Does it not strike you, my fellow white American, that whereas there are various ethnic and gender studies programs in many universities and colleges across the US, there are really no equivalents (to my knowledge) that focuses on white people in America.
There are African-American programs, Asian programs and women’s programs – but no “white boy/girl programs.”
Does that not strike you as reeking of ignorance? Here we are well into the 21st Century, and we white Americans think we know ALL about ourselves. And from that perch we render judgement, demean, rob and pillage those who could be great allies within humanity. The truth of the matter is we know very little, at least about that which should really count in our lives and relationships in a growing diverse, soon-to-be minority-majority Nation.
Sure, we know some of what was “taught” to us in school and later in college, for those who went. Liberal college programs of course offered opportunities to study about European history and culture, and the white-washed versions of American history and government, et cetera. But have you ever considered that you did not really learn about white America is its raw and unexpurgated nakedness?
Have you ever asked yourselves, what is white culture? Is there one white culture in America? Or questions like what really is the “white trash” class in America? Or what traits and characteristics, driven by historical cultural antecedents and religious agents, has resulted in “us” being what we are today, especially with respect to living with those who are people of color?
By exploring for answers to such questions, perhaps we would find what caused and continues to cause, our hunger for controlling others, and our penchant for greed, violence and war.
Moreover, I think that within such studies, we should seek answers as to why so many white people are racially prejudiced, and of course, why so many are outright racists. This topic begs critical analysis, for two reasons.
Presently those of us who are prejudiced and racist are creating a tension that may break the very core fibers of what America can be at sometime in the future: a place of peace, of prosperity and acceptance for all interests and expressions of life.
Secondly, we white people really owe it to ourselves to shed the hard cocoon of enmity toward those who do not look like us (keep in mind we are mutants). James Baldwin said once that (white) people’s history is impaled like a butterfly on a pin, which is even a better trope to make my point: we white people will never realize our God-given potential as human beings while we continue to flutter, caught in the trap of our own hate.
So, this is the case I make for “white studies,” that we can begin to understand who we really are, and accept our place in a world of all colors and beliefs.
Also, I don’t know how much “room” there is left on Mt. Rushmore, but I do hope one day we will see a president of color, and of course, a female president there.