Calling All White People, Part 63
TODAY’S EPISODE: How about we try a little less compassion?
I saw a post online recently asking: Would you break up with a potentially very promising partner if you found out they were racist?
I mean, I’d probably start with telling them how screwed-up their heinous beliefs were and how no right-thinking person raised in this era could possibly defend racism. It’s even remotely possible it might be jarring enough to shock them into some kind of common damn sense to retreat from hateful and unfounded beliefs.
Incredibly unlikely, but so is winning the lottery—it does happen.
But let’s face it: That isn’t likely to happen. No come-to-Jesus moment is likely. So, practically and realistically speaking, I’m either kicking that person out of my place immediately and going no-contact, or I’m walking out of their place or walking out on the middle of our date or whatever.
Yet some of the comments—too many of them—floored me. People who claim to be non-racist, or liberal, or progressive, or whatever who said something to the effect of, “No, that wouldn’t be an immediate deal-breaker.” Because, a person is more than just a singular belief set. They might have so much more to offer otherwise. If the connection is good, you can overcome that difference of opinion. Etcetera.
Things like racism aren’t just differences of opinion. If you fundamentally think you are better than someone else just because of your skin color or ethnicity—that you are superior because your ancestors were more wicked, amoral, and cruel than most others and simply murdered or overthrew all who stood between them and what they selfishly wanted for themselves? That’s not a difference of opinion. It’s a moral failing. It’s intellectual dishonesty. It’s evil.
Tolerating this kind of stuff because someone is a “good person” otherwise is how we have allowed Nazis to gain stature and momentum without nearly enough of them being beaten to a pulp. We talk about how they are entitled to their views and free speech and all that. No, they are actually promoting a view that certain races and religions and ethnicities should be pushed down and, when possible, eliminated, for the glory of whiteness. That’s not an ideology. That’s a terroristic, bullying threat.
So, no. I don’t care if she’s the sexiest woman with the best personality who’s willing to please me and uplift me in all ways and is full of intelligence, wit, and charm. If she’s racist, homophobic, queerphobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic, or anything similar, she’s out of my life.
That’s the way things should be. Instead, while the right wing and the almost wholly deranged GOP rise to power on hate and demonizing marginalized groups, the middle and much of the left are talking about compassion.
Now, I love compassion. It’s why I stand by Black people and other oppressed races and ethnicities. It’s why I stand by LGBTQ+ people. It’s why I stand with the poor and downtrodden. Compassion is great.
But compassion is not deserved by all.
There are people—quite a lot of them, in fact—who have exempted themselves from compassion. We’re watching Sen. Mitch McConnell’s health decline before our eyes and people are calling on us to be compassionate to his suffering and to feel for his family.
He has lived a long life and a successful and profitable one, largely by stepping on Black people and sick people and a lot of others. He has benefitted from being intentionally cruel and despicable and only now, at an advanced age, is he finally getting any payback for that. And even in the midst of his decline, he has the kind of access to healthcare and money that he has denied to or stripped from countless other people. And his family? They are propping him up to milk as much as they can from him before he dies. They have benefitted from his evil and prospered themselves and I don’t hear any of them decrying his crimes against humanity. Compassion for whom?
The only compassion I have is for his victims. Same goes for the Nazis and all the rest who live by demonizing people who have done nothing wrong but be born a certain way.
At a certain point, compassion is complicity.
We need less compassion toward those who are trying to drag us back to the good old days that were only good for white Christian cis-het men. We need more anger. They have no compassion. They deserve none.
They need to be fought as the enemies to justice and equality and love that they are. Just like the Nazis in World War II. The Nazis we let back into the light because they have families and shop at Whole Foods and whatever just like the rest of us. Who cares? Why does that somehow diminish that they are evil? You might as well let rapists of children go free because they donated to the American Heart Association and fostered animals.
Enough of that. Because if we keep doing that—if we keep tolerating the intolerable—we’re as guilty as they are for whatever horrors are to come. Complicit. Because we offered compassion where it was neither earned nor deserved.
[To find other installments of “Calling All White People,” click here]
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