I am white. I was born white. But what exactly does that even mean?
My heritage consists of the following: Irish, English, Spanish, French, German, Prussian and a dash of Native American (a little bit of Blackfoot and a little pinch of Navajo).
When people talk about “whites” what do they mean? There are a lot of different races of white people out there in the world. Let me tell you a little bit about the racism that affects white people in America. Now, try to keep your panties unbunched until the very end of my post please.
I have been associated with “racist rednecks” as well as Nazi’s in my life, based on my skin color alone. Is that not racist simply because my skin is a lighter pigment? Does the melanin content in your skin decide whether or not you are a racist or whether or not you can be one with impunity? If I were a darker shade would I be able to speak my mind more freely?
Let’s just hold on a second here, before you get pissed off. I was raised, by my white parents, to never EVER do anything that might upset a black person. Even as a young child, this was part of the life lessons my parents had to impart on me. When I was a kid and heard the word “Negro” on a movie and repeated it I was scolded adamantly and told that that word was pretty much a curse word and I should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER say it. So naturally I asked why. That was the first time racism was ever explained to me, and I didn’t even understand it at the time.
Were my parents racist for teaching me to consider the feelings of black people who might overhear my ignorant little white kid mouth uttering phrases that I wasn’t even old enough to understand? No, of course not. They were just trying to keep my childhood peaceful.
My parents came from two different worlds. My father was a country boy from the mountains of Northern California, raised by his mother from San Francisco and his father from Louisiana. My mother was raised in Los Angeles California by her father from Oklahoma. My mom lived during some trying times in L.A….her own brother was beaten down by black dudes with chains during the Watt’s Riots. So, there is some background for ya.
Fast forward to grade school. I went to school with a moderately diverse group of kids. There were Mexicans, Native Americans, Blacks, Asians and, of course, other white kids. I never met a kid who was a racist, but I learned more about racism from kids at school than anywhere else in my life. I learned from the other ethnicities how evil white people are.
In school growing up in the 90’s I was called plenty of names that were race based. Cracker, white bred or bread (I was never sure about that), whitey, etc. Did I take offense to these things? Of course not, because of the “white guilt” that has been pounded into me and other white people over the generations.
You see, not all white people are racist bigots. I know, shocking right? My ancestors were poor farmers, they did not own slaves. They married Native Americans and worked their own land, meager though it may have been. Their struggle was real. They fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War not because they wanted to keep slaves, but because to them it was the right thing to do. They were defending their homes.
Now that I am older and understand more about the world around me, things have changed. It does upset me now. It upsets me that I grew up thinking it was perfectly acceptable to stifle my own opinions when it came to people of different colors because something I might say could possibly cause them offense without me even intending it.
So, I am going to switch gears here for a moment. Where do black people come from? If you said “Africa” you are only part right. Black people exist all over the world, they could be aboriginal Australians, they could be from any part of the large continent of Africa. Haiti, South America, Western Asia, Middle Eastern Europe….blacks come from all of those places.
OK, so where do white people come from? Well, all over really. Russia, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, England. Is it racist to called us white? Maybe, but who the hell wants to spit out all of the different ethnicities that any given white person might be, right? That could take a long time for some of us, since we are mostly mutts.
Even calling all black people African American is racist in and of itself, since black people come from all over the world and not just Africa. For that matter, is it not racist to refer to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and others as all Asian?
If racial equality were the true issue in the world then it stands to reason that all of these groups would insist on proper terminology. Maybe we should all walk around with our heritage tattooed on our foreheads to avoid saying something politically incorrect.
See how this shit gets out of hand fast? All because of some words people use to make conversation a bit easier?
Why is racism only a big deal between whites and blacks? Slavery? But what about all the white slaves that have existed throughout history? The Romans enslaved other Romans for crying out loud! The Irish sold themselves into indentured servitude just to leave Great Britain. White slaves throughout history have been mistreated and abused just as much, if not more, than black slaves were for about three hundred years or so. Jewish people were enslaved by the Egyptians for a long damn time too. So what is it?
It is nothing to do with past instances of slavery in this country, or any other country. The reason why racism between blacks and whites is so out of control is because They want it that way. Divide and conquer, keep us fighting amongst ourselves and we won’t notice when all of our rights are being trampled because we will be too focused on racist nonsense.
I just really needed to get all of that out after I got into an argument with a Facebook friend today. This friend, a black guy, was praising Beyonce’s halftime performance. Said he thought it was great that she “paid homage” to the Black Panther Party. There was a bit of justification for this point of view. The BPP started in Oakland about 50 years ago…it was Super Bowl 50 and it was near Oakland…blah blah blah. Whatever dude.
So I responded with “We would likely be having a totally different conversation right now if Coldplay had come out to perform dressed in hooded white robes right?” Apparently, paying homage to the BPP is fine because they were organized to “protect and help” the black community. Well, I have news for ya. The KKK was organized after the Civil War to “protect and help” white women who were being victimized by the newly freed blacks. Does this make the KKK any less of a racist group? Of course not! But this “friend” could not see it that way. This is called a double standard.
I will end this post here, with this video from Jonathan Gentry, a more enlightened black man than many others I have interacted with in my life.