Thursday, July 21, 2016

I'm a white supremacist (and so are you)

My name is Epiphanie Bloom and I'm a white supremacist. Despite repeated attempts to dismantle this about myself, I find myself more comfortable when in the company of white people. I sign petitions advocating for the greater representation of people of colour - in boardrooms, in parliament, in modelling shoots. But I often struggle when I see people of colour where there weren't before. It's a deeply ingrained tendency towards white supremacy.
My white supremacy might be mild(er than most) or, if you like, a vastly watered down version, but it nevertheless there. I am confessing this because I don't think I'm the only one. In fact, I think it's possible that almost all of the people on earth are afflicted with the same condition. My former best friend, who is originally from China and now lives in California, offered me the "all lives matter" line in response to my interest in supporting the #blacklivesmatter cause. Keeping this in mind, I believe all of us have been taught from birth to value whiteness over blackness, and it's a rare individual who would be able to fully dismantle such overpowering social forces. Better get used to it: we are not just racist. We are White Supremacists.
There is a strength in admitting something so detrimental about yourself. You can only change yourself if you are willing to admit the extent of the problem. I would be causing more damage if I pretended my prejudices didn't exist; if I camouflaged my pro-white bias within a world of well-meaning people with the same insufficient commitments to racial equality. I could no doubt pass as "non-racist" to a large audience, since my first partner was Asian, my best friend for a decade was Asian, and I have had many other meaningful relationships with people of colour. I choose not to hide.
If you are also interested in dismantling white supremacist narratives within yourself and feel like directing me to useful articles or important petitions or protests, please go ahead. This post is about keeping myself accountable and keeping my efforts towards self-improvement on track. If it encourages you, too, to do some soul-searching, all the better.

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