Showing posts with label white privilege. Show all posts
Showing posts with label white privilege. Show all posts

Friday, March 22, 2024

News That You Can Use

This weekly column consists of letters written to my perspicacious progeny  the Stickies — to advise 'em now and haunt them after I'm deleted.

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC-65: Sexy Seasoned Citizens   



Featuring {Dana}Persistent auditory hallucination and charming literary device 

“Popular culture is a place where...propaganda is called knowledge, tension is called peace, gossip is called news, and auto-tune is called singing.” 
                                                                                                    -Criss Jami

Dear Stickies (and gentlereaders),  

My news you can use file is filling up my hard drive so I've pulled out some of the more interesting stories. 

According to Renaissance Recovery (Effective treatment for addiction, founded by people in recovery), who would seem to be in a position to know, "There is...

{Founded by people... Now that's what I call making lemonade when life serves up lemons.} 

"There is a widespread shortage of the prescription medication hydrocodone in the United States, with drug manufacturers failing to provide clear reasons for the scarcity."

{Wait-wait-wait. Are you confessing that...}

No, I'm not, other than Ianazones Peperoni Pizza (ask for lightly baked as they tend to over-bake) my only addiction is current events and I've been unable to find a rehab that treats current events junkies. 

{Then how did...}

Someone that I'm very close to, who comes from a long line of drunks and druggies on both sides of her family, is suffering from Lyme disease that has triggered a cascade of other problems, including severe pain, told me. 

She's terrified of becoming addicted to painkillers and approaches the problem hyper-vigilantly, always careful to take the absolute minimum of her prescribed meds to get relief. 

She mentioned that there are all sorts of opioid painkiller shortages which sometimes results in her and her Docs having to get creative to keep her pain under control. She quite rightly refuses to buy anything "off the street," terrified of getting something laced with fentanyl.

{This makes no sense, I thought...}

So did I. Feel free to go a-googlin (I did) and you'll discover that the DEA, the FDA, and Big Pharma are basically stonewalling the public as to what's going on. The Fedrl Gummit has yet again dropped the public health ball, Big Pharma is afraid of lawsuits, and innocent people are suffering.

{Well, maybe. But the Princess of Wales is using AI or something to tweak family photos! What about that?!?}

According to FoxNews (I know, I know. Thank God for CNN, right? The writer emits an undignified giggle....) there's trouble in the District of Columbia school system. 

"Nearly 6 in 10 of the 500 children at Maury Elementary School are white. At Miner Elementary School, 80% of the kids are black, many of whom are in foster care, receive public assistance or are homeless." (My underlines and I decapitalized Black and White 'cause I'm not nuts.) 

In the name of DEI, D.C. officials want all students to start off at one of the two schools and finish at the other. Problem solved, yes?


Parents of the kids currently enrolled in one school or the other have gone to the mattresses in opposition to the plan for all of the reasons you can easily imagine. If you should go a-googlin' for details please advise me if you find the answer to two questions I've been unable to discover.

Has the plan been officially approved, or not?

Has anyone suggested using the vast resources of the Fedrl Gummit to resolve the problems at Miner and let the kids remain in their current schools? The knowledge gained could be used to fix problem schools all over America. 

I just thought of a third question. What's the official position of the local teachers union given that teacher's unions are well known nationwide for their expertise and unflagging dedication to educating the nation's young people?

Ban TikTok? What about free speech!
The Emperor never rests when it comes to protecting his flock. According to the Wall Street Journal, there's a citizen of the Middle Kingdom living in Italy who, via X and a website, provides news that's censored in China to over a million people still enslaved there. 

"Now, he is encouraging his China-based followers to drop him, after many of them told him they have been subjected to police questioning."

{Enslaved? That's a bit hyperbolic, don't ya think?}

Ask the Weigers, the Tibetans, millions of 996 employees (someone has got to make the sneakers and iPhones, and...), citizens with bad social credit scores, Hong Kongers, people that... 

{996 employees?}

9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. 

{My old man worked 12 hr. days.}

So that you, or anyone, wouldn't/shouldn't have to. Although... wait, you had a father? How could... never mind.

If you're too busy to follow the link and read the fascinating/horrifying article, one more quote if you please. 

"Li said in an interview that his website and X account have become frequent targets of hacking and cyberattacks and that he has moved four times in the past year for fear of being tracked down by Chinese authorities."

Checked your white privilege lately?
Did you know that marriage promotes white supremacy?

From an article in The College Fix: “I theorize that marriage fundamentalism, like structural racism, is a key structuring element of White heteropatriarchal supremacy,” I'll bet you're wondering what marriage fundamentalism is, right? 

Well, the quote is from Professor Bethany Letiecq, of George Mason University. " associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development, specializing in the utilization of community-based participatory action research approaches, anti-racist research methods...and mixed method designs (e.g., qualitative and quantiative methods) in partnership with minoritized and marginalized families."

Benjamin Vogel (a student at Hope College, who wrote the College Fix article) got the marriage fundamentalism quote from a paper published by Dr. Letiecq in The Journal of Marriage and Family with the titillating title: Theorizing White heteropatriarchal supremacy, marriage fundamentalism, and the mechanisms that maintain family inequality.

