[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: The word “whiteness” in the middle of an “anti-symbol,” a red circle with a red line through it, to indicate “anti-whiteness.” In parentheses below, “but NOT anti-‘people who happen to be white.’ Below that, the URL “STFURACISTS.tumblr.com.”]
Read this carefully, white people… then re-blog it. None of it’s new, none of it’s mine alone, none of it’s my original research. It’s just that I’ve just learned from wiser people than myself and I attached a graphic above to get your attention. (And if you’re not white, I’m most likely not reporting anything new to you, but I hope you share this on your blog anyway.)
Whiteness is not a heritage, not a culture. It’s a system of oppression. It’s not anything to be proud of.
It’s fine to be interested in the countries your family tree comes from. Go ahead and be enthusiastic about exploring your background. March in your local St. Patrick’s Day parade, go to the Scottish Highland Games, have some German food and drinks at the next Oktoberfest. That your roots happen to be European, happens to be coded as “white,” does not equate to you being a bad person, not you or other people who would be considered “white.” (You all still could be jerks for other reasons, of course.) The problem isn’t with your “Everyone Loves A(n) [Irish/Italian/German/etc.] Girl” t-shirt. The problem is with the white people asking why “white pride” is criticized as bigotry, not realizing that it’s unavoidably synonymous with “white supremacy.”
Recognize that the reason some people of color express pride in their respective ethnicities is, in part, because they have had to assert their identity, their equality, their humanity. If you’re white, you haven’t been challenged over those things because of your whiteness. (Maybe if you’re a white person who isn’t male, cisgender, heterosexual, etc. But not because you’re white. Even if you were one of the first Irish immigrants and were discriminated against, it was because of your Irishness, not because you were white.)
Pride in whiteness just means you’re proud to have undue privilege, proud of a tradition of oppression and disparity. You’re not getting oppressed for being white. That doesn’t mean you have to be ashamed for being white, it just means it’s nothing to celebrate or defend. It also doesn’t mean you get any points for claiming to be “colorblind” or saying “race doesn’t matter,” because all that means is, “I’m white, so I don’t have to think about race.”
You should think about it. More white people understanding what whiteness is and how it affects the world might just help make things better. Maybe there will even come a time when “whiteness” is so far in the past, that there won’t be such a term as “white people,” just people who would have been described as that a long time ago. But probably not in our lifetime…
… so until then, the very least you can do is be aware.
(If you’re new to reading my posts, start here. If any of my phrasing or word choices is confusing, refer to this and definitely check out that post’s links to others and their writing. Click the links in this post, look around at my blog, and click the tags to find more on each aspect of these subjects.)
This is a guide to answer some of your racial questions. I am not sure why we still need to explain some of these things in the year 2012 but here it is!
I will let you know that this is coming from my personal perspective so the races being spoken about are black and white. I am not intentionally leaving out other races. I can only speak from my own perspective.
15 things every good racist/non-racist should know