promoted 8 years 2 months ago, posted 8 years 2 months ago
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Break out the White Stripes albums and the mayo - it's White Pride Day! What?
I was reading the Globe and Mail this morning when I came across a nifty little article. It seems that there was an anti-racism rally in Calgary over the weekend. All was going well until a busload of skinheads showed up. They claimed to be celebrating something called "White Pride Day." In the name of tolerance and respect, the anti-racism crowd began beating the shit out of the skinheads. Ironic, I know, but that's not what inspired this blog.
I got to thinking about "White Pride Day." It reminds me of a rant that I had received via email. Stop me if you've heard this one. The rant says stuff like "There can be a BET, a Black Pride Day, and whatnot, but if I wanted to celebrate White Pride Day, or launch "WET", i'd be called a racist!" You have heard that one before, haven't you?
Let's talk about "black" for a second. What does "black" mean? Not a hell of a lot, unless you're in the US. In the US, and in the context of "BET" and "Black Pride Day" or "Black History Week," "Black" doesn't mean black, does it? No, "black" in that context means "African-American." If you haven't noticed, there is a very distinct African-American culture. Ebonics, hip-hop, and all that. That's a culture right there. "African American" (incorrectly truncated to "black" in the US) is a distinct, targetable niche market with a unique history which links its members. "BET" or "Black Entertainment Television" attempts to target this specific niche. "Black History Week" attempts to raise the profile of this unique cultural minority. Keep these little detail in mind for a second.
Now let's talk about "white." What exactly does "white" mean? I'll tell you what it means - nothing. Absolutely nothing. White can mean a lot of things, but when put in a similar context as "black" was in the previous paragraph, "white" means absolutely fuck all. There is no distinct "white" culture. There is no shared history between "white" people. A lot of people are "white," but they are not a distinct cultural entity. What would you put on "WET?" What would you display during "White History Week?" What can all white people identify with that would make them a marketable niche? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
There is no Canadian BET analog. Do you know why? It's because there are no "African Canadians." There are a lot of Canadian who are black, but they don't share a common history, a common struggle, or a common culture. They are Jamaican-Canadians, or Kenyan-Canadians, or born-and-bred Canadians. It would be impossible to target such a diverse audience with the catchall term "black," as in "Black Entertainment Television".
White people are in the same boat as black Canadians. They are a diverse bunch who are not tied together by a common history or culture. You can have "Citizens of German Descent Pride Day," or "Danish-American Pride Day," but not "White Pride Day." You can have "Ex-UKTV," or "Norwegian Entertainment Televison" or "Canadian TV," but not "White Entertainment Televison." Not because it would be racist, but because "white" is not a distinct enough group to target.
So that brings me back to our Calgarian skin heads. They claim to want to celebrate "White Pride Day," but what they really want to celebrate is racism. The "white pride" facade exists only as an attempt to legitimize their hatred. After all, why else would they counter-protest an anti-racism event?