Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Ideology Is In The Bench (A FB Post)

 "[It] is not just a matter of what I think about a situation; it is somehow inscribed in that situation itself. It is no good my reminding myself that I am opposed to racism as I sit down on a park bench marked “Whites Only”; by the act of sitting on it, I have supported and perpetuated racist ideology. The ideology, so to speak, is in the bench; not in my head." - Terry Eagleton "Ideology" 1991

This quote from Terry Eagleton's "Ideology" has been rolling around in my mind all day, or at least since I read the Amy Cooper "apology" this morning. I am completely unable to believe her apology as anything near genuine. 

On the video when Amy Cooper says, I'm going to tell them there's an African American man threatening my life." It is obvious her intention is to sit down on the bench marked whites only. 

In the apology she writes, "I’ve come to realize especially today that I think of [the police] as a protection agency, and unfortunately, this has caused me to realize that there are so many people in this country that don’t have that luxury." But her actions show this is patently not true, she 100%  used the risk of Christian's death as a tool against him. She chose to sit on the bench.  

Whatever thoughts she has about "not being a racist" in her head, the ideology is in the actions.  This becomes most important to point out to my fellow white liberals when we accept the fact that Amy Cooper is one of our own; a donor to the Obama and Buttigieg campaigns. Yet with the privilege and power of white supremacy at her beckon she used it to her perceived advantage.

This is not an attack on Ms Cooper, it is instead my own rolling thoughts about my participation and complicity in the system of white supremacy. It is a reminder to myself once again of Eagleton's quote, "The ideology is in the bench."

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