My first workshop today at #PHLWPC17 was called “Laughing Out White (Superiority)” with Jackie Battalora. Obviously humor dilutes tensions and speaks truth in ways that we might not hear it otherwise. There are things Chris Rock can say about being black or Margaret Cho can say about being Asian that I cannot say. But I can speak about my white experience.
We were asked to write a (funny) list about What’s Great About Being White. None of us are comedians, but some of these are funny.
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT BEING WHITE (with gratitude to our workshop groups):
- You’re the same color as Santa.
- And Jesus.*
- Nobody randomly touches our hair.
- You can play any ethnicity in the movies.
- It took ten times to arrest Winona Ryder for shoplifting.
- Because your family always went to camp and not just between the years of 1941 and 1945.
- You can drive a Lexus through any neighborhood and not be pulled over.
- You have so many makeup choices. (See image)
My particular group reflected on the number of makeup choices white people have. So, is this funny in any way to you? Or does it sound like the post of an angry white lady? As I sit through these talks, I feel more sad and overwhelmed. We can do better, America.
Image of our workshop group’s imaginary White Privilege Line of makeup.