Essay About Being White

1026 Words5 Pages
It is not so easy being white. Of course, I do not have to deal with pervasive hatred and people treating me worse because of the colour of my skin. Sure, I come from a position of enormous privilege, allowing me the freedom to hone and explore my talents anywhere I wish. The reason why being white is so hard is because I still stand on the podium of oppression, my heritage stems from the subjugation of people of colour.

Racism runs through my veins.

It is surprisingly difficult to purge yourself, as a white person, of racism. It becomes significantly more difficult to remove that malignant bias when it is so deeply ingrained in your parents. It is nigh impossible to have a pleasant family meal when vitriol is being flung from both sides
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The news to which they listen, the people to whom they talk, the streets they walk, all only express the attitudes of a mostly white, empowered slice of the population. Unfortunately, I share the same lens. I have never walked the streets of Mtata nor Alexandra. I attend an almost exclusively white school. The vast majority of my social interactions are with wealthy, white friends. This means, whether I want it to or not, my perspectives are subtly shifted towards a more bigoted attitude.

Too often, I find thoughts I would expect to hear from my parents flickering through my mind. I reject them, but that does not mean that they did not occur. These thoughts are dangerous. If I leave them to fester for too long, they will only worsen and become more extreme. I rationalise that these thoughts are evil and should be cleansed from my mind, but rationality is no weapon against racism.

I want to be a light, a source of guidance for my parents. I want to push them in the right direction, but I fear that they will drag me onto the wrong path. I struggle to keep my composure, to challenge them as best as I can. I just wish they would change, not only for me, but for themselves
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