masks and whiteness17 Jul 2020
two days ago i had a wild thought come up while meditating.
in this moment, we are watching, at the national scale, more and more white people be bored of, annoyed at, irritated by, or tired of wearing masks and physical distancing.
now, if you are paying attention to the overall situation, you know that covid-19 is disproportionately impacting black and indigenous americans. many people are identifying the reduction in observation of covid safety protocols as a manifestation of white supremacy. i think that’s true.
what comes up for me, though, is that in order to be reducing your adherence to mask wearing, you must not see yourself as meaningfully connected to black and indigenous people’s suffering.
which, you know, as much as it sucks, i see why. the conditioning of white supremacy encourages white people to not see themselves as connected to black people and indigenous people.
those same white people, when brought the question of how they benefit from things like slavery and racism would almost undoubtedly say things like “slavery had nothing to do with me” or “i don’t benefit from racism.” those same people likely wouldn’t see themselves as connected to or benefitting from lineages of slave owners.
and that’s what whiteness really does. it disconnects.
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