The Freedom Riders did black Americans a great service by calling Kennedy on his bullshit and actually testing how abolished Jim Crow laws were in the South. They got their asses kicked, brandished firearms and fearlessly laughed in the president’s face when he begged them to stop. They were barricaded into hospitals by angry racists only to be busted out by cool black dudes in Studebakers. Then they partied all night and did it again. There are few pictures from this time because cameras were included in the beatings but that one shot of Jim Zwerg covered in blood with his tie clip still on makes James Dean look like Johnny Weir. Even if you didn’t agree with their politics you have to admire them for proving how ineffective Northern Laws are when imposed on the South. How can you get more badass than that? You can’t. Unfortunately, their badassness is exactly why their actions were such a huge disservice to white Americans. Namely, how can we even come close to that level of awesome?
I want to walk into a mob of angry racists and get my ass beat for freedom. It’s just not easy to find them. Believe me, I looked everywhere. Janeane Garofalo told us the Tea Partiers are a bunch of uneducated racists and I heard they yelled “nigger” at a bunch of black congressman. I’d like to walk into one of their rallies holding a black girl’s hand and ask them about it as sweat poured down their lily-white racist faces. Oh crap, I just saw Andrew Breitbart is offering a $10,000 reward for any evidence of the racial slur and Janeane Garafolo is a dropout.
It’s discouraging work trying to match the righteousness of the Freedom Riders. When the NAACP had a funeral for the N-Word, I was ready to pound the living crap out of anyone who dared resurrect it. Unfortunately, I live in Brooklyn and if I fought everyone who used that word I’d be punching blacks and Hispanics in the face ‘til I was blue in the face. Besides, all my favorite songs use that word like it’s going out of style. Listen to the beginning of “Tight Pants” or “Playstation” for example. Am I allowed to sing those in public? I recently learned it depends on who says the word, what context it’s in, and whether it ends in z, a, or er. I’m hunting for racists, not grammar lessons. Can we get some real deal racism up in this bizzatch?
I got really excited when I heard the racist megacorporation Hallmark had put out a greeting card that said “Watch out for black whores!” I started to rally the troops for Freedom Riders II. Maybe we could all get in a bus and burn their headquarters to the ground. When the NAACP went on TV to talk about it however, I couldn’t help but notice the card said, “Watch out black holes” and was a reference to an ambitious astronomer. What about that word though? “Black” hole. Isn’t that kind of racist? Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price thought so and demanded an apology when it was used in an analogy about lost documents. Turns out it’s called black because it’s a region of space “from which nothing, including light, can escape.”
There has to be a sea of racists out there. It’s the most go-to criticism since fat, stupid and ugly, and I see a sea of those every day. I checked in with some civil rights activists but still couldn’t get anything worth taking a bus to go fight. James Kirkpatrick, the Commissioner of the Department of Human Rights over in Minnesota is more focused on sexism these days and had recently outlawed Ladies Nights for discriminating against men (a not uncommon practice).
College campuses seem like a better place to “locate the hate” as Jesse Jackson would say. This is where they indoctrinate the youth and there’s always swastikas and gay bashings and stuff like that, isn’t there? Well, the Jewish student at GWU who reported seeing swastikas on her door, put them there herself. Same with the “Die Fag” written on the wall near the lesbian’s locker at Tamalpais High School. The noose at UC San Diego was an impromptu lasso innocently left on a desk and even the noose that was the supposed impetus for the Jena 6 incident has turned out to be a stupid cowboy joke.
Middle Americans, megacorporations, young Americans, and Outer Spacists weren’t giving me enough to change my white face into a black and blue one but what about the goddamned pigs? They had a huge part in the Freedom Rider beatings and there’s no reason to assume they’ve changed their racist ways. I was thrilled to discover Abner Louima is a genuine example of unmitigated police brutality—only, I can’t find proof it had anything to do with race. I looked into that other guy, Amadou Diallo but it turns out he refused to put his hands up and eventually reached for a black wallet police mistook for a gun. Even Rodney King was an unstoppable lunatic who was hysterically resisting arrest after a high-speed car chase through a residential neighborhood. Then I learn, Mumia Abu-Jamal is guilty after all. I still think cops are racist though. You can just tell.
If this Easter Egg hunt was going to pull up some truly racist, white eggs, I was going to have to go deeper into the core of America. Like, what about their laws? The Arizona immigration Law is a good place to start. Apparently it says you can throw anyone who’s not white into a paddy wagon and send them back to Mexico. I’m going to go down there with a bunch of Hispanics in sombreros and get arrested on purpose. Maybe they’ll call us spics and beat us and we can get a picture in the paper smiling with blood all over our teeth. How cool would that be? Hang on. Just read the law. It says the person has to be committing a crime and the officer, “May not solely consider race, color, or national origin.” SHIT! I just got so frustrated, I punched a hole through my wall; which actually felt pretty good because it’s white.
I know there are racists out there. I can feel it. The New Black Panthers claim there are white devils on every corner so I delved into the FBI’s hate crime statistics to get some cold, hard facts. Unfortunately, these polls are about as impossible to understand as Ghostface Killah lyrics. The FBI reports more hate crimes against visible minorities but then they tell you it’s just because they now have more agencies reporting cases. The PDFs are a slog to get through and although there are more anti-black crimes than anti-white crimes, nobody seems to factor in that blacks are about 14% of the population whereas whites are more like 75%. Doesn’t that mean there’s more anti-white hate crime per capita? Plus, “one out of every 45 white on black attacks is classified as a hate crime, while the corresponding fraction for black on white attacks is an astounding 1 out of 1,254.” And that’s not including black on Hispanic crime and vice versa etc. etc., Oy vey! The numbers are complex but it’s starting to look like everyone is equally racist and even then it’s not that much, or something? All I know is, I got on a silver Greyhound looking for a showdown and ended up on a yellow bus headed to math class.
Just when I was about to give up hope, one of my many liberal pals schooled my white ass on what’s really going down. Dig this: First, the anti-white crimes are a sham and as Jill Tregor, executive director of Intergroup Clearinghouse, says, “They are an abuse of what the hate crime laws were intended to cover.” In other words, fuggedaboud em. They don’t count. Second, there is an institutional racism that isn’t visible to the naked eye. It lies deep within the system and it goes even deeper than the laws which is why we can’t see it. Look around you. There are racists in this room. You might be racist and not even know it. Shit, even babies are racist! Racism is walking next to you everywhere you go. See those footprints on the beach behind you? That’s racism. See the part where there’s just one set of prints? That’s when racism was carrying you. Once I understood that racism is as ubiquitous as Jesus, I realized why I was having so much trouble finding it. Racism is just as prevalent as it was when the Freedom Riders rode through the South and the scariest part is how deep into our thoughts it has crept. The only way we can fight it effectively is to let the proper authorities into our minds and root around in there until they find it. Who’s first?
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