RACE TRAITOR - treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity


RACE TRAITOR welcomes your comments and will be publishing selected excerpts of correspondence in these pages. Editorial responses are posted in red.

Make your comments by e-mail, regular mail, or via our reader poll.

Below is recent correspondence made through the web site. We'll be continually updating this section and archiving our past correspondence.

Read a selection of letters originally published in RACE TRAITOR #7.

September 1997
I just finished reading Race Traitor, the anthology. I could not put it down once I started it! I have recommended it to a new group I'm in, here in Sacramento - all of us met at a Stir Fry Seminars diversity workshop. I feel like a race traitor. My husband is African-American, I consider myself Italian (although born in this country) not white, and I am much more comfortable in groups with people of color. Please put me on your mailing list. Thank you for your publication and your inspiration to be an abolitionist.
Sacramento, CA

September 1997
I read your website and I'm not sure I'm quite clear on its message. Is the point to suggest that anyone who is fair skinned should be removed from the face of the planet, much akin to Hitler's genocide? Or is it meant that groups like the Ku Klux Klan should be abolished and we should remember that we are all equal? Many of the principles and ideas I do agree with. I happen to be a sixteen year old female of British/Irish and Bohemian descent. I am prejudiced against the prejudice. Does this make me one who should be 'abolished' because of the colour of my skin? If so, I believe that you are a bad as the KKK, in your own way. If I have misjudged you or insulted you, my apologies. Thank you for your time.
Peace, Samantha

Thank you for your letter. To answer your question, we are not against anyone for the color of his or her skin. In our view, whiteness is not a matter of skin color but of social status. We are against conferring social privileges on people because of their color. We believe that to eliminate the privileges of whiteness is to abolish the white race, and that is what we want to do. To offer a parallel, we are against monarchy, but that does not mean we want to kill the king or queen. It simply means we want to get rid of inherited titles and the rest of the trappings of royalty. You say you are a 16-year-old female of British, Irish, and Bohemian descent. Without whiteness, you could still be all that, and a lot more.

Thanks for returning my letter. I do understand your point and am all for your ideas.
Peace, Samantha

September 1997
I notice that your e-mail address is for a server at Harvard, and will make the leap that you are attending, have attended, or are possibly a professor at said institution. Out of curiosity, does Harvard fill a minority quota like so many other universities in this "white" nation? How is it that us so called "members" of this "privileged club" are passed over for acceptance to universities because we are the wrong color? How is it that I cannot get an apartment for $200 a month, yet an illegal alien can come across the border and live in an apartment for next to nothing while we, the taxpayers, pay for that person's medical and care? I agree that there is racism in this country, although I think you will find that it goes both ways. Just a thought.
- J.W.

The total number of black students at Harvard is tiny compared to the number of the whites admitted under "legacy" preference, that is, the special consideration given to the children of alumni - who are, of course, almost all white. It is strange, isn't it, that in spite of all the whining by whites about how they are the victims of racial quotas, not a single white person has ever chosen to pass for black in order to improve his or her social position.

October 1997
I am a 38 year-old professional white male and I think you are the best thing going in terms of new progressive ideas. You have "hit the nail on the head" exactly as to what needs to be done to solve the problem of race in the USA: White people need to dismantle whiteness. Perfect! My question is: Is there room in the New Abolitionist movement for non-Marxists? I am all for dismantling the white race, but I do not equate that with, necessarily(!), dismantling capitalism. I think that a Marxist analysis of the power structures of a society is valuable, but I do not think it is the only valid perspective. Keep up the good work! You guys give me great hope.
Raleigh, NC

As the song says, "All God's children got a place in the choir." In our opinion, the New Abolitionist Movement needs the participation of Marxists, Christians, Buddhists, nudists, and everybody else who wants to eliminate the privileges of the white skin. The editors of RT have learned not to judge people by their labels.

April 1997
More power to the Race Traitors. As an activist of color, I am elated that there are formerly "white" people dealing with the structural issues of racism and confronting the bullshit of identity politics.
Berkeley, CA

October 1997
As an African-American man, I was puzzled and intrested in the premise that the authors explored in RACE TRAITOR. It is intersting to hear "white" people discuss and explore "whiteness" and its effects on humanity. However, the book fails to deal with the important fact that most "whites" enjoy being "white." The average "white" man or woman is made to feel better about him/herself because of exaltation of "whites" in this society. The authors fail to provide any motivation as to why any "white" would purposefully give up this right (if they could?). "White" supremacy in America inherently says that if you're "white" you're smarter, better-looking, more honest, etc. than any person of color. The privileges of being white are so numerous and so ingrained in the lives of "whites" that most "whites" don't consider them as privileges but rights. The book said that only a small percentage of "whites" would be required to topple the caste system. However, it seems to me that getting a small percentage of whites is as difficult as getting the entire group. Let me know what you think.

