Cry Babies In Professional Pampers: My Thoughts On Rigoberto González’s ‘Bittersweet’

Some of these times I think there is a danger in this cry baby form of coping with being a US non-Whyte. That is to say, being in a race that is not a definer of which race sits on top of a nation’s social and economic stratification. There is this tendency for even those of privileged position to find a reason to boo-hoo into that thinkpiece for some Whyte establishment.


So, I was reading this article written by a self-proclaimed “professional of color”. In this piece, he laments about being “successful”, yet being mistaken for a waiter at a restaurant by a Whyte patron waiting for her table.


He then goes into this spiel about working hard and still not being recognized for it. My take from all of this is that he has no problem with actual waiters and waitresses being dumped on–hell, he probably thinks it is their fault and they should pull themselves up–but, if you somehow have found yourself working higher up that labor pool, these concerns of class should not exist.


In this article, he uses a term to refer to how he was treated. He states,”being an academic or an artist doesn’t spare us the indignity of being devalued.” Since, of course, your value as a human is ultimately tied to your professional status. Now, I get that there is a need to critique a Whyte Woman who might assume that since you are of ethnic origins other than Whyte(when did “Whyte” become an ethnic origin, anyway?), you must be in a service capacity. However, every service capacity is not McDonald’s. This is not Antebellum USA, I am not quite sure I am willing to frown on every position of service as beneath my current tax bracket. It is a few maître’d’s that are getting that check! Surely, I have digressed…


In closing, my overall point here is that it is either eviscerate stratification, or it is not, so go wait your turn in line. Civil Rights along a racial trajectory should not be first ideological weaponry reached for when one is upset they are not being treated like someone who should be defecating on others, not being defecated on. Nowhere in this article does this writer suggest that maybe waiters and waitresses should be held to a higher standard, paid more, or somehow reduced in social consciousness as paradigms of subordination. He does not even state a concern for US nonWhytes in general not being treated in a subordinate capacity. His only gripe is that those of a particular professional class not be treated as such.


In that channel of thought, I see racial solidarity being used in a foul, damn near-exploitative, manner.