This newsletter focuses on gender and race- specifically white men and white women–two groups omnipresent in the news but seldom receiving enough serious analytical attention. Of course, these are not monolithic groups and the diversity within them matters a lot. However, in general, white Christian women and men are the dominant supporters of the current administration and passive in response to its devastating policies and actions. White Christian women and men are the primary supporters of and contributors to anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Black, and anti-Indigenous policies and practices. They are also the largest group of short-term beneficiaries of these policies.
None of this is to suggest that there are only two genders. White people who are transgender, gender variant, intersex or otherwise non-binary have complex relationships with white supremacy but there is no evidence they are constituencies who consistently support racist policies and practices.
I think that white Christian men are socialized to be scared, angry and entitled and to act out their feelings, their isolation, their diminishing economic opportunities and their pain against those around them. When we identify white Christian men specifically, it is usually to focus attention on poor, rural, and/or working class men and their personal behavior and ignore the actual power that middle, managerial, and ruling class men have in our communities. We must remember that there are now three white Christian men (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet) who control more wealth
than the bottom 50% of the U.S. population or approximately 160 million people. At the same time we must address the fact that most poor, working and middle class men support the status quo, in collusion with ruling class white men, even though they experience high levels of depression, suicide, male-on male violence and in turn participate in high levels of violence towards women and children in their lives, people of color, people who are gay, gender queer, trans or non-binary, and immigrants. How do we directly confront the ruling class white men who are endlessly exploiting our bodies, our communities, and our environment while calling in large numbers of persuadable white women and men to current struggles for social and environmental justice? Hopefully some of the resources listed below will point us to useful future action.
White Christian women are also a diverse group. They have played roles as staunch supporters of slavery, indigenous genocide, segregation and charitable responses to structural and institutional economic problems. Other white Christian women, including a number from the south, have worked on the front lines to dismantle structures of oppression, white Christian male dominance and exploitation. In fact, white women do the majority share of activism within these circles– organizing and educating for change, while continuing to do the bulk of paid and non-paid caring work at home and in the community. The resources listed below give new insights into the roles that women have played on both sides of this equation-as mothers, slave-owners, teachers, neighbors, and community activists.
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