblind white liberal” approach offers the White Anti-Racist an excellent opportunity for the all-important contrast in which we show that we are the good white people. We would never be that obvious in our efforts at control! We would, in fact, publicly criticize Holly for being paternalistic. This would make us look good in comparison.

    (note also that she makes herself look good in comparison to more overt racism of “other” white people … it’s an endless continuum. In fact we encourage our readers to be on the lookout for new and improved white identities as time goes on. At some point it may become passe to be a White Anti-Racist and a new version of good white person will emerge to criticize that Identity and use it as the “bad white people” contrast — for the astute White Anti-Racist, the shift will be easy and enjoyable!)

    2. We’re not entirely sure, but it looks to us like Holly may well have worked to create some form of what Dr. Raacbeer astutely terms a MICRO-LIBERATED ZONE within white supremacy where the white supremacist power relationship is neutralized by intimacy.

    In this case, the physical intimacy is not sexual (well … that we know of), but rather communal living as family. The more we think and talk about this concept of a “micro-liberated zone” the more powerful and useful the concept appears to us. While sexual intimacy is clearly at the center of the practice, we feel that the dynamics just might be refracted in various circumstances and this approach can be used in a variety of ways.

    We encourage all of our White Anti-Racist readers to consider how you might offer the promise of “micro-liberated zones” to people of color you know. We understand (from your emails, which we appreciate!) that a few of you were already in committed sexual relationships with other white people when you got the White Anti-Racist Identity, and we hear your growing concern that you won’t be “anti-racist enough” unless you are sexually partnered with a person of color.

    We encourage all of our White Anti-Racist readers to try applying the promise of “micro-liberated zones” to various kinds of relationships with people of color to see if and how it might work for your particular life circumstances. Try things out, and see what works and what doesn’t!

    3. Holly also demonstrates the value of packaging white supremacist control of discourse and practice under the interpretation of “help.”

    Holly is confident and secure in her assertion that as a white person, she knows what “Our OWN marginalized people need.”

    But again, as we mentioned, Holly is far too openly paternalistic in her approach, and we as White Anti-Racists would never speak so openly about the Help that white people need to provide to people of color in order so we can control the discourse for their own good. It’s just plain crass to do it like she does!

  166. Frances Toddsteps, PhD says:

    Dear whiteantiracist,

    You know my brother Sam from his church’s White Anti-Racist work. He emailed me about this site and I’ve been reading it with great interest.

    As Sam may have told you, he and I are the black sheep no wait does that look racist to say? But I am saying it as something I am proud of so maybe not but then am I as a white person appropriating black pride and/or is there something I don’t know about this phrase, I better just not use it rebels of our Southern Baptist family. As you know, Sam’s a Methodist and I’m Episcopalian. I’m also a lesbian, which as you would imagine doesn’t make my parents and ex-husband very happy.

    But this isn’t about my home life. I’m an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Ethics at Frontier University in California. It’s an expensive private school that allows me to engage in liberatory pedagogy through its experimental “Studies Studies” Program where students get to design their own majors and professors can design group therapy sessions deep and in-depth dialogue-based classes about power, oppression and privilege.

    I think I may have experience successfully creating some version of a “micro-liberated zone” with students of color here and wanted to share my experiences with your readers.

    Almost every semester, I teach a class called “Race, Power and Privilege” that focuses on the ethics of different forms of white supremacist practice. Since most of the students at FU are white, the class always has a majority of white students. But FU also strongly recruits enough students of color to escape the perception that it only lets white kids in. And those students of color are often drawn to my class. So I usually have a few non-white students as well.

    In the classroom, I am sad to report that no matter how liberatory my pedagogy is, the white students use the students of color as virtual punching bags fail to learn that the students of color are not there just to educate them. So despite my efforts to look like I oppose this dynamic that actually is written into my contract as part of required classroom practice if students of color are present and we are talking about race teach the white students that this is not right, the classroom experience usually turns out to be extremely painful for the students of color.

    This is where my office comes in. I am known as one of the more accessible professors on campus. I have a homey office with a big cushy chair for visitors, and a little microwave where I boil water for tea. I have found that inviting students of color to come talk one-on-one with me about their experiences — in my classes and also in general at the school — helps me feel a whole lot better about using them as objects in the classroom therapy sessions the pedagogical difficulties that often occur in my classes and the larger contradictions of being a white anti-racist educator.

    Every year, I develop deep bonds with a few students of color who I either meet from teaching my class, or who hear about me from someone who is taking it. I need to say very clearly that these bonds are NOT sexual at all. Not only would this be a breach of professional ethics, and not only are they much younger than me, but most importantly I have a partner at home (also a white anti-racist).

    My partner and I are committed to working through our family-of-origin issues together for the rest of our lives, and even so we probably won’t be done. But a relationship is a place to focus on self-development and growth and to help yourself and the other person heal from the wounds of the past, and we are very happy together.

    But this isn’t about my home life. As I was saying, these bonds with the students of color aren’t sexual, but they are deep. I have to tell these anguished students over and over that they are not crazy, that they are smart and wonderful people and shouldn’t let the bad stuff get to them. We cry together on a regular basis about how hard it is for them to deal with the white supremacy dynamics they encounter from their peers and from other professors here. We rage together about the institutionalized racism here, even as they go into debt to pay for their education and I have a stable job with benefits from FU. It breaks my heart. Anyway, we’re very close.

    Reading the discussion here, I’m thinking that maybe what I’ve been creating is some form of micro-liberated zone. At first I though it didn’t apply since I am so stringent about these not being sexual relationships. But then when I read your comment that it might apply more broadly, whiteantiracist, I thought — maybe.

    I have to run now. My partner is calling me from the other room. Tonight we are going to eat dinner, have sex, then explore together the topic of Hurts We Experienced in Childhood Related to Clothing.

  167. Dear Dark Lily:

    Thank you so much for you offer. You sound almost too perfect. Unfortunately, I was recently informed that there is a further crucial qualification for the post. You must be a practicing lesbian or at least bi-sexual Womanist.

    This way we got it all, black, woman, and gay and we can really confuse non-whites as to the primacy of white supremacy.

    Sorry. No lesbian or bi-sexual, no job.

  168. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michael,

    You may need to get back with your committee and re-think.

    First, we don’t see any indication in Dark Lily’s comments regarding her sexual orientation. Perhaps you have additional information we don’t have, but from what we have read it is not specified. Perhaps we missed something.

    Second, we wouldn’t worry too much about her or any other applicant’s sexual orientation, if we were you. We think you’d have a win-win situation with any sexual orientation. If your black womanist is a lesbian or bi, it looks like a three-for-one “minority” — black, woman, gay. Academic institutions love that kind of thing!

    But if the person you hire is heterosexual, could go the other direction — openly show some homophobia, and play up a Militant Homophobic Black Radical Male Persona. This has apparent authenticity and usefulness all its own that you could use to your advantage.

    If you go with this second plan, you’ll assist many quietly homophobic White Anti-Racist heterosexuals (especially men) in maintaining and justifying the anti-gay stances they still hold but are afraid to speak out about. Many of the more radical-aspiring White Anti-Racist hetero men, in particular, are quietly hungry for a pretext to more freely express themselves about this. Appearing to deal with white supremacy is about all they can handle and they are kind of worried that they will get hit on in the bathroom at a workshop because The Gays are totally indiscriminate like that you know … but these poor guys can’t talk about their feelings on this in workshops without losing “good person” points unless they can hide their homophobia behind a credible Black (or perhaps other non-white) Militant Male source.

    So if you go this route, there will be many white male heterosexual students, colleagues and fans of your writing who will blame appreciate and credit you, an Authentic Black Radical Heterosexual Man, for where they’re coming from. You could do a lot of good this way, also. The need is there!

    You will also assist the heterosexual white feminists at your institution who are quite frankly sick and tired of all this “queer stuff” and want to go back to the days where it was okay to talk seriously about a Lavender Menace as a threat to the Women’s Movement. You don’t know that they feel this way because they don’t say anything about it except to each other behind closed doors. But if you were openly okay with a heterosexual hire, we’re sure they would support you however they could. They would prefer that you take the blame heat lead on this issue. Again, the need is there.

    So we hope your committee will re-consider the possibilities on both sides and not artificially limit the field to non-heterosexual black womanists.

  169. Andy says:

    Many of the more radical-aspiring White Anti-Racist hetero men, in particular, are quietly hungry for a pretext to more freely express themselves about this. Appearing to deal with white supremacy is about all they can handle and they are kind of worried that they will get hit on in the bathroom at a workshop because The Gays are totally indiscriminate like that you know … but these poor guys can’t talk about their feelings on this in workshops without losing “good person” points unless they can hide their homophobia behind a credible Black (or perhaps other non-white) Militant Male source.

    So if you go this route, there will be many white male heterosexual students, colleagues and fans of your writing who will blame appreciate and credit you, an Authentic Black Radical Heterosexual Man, for where they’re coming from. You could do a lot of good this way, also. The need is there!

    I don’t know if I am “radical-aspiring” exactly, maybe I am — but whatever, THAT WOULD BE SO F-ING GREAT!

    I have had a lot of stress about this, actually, now that you mention it whiteantiracist. But I haven’t been able to say anything out loud yet because I thought it would make me look bad. But, if White Anti-Racists like me can blame credit an Authentic Black Militant Man for how we feel, that would be really really perfect. Nothing else would work as well as that.

    This site just keeps getting better and better. Yeah. I am a White HETEROSEXUAL AND PROUD Anti-Racist MAN who is practicing White Anti-Racism — even when if I beat up gay guys.

    Yeah. I said it. I am a White-Anti-Racist Man, I am Heterosexual and Proud. I won’t stay silent any longer.

    I feel more free just thinking about it. Damn this site is good.

  170. Raven says:

    WFT is it with the homophobia on this site all of a sudden?

    This is terrible.

    Raven.

    PS I’m feeling sort of afraid of Black men right now. I know I’m not supposed to admit that without also saying it is because I’m racist and I’m working it through and all that, but really I think it’s because I have a right to be after reading what Andy wrote.

  171. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Raven,

    White Anti-Racists come in various flavors and orientations. We may at times fight amongst ourselves because we don’t agree on some things.

