Tim Wise quotes

  • And let's just be honest, there is no such place called 'justice,' if by that we envision a finish line, or a point at which the battle is won and the need to continue the struggle over with. After all, even when you succeed in obtaining a measure of justice, you're always forced to mobilize to defend that which you've won. There is no looming vacation. But there is redemption in struggle.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Struggle #Vacation #Justice

  • People never hurt others in moments of personal strength and bravery, when they are feeling good about themselves, when they are strong and confident. If we spent all of our waking moments in that place, then fighting for social justice would be redundant; we would simply have social justice and be done with it, and we could all go swimming, or fishing, or bowling, or dancing, or whatever people do. But it is because we spend so much of our time in that other place, that place of diminished capacity, of flagging energy, or wavering and somewhat flaccid commitment, that we have to be careful.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Strong #Hurt #Commitment

  • Standing still is never an option so long as inequities remain embedded in the very fabric of the culture.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Long #Fabric #Culture

  • The power of resistance is to set an example: not necessarily to change the person with whom you disagree, but to empower the one who is watching and whose growth is not yet completed, whose path is not at all clear, whose direction is still very much up in the proverbial air.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Air #Empowering #Growth

  • After all, acknowledging unfairness then calls decent people forth to correct those injustices. And since most persons are at their core, decent folks, the need to ignore evidence of injustice is powerful: To do otherwise would force whites to either push for change (which they would perceive as against their interests) or live consciously as hypocrites who speak of freedom and opportunity but perpetuate a system of inequality.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Powerful #Hypocrite #Opportunity

  • Too often, systems of oppression turn those who are the targets of the oppression against one another.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Target #Oppression #Turns

  • If you want to know if racism is a problem in your country, you might not want to ask white people.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Country #White #People

  • If we dont figure out a way to create equity, real equity, of opportunity and access, to good schools, housing, health care, and decent paying jobs, were not going to survive as a productive and healthy society.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Jobs #Real #School

  • Violating the 4th Amendment guarantees against illegal searches and seizures is not the way to solve crime problems.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Guarantees #Way #Problem

  • Precisely because white denial has long trumped claims of racism, people of color tend to underreport their experiences with racial bias rather than exaggerate them.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Color #White #People

  • Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege. In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Ignorance #America #Race

  • What whites have rarely had to think about—because being the dominant group, we are so used to having our will done, with a little effort at least—is that maybe the point is not victory, however much we all wish to see justice attained and injustice routed. Maybe our redemption comes from the struggle itself. Maybe it is in the effort, the striving for equality and freedom that we become human.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Struggle #Thinking #Justice

  • So, in "Melting Pot" the children (about a third of whom were kids of color) sang the line, "America was the new world and Europe was the old," in one stroke eradicating the narratives of indigenous persons for whom America was hardly new, and any nonwhite kids whose old worlds had been in Africa or Asia, not Europe.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Children #Kids #Color

  • And in "Elbow Room" the cast sings the glories of westward expansion in the United States, which involved the murder of native peoples and the violent conquest of half of Mexico. Among the lines in the song is one that intones, "There were plenty of fights / To win land right / But the West was meant to be / It was our Manifest Destiny?" Let it suffice to say that happily belting out a tune in which one merrily praises genocide is always easier for those whose ancestors weren't on the receiving end of the deal.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Song #Fighting #Winning

  • Stuff Happens.’ That’s the G-rated version. That’s a bumper sticker that only a straight white upper middle class male could have made. Because anyone who isn’t straight, anyone who isn’t male, anyone who isn’t white, anyone who isn’t upper middle class knows that stuff doesn’t just happen. Stuff gets done by people to people. Nothing is a coincidence. Nothing is random. This isn’t osmosis. And so we act as if it’s this passive thing, but yet that’s not the case.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Osmosis #Class #White

  • If you know the history of the whole concept of whiteness if you know the history of the whole concept of the white race, where it came from and for what reason you know that it was a trick, and it's worked brilliantly. You see, prior to the mid to late 1600s, in the colonies of what would become the United States, there was no such thing as the white race. Those of us of European descent did not refer to ourselves by that term really ever before then.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Race #White #United States

  • Being asked to describe what 'post-racial' means is a bit like being asked to describe a leprechaun, cold fusion or unicorns: we know what is meant, but, if we are willing to be honest, we also know that none of the four describe something real, something tangible, something true.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Real #Mean #Tangible

  • It's hard to say when or if we will actually arrive at that place called 'post-racial', or, better yet, post-racism.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Racism

  • As a writer, there are times when you have something to say, and yet no particular 'hook' upon which to hang the missive you are burning to release.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Burning #Hook #Release

  • The denial of racism is a form of racism itself.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Racism #Denial #Form

  • People of color have to do this work as a mater of everyday survival. And so long as they have to, who am I to act as if I have a choice in the matter? Especially when my future and that of my children in large part depends on the eradication of racism? There is no choice.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Children #Color #Long

  • You can't organize people if you don't love them. And however hard it can be to love the racist you come in contact with; doing so is the first obligation of a white antiracist.
    -- Tim Wise

    #White #Justice #People

  • When I got to college, the fake ID thing wasn't that important, since pretty much everyone could get away with drinking in New Orleans. But the drugs, well, that was a different story altogether, because drugs are every bit as illegal in New Orleans as anywhere else--at least, if you're black and poor, and have the misfortune of doing your drugs somewhere other than the dorms at Tulane University. But if you are lucky enough to be living at Tulane, which is a pretty white place, especially contrasted with the city where it's located, which is 65 percent black, then you are absolutely set.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Drinking #College #New Orleans

  • Hardly any aspect of my life, from where I had lived to my education to my employment history to my friendships, had been free from the taint of racial inequity, from racism, from whiteness. My racial identity had shaped me from the womb forward. I had not been in control of my own narrative. It wasn’t just race that was a social construct. So was I.
    -- Tim Wise

    #Race #Racism #Identity

  • There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them...
    -- Tim Wise

    #Thinking #White #Remember