The Shame of Whiteness

tumblr_llt43pUXA81qdqcozo1_1280Let me open with a link to the article that started me on my tirade that is this post.  Please take a second to read this gem from HuffPost.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ali-michael/i-sometimes-dont-want-to-be-white-either_b_7595852.html

Done?  Good, now we can continue.
I came across this after seeing a quote from another post and followed up on the citation to see if it was taken out of context. It wasn’t. And that’s sad. As I read through the article, I acknowledged the author’s personal right to feel the way she does and desire to be the person she wants to be, but one statement hung with me – really irked me actually.

“I disliked my Whiteness, but I disliked the Whiteness of other White people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make other White people feel guilty for it too”.

I want to just absolutely dissect this statement, not because I want to shun/shame/slam the author (her prerogative to feel how she feels), but for the fact that it is an utterly hypocritical statement in regards to race relations. You just said you hate the whiteness of white people. You hate what makes white people white people. You want white people to feel guilty for being white. Not only for their whiteness, but because of your own self loathing. Because you feel miserable being white, you want other white people to feel miserable.  Had this statement been made by a white person in regards to a person of any other color, this writer would have been burned at the stake along with the trendy burning of an American flag and, in more recent trends, the Confederate flag (whole nother story there, but we’ll leave it with this:)downloadI’ll prove it.  Let’s do a social experiment using the quote.  Keep in mind. the following isn’t how I personally feel towards any race, but an experiment.
(As a white person talking about black people) – I disliked my whiteness, but I disliked the blackness of  black people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make black people feel guilty for it too.

(As a latino person talking about asian people) – I disliked my latinoness, but I disliked the asianess of asian people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make asian people feel guilty for it too.

(As a native person talking about white people) – I disliked my redness, but I disliked the whiteness of white people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make white people feel guilty for it too.

Point being, either way you spin it, being a racist doesn’t limit you to hating other races.  Words said towards a group of people based on their color are still racist, regardless of whether you are among the people you have a bias against.  In fact, I would say that this author, while attempting to eliminate racism through an apologist strategy, has actually taken racism to an entirely new level that I have only seen comedic skits about in the past.
UvtmWThis author goes through great lengths in the rest of her article to ensure that white people are aware that we are all oppressive, that we are limited to being three types of white people (colorblind, ignorant, or racist), and that our ancestors had to lose their cultural identity to become white Americans and have gone about appropriating other cultures ever since.  All of which has me smashing my face against the wall to remove the stupidity I had just read.  This is the most contemptible and utterly offensive shit I have ever heard.  As surmised from her words, I not only don’t know where my family history comes from (bitch, its vikings – I did the research), but I haven’t actually enjoyed art and culture from across the globe – instead I have been trying to effectively fill in the hole left by the fact that I don’t know what my own culture was.  On top of that, I, as a white person have never experienced racism because I am so overly white and just oppress every culture I come into contact with.  Let’s forget in the moment of all of this that I haven’t been in the back of a cop car FOR WALKING HOME AT NIGHT FROM A FRIEND’S HOUSE, or the fact that when I tried dating in South Korea, I got mean mugged by the locals and she got shit-talked for being a race-traitor.  But I guess that’s meaningless because at the end of the day I have good credit and a job with health and life insurance, right?  Sorry I’ve worked hard since I was about 12 years old scrubbing hot ass pots and pans, and managed to not get fired, ever, in the many years since by working my ass off.

The insult of this enthusiastic apologist is mulled by the fact that I simply don’t give a shit how she feels at the end of the day.  She can go on blaming the white people for all of the world’s grievances.  She can blame the extinction of the dinosaurs on white people too (and by all means, I hope she truly does feel guilty for that one).  But one thing I am sure about, ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY NO ONE, SHOULD EVER HAVE TO APOLOGIZE FOR BEING BORN A CERTAIN SKIN COLOR!  I didn’t pick to be white!  I didn’t get that choice.  I don’t choose to have this mythical privilege that I am told I have (the big fucking cop out it is)!  And I certainly owe not one fucking “I’m sorry” to any one living or dead for anything that I, as my own person, didn’t contribute to.  You won’t hear it.  The only person accountable for their actions is THAT person.

With that said, here’s to whatever “ness” you have.  beerYou are who you are.  You can make yourself into the person you want to be with enough hard work and effort.  Don’t let people tell you that because you were born a certain way that the odds are so stacked against you that you’ll never succeed.  Those are the self-loathing, pity party, debbie-fucking-downers that you don’t need in your life.  They’re miserable because life is tough. Period.  They just want an excuse for why they feel it sucks so bad.  Don’t be like this worthless author from the article that can’t be happy because of what people with a similar pigment to her did.  Likewise, if you feel like you should be part of a different culture, by all means, seek acceptance by those people.  Be true to yourself and who you feel you are and you can’t go wrong.  Never apologize for being yourself.  Never be ashamed of who you are.

Stay hidden; stay safe.

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One thought on “The Shame of Whiteness

  1. From a purely academic (theoretical) perspective, it was an interesting read. I wholly disagree with it, but it was interesting. Maybe it’s because I’m white, but I’ve never hated anyone for anything other than what they, themselves as individuals, did. Are there trends and demographics that are typical? Sure. But I don’t live my life as a marketing or governmental agency, I live it as an individual and engage people on an individual level. This is just a symptom of freedom….it’s a real bitch some times.

    I’ve been in some really dark, introspective times in my life, but never did I come up with “Whitey is where I come from and I’m evil…”. We’ve all got struggles though, mine is just same as my Mexican neighbors next door and the Bosnians down the street. We’ll get together and eat some damn fine American BBQ though, and don’t you vegetarian/vegan/pescatarians worry, we’ll grill up some tofu and zucchini too. You’re welcome at our table.

    Like

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