    The important thing to remember is that if Michael does choose the Authentic Black Radical Heterosexual Man approach, we need to all work together to use him as an object in any arguments we might have about this topic on this site. Andy can use him as cover side with him, and you can use this opportunity to say things about black heterosexual men that you might otherwise not be able to credibly say in a White Anti-Racist context.

    Yes this looks like disagreement, but the underlying connection as White Anti-Racists will still be there: as an Authentic Black Radical Heterosexual Man, Michael will serve as an object for all of us White Anti-Racists, regardless of our opinions on sexual orientation, to use for our own individual and collective self-interest.

  172. Dear White Anti-Racist:

    Unfortunately, I have no say so whatsoever in this matter. The academic search committee of the Women’s study department is run by a white female feminist anti-racist (in that order) and a white male anti-racist feminist (in that order). I’m just the consultant delivery BOY to the search committee and my position relative to the committee is akin to Dark Lily’s position relative to your Advisory Committee.

    In other words I’m just there to make them look good, but I am getting paid a good deal of money for it. So I’m not about to rock the boat. I really don’t want to end up as a non-paid black consultant on your Advisory Committee. I may be militant, but I know not to bite the hand that feeds me.

  173. dark lily says:

    hey im bi-sexual. i have several (ex) girlfriends willing to attest to this fact. i am the radical of radicals. do not doubt my credentials…please. but being bisexual allows for me to understand the struggle for straight black (and white) men to need to re-assert their patriarchy without fear of my queer identity (in other words…i still like dick). i mean being bi is like sexy, right. its not really queer. its like kinda queer.
    and while it has been a few years since i PRACTICED this bisexual identity, i understand the struggle of queer folk without being bitter and angry about it (like those other gay folk with whom i am solidarity but will throw under a bus in a minute). i’m like that biracial chick (you know who i am talking about) who passes for white but still underneath it all is really BLACK.
    so you could hire me. get your queer credit. have me really appreciate that you are willing to speak out how you feel oppressed by the gay agenda. and show that not all queers are trying to replace you as the head of of black radicalism.
    this is a win-win-win situation.
    did i mention i grew up working class? from the south?
    come one a working class, black, queer, southern mother…how could you go wrong?
    i’m like audre lorde and bell hooks but younger and more hip and less angry.

  174. Hello Dark Lily:

    Wow, that sounds promising! I will get your credentials to the search committee without delay. I’ll get back to you as soon as I hear something. This could really put my career as a white anti-racist in blackface on the fast track.

  175. Seth says:

    I’m really intrigued by this White Anti-Racist tactic of using radical Black people as “cover” to avoid looking bad.

    I’m wondering if you could give me a couple more examples of how it works so I can better understand how to use it. Andy is a little — obvious, I guess I would say — and I would be interested in a more subtle/sophisticated use of the tactic.

  176. whiteantiracist says:

    Welcome, Seth!

    We have two examples for you.

    1. For a more subtle use of a radical Black person as cover for homophobia, pay attention to the actions of the two white anti-racist search committee members who are using Michael Fisher as a consultant delivery BOY. They have apparently either instructed him to use the phrase “practicing lesbian [or other queer person]” in his public communication about the position, or they knew he would be prone to use such a phrase and encouraged it in some way.

    If someone were to point out that the use of the word “practicing” in relation to gay people is usually associated with homophobes, especially in Christian church contexts — e.g., phrases such as “are you a practicing homosexual?” — well, whoever really IS homophobic on that committee has cover. S/he can say that it was Michael who came up with that statement or that he misunderstood what s/he was really saying. In the meantime, the communication of what KIND of queer person they want has successfully gone out and people like Dark Lily can respond. But the white anti-racist committee members have plausible deniability.

    2. The “cover” tactic doesn’t only have to be used in relation to sexual orientation and doesn’t necessarily require the actual presence of the Black individuals to be used in this way. It has a much wider range of application.

    In fact, we have been aware for some time of a somewhat bizarre wordpress site in which an entirely ineffective, pathetically-and-painfully-sincere white individual (who has unwittingly taught us a whole lot about controlling the discourse with action-interpretation, and once even contributed a little bit of content by commenting under another name on this very discussion page many months ago – *waves*) is flailing around trying to get the famous and fantastic Mr. Tim Wise to be honest and self-critical in a non-hypocritical way.

    We all know that we can’t have that! And so, as we might expect of such a high-level White Anti-Racist expert, Tim’s use of the “cover” tactic is breathtakingly bold and brilliant — he uses it to shield himself and other white anti-racists from specific criticisms of the white anti-racist logic itself!

    Here’s how he does it. In response to criticisms of the — very important, as we point out on our How and Why It Works page — assertion that whites need to hear an anti-racist message first from other white people, Mr. Wise:

    Wrote (this is a direct quote): “See, this notion is not something I came up with, and especially not as some convenient or “accomodationist” rationale for my own aggrandizement. Rather, it was the position of black folks in SNCC, like Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) and Rap Brown, when they expelled whites in 67 and told them to get their asses into white space and do the work, for precisely this reason. If anyone on this board wants to call out Kwame or Rap as some sell-out, punk-ass white accomodationists, go right ahead. But please note, your beef is not, then, with me.”

    Source: Because I have this Information, comment #4

    What we appreciate most about Tim’s use of this tactic is that his own specific White Anti-Racist implementation choices and practices effectively disappear from scutiny as he rhetorically runs for cover behind two Black SNCC activists. You can almost see him standing behind them, his face occasionally peeking out from behind the two Black Radical Men he has offered as the ones critics actually “have a beef” with if they suggest that used in actual White Anti-Racist practice at this time, White Anti-Racist logic may actually function to protect white supremacy.

    It’s flat-out brilliant work!

    We never cease to be impressed with Tim’s use of White Anti-Racist strategies and tactics. At this time, we feel he is without a doubt the best and brightest of the White Anti-Racist Experts in the public eye.

    Seth, we hope these examples help!

  177. Seth says:

    That’s really very helpful. Thank you.

    I’m especially into how the Black people don’t actually have to be present at the time to be used like that. It’s so great to see how boldly Tim Wise does it — dude wasn’t even BORN yet in ’67 but just goes right ahead and hides behind the SNCC guys from then uses something that happened then as cover for his actions now. It’s like White Anti-Racist time-travel. Very cool.

    Excellent. This is good stuff.

  178. Raven says:

    The “cover” tactic doesn’t only have to be used in relation to sexual orientation and doesn’t necessarily require the actual presence of the Black individuals to be used in this way.

    I have to say, that really is true.

    Like last week my collective and I were having a meeting about a “Women Responding to Racism” event we’re planning for the fall. It was our collective members and one woman of color from the women of color activist group we’re allies to.

    We were going along having a really good discussion and then out of nowhere this woman just started practically yelling at us about how our “collective-consensus process” was nothing more than a rationalization for using our specific form of white feminist racism to make decisions. She told us we should consider having a more formal decision-making process because what we were doing had no real accountability.

    Well. You can imagine. We were very upset.

    Some other collective members started telling her that they heard her and that we would explore our racism and figure out how to more sensitively let her know how and why she is wrong about us. But I looked around to collect my thoughts and saw a poster on the wall (we were meeting at the women’s bookstore). It was one of those Great Feminist Quotations kind of posters and there was a quote on it from Audre Lorde: “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House.”

    I figured if Audre Lorde said it, I could use it. So I jumped into the discussion and said that while I am very interested in examining my own racism and fighting it, and while the collective is working very hard on exploring and challenging and correctly using our white privilege, I just can’t support her suggestion that we use a more formal process. I pointed out that we use consensus because it is participatory and non-hierarchical, and that patriarchy and racism are both arranged hierarchically (superior/inferior).

    I reminded everyone that formal decision-making processes are what they use in corporations and other hierarchical institutions of The System. And then I quoted the Audre Lorde statement — we can’t use the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house, after all. I said that I feel we are just doing what Audre would want us to do and that following the lead of a Black lesbian feminist is a good thing for us as white anti-racist queer feminists to do.

    The woman of color from the group we’re allies with looked up at the poster and opened her mouth as if she was about to reply. She looked really upset for a minute there, which made me nervous. But then her face smoothed all the way out and she didn’t say anything more. A few minutes later, she said she had to leave due to another appointment she had forgotten about. Our planning went on as usual. It’s going to be a great event!

  179. Dr. Mike Mehlmar says:

    I am completely fascinated by the evolution of this website. Maybe I could write something about it someday.

    I myself am straight but I have several LGBT friends. In addition to being a White Anti-Racist, I am also an Ally to LGBT People. I have published several essays in Queer Studies journals on the complexities and complications of being a heterosexual anti-racist white male ally publishing on queer issues.

    If someone were to point out that the use of the word “practicing” in relation to gay people is usually associated with homophobes, especially in Christian church contexts — e.g., phrases such as “are you a practicing homosexual?” — well, whoever really IS homophobic on that committee has cover.

    I feel compelled to point out that two of my white lesbian friends, partners, use the phrases “practicing homosexual” and “practicing lesbian” as a sort of in-joke between themselves. I know this because I watched them banter playfully with each other when I and my wife were at their place for dinner a couple of years ago. I have since been working on an article about this kind of creatively re-appropriative dynamic. It’s the first time I have done research based on observing actual people and it’s fascinating interdisciplinary work.

    In this couple, one of the members was raised evangelical Christian, and they joke a lot about many things related to that. Basically their joke goes like this:

    Q: “But are you a practicing homosexual [or lesbian]?”

    A1: “You know what they say … practice makes perfect! (wink nudge)”

    OR

    Q: “But are you a practicing homosexual [or lesbian]?”

    A2: “Baby, I’m so good I don’t have to practice anymore (wink, nudge).”

    So to be accurate, whiteantiracist, the phrase is not only associated with homophobes. It has also been re-appropriated by at least a couple of lesbians and used as a mode of liberatory (if I might draw a word from Frances’s marvelous comment) interaction.

    At the same time, I went to graduate school with the Dean of the college that’s doing the hiring related to Michael Fisher’s appointment and he is one of the most desperately homophobic liberal white people I have ever met. (A really nice guy, though, we used to hang out and get drunk together). So I would say that there probably is something complicated, complex, and perhaps deeply problematic going on with or in relation to the search committee and issues or dynamics and currents of Academic Homophobia in the LGBT Acronym Age (note to self: that’s clever — might be a great title for something). I’m glad Dark Lily is under consideration. she seems like a good choice for whatever the situation is.