{Cool, but what's marriage fundamentalism?}

Sorry for the drift, but as a public service... I'm sure that many people are familiar with the phrase "publish or perish," which refers to climbing the occupational ladder to become a full professor with bulletproof tenure and then remain at the top of the academic food chain.  

Big BUT, publish what? Where? Well, often as not it's obscure papers for obscure academic journals that almost no one will ever read. 

Anyways... as to marriage fundamentalism: "I theorize that marriage fundamentalism, like structural racism, is a key structuring element of White heteropatriarchal supremacy. Marriage fundamentalism can be understood as an ideological and cultural phenomenon, where adherents espouse the superiority of the two-parent married family." -Professor Letiecq

I suspect that some of you may be tempted to skip reading Prof. Letiecq's paper but Mr. Vogel's article helpfully supplies us with another quote that explains where Prof. Letiexq is coming from, in his/her/their own words. 

"Letiecq employs 'critical family theorizing…to delineate an overarching orientation to structural oppression and unequal power relations that advantages [white heteropatriarchal nuclear families] and marginalizes others as a function of marriage fundamentalism.'"

{Well who can argue with that?}

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down if you wish to share my work or access my golden oldies.   

I post links to my columns (and other stuff) on Facebook so that you can love me, hate me, or lobby to have me publicly flogged.  

Friday, March 24, 2023

White Privilege

Image by 1820796 from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  


Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device  

"My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture." -Peggy McIntosh 

Dear Stickies and Gentlereaders,

Not long ago, on yet another cold, damp, overcast winter morning in Northern Ohio, I awoke and like most men of a certain age hastily headed for the bathroom. 

Opening the door of my warm, cozy bedroom, I grabbed my cane and stepped out into the chilly hallway which resulted in the usual mild shock, the result of going from 72 humidified degrees to 66 un-humidified ones. 

I'm one of those old geezers that get up early, very early in my case, and a programmable thermostat will not nudge the furnace to raise the temperature of the rest of Casa de Chaos to a luxurious 68 till 6 a.m., a half an hour or so before Stickies start appearing if it's a school day. 

Self-indulgent, planet-destroying, privileged persons of pallor that we are, the temperature will remain at a balmy 68 till 11 p.m. before dropping back to 66 again. 

I was in too much of a hurry to put on my slippers and the tiled bathroom floor made me feel like I was crossing the frozen tundra. I was reminded that I didn't live in a house with central heating till I was 13 and felt grateful for the enormous, inefficient, outdated furnace in the basement.

Next, I returned to my room and checked on my countertop humidifier. It consumes both water and electricity but helps to prevent rubbing/scratching my dry skin raw in my sleep. 

I then checked on and tweaked the oil-filled space heater strategically placed in front of the room's only heating duct so it doesn't use as much electricity (the furnace helps keep the oil warm) because the room temperature had jumped to 73.

I've turned into one of those old farts that always feels cold in the wintertime but I'm stuck north of the Mason-Dixon line. I put my slippers on and sought out the services of the Keurig machine in the kitchen. 

K-cups were ridiculously overpriced before our current transitory inflation problem so I placed 3 or 4 tablespoons of Cafe Bustelo (the price of which has temporarily risen by a buck a can even at Dollar General) in a washable/reusable K-container and made myself the first of the two cups of coffee I'll drink today.  

I returned to my room and started my day with a current events/email check via my low-end Chromebox (a variation of a Chromebook), my virtual window on the world. It also serves as my Kindle, stereo, word processor, and TV. I use my phone as a phone. 

I wrote for about an hour and then pulled up the free Google Docs spreadsheet I use to keep track of my money titled Robbing Peter, Paying Paul and commenced doing just that. Despite having worked full-time, including many 6 and 7-day weeks for 45 years, my fixed income is rather modest. To paraphrase a rhyme my daughter used to sing-song when she was a kid:

Poor old Poppa,
Sittin' on a fence, 
Tryin' to make a dollar 
Out of 15 cents.

Speaking of my daughter, she popped in to say hey for a minute before trudging upstairs to bed, exhausted from being up all night baking at the bakery she works at. I wondered if my son-in-law made it home by midnight or worked late because overtime was available. 

The following question then popped into my head. I wonder where the phrase white privilege came from? I went a-googlin'. 

An English teacher/feminist/anti-racism activist/women's studies scholar is credited with popularizing the phrase in question. Dr. Peggy McIntosh received a Ph.D. from Harvard "where she wrote her dissertation on Emily Dickenson's Poems About Pain."

In 1988 Ms. McIntosh also wrote a (famous in certain circles) essay titled, WHITE PRIVILEGE AND MALE PRIVILEGE: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women's Studies.

An essay, proudly based on the professor's "lived experience," which was/is somewhat different than the lived experience of me, mine, and probably yours has nevertheless impacted our lives. 

Wikipedia: "This work has been included in many K-12 and higher education course materials, and has been cited as an influence for later social justice commentators."

