Monday, March 26, 2012

White People Make Me Nervous

A woman of color moved into our dorm. There are actually now four women of color and one man of color among the thirty or forty staff members at the school at which I work. I’m pretty happy about this for a couple of reasons: 1. I’m glad these folks teach and work on the staff because this means the kids see that all the adults of color on campus don’t work in the dining hall and 2. When I’m around too many white people, I get nervous. I am, of course, white, which means I know what I’m talking about. Think about it; how many African American serial killers have you ever heard of? Go ahead, take your time. Let’s just say it’s a good bet that when you hear about a serial killer—Jessie Lee Cantrell or Billy Ray Johnson or whatever—he’s white. This is because when you get too many white people around each other, they go crazy. I’m serious. Where do serial killers come from? The Midwest. The Pacific Northwest. Ever look at the racial breakdowns of these places? Go ahead. I’ll wait. Let’s just say I’m locking my car doors when I drive through Montana.

Let’s look at history—let’s go back almost a hundred years. Who started World War I? Was it black people? How about the Great Depression? How about World War II—all those lily-white Germans got so crazy, they turned on other white people (and everyone else they could catch). Maybe you’re saying, “But Pearl Harbor.” Okay, sure. You can have that one. Maybe Asian people get a little crazy when they’re all cooped up together, too. I don’t know. I haven't studied them as closely as I have white people. But it doesn’t invalidate my point in the slightest.

Still not buying it? Let’s go even further back to the time of Manifest Destiny. Here’s what happened: all these white folks got together and slaughtered the few American Indians who’d survived the plagues white folks had already unleashed on them. Then, the white folks went back to all the other white folks back East and told them the Indians they’d just been killing were actually the violent ones! "They tried to defend their homes, the bastards!" So we slaughtered a bunch more of them and rounded up the rest and put them on reservations. And these people who did it were considered heroes! People made movies. Little boys wanted to grow up to be these genocidal asses, even though the people portraying them couldn’t act.

Then, they did basically the same thing with the freed slaves after Reconstruction broke down. White folks spent about a hundred years after the Civil War lynching, terrorizing, and secretly re-enslaving African Americans in the South, and in the North and Midwest, they just stole everything the blacks had and drove them out of town after killing a few of them. Or they lynched them and re-enslaved them there, too.

When there weren’t any African Americans around, they went after Asian Americans. When there weren’t any of them, they went after different ethnicities of whites, and people of different faiths. I’m not saying everyone acted like this, but a hell of a lot did—a lot more than we seem to want to admit. A whole lot more. Ask yourself — why is it that everyone who lives in my suburb is white?

But wait — what about the Harlem Renaissance? Didn’t that take place within this hundred years after the Civil War you’re talking about? Sure — but why was it the “Harlem” Renaissance? Why did all these African Americans live only in Harlem? It’s almost like they weren’t allowed to live elsewhere, so they all moved to the one area that permitted them to stay. Hmm. And, of course, some white people destroyed the economy and put an end to that.

So, as you can see, I get nervous around too many white folks. It's only a matter of time until they come for me if they're left up to their own devices.

No comments: