I have been white for 24 years and 3 months and I’m not sure if I should hate myself for that or be grateful for it.
I’m afraid that even if I say, “I was raised to not see color,” as I was, I will still be called naive, ignorant, and blind to the systemic racism in society. I can’t tell my best friend from high school that I’m offended by her Facebook posts stating that white women don’t know what it’s like to feel ugly because it’s nothing compared to the black woman’s pain of ‘feeling ugly’ in a society that says black skin is not beautiful. Voicing that opinion makes me racist or uneducated or blind to my own white privilege. According to black society, I’m not allowed to feel pain or feel ugly because I am white.
I’m not allowed to feel offended that my black co-workers tweet daily about how stupid white girls are or about how ignorant white society is.
Is it silly of me to recycle the defense that I shouldn’t be held responsible for things my ancestors (didn’t) do? What am I supposed to do?
I understand my privilege, but am I supposed to be thankful for it or hate it? According to the media, I’m supposed to keep quiet because I am white and I don’t know pain. Am I supposed to hate myself too, the way you hate me? Am I supposed to pray to any and all Gods that I’ll wake up one day with another skin tone so that I can be seen as a person with feelings and thoughts, someone whose words deserve to be heard?
Are the white privilege posts supposed to make me feel guilty? I feel no guilt for something I did not do. Why do you hate me? What am I supposed to do?
I am white.
That will never change. I am female. White girls are fun to make fun of, but does it never go too far? At what point am I considered a human again, someone who is allowed to feel offended for being mocked for my skin tone?
For someone who is told to feel so perfect, black society makes me feel uncomfortable in this white skin. “Now you know how we feel.” Is that the solution to the problem? To suffer the consequences of something I cannot control? I cannot change my skin tone. I cannot change the past of America. How can we change the future if we are only moving backwards? What will it take for me to be a person worthy of feelings in your eyes?
I’m tired of having to constantly apologize for being white. For growing up white. For being born white.
I understand society has told you to ‘get over’ what happened to your ancestors. But you are not the only ones who have suffered. Two of my grandparents lived around the time of the holocaust, my Polish ancestors lived through hell but I don’t ask my German friends to apologize for it.
We have all suffered. All our ancestors have suffered.
You’re probably going to say this is my white privilege whining. That I must be naive, ignorant, or blind. I can have no feelings. Because I am a white female. But I am unapologetically white. I will, however, look forward to the day when we no longer blame things that happened hundreds of years ago on someone based on the color of their skin.