When I feel helpless, I try to write, and goddamn if I don’t feel helpless right now.
We talk about white privilege on The LEFT Show quite a bit. I’ve too often told how I used to get harassed and mistreated by cops (especially in Texas) in the 90’s until I lost my long hair in a bar fight. Once my hair was short, it stopped immediately.
A small, cosmetic modification … that’s white privilege. It’s a privilege not afforded to People of Color. It’s simple; sadly simple – but it’s the most I can dumb it down for certain white people in my own life. I’m too easily shocked by white people who think white privilege is a myth. Most of the time it’s because it comes from people I care for, or love, and so I’ve blinded myself to their ignorance.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain
Unlike some people in my life, I’ve gotten around. When I moved to Denver at 17 years old – an ignorant shithead from rural Utah, open minded, but stupid – it was a black man who saved my ass from my own idiocy. He took me in, fed me and sheltered me until I figured out how to function in a giant city where I didn’t really know anyone. He didn’t know me – he was just a good guy.
He just won an Academy Award. I am still gig begging and freelancing. Who has privilege? I do.
The simple fact that what’s happening in Minnesota has made me self contemplative is a HUGE display of white privilege – and an example of how easily I get lost when I’m angry.
Regrouping: You know, I lived in Minnesota for a couple of years. Odd place. Lots of green space, flat as hell, often nice people unless they’re driving …
What’s happening in Minnesota isn’t just a Minnesota thing. Systemic racism is cancer on the heart of this country, impeding healthy growth, mutating promise into penury, and eating US alive from the inside. I spent my teenage years in rural Utah. I grew up with people who had never met a person of color, but were sure, based on little more than the acid words of previous generations, that white was better. Chosen. Benighted. Special. More than …
They’re wrong. Blissfully ignorant, endlessly privileged, completely blind to reality.
What the fuck can I do to help?
When I see it, I yell at it. I humiliate it. I call it down with whatever thunder I can manage … and yet, I accomplish nothing.
I speak out, I speak against, I raise my voice, and beat my chest … and yet, I accomplish nothing.
I am begging people of my lack of color to turn away from their mirrors and back cameras and to pick up pickets, and find a line to defend … and it’s been more than 30 years.
George Floyd is still a murdered man.
I’m not going to stop making noise. I’m not going to stop begging White People to grow the fuck up, and totally get over themselves. There’s a voice in my head saying that if enough of us do it, something might change … I want to believe that voice. Granted, it’s the same voice that says a fat,old guy like me has a shot with Kate Beckinsale, but … yeah, I want to believe it, and goddamn if I won’t keep working for it.
I accomplish nothing, but it might be something someday.