Posted by: Allyson | December 6, 2008

bell hooks’ Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope came out in 2003.  However, I would like to quote the following passage, as I think it is particularly relevant in the aftermath of the passage of Prop H8:

Often the white women I have encountered who are the most passionate in their will to be anti-racist, who carry their commitment form theory to practice, are gay women.  Interviewing them I heard again and again that discrimination against them on the basis of sexuality helped bridge their understanding of the pain of race-based discrimination.  Rather than assuming that this pain was identical to the pain they experienced, they accepted the”bridge” as merely a base to walk across, allowing them to learn from people of color the nature of our experience in the social context of white supremacy.

Many white gay people are unable to bridge the gap.  They remain unable to look at the way in which whiteness and white power give them access to privilege to the role of dominator.  They refuse to see the ways discrimination can impact on our consciousness differently even though the forms of it are the same.  Often gay white people look down on black people because they perceive us to be more homophobic or less sexually progressive.  These stereotyped assumptions are rooted in white-supremacist thinking, which deems white folks to be always more sophisticated and complex than people of color.  White gay women and men who are fundamentally anti-racist do not need to use the notion that they are intellectually superior or to legitimize their fear of us.  (P. 62)

(Crossposted at This is What a Feminist Blogs Like)

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