a study of whiteness from a Ethnic Minority perspective
I wake up, and maintain my White Person teeth with my favourite brand of White Person toothpaste. I have my quintessential White Person tea, and have some White Person bread- which I spread White Person jam on. I put on my White Person uniform, and my White Person perfume.
I arrive at my White Person school, and go to my White Person tutor. I learn my White Person teachings, and do my White Person tests. I receive White Person validation for doing well in these completely arbitrary tests. I go and enjoy my White Person break, while chatting to White Persons. I learn more White Person teachings, and take my White Person lunch. I enjoy my White Person tuna wrap, banana, frube & iced tea lunch, and continue chatting to more White Persons. I learn more White Person teachings, and eventually reach the end.
I walk home, listening to White Person music on my White Person mobile, and reach home. I open the door with my White Person keys, and go to have a White Person shower. I eat my White Person dinner, and watch my White Person TV. I lie my head down on my White Person pillow, and achieve my respite.
unconsciousness is the only sanctuary, yet is over in a flash! finally, abstract space to exist outside the white person sphere, i think, then it dawns on me; if one spends their time longing for an escape from whiteness, are they not themselves defined by whiteness?
I am woken up by my White Person alarm, and the routine begins anew.
it is something that has no basis in science, yet hangs over society. i do not accept it willingly, yet it controls my whole life. it is not something i willingly ascribe to, yet i structure myself around it. indescribable, yet tangibly perceptible.
the piece is not intended to criticise white people, or to demonise them. that has been accomplished in many other pieces. to be “white” is not inherently good or bad, yet i find myself longing to replicate myself in that image. why? i am a staunch anti-racist & communist, yet i still want to be white. is it to fit in with society? to fit in with them? to dissociate myself from others? we are all told to either be yourself, or to fit in, but are these the only 2 options? the rhetoric of “love yourself!” or that i am “lesser” both don’t mean anything to me. the way i speak, act, spend time, and even write (i am arbritarily judging my intelligence, and by relation my self-worth, by how “articulate” this is) are all normal to an outsider, yet i feel a deep disconnect with it. it’s the little things that you don’t notice. the “have to spell my name after saying it” or “laughing over a supply teacher mistaking you for somebody who looks nothing like you with your white friends” add up over time to dishearten me.
“but nothing should dishearten a strong black person such as myself!” i hear the afro-centrists / pan-arabists cry.
yet it does. it enamours me, leading me on to this promised makkah (mecca for my less arab-inclined) where everybody knows how to spell your name (being the Fonz is true cultural assimilation) and you’re allowed to like stuff without worrying how it fits you into society. after years of this, i am numbed to this experience, and have had to delve deep into my psyche (author’s note: not fun) to attempt and understand this feeling.