While White

Books and Literature, Culture, Education, Justice, Media, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry

Is my job just to respect your experience and accept your conclusions?

David Brooks

Hey, don’t blame me; you hired me to write
these several columns every week, and I
must write each in a little while. White

space is the beginning; it glares back, a bright
tease and an impossibility: for why
(and how) could I have something new to write

three times a week? Why, just the other night
my ex-wife said we’d always lived a lie:
a topic for a column? While my shrink’s white

too-modern couch exerted just a slight
cool leather pressure on my head and on my
weakening back, he averred I not write

about her quite so often. “It isn’t right
to air a private trauma; take the high
road,” he said. His great hair, while white,

is thicker than mine. Sometimes I want to die.
What harder fate than to be a man of high
moral character condemned to write
for money in America while White?

13 thoughts on “While White

  1. Very nice, whatever this is called.

    I have convinced myself that reading B lies outside my interest because he is so beside any point that he does not even represent the smidgenest subsection of our consensus reality, faked or otherwise. In other words, that there’s no single slug on the face of the earth who really reads and likes him. Am I wrong? I’m guessing the answer is yes. Which makes me right. I wonder what I win. While white.

  2. Hoping our descendants will regard the notion of a privately-owned mass-mediated pundit class with bafflement.

    “And they blocked comments?”

  3. Yes, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “experience”. Gosh, it’s been a rough go for him, what with being named a thirty-something senior editor at one of America’s most prestigious periodicals just because he writes approximately as well as those non-black candidates with high school and college diplomas plus actual work experience.

    Still, it would be a grievous mistake to underestimate Master Coates’ ineffable Pain. Like his gallant entertainment-biz colleagues Kanye West and Chris Rock, Coates would without hesitation press a button to undo the Middle Passage, even if–especially if!–it might mean he’d now reside in an aluminum shanty outside Nairobi.

    Coates’ conclusion is that reparations by any other name will smell as sweet. Mine is that we’ll all be a bit nearer to what good progressive folks claim to want once prominent writers who happen to be African-American manage to wake up on the other side of the hyphen once in a while and write about something other than race identity.

    1. Would that be a british shanty town in Nairobi? And you forget to add obama to your list of acceptable black entertainers who mouth off on occasion about the “black experience” in ways acceptable and very profitable to certain white plantation owners. And maybe you can complete the genocide of the indians by having them identify as “americans” and drop the “native” part? Surely casinos are adequate “reparations”?

      1. 1. No, Kenya is a sovereign nation. What useful infrastructure and effective institutions they do have they owe primarily to the British, though, agreed. The Prime Minister of India understands that at least. Finally, my counterfactual presupposed African self-direction besides bringing captured fellow Africans ship-side for shameful trade with Anglo-Europeans. Ah, we sigh for Africa’s original sin.

        2. Obama is not an acceptable black entertainer any more than Coates, Rock or West. He is, like them, a limousine hypocrite and a feckless race-solidarity grievance-monger. They don’t want equality, just a turn with the whip hand.

        3. “Genocide” requires the appropriate culpable mental state, Sparky. Lord Amherst just ain’t gonna cut it. Meanwhile I never use that word for North American aboriginals because it’s an insult to real Indians like P.M. Modi. “Genocide” works for the imperialist Aztecs, though, who not only enslaved others but engorged themselves with an untold number of those Lesser Peoples. Ah, we sigh for Aztlan.

        4. History never promised anyone a rose garden. Just about anything anyone ever did to anyone else, anyone else would have done too given the opportunity. I’m just proud to be among the only topdogs who ever even gave a damn enough to listen to the whining in the first place. Time for last call at the identity-group self-pity parties, though. Buncha drunks.

      2. Yeah the chris rock in the big house has had such a…redistributive influence on the national income. I mean he gets up and sings a slaveowner’s spiritual to feel the pain of the children of slaves who got not a rose garden but a Roof. If that doesnt prove something nothing does.

        And what the fuck are you talking about?

    2. We agree Obama has been more preening poseur than egalitarian leveler, but whose fault is that? If it’s any solace, after he leaves office he’s sure to retell those dreams from his father with courage and conviction, wrought by his old Che Guevara tee shirt and a seven-figure book advance.

      Obama’s late illustrious father almost certainly would have approved that the only white person to whom Obama’s offered a rose garden is Bowe Bergdahl, who along with Breanna Manning represents the very cream of modern American soldiery from the progressive point of view.

      I’m talking about identity politics.

      1. “more preening poseur than egalitarian leveler”? i guess sticking his finger to the wind & saying, “why, yes, gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military and get married” counts as leveling something, but other than that, there’s no there there at all. by any statistic, except his empty verbiage, he’s been a total disaster for this country & world except for the people whose asses he’s there to kiss which sure as hell ain’t black people.

        yeah, manning & obama are bff’s. bergdahl’s not done yet, but would that all soldiers would find cowardice & turn over all, all, state secrets to the public.

        “Just about anything anyone ever did to anyone else, anyone else would have done too given the opportunity.” ahistorical, unprovable, nonsense. we can all be either Schweitzer or Mengele. who decides?

  4. Inky’s little feelings were hurt by that bad Coates man and his number one best seller with inconvenient, empirical facts about growing up black in America. The nerve!

    1. Rather, Coates’ feelings are hurt by inconvenient, empirical facts about growing up black in America. That’s why he’s a professional black more than he is a black professional. Meanwhile, I have the nerve to point out that the complaints and demands grow more shrill, hyperbolic and inchoate (microaggressions!) as the objective external bases for them steadily evaporate. The vast bulk of African-American wounds in 2015 are self-inflicted (toxic fable “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”, anyone?). Not much a long, honest look in the accountability mirror wouldn’t fix. It’s amazing what educational, vocational and family ethics can do for socioeconomic metrics, as opposed to wallowing in maudlin, anti-social grievance-mongering and rebellion as some sort of badge of identity-group authenticity. “Rebellion” with “reparations” on a cardboard sign next to “Victim of America. Willing to Work”, anyway….

      1. Mr. Coates, he dead.

        Still waiting on a single fact from inkleberry. A stat or anything.

        Obama mentioned S. Sudan. Expect he’ll bomb them humanitarianly? Would anyone be surprised?

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