This is a personal and social history of the way racism has interacted with my life – a panorama of racism. My last examination of racism in my life was here in which I discussed my own racism, so it might be better to consider panoracisma as a part 2 although I might go over some of the same stuff.
When you are white you wear a label beneath what passes for your “fashion” that says I come from a racist society. When I consider the history of that racist society I am absolutely amazed at how tolerant non-white people are. When I consider the privilege that label has given me and when I consider the racist behaviour the recent white downgrading of WEGemony has caused, I am even more amazed. But I have never been free, and nor should I be free, of the racist label. This brings with me a level of consciousness that says I have benefitted from racism, my culture and conditioning were/are racist, and I have to be conscious that if I am not aware of this baggage I could act inappropriately. I don’t know how well I do with this level of consciousness, that is for others to judge.
This blog came out of a sense of frustration that arises from my consideration of the uprising, and the lack of hope I have for the results of the uprising. A few years ago I began discussing the MAWPs (Male Arrogant White and Privileged), and it is almost a year since I walked away from the beach which has been taken over by this conditioned ignorance. I have a liberal acquaintance I recently met, I laid into his complacent arrogance a couple of years ago so it is difficult between us. He is now ill – not connected, so I avoid pushing him. When I told him I don’t go to the beach any more because of the racism, he recommended to me that I just be quiet when it happens - like he does. I almost exploded at him but there was a silence as the topic changed. That is the tathata of the way life is here – tathata is my favourite Buddhist word at the moment; in a sense this panoracisma is a tathata on how I see racism.
No-one is born a racist because our fundamental natures are compassion, but from the moment we are born (or from conception) we are surrounded by the conditioning of our society, and that conditioning early on is of course family. My family and community were tacit racists. This racism grew out of post-WWII, and was discussed more in My Racism Kehinde (part 1 if you like). I was a conditioned racist but fortunately at 23 I had my upheaval, my awakening, my first grace, in which much of my conditioning was thrown off.
At this stage I had not developed the sense of consciousness I described as “I have benefitted from racism, my culture and conditioning were/are racist, and I have to be conscious that if I am not aware of this baggage I could act inappropriately”. Far from it. With that type of upheaval there is a newness because of the great reduction of conditioning. Part of this newness could be described as all people being equal but there was not a consciousness of the meaning and impact of racism, I was too full of the wonders of learning about the path to look into my consciousness about racism then. My path knew I had to learn what racism meant but at that stage it was not high on the agenda.
Even though the Arts Centre was in Lambeth I did not meet black people. I worked with black kids in child care but apart from this “equality” I didn’t have any understanding of what racism meant. I only began investigating it when I started teaching – again in Lambeth. Disproportionately for the school intelligent black kids were failing, basically black kids were being disadvantaged by the school. I had just made a life choice of compassion that had started with child care and then moved on to a pro-active approach – education. I could help the kids in care but education meant stopping the kids from getting there – that was the theory. That is the way the path is – keep it simple.
When I started teaching black kids were suffering educationally the most, so that’s what I needed to look at. Fortunately I had a black friend at the time who made it clear that “treating people equally” was not going to cut it, and I had to learn more about myself. Learning more about myself and observing more about how racism was affecting my students meant that I had to understand where racism came from. But because of a peculiarity of my particular work situation a block was placed on my understanding. My HOD had a socialist agenda, and for him education was not the vocation it was for me. His socialism revolved around the power of workers in this case teachers, and he did not focus on changing society through education just through class struggle. Because I was focussed on education we were immediately in conflict. Neither of us acted well – neither of us acted to reach an accommodation, and there was ongoing confrontation which I lost because he had the institutional power. Ironically in my second job I was able to marry the education with the political, unfortunately this old HOD never did. He was also charismatic and had a small but significant group of “followers”, and together they disrupted education in the school as a whole – so it was not just the education in my department that was damaged. My anger and frustration with the situation meant that I never investigated the wider economic and political roots of racism until I was out of the situation. This primarily happened through my work on the magazine, and the people from the community who supported me in that work. By the end of the time editing the magazine I began understanding racism within the political and economic context, and it made far more sense.
