Ok, I have a bit of what I would call an inciteful streak. Sometimes I like to stir the shit for the sake of the smell. Today is one of those days. Recently I perused a site developed by our friends in the ivory tower of academia (i.e.= people who don’t have to live in the real world) and it genuinely disturbed me. According to UnFaircampaign.org, an “anti-racism” campaign brought to us by the University of Minnesota, white people are the problem. Apparently we just can’t understand racism because white people don’t experience racism. Really? I have to wonder about that.
Why do I find myself apologizing for being white?
I freely admit that I am as hopelessly white bread as they come, and a lot closer to the trailer park than I would like to claim. I can trace my ancestry in this country on both sides back to the early 1700s when the USA was still the 13 colonies. That and $4.50 will get you a Starbucks. My family tree is almost 100% comprised of northern European immigrants from England, Scotland and Germany- with the exception of one French Canadian and one Cherokee Indian that I know of. Whoop de doo. In that group of ancestors I know at least one was a rum-runner during Prohibition, and two died in insane asylums. No one I know of in my family, with the exception of my oldest sister, could ever have remotely have been considered “wealthy,” and even she married into it. I come from a long line of poverty and insanity. Again, whoop de doo. I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth. So what? What I do with the parameters I’ve been given is up to me. I can feel sorry for myself, claim inferiority, and expect others to feel sorry for me and take care of me because of my shitty background and my overall abysmal luck in the cosmic lottery, or I can get off it and do the best I can with the tools I have.
I do have to opine that it would be racist to assume that simply by benefit of being white that I am “privileged,” “wealthy” or otherwise inherently superior to anyone else in any way. It is also racist to assume that just by virtue of being non-white that one is “poor,” “disadvantaged” or “needy.”
Of course the slack-jawed rednecks of the various white supremacist movements are open to derision for a number of reasons. They make all white people look bad, just as the thuggery of a few young black males who want to be “gangsta” causes me to instinctively hit the “lock” button on my car remote again should I pass a group of young black males in the parking lot. (Yes, it’s prejudiced, and yes, it’s unfair profiling and I shouldn’t do it- but I do.) I don’t believe in white supremacism, largely because the slack-jawed rednecks who claim it are mostly inbred, poorly educated idiots who have no rational argument to stand on other than blatant racism.
Newsflash: Adolf Hitler is NOT a positive role model.
I say don’t bother sending this guy to prison. Save the taxpayers’ money and drop him off in downtown Detroit, preferably in close proximity to a Church’s or Popeye’s, and see how long he lasts.
Now I wouldn’t be averse to a wee bit of white advocacy, but I find it amusing to think of how these fictional organizations would be taken the wrong way:
How about the NAAWP– the National Association for the Advancement of White People? I know my sorry ass could use some help. Especially with rhythm and dancing.
I also think that we need an Anglo-American Caucasian History Month, in which everyone is encouraged to celebrate the history of all the dead white men in American history who did really cool things like writing the Constitution, sending a man to the moon, and coming up with modern computers.
Oh, and near and dear to my heart- the Anglo-American College Fund, to help white students who are working their way through college and who are denied any government assistance with their education, because their parents (who have half or more of their paychecks eaten up in taxes and insurances) “make too much money.”
Just imagine the public outcry if anyone were to form organizations such as the fictional ones mentioned above. “But white people don’t need any help!,” would be the outcry. Really? I know plenty of white people who could use a hand. The question that I have, and this is a deeper issue, is, why does anybody think they’re entitled to anything based solely upon their ancestry or the color of their skin? Who thought that fostering an entitlement mentality was a good idea? (I can go into Lyndon Johnson and his “War on Poverty” that has done nothing but subsidize more of the same for the past 40+ years, but that’s a week long diatribe in and of itself!)
“Affirmative Action” is nothing more than reverse racism. The problem with giving any group a privileged status is that in doing so, equality goes out the window. It’s not politically correct to say that, but it’s true.
It’s a rather interesting, yet hopeful, demographic trend that racial lines are becoming blurred. If anything, I think this is a good thing for society because in time it will force people to look beyond ancestry or race. It’s a little harder to blame “whitey” if you’re half white (unless you’re Obama, but he is his own piece of work) and it’s rather pointless to pin your woes on “the bros” if you’re half black. Somewhere it has to come down to judging people by the content of their character- to quote Martin Luther King- and to stop the race baiting and division.
Don’t blame his white half, either. Obama’s ineptitude and arrogance have nothing to do with his race or ancestry. Ineptitude and arrogance are known to transcend racial, ancestral and cultural boundaries.
6 thoughts on “White People Can’t Understand Racism (Oh, Yeah?)”
I think a lot of racism is just wanting a group other than yours to blame stuff on.
Like the mysterious “they” that are always up to trouble – The broke into my car. They messed up the trains again. They ate all the potato chi- no, never mind. That last one was me.
I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s kind of hard to blame everything on a nebulous “them” when you take responsibility for yourself and own your own screw-ups.
This one bugs me as well, because not only is there the idea that whites can’t understand racism, but that racism against whites (called social justice) is tolerated. The argument is that white people aren’t really being penalized, but actually just losing some of their unfair privileges.
In some instances, this is real. I know that my experiences with the law as a youth probably would’ve gone differently if I wasn’t white, well-spoken and had an actively-involved parent (I realize that only one of those factors is racial). But beyond a few areas, it’s BS.
Race is a complex dynamic. It doesn’t help that in this country we have the specters of slavery and segregation in our history, but the reality is that slavery ended in the 1860’s and segregation in the 1960’s. No one has slaves anymore, and no one is forced to sit in the back of the bus or use separate public bathrooms. There are even gender neutral bathrooms in some places for people who can’t seem to figure that one out. So get over it! It’s one thing to be sensitive, but quite another to overcompensate.
I don’t know what it would be like to be black, but I don’t approve of treating anyone differently solely based on color alone. I do suspect that if Steve-o and a black guy the same age were to have a run-in with the law that Steve-o might have an easier time with the judicial system, which is NOT fair. It is also NOT fair that Steve-o is denied financial aid and grants solely because he is white and working his way through school. So there is racism on both sides- and if people truly want to it to stop then the racial profiling has to stop as well as affirmative action, which gives some people an unfair advantage based solely on race rather than merit.
As a society we have come a long way in combating racism, but we still have a way to go.