Dear White People,
I don’t hate you. I know you are convinced that I despise you and your entire existence and want nothing more than to destroy you and the unicellular body you evolved from, but that is not the case. I know I’ve said ‘ugh White people’ and ‘fuck White people’ and ‘I hate White people’, but there is more to those statements than blanketed, unprovoked bitterness. There is an underlying understand that maybe you don’t see that I assume is evident.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate that I have to be compared to you in order to get any recognition. I’m saying that I hate the fact that everything that I do is judged by your standard. I hate that no matter where I go, I will be scrutinized based on your principles. I hate that I cannot exist without being subjugated to you. I hate that you don’t have to think about these things on a regular basis.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate that I get told any time I mention race or racism or racial inequality that I should ‘get ‘over it’ and that I’m being ‘too sensitive’ and that racism ‘doesn’t exist anymore’ or that I’m not ‘affected’ by it because I’m not a slave.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate that when something political is deemed unsavory, it is quicklycomparedtoslaverywithoutamoment’shesitation, trivialisinghundredsofyearsofoppressionanddehumanizationtothelevelofwhether or not someone’s party affiliations are satisfied; and that actual slaveryis consideredto be a positive for American society and Black people in particular.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate that when a White person commits a crime it can be excused with a defense like ‘he was too rich to know any better’ while a PoC who commits a crime of lesser damage will get more time. I’m saying I hate that the prison industry is built as a legalized form of slavery, and that it is fueled primarily by racial inequality and injustice.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate that blatant displaysof racismagainstPoCareignored, considered anomalies, and not taken seriously. I’m saying I hate when racism is acknowledged by White people, it’s blamed on PoC themselves for causing White peopleto be racist towards them.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate how things like yellowface, blackface, brownface, and redface are still so popular and openly practiced in media and by ‘average people’ without any complaints or disgusting from White people, but the moment ‘whiteface’ occurs there is unabashed backlash and outrage against it because it’s so very offensive.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate how it happens that whenever White people do anything offensive, racist, or otherwise unsavory PoC are expected to look the other way, to ‘get over it’, to ‘not take it so seriously’, to not react, to not be angry, to not hold you accountable. Every year there is at least one ‘racist teenager’ scandal, and every year it’s another White person talking about how much they hate, despise, and find disgust in PoC. Ranting about how much they hate Black girls, how much they hate having them in their schools, how much they hate Asians, how much they hate Mexicans, how much they despise Black people some more (and still think they are niggers), even going so far as to do Blackface while talking about how much they hate Black people, and holding rallies against Mexican Independence because of 9/11 (because somehow every non-White group is to blame for that)—I hate that somehow they can’t be called racist, somehow we can’t infer that the widely accepted attitude from White people towards PoC is one of hate and disdain, and hate that if we even slightly voice offense at their insults, ignorance, slurs, and abuse, we are the racist ones; we are putting things on White people that White people do not deserve, we are oppressing you. Etc. If we ever do anything to make sure they have their justice—telling their employers, their school, making a post go viral on Tumblr, absolutely anything, we are the bad guys again because we are ‘ruining’ their lives and giving them harm they don’t deserve.
I hate how no one considers how these mindsets grow into those of uncaring and apathetic violence or abuse, and how dangerous it can be to let them go unpunished, or how ridiculous it would be to have someone who has such aggressive, negative, harmful mindsets towards an entire group of people in a position where they may deal with these people—who they blindly hold prejudice against—on a daily basis.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate that no matter how many times you are shown definitions, theories, and entire books on racism, what it is, how it is used, and it’s manifestations throughout society, you still believe you can be racially oppressed for being White. I hate how your only defense is a basic dictionary definition that varies across dictionaries and doesn’t have any context or academic merit other than showing one denotation of a given word.
It is as if White people who say that ‘racism hurts everyone’ really don’t care that it hurts PoC, they are more focused on the fact that in conversations on racial issues, they are not regarded as the most important, and their opinions are not immediately considered valid without any qualification. It seems to me that you don’t actually care about racism when you do this—if you really cared about racism at all, would your retort ever be to call someone a racial slur? If you are so condemning racism, would your first inclination be to use a racial slur? Would your first inclination be to be racist?
