What makes a person study, research and thereby devote their life to the worst of humanity?
To trying to comprehend, dissect, analyse, and therewith make known and ensure it’ll never be forgotten – the most horrendous choices mankind has made?
And what, then, makes a white girl Savo gal study slavery and the incomparable work of art, literature, music and encoded ingenious that it withholds and produced, not from more than necessity and determination? Why them?
Empathy? Sympathy? Guilt of white privilege?
However, racism does not define itself by colour solely. Racism is the white skinned jew persecuted for a faith older than recognised humanity, racism and prejudice is putting that extra step between you and the slightly Arabic looking man, racism and prejudice and suspicion based on hearsay is thinking the Ukrainian, the Serb, the Czech, the Russian, the Slightly Different Looking than My Majority (anyone) without the obviousness of root of the basic of the German, the Scandinavian or, at the moment though– in comparison– this is a relatively new phenomenon, of the American origin. None them actual being just one or the other. All of them being more.
How many (of us, they, you, her, he, she, co, ne, ve, spivak, ze, xe, that one over there) have been judged based on their skin, hair, accent, education, gender, birth vs recognised gender, number of tattoos or piercings, choice of a job, being a stay at home mom/dad, disability of body or mind, their lineage of family, expectations rules rigours rebellion? All of them.
Prejudice does not end in colour. It does not end in religion. It does not end in gender. And it is not one man or woman, one nation or a news channel. Its them. We all contribute, in tiny ways. We might not want to, but we are – impacted, influenced, imparted with and programmed to see, hear, repeat, regurgitate, and learn things in a manner convalescent of the majority around us. We don’t always get to make the choices best for us. Our inner selves. It takes time. Being different. It takes time. To break off a mould planned and designated. It takes courage to make that change, alteration, challenge, admission, recognition, acceptance and profession of our each one’s uniqueness.
And it’s not overnight, it’s not easy – but it is necessary and it is unavoidable.
So, why does a white privileged Finnish gal, with both jewish and gypsy heritage, from Savo area of Finland, living in Scotland, an expatriate and an immigrant with Crohn’s disease and ADHD, gets herself neck deep in studies on inequality, race, gender and privilege? Because she has been prejudiced against, because she has guilt, because she hopes, plans, educates, challenges and prays there is a way for her to make a crack at it. From them. Because reading Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Claudia Rankine, Toni Morrison, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Handmaid’s Tale, Boy Meets Boy, Rock Hudson, Mary Wollstonecraft, Marsha P. Johnson. And my friends, new and old. etc et al ad infinitum. For them. Semper et in perpeetum.