The thing about Whiteness by @MxMercuri


Credit to: https://twitter.com/mxmercuri/status/1497624624233955344

the thing about Whiteness is that until you understand just how deep and insidious it is, it’s really hard to pinpoint. but once you see it, you realize it’s everywhere. and it’s not White people. it’s this idea that the way White people view the world is the way the world is.

for example, before Tr*mp, a LOT of White people didn’t think racism was still *this* prevalent. the racism we were taught in school looked like slavery and physical violence. that doesn’t mean it went away. that just means the dominant culture got better at concealing it.

i think one of the biggest ways Whiteness conceals racism is with the myth of Free Will (credit to @PeoplesOracle). can’t get a job? your fault. can’t afford proper housing, good food, or medical care? your fault. don’t have a degree? your fault. caught covid? your fault.

your will wasn’t strong enough to do all the things you “should have” done to achieve material security, so it’s your fault your needs aren’t met. this works because that is the story Whiteness perpetuates among White folks themselves. and why wouldn’t they believe it?

everywhere White folks look they see themselves in positions of power. so it’s easy for White folks to tell other White folks that they just haven’t tried hard enough or had the right type of mindset to succeed. they could do it, so why can’t i?

Whiteness hurts White folks just like Patriarchy harms men. but when you benefit from these belief systems, it’s hard to imagine that they’re hurting you too. privilege isn’t a good thing. it’s a weapon we rely on for protection like one would use a gun or knife in self-defense.

how? think about all the ways we self-abandon in order to assimilate to Whiteness. you must talk, think, feel, look, and move a certain way to gain power and validation within the systems we rely on for protection. White folks struggle to realize this bc they created the rules.

marginalized folks are automatically self-conscious about this stuff because these rules weren’t made in our image. we have to think about it as a consequence of being alive. but White folks may not realize it until following the rules doesn’t work out for them either.

rather than call marginalized folks “racist” for pointing out Whiteness as an ideology, White folks could interrogate themselves + each other about why they uphold systems and structures that they themselves struggle to navigate. why work harder for privilege that only hurts you?

why “work harder” at all? why spend so much time, energy and money to further oppress yourself AND other people? aren’t you exhausted trying to be someone you aren’t in order to maintain this obscure power that you really only need so people “below you” can’t steal it away?

imagine how much more liberated you could feel knowing you and everyone else was provided for, without having to strive for the validation of institutions who could end your life just because they don’t like the fact that you see the world differently than they do. imagine that.

this comes from conversations i’ve had w/ White folks who carry a lot of grief after realizing that the reality they were sold was laced w/ gaslighting + manipulation resulting in heaps of psychological damage and trauma. so before you yell at me, talk to each other. seek truth.

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