If I Were A White Man

Sunday March 6, 2006
Gem Fire Air
If I Were A White Man
by marty kleva

What a wild weekend!

Awakened again at 4 am today, Saturday, from wild compensatory dreams to write the short If I were A White Man.

Later, I read Eric Francis’s blog and in it, a letter from an Arizona reader chronicling the good life of the homeless in America, about which I will restrain myself from commenting on, as Mr. Francis handled it with his usual compassion and wisdom.

Then, this morning — I almost reached my destination for a digital photography workshop in Albuquerque, when the clutch in my car failed on a three lane thoroughfare, and it seemed that everything was destined to go downhill from there.

But not to despair.

The number of angels who showed up on the spot was nothing short of grace.

Within minutes a guy stopped behind me and checked out my car, as three other people came running across the street, a mother — Julia, and her two teens.

Before I knew it, they pushed my car off the street into a parking lot, offered me a phone to call AAA, and gave me advice on how to handle the situation.

Julia’s teen daughter is a graphic artist and her son, a writer! We had lots to talk about as we waited for the tow truck.

My car was towed by a poker-faced guy named Smiley, who assured me he would tow my car but not take me to the cleaners, as he quoted me a price I could not refuse, and which would get me and my car home to Santa Fe later in the day.

Then I was offered a ride to the workshop from another woman, Olga, who stopped to see if she could help me. She is from Chile, and had recently lost her husband.

After the workshop was over, Cindi, one of the organizers, drove me to the towing company to meet up with my car and a ride home!

That was seven people!

An incredible lesson in humility for independent me to continue to accept offers of assistance from people who seemed to descend upon me from every direction.

So I kept saying “Yes.” and “Thank You.”

You might have thought I was giving away a million dollars, when it was they who offered me priceless gifts!

I cannot remember having an ounce of anxiety throughout the entire day, even when Smiley gave me a guesstimate on what it might cost me to repair the clutch.

Such a display of abundant help and goodwill toward me a stranger has left an indelible imprint upon me.

I will never forget this day.

May the blessings bestowed on me be multiplied and cast across the world to everyone else, and especially, back toward those seven, who gave so freely from the love in their hearts.

con amore,



Then this, from Bill Bonner in an e-letter, the Daily Reckoning, a lightning-bolt-shot of insight from his German cab driver in Deutschland.

Two things most impressed me as I read it: the fact that he is second generation post-war, and his words, "after you all finished bombing". See what you get from it.

Oh you are an American, said our cab driver last night.

We get a lot of Americans here in Köln, but all they want to know about is the war. I can't tell them much about the war...I wasn't even born then.

But this whole area was still a ruin when I saw it as a child. Only the church was left standing after you all finished bombing the town.

You know, that was a remarkable thing...the war. I remember when I was little you could ask your parents about it. They didn't want to talk about it. And then, when they did talk, they blamed it all on Hitler.

Everybody blames it on Hitler, but I could never understand that.

How come you went along with Hitler?' I would ask.

And they told me, "Because they'd shoot us if we didn't."

But Hitler couldn't shoot 40 million Germans.

No, it doesn't work that way, does it?

People go along, you know, because they are afraid to do anything else.

But why are they afraid to do anything else?

I don't know; one step leads to another - some are afraid...some are ambitious...some are believers in the cause.

And pretty soon, everybody is marching in the same direction.

That's when you really get into trouble: when everybody goes in the same direction.

Oh, I didn't tell you though...I'm not completely German. My mother was Italian.

Well, the Italians are smarter. They never go in the same direction, even when they try to - remember, they were with the Germans in the war - they ended up going in different directions.

That's why you can't really govern Italy, not in the way you can govern Germany or America. That's what's nice about Italy.

But America is a lot like Germany. I visited it a few years ago and I felt right at home. People there actually obey the law. They all get behind their president, even when he's a man like Mr. Bush.

I'm not criticizing, mind you. He's probably a good president, even though all the press here is against him.

But still, it's scary. I mean, the way a whole nation can get behind something, march off in the same direction and end up together...in Hell.

Oh what a bitch it is to be collecting karma.


If I Were A White Man
by marty kleva

And finally this . . . what I woke up with today: the tune of “If I Were A Rich Man”, from “Fiddler On the Roof”, except that the title was changed, and — yes, I do dream in surround sound.

Frankly, this is something that is extremely disturbing to me.

I must offer a preface to acknowledge those Caucasian males who consciously work with the issue of male dominance, just as I, a woman, am confronted each day with recovering my power from those who once wrest it from me, and to whom I and the Feminine naively gave it away.

So that there is no misunderstanding about If I Were A White Man, there are some things that need to be said.

Those men who are presently incarnated into the form and body of a white male, among other things, are here collectively to both magnify and transform the meaning of all aspects of the White Brotherhood, the Patriarchy, the Misogynist, the Terminator, the King of the Mountain, and the White Supremacist.

History will show that all of these archetypes are blatantly apparent in the United States today.

This does not exclude those of us who also operate our lives within these same attitudes inside the form of a female body, or the form of a different-colored male.

Where it may be easier for a white man to epitomize the archetypes mentioned above, the rest of us have some part in the dynamics that are being played out.

This is not a soliloquy for the white male.

We are all being forced to look at the principles of power: how to define it, to work with it, to hold it, to retrieve it, to own it, and to make use of it responsibly.

For me personally, as a woman in this lifetime, I am aware that it is my charge to transform feminine power for the collective.

It demands that I explore and bring to light new perspectives; that I work along with males who are willing to take on the challenge of transforming the meaning and representation which the above White Male Archetypes embody.

And so, If I Were A White Man is the view I have been given as a white woman inside the psyche of a white male, different, yet not separate from him.

If I Were A White Man…

Who had not yet begun
to address

My place in

the echelons of power


I too would be afraid
of the dark man

following Me

into the shadows of

My own denial

to annihilate
those who are

of a different kind —

a different

before My Draconian
demonic fear