I have arrived at what, I think, for the next five minutes anyway, is my final destination, a town in Washington state I shall call Cooterville. I named it this after Cooter P. McNugget, the quintessential Cooterville resident. He has 12 years of public education, yes, but four of them were spent in the sixth grade. He does not read. His Facebook job status is "It's Complicated." Yet he does not let his utter and complete lack of accomplishment or authority prevent him from going batshit about a football player kneeling for the national anthem. This is my home now.
Cooterville is white. Really white. Blinding white. I encountered a black guy today, and I instinctively gave him directions to the freeway. I do not consider oppressive whiteness to be a feature. It is at its best dull. It is at its worst cancerous.
I watched the Steelers’ game yesterday at the local Steelers club. At a whole 18 months’ residency, I was the closest thing to a native Pittsburgher there. “It’s disgraceful!” snorted the Cooter seated opposite me about the Steelers avoiding the whole manufactured anthem bullshit-distraction-from-treason. I asked her what was wrong with me. I love my country. I stand for the anthem. Yet I’m not the least bit invalidated by players kneeling in a dignified protest about a legitimate concern, let alone am I driven batshit psychotic about it. She waved me off, and I have no doubt that she despises me for my lack of oh-who-the-fuck-cares.