Since the Left finds racism & cultural appropriation in everything everywhere, let's stop offending everyone by going back to all white, all the time!
“Nicole, I thought I was going crazy. I spent HOURS on Pixabay finding images without people for my software app. It was insane! Nuts! I began hearing VOICES, arguing in my head with people on social media! Like, they were criticizing and shaming me for having images that were too white or too this or too that!”
My friend had been up until 3:00AM working on his app, a cool little trivia and educational game.
“My therapist says I’m not schizophrenic,” he added.
"Schizophrenic?” I asked. He’d never exhibited any signs — oh, wait, the mental debate.
“Arguing with potential enemies in your head is normal,” I said. Kind of a mental rehearsal for discussions or arguments you might have. Figuring out the best things to say, the best points, when you get flamed for making the woke outrage du jour.
“That’s what my therapist said,” Charlie replied. “But I was going crazy last night, every time I looked at a good photo with a person in it, I started worrying how it might offend people.”
Wow. Just wow.
You know the Loony Left has gone Over The Top Into The Ionosphere when a black guy is worried about being called racist and white supremacist.
Pretty fly for a white photographer
2020 was the year the whole damn world imploded. Can anyone deny it?
Lockdown forced a global recession and drove Americans into double-digit unemployment almost overnight. So no surprise that anger, resentment, and just plain fed-upness with each other’s shit exploded over a knee-on-the-neck video of a white cop happily squashing the life out of a black man. Social distancing be damned, the non-Trumbfucks took to the streets in protest, masking up while ‘patriots’ gathered unmasked to show how much they’ve never given a rat’s patoot about their country.
Call it The Civil War, Part Deux.
Never mind the irony that wars are never civil.
It’s tough enough just existing in America, even tougher as a black man who isolates not just from a killer virus but from easily-triggered Woke Police. Now Charlie’s got to worry about offending the never-satisfied, perpetually outraged far left with photos that may be ‘too white’.
I pointed out that at the time, it was pretty hard to find appropriate non-white free stock photography.
Finding diverse group shots isn’t too hard anymore, I expect because demand is higher. But it’s still somewhat whitewashed. Type ‘pretty woman’ or ‘handsome men’ in Google Images. It's mostly white people, although 'children’ is more diverse. Of the adults, often the fair-skinned is front and center. Kind of like Tony Orlando & Dawn, without the porn-’stache.
Free images come from photographers who are willing to share their work for free, or the price of a cup of coffee. Maybe they’re white and not considering how un-diverse they are. Maybe it’s just easier to score white models.
Or maybe they’re afraid of taking crap from the hyper-neurotic oversensitive left.
I told Charlie why my images weren’t always as diverse as I might like.
“They’re important for promoting an article. They have to be really good, unusual, speak to the subject matter. If you have a choice between a black person's photo that’s useable, and a white person's that’s really good, which better illustrates the article, I’ll use the latter photo.”
But I also had begun to consider more whether I’d be accused of stereotyping or somehow misrepresenting people who aren’t like me, whether they’re non-white, or non-straight, or trans, or whatever.
Skin color has become so polarized it may send a political message about an article that isn’t political.
I wrote an article about belly dancing. And I used this photo:
Not as good as I would have liked, but the free pickin’s were slim for a broke-ass writer and I didn’t want to waste a morning looking for a better image when I could be writing.
I’m not sure I would have used it if the torsos were black. What kind of crap would I have gotten from the Liberal Hate Police?
Would I be accused of ‘sexualizing’ black women in service to the white supremacy body politic to which I am now ascribed? Would it be perceived as a sly jab at Black Lives Matter? (Uh, only shaggable black lives matter?) Would I be stereotyping African women in pre-colonial harems? (Well, I doubt they wore such cheesy costumes.)
Sometimes it’s easier to just go White Like Me.
The world’s whitest snowflakes
My writer buddy Julia E Hubbel knows what micro-nitpicking on another media platform by the far left feels like (Read: Overprivileged overprotected largely white very pretty young women). She tags me every time she rants about the latest Social Justice Bimbette Attack.
She’s written extensively about her Kiddie Corps still young enough to think they know everything, kicking up their pretty little feet in a self-righteous hissy fit because she called someone a ‘chick’ or isn’t sufficiently pro-black enough, or some such nonsense.
She’s a bestselling author defending herself against children who can’t eat peanut butter because, like, four kids in the United States once had peanut allergies and now everyone under thirty has them because parents overprotected them and wouldn’t let them build up their immunity to allergenic foods.
