In my ongoing quest to make my very existence less problematic, I sat my pale ass down the other day to scold myself for the privileges that my lily-white skin affords me. As everyone knows, the only way to truly become a better person is to feel absolutely horrible about yourself.
I thought of all the women and the blacks and the Jews—especially the Jews—who are inconvenienced and “put out”—and I don’t mean that in a sexual sense—by my DNA profile:
I sat there flogging my soul as if it were a Kracker Kunta Kinte, blaming myself for inheriting the sins of my fathers because even though we all know that Christianity is bullshit, many of its concepts—such as intergenerational blood guilt—are useful if we truly want to live in a just, free, equal, progressive, happy, smiling, nice, sweet, nice, hate-free, nice, harmonious, nice society. Although I don’t believe in the Judeo-Christo-Islamo God, I think even Neil deGrasse Tyson would agree that the cosmos invented skin cancer to punish white people.
Drenched in my salty tears, I thought of all those dogs biting black people in Alabama, all those firehoses that were sprayed on them—even though, to be frank, it gets very hot and muggy down South and the occasional firehose might actually be refreshing when you really think about it—all those burning crosses, all those Jews screaming as they were shoved into ovens as if they were Domino’s Pizzas and not real human beings, all those black men swinging from trees (and I don’t mean on swings!), and all those women who were forced to launder our underwear and sit at home knitting socks while we were selfishly being blasted to bits in coal-mining accidents and having our faces blown off on battlefields.
Seriously, it was the best self-inflicted guilt trip of my life. I was crying enough white tears to sell in a little vial on eBay for $15. I was hoping that I would finally become so demoralized that for the first time in my life, I would be a decent human being.
And then I realized who it was that was trying to make me feel guilty—a fucking MAN. My man side was guilt-tripping my white side, completely unaware that my man side was just as unfairly privileged as my white side.
Then my white side started yelling at my man side about female genital mutilation and Elliot Rodger and the kidnapped girls in Nigeria and how our sexist society makes Lena Dunham airbrush her pictures so she doesn’t look fat and ugly.
My white side told my man side to divest itself of all its privileges, to which my man side replied, “I will, but only if you do it first.”
Obviously, we—I mean “I”—was/were at a stalemate. Then, to make things even fucking worse, my heterosexual side decided to show up and start screaming at my white side and my man side about Stonewall and Matthew Shepard, and I realized I was in the middle of a full-blown Mexican Standoff. Even though I was trying to be good, I couldn’t help whitesplaining and mansplaining and hetsplaining.
Clearly, I need someone else to explain things for me.