Dear White Person

Dear White Person:

I am a mixed-race individual.  I don’t care to be more specific, save to say that I am partly White—and therefore not White.  Partly something else—and thus not that something else.  A bit of this, a bit of that, and thus nothing at all.  Just me alone, preordained from the moment of my conception to be a “citizen of the world”.

I was raised in a Progressive household, especially as to racial matters.  I was always told by my mother that racism is the worst possible evil; I learned to carefully weigh and judge people as individuals, and avoid jumping to conclusions from ignorance or bigotry.  At school, I was given special and quite laudatory teacher’s attention on account of my mixed racial composition.  I did suffer a few isolated instances of racially insensitive remarks from other students, but only on the level of kids who were just looking for dumb names to toss in the heat of an argument; and if you know young kids, you understand that their choice of insult was as arbitrary to them as calling me a “doodie-head”.  Otherwise and overall, I never suffered from any negative effects of racism.

Thus I believe myself uniquely qualified to tell you the following:

You were indeed born with a “white privilege”:  That is to say, you have an unbroken connection to the rich cultural, genetic, and historical heritage of your ancestors, who happen to have been White.  A proper synonym in this context for “privilege” is gift, a gift which carries with it a duty to be grateful and to carry it wisely.

I know whereof I speak, for I have no such privilege.  I have no such gift.  I am not White, not Black, not Yellow, and not Purple With Orange Polka-Dots.

Muhammad Ali, who aspired to be “The Greatest”, was proud to be a Black man; he said, “I want to be with my own; I love my people!”  Another proud Black man was Malcom X, whom you like to quote; do you understand him, do you understand that he wanted his own and not yours or anybody else’s?  He was proud of his identity and his people; he had Black Pride.  For such proud Blacks, to be Black was a Black Privilege!  But I don’t have what they had, in that aspect; for I am not Black.

Japanese people and Chinese people each in particular have reputations for being fiercely proud of who they are:  Their race, their respective nationalities, their languages, their cultures, their histories.  They have Yellow Privilege:  An unbroken connection to ancestors who passed them their genetics and their culture as part of a single, integrated package.  I don’t have what they have, in that aspect; for I am not Japanese, and I am not Chinese.

There is a resurgence in pride amongst Native Americans who want to reconnect to their ancestors and their ancient ways of life.  They have Red Privilege, a privilege of open plains and a Great Spirit.  I don’t have what they have, in that aspect; for I am not an Amerasian.

I am alone.  I am an atomized individual, a nation of one without a community naturally connected by common heritage.  There are people with whom I identify spiritually and culturally, but I know that I am not really one of them.  My soul belongs eternally to that people’s culture; but my body is a dead-end, twisted in form and riddled with genetic diseases I would be horrified to inflict on my own children.  I can be friends with that people, but never part of their family.  I am always and everywhere an outsider, from the day I was born to the day I will die.

I also don’t have what you have, in the aspect of Muhammad Ali having his people and a Native American having his tribe.  I don’t have what you have—for again, I am not White.  But for your part, you are not proud of who you are—unlike Malcolm X, or Native American revivalists, or Chinese people who celebrate with those beautiful parades of theirs on Chinese New Year.  You talk about your Whiteness as if it were something wrong with you—about your own ancestors as if they were a curse!  A Chinese person would be horrified at how you degrade your ancestors and throw away your connection to them.  Read Confucius:  All life is about respect for your ancestors.  That is not only “ancient Chiense wisdom”, but ancient wisdom for all people.

There is nothing wrong with being proud to be White.  As a mixed-race individual, I find that Whites who are proud to be White are remarkably tolerant of me—just as long as I do not pretend to be something I am not—namely, a part of their family.

You understand very well how Blacks who have Black Pride would feel if you pretended to be an African American, or how Native Americans would feel if you tried to steal their identity for yourself, or how offended the Japanese should be if you were so culturally insensitive as to misappropriate their symbols (or perhaps not; hint: Samurai were not practitioners of Zen Buddhism).  But I don’t pretend; I am always open an honest about who I am.  The very first article I posted on the Internet was an essay about my experience as a mixed-race individual.  I submitted it to a publication run by people who are proud to be White.  They were happy to print it, as you can see; and they were at all times courteous and respectful toward me.  I have been treated with the same decency at other venues of people proud to be of European ancestry.  I feel I have dignity, when dealing with people who themselves have such a dignity and self-confidence.

