June 25, 2016 Neah Monteiro
Last night I confronted a British-born, Canandian-bred, self-admitted “little-bit-racist,” white Bellingham resident extolling England’s proud history of colonialism, telling stories about his admiration of black and brown colonial subjects and refugees “improving their lot” as they served him in the UK and Canada. Andy Ingram broke down white privilege when the guy bragged about making $40-50 an hour in Wash., and how he’d have to start at $10 if he moved to Oregon, but would “work his way up.” (http://everydayfeminism.com/20…/…/debunking-bootstraps-myth/).
I’d brought our zine on white supremacy in Bellingham & Whatcom County — http://perilouspress.tumblr.com/…/zine-the-perilous-history… — to give to the brewery’s owners (because http://www.stonesthrowbrewco.com/history), and ended up giving it to the guy’s wife. Another white couple thanked me for confronting him, but waited until he was out of earshot to do so.
Of course I’m going to say something when myths that justify white supremacy are being spewed out like that. When he’s talking over my dad and not hearing dad’s comments about his own experiences in England (where much of our family lives) throughout the past four decades. When this guy’s polite, coded racism can sound convincing to my white friends and the strangers sitting around us. (https://www.jacobinmag.com/…/chua-changelab-nakagawa-model…/) For a moment I felt like I was disturbing the peace, but seriously? (There is no peace at a Fairhaven brewery/on stolen land, there is only coping.) That moment was just my internalized white supremacy speaking. Unchecked, this dude was #AbbyFisher.
Also, reverse racism is still not a thing. That would require that prejudice against white people lead to their incarceration, unemployment, and poverty; that police brutalize them; that they be less likely to have access to quality health care and education than other races; their rights denied. Globally they’d be bombed and brutalized with funds from foreign militaries, their lands the first to be flooded or dried out by climate change.