Monday, April 25, 2005

To an outsider like me, whiteness seems like a tragedy. It just seems like people give up a lot of things for it. Some give up their culture, some give up their desire to learn about the world and other people, some give up the ability to have schools funded because they are too busy locking up the dreaded Other, others give up the ability to have compassion. It seems sad to me, because is it worth it? Or is it a waste of resources that could have been better invested?

It seems sad to see how others have been failed and are failing themselves. At least with black people, there's a desire there over a large portion of the community, to improve their situation. Some may show this desire in blasting other blacks, some may show this desire by doing criminal actions to get money, but there is at least a desire, and desire can be worked with, and shaped.

But what can you do with a lack of desire? With a closing of possibilities? Yes, there are many stalwart whites working hard, but is that the majority? Where are they when a black progressive gives a speech? Where are they when it is time to read a book about black people? Where are they when it is time to support health care, to support public education, to support freeing prisoners? I'm just an outsider, but from here, the picture looks pretty sad.

Why am I so interested in whites? It's like I was reared from a child with them, so seeing friends grow up and espouse terrible attitudes seems like a personal betrayal to me, and seems especially tragic as I lived in the same area, yet was able to access books. I also had ways of learning they didn't have. My mother would always show me the different sorts of houses that blacks lived in, and what old companies there were owned by blacks. My church had a black history tour of Memphis. But the thing is that there is no bar on the door of the civil rights museum. Whites can also visit WC Handy's house. They can eat at the restaurant where Ida B Wells had her newspaper. There is no barrier to learning but themselves.

Of course, I am more critical because I mostly know rich whites. I think I'd feel better if they all had like three jobs and two kids, because at least they wouldn't have that much time, but I mean, a few minutes out of the time you spend griping on your lj about stupid shit, and you can learn a lot.

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