Now that I've had the realization, I feel differently about these white blogs. Everyone has a right--nearly a mandate, almost an imperative--to explore his or her home or group culture, to examine it, to illuminate it, to critique it. I love this about black, brown, and yellow ethnic blogs, and now I love this about white ethnic blogs as well. I no longer need them to change. I no longer have to fight down long emails to each blogger telling them how white they are and that they need to be more inclusive. They don't need to be more inclusive, any more than Cute Overload needs to blog about Iraq.
All they need to do is acknowledge that they are blogs written by white people from a white perspective about white culture. All they need to do is admit that they are white ethnic blogs.
Sounds reasonable. I can't exactly be blogging from a nonwhite perspective here, can I? Let's try it.
This is a white ethnic blog. -- No, no, that doesn't sound right.
This is a blog about comics from a white perspective. -- Okay, technically true but--Ugh! Who wants to get lumped in with "white power" (can't wait to see what kind of asshole finds my blog from that phrase) imbeciles? Also, really don't want to scare off nonwhite readers with this.
This is a blog about comics from a white perspective, but not a white power perspective. -- Okay, that's just pathetic. Let's try dropping the perspective stuff.
This is a blog about comics, by an American white girl-- Ick. White girl.
White woman doesn't sound much better.
I am absolutely certain I'm not the only one reacting like this. No one likes to identify as white. I've heard people say its boring, and I used to think (being raised to identify as Italian-American before white) that the whole default white culture thing gets on my nerves because it mashes Anglo-Saxon and Celtic and Greek and Polish and German and Italian and Scandinavian into one big white Euro-mess. We lose a little bit of cultural identity when we do that. Except, most of white American culture is one big white Euro-mess anymore and ethnicities like Irish and Italian are variations on that. Assimilation. Our parents and grandparents could manage it, so they did. I don't know shit about any other country, but some regions in the US have a long history of "I'm whiter than you" cultures hating the new guy until they could lose enough of their European culture to blend in. It works like the Borg. A big white Borg cube.
Nobody likes to say that because it implies all white Americans think alike, which they don't, but white American culture does absorb and adapt new cultures into the cultural collective. Reminds me of a conversation I had at work the other day about American food versus European food, and how much better European food was. Why? Because we take new foods and Americanize them and they lose all their ethnic flavor. Much as we do with immigrant cultures.
We Americanize to fit in. It comes down to "who's normal" and if you identify as your skin color, suddenly you're admitting that your skin color is not necessarily normal. And that's part of why very few white people blog about race. You can't really not know anything about race or ethnicity. Everyone has race and ethnicity. Its just uncomfortable to admit which side of racism you happen to be on, so if you're lucky enough to be on the side that benefits from racism you ignore it.
That's what that white privilege stuff is talking about.
Which might be why it looks so stupid when I type it out. Because it feels stupid to admit I'm not necessarily normal and I shouldn't be getting all the little perks from a wrong situation. Which is the biggest alarm bell that says Claire has a point about ethnic blogs and admitting you have an ethnic blog.
So we'll go with a white ethnic blog and leave it at that.