Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Oh, I Don't See Color"

Don't you just love how it's become trendy in recent years for White people to "not be racist" by not ignoring racial issues? When Martin Luther King said that he wanted his children judged "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," I don't think he was giving White Americans carte blanche to ignore de facto racism.

I haven't read the actual news articles directly, but apparently there's a storm a-brewin' in Logan Circle. An almost-entirely Black church in what used to be an almost-entirely Black neighborhood is now in an almost-entirely White neighborhood. And its congregation hasn't run away; they just drive to church now on Sundays, and because parking is tight, they're double-parking on the block in front of the church. Apparently the people who now live in the pricey homes in the area don't like the people who have to drive to their church and double-park. However, the churchgoers probably used to walk to church - that, or they always drove but Logan Circle was less trendy and parking was easier back in the day. And now they have to double-park on Sundays.

This is the perfect moment for Whites to say "Oh, I don't see this as a race issue."

How the fuck would you see it as a race issue when you don't understand what de facto racism is? It's really great for Whites to not see issues of gentrification and church membership as race issues, even though housing and religious attendance are two of the three areas I can think of (the third being schooling, of course) in which we are most strongly segregated in America. If you don't notice that everyone at your religious institution is the same race, or that everyone you went to school with was the same race, or if you are especially cognizant of the fact that people in your neighborhood ARE of different races to the extent that you feel the need to tell everyone - you probably don't realize that gentrification is a race issue.

Greg (the roommate) recommends the following article on Whiteness (i.e. being White and "not seeing color"):

"The Boondocks vs. Jump Start"

It's pretty funny (if you are capable of finding academic articles "funny") to hear what Whites and Blacks had to say about the funniest, most racial Black comic strip ever vs. the tamest, lamest one. It's also pretty embarrassing if you're White and get embarrassed about how blind our people can be. It's probably terrifically un-shocking if you're Black and have lived in America for 7 days or longer.

Go read.


At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog! thanks for first introducing me to boondocks.


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