Dear White Women,
by Sweets and Sweaters
Hang on, don’t get upset yet.
I am half you. You raised me. You are so many of my heroes. You’ve inspired me and you’ve shown up lately. I appreciate that.
You are talented and one of your skills is making me feel small. You succeeded throughout my whole childhood, shaming me for pronouncing words incorrectly in the first grade, making an exception for our friendship because I’m light skinned and most hurtfully, for loving you too much.
White women, all I’ve ever wanted was to be loved in return by you; fro and all, but you continue to shame me. Oh, but it’s not just me- I’ve seen you do it to each other. But as a little brown girl, I took it heartbreakingly personally. Why don’t you love me like I love you? Why don’t you see me like I see you?
Let me explain… My mom is white and dad, black & Native American. Until I was four, my mom raised me alone. A white woman, her white mother and father were the first people I knew. They loved me. But out in the world white faces didn’t love me like the white people at home did. The white faces outside and in school squished everything inside me they could reach until I did nothing without asking their approval. Because white was all I was educated by, influenced by and friends with until high school I always sought belonging. I imitated you and would do anything to stay close to you.
White women, you are my mother and I just want to belong to you. But over and over again you don’t let me in. You don’t embrace and accept me like I’ve always craved from you.
I’m older now and getting more woke by the day. I’m starting to see you, white women, but more importantly I’m starting to see me. It is hard on me to stand in front of you and ask you to love me like the white people at home. It’s not your job to love me like that, but it’s my job to free myself from the power we both think you hold over me.
The power I think you have over me: I think you’re the keeper of my love and belonging. The power you think you have over me: I can’t speak for you, but maybe I scare you so you send in the troops of your superiority to put me in my place- but really, to keep you in yours.
I don’t understand you, really. Why do you yell at strangers over being inconvenienced at super markets? Why do you feel entitled to treat us (and each other) like we’re nothing?
Some day soon, we will both realize I am the same size as you and you will never succeed in making me feel small again. Some day I will realize I don’t need you to be loved and belong. Some day soon, you will lose the power we both think you have. Maybe that’s why you roar so loud these days.
White women, one day we’ll realize we’re one.
Until we’re both the same size,