Tuesday, January 23, 2018

History Of Racism Coming Out Of The Woodwork -- For White People

Banner by "hot feminists" a group apparently named in response to one of Thomas Kawczynski's
post to the effect that feminists tend to be unattractive.
White people are shocked, shocked at the nasty racism now bold enough to advertise itself up here in our neck of the woods. A town manager trying to lead a white supremacist project from Jackman, Maine was exposed in the press for Islamophobic, racist and misogynist internet posts, lots of them. He was hired last summer, and the posts began in November. (Hmmm, what happened in November?)

This story is prompting those who have been paying attention all along to share anecdotes from Maine's history with racism. For instance, in Jackman lumberjacks with axes met the train and drove off KKK who came from away to burn the Catholic church in town. This was in the 1920's.

And a cross was burned (wtf?!) in Anson, Maine in the 1950's. Presumably aimed at Black people? Or maybe French/Catholic? A colleague told me her ancestors were mill workers in the same town, brought in from Canada as strikebreakers. (My grandfather in a nearby town was forbidden to marry his school sweetheart because she was Catholic.)

Banner by "hot feminists"

Also, right in our faces, is the persistant racism that has fueled attempted genocide of the Wabanaki. It has been here all along.

To see it you can go to the comments section of any article on Native whatever in Maine and read for yourself. Or check out the work of the Wabanaki Truth & Reconciliation Commission about, specifically, child removal through the 1970's.

Now white supremacy has become something to brag about, and that's the main thing that is different.

In my bi-coastal family, our California side seemed more overtly racist. My grandmother was always muttering about Mexicans in "our" park even though she was supposed to be a good Christian woman. But then my Maine grandmother was just as bad about my Jewish roommates my first year at college. 

It's way past time for white people to be shocked when white supremacy and hateful language rear their ugly heads.

Use your white privilege to loudly object.

It's time to act in the certainty that every time we push back on expressions of bigotry, we're making the possibility of safety a little stronger for everybody. We're all safe if we have the space to be who we are without fear. Look at the Bangor Daily News poll one hour after publishing an article on Jackman firing thir town manager:

The fear driving these pasty would-be messiahs of the white future -- a mirage if there ever was one -- is palpable. They are afraid too. So a little humor in your messaging would not go astray.

Banner by "hot feminists"

Big props to the "hot feminists" who put up these banners around Jackman. Smokin' hot!!


Hopie said...

Great blog post!

loveEliz said...

I can't believe I am the only one who reads your wonderful and very apt blog. Maybe we have friends who do read you, and think each piece says it all..."nuff sed'.

Well, there is never "nuff" said when our country's, our relatives' and friends; racism is uncovered and brought to light.

And yes, Lisa, a little humor helps!
Love, Eliz