This blog was essentially born out of the many long (and I do mean looooong) conversations Carlo Montemayor and Jack Stephens had on race, white privilege, and contemporary racism. During one of these conversations Stephens (who has another blog on theology and foreign relations called The Mustard Seed) mentioned that he was, “Living behind enemy lines.” In the sense that since Stephens gets to hear a lot of candid conversations from fellow whites (Stephens is 3/4 Irish and 1/4 Guatemalan) who will say either overtly racist (in the classical sense) or more candid, but still racist (in the contemporary and classical sense), remarks. Stephens came to a greater realization that he heard more racist conversations everyday due to his whiteness since whites tend to feel more comfortable around “their own” as suppose to people of color. During a conversation with his friend Holly Bun (who is Chinese-Cambodian-American) he was describing his exasperation with a former co-worker who said that Blacks just need to “ignore racism” and they will be fine and that they are essentially at fault for their own poverty since there are “laws that make racism illegal” which in turn means that they have “no excuses to blame white people for their problems.” Bun told Stephens that if he was a person of color he probably wouldn’t have heard this coming from her mouth and that he would have never known the racist undertones in his former co-workers thoughts. Because of this Stephens thought it would be a good idea to write a blog about his everyday interactions in order to keep track of such things and to vent. Also he thought it would be a good idea to have a less formal blog from his current one (which he still does). He was originally going to call it “Behind Enemy Lines” but decided to change the title when it was realized that it would be more of a team effort between Montemayor and Stephens and calling it “Behind Enemy Lines” wouldn’t really make sense since Montemayor is a person of color and is essentially (keeping with this analogy) on the front lines facing the onslaught. As they were both going through names over AIM Montemayor suggested the title “Double Consciousness,” which stuck. This blog is essentially a personal blog where Montemayor and Stephens will post long well thought out essays that may span several parts as well as short blogs on their own personal thoughts on an array of issues that have to do with the blog’s subjects. They will also write short or long blogs on their experiences with white privilege and racism on both sides of the fence as well as having people guest blog for them and also post interesting articles and parts of articles they happen to come across and find interesting. Also, in the future, this blog may be expanded to include more contributors from multiple ethnic backgrounds.
The term Double Consciousness comes from the pen of W. E. B. Du Bois which was made popular in his book The Souls of Black Folk. For Du Bois it meant “always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” and of having two identities, one being American and the other being a person of color. “Two warring ideals in one dark body.” The title is also a pun on the fact that the two blog contributors are of different ethnicities which obviously effects the way they perceive the world. Jack Stephens is white (three-quarters Irish and one-quarter Guatemalan) and Carlo Montemayor is Pilipino. Despite this fact they are both unified in their thought on critiquing white privilege in American society and in combating its effects on people of color.