White People: I Want You To Understand Yourselves Better
Ijeoma Oluo


Well, fuck it, I’m drinking a latte, might as well “offer up the ‘white perspective.’” Do you know white culture or just the version of liberal American mostly-white culture that is your reader? Does the knowledge of american whiteness extend to Hasids and the Amish? Polish immigrants? Appalachians, hippies, and corn huskers? Boca Raton retirees? Whiteness — like blackness — isn’t a cultural monolith and it can’t be “found,” especially by the guy in your DMs who has been “white all his life”. Racial polarization sucks and marginalizing individual diversity from either pole reinforces the problem. I just don’t think you fight structural racism with more racism. Or else you’re asking white people to read a specious articles about “white people” from a black writer and expecting them to not come to equally specious conclusions about “black people.” All of us are empathetic, but none of us can experience that empathy outside of our own context, nor can we see ourselves through another’s lens…Anyway, I disagree with this article, but I think you’re nice. I poked around a bit, read some of your other articles. I laughed out loud when you categorized your Chi-raq commentary as ranging from egregious to “Jesus Spike Lee, what happened to you?”