Scott Hardie | February 28, 2002
I'm in a class on "Majority-Minority Relations" right now, and today's discussion was on the subject of white identity. The teacher gave us an essay in which a sociologist had interviewed 70 or so college students, all from one college (as if that's a broad enough base), and concluded that white people, or particularly white college students, were going through a "racial identity crisis" because they didn't know how to define themselves.

The teacher asked what those of us in the class thought of this, especially the white half of the class. I was the first to comment, saying that I thought the word "crisis" was too strong, but there was a state of mild confusion. Pressed further, I said that my white friends and I went through high school in the mid-nineties when cultural and racial diversity was a big deal. We adopted the idioms, preferences, and attitudes of other races - even Lori, the one Hispanic in the group, adopted Japanese traits. When we left high school and encountered people of other races, they looked at us like we were poseurs, like we had no right to take elements of their culture. But we didn't know what our own culture was, or how to stay true to it, and that was a source of some unrealized confusion.

Based on your own experiences (everyone here is just about the same age), is this true?

Anna Gregoline | March 1, 2002
I think it's very true. I know I've always envied people with a more "cultural" background. I mean, I've got some of the Italian thing going, but it wasn't really emphasized in my home outside of making homemade ravioli every Christmas (which we still do - sooo freaking delicious).

Besides, a lot of what could be called "white culture" or "white heritage" involves the subjagation of other races. Do we really want to celebrate that?

Jackie Mason | March 1, 2002
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Kelly Lee | March 3, 2002
At Western we have a Black Student Association. We have Casa Latina. Fine all and well. Now think of it, how about a White Student Association? Does that not sound like some kind horrible racist club?

White people are told to hate their backgrounds. Do we have white heritage month? How many classes have you had in the Multicultural department in your college specializing in white people? White people, or "white devils" as my women's study proffesor put it, do nothing more than oppress.

Ok, I admit it, I'm partially English. According to my history classes all my people know how to do is opress. So what? I feel as if the liberal culture I live in wants me to feel gulity for all the crap i have personally somehow have put the minority races through.

What the hell? I don't have a "cultural identity" My family has no English or Danish customs. Its no big deal. I don't lack some part in my life because of them. We don't have English Week or eat weird Danish foods on certain days. Do I demand to have attention put on my heritage? No. Why? Because all my people are good for is hurting other people, according to my classes.

I feel bad for upper middle class white males in our country. Acoording to some of my classes, EVERYTHING can be blamed on them.

Jackie Mason | March 3, 2002
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Kelly Lee | March 3, 2002
I feel bad about saying this, cause this just let my newfound loathing for humanity show through, people do this. It is not just a white thing, this opression. What if the europeans weren't technologiaclly adavanced?
The tables could just as easily been reversed. White people would be slaves. People all over the world are like this. No matter what race you are, your ancestors have in the past hurt other people. Itis enivitable. We should not feel gulity for our ancestors, just make sure we do not do it in the future. After all, somewhere way back, we all had the same ancestor.


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