I don't read emails on this listserve as often as I used to, and I seldom reply to anything, but this is a particular exception.
Harrison, if there ever was an email not to send, that was it.
As a white person who has been "called out" for all sorts of legitimate things in the past, here are a few points I'd like to raise, and maybe some others might benefit too:
1. When you're called out, it's petulant and nonsensical to attempt to turn things around. Oppression is not a game of "I know you are but what am I?" Also, oppression is also not a two-way street. A person of color calling you out may be many things, but it's not racism. It uncomfortably brings to mind the reactionary accusations of "reverse racism."
2. Instead, listen non-defensively, even if you don't like the tone of how you were called out. Consider
that their criticisms are valid. Recognize that as a white person living in a white supremacist society, you may not always be capable of realizing when you are perpetuating that system.
3. Be proactive about checking your privilege in the future. Attend anti-oppression workshops, such as those offered by the Anti-Racist Allies or Safer Spaces Committee. Often those who are defensive about being called out are more receptive to hearing these criticisms from fellow white people. It also takes the burden off of people of color who I imagine are quite tired of having to explain these things to whites.
4. This brings me to my final point because I'm already late for work. Can you see how the phrase "if there's anyone smarter than you on [the People of Color Working Group]" comes off extremely problematic? If not, reread it until you do.
On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 12:49 AM, Gabriel Johnson <email@example.com>
I'm not sure about the exact terminology, and I was going to look it up and quibble, but it is too late for quibbling. It's imperfect but still somewhat useful. (And I don't *love* the layout of the chart, looking a bit like a pie when it's not.) But I can't bring myself to disagree with the rest of your email.
On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 12:23 AM, Harrison Schultz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rob - Yeah, the graphic doesn't seem intended to display any relationships between the variables it's a great and incredibly useful way to see the toplines of the data set. It'll be far more interesting for me to watch the shapes on this change than it is for me to read my own reports, assuming we can get the same graph for each set we collect. I appreciate your scrutiny. Feel free to reach out if there's anything else you'd like to know or if this data can possibly be of any use for your purposes.
Gabe and everyone else - non-random is not synonymous with unscientific.
Thank you for bringing this project to the attention of the People of Color Working Group, if there's anyone smarter than you on that committee than I'm sure that they will utilize it for efficient strategic outreach to non-white communities.
(Thankfully) I don't think we've ever formally met, and I ordinarily don't pay any attention to anything you write since you clearly bring nothing to our collective struggle with society except for your irrational anger. So why bother with lip-service about mediation? I've been bored and irritable all day myself and I wouldn't mind a little practice. However I'd rather not spend what little time I have to enjoy sitting on my ass to deal with your silly bullshit, which happens to be far more racist than any information I've produced for OWS. So how 'bout you just keep on telling me what a racist I am over this thread, and I'll do a better job of writing back a sarcastic and confrontational response in a more timely manner just so you can feel like you're contributing to the movement.
You call me out but now you've been called out. But now it's your turn, so let's play!
On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 8:06 PM, shaista husain <email@example.com>
Thank you Lauren, me too, i don't want to be dismissed as angry and
attacking anyone--no one is trying to be racist here and i am not
accusing anyone, just the data is troubling to me. I do have some
issues for concern which needs constructive mediation and positive
engagement. I am deeply sorry i haven't learned how to express myself
properly. i am learning and transorming in this process too, please
bear with me. i will take this matter to the proper mediation so we
can speak to each other as allies and move forward with strength and
On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 7:12 PM, Lauren <firstname.lastname@example.org
> Let me try to say this in a less angry way.
> - I am perfectly aware of eugenics and scientific racism. In fact,
> I've been involved in disability activism long enough to know the ins
> and outs of eugenics.
> - I am also sadly aware of the fact that a lot of america's population
> tends to self-define not by culture but by racial identities from this
> ideological basis
> - I am not defining america for you, if I could pretend that
> scientific racism hadn't left its mark on the country I would really
> be glad.
> - I have made no threats.