The Truth About Liberal Utopias

RAE
RAE
Nov 7, 2017 · 8 min read

I live in Seattle, and on the surface according to the media, I live in one of the best cities. A “liberal haven” some would even say. So when I speak on my experiences with racism online, people are shocked as fuck. In person the reactions are even worse, especially from those who have lived in other liberal areas, have lived here for a short time or are white. They don’t understand why I am disgusted by this place or why I always ask “why?!” when someone wants to move here, so let me explain.

I was born and raised here, I have never lived anywhere else, so my knowledge of other states and their issues with racism, comes from talking over the experiences with other black people. For the longest time I thought I was blessed because I did not live in the south. I did not live in constant fear of the KKK, I lived in a harmonious place where hate crimes and racism were never a problem and where there were black and brown people in abundance. The media will give the illusion that Seattle is diverse, when in reality it is far from it. Seattle actually scores in the top 20 whitest cities in the United States and King County is the whitest county in the country {1}. Washington State as a whole isn’t very diverse, with black people making up 4.1% of the state’s population {2}. When people think of Washington State they tend to only think of Seattle, because let’s face it, if you are not from here, the likelihood of you being able to name more than the biggest city is slim. From that vantage point, you would take all the assumptions of Seattle being progressive, at least on the surface and apply it to the whole state. You would also be wrong, very wrong.

During the 2016 Presidential election in cities and towns all across Washington, Trump banners and billboards could be found. Cities and towns not far from Seattle. In fact, Hilary Clinton only won the state by 16%, in only 10 of the 39 counties with her biggest margin of victory coming from King County {4}. I remember watching the results live and reading my Facebook newsfeed as people both in the state and not screaming “WHAT THE FUCK WASHINGTON” as more and more counties voted Trump, I however was not surprised, at all. This shouldn’t have been surprising to anyone living here, but when the views of the whole state is credited to one city, it is easy to overlook the rest.

In one of my jobs as a concierge I remember a white resident saying to me “you know white people are becoming the minority in this city”, I responded with “just because you see a brown person for every 25 white people instead of 50 now doesn’t mean you are becoming the minority, and in fact Seattle is the 7th whitest city in this country.” Looking back, my rebuttal was actually incorrect. There are more people of color, but not a lot, and most of them are not black. Tech companies such as Amazon and Microsoft have generated an influx of Asians, however not nearly enough to cause white people to become the minority. In another conversation with a white friend I remember bringing up the Censuses for the last few years and her saying “I feel like I see a lot minorities” and I responded with “yeah, you will notice the one brown person among all the white people”. These conversations stuck with me so much because it reminded me that while they saw a few people of color and thought there were more of them than there are, I saw a few people of color and realized there’s not that many of at all. In recent years, I have joined many local people of color groups and something we can all agree on, especially when talking about Seattle is how few black and other people of color there truly are and how incredibly frustrating it is. I remember saying that when I travel to Tacoma, a city about an hour away from Seattle, that I will see more black people in a short visit there, than I will see in a weeks’ time in North Seattle. It is smothering, exhausting and many times infuriating, especially dealing with the microaggressions on a daily basis, feeling like you don’t have a community that understands and realizing you are one of the few black faces that makes white people believe they are becoming the minority.

As I have become more aware of my surroundings, the more I have become annoyed with this idea that Seattle is a “liberal utopia” and that more cities should model themselves after us. I beg, DO NOT DO THAT! Seattle is racist as fuck, in fact Washington is racist as fuck, just white people disguise it really well….if you don’t live here. The racism here isn’t as blatant as it is in the south, we don’t have confederate flags hanging in front of our government buildings, no one is begging for confederate monuments to stay put, you don’t hear of KKK activity and you don’t hear of hate crimes. The racism here is different, it’s the racism that no one talks about, the liberal kind.

