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Souls of White Folk

White people!  I'm talking to you!

I'm worried about you. I see you on the internets losing your shit.  Now, not all of you, certainly, but a large number of you who voted for Romney appear to have really lost your minds.

I get it. It's disappointing when your candidate loses. 

And, furthermore, it does appear that the country is changing.  Time was, white people ran everything, and then there were "minorities" that most white folks didn't really have to think about very much.  Many of you moved to the suburbs so you wouldn't have to see or even think about Those People pretty much ever.

I grew up thinking that I was just a person.  I didn't really think of myself as a white person because I didn't have to.  I was just a person, and then other types of people who were not white had to pay attention to what kind of person they were. 

Those days are long over, but this election I suppose brings this into pretty sharp focus. 

So I get that it may be a little scary to contemplate that certain things you grew up thinking were unchangeable truths may be changing. 

But pull it together.

It's time especially to ditch this myth that so many of you are parroting all over the internet these days: those lazy brown people who just want handouts brought about this election result and are ruining America's hardworking culture.

My objection to you believing this horseshit is twofold. One is that it's ignorant and racist and factually incorrect. The second is that it's destroying you.

Most of the people I see spewing this crap all over the internet are people who have plenty.  Now, admittedly, there are very very few people who have everything they can possibly imagine having, but most of you have plenty.  You're doing well. You've got houses. You've got jobs. You take vacations. You have lovely families.  So why are you consumed with rage and resentment?

Even Romney himself, a guy who has never once in his entire life had the thought, "how the hell am I gonna pay for this?" is touting this as the reason he lost.

I named this post Souls of White Folk not only to reference DuBois, but because I really feel like this is what's at stake here. Because if you have enough but you can't enjoy it because of a pathological fear that someone, somewhere is getting something for nothing, you're going to wind up miserable and twisted and bitter.

I could talk at length about why a social safety net is important and how we all benefit when everyone has an opportunity, but what I'd really like you to think about is whether you want to live a life defined by hatred and resentment.

You've been showing a really ugly face to the world over the last couple of weeks, and I know that most of you are not really ugly people. 

So please, search your heart and see if you can figure out what you're so mad about.  You know life at the bottom of the ladder is no picnic because you're not choosing it for yourselves.  You could quit your job and give away your posesssions and go try to be poor for a while, but you won't do that because I suspect you know in your heart it's not the joyride you seem to suggest that it is. Even the few things that are free come with a high pricetag of humiliation and tedium.

What do you really need that you don't have?  And is the miniscule amount of your tax burden that goes to the social safety net really what's holding you back from having it?

I'm not so concerned about the effect your resentment will have on the rest of the country; you're fundamentally comfortable, and such people rarely radicalize. I'm worried about the effect it's having on you.  It's turning you into something far worse, far more petty and mean-spirited than the best version of yourselves.  I've seen the best version of many of you.  And I'd like to see it again. 

So please.  Pull your shit together. I'm not saying you have to agree with me on every issue. I'm just asking you not to let hatred define you.

 

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