Monday, April 26, 2010

What if the Tea Party Were Black? by Tim Wise

Thank you to the folks at Ephphatha Poetry for posting "What If the Tea Party Were Black" and to the BlogHer CE who sent the link. I'm only going to quote part of it and encourage you to visit Ephphatha to read the rest. It's a piece by Tim Wise, author of Between Barack and a Hard Place. He suggests we play a game, "Imagine," and replace conservative white political activists and talk show hosts with black people in order to gain some insight about race and white privilege.
 >> Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose. (Read more of Wise's piece at Ephphatha) << 
Last year I placed Tim Wise's book on a list of books people should read if they want to understand how race impacts American politics. I think remaining ignorant about race is another sign of white privilege when the person is a white American and cultural brainwashing/miseducation when the person is an American and person of color. I excuse people who are from other countries and talk out of their rears on this topic.

Americans, however, should know better, which is why I don't trust people who say "I don't see race. I'm color blind." I think they're either deceiving themselves or attempting to deceive others. According to a recent study about race and the color blind philosophy, my instincts are right on that one, and I've been saying it for the longest.

Tim Wise's website.

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