RACE TRAITOR - treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity
 

Letters, Spring 1997

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.

 


MILITIAS

Recently I read your wonderful book, RACE TRAITOR. As a practicing anarchist, student of American history and participant in the zine scene, I was inspired and enlightened by the compilation, the best radical piece of literature I've read since TAZ by Hakim Bey.

I admired your editorial piece on the Patriot/militia types. Since I live in Oklahoma, I have made myself well aware of their activities. I've been researching them for years now, listening to thousands of hours of short-wave radio, attending meetings, checking out internet sites, etc. I can assure you, most of what is written about them is rubbish. Few on the left (mainstream or underground) really have the information to critique them. More of them than you think are African or Native. The government has demonized the Patriots because they are a threat to the New World Order. It only shows the utterly bankrupt status of the radical left that they have believed this disinfo campaign. Didn't they learn anything in the sixties/seventies/eighties?
J. M. Tulsa, Oklahoma



WHITES NEED HELP

I'm in the Planning Department of the City of Wilmington, Delaware. I'm also a Democratic committee person. Wilmington's population became sixty percent African American and Hispanic within the last decade. The African Americans have elected the first African American mayor. The Irish-dominated Democratic party is going through nasty, vicious throes of shame for having lost and then having to support a black.

Your approach to the problems of racism is unique and timely. I am extremely interested in the notion of "whiteness" as a social construct. I've met so many people who, in the course of our relationship, bump up against the "white or black" code of constructed reality. There has been such a volume of lies promulgated for so long that the contradictions begin to insult even the most ignorant.

White folks need a lot of help. That "super human" status is quite a burden. It makes them act in ways that destroy their souls. I have often said that there is much more "missionary" work to do outside of the "ghetto" than within it. If whites would relinquish their felt need to be superior to blacks and just be, a lot of issues would not materialize. I honestly feel that there are whites who are anxious for a vehicle to achieve this. I think we're on our way to preparing a social transit for such folks. I'd like to publish material from RACE TRAITOR in our local African-American newspaper, DRUMBEAT. I believe that we have a white readership that would appreciate the opportunity to engage the thoughts and perspectives of RACE TRAITOR.
Emery C. Graham, Jr. Wilmington, Delaware November 11, 1996



PERMISSION TO REPRINT

Hi, I run a punk rock/political zine called Dgokn Jbout. I was wondering if it would be ok for me to run the "Free to be Me" article in my first issue. I would gladly send you a copy.
Jimmy July 1996

Editors' reply All persons are welcome to reprint anything from RACE TRAITOR, provided they credit the source.



WANTS TO SHED LABEL

I have blonde hair and pale skin. However the term white is not one I identify with. I am a human being first and formost and then I am a woman. My cultural heritage is far richer and more diverse than the term white implies and thus I find it offensive. I so often feel the cold hatred of others because I am perceived as "privileged" and assumed to be racist. I was born in Australia where no form I ever filled out required me to check a box stating my ethnicity. What am I supposed to put? I do not know if I was ever awarded a job above somebody else because I was perceived white nor do I know how to shake off this uncomfortable label. Any suggestions?
Lizzy Chase San Francisco November 24, 1996

Editors' reply Until the white race is abolished it will be difficult for any individual who looks white to escape the "white" label. See the next letter for an account of how one person dealt with the problem on one occasion.


LET THEM DECIDE

The following occurred to me at a K-Mart here in Fairbanks: I was asked to fill out a form before purchasing a handgun. For height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc., I had no problem since these were objective criteria. When I came to the "race" box, I explained to the clerk that I really did not know what race meant since it was not an objective criterion.

She got the assistent manager. I explained again my problem to him -- that I was almost sure that I was mostly of Northern European ancestry, but that I was equally sure that I had some African and Asian ancestry. He got mad - why was I being such a wise guy?

