By: Barbara Smith
Since Ethan was one of the 4 people to choose the writing by Smith and since I agree with all the points he made, I decided to write my blog as an extended comment on his. I like how Ethan started off by using Smith’s quote “What is your fault is making no serious effort to change old patterns of contempt- to look at how you still believe yourselves to be superior to Third World women and how you communicate these attitudes in blatant and subtle ways.” I also believe that this related to Johnston’s thoughts. Johnston said, “ All of us are part of the problem. There is no way to avoid that as long as we live in the world. But we could also make ourselves part of the solution if only we knew how. I think both Johnston and Smith are saying very similar things, I feel that Johnston puts it in a nicer way, but as long as I read what Smith says knowing that she is talking about society in general and not me as an individual I am fine with the way she words things.
Another point that Ethan mentioned was how Smith said “ It’s not white women’s fault that they have been raised, for the most part, not knowing how to talk to Black women, not knowing how to look at us in the eye and laugh with us.” I have seen what Smith is talking about in the real world because I remember asking a friend once why she didn’t ever become close with any African American girls, and I remember her saying that she will say Hi, and have a normal small talk conversation, but when it comes to becoming close friends, she felt that they weren’t similar enough. I believe this relates to the quote “I am sure that many women here are telling themselves they aren’t racist because they are capable of being civil to Black women, having been raised by their parents to be anything but. It’s not about merely being polite; “I’m not racist because I do not snarl and snap at Black people.” It’s much more subtle then that. I also found another article that goes with the last two quotes. Why can't black women and white women talk to eachother? This article explains how an African American women found it hard to get along with white women.
Overall I agree with Smith, just like I agreed with Johnston and feel that the privileged do need to recognize that we need to stop treating people differently and help everyone be looked at as equal in the world. My question for the class is how can I help make everyone equal in this world? I like how Johnson gave advice about how the privileged people need to be the ones to make the change. Since Smith mentions that its both white and black woman's fault that they can't talk to each other. Are there better ways for both white and black women to make a change? I ask this because Smith didn't really offer any advice.