Tim Wise: Open Letter About the White Right Temper Tantrum

An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum

*NOTE: PLEASE RE-READ THE TITLE OF THIS ESSAY BEFORE GOING FURTHER. NOTICE, IT IS AIMED AT THE WHITE RIGHT. NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE. ANYONE WHO THINKS THIS ESSAY IS “ANTI-WHITE PEOPLE,” AS OPPOSED TO THAT SEGMENT OF THE WHITE COMMUNITY THAT IS RIGHT WING, CANNOT READ PLAIN ENGLISH. PLEASE TRY AGAIN.*

http://www.timwise.org/2010/11/an-open-letter-to-the-white-right-on-the-occasion-of-your-recent-successful-temper-tantrum/
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For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.

And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor.

Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this…

You need to drink up.

And quickly.

And heavily.

Because your time is limited.

Real damned limited.

So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness.

The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left.

Not much more now.

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.

Tick.

Tock.

I know, you think you’ve taken “your country back” with this election — and of course you have always thought it was yours for the taking, cuz that’s what we white folks are bred to believe, that it’s ours, and how dare anyone else say otherwise — but you are wrong.

You have won a small battle in a larger war the meaning of which you do not remotely understand.

‘Cuz there is nothing even slightly original about you.

There have always been those who wanted to take the country back.

There were those who, in past years, wanted to take the country back to a time of enslavement and indentured servitude.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when children could be made to work in mines and factories, when workers had no legal rights to speak of, when the skies in every major city were heavy with industrial soot that would gather on sidewalks and windowsills like volcanic ash.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when women could not vote, or attend any but a few colleges, or get loans in their own names, or start their own businesses.

But they lost.

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when blacks “had no rights that the white man was bound to respect,” – this being the official opinion of the Supreme Court before those awful days of judicial activism, now decried by the likes of you – and when people of color could legally be kept from voting solely because of race, or holding certain jobs, or living in certain neighborhoods, or run out of other towns altogether when the sun would go down, or be strung up from trees.

But they lost.

And you will lose.

So make a note of it.

Tweet it to yourself.

Put it on your Facebook wall and leave it there so you’ll remember that I told you so.

It is coming, and soon.

This isn’t hubris. It isn’t ideology. It is not wishful thinking.

It is math.

Not even advanced math. Just simple, basic, like 3rd grade math.

The kind of math that proves how your kind — mostly older white folks beholden to an absurd, inaccurate, nostalgic fantasy of what America used to be like — are dying.

You’re like the bad guy in every horror movie ever made, who gets shot five times, or stabbed ten, or blown up twice, and who will eventually pass — even if it takes four sequels to make it happen — but who in the meantime keeps coming back around, grabbing at our ankles as we walk by, we having been mistakenly convinced that you were finally dead this time.

Fair enough, and have at it. But remember how this movie ends.

Our ankles survive.

You do not.

Michael Meyers, Freddie Kreuger, Jason, and that asshole husband in that movie with Julia Roberts who tracks her down after she runs away and changes her identity–they are all done. Even that crazy fucker in Saw is about to be finished off for good. Granted, he’s gonna be popping out in 3-D to scare the kiddies, so he isn’t going quietly. But he’s going, as all bad guys eventually do.

And in the pantheon of American history, conservative old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms.

Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter.

Because you’re on the endangered list.

And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving.

In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Opie-Taylor-Down-at-the-Fishing Hole cornpone bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart.

There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them, and so therefore, we’ll be able to teach about them accurately and honestly, without hurting your precious feelings, or those of the so-called “greatest generation” — a bunch whose white contingent was top-heavy with ethical miscreants who helped save the world from fascism only to return home and oppose the ending of it here, by doing nothing to lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle.

It’s OK. Because in about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Nothing, Senõr Tancredo.

Nothing, Senõra Angle, or Senõra Brewer, or Senõr Beck.

Loy tiene muy mal, hijo de Puta.

And by then you will have gone all in as a white nationalist movement — hell you’ve all but done that now — thus guaranteeing that the folks of color, and even a decent size minority of us white folks will be able to crush you, election after election, from the Presidency on down to the 8th grade student council.

