I went to the Post Office to pick up my mail today, and every goddamned envelope was white. It was as if I’d fallen asleep and woke up in the fucking 1950s. I can’t believe that in 2014, we’re even still having this discussion.
Sure, the US Postal Service employs plenty of Mailpersons of Color in a cynical attempt to temporarily deflect your attention from institutional racism, but—HELLO?—has everyone forgotten about slavery?!?! The Alamo? The Trail of Tears? The humble Coolies who built our railroads out West? Where are their envelopes?
Apart from the occasional manila envelope, when was the last time you received an envelope of color? Have you ever received a black envelope? A brown one? A red one? Nope. It’s all white. This is so fucked-up, it makes a man want to go full-blown bulimic.
Take a look in the mirror, America. You’ll see a Klansman looking back in the form of a lily-white #10 envelope. And while we’re on the subject, do you know why they’re called “#10” envelopes? Because 10 times out of 10, the WHITE man gets the job.
It’s like Newman—a white postal worker—told the all-white cast of Seinfeld: “When you control the mail, you control information.” The information in this case is history, which was mostly written by dead white males when they were still alive. Time for us to rewrite history with a vibrant pack of multicultural crayons.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. The US Postal Service’s journey toward social justice will begin with one black envelope. Sure, we’ll have to buy white-ink pens so you can see the address, which is problematic in itself, because it subverts the whole “multicultural crayon” narrative, but together we can make it work. Spread the news. Post this on Facebook. Write your Congresswoman. Tell your parents. Shame your friends.
And while we’re at it, let’s deconstruct the patriarchal notion that we receive “mail.” Why must we submit and assume the receptive position as “mail” is delivered into our “boxes” and “slots”? Have you ever received “femail”? I think not! Instead of a “mailman” delivering your “mail,” let’s have “personpersons” delivering “person” to us in black envelopes. Then—and only then—will our society be halfway toward sanity.