The white preface, when attached to a movement, destroys credibility in the the movement and the individual given that label. The reason being is because white and whiteness, already considered the default in a system built to benefit them, then centers itself in movements constructed to help others, thereby allowing for racism in the guise of what is “best”.
White is Right
This is the established belief, particularly in locations where colonization took place, such as the U.S that allows white to direct the moral compass of an entire nation. Societal norms, laws are all taught and based off what the default of ‘whiteness’ considers acceptable and unacceptable. When ‘whiteness’ comes into a movement, they slap their own ‘white’ spin on it and are, oftentimes, considered the creator of a movement, rather than piggybacking off the creative minds — impassioned drive of minorities.
It’s important to understand that ‘white’ or ‘whiteness’ in this regard is not solely a skin color, but a mental construct that cages individuals of all backgrounds. It’s the belief that if a white person says, “Here’s what we need to focus on” or “this is wrong” it must be true just because a white person said it. It’s the mentality that being ‘white’, both in skin and mindset, means you think you know what’s right for everyone and woe to any minority that tries to correct you.
The white preface lets us know we are not dealing with those who champion the rights of all, but those who desire that whiteness remain at the center.
Here we see the pitfalls of whiteness clearly because it’s self evident by the title. White supremacy is the belief not only in white (especially white patriarchal) superiority, but the belief that white people should only forward agendas that further elevate white people, even if those same agendas are detrimental to minorities.
On the contrary, if they can rise higher while pushing minorities lower, that’s two birds, one stone.
White supremacists are not, outside of other white supremacists, viewed favorably because their ideological foundation is the advancement of white people and any rhetoric they spout is viewed by outsiders with that knowledge.
Honestly, at least a white supremacist is clear in their beliefs. They embrace this self proclaimed label with glee.
The individuals that raise a greater concern are the ones walking among larger groups, outside of centering whiteness, with the agenda of centering whiteness. Like white supremacy’s sister chapter, white feminism.
The only difference between a white supremacist and a white feminist is transparency…and who is giving the title.
White feminists are tired of the patriarchy, but not of ‘whiteness’. And why would they be? That same whiteness (like white women tears and fragility) allows them to get away with so much under the guise of being a feminist.
Similar to a cop pulling over a minority who doesn’t come to a full stop at a stop sign (the problem isn’t that they didn’t come to a full stop, it’s the excuse used to target a minority under the law and order umbrella) they can attack any minority using gaslighting, tone policing and other tactics and cite the person being “against the movement” as their reason. Again, this is an excuse.
They are quick to crucify any minority female and/or play victim. For examples of white feminism look at some of the most vocal white female celebrities on social media and see how often use their mediums for minority female issues. Look at how many (or how few) are talking about topics — the discriminatory and dangerous treatment of minority women in healthcare is one — that do not center around ‘whiteness’. Another recent example is how many so white “feminists” celebrities are tweeting about the Surviving R. Kelly series.
Many of these women came out when Trump was elected and Kavanaugh received the SCOTUS seat because abortion rights will also affect them, albeit on a smaller scale. Their fear isn’t what will happen to women’s rights, but their rights; thereby, cementing their position beside white supremacy. The focus is white women, the rest of us be damned.
The ‘white’ preface, for the white feminist, is given to them once they are exposed, and they abhor it because for a white feminist to be called a racist, or racist adjacent, is on par with telling them they aid the patriarchy and, again, it damages their credibility to the cause and they need more than just white women standing alongside them in this fight. They know this, but are still not willing to sacrifice their comfort to achieve something better.
Nowadays, the label of ‘white’ before any title or movement is one of the most negative labels. It makes you think of racism…privilege…entitlement…and the ‘white’ agenda. Now there’s another ‘white’ movement on the rise called white veganism.
White veganism has existed for a while. These are the self-righteous, self aggrandizing, oftentimes liberal, white people that want to protect wildlife and combat climate change. While there is nothing wrong with fighting for animals or the environment, there is something wrong with the people — who caused the majority of these issues — lecturing marginalized groups about their eating habits.
First, let’s be clear. Marginalized communities struggle financially. Not all of us have the finances to live a vegan organic lifestyle. Not all of us have access to a Whole Foods either, or a vehicle to get to and from the supermarket. Some of us also have large families which increases the expense. Some of us can’t cook everyday because we work (full-time or two to three part-time jobs) so a dish is made in bulk to last days.
For you to lecture us, try to shame us because of our dietary habits, shows us your ignorance and your privilege. It’s tragic and disgusting to see white vegans telling Indigenous people that they hope they all die because of their diets. Indigenous communities knew and know more about balance and living with nature than you do. Nothing goes to waste when they kill an animal.
Does there need to be changes? Of course. But threatening and spewing hate to any minority is just racism. Like a cop pulling us over, the veganism (or feminism) is the excuse…not the reason.
‘White’ and ‘whiteness’ is the failure to see the interconnectivity between all of us. This mentality is in white supremacy, white feminism and now white veganism, and it cripples both the individual, groups and society. White prefaces connote negative behaviors and traits which, given past and present white history, is well deserved.
Do all white people intentionally center ‘whiteness’? This far in, it doesn’t matter. Intent does nothing to stymie results — it doesn’t change the outcome. The fact that few white people willingly do a self critique of their character, increases the disinterest minorities feel about intention.
If you’re not willing to get to know yourself so that you can do better, why should we care about your “intentions” when you inevitably mess up?