As any other people who are proud of who they are, proud Whites focus their pride on the richness of their ethnic traditions.  Europe is like Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, or a kaleidescope of national colours reflecting a single unifying theme.  Ethnic dress, whether Norwegian or German or Greek, is beautiful and carries with it stories which stretch back beyond historical memory.  European folk music is amazingly rich in its variety; and European classical music is undeniably a spiritual monument unprecedented in the history of the world.  European literature cannot even be properly praised without writing a book about it, so to speak.  Overall, cultural and scientific achievements by Dead White Men are things to be proud of, not ashamed of!  And these are the things which proud Whites care about.

Of course, like people of any other race, proud Whites care not only about celebrating their culture, but protecting themselves from racial violence.  Genocide against a White ethnic group has occurred, more than once, and it can happen again.  Moreover, like proud people of any other race, proud White people honour heroes who stood forth to defend their forefathers, just as they now strive to protect their children.

I think that the best world would be a world in which everybody is proud of who they are, and everybody reveres their own ancestorsIt would be a world of global peace:  People who love themselves have no reason to fight each other, whether they are White or Black or Yellow, Red, Orange, or Green.  People can be friends with the “other”, when they are secure in themselves and in their own neighbourhoods, communities, and countries.  This is proven by history.

I hope that you can learn to be proud of your heritage and your ancestry, as all those people are proud of their respective heritages and ancestries.  You cannot chose what you were born as, any more than can a Black person or a Chinese person; so in your case, you should be proud of your White heritage.  The heritage which yes, you are privileged to have been born with.  Your gift, a priceless gift which should be to you the most precious possession you have!  Treasure the gift given to you by your ancestors from a thousand years ago, which it is your duty to pass on to your descendants a thousand years from now.  A gift which once lost is gone forever.

At that, I write this for you to read, but not for your sake.  I write herewith for the sake of your children, in the hope that you will teach them to be proud of who they are and thus, your grandchildren will not wind up like me.  I love myself dearly, but I am alone:  A soul cast adrift by the shattering of connections to my ancestors—a man without a nation in the sense of the root, Latin natus—yea whereas other individuals are but drops in the sea, I am but a drop in the desert.  In the only sense which counts, I have neither a past before I was born, nor a future after I die.  Should I live my life for my own sake, I could live and love and laugh until the day I become dead—and then that would be the end of me, biologically and culturally speaking.

Thus I write herewith for the sake of your grandchildren’s grandchildren, in the hope that they will always and forever keep sacred their connection to their ancestors.  Through their ancestors let them know who they are, and be proud of themselves.

With due thanks for your time,

/s/ Helmut Stuka

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6 thoughts on “Dear White Person

  1. Helmut!

    You one crazy cat, but I don’t dislike you, so here’s responding:

    First off, thanks so much for not encouraging me to kill myself, or calling me a whore or a shitty mom, or joking about a gang of black people raping me or my children — like your friends and soul-people do (thank goodness for those ancestors, because their proudest descendants have exceptionally limited charm). Sweet of you. Downright chivalrous, I’d say.

    Also, and I mean this: well put about the samurai-zen thing. I have no idea what I’m talking about there. I hope that comes through based on the fact that it’s a humor site read by few that only takes itself seriously when people are being shot for no apparent reason. Either way, yours remains a good point.

    Curious that neither you nor our Heathen Woman could site anything from my original post to illustrate that I’m not proud of my cultural gifts. Not insisting whiteness is superior or faultless does not automatically translate into blanket shame. I didn’t bring up personal cultural pride points because why the HEAVENS would I? When addressing the issue of disproportionate police brutality toward people of color, the fact that I’m proud of Celtic music or my Mayflower ancestor has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING.

    Finally, you have no idea who my grandchildren’s grandchildren will be. I only pray that they can be proud of who they are WHOSOEVER they are, but they’re frankly none of your business, sir. I thank you not to mention them again.

    There. See? I even didn’t swear for you.

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    1. Well, if you don’t dislike me, I will consider myself crowned with faint praise!

      Now, I must make one thing clear:  I don’t know who said what to you or in what context, but I do know with certainty that there are plenty of Internet trolls who latch onto any opportunity to abuse women online.  Consider, for example, Heathen Women.  I don’t know them personally, and I am fairly new in these parts; but when I arrived, I dug around a bit on Twitter, &c., and saw people publicly using extremely graphic and vulgar language to suggest that a certain prominent Heathen Woman should be gang-raped by Blacks, or that she wants to so be, &c., literally ad nauseam.  Worse, from what I understand (and I only know public information), she receives credible death threats.  Sticks and stones.