Like I said, this is math. And numbers don’t lie.

Bottom line, this too shall pass.

So enjoy your tax cuts a while longer.

Go buy whatever you people buy when your taxes get cut: a new car or two, a bigger house, an island. Whatever.

Go back to trading your derivatives, engaging in rampant financial speculation that produces nothing of value, that turns the whole world into your personal casino. Whatever.

Play your hand, and for the love of God play it big. Real big. As in, shoot for the moon big. As in, try to privatize Social Security, and health care, and everything else. Whatever.

At least that way everyone will be able to see what you’re really about.

We’ve been trying to tell them, but nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes, so “Go big or go home,”Bubba.

“Git ‘er Done.”

“Cowboy up,” or whatever other stupid catch phrase strikes your fancy.

Just promise you’ll do more than talk this time.

Please, or as one of your celluloid heroes might put it, “make my day.”

Do whatever you gotta do, but remember that those who are the victims of your greed and indifference take the long view.

They know, but you do not, that justice is not for the sprinters, but rather for the long distance runners who will be hitting their second wind, right about the time that you collapse from exhaustion.

They are like the tortoise to your hare.

They are like the San Francisco Giants, to your New York Yankees: a bunch that loses year after year after year, until they finally win.

You have had this confidence before, remember?

You thought you had secured your position permanently after the overthrow of reconstruction in the wake of the civil war, after the elimination of the New Deal, after the Reagan revolution, after the Republican electoral victory of 1994. And yet, those you thought you had cowed and defeated are still here.

Because those who have lived on the margins, who have been abused, maligned, targeted by austerity measures and budget cuts, subjected to racism, classism, sexism, straight supremacy and every other form of oppression always know more about their abusers than the abusers know about their victims.

They have to study you, to pay careful attention, to adjust their body armor accordingly, and tomemorize your sleep patterns.

You, on the other hand, need know nothing whatsoever about them. And this, will surely prove politically fatal to you in the end. For it means you will not know their resolve. Will not fear it, as you should.

It means you will take their greatest strength — perseverance — and make of it a weakness, called losing.

But what you forget, or more to the point never knew, is that those who lose know how to lose, which is to say they know how to lose with dignity.

And those who suffer know how to suffer, which is to say they know how to survive: a skill that is in short supply amid the likes of you.

You, who could not survive the thought of minimal health care reform, or financial regulation, or a marginal tax rate equal to that which you paid just 10 years earlier, perhaps are under the illusion that everyone is as weak as you, as soft as you, as akin to petulant children as you are, as unable to cope with the smallest setback, the slightest challenge to the way you think your country should look and feel, and operate.

But they are not.

And they know how to regroup, and plot, and plan, and they are planning even now — we are — your destruction.

And I do not mean by that your physical destruction. We don’t play those games. We’re not into the whole “Second Amendment remedies, militia, armed resistance” bullshit that your side fetishizes, cuz, see, we don’t have to be. We don’t need guns.

We just have to be patient.

And wait for you to pass into that good night, first politically, and then, well…

Do you hear it?

The sound of your empire dying? Your nation, as you knew it, ending, permanently?

Because I do, and the sound of its demise is beautiful.

So know this.

If you thought this election was payback for 2008, remember…

Payback, thy name is…

Temporary.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Jasiri X Drops New Song & Banging Video-What if the Tea Party Were Black?

Jasiri X has released a video called “What if the Tea Party was Black?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtH7vH4yRcY

The Hip Hop artist says that he got the idea when Paradise,a member of the pro-black rap group X-Clan, forwarded him a copy of Wise’s article. “I saw the article and I liked the concept,” says the rapper. So Jasiri hit the studio with producer Cynik Lethal while Paradise grabbed his video camera and they went on their mission to defeat the Right Wing propaganda machine.

What If the Tea Party Were Black?

by Tim Wise

http://www.alternet.org/story/146616/what_if_the_tea_party_were_black?page=entire

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure – the ones who are driving the action – we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protesters — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on freerepublic.com last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.

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