White Racism | The Exclusivity of White Freedom

In Europe, the most renowned symbol of hate is the Swastika. In America, that position belongs to the Confederate Flag. Whereas Europe has stamped down on its use in public spaces, Americans have full freedom to fly whatever racist flag suits their fancy. In some states, they can even get away with racist custom plates giving tribute to the Nazis.

The greatest irony to me is how much White racists are in love with personal freedom. Liberty is their most prized possession. Yet, they fly a flag that symbolizes the lack of freedom for an entire race of people and pretend they do not understand why it’s offensive. They then create these inventive excuses for why there’s nothing wrong with being racist — and why being racist … isn’t racist.

If your heritage and pride hinge on taking away the freedoms of others and fighting to retain that right, is it really worth being proud of? And, if wearing a mask so offends your personal liberty, what do you think wearing shackles feels like? Similarly, if you hate the discussion of racism, what do you think it’s like to actually experience it?

Yes; it’s been hundreds of years since it was the norm for Blacks to wear physical shackles. But, America has spent centuries perfecting the art of enslaving people without physical chains. Whether it’s making it more difficult for Blacks to advance or making it easy for everyone to become complacent in the capitalist rat race, it has it all figured out.

Personal Freedoms

I’ve been thinking a lot about personal freedoms lately.

I realized that I have more freedom now than I ever have in my entire life. I can go wherever I want to, whenever I want to, with no chains attached. There’s no husband telling me I’m only “allowed” to be gone for two weeks at a time or a child waiting for me to return. In fact, my home can go where I go. I wake up whenever I want to and go to bed when I feel like it. I decide how much work I do every day, who I complete assignments for, and the days I take off.

I have full control over my personal life and it is one of the most amazing experiences in the world. Yet, I am not immune to the systematic shackles America has perfected.

Social Freedoms

Recently, I saw a forum discussion for people of colour. Someone mentioned that being Black made it difficult for them to promote veganism because it wasn’t the expected niche for a Black person.

It really gave me pause, because I always assumed I didn’t pick up traction in the offroading and adventure community because I’m a woman. However, shortly after she posted that, I fell down a rabbit hole of White women with their trucks on IG, doing nothing more than posing in front of them and getting tonnes of engagement. The same men who couldn’t be bothered with answering my questions about their rigs were all over their pages.

I started to look back through my notifications and my DMs and I noticed a pattern. Every single off-roader who reached out to me over the past few months fit into one or more of the below categories:

  • They are also Black or another non-White race — usually Asian.
  • They are also immigrants from another country — usually Latin America.
  • They are American but spent a significant amount of time living overseas — usually in Europe.
  • They are not American and do not live in America — usually Canadian.

All your everyday Tonka-truck driving ‘Muricans were nowhere to be seen. I’m not saying none of them has ever spoken to me. I am saying that not a single one of them has done so often enough that they caught my attention. And, all the ones I thought did do so, ended up belonging to one of those groups above.

It’s insane to think that race can affect even such a trivial experience as the frequency of online interactions. It doesn’t help that the RVing and offroading communities are incredibly conservative, which is the ultimate breeding ground in America for racism.

White Freedoms

In the midst of my ruminations on race in America, a 21-year old White man targeted three Asian-owned businesses and went on a shooting spree. If a Black person had done this, he would have been branded as a thug and we would have heard of every crime he ever committed. If a Muslim person had committed the crime, he would have been immediately branded as a terrorist. A Hispanic would have been deported to Mexico without ever even checking their paperwork or finding out where they’re from.

But, it was a White man, so you know, he was just having a bad day.

As a collective group, White men seem to be able to get away with anything and everything in America. Nothing they do ever really earns the ire of the media or law enforcement. Law enforcement only ever seems to care when they start bashing them in the head with fire extinguishers and beating them with Blue Lives flags.

On any other day of the week, they can storm the Capitol and be hailed as heroes instead of terrorists. They can mow down protestors in the streets and be called “very fine people” by a sitting President. They can rape drunk women behind dumpsters and the judge will be more concerned about their future Olympic career than the victim.

