Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,
Spacefem
spacefem

detour spotting

ran across this in a friend's journal. it's been around a while, but it's new to me, so it might be new to you, too:

http://www.eraseracismny.org/html/library/racenracism/ER_jo_DETOUR.pdf

Deep down inside something always bothered me about the "just be colorblind, don't see race or gender" argument... mostly because I'd hear people say things like, "I don't care if he's purple with green spots, I'm just looking for the best person for the job!" and I'd know full well that we would as a LOT of questions if a purple/green-spotted person walked through the door. not to mention the fact that purple people, who I'm guessing would look like aliens, should not be compared to black people, who I'm guessing are sick of being compared to beings outside the normal threshold of the human race.

Anyway, that article (which is nine pages long, but very scanable!) also brings up the fact that when you try not to see anyone else's race or gender, you don't see your own, either. You don't recognize your own privilege. You take for granted the fact that you mostly work with people like you, who connect with you, who aren't afraid to be honest with you. It downplays the benefits you get from being part of a majority.

Then you can be one of those people who points a finger at anti-racists and says they're not needed. You can also turn into one of those "poor me, it's tough being white and upper-middle class" types that we all love so much. I'm surrounded by them. I mean yes, I read this stuff as a personal resource to work through my own race issues, which I've admitted exist now. But I also read it because it's like a toolbox in my daily struggle to get the social conservatives around me to stop saying utterly rediculous things IN THE OFFICE, where we're trying to engage and motivate everyone. not just the white people. if 10% of my coworkers don't feel like they fit in here, that's 10% of some good airplane ideas we probably just tossed out the window, and for what?
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