The Whiteness of Doro

Rajanie Kumar, a guest contributor at the Feminist Wire, describes how “whiteness” truly affects the present day black community. Whiteness is defined as a “terror in the psyches of black individuals and the black community.” Kumar’s historical example of black slaves not having the honor to look their white master in the eye resembles whiteness because of the black perception of whites as an invisible being but all knowing.

In Octavia Butlers Wild Seed, Doro encapsulates whiteness. Doro, a spirit who takes host of the body he most recently kills, is what Kumar is noting in her article, White Terror: Spirituality, Ancestral Memory and the Politics of Remembering. Doro as a spirit is similar to Kumar’s interpretation of whiteness as an invisible being, but also all knowing. Doro used his senses to find Anyanwu in Wheatley after she ran away from him for centuries (184).  Anyanwu described Doro’s invisibility as a “spirit, no matter what he said he had no flesh of his own” (36). Anyanwu’s description of Doro is similar to Kumar’s examination of whiteness. Doro’s whiteness comes from his invisibility and absolute control of those around him. Doro is not perceived as human but as a spirit that is all knowing. His abilities place fear in the hearts of everyone. Anyanwu expresses that he is unstoppable because he is a spirit who uncontrollably has to take on another body. Similarly, Kumar’s description of whiteness is like Doro’s abilities. As whiteness has followed the black community through history, so has Doro. Doro follows Anyanwu for centuries because she is the only one like him. Although, the two have different abilities, they are both immortal. Arguably, this can be said for both the white and black communities. Although, the white and black communities have different abilities in culture, they are both immortal. Neither can eradicate the other, no matter what. Doro’s dominance is similar to the dominance of the white community within government. Essentially, white dominance has caused black submission to rules and regulations, in fear that whiteness will follow.

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