Sunday, June 14, 2020

Speaking Queerly About Whiteness

White people hate to talk about race, even the supposedly woke ones. When they do, the entire conversation is almost inevitably governed by fear. With white conservatives, it's usually the fear of being made irrelevant by darker bodies. With white liberals, it's usually the fear of being outed as being just as scared as the conservatives they mock. I've never really had much trouble discussing race myself, though that does seem to get me into a lot of trouble. Identity fascinates me, probably because my own has always been so goddamn elusive. In spite of the color of my flesh, I can't recall a time in my life where I wasn't treated as an "Other". It's why I'm so fascinated by the various notions of tribalism that play such a huge roll in my work and my worldview. Now, with notions of White Supremacy and White Privilege once again becoming hot button topics, I naturally can't help myself but to enter the fray. I can't be just another pale face on the sidelines, and once again, white people are gonna be pissed. What else is new?

By far the most controversial thing I've ever wrote was an article from about a year ago in which I openly rejected my whiteness and embraced my lifelong queerness as my race. It's also naturally one of my favorite articles, but it royally pissed off my mostly white readers on both sides of the aisle, from fuzzy feel-bad hipsters to that charming old paleo grouch, Paul Craig Roberts (still love you Paul, lighten up.) People on the left seemed to think I was shirking my responsibilities to White Guilt, while people on the right seemed to think I was unfairly vilifying their race. For me, it all goes back to my queerly idiosyncratic philosophy, one ironically governed by thinkers on both the left and the right.

I've long viewed race and other class structures like gender, sexuality, sanity, and even age as being largely social constructs. It was a hardcore communist named Noel Ignatiev who taught me that whiteness was a concept designed by and for racism and imperialism. It was invented to justify the racialization of the slave trade and to control the landless Europeans, who had previously been slaves themselves, with a petty sense of privilege over the empires black property. The reason why white people, especially self-proclaimed progressives, are so goddamn shitty when it comes to talking about race is that they're left in the impossible position of defending an identity manufactured to control them and everyone else. Your average White Supremacist wouldn't have even been considered white a century or two ago. My own ancestors who came to this country to escape an Anglo genocide called the Potato Famine weren't considered white until they lost who they were and were properly assimilated into the puritan values of the same race of people they fled from.

The other major influence on my eccentric post-white values is actually an old hardcore right winger often quoted but rarely understood by those desperate honkies in the Alt-Right, a German Conservative Revolutionary named Oswald Spengler who could be a real ass but made some rather fascinating observations in his classic epic Decline of the West. My fellow queer malcontent Billy Burroughs turned me on to it. For all his White Supremacist fanfare, it was Spengler who taught me that a race, or a nation, as he referred to it, was not defined by blood and soil but rather by a shared vision and culture. The vision and culture of whiteness is not only what nearly slaughtered my Catholic ancestors back in Ireland before engulfing them in America, but my spiritual and biological opposition to these puritanical values as a heathen third gender is precisely what defines my queerness, the only culture that has ever felt like home to me.

I don't hate white people. I hate a polluted concept that keeps them from forming authentic bonds with their own communities and others. The concept of whiteness didn't just ethnically cleanse the darker continents, it ethnically cleansed the ethnic cleansers. Diverse cultures like that of the Scots, Italians, Irish, Greeks, Polish, and Germans were dissolved in a vat of acid sold as a melting pot and used to keep poor people blind and divided. Your average trailer-dwelling redneck has far more in common with Black Lives Matter than they ever will with blue-blooded populist frauds like Donald Trump. Cops kill poor people in defense of order and property. To them, we're all filthy fucking mongrels. Why not embrace it and chuck all the white pride horseshit in the fucking garbage where it belongs. Find an old race or build a new one. Stop being a prisoner to the 1%'s convoluted social experiment and get free.

I'm also not trying to outrun my pale-faced privilege. As traumatically bad as I had it growing up as a genderqueer transgirl in a conservative Catholic community, I have no doubt that I would have had it ten times worse were I a shade or two darker. But when it all comes down to it, who fucking cares? Shit can always be worse for any given minority. I realize that this sentiment is politically incorrect, but does it really fucking matter who got fucked worse? The Oppression Olympics popular with today's left is a game everybody loses but the rich. While we're busy squabbling over who got it worse, they just keep raping and pillaging and robbing us all stupid. Ditch the globalist bullshit of whiteness and own what really defines you, but remember that class is what defines us all. These social constructs were manipulated to reinforce that tyranny by dividing us and as long as we embrace identities defined by destroying it, why not destroy it together? 

I envision my queer race in a similar light to the Black Power, Chicano, and American Indian Movements which it has always overlapped with. We are a race of imperial rejects who chose to embrace our slurs and turn them against the master class who pushed us from our mother tribes. We were stripped of our original heathen identities by an imperialized Christianity and forced to create new ones from the ashes in order to defend what remained of our colonized cultures, the first cultures to be colonized. I see the Queer Nation as a Third World nation within the rusted shell of the First. A tribe of people who transgress the sexual and gender norms of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant society to express our love and our pride. A race of many colors that seeks not only to provide a borderless non-territorial homeland for the lost and and abandoned such as myself, but also seeks to be an organic device that helps our people to retain their queerness even within other pre-existing and future anti-colonialist tribal identities. And if that shit ain't woke enough for you than don't wake me. 

I'm here, dearest motherfuckers, and I'm not white, I'm Queer. But don't get use to it, cause I'm gonna burn your fucking house down.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Burning Down the House by Talking Heads
*  White Minority by Black Flag
*  Awoo by the Hidden Cameras
*  Young Americans by David Bowie
*  Jason by Perfume Genius
*  Wolf Like Me by TV on the Radio
*  Ocean Size by Janes Addiction
*  List of Demands by Saul Williams
*  Your Best American Girl by Mitski
*  Be a Body by Grimes
*  Guilty of Being White by Minor Threat
*  The Day the Politicians Died by the Magnetic Fields

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