    Mike

  180. Hello Dark Lily:

    I ran your credetials past the search committee heads, particularly Dr. Andrea Nikrowd and Dr. Glorius Stone’Em (who apparently in decades past already has had much experience in sponsoring southern, working class,dark skinned, dread locked, cat-eye glasses wearing black women who have/had a white anti racist partner and a biracial baby). I was told that you would be just perfect for the position, but with one caveat. They insisted that you be a currently practicing lesbian or bi-sexual. Apparently it’s got to do something with black female authenticity. So if you could get back with one of your girlfriends or maybe even create a micro-liberated zone with a white female, I think the matter would be clinched.

    Dr. Glorius Stone’Em is into publishing as well by the way. I understand from him that if you indeed were to set up a micro-liberated zone with a white female he’d provide you with the resources to set up your very own money-making woman of color blackface anti-racist blog. He was thinking you might want to call it Lily’s Hot Chocolate, or Lily’s Coffee House Mixture. With a blog like that you could be commenting on the intersection of gay oppression and racism and make it look like white supremacy is just one of the many forms of “marginalizing minorities” and confuse the hell out of non-whites as to the primacy of white supremacy in the world from a black gay female’s perspective.

  181. Andy says:

    With a blog like that you could be commenting on the intersection of gay oppression and racism and make it look like white supremacy is just one of the many forms of “marginalizing minorities” and confuse the hell out of non-whites as to the primacy of white supremacy in the world from a black gay female’s perspective.

    That’s right dude! That’s right.

    White supremacy has primacy to the point where those freaking deviant queers gay homosexual types are just fermenting confusion among straight because the queer ones just make things confusing non-white people by talking about their so-called “marginalization.” Like anyone who would be concerned about gay stuff has any idea what real serious oppression is.

    As a radical white male HETEROSEXUAL White Anti-Racist, I am down for the cause. I totally support the edgy radical-ness of this stance on what violence is relevant and what is not.

    I do not want non-white people to be confused. I do not! Gays and lesbians and bisexuals (whatever the heck THAT is!) need to adjust their priorities or STFU! Let’s do some damage to the System!

    Yeah!

    {you there gay guy reading this, stop looking at my a** or I will take you down right now.}

  182. whiteantiracist says:

    Andy, you do need to learn to be more subtle. Okay? Take a breath.

  183. Hedge says:

    Hi again,

    I’ve been working on moving a step or two up the hierarchy of White Anti-Racist Identity (I can’t stay a newbie forever, you know?) and I have discovered a concept that has me worried. The concept is “accountability” — especially to people of color. I think I understand what this accountability thing is as a newbie, but I have no idea of what it is on the next levels up when expertise is more and more the measure of my White Anti-Racist credibility.

    I’m worried. What the people I am accountable to tell me do something that would threaten the control I have access to because of my White Anti-Racist Identity? And yet, if I don’t have this accountability, I can look like someone who isn’t accountable to people of color and that undermines my credibility too.

    This is making me nervous. I know you can help, you always help me when I feel like this. What should I do?

  184. whiteantiracist says:

    Hello Hedge, good to see you again.

    Don’t worry. It’ll be okay.

    You have to to understand that accountability is basically just a word that sounds good. It is up to us White Anti-Racists to define what actions fit the word. For example, if someone asked us here at White Anti-Racist how we are accountable to people of color, we would talk about our wonderful Advisory Board.

    There are plenty of approaches that combine the appearance of being accountable to people of color with no loss of real control. Here’s another of our favorites:

    For those of us who are white, I think the way we can remain responsible and accountable is to have an accountability networkTim Wise being interviewed

    Now Hedge, that sounds very impressive, doesn’t it?

    Here is how Mr. Wise describes how his Accountability Network works in practice:

    Now, it’s easier to have [an Accountability Network], perhaps, if you’re doing grassroots activist work. Nowadays, that’s not the work I do. As a writer and someone who speaks around the country, it’s been a lot harder for me, in all honesty, to have a strong accountability network. So what I try to do is make sure that when I write something, I send it out before I ever post it or publish it anywhere, I send it out to several hundred people, both people of color in grassroots situations and organizations, as well as white allies. I ask for feedback, I ask for criticism, and I’m always open to that even after it’s published. I’ll go back and change something in an article if it’s problematic, if some way that I said something is messed up in someone’s mind, or if they didn’t think I said it quite as well as I could’ve, I’ll go back and rework it.

    In fact, I did that with the entire book, White Like Me. There were some, I think, very valid criticisms of the initial volume, and some of the things that I left out, some of the ways that I said certain things. I actually went back and fundamentally changed the book, because I wanted to make the book, of course, as strong as it could be, but I also wanted to reflect the notion of accountability, that if I’ve done something that is not helpful, or done something which wasn’t as helpful as it could’ve been, I want to go back and try to rework that, and try to get better at it.

    And accountability’s never going to be perfect, but I think part of being accountable is being open, making yourself open, exposing yourself to that kind of critique, and then taking it really seriously when it comes in. It doesn’t mean that every criticism’s valid, and there’s some people who are just not going to want to see white folks do this kind of work at all, and that’s fine. For me, I always come back to the fact that in the end that I’m not doing this for people of color. I’m fighting racism and white supremacy because I think it fundamentally diminishes my humanity. I think it diminishes me, I think it diminishes my family, I think it ultimately puts me, and the entire country and the entire world at risk.

    Please notice, Hedge, that Tim’s Accountability Network does not compromise his control of the terms in any real way. Here are a couple of the built-in protections in this approach:

    1. As he points out, members of the Accountability Network are not asked for feedback on whether Tim should be writing in the first place. He wants help to refine the effectiveness of the work he has already pre-selected for himself — contributing to The Discourse as a professional White Anti-Racist writer and speaker.

    2. Using his Accountability Network, Tim asks for feedback from “several hundred people” — people of color as well as other white allies. With that much feedback, he certainly can’t change every little thing anyone asks. This sets up categories to differentiate types of criticism — there is criticism that is “valid” and criticism that is not. Who decides what criticisms fit where? That’s right, Mr. Wise does.

    3. Behind the nice-sounding words, here’s what this Accountability Network really is: a way to get several hundred other people to put energy into helping Tim do his work, while he retains the actual decision-making power and gets the primary credit because he is the author. Essentially, Tim uses the phrase Accountability Network to name a practice that gets him a lot of unpaid help in refining his product. But since he calls it his Accountability Network, it has the added benefit of making him look good and giving him something to talk about when the issue of “accountability to people of color” comes up in interviews.

    So Hedge — don’t take the word accountability too literally. For White Anti-Racists, accountability is pretty much a sort of code word for getting free help without giving up any real decision-making power, while at the same time enhancing our overall credibility.

    Everything is going to be just fine.

    We hope this helps!

  185. Barbara Karens says:

    “I think it’s perfectly valid for folks of color to wonder just what the hell am I up to, and what the hell are other white folks up to, doing this work.

    I get that. I wouldn’t trust me either if I was in that situation.”

    -From that Tim Wise interview, my emphasis

    [admin note: further content deleted at comment author’s request]

  186. dark lily says:

    hedge,

    the important thing about having an accountability group is making sure that it is a high number of people of color. this way if/when a person of color disagrees with you, you can always find another person of color who agrees with you. and then you can have those two people of color fighting each other (over you).

    another important point of an accountability is to be careful of what kind of people of color you choose. remember, one person of color is really as good as another. they are kinda interchangeable. but, you dont want to choose the kind of poc who will assume that their opinions/suggestions will affect your actions. so choose a poc who needs you more than you need them. for instance choose a writer or speaker who will benefit from having a good white antiracist near them. maybe you could write a blurb for their (never to be published) book. in turn they can give you countless hours of reading your antiracist writings and editing them so you dont come across racist. one organization i know, likes to fill their accountability group with poc who are not u.s. citizens, and uses the possibility of helping the poc to obtain a visa as a carrot to make sure that poc comply with their message.

    and remember that you (like wise) are an antiracist out of self-interest. you dont do this work FOR poc and ultimately their opinions do not matter as much as you being able to increase your humanity (self-image).

    and if you are still worried about poc in the accountability group criticizing you doing this work to increase your humanity (self-image), remember to tell them: hey, everyone screws up! the important thing is that you keep doing this work (no matter how screwed up it is) cuz failure is not an option.

    oh and if you need a poc to be accountable to, i am always available. i love nothing more than helping white folks make money off my oppression!

  187. dark lily says:

    on second thought, hedge, when you are having those poc edit your book, tell them that you know you are racist and that your writings are racist. that way when they critique what you do or say for being racist, you can just look at them and say: told you so! everyone makes mistakes! the important thing is that i keep doing the (screwed up) things that make me look like an anti-racist. and maybe next month i will write that 2 line blurb for your (never to be published) book.

  188. dark lily says:

    michael,
    just tell your good old profs that it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on their (practicing) sexuality. i think, its illegal. okay im not a legal scholar. im just a black mama trying to make it through the world…by helping white folks feel good about themselves. and if i was super-oppressed, i would probably be one of those really angry (or dead) black chicks. hmmm…maybe i can get tim wise to let me edit his latest essay. i wonder if his latest essay is about slave labor in the 21st century? i am an expert on that topic.

  189. whiteantiracist says:

    Barbara,

    You’re really letting your overheated imagination get away with you here. We know you don’t have the kind of academic or medical credentials that would allow you to actually diagnose someone with such a label.

    Mr. Wise is at the the very top of the White Anti-Racist field at this time. He is not deviant — quite the opposite, he is the closest thing we have to a White Anti-Racist Ideal — and it makes no sense for you or anyone to label him that way. We all aspire to be as good at this as he is. You should too.

    He is doing an excellent job as a White Anti-Racist. His traits are to be admired and emulated, not labeled like that.

    There is really no place in this field for such paranoid name-calling, Barbara. We expect better of you. Much better.

  190. Chris Boom says:

    Barbara Karens:

    I have to tell you, I am very offended by what you are saying. Tim Wise has dedicated his whole friggin life to White Anti-Racist Struggle. What the hell have you done to compare?

    Just because he has dead eyes and is slick as hell is the best and most public White Anti-Racist in the country if not the whole world, you feel like you have the right to criticize him. You know what, white people get off on criticizing each other, it’s called how white supremacy works and you need to look at yourself and why you would dare to say such a thing. I think you need another workshop. And probably some therapy. How dare you be so negative.

