A Guide For Whites to Be Less Stupid
Table of Contents
A Heavy-Handed, Preachy, Holier-Than-Thou Discussion About Equality
We all think we know, from about first grade on, what equality is and what it means. But sometimes maybe we need a little reminder...
We like to think that as we grow-up this sense of right and wrong grows with us, and that maybe by the time we’re old we’ll understand equality and inequality, if not perfectly, at least well enough to make the right decisions and do the right things.
And yet, think about Rosa Parks finally deciding not to give up her seat on that bus, not moving to the back where, based solely on the color of her skin, she was expected to go.
Imagine the white people on that bus watching this drama unfold and either saying nothing or joining in condemning this simple brave act (an act which started a chain of changes so important to the world).
Imagine those other passengers: their hate-filled sneers, lips curled up in rage and horror — their words, curses, saliva packed in the corners of their mouths, muttering, and spittle flying out uncontrollably —
Their eyes narrowed to a savage, piercing, vicious glare.
Did any of those passengers in the white people’s seats, think to themselves, “Wow, what a courageous act. I can see how this is the way change begins.”
Any of them?
If so, I never heard about that.
Did any of them speak up?
If not, how can we believe humans are capable of understanding inequality at all?
Perhaps those were adults on that bus; perhaps some old ones at that, and by riding the bus we can guess that maybe they were not all that much more affluent than Rosa Parks.
And maybe they were of average or even higher than average intelligence.
But somehow that didn’t help them to recognize this most obvious example of fairness/unfairness, unfolding right before their eyes.
I wrote this first, back in 2014, and for six years America’s first black President had lived with dog-whistle racism, trying to destroy every good thing he wanted to do.
“It’s not his race not the color of his skin we loathe; it’s his ‘otherness’ and his evil ideas we oppose.”
But the simple truth is that we are all still passengers on this bus now, as we settle into a long, relieved sigh over the 2020 election results.
It is unfair not to let a President implement the policies and plans he was elected, and re-elected to do.
I am an old white man, sitting in a seat on the great bus, but it’s time to stand-up and tell everyone within the sound of my voice,
“We must stop this inequality when we see it.”
Am I preaching to my fellow travelers?
You’re goddamned right I am!
Equality demands it whether we let ourselves see this and like it or not.
I’m not a racist, but the trick is…
Watching Portland Athena
Knowing when my friend, I’m on your side
Showing when I lock the door and hide
Showing when I knock the poor aside
Slighting them, I mock the war and lied
Marching then, I flock to Portland’s side!
Nothing sends my Black true more and wide
Walking in blanc, nue Athena’s stride
Voting in, I rock Kamala’s side!
Fisting win, I jock the Biden ride!
Keeping then, my pockets full and wide
Keeping then, my flock es blanco pride
Keeping then, my stock is měi yuan tied
Knowing when my friend, I’m on your side
Knowing when my friend, I’m down for pride.
Nothing screams white privilege more than a white girl defiantly walking nude in front of police during a protest spurred from a Blackman’s death by a white cop. I question some white protestors, not for their motive but their understanding. Do they understand what they are protesting and why? It would seem obvious that a white person taking off her clothes to defy police brutality against blacks, unafraid of a nightstick clubbing, contradicts the entire protest narrative. Portland Athena clarifies the white worldview that sees injustice only from an externalized nature and never intrinsic. Many liberal whites see George Floyd’s death as an injustice but exclude themselves from that injustice, and not internalizing Floyd makes us prone to acting with privilege like Portland Athena. No matter how well-intentioned, her actions reveal the deep-rooted white privilege.
Prior To The 2016 Presidential Election, We Wrote:
I got tricked, or I should say I tricked myself into believing that my fellow citizens had changed from the idiocy and cynicism of Ronald Reagan to some kind of decency and goodness by the election of Barack Obama. But now Donald Trump with his blatant, overt, in your face racism, misogyny, mocking of the disabled, grotesque bullying, demagoguery, not a single thing about him suggesting that he has a single fucking clue about how to govern, (not to even mention his con man fraudulence), has stepped into Reagan’s shoes as the nominee of the Republican Party.
