The Ferguson grand jury’s failure to recommend any charges against Mike Brown’s killer has really woken me up. I realize that all this time, I’ve been looking at the killing of an unarmed black teen by a white cop as a civil or human rights issue. I thought we were talking about the civil and human rights of black and brown people. I was making my case based on that. But I get it now.
So, now that I’m hip, let me suggest something that is more in line with the tone of the national conversation. I offer you:
18 Benefits* for White People of Giving Up Racism
If white people gave up racism …
- They could have more friends! No group would be off limits when seeking out fun friends. Think of how much more fun parties would be when black and brown folks are playing DJ.
- They could visit all neighborhoods in big cities without irrational fear. Reduced wear-n-tear on the old door locks could add to their car’s resale value, too!
- They would know that those new jobs, promotions at work, and choice spots on committees really were because they are the best ones for those positions. No more late nights worrying that it was just based on skin color!
- They wouldn’t have to send their children off to war so often — next door or around the globe — to enforce “democracy” and “law and order” on communities of color, risking their precious lives, limbs, and sanity!
- And, on a related note, they could save beaucoup tax dollars now spent on the military-industrial complex. Those dollars could go to education, healthcare, and putting white people on expensive spaceships to other planets!
- They could have fact-based medical care, instead of having to suffer enhanced levels of terror of “African” diseases like Ebola or the sting of “Africanized” bees or the foreign germs carried by immigrant children.
- They would get to learn that some of their people were heroes in important struggles in American history — white people like Viola Liuzzo and Jonathan Myrick Daniels. Look ’em up!
- They could stop feeling guilty for events they most likely have no personal role in — like slavery and the atrocities of the border militias — and instead spend that energy on finding the cure for cancer or naming new stars or playing catch with their puppy.
- They could sit next to absolutely anybody on the bus! Cabs and trains, too! Think of how much less stressful the daily commute would be for them if they could just sit anywhere!
- They could buy less expensive houses and pay less in property taxes. If white people weren’t so determined not to live next to black and brown people, they would have so many more choices. I mean, they don’t all really want to live in those suburban McMansions with the hard-to-maintain lawns, do they?
- They would have access to so many more great public schools, parks, and pools. Wouldn’t it be amazing if, on a long car trip across the country, white people could let their kids out to play in any park they came across along the way? That would be such a relief for them!
- They could spend less money on locks and guns!
- They could walk more places, see more sights, and use less fossil fuel, because they would feel safe outside of their armored SUVs.
- They could hire fewer security staff, using the money instead to buy nicer lobby plants and higher quality employee break-room coffee for the office buildings of this great nation.
- They could feel safer, knowing that many, many fewer people of color had been sent to prison. Less resentment! Less “skills” development in the criminal sciences!
- They could learn new languages and intercultural competencies. Just think how good that will look on the ol’ resume! Do I hear “promotion”?
- They could stop being so darn angry all the time. And wouldn’t that feel nice? Good for the ticker, too!
- They could stop killing children! That would be great. If they weren’t so afraid of black and brown children, they wouldn’t run the risk of burdening themselves with a lifetime of horrible regret!
*That’s one benefit for white people for every year Mike Brown was permitted to live! Enjoy!