As the lone white member of my immediate family, I feel like sometimes I hate what’s going on in the world more than anyone else.
Obviously there’s no way to measure or compare infuriation levels among people who have similar feelings towards something, but I know I felt a tingle from my toes to my head yesterday I’ve never endured at any other time in my life.
It was like rage and sadness taking over my body at the same time.
And the words I was saying out loud certainly wouldn’t paint the best picture of me if I decided to repeat them in print.
When my wife watches and reads all the stuff that’s going on, her anger, no doubt from all the travesties of the way black people have been treated throughout history, immediately comes to the surface.
You can see it in her face and hear it in her voice. She’s a different person when all this is going on right in front of her.
I hear a lot of white people this and white people that…as she goes back over everything that’s happened.
I tell myself I understand her frustration. But I don’t.
It’s the equivalent to watching the news and hearing someone’s little girl or boy died. I can feel awful, but I’ll never know what that’s truly like until I’m in that position myself.
In this case, I’ll never be a black man, so I can only imagine the pain and live it vicariously through my wife and kids.
Before I go any further, I’m not on here seeking pity. I’m very aware of what white privilege is and fully understand I’ve carried it around with me my entire life. I’m not asking you to feel bad for me because sometimes I feel a little awkward in a mix raced marriage. Not at all what I’m getting at. Now that we got that out of the way…
Sometimes I just end up feeling really bad, and guilty, for being white.
I’ve never had to fear the police. I was always brought up being told they are only there to help us, and was never given a reason to think otherwise.
I’m never been unnecessarily questioned or harassed at the self checkout lanes at the store.
I’ve never been pulled over for no reason and told I fit the description of someone they are looking for in the area.
I get all that.
I am in the unique position that many people will never be in, or understand, themselves.
I’m a white man who married a black woman. I am the father of her two previous children and we have two more of our own.
That’s a lot right there, just on its own. Even if the outside world was perfect, that’s a lot to take on.
I’m the husband, the father, and a co-head of the household.
I take those responsibilities seriously.
I’m also our family’s lone white representative.
There’s a scene in a movie called Glory Road that sort of sums it up for me. It’s a true story about the 1965 Texas Western University men’s basketball team. The first college team in history to start five black players.
In the movie, during one of the many dramatic moments, one of the white players says to the team, “you think it’s easy being on this team? Look around…we’re [him and other white players on the team] the minority!”
The black players wince and one of them says “I don’t want to hear that from you.” Then goes on to tell him if he’s felt that way recently, maybe now he knows how the black guys on the team have felt their whole lives.
The black player’s retort is powerful and true.
And at times I feel like that white player.
Any white person standing up right now and saying look at us, look at our persecution, is out of their mind. That’s clearly not what I’m doing here.
I’m merely telling my readers what January 6th, and frankly the past four years of my life have looked like through my lens.
I hate being the white guy in this family sometimes. It can make me want to jump out of my skin.
I’m with humanity, decency, morality, and, most importantly, equality. And as a white male in the United States of America I shouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt from the black community of having those values automatically bestowed within me.
I understand that.
It makes me want to jump in front of every black person I see, stop them, state how badly I feel, and proclaim I’m not one of those guys.
Not just to my wife and her parents and my kids and our friends, but also to strangers in the grocery store, athletes, celebrities, and people I follow on Twitter…Every black person I see…
I want to hold a press conference with all of them watching, step up to a powerful microphone and announce “Hey! I’m white and I’m with you!”
This has been my life for over five years now.
My frustration is the perception of automatically being lumped in with all these other idiots.
I’m well aware I’m going to be tested in the streets at some point in my life when I’m out with my wife and kids. I think about it everyday. I know it’s coming.
Having that in the back of my mind every time we go somewhere is tiresome and borderline exhausting. And if it’s that way for me, I can’t imagine how it feels for my wife on a daily basis.
I was writing articles on this website about fearing for my children’s lives well before George Floyd became a household name. That stuff isn’t going away.
I just wish I would have educated myself about all this much earlier.
Growing up in the shell I grew up in I never even noticed that all this shit existed in the world. Now it’s so easy to see that I can’t believe I never noticed it before. It was right in front of my face the whole time.
When I was younger, anytime I heard about anything going on in the world resulting in corruption, human death, hate, terrorism, or racism I’d just tune it out. I wouldn’t acknowledge its existence.
It’s only people on my TV set, or it’s in another state/country, didn’t happen to me or anyone I know…not too worried about it.
Looking back, even the enormity of 9/11 took me too long to realize.
I was in college and didn’t think it was a big deal. I shook my head in wonder when I walked to one of my classes and saw a “class canceled today, go see your councilors” sign on the door.
The mammoth importance of what was happening didn’t hit me till later that evening.
And I’m still too naive. As I was watching live coverage of the mob storming the Capital I kept thinking to myself, oh this is gonna get ugly, they’re gonna bring in tanks and start killing people like they did to the BLM protestors.
But that never happened. And shame on me for thinking it would…
Because the protestors weren’t black.
They share my skin color. They share my privilege.
We live in two Americas.
And that pisses me off.
I’m tired of being angry.
I’m tired of telling my sons not to talk back because they don’t have the right skin color for it.
I’m tired of the world and all the bullshit.
I’m tired of black people having to be patient and disciplined while everyone else flies off the handle without consequences.
I’m tired of knowing there is no reasoning with any of these crazy people.
I’m tired of facts no longer existing in the world.
There was always differing points of view and opposite political philosophies in this country, but it used to be we could all agree on the facts. Then we’d have an argument about how we should deal with the issue with those facts being the foundation and starting point for the discussion. Now facts simply don’t exist.
We can’t even agree that the coronavirus is real.
And simply wearing a mask is looked at as an impingement on our freedoms. Instead of a factually scientific way to limit the spread of deadly virus during a global pandemic.
Not to mention the classy, morally correct, considerate thing to do (as an absolute bare minimum) to show that you care about other peoples lives.
Hey. Buddy. Nobody cares. Put on a mask. Quit taking out all your frustrations on minimum wage employees at CVS. You’re not smart. You’re not tough. Nobody wants to hear your self-noble bullshit. Mask wearing isn’t an infringement on your civil liberties. Put a mask on. People are dying.
WEAR A MASK!
Is wearing a seat belt against your rights?
Is wearing a helmet?
How about a condom?
There’s so much about all this that pisses me off. I feel like I’m going crazy because I merely listen to doctors and scientists, use common sense, and have basic human decency.
Then I turn on my tv to see 30,000 unmasked idiots violently raiding the Capital building while the police open the gates and let them in.
And they all have my skin color.
That pisses me off.
The fact that 74 million Americans voted for Trump makes my head spin. Are you fucking kidding me?
You wanna vote for him in 2016? Fine. I obviously disagree, but I understand certain premises for why.
But have you not seen what’s gone on in the world the last four years?
How can you stand by what he’s done and say he is the best option for the future?
It makes me wish badly that I knew more about politics, and simultaneously glad that I don’t.
It’s hard for me to speak intelligently on political policies and tax breakdowns, amongst other things.
I do, however, have working eyes and ears.
I know what a racist, greedy, dishonest, disgusting, narcissistic, arrogant, ignorant, egotistical, unqualified, incompetent, lying, bigot, bully looks like.
And I know I wouldn’t care what his policies were or how much money he puts in my pocket, he’s not getting my vote for president.
No matter who the alternative option is.
It’s shocking to me that over 74 million people disagree with that statement.
The thought of all this is exhausting.
And I’m tired of being tired.