Tim Wise: An Open Letter to the White Right

This white man is seeing red.

Posted:
 
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Writer and educator Tim Wise

Excerpt:

For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy a#% Scotch you drink. And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever sh@#$% a#% beer you favor. Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this … You need to drink up.

And quickly. And heavily. Because your time is limited. Real damned limited. So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness. The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left. Not much more now. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick. Tock.

I know, you think you’ve taken “your country back” with this election -- and of course you have always thought it was yours for the taking, cuz that’s what we white folks are bred to believe, that it’s ours, and how dare anyone else say otherwise — but you are wrong.

You have won a small battle in a larger war the meaning of which you do not remotely understand.

‘Cuz there is nothing even slightly original about you.

There have always been those who wanted to take the country back. There were those who, in past years, wanted to take the country back to a time of enslavement and indentured servitude.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when children could be made to work in mines and factories, when workers had no legal rights to speak of, when the skies in every major city were heavy with industrial soot that would gather on sidewalks and windowsills like volcanic ash.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when women could not vote, or attend any but a few colleges, or get loans in their own names, or start their own businesses.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when blacks “had no rights that the white man was bound to respect” -- this being the official opinion of the Supreme Court before those awful days of judicial activism, now decried by the likes of you -- and when people of color could legally be kept from voting solely because of race, or holding certain jobs, or living in certain neighborhoods, or run out of other towns altogether when the sun would go down, or be strung up from trees.

But they lost.

And you will lose. So make a note of it. Tweet it to yourself. Put it on your Facebook wall and leave it there so you’ll remember that I told you so. It is coming, and soon. This isn’t hubris. It isn’t ideology. It is not wishful thinking. It is math. Not even advanced math. Just simple, basic, like 3rd grade math. The kind of math that proves how your kind -- mostly older white folks beholden to an absurd, inaccurate, nostalgic fantasy of what America used to be like -- are dying.

Read the open letter in its entirety at Timwise.org.