“Years ago, when I first started talking to white folks about race, I used to tread lightly. I knew that the vast majority of white people can quickly get very defensive and shut down easily in discussions of race, so I bent over backwards to accommodate them. I would spend hours typing out huge responses that were as pleasant and non-accusatory and educational as I could possibly be.Some of you are probably wondering why on earth I would post this. You're probably thinking, "If Ankh doesn't care, then what's she trying to say?"
“And what happened whenever I did this? I was accused of calling people racists, even though I had specifically gone out of my way not to do any such thing and never even used the word. I was accused of playing the race card. I was accused of being racist myself, because I dared talk about race and my experiences with race and didn’t pretend that race is meaningless.
“I can’t pretend that race is meaningless. Pretending that race is meaningless would mean pretending that racism is meaningless. And since racism costs actual lives (as in, racism MURDERS people of color), that’s not something that I can brush off of my shoulder.
“I learned, over several years, that my tone did not matter. How many educational links I posted did not matter. How many statistics I referred to did not matter. How carefully I coddled the feelings of white folks who just couldn’t stand the thought that they might not be the shining beacons of tolerance (which, by the way, is a word that I hate) that they hoped they were did not matter. And I learned that my hurt, my exclusion, the deaths and demonization of my people, did not matter. Any time I dared speak about race, I was labeled a racemonger. I was considered an angry black bitch, no matter what I said or how I said it. I was dismissed, ignored, or actively antagonized.”
~ August, from “What Happened to the Honey“?
Here's what I'm trying to say. There will be individual white Americans who will learn and grow and be decent human beings. Some of us know some personally. Some us know some scholastically. Yes, they exist, but they are a tiny minority.
White Americans as a group, however, are never going to progress. The adage du jour is "Whites need to clean up their own house." Well...they don't want to. They don't believe they have to. They don't even think they should. Their privilege has conditioned crucial human aspects out of them, and since they don't remember ever even having them, they're in no hurry to get them back.
Some of you are thinking, "But that's so self-destructive! It'll get them killed! It'll be their undoing! They don't know what they're getting themselves into! They won't know how to survive in the new world!"
Yeah...not really POC's job to save them.
Sure, it's noble, and sweet, and humane, and all that good stuff we hold dear, but at the end of the day, it's not and never will be our job to save them. They can only save themselves. We'd just be enabling them.
In my travels throughout the blogosphere, I've met many a different kind of white folk. It's been an interesting journey. The rooms were okay, the food was lame, the flights exhausting...but I learned a thing or two nonetheless.
Decent White Folks
They are few and far between. They acknowledge and condemn white privilege and are committed to dismantling it. They are neither conservative nor liberal, and tend to make blood enemies on both sides. They're willing to follow in the footsteps of John Brown. They're not afraid to get hit, because they're more than ready to hit back. They'll quit their jobs. They'll disown their families. They'll get rid of their friends. Say a racial slur in their presence and you'll be eating floor.
Like I said: very few and far between...like one or two per every million (but 99% of white Americans like to think they're members).
No further description is really necessary. They are irrelevant. And no matter how loudly they yell, or stomp their feet, nor how many items they throw, all you can hear is the "tremor". They're mad because you're disrupting their perfect world. They don't like to read things they don't agree with. They don't like to learn the world isn't their playground. They feel entitled to come on the blogs of POC and be utter assholes. They are spineless, insignificant children, and they should simply be ignored.
They sometimes have "Loudmouth" tendencies. They like light-skinned, servile POC, preferably from foreign territory (unless the WP in question is female with a taste for dark meat). They are not interested in "social justice". They don't come on POC blogs (or set up forums) in order to learn. They just want to get laid and not feel obligated to a fellow human being come sunrise.
They're down with the Kumbaya. They smoketh the reefer, weareth the dreads, marryeth and breedeth with the colored folk, and proclaimeth racism dead. They turn a blind eye to moral disorder and are incapable of defending their supposed friends/relatives of color, despite passionate vows to do so. They are often descendants of someone who marched with someone important for some important reason. They're white as hell, but they're also somehow "part black", pretendian, have Jewish in-laws, or some such, and thus consider themselves oppressed. They're allergic to heavy lifting and are "waiting" for times to change. Coincidentally, they're incapable of understanding why "we all just can't get along."
The Self-Loathing Survivors
Not to be confused with Bohemians. These are the ones with the Sight. Oh, they may say the absolutely dumbest shit in a lame attempt to earn the favor of POC, but they're by no means stupid. They have but one focus: save their own ass. These are the ones who've looked ahead to the future and have no desire to be "on the wrong side" when the winds change. And while these may be the lowest and most despicable of the bunch for their willingness to sell their own down the river, they are very likely going to be the ones in the end who "live to tell the tale" (rodents often do).
In the meantime, the way I blog about white Americans changes as of now. The old pieces will stay up for you nostalgic folks, but in the new pieces, I'm going to try to go for something different.
It's been real,