ARYAN KAGANOF IS A PROJECT OF AFRICAN NOISE FOUNDATION





HOW I PASSED FOR WHITE

My mother told me not to speak loudly in public
Not to speak loudly in private too, We don't do that
we're WHITE then she pinched the skin of my forearm
and when I yelped in pain she pinched me harder and she
held my burning pink skin up to the light and she said No matter
how little money we have no matter how hard our circumstance we've
always got one thing that they'll never be, WE'RE WHITE and the litany
of what we were and what they weren't went on and on you might say it all
came down to this We were all things good and they were THE DEVIL person
ified and it wasn't a joke and you couldn't laugh it off because the kind of white we
were was trash, no dear people, it wasn't as easy as that, for what i re
member most clearly about my sinister cousins was the occasional 
hint in their tightly curled hair or the snubness of their noses that
the white that we supposedly were wasn't quite as clearly de
lineated as my mother would have preferred and maybe
that's why she moved us out of her family's orbit and
we left Joburg for Durban where she acquired an
English accent (from the movies I suppose) 
and taught me to stick my little finger out
when drinking tea because That's how
we do it we're WHITE and so i was
trained in a million tiny tropes
that would serve not to give
me away and I'm 51 now
and it's taken me so
long to piece to
gether all the
stolen parts
because
despite
what
my
mother
taught me
i've never been
white i've always
been human and what
I'd like to say to my so-called
black humans is that all those so-
called whites who are running very
fast have been wound up very tightly
to run away from themselves. WHITENESS
is a theatre, a performance of exclusion, it only
means anything because of slavery which granted
those who performed the theatre an unspeakable power
of life and death over those excluded from the performance.
The echoes of that power to extinguish black life continue to re
sonate today in every sick incident that screams WHITE POWER
over the increasingly growing self confidence and consciousness of
the black body. I cherish my so-called consciousness which rejects white
and black as simplistic illusions good for chess and pianos but not sophis
ticated enough to take on the human experience but nonetheless I un
derstand that I am embedded in a matrix of theatrical illusion that 
murders some people without mercy, with impunity, merely be
cause they pass for BLACK.