Another controversial wypipo movement has reared its ugly head, so we thought we’d—
Hold on for a second. I love these explainers, but now you’re writing them just for the sake of writing them. Why not work on a story about the Libyan slave trade or something? There’s no need to make things up.
I’m not making anything up. There is actually a movement dedicated to telling white people that it’s OK to be white.
By “movement,” do you mean two random people? One of my pet peeves with submillennials is that they call everything a “movement.” As soon as a nigga designs a T-shirt, creates a hashtag or starts a SoundCloud page, he claims something is a movement.
There is no “It’s OK to Be White” movement. I know white people are slowly dissolving into salty puddles of lukewarm snowflakes, but I don’t think they’ve gone this far ... yet. There would’ve been sirens or something.
Well, what do you call it when a conservative is hired to give an “It’s OK to Be White” speech at the University of Connecticut? How about the flyers they’ve found at the University of South Carolina, University of California, Davis, Washington State University and a Maryland high school? What would you call it when the guy who invented Minecraft is beefing about it on Twitter?
OK, you got me. It sounds like a movement. But why, though?
That’s what I was about to explain before I was so rudely interrupted. A lot of our best and brightest white people are starting to believe they are oppressed. There have been polls that show that most white people feel they are “under attack” or discriminated against.
Most? Nigga, how?
I’m trying to use that word less often in my writing. I have to get permission to use it. Anyway, there’s a quote that I heard that says, “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
I hate that quote.
Because ... groupthink. Also, it insinuates that there’s some sort of equality taking place when there isn’t. White people are still hired twice as often as blacks. They’re still paid more. Hate crimes are increasing. Blacks are still incarcerated longer for the same crimes. There is not one quantifiable indicator to suggest that any sort of equality is taking place. Yet someone created a trite way of explaining it. I’m sure it was a liberal white person—probably Lena Dunham.
However, it is true that white people are beginning to feel like they’re getting the short end of the stick.
How do you explain that?
Is that some academic from one of those books on critical race theory you’re always reading? No, I bet you’re going to tell me one of your childhood stories that you always turn into a parable. It this going to take long?
Nigga, interrupted me!
I thought you said we were going to stop using that. ... Go ahead, man.
Terry and I were the same age. He was built like a brick shithouse and was grown-man-size by the time he was 12. I mean, this dude had a goatee in the third grade. No one messed with him, and he basically did whatever he wanted because he was big as fuck and mean as fuck. Everyone stayed out of Terry’s way.
Luckily, Terry lived around the corner from me all his life, and we were pretty cool, so he never bothered me. I also didn’t have to deal with him because I was skipped a couple of grades. By the time Terry was a freshman in high school, I was already a junior.
The first day of Terry’s freshman year, I walked to school with him. I could tell he was nervous because he kept asking me questions about the people, maneuvering the classrooms, etc. I couldn’t figure out why this big, cock-diesel dude would be so nervous. But when I got to school, I realized:
No one moved out of his way. No one was afraid of him. Every third or fourth dude in the hallway was a senior or junior who was as big as Terry or bigger.
But what does that have to do with “It’s OK to Be White”?
Because white people feel like Terry. Nothing has actually changed in the world. They are simply nervous because no one is afraid of them anymore. They see Confederate statues coming down and take it as an attack on them. They translate anything pro-black into anti-white. They saw the world respecting a black president for eight years and took it as a disrespect of whiteness.
They can’t deal with the fact that not only are they no longer the big man on campus, but whiteness no longer endows them with the ability to move to the front of the lunch line, take whatever they want, or stuff blacks, Muslims and Mexicans into middle school lockers. It’s not that white supremacy is falling apart, it’s just that no one respects it anymore, so we’re left to mop up the white-tears spills when they lash out. That’s why they need to tell each other that it’s OK to be white.
OK, I get it. So when they say we should understand that “It’s OK to be white” is a self-affirmation just like “Black lives matter,” should we object?
I’ve heard them say that, but here is the difference:
The history of slavery, Jim Crow, lynching, COINTELPRO, disproportionate police shootings, the war on drugs, mass incarceration, segregation, the creation of “black identity extremists,” Charlottesville, Va., hate crime statistics and Jeff Sessions becoming the chief law-enforcement officer in the United States proves the necessity of the phrase #BlackLivesMatter.
And since the sun rose over the horizon the day after the Jamestown, Va., settlers set foot on American soil and began infecting this land with their imagined Caucasian sovereignty, there has never been a moment in the history of this country, dare I say of the entire continent, when it has not been OK to be white.