[NetBehaviour] so many different points of view, and my own so flawed

Ruth Catlow ruthcatlow at gmail.com
Fri Jun 5 11:59:14 CEST 2020

Hi Max,

I was raised white, middle-class and catholic with a "peace and light" "do
as you would be done by" ethos. Here are some of the things I've learned in
recent years in relation to the questions you raise:

*From Reni Eddo Lodge's book, Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People
About Race
(strongly recommend)
The main role of white people in anti-racism is to shield black and brown
people from violence wherever possible and to make space for and amplify
their voices - without framing, interpreting, or arguing. White people
(like us) need to find ways to see how they are implicated in oppressive
systems and to work through their own ethical discomforts together without
seeking reassurance from the oppressed. Then work out what steps they might
take to change things (with extreme care, and without fanfare).

*From Ocavia E Butler's Xenogenesis Trilogy *(and from talking to Marc
about class oppression)
No Justice No Peace is (at least) 2 things...a description of historical
fact, and a declarative statement about what is possible. Racist oppression
is experienced through all manner of inescapable and traumatic, physical
and psychological, violence and injustice (from which there is no peace
ever) often at cataclysmic levels, for centuries, unrecognised by those
living in relative privilege in close proximity. Those (like me) who do not
share this experience cannot call for peace before justice has been served.

*From Ramon Amaro's work on racist technologies* (which is most of them)
The idea that what is right for me, is right for everyone, makes it very
easy to forget about difference and context, and ignores the fact that
universal systems tend to evolve and operate in favour of established
power. By doing this they impose values (racist, thieving, dominance) in
the case of white colonialism and erase cultures and steal land. This theme
is elaborated on in *Race After Technology. Abolitionist Tools for the New
Jim Code*, by Ruha Benjamin, that I've yet to read reviewed here

p.s. finally Max Haiven's work on systems of white revenge in capitalism
are also important - but maybe not so relevant to your points

On Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 7:33 PM Max Herman via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I know CNN is very establishment/mainstream but I thought the following
> article was somewhat relevant:
> https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/04/us/protests-black-americans-debate-blake/index.html
> Tone is so difficult to communicate in email especially when the reader
> and author are not known to each other in any personal way -- no face to
> visualize, no emotional connection, no body language, no way of determining
> trustworthiness.  I really am unsure about what the norms so to speak are
> regarding peaceful vs. non-peaceful means of protest.  I hear so many
> differing views on this question among people I know and also across the
> media.  Part of me feels like I want to support the efforts of so many here
> in Minneapolis to work for peaceful change, and yet I also have a
> horrifying feeling that I have no right to do so.  Calling for or
> participating in non-peaceful means seems wrong also, both legally and
> morally, and if it's wrong for me I struggle to see how it is right for
> others.  The general mental and emotional state this all produces is very
> fragmented and disorienting.
> I'm not trying to be sarcastic or dismissive in my posts but looking back
> on some of my recent posts they definitely read that way.  I have to admit
> that my judgment and emotions are affected by my feelings of fear and
> sorrow that cycle through each day, from seeing peaceful community protest,
> cleanup, food drives, and healing during the day alternate with threatening
> vehicles and individuals (lately all or mostly white) and national guard
> troops in my racially and economically diverse and historically progressive
> neighborhood at night.  As a person who possesses white male privilege I
> don't know if I have any right to question the use of non-peaceful means;
> sometimes I think I do, but sometimes I think I don't.  It's as if there
> are two irreconcilable views, one that peace is positive and one that it is
> not, and no way to choose between them.
> In regards to a recent reference I made to a Native American historical
> archive that was lost to fire, here is a direct link to that group's
> website.  I have no right whatsover to speak for them.
> https://www.migizi.org/post/loss-of-home
> Perhaps it is healthy and unavoidable for there to be lack of consensus on
> these issues, signifying how the old consensus (if there ever was one) is
> gone and a new has to be created day to day, with dire consequences for the
> future of our world.  Who has the right to a role, and what kind, in
> articulating the new norms is I suppose part of the conversation too.
> Be safe and well,
> Max
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> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
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