I said that I was far too uncertain of my race to fill in the race box but I had no problem with him filling it in. He said that he couldn't do that. "Well then," I said, "I guess you must just lose the sale."

Not wanting that, he allowed me to leave the box blank, but assured me that the Big, Bad, Boys from ATF would be calling me. Of course, they didn't.

I left with my handgun and felt wonderful. It was amusing to watch the reaction of the "black" sales clerk. Bagging my purchase, she was grinning.
John Dailey Fairbanks, Alaska May 6, 1996


AFRAID TO JINX US

I just wanted to give my support to your publishing the exchange with Pendragon. I found it extremely valuable. I almost dare not say how valuable and excellent I find the journal, for fear of jinxing its quality. I am amazed at the precision and clarity of the editors' stance, and how consistently it is applied, especially in a journal which seems to be successfully speaking with a broad spectrum of people.
Daniel Hall Seattle September 11, 1996


WHITENESS: A MASTERFUL CONCEPT

Thanks for sending the journal. I am very proud of my article. However, I was even more thrilled by the passion and clarity with which you wrote the editor's response. Please do not sway from your convictions. They are right on the mark. Because I am bilingual and, to a certain extent, bicultural (US/Dominican), I am in a position to come across latinos of varying degrees of assimilation to this country. I have devel- oped an ability to sense the level of assimilation of the latino by his addiction to the term "white" in describing himself as well as his desire to distance himself from "new arrivals." Whiteness is indeed a masterful concept. We Dominicans are not strangers to it either. The last Dominican election was decided in no small part by the insidiousness of the concept even in a country with as much West African ancestry as ours. Best of luck with the RACE TRAITOR. May it continue to grow.
Javier Nelson Raleigh, North Carolina July 13, 1996


BLESSINGS AND PEACE

Blessings and Peace: Props to RT for being visionary and setting forth dialogue and ideas for a better world. May the energy that you invest in your quest return to you one hundred fold, through increased wisdom and spiritual strength.
In Service and Respect,
Rafiki Cai July 13, 1996


LOVELY LOUISIANA

On the question of 'other races', the example of one public official in the New Orleans area may be relevant. Harry Lee is the Sheriff of suburban Jefferson parish -- David Duke's former home base. Sheriff Lee is of Chinese descent. (His family operated a popular Chinese restaurant for many years.) He became a folk hero to local whites several years ago when he ordered his deputies to routinely stop and question black motorists who were driving through white neighborhoods. (I'm sure the deputies had been doing this without specific orders for a long time.)

Louisiana is admittedly an exceptional place in many respects. Even in the 1960's this was the only place in the United States where someone with the surname of Perez could be the leader of the most intransigent defenders of Jim Crow. Even so, this example could be a portent of things to come in the rest of the country.

Beth Henson's reminiscences were quite interesting. They highlighted the political significance of cultural disaffec- tion among white youth which the Marxist left has traditionally either dismissed or ignored. But does this constitute race treason? There seems to be a thread running through some of the contributions to Race Traitor that any deviant behavior among so-called 'whites' that attracts unfriendly attention from the police is ipso facto a form of race treason. I'm not so sure. I have vivid memories of being hassled by the cops while hitchhiking in my younger days. but even back then I was aware that the hassles would have been much more severe if I had been visibly of African ancestry.

These qualifications aside, I liked this issue. The discussion of the militia question was one of the better that I've seen in any forum. Keep up the good work.
Gary Modenbach New Orleans, Louisiana


ANOTHER "OTHER"

Thank you for your explanation of how I feel about myself. I am seventy years old, have lived through many aspects of racism in my life and have felt more akin to the black struggle than to my fellow whites.

My grandmother came from Ireland in the lates 1800s and my family has gradually worked its way "up." I am now divorced, have a stable situation and realize that many women my age do not, even though they have worked hard at their job of reproduction and child rearing.

