One of the funniest
thing about a racist
is that he's usually the last to understand the mechanism of his own racism
When a person expresses any sentiment, in this case pride
in a heritage
, the words spoken are themselves meaningless. What gives words meaning is the context endowed them by the social power of the speaker. As a member of the dominant social group, a white person's words carry a much different meaning than those of another. In the context of American culture, for example, when a white person speaks of pride in heritage the history evoked is very charged. His words conjure the facts of colonization
, and oppression
that continue to this day. Thus to speak of white pride
, while not in and of itself a bad thing
, is at the very least inappropriate in light of social history.
I'm sure there are some of you out there who are at this very moment gasping, "But I, average Joe White Guy, have never called anyone a nigger
, or gook
! Why should I have to admit some sort of complicity in the wrongs of a history to which I may not even have a direct link? Am I damned merely because I possess a particular skin color or ethnicity?" Before you start to feel too much like a victim, remember that one does not have to actively participate in a racist power structure to benefit from it
. This is the power of not being marked as "other". Every time you enter a store and are not instantly followed by security, you are benefiting. Every time a cab passes up other fares to stop for you, you are benefiting. Every time you enter a room and the people around you do not instantly become tense and nervous at your presence, you are benefiting. I for one would gladly forfeit the concept of white history month
(as if every month isn't already white history month) to be one of the "unmarked".