Friday, May 17, 2013

Read. This. Article.

Especially if you are white.

Amazing article by Kartina Richardson in Salon - "How Can White Americans Be Free?: The default belief that the white experience is a neutral and objective one hurts both white and American culture."

It's fierce and it's tender, and it's full of memorable ideas and arresting phrasing:
"Because The Default has so successfully dominated our subconscious, because our egos have been shaped by it from the moment of birth, we perpetuate it in micro ways while fighting inequality with more obvious actions. The silent poison continues to poison."
"The external benefits of whiteness, so emphasized by modern Western culture, mask the pain of being a white default. The thinking white man is hyper-aware of his role in a system of oppression. Awareness of his privilege erases his right to existential dissatisfaction or depression (and yet he still feels it). He is unable to embrace his white identity without feeling like a racist, and he is left without a sense of heritage or ethnicity. If he does not achieve the greatness that is promised to all white people (either by being poor, or unsuccessful) he feels invisible, like a failure without any excuse."
"The fight against inequality, the fight against The Default, is a fight for white spiritual and emotional freedom, not just the freedom of people of color, women, or gays and lesbians. It is only by seeing white specificity that we can awaken to the fallacy of the idea that humans are separate. Perhaps if whites see their own psychic freedom at risk, a new racial awareness will arise naturally."

There are essential truths here. Read it, examine it, pass it on.

Thanks to Whitney Leader-Picone, designer at Charlesbridge Publishing, for the find.

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