White People, You Have A Lying Problem
White people, you have a motherfucking problem.
You lie too goddamn much. You teach your kids to lie too goddamn much. You tell your families to lie too goddamn much. All you fucking do is lie and lie and lie about lying to the point that you are killing everyone, including yourselves.
You lie at the highest levels, so much so that we expect it from our elected officials. Our presidents have told lies that resulted in the death of more than 50,000 American soldiers. You lie about civilian massacres. You lie about terrorist attacks against Black Americans. You lie about sex education and risk the health of your children. You lie about your friends’ qualifications to run national agencies, which results in unnecessary deaths. You lie about your experiences while reporting. You lie about American history. You lie about historical heroes. You lie about slavery. You lie and lie and lie on a massive scale and cover up the lies, protect the liars, rehire the liars, and elect the liars because *shrug* everybody lies.
You lie about the littlest things, like if you ate the last cookie. You lie to your spouse about their annoying habits. You lie to your kids about how to make babies. You lie to your neighbors about your debt. You lie to your boss about sleeping in. You lie to your co-workers about your weekend. You lie to your doctor about your body. You lie to everyone and say you are fine. And you lie to yourself about how wonderful and nice a human being you are.
But you aren’t nice. You wear a veneer of nice. You are a rotten tooth in the mouth of the world. Instead of taking care of yourself and preventing decay, you feed on the power of your whiteness like candy. When you start to smell, you use mouthwash and mints to hide it. When you start to visibly decay, you try to hide it with whitening gel. When you start to hurt, you take pain medication. When the pain becomes too great, you finally seek help — and that help is to numb yourself, pull out the nerve, then slap a crown on it so that no one can see your empty core. Instead they see a perfect veneer passing for a healthy tooth. But it is a tooth that feels no pain and only emulates the others.
In case you didn’t know, that ability to feel is called empathy. And as far as I can see, white America has none.
Or maybe you do. Maybe you have empathy, but it’s overshadowed by the centuries of stinky, infected rot left by your presidents, your congressmen, your police, your lawyers, your corporations, your lobbyists, your business leaders, your forefathers, and your motherland, all in the name of colonialism. Maybe you don’t know what empathy even feels like anymore.
Human rights violations are so interwoven with American history that you can no longer tell what’s right . . . if indeed you ever could.
I know, I know, not all white people. My husband is white. Except I wrote an entire fucking essay about how I needed to put his ass in check for his lack of empathy. Except that I spent years tuning him into what the fuck is going on with the huge swath of the population that doesn’t look like him. And I still deal with the empathy-less white people he’s brought into my life. Not often, because I love myself too much to deal with that weird combination of superficiality and toxicity that permeates white society and dictates their interactions, but still. They are in my life, kind of.
And at work? The fact that these people categorize murder by cop as politics makes me want to throw a goddamn table. “I don’t talk politics at work.” People were murdered and you liken it to the ego-stroking and ass-kissing office bullshit that I put up with for my check? Get the fuck outta here!
Seriously, get the fuck outta here.
Can you really not see the difference? Does this really not resonate with you? Does the constant replaying of the murder of Black people really not matter?
You don’t have to answer that. I already know. We aren’t human to you. We never have been.
But you won’t admit that because it means telling the truth. And if there is one thing white people have taught me, it’s that you cannot stand the truth in any of its forms.
I keep asking myself — when will they see the monster in the mirror? When will they see who they really are? What they do? How they destroy the world with their endless quest for power and the tireless subjugation of others to do it? When will they admit their fucking inability to see the humanity in difference?
Honestly, I wouldn’t care if so many white people didn’t have so much fucking power. But y’all do, and your consistent abuse of that power has destroyed countless lives and continues to do so. From your rapist sons, to your murdering daughters, you continue to destroy everything you touch.
But I have hope for you.
My hope is that one day, enough of you will stop lying to yourselves and heal. That one day you will stop lying to yourself and admit that you are an empty shell, existing on the continued pain of others as you beg, borrow, and steal from EVERYONE else to feel relevant.
One day you will stop killing everyone who doesn’t fit your image.
One day you will stop attacking anyone who questions your decayed foundation.
One day you will actually love instead of trying to destroy people who live, love, and somehow thrive despite your oppression.
In these times of tragedy, we talk about Black healing. It’s a necessary conversation about something we have a lot of practice doing. Hundreds of years worth, actually.
What we need is white accountability. Are you strong enough to do it?
Lead image: flickr/Kathleen Tyler Conklin