The Revolution Inside

From Latin American Odyssey, to a profound investigation of the Bolivarian revolution. Hugo Chavez says: Socialism or Death! Leftists rejoice, and Capitalists squeal. But what do the people of Venezuela think about all of this?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Choosing To Struggle

If you read the post from late October, The Face of the Conqueror, you´ll know that what is going on for me is serious stuff; it´s threatening the entire way I think about the work that I do and what it means to build a movement or work to effect systemic change.

That piece is part of a couple of pieces that I have to write before I can really move on:
  • the difficulties with bridge-building across cultures
  • the role and responsibility of privilege in an unbalanced world
  • maintaining cultural integrity while allowing for integration
  • how a white male from the US can be a true partner in the struggle for justice
And that´s not even to get to the problems with doing journalism. It´s big stuff. I mean, I know you, reader, probably talk with your friends and your siblings about white privilege all the time - maybe if you´re black. But it´s not something you see on OPB. I´ve lived as a white progressive for most of my life, and I know. White people don´t talk about white privilege - most of us vigorously deny it exists... there are some honest, but creepy, folks who claim it as their birthright. We call these folks white supremecists. But most white folks, if they´re like average people, are too caught up in their daily grind of work and consumption that they´ll just laugh in your face if you say they´re privileged. White liberals and progressives will usually vigorously deny that there is any white privilege, especially for them in particular. But talk to organizers in the black and brown communities, and you´ll probably hear something a little different.

Tourists inpecting inexpensive pearls at the Guaymas Pearl Farm. Guaymas, Mexico

If you´re like me, you´d probably be thinking about what I´ve just written, maybe trying to find a response. Maybe you should stop thinking, and fucking start crying about the blood spilled to give you cheap lettuce.

Florida tourists at the Guaymas Pearl Farm.

We white progressives talk about justice and unjustice... but we act like this is something that is separate from the air we breathe and food we eat. It´s simply another conversational choice, another lifestyle choice -

"Daddy, there´s so much injustice, I need to make a change in the world."
"Darling, don´t you think studying law would be a little more practical?"

"The artist must elect to fight for freedom or for slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative. " - Paul Robeson

If you can choose to fight against injustice and inequality, that is privilege. That is, broadly speaking, White Privilege.

Mexican workers at the Guaymas Pearl Farm.

Next: Why it´s "white" privilege


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