      I do not automatically impute such abusiveness and criminality to you, or assume it is from your friends.  If, as I will presume, the same kinds of anonymous Internet sickos (and maybe even the same sadistic trolls seeking „lulz“) also threw their dirt at you, please do not impute same to me or my „friends and soul-people“ as you put it.  Moreover, I assure you that Adolf Hitler would consider such things undeutsch („un-German“—one of his favourite words of opprobrium for condemning cruel or barbaric things).  Really, the suggestion that children deserve to be gang-raped reeks of Soviet propagandist Ilya Ehrenberg:

      Kill them all, men, old men, children and the women, after you have amused yourself with them!  Kill.  Nothing in Germany is guiltless, neither the living nor the yet unborn. . . .  Break the racial pride of the German woman.  Take her as your legitimate booty.  Kill, you brave soldiers of the victorious Soviet Army!

      Pamphlets so saying were mass-distributed to Red Army soldiers.  Those words were not just online abuse.  They were an official incitement which resulted directly in the systematic mass-rape and murder of millions of German women and young girls—not only the 2 million or so in Berlin (which are nowadays more well-known), but also throughout East Prussia, Silesia, Sudetenland, &c., &c.  Decades of silence are now being broken with the facts of one of the worst covered-up crimes in history.

      Now, so having said:

      I began to write a substantive response to your proposition that „neither you nor our Heathen Woman could site anything from my original post to illustrate that I’m not proud of my cultural gifts“.  It grew well beyond the scope of a blog comment reply.  When I have time to finish it (which I don’t right now), it will be a self-standing piece.  Here is a teaser from the rough draft:

      First principle: 210 = 1024 (two to the tenth power).

      Ten generations cover a very short time, in the grand scheme of things.  At a moderate approximation, 250 years.  The blink of an eye, when you consider how long humans and civilizations have existed and, more importantly, how long one should hope same will continue existing.

      Pending completion of the above, I have a movie recommendation peculiarly suitable for you, Sahmurai.  It is a romance film co-produced by German and Japanese studios in 1937, titled The Daughter of the Samurai (Die Tochter Des Samurai; Japanese release title: The New Earth (新しき土)).  Yes, you would probably call it a „Nazi propagandafilm“; but it is certainly not what you would expect.  No graphic scenes of violence, sorry to disappoint you; the most violent thing in the film is a Japanese volcano (about which I will not say more, lest I spoil the plot).  No maniacal exhortations to kill, kill, kill (if you want that, look to the Soviets!).  No lip-twisted hatemongering.

      It does portray interracial friendship and cross-cultural respect, and also shows workers, farmers, and soldiers in a positive light.  All such is consistent with both German and Japanese moral values; and the film is definitely „family friendly“.  Note that there is only one significant German character who disappears from the screen for long stretches, plus one supporting German character who appears but briefly.  The film is set in Japan, filmed on location, and primarily focused on Japanese people, as you may expect from the title.

      [Note, for convenience of different language speakers, I linked a high-quality version with multiple separate subtitle files.  If you don’t know how to use that, there are other archive.org downloads with hardcoded English subtitling; but I have not reviewed their quality.]

      Apropos my unfinished substantive reply, it also contains plenty of Japanese talk about Japanese tradition and the importance of each person as a link in an endless chain from ancestors to descendants.  Remember that this was to be shown also to German audiences, who would respect that.

      Indeed, as a work self-evidently designed to build cultural respect between German people and Japanese people, it shows how people of different races can be friends without losing their own identities.  I particularly liked how the German woman, Gerda Storm, remarked that Japanese women look better in kimono than in European clothes—whereas of course she, as a European, wears only European clothes!  And on a personal note, the comedic relief scene wherein Miss Storm bravely attempts using chopsticks was peculiarly endearing to me:  I grew up in a multicultural house with chopsticks alongside forks; and I always chuckle a bit at how much trouble you White folks oft have with them.

      Whether or not you agree with its philosophy, I think you will find the film enjoyable and historically interesting.  Imagine, that is what people in German and Japanese cinemas were actually watching in 1937—a glimpse of their popular milieau through their eyes.

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      1. Hi again.

