Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Curmudgeon thought that after 37+ years of living here in Brazil, nothing in the U.S. could really affect him. He was wrong: the Charleston atrocity definitely got to him.

The Curmudgeon, aka Michael Royster.
The Curmudgeon, aka Michael Royster.

For many years, the Curmudgeon’s bio, down the bottom of his The Rio Times columns, used to claim charter membership in “the most persecuted minority in (North) America today, the WASPs (google it) (get over it).” That will never happen again, because of Charleston and its antecedents.

For those who don’t know the term, WASP is short for “White Anglo Saxon Protestant”. WASPs have run the United States for almost all its history: before Obama, every POTUS save JFK was a WASP, and Congress has always been controlled by WASPs.

After the Charleston atrocity, the Curmudgeon has (far too belatedly) realized he ought to be ashamed of being a WASP. The Charleston atrocity reminded the Curmudgeon of numerous recent cases where WASPs killed unarmed blacks: Eric Garner in NYC, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Eric Harris in Oklahoma, and most recently, Walter Scott in North Charleston.

Racism is alive and ill in the U.S., which is still largely run by WASPs. Countless WASPs are racists; some of them are terrorists — that’s right, terrorists. Consider Timothy McVeigh who blew up a building in Oklahoma City and, long before that, the Ku Klux Klanners who bombed a black church in Birmingham Alabama. The pasty-faced KKKid with the Confederate flag wired into his brain is as much a terrorist as any brown-skinned bearded Islamist.

I, the Curmudgeon, consider myself blessed to live in a culture where there are almost no WASPs, and almost no domestic terrorists. I am ashamed to have joked about WASPs being a persecuted minority — WASPs are the persecutors, not the persecuted, and it’s no laughing matter.

The Curmudgeon first saw Rio’s shores 47 years ago and decided to live here. He arrived almost 38 years ago, and still loves this town.


  1. This post rocks! I read every post of yours, but this one really hit it out of the ballpark. Here in the U.S., no one in the media, elected officials, et al are calling this kkklown a terrorist, no one! Just some poor misguided boy who didn’t know what he was doing. Shameful it is.

  2. Fred, thanks for the encomium but somewhere I found Jon Stewart’s talk on Comedy Central, with no jokes, serious comments saying that, clearly, Dylann (why he added the extra “n” I don’t know) is a terrorist. I almost attributed my position on this to him, should have done.

  3. The south is not comprised of WASPs. In fact, most southerners trace their ancestry to Scots from Ireland aka “Scotch-Irish”. They would have not much in common with WASPs.

  4. one correction to your lame attempt at being humorous about this horrible tragedy…Michael Brown attacked a police officer, tried to take his gun and was shot/killed for it. Mentioning this thug in the same sentence with Eric Garner is a shame and the press needs to get the story straight.

  5. I’ve thought two and three times about responding to this opinion.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Roysters’ denunciation of Michael Brown and his ilk. They are terrorists and should be tried accordingly. Young black men have been left behind and it’s truly sad that even with the presidency of Obama nothing has been done to change that fact.

    The Age of Enlightenment formed the minds and ideals of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams and the founders of the American Republic; and later of Abraham Lincoln. These men, cherished the values enshrined in the Magna Carta and their common anglo saxon protestant culture.

    I’m at a loss as to why Mr. Royster feels the need to denouce that heritage.

  6. You really are out of touch, and quite frankly full of it. Who do you think elected, and reelected Obama? Both times with an electoral landslide margin….. WHITE VOTERS! Specific events, where racism may or may not have been a factor, do not mean the whole country is racist. Are you even aware that the 2 most politically conservative states in the USA, South Carolina and Utah, recently elected african-americans to the US congress? Maybe you should look at the whole picture before you come to such conclusions, rather than specific cherry picked events that seem to support conclusions you already have come to.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

10 − two =