Say you’re sorry!
I want to start off this week by apologizing for my race, which is insensitive to the point of dividing humanity into two groups, white and non white. This would be bad enough if there were a “white” race. When you’re reducing complexity to a binary you tend to make things one or the other, up or down, one or zero, black or white. In this case, “us and them”. Now that I have that apology out of the way I can apologize for being “white” and the privilege it brings. This privilege isn’t what it used to be. In the bad old days we had our own drinking fountains. We could enter a building via the front door. The “colored”, a polite way of saying, non-white, had to use the “colored” entrance around back. That might be where they could get a drink of water from the colored water fountain on a hot day. The “colored” sat in the back of the bus and in a theater’s peanut gallery. The euphemism “colored” was itself an apology before white privilege was even heard of. The liberal, humanist, white person, was offering an apology on behalf of the colored person. Something like, “I’m sorry you were born colored, bad luck, not your fault”. This helped assuage the white person’s feeling of guilt. It also preserved the colored person’s dignity in that they didn’t need to apologize for their non whiteness directly. Very few white persons felt guilty about their privilege back then. When those few felt growing remorse they’d send a check off to the United Negro College fund, or the NAACP or give a bigger tip to the doorman at the Ritz. If the privileged white person were also a socialist, stirring dissent among the “darkies”, their check was sent to the W.E.B.duBois Society, a radical organization according to J. Edgar Hoover, himself a minority group member. The closeted cross dressing head of the FBI didn’t feel guilty about white privilege. No, as he straightened the seam in his stockings and powdered the stubble on his chin he thought about commie labor organizers and racial agitators. White privilege, if the concept had existed, would have been an aspect of reality, like gravity or blue sky. Back then, in the depression, even white privilege couldn’t guarantee a job!, and seamless nylons hadn’t been invented. I’m running out of space and I’ve only produced two apologies. Implicit in apologizing for the binary invention “white/colored” is a need to apologize to each and every racial group and subgroup referenced by the now discounted term, “colored”. Asians are non-white of course but not colored, which in the late 60’s became, “Black”. White is a lack of color. Asians were once called, “the yellow races” that had to change when we allied with the Chinese to fight the Japanese in the 1930’s. But the list of needed apologies grows when it’s realized how many different Asian racial groups there are. Thousands probably. Just offering one blanket apology to all Asians, or worse, to all nonwhites, would appear the callous, unthinking, “Tone Deaf” (not just a musical term anymore) gesture it surely would be. So like the old school hand written thank you notes kids were required to produce after an especially lucrative Christmas morning, we’ll need to be thorough. It’s still the white man’s burden, but now it’s sending boatloads of apologies instead of taking boatloads of gold and diamonds. At the rate of one apology a day we can clear the backlog in just a couple of years. If one of the finest families in Virginia can accept Sally Hemming’s decedents the rest of us can say how sorry we are. And now, in this enlightened age, Sally’s great great great grandkids use the front door! indeed!,”The wind done gone”.
The above might run in a local rag or the publisher might pull it for fear of loosing financial contributors. The subject of this essay is the insidious USA “cancel culture” which has taken root here in the land of the free. The publisher is a true believer in freedom of the press but….he needs to buy toner…so he needs to think along practical lines. Wither or not someone has reason to be offended (on behalf of another person) isn’t the question….their turning off the monthly stipend is.
I was provoked by a number of headlines recently to write “Sorry”. Publications are actually retroactively changing their archives! Did any of those journalism majors read Orwell’s 1984 ? What was the protagonist’s job? He revised history. He went into the archives and changed things. He made it so things never happened. “1984” WAS fiction. But, to be PC is to have been PC. We don’t need to learn if we never had a wrong thought. Big brother is fiction about a totalitarian state people! Woke up!, sorry, Wakie wakie ! Woke is a reserved word now….sorry I used it, insensitive of me.
Ted Cruz, the Texas politician and DLT enabler, tried to go to Mexico and get away from the power outage. I would have. You would have. Lets see, Cancun and warm or Texas and freezing for four days…Hmmmm a no brainer – if logic is used but we gringos don’t do logic. We also don’t do parody or irony. Bad sign in a culture when an orthodoxy is algorithmically driving humans….see a word, raise a flag, cancel something. No thinking required. This knee jerk action is showing up big time in gringo culture (America is a hemisphere students – not a country)
As soon as things have calmed down virus wise and I’ve had the shot I’ll go back to Ecuador and get back to simple sanity. Or, I could just ignore the internet, nah, can’t do that, sorry, no sanity for you !