By Justin Blackburn
EVERYTIME I call white people out on an aspect of our 400 years of oppression towards black people, I always get at least one white person burping at me ‘White Guilt! White guilt! White guilt! You have the white guilt! You need to let go of your white guilt! I didn’t create slavery, you just have white guilt, white guilt, white guilt!’
To that I say, WHY YES I HAVE WHITE GUILT and I AM IN FUCKING LOVE WITH IT! I want to take my white guilt out to brunch then drive it down to the jewelry store and say ‘pick out a diamond ring, baby!’ BECAUSE WHEN SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT I WANT TO FEEL SOMETHING THAT LETS ME KNOW THAT SHIT! That is the gift white guilt provides me!
I don’t want to middle white America my way through life. I don’t want to numb my precious emotions with cold beer, liquor, football, Fox News, pills, porn, greed, and caring what the fuck my white idiot neighbors think about me. I don’t want to see a black man murdered by police and think some racist shit that was embedded into my being by some racist asshole before me and I wasn’t aware enough to pull that fucking thought arrow out of my skull. I want it to knaw away at my everlasting soul. I want it to wake me up horrified in a cold, dead, fever sweat at 3 am, I want it to give me fucking nightmares. I want all my emotions to flow into one single knowing SUPERNOVA MEGAFORCE that erupts in my body and mind that lets me know that shit is not supposed to happen. BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONLY WAY, WHITE PEOPLE, WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING! People rarely change their awful eating habits when they get the common cold, however when they get cancer, all of a sudden they are vegan. Racism is a cancer and we must do everything we can to end it.
As a teenager I hated the way the world was but I didn’t have the tools or intelligent enough parents, teachers, preachers to help me productively channel that hatred into making a positive difference. So what did my parents do? They got me diagnosed with a few mental diseases and let random ‘doctors’ shove massive amounts of pills down my throat. This made me NUMB and unable to feel my feelings. So what did I do? I became a shitty human being and made fun of everything, taking nothing seriously.
Feeling our emotions is how we connect to each other. Feeling our emotions is how we cultivate empathy. When we are disconnected from our emotions, we can’t relate to what other people are going through so we don’t care. I had a girlfriend cheat on me multiple times but since I didn’t feel my emotions I did a comedy show where I ridiculed myself for caring that my girlfriend cheated on me. She was actually cheating on me while I was on stage yelling ‘oh no, somebody put their dick in my girlfriend’s pussy, why the fuck do I care? I don’t own her. It is not my pussy!’ Though there’s some truth there, I was masking my pain. Later down the road I cheated on my girlfriend since I never dealt with my pain I didn’t understand the pain I was putting on her by cheating on her. When I did I felt horrible because I love her so much and I never want to put her through any unnecessary pain. I love black people so much and I never want to see them be put through any unnecessary pain but the truth is in America they’ve been constantly put into unnecessary, unquantifiable, nightmare pain for over 400 years.
When George Floyd was murdered, I felt intense amounts of white guilt. I didn’t run to the bar, I didn’t open up a bottle whiskey, I didn’t pop pills, I felt it like fire. Through decoding the feelings I realized I wasn’t doing enough for black people. There was still a part of me that desired acceptance from that White Middle America World. That part of me wanted those white people to tell me I was good enough whether it was a white woman academia MFA brainwashed literary agent to tell me she liked my book or some white dildohead idiot drunk comedy road booker to tell me he wanted to put me on tour, I was still looking for acceptance from that ignorant evil old white people created world. So when I could’ve been educating those kinds of people on racism in America and making an actual positive difference in the world, I was over there like a fool in the rain in their frontyard playing Peter Gabriel from my transistor radio, begging them to like me. But the truth is FUCK THEM, I should celebrate every day that those people don’t like me. I create art to dismantle their world so of course they look down on me from their ego’s balcony. If it wasn’t for my white guilt, I’d still be singing ‘In Your Eyes’ to them!
White people being disconnected from our white guilt is why racism continues. Everybody has a heart and soul. When everybody is in touch with their heart and soul, they 100 percent know racism is wrong and they do what they can to change it. The problem is most white people are disconnected from their heart and soul and that’s why they appear like they don’t care. They care but it is somewhere buried deep down with millions of fear memories and ignorant rhetoric on top of it.
So White People, what I am asking you to do is FEEL, FEEL YOUR DISCONNECTION, FEEL YOUR PAIN, FEEL YOUR HURT, FEEL YOUR WHITE GUILT! Yeah, it might feel bad at first but what do you care about more…feeling bad for a little while until you realize it is actually incredibly productive to feel your feelings or black people continuing to be oppressed in our country for absolutely nothing? When the answer is black people being oppressed in our country, that is when you feel will love your white guilt and do what you can to change the world and the world will change a little bit. If a lot of little bits change, the world changes a ton!
J Cole says ‘the only real change comes from inside’. So face your white guilt within, change it into creating something productive for the world, and lets change the world.
Justin Blackburn is a viral poet, author, comedian, and life coach. His latest novel The Bisexual Christian Suburban Enlightening Bipolar Blues is available on his website www.justinblackburnwrites.com along with his other books.