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#3348: Davis replies to Clements

From: Karen Davis <kdavis@marygrove.edu>

Clements writes:
> I have a 20 year old son who has been living in Haiti for the last 7
> months... He was born in the United States and is blond and blue
> eyed...and Caucasian (Blan). He gets yelled at everyday to go home and hey
> white guy get out of here..
I am a white-skinned resident of USA; my husband is Haitian. I believe that
his family accept and like me, but I also know they see me as a good source
of income (though not as good as they fantasize I might be). My husband &
his family, however, take care to protect me when we are out in public
(P-a-P). They know as a white person I am a target for theft & associated
Also, when I am in Benin, children often call out "yovo" (white) rather than
call me "Mama" or "Tantie" as is appropriate for an older woman. 
In my own city, Detroit, I am, because I am white, often mistaken for a
suburbanite and at times told to "go home" to those suburbs.
I do not like this, and it makes me sad. But I also know that this is only a
very small retribution for all the  hatred, racism, discrimination,
de-humanization, terrorism, torture, enslavement, exploitation, invasion,
manipulation, ongoing as neo-colonialism, that people of my color have
inflicted on Haitians, and Beninese, and African Americans.
This color association with the worst of class differences between
pale-skinned millionaires with huge electric houses & 4-5 Ford Explorers and
the very dark-skinned poor with barely a space to sleep or a mouthful of
rice goes on every day, every day, every day. This is the ugly society we
(our culture) has built on commodity fetishism,  materialism & greed.
So I do not hate these words, but understand them--I would almost certainly
be hollering them myself in their place.