Dispossessed despair, depression, despondent dejection, the doom is the off-white of white. But wait,white can’t know what white feels. Where’s the life in that? Where’s the right in that? Where’s the white in that?
At the bone of bone white breathes the fear of seeing,the frustration of being unequal to white. White-male portraitson white walls were intended to mean ownership of all,the privilege of all, even as white walls white in.
And this is understandable, yes,understandable because the culture claims whiteowns everything—the wealthof no one anyone knows. Still the equation holds—jobs and health and schools and better thanbefore and different from now and enoughand always and eventually mine.
This is what it means to wear a color and believethe embrace of its touch. What white long expectedwas to work its way into an upwardly mobile fit.In the old days white included a life, even without luckor chance of birth. The scaffolding had rungsand legacy and the myth of meritocracy fixed in white.
Now white can’t hold itself distant from the day’s touch—even as the touch holds so little white would own—foreclosure vanished pensions school systemsin disrepair free trade rising unemployment unpaidmedical bills school debt car debt debt debt.
White is living its brick-and-mortar loss,staving off more loss, exhaustion, aggrievedexposure, a pale heart even as in daylightwhite hardens its features. Eyes, which hold allthe light, harden. Jaws, which close down on nothing,harden. Hands, which assembled, and packaged,and built, harden into a fury that cannot call
power to account though it’s not untrue jobs wereoutsourced and it’s not untrue an economic basewas cut out from under. It’s not untrue.
If people could just come clean about their pain,the being at a loss when just being white is not working. Who said there is no hierarchy inside white walls? Who implied white owns everything even as it owns nothing? But white can’t strike its own structure. White can’t oust its own system. All the loss is nothing next to any other who can be thrown out.In daylight this right to righteous rage doubles down the supremacy of white in this way.