Wednesday, July 07, 2004

My folk theory of whiteness

My theory of whiteness is that it's like a sorority. Only the already existing members can let you in, and first it is on a provisional basis- maybe you have to trash the non greeks a little more, so people'll see the difference. At first, only the members of this sorority could do certain things, like become student president or take more advanced classes or work in the cushier jobs. Now, the University administration has stepped in, and now, at least in theory, the non greeks can have those jobs, and there is a great deal of protest. The greeks say that the non greeks have lower test scores so they should not be let in, despite the fact that they have crib sheets that the non greeks are not allowed to use, and the fact that it never did matter how high or low a greek's test score was before this change.

There also has never been a non greek student president, because people are so used to voting for one greek or the other. There are also other interesting complications. Some of the non greeks say that the non greeks are inferior to the greeks. While many of the non greeks oppose this, it is pretty obvious why this is done, because non greeks who are willing to speak out against other non greeks get to editorialize in the mostly greek controlled school newspaper, and might even get invited to greek parties. There are also greeks that have fully embraced this set of affairs, and many who have partly embraced it. While some greeks may give lip service to non greeks having these rights, they may also talk about them and spread rumors behind their backs. While other greeks have decided that everyone deserves the same rights, and have even started to defend the non greeks in public. While the fact that everyone listens to greeks more than non greeks is a problem, it is a start.

*I think my story should be obvious, but I still think I should explain it. It is pretty obvious that greeks are whites, and non greeks are blacks. Why this? It's because I know mmore about the black-white situation than others, and also, the fact that it's easier to write a simple story with two. Although the provisional greeks can be several races- the Irish in the old days, some Asians now(many Asians get crap, but other Asians are seen as a model minority,and are set up against the rest of the peoples) ,etc. The part about the greeks getting the cushy jobs is supposed to represent the Jim Crow days, and the crib sheets represent white privilege. The non greeks that bad mouth other non greeks are blacks who badmouth blacks, and the greeks who pay lipservice but talk behind people's back are white who may call themselves liberal, but don't have liberal hearts, and the ones who think that everyone deserves the same rights are anti racist whites. Well, I'm sure this story is a weak analogy, but that's how I think of it.

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