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> Invisibility is paired with racism. Once I got here, they had insults
> waiting. The invisibility manifests in the fact that they don't even
> know a black person could like punk. The racism illuminates the
> reality that, although I have that one thing in common with them, I am
> still an alien being. Maybe it’s because punk hasn't been
> infiltrated by blacks for as long as some other forms of music, and
> they don't know how to act around a black person who likes anything
> other than rap or R&B. Maybe all they know of black people are the
> stereotypes they've been force-fed by popular culture. You can't turn
> on a TV today and see many black people doing anything but what white
> people think they're supposed to. It's like a caricature, and in all
> my encounters with people in the "scene," they are operating off of
> this caricature - and I don't fit it. They pay lip service to stopping
> racism yet it's not racism when they say "a thousand black men at the
> bottom of the ocean is a good start" and then laugh. Saying "nigger"
> isn't appropriate but nothing is said when I'm called, disparagingly,
> a Rastafarian because I have braids. Because we're all fighting for
> the same cause, right? We all hate the government and we all love
> punk, and what does it matter that I feel isolated because I never see
> another black face and you're constantly telling me I'm an aberration?
> This isn’t about "fuck punk." It's about fuck you and your racist
> attitudes. It's about you waking up and realizing that you're not some
> kind of revolutionary while you continue to support this
> institutionalized racism that has poisoned even your precious little
> punk rock community.
> The idea of punk rock as some kind of beacon of open-mindedness is
> bullshit. Most white punk rockers like to consider themselves absolved
> of their privilege simply because they publicly denounce racism and
> don't attend weekly KKK meetings. Let me reiterate: JUST BECAUSE YOU
> Whites will always have that underlying residual racism, and that
> applies as much to the punk rocker as it does to the redneck. People
> will always have the need to feel superior, and for whites one area
> that they have been made to feel is superior about them for so many
> years is the color of their skin. This does not change when you start
> to like punk rock. Yes, you can recognize that white superiority is
> false. Yes, you can work to change it, and yes, you have all made such
> wonderful progress. But shreds of memories of being number one, even
> if it wasn't in your lifetime, will always haunt you. This is what
> causes my invisibility in your punk rock world and this is what causes
> you to believe that it is O.K. to say one thing and do another.
> I seriously doubt the issue of racism and invisibility in punk will
> ever be resolved, much like the issue of racism in society. I just
> want it to be known that although punk rock claims to be fighting the
> larger war, it must first win its own internal battle before any
> progress will be made.
These questions are far more important in the world of revolutionary
politics than they are in the world of punk.
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