The holiday season is just around the corner. Thanksgiving, Christmas and at least 14 other holidays are celebrated between November and January. This means that other people, cultures and celebrations besides Christianity exist.
White people are notorious for getting mad about Starbucks’ cups and the “erasure” of Christianity. Every time I see that viral video of the preacher yelling about the “war on Christmas,” I have to laugh.
But this mindset has dangerous and violent consequences because it stems from the idea that we, white people, have become the minority.
This isn’t true. White people are about 75 percent of the American population, according to the Census Bureau.
In Kansas, that percentage is 87 percent.
An article by Vox explains the feeling of “white anxiety” given by projections sent out by the Census Bureau that indicated “whites won’t be the majority by 2044.”
However whites are still the majority. The reports simply indicate that whites of Latin decent will increase.
Even then, we’ll still make up 69 percent of the population in 2060.
Belief that white people are somehow the minority creates violence by creating a reactive energy and “white anxiety,” with minorities becoming demonized in the eyes of whiteness. This helps explain recent hate crime in light of Trump’s rise to power.
The rise in enrollment of hate-groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, arrests of three white men in Kansas plotting to bomb a complex where Somali people were living, painting of racial slurs on an elementary school in Iowa and more, are all examples of the “Trump Effect.”
To be clear, this violence occurred before Trump, and Trump isn’t a unique cause of these.
However, Trump’s rise likely allowed for a general justification of these instances in a post-Obama era. This isn’t a question of whether or not the acts are actually justified, but whether this violence is allowed via whiteness, especially in a world where things like Trump promising to pay legal fees for people convicted after inciting violence against protesters occur.
So, white people, before you critique Starbuck’s cups this year, or get mad about not being able to say “Merry Christmas,” try to do an internal comparison of what’s actually going on.
Sure, it sucks that Christianity isn’t the centerpiece of your coffee, but is your identity policed and violently reacted to?
Just do a double-check, make sure that what you’re about to say holds the same weight as the impacts felt by those without a voice.