2008-07-15

Keeping White Privilege Is Important


I recently read a posting over at feministe about being Jewish and white. The poster was upset because some of her acquaintances did not see her as white, but Jewish, even though her skin and her physical characteristics are white in appearance.

All I could think was, is white privilege that important that you must assert your whiteness? Is it an insult to be other than white? If people perceive you to be "other" does it diminish yourself as a person and how you see yourself in society?I am confused as to why if racism per so many is gone or is not as prevalent, why is her whiteness or perceived whiteness so important? She goes into a long story explaining the history of Eastern European Jews and how there was a campaign against them from Eugenicists to prove them less than white. I understand the campaign, which maligned many other races and groups as well is offensive, but why in this day and age is she upset someone might not assume she is white?

Why is it she feels that it is now important to self identify, rather than have people do it for her? No matter what I do, my blackness is defined. It doesn't matter how of mixed race I am, my skin shows black and people make all types of assumptions about me based upon color, and it doesn't matter what others think, if I were to do that, me and many other blacks would have just given up (which many in my opinion have, again my theory on Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery causing many blacks to have undiagnosed PTSD, explaining many of the issues within the black community, I will blog about that later).