This is the second interview in our new series to learn more about ordinary white people view on the world, white as a race or a brand, and white people relationship with other races or ethnic groups in the world.
This interview is with Jo Snow, a global citizen from America, open to people from all avenues of life and culture, whose purpose is to bridge the American people with the rest of the world.
In this strong, hopeful, and amazing interview Jo Snow, shared with us the story of her first experience with racism, her idea of white privilege, and her hope for a better world for all humans.
Do you consider yourself a white person?
Yes. My ancestry is mostly Norwegian and German with a splash of the British Isles. And a little French…of course!
What does it mean?
The first 18 years of my life were spent in rural Wisconsin…everyone around me was a blue eyed blonde so I truly had no idea what being white meant until I was around other races.
When did you learn for the first time about what it means to be white?
I was 18 and in Navy boot camp. I thought it was so weird how all the white people hung out on one end of the berthing and all the black people and Latinas hung out on the other end. I joined the Navy to meet people and have new experiences. So one night I picked up my boot polishing gear and decided to get to know some new people. I had no idea I was crossing a color line. I had so much fun that evening and met girls from everywhere. The next day my white bunkmate stopped me from sitting down with her, saying I should sit with my new friends. It was one of those weird experiences when I was so confused and angry it seemed like the air had left the room. Anyway, I joined my new friends with the most perplexed look on my face…when I told them why I was so upset they weren’t a bit surprised. Since then, most of my close friends have been black women and I see first hand how differently we are treated.
Here is an example of white fear mongering for you. I lived in Honolulu many years ago and was warned many times of the big Samoan girls who just loved to beat up white girls like me. I hadn’t been there that long and was waiting at a bus stop one night when a big Samoan girl came and sat next to me. We talked and laughed, she shared her sandwich and we exchanged phone numbers…and I met with her and her friends the next day to go body surfing.
Not sure why I react to new people and situations with curiosity rather than fear…I’m certainly no braver or more virtuous than anyone else. Probably just more curious!
Do you know other world ethnic group beyond ‘whites?
Yes. I have lived and worked with Korean people in Honolulu and Anchorage…I lived in an Alaska Native Tlinqit village in Southeast Alaska for a few years…I have loved and dated outside my race. Most of my friends are African Americans and have been for over 30 years.
Do you think white people are superior to others ethnic groups?
No…absolutely not. I’ve met so many brilliant, wonderful people from everywhere.
What is currently white people relationship to other ethnic groups worldwide?
As a white person from the US…I am in deep shame over how we treat other countries and races. I feel white people have been oppressive historically and that it continues to this day.
Is white an ethnic group or a marketing brand or political identity?
Ok…that’s an interesting concept. We have certainly been effective at marketing ourselves and forging a specific political identity.
I see evidence of this marketing in the distrust that black people have for other black people. I remember specifically a person on one of your posts joking that he wished his people were on time like the Europeans. That stereotype exists among American blacks…its called being on C.P.T. (Colored people time.)
I’m also troubled by the effective marketing of the “stop being so angry” mentality that is used here. It reminds me of what they told women a long time ago…that if rape is inevitable you should relax and enjoy it.”
These attitudes are definitely marketed…so similar to the apathy and mistrust here in the US
Do you have any idea what other ethnic groups think about white?
Yes…that while there may be an occasional cool white person, for the most part watch your back. I would have to agree 100%.
Do you feel that there are more and more hate toward white people?
No…I see white people as the ones who are getting angrier and more hateful…especially in the US. This weekend, for example, a nationwide demonstration at Islamic centers and mosques is planned…and its open carry, which means everyone will be openly armed. This is from the white community…bikers, rednecks and Biblethumpers. It’s Donald Trump working white Americans into a rabid, racist lather. There is no MLK or Malcom X to unify people of color at all. Fox News does a good job of keeping white people angry and misinformed too.
What could be a possible way for a reconciliation or peace between the world different ethnic groups?
The only thing that can save us is individual people reaching out for understanding. There is so much money spent on keeping us separate…which is something that I don’t understand at all. How can there be more profit in destruction than construction? Why is it so profitable to keep this huge divide between us? If we can follow the money, maybe we can find some answers.
We all want and need the same things in life…I think social media can open lots of doors if we want.
How our readers could get in touch with you?
Anyone who would like can contact me on Facebook. I accept friend requests from everyone!!!
(If you wish to be interviewed in this series, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)