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Commentary :: Race
Talks on White Privilege
05 Oct 2005
Audio Talks by Tim Wise on White Privilege
This post in intended for all us white folks here on Indymedia, as I wouldn't dare tell someone of color that they should work to better understand racism. I'm positive they already know far better than I will ever know in a million years.

I don’t believe that white people (like me) can ever experience true racism. Discrimination maybe, on a very rare occasion, but not racism. The reason I say this is because racism is about power, pure and simple. Racism can only be experienced by people oppressed, disenfranchised and without power politically. economically etc. White people hold all of that power in our society (and around the world) for the time being. I know that many white people will not like that assertion. A white american traveling in Kenya or in Indonesia (as I did) will be a minority, but they will still hold all the real power there in a given situation because they are white.

It is also not up to people oppressed by racism to sit down and make us white folks understand our own racism. (I thank a few friends of mine for pointing this out to me clearly not all that long ago).

It is up to white folks, that care about really ending racism, to learn about it and make our fellow white people see their own, sometimes unintentional, racist tendencies and our own white privilege. (Remembering of course to always be checking with people of color about our approach and being accountable to them.)

All white people have socialized racism inside us even if it's not overt or out in the open. We all also benefit from white privilege even if we don’t see it.

I therefore challenge all of us (including myself) to take an hour or two out of our week and go over a few of the links below, than send some time to pass them on to and discuss the issues with family & friends, even if it will/may be unpleasent and make us rather unpopular.

--Audio talks--

Understanding Our White Privilege
by Tim Wise

Part 1
Part 2

Understanding Our Institutional Racism
by Tim Wise

Part 1
Part 2

--Website with many articles discussing these issues--

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Talks on White Privilege
05 Oct 2005
"far better than I will ever know in a million years."
Fate is a fickle thing and there is a big backlash coming so I wouldnt put my money on white forever or even for much longer.
05 Oct 2005
"I don’t believe that white people (like me) can ever experience true racism. "

I've lived in a Cuban city for some time and I have experienced racism for being white. Don't tell me that white people cannot experience racism. That is just plain stupid.
06 Oct 2005
Normally I would avoid being drawn in by such comments as the one stated above. It may be a “troll” or may not be, but it is unimportant since that sad point of view is so prevalent in our society and is shared by a great many my fellow white folks. I therefore address the following to all the white people out , not necessarily the clown above.

Racism is not simply about discrimination based on the color of ones skin or nation of birth. Nor is it simply being denigrated publicly or privately based on the color of ones skin or nation of birth. Nor is it about being stereotyped based on the color of ones skin or nation of ones birth. Certainly those things are often components of racism. But they are NOT racism itself and should not be mistaken for the ugly beast.

Racism is about oppression. Racism is about control. Racism is about history. Racism is about power.

Many of my fellow white folks get things mixed up. They wrongly think that if someone of color calls them a name, or gives them a dirty look, or, god forbid actually expresses his or her anger towards them for century’s of oppression (that make not mistake continues today) well than that white person believes they have just experienced racism or something they call “reverse racism”. I apologize for having to be the messenger carrying the news, but those things, while they may make you fill a bit uncomfortable, are NOT true racism in any sense of the word.

Only when those things are backed up by hundreds of years of brutal, oppressive history, do they become elements of racism. Only when those things are flung by the white side with virtually absolute political and economic power, do they become elements of racism.

I lived and worked in Jakarta Indonesia for a year, not that long ago. While there, sure I was called unfriendly names a few times. Sure I was stereotyped for my skin color. Sure a couple people would not speak with me because of where I came from and what I represented. Yet I maintain I never once came even close to feeling any racism directed at me at all.

This is for one very simple reason. I always held a golden ticket. A get out of jail free card. I am a white American male from a middle class back round. In short I unfortunately hold the power. My white privileges in that non-white nation are too numerous to mention here, but the power they allotted me were extensive. Small things like Access to US dollars for instance,(as is the same in Cuba) left me on a pedestal far far above others in that nation. There is also the small fact that I could leave that nation whenever I wanted to, a luxury countless millions would kill for around the world. As I say there are countless exapmles my white privileges benefited me, but I will save them for another day.

I should also mention that only a very few people reacted to me in a hostile way, even though, it could be argued, that they have had every right to treat me in a hostile way. Just take a little look at the continuing, horrific and gruesome US “intervention” in Indonesia over the past 50 plus years and you’ll know what I mean. Most people I spoke with understood that the actions of my government and the people of the United States were not one in the same. Many people made a point of telling me directly that they did not blame me personally for the tragedies my country bestowed and is bestowing on their country and their lives. Needless to say I was humbles and inspired. We white americans would do well to learn a thing or two from them.

