Racism Doesn’t Exist
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I’m only human, but I think it’s long past time for me to shrug off the pitiful garments of my victimhood and take a stand, and as a person with Black heritage, I believe that I am an authority in my community and can thus speak for all of us. I mean, all Black people are basically the same, and it’s not like there are intra-community nuances, right? Why else would white people keep confusing me with the three other Black people at Middlebury? Actually though, I don’t even want to claim the label of “Black.” When I look at myself I don’t see race. I don’t see anything at all; I don’t even have a reflection. I’m not sure if I’m “colorblind” or just a vampire, but that’s beside the point.
What is the point, you ask? It’s that I can say pretty much whatever I want in the Op-Ed section, call it freedom of speech, and get away with it. Psych. The point is that racism is over — that at this point if people of color don’t succeed, it’s on us. Who cares that Black women only earn 63 cents to a white man’s dollar; it’s probably because we’re lazy. We just need to work 37 cents harder so we can pursue the traditional American dream of getting rich, and maybe, someday, finding a marginalized group of our own to oppress.
Which group could it be? Who can I persecute? Refugees fleeing conflicts that were caused by U.S. policies? Children with chronic illnesses that were the result of federal negligence? Some people might say, “that sounds evil Elizabeth!” But I say, “yeah, so what?” If I’m doing well, who cares about other people? This country is founded on the powerful exploiting the weak, why break away from such a great system now?
I get it though. Maybe our first instinct when we see such imbalanced and unfair dynamics of power between people is to respond with sympathy or empathy. But those emotions have no place at Middlebury College. I’m pretty sure “treat everyone who is not white, cis, straight, male or rich as subhuman” is a rule in the student handbook. Not that I’m going to fact check that.
When people of color experience racism, I think we need to ask the question, who is really being hurt here? Is it us? Or is it actually white people? It may hurt to experience “racism,” but imagine being accused of racism? Imagine living in a community so “politically correct” that you have to go on Yik Yak just to call someone the N word? Imagine not being able to check your own white privilege long enough to not become immediately defensive when a person of color looks you in the eye, and has the pure unadulterated nerve to not be cleaning your house or working in your fields? Imagine how much that hurts.
It’s just not fair.
Elizabeth Dunn ’18 is from Atlanta Georgia