Before I begin, I’d like to say one thing: I’m not white, I’m cream-colored. With that out of the way, I’d like to talk about how much I dislike Caucasians. The most condescending words I’ve ever heard spoken about race are, “I don’t see race. I’m color-blind.” Strangely, I’ve never heard those words spoken by a person of color. That’s probably because Asians, Arabs, Hispanics, and the like know that pretending race doesn’t exist won’t solve racial inequality—in fact, it will make it worse. It’s like pretending a tumor doesn’t exist. Ideally, the tumor wouldn’t be there, but if you want to make it go away, you have to remove it. So if you’re one of those people who thinks affirmative action is “reverse racism”, this article is not for you. This article is for people who live in the real world, not the one we would all like to inhabit.
There was a controversy at my school not too long ago when the student Republican organization decided to hold a bake sale and charge different prices based on the race and gender of the patrons. This caused a big scandal, even making national news. I’m not providing any links, however, because I don’t feel like giving those fools free publicity. The president of the group argued that they were making a satirical point about the difficulty of not belonging to any minorities. I think he was just butthurt about not being granted special privileges for a change.
A white person complaining about affirmative action is no less petty than a rich person complaining about paying higher taxes. No, you did not do it all by yourself. To be white is to be granted privileges that one is not even aware of. I’m not black, but I can imagine how obnoxious it must be to be pulled over for no reason. I used to be an actor, and as a cream-colored man, I had it made. In almost every show I was ever in, there were more roles for men than women, and for a person of color, the selection was even more limited. Sometimes directors would cast a woman in a man’s role or a black person as a character who, in real life, would have been white, but their even having to do that in the first place speaks volumes about the marginalization of non-whites and females.
I should make one thing clear: not all white people are bad. In fact, many of my friends are white. I’m not even going to generalize and say that if you like the stuff at stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, you’re one of the bad ones, because some of those things are legitimately awesome (Barack Obama, The Wire, books, I could go on…) But really, they’re the exception rather than the rule. Most white people irritate me, especially white liberals. They talk incessantly about how we all need to have sympathy for people who are different and try to understand their unique point of view, but if they stopped spewing shit like a broken sewage line for two seconds, they’d realize that our points of view aren’t all that different. What exactly does liberal guilt accomplish except to make sanctimonious white people feel good about a superficial show of contrition? Sometimes, I honestly wish I were conservative. Actually, I don’t, but one of the few upshots to belonging to a group whose members frequently are racist is that you spend more time dismissing legitimate criticisms than beating yourself up over imaginary ones. At the very least, you sleep a little better.
A couple years ago, I performed Edward Norton’s tirade from 25th Hour for an acting class. You should see the movie if you haven’t already, but essentially, he spends five minutes spewing venom at every group of people in New York City before realizing that he’s the one he hates most of all. If that were all there is to it, it would be a rather trite sentiment. But that’s not what it’s about. It’s about the way that so much of hatred disguises itself as resentment over what people do rather than what they are. One might get legitimately annoyed by black basketball players taking five steps on every layup and blaming all of their problems on white people, but if one is moved to uncontrollable rage by something like that, there are deeper issues at work. My class, by the way, responded positively, although my teacher warned me that performing something this edgy for the wrong crowd might not provoke a positive response. Fair enough. I’m not trying to make people feel good about themselves. Actually, I am. But that doesn’t mean that I approve of everything they do.
Is there anything more hateful than telling another person that you’d like them more if they were different? Love has to be unconditional or it is not love at all. If you ever begin a sentence with, “I’m not a racist,” stop. If what you’re about to say is racist, prefacing it will not help. If it’s not racist, all you have accomplished is to put people on their guard. And if you think that something like that is enough to insulate yourself against charges against racism, you’re probably a racist.
Got that? Good. I’ve worn myself out. I’m going to go watch TV.
Photo Credit: http://pusiva.blogspot.com/2007/09/pastry-cream.html