Are you a white, middle-class female? Are you terrified of black people but worship Oprah? Am I making you uncomfortable right now? If so, there’s a possibility you may suffer from a cultural disease best classified as Middle-Class White Ladyness or “M.C.W.L”; which usually occurs between the ages of 0 and death and if not treated early on, will get progressively worse.
Now don’t get all riled up, Police Correctness Police: pointing out the ways in which people benefit from white, gender, or class privilege and how their skewed worldviews and ignorances are shaped by those, is not the same thing as stereotyping. It’s a way to make people more conscious of their own prejudices and give them the tools to move forward.
And thankfully, there are a few common questions you can ask yourself to determine if you have Middle-Class White Ladyness.
Do you ever….
- Lock your door when a black male approaches and/or clutch your L.L bean purse when passing one on the street?
- Unintentionally envision every black kid living in the inner city where they go to a school that’s like a scene from Lean On Me?
- Have exactly one black friend who you sometimes say is your “best friend” when getting out of sticky racial situations?
- Say “the n word” aloud but “nigger” in your mind?
- Have used the term “post-racial” since Obama’s been in office?
- Stare at, touch, or ask specific questions about black womens’ hair (i.e, “So a perm makes your hair straight?”)
- Say things like, “I don’t see color” then promptly shit your pants when your daughter brings home a black guy?
- Have ongoing fantasies about having sex with a black man to See What All The Fuss Is About?
- Think people who receive financial assistance from the government are lazy slackers who need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps?
- Thought the Trayvon Martin coverage went on way too long?
- Think Affirmative Action is reverse racism?
- Find yourself unintentionally speaking in ebonics/slang terms when in the company of minorities?
- Felt guilty for at least a half hour after seeing The Help?
- Don’t consider people like Oprah really “black” ?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions you may be experiencing symptoms of Middle-Class White Ladyness and should visit Dr. bell hooks, Dr. Angela Davis, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, or Dr. Cornell West at your local Barnes & Noble immediately.
*Side effects may include: enlightenment, progressiveness, or equality.
**Not covered by Obamacare