Amongst the students I saw inter-racial reactions which I now understand as conditioning. We had a system where I took a group of kids through school. I was fortunate to have three very pleasant hard-working black girls in my group, and I tried to help them. I have differing recollections of other students in the group. Because of where I saw the disadvantage, I paid more attention to the black kids, and in addition there were a group of disruptive boys who needed a lot of attention. I watched as a group of non-achieving white girls slipped towards the racist stereotype, I don’t know how much but something sticks in my mind about one of the girls. These white girls were mostly pleasant, just grew up with their conditioning, and were becoming what I unflatteringly thought of as marriage fodder; on reflection I didn’t help them as much as I should. I did all that was professionally required of me and more, but because of my emphasis they missed out – they were pleasant and likeable and I was white so they probably expected more attention. Despite a school being mixed race (just majority black) racist conditioning happened. It was as if racial understanding only came from the family and community. I am not saying these white girls were racist – I have no idea. They didn’t relate to me because of my focus, but more importantly here they didn’t get educated about racism, their education about racism came from their family and community. This conditioning arising from family and community was even more obvious when you factored in the occasional liberal parents at the school whose kids adopted liberal conditioning. I visited the families of most of these kids - if their parents accepted my self-invite to get to know them, but there was of course distrust with “school”. It is for the students to know what they got from school but in a mixed race school I only saw a perpetuation of prejudices.
I was however involved in an Inner London initiative in which we prepared positive teaching materials. Even though I taught maths there was much scope for using maths to present real life statistics. I thought of this as real maths presenting statistics about the truth of the situation of black people. The political within the initiative were interested in developing materials that presented a political perspective on racism, but at that time I was more focussed on positive images because of the block in my work situation. The political were happy to call it anti-racist maths, I didn’t mind, and Maggie enjoyed it greatly. Neither Maggie nor the political really got it because of their agendas - ditthupadana. My understanding of it was that the black kids were happy working with materials that presented the truth about them and their situation. The educational output was always above the school achievement level of the particular black kids working on the materials; I did not do enough work to assess how the materials affected the white kids but there was no obvious imbalance – all the students seemed to work better. I have no idea how such work has progressed in the nearly 40 years since then but I never saw significant changes within my contact with maths. Perhaps private schools overseas wouldn’t see the changes but again I suspect the worst, a lot of air mostly directionless turbulence with establishment factors fanning the lack of direction, and no concerted effort for change.
This kind of sums up social change and racism – a lot of air mostly directionless turbulence with establishment factors fanning the lack of direction, but to be fair I haven’t been in UK education since 1992. But apart from the change that has brought in white downgrading and the WEGemony, from the outside there has been no concerted active approach. I knew why then, there was no establishment will; but now any assessment would just be conjecture. However by the time of finishing the magazine I knew that racism primarily arose from the economic system which I now call the 1%-satrapy, and that lack of progress on race issues has the 1%-brand all over it. And it is their brand that will define the results of the uprising - in these days brand and substance are not related. Marketing a change in racism whilst maintaining the 1%-satrapy seems a likely outcome, the 1% need to blame black and brown people whilst using their cheap labour but there will be some token advances.
But in this panoracisma I am focussed on examining the racism of white people. In this recent Films for Action facebook post the author attempts to examine white guilt as a contributory factor. The title is “We need solidarity, not white guilt, to fight racism” beneath this picture:-
I might have been in solidarity on the march but what does this do? It has to be done but complete disenchantment needs to be understood. Maybe what is going on is that new generations just need to be told “there’s no hope”, they have told Greta and her young, now they are telling young black people.
And in both situations they are telling certain white people if you keep quiet and shut up we will protect your houses; these certain white people have been given the nod. Prior to the uprising Trump’s Qult were on the streets, where are they now? Obviously the sensible ones are scared but there are plenty of loonies there. Where are they? Have they been told they are not allowed out? Have they been told the funding will dry up if they confront on the streets? Where are the crazies like this guy? Maybe the mainstream media are doing enough to show “certain white people” that their houses and way of life will be protected?
In WEGemony I have discussed White Enclave Governments. This apartheid model is a combination of the rich and semi-rich who will always vote conservative, and the promotion of racism through white downgrading that will give the balance of voters to enable Trump, Bojo, Scomo, Bolsonaro (are the factors the same with Bolsonaro?) etc. Then the WEGemony of US imperialism can continue to manipulate sympathetic governments. I don’t know the demographics but I am sure the right-wing think tanks do know. They will know where the voting patterns are possibly going to change. If the 1% want Trump they will get him in November, BLM won’t affect this. But do the 1% want him? I think they reluctantly accepted him last time, and he paid them back, so things were ok. But he has screwed up Covid and now there is the uprising. Profits and the economy have been affected by Covid – here is a Forbes article. Whilst the uprising does not affect white communities and Trump’s traditional racist voter, Covid does and together this might raise the compassion of some voters who traditionally vote conservative – the ones who are deluded in thinking that conservative means them, that the 1% means them. I don’t know how these entrenched voting patterns will be affected but even if they don’t vote Trump Biden has said I won’t do anything radical and I will keep your homes safe.
