Forbearance

Just a reminder to my fellow white people:

THERE IS NO EQUIVALENT FOR US OF THE RESTRAINT WE EXPECT PEOPLE OF COLOR TO EXERCISE IN THIS COUNTRY.

We get all bent out of shape and call the fucking 5 o’clock news when the phone company doesn’t give us a $2 refund, but we expect people of color to call a police officer “sir” as he’s threatening to shoot them. As he’s shooting them. After he’s shot them.

We ask why people of color aren’t addressing crime in “their own” communities, admitting that we think of “our” communities as white ones, and then when there are protests we yell GET A JOB.

We equate burning down a CVS or punching an individual Nazi with the institutionalized power of the state sanctioning the murder of our kin, and call whoever gets maddest on the cable news about it the loser in the argument.

We police language, clothing, music, books, and we treat every politely written request to redress decades of systematic oppression as if it’s a demand for a lollipop, but God forbid anyone cut US off in traffic or we make it a federal fucking case.

The onus is always on them to respond in the “proper” way, which is to say not respond at all, while we get to do/say whatever we like wherever we like including the highest halls of government power. And then we want to claim some mantle of oppression? We want to say white people are persecuted?

There’s a white supremacist in the White House because we couldn’t give up the national talking stick to a person of color for 8 measly years without having a freakout of Oscar-winning proportions, and we want to claim we’re the victims here?

I got news for us. We have no idea.

A.

5 thoughts on “Forbearance

  1. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Kneel to the flag, GOOD, that shows respect for the flag.

    Hold up ONE FINGER for Trump. I suggest the pinky finger. Seems appropriate, somehow.

    Like

  2. pansypoo says:

    the WHITE snowflakes will melt.

    Like

  3. Ten Bears says:

    I wish there were some other way to express the sentiment, taking a knee is far too like bowing down to a king or a dog or something.

    Like

  4. H-Bob says:

    Waving or brandishing the flag of treason during the National Anthem, surprisingly, is neither offensive or disrespectful.

    Like

  5. danps says:

    There’s a white supremacist in the White House because we couldn’t give up the national talking stick to a person of color for 8 measly years without having a freakout of Oscar-winning proportions

    I was thinking along those lines this morning as I was driving to work. I’ve mostly eliminated my online presence in part because I felt like my brain was starting to go haywire (always being connected to feeds was starting to fray my mental health) but also because I feel like I don’t understand anything anymore. I’ve run out of takes and nothing makes sense.

    I missed the *nature* of the freakout, I misread it as superficial disgruntlement over their side losing. It was fundamental though, something broke at some foundational level of their psyches. I think the clue should have been the guns – remember those stories about how gun sales were way up but ownership rates weren’t? Because the proto-MAGA types were amassing huge stockpiles of weapons because why? That should have been a clue to me, but I dismissed it. They didn’t just lose an election, they felt personally threatened and emasculated.

    They weren’t buying guns because they thought the black president was going to take them, but because they thought lots of other black guys would take his election as a signal for the long-awaited payback to start, bitches. All the evil whites inflicted for centuries on blacks was about to start getting repaid. THAT’S what they were expecting, not ATF raids, I really do think it broke them at some basic level, and again I missed that.

    I’ve been trying to make sense of it since. The freakout has either produced or revealed a shift toward political identity as the primary psychological affiliation in peoples’ lives. Used to be that if someone ID’d as, say, Catholic, there were certain political positions you could infer. Not 100% accurately of course, but at least you knew there was a current running underneath partisan ID that was informing their politics.

    That seems to be completely gone now. The Trump-supporting religiously observant people I know have done a whole lot of shutting up since the election, like they can’t bring themselves to condemn someone who routinely and flamboyantly violates the basic values their religious traditions ostensibly stands for. Given the choice between standing up for their political party or their faith, they’re choosing party.

    Again, that may just be something revealed. With W they’d be like “well you might not like his policies but he’s a decent God-fearing man.” They’d at least give him that, even long after his support went sideways. These same people are now just ignoring Trump, they’re all like “I’m sick of talking about politics” (which is also a very convenient stance when the side you like has unified control of the government). Maybe they’ve been that committed to partisanship all along and Trump just snatched away the fig leaf.

    I think Obama’s election was outright traumatizing for many of them, though. I think it created a feeling of bowel-voiding existential terror, and I took it to be sour grapes. I missed the freakout, and I’m still trying to figure out what it means.

    Like

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