I am a Person of White Color and I want to be acknowledged too

Dear Internet,

I am a fictional Person of White Color (F-PWC) from the internet and I want to be acknowledged too. I want to support the cause of People Of Color.

I want to go out there. Be an ally to you.

I am a victim too

Here is why. I am a victim too. Just like People Of Color. For instance I suffered:

  1. Bullying — People at work, at school, in the bus, anywhere are bullying me because I look odd, do things that are “strange” for some people.
  2. Not so equal chances — My reports and performance at school, my accent, the way I look, the things I believe in, my place of birth within my own country will– and have define my chances in the labor market. I might not get– and did not get the job I want, at the place I wanted.
  3. Discrimination — I am discriminated. White people discriminate white people too.
  4. My life is hard too — I suffer. I feel frustrated from time to time. I feel sometimes I cannot handle things anymore. I take medicines to deal with the stress. I had a mental breakdown. I feel whatever I do or who-ever I am it is never good enough.

My life is not easy either.

  1. Mortgage/rent — I have a mortgage. Or I rent a house. And these costs can be so high that I have hardly any money left to buy food and clothing.
  2. Debts — I spent more than I had. I took loans to buy that new carpet and so I have debts. These debts will not just blow away.
  3. I hate my job/school — I hate my job, my school, wherever I am. People are mean. People are nasty. They do not see me as I am.
  4. I am stuck — I can not just change jobs or move to another place. I have children going to school and having friends. I have family living here. My life is here.

Sure I have choice–

Sure I have more choice. Sure I can walk away. Sure I will not die on the streets if and when I do not get a job: due to all kinds of safety nets my country provides.

Sure I can choose another school or another job.

Sure I will not be emprisoned, tortured and/or murdered when I speak out my opinions. Or beaten or threatened or brutalized. Sure my boss will keep distance due to laws and regulations, so I can feel relatively safe even if my life and my work is a [BLEEP]-hole to me.

–but why does that matter?

But why does that matter?

We all suffer. Suffering is relative and therefore our suffering is equal and my suffering might be even more than yours.  Also, NOT changing my life is a choice as well.

I think we have things in common when we forget the issue of color itself.

It is really hard

It is REALLY HARD to change things. You — as a Person Of Color — know that probably too. It is really hard to stand up and go out and find another job. To tell my boss and my bullies that they can go BLEEP off and BLEEP [because I am being Political Correct here] themselves. It is really hard for me to stand up for myself. Because I too have things to fear. These things are not as horrible as emprisonment, torture, to  die from starvation and being murdered, but real anyway.

I fear that people will not like me anymore. I fear people will cast me out. I fear my boss will discover I am not so special. I fear to be fired. I fear to become the talk of the neighborhood, to stand out. To become a target of looks and talks behind my back. Of speculations about me.

I sympathise and want to support your cause

I sympathise and support your good causes. I think people should be free and stand up for their cause. And I think it is really brave that you do. And I want to join you. I want to support you. Whatever you do and wherever you are. Please just– don’t call me out as a coward or a hypocrite. I do not deserve that. Even if, when and because my activism is from behind of my computer. I take some risks too.

I know I am not like you. But I want to dream that I am. I want to feel special. I want to feel part of something. I want to be understood for MY pain and supporting your cause draws helps that process of healing. Because it also draws attention to me. I can tell people I support you and feel their love and appreciation as if it is addressed to me.

I want to be a GOOD PERSON. Just that. A good person supporting a good cause.

Please let me help you.

I am not responsible for the past

I need you to understand, People of Color, that I am not responsible for the past. Even IF people of my country and my continent did you harm, that is the past. Even IF there was slavery and oppression and war and murder in the name of our economy in order to build the riches in our land, this is no longer relevant for us.

We have changed. It is the past. Please, please, please look beyond that.

And remember we do a lot of good for your countries as well. We outsource work to third world countries. We buy food and coffee from you. We support your plantages. Your farmers. And to see that as even more oppression is mean and ungrateful. Sure there are things going on that should not happen. And sure this is sometimes if not many times due to our buying policies. But that is economy. The rules of economy. Nothing more, please believe me.

You sell. we buy. We bargain. Your wages are lower than ours. If you do not agree, we buy somewhere else, where wages are even lower, people do their work and people do not protest. How is that oppressive? That is how it works everywhere. Even in my home town and even on my own job.

I am too oppressed.

Still I feel guilty

I do. I feel guilty for what “my people” did to yours in the far past. I can not change that past anymore and that bugs me. I do not want to feel guilty and be reminded of that past, but each time you speak up about it, I am reminded. And I am sorry for what happened in the past. That was really evil and dirty and criminal and done by white people. But I cannot change the past. And we were not the only ones who did it.

So do not blame me for this.

Please do not call me a “racist”

Please do not call me a racist when I make a remark or a joke on your skin-color, your hair, your eyes, the way you speak my language or any other language or when I ask you to pronounce my name in your language. When I call you “exotic”. When I ask you to say something in your language. When I do not notice that all main characters in a movie or a book are white. Even when these movies are about topics and stories in your country.

Please do not call me a racist when I ask you if you do or have that in your culture as well, where you are born or when I want to know where you really come from.

