Dear White American

Dear White American,

No, not the angry guy in the secondhand camo riot gear and Walmart combat boots. I gave up on those assholes a long time ago. But you’re different. You’re different because you are a hypocrite. Unlike the racist misogynist redneck whose actions clearly align with his words, you are an expert in normative talk, double speak as it were.  You say that you want things to change yet you drive around in your Escalade and remodel a home that once belonged to someone else that was poorer and probably a different color than you.

You know why they aren’t in that house anymore, white American? Because you were willing to push them out by participating in a market that is as corrupt and convoluted as your moral values.

I bet you didn’t even think about them when you put your sign in the front yard proudly proclaiming that, “In Our America, blah, fuckin blah, blah, blah”.

But I forgot, you love signs, bumper stickers, petitions, elections, rallies with pink pussy hats. You love any action that you can take that does not directly affect your life or the privileges that you benefit from by simply being white. You take your little blonde children wearing clothes made by little brown children and you march passively and wave signs and then go home to eat Whole Foods takeout and check your Bitcoin stocks.

You plan vacations to countries that have been devastated by American corporate exploitation. Countries like Mexico or Puerto Rico, for example. How can you vacation in Mexico, white American, even as we imprison Mexican people who try to come here? How do you justify that to yourself?

You know what really gets me about you though, white American? It’s the way you obstruct true justice through your slavish worship of power and materialism. You love rules and you hate when other white people try to challenge those rules.

I know you think to yourself, “Who do they think they are?” I see the judgment in your eyes when a white person tries to act less, well, white. You sit in your million dollar home that is really only worth a few thousand and hope that things will magically get better, all the while willingly participating in a system that you directly benefit from only when compared to those less fortunate than you.

You wrap yourself in your white privilege and your love of rules and artifice and play-act at leading a “normal” life while the world descends into chaos around you.

You don’t question authority. You have no independent ideas outside of what your Facebook feed tells you. You lack vision and imagination. You are as passive and useless as a piece of Styrofoam yet your numbers are so great that your very existence makes true change impossible.

It’s time to wake the fuck up, White American, because you are responsible for the destruction being wrought around you.

Alison Barros is a former elementary school teacher turned cocktail waitress struggling to survive in Portland, Oregon. In her free time she listens to gangster rap and writes love letters to Mother Earth.