I wish I wasn’t White

Dear Editor,
These are my personal feelings, which came to heart after I read [Gitz Crazyboy’s] “I Wish I Was White.”
I sometimes wish I was not White, not because I feel other Peoples are exalted in stature, but rather because my People, to me personally, make me feel diminished. We have historically lived brutally and opportunistically and rarely do we truly act generously, unless the knowing of it may possibly gain fiscal benefit and/or public stature – is that really all we have become? We do not even feel the need to acknowledge this, much less apologize for it.

I sometimes wish I was not White because then, like most others, I would know that without our skin we are all Brothers. No exceptions. There is no wonder other Peoples fail to trust enough to share their hearts with us. It is times like this when I wish I had more education so I could find the proper words to convey being appalled to the utmost extreme, and suffering the great loss of sentient nature.

I sometimes wish I was not White so people of other heritages would not have to meet my eyes and wonder whether or not I was looking at them with a stare of racial judgment. It profoundly pains me to see that, and even more as I cannot assuage their suspicions of me because I am White.

I sometimes wish I was not White so maybe I could step outside what I personally perceive and try to get an understanding as to why it always seems like Whites against First Nations People, Whites against African People, Whites against Middle Eastern People, Whites against Latin People, Whites against Asian People… I did not hear about African people being racist towards First Nations people. (History tells it as an association of mutual respect). Sadly when wondering about the rationale here, I remain occluded. I have no answer. We must be true here, there are despicable happenings within all people. The brush of honesty must paint all alike. This is my observation as one who need not worry as much about race. White people generally will not consider any of this to be true.

I wish I was not White so I could have a rich heritage and culture. If I was asked what my people had given toward culture, all I would be able to point to is a provisional civilization which has become something dangerously and increasingly unbalanced, and continues to worsen. If we look close at “medicine”, “environment” and “food,” what will we really see? That is not part of a culture to be proud of. And all for monetary gain, in spite of the continuing deaths of innocent people.

I wish I was not White so every other People would know that I do not know the right words with which to frame an apology, and, is an apology even enough?

I sometimes wish I was not White so I could feel guiltless to feel at one with a community. I feel no unity with any people based on whiteness alone. Excluding whiteness, I feel almost ashamed to go to your lands because I do not know how to tell you I am different.Because of my utmost respect for Tewa:arathon I thank you for allowing me the opportunities to share the Game with me in the most intimate of ways. Right to the soul. That is the only community of people I have ever felt any right to feel I was a part of.

I want to believe that it is truly the smallest population who does not see. I hope this is not just my romantic notion of the Hope of Brotherhood, where I believe one day together we will finally write the first of the Pages of Peace.

The rest of the time I am asleep and refuse to dream in colour.

Shawn Held

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