Years ago, writer Sarah Hagi tweeted, “Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.”
The tweet ended up in a multitude of memes as well as on T-shirts, tote bags and other apparel, and it inspired writer Ijeoma Oluo’s book Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America.
I’m not sure any other tweet to date has captured the sentiments of Black people who have had it with white male caucasity so perfectly. I never saw the original tweet, but I imagine white tears flooded that thread like a stopped-up sink. Nevertheless, the fact is, white men prove the point of the tweet every single day.
On Tuesday, Greensboro, N.C., city council members voted unanimously to remove a white man and his mediocrity from the city’s zoning commission after he showed his aggressively ordinary white ass during a Zoom meeting in response to a Black woman who had a simple request: She wanted him to address her as “Dr.” because she holds a fucking doctorate.
A reasonable person would have acknowledged their mistake and corrected themselves by addressing the woman by her earned title, but mediocre white men don’t tend to be reasonable people. This didn’t have to turn into a thing. Dr. Carrie Rosario, an associate professor at UNC-Greensboro who has a doctorate in public health, was simply attempting to address an issue of developers coming into her community and “potentially messing up our quality of drinking water.” Everything appeared to be going smoothly until Tony Collins was given the virtual floor and he decided to put all of his unearned arrogance on full display because he’d rather show off his melanin-redacted little dick energy than show a Black woman the respect she demanded.
From The Charlotte Observer:
The incident occurred toward the end of a four-hour Zoning Commission meeting on Monday in which Rosario raised concerns about a development project a few hundred feet from her house.
Collins responded, saying the discussion had veered off course and referring to her as “Mrs. Rosario.”
“It’s Dr. Rosario, thank you, sir,” she said in response.
“If Mrs. Rosario has something,” Collins continued.
“Well, you know, I’m sorry,” he responded. “Your name says on here ‘Carrie Rosario.’ Hey Carrie.”
“It’s Dr. Rosario,” she said again. “I wouldn’t call you Tony, so please, sir, call me as I would like to be called.”
“It doesn’t really matter,” Collins replied.
“It matters to me. And out of respect, I would like you to call me by the name that I’m asking you to call me by.”
“Your screen says Carrie Rosario.”
“I’m verbalizing my name is Dr. Carrie Rosario,” she said. “And it really speaks very negatively of you as a commissioner to be disrespectful.”
Collins goes on to say he’s not trying to be disrespectful and tells Rosario she’s “negotiating something that happened four years ago.”
Booooooy, I have to commend Dr. Rosario for being better than me. My patience might have held long enough for me to keep my cool in telling him how to address me the first time, but after telling him multiple times only to have him respond by reading me my own fucking screenname, I would have told this ashy white asshole to turn on his location and that he was about to need a doctor whether he was willing to address them by their proper title or not.
Anyway, City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower called for the vote that ousted Collins and her sentiments regarding the incident were also much kinder than mine would have been.
“It was a very disrespectful exchange between an important commissioner and a public citizen,” Hightower said, the Observer reports. “That should never happen.”
Rosario said in an interview that she was pleasantly “shocked” at the council’s decision to give Collins the boot.
“It was a welcomed surprise,” she said Wednesday. “I do not believe his actions reflect the type of behavior the public needs or expects from its elected or appointed leaders.”