Whiteness is not inevitable! by Fred Ho
Hmmm, I think I agree. To simplify, I believe it’s essentially asking to ignore white people and focus on working towards national liberation for oppressed nationalities (people of color) because the narrative of race and white privilege becomes one of integration rather than liberation. Well, I’m all for not working to receive validation from the oppressor. Will spend more time thinking this over.
Whiteness is not inevitable! Why the emphasis on white-skin privilege is white chauvinist. The problematic of “race” needs to be replaced by the restoration of the national question/s:
I shall argue for the replacement of the “race” formulation and the over-emphasis upon “white-skin privilege” with a “return” to the national question(s) framework and argue that no separate politics or forms of organizing that centers and emphasizes its focus upon whites is correct or efficacious, but arguably, harmful and hurtful to the cause of building working class unity and power within the U.S.
I propose that Leftists must center and concentrate their efforts upon the actual political and structural dismembering of the U.S.A. by building the multiplicity of national liberation struggles among the oppressed nations and nationalities, the destruction of the American nation-state as it has been constructed and construed, with the replacement of a multiplicity of new national identities and political energies that centers the U.S. revolutionary struggle among the workers of these national liberation struggles.
To conclude my analysis of the historical development of the American nation-state, I want to summarize the concomitant white oppressor nation building process and the process of national oppression as indelible to American society:
- White skin privileges both are byproducts of and contributors to white settler colonial national construction.
- White privileges, as partial, tenuous and minor as they may be for poor and exploited whites, exceed the condition of national oppression relegated to those not conferred as white: genocide, terror, extreme restrictions, exclusion and constant brutal oppression.
- In many cases whites have not been the majority population in “American history”, but became dominant both numerically and socio-politically through genocide, unjust immigration laws, forced exodus, ghettoization and marginalization, all practices aimed at the repopulation of the continent to ensure the hegemony of white supremacy.
The problem of race is that it primarily juxtaposes the political question as one of integration, as one of learning how to get along with one another, and not dealing with the question of returning land and territory and the battle for national equality. So it is about how do we get rid of our racist ideas or how do we deal with white privilege. White privilege is only one phenomenon of national oppression. The privileges happen because of the inequality between peoples, of which the first basis was depriving people of their land, resources and control of the fruits of their labor and innovations. The process of Americanization was the seizure of land and territory and then absorption or assimilation of that territory and those peoples into this mythical white supremacist thing called America. African Americans become Black Yankees when they assimilate the imperialist history and values of the Unites States, as opposed to seeing themselves as oppressed nationalities. Malcolm X demarcated the difference between identifying as oppressed versus identifying with the oppressor values and narrative: “We [Africans in the U.S.] are not Americans, we are victims of America”.
The U.S. multinational working class has erroneously been viewed as necessarily being a white majority (and the attendant chauvinist presumption, with majority white leadership). Rather, oppressed nationality workers are not only the numerical majority relative to their populations, but have, both respectively and collectively, it can be argued, greater political inclination towards radical and revolutionary positions due to the intrinsic nature of their contradiction with imperialism: super-exploitation combined with national oppression and external domination.
Thus the white integrationist-white chauvinist plagued Left has disregarded the importance of building and leading “nationality-in-form” formations, such as oppressed nationality student unions, militant community forces, independent cultural institutions, and the creative labor formations that elevate the role and leadership of oppressed nationality workers. The U.S. left has given scant emphasis upon the struggle to force the U.S. government to honor all treaties made with the Native nations, fighting for national rights, self-government, return of stolen lands and resources, reparations and the dismantling and eradication of all vestiges of white settler-colonialism, including the hegemony of classical music orchestras, white mythologies in education and scholarship, and even the notion of a white identity.