Liberal racism is often overlooked and passed off as ignorance and it’s where white people can feel as though they are less racist than those who wear white hoods (try way too hard to prove they aren’t like the other whites). Liberal racists are the ones that commonly come with a safety pin, call themselves allies and want cookies for every good deed they do. They are the first white people to get offended and throw a tantrum when you tell them that their microaggressions and coded language are racist as fuck (see “I have been nothing but good to you n***ers). They are the ones who are the first to say “well at least you don’t live in the south”, that we live in “post racial times” and believe we are all same on the inside and that is what will end racism. They also often don’t believe racism still exists, think that just because they have a black spouse, friend, child or because their great uncle Todd’s best friend’s brother in law was black they know the “struggle” and they could not at all be racist. Liberal racists are master manipulators and love to whitesplain the fuck out of black people and liberal utopias are full of them. Their racism comes in the form of their inability to not intrude on conversations and spaces not designed for them. Their need to try to explain away black critiques of white supremacy as if we are stupid or haven’t lived our wholes lives as a black person. Liberal racists are the experts on faux outrage when it something overtly racist happens, yet can’t compute how any of their behaviors are racist. They believe the allies need to be treated nicely and feel that because they donated $2 that one time to that one black person that they deserve a seat at the table, and if they are challenged, they are quick to jump ship because they never wanted to help in the first place.

Seattle is that place, where casual racism is just accepted and when black people attempt to bring attention to it, we get looked at like we are crazy. It’s where you can attempt to talk about the gentrification of Seattle’s Central District in which an area that was once 70% black (due to housing discrimination in other parts of Seattle) is now 60% white {3}. Similar thing happened to Hilltop in Tacoma (thanks to the “war on drugs” and shit) and white people will be like “I just don’t see it.” It’s where when I tell people about how I had a boss, google a racial slur to call me (jiggaboo) people are like “are you serious” or when you tell them about how you have worked in places where you were the token black employee and they just don’t get it. Because on the surface, that shouldn’t happen here, not in Seattle. It’s supposed to be sunshine and rainbows and everyone black, white and brown is supposed to get along in harmony, but that’s far from the case.

Seattle isn’t the only liberal utopia on the west coast, Portland, a city about 200 miles away in Oregon is the same way. Then a hate crime that gained national headlines happened. In May 2017, a man traveling on Portland’s MAX Light Rail killed 2 people and seriously injured a 3rd after being confronted for harassing a Muslim teen and her black friend with hate speech directed towards the Islamic faith as well as race {5}. In the aftermath of this incident, there were again, think pieces and statuses about how this was unfathomable, especially in a place like Portland and that this was all due to Trump being president. Then in September, a man wearing Nazi symbols threw a banana at a black man in Seattle and was subsequently punched {6}. This lead to commentary about whether hitting racists is ok as well as more faux outrage about racism in these liberal cities. I am the furthest from a Trump supporter, but all Trump being president has done for racists, especially in “liberal” areas has been make it easier for them to shed their hoods. White people in these cities want to pretend that white supremacists definitely could not be from their cities, and they definitely were not homegrown there, because shit like that just doesn’t happen in “places like this”. They also love to spread the notion that this is all due to 45 being president, yet ignoring all the racism overt and otherwise that happened during all the other presidencies, especially during Obama’s time.

I have lived this life, to the point where sometimes I think I would rather live somewhere, in which racists were just blatant with it, because then at least I would know what I was dealing with. Liberal utopias and liberal racism are smothering to black people. It’s where you notice that wherever you go, you are one of few black people around. It’s where you hear the coded language, experience the coded behaviors, stereotyping and whitesplaining, often and everywhere but you don’t have the energy to fight it. It’s exhausting as fuck. Trying to explain to the world, that racism cloaked in “allyship” is still racism is tiring. Having your experiences disregarded and treated as less than is annoying.

So just because a white person doesn’t wear a white hood, comes with a smiling face and a safety pin, doesn’t mean that underneath all that liberal makeup doesn’t lie a racist. Which is why, for me and people who look like me, utopias will never exist because disguised racism, is still racism.

Works Cited

{1}- http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/whitest-big-county-in-the-us-its-us/

{2}- https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/RHI125215/5363000,53

{3}- http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/central-districts-shrinking-black-community-wonders-whats-next/

{4}- https://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president/washington/

{5}- http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/31/us/portland-train-stabbing-what-happened/index.html

{6}- https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/43awzg/seattle-neo-nazi-punched-after-throwing-banana-at-man

Also here’s a good video to demonstrate liberal racism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZCVHB68cuY

Faux Woke

Tackling fake wokeness one fail at a time.

RAE

Written by

RAE

Football is my life, followed by video games. I have a lot of opinions, know a lot of random things, just traveling through this ride called life

Faux Woke

Faux Woke

Tackling fake wokeness one fail at a time.

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