On Sunday, Oct. 14, Kyle Smith, the National Review’s critic-at-large, penned an opinion column alerting the magazine’s conservative readership of a disturbing new trend. Smith’s article lamented the fact that Democrats and people on “the left,” including this writer, are now slandering a sacrosanct segment of American society with an insidious, previously unknown racial slur: “White women.”
White people are free to speak about the “black vote,” “black family instability,” black neighborhoods,” and of course, a favorite subject of the National Review, “black on black crime.” (Yes, those are all links to National Review articles). But apparently, calling a thing exactly what it is, is a slur now. According to to the rice-paper-thin skinned right-wingers, aside from the “w-w words” (I am nothing if not respectful), one should never refer to white men as “white men,” or call a racist a “racist.”
Curiously using a photograph of two women of color to illustrate his point, Smith warns us that this malicious phrase has transformed “the party of equality into a hierarchy of victimhood.” Still worried that his collection of snowflakes may not have yet melted into a sufficient puddle of white tears, Smith continued building his stockpile of sanctimonious bullshit by adding:
“It wouldn’t be terribly difficult, in a nation of 300 million, to come up with five examples of black men who had murdered white women, but if you wrote an essay entitled “Why Black Men Keep Murdering White Women” you would rightly be barred from writing for just about any reputable journalistic outfit. The intellectual error of making invidious generalizations about large groups of people based on superficial characteristics is obvious. So is the moral error.”
So let us begin.
First, we shall dismiss his most incendiary racist false equivalence by agreeing that it would be incredibly easy to come up with five black men who have murdered white women. In fact, even if every one of the 4,935 black people arrested for murder in 2016 (the latest year for which FBI figures are available), murdered a white woman, it would mean that, based on U.S. Census numbers, .01 percentage of black people killed a white woman. Not 0ne percent, but one percent of one percent.
Smith knew what he was doing by invoking the statistically insignificant specter of black murderers. And by summoning the sum of white fears in a not-so-subtle attempt at race-based fearmongering, he disproved his own point.
Instead of blowing on his high-pitched dog whistle in an embarrassingly shallow attempt at playing savior to the second-place finishers in the white supremacy Olympics, Smith could’ve easily proven that white women were not worthy of derision by pointing at the countless times they have eschewed their own safety, comfort and social status for the greater good of their fellow man.
Oh, wait. He can’t do that.
There has never been a moment in the history of this country where white women have collectively stepped out of the cozy shade provided by white supremacy to stand up for anything other than their own whiteness. Not during slavery. Not during Jim Crow. Not yesterday. Not a single time.
Unlike Kyle’s black man murder fantasy, it was not an inconsequential percentage of white women who hid behind the opaque safety of voting booth curtains to hand our country over to a man who openly and loudly displays every variation of racism. It was 52 percent. It was most white women.
Maybe they were high off the pain meds that alleviated the self-induced carpal tunnel syndrome after constantly patting themselves on the back for electing the first black president and creating a post-racial America, despite the fact that most white women didn’t vote for Obama. They co-opted the black woman-created #MeToo movement but stiff-armed the black victims of sexual misconduct. They benefit the most from affirmative action while hating it just the same.
This is what most white women do.
Although they staged the largest protest in American history after the election of Donald Trump, half still approve of the job that Trump is doing, according to the latest Harris/ORC poll. They will flood the streets and walk out of classrooms after mass shootings but are noticeably silent when it comes to black lives. After chanting “Believe Women,” they overwhelmingly voted for Roy Moore. Half of them believe Republicans acted fairly in the Kavanaugh hearings, according to that same Harris Poll.
White women’s lies sent the Scottsboro boys to death row. A white woman was the cause of one of the earliest and most treacherous acts of racial terrorism in American history, when a mob bombed and burned the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Okla., called “Black Wall Street.” In fact, many historians mark the beginning of the civil rights era at the exact moment that Carolyn Bryant conjured up the lie that led to the heinous murder of 15-year-old Emmett Till and then hid it in the shadows of her evil heart for 62 years.
Like a white woman.
Conspicuously absent in Kyle Smith’s pearl-clutching opinion piece about the people who use the term “white women” to accuse white women of doing white women shit, is one important question:
Where is the lie?
I would not be offended if Kyle Smith called a black murderer a “black murderer.” I wouldn’t even be offended if Kyle referred to me as a “murderous black thug” because I know I have never murdered anyone. But many of the aggrieved white women who object to being characterized by such a despicable but accurate insult have actually done all the things they are accused of doing.
And that’s where this writer comes in.
In describing the growing disrespect for white women in America, Smith wrote: “A writer for The Root castigated Taylor Swift because ‘like some white women, she uses her privilege to not be involved until she’s directly affected.’”
That was me.
In his rush to defend white womanhood, Kyle might have overlooked the fact that the word “some” was right there in the sentence. He also may have missed when I elaborated on Taylor Swift’s beautiful Instagram message on the evening of October 7 (please remember that date). In all fairness, Smith may not have seen this explanation:
Taylor Swift knew that she had been made into an icon by the alt-right. When a tiny little website called Popfront suggested Swift should disavow the white supremacists using her as their mascot, her lawyers wrote a threatening letter to them:
“Ms. Swift has no obligation to campaign for any particular political candidate or broadcast her political views, and the fact that her political views are not public enough for your taste does not give you the authority to presume what her political opinions may be or that her political views correlate to the support of white supremacy.”
And even if Ms. Swift has remained silent on the issue of white supremacy ... silence does not mean support.
Then Taylor went on a world tour and collected every dollar from those Trump-supporting, homophobic racists who love her music, fans I have dubbed “Beyoncé-billy.” But it wasn’t just a tour. It was a stadium tour.
And do you know when it ended?
Let me explain the essence of whiteness to you, Anthony A. et. al. Let me explain how privilege works. Let me show you how people, especially white women, get to stand on a pedestal made from a pile of dead black bodies and still complain about bumping their head on the glass ceiling. And when you ask them about the river of blood, they will assure you that they had nothing to do with that.
Can’t you see how clean their feet are?
The last date on the U.S. leg of Taylor Swift’s world tour was Oct. 6, 2018, less than 24 hours before she shook up the world.
And that, dear Kyle, is why the phrase “white women” is not a slur. “White women” is an apt description of those who benefit from the historical privilege white womanhood affords while still using the perceived purity of their femininity as a new millennium deflector shield.
Not all white women, Kyle; but enough. There are more Trump-supporting, racism-ignoring white women than there are black murderers. A majority, Kyle. Or, as someone familiar with language, mathematics or history would call them: White women.
And if any of this confuses you ...
@ me, next time.