“If this be treason, make the most of it!”
— Patrick Henry
My favorite white privilege — one I hope will soon be available to all races — is that I am rarely accused of being a race traitor for having the wrong political opinions. In fact, I can only recall one such accusation in my life.
I am an unrepentant, pigheaded individualist on the question of race. To quote a fellow race abolitionist, Kmele Foster, “Race is a malignant fiction. … Racism. Identitarianism. Race pride. Racecraft. All fruit of the same poisonous tree.”
Years ago, I went on a talk radio rant against anyone who would dare make a claim on my life on account of my race. I asked my radio audience to imagine some white fella sidling up to me with a wink and a nod whispering, “Joey, you know we are in this together.”
“Together?” I asked dramatically, “How so? Do we worship the same God? Attend the same church? Have the same tastes in music, books, movies, and foods? Do we cheer for the same football teams? Vote for the same political party? Do you mean we are both Americans dedicated to the preservation of our national ideals? If the answer to all my questions is ‘no,’ then what do you mean by ‘we,’ whitey?”
I suspect my ironic use of the term “whitey” is what set off a listener to angrily complain that he could conscript me to “the white race” whether I liked it or not — and that I should watch my clever little lily-white mouth. (Spoiler alert: I did not watch my lily-white mouth. We still have some semblance of free speech in America, which means an angry radio listener is at liberty to brand me a race traitor, while I am at liberty to mock him.)
But the mockery of “cracker” culture just got easier. Thanks to Auburn University’s Black Student Union, I now have a long list of newly-minted racial epithets for white people.
But not all these slurs are created equal. Some are superior to others.
While the slurs “Sour Cream Citizen,” “iphone on light mode,” and “ashy, but you can’t see it,” all made me laugh heartily (I personally love sour cream way too much, prefer my iPhone on dark mode, and have never used lotion to moisturize my imperceptibly dry skin), others seemed more like compliments than put-downs. What man — black, white, or otherwise — wouldn’t want to be called an “untamed beast” from time to time? Ladies, take note.
Yet other terms, such as “deformed dna” and “decomposing form of humanity,” struck me as too misanthropic to exclusively indict any group of people. We, the human race, are all deformed and decomposing in a way, from dust to dust. As Dr. Johnson famously said on the question of original sin, “the inquiry is not necessary; for, whatever is the cause of human corruption, men are evidently and confessedly so corrupt, that all the laws of heaven and earth are insufficient to restrain them from crimes.”
According to the group chat released by an anonymous BSU whistleblower, one member boasted, “Now if any of them try to play we got the names on command.”
The list does appear to be a jocular preemptive defense against “whitey” by immature young adults. Think of it almost like that team-building exercise you went through at summer camp — a trust fall except with racial slurs. Auburn University student Jaden Heard, who received the list from a whistleblower, seems to agree, telling 1819 News that he was “giv[ing] them the benefit of the doubt, that they were just trying to joke.”
The public outrage would certainly be different if the racial roles were reversed, but the roles are what they are for many complex historical reasons, and none of this name-calling should surprise anyone. Most human tribes are defined in opposition to other tribes, and most ingroups create conformity and solidarity by demonizing their perceived outgroups. Life is all about making distinctions, ugly or otherwise, especially in politics.
Pick any group — male or female, rich or poor, progressive or conservative, Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Gentile, black or white — and you can imagine many “terms of art” each may throw at the other or whisper amongst themselves.
Having seen their list of white epithets, I can only imagine the list of slurs Auburn’s Black Student Union reserves for any “Judas” within their own ranks. I’m sure the BSU whistleblower knows this list well, for as Heard confirmed to 1819 News, BSU faculty and student members are hostile toward black conservatives.
This is nothing new. Black conservatives are cursed as race traitors every day for having the wrong political opinions in the wrong skin. To these men I simply echo Patrick Henry and say, “If this be treason, make the most of it.” Maybe someday my favorite white privilege will be seen as a form of basic human decency for all.
The individual remains the smallest minority on earth. Some individuals long for truth and liberty, while others worship at the altar of power and group privilege. Yet everyone, regardless of station or proclivity to wickedness, has the God-given liberty and grace to transcend corruption for the sake of those he truly loves — no matter what profane sacrifices an entitled idiot collective may demand along the way.
Joey Clark is a native Alabamian and is currently the host of the radio program News and Views on News Talk 93.1 FM WACV out of Montgomery, AL M-F 9 am-12 noon. His column appears every Tuesday in 1819 News. To contact Joey for media or speaking appearances as well as any feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819news.com.
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