What does “whiteness kool aid” even mean?

by kathleenljackson

I recently discovered the term “whiteness kool aid”; it seems to be predominantly used on social networking sites like tumblr and twitter. I found it particularly striking because it is, in my opinion, a more aggressive term for ‘racial passing’, or ‘race traitor’. From what I can tell it is being used to describe an assimilation process in which black people side with white people in debates, or when black people favour ‘white’ culture. But it has the added level of disguised poison. Essentially, the bloggers argue whiteness* is a sweet and unassuming poison.

My concern with this term is that it is alienating. I do not, nor would I ever, deny the negative impacts that assimilation policies and colonialism have had on racial minorities but what about biracial/multiracial people? What about people who have assessed particular terms and conditions and come to their own conclusion? Why are these people demanding that individuals choose a racial category? Is it really impossible for someone to embody facets of both white and black culture? And why is it focused solely on a narrow black/white dichotomy?

These questions have been driving me crazy all week (hence the lack of posts).

*Note: There is a difference between ‘whiteness’ and ‘white’. Barbara Fields writes about this; I might go into it a bit later.

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