For your edification, here's the long version, here's a much shorter one


Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Scroll down to share my work or access oldies. Buy an old crank a coffee? Extra content is available to members of Cranky's Coffee Club.    

Comments? I post my columns on Facebook and Twitter where you can love me, hate me, or try to have me canceled. Don't demonize, seek a compromise. 





Saturday, February 8, 2020

White Privilege

-Image by Barbara Bonanno from Pixabay- 

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too." -Voltaire

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Please bear with me while I lay a foundation for some thoughts on White Privilege.

I'm an unattractive, old, white, heterosexual, cisgendered dude.

For a while there I self-identified as a gorgeous, young, black, lesbian dudette by the name of Cocoa (picture Halle Berry) who was trapped in the body of an unattractive, old, white, heterosexual, cisgendered dude — named Mark.

However, in the course of spending nearly two years in a secret monastery in the Wudang Mountains of China in search of enlightenment (so secret there's not even a gift shop or restaurant to serve the tourist trade), Cocoa was reabsorbed into the one soul.

I'm still not enlightened, but I came to realize that Cocoa was a false persona created by my formerly fragile ego to cope with what I used to regard as a veritable blitzkrieg of existential threats.

[Used to regard? How do ya repel a blitzkrieg of...]

Embrace the Way of Ishkabibble.

[Pray tell, Cranky Tzu, what is the Way of Ishkabibble?] 

Well, Dana, the word itself is a faux Yiddish, archaic slang word that's been around for over a hundred years that was originally translated as "I should worry!" with a sarcastic twist that rendered it "Don't worry!" or "Who Cares?".

The definitive, relatively modern translation, in my semi-humble opinion, that captures the full meaning of the concept behind the word is expressed in the motto of the immortal Alfred E. Newman, "What, me worry?".

A more recent translation is the repellent, "What-ever" with the second half of the word accented enough to match an actual or implied eye roll. Yet another indicator of a culture in decline.

[That's a, uh, deep foundation ya got there, not Cocoa, but the title of this missive, if I can remember that far back, is White Privilege, yes?]

Yes, indeed.

Recently, I was thinking about the whole white privilege meme in light of the aforementioned personal existential threats  — past, present, and potential — in the course of a rough day when I wasn't basking in the usual warm glow of my privilege.

Just one example, if you please.

If you're over fifty years old in this country, and certainly no shortage of other countries,


If you don't embody some version of pretty, successful, fit, healthy, and at least locally famous — the order and importance of the adjectives vary  — you are effectively invisible, and scheduled for deletion.

Being blessed, like me, with having actual loved ones mitigates this condition somewhat.

I chose this particular example because regardless of who or what you identify as, or actually are, this applies to everyone, even those of you still young enough to assume you'll live forever. Even those of you playing some version of the __ is the new 40 game.

I'm not going to mention my health problems, my financial problems, my severe case of recurring Been There/Done That/Is That All There Is disease with complications from Glass Half Full syndrome.

I'm not even going to bring up... Well, nevermind.


Intuiting that I might be onto something interesting, I consulted that indispensable and unassailable compendium of knowledge, Wikipedia. 

"White privilege denotes both obvious and less obvious passive advantages that white people may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice." 

This paragraph ends with, "The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one's own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal."

Yes, definitely interesting. 

The next paragraph, from which I will not quote, delves into... Well, while I'm obviously not a highly trained, tenured professor in either the field of whiteness studies or critical race theory...

[There's no such thing as whiteness studies, you're makin' that up! And as far as...] 

Nuh-uh, as Donnie Baker would say, "I swear to God, you can look it up." 

Anyways, I would describe the next paragraph as a summary of the reasons the experts in these cutting edge new fields of study don't agree about exactly what white privilege is. 

The rest of this exhaustive article, that boasts 176 citations confirms this, but obviously, they're working hard on it. I suspect that they will continue, undaunted, till they get to the bottom of things. 

While we wait, I, a humble layperson, can't help but wonder if any of the scholars in these two fields  — both privileged, tenured profs and their personal slaves, grad students and postdocs, have given any thought to the following.

In their fearless pursuit of the truth  even the currently fashionable, untestable, and unverifiable version of truth, the oft-mentioned lived experience — have they considered that this may all be a bunch of crap.  

[Excuse me! You can't just...]

Sure I can. There's a warning label at the beginning of every column and anyone that knows me and/or has read more than a column or two knows, I'm Mark-Mark the cute and cuddly Panda bear

Behold the wisdom (and rewrite) of Cranky Tzu: 

"Smart/athletic/funny/perceptual/beautiful/etceteral privilege denotes both obvious and less obvious passive advantages that white people H. sapiens may or may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice."

Most of us have some sort of innate, unearned ability that many of the rest of us don't and that we often as not take for granted. All of us employ bias and prejudice deduced from our lived experience, overtly and otherwise, just to get through the damn day.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Please scroll down to react, comment, or share. If my work pleases you I wouldn't be offended if you offered to buy me some cheap coffee.   

                                                   *     *     *

Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet.