Wednesday, October 24, 2012

White Lady Tears from the Back of the House

'Tears are tasteless' photo (c) 2008, LMAP - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Once again a post I wrote entitled Which Race has the Most Beautiful Women? back in 2009 has again attracted an ignorant fool full of privilege and denial.  Of all of the pieces in the Womanist Musings archive, this piece seems to repeatedly attract the worst. I have thought from time to time about closing down the comments on it, but the degree of racist comments that it receives convinces me to leave it open, as it occasionally produces fodder for a post.  This time I have decided not to break down the comment and will leave it to you to deconstruct should you have the energy.
I only have one thing to say here, and it's this: I was directed by a link to this blog to read about racial fetishization, and though I hoped to be enlightened, I feel surrounded by hatred of white people, white women, especially. As you may guess, I am a white woman, and though I have no personal experience for what it's like to be a POC, no WOC has personal experience for what it's like to be a white woman.

You may think that experience has little, if any, merit, but it's not true. Surely, you've heard of "white guilt. I would imagine you've never thought much about it because, why would you? You're not white. The media, the textbooks, people you do and don't know haven't been telling you for years that you enslaved people, stole land, abused a whole race of people, etc. I don't know if there's an equivalent for POC, but, if not, just try to imagine growing up with that kind of weight on your back.

And anyone who thinks white people are exempt from experiencing racism, someone needs to pull the wool off of their eyes. I've been called a "cracker" by other white people, and there may be times when I think the word is funny, but, mostly, it sounds like a racial slur to me, and I hate it. I can't tell you how many times my "whiteness" has been talked about as if it's some kind of negative character trait.

I think you mentioned the word "whiteness", and I can't remember if it was simply a reference to the color of someone's skin, or a stereotype. If you used it to characterize my race, then shame on you. Shame on you for singling out one race as racist. Do you realize how hypocritical that is?

Now, I'm not trying to say that I've suffered more, worse racism than any other race, and I'm not trying to discount the racism that POC experience. But I do experience it, as do other white people. We may be the "neutral" or media's "ideal", but a lot of people resent us for that. And it sucks. I didn't pick the ideal. I don't support the ideal. I think beauty, intelligence, kindness, cruelty, laziness, and hatred can and do exist in any kind of body.

That's all I really have to say. This seems unfinished, but, c'est la vie. I hope something I've said will reach someone.
What she said did reach me.  Everything she had to say served to confirm just about everything I have written about Whiteness and White woman's tears since I started the blog.