In a recent study by the Obviousbut Worthrepeating Institute in Bloomington, Indiana, researchers concluded that white Western Europeans steal nearly four times as much as almost every other racial and/or ethnic identity group. “Why such a discrepancy?” Michael Lanzberg, the executive director of the Institute asks:
…because the study disrupts the white conception of stealing, promoted in mainstream media and culture. Instead of qualifying stealing as a singular narrative of a black 9th Ward resident ‘looting’ a television from an electronics store, we considered greater cultural hallmarks that were previously thought too intangible, like cuisine, as well as land ownership and its connection to heritage.
The Institute has come under intense scrutiny in both American and European media. In a recent Op-Ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, Richard Kingston fired back, “In the history of modern civilization, we have never seen such an excruciating, obsessive and subjective reordering of morality. That is to say, I am not about to sue my neighbor for growing peonies at his Cape house this summer, even if my wife has done the very same thing for the last ten years.” Maury Povich and several other beacons of tolerance charged accusations of “reverse racism” in an open letter to the tender-feeling white masses, “I, like so many white Americans, fear for my life,” he writes. During a follow-up interview on The Today Show, he confessed, “Next time my wife goes to yoga, I’m going to tell her to leave her baby blue hoodie at home. I’d rather her be cold than killed.”
A journalist for the National, Jad Ramad, fielded questions during a recent appearance on Fox News, “This survey is entirely redundant, but gratifying nonetheless. Palestinians continue to suffer from colonial dictatorship and land seizure, just like the Native Americans and Aboriginal populations.” He continues, after fielding questions about how he could say such things about white people, especially considering he’s totally not white:
Look. I’m a journalist. I went to Oxford. I am qualified to speak about imperialism and white supremacy because I have suffered at the hands of it.
White people want the economic advantage and security of being white, but they also want identity. Since white identities have also been erased at the hands of assimilationist colonial culture, now they want to bounce like Big Freedia and dance dabke during family gatherings.
No stranger to strong words and controversy, the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu chimed in during a press conference announcing upcoming peace talks. “If Ramad doesn’t shut his mouth I will do it for him with my cold and loveless hands. One more word and I will open a kosher yogurt shop on the land where I bulldozed his grandmother’s grave.” President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry made no comment, stating they are going to solve the Middle East peace process like any good cooking show contest. “Whoever makes more authentic-tasting hummus obviously gets to keep everything,” John Kerry said with a knowing smile.
During a visit to the Bill Maher show, Michael Lanzbirg explained the methodology used in the study. “Well, we just studied.” He continues:
Literally. We have a team of over 300 history PhDs and cultural critics. We just gave it some thought, reviewed all major empires, including the Byzantines and the Romans. All you have to do is pay attention and you quickly realize the entire concept of European enlightenment’s moral code is not only contradicted by its colonization process, but in fact the language surrounding ‘uncivilized cultures’ is used in order to deflect the savage violence of the white Europeans. It’s much like how the Republicans will name a bill ‘The Clean Energy Initiative’ when in reality it should be called the ‘Jesus Ate Fossil Fuels for Breakfast and You Will, Too’ bill.
Michael Lanzburg, of Western European heritage himself, concluded during his interview with Bill Maher, “Does that make me a self-hating reverse-racist?”
The study came as no surprise to many residents of historically black neighborhoods in the United States. Frank James, a resident of Austin, Texas, was quoted in the Austin American Statesman saying:
First I lived in West Austin. Then the cool white kids came, then the yuppies, then the white families and our property taxes climbed so high we had to move to South Austin. Then the same thing happened to my family in South Austin. So, a decade later, we’re living in East Austin. And what do you know? All of the sudden boutique grocery stores are popping up everywhere and I can’t afford my rent anymore.
Frank James is a government employee in Texas, but jokes “Maybe I’ll have to start stealing, too. Since working an honest job hasn’t gotten me very far. I hear Rick Perry has a very expensive toupee collection. Fuck it, I’m going to go and break into his house right now and have my wife upload all of his belongings on Ebay.” James paused and grumbled something about how if he was white he could get away with something like that.
“Displacement is the cornerstone of U.S. policymaking,” says Gregory Dans, a community organizer in Texas working against issues of gentrification in communities of color.
They did it to the Native Americans, they did it to the African slaves, they’re still doing it today. White Americans don’t want people of color in their neighborhoods, but they’ll let them flip their burgers for under minimum wage. They are stealing our homes… our heritage and our right to live full and healthy lives.
During his satellite interview yesterday with Matt Lauer, Lanzburg answered the age old question ‘who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?’ He looked off into the distance, wincing as a wildebeest mangled a doe on his Kenyan ranch. Or was it a young African child? “Anyway,” he soldiered on “who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Probably a white person.” Continuing, “I still love that Macklemore song, tho.”