Hitler: the sequel

I’m sure I’m far too fascinated by this, but commenter Jennifer did provide some follow-up, responding to my question about how her daughter took it:

Hey, “only in San Francisco” as they say! She was hurt and embarrassed, but we dealt with it with a sense of humor. Honestly, this cannot compare to what other kids have to learn about, because as a white kid in America, you know this is an anomaly. It’s not like it’s something you know you are going to have to deal with for the rest of your life in one way or another. I get the feeling I’m sounding like kind of an uncaring Mom here … my kid’s got a lot of confidence and she also has lots of Asian friends who rolled their eyes and OMG’d about what the teacher said. She survived it just fine.

My fellow white people… in the rare event that you do experience some form of racial discrimination, please remember to keep a sense of context (this is going to be a theme of my blog). We still run the whole damn world (read Melvin’s comments on my first post about experiencing white entitlement while going to school in Taiwan, for one thing). Please do not fall back on the “it’s really us that’s being oppressed” Rush Limbaugh line of thought so easily. That doesn’t mean that what happened was okay, as she recognizes, it just means that it does not change or erase the historical reality which in turn informs today’s reality (and historical illiteracy is another thing I want to come back to).

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2 thoughts on “Hitler: the sequel

  1. i completely agree, have you heard of the book about white men with no nationality? i’ll look for the title, i might have mistaken it for a radio show.

    1. Well, the argument is that people of European descent deliberately erased their own culture in the rush to become accepted as part of the white majority. In the early 20th century shopkeepers were putting up signs saying “No Blacks, Dogs, or Irish” allowed inside, and Irish originally identified with blacks to some extent, but then consciously started assimilating into whiteness instead. A guy wrote a book about this particular example, called How the Irish Became White, but I’ve only ever read a review. Of course some Irish Americans still have their culture but people like my Swedish ancestor, who was probably considered strange and foreign at the outset, married into the Euro-mutt population and didn’t teach their kids the language, so there goes that culture, the better to just identify as “American” and dis-identify black people as American, even though for most of them, their ancestors pre-date most or all of mine by quite a bit.

      Okay, point being whiteness is a construct, I guess. You know, this blog is never going to become popular if I keep up with the pseudo-radical talk!

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