Bad Winners, Bad Losers: There’s No Excuse for Either

I admit it crossed my mind to worry over what we might do with America’s sudden realization that white dominance is no longer the rule in our “united” states. I got a little nervous that some bad winners might try to remind the wrong people that they were just given a wake-up call (’cause they were).

And who are the wrong people? Let me put it this way: most of the time it’s not gonna be your colleague or neighbor who leans in another political direction or who happens to be white. If you’re not pointing your finger directly at a pundit, podium, or politician, you’re just surfing an excuse. 

‘Course, I also worried about bad losers. 

Don’t tell me it’s the end of the world that Barack Obama won a second term. Gays, women and Latinos aren’t out to get you. The economy will improve. Don’t bellyache ’cause all the king’s money and all the king’s men couldn’t put a white guy back in charge again. Anyone who bullies the results of an American election with alarmism and fear is just plain selfish, especially since alarmism and fear are so engrained now that it seems like everything must run their gauntlet.

Besides, don’t worry honkies: Black Friday’s comin’ to your rescue. Everybody still wants a new truck, a new tablet computer, new curtains, a purse, a power saw, and a home loan. You shouldn’t fear the coming waves of mud races. Your “more diverse” employees aren’t going feed your passive-agressive Cracker ass to transgender Chicano potheads; they really just want your company to sell ’em a cell phone plan they can afford.

Besides, we all knew this was coming (everyone but a few dummy campaign strategists and their lackeys). Red staters of many stripes — poor, smart, fat, nice, short, disabled, rich, honest, full-of-it, and deaf — are aware that America’s Hispanic population has soared by birth and immigration. They’re actually okay with Census data showing that blacks are relocating from cities to suburbs, increasing integration and making African-American youth culture more mainstream than ever. Problem is, those weren’t the Republicans being listened to (until very recently — hello!).

So when it comes to making generalizations about how the white man has had it coming, let’s remember to direct that upwards, toward a podium or media outlet. I admit it makes me smile to know that some folks are reinforcing the locks on their gates or clutching their BMW keys a little tighter, but I’m not gonna get hateful about it. I’m going to let it take its course. We ALL just got better informed — about each other and about this country. If we don’t waste that empowerment arguing racial bullshit we win, not the corporate dickheads who buy judges and keep our government corrupt, bloated, and inept.

In other words, welcome the wake-up call, but keep the blame where it belongs: no not with everyday suckers – at the feet of narrow-minded power brokers. Even then we should take a higher road so that they and others can find theirs.

Who am I to post this crap? 

My brothers and I learned about racist attitudes and subtle ethic resentments at an early age. As I describe my parents in Where Excuses Go to Die (my book that will be going to the printer before the end of this month), my dad is the whitest thing Van Nuys California ever produced and my mom is a Category-5 Mexican American Princess. My love for them both is as deep as the ocean, and my appreciation for their emphasizing diversity is impossible to describe. It’s like describing how your spinal fluid feels.

My dad’s side of the family was all baseball, apple pie, God, country, and the Fourth of July when I was growing up. My mom’s side was a pack of sarcastic San Fernando Valley Mexicans, righteous and oppressed if comparatively privileged. (Sanford and Son was very popular in our home, as were, Chico and the Man and All in the Family.) I consider myself not only extremely lucky for this, but also qualified to suggest we not use asinine generalizations about race and politics and power as an excuse for anything. It keeps us all down when we do.