Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
I envy those who can unironically praise and express love for themselves in our multicultural post-modern USA. Who are these people? They’re the oppressed. Just as they have to work twice as hard to succeed in this biased society, they need to be twice as proud as unoppressed people in order to achieve the same level of self-esteem.
Who’s unoppressed? The straight white men. White women can at least be proud of being women, at least until someone points out how many of them voted for Dump, and the other historically awful crap they’ve done.
I’m lucky, because in addition to being white I’m also a Jew. It’s okay to be proud of being a Jew as long as you’re suitably ashamed of the Israeli expulsion of Muslim Palestinians prior to 1948 Independence and the subsequent abuses of the Occupation. The Jews who deny any wrong-doing in this regard, well, I’m ashamed of them. And they’re ashamed of me. They call me a “self-hating Jew.” Have you ever really gotten to know a Jew? If you have, I’m sure you’ll agree that the moniker “self-hating Jew” is redundant.
So white Jews are a special case of white people. Then again, isn’t every white person? You can be proudly Irish, because you saved civilization and survived the famine. You can be proudly Russian, because of Tolstoy etc., and that you survived any number of things. You can be proudly German, because of Goethe, but I suggest you counterweigh that pride with some healthy shame because of you-know-what.
Really, it’s the WASPs who need to check their pride, at least here in the US, but also around the world. They owned like half the world at one point, and despite extending their pinkies while drinking tea, they weren’t the kindest of overlords. But, hey, the overlord business isn’t about kindness. The Chinese in Tibet, Uyghur-land, Indochina, etc. have earned a lot of shame, but the British got them all hooked on opium, so it’s even, I guess. The Japanese in China, Thailand, etc., were brutal oppressors, but they did invent sushi, origami, sake, and they got Hiroshimaed and Nagasakied by the WASPs and their minions.
WASPs carry the whiteness elitism for the rest of the white mongrels. Whiteness is what allows the rest of us white people to pass as possible members of the elite group of oppressors. We look like we could possibly be related to some wealthy authority figure, like John Jacob Astor or Colonel Sanders. That’s usually enough to keep a cop from shooting us during a routine traffic stop.
On the other end of the oppression spectrum are the black Africans, as opposed to the white, Arab, and Berber Africans. When those afraid to say “black” in the USA say, “African American,” they mean Black African American, not those others, who might also consider themselves both African and American. When the African Diaspora is referred to, it usually means black Africans who are dispersed all over the world, mainly due to being shipped around as slave labor. A black African nation has never dropped a nuclear weapon. Black Africans have never oppressed anyone but each other, although they have been known to oppress homosexuals, albinos, women and children, so there’s some intersectional discrimination there.
Africa is the continent most of the black people in the USA hail from, ancestrally, and that continent was raped, literally and figuratively – robbed of its resources, sovereignty, and cultural potential – by the Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Belgian, German, and English white people, primarily. In the USA, then, the white people, as WASPs by association if not blood and culture, represent the primary despoilers of what we call “the global south,” and the black people represent its primary victims. And this is reflected today mainly in the status of black people as targets of political and social rhetoric, economic oppression, and abuse from the law.
Anyway, that’s where the racial hierarchy derives from, and where it shakes out today. Yes, the class issue is powerfully blended in there. It would be simpler if all white people were heterosexual WASP adult able-bodied men, and all black people were equally poor and incarcerated. But it’s not simple, it’s complicated, although the fact that it’s complicated shouldn’t distract us from the simple, straightforward, everyday injustices perpetrated against the descendants of slaves by the descendants of the beneficiaries of slavery. There’s a particular antagonism by white authority that emerges from that dichotomy, and while it isn’t bounded within that dichotomy, there’s a peculiarity of the persecution that lies inside those limits. A peculiar institution, if you will.
At a certain point in history, black people became associated with the struggle against oppression. Probably, and I’m just guessing here, but probably because they were being oppressed and didn’t like it.
At this point in writing this, I’ve just seen the new footage from Sandra Bland’s phone camera of her being extremely aggressively threatened by the police officer who arrested her just before the Texas police killed her. I mean, it’s pretty obvious they killed her. For not signaling a lane change.
Anyway, so, yeah, at a certain point enough of the conscience of the world was sickened and infuriated by the way white people were abusing, enslaving, and murdering black people, and started rooting for and even helping black people, who had already been fighting against white cruelty from the beginning, really, eventually the eyes of the rest of the world couldn’t remain closed, so now pressure was coming from both outside and inside the evil system.
Anyway, a lot of white people still hold a grudge. They liked slavery. They thought it was good for them, and some even pretend they believe it was good for black people. And even after slavery, they didn’t want to let go of being cruel to black people. So everyone who was against them being cruel to black people became their enemy.
So by the 1960s, black people became associated, on the right, with hippies and birth control and socialism. So all that got mixed together in the racist mind. They saw liberals in favor of black people, and black people were their enemy, so black people and their desire not to be murdered or imprisoned or generally screwed with became synonymous with indigenous rights and recycling and whatever. That’s why they’re so offended by football players taking the knee. They know somehow it’s anti-racism, so they also assume it must be anti-patriotism, anti-militarism, anti-heterosexuality, and anti-white. The rightwing white people have now hopelessly entangled their Racism with anti-multiculturalism, anti-peace, anti-sexual freedom, anti- feminism, anti-unionism, anti-disablism, and general overall Anti-leftism.
They’re being intersectional! It’s a start!
Seriously, though, it’s kind of convenient for all of us. They are a one-stop shop of hatefulness! Of course, it’s always more complicated than that. I mean, there’s always someone who has to pipe up with, “I’m anti-labor but I’m also anti-racist.” Or, “I’m anti-multiculturalism, but I’m also Jewish.” Or, “I’m anti-abortion and anti-trans-rights, but I’m also black!” I get the feeling such people are just being perverse. A bunch of hateful people have done us the favor of wrapping themselves up in a Nazi bow of total hatred, and these “devil’s advocates” are trying to confuse the issue. Let’s focus on the straightforward, all-inclusive enemies first. Then we can deal with these other losers.
This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!