Two days ago I spent the day with a white vegan anarchist. The guy spent the day showing me how politically correct is he, how he eats the right kind food, buys the right things, thinks the right way (I was confused because I concluded that he most belong to the right, but he says that he’s a leftist), and how much he wants to work in solidarity with those who don’t have privilege, especially with indigenous people. Actually, he claims that he’s the right to have an “Indian card”, since he’s “a lot of indigenous blood running in his body”.
Though that made me even more confused, I never understood if he meant that he’s indigenous ancestry or if he’s talking about his ancestors killing many Indians and stolen the land after the bloody massacres.
During the evening, my white vegan anarchist “I wanna be an Indian, yupi!” acquaintance acknowledged his white privilege in front of a friend, who happens to be a person of color, like me. My South American friend has been looking for a job for a while, but he’s having a hard time finding a good job, he’s ended up taking jobs that he doesn’t enjoy for short periods of time and lives in constant economic turmoil. He’s a professional photographer, a really gifted one, who managed to study without any family support. My white vegan anarchist acquaintance, on the other hand, doesn’t have a permanent job; he just works whenever he needs to, a couple of days per week. He is ok with this situation, because that way he’s free time to “work against the system, yeah!” He can get some very well paid jobs because he’s friends with money (who happen to be white too). He can get really well paid jobs even when he doesn’t have a college degree, because he managed to not to finish college, even with family support. But he acknowledges that he’s white privilege, he’s willing to acknowledge that in front of everybody, especially people of color that are breaking their backs trying to get a decent payment and a decent job.
My white vegan anarchist acquaintance really wants to let us know, people of color, how much work he’s done unpacking his privileges.
That night, after some beers at home, we decided to go to a pub. After a few beers at the pub, my by now white vegan anarchist drunk acquaintance decided that it was time to get a woman. He has a partner, they live together, but it doesn’t matter, because they’re very open minded people, they have the right ideas, the kind that would make the world a better place if everybody would have them, like knowing your grains of coffee (whatever it means), not eating chickens because they’re very nice birds (I guess that Santiago Nassar would have disagreed strongly with him, he’d been afraid of chickens since he was a child and imagined a chicken as big as a human adult. Though, he ended up being killed by a human, not by a gigantic chicken. Chickenphobia, I believe he was diagnosed. But that’s another story, one that belongs to a great writer), and fighting against the system while using their white privileges, fuck yeah!
The night went on and the bill arrived, it was C$ 62 including taxes and tip. My non privileged friend just had C$ 15. I, the other non privileged in the group had C$25. I had to go and interrupt my white vegan anarchist drunk polyamorous acquaintance to let him know that his share of the bill was C$22. He flipped out; and said “I just have to put C$11 or so”. I told him that my friend was short of money, and that I have already put all the money that I had. He said “I don’t have that kind of money; I want to have separate bills”. Then he paid with his credit card.
Yes, my white vegan anarchist drunk polyamorous “I want to destroy the system, fuck yeah” acquaintance has a credit card and a debit card. Though, I have to say that they are nice, the plastic cards, they have a cute dog in the front side, the kind of dog that is in the movie The Mask.
He explained that he’s trying to leave the system because the banks are evil, but that he’s not quite ready yet.
When the waiter brought the bill, our white vegan anarchist drunk polyamorous acquaintance showed us, “look, C$ 14 dollars (C$ 16 including the tip), I told you that I didn’t have to pay C$22”. The waiter brought our bill; he apologized because he was charging us, the three people in the group, an extra beer. The bill was C$36, we put C$40 including the tip, exactly all the money that we have. I don’t know what would have we done if the bill had been higher than that. My unprivileged friend is pretty much broke, and I don’t have a credit card.
Don’t get me wrong, I also think that the banks are evil and that they should be destroyed altogether with other evil things like Darth Vader, George Bush, Hitler, every bird that has shit over me since I was a child, and that Norwegian dish of fish that looks like frozen semen with fish bones and tastes even worse than it looks. But sometimes, like that night, I wish I had a credit card. I can’t have one because the type of visa that I get has many limitations.
Did I mention that I am also from South America, and that embassies and immigration officials give me problems every time that I need a visa or cross a border? One of them is that I can’t get one from the credit union where I have my money.
Yes, I think that banks are evil and for that reason I open an account in a local credit union, but I don’t go around letting people know how amazing I am and how hard I’m working to destroy the system, fuck yeah!
That night, my white vegan anarchist drunk polyamorous piece of shit acquaintance managed to pay a cheap bill without losing the girl that he was going for. In Spanish we would describe him as “someone who is ready to sell his mother to get what he wants”. He didn’t have to sell his mother to get laid that night; he just had to sell his non privileged “friends”. I guess that six dollars are too much for his solidarity.
- Julián Gutiérrez Castaño