||[Mar. 29th, 2011|08:44 pm]
Kelly J. Cooper
A quote in a book I'm working on:
For most whites, most of the time, to think or speak about race is to think or speak about people of color, or perhaps, at time, to reflect on oneself (or other whites) in relation to people of color. But we tend not to think of ourselves or our racial cohort as racially distinctive. Whites' 'consciousness' of whiteness is predominantly unconsciousness of whiteness. (Flagg, Barbara J. 1993. "Was Blind, But Now I See": White Race Consciousness and the Requirement of Discriminatory Intent. 91 Michigan Law Review. 953-971. p.970) Huh. Interesting. I've always felt sort of lost/awash because I did not grow up "Polish" nor "Irish" - i.e., I was not steeped in the traditions of my ancestors in any particular way. We had a passing acquaintance with the Catholic Church and a few Polish traditions such as Wigilia, which we pronounced "va-LEE-ya."
Anyway, I often envied other cultures for providing sort of a basic structure for identity and then allowing the individual to build off that while I felt lost, like I had to create myself entirely from scratch. I'm not sure what that says about my racial awareness.