FTY: The Worst Mother, Tim Wise, and Daisy

From The Worst Mother

I’ve been playing with making a few of my own versions of Rules for Moms…this might take me a while so stay tuned

I just finished reading White Like Me by Tim Wise. It was a fascinating and eye opening book. Funny that I’ve just finished this and Daisy has a post up at Womanist Musings called “What Can White Women Do?“. <Which I am grappling with right now in my work with MomsRising and also have been inadvertently involved with as a “white teacher” in Northern and Southern public schools.>

Something Tim Wise said on p. 149 of White Like Me <WLM> I think applies to what Daisy is trying to do over at Womanist Musings. Here’s his quote…

The goal of the larger antiracism movement must be to get enough white allies to join with persons of color so as to launch meaningful and repeated challenges to the vestiges of institutional racism that still litter the landscape of the American polity and economy.

I think its tricky to join with persons of color because our privilege does get in the way. And some of the reactions to Daisy’s post are good examples.

In the end we have got to let go of the outcome, which makes us more effective and healthier. <paraphrasing WLM p.154>

One Response to FTY: The Worst Mother, Tim Wise, and Daisy

  1. I came away from the woeful debacle (WM post) concluding that lefties seem more interested in making themselves look good, than actually DOING good or worrying about results. I think this is true of not just whites, but any “majority” person in a situation, such as cis, abled, etc… we are eager to show we are the GOOD ones. (liberals are anyway)

    What I didn’t say over there, I will say here– Shelby Steele, the black conservative writer, talked about this at length in one of his books and I never forgot the context: affirmative action. He claimed it didn’t WORK in education (he was a teacher too, I think at San Jose State?) — that the more affirm action was used, the worse black students did, because they often were not prepared; many had attended poor inner-city public schools and you can’t solve that problem overnight with affirm action, he wrote. In fact he thought it made the (unprepared, overwhelmed) black students angry and intimidated. You probably know the argument.

    Whether you agree w/him or not, the interesting section was when he described liberal white people’s reactions to his book: they shut him down. They especially didn’t want to hear whether affirmative action “worked” or not… he came away with the impression that they didn’t care about the actual effects on black students. What they cared about, he realized, was feeling good about themselves and having the “right views” that their peer groups rewarded them for having.

    I could NOT stop thinking about Shelby Steele as the whole thread imploded from exactly that. White people trying to outdo each other as “good white person”–meanwhile, what about the students????

    You know?

    Live and learn.


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