I am not the oppressor.
My white skin does not make me the oppressor. I wasn’t the one who colonized Africa. I never bought and sold African-Americans in slavery. I never opposed integration, or worked against the civil rights movement. Oh, but other people of my skin color did, and so suddenly it’s on me?
I suppose that because the 9-11 attacks were carried out my Muslims, that all Muslims should share the blame. And that because the Armenian genocide was carried out by the Turks, that every Turkish-American citizen carries a bit of the blame.
I’m not trying to erase any sort of black history. I just fail to understand why there is this need to quantify our struggles, so that we can label whites as the “oppressors” and blacks as the “oppressed.” We all face struggles in life, whether they’re big or small, caused by race or not. I’m just sick of people telling me that I can or can’t do things because I’m white. Somehow, it’s okay to argue that I can’t do things because I’m white, but if I were to argue that someone couldn’t do something because they’re black, I’d be deemed a racist. Apparently, I have been oppressing their people, not through any actions of my own, but simply because the color of my skin links me to a certain group of people before me.
And I’m sick of it.
You benefit from oppression.
You benefit from genocide.
If you’re a white person living anywhere other than in Europe (and maybe even then) you benefit from colonialism and imperialism.
You cannot stop benefiting from these things, because privilege is not determined by you or your actions, but by the society you live in. It’s not your fault. But it’s not untrue.
It is your responsibility to recognize it.
The entire Internet is available for you to educate yourself. Your words come from a place of STAGGERING ignorance, so here’s a 101 list.
When white people say this I wonder:
- Did you or your family own any property, ever?
- Did you or your family make profit from ANY natural resource or travel by highway?
- Did your family ever wear cotton?
- Did you or your family ever travel by railroad, or use goods delivered by railroad?
- Did you or your family eat food grown here?
- Did your family ever receive public education?
- Did you or your family ever benefit from gynecology?
- Did you or your family ever benefit from cancer research?
- Have you received any inheritance at all from your family and can you verify they’ve made no profit from any of the above?
You’re right - you didn’t bring over the slaves, your ancestors made a tidy profit, stolen land and passed along the benefits to you*.
The fact that you never at once questioned your blood inheritance, how it came to you, or who it belongs to, or why you, who “did nothing wrong” but more importantly did no work nor properly paid those who the resources and labor belonged to, should deserve this “free” inheritance…
I don’t know, if a murderer kills your parents in their home, and I move in after the fact, do I get to keep the house and car they left behind? And I get to say, “Hey, I didn’t do it, I’m not the bad guy here!”?
Because, you know, that’s basically what you’re stating here.
(*Bonus section for people who ask, “But don’t POC also get some of these benefits as well?” Yes!
Now step back and consider: a) how many of those folks had the option to go home when they wanted to vs. being kept here against their will, through both threat of violence and exploitation keeping them from saving money and b) who the fuck has had control over the government this whole time and made sure no restitution was made to anyone?
Rub those brain cells together! Make the magic happen, you can do it.)
(Source: , via karnythia)