dagNotes: On Freedom; Or, Why I don’t trust most white people.
They believe they have a freedom that, factually and historically, no person of color has, the freedom (to pretend) to be ignorant of difference. The performance of this ignorance to others—white and not-white—is one of the most pervasive and irritating aspects of everyday whiteness. This freedom is a distinctly white privilege. I’d say, this freedom is the most recognizable marker for whiteness as it’s the most ordinary in appearance. People who can be free from knowing about others who are not white are fully composed white individuals. The others-to-be-ignorant-of are composed white subjects. The relation is inherently oppressive. One group is liberated while the others are bound.
In the US, the social interpellation process is one of becoming white, living with whiteness, bargaining with white power, coping with white supremacy. It’s violent, interpellative social action. It occurs where all social action is organized, within the free market. Thus, it is both passively and actively consumed. It’s both affliction and consolation. Those who are afflicted are passively composed white subjects who endure composition regardless; those who are consoled are actively composed white individuals who answer an invitation to composition without endurance. It’s from this interpellation the supremacist conception of the individual and its western philosophical tradition springs. Capitalism has embraced this conception from its beginnings and has sublimated the concept in its contemporary state. Hence, white individuals are often aggressively recalcitrant participants in anti-racist action; obstinate and uncooperative toward the authority in any discourse that confronts white supremacy, yet passively obeisant to the authority in white power. For example, we’re asked to embrace an equality and social justice discourse that ignores oppressive power relationships in exchange for attention to singular issues that fail to significantly confront white supremacy and its power structure. We must talk about distribution of goods and services; we must address all individuals as consumers and employees. In other words, we are always already encouraged to see others without difference, to see others as if we all are equally born, that we are, in a significant manner, equivalencies.
It’s a rare occurrence to find a white person unconditionally willing to betray the authority in whiteness. And it’s why I’m dutifully mean about it with white tumblr bloggers; as mean as I am about it IRL. I won’t permit the passive violence in white power between social liberals to sit unexamined and have made a promise to return any and all forms of violence with like violence. I’m especially mean to tepid social justice discourse that pushes for the degraded equality I discussed just above. I expect the libertarian white boys to deny all of this outright. I expect more from people who claim enlightenment and progressivism.
I will do this until we reside in societies that have overcome white power. Don’t see that happening any time soon. So, fucking deal is my attitude. I can’t trust white people who aren’t willing to betray their permissive whiteness, their unexamined possessive-whiteness, their unearned ambition.