Hola mi gente,
As you might gather from the nature of some of my posts, I get a lot of “fan mail.” Private messages, often from conservatives and neoliberals, expressing hate and vitriol are not uncommon in my inbox. LOL The worst come from “well-meaning:” white people (and their black and brown enablers) wanting to have a “conversation.” Get this: I don’t give a flying fuck about your desire to discuss your particular brand of racism disguised as an “intelligent” conversation.
Simply put, I don’t know why I constantly have to remind people that I do not hate white people. I hate white supremacy. You should too.
I believe some people purposely misconstrue my analysis because they can’t stand to be reminded that we live in a racist society. Therefore, I’m not going to remind people any longer. If you’re defending, or caping for, white supremacy, regardless of the color of your skin, you’re for white supremacy. At least be honest about that and STFU already. SMDH
Where Have all the White People Gone?
It never fails…
Anytime the issue of racial justice or racism comes up, I can never find a white person. I mean, when did all the white people become “Indian” by virtue of their big brother’s little sister, great aunt’s step granddaddy being 1/16 Choctaw on his little sister’s, big brother’s mother’s side?
Talk about racism and many whites will say, “But I’m not white.”
It’s amazing because though these people sure do look white, they are clearly distressed about being labeled so. I am of Puerto Rican descent; I do not consider myself white. My worldview is most influenced by my Puerto Rican/ Latinx cultural upbringing. However, I would be a lying muthafucka if I stood up somewhere and denied that my blue eyes and light skin hasn’t benefited me tremendously. While I don’t consider myself white, I benefit from the perception of being considered white in a white supremacist society.
That’s the thing, most of the time, white people don’t notice or question their whiteness. Yet, when the subject of racism comes up, no one wants to be white because it opens one up to charges of being racist. Others proudly claim their whiteness and simply deny or ignore the systemic, state-sanctioned violence this society has committed, and continues to commit, against African Americans, Latinx, First Nation people, and other marginalized people.
(On a personal note, growing up, most of my friends had a good time ribbing me because, though I appear white, I was always one of the most militant of the crowd.)
Historically, it has been dangerous even to talk about racism. I’ve seen some of my friends labeled “Nigger lover,” and “race traitor,” terms which have carried severe penalties. Many of us know of the white civil rights workers who were killed for their actions against racism. Many of us have been isolated from friends or family because of disagreements over racism.
Admitting to being white may have the effect of making some feel guilty over being racist or traitorous over other whites. Whites don’t want to be stereotyped or labeled (talk about irony). In addition, dialog around racism often takes place within the context of anger, hostility, and divisiveness. Whatever the case, many are quick to disavow whiteness, or claim some other status identity which will afford some legitimate victim status. Certainly, no one wants to be seen as somehow complicit with racism.
But this is where it has to begin.
It has to begin with this denial of whiteness, because racism keeps people of color in the spotlight and makes white invisible. To change this we must take whiteness itself, drag it out into the light, and realize that it is a color too. Whiteness is a concept, an ideology — a possessive economic investment — which holds tremendous power over all our lives.
The challenge to white people with regard to a meaningful racial dialog is to keep whiteness center stage. Every time their attention is shifted to people of color, they will have to notice and refocus. They must notice when they try to escape into another identity. There’s an understandable discomfort with the label “white.” It makes one feel boxed in and want to escape from the confines of racial categories. Being white is an arbitrary classification which overrides individual personalities, devalues, deprives the richness of identities, stereotypes, and has no scientific basis.
Yes, whiteness is problematic. It confers privilege on some while taking away from others. All the fear, anger, frustration, and confusion experienced by admitting whiteness is the result of racism. Many of these feelings are what keep us from recognizing the effects of racism and the devastation that racism wreaks in our society.
To acknowledge this reality is to not perpetuate or create it. In fact, it is the first step to uprooting racism.
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…