Did you know the federal government has removed "Other" from their classification form? White and Black are political designations, while Asian/South Pacific is geographic. The labels are so illogical that I hate to pick one. I guess too many people picked "Other" so they eliminated it.
M.K. Akron, Ohio January 1997


ADRENALIN RUSH

Last Sunday the anti-choicers held their annual "march for life." Two friends and I marched the whole way, heckling them and holding pro-choice signs. We had a great time -- three against five hundred is a helluvan adrenalin rush. My little broadsheet is almost done -- the top article with headline is "Abolish the White Race."
Joel Olson PO Box 1543 Phoeniz, Arizona 85001 January 1997


LIGHTNING BOLT

Wow, what a great idea! I read the interview with you in Z Magazine [January 1997] and laughed out loud at the genius of destroying people's confidence in our official currency of race.

I'm "so-called white," raised in the white suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia; my parents were both from Alabama, and their parents were from Mississippi and South Carolina. I'm from a long line of racists -- although my mother did stand in another long line, to attend MLK Jr.'s funeral. I've been teaching African-American literature courses to white college kids here in New York and in Illinois for several years. I've always taught Charles Johnson's Middle Passage. Whatever else you want to say about it, that novel does a splendid job of illustrating the "twin souls in one body" W.E.B. Du Bois talked about. Leading a discussion about it at a college on Staten Island where the students are almost all Italian-Irish (another set of hyphens, products of parochial-school romances; but that's another story), at one point I was inspired to shout out to these white youths, "But we're all African-American!" They were unable to overcome their prejudices, but the notion had hit me like a lightning bolt. It reminded me of a dream I had around fifteen years ago when I was living near Auburn Avenue, taking the bus through Sweet Auburn to go to my job on Peachtree Street and to work as a copy editor at THE ATLANTA VOICE, Atlanta's second-largest black newspaper, after work; and reading Albert Murray at night, and listening to live jazz. I dreamed a spaceship zapped everybody in the country and made them black, and white people were going crazy and committing suicide, but I was happy.

Now I'm writing a book about literature and film, in which apolitical middle-class white women wean themselves from their privileges to find the joy of unifying their interests with the world's reviled lives. One of the great examples is Nadine Gordimer's novel, None to Accompany Me. I feel so glad I now have RACE TRAITOR to accompany me.
Kim Worthy Brooklyn, N.Y. February 1997


LIFE-AFFIRMING

I always find RACE TRAITOR to be an engaging, challenging, and life-affirming read. It calls me on the carpet and makes me analyzue my assumption -- something few journals, magazines and zines do. Thanks for the thoughful pauses and heated discussions with friends and family.
Heath Row Media Diet Somerville, Mass. January 1997


"PROGRESSIVE" WHITES

Whites in America are often confused as to what whiteness is and how white supremacy operates. All too often so-called "progressive" whites pay lip service to ending racism but when they are asked to reject their white-skin privilege they freeze in horror at the prospect of their lives without it and the reaction of the country to them.
Bob Monroe


NETWORKS AND COMMUNITY

I subscribed to RACE TRAITOR after hearing a piece about it on National Public Radio. The first issue I received, number 3, was a wake-up call in more than one way. The first article, "Who Lost an American?" featured Joel Gilbert, a man I went to grade school with. Though we lived in the same small town, I had no idea of what he was going through.

Around the time I read this article, there was some action on our campus. A new African-American newspaper for students was just starting up, and there were protests about the racist actions of a professor. Letters to the Editor flew back and forth. I was surprised to see that one of the most eloquent letters was written by a woman I went to high school with.

I had expressed and shaped my discontent with white hegemonic domination as a college freshman by becoming a Black Americana Studies major. Now I study power and the creation and maintenance of race, ethnicity, and gender, with a focus on the African diaspora.

The three of us (and how many others?) were extremely dissatisfied with the way things were in our town. But none of us knew that others were so dissatisfied, or what to do about it, and so we were unfortunately quiet. To paraphrase Margaret Mead, in ths society we all remain shut up behind our Yale locks and don't know what our neighbors are doing or think- ing, or what social pathologies are being elaborated.

