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.
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.
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.
- RACE TRAITOR
Thanks for returning my letter. I do understand
your point and am all for your ideas.
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.
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.
- RACE TRAITOR
IS THERE ROOM?
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.
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.
- RACE TRAITOR
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.
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
- RACE TRAITOR
THE WHITE RACE
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.
- RACE TRAITOR
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
- RACE TRAITOR
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.
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.
- RACE TRAITOR
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.
- RACE TRAITOR
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
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.
- RACE TRAITOR