Underprivileged Blacks, Patronizing Whites

Was slavery the gift that’s still giving?

Jeremy Helligar
6 min readApr 27, 2018


Man you are a black. We (whites) are gift for you.

I’ve received a surplus of racially charged Grindr messages in my time, but that one, from Horny in Budapest after I dared to object to his “black c**k” come-on, might be the most egregious of them all. Although there wasn’t an N-word in sight, it took me right back to the days of slavery.

According to prominent American historians, some Southerners back then actually believed blacks benefitted from the institution because whites introduced them to Christianity. By forcing slaves to perform back-breaking labor under the most extreme duress, the masters saved the servants’ souls.

Some whites have apparently inherited those messianic delusions of grandeur. The savior complex lives on in Hollywood. It lives on in literary classics like Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird

It lives on in the martyrdom of Abraham Lincoln. (The likes of Frederick Douglass, Harriett Tubman, and black Civil War soldiers are but extras, if they show up at all, in the version of How the Slaves Were Freed that’s taught in U.S. schools.) It lives on in the horniness of gay white men who think they’re rescuing gay black men from lifetimes of rejection.

They expect gratitude, not attitude, when they benevolently bestow upon us the gift of appreciation: “Big black c**k” isn’t objectification. It’s a “compliment.” You’re welcome.

Is that a form of black privilege, being fortunate enough to grab the attention of whites who secretly think they’re superior to us and that our value is limited to our physical endowment?

Girl from the Gutter

Should we all aspire toward the exalted status of Delicia, the black heroine who exists only as seen through the eyes of the white narrator in David Sedaris’s “A Friend in the Ghetto”? For those who aren’t familiar with the gay writer’s work, “Ghetto” is the most-intriguing and most-maddening chapter in Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, his 2013 collection of essays.

When he’s in tip-top form, Sedaris brings out the wide-eyed fanboy in me. His musings encompass personal recollections…



Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj