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Listening to the racialist left complain about “white privilege” was bad enough before the cops killed hoodlums Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Now, it’s nearly insufferable. Consider three offerings—one from Salon, the second from President and Mrs. Obama and the third, a Twitter feed.
Salon’s came from Brittney Cooper, a perpetually enraged black woman who “teaches Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers.” Last week, she turned white hot because “white entitlement marred my trip to a Ferguson teach-in.” One needn’t have a doctorate from Mizz Cooper’s “Africana” department to know what that teach-in involved: probably a lot of what we read in the piece about the awful white man who ruined her commute to the teach-in. The experience, she wrote, illustrates the ongoing struggle against racism:
I was on the train to New York to do a teach-in on Ferguson at NYU. Beats headphones on, lost in thought, peering out the window, I suddenly saw a white hand shoving my work carry-on toward me. Startled, I looked up to see the hand belonged to a white guy, who was haphazardly handling my open bag, with my laptop perched just inside to make space for himself on the seat next to me.
That he wanted the seat on the now full train was not the problem. That he assumed the prerogative to place his hands on my bag, grab it, shove it at me, all while my computer was unsecured and peaking out, infuriated me. I said to him, “Never put your hands on my property.”
His reply: “Well, you should listen when I talk to you.” That line there, the command that when he, whoever he was, spoke, I should automatically listen encapsulates the breadth of the battle against racism we have to fight in this country.
Buoyed by his own entitlement, his own sense of white male somebodiness, this passenger never even considered that he might simply try harder to get my attention before putting his hands on my stuff. His own need to control space, his own sense of entitlement to move anything in his way even if it held something of value to another person, his belief that he had the right to do whatever he needed to do to make the environment conform to his will are all hallmarks of white privilege.
In the reverse scenario, a black man would never get on the train, snatch up a white woman’s bag, and shove it in her face. But then black women are rarely entitled to the courtesies proffered to white women, and black people never presume they are entitled to occupy interracial spaces so aggressively.
To have a white man in 2014 demand that I listen when he speaks is the height of racial disrespect and indignity. To have a white person shove my belongings to the side rather than simply get my attention and ask my permission is an unnecessary level of disrespect, one that conveys yet again that their needs matter more than my own.
I do not exist to make white people comfortable. The fact that I know that and act like it makes white people even more uncomfortable.
Actually, white people are likely uncomfortable with Mizz Cooper because she’s rude, but in any event she never claimed this terrible white man said anything racial. Whitey apparently tried to speak to her, but she couldn’t hear him because, like so many people today, she had plugged her ears with headphones. So tried to move her belongings, a signal meant that his “needs matter more than my own.” Then again, if he had tapped her on the shoulder, that too could have been “white entitlement” because she “do[es] not exist to make whites comfortable,” and she certainly doesn’t exist for them to touch whenever they want. The only course for the man was not to sit near Mizz Cooper. Perhaps he should have gone to the back of the train.
Having explained this uppity white dude’s “demand,” Mizz Cooper threatened whites — as a race: “[F]ar too many white people really don’t get how short black America’s collective fuse is in this moment,” she fumed, quoting the words of an apparently pioneering hip-hop artiste about whom I was happily ignorant until I had the displeasure of reading Mizz Cooper’s stupid piece: “In the words of Melle Mel, Don’t push me cuz I’m close to the edge, I’m trying not to lose my head.”
And she wonders why people are uncomfortable around her?
Mizz Cooper also fumed that whites, unlike blacks, don’t hate the police, noting that polls show white support for police at an all-time high. “How is it that 50,000 people showed up to march in the streets of New York City to protest racialized police brutality in the same week that white confidence in the police reached a new record?” she wondered. “What kind of America is this? How are white people so oblivious to black pain and frustration? How are they so lacking in empathy?”
One reason they might lack empathy is their knowledge of black crime rates and black-on-white violence. Another reason might be flash mobs, which shows that many blacks do indeed “presume they are entitled to occupy interracial spaces [very] aggressively.” A third reason might be the constant complaints about “racism” and “white privilege” from successful blacks such as Mizz Cooper.
Which brings up the Obamas, and their interview with People magazine. Both complained they have been the victims of petty racial slights — microaggressions, to use the leftist patois — even after landing fame and fortune.
President Obama complained about the time he was waiting for a car outside a restaurant, when a customer pulled up and handed Obama his car keys. Mrs. Obama claimed that someone at a black-tie dinner asked him to get coffee because he was dressed in a tuxedo. Presumably, these slights occurred before he became president, but Mrs. Obama offered the tale of another “slight” during a shopping trip a few years ago.