I cannot tell you how white people will vote, mainly because I am not subject to conditioning of white people in the same way. The attempts to condition me are the same but I work hard at not allowing them to have an effect. Unless you know there is conditioning you cannot work against it, and MAWPs don’t accept they have been conditioned.
In my working life I have always been amongst teachers, and for me amongst them the biggest racist problem is liberalism, how the liberals disguise the desire for a house and comforts with their white guilt. These liberals might not vote for Corbyn or Bernie but they would mostly never vote Trump – and maybe not Bojo. But their house matters more than black lives. In terms of my white label – the skin beneath my “fashion”, I was always extreme, a bit uncomfortable to confront on a politically aggressive day, but they were liberal so were sufficiently convinced they were doing enough. Apart from those voting conservative they were in a relative context not the problem – although not in an absolute context as they could have done far more to raise their consciousness and work on their white guilt. These are the people the FfA facebook post looks at but they are not the players that count. Those creating the racist society are the addicted 1%, the entrenched racists and the “certain white people” who are quiet but vote conservative - conditioned white people doing as the WEGemony wants, their compassion being bought off to protect their house and a white way of life. These conditioned white people forget the international wars, forget the wage slavery, forget the racism, forget the poverty; your house is fine, your suburbia is fine, you can be nice to your neighbours and ignore the suffering done in your name. How many of these people will have been changed by the uprising?
The MAWPs I know now have opened my eyes to white racism, I was in a liberal bubble. My immediate attempts at promoting anti-racism were amongst the liberals, I never met MAWPs other than when I visited the community my parents lived in. Over the 40 years from upheaval to recognising the MAWPs I had watched as society’s awareness about race had increased. I deluded myself that racism was becoming less and less of a problem, and that was because of liberal censorship. This liberal censorship said “my house matters” thus appealing to conservative whites who saw that there was no threat from liberalism. So liberal censorship produced quiet. There were always the NF or whatever initials they morphed, but they were few, and from afar I saw liberalism. It appeared racism was improving, but it was not it was just they were quiet and were never racist in front of me. Mostly I knew liberals, and if not liberals, racists were quiet because of the dominant liberal censorship. This censorship presented a delusion, a facade, that white people were less racist.
But the conditioning had not changed. Families and community propagated racism but it was quiet. Voting enabled liberalism such as Blair or Obama but their limited reforms never altered anything significantly, and of course Blair did his war-bidding. But then came the era of the WEGemony where it was not necessary to make policy for liberal voters, it was cheaper to make policy for a white enclave only. The policies of Trump, Bojo and Scomo are not an attempt to be democratic, include all the people in their country, but only those who will vote for them.
And this enclave, who include the MAWPs I became aware of, has been enabled. Now these people don’t keep quiet with shame about being racist, they are now outwardly racist and confront my anti-racist position. This white downgrading is a lack of human decency, shameful, uncomfortable to be with, and totally conditioned by the 1% - except of course these MAWPs are arrogant and think they are above conditioning.
I have no idea what these WEGemonies must be like to live in for black and brown people, Black Lives Matter clearly shows how it is a risk to life – under Obama as well. The uprising is a consequence of the WEGemony strategy, and the think tanks will be observing how it affects their vote base. Will losing statues mean the votes are more certain? Are the street demonstrations making their conditioning of the house-protecting conservatives more certain to vote for security? Are they comfortable with the unspoken white enclave?
Where I live now is an expat enclave, and the racist white enclave flourishes. Liberals keep quiet but to be fair the expat enclave I am in is relatively pleasant; it is visitors who bring with them the defiled world including the racism. But as I get more into my solitude (Viveka), compassion makes me less tolerant of compromising with even this pleasant behaviour which is so closely linked with the crimes arising out of the WEGemony at the moment.
Yet intellectuals still maintain that the way forward is awareness, that liberal white people need to rid themselves of guilt through increased awareness as if that is the way forward. Here (less than 2 mins) is a comedian (if blocked watch this - 8 mins), Desiree Burch, advising white people what they should do about racism.
