Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The CafeMom Newcomers Club The CafeMom Newcomers Club

Whites Only, White Power and the "double standard"

Posted by   + Show Post

I anticipated the response that I finally got from my post. It is a common question, though I don't know why the concept escapes some people. 

Commonly someone will say, if we have something "whites only" or if we say "white power" it is considered racist but not for minority groups. I propose it has more to do with how slogans and symbols already have meaning in our society based in historical context. 

For example, when one says white power or white pride ....the first image that comes to the mind for most is:

or "white only" the image that comes to mind is:

Just as the swastika that has a much older origin in Native American and Indian cultures, doesn't bring to mind the first symbol but the next one. 

I could also use the term "skinhead" to illustrate the same point. A real skinhead will tell you that their origins are multi-racial and they actually take a strong stance vs. racism. However, the term was bastardized by a group of racist buttfaces, so now when someone says "skinhead" they think of this:

As much as it totallly sucks, images, words, and slogans have meaning to each culture. That is why if someone where to deem something "whites only" or talk about "white power" it gives people (not just those of color) the willies. It's a path that so many want to put behind them, however, that doesn't mean you can't be proud of who you are and where you come from. Whether you identify with a European nationality/Ethnic group: Irish, Italian, German, Hungarian, Polish, Swedish, Welsh, Roma, Ostrigoth, Gaul, Celt or whatever it may be ...or you're just Heinz 57 as some say. It's just a problem with the terminology. 

I would add instead of directing the anger that those terms now have twisted meanings toward minorities - as many do - why not be pissed at the people that actually branded those concepts for hate? Honestly, we didn't have a nickel in that dime. 

I find it also interesting that in America we were forced by law to have separate schools, colleges, groups, fraternities, etc.... but now the same country wants to force us to give everything up. I do wonder if some of the resistance is anger that "we had to give up our whites only, you should have to also." Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. If that is the case, I would ask that all ethnic and national groups receive the same vitrol for having their own space (revisit the list of European countries). 

Final observation and question, do you consider the Italian American Brotherhood to be racist and segregating or just a group of people that have a common ancestry? Why the double standard (as some are so known to say)? I think they and other cultural organizations including those for people of color prove that just b/c people come together it doesn't mean they are doing so to be "against" something. 

So there is my answer to those who consistently bring up the point as to why white power and "whites only" conjures negative feelings. It's about images, symbols and cultural context. 

I have a strange feeling this is not going to proceed at the level I'm setting the stage. If we can refrain from the glicky mook muck that would be awesome but not anticipated. 

ETA: Simplifying it, trying to change the terms "white power" "white pride" and "whites only" to mean something positive not negative would be like trying to sell soft drinks with a company using the Nike swoosh. In marketing it's called branding. Those terms have a "brand" that people have an automatic connection to, just as the "swoosh" means "shoes"

Maybe I didn't simplify it. 

If it matters - I'm not white ...this is my answer to those who have asked this question. 

by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM
Replies (21-30):
mommajen32
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:42 PM


Quoting StoneColdKiller:

I agree also our bad history doesn't help the most recent is whites owning black slaves it just hasn't been long enough for the shame and pain of what that history to be okay with white only things just like women getting upset over men only things sexism fight is still here. Maybe one day it will not be a issue and whites only things will not be looked on as racist.

Someone even said it here it's okay to say German pride but stupid to say white pride. It's the same thing but like you very well said it's been branded bad.

I had a proff that's German, when they moved to England people would do the Heil Hitler sign, it was awful for her. I do think there's some of that left b/c of WWII but this is October after all so there are times when being German (Oktoberfest) is deemed ok. 

I think more recent than slavery that a lot of people miss are the days that Dr. King marched, we just know him as a cool dude that dreamed a lot :) But the days when my g-ma and people that are still living went to segregated schools, were literally killed for marrying interracially (interracial marriage wasn't legal all over until 1967! only a few years before I was born), they were spit on or denied service, and it was just awful times. We don't have to go back 300 years, kwim? Just a couple decades and listen to the stories of all of our elders, white and black. 

meandrphoto
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:47 PM

White has no history. It has nothing associated with it aside from that if you are white you are NOT black, hispanic, chinese, etc...

What is white culture? "White" people are so varied and vast that there is nothing holding white people together except the color of their skin.

