It’s been 29 days since Joseph Robinette Biden became the 46th president of the United States, sending QAnon Adventists into severe withdrawals from America being made great again. While some outlets have shamed the
idiots patriots who were victimized by the cult of Q, The Root would never.
According to an NPR/Ipsos poll, 17 percent of Americans believe that a shadowy cabal of wealthy and powerful Democrats are controlling the media, politics and business interests while running an international child sex trafficking ring...Blah blah blah in Hillary Clinton’s emails...Yada yada Obama paid MS-13 to attack the embassy in Benghazi...Something something Ilhan Omar purchased her brother-husband from Jeffrey Epstein’s island. Another 37 percent believe it might be true.
“37 percent” is a euphemism for “white people.”
I can only imagine how it must feel to realize that the star-spangled dishrag to which you’ve pledged your allegiance doesn’t really stand behind its infamous “liberty and justice” guarantee. Seriously, I can only imagine it.
But, in many ways, we’re not so different.
While the theology of Q seems far-fetched, I know another group who are just as delusional. I saw them this weekend. You might not believe this, but there are people who thought Republicans were going to “do the right thing” and vote against Trump. I have even heard tales of white people who believe the police protect and serve, that justice is applied equally and that America offers liberty and justice for all! Real talk!* They put their hand over their hearts and everything!
Just like the Q-theran Church, another group of white people are shocked that the Constitution is just a parental permission slip that the Founding Fathers penned to give white people the inalienable right to do whatever the fuck they want. Now that the unrealistic dreams of these opposing factions have been dashed, we wanted to help them deal with the emotions that most Black people began feeling when they reach the tender age of zero years old. To assist with the debilitating withdrawals, we’d like to introduce this unique 12-step program that we totally created ourselves.
Behold, the 12-step program that we call “Whiteness Anonymous.”
*Real talk is an ancient African confirmation of truth that roughly translates to: “On my grandmama’s grave.”
Step 1: Admit that you are powerless over whiteness and that white supremacy has become unmanageable.
Whether it’s vote counters, the police, a sex-traffickers or Donald Trump, when someone who’s harmed your community gets off without even a slap on the wrist, it can feel overwhelming at first. It may cause you to lash out at the people responsible. But what are you gonna do, slap your grandmother? Overturn an election? Storm a Capitol building like a Wakandan after someone breached the invisible fence residents of Wakanda? That’s not Thanos! Those are your fellow Americans!
Sure, you’d like to see equal justice but you also want peace and harmony between the people you deal with. You love democracy, except when people don’t vote how you like. You absolve white supremacists while speechifying about how someone needs to convict all these goddamned white supremacists! You’re white but you’re not that white. You’re a patriot; not a white supremacist.
You are Mitch McConnell.
You’re not addicted to white supremacy. You’re addicted to having your way. You’re addicted to the status quo.
It just so happens that white supremacy has always been the status quo.
You probably think of the Constitution, the Senate, or the presidency as a higher power, which is understandable. After all, the power of removal from office is actually vested in the legislative upper chamber and written in the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. And, of course, the president is literally the highest and most powerful office in the American government. The Capitol coup wasn’t even your fault. You were overdosing on the most powerful drug of all time.
It is the one institution that white people can depend on. Even the Constitution can’t defeat it. Why do you think that “all-white juries” are even a thing? Aside from the social justice warriors who decided to put Twisted Tea in a 24-ounce can, is there a single instance in American history where have white people ever been held accountable for their actions by other white people?
Someone should coin a phrase that accurately describes the supremacy of whiteness.
None of this is Trump’s fault. How was Trump supposed to stop people from doing the stuff he told them to do just because he was on the scene telling them to do it?
Black people know this. When the Supreme Court left open the possibility that a cop could hold DeRay Mckesson liable for a random person throwing “rock-like-object” at a Baton Rouge protest because Mckesson organized the demonstration, that same standard doesn’t apply to Donald Trump. Even though McKesson didn’t tell people to throw rocks, and Donald Trump specifically urged people to “walk to the Capitol” and “fight like hell,” Trump was powerless to stop his thundering horde of white folks because they were white folks!
A white lynch mob stormed the Capitol for the same reason that 42 white men and Tim Scott voted to absolve Trump of responsibility for the Great White Revolt:
They don’t have to take responsibility for their actions.
The first step to overcoming your addiction is to realize that whiteness is not a theoretical or abstract concept. It wields a knife and slices throats. Even if you can’t see it or hold it in your hand, you must acknowledge it is as real and as powerful as the wind. It is as essential to white America’s well-being as the light of the sun.
To kick your addiction, you must believe that God is real.
And whiteness is America’s God.
You know that part I just said about justice being dispensed unequally?
This is the step where you realize that means there is no justice.
In this step, you realize that some people have never received equal pay for their work, while others benefit from generational whiteness. In this step, you understand that many of the people who enforce the law and protect you are also undercover white nationalists. In this step, you realize that the electoral process is so rigged that white people formed a lynch mob when they didn’t get their way.
In this step, you learn that there is no such thing as capitalism, equality, democracy, law or order. Trump, the Coup Klux Klan and white people, in general, will never have to take responsibility for the harm they’ve done. They might tacitly acknowledge it, but that’s it.
Is this how you want to live?
Tucker Carlson doesn’t know things. There is no such thing as the “deep state.” Barack Obama isn’t the antichrist. “Black” isn’t a synonym for “poverty” or “underserved.” “White people” isn’t a swear word. Black people aren’t suffering because of a lack of “resources” or “opportunity.” But there is a Caucasian Holy Ghost
It’s white people.
