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All the wailing and gnashing of teeth over “whiteness,” “white privilege,” and “white supremacy” in the United States, and the supposed problems “non-white” people has got me wondering – what happens in the parts of the world in which a particular group of “non-white” people dominate the culture and/or the power structures, such as sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Central and South America. This is probably best answered by someone who has lived in areas other than the United States or Europe.
I am a 65-year-old pale-skinned man of English and German ancestry with blue eyes and a little blond hair remaining on my head. I live in Texas.
As I understand current “woke” ideology in the United States, I have an irresolvable problem in that I don’t have to think about my “whiteness.” My race is a complete non-issue in my life. But, supposedly to anyone who is not “white,” race is a constant issue that they cannot avoid and stays front of mind.
What would happen if I were to move to someplace in which pale-skinned people with blue eyes and blond hair are unusual? Would my “whiteness” be a constant factor in my thinking and self-perception?
I understand that in China the Han Chinese ethnic group dominates culture and the social and political power structures. Is race (or ethnicity) a non-issue for Han Chinese? Do they have “Han Chinese privilege?” Is their racial or ethnic minority status a constant issue for non-Han Chinese? Would it be for me as a white man in a Han Chinese dominant society?
What about sub-Saharan Africa? Is race irrelevant for black African natives? Do they have “black privilege?” Would I constantly be aware of my “whiteness” if I lived in a place like Congo or Zimbabwe? Would I have anything that could be called “white privilege?”
In other words, are complaints about “whiteness” and “white privilege” nothing more than complaints about not being part of the dominant racial or ethnic group, regardless of what that racial or ethnic group is?Published in