Totally Biased: Kamau Speaks with Tim Wise (Extended Interview)

One thing Tim said in this interview stuck out to me in particular:

“If you don’t like white allyship in general, that’s a problem. If you don’t like the fact that every now and then, those of us who are trying to be allies screw up, then you’re not really prepared for this work because that’s what people do. They make mistakes, they screw up, they don’t treat each other very kindly. We’ve got a lot bigger fish to fry than to sit and fight amongst each other about who has the best and most responsible Facebook page or the most responsible and respectful twitter feed. The history of white allyship is way too important for me or anyone else to sort of walk away from it because we get beef with somebody.”

What the holy shit is that?! He just insinuated that if we don’t like white allies, we shouldn’t be doing anti-racist work. He just insinuated that if we don’t like the fact that white allies constantly fuck up, we’re not “ready” for this. He just insinuated that the criticism that white allies (namely himself) gets is based around Facebook pages and twitter feeds.

This is the man that people herald as some type of “savior” to the anti-racism movement! This man just went on national television and tone policed a massive swath of the movement, dismissed his most vocal critics (who just so happen to be WoC) as “trolls,” downplayed everything he’s done up to that point, and spewed out some of the most hypocritical statements I have ever heard come out of a human mouth. While he did this, Kamau sat there and ate that mess up like it was a three course meal from a five star restaurant.

In my very humble opinion, it is way past time for people to stop being lulled into a false sense of security by Tim Wise’s words and actually listen to what this fool is telling you. He’s shown us time and time again that he is no “ally” in the true sense of the word. What he’s telling us is that he is an attention loving white man who thinks that white “allies” like him are, and should be, front and center in the anti-racism movement. He thinks that white “allies” are so damn important that if you don’t like them or you have questions/comments about them, you need to get the hell out the movement. He does go on to say that white allies shouldn’t look at this as “missionary work,” and I do believe that he does think that’s true. He doesn’t look at this as “missionary work” at all. No! He’s here to get his name in the news and make some good ass money while he’s at it.


5 responses to “Totally Biased: Kamau Speaks with Tim Wise (Extended Interview)

  1. I think you’re right on all points. I was impressed by this man at first, but not anymore. He is an entertaining writer and speaker, but I suspect he suffers from a problem endemic to white culture: the mistaken belief that if you have strong feelings of hatred for bad people–or love for good people–it means you are fundamentally and essentially good. As if “good person” and “bad person” were attainable states of being rather than revocable assessments made by others based on your historical behavior in relation to their values. It’s Santa’s list on December 24th, or the idea of saved/unsaved souls all over again.

    Maybe he thinks his hatred of racists is the proof that he’s a good person, or maybe he thinks he has done so much good that his place in “heaven” (i.e., a permanent state of moral blamelessness) is secured and haters can go to hell. Whatever the case, his writing seems to be driven by a powerfully felt contempt for racists more than anything else, and I’m done accepting people’s feelings as sufficient evidence of their goodness when their actions prove otherwise.

  2. Reblogged this on I'm Such an AFROholic and commented:
    So I really don’t know how to feel about this man. My instinct is distrust, but that feels like it’s caught up in some internal biases of my own, so then I want to hear him out, but then I feel like I’m intentionally giving him slack I wouldn’t cut other people because he is who he is, which feels just as biased. All of his books are on my reading list but I haven’t touched one yet.

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