The Hardest White Struggle

The color of my skin makes a difference in how I am seen by society every single day. Let me repeat that: THE COLOR OF MY SKIN MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN HOW I AM SEEN BY SOCIETY EVERY SINGLE DAY.  After reading this article : http://www.ijreview.com/2014/04/134388-freshman-shames-ivy-league-college-personal-story-white-privilege/ it is safe to say that a new generation of white men are growing up COMPLETELY missing the point of what privilege actually means.

“I actually went and checked the origins of my privileged existence, to empathize with those whose underdog stories I can’t possibly comprehend. I have unearthed some examples of the privilege with which my family was blessed, and now I think I better understand those who assure me that skin color allowed my family and I to flourish today.

Perhaps it’s the privilege my grandfather and his brother had to flee their home as teenagers when the Nazis invaded Poland, leaving their mother and five younger siblings behind, running and running until they reached a Displaced Persons camp in Siberia, where they would do years of hard labor in the bitter cold until World War II ended. Maybe it was the privilege my grandfather had of taking on the local Rabbi’s work in that DP camp, telling him that the spiritual leader shouldn’t do hard work, but should save his energy to pass Jewish tradition along to those who might survive. Perhaps it was the privilege my great-grandmother and those five great-aunts and uncles I never knew had of being shot into an open grave outside their hometown. Maybe that’s my privilege.”

Look bro, no one is saying that white people haven’t been through shit. My family (who are a mix of many races) also escaped Europe during the Holocaust. But you are missing the ever loving mother fucking point.

“Wow, you are so articulate; that is just so nice.” Do you know how many times I have had to hear that phrase in some form or another from an older white person? ”

O wow, you’re music taste, it’s really…unexpected.” Oh is it? Why because I am not blasting Drake from my headphones at this very moment?

“YOU JUST, YOU SPEAK SO WELL.”

Have you, white sir ever had someone fucking compliment you solely on your articulation, because in their heads that can not fathom that a dark skinned being could possible be well read. On your campus daily do people question your background? Do you get looks or hear whispers suggesting that you got to your school on the backs of affirmed action? Do campus police single you out, and question what you are doing late at night? Do you feel pressure EVER because of absolutely nothing? Do you feel eyes stare at you, women cross the street? Do people ask you questions about your hair, your taste in music, do people essentially treat you as a god damn martian? A specimen? How long does it take for you to get a cab? This is what we mean by white privilege.

Thank god you are only a freshman, hopefully a wave of racial truth will hit you at some point in your 4 years of school. The fact that you’re little piece is receiving viral attention should fucking be a sign of how privileged you are.  You did not write anything astounding, this is not a piece that showcases any form of genius. It is however a piece that showcases exactly what is wrong with our country. No one has ever sat you down and explained to you how big a factor race plays in our country. I guess it easy to whine about how no one will throw you a bone AS YOU SIT WRITING ON THE CAMPUS OF ONE OF THE COUNTRIES BEST UNIVERSITIES. There in that bubble you are being told to exercise your creative voice, your piece will be read by other white people and they will pat you on the back. See that is how it goes when you are writing directly to your audience. You are not brave bro. You are using every fucking inch of your privilege and using it to troll the internet. And the sad thing is you have NO IDEA.

“Perhaps it was my privilege that my own father worked hard enough in City College to earn a spot at a top graduate school, got a good job, and for 25 years got up well before the crack of dawn, sacrificing precious time he wanted to spend with those he valued most—his wife and kids—to earn that living. I can say with certainty there was no legacy involved in any of his accomplishments. The wicker business just isn’t that influential.Now would you say that we’ve been really privileged? That our success has been gift-wrapped?

That’s the problem with calling someone out for the “privilege” which you assume has defined their narrative. You don’t know what their struggles have been, what they may have gone through to be where they are.”

Brown vs. Board of Education occurred in 1954. The arrival of the first slaves in America was 1619. IT TOOK MORE THAN 200 YEARS FOR BLACK PEOPLE TO BE ALLOWED TO GO TO THE SAME SCHOOLS AS WHITE PEOPLE. That is more than 200 years of catch up an entire race had to then fucking play. The education system in this country gave 0 fucks about black people until the fucking late 50’s bro. So even if a black person “worked hard enough” it didn’t bloody matter did it? Because there was nowhere for them to go. Struggle and Privilege are not related. Please just say that to yourself a few times as you put on your khakis and head to class. You being bad at math is a struggle, it is something that if you work hard enough at you may be able to overcome. Privilege is not something you can work hard to gain, it is something that society gives you upon birth, or doesn’t. A rich white person and a rich black person may have similarities in their bank accounts, they do not have similar daily interactions with society,  Your bank account does not negate how society will treat you; because society is not judging you off of the money you possess, they are judging you through eyes that are influenced by the media and by years of racial scrutiny.

“The truth is, though, that I have been exceptionally privileged in my life, albeit not in the way any detractors would have it.It has been my distinct privilege that my grandparents came to America. First, that there was a place at all that would take them from the ruins of Europe. And second, that such a place was one where they could legally enter, learn the language, and acclimate to a society that ultimately allowed them to flourish.”

Did you ever hear that story? The one where thousands of Africans got on boats and came to America in hopes of a better life? They had heard in America you could be free, other Africans had recently left and wrote back home that life while hard in America was good for them. They could find work in America, and feed their families. America would welcome all Africans with an open heart.

I am confused, because surely as an Ivy League student you had to take AP History in high school. Did you really look at slavery and immigration and find similarities between them? Did you make a lovely Venn Diagram and see on paper just how startlingly similar your grandparents and my ancestors stories were? Are you actually just being ironic?

“I am privileged that values like faith and education were passed along to me. My grandparents played an active role in my parents’ education, and some of my earliest memories included learning the Hebrew alphabet with my Dad. It’s been made clear to me that education begins in the home, and the importance of parents’ involvement with their kids’ education—from mathematics to morality—cannot be overstated. It’s not a matter of white or black, male or female or any other division which we seek, but a matter of the values we pass along, the legacy we leave, that perpetuates “privilege.” And there’s nothing wrong with that.” 

Are you drunk? I think I may need to be. Is this real? Imagine that your grandparents couldn’t read, because they had not been allowed access to any form of education system. Your father would then have been taught skills; probably some form of labor. He would never have gone to college, because all he would know was work. Hard work and hard labor. Which is what black people have basically been doing since they set foot in this fucking country a few hundred years ago. Can you not see that the fact your grandfather even had the fucking time to sit with his son and teach him these things negates a certain form of privilege? Your good morales (unfortunately) will not get you a job. This dribble that you have managed to write and create into a manifesto for the new white young man re-enforces the words that you are trying so hard to tell the world you do not have. Do you know why you are told constantly to check your fucking privilege? Because you are still going home after class and feeling these words. You are so entitled that you have become absolutely blind to that entitlement. I am not sure if you feel guilt, or are actually angry that ANYONE would ask you AS A WHITE MAN to check himself. That right there is privilege bro. In case you were wondering.