I saw a meme that read: As a white person, I am sick and tired of being judged by the color of my skin by people who have complained for decades about being judged by the color of theirs.
The irony, the idiocy, the white-privilege, the whininess being multiplied with each press of the ‘like’ button. It made me glad I know some people -not of color- who get it. They understand the racial conflict and have taken positive steps toward resolving it.
I saw the meme because, sadly, I also know some of the other ones too. The ones who would love it if there were no more racial conversations. The ones who are sick of hearing about race. They feel they are not the cause, they don’t want to be burdened with the repercussions and they resent having it intrude upon their lives (and FB newsfeed).
To those who feel this way, it has to be said: you are, in fact, the problem. Your self-focus breeds the superiority that is the root cause of racial unrest and propagates its continuation. Likewise, the answer, rests with you. The idea of comparison/supremacy was created by discontented, judgmental white folks, not people of color. And, no matter how much you complain, ridicule, divert, antagonize, blame, whine, justify, or whatever defensive response suits you, it is your responsibility to fix the problem. Not ours.
What is going on in today’s society, is the realization that it is not our problem. We don’t have to make you like us. We don’t need to meet with your approval. We don’t want to fit your standards. And, we’re not apologizing for who we are.
In many white minds, that translates into: ‘You’re blaming me for what was done.’ I get the feeling of injustice at being held accountable for the actions of your ancestors. I understand that. BUT.
Most systems of justice have the inherent understanding of all debts eventually coming due. Some people know it as karma. In the bible, it is a principal called sowing and reaping.
For example: The Israelites suffered four hundred years before God removed the Egyptian control. The Pharaoh & friends who suffered the biblical plagues are not the same ones who made them slaves. They were just born into and benefitted from the privilege.
The Hatfields and McCoys who signed the official truce in 2003 were not the same Hatfields and McCoys who started the feud.
You may not have personally stolen land from the Indians. You may not have owned a slave, burned a cross, dehumanized a servant or established a Japanese-American concentration camp. But, you have reaped the benefits of the crime of white supremacy. Much like profiteering (taking advantage of unusual or exceptional circumstances to make excessive profits. It is the generation of disproportionate or unfair profit through manipulation of prices, abuse of dominant position, or by exploiting a bad or unusual situation). Regardless of who started it, you’re not innocent.
It isn’t about your ancestors. There are no arguments concerning who did what to whom and why. Now, it is about you. Your actions. Your opinions. Your judgments. Your inactions. Your anger. Your aggressions. In short, what you do (or choose not to do) about your racial problem. Yes, I called it yours. Whether its slavery, Jim Crow, police brutality, the prison system, fair housing, helping the poor, etc., supremacy reemerges in a new form every generation. Many Americans hated having a black president for no reason other than the color of his skin (republicans have yet to get a person of color beyond the primaries). Mr. Trump’s hate-based popularity is the negative response to the positive actions of other cultures. Can’t blame that on your ancestors.
The response to being called to responsibility is, unfortunately, quite typical. i.e., I don’t have a problem. I treat everybody the same. I don’t see color. Etc., etc., etc., = Problem. Problem. Problem…
- If you didn’t have a problem, you wouldn’t be complaining. You wouldn’t be sick and tired of hearing about racial injustice. You’d be sick and tired of racial injustice. You wouldn’t need to wish the conversations away if you were on the side of the solution.
- You treat people according to the judgments of your criteria, with little regard for theirs. Which makes every encounter all about you.
- Your blindness to individuality is the reason stereotypes are alive and well, and judgments abound.
I could go on, but the simple answer is when you make it about you, it’s your problem.
The question I have for those who agree with that meme is what have you done to resolve it?
Have you tossed the false histories and educated yourself on true American realities?
Have you admitted that America has always been about the advancement of white people at the expense of others?
Have you acknowledged that people of color have damn good reason for their discontent?
Have you dealt with your tendency to judge? (That trait is tied to every act of supremacy.)
Have you left off the excuses, the justifications, the comparisons, the diversions and/or the retaliations?
Have you taken a good hard look at the source of racial unrest? White-aggression. (Deal with that and solutions will overflow.)
Have you done anything, other than complain about this mess we all have to deal with? Or are you expecting it to just go away because… well, because you’re white and privileged like that.