America be lying.
Although language purists will argue that the previous sentence is grammatically incorrect, it shows why African American Vernacular English (AAVE), is sometimes more accurate than Caucasian American Vernacular English (CAVE).
For more than a century, school districts preferred textbooks that taught students about “happy slaves” and framed the Civil War as a disagreement over taxes. Republicans still refuse to admit voter suppression exists or that there was an insurrection on Jan. 6. Entire sections of the country will burn, flood and be blown away because most Republicans still won’t admit that climate change is real.
In describing our past propensity to perpetuate untruths, we could say “America lied.” But, to capture the present situation, we would need to add that “America is lying.” And, because none of these things are changing, we should also state that: “America will lie.” Or, more accurately...
America be lying.
These lies all have the same purpose: to make white people feel comfortable. When white people are comfortable, they are complacent and less likely to demand change. And, because maintaining the status quo benefits them, feeling comfortable is one of the few white privileges that actually perpetuates inequality.
Why should a global corporation pay a carbon tax and retool factories if 32 percent of Republicans don’t believe humans cause climate change? There’s no need to fight for voting rights if half of white people believe we should focus on preventing ineligible voters from casting ballots. It’s easy to venerate the slave-owning Founding Fathers and the despicable Confederate monuments if only 46 percent of whites think that “increased public attention to the history of slavery and racism is good for society,” according to Pew Research.
This is why America be lying.
Which brings us to Condoleezza Rice.
On Tuesday, the executive producer of the Bush administration’s Black Lady Shit Show took a break from not admitting every single thing she did as defense secretary and secretary of state put the country in more peril. Instead, Rice sat down with the ladies of The View and avoided every condemnation of her party’s toxicity by explaining why “we should move on.” Motherfuckers who be lying love to “move on.”
While talking about Critical Race Theory, Sec. Rice launched into a soliloquy defending the fragile white children whose lives would be destroyed by learning the truth about America’s past. As she recounted how she grew up in segregated Birmingham, Ala., she conveniently forgot that white people were the ones who bombed churches, murdered children and perpetuated the discrimination she experienced in her youth.
“One of the worries that I have about the way that we’re talking about race is that it either seems so big that somehow white people have to feel guilty for what happened in the past,” Rice said, coloredly. “ I would like Black kids to be completely empowered; to know that they are beautiful in their Blackness; but in order to do that, I don’t have to make white kids feel bad for being white.”
Let’s skip over her belief that—unlike Condoleezza Rice—discussing the existence of inequality will cause most of us weak-ass negroes to curl up in a ball and give up on achieving success. Although there is no logic or proof for this meritless, completely asinine argument, the idea that knowing about systemic racism will cause Black children to lose all motivation has become a standard talking point for Condi’s conservative ilk.
Since we have repeatedly explained that K-12 schools don’t actually teach CRT, let’s get to the meat of her argument: that contextualizing America’s long history of inequality and structural racism will make white children feel bad.
Why shouldn’t white children feel bad?
Even though white children are now the minority of America’s school-age population, most white children attend majority-white schools that are better funded than the schools attended by Black kids. White students have access to better school libraries, a more advanced curriculum and even better food than non-white students.
If they knew about these disparities, they would have to conclude that they benefit from them, which might make them feel bad. But it also might make the next generation of children work to eliminate this structural discrimination. A person can only fix a problem if they know the problem exists, and educating children on America’s history of systemic racism is the only way to fix it. Therefore, not teaching them the history of why this inequality exists actually why these disparities still exist!
Maybe we should make white people feel bad.
This is not a theory; history is rife with examples of how making people feel bad actually starts the process of fixing problems. Seeing cops in Birmingham spray Black children with firehoses made white people feel bad. We passed the Voting Rights Act after people felt bad about Alabama state troopers cracking the skulls of nonviolent protesters marching over the Edmund Pettus Bridge. White people felt so bad about children being locked in cages that the anti-immigrant Trump administration changed its family separation policy. White people felt so bad when they saw Derek Chauvin kneel on George Floyd’s neck that they took to the streets last summer.
In fact, white people feeling bad is commonly used to spark change. White people felt bad about Vietnam, so we ended the war without a victory. Even though more white people used and sold crack, white people feeling bad about it somehow made authorities target Black people. White people feeling bad about 9/11 is why we have to take off our shoes at the airport. The “economic anxiety” that got Donald Trump elected is just a euphemism for white people feeling bad. One hundred eighty-nine million people in the U.S. are vaccinated because they don’t want to feel bad. You know what else feels bad?
Knowing your Black newborn is three times more likely to die if they have a white doctor feels bad. Sending a child to a school in a majority-Black, middle-class neighborhood that gets less funding than the poorest, majority-white school feels bad. Knowing your kid is six times more likely to be shot by a police officer feels bad. It feels bad knowing your home would be worth $48,000 more if it was in a majority-white neighborhood that has the same amenities and resources as your Black neighborhood. I’d guess that Black women feel bad knowing they have to work 19 months to earn the yearly salary of a white man with the same education and experience. Trust me, the reality of racism feels bad as fuck.
But, apparently, not as bad as white people feel when they have to hear about all that Black stuff.
Imagine if your doctor didn’t inform you that you had cancer because he didn’t want to upset you. Somehow, racism is the only issue on the entire landscape of American problems that we think we can fix by not talking about it. Even those who don’t believe in climate change are more than willing to talk about it. Politicians on both sides are more than willing to shout their opinions about gun control vs. the right to bear arms. We can openly debate taxing the rich, terrorism and sexual misconduct, even though it might make predatory capitalists, predator drone manufacturers and sexual predators feel bad. Yet, when it comes to race, we avoid the subject like the plague just so we can spare white people’s feelings.
And I’m not saying that all white people be lying.
Some of them are just dumb.
America loves Social Security, Medicare, farm subsidies and the military but they hate “socialism” because they don’t know what the word means. They love to quote Martin Luther King but have no idea that most white people disapproved of him when he died. Forty-one percent of Americans believe something other than slavery caused the Civil War. Forty-six percent don’t know that the 13th Amendment is what ended slavery.
And the reason they don’t know these objective facts is that their teachers, their textbooks and America’s entire education system didn’t want white people to feel bad. They still don’t want white people to feel bad. And all these new anti-CRT laws are feeble attempts at ensuring that white people won’t feel bad in the future.
And that’s why Condoleezza Rice be lying.
Because she is American.