I had a lot of friends growing up. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had Asian friends and Hispanic friends and Black friends. I had Tall friends. Short friends. She friends. He friends. And if this sounds like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book, that’s because it was.
I didn’t know it at the time because I just wasn’t paying attention to people’s skin color. I was a kid. If you were into Bionicles and Pokemon and Codename Kids Next Door, I wanted to be your friend. I was oblivious to skin color. I thought, well, there’s blue flowers and orange flowers and red flowers, I guess people are like flowers. And there’s small green fish and big orange fish, I guess people are like fish. And if this sounds like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book, that’s because it’s true: everything comes out a different way every time.
I was oblivious to skin color. I guess this also means that I was oblivious to the horrible things that people who share my skin color do to people who don’t. You could blame it on the schools. You could blame it on my parents. Or you could blame nobody because none of my Tall friends Short friends Black friends Asian friends decided, after learning their anti-racist times tables, “we don’t like playing with you anymore because your ancestors owned slaves.”
But I guess the gig is up. I’m an adult now. I’m supposed to make up for lost time. I’m supposed to Facilitate Open Discussions about Topics that, apparently, give me the heebyjeebies. Things like Race and my Unconscious Bias and my ‘Whiteness’ and, uh, my racist dog because dogs just kinda become racist somehow if they belong to a white guy.
I’m told to hate the color of my skin. I’m told to attend Whiteness Therapy. I’m told to repent at the alter of anti-racism and expunge myself of all subterranean hate lurking at the bottom of my psyche. I’m told these things by the media. I’m told these things by Big Companies that treat the media as if the media holds a degree in philosophy.
This message that I should hate, it’s become ubiquitous. It’s found on people’s front lawns. It’s found on company mission statements. It’s on the covers of books displayed at the cover of bookstores. These messages that Love is Love and Science is Science imply that anyone capable of thinking beyond 2nd rate aphorisms that could have been coined by a 12 year old should be considered subhuman. Therefore, you should hate them.
Nothing is good enough anymore. Mild-mannered behavior, a humdrum attitude, a second thought, these are the sins of the 21st century. It’s not enough to just be an average person with an average job eating Hungry Man dinners every so often. You need to be an activist. You need to fight the good fight and if you’re not, go to hell.
I’m told to hate myself. I’m told to hate other people. I should hate conservatives. I should hate liberals. I should hate people who don’t pick sides because silence is violence. I should hate people who don’t hate the people I hate.
I am being trained to hate.
You wanna play with my Bionicles? Well, I don’t see a coexist sticker on your mom’s Prius, so fuck you.
Sorry, I don’t Facilitate sleepovers with bigots. Plus your great-great-grandpa owned slaves so you can go fuck yourself.
You can draw with me but you can’t use blue because Western culture enforces the narrative that blue is a boys color and that idea has been shoved down our throats by American Society and teaches us that fuck you for being male and white and blond and of Anglo-Saxon descent I hate you I hate your ancestors go to hell I hate you you’re a bigot you’re a xenophobe you’re afraid of gay people aren’t you have you ever heard of Critical Race Theory probably not because you’re too busy drowning in your Unconscious Racism do better go to hell I hate you blocked and reported.
Now that sounds like a Dr. Seuss book.