Towards a Concept of White Wounding

Jesse Benn, who’s white and Jewish and has blocked me on Twitter even though I have never interacted with him, writes:

(This is addressed to white people, from white people. The use of “you”, “us”, “we”, “our”, etc. are used accordingly. It is also written in the context of how race operates in the United States, though the impacts of whiteness are global).

Whiteness was designed to exclude, and to simultaneously offer those of us classified as white certain comforts, privileges, as well as political, economic, and cultural supremacy. Because of this, whiteness harms those it excludes and classifies as others. Importantly, it does so on our behalf.

Owning up to and acknowledging the inherited benefits of whiteness, and encouraging other white people to do so as well, is an integral aspect of working toward racial justice in white spaces.

Yet, when confronted with the depth of sins whiteness has and continues to commit to the benefit of all white people, many of us—even those who claim they share in the desire to work toward racial justice—are scared away.

And so, often, white people working toward racial justice do so with an eye toward creating a new version of whiteness, rather than dealing with whiteness as it exists. Now let’s be clear, working toward a healthier version of whiteness is an important normative ideal. But not when it comes at the expense of dealing with the unjust, and immoral system of white supremacy as it exists, in favor of focusing on idealistic versions of whiteness designed to make us individually feel better. Put differently, we need philosophers, scholars, engaged citizens, and thoughtful actors imagining the world as it could be—but when the subject at hand is literally a matter of survival for black people and/or People of Color, it’s our belief that the focus of white anti-racists should tilt heavily toward honestly dealing with the injustices in front of us.

As such, tearing down the system of white supremacy much of the world operates on is a prerequisite to forming any meaningful healthy version of whiteness. This is work that will not be accomplished in our lifetime. It simply isn’t possible. This must be intergenerational work, not intragenerational work.

Comments:

* Since White people are all terrible racists who do nothing but promote White Supremacy, perhaps we should segregate them from the rest of the population so they won’t commit any further acts of racism or microaggressions.

Whites & Blacks have shared this continent for 400 years and we have never gotten along. If this were a marriage, divorce would have been filed a long time ago. There is never going to be a post-racial America. More diversity means more ethnic/racial conflict. I say let’s file those divorce papers and admit that the multicultural experiment has failed. Split the USA up into racially homogeneous homelands and we all go about our separate ways.

* “Whiteness was designed to exclude” first sentence in and his premise is wrong. “Whiteness” was not designed to do anything by white people, it is a function of genetics, futhermore we are NOT all the same. Some races are suceptable to various diseases and some are not. Anytime anyone attempts to use guilt or shame to control another group; it is just that, an attempt at control over that group. “White” people are not the only ones currently engaged in the use of guilt and shame to try and force control upon another group, specifically they are not the ones doing it as we speak, blacks are. Instead of tearing one another down we need to hold up and celebrate our differences instead of using them as a weapons of control and guilt.

* Jesse Benn I hope you realize that white people are already wounded and on the losing side of time. white people primarily in the U.S., Canada, Australia and mainly western Europe are under the reality of possibly or inevitably becoming minorities, likely because of people like you who probably encourage mass immigration. Over many generations white people in these countries will eventually become statistically and politically insignificant. The white priviledged will simply be replaced over time and you will then have a new non white priviledged class who will probably have the experiences whites possess now; and they will want to keep it. So with that, they will likely keep other goups disenfranchised if possible. The point? We will always have problems concerning class, race and ethnicity. In the mean time, we are making the world a less diverse place by actively displacing white people demographically, and many people, including many whites (as you likely do) cheer this on.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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