Participating in networks of information and ideas and creating community among nascent race traitors is essential.
Anna Naruta Kalamazoo, Michigan January 1997


ZAPPATISTA

I just finished your interview in Z Magazine. It really struck a chord of joy in me. You are right on, on this. Please subscribe me up to your publication. I'm a race traitor, too.

I work in a toll booth, with both "black" and "white" co-workers in a mixed area on the south side of Chicago. From destitution to stretch limousines, I see it all. Almost all adult white people are sickening to me in their prostituting themselves for the crumbs of being white. Racism is an everyday struggle to wipe the filth off your psyche. It's reinforced constantly.

I'm the union steward here, conscientious, cordial, diligent, easy to get along with, and an anarchist. The whites are weary of me and still they assume I'll agree to their cowardly racist claptrap (when blacks are out of earshot, of course). And the patrons! Ugh! Whites, when slightly delayed by a black motorist, pour forth the obscene language of conditioned racist reflex. Blacks are much more true to the reality of a situation, as are most foreigners.

Of course, it's much more than white people I consciously avoid contamination from. The whole consumer vacuous economic life we're mired in -- with the entertainment being staged violence. It's all so repulsive. People are so fogged in confusion and even the more aware ones can't seem to bring themselves to believe in the sick reality of this country. I feel like a prisoner in a sea of outwardly self-satisfied morons.

In 1966 Frank Zappa came out with his first album, Freak Out! In the song "Trouble Every Day," he says, "You know something people, I'm not black, but there's a whole lot of times I wish I could say I'm not white!" We're only in it for the Money is another brilliant album by him, detailing the baseness of white American culture. It's still oh-so-appropriate to today.

I listen to music, read serious works, and huddle out with my family -- and write propaganda that no one wants to print. Last year I was valedictorian at my junior college and pissed off the administrators by rewriting my address on the fly.
Sign me up!
Anthony Rawson Monee Illinois January 1997


OVERJOYED

I would like first to thank you for your efforts. When I finally found your book, I was overjoyed that someone could express so well what my spouse and I had been trying with difficulty to convey to others. As well as a sense of community, you provided us with a priceless vocabulary.

With your permission, I would like to reprint (with full credits and links back to you) various essays from your back issues for my websites. For my resource directory, Todd's Progressive Launchpad, an annotated link to you would suffice. But for our webzie, The Examined Life, it would make my formatting more uniform if I could adapt your essays to my structure.

Let me know what is permissible and visit us on the web if you have the time.
Todd's Progressive Launchpad: www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/2300/
The Examined Life: members.tripod.com/~jchas/ February 1997


SHARPIE

I stumbled onto your page through a page on my own server filled with racist hate. I saw a link to anti-white pages and came across yours. I applaud your page and its contents. I'd like to thank you for making this material available. I will be linking your page to mine.

I chuckled when I saw "racetraitor" in your URL, because that is what the 100+ members of the nazi group Confederate Hammerskins called me for quite a few years before I left Jacksonville, Florida. The slur (as they would have like to believe it) was something I wore like a badge. I like that better than what they also used to call me (Sharpie, or SHARP), usually followed by, "You'll be hanging from a telephone pole when the race war comes." After having an entire hate group trying to kill me for four years, I still see a flash of red and feel disgust in my soul. As an actor, I spend my life attempting to break down walls between people, and here they are trying to perpetuate them.

Race war. What a scary thought. Do you think it could ever come to that?
David Jenkins February 1997

Editors' Reply Any war that ranged the majority of black people on one side would be a war for the emancipation of labor, in other words, a class war. The only question then would be, which side would the rest of the country (and the globe) be on?


THANKS

Thanks for making my job easier. If you weren't there, I would have to invent you.
Tom Metzger WAR