Monday, November 23, 2015

Yale Students Protest Halloween Costumes. Ignorance/Disrespect Follows

This video on the protests at Yale has gone viral.  Just came across this excellent reflection on this blog post titled, "The Student Demand," by  Tav Nyong’o.  She takes on the haters that say that the indignant student captured in this video is a "whiner."  Here's a link to an article that reduces this legitimate protest to students' being "crybullies."

Haters that say these thing are reinscribing white privilege by deciding to be power neutral and power evasive in order to trivialize the lives, experiences, and lived realities of the other half of society that they either disparage or ignore.  They individualize problems that are deeply historic and social in order to not have to face up to unearned privilege or deep-seated assumptions of merit in this society that this growing, student movement and counter-narrative threatens.

Incidentally, whiteness is an ideology; so anybody could be "white."  And whiteness is a dangerous and pernicious ideology that subscribes to individualism, individual merit, and the myth of white superiority.  It is a global problem.  It exists within minority communities, too.  More fair-skinned children are often preferred to darker ones.  "Marry well" sometimes means to marry white.  The sociological term for this is internalized racism.  I could go on and on.

No one on the planet is untouched by the myth of white racial superiority, my friends.  Until we acknowledge this—alongside the myth of male superiority ("patriarchy")—we will continue seeing conflict both within our families and between them, and in society as a whole.

Peace and blessings to all this coming Thanksgiving.  May we reflect on all of these things and act to make a better world.

Angela Valenzuela

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