Now she is addressing liberals on a comedy show so I shouldn’t read all this into it. But how many intellectuals, black or otherwise, think that you can talk to a racist and they are going to say “Wow, Karen, I’ve never heard that, I’m going to stop being racist!” Racism is integral to the 1%-satrapy, they are not going to allow the key votes, integral to their control of the WEGemony, to suddenly be won over because a friend powerfully argues that racism is conditioning and they should be better than that. Quite rightly Desiree says that white people do not discuss their racism with black people, this is because they are ashamed – and there might even be some politeness in there. Apart from white supremacists, white racists in general do not want to shout about it. When a pretty young white girl is afraid that when she walks round a corner she is going to meet a big black man who is going to ram her with his huge todger, my telling her most black men wouldn’t do that is not going to make any difference. If I tell her a greater proportion of white men are rapists than black men, she’s not going to tell me “Thanks Bill for telling me the truth, I feel safe now.” With my parents, when I was living with a black partner I told them my love was first; her mother said that I should make up. In the end the relationship finished, and at home later in life we had an impasse where black people were never mentioned; I suspect my mother had given one of her few dictates to my father about this – most of the time to keep the peace she did what he wanted so when she insisted on something it happened. As with my partner’s mother black people call for family to be respected – far more than white people do. Desiree, it is called systemic racism for a reason – I am sure you know that, your comment was on a comedy show with the superficials at Last Leg – not a meaningful debate. People especially intellectuals want a simple answer, and intellectuals think that answer is awareness because intellectual egos think all answers are intellectual. Systemic racism is way more powerful than intellectual discourse.
OK Desiree, here I am guilty Lucy. I grew up in nice white suburbia near cosmopolitan city somewhere in the WEGemony. Lucy knows racism is wrong, and feels guilty that her parents were racist as were their recent ancestors. As with all families where conforming middle-class is the main parenting theme, there are huge divisions and unspoken anger about many issues. Lucy goes home, has a huge argument about racism with her mother, and gets shown the door. They don’t see each other for years. What has been achieved?
Did Lucy’s mother know Lucy did not like racism? Of course, that’s what would be expected of an educated middle-class girl; the mother just hopes Lucy will meet a nice white man and have kids so that she doesn’t have to discuss it. Is there anything Lucy could say to her mother to stop her being racist? No. Lucy’s mother is also quite intelligent but in nice white suburbia they are just racist, nobody talks about it, and they vote for the nice Tory who says they will keep things the same. Lucy’s father doesn’t talk about racism either. He doesn’t like the loudmouth at the club who bangs on about blacks but he’s not going to stop him; they let him bang on for a while and then talk about the cricket. But of course he votes with his wife for the same nice Tory who promises things will be the same.
Desiree is quite right to be angry, and she lashes out at the only white people who listen to her, white liberals who are trying to do the right thing. Desiree knows these guilty whites have a lot to learn about their own racism awareness so she can get a response by making demands of the guilt. Desiree knows these guilty whites are unsure of themselves but she is not offering a solution. The problem is systemic and can’t be solved by intellectual discourse. I say to these white liberals learn more about your own racism, study it, learn about its history, make your colonial history part of who you are. Lucy if you do what Desiree says, you will have the row with the parents, a few years later meet the white guy, get married – everyone makes up, and then when Lucy and her husband have their house round the corner from the parents they will vote for the same nice Tory who will protect their property. If Lucy had grown a deeper awareness of systemic racism there is no way she could accept that vote and compromise. And maybe the deeper awareness would have led to a greater understanding of the 1%-satrapy, and this understanding might pervade her actions throughout her life. Maybe Lucy would take her inner journey far enough that she would work through the suffering that would give her first grace. I’m sorry Desiree, but having a blazing row with family who are racists is not a constructive way forward. I understand why you said it but it was not constructive. Is there a constructive way? When something is as deeply ingrained as systemic racism, when the 1%-satrapy is so dependent on that racism, there is no simple constructive answer. A 99% revolution including all the parents who are racist???
Now the FfA post guilt trips white people to look deeper, to make their unconscious racism conscious - I asked Lucy to do the same but with a pathtivist purpose. But there is a flaw to this. How do white people recognise unconscious racism unless black people tell them when white people are being racist? Desiree told the guilt-trippers that they must try and in trying make mistakes, I hope Desiree would not make these liberals uncomfortable in making these mistakes because the only way they can learn they are being racist (apart from blatant racism such as n-word) is when black people tell them. White people cannot feel what it is like to feel racism so we must listen when black people say. If a black person says it is racist white people need to listen because white people cannot feel racism. But here's the rub, black people cannot know how to be racist because they are not white. For a white person to overcome their unconscious racism they need the help of black people to make them aware of when they are being unconsciously racist, and once racism becomes conscious white people need to let it go. Black people cannot tell white people how to overcome their conditioning, whote people have to do that for themselves. I make the point again, as with any attachment making racism conscious and letting it go is part of every person's path; without the help of black people (and women for the sexist) white people cannot become conscious of their racism. But I ask black people to show sympathy in this process because white people are not always aware of the conditioning that produces their racism. Before I was conscious I was racist, I was being racist; this was because of the conditioning from my family amd community. My racism was never a conscious decision; I did after upheaval make a conscious decision to treat people equally and then later to try not to be racist. With white downgrading some racists are making conscious decisions to be racist but liberals on a guilt trip are more than likely just becoming aware of their conditioning and need help.
