White Man's Hurtin
Okay , so maybe it was the site of four white boys, mouth-strapped in solidarity, uniform in thought and step, looking like some reject fraternity from a Revenge of the Nerds sequel that tipped you off. Or maybe it was when the blindingly-white Tim Bodine referred to the black shining prince, Malcolm X, as "Malcolm Ten" that you began looking for Ashton Kutcher to pop up out the back of a peirogi shop.
But then again, you weren't there. If you cared at all, you probably only know about what I'm talking about above because you read the friggin' Tony Norman Pittsburgh Post-Gazette column or Julie Mickens' CP article. And why weren't you there, you xenophobic, anti-suffragist, commie, bigamist prick? You people disgust me, you sick racist freaks. You make Bob O'Connor look like Marlon Brando, you fakeass, well-intentioned, guilt-liberal honkeys! [Editor's note: author of this piece, who is black, was not there either, and he got the same notice you did.] [[Editor's Note pt. II: Author of this piece is also Deek's Editor of Color.]]
So the Caucasian American Understanding Coalition's August 19 White Man's March in Apology for Years of Oppression didn't win many converts. I'm sure Bodine forgetting (or losing, depending on which rumor your heard) the "Scroll of Tolerance" somewhere along the "Path of Redemption," from the ol' county jailhouse to the United Way building -- home to Pittsburgh's Urban League -- did little to help their case.
Realtalk, though, the themes behind this march - no matter how ridiculous they were presented - were serious. Real dialogue, acceptance and check-writing are all in order when dealing with of years of white privilege, years of uncompensated labor, more years of housing and employment discrimination, years of locking up falsely accused black men for crimes they didn't commit, yada, yada, yada.
The likelihood of getting just two out of three of those - and we'll pick the cheaper ones: real dialogue and acceptance...? Nigga, please. You'd have a better chance of seeing Cindy Sheehan order a case of AK-47s from Wal-Mart and join the "American Bad Asses" Minuteman border-vigilantes as an embedded journalist intended to document her experiences bucking down Mexican ewww-legal aliens for the Trib P.M. and giving Jayson Blair the byline.
The media (a.ka. the establishment a.k.a the man a.k.a. the Illuminati a.ka. the people under the stairs) know this. Trust me. That's when C.A.U.C's press release came shitting out of multiple news outlet fax machines it was laughed off by all of them. Even the black journalists -- especially the black journalists -- had to get mad cynical with this shit, like, " You tryna tell us about race? Niggas, please."
But what if the marchers weren't white? What if they were African-American, Latinos, Latinas and other (my favorite designation:) "people of color?" What if instead of the four there were forty? What about a million? And they were calling for the same thing: for Americans to get real about race. And they were singing "We Shall Overcome" instead of chanting "Two-four-six-eight / A dialogue we want to initiate!" And instead of being ignored they were paid the kind of attention that comes in the form of a Taser in they asses.
Would we take it more seriously? Of course we would, even if only for the m oment of that march and the 3-second clip on KDKA news. Hell, we might even have showed up to spectate and offer a beautiful sound bite like:
"Well, neither me nor my mom ever enslaved any black people. My best friend is black and I dated a black guy from our basketball team in high school. I really sympathize with what these people are demonstrating about, and I wish there was more I could do as a white person."
What could a white person possibly do but pay Hines Ward twice what he wants (on behalf of all black people), give T.O. quadruple what he deserves, then pucker up and kiss Al Sharpton's big, black ass all the way to the White House? I guess you could march about it. You could pick up a Coca-Cola and teach the world to sing. Pick up a guitar and a Power Point projector and lead a workshop. After all, a well-planned and executed march is all that saved us from going to war in Iraq .
It wouldn't seem so empty, so ridiculous if, during C.A.U.C's planning stages, we hadn't received a press release from "Undercover White Man" J.G. Bocella. It was stranger than fiction. The press release said Undercover White Man's "concert/workshop program"
(www.uwMan.com) has been touring colleges, mixing music and dialogue, and bridging the divide of language, discomfort and
misunderstanding that keeps the whole nation silent on the subject."
Rege Behe of Tribune-Review wrote of Undercover White Man: "J.G. Boccella is a man out of time, a throw-back to the socially aware 1960's. His music confronts society's ills with a mix of styles ranging from jazz to reggae, with lyrics that are unabashedly hopeful."
Tony Norman, who wrote in the Post-Gazette how Bodine's speech "lacked any hint of his true convictions regarding racial reconciliation," just gushed in the P-G about the Undercover Bocella Brother's "suite of songs about race, class and other divisions that continue to haunt the American dream."
I'm don't know what Butterfly Walton, the girl playing guitar on C.A.U.C.'s website, was playing when she rapped with the youth, but I'm sure it was no less titillating than Bocella's song "If a Dog Bites You," which goes ""Feeling guilty won't help the situation/Building resentments will only lead to a conflagration/We've got to put down the weapons that we carry in our minds/Before we can trust each other, we've got to break the denial."
And to think, for a just a lil' over 9 Gs you get a full-day of J.G. and his Modo Mio band conducting workshops and concerts, all in the name of racial harmony. C.A.U.C. marched and demonstrated for almost two hours, and it cost nothing. Most people paid it no mind. [[Editor's note: Author bit that line from Diatribe Magazine -- see www.diatribemagazine.com online. Plagiarized lines or the thoughts expressed therein in no way represents Deek Magazine ; see second Editor's Note above.]]
