This trend didn’t get to me until late last night as I don’t have Twitter, but Tumblr and Instagram caught me up. And of course I had to write about this. Whiteness has always been held above all other races, as per white supremacy. In this book I am currently reading, Whiteness: an Introduction by Steve Garner, and in the beginning, he states, “White is the point from which judgements are made, about normality and abnormality, beauty and ugliness, civilization and barbarities.” Whiteness is where we center our standards of everything and anything that deviates is seen as Other, and less than whiteness. We see it everywhere. Holly wood is vastly white, obviously. There was a study done by the Media Diversity Social Change Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism that looked at the 100 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2010 and 2012 to 2013 and studied all the people who had speaking roles, whether it was just one word or many that they spoke on screen. They found that Middle Eastern people made up 1 percent, then Asian people with 4.4 percent, followed by Hispanic and Latino people with 4.9 percent, Black people with 14.1 percent, and White people were the obvious majority with 74.1 percent. We see it all the time, in stores, models, tv shows, ads, etc. You never see people from Taiwan or Singapore or or the Phillipines or India dominate the mainstream like white people because, as it has been stated before, they are perceived as below whiteness.
To see this hash tag be defended by white women (some of the self proclaimed snowbunnies, which I will address at a later date, and black men (which I will also discuss at a later date) so vehemently, it honestly pissed me off. As the majority, white women have so much privilege that they would rather act like they don’t have. And while there are other facets of self love for white women, think about how these women of color feel. They have to be feeling so much more worse.
White women have been getting by by claiming that they’re intersectional feminists who are so progressive, all the while cutting out LGBTQIA people and people of color. They continue to appropriate other cultures and make it some new trend. And, as in every organized movement, white women have been the backbone of oppression movements. They have been known to be agressors, beating Native Americans, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Middle Easterns throughout history. They have literally stepped on everyone on their way up and continue to do so with no remorse while expecting us to give more help to them.
If it were any other group using a hash tag like this, it would be an affirmation of beauty, because women of color don’t get told often enough by far that they are beautiful, and we are continuing to see that people of color’s lives are not valued by the media, by the law, and even the general people. White women do not need this hash tag as they are already affirmed every day that whiteness is best.
The clapbacks are hilarious, but we do need to take a closer look at the issue. This hashtag only continues this system of oppression and the belittling of women of color and it is our job as Others to take care of each other and build each other up. Kat Blaque made a really good video talking about this as well.
Remember, fuck their hashtags and narrow minds and keep your head up.