White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in white folks generally being singled out for suspicion by law enforcement, or the TSA, or the FBI.
White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for whites to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening, or threatened with deportation.
White privilege is knowing that if the bomber turns out to be white, he or she will be viewed as an exception to an otherwise non-white rule, an aberration, an anomaly, and that he or she will be able to join the ranks of Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph and Joe Stack and George Metesky and Byron De La Beckwith and Bobby Frank Cherry and Thomas Blanton and Herman Frank Cash and Robert Chambliss and James von Brunn and Robert Mathews and David_Lane and Michael F. Griffin and Paul Hill and John Salvi and James Kopp and Luke Helder and James David Adkisson and Scott Roeder and Shelley Shannon and Wade Michael Page and Byron Williams and Kevin Harpham and William Krar and Judith Bruey and Edward Feltus and Raymond Kirk Dillard and Adam Lynn Cunningham and Bonnell Hughes and Randall Garrett Cole and James Ray McElroy and Michael Gorbey and Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman and Frederick Thomas and Paul Ross Evans and Matt Goldsby and Jimmy Simmons and Kathy Simmons and Kaye Wiggins and Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe and David McMenemy and Bobby Joe Rogers and Francis Grady and Demetrius Van Crocker and Floyd Raymond Looker, among the pantheon of white people who engage in politically motivated violence meant to terrorize and kill, but whose actions result in the assumption of absolutely nothing about white people generally, or white Christians in particular.
And white privilege is being able to know nothing about the crimes committed by most of the terrorists listed above — indeed, never to have so much as heard most of their names — let alone to make assumptions about the role that their racial or ethnic identity may have played in their crimes.
White privilege is knowing that if the Boston bomber turns out to be white, we will not be asked to denounce him or her, so as to prove our own loyalties to the common national good. It is knowing that the next time a cop sees one of us standing on the sidewalk cheering on runners in a marathon, that cop will say exactly nothing to us as a result.
White privilege is knowing that if you are a white student from Nebraska — as opposed to, say, a student from Saudi Arabia — that no one, and I mean no one would think it important to detain and question you in the wake of a bombing such as the one at the Boston Marathon.
And white privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don’t get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we won’t bomb Dublin. And if he’s an Italian American Catholic we won’t bomb the Vatican.
In short, white privilege is the thing that allows you (if you’re white) — and me — to view tragic events like this as merely horrific, and from the perspective of pure and innocent victims, rather than having to wonder, and to look over one’s shoulder, and to ask even if only in hushed tones, whether those we pass on the street might think that somehow we were involved.
For readers interested in learning more about how not to be labeled as registered sex offenders, a good first step is not to rape unconscious women, no matter how good your grades are. Regardless of the strength of your GPA (weighted or unweighted), if you commit rape, there is a possibility you may someday be convicted of a sex crime. This is because of your decision to commit a sex crime instead of going for a walk, or reading a book by Cormac McCarthy. Your ability to perform calculus or play football is generally not taken into consideration in a court of law. Should you prefer to be known as “Good student and excellent football player Trent Mays” rather than “Convicted sex offender Trent Mays,” try stressing the studying and tackling and giving the sex crimes a miss altogether.
—Mallory Ortberg, on Gawker
Mallory Ortberg, laying waste to fools on GAWKER, today, regarding CNN’s offensively lovey-dovey coverage of the two high school football stars who were convicted on Sunday of sexually assaulting a blacked-out drunk 16 year old girl from a neighboring town at a party, and then sharing pictures of her on the internet.
More details HERE.
I think it’s reasonable to say that, given the football culture of Steubenville, OH and the notorious difficulty of proving sexual assault even when the victim REMEMBERS WHAT HAPPENED, it is likely that what these jocks did to this other human would have become simply a dark part of Steubenville high school folklore, were it not for the digital trail of photos, tweets, and texts that the bystanders and assaulters themselves put out into the world.
SO THANK YOU, NERDS, FOR INVENTING SOCIAL MEDIA.
And thank you, Mallory and Manhattan snark-media for reminding some people—including CNN, apparently—what personal responsibility actually means.
That is all.
Some guy: I wonder why they call it “sterling” silver…
Me: Because it’s an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
Some guy: Wow you must really like jewelry.
Me: (scowls) I must really like chemistry.
Microaggression (by Some Guy) ahoy!
With his anti gun control essay for Newsweek, David Mamet completes his transformation into Ricky Roma, laying out a line of broad generalizations, weird non-sequiturs and blatant untruths to get you to sign on the dotted line. Buy it if you want but there’s a strong chance you’re going to show up the next day asking for your money back.
I was driving to meet a friend to see “Zero Dark Thirty” when a young man on KXLU (the great college station of Los Angeles’s Loyola Marymount University) introduced a record by pronouncing Fugazi in the above fashion. KXLU’s music programming is, for lack of a better word, alternative, and…