Another old white guy trying to escape the reformers’ notice

We can all agree on one thing, I think, and that is that most of the reforms underway have been too long in coming and are likely going to fall short of what’s needed.

As an old white guy, I can chip in a few dollars to organizations doing their best to push reforms along faster and make them more thorough, but since my income has almost always been below the poverty line, I can’t contribute what I don’t have.

Nothing I can say in support of the cause is helpful because–as a white guy–I don’t have a place at the table since the problems are, according to angry sources, all my fault even if I don’t realize they are all my fault.

How did that happen? Well, unknown to me, I have been running the world, even though I never got a memo or attended a meeting for people running the world.

I feel profiled.

Perhaps turnabout is fair play inasmuch as many of those doing the profiling have been profiled in horrible ways I can never imagine. The fact that I didn’t personally do any of the profiling or communicate with those who were doing it seems to be irrelevant.

I thought that voting for people who said they wanted to bring about reforms was good. But, in doing that, we discover a flaw in the U. S. system of governance. Even though Congresspersons and Senators claim they represent us, they are really following their own opinions rather than listening to their constituents. I don’t like campaign proposals that begin, “When elected, I will do XYZ.” Excuse me, but you need to check with the voters to see if we want you to do XYZ.  Stop casting votes without asking.

So, as a white guy, I’m assumed to be in agreement with the white guys who claim to represent my state. I hate to tell you, I don’t agree with them because they do what they do with no accountability. Once again, I feel profiled by people who think my lily-white Congressperson or Senator gets his or her orders from me.

I think of Cormac McCarthy’s line in Blood Meridian, “Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.” I did not consent to the ills in our society, much less imagine that which went on in smoke-filled rooms that I didn’t know about.

What I knew about, I fought and still fight, but just how I do that isn’t any of the profilers’ business because they will say it wasn’t enough–and still isn’t. And, hell, they may be right, but not right enough to presume I’m part of the problem.

Might I suggest (at my peril, I know) that profiling white guys is costing the profilers many allies? Or, perhaps allowing us to work together doesn’t meet your platform’s needs. If so, I understand and will keep quiet about it.

–Malcolm

Author: Malcolm R. Campbell

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of "Sarabande," "The Sun Singer," "At Sea," "Conjure Woman's Cat," "Eulalie and Washerwoman," and "Lena."

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