Skip to comments.White Guilt Passes Its Expiration Date
Posted on 05/01/2014 9:40:07 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Some things are predictable to observant students of human nature. There is a Newtonian principle of equal and opposite reactions in social, political and cultural trends. After the radical anti-war protests and bohemian lifestyle experimentation of the 1960s LSD, campus sit-in demonstrations, psychedelic rock, hippie communes and meditation gurus a discernible backlash took hold. This was first manifested in politics: Ronald Reagans election as governor of California was perhaps the first omen, as his campaign made a clear issue of opposition to student radicalism at the University of California Berkeley. The 1968 election of Richard Nixon, when Democrat Hubert Humphrey was handicapped both by left-wing opposition to the Vietnam War and blue-collar support for the third-party candidacy of George Wallace, was another harbinger of the emerging backlash.
Nixon was re-elected by a landslide in 1972 and, although the subsequent Watergate scandal temporarily derailed the political manifestation of backlash, it was still evident in social and cultural trends. By the mid-1970s, an increased visibility of fundamentalist Christianity it was Jimmy Carter who made born again a universally recognized synonym for evangelical faith further manifested the rightward shift in culture. Even the disco music trend could be seen as symptomatic of this shift: If it was a hedonistic expression of urban culture, disco also emphasized stylish fashions and a commercial show-biz ethic that was diametrically opposed to the politicized themes of anti-establishment protest that suffused much of the rock scene from the mid-1960s onward. The look made famous by John Travolta in 1977′s Saturday Night Fever short, carefully styled hair and a flashy white suit was a stark contrast to the grungy look of mud-covered naked hippies at Woodstock in 1969.
By 1977, kids didnt want to change the world. They just wanted to boogie down. A couple years later, partly inspired by the nostalgic frat-boy movie Animal House, the preppy fashion trend swept college campuses, and suddenly Izod shirts, madras shorts, khaki slacks and Bass Weejuns were all the rage. (Does anybody else remember preppy girls with gold add-a-bead necklaces?)
To anyone who had been paying attention to cultural trends during the 1970s, the landslide election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 was not really surprising. The average American who pulled the lever for Reagan might have had difficulty articulating what it was they were voting for, by they damned sure knew what they were voting against. It wasnt just the manifest incompetence of Jimmy Carters administration and the political/economic malaise that they opposed. From the mid-1960s onward, Americans had felt a growing sense of helpless anger toward the youth counterculture that manifested itself in rock music, drug use, radical protests, and orgiastic sexuality. That counterculture had never really represented the mainstream majority of American youth, but by 1980, young people themselves were as fed up with the counterculture as their parents had been for the past 15 years.
It is too early to say we are witnessing a new youth backlash against the dominant progressivism of the Obama years, but why else would Princeton University freshman Tal Fortgang unload a powerful denunciation of the regnant left-wing campus orthodoxy?
There is a phrase that floats around college campuses, Princeton being no exception, that threatens to strike down opinions without regard for their merits, but rather solely on the basis of the person that voiced them. Check your privilege, the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year. The phrase, handed down by my moral superiors, descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone, and aims laser-like at my pinkish-peach complexion, my maleness, and the nerve I displayed in offering an opinion rooted in a personal Weltanschauung. Check your privilege, they tell me in a command that teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world.
I do not accuse those who check me and my perspective of overt racism, although the phrase, which assumes that simply because I belong to a certain ethnic group I should be judged collectively with it, toes that line. But I do condemn them for diminishing everything I have personally accomplished, all the hard work I have done in my life, and for ascribing all the fruit I reap not to the seeds I sow but to some invisible patron saint of white maleness who places it out for me before I even arrive. . . .
You should read the whole thing, if you havent read it already. Fortgangs resentment of endless lectures about his alleged privilege is almost certainly shared by millions of students on todays hyper-politicized campuses, where critical skepticism toward progressive ideas is streng verboten. Liberal hegemony in academia Democrats outnumber Republicans on liberal arts faculties by a ratio of at least 4-to-1, and at elite campuses, by far more means not only that progressive ideas are taken for granted, but that those who challenge such ideas are condemned as hateful extremists.
Empty accusations of privilege stem from a progressive worldview that Shelby Steele examined in his 2007 book White Guilt,. Further examination of this worldview can be found in Thomas Sowells 1996 book, The Vision of the Anointed. There is already a well-developed intellectual critique of progressivism and identity politics, if only young people were made aware of it. Unfortunately, there are so few conservatives on university faculty now that students are ill-equipped to interrogate the dominant campus culture. Yet there is evidence that many students want access to alternative ideas.
