Dear White People

Someone who has been a victim of injustice is legitimately angry and they may or may not express anger in ways we like. Criticizing the way people express their anger deflects attention and action away from the injustice that was committed. After the injustice has been dealt with, if you still think it’s worthwhile and not an attempt to control the situation yourself, you can go back and discuss ways of expressing anger.

Kivel, How White People Can Serve as Allies to People of Color

7 thoughts on “Dear White People

  1. It’s funny, I’ve been getting annoyed at all the “whitey” comments I’ve seen from people I’ve been trying to support in their struggle, and I happened to finally open your WordPress.
    The truth is, white people have an sensationalist ego whether we want to admit it or not.
    I want equality for everyone; it’s so easy for me to say it because hey, it wasn’t me who caused the issues, my great-grandparents did. But that’s the problem. People my age, whether First Nations, Palestinians, etc ARE suffering. If they are suffering now, I am an oppressor now. It took a long time to actually be able to tell myself this.
    For white people to take offense to an anger that any oppressed people portray is hypocritical. I’ve never been bombed at night, watched my parents get shot or have been so poor I can’t feed my daughter. I have never had to deal with Government-led anti-Muslim mentalities.
    So please, be angry, you have every right to.
    I’ll continue my work spreading your message so one day, you won’t have to be angry anymore.

  2. ironic that i came across this post of yours as I just finished reading about the Killer in France—Every bone in my body is angry with him for doing what he did because the media will only pick up on the fact that he is: *drum roll please* Muslim and with a name that identifies him as such (Mohammed)—-As, I am reading his deranged killing spree, I start to think, did anyone ever stop to wonder “WHY?”—Although, being a privileged Muslim (as in NOT being shot as a Palestinian or having to even fight for the legitimacy of your land) how dare he rise up in arms in such a manner and kill all those people? The answer is simply that he felt a pain, an anger, and tried to find an outlet to his anger and his pain, and unfortunately let it out in the worst way possible.

    The problem is two folds–we can’t excuse this behaviour, because there are better ways than violence to deal with it, but we also can’t excuse the fact that this behaviour doesn’t just come out of nowhere—we have to seriously examine the WHY and actually work to address that—I say this as we, not as the white person, but also as a Muslim living in the West. It is time for us to stop being quiet mice for fear of backlash. It is time we scream and yell till someone hears us:)

  3. If all the press is doing is saying the root-cause of the killings in France is the fact that the murderer is a Muslim and leaving it at that, they are also doing a massive disservice to Muslims and everyone else.
    Nowhere have I ever seen anything in Islam that would allow for these types of action.
    When it comes down to it, especially in areas of the Middle East, Islam is a massive reason the population there can withstand the atrocities committed to them and their loved ones. The faith gives them strength. Most turn to faith in order to cope and find hope under such deplorable conditions. So many have lost so much that faith is all they have left.
    The sad part is that some people who wish to retaliate, whether for true reasons or not, distort and use Islam to recruit people to do their bidding.
    If we dive even further in to that pool, we’d see that if the West/Imperialistic Countries never occupied or slaughtered the population in the first place, there would be no reason for any retaliation or rallying cry in the first place.
    I personally don’t have a lot of knowledge of sectarianism or disputes between different faiths within Islam but I can understand how it would be difficult to bridge those gaps and work towards a mutual respect when Muslims keep having to defend themselves against the slander thrown against them.
    Muslims shouldn’t waste their time having to make public statements condemning acts such as what happened in France. Any human being would condemn these acts, whether Muslim or not.
    In fact, having to throw a press release doing such a thing further distances Muslims by showing that they are an “outside voice”.
    I’m a white Christian. I didn’t have to jump in front of a bunch of microphones directly after the Brievik killings.
    This whole thing is just such a vicious cycle that needs to end. It’s no wonder people are angry.
    But it’s the “whitey” that needs to open their minds and realize this instead of pushing others to alienation.
    Whitey started this vicious cycle with ignorance, it needs to end with education.
    I don’t mean whites have to come save the day, I mean they have to wake up and stop the reasons so many are angry.

  4. How can we determine what is “legitimately angry”? Wouldn’t it be easier to define what kind of behavior is acceptable and what kind is not?

    Is it OK to be a little angry with the way Mohamed Merah expressed his anger in France? Was it legitimate anger? Over at Kabobfest, Abubakr says that Mohamed Merah is “a symptom of the many terrible problems that that society faces” so I guess he means the anger was legitimate. So we should criticize his expression?

    What about the way Nidal Malik Hasan expressed his anger in the U.S.? It must have been a legitimate anger since he wasn’t white, right?

    But you’re probably referring to things like protests or shouting down public speakers or harassing people. Was the anger over cartoons legitimate: http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/memorex/muh.html

    Surely you don’t think this sort of thing is legitimate: http://www.angelfire.com/zine2/memorex/remind.html

  5. Dear People of Color,

    Making offensive statements and committing acts of injustice cannot be legitimized by the acts of injustice committed to you. Legitimate anger cannot justify illegitimate expression. Please do not expect us to validate your feelings if you are unwilling to validate ours. We don’t need your permission to “go back and discuss” things after you have blown a fuse because discourse must be mutual, it’s not only on your terms. We owe you nothing, especial not patience when you display none.

    White people are not homogeneous and such a term or label is always inaccurate. Addressing your feelings to a mass of diverse individuals whom you assume are all guilty of your complaint only displays just how affected you are by injustice and thus perpetuating the injustice further. The same must be said for the term people of color. “The term is meant to be inclusive among non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of racism.” A generally stupid term to describe a massive generalization of the acts of whites to non whites. It’s interesting that such anti-white racism is so rampant among Muslims considering this pseudo intellectual nonsense comes from black nationalists and sociologist from liberal schools of thought. So I’d like to remind you that whiteness and the acts of white people can not be applied to white people, because not all are involved. Further such a grouping seems to oversimplify and ignore the fact that racism is practiced regularly by POC against POC, thus making the common denominator of white racism implied by said terms to be obscure and meaninglessness. Someone in every group has experienced racism from someone in every group. Sorry your common enemy was a scare crow.

    So when do we get to talk about the common experiences of racism of Non-Arabs or should I call them People of less noble lineage? Please let me know when you are done harping over your legitimate anger so we can address ours. Thanks.

  6. P.S. “Kivel, How White People Can Serve as Allies to People of Color” Serve is a really bad word to use but it shows that your solidarity leads to anything but equality.

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