Tuesday, July 21, 2015

With whiteness comes erasure.

I wish I could remember who wrote this. I would thank her or him profusely because when I read this, it resonated deeply with me. It was an articulation of feelings I had not been able to grasp; uncomfortable sentiments felt too often and so left no space for me to rationalise them away.

It's about being Brown and with someone White that renders you the Other. It's about White people universalising and imposing their life experiences in the 'noble' pursuit of assimilation and/or integration, so you never get to own and own and have pride in your childhood, your celebrations, your proverbs and your norms or traditions.

It's about having White people reiterating and reminding you of the 'freedom' they experience and that you are supposedly able to enjoy in their country. (They forget about anti-Brown or Black microaggressions, racism and violence, because they can't universalise something they don't experience).

It's about having a hybrid child who is part White and part Brown (never mind that he is descended more of Brown than White). A child who is seen to be a rich White charge when with his Brown mother and a poor saved Brown adoptee when with his White father.

It's about White people worrying that your child will not learn his White language if he goes to your country. Never mind that they never worried he wouldn't learn his Brown language in their country.

It's about having White people worry that your child will not be 'raised properly' amongst your Brown people. Perhaps too conservative or traditional or religious or backward or primitive or savage -- their worry has been the same for hundreds of years.

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