On Hatred of All White People
I’ve been a bit frustrated with the discussion of race lately, largely because on Tumblr it seems as if a person is required to express outright hostility for all white people if they want to validate themselves as an opponent of racism, and I fail to see how that is a constructive way to further progress race relations. It makes people sound like supremacists rather than proponents of racial equality.
Criticism of white maleness is also a pretty popular tactic for people trying to weasel their way out of responsibility for being an asshole. (Case in point, the person who was making fun of a white guy for having cross racial attractions and another person complaining about a white person with dreads. Both told me I was ignorant and had no right to comment on the matter for being a white man, though my only comment was to point out that they’re being assholes.)
I’m never going to know what it’s like to be a person-of-color or the extent of your struggles, and therefore, I don’t make authoritative statements on race. Nor do I really have an opinion apart from trying to treat people equally in life. I also get that there have been big reasons to be pissed off this week as well. (Billy Crystal’s blackface, among others.)
But, I see people on my dash making authoritative negative statements on white people as if all of us are to blame for the problem of racism in the world. In my life I feel I’ve lived in a manner that makes me undeserving of unmitigated, baseless hostility. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and half of my life helping my mother and father raise six special-needs children who are people of color. One of these kids was born addicted to cocaine, and she’s grown into a young woman that as a freshman in high school is already being scouted for college basketball programs. She’s also won several national championships in cheer and her team placed 16th at worlds. Another of these children had a half sister that was set on fire by their birth mother. My six year-old brother was born with a heart defect due to his birth mother’s drug abuse, and I spent every moment I could at his bedside when he had open-heart surgery at age two. All of our kids were exposed to drugs, and most experienced heartbreaking abuse and neglect.
Not only have we helped our kids succeed by giving them a loving, supportive home and family, but I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say we helped save lives, given the environments they lived in prior to their adoption.
I don’t ask for much, but as much as people of color, LGBT people, women, and others don’t want to be lumped in and stereotyped, is it too much to ask that you pay me the same courtesy?