I’m not white
I try to be color blind. I believe it’s the best version of the human race that we can be, when it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, or which country you originated from and what faith you identify with. What should matter is what you do and how you behave. I try not to care what you believe or what you preach, except if I like it then I want to praise you. I watch what you do and I measure my experience as positive, neutral or negative. I try to gravitate toward people with whom I have a positive experience, and away from those who trigger a negative experience for me. I can’t fix them, nor do I have any business telling them what to do. I can choose to spend less time with them. I hope to spend more of my life with people who inspire me, teach me, and in whose company I feel good.
I’m Irish, born in Kenya. I grew up in Italy and then England, before I went to live and work in Switzerland for a few years after college, then immigrated to America. I speak three languages and have visited 50+ countries. I love this messy wonderful planet we live on.
I may look white, but I’m not. I’m a mixed bag gypsy who has had the good fortune of living in several countries. I fill out HR / government type forms and I always check Race = Other [ ] because I don’t identify as white. Let’s be clear: I don’t hate white people nor do I have any negative or positive feelings about white people. Or any other group described by skin color. I have less in common with Joe the Plumber in Minnesota than I do with a Kenyan or Japanese or Chilean or Taiwanese person. I have plenty of negatives for people grouped by non-color attributes: mean people, liars, braggers, gossips, bullies, bossy people and manipulative people — I dislike them all. I like kind, cheerful and smart people. I love bright people who invent and imagine new and better ways to do stuff. I love optimists. I don’t care what color you are. When you attack white people, I’m looking around, curious who you mean and who are these white people and what have they done now? If you had a whiteness checklist with 20 checkpoints on it, I’m pretty confident I don’t check more than a couple of them. No I don’t wear jeans and sneakers. No I don’t watch football, hockey, baseball or golf. No I don’t eat fast food. No I don’t support stand your ground. No I don’t drink domestic beer. No I don’t vape. No I don’t listen to wall of sound. No I don’t drive a monster truck.
Why does this matter?
Because identity politics is bullshit. It’s an attempt to divide us even more than we already are. It’s the lazy-mind’s way of assigning blame, but it does so too broadly and it tries to sanctify one group of people and demonize another. It’s the opposite of the color blind world I wish for. Identity politics negates individual achievement and personal goals. It wipes away your uniqueness and your personality and pushes you into a generic pigeonhole that substitutes who you are for a small part in someone else’s B movie.
The concept of white privilege is fraudulent. It attempts to tap your deep seated guilt and burden you with a debt that isn’t yours and isn’t real. It’s a modern extension of the politically correct blight that has been growing unchecked for decades. What began as a genuine movement to fight racism became its own fascist movement. It happened slowly so we didn’t notice.
I can’t fix any of this. All I can do is manage my own actions and beliefs. I retreat from anything that smells like identity politics. I am not white. I will not fight for white people. I will not fight for any skin color group. Or against them. I will try to live in a color blind world.
Many people are writing about whiteness and white people. How racist they are. How evil they are. How tone deaf and insensitive they are. How they make comments or ask questions they don’t even realize are microaggressions that are demeaning and insulting. It sounds like white people are fundamentally awful human beings and should be taken outside and punched. Apparently, white people have done so many bad things, there’s no path to forgiveness or redemption. They must be made to pay.
I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I wish you good luck even though I don’t know how I can help you. I’m not part of the white people you’re talking about, and honestly I don’t care about them. I care about the human race and I truly hope we don’t make ourselves extinct. Your hate white people thing goes along with other items in the far left agenda — hate rich people, hate the police, hate business, hate churches, hate men, hate boomers, what the hell, may as well hate America too.
Last November we narrowly avoided the loss of our democracy and a descent into dictatorship. We’re hurting. America has PTSD. We’re feeling numb, stunned, injured and deeply afraid of each other. Historically when a war is over, people come outside and they play music, drink, dance and hug each other. Wars doesn’t look the same these days and we’re not sure if war is over or just in a ceasefire. Covid added to the strangeness as we isolated in our caves and doomscrolled. We should be celebrating our shared humanity and our bright future, our victory over tyranny, our survival after a close encounter with third world dictator government. Instead, we’re flaming each other and finding new ways to hate each other based on skin color, net worth, gender and faith. We’re broken-hearted and emotionally crippled, unable to cope with our pain.
Turn off the TV. It hates you and it wants you unhappy afraid and anxious.
Turn off social media and news media — it wants you distracted, anxious and jonesing for your next hit of dopamine.
Talk to people you disagree with and/or have grievances with. Human contact is precious even when we disagree. Isolating in caves and consuming like-minded content is poisoning us.
Volunteer. Hand out soup or cook breakfast at the homeless shelter. We benefit much more than the recipients of our kindness do: we develop empathy.
Whatever your quarrel with white people is, I do hope you’ll find a way to see where we are in history, what we have just survived (barely) and what giant task we face if we’re going to rebuild society. I hope we’ll meet and exchange some cheer as we mend this deeply injured nation and heal our wounds.
I’m not white.
I don’t hate you.
I’m sorry you’re in pain.
We’re all in some pain.
Let’s focus on healing.