Saturday, December 19, 2015

#WhitesAgainstTrump: Is Silence Consent?

 Answering and asking some questions.


I do not blame good, well-intentioned people who think of themselves as White for not wanting to be identified with, and/or responsible for those who take pride in the "supremacy" of those with white skin, like the KKK, Nazis, Donald Trump and those who support him.

However, if all Muslims are held responsible for terrorism in the name of Islam, all Mexicans are rapists and all Blacks are criminal suspects because some are, why shouldn't all Whites be considered xenophobic white supremacists? 

I know. It's uncomfortable. There's something really queasy about being assigned to a group based on something as superficial as your skin color.

 Wait a minute, doesn't that put Whites on the same level as Hispanics, Blacks and Muslims?

I'm sure that's okay with you. After all this is America and we are all equal, right? 

Besides, aren't we trying to get away from racial, religious and ethnic labeling?

Absolutely, we want to get away from that kind of labeling, but for now and for the past 238 years this is how we Americans have learned to identify and categorize people. 

To verify this, read the U.S. Constitution and its several amendments. In this document that lays out and defines who and what this country is/wants to be, Blacks are described as 3/5 of a person. The very last racial/ethnic group to be afforded the right to vote--AFTER white men with no property; AFTER black men, and AFTER women--were the Nations occupying this land before Europeans decided they should have it.

If you know your history, you know that labeling and categorizing people by religion and ethnicity/race is WHO WE ARE. A variety of groups--Irish, Italians, Eastern Europeans, Jews--had periods of being outcasts before they were ushered into the privileges of being White. Some sped up their entry into whiteness by abandoning their heritage and Anglicizing their names. 

If all of us "obvious ethnics" are held to account for whatever someone does who looks/believes like us, don't you wonder why all Whites are not accountable for the continuing massacres by white American terrorists and the bile being spewed by Donald Trump? 

There are Whites who believe they should be accountable. Whites who don't want to be mistaken for white supremacists or assumed to agree with Trump. Their organizations Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), the White Privilege Conference and the older American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) oppose racism and the injustices that come from labeling and blaming groups of people for the behavior of a few. Silence on this defining issue appears as consent.

Where do you stand?