“I Stood Upon a High Place”
I stood upon a high place,
And saw, below, many devils
and carousing in sin.
One looked up, grinning,
And said, “Comrade! Brother!”
— Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
This was provoked by a Tweet a friend reposted on his Facebook Timeline:
Reminder to Woke Folk: You will continue to mess up due to pretentious and self-righteous ideologies that cause you to think yourselves entitled to correct others from an elevated minority status that empowers you to correct anyone not privileged (in woke subculture) by a special status (however oppressed historically and in the present day). So, take off your unearned merit badge that you think entitles you to be on the prowl to call out the supposed micro-aggressions of others without ever turning such critical scrutiny on yourself.
If you, “transmasc thot,”had substituted “we” for “you,” your post might not have broadcast this sort of “woke” arrogance and ignorance. Your naïve assumption is that a non-white person need never worry or work continually to check their racism and prejudices. Any statement beginning with “black people,” “white people,” “men,” “women,” “straight people,” “gay people,” as in the “white people:” of this post will be wrong, ignorant and stereotyped because any group of people will be wildly divergent and varied.
Let’s take me for example, an older white guy.
I am not descended from slave masters, nor were my ancestors here during that era. My grandparents barely escaped anti-Semitic pogroms in Eastern Europe. My dad was a socialist and both parents were active in the civil rights movement. When New York public school teachers, like my dad, went on strike in the late Sixties it was a bit of a shock when we found black folk ( who were protesting the strike for bogus reasons) were passing out copies of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the notorious anti-Semitic forgery created by the Czar’s secret police, the very document that had been used to incite the violent pogroms my grandparents had to escape. It was part of the growing phenomenon of black anti-semitism and reverse racism.
I grew up in a very multi-racial Bronx where I had the opportunity to get beaten up by children of all races, creeds and colors. When I was twelve, my parents, who believed in public education (where they both worked, and later so did both of their children), allowed me to be sent to a Junior High in the South Bronx to further integration. For two brutal years that have resulted in lifelong PTSD symptoms, I was, on a daily basis, subject to violent abuse, mostly by black kids who tormented me for being one of the few white kids in the school. Then it got worse. I was specifically targeted by a group of black Nation of Islam kids who all had “X” in their name, as in Malcolm X.
Malcolm X was told by his leader, Elijah Muhammad, that whites were “blue-eyed devils.” Malcolm, unlike so many of the present woke folk, decided to educate himself outside of his rigid box of conditioned beliefs and diverged from Nation of Islam ideology. He went to Mecca to see the source of Islamic culture for himself and discovered that there were blonde-haired, blue-eyed Muslims because Islam (though “woke” people call those who critique Islam racists) is not a race, as Elijah Muhammad had led him to believe, but a religion. He was also shocked to find that children belonging to the extended Saudi royal family were often accompanied by black slaves carrying their school books.
Historical fact: Muslims have owned and sold far more slaves than Caucasian Christian folk and they are the primary group trafficking slaves today (and in all-time record numbers). For example, by 750 AD, “ Islam’s African empire cover (ed) roughly six million square kilometers, and the multi-continental Muslim trade in African slaves would uproot over 112 million blacks from their homes, would kill 84 million of them, and would put over 28 million blacks on sale in slave markets from one end of the empire of Islam to the other. This outdid the Western slave trade’s appalling 11 million black Africans displaced and a million killed by a staggering multiple of more than ten to one.”
Source: Bloom, Howard (2016-11-21). The Muhammad Code (p. 142). Feral House. Kindle Edition. (Also see the thousands of footnoted sources in this exhaustively-researched book.)
When Malcolm X’s education made him no longer woke enough for rivals in the Nation of Islam, they assassinated him. Malcom’s widow, and many others, believe the current leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farraakan was responsible. https://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/13/nyregion/widow-of-malcolm-x-suspects-farrakhan-had-role-in-killing.html
Nevertheless, the reverse racist kids I went to school with, and many others, blamed Malcom’s assassination on white folk like me who had nothing to do with it.
