Columbus Day and National Psychosis*

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Columbus Day, a time to stay home from work and nationally celebrate denial of genocide, theft, slavery and colonization. The foundations of this country.

This summer the term “Columbusing” took hold, to name the phenomenon of “discovering things for white people.”

The time-old “art of discovering something that is not new” and appropriating it. This is a helpful term. And, as a White Noise Collective member recently pointed out, a video depicting current day “Columbusing” would not just include discovering something that had already been found by others. More accurately, it would include white people “discovering” a place they like, and then cutting off everyone’s hands and massacring those who were already there.

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As we know, there have been important moves in a number of cities and states to bury Columbus Day and in its place celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.

On the Colbert Report, the predictable “War on Columbus Day” (echoing the “War on Christmas”) backlash to the re-naming of this holiday is thoroughly mocked.… Read more

White Female Culture

So many white people – including the half of us that are female – believe that we have no culture. As a dominant, centered culture, it is often invisible to ourselves. We think we are “normal” and everyone else is cultural or “ethnic”. So recently, the White Noise Collective led an exercise to identify some key components of invisibilized cultural norms for white women, that we often find ourselves either trying to emulate or trying to resist.

Here’s what came up from a group of 30 white women from a broad spectrum of class backgrounds, sexuality, ages and spiritual orientations. They are listed in the order of the frequency they were written.

(things in place#1 had about 10 mentions, #10 had 2-3 mentions).

What do white females value?
1. Family, Motherhood, Children
2. Looking good for men, beauty, fit
3. Being a good girl, niceness, kindness, smiling, polite
4. Status, approval
5. … Read more