Black : White


Imagine if you will a black baby plucked away from his mother the moment he is born and taken to a stark white room. He is fed via mechanical arms that descend into the room at perfectly timed interv—

What in the hell are you talking about?

You’ll see. The ‘white room’ bit is going to lead into some stuff about the relative nature of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, culture, et cetera.

Oh, so more of the same. Here, let me save you some time: Race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, culture, et cetera are all illusory. Dark is dark because light is light; it is the contrast that defines the two, the contrast exposes the lie that is duality. Can we go home now?

Well…that’s pretty much it…I guess I can wrap this up.

You’re kind of a broken record man. A little word of advice: You might get some readers if you start talking about some new shit. I see your topical ‘George Zimmerman’ and ‘Paula Deen’ tags up there; cute, but it’s not gonna work. By the time you get the balls to post this they’ll be old news. Just like that guy who saved those girls. No one’s talking about him now. That ship has sailed. Stop chasing these fickle-ass people man. Let them come to you. You know how this game works: They don’t actively seek out stories to ‘rage’ at. They just sit back and wait for them to be delivered to their digital doorsteps. Oh, and don’t let two or more stories that share a few superficial details come out within a few days or weeks of one another; that’s when they go into their ‘What is the world coming to?!’ sky-is-falling mode. They have no clue they’re being passive-aggressively manipulated. And you’re no better. Just glomming onto the hype, desperately trying to procure yourself a spot at the cool kids table.

I see what you’re saying, but there are certain conversations that we keep returning to. For instance, every time someone runs into a public place guns blazing we revisit the Gun Control™ talks. Every time a non-black celebrity says ‘nigger’ we talk about Racism in America™. Yeah, it’s all tenuous surface-speak and it lasts for about twenty-five seconds, and sometimes I wonder if an artificially intelligent comment bot called Kneejerk 2.0 is responsible for the bulk of the commentary, but there is something to be said about the recurring narratives. Take the Charles Ramsey situation for example; the conversations about his manner of speaking are very similar to the conversations about Rachel Jenteal’s manner of speaking.

Those aren’t conversations. No one is ‘conversing.’ It’s just people talking shit. They barely reference one another. Save for the occasional ‘you’re wrong and here’s why’ response. There’s no ‘real’ exchange of ideas. Just narcissistic digital noise. You ever notice how many of the articles on popular sites are no more than bait? They know how we work. They know we can’t resist clicking, commenting and sharing—”Oh my god you guys! This is so racist/sexist/homophobic!” It’s genius. Just create a train wreck, everyone gathers around, they say their respective pieces and that’s when you show ’em the ads.

I’m actually jealous of how effective that is. Like those offensive Facebook pages. People go berserk reporting them, sharing them with friends and ironically the outrage broadens the page’s reach. More people see the offensive material. Success.

Well damn it, if you so crave the attention of these fickle-ass people then maybe you need to say something ‘offensive.’

I’ve thought about it. But who should I go after?

Blacks, gays, Latinos, Jews, women. Take your pick. I would go with blacks or gays though. Stronger virility possibilities with them.

I was thinking of going after the Sumerians. No one’s doing that.

You’re always trying to be different. Just go with what works. Really, you’ll be doing them a favor. They all have agendas and your ‘offensive’ post will provide them with a soapbox opportunity and that’s all they really want. Just look at the Jeantel thing—educated black elitists, racism scavenger hunters, people who hold grudges against black women—they all got an opportunity to air their grievances. No one’s ‘really’ offended. It’s just people talking shit. It’s a game man. Just create a ‘ball’ for them to toss around. You’ll get some hits and clicks in the process. Win-win for everybody.

I’ll just keep writing about the things I’m passionate about.

Here’s the truth man: Most people dismiss you as some ‘what’s he smoking’ rambling idiot. So fuck ’em. Play ’em like the crabs in a barrel that they are.

I actually want to get back to the point of this article.

That ‘relative race’ shit?! Come on man. People don’t like hearing that. They don’t want to be told that without contrasting forces the very thing they take the most pride in doesn’t exist. They love their surfaces. It’s who they are. It’s the core of their being. You’re either gonna ‘offend’ them or play to their forced rigid agendas. Stop working in this gray area. They hate that shit. You’re not gonna win any friends that way.

I want to get away from the macro politics of race and focus more on the individual. Individuals are neither black or white.

That sounds noble, but you gotta be realistic. People take pride in their race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, culture, et cetera. For many this pride is more important to them than their individual identities. Matter of fact they have no idea who they ‘individually’ are. It’s much easier to join a group than it is to walk the twisting, turning, uncertain path of self-discovery.

Sounds like you’re saying racial, religious, sexual, cultural or ethnic pride is the antidote to identity crises.

Pretty much. Why waste time ‘finding yourself’ when you can just adopt a few customs and traditions and be part of a group? Safety in numbers. No more intellectual isolation. You’ve discussed this before, a few posts ago—the Good : Evil one. You were talking about how consensus opinion equates to absolute judgment. Using that logic you could say culture is like a consensus opinion that we accept as an absolute way of being. It is something that predates our individual existences. We are born into it. It is not something we choose.

Exactly. All the people who superficially look like me are behaving a certain way, I guess I better join them.

Yep, can’t distance yourself from ‘your people,’ they’re all you have. The ‘other’ people don’t want you.

But don’t you see the irony there? For example, there are some people who get upset when they see a white person rapping. They think he is ‘stealing’ a black art. The ironic bit is that rap’s sonic foundation was created from other ‘non-black’ pieces of music. Also, the concept of sampling was pioneered by a white dude.

The guy making the ‘they’re stealing our culture’ claim is doing so while wearing a suit made in Italy and drinking vodka imported from Russia. Everybody ‘samples’ from everybody; both culturally—that white dude you referenced was influenced by jazz by the way—and genetically. In order to claim theft you have to own the source material. None of us own the damn source material. We are merely products of it. Purity is an illusion. But it’s a very strong illusion. Superficial differences mean a whole helluva lot to us. We can’t ‘not’ see them.

Well, if we were all the same there would be no superficial differences to ‘see.’

There would still be man and woman.

Well, let’s say there was only one sex.

Would the members of this unisex race all be the same height, weight and possess the same personality traits?

Yes. No differences whatsoever, which would render them in a theoretical sense invisible to one another.

But you and I are the same, yet we’re having this discussion. Somehow you have found a way to split yourself into two different beings.

Well, you’re not real, I’m real. You are merely a tool I’m using to make a point.

Oh, so I’m just a facilitator?


I disagree. I’m much more than that. I represent your doubt, your self-loathing, your contempt for those not like you. I say the things you wish you could say. You hide behind me. You’re too afraid to show them who you really are. You love this ironic distance. It allows you to speak with a sense of detached authority.

No, you’re just a facilitator. I get frustrated writing these articles and sometimes I need a gimmick to move things along. You are that gimmick. A gimmick I need to retire.

And when are you gonna do that?

When I figure out who the hell I am.

And when is that gonna happen? When you stop trying to hide who you really are from the readers? When you stop being afraid of their prejudices?


Well, when is that going to happen?

I don’t know.

You need to figure it out. Picking on black people is a dead-giveaway though. I mean come on dude…you’ve got some nerve traipsing around the internet talking about ‘personal responsibility’ and what ‘black people need to do’ when you ain’t even responsible for your damn self! That’s some fraudulent shit. You need to stop before someone calls you on it. Fuck it, I’m gonna do it: Stop taking shots at people you were too much of a punk to take shots at when you were a kid.


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