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Thread: Why did this bother me? dumb white person thoughts

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    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Why did this bother me? dumb white person thoughts

    I meant to write this when it was more timely, but anyway...

    At President Biden's inauguration, Vice President Harris and Justice Sotomayor were introduced in the ceremony in the following ways by Senator Klobuchar when the latter administered the oath of office to the former:
    "...our first African-American, first Asian-American, and our first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris..."
    "...the first Latina ever to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor..."

    This, for some reason, was grating for me to listen to at the time. Not previous or later celebrations of VP Harris' historic nature--her ascendance is a momentous and deeply moving thing to transpire for my country. Just these ceremonial introductions. I guess it felt, to me, like the ceremony was asking me to identify them and celebrate them purely for their identity historic-ness, to racialize them up to their very office, to see them purely as pawns in a larger (and very necessary) project of racial correction and reconstruction. It felt like it cheapened the moment.

    But crucially, I am not a black or Puerto Rican or brown-skinned woman. To someone from those backgrounds, these introductions might well have been music to their ears as much as Lady Gaga's; these introductions may have been reality-making. The power in saying those words! There is a wonderful acknowledgment of solidarity in them, I realized. Where it cheapened the moment in my 'white' eyes, it may have made the moment real in so many others'. And it was their moment.

    I don't really have any point in writing this, except to remind myself to continue thinking about the ever-evolving construction of race, and our quest to make meaning of it and hopefully render it less reality-imposing.
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did this bother me? dumb white person thoughts

    I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

    Social Vengeance Theory prevents this.
    Fighting is better than idleness
    -Kurdish proverb

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    Senior Member Fermata's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did this bother me? dumb white person thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

    Social Vengeance Theory prevents this.
    In that case I am buggered on both counts.

    But seriously, I get racial abuse whenever I go out on my daily walk but I don't recognise the existance of these abusers.

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    Default Re: Why did this bother me? dumb white person thoughts

    The social evolution in America is an arc toward greater and broader "liberty and justice for all." We are only part-way along this journey, and the election of more historically minority members into the highest offices of power in America is truly a form of progress to be proud of and to trumpet. I thought that Klobuchar was a bit smarmy for my taste (and Garth Brooks in jeans was an insult), but in that moment she was right to crow about Harris's achievements and the aspects of her identity.

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    Default Re: Why did this bother me? dumb white person thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    I meant to write this when it was more timely, but anyway...

    At President Biden's inauguration, Vice President Harris and Justice Sotomayor were introduced in the ceremony in the following ways by Senator Klobuchar when the latter administered the oath of office to the former:
    "...our first African-American, first Asian-American, and our first woman Vice President, Kamala Harris..."
    "...the first Latina ever to serve on the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor..."

    This, for some reason, was grating for me to listen to at the time. Not previous or later celebrations of VP Harris' historic nature--her ascendance is a momentous and deeply moving thing to transpire for my country. Just these ceremonial introductions. I guess it felt, to me, like the ceremony was asking me to identify them and celebrate them purely for their identity historic-ness, to racialize them up to their very office, to see them purely as pawns in a larger (and very necessary) project of racial correction and reconstruction. It felt like it cheapened the moment.

    But crucially, I am not a black or Puerto Rican or brown-skinned woman. To someone from those backgrounds, these introductions might well have been music to their ears as much as Lady Gaga's; these introductions may have been reality-making. The power in saying those words! There is a wonderful acknowledgment of solidarity in them, I realized. Where it cheapened the moment in my 'white' eyes, it may have made the moment real in so many others'. And it was their moment.

    I don't really have any point in writing this, except to remind myself to continue thinking about the ever-evolving construction of race, and our quest to make meaning of it and hopefully render it less reality-imposing.
    I've spent the last four years educating myself with what it means to be black and brown skin in the US. Add gender to that, if you will. When you come to know that these people have been denied a seat at the table, that a female, brown skinned person is not the VP is significant. Of course she benefitted from having a white male choose her, but that's fine with me.

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why did this bother me? dumb white person thoughts

    Fighting is better than idleness
    -Kurdish proverb

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