(to read original letter and comments: http://www.anarchistnews.org/?q=node/8785)
To the people who have discredited KW for being angry, accused them of whining, assumed they hate all white people, or all-knowingly said that KW should have expressed their points in a different way:Understand that for thousands of years us white people have created and upheld a system of white supremacy—of slavery and dominance over people of color. Justifications for this system include that white people are smarter and know better than people of color, and that people of color are lazy, angry, and unintelligent.
Today, you call yourselves anarchists, but you are upholding that system. By discrediting a persyn of color for being too angry in their tone or implying that they are whining, you are criticizing them for their reaction to thousands of years of colonization, slavery, rape, and dominance perpetrated by your white ancestors and, however unknowingly or “passively”, you. By saying that they could have expressed their message in a different way, you are implying that you, as a white person, could have done a better job of expressing a persyn of color’s outrage at white supremacist practices. By saying (unfoundedly) that KW hates all white people, you are failing to listen. You are making the white supremacist assumption that they are simple-minded and pointlessly angry in your refusal to be self-critical.
As part of colonization, white people criminalized the languages of people of color, forcing our white, European languages, words, and ideas down their throats. Today, in the corporate media and daily life, white people discredit people of color’s voices by calling them angry and whiny—which happens to fit like a puzzle piece into the white supremacist stereotypes (dumb, lazy, aggressive) white people have invented for them. Understand that your comments continue this criminalization of people of color’s voices and colonization.
If you, as a white anarchist, earnestly want to overturn white supremacy and all systems of oppression that connected with it, you need to take some time to listen. You must be willing to call yourself and others out publicly for white supremacist shit. You need to be responsive, not defensive, when you are called out. Race is a social construct! So being a race traitor to white supremacy doesn’t mean self-hate. You need to get past white guilt and be self-critical, because “I’m sorry” does nothing to fight white supremacy. You need to face resistance from other white people when you call them out or talk about white supremacy. You must understand that as a white person you are privileged in a way that no persyn of color is, and that as a white person you are a colonizer, you are a white supremacist, even if you are truly dedicated to eradicating white supremacy from the movement. You have to listen and accept leadership from people of color, which must involve shutting up and stepping back. Know that the responsibility is yours to learn these things, and that it is not appropriate to say “you think I’m racist? Tell me, how do I stop being racist?” You can’t rely on people of color for to do your work for you—white supremacy was created and upheld by white people (not just our ancestors, but you and me), so it is our responsibility as white people to struggle against it. I am a white anarchist, so these points are directed at me as much as they are at you.
Here are some open letters and blogs about white supremacy; if you are white I suggest you check them out: