excerpted from the book
Stupid White Men
and other Sorry Excuses for
the State of the Nation
by Michael Moore
As white people, we've been lulled into
thinking it's safe to be around other white people. We've been
taught since birth that it's the people of that other color we
need to fear. They're the ones who'll slit your throat!
Yet as I look back on my life, a strange
but unmistakable pattern seems to emerge. Every person who has
ever harmed me in my lifetime-the boss who fired me, the teacher
who flunked \. , me, the principal who punished me, the kid who
hit me in the eye with a rock, the other kid who shot me with
his BB gun, the executive who didn't renew TV Nation, the guy
who was stalking me for three years, the accountant who double-paid
my taxes, the drunk who smashed into me, the burglar who stole
my stereo, the contractor who overcharged me, the girlfriend who
left me, the next girlfriend who left even sooner, the pilot of
the plane I was on who hit a truck on the runway (he probably
hadn't eaten in days), the other pilot who decided to fly through
a tornado, the person in the office who stole checks from my checkbook
and wrote them out to himself for a total of $16,000-every one
of these individuals has been a white person! Coincidence? I think
I have never been attacked by a black
person, never been evicted by a black person, never had my security
deposit ripped off by a black landlord, never had a black landlord,
never had a meeting at a Hollywood studio with a black executive
in charge, never seen a black agent at the film/TV agency that
used to represent me, never had a black person deny my child the
college of her choice, never been puked on by a black teenager
at a Motley Crue concert, never been pulled over by a black cop,
never been sold a lemon by a black car salesman, never seen a
black car salesman, never had a black person deny me a bank loan,
never had a black person try to bury my movie, and I've never
heard a black person say, "We're going to eliminate ten thousand
jobs here-have a nice day!"
... it's always the white guy. Let's go to the tote board:
* Who gave us the black plague? A white
* Who invented PBC, PVC, PBB, and a host
of chemicals that are killing us? White guys.
* Who has started every war America has
been in? White men.
* Who is responsible for the programming
on FOX? White men.
* Who invented the punch card ballot?
A white man.
* Whose idea was it to pollute the world
with the internal combustion engine? Whitey, that's who.
* The Holocaust? That guy really gave
white people a bad name (that's why we prefer to call him a Nazi
and his little helpers Germans).
* The genocide of Native Americans? White
* Slavery? Whitey!
* So far in 2001, American companies have
laid off over 700,000 people. Who ordered the layoffs? White CEOs.
* Who keeps bumping me off the Internet?
Some friggin' white guy, and if I find him, he's a dead white
You name the problem, the disease, the
human suffering, or the abject misery visited upon millions, and
I'll bet you ten bucks I can put a white face on it faster than
you can name the members of 'N Sync.
And yet when I turn on the news each night,
what do I see again and again? Black men alleged to be killing,
raping, mugging, stabbing, gangbanging, looting, rioting, selling
drugs, pimping, ho-ing, having too many babies, dropping babies
from tenement windows, fatherless, motherless, Godless, penniless.
"The suspect is described as a black male . . . the suspect
is described as a black male . . . THE SUSPECT IS DESCRIBED AS
A BLACK MALE...." No matter what city I'm in, the news is
always the same, the suspect always the same unidentified black
male. I'm in Atlanta tonight, and I swear the police sketch of
the black male suspect on TV looks just like the black male suspect
I saw on the news last night in Denver and the night before in
L.A. In every sketch he's frowning, he's menacing-and he's wearing
the same knit cap! Is it possible that it's the same black guy
committing every crime in America?
African-Americans have been on the lowest rung of the economic
ladder since the day they were beaten and dragged here in chains-and
they have never made it off that rung, not for a single damn day.
Every other immigrant group who has landed here has been able
to advance from the bottom to the middle and upper levels of our
society. Even Native Americans, who are among the poorest of the
poor, have fewer children living in poverty than African-Americans.
You probably thought things had gotten
better for blacks in this country. I mean, after all, considering
all the advances we've made eliminating racism in our society,
one would think our black citizens might have seen their standard
of living rise. A survey published in the Washington Post in July
2001 showed that 40 to 60 percent of white people thought the
average black person had it as good or better than the average
Think again. According to a study conducted
by the economists Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and David C.
Clingaman, the average income for a black American is 61 percent
less per year than the average white income. That is the same
percentage difference as it was in 1880! Not a damn thing has
changed in more than 120 years.
Want more proof? Consider the following:
* About 20 percent of young black men
between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four are neither in school
nor working-compared with only 9 percent of young white men. Despite
the "economic boom" of the nineties, this percentage
has not fallen substantially over the last ten years.
* In 1993, white households had invested
nearly three times as much in stocks and mutual funds and/or IRA
and Keogh accounts as black households. Since then, the stock
market has more than doubled its value.
* Black heart attack patients are far
less likely than whites to undergo cardiac catheterization, a
common and potentially lifesaving procedure, regardless of the
race of their doctors. Black and white doctors together referred
white patients for catheterization about 40 percent more often
than black patients.
* Whites are five times more likely than
blacks to receive emergency clot-busting treatment for stroke.
* Black women are four times more likely
than white women to die while giving birth.
* Black levels of unemployment have been
roughly twice those of whites since 1954.
... So how have we white people been able
to get away with this without all ending up like Reginald Denny?
Caucasian ingenuity! You see, we used
to be real dumb. Like idiots, we wore our racism on our sleeve.
We did really obvious things, like putting up signs on rest room
doors that said WHITES ONLY. Over a drinking fountain we'd hang
a sign that said COLOREDS. We made black people sit at the back
of the bus. We prevented them from attending our schools or living
in our neighborhoods. They got the crappiest jobs (those advertised
for NEGROES ONLY), and we made it clear that if you weren't white
you were going to be paid a lower wage.
Well, this overt, over-the-top segregation
got us into a heap of trouble. A bunch of uppity lawyers went
to court-citing, of all things, our very own Constitution! They
pointed out that the Fourteenth Amendment doesn't allow for anyone
to be treated differently because of their race.
Eventually, after a long procession of
court losses, demonstrations, and riots, we got the message: if
we didn't wise up, we were going to have to start sharing some
of the pie. We learned an important lesson: if you're going to
be a successful racist, better find a way to do it with a smile
on your face!
So white people got smart and took down
the signs, stopped lynching black men who might have stopped on
the street to talk with our women, passed a bunch of civil-rights
laws, and ceased saying words like nigger in public. We even got
magnanimous enough to say, Sure, you can even live here in our
neighborhood; your kids can go to our kids' school. Why the hell
not? We were just leaving anyway. We smiled, gave black America
a pat on the back-and then ran like the devil to the suburbs.
Now we get to have things just the way we always used to have
them in the cities. When we walk out to pick up the paper in the
morning, we look one way down the street and see white people;
look the other way, and guess what?-more white people!
At work, we whites still get the plum
jobs, double the pay, and a seat in the front of the bus to happiness
and success. Look back down the aisle, though, and you'll see
the blacks sitting where they've always been, picking up after
us, waiting on us, serving us from behind the counter.
In order to create a cover for this continued
discrimination, we hold "diversity seminars" at our
workplaces and appoint "urban relations" people to help
us "connect with the community." When we advertise for
a job opening we gleefully include the words "An Equal Opportunity
Employer." It feels so good-and it's good for a chuckle,
'cause we know there's no way in hell a black guy's going to get
the job. Only 4 percent of the African-American population have
a graduate degree (compared with 9 percent of whites and 15 percent
of Asian-Americans). We've rigged the system from birth, guaranteeing
that black people will go to the worst public schools, thus preventing
them from admission to the best colleges, and paving their way
to a fulfilling life making our lattes, servicing our BMWs, and
picking up our trash. Oh, sure, a few slip by-but they pay an
extra tariff for the privilege: the black doctor driving his BMW
gets pulled over continually by the cops; the black Broadway actress
can't get a cab after the standing ovation; the black broker is
the first to be laid off because of "seniority."
We whites really deserve some kind of
genius award for this. We talk the talk of inclusion, we celebrate
the birthday of Dr. King, we frown upon racist jokes; thanks to
that rat bastard Mark Fuhrman blowing our cover, we've even coined
a new term-"the N-word"-to replace the real Nigger McCoy.
Trust me, you'll NEVER catch any of us saying that word out loud-not
these days, no-sir-ree-bob! The only time it's acceptable is when
we're singing along with a rap song-and boy, do we suddenly love
We never fail to drop a mention of "my
friend-he's black . . ." We give money to the United Negro
College Fund, recognize Black History Month, and make sure we
put our lone black employee up at the front reception desk so
we can say things like "See-we don't discriminate! We hire
Yes, we are a very crafty, cagey race-and
damn if we haven't gotten away with it!
It's not the white skin color of others that gives me the creeps.
What galls me is that my fellow white people have become so conniving
they've figured out a way to turn black people into white people!
When I first heard Clarence Thomas speak I thought, "For
crying out loud, don't white people have enough people already?"
Now the airwaves are filled with blacks who are trotted out to
push the white agenda. I am stumped as to where the networks dig
these individuals up. They speak out against affirmative action,
even though many of them got into college thanks to affirmative
action. They blast welfare mothers, even though that's who their
own mother was, struggling for years in poverty so her son could
grow up to debase her and her kind. They speak out against homosexuals,
even though AIDS has devastated black gay men more than any other
group. They despise Jesse Jackson, even though he spent years
being arrested and risking his life so they would have the freedom
to sit down in any restaurant and order lunch, let alone voice
any opinion they wished. I'm not saying that black America must
speak with one political voice; I'm just repulsed by the venom
some of these "conservatives" spew.
It's the saddest thing to watch, this
Uncle Tom porn. How much are these freaks being paid? I wonder,
when the red light on the camera goes off, does Bill O'Reilly
or Chris Matthews or Tucker Carlson ever say to these sellouts,
"Hey, there's a house next to mine for sale-you oughta move
in!" or "Hey, my sister's single now, and so are you-how
'bout it?" I don't know, maybe they do. Maybe O'Reilly will
have me over for Kwanzaa this December.
I wonder how long we'll have to live with
the legacy of slavery. That's right. I brought it up. SLAVERY.
You can almost hear the groans of white America whenever you bring
up the fact that we still suffer from the impact of a government-approved
and supported slave system.
Well, I'm sorry, but the roots of most
of our social ills can be traced straight back to this sick chapter
of our history. AfricanAmericans never got a chance to have the
same fair start the rest of us got. Their families were willfully
destroyed. Their language and culture and religion were stripped
from them. Their poverty was institutionalized so that our cotton
could get picked, our wars could be fought, our convenience stores
could remain open all night. The America we've come to know would
never have come to pass if not for the millions of slaves who
built it and created its booming economy-and for the millions
of their descendants who do the same dirty work for whites today.