[permaculture] Re-Racism 101.
andylang at gn.apc.org
Thu Feb 28 22:45:54 EST 2008
Thanks to rafter, michael, flick and others for making the effort to
introduce some good thinking on the topic of racism to us permies.
Here's my take on it: -
As a white man I am sure that, whether I want them or not and whether
I can see them clearly or not, I have been raised with racist beliefs
and patterns. Thus one of my current pieces of self-liberation work is
to explore how these destructive beliefs show up, how they were laid
in and how I can loosen their grip so that they do not interfere with
my capacity to create good designs that roll out well in diverse
I have chosen to take what I see as a pretty logical stance on the
subject of myself and my oppressor beliefs and patterns. It goes like
this: - because I have been raised as a man I am bound to have hidden,
embedded oppressor patterns towards women (sexism); because I have
been raised as middle-class I am bound to have hidden, embedded
oppressor patterns towards working class people and people raised poor
and, further, to have internalized oppressions running around owning
class people (classism).
I also know that, as a man, I have been deeply oppressed by the
militarism, economic imperatives and emotional impoverishment that our
culture dishes out to us men.
It helps me a great deal to acknowledge these issues (and I did not
always have the sense to do this) because now I know that these
dysfunctional memes are hiding somewhere in my psyche I can go after
them in a systematic way and, bit by bit, eliminate their capacity to
corrode my integrity. Nowadays, instead of feeling bad about this
stuff, or wasting heaps of energy denying I have it, I feel positive
about my progress in facing up to it and stopping it running in my
life quite so much.
For me there is no way that I can expect to be truly effective in
facilitating widespread, integrative and constructive changes in the
world until I am ready to work on eliminating this nasty, de-
I'm so glad to see this thread entering permaculture consciousness -
as Bill Mollison said, early in his permaculture career when asked how
he expected to transform the world's agriculture on his own, 'well,
now there's at least 3 of us'.
And, as for the hands-on bit, I am happy to share my (effective)
methods around understanding oppression and how to go about liberating
myself from being either a victim or a perpetrator ...
All the best
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