        I’ve done a lot of thinking about the title of my blog, and I find it troubling that I never seriously thought about that my (I thought clever) little word-play would be culturally insensitive. It’s a glaring blind spot, and it’s telling. It suggests that I clearly wasn’t taking seriously a thousand(+)-year tradition. Maybe because it ended a long time ago, or maybe because Asian history just seems much less real because of geographical distance or cultural difference. Either way, it’s not comfortable to be confronted with this misstep, you bothered to do so (and do so kindly), and I thank you for that.

        I’ll be honest: I rarely even watch movies that I really want to see, so I’m not especially likely to watch this Axis Powers flick, but thanks anyway.

        The abusive feedback I cited all came from the comments section of the Heathen Women article, and/or from other, apparently like-minded publications that re-published it. I’ve otherwise never faced that kind of feedback.

        This whole experience has been rather disturbing for me, which partly explains the sarcastic tone I’ve taken with you before now. We disagree spectacularly, and I find your views depressing at best, but again, you’ve been courteous.

        So thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Just a quick note:  I am working up a substantive reply to you, but juggling it with other activities for the reason currently stated at the top of my blog.

          I think one of two reasons why you and I seem to be able to communicate, is that I generally try to see things through other people’s eyes.  It’s not a virtue in itself, nor an unlimited exercise; and I have seen more than enough through some people’s eyes, thank you very much!  But I understand where your worldview comes from; and though I am a proud adherent of the Dr. Goebbels Attack! doctrine, I reserve that for people who are clearly my enemies (as did he).

          On a related note, the other reason is that you seem fairer and more open-minded than most of what, for lack of a better term, I will loosely call „liberals“—most of whom hypocritically march in lockstep while proclaiming themselves to be free-thinking individual little snowflakes, just like everybody else.  I so say from experience, for I elicit enough knee-jerk reactions and raw, blind hatred to have become quite contemptuously dismissive toward those who react as such; and FYI I have estranged family actually now participating in BLM protest marches.  Yes, bitter experience. Kudos for responding to intelligent two-way conversation on what must be one of the most „politically incorrect“ blogs on Earth.

          Also related: I will never be really able to get the „inner experience“ of a Japanese person, or an Indian Nationalist, or a Palestinian rotting in refugee camp in his own homeland.  They really are different from me, physically different.  But, I can try to understand them; and to some degree, I can succeed.  Don’t assume I am (admittedly) obsessed with Germans out of ignorance of others!  Rather it is partly a matter of instinct (being part German), and partly that I really liked what I saw when I tried looking through their eyes (which most people don’t).

          Well, that was not so quick, after all; which perhaps may be why I am backlogged….

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Hello, SAHMurai:

          Sorry for not replying sooner as previously indicated.  I had actually intended to contact you on this thread after finishing a series of articles inspired by our conversation last July.  Some thereof were hurriedly posted in August—but most are still stalled in the pipeline, due to my being busy supporting others’ work and, more recently, distracted by a very dire personal situation.

          I must turn what scant time I have back to my own little site, now that I am apparently persona non grata at Renegade Tribune(If you ask, I will tell you that I am too anti-Jewish for them—which I suspect to be true, strictly speaking.)  And I am pinging you now, because I need to query the opinion of somebody who is politically opposed to me, but seems more intelligent and open-minded than most people of your worldview with whom I have bitter personal experience:

          If somebody were to make to you proposition X about science or history, and in the next breath literally tell you that the Earth is flat, then what would be your reaction to X?

          It is a serious question.  Please don’t laugh!  I’ve had enough frustration as it is, shouting to deaf ears that not only has the roundness of the Earth been a well-known fact for thousands of years—but the only real debate was between Aristotelian/Ptolemaic geocentrism, and the heliocentric theory originated by Aristarchus of Samos, revived by Copernicus, advocated by Galileo, and ultimately proved correct by Kepler.  (A Greek, two Germans, and an Italian.  Notorious creatures known as Dead White Men.  I call that Aryan Science.)

          Of course, as you may guess, I think all the Flat Earth stuff is a Jewish conspiracy to discredit people who try to tell the truth about Jewish conspiracies.  And based on my extensive (some might say, obsessive) study of the German National Socialists, I am certain that Adolf Hitler would have immediately ordered censorship of such poisonous nonsense; Flat Earth is to science what Dadaism was to art.  Now, what is the opinion of somebody who vehemently disagrees with my politics?  It should go without saying, I presume you are very well aware that the Earth is round; you should know that is not what I am asking!

          Cheers.

          Like

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