I'm white. Family is Irish and German. They are very proud of this. I was too for many years. Now I'm in limbo about how I should feel about my whiteness. I'm a teacher and I teach Black students. I love them with all my heart and I see my neighbors, family, and other people who look like me acting like a monster towards POC. It's like I'm waking up from a dream where I thought I was raised to love my neighbor and everyone is supposed to be equal ...well, they aren't . At least not yet in our society.
So I struggle with being white and looking at my whiteness. I am very quick to embrace all my People of color and love their cultures. They have beautiful languages, art, music, dance, rich histories and they're not afraid to stand for what's right. I wish my white neighbors and family could see past their biases too because there's a whole world out there that they're missing.
I am not afraid to argue with anyone and tell them they are wrong for blatantly racist things or words they say. It's easy for me to confront my whiteness and their whiteness and share with them why it matters to me. And many people understand because I fight for my students, always have and always will. But I think there's many people who don't have that same reasoning to fall back on when they confront their white neighbors and family. So their families and neighbors run them down because they don't understand why it's so important.
I think the conversation of race needs to stay opened up until each and every one of us confronts our racism. The racism that hides under the surface and masquerades as jokes or attempts of being more safe in an "increasingly more dangerous world" .
Muhammed Ali said it best when he asked why whiteness was praised. Why are Jesus, the angels, god, santa, and all the good people shown as white? Why is the black duck, the ugly duckling? Why does angel food cake get to be white and devil's food cake is dark brown. Why are there no pictures of black angels? Do Black people get to go to heaven? Why is a small lie a white lie and why is it when you do something wrong I get to blackmail you? All these messages have been tied up in the system so long and we ignore it or don't realize it . Whiteness can't be praised as the model of rightness and beauty just like blackness can't be villified for evil and uglyness. Because at this point the message isn't following the representation of the souls of people that I'm surrounded by.