White Fragility? Read it? Hell, I haven’t even blogged on it yet! Let’s fix that right now.
I’m not sure what colour I am. I’m lighter than most brown people, but I’m darker than some blacks. But whatever colour I am, the idea of being ashamed of one’s skin colour makes about as much sense as being proud of it.
Is there a skin colour one should be ashamed of? Well, duh. That’s what racism is all about. But to be ashamed of your skin colour you have to buy into its shamefulness. That shamefulness arises from how you’re treated because of your skin colour. The how of this isn’t rocket science. Because you’re a social animal, you are what others see you as. Why else should I be so concerned about undermining your self-esteem?
The view that there’s something intrinsically shame-worthy about being darker skinned is nonsense. Long before there was any mixing of the races – and I’m old enough to remember this – some members of every tribe were always lighter skinned than other members of that tribe. That played no role at all in the social pecking order. The superiority of lighter skin entered the meme pool when and only when the races met, and when darker skinned people found themselves technolocially, and so militarily, subordinate to lighter skinned people.
Might history have unfolded otherwise? Hard to say. If the technological supervenes on the environmental, then perhaps not. But that’s water under the bridge. Once dominion gets associated with whiteness in a culture, everyone in that culture aspires to be whiter. Again, not rocket science. No mystery, no blame. Get over it!
In Germany I would have been a tad less white than most, and so I wouldn’t have fared so well. But in Canada I am whiter than most, and I’m told that affords me certain advantages. If this is true – and I have no reason to think it’s not – isn’t that something to celebrate? I’m also better looking than most. By what standard? By the same standard that makes me more privileged than most racially. If your uglier ancestors had dominated my better looking ones, I wouldn’t be considered better looking than most. You would. So history is as much a lottery as nature. If you’re going to rail against the one, you might as well rail against the other.
The only people who want to be equal are those who aren’t, yet. As soon as they are, they’ll want to keep going. It’s human nature. How else did you think your betters got to be your betters? Asking your betters to acknowledge their better-ness is a fair request. Asking them to feel guilty about their better-ness is a fool’s errand. We don’t, and we won’t. We’re not that fragile because we’re not that stupid!