Too often white people try not to talk about racial issues among ourselves. Probably because it’s easier to gloss over it, to keep the peace. To save the bickering for another time.
You work hard, no one is saying you don’t, but when you elect candidates who point to someone else as the reason you aren’t getting ahead, none of us get ahead, no matter how hard we all work.
It’s easy to say “I work hard. I own a business. I’ve been walking beans and detassling corn since I was small. Why should they get extra help? They don’t work hard enough.” But you don’t have the full picture.
You can also tell me “I didn’t march in Charlottesville.” And I’m glad that’s true. But did something you said or didn’t say or didn’t do when you should have, help them to light their torches? Those men were so unafraid of what they were about to do that this time they came dressed in white polos, khaki chinos and baseball hats. They left their robes and hoods at home.
You never threw a Nazi salute, sure, but you kept insisting that Islam has the market cornered on terrorism. So when a 21-year-old white man murdered nine people inside a Christian church in South Carolina, it was just a short leap for you to say “that man was sick.”
Remember when you were all upset about the Welfare Queen living large off the public dole? She never existed, you know that right?
Remember when you were angry about illegal immigrants from Mexico taking all of your jobs, getting all of that free medical care, having dozens of anchor babies and abusing American generosity to get their children into public schools? You know those are your neighbors, right? You see those people every single day. They didn’t take your job, you still have it. Their kids play with your kids. Your children hear the things you say about them.
Remember when if we cut off immigration from majority Muslim countries then we would have made it impossible for evildoers to enter into the United States and perform acts of terrorism? Okay well, the new face of terrorism in America is a 20-year-old white guy from Ohio.
If you cannot bring yourself to call Dylan Roof’s actions terrorism, shame on you.
If you still think Muslims create all of the terrorists because of some inherent flaw in their religion that does not exist in yours, shame on you.
If you think Barack Obama should be executed for treason, but voted for a man who was clearly conspiring with a foreign power to weaken our democracy, shame on you.
If you think it’s completely reasonable that the president has time to denounce Nordstrom, but not Nazis or the Klan, well, I just don’t know what to do with you but you make me very sad.
If every Muslim person is responsible for every crime committed by every other Muslim person (and Black people are responsible for the other Black people, Latinos responsible for the other Latinos, etc.) Then white people have to be responsible for the other white people.
This time it is white people who are responsible for this terrorist attack. From the tiki torches, to the murder, to the fear every American is feeling today, that’s on white people. James Alex Field Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio is a white domestic terrorist. We get to own this one. You should feel pretty ashamed of that. I do. We don’t get the luxury of pretending that white people don’t have a lot of responsibility for the tears in the fabric of American society anymore. In truth, we hold more responsibility than most.
If you hear someone disparaging your immigrant neighbors, you have a patriotic duty to speak up in their defense now.
If you hear someone crack an off-color joke about someone because of who they love, you have a responsibility to ask that person to explain to you exactly why that joke is funny.
If another white person says something racist, bigoted, misogynistic, close-minded or hateful because you are white and they assume this is a safe space to show their bigotry, it is your responsibility to let them know that is unacceptable.
It is white people’s responsibility to denounce racism, to vilify domestic terrorism, to stand in opposition against religious extremism – including extremist Christian terrorism – because our collective silence allowed this cancer to grow and spread.
Take this seriously. One day you may be on the receiving end of the phone call from the police or media asking for an explanation why your son was at a white power rally. Why did he drive a car into a crowd of people, on purpose? Why does the video show he never even touched the brakes? I hope you have a good answer on that day.
This really is perfect. I’m reclaiming my time.