I must say I found myself profoundly depressed about my future as writer after reading a facebook post in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.Some (un-named) but shall we say exceptionally politically correct author put up a post by some… person. I think. Could be a miniture pink elephant controlling a human frame, floating on a cork in the rotting mush that was brain, poking roach antennae into the relevant nerves. You think that crazy? then you never read his article on ‘White privilege‘ – a privilege according to him that means that if the bomber turned out to be white “White privilege is knowing that even if the Boston Marathon bomber turns out to be white, his or her identity will not result in persons like yourself 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 your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening, or threatened with deportation.” and could just be classified as a nutbar with a long list of other nutbars who according to him were all ‘white’.
At which point I could barely stop myself rolling my eyes. Demographics, maths or even elementary logic never crossed this threshhold. Look, more than 80% of the US population is ‘white’. If you profile 8 out 10 people… it doesn’t help much. You can’t single 80% for special suspicion. If you try to deport 80% of your population, not only will they laugh at you, but if you succeeded the other 20% would starve. And all of this would apply as much to an Indian bomber in India – where, quelle surprise a large majority of the population is Indian, or in Chinese bomber in China, or a black bomber in Kenya. That’s NOT privilege, or white. If red-heads make 0.6% of the population, and red-heads make up 6% of skin cancer victims, can anyone out there who has passed high school math (or hell, junior school maths) NOT work out that red-heads are 10 times more prone to skin cancer and should be watched for it? Would you call that discrimination against red-heads, or an outbreak of logic and common sense? Or would you demand that your limited resources go to screening even people who have lots of melanin and wear hats from birth? Right. Now if a certain religous sect make 0.6%… Do you, by some bizarre piece of cockroach antennae nerve twitching conclude they’re victims of discrimination?
Mind you it’s not just mathematics he has problems with. Genetics isn’t his strong suite either ‘Muslim decent’. Religion as a heritable trait is a frightening idea even for an SF writer.
When it came to this “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.”
I had to either throw up or start laughing. Does anyone in their right mind think that if the bomber came from a village in Nebraska, and the locals refused to co-operate, or allow access, and danced in the street handing out candy to strangers to celebrate, and boasted on the internet about it… they’d get ‘white privilege’?
I thought “No one with a grey cell functioning, let alone having passed junior high maths, can possibly take this seriously. It’s so racist, and so stupid, it’s due for pillory.”
And this why I wonder if I have a future in writing. Because it had at that stage attracted 90 likes – presumably at least mostly from readers. And the last few were authors. One person – moi – actually said it was a load of fetid dingoes kidneys.
I can try to write entertaining stories. I can try to make them accessable. But if this is the audience… teh stupid it burns, and I’m toast.
Please tell me it ain’t so.