I noticed that I have never written about the concept of whiteness, white community, and white culture. Honestly, its extremely emotionally taxing for me, stirring emotional pain about current and past oppressions towards my African peoples; I rather write about my own intersectional cultural identities, and talk in person with other Black and People of Color identified people and heal from colonization and white ideologies.
I’m going to park my upset for a short moment and write on this topic, share some few thoughts about the state of crisis for those who identity as White, practice White culture, cherish the values and beliefs of Whiteness. Let’s take a look at who are considered White in the United States of America.
“White Americans: Social definition
In the contemporary United States, essentially anyone of European descent is considered White. However, many of the non-European ethnic groups classified as White by the U.S. Census, such as Jewish-Americans, Arab-Americans, and Hispanics or Latinos may not identify as, and may not be perceived to be, White.
The definition of White has changed significantly over the course of American history. Among Europeans, those not considered White at some point in American history include Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Irish, Swedes, Germans, Finns, Russians, and French.
Early on in the United States, white generally referred to those of British ancestry or northern (Nordic) and northwestern (British and French) European descent.” –
White and White aligned people have a community crisis, this isn’t new information.
Stemming from the psychological need to invent the racial identity “White”, they have distinguished themselves from the majority of the humans on planet Earth. White and White aligned people have demonstrated an emotional and intellectual need for appearing superior- that is a set up for a community crisis. So what are the areas of pain, suffering, and oppression for White people? How do they often express their suffering? What are their values and belief systems?
From my interaction with White and White aligned people in America I have observed the following values, beliefs and behavioral patterns (for those who make this choice).
- Cultural norm of vague indirect interpersonal communication; with the expectation that another will decipher their requests, desires or needs.
- Silence, frozen in untreated anxiety, or physical violence when uncomfortable.
- Untreated personal traumatic histories with scapegoating their pain to humans or animals that they deem inferior.
- When valid financial suffering occurs, instead of being angry at the unfairness of countries’ lack of well-paying employment opportunities, there is a tendency to project that unfairness onto immigrants.
- Benevolence, well meaning, missionary demeanor with interacting with People of Color.
- Celebrates individuality, is leery of a collective community, and resistant towards the balance of interdependence.
- Hysteria towards Black and Brown people.
- Rigid division between professional and personal life.
- Anti-Indigenous, Anti-Blackness, Anti-Jewish, Anti-Muslim, Anti-LGBTQIA+, Anti-Disabilities; preferring creative forms of genocide as a solution to eradicate these groups.
Let White allies heal with their White supremacists kin. Give them space to learn and practice helpful human interpersonal skills.
It is their cultural group that is in crisis! I don’t see any need for my Black bi trans androgyne self to go a “Unity Rally” or any forum to assist White people to heal, especially in a space where there *will* be White supremacists and *well meaning* White allies who equally harm my Black existence. Its due time for Black people to step aside, rest, recover, refocus our energies on healing from White supremacy triggers and strengthen our own community.
For the most part, White people can’t help us if they are shivering in untreated anxiety about what to say, what to do; overwhelmed with panic about Black and Brown people being a daily threat to theirs, and often emotionally unhelpful to the Black and Brown people they do have in their lives such as colleagues, community members, neighbors, friends, and classmates.
After all you can not force or coerce a person with unprocessed bigotry to love you, especially one who hasn’t healed from the color of purity and mourning.
White aligned – People of color who identify as White or with White cultural values and beliefs.
© 2017 Fey
Image retrieved: BIRCH TREES: BARKING UP THE RIGHT BIRCH