Friday, February 6, 2015

Colonisation and Racism

Finally I am getting to unpack the material from the ACRAWSA Conference I went to in early December. It was full of great people and great thinking and analysis.
Some challenging ideas as well. Notes taken were as follows
Professor Edwardo Bonilla Silva
   - Teach that racism is structured (systemic) and alive and well and must be combatted fundamentally through social movement politics
  - Fight the new racism and it's 'colour blind' racist lullaby
  - Cease believing that electoral politics is THE path out of racial domination (the problem is not the guys in the hood but the guys in the suits)
  - 'New Whites' must be humble, patient and truly committed and appreciate the historical baggage of whiteness. 500 years of white supremacy has shaped all of us.
And remember as Fredrick Douglas wrote “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

While his paper was great he did have some disturbing comments on how people of colour deal with being in a colonising situation. He seemed to infer that only the original colonisers were required to look at the issues of colonisation and people who came later didn't need to consider these issues.
I wanted to refer him to Abraham Nouks beautiful APOLOGY poem

Aileen Morton Robertson
Indigenous studies needs to move beyond tokenism and provide access to universal thought.
The early days of this study was about cultural difference but she said that now it needs to assert the depth and sophistication that is inherent in Indigenous knowledge and claim its place amongst the major western philosophies. It also should be a critique of colonisation.
She used a term - Indigenisation - which means a space that culturally affirms Indigenous Knowledge.
Racism is the source of Race - Racial differentiation came with the enlightenment according to Foucalt - The construction of Blackness happened in the 1700's and then Whiteness defines itself by what it is not.
Classification creates possession - racialised possession - Patriarchal White Sovereignty
Racism is tied to the theft of Indigenous land and labour.
There were many more amazing things said by this extraordinary intellect but in summing up she said that we all need to become less possessive as subjects and develop an ethics of the other - learn to share and care for the other - not be defined by capital - teach us to become better human beings.

My work has been very focused on my own personal story of colonisation and while I am interested to continue this and will, I am also interested to see this inside the bigger question of Race and Racism which I believe is the underlying justification for all the behaviour that happened back then and as Edwardo Bonilla Silva stated - Racism is alive and well. It is NOT in the past and its structures are the legacy of the past that continues today.

Pins in the Draw

Pins in the Draw