There is a back and forth of cultural trends, but it’s an oscillation around an overall direction of bigger and more despotic gov’t, and the undermining of traditional moral values.
We’re seeing lots of white guilt at play with the Donald Sterling/Clippers uproar aren’t we??
Ideas spring from within. They don’t need “access” to alternative ideas. They have all the ideas they need inside themselves. They just need to be willing to apply logic and be willing to believe that which is self-evident, no matter how many crack-addled fools around them insist the truth is not. The crowd is no excuse.
I predicted that this would happen 30 years ago - right now (actually, the “peak” has already passed), the people of that age are, or were, at their peak of economic and political power. Just take a look at the age of the average East Coast liberal. Soon enough, they will be leaking from various orifices into a pair of comfy Depends and then possibly returning to the spirit in the sky or whatever it was that they believed in. Sure, they left a horrible legacy, but I feel that generally, the worst is over, and recovery really is within sight.
I saw an interesting graphic once where in terms of demographics, the Baby Boom generation was compared to a big rat going through a snake. Well, soon, it will all come out OK in the end.
Good counterexample! Good catch.
You are astoundingly more optimistic than I, in terms of what kind of legacy will be left by the teachings and guilt-impositions of those soon-to-be-Dependers. You seem to be saying that as the leather-elbowed generation dies off, their influence will evaporate. That’s a beautiful image, don’t get me wrong, I wish I could agree with it.
On the other hand, maybe that’s a great name for a geriatric punk band: The Dependers.
Until blacks, in general, stop playing the race card and shiting blame on the white man for their situation they’re never going to be respected they way they want to be in society as a whole IMHO. There are a lot of respectable black people that don’t do this and I look at them in a different light not that anything I have to say matters...
Shiting = shifting. What a typo eh?...lol
Youth today are much more socially liberal than boomers
Boomers in 1972 or 2012.....
Look at presidential voting stats
Its fun to blame boomers for our leftward tilt but demographics is a far bigger culprit
Where I come from nearly 90% are conservative voting....whites that is
Shouldnt you be anti hipster....they are libs
Yuppies were greedy 80s era conservative boomers who had dumped the idealism of youth for material success
Older Gen X apes boomer voting today.....younger X apes Gen Y
Pro gay marriage is a big one
>> Donald Sterling/Clippers uproar
I still have no idea what he said (in private) nor do I care.
The Sterling affair will keep the race pimps well stocked with “white guilt” ammo for another decade.
I can see it now-
All of the eggshell-walking, ass-kissing do-gooder employees at GM, Ford, Chrysler and their for-appearances-sake multicultural suppliers falling all over themselves trying to relieve tensions among themselves and their protected classes of co-workers.
I can also imagine how some of these pathetic weaklings suddenly become PC whistleblowers against their personal and professional peers in order to make themselves look good when they know how their job performance is probably inferior to that of their targets.
I have seen few more appropriate typos.
Let’s do the math - 1964 marks the beginning of the modern civil rights era in terms of the law and here we are 50 years later still discussing “white guilt”, saying it’s past some expiration date??? I’d say 1964 was the expiration date for any sense of guilt by whites and what we have now is just a curdled mess concocted by those who can achieve some advantage. The kid who wrote the column objecting to Yale’s “check your privilege” hit a home run against that weak-sauce, namby-pamby BS.
We recently discoverd that dollar signs magically obliterate racism. Who knew? Maybe Princeton can include it in their curriculum?
Discredited billionaire Clippers owner, Donald Sterling---caught on tape as a KKK-type racist---apparently was known for his history of screwing Blacks both as their landlord, and as an employer.....areas rigidly controlled by Civil Rights laws.
So how is it that the NAACP---the most venerable organization in the black civil rights movement----has repeatedly honored Sterling?
<><> Sterling got this years NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award.
<><> He got an earlier NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award.
<><> Sterling got the 2008 NAACP Humanitarian Award.
<><> And the 2009 NAACP Presidents Award.
Alas, it was all about the checks. Sterling got the most awards b/c: He paid the most, the leader of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP said at a recent press conference.
Just goes to show---there's always someone willing to say they're "for" their fellow-man, form an organization to catalogue the supposed grievances----while conniving to make a buck on it.
Things become a lot less confusing once one accepts American culture's obvious leftward trajectory.
It's hard to believe how far things have slid leftward even in the past ten years.
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