In a moment of peak whiteness, professional Twitter troll Piers Morgan responded to Campaign Zero activist DeRay Mckesson's tweet of his signature "I love my blackness. And yours" by saying that he loved his whiteness.
Black Twitter's clap-back to the British media personality's initial tweet and his subsequent disingenuous and inflammatory replies was swift.
The problem here isn't that anyone, of any race or ethnicity, shouldn't love him- or herself. The issue is that loving one's blackness is not solely about loving one's skin color. It is pushback against the pathologizing of black people, black communities and black culture. It's saying that despite this country's record of killing, subjugating and disenfranchising us and appropriating our culture, we love our blackness and the many ways that it can manifest and be expressed. We love its textures, complexity, brilliance and beauty. Lucille Clifton wrote, "Celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed." That is celebrating blackness in the United States.
Celebrating whiteness in the United States? It means you are celebrating privilege. You are celebrating the history of white oppression, imperialism, racism and supremacy. It's not celebrating the lack of melanin; it's a celebration of lack of accountability. Morgan—and any other white person, for that matter—can love themselves all they want, but loving "whiteness" is loving a structure that has terrorized people of color since this country's—and Morgan's country's—inception. If that's how he feels, fine. But in the words of the famous philosopher Silkk the Shocker, "You ain't gotta lie to kick it."