White Living


Outside the Gallery, Philadelphia’s low-class shopping mall, Jimbo sits in a wheelchair and begs behind a large sign, “I AM A CANCER VICTIM. I CANNOT WORK. CAN YOU HELP ME.” Under a leather cowboy hat, his eyes are still alert, though a pinch of his lower lip has turned purple. A reader and thinker, Jimbo will talk your ears off about FDR’s foreknowledge of Pearl Harbor, the FBI’s infiltration of all protest movements and, especially, how the IMF has enslaved the world,

Seventy-seven-years-old, Jimbo had a vending business selling pretzels, among other stuff, and worked at a factory making vent windows for Ford trucks. Like me, he has also washed windows, making a few bucks per job. In winter, water would sometimes freeze nearly as soon as it’s splashed on the pane, but thanks to global warming, this is becoming less of a problem.

A Chicago bus stop billboard: “I’m all for global warming if it will keep the city from being so damn cold.” Across the street is the Greenway Self Park garage, with a green VW bug emitting green leaves instead of ozone-killing exhaust on its very cool, I guess, sign.

Born and raised in Kensington, Jimbo still lives there. He gets $780 a month in Social Security, but his rent eats up $760. So much for piece-of-shit Kensington?! What in the fuckin’ UN is this world coming to? If I want to be chased around by goons toting submachine guns, then body slammed onto the ground, I’ll go to Chicago during the NATO summit.

With only 20 bucks a month to diddle with, Jimbo must beg, though he can also move to a cheaper neighborhood, such as the exburbs of Kabul or Baghdad, for example, but since he’s already well into his post-Cialis years, I don’t think Blackwater would hire him.

“Jimbo,” I said, “I keep hearing that black women are the most generous at giving money on the streets. Is that true?”


“Why do you think that is?”

“I don’t know, but I think it’s because they’re more used to taking care of people.”

“Hummm. What about guys in suits? Do they give you money?”

“Those guys are the worst! Most of them won’t come near me, because they think I might give them a disease or something.”

“That’s interesting.”

“The regular people, the working class people, are the ones who give me money. Black people give me money.”

“All black people, or just black women?”

“All black people, but, like you said, black women are the best. When I grew up in Kensington, I was told that black are this and that, that they’re no good, but now that I have to beg, I can tell you that black people treat me very nice.”

For over a century, Kensington had dozens of factories cranking out machine parts, carpets, textiles and glass. Now, it is an unholy mess, like all former industrial enclaves across America. Jimbo, “Many of my neighbors in Kensington get a government check at the beginning of each month, then a week later, they’re broke. You should go up there and see how it is.”

“I’ve been up there, many times.”

“You’ll see how how bad it is, the drug dealing.”

“And the prostitution.”

“Yes, that too. When people are broke, they’ll do anything. There used to be so many factories up there, but they’re all gone.”

In Kensington, a flyer is taped to a pillar of the elevated train, “HEALTH ALERT!!! THERE IS A prostitute By the name of SHERI Pitts that is HIV Positive. If you know her where abouts please contact the Health Department. Description: 5’4” 95 lbs Blk Female. Tatoo on left Arm “Chocolate Sheri.” Tattoo on Right (Butt) Cheek “Sexy.” #173-60-6501. She NEEDS to be Stopped. She is spreading this Desease!!!”

The next time you’re in Kensington to help out the local economy, shine a flash light on her left cheek, and if you can make out “Sexy” in tribal, shaman, precious, voodoo or gothic script, just calmly smile and say, “I’m sorry, Chocolate, but it doesn’t look like our loving union can be gracefully consummated this night, or the next, or ever, though as a member of NATO, that master alliance of pale and well-armed people, I will try and try again. Oh, fuck it, let’s just fuck! Since it was me who made you sick in the first place! We’re destined for this death embrace, you maroon terrorist seductress!”

I’m sorry to use intercourse as an analogy for aggression, but I was railroaded into it by English itself, for what other language is so promiscuous with such couplings, as in I will fuck you up, fuck you over or fuck with you? In English, to fuck is to hate, if not kill, as in fuck Libya, Syria and Iran, or, if you prefer, fuck Israel, Wall Street, the CIA and the Pentagon!

