Tag: race

How Privilege Makes White People Immature and Helpless

We often talk about “white privilege” and it tends to be discussed in terms of having stuff. “That person has white privilege,” we say. “That other person has male privilege.” But what does that mean?

To me, privilege is not a positive but a negative, or a lack of something. When one has white privilege they have freedom from something. They have freedom from trauma, pain, hardship, toil, etc. When one is protected from the mandatory hardships of life for which one has evolved to deal with, they become puerile and childlike. Their skin becomes thin. They cannot handle the smallest slight. They are weak and become dependent on protection from the necessary traumas of life. This is why those white men carry those rifles around, because they are weak and terrified of having to deal with life naked and undefended.

But what is the converse of privilege? I would assert that it is a surplus of hardship and challenge. It is a excess of the onslaught of reality with its slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. This tends to make one’s skin thicker and makes one tougher.

And so, if you want to be honest, whiteness has become synonymous with weakness, and thus the entire apparatus of the state becomes necessary to maintain protection from the normal, average trials which befall any person living on this planet.

White culture and the western nation-state steals the defenses and padding of the brown people of this world and wraps it around the light-skinned people it protects. If you start to think of white people as immature and childlike, you can quickly see and hear it when you look at and listen to them.

As I’ve transitioned from being a white male to a white transwoman, I’ve had to experience a rude awakening of what it’s really like to live without that stolen armor. This rude awakening, that I sought to put off for as long as possible by posing as a straight white male, hit my weak, thin-skinned ass with a vengeance, and I was paralyzed at first.

But my skin grew. My toughness increased. Now, I can’t say that I know what it’s like to be black, but I know what it’s like to be targeted for who I am from as soon as I entered elementary school. I know what it’s like for others to hate things in you that you are not even aware of yet. And I know what it’s like to lose a significant amount of privilege.

And yet, don’t be afraid of losing privilege. Living in the false world of stolen armor is not real, and it stunts development in many ways. The transition to a normal amount of privilege can be shocking at first, but then you realize your inner strength, and you begin to realize that life is not about hiding behind wealth and privilege. Life is about meeting life on life’s bare terms.

To quote a brown-skinned Judean named Jesus, “if you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor.” I interpret this as if you want to really grow, you need to cast your privilege aside.

And also, Krishna of the Hindu pantheon said to privileged Arjuna in the Baghavad Gita: “yield not to weakness; it does not suit you. Throw away this faint-heartedness.” Meaning that one must meet life without fear and without protection and cowardice.

Only through letting go of privilege can one really be alive. Words will not make one alive. One cannot say “I understand that I am privileged,” and expect the situation to resolve itself. One should give up one’s privilege. This is the only path of truth. Change the system from within by giving up your pilfered wealth that was likely funneled through the generations from slave-created surplus. You will survive, and you will be a real human, not a child in a shell.

The problem we face today is not a black problem. The problem is a white problem. Until we recognize our theft, our appropriation of defenses, our heinous usage of black bodies as human shields against the hurricane of nature, we will not grow, and we will not be mature. We will be on average, pathetic sprouts, unable to grow into the trees we were born to be.

Personally, my life is so much richer after I gave up most of my male privilege. It is immeasurably harder, but it is more vital and real. And I ask that you do the same. I can’t change my skin color. I am stuck being white. So the only way for me to reduce my so-called white privilege is to dismantle the institutions that value whiteness over blackness. This takes work. This takes sacrifice. But I assure you that it will be worth it both for black people and for white people.

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Thoughts on the Cult of White Supremacy in the United States

The Cult of White Supremacy in the US
My realization that I was what society calls transgender was really a self-rediscovery. People like to say that things about ourselves can be hidden or buried, but often, they can be right in front of our noses, and we just get very, very good at self-denial and self-delusion because the acknowledgment of the thing is too painful or scary.

I discovered that I was born a feminine boy and then around age 5, I learned to be something that I was not, and it slowly killed me until my 30s when I gave up the false notion of myself. My mind was blown by the fact that I had completely forgotten something about myself out of fear of being ostracized.

Now, as I ponder the American problem, I see something right in front of my face that I now can’t unsee. White America tends to tell fairy tales about how happy and fulfilled they are, but if you are sensitive enough, you can see behind the masks of the average American to see how contrived and false this happy facade really is.

In cults, there is a strong tendency in the members to project a vision of perfection. I once read Kate Bornstein’s biography about being a member of the Scientology Sea Org as a repressed transwoman, and she said that everyone always let everyone else know how perfect and happy they were because anything less would be a personal failure. When a cult has stripped you of all of your other attachments in life, humans find themselves lying to not lose favor with the only attachment they have left, the cult itself.

I see this in American white culture. It’s true that some brown people have been integrated into the white power structure, but caucasian and Christian people are the primary administrators of American culture and standards of behavior to this day. And whiteness appears to be a cult.

Most white people are obsessed with projecting an image of perfect self-satisfaction and competence. But this is a passively aggressive lie meant to denigrate whomever you are talking to. White culture is the cult of dominating others. When your God is money and power, showering another person with all of your “successes” is a dominating act of aggression. The fact that no member of this cult wants to admit is that these “successes” are arbitrarily chosen. They work very hard creating models and theories to “prove” that the values of the cult of white supremacy are necessary and essential. When someone totally ignores these values and lives their life in a way counter to these values, a strong feeling of resentment builds up in the white cult member.

Now, for example, when a black man or woman doesn’t do this contrived activity of smiling and projecting utterly saccharine chipperness, they are labeled as angry. This is because the white cult member is threatened by this lack of participation. The black person is subliminally saying to the white cult member, in the cult member’s head, that the cult member is full of shit. Just by having a neutral facial expression, the black person is a threat to the white cult member. Denial needs to be fed constantly to overcome the everpresent thing trying to be denied, and anyone who challenges the basic tenets of the cult of white supremacy needs to either be silenced or explained away as insane.

What do you think?

Future Furor

The communications revolution which started in the 20th century and accelerated in the 21st is now consuming all past available knowledge, and we are experiencing the past snap back into the future. It’s like a slinky that is stretched back through time, but our technology is drawing all of the past into the future.

The dawn of the Information Age (what astrologers call the Aquarian Age) is the snapping forward of history into the present. Because we have access to a superintelligent artificial intelligence (AI) called Google that can give us the esoteric on the level of the exoteric.

The blending of the esoteric and the exoteric has been traumatic because formerly excluded groups like the disabled, queer, dark-skinned, and others now are able to influence the exoteric network with much greater efficiency.

In the past, distributing one’s thoughts to the general narrative was very expensive in terms of time and money, but now, it costs almost nothing. Communication has been commodified. It is almost free.

So, change is coming fast, and it will only get faster. I would suggest a hang-on, it’s gonna get rough, kind of mentality right now. Get over the small shit. Don’t follow cults (political and spiritual). It’s way easier to be nothing than to be something. But you can do both. Have balance on this Equinox.

May your relationships be blessed with balance this Autumn.