Rural Wiggers II

I think when you grow up Black in a predominately poor white area in America, there’s a certain austerity you are made to adopt towards your suffering that can transform gaslighting into the everyday state of being alive. Rural wiggers have a different attitude towards suffering. Tiffany Willoughby-Herard describes it as a condition of having been, “a waste of white skin.” This white “vulnerability” (if one is willing to grant such a name to such a thing) produces an integrity boost to the Black body that is almost purely aesthetic in nature. By this I mean, the Black comes to feel themselves having improved in their lot and toil by a ‘hallucinatory whitening’ that emerges from a proximity to whiteness as an aesthetic value despite the very real existence of vulnerability that constitutes these ‘waste of white skin.’ The abyss, that Fanon describes as being between himself and Sartre (and there is at least a gap between that of Sartre and the rural wigger) is an abyss that the Black becomes austere towards in the ethos of his white ‘contemporaries.’ In the name of calling the struggle, ‘our struggle’ the Black bites their tongue, picks themselves from up by their bootstraps, and vows to make something out of the nothing that, economically speaking, has not shifted drastically from the hood they left to the cul-de-sac they live in, in terms of poverty. It is the way in which hallucinatory whiteness equates whiteness to ‘safety’ and ‘upward mobility’ that causes the Black who ‘moves up’ in American society by moving next to poor white people to develop an austerity towards their experiences of anti-Blackness itself. It is not that anti-Blackness is dead to these austere types. It is that anti-Blackness gets understood to be the duty of the Black to ‘overcome.’ Overcoming anti-Blackness becomes the Black’s ‘job.’ This confusion of their labor dereliction with their dereliction of genre results in both an anti-Black and anti-Poor demeanor on behalf of the Black. It is a demeanor which allows for an economic advance to be equated with overcoming anti-Blackness through a “hallucinatory whitening” that serves to equate the logic of white vulnerability with its own. Rural wiggers “know” that ultimately it is money alone, and the psychic trauma of never-having-had money, good money, that separates them from the haves. They are white trash precisely because they have not cashed in on their birthright – The World. What’s worse is that many have often failed intergenerationally to ‘cash in’ on this birthright endowed to them by the God of productivity (a Protestant ethic, indeed). ‘White trash’ holds a kind of scarring of lack, of not having, which often leads to filling the void with drugs, sex, and hip hop. Yeah, rock and roll too. But, lots and lots of hip hop. In Eminem, they found their icon but more than anything they just love “real” hip hop. Something that can speak to their ‘condition.’ We might say then that ‘white trash’ is a kind of ‘hallucinatory blackening’ of the white body. The syntagmatic connections between drugs, money, sex, trash, Blackness and black music envelopes the wigger in a web of anti-Blackness that is purely hallucinatory. A convinced white man saying: “I say the N word because I grew up round dat.” Here ‘dat’ functions to unconsciously justify his association of himself with denigration through the medium of Blackness. The rural wigger imagines himself as a nigga, a ‘dat.’ “I am white and denigrated, I’m a nigga too.” But what this anti-Blackness speaks, the “hallucinatory whiteness” of the Black disavowals despite the trepidations of the job. For the Black with ‘hallucinatory whitening’ going out into the World and being at risk of being murdered by the State is just ‘part of a day’s work.’ But the trauma of not-having-had is not the same trauma as the trauma of never had been able to be and only some suffer both.

         Whose World is this anyway?

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