"White People Have No Culture"
15 Jul 2020
A Journal Post on Being An Invisible Minority
I talk the way I write, believe it or not. Admittedly, by nature of being written, my thoughts are more articulate and refined in writing, but the manner in which I write them mirrors my pretentious wordiness and elongated sentences. For this, I blame my multilingual upbringing, speaking exclusively Polish at home, English among my friends, and being taught Latin during all four years of high school. Sometimes the way I say words is weird too, because being as shy as I was during my childhood, I spent more time reading than speaking. Lots of my Polish-speaking friends have accents or quirky linguistic habits, even if they spent their entire lives in the United States. I do, too. Even though I don’t often talk about my ethnicity particularly often on my site, I do think there’s a lot of power in a language and an ethnic background.
I’ve got weird tendencies and eat weird foods. I clap when the plane lands and put ketchup on foods that most people wouldn’t ever consider. I wear patriotic Poland shirts on a daily basis for the pride of it and often indulge the trendy three stripes of Adidas. I maintain a selfless kind of sharing with my friends and family because of the gift reciprocity taught to me by my culture (but admittedly, I only found out it’s called that in my ANTH 101 class). I believe in the value of the traditional family structure and strong models of femininity and masculinity. While I am fairly unreligious, I believe in many values taught by the Catholic church. This is all because of my Polish upbringing.
Kompot is a Polish drink made from boiled fruit whose scent has sweetly serenaded me all my life. As a child, I’d smell it wafting throughout the house from the kitchen, and I remember excitedly scurrying through the house, sliding across the cold kitchen tiles, and running up to my mother, who’d be gently stirring the large pot on the stove. I’d ask if it was ready, and she’d nod if I was lucky, warning me that it was hot. She’d hand me a cup of the warm, pink, transparent liquid, and I’d hold it with two hands, taking an eager but cautious sip. The sweet drink, made of strawberries and peaches, would fill me with a comforting warmth. The smell, to this day, always brings me back.
Whenever somebody picks at my language, pronunciation, or calls my food “obscure,” I don’t give it too much thought usually. It’d be easy to accuse these acts as “xenophobic,” especially among the social justice crowd, but I choose not to because I understand it’s only ignorance. (If you doubt the validity of my claim that poking fun at my diet is xenophobic, imagine how it’d look if a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) said to their Chinese American friend, “Your food is so obscure!!”.) You can’t look at me and tell that I’m a minority, I guess. Only when my temper runs short or if I feel up for the conversation, I’ll bring up their ignorance, only calling it that: ignorance. From there, it isn’t hard to mention that I come from a different ethnic background and diet from them, and that they should remember the value in trying something new. I don’t really mind sharing my culture: broadening one’s horizons is deeply important in personal development, and I don’t mind teaching my friends something new. I mean, realistically speaking, whenever I chat with anybody, I always hope to learn something new. Regardless, this mere “trivia” is far more constructive than the accusation of xenophobia that the Woke Left would often encourage, inspired by the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory.
A pet peeve often named on dating profiles is the people who clap when the plane lands— is your pet peeve anybody possessing the traditional values of many Eastern European countries? Sounds xenophobic to me. I’ve played with men who clearly fall on the Far Left and identify with this pet peeve, just to see if I could get them to take it down from their profiles. I’ve gotten remarkably close before I decided I cared far too much about free speech and personal preference to actually truly impose in such a way. The notion of a microaggression is far too annoying to perpetuate, even as a joke. I also don’t really care about men not liking that I clap at the end of a flight.
My public persona is solidly anti-SJW nowadays. It’s not that I have a problem with social justice itself, but more so the aggressive culture surrounding it and the manner in which they’ve begun to do a great disservice to the academic scholars that inspired their movement in the first place. At this point, I’m just fed up with most people. I think many of us are. There’s a Polish saying, “nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy,” which directly translates to “not my circus, not my monkeys,” suggesting that the situation before me is not my problem because it is not within my sphere of relevance. It isn’t selfish to fixate on your own goals and dreams: we are only human, and it is in our nature to improve ourselves and our lives for the future, or at least, so I was taught by my parents. Wherever you go, there you are. But then again, different strokes for different folks.
I’ve had my more progressive friends burst out in laughter when I seriously mentioned experiencing my own form of “xenophobia,” because white people have no culture, right? What a joke. It’s all a fucking joke. I don’t actively perform my “Polishness” for “Minority Points”, even though the group has been systematically oppressed, and so on, and so on, because I don’t like having a victim mentality and I don’t like being infantilized. Fireflies glow during the daytime, even when you can’t see them.