I’m starting to get really tired of White Knights.
You’ve seen these gentlemen. They rush in, when they perceive someone as being in danger, and pavane around with grandeur, proclaim their goodness and wonderfulness, and their willingness to defend the helpless. And nine times out of ten, leave, full of honor and glory, leaving things worse than they found them.
Except the modern versions don’t ask you if you are helpless, they just assume. And they don’t do anything except signal their virtue and their willingness to defend you. Oh, they might take the opportunity to bash a few of their personal enemies, perhaps by claiming that they are your enemies too.
They’ve been all over recently. Yes, sure, there are many minorities online, who, having fully imbibed the Kool-Aid, are now merrily calling everyone a Nazi on the slimmest of pretexts. But most such offenders are in fact lily white and convinced of their own special wonderfulness. It was a lily white and, if I had to guess, upper middle class young man who took it upon himself to tell me I should be grateful to Antifa for saving me from vile speech.
Well, this first generation, immigrant Latina is not grateful. Do you know why she is not grateful? Because no one asked you to defend me. Certainly no one asked a communist front group with a frightening penchant for violence and vandalism to defend me. And if I wanted to be defended it wouldn’t be from speech, vile or not. It would be from active, physical aggression, which communists are at least as likely (and possibly more) to engage in than the crazy racists.
I’m no more acceptable to communists than I am to the Nazis. The Nazis would reject me on account of my origins and the fact that I can tan really dark when I get out of the office and into the rays of the evil day star. And Antifa would reject me because I think people who attack their fellow citizens are despicable and their theories of power and wealth are wrong and based on the crazy theories of Marx, the most overrated dead white man ever. And because I’m tired of their trying to impose their ignorance and cultish beliefs on the rest of us.
I don’t want either side to defend me from the other. I accept that both have the right to say whatever they please, and I hope they do it far away from me. If they come to my attention, I am entitled to make fun of them by all means available.
Because you see, I’m not delicate, I’m not helpless, and I don’t need a white knight.
The implicit insult the white knight’s defense is the idea that those they are defending are in need of help.
My accent gets me very odd reactions in the US. For a long while they ranged from the people who thought I’d come to the US to escape the direst poverty (well, maybe in US terms, but really!) to the people who thought I’d left my beautiful, traditional society to come here, as a ambassador of our peaceful and quaint ways. Which means they know bloody nothing about Portuguese history, or American history. Or any history, really.
Of the two, I prefer the first. They listen. When I point out that my family was middle class (granted for the village, where we were all as poor as Job) and that my degree probably would have got me a better material life than I have here, but I came here because I fell mad in love with America and the ideals it was founded on (yes, I fell mad in love with my husband too. Still am, after 33 years, but you know, HE was willing to move to be with me) they tend to listen and understand.
The ones who despise America though, and who want me to be the ambassador of my peaceful and quaint culture don’t listen and don’t understand. And they get really angry that someone from a country where people tan can insist that the US is better. And they get REALLY upset when I tell them that no, the US doesn’t oppress me, and no, I don’t need their help.
Because you know, all those allies who come in “white knighting” it to defend women and minorities, don’t really want to defend women and minorities.
They most of all want to claim victimhood. They think America and non-minorities are somehow evil. And the only way they can wash off that evil is to identify with a minority and defend it tooth and nail.
Second, they want the glory and virtue that comes from being “enlightened” and “helping” minorities.
They want to be the voice for the voiceless and the strength for the weak. But only if the voice says what they want to say and if the persona admires and endorses their strength.
In other words, they want to use people not like them to aggrandize themselves. They want to impose beliefs and experiences they believe people of a different color or gender or orientation should have on those people. They want to receive power and adulation from telling everyone how to live and from othering others. They are ignorant of US history and virgin of world history, but they feel the need to tell you how everyone should feel, even people from other countries.
They are the privileged, coddled, praised products of self esteem education. And they’ll trample anyone, demean anyone, destroy anyone, and bring down their own country in an effort to continue thinking of themselves as the best, the brightest and the kindest people who ever lived.
The expression behind the great, shining helm of the white knight is a smirk of superiority.