White privilege; race; participation

Pike Place Market to Clean the Gum Wall of White Privilege (Participation)

Seattles gum wall of white privilege.

Cute white people putting disgusting gum on a Pike Place Market wall. F11PHOTO /SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Last night brought lots of good news to me. Sawant took a considerable lead in her race, the biggest transportation levy in Seattle’s history passed like it ain’t no thing, and it was announced that one of the great shames of the city, the barbaric gum wall in Pike Place Market, is going to be cleaned on November 10.

The wall has been accumulating gum for 20 years straight, and it’s estimated that each of its bricks is covered with 150 bits of gum. How can the city allow such a horrible thing to happen? There is only once answer: Because it’s popular with white people. Only that group of Americans could get away with this kind of nonsense.

In reality, sticking something you chewed in your mouth onto a public wall is horrible no matter what color you are. But if you are white, it culturally has the aspect of being cute (read the story of its beginnings). For this reason, I have always seen that wall as the wall of white privilege. If white people felt strongly negative about it, and the practice was popular with, say, black people or Arab Americans, then believe me, there would be no fucking gum wall in Seattle.

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