Dear White People

The 20s are all about seeing things from a different perspective. Each and every one of us walks through this world differently. We all have difference experiences and carry all the identities that we've been dealt with. There's no way to separate who we are from what we do, say and view the world. It's a package deal. We have to learn to value people and their experiences (cause we have the power to decide whether people - their ideas, interests, opinions etc. - matter or not; yay social dominance). It's time for a wake up call in the form of a strongly worded letter. Dear white people ... this one's for you.

*There's no need to have a "dear people of color" because you tell us exactly what you think of us every when we treat us like caricatures, devalue and stigmatize us in every representation known to man. This post, like all others is opinion. Just like I'm entitled to mine, you are entitled to yours ... read on if you want or don't - choice is always yours.

If your parents never told as a child on your first day of kindergarten that there would be kids in your class (as in people in life) who may not like you, talk to you, want to play with you, or be nice to you because of the color of your skin, you're probably white. Almost every person of color I know has a similar experience of being made indirectly aware of racism from a young age, not to scare them but to warn them, to prepare them and most of all to protect them for the harsh realities of living a white dominated society. No matter how much you get ready you can never be ready enough for all the heartbreak you deal with. If a kid in your class never asked you why you looked so weird, why your skin looked burnt, or why you weren't normal, you're probably white. If no one played with you at recess because you they said that you were scary or looked mean, you're probably white. If you were forbidden from going to certain parts of town, businesses or houses, you're probably white. If you never had to change the way you spoke, dressed, ate to PRETEND to fit in, you're probably white. If you never felt ugly, inferior, unloved or unwanted because of the color of your skin, you're probably white. From a young age as a person of color you're taught that this world, this land of the free and home of the brave, doesn't really include you in its proclamation of the pursuit of happiness. It's time to reclaim the happiness we all deserve, but it's going to take us all. We want you  to - no wholeheartedly need you to - be spectacularly brave. Dear white people ... this is an open letter to you.

Dear white people check yourself. Check your damn self. Check your prejudices, biases, and stereotypes that you've learned. This may the most important thing I have ever said, not all people of color are the same. Just because you've had a bad experience or even a good experience with one, does not mean you can EXPECT to have the same interaction with another one of us. We could think the same for you and the outcome would probably be negative but we cannot because it's irrational and unjust. Just like you get to be treated, seen and viewed as an individual, I beseech you to extend those same privileges to rest of us. Check all the little things that you do that tell us that we're unwelcome in your spaces (cause you act like you own the place ... no the world). That is the dirty looks, the scoffing, moving to not touch us, scowling when you have to talk to us, making racist jokes, pointing at us, or ignoring us in general that let us know that we don't have the same value as HUMAN BEINGS that you do. Please interrupt the behaviors that you think are socially acceptable and that is the general coldness, avoidance or aloofness that takes over you when a person of color is in your vicinity (notice it's your vicinity, not ours ...). Stop and question why you feel whatever you feel, uncomfortable, awkward, fear and all the rest, because that's a powerful first step. Dear white people what is it about us that gets you so shook up? The learned behaviors of racism must be unlearned if you want to coexist with us. Dear white people come see us when you can treat us like you treat each other with warmth, compassion, empathy and TRUST. 

#DearWhitePeople #Sundance
Dear white people the barrier that has been built between you and people of color needs to be torn down. This barrier has been reinforced from both sides. What is your side built upon - I suspect fear, ignorance, misunderstanding and apathy but maybe other things. Have you ever thought about the reasons behind our side. Overzealous protection. From you hurting us again. That's a big generalization but a warranted one. Why should we befriend another person only to have them disappoint us when they continually disrespect our identities aka our lives or end up ignoring excluding us anyway (shoutout to all my current peeps who are exemplifying this). This goes for especially for those who would call us friends, all the times that you've crossed to our side only to drive a dagger in our already bleeding hearts, we can't take anymore when we become irrelevant to you. The reason we don't let you in is because that would mean you taking responsibility for what part you have played in breaking us down. We don't let you actually get to know us because that would mean you'd have to actually try to understand our experiences and identities that are different from yours. You'd have to hear about our pain, our insecurities, and the lies we tell ourselves to get through the day. It would be too much to handle. It would be too uncomfortable for you. It would be too REAL. You would feel horrible because you would have seen yourself in us and that would mean actually doing something, hell actually FEELING something. Think of your friends that are people of color how much do you actually know about them, if it's all superficial stuff, you've probably hit the barrier. You have to dig through it and we have to stop putting it up, but if you get inside and do any more damage, I don't know if we'll survive it. If you can't commit to be a true friend and getting to know all parts of us, then stay on your side. You have to show you care, prove you care, and build your trust. We've both learned to be wary of the other, but we have to live in your world (as in this where you see "yourself" represented and valued in diverse ways everywhere you go) and ultimately we're waiting for one of you to prove you're different because we're yet to be impressed. Just like you go all in with your girls or your boys, add us to the fold - our relationship can/should be on par with all your friends. If your group of friends is all white or you have that token POC friend, you might be fulfilling every non-detrimentally stigmatized stereotype. Dear white people we desperately want to be actual friends (lovers too but that's a separate issue all together) with you but you have to want that too. 

