Our society is good at creating niches. There is a cubby hole for just about everybody. Everyone can fit into their neat, little cultures where they get to explore their nationality, sexuality, inclinations, and other fun stuff.
But where does the straight, white male fit in? African-Americans are typically referred to as ‘black’. These are people with near-ancestral connections to the African continent. Yet the people we refer to as ‘pinks’… er… sorry.. I mean, ‘whites’… where are they from?
Well, they are typically called ‘Caucasian’. I have never been to Caucasia. I do know of any cultural heritage I have inherited from such a place. I don’t even know where it is on the map, and I’m pretty well educated.
So, what exactly is the point of making up a place that doesn’t exist, that no one relates to? I believe it’s a ploy to alienate the white guys, to make them feel disconnected so that they try to claim whatever space they currently are in.
This is alienation I see as the root cause of all of the racism in this country. People who feel alienated are prone to anger, and prone to jealousy of everyone else who seems to have a natural place to fit in. Most white guys have their family and then that’s it. In the popular imagination there is no grouping, no cultural reference, no mother country, no sense of place. The white supremacists, who are the extreme form of this kind of racism, pretend that America is their own. We know that to do be wishful thinking. America is no one’s land. It is everyone’s land. It is a free country. There is no racial dominance of any kind. Even the native Americans have been pushed aside into their own reserved areas.
What is the solution? I don’t believe that people who have strong cultural and ethnic identities that they relate to should have to give that up. However, I don’t think that society as a whole should be actively promoting an environment where someone, because of their skin color, has to choose any particular ethnicity. I contend that all of us are individuals first and then we can create our own culture, and choose the traditions we feel most represent who we are as people. If we let others dictate how we should behave according to what amounts to stereotype, then we have died in a way. It’s time to live.