White people (1502- ) are those light-skinned people who come from Europe, the Middle East and parts nearby. Over the past 500 years they have settled in Australia, South Africa, North and South America.
Some say that Muslim and Latin American whites are not white, but if you are going to divide the world into five or so races, there is no physical reason to set them apart – only ones of history and religion.
Even so, in English when people say “white” they mainly mean the whites in North America and Britain. I do too.
Who counts as “white” in America has changed: the Irish and the Jews were not considered to be “white” at first. The same is true now for Latinos. About 40% of Americans who are part African pass for white.
On the world stage, whites are on top, but only since about 1800.
Northern Europe had been a backward corner of the world through most of history. As late as the 1400s Timbuktu, a black city in Africa, and Tenochtitlan, a brown city in Mexico, each had far more people than London, a white city in Europe.
Egypt and China, not Europe, have been the most advanced parts of the world through most of history. China still was as late as 1700 and likely will be again by 2030. Just look at who is studying engineering now.
Many whites think they are on top because they are just better than everyone else. Either because of their race, their way of life or their laws and customs.
Whites got on top because they had guns and ocean-going ships and industry first. Japan has shown these things are not “white”, so whites got them first only through an accident of history.
Whites, except for their power, are the same as everyone else. God did not make them special. God is not smiling on them. Hardly.
Starting in the 1600s in America they came with their guns and pushed the red man off his land and then with their wonderful ships (they were a wonder), they brought black men over the seas in chains to work that land. It is not what Jesus would have done, but it is what they did.
Deep down they knew it was wrong. So to live with themselves they had to believe a lie: whites are better than everyone else. A lie most of them still believe to this day.
Racism is not just some bad habit they fell into. It is built into their sense of who they are.
White American racism was open and naked down to the time of Martin Luther King, Jr. They have since changed. But it seems their words have changed far more than their hearts. They still think they are better than blacks, but their excuses are now a bit more subtle and carefully worded – not so much to hide their racism from the world but from themselves.
- Race in America
- white privilege
- white-on-black racism:
- others who have to live in a white world:
- white women
- white beauty: a brief history
- White American music