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5 Things An Angry Old White Man Wants To Say

As an angry, old, white man, I will give this country one more chance with the clear understanding that I might just walk out the door and never return.

America is pissing me off. Seriously.

I am angry, and anger is not becoming on me.

This has been a long, simmering anger. My problem, but also yours. All of ours, really.

But being old and white and male will conspire to drain your patience in a way amplified by our ticking life clocks.

So I offer this advice to all my angry, old white male friends (and similarly inclined female friends) on the clear understanding it might provide no benefit to anyone.

1. FRIENDS: Don't make your very few black friends explain all this to you. It's not their job to explain four centuries of racial victimhood to you just because you know each other on a first-name basis.

Be "woke" if you wish, but wake up your own damn self. Need an alarm clock? Your education is not somebody else's job.

Read. Think. Talk. Involve your heart is this world. Reconsider who you are and why. Be better. Can you be better? Can I?

2. STOP BITCHING: You, I and every other angry old white man in the world have had every chance to win at life.

We have stood at the very cultural pinnacle of the richest nation in the history of the planet. If you haven't triumphed as a white American, it's not "their" interference that stopped you.

Maybe you were unlucky. Or maybe you were just not good enough. Own your life and all the dumb decisions you've made.

The success of black Americans - when it occurs - is not your zero-sum defeat. That defeat belongs just to you.

3. BEING ALIVE: Not being fearful of being killed by police or having your children murdered is your most important white privilege. It's a nice perk for being white.

It's real, palpable.

Stop saying you don't have any special privileges just because you're white. It's a factual lie, and we must give up our self-deceptions.

Nobody with a badge kills you just because you are white. That's a good place to start.

This privilege is so ubiquitous, you don't even think about it. It's a utility, like clean municipal water or paved streets. But it's a utility only for old, angry white guys like me. If you are a black mother or father, it's a luxury that no one guarantees.

White people and black people in America have different nightmares. In our white nightmares, the police do not break into our homes and kill our children.

That fear has to change. It just has to. There is an implied "or else" in that sentence. "Or else" we go away as a nation worth saving.

If you have adult black friends with children, every one of them has had "the talk" with their kids about how not to be killed by police while out on a date.

You have never had to have that talk. Think of how much more satisfying life is to know your children won't be killed by your own hired public employees.

4. BAD APPLES: Local police departments are not filled with "good apples" and a "few bad apples" who don't intermingle.

That's not how rot works.

First, the "barrel of apples" analogy is wrong. Any barrel filled with apples does not cleanse itself from rot. The rotting apples eventually disperse their biological disease to every other apple in the container.

Rotten apples spread the infection until they are purged. That happens to police departments, too.

But "bad" police require "good" police to shield them from the law and integrity. That is a self-generated, systematic, corrupting rot that never gets cured without radical surgery.

Police essentially have legal immunity from their own conduct. You don't.

Even good police departments bear the responsibility for having protected the violent thugs among their ranks. That's the invisible corruption. The power to protect criminals with badges is what gives police unions their ultimate power. They are protected from accountability.

Before you insist your hometown police department is without stain, check how much your town has paid out in police liability claims and liability insurance

Chicago has paid out an average of $52 million a year for a decade to settle such claims. That bill does not include the $213 million to private lawyers since 2004.

New York City, with an annual cop budget of over $5 billion, spent nearly $40 million on police misconduct settlements through midyear 2019.

5. WE'RE THE RACISTS: This is the most important principle.

Stop saying everyone shares in the task of curing racism.

No, that's the "everybody's at fault" dialectical debating trick. If the theoretical "everybody" is responsible, then nobody is really responsible. It's a clever contrivance because it only seems to accept responsibility.

Own what we built. This is us.

Our racism is the sole creation of white America. We created it, and we benefited from its seized advantages and imposed cruelties; only we can cure it.

It's the product of white greed, racial animus, and intolerance. Be honest enough to accept that.

This is our deal. When someone announces piously that "This is not the kind of country we are," be reminded that actually this is precisely who we are. And have always been.

Maybe we are still good enough to change.

Black Americans might help us figure out what we don't know, and how we might repair the wound. Perhaps we have enough intelligence and heart to shout down our own worst demons.

Talk. Reach out. Share. Engage. Demand generosity in yourself.

But we are broken fundamentally and cannot demand someone else cure us, if we won't cure ourselves.

Asking black Americans to help cure the rot we created seems, well, racist.

Even an old, angry, white guy can figure out that. And so can you.

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Recently by David Rutter:

* Kris Bryant's Future Bar Trick.

* Mansplaining To A Millionaire.

* Status Check: Chicago Sports.

* The Week In WTF Redux: Blago Is Back Edition.

* What Is A Chicagoan Anyway?

* Glenn Beck's Turn In The Volcano.

* Only Science Will Bring Back Sports.

* I Loathe The Lockdown Protestors.

* Reopening Books.

* A Return To Abnormalcy.

* I'm Having A Down Day Emotionally. Here's Why.

* So Long, Jerry.

* A Special "Trump's Bible" Edition Of WTF.

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David Rutter is the former publisher/editor of the Lake County News-Sun, and more importantly, the former author of the Beachwood's late, great "The Week In WTF" column. This post originally appeared at his Theeditor50's blog.He welcomes your comments.



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