    I’ll tell you what, Barbara, when you have the kind of credentials that Tim does, then you will maybe possibly have the right to THINK such things let alone say them on a public forum like this. You obviously have a lot of internalized stuff to work though that you would do this. I am so offended.

    Obviously, you’re not doing as well as you claimed you were when you responded to my last comment.

  191. whiteantiracist says:

    By the way, we’ve been meaning to mention this all week but kept not having time:

    We here at White Anti-Racist have The. Best. Advisory. Board. EVER.

    It’s true!

    !!!

  192. Chris Boom says:

    And you know what else, Barbara? You know what else?

    Anything you say about Tim Wise, you say about me. I’m not at his level but I am a White Anti-Racist, mid-Expert class, and let me tell you, Barbara, anything you say about him you say about me. I will not let you insult him as if there is something wrong with him.

    I will not let you isolate him. Do you know that this is a tactic of white supremacy: white person isolates another specific white person and targets him or her. I will not let you do that. We are united, together. We need to support each other, not tear each other down. The fact that you would say such a thing not only about Tim, but — get this, hear this, take this seriously — but also about me too, and my White Anti-Racist friends and colleagues. The fact that you would say this means you are not serious about this work. You’re just playing, Barbara.

    So go ahead, criticize us. Act like you have some right to criticize us. If we don’t need permission from people of color, we sure as HELL don’t need permission from you, Barbara, with your white supremacist tactics of tearing people down.

    I knew when I read your article that you were heading for this. That you were just negative and critical with nothing to offer. I worried about you and I was glad you found this site. But you have insulted me and all of the working, hard-working, white, White Anti-Racists out there. Don’t think you can just say shit about Tim and make him your special target. What you say about him, you say about all of us. And it’s not going to wash.

    This is a real struggle. It’s about liberation. White supremacy dehumanizes us and the White Anti-Racist Identity is our ticket back to trying to appear becoming human. When you say things like what you said about Tim, you are trying to stand in the way of MY liberation and the liberation of all people, including people of color, who struggle to be free. So pardon the hell out of me if I take that personally, Barbara. But I do. I take that very very personally.

    And I’m sorry that I am so angry. Because I know that somewhere in you there is a White Anti-Racist Identity that just wants room to grow and mature. But right now you aren’t serious about the struggle and I only have so time and so much energy to give. So pardon me if I choose to put my energy into the white people who are serious about the struggle, who walk the talk of liberation, who will stand with us and not try to tear us down.

  193. Hedge says:

    Hi,

    Whiteantiracist and Dark Lily:

    Thank you thank you thank you so much for helping me to understand what “accountability to people of color” actually is and how to do it. I am so grateful. This site is a life-saver for me.

    Dark Lily, you’re helping me stay accountable already. If anyone asks me about who I am accountable to I’ll tell them they can contact you. Anytime, day or night, because I know this kind of thing is a top priority for you. And I know I will need to add many other people of color of the type that you describe. I’m just moving out of newbie stage right now so don’t yet have a name or articles or books or an organization just yet. But I am moving to the next stage and I will get started on making an accountability group right away. I will definately want you to be part of it and get others who have your helpful attitude to join.

  194. Hello Dark Lily:

    I’ll convey your message. It turns out that I’m not just a delivery boy. In contrast to you and your relationship with the anti-racist team Dr. Ston’Em and Dr. Nikrowd find that my input is a prime requirement for their decision-making process. I am, of course, going to make my recommendation that they hire a black sister like you.

    Power to the people!

    Michael

  195. Glorius Ston'Em says:

    Dear Ms. Dark Lily:

    Possible legal action? Oh, shyt!

    My name is Dr. Glorius Ston’Em. I am a professor at the Women’s Studies department of Eli University in Old Harbour, Connecticut.

    It has come to my and my colleague, department head, Dr. Andrea Nikrowd’s attention that our FORMER delivery boy committee consultant, Rev. Dr. Michael Fisher, requires you to be of a specific sexual orientation in order to become an assistant professor in our Women’s Studies department.

    We are at loss to explain why Dr. Fisher would adopt this position, though after having consulted with our colleague Erdua Edrol, the eminent black womanist, Ms. Edrol tells us that she suspects that Mr. Fisher has fallen victim to a black macho syndrome that she describes as so prevalent among black males.

    In trying to find an explanation for Mr. Fisher’s behavior we consulted with another expert person of color, the Oprah Winfrey sealed and approved Ms. L’raep Egaelc is this another one of these weird Africanized names? who had this to say about Mr. Fisher, and we are quoting Ms. Egaelc at her express request:

    “If a Black man like Michael Fisher won’t admit that his sexism and male chauvinism and domestic violence is a problem, how can we consider him an ally in the search for creative solutions? We can’t. Not yet. Not until he is willing to redefine his Black male reality to incorporate the equally valid reality of our Black female experiences. Not until he is prepared to recognize his role as an oppressor in the struggle against sexism and see his crimes as no less serious than the crimes committed in defense of racism.

    In view of Ms. Egaelc’s evaluation of the matter, Rev. Dr. Fisher’s appointment at our University is currently under review he can kiss this job good bye by Eli University’s community/faith advisory board which is composed of the most experienced and active of Old Harbour’s black community and church leaders. We’ve got a bunch of coloreds to give us cover, too

    In any case, having reviewed your resume and, in particular your outstanding work with the White Anti-Racist Advisory Committee, we’d like you to come in for an interview guaranteed job offer as soon as you find it convenient.

    Your travel costs will, of course, be covered in full.

    Looking forward to meeting you paying you off, I remain with

    kind Regards,

    Dr. Glorius Ston’Em
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton Professor
    of Women’s Studies
    Eli University,
    Old Harbour, Connecticut

  196. WTF?

    Damn, these lying f****ers. They done threw me under the bus. I hope I ain’t damaged goods now.

    Dear White Anti-Racist team:

    Is that volunteer position on your advisory board still open?

  197. Steph says:

    Does it bother you people at ALL that Our Beloved Expert White-Anti-Racist Tim Wise speaks and acts kind of like a …. well you know, kind of like a psychopath? One of those “charming” successful ones who gets off on how much he can say out loud about what he is to to his marks without said marks getting it?

    When Chris told me about what Barbara Karens said on this site about Tim Wise, I had trouble believing that anyone would say such a terrible thing.

    But there it is.

    Barbara, you are the one who is sick. You have an arrogant narcissistic competitive typically white need to elevate yourself above all others. So you ask “questions” that make someone like Tim Wise look like there is something wrong with him and by extension all of us White Anti-Racists.

    Listen Ms. Karens, if anyone is deceiving and manipulative here, it’s you. You are acting like you are all horrified about this, but you are the one throwing accusations that other people are psychopaths. It must serve some sick crazy need in you to feel superior and judge others. There is no other possible reason you could say such a thing.

    Look, I’ve been around the Anti-Racist Movemement for a while now. Had to do my share of reflection on my own white privilege and the white lens that I carry with me. I’ve had to spend a lot of time using folks of color to assist me in my efforts toward humanizing myself and being the truly best White-Anti-Racist I can be.

    I know the score here. I know that when white people like Barbara Karens do stuff like this, they’re just acting out their own inner pathology. I know it’s easy for us White Anti-Racists to want to help sick people like this. Talk about needing to learn to become human! This woman could use total immersion therapy in Humanity 101. But while we may be both drawn to and repelled by her sickness, we need to stay focused. We need to remember we are part of something. We need to understand that we can’t save everyone.

    Chris, you told it true and I salute you for it. Don’t be sorry you’re angry. Sometimes that is the most authentic appearing response. Stay strong, Chris, you’re doing so much good in the struggle for liberation. Don’t let this horribly deformed person (if we can call her that) take you off track. This is our fight. We can — we MUST — stay strong.

    Stay strong.

  198. Andy says:

    Whiteantiracist, It would be so FREAKING COOL to have Michael Fisher as a member of the Advisory Board. Do it do it do it!

    (I’m working on being more subtle, by the way. I really am)

    *raises fist*

    Power to the people!

  199. Raven says:

    I’m having trouble with the idea of having Michael Fisher on the White Anti-Racist Advisory Board after his recent actions.

    I think I understand the value of having someone who is willing to pose as an Authentic Black Radical Heterosexual Male Who Is Never An Oppressor. I can see that it adds a sort of sharp-edged hipness to the site, and also it provides someone really big and scary for people like Andy to hide behind (once he learns to be more subtle, that is– really, Andy, stop twitching and learn how to be a sophisticated White Anti-Racist type of homophobe, ok?).

    But I can’t help having a problem with something. The thing is, I feel like only white people should be allowed to pre-define “reality” in ways that make us look good. Michael Fisher’s approach — basically saying that any form of oppression he himself hasn’t actually experienced is secondary and defining any non-white person who doesn’t agree as basically a tool of the system — well, it seems to me too much like the kind of self-serving theoretical convenience that should only be available to us white people.

    I think we as white people need to protect our collective access to self-serving theoretical convenience and not allow people who aren’t white to do things like this. There’s only so much non-experience-based-reality-definition “juice” to go around, isn’t there?

    Raven

  200. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michael, Andy, Raven:

    We’ve read your comments about the Advisory Board — thanks for weighing in! We’ll be discussing the issues you raise in a staff meeting sometime this week. We’ll let you know after that.

  201. whiteantiracist says:

    Raven, we got your email with the ALL CAPS SUBJECT LINE and we understand that you’re feeling stress about this and want a response sooner than later. We’ll give it a try.

    You wrote:

    I feel like only white people should be allowed to pre-define “reality” in ways that make us look good. Michael Fisher’s approach — basically saying that any form of oppression he himself hasn’t actually experienced is secondary and defining any non-white person who doesn’t agree as basically a tool of the system — well, it seems to me too much like the kind of self-serving theoretical convenience that should only be available to us white people.

    I think we as white people need to protect our collective access to self-serving theoretical convenience and not allow people who aren’t white to do things like this. There’s only so much non-experience-based-reality-definition “juice” to go around, isn’t there?

    We can sort of understand why you might feel this way. But the answer to your question about the “juice” is — no, that’s not how it works.

