Racism

When my best friend moved to Michigan, he reported back how much racism he was encountering. It was all white people, yet they all had something really nasty to say about people of color. We’re talking early nineties here. People in Michigan wanting Confederate flags and so on, even though—you know—Michigan wasn’t in the Confederacy. Because it’s not a symbol of heritage, it’s a symbol of white supremacy and patriarchy. They were just waiting for their day, foaming at the mouth, to have that race war. If you grew up in the eighties, you heard about this mythic, impending race war. Then the nineties happened and super-predators and it never happened. And everyone sort of forgot about it because it was a stupid idea. Rednecks daydreaming about taking their shotguns into Detroit and exchanging fire with gangbangers with uzis like in the movies. Except it wasn’t just rednecks. It was plenty of other white guys. Even the ones too dorky to pick up an actual shotgun. The thing about it is a lot of those white people have liberal relatives. You know, the jokes about how you don’t talk about politics or religion at the dinner table. It’s giving someone a pass. It’s avoiding their evil. Getting a hard-on to cause suffering is evil. And that’s what these people believe in. Because everything else is just bullshit—either you think causing suffering is all right, or you don’t. It’s why there are such psychotic vegans. Even though wheat screams and all. The story of the United States is this idealism about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But that shit got sold out a really, really long ago. Or has plain never existed for some Americans; always people with darker skin too. Enabling racism, even passively, is embracing suffering and hurt. How fucking gross; and the United States just collectively made that decision. I was always right about white people. They’re the fucking worst.

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