White, middle-aged (plus), and male? I plead guilty as hell!
I skipped last week’s “Together Apart” panel discussion on race at the First Unitarian Society. You can’t have a true dialogue until you invite folks like Dr. Ben Carson or Sheriff David Clarke. Or Paul Ryan.
Instead, your humble Squire strapped on the electrodes for the Buzzfeed quiz to determine his level of White Privilege. He scored 72 out of a possible 100 points. That makes Herr Blaska pretty white, but not as white as Mitt Romney or Chip from My Three Sons. (That dude made Wonder Bread look funky!) I blame my parents, both of whom contained suspiciously low levels of righteous melanin. Yes, we watched The Lawrence Welk Show. The Lennon Sisters were our favorites (although these days I lean toward the accordion-jamming of Myron Floren, the Happy Norwegian).
Some of the indications of “privilege” on the quiz include:
- I have never been told I “sound white.” [I’ve never been told I sound black, either.]
- My parents are heterosexual. [Most are, are they not? At least for a moment?]
- I am a man. [Here me roar.]
- I have never felt unsafe because of my gender. [Unless you count the draft during the Vietnam War. Some of my high school classmates have their names on a wall.]
- I have never been homeless. [My wife made me sleep in the basement one time. I liked it down there.]
Turnabout is fair play. John Hawkins at TownHall provides 15 examples of “liberal privilege.” Here are the first five:
- You can commit a crime and your local newspaper usually won’t mention what party you’re in if you’re a Democrat.
- You can be a white liberal who viciously mocks black men like Clarence Thomas, Allen West, and Ben Carson without being called a racist.
- You can be a Communist or a radical Islamist, you can hate America or even engage in acts of terrorism and still get a job as a college professor. In fact, it probably makes it more likely you’ll be hired.
- You can live in a mansion, fly around in private jets and consume more energy than a small town and still be taken seriously when you say we need to cut back on our lifestyles to fight global warming. (Me, I’m doing my darndest to cause it.)
- You can hold a conference like Netroots Nation that’s as white as any Tea Party without having people suggest that your event is somehow “racist” for not having more minorities present.
No asterisks, please
No problem with adding two more saints to the pantheon. I’m old enough to remember the good Sisters of Notre Dame at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Elementary School crying at the death of Pope Pius XII in 1959. That World War II pope was John XXIII’s predecessor. John XXIII and John Paul II were canonized over the weekend via special dispensation: John 23rd for lacking the second miracle while the normal process was hurried up for JP2. Santo subito!
Before achieving full sainthood, one is recognized as “blessed” and before that as “venerable.” Which puts me in mind of the Venerable Bede. Every so often you hear about the man all these 1,300 years later. He was an English monk who died in 735. The year seven-thirty-five! How much longer must the poor fellow wait? He must have the patience of a … Santo subito!
Perhaps I should begin a Facebook page on his behalf. “Bede — more speed!”
Falling in line
Cousin Johan swears that he will divulge if I do not voluntarily confess. Therefore, let it be said that the Four Lakes H.O.G. Club rallied Saturday for its first motorcycle ride of the season on what looks to be the last sunny day of the year. Your faithful bloggeur saw motorcycles forming up so he fell in. Only at the first stop did I realize I had taken up with a separate organization: all women. A group of bikers called Stilettos on Wheels. That should count for something on the White Privilege Exam. (Dances with Wolves. Rides with Women.)
Each and every one of the ladies had bikes more powerful than mine, and louder pipes. I am man, hear me snore; in numbers too big to ignore!
Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.