All across America, white people’s mouths are hanging aghast at half-staff as they hydrate themselves to conjure up the onslaught of white tears that predictably has followed their shock and amazement since a college student blew up the internet when she exposed an amazing fact to her Caucasian counterparts. Hold on, and prepare yourselves for the astounding revelation:
A white woman was treated like a white woman.
I’m sure you Kanye-shrugged at that, but apparently, reality is shocking for some people. In case you don’t have a login and password for white Twitter (you should really sign up; the memes are pretty boring, but the selfies of ski trips and yoga classes are amazing), allow me to explain.
A few weeks ago, Colgate University locked down its entire campus when a student at the upstate-New York school alerted safety officials that he had spotted a man carrying a gun. The college’s social media blew up with reports of the “dangerous situation” as authorities searched for the armed suspect. The entire student body was afraid of the dangerous criminal roaming around the elite school, eluding capture, carrying a firearm.
It turns out it was just a black guy with a glue gun.
We’ve seen this before. There are a million dead black bodies whose cellphones, toy pistols and wallets have been mistaken for weapons. It is a story as familiar to black people as Jack and the Beanstalk (not to be confused with Jamaal and the Beanstalk—the story of the black kid who was incarcerated for possession of controlled seeds with intent to distribute).
Apparently, this was all news to Jenny Lundt, a student at Colgate. Outraged to discover that unequal treatment exists in America, Lundt went into her closet, donned her white-savior cape (she keeps it next to her pink pussy hat), and decided to voice her disapproval with systemic inequality and to invoke change to society in the most courageous, Caucasian way possible:
She went to Facebook.
Lundt found a picture of herself carrying a sword. (Don’t ask. All white people have swords. At birth, every person of no color is given three items: a pair of flip-flops, a sword and a warning from their grandmothers that seasoning chicken is against the will of Jesus.) She posted the photo with this caption:
“THIS is what white privilege looks like. This is me, only one year ago on this very campus, running around the academic quad with a fucking sharp metal sword. People thought it was funny. People laughed- oh look at that harmless, ~ silly white girl ~ with a giant sword!! Today, a black man carrying a fucking glue gun shut down my ~prestigious liberal arts college~ for 4 hours. The limited information that was released put all black men on this campus in danger and at risk of being killed. That is the reality of the institutionalized racism in the United States. If you think for even a second this wasn’t profiling, ask yourself why this sword is still in my room and has not ONCE made anyone uncomfortable. No one has EVER called the police on me. Understand that there are larger forces at play than this one night, and this [one] instance of racism. This is engrained in our university and our larger society. White Colgate students, we need to do better. #blacklivesmatter”
Lundt’s valiant efforts immediately went viral as people (pronounced “wide peep ole”) praised her for her brave efforts at uploading and sentence writing. Every internet site applauded her heroism.
Black people? Not so much.
For people of color, Jen-Jen’s actions illustrating white privilege were as revelatory as when Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. When the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria landed on the shores, I’m sure the native peoples were as unimpressed by Chris as black people are by Jenny. We always knew the land existed, but Jenny gets to plant her flag.
I’m sure the millions of people cheering Lundt’s courageous social media “activism” understand how J-Lundt outshone the people who inhaled tear gas in Ferguson, Mo., and felt batons break their bones in Baltimore. As of today, all of the racists, conservatives and uninterested white people who previously denied that racism exists and black lives matter now understand privilege and inequality because Jen showed us all with her pic and hashtag.
This is why “allies” sometimes leave bad tastes in our mouths—because it is indicative of cashing in on privilege to even think that their little white voices are more important that those of the people who give blood, sweat and tears every day. The fact that one Caucasian social media post is “the most important thing you’ll read today,” when thousands of black people have been screaming the same message every day, is the definition of white supremacy. It is reminiscent of how the real Black Lives Matter activists were called disruptors, agitators and thugs, but now that Donald Trump has taken office and the protesting throngs are suddenly a few shades lighter, those people are now “resisting.”
When last we checked, neither John Crawford, Tamir Rice, nor Amadou Diallo’s wallet had “liked” Jenny-Fur’s status.