It truly pains me to learn at this late stage of life that I am a racist. Flat out. Not only that, but my racism seems to be getting worse, despite a lifetime of commitment to fighting it. Try as I might, I can no longer deny just what a lousy segment of humanity comes wrapped in white skin, a fact made nearly undeniable when a host of honkey mofos, crackers, Nazi nostalgiacs, high school dropouts, and privileged plutocrats joined forces to elect Donald J. Trump as their chosen Lord of Misrule and King of Chaos.
Sure, there were plenty of reasons to think white people were an abomination long before the advent of the Donald. People suffering from a melanin deficiency had chalked up a solid historical record of violence, cruelty, avarice, bad manners, a lousy sense of rhythm, and general nastiness from way back. White folks have conducted purges, pogroms, predations, oppressions, and an array of other murderous malignancies against every other shade and hue of human being they've ever encountered, including their own palette of colors that run from pinkish to ecru.
In fact, to call them "white" was always pretty much a misnomer, with the exception of a handful of people like Johnny Winter who, albino though he was, wasn't even white himself. No white person ever quite attained that shade of whiteness found in the bed sheets with which some of them bedecked themselves in just one more manifestation of their insistence that they be considered superior to all other hues and shades.
It wasn't just the lack of melanin that made white folks think themselves superior to others, either. We had better lips than the Negroes, better noses than the swarthy Jews, better eyes than the Asians, and better religious beliefs than anyone, including many of our own blonde or brunette blood brothers who had yet to find their way to the true faith some of the best of us had contrived or chosen to follow. And though the males of our kind worried rather over much about the size of our penises relative to people of other colors--black folk, especially--we just knew we had bigger brains than most everyone else, except maybe the people of the Far East who, despite what may have been their slight advantages in intelligence, tended to be shorter, notoriously bad drivers, sometimes pushy in crowded places, and were generally thought to have even smaller penises that we had.
Bless 'em for that.
And while it may have been comforting for people of my color to tell themselves these lies, to engage in stereotyping and categorizing every kind, sort, color, and size that people came in, the fact is that racism is toxic, especially when believed, espoused, or practiced by people who have the power to act on such nonsense, to determine policies based on it, to banish some people to other rest rooms and drinking fountains, for instance, or to bruit such racism around the globe backed by the world's largest military.
Since Trump began the arrogant acting out of our most childish fears and fantasies, he's got literally billions of our fellow residents of this fragile planet either pissed or very nervous, or both.
Such a malevolent combination of ignorance and arrogance tends to piss off lots of people when one group of humans can do stuff to other groups of humans, driven by a sense of entitlement and exceptionalism. It isolates, and it defeats the constantly renewing desire for understanding and accord. Since Trump began the arrogant acting out of our most childish fears and fantasies, he's got literally billions of our fellow residents of this fragile planet either pissed or very nervous, or both. We're in serious danger of making racists of all those people who don't share our skin color, at risk of finding ourselves a feared and hated minority by the majority of the world's people who've finally had it with us and can't like us for the characteristics they can so readily associate with our melanin deficiency.
Because, the fact is, that those characteristics are making even me a racist, a blue-eyed ol' boy with a trailer park in his past, a guy increasingly reluctant to tolerate the worst and most glaring defining qualities of those with whom I share this melanin deficiency. It's gotten so that when I see a white face on a TV political blab-a-thon, I am immediately apprehensive, ready to hear the off-loading of talking points pour forth from those thin lips and that pasty puss about how Trump is making us great again, or some equally noxious nonsense we've all come to expect from the color-deprived. More often than not, a white face on TV prompts an instant and visceral dislike in me. Sometimes I find the the face I had so instantly judged and disliked turns out to be a guy I agree with, find reasonable, decent, or more intelligent than what I've come to expect from white people these days.
That's how racism expresses itself, ain't it? In prejudgments based on skin color or other superficialities. There it is in the etymology of the word itself; "prejudice," which means to pre-judge, quite literally. And that's how I roll these days, seriously inclined to form an attitude toward people I don't know based on how they look, on the color of their skin. Because, just as white right wing reactionaries have stolen my flag, redefined patriotism so it's exclusive to them and done the same with what it means to be a "good Christian," they've also now succeeded in heisting my race and ethnicity, making me ashamed to go out in public for fear people will judge me as one of "them."
You know, an jackass.
And though I know that all white people aren't jackasses, it's getting harder and harder to think otherwise. Today, at the pharmacy, I saw a white peckerwood yelling at Jerome, a dark-skinned pharmacist who works at a drug store where I've been spending way too much time of late. The angry customer was saying he wanted to deal with the other pharmacist who works there because "I've got no use for you."
The other pharmacist is white, and though I can't be sure that the irate customer's rude dismissal of Jerome was based on his skin color, it's hard to think otherwise since
- a) I've known Jerome to be infinitely patient, kind, and extremely knowledgeable, and
- b) the angry customer looked like a typical white asshole right down to the oversized pickup I saw him drive off in, huffy, aggrieved, and angry.
So, after resisting the temptation to become a racist all my life, in a culture that encourages, encodes, and fosters racism in ways subtle and not, I find myself to now be a reluctant racist, not quite ready to exclude all white folks from among my friends and associates, but gettin' there with each new day's exposure to Trump, his pals here and in Russia, and a whole lot of other white folks from bad cops to corporate crooks who are surely no credit to their race.