Whiteness is not an identity but a privilege. It is the only real race card for if whiteness ceased to exist, so would all the other social colors. We could all throw our hands in. Game over. But, no deal.
It is handed out, passed down as an American inheritance for the have’s. But, have not we been having this conversation for years now? What must be repeated before we understand?
We know this truth full well and still, I am compelled to tell you so. Whiteness is not an identity but a privilege. It is a government handout, the greatest welfare program of Western civilization. We foot the bill again and again without receipts or questions.
No questions and no comments. No comments! No comments!
There is no disputing or interrogating this social rite of passage. We treat it as an absolute, a universal truth, fixed and independent of any outside interpretation. It is an American given.
Because we have all been told and taught that socially colored white people have done it all and are deserving of it all. We are merely paying them back, providing advances on their creations.
Continually celebrated, whiteness is not used to being challenged. Too valuable, too delicate, too fragile, we must keep our voices down, our questions to a minimum and our presence on the margins.
But, whiteness needs to touched, approached, crowded.
Whiteness suggests that other social colors live an apologetic existence. “Forgive us for not being white.” Whiteness asks that other cultures explain their differences and justify them. “Look at me. Listen to me. I am important and of value.”
Whiteness demands assimilation.
But, I encourage you to talk back, to not take the social construct of whiteness at face value but to argue you against its inflation. And when you do here are a few questions:
- How do you know that you are socially colored white? Who told you? What was your response?
- What does it mean to be a white person?
- What are the benefits of the identity?
- Are there losses to being socially colored white?
- Do you primarily identify as a white person and if not, what characteristic or quality do you prize above it? If not, why is being socially colored white central to who you are?
- Why is whiteness so important?
- What would the loss of whiteness mean?
- What is the value of whiteness and why must it be prized above all others?
- Do you question whiteness? Why or why not?
- What would you do, who would you become if you could no longer be socially colored white?