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Proud of your culture (whatever it is) or a racist?
Meandering around a sensitive topic
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I sunburn like a white European, but my genetic profile shows ancestral roots in Asia and the Middle East. My native Bulgaria has sat at geographical crossroads since 681 AD. But on a questionnaire, I answer "white" because there's no option for "a mutt."
I lived in Hawaii in the 90s and mostly met mutts there, too. Hawaii prides itself in being "the melting pot" of the Union. Asians and Pacific Islanders mix genes with Mainlanders and Europeans of every kind. If you are just white, you're a haole. You have "no color." Haole for whites is like the N-word for blacks. Unless they like you, then it's an affectionate description.
Blacks don't care for whites, either. None of us were alive then. Many have recently immigrated from Europe for work, love, and adventure. But the system is built against people of color, they say. I know. I read "The New Jim Crow" when it first came out. I went to a Liberal Arts college for my Bachelor's and an even more liberal university for my Master's.
I hear the complaints coming from people of every color, loud and clear.
But whites complain, too.
I've been trying to sort things out. I don't think I embody the American historical and racial baggage, so I feel a little more equipped to hold a nuanced view than the usual polarity in opinions. I don't get triggered regarding my whiteness. It may be why I can hear everyone's complaints. But perhaps, I am diluting myself. You can let me know in the comments.
My starting point is that people are people, and they all care about the same things – as described in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. They express the same seven universal human emotions for the same reasons.
We also know, because of a lot of research, that people gravitate to what's familiar and affirming. We form tribes, clicks, clubs, and communities of like-minded people. There is an evolutionary survival logic to this tendency. Often, it's not that people hate others who differ. They just like their own a lot better. They frequent the same restaurants and bars, even if there are better ones out there. They repeat vacations to the same places. Take the same route home from work. Shop in the same grocery stores. They have the same arguments with the same relatives over holiday dinners.
Humans are creatures of conditioning and habits. Our individual identities intricately intertwine with the identity of our families, friends, and communities. We feel stronger together. We enjoy less uncertainty, more support, and even rely on our peeps for our worldviews. We also crave the connection and approval we get from belonging to a group.
That's why we say, "birds of a feather flock together."
And this is also our weakness.
By self-segregating, we minimize exposure to others and can become more intolerant in our echo chambers. As a result, we can be influenced and exploited by unscrupulous actors seeking some personal gain. People get defrauded by gurus, tricked by con artists, used by politicians, and programmed by online influencers.
In the complicated milieu of identity, politics, personal interest, fears, and ignorance, we all stand a pretty good chance of misunderstanding others while being misunderstood. It becomes difficult to see clearly through all the pointed fingers and waved feasts.
An ex-marine turned white nationalist militia leader, interviewed by Vice News, said it's not about other races being bad or wrong. He didn't hate them. It's about who holds power. He wanted white people to have it, just like it used to be.
Meanwhile, people of color call the white nationalist movement "the death twitch of white men."
Whites and non-whites want to live a life of opportunity, respect, and freedom to be who they are. No one likes accusations of being evil, wrong, selfish, lazy, or inferior. No one wants to watch over their shoulder for someone trying to rip them off, usurp their rights, diminish their freedoms, and compromise their living. People value their religion and stand proud of their traditions.
But Newton's Third Law states that to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, when one group of people pushes, the other pushes back. When one pulls the rug towards themselves, the other pulls it in the opposite direction.
While people of color have found support for their grievances after being pushed around forever, perhaps, not as much support as they think they deserve, whites fear being relegated to evil minority status. They push back with guns, militias, and anger. The result is a strange convergence of "everything lost" packaged as "white nationalism" and purchased by mostly white males. Many of them don't find the label offensive because, as they say, they are white, and they love this great American nation. Put that way, and white nationalism is just a national and cultural pride on display.
Put another way, in the same package, they advocate for rolling back women's rights (including the right to vote), ending all immigration (including legal immigration), antisemitism, disdain for non-Christians, and a return to an all-white government, and "white nationalism" starts to stink badly of bigotry.
Most whites don't fall on the "white nationalist" side of the spectrum. But even these peace-loving, liberal and progressive whites sometimes wonder how far anti-white sentiments should be pushed. How much self-flagellation is enough to repay the sins of past generations? At what point do civil rights and freedoms for people of color encroach on and deny the rights and freedoms of white people?
In other words, attempting to right a wrong for people of color, are we committing another wrong towards white people? We should be able to ask these questions openly and discuss them if we want to find balance and unite everyone. But many whites dare not bring this up, fearful of being labeled racist. Instead, they self-censor to avoid social media retaliation, losing their jobs, or having to defend their point of view and make things worse.
None of this helps anyone, regardless of race.
