The other day Paul Schrader posted that photo of his 20-year-old self from the spring of ’67. Given the current mindset of the community of friends and collaborators that he runs with, Schrader felt obliged to disparage the rural-white-kid look that he had at the time.
Facebook: “This is [what] white living in Michigan can make you and there was nobody to say, ‘Man, you’re white'”
As in “man, you’re hopeless…that look on your face, that smug Columbia T-shirt….you need to get out in the world and rumble it up and suffer some hard knocks and see what’s what.” Which all young people need to do.
The under-implication wasn’t just that the Schrader of ’67 needed to learn and grow and mature — the implication was that his Michigan whitebread background was an expression of inherent blindness and perhaps worse. He was a flawed human being because of his skin shade, his family heritage.
Which, of course, is the current view everywhere — white folk are inherently rotten apples unless proved or re-educated otherwise. And so I just posted the following (which no Hollywood liberal-progressive would dare share in a workplace):
Posted on 8.17.19: Speaking as an X-factor white guy from a middle-class New Jersey and Connecticut upbringing, I don’t feel repelled or disgusted by my Anglo-Saxon heritage and family history. I deeply regret the cruelty visited upon immigrants and various cultures of color by whites, but the fact that racist attitudes were common throughout most of the 20th Century and certainly the 19th Century doesn’t mean that white people (more particularly my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, reaching back to the mid 1800s) were inherently evil.
By current standards they seem insufficiently evolved, of course, but they were born into a certain culture and were dealt certain cards, and most carried the weight as best they could. They weren’t born with horns on their heads.
Nor do I feel that elemental decency is absent in the majority of white people today. I feel profoundly repelled by the attitudes of your backwater Trump supporters, of course, but they are not me. I come from a family of “good”, well-educated, imperfect people who believed in hard work, discipline and mowing the lawn on Saturday afternoons, and who exuded decency and compassion for the most part. I am not the devil’s spawn, and neither is my Russian-born wife or my two sons. I’ve witnessed and dealt with ignorant behavior all my life, but I’ve never bought into the idea of Anglo-Saxon culture being inherently evil. Please.
Bottom line: Rosanna Arquette‘s feelings of tribal self-loathing is what many Americans can’t stand about progressive lefties.
Pontius Pilate by way of Gore Vidal: “Where there is great striving, great government or power, even great feeling or compassion, error also is great. We progress and mature by fault.”