ON THE CURSE OF “WHITENESS”

A new edition of Drone Organizers Bulletin will be coming to you every other week for the next several months at least.  The idea is to provide only one or two articles per edition so that you will not feel overwhelmed and so that you have a chance to think deeply about what is written.

In reading the forthcoming articles, I urge that you view them through the lens provided by James Baldwin in this remarkably prophetic quote:

The will of the people, in America, has always been at the mercy of an ignorance not merely phenomenal, but sacred, and sacredly cultivated: the better to be used by a carnivorous economy which democratically slaughters and victimizes whites and blacks alike. But most white Americans do not dare admit this (though they suspect it) and this fact contains mortal danger for the blacks and tragedy for the nation.

Or, to put it another way, as long as white Americans take refuge in their whiteness—for so long as they are unable to walk out of this most monstrous of traps—they will allow millions of people to be slaughtered in their name, and will be manipulated into and surrender themselves to what they will think of—and justify—as a racial war. They will never, so long as their whiteness puts so sinister a distance between themselves and their own experience and the experience of others, feel themselves sufficiently human, sufficiently worthwhile, to become responsible for themselves, their leaders, their country, their children, or their fate. They will perish (as we once put it in our black church) in their sins—that is, in their delusions. And this is happening, needless to say, already, all around us.

  An Open Letter to My Sister, Miss Angela Davis. By James Baldwin, November 19, 1970, when Ms. Davis was incarcerated in California.

See Ms. Davis interviewed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2BIZy0HScM