Archives: 2000 2003 2004 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2013 2014 2016 2019 2020 2021
The problem with race in the United States is not that white people exist.
Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain. We’ve had an issue with white supremecy for quite some time. The belief that white people are superior allows for things like slavery and ill treatment to other people with a different skin color (or just from the wrong part of the world or having different beliefs).
White supremecy results in some people (I think mostly white people) thinking this country should only be made up of white people. White supremecy is not something that is only associated with white people, though. It can also be internalized. Me, a Black person, used to wish I was white because I thought whiteness was better than blackness. I rejected the dialect of english that my family spoke because I thought it was inferior. To this day, I gravitate in bias toward white folks and need to make a conscious effort not to.
White supremacy has also been institutionalized. Our systems of government and law enforcement were founded on principles of white supremacy. Though we've outlawed slavery, it lives on in a form in our prison system and policing. I'm not here to talk about structural racism. I want to talk about the interpersonal kind.
The definition of racism in racial justice is specifically tied to power. In the U.S., that primarily belongs to white people. Again, the problem (in my opinion) is not white people — it’s white supremacy. I’ll explain further.
In the United States, white supremecy has informed several racial dynamics in play today. Anti-Blackness, born out of contempt for the slave; anti-Asian, a fear of a people viewed as very different; anti-immigrant, fear of being a (white) minority. These other views did not stay with the originators of white supremacy, however. We're steeped in a white supremacist culture that diseminates these other views. People who are not white and who may not be able to latch onto white supremacy directly can adopt another view that they think gives them better positioning in society.
Our problems are not racial differences. They are much deeper than that. They stem from inequalities and a system (be it policy or social) that perpetuates hate. Racial justice movements have the most power and potential when we can all come together against the lie that is white supremacy. We all share a planet. Yes we have differences, but we have many of the same needs. Let’s look for solutions and not scapegoats or whatabouts. How will you help defeat white supremecy?
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been doing a deep dive into neurodivergence. After noticing how much I was struggling with work, I started to wonder if I had ADHD. After watching a load of YouTube videos from various creators and social media posters and learning a lot more about what it means to have an ADHD brain, this resonated to a point until I learned that issues with executive function are also associated with OCD (hey, I have that—pretty sure!).
After much deliberation, I can to the understanding that what I was experiencing was probably mostly related to OCD. It was nice to be able to tie more of my experience to a condition that I knew (pretty sure!) was associated with me. This was helpful and gave me a good place to start from. I was feeling a bit sad about not really belong to this new community I’d discovered and begun to feel so comfortable in. But neurodivergence also covers OCD! What‽ I had found my people. Great. But my obssessive brain kept on wondering and assessing. I shifted over to autism. I'd been learning that Autism, ADHD, and OCD are often comorbid (in medical terms) so wanted to be sure sure (even though I was pretty sure). I’d learned so much about ADHD, and now I’m learning a lot more about autism. Some stuff reasonates a bit, some not so much.
I'm just trying to be okay. All of the assessment of myself that I’ve been doing has had me thinking a lot about my history. I’m also much more aware of what I’m experiencing and how I’m behaving. It’s a bit hard to feel that I’m getting the full picture without regular in-person social contact. It’s all pretty stressful during these pandemic times. *sigh*
Brains are weird and neat and also hard.