|This is an artist's rendering of happy times with the Ex. Weren't I handsome?|
White people are dumb.
Okay, that's fair. But black people are dumb, too.
When it comes to race relations, everybody dumb.
I was just reading about how a white woman named Jen Polachek authored this weird, hand-wringing, guilt and fear-ridden article about how an overweight black woman came to her yoga class, and couldn't do the exercises.
So then this big Negro interloper just sat there and stared at Jen for the duration of the class, with what Jen took to be a sort of furious, race-based anger. See, because Jen is a skinny rich white girl, and she can do all the yoga exercises.
Then afterwards, Jen went home and had a good cry. Poor dumb Jen, it's like she'd never seen a black person before.
She makes it kind of hard for me to be proud of my beautiful pale whiteness.
Her article appeared in an online magazine called XOJane, in a features section called "It Happened to Me." Here's a link to the article, if you want to read it. Good luck. It's tough sledding.
It Happened To Me: There Are No Black People In My Yoga Classes And I'm Suddenly Feeling Uncomfortable With It
Did you read it? I know. Overwrought, mangled prose, to say the least. I almost feel worse about that than I do the backlash that came because of it.
And backlash came, indeed it did. In the week or so since the story appeared, it has unleashed that old internet standby, the dreaded "firestorm of controversy."
So many thousands of people have expressed so much rage and contempt toward Jen, that the magazine changed her name from Jen Polachek to Jen Caron. I guess this is so no one can find out where she lives, then murder her or otherwise get her.
Which is ridiculous in itself because I found out her real name in a nanosecond. If I can do it, anybody can do it.
The getting her part is less ridiculous, but let's just hope nobody does that, shall we?
So what are my thoughts about all this? You've come this far, and I suppose it's because you think or hope I might have something to add.
Nah. Not really.
My major thought is people are dumb, and they're going to continue to be dumb, and I'm going to continue to be dumb, and there's not much anybody can do about it except get pissed off.
You ever watch chimpanzees for any length of time? Boy, they get pissed off about things, don't they? Well, we share 98.8% of our DNA with them. So, pretty much, we're gonna get pissed off, too. That's about the most we can hope for.
|"I'm gonna git ya!"|
Yeah, but what about the part where you were married to a black woman and all that?
Right. I was married to a black woman for 7 years, and I dated her for 3 years before we got married. Let's call her Lola. She's a good person. We've had our differences.
So Lola and I spent 10 years together. And while I was with her, I criss-crossed back and forth between the black and white worlds like a spy during World War Two. That qualifies me to weigh in on race relations.
Here's what I found out. White people and black people have a hard time trusting each other. Dumbness accounts for part of it, as I indicated, but there are other factors as well.
History is a big part. There's that whole slavery and segregation thing. Painful.
And here's something even more painful. In general, white people almost never think about slavery or segregation. You know, if they're dealing with a black person, and it comes up in conversation, then: "Okay, right, slavery, that sucked." But otherwise it doesn't cross their minds.
Meanwhile, black people think about slavery and segregation. In my experience, they pepper their conversations with references to it. Segregation is still going on, so why not?
So you've got two groups of people who just aren't on the same page. One group sees slavery as this gigantic, earth-shattering thing that changed the course of history, and accounts for a lot of what's unfair and undesirable about what's going on now.
The other group sees slavery as something that happened, like, kind of a long time ago.
And here's something else I've found: there are some black men, who if they see a black woman with a white man, that presses the red button for them. They fly into a vitriolic rage. Then they start saying unpleasant things out loud, very angry-like. And they get into a body posture that suggests the attack is coming any second now.
Then, at least in my experience, the storm passes. But who knows? That anger's gonna go somewhere.
Are there white guys who get similarly pissed off when they see a black man with a white woman? You bet. Which is part of my original point. There's plenty of dumbness for everybody.
And, you know, chimpanzees help explain a lot.
MONEY - The X Factor
Personally, I think the big issue is money. Black people are struggling financially, much worse than whites. Yes, there's Jay-Z, and Oprah, and Michael Jordan and whoever else. They're loaded. But in the aggregate, black people are broke and white people are not.
Anecdotally, I found that black people were focused on paying bills and getting by. White people were focused on paying down their mortgages, upgrading their cars, and maybe let's go to Bermuda this year.
But don't take my word for it. In 2012, the Census Bureau released figures demonstrating the wealth gap in America. According to the figures, white people had a median household net worth of $110,729. Black people had a median household net worth of $4,955.
Median means half of all households have more, half have less. So half of all black households had less than $4,955. To me, that's an astonishing figure. That's millions of people hanging by a thread.
White households had, on average, 22 times as much money as black households. That's a lot of cabbage, and a big, big difference in day-to-day well being.
I suspect that if we were all on the same playing field financially, then a lot of this mistrust would just sort of evaporate. White people would stop being so weird and bumbling and unnatural around black people. And black people would stop being so irritated at white people.
So how can we make that happen? One good way to get started would be to give every adult in the society $2,800 a month.
See Related Article: Let's Give Everybody $2,800 a Month