I AM NO BETTER THAN ANYONE

headshotGraham Davis,
Malvern, PA.

I am a white Anglo-Saxon protestant male. I am 5’4 with dirty-blond hair. I am a heterosexual. I am no better than anyone. I was created an equal to you. I will die an equal to you. I am proud of my heritage, but it does not define me. I should have no advantage over others because of gender or race. My ancestors should contribute nothing more to me than genetic material. I am my own person. I can make my own decisions and decide my own opinions just like every other human being on this planet should be able to do because just like me each and every one of you is not defined by history or the majority but by yourself. We are individuals. Not a minority or majority.

Keep the conversation going - comment and discuss with your thoughts

  • kavihasya

    Did you really just get genetic material from your ancestors (i.e., were you adopted by people of color)? If you think about it, you might be able to find some way in which you and your parents/grandparents had advantages not afforded to everyone (Were they able to get a mortgage? Are you scared of the police?).

    I sure can. I am deeply humbled by the degree to which being safe in a white body has shaped my life and my interaction with the world. I try to respect that unearned benefit in my interactions with others. I often fail.

    While it would be nice to see everyone as individuals, know that one of the impacts of institutional racism is that people of color are not treated as individuals, but as members of a group, subject to negative stereotyping that we are not subject to. They are disproportionately killed precisely because they are not seen as individuals.

    To be white and to ask to be seen as an individual is strangely sensitive (Robin DiAngelo would say “fragile”). You are likely already seen as an individual in the majority of contexts you are in. Rather than focusing on the few times you are lumped in with a group, how about talking about how you work to ensure that people of color are also seen as individuals?

    • nykki

      When I was in high school in Trigonometry class, my teacher whom was white said on the first day of class, “Everyone will fail this class except one person.” We had one white girl in the class and the rest blacks, she’s the one who passed. She failed every test but the teacher said she had dyslexia so she deserves to pass with A+. She told me that she wasn’t dyslectic and she should have failed. I can go on and on about how I as a black lady, was hardly ever seen as an individual and not given a fair shot. He didn’t even want to teach us because he said we won’t be able to understand. Its so sad. I don’t feel hopeless. I push myself to overachieve in everything. I am an entrepreneur now, living out my dreams. No one will see us as individuals if we never will see our ownselves as individuals. So many of us dwell on the past and daily negative comments. I hear them continually but I rise above it and hold my head high and be proud of who I am. A successful, loving, harmless human being!!!

      • g-man625

        It’s nice that you see yourself as a “successful, loving, harmless human being,” but that doesn’t change the reality of how others — especially some of those in power and in the majority, and even a few nonblack minorities — see you. You will be treated based on others’ biases, prejudices, and stereotypes.

        I see myself the same way you see yourself. I’m a polite, kind, loving man who goes out of his way to help others. But, as a black man, I know a fair percentage of my fellow American citizens view me as suspect, threatening, and even potentially dangerous, due to the racial and gender cohort to which I belong. I have to be in my military uniform or a suit to be viewed in a somewhat similar way as your average, everyday white person. I don’t like it. It’s not fair, but that IS the reality.

        • barry irving

          …you mention three negatives as how you see people treating people. Those are just three on the negative side. People are more than negative as a whole. What about those who love humanity unconditionally?

          …don’t they count?

          …the military is accepted in general. Military Men have hero status in America especially now. Try dating inter racially and see how different things will be. Try opening a business in an area that puts you in direct competition with a European American.

  • barry irving

    …heritage does define you in the context of the population that you belong to. We can be different from the majority, but it is impossible to separate completely.

    …Here lies the conundrum of Racial issues and acts that are committed by individuals or individual groups that reflect on the particular population as a whole. Dealing with perceptions and projections requires individual thought but with consideration for your Race. If we elevate ourselves above community then what about those who don’t see reality – but rather dwell in hate, prejudice and fear?

    …if we don’t connect with community and show and teach examples of the “better”…”more reasonable”…more considerate of the world…then how valuable is our personal progress? No man is an island!

  • barry irving

    …back in the 1920’s you had to be Anglo Saxon Protestant to be White. Now some of everybody claims to be White. I’ll tell you something about your statement. No one can know your intent, but when you open with I am a White Anglo Saxon Protestant Male w dirty blonde hair…IMO that is irrelevant. You are marking yourself, then disclaiming it. You sum up about your independence and individuality…you dismiss you genetic ancestry earlier.
    …( that’s questionable too ) so the opening makes your statement questionable in a conversation about Race. it is very difficult to remove yourself from a life time of affectation. You could have left that sentence out and it would sound more cohesive overall. W.A.S.P.S. traditionally are socially rigid and exclusive to other Races. I’m from N.Y.C. I know this from life…not something I read!

 

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