Okay, well, I started out intending to write this post, but I wrote about wool instead. I also intended to do more research for the book this weekend, but I mostly spun wool instead.
Here’s what I’m avoiding thinking about: there is an organized, long-standing, ongoing, highly-influential, white separatist opposition movement in this country.
Racism isn’t just some bad habit of white people we can educate ourselves out of. It’s not just an accidental structural remnant left over from worse times. It’s not even just your embarrassing family member’s terrible beliefs. I wouldn’t even call it a conspiracy, because it’s not a secret, not hidden. We can’t just sit around and wait for it to die off, because it’s not a superstition. It’s an organized, self-replicating movement.
That most of us do not see, at least, not the full scope of it. We see parts of it, some people see a lot of it, but you can’t say the truth–that we, as a nation, are in an ongoing civil war that started in 1776 and continues to this day that regularly flares into violence and once flared into a military war–without sounding like a conspiracy theorist nut job.
It’s a stark question: do you believe that everyone here, in this country, is your equal and deserves the same consideration as you or do you believe that equality is for those fit for it? Because the people who believe the former are in a vicious fight where people get hurt and die with the latter.
But also, and a part that I find the biggest mindfuck about it, is that the carrot dangled in front of white people in order to get us to ignore that the civil war is ongoing is the privilege of forgetting. White people are allowed to have myths instead of history or to have nothing, no past at all, to be born afresh every day with no stain of history, no dirt from yesterday.
But it’s the same thing–some people have to have their pasts and the actions of their fellow community members and what happened three states over fifty years ago scrutinized and constantly judged and others start every moment an innocent lamb. And a lot of us are scrambling for innocent lamb designation.
And part of that innocence is playing The Fool. Even when people get caught being active agents of this white separatist movement, even if you can show their long history of it, their ties to other white separatists, etc., they just act like they misspoke or, worse, they don’t defend themselves at all, but other folks rush forward to explain it away as a misstatement or them just being ignorant.
I don’t know how to explain it, because I don’t know of an analogy from another country that loses the nuance of what was going on in that other country.
But it’s making me feel sick to my stomach, over and over, to see this evil in plain sight and to watch how easily it gets people to pretend it’s not as large or central to things as it is.