You Don’t Have To Apologize For Being White
People sometimes apologize to me for being white. I’m a white guy, but… I get it and I appreciate it, but I also don’t know what to say. I have no natal indulgences to give.
What can I say? It’s fine? You’re one of the good ones? To me the answer is relatively simple. Don’t be white.
As (the fictional) Al Capone said, “I don’t know no Italians. Napolitans, Calabrese, what are you again?” In the same way, I don’t know any white people. Swedish, American, Jewish, what are you again?
The fact is that whiteness, like Lucky Luciano’s mafia, is an identity created explicitly for power. Whiteness is white supremacy, it has no other real content, no food, no language, no unifying culture.
Nobody else identifies like this, not brown people, not ‘yellow’ people (not a thing), only black people, out of pure necessity in the heart of whiteness. As Noel Ignaetiv said, “The white race is a historically constructed social formation.” If you told the many warring tribes of Europe they were one people they’d laugh, until colonialism made the idea very profitable.
Since colonialism spread across the world, however, this is now the polarity around which the world spins. White on top, black on the bottom. Global North and Global South. Race provides the social energy that sucks resources out of the south and merrily pumps emissions out of the north. It is the battery of global capitalism, which is just assault and battery to most people in the world.
This is just the world we live in, and it has to be named and shamed. But that doesn’t mean that you need to attach your name to it, or that you’re being personally attacked here. You can also just put down your whiteness. God knows it’s not an easy path, but you can just walk away.
We live in a unipolar world, and unipolar world has to have polarity. Positive and negative. Black and white. That polarity since colonialism has been race. Between the two poles of black and white, north and south, the world turns.
Whiteness created, out of necessity, blackness, out of the stolen people of a thousand different nations. As its opposite it created…