Please don’t demonize me for being curious.

Am I racist when I say or ask something wrong or dumb about you or to you that defines and emphasizes our differences? I do not believe so.

When I do this with fellow People of White Color, they do not find this an issue in general. When I do it with People Of Color on my work, they do not make a big fuss out of it. So why do you? Is it really that sensitive a subject? Do we really wrong you that much now?

It has all become so fragile and so confusing from time to time. I just want to learn. I have to be allowed to make mistakes. Why can we not just live together? Why this knee-jerk reactions to people like me? Is my culture really that ignorant of other cultures that you can still call it oppressive and racist?

I am not a racist, believe me. Nor am I a bigot, as you can probably read from this letter. Please believe me when I say that I think all people are the same.

Why do you continue to resist me?

When I join your discussions and try to give my well-meant advice or share my research with you, many People Of Color simply ignore me. Some become angry. Why?

Why is that? Why is my opinion suddenly less relevant? Who do I get the feeling I am interfering in conversations I am not welcome to? How is my skin-color suddenly relevant there? My “white privileges” suddenly an issue? Are our experiences really that different? Is it really that relevant I hardly know any People Of Color in my own life? Or that I only lived for one or five or ten years — as an expat or a volunteer — in that country?

How do I insult you? I do not use racist words. I am very careful with what I say.

Do you really think that my money and my shielded life did not confront me with the poverty and misery in that country? I went out to do my groceries where the locals went. I even spoke three words of their language, including “Hello” and “God bless you”.

Do you need to insist I was mostly a tourist there?

Let’s be nice

Please let’s be nice. If I do not understand, educate me. If I insult you, inform me. But nicely. It is not needed between two civilized people to shout. To repeat your point over and over again in strong language. Strong language against me will only damage your own cause, your own mission.

People turn away when you shout, when you are impolite. And I understand you have been nice for such a long time and that “being nice” did not help. But please do not give up. Try to be nice a bit longer. Things eventually will change when you are nice. No? Or am I lecturing you again, now?

I am not asking you to shut up. Just to tone down. Be civilized.

As for myself, I don’t know anymore. I tried politeness. I tried tolerance. I tried to be politically correct and still I am not good enough. It is like politeness, being nice, tolerance and politically correctness mean nothing, solve nothing.

I smile, even if I do not like you, and you still insist to continue to hate me instead of playing nice to me too.

Why? Why do you continue to insist I am a hypocrite? Why do you shout at me that I derail you and the subject when I want to change it and point you at my own suffering? Why do you shout about “the Cult of Nice” when I try to keep things clean between us? Like we are some sorts of creeps?

Please love me. (And please, please, please stop killing dolphins and whales)

I am a minority too

We are a minority too. I am a minority too. People of White Color are a minority population. There are billions of people and maybe 10% has fair skin. I live in a country that does not have English as its main language, which makes me even more of a minority. I have certain beliefs other people do not have. Which makes me even more of a minority. EVEN within my own group.

When you attack me and call me: “Whity McWhite” and comparable words. When you say “all white people are the same” I feel insulted. When you say: “what we do to you is not racism but deserved, whity white person“, I feel rage. When you show me a goatse I feel shocked and disturbed.

What have we done to you? What have I ever done to you? How are you in a position that is worse than mine? How can you claim and even assume that your problems are bigger than mine based on the little you know about me and my country?

Why do you not read our history too and inform yourself about our oppression before throwing garbage at us, at me? And I am not trying to draw the conversation to me. This is still about you and your cause. But why?

Because your skin is different than mine? Because your diploma’s are not accepted in my country when you want to work here? Because we colonized your home country hundreds of years ago? Because you think our wealth is based on exploitation of your people? Because you think we, “the white people” take that wealth we gained over your backs for granted? (I do not!) Is that why — when you address us with racist slur like “whity white snowflake” and “Kill all whites” — your racism suddenly is not racism anymore?

I PROTESTED against the sweat-shops of Nike and other brands, exploiting the poverty in certain countries. I PUT MY SIGNATURE under several petitions to stop the exploitation of third world countries and third world people. I support several good causes related to education, building wells, helping mistreated animals and building homes for the homeless. I did NOT support America when they sent drones to kill people.  There are GOOD people amongst us as well.

Please, do not throw us all on one big pile of “white people” who are “oppressors”, “murderers”, who “committed genocide” and who are “thieves”. I, for example, do not belong to that group.

I am different. My iPod comes from Apple, not Africa or China.

Please accept me

Please accept me. If it is not as a Person Of Color (my skin is pink, NOT white) then as a Person of White Color. So that we can work together as POC and PWC.

I am not a special snowflake. I am a person like you. I have been oppressed as well. I know what it is to live in fear (I use medicines for more than 15 years for that now). I know what it is to be poor and rejected over and over again from the time that the economy was worse and I was hunting for a job. I am not your enemy. IF and WHEN you are inclusive, I belong to your group as well.

Please accept me. Please recognize me as your equal. Please let me join you, let me support your cause. And if you do not accept me, you are just as racist as you claim that we, “white” people are.

I hope you understand. Please let me support your cause.

A Person of White Color (who means well).

For reference.

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