Dear white people accept us for who we are (note the power position of you being the one to accept us) and take yourself out of it. You are holding yourself back. Why do you wonder why all the people of color sit together but not why all the white people sit together? Cater to us for once, think of us for once, and hear us for once. This for all the times you've called something weird, stupid, dumb, gross, nasty, mean, primitive, irrational, over-sensitive etc. because it wasn't something you liked, do, say or feel. We're different for a reason. You get to like what you like whatever that may be, hiking, skiing, hunting, swimming, boat shoes, Starbucks, mayonnaise etcetera but you don't get to tell me what to like or name call when I'm not interested in what you're doing. This goes for humor too (looking at you certain people who get offended when I don't laugh at any of your crude or corny jokes, expletives or physical humor). That whole touchy-feely thing where you invade our personal space and visibly makes uncomfortable needs to go - that may not be part of our lifestyle (respect that and us). Your view is all about you (perfectly fine) but do you ever stop to figure out what other people have going through their heads. How often do you stop to think how someone's identity influences them? We constantly have to be aware of yours (because it isn't ours) and have spent our entire lives understanding it but you haven't had to think about, much less care about ours (academically or otherwise). You need to acknowledge that we're people of color. Pretending we're not (for your own benefit) denies part of us (you can't pick and choose which bits of us you interact with). We also need you to not make everything about us race-related. You don't have to tiptoe on egg shells around us but you do need to think before you speak. Stop assuming we're interested in things because other people of color are involved, necessarily. Don't try and change us to for your idealized version of who we are in your heads, it's unfair and offensive as hell. Do not compare us to any other people of color either - your experiences with them have nothing to do with us. Do not play games with us, try to collect us or think you have a get out of racism free card if you know us (that's not how it works). Dear white people, we are people just like you and people different from you at the same time. 

Dear white people if this post makes you mad that's okay. If this post is problematic for you that's because it is (and us to - since it's written with the us and them narrative). If this post makes you want to reevaluate how you show up in the world, that's okay too. If this post makes you want to try a lot harder to share the airspace, that's great. Whatever you're feeling, take some time to break down why you're feeling that way. Dear white people we need you to find your humanity and find the humanity in us (it's here) because that's the only way this (that is life and moving forward in our society) will ever work. Yes, I just say that you do not see the humanity in people of color (extend that to anyone who holds a minority identity) and that is the root of this whole problem. If we saw everyone as human we could NEVER mistreat them. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us all to be judged by the content of our character so prove him right and give everyone the benefit of the doubt to do so.

