When people let you down, they also let you understand why intelligent life doesn’t visit planet Earth.
I don’t know which white acquaintance it was, which conversation along the lines of, “Well…you know, Chris…Donald Trump isn’t 100% wrong when he says <insert slur here> about <insert ethnic group or non-Christian religious affiliation here>…I mean…”
Looking back, I can’t point out the exact rationalization of white nationalism that pushed me to the state of disappointed liberation. Among the people I used to know, who was the one person who helped me reach this beautiful tipping point with their uneducated attempt at defending systemic inequality that made me think, “Aw shit, he’s one of them, too…”? I’ve thought this thought about people more than once in the last three or four years, so many people could be this one person. Who was it among my used-to-be-closer circle of associates? Only my subconscious knows.
Though the migration to this new headspace would not have been possible without the world-changing push my life got in the fall of 2012.
That was when I self-published Fearkiller (Volume 1). Afterward, many folks who got bent out of shape about my desire to write showed new levels of resentment. Not from reading the book, though. The idea of absorbing my story never got considered as an option, instead they doubled down on willful ignorance. Readers’ positive words only deepened nay-sayers’ desire to not read Fearkiller. Those gigantic chips on their shoulders that always appeared whenever I used to talk about writing? Those chips grew ten times more gigantic after I self-published.
It’s not sad or infuriating when white people refuse to read your writing but hate it. Not in the Trump era, the years after 90% of America got its ass kicked by the Great Recession so the top 10% could accumulate more divorce lawyer money. The same years saw a black guy get elected president and that news caused many of my fellow whitefolk to lose their minds and those brains haven’t been thinking straight since. I don’t feel positive feelings about angry white people’s ignorant negativity about my work, don’t get me wrong. It’s just more sad than infuriating.
After talking to other writers, though, I learned that my experiences are pretty universal and much of it probably happened in less-fascist times in cultures that weren’t as supremacist as America’s. Budding writers: many people who poo-pooed your efforts will respond to the finished product by getting pissy. It’s just the way it is. The term “sore loser” doesn’t apply since the act of book writing isn’t a competitive one. Yet “sore loser” will describe their pouty-faced energy.
But, ultimately, the sore losers will help you appreciate those folks who read stuff and don’t have a problem with art existing in the world.
In my case, I wrote a book about white-collar whitefolks’ fear, only to learn about white-collar whitefolks’ spite, willful ignorance and irrationality.
This all sucks.
Until it doesn’t.
When it no longer sucks, the door in front of you opens. Your writing, from that point forward, happens without these people in the picture.
Once I realized that my writing triggered non-readers’ insecurities, my respect for these non-readers vanished. If anything, this insight made me hate the concept of white privilege even more because it made me realize how America favors its most clueless white people more than its most intelligent people of color.
Anti-climax. Yeah. Oh, white people. We’re so…what’s the word…white. We keep ourselves dumb so billionaires can profiteer and we want the world to love us for it.
As America goes fascist under Big Don’s guidance, I keep thinking about the fact that no people of color have ever, ever gotten bent out of shape upon hearing that I write books. No person of color. Ever. Name the region of the world their people came from—if that region isn’t Europe, they’ve been cool. Initial reactions—no person of color has given me the I need to speak to the manager vibe that white people give off.
I’m calling it here, I’m calling it now: if book burnings start happening, only opportunistic people of color will show up. The ones with humanity, they’ll stay away.
Thinking about our modern times, I can’t call the white people who blindly poo-poo my writing stupid. In today’s climate, these citizens bow to billionaires. Folks who value self-preservation so heavily, these folks have done a lot to save themselves if Big Don and his rich fat cats go full-on Nazi.
Disappointed liberation. Liberated disappointment. Whatever the technical term for the state of mind, the acceptance it brings will free the psyche to focus on important matters. At the same time, when the psyche sees Earth for what it is, the psyche understands why intelligent life doesn’t reach out to us. If I were a cool alien, I wouldn’t introduce my race of adults to a planet run by overgrown boys dependent on their own privilege.
Looking back, I thank the negativity I received after I self-published. Once MAGA took hold a few years later and elected the racist, draft-dodging chickenhawk to the presidency, I noticed the commonalities in behavior among angry white people and the behavior of white people who responded to my self-publishing. By the time the red-hatted folk started to bash Muslim Gold Star families and glorify cops who murder unarmed black people, my shock about their collective mindset had worn off. White peoples’ extreme closed-mindedness felt like old hat by that point. Seeing their receptiveness to white nationalist messaging made perfect sense. The way so many readily accepted the line that poor immigrants steal jobs, sad to say I didn’t feel too surprised.
These are my people, my caucasians. I know their white ways.
When a person reaches the state of disappointed liberation, they quit caring about offending angry people who are dumb enough to still believe in trickle-down economics. Being mad at them? It would be like getting mad at a child.
Reaching the universal plane of disappointed liberation gave me a whole new appreciation for this quote from Robin Williams: “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
I’m so sorry he checked off this Earth due to despair.
Racist, billionaire-worshipping white people who check off this Earth due to despair? I don’t know if I’m as bummed about their decisions.
The world needs more Robin Williams and less racists.
Revolutionizer Alpha…get it. Buy as many copies as you can.