I started wearing a safety pin in the wake of the election of Donald Trump. A trend started after the vote to Brexit in the UK, it is a small outward sign that one is a “safe” person. It is a sign of solidarity between the “to-the-privilege-born” and the not.
My safety pin. It is my advertisement that I am an accepting face, a safe space, a zone of comfort. And every day I pin up, I pray I do not need to step up to support my safety pin. Continue reading
When Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, many declared that we were entering a post-racial time. I didn’t believe it. The persons stating we had entered a post-racial era were white.
So with the Washington Post news headlines, a small town in Georgia is contending with a KKK flag, I state with confidence that we are post-post-racial. Or not-not-racial, a double negative. We took two steps back. Racism is alive and well among us. The hateful ugly among us feel or maybe they are, empowered.
And of the many reactions of the locals cataloged in the article, the one that cut to my quick was “a young black man who stood there crying.” He was looking at a sign celebrating a homegrown old-timey US terrorist organization, the KKK. Homegrown terrorists who terrorize people who look just.like.him. Let that sink in. This is 2017.
In an attempt to end on a more positive note, while cleaning up a kitchen at a writer’s retreat, I asked, “How will we know when we are post-racial?”
The answer came from a beautiful, thoughtful, wise woman with lots of life experience:
“If you were born today and you could choose your skin color
with no impact on your future outcomes.”
Let that sink in.
The Google definition of a white lie:
“a harmless or trivial lie, especially one told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.”
In honor of the recent verbal gymnastics performed by Jeff Sessions while under oath and in a televised press conference, I would like to propose an alternate definition of ‘White Lie’ (caps for emphasis):
“a harmful, non-trivial word construction expertly formed and delivered such as to avoid hurting one’s own political aspirations.” (See transcripts – Jeff Sessions Attorney General confirmation hearing, and Jeff Sessions’ press conference March 2, 2017.*)
Given his racist past, his lying present, and his just-crawled-out-from-under-a-rock-white visage, Jeff Sessions is the poster boy for “White Lies”. And the fallout for his privilege of lying under oath while White? A month from now he will STILL be the US Attorney General.
Let us hope not.
*The Washington Post beautifully parses:annotates Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing answers and the words he used to defend himself in the press conference March 2, 2017: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/02/transcript-of-jeff-sessionss-recusal-press-conference-annotated/?utm_term=.c3333388eaeb