The further the Left pushes woke identity politics, the more young white man find themselves excluded from the conversation, confused about their purpose, and easily drawn to online trolls commanding their attention by expressing aloud their concerns. An example is Nick Fuentes "leading" the America First movement, pushing the Great Replacement theory, and being so conservative and obnoxious that even Trumpers don't like him. We live in an age where a 22-year-old with a camera can move masses from the basement of his parents' house. Another troll, Baked Alaska, claims to be against violence but doesn't mind taking violent people's money donated to his lifestreams, galvanizing a slew of young men with sensationalism and racial jokes. They listen to each other's voices, constructing a reality they can inhabit safely.
Yes, these people live on the internet's fringes, but they show up to rallies and riots. A lot of them armed to the teeth. They showed up at the Insurrection on January 6th. They will continue to show up for people like Trump, who they consider aligned with their ideology.
If you have time to watch this documentary by Luis Theroux (BBC) called Forbidden America, you will get a better idea about the demographic and ideology of this bunch.
For now, society largely dismisses white nationalists, white supremacists, and people doing live streams from their parents' basements. We find them odd, possibly disoriented, definitely lost, and majorly confused. But they are not. In their own world, they seek affirmation, connection, and purpose they can't find anywhere else.
And this makes them dangerous. Americans forgot, or never knew that in 1930 Germany was a liberal democracy. Just four years later, Hitler took power as a totalitarian Nazi seeking to build a pure Aryan nation, and the world's worst atrocities occurred. He was democratically elected in economically challenging times. He promised economic progress, killed democracy, and blamed all hardship on the Jews, and non-whites. Just a few days ago, Germany almost had a coup organized by the far-right Reich Citizens movement considering the post-war German government illegitimate, 80 years after Hitler!
Just a few years before Hiter was elected, the Nazis were violent revolutionaries. Their revolution failed and yet, Hitler came to power later anyway, supported in his agenda by his "Storm Troopers," armed, murderous, and devoted to the Aryan nation ideology.
Why Americans feel immune to something similar transpiring here is beyond me. History may not exactly repeat itself, but it frequently rhymes.
At the same time, let's not throw the baby with the bath water. If all Muslims are not terrorists, all Jews aren't rich, and all Russians don't support the war in Ukraine, why can't we accept that not all whites are guilty of oppression, bigotry, misogyny, and racism?
To the woke Left, whites are like the Jews to the Nazis – guilty of existing!
It needs to stop.
Furthermore, both the far right (white nationalists) and the far left (the woke) are anti-establishment as it stands now. Not white enough for the white nationalists and too white for the woke. Both employ disruptive tactics like riots. Both live under the influence of online personalities who silo and manipulate the like-minded. Both seek the radical transformation of society. Both favor authoritarianism.
Therefore, as far as I am concerned, the woke Left does not have the moral superiority and clarity of judgment to sentence whites to purgatory.
People, whoever they are, should not be afraid to be themselves unless they are bonafide psychopaths. Then they should be themselves in jail. Every ordinary, law-abiding American citizen should be comfortable with their ancestral roots, culture, traditions, arts, and communities. They should practice, preach, work, and play however consenting adults want to. They should be able to raise their children the same way, respecting the rights and freedoms of others without conditions, stipulations, and restrictions based on discriminatory factors. All this is in the Constitution and the laws of this land, despite our darnest attempts to screw it up for some.
No one should be ashamed or feel guilty because of the color of their skin, including white people.
It's a common mistake to judge past generations according to today's moral standards. Moral progress takes time and lots of suffering. We need to give credit where credit is due – like the founding fathers envisioning a democracy and writing the Bill of Rights. We can learn from past mistakes – like the founding fathers owning slaves. And we need to aspire to do better for ourselves and for each other.
We must remember that today we are likely committing the sins of tomorrow.
If you don't like thinking that future generations will accuse you of something awful, stop accusing past generations of being lame, too. They had less education. No smartphones. No Google or Siri to answer questions on the fly. And many couldn't even read. They also stunk because hot water running freely in your bathroom is a modern luxury.
Meanwhile, we've invented AI and don't' know how to treat it because we can't decide if it is a machine or a sentience. What do you think are the chances of us "mistreating" the future partner of humanity? Perhaps, Americans 100 years from now will look at us as unjust barbarians, too.
For as long as we feel like someone owes us something, we'll stagnate, waiting for that debt to be repaid instead of working to ensure people have what they need to thrive today and in the future. If we all want to live in this country, we better learn how to live together like good neighbors, so we all have a better life experience. If we can do this, chances are more people will feel better about their place in society, and fewer will have the need to listen to the likes of Nick Fuentes and Baked Alaska, and fewer will be joining the ranks of paranoid militias. Hey, who knows? Perhaps, there will be fewer mass shootings by disgruntled young males, too.
I dare hope…
Meanwhile, Scientists make history, bringing humanity closer to energy independent of fossil fuels. The scientists at California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory successfully produced a nuclear fusion reaction with a net energy gain (meaning it produced more energy than it used). It's clean. No radioactive waste. Limitless potential. Read about the great news HERE.
Thanks for reading.