Every single unrelenting day, the NYT features at least one story or op-ed designed to say “white people are evil”. There are several today. One is an op-ed titled “Mourning My White Husband in the Age of Trump” by Erin Aubry Kaplan who “teaches writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is the author of “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line” and “I Heart Obama.””
She’s a black woman who talks about the marriage to her late, Jewish liberal husband.
When I married in 2000, I changed my name. I expanded it — kept my name but added my husband’s name, Kaplan, without a hyphen. I wanted my name to reflect a conjoining that was also an evolution, literally one thing following another. This was an experiment, as all marriages are, that felt exciting and open-ended, not least because I’m black and my husband was white.
A hyphenated-woman. Oh boy, strap yourselves in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Throughout our relationship, we shared a political lens… I never had to explain or defend my racial frustrations, anxiety or even paranoia.
I can only imagine.
I could write a dissertation deconstructing the loaded emotions and latent propositions in the following passage about her husband.
I am a journalist who had been covering black matters for years at that point, and Alan was a locally famous high school teacher of American history who believed that race and racism had shaped America far more than it was willing to admit. Not surprisingly, he didn’t think changing my name was a great idea. “Black people know you as Erin Aubry,” he said bluntly. “They’ll resent a name so obviously white and Jewish. It’ll get in your way.”
He wasn’t being snide or heroic. One of the many things he’d figured out is that white people showing up in a black space, including the intimate space of a relationship, is seen by many black folks as an incursion, even if they don’t say so. That he understood and was even sympathetic to this view impressed me, but I changed my name anyway. It felt romantic.
She is basically admitting that, yes, black people don’t like it when white people enter their space. There’s zero awareness about the double-standard in this regard. Furthermore, she finds her husband’s realization of this black-initiated discrimination… romantic.
However, the best paragraph has got to be:
Alan’s anger about racial inequality was rooted in his work, but it wasn’t something he left in the classroom — and I loved that about him. Ever the teacher, sometimes he’d challenge me to justify my feelings with evidence; other times he’d cite a book or article he’d read recently — by Chris Hedges, Naomi Wolf, Chalmers Johnson — that put my feelings into a bigger, more complicated context than I sometimes wanted to consider.
A black woman encouraged to justify her feelings with evidence? That sounds like a recipe for an ass-whoopin’. And, better yet, a ‘racially frustrated’ liberal black woman had her liberal black views “challenged” by stalwart conservatives such as Chris Hedges and Naomi Wolf.
Ah, but her response is revealing:
“I’m not one of your students,” I’d say impatiently. “I don’t have to write a paragraph supporting my opinion that Trent Lott is racist. He’s racist!”
“That’s true, but that doesn’t mean you can be a lazy thinker,” he’d shoot back. “If you don’t have a strong argument, people can take you apart. They’ll take black people apart. You’ll lose what you should win.”
Read that passage carefully. Does it not sound like that, in all likelihood, Erin had a repeated propensity to be a lazy thinker, and that her lib husband was trying to nudge her to engage with critical reasoning?
Another revealing quote:
At the same time, he had racial blind spots; he could still be a white guy with privilege who thought his views should wield more influence than they did…
Our different upbringings made for different outlooks. In Alan’s privilege he expected change; in my non-privilege, I expected struggle. For all his wokeness, he couldn’t escape his American sense of entitlement, and sometimes I watched it from the outside with a kind of bewilderment, even admiration.
He could still be a “white guy with privilege”? Again, zero awareness of how this comes across to anyone but the most liberal of NYT’s readers. This marriage appears to be a microcosm of the current war within the Left between increasingly radical, racialized POCs and liberal ‘whites’.
With Alan I could say all the things too risky or too subtle to say to white people at parties or in public. Today, while I’m determined not to hold back with white folks anymore — in the age of lies-as-truth, honesty feels like the only path left — the not-holding-back feels like a job. It’s not an act of love, at least not in the immediate way it had been for me.
Good lord: she thinks she’s been too timid. Yes, the Left needs to be more open in their Hate. They have been too silent for too long!
An open question is whether Trump’s entering the Presidential race hastened her husband’s death.
In Alan’s last days, when he was conscious (but unable to speak) and I was sure he’d recover, I tried to re-enlist him in our running conversation. I gestured to the news playing on the TV in his hospital room. “Look, Alan, Trump is running for president,” I exclaimed. “Can you believe it?”
I knew the answer: Of course he believed it. He’d been talking his entire career, and our entire marriage, about the gravitational pull of racial fear and loathing on politics, and Mr. Trump’s swiftly rising appeal was the storm that had been gathering during eight years of Barack Obama.
Yet for the first time, he seemed utterly uninterested in such news; as I ranted at the screen, he turned his eyes away. Maybe he knew what was coming, and knew he wasn’t going to be here for it.
In all seriousness, how many more of these op-eds do we have to endure?