Only the person wearing the shoes can tell if they hurt: for whatever reason, there have always been so-called whites who were not happy with their membership in the white club. Our aim is to bring those people together with each other and with all opponents of racial oppression, and break apart the system. There is good reason to be skeptical about our chances of winning, and it makes no sense for us to argue about it. All we ask from those who share our goal is their good wishes.

August, 1997
Hello, I'm 16 and I'm not sure I understand what this page is about. When you say "the white race" do you mean only those who use privileges given to them because of their lighter skin? So I may be white, but I may not be in the white "race." I am very much for civil rights and equality, and don't take part in the racial superiority attitude I've seen by other whites; in fact it disgusts me, and I will tell people not to talk like that around me, and tell them why they shouldn't talk that way. Please explain to me.

You've pretty much got the idea. For us, being white is not a skin color but a state of mind, and accepting the privileges of whiteness. We think that if you fight as hard as you can against those privileges, even to the point of risking your own ability to receive them, then you are on your way to becoming unwhite. Please keep in touch. Our aim is to build a movement, and to do that we need the participation of people like you.

June 1997
Almost all my friends are African-Americans. When my boyfriend called my friend a "nigger," I got really mad. I kicked him in the knee and told him I didn't want to be with anybody who treated other people like they were lesser. Then I left and never talked to him again. I think a lot of white guys are racist. I don't see as many white women like that. But not all white guys are bad. All my black friends hang around this white guy, Chris, and he's cool. And I'm a white girl and they hang out with me.

August 1997
I've just finished reading the book you had published in 1996. I have been searching for a way, for a means of becoming free, for understanding who I am. This book has helped me immeasurably. I have white skin, but I can no longer be "white." I have been a member of the white club for 43 years, and here in Minnesota we have a very high degree of feeling as though we are open, progressive and "nice" to all of those who are not "white". However, I have never trusted this feeling and now I need to find a way to break out of this "white lie." Your anthology is helping me to do this. Thank you to all involved.
St. Paul, Minn.

July 1997
My husband and I moved to the west side of Michigan at the time of his retirement from General Motors. It was a totally naive move, as we did not know that this side of the state was so conservative. In the Detroit area I would frequently encounter white people who always assumed that because I was white I felt the same as they did when they mentioned blacks. But at least in Detroit I felt that not all white people were like that. I guess it is only through constant vigilance that our viewpoint can at least be heard.

August 1997
I am so supportive of what Race Traitor does. Reading the book has inspired me greatly; I now have a theoretical home for the many thoughts I have harbored for some time. I am actively trying to apply this idea while living in Birmingham, Alabama. The beauty of this idea continues to inspire and influence. Thank You.
Birmingham, Ala.

May 1997
We are the Indigenous people of this continent who have been made foreigners in our own land. Someone wrote to us recommending your site. At last some sanity. Sometimes I wondered where logic, truth, and reality had gone when it comes to Europeans. I thought that maybe all of these centuries of invasion, theft, genocide, enslaving, and lies had made you all into some sort of intellectual nazis. But there is hope for the human race with just the little I have read from your pages. May Ometeotl, God, the All-Sacred, keep you in your courage and help you find more knowledge.
Olin Tezcatlipoca

June 1997
It is music to my ears to hear someone saying all of the things your organization is saying. I am proud to be who I am, a Human being, and if that involves being a race traitor, I'm proud to carry the label. Rock On!
The Plague

September 1997
A brilliant intervention. It would be interesting to see the response of Australians to your ideas, particularly given the public race debates we are currently witnessing. Race is profoundly significant yet stunningly misunderstood in Australia, both in relation to Asian immigration and the Native Title justice struggles of Aboriginal peoples. Your point of view is defintely an amazing provocation to anyone trying to grapple with social issues down in our confused corner of the Asia-Pacific.
Australian Green Party

September 1997
I am a student at Texas A&M. For a while now I thought I was the only one who had the idea of the abolishment of race, and then read about you and the Race Traitor newsletter. I now know that I am not alone and that their are many more like me. Can you please tell me about any readings or internet resources I should look at? Any place either in writing or public to express ideas with others that you know of on this topic? Any help you would give me would be appreciated. I just shudder when people start to talk about "black or white tv shows," or "inter-racial marriage." To me, these distinctions have never made sense. A&M is a truly friendly and accepting place, and there are possibilities for an abolitionist society. Don't know how far I can get, but for myself and others, I have to try my best.

