Monday, October 1, 2012

Schroedinger's Murderer - a parody, so you can go ahead and DMCA your moms if you like

Dear Colored People, Thank you for reading.

Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. Your pants are secured by a belt at your waist. You are well spoken. You are clean and articulate. You respect whites. You like whites. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and friendly relationship with a white person. Unfortunately, you don’t yet know that white person—you don't work for them, nor have you been introduced through mutual friends or drawn to the same activities. So you must look further afield to encounter this person.

So far, so good. Miss WhiteBread, your humble instructor, approves. Human connection, respect, camaraderie: there is nothing wrong with these yearnings.

Now, you want to become acquainted with a white person you see in public. The first thing you need to understand is that white people are dealing with a set of challenges and concerns that are strange to you, a colored person. To begin with, we would rather not be killed or otherwise violently assaulted.

"that sho' is strange! i wanna go inna blaze 'a gloree! layin' dem bustas down!

Well, no. But do you think about it all the time? Is preventing violent assault or murder part of your daily routine, rather than merely something you do when you venture into white neighborhoods? Because, for white people, it is. When I go out with a colored person, I always leave the colored person's full name and contact information written next to my computer monitor. This is so the cops can find my body if I go missing. My best friend will call or e-mail me the next morning, and I must answer that call or e-mail before noon-ish, or they begin to worry. If they don't hear from me by three or so, they’ll call the police. My activities after dark are curtailed. Unless I am in a densely-occupied, well-lit space, I won’t go out alone. Even then, I prefer to have a friend or two, or my dogs, with me. Do you follow rules like these?
So when you, a colored person, approaches me, I have to ask myself: Will this colored person assault or kill me?

Do you think I’m overreacting? Many whites will be assaulted in their lifetime. I bet you don’t think you know any murderers, but consider the sheer number of murders that must occur. These murders are not all committed by Phillip Garrido, Brian David Mitchell, or other members of the Brotherhood of Scary Mandingo Bruthas. While you may assume that none of the coloreds you know are murderers, I can assure you that at least one is. Consider: if every colored person commits an average of ten murders (a horrifying number, isn’t it?) then the concentration of murderers in the population is still a little over one in sixty. That means four in my graduating class in high school. One among my coworkers. One in the subway car at rush hour. Eleven who work out at my gym. This also means that all of you are murderers, since by now, you've murdered all the non-murderers. How do I know that you, the nice colored person who wants nothing more than companionship and fellowship, are not this murderer?

I don’t.

When you approach me in public, you are Schrödinger’s Murderer. You may or may not be a colored person who would commit murder. I won’t know for sure unless you attempt to murder me. I can’t see inside your head, and I don’t know your intentions. If you expect me to trust you—to accept you at face value as a nice sort of colored person—you are not only failing to respect my reasonable caution, you are being cavalier about my personal safety.

Fortunately, you’re one of the “good ones”. We’ve already established that. Now that you’re aware that there’s a problem, you are going to go out of your way to fix it, and to make the whites with whom you interact feel as safe as possible.

To begin with, you must accept that I set my own risk tolerance. When you approach me, I will begin to evaluate the possibility you will do me harm. That possibility is never 0%. For some whites, particularly whites who have been victims of violent assaults, any level of risk is unacceptable. Those whites do not want to be approached, no matter how nice you are or how much you’d like to hang out with them. Okay? That’s their right. Don’t get pissy about it. Whites are under no obligation to hear the sales pitch before deciding they are not in the market to buy.

The second important point: you must be aware of what signals you are sending by your appearance and the environment. We are going to be paying close attention to your appearance and behavior and matching those signs to our idea of a threat, though all of you are some type of threat.
This means that some strange colored people should never approach whites in public. Specifically, if you have truly unusual standards of personal cleanliness, if you are unemployed (or employed in a working class occupation), the prophet of your own religion, or if you have pants too large and baggy or prison 'teardrop' tattoos all over your face and neck, you are just never going to get a good response approaching a white person cold. That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life without the presence of whites, but I suggest you start with sitting at a desegregated lunch counter, where you can put your unusual traits out there and find a white person who will be willing to tolerate them.

