I came up with this quote today:
Most people are too busy loving themselves to really hate you…
The people with a “victim complex” need to understand this the most.
The majority of the world isn’t interested in persecuting you, because they’re too busy thinking about what they’re going to eat and what they’re going to wear and how they’re going to unwind when they get home…
At the end of the day, you’re just not that big a deal to others…
But that’s kind of what bothers us, isn’t it?
We want people to think about us as much as we think about ourselves.
We like hanging around folks who seem concerned about our lives–because we happen to be our own favorite topic.
On the other hand, nobody likes dealing with those self-absorbed time-suckers who go on and on about themselves.
Well, because we’d rather spend time talking about our interests, of course!
Understand, I’m talking about myself as much as anyone else. I’d much rather share my ideas for my next blog post than listen to my husband’s adventures at work… let alone some stranger at church with a sick kitten. I–along with everyone else–like talking about me.
So, that’s why I question anyone who claims to be “hated.”
I wonder if we even know what “hate” means anymore.
Hatred takes work that most of us are too lazy to put in.
I think “hate” is just the word we use, when others don’t care about our struggles as much as we think they should…
This article by John Metta is supposed to cover the topic of racism. But, as I read through it (multiple times) I realized the author isn’t really angered by color lines and prejudices.
In fact, he’s guilty of making wide-brush generalizations about racial groups himself:
I don’t talk about race with White people because I have so often seen it go nowhere…
White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals…”
Got that? White people get to be individuals. (Except when a liberal talks about racism and lectures White People about how collectively ignorant they are.)
But I digress.
If John Metta doesn’t mind categorizing people by skin color and then making assumptions, then how can he claim a problem with “racism?”
Racism is not slavery… it’s not avoiding the use of the word Nigger. Racism is not white water fountains and the back of the bus. Martin Luther King did not end racism…
Racism is even more subtle than that. It’s more nuanced…
Once you let yourself see it, it’s there all the time.
…The system was made for White people, so White people don’t have to think about living in it.“
Did you catch that? Why is Metta upset?
Because White People don’t think about the same things he thinks about.
As he said in the very beginning of the article, “[racism] is a topic I think about every, single day.”
And when you spend every day meditating on how hard your life is, then you start to get annoyed that others don’t…
Today’s definition of “Racism” is that White People, as a group, don’t think enough about blackness. (Which, ironically, is basically the opposite of the definition from the Civil Rights Era.)
But I’d argue–that’s not racism. Being wrapped up in your own life is selfishness.
And I’ll totally own up to that!
I’m totally consumed with my own day-to-day concerns and ideas. The entire theme of my old blog was how selfishness has roots in all of society’s problems…
I’m selfish, and I admit it.
What I don’t understand is why John Metta doesn’t recognize the same selfishness in himself?
“This is why I don’t like the story of the Good Samaritan. Everyone likes to think of themselves as the person who sees someone beaten and bloodied and helps him out… [But] If I could re-write that story, I’d write it from the perspective of Black America… What if [the needy stranger] were systematically challenged in a thousand small ways that actually made it easier for you [the Samaritan] to succeed in life? “
Yes, he’s actually, unashamedly painting himself as the victim in that scenario.
“Everyone likes to think of themselves as the Good Samaritan.” Except him. He assumes the role of the innocent guy who deserves help.
How very introspective.
I honestly can’t figure out how he misses his own glaring self-obsession.
John Metta has no idea what it’s like to be white. Whenever he tries to put himself in the shoes of a white neighbor, he concludes that–yes–the White Guys have it better!
He believes the grass really is lush and green in Whitesville, and he is so very convinced that being White is easier, he resents being questioned about it at all. (When White People try to share their own experience with racism, that’s called “self-protection.”)
Metta hasn’t ever had a job or scholarship given to someone less qualified–in order to meet a quota. He hasn’t ever sacrificed to instill character in his children, only to be told their success is due to White Privilege and not thanks to consistent, dedicated parenting.
John Metta has never sat in a “church” audience and listened to an academic snob curse at him for something Fate caused.
When Metta sees someone bloody on the side of the road, he looks at their skin color to figure out how they got there. If it’s a black victim, he was shoved down and beaten by an invisible and complex System.
Not only that, but the beaten black man “could have been his father” or brother, so Metta will take that beating personally.
But if the struggling stranger is a white person, then he/she had to squander a whole bunch of Privilege before being left there.
Yuck, Mr. Metta. You don’t look any better wearing a selfish worldview than your “favorite White aunt” does.
Wrapping up: if subtle, systemic “racism” means a person cares more about her own life than she cares about her neighbor’s, then I’m guilty.
I need the story of the Good Samaritan to remind me to stop thinking of myself for two seconds and consider the plight of others.
But that’s the unifying failure of all of humanity–not just those selfish, “racist” white people who aren’t interested in hearing (again) the Black American Tale of Woe.
It’s off-putting when people of all shades talk incessantly about how tough their lives are. And I’m particularly disgusted by educated Americans, with food in their bellies, internet access, and temperature-controlled living rooms, with the audacity to be “angry” when the rest of society doesn’t focus enough on their micro-grievances.
Just shut up already.
If you want my help combating selfishness, then consider me a White Ally.
But if you want me to become a “Feminist” or a Social Justice Warrior or someone who laments vaguely about “The System” like a mindless drone, then I really don’t know how to help you…
The longer you spend in your own head, marinating in the juices of your First World Problems, the worse it’s going to get. That’s the nature of selfishness.
I agree that empathy is an important virtue.
I agree that everybody benefits from a change of perspective.
But I literally can’t help you, if you’re lying on the side of the road, suffering from self-pity.
You’re not mad that I beat you and put you there. So stop calling it “hate.”
You’re mad that–until you start moaning and whining and inventing problems you can pin on me indirectly–I don’t really think about you at all.
At the end of the day, that makes me and John Metta more similar than either of us would think… I understand completely what it’s like to feel sorry for yourself and look for others to blame.
And I agree: the world would be better if we fought that “system.”