White people’s family roots are deeper than those of ethnic minorities.

Another example of white privilege and othering is when white people assume that racialized people have deeper roots and stronger family ties than white people. The othering is based on the notion that “non-white” people are foreign people, and that “non-white” people have a stronger ethnic identity because we are more homogeneous and monolithic in ways of thought. White privilege allows white people to ignore the ways in which a white-majority society encourages only white families to lay down their roots and blossom, while historically, it enacted laws to extinguish and suppress “non-white” and racialized families.

White Americans envy African Americans for having “roots” in “Africa”, while ignoring the fact that Africa is a heterogeneous continent (like Europe), and that most African Americans cannot trace their African ancestry precisely because of white racism and slavery. It is no accident that African Americans are more likely to find documents attesting to the existence of their white ancestors. White Americans whose ancestors have been in the United States for multiple generations are the ones with the deepest roots, the ones whose histories were allowed to be recorded, the ones who own property passed down from generations, when all this was denied to non-white people.

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White people say, “White people have no culture.”

White people are pretty effed up sometimes. White people often think say things like, “White people have no culture,” and think that there is nothing racist about that statement. Macon D posted another messed up post at Stuff White People Do, quoting a White American named Shelly Tochluk who feels a “sense of loss” because she is white. Tolchuk writes:

However, many of us find ourselves looking at other groups and longing for the connection we imagine they feel with their roots, their homeland, their culture. Many white folks can be heard saying, “We don’t have culture. They have culture.”

Tolchuk is careful enough to write, “the connection we imagine they feel with their roots, their homeland, their culture,” instead of “the connection they feel with their roots, their homeland, their culture.” She also attributes in quotation marks, “We don’t have culture. They have culture,” as the sentiment of white folks, instead of making it her own claim about reality. However, the rest of the excerpt goes on to assume that these white folks’ assumptions about the cultures of people of colour are accurate.

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