It took me a long time to arrive at this place where I root for the Death of Nice.
When I was a little girl, my mom was a lot of wonderful, admirable things. But she was not nice. Which embarrassed me.
Why couldn’t she just be nice to my friends’ moms?
For one thing, she was busy. She was a single mom. She worked a lot.
For another, she was socially awkward and she didn’t like to make small talk or really to talk at all to people she didn’t know well.
She didn’t have the impulse to fake interest.
She didn’t teach me how to pretend to care.
I didn’t learn from her how to tell white lies to preserve other people’s feelings.
I learned how to do these things later, which kept them from becoming ingrained habits.
And that’s evolved into an asset now that I spend so much time on the internet.
People DM me asking for an hour to pick my brain “whenever”? Here’s a link to my Paypal!
I forgot to email someone back for a week and I really don’t have a good excuse? Just fess up and say I forgot, but I’m here now.
Parent whom I’ve had smile-and-wave interactions with at my kid’s school posts racist shit on Instagram? BLOCK.
Nice keeps us from stating the obvious.
Which brings me to a statement of the obvious: nice is racist. “Nice” bolsters our systems of racial oppression.
Some of us white women say we really don’t like to talk about politics. The reality is we don’t talk about politics because we believe we have every right to ignore the suffering of others. It’s not just our right, it’s one of our duties as beneficiaries of white supremacy.
But many of us white women pretend that that’s not the reason we don’t talk about politics. Instead, we don’t talk about politics because the discussions might evolve into conversations that are… Not. Nice.
We want to keep it civil. Keep it agreeable. Keep everyone feeling comfortable? Right? RIGHT?
1. I want to kill nice because it helps us white people perpetuate racism.
2. I looked up nice in the dictionary just in case I was missing any nuance about its definition. Polite. Pleasing. Agreeable.
M-w.com lists an “obsolete” definition of nice:
6 obsolete : TRIVIAL
Is that an “obsolete” definition? Maybe not.
Maybe that’s reason #2 that I want to kill nice.
It’s hard to Be About Something when you prioritize being nice because nice is trivial.
No one’s dying wish is to be remembered for being nice. Kind, maybe. Loving, yes. But nice?