Injustice prevails when white people don’t demand justice. Inequality lingers when white people don’t actively struggle for equality. Even if you haven’t personally participated in an act of racism, your passivity preserves the status quo that causes poverty and withholds resources from the people who need it.
You are the invisible bogeymen.
To defeat your addiction, you must first stop listening to addicts.
You know who doesn’t know shit about fixing white supremacy?
The people who perpetuate it.
The people who aren’t killed disproportionately by police don’t know shit about fixing police brutality. The people whose children attend good schools and get a job ad dad’s law firm don’t know shit about uplifting themselves through education and hard work. The people who get paid a dollar for every 87 cents for every dollar a Black person earns don’t know shit about saving money and financial responsibility.
It’s like a dove giving a penguin flying lessons by telling them: “You’re just not flapping your wings hard enough.”
It’s not their fault. They’re just too high.
Right now, you might feel the inclination to tell Black people about your newfound sobriety with empty apologies and shiny safety pins.
Don’t do that.
We don’t need to know that your nephew married a Hispanic man; that you grew up in a Black neighborhood or that you read White Privilege three times. Instead of pulling a tricep attempting a self-congratulatory, performative pat on the back, you need to actually do some actual work.
We need you to talk to white people.
Convince your pop-pop there aren’t gremlins in voting booths eating Republican ballots. Remind your coworkers that Ayanna might not be as shady as the one Black guy they hired seven years ago. Remind them of all the white people they hired who weren’t shady. Remind them that they are shady.
Think of all the things that white people have done to Black people. Don’t forget to list the people affected by the silence and apathy necessary to make you feel comfortable and righteous while existing in the calm tornado’s eye of injustice and oppression.
I’m not talking about you specifically or that time your grandmother called the mailman the n-word. And harm doesn’t exclusively come from animus and hate. I’m talking about the collective actions required of whiteness required to maintain the status quo.
Remember that time you asked five states to throw away Black people’s votes? It was just as bad as when you didn’t do shit when states suppressed Black voters by actually throwing away our votes. Can you recall when you saw a cop kill another Black person on video and then you nonchalantly went about your day? Are you wondering which time I’m referring to?
Don’t forget that time your grammy called the mailman the n-word.
No one cares if you voted for Biden. Or Obama. Or Trump. No one cares if you are an ally. Not one single Black person gives a scintilla of a fuck how anti-racist you are.
Imagine if there was one arsonist in your neighborhood who went across town every night and set Black people’s homes on fire. What if everyone in your neighborhood knew who the arsonist was but said nothing because the fires increased the value of their homes? What if he ate Thanksgiving dinner with you and was a pretty nice guy—except for the setting fires.
Now imagine if the Black people knew the arsonist was from your neighborhood. What if, as more houses were consumed by flames, the Black people started saying “white people” were burning down Black neighborhoods? Now imagine you showed up to pass out free fire extinguishers and volunteer with a team of Black firefighters. If one of your fellow firefighters said: “White people are burning down our houses,” would you be offended?
If you said: “Not all white people are arsonists,” you’d be correct. Technically, there is only one arsonist and your fellow white people are just letting him live. The fact that your home value is rapidly increasing might not be the reason for your silence. Technically, you’re not violating the law or disturbing the order. But, until white people oust the arsonist from the comfort of anonymity...
White people are burning down our houses.
Now for the sad news:
You aren’t going to fix white supremacy.
Even if you start a nonprofit, register every voter in the Whole Foods parking lot and purchase all the Black Lives Matter T-shirts ever produced, you must realize that this shit is systemic.
Your addiction to insane conspiracies was never the problem, nor was the lynch mob they inspired. Do you know what was the craziest part of this entire ordeal?
The part where they let you go home.
Stop whining about rigged elections, religious liberty, why Bernie is better than Biden or how people should acknowledge that you are doing better.
Let me tell you what’s hard:
Years ago, I interviewed a man named Anthiny McRae, whose 16-year-old son was killed by a police officer. He said he constantly drilled his son Anthiny “AJ” McRae Jr. on exactly what to do when he was stopped by the police. During the traffic stop, AJ did everything perfectly except apply the emergency brake. AJ was in a car with a manual transmission and when the car lurched forward, the cop shot him in the back of the head.
When AJ’s father arrived on the scene, his son was still slumped forward in the car. Anthiny immediately knew what happened and knew the officer had been trained to never fire at a car unless the car endangered their life or the life of another civilian. Anthiny also knew exactly what the cop would say to get away with it. Sure enough, the cop said that AJ’s car was lurching toward his partner, and that’s why he shot. His partner confirmed it.
How did Anthiny know?
Anthiny was the officer who trained them.
But that is not the most miraculous thing about this entire incident. This happened in a small town with a small police force where Anthiny was the only Black officer. So, while the cop who shot AJ was relieved of duty during the investigation, Anthiny Sr. had to serve as the partner of the man who absolved the cop for killing Anthiny’s son knowing that all the other white cops would help him craft the lie. And all of Anthiny’s white superiors told him he needed to “act like a professional.”
What would you do? Would you give up your job, your career and your pension earnings or sit in the car with the man who killed your son? That’s how white supremacy works.
Anthiny worked for one day. On the first day of the shift with his new partner, he reportedly told his new partner that’s how he felt. His partner stuck by his story. So, guess what Anthiny McRae Sr. did?
He went to work.
But the Electoral College, though.
Recite this prayer:
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the white people I cannot change,
the courage to change the white people I can,
and the wisdom to know there is no difference.
I know what you’re thinking. But don’t worry, I didn’t mean “all white people.”
I just wanted to see if you’d relapse.