ShareThis Page
Lori Falce: Do you face white discrimination? | TribLIVE.com
Lori Falce, Columnist

Lori Falce: Do you face white discrimination?

Lori Falce
| Thursday, February 14, 2019 4:30 p.m.
750585_web1_VND-LoriCol-021519

I am white.

I’m not just a little white. I’m a lot of white.

According to my AncestryDNA results, if there’s a way for a human being to be white, it’s part of the unique cocktail that is me. I am mostly English, a quarter German, a fifth Scotch-Irish, seasoned with Swedish, Russian, French and anyplace else the people are pale.

I am not Elizabeth Warren. I have no claim to a family story of a Native American ancestor. I have nothing that smacks of a minority of any kind in my building blocks. My Minnesota farm girl ethnic dishes involve cream soup casseroles and American cheese. I am that damn white.

But apparently, I don’t understand what it means to feel my whiteness is threatened.

A recent Rasmussen poll found that 44 percent of Republicans believe that white people face more discrimination than any other ethnic group. Eleven percent of Democrats believe that, as do 23 percent of independents.

Reading those numbers during Black History Month surprised me. No, surprise isn’t quite right. It confused me.

There are things that I have been prevented or discouraged or obstructed from doing in my life. There were times that it was because I am a woman. There were times that it was because I was young. Sometimes it was because of money, or because of where I lived.

I have been told that I couldn’t do things because I was Catholic. I have been denied because I stood with friends who are homosexual — but that was more discrimination by association. Had I elected to walk away, to turn my back on them, I am somehow sure my young, white, straight, professional self would have been more than welcome. That made me happy to stand with the excluded.

I have even been discriminated against — even physically assaulted — because I am fat. I understand what it is to be told “no,” to be locked out, to be abused because of what I am.

And yet I am certain that at no point in my life have I suffered because of the millennia of snow white DNA in my genes.

I have not been sold. I haven’t been kidnapped. I was not denied the use of my language. I was not beaten for the simple crime of not being sufficiently broken. My child was not taken away. Neither was my mother.

I was able to trace my family tree across the country and across the sea. I tracked it through time, back to my 65th great-grandfather. The last records I found were in an ancient alphabet I don’t recognize.

My ability to follow those roots doesn’t stop with a receipt and a ship’s manifest. My family’s oral tradition doesn’t stop abruptly because of genocide.

I know where I face discrimination and where I don’t the way I know who I am and where I come from. The first place my family placed foot in America was at Jamestown in 1619. That was the same time and place the first slaves came to this country.

I have no doubt been singled out because of my race in many situations, but to my benefit and quite possibly at someone else’s loss. And if, from time to time, someone has tried to even the playing field, I see it as just that — an attempt to put all the players at the same starting point.

I may face a world of discrimination every day for people who pre-judge me for my job, my home, my beliefs and the way I look.

But I am not losing ground in America because of the color of my skin.

Because I am white.

Lori Falce is a Tribune-Review community engagement editor. You can contact Lori at lfalce@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.