The Problem is White Women
by Saab Lofton
"The Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate."
--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Letter from Birmingham Jail
When Naseem Rakha (despite how the name looks, for all intents and purposes, she's white) -- the author of The Crying Tree -- came to Seattle and spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company, she made such a big deal about how her novel balanced both sides of the death penalty debate. During the Q&A after the book signing, I pointed out how it's a damn shame the sanctity of Human life itself can be dismissed as a mere difference of opinion, and sadly, it was abundantly clear what motivated Rakha: An all consuming fear of offending how many ever right-wing relatives and acquaintances she had -- hence her insistence on treating political debates like sporting events; with two equal teams and a neutral referee officiating between them.
For the record, the definition of an opinion is something that can't be proven. For instance, it can't be proven that Johnny Depp is cuter than Brad Pitt, so that debate rages on. However, Human life is priceless and to even begin to dispute that -- especially to keep from offending the most spoiled societal demographic in history -- is beyond criminal and borders on the retarded.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has stated that, "The color of a defendant and victim's skin plays a crucial and unacceptable role in deciding who receives the death penalty in America. People of color have accounted for a disproportionate 43 % of total executions since 1976 and 55 % of those currently awaiting execution." When you take this and every other adverse aspect of black American life into account, we're talking about nothing less than racist genocide, but the top priority of white women like Rakha is to ensure that at no time will the genocidal ever get their feelings hurt.
We are NOT equal. There's the poor/oppressed (the left-wing), the rich/powerful (the right-wing) and then there's this quote from Dante ...
"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality."
... seriously, do these moderates "think" (note the quotes) that only freeing half the slaves or only letting half the female population vote or only bringing half the troops home from Vietnam is The Answer? Jesus, lay off the hallucinogens and pick a side, already! As Jim Hightower once put it, "there's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow stripe and dead armadillos."
There's something sick and twisted about white American female culture (thank God it's not genetic or there wouldn't be any hope at all) that puts comfort level first and mandates an irritatingly dainty approach when it comes to political discourse. The primary reason I'm still single at 40 is because I have yet to meet a (decent looking) white woman who was willing to introduce me to her parents out of fear that at least one of them would have a problem with my far left politics. In his book, Dude, Where's My Country, Oscar winner Michael Moore wrote about the archetypal conservative brother-in-law at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and as far as white American women are concerned, that archetype is GOD.
I'm denied not only love but gainful employment out of fear that I'll offend the archetypal conservative brother-in-law at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Scripts for movies/series are denied funding out of fear that they'll offend the archetypal conservative brother-in-law at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Righteous presidential candidates like Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney are denied coverage out of fear that they'll offend the archetypal conservative brother-in-law at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Essential legislation which would make the world a better place is voted against out of fear that it'll offend the archetypal conservative brother-in-law at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Wars based on lies which deplete our treasury are declared -- and untold millions in the so-called third world pay the ultimate price -- all to keep from offending the archetypal conservative brother-in-law at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
... and all the while, white women continue to shield these already sheltered-by-privilege brothers-in-law of theirs. What's worse, doing so has been turned into some New Age, pseudo-spiritual practice -- as if I'm simply too angry and if I'd LET IT GO then all would be well. Out of all the years of anecdotal evidence that I have, this shit here takes the fucking cake: In 2009, I was 86ed from Left Bank Books in Seattle by a white woman solely because of my "energy."
What the fuck ..? My energy?! Was she able to magically detect it like the Jedi from Star Wars? And fools claim I live in a fantasy world ..!
Again, this is a cultural problem, because Beth Quinn of the Times-Herald Record in Middletown, New York is white and she said the following: "Why do they accuse us Bush critics of being 'bitter and angry,' as though our lack of complacency is some sort of character flaw? Their implication is that being bitter and angry is just so unladylike. Do they imagine we're all at some 19th-century lawn party? That perhaps we're throwing an unseemly fit because a croquet ball went off in the wrong direction?"
Unladylike, eh? As a feminist, I often offer up positive role models for white women to emulate in order to steer them clear of this dainty, lawn party mentality. Role models such as Dr. Helen Caldicott (the world's premiere anti-nuclear activist), Erin Brockovich (if you ain't seen the movie yet, rent it tonight) and fictional icons like Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, Xena: Warrior Princess or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Unfortunately, Naseem Rakha was raised on Barbie, not Xena. During her book signing, she told me that supposedly nothing would ever be accomplished so long as the archetypal conservative brother-in-law at the Thanksgiving dinner table was antagonized by uncompromising rhetoric ...
... and Rakha's inability to see the hypocrisy of that statement was absolutely mind boggling. I mean, has there ever been an instance in which the producers of cop movies/series were told not to offend victims of police brutality by depicting their oppressors as macho and sexy (or worse, as flawed, hard working, easy-to-relate-to people trying to get by)?
I'm open minded enough to enjoy that which I totally disagree with: The Boondock Saints is one of my favorite movies, but the characters are very much for the death penalty whereas I'm against it. The question is, why can't the right-wingers white female moderates like Naseem Rakha insist on defending extend the same courtesy? I was told by The Seattle Stranger that it wouldn't hire me out of fear that my stories would alienate its advertisers -- how about telling those advertisers to be as open minded as I am?
Yeah, that's what I thought ... By the way, the Elliott Bay Book Company (where Rakha's signing was) will soon move from downtown Seattle to a more privileged part of town. Why? Because white yuppies who fancy themselves as delicate as glass simply can't abide by all the panhandlers asking them for spare change, and as a result, sales at Elliott Bay have SLIGHTLY diminished.
Someone needs to remove the pedestals that these princesses have been standing on once and for all -- it's either that, or we the people will forever be their slaves ...