Archives for posts with tag: Education

We’ve all heard about the Holocaust. An extremist German man imprisoned an estimated 15-20 million people in Death Camps, succeeding in killing an approximate 11 million. We’ve seen the stats; we know the facts. We’ve heard and read the stories; Anne Frank’s perhaps being the most famous. But there’s still so much more we don’t know, and never will. So many records destroyed, so many bodies burned or buried and lost. But have you ever wondered why it worked? And now, from where we stand in 2017, do we yet understand the magnitude of such a disastrous crime against humanity, by humanity?

Throughout the course of the war in the death camp Auschwitz alone, approximately 1.1 million were killed while it was staffed by a mere 7 thousand. Of course, they were starved, tormented, and tortuously overworked. And the Nazi’s had guns. But 1.1 million. The manpower alone could have overwhelmed 7,000, guns or no. The casualties would have been great, sure, but as we now see, and as most prisoners guessed their own fate, those fates were worse without an uprising. So, why wasn’t there one?

Well, that’s the part we don’t want to admit about Adolf Hitler. He was a racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, mass-murdering, and abhorrent human being, to put it lightly. But he was also a genius. That’s why it worked. Because the Holocaust was conducted brilliantly.

His greatest crimes do not only lie in the slaughter of 1.1 million people. Because before they were killed, they suffered far worse than death. His system was not fragile, and so, it was not destroyed from the inside.

If you want to know more, read the book. It’s dreadfully honest. It’s real. And it gives you eyes into the self-perpetuating structure of the death camps. It will make you nauseous, it might make you cry. And to date, it is one of the most sickening and worthwhile books I’ve read. But don’t crack its spine on the dock of your vacation home. This isn’t one of those books to read under the sun with a lake lapping around you. It’s a book you read with the doors shut and a box of chocolates nearby. It’s the book you read as a tribute to those who didn’t make it out. To those who lived and died inside it’s pages. We don’t do that carelessly or with joy. But we should do it nonetheless.

Primo Levi offers a beautiful perspective on this horror. He stands apart from his torturers, and his experiences. His anger, his hatred, hardly leaks into his words until they are deserved. He does not encourage his bias. He’s an academic, and he treats his experience as a third party would. He does not relinquish them of their guilt, or forgive them their sins. He does not hate the German people, though he admits their blind participation was pivotal, if not essential, for the capture and mass slaughter of millions of human beings. Instead, he seeks to learn, to understand, to punish those who deserve it, and, above all, prevent this from ever happening again.

I cannot give enough credit to Levi’s beautiful sense of humanity, or his ability and style used to approach writing this book, with the memories of his lost friends, his shame, and his experience. He offers a unique perspective on forgiveness. His is based on logic. It is not unconditional, and it is not undeserved. Those who receive it, have also received his pity, his disappointment, and his attempt to understand. And there are still many who have not been forgiven, and who never will.

There are a multitude of lessons that we can learn from the Holocaust. From Hitler, from the persuasion and power of an entire population of people. From the mass slaughter. And unless we take heed to remember them, to understand them, we are vulnerable for history to repeat itself.

http://www.autostraddle.com/its-time-for-white-feminists-to-stop-talking-about-solidarity-and-start-acting-240166/

The article above, about black vs white feminism, is inherently racist.
Racism is defined as “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to an other.” This explains that lumping any set of characteristics on any group of human beings based on their race, is racism.

The quote from the article, “[Black women] are admonished by our smoother, safer, softer sisters [white woman] for holding the fight back with the suffocating scent of our lavender menace and the stings of our fists,” is subjecting specific traits, i.e., passivity and ignorance, on white feminists because they are white. That, by definition, is racism.

I’m not here to advocate white rights or to victimize white people. I am not a white rights activist or a black rights activist. I am here, rather, to defend against racism in an equally unracist manner. I am an anti-racist whatever the colour. To eliminate racism you cannot use it. Therefore, I will base my argument against racism in an unracist way.

It seems to be surprising that even as a white woman I understand what racism is. Let me explain: I understand what it means to be blamed because of my skin colour, or to be judged to have select traits because of my eye colour, or my hair colour, or my gender. A blonde haired blue-eyed white girl can understand racism. She may not have the same experience as a dark haired African American, but she can understand it. This is not to say that we all do or will come to that understanding by ourselves. But ignorance is not a quality of colour.

I’m not equating one persons subjection to anyone else’s. I’m not here to compare. I am here to point out that racism is a large and credible issue in modern society, and we can’t ignore it or pretend it’s going to get better on it’s own. But what this article should be doing is fighting against the issue of racism, and not attacking white people or white feminists specifically because they are white. That is racist. And by being so, it only adds to the issue.

The human race has one thing that no other species does: ration. We can understand points of views or direct experiences outside of our own. It’s called empathy, and it has a powerful impact.

Instead of pushing away white feminists who are trying to identify with and support others’ struggles against discrimination, why don’t we help them understand where it’s believed they’re failing in doing so, or are incorrect in how they are attempting to do so, without blaming them. We can’t forget that white feminists are not the issue. Some may partake in racism, unknowingly or not (as some black feminists do), and as everyone partakes in some form of ignorance to a varying degree. The issue of racism or passivity isn’t inherent to skin colour, however it is to ignorance.

Fighting racism requires discussion. It requires cooperation and a true understanding of what racism and equality are.

The article states that, “I balk at Black women turning their violent words against fellow black women,” but the only relation I see between these two groups is the word “black.” This is a racist oversight on the part of the author. What if a fellow black women is uneducated or ignorant on a realm of oppression? Or more specifically, racism? If you are willing to subject angry words on fellow white women for making the same mistake, in order to not act in a racist manner, you must be equally willing to subject fellow black women to that same anger in order to hope to correct that behaviour.

On a similar note, I read “We must use violence, both physically and in the vehemence of our words, because we are more desperate.” Why must we use violence? What about Ghandi? When he was getting bludgeoned within inches of his life was he not desperate?

When has deciding that violence is the only answer ever been the best option? Look at the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Is bombing the other getting either country closer to peace? Is violence helping quell the anger, the desperation, and the hatred shared by both sides?

I am offended when I read that white feminists are inadequate at fighting for other women’s rights simply because they are white. They may not have undergone the same discrimination as a black feminist, but they have undergone discrimination. It seems ridiculous to define one feminist from the other by ways of race if that is what we’re trying to eliminate as a defining factor. To eliminate racism, you must first reject your own racism.

I am sure that not every white feminist is inherently ignorant on the issues of black feminism. I am positive that there are lesbian white feminists out there that are equally relatable to black lesbian feminists, as there are in reversal. Don’t write every white feminist off because they are white. Racism is racism.

By distinguishing yourself as different and unique in your intersectionality, you are creating your own individualism. Celebrate that, use it’s unique perspective as driving grounds for your beliefs.

Don’t use it as a tool for discrimination on one side or another.