… AND I SPEAK BACK
|| By WILL FOLKS || I’ve held The Huffington Post in considerably lower editorial esteem in the aftermath of its ridiculous decision relegating the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump to its “entertainment” pages.
Still, I click on links from the site from time to time. Like an opinion piece from the Reverend Dr. John C. Dorhauer, who is a “Doctor of White Privilege” according to his books.
Dorhauer has written an open letter to white men. One which is so beyond “over the top” it must be read to be believed.
Hear ye, hear ye …
Dear White Men,
You are persons of privilege.
You didn’t earn it. More than likely aren’t yet prepared to either admit to it or lose it. This letter, written by one of you, is offered to invite you on a journey of insight, honesty, hard truth and just living.
Privilege can be hard to see, mostly because of what doesn’t happen to us when we have it.
Um … what?
Please tell me, good Reverend, what exactly have I not earned? You’re intimately familiar with my “privilege,” it would seem, so tell me? What break am I getting that others aren’t?
Have you been going through my tax returns? Been digging in my garbage? Did the National Security Agency (NSA) hook you up with my online financial history?
Hate to burst your bubble, man, but like a lot of people of different races, creeds, colors and orientations I am middle class American who busts his ass every damn day to provide for my family. I have a mortgage. Car payments. Soaring health care costs. I got debt.
What “privilege” am I missing here?
Dorhauer continues …
When I walk into a convenience store to get a receipt for my gas and the young woman at the counter greets me with a smile and a kind word, I tell myself “She felt comfortable doing that because I’m white.”
When I see a highway patrolman pass me by while I’m exceeding the speed limit or, as actually happened two weeks ago, I get pulled over for that and let off without a ticket, I say to myself: “That happened because I’m white.”
When I drive through the many border checkpoints we have set up here in the Southwest along the Mexican border, and as I roll down my window and make my stop at the guard gate, and as the border patrol agent simply glances at my face before waging me on with a perfunctory “have a good day,” I say to myself: “That is the result of my being white.”
For real? Are you sure you’re not wearing your clerical collar? Or maybe you’ve got one of those “CLERGY” placards on your dashboard? You know, the one routinely used by Irwin F. Fletcher to secure rock star parking wherever he goes?
But seriously … everything good that happens in your life is due to your pigmentation?
Anyway, here’s Dorhauer’s invitation to me and the rest of white male America.
… I extend an invitation to a seeing that engenders the kind of discomfort with privilege that creates the space necessary for real justice to emerge. Don’t worry about carrying the burden of solving this pervasive injustice: for good reason, you and I won’t be entrusted with that work. But only when we see what others are more than happy to show us about ourselves will we be open then to hearing what they have to teach us about what will be required for true equality to emerge.
The acceptance of this invitation, and the resulting years of work it will take us all to open our eyes to that we have been conditioned to ignore for the sake of our privilege, is the first step in the proverbial journey of a thousand miles. White men in America, I invite you to walk this road with me.
Hold up … “conditioned to ignore for the sake of our privilege?”
That sounds curiously like an allegation. As if the daily grind I go through in order to keep a roof over my kids’ heads, clothes on their backs and food on their plates is somehow an entitlement I’m enjoying at somebody else’s expense. You know, even though a third of what I earn each year is ripped off by Washington, D.C. – with my home state of South Carolina taking another huge chunk in income and sales taxes and my incompetent local government-run school system (which none of my children will ever attend) taking thousands more in property taxes.
But according to you, in spite of all this … I’m ignoring “pervasive injustice” in order to maintain my “privilege?”
F*ck you, dude.
It takes a special kind of asshole to level a blanket charge like that against people on the basis of their skin color and gender – and to level it with absolutely zero knowledge of their personal circumstances or their history regarding tolerance toward others. In fact isn’t this precisely the sort of racist and sexist stereotyping the professional left has conditioned us to condemn?
It is. It’s exactly that. And my website has been proud to condemn those discriminate unfairly – no matter who they’ve targeted.
I’m going to keep doing that, too … and unlike the mainstream media, my website will never ignore racism and sexism just because me and 99 million white men are being unfairly targeted.
The “Reverend” Dorhauer needs to take a journey, all right. He needs to huff and puff his whiny, intellectually superior faux Christian white ass back to the top of his ivory tower – and jump out the window.
He may feel guilty about his “white privilege.” But those of us busting our asses in the real world know he’s full of sh*t.
Will Folks is the editor of the website you are currently reading.