Abigail Fisher is the average-est white woman in the history of average white women. Her averageness is so average, it’s aggressive. Enthusiastic. Transformative. It boldly goes where no average has gone before. She’s unambiguously average. Obnoxiously average. Disruptively average.
If she were a character in Star Wars, her name would be Darth Average. She’s to “average white woman” what “Chipotle burritos” are to “diarrhea.” She is the human personification of Rite Aid-brand shampoo. Or, perhaps, a boiled and condiment-less hot dog sitting in a room-temperature bun. On a paper plate. If you looked up “average-ass white woman” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of Abigail Fisher, buying milk or raking leaves or doing some other average-ass s—t. She’s a human 2003 Ford Escort.
Thing is, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being average. By definition, most people are average. Average people make the world go ’round. And, if born into the right family, average people can even be president!
The problem with Abigail Fisher, however, is that despite her relentless averageness, she believes that she’s entitled to treatment far surpassing her relentless averageness. This entitlement led her to believe that the only reason her average ass didn’t get into the University of Texas was that she was being discriminated against. That because some black kids got in and she didn’t, there must be something wrong with a system that didn’t immediately kowtow to Darth Average. That she happens to be the human equivalent of Trader Joe’s turkey bacon didn’t register. They got in and she didn’t, so the entire system must be a failure.
This, in a nutshell, is the perfect example of what people are referring to when they refer to “white tears.” All the elements are here. An average white person? Check! An average white person who believes that her averageness should grant her certain privileges? Check! Black people just existing? Check! A black person receiving something that the average and entitled white person doesn’t believe that he or she should receive? Check! The average and entitled white person complaining about it, citing “reverse racism” or “Obama’s a socialist!” or “James Bond can’t be black!” or something? Check!
And it’s only fitting that Fisher’s case would be heard by the Supreme Court in 2015. Because 2015, from beginning to end, has been drenched in bitter and salty white tears.
There was Nancy Lee Grahn shedding bucketfuls of white tears after Viola Davis’ Emmy acceptance speech, tweeting, “Im a [f—king] actress for 40 yrs. None of us get respect or opportunity we deserve. Emmys not venue 4 racial opportunity. ALL women belittled.”
There were the tens of thousands of white Southerners making and throwing white-tear-filled water balloons to defend the “honor” of an inherently dishonorable, inherently treasonous and inherently racist flag. (And, remember, this was the flag of the losing team. It’s like the people of Philadelphia fighting to protect the legacy of the 2015 Sixers.)
There was now-former University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe, who included the following passage in his resignation speech:
This is not—I repeat not—the way change should come about. Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation. We have to respect each other enough to stop yelling at each other and start listening and quit intimidating each other.
As I’ve written before, these words seem innocuous, fair and right-minded in a vacuum. But considering the context—that this is a speech he’s giving because he was so inept at listening to and respecting the needs of his students that one student even promised to starve himself to death unless Wolfe resigned (seriously, how bad do you have to be at your job for someone to say, “Man, I ain’t eating again till this motherf—ker gets fired”?)—these are white tears, distilled for academia.
Just this week, the country was hit with another torrential downpour of white tears after Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Sam’s Club, mentioned that she’d do what she could to ensure that the Sam’s Club executive leadership was more diverse. Naturally, this prompted many to call out Brewer for being racist. Because, according to the walking, talking white-tears dispensers, noticing structural racism is actually racism.
And of course, we can’t forget about Serena Williams, whose every move is tracked with a trail of white tears. Seriously, she’s like the white-tears Hansel and Gretel. If Williams were ever lost in the forest or in a really large Super Wal-Mart, just follow the white tears following her, and you’ll eventually find her. The latest jug of Serena Williams-inspired white-tears punch was made after Sports Illustrated named her Sportsperson of the Year, and people—including an actual major publication—questioned her legitimacy, even claiming that a horse (yes, a freakin’ horse) had a better claim to the Sportsperson of the Year honor than she did.
Ultimately, however, it all comes back to Abigail Fisher, the patron saint of white tears. Because her case is being heard by the Supreme Court. And there’s a possibility that Darth Average could actually end up getting affirmative action overturned. Which proves that while white tears can be funny, what they can eventually result in is no laughing matter.
That said, if affirmative action does get overturned, there would be some irony there. Because the main beneficiaries of affirmative action haven’t been black people. They’ve been average white women like Abigail Fisher. And it’s only right that Fisher would shed so many white tears that she’d end up drowning herself.
Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VerySmartBrothas.com. He is also a contributing editor at Ebony.com. He lives in Pittsburgh and he really likes pancakes. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.