! M A L G
A queer, feminist publication…
For our white frie nds… •I•
8 GLAM! #
glamzinemedia â€˘ instag
g la m zi
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Dear Friend, We write to you today with purpose. We write to you with determination and energy. Most of all, we write to you with hope. If you have been following along with us, then you know what GLAM! is – a never-steady discourse. If you are just picking us up for the first time, we won’t be giving much of an introduction, but feel free to contact us to get more information, or look for previous issues lying around campus. GLAM! is a queer, feminist publication dedicated to discoursing on politics, experience, and identity.
This is part I of a six-par t zine series how white p that will foc eople can be us o n t t e r fight for racia will focus on why white p l equality. It eople should equality. It w fight for racia ill – ideally – l bring us all some clarity .
And so… We write to you today, . pe ho h it w y da to u yo We write to le and white students on op pe te hi w as s, nd ie fr our white …so please listen. u yo to te ri w e W s. pu m this ca
We know that you, our friends, hold close to your hearts the unalienable rights that we have been granted by this country – those of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. We, too, hold these rights near and close in mind, that we are all created equal. But when the fact that we are not all treated equal glares in our eyes, we cannot sit silent. We know so many w ho cherish the freedo m allotted to them by this country. We know so many w ho proudly stand for this nation and this community. But do we fail to see that our own pe ople – our fellow blac k and brown and indigenous citize ns and friends – are subjected to hatred, pain, violence , and sometimes, deat h? Do we turn a blind eye to th ose who are denied th e freedoms that we have been gr anted? When we spea k of liberty and justice for all, do we truly mean it?
Do not, my friend, drive this subject from your mind, as one on which it is painful to reflect! -Elizabeth Margaret Chandler
We are living in a different era, of this we are sure. We are not living during the Atlantic slave trade. We are not living during Jim Crow or racial segregation. But to say that we are free, and equal, and just, and blind to color would be a disservice to what we stand for, would it not? To say we are all free would be to cease progress.
To say we are all equal would be to compromise our freedom. We must therefore hold true to our values and stand up against inequality. We must recognize racism in our daily lives, in our nation and on our campus. We must realize the ways that we, white people, have allowed racism to occur. We must listen to our friends of color, who can speak from their experience, and we must try and hear what they are saying. We must understand that it is not just about you, or us; racism is not just one racist individual, one racist comment or offense, itâ€™s a system. Itâ€™s a system that has been in place long before any of us entered this world but we, white people, still reap its benefits, and our friends of color still feel its heaviness.
ou ou to give up all y y g in sk a ot n re a And no, we t your rights, ei rf fo to ou y g in sk have, we are not a what you have er d en rr su to ou y we are not asking scheme to hurt a g in os p ro p ot n earned. We are ing any impossible os p ro p ot n re a e w white people, t in reverse,” u b e, is m ro p m co s fth form of a “three-fi med as such. a n n ee b e v a h s n – though our actio We are not asking you to disempower yourself.
However, we are asking you to see and admit that racism exists, on this campus and in this nation. We are asking you – our white friends – to see that our whiteness has given us privileges, and that we have accepted them, whether we intended to or not.
We have been given access to opportunit ies, we have been largely secured and protected by govern mental, economical and educational syst , ems, we have been validated in our thoughts, opinions, and knowledge, and we have lived mostly unafraid that our lives would be ta ken from us.
Yet, when we, as wh ite people working ag ainst racism, have named such st atements in the pas t, they are often taken not as fact, bu t as accusation. We are met with proofs of innocence, and cl aims that grasp to be seen as not guilty.
merely naming re a e w ; u o y g accusin truths that d n a , s But we are not e v li r u o ave found in blankets us ty li a truths that we h u q e in l ia c yours, as ra xcuse, to tell us e you will find in n a f o k in th eed you to tem. Because, to s all. We do not n y s is th m o fr d ot gaine why you have n probably have. u o y t a th w o n k be honest, we
– let us be clear – u yo g in am bl t no e ar e But w earlier, this isn’t just ed on ti en m e w as e us beca about the larger system ’s it s, on ti ac ur yo t ou ab e are not blaming you, that created them. So w side your mind the in t le to u yo ng ki as e but we ar d within this system te ac ve ha u yo at th ty possibili d your whiteness and ge ile iv pr ve ha at th s ay in w powered people of color. m se di ve ha at th s ay w in
te people, we still have hi w as , at th ow kn e w And yes, or, some of us po e ar us of e m So . es ti intersecting identi d some of us are an , ed bl sa di e ar us of e are queer, som at our whiteness th ny de ot nn ca e w ut B immigrants. nd, regardless. ha r pe up e th us n ve gi has often On this campus, we of ten hear the common counterpoint that, just because an in dividual is white, they themselves, or their parents, still w orked hard, sometimes from real poverty, sometimes ag ainst discrimination, to afford them the privileges they no w have.
