To the author of [“Wigger: Confessions of a White Wannabe,” July 8],
I just want to say how happy I am that you wrote the article, “Wiggers.” I believe it gave voice to a number of important ideas–ideas that a lot of my white brothers and sisters (to co-opt a term that I think applies more aptly in traditional black communities) should become familiar with. The back to the wind metaphor is superb, but most significant is the notion that we whites are born into this circumstance and cannot or will not acknowledge it. It evokes the sense of Wellesley College’s Peggy McIntosh’s term–White Male Privilege.
I also like the suggestion, apparently lost on many of us white folk, that one might feel compelled to act out of moral and ethical obligation, without necessarily feeling any particular guilt. Too many white people I talk to refuse to act, or even think about acting, on the grounds of “principle.” They refuse to feel guilty for the sins of others, as they say, as if the only sin they’d own up to would be slave ownership or a lynching, or some overt case of bigotry–their own refusal to acknowledge current circumstances evidently being beyond reproach.
I believe the main white sense is the more you have, the less I can have, and I’m not willing to give up anything to people who could (by virtue of their excellence, strength, determination, resolve, coolness, sense of community, cooperation, and lots else) keep me down once they got equal power.
Thing is, they’re so cool, I bet they’d be fairer than the whites in power, which–and here’s a key–most white people can’t believe–because they reason from a white cultural perspective and experience. Whites don’t seem to have the same sense of fair play–didn’t you find that to be true, too?
Anyway, man, that was a great article. Thanks for living that life and writing about it.