Kill your inner whitey so you can get free with everyone else…

Posted on December 14, 2014

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In the context of national and global uprisings against white supremacy, I decided start trying a bit more to convince (other) white people to be “race traitors” and to see the potential for their own liberation in black and other people of color liberation struggles (i.e. kill your inner whitey so you can get free with everyone else.)

Whiteness is not a cultural identity, it is a political agreement with empire. Whiteness is based in the white agreement: sell out your culture and ties to black and indigenous uprisings and work for the empire and you will be rewarded (the amerikkkan dream). The white agreement was created by the infant US empire at a time when massive amounts of European indentured servants were escaping the plantations and allying themselves with black and native folks in militant struggle against the plantation owners. Whiteness was created to buy them off, a perfect execution of the classic divide and conquer strategy. At first whiteness only applied to the English but later it expanded to include all these different groups of European descent. As newer waves of European migrants (e.g. Italian, French, Irish, Jewish, Polish…) joined  insurrectionary struggles alongside black and native folks, US empire came up with different tasks for them to earn their whiteness (1).

White privilege and white supremacy continue to exist today. If you don’t believe this, I recommend this workshop by the School of the Americas Watch What is White Supremacy? (pdf) written by Elizabeth Martinez.

Yet it is also true that many white people experience a betrayal of the white agreement. White people don’t have a 100% monopoly on jobs, management and ownership and some find themselves competing with people of color/non-white people. Through the American Civil War and the Civil Rights movement the US empire was forced to extend some benefits of the white agreement to black folks and other people of color (e.g. abolition of slavery, voting, jobs, edukkkation). The results have been to piss off a lot of white people and to undermine the self-determination of black people and of people of color by incorporating them into the amerikkkan dream. The US empire was designed by and for white people, so attempts to make it into something else (instead of destroying it and creating something new) has created a lot of problems.

Neo-nazis and neoliberals alike would like to see some continuity of the white agreement. In the context of the “economic crisis” neo-nazi groups use the fact of white poverty (a betrayal of the white agreement) to recruit (e.g. “people of color are taking YOUR jobs! YOUR money for edukkkation!”). The neo-nazis call for empire to recognize and reinstate the white agreement and/or attempt to enforce it from the bottom up through violence and politrikkks. It is people’s attachment to white identity that makes them susceptible to recruitment by neo-nazis. Yet it is also people’s attachment to white identity that makes them susceptible to the more subtle forms of white supremacy that comes from the “progress” of US empire. Agreeing with narratives that claim the US has made progress in terms of racism is to celebrate white identity and forced assimilation of more and more people into its modes of existence; non-white people have only become more accepted in the US to the degree that they adopt white attitudes and refuse to rebel. Neoliberals (those currently running the empire) seem to not care at all what one’s race or ethnicity is, as long as you worship money and conform to a business culture that was created by and for white people. So the neoliberals seek to continue the white agreement through maintaining the integrity of its refined form that says everyone should be equally allowed to work toward whiteness (i.e. subservience to empire).

If more can be done to convince white people that they have more to gain by being “race traitors” than they do by being neo-nazis or neoliberals, I believe we could resurrect a lot of the powerful movements that were the impetus for empire to create whiteness in the first place. If this were to happen we could see such a powerful movement of movements that wouldn’t be nearly as susceptible to the divide and conquer strategies used to defeat its predecessors at the beginning of amerikkka, since people would have learned by now that working for empire instead of self-determination simply does not pay off in the long run.

