Thursday, March 30, 2017

White Privilege

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White Privilege

One of the leaders of the “white privilege” protests that have rocked the University of Missouri isn’t quite as oppressed as he claims.

Turns out that Jonathan Butler, the graduate student who went on a hunger strike to protest Mizzou’s “racist” policies—and inspired Missouri’s football players and coaches to join him—comes from a wealthy family.

A very wealthy family, in fact.

Butler’s father, Eric Butler, is the executive vice president for sales and marketing for the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha. He made about $8.4 million in total compensation last year—and his total net worth is upwards of $20 million.

Not a bad haul, when all those struggling, debt-ridden middle-class white college students are oppressing you.

Butler had vowed to refuse food until the president of the University of Missouri president, Timothy M. Wolfe, resigned. He got his wish earlier this week—and he has since ended his hunger strike.

Since then, Butler has declined interviews, but said he was “feeling better” now that he has some food in him.

The University of Missouri has been rocked by racially-based protests for nearly a month, ever since black students surrounded Wolfe’s car at the homecoming parade on October 10th.

Wolfe didn’t get out of the car to talk to them, which caused tensions to boil over. It hit fever pitch on Saturday, when black football players refused to play unless Wolfe resigned—which could have cost Mizzou up to $1 million per forfeited game.

Wolfe has since resigned his post, but the protests have continued to rage. Even professors have joined the fray, like Professor Melissa Click, a communications professor who asked for “some muscle” to beat up on a reporter who was taking unflattering pictures of the whining liberal students. She has since apologized, but refused to resign.

Another professor, Dale Brigham, has resigned after he refused to reschedule a test for a minority student who felt “unsafe” coming onto campus, because of white students. Brigham implored her to “not let the bullies win”—but the resulting firestorm was so intense that, like Wolfe, he’s been forced out of Mizzou.

Mizzou isn’t the only school buckling under the weight of race riots and politically correct melodrama. Yale University has also been the scene of protests, after a professor politely suggested a more nuanced debate about what Halloween costumes were appropriate.

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Liberals were excited when a poet named Yi-Fen Chou published a poem that got ranked as one of the best American poems of 2015–but now, they’re eating their words.

It turns out that Yi-Fen Chou isn’t the fawned-over Chinese-American liberals thought he was. As it turns out, Chou is just the pen name of a white man named Michael Derrick Hudson.

Hudson had submitted his poem, “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve,” more than 40 times under his own name–getting rejected every time.

But when he changed his name to something a bit more “diverse,” he soon found himself a published author–and ranked as one of the top poems of the year, even being included in the high-profile anthology, “The Best American Poetry, 2015.”

Authors have been publishing under fake names for years–but, with their current crusade of identity and so-called “white privilege,” the Left is going ballistic. They’re claiming that Hudson unfairly “misappropriated” Asian culture by picking his pen name, even though his poem was not about anything remotely Asian.

Hudson was aware of the criticism–but stood by his choice.

“There is a very short answer for my use of a nom de plume,” he said. “After a poem of mine has been rejected a multitude of times under my real name, I put Yi-Fen’s name on it and send it out again. As a strategy for ‘placing’ poems, this has been quite successful for me.”

Despite the controversy around Hudson’s selection, the anthology that ranked his poem as one of the best of the year is sticking by his poem–claiming that doing otherwise would delegitimize all of their adjudicating standards.

But the guest editor of the book, Sherman Alexie–who is part Native American–admitted the name Yi-Fen Chou got Hudson’s poem included, rather than any merit of the author himself. But he showed no remorse over that.

“Hey, guess what?” he said, unapologetically. “In paying more initial attention to Yi-Fen Chou’s poem, I was also practicing a form of nepotism. I am a brown-skinned poet who gave a better chance to another supposed brown-skinned poet because of our brownness.”

So much for “white privilege” and a post-racial society–if even the editor of a top poetry anthology is actually blatantly stating that he throws special favors to help get minority authors published.

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Give Michelle Obama credit where credit is due. While a number of prominent liberal politicians have used the recent race riots in Baltimore–a city with a black mayor, black city council, and a large number of black police officers–to bemoan so-called “white privilege,” Michelle struck a different tune.

In essence, she told the graduating class at historically-black Tuskegee University in Alabama they essentially had to stop complaining and get over it.

She starts by addressing that, in essence, there still is some discrimination in America today:

“Those nagging worries that you’re gonna get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason. The fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds. The agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal. All of that, it’s gonna be a heavy burden to carry.”

But while these continue to be problems, she told them not to use this as an excuse for low expectations.

“I want to be very clear that those feelings are not an excuse to just throw up our hands and give up. They are not an excuse to lose hope. To succumb to feelings of despair and anger only means that in the end, we lose.”

Of course, Michelle Obama’s husband has presided over a yawning wealth gap when it comes to blacks vs. whites–hindered by the record number of blacks not in the work force, and a record number of blacks on welfare.

Michelle’s sentiment is right: there’s still some discrimination in this country, but burning down Baltimore isn’t going to fix anything. The next generation of black leaders are going to have to just work hard and not excuse poverty and the breakdown of the black family, but rise above it.

It remains to be seen if liberals will put their money where their mouth is–or whether they’ll continue to talk shallowly about “white privilege” as they continue to give hand-outs, rather than a leg up, to the African-American community.


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