It’s so hard to be a white person in America. Nobody knows the trouble they’ve seen. Well, The Whiteness Project is here to solve that and let America know about their sorrow.

Thus far, The Whiteness Project features twenty-four white Americans from Buffalo, N.Y., who were interviewed in a simplistic, monochromatic video setting where each person is looking into the camera and sharing their tales of woe about their hard, hard experiences as white Americans, especially in comparison to their experiences against Black Americans.

The Root reported:

“I’m not a normal-looking white woman,” one woman said, as she went on to describe how her multiple tattoos and body piercings causes her to experience discrimination and snooty behavior from prejudice people, in the same manner that black Americans experience racial discrimination.

“I’m a tattoo-ed woman […] so you can’t put me in the same boat,” she explained.

“I get discriminated against just as much as a minority does,” she maintained, explaining that although she wasn’t a racial minority, her unique appearance made her a minority.

“A lot of white boys aren’t going to be pushed around,” a middle-aged man said, in reference to how he thinks young white people have become pushovers at allowing black people to make them feel guilty about race and privilege. He went on to say that black people were unfairly getting a lot of the firefighting jobs in Buffalo, even though there were white candidates that scored better than them on the aptitude tests.

Another white man said that he doesn’t think that he has any privileges or benefits from being white. He believes the civil rights movements sort of equalized the playing field between white and black Americans.

“Some black people hold onto […] the slave thing,” he complained.

Another white man describes how he doesn’t feel a common bond with other white people like the camaraderie that is frequently expressed among black people. He does however feel a bond with other Jewish people.

I don’t want to take away from anyone’s personal narrative or experience, but I’m striving to understand the purpose of this project, especially if it just involves white people discussing their feelings about Black people without actually giving them a chance to dialogue with Black people.

White woman with tattoos, you really think you’re discriminated against just as much as people of color? Let’s put you in a room with a few Black men who are stopped and frisked just because of the color of their skin. But who has time for a ‘your blues ain’t like mine’ Olympics? Why does this project seem to be insistent on highlighting white people’s troubles as a way to minimize Black folks?

Unfortunately, this is only the beginning since The Whiteness Project, “is conducting 1,000 interviews with white people from all walks of life and localities in which they are asked about their relationship to, and their understanding of, their own whiteness.”


Visit The Whiteness Project website and check it out yourself.

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  • without slavery, the term “white people” would not exist in it’s present meaning. it’s that “slave thing” black people keep holding on to and white people keep reminding black people of. slavery made “the whiteness project” possible.

  • Kagi

    I don’t think you’re quite being fair to the intention of the project. Here’s what the person behind it says:

    “After almost two decades of making films with my black producing partner, Marco Williams, I have come to believe that most whites see themselves as outside the American racial paradigm and their race as a passive attribute. Subsequently, they feel that they do not have the same right to speak about race as non-whites. The Whiteness Project hopes to bring everyday white Americans, especially those who would not normally engage in a project about race, into the racial discussion—to help them understand the active role their race plays in every facet of their lives, to remove some of the confusion and guilt that many white people feel around the subject of race and to help white Americans learn to own their whiteness—and everything positive and negative it represents—in the same way that every other ethnicity owns its ethnic identity.”

    I think the point here is that white people aren’t very good at talking about race, because they don’t have to be good at it. This project is at least getting them to start to see themselves as a distinct group among other distinct groups, rather than the “norm.” Yeah, they don’t necessarily get it yet — but that’s what happens when you’re asked about something that you’ve never had to think about before.

  • candie

    In a way I do get it. There are whites who are discriminated against and are the victims and pawns of white supremacy just like everyone else. But there is no way in hades that a white woman with tats and a nose ring, especially since she chose to put them there herself with her own free will, suffers from discrimination as much as a minority. I am also tired of the argument that blacks are “unfairly” getting jobs that whites are more deserving of. You have absolutely no idea what they scored, and it would make no sense to hire someone unqualified in a field that is meant to save peoples lives. When a white person gets a job, it is because they deserve it, they are smart and qualified. If a black person gets a job, it must have been affirmative action that got them their because we all know black people can’t possibly get a job any other way. I don’t want to hear the white guilt argument either because there is no such thing. White people do not feel guilty about anything because guilt requires you to do something to rectify the situation. There are white people who are not willing to admit there is white privilege, and because they don’t admit it they do not have to give it up or change anything because to them it doesn’t exist. Its a lot easier and more enjoyable to live in la la land and pretend that there is no problem. Ignorance is bliss.

  • Jonathan Hartley

    The Whiteness Project website you link to has an page entitled “About” which explains what the Whiteness Project is for. And, as I suspected, it is another Left Wing critical theory type “experiment” designed to lead whites into a discussion of “white privilege”

    …an avenue to the conclusion that the solution for all problems is a totalitarian secular humanist utopian style society modeled on Marx. And of course, we won’t talk about the fact that all this utopian stuff is being pushed by one percenter white males from Europe.

  • Jonathan Hartley

    Very interesting this article doesn’t discuss the purpose of the Whiteness Project – that’s it’s not intended ultimately to be a vehicle where white people sing the blues. Yes, that is a part of it, but the opinion seeking is more a ruse to get inside the minds of the respondents, and then to psychoanalyze their statements from a critical standpoint. You know… to point out just how their sentiments VERIFY the existence of a society that is inevitably unjust and unfixably broken because it’s based in 1) capitalism and 2) Western Judeo-Christian theistic precepts.

    And you’re just supposed to buy the line that non-white folks could NEVER succeed with the help of Karl Marx and his theories to save them from the white people. At least, that’s the mantra in America.