The Art of Self-Congratulation

Some random Christian woman named Gaye Clark wrote a piece dubiously titled “When God Sends Your White Daughter a Black Husband.” Read it at your own peril, but if you don’t want to kill your brain cells, essentially, she talked about how her daughter “surprised” her by bringing home a Black guy. And like a bad Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner remake (no, not that one) she talked about how perfect her nigger son-in-law was and all the legitimately good things he does. To finish off this vapid piece, she commented how he wasn’t black anymore, but a brother of Christ.

So that’s what I needed to tell those cops all those times.

I could write a lengthy piece talking about how the article was racist, hypocritical, and just poorly written. I could delve into White folk’s fear, or at least the hesitancy, of Black male sexuality within the context of interracial relationships. But I already did that. I could also write how she would feel different if her daughter brought home some Black Muslim college dropout named Jamal Shabazz Akbar or some Black/Jewish Atheist woman named Shaniqua Robinson. But there’s a thousand thinkpieces that will flood the internet before a brotha could hit share.

Here’s what I will call attention to: the art of self-congratulation. That’s essentially what Clark did throughout her article; hype herself up for being a so-called pious individual so that all the other White Christians could follow her lead. In other words, she was Jesus and y’all other White folks need to do what she does…because…Jesus!

Chris Rock had an (in)famous segment called “Black People vs. Niggas,” a part of which he mocked self-congratulatory behavior for basic human decency. According to Rock, “niggas” would say “I ain’t never been to jail” or “I take care of my kids!” Of course, as Rock said, you’re supposed to take of your kids without any need for further praise.

However, this behavior isn’t specific to Black people or “niggas.” Damn near everyone congratulates themselves on exhibiting basic human decency. There are a lot of White men will bring up how “open-minded” and “progressive” they are in that they’re treating a human being with decency. It’s similar to men who pat themselves on the back for not sexually assaulting some woman and asking for consent like “real men.”

Yet, the whole “look-at-me-I-treat-black-people-with-respect” response from certain White people has lead to a thousand thinkpieces like Clark’s. It’s birthed a million facebook statuses, tweets, tumblr posts from White millennials who boast about how they don’t call Black people niggers, say “no humanos es ilegal” (it’s “ningún ser humano es ilegal”), and not mock Asian immigrants for their accents. It’s also spawned films such as Freedom Writers, The Blind Side, and yes, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? It is a convenient way for some White people to showcase their open-mindedness to the entire world as if that actually changes anything.

Understand, this is not so much of the usual navel-gazing b.s. we’re accustomed to seeing as much as it is their “get-out-of-racism” free card, which they save for just in case they’re accused of bigotry. If some person of color calls you out for being racist (fair or foul), just point to the fact that you have a Black son-in-law or that you helped enriched the lives of some youth in the ghetto. Talk about how a you didn’t flinch at the sight of a Brown Muslim man in a grocery store or how you slept with some Mexican without mocking their accent. Remember, you’re Jesus, not so much that you hate unfettered greed and imperialist domination, but that you are our mighty White savior. As such, people of all colors should praise you for not being a hate-mongering idiot like David Duke or Donald Trump.

Who knows? Maybe you can have your own religion?

 

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