A Guide to Being a White Person: A College Textbook?

White person guide

“A Race is a Nice Thing to Have: A Guide to Being a White Person or Understanding the White Persons in Your Life”

When my friend opened her syllabus, this book was a required text for her class. For privacy reasons, she will remain nameless.

I know what you’re probably thinking if you stumbled upon the title of this article randomly without any previous knowledge on the topic. If I myself just happened to have the words “A Guide to Being a White Person” cross my path, I would feel several things. The first, being that yes it is in fact insane, I would begin to laugh hysterically thinking purely that there must be some other meaning behind the title, or that it was a practical joke, even satire. The second, being a white person, and being that we live in the world we live in today, I would experience a sort of “OMG” moment. How dare they say something like that? What would someone do if the title was something such as, “A Guide to Being a Black Person”, or even “A Guide to Being Tan, Blue, Purple, Whatever Color You Identify With”. The answer to that question is seemly simple. The author would be stamped as a racist, and it would be made sure that they could no longer enjoy any social media again.

Correct me if I’m wrong, though I’d really rather you don’t, but isn’t requiring this text for a class racism within itself? The book won’t offend those who have already accepted the fact that in today’s world just because they’re white, they seem to be racist in some way. It won’t affect those who aren’t white at all, either. It might however affect those students who are like me, white, and feel that just like any other race, shouldn’t have to apologize for my skin color. I don’t feel like I am any better than anyone else because of my skin color, in fact I was raised not to see skin color at all. I treat others the way they treat me, with the same respect and kindness as I am given by them. In my world, though it be through the eyes of a white person,  everyone is equal. This book, written by a woman of color, accuses all readers, especially white readers, of having a certain identity because of their skin color.  I think that instead of focusing on what makes us different, we should focus on the fact that we’re all human. We all have beating hearts, we all make mistakes, and we all most definitely aren’t perfect.

Thank you college for teaching me what my role is as a white person, and teaching my non-white friends how to understand my whiteness. I agree with you, a race is a nice thing to have, but maybe next time try the book entitled, “A Guide to Not Being Racist While Accusing Others of Being Racist”.


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