Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Don't Call me White!

NOFX, a less-than-famous, punk band that was kinda big in the '90s, had a song called "Don't Call me White." I have a blog called Brand New Day, and I have a friend who I will call J. He is American, but his father is Mexican. And he is angry at me for some comment I made about his ideas toward war, race, and the possibility of change in a world run by a country like the USA. He questioned what use it was to write about change, and discuss change, in such a corrupt and racist country. He questioned me, asking what I could do, being that I am a 'pampered white liberal.'

I am saddened by his diatribe. Yes, I am white, and no I have not ever seen a food stamp up close and personal. I live in Brazil, with the help, sometimes of my wife-s parents' money, and once and while, my parents. They do not have maids, butlers, or even more than one car. But they are white, and middle-class. They have not been run in by the cops for being a person of color, or looking 'suspicious.' I cannot do anything about that. What I hoped I could do was try to move beyond my particular skin pigment, Rutherford, NJ, upbringing and university education (of which J shared, attending the same college.) I hoped that I could do something to make things a little better.

But, alas, i am white. I will never understand, and therefore, I know now, I should give up. My friend, who just wrote me to tell me to "f... my blog," is probably right. what is the purpose of trying to understand the oppressed if I am not one of them.

I will now begin a career at Philip Morris, or maybe JP Morgan. I could be a NJ state trooper. But seriously, why I am posting for a blog that is most likely read by the same people my enlightened multi ethnic friend in Florida despises for their inability to get it? Why care at all. I will never understand. I am hiding in Brazil from the reality that I have no purpose as a white liberal, beside voting in Democrats that do nothing but pretend to give a damn. Maybe I should just stay hiding, and stop pretending that I have a clue about anything wrong with the US.
What do you think, SG?


la francaise said...

don't stop daddydan. lots of readers see your thoughts and learn from you. i get feedback from readers who are not aware of the issues you and kid write about... remember our vista days. the idealism shouldn't die. not when juveniles we worked with have moved on to achieve great things, graduated, found meaningful relationships and self-worth.

Kid Radical said...

There are myriad of ways that we are ALL disaffected. Jose talked of being afraid that he would not be able to vote in Florida. Certainly a legitimate concern considering where he is and what his name is...but we are all disaffected. I grew up in the liberal northeast in a not so liberal working class town.

I was on food stamps and had many run-ins with the law which made it not so easy to become a lawyer as well as other experiences disaffected teens go through (whether black or white). Does that make me more able to discuss the issue more than Dan (because he is a middle class liberal), but less because I am not brown or black like Jose.

The argument is ridiculous. We have all been affected by this last seven years - all of us. Some more than others. I was in NYC when the towers were hit, does that give me more of a claim to being shocked by those events.

Pointedly and certainly many of our fellow citizens and non-citizens suffer the consequences of our goverment more than others, but placing one on a level of how disaffected one is and that disaffection gives one some or no credibility to talk about it means the right and the fascists have won.

They successfully divided us. And a last point on change. The civil rights movement changed history for millions of people (albeit it is not perfect), but things changed dramtatically over a 20 year period and I would bet there were those among them (as I have read) that said "things cannot change," "we shouldn't push the envelope." "Just accept things the way it is." We should just give up.

we shouldn't and I won't

Daddydan said...

Thanks guys. I am a little hurt by the situation today with my blog. i dont know what triggered the rant about who has the right to fight injustice, but I am not going to close down my blog...yet. If things do not get better, i will have to take that step. I do not have time to worry about being threatened and insulted. My wife is having a child on Tuesday, and I should be on the computer less anyway. today gave me good reason to stay away from the Internet for awhile. I love writing for the blog, but I had to change my settings to "registered users' because of what occurred today.

brother john said...

i'm sorry as well about what happened dan, i think you should continue as well, it's an outlet, and Jose is just projecting his own unhappiness about things he would never discuss into an unrelated topic. you as i said in e-mail i just sent, as well as nick and john, inspire not to fall into apathy in a time that is so full of opportunities to do so. i'm glad i get exposed to things, for example the book on the guy who walked across Afghanistan, i'm going to read that next. so tons of positive energy man.