A few weeks ago, Netflix debuted a trailer for a TV show called “Dear White People”. Based on a 2014 movie of the same name, the show is narrated by a black college student and radio host, who publicly calls out her white classmates for the racially insensitive things she witnesses them taking part in on campus. The show is a work of fiction, but a quick trip to the comments section proves how real racism runs in 2017, especially behind the mask of the Internet.
If you want to unsubscribe from a service like Netflix because you disagree with the values of the shows the company produces, that’s fine. That’s your right. But the comments on this video go much, much further, starting with proclaiming “reverse racism” (blacks discriminating against whites) and continuing into sentiments of “white pride”, ending solidly at hateful messages towards black people, Asian people, Jews, and more.
But let’s go back to that “white pride” for a second. It’s become a common complaint in the post-truth era, white people wondering why, if lots of minority groups are supported and empowered to show “pride” for their people, they are criticized for wanting to demonstrate white pride. But black pride, Asian pride, even Jewish pride or gay pride – the thing that all of these movements have in common is simple. Culture.
Black pride is built on centuries of history, culture, and tradition. From music to fashion and hairstyling to holiday celebrations, black pride means having pride for your African heritage and roots, as well for American-black traditions as they have evolved. The same goes for Asian pride, which can be broken down further into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Filipino, and many other kinds of pride.
So what exactly would “white pride” celebrate? What is white music? White fashion and makeup? What are some historic white holidays that are celebrated? Anyone?
There’s no good answer to that, because white is not a culture. White people have many cultures, and none are based solely on the color of one’s skin. Pride is so much more than skin-deep, and underneath that – whatever color you are – there are reasons to have pride.
Look deeper at your family’s history, for a start. Own your ancestors’ culture proudly, whether it be Russian, Polish, German, Irish, Icelandic, or anything else. Look at your religion – what are the bases of your faith? Is there a culture or history that goes with that? Being Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, or Pastafarian has a set of traditions that comes along with it.
By claiming “white pride”, people are erasing the many beautiful cultures that make up the Caucasian community. Whiteness is also a privilege in our society – it has been for many years, and it isn’t one that anyone can choose. By being proud of being born with a certain skin color, one that has been oppressive towards minority groups throughout history, oppression is kept alive, and inequality continues to rage rampant in our society. Black pride does not infringe on anyone else’s existence, but white pride causes ethnic groups of all kinds to disappear.
Be proud of who you are. Celebrate you. But please do so in a way that does not affect others’ right to live their lives.