Skip to main content

I am not naïve, or at least I never thought I was.  I am a progressive, and I have long been aware of the struggles of the black community, and the injustices over the centuries.  (I have a particular fetish for all injustice.  It pisses me off, even when I see it in a movie).

I just never had my eyes opened to this degree.  Have things gotten worse lately, or has it always been this bad, and I am now waking up to something I thought I already knew?

In just this past week, I am reading about the killing with impunity of a black child; the handcuffing a man who was already shot and down; the negligent homicide by police of a man with a stroke who was tossed into a cell and ignored for 36 hours; the 10 year prison sentence for a woman who shot a ceiling in self-defense in the same jurisdiction and tried by the same DA who “tried” George Zimmerman (keep trying, asshole; maybe one day you’ll get it right); and the cruel physical abuse of Stephen Biko as he was transported mortally wounded in an ambulance (oh wait, that last one didn't happen here.  Sorry.).

I live in NYC and I read the stop-and-frisk stats.  I also have seen the stop-and-frisks in action, and have never been stopped.  I am white.  I have seen brown kids get dragged into a stop-and-frisk just because they stopped-and-watched, just like I did.  I was never lied to by a cop and asked if I was carrying anything and that I should just take it out and show him so it “will be easier for me”.

And yet, still, I have never felt the way I did this week.

Let me say for the record that I am no bleeding heart liberal who doesn’t know what the fuck is going on.  So my lunch money and pencils were stolen by white kids in high school. I was mugged by a black guy once.  An Asian guy wanted to kill me in a road rage incident where I live.  I am an equal opportunity cynic, who does deep down feel that the human race can be ok with a lot less Randianism.

I don’t have white guilt.  In fact, my wife and I were watching an episode of Seinfeld once, where, after unknowingly mistreating one black guy, all the white characters bend over backwards for the next black guy they see.  I asked my wife WTF was that?  To me it wasn’t funny and seemed awkward and weird.  She told me, ‘oh that’s white guilt.’  (Larry David is a genius, to make us laugh at the cringeworthy).

In my late 30s, I had honestly never even heard of white guilt; let alone felt it.  But I do have empathy. I feel.  A lot.

(For the record, my wife is African American, and both she and her mom thought it was the height of stupidity for people to cheer O.J., though they certainly understood where it was coming from.)

But if I grew up living this, feeling this all the time, shit; I might’ve cheered O.J. too back in the 90’s.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site