A test for white people
Answer this question:
What does it mean to you to be white?
If your answer was “nothing,” then you have A LOT of reflection, critical thinking, and research to do before you ever even TRY to relate and talk to PoC.
Well, why not.
It means I’m a part of the ideal “whiteness”, and gain everything that comes with that. (Regardless of whether I am aware of it or want it to begin with.) It means that society will look at me and not make a plethora of snap judgments (or think it’s justified to act on said judgements) about who I am as an individual based on my race. I means that I could, say, color my hair red or nurse in public, and have no one call me “ghetto”. It means I won’t see dangerous skin lightening products where I live (generally), ever experience someone telling me to comb my hair if I were to leave it natural, or say that I can’t wear a certain fashion because of my race.
It means I have a statistically higher chance of snagging a job and avoiding arrest/tickets. It means that I can pretty much look anywhere—movies, billboards, etc, and not feel alienated or ugly (based on race, I mean—the entire body image thing comes into play regardless, of course). I won’t be profiled in a store, people won’t roll their windows up when I walk by, and I won’t get commentary about who I choose to date.
It also means that I’m one of the women who are considered in the feminist movement(s), while women of color are vastly ignored (alternatively, seen as an animal/ an ‘other’ to “save”, which happens a sickening amount).
And it’s all really frustrating because there is no biological basis for race and humans are just so scared and hateful about those who look different. Never-mind that so many don’t understand the difference between race and ethnicity, and how race does exist, because society created and reinforces it daily. Ignoring that there is a hierarchy of races (though it varies in detail from place to place, a good example is Cuba’s race relations compared to the States) and that whites stand at the top is merely casting aside any historical and contemporary race relation issues.
I am fortunate enough to have made friends (via tumblr, go figure) who are women of color. All it takes it some listening and self-education to try and understand as best you can about what it’s like. I can fully recognize that I’ll never know first-hand, and never experience racism.
**Post written from the female & woman POV, and excludes a novel’s worth of specific topics that could be covered.
***It also means I’m allowed to get mad about society without being slapped back down. Unless I’m mad about the patriarchy, anyway.
A for you.
And I’m adding a couple of star stickers because you’re doing better than a lot of white people in this post omg