JBDslittlemam08
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:47 PM
3 moms liked this
I'm white and proud of it. I'm not going to go shouting "White Power" to anyone just as I expect not to hear "black power", etc shouted.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
mommajen32
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:49 PM


Quoting .lovemygirls.:

No, not all complicated. Just a difference in opinion.


Opinion of me or the topic? I used to get paid to run race forums and multicultural programs so that may qualify as "obsessed" ...lol! 

It's more fruitful for discussion to comment on the post and not the poster. 

mommajen32
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM


Quoting JBDslittlemam08:

I'm white and proud of it. I'm not going to go shouting "White Power" to anyone just as I expect not to hear "black power", etc shouted.

Do you understand the distinction between white power and black power in historical context and how those phrases are used?

ETA: Just as the swastika has different meanings so do those phrases. 

Black power was a way to say, I'm not a n***r, a monkey, ugly, inferior, and we can have equal rights. I don't believe white power in the way it is used/branded has the same origin or meaning. However, if you care to elaborate I will discuss. 

JBDslittlemam08
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:51 PM
I absolutely do.

Quoting mommajen32:


Quoting JBDslittlemam08:

I'm white and proud of it. I'm not going to go shouting "White Power" to anyone just as I expect not to hear "black power", etc shouted.

Do you understand the distinction between white power and black power in historical context and how those phrases are used?

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Bri060492
by Bri on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I have seen colour people scream out "black pride" or even African American pride.. when they aren't even African American.

I believe the op is stating that if a white person would say white pride or white power we are racists. but when a coloured person does it that it is ok. It should be either completely racists for anyone who says it.. or not at all.

Quoting LilGina:

White is not a culture it you want to say Italian pride, Irish pride, German pride. I have no problem  with that. When someone says white pride that is racist. You have pride in your skin color??? To me that doesn't make much sense and makes you sound very ignorant.


brookiecookie87
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM


Quote:

Commonly someone will say, if we have something "whites only" or if we say "white power" it is considered racist but not for minority groups. I propose it has more to do with how slogans and symbols already have meaning in our society based in historical context.
While the slogans and images are a stigma, I do not think that is the real issue. It has more to do with familes, being hurt, being push aside, and being treated less than human.

My DH grandparents moved into an all white city and they were not treated with the same regard as a white person. So if you were to tell him something about white power he would remember what it feels like for a whole ethnicity of people to treat another as if they were not human-not entirely anyways. It is just a situation of it is too soon for the older generations of people that were affected by the racism that occured eariler in the century. Our kids now are growing up without knowing about how life was then. When they have kids their kids will only know about it in the history books. And their kids probably will all have forgotten about it.


Quote:

I find it also interesting that in America we were forced by law to have separate schools, colleges, groups, fraternities, etc.... but now the same country wants to force us to give everything up.

I think you forgot that the goverment is made up of the people in it. The people who were ruling at that time were white people who were racist so of course they wanted everything separate. But when the tides were turn of course they had to try and undo everything that happened.

If you push an entire group of people to poverty and deprive them of education and higher learning they are going to be far behind.


In conclusion I look at it this way. Think of it as Each race as a kid. There  are three kids. One of the kids has a tendency to hit the others with spoons so the kid ends up not being able to use spoons anymore.  Will that kid be able to use spoons ever again? Of course. I think we are getting to an age where it is okay for white people to show pride again without people being hurt by it. But I do not think we are exactly there yet.

I think those images and slogans are what white people picture when they think of those days. When you ask someone who has family members who endured it they think of the hurt, the pain, and the anguish their family members were put though.


jostock
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:55 PM

this whole post is confusing

mommajen32
by on Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:56 PM


Quoting Bri060492:

I have seen colour people scream out "black pride" or even African American pride.. when they aren't even African American.

I believe the op is stating that if a white person would say white pride or white power we are racists. but when a coloured person does it that it is ok. It should be either completely racists for anyone who says it.. or not at all.

Quoting LilGina:

White is not a culture it you want to say Italian pride, Irish pride, German pride. I have no problem  with that. When someone says white pride that is racist. You have pride in your skin color??? To me that doesn't make much sense and makes you sound very ignorant.


I answered in a post above yours in terms of cultural context. What is one really saying when they say each of those phrases. If, hypothetically, Jews in Nazi Germany banded together for "Jewish power" would that be the same as "White power"? Maybe that illustration will help you see the distinction. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)