This is a very real feeling, and it could very well be true. We donâ€™t wish to delegitimize anyoneâ€™s hard work and determination. But we must also pair these sentiments next to the fact that white people often get hired over equally qualified people of color; that predominantly white communities have easier access, through transportation and vicinity, to well funded and supported education; that white folks often have many role models, from celebrities to school teachers, who look like them and who care about them. The list can go on, but the point is this: We recognize that not every white person has the same privileges, but claiming that we are not privileged because of economic status, gender or sexual identity, ability status, or immigrant status does not negate the fact that people of color of all identities are still being oppressed because the color of their skin is not the color of our skin. And why should we fight, when we could work together?
White poverty is real, there is no doubt, and we do not wish to claim otherwise. In fact, we would rather acknowledge it as a symptom from this same racist system. Truth is, w e
don’t talk a
t we should
We have millions of white people in poverty in this country, but when we look at government efforts, we see a focus towards poor communities of color, like the War on Drugs and anti-gang violence programs, which have incidentally placed more people of color behind bars than they protect. But where’s the aid, where are the projects, who’s in charge for poor white communities? Silence. And that’s because, under racist ideologies, whiteness is equated with wealth. We see this in media and throughout history. To be white in the United States is to achieve the “American Dream.” To be white and poor in the United States would be to have failed such a conquest. And it becomes infinitely easier to blame such a failure on black and brown immigrants seeking a future for their families, on black and brown poor people who are labeled as “criminals” while just trying to survive, on black and brown refugees who want nothing but peace in a land that they may never call home.
We do this racial profiling, and we are taught to do this racial profiling, because it prevents us from realizing that the blame is not on us, not on people of color, but on the system – on a system that only serves to further the privileges of a few.
Because in bla ming people of color, the system is perp etuated, and w hite poor people still go unhear d, unprotected , and unsecure and people of c d, olor are still th e targets. every intersecting y rl ea n r fo e u tr s d This story hol ess is born out of en it h w in er ow p e identity. Th ulation with op p ed iz en og om h grouping us as one hen, in fact, w cs ti is er ct ra a ch d the same needs an periences. ex t n re fe if d ry ve ve we ha
And even if you feel as if you are of the most privileged identity, we ask you to question the ways your innate humanness and character conflicts with what you are “supposed” to be, and how you are “supposed” to act within that identity, because that conditioning and that discomfort are signs of tension and, thus, possible resistance.
In full honesty, we wish we had not w aited until now to do this work. We wish we had seen th e need to do this work, in this m anner, prior to this moment. We wish it could have been proactive inst ead of reactive.
Bu t h
ere w e
So, we will not delay any further. We cannot delay any further. We hope you won’t either.
e are dedicated to W k. or w is th to d te ca We are dedi be dedicated to us. n ca u yo at th pe ho e w you. And pt a willingness to ce ac t no do u yo if – t no And if y – then we sit with lit ua eq al ci ra ds ar w to work of color whom s nd ie fr r ou of ng ki in th heavy hearts, our white friends, u, yo of ng ki in th d an , you will hurt e hurt by racism. ar o, to , ey th w ho e se t who do no
And so, our white friends, we write to you today with hope.
We write to you with hope that you will see we are not here to fight against you, we are not here to hurt you, we are not here to delegitimize you. We are not here to force any liberal agendas or anti-white propaganda.
We are here because we have witnessed the ways that we are affected by systemic racism. We are here because we have witnessed how you, our white friends, may also be affected by systemic racism. We are here because we have witnessed how all of our actions within this system cause pain, hatred, and violence to our friends and loved ones of color.
We are here for them. We are here for you.
Are you here for us?
Are you here for us?
This is what we had space for. Think about what you may have learned, what you agreed with, what you disagreed with, what made you uncomfortable, what made you say: “heck yes.” While we do not have a defined schedule, you may expect the subsequent parts to this series next semester, so keep thinking, stay tuned, remain ready. Stay up to date on future GLAM! issues and material at glamzinemedia.tumblr.com, and follow us on instagram. Also check out the above for content and material that did not fit in this zine, but is related in nature. Feel free to contact the below email if you have questions, suggestions, submissions, or if you’d like us to talk about a particular topic or aspect of fighting for racial justice.
GLAM! is a queer, feminist publication created and distributed by students, put out whenever the fuck we have time. If you’d like to become involved in a future GLAM! issue, or if you’d like to obtain a personal copy of a particular issue, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org