They love to call themselves the ‘Party of Lincoln’, absent even the slightest sense of how ridiculous, inaccurate, and ironic that misrepresentation is. I got tricked or I tricked myself into believing our country could function. But I get it now: whether Trump wins or loses, my capacity for deluding myself is over. We Americans are, and likely always will be, as capable of willful ignorance as we are incapable of finding the better angels of our natures.
While there are endless ideas I could add to this prophetic piece, I’ll simply state that the continued existence of the Tangerine Imbecile on our modern life is like the line between Caligula and Nero in Rome, only our barbarians are already inside the gates and our idiot can’t play the violin. The heart of this evil has been with us since Reagan decided to launch his successful Presidential Campaign in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia MISSISSIPPI, that is; home of the KKK and the setting for the history told in films like Mississippi Burning.
Let us never say we weren’t warned.
The laws justifying and creating slavery, and separating it from indentured servitude, were based on race and came at the same time, creating American slavery through the same legislative bodies and powers. Today’s laws curtailing CRT and imposing regulations on its teaching merely follow the tradition of systemic racism that created American slavery.
The Fragility of White
At the end of eighth grade, I sat in a classroom but not a class because the end of the school year left students finished with courses and no place to be in the final days. Rather than kids wandering campus, faculty herded them into classrooms to await the next class or, as in my case, the last bell of the day. With head lying on arms as the handful of students listened to the teacher, my attempt to sleep ended when the discussion's droning shifted to Rosa Parks. Not long before, I had an assignment dealing with Parks in my social studies class and her famed protest on the Montgomery Alabama bus intrigued me. The seamstress taking a stand against a tremendous foe of racism felt akin to me in a time of bullying and other abuse.
The teacher, a white older woman, told a sympathetic story of being on that bus that day and how much that moment affected her. The small class of white kids, being a predominantly caucasian school, were equally engaged by this story, which seemed to evoke empathy and a sense of equality. At the time, I relished the story, despite the tale not quite sitting right with me, and felt somehow better about racism, as though I understood it better and was somewhat free of it.
That anecdote I repeated many times in my youth and young adulthood, but as life, books, and morality revealed conservatisms barbaric nature, the retelling of this story lessened. I stopped telling the story sometime in my thirties no longer believing the tale. The fact is, and the internet's dissemination of information, had much to do with this, I slowly began questioning the story's veracity since I could not verify any part of it.
I know of no person who was on that bus that day who came forward with a story. None!
Despite early suspicions of the anecdote, it would take years of retelling (that coincided with my departure from Republican/Christian thinking) to realize the story's holes, like the "police were called by someone." This was not what occurred according to History, "Eventually, two police officers approached the stopped bus, assessed the situation and placed Parks in custody." Overlooking this as an innocuous factual error, other details fostered suspicion such as the absence of the scene and people's reactions.
It was as though the story was about just her and Rosa Parks.
This story was not a small event as it provided the fodder for the Montgomery Alabama bus boycott which led to violence against Blacks. At the time of the telling in the early eighties, the teacher could have easily written a book about this event and even used it in classes. Yet, despite attending that school for two years, I never once heard of this teacher and never heard the story about her being on the bus until she told it.
Many other doubts nagged at me, such as the coincidence of her telling this story to this particular group of students waiting for the last bell of that eighth-grade day that would send them home never to return to that middle school. Suffice to say, I believe she lied about being in Montgomery Alabama on that bus with Rosa Parks, begging the question: why?
White Fragility's Glass Sword & Shield
As we go back in time, this teacher, who I don't know for certain her politics, but certainly had a liberal quality, still leaned right, just like many small town and city teachers working in predominantly white, Christian communities. Back then, all of society leaned right more so than today, which made politics less divisive but meant everyone was more conservative.
