Scott Harrell's Life As We Blow It: Where the white things are

Often, I feel like my complete and utter whiteness keeps me from fitting in. This great country of ours truly is a melting pot, and I can respect that, but where's a seriously, almost preternaturally white American guy supposed to find his place? I'm out of step, particularly here in Florida, with its crazy Cuban food (the rice is yellow!), its non-stop flow of tourists and their foreign influences, its rainbow of intermingled cultures.


It's enough to make a longtime resident consider leaving the Sunshine State in search of a home where his overwhelming white-itude would be less noticeable, less glaring.


But where?


I considered Montana. There seem to be a lot of real Americans up there whose belief in the time-honored characteristics of whiteness makes me look like a Moroccan Rick James. (Also, I really like camouflage.) It gets cold in Montana, though; same with Minnesota. San Francisco and Portland, Oregon presented great potential for unassuming white living as well, but the cost of living is always rising, and, well, you know ... hippies.


Over the years, I gradually gave up on my dream of finding a place in our great and varied nation where a white man with a middle-class upbringing could make a home. I resigned myself to living with the knowledge that my inherent whiteness would always mark me as an outsider.


Recently, though, events in Arizona have rekindled my hope. Arizona's warmth and wide-open charm appeal to me. Additionally, the state's intolerance of the whitest political leader of color in the history of the planet and apparent desire to legally toss anyone with too dark a tan back over the nearest southern fence are undeniably attractive. I used to think John McCain was the whitest guy in Arizona; I never dreamed such a magnificently accentless, funk- and groove-resistant specimen could be the rule, rather than the exception.


If Arizona succeeds in what seems like a serious run to become the whitest state in the Union, then that's it, right? That's the place for me. No longer would I feel embarrassed to be who I am. I could revel in my monochromaticism, without fear of standing out against a vibrant and ever-evolving melange of colors and cultural influences. And maybe one day, we as residents of this perfectly bland and flavorless utopia could together emerge as our own nation, a blindingly pale example of social continuity.


All hail Caucasia.

I'm white.

Like, white-white. Like, Scandinavian-albino white.

I can't dance. I speak Spanish with all the liquid eloquence of a computer's text-to-speech program. I only listen to hip-hop from the late '80s and early '90s. I like my seafood fried and my movies full of tits and fire. I fear slang, and coolness, and persons of color I don't already know. I love the Christian God for giving me the personal freedom to do shady, selfish things, and for forgiving me when I'm done.

What I'm saying is, I'm so white, I could almost qualify as Canadian.

Scroll to read more Columns articles

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.