Looking Away from The House of Whiteness is No Longer a Choice in 2020.
When there is something violent or scary or close-ups of rodents in a movie, I look away or close my eyes.
In 2012, I went to see the movie, “Flight” with Denzel Washington as the airline pilot who miraculously was able to land his plane by flying it upside down for a period of time after a midair explosion. I love Denzel Washington but never go to airplane disaster films (Tom Hanks as Sully for example) but I had read this film was primarily about the aftermath of his miraculous landing.
So, I started the movie in the theatre with my popcorn and when he got in the cockpit of the plane, about 15 minutes in, I left the theatre and finished my popcorn pacing walking up and down the corridor. When I noticed the thumping music and muffled screaming from the passengers in the plane had stopped, I figured Denzel must have landed the plane, and now the rest of the movie will continue.
Since November 2016, I have tried to look away from the news with less success. Tried to put on mute the toxic water bearers whether they be in Washington or in my neighborhood, family, airwaves, or social media.
But, this is not a sustainable way of living life in 2020. The White House has turned into The House of Whiteness.
Looking away no longer works. Early on, I put any of my toxic Irish (and oh, so pompous) Trump water bearer” relatives on mute in Facebook and turned off news alerts the day after the election in November 2016. I’d try to drip the news into my house in order to bear it.
Now, it’s like being in one of the Twin Towers trying to escape down a stairwell as the building structure above weakens and begins its sickening descent and I decide I really need a restroom before I can finish escaping. It simply won’t work. I’ve got to face it.
In meditation, they suggest you don’t deny your feelings, just make room for them, let them come and go. Face them, don’t deny them, and they are more manageable.
To be fair, Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the President, makes it easier to face them. She couldn’t have been clearer on a Fox and Friends TV Broadcast, “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”
So, I didn’t see this particular broadcast but just read about it. I presume she said this with a straight face.
I don’t suspect she was asked, “If they really are the “best” on public safety and law and order” why are they so incompetent in dealing with the unrest today, now, when they are already in power. This is a “re-election” campaign after all.”
So, I’ll just suggest this: “Ask yourself if 4 years of Trump has made you feel safer.” Stephen King tweets.
If you say “Yes”, your room rental in the House of Whiteness has been approved.
In the meantime here is a clip of Doc Rivers. “You don’t have to be black to be outraged, you need to be American.”
And, here is a poem by Ursula Le Guin called “Whiteness”.
Meditations for Melville
Whiteness crossed the continent
a poison fog and where it went
villages were vacant
hearths and ways forsaken
Whiteness with greed and iron
makes the deep seas barren
Great migrations fly daylong
into whiteness and are gone
Whiteness in its righteousness
bleaches creatures colorless
People walk unseeing unseen
staring at a little screen
where the whiteness plays
an imitation of their days
Plugged in their ears white noise
drowns an ancient voice
murmuring to bless
From Late in the Day, Poems 2010–2014, PM Press, copyright 2016 Ursula K. Le Guin. All rights reserved.