The better things get, the farther those who wish to benefit from a racial divide have to stretch to find things to be mad about. After all, there are no fire hoses and German Shepherds being called out on black Americans seeking voting rights or the right to sit at a lunch counter anymore.
So we get words like “microaggression” and terms like “cultural appropriation.” It’s not hard to find bizarre stories of people searching for a reason to be aggrieved on a daily basis. Katherine Timpf at National Review specializes in some of the best.
But what is a black guy to do who has been told his whole life that he is oppressed? That it is a universal experience that white woman fear him? What if he hasn’t experienced any of this?
He begins to feel left out of the African American Male Experience.
After all, even Barack Obama has trafficked in these clichés. After the Trayvon Martin verdict, the president decided he needed to throw this gasoline on the fire:
There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me — at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.
A few things occur to me when I hear this prattled off as if by rote:
- Just where are you walking where there are all these women sitting in cars by themselves? Don’t they get hot/cold?
- Just how loud are these car locks? Just how quiet is this street?
- Most cars lock themselves when you put the car in Drive… is this racist?
- Are you under the impression that women talk to white men on elevators?
- If it’s a tall building, does the woman ever pass out?
New York Times columnist Greg Howard seems very frustrated that he has not encountered any of this racist panic, so he has invented a new persecution.
White women walking straight ahead on sidewalks.
But in doing so, Howard seems completely oblivious that he is contradicting decades of another internalized persecution complex.
Sometimes they’re buried in their phones. Other times, they’re in pairs and groups, and in conversation. But often, they’re looking ahead, through me, if not quite at me. When white women are in my path, they almost always continue straight, forcing me to one side without changing their course. This happens several times a day; and a couple of times a week, white women force me off the sidewalk completely. In these instances, when I’m standing in the street or in the dirt as a white woman strides past, broad-shouldered and blissful, I turn furious.
There’s enough here for an army of both sociologists—and psychologists—to deal with, but let’s start with the political. For decades, race hustlers have excoriated white women for avoiding black men on the street. We hear that they even cross the street to avoid them. (In fact, they probably should, to avoid the self-identified “furious” Howard).
So, Howard could have seen this as progress. White women are oblivious to the color of men on the street. (By the way, Greg, while you’re standing there staring at them in your “furious” state, do you notice if they give way to white men?)
But Greg is a very conflicted guy.
Do they refuse to acknowledge me because they’ve been taught that they should fear black men, and that any acknowledgment of black men can invite danger? Do they refuse to acknowledge me because to alter their route would be to show their fear?
I don’t think I need to parse just how stupid the above paragraph is. Let’s just say if white women are working out their racial fears by playing chicken on the street, it’s news to my wife.
But Greg works for a paper that perpetuates the myths and clichés of “rape culture.” He probably believes it.
Now, he wants women in this “rape culture” to make eye contact with men on the street.
I’ve got news for you, Greg. Women avoid eye contact with men on the street, in grocery stores, on the elevator, or most places where they are not looking to have some guy make conversation with them. Fifth Avenue is not a singles bar.
Here’s some more news: Real men get out of women’s way. They defer. They also hold doors, open car doors, and let women go first.
And there’s this frightening look into Greg’s brain:
But I also get out of the way because, as a black man, I’ve learned that bodychecking, bumping or even rubbing against a random white woman can be personally hazardous.
I sincerely hope there is enough chivalry left in the world that it would be personally hazardous for this white man, too.
Now, you might think Greg Howard just hates white women, but he goes out of his way to let us know he’s had a few:
There have always been white women in my life, and I’ve counted them as friends and sisters, mothers and lovers.
And some of my best friends…
Maybe one of your “mothers” should have taught you about normal male courtesy. But Greg claims to have inquired about his peculiar obsession:
Whenever I ask white women I know why they don’t reroute for black men, they invariably express ignorance. Whenever that happens, another question always arises: Wait, am I crazy?
Finally. The right question. Seek help, Mr. Furious.