This Christmas, I am offering those suffering from white guilt a rare opportunity. It’s time to get rid of those negative feelings about white privilege.
For a marginal monthly fee, anyone suffering from this debilitating mental disease will be allowed to give me money and buy me things. It will soothe your conscience.
The money will be used to balance the scales and give one black person — OK, me — a chance to experience all of the blessings of white privilege that were denied to me at birth. You see, I was born the daughter of a black person.
I don’t want you to cry for me. Just know that when you privileged people send a few dollars my way every month, you are taking away some of my pain and leveling the playing field.
Some of your dollars will be used for to purchase experiences that only white people have access to. With your help, I will buy golf clubs, join a country club and attend my first, ugly Christmas sweater party.
With your first monthly payment, I will send you the I Have Black Friend Starter Kit™. Your kit will include my photograph, which you can hang in your office for all to see. You’ll also receive a wallet-size photo. Every time you pull out your plastic to pay for a new Rolex or open your billfold to pay the valet, everyone will see that you have a black friend.
Each month thereafter, you’ll receive a quick update about your “friend.” You can share these anecdotes with your peers while showing off the photos. Some months, you’ll receive information about the latest street slang, so you will always appear to be down with the people and up with the struggle.
If the above sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. Still, if you want to send me cash each month, I’ll take it. You’d be striking the same bargain with me that thousands of people strike with the Rev. Al Sharpton every day.
Sharpton is a shakedown artist. His lavish 60th birthday party last month — inconveniently located at the Four Seasons hotel in New York City if you’re from a low-class neighborhood — was filled with the well-heeled and white privileged, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I’ve been able to reach from the streets to the suits, and I’ll continue doing it for a long time,” he told his guests.
Fresh from his celebration funded by AT&T, Macy’s and Viacom, the Rev. Sharpton was back in the street six weeks later in Ferguson, Mo. No word yet on how much of his own loot the holy man donated to rebuild the black businesses destroyed.
I was born black, too, and I spent my last birthday preparing to send my husband off to several weeks of military training. I’m still waiting for some major corporations to pay me off to assuage their guilty consciences. In return, I won’t stoke the flames of racial intolerance.
Honestly, I haven’t been able to watch or listen to the punditry and media about Ferguson. It makes me so sick to my stomach. Sharpton and his ilk would have us believe that the tragic death of Michael Brown somehow means that black lives don’t matter to police and prosecutors.
For what it’s worth, the most dangerous place for a black person is not in a hoody at a convenience store. It’s in the womb in the months leading up to birth — abortion is a huge killer.
I thought our first black president was supposed to give us all absolution for the sins of our racial past. More than 65 million Americans voted for President Barack Obama. A whole lot of them had to have been white. Instead, it has gotten much worse since Obama ascended to the highest office in the land. Almost everyone on the national stage deserves a heavy dose of the blame.
Not every cop is bad. Not every black person riots and loots. Every white person who dislikes President Obama isn’t racist. Rightfully so, many people oppose his horrid policies. The insinuation otherwise is offensive. I’m looking at you, Mary Landrieu — the soon-to-be-ousted senator from Louisiana who suggested that the people in her state were racist and sexist.
There are certain challenges in life based on the circumstances of one’s birth. I still feel pretty bitter that I wasn’t destined to be tall and beautiful. Pretty privilege exists, but I’m not about to riot over it.
Poor black children are less likely than poor white children to reach the highest income brackets, but I would argue every child with the good fortune to be born in the United States has already won one of the biggest of life’s lotteries. A person in the poorest 5 percent of the American income distribution is richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants. Maybe the Sharptons of the world should help everyone count their blessings instead of sowing the seeds of envy.
Everyone needs to take a breath and stop talking about race all of the time. In almost all situations, race has nothing to do with anything. I’ve had enough. But if you haven’t, and you want to soothe your white privileged conscience, I’ll take your monthly installment of cold, hard cash. Writing the check will make you feel better.
Freelance columnist Danedri Herbert writes in this space once a month.