This is white:
I have never ever seen a human of this color. Never. Not in the movies, not on the streets, not in cartoons even. Not even Casper, the friendly ghost, had this color. To me, there is no such thing as white people.
I have seen white cats. White owls. White dogs. White rats. White foxes. White bears. But never, ever have I seen a white human. Not even the albinos are white. So where are all the whites, that make the white supremacy?
I am born within privilege. A lot of it. I am male, I had educated parents, I have a good genetic makeup with enough diversity so that I am generally healthy, and have a pretty much symmetrical look, good skin, nice teeth and all. I have had enough shit in my life to get that masculine rugged gaze and some white hairs which help me get an interesting look. But I am not white. I am a shade of brown most of the time, even in the winter. In the summer my skin gets darker, and my eyes get lighter. Yet, I have been yellow, a yellowish red, when jaundice tinted my bloodstream. Being sick, I have spent months inside and turned, at best in a pale gray yellow shape of myself. But, I am not and have never been white.
I live in a racist country, one where racism is so ingrained in society that absolutely no one even understands the term. The main target of our racism is a group of browner people, gypsies. But it is common for folk to feel sorry for black people for their blackness, especially for pretty black girls. Genuine sorry, as if the black went away there would be some miracle cure. It is common for a black man to be considered naturally dirty, as if you could get stained with their blackness. I wonder, when we discuss open borders, do we consider that waves upon waves of people who are insensitive to topics such as race, sexuality or sex will get to thicken the many layers of resistance in cultures who struggled for decades to beat the diseases of racism, discrimination and bigotry?
I wonder, who designated these weird labels on “races” as accurate? White, yellow, red, black … they are nowhere to be found. So far brown appears to be the only universal shade I keep seeing. I’ve seen brown Chinese, brown Americans, brown Romanians, brown Russians, brown African-Americans, brown Rwandans, brown Egyptians.
Listen my black brother, I think that as long as I am “white” and you are “black”, I win. The Sun is white, the day is white, milk is white, flower is white, sugar is white. Sure, lots of exotic and mystical things are black, but you wont win this war with special tricks. Some sugar is brown, but I only use it for coffee. The good sugar, the white processed one, goes to make the sweet stuff, the cookies I so enjoy. Do you see the pattern? In the racial justice war simply using the term white is like giving a check mate to all other players.
White is a great political power idea, invented by the invading nations who stumbled on various technological discoveries when their time came. Like those before them who wielded empires because they stumbled on other technological discoveries, there is nothing particularly special about some European nations who “conquered” the entire world. It is pure luck. But, by the power of sheer serendipity, we had the audacity to take captive the notion of whiteness and we got you all enslaved forever. Nothing simpler.
As long as some population is white, all the other inhabitants of the planet will loose the racial war. And they will also loose the political benefits. Oh, and the white always wins the economical game, because the white are special, and you agree without even knowing. Listen to my words, if you care for justice to guard the truth that all people are created equal: banish this color label from your vocabulary, because white is everything there is, all rolled into one. You can’t win against the white at a conceptual level. The white will engulf you. If you call me white, I have power over you.
Have you “seen the light”? It was white, wasn’t it? Or maybe you are one of those having fun thinking of a Black God? End it, God is white. Alanis Morisette played a female God, a white female God. Morgan Freeman played a God all dressed up in white, in a white setting. Had it been black, you’d be put out of the whole movie, you know why? Because white is good, white is up, white is the color of the top of the mountains and white is in the sky, because water!
In the racial war, white has the power of the one concept hard wired into humanity: life. White means everything it means today, before we had the so called white people on this planet. Before Romans, before Europeans, before colonialist empires, before slavery. White means the good thing, even since we were making up this world we’re living in to be filled with dragons. Just realize that by fighting a war against an opponent whose whiteness you confirm and empower you will loose.
Do you think Hollywood is whitewashing movies? We’re all whitewashing the planet, by labeling a minor genetic difference with the greatest metaphor of all: white! There are no white humans in my experience so far. There are only various shades of brown. The greatest problem in cultural shifts is to redefine mentalities. As long as a group of people get the best allegoric description of qualia rolled up into one word, white, I think we’ll be playing an endless and fruitless game of victim-perpetrator.
To be white is something to desire. If the whole racial justice discourse is to do any good, it must reinvent itself into something that changes the idea that any of the people on this Earth are White. The current situation where the establishment, the system, the culture, the power is identified with a group of people who are all thrown under the generic and empowering term of whiteness, is a loosing position for all the equality movements on the planet.
Nobody is really white. Seriously, not even the really pale people, not even those with vines showing beneath their skin, it doesn’t matter how Aryan or Nordic in appearance, you are not white. You may be a very, very, pale hue of brown with yellow shades and some black or red spots and dots. But we all want to be white. The darker we are the whiter we’d like to be. Traditional myths and fairly tales include accurate descriptions of beautiful, special, noble, worthy people who are all white, in “white” countries. No one looks like the heroes and heroines our children dream up to. Because nobody is really white.
I am not “colorblind”. I am simply not white, and I have never seen a white person in my entire life. I will however make an instinctive difference between my hue and the other hues, because this is what was presented to me as a child. This is essential, no matter how much information one accrues in a lifetime, the basic principles laid out by the childhood exposure will never change. Never. They can only emulate change. So imbued in my native education-instilled racism, proud of all my awareness in regard to my race, I do not identify as white, because I simply am true to myself when I look in the mirror. I am not white, but I reap all the benefits all the people who think I am white offer me for free, as if I am some magician who has hypnotized 90% of the planet’s population.
When I’m born I’m black
When I grow up I’m even more black
When I’m in the sun I’m still black
When I’m cold, guess what: I’m black
And when I die I’m fucking black too
When you are born you’re pink
When you grow up you are white
When you’re sick, man look at yourself, you’re green
When you go in the sun you turn red
When you are cold you turn blue
And when you die you look purple
And you got the fucking nerve to call me colored?
— Tongue Forest ft. LaMont Humphrey