A Disadvantage of Being a WASP
We All Need to Learn

A week ago, I wrote an essay about living in two worlds. I attempted to address white supremacy. I listed a litany of people: doctors, educators, and friends that I rely upon to function in this world; most of them aren’t like me. Americans are familiar with the slang term, WASPs. That acronym stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. It usually refers to white, upper-class Protestants who have ethnic roots in Britain. This picture is a perfect artistic drawing of me living in two worlds.

My two worlds

In that article, my medical life is in the hand of mostly non-WASPs. That is also true with teaching and close friends, whether here in the States or overseas. I rely upon people who aren’t all males WASPs.

I’m fortunate to be alive today. A dozen years ago, a neurosurgeon operated on my head for a couple of hours after I fell off a ladder. My head hit a retaining wall. The doctor that saved my life wasn’t a WASP; he was a Muslim. It seems absurd to think only WASPs males are the crème de crème in the pecking order of humanity.

I have been following the trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd. Several days ago, Christopher Martin, a 19-year-old employee of Cup Foods, testified concerning Floyd buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. What struck me was what Martin said at the end of his testimony about the $20 bill: “I took it anyway. I was going to put it on my tab. I kept examining it, and then I told my manager.” Here was a teenager concerned about Floyd that he would resolve the issue by putting “it on my tab.” Then he sadly reflected, “If I would have not taken the bill, this could have been avoided.” Martin was blaming himself for the death of Floyd.

Christopher Martin

Additionally, Charles McMillian testified that he tried to tell Floyd not to resist when the police pushed him into a squad car. McMillian was attempting to help Floyd avoid irritating the police.

Charles McMillan

It intrigued me that two guys were trying to help George Floyd avoid potential problems. However, the more I pondered their actions, which weren’t successful, I wondered what I would have done if I had been either Martin or McMillan. I came up with several variations of what I would have done if I were either of them. Having said that, what if my various ideas didn’t stop Chauvin from killing Floyd over those nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds.

I would have physically tied to stop Chauvin from killing Floyd. Floyd was handcuffed with his hands behind himself while lying on his stomach with Chauvin’s knee on his neck. While the other police would have responded by pushing me away, at least, it would have caused some time dealing with me. That might have cooldown Chauvin and avoided Floyd dying. Again, I might have failed, but why didn’t the other witnesses act as I would have?

The fourteen people watching Chauvin killing Floyd were all black, excluding five who were kids or women.

The answer is that I’m not black. I hadn’t grasped what blacks have learned in America from white supremacists, whether they are cops, members of the KKK, and any other racist group. White supremacists have taught blacks for centuries what they expect from them. Being white, I lacked the education that blacks and other minorities have acquired in America when dealing with white racists, including some cops. How many times have several white cops stopped a white person, which ended up in a situation in which George Floyd found himself?

America needs to address the single greatest anathema and tragedy facing our country…racism. The question remains, “…how many deaths will it take ’til he knows that too many people have died?”

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
And how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
And how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’til he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind