You Are A Racist!

Yeah, again again, “You are a racist!” spat at me with derision. All because I own merchandise from Black Rifle Coffee and voted for Cheeto Satan. It doesn’t help that I can trace my whiteness back through Plymouth and Jamestown to England. I am Presbyterian. Oh, it’s worse. I am a covenant partner with the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians. If you don’t know, sorry, but ECO is bad says PCUSA. Also, I am a cisgender man, another evil adjective and another reason to hate me.

I’m not done. I beat my Taiwanese wife repeatedly over seven years of marriage. So in addition to my WASP evils, I am also an abuser of a woman of color, a mortal sin of the worst sort. Let’s add a couple more: I voted for Trump, own a MAGA hat, and like guns.

Despicable enough for you? Here is where I am going with this. My family has been loyal Democratic voters for at least a century. We are socialists when it is impolite to say we are communists. TBH, we are Stalinist or Maoist. At least, that’s what PUDFARB will tell you.

You Can’t Leave

PUDFARB wants me back so they can convict me of a couple of felonies. The first is leaving PUDFARB. You can’t leave PUDFARB. Ever. If you were born there you must stay. If you visited there even for a moment, forever after a repatriation squad is assigned to you. They want you back.

My family is from PUDFARB. My Dad left, married my Mom, raised four kids, had a career designing power systems for radios and radar, and went home to Jesus last year. There is some history with our family leaving PUDFARB. His Mom never forgave him for his career with RCA designing weapons. It was great news when I announced I was taking a bus to my Grandma’s house at age 19. The prodigal son returns. For a while.

The second felony happened slowly. I joined St. Giles Church. St. Giles is odd for the Puritan strains of Presbyterianism. They speak in tongues. They hold prayer meetings where people get healed. There is a lot of Holy Spirit stuff happening there. Terribly evil, PUDFARB says. I love it and that’s the thing. Last I heard I’d been convicted in absentia and I’m being sought so I can serve my time in a reeducation camp.

Why I Live in Richmond

Lately, some of my friends have said that I have to choose. I must either spew invective at our President with sufficient fervor or accept that I am the lowliest of low minions living under the hoof of Satan at the deepest circles of hell. For my family and for these friends there are only two kinds of people: loyal Democrats and traitors. It’s hard to keep a reputation as a loyal Democrat. There are legion venial sins that lay in wait like tiny devils to trip you up and stain you a bit redder. It’s exhausting.

Also, I get pissy when backed into a corner and threatened with damage if I don’t comply with a demand to demonstrate my virtuous fielty to PUDFARB. Trump may be many things, but at least those loyal to him are not constantly evaluating minuscule details of my life to see whether they are المؤمنين للشريعة. I’ll take my chances living in Richmond as a traitor.

Life here is nice. I can grill a venison steak and serve it with GMO potatoes and the only comments I get are, “good steak”. I don’t’ have to spend a half-hour describing how the Buck was raised, whether it was killed Halal, or what it ate before it was killed. The potatoes? Forget about it.

Still a Wife Beating Racist

I’m repeating myself. Among my church friends and around those who lean right it’s no never mind whether I chose paper or plastic at the checkout line. When I try to blubber about being such a miserable wretch with so horrid a list of evil adjectives they let me finish and reply with, “Well, bless your heart.” It’s a much simpler life without the buzzing gnats of micro-angst biting at my balding skull.

When I tell the story of my abuse of my Taiwanese wife more than a few said, “she probably deserved it.” Those are horrid words to a member of PUDFARB. The guy that said it was out on parole for felony distribution of a controlled substance.

My kin and PUDFARB friends say pretty words about inclusivity and diversity. These words are bullshit. Here is who is included: disciples of Mao and Mohamed that memorized 毛的小紅書 and القران الكريم, are a person of color, are more than a little LGBTQ, poor AF, older, disabled, speak English as a second language, born elsewhere, and less educated. The through-line is anyone who is Maoist and Muslim with one or more attributes putting you into the proletariat side of the scale. If you are all of the above, your score can approach 97.

At the Intersection of Fear and Loathing

Another through-line for those included is a core belief in being oppressed by some other. The misery of those included is caused by some other, it’s not their fault. It is the other that has to change in an amenable way. To be included is to be a victim.

My intersectionality score? 5. I am all the bad things wrong with the world. I’m too old and mean to give a fuck about my low score, you and your misery. I don’t want the power over your life that you assign to me. It’s your poison you keep drinking with the expectation that I’ll get better. The bad news is, the older I get the meaner I get. You can’t fix me.

Go Fix Yourself

I voted Trump and count Republicans as friends because life is so much calmer with them. There are manners. People are more gracious. At PUDFARB every moment is fraught with tension. At any moment I could overstep some unspoken rule and find myself facing outrage, claims of abuse and violence and demands that I face a tribunal. In Richmond at most I might get, “Bless your heart.”

My friends let me talk. They listen. We don’t always agree but at least we can be civil. Not so with PUDFARB. There, fights break out when an SJW spots someone with a red Solo cup instead of the approved Non-GMO JoyCode bamboo fiber cups.

Motes and Logs

One bit of preaching before I go. My answer is constant. It’s motes and logs, Matthew 7:3-5: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

There lies the difference. PUDFARB is focused outward, on the world and its ills, in an evergreen battle to get the world to come to heel. Popular PUDFARB causes like Climate Change, Racism and Gun Violence lend themselves to perpetual cries to “do something”, doing something that increases the tyranny of the majority and iterating.

With each iteration, they escalate. Lately, their fight is with God’s creation. God screwed up when he made the world. His creation is an existential threat to PUDFARB. Removing the threat will require more law and a bigger government. So they battle against it, forever pushing their rock uphill.

Jacob Wrestling the Angel You Are a Racist

I’ll Take Richmond

We don’t care about the world. The world and people in it are fucked up. They do stupid shit that hurts others. We just stipulate that and move on. Our starting position is MYOB. The battlefield is within us. The war is with our own hot mess. Victory comes over a lifetime as we conquer sin separating us from Christ.

This is my choice: anxiety-filled life under constant reminder of what a shit I am, how I oppress *everyone* and background noise of suspicion that I might be better off in a reeducation camp. Or . . . live at the Capital of the South where it turns out that there is more grace, more sanity than the hallowed walls of City Hall in San Francisco. Give me Richmond. People are better here.

The beautiful thing about my status as a racist, evil bastard is that I’ll never be enough. Nothing I say or do will ever be sufficient. PUDFARB says I was born this way and will die this way. With each attempt at repentance, some new infraction is revealed and I am again the reason for a legion of worldly ills. To which I pay no attention.

So Judgy

I’m judged racist because of things I was born into. My adjectives make me profoundly evil. In addition, I am racist because of the moments when I’ve been violent to PUDFARB citizens. Nothing I say can change my reputation. I am only those slivers of time when I was at my worst. That is my story for PUDFARB.

So be it. It’s actually easier if PUDFARB believes I am as evil as they claim. Being this evil means they leave me alone. Which is good. This last batch of peas had venison sausage in it. Yum.

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Race

First Posted 27-Feb-2015

I’m a Nascar fan. You say race to me and I’m thinking stock cars and oval race tracks. But, I’m not an idiot. I know that a synonym for race refers to the genealogical heritage of some folk and how that heritage affects their lives. Racism is tribalism writ large. Race is one way we select who is in, who is with us, and who is out, who is “other” and thus, worthy of exclusion and derision.
WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA: CIVIL WAR/BACKGROUND: SLAVERY & ABOLITIONISMThis needs to be one of my “not news” posts. It should not be news that discriminating against someone because of their skin color is a bad idea. God called us to love kin, neighbors and enemies. I don’t find an exception to that allowing us to declare that folk with a different skin tone from ours are to be shunned or treated as chattel. I’m repeating this because I feel like I need to say it again. Maybe I’m being stupid, thinking that if I say it enough more people will listen. It is a foolish way to argue–repeat something, louder and angrier each time, believing that the repetitions with more feeling will persuade the target of the verbal battery. It is how my son’s Mom & I used to argue. We were stubborn and stupid about it.

I should just let it go. I am not letting it go. For a couple reasons. One, a good friend of mine is deeply wounded on this topic. His misery, his bitter experience with being shunned because of his ethnicity, is something that colors the world shit-brown for him. He explains a lot of his misery based on it being caused by the accident of his birth to his parents. And here is where I should say he’s black. It’s the obvious punch line to this paragraph. But, believing misery is caused by a chance birth into an ethnicity isn’t a hangup that only African American’s have. So it’s not relevant to this essay whether my friend is black. What is relevant is that he has this habit of explaining his troubles by saying it is because of this ethnicity. He won’t let go of this. So I find myself wanting to say again that ethnicity and skin color say nothing about the character of us.

It’s not news except that ethnicity and skin color as characterizing attributes is something that gets repeated when it should not be a defining characteristic. Also not news, I hope, is that the labels “black” and “white” as markers of skin color are misnomers. Most of humanity is some shade of brown. Even I, ethnically “white”, am a shade of beige or light brown. Skin color as a measure of who is and isn’t in the tribe is a bad choice of discriminating characteristic. We are all brown. Some are darker brown than others. It’s a question of degree rather than a binary black/white choice. If anything, I and my fair skinned kin, are a minority. We are in charge because we tend to win wars. It’s been true for a while. 10,000 Scotts-Irish guys on a battlefield is not an opponent you want to face.

We don’t win honorably either. We defeated the Chinese by making them addicted to Opium. We hurt the Native Americans deeply with our new diseases. We cheat and win. We control most of Europe to this day. We may win ugly, but we win. Which . . . pisses some folk off. I get that. I know that the whole sordid affair of slavery was an ugly partnership between tribes in West Africa, my British ancestors, and my kin here in Richmond, VA.

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Civil Rights movement. The Emancipation Proclamation was 152 years ago as of this post. We’ve come a long way. Not saying we are done. Pockets of asshats exist. But the days of broad cultural assumption that we are divided along racial lines are gone. So, staying pissed off starts being a bit stupid. In any case, there are three trump cards that end the whole conversation on a good note. The first is that we need to continue the habit of remembering that whites are the minority, actually, and we should be grateful for our success and humbly serve as we are able out of that success. The second is the greatest commandment: Love God with all our hearts, minds and souls and second, love kin, neighbors and enemies alike. Third, the golden rule, treat others as we wish to be treated. Three simple principles to live by that can end racism where it reappears. Three simple things we can all do regardless of ethnic origin. I started with Nascar. Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 this year in a Ford.

Maybe his victory isn’t connected, maybe I’m being annoying in ending this way. So be it. Congratulations to Penske Racing and Joey Logano for a great win.

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