The term "white fragility" that insights fear in both liberal and conservatives today explains my bullshitting teacher perfectly. White is intrinsically tied with Christianity fueling racism, for how could you be wrong if you are white since you believe in Jesus, and Jesus is white?
White is right.
This is the mantra whispered beneath the conservative rhetoric that works to enslave everyone to the past since those at the top benefit the most. You see, being white is more than just a privilege of being privy to eternal truth, it is culturally right thus excluding billions of people evidenced by China, Japan, the Middle East, and many other majority nonChristian nations that might be allies but certainly do not make good Americans.
Besides keeping out the foreigners from the country built by immigrants, white serves another role of coalescing power and resources for those fitting the standards. Armed with the sword and shield of whiteness, the Christian male rises to the top followed by the white woman at his side. Other white males of different religions follow the Christian, then Asians because they are white-like, then Arabs or blacks depending on if they have an accent or wear a hijab.
Whiteness also hinges on not just the tint of skin but looks, athleticism, affluence, and many other traits. Poor whites are white trash, similar to being some other nonwhite, but still above the other races and nonChristians. Rich whites are revered for their wisdom because they clearly made money when others could not, so they must possess sagacity or blessing from God, not because they lucked into a position of authority or birth as a nepo-baby in a hierarchy that rewards those most white.
Perhaps one of the most important things to understand about the American whites is their persecution complex that has no basis in reality other than their savior being nailed to a cross. In this persecution – sometimes warranted by a trait or behavior that exiles them from whiteness – the fragility of white clarifies, like in the case of my tall-tale-telling teacher. If the white person cannot ascend the ladder or feels powerless from actual or imagined persecution, their sword and shield that promises them a place above the nonwhites, lesser whites, and nonChristians shows its true glass nature.
White fragility is a facade of power, telling whites, "You are special and good, not like all those other people," until the glass shatters because of some infraction or uncontrolled circumstance: rape, bad business decision, gay kid or being gay, not having a pure enough vagina, ad infinitum.
When the white sword and shield shatter, the whites, like my teacher, lies. Whatever got her excluded from club white becomes the impetus to fabricate her white privilege. As a teacher, her control over the minds of youngsters, in particular white children, elevates her again, at least mentally, to be the white savior. Her tale of witnessing Rosa Parks is etched on the shards of white, telling of the sympathetic, Christian, or some other brand of white, who saw the injustice and watched the police haul away the poor black lady in irons.
Having shared that selfish story articulated with perhaps endless good intentions, she inflicted on students, me, that same fragility that convinces us we are good, upstanding liberal minded people who will never admit the full depth of our privilege, racism, and hate.
Rooting for Tiger Woods to Fail
American Racism's Glory
A jerk I know roots for Tiger Woods to fail every chance he gets and has told himself God doesn’t mind this cruel focus because it’s simply factual, Tiger fails, and this pleases my friend. Isn’t it grand!
Many things are factual for instance: for a decade plus Tiger Woods was the greatest golfer alive and he inspired racial diversity in a sport once as segregated and white as any and all of them shamefully were.
These are simply facts too, and I doubt God cares much about my thoughts on these matters, but the Jesus Christ I like, not the turn-the-water-into-wine, cure-the-blind Vegas magician who loves every-fuckin-body. I suspect he’d like my read on this although I’m not sure about it because a lot of folks who call themselves Christians believe a lot of horrible things about other people’s pain and write that shit off as simply being facts.
Pro-Rittenhousers vs Sane People
The Great American Divide, a quick and overly simplistic view
Much of this goes back to how and where one begins to pay attention to the narrative. Some very sane, very decent, very honorable friends, people I both love and admire, are trying to explain to me why The Rittenhouse verdict, “disappointing as it may feel” was only fair and right — They are Suggesting that given the charges against him, his not guilty verdict was inevitable.