“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”
Well, actually it is new, because that isn’t the way she remembered the story on David Letterman’s show, as Truth Revolt’s Ben Shapiro noted. Here was Mrs. Obama:
“No one knew that was me. Because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said — I kid you not — she said, ‘Excuse me, I just have to ask you something.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, cover’s blown.’ She said, ‘Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?’ I kid you not. And the only thing she said — I reached up, because she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down. She said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good.”
Mrs. Obama should have been glad she could help someone, as any decent person would be, and indeed she was in the first telling on Letterman. Yet she later determined, to help promote the “white privilege” myth, that the customer asked for help not because Mrs. Obama is tall but because she is black. Nonsense. As is Mizz Cooper’s tale of racial woe.
As for what whites think about their “privilege,” #Criming While White, a Twitter feed summarized at Huffington Post, shows just how thoroughly this fantasy has convinced young whites to hate themselves. They denounce themselves in tweets for getting away with crimes for which blacks are routinely punished. The flamboyatn self-flagellation is not only embarrassing but also cosmically idiotic. Perhaps someone should start a twitter feed called #RapingWhileBlack that shows just how many black men rape white women, versus the number of white men who rape black women. Come to think of it, a look at most of the two dozen women who have accused Bill Cosby of rape makes the point.
In her rumination on Cosby, Mizz Cooper ignored the race of most of Cosby’s accusers, focusing instead on smashing the “patriarchy.” Maybe discussing the race of these would have shown that whites aren’t so privileged after all.
Mr. "Cadfael"--Whether we're justified in thinking that "white people are likely uncomfortable with Mizz Cooper because she’s rude", it seems prima facie that the man who offended her was behaving boorishly. I grant that her extrapolation of the encounter into an instance of "white privilege" attests the ideological filter through which she sieves all less-than-comfortable-for-her experiences she has with whites. It is not, however, of a piece with the supermarket experience of Mrs. Obama. In neither version of the first lady's accounting of the incident that you quote does she mention the color of the woman who asked her help, nor does she frame the story racially. Why do you say that in Mrs. Obama's second account she says that she was asked to help because she is black? In fact, why do you read her second account as that of a slighting of her? There's nothing in what you have quoted that suggests that she saw it as a slight.
Notice that Dr. Cooper clearly indicates that she had on Beats headphones. Has there ever been a better example of conspicuous consumption than Beats headphones, perfectly ordinary headphones that cost many times more because of the name? Way to strike a blow for the people there Dr. Cooper.
This new PC terminology, like "white privilege" and "microagressions" is simply not serious. It is only taken seriously because it is used as a kind of in group language within a milieu that already accepts the premise, and the media that dutiful parrots whatever silliness the PC warriors deliver.
There is a growing backlash against this sort of obvious foolishness, especially on the internet, and some have suggested that we should respond with the same sort of name calling and abuse that the other side is known for. I prefer not to get in the sandbox with them. I just refuse to play the game with them. I challenge and refuse to accept the validity of the terms. In my experience this dumbfounds them. They are so used to their echo chamber that they don't know how to respond other than calling you a name and taking their ball and going home.
Yankee's, NWA's and Black pandering Crackers.
"There is a growing backlash against this sort of obvious foolishness, especially on the internet, and some have suggested that we should respond with the same sort of name calling and abuse that the other side is known for. I prefer not to get in the sandbox with them. I just refuse to play the game with them." Dr. Phillips has the right idea, although sometimes we may not have a choice as to who crosses our paths. I would submit that the kernel of truth in the aforementioned suggestion is that we are right and justified to fill ourselves with unflinching scorn for this sort of discourse. I realize this might occasionally result in outbursts of a mirror nature, but the way I see it, human nature condemns us to occasional spastic outbursts anyway. I prefer that they be of a nature that would perhaps come from "my" side rather than what comes from the bien pensant intelligentsia of the current crop. I think that the charade will continue at least until the economic disaster takes its toll on modern American academia, as it will. I for one cannot wait.
I suspect that the tearing down of privilege is the logical outcome of the tearing down of responsibility. Traditionally the two were expected to go hand-in-hand. These days everything is a "right," so that no one is responsible. Accordingly, when someone has something that others cannot, as inevitably happens, it is an undue "privilege." I cannot tell whether this disgusting degeneration is due to bad faith, due to the will to self-destruct or simply impossible to discern on an individual psychological level and only interpretable as the means by which the human race will naturally prune its luxuriant population as Darwin and Malthus would predict.
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