It would stand to reason that white folks in America should be able to take one on the chin every now and then given our American history of bigotry, oppression and otherwise mistreating minorities and non-white natives. We are due a few knocks and jibes. And we don’t necessarily always help ourselves overcome narrow-minded and conservative stereotypes…especially during political season when all you see in the media is a sea of Khaki pants and shirtsleeves.
But what I find most interesting is not the degree to which folks of other ethnicities might harbor less than favorable impressions of Caucasians. Rather, I love the degree to which white people like to make fun of themselves…or “other” white people. I also love the light-hearted commentary we see from other facets of mainstream culture that we love to watch in the vein of “it’s funny because it’s true”.
I have been observing and enjoying (and in many cases participating in) this emergence of a self-depricating mainstream white culture and acceptance of racial criticism of “white folks”. Sure, it’s funny when we talk about how we can’t dance, jump or take a joke. But given that the “white majority” is soon to become a thing of the past in the U.S. as we grow a truly diverse and rich population, it’s important that we allow ourselves to be properly initiated.
It’s almost like we are creating a new tribe of Americans and the “white kids” are being initiated by modified public shaming. This is actually a fairly common tribal cultural tradition to set people straight as they integrate into community life. For example, potty training in some Native American cultures includes allowing your toddler to go to the bathroom outside / in front of everyone and then laughing at them. In some hunting tribes it is customary to berate the quality of a fresh kill to the one who did the deed so as not to allow that person to get a “big head” about their hunting prowess.
Conversely, in American culture, here are some examples of how white people are shaming ourselves or “taking it on the chin” as we become reintegrated into a distinctly multi-ethnic mainstream society:
30 things white people do that black people don’t: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHRyl_eT5FU
White People Problems: http://whitepeopleproblems.us/
And so on. I welcome any and all additions to the list to add to my data set. This Narcissistic Anthropologist wants to leave no stone un-thrown as I study the re-initiation of Caucasian Americans s into our modern U.S. culture.
- ‘I can’t stand you white people’… Arrest after woman’s bus rant (thesun.co.uk)
- Mocking “Foreign Accents” and the Privilege of “Sounding White” (muslimreverie.wordpress.com)
- The Polarization of American Politics: Black and White (peoplesadvocacycouncil.wordpress.com)
- How to Be a ‘Reverse-Racist’: An Actual Step-by-Step List for Oppressing White People [Racism] (jezebel.com)
- My fellow privileged white persons, a series by Brittany Sioux (soapboxnoise.com)
- The Difference between ‘white people’ and ‘White People’ (goodmenproject.com)
- White People’s Day: Chris Rock July 4 Tweet Sparks Debate, Outrage (thehollywoodgossip.com)