Racism is intertwined with history. History and Power.

I would again urge my white brothers and sisters to take some time to look over the links above. Than I would urge you to spend some careful time in contemplation…seeking out the racism entrenched deeply within us all. I know I will be doing just that.
Re: Talks on White Privilege
06 Oct 2005
America is often called a racist, Anti-Semitic,
>nativist and homophobic country. Judging from the
>comments of many people on this board, it is clear to
>me that these accusations are not completely without
>What is a concerned Human Rights activist to do?
>Does he sit back and do nothing while blacks are being
>strapped to the back of pickup trucks and dragged to
>their death by those who envision a "whiter, brighter
>Does the concerned Human Rights activist do and say
>nothing while children are being shot up at Jewish day
>care centers and people are being lynched in Wyoming
>for no other reason than that they because they have
>the "wrong" sexual orientation?
>What about those who use the Internet to deny the
>obvious facts that the Nazis gassed six million Jews
>to death during World War II? What about those who
>persist in this absurd denial while bigots of a
>somewhat less savory status silently lurk within the
>shadows of Internet discussion groups and whisper --
>sometimes in coded words and sometimes out loud and in
>words impossible to misinterpret -- about the "next
>Holocaust" which will be the "ultimate final solution"
>for the Jews and others deemed a threat to Aryan
>What is a man or woman of principle and morals to do?
>While I have no mysterious, supernatural "ZOG" powers
>to bring about a sweeping change to the State of Hate
>of America, I DO have some ideas that I would like to
>implement if I had that power.
>Here is my ten point plan in order to make America a
>more tolerant place where people can have a better
>appreciation of our differences and common
>understanding of our diversity:
>(1) Establish a National Dialog on the State of Hate
>in America. President Clinton did an excellent job of
>opening up the dialog on race and paving the way to
>more meaningiful racial understanding and racial
>reconciliation with his national dialog on race.
>We are in dire need of a National Dialog on the State
>of Hate in America.
>(2) The establishment of a National Hate Patrol Task
>Force. Great Britain has plain clothes police officers
>who enter ethnic restaurants and listen in on
>conversations to see if anyone makes a racist,
>anti-Semitic or anti-foreigner remark.
>I think this is a wonderful idea. For punishment, I
>would suggest a small fine and community service. For
>example, if someone is overheard trying to deny or
>minimize the Holocaust in a conversation, he can be
>fined $106 and forced to do 60 hours of community
>service in a Jewish senior center that caters to
>survivors of the Holocaust.
>If someone says, "all blacks are stupid", he should be
>fined and forced to do community service in a
>predominately African American elementary school
>helping children from deprived backgrounds who face
>learning disorders.
>The "Hate Ticket" could have a series of categories
>for the officer to check. This would include: (A)
>racism, (B) anti-Semitism, (C) Holocaust Denial, (D)
>nativism and xenophobia, (E) homophobia, (F) sexism,
>(G) anti-government extremism, and (H) mild bigotry
>that does not fall into a particular class or category
>(such as someone suggesting that he doesn't
>"understand" why abortion rights are such a big deal).
>For first time offenders who say something mild, such
>as, "there sure are a lot of foreigners here", he
>could be given a written warning.
>I think this idea has a lot of merit. We, for example,
>enforce laws against speeding in order to protect
>lives from people who would recklessly endanger them.
>Why not give a "Hate Ticket" to someone whose remarks
>and blatant bigotry tears at the very fabric of
>society and threatens to pull us all apart?
>Speeders endanger individual lives. Haters threaten
>the entire society.
>(3) Tax breaks for interracial couples. Many persons
>who are involved in mixed race relationships suffer
>from discrimination as well as negative reactions from
>family, friends, co-workers and strangers. This in
>turn leads to negative feelings which may become
>internalized and affect a person's earning potential.
>While tax breaks are by no means a cure all for
>society's prejudice and bigotry, it may provide
>temporarily relief for persons in mixed race
>relationships overcoming society's bigotry and the
>subsequent damaged self image that may come from it.
>(4) Abolish the border between the US and Mexico. As
>you know, a hungry, tired and oppressed family fleeing
>Mexico may face fanatical border guards whose
>in-your-face and often violent tactics and approaches
>border on fascism.
>We should give up on maintaining a border between
>these two countries. Americans who should be free to
>visit Mexico and Mexicans should be free to come to
>the United States.
>(5) National registration of all hate sites and hate
>site visitors. This would be modeled on gun
