Friday, September 16, 2005

Validation part II

I started this post in reply to Umm Zaid's comments in the Validation post below. ~TwennyTwo

Too often it's a guilt game, as well as an either/or game here in this country, and that's bothersome in and of itself. Now, most people who come out with the "Don't see your race" comment are either responding defensively when accused of racism or trying to justify a move made in some part based on race. When I'm not straight reacting to the comment in the moment, I can admit that a very few people mean, as you put it, "I can get past the fact that you are not part of the dominant racial paradigm". Most were not raised in a diverse environment, actually. Hmm. And the rest were raised in Europe (Scandinavia and the UK, in case someone was wondering).

But in examining my own reaction, I know that its as you said, erasing or ignoring something that's a very big part of me. So I sense dishonesty in that comment. My otherness shapes so much of perception about me that it is just ridiculous to claim its ignored when the very opposite is true... on a subconscious level. It's more truthful to say you see it and accept it as it is. Which all of my friends, Black and otherwise, have done, or I couldn't call them friends at all.

The craziness of race- ok, COLOR- and acknowledging, or not, the way everyone in this country acts upon it, comes from the US heritage, because in this country your race DOES mean something. For a long long time it meant your station in life, the possibilities, who you associated with, when and how and where you were educated... color told EVERYTHING about the outward status in your life.
I will belie my southern roots by saying it still does, in fact- that's why all the brouhaha over the racial disparities in the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. Even when we don't want to acknowledge it, color is in the back of our minds, and we act on it, and notice it, and any American who denies this is, imho, lying.

But it's okay to want more. To fight and see color as JUST color- can you imagine what a life that would be? As a Black woman, I know I would be a different person. That's a sad, poignant part of reality that we should all fight to change so our daughters can BE that person.


Submitted to the Radical Women of Color Carnival :

Submitted to the Radical Women of Color Carnival :

1 comment:

  1. Obviously nobody with eyes is color blind, that's a dumb statement to make. I used to gawk at black people like nobody's business when I first came here as a child because I never saw any in the Balkans! (I'm over that now, just in case you were wondering)
    I'm not trying to be a representative for white america here (i missed the last few meetings, i was busy) , but i think when people say stuff like that, they're just trying to say "i am not racist." they might have some guilt on account of racist family members or ancestry, so they feel the need to go out of their way to tell you that they are OK. I don't know if they are necessarily trying to strip you of your identity. But I agree, it's a dumb and offensive thing to say to somebody, and serves as concrete proof that they see you as different from them . If you are truly not racist then you shouldn't feel the need to justify or prove anything. If a person of color were to hold my whiteness against me, and just assume because of my pig-ment challenged skin that me and my family members are fitting ourselves for white-Klan hats on saturday nights, then there's nothing I can do about that & I'm not going to go out of my way to lead them to believe otherwise because I never did anything wrong.