This was 5 years, 5 months, 25 days ago

wouldn't you know? it's everywhere, seeping into your pores and your friends' pores. sometimes I step back and take a look and wonder about white america, wonder about an america that's tried so hard to make sure that it doesn't have to think about whiteness, wonder about whiteness that is noticed as a conceptual aspect, wonder about white people who are for people of color but conceptually, "politically", in the politics of the voting booth, the politics of distance, the politics of articles, the politics of thought, the politics of non-action.

whiteness whiteness whiteness. the impossibility of articulating that the things most disturbing about whiteness are precisely those things that are the least visibility to people who are white, people who grew up in agreed-upon contexts that the best thing to do was to not acknowledge that you were white, or to not notice that you were white. most of my friends who are white suffer from whiteness. some do not.

friends who are white, when you talk about whiteness, seem to be crushed under the own weight of guilt, like implode in slow motion, and feel like these delicate giants, little do they know this ecology we live in. I remember the first time I came to the US and found that people wore shoes inside and thought that it could not be more brute-like - the sheer illogic and confusion of it all being so representative about white americans, shoes on your bed, shoes in the carpet that you'd then put your face on. how is this possible? why would this be desirable? somehow whiteness feels like this, a practice that seems incomprehensible and illogical, yet somehow that marches on dumbly regardless because it's how things are done.

this is new, this fresh anger or realization. it's anger towards myself, and my white adjacency. it's anger towards whiteness, not necessarily white people, and white supremacy.

it's also anger towards white people, mostly because it feels impossible to talk about race to white people, like it never goes well, people are defensive or angry or confused or silent, like touching a balloon with a pin, just so full of delicate potential energy that could, in a better world, be slowly loosened and relieved and sighed out and processed with care -- but in our present is held in the rubber casing of denial, gentle equilibrium coddled in its form to not be altered, disturbed. and what I see are pins or sharp points or surfaces everywhere. to follow the white balloon is to make sure you stick to the paths that are smooth and easy.

will I ever talk to someone who is white about the whiteness that I see? the whiteness that I see is like a dark cone emanating from the back of a head, the angle of the cone around 135 degrees, wide and flat and extending into the distance. it's as if: anything behind the head in the not-visible zone is framed in darkness. and as the head swivels, this cone swings rapidly across the space, impossibly fast, casting some other part into shadow -- while the precise opposite is fully visible.

with this black cone, to see is to assume that the rest of the world is cast in shadow. of course, the person doesn't understand that it is their seeing that casts the shadow in the first place.


take care of yourself.