Bleach in the Streets


Bleach in the Streets
Cut by: Davita Cuttita

I will be trash talking the concept of Whitewash this week so this is just an intro of things to come in the near future.

The other day when Grandpa Dinosaur n’ I were discussing isms n’ schisms over tea I told her that I was tired of how people don’t do their own research for shit. I have no problem with that of course, linking a credible source is a good thing to do but I guess the Communications major in me wanted to get my hands durty.

So I did.

A week ago, I approached some well-known and not so well known members of my posse with the following four questions and got some interesting responses. Read and think for yourself and we’ll discuss this later.

Pseudonyms have been used while the ages and races of the respondents have been posted to quench your curiosity. All respondents were asked all of the following and then asked to answer to whichever questions they desired. The vast majority of those who responded did answer all four, however I can’t post all of them so I’m offering the ones that were the most clear and coherent. Also, when applicable; I didn’t post the questions over and over again to avoid redundancy.

The questions were…

1. What do you consider to be a “whitewashed” person?
2. What does the term “whitewash” mean to you?
3. Why do people look down on it? Is it a “good” or a “bad” thing?
4. What do you think about someone being “whitewashed”/If someone has called you whitewash, what did you think? Why?

Respondant #1: El Machetero, Chillian Male, Age 31

What do you consider to be a “whitewashed” person?
“Somebody who takes eurocentric ideology, worldview, beauty standards and images of people and self not only as their own worldview, but deems it to be the ONLY worldview in existence, without even questioning who put those ideas in their head in the first place.”

What does the term “whitewash” mean to you?
“Pretty much the above. To me, things like your taste in music, clothes, food, your style of speech, your class background/how you grew up, choices in who you date/fuck/marry, etc. actually have very little to do with it. It’s all about being lost, colonized, confused and caught up in the view that white people are God, and not even caring to try to remedy that shit.

I would also add that if your actions and behaviours hurt and further oppress other peoples of colour and in effect end up serving a white supremacist agenda, then your ass is whitewashed. For instance, i would consider somebody like 50 Cent to be completely whitewashed. i would consider any Black or Brown person who lets other people tell them who their enemies are and who will go to war fighting for somebody else just because they were told to do so to be whitewashed as well. i would consider somebody who does not ever hesitate to pull a pistol on another person of colour but won’t even look a white person in the eye to be COMPLETELY whitewashed.”

What do you think about someone being “whitewashed”/If someone has called you whitewash, what did you think? Why?

“It’s largely a bad thing, because too many of us (as different peoples of colour) have gotten far too accustomed to having people other than ourselves control our images, and therefore our views of self and others, and so in effect, we end up judging one another over stereotypes and ideas of what is ‘Blackness’ or ‘Brown-ness’ that somebody who is usually not Black or Brown came up with in the first place.”

You know, El Machetero (literally “The Machete Wielder”) is an acquaintance of mine who I haven’t really spent much time with due to hectic scheduling but in retrospect, I really should hang with him more. He has dreads that nearly touch the ground that he wears in an awesome hat, el swaggerio caliente, and wicked cool shades. I consider him like the Russian-Chillian-Other cultures DJ Uncle I never had who sends me wicked 70s punk rock and funk music and has the most awesome musical connections, tastes, obsessions and Spank Rock mixtapes ever.

Moving on…

Respondent #2: Mash, East Indian Female, Age 24
What does the term “whitewash” mean to you?
“It dosen’t mean anything significant to me. I think that white or not, people have a lot of the same values, some values are more profound in others. I suppose it has some political and ideological implications, some negative, some positive. I don’t necessarily think a person has to be whitewashed to be assimilated into Western culture.”

Why do people look down on it? Is it a “good” or a “bad” thing?
“It’s neither. It’s rather subjective. I think the term whitewashed is part of a larger study of identity studies. It would depend on how comfortable a person is with living with certain values and principles, and of course image that are associated with being whitewashed.

I would add, and this is important that the term whitewashed does not have the kind of negative connotations that other racially motivated terms have. This of course speaks to the hierarchy of races that exist in a North American culture. In a wonderfully mixed and multicultural society like the US and Canada (Canada in particular), this hierarchy should NOT exist.”

Respondent #3: Oh, Lee! Black Male, Age 21
What do you consider to be a “whitewashed” person?
“Someone who has embraced language, terminology, gestures, and/or style that is seemingly derived from that of white north American culture. In the past, I would consider black people who weren’t of a ghetto decent/influence to be whitewashed… Which I now know was immature/wrong of me to think.”

Respondent #3: LaRock, Black Male, Age 21
“What causes me to think that someone is whitewashed? When they sound like a Caucasian when they speak. I know this isn’t fair, however.

Whitewashed defined: what black people call other people of minority descent who make them feel inferior or threatened (just like any negative slur, its use comes out of a place of insecurity). In reality, being “whitewashed” as I defined it isn’t good or bad; people are just different.

I used to be offended by people calling me whitewashed. So I wouldn’t use it, but at the same time in my mind I would classify some people as “whitewashed”. Once again, its use comes out of a place of insecurity, racism and prejudice (expecting people to act a certain way because of their race).”

Of course, Grandpa Dinosaur had to get involved and we all know she’s a she, Asian and 23 years old.

1. What do you consider to be a “whitewashed” person?
“Someone who sucks up to White people, wants to be White or considers themselves White.

White-wash is like someone saying “your mom.” It’s disrespectful among coloured people. Saying your “you’re White-Wash” is a huge insult, to me it insinuates that the person directing that to another person is like saying, “you’re not good enough to be in my race because you don’t follow the stereotype.” On reverse, non-White people who refer to themselves as White do it as a badge of honour, demeaning themselves their race is inferior to the White person and by acting White they are superior.

>_>;;; It’s a bad thing to be called or be White-washed if you’re not White, that show a lot of self-hatred and lack of pride in one’s self and culture.

A lot of Cambodian people call me White-wash. I hate when Cambodian people call me White-wash because I don’t like rap, I want to get an education or be well-spoken. Just because I’m trying to make more of my life makes me a White person, I don’t understand this logic. Being successful and being White are two different things to me, but aren’t for some people.

I’ve met a lot of Asian White-washed people, by that I mean Asian people who actively hate being Asian, suck up to White people and even call themselves a Banana. These people are disgraceful because they’ve lost their culture and don’t know or can’t accept who they are, or even rise above their own racial expectation.”

Respondent #5: Alise in Wunderbar, Black Female Age 20.
“I consider a white washed person to be someone who is not white but acts like a stereotypical white person. I think people look down on it because it can be seen as rejecting your culture and trying to be something you are not. Also, I don’t think it can be labelled as being a “good” or “bad” thing because opinions would vary based on certain things such as the environment, social groups, race, values and beliefs of the people you ask.

People have called me whitewashed in the past and still do even now. The main reasons were because I used to have a lot of white friends and because I’m black and I love rock music. I think it’s very closed minded and immature of them to call me whitewashed. I don’t find it insulting anymore though, I just laugh it off.”

Read it ‘um learn, read ‘um and laugh, read ‘um and weep.


~ by davitacuttita on February 18, 2009.

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