Whites Only, White Power and the "double standard"
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.