The Problem of Whiteness

I’m a white man from Connecticut. I go about my life as you go about yours – working, paying bills, raising a family. Imagine what life must have been like for a white boy growing up in Connecticut, years before the era of forced diversity and white privilege. What do you see? A little boy carrying his invisible backpack full of race-based get out of jail free cards? Green grass and wealthy insurance moguls drunk by lunchtime, surrounded by the fruits of a great fortune acquired by theft?

I grew up in the Frog Hollow district of Hartford, CT. When I was a kid Hartford was a battleground for gangs like The Savage Nomads and The Ghetto Brothers. Since the 70s Hartford, especially Frog Hollow, has consistently ranked among the ten worst U.S. cities in poverty, unemployment, and violent crime. Of course, I didn’t know that back then. I was just scared all the time. Before my eleventh birthday I had been jumped by gang members seven times. I was hit with brass knuckles long before I read Lord Of The Flies.

I was a latchkey kid.  Every day after lunch I would start getting nervous. Only three hours until school ends. What if my timing is off? What if I run into those guys again? I was always one of the last kids to leave school at the end of the day. Sometimes I’d pretend that I forgot something in my locker. Sometimes I’d wait in the bathroom until the janitor came by to lock up the doors. Anything to delay my walk home from school. 

I started carrying a small butterfly knife on those walks home. I didn’t know how to properly work it and cut hands several times. Eventually my teachers found out about that knife. But they never said a word to me about it.

I remember kicking bullet casings down the sidewalk. I can still see the graffiti on the walls of the projects. Some of those symbols stuck with me. I used to draw them in the margins of my school notebooks even though I didn’t understand what they meant.

More than once my bedroom window was shot out while I was in bed sleeping. When I was ten I got jumped by a big group of guys, ten, maybe twelve of them. I got hit in the teeth with a baseball bat. I remember feeling my teeth slide down my throat.

Not long after that, it was my father’s turn. He’d just dropped me off at a friend’s house and was on his way home. It was a sunny day. He stopped to have a cigarette on a park bench. He was jumped from behind, beaten with bats and left on the side of the road. He wasn’t robbed. They didn’t take his wedding ring or wallet – they just beat him. He had reconstructive surgery on his face. A few months later, on Christmas Day, we moved to a suburb of Chicago.

Our new neighborhood was like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I had never seen anything like it. The storefronts all had awnings. The windows were clean and didn’t have bars on them.

I remember my first walk through the small downtown area. It was snowing and so quiet. There were no sirens, no horns or yelling – just the sound of snow crunching under my feet. I remember seeing a group of older kids walking in toward me. I carefully opened my knife with my hand still in my coat pocket. I looked around for a door to run through, a window to jump through – any way for me to get away if they attacked me.

But they simply nodded at me and kept on down the street. I stopped and watched as they disappeared around a corner. I turned back around and bumped into a woman with white hair as she was leaving one of the shops. “Oops! Hello there,” she said. I just stared at her for a second, mumbled something and walked away. I was stunned. I sat down on a bench outside of a restaurant where, years later, I would take my first girlfriend for dinner. I sat there on that bench and cried for a good long while. It was the first time that I really wasn’t scared. 

The magnitude of this blessing was overwhelming, and still is, some 25 years later.

We escaped Frog Hollow because my parents maxed out twenty credit cards. They spent the next eight years doing everything they could think of to keep us in that house. The day I left for college they filed for bankruptcy and moved into a one bedroom apartment.

Today, as a Baptist, conservative, husband and father, I make a living as a bartender. I work hard to create something memorable for the people who choose to spend their evening at my bar. In every instance it is my goal to insure that the cost of their night out pales in comparison to the genuine pleasure of being served by someone who sincerely endeavors to facilitate a lasting memory. But it’s not like that for most of my coworkers. I work with blacks, whites, jews, latinos, gays and every night at least one of them takes the time to gleefully belittle white people. A young white woman asks about renting one of the private rooms, it’s white entitlement. A white man wearing a delivery uniform asks for a light beer, he’s a standard issue knuckle-dragging hick. After delivering drinks to a group of white college students laughing, one of the servers will turn to me and mockingly say “Huh-huh, I’m white! Huh-huh.” It’s non-stop – I could go on for thirty pages just on the instances I can easily recall – and sadly, not at all unusual. I think of my own son – with his blonde hair and blue eyes – asleep while I’m working, unaware that if he were to come into this bar as a man most of the people I work with would look at him in the same way. 

