Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28th

A post I made on Tumblr yesterday, which I am pleased to say has thus far received only positive feedback:

Am I supposed to resent being a white American?

FIRST OFF: I am not denying my privilege. I’m not stupid; I know I have it easy. but lately, just because I am white, I have garnered dislike from people for supporting another cultural identity.
I don’t know what to tell people. I don’t pretend to understand what you’re going through, I only offer my support. but the people who say not to get involved in things like cultural identity make me so upset.
you’re right- I’m not a native american. but I live in a state with many reservations, and I have made it a point to educate myself about these reservations. I do not wish to be ignorant to my surroundings. and yet, when I post my support for decreasing the prevalence of sexual violence in native communities, I get backlash because I am not personally a native american.
besides, I have a cultural identity, too. just because I am not a minority does not make it less important. I am not just a white girl, I am irish and german and english and scottish. I am allowed to be proud of where I come from.
let me reiterate: I am not denying my privilege. I am not denying the fact that there is oppression, racism, and hatred that other cultures must face that I do not experience. HOWEVER, it is not right for someone to expect me to remove myself from appreciating or supporting another culture because I am not a part of it. 
maybe this is just a small portion of tumblr users. I want to believe that instead of being ostracized from other cultures, I can be an ally. I’m not saying I literally want to join the culture- that is someone else’s identity, and I have my own. but to be outcast from a culture because I am not a part of it - I get that white people did that once. but to do it back to me, does that make it right? by all means, keep your culture sacred. I am not expecting anyone to share private rituals, detailed family stories, or things very personal to the culture with me. I only want to learn and to not be ignorant. if that is wrong, please tell me why.
tumblr, I want to get your thoughts. is this post justified? have your experienced either side of this situation? at what point does my interest in a culture become inappropriate?
thank you for your input, and one more important note:
*if I have said something blatantly offensive in this post, PLEASE tell me. I am not trying to be offensive in any way. but do not yell at me- if there is something wrong in the post, just explain it to me. tell me what I said that is not okay. I don’t mean to be ignorant but there is just no way I can know every single thing that might be considered offensive, or misconstrued by someone.*

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