In Chicago, white masters are plotting on how to fuck with us all, including the lower whites. As expected, they’ve framed a few white youths and locked them up on bogus charge of terrorism. This is to condition the public to see poor whites, especially those with tattoos, nose rings or dread locks, as also the enemy. Like brown foreigners and native blacks, young disaffected whites will be branded as indiscriminate mass murderers who just want to blow things up because they hate “our way of life.” Thanks to the FBI, they have been prevented from collapsing a bridge in Cleveland and torching Obama’s Chicago campaign headquarters, but they might go after your local strip mall or International House of Pancakes next. If not dealt with most severely, they’ll splatter corn-syrup all over your transfat-padded faces! Instead of getting a job giving blow jobs, for example, these confused whiners would rather enlist in Occupy, which, the gobblement will soon tell you, is actually an offshoot of Al Qaeda supported by Iran and a trust fund left behind by Bin Laden.

Meanwhile, Jimbo begs because he can’t pay his bills otherwise. He also admits that he likes to sit in a cheapo restaurant every now and then to enjoy a $7 hoagie or cheesesteak, some fried chicken or a plate of pork lo mein, “So I can live like a real white man!”

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a  novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union. 

October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?
Ben Debney
Guns, Trump and Mental Illness
Pepe Escobar
The NATO-Russia Face Off in Syria
Yoav Litvin
Israeli Occupation for Dummies
Lawrence Davidson
Deep Poverty in America: the On-Going Tradition of Not Caring
Thomas Knapp
War Party’s New Line: Vladimir Putin is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Brandon Jordan
Sowing the Seeds of War in Uruguay
Binoy Kampmark
Imperilled by Unfree Trade: the TPP on Environment and Labor
John McMurtry
The Canadian Elections: Cover-Up and Steal (Again)
Anthony Papa
Coming Home: an Open Letter to 6,000 Soon-to-be-Released Drug War Prisoners From an Ex-Con
Ramzy Baroud
Listen to Syrians: The Media Jackals and the People’s Narrative
Norman Pollack
Heart of Darkness: A Two-Way Street
Gilbert Mercier
Will Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite Militias Defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq?
John Stanton
Vietnam 2.0 and California Dreamin’ in Ukraine
William John Cox
The Pornography of Hatred
October 07, 2015
Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Witness to a Troubled Saint-Making: Junipero Serra and the Theology of Failure
Luciana Bohne
The Double-Speak of American Civilian Humanitarianism
Joyce Nelson
TPP: Big Pharma’s Big Deal
Jonathan Cook
Israel Lights the Touchpaper at Al-Aqsa Again
Joseph Natoli
The Wreckage in Sight We Fail To See
Piero Gleijeses
Cuba’s Jorge Risquet: the Brother I Never Had
Andrew Stewart
Do #BlackLivesMatter to Dunkin’ Donuts?
Rajesh Makwana
#GlobalGoals? The Truth About Poverty and How to Address It
Joan Berezin
Elections 2016: A New Opening or Business as Usual?
Dave Randle
The Man Who Sold Motown to the World
Adam Bartley
“Shameless”: Hillary Clinton, Human Rights and China
Binoy Kampmark
The Killings in Oregon: Business as Usual
Harvey Wasserman
Why Bernie and Hillary Must Address America’s Dying Nuke Reactors
Tom H. Hastings
Unarmed Cops and a Can-do Culture of Nonviolence
October 06, 2015
Vijay Prashad
Afghanistan, the Terrible War: Money for Nothing
Mike Whitney
How Putin will Win in Syria
Paul Street
Yes, There is an Imperialist Ruling Class
Paul Craig Roberts
American Vice
Kathy Kelly
Bombing Hospitals: 22 People Killed by US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
Ron Jacobs
Patti Smith and the Beauty of Memory
David Macaray
Coal Executive Finally Brought Up on Criminal Charges
Norman Pollack
Cold War Rhetoric: The Kept Intelligentsia
Cecil Brown
The Firing This Time: School Shootings and James Baldwin’s Final Message
Roger Annis
The Canadian Election and the Global Climate Crisis
W. T. Whitney
Why is the US Government Persecuting IFCO/Pastors for Peace Humanitarian Organization?
Jesse Jackson
Alabama’s New Jim Crow Far From Subtle
Joe Ramsey
After Umpqua: Does America Have a Gun Problem….or a Dying Capitalist Empire Problem?
Murray Dobbin
Rise Up, Precariat! Cheap Labour is Over
October 05, 2015
Michael Hudson
Parasites in the Body Economic: the Disasters of Neoliberalism
Patrick Cockburn
Why We Should Welcome Russia’s Entry Into Syrian War