A brief fisking of this article, 7 Things I Can Do That My Black Son Can’t:
First, a moment of unintentional clarity:
But when you’re a parent, those privileges stop being invisible. It’s the reason why male congressmen with daughters are more likely to support women’s issues. It’s the reason why Ohio Sen. Rob Portman suddenly declared his support for same-sex marriage after his son came out as gay. And it’s the reason why, everywhere I look, I see hassles that my son will have to face that I don’t.
He has a completely valid point: Being emotionally close to an issue tends to make you more sympathetic. What he does NOT explain is why we should be more trusting of the opinions of people whose emotions are MORE bound with their opinions. On most things, emotional distance is considered valuable, because it allows people to be more objective…unless, of course, the cause happens to be liberal. Then straight white Christian men will NEVER UNDERSTAND.
1. I Can Walk Through a Store Without Being Followed
To take one high-profile instance, Macy’s and the city of New York recently settled with actor Robert Brown, who was handcuffed, humiliated, and accused of committing credit card fraud after buying an expensive watch at the store.
I never have to worry about this happening to me.
What is not mentioned in this article: The policeman’s side of the story, or what he actually DID that made him look suspicious. I doubt the policeman would agree with the claim that it was “because he was black”.
I work in a retail store. Once I was told that if a certain customer came up to pay for an item I should call a customer service manager because earlier she had used her mother’s credit card. This was a white teenage girl. A couple of days ago the customer service associate called over a manager and asked them to watch a certain customer simply because his friend seemed to be trying to distract her. This person was white.
I call utter bullshit.
2. I Can Succeed Without It Being Attributed to My Race
When my wife, who is black, received her acceptance letter from Boston College, a peer told her she must have gotten in due to affirmative action, effectively ruining the experience of receiving the letter.
- Your wife needs a thicker skin. Seriously?
- Yeah, affirmative action sucks. Still support it?
3. I Learned About My Ancestors’ History in School
I can tell you all about Louis XIV, Socrates, and the Magna Carta, but I always wondered when we would finally learn about African history (beyond Pharaohs and pyramids). The subject never came up.
Actually, I more or less agree with this. I will, however, dispute that it has anything to do with racism; far more likely that our education system was never structured around black history because there used to be much less black students – that was just a fact. But it is a more or less legitimate complaint.
4. I Can Lose My Temper in Traffic
Once, an acquaintance who got into a confrontation while driving told me how scared she was of the other driver, describing him as a “big black guy.” When I get heated, no one attributes it to my race.
Isn’t it nice how he accuses somebody of being racist because they DESCRIBE SOMEBODY’S SKIN COLOR when giving a description?
5. I Can Loiter in Wealthy Neighborhoods
No one has ever called the cops on me to report a “suspicious person.” My wife can’t say the same.
What we’re not told: The reason his wife was reported as “suspicious”. I find it rather racist that he assumes all white peoples’ motives of being racist.
6. I Can Complain About Racism
When I point out that black people are incarcerated at alarming rates, or largely forced to send their children to underperforming schools, or face systemic discrimination when searching for jobs and housing, no one accuses me of “playing the race card.”
What the Hell does this even mean? Of course not – he’s not talking about his own race.
Besides, there’s me.
7. I Can Count on Being Met on My Own Terms
If I’m being treated poorly, I don’t stop and think about whether it’s due to my race. But unless we somehow make a giant leap forward, my son will always have to wonder.
Then perhaps you should teach your son to get the fuck over himself like everybody else before he grows up.