October 23rd, 2017

So, after the mass murder in Las Vegas I began to ponder the question: what are the people amassing these arsenals afraid of? The public trope has been that the weapon caches are to protect real Americans from the rogue forces of a socialist/communist/liberal government. I don’t buy that. I don’t buy that because, as I wrote earlier this month in CAN THE GUN DEBATE COME DOWN TO TYRANNY…?, no citizen army (Michael Brendan Dougherty still notwithstanding) has ever stood up to the U.S. Army.

Thinking more on the topic, and my conclusion that what the survivalists really fear not surviving is a coming race war, I started thinking about a popular television show that I have never seen: The Walking Dead. I thought I was going to have to force myself to watch a season or two on DVD to test my hypothesis that the show is really about that very race war with zombies acting as stand-ins for African-Americans, Hispanics, Arabs/Persians and other miscellaneous not-whites.

Thankfully I won’t have to watch. Michael Harriot—one of my new favorites—has saved me from that task by writing The Black Person’s Guide to The Walking Dead Harriot begins his fictionalized conversation this way:

What’s up, bruh? Why do you look so depressed?

Because The Walking Dead returns Sunday night and it always makes me a little upset.

But I thought you loved that show. Why would that make you sad?

Although I love the show, I always get sad because every season splits everyone into two factions. In my opinion, there are only two kinds of people in the world:

1. People who watch The Walking Dead.

2. People who don’t yet understand that The Walking Dead teaches you everything you need to know about white people’s fears.

One of the people who didn’t yet understand point No. 2 was one of my students who asked me this morning if I had watched last evening’s episode. That gave us an opening to what I hope was an enlightening conversation. (I’ve printed out Harriot’s complete article to give to my student tomorrow.) Harriot continues:

But isn’t it a series about zombies and shit? I don’t do zombies. Zombie-apocalypse fantasy horror is the definition of white-people shit.

Exactly. Just like Game of Thrones was about how whiteness intersects with power and politics, zombies are an analogy for white people’s worst fears. The two scariest things in all of Caucasia are zombies and black people.

Huh? I’m usually down to listen to your inane theories. They are nothing if not entertaining. But you lost me on this one. Zombies and black people are white people’s biggest fears?

Didn’t you know this? Being white is being fragile and privileged at the same time. There are only two things that make white people nervous: unapologetic blackness and the undead. They are scared shitless of anything that can’t die or that can return from the dead.

Think about it: When white people imagine the most powerful and horrific thing, it’s always a zombie. The White Walkers in Game of Thrones are just cold-weather zombies. Vampires are just bloodthirsty, old-school zombies. Dr. Frankenstein’s monster was just a factory-refurbished zombie.

Even the most powerful deity of all, Jesus Christ, is simply a zombie son who came back to life to change the world and wash away our sins.

But they always need blood.

Damn, I’ve never thought about it that way. But I’ve never watched the show. I can’t just jump in without watching the old episodes, can I? I don’t know how the zombies got here. I don’t know any of the characters. I don’t know the heroes or the antagonists. I’m sure you’re about to tell me about how everything stands for white privilege or white supremacy or something.

You’ve met white people before, right? It’s not that difficult to understand.

The hero of the show is the symbol for white nobility, morality and courage—a police officer named Rick. Rick goes into a coma and awakens to a world that has been taken over by violent zombies who will approach you without fear of being shot. They are multiplying very fast and making white people turn into zombies.

Let me guess. Are the zombies metaphors for black people?

You’re beginning to understand.

Somehow, the Negroes walking dead have taken over the world, except for a few brave people who have banded together to preserve the master race. Future generations of whites are becoming infected with this evil disease. Even children. It’s all about white genocide.

Get it?

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