>registration laws and this would help produce a
>national database for law enforcement to help track
>down people who commit hate crimes or who say very
>hateful things about certain groups.
>(6) Start a "Keep the Hate out of the Home" program
>whereby children report to government authorities on
>their parents if their parents are overheard making
>racist, anti-Semitic and extremist remarks. Parents
>who try to teach their children bigotry would be sent
>to Tolerance Reeducation Camps and their children sent
>to foster homes.
>(7) Build Tolerance Reeducation Camps. This is where
>people who say hurtful or offensive things can be sent
>in order to become better informed and educated about
>the values of diversity and multiculturalism.
>(8) Hate Filters to be installed on all computers,
>both public and private in the United States. As you
>know, there are federal regulations that must govern
>the way computer equipment is sold in the United
>States. Adding mandatory software should be no
>problem. A "Hate Filter" would be installed on all new
>computers and required in all older ones so as to
>prevent the spread of poisonous ideas and ideologies.
>(9) Establish and finance with public money various
>Human Rights Councils. These organizations help to
>bring about racial justice to people discriminated
>against or who have been exposed to public contempt
>and ridicule on account of their race, religion,
>national origin, sexual orientation, or HIV-status.
>Canada leads the world in bringing these fine
>organizations to the forefront of the fight against
>hate and intolerance.
>An example: Let's say a columnist asserts in the
>morning paper that Hollywood is controlled by a Jewish
>cabal that is bent on subverting and destroying white
>Christian culture? Due to some holes in the First
>Amendment, that potentially pogrom-inspiring rhetoric
>would be perfectly "legal" by American "free speech"
>The only "response" one could have is to write an
>editorial pointing out the Anti-Semitism of the
>author. But that of course would be playing right into
>the hands of the extremists as extremists just simply
>love to use the "facts." The only other option decent
>people might be left with is to boycott the newspaper
>itself and try to get the writer of the racist
>diatribes fired.
>This would NOT be so with a decent and hard working
>Human Rights Council on our side. If we had such an
>organization, we could stop the hate-mongers dead in
>their tracks with lawsuits, hate crime charges, ethnic
>intimidation charges and other legal means.
>(10) Increase foreign aide to Israel from four billion
>to $400 billion per year. Anti-Semites and Jew haters
>like to whine about the four billion Israel receives
>in aide every year. The fact of the matter is that
>four billion a year is only $16 from every man, woman
>and child in America -- or $1.25 (the price of a candy
>bar) per MONTH.
>I believe we can easily secure a Jewish homeland for
>100 times that amount. And since Israel is such a good
>ally of the US, perhaps we would stand to benefit from
>Israel's technology, strategic location and her many
>allies all over the globe. While $400 billion may
>sound like a lot of money, it is still only a small
>fraction of the entire federal budget.
>The $400 billion could be used by Israel to secure its
>borders and build up its military strength and protect
>itself from slurs, vicious attacks, chemical,
>biological and nuclear weapons.
>Of course, there are those who say there might be some
>opposition from Congress. "The Jews don't need any
>money", these Congressmen might say. Our response
>should simply be to remind them that Hitler would have
>said the exact same thing.
>* * * * *
>These are my ideas. I do not expect this will lead to
>a perfect world but I do believe this is a great step
>in the right direction towards forging a better
White Men DO Have The Upper Hand...(I'm W-M)
06 Oct 2005
Race and gender has always played the roll for better jobs, better pay and racism.
Being a poor white male. I climbed the ladder. Saw inequality from the get go. (Still seeing it.) And understand that the only way our society will change, is when the majority of Americans stand together. Until then? The Bill O'Riley's of America will feed racist, homophobic lies to the suckers of America.
Wake the hell up! Together we stand.
Re: Talks on White Privilege
06 Oct 2005
Tim Wise is the hotness. If so-called radical white people dont udnerstand what he is saying ... well ... y'all need to act like you fuckin' know.

Solidarity in the struggle.
Re: Talks on White Privilege
07 Oct 2005
The above post by "Greg Pason" is not actually from an antifascist, nor from someone affiliated with One People's Project. That text is a nazi hoax text designed to get people pissed off at OPP, and believing that they want to "listen in on people," increase aid to Israel, etc. Just a clarification.
Re: Talks on White Privilege
07 Oct 2005
proof, for those who are curious: username Magnus Volk, on the largest fascist web forum, bragged in a thread he started 12/9/01 that he regularly posed online as a "Rabbi Will Rosencrantz" and wrote this and other similar texts.