Unpopular Topic: Healing for Not-Minorities, aka Make America Safe Again
All of you who would like to see White People marginalised and want to know how we'd feel about that, pay attention. I'm about to hand it to you. With a caveat.I just got off the phone with relatives in Michigan. There is no way they would cop to having weakness, shame, trauma. People who live outside the Privilege Bubble have to admit weakness and shame every day. They have to check themselves to make sure they aren't about to offend someone. People who live inside the Privilege Bubble are allowed to be offended. They are shocked when their offense doesn't matter.
Many White people don't understand the term White Privilege, and this makes sense because it's an awkward label for the bubble they grew up in as "normal." This is normal, so what's the big deal? Why can't you just be normal?
They don't see the edge of the bubble that's been so obvious to people whose "normal" lay outside of it. They didn't have anybody clearly identifying the demarcation for them, calling it Not For Us.
Black Lives Matter is a truth and not a movement; many white people are okay with that. Some White People are upset with it because they don't have to face it in their daily lives, so they don't understand why they have to think about it at all. It challenges their collective life-bubble.
White lives suck, too. What we didn't understand is that we aren't starting in the same level of suck; we don't have the same impediments when we try to improve our sucky lives. Our white settler ancestors built something on land that was already being used by someone, and they built fences to keep that someone out. Our ancestors took what they wanted, and then created laws and enforcement modes to ensure that nobody could do the same thing to them. That's how we got to now.
Trauma, though...here we really have to stop. I think we can assume that all trauma is caused by other humans. Trauma caused by other humans is as old as humanity. It's often handed down generation to generation. We can make a broad assumption that those who inflicted trauma also suffered from it. Maybe it looks normal to them. White people are not vaccinated.
I get that people who are already not feeling safe due to their identity - brown, queer, unclear - will really not know what to do with their trauma. We need a safe space to rest and heal.
If you're white, there's a good chance that everyone (especially white people) will tell you there's nothing wrong with you. Nobody has it better; just suck it up.
Don't assume that the bubble of White Privilege (for lack of a better label) is a safe space. It isn't. If you take out all the brown, queer, and unclear people, Privilege will still find a target.
Please don't disregard the suffering of trauma victims simply because they're white, hetero, male, not a minority. It's not the same hell that nonwhite people have to navigate, but it is hell. It presents a separate set of difficulties because it's inside of "normal" and everybody already thinks you're the devil. Trauma is not an excuse for white people, but it is real and needs to be addressed, always.
If you have suffered trauma, just admit it to yourself and don't worry about how everybody else tells you to be. It's not okay, even if you're white. If you're white and not okay, believing that others are inferior to you isn't going to help. You already know this. It hasn't helped yet, has it? You're still not okay. Take care of yourself.
Maybe this is a good place for White People to start healing. Look around you and see what it is you are really defending. Make America Safe Again. Start with yourself - are you safe, able to rest and heal?
Further Reading:And There Was Light
Here's a guy who is giving away all his secrets, in layers, like an ogre.
Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889
on History.com, a more in-depth version of the cute story we all learned in school.
Alienable Rights: The Exclusion of African Americans in a White Man's Land, 1619-2000
I'm just going to keep posting this link until you buy the book. This is a well-researched history of Systemic Racism written by two white guys. They will tell it to you straight.