*I don’t know Rhiain personally except she’s one of my fans. But reading this I realized we were sisters under the skin. Now, because I have spent the last five years, give or take, mainly indoors — I’m looking forward to better health allowing me to hike more again — I have only a vague soupcon of gold, (Spun Gold, according to paint chips) but my kids are… much darker and also blessed with more ethnic features. Being treated as victims embarrasses them, even if they grew up — writer’s sons — at the edge of falling off the middle class any minute. Because we get in trouble and we cope — though once at least I had to ask you guys for help, but that was different. I do provide this blog almost every day for free — we don’t ask the charity of strangers? And what is all this but charity based on the premise we’re not as good? I get where I want. Sometimes slowly and on bleeding fingertips, but I do. I don’t need do-gooders to reach me a condescending hand. Apparently Rhiain doesn’t either. Beware those who would court us, I suspect there’s more of us than you think.-SAH*
What White Privilege?
I’m past the point of being tired of this white privilege narrative.
I’m not white, but the color of my skin has never affected my outlook
or my standing in society. I’m where I am now because of my own
efforts and endeavors. I do believe there is a divine purpose and
influence involved, as well, but that’s not what this post is about.
I recognize that there is a strategy at work here, since we are
constantly inundated with repetitious attempts to start conversations
about privilege and race. I don’t know about anyone else, but attempts
to shape this white privilege narrative have been ongoing for the past
year or two (or five). The claim, to put it succinctly: people who
happen to look Caucasian have sins and misdeeds to answer for on a
national scale, since your ancestors perpetrated crimes against
colored people during the 239-year history of the United States, and
those crimes continue with a subtler touch. No matter how much you
white people deny it, you are still guilty.
Gimme a break already.
This colored person is tired of being reminded that she’s not white,
that she’s owed something because of that, even though her genealogy
goes back thousands of years in the Western Hemisphere and her
ancestors were happily oblivious to all the racial crimes committed on
American soil at the time. All they did then was drink coconut milk,
eat taro, go hog-hunting and dutifully follow their own cultural
traditions, and who gives a crap about what happens on the mainland,
“Oh, Uh-meh-ree-cah? Where dat? Can we reach it by canoe?”
When Obama won his first presidential election in 2008, a lot of
people on my Facebook friends list, Democrats and liberals all, were
literally crying tears of joy that a black man had won the office. I
didn’t know at the time that Obama’s skin color mattered that much,
until these same people accused his critics of racism for voicing
disapproval of his policies. Look: if you want to mark a milestone
here, that someone other than a white guy inhabits the Oval Office,
fine. But he is “the most powerful man in the world,” and on those
merits he will be judged. In my opinion, he hasn’t done a great job,
and I will laugh at the first Obama supporter who accuses me of racism
for publicly criticizing his tone-deafness every time he opines on gun
Like I said, gimme a break already.
If anything, Obama’s win was an indicator that race doesn’t matter
that much anymore. It’s a convenient foil for those who claim to want
to see poor, non-white people advance to financial and social security
the easy way – without those same people struggling to reach success
by their own strength and efforts. Failure is a wonderful way to learn
what works to reach success and what doesn’t. Trying to dodge failure
just makes it more difficult for a person to learn the lesson the
first time. You would think this principle would be easy to
understand; apparently it isn’t.
If people want this country to reach a point where we are truly
post-racial, conversations about white privilege don’t help at all. If
anything, they’re a distraction. I don’t care if the same quarters who
started the “Let’s Talk About White Privilege” movement want to wallow
in their own victimization and self-pity – let them. They don’t speak
for me. They only speak for themselves. That they claim to represent
me is the main reason why this straw has broken the proverbial camel’s
For this reason, I ignored the idiots who complained that no
currently-serving Republican Congresscritters attended the Selma march
anniversary last week. Who cares? Apparently they do. But only a few
people who attended the anniversary could actually remember what it
was like to live under Jim Crow laws, and to be treated differently
because of their skin color. Only they remember the police beatings,
the force of the firehose jets, and the dogs set upon them. Do you
think these people really cared about whether members of one political
party didn’t show up? Do the people who complain about white privilege
have an inkling of what that means to someone who experienced real
racial discrimination 50 years ago?
No, to be truly post-racial, people have to stop caring about skin
color. How often do individuals and groups of people interact with
each other on such a superficial basis anymore? This act of ignoring
one’s melanin levels, to some, is apparently “racial apathy.” To be
apathetic to the struggles, the social and economy inequality that
people of color still face is an issue in and of itself, some lament.
Post-digestion baby pap, it is.
My skin color has no bearing on how I conduct myself; it has no
bearing on who I am beyond the fact that I was born with this skin. My
accomplishments and, yes, my failures, are what make me successful.
Yes, I have weaknesses and strengths. Sometimes I try to hide my
weaknesses; at other times, I’m forced to confront them. Then, my
strengths override the areas where I fail. On those merits I will be
judged. And those who persist on claiming I’m disadvantaged and
underprivileged because I’m a woman of color can kiss my olive-skinned
[Amen, Rhiain. Me and mine stand with you.-SAH]