I don’t think I was born white. I think white children are manufactured. There is a social process wherein neutral children get assimilated into the white race. I imagine there is something similar that happens to black children, but as I didn’t experience it, I don’t know much about it. This process is not contingent on the pallor of a child’s skin — there are plenty of pale people of color as well as swarthy white people. White beauty norms has never been the extent of whiteness. The making of white children has to do with how adults behave towards you, and others around you, on the street, at the playground, and the books you read and the ads you see. The white race is reconstructed, millions and millions of times, in each person’s life, growing up in America. And a defining part of that construction is inevitably a denial that it is happening at all.
… are intrinsically different from the rest of humanity has all the same flaws as any such argument. There are no intrinsically innocent and wise peoples of the earth, we are all the same wonderful and terrible creatures. Every community produces gentle geniuses and violent monsters. If we accept the normality of white people—and this proposition has in its favor overwhelming evidence: circumstance, (the arbitrariness of whiteness) history, (the universality of both human crimes and genius) and physiology (the genetic difference among “white” is pretty much the same as any group of white and non-whites)—this leaves us looking to social systems and systems of power for the sources of our social problems, which seems pretty sensible, when you think about it.
…re for blacks, preserving that furious inch of superiority that was the defining quality of whites. To this day poor whites are the most intransigent racists — left by an exploitative and violent system without education, access to food and medical care, or even the basic necessities of life in the developed world. In this state their only precious possession is the idea of whiteness Virginian aristocracy blessed them with hundreds of years ago.
…tion of whiteness was a new permutation, but each one also harkened back to the ur-form of Virginia: God made the whites to serve kings, and everyone else to serve whites. Today, corporations and the remains of colonial systems have reduced the vast majority of those in …
… to the ur-form of Virginia: God made the whites to serve kings, and everyone else to serve whites. Today, corporations and the remains of colonial systems have reduced the vast majority of those in the arbitrary category of white people to drafted screws for a global forced-labor prison camp.
As the aristocrats and their successors traveled around the world through the colonial age, Europeans all over would find or define a group within the colonial territory and elevate it above the other groups, give it some privileges, though never enough to challenge the intruding rulers. In exchange for this slightly elevated status, the rulers would make those people do the colonial dirty work, and usually keep them slightly more well off than their fellows. Over time, these slightly elevated people often tried to keep their European masters in power even after the people realized how evil colonialism was, maintaining the system both to keep above their fellows and out of fear of retaliation for the dirty work they’d done. The most familiar contemporary case of this practice people will recognize is the Belgian categorization of Tutsis and Hutus, and the tragedy that still hangs over that arrangement over a century later. But really, the idea started in Virginia.
… above the permanently enslaved on the social ladder. The next thing the politicians did sealed the deal: they paid poor whites a bounty for runaway slaves, and often made them overseers for slaves, turning every poor white in America into a prison guard against the people who had once been their neighbors and allies.
This plan worked gorgeously. It broke all efforts of the majority of people, African or European, to fight for civil and political rights in America against a landed class that ruled everything. It reduced a portion of the people to the status of the negro slave, and gave the poor but now white people a precious and entitled inch to stand above the permanently enslaved on the social ladder. The next thing the politicians did sealed the deal: they paid poor whites a bounty for runaway slaves, and often made them overseers for slaves, …
Mr. Walton, I agree with you for the most part but there are some (and I’m almost positive that you are not among them) who would assert that affirmative action is a form of systemic racism that disfavors white people. Thus we have an exception.