Thursday, January 10, 2008

i wrote this in response to someone's featured xanga post here

here it is:

whew... too many posts to read even half of them, but the "i am the first black guy to post, right?" guy made me laugh when he was talking about asians freaking out over black people... just go to japan and you'll see it, hahaha. black people are even more rare than white people there, and they stand out quite a bit (as does anybody not asian-looking). at least this is how it was when i was in tokyo a few weeks ago.

anyway, i'll try to be quick and just say what's important. I'm white so I know exactly how you feel, and i've felt it too. i also have a lot of asian friends, korean-american, chinese-american, and friends raised in china, korea, of course japan, and other places, and i've been involved with a lot of the student- or administration-led racial issue kind of stuff on my campus (wheaton college) so lets just say i've been around a little bit and heard stories from (many) sides. basically i think you're right about how a lot of this junk happens to white people too, and the unfair feeling you get when you hear (as one commenter said) "I don't wanna spend with no white people" is legit. at the same time, as some people have pointed out, white privilege is something that has to be recognized and dealt with, and as a white person you really can make a difference. Even to have a white person say "I recognize that there's a race problem in America, and that I am a beneficiary of white privilege, and i am willing to work to make changes for the better" or something like that can mean a lot for somebody who has felt discrimination because of their skin or ethnicity, and whether it's been subtle or not (today it's often subtle) isn't really the issue. Once you know and understand that race is still a problem and about white privilege, etc, i think you have a responsibility to do something (even something seemingly insignificant, like saying that quote I wrote above to somebody) no matter what race you are. And with all that said, I still get sick of the white guilt that some people carry around. You don't have to have white guilt to realize that there's a problem and to want to work towards a solution, and I don't like people assuming those kinds of things about me because I'm white, either.