Following the meme that white folks are now the oppressed minority in the good ol U.S. of A, a student at Georgia State University in Atlanta has started a White Student Union.
The informal band, according to this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has already garnered some criticism and complaints that have been directed at the school’s administration. The group was started by freshman Patrick Sharp, who told the AJC he started the group “so that students of European and Euro-American descent can celebrate their shared history and culture and discuss issues that affect white people, such as immigration and affirmative action.”
The article notes the university is heavily diverse, with 38 percent of students are white, 35 percent are black, 12 percent are Asian and 7 percent are Latino.
“If we are already minorities on campus and are soon to be minorities in this country why wouldn’t we have the right to advocate for ourselves and have a club just like every other minority?” said Sharp, 18. “Why is it when a white person says he is proud to be white he’s shunned as a racist?”
Hm, okay. I will address that later.
The article notes that while the group is informal and not officially sanctioned, it can still meet in the University’s common areas. It also notes that Sharp said he most likely won’t seek to obtain a faculty sponsor for the group. He later said:
“All we want to do is celebrate white identity,” he said. “This is about being in touch with who you are as a white person and being proud of that.”
When will these white kids learn…?
Every couple of years, you see stories such as this in the news. Some privileged white kid (usually a male), who believes he’s been screwed over by some black kid due to affirmative action, gets pissed off and forms a band of similarly pissed off white kids. These kids typically get together to bitch about how it’s so hard to be white and how daunting it is to be called a racist when they want to discuss how proud they are of their white, European heritage.
This type of backlash towards people of color and other ethnic/marginalized groups openly expressing pride in who they are is nothing new. Whiteness inherently feels threatened when people of color openly and defiantly reject the notion that we are inferior and the white supremacist belief that we are inherently The Other.
Sharp asks why is it racist when white people get together to proclaim how proud they are of being white. Well, it’s simple. White people have a history of using their whiteness to profess their superiority and oppress those who they’ve deemed The Other. Being proud to be white inherently reinforces white supremacy, which reminds POCs that whiteness is the standard we all must live up to. Your white identity and being in touch with being a white person is historically reliant upon oppressing me and other people of color as The Other.
Your “shared history and culture” is embedded in the historic pain, suffering and bloodshed committed upon people of color all over the world. Your history and culture, along with your revisionist twist of your oppression of me and other people of color, has been and is shoved down my throat throughout school and on a relentless basis in my day-to-day life.
White people who can’t understand this logic will immediately point to the Black Power meme or other similar movements and say those also rely on oppressing white people. They will point to affirmative action and say it’s giving people of color an advantage over them in the areas of education and in the work force. White folks are being left behind and are being replaced by
less competent, less intelligent minorities!
Contrary to what they’ve been told by the likes of Fox News and other media outlets, politicians, their parents and friends, black people embracing their blackness does not demonstrate any form of superiority of white people. Racism equals power and privilege, both of which white people have and neither of which people of color have. So, a person of color’s embracing their nationality or ethnicity is not racist since they do not have the power or privilege to be racist. A black person embracing Black Power is not racist as we do not have the power and privilege to impose blackness as the norm over whiteness.
I know it’s a hard pill for white people to swallow, but you still have the power and privilege you proclaimed when you set out to destroy and conquer people of color after declaring whiteness to be the standard bearer for civilization.
You can still stalk, confront and shoot to kill a black teenager and be found not guilty of murder. You can still proclaim self-defense when you’re attacked by a POC on the street and have most of society believe you. You can still claim that young black children shot and killed your baby without anyone even batting an eye at your story. You can hoard dozens of guns as protection from the thugs who are just destined to break into your home, rape your white wife and shoot all your children dead. As a white person, you can go on national television and talk about racism and white privilege and not have anyone doubt your knowledge. You can still go into department stores and not have young white clerks and managers follow you around and excessively asking “Is there anything I can help you with?” You can still go into Starbucks and have the barista look right past the POC in front of you and ask what will you have. You can still drive down interstate highways and not get pulled over by some trooper or sheriff’s deputy looking to meet some arbitrary quota imposed upon him by the law enforcement agency he serves. You can still go vote and not risk waiting for hours just to cast your ballot. You can walk into a store and have that business carry make up, hair and skin products and other items that line up with your hair type and skin tone as a white person.
So, white folks who happen to sympathize with the likes of Patrick Sharp can all breath a sigh of relief: whiteness is here to stay and has no intention of disappearing anytime soon.