Friday, March 31, 2017

Understanding Racism as Systemic and about Power | radical eyes for equity

Understanding Racism as Systemic and about Power | radical eyes for equity:

Understanding Racism as Systemic and about Power

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You are an hourly worker in a non-union (euphemistically called “right-work-work”) state. Your immediate boss is abusive and unfair often, but in ways that are nearly impossible to prove.
This is your first real job, and you develop a deep resentment for that boss—eventually coming to despise all bosses and people in authority.
That manager uses tactics that workers believe are abusive and unfair because the manager has decided all workers are lazy and unwilling to work without threats and constant authoritarian oversight.
The worker attitude about bosses and the boss attitude about workers are, however, not the same because of the imbalance of power.
In the beginning, I mention “non-union” because unionization grew out of a recognition that an imbalance of power (owners/bosses/managers versus individual workers) was often conducive to abusive working conditions (think Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle).
Now let’s transfer this workplace dynamic to how people (usually white people) misread racism.
Too often individuals with race or class privilege respond to charges of racism at the individual level: “What about black people who hate white people?” or “What about this white cop shot by a black man? Nobody’s making a fuss about this incident!” or “I am not a racist!”
Decades after his death—and much like the warped legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.—Malcolm X lingers in the white psyche as proof of black racism toward whites because of his “white devil” refrain.
And just as my hypothetical workplace scenario above shows, there exists, in fact, whites who reject all blacks simply for being black and blacks who Understanding Racism as Systemic and about Power | radical eyes for equity:

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