When I read the KKK statement, it occurred to me that these were values with which most of the white people I’d met, or that I’d heard speak, or express their views, would probably agree.
That was the impression I had at the time.
That is, I don’t think they would have agreed with the specific rhetoric, and its coarseness. Also, again, I did not retain the document, so I could maintain an ongoing, metrical comparison of its views to those of 21st century soccer moms.
But I recall, at the time, having this insight: That “most average white people, it seems, would support this statement, said a nicer way.”
Such a conclusion floats at least two other observations.
One I’ve already shared: My belief that racism is a continuum between white people; it is not “siloed”; something done by “ignorant,” “stupid,” “uneducated,” or other kinds of defective white people, but, in fact, it is a shared effort.
This is a conclusion that has only sharpened as my other verdicts have been whetted; e.g., that racism is white supremacy, and that the minimum requirement for one to be a white supremacist is that one be white.
To clarify, this does not mean that if you’re white, you are a racist. But it does mean that, if you are a racist, you are white.
The second finding is the invisibility of racists. We speak about “the KKK” and “soccer moms” as though these are discrete sets. But they aren’t. For example, anyone whose studied the role women have historically played in ardently white supremacist movements knows this.
However, “ardently white supremacist movements” are not the extent of racism. Many Black people have also conducted a form of this research. They do this every time they realize that someone white, whom they originally held in esteem, they now strongly suspect to be racist.
It’s not offensive to me, if that’s what you mean.
I just don’t think that any manner by which non-white people respond to racism is more grotesque, or reprobate, than racism. It’s like farting in a hurricane.
I think that you’ve said this, and made it clear.
I think soccer moms are, to some degree, generalizable, however. First, they’re all “soccer moms.” That’s a generalization.
This concern came up early in my conversations with @Arkdrey. I retorted that Black people were less concerned with how white people think than with how they function.
He didn’t like this, but I like it a lot. Not only does it get to what we can observe and measure, but it leaves issues like “thoughts” to those who can read them.
One of the outcomes of me speaking about racism the way I do is that many white people, here, have:
berated me, personally, both directly and indirectly
criticized and derided my ideas, vaguely, but not specifically
threatened to leave the Spectrum fora
charged me with making statements about white people that I’ve never made; one being, specifically, that “all white people are racists”
tried to get me banished from the forum
joked with each other about my counter-racism efforts and goals
criticized the format of my posts as “too long,” “boring,” etc.
refused to respond to my questions or posts
told me that I was ruining Spectrum’s discussions on racism, and that, as a result of my posts, soon the fora would be empty, and I would be “talking to myself”
engaged in specifically off-topic dialogues, as a way of “running out the clock” on posted racism commentaries
Though not exhaustive, these are all textbook expressions of white fragility; the phenomenon that @mark_carr, Andy Lampkin, @Carmen, @TheAdventistPodcast, Bonnie Dwyer, Alisa Williams, and their attendees will be discussing on Friday, September 25, 2020 at 10 am PT, plug plug. (See this page for more details.)
But because I was doing this kind of work long before Robin DiAngelo was, these reactions, to me, are just what white people mostly do when you talk about racism in a way that doesn’t flatter them. I’ve seen it a million times. None of it is novel. At all.
What I’m saying should address both what you’ve said, and what @Timo said in his subsequent comment to you; the one where I am designated “the poster.”
Specifically, @Timo: The statements are intentional, of course. The “provocation,” though, you might call a reaction that I expect, due to “the extant social arrangement,” aka racism; one from which I do not back away, given the gravity of the issue.
A mentor of mine has said that, “You can’t talk about racism without doing at least two things, right off: Embarrassing Black people, and offending white people. You can’t do it…if you’re going to tell the truth.”
His statement corresponds with my experience.