White people may pretend it isn’t so, but behind the smiley face is a deep awareness of where you stand on the economic ladder in relation to them, and you really don’t count in their lives unless you stack up. They may humor you in their presence for a short time or “check out how the peasants live,” but economic standing (wealth = class) trumps race, gender, ability and sexual orientation every time. The only thing that trumps wealth is political power, and to the “ruling elite” you do not exist at all.
White people generally have very little sense of loyalty to companies, organizations, each other or family, or even an understanding of why that might be important.
White people care more about stuff like clothes, cars, jewellery, sex, hair, movies, luxury travel, wine, personal care products, celebrity’s bodies, restaurants and food (especially cakes and cookies) than they do about anti-racism work, planting trees, connecting with nature, cultivating peace in themselves and the world, or restructuring the economy so the planet doesn’t blow up.
White people have no impetus to form long-standing bonds of community. They are driven by the “cult of the individual” and the constant novelty of the “new.” Everything and everyone is disposable, so why bother coming together for any particular idea, issue or project? They are out for Number One, period (and perhaps their current love affair or business conquest, or whatever affiliation at the moment is going to advance their career, aims or income).
Unless they are getting paid, white people do not exhibit their skills, knowledge or expertise to each other as this is always viewed as a threat, and grounds for resenting you, or even dropping you as a friend/partner/associate/acquaintance/ neighbour/family member. The most important rule with white people is to “hide your light under a bushel” and don’t intimidate anyone with your brilliance or savvy. And no matter what you do in gatherings with friends and family, you must dumb it down.
White people are experts at creating caricatures of themselves, that is, puffing themselves up with over-inflated attention-seeking narcissistic expressions ("Me! Me! Me!"), or normalizing the more despicable parts of their personalities as a badge of honor, or expressing a myriad of personality traits that do not reflect their authentic selves. Most white people do not know who the hell they really are, and their personas are composites of iconic personalities and aspects of consumer culture - copies of popular trends from the worlds of entertainment, sports, fashion or punditry, or finely-honed identity creations from years of workplace conditioning. “I exist therefore I am” has been perverted into “I identify with so-and-so and therefore I am.”
They may pretend it isn’t so (there’s that passive-aggressive dynamic again), but white people would rather spit at you than welcome you into their cliques, circles, networks and communities. White people may chat with you and make small gestures of interest or brief exclamations of support, but that’s all a front. All they care about is their life, their stuff, their money, their career, their achievements, their success, their ideas, their health, their ambitions, their opinions, their history, their problems, their issues, and their current love interests. Everybody and everything else is just wallpaper, and the world revolves around them and owes them tribute.
It’s no wonder that so many in our culture suffer from social anxiety, as white people are monsters, even the ones who profess to be "spiritual" or “religious.” Judgmental, uncaring, self-absorbed, self-important, self-congratulatory, competitive, cold, calculating, assuming, narcissistic and snobby – it’s a wonder we still have the courage to mingle with our own cohort, or that any community or collaborative work gets done at all.
And unless you want to be labelled a pariah forever, do not mention the herd of stinky bellowing white elephants in the room by suggesting that as a collective we need to address the false meritocracy, white privilege, racism, and systemic inequality that our own culture has created.
Can it be that our grandparent’s Settler generation, the ones who starved and fought and died in battles and wars, who sailed on ships with only one piece of luggage, who slept on straw in drafty old barns throughout the cold Canadian winters, who went without luxuries to farm a piece of land, who sacrificed and gave up everything (even their homelands, ancestral roots and cultural traditions) to establish a life for their descendants here on Turtle Island, may be deeply, deeply ashamed of what we have become?
I can’t imagine a more horrific contempt and disregard for the delights and beauty of the natural world than what spoiled Canadians exhibit (not to mention that the Earth is the source of all the nourishment and elements we need to live our lives). How this has come to pass in a country possessing the very epitome of natural majestic beauty in lands and waters, has got to be the highest achievement of the death culture otherwise known as Empire.
Treating each other and the Earth with such disdain makes us incapable of extending reconciliation, remediation or even compassion to the human rights struggles of our First Nations neighbours, the original Earthkeepers of this land. With brainwashing and parasitic materialism at the heart of our useless lives, the world has never known such a bunch of uncaring, ungracious, self-absorbed, spoiled and reckless people.
So what gives, my white brothers and sisters? Your humancentric society has reached an all-time apogee of selfishness and ungratefulness, and what are you going to do about it?
Pegi Eyers is the author of Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community, an award-winning book that explores strategies for neurodecolonization, social justice, ethnocultural identity, building land-emergent community & resilience in times of massive change.