#FuckWhitePeople - or The Big Gift We're Throwing Away
Before you’re driven to anger, by perceived slights and sensitivities, just listen for a moment to what I take from #fuckwhitepeople.
The artwork Fuck White People by artist and activist Dean Hutton has been a constant in my life for a while now, I remember when I first saw it, I was all “WTF Dean, why are you being so anti white and divisive, that’s bullshit”
As a person who is aware of the fuckery that my race has caused over millennia, (lets not try argue this guys. Its ok, let it go.) I’m acutely aware that my first step when I feel offended by things said about “white people” is to… Chill the fuck out and listen.
So that’s what I did, it’s what I’ve been doing for years watching Deans artworks and social media persona evolve. Taking a deep breath, holding my tongue and listening to the inner me say “what is Dean actually saying”. Believe me when I say I’ve taken many a deep breath over the years, I’m sure you have too.
What I’ve taken from the #fuckwhitepeople artwork is this.
I believe that this artwork is an invitation and a gift. Its an invitation to let go of my sensitivities, and in doing so it’s a gift to me to allow me to move forward in the world deleting the need to say/feel “not all whites”
The interesting thing that I find is that its not a statement on race, it’s a statement on history and on representation of that history within us. The White People referenced in the artwork are our perceptions and representations of identity, they’re not our skin. To think that it is about skin colour is to miss the point. The point to me is to, release fuck what white represents.
“White People” represents a lack of empathy to those who have been absolutely decimated by white behavior. FUCK the white in you and accept that this is true and move forward. Stop crying about it not being you, or your dad or your mom or your brother or your sister or your aunt or your uncle. I know that my soul has been molded by the actions of my people, I don’t beat myself up about it, I have fucked the white in me.
To FUCK the white in you is not a form of self hatred, it’s a form of self love, saying “Yes, I represent and continue to represent heinous crimes against humanity, now how can I move forward and change that representation. Fucking the white in you releases you from your representation and invites you get involved in the world, to fill in that moat that you’ve built around your identity. White skin is not special, you don’t deserve anything, and that’s ok.
Listen carefully: We don’t deserve anything, and that’s ok. Skin, sexuality, religion, penis, vagina … none of it is special. The only thing that is special is our potential
The irony about all the hate that this artwork receives from people is that this is the greatest gift to our tainted skin that we could possibly receive, it’s a gift of forgiveness that we are spurning, metaphorically burning effigies of ourselves by attacking its creator.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe that’s not what the artist was trying to say. Maybe you who hates it and hates it at face value can take what I’ve taken from it, and just maybe you too can Fuck The White in you.
PS: I’d like to thank Dean Hutton for their inspirational and remarkably brave work. I know that I am not brave enough to wear that suit, to stand there reaping the whirlwind of abuse from those who Dean is trying to save from themselves.
So Dean wears it for me and for all of us.
As per Fuck White People:
1: Don’t be defensive
[just chill, juuuuust chill]
2: Know your history:
[For real, just know it and study it if you aren’t aware. If you’re intentionally unaware you’re the problem]
3: You are not special
[everyone is battling friend, everyone … hear me? EVERYONE]
4: Be Conscious, micro agressions hurt. Don’t be rude
[this is one of the hardest. Don’t huff in the woolworths queue, don’t be snarky at waiters – I’m guilty of this – be conscious of your words and actions]
5: Prepare to lose friends
[this is the least of my concerns. Bye Felicia]
6: Recognise the Violence. You and the system
[start empathizing with other peoples stories, don’t stop them … listen rather and consider that they might be correct. Have you thought about that, that perhaps people are not lying about the condition they’re in? And that its not their fault?]
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Images via Between 10 and 5: