Monday, February 4, 2008

"White Privlege" -More Like White Patronizing

Instead of hiring a writer with a differing perspective to balance out the pages of the Forum section, Daily Barometer Forum Editor Ashley Slocki has decided to hire someone who thinks like everyone else in her department. Sara Gwin recently made her debut, and her most recent column amounted to “I’m sorry I’m white”

In a nod to self-deprecating, hand wringing white guilt, Gwin takes a number of instances at McKay High School (a majority black high school with a principal who, according to a former student, recruited black students who had been expelled from other Salem area high schools for violence or weapons charges) and cobbles them together into “institutionalized racism.” Gwin also seems to feel guilty that she managed to succeed and that she wasn’t able to “deny those rights.”

Gwin speaks of “eradicating racism.” As a pragmatist, I can tell you, straight-faced, that this idea is impossible. And while we by no means live in a perfect society (as there is no such thing), the idea that a person achieved simply because they were of one race or another is entirely fallacious. Gwin makes modern American society sound like pre-WWII American society, and with the exception of a few old codgers, we have changed so much.

I think I grew up in a pretty color-blind society, and I’m glad I came to one here at Oregon State. Gwin looks for racism, even when it’s not racism, and is willing to typecast all of you as God-awful racist thugs in order to prove a point. I look around me and am sure that I did not succeed because of my race, or even my gender, but because of my merits. As I reread her article, I am convinced that one of those merits is that I am better at picking opinion writers than Ashley Slocki. The Forum Section continues to sink to new lows in one-sidedness and quality of content.


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