Imagine a life where…
From the outside looking in, you don’t feel like you fit in, you don’t look like those around you, For the most part pictures, movies and commercials don’t include you and when they do they lean on stereotypes. You are always the minority. Your experiences are not common to those that don’t look like you and so they find your experiences hard to believe.
People make fun of your “ignorant” questions or remarks of things you are not familiar with. You wonder if there’s something about you that people won’t like as soon as they see you. You are hurt by things that people may say as a joke or a comment to you. When you were growing up it was difficult to find clothes that fit properly because they were made for other body types. Some “common” experiences were not common for you but they are always assumed to be the “norm” at school and at work. Negative things you do may be seen in a less favourable light and attributed to your genetic makeup, background or people group you belong to, but if others do it they are seen as an individual having problems or an off day. It’s always an individual special case. You are told you are whining and holding on to the past when you bring up legitimate deeply disturbing situations. You are told you are reading into things when you complain about century old events that have taken place and set in motion events that still impact you in present time.
Imagine pointing all of this out and then being told that you are attacking others. Or that others feel attacked by these feelings.
That’s how strange “white hate” sounds to me. When I first heard the term I was taken aback. Not completely surprised. Yes, it’s true that some people will hate white people. To hate any group of people for any reason is wrong. However the term “White hate” was started by white nationalist groups (also known as terrorist hate groups or white supremacist groups) to create the narrative that white people are under attack and must be protected. Interestingly enough it is the same narrative that began at the end of slavery to make white people afraid of freed blacks. The original movie “Birth of a Nation” also known as “The Clansman” was a clear picture of this narrative. The same narrative that aided in justifying violence against black people, seeing black men imprisoned for “vagrancy” in large numbers and saw the resurgence of the KKK.
This term “White hate” may seem new but the idea behind it is not. It’s meant to take attention from those of colour that have and are being oppressed and make it look like their steps forward and calling attention to injustices are actually attacks on white people. This isn’t the case and it never will be. It is really easy to get sucked into believing this narrative as I’ve seen people innocently rehearsing and resharing such rhetoric. The underlying fear that if a group of people confront injustice that somehow it will spell the end of other groups of people is a racist ideology in itself. It comes from fear and taught bias. Yes there are some individuals that teach this and promote it but they are the extremists.
We will never be able to move forward as humankind until we are able to have deep difficult conversations with people that are different. Learning about each other’s history and putting ourselves in each other’s shoes won’t be comfortable or easy but it’s necessary.
Have you experienced this or heard anyone use this term?