January 8th Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

In response to the two recent opinion pieces about race:

Whiteness is a social con­struct from history that was cre­ated by people to establish a sys­tem of normalizing and justifying colonialism, slavery, and genocide. It does not exist, biologically or in any other way, because it is defined differently for every person. Some people might consider light-skinned Jewish folks white, others would not. It is a subjective, con­stantly moving category that only exists in order to uphold a power imbalance.

People who look/are white can absolutely be proud of their heritage. But whiteness has no heritage (refer to #1). There is Ger­man, Irish, Russian, British, Italian, Czech heritage, and many others. Those are things to learn about and celebrate. They are not white­ness; they are ethnicity, national­ity, and heritage.

White students being “ig­nored” in favor of students of color is not oppression or harm. They are not being ignored. White privilege is such that white people have come to expect entitlement to certain things, and when those things are distributed more fairly, it feels like losing something. Shar­ing space and class time more equitably is not oppression. A good source for comparison/under­standing is one that showed that men think women speak the major­ity of the time in meetings where they really only spoke 20-30% of the time.

White privilege does not mean every white person has had everything handed to them. Privi­lege means that your struggles are different and potentially more eas­ily remedied than people who are more marginalized than you. Your life can absolutely be hard if you are white, but it is not hard be­cause you are white; the difficulty of your life does not stem from the color of your skin, but rather your circumstances. For people of color, they face daily challenges that are made more difficult because their skin is not white.

People “joking” about engag­ing in white supremacy and racism isn’t funny. People who think those things are jokes only help the people who actually believe them. It’s a fine line. Responding to jokes in a serious manner isn’t stupid— it’s addressing the society that allowed those jokes to happen. Rape jokes aren’t funny, either. Acting like they (and jokes about white supremacy) are funny allows people who actually think/behave that way to believe that other people socially and positively en­dorse them and their behavior.

Kindly don’t misrepresent arguments in order to win over people who don’t invest time into these sorts of issues. Engaging dishonestly is paramount to propaganda, particularly in these times.

— Beck Adelante

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