September 1997
I learned about RT through a lecture given by Ishmael Reed at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon last winter. I think Ishmael Reed's work is incredible, so much so that I was too shy to go up to him after the talk and ask for the Race Traitor address. Because of this behavior, I left the talk thinking he'd said, "Race Trader." I pondered the significance, possibility and strangeness of trading races, looked for it on the net, told a professor about the dilemma and was finally corrected. I'm starting a group on racism at the University of Oregon. I'm an International Studies graduate student. I'm thinking of calling it, "Bomb the White House." I have a German friend who is doing her PhD in sociology on the construction of whiteness and racism within German feminism. We're going to collaborate a bit. I want to put flyers up in all of the departments on campus because I'm interested in an interdisciplinary format. I hope to watch films, exchange readings, do some public/unsanctioned art and develop a web page for Race Traitor-like groups on campuses to build an international alliance. What do you think of this last idea? Do you all have any advice? Thanks for putting out out such a great journal.
Eugene, OR

Our main advice to anyone forming an abolitionist group on campus is Be Bold - clearly your inclination given the name you have chosen for the group. Did you see the article on Abolitionism on Campus in issue number seven?

April 1997
I am a graduate student examining whiteness and the environment. An article, tentatively titled "Whiteness and Greenness," has been percolating for some time, and I wondered if you would be interested in something along those lines. If you have any particular needs, please let me know.
Berkeley, CA

We welcome submissions from readers. You can send material on a floppy disk with just about any program, along with a hard copy, or by email. The article you mention sounds interesting.

October 1997
Your article, "Until It Hurts," expressed ideas I firmly held to be true. However, I subsequently had a discussion with a couple of friends, during which they made me seriously call into question the actual benefits of affirmative action. Their opinion was that, number one, it actually does not do its beneficiaries any favours (gratuities do not foster meaningful individual advancement, and are even patronizing) and number two, the role of the state should be to ensure that no one gets refused opportunities simply on the basis of their race, sex, sexual orientation, etc., but should go no further. They maintained that no real improvements would be made through affirmative action, and that the only thing we can and should do to rectify the situation is to create a climate in which the oppressed are free to recover. I am having trouble with this. It seems incredibly callous for those who had and still have the power to accept no responsibility in remedying what harm they caused, but is intervention the answer?

Affirmative action, like any reform under existing conditions, is necessarily limited in what it can accomplish. In general, our complaint is not that there has been too much of it, but that there has not been enough. If your friends are genuinely concerned with breaking down the system of white supremacy and not merely with protecting their place in it, let them make a list of all the advantages that have come their way because they are white, and strike hard against them. When they have eliminated them all, we can discuss dropping the demand for affirmative action for black people and other victims of racial oppression.

September 1997

I have been in the face of the very dilemma you have been writing about for several years now. I and several of my friends founded a S.H.A.R.P. (Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudices) chapter in Tallahassee, Fla. The groups of nazis and Klansmen are very well hidden and make their presence known only when they are sure they will have the upper hand. Fortunately, they never really knew when we would be there. On several occasions, we have had confrontations with one or more of them, usually ending with the police being called.

In Sept of 1996, a bar called the Cow Haus opened around the corner from F.A.M.U., a mostly-black college. This club was our stomping grounds and several of us worked there for free. This is when our true battles began. It was widely known that the Cow Haus would be a live music venue. This posed a problem for the city council, as many touring bands come through town, attracting various crowds. At least twice a month, we would have a big ska show. Ska, being the biggest threat to racism since the NAACP, is no good for the reason that Tallahassee is a racially biased town. As soon as we opened, certain bars and other places around town were practically boycotted by the students because they were publicized by us as being owned or operated by Klan or Nazis. In one instance, a flyer showing a local tattoo artist with his shirt off almost got him killed. He has Nazi tattoos all over his chest and upper arms, but was in the process of backing out (So he told me; last I heard, he was in jail in Tampa for a hate crime of some sort.) The tattoo shop that he worked at now does a mere fraction of the business that it once did.

Even for all these successes, I am faced with a problem. How can I justify hating another man for his beliefs, especially when my beliefs are that we should all be seen as equals regardless of beliefs or color or anything else. I mean, I'm sure the local nation of Islam isn't gonna throw their arms around me the next time I see them, and I don't hate them, yet a nazi is this really huge threat to me for some reason. I think that racism in all forms is really shitty, yet I look down on certain members of my own race because they are so proud of their own skin tone. Is that hypocritical? Is it a contradiction? If yes, is it truly justified? Please give me some insight on these matters, if you can. In the meantime, I'll keep fighting for what I feel is right and just. At least I know my enemy is weakened by their backwardness and I am strengthened by it.
Arlo, SHARP and SPAR (Skinhead Punks Against Racism)

The writer brings to mind Huck Finn, who was also made to feel guilty for doing the right thing. You could not pick better enemies than those who attack black people on the street and want to build death camps for any they regard as inferior. We admire you for fighting to make the streets safe, and we think you should be proud of yourselves.