Their emotional systems are as fragile as their bodies. They’ve never been allowed to build up a protective immunity to challenging their assumptions, either.
Julia got called a ‘fat old White Boomer’ by, as she so eloquently put it, ‘some Young White chick in serious need of an enema.’ She describes the ‘dripping condescension’ from a ‘Young, White, Clueless, Overly-Educated and Magnificently Ignorant child’.
I know the type. This particular platform she's on is hopelessly infested with Rebelles Without A Clue.
Everything becomes a Crime Against Humanity when you’re young, white and ‘woke’. Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukanioff in their book The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation For Failure draw a direct line between the political ‘cognitive distortions’ they see in college campus protests since 2013 to the thinking distortions commonly exhibited by depression sufferers. The most famously depressed and anxious generation in probably a century or more is Millennials.
The outsized campus hysterics and occasional violence originate more with later Millennials and Gen Z, the former hitting their forties now, busy with their careers and families (yes, some Millennials do get married and make babies). Haidt and Lukanioff note that Gen Z, ‘iGen’ as they call them, is the first generation to grow up all-digital.
The authors also point to helicopter parenting, the culture of safetyism rooted in outsized parental fears about child abduction, the ‘corporatization’ of the college university system, and a few other causes as to why mostly middle and upper-middle-class kids of any color overreact to perceived slights, particularly alleged ‘microaggressions’, and catastrophize them, turning every disagreement or innocent expression into a woke Battle of Helms Deep.
Campus protests have turned violent and threatening, not unlike their compatriots/adversaries on the far right. It’s the greatest irony that the University of Berkeley, home to the Free Speech Movement in 1964, was the site of a violent 2017 protest over right-wing gadfly Milo Yiannopoulos who’d been invited to speak.
I’ve never been a Milo fan but beating people and pepper-spraying them because you don’t like their Make America Great Again hat or because they’re trying to verify an event has been canceled is no better than the armed bozos who show up at town halls with guns to bitch about face masks.
I strongly suspect Julia’s Clueless White Chick critics come from this particular ‘magnificently overeducated’ generational slice. I might argue, though, that today’s college students aren’t well-educated when free speech is dead lest one start a Twitter nuclear war for using a perfectly acceptable word last week that is now verboten this week.
Still, I have to hand it to them, the kids are pretty glib with the academic jargonbabble, which at least labels them as someone who went to college, even if they carefully insulated themselves from learning actual critical thinking skills. Or words that actually mean something. Or mean what the dictionary says they do.
Campus protests resemble those from the 1960s, except back then their grandparents protested an unjust, illegal war in a foreign country that had never attacked the United States, and ‘Jim Crow’ laws still in place in the South, and serious ecological pollution.
Today, the kids are losing their minds over pronouns and not enough non-white or female literature.
Not exactly My Lai.
Now that George Floyd has become a household word along with Black Lives Matter, the racial nit-pickers and catastrophizers are out in full force on Twitter and Tumblr, trying to make ‘white supremacy’ a thing you’re born into, rather than something you once consciously joined because you believed in white superiority.
It’s why some of us are striking back at racists and haters who claim they can’t be racists and haters because they’re not white. Yeah, nice try. Racism is nothing more than the tribalism built into all our brains to which we’re all slaves, unless we’re vigilant about questioning our assumptions.
(Yes, I just called you a slave. You’re a slave to your tribalism. Deal with it.)
Hypersensitive theatrics make a white person far warier about what they say, do, write and--what images they use.
When the far left is perpetually outraged by everything, the safest, least offensive route is to go All White, All The Time.
Maybe that’s what The Kids want in the end. Write what you know, right? Okay, since we white folks run the world that means we go back to #OscarsSoWhite and #WhiteLivesMatter, so maybe y’all can #TakeAKnee for the lack of people of color (not ‘colored people’!) in STEM or Google Images or whatever.
But, POC can be as identitied as they want, listing every racial genetic label they discovered from their 23andMe report and every other single label they can squeeze into their allotted media platform profile description.
“Patti Privileged: Latinx Black Sorta White-Looking Sapiosexual Non-CisHeteronormative BDSM Bottom EggBeaterSexual LibertariDemocrat Anarchist Differently-Abled Anti-Fascist” etc. etc. etc…
I think everyone will be much happier this way, don’t you agree?
Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a post!