Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Race and Gender

Nubian, aka Blac(k)ademic, guest blogging at Alas, A Blog, posts her thoughts in "Gender Does NOT Trump Race" on why the assertion that "gender trumps race" (heard most recently in connection with the Duke rape case) bothers her. The post has provoked a lively, if not always, um, tactful discussion to which I may add when I've done reading the (59 and counting) comments. The same post appears on Nubian's own blog Blac(k)ademic, with additional comments.

My general take on the problem of multiple oppressions (e.g., is race hatred a worse problem than gender oppression?) is that the question goes away if you focus on the oppressors rather than the oppressed. We live in a world where a relatively small number of wealthy privileged white USAmerican and Northern European elite males (whose sons may or may not be on the lacrosse team at Duke) oppress everybody else. Discrimination, at its root, is not discrimination against, it is discrimination in favor of a particular group (W's handlers). Our placement outside the favored group is an accident of history--we did not qualify for it by our particular race or gender. We are oppressed because of who we are not, not because of who we are. Race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, etc., are powerful concepts manipulated by the elites to achieve two effects: to blind the white male worker (meaning anyone who lives off the earnings from his work, rather than the earnings from his money) to the uncrossable abyss separating him from the elite, which he can't see because he shares their race, gender and ethnicity, and to divide up all the oppressed so that we will oppress each other, fighting each other for the crumbs from the great table. Which we have obediently done through our ugly history and which we continue to do, effectively insuring our continued exploitation.

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