Sunday, October 29, 2017

To be clear: White Pride is just racism

I saw this tweet again today and want to expand on it.

Once again, louder for those in the back.
"White" is defined by the experiences it doesn't experience.

It has reminded me of an image that was being distributed on Facebook: 
I can see apparent contradiction that is being demonstrated here. There is one significant thing missing from that appearance: context. Context is everything and is all too often stripped from anything which addresses the legacy of white supremacy.

Asia is a place. The people from there are Asians. Europe is a place, and it is home to Europeans. Both tend to associate more strongly with their national background then the continental one anyway. Additionally, America is two places (three or four even depending on regional labels) and as such an entire hemisphere of people are Americans. Which makes the dog whistle "Real Americans" all that much more incorrect and ignorant.

In the past Africans had their cultures, families, and even their names stripped and beaten from them. All they were left with was their blackness and then punished for that. Descendants did not know where their ancestors were from, as families were split apart and sold to different sections of the continent. Literacy was banned and teaching it was punishable after it enabled revolts. All that they had left was their blackness, which was also their curse. That legacy has held on, black people isolated and punished for their blackness through explicit laws and de facto abuse. Black is what is left and a shared culture derived from it.

White people never had their life and culture stripped away. There is no shared experience for white people to draw on. Racists are proud to be white because it means not having lived the trials of others.

German heritage is celebrated. Irish heritage is celebrated. French, Welsh, Scottish, Russian, Scandinavian, Italian, Swiss, etc. There is no united White culture.

Consider the symbols used to support White Pride: Confederate and Nazi iconography. One rooted explicitly in preventing black equality and promoting white supremacy. One which committed mass genocide to exterminate the "other" based on racial, sexual, religious, and ideological lines.

Contrast this to the often cited, by white racists, Black Power movement with its easily recognizable raised fist used by the Black Panther Party. Rather than being based on subjugating and exterminating people, the first "means life and liberty being fought for and a greeting of solidarity with the democratic peoples of the world." (Letters from Spanish Civil War, 1938) A raised fist is often displayed as a signal of strength and solidarity against oppression, which has been the default state of black USians for the majority of the European colonization of North America and then the United States of America.

Five hundred years of oppression by white people in North America has made Black have its own culture independent of religion and nationality. It is not racist for that culture to be owned and celebrated. It is a sign of strength to succeed and to even flourish in such an environment. That strength, a strength that white USians will never experience or be able to fully grasp, is something worth being proud of.

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