Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Only then does Ferguson make sense. It's about white rage.*  **

*White rage is not the same as ruling class rage. My skin color doesn't make me a member of the ruling class any more than someone else's skin color makes them athletic or prone to being a doctor.

**The systems often cited as working in favor of white rage--courts, police, legislatures, and governors--do not serve me any more than do the humble members of congress or the most serving of servants, the president of the United States. Those people exist in order to centralize power and preserve it for themselves, rather than using it to benefit people like me. If that sounds like cynicism or the ignorance of a person who happens to be white without realizing the benefits, allow me to try to explain.

I don't really have a lot of friends, and I don't believe that my personality is to blame. Both the statement and the fact are a matter of honesty, as experience has shown me that there are very, very few people who are truly on my side if I am not of benefit to them. To me, the idea that one must be beneficial in order to be a friend is the opposite of friendship--business networking is not the same as friendship, even though most adults like to pretend that they are equivalents because doing so helps them feel like they still have the souls that they lost years ago. True friends aren't rare for the sake of rarity--they are rare because true friends are hard to find. I have a pretty small number of real friends, and I believe that those who are honest with themselves will say the same.

When it comes to deciding how to choose friends, there really aren't many choices: there are one's words, and then there are one's actions. The easy and obvious choice is actions, as actions don't form lies in the same easy way that words do. In the end, actions are always more revealing (and no, this is not a vague statement about socially low hanging fruits such as drug use or sexual orientation). The most basic of bottom lines is that if you're manipulative, narcissistic, controlling, or dishonest, then your actions will eventually show that you're not worthy of friendship. That's an increasingly limiting concept nowadays, as I believe that my acceptance of such traits in someone I consider to be a true friend would be tantamount to my saying that immoral actions are acceptable and right. As I don't want to be the enabler who shoulders the sins of those he chooses to surround himself with, that sort of lowered friendship standard isn't for me.

Having taken this rather deliberate (and therefore limiting) approach to friendship, I am not sure whether I should be merely puzzled or outrightly offended when I hear that I have been assigned--as a result of my skin color--to a large, conveniently categorized mob which seeks only to preserve its ability to continue trampling the rights of another mob. If that isn't ignorance, I'm not sure what it is. But it certainly isn't constructive, as it only gives further credibility to the lies that the ruling class uses to keep their serfs divided. The forced inclusion of an individual in such a group removes the responsibility of the individual--the only responsibility that an individual can truly control--and assigns it to a group which is therefore able to affect everyone without answering to anyone.

I don't cheer the death of a black teenager any more than I cheer the police officer who shot him, but no one seems to be allowing anything beyond those two choices. Because I'm white, and because I'm not siding with the dead teenager, it's my white rage that is driving the situation in Ferguson? That is a breathtakingly over-inclusive statement. I refuse to choose either of those sides, and I refuse to allow anyone else to make the choice for me.

It is as a result of my aversion to the very idea of group judgement that I try to structure my life so as to be as risk-averse and individually successful as possible. Risk requires faith that an anonymous mob will be there to pick up the pieces when I fail, and I don't want to be a burden to those who didn't ask to be my safety net--ignoring, once again, that experience has shown me that my supporters will be very few. I treat many of the risks that are often taken for granted--mortgages, car loans, even Lasik eye treatment--as things to be avoided rather than embraced. This is not out of a desire to be different or to set myself apart, but to arrange my life so that my success--and the health of my soul, if you will--can flourish independently of a society which defines success in ways that allow it to be manipulated into turning on itself whenever the ruling class desires.