This is a resource post for all the Good White Person™s out there. You know, the ones who say things like “It’s not my fault I’m white! Don’t generalize white people!”, or “I’m appreciating your culture! You should be proud!”, or “Why do you hate all white people, look I’m a special snowflake who’s not racist give me an award for meeting the minimum requirements for being a decent human being”.Well, if you are actually interested in understanding racism and how it ties into cultural appropriation, please read instead of endlessly badgering PoCs on tumblr with your cliched, unoriginal arguments and repeating the same questions over and over.
On White Privilegeaka don’t blame me just because I’m white:
It’s Not My Fault I Was Born White: Basics of White Privilege x
Racial Divide x
Endless Examples of White Privilege x
You Cannot Know What It’s Like To Be A Racial Minority x
Intersectional Feminism x
White Privilege Does Not Mean White People Have Perfect Lives x
White Privilege and White Supremacy: A Presentation x
You Will Never Experience Racism x
Understanding White Privilege x
White Privilege and Double Standards x
Systematic White Ignorance x
The Invisibility of White Privilege x
The Luxury of White Privilege x 
White Privilege: The Harry Potter Analogy x
Privilege Denial Bingo x
Privilege and Cost x
Check Your Privilege 101 x
Whiteness x
Whiteness is Not A Culture x
White Privilege and Racism x
Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk About Race x
When White Anti Racists Talk About ~Their Struggle~ x
White Privilege As A System x
On Reverse Racism aka you are being racist against white people:
Are White People Racially Oppressed x
White People, the new Racial Minority x
People Don’t Value Pale Skin!! x
There Is No Such Thing As Reverse Racism x
Racism vs. Not Racism x
But White People Are Discriminated Against In Foreign Countries x
The Myth of Reverse Racism: Why Cracker is Not N**** x
Satire: A Step Wise Guide on Being Reverse Racist x
Racism Against White People vs. Racism Against POCs x
On Cultural Appropriationaka I’m just appreciating your culture:
The Basics x
Identifying Appropriation x
But When We Wear It … x
Why Can’t I Wear It (Hipster Headdresses) x
Not Yours x
If You Take The Bindi x
White People Do It Better x
Multiculturalism and Appropriation x
Cultural Appropriation and Portrayals In Print Media x
Diminishing the Cultural Significance of the Bindi x
The Cultural Appropriation Bingo x
Why We’re Fed Up of Your Responses x
Identities Are Not Costumes x
Hinduism And Appropriation x
Religion and Privilege x
Bindis Are Cool x
Exotic India x
What’s Wrong With Cultural Appropriation x
Racism, Bindis and Ganesh Tattoos x
Cultural Appropriation Trolls x
Guide to Being An Appropriating Douchefuck x
New Age ~Culture Mixing~ x
In case you’re tired of the prose, here’s poetry x
Why You Shouldn’t Wear A Bindi x
Appropriating and Sharing x
Our Culture is A Punchline Until It’s a Trend x
Homage Or Insult x
Tattoos and Appropriation x
Bollywood is Not Synonymous With Indian x
College Party Costumes and Stereotypes x
Dotheads x
Bindis and Racist Humour x
Hindu Iconography x 
Misuse of Hindu Iconography x
Your Appreciation Doesn’t Help Us x
Assorted Vials of White Tears and Miscellaneous Antidotesaka I can’t change that I’m white/not all whites are racist/we are all humans:
Unoriginal Arguments Refuted x
Quick Checklist: You Might Be Racist If x
Your Opinion Isn’t Necessary x
I’m Not Responsible For My Ancestors x
The Kumbayah Myth x
Proud to Be White x
Good White Person x
We Don’t Hate White People x
Brutality of Colonialism And Why You Can’t Tell Us To Forget the Past x
People Who Claim Not To See Race Are More Likely to Be Racist x
All Races are Beautiful Said the White Girl x 
Race Blindness Is A Luxury x
Well, You’re Racist For Calling Me Racist x
I’ve Read About Its Significance, I Know What It Means 
Angry Because Someone Called You Racist x
We’re Not All Like That x
People Only Care About This Trivial Shit On The Internet x
I Can’t Apologize for Being Born White, It’s Not My Fault x
Why Can’t You Tell Me What I’m Doing Wrong x
It’s Easy to Be Color Blind When You’re White x
A Diagrammatic Guide To White Tears x
Conversations I’m Sick Of Having With White People x
Why Do You Hate White People x
I’m Trying To Be Cultured x
Sisyphean Conundrum x
What is Your Problem x
We Are All Human, We All Bleed Red x
It’s Just A Bindi x
How Not To Respond To Accusations of Racism x
I’m Italian And 0.009% Native American x
What White People Think Racism Means: A Venn Diagram x
White Guilt x
White Pride!!!111!!! x
I Like *Insert Foreign Country* I Want To Live There x
You Have So Much Hate, Fighting Fire With Fire Won’t Help x
BooHoo, Don’t Call Me Racist x
Not Everything Ended With Your Ancestors x
The Racist Reaction x
I Don’t See Why That Is Racist x
Crummy Apologies x
Okay. I agree. I’ve been socially conditioned not to notice racism and recognize my privilege. What can I do?
Listen x
A Step Wise Guide x
I don’t care about this bullshit; you’re making a big deal out of nothing, go home and delete your blog:
The Clueless White Person Bus x
My blog post question for the day is ... how did this post make you feel? Tough post to write and let it be known that I completely rewrote it twice before actually posting.


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