By Jay Kirell
A person not worthy of much support, yet receives it because…
A person who woke up this morning not in Federal custody because…
A person with a national media platform because…
…because of the obvious reason.
…because the unspoken reason.
…because of the real reason.
Because he’s white.
Bundy, and his comical farce of a “stand” against the Bureau of Land Management perfectly crystalize the problem with how some white people view race in this country. Even before Bundy’s comments in the New York Times sent conservative politicians fleeing like Sansa at the Purple Wedding, the entire reasoning behind his beef with the Federal government had an air of racial cluelessness.
He believed he was owed the land because his roots trace back to the 1800’s and doesn’t recognize the federal government. Only a white guy would assume he doesn’t have to abide by the law by using the defense of “I can’t see you.”
He rallied a number of like-minded individuals (ie, other white people) who believed it was perfectly safe for them to point guns at federal agents. Only white people with a major sense of entitlement would assume federal agents wouldn’t shoot back at them.
He attracted media attention from sympathetic outlets (ie, Fox News) who believe the question of whether an individual can break the law if they just don’t agree with it is an appropriate one to ask. Only a media outlet produced by and for entitled white people would look at the Bundy standoff and go “finally, a civil rights case for us.”
Because I don’t know about you, but I’d imagine if a black guy decided he didn’t have to pay millions in taxes the government wouldn’t just keep sending agents by to politely negotiate with him until he agreed to pay. They’d probably toss him in jail, even if he was a famous black guy.
I’d imagine if a number of …anybody other than white people… got together, armed, and started a standoff with authorities, the authorities wouldn’t just let them do it. There would probably be more than a few federal and state agencies called in.
And that is the joy of being white. The joy in knowing you can do things people of other racial groups can’t and get away with it. The joy in being able to put your own wants and needs above all others and make them seem like national pressing issues. The joy in making outlandish and borderline treasonous statements and gaining supporters among the powerful.
Because when you’re white, you can claim whatever you want and not only can you find a sympathetic ear to your plight, you can find a few dozen semi-automatic weapons to back you up. You can be labeled a “patriot” instead of a “suspect” and be given a platform to express whatever views you want.
And when you reveal to the public views so comically racist your bandwagon is starting to look like it broke a rear axel, you look up in confusion and wondering “Racist? Me?”
Because being white also means being so obtuse you can’t figure out why calling for a return to slavery might be considered racist.
But then again, being white also means you don’t have to care. Tomorrow someone else will shove a microphone in your face and ask your opinion. Tomorrow more supporters will show up and tell you to keep fighting. Tomorrow the world will wonder what your next move will be.
Because you’re white. And they’re not.