Being a white devil, and shouldering the sins of historical injustice, seems a daunting burden to bear. At least at first. But then I got to thinking; doesn't the white god forgive if one confesses? There I go again; I really am a devil. The ramparts of my racism form an impenetrable fence.
Nevertheless, I decided to take a stroll in Portland's Rose Garden and meditate in the pristine Oregon air. A bronze statue of the Shoshone native, Sacagawea, gestured from the hill. Perhaps I could breathe in a fresh infusion of racial perspective. I found a bench with a view of Mt. Hood and the streets below where I had marched with the Occupy movement, a strike for generic injustice, if you will. Not specifically for black people, the ones who suffer the most.
Selling one's soul, as the devil encourages, guarantees rewards of earthly treasure. How had I failed? I was barely a step up from a double-wide. The dividends of my white devilry were not forthcoming. I took a sip of brandy.
"What's wrong?" I cried. "I am the White Devil, aren't I!"
"What did you say?"-a voice spoke.
I turned; a man appeared beside me on the bench; he had a chess board under his arm. He was of average height; about 45 years of age; lean and of a civil look, with pock marks on his cheeks; and wore a casual vest, nothing fancy, unbuttoned in front. Yes, he was black; darker than most; I didn't want to say it; black that is. It would be the first step of my white devil profiling. I suppose I had seen him approach and did not want to turn. He could be a threat or something. I suppose I could have said hello.
"We enslaved your people!"...I came to the point..."My ancestors did, that is! Although my forefathers didn't arrive until after the Civil War. Nevertheless, by proxy, I am guilty. I accept the mantle! I am the White Devil!" My chest swelled a little with titular responsibility. I would wear my handle proudly. After all, what would the devil do?
"You ain't sh*t," he said, and quietly arranged the chess pieces.
"What?" I noticed the white players were on my side.