Given the recent and recurring uproar about white people culturally appropriating from other cultures we at the Headquarters of white people would like to extend an olive branch. In the spirit of reconciliation we’ve provided this list of five things unique to white culture that you, as a member of another, can appropriate from us.
Self-Labelling as an Ally – In most cultures one earns the respect of those they wish to align themselves with and waits for them to honour you with the title of ally. White people do not do this. We simply point to someone we believe needs our help (often based on misplaced notions of our own superiority) and declare ourselves their ally. One might assume this could open up a dialogue at some point, but no we use the self-label as a criticism riot shield which beat or head against until the whitey tears flow as we suffer the deep and severe pain that comes from our own self-induced ignorance.
Credentialism – You may think that accomplishing things in life and working with others through your life would be the way to earn respect in our culture – Wrong! In white society, what matters is credentials. One accrues these by attaching oneself peripherally to a project others are doing or sitting in the back of classes facebooking other people who are ignoring the discussion going on around in the classes they are currently sitting in. Every white person secretly wishes they had a giant resume with dozens of letters. It is not uncommon for white people when asked why they are doing something, to simply say: “it looks good on my resume,” without any actual investment in the outcome of the task at hand. It is a little known fact that when the Americans chose to invade Grenada they were actually considering invading Dominica but a prominent minister there sent a letter to the Generals indicating that an invasion of Grenada would look better on his resume. The minister also added that one could receive a diploma in “Aggression Actualization” (the best credentials always contain some element of pretentious gibberish) in Grenada in two weeks and all you had to do was write one essay and not even show up to the classes.
Consequence free parenting – White parents like to believe that their children should be free to explore the world with only positive reinforcement. Unfortunately white parents then rely on their previous efforts to control that world to create this magical consequence free zone in which their children are subsequently raised. White parents have to pull out all the stops to lean on schools and friends to ensure their child receives only positive reinforcement. If you’d like to appropriate this aspect of white culture you’ll need magic powers. Warning though, the consequence of consequence free parenting is offspring that are total dicks.
Single-issue struggles – White people like divide and rule strategies. Unfortunately for anyone involved with us in a struggle we often bring that approach to there too. It is not uncommon for white people to try and disconnect an issue from its source to supposedly address it. You may have seen white people: talking about child poverty, ignoring that children have families; launching 17 simultaneous campaigns to save individual elements of an ecosystem one a time; or, quite commonly, trying to do feminism, anti-capitalism and racism separately. This approach may appear unsuccessful at first unless you realize how useful it is a creating another great white institution: charities that hire other white people and don’t really do much.
Raising awareness – White People don’t like to see action or change because the status quo suits us so well. Even white activists don’t like action. That is why they have created a schema known as ‘raising awareness.’This means that they will throw a protest and/or other actions and events without the goal of achieving anything substantive. “How are you hoping to change things?” you will ask them. “No idea, we are just raising the awareness” will come the response. “But then why are you really doing this?” you may continue. “Because we are allies” they will say their eyes glazing over as they look up and imagine how the words ‘awareness raiser’ will look on their resume.