Oh boy. I've been reading a bit and it sort of hit me how easy it is to unintentionally racist and treat people badly. Even if it seems on the surface that you're an 'ally' or 'color blind'. I'm leaving this one public, just because. But either way, since I can't clean until my vacuum gets here - I had time to sit and think. And think. In my closet, a cheongsam hangs. And I wondered - am I just as bad as someone on Stormfront? Am I unintentionally appropriating someone's culture if I like Indian food, belly dancing or imported clothes (In all honesty, western style clothes that I import in European sizes fit way better too. I guess I don't have enough of a badonkadonk or hooters to fit into American sizes)? What if I've been cruel and marginalizing to my friends from other cultures and countries all because I've been thoughtless? For the record, Abagond
is an excellent blog on the subject.
Pretty haunting really. Even weirder was after reading about raising people 'color blind' and realizing that it's just as bad as white washing. Well-meaning allies can be just as insensitive as outright racists. You can't ignore someone's color, culture or gender. You can't just appropriate someone's cultural practices and flaunt how 'not racist' you are. It probably even makes it worse. It's not fair. It makes them generic and ignores that while it's a well meaning idea, it's still pissing into the wind. Black, Hispanic (I know - I'm looking for a better term and I'm sorry) and Middle Eastern men get arrested at far higher rates than white people. But do you know? White people are more likely to be serial killers, and commit just as much crime. It has as much to do with economic status as race. Poor whites commit crime too, even if they don't get caught for it.
Now, I don't want to fall into a giant pit of white guilt here. Do I wish that sometimes I weren't white? Oh yes. Dear God yes. I look back at how generally awful we've been to the world and shake my head. We had diseases and guns. That's how we came to power. And it's tragic. We caused most of the problems in Africa today by randomly setting borders without thought to tribe relations, water supply and ignoring traditional boundaries. We told the lighter skinned people in Africa they were better, they were in charge (See: The Tutsi and Hutu) and played havoc with local politics. We encouraged the Japanese to take over other Asian Countries and created resentment that still exists today because we bought into imperialism and the idea that west is best. ( It gets long but there's a point.Collapse )