Modern Problems Are Not Deeper Than Skin
Modern Society or more deviously called the Age of Information makes people all across the globe rush home from work and school to sit upon their rumps and search the vast expanse that which is the internet. Public Media has become the beacon of news for everyone to keep up-to-date about literally everything! Scandals have lead us to believe that our words need to be censored, and all messages must be Politically Correct.
Meaning, the WhiteIdealists can still be racist, without being racist.
Whiteness is an ideal; albeit an impossibly unachievable one, just like Religion vs Non-Religion, and Capitalism vs Communism. It is simply White vs Non-White, in the most rudimentary terms.
As it stands, “Whiteness” is purity. A very rich and acquired Ideal. One may be born with white skin, but that does not mean they are WHITE. Although, simply being White Skinned promotes the idea of being “White.” The Ideal represents the Ultimate Perfection and Imperfection that a single Human can attain (according to those who still believe that being White is supreme). Several people have created a Stereotype for non-Caucasian races. This is in three parts: White (Minority), Minority, Racial Slur (used as an Adjective to describe the third part). All three parts are an “Assumed Ideal,” similar to Stereotyping. It is a rather sick way of separating those who Whites often deem as “redeemable and not redeemable” according to the oldest, perhaps most archaic White definitions (only today probably they are the background score to a movie promoting racial equality).
In simple LayPeople terms, WhiteMinority is this Minority, being Black, Brown, Yellow, or whatever non-White, has eventually worked their way to becoming a “Model Citizen.” Back in the mid 1900’s, America devised the “Model Citizen” cliche that symbolized hard-working Americans who could read, write and pledge their support to their home country, would be a Model Citizen. Racism in the WhiteMinority stereotype is based on the Model Citizen being White – though not always WhiteSkinned. A prim and proper, educated male or female were known as the Models of Society, who rose from lesser ranks to become the leaders of our future. (Well, more like our Congressmen today who ignore those who they represent for their own agendas). Essentially, the WhiteMinority are Bona-fide Whites — today, not back then with “whites only”.
The people who are boxed under minority are either immigrants or middle-class workers that have the ability to attain the ideal of Whiteness (Of course, inside every POC is a WhiteMan struggling to come out). It is believed that through hard work, perseverance and practice, that these people can leave their Minority Status behind, (even though their skin is still not White) and provide progress to society as a whole. In the sense that they have the option to “leave a part of themselves behind,” it is another form of bigotry from those who would be required to approve of their Whiteness — I am looking at you Sarkozy. Of course, the main problem of even trying to be a Model Citizen is that you may not be qualified as a unique individual to join an Army of Same. All Model Citizens are the same, pretty much. Down to the core.
(Insert Racial Expletive here) are the people Whites believe are a class so low in the Minority that it is fair to be racist towards them, simply because there is an assumption that they will never give back to society. Typically those who call people spicks, niggers, chinks, wops, and etc. are not only being racist, but they are also singling out Minorities who are otherwise assumed to be worthless. It is how WhiteIdealists can be racist without being racist. Instead of creating the intention in their minds of being truly racist towards others by using those slurs, they have changed all the meanings to something such as “stupid,” or “useless.” For some reason, those I know personally who consider themselves “White” do not use the term Nigger as a slur against Blacks – because of just how they use it. What is it called when a WhiteMale calls his friend — a WhiteMale — a Nigger?
Stupidity, for one. But America truly has a very large taboo or a fetish even, for using Politically Correct terms and racism combined. No matter which you choose, you may be assumed to be a racist simply because by the time you go to use the “politically correct” term it’s changed again. Much like this poem by Norbese Phillips :
I always thought I was a Negro till I was Coloured West Indian, till I was told that Columbus was wrong in thinking he was west of India — that made me Carribean. And throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, I was sure I was Black, Now Black is passé, African de rigeur, and me, a chameleon of labels.
