william steig drawing

April 30, 2013
Kartina Richardson

The White Default

One more thing:

Here’s an article I wrote for Salon. “How Can White Americans Be Free?The default belief that the white experience is a neutral and objective one hurts both white and American culture.

I  also talk about Spring Breakers (great), and Girls (great and not great).

Fighting the Default has been the main point of Mirror in many ways.

Who knows what infamous commenter Max Oblivion will think.

How Can White Americans Be Free?

Measure, measure, measure.
We learn to measure first.
We spend our days measuring. And when we count we start at one.

Every number after is in relation to one.
Two is one after one.
Three is two after one. And so on.
Every child knows that one is the beginning from which all other numbers arise.

And every child knows that one is Whiteness.

The beginning.

In the beginning there was Whiteness. This is the glittering starting point. This is The Default. This is what we measure everything else against.

It’s clear that we as Black and Brown Americans, are still recovering from the racist indoctrinations of the past 500 years. Though laughable it sounds, white Americans, too, have suffered from this crime. As our country began and brown races were systematically denied the right to be human and so internalized the role of the savage, white consciousness bullied its way into objectivity. The white mind became the unbiased mind that objectively observed all the rest. This is called The Default: The belief that the white experience is a neutral and objective experience and white consciousness is the standard consciousness unless otherwise specified. White culture, and American culture as a whole, suffers from the tragedy of whiteness as the default setting.

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