The fact is, you tolerate when black people Million McMarch, and picket, and saaang, and drum, and shout ourselves to death because you think we're a pitiful people. You feel sorry for us - but not the kind of sorry that provokes real action, legislative changes or constitutional amendments; no, we need someone really nonviolent to get assassinated to get that kind of sorry, and they would have to be nonviolent, because Lord knows we ain't get so much as a "five seconds of silence" when 2Pac was killed.
No, we get the kind of sorry that the blind-singing beggar gets Downtown after he taps one-ah yinz in the foot with his cane after you stood through his whole rendition of "God Bless America " but refused to throw any change in his hat. Like, "Sorry. I really dug your song and all, and I sympathize with your plight. But I just don't got it." White sympathy and a dollar might get you a cup of Starbucks coffee emblazoned with some feel-good "progressive" message, but that's all it'll get you.
So why bother? Why have the Senate go through the motions of digging up some ol' ass black dude who got lynched back in America 's golden era to apologize for lynchings that happened hundreds of years ago? Did you even remember that that happened before I just mentioned it? If you remembered it, do you care? Does it matter?
The most important march happens after the rally dissolves, assuming the police weren't so bored they had to break it up with tear gas just to keep themselves awake during the 18 th keynote address and the 34 th motivational speech. It's when the crowd once again becomes separate individuals, heading back to their cars, some back to their buses; heading back to their homes, some back to a rented dungeon in Bedford Dwellings, one paycheck or one Bush-cut away from eviction status. The slogans burn away in the afternoon sun; everyone goes back to looking numb and lost. It's when blacks walk back to whatever business they were doing before the march, with their heads hung low, hopeless that anything's changed, while whites march back to their business, heads struggling to hang high, still trying to hold onto whatever bit of invigoration they felt for helping out the pitiful black folk who couldn't help themselves.
In college, it's common to see dazed, disoriented freshman girls walking home alone the morning after a big frat party. It's called the "Walk of Shame." And usually it's after she just got fucked.
Follow-up Reading :
taken from poorly written notes
Can you hear me in the back? Everyone? In the back? Good.
Those of you who brought bag lunches, if you could hold off until I've finished, that would be great.
Firstly, I want to thank you all for coming. This is a great turnout. It's really inspiring to see so many people willing to put themselves on the line, to walk several blocks to change the world. You are all, if I may, "thee bomb."
I want you, the sons of privilege, to give yourselves a big round of applause for your understanding.
When Peter and I first formed CAUC, some people said we were too idealistic. Work within the system, they said. They wanted us to temper our drive, our passion for change. They said to us, "Given enough time and empty, symbolic gestures, the world will change itself." Well, I'm not about empty symbolism -- and I know you aren't either. That's why we're here today.
I apologize for forgetting the Scroll of Tolerance, but I know that each of you carries that scroll in his or her Caucasian heart.
I want to leave you with this thought: it was either Voltaire or Stalin that said, "Idealism is the last vice of youth." If being an idealist is wrong, then I don't want to be right. (applause break)
But here we are, on the 55 th anniversary of Edith Sampson's selection as the first African-American representative to the United Nations.
Some say we can never understand what it's like to struggle in America . No matter how much rap music we listen to, they say, we will never understand.
Well, I've listened to rap music. My father worked two jobs to support my family. He worked as a stockbroker and as an investment banker, sometimes more than nine hours a day to put food on our table. Don't think I don't know suffering. Suffering is the humanity we all share. The Tittie-Twister of Understanding.
To quote the famous black activist, Malcolm Ten, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today." Thank you all again for coming, and give yourselves a big round of applause.
via okayplayer.com; unedited
it's hardly an apology, it's more of a mockery (even if it was well intentioned) why? well, because instead of being post-whiteness, they re-inscribe whiteness and racist stereotypes of non-whites (examples, they equate hip hop and working 2 jobs with non-whiteness, and i suspect more specifically blackness, furthemore they accuse non whites of thinking that we have suffering cornered) and they do this without letting go of the notion of that they are still white....
though i do think white people are ashamed of being white--as whiteness is socially constructed and taught to them as children in very traumatic ways for a child--and being racialized when you believe you are not supposed to be (under white supremacists ideology--everyone else is part of a race, white is just white) can be a shameful experience (i suspect)....they were sorry (but not the kind of sorry they want us to think)
Learning to Be White by THANDEKA
In response to Reply # 1
As an unashamed white guy,
those guys are hilarious.
It didn't really hit me until I read "Malcom Ten" that these guys weren't sincere. Could someone explain why anyone would spend time and money organizing this? But when I think about it, would we even really want them to be serious?
If they had really listened to Malcolm X... They would know he thought whites seeking forgiveness from blacks were like rapists seeking forgiveness from their victims. And, like it or not, an apology is a way of asking for forgiveness, and thus contains an element of insensitivity and narcissism. Instead of an apology, financial and systemic reparations are needed.
What they did was a big FUCK YOU to African Americans for wanting reparations and apologies. Basically throwing salt on the wound while mocking one of the great black leaders (Brother Malcolm) all at the same time. Basically they implied, "Nigga you ain't gettin shit but this fake ass apology!"
lol, i thought this was obvious."
"Given enough time and empty, symbolic gestures, the world will change itself." Well, I'm not about empty symbolism -- and I know you aren't either. That's why we're here today."
"My father worked two jobs to support my family..."