The following piece is from Medium. It was written by Quinn Norton.
By: Quinn Norton
Contained in the struggle between black liberation and white supremacy is almost every issue that concerns us currently —
An aside — in case you’ve ever believed that whiteness is somehow a product of genetics, it’s not. Whiteness is no more genetic than speaking a language or going into the family business. The term “white” aside, it has little to do with the genetics of skin color. Populations that have adapted to northern climates often become pale in order to manufacture vitamin D with limited sunlight, but are still not “white.” Mediterranean Europeans sometimes are, and sometimes aren’t, despite centuries of population exchange. White is a political and economic category. The history of whiteness demonstrates this. Groups have been integrated into whiteness as it was politically useful for rulers to do so. The Irish didn’t used to be white, nor the Italians. Non-whites have, at various times, been allowed to buy their way into the white race, with their progeny enjoying white-skin privilege. The only people who could never be white were blacks — this has always been the defining quality of whites.
Racism is often framed as a problem of people of color, rather than for them. We often talk about what people of color can or should do to improve their lives. We talk about Headstart programs and charity outreach and recidivism rates. We speak of opportunity, grasped or lost by people of color, particularly children. We put the problems of racism on those we see as having a racial problem. This is something everyone does, even people in the black, latino, asian, whatever community, as well as whites.Whites imported and bred slaves, while committing genocide in America. After slavery fell, they created Jim Crow in the south, and ghettos in the north. Whites redlined homeownership and formally then informally segregated schools. Whites systematically excluded black, latino, native peoples, Chinese and Irish immigrants and whomever was the hated group du jour from opportunities throughout the history of the USA.
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