White academics

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Wed Jul 23 22:54:58 MDT 2003

David Quarter writes:

>>I always amused when a "person of colour" refers to *the* "white"
people, as if to imply that in general europeans  all think alike.<<

>>There are NO ignorant "white academics", or "white activists". There
are ignorant academics/activists who happen to be of Italian, German,
Dutch, English, Anglo-saxon, Scottish, Spanish, Basque, Catalonian,
mixed European, etc. origin. I suspect that foreknowledge of  their
"race" does little to explain their ignorance.<<

This is actually a very interesting subject. Is consciousness entirely
unrelated to someone's social status? Should being "white" (in U.S.
terms, that's clearly the context of Jim's remarks, although I daresay
it can be safely exported to Europe without suffering much) be
considered totally irrelevant? Is there no privilege?

I've always been rather inclined to materialism in these kinds of
things. I do believe --not in a vulgar, reductionist way, but yes, on
average, and mediated by all sorts of things in the "superstructure"--
that being does determine consciousness. A "bias" (in the statistical
sense), although if you want to take the quote marks and leave out the
parenthetical explanation, that's o.k., too.

Or perhaps David wants to carve out a specific caveat "being determines
consciousness except when it comes to knowing about Native Americans."

Either way, to David Quarter's assertions that race is irrelevant, I can
only say: It is very white of you to think that.


PS: BTW, I would take off the quotation marks around "person of color"
in formulating these kinds of comments, David. Otherwise you will be
read as either denying that person's right to identify in certain ways,
or denying an overwhelming social reality that only someone recently
arrived from Proxima Centauri in the last 2 minutes with no prior
knowledge of Earth could possibly deny. Unless, of course, said person
was *intent* on *perpetuation* and preservation of the systematic
persecution and discrimination against Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans
and others, in which case the denial that it exists is simply an
extension of the refusal to do anything to combat it.

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