2017 Top Articles

An open letter to the first Occidental student who made me feel white

Comments (1)
  1. Sofia says:

    I guess I was kind of in the same boat, but I disagree race runs deeper than skin color and that mixed white people should have a place in poc
    Movements. White passing is still white and to include our voices in race discourse compromises its whole purpose, which is to liberate poc. We can be allies, but it’s not about us. Yes, we probably had struggles or been discriminated against because of our culture/language/families, and YES it hurts to be excluded all the time, but pretty much all white people have had struggled based on other non-racial systems of oppression and that doesn’t mean they should be included in poc’s movements. Adding white people (even mixed white people) to poc and mixed race discussions usually means those white people end up dominating the conversation and making poc uncomfortable. This sounds harsh, but we have to understand it in order to truly be accepting of our white privilege. Maybe growing up, things were different because we lived at home and were raised to be proud of our culture, but we are adults now and we just have to accept how people see us and at the same time try to keep the culture alive in us. A lot of times we can look at the news or overhear people or have interactions that give us internalized descrimination (idk how to properly use that term), but we need to accept that we navigate white spaces much easier than poc even if we weren’t raised in one, we need to accept the difference between race and ethnicity, that we might undeservedly get better jobs, that mixed white women are over-represented in the media etc. I’m not trying to say I know the author’s experience at all (because chances are I’m whiter than her), this is just a message to all the white people reading this that are mixed and want to stop being stressed about identity… Step 1: don’t answer to “what are you.” Step 2: don’t try to be included in poc movements that are centered around race. Step 3: only tell people your herritage once they get to know you. Step 4: be good white allies. Step 5: don’t lose your culture and sense of ethnic pride, find ways of celebrating it and fighting injustices within your community without being concerned if you fit in, but keep acknowledging your whiteness. Step 6: I know it is really hard but drown out the haters and people’s expectations of you! Accept that you are unique, you will never change, and let go of stress! There are so many better things to be stressed about, don’t be stressed about being white!

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