STAUNTON, Va.—I just recently realized that I’m a miserable selfish tone-deaf insensitive creep.
Why didn’t I see this before?
All those years of reading the Times, the Post, Buzzfeed, and the Vanderbilt University alumni magazine have worked their way through the crusty rawhide of my soul and penetrated to my essence, revealing me to be beyond redemption, like a smoker who lights up in the cancer ward of St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Actually, I just proved it again.
Who would write a simile like that? Are you trying to be funny? Do you think children’s cancer is FUNNY? Maybe you’ll think twice next time before you spew out the first thing that comes out of your head, because now we have to organize a letter-writing campaign against every Takimag advertiser.
Please let me do penance, or probation, or social-media jail, or whatever form of public horsewhipping is necessary to transform me from a self-righteous privileged Neanderthal to a craven apologetic humiliated loser crawling around on my knees trying to convince people that I Get It Now, I was wrong, I’ll go to rehab, that wasn’t the real me, I’m donating my salary to homeless drunk Eskimos in Juneau.
Briggs, you are unbelievable! Unbelievable. First of all, they are not Eskimos. Please take your white-supremacist term and file it under Clueless. They are Inuit and Yupik indigenous peoples, and if you must use antiquated terminology for First Nations citizens of Alaska, northern Canada, and Siberia, you should have the decency to use the French spelling “Esquimaux.” Your disgusting stereotype implying that the American Indian or Native Alaskan has a problem with “firewater” ignores simple geography—the drink-all-day bars are in Nome, not Juneau—while ignoring recent data showing that deaths due to alcohol poisoning among indigenous peoples are only 550 percent higher than the rate of deaths among all Americans, which is a net decrease from studies carried out in the 1950s. Your casual racism is disgusting.
Oh God, yes, I know, send me to Sensitivity Training in Boulder, Colorado, make me wear a dress in a transgender role-play exercise taught by a lesbian named Alex.
Briggs, that’s it. Tomorrow you will receive 978 emails written in ALL CAPS, your Facebook account will be hacked, and the life of your dog will be threatened.
I fully realize that I am complicit. Every time some guy in the locker room starts talking about giant breasts, I tell the story about the record-setting hematomas on Chesty Morgan, the stripper whose enormous talents were registered with the Israeli secret service as deadly weapons.
I further realize that I am guilty of multiple microaggressions. I have discussed feather boas and jeweled sandals with grown men who paint their fingernails pink and wear pancake makeup at 8:30 in the morning but who have not identified as homasekshul.
I have committed so many cultural appropriations that I should be imprisoned as a serial burglar. These include endorsing the Mae West shimmy in She Done Him Wrong even though it’s a barely disguised version of the shimmy-shawobble that she stole from African-American women who developed it in Chicago nightclubs.