Why #WhitePeopleEquivalents Is Hypocritical (From A White Guy’s Perspective)


Talk about a headline that is going to grab absolutely no one’s attention.

Rather than come up with some sort of smarmy intro or over-wrought justification, I am just going to call it like I see it: #WhitePeopleEquivalents is quite hypocritical. Basically, it is using racism and overt generalizations to combat racism and overt generalizations.

As a person who cares very little about the melanin content of any other person’s skin, I am a bit irked when randos out on the internet compare me to people who may look kind of like me (do we all look the same?) simply because they feel jilted by something ignorant said or done by one or more white folk in the media, internets or everyday life.

I know that, in the grand scheme of things, none of this matters. And, in order to avoid spawning eight more hashtags on the subject, please know that I am in no way comparing my recent run in with the sharp sword of sarcastic racism to slavery, actual institutional racism, or other similar hard ships faced by those now flooding my feed with #WhitePeopleEquivalents posts.

But it still kind of stings when I am essentially being told that, due to the color of my skin (not the content of my character), I am essentially Ted Bundy, Al Bundy, Justin Bieber, Dick Cheney and Hitler all rolled up into one somewhat attractive package.

At least have the courtesy to get to know me before deciding that I am a piece of shit.

I know that this is not a big deal. But you hurt my feelings, so I am going to write about it anyway. I usually have a pretty thick skin when it comes to name calling (hell, I am a short scrawny dude who chooses to write prolifically on the internet); however, being so flippantly associated with all the worst, most generally lazy and racist aspects of white people through one, all-encompassing hashtag just rubbed me the wrong away.

Sure, a lot of white people suck and say and do terrible things without thinking about how they will affect other people from different backgrounds. But, and I do not think I am breaking new ground here, a lot of people suck. And say and do terrible things without thinking about how they will affect other people from different backgrounds.

All white people do not suck, however. Just as all people do not suck.

To prove this point, I would like to clarify a few things for all of you hashtagging me out there:

• @BlackGirlDanger I do not equate a black girl calling me honky with 500 years of genocide, enslavement, or lynching. Just as I do not equate this hashtag or my hurt feelings with any of those things. I am being petty, but I am not that petty.

• @aamer_rahman I do not believe slavery was an isolated historical event. Slavery still exists to this day in this country and others. And the effects, both socially and psychologically, of institutionalized slavery in this country continue to affect everyday life.

• @ClangingBells I am not offended by the fact that it is socially unacceptable for me to use the n-word. It has an extremely hateful history and I do not have any need for it within my vocabulary.

• @Serynada I do not believe that plundering the resources, culture, bodies, & lands of people of color is acceptable in the name of development or any other misnomer used to justify it. Too much of human history has already been stained through cultural and physical genocides committed in the name of progress.

• @ellaceron I am not Mexican and I hate Chipotle.

• @yungrosencrantz I may not be able to tell your ethnicity by just looking you (as a mishmash of “white” races-Irish-Italian-Russian-I feel your pain), but I will not throw out a slew of vague possibilities and then look for brownie points just for trying.

So, the next time someone says something ignorant or insensitive, try not to blatantly generalize by aimlessly attaching those offensive ideals to an entire range of people who share little in common outside of their skin color. Or, I guess you could continue to haphazardly vomit out your own ignorant and offensive remarks onto social media because that in no way invalidates or trivializes your once poignant argument. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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