    First, let us assure you that Michael engaging in what you call pre-defining “reality” and “self-serving theoretical convenience” would pose no threat whatsoever to white people or white supremacy. Really. So relax about that.

    We know you have an inquisitive mind and as you mentioned in your email, you find blanket reassurances patronizing. So we won’t ask you to take our word for it. We’ll try to explain the details of why we white people have nothing to worry about in this situation.

    Here’s how it works. Engaging in the practice you describe has an implicit contract required of all users: users must relinquish loyalty to the actual landscape and enter The Discourse.

    Picture it like this. The Discourse is like an infinite pool of water with no shallow end and no access to the edges once you’re in. In order to engage in pre-defining “reality” and “self-serving theoretical convenience” a person has to leave solid ground and jump into this pool.

    In the pool, there is a dizzying array of individuals and groups asserting all sorts of things as Truth. Since there is no solid ground to stand on to actually assess and tune that truth toward reality, people can assert pretty much anything — and they do!

    In fact, there is such a variety of assertions of truth in this Discourse Pool that none of them actually have any power of their own. And why would they? Since there is no solid ground, there is no way to really tell what truth is true and what is not. It seems equalized, all relative. Something for everyone.

    In the Discourse Pool, you have to purchase (at a pretty high cost) an ideological flotation device — swimming is fine temporarily but we’re human and we tire. Often you can find at least a few other people to go in on this ideological flotation device with you, and sometimes you can get (or later, expand to) a much larger group.

    This ideological flotation device is what assures you that you/your group is right and others are wrong or misguided. The fact that a few inches or miles over is another group with an equally impressive ideological flotation device asserting that they are right and YOU are wrong or misguided just functions as proof to you that you/your group is so very very right that others just can’t handle the truth you know is true.

    And even as you congratulate yourself about that, others are using you to make the same point about why they and their groups are right because you disagree with them. The Discourse Pool is filled with a dizzying and awe-inspiring variety of this activity.

    People in this Discourse Pool understandably become very very attached to their ideological flotation devices. It’s built into the situation — if you don’t have one, you will drown. In the Discourse Pool, it becomes very important that the ideological flotation device is sound. Any hint that it may not represent The Truth is a threat. All input, all information, becomes proof that you/your group is correct. Contrasting or challenging information does not get through as what it is.

    And although the sheer variety of ideological flotation devices in the Discourse Pool make it appear as if all points of view are equal and relative, in actuality the governing forces for this pool are the dynamics of control that we described in our comment about action/interpretation to Dark Lily.

    When people (including non-white people) relinquish loyalty to the actual landscape (in this metaphor, are no longer standing on solid ground) and transfer their primary loyalty to their ideological flotation device, they are agreeing to be governed by the overarching logics of the Discourse Pool. These logics place white people, collectively, in control … and function at a level far, far deeper than the flotation devices on the surface.

    This situation — of course — benefits us.

    So we on the White Anti-Racist Team would be very happy to have assurance that Michael Fisher has entered the Discourse Pool and is busy attending to the strength and integrity of his ideological flotation device. In fact, this would be an indication that he is well-suited to be on our Advisory Board and help us with our work.

    We hope this helps calm your stress about all this, Raven. You really have nothing to worry about. (Also, ALL CAPS is not necessary. We would have read your email even if the you hadn’t been YELLING IN THE SUBJECT HEADER LIKE THAT.)

  202. Duccena Raacbeer says:

    Memo

    From: Duccena Raacbeer, PhD
    To: White Anti-Racist Team
    Re: Rev. Dr. Michael Fisher
    Classification: Confidential/For white eyes only!

    Just a quick note.

    I’m a bit wary of including Michael Fisher in the discourse. While he is seems to be open to entering the discourse in exchange for status and money, he does not seem absolutely reliable. He may even begin to use logic and ask logical questions.

    We all know where this could lead – The Truth.

    I suggest that while he is already discredited we recruit a number of non-white experts who will demonstrate that he is a militant homophobe, black nationalist sexist, and, above all, overly emotional.

    Direct criticism of Fisher by white anti-racists, however, is not recommended. This task should be left to the carefully vetted colored experts.

    Sincerely,

    Duccena Raacbeer

  203. whiteantiracist says:

    Thank you for your concern, Dr. Raacbeer.

    We suspect that what you are calling “Logic” and “The Truth” here are tied to an ideological flotation device in ways that would undermine any real threat to our work.

    Entering the Discourse Pool we described is its own control mechanism. One of the interesting things about that pool is that many inside it are absolutely convinced that their particular ideological flotation devices will be the mechanism by which the system that built the pool will be destroyed. The specifics vary (see: various varieties of Marxism, radical feminism, etc etc) but the underlying structure and dynamics are the same.

    We do understand that there are contexts and situations in which him doing what you interpret as “using logic and asking logical questions” (possibly leading to “The Truth” ) might be a real annoyance. Anyone who has ever been nice to a Jehovah’s Witness at the door knows what we mean. Although it would not be a real threat, it sure could take up a lot of time.

    We know that in academia, white anti-racists have to at least pretend to ignore the built-in controls of the Discourse Pool. So we are sensitive to your concerns. Certainly if you feel it is necessary, you could join forces with Dr. Ston’Em and his colleagues to take the actions you describe including the carefully vetted non-white experts, and we would applaud you for doing what you need to do. Perhaps you could also ask Dr. Frances Toddsteps to help you locate a radical white anti-racist heterosexual male academic to play the good cop be part of the process. (Obviously, Andy is not available for this role, as he is neither sufficiently subtle nor an academic).

    We feel that Michael would not be asking to join our Advisory Board if he hadn’t paid attention to what we’re doing here and things like our comments policy. Also, he has contributed a great deal of insightful content to this site under various names including but not limited to his own and we appreciate much of what he has brought to the work here.

    However, we are still waiting for our staff meeting to make the final decision.

  204. Frances Toddsteps, PhD says:

    Dr. Raacbeer,

    I have a Marxist heterosexual white male colleague who I think might be really interested in the good cop role helping you, Dr. Ston’Em and others in your plans. This colleague of mine is very interested in helping radical Black heterosexual men understand that class, not race, is the primary oppression. Due to the structural similarities of the two ideological flotation devices, he has found that he can get quite friendly with radical Black heterosexual men by initially appearing to support their concerns, leaving a sometimes significant stretch of time before they realize he is actually trying to convert them. While he is not a white-anti-racist, he is happy to pretend to be one in service to The Revolution.

    Feel free to email me at francesttoddsteps@PeeU.eduh if you want me to put you in touch with him.

  205. Duccena Raacbeer says:

    Dear White Anti-Racist Team:

    When I speak of “The Truth” I am referring to the reality that exists outside of the Discourse Pool. Namely the truth that white supremacy exists and that all of our “white anti-racist” efforts are, on balance, geared to protecting and preserving white supremacy by making sure that everyone is engaged in the Discourse rather than actually doing anything to abolish the system. We can not have non-whites come to this realization en masse. Such an occurrence would seriously undermine our ability to define and control any discourse whatsoever.

    I again say, you should be wary of a non-white like Michael Fisher. He may just turn on us. Especially since you are saying that the sneaky bastard posted under various names aside his of own he has shown in the past that he was able to reject your generous offer to join the white anti-racist Advisory Board. It does not bode well when a non-white rejects the overtures of a white in general and particularly that of a good and humane white anti-racist.

    Dear Dr. Toddsteps:

    Thank you very much. However, I do not have thank God! any dealings with the Rev. Dr. Michael Fisher. I have enough on my plate with irritating non-whites at our university. I had only conveyed my misgivings as a fellow white anti-racist professional to the white anti-racist team. I would think that this matter would be of more urgent concern to Dr. Ston’Em. I suggest you contact him at Eli University. Having previously dealt with Dr. Ston’Em professionally, I am sure he would welcome your colleague’s assistance.

  206. whiteantiracist says:

    Dear Dr. Raacbeer,

    You wrote:

    When I speak of “The Truth” I am referring to the reality that exists outside of the Discourse Pool. Namely the truth that white supremacy exists and that all of our “white anti-racist” efforts are, on balance, geared to protecting and preserving white supremacy by making sure that everyone is engaged in the Discourse rather than actually doing anything to abolish the system. We can not have non-whites come to this realization en masse. Such an occurrence would seriously undermine our ability to define and control any discourse whatsoever.

    You make an excellent point. Thank you for clarifying. We and the entire white anti-racist field agree that white supremacy exists — if we did not say this, we could not act as if we were fighting it.

    As we have said on this site from its inception, the “white anti-racist” identity and efforts are designed to preserve white supremacy while making it appear like we are good people who are fighting it. Obviously the only place we could reasonably do that is the Discourse Pool.

    We are avid fans of the Discourse Pool and would certainly appreciate everyone’s assistance in staying engaged in it and oriented that way — and not toward the actual landscape, since it exists with no interest in or concern for what anyone simply wants (and/or wants others) to believe.

    We have found that one of the most notable (and, to those in The Discourse, threatening) things about the actual landscape is that it speaks through the doing.

    You wrote:

    I again say, you should be wary of a non-white like Michael Fisher. He may just turn on us. Especially since you are saying that the sneaky bastard posted under various names aside his of own he has shown in the past that he was able to reject your generous offer to join the white anti-racist Advisory Board. It does not bode well when a non-white rejects the overtures of a white in general and particularly that of a good and humane white anti-racist.

    We hear your concerns, Dr. Raacbeer, but we are also aware that he has nonetheless remained engaged in our discussions here, and that he did recently post a comment here that said:

    WTF?

    Damn, these lying f****ers. They done threw me under the bus. I hope I ain’t damaged goods now.

    Dear White Anti-Racist team:

    Is that volunteer position on your advisory board still open?

    As far as we can see, the action of his that you mention is only part of what has occurred.

  207. whiteantiracist says:

    We have an announcement! We just finished our staff meeting (with special guest Jannie Sue — how wonderful that you could join us and thank you so very much for your participation and help in clarifying the issues we talked about).

    We were interested to to read Michael Fisher’s recently expressed interest in our Advisory Board. We hope everyone will join us in welcoming him as our newest Advisory Board member.

    We’ve updated our Advisory Board Page to reflect this new development. Thanks to everyone for your input.

  208. Glorius Ston'Em says:

    Dear Dr. Toddsteps:

    With regard to your Marxist colleague. Yes, I would be very much interested in his assistance.

