White identity | Thought Slime

What even is "whiteness". Is it skin colour? Not really. Genetics? Race precedes genetics or even evolution. A vague concept of "European" descent? What about Roma people, or (for a lot of history) Irish people. Or the reality that most "white identity" focuses on modern concepts that wouldn't have existed in pre-colonial Europe.

Or as Thought Slime puts it:

What is the one thing that all "white people" have in common that also excludes all people who aren't "white"?

NB: To caveat, these quotes are being taken wildly out of context and are normally prefaced or surrounded by very clear and fair couching. The video is in no way antagonistic and any potential problematic terminology or arguments are carefully discussed. I'm simply recording some of the core ideas that stuck with me, within that broader context. Nor is this making an argument that you cannot be proud of "white" culture, nor is it claiming that this isn't a thing. In other words, watch the video 😉

On the paradox of "white people" and the whole "why are white people like that", which is somehow something I (and many other white people) just agree with:

How come "white people" are a group that I somehow think I'm within, but also, seem to think that I'm entitled to judge from the outside. Something I'm inescapably a part of, but that I get to act like it doesn't define me or that I'm above it.

On genetic diversity and why it doesn't equate to race (certainly within the English language):

There is more genetic diversity in Africa than in any other part of the world, or between any other parts of the world combined.

On a useful definition of "whiteness":

Whiteness is the absence of racialisation, the process of attributing essential racial characteristics to groups of people. Whiteness is a category of exclusion and denotes nothing, but that the people who possess it are not part of one of the out groups that the white in-group has created. Essentially, to be white means to be not un-white, and also nothing else.

On white heritage and the paradox therein:

Sometimes [not great people] will claim that society if "biased against white people" because it's considered racist to be proud of being White, but not to be proud of being Black or Asian or what have you. And on the surface, that sounds like a double-standard, doesn't it... But you can be proud of being American without anyone giving you side-eye; you can be proud of being Canadian, or German, or Italian. Nobodies mad about your heritage.
But to be proud specifically of being part of the huge, vague assortment of cultures and peoples, whose only unifying connection is that none of them are part of the races we treated like dog shit historically, that's a little different, isn't it? The only thing that connects all white people, the only commonality between all of us, is racial privilege.

On what "white pride" really means:

So then, what common goals would a "white pride" movement works towards? If you believe White people must unify around our whiteness, what are we unifying against? Seems to me like we have it pretty good, actually. We already make the most money. We're less likely to be arrested for doing the same crimes, and if we are arrested we usually get a lighter sentence. What are we even fighting for?
The answer, whether or not these groups are willing to admit it, is the continuation of those privileges.

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  • What even is "whiteness". Is it skin colour? Not really. Genetics? Race precedes genetics or even evolution. A vague concept of "European" descent? What about Roma people, or (for a lot of history) […]
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