by Reid Fitzsimons
A privileged child is a child who has at least one parent willing to suspend prior self-indulgences. This can run the gamut from drinking, clubbing, hanging out with friends, partying, or whatever past enjoyments prove to be incompatible with nurturing parenthood, and to do so without resentment. A child of privilege has at least one parent committed to reading to him or her everyday, letting the child know they are loved, and willing to say “no” more often than “yes.” If this doesn’t transcend ethnic or racial differences then so much the worse for society as well as the children involved, especially because it doesn’t require unobtainable resources to say to say “no” and “I love you.”
A child whose parent(s) is/are defined by victimhood is unlikely to be privileged. A parent who indoctrinates their children to the idea that success is unavailable to them owing to extrinsic forces is selfish. Regardless if the force is economic (the rich people and corporations are screwing us), ethnic/racial (the English are screwing us Irish, white people are screwing us because of our last name), or personal (i.e. some specific other person is doing the perceived screwing), the result is the same- the child learns they are powerless and that their life is beyond their control. Even if there is a modicum of truth in these perceptions the child is diminished. When perceptions of victimhood are primarily historically based but reiterated in the present, continuing resentment and hatred are the result. Unfortunately for most perpetual victims these feeling of being screwed are both justifying and satisfying, but the proper techniques of child-rearing are beside the point for this article.
I’m enjoying this White Privilege mindlessness that is sweeping the progressive world, especially because it seems to be largely a rumination of privileged white people. There is nothing new or original here, of course. I well remember from the 1970’s the comedy-like interaction where someone would state they were not racist but the progressive response was an inevitable “yes you are, you’re just not willing to admit it,” and on it went. No credentials were sufficient to dispel the accusation of racism. Like with the current White Privilege idiocy, the accusation of racism was only a means to an end, the end being the demand for confession, an admission of sins, and a pleading for absolution from the progressive powers that be.
It takes no extraordinary insight to appreciate the similarities between the worst of religion and the ordinary progressive mentality. Since dreaded Christianity is so often the focus of progressives, this parallel is fun to explore. Certainly they both have sins but whereas the list of sins for Christians is relatively finite and fixed, the progressive sin inventory is protean and grows daily. Perhaps someone should publish a regularly updated spreadsheet detailing prohibited thoughts, words, and actions.
There is a stereotype of the holier-than-thou Christian hypocrite who bloviates about living Christian values, everyone is a sinner, rejecting opulence, etc but revels in wealth and materialism, fornicates likes Ron Jeremy (aging porn star in case you missed him, picture Bill Clinton naked), and slings implications of sin towards others like grits at a Waffle House. Sadly there is sufficient basis for this stereotype to justify it, and not just in the eyes of angry progressives.
Equally existential is the progressive blowhard who pontificates about disdaining the “1%” and Confederate icons, White Privilege, etc while being steeped in wealth and materialism, wishing he could fornicate like Ron Jeremy, and slinging accusations of racism like tofu at a gay vegan wedding reception (disclaimer- I am a vegetarian). It’s not difficult to picture a tenured baby-boomer college professor of sociology whose classes, the few he teaches, consist of offering his stick-it-to-the-Man opinions while raking in $92k a year. Still sporting a ponytail, and perhaps having courageously obtained an earring or tattoo so as to make a statement, he wistfully reminisces about those years when his life peaked, free love and cheap dope, now four decades in the past.
Our hypocritical Christian reprobate and our hypocritical progressive celebrity are pretty much the same person, two sides of the same coin. Both enamored with what they can derive from accusing others of sin, condemning homosexuality on one hand or failing to celebrate it on the other, for example. There is power to be had in positioning oneself as adjudicator of sin, either sacred or secular, and unfortunately an audience is too easy to find. Both have discovered there can be a large reward with little effort- fire up the idiot masses with slogans, innuendos of conspiracy (Satan for one, conservatives for the other; a common enemy is required), and assurances of some reward. The promised result is similar, paradise in some other realm for the Christians, paradise in this world for the progressives. Both are only another donation away.
Of the many similarities, one is absolute. While both are compelled to ostensibly humble themselves- the Christian confessing he is a sinner like everyone else or the progressive confessing he too is a beneficiary of White Privilege- it is simply lip service. Neither will actually go beyond symbolic adjustment to what they are. The pixel count in their 60inch HDTV is just too sweet to give up, the cocktail gatherings are just too validating for their otherwise weak self-esteems, and their tropical island resort vacations are simply too much fun to go without. There is no effort required to convince themselves they deserve everything they have. In the end there is at least one difference- the Christian stereotype portrayed here is by no means a fabrication but there are many Christians who don’t wallow in greed, selfishness, and hypocrisy. There are many willing to give up their material comforts, and perhaps much more, to serve others. For the progressives, not so much.