    Please have him contact me without delay at stonem@eli.eduh.

    Thank you.

    Glorius B. Ston’Em, PhD
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton Professor
    of Women’s Studies
    Eli University,
    Old Harbour, Connecticut

  209. dark lily says:

    dear michael and white antiracist,

    congratulations! it is so great that you are going to join the advisory board.

    you know ive been thinking: this little website is a micro-liberated zone. i definitely am starting to feel the freedom!

    actually, anywhere that there are atleast one white antiracist and one (desperate) person of color, there is a micro-liberated zone. so the another great benefit of being a white antiracist is that any poc you are around is instantaneously liberated by your very presence. its like just by being white (antiracist) you are saving poc from your racism. incredible.

    michael, can you feel the freedom too!

    you will be able to provide all the militant criticism and posturing that your heart desires, and the white antiracists will look even better than before because they are willing to listen to you. you know how radical it is when white folks listen to poc.

    you will be like that (angry) black guy hanging on to the flotation device going: man, this sucks! and everyone will nod their heads (as if they are agreeing), while all of you continue to cling to the device and keep on floating.

    or like you are sitting in the backseat of a car, going: hey maybe we should look at the landscape, and the driver saying, yep, wouldnt it be great if we looked at the landscape, as he keeps on driving following his (white antiracist) gps, glancing out the window for a second (to show that he is listening), says something like: that landscape is really complicated… and then keeps on follwing his (white antiracist) gps.

    whateva vehicle you are in doesnt it feel great to be (micro) liberated?

    but i was thinking that white antiracists love to read stuff by other white antiracists. so maybe we could start a reading list. sort of a who’s who of expert white antiracists.

    tim wise, chris crass, that unpacking the knapsack chick, and that macon d fellow, and many more. all of them add so much to the discourse and should be honored.

    anyways,

    i just wanted to welcome michael. and say thank you to white antiracists. just by being white and willing to listen to poc like me and michael is proving what good white folks you guys are.

  210. Dear White Anti-Racist:

    I am gratified that you welcomed me to your Advisory Board. I am looking forward to working with you.

    When is the first meeting?

    Michael Fisher, ThD. PhD. MD. JD.

  211. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Michael,

    We hadn’t really thought we would need Advisory Board meetings per se (unless/until we get to the point where it would help our image to say “And of course our Advisory Board meets regularly”). Though feel free (even micro-liberated!) to check with our founding Advisory Board member, Dark Lily, to see if she has been holding or wants to hold such meetings now. The more energy you all put into making us look like we care about your well-being and are listening to you, the better, in our view.

  212. whiteantiracist says:

    Hey Dark Lily,

    Yes. Exactly. We understand you, showing through our rhetoric actions that there are white people who “really get it.” This site is in fact a micro-liberated zone! Trust us. Though of course we would understand if you didn’t trust us since if we were you, we wouldn’t trust us, but can’t you see how us SAYING that is actually evidence that you can and should trust us?

    Speaking of trustworthy white people who would probably acknowledge that maybe you shouldn’t trust us except that really you should because of all the things we say and how we pretend to listen, you wrote:

    but i was thinking that white antiracists love to read stuff by other white antiracists. so maybe we could start a reading list. sort of a who’s who of expert white antiracists.

    tim wise, chris crass, that unpacking the knapsack chick, and that macon d fellow, and many more. all of them add so much to the discourse and should be honored.

    What an excellent idea! Off the top of our heads, one you missed is Robert Jensen.

    We don’t have any time today, but we’ll think about maybe adding a page to the site for this project. Names, links to online work, links to discussions here in the comments etc. We could start with the ones we have discussed so far in the comments, and go on from there adding as things come up. Anyone who has additions can send them in as comments.

    And remember — you can trust us, even though if we were you we would not trust us, but us saying that shows you can.

  213. Barbara Karens says:

    Okay, as you know from our emails, I’m not too happy with this site right now and don’t really want to get into any sort of discussions with you or your readers at this point.

    But I do want to thank you for the recent information you posted on the Advisory Board page. Now that I think of it, there has been a sort of weird blurry “Hall of Mirrors” WTF is this actually about? kind of vibe going on lately that I didn’t quite understand. But the situation makes a lot more sense to me now.

    I come to this site because it focuses on scrutinizing supporting and promoting white anti-racist deception by white people. If people who are not white want to publicly criticize each other and have (real and imagined) white people criticize them as a primary focus, I personally think they should get their own site to do it and not try to do it here.

    And I still think Tim Wise acts like a … oh never freaking mind.

  214. Barbara, the site focuses on scrutinizing supporting and promoting white anti-racist deception by white people of who?

  215. Trixie Wonderbread says:

    Barbara. I’m still young and perhaps I’m naive. But I’d like to know. Since this site is about supporting and promoting white anti-racist deception, what makes you think that any of the information posted on the Advisory Board page is not a lie?

  216. dark lily says:

    dear white antiracist,

    i know that people have criticized barbara for not being white antiracist enough. but from her last post i can tell that your workshops and advice has been doing wonders.

    “If people who are not white want to publicly criticize each other and have (real and imagined) white people criticize them as a primary focus, I personally think they should get their own site to do it and not try to do it here.”

    exactly.

    how brilliant of her to reign in the discussion and re-establish the centrality of white antiracist folks and focus in this discourse.

    i hope that other white folks on this site, are able to see, that even though she criticizes white antiracists, she is clinging to the flotation device as much as michael is.

    white folks, dont worry, nothing can destroy the discourse.

    float on. float on.

  217. Barbara Karens says:

    Trixie: it’s the IP addresses thing that convinced me. I got to see them and it seemed to me like the info you are asking about is true. It could be a coincidence, but seems unlikely to me.

    Michael Fisher: Of whoever’s words are actually published on this site, would be my guess.

    Dark Lily: I am so glad you think those workshops I have been in are working and showing their value in how I participate here.

  218. whiteantiracist says:

    We are posting this comment in two places: here and inserted at the start of the comments section.

    Note from the site administrators on sources for comments on this page:

    The comments on this site/page have two phases. In the first phase (June 20, 2007-May 28, 2008), all published comments here come from the site administrators and/or someone we know personally off-line, often playing roles/characters. The only exception is a comment by someone with the screen name Sappho who we do not know.

    In the second phase (May 29, 2008 onward), the site began to receive and publish comments from outside the original project as well. These are comments from tilly, jwbe, Nquest2xl, Restructure!, Dark Lily, Hakeema, Michael Fisher, Trixie Wonderbread, Duccena Raacbeer, Glorius Ston’Em and Lawrence Jackson.

    With tilly’s one-time comment as the possible exception (we don’t know), all other of these comments came from people with online presence elsewhere as well. Michael Fisher has contributed to this comments section with his own name, and also with the names/characters Trixie Wonderbread, Duccena Raacbeer, Glorius Ston’Em, and and Lawrence Jackson.

    Additional note: the sentence above (minus the Lawrence Jackson name/character, who came later) was initially posted on the Advisory Board page until we moved it here to the comments. This is the info that Barbara Karens IP addresses comment and Trixie Wonderbread’s question refer to.

  219. I am pleased to announce that we have been able to obtain substantial funding from the Alliance of Academic White Anti-Racists at the University of Arizona in Tuscon and have opened up our non-white White Anti-Racist Advisory Board website. Advisory Board members will be notified of our inaugural meeting shortly both here and on the Advisory Board site.

    Let’s get to work!

  220. whiteantiracist says:

    Michael — thank you.

    We just put an announcement about the site at the top of our front/Welcome page to direct people there, and added a blogroll on the front page too.

    We can link the site on whatever other of our pages here you would like us to link it from. (For example, we could link it at the top of our comments page, comments policy page, etc etc).

    In fact, depending on what you have in mind for this, maybe we should consider closing the comments over here and directing people who find this site to post their comments at yours. Please let us know if that would work for what you have in mind.

    And we just put the announcement and link with your name on the Advisory Board Page right now, too. If you would like us to link it closer to the top of that page, let us know and we’ll change it. (edit: actually we just put it near the top also)

  221. whiteantiracist says:

    Also, Michael: If you are interested in getting randomly-generated traffic to the new site

    When you posted the “Ultimate White Anti-Racist Site” entry on your other blog that linked to here, we got traffic from it — still are, actually — that we think included people who were searching on google for white anti-racist and went to your site first then came here (we could be wrong).

    Anyway, if that is true, you might get people coming to the new site from a similar strategy of posting about it at your blog under the same/a similar title that would come up in a google search.

  222. The comment section at the Advisory Board is solely for Advisory board business and issues. As such it is ancillary to what is going on over here. Thus it would make no sense whatsoever to close down the white anti-racist comment section. It is our (non-white advisers’ ) life blood, so to say.

    As to the traffic, there is very little search engine (key word “white anti-racist” or “anti-racist” ) traffic that results in people ending up at the Assault. Thus I guess it is our usual readers who show up here on white anti-racist. The Assault on the average gets about 15,000 hits per month. Sometimes more, sometimes less. It used to get about 20,000 on the average when we were more active.

  223. Chris Boom says:

    Dark Lily wrote:

    i know that people have criticized barbara for not being white antiracist enough. but from her last post i can tell that your workshops and advice has been doing wonders.

    “If people who are not white want to publicly criticize each other and have (real and imagined) white people criticize them as a primary focus, I personally think they should get their own site to do it and not try to do it here.”

    exactly.

    how brilliant of her to reign in the discussion and re-establish the centrality of white antiracist folks and focus in this discourse.

    i hope that other white folks on this site, are able to see, that even though she criticizes white antiracists, she is clinging to the flotation device as much as michael is.

    white folks, dont worry, nothing can destroy the discourse.

    float on. float on.

    Barbara, I’m very happy to know that you are actually doing so well in helping the White Anti-Racist project.

    How you do this is a little different from what I am used to, and I didn’t understand it at first. Maybe it’s a new mutation that is even better than what we have going on as White Anti-Racists, or maybe it’s just a different kind of White Anti-Racist than I usually work with.

    Whatever it is, Dark Lily points out that you are actually doing the work of reign[ing] in the discussion and re-establish[ing] the centrality of white antiracist folks and focus in this discourse. That’s so important.

    I see that I was wrong to be so harsh toward you, and wrong to suggest that we are on opposing sides of the struggle. We’re not, and I apologize.

