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Ross: Why I don’t want to be called ‘white’ anymore

Following shooting attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday, March 15, 50 pairs of white shoes were laid in front of All Souls Anglican Church in honor of victims who lost their lives. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

There it is, all over the internet. It’s another manifesto from a white nationalist determined to use violence to save the race. Which is a racial group that I’m a part of.

And I think I’ve had enough. I would like not to be called “white” anymore.

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I can accept being called “privileged,” because that part is true. But the term “white” isn’t just associated with privilege. Now it’s usually followed by words like “nationalist,” “separatist,” “supremacist” and – more and more – “terrorist.”

I remember in the days after 9/11, interviewing an imam in Manhattan who wanted to reassure me that those few al Qaeda terrorists had nothing to do with Islam. He quoted from the Quran in defense of his religion.

And I imagine him asking me now – why are people attacking Muslims in the name of whiteness? What would I tell him? What reassuring passages could I quote?

All I can say is that the groups now defining whiteness make me sick. And yet, they now own the term. Which is why I’d rather not be known as white anymore.

Call me privileged, or call me a Suburban-American (since that’s where I grew up). You can even call me a Boomer. It stings, but it’s better than what comes up when you Google “white.”

P.S  It does occur to me that the kryptonite of the whiteness movement is a DNA test kit. Nothing scares a believer in racial purity like a cheek swab.

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