Wednesday, April 4, 2012

dear white people, i love you.

i fucking love white people. as a matter of fact, having grown up surrounded by your legion on the rough, tree-lined streets on chicago’s north shore, i wasn’t really even aware that i wasn’t white until i was approximately seven years old . okay, i knew, because i never had a sunburn, whatever the fuck that is, but i didn’t know-know. but with every politely declined camping invitation and spat out mouthful of roasted beets it becomes that much clearer to me that, despite my penchant for craft beers and j.jill knit cardigans, I AM NOT WHITE.

it has been exceptionally difficult for me to come to terms with this shocking revelation. i don’t know what the fuck kwanzaa is. if a bitch asks me some black history shit i’m always like,“i don’t fucking know! rosa parks?” and black people are always telling me i “talk white,” which until recently i thought was due to my passionate defense of christopher guest films, but now realize is a criticism of the fact that when i say “motherfucker” i pronounce the T. and the –er.

i’m pretty much an expert in white people. i don’t really understand lacrosse, but i do pay for a subscription to the new yorker. the subtle differences between us, though, were the catalyst through which i became cognizant of my blackness: the stay-home mom who also has a nanny? the shorts in the middle of december?! i don’t get it, but i’m grateful for you guys, i really am. without white people i wouldn’t know what the fuck a scone is. or that a five thousand dollar bicycle is a real thing. and with valentine’s day fast approaching i thought i would write you a love letter to prove my undying affection for your kind.

dear white people, i love you because you fucking mean well. i should clarify and say that i am referring to white people who buy north face jackets and take their babies to yoga class, NOT these fucking newport-smoking teen moms named “destiny,” spelled with nine E’s. those kinds of white people are terrifying. i like farmer’s market white people, the ones who are always dressed like they just finished climbing K2 when all they’ve done all day is eat samples at whole foods. the ones who try to convince me that a fifteen dollar jar of organically-grown, locally-sourced, environmentally sustainable white peach marmalade is a worthwhile fucking purchase. i’m black, ho. FUCK EARTH. black people don’t really believe in recycling. or, for that matter, artisanal jam. if you see me put my coke can in the recycling bin, it’s because 1 someone left that shit within arm’s reach of my desk and 2 a white person is watching me. seriously, if there weren’t so many white people around all the time i would literally be standing outside with a can of hairspray spraying that shit at the goddamned sun. fuck being cold. the only black vegans i can think of are the ones dodging the bags of donated oatmeal raining down on them from red cross helicopters, but i love that about you guys, i love that you could sit down to an enormous thanksgiving dinner and only eat the fucking green beans because a turkey with a brain the size of my toenail didn’t have a happy childhood. that shit is fucking admirable.

i also love you because you are still afraid of black people. whether or not you are the type of misguided racial profiler who would lock the doors as i walk uncomfortably close to that old-ass piece of shit volvo you’re sitting in, if i raised my voice in here right now 2/3 of you would get out your wallets and start up a collection to get me my reparations. or whatever it is colored people are always YELLING ABOUT.

i love that you’re so fucking fancy. you don’t cram yourselves into a sticky booth at IHOP to shovel $4 pancakes from a box mix down your throats, no, YOU stand huddled against the cold for three hours waiting for the hotly-anticipated opening of that adorable new brunch place that serves bald eagle omelets and tiger milk pancakes with cinnamon butter. and i’m snarling at the table next to yours, sneering as you upload a snapshot of your breakfast and tap-tap-tap out a glowing yelp review, but that’s just bitter jealousy because your three-year-old is trading mutual funds on his iPad at the table and i only have 37 dollars in my 401k.

i love you because you love me. if white guilt were tangible currency i’d be in the one percent. i’m sure it’s because in your minds i fill the role of the minimally-threatening sidekick or the sassy black maid white people have been conditioned by cartoons and television sitcoms to yearn for your entire lives. i am that childhood dream actualized: the tootie to your blair, the alphonso to your ricky, the broom-wielding thick brown ankles to your mischievous mouse-chasing house cat. you love that i can teach you things about black culture and our current socio-political landscape, and i love that you have no idea that i don’t know what the fuck i’m talking about. i'm not cornel west, bitch, i don’t know shit about black people! i'm from the fucking suburbs! BUT i have an innate sense of rhythm, so i’m a total blast to take to the disco, yet you can also relax with the knowledge that i’m not going to embarrass you at your wine and cheese party by saying “pitcher” when i’m referring to a photograph.

i’m never going to go kayaking, i don’t understand the popularity of the show arrested development, and i’m still not sure what montessori means, but i love you. let’s be together forever and ever. or at least until a white person becomes president again and you can stop pretending to like me.


note: i wrote this for a bout i competed in at WRITE CLUB in january. my topic was "white," my partner's opposing topic was "black." it is the piece that pissed that one dude off so much. you are racist for having laughed at any of this. for real. i'm sending the NAACP to your house right now, bro.