Dear White People,
We have a problem.
As a long-standing moderate member of the white community, I feel it is my duty to speak out after the recent events. No longer can we white people simply bury our head in the sand. No longer can we look the other way, when a small minority of our people are enabling acts of extremism.
We were shamefully silent when white people caused WWII. We couldn’t quite bring ourselves to condemn white people when they dragged us into the Cold War for forty odd years. We didn’t really apologise for screwing things up in Iraq.
But enough is enough.
The actions of minority of white voters have propelled a racist, misogynist, xenophobic, decrepit, angry pumpkin into the White House. That’s a fact. There aren’t enough memes in the world to change it. And it’s pretty much white people’s fault.
58% of white voters in the US chose Trump. 63% of white male voters plumped for Trump. Even white women, whom we can usually count on to rein in the worst impulses of white men, voted for Trump in their majority (53%).
And it’s not just Trump.
Brexit voters were overwhelmingly white. It’s white people who watch Fox News and browse Breitbart. It’s white people who vote for the National Front in France, and for Alternative fur Deutschland in Germany. We can pretend that this is an isolated, American problem, but we would only be fooling ourselves.
The truth of the matter is that some white people are attracted to violence and extremism. Especially, it has to be said, young white men. You can see it in their violent rock videos, or in the skyscrapers where they do dodgy deals and snort cocaine, or in the forest where they shoot unarmed animals. Or in the streets, where they choke cigarette sellers or shoot 11 year old kids, wearing their gang uniform. In the US, white people are responsible for 60% of all violent crimes.
As a moderate white person, I want to make it clear that I condemn and refute the actions of that small extremist minority. The “whites” who elected Donald Trump, who march in the street with shaved heads, who shoot people because they are shit scared, they do not represent me, or my skin pigmentation. They do not speak in my name. And we have to reiterate they represent only a small proportion of white people, both in the US and outside.
White supremacy in the White House
So it’s time for moderate white people to rise up and condemn the actions of a fundamentalist and brain-washed minority.
Now, I know that some bleeding hearts will try to make excuses for the actions of some white people. They will explain that white people are poor and marginalised. They will say that uneducated white people have been radicalised online. They might even point to the NBA as proof that white people are discriminated against. They will talk about Jesus, and how nice he was. Whiteness is inherently peaceful and loving, they will proclaim citing some obscure 13th Century medieval scholar.
But these excuses just don’t wash anymore. White people have to take responsibility for themselves, for their circumstances, and for their actions. We can’t blame it all on the Native American oppressors. No, we have a responsibility to root out these extremist white people from our own community.
Because they do not represent the actions of white people as a whole. The vast majority of white people are peaceful, law-abiding, hardworking citizens that only want what is best for their children and their adopted country. They realise they are privileged to share this country with its original inhabitants, the Native Americans, and are grateful for their tolerance and warm welcome.
It is too easy to paint a picture of all white people as medieval, blood-thirsty extremists who want to take us back to the feudal era of the 1950s. I know that some voices in the mainstream media will try to do just that and join the dots: from colonialism to slavery, via Trump and the X-factor. And yes, white people have caused untold misery through-out the world, at various times in our history. But this is not the whole picture. There is more to white people than Adolf Hitler and Simon Cowell.
Some mainstream commentators also argue that white people need a “reformation”. Perhaps they do. But white people are not homogeneous. There are different kinds of white people. They are diverse and divided. There is no supreme white person authority. Not even the pope. If reform comes, it will have to be a grass root movement, from the bottom up. We will all have our part to play.
Radical whites and their leader
I must admit, though, that it sometimes feel as though there is a moral vacuum at the top of the white leadership.
I expect more from our white community leaders. Where is Larry Bird? Why did Rick Astley not issue a statement immediately condemning these extremists? What is Celine Dion doing? These are the people we look up to, and yet, they kept silent while this all took place. It’s simply not good enough. If we are not careful, all white people will be tarnished with the same extremist brush.
Already moderate white people are having to defend themselves, on social media and on the street. Hashtags such as #notmypresident clearly show that the majority of white people don’t want to be associated with these extremists. It’s not easy having to explain to every foreigner that Trump and his supporters don’t represent white people, no matter how much they might claim to.
Moderate white people will, in the end, probably be victims of the extremists’ hatred too. We will suffer the inevitable backlash. It is us who will be denied visas when we travel abroad. It us who will be stopped and searched at airport security. It is us who will be asked to constantly prove our love of peace and democracy. It is us who will be abused and insulted every time the President makes a racist comment. I don’t want to have to go down the route that some of my white breathrens have taken, such as growing a beard, or darkening my skin colour to pretend I’m actually Latino.
Time to speak up, Larry
But for all the denunciation, white people really have to start at home. If you see your young son spending too much time at the shooting range, or watching Youtube videos from Breibart, or even if you hear him whistling a country song, please act before it’s too late. Educate him. Alert the authorities. Maybe a slight waterboarding, just to make sure he understands how serious this stuff is. Whatever you do, monitor his travels. I’ve heard too many stories of angry white kids telling their parents they’re going to a vegan festival in a disused silo, only for them to turn up on a stage in Birmingham, Alabama giving a keynote speech on how multiculturalism causes global warming in Jewish people.
And when that happens, it’s already too late. They’re too far down the road of extremism to be brought back. Sure, some will grow disillusioned at the empty promises made by white supremacists. Some will flinch when they discover their Fatherland is nothing but a grope-fest of middle aged white men dancing awkwardly to Toby Keith. But others will find it impossible to escape. They will soon be finding themselves chained to a desk, photoshopping badly spelled and inaccurate captions onto pictures of Nancy Pelosi.
All in caps.
Look out for early signs of radicalisation
And it’s not just young people. Old people are possibly the main contributors to this extremism. Retirement homes are becoming hotbeds of radical whiteness, where cardiac care nurses fan the flames of violence through inflammatory medication. There are, apparently, whole neighbourhoods of Florida that have become no-go areas for non-elderly non-white men. This cannot be right. The rule of law must apply everywhere, and parking old white men in end-of-life ghettos will only increase their radicalisation. There are too many old white clerics preaching hatred and intolerance already. If we don’t expose these old white men to the outside world, they will be lost forever.
Of course, white people can have legitimate grievances. They can’t jump. They can’t dance that well. They’re horribly underrepresented in the NBA, perhaps due to a historical systemic injustice within the system. That’s as may be.
But the answer obviously cannot be to vote for racists, or to segregate ourselves in ghettos, or to listen to country music. We have to reclaim this space. Drive out the extremists in our midst.
Larry Bird, over to you bro.