Oh, so, I had a thought on White girl shit while in the shower (I have a lot of *deep* thoughts while washing my hair, who knows why…)
ANYHOODLE, so I decided that the main problem with White people is that they are unaware of the burden of negative history. The White Man’s Burden is all about them being Saviors, never destroyers, and other than that White history is only considered a burden in terms of ‘living up to what our ancestors did’ and such shit. You all too rarely find straight-up White folk aware of the weight of the past.
I was thinking about this yesterday somewhat because of that book-burning pic, and ‘cause I’ve been feeling less and less like “White people, come get your folks!” applies to me. Like, I can’t imagine anyone growing up Jewish at the time I did could even conceive of carrying around a poster with ‘n****r’ on it, because having the weight of the memory of the Holocaust as a personal thing forces you to automatically interrogate so many things. It’s why I’m so blindsided by ignorant Jews in my age group, ‘cause all I can think of is how willfully oblivious they are (and yeah, it’s partly sheltering, but at a certain age it becomes willful—a dear friend of mine is like this, it drives me fucking bats).
So yeah, times like this, I’m reminded of how not-White I am, just because I’m constantly carrying history on my shoulders and aware of it. It’s heavy. It’s similar to something I wrote earlier about blood v. heritage, and how your ancestors give you the blood but you are responsible for carrying the heritage, and if you’re unwilling to deal with the full weight you don’t get to claim it as your own.
This, I think, may be why so much of the Occupy Wall Street stuff can get offputting—it’s like suddenly a whole bunch of White folk feel marginalized and on the wrong side of history, and hey! that pisses them off! Anger and protest! But what are they angry about? That sudden sense of lost power. It would never occur to most of them that this is how a vast number of people in however many marginalized groups has always existed, in fear for their future… not because the bank account was suddenly low, but because White folk were always trying to kill you and shit…