Dear White People…
Fox News celebrity Tucker Carlson swears that he would never judge anyone by the colour of their skin. Not really.
Having gone on record too many times to count, Carlson accused Black Lives Matter advocates of being a ‘mob’ and pointed out that immigrants make this country ‘dirtier.’ But exceeding the eloquence of his many hate filled speeches was his acerbic commentary on Joe and Jill Biden’s appearance at the inauguration ceremonies, asserting that now “from their loins we are born and reborn.” Joe and Jill Biden are White people. Carlson would be funny if he weren’t so pathetic and, of course, dangerous.
Tucker Carlson worries that White Supremacists will become endangered species under the Biden administration, and so do 73 million other Americans who continue to mail in their nickels and dimes to a con man and disgraced president who despises them. These people are marooned between reality on the one hand, and unscrupulous politicians and media pundits who stoke their insecurities on the other, while reaching into their pocketbooks to nick their grocery money. Carlson warns them, in so many words, that they’ll soon be relegated to sitting at the back of the bus, left behind; that their four-year license to flaunt their lethal weaponry, to laugh at the soaring COVID-19 death toll, to swallow bleach and shove UV lamps up their cabooses will soon come to a screeching and inglorious halt. At the same time, America’s alternate-president promises to redeem all their anxieties come 2024, even as he slinks back to the Florida swamplands with his leathery tail tucked between his legs. Just keep sending in the money.
Will somebody please tell these good folks that the country is moving on, with or without their conspiracy theories and moronic 19th century notions?
President Lyndon Johnson once remarked that: “If you can convince the lowest White man that he’s better than the best coloured man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.”
Still, there’s a kernel of truth in what Carlson says, though you need to dig really deep for it and it’s not at all what he intends. Whites are the ones for whom this society predicated on racism, bigotry and greed was conceived and for whom its Constitution — an epic document in terms of democratic principles laid down by men whose entire net worth depended on the perpetuation of chattel slavery long after other nations of the world had outlawed it — was intended. Only persons with White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant DNA can fully appreciate the beauty and benefits and protections of that great covenant. For the most part, these are people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing: White people with money AKA the Uber-rich. When Tucker Carlson talks about White people, that’s who he’s advocating for. He couldn’t give a rat’s arse about so-called ‘poor Whites’ or White Trash as some on the other side of the racial equation call them.
Unfortunately, it’s these poor Whites who hung their hopes on a professed racist and sexual predator who promised that White privilege — in their case the privilege to live a poor and meaningless existence under the heel of their White betters, all the while believing they were in the best of all possible worlds — would remain the cornerstone of a new form of government. In the best snake oil salesman fashion, the word ‘Fascism’ never graced the lips of either Donald Trump or Tucker Carlson, and anyway, few of their disciples ever read history, so WTF.
Still, they feel threatened by those proverbial letters that keep pouring in, all prefaced with “Dear White People…” as if polite pleas to one’s kinder nature had a hope-in-Hell of changing anything. If you’re not White, many of those 73 million would like to kill you just to shut your mouth, still your pen and resolve the problem once and for all. That’s what all those guns are for.
Everyone in America wants to be White, but only money can MAKE a person White. That’s not an exaggeration or ‘alternative facts.’ With enough money, anyone can cross the colour barrier, the country’s ‘One Drop’ law notwithstanding. Take the story of little Sarah Rector, the African-American granddaughter of freed slaves.
Sarah was born in 1902 in Taft, a Black settlement in eastern Oklahoma. With some Cherokee in her family tree, and under an 1866 treaty with the five Indian Civilized Tribes, Sarah was entitled to 160 acres of land. She got the land: a piece of barren, uncultivable ground located 60 miles from her family home. But as fate would have it, a Standard oil exploration crew discovered oil on the property, producing 2,500 barrels of crude per day, making Sarah Oklahoma’s highest income tax payer before she reached the age of 12.
White people just couldn’t stomach that. When word got around that there was a Black millionaire (and a female to boot!), Sarah was in trouble. Under the law, any Black children with wealth had to be assigned a White guardian. The United States Courts were so enraged by the idea that a ‘Negro’ could be so rich, that the Oklahoma State Legislature was compelled in 1913 to declare Sarah ‘White.’ That’s right. The government declared her White and entitled her to enjoy all the privileges of White folks in the heyday of the Jim Crow era.
Now, as a child of the 1940’s, I recall travelling with my late dad, then employed by the Illinois Central Railroad, along the company’s mainline from Chicago to New Orleans. I can attest that nowhere were Black folks allowed to enter Whites-only waiting rooms or use Whites-only washroom facilities. They were segregated in second-class railway carriages reserved for Blacks. They were barred from Whites-only restaurants and lunch counters and, equally important, Whites-only schools.
Sarah Rector was officially allowed to enjoy White privileges on the railroads. Remember that very few travelled by air in those days. Everyone took the train, although Sarah didn’t need to use the train. She had a fleet of luxury automobiles at her disposal.
According to the Chicago Post-Guardian: “White people were so shocked at this girl’s enormous wealth, that they declared her White.”
Yeah, the benefits of America citizenship are intended for Whites only. They didn’t call it the White House for nothing.
It’s no mystery why African-Americans and other persons of colour are pushing back or why Tucker Carlson is worried. But in all fairness, to White people at least, in America you’re only as White as your money. If race were merely a mental construct, as every thinking person knows it is, then America is for Greens, the color of the nation’s currency. Like the book I just finished. The misconceived offspring of a crazed Evangelist and an over-sexed rich girl is born with green skin then becomes the Wicked Witch of The West. She also never washes. One of the worst books I’ve ever read but I did get the point.
Even Benito Mussolini, the George Washington of Fascism, explained these alternate facts:
“What? Race? Oh, that! It’s only a feeling, not a reality. Ninety-five per cent, at least. Nothing will ever make me believe that biologically pure races can be shown to exist today. National pride has no need of the delirium of race…Man is not a logical creature. His intellectual history is a record of mental reserves and compromises. The success of our Fascist Movement affirms the irremediable, fruitful and beneficent inequality of men!”
But what about those letters? Geez, already! We forgot the “Dear White People…” letters. But this essay is getting overly long, so f^*k the letters. I’ll tell you why. Because, like I said already and Mussolini confirmed in 1933, not to forget the Oklahoma Legislature: race is simply a mental construct.
Still, Tucker Carlson is right. If everyone sprang from the loins of Joe and Jill, or maybe Donald and Melania, America wouldn’t have this problem.