White Privilege?

Dear Old Phart,

I am your average white guy on the 1-2-3 plan. One wife, two kids and three part-time jobs. I make $38,000 a year and am forced to buy Obamacare so my family, including my son with asthma, can have lousy health insurance. My major leisure time activity is falling asleep on the couch while watching tv and worrying about  car payments.

If I’m  lucky, my kids will be able to afford to go to community college so they can have the same sucky life I have.

I keep hearing about white privilege. When am I going to get some?

Depressed in Des Moines

Dear Depressed,

This past year basketball star LeBron James had his house spray painted with racist graffiti. After this happened he remarked: “No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in American is tough.”

Some have complained that LeBron’s comments were out of place as he is, as are other black people, very successful. But let’s face it,  if you were in LeBron’s size 15 sneakers, no one would be spraying your home with racist graffiti because you are a white man. And remember the average black family makes $23,000 less than the average white family. And if your son was black, you would be worrying about his life ending prematurely at a traffic stop, or if living in the central city, by gang violence.

Now let me tell you a factoid about the Old Phart. One of my favorite cartoons appeared in the now-defunct humor magazine “The National Lampoon.” The cartoon showed a hot dog in human form with a face, arms and legs standing in front of a mail box. In his hand is a letter from the Publisher Clearinghouse Sweepstakes that says: “You may already be a weiner!”

Now to answer your question about when are you going to get some of that  white privilege.

There is white privilege even though not all white people are privileged.  And there are some privileged people who are not white.

LeBron? He’s a proud black man, worth over $400 million dollars, with multiple homes and cars.  His 12 year old son is already such a superb basketball athlete that he is drawing attention from top colleges. LeBron is a winner.

You? You may already be a weiner.

Old Phart






Picture Racism

Dear Old Phart,

There is a meme circulating on social media that shows a picture of five African American women standing in line. The women are dressed in scantily clad swimsuits. They are all different skin hues ranging from very dark to almost white. The white colored African American woman is standing in front.

I and my cohorts have  been discussing whether this picture denotes white privilege as the light colored African American woman is standing in front. The picture makes a powerful statement about diversity within a community but why did the artist place the lighter skinned woman up front?

Sensitive Soul

Dear Sensitive Soul,

First, never use the word meme. That is a made-up word coined in 1976 by a renowned English evolutionary biologist born in Nairobi.  His name was Richard Dawkins–not to be confused with the more renowned Englishman Richard Dawson,  the former host of the TV game show Family Feud.

Second, how do you know the women are African American? Maybe they are from France. Maybe they are from a country in Africa. My guess is that since they are all standing together in revealing  swimsuits, they are from the Greek island of Lesbos. The fact that you thought they were American shows you are a jingoist chowderhead.

Now, to answer your question about the pale-hued woman of African heritage who was standing in front. Sometimes a picture is just a picture.  I think what the artist was trying to say is that everyone should just lighten up.

Old Phart