Correction and Omission

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Correction & Omission: How To Be White

What is whiteness? How can we unlearn whiteness? First, white people must recognize “how to be white.” That is:


To put in as little effort possible, while it sounds weak or amoral, might be the inevitable outcome of so-called “natural selection.” However, as loosely put, “white culture” has been held both by academia and military might overall as both uniquely civilized and divinely righted for thousands of years.

Instagram post about victims of residential school system
“This was allowed at some point! Who allowed this to happen?
Why was this not illegal” followed by “it’s called genocide.”

Example from @junnygirldecolonized: The OP says “Daily reminder that in 1952 (66 years ago) you could buy a Native Child for $10… 215 spirit babies, plus the spirit babies, and children who are lost. Let’s not forget them in our prayers.” In the image is a waiver from Tekakwitha Indian Mission regarding a $10 forced adoption that occurred within a system and legacy of forced adoption in colonized lands.

A commenter says “This was allowed at some point! Who allowed this to happen? Why was this not illegal” followed by the OP’s “it’s called genocide.”

Of course, our place in the “end of the world as we know it” is becoming increasingly and painstakingly obvious to all parties, including many white progressives and activists. In fact, Black, Indigenous, & People of Colour (BIPOC) including displaced migrants, ex-slaves, refugees, and Natives, have always recognized the real histories unfolding within occupied and colonized nations.

Often the first question white progressives ask once they start to learn about real issues on planet Earth is simply “…How?…” They start with confusion and denial. They seem to be asking, “How could this happen?” but really they have just started. They are now on a path to unlearn “How to be white.”

BIPOC warriors and “bystanders” alike have always resisted and are the real cultural source of any white progressive or white activist campaign. The white “new age” and “next level” has a primary source in BIPOC communities’ never-ending experience of white cultures performing:

  1. Economic hindrance
  2. Spiritual misdirection
  3. Nutritional deficits
  4. Gender & sexuality repressions
  5. Inaccessibility in designing places
  6. Family and community dissociations

The confusion and denial are also an outcome of the so-called “natural selection”: this is part of white culture’s history and legacy, namely the result of thousands of years of intensifying corrections and omissions.

I’ve used these more academic and editorial terms for “how to be white” or for “what white culture has done” and “how things have gone very wrong on Earth.” In fact, I’m talking now about how genocide, imperialism, and ecological dislocation go together in white history. Unless we go extinct, our talking should fill tombs and books with no “end of the world as we know it” in sight. That’s why I’m writing these ideas down.

White progressives and activists are my main audience here, because we need to get over far reaching “why” and “how” questions. I don’t want another omission, and this is not going to be a series of corrections. It’s going to be about them.

Murdered Old Growth Cedar Tree on Logging Truck
Murdered old growth cedar tree on logging truck on Vancouver Island headed away from Fairy Creek

Today, in June 2021, a group of up to 1200 year old trees is on the verge of being logged by a company (Teal Jones). They are telling us it’s doing so “responsibly” but the basic progressive is still asking “why” the free press is being arrested for trying to legally observe violence by RCMP, toward indigenous leaders and youth land defenders and tree sitters.

The Province of BC has emptied helicopter fuel tanks and manned an illegal exclusion zone with 60+ officers to support a rich company making about $10 million. How much does that cost? If Premier John Horgan doesn’t listen to the whole world soon, BC will literally spend or already has spent more on policing to remove protestors from the area than the company will stand to make falling those ancient monarchs.

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Correction and Omission: “How To Be White”

The balance sheet and answer to “how does this make any sense?” would be a top priority item for omissions and corrections.

RCMP are highly opaque about their budget, news reporters quote Teal Jones. Imagine correcting land defenders that murdering a 1200 year old tree is “responsible management” in BC where 97.3% of original old growth has been cut.

Imagine the news telling us about the elected chiefs who are on side with logging; just be sure they’ve omitted the greater number of hereditary (and elected chiefs!!) who agree we should let the old growth remain and should protect it.

It appears to the mainstream of white culture that land defenders are “out of their tree.” Actually, clean water and growing trees are responsibly fought for by desperate collective action. When a white progressive can begin to see that, they stop asking why so hard and they start to see that ahh, this is how to be white.

They start to see that RCMP betray international accord and indigenous law and also “Canadian criminal codes” all at once. The RCMP blocked the sight of violent arrests with strung up tarps!

They start to see the necessity to build, to meet the opportunities presented, to understand the role and content of collective actions. They see why it makes sense now to sit in a tree when police are threatening to shoot. They see what was covered up by strung up lies.

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