Simply put, being “white” changes – the Irish didn’t used to be “white”; being “white” is being privileged. It is withheld or given to people for seemingly arbitrary reasons.
Being “White” isn’t about skin color – you know how pasty Irish people are stereotyped to get – it’s about ‘passing’. It’s about participating in a system which gives privileges which the privileged see as rights, and making it easier than it should be to disenfranchise others.
I’ve been one of two white people (out of 1,500 – 3,000 students) in an institutional scholarship orientation program for a week straight; not as tourist, in my home county. Some white people in America never experience anything like it; walking into the “wrong bar” once or twice and walking right back out again doesn’t count.
When you realize what it’s like to walk out of your door and KNOW you might see ONE other white person when you step into the Professional World, when you realize this is a recent reality for minorities trying for Upward Mobility (thankfully, less now, from my limited white perspective, but still quite real in smaller towns), this is the part where you white people go, “Oh. Shit. I didn’t realize. Yeah, that IS fucked up.”
Why is it fucked up? White people are freaking out about the playing field being leveled – they don’t understand white people aren’t being oppressed, they are experiencing equality for the first time. They think their free speech is being attacked because the free speech of others isn’t being suppressed by Fear of Death or Dismemberment… I mean, there are terrorist attacks on multiple black churches because killing devout Christians and leveling Christian Houses of Worship is the Christian thing to do!
If you’re proud to not be discriminated against and bitch when white feelings aren’t the only ones being catered to (while accusing everyone else of whining – don’t get me started on white people’s “Angry Black Person” problems), get out of America and go somewhere a little more homogenous. Please – we’re multi-cultural here. We celebrate ALL of America, here, not just the ones who have the biggest guns and the most vindication from their imaginary sky friend (who appears differently to different people at different times and says lots of things we choose not to think about because yoga pants on hot girls is a God-given right).
When someone says “That’s offensive,” instead of asking, “Why do you hate free speech? Why don’t you move to Canada?” ask, “What makes it offensive? What’s wrong with it?” You might both be on the same side, and just don’t know it yet. Reinforcing stereotypes (yes, I call out the bullshit on the Redneck Racist bashing memes, too – I’m equal-opportunity enlightenment) makes us less free, as a nation; taking away someone’s dignity is wrong, period, and those who are trying to make the world a better placed have been tasked with pointing out your part in oppressing your fellow Americans.
You were brainwashed as a child; I know it’s nothing personal to you that you’re racist. Or, maybe it is – maybe one of your few experiences with a not-white person was violent or violating; maybe that person was racist and targeting you based on bigotry; if that person/s was/were white, would you feel that way about all white people?
“That’s a stupid question,” you say? “It’s not the same.”
That’s the whole point of this article.
Update – an ingenious comment made in response to the comment I had on the initial meme this sparked a blog about:
“Irish pride = ok, French pride, Viking pride, Slavic pride. All are ok. White pride is about white supremacy, not about being an equal in society.”