I was tired today. I’ll admit it – the weekend and its big assignments had drained me of feeling. Yet – our shifting evolving group discussion throughout our 680 class today woke me up and got me running. It pulled what few threads of energy remained in my brain out for a firm strumming.

I feel I was really lucky to be in a group with Mischa and Jasmine today – they had such a strong opinion about the architecture of the racist white supremacy facing everyone in the world today. They had so much to say from the heart.

It was invigorating to talk with them how capitalist ideology and stratification seeps into the interactions of non-profits working for the good of the people – causing them to work against each other and claim autonomy. I felt humbled that we could talk about the issues of fighting upwards – making people aware of the challenges facing low class and minority peoples. How we got to discuss how important it is that we as a cadre are already talking about the macro concepts of culture, race, and discrimination.

We also got to discuss the challenges of buttering down the issues (as I fondly think of it). Its too easy to be a majority of race or privileged by race and high class and look at issues of those that are discriminated against and find something that makes their plight less valid. We can not look at an issue like preserving Tlin’git culture and language as something quantifiable. Culture is more important than its transferability and statistical benefits. We are all humans, and we deserve equity – the chance for all of us to succeed in our own way. Backwards buttering ideologies are what drive and protect ‘America’ and capitalism – a culture bent on preserving people in the roles of lesser, lower, and broken to keep a comfortable elite.


It was awesome to hear so many voices in the class truly striving to connect with the material we discussed today. Nothing about racism, sexism, and class-ism is easy. I feel proud being part of this cadre.

Thumbs up!

3 thoughts on “Butter”

  1. Andy, I wish I could have heard more of the discussion from your group, it sounds intense (in a good way!) I’ve witnessed non-profits being forced to compete for resources and it’s so frustrating. The idea of “fighting upwards” and “buttering things down” were great take away catch phrases. It’s amazing how many issues we “butter down” to protect white folks from feeling uncomfortable. Glad you’re ready to dive in and feel uncomfortable though!

  2. I would have been very interested in hearing their thoughts as well.

    Public education is a very interesting and potentially dangerous thing. It gives the state an intense power over individual subjects and the families of individual subjects that is rather unparalleled. It of course has the tendency to preserve not just the status quo of culture, but to preserve the status quo of cultural trajectory. It also, and much more crucially, has the inherent drive to be self-justifying; it needs to justify and validate the cultural system that created it.

    But this of course can end up with subtle (or not so subtle) inequities. I still can’t get over that “First People to Settle Texas” book that Kohl spoke about. Wow! How could anyone even write that?

  3. I agree that it is too easy, and unfortunately too common, for people to find ways to undermine the validity of the struggle of minority cultures and races. Capitalism can serve selfish purposes, but I believe any system can be manipulated to put somebody ontop, including non profit groups.

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