Helping liberals through their guilt trips is a good thing because we should all try to overcome our conditioning in whatever form it takes. But I am not sure how much that will help the uprising. When I was younger I did some anti-racist training, and one word equation has always stuck with me:-
Prejudice + Power = Racism
This is usually taken as meaning both black and white people have prejudices but black prejudice is not so important because they have no systemic power. Listen to Brother Louie. Both fathers were prejudiced - calling "spook and honky". For Louie and his partner both fathers had power, and racism threatened their love. However outside the home the black father's prejudice probably had limited impact, whereas the white man might well have had the power to employ "spooks".
But let's examine this power further by considering which white people have the power to affect racism. For their own personal development liberals should make conscious their racist conditioning and let it go, but apart from the vote how many liberals have power to affect the lives of black people? How many liberals have the power beyond the limited power of the vote? Racism is systemic, and who controls the system? I describe the system as 1%-satrapy, so I describe the 1% as having the control; 1% cause the racism. They have a racist police force to criminalise and control black people within the townships, scapegoating black people and protecting the property and lifestyle of the 1%. Guilt-tripping white liberals has no impact on this power other than through the vote. White liberals can protest against the police but they have no power to control the police. The police is its own racist institution, employing racists and allowing racist acts to go unpunished. The government does nothing because they are part of the same satrapy, and the 1% remain protected whilst black people are criminalised and scapegoated. So when we talk of systemic racism, the source of that racism is the 1% and not white people. White people are conditioned to be prejudiced but when do they have racist power - especially liberals?
Desiree, if the 1% have the power how does telling Lucy to have a go at her parents help? Apart from the vote the prejudice of most white people is powerless, and even then the vote is mostly meaningless as both parties are controlled by the 1%. The prejudices of both black and white are used to divide the 99%, so ending prejudice of any form is the most constructive act for all. Overcoming conditioning for all people is the way forward, but as black people are suffering more under the 1%-satrapy helping them is the compassionate way. Doing what we can together to overcome the 1%-systemic racism sadly is all we can do as we have no control, guilt-tripping liberals have no control. Let's not turn against each other, let's find a way to change the power, the power of the 1%. I have never understood why we accept the egregious lifestyles of the 1% when their exploitation causes such suffering. Through peaceful action, can we not limit the fruits of their exploitation? At least shame them and their families for the harm and suffering they cause?
I assess that entrenched prejudice amongst whites has increased in the last few years because of the white downgrading. Is that an increase in numbers? I just don’t know. Up until the rise of WEGemony (early 2010’s) there were the loud and quiet racists – quiet racists like Lucy’s parents. With the 1%-promotion of the White Enclave through white downgrading, there has been an increase in loud racists, but is this just some of the quiet racists becoming loud? Has there been an increase in the quiet racists? I like to think there hasn’t but I just don’t know.
But apart from the main problem of the 1% these loud and quiet racists are the problem. Sponsored conditioned like this guy are promoting race wars, and the MAWPs, previously quiet, are buying into that because it makes them feel knowledgeable, conspiratorial and superior. If they all agree with each other everything is OK for them – ignore the suffering. If they can intimidate agreement within their numbers they are happy. Except that they are all being manipulated by the 1% into dividing the 99%. And because the fragile egos of these men are being questioned by race AND gender, they are coralling the waggons, forming enclaves and reinforcing each other’s racism. Because they are now less afraid to talk it appears the numbers are bigger, but are they? There is certainly greater 1% sponsorship for weapons and promotion, but I question whether there are more people. Or simply the numbers are the same, and that because of the sponsorship these timid egos of the quiet racists are being reinforced by the white downgrading. These egos will say “next war” about the uprising without questioning whether they are being played. Will they gain from the WEGemony? They are being deluded that they will. Maybe they won’t be attacked for their racism, maybe they won’t be attacked for their sexism; but as with all manipulations in the 1%-satrapy, only the 1% will really gain.
With my label underneath the "fashion" I can hide in the enclave but only with personal censorship. I prefer the way it was. I took my label into tolerant communities and they would mostly see me for who I was; I could be more honest. In this enclave I am now in, I can only be honest in my house. It is not worth entering the enclave where these deluded men have now come out of the quiet and are not ashamed to show their ignorance. But at this phase in my life I am preferring Viveka, occasionally doing my bit like this post.