I think the time has come for white men and women to reflect critically and honestly on how their whiteness makes them different. How their whiteness accords them privilege and access to resources that they withhold from those who are "not their kind." How their whiteness has been made the unacknowledged norm of what it means to be human. How their whiteness has brought hardship and misery to millions.
- Asian-American theologian Gayle Yee.
I try to avoid being publicly political, but the past few weeks have been beyond outrageous when it comes to race relations, crime, and oppression of non-caucasians.
I didn't feel like I had much of anything to add to the conversation, as a caucasian Canadian female - we need to hear voices from within marginalized communities. At the same time, silence leaves me seated on the side of the oppressors, the majority who are not aware of the roles we often complicitly play in maintaining the unhealthy status-quos. A place I do not want to be, though God knows I am guilty.
Guilty of assuming my life is no easier, guilty of failing to use the voice and the power I have to elevate and encourage people whose voices deserve to be heard, whose stories need to be told. If I'm not using my power for change, I'm defaulting towards oppression.
Change has to start with me. With self-examination and honesty and humility.
Yee goes on to say:
"Critical "White Studies" is a field in its infancy, but we Asian Americans, who live and work in the belly of the beast, should keep tabs on the developments in this field..."
Now there's a PhD field.
And even for those of us whiteys who aren't so academically oriented, let's take a good long look at ourselves. And let's start working for change.