Protesting while white

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. As Congress prepared to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, thousands of people gathered to show their support for President Donald Trump and his claims of election fraud.(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Like you, I watched the events of last week, as Trump supporters, who happen to be overwhelmingly white, like almost of them, stormed the United States Capitol.

And all I could think was, “Man, protesting while white looks amazing.”

I’m Arab and Palestinian, and I’ve been to hundreds of protests. I’ve organized dozens of them. But yesterday, I didn’t see any of the normal protest markers I’m used to. No riot gear, no batons, no tear gas. I mean, some of that stuff came later. But if I understand the concept of riot gear correctly, it’s supposed to make an appearance before the riots, not after. And no hundreds of people handcuffed? Is there a zip tie shortage in DC?

Also, does tear gas not work on white people or something? Because I know the protests I’ve been to. If we act up, we have like 5 seconds before the gas comes in.

“Free, Free, Pales– shit!”

Or maybe the cops were using pepper spray, and it just doesn’t work on white people because of their inability to identify spices.

Look, this is not the first time this has happened. We all remember back in May when anti-lockdown, armed Trump supporters (almost all white too) entered the Lansing Capitol building.

Oh, and you might say, “Why are you calling this a white protest?” Well, if this is a Palestinian protest, and this is a black protest, then this is white protest, right?

And you know how else I know it’s a white protest? Because we all know what this is about. This is about the quickly approaching brownification of America. A lot of white people are freaking out. And maybe you can’t blame them. For centuries, this nation has been built on the notion that Americanness and whiteness are one in the same. It’s not some abstract concept. From 1790, the birth of the nation, until 1952, not that long ago, whiteness was a legal prerequisite for citizenship. As Toni Morrison told us, “In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”

In 1960, white people made up almost 90% of the American population. In 1980, they were 80%. By 2010, they were 72%. In the 2020 census, they are estimated to be under 60%. And by 2042, the Census Bureau says white people will become a minority. And if Arab American birth rates keep up, 2042 will be 2032.

Samir’s white friend: “So, Samir, how many kids do you have?”
Samir (counting on his fingers): “Uh, 1,2,3,4,5.”
Samir’s white friend: “Cool, how old are they?”
Samir (counting on his fingers): “Uh, 1,2,3,4,5.”
Samir’s white friend: “How many years have you been married?”
Samir (counting on his fingers): “Uh, 1,2,3. Three!”

White people see what’s going on. And they are not happy about it. Something also tells me that the elections of a radical Black pastor and young Jewish guy in Georgia might have scared them a little bit too.

But listen, white people, here’s my advice. Don’t be scared of the browns and the blacks. Embrace it. Better music. Better food. It’s a good deal, I promise. Also, there isn’t really anything you can do about it. The white majority in America is like the Titanic. You already hit the brown iceberg, you’re in the middle of the ocean, and no one is coming to help. You might as well just enjoy the time you have left.

Anyway, white people showed me a few things last week. First, walls don’t work. Second, they literally believe they are superheroes. And third, being white is astonishingly even more amazing than I thought it was.

You can stand behind a cop while invading government buildings.

You can take a selfie with a cop while invading government buildings.

I mean, they stormed the Capitol and just walked out. We Arabs can’t even say “capitol.”

TSA: “You’ve been randomly selected, sir. What’s your name?”
Samir: “Samir Al-Hakim.”
TSA: “Can you spell your last name?”
Samir: “Sure, capital A, L, capital H, A…”
TSA: “You have the right to remain silent.”

About Amer Zahr 181 Articles
Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, professor and speaker living in Dearborn, Michigan. He is also the editor of "The Civil Arab."

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