....I was becoming impatient with the tenor of conversation I was having with people who are attached to being white. Most people who declare their blackness secretly know better. But often people who declare their whiteness thereby hide the secret of their complex contamination even from each other. They trade self-knowledge for the rewards of communal self-delusion, while the unknown self dwindles in agency and awareness. This narrows their perspective to the breadth and depth of a dollhouse bathtub. Trying to have a searching discussion with someone who has made this tradeoff is like trying to swim upstream in a dollhouse bathtub filled with Jello.

I was feeling bored and alienated in the dollhouse bathtub, drowning in a veritable sea of Jello. The attachment to being white is more than a source of superiority and self-worth, and more than an ancestral seal of approval. It's a life raft on the choppy sea of Jello, that remains in the dollhouse bathtub once the plug has been pulled and the true self has vanished down the drain.


If skin color didn't really matter, going whiteless would be easy.

Adrian Piper (2014) Whiteless, Art Journal, 60:4, 62-67, DOI: 10.1080/00043249.2001.10792097

Kyla Tompkins