Don’t Call Me a White Person Any More

Recently I was informed by the entrail readers at 23&Me that I am 1/500 sub-Saharan African or any other non-white subgroup. I was delighted by this revelation. In one small but insignificant stroke my street cred went up, as did my “offensive” explanations for my curly hair and my fondness for fried chicken.

Then I heard another voice in my head, a decidedly WASPish voice, no mean feat for someone who is 93.6 percent Italian, according to 23&Me.

“Old sport,” the voice began, “there’s no longer any reason to accept being lumbered with a toxic ethnicity, viz., Caucasian, that everybody, even other Caucasians, feels free to crap on.

As I pondered this conundrum, I recalled a brilliant book that had helped to form me in my youth—Stephen Potter’s Theory & Practice of Gamesmanship. In that light-hearted spirit I am taking this opportunity to announce that I do not wish to be known as a white person any longer. White person is a slave owner’s term, and I do not want to be shackled by that sorry association. All future references to me, therefore, should say that I am a person of white©.

White person plays to unfortunate stereotypes: the chap with three teeth and a moth-eaten beard who’s married to his cousin and who rides around in his pickup all day drinking lite beer and tossing the empties out the window; or some oaf with a row-house mentality, a hockey jersey, and a Waylon Jennings goatee who likes to go “coon huntin’” with his buddies on the weekend; or a lawyer in a preppy-pink polo greeting “visitors” to his neighborhood with the friendly wave of a semi-automatic.

By contrast, a person of white© is a tolerant, irony-loving bloke who is something of an Anglophile, who bears no malice and forethought to members of different ethnicities, and who is not threatened by minority-set-aside programs. A rising tide lifts all yachts, especially in a trickle-down economy.

Lest anyone accuse me of striking an elitist pose, I hasten to point out that some of my best friends are white people. I often tease them by calling them “creepy-ass crackers” or “unwoke Karens,” and they don’t mind at all. They don’t even mind when persons of color say that white people are not allowed to go around claiming to be “woke.” (They might get shirty, however, if a person of color wearing one of those hooded thingies and stuffing his face with Skittles complains that he is being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker.”)

In order to make the rest of the world bend to my wishes, I will petition the nearest social-justice-enforcement kangaroo court to make it a hate crime to refer to me as a white person.