Friday, April 30, 2010

'How I Left the Left and Found Peace of Mind'

I've been thinking of writing a self-help book. It would provide tips on how to be happy, content, secure and fulfilled, not only by marrying the right person, but by being, well, right--in the wing sense of things, I mean. See, I noticed that back when I affiliated myself on the other side of the political spectrum, I had trouble making sense of things. I was certain that my worldview was the correct one, and yet it was marked by so many holes and gaps, ones I filled up with buckets of guilt. Now that I've transitioned, so to speak, an enormous--nay, crushing--weight has been lifted, and I find that I am lighter in both outlook and spirit. Best of all, the anxiety bubble that had encased me for much of my life has--pop!--disappeared.

Alas, the same cannot be say for Christian Lander. Although he's a successful author (of Stuff White People Like), Christian, a lefty, a Caucasian, a male and a Canadian (talk about yer quadruple-whammies), is plagued--oppressed--by the crushing, corrosive guilt of his ilk, as he affirms  in a piece on the CNN site that's ostensibly about the census (but that's really about him):
I am white. I know that's a terribly big surprise, considering that I write a blog called Stuff White People Like, but I mean it, I'm white.
Like really white.
 I'm not attempting to assert some sort of superiority through my whiteness; quite the opposite actually. Thanks to my liberal upbringing, I am imbued with the appropriate amount of guilt and shame about my ancestors and their actions in the New World.

Even in my home, I can't offer a blanket to a nonwhite friend without the fear that they will look at me and say "no smallpox on this right?" A joke, but I still want to apologize.

I'm a white male. I belong to a group that pretty much always been able to own land and to vote. I'm more or less from the kind that grabbed power somewhere after the fall of Rome and never let go. In other words, I'm the kind of white guy that has never experienced any real oppression.

Although I guess my ancestors technically left England because of some religious persecution and in spite of a rough boat ride and a rough first Thanksgiving, it's safe to say it worked out pretty well. Unless you got one of those aforementioned blankets.

But in addition to being white and having ancestors on the Mayflower, I'm also Canadian. Yes, I know that might actually make me more white than before, but it also technically makes me an immigrant to this country.

Still, I am loath to call myself an immigrant because I don't want to demean the very real, very difficult challenges faced by immigrants to this country who have had to overcome differences in language, culture and distance from their families. I would say my biggest hardship has been trying to find Ketchup Chips...
Poor guy. Can't he see that lefty guilt is an intoxicant--and therefore horribly addictive? Get thee to a 12-step program post haste, Christian, before it devours you!


Tim Johnston said...

the Romans weren't white??!!!

He sounds like a thoroughly unpleasant person, as I must have been in my own leftist days. How annoying I must have been if I sounded anything like this bloke.
I was, however, a lefty out of envy and resentment rather than guilt, so, more of a socialist than a liberal :D

Michele said...

I call what afflicts him "guilticulturalism". Sadly, many teachers also suffer from it and I am always on alert to keep it from infecting my children.