Some of what I think and say may be inherent to my whiteness but also may be because I’ve been to eighteen countries, lived under Sharia law where white was not dominant, actually a number of places for that. So I’m not inclined to see whiteness as a universal curse that must be dealt with. That is not to say that I am blind to issues.
People often in the grass is greener sense wish to be what they are not. White people giving themselves skin cancer to be darker and dark people trying to be lighter. My wife watches Thai TV over the internet. Country people look like her, brown, but the shows representing modern Bangkok not so much. In my wife’s words, “If you want to be a star you need to have white skin.” Not just white but Western features. Surgery? Racial mixes? A bit of both? Strange for them to embrace Western (white) beauty standards in a place so rich in it’s own beauty. Kind of a curse, but in day to day life as a farang I would not be blessed with special privilege there.
I mention that because many, if not most, countries are far less diverse than America. I’ve been the only white guy around on many occasions in other countries. Places where there were no English language menus and I had to point at something someone was eating to order. Here in America we’ve got lots of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity to either immerse yourself in or avoid. Maybe I’m not quite a typical white guy in that I don’t avoid it. I tend to associate with people who have common interests without regard to other things. Years ago when I worked 2nd shift a friend (white guy) and I had been out shooting. While going home somebody ran a red light and wrecked my car. I told a day shift friend (who was black) about my car. The next day he told me, “Clyde told me about your wreck. You might be the only white man in Georgia who could talk about that without mentioning that the guy who hit you was black.” To me it had nothing to do with anything, why mention it?
Why did I tell you all that? I sometimes refer to myself as color blind. I’m actually medically color blind but that’s not what it means. Of course I’m not truly blind to race, but it’s not important to me. I sometimes get push back on that with the accusation that I’m not acknowledging past and present misery of non-whiteness (especially blackness). People are not equal in that some are smarter, more talented, more beautiful, many things that bring advantage, not just race, but I believe in treating people with the respect that comes with treating them as equal even in the face of unequal outcomes. Others seek equality in outcome by treating people unfairly in the name of leveling the playing field. I can understand the desire, but approach that idea with great caution.
I don’t have an in-between terse and verbose, sorry, this is getting longer that I wanted but all that was to let you decide how large a subset of whiteness I represent with what comes next.
Segregation: I live in a diverse neighborhood. Mostly white because the city is mostly white. My next door neighbors on one side are black and on the other side, Spanish speaking Mexicans. They are good neighbors. Do I want to live in black neighborhood? No. Why?
In early 80s Georgia my wife and I went to a club in Macon. It was supposed to be a double with her friend Suzie and her boyfriend but he didn’t show up so it was the three of us. Suzie was black. There were two bands doing alternating sets that night, one white and one black. When the white band played its last set, they and all the white people but me left. I went out on the floor with Suzie to dance. It was then that I noticed that there I was the only white person in the place, dancing with a black woman. Nobody cared. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the only black man dancing with I white woman in those days. Monday at the bid whist table I heard the words, “Salt, I seen you at Flaming Sally’s. You sho can’t dance. You looked like you was gonna break yo back!” We all had a good laugh. Whiskey makes me think I can dance. The lesson, black people don’t all want to do me harm when I’m alone among them. Far from the only time I’ve been the only white guy around.
So then why? The hate crimes of violence against white people may not get reported by the cowardly national main stream press but thanks to the local stories of teens/youths ending up on the internet so it’s not really a secret. Good neighborhood/bad neighborhood isn’t determined by race. There are perfectly fine neighborhoods that are predominantly black, and some that are unsafe for anyone. I wouldn’t want to live where I lived as a boy in St. Louis, but then you might not want to live there either. Racial hate isn’t the only problem in crime ridden neighborhoods. Anyone can look here. Is it probably OK? Maybe. Do white people want no part of living where there is black dominance because of their racism or fear? Since racism, in my opinion, has low expectations of a racial group as its root, I guess it is a form of racism to have a low expectation of safety in black neighborhoods in big cities. That comes with the very uncomfortable question, is that reasonable?
This went in a direction I didn’t intend when I started but it I’m not going to delete it. Do you think I’m victim blaming when I opine that to move forward everyone needs to do some house cleaning? Everyone, not just privileged white people. Nobody can speak for an entire group, but I think this might be a common white people view, but it’s just an opinion.