  224. whiteantiracist says:

    Chris Boom,

    We’ve known all along that Barbara is with us in The Discourse Pool and helping to preserve white control of the terms. Where else would she be, after all?

    We saw that you and Steph were upset. As we pointed out, we expect much better of Barbara than that comment she made that got you so upset. We decided not to say anything because we saw that you and Steph really needed to vent. But we were never concerned about whether or not Barbara was with us, and you — and yes, even Mr. Tim Wise when it comes right down to it.

    We’re so glad Barbara found a way to reassure you of this herself. We think it’s much better for your stress level if you don’t have to just believe us without seeing it for yourself.

    And speaking of that — Barbara, that comment of yours that Dark Lily quoted and responded to was very well done!

  225. Barbara Karens says:

    Whiteantiracist, Chris and Dark Lily, I am incredibly grateful for your comments about what I wrote.

    And to the whiteantiracist team in particular:

    Your strong, persistent and unshakable faith in me and my capacity to make good contributions means so much to me.

    It’s true what you say:

    … Barbara is with us in The Discourse Pool and helping to preserve white control of the terms. Where else would she be, after all?

    … we were never concerned about whether or not Barbara was with us, and you — and yes, even Mr. Tim Wise when it comes right down to it.

    It’s true. But I doubt myself sometimes. I admit it, I do.

    But whiteantiracist team, you have never wavered in your faith in me. You’ve pushed me sometimes, but I know that underneath you have always been rock solid in your shared knowledge of what I am actually doing. You have been there for me, time and time again, when I’ve doubted myself. Sometimes it even feels like you’ve saved my life … which of course isn’t actually true, but that’s how deep my gratitude goes, you know?

    I am just so unbelievably filled with gratitude toward you and all the wonderful people on this site, for helping me to increase my confidence in myself and my ability to function and make real contributions to our shared project. Thank you all so much.

  226. whiteantiracist says:

    Barbara!

    What a beautiful comment!

    This is why we do what we do. This is what makes our work, and this site, so worthwhile.

    We’re appreciative that people, like the members of our Advisory Board and others, have decided to contribute to this site.

    From the very beginning, we’ve had faith that our own website — filled as it is with so many “satirically” supportive words about “white anti-racism” (of all things!!) coming from multiple personas and screen names in a virtual world — would be a good use of our own time and energy. And it kind of makes sense to us that such a project might not seem utterly and completely pointless to other people, given the context we all live in. All the same, we didn’t expect that people we didn’t know would come along and actually contribute (let alone so substantially!) along with us. But they have, expending some of their actual life energy on this endeavor.

    And now, Barbara, to see you have this breakthrough — this is so amazing.

    And to think we might have gone with a site about New Age Spirituality and Reality Creation. Please. No contest.

    Our hearts are just so full right now.

  227. Lawrence Jackson says:

    Dear White Anti-Racist Team:

    I am a representative of the Colored People United for Justice.

    Our sole goal is to obtain Justice by helping to bring an end to the System of White Supremacy.
    This System is based on the systematic mistreatment of Non-White (also known as People of Color) people in order to obtain what is known in white anti-racist circles as white privilege.

    In order to obtain justice it is the duty of every white person, and in particular every white anti-racist person, to stop mistreating non-white people by enjoying white privilege.

    We therefore request, no, demand, of each one of the White Anti-Racist Team members that they review all of their achievements, be they material, intellectual (such as academic degrees), and cultural, assess whether these were achieved due to their white privilege, and turn them over to such non-whites who, due to the mistreatment based on their status of non-whites (which resulted in your white privilege), are in need of help the most.

    We, the Colored People United For Justice, will

    (1) assign a team of three non-whites per white anti-racist team member in order to monitor the team member’s assessment of any and all achievements unjustly obtained due to the enjoyment of white privilege. Each white anti-racist team member will fully cooperate with the colored persons assigned to him or her.

    (2) identify the non-white people for you who are in need of help the most and will monitor your turning over the fruits of your mistreatment of colored people (white privilege) to these particular non-whites.

    We further request, no, demand, that you identify any and all white people who actively practice the maintenance and expansion of the system of white supremacy and prevent them from continuing to do so by whatever means you deem necessary.

    Sincerely,

    Larry Jackson,
    Colored People United For Justice

  228. whiteantiracist says:

    Hi Larry,

    If this was what we were willing to do — we would have done it already and not wasted time talking about white supremacy and white anti-racism on the internet and elsewhere.

    We therefore request, no, demand, of each one of the White Anti-Racist Team members that they review all of their achievements, be they material, intellectual (such as academic degrees), and cultural, assess whether these were achieved due to their white privilege, and turn them over to such non-whites who, due to the mistreatment based on their status of non-whites (which resulted in your white privilege), are in need of help the most.

    White anti-racists may sometimes, if it serves us to do this, review all of [our] achievements, be they material, intellectual (such as academic degrees), and cultural, assess whether these were achieved due to their white privilege … but as you may have already noticed we don’t actually turn them over to such non-whites who, due to the mistreatment based on their status of non-whites (which resulted in your white privilege), are in need of help the most.

    The choice to function as white in this system precludes that second part. Observant white people such as ourselves are quite aware that what we live in is literally and otherwise built on mistreatment of non-white people. This is a system of violence. White individuals such as we on the white anti-racist team make deals with this system: in return for its protection against its own mistreatment, we agree to be its active agents.

    We on the white anti-racist team are far too afraid of being mistreated by this system to give up its protection from itself while we are alive in it. We see what it does to people who don’t have its protection. White anti-racism gives us cover for this stark reality.

    As White Anti-Racists, we are rhetorically transformed into the image of good people who really want to end white supremacy, really we do, all we need is the right argument, framework and/or internet interaction to help us do the right thing. We can be rhetorically transformed into good people who want Justice too, in spite of our actions. We can even seem to “use” our protection that comes directly from the mistreatment of other beings (non-white people/people of color) to appear to “fight” the thing that mistreats them. We can appear extremely anguished about all of this. We can say that our humanity is lost and we want to get it back and all we need is the right words to convince us.

    But actually give up the protection granted to us by the very system that can harm us if we did so? Give up our deals? Nope.

  229. Raven says:

    We on the white anti-racist team are far too afraid of being mistreated by this system to give up its protection from itself while we are alive in it. We see what it does to people who don’t have its protection.

    So are you saying that maybe we need to have workshops for white people to help us face the fear and overcome it so we can do what Lawrence Jackson is suggesting?

    Raven

  230. whiteantiracist says:

    Raven, what a great idea! Fear is an emotion and we all know that the way to deal with problematic emotions is to have therapy. Therapy-based White Privilege “Freedom From Fear” workshops would be great for this.

    We could spin those workshops out for quite some time, showing that we are “working on overcoming our fear.” Any time someone like Lawrence Jackson came along to make demands along the lines he is making them here, we could say: “We’re working on overcoming our fear” and ask that person to please wait until we have worked through it some more and ask again later. We could keep stringing people along and have them extremely interested in and focused on us and our process. Are we finally ready? Are we on the verge of agreeing to their demands? Maybe, just maybe … maybe this time. We’re working on it.

    We could even give up one or more particular pieces of our white-privilege protection to make a show of it (look, we can change!) but do this knowing that the other parts, and the overall deal we’ve made, are intact. The key with this approach is, try to keep the focus on the imagined future rather than the actual present. Try to keep the focus on how we can change, and how we’re working on it and are just so anguished about the whole thing.

  231. Duccena Raacbeer says:

    Dear White Anti-Racist Team:

    Just came by to check out how you guys are doing.

    And what do I see?

    Wow!

    When I read Larry Jackson’s request/demand I thought it would be really difficult for me to handle such a thing, as it comes straight from outside The Discourse. Really. How would I handle this without damaging my image as a good white person? I just couldn’t think of anything. And I’m a professor!!!

    But your reply is just pure genius:

    This is a system of violence. White individuals such as we on the white anti-racist team make deals with this system: in return for its protection against its own mistreatment, we agree to be its active agents.

    We on the white anti-racist team are far too afraid of being mistreated by this system to give up its protection from itself while we are alive in it. We see what it does to people who don’t have its protection. White anti-racism gives us cover for this stark reality.

    While this reply damages our good white people image a bit by making us look like cowards, it essentially does it’s job. We still look like good white people, only fearful ones. And the best thing about it is that we look like victims of “the system”, too! Just like non-whites!

    Again wow!

    Plus you got right back on track to The Discourse. Since the system is “The System” and not us roflmao, Larry has now been baited to focus on “the System” and not us. If Larry takes the bait we can have an endless discussion with Larry about which ideological flotation device (Marxism, Anarchism, etc.) is the best to “fight the system”.

    On top of that now it becomes “Courageous Larry’s” job to wean us away from “The Fear of The System” and help us to become genuinely good white people.

    As I said. You guys are geniuses!

    I can’t wait to apply this with my own colored people here at the University of the Founder.

  232. Raven says:

    White Privilege Conference – can you help?

    My collective (9 people) wants to go to the 10th annual White Privilege Conference April 1 – 4, 2009, and are collecting funds so we can do that. We’d like to ask if any of your readers are willing to chip in?

    Here’s the link to the 10th annual White Privilege Conference homepage

    Here’s the link to the registration form that if you scroll down far enough has registration costs

    What we need

    We want to go as a group only and don’t have enough money yet to register, so we missed out on the early deadline discounts. So here is what we need:

    Conference Registration (non-early-discount)

    3 @ college student rate of $200 = $600
    2 @ non-profit staff rate of $220 = $440
    4 @ individual rate of $330 = $1320

    Total conference registration = $2360)

    Group discount @ 5% = -$118

    Total Registration fee: = $2478

    PLUS: Hotel (conference discount at Memphis Hilton!)

    2 rms/2 nights @ $115 per rm/night = $460

    TOTAL BASIC CONFERENCE ATTENDENCE = $2938

    We have other expenses (travel, food, time off from work, child care, etc) covered already.

    Oh! And!