Why he was there in the first place, heavily armed, inconsequential. Why did the court order that only the most serious charge could be considered, dismissing even gun charges that could have included examination of the deaths and injuries caused by him carrying a loaded, high-powered weapon into a protest? Apparently irrelevant. Him walking away, totally free of consequence “the only thing that could happen.”
Black people are killed by white cops and now progressives, lending moral support in protest against this are gunned down to the cheers of the American Fascists. Where do you want to pick up the story? Where do you accept that it begins and might end? How can anyone call themselves, fair-minded and just while choosing to pick up the narrative at the start and finish of a trial with a clearly biased judge presiding over it, and no other facts considered relevant?
Save your explanations and rationalizations for someone willing to hear them and refuse to see the bigger story, and enjoy your affiliation with the celebrants of this travesty. Maybe Tucker Carlson or Marjorie Taylor Greene have a spare seat at their Thanksgiving table this year, I can assure you, I don’t.
The Absurd, Stupid Accusation of White, Liberal Guilt
“Just because we’ve benefited from horrible shit doesn’t mean we’re bad...” The fuck it doesn’t!
My beliefs and ethics regarding the systemic advantages I have enjoyed all my life, have nothing to do with white liberal guilt.
For the record, I am aware that many people have experienced the lifelong advantages of what can best be described as “the gifts outright,” that I have. Indeed, I have enjoyed and benefited from these often obvious sometimes invisible advantages myself. But I don’t refuse to face and own this truth. I don’t deny the existence of unfairness and injustice simply so I can feel more comfortable.
When people spout out that whole, “I’ve worked my ass off for everything I have” bullshit, feeding themselves first and then the rest of the world this fundamental lie I find it beyond boring. It is tedious.
Speaking to such people is always a drag. When you listen to them closely you’ll find that there’s always a dismissive phrase, a giveaway and telling cliché in their speech which will show up sooner or later, rationalizing an escape from genuine accountability and supporting denial towards the facing of necessary and painful truths.
It’s ugly listening to them:
“Oh you’re just so “woke” aren’t you?”
“Critical Race Theory is so divisive”
“Why do you have to be so Politically Correct?”
“I’m not racist, and if you think I am, YOU’RE the racist!”
It’s exhausting and depressing trying to talk to people who have made up their minds to believe nonsense that makes them feel better rather than to face facts and reality.
Fortunately, most of what I see online is smart, right and civil — morally good on what to me matters most about morality, not judgmental posturing and rationalizing, but genuine consideration of life generated out of kindness, honesty, justice and fairness, love, empathy, and conduct we’d expect out of healthy people doing our best.
The hopelessness and helplessness I feel when arguing with people who won’t or can’t face facts is deep and painful. Even writing this and thinking about them hurts. So I try to avoid such people and when I find myself involved in a conversation with one of them I find a way to escape as quickly as possible.
Again, also for the record, I’m not avoiding these conversations because I’m afraid of losing an argument. I get away from this type of social interaction because no matter what I say, no matter how I phrase my thoughts and feelings, nothing will pry them off their positions and allow them to change their views.
If what I’m saying here makes sense to you, you probably didn’t need to hear it.
If what I’m saying doesn’t make sense or you feel like arguing about it, you were never going to hear me or be persuaded anyway.
I know that many people in my tribe, defining their values and beliefs in the ways I have defined mine here, recognize that what I’m saying is true and real and that many of you have shared the experience I’m describing.
If you disagree with what I’m saying, that’s your right, of course — there aren’t any laws against being stupid. Unfortunately there ARE consequences which if you haven’t seen or felt them yet, doesn’t mean you won’t someday have to face them.
blanc nue- French- white nude.
es blanco- Spanish- is white.
měi yuan- Chinese (Mandarin)- US dollar.
Copyright Vincent Triola & Terry Trueman