Killing your inner whitey means getting rid of all your anti-blackness. It means not feeling threatened by movements for black liberation, because only white people should fear that, not people who reject their whiteness and the oppression and privilege on which it is based (2). It means not chanting “All Lives Matter!” when you hear “Black Lives Matter!” (as though the assertion that black lives matter is an attack on non-black people). Why are people so scared of black liberation? I really don’t get it, but I am pretty sure it is some white shit. I guess I will end with this quote I have been hearing lately, not sure who came up with it but maybe someone will let me know after I publish this:

because if black people get free we all get free

(1) For details on how each group of European migrants earned their whiteness see “Working Toward Whiteness: How America’s Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs” by David R. Roediger

(2) Rejecting one’s whiteness cannot actually happen until white supremacy, as a system, has been destroyed. Until that happens I believe the best one can do is acknowledge their white privilege and work toward the abolition of white supremacy. Simply saying “I am not white because I am against white supremacy” while one still benefits from a system of white supremacy is to hide your privilege and help reinforce white supremacy. However, I think it does make sense to admit to being a white person working for the abolition of whiteness. And of course, it is only through that abolition that white people can truly be free.

Further media (please comment or email cslestelle@gmail.com, subject Abolish Whiteness, with further suggestions):


“Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Alley Industrial Complex”
http://www.indigenousaction.org/accomplices-not-allies-abolishing-the-ally-industrial-complex/

“Abolish Whiteness” by Noel Ignatiev
http://imaginenoborders.org/zines/
http://imaginenoborders.org/pdf/zines/AbolishWhiteness.pdf
http://imaginenoborders.org/pdf/zines/AbolishWhiteness-imposed.pdf

“break the laws/break the chains: political reflections on Mike Brown and White Supremacy from Oakland CA”
https://chaka85.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/break-the-lawsbreak-the-chains-political-reflections-on-mike-brown-and-white-supremacy-from-oakland-ca/
https://freeuniverseity.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/break-the-law-break-the-chains.pdf
https://freeuniverseity.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/break-the-law-break-the-chains-zine-print.pdf

“The Dragon and the Hydra: A Historical Study of Organizational Methods”
By Russell Maroon Shoatz
read online: http://russellmaroonshoats.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/the-dragon-and/
zine: http://zinelibrary.info/files/dragonandhydratotal.pdf

“The Many-Headed Hyrdra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic” by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker
all in one: http://libcom.org/library/many-headed-hydra-peter-linebaugh-marcus-rediker
10 volume zine release: https://freeuniverseity.wordpress.com/free-stuff/online-resources/free-publications/

Race and Border: The Two-Headed Ogre of White Supremacy

“The Fusion of Anabaptist, Indian and African as the American Radical Tradition”

http://breaktheirhaughtypower.org/725/

“Race and the Enlightenment Part I: From Anti-Semitism to White Supremacy, 1492-1676”
http://breaktheirhaughtypower.org/race-and-the-enlightenment-part-i-from-anti-semitism-to-white-supremacy-1492-1676/

“Race and the Enlightenment, Pt. II: The Anglo-French Enlightenment and Beyond”
http://breaktheirhaughtypower.org/race-and-the-enlightenment-pt-ii-the-anglo-french-enlightenment-and-beyond/

“The Divorce of Thought from Deed: Social Conflict, White Supremacy, and Free Speech at UNC-Chapel Hill”

“The Stockade Stood Burning: Rebellion and the Convict Lease in Tennessee’s Coalfields, 1891-1895”
 
“The Lowry Wars: attacking North Carolina’s plantation society in the age of Reconstruction”

all 3 above @ http://ncpiececorps.wordpress.com/

The Wages of Whiteness by David R. Roedigger

“White People Suck” by Desert Rat
https://myspace.com/longshorebanjo/music/song/white-people-suck.ogg-73876784-81496521

White supremacy and Zionism converge in deleted Times of Israel post on Ferguson
by Rania Khalek on November 30, 2014

“Liberation for all”: Why Palestine is a key issue on the streets of Ferguson
by Rania Khalek on December 18, 2014

You can email me at cslestelle@gmail.com subject: Abolish Whiteness

#Ferguson #MikeBrown #EricGarner #BlackLiberation #AbolishPolice #AbolishWhiteness #JointStruggle #LetsGetFree

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