We need to talk about mental illness.
Roll your eyes if you must. Play Candy Crush (if people still do that) and pretend to ignore me. That is fine.
White men, could you please pay a bit more attention? This is important.
I know, as a female of colour, I might need to take some blame here. I am part of the problem. I can see the privilege that you have for no other reason than your gender and skin colour. I may be smarter, kinder and more talented than you, but you always seem to trump me. Why?
White privilege is a thing. You want to think that it is due to your hard work and dedication – AND PERHAPS ONE OR TWO TIMES IT IS. Maybe.
… what about poor white males, hmm? What about the white men that have no direction, no education… no future? The white men that wait for their privilege to kick in… what about them? They hear all of this talk about how they are superior, yet they see POC in fancy cars and nice sneakers and wonder why they do not have the same things. The media tells them that non-whites do nothing but collect welfare and rub their riches in white folks faces. Poor white male has no job or is woefully underemployed and he wants welfare too! He wants a fancy car and some Jordans! If he applies for welfare and only gets a couple hundred dollars a month, he freaks out. He thinks POC get more than he does! It never crosses his mind that these fancy coloured people might have an education. They might have worked hard in school and took out thousands of dollars in loans to finance this education. With this education, a good job has been secured. University education + good job = fancy stuff (for any of you that read this and scoff at the idea of POC getting an education, here is are some facts: nationwide, 42% of blacks graduate with a higher degree. It is low versus 62% of whites. What makes the biggest difference? POC tend to take jobs that are offered to them where white graduates hold out for the job that suits them/the job of their dreams).
In this scenario, a white man could feel cheated. When one feels that they have been lied to, they get angry. Some get depressed. Anger and depression make lousy bedmates. You will take that anger out on everyone. The people that love you will often be abused. Add a firearm to that equation?
Mass shootings in the US are no longer surprising. Between 1982 and December 6, 2019, 65 out of 116 mass shootings were initiated by white shooters (The Las Vegas strip massacre in 2017 had the highest number of victims between 1982 and 2019, with 58 people killed, and over 500 injured). 48 per cent of people felt the inability of the mental health system to recognise those who pose a danger to others was a significant factor (a study done in 2013 showed 61 per cent of Americans felt the easy access to firearms was to blame by either a “great deal” or a “fair amount”. So gun regulation should not be taken off the table… but this is not what my focus is on today).
What can we do about it? Like right now? First, we can stop spreading lies about immigrants/POC and welfare. On average, you could get $158.22 in food stamps. Cash benefits, in most states, is less than $500. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, 40.2 % of SNAP recipients are white, 25.7 % are black, 10.3 % are Hispanic, 2.1 % are Asian and 1.2 % are Native American.
Not enough for a fancy car and nice kicks.
Second, we need to eliminate the conversation about white privilege. Yes, it exists. No, we do not need to talk about it anymore. This talk about white privilege is destroying white men. We do not like to talk about other aspects of humanity that destroy our souls. We do not rant and rave about disease. We are hush hush about death as a whole. Pointing out white privilege, repeatedly, to white people that do not benefit from it is causing a lot of the problems that we are seeing today (the rise of white supremacy, record-high suicides, mass shootings every other month).
Lastly, put Candy Crush down and pay attention. We are more connected to others than at any other time in history, yet we are more alone than ever. Reach out to those that are in need (after a tragedy, someone always says that they noticed something or was concerned). Suicide crisis lines in the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Suicide prevention telephone hotline funded by the U.S. government. Provides free, 24-hour assistance. 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If someone is posting violent or harassing things on Facebook, report them here: https://www.facebook.com/help/212722115425932.
Be a good friend (you might need them to return the favour, someday).
(I posted this on Facebook some time ago but with their Lord and Saviour Trump being attacked & things looking a bit grim, I thought it was time to repost.)