Until recently, I never gave much thought to my racial heritage. I have enough trouble as a human and all the awful responsibility that entails without parsing it out to which particular strain of clever killer ape I belong to. Being a working kid actor in New York City in the early-1960s taught me there's an important distinction between people—those who think they have the answers, and those who ask interesting questions. Working union sets in theater and television makes it pretty clear that competence and excellence are unrelated to race or sexual orientation, or even drug use. Professionalism is the only thing that matters. That’s an attitude.
I’ve never really thought of myself as “white,” per se. It’s not even close to the first identifying characteristic that comes to mind when asked to describe myself. Until recently, whenever confronted with the question of race, I opted for “Other,” specifying “New Yorker” where requested. “New Yorker” gives a much clearer impression of who I am than a fucking color. It implies a lot, and people tend to infer a lot. It’s an attitude. I am militantly anti-war. War became obsolete with the advent of biological weapons. I also identify very strongly as an acid head. I believe in LSD as a sacramental substance and a possible cure for much that is wrong with our species. Don’t die wondering, as the lesbians say.
It seems that a lot of people are operating under the mistaken impression that White Privilege is a genetic thing. They’re wrong! White Privilege is an acquired skill, like archery, eating certain kinds of sushi, or using psychedelics. It’s an attitude. Herewith, the rules:
1) Bathe daily and wear clean clothes. It goes a long way toward making a good impression if you don’t smell like you died last week.
2) Speak English. It’s not that hard. I’ve met people with Down’s Syndrome who speak better English than the average black person I meet. If you really want to command authority, spend some time listening to the BBC and imitate that accent. Americans roll over like dogs for that accent.
3) Soften the wardrobe. Stop dressing like some racist caricature of a hoodrat. Notice anything about the Nazis lately? They’re all about Polo shirts and khaki Dockers. They look like real estate sales reps. It’s called “evolution,” and you should try it sometime. Stop wearing Nikes, they’re made by child slaves in the Third World. Buy a belt and learn how it’s used.
4) Do something about your so-called “music.” If you want people to refrain from using the word “nigger,” I’d suggest that you stop using it yourselves. I’ll use any word I damn well please. I never owned slaves and you never picked cotton.
5) Likewise, this whole ridiculous “Black Lives Matter” charade. Cut the shit. If white-on-black crime were anywhere near the rate of black-on-white crime, there wouldn’t be any of you left. The survivors would have fled to Canada by now.
6) Go build something. A bridge, a cathedral, a server farm. Start a town. Start a country. There are at least 40 black-majority, black-ruled countries to choose from. Visit one. See how it works.
7) A valuable quote from Malcolm X: “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone, but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”
I hope this helps. Perhaps I can get around to offering some advice to our Jewish cousins on how to reduce anti-Semitism. It’s obvious that they could use some. It’s getting late.