Monday, July 13, 2009
I hate the term "white" as a catch-all phrase. Using the term "white" can be used as a way of describing injustice, whether it be institutional or individual, upon someone from a minority group. It also is used as a means of distinguishing those in power and those that do not have "a seat a the table". Periodically, it is used as an insult, such as " Why you actin' all white?". "White" is also used a marker of class, such as
"That's how white people talk." or " Why you dressin' like a white boy?" "or " That' s what white people like."
I also find it funny, when you ask a young person, with very little experience with different races, how to describe a white person, they say, "They're all racist", " They're all rich." "They're all stuck up."
This is all a preface to some of our experience on our block. These are the thoughts that have gone through our neighbors minds since our moving here five years ago. We knew it was a reality, but have done everything we can to beat the "white" catch-all phrase by just living here and creating relationships with our neighbors on our block. While I welcome all the critical permutations that the term "white" stands for, in their purest forms, I can't stand when my neighbor, outside my window, gossips about the "white people" , how they aren't from around here, that our neighbors are just puppets for what we want to do in the neighborhood, that it has to take "white people" to move here to bring up the block. All this from a friend.
All I'm saying is hearing someone describe us and what we have done collectively with our neighbors on the block in the most laziest and racist way, as "white people" just disappoints me, hurts me, and divides our block into us versus them, which should not be. We're a community of many different people trying to figure out living in the same space together; and reducing each other to the most base descriptions just fuels hate, distrust, and division. I plan to confront him and have him explain himself face to face, hopefully we'll have a nice talk. Ironically though, the puppet, La Comay, from Puerto Rico's SuperExclusivo's favorite catchphrase is, "Bochinche!".
Posted by Bill at 12:10 AM