Yet, somehow, when PoC address this in any way other than giving sweet, sugar-coated, baby-coddling ‘explanations’ of why some things are bad or disrespectful, they are discredited as being mindless racists while you can continue to berate, threaten, insult, degrade, and otherwise bully whoever you want—having the defense of White people across the internet on your side.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I am saying I hate how White people can ignore the facts of active racism and oppression in Western societies. I’m saying I hate how White people don’t believe that a Black man being killed every 28 hours by police has to do with race; I’m saying I hate how White people don’t believe that race has anything to do with the fact that over 60% of incarcerated persons are people of color even though they only account for 30% of the US population; I’m saying I hate how White people don’t believe that race has anything to do with the fact that while persons of color are no more likely to be involved in drug related crimes than White people, they are disproportionately represented in the number of persons arrested for them; I’m saying I hate that White people don’t believe that race has anything to do with Black and Latina women being arrested at double+ the rate of White women; I’m saying I hate how the list goes on and on, but the denial that you throw only gets stronger and stronger.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate how no matter how many statistics, websites, references, and resources I provide you, nor how nice, kind, or articulately I express my standpoint to you, or how many times I revise, reword, and reiterate my messages for you, you will still stand by with your ears plugged chanting ‘lalalala White people are oppressed too’.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I’m saying I hate that you will never understand what I understand, and you will never have to accept what I have to accept, because you were born with less melanin in your skin, into a society that deems White the ‘right’ color.
When I say ‘I hate White people’, I am not saying I hate every single White person individually. I am saying I hate the history of oppression and injustice that continues to be overlooked and ignored by the greater White populous because it makes you uncomfortable or makes you feel guilty, while I debate whether or not I ever want to have children because one day they might be the unarmed victim being shot down, or the promising young person whose life was shortened because they were in the ‘wrong place’ or were there at the ‘wrong time’, because they might be blamed for their own murders and deaths or assaults no matter how kind-hearted, intelligent, and respectful I raise them to be.
I am saying I hate the continued spewing of ‘hate only breeds more hate’ rhetoric when I say things like I have said in this letter to you, because White people cannot understand the difference between hating the oppression a group of people benefit from and continue to persist in using to their benefit, and hating the people in the group as individuals because they belong in the group which benefits from the oppression of others.
I hate the false equivalence of me hating your privilege with people who hate me for existing as a person of color and preferring to have me dead than ever have to deal with me, though they have never met me. You do not hate me or my people because of oppression by us. You do not hate us because you have been wronged by us. You hate us because in the fibers of your existence you believe my life is worth less than yours because of who our ancestors are. You believe that because we do not resemble blue-eyed, blonde-haired porcelain, with narrow noses to gaze down, that we are dirty and useless; that we are beneath your throne of superiority.
You believe that simply because we are not White, that we are inferior. That we are sub-human. That we are things to be used and abused however you so choose, because we are not White. Though our ancestors served your ancestors for hundreds of years, persisted through slavery, through colonization, through genocide, through rape, through lies, and through the Hell of being a White Man’s inferior without returning the wrongdoings in tenfold, you hate us for existing as something not White.
So please, understand, when I say ‘I hate White people, I am expressing a hatred of ‘White people’, as you stand as a group, with all your strikes and credits considered, because you have shown time and time again that if given the choice between (1) equality between you and PoC, and (2) continuing oppressive and harmful institutions of racism and discrimination which promote White supremacy in some form or another, you always choose the latter. Understand that I hate your privilege, and your perceived superiority of yourself against me and those like me in society because somewhere along the line, a European colonizer decided that those who were deemed ‘good’ would be called White, while those who were to be enslaved or colonized were Black and Brown. Understand I hate ‘White people’. Not people who are White.
The Young Woman Who Took 2 Weeks To Write You This Letter