Went to a talk about the radical potential for black arts in the current world order. Interesting, enjoyable stuff. But two things were deeply troubling - one white man's question was, to paraphrase, if eating curries and listening to Bangra isn't culural diversity, how do I achieve it? I know this type of question. At the height of feminism, men were asking similar Qs along the lines of - ok, now I've listened to your point of view, so tell me how to be a better man. To me that position has always been a way of sidestepping responsibility. Instead of acknowleging and taking on the responsibility for the fact that there is structural inequalities and institutional racism that they - all of us - are a part of, they put the responsibility back on the powerless: so you tell me how I should act.

The other Q that made me want to weep because it's part of the problem in the first place - though the questioner would deny it - was saying that white women are in a similar position V power as black men. This is an early 1970s argument and deeply problematic as it assumes that 'white' women don't have power v black men in respect of their 'whiteness', or that conversely black men don't have power v white women in respect of their gender. The fact is that while white women do have some power issues with all men, 'white' women have the huge structural privileges accorded to 'whiteness' and this is just to list a few: the assumption of innocence, not just in court, but in shops and or any space where that prejudgments are made; the privileged cultural position of being "normal"; the privilege of being invisible; the privilege of being taken on how you present yourself and not based on preconceived ideas of what you must be economically, culturallly, etc based on skin hue or face shape.... just to mention a few.

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