Why I Feel Absolutely No White Guilt
Therefore, there's no reason to move on in regards to Father Pfleger. His entire monologue consisted of nothing more than slander. Obviously, had my ancestors committed wrongs I would not be responsible for them, but, as is true for millions of my fellow citizens, my antecedents oppressed no one. Before 1910, more than four decades after the end of the Civil War and the passage of the 13th Amendment, not one relative of mine dwelled on these shores. Thus, the priest's allegations are not only absurd but are no more applicable to me than a directive from the head of the Lindsay Lohan fan club.
Just as with countless readers, my ancestors were thoroughly impoverished in Europe, which caused them to trade in their trinkets and buy passage to the new world. Had the old world esteemed my family members then they would have never boarded those boats.
One of my grandfathers migrated to Detroit in the 1920s from Ireland via Canada. His hands were needed in the fields so he became a second-grade dropout. The woman he married was the brains of the family because she was fortunate enough to have received nine years of formal education. She bore him eight children as he toiled at Ford Motor Company. Granddad never accepted promotion because he feared losing his union membership. My mother was the only of his offspring to attend college. Her enrollment was made possible by a marching band scholarship rather than dividends from a trust fund. Upon death, my grandfather left medical bills as opposed to ownership in a company or the riches of a 401k account.
My other grandfather hailed from Russia. Unlike American blacks who, before the Brown v. Board of Education decision, received a segregated and inferior education, my father's father received no education whatsoever. He never attended a day of school in his life. He passed through Ellis Island and maintained a thick Russian accent until dying at age 88 (he attributed his longevity to giving up cigars at age 75). When I was a kid my grandfather used to send me birthday cards with a signature alone affixed to them. How literate he was I cannot say. When he passed away he left my father absolutely nothing. Over the course of his life, his economic output was inconsistent and often illegal. He married three times and departed the earth as financially barren as he was upon entering it.
In lieu of our antecedents, from what insurance policy did my mother and father benefit? The one person who definitely cannot answer that question is Father Michael Pfleger. When he gazes upon his countrymen he sees only theoretical constructs in a lowbrow postmodernist parlor game that he assembled. Did Pfleger ever meet any men like my grandfathers? Does he even know that such people existed?
He is wrong about everything as there is no "white privilege" in the United States of America. If there were, programs like affirmative action would never have received the imprimatur of the state because they teach the young that discrimination is totally acceptable should it oppress the right kind of citizen -- white citizens as of 2008.
Further, political correctness would have no power or sway were Caucasians to be truly advantaged. PC involves treating "the other" as a holy relic and deferring to them; conversely, the majority population is regarded as former functionaries of the Khmer Rouge. Lastly, we know that white privilege is a lie because Asians outperform Caucasians on almost every single measure of societal success.
Both of my grandfathers would have found the notion of white privilege very perplexing. That they shared the same skin color as upper-class WASPs meant nothing in 1920. The Brahmins of our society wanted nothing to do with either of them. My Russian grandfather was such a low-status male that he changed his overly ethnic name to match one held by a local celebrity. Regardless of elite opinion, both men enjoyed their lives and felt indebted to their new homeland. They lived in the present and did not dwell on crimes of the past which English kings or Russian tsars may have committed against them. Resentment was not a language they could comprehend.
Yet it is resentment that allows Father Pfleger to ascend the rungs in society's vile church of victimology. It is a disgrace that the Catholic Church -- via their employment and protection -- continues to enable his race warfare. According to his supervisors, Father Pfleger has served his penance, but should Barack Obama become our next president it will be the general population's turn to serve.