Repost: Take Five--Points Toward a Summation of the 1st Annual Blogging Against White Supremacy Day
Take Five--Points Toward a Summation of the 1st Annual Blogging Against White Supremacy Day
[Take Five. Every Friday, Fire on the Mountain picks a category and lists five cool things in it. It's up to you, dear reader, to add your own in the Comments section. Just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of the piece and you're off to the races.]
Okay, so this is kind of low road. I didn’t have a topic (like political James Brown tunes a few weeks ago) conveniently thrust before me by the world, and I wasn't having much luck casting about for ideas—five kinds of dental floss? five cool episodes of My Mother The Car?
At the same time I have been feeling a little unsettled that the first annual Blogging Against White Supremacy Day came and went without any summation. This is, I know, in keeping with the short shelf life of stuff on the Internet but I get old school about this sort of thing. When a project of some political importance is undertaken, there should be some summation. What follows is not that summation, but one guy’s ideas about what happened and how to look at it. Others should please chip in. (The most complete set of links to participating blogs is at Pottawatomie Creek, the blog where the original call went up.)
1. Quantitatively, I count twelve or thirteen bloggers who put up something privilege–related between the 14 and the 17th. (A few who signed up to do it don’t seem to have actually posted at the time.) In addition there were a bunch of interesting comments, especially on the better-established blogs. While I knew most of those who participated, there were a couple of gratifying discoveries, and I trust others had that experience.
2. Most of the posts can be slotted (or forced) into a few broad groupings (leaving out Lauren’s inspired choice of an Audre Lorde poem and CelticFire’s graphic).
Historic documents: Haisanlu, LeftSpot and me
Reflections on Dr. King’s role and his holiday: Bolivariano Roja, the indefatigable LeftSpot, EightOneUnderRedStar
Aspects of white supremacy today: Yolanda (twice). Lefty Henry, John, Modern Pitung
Personal reflections: Jesse on hipness and white supremacy in Santa Cruz and Nelson H on having a White Citizens Council skeleton in the family closet.
[I personally found these last the most interesting and most thoughtful. They were also the most in the diary spirit which blogging still carries from its origins, a spirit which is more personal and less instrumental that most political blogging.]
3. Ya gotta organize. As Mao says, without a general call the broad masses cannot be mobilized. Nelson H issued such a call. But Mao goes on to call for going deeply into the work in a few places to make breakthroughs. As above, this isn’t how Teh Internets work in general, but we aren’t average netizens; we are, most of us, revolutionary socialists, and we know a few things about organizing which may be applicable in situations like this.
For example, uniting with the advanced to win over the intermediate. Two places where more effort, I would argue, would have been richly repaid occur to me immediately. One is Stan Goff’s interesting and well-trafficked Feral Scholar. Even more important, I would argue is the young feminist/womanist of color patch of the blogosphere. Folks like Yolanda and Zooey are steady blogging about white (and male) privilege and the intersectionality of oppressions, never mind a particular day, and coming up with some really interesting stuff.
4. Overall, I thought the first Day of Blogging Against White Supremacy went pretty good and I hope folks are primed to keep addressing these issues over the coming year. Keep your eyes open to develop links and ties with others you come across over the next 12 months who address these questions, so we can start the 2008 BAWS push with a cohort at least triple what we wound up with this time.
5. As I’ve been mentioning every chance I get, The Cost of Privilege: Taking on the System of White Supremacy and Racism, the fantastic new book by Chip Smith and a small research and writing team, will be out within weeks. Along with it will come a new website for the book, which promises to deliver some “value added” for folks who visit it. Right now, I’d like to ask each person who blogged on BAWS Day for permission to add a link to their contribution. If you say “yes,” it’ll spare me chasing you down one-on-one to solicit you.
(Okay, so 5 is not a point of summation. Sue me.)