A person in my shoes is worried constantly whether to say someone is Black, or African American. For one, choosing “black” is considered racist because “he isn’t really black, his skin is closer to a brown.” It doesn’t make sense in our attribute terminology to call someone a Brown Man in America, because people just would not get it. You have to specify that somewhere in his family chain someone grew up in Africa, and immigrated here either as a slave or a traveler. Yet, a White Man who is an American, although somewhere along the family chain someone came from Ireland, he isn’t called Irish American – just American. So the American assumption, and the world assumption maybe, is that American refers to White Americans. Wait, aren’t we forgetting the brown people who lived here before us? The First Nation? Natives? Oh wait, they lost those little wars. So we’re better, we get acknowledged first. *Sigh.*
Many in America would argue that the word Nigger exists simply as a word – because overall, Racism has “decreased” globally. Oh, how wrong they are! Although it is true that the idea of such racial slurs are now stuck within our minds, we can not simply delete the idea from our brains like we can on the Internet. So instead of trying to get the word out of our languages, they give it new but just as harmful meanings. What does the same thing? Political Correction. The Word-Play Puppet of Whites. Notice how most Politically Correct words often contain the original statement or meaning in parentheses? African Male is (Black), Hispanic Female is (Mexican), and a Japanese Foreigner is (Asian), Caucasian Male (White), Little Person (Midget), Hard of Hearing Persons (Deaf People), Communists (Red Devils).
In the true spectrum of light, Whiteness does not decrease racism – nor does being a Model Citizen respect all people that they should represent towards. In fact, it creates even MORE prejudice. Being the nigh-perfect White Male ( as society reveres it) just means that he is also the pompous ass of a man that declares greatness, and never gives it back to those who he is above.
So why are most WhiteSkinned men seen as WhiteMales? Because of their Skin. When someone is born white, they are born into royalty of sorts – and provided a privilege. They can never be rid of that privilege – no matter what they do to stop its ever-raging rampage.
Constant efforts of re-orienting my innate privilege is indeed a large task. I am inching slowly towards abandoning this royalty treatment. My supervisor is Muslim, a Pakistani of non-white origins, who is now beginning his fasting of Ramadan. He was surprised to learn about my knowledge and respect for the Muslim people, and their devotion to their faith. I explained something I did way back in Middle School when I was only 13 years old.
There was a Muslim boy in our class, of brown skin. Here, I sat as a young white-male of Catholic origin. There are American tales of Catholics and Muslims being at each others’ throats, arguing, fighting, and being complete strangers to each other because of their different faiths. Yet here we were, sitting in class when the teacher (oblivious to his practice) asked him why he did not eat lunch with the others. He explained that it was because of Ramadan and he could not eat during the day. A few other classmates snickered, and made fun of him at lunch. Teased him with food, pressured him to betray his faith. Here I intervened, sat next to him, and tossed my entire lunch – without having a bite – into the trash. I knew that I was going to starve. I did not care, because then they would have to fight with ME. My skin may have been a privilege, to be sure, but I protected him because he was my FRIEND. Our differing faiths did not matter, because we worship the same god. Our skin color did not matter, because we were suffering. What mattered is that we chose to follow our faith, and never let someone ever destroy it.
My supervisor and my coworker were in awe. He thanked me for being so understanding, and having the knowledge and respect for him. Especially in this hot weather, when the days are long and humid. He won’t be eating until well after 10pm. I respect him, too, because although he is very hungry and in pain, he does not reflect his frustration onto us. Maybe tomorrow I will not eat food during daylight hours, in reverence to my old sacrifice for a friend.
Although this is how I am planning on taking steps away from StraightWhiteMalePrivilege, the path will never be easy. Due to the power held within my seat, I will be tempted to return to the weakness. It is something we all can learn, and what I have struggled to learn thus far. Each of us has a faith, whether we are believers or non believers. We all have emotions, whether we are happy or angry. No one is without the blood we all share. If we cut our palms, and men of differing color shook hands and shared that blood, it would be one in the same. It would be unity through the blood of humanity (Not to mention disease, but that is the sacrifice!). We as people should hurdle over the simple pigment of our skin, and the history tied to the so-called “pure-ness.” Do we all breathe air? Do we live on the planet Earth? Did our beloved mothers and fathers birth us into this place that we all share? What makes any one baby of skin more privileged than the next?
I dream of a day that Whiteness is simply a color for sheets and blankets. When people are not referred to as color, but as People. As I dream under these sheets and blankets, am I hiding? It’s time we went out and made this dream a reality.