So, does America really provide freedom for all or just White freedom?

It blows my mind to think that a set of people can value liberty so much, but believe they are the only ones who should have it. Is liberty really in such short supply that there’s not enough to go around? How can people who talk about community values so much have zero respect or empathy for the desires of people who want the same thing they do? The freedom to live a decent life and pursue their dreams.

The longer I’ve been on the road and the more rednecks I encounter, the more pessimistic I feel about America. I don’t believe I will ever find another country where I have this much personal freedom and this much room to roam. But, that personal freedom is always checked by racial restraints I have never experienced anywhere else. There are so many places White RVers can go to that I am advised to steer clear of, so many social groups they can join that I’m not welcome in because of the colour of my skin.

Freedom feels very much exclusive to White people in America. The rest of us are just on borrowed time.

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52 thoughts on “White Racism | The Exclusivity of White Freedom

    1. Thanks, Kathleen. Here’s to hoping America starts making more progressive movements soon. Otherwise, I might need to start making plans to jump ship.

  1. The other day, I met a person who is of Korean descent born and raised in Kazakhstan. He said there are a lot of ethnic groups there and they get along despite their history. When he arrived to the US, he was surprised those same ethnic groups don’t get along. I told him that here people can be raised to hate and they just get away it.

    1. Jamaica is the same. Our divisions are by class, not race. That does create some problems, but you can choose or earn your class. No one has the chance to choose their race or how they’re treated by others who are from different races. America really can be a strange place.

      1. That is very interesting. Regarding class, I know some who feel they were born and stay in that class. But I believe you can choose and work your way up. But I have to admit, sometimes I feel upward mobility can be hard.

      2. Upward mobility is hard, but race changes are impossible. I’ll take hard over impossible. 😂

        That said, in Jamaica, I don’t really think it’s hard because class isn’t just based on money. It’s also based on actual class i.e. how refined the person is. So someone who travels often, speaks well, has a solid education, “respectable” job and lives in certain areas will be treated as higher class. I was treated as an upper-middle to upper class citizen and I made $3.5 an hour and didn’t have a car. I just ticked everything else on the box. 😂

  2. The first commenter is confused (and blind).
    And Rebecca, I’m so sorry for the tragedies and hate crimes all over our country. You are right, the media barely even talks about the AAPI protests (I follow the news and didn’t know).
    Alexis, I would like to share this blog, if that is ok with you! RACISM is rampant and now out in the open. My hope is that more and more white people will wake up!!

    1. Hi Ruth. It really is an ugly mess right now. I’m surprised more people didn’t hear about the AAPI protests. Yang was a big part of it. He was one of the democratic presidential candidates.

      I don’t think they WANT to wake up and that’s a big part of the problem. They say where there’s a will, there’s a way. What do you do when the people have no will?? 😂

      By all means, feel free to share. Just don’t copy and paste. Google will hit us both with plagiarism if you do.

      1. One comment went through. The other keeps generating a duplicate comment error but doesn’t show in the feed. Not sure why.

      2. It finally went through. If it IS a duplicate, just delete the extras. 😂

    2. Thanks for the mention, Ruth. The anger and sentiment was alive and rampant all over social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter…), but I think the actual news on TV maybe dedicated one or two days MAX to the issue, which is sad. Even then, I’m seeing now that the protests on social media have died down after barely a week; the ones still posting are actually those from the Asian-American community. Which really goes to show who’s really an “ally” and who’s just doing it for the clout. It just makes me bitter, because no one really gives a damn about our protests, due to the “model minority” myth; most of the people at the #StopAsianHate protests are Asian themselves, and no other races. We’re basically left to fend for ourselves against all of this hate, as no legal action is being taken to crack down on this or hold anyone accountable for the hate crimes being committed. I’m honestly over it.

      1. It seems it’s like that with most issues. I’ve been following @ckyourprivilege on IG and Myisha has been actively posting. I try to stay aware. The fight is real. Try to stay strong.

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