Are you wearing a tee-shirt making a joke about crackas? NOT A GOOD CHOICE—not in general, and definitely not when approaching a white person.

Pay attention to the environment. Look around. Are you in a dark alley? Then probably you ought not approach a white person and try to strike up a conversation. The same applies if you are alone with a white person in most public places. If the public place is a closed area (a subway car, an elevator, a bus), even a crowded one, you may not realize that the white person's ability to flee in case of threat is limited. Ask yourself, “If I were a murderer, would this white person be safe in this space with me?” If the answer is no, then it isn’t appropriate to approach them.

On the other hand, if you are both at church accompanied by your mothers, who are lifelong best friends, the white person is as close as it comes to safe. That is to say, still not 100% safe. But the odds are pretty good.
The third point: whites are communicating all the time. Learn to understand and respect white’s communication to you.

You want to say what's up? to the white person on the subway. How will they react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because they're already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb them. Really. Even to say that you like their straight hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for whites to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Murderer. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win them over with charm or flattery. Believe what they're signaling, and back off.

If you speak, and the white person responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, they're saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary colored person with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”

On the other hand, if they turn towards you, make eye contact, and they respond in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to them, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.

The fourth point: If you fail to respect what whites say, you label yourself a problem.
There’s a colored person with whom I once played racquetball—just one match, for one hour by the clock—on July 25th. In the two days after that, the colored person sent me about fifteen e-mails, scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed the colored person back, saying, “Look, this is a disproportionate response to a single match. You are making me uncomfortable. Do not contact me again.” It is now October 7th. Do they still e-mail?

Yeah. They do. About every two weeks.

This colored person scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Prison Tattoos. (Who, after all, is likely to be guilty of nothing more than a minor drug offense that a white would never serve time for.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual murderer, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Murderer, and this particular Schrödinger’s Murderer has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a colored person who ignores a white person’s “NO” in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in other settings, as well.

So if you speak to a white who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps that white person's right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when they've tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps their right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override their rights.
For whites, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data.

The fifth and last point: Don’t Murder. Nor should you commit these similar but less severe offenses: don’t assault. Don’t kidnap. Don’t constrain. Don’t expose yourself. Don’t threaten with physical violence. Don’t threaten with sexual violence.

Shouldn’t this go without saying? Of course it should. Sadly, that’s not the world I live in. You may be beginning to realize that it’s not the world you live in, either.

Miss WhiteBread wishes you happiness and success in your search for non-colored friends.

4 comments:

  1. I agree completely with this post (and the others in your blog), but I´ve seen them respond to this argument with the "answer" "It´s not the same because black people are not a privileged group and white people are not a marginalized group".

    Of course that doesn´t make this schrodinger´s XYZ concept right and only shows the shallowness of their thought process, but I just wanted to give you a heads-up.

    Something I was thinking earlier today is that this piece also shows their entitlement, since they place all the burden of approach on men, as if they are princesses that can´t be bothered to even talk to a man without him jumping hoops to get them.

    Luckily there are other women who understand that sometimes they have to work to get the person they want, and sometimes they have to approach and make the first move.

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    1. my response is always "penis". and/or 'a stereotype is a stereotype'. black men have penises, therefore privilege. white women have vaginas, therefore oppressed. it usu. shuts them up for a few minutes. some even manage to think for a bit. it's a start. nowadays, we takes whut we kin git.

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  2. I like that, next time I'll answer "penis" as well.

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  3. Haha, nice post. I was so disgusted by 'Schrödinger's Rapist'. I would have been disgusted had that text been written about anyone else, but apparently it's okay to rubbish all men. I love how you only had to change a few contextual words to show what a bigotted piece of excrement 'Schrödinger's Rapist' is. Keep it up! You already know I'm a fan. I visit your blog and Wooly Bumblebee's blog often.

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