    We would also like to attend one of the Wednesday pre-conference Institutes; that has an extra charge, but look at the kinds of institutes we could attend (all of them are listed on the registration form, these are just a couple of examples):

    3. White on White: Communicating about Race and White Privilege Using Critical Humility – an Experiential Workshop
    Presenter: European American Collaborative Challenging Whiteness – Level: Intermediate-Advanced Description: Are you looking for an inviting place as a white activist to be challenged — and to be supported — in honing your communication skills with other white folks? Especially about white privilege and racism? We’ll spend the day using experiential processes to practice what we call critical humility: a way of communicating with confidence while remembering that what we know is always evolving, and there is a lot we don’t know. It’s a reflective process that encourages learning and involves openness as well. Focused on taking action, critical humility can be applied both personally and institutionally. In small groups we will use simultaneous role-play, a process that gives everyone the opportunity to engage emotionally, which boosts our learning. In whole group discussions, we’ll try to discover gaps between our values and our actions, our talk and our walk.

    or for another example:

    9. Growing Good White Folks: Strategies for Personal and Professional Transformation
    Presenter: Gary Howard – Level: All Levels Description: The healing work of dismantling White dominance must be engaged both from the inside-out and from the outside-in. This means White folks and People of Color together taking responsibility to authentically engage our White colleagues in the journey toward personal, professional, and political transformation. How do we best do this in our institutions in a way that avoids the divisive rhetoric of shame and blame and the paternalistic posturing of victimhood and entitlement? In this highly interactive pre-conference institute we will share our best practices and our doubts, fears, and questions about this work. Gary Howard will also share a 5-phase model that guides his systemic work with White professionals, and he will demonstrate several engagement strategies that participants can use for facilitating social change workshops and conversations in their own settings.

    So a Wednesday institute attendence would be an extra cost of:

    3 @ college student $60 rate = $180
    2 @ non-profit staff $80 rate = $160
    4 @ individual $125 rate = $500

    For additional amount of = $840

    Which brings the total amount needed to:

    TOTAL FOR CONFERENCE AND ONE INSTITUTE EACH = $3778

    Can anyone here chip in?

    If you can help: please send an email to me at ravenravenravenwpc10@gmahoomail.com for how to get money to us.

    Thanks in advance!

    Raven.

  233. whiteantiracist says:

    Raven,

    If we have a full house at our workshop next weekend (which we think we will), we’ll be able to contribute $100 to this effort. we hope our readers will be able to pitch in as well. We think it’s a great idea for your collective to go as a group!

  234. Tess says:

    I’m a friend of Jannie Sue and this is a great site.

    I mentioned something great I just saw on a livejournal community you recommended to Jannie when she first came over here — debunkingwhite — and she said I should come over here and recommend it.

    I’m pretty new to all of this and I don’t have a livejournal account, but I still think this online community is really a great example of white-anti-racism. I read it regularly. And today there is this post by one of the white moderators that made a big huge light bulb go on over my head about how to be a really great white anti-racist. It said

    “Thirdly, many thanks to those of you who have promptly acknowledged your errors when called on them. Please don`t be discouraged or feel like you aren`t supposed to ever fuck up. This community is pretty much specifically designed for white people to fuck up, get called on it, and figure out how to reduce future fuck-ups.”

    I love love love this! I mean! It’s just so …!

    Okay, too excited to think enough to write, let me take a breath.

    Um, that is so good and lets see if I can say why.

    It’s like a therapy thing.

    Like when you are the abuser in a relationship — not that I will admit I have been, you know, but anyway — and you can keep promising that if you would just get corrected when you do it, you will learn how not to do violence fuck up.

    Like therapy. It’s a process. An ongoing process. You can say: “I will always do violence fuck up but I am trying. And if my violent acts fuck-ups can get tracked and called out then I promise I will learn. Really! I can change!”

    And not that I know about this but the thing about that is that there is really no end to the permutations of violence fuck-up.

    So the product you are selling is not a reduction in volume or intensity of actual violence fuck up (though definately it’s good to claim that is what it is). It’s really about ritualized behaviors that make it look like there is a change.

    Like you get to appear like you’re changing but retain control by the sheer volume and variation of the violence fuck-ups. Violence fuck-ups are to be celebrated because admitting you did that and not doing that particular thing again shows that you are changing and trying. And then you can just do other things and get called on them, and keep your credibility.

    And multiply this by how many white people are involved in the anti-racist work and we really never have to do anything about white supremacy that would actually threaten it. But we look so good! We’re in process. We are fucking up and learning not to do that very specific particular kind of violence among near endless kinds of violence we can do fuck up like that again.

    I’m not saying this just right, maybe, but this is just so amazing I can’t think straight. It makes me so glad to be a white anti-racist.

  235. whiteantiracist says:

    Tess, we think you are saying it just right.

    The fuck-up tactic you describe is effective across the spectrum of white anti-racist identity. If you haven’t read this comment yet, we recommend it. It was in response to a discussion that started here.

    We would also like to commend the moderator for the rest of the paragraph that you didn’t quote. Here’s the full paragraph:

    Thirdly, many thanks to those of you who have promptly acknowledged your errors when called on them. Please don`t be discouraged or feel like you aren`t supposed to ever fuck up. This community is pretty much specifically designed for white people to fuck up, get called on it, and figure out how to reduce future fuck-ups. The goal here is emphatically not to make yourself feel like the special white person! I mean, duh. We`re here to hold ourselves and each other accountable. There is no special white person. You don`t get to accumulate cookies or magical phrases or orthodox anti-racist points of view until one day you aren`t white anymore. That isn`t how it works. So yes – humility, self-interrogation, and thoughtful participation, all with the constant priority of debunking your own whiteness and privilege. (formatting from original)

    One of the best parts of this particular white anti-racist tactic is that it uses one kind of deception approach (what you described, Tess) to cover up another kind of deception approach.

    Study this carefully, readers. It is truly excellent White Anti-Racist practice.

    And as we have implied before, we do recommend debunkingwhite as a great online source for White Anti-Racist identity and discourse.

  236. Hedge says:

    Hi,

    About this:

    The fuck-up tactic you describe is effective across the spectrum of white anti-racist identity.

    I’m confused. I understand why it’s good for new white anti-racists to be able to fuck up.

    Once you’re an expert, though, wouldn’t fucking up undermine your authority?

    I know you’ll have a good answer so I won’t worry too much. I’ll keep checking back for your answer.

  237. whiteantiracist says:

    Hedge, good to hear from you again.

    “Fucking up” might normally pose a threat to a person’s authority in this society — but not in this case.

    It’s all in the framing of what’s going on.

    By framing any too-visible acts of white supremacy as “fuck ups” or “mistakes,” or “screw ups” (etc), a White Anti-Racist anywhere in the hierarchy acts to protect the Good White Person image that is such a core feature of the White Anti-Racist identity.

    This framing says that any violence we do is a deviation from our real intentions. It says that our real intentions are to act against white supremacy, and that any of our actions that promote it are mistakes (deviations) from what we really mean and want to do. Since we are the experts in what we mean and want to do, no one can say otherwise.

    It also makes us easy to sympathize with. Everyone makes mistakes, right? Anyone can relate to that. No one is perfect. So when we deviate from what we claim is our intent, we can retain our Good White Person image because it is a mistake rather than a regular practice. And as a deviation from our intentions, it can be corrected. And from there, the dynamics described so well by Tess come into play.

    We hope that helps, Hedge. Glad to know you decided not to worry too much!

  238. Alexander Augustus Dominic von Huten Ralphael Hythlodaeus Kim says:

    Dear White Anti-Racist,

    Thank you so very much for helping us oppressed peoples of colour rise up and achieve success within the Anglo-Dutch-Judaeo–Christian neo-contemporary sociocultural economic framework so commonly postulated as ideal and eutopic (that’s not a typo) by the plethora of Western philosophers from the days of Plato’s Republic to the post-modernist icons of the Enlightenment Era.

    With fervent White Anti-Racists such as yourselves, I am sure my six years of undergraduate studies in Philosophy, Psychology, and Anthropology at the School of Western Studies, University of Sarnia will certainly not be hindered by this “glass ceiling” I’ve been hearing so much about from what I can only presume to be Jealous and Bitter pocs among the Asian Pacific Islander community.

    I would be delighted to serve on the prestigious Board of Advisors. Need not worry about any significant criticism as to obtain any credibility for the publication of my thesis paper titled “Multicultural Integration in North America: Developing a Sense of National Unity vis a vis the Proliferation of Progressive Values and Principles Based on the Fundamental Foundations of Democratic Doctrine”, it is an unspoken requisite that I co-author with a credible, well spoken, White (preferably) male academic; irrespective of my capacity to properly apply abstruse articles of nomenclature in a pedagogical setting.

    I look forward to a well-written preface for my (never to published) thesis paper; quid pro quo, I would be happy to lend my six years of overpriced and undervalued undergraduate studies as a sign of my gratitude.

    Yours sincerely,

    Alexander Augustus Dominic von Huten Ralphael Hythlodaeus Kim

    p.s. there is absolutely no pressure from the aforementioned Anglo-Dutch-Judaeo–Christian neo-contemporary sociocultural economic framework to conform and/or to try and subtly remove any aspect of API-ness within the superego-ego-id structure of my mind

  239. Mike Jones says:

    Bunch of racist white’s under a Anti racist musk, doesnt take a master mind to notice just would like to express why we have these’s problem’s its because of are pride and arrogance, we white people need to understand and get over the fact we are no different to any other human nor better or privileged. Once you get over that its simple from there really so the best lesson you can learn is FUCK the pride and FUCK the privilege and get on with your life and stop deluding your self, if any one feel’s im a traitor of some such please feel free to ask me any question’s and if this post never get’s posted then shame on the host
    now bye bye for now.

    • whiteantiracist says:

      Hello Mike,

      Welcome! For the most part, we love your approach. Your outrage comes very close to ringing true, which is always an asset to the cause. The all caps FUCK, used twice with such sincerity, is a particularly nice touch. As is your subtle and indirect claiming of the title traitor – way to show you’re down for the cause without going overboard and invoking John Brown too early in the game. Great work.

      We do have one little area of ambivalence about your comment. We just got out of a staff meeting where we argued yelled and screamed and brought up unrelated old hurts from the past discussed at length whether your difficulty with apostrophes gives more sincerity to your message or detracts from the writing. While we were unable to come to consensus on this matter, we wanted to let you know that we did discuss it.

      Overall, we want to thank you for being such a wonderful a role model for the Outraged White Guy Race Traitor subgenre of the White Anti-Racist project.

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