This is too un-PC to ever have been publicly talked about, but for a few years, including when I went to the junior high in the South Bronx, the date of Malcom’s assassination became an informal public-school holiday known as “kill whitey day.” On that date, New York City public schools were closed based on a bland statement that “disturbances were expected.” Just now I finally found a public reference to kill whitey day from someone else who was in the Bronx public schools of that era: https://mrbellersneighborhood.com/2008/04/kill-whitey-day
And no, this wasn’t a day when white kids would be subject to linguistic microaggressions if they showed their face in the wrong hoods. A girl I knew who had been out sick for a couple of weeks, and didn’t know it was Kill Whitey day, was pulled out of the public bus she had taken to school and was beaten and gang-raped.
I barely escaped the viciously racist and anti-semetic black, Nation-of-Islam kids with my life. I was thrown down iron staircases multiple times. One of them threw an M-80 at my face—I ducked, but the explosion permanently affected my hearing. When my father made a complaint, the school became concerned with their liability because of how I was being treated, so an assistant principal walked me to the front door every day after my last class so that the beatings would occur off school property.
Several years later, I went back to the scene of my childhood torment and became an English teacher and the building security coordinator of a public South Bronx high school (Samuel Gompers Vocational H.S. on 143rd Street and Southern Boulevard) at the epicenter of blocks and blocks of burned out apartment buildings. When president Jimmy Carter gave a speech on urban blight against the post-apocalyptic backdrop of burnt-up South Bronx hellscape, he was standing a block away from Gompers. This was in the 80s during the crack epidemic. As dean and building security coordinator I patrolled the hallways of that school to make sure other kids (nearly 100% black and Hispanic) weren’t bullied the way I was. Though I was a short white guy, I was respected and liked by inner city kids because I didn’t listen to the sort of ignorant perpetual-guilt advice given above. I wasn’t afraid to get in their face when that was necessary and didn’t feel apologetic because of the color of my skin. I also took many of those inner-city kids—some of whom had rarely been to Manhattan let alone outside the city—-on backpacking trips to Harriman State Park at my own expense.
While I was working at Gompers, I finally met someone who really knew what it was like to get violently bullied on a daily basis—not some woke-snowflake type subject to supposed micro-aggressions and various linguistic insensitivities, but someone else subject to macro-aggressions such as getting the shit kicked out of you for your race or religion. This was my late Palestinian brother-in-law Jamal who grew up in Palestine where he was also brutalized by Muslims (he was an Arab Christian Palestinian).
So, Woke Folk: Be careful when you self-righteously tell whole groups of other folk who they are and how they should behave—they might be more diverse and hard to categorize than you think.
PC/Woke culture has pathologized into an over-correction of valid past and present abuses of various groups, and now has become a set of blinders, a template that encourages shadow projection onto some groups while practicing shadow denial with other groups. Notice that stripped of the group names, this is exactly what white supremacists do. But here’s a woke fact for your consideration—every individual and every group has a shadow. White folks have shadows, black folks have shadows, gender-fluid folks have shadows, you, me and all of us have shadows. If you are always talking about a “they” and their shadow and are not examining your own, then you are dangerously asleep.
So, being “woke,” if such a thing is even possible, would mean a moment-by-moment struggle to be vigilant about your shadow and all the biases and prejudices that everyone one of us has (racist, reverse racist, inflating aboriginal cultures, dissing Western patriarchal cultures—though you are more likely to die a violent war death in a rainforest aboriginal culture than at any point in Western history —etc.) Every group, every person. has a shadow, and no one is more non-woke than self-righteous irate folk calling out the shadows of other individuals and groups without scrutinizing their individual and group shadows.
So, Folk of Any Kind: As Goethe said, “If you want to clean up the whole world begin with your own doorstep.” Or as Jung once said, if you want to undo all the oppression and violence of history, “begin by reclaiming your own shadow from the world.”