A lot of people say that racism has been institutionalized. I’m starting to be believe it.

This new diversity is not true diversity – it is a repudiation of individuality, a kneejerk neo-tribalism that treats minority groups as morally superior because of their purported ancestors who were maybe victimized in the past. Modern liberalism exploits the craving for moral prestige and communal membership by advertising the Democrat Party as the principal instrument of tolerance and equality. I often hear people mention the current year in relation to something they disagree with. Can you believe this?! It’s 2017! If indeed there is a link between the passage of time and the morality of a people, if time itself moves the divine hand of progress, then how can it be that over the past several years we’ve witnessed the utter collapse of race relations in America?

A big part of the problem is that we no longer have shared values or a shared history. We instead have warring tribes that exist in ideological enclaves. I like America. Our problems with assimilation will persist as long as 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation Americans are taught to embrace bureaucratic expansionism that is based not on equality of opportunity, but equality of outcome while promoting an environment of racial abuse.

A recently leaked document from the Department of Homeland Security shows that children of immigrants raised in America are being radicalized at a higher rate than their parents. To paraphrase: being raised and educated in America makes the children of immigrants more likely to harm Americans. This is the effect of the institutionalization of the confrontational politics of the radical left of the late 1960s. For the generations that followed, dissent had been transformed into self-aggrandizing street theater that valued radical style over radical substance. This is why, despite their abysmal historical record, Progressives have succeeded in achieving a kind of mystic political oneness based on a deliberate distortion of equality.

We are told that when a person is kidnapped and tortured in Chicago for being white, or when a gay nightclub in Florida is terrorized by Jihadi ideology, those are examples of justified social rage, and that the actions of the few do not reflect the attitudes of the community as a whole. At the same time we hear that the wickedness of all white men accompanied the despicable Dylann Roof into that church, that episodic acts of racism are actually systemic, and that in order to appreciate other cultures we must belittle our own. We have been reduced to their horror story and have become, in a way, our own oppressors by desperately trying to prove over and over again that we are just good people. This partly explains how the GOP, the party that Frederick Douglass once called “the sheet anchor of the colored man’s political hopes and the ark of his safety,” has been magically transformed into a symbol of oppression for half of the country. The political party that was essentially founded to defeat slavery has allowed itself to be branded as hateful, xenophobic, racist, and misogynist. Republicans passed the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment that grants the right to due process and equal protection under the law, the 15th Amendment that protects the voting rights of African Americans, and eliminated the Jim Crow laws.

We are living in an era where the two subjects in which Americans have the least proficiency are U.S. history and civics, so it is going to take more than teleprompter activists and flamethrowing opportunists to sensibly redirect the passions of the many Americans who are rightly concerned about whether or not a society that enables and promotes white guilt can be trusted to insure that white people are, or will ever be, a part of the equality that we all claim to stand for.

If the current trajectory holds, Whites will become a minority in my lifetime. Joe Biden recently said,

“Folks like me who were Caucasian of European descent, for the first time in 2017 will be in an absolute minority in the United States of America. Absolute minority. Fewer than 50% of the people in America from then and on will be white European stock – that’s not a bad thing, that’s the source of our strength.”

This is incredibly generous. What racial or ethnic majority on this planet would actively celebrate the possibility of becoming a minority? Let alone in an environment that teaches white grade school children that they are born racist, or that offers college students classes like The Problem of Whiteness. Indeed, the same liberals who claim that “Rape is sex + institutional power, and since the white race is ruling America and white women are the majority of the white voting population, they can’t be raped, not even by white men. It’s not rape, it’s just a temporary suspension of white female privileges,” are quick to point out the white supremacy inherent in people who disagree.

Recently a Latino official for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California taunted white attendees at a city council meeting by telling them that Blacks and Latinos are “the future,” and that Whites “only have about five years left.” He ended his remarks by saying “we don’t want to see an America that is hateful.” 

Well, neither do I.

 

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