Your White Guilt Is A Phase

Fernando Cortes / (Shutterstock.com)
Fernando Cortes / (Shutterstock.com)

You know what’s great about being a teenager? You get to experiment with your identity. During your adolescence you basically have a license to douche-chill—to dress, speak, and posture yourself in whatever fashion you desire without running the risk of any lasting social ostracism from your peers. You can embrace as many hideously garish subcultures as you want, and nobody accuses you of flip-flopping because, hey, you’re finding yourself. In my awkward years I was a Vans-clad screamo fag, a collar-popping wannabe bro (a wannabro?), and a shaven-headed white supremacist (not a real one—I just watched American History X every night and turned it off before the second act), to name but a few manufactured identities. I’m so glad that I got to try being those things, because I learned in a consequence-free environment that they weren’t for me, and I now conduct myself in a manner that is appropriate for my age. Of course, some people aren’t so lucky.

Whenever I see a blog post or article by some freshly brainwashed university graduate with a formulaic approach to discourse and a scathing dislike for his or her own race, I feel sorry for them. Whenever I see an instructional guide on how to be a good white person written by a white person, I weep a single tear like I’m Iron Eyes Cody. Whenever I see a member of my generation demonstrating the level of self-debasement that is historically reserved for show trials and Turd Sessions, my heart immediately goes out to them. “You poor thing,” I always think. “You’re twenty years old. There’s no way you’ll be able to write this off as some hyper-hormonal event.” It really is heartbreaking to see so many people with such a disposable attitude toward their own personal dignity. What are they going to be like when they’re old?

We already know. They’re going to be just like their university professors—old white middle-class people who think old white middle-class people are the lowest of the low. They will be to this generation what faded punks were to the 80s and 90s: tired, bitter, and teaching a course in the field in which they failed to excel. While burnouts used to teach guitar at their local rec center, they now teach cultural theory at their local university. The arrested development remains a constant. Of course, most people who were punks had the good sense to grow up when the music got bad and the parties got worse, and so there remains hope for the self-loathing literati among you.

Stop calling it “whiteness.” Stop “checking your privilege” and stop censoring yourself to appease other people. Stop writing embarrassing BuzzFeed lists about things only white people say, not only because they make you look like a suck-up, but because they’re factually inaccurate. Since when do nonwhite people never ask their Caucasian friends about their hair, dress sense, or heritage? Since when is being curious a bad thing? If your ethnic friends are offended by every other word that comes out of your mouth, find new friends. If you’re somebody whose white friends are constantly offending you, the same goes for you. Stop being such a pussy. You’re only young once, and it makes no sense to waste that time groveling. You’ll have plenty of time for that when you’re married. TC mark

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